Month: April 2012

Health Update

It has been a few weeks since I began this new health journey. I am not going to lie and say has been the hardest thing I have ever done. But, this definitively has not been the easiest thing and that is for sure.

When I did this in 2007, I updated my blog daily with what I ate and how many calories it was for everything total. I have decided against that approach this time around. This time I thought I would give updates along the way.

I began this journey on March 15 at none-of-your-business pounds (sorry couldn’t resist) and am down by 17 pounds. It has been a ride to say the least. In 2007, I did it all without any exercise. I am going to try it again this time around.

I wanted to share a few low calorie life savers. These are a few things that help save me when I get those cravings. Let’s take a look at a few.

Life Saver #1: English Muffin w/Strawberries and Honey Drizzle


  • 1 plain English muffin
  • 2 strawberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon of honey for drizzle



Split English muffin and place in toaster. While muffin is toasting, wash and slice two strawberries (one for each half of the muffin). When muffin pops in the toaster, remove and place one sliced strawberry on each half. Drizzle each half of muffin with a little bit of honey and eat while hot.

This is a approximately 150-160 calories depending on the size of your strawberries and drizzle. Trust me, this is an amazing snack and filling. I like to eat it with a nice, strong cup of coffee. If you want a sweeter bite, you can substitute the honey for some of that cream cheese fruit dip. It is 35 calories for a tablespoon, so it isn’t too terrible on the calories.



Life Saver #2: Popcorn

If you find the right kind of microwave popcorn (I like Act II, 94% Fat Free), you can get a full bag of popcorn for under 200 calories. Pair that yummy, salty, buttery snack with an ice cold diet cream soda and you’ve got a great late night snack.

Life Saver #3: Fresh Fruit or Vegetables

Lots of fruits and vegetables come in servings of less than 100 calories; some are virtually calorie-free.

  • Celery (virtually 0 calories)
  • Carrots (you can do 10 baby carrots for 35 calories)
  • Strawberries (less than 100 calories per cup)
  • Raspberries (less than 100 calories per cup)

So, help me stay motivated and accountable. I need it. The hardest thing is changing the way of thinking. In the next post, I plan on sharing some tips on dining out and a few of my restaurant favorites.

What I Learned from Alton Brown

I have been a fan of Alton Brown for a long time. Something about his wit and dry humor that just makes me laugh. I had noticed a transformation in him from “thicker” to “thinner” over the years and always wondered what it was that helped him lose his weight.

This past weekend I was looking on Twitter and saw a post from Alton.

Needless to say, this peaked my curiosity. Could this be the answer to how Alton lost his weight and was able to keep it off. Upon doing a search on YouTube, I found the answer I was looking for. (Here is a link to the full episode.) The entire concept seems to be based upon the idea of switching from an energy rich diet to a nutrient rich diet.

Alton talks about his four lists. When preparing for his journey he found that four lists helped him quite a bit. He lost 50 pounds doing this, so I think it is worth looking into at the least.

List 1: Foods to Eat Daily

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Carrots
  • Green tea
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits

List 2: Foods to Eat Three Times a Week

  • Yogurt
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potato
  • Avocado
  • Oily fish
  • Tofu

List 3: Foods to Eat Once a Week

  • Red meat
  • White starch
  • Desserts
  • Alcohol

List 4: Foods to Never Eat / Foods to Avoid at All Times

  • Soda
  • Processed meals
  • Canned soups
  • “Diet” anything

First impressions on the list? Mine were those of, seems doable but there is a little voice in my head that says, “What about this or that?” At a minimum, I do not think it would hurt to incorporate a few of these ideas into my low calorie diet, which I have lost 14.8 pounds in three weeks, so I am super proud of myself.

He then proceeds to discuss how he does this. His breakfast smoothie looks delicious. The acai juice, soy milk (never really had it but worth a try), frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, frozen peaches, and frozen blueberries (all six ingredients at 4 ounces each) look like they would taste amazing together. I love the idea of putting the blender on the scale and zeroing out the scale before each ingredient is added. I was surprised how long it was blended.

The whole segment on brisling about made me want to throw-up, but I am willing to try anything once. My only hope while watching would be that they taste better than sardines. But, alas, upon further viewing… well, I’ll let you decide.

Snack foods are not left out. Gone are the chocolates and in are almonds. Yum! I must admit the recipe he shared looked AMAZING! I must try them. The hardest part is limiting the serving to one ounce eaten once or twice a day. Discipline is so hard, isn’t it?

What did I learn from Alton Brown? That making healthy choices takes discipline and that you can have delicious foods (jury is still out on the brisling thing) and still reach a healthy weight loss goal.

“Not So” Spiritual Gifts

I came across this verse and it made me think about spiritual gifts.

“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:25, NKJV)

Did you see it? Let’s try it in the NLT…

“Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.” (1 Corinthians 12:25, NLT)


(C) Stockbyte from Getty Images

(C) Stockbyte from Getty Images


Paul shares a list of things God appoints for the church (a.k.a. gifts) and in this list is leadership. Leadership doesn’t seem spiritual does it?

A little later on in 1 Corinthians Paul says, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts…” (1 Corithians 14:1a).

I think just like it is important for someone to pursue after the necessary gifts of miracles and church planting, it is just as important to pursue leadership. We need leaders in our homes, churches, and businesses.

Our Favorite Sins

This is a book review for I was not paid for this review.

Todd Hunter’s book Our Favorite Sins had me from the very beginning. Something I usually do not comment one, but feel I should give kuddos to this time, is the graphic designer for the book cover.  I like the subliminal message of the apple (symbol of temptation from the Garden of Eden) being slowly eaten as you move through the title of the book. Great job designer!

Now, on to the book. The whole time I was reading this book I kept hearing over and over in my head the scripture, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24 NKJV). Not only because Hunter used the scripture in the beginning of the book, but because I felt it was a constant reminder of the sinful nature we have as humans. Hunter did a great job explaining how that beating temptation requires struggle because it always involves sorting out rightly ordered desires for good and godly things from our disordered desires for wrong things (p. 3). See, Hunter breaks out the good stuff even on page 3. A few other favorite quotes from the beginning to help wet your appetites and maybe cause you to be tempted to read are:

  • Not all temptations are sexual.
  • It is sad and bizarre that we indulge our flesh even for a moment, after which we’re sure to feel guilty and ashamed.
  • Sin makes you stupid. (One of my favorites!)
  • Sin always brings struggle. But rather than struggling against the Spirit and our conscience, we need to strive with them, recruiting them as all-purpose foot soldiers in the fight against sin and temptation.
  • Temptation is always produced by desire. Samson desired something so much that he tossed aside his desire to live in obedient partnership with God. Delilah had something he wanted so badly that his desire for her caused his desire for God and God’s purpose to fade into the background. (Ouch! I never want anything to cause God to fade to the background.)
  • Americans don’t know what to do about temptation. Five out of ten don’t know what to do with the extra change given to them by the cashier.
  • Christians struggle with challenges today that are unique to our culture and decade. Eve never coveted Adam’s smartphone. But, temptation was there. Culture changes and so does the species of temptation. Fifty years ago a book on temptation would never mention Facebook or Twitter.
  • Sin from temptation is like a major earthquake under water. We think we can hide it, but it causes a tsunami of destruction.
  • I can be tempted only when a desire I already have within me matches something that comes to my attention.
Wow! Right? I hope this has sparked something that would make you want to consider temptation and the role it plays in our life. Hunter goes on to discuss specific types of temptation for the remainder of the first half of the book and then the second half of the book he begins to deal with practical things that don’t work and do work in relation to overcoming temptation. Check out the Modern and Futile  chapter; it’s an interesting read that will provoke you to prayer.

Our Favorite Sins

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