Diet Soda Controversy

  

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  So, we’re in the very first week of 52 weeks to a new you and here’s what’s happening so far:

     I have decided to forego diet soft drinks due to the controversy associated with them.  I say controversy because some health reports recommend diet soft drinks as opposed to regular ones to save calories and others demonize them saying they do many horrible things including:

Fill the body with artificial sweeteners and harmful chemicals

Cause bone and teeth loss over time

Bloat the belly.  Yes, you read right, bloat your belly since those chemicals clog it up and slow digestion

Create weight gain. Saw what, no way? Well, yes way. The artifical sweetener is sweeter than sugar promoting hunger instead of reducing it

     As you can see by this, not exhaustive list, of claimed problems with diet soft drinks, that the risk outweighs the benefits of a few missed calories so that’s why I chose to forego diet soda in week one.

     Will I ever have another soda? Probably when I’m out in a social setting occasionally but regularly, heck no.  Next time I’ll post what chef has decided to change in week one!

     Meanwhile, how’s your first week going so far? What have you decided to work on?  What change did you make this week towards your goals?  We’d love to hear from you in our comments section and cheer each other on.
    

52 WEEKS, NEW YOU! REALLY?

   

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  So, not many of you know my Chef husband and I both left corporate America over the past year.  (That’s us on the left with our children and granddaughter) We tired of the rat race even though it did pay each rat almost six figures to run.  I left my job first, June 7, 2015, to be exact, and my hubby left his seven months later on January 22, 2016.
     What were two income less fools to do?   So glad you asked! We had prayed about it for some time and were feeling drawn to expand my then small, private practice into a full fledged wellness center and that’s exactly what we have done.
     Who’d have thought a chef and a counselor would be working together, side by side, after all these years of marriage; yet,  that’s exactly what has happened. We’re just getting started. We both feel this is gonna be the ride of a lifetime.
     Hold on to your hats as we begin this journey together and see where God takes us. Oh, and remind us to hold onto our purse strings for a bit, we don’t have that rat race income anymore! Here’s to running our own race!
    
    

52 WEEKS TO A NEW YOU

    

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      52 weeks, 52 opportunities, 52 steps closer to your goals. This is the simplicity behind “52 Weeks to a New You”.  Before we begin; however, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

     Where would you like to be a year from now?
     How do you plan to get there? 
    What’s the biggest hurdle to your success? 
     Who can help you achieve your goals?

     While these and other questions may be difficult to answer, the challenge itself is pretty simple. Decide what your working on and then make one change weekly towards your goals.  It’s that simple!
     Chef and I decided to work on expanding and improving our wellness in all areas and to document our progress. We will continue to post what we discover along the way including new recipes, resources, and health tips of any kind: physical, emotional, psychological, social, relational, spiritual, etc., etc.   We will post our progress also!.  Meanwhile, here’s to being WELL because your health is your W-E-A-Lth!
  
     

The Journey Continues

      As our journey continues beyond the 30 day wellness challenge, it’s safe to say Chef and I have officially become health junkies. I wouldn’t say we’re fanatics (yet, hahaha), but we’re definitely junkies. 
     How do I know that, you ask? I’m not sure. Maybe it was the moment chef said he basically uses the outside of the grocery store now or when we decided to use zucchini for pizza crust or some other pivotal turning point.  Anyhow, it’s official. We’re health junkies.

     So, from one health junkie to another, here’s a couple recipes we tried and liked today.  See for yourself what you think….

Healthy Cherry Pie Smoothie

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7 ounces vanilla protein shake
1 cup cherries
1 T oats
1/2 T maple syrup
1 cup ice

Mix in blender and enjoy

Green Leaf Mixed Salad

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Green Leaf Mixed Salad Recipe

Green Leaf Lettuce
Zucchini
Cucumber
Vidala Onion
Mushrooms
Strawberries
Pears
Feta Cheese
Walnuts

Mix as much as you prefer of each item and serve with your favorite dressing (we chose Italian) amd protein (we chose crabcakes)

    

Zero Days, Way to Go!

     Chef and I have lots to celebrate. Not only have we lost almost 10 pounds each, we found new and healthier versions for many things loved, feel energized, and have learned so much!   Here’s a few notes to self:

1.  Just about everything we love to eat has a healthier, more nutritional version and also tastes sooooooo good

2.  It wasn’t what I’ve been eating that’s packed on the pounds as much as what I’ve been drinking… diet soda, flavored drinks, fancy cocktails, etc., that have tons of sugar in them.

3.  We’re only beginning our wellness journey with food and we’re not willing to stop!

4.  Trying to find alternative and healthy ways to cook our favorite meals is lots of fun and like a couples scavenger hunt.

5. Having each other for support has made the journey and the challenge fun and more successful.

6.  Wellness is a lifestyle, not a diet or monthly challenge.

7.  Weight comes off when your body is fueled well and sticks like glue when your body is clogged up with chemicals,  sugar, and other empty nutrients.

8.  We both agree our “why we do this” is for our grandchildren and a satisfying life in our golden years, which, by the way, are coming faster than we planned, LOL!

P.S.  To celebrate our progress (certainly not perfection) and the 4th of July here in the States, we made this tasty, divine, adorable, fruit infused, spa water.  Give it a try.

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Ingredients

Pitcher
6 pieces large watermelon slices
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, sliced
3 cups ice
Fresh water

Procedure

Cut watermelon into star shapes using cookie cutter

Add blueberries and strawberries

Add ice to seep flavor from fruit

Top off with water

Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve

Enjoy

Home Stretch Strides

     With 5 days left on the 30 day wellness challenge, here’s the results. Drum roll please: Boom, Bang, Boom! 

      Chef has lost 9, unwanted pounds and I have lost 6.  How did this happen, you ask, in a few weeks? Simply by making lifestyle changes replacing foods we love with healthier ones.

     For example, instead of snacking on high calorie, low nutritional value potato chips, chef tweaked a recipe for Zucchini Chips

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     This satisfies the desire to crunch and the craving for salt without breaking the health bank.

     He also made Zucchini Parmesan Sticks as opposed to Cheesy Breads sticks. 

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      And, the coolest thing by far about the wellnesss challenge, it’s  PERMANENT. Diets, on the other hand, are TEMPORARY.

     Not that we’ve arrived! We’ve been unable to fully rise to challenge as we haven’t been able to eliminate soda from our day to day diet. BOOOOOOO!   Yet, the hunt is on for a homemade healthy alternative I hope to love and share with you!

     Meanwhile, here’s the Zucchini Chips recipe for your palettes pleasure while we hunt for homemade soda:

Zucchini Chips Recipe

Ingredients

1 large Zucchini
1/3 C Panko
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/4 t Sea Salt
1/8 t Old Bay
3 t Skim Milk

Procedure

Preheat oven 425
Cut zucchini in 1/8 inch slices
Mix panko, cheese, pepper, salt, old bay
Dip zucchini in milk, the dip in mix
Place on sheet tray in single layer
Bake on 425 for 15 minutes
Turn over, bake til golden brown
Remove to cool
Chips crisp as they cool

Enjoy and wish us luck on our hunt!

Ok All, 8 Days Remain

So, week 3 of the 30 day wellness challenge ends today! That means a weigh in tomorrow, and, YIKES, because, this week, Chef and I took advantage of the allowed 1 cheat meal….
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Yesterday, we had sushi and beer at Joss’s in Annapolis. We had a great view!
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That’s chef on the left! Why is sushi a cheat you ask?

Because remember nothing white is allowed, only whole wheat or grain.
So, what did we do?

We decided to stroll afterwards to walk off the cheat!
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So, how did we do, you ask? The scales won’t lie tommorrow, my friends! Until then.

So, how did we do. The scale will tell tomorrow!

Until then, my friends!

Smoothie Patrol

     So, if eating raw fruit has you bored to tears, try shaking it up, literally, by creating a creamy smoothie shake  with these ingredients.

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2 cups Pineapple
2 cups Honey dew
2 cups Kale
1 cup Walnuts
1/2 small container Greek Yogurt
Blend all ingredients
Enjoy

PS. If you like your smoothie creamy, freeze fresh fruit prior to blending

PSS. No worries kale haters, you won’t taste it!

Makes 40 ounces!

Why We Eat What We Do

So, with ten days left to go on the wellness challenge, chef and I have brainstormed to create different infused waters and healthy snacks to munch on.

Today’s creations are this yummy watermelon water!

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Recipe

Ingredients

4 cups diced watermelon
6 sliced lemon wedges
4 cups cold water

Procedure
Puree, chill and serve

AND

These delicious Zucchini Cakes

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RECIPE

Ingredients
1 shredded zucchini
1 egg
1/4 cup panko
1/4 t nutmeg
Salt & pepper

Procedure
Beat one egg
Mix in salt, pepper, and nutmeg
Pour over zucchini
Add panko
Mix thoroughly
Sautee on each side 3 to 5 minutes

Enjoy guilt free as they are both so healthy and so darn good

12 Days to Go on the Wellness Challenge

   

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Only 12 more days until the 30 day wellness challenge ends and chef and I have had fantastic results.  We have eliminated ALL fast, fried and processed foods from our diet as well as white flour easily as we have been doing that for a while. However, despite our rising to the challenge, we haven’t risen fully, LOL, as we have consistently had a few items containing sugar or artificial sweeteners, i.e, diet coke and a couple of items with alcohol, i.e., mixed drinks or beer.
     So, it appears, chef and I have the healthy food thing down but not the healthy drink thing. That being said, we have begun our quest for healthy, yet tasty, drinks and it hasn’t been easy so far. We have created, and haven’t liked, a number of drinks to date.  So far, however, the two most enjoyable drinks have been our homemade gingerale and infused pear water.  For those of you who want to replace soda, chemically flavored waters (read the labels), and sugar laden or calorie laden drinks with healthier options, yet, are bored with plain water, here’s an alternative we recommend.

Pears
Ginger
Cinnamin
Vanilla Bean
Ice
Water

Place all ingredients in your pitcher of choice.
Fill with ice
Fill will fresh water
Stir and refrigerate for an hour
Enjoy!

It can’t be much simpler than this and the water will last for up to three days. Additionally, the fruit is edible!

PS. There is no specific amount of each item so play with the ingredients until it’s the way you enjoy! Bottoms up.