Friday, 30 April 2010

Susan's Bulgur Bean Salad

This is delicious. Susan gave the recipe to me many years ago, and I went looking for it on Wednesday evening when I had a salad to prepare for a pot luck lunch. I doubled the recipe; used sliced radishes instead of celery; cherry tomatoes halved, and added 8 oz snow peas, trimmed and blanched for two minutes before adding. Oh, and I used cider vinegar instead of wine. It was delicious! I was so happy that there was enough left over for my lunch and supper today. Alas, it is all gone now and I need to buy more bulgur--a whole grain, medium glycemic index food featured in middle eastern cooking, which I love. Anyway, enough of my chattering--here is the recipe:

Bulgur/Bean Salad

1 Cup bulgur
1 Cup water

Soak bulgur in water for one hour or more.

Mix together:

1 cup garbanzo beans (chick peas) (1/2 large can)
¾ cup kidney beans (1/2 small can)
1 cup celery finely chopped (approx 2 large stalks)
1 cup sweet peppers finely chopped
½ cup onion finely chopped
1 or 2 tomatoes chopped (or cherry tomatoes, halved).


¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoon Splenda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon dried parsley or ¼ cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons “good” oil

Mix it all together with the soaked bulgur and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Susan Stewart

Monday, 26 April 2010

Fat Addiction

By Belinda

For breakfast on Sunday, I had a serving of the creamy hot rice cereal I love, with milk and a little maple syrup.

As I got ready to leave for church I thought of the fact that I wouldn't be home until around 1.30, and I noticed a couple of cookies in a plastic bag in our snack cupboard. I had two bags of these cookies, two in each bag, home made and delicious, I was saving them for a treat. I almost popped one of the bags into my purse, for a snack on the way home from church, but something stopped me.

Somehow I knew that they are my poison--that thing of which one is one too many, and a thousand is not enough; that crisp buttery thing. I knew that eating just two of them would trigger something in me that I didn't want, so I put them back, and later on I put both bags on the table in the hallway, to give to my granddaughters for a snack for school.

I really think that I have a fat addiction and I decided to consider donuts, pastries and the like, things that will rarely cross my lips day to day, because eating them is like drinking beer is to an alcoholic. I thought, "Others may; I cannot."

So I'm sticking to cookies (when I eat them) and other foods, that are high fibre and low gi.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Week 3 155.4

By Belinda

I think that last week's Sunday weight must have been a scale error! It does happen sometimes. Anyway, since I started the process of making a permanent lifestyle change two weeks ago, I have lost just under 3 pounds. Oh, I wish it was 6 by now, but I have been eating differently and exercising more.

Yesterday Molson and I walked up to the top of a steep hill--a 5 km walk. We did 3 walks last week and I'm aiming to up that this week. I also got out our 5 pound weights and did an arm workout yesterday.

If it wasn't for the fact that I'm writing here, I would probably throw in the towel at this point because it is discouraging to be losing so slowly, but I am committed.

This morning I read about an Olympic gold medallist, Zatopec (1952), who said that he had trained for 14 years for the games. Dr. Richard L. Ganz writes, in his book, The Secret of Self Control: No matter how much it hurt, he had determined to keep at it until  he achieved his goal. His gold medals were merely the result of countless steps. "Countless steps;" those words resonate.  Each choice is a step in one direction or the other.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Breakfast at Cora's

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Cora's is a national treasure; the opposite of a "greasy spoon." It is a place where you can meet a friend for breakfast and munch on delicious and healthy food while sipping on black coffee and green tea respectively, which is exactly what I did on Friday morning before starting work.

Irene had already said that meeting there would fit in with her new eating regimen, so I had a heads up that something was afoot, but I had no idea that I was about to get a huge inspiration boost.

Some time in mid January she decided to get healthy and lose some unwanted pounds. So far she's down 33 pounds and is looking terrific. By the way, Irene did give me permission to share these details.

I quote, "You can say what you want, we all need to encourage each other, kind of like a "Fat Busters Fraternity." Maybe I should change the name of Stopping the Slide to The FBF! I thought of that this afternoon when someone sent me a Dilbert cartoon where Dilbert says:"We've been doing great since we redefined success as a slowing of failure!" I think "Stopping the Slide" was what I wanted to do when I started this journey, and this blog helped me do that, but I'm a bit more into actual success at this point! :)

Irene is sticking to roughly 1000 calories a day; not rigidly, but by being aware of how much she's eating and aiming for that amount.

We talked about our favourite healthy food discoveries and Irene had some great ones:
  • Fresh tilapia (a fish) from Loblaws, coated in a small amount of breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese and quick fried.
  • Salmon from Costco, topped with Cross and Blackwell Mango Chutney (Loblaws or No Frills sell it)and a little bit of goats cheese, baked in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes then turn off the oven and leave it for five minutes. Yum!
  • Irene gave up coffee for water or green tea with Stevia sweetener.
  • Catalina dressing (the lowest cal. dressing) with lots of salads
Irene has upped her exercise, taking her dog Moses out in the morning, riding a recumbant exercise bike and she also bought the Lesley Sansone Anniversary set of 3 DVDs on Amazon.

Another Irene tip: "I also recommend Kosher pickles as a snack (zero calories)."

Way to go Irene!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Step Back!

Hey Everyone,
I was indeed, 154 on Sunday, but then was 154.6 on Monday and Tuesday mornings and this morning was 155.4. I didn't want to mislead any one. :)

Yesterday I went for a 3.5 km walk. That's two walks so far this week. And I am being faithful in eating carefully within a reasonable range of 22 WW points (probably 25-30.)

Just checking in to let you know how it is going. I really am trying to work out a way of being that will be permanent. I've lost weight before, but always crept back up. I'm not obese, but I'm not at my best. I want to be at my best and live that way day to day. This involves a change in eating that is forever and building in regular exercise always.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Yo!!!!! Fat Free and No Sugar Added.

Okay, I made it up the stairs.  I'm 8 pounds down on the beginning of the 11th day.  I'm happy.  I have a lo-o-o-o-ong way to go, but I'm not focusing on the destination.  I don't have a goal other than to "nourish my body as best I can today".  The scales will take care of themselves.  (I hope.) Maybe when I'm alot further along on the journiey I'll think about setting some more concrete and long term goals, but I'm not going there for now.

Anyway, 8 pounds is great, but I have even greater news!!!!

Yoplait 0% "Source" yogurt - the "Exotic" collection.  It comes in a carton with a bright aqua-marine lid and a slightly different look than your regular plastic round yogurt containers.  My favourite flavour is "Pineapple-Coconut-Banana" - oh, my mouth is watering right now thinking about it.  It is absolutely creamy-delicious.  A total comfort food in my books.

The best part?  It's only 35 calories per 100gm which means you can eat one half of the entire carton and still have consumed only 105 calories!!! It's made with fortified skim milk and is sweetened with "sucralose" not aspartame - more good news. 

Flavours:  Pineaple-coconut-banana;  Peach-passion fruit; Mango-pineapple; and Melon Trio.

Get to the grocery store as fast as you can.  And then - enjoy!  Guilt-free!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Thank You Week 2 154

By Belinda

Dear friends,
Just being accountable here is helping; thank you! This is Sunday; one week from the Fresh Start, and to my surprise I weighed in at 154 lb. That's just a smidge over 4lb less than last Sunday. And for the first time, I have broken a pattern. It's been a while since I was that low on a Sunday.

I exercised twice last week; two walks with Molson. This week I commit to adding at least one more walk.

Using Weight Watchers tools, this week I relearned appropriate portion sizes.

My friend Susan gave me a turnip on Thursday, with an amazing tool to peel it with, made by Pampered Chef. I discovered that I love turnip--and it is a vegetable you can eat as much of as you like with impunity. I bought more on Saturday.

And  click on the link below to view the photo album of my boss's, 30th anniversary celebration on Thursday, when I resisted the fish and chips on the menu and had Greek Salad.

From 2010-04-16
It was a great first week and I go forth with hope in week 2.

Friday, 16 April 2010

By Belinda

156.8, after cell group and a celebration lunch yesterday. And this is where the weekend begins and I typically end up on Monday at the high end of my weight teeter totter.

I resisted fish and chips and had a Greek salad with chicken breast for yesterday's lunch, and last night I cooked the turnip Susan brought  me as a gift and loved it! I didn't grow up eating turnip but I will be eating it from now on. Turns out that turnip is a very good choice--NO points--just the butter I mashed into it.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

By Belinda

155.2 this morning. Just keeping track! Today is a lunch out and cell group dinner tonight. I will do my best to not give in to momentary pleasure that will sabotage my long term goal. Stay tuned on how that goes.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Lunch Out

By Susan

I really like going out for lunch.  I REALLY like going out for lunch.  So four days into my new low-carb life, I walked into my favourite greasy-greasy-greasy greasy spoon.  They smile when they see me coming.  They wonder whether I'll have the fat-dripping fish'n'chips or the crispy chicken sandwich (with fries of course) or perhaps a big juicy burger.  Not today.

I walked up to the counter with a bit more energy than I usually have.  "I'm going to be getting a lot thinner, really, really quickly.  And you're gonna help me."

I thought the girl behind the counter (the skinny, skinny Greek girl  behind the counter) was going to jump over her cash register and accost me!  Her eyes lit up like Christmas trees and when I said, "I'd like a nice piece of halibut, but instead of dipping it in batter and frying it, could you just grill it without the batter?"  I heard her mother behind the counter, who does all the cooking, say, "How'm I gonna do that?" while her daughter asked me excitedly, "And a big salad?" 

"Yeah, a big salad."

"I know, I know just the thing," and she hijacked the conversation then and there, transposing it instantly into a monologue.  "I'll put balsamic vinegar on it - ooo it's sooo goooood - tastes like candy - I swear - balsamic vinegar - I've got my own private stash - I'll give you some o' that - I get it at Costco - $20 a bottle - you're gonna love - tastes soooo goooood - we'll take care of you - Mom, put a halibut on for this lady but don't fry it - sprinkle some lemon juice and oregano on it, wrap it in foil and just let it steam on the grill - ooh, that's gonna be so good - I lost 15 pounds that way - no kidding - I lost 15 pounds in three weeks - THREE weeks - I just had a chicken breast everyday like that - next time you come in have a chicken breast, it's a lot cheaper and it's good too - with a big garden salad and my balsamic vinegar and I lost 15 pounds just like that.  Three weeks!  Do you want it here or to go?"

Finally, a break in her enthusiasm, giving me a chance to speak.  But before I could get a word in edgewise she started in again.  "What do you want to drink?  You should have water.  Diet coke?  You can have all the diet coke you want - it's almost as good as water."  She was fairly rubbing her hands together with glee.  I loved it.

It's funny how you think everyone is going to judge you as soon as you "admit" that you need help.  At least I did.  Hah! As though people can't see it all over me!  But if I told someone I was on a diet or I was trying to eat better, I thought I would be drawing attention to myself and inviting judgmental thoughts from people if not outright comments. 

It was so much fun having that Greek girl in the restaurant prove me wrong.  She made me the biggest most beautiful garden salad you've ever seen, drenched in the most delectable balsamic vinegar and then she hovered over me while I started to eat.  She was as nervous as a rabbit and shifting her weight (what little weight she had!) from one foot to another.  She showered me with more un-asked-for tips, and you'd have thought I had told her I'd won a million bucks and was giving her half, for the smile that was on her face.

She told me she weight 115 pouds.  "I was up to 130," she said, as though I would think that a tub of lard.  I wasn't going to tell her I would need to lose as much as she weighs now if I were to reach my "ideal" (textbook) weight.

I smiled too. I didn't expect ANY encouragement from The Grease Pit (I call it.) and here I was as drenched in it as my garden salad was in that balsamic vinegar. Do you think I'll go back there to eat lunch?

You bet I will!  Just for the halibut!  (or the chicken)


By Belinda

This morning I weighed 154.6, which although it is happily on the downward trend, is still not breaking the 153 pound barrier. I guess that is my first small goal: Getting to 152 and maintaining that for a week would define success in this Fresh Start. That, and getting out into the fresh air with Molson at least twice more this week for our 3.5 km circuit of the village.

Yesterday I was over my points allowance by 12, so I have used 23 of my weekly 35 flex points in the first 3 days! But counting is victory, and I won't be rigid about it. It is a tool and it is helping.

I'm reading an old book: The Secret of Self Control, by Dr. Richard L. Ganz. In the bit I read this morning, he gave a helpful, Japanese sounding acronym to use: GISI DICI, which means:
  • Gradual Improvement
  • Steady Improvement
  • Daily Improvement
  • Constant Improvement
He also talked about his daughter having taken a defensive driving course in which she learned not to focus on the skid when she lost control of her car, but to focus on where she wanted to take the car. Good thoughts!

This morning I was praying for myself and some other friends with food issues. To my surprise I found the list growing as I prayed. The contributers to this blog were on it, along with some friends, as well as three young women who battle anorexia --11 of us all together. This is such an area of struggle and defeat for many women. This blog is a support network for me, and I will give back in any way I can, in writing and prayer.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

By Belinda

This morning I weighed 155.4. I was glad to be down three pounds but I have had a 5 pound yo yo thing going for so long that until I get below 153 pounds I won't count it as real progress!

Today I went over my 22 points allowance by 12 points because of an unplanned lunch at Tim Hortons with my boss. At least I was able to count the points when I got home.

No exercise today. This doesn't sound good but at least I counted points. That does slow my eating down and help me to make better choices!

Monday, 12 April 2010

By Belinda

A quick update on how it's going. I decided yesterday to pull out my Weight Watchers books and point counter and use these as a tool to help bring me retrain my eyes and appetite to the much smaller amount that is actually needed to eat healthily. The daily points allowance in my weight range is 22, with 35 additional points to "splurge" with once a week or a few each day. I can tell I'm going to be "a few each day" woman--and I bet I have a big splurge somewhere in the week, too!

Yesterday I managed on 23.5, but today I've eaten 30. That's partly because half way into the afternoon I had eaten all the food I'd taken to work, so I ate 4 rice cakes that were in my emergency rations stashed away in a dusty corner. I don't much care what I eat as long as I have something to munch on, and I suppose that 4 rice cakes didn't break the bank.

Yesterday I went for a 3.5 km walk with Molson, my faithful friend and walking buddy. This is his "I'm happy and you can do it," face.
On the home stretch and proudly carrying his leash in his mouth all the way home.

Ready for a nice drink of water and a happy snooze. Me too.

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I weighed in at one pound less than yesterday morning, but I came home from work too late to go for a walk tonight. It was wonderful to find some friends have joined my cheering section and perhaps the journey too. It was a good start!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Fresh Start 158.2

By Belinda

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I've been avoiding Stopping the Slide for a long time.

Mainly I've avoided writing here because I have been stuck fighting the same 15 or so pounds of overweight without success. This, I feared would bore you, and definitely embarrass me.

However being quiet hasn't helped, and processing by writing helps me so I am back doing battle in public.

This morning I was 158.2 1b. My ideal weight is 142 1b. My body is also in need of toning up.

I am a sporadic dog walker and so I am not a hopeless couch potato, but I need to have a routine that incorporates exercise faithfully

This June I turn 60 and I guess I`m thinking about what kind of body I want to take into the next decade. I want it to be toned and trim.

So, join me in the journey if you will! Perhaps we can encourage one another.