Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Vacation

I thought that I had better post a quick update about me... in case you were wondering and missed my post where I stated that I was taking a week vacation from my blog, well... I am taking a week vacation from my blog!

I decided that with all the things that go with being busy during this holiday that I needed to take a breather.  I met a monumental goal to lose 20 pounds, and I even lost a few more since my last weigh in!  I thought I really needed a break so that I could start back up ready and energized!

I'll be back Monday, November 28th with a weigh-in and ready to hit the diet hard before Christmas comes around!

Happy Thanksgiving you all!

I'm thankful for this blog, and all of you!  You have really helped me be honest with myself, and you have helped me be accountable for my weight loss.  The motivation has been wonderful!  So thank you!

Happy losing!

See you Monday!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baby K and Crawling? So close!

The first video is of  Baby K at home.  He is dabbling in crawling.  However, he usually winds up sliding around on the slick tile.

This second video was taken when we went to Lubbock, Texas.  There is a mall there with a pretty fun play area for the kids.  Baby K just thought it was the coolest thing on this earth!  He really let out some playful personality!  Overall, he is a quiet baby, so this was a treat, even for us!

Big T and Little H are both doing great too!  I have some pictures that I took just before Halloween.  I'll see about getting them posted before Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Goals saturday: R&R

Hello this evening! I went on a trip to a nearby city with a youth group from our church. We are on our way home, so I thought I'd finally post. Forgive me for being so late. I'll male this brief since typing on my mobile is slow work. However technology is awesome!

My goals for this week are:

Rest and relaxation.
Come up with new blogging ideas.
Remember my eating goals during "the feast"
To exercise at least 3 times this next week.

Remember, I am taking the whole week off. I'll check in on facebook, but I will lost likely take advantage of my holiday week with my family.

Good luck this week!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adversity Thursday: Meet a Goal but Don't Lose Motivation

As of Monday, I have lost 20 lbs total....!!!!  I am so excited about it!  However, I have lost 20 pounds on more than one occasion.  Its awesome!  Every time, I feel better and am so pleased with myself for doing it.  So what is the adversity in this?

another resource for a lemon detox here
That is pretty much the amount of weight that I have lost at one go.  That has been my peak.  For the most part, I wound up getting pregnant after 20 pounds, so the continued weight loss was not really an option.  So now that this little mini-goal is met, I have to refresh the motivation and continue to lose weight.

I'll be honest... I mean, this is an Honest Weight Loss project.  I have been slacking greatly in all areas of my program.  Now that two months are nearly complete of the program, I need to make a change to make it exciting again.  A new workout?  Maybe.. I've been doing a new workout almost every week.  I think that most difficult thing for me last week was my lack of sleep.  Which I'm happy to report that last night, I went to bed at 9!!  That's a record in a long long time.

So maybe I need to look more towards my diet.  I am sure that most of you have heard about detox cleanses right?  Well, maybe that would be a good way to put a jolt in my body.  It is already getting comfortable with my current routine... and frankly, I'm not giving in at 20 pounds down.  I have 80 more to go!

What are your thoughts about fasting cleanses?  I'm seriously considering it after Thanksgiving.  I'd love your feedback about it.  I'll let you know what I find out about it.  Here is the website that I have been reading.  Check it out.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Feel free!

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Food: Metabolism

I stopped in at a local store that sells natural and herbal supplements.  I have had the desire to educate myself on what nutrients the body needs to be healthy, and what foods have those nutrients in them.  I figure why not change my diet to allocate for those important nutrients.  I am really beginning to believe that with the nutrients that I have been introducing into my diet, my body is not craving unhealthy foods as much, and I am losing weight at a slow and healthy rate.  My intent with this life change is to keep the weight off, and to stay healthy.

So, whilst in the store (the name escapes my mind), I asked if they had any brochures.  A few minutes later, I was walking out of the store with magazines and brochures containing information about some of the nutrients needed.
Picture from my magazine

Having said that, I want to talk about metabolism.  What is metabolism?  In short terms it is the process by which your body breaks down the nutrients, enzymes, and makes them into energy.  We get that energy from the plants and animals that we consume (Kids Health. 2011).

So we need to figure out what foods are going to boost our metabolism. 

One of the magazines that I got from the natural health store is called Energy Times.  It contained a list of nutrients and what they do.  One of those nutrients being Biotin, which so happens to be for boosting the metabolism.  It lists the food sources for biotin.  If you eat Avocados, eggs and dairy, liver, pork, salmon, and yeast (oats and soy flour), you will increase your Biotin intake!  Most fruits and vegetables contain a small amount of biotin, so eat a good variety, and it will help you reach your body's need of biotin!

I'm going to integrate some of these things into my diet.  Pork and salmon for me is an occasional food, but I love them both.  I think I'll go buy some next trip to the grocery store!

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fitness Tuesday: Pushing Yourself

Today I decided to head out to the park and try running again.  Why you ask?  Well, I am not going to give up on running.  My knee has been feeling remarkably better lately, and I wanted to take advantage of that.  I really want to be a runner, and I'm not going to let me knees hold me back, as far as I can control how strong they can become.

I only had about 20 minutes until I had to be back home.  Jason had to get to work, and he was babysitting Baby K.  So, I started right away with a brisk walk.  I walked until I felt my muscles loosening up.

How can I tell this is happening?  Well, the walking doesn't hurt my right hip anymore.  I had surgery 10 years ago on my hip, and the muscles still clench up in muscle memory when I begin exercise.  I had a stress fracture, and it was painful to walk and run.  So, as soon as that clenching pain subsides, I know that my muscles are warming up.  Some days are different than others in how long it takes to warm up.  It is really important to learn how to listen to your body.  Maybe a future post?  Are you interested in such a topic?  Comment and let me know.

Once my muscles were loose, I began an easy jog.  Only a few minutes into it, my knee began shooting with pain.  So, I stopped.  My initial thought was to keep going and push through the pain.  Well, a little thought reminded me that that thought was what got me in this position with an injured knee in the first place.  So I slowed to a very brisk walk.

image via
I saw a couple ahead of me on the path.  They were leisurely taking a stroll, yet they were wearing exercise clothes.  Now, I don't know their situation, so I can't speak about them; I can only speak for me.  I just want to mention that if I was walking at that slow pace, then my heart rate would not be increasing, and I would not be burning as many calories that I could if I would just pick up the pace a little bit.  I say this, because I have been pondering the things that I have been learning HERE at, that there is a limit of exercise that you believe that you can do, but the key is to push yourself just beyond that point.  You will feel good physically, and mentally, and you will be slowly getting into better shape!  You don't already have to be in great shape to do difficult workouts.  You just have to change the level of difficulty.  You won't ever get to a healthy weight if you "wait" until you are thinner to do some difficult exercises.  Start now!

Anyway, toward the end of the mile that I walked, I decided that I wanted to try running again.  First I started out doing a brisk high knees walk.  That is a good way to loosen up your leg muscles further.  Then I did a light footed, small step jog.  It wasn't fast, but it was enough to get my heart-rate going, and it didn't hurt my knee one bit!

There are many exercises for you to do at your own level.  Just start somewhere.  One last tip before I go.  I watched an episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight loss Edition.  The trainer was working with a woman who was over 400 lbs.  The first exercise he had her do was kneel down, then get back up, and repeat.  She did it so many times that she was sweating, and she could hardly do anymore!  There are many body weight exercises like this that can get you started.  Just get out of your own head, and push yourself!  (That is really for me) :)

Do you have ideas?  Comment and let me know!

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis

Monday (ish) Weigh-in Measure-up: Week 7

I hope that you all forgive from my mini-hiatous.  It was a long week, and a busy day yesterday.  As you know, Thanksgiving is next week!  Can you believe it?  This month is flying by!  I mention Thanksgiving, because I plan on taking a blogging break during that week.  Only the blog.  I plan on still exercising and eating right.  I'll check in on facebook and twitter, but the blog will be taking a vacation.  I need it.  If any of you have ever tried to maintain a daily, or even a weekly blog, it can be difficult!  So, I'm going to take some time to come up with more ideas and I'll hit the keyboard running (yeah, I was reaching for that analogy)!

I am super excited about this number.  I haven't been this weight since I first lost the baby weight back in February!  I honestly believe that the introduction of more important nutrients is teaching my body how to be thin.  Ever since just before Halloween, I have been extremely easy on myself in both exercise and eating.  There have been far too many treats, and too little workouts.  So, if you just start eating good natural foods, and start eating foods containing important nutrients, your body will stop craving junk, and you will start to lose weight.  Just try it out!  Of course, you do need to be actively burning some calories and drinking loads of water too!

Bicep: 16.25
Bust: 48.75
Waist: 51
Hips: 50
Thigh: 30.5
Measuring is my least favorite part about this.  I don't think it is accurate.  I try to measure the same place every time, but to be honest, I doubt it is ever in the same exact spot.  But I try! :)

How did you do?

Keep working hard!  It will pay off!

Evelyn Campbell Curtis

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Delayed

Hello all!  I had a nice and relaxing evening yesterday.  After church, I just decided to hang out with my kids, and rest.  So, you did not hear from me yesterday.

Let me give you a little rundown of my day today.  Well, I suppose it has to start last night.  I didn't quite make it to bed by my decided bedtime.  It was later than planned.  I use the alarm feature on my cell phone to wake me up every morning, and last night, I went to bed with a fully charged phone battery.  However, when I woke up to my daughter poking me, and someone knocking on my door, I quickly began to realize that I had slept in.  I reached for my phone, and it was dead!  I couldn't believe that the battery had zapped out that fast.  It was 7:40, and the girls had to be to school by 8!  We rushed as fast as we could, and made it just in time!

That has been the tone for my day today.  I had some appointments planned for this morning, so I was gone all morning and into the afternoon doing those things.  I typically have time to weigh myself, and take my measurements and all of that good stuff.... but not today.  By the time I got home, it was well into the afternoon, and I just felt like it would be frustrating to not weigh myself at the best time.  Our body weight fluctuations throughout the day.  We consume and add to our weight, and... well, we relieve that extra weight. :)

So, I decided, that I would do my weigh in and measurements tomorrow morning.  So, what can you expect in the morning?  Two posts!  My weigh in, and my fitness post!

I hope you all had a good weekend!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Goals Saturday: Sleep

Last week, I set the goal to do knee strengthening exercises.  I did do these, and my knee really is feeling stronger.  The swelling has dramatically decreased, and I have been able to do more difficult exercises this past week.  What a great goal for me to set for myself!  This is one that I am going to keep on the list.  I have to always be strengthening my knees!
Me today

For this week, my new goal is very clear to me.  About five or six of the days, I have stayed up way too late.  I'm talking staying up until 1 and 2 am.  It is a very bad habit of mine.  I just get carried away after the kids are all in bed.  It is prime time all to myself to write, to read, and to just relax from the day's duties.  Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with staying up for a little while after the kids go to sleep.  However, I let myself lose track of time, and before I know it, it is very late.  Also, Jason gets off of work late, around 1 or 2am on average, so I really like to wait up for him.  We recently decided that I needed to go to bed before him, but like I mentioned above, I lose track of time.

This week's goal:
The Kid's bedtime is 7:30-8pm.
My bedtime is 10pm.  No excuses.

It will be hard, because it is one of my most long standing bad habits.  Ultimately, I would like to be able to get up before the kids, so that I can be ready for them.  That is also a good time for alone time, and in the past, when I have woken up early, I would get so much more done in one day.  Along with that, I feel better, I don't crave so much unhealthy foods (this week has been hard on my diet).  So, this next week will be better.  I'll go to bed at 10pm.  Even setting an alarm.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

What is your goal for the new week?

Happy losing!


Another post on sleep.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food for Thought Friday: Body Mind and Spirit

For me, when it comes to getting all of the things done that I need to, I need to implement a formula of sorts... or a process every day.  Here it is.

photo via
I find that when I start my day with a good workout, I am so much more productive throughout the day, and I eat better!  I am more strict with my diet as well!  Interesting isn't it?  Just that one choice can set the tone for my whole day.  Simple, right?  Well, it is about making that choice.  The more I make that choice, the easier it is.... not easy, but easier.  There is a difference.

When I fill my mind with something worthwhile, I feel good about myself.  When I spend some time looking nutrition facts, political information (I like politics), and other things that have to do with my temporal well being, I feel productive.  I feel informed, and I feel energized to move on to the next task.

How do you nurture your spirit?  I nurture my spirit by praying, reading my scriptures, listening to uplifting music, talks, and by writing in my journal.  All of these things set me up to be in a great mood.  I am a better parent when I do these things.  I am a kinder citizen of my community when I do these things, and I feel closer to God when I do these things... which is the most important thing to me.

How are you nurturing your body, mind and spirit?

I find it very interesting that what I do in the morning really sets the tone for my whole day.  When I start with exercise and my spiritual meditation, I am happier, more energetic, and ready to get things done!  When I have done these things...especially when I have read my scriptures, I find it easier to write too!  The words just flow to my fingertips as I type!

There are definitely benefits to ensuring that you are taking care of yourself, body, mind, and spirit!

Think about it!


Adversity Thursday: Eating During the Holidays

Hello all!  My post comes a lot later than usual.  Jason and I went through the process of switching cell phone companies.  It took half of the morning and into the afternoon, so here I am, finally getting this post out!

The main thing that comes to mind is the upcoming holidays.  Oh boy.  I think it is very interesting that pretty much all of our holidays include yummy sweets and food.  For us Americans, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, full of turkey, potatoes, gravy, yams, stuffing, and pie!  Why is it that it is common to stuff ourselves on that day?

The adversity here is to eat these things moderately.  I don't believe that we should have to cut all of these things out of our diets indefinitely.  Especially for the holiday.  However, we need to regulate ourselves through self control.  We have to know when enough is enough.  It is common to eat your fill, then want seconds because it tastes good.  Why not wait until later, and have some for a snack, or for lunch the next day?  Make a stew out of the turkey and potatoes?

So this time, today, I am asking you to share your tips and ideas on how to remember to control portions and how much of the sweets are eaten.  What do you do?  Because I clearly struggle with controlling how much of the sweets I eat... and that is evident from Halloween.

Its your turn.  What is your advice?

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Food Wednesday: Apple Pie Protein Shake

Good morning everyone!  I hope this Wednesday finds you all well!  I am sore from my insane workout yesterday!  My calves are sore... and they haven't been sore in a long time!

Anyway, today I want to introduce another favorite recipe.  Sorry, no pictures for this one, but it is simple.

1 cup milk (low fat, 1% or skim)
1 sliced tart apple, peeled if you want (I love pink lady apples)
1 Tbs peanut butter
1 tsp cinnamon (or desired amount)
1/2 cup quick oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
ice (desired amount)

Combine the milk, apple slices, peanut butter, cinnamon, quick oats, and protein powder.  Blend in blender, then add desired amount of ice.

I usually peel my apple, BUT, I don't waste those apple skins!  They contain a lot of nutrients!  I usually eat them while I fix my shake!  Next, I use a full tray of ice, because I love my protein shakes frosty, not to mention that the extra ice fills the tummy up just a little bit further without adding extra calories!

I hope you enjoy this one!  It is super yummy.  I made it the other day.  It had been a few years since I had it.  It was a nice change.

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis

PS  Do you have any recipes that you want to share?  Email me, and I'll spot light your blog or website in a guest post!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fitness Tuesday: P90X Copycat

I have mentioned a few times on my facebook page about a copycat P90X workout.  Now,  have never done the original P90X, so I can't tell you how similar it is.  However, in one of the comments about the video, a viewer mentioned how the workout was just like it... So, I have decided to trust that one comment and claim that I am doing P90X copycat. :)  I like that I don't have to buy the dvd.

This workout is a great one.  It creates a good sweat and is challenging.  The instructor is low energy, but as long as you are working your hardest, it turns out to be a great workout.

As you know, my knee is in no shape to be running and jumping.  So, I dumbed down the routine in various parts to accommodate.

In the post Low Impact vs High Impact Exercises,  I mentioned that low impact exercises most commonly include exercises where one foot is on the ground at all times.  So instead of any jumping, I did squats and sumo squats (squat and lift on knee up high, then alternate).  Doing mountain climbers, I would not jump, but I would be sure to keep one foot down at all times.  For me, being overweight, it was still a great workout.

If you have any questions regarding any alterations that I may have made, then email me or post it in the comment.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Happy losing!

Evelyn Campbell Curtis

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weigh-in Measure-up Monday: Week 6

Was last week difficult for anyone... it being Halloween and all?  I'm going to be realistic, Halloween is pretty much a pointless holiday!  Sometimes I wonder if we celebrate it as an excuse to do something fun because there is so much time between holidays!  Ha!  I kid... kind of!  It is fun to dress up and what not.

Now enough with the stalling...

There was far too much sneaking of treats from Halloween.  I need to have better self control.  But three pounds meets my goal (and then some) of losing 2 lbs a week!  Yaay!

Bicep:  16.25
Bust:  15.5
Waist:  51.5
Hips:  49.25
Thigh:  30.5
At the week 8 weigh-in and measure-up, I plan on posting an updated picture.  Jason says that my clothes are starting to get a little baggy.  My pants are where I notice it the most!

I'm at 16lbs lost to date!

Compared to week 5

There you have it folks!  I think I need to give my body a little shock again.  Maybe in the workout department.  I'll let you know what I come up with!

How are you all doing?  Are you like me and needing an extra bit of motivation?  I'll see what I can find and share it will you all!

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Love Yourself Sunday

Since it is Sunday, I will keep this simple, because I try not to do much work on this day.  I will share with you a gem that is very valuable to me.  I watch/listen to this talk very often.  Many of you who know me have most likely seen it as well.  This talk comes from a religious man in my church.  I recognize that not everyone is interested in religion...but before you disregard this video, I want you to know that it applies to every person, no matter what race, religion, or origins you come from.

If you can embrace the teachings in this talk, you will learn to love yourself.  I promise you that.

Topics in the talk are, not being hard on yourself, serving others, turning to God in your need, and looking at others as Children of God.

His name is F. Enzio Busche, and he says, "Never judge anyone.  When you accept this, you will be freed."

Listen, I love you.  And if I love you, I think that you can love you too... just the way you are!

Happy Sunday where ever you are!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Goal Saturday: Knee Strengthening

It is not a new topic that my knee has been giving me problems over the last two weeks or so.  I have been doing some research on the internet about how to strengthen the knee.  There is one video that I feel is going to be one of the best options for myself.  After I had surgery, my doctor did not assign me to take physical therapy (which was probably for the better, because we found out that Jason's employer was not taking money out of his checks for insurance--we had the cards and thought we had insurance, but didn't--boo, I know).  Anyway, I never got the strengthening through PT.  Maybe that is why I have been having issues.  I don't know for sure.  I can only try some strengthening exercises and see if my knee gets better.

I asked the physical therapist in this video for some tips (I could not find my comment in the stream), and he responded, and this is what he said, "Yes, the more you can strengthen your knee without increasing pain the better. Plenty of stretches for the hips, adductors and calves (don't just concentrate on the knee - the muscles above and below the joint will have a major impact on it's strength and stability).
And try some hip and ankle mobilisations as well as some contract-relax stretching.
Might be worth laying off the running for a bit and then build it back up gradually."

So, if you are having knee pain, or if you have bad knees, maybe this goal is for you too!

My Goals for this week:
Perform this knee strengthening exercise daily.
Stretch the legs and hips good everyday.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Food for Thought Friday: Journaling

Keeping a journal about your lifestyle and weight-loss can be extremely helpful.  I have kept plenty of journals throughout my life, but never have I kept a weight-loss journal.  There is something about writing down your frustrations and your wins that is so therapeutic!  For me, I learn so much more about myself, and how I can do better to succeed.  It might seem like a small thing, but it is one of those that adds up to a tremendous benefit.

What do I journal about?
I personally write about all of the things or topics that are on my mind.  In fact, that is how I get each one of these posts.  I usually leave early to pick up my girls and get into the car pick-up line with 10-15 minutes to spare.  At that time, I reflect on my day, or the previous day, and I write about it.  When I go to post it here, on the blog, it may vary slightly, but for the most part, that is my post.  This blog is literally my online journal.  I also have a physical notebook, pictured.  I carry that around with me everywhere (It is nearly full already)!  When I think of a topic, I just jot it down so I can refer back to it later.  I journal about my struggles, food, motivation, ideas to be healthier... then I research the topics and back up my information with facts that I find online.

You can and should keep track of what you eat each day by writing them down.  It really puts into perspective what you are eating, because it is easy to not really think about the calorie content of each food item.  I am currently testing out two great websites that help you keep track of what you eat.  There are two that I am actively using as of today, which are: My Fitness Pal, and Team Beachbody.
I am fairly new to both of these websites, but both are free of charge.  I'm losing weight on a budget, so that is what I'm going to be sharing with you!

My Fitness Pal has a food tracker.  It even has a mobile app, so you can add the foods that you eat each day, no matter where you are.  You also record your workouts, and it basically tells you if you are eating too many calories and/or not burning enough.  My brother referred me there, and so far, it seems like a great tool!  He said that it has really opened his eyes to how much he really consumes each day!  Those little things really add up!

goal tracker
Team Beachbody is a website that supplies you with an immediate support system.  You get a coach, and as soon as I signed up, my coach contacted me.  I really like the website, because it has a really simple tracking system for your weight and measurements.  It has you set your goal weight, and what you weigh now.  Then it gives you a summary of how far along you are percentage-wise.  I am 9% complete with reaching my goal!

These are a few of the different forms of of keeping a journal.  Give them a try and see how they help you!  It really is helpful to get your feelings out there.  I can't express it enough.  I have learned so much about myself, my struggles, and my behaviors.  Try it out!  What could it hurt?

Think about it!

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis

PS  On both of these websites, my user name is evieccurtis.  So look me up, and we can work together there too!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Adversity Thursday: Over Eating

We live in a time when food, for the most part, is in abundance and easy to come by.  All we have to do is walk into a grocery store, fill our carts with groceries, pay, and go home.

Also, think about where you live.  How many restaurants are in your neighborhood?  I have about 10 within a 2 block radius!  TEN!.. and I live in a residential area, just off of the main road.  Now, think about all of those restaurants and their portions.  Most fast food restaurants have the 'super size' option.  Do you want more fries?  A larger drink to go with your burger?  And ALL of the refills your heart could desire?  No problem!
photo via
There is a Chinese restaurant close to our house that we like.  One dinner order is enough to feed my whole family...excluding Baby K.  That's fine.  I don't have to eat the whole thing, and I couldn't if I tried.  However, the idea of having that much in front of me seems risky.

Here's why.  Imagine sitting down in front of a giant plate of your favorite food.  Pasta, french fries, pizza... whatever you enjoy the most.  Can you disagree that if you have so much loaded onto your plate that it is easy to lose track of how much you have actually eaten?  When you put yourself in that position, you are much more likely to eat until you are so full that you feel sick, or it hurts.  I know this from experience.

My #2 loves almonds, and almonds are a great source of protein and healthy fat.  However, they are high in calories, so just a small handful is enough.  If she wants some as a snack, and she takes the bag, then she is going to eat way too many.  If I give her a small snack bag filled with the appropriate amount, then she is less likely to eat her fill on a high calorie food.  Then if she is still hungry, she can come back to me and ask for something else.  I usually offer her some cucumbers or carrot sticks.  We have to remember that if we have eaten our portion amount of a certain food and are still hungry, we can have something else to fill us up the rest of the way.  My #1 has the same tendency as #2.  Ultimately, I speak about it with both of my older children openly.  I explain that if they eat out of the bag or container, they are going to eat too much.

We have to do this for ourselves.  We have to portion out our own meals and snacks.  If I am hungry, but it is close to dinner time, and I just want a small snack, I can't open the box of wheat thins and snack on them while I make dinner.  I have to take out a small handful and put the rest away.

Here's what to NOT do:

  • Never eat from the container or bag
  • Never eat while watching television
  • If you are eating popcorn and watching a movie, measure it.  Never just eat out of the bag or bowl.
  • Never eat while reading a book
  • Never put off eating, as sever hunger might enable binge eating. (when I am super hungry, I tend to eat more high calorie foods)

-Distractions do just that when we are eating, distract us from how much we are eating.  That is why we need to be careful about what and how much we are eating while being entertained.  We don't realize what is consumed.
photo via
-For me, I have to be careful about what I snack on while I fix dinner.  I tend to taste everything.  I'll be chopping up things and tasting as I go.  The green vegetables are perfectly fine to eat along the way... in fact, maybe that is a great thing to put out for the whole family who is getting hungry for dinner... and they are getting some valuable nutrients first, and might be less likely to eat more of something less beneficial

Here's what To do:

  • Measure or portion your food to the appropriate amount.
  • If you are eating out, ask for a separate plate and portion your food on that plate.
  • Drink a glass of water before eating.
  • Know your goals and your limits.
  • Know your portions and stick to it.
  • At a buffet. Know your goals before you sit down. Start with a salad (minimal dressing), and eat healthy portions of the rest. Buffet doesn't mean, "get your money's worth," it means, "we have some of everything, so you get to chose!"
  • Only bring treats into the house occasionally.
  • Brush your teeth!  I lose the desire to eat when my teeth are minty fresh.
  • Chew gum...for the same reason as brushing teeth.

To conclude, I believe that as a society, we have become very indulgent, eating for pleasure, and not so much for sustenance...which defeats the purpose of eating for our health and strength.  I personally am not stronger for eating more.  I have actually become weak in all aspects of my life due to my weight gain.

Remember I do not claim to be a nutritionist, a trainer, or any other prestigious title.  I am merely a woman who is sharing her experiences with weight-loss and making life changes for my health.  These suggestions are all things that have worked for me... so if you disagree, then do your own research, and make your own plan that suits you!

What are the tricks that you use to prevent over-eating?  What have I left out?

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Food Wednesday: Beans and Rice with Chicken

This recipe comes from the Dominican Republic, where my husband served as a missionary for our church for two years.  He learned to love the humble, and tasty food there!  I have yet to visit there, but myself, along with our kids have also grown to love the Caribbean cuisine!

1TBS  olive oil
1/2 - 1 red onion cubed (my girls aren't huge fans of the onions, so I use 1/2... unless I make more portions of course)
1-2      cloves garlic
1 tsp    cilantro
1 tsp    thyme
2          cups water
2          chicken boulian cubes (makes 2 cups chicken broth)
2          cans red kidney beans, strained-keep the bean water (2 cups dried beans = 1 1/2 can)
1 TBS  tomato paste, or 2 TBS tomato sauce

Put a pot on the stove to heat at medium high heat.  Once hot, add olive oil and let heat.  Once oil is hot, add onions and garlic to saute.  Stir frequently, and after about 1 minute, add cilantro and thyme.  Continue to saute.  Once the onions begin to sweat and become clear, add the water to the mixture.  Bring to boil, then add the boulian cubes.  Let boil until dissolved.  Then add the canned, or soft/stewed strained beans.  Stir and let simmer.  Once the water has boiled down, after 5-10 minutes add the bean water.  Let stew for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Finally add the tomato paste or sauce, and let simmer on low/medium heat. 

This recipe is super easy and very inexpensive to make.  If you are working with dried beans (even more cost effective) be sure to soak the beans all night in water, then you have to let them stew all day until you are ready to make this recipe.

Serve over a bed of steamed rice.  We usually have chicken with it as well, but be careful not to have too much of the beans and chicken, as they are both proteins.  Serve steamed asperragus on the side, and you have a full, filling and healthy meal!

Let's face it, I cook a lot of meat on a frying pan on my stove.  It is just easy for me, and it always turns out delicious, juicy, and wonderfully every time!  So here is my very simple way to cook the chicken to go with the beans and rice.

Pan Fried Chicken

2-3  boneless chicken breasts
1 TBS olive oil

I cut the chicken breasts in half, length-wise, and then I slice them down the middle to make thinner pieces of chicken.  This helps the chicken to cook quicker.  I usually start the chicken after I have added all of the ingredients for the beans, except the tomato paste.  Season the chicken well.  Salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, thyme, cilantro, and/or other seasonings that you prefer.  Heat up the skillet or fry pan to medium high.  Once hot, add oil, let heat.  Once oil is hot, put chicken in pan, and let cook.  Turn the chicken once.  I like to wait until the first side is nice and browned before I flip it.  After the chicken is done, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Delicious eating, and Happy losing!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beautiful Heartbreak - Hilary Weeks - Every Step

Hey everyone! I have been so busy with my other blog. It has been a wonderful thing for me. I have been learning so much about myself, and I have been learning how to over come my trials. I have lost 13 pounds in the five weeks that I have been working to change my lifestyle.

I just want you all to know how much I love you! I have wonderful family, and I have wonderful friends. I will be forever grateful!

This song is just what I needed to hear today, and the video was just as great. If we all held signs telling what we are going through, everyone else would be so much more compassionate to one another. So just remember, when someone is rude or impatient or mean, we don't see the whole side of the story.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and that any of the blessings that you need come your way!


Liebster Blog Award

On Sunday, Debbie at Africa's Blog awarded me the Liebster Blog Award.  What is that you ask?  Well I asked the same thing!  Read on to find out more!

'Liebster' is the German word for friend or love!
The Liebster Blog Award spotlights the up and coming blogs that have less than 200 followers. So what’s the catch for this award?

By accepting this award what we need to do is:

1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.

2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to us.

3. Reveal our top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

4. Hope that our followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

Here are my top 5 pics!

1.  Kendra's Bucket List
A little spiritual, a little satire, a little crafty, and a whole lot of family!

2.  Moments of a Libra

Wonderful art.  As an artist, I love art blogs!  This one is unique!

3.  Jolinda

Fantastic photos, fun and interesting posts!

4.  The Striped Notebook

New products, and updates to her fiction blogs!  Excellent stories!

5.  Start Laughing-Wherever You Are!

Humorous pictures every day!

There are a lot of blogs that I love to read, but these five are among my very favorite!  So check them out and congratulate them!

I am so excited to be recognized as an up and coming blog!!  I certainly hope its up and coming!  Thanks again, Debbie at Africa's Blog!

Evelyn Curtis!

Fitness Tuesday: Low Impact vs High Impact Exercises

Since I came to the disappointing realization that my knee will not be able to handle long distance running, I had to regroup and change up my exercise program.  The goal of running 1 mile by December is not very realistic.  I am a huge advocate in not telling yourself that you can't, but I might end up injuring myself if I keep pushing myself to run right now.  The last thing that I need is to set myself back physically, when I finally have a handle on my weight and am changing my lifestyle.  A major injury could put all physical activity on hold...

So instead of making excuses about why I can't 'exercise,' I am going to have to change things up to accommodate my current handicap.

I know that I am not alone here.  Bad knees are common... not to mention being over-weight... that sure doesn't help!  The goal is to begin some exercises that are easy on the knees/joints and still burn the calories your body needs to lose weight.  So maybe I can give you suggestions that you can do, and if you have any suggestions, then please email me!  I'll even post them on the next Fitness Tuesday.

High Impact Exercise 

Consist of exercises that cause both feet to leave the ground at the same time, or cause a higher amount of strain on the joints.  Some of these include, running, jumping, some aerobic classes, and some dance classes.  According to the article Low Impact vs High Impact Exercises: Which is Right for You?, the way you determine if high impact exercise is good for you is by assessing your physical status.  Do you have a strong "baseline" of fitness?  Meaning, are you at low risk of having joint problems?  Then high impact just might be the best thing for you.  The benefits of high impact exercises is that they burn more calories than low impact exercises.

Low Impact Exercise
Consist of exercises where at least one foot is in contact with the ground at all times.  They will not be as hard on the joints.  A few examples of these are walking, some aerobics, some aerobic dance classes, hiking, elliptical, and rollerblading.  I suppose the way to tell if these exercises are the best choice for you is to determine first if High impact exercises are too much for you.  If so, then move down to the next level of low impact, and go from there.

No Impact Exercise
Consist of exercises that support the body.  Examples are, cycling, swimming, water aerobics.  After any surgery for your hips and knees, you are most likely going to be instructed to swim and cycle to strengthen your muscles again.  Spinning classes are a great way to get a major calorie burn without feeling the pain like from running.  Swimming is the same way.  If you get in a pool to swim laps, it will definitely get your heart rate up.  How do you know if no impact exercise is right for you?  Do you have pain and joint problems even when doing low impact exercises?

For me, walking and hiking cause my knee to swell.  I don't necessarily have pain with these two forms of exercise, but if I do too much, then I do experience swelling pain.  High impact exercises clearly are not easy on my knee.  I found that out the hard way after three weeks of running, my knee finally said, "No more!"  The best exercise for me is going to be low to no impact.

I have to say, this realization really disappoints.  For all of my life, I have been a high impact kind of exerciser.  I love running, I love jumping, and playing sports.  It is a large pill to swallow that I should not be doing those things right now.  It is frustrating, because I just want to be where I used to be.  I guess that is the consequence of not listening to my body.

The thing that helps me stay positive is that I don't believe that I will always be a low-no impact exerciser.  I just need to build up the strength in my knee.  I refuse to accept that I cannot do the fun high impact exercises anymore... I am just going to have to practice my patience while I lose weight and get into better shape!

Where do you fit in among these three types of exercise?

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis