About Me

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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
This blog is dedicated to the low-carb menu challenge presented by Jimmy Moore. I'm living the Louisiana low carb lifestyle, where low-carb is the new way to go ! I live southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana....have three awesome kids. We are deep down in the heart of sweet Cajun Country, where we kick back and relax, go hunting, fishing, or make groceries! My doctor told me that my blood pressure numbers were getting too high, so I had to loose weight. She challenged me with ten pounds in three months. That was October 7, 2008. I lost 26 pounds !!! In February of 2011, I found that I had gained a few pounds more than I would have liked, weighing in at 170 pounds. I had to get back into the swing of living the low carb life again !! I am loving the 'low-carb' style and wish to contiue it . I exercise three times a week at the gym, and off the 'off' days, I learn to RELAX !! November 2011, finds me in different circumstances -- a new lifestyle, great community of friends and a challenge to keep that 45 pounds that I lost OFF. Feel free to read my blog, browse around, or just sit a spell!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Brunch it to me !!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day !! Here is what I had for brunch :  two eggs - sunny side  up, bacon, 3 slices wheat bread, handful of blueberries and blackberries.  (bread = 25 carbs; blackberries and blueberries = 11 carbs)

I rode my bicycle around our town for 40 minutes, and walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes today.

5 Rules of Exercise Nutrition

It's Monday. Start of the week. Start of getting back on track. This month's issue of "Get Active" has a very interesting article - "5 Rules of Exercise Nutrition ." ( SEE PAGE 24 - 25 in the digital issue).

5 Rules of Exercise Nutrition

It gives 5 great rules for keeping your tank full and your body energized.
According to some estimates, keeping fit is 80% nutrition. Whether or not you buy into that number, you know that at all of the exercise in the world can't make up for a lousy diet. And if you're an active person like me who is trying to change body composition, your nutritional demands are different from those of couch potatoes.

Active people need to keep their engines revving. Of most concern are the macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. You also need to pay
attention to your hydration if you regularly exercise. Practicing the five commandments in the article will help you nutritionally support your workouts and your ability to loose weight while firming up your muscles.

Get active, stay focused ! Most of all.. have FUN !!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Y-E-S ! The day is FINALLY HERE !! Wheee !

We bbq'd today. Sausage, hamburgers, hot dogs. I made some potato salad and Jambalaya.

Life is Good. Perhaps a bit too good. I ate some sausage on a hotdog bun. (Not bad.)

But then someone snuck in a king-cake, so I had to have some of that.
I'm going to chalk this one up as my 'cheat day.'.. :)

On a good note, I did walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes.

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL DAY ! ! I know I DID !!

Friday, February 25, 2011


I'm SO happy it is FRIDAY ! Only two more days to my birthday !!

I exercised Thursday night with a Body Pump routine at Anytime Fitness. I walked about 40 minutes this morning, and attended a "Silver Sneakers' class at Anytime Fitness. It is a class for 'seniors', but there are a LOT of benefits to taking exercise classes AND those fit in my schedule.

For lunch today, I splurged and had a Subway Ham and Turkey on Parmesan Oreagno bread (44 carbs). Sometimes I just get SICK and tired of eating salads.. today was the day.

I think I may have lost another pound this week (crossing fingers). BUT, with my birthday coming up on Sunday, I REALLY don't know how true that might be :)

How is your weekend going ?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bad Foods that are GOOD for weight loss !

Bad Foods that are GOOD for weight loss!

They're not exactly considered diet fare, but some foods, such as eggs
and cheese, may actually help you lose weight.

I had a piece of toast this morning for breakfast.

After a day of working, I was pretty tired. I ended up eating a Mc Donald's Chicken Bacon and cheese salad. It was 11 carbs. I had a small portion of potatoes with a slice of white bread this evening. I was not really hungry at all today, but I kept pretty busy.

No exercise today. I'll make up for it tomorrow though :) Have a Blessed Evening.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I finally did it ! Feeling GROOVY !!

Greetings from the Big Easy today. The low down is this :

I was FINALLY able to get my carbs down to below 40 carbs.. wheee. ! TOday's meal consisted of a total of 34 carbs :)

I could NOT decide if I wanted breakfast or lunch so I had a wee bit of BOTH ! LOL.

I had two scrambled eggs, four Jimmy Dean sausages, some leftover ground beef with taco seasoning in it, with lettuce and tomato. Also had three slices of white/wheat (25 carbs) for a total of 34 carbs :) ( for a late night snack I had 1/4 cup of peanuts )

I am SO proud ! Atta girl (patting myself on the back). And the kicker is that I did NOT feel hungry after that big meal. I'm going to have to revisit this. EaT more low carb food , instead of that high in carbs (fruit). I'm so excited !

I rode my bicycle around town for 40 minutes today. I also popped a Leslie Sansone Firm and Tone video in the dvd player (40 minutes). For the night cap, I went to ANytime Fitness for a Body Pump class (weight lifting).

So that's why I'm typing this late night :)

I have to teach in the morning, Soo everyone have a Blessed One :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blame it on the C-O-K-E !!!

Yes, Blame it on the Diet Coke Zero, SHAME on you !

I weighed myself this past Thursday, only to find that I did NOT loose any weight at all ! How discouraging.. ! So, I thought the next couple of days things I may have done that could be the culprit.

I was eating between 40 - 60 carbs. I was drinking two Diet Coke Zero's a day. Blame it on the COKE ~~

New day, new plan. So with game plan in tow today, I decided to cut down the number of carbs per day. NO COKE ZERO, JUST WATER

I had a chicken pattie, some mixed fruit, baby potatoes, and two slices of white bread for a total of 47 carbs. I threw in a diet popsicle for a treat.

I exercised at the gym for one hour today, and took a one hour body flow class.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

King Cake and Milk.. A Good Fuel Source ??

I was feeling pretty guilty about eating the few pieces of fruit I had for brunch the other morning... that WAS until I read this timely article. It is refreshing to know that foods HIGH in carbs can be a great post workout fuel source... read on


Eating sugary carbs right after a long or intense workout helps replace the muscle fuel burned during exercise. Including a source of protein helps reduce muscle damage and speed its repair. Electrolytes (think sodium, potassium, calcium) help replenish what you lost during exercise.

King cake is high in sugary carbs, but it lacks the protein and electrolytes of chocolate milk. So a slice of king cake plus a glass of low-fat (white) milk provides a good carbohydrate-protein ratio, and you get the benefits of milk’s electrolytes.

A three-inch slice of king cake plus a 16-ounce glass of 1-percent milk has about 500 calories,

70 grams of carbohydrate, and 22 grams of protein — pretty close to what’s recommended for post-workout fueling. You don’t need to focus on eating for recovery unless exercise is long (at least 60 to 90 minutes), intense, or will be followed closely by another exercise session. Otherwise you risk adding unwanted calories and sugars and an unwanted layer of padding around your midsection.

. . . . . . .

Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans. Her column appears every Friday in Living and her nutrition video blog appears every Tuesday on nola.com/health. She can be reached at eatingright@timespicayune.com.

Get Moving !!!

Good morning low carbers ! It's Saturday here in the Big Easy, where it is time for BRUNCH !!

After a brisk BODY PUMP workout at Anytime Fitness, my body is starving for fuel ! On today's menu, we're doing a bit of the mid-day breakfast. Simply place a few bits of bacon in the pan, fry until crisp.. Take the bacon drippings, and use them to make a sunny side up egg. Take a couple of slices of white wheat bread (24 carbs), and you can dip into the egg with one, OR make a bacon sandwich on the other. Lettuce and tomato can adorn that bacon sandwich.

Of course, I can't have my brunch, without my Diet Coke zero !!

Hope everyone has a great day. Get out and Move ! EXERCISE, and drink plenty of WATER !!

For supper I had Schwan's Tuscan Veggie Soup, some more veggies on the side and two slices cheese on one slice of toast.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday's Spring Salad !!!

Good afternoon ! It's Friday here in the Big Easy. Time for a nice Spring Salad.. It SURE feels like it. Temps in the upper 70's here. Does MOther Nature KNOW It's the middle of February ?? Either way, I'll take and appreciate the great weather.

My lunch consisted of :

Lemon Peppered Chicken Breast
6-7 croutons (5 carbs)

Cut up all meats, tomato lettuce, Drizzle with 2 table spoons of Ranch dressing. (2 carbs).

It was a very delicious lunch !

This morning I exercised at the gym for about an hour. Hope your weekend is off to a great start !!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Get Fit Move of the Week, your Butt, only Better !

Ever wonder what ID your butt type is ?? Or why even BOTHER ?? lol

Ever wonder why standard booty exercises don't rework your bottom the way you want them to? The simple answer is you may not be doing the right moves for your butt type. With SELF's customized workout, you can properly ID your rear and then quickly get in gear. You'll finally see the results you've been looking for.
Get Started Now! ID Your Butt Type .

Please click on the BLUE TITLE LINK ABOVE to see the full article. There you will be able to define your butt type and find the exercises that go with it, after each type =)

Find your tush type, then sculpt the derriere of your dreams with our customized plan. Bottoms up!

By Beth Janes

Your flat butt workout

Your droopy butt workout

Your ample butt workout

Whatever your jeans size, most fannies fit into the flat, droopy or ample categories. You can't trade genes with J.Lo, but you can tweak your workout to maximize your caboose's natural gifts, says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist in San Diego for the American Council on Exercise, who designed this workout. In other words, the right routine can help round out the flat-bottomed, lift up the droopy and slim down the generously proportioned! Read about your rump's go-to moves, then shape a butt you can get behind by doing your plan three times a week.

Is your butt flat?

Stand sideways in front of a mirror. If you say, "What butt?" you belong here.

Your bottom line In flat types, your pelvis may be rotated downward, which can shift much of the work the gluteus maximus muscles handle to your back and hamstring muscles, McCall says. Simply put, your glutes are on an extended vacation and never get the chance to fully develop. Plus, you may have less fat tissue in your fanny, so you miss out on booty bounty.

See your custom workout

Is your butt droopy?

Your cheeks hang down and merge with the top of your hamstrings.

Your bottom line For those with lower derrieres, the pelvis may be rotated upward; this means the standard moves don't challenge your gluteus maximus muscles enough to get a rise out of them, literally. If you don't add extra resistance or explosive movement, they just go through the motions, which allows gravity to move in and stake its saggy claim.

See your custom workout

Is your butt ample?

You've got plenty to work with, true, but your rear runneth over.

Your bottom line Send a thank-you note to Mom and Dad: An ample backside usually means you build glute muscles without having to try too hard, McCall says. You've got the tools; now make them work for you! Your goal: Get rid of jiggle. Drop extra fat that hides your assets, and firm your glutes and surrounding muscles to carve out a more defined, toned behind.

See your custom workout

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Doctors sound off on diet plan that sheds weight fast


Click on the link ABOVE (in the title) to see the video !!

NEW ORLEANS -- It's a weight loss plan that is spreading fast by word of mouth because dieters' results are lowering their scales just as fast.

So how does this popular plan work, and what are the doctors saying about it? Some local success stories are making those on it believers.

Jessica Boelte, 41, is the mother of three sons. After her last baby was born, Boelte, at only 5 feet 5 inches tall, got up to 179 pounds.

As a self-described gym rat and fitness instructor, she got down with diet and exercise to 152 pounds. But then the scale would not budge, until she tried the latest craze to hit this area.

Now Boelte is a size zero.

"People don't recognize me. They, people at the gym, come up and introduce themselves and don't realize that I'm the same person that they saw six months ago," said Boelte, who lives in Metairie.

Boelte is now only 125 pounds.In only nine weeks, 27 pounds came off of her.

"I also don't eat when I'm not hungry anymore because a lot of the emotional eating was sugar related, and it just doesn't appeal to me anymore," said Boelte.

She heard about a diet plan from a friend. So did Beth Harris, who started the plan in October. They got to know each other through diet support over e-mail and finally met for the first time.

Today, Beth is 25 pounds lighter.

"I saw their pictures and I was blown away. And then when I heard there was no exercising involved in the beginning, because it was so strict, I thought that would be perfect because I would be working and we are very busy that time of the year," said Beth Harris, 43, who owns The Garden Gate in Metairie.

What Boelte and Harris did to lose weight so fast is called The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method. It's a four-phase diet plan that gives you an exact list of what you can and can't have in each phase.

It's a diet that involves mixing some home meals with prepackaged foods. Phase one promises weight loss of three to seven pounds a week. But the calorie count at first is so low, and the carbohydrates are so minimal through limited vegetables, that these women found it difficult.

"The first couple of days are like alcohol withdrawals, I guess, because you really do feel it physically and emotionally, and you have to take a lot of supplements with this to replace what you're not getting," Boelte said. "And after that, you start feeling clean, for lack of a better term, and it really changes your relationship with sugar. You realize that it changes how you sleep. It changes your energy during the day. It changes your appetite.

"When you used all the sugar you just ate, you're hungry for more sugar, but when you're not having it, your energy is sustained longer," explained Boelte.

Harris said, "In the first, I would say the first two weeks, it was a bit shocking because I was really struggling, but it was funny because my husband did it with me, which was really nice, and he was having some of the same issues. So it was a little help there with the two of us going through it together. It was nice."

Harris' husband lost 30 pounds in only five to six weeks, and her mother lost 30 pounds and saw her cholesterol and triglycerides go from dangerous to below normal.

Our experts say this diet is an extreme version of the Atkins diet, and it is hard to stay on long-term.

"No one can live on only protein for an extended period of time. No human animal can do that. It's just not possible. You can't have normal responses to your hormones unless you have carbohydrates," said Dr. Melinda Sothern, a clinical exercise physiologist and professor in the School of Public Health at LSU Health Sciences Center.

"There's a great piece of research last year that says that people who follow low carbohydrates diets have cognitive problems while they're on the low carb diet. They don't think as clearly. They don't feel as energetic," said Dr. Timothy Harlan, a clinical general internist at Tulane and former chef who runs www.drgourmet.com.

In fact, with so few carbs in the phase one, part of the diet is that you're not supposed to exercise. Boelte tried and passed out.

While protein does make you feel fuller faster, the doctors say this diet has no credible science and can actually put you in a type of metabolic state (ketosis) that is unhealthful and can be extremely stressful on the kidneys.

They worry that it's depleting the muscles of water, making you dehydrated and causing a loss of not only fat, but lean body muscle that actually helps you stay thin long term. They say you could also lose organ muscle.

But the good news is that research shows you don't have to be on a diet this drastic to get the same results. In studies, those who had 40 grams of healthful, high-fiber carbs a day, with the higher protein diet and raised their calories, lost more weight.

"There have been studies that looked at lowering the carbohydrate content and lower the calories, and where you get the best weight loss, over that one-year period, is when you don't reduce calories below a 1,000 a day. You don't have to go to 800 calories because when people went to 800 calories, they didn't have any better weight loss over the one-year term," Sothern said, quoting the scientific literature.

And with carbs in the system, your brain can function and you can tone your muscles.

"I would say above all else, I would begin a small light resistance program with light dumbbells and I would keep that going and I would make sure I've got enough carbohydrate to do that and spare the muscle. And I think in the long run this will be a program you can live with," said Mackie Shilstone, the executive director of the Fitness Principle at East Jefferson General Hospital.

And more good news: people on diets with packaged meals tend to stay on them more easily, studies show. And that is what some people do with this Ideal Protein diet -- use it as a tool, but modify it.

"My take on this is you can always do these types of diets over a short period of time if you want rapid weight loss. You can maintain weight loss afterward with a more balanced approach. This is really what (The) South Beach (Diet) did. This is why it was so popular and it works so well," Sothern said.

So what got Boelte through phase one when it was so hard?

"Losing almost a pound a day, every day. Getting on the scale was a celebratory experience every morning. It has changed my relationship with food. I mean, I still love Oreos, but I don't feel the need to eat an entire package. I just have one," Boelte said.

Before going on this diet, check with your doctor first and make sure you take all the minerals and vitamins they recommend and drink extra water.

For more info and to find a local doctor who is a distributor of Ideal Protein click here.


Next Wednesday night at 10 p.m. in Weight Loss Wednesday: Most diets tell you to hold back on carbs, but can a new plan that tells you to eat them in a certain formula really work? Meg will have that, Wednesday Feb. 16 at 10:00 on Channel 4.

Get a Great Workout


Click on the ORANGE Titled Link Above @!!

Web MD has a great little exercise routine already mapped for us ! Take a look into this because you can exercise in just 30 Minutes !!

Exercise doesn't have to be a day-long ordeal. Making the most of your gym time is the key. Find out the best moves to get your body fit and fabulous.

Also See:
• What's Your Target Heart Rate?
• Need Help Sticking to Your Fitness Routine?

Enjoy this timely exercise routine !

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism


I just LOVE resources ! WEB MD is one of my favorite places on the internet to follow health and diet information.

Simple changes to your daily routine create big results when it comes to your waistline. Kick start your weight loss, lose the love handles !!


Today I exercised two hours at the gym. One hour was "Body Vibe" and the other was a challenger senior classes called 'Silver Sneakers II', where we do aerobics for 30 minutes, then sit in a chair and do other exercises using an exercise ball, weights, etc.

The weather has been so beautiful lately. I just had to get out and go to Subway for my "Subway Melt Salad" consisting of lettuce tomato pepperoni, ham, cheese, turkey and ranch salad dressing.

Not sure what I'm having to eat tonite. Hope yall had a fit and wonderful day !!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Suppah Time !!

Its finally the end of a BEAUTIFUL DAY here in the Big Easy Area. Temperatures contiune to be kind to us -- in the mid 60's today for the high and the entire week's forecast looks the same.

I decided to capture some sunshine outside and wash our new truck! To continue the exerise momentum, I climbed aboard the treadmile for a 20 minute one mile walk.


For suppah tonite, I decided to have Tuscan Vegetable Soup, part of the "Live Smart" program offered by the Schwan Food Company. It is fairly easy to microwave, contains only 19 carbs, and tastes delicious !

On the side, I had two slices of wheat bread (20 carbs) and a couple slices of cheese inbetween.

Soup and cheesetoast. Yummy !!

How did you spend YOUR DAY ?

Easy to Prepare Low Carb Meals : Lemon Peppered Chicken Tacos

Good Morning low-carbers !

Today we venture into the making of Chicken Tacos - it's quite delish !

Ingredients :

Schwan's lemon peppered chicken breast (frozen) 1 carb
2 hard Taco Shells 17 carbs
2 tablespoons of sour cream 2 carbs
2 tablespoons of picante sauce 2 carbs
1/2 cup cheese 2 carbs

Cook lemon peppered chicken on 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

Warm taco shells in a 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.

Prepare as follows : dice lemon peppered chicken breast, place inside taco shells. Top with picante sauce, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.

24 carbs !! Yeah !! Enjoy THIS low carb meal :)

For my choice of drink, I prepared Lipton tea mix with my favorite bottle of Wal-Mart spring water.

Low Carb Rehab

I must admit I am a second-offender, low-carbaholic !! Yes, you got that right, a repeat offender ! Since I did not get it right the first time, fell off the wagon, now I'm on it again. Some things work, some things don't.. Hey did anyone see where I left the manual this time ??

I am starting week three of low carb rehab. I only lost ONE POUND. For an overall weight loss of 5 pounds in two weeks. Not bad, but losing only one pound in a week, acutally sucks. ;/

Will I ever learn?? WATER and lots of it. I am on day two with NO diet coke... I am thinking of getting something to flavor the water with.

My second goal is to try to get under 40 carbs a day, which just is NOT happening yet !! But I'm trying.

Monday I had egg salad on two pieces of wheat bread, a banana and a small box of raisins. TOtal = 52 carbs.

For exercise, I rode my bicycle for 40 minutes, walked for 20 minutes, and was on the treadmill for 20 minutes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Easy to prepare low-carb meals ! (with pictures!)

There's nothing like creating your own low carb meal. It does not have to be fancy or cost a lot.

My choice for brunch today was a lemon peppered chicken breast salad. I topped it with bacon bits, and Ken's Ranch Dressing, 2 oz. (2 carbs).

I also prepared one slice of wheat toast. Lemon peppered chicken is easy to make. I use the frozen ones sold by Schwan's. Just pop one in the oven, cut up your lettuce, tomato and cheese, throw in a few bacon bits -- top with Ranch dressing and walla... your own complete chicken salad !! I love eating low carb because you CAN have a LOT of food and feel full, without indulging in sugars. I drink Lipton diet tea with water.

For dinner, I boiled two eggs, chopped them up with a bit of pickle, add mayo, put on two slices of wheat toast. Again, another inexpensive way to complete your meal. A Coke Zero is my favorite drink to quench my thirst.

I started off the day exercising to Leslie Sansone's Melt Away Your Belly Fat video. She reminds us of lots of hidden dangers are hidden in the excess fat that surrounds our belly. I was able to complete three miles. When I got back from church, I did a mile on the treadmill at home.

I hope everyone has a wonderful evening. Please drop me a note to let me know if you enjoy the pictures. I may end up posting MORE :)

WEIGH IN TIME !! Do you REALLY know what condition your condition is in ?

It's been a week since I started back on a low-carb dieting again. What a week ! I joined a gym, learned some new recipes, and my body has finally become acclimated to the low carb regime !

Today was the big weigh in. I lost a total of four pounds ! Most of it was probably due to the excess water, and then probably one or two from the exercise. Either way, I'm certainly NOT complaining !!


I decided to change up my exercise routine. Leslie Sansone has MANY Dvd's on different exercises. This morning, I did a two mile firm and tone one; this evening I exercised to a two mile routine one using weighted balls. I like to change it up so it's not just my legs that are getting the work out.


Today, I decided to eat tuna salad on wheat for lunch. I added lettuce and tomato for a little variety. This was about 20 carbs (bread). I also had a cup of the mixed veggies like I had yesterday. That was about 12 carbs.

This evening. I had a small plate of spaghetti with meatballs and sauce and a roll. The roll was 19 carbs. I have no idea how many carbs the spaghetti was. It was a small portion though !


How did your first weigh in go ?? I'd love to hear it ! Drop me a line or two !

Time to Rest / Hidden Sugars

Good morning ! I hope everyone is off to a great weekend.

The latter part of this week, I was working out 2 hours a day, so I decided to take Friday off. My legs felt as if 5 pound bags of sugar were attached to them, and my thighs barely wanted to move. It was great to feel my shoulders and back finally getting the attention they deserved. That Body Pump routine is definitely the way to go !

I took our oldest son out to eat at a pizzeria last night. I ordered something called
"Mop the Floor" Calzone. It was stacked with all sorts of meats and cheeses, - the most wonderful of all was a tangy mozzarella biting back inside my mouth, mmmmm- good ! I could barely eat one half of it. That was a good sign.

One thing I have to remember with all of the exercising is moderation. I was so excited to begin my low carb regime, that I forgot to take time off to let the muscles to regenerate, and to eat a little bit more to refuel.

Did you know that there were hidden sugars in a lot of foods ? I found this out on my first journey low carbing. Hidden sugars are everywhere in food ! A health conscious low-carber should definitely be reading the label. Here is Molly Kimball's lasted article on this subject :


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WORK it out !!

Today, I went to the gym and worked out :

20 minutes on the treadmill
10 minutes on the elliptical
10 minutes on the bicycle

I took a one hour studio class called "Body Pump' at the new gym I just joined. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into.

Bodypump is a barbell class, designed to improve strength and endurance in the major muscle groups. The conditioning techniques integrated into the class have been kept current by by combining music and instructors that inspire participants to give their best efforts. They provide health and fitness benefits, including: -improving full-body strength and general fitness, -shaping and toning major muscle groups and -a high-energy, group-oriented workout experienceng music and instructors that inspire participants to give their best efforts.

I was not that inspired by the class, but slowly warmed up to it. I also learned how to do a push up from a seated position. (hard to explain lol).

Yep, I sure hope all this hard exercise pays off.

I ate broiled chicken, some small potatoes, and meatballs for supper. I had bacon lettuce and tomato on wheat for lunch.

Life IS GOOD. :)

Eating Right.. N OT-SO-FAT Tuesday

One of my favorite people to follow on the internet is a local columnist. Her name is Molly Kimball. She works for Times Picayune, out of New Orleans, LA. Her latest column covers 7 little diet changes that can get you back into that slinky costume in time for Mardi Gras.


Mardi Gras comes late this year, and you know what that means: There's more time for king cake. But there's also more time to tighten up your fitness regime and diet to shed some weight before the big day.

Love king cake? Well, it's okay if you eat it in moderation, but only in moderation, according to Nutrition columnist Molly Kimball.

With three weeks until parades kick into high gear, there is just enough time to incorporate a few healthier habits into your routines. And these small changes can make a big difference in your weight, not to mention overall health and energy level. Plus, you'll feel lighter, less bloated, and your clothes can fit better by the time the Krewe of Barkus strolls through the Quarter.

Here are some numbers to remember. To shed one pound of body fat, you need to burn about 3,500 calories more than you take in. So a daily deficit of 500 calories translates to a loss of about one pound per week; slashing 1,000 calories a day results in about two pounds weekly.

Though metabolic rates vary widely by person, a general estimate of the appropriate number of calories to consume is about 10 calories per pound of goal body weight. (If you want to weigh 130, consume 1,300 calories per day.) Plan for 12 calories per pound of goal weight if you exercise at a moderate intensity three or four days a week, and 14 calories per pound of goal weight if you exercise intensely five to six days a week.

Crunch the numbers to see how your diet and exercise measure up, and decide what changes are realistic. If your target calorie range seems pitifully low, ramp up your exercise to earn a little wiggle room, calorically speaking. And keep in mind that little trade-offs can add up quickly. Here are seven simple steps to help streamline your diet and maintain your focus.

1. Eat often, eat smaller:

You don't need to eat more, just more often. The idea is that you'll never let yourself get too hungry between meals.

Try to eat something within the first two hours that you're awake (after exercise is fine), and add a small snack if you'll be going longer than four hours between meals. But don't feel obligated to work in those six "mini meals" that we always hear about if you don't need them.

2. Cocktails count:

You can have your cocktails and lose weight, too. But while the recommended "moderate intake" of alcohol is one drink daily for women and two for men, what you drink can be as important as how much you drink. Factor in 120 to 150 calories for a standard serving of wine, beer or liquor (on the rocks or with a no-calorie mixer like club soda, water or a diet soft drink). And skip the sugary drinks: Daiquiris, margaritas and hurricanes can easily add 500 to 1,000 calories.

3. Focus on fullness: Try to incorporate fiber, protein and a little fat with every meal and snack. Swap your pretzels and 100-calorie cracker packs (both are essentially the equivalent of a couple of slices of white bread) for Greek yogurt with berries or a slice of whole-grain toast topped with peanut butter. You might be adding a few more calories to your snack, but that bit of protein and fat will keep you satisfied longer, helping to minimize mindless snacking later in the day.

4. Downsize carbs: Starchy carbs provide a quick energy boost, but they're also calorie-dense, so don't double up. If you have oatmeal, skip the side of toast and save 200 calories. Grilled chicken sandwich? Hold the fries (of course) -- and even the baked potato -- and you can save 400 calories or more. And think twice before ordering a wrap: Those large burrito-style ones are often the carb equivalent of four to six slices of bread.

Save hundreds of calories by paring down your dinner starches, keeping the focus on protein and nonstarchy veggies. One cup of a starchy side such as rice or pasta, even the whole-grain versions, has up to 240 calories; a cup of veggies has just 25 to 50 calories. Turn to frozen veggies in a pinch. They're flash-frozen at their peak of ripeness, so they are just as nutrient-dense as fresh.

5. Lean your protein: Trading out a high-fat protein (fried food, sausage or ribs) for a leaner option (grilled seafood, pork tenderloin or extra-lean ground beef) can trim up to 250 calories -- and loads of saturated fat -- per 4-ounce serving.

6. Slim your salads: Full-fat dressing is an obvious culprit, adding 80 calories or more per tablespoon. But you don't necessarily save calories by switching to olive oil. With 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon, a few generous pours can turn a seemingly innocent salad into the calorie equivalent of personal-size pizza.

The solution: Save as much as 100 calories per spoonful by switching to a low-calorie dressing. Note that the nutrition information for salad dressing is often for a 2-tablespoon serving. I typically recommend a light vinaigrette with 40 to 50 calories per serving. Or use an olive-oil spritzer to get a fine mist of your favorite oil, adding extra taste with a splash of flavored vinegar or a squeeze of lemon.

If you don't want to give up your favorite fully loaded dressing, just keep it in check -- along with portions of other high-calorie salad toppings. Add-ins such as avocado, nuts, tortilla strips, cheese and dried cranberries can easily add hundreds of calories each. Lower-calorie alternatives to add flavor and interest without piling on the calories: artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, water chestnuts, grilled vegetables and fresh berries.

7. Be accountable daily: Stay focused by tracking progress. Some people benefit from daily weigh-ins, one of the common themes of the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks more than 5,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained their new weight for at least a year. But you know yourself best, and if stepping on the scale daily is a sure-fire strategy for self-sabotage, find another way to monitor your progress, such as taking note of positive behavioral changes, or keeping a food log.

Individually, these modifications may not seem like they would make much difference. But combined, they can make a significant impact, resulting in a healthier you to celebrate a not-so-Fat Tuesday.

. . . . . . .

Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans. Her column appears on Fridays in Living and her nutrition videos appear every Tuesday on nola.com/health. She can be reached at eatingright@timespicayune.com.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday ? Day Two

Good Morning !

Thanks to D. Carroll for their comment. It's nice to know I have at least ONE supporter out there.. and that I'm not the only want starting my weight loss regiment again :)

Last night I had a taco salad. Broke one taco onto a plate, topped it with lettuce tomato, ground meat, cheese, and a dollup of sour cream (my fav).

This morning for breakfast, I had one slice of wheat toast, with a slice of cheese on top of that and a fresh cup of diet tea.

I am NOT a morning breakfast eater, so the fact that I eat ANYTHING for breakfast is amazing. I am not generally hungry first thing in the morning. Also, I did not 'force myself to eat.'.

I think I am going to go pop in a Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds DVD. Havea great day everyone !!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl's Over, Joined a New Gym.. now what ?

Hello, if there is anyone left in this vast universe.. It's been quite a while since I last blogged.

I'm doing good. Gained a few pounds though. Started to teach again... life is good, right ?

Now that the Superbowl is over, I decided to join a new gym. One that has television screens in the gym equipment. Pretty cool aye ? No REAL excuse, not ever to exercise again. This place is also open 24/7/365. Again, NO excuse. It has studio classes of all caliber type exercises from Zoomba to Silver Sneakers, 'golden oldies' type exercise classes. Best of all they are FREE, (part of the monthy membership). THAT I LIKE.

So I woke up this morn, joined this new gym, meandered over to those silver sneaker oldie but goodies class. I learned FIVE new types of line dances (these gals worked out for a full 45 minute class. This was after a 45 minute class of the 'sit and be fit' type exercises done from a chair, with some optional being done outside of the chair. Let me tell you, some of the exercises were easy, some I REALLY felt the muscles pull and ache !

I'm back to counting carbs, giving up the number of diet soft drinks, etc. I had a banana for breakfast and a Burger King Chicken Salad for lunch. Might have a taco salad for supper tonite.

Whatever the rhyme or reason, I'm back in the low carb community to whomever is out there and wants to join me on the bandwagon or not. Drop me a line and let me know you are still in the game with me. :)

Big Easy on Low Carb.

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