Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pray it Off Thanksgiving Eve 11/24/10 GRATITUDE




Gratitude by Steve Pavlina*

Gratitude equals wealth. Wealth equals gratitude. You’ve probably heard one of those expressions before… or at least something similar. Certainly the connection seems true on an internal, emotional level. It’s hard to imagine feeling wealthy without also being grateful. And if you’re truly grateful,
you probably feel wealthy as well, regardless of your actual circumstances.

Because of this apparent connection between wealth and gratitude, many so-called wealth experts suggest that if you want to increase your wealth, you should focus on being more grateful. This sounds pretty good on the surface and meshes well with the Law of Attraction. The idea is that by feeling more grateful, you’ll feel more wealthy and thereby attract more abundance into your life.

Having tested this for myself extensively, I found there was an effective way to practice gratitude and an ineffective way. Unfortunately, the ineffective way is much more obvious, and I was stuck with that form of gratitude for many years. But eventually I progressed towards a deeper understanding of gratitude and found a more effective way to practice it, one that yielded much greater external abundance as well.

First, I’ll address the ineffective form of gratitude. Let’s call it Level 1 Gratitude. This is gratitude for your possessions and your immediate circumstances. It’s the kind of gratitude we learn as children: Thank you for the gift, for the candy, for the trip to park, etc. When you practice this as an adult, it spawns thoughts of gratitude for things like:

• a roof over your head
• your material possessions
• a car that runs
• your health
• your relationships
• your family
• your job
• your skills
• the holidays

Note that Level 1 Gratitude goes beyond material possessions. It’s the default form of gratitude you’re likely to come up with when you attempt to make a list of things to be grateful for.

I’m not suggesting there’s anything bad or wrong with this form of gratitude. It’s certainly better than having thoughts of scarcity. However, in terms of activating the Law of Attraction, its effectiveness is relatively weak.

Often when people attempt to use Level 1 Gratitude, it’s because they’re actually feeling complacent or negative about their circumstances, but they’re trying to look on the bright side and build some positive momentum. If you’ve ever expressed gratitude by starting with the words “at least,” you know what I mean. At least I have my health. At least I have a roof over my head. At least I have a vacation coming up.

The underlying message is: What I have is OK, and I can temporarily feel grateful about it if I push myself to do so, but genuine gratitude isn’t my default feeling because ultimately my circumstances just aren’t that exciting. More often than not, they leave me feeling empty or complacent rather than grateful.

When I choose to do so, I can notice my life circumstances and feel grateful for them. I can feel grateful for my marriage, my kids, my house, my career, and my friendships and so on. The essence of the experience is no different than when I found myself in far less abundant circumstances.

Even when your overall circumstances seem negative, you can still temporarily pop into a state of Level 1 Gratitude just by changing your focus. For some people this can be the catalyst for a major attitude change, but in most situations it only provides a temporary reprieve with no major lasting benefit.

The reason Level 1 Gratitude usually fails to trigger the Law of Attraction is that Level 1 is too weak. It’s like drinking “near beer” – it has no bite. You can enjoy this state of gratitude temporarily, but overall you’ll remain stuck in your old patterns. Level 1 Gratitude is fragile since all it takes to knock you out of state is a change in circumstances or a change in your focus. Even getting the mail can kill it.

Let’s proceed to Level 2 Gratitude. I think of this as “holistic gratitude” because it’s independent of situations and circumstances. This is a feeling of gratitude for life itself, for existence, for anything and everything you experience. But rather than being a temporary emotion that requires constant focus, Level 2 Gratitude is more of an underlying attitude. With practice it becomes part of your identity.

Level 2 Gratitude encompasses everything in Level 1, but Level 2 goes beyond that to include being grateful for:

• your life
• the universe
• time and space
• your problems, challenges, and hardships
• your foibles and mistakes
• your consciousness
• your ego
• people who treat you unkindly or unfairly
• your thoughts and emotions
• your freedom of choice
• ideas and concepts
Level 2 Gratitude says, “How wonderful it is to exist!” Circumstances are irrelevant because this form of gratitude is a choice that needs no justification. It is a sense of utter fascination with the very notion of existence. You become grateful for the adventure that is life, including all of its twists and turns. This form of gratitude is synonymous with unconditional love because there is no attachment to circumstances or outcomes. Consequently, there is no fear of loss or change.

Level 2 Gratitude is like having a constant echo in the back of your consciousness saying, “Wow!” Everything else is experienced on top of that Wow. Gratitude becomes the canvas upon which your life is painted.

Perhaps the closest analogy I can offer is to imagine playing a video game. The game is totally state-of-the-art. You’re amazed by the graphics, the music, the game play, the characters, etc. It doesn’t matter so much if you win or lose because the experience itself is what draws you in. You’re so fascinated by the nature of the experience that the details are secondary.

If you can remain in that state of wonder, you’re likely to perform well at the game and enjoy the experience. Eventually you’ll get good at it. Your glorious accumulations may include a high-level avatar, tons of gold, and alliances with other characters. But that stuff is only the result of your enjoyment, not the cause of it. The game can still be fun even when you’re just starting out and have no meaningful possessions. In some games you can even go deep into debt, and yet the experience is still fun.

For more on the whole “life is a game” concept, be sure to read Life - The Ultimate Game. Many people find this analogy helpful for getting past fear and loosening their death-grip attachment to circumstances. Letting go of this conditional attachment is the key to experiencing Level 2 Gratitude.

When you feel grateful for existence itself, you move from doing grateful to being grateful. At this level you finally activate the Law of Attraction because you’re broadcasting gratitude all the time. It becomes part of your identity. Ultimately you attract circumstances that resonate with who you are.

When your feelings of gratitude are conditional upon temporary circumstances like your stuff, your job, and your relationships, your base identity doesn’t change. But when you root your gratitude in something permanent, it becomes a permanent part of you. Instead of saying, “I am grateful for…” you just say, “I am grateful.”

I must have spent at least 10 years practicing Level 1 Gratitude (mostly in vain) before I began shifting towards Level 2. It was a very gradual process as my feelings of gratitude became more unconditional. It started with me attempting to feel grateful for things I wouldn’t normally feel grateful for, like my breathing, the bushes on the street, music, my biggest failures, etc. This helped me see that no matter how negative, meaningless, or routine something seemed, it was still worthy of gratitude. Gratitude is a lens for uncovering beauty.

So if I can suggest a how-to process, I’d recommend practicing gratitude where you’d least expect it to work. Select an unlikely target X, and then hold the thought, “I am grateful for X.” Eventually you’ll shift towards a more unconditional feeling of gratitude, and you’ll be able to drop that “for X.” In practical terms I’ve found that as my gratitude has become more unconditional, my life circumstances improve to keep pace. These changes are very noticeable, like increases in my income or seeing my relationship with my kids improve. In keeping with the Law of Attraction, this is to be expected because if I’m grateful for everything in my life in advance, I should attract the circumstances that are congruent with those thoughts and feelings.

Level 1 Gratitude has its place, but if you want the universe to back up your feelings of gratitude with some actual results, eventually you need to progress to Level 2. When you’re living the life of your dreams, this is how you’re going to feel anyway, so why wait? Challenge yourself to create these feelings now, even in the most unlikely circumstances, and notice how you begin attracting the relationships, opportunities, and resources that resonate with those feelings.

*http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2007/01/gratitude


Gratitude, Faith, and Clarity of Purpose -- The Most Powerful Statement
By A.M. Sall

"Things might have been worse." This is the most powerful, dynamic, revolutionary statement you could ever make in your life.

But first, deciding to take an inventory your life will lead you
to put down in front of you two parts of your life:

1. The good things: positive
2. The bad things: negative

Do you think your life might have been better or worse? This is a choice for you to make. But if you put everything down and carefully examine it, you will realize things certainly might have been worse.

"I was complaining that I had no shoes till I met a man who had no feet." (Confucius)

For example, you have lost your job but you are in good health: you might have lost BOTH health and job. Now, the mere fact that you are faced with a choice means you are in a dynamic situation, the possibility to decide for yourself, to assert yourself, to test your sense of purpose.

You are FREE to decide. Yes, it is up to you to decide whether things might have been better or worse. If you decide that things might have been better and things had indeed been better, you wouldn't have felt the need for change: you would have carried on, unconscious and happy.

If your "present" is better than it might have been, then there is no reason why your "future" should not be better than your "present" (please read this sentence again.)

The only difference is NOW YOU KNOW and this is what makes your situation so powerful, so dynamic, so revolutionary, and so excitingly full of pro-activity. You can decide; you can make choices, set goals and work to achieve your goals.

You are no longer groping in the dark and whatever you decide for yourself will come to pass.

Your future is a heavily pregnant lady and you don't need an obstetrician, because YOU are the obstetrician - not just any obstetrician, but the most powerful obstetrician that ever was. All the kids are yours and YOU can decide what they are going to be. This is a terribly exciting story, and you are the superhero.

Now is the time to exercise your sense of purpose. Deciding that things might have been worse means you are ready for three things at least:

1. Gratitude: you can be grateful because you see the positive side in all things. You realize there are more positives than negatives, so you don't complain, you don't explain, you are in control;

2. Faith: the realization that from now on, things CAN be better and you can decide things ARE GOING to be better.

3. Clarity of purpose: you know exactly what you want things to be.

You are ready for a life-change and you have faith, gratitude and a sense of purpose. These are the 3 legs of your Success Mindset Tripod.

Once you are ready for change, you have gone at least 60% of the way, you can get anything you want. Attitude is the first thing to change and you have changed
your attitude from negative to positive. Clearly affirm your readiness for change.

From now on, anything you do will be informed by your faith, your gratitude, your clarity and unity of purpose. Meditate a lot to convince yourself that you are on the right track.

This deep conviction will rid you of stress, tension, doubt and fear, your two worse enemies. Eventually, you will impress everybody, including yourself!

Deep conviction will bring you into agreement with yourself, the only person you really have to agree with, after all. This is what I call "unity of purpose".

And once you agree with yourself, you'll find it much easier to agree with anybody else - contrary to what some people may think.

Now is the time for you to decide what part of your life you want to change, be it making money, losing weight, relationships, or anything else.

Now is the time to set your goals, and take action to achieve them.

But never forget that you have already gone 60% of the way - readiness for life-change, which was obtained through making a balance-sheet of your life and deciding that things might have been worse (past + present) and that things CAN and indeed ARE GOING TO get better (future)

And things are truly going to be better than they could ever be, simply because NOW YOU KNOW. Always remember "things might have been worse" - and be
grateful, confident and purposeful.

Then move forward and upward, and build your life with your Success Mindset Tripod!
Lead your life and don't allow yourself to be led by your life.

A.M.Sall - author, coach, success mindset strategist

PHOTO: thepranamama.com

Grateful Written by John Bucchino

The first time I heard this song, my talented and beautiful daughter Shannon Strodel was singing it. I wish I had a video for the blog, of her version, but until I do, I will offer this nice young lady's YouTube version of it. Such a wonderful song with powerful and meaningful lyrics.




Grateful

I've got a roof over my head. I've got a warm place to sleep.
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts instead of counting sheep.

I've got a heart that can hold love. I've got a mind that can think.
There may be times when I lose the light and let my spirits sink
But I can't stay depressed When I remember how I'm blessed

CHORUS: Grateful, grateful. Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful Truly blessed And duly grateful

In a city of strangers I've got a family of friends
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way
I know that they will stay until the end

I feel a hand holding my hand. It's not a hand you can see
But on the road to the promised land
This hand will shepherd me through delight and despair
Holding tight and always there

CHORUS

It's not that I don't want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me so much happier than keeping score

In a world that can bring pain I will still take each chance
For I believe that whatever the terrain
Our feet can learn to dance whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing

CHORUS

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Prayer For Just One Day by Ellen McCauley 11/25/10



A Thanksgiving Prayer
FOR JUST ONE DAY

By Ellen M. McCauley

Dear Lord,

Hi, it’s me again. This might surprise you, but I decided that for just one day I’m not going to ask you for anything; not for me and not for anyone else either. I know this doesn’t sound like the me you know, and love, but I thought it was about time I took stock of everything you’ve already given me, and Thanksgiving seems a good day to do that.

I think I’ll start by thanking you for life itself; for making only one me, unique, unlike anyone who is or ever was. When I stop to think, that really is something Lord, it makes me value all life even more.

Thank you for my parents. I know no one is perfect but they always did the best they could; words fail when I try to express my feelings for them. As a matter of fact I’m grateful for my entire family – those who are living and those who are with you now. I think I understand why you had your son be part of a human family, for everything I know about love, I first learned at home.

I don’t know what my life would be like without the friends you’ve sent my way. I have laughed with them, sobbed with them, even hated them at times, but ultimately have loved them so very much – we’ve seen it all together – they’ve energized and soothed me, and each and every one has enriched me in their own special way.

I have loved my country even when it wasn’t the thing to do. I can’t thank you enough for America - truly the home of the brave. I will forever appreciate the priceless gift of life, which so many gave, so that I could live in freedom.

And speaking of freedom, thank you for free will. I think I finally understand why you gave us choice. Love has meaning when we choose to give it freely. You want us to choose to do right, choose to love you and choose to believe, even when the path isn’t always clear and we don’t understand your plan for us. I guess that’s what faith is.

I’m grateful for my church, the religious and the countless parishioners who unselfishly do so much for so many. I rejoice in the music that praises you and I feel your presence as you touch and nourish me.

Thank you too for the simple gifts that mean so much; a winning team, good music, hot showers, clean sheets, a book too good to put down, hot cocoa when there’s three feet of snow, spaghetti and meatballs, turkey and stuffing, loved ones around a table, the kindness of strangers, a faithful pet. Oh, I can’t forget good health either.

But most of all I am grateful that you loved me enough to send your son, your only son, to die and rise again, so that I might have forgiveness and everlasting life in paradise with you and with all those who I have loved with every fiber of my being. I am stronger, even in the face of darkness, because I know that this is true.

Lord, before I end would it be all right if I changed my mind and asked you for just one thing today? Could you please remind me, for as time goes by I fear I might forget, to be thankful always, and not for just one day?






PHOTO

blog.beliefnet.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hold Us Together By Matt Maher

Weight Watchers CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH


Weight Watchers CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH

Course: sauces
POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 16
Preparation Time: 7 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

12 oz cranberries, fresh
1 medium orange(s), navel, washed, unpeeled and cut into chunks*
1 cup(s) sugar
1 piece(s) ginger root, fresh, peeled, about 1-inch, chopped
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions
• Put cranberries, orange, sugar, ginger and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Scrape into a serving bowl (or a plastic container if making ahead). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Yields about 2 2/3 tablespoons per serving.
Notes
• *If the flavor from using the entire orange peel is too strong for you, add some fresh orange zest instead. Then remove the peel and white pith before cutting the orange into chunks.
If you want to give the relish a different spin, add chopped cilantro or mint and minced jalapeno pepper.
You can make this relish up to 5 days ahead.
This recipe is great as a spread for leftover turkey sandwiches or as an accompaniment to roast pork or chicken

Ten Easy Ways To Burn Calories

Ten Easy Ways to Burn Calories from eatatease.com

Do you think its impossible to get time for a brisk walk, jog or a swim?

Do you simply have too much to do in your day to fit any activity in?


If so then these easy tips are for you.

Instead of trying to fit your exercise into one session break it down throughout the day by combining these ideas below.

We guarantee they’ll make a difference, and you’ll soon burn those extra calories.
If so then these easy tips are for you. Instead of trying to fit your exercise into one session break it down throughout the day by combining these ideas below. We guarantee they’ll make a difference, and you’ll soon burn those extra calories.

1. Simple rule number one, always take the stairs, avoid lifts and escalators. And if you have to go up a lot of floors get off a couple early, there’s always a compromise!

2. Park the car a little further away from work or shops, even if you only take the space at the far end of the car park.

3. When watching the TV, try to do something active, get the Hoover out or do a little dusting, or even try to forget the remote control, get up and change it yourself.

4. Go out and walk, cycle, or even night socializing on your feet. Anything active! (But if your socializing watch out for any extra drinking!)

5. Why not consider “walking breaks” instead of coffee breaks at work? This will get your body moving during the day, and wake you up.

6. If possible, ride your bike to work once or twice a week, or if that’s not practical, try driving most of the way, park somewhere safe and cycle the rest. A member of the Eatatease team does this every day!

7. Play with your kids instead of just watching them while sitting on the sofa. Even better, make a commitment to take them out to the park, you’ll soon tire them out and you’ll get some great exercise too!

8. Walk your dog we’re told owning a dog can add ten years to your life (but only if you actually get active with it).

9. Cut the grass, do some weeding in the garden, and wash the car instead of taking it to the car wash, you’ll soon burn off extra calories.

10. Do some stretches, or sit ups while watching TV, try to do a few during the adverts, you’ll soon build up to a respectable level.

You're the only one who can make a difference, why not try just one of these today?

Pray It Off 11/18/10 Turning Speed-Bumps, Roadblocks and Detours into "Signals"



Turning Speed-Bumps, Roadblocks and Detours into "Signals"
By Sharon Marquart

Remember the last time you took a road trip? With your bags packed, car loaded, map, laid out on the front seat, destination circled, you anxiously anticipated your arrival. Suddenly, you ran into a roadblock and the blaring orange detour signs took you off course. Did the disappointment change your attitude about your well-planned journey? Did you feel frustrated as your “best laid plans” hit a snag?

The same disappointment and frustration can happen to us as we move toward a goal in life. I want to help you reframe the speed bumps, roadblocks and detours that happen in life to empower you to see them as “signals” rather than deterrents.

Speed bumps – A speed bump is a small ridge in the road that limits your speed and cautions you to slow down. When you hit a speed bump on your journey through life, let it be a “signal” that you are to slow down, become aware and pay attention. Maybe there is something you are supposed to notice that will answer a question you’ve been asking. Maybe you need to be present to receive directions or information you will need to know in the future. Maybe you are the one who has the insight to share with someone else and slowing down to notice them is important.

Roadblocks – A roadblock is a barricade that stops your progress. It often means there is construction or danger ahead. When you hit a roadblock on your journey, let it be a “signal” there is something you need to reconstruct. Maybe you have an old belief that is no longer helpful for you to hold onto. Maybe it’s time to clear out the accumulated “stuff” in your life. Maybe your map is outdated and it is time for redirection.

Detours – A detour is a diversion from a direct course.
When you are driving and are instructed to follow a detour, you are redirected to your destination. Taking this redirection gives you the opportunity to experience different scenery. When a detour presents itself on your life’s journey, let it be a “signal” that you are headed for the perfect destination via a different route. Pay attention to the experiences that come your way.

Recognize the synchronicities that happen. Remember you will arrive at your designed destination; you’re just getting there by following a different path of direction that wasn’t originally in your game plan. Pay attention to the people you meet, the new experiences you have, the “scenery” you see. They all serve a purpose and have a specific reason for being chartered on this new path.

By practicing the technique of reframing, you empower yourself to use all the experiences in life as signposts along the way. When you hit a speed bump, are stopped by a roadblock or are sent on a detour, remember to reframe. Let your frustrations remind you to pay attention to the “signals.” Ignoring or fighting against them will throw you even further off course. Listening to these “signals,” will cause you to redirect, refocus and resume the right path on your life’s journey.

PHOTO: danthedoc.blogspot.com

Pray It Off 11/18/10 Stress at Work or If You're Retired




Study Connects Workplace Turmoil, Stress and Obesity

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2010) — A new study that provides a snapshot of a typical American workplace observed that chronic job stress and lack of physical activity are strongly associated with being overweight or obese.

Unexpectedly, researchers also found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables did little to offset the effect of chronic job stress on weight gain among the employees, who were mostly sedentary. Instead, exercise seemed to be the key to managing stress and keeping a healthy weight.

University of Rochester Medical Center researchers conducted the study of 2,782 employees at a large manufacturing facility in upstate New York, but the results could be applicable to almost any job situation in which layoffs, or lack of control at work, is a major concern.

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published the research in January 2010. Lead author Diana Fernandez, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the URMC Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, said her study is among many that associate high job pressure with cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, exhaustion, anxiety and weight gain.

It's time to improve corporate policies that better protect the health of workers, she said. "In a poor economy, companies should take care of the people who survive layoffs and end up staying in stressful jobs," Fernandez said. "It is important to focus on strengthening wellness programs to provide good nutrition, ways to deal with job demands, and more opportunities for physical activity that are built into the regular workday without penalty."

Over and over, Fernandez's team heard the same story from the upstate workers: After spending the day sitting in stressful meetings
or at their computers, they looked forward to going home and "vegging out" in front of the TV. Anecdotally, researchers also discovered that when pink slips were circulating, the snacks highest in fats and calories would disappear quickest from the vending machines.

Some workers said they did not take the time to eat well or exercise at lunch because they were fearful of repercussions from leaving their desks for too long.
Approximately 32 percent of adult men and 35 percent of adult women are obese in this country. When the prevalence of overweight and obesity are combined, 68 percent of adults fit the category (72 percent prevalence among men; 64 percent among women), according to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The upstate New York workplace mirrored the national statistics. Researchers collected baseline data from the nearly 2,800 employees, using body mass index (BMI) as the measurement for weight status. Overweight/obesity was defined as BMI greater than 24.9, and healthy/underweight was defined as less than 24.9.
They found that 72 to 75 percent of the employees were overweight or obese. Most of the study volunteers were middle-aged, white, married, highly educated (college degree or more), relatively well-paid (earning more than $60,000 a year), with an average of almost 22 years at the company.

Another important statistic: More than 65 percent of the employees said they watched two or more hours of television per day. Among those who reported watching two to three hours, 77 percent were more likely to be overweight or obese, and those who watched four or more hours of TV a day increased their odds of obesity by 150 percent, compared to people who watched less than two hours of daily TV.

"We are not sure why TV is so closely associated with being overweight in our sample group of people," Fernandez said. "Other studies have shown that adults tend to eat more fatty foods while watching TV. But this requires more investigation."

The study dates back to 2005, amid growing concern of an obesity epidemic, when Fernandez was awarded a $3 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to investigate ways to influence people's dietary and physical activity at work. The company that agreed to participate was involved in drastic restructuring and layoffs. In interviews the employees confided to researchers that they were "stress eating" and burned out from "doing the work of five people," researchers reported.

Stressful working conditions are known to impact health behaviors directly and indirectly. Directly, stress can affect the neuroendocrine system, resulting in abdominal fat, for example, or it may cause a decrease in sex hormones, which often leads to weight gain. Indirectly stress is linked to the consumptions of too many fatty or sugary foods and inactivity.

The research team measured psychosocial work conditions through a detailed job questionnaire. Interventions were planned and employees who worked at intervention worksites participated in a comprehensive, two-year nutrition and exercise program. This included walking routes at work, portion control in food, and stress-reduction workshops. The data comparing control groups and the groups who took part in the nutrition and exercise program is still being analyzed, Fernandez said.

However, while analyzing baseline data investigators discovered that employees working in the most high-job-strain conditions had almost one BMI unit more of weight than people who worked in more passive areas. Researchers did not find that chronic stressors (general dissatisfaction at work) and acute stressors (being a layoff survivor, or having entire operations decommissioned) together had a larger effect on weight than when examined independently.

Diet was evaluated solely by the number of servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and probably had no influence on weight status because assessing diet in this way might not be a good measurement of quality or quantity, Fernandez said. A better way to look at diet quality might be through an evaluation of the whole diet.

In conclusion, the study suggests that workplace wellness programs should not only offer ideas on how to be healthy, but should examine the organizational structure and provide ways to minimize a stressful environment for everyone.


5 Tips For Preventing Stress After Retirement*

Staying healthy, maintaining social support, keeping spiritual life and finances in order, and developing a daily routine can help prevent stress after retirement.

Many people think retirement sounds like a great idea - no job, lots of leisure time, and freedom to do just what you want when you want. After retiring, however, many find that getting out of the rat race isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While it may be true that some retirees have a lot of extra leisure time, there are many problems inherent in retirement and older age that can cause stress. Thinking about and planning for retirement before actually retiring can help ease the recently retired into a new, enjoyable lifestyle and can prevent the frustration and worry of retirement problems. Follow these 5 tips for preventing stress after retirement.

1 STAY HEALTHY

A major cause of stress for retirees is poor health. Health issues, of course, usually become more frequent as one ages, but working on preventable health problems at a younger age is very important if one is to enjoy retirement. For instance, protecting joints while playing sports at a younger age could allow a retiree to stay active much longer;,eating more vegetables and maintaining a healthy weight could prevent health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, and not smoking could prevent lung cancer or high blood pressure. It’s probable that most reasonably healthy people in their twenties or thirties don’t really think that much about old age health problems, but prevention at a younger age can later make a retiree feel much less stressed.

After retirement, facing many health problems can be quite stressful. Avoiding consumption of sugar, caffeine, excessive alcohol, fried foods, and other things that aggravate existing problems is often hard and frustrating. Maintaining a healthy weight becomes difficult if joints ache and movement is restricted. Visiting the doctor becomes a routine, and depression can easily arise if no solution to the problems of aging is seen. However, following medical advice and taking prescribed medications, enlisting the help of a spouse or friend to plan healthy meals and exercise together, joining support groups, and helping others with greater problems all can assist in gaining a better attitude about poor health. Many health problems of old age can be bettered or even reversed by exercise, a good diet, and social support, thus preventing stress from interfering with the healing process.

2. SOCIAL SUPPORT

Many retirees move to another area after retiring, leaving long time friends behind. It is very important for retirees to make new friends, keep in touch with family members, and join in community activities. Being a part of a group is essential to remain in good spirits and ease stress. Talking is a great way to relieve stress and work through problems, and socializing while playing cards, doing water exercise, or eating lunch is a good way to do this. At any age, knowing that someone else cares helps people feel better about themselves. Many communities have senior citizen centers where retirees can get involved in different types of activities. Some have exercise classes, drama groups, travel clubs, lessons of all kinds, and meals; some match retirees with children for tutoring or mentoring. Becoming involved in the lives of others is good medicine and helps to relieve stress.

3. SPIRITUAL

Getting in tune with the inner self is a good stress reliever for retirees. Attending religious services or studying religious thought, practicing meditation or yoga, and journal writing are all good ways to develop a more positive inner life and lighten stress. Keeping a “gratitude journal” can put emphasis on constructive thoughts if a retiree is feeling depressed or lonely. In facing stressful situations, such as death of a spouse, serious illness, or financial difficulties, writing down thoughts can help one to work through hard times. Having members of a religious congregation visit, provide spiritual guidance, and help with physical needs of the retiree can be a great comfort in stressful times. Developing spirituality often goes hand-in-hand with social support, as members of a religious group work together to help each other.

4. FINANCES

Ideally, everyone would have enough money on which to retire and be able to lead a happy, productive life after retirement. Many retirees dream of traveling the world, engaging in hobbies they never had time for previously, or helping out grandchildren, but retiring without a nest egg sometimes makes those dreams impossible. Preparing for retirement should begin as soon as possible; waiting until one begins to think of retiring is often too late to accumulate much in the way of savings. Not having enough money to live on will certainly cause stress for the retiree.

Even those who didn’t save much before retiring can prevent stress by living within a budget. People can live on small amounts of income by living simply and learning about resources in their communities. There are many free activities in most communities, and joining groups can help retirees to share resources with others in the same position. It is possible to have fun and enjoy life on just about any income; stress usually comes from wanting more than one has or spending more than one has--the results cause stress and unhappiness. Facing reality and learning to live peacefully on what one has can prevent the stress that comes with not having enough money.

5.DEVELOP A DAILY ROUTINE

Retiring means no longer working, but some retirees are busier than ever before. Finding enough time to pursue long held interests, such as gardening, golf, building, collecting, or traveling, excites many retirees, who engage in frenzied activities soon after retiring. Some retirees find that finally settling down to a daily routine prevents the stress of constant activity. Although some people will always prefer spontaneity, developing established schedules helps ease the stress of not knowing what comes next. Learning to say no to demands that cause anxiety, such as babysitting grandchildren, loaning money, and any excessive demands on time, can let the retiree stay on schedule. If the retiree is a caregiver for a parent or spouse, especially one with Alzheimer’s disease, following a daily routine can be a big step in preventing stress. As retirees become elderly, following a schedule can help them to remain in their own homes longer.

*http://www.essortment.com/lifestyle/tipsforpreve_sizs.htm




Photo: impactfactory.com

Pray It Off 11/18/10 Stress and Health: 8 of the Worst Causes of Stress



Stress And Health: 8 Of The Worst Causes Of Stress

By: Terry Dunn

What are the situations and circumstances most likely to cause stress in your life? Are you at risk from any of these? Here are the most common causes,

Work

According to a recent survey, 40% of workers described their jobs as very stressful. Because we all spend so much time at work, job-related stress can be very harmful.

You need to identify the circumstances at work that cause you the most stress and take action.
You may say that’s obvious, but many people make like an ostrich, trying hard to ignore the problem, because they don’t want to face up to the consequences.

Action could mean talking to your boss or personnel manager to arrange a job transfer or change or responsibilities, or it could mean changing jobs or even careers.

Relationships

Often you don’t choose your family and many of your relationships, and you don’t always get on with everybody. Anger and emotions are often stored-up until they explode.

Emotional stress can be relieved greatly by talking, either to a support group of friends or professional counselors.

Pregnancy and sex

Pregnancy and sex is an emotive subject that can also cause much stress. Pregnant mothers worry about their unborn babies and spouses worry about many issues from performance in bed to infidelity and infertility.

If you suffer from these causes you will benefit by sweeping aside taboos and fears, talking openly about your problems to partner or spouse.

Yoga or other forms of bodywork, such as massage can be very effective here, especially for mothers-to-be.

Study and learning

Study and learning can cause much distress, weather its professional exams and qualifications or college studies. Often the problem is time-management. There just are not enough hours in the day.

Being a student can be a difficult period for many of us but there is much you can do to counteract the stressful effects of studying and exams.

Plan ahead, especially when there is an exam at the end. Allow more time than you think you need. Create a quiet space for studying where you are not disturbed. Schedule your study time and don’t allow it to be hijacked.

Health problems

Health problems can cause considerable stress and vice versa. A vicious cycle can be created. Which comes first? Or, more importantly what can you do to break the cycle? So what illnesses and health problems are linked to stress?

Stress can affect heart disease and strokes, immune disorders, gastrointestinal problems, eating disorders and diabetes. It can cause tension, pain and insomnia, headaches, migraines and sexual dysfunction. It can also impair memory and concentration. This is just a short selection!

Traumatic events

Serious accidents or traumatic events can be a source of stress, not just at the time of the event, but for many years after.

Traumatic events often causes “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”, which is usually treated by professionals. However, many less traumatic events can be helped enormously with simple stress relievers and stress management techniques.

Children and teenagers

Children and teenagers can be a source of much stress. And as parents it can be a double bind. Their stress is causing your distress or it could be that you have difficult or unruly teenagers making your life much harder.

In particular, teenagers are often stressed by growing pains and learning to live in an adult world. As adults, problems that you take in your stride can be a source of great anguish to them.

Talking to them, in a non-confrontational way, to discover the source of the problem can work. Babies don’t come with manuals and we have to learn how to be good parents by experience. But there are many guides to being a good parent available on the Internet and bookstores.

Unhealthy lifestyle

Unhealthy lifestyles are the modern stressors. Drinking, smoking, drugs junk food and vegetating in front of the TV, all contribute to stress much more than you may realize.

Our bodies and minds are like machines. They need to be used to regularly in order to function in peak condition. We need to feed them with the correct nutrients, exercise them properly and not abuse them.

Understanding what causes you stress will help you greatly to take back control of your life. Start learning about stress and seek out solutions that strike a chord with you.

And it doesn’t have to be medications or pills. There are many effective techniques and strategies that are completely natural and kind to you and your health.

Selecting the best combination of techniques, to either reduce or eliminate your stress problem, is really a personal choice.

Whatever you do, start your search today.


PHOTO: maketheworldyourstage.com

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pray it Off 11/11/10 Guest Speaker PAT RENEY NIA Meditation

Pray it Off 11/11/10 Guest Speaker PAT RENEY NIA Part 2





NIA Ethos*

This growing collection of thoughts speaks to the spirit of the international Nia community and culture.

Change and growth take place when a person risks herself and dares to experiment with her own life.
-Herbert Otto

Love is a verb.
-Stephen R. Covey

Every act of knowing brings forth a world.
-H. Maturana and F. Varela, "The Tree of Knowledge"

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
-Hippocrates

Insist on yourself; never imitate.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

At the root of all power and motion, at the burning center of existence itself, there is music and rhythm.
-George Leonard

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
-Wayne Dyer

All are but parts of one stupendous whole.
-Alexander Pope

If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you aren't afraid of dying, there is nothing you can't achieve.
-Lao Tzu

*http://www.nianow.com/ethos

Pray it Off 11/11/10 Guest Speaker PAT RENEY NIA




What is Nia?*

Nia is a sensory-based movement lifestyle that leads to health,
wellness and fitness. It empowers people of all shapes and sizes by connecting the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Classes are taken barefoot to soul-stirring music in more than 45 countries. Trainings are designed for those seeking personal enrichment and professional development. Every experience can be adapted to individual needs and abilities. Step into your own joyful journey with Nia, and positively shape the way you feel, look, think and live.

How does Nia work?

Nia draws from disciplines of the martial arts, dance arts and healing arts. Every class offers a unique combination of 52 moves that correspond with the main areas of the body: the base, the core and the upper extremities. Stiff beginners and highly fit athletes alike can adapt Nia to meet their needs by choosing from three intensity levels. Consecutive trainings collectively explore 52 principles for personal enrichment and professional development.

Why was Nia created?

Nia’s purpose is to grow a worldwide community of healthy people who are empowered to do great things. We believe every person can discover, explore, unleash and enhance their individual potential to live a fulfilling and meaningful life – by engaging their senses and listening to their bodies. With the right tools and education, we can increase our confidence and happiness. We can become connected to others to shape a consciousness that extends beyond our own. Together we will unearth possibilities never before imagined.

*http://www.nianow.com/practice

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pray It Off 11/11/10 Guest Speaker Pat Reney TONED and TUNED

On 11/11/10 the Syracuse group of Pray it Off was pleased to welcome guest speaker Pat Reney who spoke to us about her exercise group called Toned and Group and Nia. This blog introduces her class to us.



The Fit Biz Presents TONED and TUNED - Adult Exercise at its newest location.

Tone and strengthen your upper body as you move with light hand-held weights
in a slow, safe way.

"Tune" into your entire body's energy with mindful, cardio dance movements that include Nia and great music!

This variety hour will also include stretching, Yoga and Pilates to help strengthen the care and improve overall balance and flexibility to keep you toned and tuned.

Light hand-held weights and a sticky mat are recommended.

Robinson Memorial Church
(Peanut Butter Nursery School)
136 Terry Road
Syracuse, NY 13219

Photo: strengthtrainingsite.com

Wednesday 5:30

Call Pat Reney 468-3801 or email plreney@aol.com

Thank you Pat!! Stay tuned this week to see more videos of Pat as she explains Nia to us.

WW Taco Soup and Cabbage Soup

Weight Watchers Taco Soup


Ingredients
• 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

Directions

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!

Weight Watchers 0 Point Cabbage Soup


Ingredients:

• 3 cups nonfat beef broth (beef is the best) or 3 cups nonfat vegetable broth (beef is the best) or 3 cups nonfat chicken broth (beef is the best)
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 2 cups chopped cabbage
• 1/2 yellow onion
• 1/2 cup chopped carrot
• 1/2 cup green beans
• 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
• 1/2 teaspoon basil
• 1/2 teaspoon oregano
• salt & pepper

Directions:

Prep Time: 7 mins
Total Time: 32 mins
1. Spray pot with non stick cooking spray saute onions carrots and garlic for 5 minutes.
2. Add broth, Tomato paste, cabbage, green beans, basil, oregano and Salt & Pepper to taste.
3. Simmer for a about 5-10 minutes until all vegetables are tender then add the zucchini and simmer for another 5 or so minutes.
4. I have tried different variations. Leaving out green beans. Adding chopped green onions in addition to the yellow onion.





Photos: blog.lib.umn.edu, flickr.com

Green Planet Grocery

Local Health Food Store for the Syracuse NY Pray It Off Members to check out:




Across from Fairmount Fair, 3514 West Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13219

http://www.gpgrocery.com/index.html


•Yogurts
•Soy Cheeses
•Soy Milk
•Grains
•Cereals
•Supplements
•Vitamins
•Organic Produce (Fruits & Vegetables)
•200+ Bulk Herbs, Spices & Teas
•Free Range Organic Meats
•Men's & Women's Vitamins
•150+ Bulk Natural Foods
•Environmentally Safe Cleaning Products
•Natural Pet Foods (Sole source in the County)

Medjugorje Overview

One of our members just got back from a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and brought each of us a blessed medal. I wanted to include a overview for those who may not be familiar with the Marian apparitions there.

Medjugorje Overview*

Since 1981, in a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina named Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing and giving messages
to the world. She tells us that God has sent Her to our world and, these years she is spending with us are a time of Grace granted by God. In Her own words She tells us, "I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God".

Our Lady's mission is one of peace and love. She has come to earth to reeducate us and to help us convert and recenter our lives back to God. Our Lady's role has always been one of guiding people to Her Son, Jesus. What an amazing opportunity we have before us! It is important that we understand both the magnitude and the urgency of Our Lady's call to conversion, and that we respond with all our hearts.

Our Lady continues to give messages to six people from the village of Medjugorje: Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana, Vicka, and Ivanka. These six people (referred to as "visionaries") have had apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary since June 24, 1981. In addition to the public messages, Our Lady is to give each of the six visionaries a total of ten "secrets" or happenings that will occur on earth in the near future. Some of the secrets pertain to the whole world while others concern the visionaries themselves or the local village. Only one of the secrets has so far been revealed by the visionaries. Our Lady has promised to leave a supernatural, indestructible, and visible sign on the mountain where she first appeared. Our Lady said: "This sign will be given for the atheists. You faithful already have signs and you have become the sign for the atheists. You faithful must not wait for the sign before you convert; convert soon. This time is a time of grace for you. You can never thank God enough for His grace. The time is for deepening your faith and for your conversion. When the sign comes, it will be too late for many."

When each of the six visionaries has received all ten "secrets", Our Lady will stop appearing to them on a daily basis. Currently, Marija, Vicka, and Ivan have received nine secrets, and Our Lady still appears to them every day, wherever they are, at 5:40pm during daylight savings time, and 6:40pm the rest of the year. Mirjana, Jakov, and Ivanka have received all ten secrets, and Our Lady appears to them once per year, and will do so for the rest of their lives. For Ivanka who received her 10th secret on May 7, 1985 it is on the anniversary of the apparitions, June 25 each year. For Jakov who received his 10th secret on September 12, 1998, it is on Christmas day each year. And for Mirjana who received her 10th secret on Christmas 1982, it is on her birthday, March 18 each year. Our Lady has also been appearing to Mirjana on the 2nd of each month since August 2, 1987 for the purpose of praying for all unbelievers. Mirjana tells us that it is very important that all of us pray for the unbelievers in the world, who are described as those who have not yet experienced God's love. Sometimes these appearances on the 2nd of each month are apparitions, and sometimes locutions. No one knows when Our Lady will give the tenth secret to Marija, Ivan, and Vicka.

Once Our Lady stops appearing there will be three warnings given to the world. Mirjana will witness the warnings and they will occur on the earth. Ten days before each of the warnings, she will advise the priest she chose for this task (Father Petar Ljubicic), who will then pray and fast with Mirjana for seven days. Then, three days before the warning is to take place, Fr. Petar will announce to the world what, where, and when the warning is to take place. Fr. Petar has no choice, and must reveal each warning. Mirjana's testimony will be a confirmation of the validity of the apparitions and a further incentive for the conversion of the world. After the first warning, the others will follow within a rather brief period of time. After the three warnings, the permanent visible sign will be left on the mountain where Our Lady first appeared in Medjugorje. Those who are still alive will have little time for conversion. For that reason, the Blessed Virgin calls for urgent conversion and reconciliation. The permanent sign will lead to many healings and conversions before the messages become reality.

The ninth and tenth secrets are grave matters. They are a chastisement for the sins of the world. The punishment is inevitable because we cannot expect the conversion of the entire world. The chastisements can be lessened by prayers and penance, but they cannot be suppressed entirely. An evil which threatened the world according to the seventh secret has been eliminated through prayer and fasting. For that reason the Blessed Virgin continues to ask for prayer and fasting. The invitation to prayer and penance wards off evil and war, and above all, saves souls. Our Lady says: "You have forgotten that with prayer and fasting you can ward off wars, suspend natural laws."

Since the apparitions began in 1981, millions of people of all faiths, from all over the world, have visited Medjugorje and have left spiritually strengthened and renewed. Many bring back stories of miracles in the form of healings (of mind, body and soul), supernatural visual events, and deep conversions back to God. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones, to investigate with an open mind and heart the messages which are given to us by Our Lady of Medjugorje. I invite you to read these messages and decide for yourself how they will affect your life and that of your family.

Our Lady's messages are meant to be assembled like a mosaic. To understand the full meaning and depth of these messages, we need to study all of the messages She has given us over these 28+ years. "By means of the messages, I wish to make a very beautiful mosaic in your hearts." (November 25, 1989). Our Lady has asked that we continually read, study, and meditate on the messages which she has given us. She said: "Little children, read every day the messages I gave you and transform them into life. I love you and this is why I call you to the way of salvation with God." (December 25, 1989).

The technique of teaching which Our Lady uses reeducates us to be Christians. She accomplishes this by walking with us and guiding us step by step, message by message. Today, many people think it is not important to be a Christian. Others want to live a superficial form of Christianity which is easier or more convenient than living a true Christian life. Our Lady wants to show us through Her messages the real face of Christianity. This is a long process because we as a society have strayed far from the truth and God and are slow to learn. This is true both in the church and outside the church. We have to accept being totally reeducated, little by little, by the Mother of God. The problem with mankind is not so much that people have bad intentions; there are plenty of good hearted people. The problem is that we sometimes don't see the truth; we are in darkness, and many of us are just blind. We do not realize that we have put ourselves into the hands of Satan because we do not know how to tell the difference between right and wrong. Many of us become the image of Satan without even knowing it.

I don't think that anyone could argue, regardless of religious orientation, that today's world is in a state of crisis. All one has to do is read the newspaper or watch television to be see how eroded the morals of our world have become. It is shocking to see and hear the examples of inhumanity, cruelty, violence, abuse, drugs, war, crime, etc., etc. Much of the world has strayed far from a life centered around God and family. The answers which we need to redirect our life can be found by reading and living Our Lady's messages and the Scriptures.

"You are ready to commit sin, and to put yourselves in the hands of Satan without reflecting." (May 25, 1987)

"Do not allow Satan to gain control of your hearts, so you would be an image of Satan and not of me." (January 30, 1986)

"Children, darkness reigns over the whole world. People are attracted by many things and they forget about the more important."

"Light won't reign in the world until people accept Jesus, until they live His words, which is the Word of the Gospel."

"Dear children, this is the reason for my presence among you for such a long time: to lead you on the path of Jesus. I want to save you and, through you, to save the whole world. Many people now live without faith; some don't even want to hear about Jesus, but they still want peace and satisfaction! Children, here is the reason why I need your prayer: prayer is the only way to save the human race." (July 30, 1987)

We must realize that Satan is real. He uses us for his own end and purposes. His main purpose is destruction. Destruction of love, peace, faith, family, and life. Just as God gave David 5 stones with which to defeat Goliath, Our Lady is also giving us 5 Stones or Weapons we can use to defeat satan. They are:

• Daily Prayer (Of the Rosary)
• Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays
• Daily Reading of the Bible
• Monthly Confession
• Holy Communion


We must realize that Our Lady's plan is for the entire planet, that this war is a war of love against destruction, and that Our Lady's goal in this struggle is the reign of love, and the return of souls to God.

Our Lady tells us that our personal role is "Great". We cannot do enough to live the messages. We must be willing to abandon ourselves completely. When put in proper perspective, our homes, our money, and our businesses are not nearly as important as gaining eternal life in Heaven after this life.

Matthew 16:25-27 "Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would a man show if he were to gain the whole world and destroy himself in the process? What can a man offer in exchange for his very self?"


http://www.medjugorje.org

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Love Has Come by Mark Schultz

45 Easy Ways To Lose One Pound a Week

45 Easy Ways to Lose One Pound a Week*

Customize your perfect weight-loss plan with our mix-and-match diet and exercise tips.
By Tracy Teare

Here are a few quick facts about losing a pound: It will make your jeans feel a smidge looser, it's the equivalent of four sticks of butter (picture that for a second!), and it requires that you burn and/or cut a total of 3,500 calories. Sound like a lot? It adds up faster than you think.

To lose one pound in seven days you need to reduce your net calories by 500 every day. The easiest way to do that is a 250 split: Cut half from your diet and burn the other half through exercise. To come up with easy ways to do this, we enlisted trainer Heather Rider, founder and director of Rider Fitness Consulting in Los Angeles, and nutritionist Lauren Slayton, RD, of Foodtrainers in New York City.

Choose one strategy from the diet and exercise columns each day (feel free to mix and match) and after seven days you will have cut out 3,500 calories. Losing four sticks of butter has never been such a cinch!

Diet Strategies

___ Replace your morning bagel and cream cheese with an English muffin and cottage cheese.

___ Skip the large bakery muffin in favor of 1 slice of whole wheat toast topped with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
___ Swap your large bran muffin for 3/4 cup of bran flakes.
___ Replace eggs and cheese with scrambled egg whites.
___ Replace your 450-calorie lunch with a 200-calorie protein shake.
___ Replace large french fries with a yogurt-and-fruit parfait.
___ Modify your lunch: Skip the cheese on your salad or sandwich, substitute mustard for mayo, and replace potato chips with soy chips.
___ Have half a tuna salad sandwich instead of a whole, plus two cups of raw vegetables.
___ Skip the cheese in an omelet and a lunchtime sandwich.
___ Switch from cream soup to vegetable-based soup at lunch and dinner.
___ Switch from one cup premium to light ice cream.
___ Skip your afternoon frozen yogurt with ground nuts.
___ Resist the handful of M&M's at the receptionist's desk.
___ Cut out 1 biscotti and 1 large mocha.
___ Switch from a chai tea latte to lemon tea.
___ Have 1 ounce of soy nuts instead of 3 ounces of roasted almonds.
___ Substitute a serving of beef with shrimp or a white flaky fish like cod at two meals.
___ Leave behind one-fourth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
___ Have 1 cup of strawberries instead of a whole banana, and cauliflower instead of a baked potato with sour cream.
___ Replace ranch or blue cheese dressing with low-fat vinaigrette at lunch and dinner.
___ Have a vodka and soda instead of a margarita at happy hour.

Exercise Strategies

___ Jog at a 10-minute-mile pace for 20 minutes.
___ Alternate sprinting and walking for 20 minutes.
___ Walk briskly for 30 minutes.
___ Spin for 30 minutes at a moderate pace.
___ Go for a 20-minute trail run.
___ Do 1 hour of housework.
___ Walk 1 mile in the morning and 1 mile in the evening.
___ Do 35 minutes of power yoga.
___ Do 35 minutes of Pilates.
___ Practice tai chi for 45 minutes.
___ Perfect your swing at the driving range for 60 minutes.
___ Practice capoeira (a Brazilian mix of martial arts and dance) for 30 minutes.
___ Hit a punching bag for 30 minutes.
___ Go in-line skating for 15 minutes.
___ Shovel snow for 30 minutes.
___ Ice-skate vigorously for 30 minutes.

___ Run up stairs for 15 minutes.
___ Jump rope for 20 minutes.
___ Do 25 minutes of circuit training.
___ Dance for 40 minutes.
___ Play Frisbee for 1 hour.
___ Wash windows for 1 hour.
___ Use a pedometer and log an extra 3,600 steps.

*http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/tips/motivation/45-easy-ways-to-lose-one-pound-a-week

Photos: thefoodiediaries.com, sportyhannah74.wordpress.com

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pray It Off 11/04/10 Oatmeal, Fiber, Frozen Entrees, Restaurants and Tips



Low Calorie Oatmeal

http://www.womenandweight.com/weight-management/calories/low-calorie-oatmeal-for-breakfast October 31, 2010

Well, with the weather cooling down where I live and fall in full swing with leaves turning gorgeous gold, yellow, and red, I’ve gotten back to eating oatmeal for breakfast. I find a warm bowl of oatmeal to be very satisfying and something that keeps me from getting hungry again all too quickly.

Warm Oatmeal Smoothie

Oats, nonfat milk, plain yogurt, blueberries, and strawberries
• 25 g porridge oats
• 300 ml semi-skimmed milk
• 100 g plain yogurt
• 50 g blueberries
• 50 g strawberries, roughly chopped

Method

1. Place the oats and milk in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

2. Transfer the porridge to a liquidiser or food processor, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

3. Serve while still warm.

The nutrition couldn’t be better with lots of calcium, protein, dietary fiber, and more. I had to try this! Definitely low calorie and filling! Also, not too bad tasting because I added a little sugar! Only 304 calories for a serving with the additional tsp. of sugar.

What I liked about this recipe Filled me up so thoroughly I wasn’t hungry for a LONG time.

Nutrition:

304 calories
17.9 g protein
4.8 g dietary fiber
515 mg calcium
1.9 mg iron
(About 1 ½ servings of milk, 2 servings of fruit, 1+ serving of whole grain)

Pumpkin Oatmeal

The idea of adding pumpkin to an oatmeal breakfast
seemed to be
an intriguing idea. I DO like pumpkin pie so the recipe showed some promise.
Pumpkin Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup milk
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Makes 2 servings in less than 10 minutes

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes to desired consistency. Add a little more milk or water if necessary.

What I liked about this recipeIt was quick and easy to prepare and quite tasty. The oats cooked up fairly well. They were chewy and
definitely had a pumpkin pie taste.
Good nutrition and filling power.

Nutrition:

220 calories
10 grams protein
5.8 grams dietary fiber
129 mg calcium
3.3 mg iron

Creamy Pumpkin Oatmeal

This recipe is by far my favorite. It might amuse you to see what transpired to get the final result. I had read a tip or two shared by dietitians that a favorite recipe for fast and easy oatmeal was to simply soak a half-cup of oatmeal in milk overnight in the refrigerator. The idea was to take it out in the morning and eat as is with some added dried fruit or nuts. Or heat up slightly if desired.

I decided to microwave the mixture with the added ingredients of craisins, honey, and ¼ cup pumpkin puree. I cooked the oatmeal mixture on high for 2-3 minutes.

Creamy Pumpkin Oatmeal
Ingredients:

½ cup old-fashioned oatmeal (Irish steel cut oats might be even better)
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. craisins
1-2 tsp. honey or brown sugar
¼ cup pumpkin
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
Cinnamon to taste

Directions:

Add milk to oatmeal in a microwave safe container with a lid (choose a container that is at least 3-4x the amount of oatmeal and milk because the mixture boils up when cooking in the microwave.) Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, add the craisins or raisins, honey or sugar, and pumpkin puree. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on it while cooking if your container is not that big to prevent boiling over. Also make sure the lid is loosely set on top and slightly ajar to prevent causing suction!)

When you take the cooked cereal out of the microwave, allow it to sit for about ten minutes with the lid on well enough to keep the heat in but not get stuck. Use the time you’re waiting to get dressed or fix your sack lunch or whatever else you need to do in the morning.

Nutrition:

325 calories
14.2 grams protein
7.8 grams dietary fiber
236 mg calcium
3.5 mg iron

What I liked about this recipe?

Everything in my humble opinion! Easy to prepare (Just requires thinking ahead and getting this
started the evening before). Creamy, tasty, good. A complete meal in and of itself with the exception
of pairing with a half a cup of juice or a small piece of fresh fruit for Vitamin C.



Dietary Fiber: Can it Help You with Weight Loss?

http://www.womenandweight.com/weight-management/dietary-fiber-can-it-help-you-with-weight-loss/ October 31, 2010

Fiber is classified as a carbohydrate but unlike other carbohydrates, fiber supplies no vitamins or minerals and very few calories. Nevertheless, it plays an important role in the body. Fiber can help your weight loss efforts IF you make the right choices!

There are two basic types of fiber: fiber that dissolves in water (water soluble fiber) and fiber that does not (water insoluble fiber). These names are usually shortened to just soluble and insoluble fiber.

Citrus fruits, apples, potatoes, dried peas and beans, oatmeal and oat bran
are good sources of soluble fiber. This type of fiber may be helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels. It also helps to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and the release of glucose into the blood. The slower release of glucose plays a role in stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Insoluble fibers are found in whole-grain breads and cereals such as wheat bran and whole wheat, and in certain fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and pears. These fibers cannot dissolve in water but they can absorb water. By adding bulk, insoluble fibers facilitate the passage of food through the intestines and soften stools. This helps to keep the colon healthy.

Both soluble and insoluble fibers pass through the stomach and small intestine undigested. However, when these fibers reach the large intestine they may be partially or completely fermented by colonic bacteria.

Fermentation produces gas, an unwelcome byproduct for most people! But it also produces the short chain fatty acids that provide the important health benefits of fiber—moderation of blood glucose and lipid levels, maintaining a healthy colon, and regulating immune responses.

So how does fiber help you with weight loss? By eating whole grains and other high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and beans you can fill up on lower calorie foods. The fiber gives you a sense of fullness and satisfaction with fewer calories! Plus you have the added benefit of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (the source of antioxidants and other healthy compounds) present in these foods that are also important for good health.

You need approximately 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. Because each of the fibers provides different benefits, try to include both soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet each day. If you consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grain breads and cereals you should be fine.

Do keep in mind that the health benefits described in this article come from eating what is called “dietary fiber” not “functional fiber”.

What is functional fiber? This is fiber that has been isolated from foods, rather than the dietary fiber that occurs naturally in foods. Functional fiber is something that manufacturers add to food products to increase the bulk without adding significant calories. Some examples of functional fiber are cellulose, maltodextran,
polydextrose, and inulin. These fibers may provide some but not all of the benefits of dietary fiber.

Fortunately, very low carb diets are no longer the popular craze they were a few years ago. However some people are still choosing low carb options.

Should you consider a low carb diet plan be sure to determine if the food choices for the plan will provide you with enough fiber. A carefully chosen low carb diet (20-40 percent carbohydrates) may yield enough fiber to keep you healthy. But very low carbohydrate diets (less than 20 percent) could be a problem over time.



Best Low Calorie Frozen Entrees

http://www.womenandweight.com/weight-management/calories/best-low-calorie-frozen-entrees October 31, 2010

With all the possible frozen entrees available in today’s supermarkets how do you know what makes a healthy choice? Today I’ll share some guidelines for you along with a few suggestions for specific products.

When planning low calorie nutritious meals to help you look good, feel good, and be healthy as the pounds come off, you need lean protein, whole grains, and colorful veggies. The frozen entrees that I’m familiar with are not sufficiently well balanced to provide you with all you need. However, the right selections can give you a starting point to which you can add complementary and low calorie nutritious food.

For 1400 to 1500 calorie diets your best bet are frozen meals with no more than 400 calories. Beyond calories, limit the fat grams to less than 15 with no more than 4 grams of saturated fat and no trans fats. Excess sodium from salt and other sources is a big problem with processed foods! Aim for fewer than 700 mg.

Pick meals with 10 grams or more of protein. Lean protein plays an important role in keeping you healthy and satisfied on a low calorie diet! Also look for at least 4 grams of dietary fiber. Like protein, dietary fiber will go a long way to keep you filled up and satisfied from one meal or snack to the next.

Last but not least check out how much vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron is available. The more the better unless you are postmenopausal, in which case the iron content will not be as important. All too often these nutrients are not well represented and that means you will need to supplement your meal with other food to balance it out.

O.K. so what are some of the better choices for frozen entrees in grocery stores today? I’ve chosen 6 that meet or come close to meeting the guidelines I provided above for nutrition. In addition, I spent some time determining whether or not you might like the taste. How did I do that? I looked at the ratings provided on two food review sites. Zeer.com and HeatEatReview.com are two websites you
might want to bookmark for future reference!

The frozen meals included here are not ranked or listed in any particular order by nutrition or taste:

Amy’s Kitchen Stuffed Pasta Shells

You gotta love Amy’s Kitchen products. This particular dish is made with organic pasta and vegetables.
There are no GMO’s or bio-engineered ingredients. All the dairy ingredients are made with pasteurized hormone-free milk and do not contain animal enzymes or rennet.
Nutrition: 310 calories, 19 g protein, 5 grams dietary fiber, 13 grams fat, plus 40% of vitamins A & D, and 40% calcium. It doesn’t meet my guidelines for sodium at 740 mg (Just keep your salt intake under control for the rest of the day).
Reviews: No reviews on Zeer and 5 out of 5 stars on HeatEatReview.

Kashi Sweet and Sour Chicken

This meal includes sliced roasted chicken,
green beans, yellow pepper, red pepper, crimini mushrooms, onions, and edamame beans. It has only high quality all natural ingredients with no preservatives or artificial anything!
Nutrition: 320 calories, 18 grams protein, 6 grams dietary fiber, 3.5 grams fat, and 380 mg sodium.
Reviews: 4 stars out of 5 on Zeer and 5 out of 5 on HeatEatReview.

Amy’s Garden Vegetable Lasagna

(Note: Trader Joe’s Garden Vegetable Lasagna rates equally well.)
This seemingly tasty dish is made with organic rice, pasta, and vegetables. It has 0 trans fat and no preservatives or bio-engineered ingredients.
Nutrition: 290 calories, 13 grams protein, 5 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of fat, and 720 mg of sodium. As with the Stuffed Pasta Shells this Amy’s kitchen product has quite a bit of sodium, just over my recommendation but otherwise it rates well.
Reviews: No reviews on Zeer. 4.5 out of 5 stars on HeatEatReview.

Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake

This dish is actually a vegan meal but don’t let that scare you away. It serves up a combination of plantains (a type of banana), black beans, sweet potato, and kale. I’ve tried it and have found it to be very tasty and nutritious although a little low in protein.
Nutrition: 340 calories, 9 grams of protein, 8 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of fat, and 380 mg of sodium.
Reviews: Unfortunately there are no reviews on either Zeer or HeatEatReview. So go ahead and give it a try and then leave a review to let other people know how good it really is!

Amy’s Whole Wheat Cheese and Pesto Pizza

This meal has all natural organic ingredients. It’s made with whole-wheat flour, pesto, tomatoes, and cheese. It’s so simple, from what I understand it appeals to even the pickiest of eaters – children.
Nutrition: A serving of 1/3 of the pizza is 320 calories with 18 grams of protein, 6 grams dietary fiber,
3.5 grams fat, and 380 mg sodium.
Reviews: No reviews on Zeer. 5 out of 5 stars on HeatEatReview.

Lean Cuisine Three Cheese Stuffed Rigatoni

Lean Cuisine says the dish is made with “zucchini, carrots, and red peppers in a fire roasted tomato sauce topped with mozzarella cheese.” I’d say that this product is a rare example in which the nutritional value comes close to matching the perceived value but don’t let that fool you. It is very low in calories so you will still need to supplement your meal with additional food to satisfy your caloric and
nutritional needs.
Nutrition: 230 calories, 13 grams protein, 4 grams dietary fiber, 6 grams fat, and 370 mg sodium. In addition, it has 60% of the dietary value for Vitamin A, 15% for Vitamin C, and 20% for calcium.
Reviews: No reviews on Zeer. 5 stars out of 5 on HeatEatReview.

Also, you might want to take a look at the top frozen meals rated by Consumer Reports Magazine as shared on HeatEatReview.



A Low Calorie Restaurant Food Guide

http://www.womenandweight.com/weight-management/low-calorie-restaurant-food-a-low-calorierestaurant-guide October 31, 2010

Having a strategy for making low calorie choices is essential when eating out in American restaurants. But isn’t it nice to occasionally have restaurant options for low calorie food without having to be so vigilant?

I decided to look for national restaurants that offer low calorie meals. Could I find restaurants offering nutritious choices for less than 350 calories? What I discovered is that many of the meals I might choose as being the healthier lower calorie choices typically do have fewer calories than other items on a menu. But the total calorie counts were still on the high side (500-600 calories or more). For anyone
on a 1200 to 1400 calorie diet the options are limited.

Many of the fast food restaurants offer one or more salad choices for less than 350 calories and a few have sandwich options. For example, Arby’s has a Martha’s Vineyard Salad with grilled chicken, cranberries, diced apples, Iceberg/Romaine lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese at only 262 calories total without dressing. And they have a Santa Fe Salad with Grilled Chicken at 283 calories (includes
grilled chicken, roasted corn and black beans, Iceberg/Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese.)

Blimpies evidently has an Ultimate Veggie Sandwich with a calorie count of 280. And Burger King offers a Chicken Whopper Jr. Sandwich on a small bun without mayonnaise for 320 calories. The Chicken Whopper is not exactly a balanced meal by itself but you could choose to order the sandwich to go and add your own low calorie fruit and vegetable such as sweet cherries for only 27 calories a half cup
and sliced sweet green peppers with only 15 calories a half a cup.

O.K. so fast food restaurants do offer a limited number of choices. How about sit-down family style restaurants and not fast food?

T.G.I. Fridays started offering a variety of smaller portion entrees to meet consumer demand. However, I couldn’t find any menu items for fewer than 500 calories. Given that the average restaurant entree has about 1000 calories, 500 calories is a big improvement. But it isn’t clear if there is any savings with respect to cost or whether or not the meal choices are more
nutritionally well balanced than any other option. So you might be just as well off ordering a regular size portion and saving aside half to take home.
Friday’s also offers two low carb choices that look good, Sizzling Chicken with Vegetables and Shrimp Key West. But the calorie counts are not provided. They note that the selections are made to order and therefore calorie counts may vary. This is a potential problem for menu items at any restaurant. However, I don’t see any reason why the average calorie count could not be posted.

Denny’s seems to have a few lower calorie choices on the menu. My research found a Chef Salad at 360 calories (but this item is high in sodium and somewhat high in saturated fat), a Grilled Chicken Breast Salad at 259 calories, and a Turkey Breast Salad without dressing at 248 calories.

Applebee’s now offers a Weight Watcher’s menu and quite a number of low fat meal choices.
The Grilled Shrimp Skewered Salad has only 210 calories, 2 grams of fat and 7 grams of fiber. Wow! TheCajun Lime Tilapia has only 310 calories, with 6 grams of fat and 9 grams of fiber. Another wow! The Italian Chicken and Portobello Sandwich (grilled, marinated chicken breast topped with sliced Portobello mushrooms, a slice of tomato, and chunky marinara sauce on a wheat bun and served with fresh fruit) has only 360 calories with 6 grams of fat and 11 grams of fiber!

My personal favorite for low calorie, nutritious food has been Panera Bread. (But with so many great low cal menu items at Applebee’s, it is quickly becoming another favorite!) Panera’s offers several soup options that might be ordered along with a 2-ounce piece of bread and Iced Green Tea for less than 350 calories. The problem is that the menu items are not consistent from one time to the next.
Be on the lookout for the Low Fat Vegetarian Moroccan Tomato Lentil soup at 120 calories a bowl, the low Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup at 90 calories a bowl, or the Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup at 160 calories a bowl. Delicious!

So lower calorie meal options can be found at certain restaurants if you do your homework first. I have found the website Calorie Lab to be very helpful in researching the calorie counts of restaurant meals. In addition, do check out the official website for the restaurant you plan on visiting to find the most up to date information on menu choices and nutrient data. Armed with a little bit of advance
knowledge before heading out to eat you will be amazed at the number of calories you might save!

Photos: tastyplanner.com, medicineworld.org, freezerburns.com, brooklyn.cuny.edu

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pray it Off 11/04/10 1500 Calorie Plan and Heathly Breakfasts



1500 Calorie Diet Plan

by Lori at http://www.womenandweight.com/1500-calorie-diet-plan

I created this plan to help you lose weight while still having a balanced and healthy diet. The diet plan allows for a significant amount of fiber to help you feel satisfied. Fiber-rich foods not only help to fill you up but with good choices these foods will allow you to eat a greater amount than you might otherwise with lower fiber, more energy-dense (higher calorie) foods.

Do keep track of your calories. This plan is just a guideline. The actual calories in each of the food choices can vary considerably.

1500 Calorie Diet Plan

Servings/day

Fruit (3-4 svgs) Choose from:
4 oz. juice (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sliced/chopped cooked or raw fruit
(fresh, frozen, or canned.)
1 whole medium piece of fruit
1/4 cup dried fruit

Vegetables
(3-4 svgs) Choose from:

4-6 oz. juice (1/2 – 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup fresh non-leafy vegetables
1/2 cup cooked vegetables
1 cup fresh leafy greens
NOTE: Choose at least 5 total fruit and vegetable servings a day for a healthier diet. Have no more
than 1 serving of fruit or vegetable juice per day

Whole grain breads and cereals (preferred) (3-6 svgs) Choose from:
1/2 cup high fiber dry cereal (about 80-100 calories with
4+ grams of fiber)
1 slice high fiber bread with at least 2 grams of fiber
~1/2 cup whole grain crackers (less than 100 calories with 2+
grams fiber)
1/2 cup cooked whole grain (brown rice, pasta, cereal)
1 SMALL whole grain muffin (about 150-160 calories providing 1/2 svg whole grain plus 1/2 serving
fat)
Refined grain breads and cereals such as white bread (2-3 svgs)

Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or beans (2-3 svgs)
Choose from:
2 oz. lean meat, fish, or poultry
1/2 cup cooked dried beans (legumes)
1 egg
1 Tbsp. peanut butter or other nut butter

Low fat and nonfat dairy (3-4 svgs) Choose from:
1 cup skim milk or 1% milk
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
1-2 oz. light cheese
1 cup low fat yogurt

Fats (1-4 svgs) Choose from:
1 tsp. healthy oil (such as olive oil or canola) or soft margarine
1 tsp. regular mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. regular salad dressing
2 Tbsp. light salad dressing
1/2 cup ice cream

Nuts and Seeds Choose from:
1/2 oz. nuts
1 Tbsp. seeds

Sweets/other (1-3 svgs) Choose from:
1 tsp. maple syrup, sugar, jelly, or jam
1 gingersnap
1 vanilla wafer

Best Healthy Breakfasts for Weight Loss

http://www.womenandweight.com/weight-management/weight-loss/best-healthy-breakfasts-forweight-loss-part-1 October 31, 2010

Breakfast matters. Dozens of research studies have confirmed what health professionals have been teaching for decades. From having a higher intake of essential vitamins and minerals, to feeling better both physically and mentally, and possibly living longer, breakfast eaters seem to have an edge over those who skip.

That’s good news but there’s more. Did you know that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less? Or that choosing certain healthy breakfast foods over others could make weight loss or maintenance easier?

Ideally a healthy breakfast includes a variety of foods, fruits and/or vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, and a good source of low calorie protein. However, meeting nutrient needs for the whole day is a challenge when on a low calorie diet (This is one of the reasons nutritionists advise people to not go below 1200 calories when dieting.)

It is much more difficult and often not possible to achieve nutritional balance for a single meal, especially breakfast.

So what are your best choices for breakfast? Let’s take a look at how to meet your nutritional needs while at the same time increase your chances for weight loss success. In addition, let’s keep in mind the need for breakfast to be quick, easy, and appealing!

To begin, breakfast may be very important but it is only one meal. Try to spread out your meals and snacks over the day to keep your metabolism running smoothly and help you feel your best. To do this, breakfast will provide about 1/4 to 1/3 of your total daily calories. That’s only 375 to 450 calories on a 1500 calorie diet).

Lots of low calorie “eat and run” healthy breakfasts are high in carbohydrates. (Think breakfast cereals, toast, muffins, and fruit whether fresh or dried, and fruit juice.) That can be good if you pick carbs with plenty of fiber and other nutrients.

Eating high-fiber foods can fill you up and keep you satisfied longer than many other foods. But you can improve on this choice by understanding the value of having enough protein with your breakfast. Protein can blunt your hunger for longer than any other nutrient. Avoiding hunger and the desire to eat any food in sight can be a struggle on a low calorie diet! Give this tip a try for nourishment and to see if it helps you feel less hungry.

How much protein is enough and what foods can you pick to keep the calorie
count down? The daily recommendation for protein in a healthy diet ranges from 10 to 35 percent. This assumes you are eating ENOUGH calories for YOU.

Your protein needs are independent of your calorie intake. You have a need for a certain amount of protein whether you are on a reduced calorie diet or not. Thirty-five percent protein is probably more than what is needed by the average person. (People who need very high levels of protein are athletes and those recovering from surgery and certain illnesses.)

Approximately, 15 to 25% protein will hopefully meet your daily protein needs and will not be too difficult to obtain with a healthy diet. So let’s go with 20% as an average. Twenty percent of 1500 calories would be 300 calories or 75 grams of protein for the day.

Five healthy low calorie sample breakfast menus.

I’ve chosen these because they provide a good source of dietary fiber and protein as well as other essential nutrients for less than 350 calories. With a little advance planning these breakfasts can be ready to eat in minutes.

Well-balanced nutritious breakfasts with plenty of protein and fiber for less than 350 calories are hard to find. How much is enough fiber? See if you can obtain at least 5 grams of dietary fiber or more. [The recommended amount of dietary fiber for women 19 to 50 years of age is 25 grams of fiber a day. For women 51 or older it is 21 grams per day.

All of the breakfast ideas can be ready to eat in minutes. However, some of the
menus will require a little advance cooking and or planning. I recommend setting aside some time over the weekend or whenever it works for you to prepare some of the food ahead of time and then have it ready to eat for the rest of the week. Foods that can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated include hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, and muffins (make up a large batch of muffins and freeze).

5 Low Calorie Sample Breakfasts with Plenty of Protein and Dietary Fiber

Breakfast 1

Top 2 halves of a multi-grain english muffin with low fat cottage cheese and sliced fresh strawberries.
Eat along with one hard-boiled egg.
1 English Muffin (100 calories, Light Multi-Grain by Thomas)
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese (1% milkfat)
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 hard-boiled egg
calories: 306
protein: 28.3 grams
dietary fiber: 11 grams
calcium: 264 mg
Vitamin C: 89.4 mg

Breakfast 2

A waffle spread with a peanut butter and yogurt mix served with 4 ounces of skim milk and a kiwi fruit
1 Nutri-grain lowfat waffle (71 calories, Eggo)
1/4 plain lowfat yogurt
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
4 oz. skim milk
1 kiwi fruit
calories: 299
protein: 14.0 grams
dietary fiber: 5 grams
calcium: 274 mg
Vitamin C: 84.9 mg

Breakfast 3

Oatmeal with skim milk and a whole orange.
1/2 cup Naturally Sweetened Oatmeal (226 calories)
4 oz. skim milk
1 medium orange
calories: 325
protein: 14.5 grams
dietary fiber: 7.3 grams
calcium: 301 mg
vitamin C: 59.9 mg

Breakfast 4

A six ounce low fat vanilla yogurt served with a low fat blueberry bran muffin, a kiwi fruit, and a few
almonds.
1 six ounce Light ‘n Fit Creamy French Vanilla (Dannon)
1 Low Fat Blueberry Bran Muffin (125 calories, Low Fat Blueberry Bran Muffins)
1 kiwi fruit
6 almonds
calories: 316
protein: 14.1 grams
dietary fiber: 8 grams
calcium: 313 mg
Vitamin C: 85.7 mg

Breakfast 5

Cottage cheese topped with blueberries
and a touch of real maple syrup drizzled on top. Eat along
with a low calorie oat bran muffin.
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese (1% milkfat)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 Tbsp. real maple syrup
1 low calorie oat bran muffin (178 calories)
calories: 348
protein: 19.2 grams
dietary fiber: 4.8 grams
calcium: 130 mg
Vitamin C: 6.9 mg
Note: See how this breakfast combination is low in calcium and vitamin C but otherwise a healthy
choice? When choosing this you will want to be sure to have good sources of these nutrients later in
the day. How about a low fat yogurt or piece of cheese for more calcium with a mid-morning snack?
Or a piece of fruit or juice for Vitamin C?
Always remember to get plenty of water each day. Add a glass of water or unsweetened tea or coffee
to round out each breakfast meal.

Photo- livestrong.com, fotosearch.com