Food Journal!

I haven’t written in a while. Schoolwork and school have gotten the better part of me, running around trying to get things ready before the beginning of the semester. I would like to share the progress I’ve made (or I should say, the progress I’ve unmade) these past few weeks. My weight started to go up slowly and surely. I think a combination of stressors, and a sudden abrupt stop to the gym discouraged me from continuing my weight loss. So I started to think about another motivation to keep me eating healthy and attending the gym.

First thing that popped into my head was running a half marathon, but that seemed a large ambition because I’m not much of a runner. Then I realized I should focus on sharing my food journal via my blog! This might help with my accountability to keep my eating habits on track; and it will be a great way to share some food items from my culture and my life. I’m really excited for this change and hope it takes a more positive role in my life.

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Today I will share my Bean, Beef, and Vegetable Stew, which I recently starting making. It’s perfect for the cold weather, and you can refrigerate or freeze to eat at a later time.

A good friend of mine is always talking about her bean and beef stew, and I decided to make my own version. Feel free to substitute for your favorite vegetables and bean type.

Ingredients:

1 lb – Beef (any variety of chuck or roast is best for stews)

1.5 cups – Pinto beans

32 fl.oz. – Vegetable broth

8 cups – Water

7 oz. – Carrots, peeled and cut into about 1 inch pieces

1 stalk – Celery, small diced

2 oz. – Mustard greens, large cut

10 oz. – Green cabbage, large cut

14 oz. – Potato, cut into approx. 1 in. pieces

Recipe:

1. Cut excessive fat off the beef and cut into 1 inch pieces. Put meat in a pan and place in the oven for 20 minutes at 400°F. This helps seal in the flavor of the meat and helps brown it to add a nice color to the beef.

2. After 20 minutes, when the beef is lightly browned, pour the beef, beans, and water into a large pot on medium heat.

3. After the pot has been cooking for 30 minutes, pour in the vegetables and continue to cook at medium heat for about another hour, or until the beans are done and the vegetables are tender.

4. Serve warm and enjoy!

Nutrition Info I Nutr Info II

Image & nutrition information from MyFitnessPal.com

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Nutrition, Exercise, and Fiber

Since I started college, I’ve become a more active person. I love to walk, and I try to walk anywhere I can. I started feeling empowered when I took the stairs, when I parked farther from the store entrance, and when I walked to school and across campus. These actions may not take 10 pounds away, but they reminded me that I can take small steps to make bigger changes and then it doesn’t seem so frightening and impossible.

Now I still do those things and I’ve made it a goal to get to the gym 2 times a week. It’s not to where I want to be (my next step is to be at the gym 3 times/week), but it’s a beginning after months of avoiding the gym. Remember, if it’s a daunting task, take it step by step. If I had set a goal of exercising 6 times a week after inactivity for months, I would only be setting myself up for failure. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it can be overwhelming to change so drastically (especially being a university student!)

I talk about exercise and not nutrition first because that’s what I did first when I decided to get myself out there in the weight loss world. I strongly believe that nutrition and exercise should be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle because you need good food to get you through your workouts and you need to work out to get better results.

One thing that stands out from when I began researching nutrition are the benefits of eating a fiber rich diet. As I’ve learned through my nutrition and science courses, fiber can help with weight loss by keeping your stomach full for longer. Fiber also has other health properties such as keeping your intestines healthy.

As soon as I learned that, I switched to wheat bread, brown rice, wheat bagels, and everything wheat and whole grain I could find. I may be lucky I didn’t experience any stomach discomfort from such a drastic chance to fiber.

If you would like a bit more information about fiber click HERE to go to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website  (a leading organization for nutrition and dietetics). Or HERE to take you to the WebMD website (science and health information) for more on fiber.


Disclaimer: I am not making any recommendations on my blog. I am simply giving information and my personal experiences.

Introducing… Myself

The intention of my blogging is to make other people know they are not alone in their weight loss journey. That’s my general goal. I want to go into further detail by showing my weekly progress of weight fluctuations to demonstrate that weight loss is not a straight line, and it is by no means an easy task. There is so much involved in losing weight, more than just eating the right foods and exercising. In my experience, weight loss means having the right state of mind, the encouragement, self-motivation, self-control and support system, being able to afford what you need or become resourceful, making the time to do what needs to get done (exercising, and preparing home cooked meals, counting calories, learning how to eat right, setting aside time to eat), learning how to tell fad diets apart from real nutrition advice, and not believing all advertisements of so-called “healthy foods”. I want to share these experiences with people trying to lose weight, needing encouragement, or those trying to understand why losing weight is so hard (it’s such an involved process).

Besides weight-loss, this blog is also just about food, how fun cooking can be, and how delicious healthy food can be too (it’s not all bland and boring). Basically anything related to food, nutrition, and dietetics. I hope to share the ups and downs of being a dietetics student, which for me now seems to be a longer road than expected.

I’ve love to connect with people who are interested in food and nutrition, and those who are passionate about these subjects. I want people who are nervous about these topics to ease their fear because only 4 years ago I knew close to nothing about nutrition except that salads are healthy (only to find out that not all salads are. Who knew!).

By the end of the next year I hope to be a regular blogger, to have grown accustomed to weekly posts (or whatever seems most appropriate for my blog). I suppose my goal is to establish my blog and define what it will be.

The Beginning Starts Here

Wednesday October 22, 2014

Today is the first day of my blog. I hope to inspire, calm, and teach others, who like me, have struggled with weight loss and weight maintenance. I also hope to share my journey and experiences as a dietetics student.

My physical activity level from childhood to high school was sedentary, and I was never one to play sports. However, after graduation I decided I wanted to go out to the track and run. I bought myself a pair of sweats, and cheap shoes (if the exercising thing didn’t work out, at least I hadn’t thrown my money away buying good shoes). Thankfully, weeks later I was back at the store buying myself a new pair of running shoes.

I didn’t want to exercise alone, so I convinced my sister to come with me. She was a track runner in high school so she was a perfect partner, and an inspiration. I never weighed myself that summer, and I didn’t have a diet plan because I didn’t really know what I was doing, I just grabbed my shoes and took a leap.

For me that was the start of a new life, but I did not know it yet.

When I began college after that summer, the running stopped for two years. Then in May of 2011 is when the fun started.

Weekly Summary: 

Before I end my posting for today, I would like to add a few notes on this past week.

Last Thursday I had a get together with some old friends, and it was very easy to give in to food temptations. Nevertheless, I resisted my cravings. I only served myself once, and I just had a taste of everything.

Come Saturday and my friends made quite a feast, which I enjoyed. I over-ate because the food was so good. and I wanted to let my friends know that I really appreciated them cooking for me while I studied. I also didn’t keep my food journal for four days, so I wasn’t tracking my calorie intake precisely.

Also, on Sunday I was feeling the stress of having a report due for my quantity foods course, and an exam for my nutrition class. I went grocery shopping and decided to buy a cherry pie (very delicious). I had a slice that night; it was my comfort food for the day.

Finally, on Tuesday I went back to tracking my calories, and I’ve been making sure I have enough fruits and vegetables to keep me full and satisfied throughout the day.

Last note for today: If you have any suggestions for my blog, or questions, please leave a comment and I will try to address it as soon as I can.