Category Archives: fat loss

Review: Orgalif Bento Lunch Box Containers

I received these containers at a discount from Tomoson.com in exchange for my honest review.  My opinions are mine and I would not recommend anything I did not believe in.

bentos

It doesn’t matter how on point your fitness game is if your fueling game is off.  Yes, your calories might be in check, but your optimal balance of protein, carbs, and fat may not be.  I log every meal, whether on plan or not.   Why?  It helps me see why I don’t make progress.  When there are more good days than bad, I either lose or maintain.  Before I started my current food plan, I noticed I reached for fat and carbs more than protein.  A lot more fat than anything else, really.  Yes, almond and sunflower butter are good, but not at the amounts I’d reach for on a daily basis. Oy!

Speaking of, I stepped up my food prep game a few weeks ago and am seeing results.

Note:  Results include increases in energy level, change in how my clothes fit, training gains, and changes on the scale.  No one result trumps or minimizes another.

I’m following the macros from Flexible Dining for Vegans and don’t feel deprived, disappointed, or hungry. One issue I do have, though, is sticking on plan when I oversleep, have back-to-back shifts, or am running around.  One thing that does help is having meals and snacks ready to go.  Instead of relying on shakes or bars for most of it (or trying to rush and fix a plate or bowl), I try to pack individual meals.  I received the opportunity to review a set of Orgalif Bento Boxes and put them right to the test.

The boxes are a good size, dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe, and the different colored lids were a plus for me. I could reach for the meal I wanted just by spotting the lid.  You know how it is when you live with other people, the fridge gets rearranged whether you want it to or not.  Knowing that these containers are full of ‘that crazy vegan food’ tends to keep the family away.   They don’t know good eating!  I took a couple from the freezer straight to the microwave with no issues.   They washed up nicely in the dishwasher, too.  They’re about perfect.  I fill them on meal prep days and am ready to go for a few meals.  The containers are not leak proof, so I use them at home exclusively.  They do fit nicely in lunch bags, so just skip sauces and gravies and things should be golden.

Orgalif offers a five year, 100% satisfaction guarantee.  Five years!  That says a lot in this disposable world.   Go get yours, risk free, and get to prepping!

5 Ways to Make Diet Resolutions Doable Any Time of Year

Every once in a while someone approaches me with a great idea for an interview or a guest post. This one spoke to me and I hope it speaks to you, too.  Merilee Kern spoke with HealthyWage.com co-founder Jimmy Fleming about keeping those resolutions all year long.  It’s a good read.

5 Ways to Make Diet Resolutions Doable Any Time of Year

 By Merilee Kern

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While even the most well-intended health-seekers strategize their diet and fitness approach at the top of a New Year, far too many revert back to their bad habits and poor choices that sabotage their weight-loss endeavor and undermine their overall well-being. However, one need not wait until the next shiny New Year rolls around for a renewed resolve to shed those unwanted pounds, as there’s no better time than right now to make healthful, life-altering adjustments to the daily routine. No matter the time of year, even just a few simple, but key, considerations can make all the difference between a successful—and even profitable—weight-loss endeavor and a wellness pursuit that falls far short.

In seeking professional advice I connected with diet and fitness industry insider Jimmy Fleming who is the co-founder of HealthyWage—the industry-leading purveyor of corporate and team-based weight loss challenges and financially-induced diet contests for individuals. He offered these insights and perspectives on 5 critical elements needed for the best chance of success with a weight-loss initiative:

  1. Map out specific goals & timeframes. You are far more likely to achieve your diet resolution if you spend a few minutes thinking it through. Sit down at your desk and dedicate even just ten minutes of your life to strategizing your resolution.  Put pen to paper or, better yet, send an email to a friend or family member and make a list of the things you’re going to do to change your weight.  Simply stating that “I’m going to lose weight” is not nearly specific enough, but it makes a good headline at the top.  Write down a date when you will achieve your first goal.  This date should be in the near future–one month is a good bet.

    Now, make a specific, realistic goal.  Most experts agree that you’re most likely to succeed if you don’t starve yourself, and plan on losing one to two pounds per week.  In fact, setting a modest goal — say, one pound per week — can spare you a lot of hunger and stress.  You might even forget you’re on a diet!  Suppose you choose 1.5 pounds per week and a one month goal date:  your goal will be about six pounds.  Piece of cake (so to speak)! Put your goal and goal date on your calendar (e.g., “Weigh 150 pounds” as an entry for January 30).

    Go back to your piece of paper, or email.  Under your goal and goal date, write down the word “food.”  Ask yourself:  what exactly is your eating plan?  Are you going to follow a particular diet?  If so, when are you going to start?  Your answer should be “right now.”  Don’t be afraid.  This is going to be great!  If your diet requires that you purchase something or register on a certain website, go do that right now! What about exercise?  What specific days and times will you commit to exercising?  Who will you exercise with?  If possible, call a friend now and set something up.

Review your resolution plan frequently as you work your way toward your goal.  When your goal date comes, call a friend to either brag about your achievement or confess that you didn’t achieve it and tell them what’s going to be different for the next goal date.  Now, sit down again (pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard) and set a new goal date and goal.  Keep going!

2. Set up financial incentives.  After you’ve written out your specific goals and dates, your best bet is to build a little structure into them.  Enter:  prizes and rewards.  A significant amount of academic research shows that you are much more likely to achieve your resolution if you include a double financial incentive — i.e., money to lose if you fail and money to win if you succeed!  The reason money works better than the natural motivators of vanity and health is that money can be tied to specific, measurable goals and deadlines.  In other words, financial incentives help prevent procrastination by establishing a firm start date, and help prevent quitting by establishing a firm goal date.  Financial incentives also make weight loss a lot more fun and exciting by transforming the process into a game.

There are fantastic tools and resources available online for setting up financial incentives.  For example, my own company, HealthyWage, allows participants to make various kinds of personal weight loss “bets” and win payouts up to $10,000.  The double financial incentive is an incredible motivator and source of structure that most winners say is indispensable.

3. Do one thing at a time.  Trying to stick to more than one resolution creates a willpower diffusion that is almost always a recipe for failure.  Your weight loss resolution requires time, planning and lots of action items.  The winding road from plump to sexy is made of many cobblestones that you have to lay down one at a time with lots of small, frequent decisions (e.g., “this morning, I am going to skip that second donut”).  With all the good judgment and will power those little decisions require, you simply won’t have the time and energy for your other resolutions, too.  You’re booked solid!  If you think your weight loss resolution isn’t that big of a deal, you might be off track.

4. Tell everyone. Or, at least tell a few friends or family members about your endeavor.  If you’re not willing to tell someone about your diet resolution, you might not be committed enough to succeed.  When you tell other people about your plans, a magical thing happens.  You know that your supporters are waiting to hear news of your success, and you don’t want to let them down.  Some researchers believe that the social element is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.

Plus, it’s important to have support — i.e., people to brag to when you succeed; people to talk to when you feel like overeating.  Talking is a great antidote to a desire to binge or eat things that could get in the way of your success. If you’re really determined to achieve your resolution, you should consider taking the social element even farther.  Try writing a blog about your progress.  Not only will your readers help keep you seriously accountable, but you may discover that being a great teacher is one of the best ways to learn and improve your own success.

5. Seek fellowship.  When you tell people about your diet resolution, be on the look-out for a dieting partner (or group of partners).  When you work on your diet resolution with a buddy or group of friends or family members, you are even more likely to accomplish your goals.  You get all the benefits of accountability plus the comfort and fun of knowing there’s someone waiting for you to exercise, compare food and restaurant experiences, and share the ups and downs of dieting.  According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Enlisting family and friends in the effort may help.”  One study shows that participants who do a weight loss program with friends are more than twice as likely to keep their weight off than those that try to do it on their own.

Statistics from Fleming’s company’s own financially-induced weight loss programs apparently substantiate the results of such studies. He explained, “we track the extent to which participants communicate with friends and teammates on their HealthyWage dashboards and there is a direct correlation between the extent of a participant’s social messaging and the participant’s success. Our company’s metrics have also proven that socially-oriented weight loss is much more likely to be successful.”

Does Money Motivate Weight-Loss?
With more than 200,000 HealthyWage.com participants across America collectively losing over 10 million pounds and gaining over $2.5 million in cash prizes for their pound shedding success—and with many participants losing 100 or more pounds with the program—it’s clear this company’s weight wagering methodology is extremely powerful. Indeed, dieting for dollars has come of age to the extent that large-scale corporate wellness programs and entire school districts and municipalities have embraced this proven effective approach. In fact, in addition to helping individuals get paid for getting healthy, HealthyWage has formally created competitive, cash-fueled diet programs for more than 90 Fortune 500 and other companies, hospitals, health systems, insurers, school systems, municipal governments and other organizations throughout the U.S., and their program has been informally run at over 3,000 companies and organizations across America.

It’s no surprise HealthyWage’s money-driven competitions have surged in popularity, given that multiple highly credible studies have underscored the value of employing financial incentives and peer support to positively influence weight loss.

“Our cash-driven individual and team-based weight loss programs are helping people get fit and healthy using a unique and proven effective motivation paradigm that boosts bank accounts in kind,” Fleming said.

Getting paid for shedding pounds and getting healthy makes dollars and sense to me.

Freelance writer and two-time fitness champion, Merilee Kern, is a wellness industry veteran, consumer health advocate and influential media voice. Her ground-breaking, award-winning “Kids Making Healthy Choices” Smartphone APP for children, parents/caregivers and educators (iTunes) is based on her award-winning, illustrated fictional children’s book, “Making Healthy Choices – A Story to Inspire Fit, Weight-Wise Kids” (Amazon). Merilee may be reached online at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.


***Some or all of the experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided and/or arranged to accommodate this report, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

 

Semi-wordless Wednesday: Flexible Dieting for Vegans

flex dieting
Get this e-book! I followed the directions, calculated my macros, ate with them in mind, and lost 7 pounds in one week. Thank you, Dani Taylor!

Get your copy for $24.99 from Vegan Proteins.   While you’re there, pick up some other goodies, too.

Book review: Rachel Pires’ Diet Enlightenment


I received a free copy of this book to review via Tomoson.com.  My views are my own and I do not recommend anything if I don’t believe in it. 

There are certain times of year when the diet season kicks into full gear.  You know, pre-beach season, pre-holiday party season, ‘New Year, new you’ promotions, and so on.  Many, me included, look for the magic button that makes weight loss easy and helps the healthy living mentality stick.  I don’t know about you, but the struggle is especially hard when my body rebels in some way (thanks Fibro and spinal arthritis). It’s not always about the popular method used for weight loss, but the right method that makes it work and stick.  Rachel L. Piers has been there and came out on the other side.  She found the magic button and it made all the difference.  In Diet Enlightenment: The Real Secret to Weight Loss, Pires shares her story and hopes to help the rest of us find it, too.

Rachel Pires is a wife and new mother, dancer, scuba diver, and second degree black belt in Taekwondo.   She writes for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is a weight loss advisor and blogger on Livestrong.com.  What does an education writer know about dieting?  Quite a bit, actually.  She’s traveled down the weight loss road a few times and did not achieve the success she sought until she found the right one.

Like many experts say, almost any plan can help one lose weight at first, but plans that involve removing certain food groups don’t always work long-term.  Pires wrote Diet Enlightenment with the voice of one who’s been through it. She focuses on calorie counting as the basis for diet success and explains how to calculate what you need and how to stick to the plan.  While she isn’t a nutritionist or dietician, she does seem to have a handle on the diet industry (Chapter Two), calorie counting (Chapters Six and Seven), successfully sticking to a plan while eating out (Chapter 10), and listening to one’s body (Chapter 9).  She also explains how healthy eating isn’t always the road to Thintown (Chapter 3).  Pires’ writing style is friendly and encouraging.  She explains that it can be easy and simple to lose weight and keep it off with the right mindset.

I nodded my head or agreed aloud as I read this one, which amused my dogs.  Chapter Three is my truth – I either gained or maintained while focusing on healthy foods without thinking of calories. I also gained weight after my initial loss on Atkins.  Since my diagnoses, listening to my body is required and I can see how listening when it comes to hunger and satiety is equally important.  While I’m not a strict calorie-counter these days (thanks to the 21 Day Fix eating plan), I can appreciate the information in this one.  A book like this one might have saved me from a few missteps in my weight loss attempts. The chapter on listening to your body makes this one a great read.

Diet Enlightenment was released last April. Pick up a paperback ($12.99 suggested retail) or PDF copy ($10.99 suggested) directly from Tate Publishing or find it at your favorite bookseller. Connect with Pires on Facebook or Twitter to ask questions or let her know what you think of the  book.   Have you read it?  Let me know your thoughts.

Painsomnia is real

It’s a little after 2 am and I’m wide awake.   I don’t want to be.  It’s nothing new, really,  because insomnia is my frenemy.  What is fairly new is pain-induced insomnia.   Thanks to fellow spoonies, I now know that painsomnia is real and unfortunately common.

So, what do I do when painsomnia strikes?  It depends.   Tonight I’ve played around on Instagram and Facebook.   Sometimes I work if I have a deadline around the corner.   If I’m still awake in an hour, I’ll go pack lunches for the family.   Or not.  The thought of the 5 am alarm going off while I stare at the ceiling is a downer.

I’m going to meditate for a while in corpse pose and hope I can drift off.  If not, I’ll see you later.

Do you get insomnia?   How do you cope?

 

Review: Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection

I try to avoid the scale. I know, weight is a measure of health (so they say), and there’s a scale hop required at every doc’s visit and one at the physical therapist’s office.  We always had a scale growing up and for some reason were expected to have one.  I didn’t have one during my single days and didn’t care, but for some reason just had to have one once the life with hubs, kids, and dogs started.  For some reason I felt like we needed one.

I hate the scale in general.  It mocks me when I think I look smaller and feel lighter.  It jumps out from under the bed and kicks me in the toe.  It calls to me when I ignore it for too long, taunting me.  Yes, I’m aware it may not happen that way, but it feels like it.

I had the opportunity to move on up to a prettier, less bossy scale and jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect because physical therapy was in full swing and so was my tweaked eating plan.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add something else new
to the mix, even if it was as intimidating as a scale. The Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection has a long name, sleek look,  and nice features.

See, I told you it was attractive.
See, I told you it was attractive.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package is how attractive the scale is. This baby is a nice-looking slab of
tempered glass with non-slip pads that are gentle on my hardwood floor.  It came with batteries (nice) and clear instructions on
setting up separate profiles for multiple users.  The Weight Differential Detection tracks changes from your last weigh in,
and averages of the last three and seven weigh-ins.  How cool is that?  I like this feature because I can accurately track my
results alone.  Granted I had to teach the family to switch between profiles, but that was no biggie – when they paid attention.

The WeightMaster accepts weight up to 400 pounds.  I don’t want to need that weight limit, but it’s nice to have that option.  It also measures Body Mass Index (BMI), but honestly I try to ignore BMI measures myself because it doesn’t paint a clear picture of health.
I do love the Color Alert Technology which displays a green light for a loss and red light for gain.  If I wanted to gain weight, I might find this annoying.  But I’m all about gains in health and losses in fat and pants size.

I almost bought a different scale, but am glad the Ozeri WeightMaster fell into my lap.  Not only is it accurate (compared to the doc’s scale) and attractive, it’s engineered and manufactured in the USA.  More companies need to stay here instead of trying to move out of the country (I’m  looking at you, Burger King). Ozeri stands behind their products with a 100% Hassle-Free Satisfaction Guarantee. Pick up the WeightMaster in (black or white) or check out Ozeri’s other scales.  I won’t get on the scale more often, but when I do, it will be the WeightMaster.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

August is here!

Yes, it’s a new month complete with a new tropical storm (hi, Bertha).  Kids are heading back to school, tax-free shopping weekend sales are starting,  and the thought of a quiet house between 8 and 3 pm is making parents giddy.

Sorry, kids.  Well, no, not really.

To me, the start of a new month is time to reflect on the gains of the previous month and set new targets for the current month.  Notice I said gains?  It’s my way of focusing on the positive.  In July I increased resistance, speed, and strength.  I hit a smaller size.  I wanted to shop for clothing instead of just grabbing whatever I thought would fit.  It sunk in that I need to eat if I’m going to succeed.  No more drastic cuts to calorie intake.   For August I want to increase my aquatic therapy sessions.  I want to wear a certain top and have it look good.  I want to improve on July’s fitness targets.  See, all positive and also realistic and attainable.   It took years to fall apart and it takes time to fully recover, heal, and thrive.

What are your August targets?  You can reach them.  I’ll be right here, cheering you on.

Happy Friday, all! What’s shaking?

So, what’s shaking?  The same old thing here, but with a little more happy.

If it seems like I’m extra happy right now it’s because I am.  I went to physical therapy as usual on Wednesday and was released as a pt client.  That means I’ve improved enough that I can start the work on my own.  While I plan to stay on as a wellness client (to use that fab Endless Pool), I’m also going to slowly get back to my old activity level.  Part of my ramped up activity includes more low impact bodywork, including PiYo.

piyo 3 day

I’m sure you’ve heard of PiYo by now because it’s the newest Beachbody release from Chalene Johnson – love her!  It’s a home version of the PiYo classes offered in clubs all over the place.  I need low impact workouts like Pilates and yoga so that I don’t hurt myself or slow my recovery.    As much as I love 21-Day Fix, even the modified movements are too much for me right now.  I’ll go back to it when I get the all-clear to do so.

There’s no shame in admitting that you need a change and moving on.  Never feel ashamed or let anyone tell you that you’re lazy because you recognize your limits and are working around them .  Do not ignore them for the sake of proving you’re not lazy.  It’s better to work harder and smarter than to go all out when you’re body is unable.   Trust me, I fell into that trap and did much more harm than good.  

Now back to my regularly scheduled message. 

PiYo has a six days on, one off weekly schedule.  Because I’m going to listen to my body, my plan is to start with three days of PiYo with one day of aquatic therapy each week.  I’ll train for a day and take the following day off.  On my rest days, I’ll still get in my usual five to ten minutes of gentle yoga and walking.   My eating plan will stay about the same for now with one exception.   Gluten has to go, doc’s orders.

So that’s what I’m up to.  If you want to know more about PiYo, my eating plan (regular and cheat day), or how I modify fitness and eating plans to suit my needs, give me a shout.   I’m on Facebook and all over social media.  Just look for Sherrie Thompson or WAHMinSC.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

June already? What’s your plan?

Can you believe 2014 is already six months old?  June is already 11 days old?  Where did the time go?  Are you on track?  Anywhere close to where you wanted to be?  I’ll admit it,  I’m not.   And I won’t let it throw me much.  I’ll tweak my plans and go month to month.

My plan was in part inspired by a dream.  I’ve been back and forth to the doc and specialists (yes, plural) trying to finally figure out what all ails me.   It’s exhausting and frustrating and frightening if I K et my mind wander too much.  More so if I consult Dr. Google instead of waiting to for a specific diagnosis.   According to Google,  cold symptoms could be anything from a cold to a rare syndrome that would put someone just outside death’s door.  No one needs that kind of stress or fear without knowing what’s going on inside them.

So, back to this dream.  Of course I dreamed about a doctor visit.  I mean, it’s been at least 33% of my focus for a while now.  So, I’m waiting for the doc to walk in, and it’s Kris Carr!   You know, the woman behind Crazy, Sexy Cancer.  Her.

I was so in awe and blown away.  I think seeing her was a sign.  Not that a cancer diagnosis is looming, but that I’m doing the right thing by following up with the docs and working on healing.  Another round of physical therapy starts next today   My diet is cleaning up and even more greens are coming in.  My healthier cookbooks are my main kitchen inspiration and I’m eating to live.

There they are, two of my inspirations!
There they are, two of my inspirations!
One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.
One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats. Lindsay Nixon photo.
A fav dish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
A fav dish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  This and the tahini dressing that is.
I'll hit the library more often than the bookstore for new inspiration.
I’ll hit the library more often than the bookstore for new inspiration.

I don’t want to just survive anymore.  I want to thrive, glow, and kick ass.

So, what’s happening with you?  Have any good dreams lately?