Friday, July 29, 2011

Back from Vacation and Only Two Pounds Gained!

I’m finally home after a two-week vacation that included a 7-day cruise to the Western Mediterranean (saw Spain, France, Italy). I was a bit worried that I was going to gain a lot of weight being on a cruise ship where multitudes of foods are offered 24/7, but I managed to sneak by with only gaining two pounds. Two-three pounds is something I can lose quickly with a few light meals, drinking lots of water and getting more sleep.  Our schedule on the ship was hectic as we pulled into a beautiful port each day at 7:00am and we were out sight-seeing all day long.  I was exhausted by the end of the cruise.  We walked a lot every day and I even got a workout in on the boat. Plus, I tried to make healthy eating choices while on the boat and in port. I ate a lot of fresh salads, tons of grilled, poached or sautéed fish (never fried), small amounts of bread, lots of protein (like omelettes for breakfast), and very few treats. Don’t get me wrong, I savored a small cannoli in Sicily and a mini molten chocolate cake for dessert a few nights after dinner, so I wasn’t completely deprived.  But I just worked it off the next day by tons of walking through ruins, the Vatican and I think I walked a mile in the Madrid airport!  Overall I had a very memorable time and I can’t wait to get back to Florence and Tuscany again – my favorite stops.
I also enjoyed sharing our eating habits with our dinner table guests. They were curious about the food I ordered – staying away from the savory items, bread and ordering fruit for dessert – so I shared with them our new found food religion.  They seemed intrigued, so I informed them of the dangers of artificial sugar (in which they filled their tea glasses with), high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.  They were also curious about the farm where I get my grass-fed beef, pork and pastured chickens.  It amazes me that some folks are completely unaware of these options and that they are nutritionally superior.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see that an overwhelming amount of Europeans are thin. Our tour driver was recommending places to eat and asked if any of us Americans wanted our familiar McDonald’s or Burger King. Blasphemy!  Of course we all said no, we wanted to try real local Italian food. Then, he mentioned out-of-the-blue, without knowing my hatred of those establishments, that a few people he knew were starting to eat there every now and then and they were getting fat. He said it must be from all the chemicals in American food!  How right he is!  I noticed that Europeans don’t snack much either. They eat very well. They eat full fat and olive oil. They drink a lot of wine too. However, the majority of them smoke – like it’s their job – so that could be it too.  Whatever the cause, they are thinner and appear healthier.  I think I’m going to look into the Mediterranean diet (sans cigs).
But now it’s time to get back home and into my routine of early morning workouts and eating my farm fresh food. My garden exploded with tomatoes and peppers while I was gone too. I’m looking forward to getting back into the kitchen and preparing our meals from scratch.  Soon it will be time to harvest everything and can my salsa.
I think I’m also going to plan a fall garden. I’m going to plant more lettuce, kale and research other cool weather garden foods.  I’m going to miss going down to the garden to pick greens beans and tomatoes for dinner once it gets cooler.
That’s all for now and remember the most important thing you can do for yourself is to start reading labels. Stay away from the long laundry list of ingredients and buy from local farms.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Major Milestone Hit!!

 I hope everyone had a great 4th! Our family sure did! Read on to see what happened to me!!
Well it took a bit longer than expected, but I finally lost the first half of my weight loss goal – 20 pounds!!  I weighed myself after Christmas (when I was eating platters instead of plates of food) and I was dismayed. I had actually gained 5 pounds over the holiday. I mean who was I kidding, eating handfuls of peppermint cookies and piles of food onto my plate. Christmas is my favorite time of year for food – all the time-tested family favorites were on display and it’s hard for me to resist.
But now that I'm armed with some interesting food knowledge and working out every day, I can eat a small treat and not feel guilty. I’ve managed to increase my metabolism and can take a day off and still lose ½ a pound. It’s been quite motivating to jump on the scale every morning and see it go down a little bit every day. Some days it’s only 5-6 ounces, but it just makes me work out harder for better results the next morning. I’ve never been on a weight-loss program or diet that actually resulted in me losing weight every day!  A few years ago, I joined a gym and worked my ass off to lose 10 pounds and it took me 6 months!  I just lost that in the last 2 months.
I started an interesting program back in mid-April with my neighbor, Amy Butchko. She is a Holistic Health Practitioner.  Her program of teleseminars included some simple weight loss tidbits and some things I had a hard time understanding, but hey, it worked, so why not? I just wish I had started sooner, I would probably be 40 pounds lighter by now!
Her program, coupled with my clean eating lifestyle has resulted in the following:
·         Very few headaches, compared to daily headaches and 2 migraines a month
·         2 fewer prescriptions
·         Tons more energy
·         Clearer, glowing skin
·         20 lbs lost, 20 more to go
·         Just an overall better outlook and I’m happier!
So, if this sounds like something you’d like to get in on, go to Amy’s website,, and watch her free modules. Tell her I sent you!!
And if you’re still on the fence about how to go about clearing out your pantry and eating more whole, clean foods, send me and email at divainpinksd at yahoo dot com, and we can chat about my step-by-step program for eliminating processed foods from your diet.
Happy Healthy Eating!