Aug 28, 2014

Appreciation Thursday

I have been working on a post about natural remedies for inflammation and I am not done with it yet.  In the meantime I have been walking on clouds and wanted to share the things I appreciate.

1.  The power of music!  I saw this on Steph's blog yesterday and it was really quite fitting!  I found an AWESOME electric station on XM radio and have been dancing on my way to work the last couple days.  It is so refreshing because I am SUCH a car dancer but lately haven't found anything I really want to dance to and they play some bomb diggity ish in the morning!

2.  The power of happiness!  When I am happy everything seems to go my way.  I really like it when I follow my own advice on How to Keep a Positive Attitude.  I think everyone should do it and if you want to check out what I wrote I included a link for your convenience.  You're welcome :)

3.  An email about someone interested in my car.  I mentioned I bought a new car - while maybe plugging my condo for sale - and I received an email notification that someone is interested!  Yay!  I get to call in 3 minutes!

4.  My new position ROCKS!!  I am so so SO happy to have moved to this position.  I absolutely LOVE the change.  Everyone reminds me it is temporary and I know the excitement will eventually ware off but I cannot begin to express the gratitude of leaving behind some of the crappy not so fun stuff in my former position.

5.  My new mirror.  My grandma got me the mirror I wanted for my bday and it is gorg.  It may or may not be a little bit too big for our bedroom but I don't care!

Share your thoughts on what you appreciate today!

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Aug 25, 2014

Burger Breakdown from Last Week

Thursday we played a game called "What's Wrong with My Burger" and the point was to figure out the good and bad about a burger.  I bought a burger from the food truck and I knew I wanted double meat.  Once I was ordering I thought bacon and cheese would be delish too.  Just for the taste, it's nice to have that kinda stuff every once in a while.

Today I am going to talk about each ingredient on the burger and whether or not there was some type of nutritional value or if it is just garbage.


1 bun:  Nutritional content: |Calories 200.0| Sodium 220mg| Carbs 29.0 g| Protein 4.0 g| Sugar 3.0 g||

Benefit:  Carbs are necessary for proper functionality of the brain.  The average person needs 100-150g of carbs per day.  Weight loss needs are different as are those of an individual who may be a runner.

Downside:   A lot of extra calories and carbs in one serving.  Plus, white buns/breads tend to be 'enriched' which is a process of adding nutrients.  Adding nutrients sounds fantastic, right?  But had they not been stripped during processing there would be no need to add them back.

Solution:  Eat only a portion of the bun.  In the picture below you can see how I 'picked' bits and pieces off the bun.  I also did not eat the whole thing all at one time.  I made a couple meals out of- who doesn't love eating something really delicious more than once?!

2 beef patties Nutritional content: |Calories 488| Sodium 150mg | Carbs 0| Protein 42.16g | Sugar 0||

Benefit:  Red meat provides high amounts of  Iron, protein, B12 and Zinc.  B12 is commonly known to help boost energy but that's not all.  It is great in supporting the nervous system (did you know this can even assist in reducing depression?). Ladies, you know iron is great to battle anemia.  Not that every woman is anemic but I definitely crave juicy burgers or steaks right around that time.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Downside: Many red meats are known to be high in saturated fats which can clog arteries, cause heart disease and increase blood pressure.  Oh and high calories

Solution:  Eat in moderation.  We do not have to eat everything on our plate anymore.  I am not suggesting being wasteful, by all means I love leftovers.  I am just saying that I ate a little more than half and saved the rest for later.  Getting a double burger doesn't always prove to be advantageous!  My eyes were way bigger than my stomach.  Also, while consuming red meat has its benefits it is wise to consume it in moderation.  It is best to stay within the recommended serving sizes and choose lean cut options.  My personal preference is once every 2 weeks or so.  I listen to my body.  If I crave it, I eat it.  Again, in moderation.  (please note I cut off all that fat in the steak below!)

 1 slice cheese Nutritional content:  |Calories 70| Sodium 11mg | Carbs 2g| Protein 3g | Sugar 1g||

Benefit:  Packed with protein, calcium, and saturated fat.  The average woman needs 46g of protein in a day while the average an needs about 56g per day.  This number will always vary from person to person based on level of activity and mass but these numbers are general figures on average.
We all know calcium is great for strong bones so how about if we talk about something you may not know?  About 30% of your calories should come from fat.  I typically get my fat from butter on my toast and the meat that I eat but in our efforts to be restrictive, sometimes we go overboard and try to eliminate ALL saturated fats. 

Downside:  This meal is already high in calories and saturated fat so adding one more thing to it is going against the phrase "moderation is key".  Generally, people tend to eat more than 1 slice of cheese so it compounds the nutritional downsides. 

Solution:  I thought about this before I ordered the double.  I knew that there would be 1 piece of cheese per burger and that extra piece of cheese would not really make a huge difference in my level of satisfaction with this burger so I specified one slice, only.  Another option is to forego the cheese.  You will be surprised how delicious it is without the cheese and half the time won't even miss it!

 2 slices bacon Nutritional content: |Calories 80 | Sodium 300mg | Carbs 0| Protein 5g | Sugar 0

Benefit:  It is just so damn good!  I don't know what happened during my aging process because I did not like bacon but now, for some reason, I do.  Not like I love it -gotta have it but I like it here and there.

Downside:  It is loaded with nitrates AKA cancer.  Weird how we like to pay to ingest cancer.  Clogs arteries, causes strokes and all that sh*t that I listed above about too much beef.

Solution:  Moderation.  It is not necessary to eat bacon on the regular or even semi-regular.  It is a much better choice to have it occasionally; sparingly; hardly ever.  With this burger there were 2 slices of bacon and sometimes I have seen burgers have 4 pieces of bacon and I can tell you that I definitely tasted the bacon with 2 slices so overkill wasn't necessary.

{Photo Source}

 1 slice onion  Nutritional content: |Calories 4 | Sodium less than .5mg| Carbs 1| Protein .01g | Sugar less than 1g

Benefit:  Onions help regulate blood sugar through the chromium they contain, they contain quercetin which is an antioxidant (antioxidants help fight cancer), they contain vitamin C and they help reduce cholesterol.  Go ahead, load up on 'em!

Downside:  Stinky breath, strong taste.

SolutionCheck out bad breath bandits - a way to control bad breath.  Try cooking them a bit to help reduce the strength of their flavor. 

1 slice tomato Nutritional content : |Calories 4| Sodium 1 mg| Carbs 1| Protein 0 | Sugar 1g

Benefit:  Everyone knows they contain lutein, beta-cerotene and lycopene great for the eyes.  They contain fiber which is great for digestion, they contain folic acid as well as vitamins A & C.  As you probably know Vitamin C is commonly known for its immune boosting benefits whereas vitamin A is great for the eyes.  Lotsa eye boosting stuff here.  BOOM

Downside:  People don't like to eat their veggies.

Solution:  Sneak 'em into things in small amounts.  Many tastes are acquired  - just like beer was in high school or wine after work.  Eventually the tasted buds become adjusted to it and then you can reap the benefits.

lettuce Nutritional content: |Calories approx. 2| Sodium approx. 1mg| Carb less than 1| Protein less than 1 g | Sugar less than 1 g

Benefit:  Great source of fiber which helps reduce bad cholesterol and acts as a binder for sugar to be eliminated from the body.  This is why carrots and other fruits and veggies with the skin on are a much better choice as much of the nutrients/fiber are in the skin.  Plus lettuce is low cal - like the rest of the sliced veggies are.

Downside:  I can't think of any.

Solution:  Eat more!!!  The above pictured burger has one measly little leaf of lettuce on it.  In a perfect world I would normally order a regular burger - not double- and I would add more lettuce.  I guess it would be more like a burger salad if I made it at home.

  Very light mayo Nutrition: | Calories approx. 19| Sodium approx. 35 mg| Carb 1.2g| Protein Less than 1 g| Sugar less than 1 g

Benefit:  Ummmm.... there's egg in it?  It tastes good?  You can actually use mayo to repair your hair due to the egg in it.

Downside:  High in calories, processed.  They are typically made with corn or soybean oil which contains high amounts of Omega-6 but most of us get too much of that and the imbalance of the Omega ratios can cause disease so it is important to keep those ratios balanced.  And mayo is high in cholesterol.

Solution:  Use it sparingly and lightly.  Use it as a treat or special occasion instead of something you reach for regularly.  I supposed you could keep it around just for hair benefits.

We are looking at about 867 calories for one burger!  Dayam!~ And, this burger is not one that has a buttered bun, extra sauces, thick mayo, one extra slice of cheese.  Or anything else that we can thing of that likely goes on a burger.  Kateri- you guessed 925 calories - you were soooo close.  Great guess.  I guess I owe you a burger!  Email me the name and location of your favorite burger spot.

This packs in 717mg of sodium and even though our household labels indicate that 2,400mg of sodium is the expected or recommended daily value - these labels have not been updated in ages.  Take a look at the chart just below that one to get a better idea of what sodium intake should really look like. 
Take a look at the chart below but take note that this chart was established eons ago. 

You can see that 2,300mg is the upper level and the recommended level is at about 1,500mg (still on the high end).  Compare that to what the average intake is and, my lord, I can see why there is so much heart disease and other ailments!

Based on the chart below, using the higher figure of 1500mg, this means that the above burger packs in OVER HALF of the daily allowance for sodium.  Even if you went by the above chart -using 2400mg that is still almost half of the daily recommendation.  Ouch.

Chart: Average daily sodium intake age 2 and up: 3,436 mg. Tolerable upper intake level: 2,300 mg. Recommended adequate intake level: 1,500 mg. How much daily sodium our bodies need: 180-500. Decreasing sodium intake could prevent thousands of deaths annually, because nearly 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to high blood pressure.
Info obtained from Center for Disease Control and Prevention

It has 6 grams of sugar in the whole thing.  One teaspoon equals 4.2 grams.  Per the American Heart Association, the recommendation is 9.5 teaspoons which is about 40 grams.  I am not insinuating that 6 grams is a lot of sugar but I am thinking it may be for a burger.  Especially considering all the other things that have a crap load of sugar in it - but that is for another day. 

I ended up eating the rest of the burger later.... duh... of course I was gonna eat the rest of it sooner or later!  Take a look at how much I saved myself by eating only a portion of the bun.  It is almost a full half of the bun that I did not eat which shaves off about 110mg of sodium, about 100 calories and about 3g of sugar. 
Keep in mind, these are estimates based on this particular burger.  Variations in buns, patties, cheese, etc. can change the above estimations.  It can increase or reduce the values but I think you get a pretty good idea of my point.  Everything in moderation and life shall be grand!
It's not really the burger that is a problem.  It is what gets added to it and how much of it gets consumed in one sitting that we should paying attention to.  What are your thoughts on the Burger Breakdown?
PS- please feel free to share this post with your friends/family/etc because I think it is helpful to bring awareness.  Burgers are not "bad" but preparation can really make a difference.
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Aug 21, 2014

What's Wrong with My Burger?!

Crazy title, right?  I have been craving a burger lately.  A juicy, delicious, loaded burger.  Who doesn't?  I was going to go somewhere like Red Robin but I don't want fries to saturate the fat and calorie content.  If they were on my plate, I'd eat 'em.  Burgers get a bad rap but they aren't ALL as bad as they are cracked up to be.

We have a food truck that comes to our work and the menu isn't always on the lighter side of things but I did not bring my lunch yesterday so I could get that damn burger!  I check out the menu and see that the patties are 1/4 lb each which means it will be like 1/8 of an lb by the time it cooks so I decide I'm getting a double cheeseburger until I see that there is a bacon cheeseburger.  I hardly ever eat bacon and I am NOT going to go buy a whole package of it (except turkey bacon) just for a slice or two.  Strange fact is that I did not used to like bacon.  I acquired the taste over the last couple years-weird, right?  I want bacon, I'm getting bacon!

When it came out it did not look like half the meat had shriveled away, most of it was still there.  Winning! 

I was thinking why does everyone view a burger as being bad?  I want to play a game called What's Wrong with My Burger? I know why I think it is but I was wondering what you all think?  Additionally, I am going to follow this post up with my version. 

Many people view certain foods as "good" or "bad" and I need your help.  Please comment below with your view on what you thinks is "good" and/or "bad" about each ingredient.  Just for fun, include how many calories you think this sandwich contains.


1 bun
2 beef patties
1 slice cheese
very light mayo

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Aug 20, 2014

Positive Reinforcements From a Fomer Pizza Face Girl

This morning I read Fitness Blondie's blog and it really promoted a lot of thoughts, feelings and personal opinions.  She talked about the nasty comments people made about her size.  Some of the comments were meant to be compliments that came out wrong while others were just disgusting.

It made me think of some specific scenarios in my life.  In my early 20s one of my girlfriends was overweight and we were walking down a popular college town street -probably heading from one bar to another.  Some guys were walking behind us and they said something about her weight and made reference to a farm yard animal.  I remember being totally and utterly humiliated because I knew it would hurt my friend's feelings.  I pretended I did not hear it because I hoped she had not heard it.  In reality I wanted to turn around and tell them how rude they were and if they had normal sized d!cks they would not have to say something like that at all but I did not because I did not want to bring attention to the situation or make her more embarrassed.  Also, she did not say anything so I really hoped she had not heard it.  She never said anything about it but if she had heard it I can only imagine the damaging impact it may have had on her self-esteem.


Then I remember a time in junior high when one of my mom's friend's came over and commented on how beautifully clear my skin was for a teen of my age.  I think I was about 14 yrs old and I had begun to develop but did not have the hormonal outbreak that most kids had.  Not one zit.  I felt so good and was ecstatic that I never experienced the unfortunate breakout!

A couple weeks later all hell broke lose.  My face broke out SO bad that I looked like the worst of the worst.  I had noticed other kids who were broken out and had "bad" skin but I never ever said anything to them or about them to anyone else.  I never paid much attention to how someone's feelings were -I just knew it was a fact of life.  What I mean by this is that I did not focus on being kind (like I do now) but it was not in my nature to be mean or nasty.  I was a typical teenager but I understood that we were all human.  I guess I was ahead of the emotional learning curve... not really sure.  Maybe, looking back even further, it was because I was a shy kid and did not have many friends so I did not develop habits of the other kids-whether it was good or bad.  But once I broke out I was extremely thankful I never said anything to anyone!

Apparently that was going to be a benefit to me because my turn came.  My face had zit upon zit upon zit.  I am talking about, literally, I had pimples on top of each other.  Some were red and others were white and it was ALL OVER my face.  The worst part of my face was on my cheeks and lower part of my face but that did not exclude the rest of my face.  I had them on my nose, upper cheeks, temples and forehead.  Millions of them.  This was 9th grade and I had just begun making friends and they were the cool kids so I felt the pressure of just being able to fit in.

I totally knew that my face looked like a pizza and I tried every damn thing I could.  I washed my face in the morning, used Clearasil, washed again when I got home and at bed time.  I tried many products.  Nothing worked.  One day I was at my girlfriend's house and some boys came over that I heard her talking about before.  I heard one of them was really cute and his friends probably were too.  I was so excited!  They came over, we hung out and the boys left.  I went home and the next day my friend told me that the boys had said they thought I had a cute butt but I had a pizza face.

This crushed me.  I felt so ashamed and embarrassed that they had said that about my face and that they had told my friend!  This was probably the edited version so who knows what the hell had really been said.  Which leads me to think about what people probably said when I wasn't around.  I did a pretty good job of not thinking about it or dwelling on it but it is kinda hard to put that kind of stuff out of your mind when you hear what others say.  I thought we got along great but once I knew what they really thought I was sure they were just pretending for the sake of my friend.  I knew I had no chance at one of them liking me.

I had NO control over my face and I KNEW that it looked like a train wreck.  I changed my pillow case every damn day!!  No matter what I did, nothing worked.  This continued through to my sophomore year.  All the way through the end of it.  The good news was that it started to subside, somewhat, about halfway through the year.  I still had really bad acne but it was not super excessive like it was in the beginning.  Eventually my face cleared up and I had scars which also ended up clearing up too.
I have no idea why the scars cleared up but I still remember the way I felt when I heard what people said about my face.  I have done a pretty good job of burying the emotions of what I went through during that time of my life and there are insecurities I have in my life today that could, possibly, stem from that time in my life.  I did not get made fun of on a regular basis so I don't really recognize it as something that I need to deal with today but the fact is that I am human too.  Just because I have buried those emotions it doesn't mean that it didn't cause damage today.  For example, I tread really lightly in topics on my blog because I am worried about what other people will say but the fact is that no matter how perfect someone is, there will always be someone else talking shit.  And just the opposite, no matter how much a person is imperfect and working on their flaws there will be someone else talking shit. 

Referring back to Fitness Blondie's post from today.  She was achieving great success during her weight loss journey and people made comments about her size that were so hurtful and whether they were meant to be compliments or not they are disgusting.  The way we treat other people can lift them up or detrimentally harm them.  None of us have any idea how harmful comments can affect a person.  Negative reinforcement does not promote positive results.  I do not understand why making such crappy comments come out of people's mouths.  I am sure that the person making the comment may have 101 flaws to work on themselves - the first starting with personality flaws.  Negativity breeds negativity and spewing that yuckiness all over the rest of the world is a HUGE flaw all by itself.

I have never bullied or made fun of another person a day in my life.  Looking back I realize it is because I didn't have friends up until about junior high.  I had a few friends here and there but I experienced what it was like walking to and from school by myself every day.  Wondering who I was going to sit with at lunch because I did not want to sit by myself.  When I finally started making friends I did not want to do ANYTHING to mess that up.

Then I gained weight in my early 20s - read about my weight loss journey here - and even though I did not have 100 or more pounds to lose I still lost a good chunk.  I talked about weight discrimination here and the way I have been belittled because I only need to lose about 50 lbs.  As I mentioned I did not have a scale at the time because I did not want to know how much I weighed so I could have lost more than 50 lbs - I don't really know but the point is that my weight loss was deemed irrelevant.  My struggles deemed irrelevant.  My feelings irrelevant.

It was not irrelevant and what each and every one of us go through is never irrelevant.  The things people say can boost us or break us down.  The saying "Be kind because you never know what the other person is going through" is so true!!

I am super ecstatic about the progress of others and I want to encourage them to continue doing well because I want to see them succeed.  I want to see Liz continue to succeed and if she never loses another pound a day in her life she has already been a TREMENDOUS success.  Nobody knows the battles she has had to endure to get there nor does anyone else know the journeys she has taken besides weight loss.  She has expressed those so I happen to know there are more but the point is that we ALL have journeys and the things we say can and WILL impact others.

I prefer to enforce positive encouragement.  I want others to feel good about themselves and have positive self-esteem.  This impacts every single aspect of their lives- their overall well-being.  I am also a firm believer in supporting healthy habits and while I support those I also support the self-esteem of those who are not in healthy ranges or of those who are working toward being in the healthy range.  Maybe I can be a positive influence on someone.  Maybe my kindness will encourage them to work toward being healthy, to work on their self-esteem, to develop better habits to overcome anxiety or any other troubled area of their life.

Thanks for sharing, Liz, and keep up the great work!  You are a positive motivation for many many others enduring the same journey and you have conquered the world already!

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