Saturday, February 25, 2012

Heart Disease.

WeightWatchers put out a fabulous article on the benefits of losing weight and Heart Disease.

Losing weight can do more than make you look better — it can save your life by reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

The weight-heart connection is simple: Weight loss is an important shield against coronary heart disease.

If there is heart disease in your family, or you're on prescriptions for blood pressure, or your doctor warns you about extra heart risks, you may feel a bit like disease is your destiny. But take heart. In its Guidelines for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity, The National Institutes of Health report that a 5 percent to 10 percent weight loss can make a huge difference, and February — American Heart Month — is a great time to pick up the pace toward your weight goal.

But first, find out what losing weight can do for you. It can:

•Lower the scary numbers. "Obese people frequently have abnormal blood-cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure and even sometimes bigger hearts," says Gerald Fletcher, MD, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. All of these things are risk factors for heart disease, but losing weight can help you reverse them.

•Do double duty. Overweight and obesity are independently linked to heart disease, too. "Until a few years ago, it was thought to be an indirect link (for example, excess weight causes elevated cholesterol, which causes heart disease), but now we know that even if blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, extra weight can mean extra risk for heart disease," says Karen Miller-Kovach, Weight Watchers chief scientist. So when you lose weight, you can get double and triple benefits — you'll lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and you'll conquer a primary risk factor for heart disease.

•Work overtime. You don't have to wait for your weight goal to see a difference in your heart health. "When it comes to heart disease and weight, there's an exponential curve," says Miller-Kovach. "A little bit of extra weight increases your risk for heart disease a little bit, and vice versa." In other words, a little bit of weight loss decreases your risk a little bit.

•Add exercise to the equation. As you're losing weight, you're more likely to start exercising, which has bonuses of its own: "Exercise has been recognized as an independent positive factor to heart health," says Miller-Kovach. "We now know that exercise tends to mobilize the fat stores in the abdomen, which are the ones that put you at the greatest risk for heart disease." Plus, says Fletcher, in addition to preserving "good" cholesterol, exercise will help you control your blood pressure, among other things.

•Help at any age... "Age factors into [the weight-heart connection] prominently," says Miller-Kovach. "Being slightly obese at a younger age causes a greater increase in risk of heart disease than does being slightly obese and elderly." In other words: It's not just how much weight you have, it's how old you are. So you might reconsider the idea that there's no reason to worry about your heart until you're older.

•...and no matter who you are. Weight loss will improve the heart health of both men and women. (Women, take note: After menopause, you're just as likely as a man to suffer from heart disease.) It will also make a difference even if you're African-American, Hispanic or Native American, populations that are said to be at a higher risk for high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

According to a 2006 report published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, "diet and lifestyle therapies remain the foundation of clinical intervention for prevention." In other words, while drug treatments and surgical procedures can treat cardiovascular disease, the best protection you can get comes from eating right and exercising.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Low Impact Cardio

Another good e-mail from Jillian Michaels on Low Impact Cardio!

Got a bad back, bum knee, or trick hip? These kinds of injuries can prevent you from doing typical cardio exercises like biking and jogging. Sometimes even walking is painful. But an old injury isn't a free pass to skip your cardio routine! There are plenty of other lower-impact cardio exercises to choose from.

It might be time to hop in the pool — swimming is kinder to your body than land-based exercise because your natural buoyancy in water helps you avoid the jarring knocks that can cause injuries. In water, you weigh about a tenth of your normal weight, and the range of motion for the less-fit person is much wider because the water supports the weight of the limbs. So, swimming is a good choice for people who want to exercise, but who might have problems with weight-bearing, land-based activities. Swimming might suit those who have arthritis or back problems, extreme weight problems, or are pregnant. To mix things up and target different muscles, vary your strokes during your swim between breaststroke, freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Understanding Insulin Resistance

I had to post this article from Jillian Michales becuase I am Insulin Resistant and actually learned a couple new things from this article!

Understanding Insulin Resistance

We heard a lot about insulin in the days of low-carb diets. And for good reason. Problems with insulin are a root cause of some of the most dangerous health conditions, as insulin affects almost every cell in the body.

Insulin plays a critical role in how your body uses food. Its most important role is to lower the concentration of glucose in your blood. When you eat, your digestive system breaks food down into glucose, and the glucose recirculates in your blood stream. In response to the rise in glucose after a meal, the pancreas releases surges of insulin, whose job is to clean the glucose from the blood. Some of the glucose is diverted into the liver, where it's converted into stored glucose, called glycogen, for later use by the muscles. Insulin then helps turn any leftover glucose into fatty acids and stores them in fat cells where they can be tapped later for fuel.

By making poor food choices, like scarfing down too many highly processed, refined carbs (like white bread and pasta!), we can do things to cause our bodies to create too much insulin. When you repeat that cycle too many times (like by repeatedly eating sugary junk on an empty stomach) your pancreas will overcompensate and produce more insulin, which your cells will eventually start to ignore. This is called insulin resistance and it is the precursor to type 2 diabetes and it is common in overweight people. Turned away at the door, the sugar is left with no where to go. If it hangs around in your blood too long, doctors call this impaired fasting glucose (if measured in the morning) or impaired glucose tolerance (if measured two hours after a meal). You could develop full-blown diabetes if both conditions go unchecked.

While high levels of blood glucose trigger insulin release, low levels suppress it, Maintaining low levels of insulin — one of the primary goals of the diet — allows your body to more easily tap in to your stored fat for fuel. Conversely, being insulin-resistant can hamper your weight-loss efforts. Try to avoid spikes in your blood sugar, by eating regularly. Pair carbs with protein, eat whole foods, avoid sugar juices and fruits, and highly-processed carbs. When your insulin-release mechanism works the right way, it helps keep your weight in check. So strive to keep it balanced!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What Will Keep Me Going...

In March 2010 I posted about "What Will Keep Me Going".  Obviously the list didn't keep me going... but I liked the list and still want to accomplish things on that list.  I decided to make an updated list.  I liked what I blogged before and decided to keep it and just add and update where needed.

I orginally did my first list back in 2005. My life has done a complete 360 since that list 4-5 years ago. I still have a lot on that list that will be put on to this list, however some things will change... like make mens heads turn, and to have men notice me and to be able to pick who I want to date, not just accept who wants to date me. I am married now and of course those things aren't inportant to me. Making this list also makes me realize that "morbidly obese" people have to go through so much in life that they shouldn't have too. I want to live a normal life and not worry about if I'm going to fit somewhere. I stopped living because of my size. I don't go to concerts or sporting games anymore becuase the seats are just too small. I make myself sick worrying if I will fit in the chairs at work and if they will hold me without breaking.   I've gained 100 pounds since that old list, and now my new list is twice as long. So let's get started.
  1. To be healthy
  2. To watch Olivia grow up
  3. To live a long happy life with my husband
  4. To be able to tie my shoes like a fit person does
  5. To not have to use a seat belt extender in my Jeep
  6. To fit in an airline seat
  7. To fit comfortably in a stadium seats (Royals, Chiefs, Sprint Center, Concerts)
  8. To own a pair of "Skinny Jeans" .. no not the tight skinny jeans.. just jeans beause i am feeling skinny!
  9. To own a "Little Black Dress"
  10. To run a mile with out feeling like I've died
  11. To be able to walk a flight or two of stairs without stopping
  12. To not have to shop in a "Plus Size" specialty store
  13. To be able to cross my legs
  14. To be able to wear high heels
  15. To be able to sit in a Restaurant Booth and not ask for a table
  16. To be able to go somewhere and not be stared at and made fun of
  17. To influence others my size and help them on their weight loss
  18. To play sports and have fun with Olivia
  19. To have a neck and chin
  20. To be able to say "I Did It!"

There's just a few on my list. I'll add more when they pop into my head. Hope everyone has a good day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

7 Simple Changes That Will Help With Weight Loss

*article from Weight Watchers*
7 Simple Changes That Will Help With Weight Loss
Try these tips for small changes that can lead to very big weight-loss results.

Beginning a weight-loss plan doesn't have to mean drastic changes. You don't need to live at the gym or subsist on crackers alone to get your eating and exercising on track.

Instead, think of more realistic, sustainable changes you can make to your lifestyle. Sometimes small, simple adjustments can produce the biggest results. Consider these suggestions, and think about what other small changes might work for you.

•Trim back your eating a bit here and there, not altogether. For example, sauté your broccoli with one teaspoon of oil instead of two.
•Make some wise food substitutions, like opting for low-fat cream cheese instead of regular.
•Kick it up a notch in the activity department by taking the stairs instead of the escalator.
All or Nothing
"People put too much pressure on themselves to change everything in their diets, which sets them up for failure," believes New York-based registered dietitian Shari Mermelstein. Her advice? Set your sights on making several small dietary and lifestyle changes, and you'll lose weight without really missing out.

Need some incentive? Try this on for size: Cut back 100 calories on a daily basis and you could lose about 10 1/2 pounds in a year. One hundred calories equals:
•1 cup of regular soda
•1 tablespoon of butter
•1 ounce of cheese

Skimming Off the Top
Here are seven simple slim-down ideas:
1. A spoonful of sugar can add up over the course of a year. Add one less teaspoon of sugar (15 calories) to your cup of morning and afternoon coffee each day and you'll save about 10,000 calories—the equivalent of about 3 pounds per year.
2. Slim down that bowl of cereal: Switch from 1 cup regular whole milk to 1% milk (about 50 calories less per cup) every day. Once your taste buds adjust, you'll be thrilled! That's a tad more than 5 pounds lost by this time next year.
3. Take the scenic route. Park your car as far as possible from the entrance to your office, the shopping mall or a restaurant and get those legs pumping. Ten minutes of daily moderate paced walking (five minutes each way burns about 20 calories) can take off over 4 pounds a year.*
4. Get your vitamin C boost with a whole orange (60 calories) instead of a cup of juice (110 calories) each day. Your 12-month weight loss: 5 1/4 pounds.
5. Go calorie-free by switching from regular to diet soda (150 versus 0 calories per can). If you drink one can per day, that's nearly 16 pounds lost in a year.
6. Flavor your sandwiches with very low-cal condiments like mustard or vinegar instead of calorie-packed mayo. Leave off 1 tablespoon (100 calories) every day and you're looking at close to 10 1/2 pounds a year.
7. Downsize, don't super-size, fast food meals. Opt for a small McDonald's French fries (250 calories) instead of a large order (570 calories) at your weekly fast-food meal. You'll enjoy the same great taste all year long but with an added bonus: almost 5 pounds lost.

*For a 155-pound person at 3 miles per hour. Based on calculations from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Low-Fat Vegetable Lasagna

Yum Yum Yum!

*use whole-wheat pasta to make this healthy recipe even healthier, if you're like my husband and have to have meat, use low fat ground turkey*
Low-Fat Vegetable Lasagna

  • 9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed, drained thoroughly
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups meatless tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and cover with cool water until ready to use.
While pasta is cooking, combine onions and oil in a skillet over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Spoon out half the onions and reserve for later. Add the mushrooms (if using) to the onions in the skillet. Cook, stirring over medium heat, until the mushrooms are tender and slightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the parsley and a pinch of salt; transfer to a bowl.
Add the reserved cooked onion and the spinach to the skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium heat to evaporate any excess moisture, about 1 minute. Season with a pinch of salt.
Heat oven to 350° F. Drain the lasagna and pat dry with paper towels. Mix the oregano and basil with the tomato sauce. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 3-inch pan. Arrange 3 lasagna pieces, slightly overlapping, in the pan. Spoon the spinach mixture on top in an even layer. Spread with half of the ricotta. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Arrange a layer of 3 more lasagna pieces. Spread with the mushrooms, the remaining ricotta mixture, and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella. Top with the remaining 3 pieces of lasagna, 1 cup of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake until brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
Makes 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Nutrition Facts
Number of Servings: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 243
Total Fat: 7.7 g
Cholesterol: 23.7 mg
Sodium: 228 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 29.9 g
Protein: 15.1 g

*recipe from Jillian Michales"

Monday, January 16, 2012


A number we should all know. Your BMI.

My BMI is over 60. Lets work on getting this down!

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 years.

BMI can be used to indicate if you are overweight, obese, underweight or normal. A healthy BMI score is between 20 and 25. A score below 20 indicates that you may be underweight; a value above 25 indicates that you may be overweight.

Click HERE to enter in your information and find out what your BMI is.

18.5 or less Underweight
18.5 to 24.99 Normal Weight
25 to 29.99 Overweight
30 to 34.99 Obesity (Class 1)
35 to 39.99 Obesity (Class 2)
40 or greater Morbid Obesity

Please remember, however, that this is only one of many possible ways to assess your weight. If you have any concerns about your weight, please discuss them with your physician, who is in a position, unlike this BMI calculator, to address your specific individual situation.

This information and many other helpful tools can be found at

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011 Recap

I thought I'd take a moment and  recap the best of my 2011.   2011 was an amazing journey for me.  Many ups and downs, highs and lows.  Although there were many great things that had happened (especially with Olivia) I only have a couple of months that really stick out for last year.

February - after 75 long stressful days, Olivia got to come home from the hospital.
May - Daniel and I were able to purchase our first home.  It feels so good to be able to provide for my family.  Olivia has her own room and a play room.  Danny has a "mancave" and the dogs have a HUGE fenced in yard.  I never knew what pleasure could be brought from watching those to silly dogs run and play. 
November - We received the news that Olivia would not need a shunt.  Tears of happiness filled our eyes has we felt a huge relief being lifted off our shoulders.  We still have to have follow ups with the neurologist and MRI's, but right now everything is going great.
December - Olivia turned 1. What an emotional and wonderful day.  It's amazing to see how far she's come in just 1 year.  She is taking this world by storm.  December was also amazing because Olivia was home with us this year to celebrate Christmas.

I can't wait for 2012.  I look forward to every day it brings me.  I can't wait to watch Olivia grow and learn.  She is such an amazing girl.  I also can't wait to conquer the changes that I want to make with myself.  Personal, Professional and Economical.  I want to be the best mother, wife, daughter, and friend  I can be. I want to finally get rid of all this excess weight, all the sadness it brings with it and be free of the shame it causes.  I want to be the best worker I can be for the State of KS.  They are amazing to work for and helped me out a great deal in 2011 when I needed time off for Olivia.   And I want to learn to manage my money, pay off debt and provide for my family.  I've never been able to manage money or lose weight, so this year, I dream to do both... May my dreams come true~

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Emerald 100 Calorie Pack Nuts

Another new snack, another review.   Emerals Nuts has a 100 calorie pack of nuts.  Excellent!  Nuts are good for you and they come in a variety of types and flavors. 
At first, I was shocked by the amount of nuts that equal a 100 calories.  You get a small handfull and thats it!  There's not very many nuts per bag, but that's why I like it.  Nuts are something so good and healthy that it's easy to go over board.  I never paid much attention to how over my calories I was going on Nuts.  This small bag is perfect for an over eater like me.  I know I will pay more in the long run buying nuts in the little small bags, but I don't have to be accountable for eating a handful every time I measure out a serving to put in a ziplock!  I love the Walnut and Almond Mix. And the Cinnamon Almonds.  My only downfall is that I want to eat more then one bag!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

FIber One Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie - Review

I've been seeing these advertised on TV for the past few months and thought they would be great to satisfy my chocolate/sweet cravings.

YUCK!  They look good.  They are small in size. They are DRY! They are not very sweet nor do I really taste any peanut butter.   They almost seem chalky to me.  I wish I would have only bought one of these instead of a box.  Some may like these, but not me.  I needed a couple glasses of milk to get this brownie down. 

I give this brownie 2 thumbs down!