Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday Diet Tip #6

Hi! Welcome to Peggy and Kelly's Wednesday Diet Tips. I was talking to my friend Liz, who is a weight watchers instructor. "Sure, I'm losing weight now," I said. "But how do I keep it off?" Maintenance is often elusive. Here are some of Liz's personal tips:

Keep a journal. Record all food - if you bite it, write it! Be totally honest. I wasn't aware of what & how much I was eating & keeping track helps me to keep my eating under control.

Figure out what triggers eating. I'm an emotional eater & so I had to figure out what triggered my eating response and come up with alternative ways of dealing with the emotion.

Third, the 'E' word. Exercise. When I don't get enough, my weight always starts to creep up.

Great advice Liz! Thank you!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Situation Perhaps Even Ben & Jerry Can't Help

How much time should you devote to a project before you give up and call it quits? I hate to leave any project undone. And worse, I hate spending time on a project and not having it arrive at a fruitful conclusion. Recently I've been working on a story for one of my magazines, and it's just not going well. First, the interview resulted in reams of notes. Hacking away through the details to pick out just the right angle was excruciatingly time consuming. Then I had to rewrite it about a dozen times. The subject of the interview repeatedly changed his mind about minute details. Finally, my editor suggested an alternate angle which required a total rewrite, and then suggested that possibly the subject was now "too old." After weeks of work, I was ready to send the entire document to the recycle bin and plop down on the sofa with a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Part of me wants to fight for the story and make it work, and the other part wants to be intelligent enough to know when it's time to admit defeat. I'm still thinking about it. Perhaps I'll find the answer in a bowl of Chunky Monkey.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday Diet Tip #5

Hi! Welcome to Peggy and Kelly's Wednesday Diet Tip! There are few "diet" foods that I actually get excited about. Celery? Wheat germ? Lentils? Forget about it. But finally, I found one food that I can consume in large quantities, that is low calorie, low fat, and actually delicious: Strawberries! Sweet, juicy, a harbinger of summer; pretty much perfect. In fact, all berries are good for you. Blueberries are believed to help prevent cancer. Cranberries are good for women's urinary health. But strawberries, pure sweet strawberries, are still my favorite. Here are some ways to enjoy strawberries this season.
1. Top with a squirt of fat free whipped topping
2. Slice over whole grain cereal
3. Serve atop a sliver of angel food cake
4. Mix slices of strawberries with slices of banana
5. Sprinkle on top of a salad, add walnuts, and dress with low fat poppyseed dressing
6. Blend with crushed ice or low fat frozen yogurt to make a slush or smoothie

Sunday, April 20, 2008

College desicion looming large

Hard to believe the kid who can't pick up his own socks will soon be heading off to college. We've just made a whirlwind tour of the different institutions at which he's been accepted. Since he has trouble making decisions, he was sure to keep all his bases covered when submitting applications. These colleges run the gamut--a small liberal arts school, a geeky polytechnic institute, a sprawling urban university. He knows that sports will be a main factor in the decision-making process. Meanwhile, finances figure prominently in ours. Tuitions at most universities to which he's applied is around $50,000 including room and board. Yikes! Decision, along with a hefty deposit, is due by May 1st. Stressful time for all!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday Diet Tip #4

Welcome to Peggy and Kelly's Wednesday Diet Tips! We all know that vegetables are healthy. But did you know that dogs should eat their veggies too? When Kelly is pawing at her empty bowl and telling me she's hungry, the vet recommended I give her some green beans to help fill her up. Select low-sodium varieties, because dogs can suffer health ailments from too much salt, just as we can. Instead of giving Kelly a dog biscuit to munch, when she's craving that extra crunch I toss her a baby carrot. Sometimes she doesn't get all that excited about it, or I find pieces hidden around behind the couch. (Just like with me; sometimes I can really get into crunchy carrots for a snack and other times I could scream.) "You've got to sell it," my husband said last night, waggling the carrot in front of Kelly, pulling it away, talking excitedly "You want this carrot? You want it?!" until the dog worked herself into a frenzy and lunged for the carrot, gobbling it down like it was a t-bone. Maybe I'll try that technique on myself when I serve my healthy lo-fat all veggie salad for lunch. Come and get it....Good girl!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Technology-impaired mom and the 17-year old

My son thinks I'm technology-impaired. I'm really not: I know how to use the computer for basic needs--I can google, send emails, track my weight on an Excel spreadsheet. And look, I'm blogging! But to a 17-year-old, that's Kindergarten stuff. Can I write codes to create my own programs? Hack into Ben & Jerry's for their New York Super Fudge Chunk recipe? Photoshop a Godzilla head over a portrait of my best friend?
Although I still profess mild proficiency on the computer, when it comes to most other technology, I'm truly a fossil. Why is it that my son can organize his schedule, text three friends, check the Yankees score, order a pizza and view satellite photos of our home all from his phone?
The other night I was sitting on the couch reading a magazine, when my son asked me to hand him the television remote. He erupted into laughter when I accidentally handed him my cordless phone. "She was serious!" he commented as he recounted the incident later to his father. Hey, honest mistake. Besides, if he can do all that other stuff on his own phone, seems he could at least change the TV channel with mine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday Diet Tip #3

Welcome to Peggy and Kelly's Wednesday Diet Tip! The weather has started to turn warm and springlike, and for me that means only one thing--ice cream! This could be my greatest dieting challenge. I love going out for soft ice cream cones (back home in Vermont we called them creamees.) But what are the options for those of us watching fat and calories?

Regular Vanilla soft serve frozen yogurt:
serving size 1/2 cup
calories 117, fat 4g, cholesterol 1 mg, sodium 63 mg, carbs 17.4 g, fiber 0, sugars 17.3 g, protein 2.9 g.

Only 8 Frozen Yogurt: Serving sice 1/2 cup
Calories 32, Fat 0, Sat Fat 0, Chol 0, Sodium 40mg, Carbs 7g, Fiber 0, Sugars 7g, Protien 1g.

Dole Whip: serving size 1/2 cup
Calories 90, Fat2.5 g, cholesterol 0, sodium 75 mg, carbs 17 g, fiber 0, sugars 13 g, protein o

Dippin' Dots No Sugar Added Fat Free Fudge, serving size 1/2 cup
calories 92, fat 0, cholesterol 2 mg, sodium 95 mg, carbs 18 g, fiber 0, sugar 7 g, protein 4 g.

So c'mon and "weigh in"...what is your favorite low-fat/no fat/sugar free/light ice cream treat? Which are the healthiest, and what flavors do you find taste the best? Let us know!
Now, if only someone could come up with a delicious no-cal hot fudge sundae!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Please Let Her be Okay

Something very scary happened to Kelly. We were eating dinner last night, and she was under the table, hoping for scraps (I know, begging again.) Suddenly, my son asked, "What's the matter with Kelly?" She was shaking, and her hind end looked like she wasn't sitting right. I called her out from under the table, and as she ran to me, her hind legs didn't coordinate. They collapsed under her and she fell. Yet she came to me, wagging her tail and appearing unconcerned. I felt her hips and legs and she seemed to be in no pain. I put her outside and she stumbled around the yard for a bit. Then, after a minute or two, she was fine. Something similar happened once before, maybe a year ago, but was over so quick and then she was fine. We took her to the vet's, and they confirmed that it sounded like a seizure. It's possible that she has Epilepsy, or Cushing's Disease, or a tumor, or something else. The seizures may not increase at all, or they could get worse. They are doing a bunch of blood tests to get some clues. Kelly is only 6, and she's my constant companion as I work from home. Please, if you are a praying person, would you say an extra prayer for Kelly that everything will be okay? Thank you, from Kelly's mom.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Two Dog Day

Three Dog Night is a phrase credited to an Aboriginal custom of sleeping next to a dog for body warmth. A three dog night would be so cold as to require extra canine warmth. Well, yesterday I had what I'm going to call a Two Dog Day. So gloomy I needed an extra dog for comfort. We all know dogs can do that for us. Some days, I guess, are just more trying than others. I try to accept that, and hope for a better day today.
I like the thoughts of a speaker I heard at a Women of Faith conference a few years ago. Thelma Wells shared these words:
"God, open the doors I need to go through today.
Close the ones I don't.
Put people in my path I need to see today.
Get people out of the way I don't."
She's got the right attitude!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wednesday Diet Tip #2

It's Wednesday again! Time for Peggy and Kelly's Diet Tip. Today it's Kelly's turn to focus on the canine diet. Kelly is a small-medium sized spaniel mix. She weighs about 35 lbs. It's hard to know exactly how much she should weigh, because unlike with purebreds, there is no way to determine standard measurements for her mixed heritage. But one thing for sure, the veterinarian feels she should lose a few. You can visually assess if your dog appears to have lost her figure, or you can't see her ribs or waist. Click HERE for other ways to tell if your dog is overweight.
Once you've determined that your pet should cut back, Kelly suggests always measuring the dog food. I gave Kelly one scoop in the morning and one in the evening. But when the vet told me that she should only be eating 1/2 cup at each feeding, I was shocked to realize that a scoop held as much as 2 cups! I was really overfeeding poor Kelly. So, buy a measuring cup just for your dog food (or your vet can usually provide one) and measure that food! I bet, like me, you'll be surprised how much you were feeding before. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Grab you Squeaky Toy and Run

My dog Kelly is lacking as much enthusiasm for exercise as I am. It's difficult enough to motivate myself to get going and move, let alone try to motivate my couch potato spaniel. After we get up in the morning and I start to work, she pretty much settles herself in ontop of the back of the couch and snoozes. We do go out and walk when we can, but it's either too cold, too hot, too know the excuses. So today I tried throwing her a ball to give her some exercise. I threw the ball. She sat and looked at me. Big mistake--I was in the kitchen and she wasn't about to move far from the food. So I went into the hall and threw the ball. She chased after it at first, then slowed to a halfhearted walk and picked the ball up in her mouth then dropped it in the corner. I could tell she was thinking this wasn't very fun. Eventually I learned that she'd only go after the ball with relish if I kept up a constant stream of enthusiastic encouragement. So I squeeze the ball--squeak squeak! Throw it. "Go get it Kelly, thata girl, c'mon get the ball, you can do it..." Kelly bounds after the ball, tail flying. If her interest flags, I make a dash at her and pretend to steal the ball. The minute I stop cheering, she stops and looks at me. Soon the two of us are racing around the house. I guess I got my morning exercise too.