Thursday, September 30, 2010

Can Pets Benefit Our Health?

From the Mars Petcare Press Release -
For decades, Mars Petcare – through its world-renowned WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition – has led the way in research in Human-Animal Interaction (HAI), the scientific field that studies the bond between humans and companion animals. 

“WALTHAM® has established an incredible body of evidence on the health benefits of pet ownership and The Power of PetsTM program will help us translate that research to people and communities,” said Dr. Karyl Hurley, global director of scientific affairs, The WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition.  “With obesity levels rising and health levels falling, we want to contribute our knowledge and expertise to help address those very serious issues, and at the same time, call attention to what we can do as humans to ensure the pets in our lives are also healthy and happy.”  
I know from experience that without my dog Dotty, I'm not sure how I would have ever gotten through the rough times in the past few years. She was ALWAYS there for me, cuddled with me every night, and even licked my tears the many times I cried during those bad times. I will forever be thankful to her for that - for being there when it felt like nobody else was - and for giving me a sense of purpose. Plus, now that I'm starting to run, I take her along with me and she keeps me going and gives me motivation!

Rocky & Dotty

Tell me: Do you think pets can benefit our health? How has your pet (if you have one) influenced your life?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Atkins Adventure, Week 3: It's a Journey, Not a Race

I need to keep reminding myself that weight loss isn't (or shouldn't be) a race to the finish line, and that goals are good, but not if you reach them and then end your journey. I don't want to compete with anyone in my weight loss or work so hard to lose weight by a certain date that I lose track of the real purpose - to get healthy. Events are great motivators, but they aren't the only thing that's important. My health & well-being is important. That is why I am telling myself it's a journey, not a race. I haven't been happy with the slow, almost non-existent weight loss the past 2 weeks, but I have to keep going forward. Plus, I got the new Atkins book for free with the Barnes & Noble gift card I earned from Swagbucks, so I have gotten some great tips:
  • Measure yourself. Sometimes the scale stays the same but inches are coming off and muscle is being gained. (I do feel my clothes loosening a bit, so that is a good sign)
  • Calories still count. Even if you are doing a low-carb diet, that doesn't mean you can go all out and take in more calories than you use each day. On Atkins, you don't have to keep track of calories, but also don't pig out either - seems obvious, but a good reminder.
  • Don't skip meals. This is my biggest weakness since I have been so busy, but I am trying to eat consistently to keep my metabolism up. Another no-brainer but I still have problems doing it.
Aside from having a slow weight loss this week, I have noticed that I now have the "Atkins Edge" which they refer to in the book. It means that you don't get those nasty hunger pangs that you often get when you have blood sugar spikes from a diet high in carbs and sugars. I used to be terribly hungry all the time and crave carbs like mad. I was an emotional eater as well, so cutting out most carbs was not only a shock to my system at first, but it also made me a little emotional as well since I had to address my issues rather than suppress them with food.

The first 2 weeks of Atkins are hard, no question. They address this in the book and in the online support tools. Your body needs to adjust to the change in diet, but the book gives tips on how to avoid some of the symptoms - like for dizziness they say to drink clear broth for extra sodium. My body went wacko when I started - I was dizzy, tired, emotional, headaches and my cycle got all messed up. Plus my digestive system was acting totally weird. Thankfully now that I'm in the 3rd week, I am pretty much back to normal. But now I have the Atkins Edge and I no longer feel the need to eat all the time, plus my cravings for carbs is pretty much gone too. Totally worth the 2 weeks of discomfort for a lifetime of healthy eating with the Atkins Edge! The only thing I do crave right now is fruit, but I have decided to take the option of staying on the 1st phase of the program longer than 2 weeks since I have a significant amount of weight to lose. So no fruit for me yet, but sugarfree Jello & whipped cream works for a sweet treat. More foods including fruit and whole grains will be added in during the next few phases. So contrary to popular belief, Atkins isn't NO-carb, it's just LOW-carb and GOOD-carb!

This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Atkins. All opinions are my own experience with the diet plan. Individual results vary.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love Your Blog Award

Wow, I am so blessed to have received another blog award - the Love Your Blog Award! Thanks goes out to Riema over at for giving Ready 2 Get Healthy this award!

I can't even begin to list all of the things I am thankful for in my life right now, but here are a few that stand out in my mind: 1) New beginnings, 2) Blogging - it has become my passion and gives me a chance to hone my writing skills, 3) The ability to finish my first 5k, 4) Support, especially finding support in the last person I'd expect, 5) My roommate, Andrea, who has inspired me to work hard for what I want

These are four of the ladies I would like to give this award to:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link up to their blog
  • Give the award to four people
  • Mention five things you are thankful for these days

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Running Chics Review

As you may or may not know, I am attempting to become a "runner" (or jogger, if you will). And what better way to get motivated to run than with new workout clothes? Running Chics generously sent me one of their new thermals for my running adventures.

Since I was about to run/walk my very first 5k, I was super excited to get this thermal, and just in time for the fall weather! And thank goodness I got my thermal in time because it was 46 degrees on the morning of the 5k! I was SO thankful to have a thermal shirt. I picked out a white Bella Knit Thermal because I figured that way I can put any race shirt over the top of it or wear it plain too. It is super cute with the Running Chics logo and it even says "Running Chics" on the backside.

The thermal was not only warm, but it was thin enough that it wasn't bulky with layers and the sleeves were long as well as the length being nice and long too. They even sent me a nice canvas bag to hold my running gear, which I thought was really nice! I used that to bring along my stuff for the 5k, and felt proud to let everyone know that I am a "running chic."

Ready for the 5k
I love the Running Chics motto of "Life is a race ~ Be comfortable." The thermal I tried was very comfortable and I felt like a true runner while wearing it! The clothing from Running Chics is all very affordable with lots of selection. Plus, a percentage of all their sales is donated to the Republic and Springfield, MO, Girls on the Run program.

I am very happy with my Running Chics thermal and would recommend them for anyone, weather you wear it for races, casual strolls, or anytime when the weather cools down (which in MN is most of the year!) Thanks Running Chics!

Disclaimer: I was given a Running Chics thermal free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own experiences with the product. Individual results may vary. No other compensation was given.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My First 5K!

I participated in my very first 5k this Saturday! As I have said before, I am not a runner and never have been, so the fact that I even ran part of the 5k is an accomplishment for me! There was a huge winding hill at the end that I had to walk, so that slowed me down a bit, and I walked a few other times too between running. But still I finished in 48 minutes so when you think about it, that's like a 16 minute mile - pretty good for me I think!

I had been feeling sick for days before the race so I was super nervous about being too sick to even do it, but I still ran the 5k and accomplished something! Plus since it was a run/walk, I didn't come in last since there were walkers behind me! :) I also discovered that I am a slow walker (thanks to my midgety legs) because the parts I did walk, some of the walkers started passing me! So I basically had to run to stay ahead of the walkers, lol. I guess it's a good incentive to run instead of walk!

My roommate & I staying warm in the car before the race - It was about 46 degrees that morning!

I was lucky #1 for the race! (Too bad I didn't finish first, lol)

Maybe I will do another race in the future and run the entire thing... But for now, I am proud to be able to say that I participated in a 5k and lived to tell about it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Atkins Adventure - Day 6, Keeping On

It's Day 6 of Induction, and I'm not gonna lie - a few days ago I was about to give up. Yes, just a couple days after starting the Atkins Nutritional Approach, I was ready to give up! The problem was, I wasn't eating enough foundation vegetables and drinking enough water so my stomach started hurting and cramping up. I posted a question on the Atkins community forum on the Atkins website, and got answers from different members right away helping me out and giving me suggestions! I feel a lot better now and am VERY motivated to stick with this program!

I wasn't sure if it would work at all, but I am already down 4 pounds! Of course some of that is water weight and the Atkins info said that you might have rapid weight loss on the two weeks of induction but not to expect that when you go into the other phases and introduce more carbs into your diet. So I don't want to have too high of hopes or lose weight too fast because I want to be able to maintain this weight loss once I reach my goal weight; But I already feel like I have more energy and more confidence, plus I am actually eating healthier than before since I'm getting more veggies so it's worth it either way. I even had two people ask me if I had lost weight on Saturday!
Saturday's dinner - Sirloin Steaks, Broccoli, Sugarfree Jello & Whipped Cream

Tonight's dinner - double burgers!

Saturday, September 11, 2010 Review is a Canada-based company that provides customers with all of their supplement needs fast and at the best possible prices. offers everything from weight loss products, muscle-building supplements, immunity boosting products, nutritional bars and shakes, to even weight loss accessories like clothing. They basically have anything you could imagine. From Jillian Michaels supplements to Sportlab Milky Whey protein powder, has you covered! They ship anywhere in the US and Canada at the lowest prices, guaranteed.

I picked out SlimBody 100% All-Natural Fat Burner for women, because it not only is natural but is clinically proven to enhance weight loss and improve mood and energy. We all know dieting can make us tired and cranky, so I wanted to try SlimBody when I started my Atkins Adventure so that I wouldn't have the fatigue and bad moods! SlimBody combines the fat-burning powers of green tea, white tea and oolong tea for a sustained increase in fat burning all day long. It is the first and only weight loss product to use a patented strain of Organic Pumpkin Seed extract and Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Camino Coca for their mood-elevating properties. SlimBody also contains a dose of Valerian Root, which has a calming and relaxing effect because of its ability to interact with specific receptors in the brain.

What I like most about Slim Body is that its caffeine source is 100% all-natural coffee bean extract rather than synthetic caffeine which can cause energy levels to crash later. I also love that all the ingredients are natural and ingredients that I can pronounce and recognize. There is nothing synthetic or harmful in this product, so I feel good using it. It even comes with a workout-in-a-pocket guide for a simple workout. also sent me sample packs of Ripped Freak Hybrid Fat Burner and Silver Bullet 1500. I have been taking SlimBody for over a week now and really feel like it's helping keep my energy levels up. On days where I for some reason forgot to take it, I could tell a difference by how tired I was. I will keep using SlimBody on my weight loss journey and hopefully have good weight loss results when my bottle of 98 caplets is gone!

You can purchase SlimBody supplements online at for $39.95! Thanks SupplementSource!

Disclaimer: I was given SlimBody free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own experiences with the product. Individual results may vary. No other compensation was given.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

I have a question for you: What are you doing to get healthy right now? 
  • Atkins, Weight Watchers, portion control?
  • Walking, running, gym membership?
  • What are your best diet or workout tips? What works for you?


5QF Questions for Friday, September 10th:

1. Do you feel guilty spending money on yourself? 
YES! (Good old Lutheran guilt!)

2. How well do you know your neighbors? 
Well enough that I know their names & dog's names, and that they'd help me if I needed it.

3. What age are you looking forward to being?
Seriously? I'm past the point of wanting to grow up! Now I want to be young again!
4. Do you get excited when the mail comes? Why?
Of course! I love to find freebies, samples, products for reviews & giveaway prizes I've won...!

5. What is your earliest childhood memory?
3 years old when I threw up alphabet soup and could see noodle letters, lol

Atkins Adventure - Day 4, Grocery Deals

Last night I stopped at Cub Foods to use some great coupons that I received in the mail from their weekly coupon book (These books should be available in stores and are valid from 9/10 to 9/25, and you can view them online at along with the weekly ad coupons.)

Here is what I got for my Atkins adventure:
B1G1 Fresh Express Spinach - 2 bags of spinach for $2.49
B1G1 Nature Vine Sweetened Cherry Tomatoes - 2 bunches tomatoes for $3.49
B1G1 Simeks Meatballs - 2 bags frozen meatballs for $9.69
B1G1 Premium Angus Beef Boneless Sirloin Grill Steak - 2 packages steaks for $6.09
$3 off Arctic Shores cooked, peeled & deveined frozen shrimp - 3 bags for under $15 ($4.99 each)

I also got a rotisserie chicken for the first time ever (they always smell so good in the deli area!) It was only $6.48 plus there was a $1 off coupon attached to it, so I got a hot rotisserie chicken for $5.48.  I will tell you, for me - someone who hates cooking meat - rotisserie chickens might just be my God-send! I ate it for dinner last night - not the whole thing, but plenty of it! It was very good plus I have leftovers too, all for under six bucks! I also enjoyed sugar free Jello with whipped cream last night, and I literally said "Mmm Mmm Good!" (Oh wait, that's Campbell's soups slogan!)

Anyway, so far so good, I THINK. I don't feel like I have lost anything yet but I will wait until my Wednesday weigh-in to find out. But I will tell you one thing, if I gain any poundage in these first 2 weeks of induction, I will throw in the towel and find something new! I guess I am paranoid about gaining because I am eating so much meat and protein and I'm not used to that. But we will see!! This weekend will be hard since I am going to a party where there will be lots of temptations. I am used to eating junk on the weekends and no alcohol is allowed in induction. But I will resist because if I'm going to do this, I want to do it right!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life Is Good Blog Award!

Leigh over at CoastalCouponer has awarded my blog the "Life is Good" award! My very first blog award - I am so excited! Life really IS good and this award makes it even better! Check out Coastal Couponer's great posts about couponing and saving money. Thanks Leigh for this award!

The Life is Good Award: To accept the award you must link back and thank the person who gave you the Life is Good award. Answer the 10 questions and pass it along to 6 other blogs :)

1) If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
I started out anonymously but decided that I'd rather show my true self on my blogs, warts and all (Just kidding, I don't have warts!)

2) Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
I'm kind of a pushover and have a hard time standing up for myself. I give in too easily, which doesn't work out in my favor most of the time.

3) What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
Myself, warts and all (Seriously, I don't have warts!)

4) What is your favorite summer cold drink?
Ice cold water with Crystal Light Pure Essentials grape mix

5) When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Blog, coupon, take my dog for a walk, or take a nap

6) Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
Find the love of my life, start a family, have babies, be a stay-at-home mom, maybe start a day care, run a marathon or a half-marathon

7) When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?
Overachiever for sure. I was valedictorian!

8) If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
The day I became free from an abusive husband, this past spring.

9) Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
Like I said, warts and all! (haha not sure why I keep saying that tonight)

10) If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Talk. Apparently I have a lot to say!

Now the award needs to be passed on to 6 people, and contact them :)

Here are my choices in no particular order:
Fabulous N Free
Finding My Life in Faith
Pocket Full of Pink
Mass Hole Mommy
Let's Just Give It Away
Healthy Home Blog

Biggest Loser Fall 2010 Edition has begun!

My co-worker started a Biggest Loser competition with about 10 people, and I joined in the "fun". The winner will get $150 dollars and the 2nd place winner will get $50. The winners are determined by percentage of weight lost.

No turning back now, I am doing this for real this time! By Dec. 1st when the competition ends, I hope to be a whole new me! But I won't stop there. I want to be an Ultimate Loser and get rid of this weight for good! We will weigh in every Wednesday and report our weight to the moderator of the competition, so I will be letting you all know my progress -- You will be helping me by holding me accountable!

On another note, if you are a new follower, please let me know so I can check out your blog and follow you back! Happy Wednesday! I feel great knowing that I am doing something good for myself :)

Atkins Adventure - Day 1

 So it's only been one day on the Atkins diet and yes, it is hard not to just grab a snack bar or chips when I'm hungry but rather opt for meat or veggies, but if I can get thru the 2 week induction phase, it'll get easier when I can re-introduce more carbs and fruits. I found some info on the Atkins website about customizing the plan, which I think is kind of cool:
One of the beauties of the New Atkins Diet is that you can personalize it to suit your own metabolism, goals and time frame. Just as important, you can mold the program to your culinary tastes and any dietary restrictions you may have. After all, the closer you can get to the way you naturally want to eat, the more likely you are to make any way of eating your “forever” diet. And it’s not just what and how much you eat. You can chose when to begin a fitness program and what you want it to comprise. Take a look at 10 ways to make Atkins your own. If you’ve tried the program before and found it too difficult or too restrictive, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the updated approach.
  1. START WHERE YOU WANT. Not everyone needs to start in Phase 1, Induction. You can choose to start in a later phase if you have little to lose or you’re willing to trade slower weight loss for more dietary variety from the start. See Choose the Right Phase in Which to Begin.
  2. MOVE AT THE RIGHT PACE FOR YOU. In Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss, many people are in a hurry to increase their daily intake of Net Carbs. As long as you’re steadily losing weight, you typically increase by daily 5-gram increments each week, but you certainly don’t have to. You may decide to move up every two weeks or more to encourage faster weight loss. Nor need you reintroduce a new carb food group each week if a slower, more cautious approach suits your metabolism—or your personality. The same freedom applies in Phase 3, Lifetime Maintenance, in which most people move up in 10-gram daily increments each week.
  3. REARRANGE THE CARB LADDER. Once you move beyond Induction, we generally suggest you reintroduce foods in a certain order, called the Carb Ladder, but if you’re losing weight reliably and in control of your appetite, you may be able to reorder the sequence to fit your preferences. Just stick to your daily quota of carbs and continue to get at least 12 to 15 grams of Net Carbs from foundation vegetables.
  4. HAVE MORE, SMALLER MEALS. Eat four or five small meals instead of three meals and two snacks if you prefer. Just be sure to get enough fat and protein and not let yourself get too hungry between meals.
  5. EAT LEAN PROTEIN—OR NOT. You can eat lean cuts of meat and poultry, if you prefer, but do have some olive oil on a salad or dress vegetables with oil or butter at the same meal to keep your fat-burning engine humming away. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with eating fat in the context of a low-carb diet, because you’re burning it for energy.
  6. PICK YOUR PROTEIN SOURCES. If you don’t care to eat beef, fine. Concentrate on poultry, pork, fish and lamb. If you’re allergic to dairy products, there are plenty of alternative products that you can enjoy. It’s more challenging to do Atkins without eating any animal products, but we’ll show you how in Atkins for Vegetarians and Atkins for Vegans.
  7. HONOR YOUR CULINARY HERITAGE. One of the reasons that Atkins is so popular worldwide is that it can be adapted to almost any cuisine. If you’re of Hispanic descent, check out Atkins with a Latin Beat. If you keep kosher, there are a number of websites that explain how to adapt Atkins to kosher dietary strictures and provide sources for low-carb kosher products.
  8. CHOOSE WHEN TO BEGIN A FITNESS PROGRAM. Other than advising you not to start or increase your activity level at the same time you begin Atkins—and reminding you that fitness is part of a healthy lifestyle—we leave the when—and the what—to you. You may want to jump right in after losing the first few pounds or wait to slim down and feel more comfortable before getting (more) active. Likewise, it’s your decision whether to join a gym, take aerobics classes, roughhouse with your kids—or whatever.
  9. CHOOSE FROM TWO OPTIONS IN PHASE 2. If you have a low metabolism, you may do better to stay in Phase 2 , Ongoing Weight Loss, until you lose all your excess weight. We help you make that decision with that decision in Two Paths in OWL.
  10. OPT FOR THE BETTER MAINTENANCE PATH FOR YOU. Likewise, you can select one of the two approaches to Lifetime Maintenance that better suits your needs and makes it more likely that you’ll be able to sustain your new weight. See Two Paths in Lifetime Maintenance.
The point is clear: the more you can customize Atkins to fit your preferences and lifestyle—while abiding by the basic principles and guidelines, the more likely you are to find it easy and pleasurable to follow—and the more likely you’ll achieve permanent success.

Monday, September 6, 2010

On Second Thought...

I might give Atkins a try...If nothing else, to jumpstart my weight loss. I really need to focus and lose for this Biggest Loser competition! And I realized I have lots of meat in my freezer... and I think I can do this. The nice thing is that Atkins provides people with all sorts of information and guides to help them learn the program, all free of charge! They have an Atkins community where you can find forums, carb trackers, journals, and instructions. I will journal on my blog how it works for me and any challenges I face with the program. I know it will be hard since I can't have dairy plus I don't eat fish (except shrimp), but since I'll be able to introduce some carbs back into my diet in a few weeks, I think I can do it with a little bit of focus! It will help that I can eat the bars I previously reviewed, because they really were tasty! So at least I'll be able to have some sweet stuff to satisfy my cravings.Here is what's "allowed" during the first 2 weeks of induction:

Most fish, poultry and meat don't contain carbs so you can feel free to enjoy them, but be sure you're also getting your 12 to 15 grams of net carbs in vegetables as well.
All fish including:
  • Flounder
  • Herring
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sole
  • Tuna
  • Trout
All fowl including:
  • Cornish hen
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Turkey
All shellfish including:
  • Clams
  • Crabmeat
  • Mussels*
  • Oysters*
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
*Oysters and mussels are higher in carbs so limit to about 4 ounces per day.
All meat including:
  • Bacon*
  • Beef
  • Ham*
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Venison
Some processed meat, bacon, and ham is cured with sugar, which will add to the carb count. Also steer clear of cold cuts and other meats with added nitrates.
Eggs are one of nature's most nutritious creations. That’s why eggs are a staple breakfast in the Atkins Nutritional Approach.
Feel free to get creative with your eggs: Add mushrooms and onions, or even green pepper. Top the dish off with feta cheese or add basil, oregano and other herbs.
Eggs in any style, including:
  • Deviled
  • Fried
  • Hard-boiled
  • Omelets
  • Poached
  • Scrambled
  • Soft-boiled
Keep in mind that cheese does contain carbs, about 1 gram per ounce. You may have about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese per day. An ounce is about the size of an individually wrapped slice of American cheese or a 1" cube.
Cheese including:
Type Serving Size Grams of net carbs
Blue cheeses 1 oz 0.7
Cheddar 1 oz 0.0
Cow, sheep and goat 1 oz 0.3
Cream cheese 1 oz 0.8
Feta 1 oz 1.2
Gouda 1 oz 0.6
Mozzarella 1 oz 0.6
Parmesan 1 tbs 0.2
Swiss 1 oz 1.0
You should be eating approximately 12 to 15 grams of net carbs per day in the form of vegetables, which is equivalent to several cups depending on the actual carb content of the veggies you select.
1 cup is roughly the size of a baseball. Measure the following salad vegetables raw.
Vegetable Serving Size/Prep grams of net carbs
Alfalfa sprouts 1 cup/raw 0.4
Arugula ½ cup/raw 0.2
Bok choy 1 cup/raw 0.8
Celery 1 stalk 0.8
Chicory greens ½ cup/raw 0.6
Chives 1 tablespoon 0.1
Cucumber ½ cup 1.0
Daikon ½ cup 1.0
Endive ½ cup 0.0
Escarole ½ cup 0.0
Fennel 1 cup 3.6
Jicama ½ cup 2.5
Iceberg lettuce ½ cup 0.1
Mushrooms ½ cup 1.2
Parsley 1 tablespoon 0.1
Peppers ½ cup/raw 2.3
Radicchio ½ cup/raw 0.7
Radishes 10/raw 0.9
Romaine lettuce ½ cup 0.2

The following vegetables are slightly higher in carbs than the salad vegetables listed above. They also provide important nutrients and add variety to your daily foods. Make sure you stay within the 12-15 grams of net carbs. Unless otherwise noted, measure these veggies after you cook them.
Vegetable Serving Size/ Prep Net Carbs
Artichoke ¼ of medium 4.0
Asparagus 6 spears 2.4
Artichoke hearts 1 canned 1.0
Avocadoes 1 whole (raw) 3.5
Bamboo shoots 1 cup canned 1.1
Broccoli ½ cup 1.6
Broccoli raw ½ cup 1.0
Broccoli rabe ½ cup 1.3
Broccoflower ½ cup 1.4
Brussels sprouts ¼ cup 2.4
Cabbage ½ cup (raw) 2.0
Cauliflower ½ cup (raw) 1.0
Swiss chard ½ cup 1.8
Collard greens ½ cup 4.2
Eggplant ½ cup 1.8
Hearts of palm 1 heart 0.7
Kale ½ cup 2.4
Kohlrabi ½ cup 4.6
Leeks ¼ cup 1.7
Okra ½ cup 2.4
Olives green 5 2.5
Olives black 5 0.7
Onion ¼ cup (raw) 2.8
Pumpkin ¼ cup 2.4
Rhubarb ½ cup (unsweetened) 1.7
Sauerkraut ½ cup (drained) 1.2
Peas ½ cup with pods 3.4
Spaghetti squash ½ cup 2.0
Spinach ½ cup (raw) 0.2
Summer squash ½ cup 2.0
Tomato 1 (raw) 4.3
Turnips ½ cup 2.2
Water chestnuts ½ cup (canned) 6.9
Zucchini ½ cup 2.0

Salad Garnishes
Crumbled bacon 3 slices 0.0
Hard-boiled egg 1 egg 0.0
Grated cheeses (see above carb counts)
Sautéed mushrooms ½ cup 1.0
Sour cream 2 tbs 1.2

Herbs and Spices (make sure they contain no added sugar)
Basil 1 tbs 0.0
Cayenne pepper 1 tbs 0.0
Cilantro 1 tbs 0.0
Dill 1 tbs 0.0
Garlic 1 clove 0.9
Ginger 1 tbs sliced root 0.8
Oregano 1 tbs 0.0
Pepper 1 tbs 0.0
Rosemary 1 tbs 0.0
Sage 1 tbs 0.0
Tarragon 1 tbs 0.0

Salad Dressings - Any prepared salad dressing with no added sugar and no more then 2 grams of net carbs per serving (1-2 tablespoons) is acceptable. Or make your own.
Blue cheese 2 tbs 2.3
Caesar 2 tbs 0.5
Italian 2 tbs 3.0
Lemon juice 2 tbs 2.8
Oil and vinegar 2 tbs 1.0
Ranch 2 tbs 1.4

Fats and Oils
There are no carbs here, but keep in mind that the serving size is approximately 1 tablespoon.
  1. Butter
  2. Mayonnaise – make sure it has no added sugar
  3. Olive oil
  4. Vegetable oils – Those labeled “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed” are especially good and olive oil is one of the best.

    • Canola*
    • Walnut
    • Soybean*
    • Grape seed*
    • Sesame
    • Sunflower*
    • Safflower*
*Do not allow any oils to reach overly high temperatures when cooking. Use olive oil for sautéing only. Use walnut or sesame oil to dress cooked veggies or salad, but not for cooking.
Artificial Sweeteners
  • Splenda – one packet equals 1 gram of net carbs
  • Clear broth/ bouillon (make sure it has no sugars added)
  • Club soda
  • Cream, heavy or light.
  • Decaffeinated or regular coffee and tea*
  • Diet soda (be sure to note the carb count)
  • Flavored seltzer (must say no calories)
  • Herb tea (without added barley or fruit sugar added)
  • Water – at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day including...

    • Filtered water
    • Mineral water
    • Spring water
    • Tap water
* You may have 1 to 2 cups of caffeinated tea or coffee if you can tolerate caffeine without experiencing cravings or symptoms of hypoglycemia.
If you are truly addicted to caffeine, it's best to break the habit during the Induction.

Alcohol is not allowed during the first two weeks of Induction. If you remain on this phase longer,
you can have a glass of wine, a low-carb beer, or a small amount of spirits mixed with water or club soda, but be sure to avoid mixers that contain carbs, including fruit juices and tonic water. Understand that consuming alcohol may slow your weight loss.

Atkins Nutritionals Review

Atkins™ Nutritionals, Inc. manufactures and sells a variety of nutrition bars, shakes and other low-carbohydrate foods designed in compliance with the nutritional principles of the Atkins Diet. The Atkins Nutritional Approach™, is composed of four phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance. Most individuals can decide—based upon their needs and preferences—in which of the first three phases to start, enabling them to find their personal tolerance for carbohydrate intake while losing or maintaining weight.

I was given a variety of Day Break, Advantage, and  Endulge Atkins bars, plus a couple Atkins Advantage shakes to try. I am not on the Atkins program at this time and am still on the fence about whether or not I will do the program. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I'm not sure I can stick with it since I love carbs so much! Plus I've never been a huge fan of meat and since I can't have dairy, the Atkins program seems too hard for me to do without my beloved cheese! When I was younger I had tried the Atkins program for awhile and had no problem with it back when I could have dairy. Back then, my favorite bar was the Cinnamon Bun Daybreak bar. Since then, the Atkins line of bars has not only expanded, but improved in taste and texture to make them much tastier. (Of course there is a little dairy in the bars, but I can handle a little bit, especially when it involves chocolate!)

I was very impressed with how good these bars were -- I honestly forgot that they were nutritional bars because they tasted like granola bars or snack bars! My favorite was the Peanut Butter Fudge granola bar in the Advantage line. It was amazing! I was also very impressed with the new flavors such as the Caramel Chocolate Nut Roll and the Sweet & Salty Almond Crunch Bar - the mix of sweet and salty really satisfied my cravings. And the Peanut Butter Cups from the Endulge category actually tasted like regular peanut butter cups - I was surprised because I didn't think they would compare to the real thing. The one bar I didn't care for was the Fruit Crumble Daybreak bar, I didn't like the texture and the taste didn't compare with the other bars. But I was more than impressed with these Atkins Nutritional Bars and not only are they great if you're going the Atkins route, but they also are nutritious whether you just want a low sugar snack or even on the Weight Watchers program, I calculated the bars to be either 2 or 3 points each, so they can work for many different programs. It's nice to have "diet" bars that aren't loaded with sugar and carbs. That's why I feel like these bars could be part of any diet, whether you are sticking to the Atkins program or just doing your own thing. 

Atkins Advantage bars have:
• High levels of protein, fiber and good fats
• Only one gram of sugar per serving
• No more than three total net carbs per bar
• 19 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium

Atkins Day Break bars boast:
• High levels of protein, fiber, and calcium
• Low sugar levels
• Whole grains
• Zero trans fats

Atkins Endulge products boast:
• No more than 180 calories and one gram of sugar per serving
• Can be enjoyed in three of the four phases of the Atkins Diet™
• Favorite candy flavors like chocolate, peanut butter and coconut

Thanks Atkins!

Disclaimer: I was given Atkins Nutritionals bars and shakes free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own experiences with the product. Individual results may vary. No other compensation was given.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Blog Hops

 I decided to join some blog hops since I have no followers on this blog yet. I need support and encouragement to get healthy, and even running or diet tips, so feel free to comment! I think that having an audience will help me hold myself accountable and stay on track, rather than falling off the wagon like I keep doing lately. No more excuses, I CAN and WILL do this!