The Value of Reading Food Labels

We are one month and twelve days into 2019. Even if you did not commit to a traditional New Year Resolution, I bet you set some type of goal for yourself. How’s it going?

The top objectives for people in the new year are to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, and to save money.

If your goal has anything to do with eating healthy or losing weight, pay close attention. The most important new skill you should adopt is to learn to read food labels. Read before you buy.

Vegan Avocado Wrap

Case in point, look at this mouth-watering avocado wrap.

So you’ve bought this beauty.

Now you can’t wait to sink your teeth into it.

You sit down, open the package, and prepare to dig in.

Then, you notice this small 1.4 oz. packet.

The sweet chili sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and spice that you think you crave. Mouthwatering.

Thankfully you have the conscious mind (yes you do) to flip the packet over and you read the nutritional label.

Ahem!

Look. At. This. Mess! Bulging eyes!!

1. I rarely count calories, but this is a bit much.

2. The sodium content is all wrong! 530mg? That’s salt baby!!! If you’re monitoring your blood pressure, DON’T DO IT!

3. For the sugar addicts, 23 grams of sugar in a 1.4 oz. packet is preposterous!

The chili sauce is a precise example of why you must remain disciplined to read the labels on everything you buy.

If you are ever going to reach your goals, I urge you to commit to taking the first step to read the label before you buy anything for consumption.

Also, there are many Apps where you can search menu items from popular restaurants. When I trained for my figure competitions, I used MyPlate to track my macros. You can search for food by restaurants and get nutritional values.

Here I did a random Chic-Fil-A menu search. when you tap on the food item, the App gives you total calories, protein, fat, and carbs. It’s simple but helpful. If you are aware of the nutritional value of the food you are about to eat, the knowledge may deter you from completing the order and inspire you to change up. 🙂

This post is short and sweet but I need you to understand the connection between what’s on your plate and how snug your jeans fit.

Set aside your fitness regime because no matter how hard you exercise, if you’re not eating right, your clothes ain’t gonna fit right. TTYL

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Genetics Or Lifestyle

I think folks’ perception of what post 40 should look and feel like is wrong.

If I earned a dollar for every time someone asserts my physique to genetics (and they don’t even know my parents), I might not have to get my tail up at 4:15 every morning.

While I cannot deny that me and my brother’s bodies are carbon copies of our father’s 5′ 10″ thinly framed body (veiny arms, legs and feet included), but daddy’s DNA is only going to take us but so far. At some point the age factor kicks in.

Many times I have shared that since the age of 14, I’ve worked out in some way, shape, or fashion. I have kept it movin all my life.

Ahem… (Clearing my throat)  Likewise, even when I did not know better and ate two big macs, two large fries, and sucked down a large orange soda, I still worked out and ate my share of fruits, veggies, and drank water.

Though I ate this ish, I was running like 35-50+ miles per week.

Back then (I sound old right!?), you couldn’t pay me to move the scale past 128 pounds. I gained a measly 20 somthin pounds with my daughter’s pregnancy.  Weight gain just wasn’t on the radar for me.

Fast forward some 30+ years, and that just ain’t the case anymore.  As some point, estrogen levels decrease,  the metabolism slows, and menopause kicks in.  Add an unhealthy diet and no exercise, medication and other health factors, and bam!  That’s a recipe for disaster.

Speaking of recipes, this is a typical lunch for me. The chicken, kale and brown rice is satisfiying and nourishing.  Best of all, I don’t feel sluggish and tired after eating processed foods like hoagies, french fries, and cheese steaks.

lunch

As we age, our bodies change and function differently. It’s no different from a car, a house, or a kitchen appliance.  We have to care for it well or it’s going to fail us terribly.  Heck sometimes, even when we do all the right things, the body still fails us.  So what am I saying? What’s the point? The point is to increase the chance of a long and healthier life by taking better care of yourself.

By the way, I can gain weight.  I repeat… I am very capable of weight gain. However, knowledge, discipline, and lifestyle changes keep me tight, trim, and slim.  Lol!!

About five years ago, I had surgery. Recovery time was eight weeks.  During the eight weeks, I was sedative (Doctor’s orders) but ate very well. Guess what?  Sista still gained weight!  I was devastated that I ballooned to a size 12.  Now hold on!  12 is not large by any means, but for me, that’s huge. I was literally busting out of my pants and skirts!

The facts are that you can eat well but don’t exercise and you are not going to get the results you want.  Finding a realistic balance between the two is key.

Age ain’t nothing but a number.  When I was a kid, I thought 50 was old as dirt!  But when I turned 40, I realized that my age didn’t mean squat!  Age is a mindset.

If you want to be old… Go ahead and be old.  Where old ass clothes, fill your head with outdated and unfounded old behind myths about how you’re supposed to act, eat any darn thing you want, sit instead of dancing, stay home, and live your life based on BS philosophies about how others say you “should” live after your 40th birthday.

My point here, is that I look and feel fantastic for a number of reasons:

  1. God has blessed me. Every day I thank him.
  2. As I learn better, I do better (in all that I do).
  3. I eat well (avoiding processed, unhealthy, and sugar laced food & beverages)
  4. I drink alcohol in moderation. Yes, I drink.
  5. I minimize stress by eliminating whatever or whomever causes me stress (people, environments, etc…)
  6. I help others (try to improve their life) and I don’t look for or want anything in return.
  7. I purposefully compliment and encourage other women (no reason to hate on one another, especially sistas).
  8. I say what I mean and mean what I say.
  9. I live within my means.
  10. I live a simple life, by  avoiding keeping up with the Jones’s & don’t indulge in trying to impress people.
  11. I do more of what makes me happy (work out, read, dance, travel, cook, spend time with the best of my friends and family).
  12. I don’t worry, care, or give two sense about those who don’t “get me” or like my style. I LOVE being different. J
  13. I laugh AND smile…. A LOT! Lol!!!  I really do. J

The bottom line is that we are adults and have choices. I choose to stay on my grind of cherishing my mind, body, and spirit.

By continuing to educate myself, I improve my diet and overall lifestyle.  Whatever I learn, I apply to my life, and whenever possible, my family’s life.   If I learn that a certain food is bad, I give it up and find an alternative.  Likewise, when I discover new food, I try it.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.

Genetics may contribute to my physique, however at 49 years old, a lot more has to do with my habits and lifestyle.

Keep it movin!!

50fit

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Confused About What To Eat?

Confused Bear

Image courtesy of Graphic Leftovers https://www.facebook.com/glstockimages

Enter any grocery store, Walmart, Target or any place that sells food and we are reminded to eat healthier foods and to take better care of us.

For many people, that’s a tall order because they don’t know how to or what to eat because they are confused.

Inviting and colorful food labels frequently mislead consumers about their food content and nutritional value.

“Fat Free…Low Calorie… Reduced calorie…Whole Wheat…Wheat…Gluten Free…Sugar Free and more”

On top of that, food manufacturers deceive us even more with pictures of fruit like plump, ripe blueberries supposedly added to chemically processed waffles. Ugh! I just can’t!!

No wonder folks are confused!

So if you’re trying to make smarter food choices, what the heck are you supposed to do?   Read and educate yourself and….. Drum roll…

Eat fresh fruit and produce, drink water, and reduce the amount of processed foods that you eat.

Take advantage of every opportunity to read up on the subject; information is everywhere! In addition to reading articles in your local newspaper. Follow blogs, fitness and health magazines online. The information is there, you just have to read it.

The Vitamin store offers free magazines to their customers such as Life Extension, Muscle & Performance and Amazing Wellness.  All provide resourceful information that will change the way you think about food and fitness.

magazines

Check out this great article I found from a board I follow on Pinterest.  It clears up a few misconceptions about so-called healthy foods.

Healthy Foods That Can Actually Hurt Your Health

Oh and by the way, I am still participating in the 100 Happy Days Challenge. Last week was my first week back to school and I haven’t had the chance to post them here.  You can also find my happy day photos on Instagram at Lexa_82 Twitter at Lexa82.  The hashtag for my 100happydays post is #100happydays4lexa

I will update this blog with the pictures soon.

Happy Sunday and make it a fabulous day!  Smile!!!

 

 

 


The Answer Is Yes!

Found on ashellinyourpocket.tumblr.com

Found on ashellinyourpocket.tumblr.com

“Are you going to be able to walk tomorrow?” I haven’t seen a back workout like that!!!”

“Who me?”

“Yeah!!”

“Well Umm.. I’ve got a strong back….”

Oh my gosh!! I am crackin up now. Lol!!

Unbeknownst to me, this guy (well constructed I must say) was watching me workout. Following the principle of switching things up, I did a workout that I found here.

I was focusing just like AR taught me… Mind body connection and zeroing in on the working muscle.

When this guy approached, he totally caught me by surprise. He was respectful, unlike some guys, who don’t know what to say to women and make ridiculous comments that make you really wanna slap the ish out of them. Lol!

This was the first time I combined back and biceps, but I enjoyed the workout.

Vanessa Tib's Workout

Vanessa Tib’s Workout

 This “sample workout” was a challenge but I felt great doing it.  I am so happy Vanessa Tib Fitness shares her workouts with the rest of us!
#100HappyDaysChallenge #Day 6

Oh, and yes, I will be able to walk tomorrow.  Haahaaahaa!

raceway

B’Dazzle at a raceway with a friend (yesterday).  He had a blast! #100HappyDaysChallenge Day#5

It is a gorgeous day out; I hope you are enjoying the day!  🙂


This Is Why I Love Pinterest

So I just learned an important lesson!  Don’t simultaneously update your WordPress page on your laptop and  on your iPad. Why?  Grrr!!!  I finished my original post on my laptop.  Then I went to my iPad to upload pictures because my laptop is acting weird and shuts down when I load images on safari.  Anyway, the saved version on my iPad WAS NOT complete— I saved the wrong version and now I have to start over.  Grrr!!  Not Happy!

Okay– now I’m trying to move my emotions from disgusted and annoyed to excitement about dinner again. Br….eeeee..aaaaathhhh….

I was excited because I found another nutritious and tasty recipe on Pinterest.  The past few months I have pinned a few delicious and interesting recipes on my “healthy eating” board.  Who needs cookbooks anymore when you can use your cell phone to find recipes right in the store aisle, buy the ingredients, take them home, and whip together a healthy meal.

Thanks to The Pioneer Woman on Pinterest, tonight I stuffed my face with Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Kale!  Why didn’t someone tell me about spaghetti squash?  I feel like I’ve been missing out in life.  Geez!  The dish was da bomb! Like I was sucking the juice from the kale from the bottom of the bowl.  B’Dazzle came down stairs, spotted me and asked, “Is it good?”  I felt kinda silly doing exactly what I tell him not to do– put the bowl to the mouth and soup the remains out.  Haa!  Haa!!  Oh well, mom has her weak moments too.

I ate my spaghetti squash with boneless skinless chicken breast.  Tomorrow when I eat the leftovers, I’m going to toss in some steamed jumbo spicy shrimp.  The texture of the spaghetti squash is like thin spaghetti.  The flavor is mild so you can have fun with the dish and add all kinds of flavorful food items.  Mmm…

Six months from now, I will be confidently  strutting across a stage in a blinged out two-piece, displaying my months of hard work and sacrifice.  Meanwhile, I am trying to keep my meals interesting.   Or course I had to check out the nutritional facts. Wikipedia reports the following:

  • The spaghetti squash is an oblong seed-bearing variety of winter squash. The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color. The orange varieties have a higher carotene content. Its center contains many large seeds.
  • Nutrition Facts
    Spaghetti squashSpaghetti squash

    Amount Per 100 grams1 cup, cubes (101 g)1 cup, cubes (101 g)

    Calories 31
  • % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 0.6 g 0%
    Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
    Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
    Monounsaturated fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Sodium 17 mg 0%
    Potassium 109 mg 3%
    Total Carbohydrate 7 g 2%
    Dietary fiber 1.5 g 6%
    Sugar 2.8 g
    Protein 0.6 g 1%
    Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 3%
    Calcium 2% Iron 1%
    Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
    Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 3%
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

     

    If you’re looking to add a new dish to your meal cycle, give this a try; you cannot go wrong with this. I enjoyed it and would like to know what you think about it.

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This just came out of the oven. I pulled it from the skin with a fork as per the recipe instructions.

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