Thursday, March 07, 2013

Week #10 - What's Your Next Meal?

Okay, it's time to launch a new monthly routine! This month: after each meal or snack, decide how many PointsPlus values you'll use for your next meal.

I like the way this routine is worded, because so often when we talk planning, it's about what you're going to eat. While for me this is no big deal, there are people who like to be a little more...spontaneous about their food choices than I am. So having a PPV or range of PPV that you plan on spending is a good compromise - it allows you to change your mind or go with whatever craving you've been having.

This week's entry is going to be a mish-mash of stuff, because there are a couple of things I want to share, mostly as a result of this past week's discussion.

First, I wanted to share with you the dressing I mentioned that went on my Really Big Salad this week: Tofu Herb Dressing. Yes, it has tofu in it, but if you're new to that ingredient it really has very little taste, so it's the herbs and shallots that really come through, and the tofu serves to create a nice creamy base. VERY flavorful!

Second, I thought I'd share my egg salad recipe. I didn't run it through the recipe builder since I'm doing Simply Filling this week, and everything in it is a Power Food. I made a pretty big batch, but you could scale it as needed.

10 hard boiled eggs
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, diced
Several celery ribs, diced
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped a little
Pepper and other herbs to taste (I used one of those all-in-one salt-free spices)
spinach leaves or other greens to serve under the egg salad

Once you've chopped all the veggies, mix everything together but the spinach leaves. Season it how you like, and serve over the greens. I divided this recipe into five containers, and am bringing it to work for breakfast all this week.

Finally, I thought this article, Create the Habits of Being Lean in 7 Years was interesting. I think we all tend to be in a hurry to get everything in our lives changed at once. That can be overwhelming and difficult! It's a little bit easier when you take your time. And in my experience, I've found my life, health, and habits are continually evolving, well after hitting my original goal weight. The way I eat and exercise now is far different from how I did these things fifteen years ago.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Week #8 - Ready, Set, Goal!

As we wrap up February, it's time to reflect on the month. Our routine was "know how you'll be active tomorrow." And early in the month, I asked the group to consider whether or not you are as active as you would like.

If the answer to that question was (and still is) "NO" then it's time to start thinking about how to make activity more of a routine. Knowing the day before how you can get active can help, but looking even longer-term can also help.

As many of you know, I ran a marathon in January. To do that, I had a training plan laid out - there was no way that I could have just gone out and run that far without working up to it, right?!? Having that event as a long-term goal helped me stick to the day-in, day-out activity that I needed to do to get there. I knew there were consequences if I stayed in bed and bailed on my progressive training plan. I know for sure that my activity patterns would have been different had I not had a goal to focus on. (Thanksgiving weekend, while out of town, I ran 14 miles in an area I wasn't too familiar with - I can tell you with 100% certainty that if I hadn't have signed up for a race there is NO WAY I would have done that. I might have taken a jog through the neighborhood, but that's it!)

Setting an activity goal doesn't have to be something like signing up for a marathon or half-marathon like some folks in the meeting room have done. It can be anything! It can be any sport. It can be any hobby. It could be an event (triathlon, 5K, climbing a particular mountain) or it could be some sort of performance goal (lifting a certain number of pounds, swimming a particular amount of laps, doing 100 pushups). As long as the goal means something to YOU, it's good!

Setting a goal is maybe not something that 100% of you will want to do. One of the best things I've done during my weight loss/maintenance process is come to terms with what makes me tick. If you are a person who is not motivated by a goal like this, no big deal! You likely have other ways to motivate yourself. But one thing to consider: if goals haven't worked for you in the past, make sure it wasn't just because you set them too aggressively. Make them SMART and my "R" in there is Realistic! Maybe all that stands between you and a goal is setting a goal that isn't too ambitious!