Good health, Good Food….and a Contest!!

In contest, Food, health, Uncategorized on May 1, 2012 at 11:04 am

Okay, so most of you know that I love to cook. I don’t know why, I mean, well…cooking is a great creative outlet and a way that I show love to my family and friends, and honestly, I love food. What kind of cooking do I most love to do? Well baking of course!! Oh I enjoy making homemade meatballs, or twice baked potatoes, I’m happy making pizza, and homemade chicken soup, but my favorite thing to do in the kitchen, well any of you who know me will know the answer….bake cookies. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, soft sour cream cookies, or buttery sugar cookies, it doesn’t matter, I love to bake cookies.

But this post isn’t about baking cookies, it’s about being healthy.

So at my check-up last year, my cholesterol had been 295. Yes, I know, you don’t have to tell me, that’s very bad. My old doctor just retired and two months ago I saw my new doctor for the first time. She told me just how bad. Not that I didn’t know, obviously I knew this wasn’t a good number. But Dr. Bruton got deadly serious. She told me I had to give up diet cola and give up carbs….I know, really, how am I supposed to live without diet soda and carbs? Well, more importantly, if I want to live and live a healthy life, I have to do this.

So the day I saw my doctor I gave up diet soda….I’ve had only one since, and I am not going to have another, as hard as it is. One week later I gave up carbs…all but veggies. Three weeks later I had my blood work done, and I was amazed. My cholesterol had dropped to 235. That’s right, 62 points in less than 3 weeks.

But one thing led to another…you know, brunch with friends a Dodger game and before I knew it, I was back to eating naughty things. Although, I’ve managed to steer clear of diet soda.

So today I’m back on track. No cookie baking, lasagna making or twice baked potatoes for me. No In & Out Burgers with fries, no stir fry with white rice. The doctor did say that I can have healthy whole grains, just no refined flours or sugars, white potatoes, white rice.

I can do this, I’ve done it before…it’s sticking to it that’s the hard part.

The doctor has given me three months to get my cholesterol down below 200 or I have to go on medication.


And, she promised me that I will lose weight and be fifty and fabulous if I follow her instructions.

So I’m asking all of my friends, family and readers for help. I’d love to hear your best tips for staying on track. Share your favorite healthy low carb recipes…I know you have them. Tell me what your healthy challenges are. Meet me at the beach for a bike ride or a long walk. Let’s be healthy together.

And, if I don’t bring cookies or cheesy potatoes to the next party or gathering, you’ll know why. I may make eggplant parmesan, or a thick rich chili, maybe a low carb cheesecake and who knows what new healthy recipes I’ll conjure up in the kitchen, but they will be healthy.

You know what, let’s make this a contest. Share your good health suggestions or recipes in the comment section below between May 1, 2012 and May 15, 2012 and I will put your name in a random drawing for two AMC Gold movie tickets. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, May 20th, 2012 and the winner must respond and send me their mailing address by May 31st 2012 or a new winner will be selected. Winner must live in the United States.

So share your best tips, and recipes….I’ll just be sitting here waiting………no really

  1. Clean Eating is an excellent way to lose weight and stay healthy. Clean Magazine just put out its 2nd cookbook – The Best of Clean Eating 2 — and is geared toward families and more budget friendly meals. I know I sound like a commercial but I have the book and have great success with the recipes.

    Clean Eating Magazine also has tons of recipes on line. What’s nice about clean eating is it’s not a diet, per se, it’s a new way of eating by cutting out all the extra crap and eating meals consisting of whole foods and (if you perfect it) no byproducts, preservatives, etc.

    • Thanks Carol! You are SO right. I have several of the Clean Eating books, and I pick up the magazine regularly. The recipes fit perfectly into what my doctor wants me to eat. I think my favorite clean eating recipe…so far…. is a crockpot chicken cassoulet, but I also did a clean eating Thanksgiving, and loved the sourdough veggie stuffing…..

  2. staying on track is the hardest thing to do. i try to stay active (running and hiking a few times a week). after exercising, i usually don’t have the urge to put junk in my body. and not having junk in the house helps too!

    • Definitely, staying on track is the hardest thing to do!! Seeing how my cholesterol went down was very motivating, and yet, I still got off track. Exercise is a biggie for me. I sit to write, sit to sew, and then I like to cook. None of this burns calories, so I am trying to get out there and walk or ride my bike 3-4 times a week….and like you, after exercising, I really don’t want to eat junk!! So double bonus! We have three sons, the oldest and youngest have moved out, only the middle one at home, and he rarely eats here, so that makes it easier to keep a healthy pantry.

  3. One of my favorite healty recipes is to slice up and sautee a small zuchinni with garlic and Italian seasoning and a teeny bit of olive oil (if you put the lid on the pan and a little water, it helps to steam it). Then transfer to a pie pan and add 3 beaten eggs (or 1 egg and 2 egg whites). Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes (until the eggs are done). I don’t know what the status on eggs/cholesterol are, but it makes a nice light dinner. Good luck 🙂

    • Kandi that sounds yummy!! Actually, my doctor was more concerned about the carbs I ate, than the cholesterol, she said to choose lean meats, but I think eggs are okay, I’ve been eating them on my cholesterol has dropped, so I’m going to give your recipe a try, it sounds delicious!

  4. Tari,
    my best way to stay on track is a smaller plate. I eat off of a luncheon size plate rather than a dinner plate. no sandwiches. if we have potatoes I only have only 1 spoon full & 1/2 the plate with vegies. Jane Ampe

  5. Hi Tari, Since I love CARBS too, I want to suggest a brand of pasta that Russ’ Diabetes Doctor recommends. Its called Dreamsfields. It Carbs out at 5 grams of digestible carbs per serving instead of the normal 41 grams!! It doesn’t taste any different! Same calorie count so you have to watch calories but it helps me with my carbs. Its a diabetics dream!! Go on the Dreamsfields site and check it out. http://www.dreamsfieldsfoods.com That’s the only pasta we eat now and I don’t like to order pasta when I’m out to dinner because I think of all the carbs their pasta has. It costs a tad more but it’s so worth it. Also since I’m on the good eating bandwagon too. One thing that helps me is that I portion everything out in ziploc baggies as soon as I get home so there isn’t a temptation of grabbing more chips or anything because it’s already counted. Just a tad more time but worth it. Talk with you soon. Sue

    • Wow, what a great tip Sue!! I’ll put Dreamsfield pasta on my shopping list!!I like the idea of pre-portioning too, not only will you save carbs/calories, but probably save $$ as well!!

  6. oops! I typed the incorrect URL – it’s http://www.dreamfieldsfoods.com 🙂

  7. As much as I did not think it would work, I quit cokes, wrote down all that went into my mouth and tried to not eat out. Thats the hard part. Lost a lot of weight have gained some back and it is because I eat out. Still no cokes and I dont eat to much meat anymore. Thats it, no big deal and yes the best part Be hionest with yourself. Dont worry about others just be true to you. Lookin Good

    • Thanks Mama Bev, Not eating out…or choosing healthy when you eat out is a huge challenge!! But, the reward is good health. I’m glad you’re doing so well….I’m working hard at it, when we next see each other, won’t we be hot!!

  8. I had a large lamenated poster on my refrigerator for a long time. A picture of a nice figured woman with the word “Nothing Tastes as Good as being Thin is” (I think that is right). My quickest way to loose weight was on the South Beach Diet. I couldn’t believe it because I got into my jeans so fast and I couldn’t eat all the food that was on my diet! Dina is following something that I can’t remember the name. But she can eat anything that has been raw, like fruits, veggies and meat. Of course cooked. No potatoes though and I think grains. She looks great. Right now I am trying to stick to soups and cereal, veggies and fruits. It is easy for me because I live alone. My doctor says my cholostral is fine and my sugar is fine but a little high. Since my brothers are diebetic and several other relatives, I am trying to curb it now because I would be horrible on their kind of diets. But, my dear niece, I plan on having you around for a long time, so I am praying for you.

    • Aunt Gloria, when have you ever needed to lose weight?? And Dina too…she always looks wonderful. But, South Beach is the way I lost weight when we moved to Wyoming…35 pounds, and that’s pretty much what I’m doing now..phase II fits real well with the Clean Eating Recipes. I’m starting with phase 1, and will stick to it as long as I can handle…at least 2 weeks, and I’m doing it with Weight Watchers so I’m counting points…..so how many diets am I following…I think that’s three…..

  9. I’m sorry, I don’t have any good advice, I just want to tell you that you are an AMAZING WOMAN and YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
    I guess the main thing I do is just try to exercise at least 4x a week and avoid the good/bad stuff. You just have to find what works for you, what you can live with forever and know you can do hard things!! Again… YOU CAN DO IT!!!

    • Thanks Colette, You actually gave both good advice AND support!! Exercise is the hardest thing for me. I can starve myself if necessary, but I don’t know why I struggle to make time to exercise. Big ol’ number one goal….exercise 3-4 x’s a week!

  10. Goodness, I’ve been dieting on and off since middle school, and I still haven’t unlocked the secret to lasting weight loss. In a family full of effortless string bean bodies, I’ve always felt out of place and struggled with my weight. I wish I had an excellent recipe to offer, but I’ve never cooked much. What I can offer you is my belief in your ability to succeed, trite as that may sound. My Dad always said, “A job begun is a job half done,” often alluding to college papers I’d procrastinated for weeks. Accolades all around because you’ve done what most cannot already! You’ve taken the initiative to change. Continued, unwavering ambition is the greatest predictor of your success. I remember a few years ago, I woke up knowing that I needed to make a lifestyle change. For about 6 months, I exercised daily and vigorously, dined on fresh fruits and veggies from the market, and boy, was that both CHALLENGING and deeply gratifying. I lost over 40 pounds. I would like to do that again. Weight has a way of creeping back up when attentions are doled out elsewhere, unfortunately. Back then I was on the old weight watchers plan… I’m not sure how true these tips hold in their new Points Plus plan, but some of the greatest things I learned were:
    – An entire bag of 94% fat free Popcorn is an amazing, low point and filling snack
    – Chewing gum between meals often sated my chewing desire. Sometimes I think I eat for the comfort of food, and gum can sort of help trick that desire.
    – Crystal Light, gatorade reduced calorie drinks, and even a delicious espresso at starbucks with nonfat milk are all savory!
    – Splurge and have some crabs (quoth the marylander), or eat some shrimp. All of these amazing, AMAZING foods are low cal.
    -Oprah always said to taste anything you wanted, but not to serve yourself.

    I still have a lot to learn in the wild world of weight loss. I do know that as the pounds shed, your confidence and incentive to keep pushing only grows!

    • Thank you Ashley… I too have been dieting since middle school. I was 5’2″ and 98 pounds when my mother told me ‘I’d better watch out or I was going to weigh ONE HUNDRED POUNDS!!’ After that one hundred pounds always echoed in my head like this gigantic number….now it seems incredibly small. I’ve lost and gained the same 35 pounds dozens of times since having Joey, but I’m not yet ready to give up!!

      And, I love both crabs and shrimp!!

  11. I spent last weekend at the beautiful Lowes Hotel and Spa in San Diego.

    When I went to my room, a business associate sent me a little “goodie” There was a note on it that said “Don’t worry, enjoy, this is healthy”

    It was a plate with
    Fresh Stawberries
    Agave Necter
    Papitas-no salt
    Toasted Coconut-no sugar

    You dip the the berry n the agave then either the papitas or coconut.

    It was very enjoyable.

    • That sounds yummy Andrea!! I’m going to have to try that. Believe it or not, I have everything but the strawberries in my kitchen!!

  12. […] is the last day to comment on my Good Health, Good Food….and a Contest post to be entered into the drawing for the AMC movie tickets. So many of you have commented and […]

    • OK – I just logged on Ms Tari – just in the nick of time!

      First I’d like to share my secret – When I go through the effort of exercising ( it IS a necessary evil), as I go to stick something (well… anything) in my mouth I REALLY think about it before hand. Is it really worth an extra hour on the tread mill, 1/2 hr more walking, or an additional 12 laps??? This helps immensely.

      I did the no white stuff diet for 3 months to start off with. Flour, sugar, white rice, pasta, breads, cookies (YES cookies). the only white things I allowed were nonfat yogurt, cottege cheese, and powdered protein. PUMP the protein and you will loose weight.

      And my poor pups paw pads (say that fast 4 times) were getting rough & callused. We were getting in 4-5 mile hikes all over the hills of San Pedro – daily. Got all my numbers down – blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight.

      I would LOVE to walk and talk with you and our black doggies! Get home this Friday around 4pm….call me to set up.
      Gayle Hoeven

      • Hi Gayle!! You are doing amazing!! What an inspiration you are. I’m working Friday evening, in fact, I’m working evenings and weekends, which is making my social life challenging right now, but we WILL get together!!

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