Dessert alert: paleo chocolate chip banana bread

cchipbananaI don’t know why we refer to what comes out of bakery as ‘baked goods’, because they are most certainly NOT good for our weight. But they are SO yummy…. thus I search for equally yummy desserts that will not blow the weight loss project totally off course. A while back, I told you about Chocolate-Covered Katie’s chocolate pie, and now I’ve got another treat and even my hubby likes it!

It comes to us from Bakerita: paleo chocolate chip banana bread. It is FATASTIC and so moist, it feels sinful, but it’s not!

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A spam-free review of garcinia cambogia (really)


garcinia-cambogia-fruit

I’m not a daytime TV watcher, so I’m not an expert on Dr. Oz, but this is do know: that man is the source of a lot of spam! I don’t know how many spam-bot sites I’ve seen talking about Dr. Oz’s latest weightloss secret, right alongside the newest alternative to Viagra I can get without a prescription!

Whoopie.

I do believe generally, that marketing hysteria often contains a grain of truth. Dr. Oz, bless the poor man’s heart, has endorsed the use of a supplement called ‘garcinia cambogia’ (which I’m going to refer to as g.c. from now on), to assist us in losing excess weight. Put try to search it on the net, and it’s one ugly spamfest.

But I dug a little deeper to see what’s real and what’s just hype. Here’s what I’ve found out.

In southeast Asia, there is a fruit called a Malabar Tamarind. It looks like a little green pumpkin that grows from trees. These fruits give us g.c., which historically has been used as a spice with southeast asian cuisine.

G.c. is NOT a stimulant, like most other supplements used for weight loss (although stimulant-based ingredients could be added to g.c.).

Allegedly, g.c. slows the body’s production of a chemical called citrate lyase, which is needed to produce fat. If your body doesn’t have enough citrate lyase to work with, it will not put more fat on your frame. It also increases your serotonin level, which in some people may curb their appetite.

There have been studies on the actual weight loss effectiveness of g.c., and while there is some support for the claims of fat loss, they aren’t as dramatic as advertisers claim them to be. A study published in the American Journal of Obesity shouwed a loss on average of 2 pounds per person in those taking g.c. vs. a placebo.

In order to get these results, the study participants given the g.c. supplement had 700 milligrams before breakfast and then again before dinner, so check the labels on the supplement bottle before you decide to try g.c. for yourself.

I tried g.c. for myself. I got a bottle of Life & Food Garcinia Cambogia Supreme. I liked that it did not contain filler ingredients and has 1400 milligrams, so it’s well beyond the minimally effective dose. It is also made in the U.S., which I feel means a better quality product in many cases.

If you’ve been following this blof for the last few weeks, you now that I am losing a little bit of weight each week. I believe that this is primarily due to healthy food choices and exercise. However, I do believe that the Garcinia Cambogia is helping me overcome little slip-ups in my eating. Also, I think seeing weekly weight loss is a great motivation, and any product that helps at this phase of shaping up is a good thing.

So I do think the garcinia cambogia is working for me, and I recommend it to those who are seriously changing their eating habits and getting more active. If you aren’t already doing those things, I don’t think you should spend the money.

Sources:

webmd.com
consumerreports.com

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Wednesday Weigh In

Wait, wait!! Late breaking news… after the big run, I weighed myself before I got in the shower and it said 169!! Woot!!

Height: 5’7
SW: 174
Last Week: 170
This week: 169
Change: -1
Total Loss: -5
========================================================================

No big loss. I don’t mean that in the I’m-secretly-glad-that-didn’t-work-out way, I mean this week there is no weight loss to report. Ugh. I know this is part of the process, but it’s fun to report another drop!

Ironically, I have a BIG run to do today (see my C25K post about my return to running), so there will be calories burned today!

 

Height: 5’7
SW: 174
Last Week: 170
This week: 170
Change: 0
Total Loss: -4
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In case you missed them: the biggest fitness books for 2014

fitnessbooksLast year was not a good reading year for me – a lot of books got past me. Recovering from eye surgery rendered my vision gimpy for several months, and audiobooks only work for me when no one is home or I’m running.

So all of that to say that I’m getting caught up on what I missed from last year, especially in the health and fitness arena. Here’s what I found out that I need to read:

1)The Body Reset Diet: Power Your Metabolism, Blast Fat, and Shed Pounds in Just 15 Days by Harley Pasternak. This book features many celebrity endorsements, but don’t let that be a put-off. This man has a master’s of science in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences from the University of Toronto, so he knows a few things, and the every day verified purchasers over at Amazon give him high marks, too. Apparently, if you’re a fan of smoothies, this is a must-read.

2) The DODO Diet by Drew Price. Yes, I said ‘DODO’. In this particular case, we’re talking about an acronym for ‘day on, day off’. Price suggests alternating fast days with free days. I need to read this because I do think a cleanse day a week has been helping, but I’m not sure if this concept is right for everyone.

3) Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Technically, this book was released much earlier, but it was released in hardcover in 2014 and got a whole new league of fans. People seriously rave about this one, especially those who feel like they were ‘stuck’ or ‘plateued’. Goes into food and workouts.

 

If you’ve read any of these, please let me know what you thought in the comments!

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How I’m Returning to Running w the C25K plan

Running has been my workout obsession for the past year. It started when I was working at Spring Break Camp with the elementary school kids, and I got winded square-dancing with them. Square dancing. That’s not exactly an Olympic sport.

So I very slowly began running. My first plan was very simple: the first day, I walked for 5 minutes as a warm-up, then I ran for 60 seconds. I wore my phone and ran a distance-tracking app. When I finished that 60 seconds, I noted how far I ran. For the rest of the week, I ran that distance.

The next week, I increased the distance by 10% (which is how coaches agree you should add distance).

I ran my first 5K ever that June, and I was hooked from that point!

Then last fall, my retina tore in one of my eyes. We’re not sure how. I already had the right eye’s retina detacted and repaired the previous year – I cried when I saw the other one was going to need the same, major surgery (for an eyeball, anyway).

Retinal surgery required that I not run for 3 months, so I am starting over again with running with the Couch to 5K Program.

I am about halfway through – I use the Zen Labs C25K app for Android. I love it because I can listen to my own music and just sort of space out while I run/walk (well, at the end I’m not really spaced out anymore – it’s more like the survivor shuffle).

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Wednesday Weigh In

amysicecreamI had low expectations for today’s weigh in, because Hubby and I went to Austin over the weekend, where I ate in a not-very-clean fashion. My meals were a little dingy: fried avacado tacos and a stop at Amy’s Ice Cream.

But, this morning I went through my weighing ritual. For an official weigh-in, I must be a) naked b) dry (especially my hair) and c) the owner of an empty bladder

And I still lost a pound! Whew!

 

Height: 5’7″
SW: 174
Last Week: 171
This week: 170
Change: -1
Total Loss: -4
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Why quinoa is a thing

So my newquinoa favorite food is my getting-in-shape aresenal is quinoa. I have never been a brown rice fan, and white rice? It’s a carb bomb that I can only rationalize the night before a 5k.

If you’re not in the loop about quinoa, here’s why it’s a thing all over the fitness department of the internet: while it has a very similar calorie count to brown rice, it has almost twice the protein and significantly more fiber. Both protein and fiber are important even if you’re not trying to lose some weight.

Meanwhile, it’s just as easy to make as brown rice. Saturday night, I made One Pan Mexican Quinoa, compliments of My Wife Makes. It was heavenly and easy, and that is a winning combination in my world! Even my husband had a large bowl of it, and lived!

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Fitness Uber-Sites to Get You (and Me) Started

running minifig

You’re never too nerdy to get healthy!

When I say ‘fitness uber-site’, I mean sites that are geared towards beginners and offer a little of everything: fitness tracking. food planning/tracking, etc.  I like these sites because using them increases our chances of starting off in a balanced, healthy way, and often give us some online encouragement. These sites come in different styles – here’s a few I have found:

1) Sparkpeople – probably the largest out there right now in terms of membership with 16 million registered members. Sparkpeople offers an array of free trackers – fitness, meals, and water, – along with recipes and free meal plans. It’s gotten quite female, although it is technically for everyone. I like the personalized start page that allows you to update your trackers all in one place.

2) Workout-X – if your gym went completely online, this is what it would look like. This site offers specific workouts (down to number of reps of each excerise) along with meal plans and some trackers. There’s a free membership and a paid membership. It’s getting in shape simplified.

3) Nerd Fitness – I love this site, becuase it is so different from what we’ve come to expect from a fitness site! This site ‘gamifies’ fitness – meaning it puts your workouts and eating clean into videogame terms so you can ‘level up’, which is very motivating for short-term efforts

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The Strange World of Fast Food

My virtuous Wendy's salad

My virtuous Wendy’s salad

Today, running around town, I grabbed an Asian Chicken Cashew Salad from Wendy’s. It was good – not great, but good, and quite fresh.

Just now, I looked up how many calories I consumed with my salad: 380. Not bad for fast food, right?

Then, I looked up the calorie count on the salad I almost selected, the apple chicken pecan salad.

780 calories. In a salad. No, I am not kidding.

So, my lesson of the day is that I should look things up before and not after to know what I am getting into. At Wendy’s for example, I would have been better off getting a grilled chicken sandwich than that Apple-Chicken-Pecan-Demon salad.

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