Food Scales and Why We Need Them

Weighing your food is a large part of portion control. Do you actually know how much you’re eating? I’m guilty of not always weighing my food. But when I do, I’m always amazed at HOW MUCH food I’m consuming. I might eat a chicken breast and think that I did a good job with my choice, staying within my caloric limit, but then the next day, I weigh a similar¬†chicken breast only to find out that it was 7 or 8 oz instead of the 4 oz I thought I was eating. That’s the difference between 120 calories and 250 calories and that’s a big deal! I have a really bad habit of eating with my eyes rather than eating with my stomach (i.e. My eyes think I can eat an entire Hawaiian pizza. My stomach, on the other hand, knows better).

This is when a food scale comes in handy. I got my hands on a Fraser food scale and instantly loved it. This scale has touch sensitive buttons and pretty awesome accuracy. It’s got different weight options, ranging from 0 ounces to 11 pounds (inFraser food scale grams, ounces, pounds and kilograms). What I really like about it is that I can put a container on the scale, reset the “tare” to 0 and then place my food item in the container and not have to worry about having to do any calculations.

With my old scale, it was an “old school” scale, similar to what you’d use at the grocery store to weigh your produce and it was a pain in the butt because it would always need to be re-calibrated.

Every product has pros and cons and overall this is a pretty darn good scale.

Pros:

– Flat, easy to clean surface made of tempered glass;

– Digital;

– Can be calibrated to subtract the weight of a container added to it;

– Multiple weight options (oz, grams, lbs. etc.);

– Turns off automatically after 1 minute.

Cons:

– It’s a little small which doesn’t work for larger food items that you don’t want to have to cut up to fit in a bowl;

– Sometimes, the buttons don’t respond. I’m not sure if it’s because of the tempered glass or just general sensitivity but it can get annoying.

Overall, this is pretty darn good scale. I’d give it a strong 4/5 stars and highly recommend it to help you keep track of what you’re eating.

Life happens

MAN! I’ve been busy! Between vacation and work, I’ve not had time to blog. I’m so sorry I’ve neglected you!

I’m hoping to get back into my regular routine next week. A couple quick updates:

– My weight has been consistent for the last 3 weeks, sitting at around 224. Meh;

– I didn’t track any food over vacation but I’m back on plan this week;

– I’m adjusting the focus of my blog to be less “Mission Slimpossible” and more “Mission HealthPossible” which is better overall as it’ll focus on improving health, mind and body but doesn’t have nearly as smooth of a ring as SlimPossible.

– I started C210K yesterday. I was scared but it was awesome!

I promise to be back this weekend with regular posts again! ūüôā

Obesity: Mental, Physical or Both?

This is a quick one, but I had to share my experience over the last couple days.

I’ve realized that I’ve developed an aversion to junk food. I don’t know when or how this happened. All I know is it happened. Today, I was feeling ‘peckish’ and went hunting in the pantry for something good. Of course, I went straight to the Halloween candy stash (yes, we still have Halloween candy) and got two mini Almond Joy bars. Now, let me tell you, Almond Joy is my absolute favorite chocolate bar. The combination of chocolate, gooey coconut and almonds is just awesome and it’s one of the few chocolates that doesn’t give me migraines. Usually, two mini bars would be perfect to take care of that itch but tonight, it just seemed to be too much. I could barely manage one and resisted the urge to spit it out and promptly put the second bar back into the bowl. Now that I think of it, maybe I should have spit it out.

Then a couple days earlier, again that feeling for sweets came upon me and I grabbed a couple vanilla cookies with a glass of milk. After about a minute or so, I turned around and put the cookies right back into the packaging and sat on the couch with my cup of milk. Strangely enough, the thought of eating the cookies made me ill.

So, I brought this up to my husband and he suggested that it was all in the mind. But I’m wondering whether it truly is mental. Maybe it’s actually physical, considering how much I’ve changed my diet over the last two months. Or, perhaps it’s a combination of both. I’ve committed to making all these changes this year and reaching my goals (finally) so maybe my mind is working with me rather than against me. There have been times when I’ve felt like my mind is also working against me, though.

On New Year’s Eve, I had Chinese take out for dinner and I just wanted to keep going and going and going. Even though I was full and I felt somewhat sick to the stomach, I just wanted to continue eating. This is somewhat reminiscent of my food past which resulted in my being at the weight I am now. Now, I won’t say that I have a food addiction, but I definitely have a food problem, emotional eating being just part of it. That, I know, if mental.

Anyway, where I’m going with this is that weight loss and gain are both mental and physical. You can take care of the physical but if you don’t also take care of the mental, then you inevitably may end up back at square one. It takes just as much work to take care of the mental as it does the physical, but it’s worth it.

#MotivationalMonday: New Year, Renewed Missions

It’s almost 2015. Do you know what your resolutions are?

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Source: http://motivational-monday.com/

My resolutions are usually the same but my focus improves year after year. The new year is motivation for me to improve upon myself and my life has been steadily moving upwards since 2012. I know that it’s only going to get better.

2015 WILL BE MINE!

Goals for 2015:

1) Achieve AND MAINTAIN my goal weight;

2) Consume a 75% pescatarian diet (this will help with my cholesterol);

3) Blog at least 3 times a week about engaging/interesting topics and gain more followers while retaining the existing ones;

4) Exercise at least 3 times a week;

5) Read more non-fiction in an effort to broaden my mind.

These may sound like generic goals but these are the things that are important to me and things that will make a big difference in my life once I achieve them.

If you haven’t decided on what your resolutions are, I came across a list of resolutions inspired by TED talks¬†and I’ve definitely been inspired by a few of them!

What are your resolutions, missions and goals for 2015?

Future Generations, Healthy Habits

Honest-QA1

GhrelinGremlin asked:¬†I’m a long way from motherhood, but I still worry about striking a balance between sharing things I loved as a child with my child and making sure that my child doesn’t grow up loving sugar and fat quite as much as I did. Have you ever worried about that?

You know, that’s a good question that requires a little bit of a back story so we’re going to travel back in time a bit…

I grew up on the small Caribbean twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Located only 6.8 miles from Venezuela and a mere 10¬ļ north of the equator, it’s a haven for fresh fruits, ¬†vegetables and all types of seafood. I was a very picky (but healthy) eater growing up, pretty much living on fresh fruit, select raw veggies, rice, chicken and cereal. Seriously, that was it. Snacks for me were rarely cookies and chips. Most of the time, these things weren’t in our home (well, cookies were. My dad had a bit of a sweet tooth). I would enjoy these snacks on trips to the US and Europe. I also spent A LOT of time moving. When I didn’t have my nose buried in a book, I was outside enjoying the sun, running around with friends, riding bikes, playing tag, whatever. And we pretty much walk almost EVERYWHERE.

When I moved to the US in 2001 at the age of 20 to go to college, I brought my pickiness with me and for a while, I maintained my slim figure. But the life of a broke college student living in a dorm with on campus meals that I didn’t enjoy¬†caught up to me. 00broke1

I ended up eating more fried foods, more carbs and fewer fresh and raw fruits and veggies. And the fruits and veggies weren’t close to the caliber available in the Caribbean. I mean, you’ve not eaten a mango until you’ve eaten a mango right off the tree in your back yard. On top of that, life was sedentary. Why walk places when there’s a bus/car/taxi that will take me where I need to be? The on campus gym didn’t appeal to me either. I hated (and still hate) the gym because that wasn’t something that I grew up with in order to stay active.

So here I am, 60 pounds heavier than I was when I moved to the States and trying to break the bad habits developed over the last 13 years.

On to your question: Thankfully, my “vices” growing up were pretty healthy and I’m trying to pass those on to my son but the habits I’m trying to break are what I’m more worried about – fried foods, pizza, take out, carbs. They are constantly in my house and my one year old son LOVES them all.¬†He’s at that age where he’s still trying to develop a palate, so if he doesn’t like something, he is quick to spit it out. Right now, he’s not a fan of vegetables but he enjoys a good piece of grilled chicken with a mandarin orange or a grilled cheese sandwich with apple slices, or scrambled eggs (I think those are his favorite). But at the same time, he loves Doritos and ice cream and fried food. So, I let him have them in moderation. My goal is to be in a better position as it relates to my health by the time he’s old enough to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy as well as moderation. So, right now, I try to not worry about it too much and just let him enjoy exploring the world around him.

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Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

Ever since I was a kid, as long as I can remember, I refuse to go a day without breakfast. Whether it’s a bowl of cereal, some eggs or a fruit smoothie, I consume some sort of breakfast every day.

Studies have shown that this isn’t just something our mothers would tell us to get us to clean our plates. Breakfast is actually important. According to WebMd, “Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal, or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger.” When I don’t have breakfast, I get hangry…fast.¬†Without breakfast, I eat a lot more for lunch and dinner, graze more on unhealthy snacks and am overall not a pleasant person to be around.

hangry

In the last month, since my focus has been weight loss, it’s important that my breakfast is healthy while at the same time, filling so that I don’t binge eat later in the day. The problem is that most days I have to be at work at 6 am. Who wants to eat a heavy breakfast¬†that early in the morning? I know I don’t. The solution that I found that works best for me is a protein shake breakfast.

Now, before you make faces and stick out your tongue because you think it’s gross, it’s really not all that bad. It took a lot of trial and error to finally find one that had great taste combined with a high protein/low carbohydrate content. My protein of choice is Dymatize Nutrition Elite Gourmet¬†in Vanilla Creme.

proteinI love the diversity of the vanilla flavor. Anything can be added to it to give it a different taste depending on your mood. Generally, I use the same blend daily with slight variations in ingredient amounts:

– 1 cup Silk unsweetened plain Almond Milk (30 calories);

– 1 cup frozen mixed fruit (60 calories per 3/4 cup);

– 1 scoop protein powder (125 calories);

– 1 tablespoon of Nutella (100 calories).

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 12.49.39 PMBlend until smooth. The yield is about 12 ounces or so of smoothie and I may add an ounce or so more of milk if the results are too thick. This can happen if I get more of the larger pieces of fruit.

Surprisingly, the shake keeps me pretty full for about 4 or 5 hours which means a smaller lunch and an afternoon snack before I head home from work.

There’s a basic formula to making a smoothie – fruit, a liquid¬†and a flavor. I’ve never considered doing more than that in my shakes but I came across a pretty helpful graphic on Pinterest that may open up what I do with my shakes.The basic formula¬†is there but with a couple others added – Fruit, base (e.g. almond milk), thicken (my husband’s choice is peanut butter), flavor (herbs or spices), power boost (protein, vitamins etc.).

 smoothie

I love cinnamon and nutmeg and I’ve never considered adding them to my smoothies. Looks like there will be some experimentation in my future ūüôā

When I’m not in a rush, my go to breakfast is a couple large eggs scrambled with an entire green bell pepper with salt and pepper to taste. If I have it, sometimes I’ll add a little Canadian bacon (surprisingly low calorie) to the mix. Something else that I’ve tried is a bacon frittata in the slow cooker. It wasn’t the healthiest because I literally put an ENTIRE pack of bacon in it, but dang it, it was tasty!

So, tell me. What’s your breakfast of choice?

Emotional Eating Is A Thing

I’ve been a Weight Watcher. And for the time I was on the plan, until when they changed the points system, I loved it. When the points system was changed, my weight loss stalled for months and at that point, Weight Watchers was a waste of my money. So, I quit.

And after seeing the holiday commercial, I’ll never go back.

If you’ve not seen it,¬†check it out.

As someone who suffers from emotional eating, I’m not a fan of this commercial. Regardless of what some people think, emotional eating is a thing. It’s a disorder. For me, I had a trigger – my dad’s death. And I’ve never really been the same. After he passed, any time something bad/sad/upsetting happened, I turned to food for comfort. Sometimes, I’d turn to food to celebrate happy times too. But it was mostly during the down times. I would eat any and everything (but my food of choice was¬†junk food) and I’d eat until I was sick…and keep going. Of course, my weight ballooned but that didn’t stop me.

emo-eating

Eventually though, something hit me and I had a realization: I was feeding my emotions and the emotional eating never TRULY made me feel better. So, I made a strong effort to defeat it. I’ve done a pretty good job there but sometimes, if things get especially stressful, I fall back to food.

So, here’s my beef with the Weight Watchers commercial. I feel like it basically says “Emotional eating is ok. Go ahead and eat your feelings! Pay us money and after the holidays, we’ll help you lose the weight.”

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But anyone who has struggled with their weight knows that it’s Not. That. Easy. Especially if you suffer from an eating disorder. You’ve got to deal with triggers, society, temptation, emotions, etc.. And it can take months or years to finally lose that weight. And during that time, we’re pumping money into Weight Watchers’ pockets. What’s going to happen when some poor soul hears that commercial, thinks it’s ok to give emotions food and then feels the subsequent failure when they can’t lose the weight despite joining a program and counting points?

Now, I’ve read comments on this video on YouTube. Some people say that people are taking it too literally, that it’s meant to be funny or irony or whatever. I don’t see it that way. I hear someone telling me to eat as much ice cream and chocolate as I want when I’m dealing with emotional pressure and then Weight Watchers will help me with the hard part. What do they consider to be the “hard part”? The emotional eating or the weight loss? Honestly, they’re both pretty damn difficult.

Emotional eating is when a person uses food as an attempt to control, monitor, and cope with negative feelings or thoughts. Because emotional eating typically results in overeating, it can often lead to poor self-esteem, unwanted weight gain, and obesity. If you recognize emotional eating patterns in yourself, treatment can help you overcome it. The best approach to stop emotional eating will include treatment for the underlying emotional causes and factors related to emotional eating patterns as well as treatment for behavioral issues.

Source: https://www.mccallumplace.com/emotional-eating.html

Can Weight Watcher’s help me with the “underlying emotional causes and factors related to emotional eating patterns”? Oh, no? Didn’t think so.

So, Weight Watchers Marketing team? You may want to think about the way you market your product because emotional eating is a lot bigger than you think.