Sunday, February 28, 2010

Archive of Meetings 4

This was one of the best articles we reviewed at PIO (Pray it Off) and we did so in March of 2008, so it's a good one for Session 2-5 members (and on-line newcomers) to read and Session 1 members to revisit.

10 Diet Myths

Low-fat! Low-carb! Eat all day! Don't eat after eight! Finally, the honest to goodness truth about how to keep your weight under control
Myth No. 1: Don’t eat after 8 p.m.
The Theory: You burn up the food you eat earlier in the day, while late-night calories sit in your system and turn into fat.

The Reality: Calories can’t tell time. “Your body digests and uses calories the same way morning, noon, and night,” says Mary Flynn, Ph.D., a research dietitian at the Miriam Hospital, in Providence. They may sit around a little longer if you eat, then lie on the couch and watch Letterman, but when you move around the next day, your body will dip into its stores. That said, there are other solid reasons to avoid late-night snacking, not least of which is that snacks you grab when you’re tired tend to be unhealthy ones.

The Best Advice: If you often unwind before bed with a bowl of ice cream or buttered popcorn, try cutting the snack out. The calories saved may be enough for you to lose a few pounds a year. If you’re hungry, “eat something on the light side, like a piece of fruit or some cereal with milk,” says Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian and the author of The Food You. Night eaters tend to overeat (which leads to weight gain no matter when it’s done) because often they’ve been skimping during the day and come home famished. Being so hungry that you grab whatever is at hand means you’re more likely to make poor choices. “Don’t go longer than about five hours without eating,” says Jo Ann Hattner, a registered dietitian and a nutrition consultant in San Francisco. Just be careful to keep your meals and snacks small.
Myth No. 2: Eating small, frequent meals boosts your metabolism.
The Theory: If you keep adding small amounts of food to your fire (the fire being your metabolism), you will keep it going strong and burn more calories overall.

The Reality: Food intake has a negligible effect on metabolism. Some foods, including those with caffeine, may slightly and temporarily increase metabolism, but the effect is too small to help you lose weight. What most affects your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the rate at which your body burns calories at rest, is body composition and size. More muscles and bigger bodies generally burn more calories overall.

The Best Advice: Build up your muscles. A pound of fat-free tissue burns about 14 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns just two to three calories. And while that difference may not sound like a lot, it will certainly help over time. Remember, too, that when you lose pounds, part of that weight is muscle, warns Liz Neporent, an exercise physiologist and the president of Wellness 360, a New York City–based corporate-wellness-consulting company. That’s why strength training is even more important if you’re on a weight-loss mission. Try the seven-exercise Muscle Maintenance Workout. And if you hate lifting weights, you can instead maintain your muscles by going to a Pilates, body-sculpting, or power-yoga class two to three times a week.
Myth No. 3: Pasta makes you fat.
The Theory: When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns them into sugars, which are then stored as fat.

The Reality: Carbohydrates per se don’t make you fat; extra calories do, whether you eat them in the form of carbs, fats, or protein. Besides, carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, which are important parts of a healthy diet. In short, the problem isn’t pasta but the sheer volume consumed. “Americans tend to eat too much carbohydrates, fat, and protein. But they overeat carbs most of all,” says Barbara Moore, Ph.D., a nutritionist in Clyde Park, Montana, and a spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition. “You go to a restaurant and you’re served three cups of pasta with lots of sauce.” Those three cups of pasta can pack up to 600 calories without the sauce.

The Best Advice: Pasta in moderation is fine. Dietitians recommend two or three ounces of uncooked noodles per person — or half of a one-pound box to serve a family of four. This may look like a puny amount, but try thinking of “pasta as an ingredient, rather than as the basis of a dish,” says Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (Wiley, $35, “Start with a lot of grilled or sautéed vegetables and maybe a tomato-based sauce. Then add some pasta, sparingly.” If you want protein, add beans, chicken, or shellfish. (For some delicious pasta dishes, see Healthy Pasta Recipes. Make your pasta — or bread or rice or cereal — whole-grain, which has more vitamins and minerals than white pasta. You’ll also be getting fiber, which helps you feel full.
Myth No. 4: Coffee can help you lose weight.
The Theory: The caffeine in coffee acts as an appetite suppressant and a metabolism booster.

The Reality: While coffee may temporarily squelch your appetite, drinking a couple of cups a day won’t have enough of an effect to help you lose weight. Besides, pouring too much coffee into your system — drinking, say, four to seven cups a day — may lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

The Best Advice: Enjoy a cup or two of coffee (or tea) every day, if you please. Just be sure that if you add anything to the brew — like cream, sugar, or cocoa powder — you take those calories into account. For example, a 16-ounce Starbucks café mocha can contain a whopping 330 calories (60 more than some chocolate bars). What’s more, those calories might not make you feel as full as the same number of calories eaten in solid form.

Another coffee concern: sleep disruption, which new evidence reveals is linked to weight control. “Every time people feel tired, they think, I have to have a latte,” says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis. “They become addicted to caffeine on a higher level, and it takes four to six hours to clear out of the system. Sleep is not as good, and you’re tired the next day.” And probably hungrier, too. At least two studies have shown that when people are sleep-deprived, they produce more of the hormone ghrelin, an appetite stimulant, and less leptin, an appetite suppressant. Not to mention that your resistance to the doughnut’s siren song is a whole lot lower when you’re pooped.
Myth No. 5: Milk can help you lose weight.
The Theory: Calcium helps the body break down fat more efficiently, stimulating weight loss.

The Reality: Dairy doesn’t appear to have magic properties. A few studies from the mid-2000s concluded that dieters who consumed dairy lost more weight than dieters who did not. But other studies showed no effect, and still others showed a link between high milk consumption and eating more calories.

The Best Advice: Go ahead and eat dairy products, but stick with low-fat versions, which are lower in both calories and unhealthy saturated fats.

Milk products are loaded with calcium, of course, but how much calcium you need is a matter of debate. The government recommends at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium for adults under 50 years old (about the amount in three cups of milk) and 1,200 milligrams for people over 50; however, the Harvard School of Public Health holds that no one really knows the healthiest, safest amount of calcium that adults should consume. If dairy products don’t agree with you, you can get calcium from fortified soy milk; fortified orange juice; dark green, leafy vegetables, such as kale and collard greens; and certain fish, such as canned salmon.
Myth No. 6: Going on a diet is the best way to lose weight.
The Theory: Switching to a prescriptive plan temporarily is the smartest way to drop pounds.

The Reality: Short-term, you do lose weight on any plan that results in your eating fewer calories. But temporary changes don’t lead to permanent losses. “A diet won’t work if you think of it as doing a different thing for a while and then you’re going to stop doing it,” says Christopher Gardner, an assistant professor of nutritional science at Stanford University School of Medicine. “If you have a new way of eating and think, I’m going to eat like this forever, that’s the way to lose weight.” And keep it off.

The Best Advice: Don’t go on a “diet” — a quick fix that begins on New Year’s Day or before bathing-suit season. Instead, change the way you eat. Find a satisfying eating plan that you can live with long-term, and make sure you’re eating the right amount of calories for weight loss. Then, when you’ve taken off some weight, don’t go back to eating as much as you did before you cut calories. “To maintain a lighter weight, you have to eat a little less than you did to maintain your heavier weight before,” says Gardner.

Besides, dieting alone won’t work as well as dieting plus exercise — a little bit of exercise, or maybe a lot. Since 1994 the National Weight Control Registry has followed and analyzed the habits of successful weight losers (defined as people who have maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for a year or more). Among its findings: Those who kept weight off exercised — with brisk walking or some other moderate-intensity activity — an average of one hour a day. “One of the most important aspects of weight maintenance is a high dose of physical activity,” says Rena Wing, Ph.D., a cofounder of the registry and a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School, at Brown University.
Myth No. 7: Eating protein and carbs at different meals will help you lose weight.
The Theory: Protein and carbohydrates require different enzymes for digestion; if you eat the two separately, you improve digestion and further weight loss.

The Reality: Your digestive tract can handle a variety of food groups at the same time. There is no proof that eating protein and carbohydrates separately aids digestion or weight loss, says nutritionist Christopher Gardner. Indeed, it’s healthier to combine protein and fiber-filled carbs than to separate them. “The pairing of protein and fiber is what fills you up the most and gives you the most energy,” says Elisa Zied, a New York City–based registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “An apple is good, but an apple with peanut butter is more filling.” Also, some of the best foods for you — nuts, seeds, legumes — are made up of both protein and carbohydrates. “To people who say that you should separate protein and carbohydrates, I say, ‘Why did God make beans?’” says dietitian Ellie Krieger.

The Best Advice: Eat protein along with carbs, but choose with care. The best protein choices are lean meats, poultry, low-fat dairy products, and tofu, because they have little (if any) saturated fat. The best carbs are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which offer more health benefits than refined grains. “Those foods take longer to absorb, so there’s a slower release into the body and a more steady energy source,” says Hope Barkoukis, an assistant professor of nutrition at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland.
Myth No. 8: To lose weight, you need to cut calories drastically.
The Theory: Eat much less; weigh much less.

The Reality: Sure, if you subsist on 1,200 calories a day, you’ll take off weight, but it won’t be for long. Consider an analysis of 31 studies of long-term diets, where the diets averaged 1,200 calories a day. The report, published last April in American Psychologist, found that within four to five years, the majority of dieters in these studies regained the weight they had lost. “Psychologically, it’s difficult for people to adhere to strict diets over a long period because they feel deprived and hungry,” says Traci Mann, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, and the lead author of the report. “Also, our bodies are brilliant at keeping us alive when we try to starve them.” Your body becomes more efficient at using the calories you consume, so you need fewer to survive. In addition, people who are put on a very-low-calorie diet (800 calories a day) have an increased risk of developing gallstones and digestive issues.

The Best Advice: Don’t starve yourself. “If you want to lose weight and keep it off forever, you need a modest calorie restriction that you simply continue and never stop,” says nutritionist Christopher Gardner. But what’s the right number of calories for you? Use this easy formula, a favorite of cardiologist Thomas Lee, editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter.

First find your activity level on the table below. Multiply your weight by the number indicated. (You may fall between two categories. If that’s the case, adjust the number by adding a point or so.) The result is the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. Let’s say you weigh 135 pounds and do light exercise one to three days a week. Multiply 135 by 13.5 to get, approximately, 1,800 calories. If you want to drop some pounds, try cutting out 250 calories a day, says Lee. In a year, if you make no other changes, you could be 26 pounds lighter. Exercise more and you could lose more, too.
And Your Number Is…
You Exercise: Almost never
Multiply Your Current Weight By: 12

You Exercise: Lightly, one to three days a week
Multiply Your Current Weight By: 13.5

You Exercise: Moderately, three to five days a week
Multiply Your Current Weight By: 15.5

You Exercise: Vigorously, six to seven days a week
Multiply Your Current Weight By: 17

You Exercise: Vigorously, daily, and you have a physical job
Multiply Your Current Weight By: 19
Myth No. 9: Diet foods help you diet.
The Theory: Low-fat, low-carb, and artificially sweetened packaged foods make losing weight painless.

The Reality: Low-fat and low-carb don’t always mean low-cal, and if you’re trying to lose weight, stocking up on these treats could undermine your efforts. In a series of recent studies, for instance, participants ate up to 50 percent more of foods that the researchers falsely labeled “low-fat” than they did of the same exact foods with real labels. “Consumers expect that low-fat M&M’s contain 20 percent fewer calories than their regular counterparts,” concluded the authors of the studies, Brian Wansink, Ph.D., and Pierre Chandon, Ph.D., in the Journal of Marketing Research, in November 2006. “Importantly, as a result, they expect that comparable increases in serving sizes are justified.” Some experts also believe that consuming artificial sweeteners might backfire. Two long-term studies looking at the drinking habits of thousands of people have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and being overweight.

The Best Advice: When you’re tempted by a snack food that’s labeled “light” or “low-fat,” check the nutrition label. Look at how many calories are in a serving, then compare that number with the calories in a comparable product that’s not making a label claim. And then consider having just a small amount of the real thing. You may end up consuming fewer calories with, say, a full-fat product than you would with a low-fat version, because fat tends to be more satisfying. And take care that you don’t decide — consciously or not — that substituting a diet soda for a full-sugar one gives you license to eat a box of Valentine’s chocolates instead.
Myth No. 10: Eating fat makes you fat.
The Theory: Fat has nine calories per gram, whereas carbs and protein have only four per gram, so to lose weight you have to avoid fat.

The Reality: Fat is not the enemy. Although fat-laden products can be full of calories, a modest amount of fat may help you feel full (so you eat less overall) and make healthy foods, like vegetables, taste better (so you may eat more of them). Fat also helps with the absorption of certain vitamins and phytonutrients, which are compounds in plants that are thought to promote health.

The Best Advice: Eat fat, but don’t go overboard. And think about which fats you do eat, as some are better for you than others. Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, found in liquid oils such as canola, safflower, and olive; most nuts; and fish. These fats don’t raise blood cholesterol levels and may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. The fats to limit or avoid are saturated fats, found mainly in beef and dairy products, and trans fats, which are in a lot of packaged foods, fried fast foods, and margarine. These are no more caloric than the good fats, but they are less healthful, as they increase the risk of heart disease. The Institute of Medicine, which advises the government on scientific matters, including health, recommends that when it comes to saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fats, you eat as little as possible. If we’ve learned anything as we’ve swung from low-fat to low-carb and back again, it’s this: There’s no need to eat dry salad or forgo any food you adore. Most everything in moderation will keep your weight where it belongs.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who's Drinking all that Diet-Rite Cola?

Our family, the McCauley's, moved to Elmira Heights, NY when I was 7. We lived in a cracker-box shaped, two-family home on 10th Street - the worst house, on a nice street, in a Mayberry-like town.

In 1965 when I was 11, Danny M. (no last name, to protect the not-so innocent) and his family, moved into the other side of our house. Coincidentially, 1965 was the same year that Diet-Rite Cola started their catchy ad campaign. "Who's drinking all that Diet-Rite Cola? Everybody!"

Well, Danny M. put his own slant on the jingle - his went like this... "Who's drinking all that Diet-Rite Cola? All the McCauley's! (Those of you with AARP cards, like me, go ahead and sing the tune.)

My sister Mae, and I, thought Danny M.'s version went beyond genius!! We sang it constantly, until one day our mother said, "What are you singing?" We proceeded to tell her how great Danny M. was and how he had personalized the ad just for us. She said, "You stupid idiots (I think mothers were more honest in the 60's; at least ours was), don't you understand he's making fun of you?"

Not only did we not realize he was making fun of us, we didn't even get it? Mom had to explain that "All the McCauley's" were drinking all the Diet-Rite cola because we needed to, as we were fat.

I remember every detail of the story up to that point. Did I tell Danny M. off? Did I ever say another word to him? Truthfully, I haven't a clue. All I know is that we tell that story, to this day, and roar louder each time we tell it. After 45 years it brings me joy to say this - All the McCauley's may have been fat but it didn't define who we were, nor did it rob us of our senses of humor.

God bless you, Danny M., wherever you are, I forgive you - nah, there's nothing to forgive. Thanks for being part of our family lore and thanks for the laughs. I hope you've had a good life.... writing ad copy for Pepsi or Broadway lyrics, you certainly had the talent for it!

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Suck it Up"

My son was in the Saturday morning basketball league until he got old enough for the CYO team. I remember when he was in third grade and one of the kids got elbowed and fell to the court writhing in pain. I stood up in the bleachers, as the coach ran to the kid. He knelt by the poor boy's prone body, did a 10 second assessment and said, quite loudly, "suck it up." My first reaction was disbelief, then the kid bounced up and hurried back into the game.

It's winter in Syracuse NY, school is closed, for the second day in a row, my driveway is plowed in, no newspaper has made it to my mailbox, and the comfort food is calling my name from the kitchen.

Since that infamous Saturday, the coaches profound words have stayed with me. I have my MP3 player (I don't need a cooler IPod) with Beyonce and Lady Gaga on it. I am strapping on my honker headphones and am going to march in place for 10,000 steps. Then, I am going to have a 100 calorie pita pocket for lunch with dijon mustard, hummus and fat free swiss cheese. THEN I am going to do some money making work on my computer before I make scallops for my hardworking hubby.

In other words, I am going to SUCK IT UP. Thanks Coach.

Amazon Ideas

WOW Hits 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2/25/2010 Meeting Canceled

The Pray It Off meeting tonight is canceled as Fr. Prior has closed all evening activities at the church due to the snowstorm. There will not be a packet this week as I will hand out this weeks packet (and review it) at next week's meeting and then post the materials on my blog next Friday.

Please become a follower of the Pray it Off Blog, click on the ads and spread the word to everyone you know!!!

God bless, stay safe and see you next Thursday in person but daily on the blog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Archive of Meetings 3

I am archiving the first two years of meeting hand-outs. Here is the third installment!

Welcome to My Heart

Dear God,
Welcome to my heart,
Your home!
How honored I am to know
that Your Holy Spirit lives in me!
May this knowledge remind and inspire me
to treat my physical body with reverence--
not to worship it, but to worship You
and Your indwelling presence.
I offer my thoughts, my actions,
my words, and my attitudes--
all of me--to You.
Make me a living sacrifice,
a testament to the power to be found
only in You.

Turn My Self-Interest Outward

Dear God,
How much I need Your help
to turn my self-interest outward.
My problem is too much food,
but for so many, the problem is just the opposite!
Forgive me, Lord, for my shortsightedness.
But thank you for the satisfaction that You promise I will experience through generous giving.
And thank You that, through me,
You are ready and willing to bless my world
with comfort and abundance.

Ruth Woodhouse

Contrary to the claims of so many weight loss programs out to make a quick buck, there is no way to lose weight in record time - and keep it off in the long term.
You have to concentrate on everything you put in your mouth. After all, if food is your weakness you can't just give it up altogether like you might give up smoking or drinking alcohol. There's no escaping the fact that we do have to eat - and getting the amount of calories right as well as ensuring we get all our nutrition is a real balancing act. Unless you keep close tabs on everything that passes your lips you will have too many discouraging weeks where you don't lose weight - and even put some on. You might think you have been doing well - but the scales will tell a different story.
So you need some reliable aids to weight loss. One of them which can be enormously beneficial is a food diary. Anybody who has ever been faithful in keeping one will be sure to recommend it as something that really does help keep you on track.
First and foremost, it keeps you focused on your weight loss program. When you have a busy, demanding life, it does take some effort and discipline to regularly write down what you're eating. By doing so, you are more likely to remain "in gear". Otherwise it's all too easy to have little slips out of gear, when you coast along and unthinkingly put things in your mouth that you don't really need to. These lapses quickly undermine your efforts to lose weight that week - and at the very least slow down your weight loss. Worst of all, too many such lapses will inevitably cause discouragement that threatens your resolve. Eventually, after the lapses increase in length, you're likely to just give up - albeit without any actual decision to do so. It's the natural course of things if you aren't "on the ball".
When you're writing down what you eat in a diary you want it to show you're doing the right thing. You're not going to want to be putting a slice of mud cake on Monday's page, then a Big Mac and fries on Tuesday's, then half a block of chocolate on Wednesday's, etc. You will want it to have things like diet yogurt, a banana, green salad and a low fat cereal appearing far more often than any kind of sweet or high-fat treat. It's very much a psychological influence on your ongoing commitment.
It helps keep you honest too. If you're going to keep a food diary, you can't eat your child's leftovers and just forget about it or pretend those calories didn't count. You have to be honest or there's no point in the exercise. You can't fool yourself.
If you reach a plateau phase where the weight is just refusing to budge, a food diary could also give you a clue as to what the problem is. By looking back over what you have been eating in previous weeks, you may find something that's sabotaging your efforts - or some small way that you can reduce your calorie intake just enough to get things moving again. Or, on the other hand, you may find that you are not giving your metabolism enough to keep it chugging along.
A food diary will also serve as a reminder about such things as keeping up your water intake. You can put a tick for every glass of water you have in the day. In addition it helps you to check that you're eating the right number of serves of fruit, vegies, dairy, protein, cereals/grains and good fat each day. In other words it's a useful aid in your personal development of new eating habits and an overall healthy eating program that you can keep up in the long term. If you just cut calories and deprive yourself of your nutritional requirements it will take its toll on your health and won't result in a new lifestyle that you can live with permanently.
It can also give you ideas and reminders of meals to have again - or of quick snacks when you are under pressure. For example, while waiting for a meal to cook, you may be ravenously hungry and inclined to grab something you will later regret eating. Instead of following that impulse, you could flick through your food diary to remind yourself of something to snack on that's healthy and low in calories as well as quick and easy.
A food diary is an excellent tool for weight loss and a valuable record of your journey to a new, slimmer, healthier you. It can serve you well along the way and will then be a great keepsake of the pilgrimage that led you to freedom.

A Food Diary: The Cheapest Diet Aid
Daniella Di Nenno

Okay, so I'm sure you have those days where you say I'll just have a bite of this' or just a sliver of that.' We've all been there, and many of us act like those little bites don't count in our diet. In reality many of us put excess calories in our bodies that we forget about and sometimes we don't even realize what we've eaten. All those little bits and bites add up on your waistline, unless we keep track of every little thing we consume, we can sometimes make big diet no-no's without even realizing.
A food diary is a very effective way to keep tabs on your consumption, and even help you to eat less in general. All you need is a small notepad and a pen to carry with you and jot down every time you feel the urge to take a bite of anything. It also helps to write approximate caloric value beside each food that you list. Many times you'll crave a piece of chocolate and just as you're about to write it down you glance over your list and think, do I really need this? That is a great way to keep you from making small mistakes that can add up big time. By keeping a diary of your calorie intake, you can stay within your limits, and shed extra pounds just by neglecting the temptation of those last little bites.
A food diary is a great way of making you very conscious of all the little things that are adding up, and keeping you from your goals. It can aid anyone who is trying to lose weight, and stay within a diet that they are following. It's so simple to do and can really help make a difference in the amount of calories that you consume on a daily basis. So invest in a food diary and invest in your health and your body in 2008.

A food diary is one of the most useful tools for dieting.
Elizabeth Cook

Here are some points as to why this is true.
- First of all, you can see what you've eaten all day, keeping track of everything you can and can't have. This way you won't forget what you've eaten. You'll also see it written down so that it either makes you feel great (or guilty)!
- Are you getting your 'five a day'? With a food diary, you can see how much fruit and vegetables you have eaten. Sometimes it is hard to lose count, and may be you think you've had five, but really it was only three.
- With personal experience in dieting, a food diary has proved to be a very useful tool for me.
- Another benefit of a food diary is a second opinion. You can show your food diary to your dietitian, or even your friend to discuss how you could have lost more weight or where you've gone right or wrong that week. You can also work out which foods help you lose weight more.
- The most important quality to have when you're dieting is keeping your willpower. If you put on weight, and you feel like you have done everything right, check your food diary and seek a helping hand. If you really diagnose what you have eaten that week, then you can see where you went wrong. You need supportive and complimentary friends around you all the time to make weight loss successful. If you have negative friends, get rid of them right away! They'll only make your weight loss journey harder.
- A food diary can only help you, not hinder you, so don't be afraid to use one! Some people may feel that writing down what they have eaten is unnecessary because surely we can remember what we've eaten, right? Wrong. Can you really remember every single scrap of food you have eaten today? Along with the fat content? What about drinks, surely you've had a cup of tea or two? With milk? And sugar? I Thought so. Don't give up and don't give in, just give it a try, it works, believe in yourself. What have you got to lose?

How to Increase Your Metabolism

If you're trying to lose weight and think your metabolism might be the culprit, there are changes you can make to improve it. But with the commercialism surrounding "metabolism-enhancing" products, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction (or advertising) and pin down techniques that are scientifically proven to change one's metabolism.

1. Understand what metabolism is. In the simplest terms, metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. The rate differs significantly from person to person. You and your friend can have the same activity level, diet, and weight but still gain or lose weight at different rates based on differences in metabolism.
2. Determine what is influencing your metabolism. There are some factors that you can change, and some factors that you can't.
o Age - metabolism slows 5% per decade after age 40
o Sex - men generally burn calories faster than women
o Heredity - you can inherit your metabolic rate from previous generations
o Thyroid disorder - problems in the thyroid gland can slow or quicken metabolism but this is rare
o Proportion of lean body mass - metabolism increases with muscle mass
3. Calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR). RMR is often used interchangeably with basal metabolic rate (BMR); although they are slightly different, estimating either is sufficient for the purpose of losing weight. To calculate your RMR, use the Mifflin-St Jeor equation (which is more reliable than the Harris-Benedict equation. There are also calculators online that can do this for you:
o RMR = 9.99w + 6.25s - 4.92a + 166g-161
o w = weight in kilograms; if you know your weight in pounds, divide by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms
o s = height in centimeters; if you know your height in inches, multiply by 2.54 to get your height in centimeters
o a = age in years
o g = gender = 1 for males, 0 for females
o Adjust your diet accordingly. Your RMR will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your body at rest. Your daily consumption to maintain your weight should be:
RMR x 1.15
o E.g. RMR = 2000, so the maintenance intake is 2000 x 1.15 = 2300
o To lose weight safely, consume no more than your maintenance intake but no less than your RMR.
o Count calories by recording what you eat and looking up how many calories each food item contains (either on the food packaging or in tables provided in books or online).
4. Eat small, frequent meals. Extending the time between meals makes your body go into "starvation mode", which means it'll hold onto as many calories as possible and store them as fat. This is why fasting and skipping meals will only make things worse. In addition to having four to six small meals per day eating healthy snacks will also increase metabolism.
5. Drink water. As with food, depriving your body of water can encourage it to "hoard" rather than "burn". In order to encourage your liver to focus on metabolism rather than water retention, make sure you drink an appropriate amount of water.
6. Boost metabolism temporarily with aerobic exercise. Different activities burn different quantities of calories, but the important thing is to raise your heart rate and sustain the activity for approximately 30 minutes.
7. Boost metabolism in the long run with weight training. Muscle burns more calories than fat (73 more calories per kilogram per day, to be exact) so the more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Every bit of muscle that you gain is like a little factory that burns calories for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the only way to increase RMR, which accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the calories you burn daily.

• There are no "fat-burning" foods. You might've heard that certain foods (like celery and grapefruit) increase metabolism, but it's just a myth. While some foods and drinks like red peppers and green tea have been studied for their potential metabolism-increasing properties, there is no conclusive evidence that whatever influence they have on metabolism is significant enough to result in weight loss.
• However, some believe that certain extremely low-calorie foods, such as celery, cause the body to burn more calories in the act of consumption than are absorbed by the body. Still, half an hour walking will burn many more calories than half an hour of chewing celery.

• Avoid smoking as a weight-loss method. While nicotine is a metabolism booster and appetite suppressant, the health hazards far outweigh any benefits.
• Expect your metabolism to slow down as you lose weight. The more weight your body is carrying, the more calories your body has to burn in order to sustain itself, even at rest. When you begin restricting your calorie intake, you'll lose weight relatively easily because your body's high caloric needs are not being met. But after you begin to shed the weight, the body has less mass to carry and thus needs fewer calories. In order to continue losing weight, you will have to restrict your caloric intake even further in order to maintain a difference between what your body needs and what you are providing. Let's go through a hypothetical example:

o You are 200 lbs and your body needs 2500 calories a day to sustain itself.
o You cut down your caloric intake to 2000 calories.
o You lose 25 lbs. Now your body only needs 2250 calories to sustain itself because it's carrying less weight.
o If you continue with your 2000 calorie per day diet (the diet that helped you lose the first 25 lbs) you will still be losing, but at half the speed. In order to maintain a steady weight loss you will need to reduce your caloric intake further. However, it is at the utmost importance you do not try to consume fewer calories than your RMR!
o Another possible problem: If you continue with your 2000 calorie per day diet (the diet that helped you lose the first 25 lbs) you may actually gain weight back because of varying levels of exercise. Let's say you lose 50 lbs. on your 2000 calorie diet. Your sustaining calories might be 1800. You're actually consuming enough calories to gain weight, but how would that happen if you had stayed to your diet. This can happen when your exercise has burned through many calories. If you slowed on exercise at this point you would actually gain weight again. The point here is to recheck your RMR when you lose weight and compare it to your consumption.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Archive of Meetings 2

Why Diets Fail *From

90-95% of people who lose weight with diet gain most of the weight back within 3 to 5 years. Often times more body fat, or weight is gained back due to yo-yo dieting.
1. Most diets restrict your caloric intake so much that metabolism slows down..
Drastically reducing calories can slow your metabolism and hinder the weight loss process (Leibel, Rosenbaum & Hirsch 1995)
Dieter's body becomes highly efficient at conserving calories and storing them as fat.
Lowered metabolism increases likelihood dieter regains even more weight particularly when old eating habits are resumed.
Frequent changes of weight increases risk of heart disease and premature death (Brownell & Rodin 1994; Lissner et al. 1991).
Permanent changes in eating habits and exercise are required for sustained weight loss.
If too few calories are being consumed, simultaneous adjustments should be made
increase calories throughout day by eating 3 balance meals and 2-3 snacks
increase both anaerobic and aerobic activity
2. Dieting may result in depression, which is counter productive to losing weight.
Depriving yourself of food can lead to depriving yourself of social events. You may give up eating meals out or eating with friends because you don't want to eat something off your diet. This can lead to depression and possible overeating to compensate for what your missing.
3. Most diets don't encourage lifestyle changes.
Making temporary changes in eating habits or eating prepackaged foods from weight loss programs will facilitate weight loss. However, when you reach your goals or go off the weight loss program, you maybe more likely to return to old eating habits and gain the weight back (and possibly more). To have permanent weight loss, you must make permanent changes in food choices, eating habits, and physical activity.
4. With very low calorie diets, weight loss is usually lean body weight.
Diets that severely restricts caloric intake, facilitates loss of lean body weight as opposed to fat weight. This can result in a person who isn't overweight, but has a high body fat composition.
If diet is implemented, a very subtle decrease in calories may result in longer lasting weight loss with less lean body weight loss.
5. Exercise is not part of the program.
Exercise is the greatest predictor of maintaining weight loss
Weight training can decrease the loss of muscle

The 15 Challenges of Successful Christian Weight Loss

These are challenges, not requirements. Each challenge we are able to address and master brings us one step closer to successful weight loss. The first 7 challenges set the stage or prepare the path. They are just as important as the next 8 which deal with the physical aspects of weight-loss. Be careful not to underestimate the power of the first 7 challenges. Once these preparatory steps have been taken, the process of losing weight is easier and more successful.
1. Pray everyday, for yourself and for others.
2. Read your bible everyday.
Communication is a basic requirement for any relationship. These two steps allow us to build and strengthen our relationship with God. Praying is our way of talking to God. Reading the bible is God's way of talking to us. We must do both to create two-way conversations.
-- Phillippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
-- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
3. Find or form a support group and attend the meetings faithfully.
4. Call or visit with at least one other group member at least once a week, especially if you are unable to attend a meeting.
Meeting with a group and visiting with other members makes us part of a community. Transforming old habits into new healthier habits is difficult to do without help. We need to know that other people are interested in our well-being and our progress. Sometimes we need the opportunity to focus on others and their well-being instead of our own. Sharing our experiences keeps all of us from feeling isolated.
If you are unable to find or form your own group, then consider Overeater's Anonymous, T.O.P.S. and meeting with another friend or two. Following this program alone is very difficult. Losing weight with a partner or group increases your likelihood of success.
-- Proverbs 3:28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
-- Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
5. Ask for help when you need it. A lot of us have tried to lose weight on our own. Most of us have been unsuccessful. We get to places where we are stuck. We have bad days and hard weeks. We have months that test our resolve. Some of us have had years of swimming in darkness. We lose our sense of humor and we forget to pray. This is when we need to ask for help. Whether it is a little pebble in our path, or a big boulder, we don't have to do it alone. We can call on God to help us, and we can call on other human beings too. A good time to ask for help is when we feel confused, frustrated or hopeless. When we think we are undeserving of help, and that no one wants to help us anyway, that's our signal. It's time to open up to others. Whenever feelings like this creep into our minds, it is a sure bet that the time has come to pray. Call a group member or a friend right away. Before you know it, things will start to make sense again.
-- Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
-- Psalms 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
6. Follow your doctor's health recommendations.
7. Take your medications regularly and on time.
If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, or health concern, then your doctor may have recommended you make some lifestyle changes. You may have medications you must take everyday to maintain or achieve optimum health. If we want to be as healthy as we can be, then we need to follow our doctors' advice. If we have daily medications, even something as simple as a multi-vitamin, we need to make it a priority in our daily routine. Some medications work best if they are taken at the same time everyday. If this is the case, then we might as well set a time and stick to it. Doctors really do have our best interest at heart. We have an obligation to ourselves and our loved ones, to follow their directions.
-- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
The following challenges deal directly with the physical aspects of weight-loss. Be sure to make peace with the first 7 challenges, before embarking on the next 8.
8. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day (64 oz total).
Water does a lot of good things for our bodies. It keeps our bladders and kidneys functioning properly. It improves our skin and makes our wrinkles less noticeable. Water keeps us hydrated so we have more energy. It flushes impurities out of our bodies and puts a spring our step. Soda pop, coffee, tea and kool-aid do not count as water. Water counts as water. If you don't like your tap water then drink filtered or bottled water, or keep water in your fridge.
-- Psalms 107:9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
9. Write down everything you eat everyday.
Before we get to where we're going, we need to know where we are. Before we can follow a new food plan we need to know what we are eating today. It isn't easy to write down everything we eat. As a matter of fact, for some of us it is extremely difficult. It still has to be done. Some of us may wonder why we have to keep track of the chaotic way we eat. After all, we know the old chaos isn't working, that is why we are ready to change. Writing down what we eat brings order to the chaos. It helps us come to face to face with our own behavior. Forming a habit takes 3 weeks. Writing down everything we eat for a week or two, without the worry of following a meal plan yet, gives us a head start on this habit.
-- Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
10. Follow your food plan everyday.
Choose a food plan or diet plan. It can be the diabetic/weight loss exchanges, the USDA pyramid, or another healthy food plan of your choice. Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin. Next, look over the records you've kept for the past week or two. Make note of any trends in your eating behavior. For instance, you may notice that you don't always eat enough vegetables or that you eat a lot more fat than your plan allows. Keep these things in mind and address them in your plan. Our weaknesses are the pathway to success. When we can see the weak points in our behavior, we have the opportunity to overcome these weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
-- Galatians 5:24-25 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
11. Measure and weigh your portions.
The only way to consistently maintain our calorie level is to measure the foods we eat. Food or postal scales are available at office supply stores, hardware stores and most discount department stores. Most of us already have measuring cups and spoons. It's hard to spread a teaspoon of margarine or butter on a slice of toast when we don't know what a teaspoon of margarine or butter looks like. It's smaller than one thinks. Measuring and weighing our portions keeps us on track.
-- Proverbs 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
12. Exercise 4 to 6 times a week.
Exercise builds muscle. It increases metabolism and decreases appetite. It gives us more energy. Exercise makes us stronger. People who exercise regularly struggle less with depression and mental fatigue. Exercise is easier to do with a friend. If you have a friend you can exercise with, Great! If you don't, you can still exercise by yourself. Plan on spending 20 to 30 minutes a day, 4 to 6 times a week, doing some type of healthy physical activity.
-- Proverbs 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
13. Weigh yourself once a week, no more, no less.
Weighing ourselves everyday or several times a day is the same as measuring the length of our hair or fingernails everyday. It is a waste of our time. It will tie us up in knots and plant us firmly in the valley of confusion. The scale is only one way of measuring success. It may not always be the most accurate way. Do yourself a favor. Decide to weigh yourself once a week, and be content with your decision. Obsessive scale use only leads to disappointment.
-- Phillippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
14. Keep the dishes done and the kitchen clean.
When the sink is full of dirty dishes and the kitchen is cluttered, we can't cook. If we can't cook then we go hungry or eat unhealthy snack foods or go out to eat. All of these results sabotage our success. Cooking and eating homemade food brings us closer to our goals. Going hungry, eating out and eating processed or convenience foods makes it more difficult to reach our goals. The easiest way to cook at home is to keep the dishes done and the kitchen clean. Not everyone has this struggle, but many of us do. If you already keep your kitchen tidy, that's super! If you don't, then you are encouraged to make it a higher priority.
-- Proverbs 12:27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious. (Anyone too lazy to cook will starve, but a hard worker is a valuable treasure. - CEV)
15. Do something very nice for someone who doesn't deserve it at least once a week.
Lots of us eat as a response to frustration, stress or anger. When we feel these feelings we need to find an alternative to eating. Being nice to someone who doesn't deserve it is a great substitute to eating. When the kids or husband or a friend or sister are doing everything they can to get our goat, we don't have to eat a candy bar or a bag of chips. We can think up ways to be nice to the offending person instead. Sure it is difficult. Sure it is challenging. It is still worth doing. We can turn this weakness into a strength. We can turn our wills to God and allow him to work inside of us when we are confronted with unfair treatment and unfair demands.
-- Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
-- Proverbs 3:6-8 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

God's Diet Plan(From

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach and green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.
And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent double-cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?" And Man said, "Super size them." And Man gained pounds.
And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair.
And Satan froze the yogurt, and he brought forth chocolate, nuts and brightly colored sprinkle candy to put on the yogurt. And woman gained pounds.
And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."
And Satan brought forth creamy dressings, bacon bits, and shredded cheese. And there was ice cream for dessert. And woman gained pounds.
And God said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them."
And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak from Cracker Barrel so big it needed its own platter And Man gained pounds, and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.
And God brought forth running shoes, and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.
And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2. And Man gained pounds.
And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil." And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.
And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.
And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.....
And Satan created HMOs...

Body Not Interested in Weight Loss From

Point is, your basic body chemistry is at least one million years old.
It's not interested in weight loss or reducing fat.
On the contrary, it will do almost anything to prevent loss of body weight. Because body weight and body fat is the body's source of
fuel for survival.
Even if you try to starve yourself slim, your body will simply slow down your metabolism in order to conserve energy. Result? Weight loss slows down and may even stop altogether.
Slow Steady Weight Loss is Best
Lasting weight loss means improving your eating habits. This takes time. No one changes their eating habits overnight. This is another reason why fast weight loss is usually followed by fast weight gain - it doesn't allow us enough time to develop good eating habits. By contrast, slow steady weight loss is good for our body AND good for our mental adjustment to new eating habits.
For Lasting Weight Loss
• Be content to lose 2 pounds per week.
• According to most experts, this is the optimum rate of weight loss.
• REMEMBER: Losing 2 pounds a week adds up to 104 pounds a year.
• Question: Do you have a problem with losing 104 pounds a year?


1. Organize: Plan your meals before they happen. Eat "in," pack lunches and snacks, and make the commitment to eat right.
2. Pantry Purge: Throw away all of the low-nutrient density foods (i.e., chips, cookies, crackers, candy) and restock with better options (whole wheat crackers, pretzels, whole wheat pastas, whole wheat breads, canned vegetables)
3. Upgrade you carbohydrate choices : Choose sweet potatoes over white, whole grain or whole wheat over refined, and lentils and beans for something different.
4. Choose healthy snack and dessert options : Keep almonds, natural peanut butter, dried fruit, sugar-free jello, sugar-free/fat-free pudding, and string cheese on hand.
5. Eliminate all liquid calories: Change to diet soft drinks or water, use a sugar substitute when making tea and coffee, and use the sugar-free flavor packets for bottled water.
6. Construct sound meals: Include a lean protein source (skinless chicken, baked fish, lean ground beef, tofu, etc.); vegetables (choose dark green and orange ones more often); a complex carbohydrate (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat slice of bread); and a whole piece of fruit (fruit can be added to meals or eat them as a dessert or a snack).
7. Add snacks: One to two planned snacks per day is okay, as long as you choose wisely. Carry them with you or plan what they will be-do not be caught out and about and starving.
8. Be consistent and deliberate: Miscellaneous calories add up over time. Commit to staying away from co-workers' candy jars and just say no to unnecessary sweets and treats. Eat around the same time everyday-your body will adjust to these times

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Archive of Meetings 1

Since I started the blog after the program started, two years after, I am going to start archiving some of the information from the old weekly packets, a few meetings at a time. I will only include electronic articles that current blog readers may find useful.

I add my own commentary at each meeting which, at this point, isn't in the blog although I plan on adding that for future meetings (maybe even video one day) once I catch up with archiving the past select electronic materials.

I verbally hit the highlights of the packet at the meetings and encourage the members to read the packets at home during the next week.

Do’s and Don’ts
If you Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

1. LESS real eggs – more Eggbeaters or egg whites
2. NO DONUTS – Light or Wheat Bagels – ½ with Lite butter or lite cream cheese
3. NO CHIPS – FF Saltines, Reduced Fat Wheat Thins
4. NO REAL ICE CREAM – Light Sherbet or Reduced Calorie Ice Cream –or Skinny Cows
5. NO CAKE or Cookies – 100 calorie packs
6. LESS BREAD – light rye/light wheat – get that fiber in there
7. NO PIZZA – get Lean Cuisine Pizza
8. NO WINGS – boneless chicken breasts
9. NO BLUE CHEESE DRESSING – Light or Fat Free DRESSINGS or light oil and balsamic vinaigrette
10. NO FAST FOODS – or have salads there or ½ of a veggie Subway Sub with NO Mayo
11. Use light or fat free mayonnaise or better yet Dijonaise
12. Watch going out to dinner!! ½ portions or the lower calorie choices
13. NO Alcohol or very limited
14. Substitute Ham with Lean turkey
15. Use ground turkey in chili or goulash
16. Use wheat pasta
17. Try a fiber cereal – Kashi Good Friends with Raisins is Great
18. Watch Canned Soups – use Healthy Choice – Low Sodium
19. MORE Salads with dressings on the sides
20. NO BACON – use turkey bacon
21. No burgers/hot dogs – try Boca chicken patties/veggies patties – GREAT
22. Three Meals a Day with one snack (fruit/100 calorie packs)
23. Skim Milk – no whole milk!!
24. Fat Free Creamer in Coffee
25. Look on the web for ideas

Printed from COOKS.COM

5 c. cabbage, sliced fine
2 c. celery, chopped
2 c. green beans
5 c. V-8 juice or tomato
5 c. water
5 bouillon cubes, beef
2 tbsp. onion, chopped
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2-4 tsp. Equal sweetener (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large kettle and cook until vegetables are tender but not overcooked.


Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have
You present so that I do not forget You.
You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak
and I need Your strength,
that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life,
and without You, I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light,
and without You, I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice
and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You
very much, and always be in Your company.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.

Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is,
I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes; death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength,
so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You.
It is getting late and death approaches,
I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows.
O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all it’s dangers. I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread,
so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness,
the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it,
but the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth
and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity AMEN


I was regretting the past
and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
"My name is I am"
He paused.
I waited. He continued,
"When you live in the past
with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WAS.

When you live in the future,
with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.

When you live in this moment
it is not hard. I am here,
My name I AM."

Helen Mallicoat

The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

1. We admit we are powerless over food — that our lives have become unmanageable.
2. Come to believe that a Power (JESUS CHRIST) greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.
4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (Confession)
6. We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Make a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admit it.
11. Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we try to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Dear God,

I admit that I have come to both love
and hate the word "diet."
On the one hand, it represents hope for change.
On the other, it's like a sign flashing "Failure ahead!"
I don't want to embark on another faulty plan, Lord.
I want to embark on a journey with You
that is led by You and depends on Your power.
I can do nothing on my own!
Show me the path that will enable me to change.
Show me, as only You can,
what works for me, what is healthy for me.
I want to think of this venture in positive terms, Lord--
not that I am signing up to be miserable or in want.
I want to learn to feed my body what it truly needs when it truly needs it.
And to feed my soul with the Bread of Life--You!
Today I place my future, my failures, my setbacks,
all of my hopes and plans into Your hands.
There alone will I find meaning
and true success in my life.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blank Food and Exercise Weekly Log

Weekly Pray It Off Food LOG

Name/Weight ____________________________________________

Log Three Meals/ Water Intake (8 8oz goal) Snacks and Exercise (Time& Activity)








Friday, February 19, 2010

PIO Meeting 2/18/2010

AGENDA Pray it Off February 18, 2010
Total Lbs Off 1st Session-644 2nd Session-571 Combined-1215
3rd Session-235 Combined-1450 4th Session -261 4th Session Combined 1711 5th Session- -175
1. Packets
Log Sheet/Matthew 21
Matthew 20
What is Lent
Regulations for Penance, Fasting and Abstinence During Lent
Is It a Sin to be Fat?
In Times of Difficulty Say, “Jesus I Trust in You.”
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Meditations for Pro-Life Stations of the Cross
Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain
Sweet Potato Nutrition
Creamy Low-Fat Sweet Potato Soup
Tilapia Twist
Taco Soup
Lyrics: It Is Well Gaither
PIO Group Prayer Time
2. Opening Prayer
3. Awards:
4. Review Bible Verse
5. Review Packet Materials
6. Listen to: It Is Well
7. St. Pio Intercession
8. PIO Group Prayer Time
9. Dismissal 7:00

Matthew Chapter 20
"The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.' 5 So they went off. (And) he went out again around noon, and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?' 7 They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
3 When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.' 9 When those who had started about five o'clock came, each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner,
saying, 'These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day's burden and the heat.' 13 He said to one of them in reply, 'My friend, I am not cheating you. 4 Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
5 Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? 15 (Or) am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?' 16 6 Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."
7 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve (disciples) aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, 18 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day." 20 8 Then the mother 9 of the sons of Zebedee approached him with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?" She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom." 22 Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. 10 Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can."
He replied, "My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left (, this) is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." 24 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. 26 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 28
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom 11 for many." 29 12 As they left Jericho, a great crowd followed him.
Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, "[Lord,] 13 Son of David, have pity on us!"
The crowd warned them to be silent, but they called out all the more, "Lord, Son of David, have pity on us!"
Jesus stopped and called them and said, "What do you want me to do for you?"
They answered him, "Lord, let our eyes be opened."
Moved with pity, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight, and followed him.

March 17 Wednesday
April 16 Friday

Already Planned for Schedule Changes
April 28 Wednesday
May 5 Wednesday
June 16 Wednesday

What is Lent

Lent, in Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent was also traditionally the term used to describe the period leading up to Christmas before the term of advent was officially recognized.
Conventionally it is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently. The forty days represent the time that, according to the Bible, Jesus spent in the wilderness before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan..
What is The Purpose of Lent. As a Christian committed to building, strengthening and renewing our relationship with God and developing our faith, Lent serves as an opportunity to deny ourselves, repent of our sins and focus our lives to living according to the will of God. Through prayer, meditation on God’s Word and self denial we change the focus from self satisfaction to serving God and his people. Lent is an opportunity to cleanse ourselves of the old and start anew. It comes at the end of winter and leads into the beginning of spring. It represents new life in and through Jesus Christ.
Lent culminates in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The death to our old sinful ways, burial of our selfish desires, and resurrection of new life and new relationship in a savior who washed away our sins by his sacrifice. More than just remembrance, this is a time of dedication to God as we seek his will and we seek a closer relationship with God.
The Practice of Lent.
If you practice lent by giving up some type of food and / or some habit or thing you are missing the point. Lent is not about fish on Fridays but self denial as you seek the face of God. Self denial to conquer the flesh and let the Spirit of God take control. We must learn to follow the Spirit of God and not our fleshly desires. So in your Lenten walk seek God and submit your will to his. Know that through prayer and fasting you can achieve new levels of faith and power In Christ Jesus.
Ask and you will Receive. Be Blessed. Be a Blessing.

Regulations for penance, fasting and abstinence during Lent

The penitential days for the universal church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, and concludes with the celebration of the Paschal Triduum, April 1-3. During this time, the whole church is invited to do penance in order to purify their hearts in preparation to celebrate the renewal of our baptismal promises on Easter Sunday, April 4. In 2010, the one exception to this should be the solemnity of St. Joseph on Friday, March 19.
The following regulations should be observed by Catholics during Lent:
Abstinence — Catholics 14 years of age and older must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent. It is only on other Fridays of the year, outside of Lent, that a Catholic may substitute another form of penance instead of abstinence. The church does not enjoin fasting or penance on this day of the solemn celebration of her universal patron.

Fasting — Catholics between the age of 18 and 59, inclusive, are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these days, one full meal is allowed if necessary. Food may be taken at two other times, two smaller meals, in order to maintain strength according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed.

Sacrament of penance — All the faithful who have reached the age of reason (second grade) are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year. Lent is a good time to fulfill this precept of the church. Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive holy Communion without previously having been to sacramental confession (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1457). Of course, frequent confession, even of venial sins, is highly recommended to grow in God’s grace (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1458).

Other Lenten observances — Each weekday of Lent is also an obligatory day of penance. Some recommendations include the participation in daily Mass, increased prayer or spiritual study, self-imposed fasting or abstinence, works of charity, generosity to programs that benefit others, especially the poor, and participation in traditional Lenten devotions (Stations of the Cross, rosary, retreats, parish missions, etc.).

The goal of all our Lenten disciplines is the conversion of our hearts. As the catechism states, however, “interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1430). These penances help us to “repent” as the Lord asks, by redirecting our whole life toward God and away from the sin and evil which wounds our nature (CCC 1430-1439).

'Is It a Sin To Be Fat?' Ask a Priest vol. 6
Posted by Fr. John Bartunek, LC in Faith on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Q: Is it a sin to be fat? I have been overweight almost my entire life. I’ve tried all kinds of diets but there does not seem to be any permanent solution that works for me. I feel bad when I eat poorly and don’t exercise, but when I think about trying to lose weight again, I feel desperate and hopeless.
A: The easy answer to this question is that, certainly, being fat is not a sin. Being overweight is a state, a condition. Sins are actions. So, no, being fat is not a sin.
Healthy and Unhealthy Guilt
But there seems to be more going on in your question. You are asking the question because you have some feelings of guilt (“I feel bad”). Guilt can be healthy or unhealthy. Healthy guilt is the qualm of conscience we feel when we do wrong, when we do evil, when we freely and consciously violate God’s commandments in some way. This guilt is like a spiritual nervous system telling us that we are in danger, just as our physical nervous system warns us when we touch something hot: “Get away from that! You’re gonna get burned!”
Unhealthy guilt is a similar feeling brought on by a different cause. For example, we can feel ashamed by a stupid thing we did or said, because it made us look like a fool. This isn’t moral guilt. This is emotional discomfort caused when our natural desire to be accepted and praised is frustrated.
Getting to the Root Cause
Which type of guilt are you feeling as regards your ongoing struggle with weight? If you are only overweight in your own eyes, and you simply wish you looked more like the models in the magazines, your feelings of frustration could be linked to a lack of awareness of God’s love for you. You think you will be more loveable if you look more like the movie stars. This is a deep and dangerous false ideal that is rampant in our society, especially because of how few women grow up with healthy father figures.
If this is your situation, the key is to forget about your looks and start working systematically and responsibly on your spiritual life, your friendship with Christ. Through prayer, retreats, and spiritual guidance, you will lay a stronger foundation for a balanced lifestyle, and your weight situation will, gradually, take care of itself.
But you also mention that you tend to eat poorly and not exercise. If we were talking over a cup of coffee, I would ask you why. Eating healthily (common-sense healthy, not self-help-guru healthy) and getting exercise (normal, reasonable exercise, not training-for-the-Olympics exercise) are basic moral responsibilities. We have a duty to care for our bodies, because they are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19). Laziness and gluttony are tendencies felt more strongly by some than others, but when we allow them to lead us to consistently unhealthy behavior, that can be sinful.
If something is inhibiting you from eating well and getting decent exercise, you need to find out what that is. Diet programs won’t help, because they will only treat the symptom. There may be other fears or anxieties, self-esteem or spiritual issues, at play here. Laziness and gluttony may be escape mechanisms for you, symptoms of an entirely different interior conflict. (Here is where spiritual guidance can overlap with emotional or psychological counseling.)
In this case too, the key is to turn the focus of your life to your friendship with Christ. Let his passionate love for you touch the core of your soul. Then you will feel a stronger desire to respond to his love with love, you will be energized to eat and exercise more in harmony with your Christian dignity, because you will have a burning desire to be all that he created you to be, a desire that he will actively help you to fulfill.

In Times of Difficulty Say,
"Jesus, I Trust in You," Pope Counsels


VATICAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2003 ( John Paul II offered personal counsel when facing times of difficulty: the invocation "Jesus, I trust in you."

"It is a simple but profound act of trust and abandonment to the love of God," the Pope said. "It is a fundamental point of strength for every man, as it is capable of transforming life."

"In the inevitable trials and difficulties of life, in moments of joy and enthusiasm, entrusting oneself to the Lord infuses the soul with peace, induces us to recognize the primacy of the divine initiative and opens the spirit to humility and trust," he added.

John Paul II made this recommendation Saturday in Paul VI Hall when he met with students of the major seminary of the Rome Diocese.

"Jesus, I trust in you" is the invocation taught by the Polish mystic Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), messenger of Divine Mercy.

John Paul II entrusted the world to Divine Mercy last Aug. 17, when he dedicated the new shrine in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow, Poland, next to the convent where St. Faustina lived and died.

"In the heart of Jesus, those anguished by life's sorrows find peace; those afflicted by suffering and illness find relief; those who feel constricted by uncertainty and anguish feel joy, because Christ's heart is filled to overflowing with consolation and love for those who turn to it with trust," he said.

Divine Mercy Chaplet

Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed. “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”
On the “Our Father” Beads say the following:“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”
On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Repeat for all five decades the Eternal Father and the Sorrowful Passion.

Repeat three times: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

“Oh blood and water which gushes forth from the heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You.”

Repeat three times: Jesus I Trust in You!

We finish with “Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us, Saint Joseph, pray for us, Saint Faustina, pray for us, Blessed Father Sopočko, pray for us.“

Meditations for Pro-Life Stations of the Cross

The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death Though innocent, Jesus is condemned by the power of the State. In like manner, our innocent brothers and sisters in the womb have been condemned. Their rights and dignity are not recognized. In this, they bear a special likeness to Jesus.
The Second Station: Jesus is Made to Bear His Cross The salvation of the world carried a heavy price for our Lord, the agony of the cross. As He accepts His cross, let us also resolve to endure suffering that others may live. Let us pay the price for standing up for our preborn brothers and sisters.
The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time Almighty God was weak because He chose to be like us. He had power and glory from all eternity, yet He chose to be immersed in the world of suffering. We pray that the benefits and advantages we have in life may not cause us to forget our pre-born brothers and sisters.
The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Afflicted Mother There is no deeper relationship than that of mother and child. They belong together. When one suffers, the other suffers. To love and defend one means to love and defend the other. To be pro-life means to serve both the child and the mother. It means to ask our society, "Why can't we love them both?"
The Fifth Station: The Cyrenian Helps Jesus to Carry His Cross Many watched the Lord suffer. Simon the Cyrenian helped alleviate that suffering. Many lament abortion. Some actually get involved to help to stop it. We pray that all people may take their active place in the pro-life movement.
The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus The compassion Veronica shows reflects the compassion of so many medical doctors and nurses, who treat their patients with dignity. We pray for repentance and renewal in the medical profession. May the tools and skills meant for healing nevermore be used for killing.
The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time In working to defend life, there are many setbacks and obstacles. Yet we know the meaning of the cross. In weakness, power reaches perfection. We do not look to our own strengths and talents alone, but to Christ. His own strength will sustain us.

The Eighth Station: Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem Christ told these women to weep for themselves and for their children. He does not want false worship, but repentance. He does not want followers who cry out to Him but then ignore injustice and bloodshed. May all who believe in Christ likewise stand up for the defenseless children.
The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time Despite the falls, nothing can stop our Lord, because He is on a mission of love. If the pro-life movement is not a movement of love, it is nothing at all, but if it is a movement of love, then nothing will stop it. Love is stronger than death, more powerful than hell.
The Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments Nobody can stop us form loving our preborn brothers and sisters. Those stronger than we may strip us of popularity, possessions, or power, but they cannot strip us of love. We love others with the same love that Christ showed for us.
The Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross The powers of this world crucified the God who made this world. All power and authority come from God. All who exercise power have to account for it before the throne of God. We pray that those in government may use their powers to protect the innocent babies in the womb.
The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross Our Lord died. So many of His children have died with Him. His passion is re-lived with every abortion, one every twenty seconds in our country. We only know a fraction of the horror of this act in the sight of God. We only know a fraction of the horror of Christ's crucifixion. May all our brothers and sisters killed by abortion rest in Christ's peace and be saved by His cross.
The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross Mary experienced the pain of holding her dead Son. So many mothers grieve after their abortions. We ask that Mary may comfort them, help them face the truth about abortion, and lead them to forgiveness and healing.
The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb A tomb is a memorial. It helps us remember the one who can no longer speak. May we and our society remember the babies who cannot speak. May we also remember Our Lord's Resurrection, and His promise of eternal life. He has conquered abortion because He has conquered death. May we bring His victory to every part of our world!

Hypothyroidism and weight gain
by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP

Ever since Oprah announced that her sluggish thyroid was contributing to her weight gain, I've had many patients with weight issues ask me, “Is it my thyroid?”
The answer for many of these women is yes, but the solution isn’t quite so simple. Thyroid function is intimately connected with your metabolism — thyroid hormones basically regulate calorie consumption. But a healthy thyroid also depends on the proper functioning of other body mechanisms, including your neurotransmitters, your reproductive hormones and your adrenal glands.
The thyroid and weight gain
Because patients with an underactive thyroid tend to have a very low basal metabolic rate, one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain and difficulty losing extra weight. (Sometimes an overactive thyroid can mimic an underactive thyroid by causing weight gain, although this is less common.) A minority of women with hypothyroidism don’t gain weight. The difference arises from their individual biochemistry, the quality of the calories they consume, and how they use those calories.
Often the “metabolic burn” continues to fall as calories are reduced when dieting. That’s why some women with low thyroid can have weight gain even when they severely restrict calories. In order to fix your metabolism, you have to understand your entire health picture, not just your thyroid.
The thyroid in women
More women than men suffer from hypothyroidism, and many more women than men with thyroid issues have problems with weight gain. Most thyroid problems occur within the gland itself and often don’t reveal themselves until a broader pattern of hormonal imbalance develops. That’s why thyroid issues, menopause and weight gain often appear together (which is exactly what happened to Oprah).
Why do women experience low thyroid and weight gain with such frequency? The reasons are manifold, but primarily:
• Women spend much of their lives dieting, usually in a yo-yo cycle of feasting and then fasting. This undermines your metabolism and decreases your metabolic rate, a compounding factor for the thyroid, especially during perimenopause.
• Women tend to internalize stress, which affects their adrenal function. Overactive adrenal glands produce excess cortisol, which interferes directly with thyroid hormones. In addition, fatigue caused by adrenal dysfunction increases cravings for sweets and simple carbs to provide instant energy and feel-good hormones.
• Women's bodies have a delicate balance of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which can be upset when your body is under stress and not receiving enough support. This resulting hormonal imbalance acts as a trigger for thyroid problems.
What you can do about hypothyroidism and weight gain. The first thing to do if you are experiencing stubborn weight gain is to talk to your practitioner. She or he may ask for a thyroid test or measure TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). I have found in my practice that many women who test within the “normal” range of traditional medical standards still need thyroid support. Their TSH may be only slightly elevated, but enough so that it influences their metabolism and causes weight gain.
For these women, supplemental nutrients such as selenium and iodine, combined with a meal plan that balances a proper ratio of protein to carbohydrates increases their metabolic functioning and they begin to lose weight. We also recommend a pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin/mineral to give your body ample nutritional support. In some cases, a low-dose thyroid replacement hormone is also needed.
There is a lot of controversy in the endocrinology world regarding hypothyroidism treatment. There are those that believe that patients who test within the normal range but have very low basal metabolic rates and very low basal temperatures need thyroid supplementation. There are others that argue that only patients with significant abnormalities should be supported with thyroid hormones.
Weight gain is not sufficient evidence to conclude that someone has a thyroid abnormality, but it is one part of the picture we try to bring into focus. Efforts to lose weight without addressing related thyroid issues are doomed to fail. Likewise, thyroid treatments are usually not as effective without addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance. The greatest success is found through a holistic approach that considers thyroid function as an integral part of your overall hormonal balance.


Sweet Potato Ranks Number One In Nutrition

According to nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the single most important dietary change for most people, including children, would be to replace fatty foods with foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes.

CSPI ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition of all vegetables. With a score of 184, the sweet potato outscored the next highest vegetable by more than 100 points. Points were given for content of dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. Points were deducted for fat content (especially saturated fat), sodium, cholesterol, added refined sugars and caffeine. The higher the score, the more nutritious the food.

Sweet potato baked 184
Potato, baked 83
Spinach 76
Kale 55
Mixed Vegetables 52
Broccoli 52
Winter Squash, Baked 44
Brussels Sprouts 37
Cabbage, Raw 34
Green Peas 33
Carrot 30
Okra 30
Corn on the Cob 27
Tomato 27
Green Pepper 26
Cauliflower 25
Artichoke 24
Romaine Lettuce 24

The reasons the sweet potato took first place? Dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. The sweet potato received a score of 184; the vegetable ranked in second place was more than 100 points behind with a score of 83.

The numbers for the nutritional sweet potato speak for themselves: almost twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, 42 percent of the recommendation for vitamin C, four times the RDA for beta carotene, and, when eaten with the skin, sweet potatoes have more fiber than oatmeal. All these benefits with only about 130 to 160 calories!
Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts
(for one medium size sweet potato)
Calories 130
Fat 0.39 g
Protein 2.15 g
Net Carbs 31.56 g
Dietary Fiber 3.9 g
Calcium 28.6 mg
Sodium 16.9 mg
Potassium 265.2 mg
Folate 18.2 mcg
Vitamin C 29.51 mg
Vitamin A 26081.9 IU

Among root vegetables, sweet potatoes offer the lowest glycemic index rating. That’s because the sweet potato digests slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar so you feel satisfied longer. It’s time to move sweet potatoes to the "good" carb list. Many of the most popular diets these days have already.


South Beach Diet
For the nearly 12 million Americans counting carbohydrates as part of the Atkins or South Beach plans, the glycemic index plays a critical part in determining acceptable foods. The index ranks how quickly the body converts carbohydrates into sugar; the lower the glycemic index in a food, the less it will cause weight gain. Sweet potatoes rank significantly lower than white potatoes in the glycemic index, which explains why both carb-counting diets encourage substituting yams for Idaho potatoes. Sweet potatoes are introduced in the later phases of these diets as an acceptable food because they are nutrient-rich.

Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet recommends introducing 10 grams of carbs in Phase 3 of the diet plan. Sweet potatoes have 10 grams of carbohydrates for every 1/4 cup. Sweet potatoes are on the safe list as a great substitute for other starches such as rice, potatoes and corn.

Sugarbusters Diet
The popular "Sugarbusters" diet that swept the nation is also a strong advocate of including sweet potatoes in a healthy diet. The Sugarbusters diet recommends sweet potatoes as a great substitute for other foods high in sugar and carbohydrates such as rice, pasta and corn.

One of the Sugarbusters book's authors reports that the part of a carrot that's healthy is the beta carotene necessary for visual activity and needed for the retina that's found in the pigment, not the fleshy part of the carrot that's full of sugar. You can also get the beta carotene from sweet potatoes, which are not full of sugar.

Creamy Low-Fat Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

45 min | 30 min prep
SERVES 6 ,- 6 servings
• 3 large sweet potatoes
• 3 cups chicken broth, fat-free
• 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with Italian seasonings
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• black pepper
• salt
1. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender and let cool. Remove skins. Puree in food processor until smooth. Add a bit of orange juice to make it even more smooth and creamy.
2. Combine sweet potato puree, chicken broth and tomatoes in a medium soup pot over medium high heat. Add brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Serve with a spoonful of peanuts as a garnish. Delicious!
Serving Size 1 (265g)
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 128
Calories from Fat 7 (5%)
Amount Per Serving %DV
Total Fat 0.8g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.2g 1%
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 574mg 23%
Potassium 531mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 26.9g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2.9g 11%
Sugars 14.5g
Protein 4.0g 8%
Vitamin A 9341mcg 186%
Vitamin B6 0.2mg 11%
Vitamin B12 0.1mcg 2%
Vitamin C 12mg 20%
Vitamin E 0mcg 0%
Calcium 50mg 5%

Tilapia Twist

Nutritional Info
• Fat: 1.6g
• Carbohydrates: 31.4g
• Calories: 224.2
• Protein: 23.3g
4 - tilapia filets
1 - jar of a fruit based salsa
2 - large apples, cored and sliced into 4 sections
1 - can of pineapple rings
1/4 - cup of banana pepper rings
Makes 4 filets or 4 servings

Heat oven to 350 degrees

~Place the 4 tiapia filets in a deep cassarole dish
~Arrange the apple sections around the filets
~Place 1 or 2 pinapple rings on each fillet
~Pour the jar of fruit salsa over the tilapia filets, and apples
~Place the 1/4 cup of banna pepper rings randomly over the filets and apples

Place cassarole dish in oven and bake for 45 min
After 45 min, broil for a golden top for about 3-5 minutes

Number of Servings: 4

Weight Watchers Lowfat Taco Soup (

• 1 lb extra lean ground turkey or beef
• 1 large onion chopped/diced
• 1(15 ounce) can pinto beans
• 1 (15 ounce) can hot chili beans
• 1 (15 ounce) can black beans drained (optional)
• 1 (15 ounce) can corn
• 1 (15 ounce) can stewed or diced tomatoes any flavor
• 1 (15 ounce) can stewed or diced Mexican or Italian flavor
• 1 1/2 cups water if desired
• 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can chopped green chilies (optional)
• 1 (1 ¼ ounce) Package taco seasoning mix (I like to put two packages for more zip)
• 1 (1 ¼ ounce)Envelope ranch dressing mix
Brown meat and onion, drain and add remaining ingredients without draining (except for the black beans). Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for an hour. 3 points per cup!

It is Well

This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. You might think to write a worship song titled,
'It is well with my soul', you would indeed have to be a rich, successful Chicago lawyer. But the words,
"When sorrows like sea billows roll ... It is well with my soul”, were not written during the happiest period of
Spafford's life. On the contrary, they came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago. And this was not just because
of Horatio's legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close
friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords' only
son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio
had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was
wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.

Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four
daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest -- DL Moody needed the help. He was
traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in
late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French
steamer 'Ville de Havre' across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development
forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned.
He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed East to Europe while Spafford
returned West to Chicago. Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read:
"Saved alone."

On November 2nd 1873, the 'Ville de Havre' had collided with 'The Lochearn', an English vessel. It sank in only
12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters
Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being
torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a
plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had
been rescued, Mrs. Spafford's first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her,
"You were spared for a purpose." And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful
and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved
wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father's
voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and
I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Horatio
then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite
woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told "her soul is vexed within her", she still
maintains that 'It is well." And Spafford's song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers

It would be very difficult for any of us to predict how we would react under circumstances similar to those
experienced by the Spaffords. But we do know that the God who sustained them would also be with us.

It Is Well
Bill & Gloria Gaither featuring Wesley Pritchard and David Phelps

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say
It is well it is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

My sin oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trumpet shall sound and the Lord shall descend
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord Oh My Soul

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul


February 18, 2010
• Discuss Lent and what you can do, specifically, to cleanse yourself of the old eating habits and start anew.
• Discuss following the Spirit of God vs our fleshy desires.
• Do you think you have truly gotten to the root cause of your struggle with weight? How can the group and God help you?
• Do you trust Jesus? How can you rely on Him more?
• Can you commit to at least one Stations of the Cross this Lent?
• Is your head into a healthy lifestyle or are you still making excuses? How can you get your HEAD into it for the rest of your life?
• Say the Hail Mary to Close the Group.

If we fail, we start again. It is the effort that creates greatness.
Leo Booth