Jan 27, 2015

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Many of us on the East Coast have encountered slippery roads these past few days, but this doesn't mean our weight loss program has to become a slippery slope too. Steady you course by taking a closer look at what you're eating. It may be time to break up with some of your favorite foods. I know, breaking up is hard to do, but you want to reach our goal size don't you?
Theresa, aka Cheese Slayer, September 2013
Cheese is what gives me the most trouble. For me, cheese is like a old boyfriend: I know my relationship with cheese is unhealthy, so I break up with cheese, but I keep going back. When I'm in my cheese slayer mode, shredded Parmesan is the only cheese I have in the house. There are times when I have to stay away from Parmesan.

Is cheese one of your trouble foods? You too can become a cheese slayer! Say no to cheese for a while (a month or more) and see what happens. Don't bring cheese into you house. If you live with others, treat cheese like other foods that are for them and not for you.

Some of my key-friends gave up ketchup, barbecue sauce, and other condiments. Those condiments were trigger foods for them. Another key friend said she thinks tomato sauce is a trigger. My advice: break up with tomato sauce and see what happens.

What foods keeping you from reaching your goal size? Stop eating them.

Does this seem too hard for you to do? That's how I felt too. Then I realized THAT was THE reason I needed to do it. If it's hard to give up, I decided, it's worth giving up and seeing what happens when I do. A few years ago I said to one of my key friends "this is so hard." When I said it aloud I realized I must be doing something wrong, because this didn't used to be "hard." I thought about what was different and, sure enough, I was eating foods in the gray area.

Spoiler alert: there are no any gray areas - we're either on program or we're off.

I dropped the "gray area" foods and my weight started dropping again.

It's barely a month into 2015 and millions have already given up their weight loss goals. You can beat the odds: move out of the gray areas and get back on program. Don't beat yourself up for what you did wrong, just start moving forward.

Speaking of moving - do you need help staying motivated to exercise? Me too. For motivation, I go to the Internet. Recently I wrote about Finding Inspiration, after I read an article about an exercise app, and for the past few nights I've been listening to the app. I'm happy say I'm mall walking and using my treadmill once again.

These articles help motivate me to keep exercising:

Jan 25, 2015

Frothy Hot Milk

The next time someone asks what you want for a gift - tell them you want a milk frother. Once you have one of these gadgets, you will never miss the half and half, cream, or other milk products (that are not on program) you used to put in your coffee. A milk frother turns an ordinary cup of coffee into a Café au lait (coffee with hot foamy milk).
My version of Café au lait
On those cold winter nights, use your frother to make yourself a nice cup of hot milk. You'll need something to keep you warm this winter, because as you loose weight you may find that you get cold more often. This is one of those non-victory scales I don't talk about much. When I was a size 30/32, I was hot all year-round. No longer being hot all the time is a mixed blessing, because I don't like being cold anymore than I liked being hot. But now I understand why thin people are always complaining they're cold and why they wear layers of clothes.

Before you tell someone you want a frother, do your homework (or keep reading). Frothers come in a wide range of prices and styles and it's a good idea to know what the options are so you can let them know exactly which one you want. If you want an expensive one, you might suggest a gift card from a store that carries the frother of your dreams.

I wrote in my post Eating Out (October 2011) that on day one of this program I gave up coffee. I gave it up because I could not imagine drinking coffee without sugar and half and half. Three months later, while on vacation in California, I had breakfast with a friend at my favorite breakfast place in southern California, the Pannikin, where I discovered Café au lait.
Aerolatte - wand style frother
After breakfast I walked into their gift store and bought my first frother. It was a small glass pitcher, which you pour hot milk into and then hand pump. After the glass broke, I bought a few other types of frothers, including a wand like you see in the photo above. Most of my friends have frothers, which I gave them as a gift, but there are times when travel with  my wand frother.

I had an an electric milk frother (gifted to me), but it stopped working and after exchanging it a few times I returned it for a refund and I bought this one from Breville. I love my Breville frother! It was expensive, on sale for $125 at Williams-Sonoma, but worth every penny.
Breville Milk Café Electric Frother
Every morning I enjoy making my own Café au lait at home. Some evenings I have a cup of hot milk, something I didn't do prior to this program. This was one of many surprises on my weight loss journey, my food tastes have changed.

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Noodle Bake

This recipe looks delicious. I'm not clear on the rule with sour cream, so I'll follow the "when in doubt leave it out "rule. Oh, and then there's this choice too: cheesy delicious today or no weight loss tomorrow - I'm cutting back on the cheese as well. I'll modify this recipe when I make it!
Creamy Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Noodle Bake
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped
  • 2 large (8inch) or 3 small(4 inch) zucchini squash, spiral cut in noodle shapes
  • 1. medium stalk celery, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, chopped *optional
  • 1½ tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup organic sour cream, full fat kind
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 ½ to 2 tbsp red pepper sauce or to taste
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened canned pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree
  • ½ tsp ground mustard spice
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅓ cup cheddar cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Make creamy buffalo sauce: in a medium sauce pan over medium heat combine: 1 tbsp butter, ½ cup sour cream, 2 tbsp red pepper sauce, 3 tbsp pumpkin puree, ½ tsp ground mustard spice, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese. 
  3. Melt all ingredients and mix together until combined.
  4. Turn heat off.
  5. Place zucchini noodles in a bowl and press down on noodles with a paper towel to remove excess water from noodles.
  6. Spread zucchini noodles over bottom of casserole dish.
  7. Place chopped cooked chicken and chopped celery on top of zucchini noodles.
  8. Pour the creamy buffalo sauce from the stove top, over the chicken and celery.
  9. Sprinkle optional chopped red bell pepper over the top of casserole.
  10. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with optional grated cheese.
  12. Let cool until sauce has thickened again and cheese has melted.

Original recipe and photo source: Beauty and the Foodie

Cauliflower Buns

This is the cauliflower bun recipe everyone has been raving about. I haven't made these yet, but I had them at the Earlee Mug (in Granby, MA) last week and they were delicious!
Cauliflower Buns
Ingredients
  • 2 cups riced cauliflower
  • 2 organic cage free eggs
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (optional)
 Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Make cauliflower rice: place 3/4 of a cauliflower head into small pieces and place in a food processor (without the stem). Puree in food processor until a rice texture forms.
  3. Place cauliflower rice in a large bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. When ready, stir cauliflower and place back in the microwave for another 2 minutes.
  4. Place cauliflower in a 3 layered paper towel sheet to squeeze out the excess moisture, this step is important because you don’t want a runny batter.
  5. Place drained cauliflower back in the bowl and add in eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix until a semi thick batter forms.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon in mixture to create 4 mini circles.
  7. Bake for 19 minutes, flipping sides half way through.
  8. When ready, remove buns from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe makes 4 mini buns

Recipe inspired by My Digital Kitchen's cauliflower buns recipe.

Broccoli Buns

Out of cauliflower? Make these buns with broccoli instead.

1 head of broccoli
2 eggs
About a 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

Follow the same instruction as above.

Butternut Squash with Wilted Spinach and Blue Cheese

I was surfing the Whole Foods website for a new recipe to make on this cold winter day when I found this recipe for Butternut Squash with Wilted Spinach and Blue Cheese. I have a lot of butternut squash stored in my basement, so I only need to buy a few ingredients to make this dish.
Butternut Squash with Wilted Spinach and Blue Cheese
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
  • Salt and ground black pepper 
Instructions

Roast the butternut squash:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Halve the squash lengthwise. 
  3. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard seeds.
  4. Peel the squash with a knife or a vegetable peeler and then cut the squash into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Place squash cubes on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toss with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Spread the squash out in a single layer.
  7.  Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
After removing roasted butternut squash from the oven:
  1. Mash blue cheese and lemon juice together in a large bowl to make a thick smooth dressing.
  2. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add onions, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add spinach and cook, tossing often, until slightly wilted and warm, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  6. Transfer contents of skillet to bowl with dressing, add squash, salt and pepper and toss to combine. 
Recipe and photo source: Whole Foods

Beef Stew

It's that time of year to use your crock pot to make some delicious beef stew - and this is just the recipe you need...
Crock Pot Beef Stew
 Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of beef stew meat
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 small parsnips
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 large mushrooms
  • Sea salt
  • Borsari - if you don't have this spice mix add pinch of the following dried or fresh ingredients: basil, rosemary, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger
Instructions

Place a frying pan on the stove at a high temperature and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and half of the beef. 

Sear (brown) the beef on all sides and then remove the beef from the pan. I used to skip this step, but I've found searing the meat with a little oil in a hot skillet allows the meat develop more complex flavors. It just takes a few extra minutes and well worth your time.

Add1 teaspoon of olive oil and the remaining meat to the hot pan and sear on all sides.
Sear half of the beef in a pan with oil on high
Place all of the seared beef in a large crock pot.

Slice or mince the garlic and add it to the crock pot.

Sprinkle Borsari on top of the beef (or a pinch of the following dried or fresh ingredients: sea salt, basil, rosemary, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger)

Slice the parsnips, carrot, mushrooms, and onion. To avoid overcooking the vegetables, add them to the stew 1-3 hours after you start cooking or 1 hour before the stew is finished cooking.
2 parsnips, 1 carrot, 4 mushrooms, half an onion
Place the lid on the crock pot, set the crock pot on high and cook for 4-6 hours (or low for 8-10 hours).

I added noodles to my leftover stew the next day. I use my Spirooli to turn zucchini into noodles. Delicious!
Beef Stew with Noodles

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Directions

Place uncooked chicken in the bottom of slow cooker.

Pour both cans of tomatoes (with all the liquid) and the chicken broth over the chicken.

Mince the garlic add to slow cooker.

Dice the onions, green pepper, zucchini, and add to slow cooker.

Add cheese, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with 2 forks and then place the shredded chicken back in the slow cooker.

Top with fresh parsley and a few sprinkles of shredded Parmesan cheese just before serving

Jan 24, 2015

Hungry? Wait a Minute

Shortly before nine o'clock this morning I was hungry and this is usual for me. Following the rule to "only eat when you're hungry," I figured a few slices of ham would hold me over. I decided to wait a few more minutes, so I could finish a project I was working on, and the next thing I knew - two hours had passed. Oh, so this how it works: acknowledge your hungry, focus on something else for a few minutes, and Wham! You've completely forgotten about being hungry. Nice!
My ham and eggs un-sandwich
Hmmm...this sounds familiar...pushing away hunger. What a great concept! LOL.

After I finished my project, and having forgotten I was hungry two hours earlier, I headed downstairs to my kitchen looking for that ham. I opened my refrigerator and an idea hit me: it's cold and snowy outside, so why not warm up that ham rather than eating it cold? In fact, why not make a ham and egg "un-sandwich?" I grabbed ham, eggs, and an onion from my refrigerator and began to create a new "un-sandwich" recipe.

This recipe was perfect for me: 2 eggs, 4 slices of ham, a little onion, and sprinkle of cheese. Adjust the amount of ingredients for how many people you're serving and how many eggs they want. Change the ingredients to what suits your needs or what's in your refrigerator.

Ingredients
  • 2 eggs (I prefer local and free range)
  • 4 slices of ham (I prefer Black Forrest)
  • Small amount of shredded cheese (I prefer Parmesan, plus it's the only cheese I consistently have in the house)
  • 2 thin slices of onion (I prefer vidalia)
  • Salt and pepper (optional)
Directions

Turn the broiler on to preheat the oven. It's ideal to have the eggs finish cooking at the same time as the ham. To give the onions enough time to cook, put the ham slices in the broiler a few minutes before starting the eggs.
Sprinkle a light amount of cheese in the middle of each ham slice 
Sprinkle a very small amount of shredded Parmesan cheese across the center of the ham. Do not cover the whole slice of ham with cheese, just make a thin line with a tiny bit of cheese. The intent here is to enhance this dish with a little bit of cheese. Tons of cheese oozing from the ham is not considered "a little bit" of cheese.

If you prefer to have lots of cheese oozing out of the ham, realize you have a choice to make: enhance this recipe with a "little bit of cheese" or add a lot of cheese and plateau your weight loss. The choice is always yours. 

Roll the ham slice and place it on a baking sheet. The ham roll should be more flat than round. Repeat for the remaining ham rolls.

Peel the onion and then cut it in half. Slice off two thin pieces of the onion. Place half of each onion slice on top of each ham roll.

Place ham slices under broiler until the onion is soft.
Broil 2 slices of ham with cheese inside and onion on top per egg
As the ham is broiling, add a small amount of olive oil to a fry pan and place on the stove on medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop one egg at a time into the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the eggs.

Cook the eggs to the desired firmness and then remove the egg pan from hot burner.
The egg yolks are firm and little runny (no runny egg white)
As the eggs cook, keep an eye on the ham. You won't be turning the ham over, but you don't want the ham or onions to burn.

Remove the ham rolls from the broiler when the onions are soft (or cooked to your liking).
Eggs and ham - cooked just how I like them
Place the four slices of cooked ham side by side on one plate.

Slide the eggs from the pan onto the ham. I cut the eggs so they'd slide out easier.
On such a cold and snowy day, this really hit the spot for me
BTW, you may have noticed I had five slices of ham in the broiler, but remember I made up this recipe on the-fly when I was hungry. Trust me, no ham was wasted while making this recipe.
My ham and egg un-sandwich and coffee
I had hot coffee (Pike Place Roasted) and frothed milk with my ham and egg un-sandwich. Yummy! I didn't watch the time, but this recipe came together in less than 15 minutes. If I was thinking ahead, I would have made more coffee before I began this. Such is life!

Jan 21, 2015

Victory

I've been off for a long time, but it's over now. I'm not talking about being off-program, I'm talking about being off from work. During my months as a job seeker, I stayed the course and I did not go off-program. I did not turn to my old ways of eating during this major change in my life. In fact, I lost weight during my transition. Victory!
Walking the trails and shore at Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge, RI
Last week my search for a job ended and today is day three of my new job. It feels foreign to have structure in my day once again. Not that I didn't have any structure. I planned daily walks and they were longer than ever before. I walked daily with my friend in Long Beach, CA. Mary and I talked on our cell phones as she walked in sunny southern California and while she walked in a heatwave with temperatures often in the 90's, I walked through the mild summer, ever changing fall, and cold mornings of Massachusetts in my zipped and hooded Parker, and leather gloves, until it was so cold outside that my phone shut down. Yes, it was that cold!

When the long dreaded freezing temperatures of December and January arrived and my Mass. walking buddy went away for the holidays, my walking came to a halt. I started mall walking and talking with Long Beach Mary, but then she went to Rhode Island for the holidays and my daily walking routine became sporadic.

All my long walks, especially in those cold temperatures, really paid off on New Year's Eve. I joined Mary and another friend on a bird watching walk at Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge in RI. As you can see from the photo above, it was freezing cold, but seeing my first Snowy Owl was well worth it!
Snowy Owl
Before losing this weight, this three mile walk in freezing temperatures was not something I could have done. There were many such walks that I missed out on because of my obesity. Making walking a part of my life also made this opportunity possible. I didn't spend any of my thoughts on how much my feet hurt or wondering "how much further?" I was free to focus my time on being in the present moment and fully enjoying my time with my friends and meeting my first Snowy Owl.
The largest rock in the distance is where the Snowy Owl was sunbathing
While it may not be mandatory to exercise to lose weight, exercise was just what I needed during my transition from one job to another. All that walking, plus losing weight, helped keep my energy, my optimism, and my spirits high. What's not to love about that?

Exercise takes time to make a habit, but we must find the time in our busy lives to make exercise a habit. We also must forgive ourselves when we have lapses, and keep moving forward. Having a plan for when we're going to exercise is the only way it's going to happen. I no longer have a gym I can go to at lunch time, but I can stop at the mall on my way home from work until the weather gets better.

Do you have a plan for exercise in your life? If you're new on the weight loss journey, start with a 10 minutes a day of some form of exercise and build up from there.

Jan 10, 2015

Earlee Mug

I went to a key-friendly restaurant in Granby, MA yesterday and has an incredible burger served on a cauliflower bun. I used a knife and fork to eat this burger, but it was worth it! If you're looking for an inexpensive and key-friendly place to eat, this small diner-like restaurant may be just the spot for you.
Cheeseburger and peppers served on a cauliflower bun
A couple months ago a few key-friends and I went to the Earlee Mug for breakfast. I had heard they  makes BLT's on cauliflower buns and we wanted to give them a try. They had sold out of them just before we arrived. We were disappointed, but not at all surprised. I scanned the specials listed on the chalkboard and when I saw meatball omelet, I knew there had to be some one working there following the key program. Sure enough, Jennifer recognized a couple of us.

All four of us ordered meatball omelets with a side of ham. Oh yeah, they have incredible ham that they slice right off the bone. We were all happy, happy, happy with our breakfast and we vowed to come back again to try a sandwich with the cauliflower bun.

Yesterday I decided I didn't want to wait any long, so I went by myself for lunch. The cauliflower buns were just out of the oven!
Key-friend Jennifer grilling my cheeseburger, peppers, and cauliflower bun
I ordered a cheeseburger and onions on the cauliflower bun and watched Jennifer cooking my lunch on the grill.
Jennifer placing my sandwich on a plate
Jennifer plated up my sandwich and it tasted as delicious as it looked.
You have to see this up close to see how yummy this was!
The cauliflower bun reminded me of a Johnny cake, which doesn't tell you much if you've never had one, but trust me - it was delicious! The texture of the bun was firmer than cornbread but not as fluffy as a slice of bread, it was just the right consistency.

Usually I add ketchup and mustard to my burgers, but there was no need on this burger. The meat was juicy and flavorful and the peppers cooked just right. 

And of course the best part is this was a key-friendly lunch!

Jennifer has perfected this cauliflower bun recipe. I encourage you to go try one for yourself some time soon!
337 E. State Rd, Granby, MA 01033
413-467-3244
Check out the Earlee Mug on Facebook

Here's a recipe for cauliflower buns. I haven't made them yet, but if I get around to it I will post photos with the recipe. One thing I understand about making these is that it's key to this recipe is to really squeeze out the excess moisture. Jennifer said she leaves them on a towel for a while to really let them dry out.

Jan 5, 2015

Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks

If you love cabbage, you are going to freak out about how good this dish is. If you are on the fence about cabbage, this might be the recipe that converts you to a cabbage lover.
 Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks
This is a simple side dish worthy of a dinner party and couldn’t be easier to make. Four ingredients, a couple of minutes to prepare and toss in the oven for an hour.

Ingredients
  • 1 (approx 2lb) head of organic green cabbage, cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • Kosher salt (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Pull outer leaf off cabbage and then cut cabbage from top to bottom (bottom being root) into slices one inch thick.
  3. Rub both sides of cabbage with smashed garlic.
  4. Use a pastry brush (or fingers) to evenly spread olive oil over both sides of the cabbage slices.
  5. Sprinkle each side of cabbage with a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  6. Roast cabbage on the middle rack for 30 minutes. 
  7. Carefully flip the cabbage "steaks" and roast for an additional 30 minutes until edges are brown and crispy.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!
Photo and original recipe source: AmberLee

Finding Inspiration

Are you looking for a way for this to be "the year" you gained control over you weight issues? Look around: help is everywhere. Inspirational words, photos, and videos are at your fingertips. Literally. All you have to do is search online. Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media, are full of all kinds of inspiration. Why not use these free tools to help inspire you to reach your goal size? Let's start today!
Sunrise crossing into Rhode Island from Massachusetts 12/31/14.
Be inspired by the awe of nature photography you find online, but also get out and take some photos. Let your inner child out and have fun with your camera. As you take photos, reflect how easily you move about in the world without that extra weight you used to carry. If you are just beginning your weight loss journey, visualize how incredible you too will feel when you lose weight.

If it's too cold to go outside, go online and look for photos of the places you always wanted to travel to and use those photos to inspire you to stay the course on your weight loss journey. Collect images and videos of your dream vacation and visualize yourself walking there and feeling incredible. 

The are are tons of free online tools that allow you to collect and store inspirational images and videos. One of my goals for 2015 is to expand my Pinterest boards. The beauty of Pinterest is that I use it to inspire me and to inspire others as well. Care to join me? If you don't know what Pinterest is, perhaps it's time to find out.

When you hear an inspirational quote, share it with others. Post it to your Pinterest account. If Pinterest doesn't excite you, post inspirational images and quotes on your refrigerator. Surround yourself with inspiration in whatever way works for you.

You can even find inspiration from TV news, as I did this past weekend. The quote below is from a girl on a team that lost 84 straight games - that's four years of playing before they had a victory! See the 3-minute video With 4-year losing streak on the line, hoops team goes for broke.
"If you keep putting in the time and effort, it will pay off."
This inspirational quote is so applicable to weight loss: stay the course and it will pay off for you too!

After watching that video, how can I ever complain about being on a plateau? I know if I keep putting in the time and effort, I will reach my goal! And so will you.

This morning I was looking for inspiration to help me get and stay motivated to exercise. Now that winter has really kicked in, the number of steps I've been walking have dramatically decreased. I have a treadmill, but I haven't stepped on it yet and it's too messy to walk outside. So, what's a girl to do? Go online and find help!

I did a Google search and I found a ton of motivational exercise videos and articles, as well as apps, many which are free. I downloaded the app "Exercise Gym and Weight Loss Motivation Hypnosis" By Erick Brown (free from iTunes).
Exercise Gym and Weight Loss Motivation Hypnosis app
Today I'm starting a 30-day squat challenge and before I do my first squat or get on my treadmill, I'm going to listen to Erick's app. I have not been able to reach my previous attempts at a 30-day squat challenge, so this time I found a squat challenge that looks more reasonable for where I am in my journey:
30-day squat challenge - select image to view larger and/or print
Once I found a chart that looked reasonable, I searched for a good video on how to properly do a squat...


Exercise is key to helping us not only take weight off, but to keep it off. How motivated are you to reach your goal size? Do you need help finding inspiration? Look online.

Do you need motivation to start exercising or to keep going? Ask a friend to exercises with you. Is the weather too horrible to get outside? No problem - go online and use Skype to exercise together from your own homes (you can even stay in your jammies).

Use the free online tools that are out there to help you get motivated and stay motivated, to reach your goals this year! You can do this! You are doing this!

January 5, 2015 update:

I highly recommend the Exercise Gym and Weight Loss Motivation Hypnosis app! I listened to it last night and again this morning. It is inspiring and motivating. And best of all - it's free!

I actually listened while I was on the treadmill last night, so it wasn't the meditation that inspired me to get on the treadmill, but it did keep me going. Well, that is until I realized it was midnight and I needed to get to bed.

My little mean girl didn't say a word when I got off the treadmill at 12:03 am with less than my 10,000 steps for the day. Sure, it took me all day to listen to my own advice and turn on this meditation, but it was great and I'm proud that I stepped up and started exercising once again!

I am so inspired that I listened this morning before getting out of bed. As soon as I finish this update, I'm going to do my squats and then get on the treadmill again.

We do our very best today and then we do it again tomorrow. Are you ready to start moving today? Small goals is where you begin. Set a goal for today and just do it!

Jan 3, 2015

Visualize Your Goal

As the new year begins, I think about resolutions I've made in past years. It's wonderful no longer promising myself "this year I will lose weight" only to disappoint myself year after year. I started the Key Hypnosis weight loss program on January 31, 2011 and I have no disappointment in looking back.
May 2013 vs December 2014
These four years have been an incredible learning experience for me. I've learned a lot about myself and not only have I changed the foods I eat (and don't eat), I've also evolved in other ways...

My energy level has increased ten-fold! I used to barely be able to walk five minutes and today I can easily walk for five hours.

I'm more comfortable in my skin and moving through life than ever before. When I walk into a room, I no longer look around to 1) see if I'm the largest person there or 2) to search for a chair that's big enough for me to fit into.

I had many plateaus along this journey, but this summer I started dropping weight again and I'm getting close to my goal size.

I often stop and look back at where I've been, to inspire me to stay on course to reach my goal. I know that once I reach my goal I will no longer need to focus on where I've been, because when I reach my goal size that is the size I want to keep in my vision. I'll be able to let go of the memories of my heavier self.

Meanwhile, I remember to do what Julie taught in the first session: visualize what I want to look like. I'm not sure exactly what size that is, so I'm looking around at women who are my height and structure.  To help visualize my goal size, I'm going to start asking women what size they are.

I'm ready for 2015 to be the year I reach my goal size and learn maintenance. Are you? Let's go for it together!

You know how to do the program, so do your best and visualize this happening to you too!
What does your goal size look like? Visualize it now!
What you want to look like at your goal size? Look around at others, find a person who is your ideal size, and start visualizing yourself that size.

Baked Eggs in Squash Rings

This yummy recipe comes from our key contributor Jennifer. In this recipe you roast slices of acorn squash, turn them over, and then add an egg to the center of each squash. Plan on about an hour from your first cut of the squash to your first bite - which by the way is incredible!
Baked Eggs in Squash Rings
Ingredients
  • 1 carnival or acorn squash
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 large eggs (1 per slice of squash)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs or freshly grated cheese (optional - to add before serving)
Directions
  1. Prepare the squash: slice crosswise into 3/4 inch-thick rings, then scrape out the seeds and pulp. I used organic acorn squash.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with tinfoil. 
  3. Spray the baking sheet lightly with cooking spray or coat with a little olive oil. 
  4. Place the prepared squash rings on the baking sheet, and brush the tops and insides with some olive oil.
  5. Bake the rings for 20 minutes, then flip them over and return the baking sheet to the oven.
  6. Prepare the eggs by cracking each one into its own bowl or cup. 
  7. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and slide one egg into the middle of each squash ring.
  8. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper and then carefully return the pan to the oven. 
  9. A tiny bit of egg white may ooze out from the edge of the squash rings, but the pan should be hot enough to set the eggs fairly quickly and keep you from losing too much.
  10. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the whites are almost set and the yolks are almost done to your liking, as the eggs will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven
  11. Use a spatula to carefully transfer the squash and egg rings onto plates.
  12. Serve hot.
  13. Top with salt, pepper, herbs, and cheese as desired.
I served these eggs with sausage patties and onions
Next time, I make this dish I will slice the squash thicker than I did today. This is one of my new favorite dishes!