Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eating to Live - Not Living to Eat

Is it possible to lose weight when on vacation ? Well, I did it. Taking long bike rides on these wonderful wooded trails on Cape Cod along with swimming at the local fitness center and not having alot of ice cream is what really helped. We had a couple of parties on vacation but as I sid before just take a taste of everything and don't deny yourself a deswert. If you are the kind of person who can't just take a taste, then don't have the food items which cause you to binge.

Does your weight fluctuate 5 pounds up and down maybe more ? Don't panic ! When you gain some weight from eating too many carbs and not exercising enough just step up the exercise to everyday for 45 minutes and cut out the offending foods that accidently snuck into your otherwise healthy lifestyle. We will be talking about exercie and how to make it enjoyable.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Usually my vacation seems to have a theme of the sea. When you live in San Diego, why is there a need to be by the deep blue. This stems by the fact that it is deeply imbedded in my heritage. Generations of my family haved lived in Naples, "Napoli" in Italiano. The sea is what grounded my father and his ancestors. I feel the same.

When starting a new life in the states after meeting my mother in the 50's, my father was drawn to Cape Cod. He absolutely adored going and when he retired he swore that he would return. If Cape Cod conjures up images of - quiet walks on the long expanse of sand and taking in the untouched beauty of the dunes with the sea grass blowing in the wind, quaint little cottages in the quiet hues of grey surrounded by striking blue hydranges, front porches which beacon from another time and place where time seemed to stand still, then you are not far off. In that time, phones were not needed. Watching the world pass by sipping tea was deeply satisfying. Enriching those deep connections to people is what kept these inhabitants of any earlier century alive.

Thus is the nature of my visit to this enchanted place. What does this mean for the lifestyle that I have adopted. I have embraced it even on Cape Cod where there is a pletora of ice cream parlors. Where you spend many an evening strolling the quiet streets in places like adorable Chatham searching for the most delectable, creamy concotion that these places can offer. It tastes like the food of the gods.

What do I do ? I aks for a kids cone. Many of these parlors do not offer kids size cones to adults. How is a gal supposed to lose weight. The way to get around this is to say that your 8 year old would like a small cone. If you don't have an eight year old, don't worry this will pass the test. If this tactic doesn't work and the ice cream worker absolutely won't budge, then you need to order a small cone and take a few tastes. Either throw the rest out and eat just the plane wafer cone or whatever type of cone it is or give it to your loved one. Another idea is to order a flavor that you like but don't absolutely love. It will be much easier to part with.

If you want a dainty figure, you need to be a dainty eater. It is that simple. Taking a few tastes here and there but not going overboard is what it is all about. Envisioning what that beautiful, sexy number in your closet will look like on your new body is definitly a great motivator. More about this next time.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Throw Out The Cake, What is Next ?

The best thing you can do is decide what foods you can and can't have around the house. If your husband, children, boyfriend or roomates like all kinds of sweets say to them "You Are Not Letting These Foods in Your World". It is very simple if the items are not perishable buy a safe and put those foods in a safe with a lock and key. Make sure they put the key somewhere that it is not accessable to you. It is that simple. If they insist that ice cream is part of their world and they are not going to give it up, either have 90 calorie no sugar added ice cream pops for yourself so when they indulge so you want to feel like you are indulging too or just have them put the ice cream in the back of the freezer so it is not in your view.

The safe food for me is a muffin. I have found that I can have one muffin in my house. The rest I freeze. Basically I have my morning cup of coffee and one very small piece of muffin. Then I eat what my body can handle which is yogurt and cheese and fruit.

My mother-in-law always said that she lost 10 pounds just from cutting out coffee in her routine. She always had to have something sweet with her coffee. Once she cut out the coffee, out went the sweets. I still need my morning cup of coffee. Even tea can be a problem. Some people need something sweet when they drink tea. Happily, I can now drink tea and coffee without eating sweet. Do I use splenda or equal in my coffee ? No, my one indulgence during the day is a cup of coffee with half and half and sugar. Tea with splenda or equal is fine. Let's face it we are human, we are mortals. You have to decide what little indulgences you are going to have day by day and you have to stick to that. Don't waver. Doesn't exercise play a role in all of this ? It does and that will come in time. I am not finished talking about food.

Should We All Bow Down to RIce Cakes ?

Well, we shouldn't. But I have to say that despite all the grumbling about food companies, their jumping on the bandwagon and offering all the cute little packages of of 100 calorie this that and the other thing have paid off. Women could kiss the ground they walk on for easing women's pain in regard to eating. Anyone who has taken marketing knows that if you ease consumer's pain it is your product or company that they will seek. Having the carbo content on everything under the sun is a huge benefit. Rice cakes do have a special place in a woman's heart.

Firstly, 1 cake has only 10 grams of carbohydrates. That is huge. When have you been told that you can have 2 of something and not break the bank it is fantastic. It is hard to splurge on anything when you are trying like mad to get that needle (yes the one on the dreaded scale) to move and hopefully down. I admit that my car looks like a food aisle in a supermarket. People are going to start standing by my car with a shopping cart. If that is what it takes, I am ok with that. Gone are the days when you go to the local coffee shop to get a cup of coffee and come out with a huge muffin, scone or worse yet a donut. If you have your trusty rice cakes flavored with chocolate, etc... in your handy bag of tricks you aren't going to succumb to having something that is going to make your lovely size 10 pants that you just bought feel tight. In fact you will drop your affection for muffins, scones and donuts like it is going out of style.

My friends say, but what do you do at parties ? How do you not eat ? My reply is well I just take a taste. I eat the things that my body can handle like protein in the cheese and fruit and that is what I eat. For a person that only like sweets, it is hard to believe my affection for cheese. It is the new dessert in my life. Cheese and fruit and yogurt are my new best friends. Carting strawberries and grapes to a party is a great tactic for those that don't want to indulge.

People say, but what about desserts ? My response is I just have a taste. To be honest, a piece of brownie or an oatmeal cookie tastes so sweet that I can't eat it. Have my taste buds changed- as Sarah Palin would say, "You Betcha"! When I was a kid living in New York my mother's friends used to always say when they were at my house, "I only want a "sliva" meaning sliver. I used to laugh but now I know that they were right. The "Only a Sliver Mentaltity" is spot on, as they say in Australia. The whole philosophy is don't let something in your life that is going to cause some kind of pain, whether it is food or an old boyfriend. If you succumbed and had a big piece of chocolate cake don't panic, just throw out the rest as you would an old boyfriend. You had a taste even if it was a big taste. Get back on track. Up the exercise and control the carbs more tightly and you will lose the extra 5 or 10 pounds.

The Life and Times of a Rice Cake Diva

Why do I call myself the Rice Cake Diva ? It is complicated. Do you have a moment ? First of all, I like the sound of diva. It is kind of fun. When searching the web I found all kind of divas - the fitness diva, the my kids and husband are driving me crazy diva, etc...

The wikopedia definition of diva is the term used to describe a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera and by extension in the theater, cinema and popular music. The meaning of diva is related to that of prima donna. Originally used in opera companies "prima donna" is Italian for "first lady". The term was used to to designate the leading female singer. Legendary, these "prima donnas" were often regarded as egotistical, unreasonable, and irritable, with a rather high opinion of themselves not shared by others.

I like their other description - the basic sense of the term is "goddess". The term was originally used to describe a woman of rare, outstanding talent. It derives from the Italian word "divino" which means divine. We like the word divine. You know we like to say to each other, " You are simply divine", or " To err is human to forgive is divine".

Divine has a nice ring to it. I think that is why women like the word Diva so much. Basically, I like to think of all women as goddesses no matter what the age. So if the word diva conjures up those images great. In reading about divas I found descriptions like divas are secure in who they are and know what they have to offer in life. Everyday she finds magic and miracles in all things and is grateful to God for each other. She enjoys a good laugh and believes a smile is the best thing to wear. I realize that some of this wisdom comes with age but I do believe that divas come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

So I am liking the word diva. Next why the Rice Cake Diva ? Well, over the last year and 4 months rice cakes have become my constant companion. They travel everywhere with me. They are my new best friend. Rice cakes. rice cakes why is she going on about rice cakes. In this small amount of time I have been able to do something that has eluded me for a very long time and that is to lose 30 pounds and keep it off. Now in relation to what you see on the "tele" lets say for the "Worlds' Biggest Losers" 30 pounds doesn't sound like alot but let me tell you it is. As women all over the globe know, going down 3 dress sizes is huge ! Most doctors say that losing a large amount of weight in such a short period of time and keeping it off is such a rarity.

To be honest the first 10 pounds came off after working with a personal trainer for a year and the last 20 pounds have come off in four months. I have always been thin so when I steadily started gaining weight I was baffled. I tried everything like stepping up my exercise exercise and reducing my carb intake. Nothing worked ! The needle on the dreaded scale wouldn't budge no matter how hard I tried. Finally, out of desperation I went to see a new nurse practitioner well versed in weight loss who didn't mince words. She basically said that my body cannot handle carbohydrates. I will go into a more scientific explanation at a later date.

She basically chanted the basic mantra which is "no, no, no"- no pasta, no potatoes, no rice, no bread, and no cereal. When women hear that they would rather give up their first born then have to stick to that kind of regimen for the rest of their lives.

Women stop me in restrooms, restaurants, in stores. Wherever they hear me talking to friends about what it has taken to accomplish this. They ask me for my card thinking that I am going to bestow some secret that they haven't tried yet. MANY WOMEN ESPECIALLY BOOMER WOMEN THINK THAT THEY ARE DESTINED TO CARRY A BUNCH OF WEIGHT AROUND THEIR MIDDLE. THEY ARE WRONG. Rice cakes are only part of the story.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dusk and dust

What a fantastic photo !