Friday, March 30, 2012

Food Friday - Super Easy Breakfast Omelet!

So I think I'm addicted to feta. Yep, it's true. I love the fact that it's low in calories, you don't need much to add a great flavor to your food, and it can be used in so many ways. Thus, all the reasons you've seen feta popping up lately on "Food Friday."

Todays Pick:

Spinach and Feta Omelet:
Being on spring break this week allows me to play around with my breakfasts a little bit and not feel so rushed to take the usual when I head out the door in the morning. Best part about this one is that it literally calls for 3 ingredients! (Love it!)

You'll need:
Reddi Eggs or Egg Beaters (3/4 cup)
Fresh spinach (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup feta cheese
Get your pan nice and hot. Add in Reddi Eggs or Egg Beaters. (they should start to bubble right away.) place your spinach on one side of the egg mixture. Top entire egg mixture with feta cheese.

 Fold over egg on top of spinach to form omelet. Cook for a 2-3 minutes and then flip and cook the other side for a 2-3 

It's simply that easy. And the best part is...It's very filling and a total of only 180 calories! And shall I mention, One of the tastiest breakfasts you can create. 

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebrity For a Day!

So a few weeks back I was contacted from one of my fellow bloggers about her wanting to share my story on her blog. Honestly, at first I was somewhat taken back by the idea. Not knowing if I really wanted to put myself out there any further than I already was. I just recently had started blogging about my own experience on my own blog and just knowing people were reading that seemed hard enough. Now the thought of a whole different network of people joining in on the story was all together intimidating. In the end, I knew I've had a prompting these past several months to do something to pay it forward. If that meant getting my story out there to people I didn't even know, I'd do it! 

I sat down one afternoon and typed out a brief story I would be sending off to share. It was harder than I thought. Even though I'd lived that life, had overcome it, and was ready to share my story, it was very emotional to go back and relive even a recap of what I had endured. All the hard details and facts came flooding back. All the more reason I guess I was suppose to be gutsy and get my story out there.

March 14th my story was shared on her blog. I know this sounds funny but in some ways I felt like a celebrity for a day! It was so cool to get a few comments and emails from people I didn't even know or had never met, asking me questions, congratulating me, and wanting to be part of my journey from here on out. Click here to view that post.

Again, I was so humbled and grateful for this experience. It really opened my eyes to see that being overweight is truly a disease and that there are so many of us out there. Whether just starting our journey, in the midst of changing our lives, or are working on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Regardless, we all need support and friendship along the way. I'm finding there is a whole network of people who have either been where I've been and can relate to what I've gone through, people who are wanting a little extra push, or people who are wanting to reach out and be of inspiration to others. It's definitely one big weight-loss family I'm grateful to be a part of!

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Monday, March 26, 2012


I find it interesting that when the weight started to come off and was noticeable by others, I started getting compliments often. Sometimes daily even. "Paige, you look wonderful! Paige, you look fantastic! Paige, I'm so proud of you and what you're doing to change you're life? Paige, You are inspiring!" The funny thing is, nine times out of ten when a wonderful compliment like this came my way I often reacted as if I were in denial or even somewhat disappointed in my progress. "No." Or how about "Well, I still have so far to go." Or "You're just being nice." It was always this ho-hum response. Why couldn't I get excited like they were? Part of it I think was mere fear. Fear that I was really doing and accomplishing what they said I was. Second, I was afraid of failing. And lastly, I was still envisioning the picture of the old Paige, the only person I knew. It wasn't until near the end of my journey I learned what it meant to "OWN IT!" Own what I'd done. Own what I'd become and celebrate everything in between. To learn to "OWN IT" might include some of the following, which I will touch on in more detail in future posts: (And believe me, I'm human and still struggle with these from time to time.)

- Recognize the progress you have made (even the little things)
- Believe!
- Talk about your success with someone else
- Get rid of those clothes! (see here)
- Celebrate
- Recognize you've accomplished hard things
- Use positive self talk
- Try on smaller clothes
- Admit you're a smaller size than you think
- Verbalize the idea - "I'm going to run a Half Marathon"(Just   saying the words.)
- Don't hit the excuse button
- Say thank you when someone gives a compliment
- Look at old pictures
- Look at yourself in the mirror 
- Eat treats (in moderation)
- Picture the "new" you
- Climb a mountain
- Recognize how much better you feel
- Don't hide from the camera (see here)
- Motivate someone else
- Have someone give you a piggyback ride
......and the list goes on.

Taking time NOW to learn how to utilize such simple tactics will help prevent so many hurdles I seemed to encounter by not learning how to "OWN IT" in the moment. Things as simple as self doubt, fear, and inspiration. How much greater would have been my joy if I could have tackled some of these things head on from the beginning. 

So whether you're just starting out on your journey, in the thick of it, or nearing the end, it's never too late to learn how to "OWN IT!"

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Food Friday - Pulled Pork Salad!

Food Friday - Pulled Pork Salad
So I really can’t take the credit for this one. One of the girls at work gave me the recipe and after feeding it to my family, I can tell it may just become a family favorite! (And not to mention, super easy.)
Put the following ingredients in your crock-pot before you 
head out the door in the morning.

           1 pork roast
      1/2 chopped onion
      1 cup orange juice (I used fresh squuezed.)
      1 teaspoon of apple cider vinager
      1 tablespoon of brown sugar
      1 cup water
      1 beef boulion cube
      1/4 bottle hickory smoke BBQ sauce

Remove roast from crock-pot and put on a plate. Drain juice from crock-pot.

Shred meat.

Put back into your crock-pot and add the rest of the bottle of BBQ sauce. Mix well and serve warm.
I chose to make a pulled- pork salad with fresh spinach, corn, avocado, and a little bit of cheese. The rest of the family enjoyed the pork on sandwiches. (I’m thinking they would have loved it on nachos too!)

That was one of the greatest things about this dish. It was easy and it can be used in so many ways. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Live in the Moment!

Looking back, I've learned what a huge roll the mind plays within us as we try to lose weight. In fact, I think it's the biggest obstacle. More so than any exercise or eating regimen. The MIND! (This was true for me anyway.)
All I can say is, whatever you're in the middle of trying to accomplish, focus on the moment. To understand how to live in the moment you must first realize that this is about participation rather than just observation. Focus is no easy task in a society which so many of us dwell on the past or anticipate the future. This is something I admit I was terrible at while losing the weight. I was often times doing just that..dwelling on the past and not being able to see myself in the future. Not a good combination when you're trying to change your life.
Don't worry about what you did or didn't get done at the gym yesterday, or start comparing what you were doing last week to this week, or what food you should or shouldn't have put in your mouth. Learn to live in the moment. What is going on right now. Today. In the next few hours. Pay attention and make note of how you feel when your making good food choices and choosing to exercise. Write it down if you need too. When you look at it like that, getting to the gym or choosing to make good choices are often better and don't seem so unmanageable.
When you find yourself wishing for something you don't have, or wishing your life would be different, start your dreaming by being thankful for what is already in your life. This will bring you back to the present moment. Again. make a list if you need to. You don't want to miss the gifts right in front of you. If you are thankful for what is, you'll be happy to be in the moment instead of some place else.
All in all, Just remember that the greater your ability to truly focus on the present moment, the greater the likelihood that you will enter into that state of focused immersion often referred to as “the zone.” When we get into that "zone" state, nothing can stop us!
What am I doing in the moment? Relishing the fact that even though it's been a long day, I just returned from a much needed run my body had been waiting for. Now it's off to prepare a taco salad and help a kiddo with homework. 

What are you doing in the moment?

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Get Rid of the Clothes.....All of Them!

One of the hardest things about losing weight and changing your life forever is the moving forward and never going back. This includes emptying the closet once and for all of ALL clothing that no longer fitsBelieve me, this was not at all easy. In fact, looking back it was probably one of the hardest things mentally I had to do on this journey.  Yet it has played a key role in my success and where I am today.
As we lose weight, why is it that we want to hang on to those clothes we slowly start to grow out of? Seems somewhat crazy doesn’t it? I mean we should be celebrating and getting rid of them. But we don’t. Do we even like them? (I know for me, most of them were big and baggy with a lot of “give” around the mid-section so I could easily hide or tug at my shirt to hide the rolls of fat.) Are we keeping them around just in case for some reason we can’t keep the weight off and we need to grow back into them some day? Are they a source of a security blanket in our lives? Whatever the reason may be, you will not change who you are and your lifestyle if you can’t let go of the past. Clothes being a BIG part of it. Get them out of the closet and more importantly, out of the house! It will never be a lifestyle change until you can agree to do this. Like I’ve said before, I at one time lost 40 pounds but then over time slowly put the weight back on. The scary part was that I really didn’t know how much weight I was gaining back because as the pounds crept back on I would just slide myself back into those clothes that were hanging in the closet, waiting to someday be worn again. Can anyone relate? 
This is how getting rid of my clothes once and for all played out for me. I knew for a while I was needing to do this (getting rid of the clothes that is). It was agreeing with myself that kept holding me back. It really is a big deal to commit to never going back.  To believing in yourself enough that you can accomplish anything you want. I remember my trainer had suggested it was time. Time to get rid of the old and start dreaming about the new. (Often times I’d show up to a workout session in clothes that were way too big and needed to be recycled.) I remember being on pins and needles of sorts for several days leading up to this point.  “I’m ready. No, I’m not. Yes, I am”....and this went on. It was a summer evening and my husband was working. I’m guessing it was close to 9pm or so. I felt like it was time. I remember sending a message to my friend Tammy. (She's one of my support team members. Read about my support team here.) The message back was...”On my way!” She was at my doorstep within 10 minutes and the project began. Piles and piles started to mound on my bed, along with belts and several pairs of shoes that were now too big because my feet weren’t as fat. I had doubts about what we were piling up several times. “Oh, I like this. This still fits.” It was very hard and emotional as I was saying goodbye to my old life. The things that had provided me with security for years were going to be gone. As we bagged them up and hauled them out to the car I knew there was no going back. I remember lying in bed that night feeling somewhat numb but relieved at the same time. Tomorrow would be a new day and even if I didn’t have anything to wear, I was one step closer to being who I wanted to be and nothing was going to stand in my way. Not even clothes that were too big, hanging in my closet waiting to be worn!

By tackling this project head on, you will have no choice but to press forward, with faith, believing you can become anybody you’ve always dreamed of being. Yes, it’s scary. Very scary! You saw the picture of my closet when all was said and done. I had nothing left! I felt empty and scared. But one thing was certain. After taking that step, I knew nothing was impossible for me and that I was on my way to being who God had created me to be.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Food Friday: Sometimes I Don't use a Recipe

No, I'm not a vegetarian, but I have experimented around with different ways to get my protein without having to consume meat. This is one of my favorites! I had it last night even. I wish I could tell you where I got the recipe, but I can't because I made it up myself. What I can tell you, is that it's super easy, fairly cheap, and very tasty. (My family even loves it!) All you need is the following:
Fresh Zucchini
Fresh garlic clove
1 sweet yellow onion
1 can black beans
Feta cheese

I like to saute my veggies in a cast iron pan. (I think they taste better.) Add a little olive oil to your pan and then add your zucchini, onion, and garlic. 

 Saute for about 7-10 minutes. (I like it to still be a bit firm.) Add in your black beans and heat until nice and warm.
  Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve. 
I choose to eat this as a main dish as it is very filling. Even if you're not a bean lover or may think feta is a bit strong, try this one out. I think you might be pleasantly surprised at how it tastes, not to mention it's quite filling, very good for you, and low in calories! 

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Normal, Regular, Everyday Food....

"Paige, can you just tell me exactly what you eat everyday? I want to eat just that for a month and see if I can lose some weight!" Yes, this is what I get several times a week! The problem is losing weight is a very personal journey, especially when it comes to food choices. I eat what I do because it tastes good, I enjoy it, and I picked it out myself. Not to mention, it changes from time to time. Once you decide on how many calories you're going to be consuming, then start making choices from there. I think of it like a game. I will tell you though, for the most part I know first thing in the morning what I'm eating for the entire day. I've already made those choices, have things mapped out, and I stick with it.  Obviously there are times when dinner is eaten out or other things may come up, but it's not often I don't know that ahead of time and will have planned for it.
Just to appease a few of you, here are a couple of sample menus: The first one I will share is from a while back. The second one is what I seem to be enjoying these days.

Menu #1

Breakfast: 2 egg beaters with 2 tablespoons salsa
                1/2 cup Quaker Old fashioned Oats
                1/3 cup mixed berries (I put them in the oatmeal.)
Morning Snack: 1/2 Cup Vanilla Yogurt
                         1/4 cup low-fat strawberry granola
Lunch:  1 whole wheat sandwich thin
            3-4 0z turkey breast
            1tsp of either mayo or a Greek yogurt dip I love from Costco
            1 cheese stick
Afternoon Snack:  1/2 Cottage Cheese
                            10 Red grapes
Dinner:  4 0z baked chicken or turkey burger (patty only)
             2 cups broccoli
             4 oz baked sweet potato
             1 pad real butter
Bedtime Snack: 1/2 cup cottage cheese or a cheese stick

Menu #2 

Breakfast: 1 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch
                 1/2 cup of nonfat milk
                 1 cheese stick
                 Spinach Smoothie

Morning Snack: Cliff Z bar (chocolate fudge or cookie dough)

Lunch: 1 whole wheat sandwich thin
           1 Tablespoon of peanut butter (Smart Balance)
           1 small Apple

Afternoon Snack: Vanilla Greek Yogurt
                            slivered almonds

Dinner:   (Chef Salad)
               grilled chicken
               hard boiled egg
               Feta cheese
               Balsamic vinaigrette
Bedtime Snack: 1/2 cup cottage cheese or a cheese stick

I aim for around 1350 - 1500 calories a day.
*Depending on where my calories are at, I always keep nuts on hand to add a few extra calories to my day if needed.

Again, this is just a sample and I eat many other things I seem to enjoy. Please remember though, in order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to be selecting the foods you enjoy! It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle, right? I'm just wanting you to see that people do lose weight, large amounts of weight, just eating regular, normal everyday food in moderation. It's so doable. The biggest obstacle is just deciding to do it! 

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Just say.. NO!

It's been a stressful day. What happens when we're hit with stress? Bad food choices or no food at all. How many of us are guilty of this practice? I know I am. The no food at all has been what my day has consisted of today until a few minutes ago when I was about to make a choice I knew I would regret later.

Yep, a nice big bowl of chocolate brownie ice cream! Shall I mention the caramel I was going to drizzle on top?  I had the bowl out, ice cream scoop ready to go, whole nine yards. I know, not good! Now, don't get me wrong...I eat ice cream but I try not to eat it unless it has been planned into my day and in this case it was NOT.  I turned off the evil voices in my head and tuned into thoughts of what would be a better option. Waallaaa...........

Vanilla Greek yogurt with granola and a few almonds. No, it's not ice cream but it's tasty and it hit that sweet spot I was in the mood for. See, all the more reason to try Oikos vanilla Greek yogurt and just say NO to those evil food voices that try to get you to eat naughty food!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Friday - Yogurt Addiction!

I must say that in the past couple of years I've become a yogurt addict! I love it. I love it plain, I love it with granola, and I love it with chopped almonds. For the longest time I was buying just the cheap low-fat brand at my local grocery store. Then I discovered the CHOBANI brand, which I love. It's a greek yogurt. Thick, creamy and full of flavor.

But then a couple of weeks ago I tried the Dannon OIKOS greek yogurt. Wow! I'm hooked.  It's my new favorite! I love yogurt that's thick and creamy, and this is by far more thick and creamy than even CHOBANI.

I don't ever use yogurt for a meal, but it certainly is a great snack - from between 120-140 calories a serving, low in sugar, full of live cultures (trust me, this is what you want), and a great source of protein. Not to mention, it helps keep your digestive system healthy and working properly.  Favorite flavor: vanilla by far! 

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Family Pictures! (Then and Now)

 I was thumbing through the pictures on my computer last night and decided it was time I posted some horrific family pictures. Again, this was one of those moments where I thought, "WOW, I was that big?!" Take a look for yourself.

Isn't it interesting how 90% of the time I'm hiding behind someone else? I got pretty good at this, and in fact, I often times would try to avoid getting my picture taken altogether.

The next couple of pictures I was in the process of losing the weight but it still didn't seem to stop me from my hiding technique. (It took me a long time to see me as a smaller person. Sometimes I'm still in awe.)

Guess what? I'm sitting in the front and feeling okay with it! Yeah!

 Check this one out.....Steve and I both in a pipe together! Are you kidding me? 
 Look at all the fun things I can do now that I'm skinny. Being a goof being one of them!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Food Friday - The Power of Cottage Cheese!

If you're not a cottage cheese lover don't stop reading this now. I've included something for you, no worries.

Who would have guessed it? Did you know that cottage cheese is one of the best sources of protein on the market? It's become one of my favorite snacks. Occasionally I get a little burnt out and take a break from eating it as a snack but that doesn't seem to stop me from adding it into things without me knowing it's there. Most of the time though, you can always find a big container sitting on the top shelf of my refrigerator waiting to be eaten. The other wonderful miracle about cottage cheese is that not only is it low in fat, lower in calories, and will provide you with 12 - 24 grams of protein per serving, but it's one of the SLOWEST releasing proteins you can consume. Meaning, it helps make you feel fuller longer, sustain your energy for longer periods, and is a great snack to have in the evening. I talked about this just recently when I was mentioning nutrition. (click here) You want to head off to bed with something in your stomach so that your engine will keep running through the night and when you consume something like cottage cheese it will keep releasing protein as the night goes on, never bringing your metabolism to a complete halt. This is a good thing. A very good thing! SO, why not do your body some good and order in the cottage cheese!

Here are some of the ways I seem to enjoy it:
- Plain (with a little pepper)
- Mixed with Salsa
- On a salad

If you're not a big fan of cottage cheese, try then making these pancakes! They are full of protein and fiber, not to mention super yummy! My kids had no idea they were eating cottage cheese in their pancakes!

Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg whites
Mix together the ingredients in a blender and pour onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray. Top with your favorite pancake toppings and enjoy! Note: They will come out slightly flatter than your average pancake but it doesn't seem to bother my family.

How are you going to incorporate cottage cheese in your diet this week? I know I am!

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