Friday, July 22, 2011

Is this scale wrong?????

Is this scale wrong??? I recently weighed myself, and I realize that I have gotten off track. Life has gotten in the way of my best intentions to eat healthy, but I am now officially 1 pound away from what I weighed at my heaviest point in life. BOOOOO! An OUNCE of PREVENTION is a HEALTHY weight, so time to turn over a new leaf.

So let's be honest, how much do I weigh? I weighed in at 176 lbs on Mon at the Bastyr Clinic. I was not very pleased. I knew my weight had been "creeping" up since I had gone back to school 2 years ago. All those "quick" stops for food during my SWAMPED schedule with the justification of, "I will only eat this, just this once;" has finally added up. What's worse, is my stress eating! Mid-night study snacks, OMG; then there is stress eating during mid-terms; AND THEEEEEN there is eating EVERYTHING YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON during finals; (Whoever told my teachers they could only test me at the middle and the end of the quarter deserves a swift kick in the hoohaa!); oh yes, and let us not forget the "THANK F-ING GOD I MADE IT THROUGH ANOTHER QUARTER!!!" celebratory eating AND DRINKING. It is too much... 18 lbs too much **gasp***.

Some of you who know me are going to do the math and realize that by loosing 18 lbs, I will not be at my government suggested target weight for my height, but before you say anything, I LIKE MYSELF at the mid 150's. It is a nice achievable realistic goal for me, and I have ZERO health problems. My blood work is beautiful and I do not look or feel poorly, so please do not post that I need to loose more because I do not agree. O.K. moving on.

So what is my plan? Well, first and foremost BREAKFAST!!!!! Healthy breakfast (for example, scrambled egg whites with a sprinkle of 2% cheese and maybe some summer veges mixed in, or oatmeal with cinnamon and a little brown sugar and fresh fruit). These are easy things that take mere minutes to make with a little preparation.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am notoriously horrible about eating breakfast. I have a terrible habit, like many Americans, of taking coffee to go as I run out the door trying to grab the million things I need to take with me and forgetting half of them do to the lack of focus my starving brain has. Once I arrive at school or work, I spend 2-3 hours trying my best to focus on whatever is being said or happening around me until finally I get a break or get to take lunch. At this point I am famished, grouchy, and have absolutely no focus and no patience left for even my closest friends. Then I run to the nearest food source (yes, even fast food) and buy whatever I can find that is close to practical and somewhat affordable. I also require that my food include some sort of vegetable, although my standard of vegetable can drop to include the rare piece of lettuce on a cheeseburger if I am desperate and exceptionally starving. After grabbing whatever meal I can get my hands on, I eat so fast to kill the hunger pains that I barely taste the food and finally run back to class or work with food sloshing around in my stomach and feeling a bit queasy. As you can see, none of this is a recipe for good health and digestion or healthy weight.

So that's it, that's the beginning of my plan. After, I have successfully implemented breakfast into my life, I will reveal my next step. In the meantime, I am going to try to make breakfast a habit, and yes, of course, cut out the fastfood and quick meals. I will keep you posted. What do they say, "it takes 2 weeks to make a new habit,"...? I will let you know.

I would like to note to anyone reading this, that I do not plan to go on a diet. I am making the life decision to choose to just make better food choices and to eat healthier. I am a healthcare professional with a plethera of knowledge, and do to the fact that I am a student at Bastyr University, I have tons of information and doctors at my disposal, so I feel well equipped to start out on this journey. I recommend to anyone who decides to make any dietary changes to consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Making Granola

I made my first ever granola today from a recipe that I modified that had a foundation based in the 70's. I wanted something to mix with my delicious Greek Gods Low-Fat Yogurt. This is the culmination of research of about 7 granola recipes that I found online to learn the foundation of what is in granola. This is what I came up with. I hope you like it. It is high in protein and absolutely delicious. I am so proud of myself. Try it out if you like.

Shandalla's Soon To Be Famous, Delicious Granola

3 cups of rolled oats
1 cup combined of crushed mixed nuts and slivered almonds
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1/2 cup of toasted sunflower seeds (I buy mine raw and then toast them myself)
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup of unsweetened cocunut
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil (note: cocunut oil is solid at room temperature)
2/3 cup of honey
Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of dried fruit of choice (craisins, apricots, apple, etc)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, nuts, sesame seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, unsweetened coconut, and vanilla. Next, measure the cocunut oil and then, place the measured solid oil in a small microwave safe cup and put the cup in the microwave for 20 seconds allowing the oil to melt**. Next, pour the oil over the mixture and stir thoroughly coating the granola. After the mixture is well combined, mix in the honey and combine until even. Next, take a large deep oven safe pan and spray it with non-stick cooking spray, and then pour the granola mixture into the pan. Finally, place the pan in the preheated oven, uncovered for 30 minutes making sure to stir approximately every 7-10 minutes to ensure even cooking. After 30 minutes, remove the pan, give the granola a final stir and let it cool for 15 min. Stir again and place granola in a bowl and mix in the dried fruit. Allow to finish cooling. Store in a clean dry sealed container and enjoy when desired.

**Note: If you do not have a microwave, you can simply place the measured oil in a cup and place the cup in a bowl of HOT water, ensuring the water does go into the cup. This will melt the oil in a matter of minutes.

Add a 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips or cholcolate nibs to make a very divine stand alone sweet treat.