I am so encouraged and inspired by all the wonderful readers on Whisk Together and Money Saving Mom following my How I Lost 33 Pounds and Kept It Off for 3 Years. A lot of great ideas in the comments as well. I tried to keep the blog post down to the essentials. Everyone is different and has different motivations and tricks. What works for one person might not for another, but these tricks worked for me and they may for other people as well.
To the new followers: You will notice a difference in photos and number of posts now than if you view my previous blog entries. We recently sold our house and living in an apartment with one large window blocked by our sectional! No light and no kitchen space leads to different output. The house should be done in early September though and back to rolling out the meal plans and recipes like usual!
Tips and Motivation:
1. Buy or use a food scale. If you notice boxes at the store use weight (ounces) and not volume (cups) in order to package their food. This is because food shifts while in transit and completely normal. But, the thing is that the nutritional facts are often also in weight measurements as well. A food scale just made everything easier to get my plate and less messy. Less mess is always good and my prime reason for weighing my baking ingredients!
2. Go to sleep in your workout clothes if you need to. If you need to workout in the morning and have trouble getting motivated, go to bed in your workout clothes. It’s a great motivator, reminder and time saver in the morning. When I used to exercise more at night, I wore my workout clothes all day to remind myself.
3. If you lapse in your exercise or calorie intake, just start over. Don’t think about it. It’s a new day. Just get back doing it again. Easier said than done… I know!
4. You WILL be hungry. I have heard this complaint from some others that they didn’t like to diet because they were hungry. Of course you are! Your body loves homeostasis. Your body wants to stay the same and in order to do that, it wants a certain number of calories to maintain that weight. When you eat fewer calories, you are forcing the body to go out of homeostasis. That’s why I roll my eyes at these diets that promise you won’t be hungry. Of course, hunger is all relative and each person is different. Hunger is a powerful tool your body uses.
How do you avoid hunger? The things I tried were drinking lots of water and tea. Chewing gum. Finding a new hobby to work on. Exercise during my hungriest time – evening – to keep me busy. Eating almost zero calorie foods like celery. Taking a multivitamin.
**Book Update** The new book I’ve been reading is Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo. I taught public speaking for a few years and found a lot of the information very helpful. There are some GREAT ideas like “practice”. Seriously. The people that prepare for TED talks practice a lot and make their talk look so easy. If you haven’t heard of TED talks, they are 18 minute presentations on “ideas worth spreading”. You may have seen or heard of the most popular talk by Sir Ken Robinson on how “School Kill Creativity.” The book is an excellent resource for anyone that has a public speaking engagement or in sales. He suggests to use humor in your speech and to create “wow” moments like when Bill Gates unleashed mosquitos during his malaria presentation.
The last recipe, Summer Vegetable Tian, was quite healthy. So, I thought I would add this one to the blog because it was so successful. I have also started coding all the nutritional information for future posts for myself and also for my husband because he started Lose It last week. This recipe is the same as my Homemade Fruit Pizza only I put them in a mini-muffin pan for portion control. The toppings and ideas would also be delicious on those “Brownie Bites” they sell in stores – a super easy and quick makeover for a delicious store bought treat.
I also love the fact that these treats have NO artificial colors or flavors. View the cookies I made with just some strawberries and blueberries. Recipes can be cute without resorting to artificial stuff!
Calories: 101; Fat: 4.9 g; Carbs: 13.6 g; Sugars 9.4 g; Protein 1.4 g (Calculated using 1 cup blueberries for topping)
100 Calorie Fruit Pizza Bites
- For the Crust:
- 1/2c. butter, soft
- 3/4c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/4c. flour
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 pkg. neufchatel cream cheese, soft (8 oz.)
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1-2 cups sliced fruit: strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, mandarin oranges, fresh cherries, blackberries, raspberries, mango, etc.
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- In a great big bowl, cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. In a not so big bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually and mix until it makes a dough. Shape the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Think cookie dough log at the grocery store. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
- Spray a mini muffin pan with baking spray or cooking spray. You need two pans, or reuse your 1 pan.
- Cut the log into 1" disks. Cut those disks into fourths. You should have about 30-36 cookies. Place each cooking into the muffin well and press down slightly.
- Bake 12-16 minutes. Rotate halfway through baking. Remove when the edges just start to turn golden brown.
- After about 5 minutes, press the tops with your fingers or indent with a spoon just to make sure the top isn't doming. After 10 minutes, remove from the muffin pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Put into a pastry bag or a plastic freezer bag with the corner trimmed off with scissors. Squeeze and top each cookie with the cream cheese. Top with fruit. Store in the fridge until serving.
© Mary Ellen P. Riley. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use images or content without prior permission.
For the Crust:
1/2c. butter, soft
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4c. flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Combine flour, tartar, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually and stir until it makes a dough. Shape the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. The shape is just like the cookie dough logs at the store. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
1 pkg. cream cheese, soft (8 oz.)*
Optional: 1-2 teaspoons of lime or lemon zest LOVE this addition!!
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups or so of sliced fruit: pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, peaches, mandarin oranges, etc.)
2. Spray the mini muffin pan with baking or cooking spray. Cut the roll at 1″ increments. Then, each of those circles cut into fourths. This is the messy part. It’s okay. Put each 1/4 cookie into the wells. Bake 12-16 minutes. Rotate halfway through baking. Remove when the edges just start to turn golden brown.
3. Beat all of topping ingredients together except fruit. Pipe onto cooled cookies using a pastry bag or plastic freezer bag with corner trimmed off. Top with sliced fruit.