Wednesday, January 20, 2010

White Chicken Chili

This recipe tends to be a well liked recipe in my family. It serves 10 and the per servings amount are: 232 calories, 35 g protein, 12 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 80 mg cholesterol and 543 mg sodium. This recipe comes from Slow Cooker Recipe Book. Try it out and enjoy.

1 T Olive Oil
3 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks
2 onions, chopped (we don't use this much onion, maybe half an onion, if we are lucky)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14 oz each) fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
4 cans (15.5 oz each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chile peppers
1 t salt
1 t ground cumin
3/4 t dried oregano
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t ground cloves
1/8 t cayenne pepper

1. HEAT oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onions, and garlic and saute until chicken is lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to 4-quart or slow cooker. Add broth, beans, chili peppers (with juice), salt and remaining spices. Stir to combine.
2. COVER. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours. Uncover and cook 1 hour more, stirring occasionally, until flavors are blended.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Overweight and Trying to Conceive?

I read an interesting article on iParenting. As many people may know, my husband and I are trying to conceive again. Chris and I have one child (Bradley, 17 months) and last year at this time we were pregnant again for our second child. The pregnancy ended in a miscarriage in late March, at the very end of my first trimester we found out the baby didn't have a heart beat. At the beginning of my second trimester I physically miscarried.

Recently I have been reading article after article about conception. Chris and I have been trying for six months now. Bradley was conceived on birth control and the second baby was conceived as we breathed the words, "Let's try." Clearly this is frustrating.

Since finding out my BMI and that I am officially overweight, I have done more reading. It has been proven it can be harder to conceive while being overweight. In the same token the article on iParenting, suggested not losing weight a few months prior to try and conceive. The article also mentioned there is a higher risk for a cesarean, diabetes during (and after) pregnancy, plus an overweight fetus, which can therefore cause more problems. It is not suggested to try and lose weight while pregnant but do try and stay within the guidelines if possible. Clearly that doesn't always work, but if you at least try to be your healthiest you are that much more better off.

Chris and I will still continue to try and conceive. I will continue to try and live a healthier lifestyle and try and lose weight. I do know the more fit you are, the easier delivery is. Just another reason to workout, eat healthy and stay (or get in my case) in shape.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Week 3 Update

I definitely attribute the weight loss to being sick. Once I feel better I'm sure I'll post another picture, but right now is not the time. I have been eating crappy lately (while on vacation in Lake Placid and visiting family). Saturday Bradley vomited, and yesterday was my day, all day. So today I'm weighing in at 158.6 pounds, which brings my body fat percentage to 27.2% which is still in the overweight category but is down 1.3% from before. It's a start but again, not a good way to lose weight.

This weeks struggle is staying hydrated while sick. It's hard to do while you you are vomiting, your body loses a lot of liquid. Try to stay away from sugary drinks if possible, drink clear broth (such as chicken broth) and lots of other clear fluids like water. Overall it is most important to stay hydrated in this type of situation. It will make it easier on the body. Once you are able to eat again, try slowly, nothing heavy. Dry toast, crackers, broth, apple sauce, bananas, etc. Try and stay healthy and remember it is the flu season, don't be afraid to see your doctor.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Whew! I Made It Through the Weekend!

Sunday marked seven days completed on my diet. I am using the South Beach Diet and it's been tough. The weekends are always a little tough for me because we tend to relax on the weekend not only with chores but clearly with our food too. This of course will contribute to me being overweight and my BMI in the range it is in.

This weekend was my first weekend on the diet and to top things off we were traveling. To start out with Friday night was going well. We ate a healthy meal of salad, broccoli and tilapia. The food was great, I was feeling great and things were going well. A few hours went by
and we then had company, Uncle Brad (for whom our son is named after). Uncle Brad had not eaten dinner and I had the suggestion for him to order himself pizza. He thought that was a great idea, so didn't my partner in this diet, my husband. Who openly admitted if pizza was ordered he was eating it. Turns out the pizza was ordered. The aroma was wonderful, the smell of pineapple, melted cheese and ham filled the air. There were four of us. I let the three of them eat it and they kept tempting me with it. I wanted a bite so bad, but ate some pistachios prior to the pizza being delivered to curb my appetite of the late night snack. Turns out this was a good decision on my part. I resisted the temptation, toward the end of the night th
e smell of the pizza wasn't as delicious as before. The n
ext morning I felt great about myself and felt rewarded when I weighed in (not the official weigh in).

Saturday was a little difficult when I was craving cookies. I ended up making it through that too and finished off with a healthy dinner of chicken, broccoli and cauliflower. It wasn't too bad but I knew Sunday would be the most difficult day and it was.

Sunday, we left our home in Oswego, NY and headed to Buffalo. Normally it's only a couple hours to get there but we had to make stops along the way. Our first stop was gas. I thought getting a sandwich inside for the little man would be good. We would be finish our drive at a late lunch hour, but we had crackers and string cheese in the car for snacks (crackers only for the baby).

About an hour into the drive, we knew we had to stop in order to get something for Bradley. It was about 12:15 and we stopped. Inside I looked for something healthy for myself or Chris. Bradley I ordered chicken nuggets and there was only one salad in the entire place. I ordered it for Chris. The cost of the salad was
$5 and if I had known it was that much, I would have let my husband starve for the next hour. Turns out he did starve because the salad did not taste right. He tried a chicken nugget and that tasted bad as well. I guess we shouldn't have stopped there.

Once we got to my mom and dad's house the aroma of apple crisp baking in the oven was one of the most wonderful smells around. I was able to make it through the the entire night, eating very healthy. I had cucumbers with my steak (I didn't want the salad to go with it, I was sick of salad) and a glass of milk. I would have liked more vegetables but rice was served as a side and it is not allowed at this time in the diet. Chris later helped himself to yogurt (which isn't allowed yet) and two helpings of apple crisp. I made it through. The weekend was definitely harder then I expected but you know what....I made it through. And to top it off,
I stayed stronger on the diet then my husband, who without knowing it is in competition with me. I like knowing that I'm sticking to the rules the best way possible. Once during the week I ate one starburst but that's the only time I bent the rules. Well I did have herbal tea (which you are allowed to have on this diet and is ok if you are an LDS member) with honey (which is not supposed to be on the diet). I figured that would cover the sugar cravings and so far it has.

I am still tempted on the diet, because I am still at my mom and dad's house. We are celebrating a late Christmas with my brother who is home from Afghanistan for a couple weeks. She made everything from the turkey to the stuffing to the chocolate pie desserts. On top of all of that, there are chips, cookies, and lots of junk food. My father said he has a ton of junk food in the house and he now wishes he didn't have so much. My answer to him was, "I told you I was on a diet."

To my surprise his answer only gave me more encouragement, "I wasn't expecting you to be serious on it." I am serious on losing this weight. My jeans went on a little easier today, which is a relief and my family is already noticing a difference. They said they can see it in my face, it's thinning out to them. So for now I am resisting the temptations and feel better and better each night I do. Good luck with eating healthy. The temptations are there and hard, but it's worth it in the end, at least so far.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Due to my brother being home for a week or two from Afghanistan (before he goes back) the next post will most likely be on Tuesday, January 12th for an update and then not again until Sunday, January 17th, after which regular posting will resume. Good luck exercising and losing some weight!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

As a Child

Growing up I was very athletic, in fact I trained with the Olympic Training Team in Lake Placid, NY for figure skating. I loved the sport and at one point did it year round. I started skating when I was six years old and did it straight until I was eighteen.

I vaguely remember living in Fort Benning, GA with my parents. Figure skating was on the television and I turned to my father and said, "That's what I want to do." I must have only been five years old at the most. My father had promised me when we moved to Fort Drum, NY I would have that opportunity. He kept his promise and there my journey started. Some days I would wake up to be skating at seven in the morning. Some nights I wouldn't get home until eleven at night, practice got done at ten thirty. Of course the later hours were in the later years of my career as a skater.

While I was training with the Olympic Training Team, a couple of my coaches and I headed to the mall. Jorge Valle (a former Ice Capade and my jump coach) ordered himself an espresso. Sherry Robbins (my regular coach and a national competitor) ordered herself a bagel. Me? I came back with a taco salad from Taco Bell. I thought both of their jaws were going to not just drop but completely fall off their faces. Sherry had looked at my meal and asked if I knew how many calories were in there. I didn't know. She estimated around 1800....the actual calorie count is around 850, still a lot for one sitting. Regardless every bite I took that day I felt guilty for.

Since that time in my life food has had a real impact. Sherry I told me I should only have about 28-30 grams of fat a day. Just so you know that's about 3-4 yogurts. Since then I cut back on what I ate, tremendously. I look back and spandex looked like it was falling off was crazy. At the time I thought I was fat but when I look at pictures I think at such a young age I was very skinny. Too skinny I think.

After I graduated high school I went to college and knew no one would care what I ate and didn't eat. I wasn't skating and turns out I stopped weighing myself at 180 pounds. I knew I put on some more weight. I went from one extreme to the next. So yes I know what it's like to be skinny, then obese, then overweight, then skinny again. Now I'm back to overweight, but I'm working on it. It's possible. It's possible for everyone. Right now I'm starting with changing my eating habits and a little exercise and it's working. I hope you see results in week two pictures but if not then hopefully week three pictures. Don't be afraid to give something up, it may be hard but your health is worth it. Good luck and strive to be better.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Exercise on Demand!

A friend of mine had discovered Exercise on Demand via her cable television. So I thought I would try a workout or two. It was nice because there were videos that were about ten minutes (some a little more and some a little less).

Since we don't watch TV during the day....I thought I would do the ten minute video with Bradley (my 17 month old). I did a dance one, that really didn't feel like dance at all, I thought it was boring and didn't keep my interest up. One thing it did include was about a two minute warm up (I know this because there was a count down clock in the upper left hand corner of the screen). Everything felt basic. What I didn't like was during the exercise the trainer was focusing on your legs and feet. She was showing us a steps and of course the bottom of the screen were her feet. The only problem was her feet were covered up by advertisements. Overall the workout was ok, but it wasn't dancing at all. I was bored and disappointed with that part, but it did raise my heart rate for those then minutes and Bradley tried some of the moves too.

Since this was only a ten minute video I felt as if I should try another one. I did try a Biggest Loser workout and it involved weights. I didn't have any weights so I ran to my cupboard and got some canned black beans and some other bean (not sure which one it is right now). I ended up using bean cans as my weights, until I can get some, I think I have some at my parents house. I thought the workout was pretty good. It was about twenty-two minutes long. During the workout it definitely expects you to already be warmed up, so I was glad I did the ten minute workout in the beginning. We worked on the butt, upper legs, stomach, back and arms. I felt I missed out on something because I wasn't feeling the burn. Hours later I felt the burn and still feel it a day later. I will definitely take my bean cans and try this one again.

For those who do not have cable you can try workout videos via the web. I haven't tried any of these workouts yet but think I may try them in the near future. Try going to the ExerciseTV website. You can choose from many of them and they are listed via what you want to work on to how long they are. Good luck and enjoy your workout!

Schedule of Posts....

So I've been thinking I should have a little more structure with this blog. I have decided I would kind of make schedule for it.

Sunday - Whew! I've made it through the weekend! (This will probably be how I made it through that weekend in particular, when everything tends to be a little harder)

Monday - Weekly picture, weight update, BMI update and what was a struggle this week to get through

Tuesday - Health "Article" in some sort of way (I'll do a little online/book research and tell you what I've found for that week)

Wednesday - Recipe/Health Tip (nutrition of some sort, weather a recipe, etc.)

Thursday - Me Time (a post where I focus on me to make myself feel better and hopefully inspire you to do the same)

Friday - Exercise Critique of some sort (latest exercises regimen, my opinion of the ones I've tried, etc.)

Saturday - Reflection (a quick reflection on the past, what I did well, should do again, what worked in the past, what didn't, a short story, something along those lines)

We'll see how this all works out if I post something everyday or not. It will be maybe short or long or maybe I'll switch some things around. And since today is Friday, later I'm hoping to either add to this post about an exercise or I'll post a new one. :)

Good Luck on making healthy choices today!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bold might you say?

You probably noticed the pictures on the right hand side of this blog and in this entry (by the way if you are reading this post at a later date the pictures may be on the left then....who knows when I'll change the layout).

Anyway the pictures aren't too flattering at all. This is clearly me, belly hanging over the pants when you look at the picture from the side. My husband was in awe when he saw this picture posted on my blog. "Why? Now you really will have to follow through with it? What if you don't succeed?"

I think this is the first time I have heard him this concerned, especially because I point blank am putting myself out there. Well the reason is to see progress. I'm hoping for progress. I'm on day 4 of my diet and feel great. I've exercised today (not early in the week, but today I did which is a start).

Here are my answers....I did this because that is what this blog is about. Trust me normally I dress more modestly then this. I wore this because I was exercising in my own home, at the gym, I wear a tank top or t-shirt. I do have a tendency to sweat a lot while working out. I am putting myself out there. I want the support and encouragement to keep going. I want t
o lose those pounds and the excessive body fat. I am doing it because in a week when we take the same picture I was to see a difference. If I can't, then I can't but maybe in the week three picture I will be able to tell. What if I gain weight? Then we will all see it too.

This blog is about the struggles just as much as the accomplishments and facts about nutrition and weight loss. This is something I feel I have struggled with throughout the years. My answer to my husband was I was unsure if I would succeed but I was willing to try. We'll see what happens.

For now I'm hoping to get rid of the ugly mom belly. You can definitely tell my skin was stretched, now I have to work on getting that taken care of and be a hot mama!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Your body mass index (BMI) is very important for your health. So what exactly is a BMI? It basically bases the percentage of your body fat by comparing your weight and height. There are other sources that will also give you your BMI based on your height, weight and measurements around your body.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services I am overweight. I need to get to a weight of 145 in order to be within the healthy range. Here are the ranges according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal Weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25.29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Currently I am in the overweight category. I need to lose nearly twenty pounds, which is going to be probably harder then I thought, but I'm already beginning to make the correct changes in my life, starting with my diet.

Now my husband needs to lose some weight, but he does go to the gym constantly. His BMI did show that he was obese, but he clearly is not. So take that into consideration too. If you have more muscle then fat, muscle weighs more.

I recommend checking out the following websites: Center for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Both will give you a BMI Calculator. I found the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Website gave more insight as to what you may or may not be at risk for. Regardless both are great websites to take a look at. Check your BMI out. You may either be surprised or have an eye opener. Good luck.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pound for Pound

I am a huge fan of "The Biggest Loser." They have basically been sending a challenge out to everyone. It's called "The Pound for Pound Challenge." With this challenge every pound you lose a pound of food will go to your local food bank. I decided I should sign up for this. I have learned my local food bank is actually a few streets from my house. Since my goal is to lose fifteen pounds this year, that would be fifteen pounds toward someone in my area to help feed them. The challenge is free, well it will cost some of your time and in the long run you are healthier and therefore happier. I highly recommend this. Everyone needs to shed a pound or two. The link is and click on the Pound for Pound Challenge. What do you have to lose other then a few pounds?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day One of a New Diet

Today is the start of my new diet. I have given it much thought and decided I would try the South Beach Diet, which was designed by a cardiologist. The first two weeks of this diet is very strict but not that bad, at least so far. All sugars, fruits and carbs are cut out of the diet. According to the book on average, 7-13 pounds are lost in the first two weeks alone, particularly in the mid section. I would like to lose ten. Then I'll work on losing the other five. After the first phase carbs, fruits and sugars are gradually re-introduced back into your diet.

Between breakfast and lunch I did get a little hungry today, but I was able to have a snack (which was a cheese stick). I gave one to Bradley too
. He and I both enjoyed it very much. Lunch was fulfilling. It was grilled chicken on romaine lettuce and dressing (low in sugar). We also had sugar free jello for dessert which was just as nice. I don't think I normally care for jello that much, I always enjoyed the taste but something about the way it looks or jiggles gets the better of me some days. Regardless so far things are a success. Tonight for dinner we will have salmon, asparagus, salad and vanilla ricotta creme. I tried some of the creme last night while I was making it...yummy! I can't wait to try it for our dessert.

Chris has said he so far liked the diet. The fo
od was pretty good. He and I were both reluctant to eat the quiche cups for breakfast but they weren't that bad. Breakfast also included V8 juice, which I didn't like as a kid. Turns out I don't like it as an adult either, but drank it anyway. I figure I would
need the energy from it to sustain me throughout the day. Plus I may get a liking to it later on.

This morning I weighed myself. I knew I had to it and it was a scary thought. I was afraid to look at the scale and anticipated the 170-175 pounds. I knew I
had to weigh this much because I feel sluggish and know I haven't been eating healthy at all. Turns out my weight is 165.8 pounds, which is about 1.8 pounds more then what it was a few months ago when I last weighed myself. I was pretty excited
about that.
I am hoping I lose some of the weight around my mid section first like the diet said would happen. It did say after the first day your body is already healthier and levels are that much better in your blood stream. Let me be a little more specific. The diet wants you to lose weight, clearly but in a way that is heart healthy.

"Again our top priority was not weight loss for its own sake - it was to improve our patients' heart health by changing their blood chemistry. We wanted a diet that would lower triglycerides (fat carried in the blood, which are necessary, but when excessive cause serious cardiovascular damage) and LDL (low-density lipoproteins, the so-called bad cholesterol). We were looking for a decrease in LDL both as a total number and as compared to the level of HDL (high-density lipoproteins), the so called good cholesterol." ~Dr. Agatston

Basically this diet is going to reset the body clock and, according to the book, allow the body to crave the good fats, carbs, etc. Everything I have thus far read sounds good to me. I'm not starving. If I'm hungry I eat, which is the oddest thing in any diet I've come across so far and I'm hoping for some results soon. In the meantime, exercise is an option, according to the diet, although it is recommended. Me I have my personal goal of exercising for a total of two hours every week, so with that....I'm off to do something beneficial while the little man is sleeping.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Reason and Confessions

Throughout my life I, like many people, have had an issue of weight. I am nearly five foot four inches tall and the most I have ever weighed myself at was 180 pounds. This of course was when I had stopped weighing myself for reasons of disbelief and disappointment. I was not always this big but in my early twenties, and coming from an athletic background, this was unheard of in my mind, at least for my life.

Looking back at some childhood pictures, I remember a video of myself with this cute little pot belly by the Christmas tree. Later in life that pot belly would be lost and in the world of skating I lost an extreme about of weight, most of it is from not eating at all or eating very unhealthy. I started eating more when I went through a very difficult time in my life and that's what landed me at 180 pounds plus in my early twenties. Since looking too frail in spandex as a teenager to feeling like a balloon in college I put my body through turmoil.

When I was 180 plus I did not care for the way I looked and it wasn't only the weight that got me but my face had not grown accustomed to the changes in my body either and therefore my skin was broken out and I felt hideous. I often wondered how anyone could ever love me. Now since I have lost the weight I am hiding myself behind the scars of stretch marks on my legs and acne that was once prevalent on my face.

I had lost the 180 plus through years of hard work, choosing a better diet and exercise, then it happened. After marriage I got pregnant. I was terrified of the weight. While in the doctor's office I held back tears as the doctor announced I was 195 pounds. I wanted to cry. I wanted the baby out of me and I only hoped the weight would come off. Once in the office I stood on the scale and the scale hit over 200 pounds. I started to panic and the nurse who was looking at my chart then at the scale was a little worried too, only to find out my husband had his foot on it, pressing down, trying to make the numbers climb. We laughed, mine was more a laugh of relief. Turns out that day I only gained about six pounds since my last visit.

After having my son, I lost 32 pounds in two weeks or three weeks (I can't remember anymore). I was breast feeding. Not only was it healthy for my son but I knew it would burn more calories. I was also under a lot of pressure to lose the baby weight. I was in the military and had six months since the time of his birth to lose it all. A normal woman it takes a year. My doctors were furious with this, but knew I had no choice. I did eat while breast feeding, but mainly slim fast as a snack during the day. Once a friend (much higher ranking then myself) in the military found out I lost so much weight in a short period of time, lectured me saying, "No matter who you are or what you've been through (giving birth or not) it is extremely unhealthy to do so in such a short period of time." I had only 9 pounds left to lose before I was at my pre-pregnancy weight.

Right before getting pregnant I was actively participating in ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) for the ARMY. I was running nearly every day, working out constantly. Those 154 pounds I had packed was muscle. I knew I would have to lose more weight then the nine left over. To qualify as being in shape for my height in the military I had to weigh 145 pounds. In my three years of military service I only met that goal once and it a few months before pregnancy when I again wasn't eating a healthy diet.

So this blog is dedicated to myself in order to get healthier, the correct way. My New Year's Resolution is to lose 15 pounds this year, of course that is if my husband and I don't conceive another child. I start my diet on Monday, January 4th. I have not weighed myself in months because I'm afraid to. I'm assuming I'm around 170-175 pounds right now. I also want to make sure I work out two hours a week. I know that's only a little bit right now but I look at how often I work out and it's a start. I'm hoping later in the year I can bump it up to three hours and progressively get better.

This blog will have personal pictures, I'm hoping I take once a week, of how I'm coming along and new goals, weights, etc. I will try and log how I've been eating, exercising, stresses, etc. All of these play a factor in my life. I will do research and post those findings as well. I will have to learn to hold nothing back and I'm hoping that I'm not overly obsessive about this like I was previously. Obviously I'll enjoy talking about weight, etc, but as you will later learn weight took control over my life at one point, whether I was too fat or too skinny. I am hoping that I will love myself and my body in a completely different way.

Also none of this would have been possible or I wouldn't have thought about posting it if it weren't for the example of my long lost friend, Footcrow. Even though you haven't read this yet, it is because of you and your wonderful example that I'm blogging about this. You give me the strength to be strong and take it to the next level. Of course I can't forget Aimee who is that happy example and such an encouragement and support. I am SO happy to start my weight loss with you, your husband and of course the support and dedication from my husband, as we all embark on this at the same time. I know the motivation from each other we will be looking good in 2010. :)