Sunday, February 5, 2012

Leader Enterprise - January 18 2012

I want to extend great big THANK YOU'S to all of you who have prayed our 6-year old grandson Caden. Earlier this month, he finished 3+ long years of treatment for leukemia. What a special milestone! He's doing great and enjoying kindergarten. We have so much to be thankful for. A friend in this area told me about a year ago that he visits a lot of churches, and every church he'd ever been in had Caden's name on their prayer list. We believe in the power of prayer. There aren't words to express how much we appreciate you who took time to encourage our family along this long journey. We don't always understand why God allows little children to suffer, but I do know that He works in the hearts of those around them to increase our faith and hold us up. It's a stark reminder that we need to be thankful for today and live life to its fullest because no one is promised tomorrow. 

Because I am determined to shed a few pounds in the new year, I have been scouring the internet and going through my piles of 'healthy food choices' info and recipes. I need something in print so when I need encouragement, I can reread something that already inspired me, and I need healthy recipes available and handy. NOW.

We all know the ‘rules’ for losing weight: Eat less and exercise more. But it’s truly harder than it sounds. So we need some guidelines. Things like these help me and I hope they help inspire you too: Don’t guess at calories. Use nutrition labels and make sure you look at the number of portions. Super-sized dishes aren’t a good value if they get you to eat more than your body needs. When eating out, order small dishes,share larger ones or set aside a portion to take home before you begin eating. At home, try serving food on smaller plates and bowls. When your plate is empty-you're finished. Don't allow yourself to have seconds. Consider every bite you're putting in your mouth. Don't eat out of habit. Mindless eating can pack on the pounds. Get active. I 've been trying to get some kind of exercise for atleast 35 minutes 5 times a week. It really helps me feel better and gives me more energy. Park your car far from the store door or walk up and down stairs. Just get moving.

Here are a few ideas I've read on the net and have printed them so I can be reminded of them often too.

1.Treat high-calorie foods as jewels in the crown. Make a spoonful of ice cream the jewel and a bowl of fruit the crown. Balance a little cheese with a lot of salad.

2.Track everything you eat. Carry a little notebook with you to write down everything that you consume, even water, for atleast a week. It helps you get a birdseye view of just how many calories you are consuming. Studies have shown that folks who keep food diaries end up eating about 15% less food than those who don't.

3.Eat five or six small meals or snacks a day instead of three large meals. That sounds like a great idea doesn't it? Studies have shown that even if you eat the same number of calories over the day but in smaller portions, your body releases less insulin, which keeps blood sugar steady and helps control hunger. It's vital that you eat breakfast.

4.Use vegetables to bulk up your meals. Enjoy stir fries or omelets that satisfy by adding veggies. Add broccoli, carrots and tomatoes to pasta salads, using light dressing. Veggies add fiber, which makes you feel full faster and longer.

5.Eat only when your stomach is growling. It's so easy to reach for snacks out of bordem or frustation. Sometimes it feels good when I get hungry because I don't allow it to happen often enough. UGH!

6.Stock your fridge with lowfat yogurt. Studies show that people who cut 500 calories a day and ate yogurt 3 times a day for 12 weeks lost more weight and body fat than a group that only cut the calories. The calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body's production of fat cells and boosts the breakdown of fat. I love Greek yogurt because it's thick and adds protein to my diet.

OK- I realize I'm 'preaching to the choir' in these things because I certainly need these reminders myself. I do hope you find something in those lists to help steer you in the right direction in this new year too.

I love the ease and versatility of using sugar free puddings. I was happy to find these recipes in my files and thought I'd share these simple ideas you can use to 'dress up' sugar free puddings.

WHITE CHOCOLATE ORANGE MOUSSE
1-1/2 c. skim milk
1 sm. pkg. (4-serv.) sugar free instant white chocolate pudding mix
2 c. lite or fat free Cool Whip
1 tsp. grated orange peel or 1/2 tsp.orange extract

Pour milk and pudding mix into bowl; whisk for 1 minute. Gently stir in Cool Whip and orange peel.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

WATERGATE SALAD
1 sm. pkg. (4-serv.) pistachio sugar free instant pudding mix
1 (8 ozs) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 (8 ozs) container vanilla lowfat yogurt
2 c. Cool Whip (Fat Free)
2 c. mini marshmallows, optional (fat free)
In large bowl, combine pudding mix with pineapple; stir until smooth.Add yogurt; blend.Gently stir in Cool Whip and marshmallows. Chill until ready to serve.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE FLUFF
1 sm. pkg. (4-serv.) sugar free instant chocolate pudding mix
1 sm.pkg. (4-serv.) sugar free instant white chocolate pudding mix
2-1/2 c. skim milk
1-12 ozs. tub Cool Whip Free
1/2 c. coconut
1/2 c. chopped pecans

In large bowl, add both boxes of pudding, then add milk and whisk until thick. Fold in Cool Whip, then blend in coconut and pecans. Chill-or eat immediately - but be sure to save some for the rest of the family.

CAPPUCCINO FLUFF
2 c. skim milk
1 Tb. instant coffee granules
1 sm. pkg. (4-serv.)instant vanilla (or choc) pudding mix
2 c. Cool Whip Free
ground cinnamon, to taste, optional

Pour milk and instant coffee into medium bowl; blend until dissolved. Add pudding mix; whisk for 2 minutes until well blended. Fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate atleast 1 hour before serving. When serving, top with a few cinnamon sprinkles. Yield: 6 servings
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