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Try This Healthy Lunch Dip

23 May
soybean hummus

Using different veggies to make dips similar to hummus is a great way to enjoy eating healthy food more than usual.

I love creating new veggie dip combinations. Getting creative in the kitchen helps me to have fun when trying to lose weight and eat healthier. It also helps me use up stuff that is in the fridge before it goes bad. I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of letting lots of perfectly good veggies go to waste because I just let them sit there. Weight loss can be made easier if you like the health food you need to eat. For example, I didn’t want to eat the rest of the edamame in the fridge, so I found a soybean hummus recipe online. Then I added my own twist to that recipe idea. The result was a really yummy, healthy veggie dip that made for a great lunch!

Easy Healthy Lunch: Carrots and soybean-veggie dip sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and served with a few Alphonso (Kalamata) olives.

Ingredients and Directions:

  • 1 package of soybeans (out of the pod)
  • half a can of green beans
  • 1 small Roma tomato
  • 1 small, thin slice of butter (about a tsp)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Italian vinaigrette dressing

Bring to boil and reduce eat to simmer altogether until everything is tender. Puree til smooth as hummus. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired, and enjoy as a super yummy, healthy dip!

–Michelle

Related post: When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

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No Pain, No Gain

14 May

When you’re trying to lose weight, there are days when you’re hungry, cranky, and sore. I’m hungry and sore today…and I’d be cranky too if it weren’t so darn beautiful and sunny outside. Our perspective on healthy weight loss has been to not deprive ourselves of things we want but to instead focus on moderation and nutritious choices. But when you’re modifying your portion sizes and eating habits, inevitably there are days when you’re going to feel frustrated. To get through this mood without letting it sabotage my progress, I’m going to try this today: Continue reading

Weigh-In Wednesday: Small Changes Work for Me

2 May

It’s time to check in with our progress again, which is always the least fun part of losing weight, in my opinion. Even if I see progress is made, doing the actual measurements is a painful process for me. I much prefer the cooking and other activities we do to make dieting and losing weight enjoyable.

I am seeing small differences in my body but not enough for my old jeans to fit yet, unfortunately. These small changes we’ve been making to our eating habits do seem to be helping but as soon as my foot is healed, I’m ready to ramp up my efforts. I am super excited that Vita got Zumba for Kinect for us to try. I think that now that we’ve incorporated so many little changes to help us lose weight–smaller portions, healthier food, buddy system, etc.–it’s time to really devote more attention to increasing my physical activity beyond daily stretching.

No more stalling. Here are the numbers for my third Diet Drop weigh-in: Continue reading

10 Ways Ice Skating Improved My Life

20 Apr
cropped layback spin feet

Figure skating has been one of the greatest joys of my life. It can be for you too! --Michelle (And yes, those are my legs and skates.)

I skated competitively as a kid for about 11 years before I took 9 years off due to knee trouble (Osgood-Schlatter’s condition) and to focus on school. During that time, I missed skating…and I gained a significant amount of weight. I skated occasionally for recreation and to stay limber but it wasn’t enough. I tried other types of exercise like running and yoga but nothing moved me like skating, and I didn’t stick with any of it. Then a few years ago, I called up my coach and asked him if he’d help me with some light training so that I could get back into shape. Within six months, he had me back in the skating club biannual recital and gearing up for competition. Within 18 months, I had won a couple local competitions. You see, while I was away from the sport, a whole track of testing and competition had been developed for a growing population of adult skaters–both people who started skating as adults and people, like me, who were skaters who became adults. This scene allows people 21 and up to test and compete within different age groups in levels similar to the traditional track but without the pressure of competing against kids who are working toward the regular national qualifying competition scene (e.g. 9 year olds who can do double loop jumps because they only weigh 60 pounds). Adult figure skating has its own regional competitions in which you can qualify for the adult nationals, which is my ultimate goal now.

I tried living my life without this sport and I can’t do it. It’s too ingrained into my muscle memory and my heart. No other workout provides the same level of full-body involvement for the duration of the exercise. It’s such a challenging, rewarding, and thrilling sport that taps into the dancer and artist in me. But it also is the only kind of exercise I’ve ever experienced that is so fun that I don’t think about the fact that I’m exercising; I’m only focused on trying to do the spins, jumps, or edge moves that I want to be able to do. I can’t encourage people enough to give it a real try. It’s so fun. When the cool air whooshes past my face as I skate around the rink, I feel exhilarated and joyful. Yesterday was my first day back on the ice in a month due to a sprained foot and being back felt so good that I had a really stupid big grin on my face the whole time.

Here are 10 ways that skating has improved my life, myself, and ways it could do the same for you (in no particular order): Continue reading

A Single Serving at a Holiday Feast

9 Apr

I hope you all had a lovely Passover and Easter weekend!

Easter lilly

An Easter lily at my mom's house where we had dinner.

Dishing out heaping spoonfuls of all my favorite things is my usual modus operandi at holiday gatherings (especially gravy-soaked Thanksgiving). I certainly did plenty of overeating while visiting my husband’s family in New Jersey last week (more on that tomorrow). This Easter at my mom’s house in Los Angeles, however, I think I kept myself pretty well under control…even if I did start the day with a Cadbury caramel chocolate egg. That’s better than no breakfast at all, right? It would have been rude to not partake of gifts from the Easter Bunny. ;)

After a prayer, my family celebrated with a typical American Easter meal: a ham drizzled with a mixture of pineapple juice and golden (not dark) brown sugar; creamy mashed potatoes with butter; great northern beans; and corn bread muffins. In years past, we’ve varied our veggie choice (usually we have green beans) but this is what sounded good this weekend. As difficult as it was–because the food was so yummy–I only took one normal-sized serving of each item. Taking only one serving of  a holiday dinner is a big step forward for me. Diet Drop is about empowering ourselves to make healthier choices in order to lose weight by freeing ourselves of strict diet plans and supporting each other through friendship. I’ve described in previous posts (like this one) how our friendship has helped me immensely. Now, I feel like I’ve taken another baby-step forward in terms of making better eating choices. Maybe it seems silly to make such a big deal about only taking one serving. But, to me, it is a big deal.

Continue reading

Bye Bye 1/2 Inch, We Won’t Miss You Here!

31 Mar

I couldn’t wait until Wednesday, when Michelle and I are supposed to do our measurements again, and instead sneakily did it this morning, and oh boy, was that a good morning for me?! :) I have lost half an inch of the most important measurements so far. Here are the numbers from roughly a month ago and now:

Continue reading

Weight Watcher? Nah! I’m a Food Watcher!

12 Mar

Michelle and I started this Diet Drop project 19 days ago when we decided to drop straight diet plans and instead focus on a conscious look at the food we eat, hoping that once we have more critical outlook on our menu it’ll help us to create healthier habits and consequently result in fewer pounds. So does it work for me? It certainly does. I am watching what I eat. I have food on my plate in front of me, I look at it, admire it, inspect it from every angle and then I eat it. Did I lose any pounds? Not yet. Well actually I didn’t weigh myself since we started, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t. My stomach got flatter though, and that’s a plus! The bad news is that I fell off the wagon a few times–there was a pizza involved, and a flan, and brownies with chocolate ice cream on top… Here is the good news though:  Continue reading

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