Tag Archives: low calorie diet

Eat Your Goal

Losing weight can be a mathematical headache. How many calories do I cut to equal one pound of weight loss? How many pounds per week before swimsuit season? If a train leaves the station at 10am and you race it…. The Weight Loss Bible walks you through pages of caloric math and then offers a simple alternative: eat your goal.

eat your goalThe concept is simple: if your goal weight is 140 pounds, then eat what a 140 pound woman eats. I love this idea! After all, the goal here is not only to lose the pounds, but to change your lifestyle; not only to reach your goal weight, but to maintain that weight for decades. So don’t play diet games. Eat like a thinner, healthier person and you will become one.

Look around you and take notice of the healthy people in your social sphere. Do the healthy people exercise? Then so should you. Do they eat vegetables? So should you. Do they drink water? Limit junk food? Sleep 7-8 hours per night? It’s so simple! Just move and eat and drink and sleep the way a person at your goal weight moves and eats and drinks and sleeps!

(A quick word of caution here: slim does not always mean healthy. Before you emulate a person’s lifestyle, observe them closely and critically. She may be thin, but does she eat? I’m talking healthy meals, not diet shakes. Is she overly obsessed with food or exercise? It’s possible for a perfect body to become the central priority of one’s life, but that’s not actually healthy.)

Eating your goal is simple, but I never said easy.

Brian Wansink, a professor of consumer behavior and nutritional science says that we make an average of 200 food related choices each day, many of them subconsciously. Even if we’ve got it half right when we start our health improvement journey, that’s 100 choices to be made differently each day, and that’s potentially overwhelming.

So keep it simple in your mind. Picture yourself at your goal weight or your goal level of health. Act like that version of yourself starting today. Eat your goal. Drink your goal. Move your goal. If you focus on your goal, your subconscious will adapt and those 200 daily decisions will be made for your benefit.

If you need a cheerleader, wave your arms around a bit and chant along with me:

I choose to be

A healthy me!

I’m eating wise,

I exercise.

It’s my new role:

To eat my goal!


“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” 2 Corinthians 5:9


New Recipe: Monterey Beans and Cheese

We’ll talk about why beans are a cancer-fighter next week. This week I wanted you all to have a chance to taste how delicious beans can be. If you want a healthier version, you can omit the bacon and cheese; I keep them in because a little of each adds a lot of flavor. And I love cheese. This is easy and fast. If you want to play with the types of veggies you throw in, go for it! I’ve added zucchini, spinach..it’s all good.

This recipe came from the More-With-Less Cookbook by Doris Longacre.

2014 Nov 037Ingredients:

2 slices of bacon

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pepper, any color, chopped

2 cups cooked beans – kidney, black, etc., rinsed and drained (Canned beans are cooked and work great.)

2 ripe tomatoes, diced OR 1 can chopped tomatoes OR 3/4 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup beef bouillon (I don’t often have this on hand; I usually just sprinkle a packet of chicken bouillon. The tomatoes add enough water for my taste.)

1 tsp chili powder (I usually use 1/2 tsp)

1/2 tsp salt

dash pepper

1/2  cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. Fry the bacon, remove from pan, break into pieces.

2. Saute onion and pepper in the bacon fat until tender.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, lower the heat a bit, then simmer and stir occasionally until it looks blended (about 5 minutes). Serve over rice.


New Recipe! Fried Cabbage

2014 Feb 070My brother gave me this recipe months ago, but I’m just sharing it now for two reasons.

1. I kept forgetting to buy cabbage.  I’ve never known what to do with it, so I was in the habit of passing it by in the store.  Poor cabbage.

2. After I started making this, I kept forgetting to take a picture of it until it was too late.  It was always long gone before the camera came out.

Do my kids like it?  I’m not sure.  I’ve never shared it with them.  Call me selfish, but that’s the truth.  I offered once, but they said “Ew, what’s that?” and I said, “Cabbage.  You’re right, it’s gross.  Here, let me eat yours.”

I’m sure there are many variations that can be created with the cabbage/bacon base, so let me know if you stumble upon a wonderful new combination.  When your vegetables taste like bacon, you really can’t go wrong!


Fried Cabbage

(Careful: wait until the pan is cool before you lick it clean.)


2 slices bacon or turkey bacon

2014 Feb 0675 cups shredded/sliced cabbage

1 cup onion, canned corn, or both

salt and pepper to taste

1. Fry the bacon.  Remove and cut into little pieces.

2. Add the veggies, cover, lower the heat, and cook 20-30 minutes or until the cabbage is soft.

3.  Add salt, pepper, and bacon.

What kind of water is best for weight loss?

drink-waterThe wet kind!

Most things you consume in a liquid state will keep you hydrated; some just have extra benefits or extra pitfalls that come with them. For example, juice has all of the vitamins and sugar found in fruit, but none of the fiber and mandatory chewing that slows down calorie consumption.

So here’s a quick 4 question quiz to see if you know how to keep your body hydrated and on the track to good health! I’ve included a few hints to help you along the way.


1. What percent of your body is water?
a. 30% like a gila monster after a day in the desert sun.
b. 60% One man actually lost 25 pounds of water weight in 48 hours to “prove” that scales are useless. That’s approaching gila monster humidity and he was promptly rushed off to get an IV drip.
c. 90% like a jellyfish.

water glasses2. How many ounces (total) of water should you drink each day?
a. 8 ounces – your blindingly bright yellow or orange colored pee should tell you that this is not the correct answer. Bad blog reader, bad! Most water bottles aren’t even that small.
b. 8 8 ounce glasses – correct, but don’t be lazy, do the math.
c. 64 ounces. Correct! (8oz x 8 glasses = 64) That’s 8 cups of water, or 4 pints, or 2 quarts or one half gallon, or three hours sipping at a water fountain. (I’m glad fountains exist, but when you’re thirsty, they’re maddeningly slow to drink from. Some sort of wall hose would be preferable.)

coffee3. Which of the following beverages count towards your 64 ounces?
a. Coffee and tea. It’s water with natural brown food coloring. Don’t believe me? Check out this myth-busting research.
b. Juice and lemonade. It’s still mostly water, just watch the sugar intake. Sip and savor, but save the chugging for water.
c. Soda. Nope, not even close. It’s liquid, but your body has to use all the water it contains to flush out all of the chemicals it also contains, so you end up not hydrated.

4. Which of the following are benefits of drinking enough water?
a. Flushing out toxins. This is obviously good, right? No commentary needed? Why am I still typing?
b. Energized muscles. Not feeling up for a little exercise? Drink some water; dehydration causes muscle fatigue.
c. Hydrated skin that looks good. Eat your heart out, Maybelline! Moisturizers create a barrier that helps keep moisture in your skin, but if the moisture isn’t coming from the inside out, that barrier is ineffective.

Two footnotes:
drop1. If you need an answer key, leave a comment and I’ll contact you; I have some magic beans I’d like to sell you.
2. Gila monsters have more like 70% water in their bodies, not 30%, but they LOOK so darn dry! And in the dry months they survive by not urinating for months. Gross, but so very cool too. The point is, you are not a gila monster. Raise your glass and drink up! A toast to your health!

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14


Images are from:






Be A Better Loser

I’m a pretty good loser, but with help, I’m a great loser.  Help can be an app, a website, a book, an accountability partner, a support group, or a lock on the fridge.  For me, it was Loseit.com.

2013 Summer 605When I first started losing weight, I didn’t want help.  Don’t give me a list of rules.  Don’t tell me any foods are off limits.  Call it stubbornness, call it arrogance, call it refusal to let go of a baking addiction…the point is, I wanted to do it on my own terms.  Also, on my bad days, I did NOT want to have to tell someone how bad I was.  My shame is my own, thank you very much!  But after four months of losing weight and two months of plateau-ing, (P.L.A.T.E.A.U. stands for Please Let my Attempts Take Effect…ARGH!! U’ve got to be kidding me!  Really body?  All this effort and the scale doesn’t budge?) I was ready for help.

P1010980Loseit.com is a free, easy, online calorie diary of sorts.  You know it’s quick and easy if a stay at home mom with four computer-crazy little kids can use it.  When I sit down at the computer, I have about 70 seconds before the boys swarm all over me, asking for a turn.  One of them will actually climb up the back of my chair and onto my shoulders.

Anyways, you create an account, telling them how much you weigh now, your weight goal, and if you want to lose 1, 1.5, or 2 pounds a week.  I love the realism here; notice that you may not choose to lose 20 pounds per week.  They calculate how many calories you should eat each day to reach your goal.  You type in a food and it tells you how many calories that food has and adds it all up for you.  So easy!  No math skills needed!

P1010979You can also create custom foods (such as a favorite homemade soup recipe or how you take your coffee) and name them.  Whole meals can be repeated with one click; useful if you eat the same thing for breakfast five days a week (like coffee, juice, and oatmeal), and previous meals are automatically saved and available to add; useful if you have leftovers for lunch the next day or you cook similar dinners every week.

You can also enter any exercise you do which ADDS calories to your daily allotment.  They even include housework and gardening.  If there’s chocolate in the house, my home gets a good cleaning!

Loseit even has a community feature where your friends and family can join as friends and see one another’s progress and leave comments.  It’s a great way to stay encouraged and be held accountable….as much as you want to be!

P1010981By the way, I am not being paid to talk about Loseit.  I wish I were.  If anyone would like to pay me, I would enjoy that.

So, how does this help?

Imagine that you’ve lost fifteen pounds and need a new outfit to go out with your girlfriends.  You have $80 to spend on clothes and your favorite brand of jeans is on sale for $40. At the store you find a fabulous shirt that you love, but it costs $60.  If you buy the shirt, you can’t buy the jeans.  So, you have to choose: marvelous shirt and mediocre jeans OR spectacular jeans and second rate shirt.  No, put those credit cards back in your pocket!  In this metaphor, debt turns into love handles!

That’s what Loseit does for me; it helps me budget.  I want to eat marvelous everything, all day, all the time.  But that’s how I gained my weight in the first place.  So, a budget example: After entering my breakfast, lunch, dinner, and exercise, I have a whopping 150 calories left for snack time.  I want to have a brownie and a cappuccino, but I can’t do that and stay within my calorie budget, so I have to choose: a brownie and tea OR carrots and cappuccino.

Not so bad, is it?1

Loseit has shown me where my calorie bombs were hiding; those foods that seemed innocent, but in reality have a lot higher count than I imagined.  Muffins, for example, and spaghetti.  The first time I entered my breakfast of muffins into Loseit, I cringed: the muffins used up almost half of my allotment that day!  Score one for the learning curve.  And over time I’ve learned which foods I can fill my plate with and still have room for treats.  (Vegetables!  Not surprised?  What, have you been reading my blog or something?)

Loseit is not the only website out there, but it’s the one I know.  The point is, at some point most of us will need some help, be it encouragement, accountability, or a dose of reality.  So, when you’re ready, don’t be afraid to get help!

“Note this: Wicked men trust themselves alone…and fail; but the righteous man trusts in me, and lives!” Habakkuk 2:4

Halloween Battle Plan

2013 october 013Do you have your battle plan draw up yet?  Halloween is almost upon us, and even if you don’t participate in the festivities, chances are good that your home will be awash in high fructose corn syrup and yellow dye #5.  If you prepare your mind ahead of time, you can avoid that fistful of wrappers “ARGH! What have I done?!” moment.

Here are a few tactics you can try:

1. Buy candy only at the last minute.  Who are you kidding?  How many times have you purchased your Halloween candy at the end of September and had any left on the 31st?  You end up buying a replacement bag on the 29th  anyway, so skip the 15,000 calorie bag of temptation until you absolutely can’t avoid it.  (40oz bag of assorted non-chocolate candy = approximately 15,000 calories = approximately 4.3 pounds of weight gain.  How much in chocolate candy?  I was too afraid to look!)  The stores will not run out of candy.  They will run out of bread and milk before they run out of candy.  They may even have it on sale.

2. Donate extra candy to charity.  Samaritan’s Purse runs Operation Christmas Child where volunteers pack shoe boxes with toys, hygiene items, clothes, and/or school supplies and give them away to poor children around the world, many of whom have never received a Christmas gift before.  The collection week for this enterprise is, conveniently, the second week of November – ie, AFTER Halloween.  If you don’t want your family to eat that entire bucket full of sweets, take the extra goodies to one of the drop off locations.  They’ll be happy to portion the candy into little baggies to add to the shoeboxes.  (They do not accept chocolate; it tends to melt on the way to the Equator.)

P10106823. Hide under the bed.  Or in a closet.  For the month of October.  Maybe December too.

4. Fill a bowl.  Every time you run errands, fill one pocket with candy.  Many offices have a bowl of candy on the front desk, but instead of taking a piece, leave a handful.  Secret Agent 00Sweet!

5. Give a handful to the child of the unfriendly mom who made a snide comment about your bathrobe at the bus stop.  Then repent, forgive, and…oh, come on, people, it’s a joke, lighten up!  It would be funny, though….

5. Make yourself a rule.  For example, you can eat a snack sized Twix only after you’ve done ten pushups and thirty sit-ups and jogged up and down the stairs twice.  Whatever balances you out calorie-wise so that your net intake is zero.

6. Human Piñata.  Fill all of your pockets with candy and go to a play date with your children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews.  Be the first ones to leave and as you walk past the children on the way to the door, “spill” the candy.  If you want to make a little show of it, put headphones in your ears and groove to the music; the extra shaking makes it more believable when Starbursts and Milk Duds leap from your jacket pocket.  Just be careful not to leave the room until you’re positive that your pockets are empty; you don’t want any unsupervised children following you home.

P10106897. Candy Filter Giveaway.  We’ve done this a few years in a row; it works great.  Trick or treating is generally 6-8pm, so we go out with our costumed kids and collect candy from 6-7pm.  We let the boys chose a piece of candy to eat and send them out onto the front porch while my husband and I quickly separate the chocolate from the non-chocolate candy.  The non-chocolate, with very few exceptions, goes into the bowl with the tracts to be given out to trick or treaters from 7-8pm.  (Why tracts?  Because if you come to my house and ask me to fill your bucket, I choose to give you something of value.  Candy rots your teeth for a day, but Christ saves for eternity.)  By 8pm the bowl is empty and we only have a little bit of chocolate to contend with using #5.

Prepare yourselves for battle, Dessert Snobs!  The victory is yours!

 “For the Lord takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.
 Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.”

Psalm 149:4-5 NIV

Label Poem

Read your labels every day

Read them first, before you pay.

Park your cart and block the aisle

Scan ingredients for awhile.

Read what’s in it, it will say.

Can’t pronounce them? Stay away.


Read your labels, every food

They can’t lie or they’ll be sued.

Not the front, or you’ll be wooed;

Read the back, the fine print, Dude!

Extra salt can take its toll;

So can Hydroxyanisole.


Cook from scratch as best you’re able,

Then you know what’s on your table.

Start with foods that look like plants

And block out all the “gee, I can’t”s.

Check your labels, every time.

Be sure that food is worth your dime.