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Monday, November 24, 2008

Nov. 24th

Just to update you guys, I haven't fallen off the face of the planet. I have just been sick with this bug going around and I can't seem to kick it. I have NO appetite and NO energy. 


As soon as this all passes (which I hope and pray is before Thanksgiving!) I will start up again. 
Thanks for your patience and support!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nov. 21st Menu

Breakfast - 7 am:

Homemade sausage, egg and cheese croissant roll

Lunch - 12 pm:
Quizno's small Baja Chicken on wheat with Baked Lays and a water

Snack - 3:30 pm:
Fruit Snacks

Dinner - 7 pm:
McDonald's McChicken Sandwich meal
 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nov. 20th Menu

Breakfast - 9 am:

Was not hungry but I forced myself to eat a to-go package of Strawberry Fig Newtons.

Lunch - 1 pm:
Again, I was still not hungry (I'm getting over a bug) so all I had was 2 Kashi crackers with a little bit of tuna fish salad. 

Dinner - 6:30 pm:
Had a large bowl of Quaker Oh's cereal. 

I seriously hate days like this. It throws everything out of whack because I have no energy to do much of anything, let alone COOK or even EAT and you can forget about a workout. I can barely catch my breath just going up my stairs. 
Blah past 2 days. Sorry guys.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Breakfast - 7:30 am:

Coco-Berry Oatmeal (for recipe please see October 25th menu)

Lunch - 11:30 am:
Paprikash Chicken and Egg Noodles with steamed broccoli
Ingredients:
chicken tenderloin strips
1 cup No Yolks Egg Noodles
paprika
cayenne pepper
red pepper
1 T. butter
fresh mushrooms, sliced
onions, sliced in thick strips
sour cream

Dessert - 12 pm:
1/2 cup 1% milk fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup pineapple chunks in their own juice

Snack - 3 pm:
Newton's Mixed Berry Fruit Crisps

Dinner - 5:30 pm:
Tuna fish salad with Kashi Stoneground Whole Wheat crackers. 

Dessert - 6:30 pm:
McDonald's small Vanilla Cone

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nov. 18th Menu

Breakfast - 7:30 am:

Kashi Autumn Harvest cereal with fat-free milk
Nutritional Facts: 280 calories, 10 fat calories, 1g fat, 0g sat. fat, 5mg chl., 130mg sodium, 58g carbs, 6g fiber, 19g sugar, 13g protein

Lunch - 11:30 am:
Panera Bread 1/2 order of Orchard Harvest Chicken Salad with 1/2 a Chicken Bacon Dijon sandwich. (There is a bag of Baked Lays in the photo, however, I did not eat those. They will be my snack at 3pm.)

Nutritional Facts for Salad: 210 calories, 108 fat calories, 12g fat, 4g sat. fat, 15mg chl., 350mg sodium, 15g carbs, 2g fiber, 10g sugar, 5g protein
Nutritional Facts for sandwich: 390 Calories, 125 fat calories, 18g fat, 7g sat. fat, 75mg chl., 770mg sodium, 32g carbs, 1g fiber, 8g sugar, 27g protein.

Now, I only ate 1/2 of the 1/2 chicken sandwich. I purposely ordered chicken on the salad and ate it first so I would be mostly full. But I wanted something to sustain me a little longer than a salad can and that's why I ordered the panini.

Dessert w/lunch that I sipped on for another hour:
Panera's Grande Low-Fat Strawberry Smoothie
Nutritional Facts: 240 calories, 10 fat calories, 1.5g fat, 0.05g sat. fat, 5mg chl., 190mg sodium, 51g carbs, 3g fiber, 39g sugar, 1g protein
(This was not quite as good for me as I had hoped. I mean, sure it's low fat but considering the high amount of sugar it didn't really make a difference. Probably won't buy this again. You live, you eat, you learn.)

Snack - 3 pm:
Baked Lays from earlier, a small apple and a handful of raisins.
Nutritional Facts for the chips: 130 calories, 15 fat calories, 2g fat, 0g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 220mg sodium, 26g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 2g protein

Dinner - 6:30 pm:
2 small Chicken Express tenders, a small dollop of mashed potatoes with gravy and one biscuit.
Nutritional Facts for the meal: 610 calories, 266 fat calories, 30g fat, 10.5g sat. fat, 4.5g trans fat (Yuck!), 60mg chl., 1760mg sodium, 56g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, 27g protein
(For as little as was on my plate and this is the chart for it?...that makes this something you should never consume!)

Dessert - 7 pm:
Swiss Mocha French Vanilla Hot Chocolate (late night treat with the kids!)
Nutritional Facts: 110 calories, 15 fat calories, 2g fat, 2g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 160mg sodium, 24g carbs, 18g sugar, 2g protein
(Try this one sugar-free or low-sugar next time for a healthier choice and add sugar-free whipped cream! Bet you won't taste the difference.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

How Much Should I Have?

This is a question that is answered on many wildly varying spectrums. "How much fat or protein or sugar or fiber or whatever, am I allowed each day?"
Honestly, it depends on your gender, on your weight, on your height, on whether or not you're on a diet and trying to lose weight or not. So many things come into play here.
However, I have pieced together a rough sketch of what your nutritional chart should look like at the end of the day.

Avg. calories a 6 ft. man should consume: 2,500-3,000
Avg. calories a 5' 6" woman should consume: 1,800-2,200
Avg. amount of fat you are allowed: less than 55g
Avg. amount of cholesterol you are allowed: about 200mg
Avg. amount of sodium you are allowed: less than 2500mg (and this is a HIGH number)
Avg. amount of carbohydrates allowed (depending on which ones you are consuming): less than 180g per 1,600 calorie diet.
Avg. amount of fiber you should consume: 20-35g
Avg. amount of sugars you are allowed: less than 48g
Avg. amount of protein you should consume: The easiest formula here is to consume .5g per 1 pound of body weight. I would need to take 57-60g of protein.

Again, all the sites I researched disagreed and had varying opinions and research outcomes so I just averaged all their findings together to give you a better understanding of how this whole thing works and maybe help you see, if you didn't know before, where you might be going wrong in your weight loss goals.

Hope this helps!

Nov. 17th Menu

Sorry guys! I have had a stressful weekend. I lost track of most of what I ate (and it was probably a good thing because I don't think any of it was good for me). But I am back with a vengeance, ready to start this week right and finish it strong!


Morning Jump-start snack- 4:30 am (had a meeting in McKinney this morning at 6 am):
This was just to tide me over until I ate a real breakfast later.
Newton's Strawberry Minis

Nutritional Facts: 130 calories, 25 fat calories, 3g fat, 0.5g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 140mg sodium, 27g carbs, 2g fiber, 15g sugar, 1g protein

Breakfast - 8 am:
Chick-Fil-A Chick-n-minis, 3 pack with hash browns and a bottled water
Nutritional Facts (not including hashbrowns): 270 calories, 100 fat calories, 11g fat, 3.5g sat. fat, 1g trans fat, 50mg chl., 640mg sodium, 28g carbs, 1g fiber, 6g sugar, 14g protein

Morning Snack - 10:30 am:
Handful of South Beach Diet Approved Nut mix

Lunch - 12 pm:
Guilt-Free Buttery-Lemon Shrimp Linguine
Ingredients:
1 box Whole Wheat Linguine
1 lg. package frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
1/2 c. Brummel and Brown yogurt-based spread
2 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Essence of Emeril seasoning, divided

Cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, put them in a large serving bowl and keep warm. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add shrimp and cook until done, draining off liquid as needed. For the last minute of cooking add 1 tsp. of the seasoning. Combine yogurt spread, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and remaining 1 tsp. seasoning in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour over hot noodles to melt. When melted immediately pour shrimp and sauce over noodles.
Serves 6-8.

Nutritional Facts: 271 calories, 16 fat calories, 2g fat, 0g sat. fat, 111mg chl., 245mg sodium, 43g carbs, 5g fiber, 3.5g sugar, 20g protein.

Dessert - 12:30 pm:
Kashi Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Cookie
Nutritional Facts: 1 cookie = 130 calories, 45 fat calories, 5g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 70mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 8g sugar, 2g protein

Workout:
Cardio - 2 mile run
Ball Bridge - 20 reps
Plie Squat - 20 reps
Chest Press-15 reps
Reverse Flye - 15 reps
Bench Jackknife - 20 reps (How-to: Sit on the edge of a bench, leaning back on your hands, with your feet together and your knees tucked in toward your chest. Keeping your back straight and your chest up slowly straighten your legs out in front of you until your body forms a "V" shape. Hold for 2 counts and then slowly bend your knees in toward your chest, maintaining a flat back and upright chest).

Post Workout Snack - 4 pm:
Power Yogurt
Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1 tsp. flaxseed oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 sliced and diced strawberries
palmful of blueberries
Place all ingredients except fruit in a bowl and mix until protein powder is thoroughly blended in.
1 serving
Nutritional Facts: 240 calories, 8g fat, 2g sat. fat, 7mg chl., 86mg sodium, 19g carbs, 2g Fiber, 11g sugar, 27g protein

Dinner - 5:30 pm:
Schwan's Chicken Alfredo Rigatoni Meal kit (normally, I don't do Alfredo -because it's high in trans fat, which you should avoid at all cost!- but I was in a bind for dinner).
Nutritional Facts for 4 servings (I made this kit feed 6): 270 calories, 120 fat calories, 13g fat, 8g sat. fat, 0.5g trans fat, 60mg chl., 700mg sodium, 21g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g sugar, 17g protein.

Dessert - 6 pm:
3 Dove Sugar-Free Mint Creme Dark Chocolates
Nutritional Facts: 110 calories, 8g fat, 6g sat. fat, 3mg chl., 0mg sodium, 2g fiber, 0g sugar, 1.5g protein

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nov. 13th Menu

Breakfast - 7:30 am:

Coco-Berry Oatmeal (Please refer to Oct. 25th Menu for recipe).

Lunch - 12:30 pm:
Arby's Turkey, Bacon and Ranch Market Fresh Sandwich
(To cut back on major fat and calories on this one make it a wrap and ask them to hold the cheese and ranch. Use your own dijon mustard from home or a spray ranch).

Nutritional Facts (for wrap with no ranch/cheese): 533 calories (you save 300 calories here for subbing), 183 fat calories (you save 160 calories here for subbing), 20g fat (you save 18g of fat here for subbing), 9g sat. fat (you save 1g here if you sub), 95mg chl., 1950mg sodium (yikes! I had no idea. It's 2260mg if you don't sub. Ridiculous!), 41g carbs (you save 34g if you sub), 3g fiber, 3g sugar (you'll save 13g here if you sub), 48g protein.
I had not had one of these sandwiches in ages and bought it on a last minute whim. Despite the changes you can make to it, it still does not make it a healthy enough choice to eat...ever!
I DO NOT recommend this sandwich.

Afternoon Snack - 3:30 pm:
Newton's Mixed Berry Fruit Crisps

Dinner - 8:30 pm:
Beans and Rice my momma made me. I have no idea what was in them but they were GOOOOOD!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November 12th Menu

Breakfast - 7:30 am:

Vanilla Ricotta Cream with Fresh Berries and Pumpkin Granola
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 T. Xylo-sweet
1 tsp. vanilla
fresh strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, etc.
1/4 cup Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola cereal (by Nature's Path)

Combine cheese, sugar and vanilla and blend with a mixer until mixed well. Top with berries and granola. Serves 3
Nutritional Facts: 155 calories, 100 fat calories, 6g fat, 1g sat. fat, 5mg chl., 39mg sodium, 18g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 5g sugar, 5g protein

Lunch - 12:30 pm:
Grilled Pesto Salmon with Baby Greens, sweet potato chips with honey yogurt dip and fresh watermelon.

(For the sweet potato recipe please refer to the Nov. 5th Menu.)


Afternoon Snack - 3:30 pm:
Fiber One Oats and Strawberries with Almonds
Nutritional Facts: 140 calories, 30 fat calories, 3g fat, 0.5g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 90mg sodium, 29g carbs, 9g fiber, 9g sugar, 2g protein

Workout:
Cardio - 2 mile run

Dinner - 6 pm:
Select Harvest Healthy Request Italian Style Wedding Soup
Nutritional Facts: 110 calories, 25 fat calories, 2.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 10mg chl., 480mg sodium, 16g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g sugar, 6g fiber


Dessert:
1 cup No Sugar Added Kozy Shack Rice Pudding

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nov. 11th Menu

Breakfast - 7:30 am:

Bacon, Egg and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich
Wish I had the Nutritional Facts for this one but the site I usually get those from was down. Sorry!


Ingredients:
1 whole wheat english muffin, split and toasted
1 T. Smart Balance Light butter
2 T. Weight Watcher's Mexican-style shredded cheese
1 Omega-3 egg, poached*
2 slices avocado
1 slice Ready Crisp bacon
pinch of salt
dash of pepper

Spread butter on warm toasted muffin. Top one half of the muffin with cheese and melt it in the microwave, about 15 seconds. Top with poached egg, avocado slices and bacon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with other muffin slice. Enjoy!
*To poach an egg, simply bring 1/2 cup water to boil in a small skillet. Crack egg gently into skillet. Cook until the egg turns white splashing the top with the water. Flip and continue splashing with water until desired doneness is reached. 3 minutes total (1.5 minutes on each side) makes a good poached egg consistency.

Lunch - 11:30 am:
Schwan's Chicken Bacon and Ranch Flatbread


Nutrtion Facts: 210 Calories, 70 fat calories, 8g fat, 4g sat. fat, 15mg Chl., 500mg sodium, 25g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g sugars, 10g protein

Dessert:
Fat-Free Cottage Cheese with pineapple chunks

Snack 1:00 pm:
Handful of Nut-rition South Beach Diet Recommended nuts.


Nutritional Facts: 170 calories, 130 fat calories, 15g fat, 2g sat. fat, 50mg sodium, 0 mg chl., 2g fiber, 5g protein

Snack - 3:30 pm:
99% Fat-Free Blueberry Muffin

Nutritional Facts: 240 calories, 10 fat calories, 1g fat, 1g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 450mg sodium, 54g carbs, 1g fiber, 29g sugar, 4g protein

Dinner 6 pm:
1 cup Campbell's Selects (I think?) Chicken and Corn Chowder

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vitamins are essential!


I have a wide variety of vitamins I take on a regular basis. By looking at the individual palm full of them I take 1-3 times daily one would think I'm an addict. In reality, I hate pills. BUT, I will sacrifice and choke these down because of how good they are for me and the long-term benefits they provide my body.


B2: It is required by the body to use oxygen and the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. Riboflavin is further needed to activate vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), helps to create niacin and assists the adrenal gland. It may be used for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration, and growth.

It eases watery eye fatigue and may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cataracts. Vitamin B2 is required for the health of the mucus membranes in the digestive tract and helps with the absorption of iron and vitamin B6.

B6: Pyridoxine is required for the balancing of hormonal changes in women as well as assisting the immune system and the growth of new cells. It is also used in the processing and metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, while assisting with controlling your mood as well as your behavior. Pyridoxine might also be of benefit for children with learning difficulties, as well as assisting in the prevention of dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.

It assists in the balancing of sodium and potassium as well promotes red blood cell production. It is further involved in the nucleic acids RNA as well as DNA. It is further linked to cancer immunity and fights the formation of the toxic chemical homocysteine, which is detrimental to the heart muscle.

Women in particular may suffer from pre-menstrual fluid retention, severe period pains, emotional PMS symptoms, premenstrual acne and nausea in early pregnancy. Mood swings, depression as well as loss of sexual drive is sometimes noted when pyridoxine is in short supply and the person is on hormone replacement therapy or on birth control pills.*

Bee Pollen: Please visit www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/bee.htm

There is sooooo much information on this nutrient!! I highly recommend it!

Calcium: Calcium is needed for the formation and maintenance of bones, the development of teeth and healthy gums. It is necessary for blood clotting, stabilizes many body functions and is thought to assist in preventing bowel cancer.

It has a natural calming and tranquilizing effect and is necessary for maintaining a regular heartbeat and the transmission of nerve impulses. It helps with lowering cholesterol, muscular growth, the prevention of muscle cramps and normal blood clotting.

Furthermore it also helps with protein structuring in DNA and RNA. It provides energy, breaks down fats, maintains proper cell membrane permeability, aids in neuromuscular activity and helps to keep the skin healthy. Calcium also stops lead from being absorbed into bone.*

Creatine: Creatine can be manufactured by the body from the amino acid arginine and methionine and is synthesized in the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Unfortunately you would need to eat about 10 pounds of meat to have the same amount of creatine as you would get by taking 20 grams of creatine monohydrate.

It is used extensively for building muscles and increasing lean body mass and is needed as primary energy source for muscle contractions and it exists in two different forms - free, which is chemically unbound, or in a phosphate form.

ATP - this provides the energy by releasing one of its phosphate molecules - thereby converting to ADP. When this happens the creatine comes in handy - giving back a phosphate molecule to the ADP and recreating ATP.

ATP production is reliant on creatine monohydrate being available in the body - if it is available, more synthesis of this compound can occur, which prevents an over demand on the glycolysis pathway, where glucose is metabolized for energy.

Should the glycolysis pathway be used extensively, a greater amount of lactic acid is formed as waste product - which is what causes the burning sensation during exercising.


Should you then use a supplement to help you rely less on the glycolysis pathway, and instead use the ATP / ADP route, you will be able to exercise longer and harder without a lactic acid build-up with less fatigue and a shorter recovery time after the physical exertion.*

Magnesium: Magnesium helps with formation of bone and teeth and assists the absorption of calcium and potassium. Where calcium stimulates the muscles, magnesium is used to relax the muscles. It is further needed for cellular metabolism and the production of energy through its help with enzyme activity It is used for muscle tone of the heart and assists in controlling blood pressure.

Together with vitamin B 12, it may prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones. It helps prevent depression, dizziness, muscle twitching, and pre-menstrual syndrome. It can help prevent the calcification of soft tissue and may help prevent cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and certain forms of cancer, and it may reduce cholesterol levels.

Magnesium assists the parathyroid gland to process vitamin D, and a shortage here can cause absorption problems with calcium.*

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (The GOOD fat!): Clinical studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in treating a variety of health conditions. The evidence is strongest for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease, but the range of possible uses for omega-3 fatty acids include:

High cholesterol: Those who follow a Mediterranean-style diet tend to have higher high density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol levels. Similar to those who follow a Mediterranean diet, Inuit Eskimos, who consume high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, also tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides (fatty material that circulates in the blood). In addition, fish oil supplements containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been reported in several large clinical studies to reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Finally, walnuts (which are rich in alpha linolenic acid or ALA) have been reported to lower total cholesterol and triglycerides in individuals with high cholesterol levels.

High blood pressure: Several clinical studies suggest that diets or supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure significantly in individuals with hypertension. An analysis of 17 clinical studies using fish oil supplements found that supplementation with 3 or more grams of fish oil daily can lead to significant reductions in blood pressure in individuals with untreated hypertension.

Heart disease: One of the best ways to help prevent and treat heart disease is to eat a low-fat diet and to replace foods rich in saturated and trans-fat with those that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids). Clinical evidence suggests that EPA and DHA found in fish oil help reduce risk factors for heart disease including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is also strong evidence that these substances can help prevent and treat atherosclerosis by inhibiting the development of plaque and blood clots, each of which tends to clog arteries. Clinical studies of heart attack survivors have found that daily omega-3 fatty acid supplements dramatically reduce the risk of death, subsequent heart attacks, and stroke. Similarly, people who eat an ALA-rich diet are less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack.

Strong evidence from population-based clinical studies suggests that omega-3 fatty acid intake (primarily from fish) helps protect against stroke caused by plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries that lead to the brain. In fact, eating at least 2 servings of fish per week can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 50%. However, people who eat more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to 3 servings of fish per day) may be at an increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke, a potentially fatal type of stroke in which an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures.

Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes tend to have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), and raise HDL, so people with diabetes may benefit from eating foods or taking supplements that contain DHA and EPA. ALA (from flaxseed, for example) may not have the same benefit as DHA and EPA because some people with diabetes lack the ability to efficiently convert ALA to a form of omega-3 fatty acids that the body can use readily. There have been slight increases reported in fasting blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes while taking fish oil supplements.

Weight loss: Many individuals who are overweight suffer from poor blood sugar control, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Clinical studies suggest that overweight people who follow a weight loss program that includes exercise tend to achieve better control over their blood sugar and cholesterol levels when fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, mackerel, and herring) is a staple in their low-fat diet.

Arthritis: Most clinical studies investigating the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for inflammatory joint conditions have focused almost entirely on rheumatoid arthritis. Several articles reviewing the research in this area conclude that omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduce tenderness in joints, decrease morning stiffness, and allow for a reduction in the amount of medication needed for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition, laboratory studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids (and low in the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids) may benefit people with other inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis. In fact, several test tube studies of cartilage-containing cells have found that omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of enzymes that destroy cartilage. Similarly, New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids, has been reported to reduce joint stiffness and pain, increase grip strength, and enhance walking pace in a small group of people with osteoarthritis. In some participants, symptoms worsened before they improved.

An analysis was conducted of 17 randomized, controlled clinical trials assessing the pain relieving effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or joint pain caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) and painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). The results suggest that omega-3 fatty acids are effective treatment, along with conventional therapies such as anti-inflammatory drugs, for joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and dysmenorrhea.

Osteoporosis: Clinical studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA help increase levels of calcium in the body, deposit calcium in the bones, and improve bone strength. In addition, studies also suggest that people who are deficient in certain essential fatty acids (particularly EPA and gamma-linolenic acid [GLA], an omega-6 fatty acid) are more likely to suffer from bone loss than those with normal levels of these fatty acids. In a study of women over 65 with osteoporosis, those given EPA and GLA supplements experienced significantly less bone loss over 3 years than those who were given a placebo. Many of these women also experienced an increase in bone density.

Depression: People who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids or do not maintain a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in their diet may be at an increased risk for depression. The omega-3 fatty acids are important components of nerve cell membranes. They help nerve cells communicate with each other, which is an essential step in maintaining good mental health. In particular, DHA is involved in a variety of nerve cell processes.

Levels of omega-3 fatty acids were found to be measurably low and the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids were particularly high in a clinical study of patients hospitalized for depression. In a clinical study of individuals with depression, those who ate a healthy diet consisting of fatty fish 2 - 3 times per week for 5 years experienced a significant reduction in feelings of depression and hostility.

Bipolar disorder: In a clinical study of 30 people with bipolar disorder, those who were treated with EPA and DHA (in combination with their usual mood stabilizing medications) for 4 months experienced fewer mood swings and recurrence of either depression or mania than those who received placebo. Another 4-month long clinical study treating individuals with bipolar depression and rapid cycling bipolar disorder did not find evidence of efficacy for the use of in EPA in these patients.

Schizophrenia: Preliminary clinical evidence suggests that people with schizophrenia experience an improvement in symptoms when given omega-3 fatty acids. However, a recent well-designed study concluded that EPA supplements are no better than placebo in improving symptoms of this condition. The conflicting results suggest that more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn about the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids for schizophrenia. Similar to diabetes, individuals with schizophrenia may not be able to convert ALA to EPA or DHA efficiently.

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have low levels of certain essential fatty acids (including EPA and DHA) in their bodies. In a clinical study of nearly 100 boys, those with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids demonstrated more learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) than boys with normal omega-3 fatty acid levels. In animal studies, low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower the concentration of certain brain chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) related to attention and motivation. Clinical studies that examine the ability of omega-3 supplements to improve symptoms of ADHD are still needed. At this point in time, eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids is a reasonable approach for someone with ADHD. A clinical study used omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplementation in 117 children with ADHD. They study found significant improvements in reading, spelling, and behavior in the children over the 3 months of therapy. Another clinical study found that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation helped to decrease physical aggression in school children with ADHD. More studies, including comparisons with drug therapies (such as stimulants), should be performed.

Eating disorders: Clinical studies suggest that men and women with anorexia nervosa have lower than optimal levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (including ALA and GLA). To prevent the complications associated with essential fatty acid deficiencies, some experts recommend that treatment programs for anorexia nervosa include PUFA-rich foods such as fish and organ meats (which include omega-6 fatty acids).

Burns: Essential fatty acids have been used to reduce inflammation and promote wound healing in burn victims. Animal research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids help promote a healthy balance of proteins in the body -- protein balance is important for recovery after sustaining a burn. Further research is necessary to determine whether omega-3s benefit people in the same way.

Skin disorders: In one clinical study, 13 people with a particular sensitivity to the sun known as photo dermatitis showed significantly less sensitivity to UV rays after taking fish oil supplements. Still, research indicates that topical sunscreens are much better at protecting the skin from damaging effects of the sun than omega-3 fatty acids. In another study of 40 people with psoriasis, those who were treated with medications and EPA supplements did better than those treated with the medications alone. In addition, many clinicians believe that flaxseed (which contains omega-3 fatty acids) is helpful for treating acne.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): When added to medication, such as sulfasalazine (a standard medication for IBD), omega-3 fatty acids may reduce symptoms of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis -- the 2 types of IBD. More studies to investigate this preliminary finding are under way. In animals, it appears that ALA works better at decreasing bowel inflammation than EPA and DHA. Plus, fish oil supplements can cause side effects that are similar to symptoms of IBD (such as flatulence, belching, bloating, and diarrhea).

Asthma: Clinical research suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplements (in the form of perilla seed oil, which is rich in ALA) may decrease inflammation and improve lung function in adults with asthma. Omega-6 fatty acids have the opposite effect: they tend to increase inflammation and worsen respiratory function. In a small, well-designed clinical study of 29 children with asthma, those who took fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA for 10 months had improvement in their symptoms compared to children who took a placebo pill.

Macular Degeneration: A questionnaire administered to more than 3,000 people over the age of 49 found that those who consumed more fish in their diet were less likely to have macular degeneration (a serious age-related eye condition that can progress to blindness) than those who consumed less fish. Similarly, a clinical study comparing 350 people with macular degeneration to 500 without the eye disease found that those with a healthy dietary balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and higher intake of fish in their diets were less likely to have this particular eye disorder. Another larger clinical study confirms that EPA and DHA from fish, 4 or more times per week, may reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. Notably, however, this same study suggests that ALA may actually increase the risk of this eye condition.

Menstrual pain: In a clinical study of nearly 200 Danish women, those with the highest dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids had the mildest symptoms, such as hot flashes and increased sweating, during menstruation.

Colon cancer: Consuming significant amounts of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids appears to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. For example, Eskimos, who tend to follow a high-fat diet but eat significant amounts of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have a low rate of colorectal cancer. Animal studies and laboratory studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids prevent worsening of colon cancer while omega-6 fatty acids promote the growth of colon tumors. Daily consumption of EPA and DHA also appeared to slow or even reverse the progression of colon cancer in people with early stages of the disease.

Clinical studies have reported that low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the body are a marker for an increased risk of colon cancer.

However, in an animal study of rats with metastatic colon cancer (in other words, cancer that has spread to other parts of the body such as the liver), omega-3 fatty acids actually promoted the growth of cancer cells in the liver. Until more information is available, it is best for people with advanced stages of colorectal cancer to avoid omega-3 fatty acid supplements and diets rich in this substance.

Breast cancer: Although not all experts agree, women who regularly consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids over many years may be less likely to develop breast cancer. In addition, the risk of dying from breast cancer may be significantly less for those who eat large quantities of omega-3 from fish and brown kelp seaweed (common in Japan). This is particularly true among women who substitute fish for meat. The balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids appears to play an important role in the development and growth of breast cancer. Further research is still needed to understand the effect that omega-3 fatty acids may have on the prevention or treatment of breast cancer. For example, researchers speculate that omega-3 fatty acids in combination with other nutrients (namely, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and coenzyme Q10) may prove to be of particular value for preventing and treating breast cancer.

Prostate cancer: Laboratory and animal studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids (specifically, DHA and EPA) may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. Similarly, population based clinical studies of groups of men suggest that a low-fat diet with the addition of omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil help prevent the development of prostate cancer. Like breast cancer, the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids appears to be particularly important for reducing the risk of this condition. ALA, however, may not offer the same benefits as EPA and DHA. In fact, one recent clinical study evaluating 67 men with prostate cancer found that they had higher levels of ALA compared to men without prostate cancer. More research in this area is needed.

Other: Although further research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may also prove helpful in protecting against certain infections and treating a variety of conditions, including autism, ulcers, migraine headaches, preterm labor, emphysema, psoriasis, glaucoma, Lyme disease, systemic lupus erythmatosus (lupus), irregular heart beats (arrhythmias), multiple sclerosis, and panic attacks. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may also help to reduce stress and the effects it has on the body. (www.umm.edu)

I am an avid supporter of Omega-3. I mean, when you look at the benefits of this essential fatty acid, who wouldn't want to run right out and by a bottle? As always, please research the benefits and warnings of all vitamins and supplements you take and consult with your physician before adding anything new to your daily diet or routine especially if you are currently taking prescribed medications.

*This information was researched on www.anyvitamins.com

Nov. 10th Menu

Breakfast - 7:30 am:

Kashi Autumn Harvest cereal with fat free milk.

Nutritional Facts (cereal only): 190 calories, 10 fat calories, 1g fat, 0 sat. fat, 0mg chl., 0mg sodium, 45g carbs, 6g fiber, 7g sugar, 5g protein

Lunch - 12:30 pm:
Leftover whole wheat linguine with 1 link Bistro Selects Artichoke Garlic Sausage and 1/3 cup Roasted Garlic Alfredo sauce.

Afternoon Snack - 3:30 pm:
15 Wheat Thins Fiber Selects Garden Vegetable Chips

Nutrition Facts: 120 Calories, 35 fat calories, 4g fat, 0.5g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 260mg sodium, 22g carbs, 5g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein

Dinner - 6 pm:
McDonald's Chicken Bacon and Ranch Salad with 1/2 the dressing, no cheese.

We had a game night and snacked the rest of the evening.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nov. 7th Menu

Breakfast - 7 am:

2 reduced fat Cinnamon Rolls
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 roll) 140 calories, 30 fat calories, 3.5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 340mg sodium, 24g carbs, 1g fiber, 9g sugar, 2g protein.

Lunch - 12:30 pm:
Quizno's Small Honey Bourbon on wheat with a bottled water and Baked Lay's.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

November 6th Menu

Breakfast - 7:30 am:

I guess I have had a craving for all things blueberry this week. Just noticed that. Strange.
Eggo Bakeshop Blueberry Mini Muffin Tops with 1/2 the serving of Aunt Jemima Butter Lite syrup

Nutritional Facts: 190 calories, 45 fat calories, 5g fat, 1.5g sat., fat, 15mg chl., 490mg sodium, 47g carbs, 21g sugar, 2g protein

Morning Snack - 11 am:
Leftover sweet potato chips and yogurt dip from yesterday

Lunch - 12 pm:
South Beach Diet Chicken Caesar Wrap kit.

Again, the entire kit is included in the nutritional information listed on the box. But I leave off the caesar dressing they include and use 3-5 sprays of Wishbone Salad Spritzers Caesar Delight.

By doing that I cut about 20 calories and 2g of fat! I also like to add a few baby greens for some added umph and texture!
Nutritional Facts for the kit: 230 calories (-20 if you subbed like I did), 100 fat calories, 11g fat (-2g if you subbed), 4.5g sat. fat, 55mg chl., 820mg sodium, 22g carbs, 14g fiber (nice!), 24g protein.

Workout:
Cardio - 2 mile run

Afternoon Snack - 3:30 pm:
1 cup of fresh watermelon

Dinner - 6:30 pm:
Since it's my actual anniversary I decided to surprise my DH with a homemade meal. I wanted it to still be on the healthy side and I wanted it to include a dessert that wouldn't ruin my efforts with the dinner. This is what I came up with:

I call it-
Artichoke & Garlic Sausage Linguine w/Seared Asparagus and Basil Potatoes
Here's the recipe...
Ingredients for the Linguine:
1 box Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Linguine
4 Bistro Sensations Smoked Mozzarella Artichoke and Garlic Sausage links
1/2 orange bell pepper
1 jar Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
Sides: Fresh asparagus, basil new potatoes
Cook the pasta as directed. Meanwhile, cut up the bell pepper into bite-sized chunks, cut the sausages into 1/4" slices and chop the parsley. Cook the potatoes as you desire and sprinkle with a touch of salt and a dash of pepper. When done add 2 T. Smart Balance Light butter. Drain the pasta and set aside, keeping it warm.
In a large skillet add 1 T. EVOO and turn on med-high heat. Add asparagus. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and a dash of pepper. Cook to desired doneness. Crisp-tender is about 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and keep warm with the pasta.
Add bell pepper to the same skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until crisp-tender as well, about 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook until heated through; about another 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
Rinse skillet and pat dry. Add alfredo to skillet and heat until bubbly, stirring often.
Place pasta on a plate. Top with sausage and pepper mixture, top with a dollop of alfredo sauce. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately with asparagus spears and potatoes and a roll, if desired.
Serves 4


Dessert:
Chocolate Strawberry Divines

4 oz. fat-free cream cheese
2 T. Xylo-sweet
1/2 cup sugar-free whipped cream
8 chocolate wafers
4 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 tsp. Almond extract

Combine cream cheese and sugar in a mixer and mix on high until blended. Add whipped cream and almond extract and mix until stiff peaks form. Top each wafer with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture. Top that with a half of a sliced strawberry.
Serves 4, (2 each)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nov. 5th Menu

Breakfast - 8 am:

Blueberries and Coconut Cream Oatmeal


I created this recipe this morning trying to come up with something different than my other Strawberry Banana Oatmeal. I based it off of a recipe a friend of mine recited to me. I forgot what all she said was in it, so I took the initiative and made up the ingredients! Enjoy!
Ingredients:
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup water
2-4 T International delight Coconut flavored coffee creamer
1 T. honey
handful of blueberries

Place the water in a small saucepan with the creamer and honey. Allow to come to a boil. Stir in oats and blueberries. Reduce heat to low and stir constantly for about 3 minutes or until oatmeal is tender and desired consistency is reached. I like my oatmeal not so sweet so the 2 T. of honey is all I need. If you like a sweeter oatmeal feel free to add a little more honey or a couple tablespoons of Xylo-sweet. Also, for variety add fresh strawberries and bananas after the oatmeal is cooked. Top with shredded coconut for even more texture! Yummy!

***Remember, sugar goes straight to the tummy!***
Use sugar sparingly. I used to be a junk food junkie and you could tell it by the gut I carried around! By cutting back dramatically, and little by little, I am now able to go low-sugar or sugar-free and not notice the difference. You can, too! This sugar intake I warn you of includes soft drinks! Yes, even diet drinks! Stay away from them! They are the devil in disguise.

Lunch - 11 am:
Seared Blackened Chicken with Cilantro, Lime and Avocado Salsa
Sweet Potato Chips w/ Honey Ginger Yogurt Dip
1 cup fresh fruit
8 oz. water


Blackened Chicken recipe
Ingredients:
1.5 tsp. blackened seasoning
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 T. olive oil
1 diced, peeled avocado
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 lime, cut into wedges
Sprinkle seasoning on both sides of chicken. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add chicken; cook 1 minute or until seared. Reduce heat to medium; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Combine avocado, cilantro and lime juice. Top chicken with avocado salsa before serving.
Serves 4.
Nutritional Facts: 283 Calories, 10g fat, 1.8g sat. fat, 99mg chl., 382mg sodium, 6g carbs, 40g protein

Sweet Potato Chips and Dip recipe:
Chips - Ingredients:
1 sweet potato, peeled or not- it's up to you
2 T. Smart balance Light Butter, melted
kosher or sea salt to taste
cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400*. Using a mandolin, cut extremely thin slices of the potato. Lay slices on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Brush the slices with butter. Bake for 5-7 or until crispy.

Dip Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt (1% milk fat)
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger root

Combine all together. Serve with chips.

This meal is soooo very satisfying! The chicken can get a bit spicy so I take a few bites of the fruit to soothe my palette after every couple bites or so. I love how the chips and dip contrast with the sweet and salty. But if you'd rather have sweet chips with sweet dip just sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon on the chips rather than the salt and pepper.
Enjoy!

Workout:
Ball Bridge - 10 reps
Lateral Lunge - 10 reps
Repeat this set 2 more times

Afternoon Snack - 3:30 pm:
99% fat-free Blueberry muffin

Dinner - 6:30 pm:
McDonald's Southwest Chicken Salad. Use only 1/3 to 1/2 of the dressing and pick off the cheese.
Doing these 2 things will cut tons of calories and fat from this otherwise so-so meal choice.

Night!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Menu

Hope everyone voted!


Breakfast - 7:30 am:
Quaker Oh's Cereal with 1/2 fat-free milk

Cereal Nutritional Facts: 110 calories, 2g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 0 chl., 170mg sodium, 23g carbs, 12g sugar, 1g protein

Lunch - 11 am:
I had to work today and therefore did not get lunch because we were so busy! The time slipped by so fast and before I knew it, it was 2:30. But I did eat 2 tortillas with a little tub of Country Crock Spread. But yeah, that's it.

Afternoon Snack - 3:30 pm
Fiber One Chewy granola bar Oats and Strawberries with Almonds
Nutritional Facts: 140 calories, 3g fat, 0.5g sat. fat, 0mg chl., 90mg sodium, 29g carbs, 9g fiber, 9g sugar, 2g protein.
1 package fruit snacks - 100 calories, no fat.

Dinner - 6pm:
South Beach Living Grilled Turkey Bacon Wrap Kit
Nutritional facts: 230 calories, 100 fat calories, 11g fat, 4.5g sat. fat, 55mg chl., 820mg sodium (too much), 22g carbs, 14g fiber, 24g protein (wow!).
Now, the package comes with light mayo. I leave it off and add honey mustard instead. By doing so, it cuts out 40 calories and 4g of fat! Plus, I think it tastes better.

Workout:
Cardio: 2 mile run (still trying to work off this past weekend!)
Hanging knee raises - 20 reps
push-ups - 10 reps
weighted plie squats - 15 reps
Repeat set 2 more times

Monday, November 3, 2008

November 3rd Menu

Breakfast - 7:30 am:

2 Kashi Blueberry Waffles with Smart Balance Light butter and 2T low-sugar strawberry jam.



Lunch - 12 pm:
Leftover Salmon from our trip

Dessert - 12:30 pm:
9 Sugar Free vanilla wafers with 2 T. fat-free strawberry cream cheese.


Workout: Doing extra today to make-up for the Cheater's Weekend!
Cardio - 2 mile run
Reverse Flye - 10 reps
Repeat set 2 more times

Dinner - 5 pm
1 cup of Kashi Strawberry Fields cereal with 1/2 cup of fat free milk.

Cheater's Weekend!


With my birthday being on Oct. 29th and my husband and I's 11th anniversary on Nov. 6th we decided to head off down to Dallas and splurge on some luxury resort pampering and decadent ethnic food! We both love to experience different flavors of the world and this place we visited, the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, was a 5 star hotel with a world-trained chef. He has traveled the world being trained by masters everywhere! We had a 6 course meal plus 2 appetizers and a dessert. It was all included in the price we paid, we didn't order it separately. Everything was soooo divine!! My palette has never loved me more.


Unfortunately, I lost my camera in Dallas and I have very few pictures to share with you. I can't remember all we ate therefore, I won't give a detailed nutritionally factual menu for the 1st or 2nd of November.

And now for your pleasure and enjoyment:

2 tiered tray of h'or'dourves served a good 30 minutes before the actual meal.

Progression of Beau Soleil oysters. We've never eaten oysters before in our lives!! They were so much better than I imagined!


Gently steamed Maine shellfish in a bouillabaisse consomme.

Striped bass with roasted sweet onion broth, onion puree, Texas prawns and a crispy onion ring.

Truffle crusted tenderloin of Texas veal and crispy sweetbread, scented with brown butter and bay laurel.

Japanese Kobe and white tuna surf and turf with kimchi butter.

Salt crusted Elysian Farms lamb, braised collard greens and potato puree.
Mansion Brulee 2.0. Creme Brulee ice cream, Breton, caramel 2 ways, raspberry spheres.
And breakfast the next morning: plain nonfat yogurt, fresh seasonal berries, skim milk, freshly squeezed orange juice and grapefruit juice, toast with butter and jam and my husband enjoyed a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal. I was in heaven!