Friday, July 31, 2009

Some of my favorite snacks and things I use for successful weight loss and maintaining the weight loss

It is not by chance that a person can lose weight after weight loss surgery and keep it off. It is a lifestyle change, not a diet that is temporary, but healthy changes that they can live with for a life time. I think some of the changes I have made makes it possible for me to keep the weight off and not feel deprived or have those horrible cravings that I had before Weight Loss Surgery.

Sometimes we need a quick snack and have not planned for it. I have compiled a few of the things I would eat if I were going to have a snack. I hope these tips and ideas can help you.
There are a lot of healthy alternatives when it comes to snacking Be open minded and creative And if you have any tips for me, please pass them on. I would love to hear about them!

Remember that all food even healthy food has calories and they add up. Whatever you put in your mouth you have to work off! These are just some ideas for you, and you can be creative with what you like and switch them up a little.

I wish you much success on your weight loss journey!


After a workout I will sometimes eat a Balance Carb Well Bar, I like the Caramel ‘n Chocolate, tastes great and has 14 grams of protein. But remember there are calories!
Also comes in Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge. Caramel ‘n Chocolate is my favorite.
Balance Carb Well Bar Overview
Balance Carb Well Bars aren't just for dieters or bodybuilders or athletes or seniors, they're for everyone. With a balanced nutritional profile and great taste, about the only thing Carb Well bars don't have is a lot of carbs. Balance uses natural, plant-derived polyols to sweeten Carb Well Bars, so their great taste comes without sugar's high metabolic price tag. Add a box to your cart and you'll have a healthy low carb snack on hand anytime and anyplace you need one.
Balance Carb Well Bar Description from BALANCE BAR
A great nutrition energy bar from Balance for those managing their carbohydrate intake! New BALANCE CarbWell bars are delicious triple layer nutrition energy bars with only 2g of net carbs. BALANCE CarbWell comes in two delicious flavors - Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Peanut Butter. BALANCE CarbWell bars are based on the Balance Bar principle of helping individuals like you get the credible nutrition needed for healthy living.

** Percent Daily Value is based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.† Daily Value not established.
Chocolate ‘n Caramel/Supplement Facts
Serving Size:1 barServings per Container: 15
% Daily Value**
Calories From Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
<5mg href="">Trader Joes Dry Roasted Edamame
By: Tanya Taylor, PhD Jul 10, 2006
On a recent trip to Trader Joe's, I came across their "Dry Roasted Lightly Salted Edamame" snack. Edamame is the same thing as soybeans, and in this case, the beans have been removed from the pod and dry roasted, in a manner similar to peanuts. What really drew me in was the fact that something - anything - in Trader Joe's only costs 99 cents (even chewing gum is $1.29). The lightly salted edamame was crunchy, crispy, and I really, really liked it. The taste was a teeny tiny bit different from the more popular nuts such as peanuts, but I honestly slightly preferred the lighter tasting edamame to peanuts - AND I certainly preferred the price. I also must confess that I am a bit of a salt addict. I tend to dislike 'lightly salted' foods, BUT the light salt goes very well with the light taste and feel of the edamame.
The table below compares the nutrition facts of one serving of Trader Joes Lightly Salted Dry Roasted Edamame (30 grams) vs. Planters Lightly Salted Dry Roasted Peanuts (28 grams).

Total Fat (% daily value)
Sat Fat (g)
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)

Protein (g)
Iron (%)

One serving is a 1/4 cup or 30 grams (which is actually measured out in the picture). I thought that 1/4 cup wasn't much at all, but when I actually measured it out, there was certainly enough for a snack. It is also an excellent source of fiber and protein! This particular brand was purchased at Trader Joes (a 5.5 ounce bag), but I'm sure there are other brands available in stores. The Seapoint Farms brand is available online [link] - this is a non genetically modified brand. There is no information on the Trader Joes Edamame regarding whether it uses genetically modified soybeans (81% of the World's soybeans are GM).
Rating Taste: Nutrition: Price:
At many restaurants you can order Edamame Beans as an appetizer you can also get it at the grocery and prepare it at home. Please refer to nutritional facts below and also understand the nutritional facts can be more or less depending on the preparation.
Edamame Beans Appetizer
steamed and tossed with salt

In the mood for crunch, Blue Diamond Almonds has some great new flavors. But always remember to take into count the sodium content and calories. Sometimes you can really get carried away with eating nuts and eat more than you thought you would. I put them in small snack size bags so I can keep track of how many I eat.

Blue Diamond Almonds

BOLD Jalapeno Smokehouse 1.5 oz
BOLD Salt N Vinegar 1.5 oz
BOLD Jalapeno Smokehouse 6 oz
BOLD Wasabi & Soy Sauce 1.5 oz
BOLD Lime 'n Chili 1.5 oz
BOLD Wasabi & Soy Sauce 6 oz
BOLD Lime 'n Chili 6 oz
BONUS PACK, Wasabi, 19.2 oz pouch
BOLD Maui Onion & Garlic 1.5oz
VALUE LINE, Lime & Chili, 1-lb, pouch
BOLD Maui Onion & Garlic 6 oz
VALUE LINE, Wasabi & Soy Sauce, 1-lb, pouch
BOLD Salt & Vinegar, 6 oz Can
BOLD Salt & black Pepper, 6 oz Can

****Healthy Snack that I really like. Don’t say yuk until you try it!*****
2 thin slices of provolone cheese top with 1 slice Sarah Lee Honey Roasted turkey dollop with1 teaspoon Jiff reduced fat peanut butter and roll up…..really yummy, all protein, sweet and salty!

You don’t have to use Salt to season your food, try Mrs. Dash, it comes in all kinds of Salt-Free Seasoning Blends and Marinades।

Mrs. Dash® Salt-Free Seasoning Blends
Try all 15 flavors of Mrs. Dash® Salt-Free Seasoning Blends and add delicious taste to everything in your kitchen from seafood to salads, and always with no MSG. Each Mrs. Dash® Seasoning Blend is an all-natural blend of 14 natural herbs and spices and adds unique flavor to every dish.
Spice things up in your kitchen with the bold, exciting flavors of two new varieties - Mrs. Dash® Caribbean Citrus Seasoning Blend and Mrs. Dash® Citrus Lime Seasoning Blend
Add the robust flavors of the Caribbean and Mexico to your menus, and always salt-free and no MSG.
caribbean citrus, fiesta lime, garlic herb, extra spicy

Italian medley, lemon pepper, original, table blend

onion & herb, southwest chipotle, tomato basil garlic

Grilling Blends
chicken, mesquite, hamburger, steak

Mrs. Dash® Marinades
Mrs. Dash® Marinades presents an exciting new look, with the same great taste. As always, Mrs. Dash® Marinades are salt-free and have no MSG! And like all seasonings from Mrs. Dash, our Marinades are made with an all natural blend of 14 herbs and spices and a touch of real fruit essence. From bold, beefy steak marinades to our zesty chicken marinades, each of our six varieties add just the right flavor to any dish at a moment's notice. Just pour it on, and in ten minutes bake, broil or grill to create a healthy, tender and delicious meal. They add just the right flavor to chicken, beef, pork, fish or vegetables at any moment's notice.

mesquite grille, garlic lime, zesty garlic herb

lemon herb peppercorn, spicy teriyaki, southwestern chipotle

Are you in the mood for something sweet? Check out Dannon Yogurts new flavors। They now come in Light & Fit Carb & Sugar control.

****I like to have fresh Blueberries, Dannon Vanilla Yogurt with a sprinkle of low fat Granola (without raisins). It is really yummy! Makes a great breakfast or snack!******

Bear Naked Granola
Our 100% Pure & Natural Granola
Made with REAL whole grains
All-Natural, Bearly Processed and Utterly Naked Ingredients... that you can actually pronounce!
NO Artificial Flavors, NO Cholesterol, NO Hydrogenated Oils, NO High Fructose Corn Syrup, NO Preservatives, Og Trans Fat
Vegetarian friendly
Kosher certified

Dannon Light & Fit Carb & Sugar Control
CupsThe rich and creamy 3-carb Cup (4 oz.) has 45* calories and 85% less sugar than regular lowfat yogurt.
SmoothiesThe delicious 4-carb, on-the-go Smoothie(7 fl. oz.) has 60 calories and 90% less sugar than other dairy-based smoothies.
Both are a good source of calcium and protein, and made with active yogurt cultures.
* Strawberry contains 50 calories per 4 oz.
Single Serve 6oz CupsEach delicious Cup has 0% fat and 80 calories per 6 oz। serving. Available in 17 delicious flavors!

Dannon Light & Fit
"60 Calorie Packs" Multi-packsEach 4 oz. Cup in our "60 Calorie Packs" multi-packs has 0% fat and 60 calories per 4 oz. serving. Available in 12-pack and NEW 6-pack flavor combinations.
QuartsOur delicious Vanilla and Strawberry flavors are also available in 32 oz. quarts. Great for making dips, smoothies and desserts.

South Beach Diet High Protein Cereal Bars
All have 10 grams protein and 3 grams fiber. Sugar varies between 6 and 7 grams.
The High Protein Cereal Bars come in Cinnamon Raisin, Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Maple Nut and Cranberry Almond.

South Beach Diet carries several bars, but the High Protein Cereal Bars are the only ones with 10 grams protein. So if you want to go this route try to get the most bang for your buck with the extra protein.

****If I am on the run for breakfast I will eat a High Protein Cereal Bar with a banana. I like the Cinnamon Raisin tastes like a cinnamon roll.***

Crystal Light vs Walmart Great Value Drink Mix Stick Packs
When I compared the 2 I decided I like Walmart Great Value Drink Mix better। It had more flavor in the same size Stick Packs (I put it in 32 oz of water). It cost less than Crystal Light and it has no calories. Crystal Light had 5 calories. Remember this is only my personal preference.

Try dried fruits (with no sugar added). I love dried blueberries; they taste like candy to me!

Check out different stores that carry a variety of healthy foods.
You can get things you never thought of and try new recipes. I love to stop people in the Asian, Hispanic or Middle Eastern grocery stores and pick their brain for ideas…they are always so nice and willing to help!
· Local Farmer’s Market
· Trader Joes
· Harry’s Farmer’s Market/Whole Foods Market
· Dekalb Farmers Market
· Asian Grocery Stores
· Hispanic Grocery Stores
· Middle Eastern Grocery Stores

Not a food but….this maybe a useful tip for you!
I LOVE THESE SHOES….I have a bad right knee and the rocking motion make my knee not hurt when I walk and I will walk 3 – 5 miles at a time for exercise. It’s kind of feels like walking in sand until you get used to them. I truly feel like they are making my legs look better and more tone!

Curves® for Women Toning Sandal

Sole encourages a rocking motion that challenges muscles to work harder with every step. You can order on line from Avon: or or from your Avon representative.

Instead of going to the tanning bed or lying in the sun try this:
Vaseline Intensive Care Healthy Body Glow (it is a self tanner) I have tried several brands but this one tans me darker and more golden.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Can Certain Foods 'Arouse' Your Brain?

This was on ABC Good Morning America and I thought it was really worth sharing! I used to feel this way about food and I am so glad I no longer have these feeling toward food......

Can Certain Foods 'Arouse' Your Brain?

Expert: Abnormal Brain Activity Linked to a 'Helpless' Overeating
July 28, 2009 —
Wendy Wessler, who is divorced and lives on New York's Long Island, lost 150 pounds after gastric bypass surgery, but the weight is creeping back. She says she just can't understand why she can't say no to food.
"If I am upset or I am really stressed out, I just think I am going to get home to get a bag of chips," Wessler told "Good Morning America." "I just keep telling myself I should know better. I should be stronger, just as a person [says], 'You are intelligent, you shouldn't be doing this. This is not grown up behavior. This is child behavior."
Contrary to her opinion, Wessler's behavior is fairly common among adults, affecting an estimated 70 million Americans, according to former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler. Kessler too has struggled throughout his life with food compulsion.
In Kessler's new book, "The End of Overeating," he describes how the part of the brain the amygdale, which is the area of the brain that controls our desires, can affect overeating.
For most of people, when they see a tempting snack like a potato chip, it's the area of the brain will light up with activity and send feelings of anticipation and want. And once they start eating it shuts off. But for an overeater the amygdala remains activated while eating, creating that feeling of want, even after five, 10 or even 50 chips.
"We now know that the brains of millions of Americans are being excessively activated. Not everybody," Kessler said. "Let me give you [some] characteristics. Hard time resisting foods, a lack of feeling full, hard time stopping, a preoccupation, a thinking about foods between meals. And the foods that really arouse our brains are a combination of sugar, fat and salt, in other words, junk food."
Christine Zuccarelli overcame her struggle with food and became a dietitian, but she still feels the intense pull from some of her old favorite snacks.
"I call it food porn, because it excites me," she said. "It's something that gets me outside myself and I want more."
When overeater Mary Crean's favorite guilty pleasure, a Twix bar, is placed near her, she seems to lose concentration on a conversation as her mind floats to the chips.
"It calls to you," she laughed.
Similarly, Wessler said she becomes distracted when potato chips are placed in front of her.
"If there's something there that's edible, I cannot go about my business until I consume it," she said.
The Science Behind the Overeating Desire
According to Kessler, the food is actually causing a form of arousal.
"Intuitively, [Wessler] understood what we now know scientifically. Based on her past memories, past experiences, just looking at that label activated her brain circuitry. It causes arousal. It caused increased attention. It caused thoughts of wanting," he said.
Once the brain's attention is captured, for some people it's hard to let go, said Dana Small, a scientist at Yale University.
Small conducted an experiment which observed the brain activity of overeaters. She had them smell and then taste a chocolate milkshake, while recording brain activity through an FMRI.
Small noted there was an area of the brain that "should be shut off when you actually taste what you've been smelling."
"In people that are overweight or obese, the area's not being shut off. It's still so high," she said.
But there is something to the old saying "mind over body," Kessler said.
"One of the ways to cool down the power of that food is to look at food in a different way," he said. "We need food. Food has to be pleasurable. But I now look at huge plates of food, and I say, 'I don't really want that. That's not going to make me feel good.'"
It's a method that worked well for Greg Wells, 44. He lost 135 pounds in 14 months and said that now when it comes to food, he has the power.
"[The food] is like a Christmas ornament," Wells said. "Shiny and nice, but it's not edible."
Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures


This is a great salad to accompany any main dish!
Hope you like it!


1 Head Lettuce
1 Bell Pepper (diced)
1 Onion (diced)
1 Can Ranch Beans
1 Small Bottle Light Catalina Dressing
12 oz Grated Cheddar Cheese
7oz Bag baked Doritos (Crushed in bag for topping)

Chop lettuce put in large bowl. Add one at a time in layers Bell Pepper, Onion, Ranch Beans. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Pour approximately ½ - ¾ of the bottle of Light Catalina dressing on.

Do not toss Salad until ready to eat. At that time toss and sprinkle on Crushed Baked Doritos.

*This salad can be made in advance, but remember do not toss and add chips until ready to eat. Doritos are optional.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I do and always will have a food addiction!

From my earliest memories I can remember being addictive to food. When I was a child it was all kinds of foods. My grandmother was a really good cook. I remember sneaking in the kitchen when she was frying chicken and taking a piece and running off and eating it.

People of average weight don’t believe this but a food addiction is one of the hardest addictions to overcome. There is food everywhere, it is legal and everyone has to eat. We celebrate with food, eat food when we are sad, glad, mad (emotional eating) and we show love with food and reward with food especially our children.

As an adult sugar was my drug of choice my trigger food. I WAS addicted to it. I would do anything to get it. I would sneak around and eat it. All my friends said, “How can you be over weight? You don’t eat that much”. The truth was in front of other people I didn’t. But the stories I could tell you…..On Valentine’s Day my husband would buy me the biggest heart of chocolate. I would eat it and then go back to the store and buy another one that looked exactly the same. Then I would eat it and do it again. One day a few weeks after Valentine’s Day my husband was putting something in the outside trash and found 3 empty boxes and asked “What is this?” I just shrugged my shoulders. So, many times before I picked my kids up from school I would eat a six pack of ice cream sandwiches or a dozen Krispy Kream Donuts and get rid of the evidence. It gave me such a RUSH!

Well after weight loss surgery I knew I had to do something about my addiction or I would be back where I started! Sugar to me is like Alcohol to and Alcoholic I CAN NOT TAKE A BITE OR IT WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING I CAN NOT STOP! I do not eat bread, rice, pasta, potatoes or sugar. I have not tested my RNY to see if I can eat sugar without getting sick. I don’t want to know that I can eat it and not get sick. I tell myself….if you eat it…you will get sick. If I knew I could eat it and not get sick I might eat it every day and find myself in the same situation I was before. SO I DON’T GO THERE. In the beginning it was not easy, but it has been almost 8 ½ years and I do not crave it or even think about it. But it has been a long, long road to get where I am.

I have added some information from Obesity Action Coalition below and their website. Also, some website where you can go and take a quiz to see if you have a food addiction.

There is nothing to be ashamed of if you have a food addiction, but if you find you do. Please get help. When you first have WLS (RNY) you can only eat small amounts but as time goes on you can eat more. I want you to be successful, so learn your body. Learn your trigger foods…..YOU CAN DO THIS AND YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL!!!! Be fair to yourself and get the tools needed to be successful. The surgeons only do surgery on our stomach we have to do the work on our heads and if need get help.

Much Love,

Food Addiction and the Weight-loss Surgery Patient
By Katie Jay, MSW

For people with food addiction, the decision to overeat is not a conscious one, at least not in the early days of your addiction. You do not wake up and think, “Rise and shine! Let’s get crackin’. Eat a box of donuts and lose some of that self esteem!”

No, it’s usually more like, “I'm going to be so good today…is that an OREO?”Food addiction is a daily struggle for many weight-loss surgery (WLS) patients. It may be a week, a month, a year after surgery; but for about 70 percent of those who undergo weight-loss surgery, it happens. Of course, having the smaller stomach and/or rerouted intestines that come with WLS can be a great tool to help control your eating, but if you had trouble with food before surgery, there is high risk of eating compulsively, overeating or even just obsessing about food after surgery.
What exactly is food addiction?

Addiction is a loaded word that unfortunately holds a negative connotation for many people. That is why I prefer the term eating disorder, but even that term is viewed negatively by some.
The truth is, though, that food addiction is a complex problem for which there is no one cause and no simple solution. No matter what you call it, food addiction or an eating disorder, the basic definition is the same: an unhealthy relationship with food.

Sure, there are more clinical definitions, but it all boils down to one’s relationship with food – how you think about it, how you use it, why you use it and what your behavior with food does to you (obesity, shame, preoccupation, illness, depression, etc.).

In fact, shame and self loathing are such major factors in obesity and food addiction that I feel compelled to remind you that a food addiction is not a moral issue. It is not an affliction of weak-willed, lazy people. It is something that occurs in people of all ages, income levels, races and sexes. It has a strong genetic component, a relationship to brain chemistry and a cultural component (can you say, “Supersize me?”).

You do not set out to be addicted to food, or to be obese. Food addictions can develop over time, and are not always obvious in the early stages.

Food Addiction is an Unhealthy Relationship with Food
(to read all the information on Katie Jay, MSW article go to Obesity Action Coalition website)

Here are some other websites that have quizzes for you to take to see if you have a food addition.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin

I am so mad I could just spit!!!!

Can you believe people are even talking about the next U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, and saying she is not a good role model because she has a few extra pounds? The woman is very accomplished. She has done so much for other people and people who are poor. From what I have read she puts her heart and soul into what she has done, she didn’t have to do this…but she did!!!

Isn't this discrimination! Once again it is accepted to discriminate against someone because of their weight! Is it because she is a woman? I remember past U.S. Surgeon Generals who were not exactly called “Fit” did any one bring up their weight? I don’t think so! Is it ok to be a man and not so fit but a women has to look like a “Barbie Doll” to be the U.S. Surgeon General? Did past U.S. Surgeon Generals smoke, drink, not exercise or have other unhealthy habits? Who knows...but because people can see she has a few extra pounds they come to the conclusion she is not healthy!

I am appalled!!! Give me a break….look at her…she is a beautiful, intelligent woman. Who know, she could have fought her weight all her life, just like us! She just might be more sensitive to individuals with weight problems and the comorbities that come along with it! I can’t imagine what must be going through her head right now; reading and hearing people talk about something so personal “Her Weight”! I am sure she must be much stronger than me…because it would make me cry…I want to cry for her!!!! Perhaps she can help make the public more aware of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. with adults and our children and help find a way to cure obesity!

What do you think about this?


Below is some information I got about Dr. Regina M. Benjamin from "The Daily Voice" You can go on the link if you would like to read more!

Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, Obama's pick for the next U.S. Surgeon General, is a MacArthur grant recipient who holds advanced degrees in medicine and business administration. She is a family practice doctor who runs her own medical practice, the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic that treats predominately poor patients in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. She was the first black woman to be elected to the American Medical Association board of trustees and became president of the Alabama Medical Association, making her the first African American woman to be president of a state medical society in the U.S.
Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, Obama's pick for the next U.S. Surgeon General, is a MacArthur grant recipient who holds advanced degrees in medicine and business administration. She is a family practice doctor who runs her own medical practice, the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic that treats predominately poor patients in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. She was the first black woman to be elected to the American Medical Association board of trustees and became president of the Alabama Medical Association, making her the first African American woman to be president of a state medical society in the U.S.

Articles written by a Staff Reporter are unsigned reports from a member of the staff.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Need a makeover!!!!

Ok, you have lost the weight. But you are still wearing the same hair style and clothing. Perhaps it is time to try something new.

I thought after I lost weight I would always wear a dress that was fuller below the waist. One day I decided to try a dress that was more fitted. To my surprise I loved it. I started trying different colors (not just black), and updating my wardrobe. It was so much fun!!

Before surgery I had short hair. I always heard when you were over 40 you were not supposed to have long hair….. (whatever!) After I lost weight I started wearing my hair longer and really, really light blonde (One of my friends said my hair color wasn’t even found in nature, LOL). I wore my hair in a “Farrah” style (you remember it from the 70’s I should have left it in the 70’s).

In 2004 I went to the Oprah show for “Amazing Weight Loss”. They took me to Oprah's Salon and looked in my eyes and determined I was wearing my hair way to blonde. So they changed it to a darker blonde and also told me I needed to wear my hair straight and stop fighting it to make the curls.

Long story short, they ran out of time and I was not shown on the program. However, when I came home, people couldn’t believe the difference in the way I looked. They said I looked younger and it was a more flattering look for me. So all in all it was a successful trip. I probable would have never changed my hair if I didn’t have someone tell me it could look better.

Take a look at yourself….do you need a makeover? Just think of all the possibilities! Look through magazines; consider the shape of your face, google it. (You can find anything on the internet). Also some salons can take your picture and put any style on you with the computer so you can see in advance if you would like it.

Good luck with your new makeover! Can’t wait to see the new you!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Two Thai recipes using chicken and beef "Really Good"!!!

I hope you enjoy these recipes. The chicken Lettuce Wraps are a lot like the ones you get as an appetizer at "PF Chang's" (minus the dried noodles).
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

2 bottles Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 1 to 1 ½ inch piece peeled ginger, coarsely chopped ¼ cup soy sauce 3 tablespoons Peanut Sauce 1 teaspoon Chinese Hot Mustard
1 tablespoon of Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce (more if you like it hot) 1 bunch of green onions, coarsely chopped (divide in half with white part of the onion all together)

Rotisserie chicken (de-boned and skinned)
1 can bamboo shoots, coarsely chopped
1 can water chestnuts, coarsely chopped
Leaf Lettuce

In a pot add first 8 ingredients and add 1/2 of the onions (make sure you put the white part of the onion in), Cook on low until the garlic and ginger are soft bout 25 to 30 minutes.

Put chicken, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, remaining onion and ¾ of the sauce in a pot and stir gently. Cook on low until it is hot.

Serve on leaf lettuce with a spoon of the remaining sauce.
*Some people like to top with low fat sour cream. Some people prefer tortilla wraps instead of leaf lettuce.
Lettuce Wrap with ground beef
"From Monica's Kitchen to Yours "Make it a Lifestyle".

1 1/2lb lean ground beef or soy meat substitute
1/2 cup hoisen sauce
1/2 cup Asian peanut sauce
1 medium cucumber seeded & chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot (optional)
1/2 cup torn cilantro leaves
salt and pepper
12 large Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads), iceberg, or romaine lettuce

Brown ground beef in large, nonstick, skillet, over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is not pink breaking up the meat or prepare the ground soy beef product as directed. Pour off excess fat and return to pan. Stir in hoisen and peanut sauce; heat completely. Just before serving add the cucumber, carrots and torn cilantro; toss gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve beef mixture in lettuce leaves.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So you are calling me "Pollyanna"?

We need to be kind to each other….look for the good things in each other….SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER……When you pass someone SMILE at them…this may just turn their day around…(and isn’t it the weirdest thing…when you smile…it makes you feel better). Be proud of who you are! When someone gives you lemons…make lemonade….My glass is always half full……I do see life through "Rose colored" glasses..... I believe in paying it forward….

Ok, I have been told so many times that I am like “Pollyanna”. I decided to google it and these are some of the things I found out…..

She was cute, she was cheerful, and she was famous for the creation of "the glad game." (When something came up bad she would find something good about it). But today Pollyanna her name is synonymous with optimism — to a fault.
Politicians and scholars alike attribute "the Pollyanna principle" to people who look on the bright side and hope for the best, no matter what.

Abraham-Hicks foundation said:
"We would demonstrate to everyone that we are cheerful, that we are optimistic, that we are happy, that we are looking for the best-feeling thought that we can find - and that we've practiced it so much that we often find it. And then, as people say to you, in accusing tones, "Oh, you are a Pollyanna," announce to them, "Pollyanna lived a very happy life."

Well, you can call me “PolIyanna” anytime! I want you to be kind to yourself and others. And I hope someone calls you “Pollyanna” too!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Most Amazing thing happened the other day!

OK, the most AMAZING thing happened to me the other day!!!! In a million years I never thought anyone would say this to me!!! And it means even more because it came from a women. I told my boyfriend about it when I got home and he didn’t think it was a big deal. (He has never been obese). I just knew you all will get this and truly understand what it means to a former obese person, when they hear something like this!

First of all I have learned to love my body! It is not perfect by any means I am almost 50, (it is not supposed to be perfect) but even with the imperfections I love my body.….however, my thighs are the part of my body that I wish were better….I always envy women with pretty legs…. And I have been working so hard on mine…..

Understand I was 400 lbs…… and overweight all my life. I carried my weight like a pear…my thighs were huge (as big as some people's waist)….and even with the redundant skin removed…they still were a little saggy….

Well, I was out doing my 4 mile walk/run. Dressed in running shorts and a sport’s top. I past this young lady (she was probably in her late 20’s, really cute…petite girl). I said to her as I past, “I like your T-shirt”! She said to me, “I like your thighs”! I said, “Thank you” and….Oh my gosh….I almost fell in the road in front of on coming traffic!!!!

In my wildest dreams I NEVER thought I would EVER, EVER hear anyone say that! She had no idea what those words meant to me! I would have taken those words over a diamond ring! LOL
I just couldn’t believe it…I almost skipped home!!!! Cars passing probably thought.....who is this crazy lady walking down the street with such a big smile on her face!!!! IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

So, you see when we give compliments to people, especially strangers…we have no idea how good it might make them feel!

What are some of the things you are hearing that are blowing your mind!!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Whether you are beginning to address your weight issues, been fighting the battle for a long-time, need to lose 20 pounds or 200 pounds, pre-weight loss Surgery or post-weight loss surgery, YOUR VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD!

Urge Congress to Address the Obesity Epidemic in the Healthcare Reform. It is easy to do. Go to Click on call-to-Action put your zip code in and your elected officials will appear. You can use the prepared letter and add your story then e-mail. Or write your own letter and e-mail. It is as simple as that.

The mission of the OAC is to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support.

They are a National non profit organization dedicated to giving a voice to those affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to build a nationwide coalition of patients (many who are facing the often life-long struggle with obesity) to become active advocates and spread the important message of the need for obesity education.

It is up to us to let our elected officials know how important this is to us and our loved ones. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

I hope you decide to help!

Much love,


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sometimes the "Fat Girl" comes out!

OK, I have been this weight for sometime now. I am very outgoing, confident, happy, secure and self assured, But occasionally the "Fat Girl" comes out! She is the insecure, girl that feels like no one loves her and she doesn't deserve to be loved. Do you remember that person?

For no reason at all, she will start putting 2 and 2 together and think it equals 4. But in reality it doesn't. I can't really explain why I do this, except I am thinking and reacting like "The Fat Girl". In the past she showed up often, it has been a long time since she has come around. I truly hope she will disappear completely. I guess this will just take time. When she comes around I need to tell her to go back where she came from and never to return and not listen to her insecurities.

Thank goodness I have a very understanding Boyfriend who loves me very much and when I allow the "Fat Girl" to come out he assures me I am coming to the wrong conclusions and after I think about it he is right.

It is funny, people think, you lose the weight and life is perfect! They don't realize it is about more than the weight we have to battle. But we take one day at a time and yes things do get better....and yes life is better without carrying the excess weight.

We need to all remember we WLS individuals need each other....because no one really gets us like we get each other.

Much Love,