Bobbie’s Blog: Healthy BBQ Ideas To Stay On Track

26 May

Somehow, summer weather makes every day feel like a vacation.  Ice cream with the kids, s’mores at the bonfire and beer with neighbors has me realizing summer can be just as dangerous as winter.  The assumption warm weather means being healthier has suddenly challenge my weekends and evenings.  Thoughts of holiday feasts or cozy evenings indoors watching snowflakes would be replaced by the great outdoors and fresh food, right?  Wrong!  The temptation of summer fun and the lack of routine – is a big challenge! 

Anticipating the kids will be out of school for the summer soon, barbeques and vacation–has thrown me for a loop. I am trying to strategize a plan for summer by focusing on the following so I can stay on track and still have fun:

Bottle It: The scale will reflect if you aren’t hydrated enough when you retain water. Bring your own water bottle in the car, to bbq’s, work, etc.  If you have an occasional beverage at least you will be hydrated—especially if you plan to be outdoors in the heat. Bring your own stocked cooler, so you aren’t tempted by sugary, alcoholic drinks with empty calories if you get thirsty.

Dish to Pass: Veggie/fruit platters, chicken to grill, low-cal buns are options instead of going hungry and indulging on unhealthy choices. Beef/Shrimp/Chicken Kabobs, Chicken Salad, Mock Potato Salad—all are great dishes for a barbecue. Kabobs are a great option for the whole family!

Check out  www.mwlc.com/recipes for these recipes and more. Recipes are even sorted by meals or specific ingredients.

Best Alternative to Potato Chips = Kellogg’s Special K Crackers in a variety of flavors. Avoid the open bags as it leads to endless consumption of excessive salt and calories.

Daiquiri or Dessert? Turn your favorite shake into a smoothie by adding fresh or frozen fruit and ice for a refreshing dessert-like daiquiri. Creating a favorite non-alcoholic drink for socializing, means you don’t have to compromise your diet or feel left out. Make it festive by drinking in a fun glass.

My kind of treat!

My kind of treat!

 

Don’t underestimate a vacation or barbecue. If you plan to indulge, be smart about the remainder of your day. One meal is not reason to throw in the towel for a whole day. Plan accordingly, drink water and get back on track at your next snack or meal.

Don’t take a vacation from your progress!

Bobbie

*Always confirm with your clinic which foods are best suited for your plan

 

Bobbie’s Blog: Step Up & Overcome Your Physical Struggles

18 May

When I started Medical Weight Loss Clinic in 2015, I also signed up for a 5k in Detroit. I am not a runner and never have been, but I felt compelled to try.  Half-way through the race, I began to struggle. Feeling like I would vomit, my husband gave me the option to quit or to keep going. I jumped in a cab and quit. Disappointed in myself, I decided to try again in 2016. Without expectations, I enlisted my friends and family to join me in fun-runs throughout Michigan. I wasn’t looking to compete or finish in a certain time, I just wanted to complete the races.

In April of this year, I ran a race with six of my closest friends. All of us are of different athletic abilities, some are marathon runners, some have lost close to 75 pounds or have never run before—yet we all finished. I was emotional at the finish line. I did it. Not fast by any means, but I finished. I never thought I could run 3.1 miles, especially after feeling defeated a year ago.

An emotional finish! I did it!

What an incredible feeling to reach the finish line – I did it!

 

This year, I have committed to one run or walk every month. There are a lot of walks for free that your whole family can participate in, and sometimes, you can even bring your dogs. If the thought of running intimidates you or you aren’t physically capable to run—that’s okay! It’s just about moving. Here is what helped me try again this year:

Partner Up

Enlist friends or family to walk or run with you. There is nothing more encouraging than doing something with people who are fun to be with. A team or buddy will also keep you accountable.

Sign-Up

Active.com is great resource to find walks/runs of all types in your area. There are family-friendly walks, walks with pets, competitive, non-competitive and even free events. Signing up commits you!

Warm-Up

Couch to 5k is a great running tool to train you over several weeks so you aren’t jumping in without preparation. You can find it online and printable—for free.

Suit Up

Make sure you have good shoes and comfortable work-out gear. There is nothing worse than work-out clothes that chafe your skin or don’t fit right while you’re exercising or old shoes that can lead to aches and pains.

Join MWLC as they have teams participating at the following events this summer:

June 4th, 2016                     Grand Rapids, MI                   Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis

June 16th, 2016                    Royal Oak, MI                        Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis

To register, visit:  www.mwlc.com/community_events

 

Walking with the MWLC family at the AA Heart Walk!

My family joined the MWLC team at the AHA Heart Walk at EMU on 5/7!

 

If running isn’t your thing, try and explore something physical you do like. I know firsthand the discouragement one can feel when you physically can’t do what you want. Recognize your limitations and be realistic about your health and start slow. Momentum is a powerful force when you are patient and try!

Bobbie

 

Bobbie’s Blog: Before & After – One Year Later, Lessons Learned From Weight Loss

10 May

Why did I wait? I should have done this sooner?” spoken by the woman who hadn’t been to a gynecologist in 25 years and never had a mammogram. In January, my mother had surgery to remove three ribs and a large cancerous tumor. My mother, the amazing woman who could wrangle four grandchildren and work 14 hour days as a nurse.

She never invested in herself, always putting everyone else first.  And with this admission, she taught me a great lesson:  I NEED to invest in myself, my health and well-being. No more canceling dentist appointments or putting off annual appointments because I’m “busy”. Today matters and it’s not selfish to take care of myself.

I make a lot of excuses, “I don’t have time, it’s expensive, or it will be hard.” Perhaps, it’s the mom in me or seeing my own mother selfless in her career and family that perpetuates these emotions.  Thankful for the journey I’ve experienced in the past year, it’s amazing how one life-changing appointment at Medical Weight Loss Clinic could make such a profound impact on my life.

May 2013 Beach Vacation with baby #3 - 196 lbs and holding until I decided to join MWLC in May 2015!

May 2013:
Beach Vacation with baby #3 – 196 lbs and holding until I decided to join MWLC in May 2015!

 

Four sizes smaller, 45 pounds less and feeling more like myself in years, I’m emotional thinking back to last year.  In a year’s time, I achieved what I couldn’t do on my own—it’s become much more than a physical transformation. Still battling a sense of guilt at times to make time for me, I know it’s OUR future–my family, kids and husband that will thank me later.  Family is a constant reminder to invest in our health and well-being because what good are you to those you love if you don’t take care of yourself?

Happily, I celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom and we are both embracing health with a new found attitude.

Stop putting off today what you can do tomorrow. You’ll thank yourself later.  Who knows – in a year’s time, you could be filming a Medical Weight Loss Clinic commercial like me! What a fun way to celebrate my one year anniversary!

What a fun day!

May 2016: What a difference a year can make!

 

 

Bobbie

Bobbie’s Blog: Your Weight, Wallet & Spring Cleaning

21 Apr

Daunting as it may be to start spring cleaning in the kitchen, it’s the best place to propel your weight loss.  Certainly, getting outside is much more gratifying after hibernating all winter, but the outside can wait while you clean and organize the most important room in your house in relation to your nutrition.

My kitchen overwhelms me and I’m tired of searching high and low for food so here is how I’m tackling the task of spring cleaning:

Tick-Tock

Complete 5-10 minute projects. A quick purge of a kitchen drawer, wiping down one shelf of the fridge or wiping the exterior of appliances. Small projects build momentum if you need motivation or are short on time.  Over a couple of days, you’ll have completed a lot more than starting and quitting a major overhaul at one time–that’s how I get overwhelmed!

The Fridge

Toss old or expired food, unidentifiable leftovers, and anything you haven’t eaten in 6 months—you likely won’t eat it again. Wipe down surfaces inside and out. Attempt this before your next shopping trip as the fridge is more likely to be empty and less effort to shuffle food around. To maintain, do mini-purges weekly before you shop. Don’t forget to toss the tempting food that calls your name!

Contain It

Consider using clear containers so you can easily stack/store food. A hodge-podge of containers creates storage issues and you often forget what’s inside if you can’t see the contents.  You’ll be more aware of what you have if you can see it, reducing waste and saving money. Nothing worse than tossing wilted, unused produce because you forgot it was there or it was lost in a sea of produce bags.

Take Inventory

Save money by assessing your quantities. Are you buying duplicates of what you already have?  Are you slow to eat certain produce or won’t eat it if it’s not pre-cut? Analyzing your fridge and eating habits can save you time and money, reducing waste.

Cleaning and organizing is just like a diet, chip away at it and over time, it’s much less effort to maintain.  Starting in the kitchen is a great way to build momentum for other projects because the gratification is instant.

Open the windows, put on some music and let’s get to work! Without realizing it, we might even get a work-out in.

My little helper!

My little helper!

 

Bobbie

Bobbie’s Blog: Preventing Careless Eating

6 Apr

Shopping at Costco last week, I noticed the calorie count listed on the menu in the food court. 760 calories for a slice of Cheese Pizza. I used to eat TWO of those slices as a cheap, quick meal! It put in perspective as an example of the mindless eating I did before I joined MWLC.  Seeing the calories gave me a visual awareness of how much food I was eating and didn’t account for.

BobbieS-CostcoPizza-crop

Are the calories and convenience worth saving a few bucks?

 

I constantly have to work on being accountable when it comes to impulsive food choices. Having six people in my house that have different diets and needs creates a tough environment to be healthy in. So, I have to work at maintaining habits that keep me moving forward toward my goals. Here are positive habits I am working on:

Take a Seat

Make a point to eat in the kitchen and sit down. Avoid standing or taking food outside of the kitchen. It reinforces the focus on eating instead of watching TV, reading, and working which can lead to overeating if you’re distracted by multi-tasking.

Get Fresh

Feel like you’ll make an impulsive choice? Reach for a piece of sugar-free gum or brush your teeth. Chewing gum or brushing your teeth will diminish the desire to eat.

Pencil It In

Plan snacks or indulgences to avoid hunger or deprivation.  Evenings are my time and can be dangerous if I don’t prepare with healthy options. If I’m not stocked up, I make bad choices.  Instead of eliminating my time, I modify my snack with a healthier option like low-fat frozen yogurt or fresh fruit, so I still have my evening treat.

Portion Control

Avoid eating out of a bag or box which can lead to eating large, endless quantities. Use small plates or bowls that help manage portion size and visually show how much you’re eating.

Cut-Out Hunger

Consider buying pre-cut produce for convenience or plan ahead and cut-up produce for the week.  If you’re short on time and effort, buying pre-cut produce is worth the cost to have a healthy, convenient option on hand.  Hunger and a lack of healthy options are an equation for reckless eating.

BobbieS-PrecutFruit

Pre-cut fruits and veggies are worth it!

 

Label It

If all else fails, read the label. In a moment of weakness after having cases of Girl Scout cookies in my house for weeks, I looked at the label. I couldn’t believe 2 cookies amounted to 140 calories—2 little cookies and I easily could have eaten all 12 in the box. Awareness of what you put in your mouth can deter you from making bad choices.

Understanding why and when we eat mindlessly can help change our behavior. How do you work on preventing careless eating?

Bobbie

Bobbie’s Blog: Eliminate Holiday Feasting

24 Mar

Don’t let all those pastel colors and teeny candies fool you this Easter. Whether it’s an Easter basket, candy dish or holiday feast, trouble is lurking if you aren’t prepared. I learned the lesson the hard way on Halloween—one mini Snickers turned into 20. Normally, I can control what food is in my house these days, but on holidays it’s tough when others are bringing goodies in and in quantities I can’t control.

If you are planning on hosting family or celebrating elsewhere here are some ideas to eliminate temptation:

Leftovers

Pack up the leftovers and send them home with guests if you are hosting. Or pack them up and bring them to work for co-workers.

Easter Baskets for Children

Fill their baskets with anything but candy. They will still get a kick out of a basket full of fun items instead of sugary treats and if you’re like me it’s less temptation to peek in their basket in the evenings looking for a chocolatey treat. Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, books, fruit snacks, Play-Doh, crafts, etc.

BobbieS-EBasket

Don’t Go Hungry

Eat before you go or when you expect visitors to avoid overeating.  If you’re traveling, bring your shaker, drinks, bars and anything you need outside of your own kitchen to survive the uncertainty of traveling. Preparation removes the excuse of making bad choices and regret.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

If you are hosting and feel inclined to provide food that is tempting, keep it out of sight until right before it’s time to eat. Then send it home with someone else, so it isn’t calling your name! Chips, candy dishes, nuts, etc. all lead to quick mindless snacks that add up.

Friday, Saturday or Monday

If you feel you’ll get a pass because it’s a holiday make sure you weigh-in before, it will keep you honest and accountable. Weigh-in Monday and try to get back on track at your next meal if you fall off course.

Dish to Pass

Bring a healthy option you can eat if you’re uncertain what will be served. Fruit salad, veggies, turkey, are ideas. Don’t forget a beverage, water or something diet friendly so you don’t drink something you’ll regret.

Holidays are fun but tough on a diet, plan ahead and eliminate the stress and anxiety.  Don’t let one day or weekend with the family derail your hard work and efforts!

BobbieS-Easter

Bobbie

Bobbie’s Blog: The Cost Of Exercise, Cheaper Than You Think

17 Mar

One of the excuses I have used when it comes to exercise is that it costs money. As though all the fit people in the world have expensive gym memberships or amazing in-home gyms, while I sit here living on a budget. The reality is, that is nothing more than an excuse and as I have researched, there are a lot of resources available for ANY budget. Just like there are workouts for all shapes, ages, and abilities.

If you are looking to jumpstart exercise and accelerate your weight loss, here are some affordable ways to get moving.

Free Trials

Train Better personal trainers provide a free personal training session to Medical Weight Loss Clinic patients. They can create a customized program for all abilities, ages and sizes without the intimidation. For more info visit trainbetter.org or call 1-844-348-8632.

There are programs that will give you a free class to see if you like it and you just might! From boxing to group training sessions, you can experiment to see if it’s your niche.  If you’re not brave enough to go it alone, bring a friend. Or if you’re nervous about your athletic ability–ask what skill set the workout is designed for before committing.

YouTube Videos

YouTube has exercise videos you can do at any hour in the comfort of your home. Use your computer, iPad or smart phone to do exercise videos for free and at your convenience.

BobbieS-ExerciseLaptop 600x800

Groupon

A fun way to find unique classes and facilities at an affordable price. I recently found an aerial exercise class for $12. Search by geographical area or the health and fitness category for deals.

On Demand

While sitting on the couch watching TV, I found a fitness network through my cable carrier’s On Demand. From Yoga to Cardio Dance, there are a variety of programs for all abilities.  If you’re already paying for cable, you likely have this feature.

Walking / Running

Fresh air and your own pace are always priceless. If you don’t have a fitbit to measure your pace, steps or distance you can use an app on your smartphone such as Map My Run to measure your time and distance. There are a lot of fitness apps at the touch of your phone to help you workout. Music helps also!

The most fun I’ve had working out was at SkyZone Trampoline Park where they have Skyrobics. My first class was $5! Neighbors suggested I give it a try and together we went bouncing at our own pace to music to a lightly structured workout led by an instructor. It was fun, different and I didn’t feel out of my league.

If you need accountability like me, affordable classes can keep you motivated and spark your interest. But in most cases you already have free resources at your fingertips.  So, let’s move and eliminate the excuses—we might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Bobbie

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Bobbie’s Blog: Bored With Water? Get Creative!

11 Mar

After my clinic visit last week, I realized I need to re-focus my efforts on my water intake. I bought a 2 gallon jug with a spout. I filled it with water and lemons and placed it on my counter, only because I couldn’t get the Gatorade Cooler in the house! It’s a reminder to drink my water–which I consistently have to work on. I would much rather have coffee, beer or soda in my cup than water and the consequences usually appear in a physical manner.

My counter top reminder!

My counter top reminder!

 

The difference in my skin is noticeable and the scale certainly reflects whether or not I’m properly hydrated. I even attribute the headaches I frequently had to dehydration since they have been eradicated since drinking more water.

With summer approaching, I am pledging to get back on track. Here are things I did when I started the program and am re-visiting:

BYOB: Find a water bottle you love, mine have spouts or straws. Bring it everywhere—work, the car, the gym! You’ll prevent the incidental slip up of a beverage you don’t want to drink or end up thirsty. If it has ounces on it, you can measure how much you’re drinking as well.

Accessorize: Use a straw–you will be amazed how much more you drink! Or try drinking water in a wine glass, makes it festive and functional for a change.

Infuse With Flavor: Infuse your water with fruit, throw a handful of strawberries, pineapple and lemons in water and let it sit in the fridge. You will have a refreshing and naturally flavored water. Pinterest has tons of infusion recipes.

Bedtime Ritual: Warm water before bed in your favorite mug with lemon is very calming and you will sleep better! It also keeps me from snacking at night.

Crushed vs. Cubed: Have your ice your way, my mom loves crushed ice for a super cold frosty drink.

Water On The Rocks, Please. Your wallet will thank you every time you go to a restaurant and order water instead of a soda–$2 adds up!

 

Refreshing & naturally flavored!

Refreshing & naturally flavored!

 

Bottoms up!

Bobbie

Bobbie’s Blog: Self-Medicating With Food When You’re Sick

3 Mar

A month ago in a feverish state, I veered into McDonald’s and ordered a Coke and a cheeseburger. Strep throat left me feeling dehydrated and nauseous which resulted in my impulsive behavior. My body was craving sugar and greasy food and in the back of my mind, I thought it was okay – as if I was given the green light to give in to my craving. While I felt guilty, the other part of me felt it was better to eat something than nothing and I was treating myself. All the wrong logic, but I wasn’t prepared to be sick—the house wasn’t stocked and I didn’t have the energy to prepare anything, leading to a prolonged recovery.

Once I was better and back on track, I decided to be proactive and prepare some healthy options in the event we got sick again. Here are things I did to avoid the stress of impulsive eating:

Homemade Chicken (No Noodle) Soup*

Using unsalted chicken stock I found at Meijer and Target, I made a large batch of soup loaded with chicken, carrots, onions, celery, fresh parsley and garlic.  If you love salt, you may notice a slight difference in the taste, but the fresh produce makes up for the reduced sodium.

My whole family ate this and no one complained about the lack of noodles or the flavor. If the kids want noodles, they just add them to their bowl.

*To make this recipe compatible with your meal plan, use MWLC Chicken Bouillon Fiber as the base for the soup.

Great for the body and the soul!

Great for the body and the soul!

Freeze Extra

I froze individual servings in 2 cup containers, so should sickness creep up again we have fresh homemade soup on hand.  Ziploc containers even have measuring lines so you could freeze as little as one cup and know exactly where to fill the container.  If you don’t get sick, you have lunch or dinner in the freezer. Much healthier than canned soup that often contains your total daily allowance for sodium in ONE can!

Read your labels!

Always read your labels!

Stock Up & Plan Ahead

Nothing worse than running out of fresh food, especially if you get sick. Keep your house stocked to avoid unhealthy temptations. The fruit bowl in our house is loaded with oranges, lemons and the occasional pineapple so we don’t run out.  I just started making a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday night also. No more excuses should we get sick, busy or stressed!

Sunday meal prep for the week

My Sunday meal prep for the week

 

We buy medicine and band-aids for the unexpected, but our nutritional choices shouldn’t be different. Preparing for the unexpected while you’re healthy, eliminates stress and helps you get back on your feet in no time.

What are your tips to stay on track when you’ve been sick?

Bobbie