Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Unconscious Eating..........

People often poke fun at me because I am eating my breakfast at 11:30 AM.... The majority of folks I know are geared up for lunch by that time and have already called in or faxed over their delivery requests to the local deli.  I do tend to eat breakfast a little later than most people but that is because I really am not hungry and I don't believe in force-feeding myself.  All I need first thing in the morning is a cup of coffee, a shower, and to get out the door in time to catch my train.

I eat when I am hungry.  I want my body to burn everything I have put into it before I start feeding it again.  It's a trick that seems to work for me. If I get a little hungry in-between meals, I might snack on some fresh fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese but that rarely happens.

One thing I think we are all guilty of is "unconscious eating".  We wake up and immediately fix something to eat because we tell ourselves it's morning, it's breakfast time, and we need to eat.  At 12 noon, when everyone else is leaving the office to break for lunch, or having food delivered, we join in and eat whether we are hungry or not.    I usually start thinking about lunch around 2PM.  If the office is having food delivered from one place, I might put in my order, but I don't start eating it until later in the day...when my body tells me I am hungry.  Of course, I have the luxury of working at a desk in a great environment where clients rarely visit, so munching at my computer is never an issue.  Some people are not so fortunate and have assigned breaks. I completely understand that and if you happen to be one of those people, by all means, eat.....don't skip a meal.  Unconscious eating is putting something you don't need into your mouth because you are bored or just because everyone else is doing it. How many times have you eaten breakfast at 7AM at home and then arrived at the office to a big spread of bagels, cream cheese, and assorted danish.  Impromptu Employee Appreciation Day! That's very nice and thoughtful and because everyone else is doing it, you do.  Now you have just eaten 2 breakfasts and put more into your body than it is accustomed to burning and more than it needs.  If you are super-disciplined and count that 2nd breakfast as an early lunch and don't eat again until dinner, that could be a good thing but when dinner-time arrives you will be completely ravenous because too much time has gone by since your last meal.  When you are ravenous you will be tempted to over-eat at dinner or even worse, consume an entire bag of potato chips while waiting for your meal to cook. It's perfectly acceptable to take one of those bagels, wrap it in paper towel or napkin and save it for lunch time.  When everyone else puts in their order for lunch a few hours later, ask for a 1/4 lb of tuna salad, or some low fat cheese, or turkey breast and eat that with the bagel when you are ready.  Even better, depending on what you had for breakfast, just eat the tuna, cheese or turkey breast, bring the bagel home and break into small pieces and feed it to the birds later.  By the time lunch rolls around, no one will notice you never ate the bagel you took earlier.  TRUST ME!!

When I say eat when you are hungry, I don't mean waiting until your stomach is continuously growling and rumbling and disturbing everyone in the office.  Don't wait until you are dizzy, or on the verge of passing out from lack of food.  If you wait until you are completely starved, then you will be tempted to eat just about anything.  You will over-indulge or make choices that are not healthy. Just listen to your body!  It will tell you when its ready to eat again.  Be conscious of when, what and why you are eating.  Is it because everyone else is eating?  Is it because you are bored and there is nothing else to do? Are you making unhealthy choices because you don't want to be the only one eating a salad while everyone else is eating roast beef and gravy on heroes from the deli?

A few weeks ago, my sister and her husband came over to spend the day.  They brought freshly caught cod fish with them to prepare for dinner.  In the meantime, everyone was hungry and we needed to wait for my son to get off work so it would be a few hours before preparing and serving the fish.  They ordered a pizza to eat in the meantime. I asked that a tossed house salad be added to the order.  While everyone else sat around the table eating 2 or three slices of pizza, I took one bite of my sister's piece, and happily ate my salad.  What I found completely amusing is that my family kept sticking their forks into my salad!  Later on, when the delicious dinner was finally served, no one was really that hungry but they sat and gorged themselves anyway and could barely move from the table after.  I doubt they truly enjoyed the meal.  How could they when they were still so full from what they had about 2 hours earlier? They cursed themselves for having the pizza earlier and admitted they should have had a salad or something lighter instead. What do you think their bodies did with all that excess food? Well.....unless they ran a marathon after dinner...... it was stored as excess fat and calories! That equals weight gain!!

The next time you sit down to eat a meal you really don't want just because everyone else is, raiding the fridge or pantry while watching TV after dinner, or munching on that donut or danish with coffee at work when you just had breakfast an hour ago, stop and ask yourself " Why am I eating this?"  It's OK to get up from the table, sip on a drink instead, or to take one bite of the donut or danish (just to have a taste) and throw the rest away. Be conscious of what you are eating and why.  Chances are, there is something else you really want.  We will talk about that another time........

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Salmon and Asparagus Packets

Here is a delicious recipe with two ingredients we have been discussing this month--- salmon (one of the foods on our list to help prevent Alzheimer's Disease) and our vegetable of the month---Asparagus! It doesn't get any easier than this and it is so simple, quick and healthy that you will want to serve this dish often.... The best part....virtually NO clean-up!!!

4 sheets of aluminum foil ( 12"x18")
4 salmon fillets
1 lb fresh asparagus (rinsed well)
1 fresh lemon (slice 1/2 into thin slices, 1/2 will be used for juice)
seasoned salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Snap off the ends of asparagus and divide into 4 equal portions
Spray the center of each foil sheet with non-stick cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil
Place one salmon fillet into the center of each foil sheet, top with the asparagus, squeeze some juice from the 1/2 lemon, sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper, and top with 2-3 lemon slices. 
Bring up the sides of the foil and fold over twice, seal ends, leaving room for ail to circulate inside the packets.
Place foil packets on cookie sheet and cook in oven 15-18 minutes or until salmon is cooked.
Serve with brown rice on the side and a large tossed salad. 


And this is my Daily Cyn...........


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Diet To Go....Week One......

 Diet To Go!! This is a company devoted to your weight loss success! They make it very simple by sending you a week's worth of meals.  You can choose their Traditional Low-Fat (1200 or 1600 calorie option),  Low-Carb, or Low-Fat Vegetarian (1200 or 1600 calorie option).  It is so simple to order your five or seven day meal plan on their website .  Your meals are delivered in a few  days packed on ice in a thermal container and will stay cold and frozen for hours.  Diet to Go is tailor-made for the busy person on the go who wants to lose weight or doesn't have the time or the discipline to put a menu together, grocery shop, and prepare sensible, tasty meals.  For the single person, Diet to Go is PERFECT!

After months of loving the concept of this company and several on-line chats with John, the chief blog editor  for Diet to Go, I decided to take advantage of the program myself for a few reasons. First, I had a major life-style change in the past year.  I fell in love with a wonderful man and my crazy, single, jet-setting lifestyle came to a screeching hault overnight.  We both have hectic schedules so me and my guy only see each other occassionally during the week so when the weekend arrives we just want to be locked up the apartment alone most of the time. We enjoy shopping and preparing feasts at home rather than going out.  Unfortunately, by the time I get off the train, stop at the store, decide what we want to have for dinner, and finally prepare and serve it, we are not sitting down to eat until  around 10PM.  We all know late night eating is the worst thing for your waist-line.  My guy is all Italian and loves his pasta and bread so most of our meals together revolve around carbs. All these late night pasta dinners, the fresh baked bread with butter we nosh on while dinner is cooking, big Saturday morning breakfasts  fresh bagels on Sundays, and the late night nachos smothered in melted cheese, salsa and sour cream are killing me!  I  am a vegetarian and before I met my guy, my diet consisted of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein.   My body is rebelling and storing all these carbs, fat and calories in places I don't want! Summer is right around the corner and I am not ready!!

The second reason I decided to give Diet to Go a try is because I cannot promote or recommend a product or a service to my clients that I am not passionate about.   Diet to Go sounds like a great idea in theory but in order to be truly passionate about something,  I must experience it! So...I went on-line and placed my order for the 5 day Low-Fat Vegetarian Plan. I thought this would be perfect for me during the week and on weekends I would try to be very conscious of what I am eating, avoid late night snacking with my honey in front of the TV, and keep lots of fruit, veggies and salad on hand. 

My meals arrived on a Wednesday, which was absolutely perfect timing because I had no food left in the house and no time to shop.  It was beautifully packed and organized; frozen, labeled and stacked neatly in a  container packed with ice. All I had to do was transfer it all to the freezer.  If you look in my freezer now you will find three neat stacks of  trays ( a breakfast stack, one for lunch, and one for dinner).  I don't have to think, I just take what I need depending on the time of day and pop it into the microwave.  The food is really, really tasty.  Diet to Go is perfect for someone who hates cooking just for one and settles for a can of soup or take-out for dinner.  You get three meals a day so you can take a complete breakfast and lunch to the office to avoid the
ever-tempting bacon, egg and cheese on a roll in the morning and those huge deli sandwiches served with mayo-drenched side salads everyone else in the office is ordering for lunch. These meals are delicious so trust me,  you will want to eat them!

I really love Diet to Go but as a vegetarian, a nutritionist by trade with an emphasis on "whole foods", an adversion to anything processed or artificially sweetened, and a genetic predisposition for obesity, there are a few personal drawbacks for me . I have never seen so much food in my life! The 5 day meal plan is probably equivalent to the amount of food I consume in a 2 week period.  The vegetarian plan has alot of carbs (most are whole wheat or whole grain) which is perfectly fine for most people.  My body does not function well with alot of carbs so I don't depend on them to fill me up.   I rely on lots of lean protein, salads and large amounts of fresh vegetables to satisfy me.  I have a rule that if I have bread, a wrap or another type of carbohydrate for lunch then I do not have any for dinner.  I having been sticking to the menu plan provided but I am a little wary of a pepper stuffed with rice for lunch and pasta for dinner a few hours later.  The lunches and dinners provided on the Low-Fat Vegetarian plan provide very little greens or vegetables; certainly not enough for a person like me.  I need to add a salad or extra vegetables to keep everything functioning properly.  I feel full and satisfied after eating the meals but I get very hungry a few hours later! This is good means my body is burning whatever I am putting into it and will hopefully result in some weight loss.  A common mistake we all make is starving ourselves when in actuality, we must give our furnace something to burn or it will hold onto whatever calories we do consume. 

I will be faithful to continue for a few more days and most likely place an additional order for next week.  I love the convenience of the Diet to Go meals and the fact that I don't really have to prepare or think about what I am going to eat during the week.  If I happen to drop a few pounds of that excess weight I have gained in the past year, I will be thrilled!

I encourage you to check out for yourself.  It's fairly inexpensive, the food is delicious and the convenience of it all cannot be beat!!

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ALMONDS... Nature's crunchy, munchy, healthy treat

Mmmm! Almonds! I recently posted on FACEBOOK that almonds should be a daily part of your diet to help prevent Alzheimer's Disease.  They are the perfect food: crunchy, healthy, portable, and packed with nutrition.  I want to share with you the benefits of almonds and also give you a couple of recipes to try.
Almonds are one of the most nutritious of all nuts. As we become dedicated to healthy life-styles, experts have found that adding natural foods, such as almonds, to your diet may be the prescription for physical wellness in the 21st century.

Cancer Prevention - Almonds are low in saturated fat and contain many other protective nutrients - calcium and magnesium - for strong bones, vitamin E and compounds called phytochemicals, which may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer.

Phytochemical Powerhouse - Leading nutrition scientists presented their research findings in a symposium entitled "Nuts in a Healthful Diet", as a part of the 1998 Experimental Biology annual meeting.

A recent study showed that including almonds in a diet that’s already low in saturated fat and cholesterol helps knock your cholesterol down even more. And that lowers your risk for heart disease.

You’ve already heard that a low-fat diet and regular exercise are key to living a long and healthy life. Problem is, many people took that low-fat message to mean no-fat. And while too much fat certainly isn’t good for you, all fats are not created equal. Some are actually good for you. The American Heart Association has recently eased up on its recommendation that no more than 30 percent of our calories come from fat. They now say additional fat is okay, as long as it’s unsaturated – like the good fat found in almonds!

Almonds  may look humble, but they are an effective weapon in the battle against heart disease. In fact, you may decrease your risk by as much as 50 percent just by eating almonds five times a week!

I like to stir a handful of almonds into vanilla-flavored yogurt with some fresh blueberries for breakfast or as a protein packed snack during the day. If I am out running errands and know I will not have time to stop and eat, I will toss almonds, fresh apples slices and a few cubes of cheese into a baggie and carry it in my purse to avoid  impulse buys at the grocery store, the bakery, or the fast-food drive-through.

Here are a couple of recipes using almonds..... give them a try!!

Toasted Almonds with Sea Salt

Makes 2 cups (11 oz/345 g)

There's nothing better than these nutty slow-roasted almonds. Baking them slowly drives off moisture and makes them particularly crisp. I buy unskinned almonds because I believe they are fresher, but you can use blanched almonds and omit Step 2.

2 cups (11 oz/345 g) whole unskinned almonds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C.).

2. Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the almonds and boil for 30 seconds. Drain, then immediately wrap the almonds in a kitchen towel and rub them in the towel to loosen the skins. Pinch the almonds from the skins; the almonds should slip out easily.

3. Transfer the almonds to a heavy rimmed baking sheet. Add the oil and toss to coat evenly. Add the salt and toss again.

4. Place in the oven and toast, stirring the almonds once or twice so they brown evenly, until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to cool completely, about 1 hour, before serving.

Here is a recipe with two of the important foods to help prevent Alzheimer's! Delicious and perfect for your next BBQ!!


Yield- about 6  servings as a side dish

8 oz  small whole wheat (or regular) seashell pasta

1/2 lb fresh  broccoli; chopped (about 4 -5 stalks)
1 small chopped onion

1 garlic clove; chopped

1 1/2 c Salmon; canned or cooked

1 sm Jar artichoke hearts -- chopped

1 small bag sliced almonds

1 tablespoon mustard

1 c  low fat sour cream

1 c low fat mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Celery salt

1/2 teaspoon Horseradish

1 tablespoon Lemon juice

Boil macaroni-when almost done add chopped broccoli. Drain. Add rest of the ingredients. Garnish with parsley, paprika and almonds. Best if flavors blend in refrigerator overnight.


And this is my Daily Cyn............


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Picture this.............

I have always been a very visual person.  I see something and it inspires me.  I post pictures around my house of things I want now or in the future. I am the "Queen of Sticky Notes" used as reminders of things I need to do, want to do, people to call, bills to pay, etc.  I have my two-piece bathing suit on a hanger hanging over my bedroom door as inspiration to eat well and do some kind of daily work out.  Some of my dreams and goals are lofty, some are simple and basic and easily attainable with a little faith and hard work. 

When I was a young girl, my dad taught me a sweet little song that goes like this:
"Lift your vision high
We're in a way we've never been before.
Without a progressive vision
We dwell carelessly
Without a progressive vision
We dwell carelessly
So lift your vision higher...."

If I don't have dreams, goals and visions for my life, I will wander aimlessly without direction.  Things that come my way, good or bad, I will have no control over.  When nothing happens and I end up empty-handed, I will have no one to blame but myself.  Sitting on the side-lines and watching everyone else get what they want and scooping up the left-overs is not the way I want to live my life.

I was blessed to be raised in a home where I was taught about faith.  A positive attitude, the belief that I deserve to have what I want and need, and putting faith into action are things I learned through life experiences.  I wasn't always such an optimistic person.  In fact, just a few years ago,  I was so broken, abused and depressed that I had absolutely no hope for the future.  It took years of therapy and hard work to change my way of thinking.  My experiences taught me that I don't want to waste one minute of time thinking negatively.  I want to work toward achieving that which I truly want in my life and not allow anything or anyone (including myself) to stop me.

Since I have changed my way of thinking and started dreaming and visualizing who I want to be, where I want to be and what I want to have, miraculous things have happened.  I must admit, everything I want, I get in some way, shape, or form.  If I want something, I picture it and refuse to allow any negative words to enter my mind. I don't listen to anyone who tells me "I can't have it or I'll never get it." I am not special.  I just have faith to believe and a drive to achieve what I want.  I don't lead a charmed life.....ha ha! Far from it.  I have obstacles and problems and a tight budget just like everyone else.  I just don't let those negative aspects of my life creep in and tarnish my vision. 

Do you have a vision or a goal for your life? It could be something huge or something small.  It doesn't matter.  Believe you deserve to have it and start taking the steps to make it happen.  Surround yourself with positive people who support you and separate yourself from naysayers.

I posted a picture of two beach chairs on a beach at sunset.  I visualize myself and the man I love sitting there every evening after work with a glass of wine to unwind from our hectic day.  I even picture the dog we will have enjoying the beach with us and chasing sticks or the rubber ball we toss into the water to keep him happy.  Sounds crazy? I don't think so.  I might never be able to actually afford a house on the beach but perhaps I can own or rent a home within walking distance or a few miles away from a beach or lake or even a pond.  I have started looking and believing I will eventually find one. There's no reason why I can't have it!

Lift your vision high!! Higher than you have ever imagined before. Higher than the dreams of your friends, your family, your mate.  Mix in a bit of faith and some elbow grease and you will have the perfect formula for making your dreams come true.

And this is my Daily Cyn...........

Wednesday, May 12, 2010



I have been thinking an awful lot about love lately. We use the term so casually at times. We love summer. We love ice cream. We love our pets. We love our mates, our children, our parents. What does it mean to truly love?

The dictionary describes loves as: 1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection.

At the age of 47, with a failed marriage and a string of meaningless flings under my belt, I was fortunate to meet a wonderful man and fall head over heels in love with him. We have been together for a year now. For the first time in my life I am truly and honestly in love. I have loved before but not like this. I was married for 21 years but a life of abuse, control, and heartbreak destroyed any feelings I had in my heart for the man I married. I was very young when I married him and full of unrealistic expectations and notions of happily-ever-after. I don’t believe it is ever acceptable to emotionally, mentally, or physically abuse another living thing, but I cannot help but think that my immature outlook on life and what I thought love was supposed to be contributed to our train-wreck of a marriage that ended bitterly in divorce. I have since learned a few things about love and what it means to truly love someone. These are my ideas….take them, or leave them…..

Loving someone does not mean you are responsible for that person’s happiness nor is he or she responsible for yours. You are responsible for your own happiness and to bring that joy and contentment into the love relationship.

Loving someone does not mean you give that person the authority or permission to run your life, make decisions for you, control or abuse you in any way, shape or form.

Loving someone does not mean you sacrifice your needs, wants, or desires.

Loving someone means you support them in their hopes, dreams, and endeavors, even if you don’t understand them, think they are crazy, or impossible.

Loving someone means you never say “ I told you so” when they fail….. Instead, you are there to help them up and to start over again.

Loving someone is to truly accept some one as they are, faults and all.

Loving someone means you do not manipulate them to change into something or someone you, your family, your friends, or anyone else thinks they should be.

Loving someone makes you want to become a better person…..for yourself first, and then for the person you love.

Loving someone is a decision……despite all odds and obstacles….you let them know through your actions, words, and deeds that you will love them no matter what!

And finally….. To truly love someone, you must love yourself first , see yourself as deserving of love, and give yourself permission to receive the love someone else has to offer….


And this is my Daily Cyn............