Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Inspired by Penny, I'm up on my soap box.

The challenge presented was the quickest, easiest, and most entertaining way to lose weight. And it must be free. Thanks to the internet, many tools are now very inexpensive or even free. In my mind there are several parts to an effective weight loss plan. What you eat, how you choose to add movement and importantly, what you use to help motivate yourself throughout the process. I believe that each aspect can be addressed for a minimal cost thanks in large part to giving podcasters, the internet, and ultimately to Steve Jobs who insisted on something better than the walkman (remember those?)

It has been found that 80% of your success with weight loss is garnered from your diet. What you put in your mouth is pretty much the thing that determines success or failure to lose weight. The trick is discovering what causes you (not your friend) to lose weight, gain weight or prevents weight loss. I, personally, gain weight from fried chicken, Chinese take out, pizza, donuts, and ice cream. Fitday or Spark can help you make the connection from what you are eating to what happens with your body. Even without purchasing measuring cups and a food scale, just writing down what you ate can help you understand what is going on with your body. Also, make a note of when you feel good and when you feel bad. Does eating certain foods give you headaches or indigestion? Does alcohol always make you gain weight, no matter how little calories you ate? Does eating soy slow down your weight loss? Does protein powder make you gain weight? I always put on weight with those foods. You may notice similar kinds of issues but with foods that bother your body, that may be an entirely different list from my list.

Often people whine and complain about the cost of healthy food. After all, Top Ramen is like 10 cents! Well, you just found a very cheap source of calories. The question is, what did it do for you? It filled your belly. How long after that were you hungry again? Did you have to add something to it? Look, I'm not saying top ramen is evil, but consider those inexpensive veggies you can add to your diet, improve the nutrition going into your body, and still not break the bank. Be honest, how much did you spend on coffee? Those fancy coffee drinks are not cheap. But, guess what, cabbage, carrots, and fruit in season is cheap. And, what little money you spend now is much less than the price of doctor visits when you have poor health from being undernourished and obese at the same time. Visit Sandra Ahten's podcast the Reasonable diet or 6 minutes of sanity to learn more about inexpensive diet options. (I'm not paid by her for the 'endorsement', it was free.)

Last night I bought a head of lettuce for $1.29. Its a beautiful red leaf lettuce packed full of nutrition and flavor. If you buy your nuts on sale like I do at Raley's, you can get almonds in bulk for $3.99 a pound. Its not always that cheap, but their nuts are good and fresh. Thats a whole pound! Thats 16 servings. Do the math. Its 25 cents per serving. For the lettuce its about 4 servings which is about 32 cents a serving. (I'm rounding) Add lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper, guess what you just had lunch. You can add protein if you want. Thats up to you.

Exercise: walking or jogging. In theory you can just go out the front door. But, we all know there are potential issues that can crop up. I do have a small kit of things that help me with my walking, hiking and jogging. Other inexpensive options are jump rope or calisthenics. Netflix is an excellent source for workout dvds. Yoga Today.com is a free streaming source for new yoga workouts off the internet. I'm assuming that you have internet access because you are reading this.

Meditation, while more relaxation than activity, helps tremendously with your mental outlook and health. We all need a mood boost and when we aren't using food for emotional support we must get it elsewhere.

My favorite podcasts for motivation are Inside Out Weight Loss with Renee Stephens, The Reasonable Diet with Sandra Ahten, Motivation to Move with Scott Smith and Joy, Pheddipidations, and The Two Gomers run a marathon. All are free. Yippee! I love the free. Well, except you do need a mp3 player, computer, and internet access. So, in a way its free. The content is free. I find motivation on Spark people reading other people's blogs. Those are free!

The tools I use most of the time that are not free:
1. Digital food scale. I got mine on sale, it was $30 at Target. The price varies.
2. iPod Shuffle. Mine says "rapid breath" because thats what I do in yoga. Cool, right?
3. Wrap around ear buds are awesome because your buds don't fly out of your ears when you are jogging.
4. Sweat band (dollar store). I really hate sweat in my eyes.
5. cuddl-dudz workout pants ($15 Target for two pair.)
6. sunglasses (Dollar store)
7. Trainers: shoes from Ross or Sports Authority on sale. I have several pair for different activities.
8. Digital Bathroom scale
9. DVD player for my videos.
10. My circuit step for aerobics.
11 Lots of workout dvds. I may be a Cathe Friedrich addict, I'm not sure.

Maybe the most important things are the ones I don't buy. I don't have a gym membership. I don't have a personal trainer. I don't buy the super expensive name brand shoes. I do buy nice socks. Those matter. But, the truth is if you watch what you eat, journal, and do simple exercise like walking and stretching, the weight will probably come off if the macronutrients are in check. The exercise is just there to buoy your metabolism up and to keep you from being in a plateau. It helps with mood and most people experience a dip in mood during dieting/weight loss. I do.

Thats all for now, tune in next time for the EDH Diet Soap Box!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Vegan and Low carb?

I'm not really interested in going back to a vegan diet. I did that in my teens for two years and it really didn't work for me. However, I am focusing on more fat and vegetables and less protein these days. I have read on some other blogs about people who have embarked on a low carb and vegan diet. It was very interesting to read their ideas of what they think was a low carb diet. It certainly wasn't Atkins as laid out by Dr. Atkins himself. The further into this low carb adventure I go, the more I realize the tremendous importance of a high fat low carb diet. Protein is a free by to a point. Some of us do not tolerate protein very well. I do better with more healthy fats than with more protein. Once you have shifted your focus to healthy fats, its not so hard to get your calories from fats and not from animal based proteins. Many of the low carb vegetables provide the vitamins you need. Coconut fat, olive oil and avocados provide wonderful fats that are very good at helping you with your low carb diet because they satiete the appetite. That is what fat does for you, it turns off the feeling that you are hungry. Adding a slug of olive oil to a low carb soup brings up the calories and gives you what you need to be effective the rest of the day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I love using coconut oil. It really helps me with satiety. I highly recommend it for dieters and people who are both gluten and dairy intolerant. Here is a website with an article on the subject: www.naturalfoodmerchandiser.com
The link sends you to natural food merchandiser which is a cool website. I don't work for them. I hope its ok to add the link.

Italian Vegetable Soup

Good morning, everybody! The sun is shining. Its a beautiful day in my neighborhood.

Here is a recipe from "The Ultimate Healthy Eating Cookbook" modified for gluten free living. If you want, you can just leave the pasta out entirely for a low carb version.

1 small carrot or
1 baby leek (or another 2 oz. of cabbage)
1 celery stick
2 oz. green cabbage
1 cup cooked green beans
3 3/4 cups of Pacific brand low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup of gluten free pasta,
Salt and black pepper
Fresh parsley

Slice and dice all the carrot, leak, celery and cabbage. Sautee them in olive oil or butter.
Add the stock and bay leaf. Simmer for about 6 minutes.
Add the cabbage, beans and pasta. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook until the pasta is tender.
Remove the bay leaf.
Garnish with the parsley and additional olive oil to taste.

Napa cabbage can be substituted for the cabbage.
You can add some hot sauce or hot peppers for heat/flavor.
You can substitute butter or coconut oil for the olive oil garnish.

I like rice noodles best. Be sure to soak them according to the package directions. Brown rice noodles can be used.
I like Annie's small shells for 'mac/cheese' just skip the cheese sauce.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some low carb and gluten free munchies

Try this: peel a cucumber serve with Rice Wine Vinegar and shrimp.

Or: Celery and almond butter

Or: Roasted tomatoes. Those are seriously good. Just cut them in half put them on some foil and roast for about 10 min. in a hot oven. You can sprinkle them with cheese or just with some salt. Use the good tomatoes on a vine, they should smell like a healthy tomato plant. Yumm. . . .