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Strawberry Juice Plus Smoothie

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strawberry smoothie

6-8 oz soy milk (Depends on the calorie count I want. I can add water to get more liquid if I use less milk.)

2 Tbsp. Vanilla Juice Plus shake mix

2 packets Truvia

1 handful frozen strawberries, whole (make sure they are whole and not in juice)

 

Put the soy milk in blender first and then add the shake mix. Whir that around for a few seconds to get blended well. Anytime you use a powdered substance, it is best to do it this way so that it doesn’t taste gritty. If you see that your drink mix is thicker than you want, add more liquid. If it is thinner than you want, remember you are about to add strawberries, which will thicken it.

Add the Truvia and strawberries. Whir again until the drink is mixed to the consistency you wish.

Enjoy!

I believe the calories on this totals around 200 and if fills me for hours. You can use a dab of real sugar if you want. No biggie. I wouldn’t use aspartame. It just isn’t the right flavor.

Note: You can use whatever milk you like. I choose soy just because it is affordable and easier for me to find. This is your choice!

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How I Have Lost Weight Recently

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Juice Plus

Over the last year I have trying different things to lose weight. Playing with what would work best for my erratic schedule. I have felt very frustrated because my work schedule fluctuates to the point of me being stuck there an extra 4 hours sometimes without being able to go get food. I try to keep extra food there, but I can’t stock 2 fridges. I was extremely frustrated because there wasn’t anything, it seemed, that was easy and affordable. But there was! And I finally found it! Juice Plus!

Juice Plus is a way to supplement the fruits and veggies I was missing out on because of my crazy schedule. It doesn’t replace them. But it supplements them. I feel so much better. I have blogged about being tired, but that is mainly when I have worked 14-16 hours. Anyone would be tired after that, especially in a high-stress environment. I work in crisis situations daily. It tires you when you work those long stretches. I am finding that I am less and less tired.

I have been using the shakes from Juice Plus and they are absolutely amazing. They are filling, delicious and super EASY! I love them. I can keep my stuff at work and make them when needed. I have a single-serving blender at work. I bring in my Juice Plus shake powder, a bag of frozen strawberries, a box of Truvia in packets, instant Folgers coffee and soy milk. I use the vanilla powder so I can have a wider variety of flavors. Some days I want a mocha frappuccino and some days I want a strawberry smoothie. I will post my recipes in separate posts.

These shakes are so good! I don’t feel like I am being deprived of anything. I actually just feel like I am having a treat. I used to love to go through the drive-thru and get these same kinds of drinks. I was spending a lot more on these drinks and I was also getting a lot more calories! Wasted, empty calories. The calories I get now are beneficial and help my body. It is FUEL for my body and not just junk. It isn’t just a drink either; it is filling!

I don’t just drink shakes. I am eating very healthy, too. I am managing my calorie intake by using free apps on my phone. I can watch my calories and keep track. This is crucial. So often we don’t watch the calorie intake. We just assume that because we feel like we are starving that we must be losing weight. You don’t have to starve to lose weight. I am not starving!!!!!! I am eating tons of blueberries! (I have found a new addiction, by the way!) I am not sure how the blueberries are assisting, but they are a super food. I am eating delicious salads. In fact, I have posted my favorite salad recipe on the blog. I even eat my favorite chicken sandwich from Wendy’s and enjoy it! And yes, I am losing weight eating this way.

The shakes have been crucial, though. I do them 2 times a day and then I can eat the rest of my calories in whatever healthy foods I want. I just watch my calories, carb and fat intake. I try to not eat too many carbs just because, personally, I am a carb junkie and they are triggers for me. I sometimes don’t know when to stop and less of that is better. I also limit fat just because I can sometimes overdo it without realizing it. It’s easy to do. You do need fat, though. Your body is in need of a good balance.

The shakes don’t have to be used as meal replacements, though. They can be used before or after a workout. They can be used as a snack. They can be used for those people who stay hungry all day and this will help with the constant grazing. They really do fill me up. (I say this as an obese woman who would sometimes not feel full after eating just about everything!)

If you have any questions, please ask. You can also visit the website. I was so grateful to finally find something that was nutritious and beneficial to me, as well as affordable. I remember the day in the doctor’s office when they said I had lost 20 lbs. I sat there and cried. Finally some tears of joy! Juice Plus is saving my life.

Portion Control Is Important

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In order to lose lose weight, it is important to control your portions. To do so, though, you need to understand portions. Some people don’t have a clue how much of what they have eaten. You need to measure! You need to learn to look at something and guess. You’re not always going to be able to measure. By measuring to begin with, you will learn what amounts look like and will be able to look at something and know what the size is.

Once you know what the size is, you can start using apps on smart phones. I have used Lose It and it was helpful. Another one is MyFitnessPal. These both are free and allow you to enter the food you eat throughout the day and it calculates the amount of calories you have eaten. This keeps calorie counting easy. But you have to know what the portion size is.

Here is a picture from WebMD with some helpful information:

Portion Sizes

Portion Sizes

You can go to WebMD for more info on the portion plate or ChooseMyPlate.gov. These are really beneficial and helpful sites.

And if you have no clue about the portion, here’s a good tip, eat more of the fruits and vegetables. Consider potatoes a starch or bread and not a real vegetable. (Eat less potatoes basically.) Eat more colorful foods. The more colorful your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables, the less you have to worry.

 

July 7, 2013

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It is amazing how different your body processes food after  you have eaten right for a while. What do I mean? I was used to eating junk. My body was used to processing it. It was the norm. I have eaten healthier and my body seems to like it. The other day I was having a fast food craving so I did get it. It wasn’t over the top. It was a burger and fries. It wasn’t over my calorie count because I had been in a deficit for the week so it was alright to do this calorie-wise. Well, let’s just say that my body wasn’t so sure about it. It was unhappy with this food. I ended up getting a belly ache. I felt nauseous. All over a fast food burger. I have fixed a burger at home since eating healthier and it was fine. Maybe it was the fried fries. I don’t know. But let me tell you, I learned to not do that again!

It was nice and not so nice. I was kind of glad my body revolted. It let me know that I should eat better and that my body prefers that. So while I may crave junk sometimes, my body doesn’t really want it. My head does.  And that is an interesting thought. It is interesting where these cravings are coming from. It’s not my body at all; it is my brain. I am going to have to check on this to see if there are studies on this. I found it fascinating.

I can also still have fast food. I just have to make better choices. Wendy’s has a grilled chicken sandwich that is awesome. They also have some great salads. Yes, they are more expensive than your typical fast food meal, but they are really good. That is how I learned that I love raspberry pomegranate vinaigrette dressing. Not bad calorie-wise and very tasty. You can also get a baked potato at Wendy’s, as well as chili. Hardee’s has a turkey burger now. I tried one the other day. It was so-so. I thought it needed to be cooked more to get a char on the outside. The texture was “off” if you know what I mean. Also, I felt the flavor should have been punched up. It was a little bland. Turkey isn’t a flavorful meat so this was not my burger of choice. We don’t have a Burger King close by or I’d get veggie burgers if I was eating out.

May 20, 2013

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I have been proud of myself today. I have actually eaten under my calorie limit. Have I wanted to? No. I am hungry. I left my blender at work and I am feeling the literal hunger pangs today. But I am trying so hard to not eat extra. I know if I eat something else that I am going to eat and eat! So no eating! Plus I am tired. I need to sleep. (I always need to sleep.)

So I was using the Lose It! app. That thing is freaking AMAZING! It has a scanner on it so I can read bar codes off foods and it will know the calorie count in the food. So if I eat a Lean Cuisine, I can scan the bar code and it automatically knows how many calories are in it. How cool is that?! I don’t have to work too hard to know it. I did do work around the house today, too. It has the calories burned for the time of housework, too. Pretty cool! So I did well today. I am still hungry, though. Instead of eating, I am going to bed. I am tired.

 

May 19, 2013

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I miss me. Sounds odd, huh? I used to laugh. I used to like being around people more. I don’t do that often now. There are many reasons. Work is a big part of it. 3rd shift wrecks your schedule. I talk to people all the time and have to be nice for the majority of my waking hours even when I don’t want to. So many times I just want to come home and be me. And a lot of those times I do want to be me alone. I need the quiet and solitude of home because I have heard voices for HOURS ON END. My head is filled with junk. I don’t want to hear people talking to me. I can chat online just fine. I just don’t want to hear the words all the time. Maybe that doesn’t make sense but it is the action of listening after so long that can set my teeth on edge. I want to interact, but without the talking part. Damn! I sound like a freak! I guess if I had pleasant interactions the majority of the time I wouldn’t sound that way, but…

So I come home and hole up. I don’t like to go out much. I just want to decompress at home. Plus I don’t have much money to go anywhere. And then there is the fact that my off days are not the normal off days for the rest of the world so when I am off, they are working. Also, my sleeping hours and waking hours are much different as well. It just kinda screws things up.

But then there is the weight issue. I think that I have become so self-conscious of how I look that I don’t want to go out and be seen. I don’t think that is uncommon with people who are obese. Some obese people just don’t care and do whatever, whenever. Others internalize everything and feel so negative. They feel embarrassed and ashamed and just want to hide from the world. So they do as much as possible. It is a lot easier to run home than it is to go in public and have people look at you like you’re a freak show. “Oh my Gawd! Did you see how fat she is?!” I still have ears. I still have eyes. I still have feelings. There are times I want to turn around and ask, “Oh my Gawd! Do you know what an inconsiderate bitch you are?! Do you think I don’t realize how much I weigh? I am not stupid. I am working on it. So back off, Stick Lady, or I’m going to show you what this weight can do!”

But most of us who are at this point, just walk off and go home and internalize some more and self-medicate. Usually my medication for those feelings is some Ben & Jerry’s. Fast acting! Great taste! What more could you ask for in medication? Oh yeah, it would be nice if the calories weren’t 50 bazillion! But who cares at that point, right? You’ll care later when you are thinking clearer. Then you’ll be upset that you let yourself fall prey to that Stick Lady vulture. Then you might need to self-medicate some more because you feel like shit again. It’s a cycle. A very bad cycle indeed.

So I was thinking about all of this. (Obviously!) It bothers me that I feel this way. I know not everyone looks at me and feels this way. Some of it is me projecting how I feel onto others. I feel they must feel this way about me since I do about myself. And, yes, I have been met with these reactions before. But I don’t like living like this. I want to kinda like people a little more than I do. I used to like people. I used to laugh. I used to do things. I used to interact with real people. I don’t like limiting my life.

I was talking to my friend about this today. She was really encouraging. It was a true heart to heart. Who really tells the people in their lives this stuff? Usually I keep this shit to myself. I bring it here from time to time. But ya know, I surely can’t be the only one who feels this way.

I am slowly working on my goals. I have done things around the house today, which has me tired and achy. I suppose that is good in some sadistic way. I downloaded an app for my phone called “Lose It!” which allows me to calorie count and exercise count calories MUCH EASIER! I just punch that crap in! I can also add in foods that aren’t in there. I have started using my smoothies to help forego my cravings and fill me up. They’re helping. I’m being honest a little more, which is hard. I am only doing that with a few close friends and then here. Y’all understand or at least empathize.

I am NOT asking for pity or sympathy. I got here on my own. I have to get out of this mess somehow, but I now believe I don’t have to do that part on my own. That is part of the reason for this blog. I think I am not the only person who has gotten to this level. If you are like me, I send you hugs and encouragement. Many people don’t get it. I do. It ain’t easy overcoming something that has overtaken your life. And some people think you can just make simple changes. If only it were that easy! Food addiction is not like alcohol addiction. I can abstain from alcohol. I cannot abstain from food.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. Much love.

Amy’s Favorite Salad

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This is my favorite salad as of now. The recipe software says it is 5 fats and that does concern me. But the calories aren’t so bad and this is a delicious and filling salad. I use Aldi’s raspberry vinaigrette.

blueberrysalad

1 cup butter lettuce leaves
1 cup lettuce, spring greens
1/3 cup blueberries
1 ounce chicken breast, grilled
1 ounce pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon vinaigrette, raspberry

Place lettuce in a bowl and top with blueberries and chicken. Drizzle vinaigrette over top and mix well. Sprinkle with pecans.

Serves 1.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 342 Calories; 30g Fat (73.3% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 15mg Cholesterol; 25mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 5 Fat.