Skating Uphill

Living a Healthy Lifestyle


"Skating Uphill is tough, but when you get to the top, the view is worth it!"        
Well, well, I certainly have had a lot of questions since I started to share this weight loss saga and asked you to join me, if you felt so inclined. I think it is time, therefore, to have a Q&A session. I am often asked questions in person and by email, and I learn new things, too, as I continue to read and try to do the right thing. So, I am happy to share.

1.    The most common question I am asked is "Really?" Translated.Do I actually do everything that I tell other people to do, or am I just making this stuff up?
My answer is an honest yes. However, I'm not saying I have been perfect, or that I always do what I know is correct, or anything like that. To say yes to that would not be true, and if I have learned anything from this whole lifestyle change thing, it is not to lie to myself or to others. I used to lie, mainly to myself, about my weight, size and eating habits.not anymore. So, when I say yes to that question, what I mean is that I always try my very best. I am honest about how hard I try and how well I succeed. You can't ask for any more than that from me or yourself.

2. Another question I am frequently asked, especially in the class I teach at the Lifelong Learning Center, is what I think makes me such an expert. I was once asked this question in a very mean, snotty way by someone who had paid a great deal of money for one of those diets that I call "shakes and shots." As it turned out, he had lost a great deal of weight and then gained it all back and was going in again. 
So, my answer was and is that I am not an expert in any aspect of diet or nutrition. I know a lot, though, because I read a great deal and have made it a point to be informed about what I have done. It took me nearly a year to lose 45 pounds, and I read nearly 5,000 pages of books, magazines, advertisements, and anything else I could get my hands on. I talked to my doctor at great length, and to several nutritionists that I either know or have used professionally. I wanted to do this the right way for once, and see if it really worked. I now know enough to be comfortable about what I eat, how much I should exercise, and the best way to live in light of my personal needs. I am not any more of an expert than a veteran talking about the war, but I think that is good enough to allow me to share.

3. I am frequently asked about some of the foods I recommend, such as where to buy what and what brands are best...
I will recommend some brands because I have used them successfully, but again, this is the only reason I will name one thing over another. I have no commercial interest, nor do I say that one thing tastes better than another to anyone but me. My best shopping advice is to read the labels. I READ ALL LABELS and try to understand what they mean-sometimes that is not easy.

I like salads with tons of things in them, like fruits mixed with lettuce, and other exotic combinations. Dressing can be a real killer, so I like and use Wish Bone Salad Spritzers ranch flavor. It has two calories per squirt. It is not very strong, so I always add a couple of tablespoons of Greek Isle crumbled feta cheese. I crave crunch, so I eat almonds, but of course you can eat too many. For a good crunch, when you have used up your º cup of nuts, try Stacy's Pita Chips. Buy the Simply Naked variety with sea salt. I like Activia Yogurt in the 4-ounce size for 60 calories and lots of protein. I add one of these to a smoothie. Eggs are also a mainstay. Because I am a vegetarian, I use eggs for protein. I mix eggs with Eggbeaters for lots of things. I like the three cheese Eggbeaters. They are very low in fat and high in protein. Finally, at night, I often crave something sweet-who doesn't, right? I used to eat ice cream, then it was frozen yogurt, but now, with a little pre-planning, I can have Jell-O instant fat-free, sugar-free chocolate pudding with a big tablespoon of fat free Cool Whip for under 100 calories.

As you read what I write, or for that matter, what anyone writes, I urge you to do so critically. There is a lot of junk out there in weight loss world, so be careful. Take and use only what works for YOU.

Healthy Foods for Uphill Skaters

Yummy Fruit Recipes

The first recipe is almost too easy to taste this good, and it goes as a side dish with pretty much anything, although my friend, Carol Gordon, claims it is only really good with ham. I have made it for breakfast and dessert, as well. When I serve it as dessert, I add a big spoonful of fat-free Cool Whip.

Pineapple Casserole
Ω cup Margarine or butter
Ω cup Splenda, or other sugar substitute that can be used for cooking. Of course the recipe calls for sugar, but we all know how that goes.
4 Eggs (or 2 eggs and Ω cup Eggbeaters.)
5 slices of white bread, crust cut off and cubed  (I tried this with brown bread and it looked like the yellow brick road with brown potholes, so white bread it is.)
1 (15 oz.) Can of crushed pineapple, thoroughly drained.

Cream butter and sugar substitute (or sugar) together. Add beaten eggs and fold in bread cubes and drained pineapple. Put in a casserole dish sprayed with Butter-flavored PAM. Bake at 350∞ for 40 minutes.  Mmmm, Now that's really good! 

So now we have a really easy canned fruit recipe. How about a recipe for that yummy fresh fruit that is at Farmers' Markets everywhere? This is one of my versatile recipes that can be made with what you have on hand.

Fresh Fruit Pizza
Make or buy a pizza crust-a pretty wide-ranging statement. You can buy a crust that is already pre-made. You can make one from scratch. You can use one in the round cylinder tube that you peel and pop then spread on a flat pan or round pizza pan. You can find whole-wheat balls of pizza dough in most grocery delis. You can even make a pizza crust out of sugar cookie dough or brownie batter (splurge alert!).

1 (8 oz.) pkg fat-free Cream cheese
Ω cup Sugar or Splenda
1 tsp Vanilla
About 4 cups Fruit, slice thin. (I like strawberries, blueberries, and peach slices. Other good choices are bananas and kiwi.)

Cook and cool the pizza crust. Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together in a mixer until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the cooled pizza crust. Arrange fruit slices in any pattern you like to cover the top of the crust. Chill at least 30 minutes and serve in triangles. Delicious and summery!

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