Tag Archives: weight loss

#TuesdayTip Health Benefits of Green Tea & Matcha

I have to confess to not being a big fan of green tea, but during a visit to a coffee shop with my daughter, I ended up trying matcha made with almond milk. Yummy!

What is matcha? Matcha is a Japanese green tea powder. It has more health benefits than regular green tea because you are eating the whole leaf and it hasn’t been processed so it contains more catechins and polyphenols than regular green tea. Also lots and lots of anti-oxidants according to a Wall Street Journal article.

You’d have to drink a lot more green tea to compensate for all the benefits in matcha. But matcha can be pricey. I found that a trip to my local Asian market yielded a very large bag for a fraction of the cost than in other stores.

So what benefits can you get from green tea and/or matcha? How about improved blood flow, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol? Not enough benefits yet? How about cancer fighting properties, some help with weight loss, reduced risk of stroke, memory improvement, tooth decay, and anti-aging?

Sounds too good to be true, right? But if one little cup of day can help, I’m all for it. Just a word of caution: Check with your doctor about drinking green tea, especially if you have glaucoma like I do. Lots of mixed news about whether green tea and/or matcha are good for you or whether they increase intraocular pressure.

For more info, check out these articles:

WebMD: Green Tea Benefits
Medical News Today: Green Tea: Health Benefits
Match Source: Matcha Health Benefits
green tea

#TipTuesday The Carb Dilemma

I’m a carboholic. I admit that and falling off the carb wagon is really really bad for me. Case in point, this week. It started off last weekend with a conference, built over the week in anticipation of Easter and crescendoed on Easter Sunday. Cakes. Bread. Chocolate. Pastries. As much as I kept to eating well for most meals and not only continued with my workouts, but intensified them, the addition of carbs set me back massively on my weight loss plans.

I’m sad about it, but taking steps to rectify the problem by watching my carbs and trying to limit myself to complex carbs in small quantities. What’s the difference between simple and complex? In a nutshell, complex carbs are those that are naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. While they break down into simple sugars eventually, they also contain fiber and other healthy ingredients.

Simple carbs are things like refined sugar, white bread, etc. which even if they have naturally occurring sugars, lack the beneficial fiber and nutrients that come with complex carbs. You can find a more detailed and scientific explanation about the different carbs in this article by Fitday.

So what foods are complex carbs? Here’s just a few:

    Oats
    Fruits
    Carrots
    Potatoes
    Sweet Potatoes
    Peas
    Barley
    Brown Rice
    Beans
    Lentils
    Corn

You can get more info on additional complex carbs and a carb calendar at MyFit.Ca.

I hope this was a helpful Tuesday Tip. You can click there to visit another good article on things to do to lose weight!
carbs

Tuesday Tips for Weight Loss

As some of you may have noticed, I’m back to trying to lose weight and get healthier. Stress and other things made my weight balloon upwards to its own area code. So shortly after the New Year, I began a campaign to change my lifestyle by becoming more active and eating healthier foods. As of this morning, I’ve lost 30 pounds.

Yep, thirty (30) pounds and I’m very excited about that. I’m also excited by the fact that the way I am eating and working out now seems sustainable, which is the key to keeping off the weight. After all, it’s not about a diet, it’s about a lifestyle that you can keep up.

You’re probably asking what I’ve been doing? For starters I try to be more active every day. I’ve started wearing a pedometer and strive to reach 10,000 paces each day, not including my workout regimen.

That means walking to and from my office and getting up once an hour to move about. With the weather getting nicer, sis and I have even started taking a short walk at lunch hour.

I try to work out 5 to 7 times a week for about half an hour a session. I mix up doing cardio with weight training. The weights are important because they help strengthen your muscles and muscles have a higher metabolism than fat which means that you are regularly burning more calories to sustain that higher muscle mass.

Plus who doesn’t like sleek toned arms and legs? Here are some simple exercises you can even do at home to tone your arms!

What have I changed in my diet? Well my favorite food group – bread, rice and pasta (LOL!) is virtually gone. I try to limit those to once or twice a week. When I do have either bread or pasta, I make sure it’s whole grain bread or pasta. As for rice, I’ve substituted quinoa. I’ve even made a tasty Chinese fried rice by substituting the pre-cooked quinoa for the rice. Have also made something similar to a tabouleh salad with this grain. You can check out more recipes here.

We still eat beef, pork and chicken, but in smaller portions and I’ve also started eating a lot more shrimp and eggs. Both are high in protein and low in calories (but watch the cholesterol if you have problems with that).

As sides to all our meals – a big salad and more vegetables. Lots more. The key is to have lots of high volume foods with low calories. Greens of all kinds make wonderful side dishes or even a once a week vegetarian meal. Cook up some collard greens or kale with onions and mushrooms, add some chicken broth and cannellini beans, top with some chopped tomatoes and you’ve got a very filling and low calorie soup. You can even add some cheese to the mix for added protein. There are lots of nice lower fat cheeses out there now and we regularly put cheese in our salads as well.

As for dessert, we’re eating a lot more fruit and snacking on cashews and chocolate covered raisins.

Where do I go from here? Well, I’m going to keep on eating healthier and working out. My goal is to lose another 10 pounds by the RWA National Conference at the end of June. I try to set those goals in reasonable amounts because there is nothing worse than setting yourself up for failure by being unrealistic.

If you’re in the same boat as I am, I hope these tips help you! If you’ve found some good things to get healthier, please share them with us by leaving them in the comment area.

Finally, our Danger Women Writing Contest and Guest Blog continues with a visit from the RomCon folks and a giveaway of tickets to this year’s convention. Drop by the blog later and leave a comment for a chance to win!

Not So Fun Battle of the Bulge!

Well, yesterday you read about one of those changes I want to make for the New Year and some of you may possibly have the same goal – to lose weight.

My friends and I at the Liberty States Fiction Writers have even set up a loop for members to share ideas on how to lose weight and also, to encourage each other so we will feel fabulous for our March 19th conference! That’s one of the things I love about this group – that everyone is willing to be supportive of one another, whether with respect to writing, losing weight, sharing sorrow or savoring success. They are there for each other. LSF Writers, you rock!

But back to the weight loss. Here are some free sites that you can use to help you keep track of your goals, plan menus, etc.

Lose It!
Livestrong The Daily Plate

Here’s a good resource for recipes and other suggestions:

Kraft Healthy Living

Hope you find these sites helpful as well! Have a great weekend.

Tuesday Tip – Weight Loss Progress & Tricks

Both my husband and I used to say, give us good bread, tasty cheese and a yummy bottle of wine and we’d be set for life.

The truth is, we’ve found that only two of the three have been good for us — the dairy and wine part. The carbs, not so good.

In our desire to pursue a healthier lifestyle and control our weight, cholesterol, etc. we’ve been decidedly better at choosing what to eat, namely, lower fat dairy, lean meats, more vegetables and fruits and the occasional glass of red wine (and yes, I know 100% grape juice has the same benefits!)

But when it came to weight loss, the one sure thing that helped and also reduced our belly fat — lowering our carbohydrate intake. We haven’t totally eliminated it, but we are much more conscious of eating high fiber, whole grain, low calorie carbohydrate products.

Of course, each person’s metabolism is different, so it’s a give and take to find out what works best for you. To help you, here are some more tips for you to consider.

Chocolate milk is a wonderful choice. I had hubby substitute it for those expensive high protein supplements and not only is it working, it’s natural! You can read more about the health benefits of milk by clicking here.

Substitute tea and iced tea for coffee or soda. Tea is packed with antioxidants and the polyphenols in tea can help ward off cancer and diabetes while providing a gentle boost of energy. Just make sure not to steep the tea too long to avoid releasing tannins which can cause stomach upset and constipation. Here’s more on the benefits of tea in your diet!

Use honey in your tea or for your other sweetening needs. Honey is one of nature’s wonder products and you can find out more about the health benefits of honey here. I had tried using agave nectar and found it quite sweet. In retrospect, and beyond all the hype about its wonders, I’m starting to hear a lot of negative things about agave nectar. So, if you’ve got diabetes or problems with your tri-glycerides, you may want to avoid it.

In my case, I had reached a plateau where I was stuck at a certain weight. No matter what I did eating wise, I could not get that scale to budge which I have to do for health reasons and not for vanity’s sake. The solution for me — increasing my weight training by adding more weight and increasing the work during my aerobic workout by likewise adding resistance. Both helped me bust through a plateau! I’ve lost 13 pounds and am looking to keep on losing until I am a recommended weight for my height.

You can read some other tricks for busting through a plateau by clicking on this link!

I hope you found this Tuesday Tip helpful! I’ll keep you posted on my progress and if you’ve got any suggestions of your own about losing weight and getting healthier, please share them in the comments section. And as always, check with your doctor about what you can and can’t do in terms of diet and exercise.