Secrets of Skinny People

So I found a skinny shopping list

But by simply buying the food that skinny people eat, I cannot become skinny.

I need to know their secrets, and I know they have secrets.

Livestrong.com content editor Sarah Metzger knew they had secrets, too. She shared!

From a survey of Livestrong community members, she gathered the following Six Secrets of Skinny People.

Always Be Prepared – Plan breakfasts, lunches and dinners in advance. WAY in advance. This is why Husband cannot come with me to the grocery store. He doesn’t stick to the list!

Snack When You’re Hungry – Snacks are allowed! Opt for healthy, balanced snacks between meals. Avoid the vending machine at work or school.

Be Calorie Conscious – No! I hate counting calories. According to the survey results, however, it is essential to count calories to get where you want to be and maintain where you are.

Indulge, and then Get Back on Track – Even skinny people sneak a piece of chocolate. The article suggests treating yourself to something especially tasty when you feel the urge. The survey respondents said they made a point to eat even healthier post-indulgence.

Do Something Daily – Trying to meet impractical fitness goals might set you up for failure. Think of skinnyshae and Insanity. Didn’t go well. Instead, shoot for smaller, doable goals like my new running program. I hope.

Stay the Course – Don’t give up… like me. Keep on keepin’ on!

But I still have all that food…

Love Livestrong.com because the website always has a way for me to find an answer, i.e., Skinny Girl Lunch Ideas by Katie Farmand.

According to Farmand, for many women, lunches surpass breakfasts as the most important meal. (Source)

Lunch is our midday refueling period during the work or school day. I know if I didn’t eat lunch, or if I forget like I often do, I feel like I don’t have energy to make dinner, and then it’s a bowl of cereal and snacking.

Again, the advice is to plan ahead. But, of course, there’s more.

Get Raw
According to the article, by eating a few uncooked lunches each week, you may feel more vibrant and energetic.

I believe that raw food diet is calling my name.

Slice red peppers, cucumbers, dried zucchini, cauliflower and green onions, which have marinated overnight in red-wine vinegar, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, and then add a drizzle of olive oil. Wrap up in Bibb lettuce leaves for a healthy, energy-filled lettuce wrap.

Four Snacks to Keep Your Day on Track
FOUR? That’s a lot of snacking!

At least snacking is allowed in a skinny girl meal plan. Try these: (Source)

Salty – Kale Chips
Spray kale leaves lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add cayenne if you like spicy, and we all know I love spicy things. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until crispy. Homemade!

Salty – Baked Pita Chips and Creamy Curry Dip
Stir a teaspoon of curry powder and a pinch of salt into ¼ cup fat-free Greek yogurt. Use baked pita chips to dip.

Sweet – Berry Roll-Ups
Spread a small, whole grain tortilla with a thin layer of Neufchatel and sprinkle with just a pinch of sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Place raspberries, blueberries or sliced strawberries at the base and roll.

Sweet – Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites (I’ve seen these a million different ways.
Slice a banana in to 1” rounds. Press a single chocolate chips into each slice. Place the slices on a baking sheet and freeze overnight.

Keep It in the Bowl (This is a silly title.)
One-bowl salads, which could also be on a plate if you ask me, with a grain base, such as cooked brown rice, millet or quinoa, are good for on-the-go lunches.

Other featured salad recipes: (Source)

Southwestern
Ingredients
-1/2 a can of low-sodium black beans, rinsed

-1/2 red bell pepper, diced

-1/2 cup diced chicken breast (lean steak or shrimp)

-light sour cream, fresh lime juice, two finely minced green onions and a dash of hot sauce

Directions
Mix together! Munch!

Fruit and Nut
Ingredients
-handful each of dried cranberries, walnuts, sliced almonds and sliced grapes

-apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and Dijon mustard

Directions
Mix together! Munch!

Asian
Ingredients
-1/4 cup shelled edamame

-shredded carrots

-1/2 cup chicken breast (lean steak or shrimp)

-1/2 cup avocado, diced

-soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and a dash of chili oil or hot sauce

Directions
Mix together! Munch!

Salads are awesome. Just mix. Easiest creations ever.

Use Your Leftovers
Husband and I do this every day/night.

I make dinner in a larger portion than both of us can eat in one setting, and then the rest goes with us to work for lunch.

Usually, we just shove the leftovers in a Tupperware container. However, the article provided more creative solutions. (Source)

For example, a dinner of roast chicken and vegetables with couscous can become a Moroccan-inspired wrap.

Combine the leftovers in a bowl with some chopped green olives, raisins and lemon zest; drizzle with olive oil and dust with a pinch of cinnamon and cumin. Wrap in a whole grain tortilla.

I make roast chicken thighs with vegetables all the time. Lately, though, the taste has been quite bland. I think I’ll try this little number without the wrap for dinner and with for lunch.

Leftover pasta, meat or veggies can be cooked into a frittata. (Awesome!) Chop the leftovers and place in a small, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Pour two beaten eggs into the pan and cook until they are just firm. Place under the broiler until the top is golden brown. Refrigerate, then slice into wedges and serve over salad greens.

Flake leftover firm fish, such as salmon or swordfish (Yeah, right, swordfish.) in a bowl. Stir in a heaping teaspoon of prepared horseradish, a squeeze of lemon juice, sliced almonds, a small dollop of Dijon mustard and a scant teaspoon of light mayo. Eat with baked pita chips or flatbread crackers, or pile on half a toasted English muffin.

Women’s Health Magazine featured The Women’s Health Diet a while back, which included the Seven Secrets of Slim.

Unfortunately, we only get a sneak peek of three because the other four are in a book you actually have to purchase.

Who purchases anything nowadays? Not this chick!

Here are the three freebies:

Slim Secret #1: “I will eat protein with every meal and every snack.”

Eating just 10-15 grams of protein causes protein synthesis in the body; and when you eat 30 grams, that synthesis lasts about three hours, which lead to more muscle growth and fat burn.

A 140-pound woman needs to eat 76-100 grams of protein daily. I’m at 135, and I do not eat nearly enough protein.

Slim Secret #2: “I will never eat the world’s worst breakfast.”

No breakfast. Seems to be a running theme, huh?

According to the Women’s Health Diet, breakfast is the meal where –calories be damned –eating more is almost always better than eating less and eating little is almost always better than eating nothing.

Slim Secret #3: “I will eat before and after I exercise.”

According to the article, your body breaks down muscle during and after exercise to use as fuel, and it rebuilds muscles (bigger and better) using calories you’ve consumed. If you wait too long to eat after exercise, your body will continue to break muscle down instead of building new muscle.

(Research also shows that eating before and after a workout inhibits the storage of fat, inhibits muscle breakdown, reduces inflammation and helps your body recover more quickly.)

…and that’s all you get.

Skinny people have secrets. Secrets don’t make friends, girls. Secrets don’t make friends.

Zomg it’s hot. And sandwiches.

Well, I’m not leaving my house unless I absolutely have to. No running.

It’s bloody 109 outside and getting hotter. Breaking records kind of hot.

Not leaving.

Oh, no.

No no no no no.

Instead, I’ll have leftover Pork Chops Florentine and eat cherries like a crazy person (which I’ve been doing for two days).

I was also very studious this morning! And I have come to a new conclusion about math: I enjoy Geometry to the extent to which I hate Algebra.

So  I suppose math is still awful, but geometry is not quite as awful.

I am also up to the letter “M” in my GRE Vocabulary book! I will be a literati by my test date.

Unfortunately, there is only so much math and vocab I can take in one setting. I had to take a break. I decided to blog…

… about a new sandwich recipe! :)

Italian Turkey Sandwiches
Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup  chopped onion
  • 2   oil-pack dried tomato halves, drained and thinly sliced
    (I can never find these at the store so I have yet to use them.)
  • 2 cloves  garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon  dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1/4 cup  snipped fresh parsley (I use the dried variety.)
  • 1/4 cup  snipped fresh mint (Ditto.)
  • 2 tablespoons  lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash  pepper
  • 4 (6- to 7-inch)  French style rolls, split horizontally (Or your favorite roll or bread.)
  • 1 6-ounce package  very thinly sliced turkey ham, smoked turkey, or ham (Or your favorite meat!)
  • 2 medium  tomatoes, thinly sliced (I only needed one.)
  • 1/2 cup  shredded mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)
  • Pepperoncini salad peppers (optional)

Directions
In a small saucepan cook onion, dried tomatoes, garlic, and Italian seasoning in hot oil for 3 minutes. Add parsley, mint, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper; cook for 1 minute more.

This sauce mixture should be used for the sandwich and remain unchanged because it is AMAZING. Of course, with the tomatoes, it might be even MORE amazing.

Everything after the sauce step can be changed to whatever you enjoy most about sandwiches. See below.

To assemble, spread sauce mixture onto bottom halves of rolls. Top with meat, tomato slices, and cheese; add top halves of rolls.

Arrange sandwiches in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve with pepperoncini peppers, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare sandwiches. Wrap in foil and chill up to 8 hours before baking.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 385, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Sodium 1114 mg, Carbohydrate 52 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 21 g. Daily Values: Vitamin A 10%, Vitamin C 52%, Calcium 17%, Iron 29%.

And by “see,” I mean “read.” I completely forgot to take pictures.

For Husband’s sandwich, I used pastrami, and for mine, I used smoked turkey. He ate one of mine and both of his…

If you plan on sharing these sandwiches, make extra. The sauce is too amazing to share!

In my defense, it was my first time

Making waffles.

Geez, guys.

Since Husband brought home a waffle iron, I have been dreaming up all of the amazing waffle creations I could make.

I even bought flax seeds, remember?

(These are the flax seeds. Grinding proved more difficult that anticipated.)

Unfortunately, I have never before made waffles, and I think I aimed a little too high.

I “followed” this recipe…

Super Healthy Made-From-Scratch Multigrain Waffles
Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    (or whole wheat flour, which makes it a bit heavier)
  • 1 cup whole grain oats
  • 1/4 cup flax seed (whole or meal)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 2 cups milk (milk substitutes work fine here)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or 1/4 cup margarine or 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

First issue: The blender didn’t really grind the flax seed to the desired texture.

Second issue: I am OUT of vanilla.

I substituted a tablespoon of brown sugar in hopes to add a bit of sweetness to what I was sure was going to taste like bland oatmeal, which is what it looked like.

(It smelled like baby food. The baby oatmeal or rice cereal. Quite fetid.)

Directions
In a blender, grind up flax (if you have whole seeds) and grains to a flour-like texture. If using flax seed meal, add it to the next step.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.

Add wet to dry and mix until moist.

Cook in preheated waffle iron. (Problem!)

Heh… heh… oops…

I did the best I could!

Well, it LOOKS like a waffle. Tasted a lot like oatmeal and… crunchy.

I added butter… too much, and syrup… WAY too much to counteract the serious fiber-like taste. Fiber, yes. Cardboard… yes.

And I shoveled them down like a champ.

I am so full of fiber… ugh.

While my first attempt at waffle creation was FAIL, the recipe probably isn’t. Please use it if you feel like adding 4,000 grams of fiber in to your breakfast.

Know any good mistake-proof (and by that I mean “me” mistake-proof) healthy waffle recipes? Care to share?

I might take your recipe. Cook it. And then post what an awful job I did. :)

GRE Word of the Blog Post: fetid – having a bad smell (I’m learning!)

Cherries make a delightful afternoon snack

After failing miserably (twice) to get something done for work, I returned home in search of something to munch.

What better snack than a bowlful of dark red cherries?

None. :)

Dinner Tonight: Skillet Pork Chops Florentine

I found a super simple pork chops recipe that requires little to no work on the part of the chef, but also tastes amazing.

Skillet Pork Chops Florentine
Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp.  olive oil
  • 6 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, (about 1 1/2 pounds) (I used 8 thinner pork chops. About 1/2-inch thick.)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 jar  (24 ounces) Prego® Marinara Italian Sauce OR 1 can Hunt’s Traditional Tomato Sauce, which tastes the same but is $2 cheaper
  • 1 pkg.  (10 ounces) frozen leaf spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 4 oz.  shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)

Directions
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until the chops are well browned on both sides. Remove the pork chops and set them aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining oil. Add the onion. Cook and stir until the onion is tender-crisp.

Stir the sauce and spinach into the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the pork chops to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the chops are cooked through. Sprinkle with the cheese.

(To thaw spinach, microwave on for HIGH 3 minutes, breaking apart with a fork halfway through heating.)

This is semi-homemade stuff right here! Simple, fast and free of frills with a great taste. The perfect dish when you don’t have a lot of time or don’t feel like cooking.

Husband said it was too tomato-y, but if you’re like me, there is no such thing.

Super simple pork chops recipeSuper simple summer pork chops recipe with spinach and tomato sauce

My Running Program

I quit. I know I said I wouldn’t. But I quit Insanity. I hate it!

The program works if you do; and I worked hard and saw results, but I cannot continue to torture myself with a program I do not love.

I will never learn to love fitness if I keep doing things that make me hate fitness.

It is all so clear to me now. So I quit.

Liz Plosser of Women’s Health Magazine put together an article (and strategic running plan) to shape up and shed pounds in minimal mileage, and I want to try it. (I knew I was going to get excited about running!)

Run Less, Lose More Fat
Liz Plosser

According to the article, most people operate under the assumption that the more they run, the more weight they will lose.

Well, that makes sense, but unfortunately our bodies are so efficient at working that the longer we run, the easier it becomes so we burn less calories.

Ah, the human body! So efficient! So amazing! So utterly in the way of me losing weight! :(

Initial weight loss occurs – in my case, this is usually water weight – and then progress stops because the body is too good at what it does: moving.

With Women’s Health Magazine’s strategic running program, a runner will have to run three to five days a week, but rarely for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Um… sweeeeeeet! Here we go!

Sneak in Speed
Interval training (Insanity) introduces short bursts of intense aerobic exercise, or speed, into your everyday regular routine or pace.

According to the article, when you run at a comfortable pace, your cruise control, your body gets energy from the oxygen you inhale instead of using up your stores.

The body and I are going to have some words.

However, when you speed up, your body must work harder to make the muscles contract and expand, which does use up your stores and burns more calories.

A magical calorie-burning bullet, the article said. And, according to the experts, mixing short, medium and long intervals will keep your body guessing.

…meaning it can’t keep up! Ha! Take that body!

Devote one day a week to one of these speed drills:

  • Quickies: For 15 seconds, run at a hard but sustainable effort and then jog or walk to recover for 60 seconds. Repeat six times.
    Beginner: Build up to 10 intervals over eight weeks.
    Seasoned Runner: Build up to 12 intervals over eight weeks.
  • Long Repeats (Beginner): Run a quarter mile on flat or rolling terrain at a hard but sustainable effort and recover by jogging or walking for two minutes. Repeat four times. Build up to eight intervals over eight weeks.
    Seasoned Runner: Run one half miles and follow the same directions.

Head for the Hills
Ugh. Incline.

For each degree of incline, count on at least 10 percent more calories burned. (Source) Moving forward and up at the same time makes your body work harder.

Again. Ugh. Incline. (Internal Mantra: I want a perky butt. I want a perky butt. I want a perky butt.)

Do one hill workout a week:

  • Find a gentle hill or set your treadmill to a 5 percent incline.
  • Run up the hill at a hard but sustainable effort for 10 seconds.
  • Jog or walk back to where you started, or reset the incline to zero, until you completely catch your breath (45-60 seconds).
  • Beginner: Repeat four to eight times.
  • Seasoned Runner: Repeat six to 10 times.

… I want to be a seasoned runner. Sounds spicy!

Strengthen Your Stride
Strength training makes you stronger from head to toe so you can run harder, and it is absolutely necessary if you want to lose weight. (Source)

Strength training also keeps you free of injuries. Lower-body exercises are important, especially for women, to avoid hip pain. Didn’t I just say something about my wonky hip joint?

Lifting before you run increases fat burning while you run. After about 20 minutes of strength training, you’ve used up all your stores so running will burn fat. (Source)

So I’ll do some lunges, squats and pushups before heading out on a run. Good idea!

Do three sets of 12-15 reps twice a week; rest for 30 seconds between sets. You will need five- to 10-pound dumbbells and a resistance band. (I’m going to need to hunt for those resistance bands… No clue where I put them!)

  • Unilateral Lift: Grad a dumbbell in each hand, stand on one leg and lift the other leg slightly. With your raised foot stationary, lean forward with your arms straight and extended toward the floor as you bend at the hips. Return to start without lowering your raised foot.

    Similar to Warrior III? I think so.

  • Lateral Band Walk: Place a resistance band around your ankles. Stand with feet hip-width apart, and then step to the side with one foot. Walk 15 steps in one direction and 15 steps back. That’s one set. Repeat three times.

    Ashley R./T. did this little number in track and made me do it once. Inner thighs were a burnin’! Come to think of it… Everything was on fire.

  • Marching Hip Raise: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Lift one knee to your chest, trying not to drop your hips. Lower, then lift your other knee to you chest. That’s one rep. Do it 12-15 times.

    Think of Bridge Pose in yoga, and then add a knee lift.

  • Leg Raise: Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, palms up. Keeping your legs straight, raise them until they are perpendicular to the floor. Slowly bring them back to the starting position, keeping your lower back against the floor.

    We used to do this in soccer… except in soccer, another girl would catch your legs, and then hurl them to the ground in hopes of making you touch it. We were NOT allowed to hit that floor.

Go Long (in Moderation)
No more than one long run a week? Heck, yes!

A long run means 30 minutes or more. I used to do that three times a week! What was wrong with me?!

So what’s the new plan?
(Why get fancy with a program when I can do this by myself?)

Adding it up…

1 speed drill day + 1 hill workout + 2 strength training days + 1 long run = 5 days a week. Add yoga on Saturdays, and I’m back at the gym using my membership! :)

Shae’s Test Schedule

Monday – Quickies

Tuesday – Strength Training

Wednesday – Hills

Thursday – Strength Training

Friday – Long Run

Saturday – Power Yoga (I’ve missed it so!)

Sunday – Rest

What time of day? Kansas has pushed 100 degree heat and more than that in heat index for the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY. It’s not dying down anytime sooner either.

It’s too hot to run outside in the afternoon, or even in the evening, which leaves mornings. Early mornings.

Ugh. Mornings it is.

It is quite exciting to try something new that I haven’t learned to hate yet!

Who knows? I love running when I was in middle and high school. I wasn’t “active,” but I was mobile, at least. Maybe running is my in love workout?

Maybe maybe.

When should I start?

Tomorrow. :) (Although, maybe I should do some sort of detox first…)

Know a good fitness app for the iPhone? I’m looking for something the WHM but that will also allow me to track. I do not like MyNetDiary.

If it wasn’t for shorts, I would go running

I perused Run Street’s Slacker’s Guide Series briefly.

Briefly because I did not want to get too excited about running, which always happens, but never quite works out for me.

Of course, after reading just a few blog posts, I felt inspired to lace up my cross-trainers and hit the pavement.

(It helped that she looks amazing! I totally want runner muscles.)

After reading, I remembered an article I’d read on Women’s Health: Six Reasons to Start Running.

This is what I do. I find encouraging blogs and supporting articles that make me want to work out, and then try it (or never try it), decide it’s awful and quit!

Ugh. Fail.

Six Reasons to Start Running
Reason #1: I found this funny… “It’s so easy. True, some high-tech gear will make your run more fun, but really, all you need is a good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra.” (Source)

When someone finds a supportive sports bra – for someone like me, not someone like the women in the Insanity workouts – let me know. My sports bra is ripping apart my skin and bruising me.

Reason #2: So easy… “Yet so hard. No other exercise matches running for its ability to soak that sports bra.”  (Source)

Running blasts the most calories, and, when you’re counting calories, it’s nice to subtract once in a while. Like I needed more encouragement.

Reason #3: Running works out your heart.

But why more so than other workouts?

When you’re legs hit their stride, they squeeze blood toward the heart, which forces it to pump the blood back. The faster you run, the harder your heart works and the stronger it gets. (Source)

Check out this nifty little explanation of stride.
Apparently, it’s an entire move or something.

When my track-star-workout-buddy gets back from her honeymoon… Ashley R. is now Ashley T…. we are going to the track and “striding.” She likes to run; she’ll know what it is.

Reason #4: Running is good for your joints.

When you weigh less (by running for weight loss), you are at a less risk for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. (Source)

Now, I have an inkling to disagree. When I was very young, I loved running and riding my bike and simply being mobile. (Cars ruined everything for me.) Several times I read or heard from people I knew that running would be bad for me.

It was. Because of running in my “growing years,” I developed a nasty little pop in my left hip. While it usually doesn’t hurt, a particularly big one can pinch a few nerves and send irritating little tingles up and down my leg.

I could be crazy, of course, that is very likely. However, the pop is there, and it’s annoying. If running now will prevent it from getting worse… well, then, I would just have to be proved wrong.

Reason #5: Less stress! Hallelujah!

Have you ever seen What Women Want, with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt? They wanted to sign NIKE to their advertising agency. Do you remember the commercial they “created?” A woman doesn’t need to dress up for the road. A woman doesn’t have to impress the road.

Just her and the road, and she can work out all her problems on the pavement. I think avid workout enthusiasts will say the same. (Source)

Reason #6: Running can prevent disease.

Regular exercise reduces the risk of many kinds of cancer, including colon, breast, endometrial and lung cancers. Becoming a regular runner may help you cancer-proof your life. (Source)

In addition, running can battle heart disease, stroke and diabetes, lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol and boost immunity. AND it can prevent vision loss. (I need to vision loss prevention; I’m going blind over here!)

With all those disease-prevention benefits, it stands to reason that if you’re a runner, you’ll live longer.

I want to live longer.

If I didn’t have to wear shorts… I’d be a runner. Perhaps I need to invest in some of those “capri” pants.

Second Insanity Fit Test 2 today. I do not expect to do well. :(

Last week, I was very stressed, so much so that I didn’t want to eat, which is weird because I always want to eat.

Well, when I let go of the stress and resolved some issues, I stuffed my face I was so happy.

Last week, from Monday to Friday, I lost four and a half pounds. Not good. On Sunday, I weighed myself again and had gained it all back.

Plus one.

My WEIGHT DROP! blog now needs to be changed from four pounds to three pounds. Boo.

I supposed I’ve been slacking in my workouts, and then trying to make up for the slack with extreme cleaning of my house. (I moved the microwave f0lks.)

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned sweat session, though. And I’m about to hit it.

Wish me luck!

Favorite sports bra: NONE! I hate them all. (P.S. If you’ve got suggestions for big-chested ladies, I’m all ears.)

Favorite running shorts: I haven’t found the perfect pair yet, but I like Danskin products.

What do you like most about running?
I’ll tell you when I try again!