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Category Archives: Pieces of me…
For ages, we’ve heard salt is one of the deadly sins. I have been guilty of being heavy handed with it in the past. Recently, I’ve discovered one of my cravings have been something salty. I’ve also noticed, sometimes food to me isn’t salty and friends that I’m with think it’s too salty. So, I decided to go on a Saltisson (salt mission). My mother was the queen of salt. I’m not talking about this new profound seasoning salt or sea salt. I’m talking about good old table/idonized salt. My mother, bless her good heart would salt every thing. Recently, I’ve been noticing folks around me shaking the shaker as well which has me believing I’m not the only one. My normal lunch routine is to eat a frozen food. Today was nothing different. People always chant they can’t eat or find pleasure in frozen meals because of the salt and the taste (different topic). I always thought they were losing it because when I eat mine, damn right I add more salt. But…should I be?!?
Studies show, women should eat one teaspoon a day in salt. One teaspoon is equivalent to 2300mg. That is also the USDA’s recommended amount. Today, women alone exceed that by 20%. The USDA is considering lowering the teaspoon a day consumption. Jennifer Nelson, R.D. Who is the chief of clinical dietetics at the Mayo clinic good & nutrition of Rochester, MN says “often people don’t realize they’re consuming too much.” Clearly, I’m in that boat.
Sodium is needed for nerve and muscle function but too much of it increases our risk of osteoporosis, kidney stones, ulcers, and of course high blood pressure. Studies from the New England Journal show that by just cutting our salt intake down by half may benefit us in shrinking our BMI by 5%.
Seems like it’s so easy to get addicted to the white stuff (not that kind of stuff) LOL. Just like our other friendly silent killer Sugar, salt may be a habit. Yes, no wonder our (I mean mine) LOL lemon drops and margarita taste so good with that pre-treat. And unfortunately like any other addiction, the more we get used to eating/having it, the more we need it to satisfy our craving.
No need to fear ladies and gentlemen!!! It’s easy to kick the salt habit to the curb. Reading the nutrition labels is the first step!!! Reaching for reduced sodium foods may also be a trick so reach for low sodium. They have as little as 25% fewer milligrams. Also keep in mind, food that have low calories and low fat have added sodium to make up for the taste 😦
One of the beat ways to cut back on your sodium intake to cut back on the processed food. The golden rule is, if you make it, you know what’s in it. Follow that golden rule and watch how fast you can control your salt levels.
To help you out a bit, I found an article with some great salt alternatives.
*On greens and other veggies use olive oil & balsamic vinegar. The richness of the balsamic vinegar pairs nicely with the bitter greens
*Potatoes or pasta used roasted garlic. Garlic soothes the tanginess and makes a sweet flavour that brings carbs to life
*Eggs use low sodium salsa. Why do you think people adore huevos rancheros
*Chicken/other meats use curry. The bold flavors of indian and thai (my favorite) seasoning can add a kick to your meat
*Fish/seafood use dill or old bay. This classic seafood seasoning brings out flavor without overpowering them.
So there you have it!!! My sodium cut back has begun!!!
A couple of days ago, I had this fabulous papaya that I bought from the supermarket. The size (of course) totally caught my eye and made it into my cart and on the kitchen table. Thinking to myself “this big thing is probably not even ripe yet, let me leave it on the table for a few days” didn’t have me tearing right into it. So as I patiently waited for this humungous thing to rip, one late night my cravings kicked in and at one o’clock in the morning I found myself on the kitchen floor with a knife and boy shorts on, in front of the refrigerator with the door open for light and a watering mouth, I did it!!! I cut that bad boy open. And to my surprise, it was as if I were in a tropical heaven and now completely satisfied to eat. The next morning, still with the sweet juices on my lips all I could think of is I wonder how good papayas are for you and decided to do a little research. Here’s what I found 🙂
Papaya’s (as so many other fruits) seem to have a numerous amounts of benefits and in my book that means I’ve hit the jackpot!!!
Did you know???
***Their great for you skin
***They help get rid of bloating
***They help with sinus problems
***Can help with digestive problems
***One cup only has 55 calories
***Great to use as hair conditioner
***Unripe papayas may cause miscarriages due to the amounts of latex that cause contractions 😦
Papaya is a native fruit of South America and is grown all over tropical and sub-tropical climates. When ripe, they have a sweet and juicy taste and has a texture and remind me of a mango. Hmm…I wonder if they are related??? They grow on a tree and their leaves are very large. Papaya plants come in three different genders: males, females, and bisexuals…NICE 🙂 and have different flowers depending on the gender. This is how you can tell them apart. They have an excellent source of Vitamin A, C, and E. Once cut open, papaya’s have black seeds inside that are edible and have a sharp and spicy taste. In some parts of Asia, the seeds are grounded up and used as pepper.
Papaya’s are also great for your healthy. They’ve been known as a flat belly food which mean they ward off bloating. They have an enzyme in them that helps break down fiber. Their bone strengtheners as well and help with improving your bones.
I encourage you to tantalize your taste buds and try a ripe Papaya 🙂
I found this interesting article in the July 2010 Shape Magazine and thought hmmm this can help us all 🙂
***I waited tables all through college and graduated school and, as a nutrition science major, never minded one bit when customers asked for substitutions. In fact, I thought it was smart! I frequently make special requests when I eat out – and encourage my clients to do the same – because even small changes can makes a huge difference in how healthy your meal is. These swaps will help you curb calories and feel just as satisfied at any quick-service or sit-down restaurant.***
1. Substitute a side of black beans for that mashed potatoes that come with your BBQ chicken – SAVE: 290 calories
2. Hold the mayo-based sauce in a sandwich or wrap, and ask for a drizzle of light balsamic vinaigrette instead – SAVE: 130 calories
3. Choose a spicy pomodoro sauce over bolognese (meat sauce) on your fettuccine – SAVE: 160 calories
4. Replace a cup of macaroni salad with a green salad with 2 tablespoons of light vinaigrette – SAVE: 322 calories
5. Trade the flour tortilla on your burrito for a bed of lettuce – SAVE: 280 calories
6. Order your scrambled eggs and cheese on a whole-grain bread instead of a roll – SAVE: 200 calories
7. Ditch the waffle cone and sprinkles on your soft-serve ice cream, opting instead for a cup and no toppings – SAVE: 185 calories
8. Top an entree salad with grilled shrimp rather than grilled chicken – SAVE: 138 calories
9. Instead of slices of standard pepperoni pizza, switch to a thin crust and top with chicken breast, peppers, onions and mushrooms – SAVE: 160 calories
10. Bag the bun and request that your burger or chicken sandwich be served on a toasted English muffin instead – SAVE: 230 calories
11. Replace the butter and syrup on your pancakes with sliced fruit – SAVE: 367 calories
12. In a chopped salad, exchange the blue cheese for feta and skip the dried cranberries and candied walnuts – SAVE: 275 calories
Thanks Shape Magazine!!!!
I’ve grown to totally love SPINNING!!!!!!!!! I define spinning as this: Some exercises can be dreadful and torture and some exercises can be addictive. Spinning is my addiction. And I must say, I have it bad!!!! I spin four times a week and don’t know where I would be without it. Honestly, there are two reasons why I love it. #1 – It’s a calorie chomper – I can burn approximately 1200-1500 calories from one hour of spinning. WOW!!! #2 – It’s a class that constantly challenges me. Whenever I feel like I’m so over the treadmill, elliptical, and stair masters, I remember my spin classes are super fun and just what I need. As with everything, don’t believe the myths of spin classes. No, you don’t have to keep up with the teacher and the class, no it won’t affect your knees (unless you’re doing it wrong), and no it’s not hard. In fact, it’s the total opposite. My first time experiencing spin classes I went in with an open and positive mainframe. I was always one of those folks that checked out the participants and thought “wow…I wish I could do that.” Well one day, I mustered up the strength of being the newbie who didn’t have a clue and I went right on in. Fortunately enough, the instructor at my gym was great!!! She helped me with the key things (**see below for the key things**) and she totally made me feel like it was my world and my workout 🙂
Spinning is a great cardiovascular exercise. I can totally vouch for spinning and is grateful to all the pounds and leg muscles I’ve gained and lost 🙂 Unlike the stationary bikes, which seem like dinosaurs these days, Spinning tests your endurance and your strength. If that isn’t motivation, please know spinning is great to relieve stress 🙂
So for anyone out there who is scared here are some key things to know about spinning:
1. Learn the proper usage of the bike! This will determine your longevity of this great activity. Please know, if the bike is not used properly you will cause harm upon yourself.
2. PACE yourself!!! Go at the pace that you’re most comfortable with. If the instructor says raise the level and you’re not ready, don’t do it.
3. Don’t be afraid to SWEAT!!! CAUTION…this will cause major sweat and it’s good for you.
4. Your workout, have fun! Spinning should be about you, your endurance and your strength. Don’t worry about the folks around you. Do your best and you’ll do great!
Top Ten Reasons To Love Spinning
1. BURN BURN BURN – The number of calories you burn will be infinite per class
2. Great cardio workout
3. Progress at your own pace
4. Time Flies
5. Low impact
6. Great legs
7. Lower your body’s workout breaking point
8. Ab workout while you spin
9. Ride together
10. Mental strength
In addition to spinning, I recommend doing strength training. Remember, the goal is to make sure we don’t encounter any saggy skin 🙂
That was the common theme for me this week. I completely felt overwhelmed this week and I have no idea why. Between work and my personal life I almost felt like I needed a moment to step back and breathe but I just couldn’t catch my bearings to do so. Work was challenging for me this week because I was faced with a project that I had to tackle all on my own with little to no content and vision. I was also faced with tons of calendar problems, work requests, deliverables and fire drills. My personal life was also struggling way too much. Between the insomnia I’m battling with, the ruckus of Whopee and Juno every day, my constant struggle with trying to eat healthy and working out, managing to squeeze in fun time with my friends, and thoughts of feeling like I’m not organized and where did this come from I am OVER this week!!!! As I sit down and reflect on this crazy week I had, I realized just a few days ago I wanted to break down and cry so I phoned one of my Cali BFF’s Carolyn and totally released and vented to her. And she gave me the number one advice I’ve been giving her lately. Breathe, Relax, and Tackle – When the hell did this become my motto?!? I don’t know but it’s the best advice I’ve received all week!!!
So as I say, Happy Friday, So long to my crazy week, Happy Halloween and Let’s give it up to the Giants for doing a great job trying to win the World Series against the Texans I could care less where my week has gone and I’m just happy it’s almost over 🙂
I found this great article today on Health.com and I thought it would be great to share it with folks on here 🙂 – http://weightloss.health.com/2010/10/26/stop-dreading-workouts-exercise-is-fun/
By Tina Haupert
Growing up, it was easy for me to be active. I started ballet classes when I was 3 years old, and by the time I was 8, I was playing soccer. All through middle school and high school, I participated in team sports—soccer, tennis, basketball, and track and field. I loved being active, so fitting exercise into my life was easy. I never saw it as a way to burn calories or to maintain my weight; exercise was just plain fun!
Fast forward to my post-college days. I started working 40 hours a week, which meant sitting behind a desk, working late nights at the office, and spending too many overindulgent happy hours with co-workers (hello, beer and nachos!). In just a few months, I gained 20 pounds.
At first, I didn’t realize that I was putting on weight. But when I had to buy a whole new wardrobe (true story!), I knew that something needed to change. I cleaned up my diet and started going to the gym more regularly. Eventually though, that new get-in-shape motivation wore off, and spending hours at the gym each week began to feel like torture. It was nothing like playing soccer after school or taking a hip-hop dance class with my friends each week.
So instead of giving up on exercise altogether, I had to find ways to incorporate it into my life and even try to make it (gasp!) fun. Here’s what I did:
I make it a priority
I no longer “squeeze in” a workout. Exercise is one of the most important items on my to-do list. I try to make some sort of activity happen every single day, no matter what it is. If I have an especially busy day, I’ll incorporate fitness into my chores. For instance, walking my dog for 45 minutes or doing an hour or two of yard work kills two birds with one stone!
I have a flexible definition of the word “exercise”
Taking a Body Pump class or going for a 5-mile run are a couple of my favorite ways to exercise, but not all of my workouts are this “traditional.” The word “exercise” is a loose term for me. It fits a lot of activities in my life, including hiking in the mountains, taking a bike ride, playing an impromptu game of tennis with my husband, walking to the grocery store and back, or even helping friends move into a new house!
I don’t focus on the number on the scale
When it comes to exercising, I don’t let the bathroom scale dictate my workouts. My goal isn’t to fit into size zero skinny jeans, but to maintain my weight and feel good about myself. To me, being in good shape means feeling healthy and being active. Plus, the extra activity lets me enjoy dessert without guilt every day!
I remind myself that exercise is fun
It’s not always easy to psyche myself up for a workout. Just like everyone else, I am not motivated on some days and don’t feel like doing anything except sit on the couch, catching up with my DVR. Even though I’ve committed myself to fitness, I still struggle with these feelings. But now I’ve found different ways to motivate myself to exercise. I remind myself of the simple pleasures I receive from fitness. A run on the treadmill might sound boring, but to me it’s a time to myself, a time to let my mind wander. Similarly, strength training with free weights may not sound like fun. However, the anticipation of listening to the great workout playlist that I made for lifting weights makes me look forward to my session. It all comes down to making exercise fun!