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Shaping up - Diet and exercise


Couch Tomato
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Hoping liney23 will join us here.....congrats on the weight loss!

I have been bringing most of the chocolates that we either bought or received for Christmas, to work. They are disappearing nicely. I am only going to the gym once a week at this point (tonight's the night) but I've gone down 6 pounds in two weeks, so I'm on the right track. If this weather would ever warm up maybe I'd be motivated to go for a walk once in a while! But at -10 to -20C, it's not really been possible.

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I'm looking for ideas for healthy salads. Particularly the dressing part. I'm tired of the bottled dressings so I'm looking to make some of my own, but have no clue. I'm checking out a few sites on the net, but if anyone has a great salad dressing recipe I'd love to have it!

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I've tried a few different salad dressing recipes from 101Cookbooks.com, heinz. Most of her recipes are vegetarian and fairly healthy. She uses mainly unprocessed and organic foods. I've also found here recipes to very 'substitution friendly', which I like since I can usually find something in my cupboard that will work without having to run to the store.

I really liked one dressing made with avocado, yogurt, lime & cilantro and then an orange vinaigrette. I'm thinking I made another one, maybe a raspberry? Can't remember.

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Thanks for that site Annabear....i've used it a few times for recipes and found it to be very good!

I have to agree, that is now my favorite recipe site. I have checked through most of the soup recipes because soup's my big thing in winter - cook and freeze healthy meal portions. Some of the ingredients I am still checking out as they aren't familiar to me but I'll definitely be cooking up a storm with that site! Thanks for sharing the site, annabear!

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I changed my cable (well, satellite) provider this week, and I now get more channels for the same price (or less, not sure yet). Anyways, I finally get Food TV, and the first show I discovered is something called Home Cooking or Cooking From Home or something like that. Anyways, what it is, is this guy who cooks for his wife and 4 year old son, and he never uses recipes. He calls it "free style cooking". It's really cool, he uses tons of fruits and veggies, all fresh herbs and ingredients, and it's really interesting to me to just experiment with throwing different things together without having to follow a book.

This show has inspired me to take some risks....the other day I was making a pot of spaghetti, but had no canned spaghetti sauce, so I actually threw a bunch of stuff into a pot and made my own using some tomato paste and diced tomatoes, onion, celery, garlic, etc. Last night he did some braised lamb with veggies on the show, so this morning I attempted to adapt what he did to a pork roast in the crock pot. I used carrots, onions, garlic, and apples. My son was a bit horrified as he watched me, but I am enjoying myself! I figure it's got to be healthier than throwing together a pan of Hamburger Helper at the last minute. ;)

The only other Food TV I've really ever watched is Iron Chef, and the Podleski sisters' show (Crazy Plates? Looney Spoons?) Hee, can't remember the name, but I've got their cookbooks. They do low fat stuff, and their recipes are pretty good. My kids have even eaten a few of them, and that's saying something.

And last night I was inspired to go to the gym, too. Who knew TV could inspire so much? :P

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Well, that “freestyle cooking” is great, actually, and I generally do that myself but I also like to look at recipes to get ideas about ingredients. Food has evolved so much…whereas once upon a time I would stick to how something was supposed to be done, I am now more creative but within the guidance of a recipe because, unfortunately, I don’t have a natural flair for cooking. Food is such a critical part of life, anything that we can learn that helps us to get excited about combining fresh ingredients to produce an amazing flavor can only be a good thing. That’s why I have so many garden pots growing organic herbs and vegetables. It took a bit of trial and error but the success I now have makes my hobby very worthwhile and great fun! Practically any kind of health issue can be treated, at least in part, with good nutrition. It certainly helped me recover from Epstein Barr Virus, which was absolutely debilitating.

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Fat-destroying ice cream? :nana:

Watch the video here:

Scientists have discovered a new protein in certain dairy foods that can potentially fight fat and destroy flab.

Researchers and scientists at Healthlinx have discovered that a compound in dairy foods stops the development of fat cells, reduces fat absorption and helps to lower body weight.

The company and Dairy Australia hope to add the fat-destroying compound to ice cream, milk, cheese, and yoghurt.

Healthlinx chairman, Greg Rice, told the Herald Sun the protein already existed in milk, but it had taken three years to extract it.

While these specially formulated dairy products may not be out for some time, certain foods are also known to aid in the reduction of body fat.

*
Eggs
- High in vitamin B-12, eggs help the body in breaking down and burning fat.

*
Citrus fruits
- Citrus fruits which are high vitamin C can help speed up the burning of fat. Vitamin C makes fat less effective and can help dilute fat which is easier to be released.

*
Chillies
- Spicy food not only speed up your metabolism, they also boost your fat burning cells.

*
Beans
- High in fibre, protein and iron, beans contain the chemical lecithin which assists in the process of shielding cells from accumulating fat.

My meal doesn't taste quite right if I don't have a lot of chillies with it. Maybe that's what's allowing me to have my Tim Tam binges without gaining weight.

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I don't think I have a natural flair for cooking, either. Or maybe it's just the cleaning up afterwards part, LOL. I watch Food TV and they never seem to make any mess. Me, my counter looks a disaster, I splatter things everywhere, and I usually manage to cut myself somehow in the process of dicing the veggies or grating the cheese. :P

Somehow I have managed to gain 7 pounds in the past month. WTF? So I'm cracking down. Lost 2 of them so far. Today I played 'Chef at Home' and made myself a nice wrap of avacado, tuna, onion & tomato. Cantaloupe for dessert. Yum. I love it, it is just time consuming to do all this stuff. But since things are pretty calm right now, why not? Interesting about the dairy foods. Skim milk is a big part of my protein intake.

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luckiest1, in summer, I freeze portions of ripe banana, mango, etc and toss them frozen into a blender with soya milk for an ice-cold smoothie. (I add other goodies like lecithin, nuts, flax and chia seed, if I need it to be a healthy meal).

I also freeze grapes and use them instead of ice-cubes, they don't water down a drink, and are great to use in a glass of white wine, to keep it chilled in warm weather. That's if you drink. I don't drink 'cos I'm a freak. But I eat chocolate so that makes me normal... but then chocolate is a health food ..

I also make a terrible mess and that is why I like to cook in bulk and freeze portions because that's just one mess and it takes care of multiple meals.

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I make fruit smoothies almost every morning. The nutritionist my younger son was seeing (to do with his growth hormone deficiency) was thrilled to hear that, because she was looking for ways to get more fruit and veggies into him, and less 'empty calories'. Now, my older son, who is thin & athletic, is trying to bulk up, so I usually do two shakes, one for my younger son & I, and then another with added protein powder for the older one. Some days I don't think I will ever get out of the freakin' kitchen! ;)

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Did you see the news about the latest findings regarding alcohol being carcinogenic, particularly for women?

Apparently, men metabolize alcohol differently to women, and for a woman, even drinking a glass of red wine per day to benefit her heart health will present a risk to cancer. The show I saw said that a woman was better off finding other ways to protect her heart health.

If you Google alcohol+cancer you will see a ton of stuff from the last 24 hours or so.

Suits me since I don't drink at all, even though I did try the one-glass-of-red with dinner until I started to really hate it. (I have never been keen on alcohol, and it never ceases to amaze me when someone says "oh, you haven't tried good wine". I had the best imported French wines from when I was fairly young, I just didn't care for the taste or effects of alcohol, and I am sure glad about that!

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Seems like everything is bad for our health!

I was about to say "except vegetables" but then I remembered that just tonight I was looking on a web site about reactions that some people have to both natural and "unnatural foods, including some veg!

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I'm with you on the not drinking train. This makes it really easy to not drink wine.

I'm trying to lose 15 lbs for the last month and have been counting calories with thedailyplate.com but even at 1600 calories it's going really slow. I've lost about two lbs in the last month. I have cheated some. I manage to save enough calories to have light ice cream for dessert.

I exercise regularly, five times a week at the gym but it hasn't helped me lose. I know I need to build up muscle but hate those machines. I've been taking power pump which is lifting weights to music with a drill seargent calling out directions. It's actually fun but I need to sweat a little more by adding heavier weights. Also I need more protein and less carbs.

I can't wait for summer when there are more fruits and veggies available locally.

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Fear losing weight slowly is the healthiest way to do it, no doubt you know that! Looks like you have a sound plan though, i.e. knowing how to save calories to earn your treats!!!! I know someone who has just quit drinking and smoking at the same time, and to my utter amazement she has lost weight simply because she was very conscious of her calorie intake. I don't do any special exercises because I am physically active and I consider that my exercise.
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I saw a report on the alcohol thing this morning on BBC news- a British doctor said that now women have to decide, really, if they fear dying from cancer more than dying from heart disease. Alcohol in moderation really does work against heart disease.

So not that simple, really.

women's health

Among all U.S. women who die each year, one in four dies of heart disease. In 2004, nearly 60 percent more women died of cardiovascular disease (both heart disease and stroke) than from all cancers combined. The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease. But women of all ages should be concerned about heart disease. All women should take steps to prevent heart disease.

I will continue having my glass of wine, methinks! It is prolly one of the more "natural" things I imbibe! :-)

The Atkins diet always works pretty well for me.

eta - the thing about that news is that I could find no mention of any other factors contributing to cancer - environmental, genetic, whatever. Just smoking and alcohol. And the risk of some cancers seemed to lessen -

British Study

Also, moderate drinkers actually had a lower risk of thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and renal cell cancer.

So while I am sure that giving up everything except pure water and organic veggies might ensure a longer life, I am not so quick to jump on any bandwagon that I am not predisposed to jump on because it fits with habits or beliefs I already have.

I used to live and work in Durham, North Carolina. While I was there, I learned about radon gas; it comes up through the earth or granite or whatever and is v. bad, so bad that you need to get a radon inspection as well as a termite inspection.

I only lived there for about a year and a half, but I did keep up with people and events for a few years after I transferred here to Tampa.

Four or five women who worked in the building I worked in have died of breast cancer. I will always believe that there are probably unsafe radon levels in that building, and I wonder if that sort of thing gets considered when studies are done.

Not disputing anything from this newest study, just saying I don't necessarily take them at face value.

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I don't drink either, but I read that news yesterday.

Fear, I use thedailyplate.com too. I find I have to keep my calories around 1400 if I want to lose any weight. Of course, it's based on weight, height, age, and activity level. I have mine set to 'lightly active'. When you exercise, do you track that as well? That way you can trade off a walk for a snack, LOL. Works for me!

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So, I've really got into the habit of buying a lot of fruit on the weekends, and cutting it up and putting it into containers for the week. I remember the days, when I was a kid, and "winter" fruit was only apples, oranges, and, if you were lucky, bananas. Hee, I've been buying pineapples, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, strawberries and ataulfo mangos along with the staples. Love fresh fruit salads!

I've also been cooking at least one day of the weekend....usually a soup or a stew or a curry, something that I can put into individual containers and take for lunch. I don't remember the last canned soup I brought, and those used to be my fall back! Today I've got "cream" of cauliflower (no cream in it though, just some 1% milk, lots of veggies, and homemade chicken stock). I'm also addicted to tuna & avacado wraps. So quick and easy to make.

Yesterday, I made a quick orange marmalade. Saw it on the Food Network, just cut up two navel oranges, put 'em in the blender (rinds and all) with a cup of OJ and 2 cups of sugar, process for a minute, then pour into a pot and bring to a boil; reduce for about a half an hour. Who knew this stuff was so easy? I love a bit of marmalade on toast.

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Well...now I think I have seen everything...

I was at the supermarket scouring the jars of conserves ... thinking I could get a small jar of a fruit conserve since the only spreads I have for toast are Vegemite, peanut butter and honey....

And lo and behold, a saw a jar filled with completely white contents and the label said "Marshmallow spread". Marshmallow on toast? Marshmallow sandwich?

I walked away and thought... I think I try making that marmalade luckiest1 posted about... I love the fact that it has only 3 ingredients and doesn't have any numbers in brackets to figure out.

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Hee, I've seen the marshmallow in a jar stuff. I've even seen it called for in recipes (most recently, a recipe to mix it with cream cheese to make a fruit dip). I saw them actually make fresh marshmallows on the Food network the other day. Never in my life did I ever wonder how marshmallows were made....they were just something to buy. Hee. Live and learn.

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I'm also addicted to tuna & avacado wraps.
Oh my gosh, I absolutely LOVE avocado & tuna together. Sooooo yummy and healthy.

A long time ago, I found frozen avocado halves at Trader Joes & fell in love with them. They were much cheaper than fresh avocados here. We used to get them for free when we lived in CA - we had trees all over our property! I also liked the convenience of just being able to pull out a half at a time and having them on hand whenever I wanted. Unfortunately, they don't carry them anymore. :(

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I've never seen frozen avacado. I tend to only buy one or two at a time because they only have a short life - as soon as they are soft you need to eat them or they go bad so fast! They are high fat but it's a healthy fat.
Exactly. Just like most nuts. I love avocados for their creamy texture. Tuna is one of those things that I've always had to have a bit of mayo with, but I find I can sub the avocado. It tastes better & is better for me.

I've been making this salad dressing almost religiously, as it makes the avocado go further. I'm not that fond of cilantro, so I usually sub fresh parsley. It's good on lots of things, not just salads!

1 large avocado, ripe

juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender or food processor (or use a hand blender).

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Mmmmm, that sounds yummy. How long will it keep before it turns colour?

The first time I did the tuna/avacado thing, I was amazed at how well the two flavours blended together. I never would have thought to do it had I not seen it done on TV. And like you, I can now skip the mayo. I usually add a bit of onion and tomato to my wraps for additional zing.

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It usually lasts about 4 days in the fridge. I split mine into little containers and very top turns a bit brownish, but the acidity of the lime juice keeps it from turning too much.

Mmmm, yes, tomato & red onion. I like cucumber, too. Good thing it's almost lunch time! :cryingwlaughter:

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