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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Simple but Favorite Recipes!

I love to cook.  I cook just about every single night and when I am not cooking chances are we are eating leftovers.  We rarely pick up fast food anymore and our version of fast food is more likely to be a rotisserie chicken and bag of salad than Mickey D's.   These two recipes are family favorites of Sarge and the chicklets so I decided to share them with you AND they are rather good.  The nutritional facts are estimated but pretty close! These are my personal recipes and I like to cook with whatever is on hand, so feel free to improvise!


May sound bizarre, but SURE to be a hit!

Serves 6, prep time 5 minutes, cook time 30 minutes
Calories - approximately 160 each.
Average cost (about $1 each)

1 pound 93/7 ground turkey breast
1 large egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs (whatever you have - I've been known to crush some wheat thins if necessary)
1 Package of Meatloaf Seasoning (find in the gravy aisle)
1/2 cup of ketchup plus a little extra for glazing.
Your favorite seasoning to taste (I use Mrs Dash salt free blends)
1 cup Creole Seasoning Blend (This is chopped onions, bell pepper, garlic, and celery)

Large mixing bowl
6 cup muffin tin
Non Stick Spray

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350.  Mix all of the ingredients above until well blended. Don't mix too much or you'll make it tough.  Evenly divide your mixture between the 6 muffins tins.  Put a little ketchup on the top of each muffin to give it that awesome little meatloaf touch and bake for 30 minutes.  You have perfectly portioned sizes that are waist friendly AND filling.

These are SUCH a crowd pleaser in my house.  Each muffin also makes a PERFECT meatloaf sandwich for lunch the next day (if you have any left over).

Turkey Meat Sauce

  I serve this because I LOVE Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, but HATE having heart burn.  Using the canned crushed tomatoes gives your dish a fresh and light taste and this recipe has been approved by even the pickiest of eaters!  (Including those who HATE ground turkey - HAHA)

Serves 7-8, cook time 30 minutes
Calories - approximately 125 each (without pasta)
Average cost (about $1 each)

1 pound 93/7 ground turkey breast
1 Large Can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 Package of Spaghetti Seasoning (find in the gravy aisle)
Your favorite seasoning to taste (I use Mrs Dash salt free blends)
1 cup Creole Seasoning Blend (This is chopped onions, bell pepper, garlic, and celery)
Olive Oil
Grated Parmesan Cheese.

Large pan
Cooked Whole Wheat Pasta

Start warming your large pan with a little olive oil and your creole seasoning blend and cook about 5 minutes until the veggies are soft.  Then add and brown your ground turkey.  I like to season the turkey meat while it is browning so you get another layer of flavor so in goes the Mrs. Dash.   Once all browned I open and pour in the whole can of Crushed tomatoes with the packet of spaghetti seasoning mix.  I don't add any salt as the seasoning already has some as well as the parmesan you will be adding.   Let everything simmer for a bit to get nice and friendly.  When it smells really good and everything has simmered about 10 minutes serve over whole wheat pasta with grated parmesan cheese.  

HINTS:  Leftover veggies?  Throw them in the pot!  Grated carrots work great in this too.


Much Love,
Celeste can be found toiling away at some new designs with or blogging about Metrychick and MetryLife, and Real Housewives of NOLA.  Put on your big girl panties and buckle up.  This is going to be fun!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My new favorite thing...

I am a cup FREAK.  Once I find a cup I really like I drink out of it over and over again until it breaks or the dog attacks it in a jealous rage.  Scoff if you must, but I break a lot of cups!  This one I purchased from my friends over at My Fleur de Tee.  It has a really COOL spiral plastic straw inside.  It is PERFECT for keeping on my desk and drinking my water all day.  It is double walled so it doesn't sweat and I can load the ice into the middle of the straw and it doesn't bend up my straw.  I always drink of out a straw - it's one of my THINGS.  Check out My Fleur de Tee and pick up one of these cool Peace, Love and WHO Dat insulated cups for only $12.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Biggest Loser help for the Biggest Loser? What a DUH moment!

I picked up the "game" at Sam's a couple of months ago.  It as $20 and I felt like, what the hell.  I didnt put it in because one, I didn't feel like working out and two, I didn't think it was going to be too much.  I was WRONG!

I did my first workout today.  I burned 500 calories in an hour workout!  I am soaked.  It was hard, challenging and a lot of fun.  HIGHLY recommended!   I can't wait to try another one tomorrow.  I needed a change.  I am kind of in a rut with my food, workouts - I need something different and this was good!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Codeword: Blueberry!

Today I grabbed Lucy and we headed out on yet another one of our adventures!  We took a ride over the lake to Blue Harvest Farms - home to the sweetest blueberries I know!   We got up WAY too early on a Saturday and headed out with the kids in tow to try to beat the heat!  Once there we were greeted with buckets and directions to the beautiful blue beauties!

It didn't take too long to get our buckets full.  We each took home a gallon of berries - it doesn't look like much until you get it out of the bucket and then take a good look!

Since we were on that side of the lake we decided to take advantage and hit up the Covintgon Farmer's Market by the courthouse.  What a pleasant surprise!

There were beautiful tomatoes in a rainbow of colors!

White and purple eggplant! 

Beautiful, sweet peaches I can't wait to eat for lunch!

At Hot Tamale Mama's I picked up this AWESOME Garlic dip - SKORDALIA!  It is to DIE for!  We actually took home one for me, one for Lucy, and two for vacation later this month!  I am planning all the things I am putting it on!
It is Vegan, sugar free, everything I could want and more - a great Mayo substitute!

Oh Spud!  I'm a Fig!  This was pretty cool!
MG said it was named after me and is medium
sized and tan to brown in color! LOL!

I spied this gorgeous Hibiscus flower from a distance! Aloha!

In a  wonderful 4th of July Tradition the market had free hot
dogs, watermelon and Zap's chips for the taking!

The watermelon was so fresh and tasty!

It was a great morning on the Northshore!  It's always fun when you tag along with Lucy and Ethel on one of our adventures!  You never know where the next one will take us!  

Much Love, 

Celeste is not only competing to be the NOLA Biggest Loser 2.0, but she is also working full time as the Metry Chick, an artist who created NOLA style gifts with a little Metry Attitude thrown in for good measure.  She also writes as one of theReal Housewives of NOLA as the Wednesday blogger.  Check her out on Facebook and Twitter

Photos courtesy of ME!  This post was not sponsored by any of the companies and organizations mentioned.   

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Expectations vs Reality Part II - Ok God, I'm listening!

Last night Sarge and I ran the Summer Free For All Series put on by the New Orleans Track Club.  It is a free 2 mile race in City Park that makes you feel good and is nice to compete a little.  I saw a new friend there, Jennifer.  I met her doing the Father's Day Race in Audubon Park.  She is doing the Biggest Loser over at Elmwood and is so sweet!  I digress.  I did the race with Sarge and I had a plan.  I would start off in the back and walk a little, run a little, so forth and so on.  However, Sarge did not seem to go with that plan.  He got me running at the starting line.  I ran almost the whole first mile. I ran about 7/8 of the mile and then stopped for about 60 seconds before I started running again.  In the second mile I ran most of that too, only stopping for about 30 seconds a couple of times. My legs were aching and my back hurt a little but it was my brain.  I just kept running to stop, if you know what I mean.  It was like when I quit smoking back in '06.  I would quit until Mardi Gras and then I could smoke, or when I was stressed.  I was quitting to smoke if you get it.  I finally quit for good in '08.

Last night I expected to stop running and walk some of the race.  My reality was that I ran almost the whole race and if I had just gotten out of my own way I would have ran the whole thing.  Like Yogi Berra Says, 90% of the game is half mental.    Actually, he said Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.  

Like I said, Okay God,  I am listening.  He keeps trying to tell me to dump the expectations and just do my thang.  

This week I expect me to give it my all and do my best.  That's all, really!  I can honestly say that I am working hard and giving it my all.  

Much Love, 

Celeste is not only competing to be the NOLA Biggest Loser 2.0, but she is also working full time as the Metry Chick, an artist who created NOLA style gifts with a little Metry Attitude thrown in for good measure.  She also writes as one of theReal Housewives of NOLA as the Wednesday blogger.  Check her out on Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dining Out Diary - Dot's Diner

This morning I got up and after dropping MG off at camp I took advantage of the overcast day and headed out to beautiful Lafreniere park for a trot.  It was a good workout, but I was STARVING!  I knew my friends over at Dot's Diner would be happy to help me fuel up deliciously and let me tell you, they did NOT disappoint me!

There were a lot of choices, let me tell you!  I skipped over the pancakes to look for those cute little pink hearts next to the healthy meals.  I am always a sucker for a veggie omelette so I chose the Healthy Heart Veggie Omelette.  
I omitted the cheese and opted for some hash browns and wheat toast.  I stressed that I needed the hash browns cooked with NO added oil and they were happy to help me with that.  Next time I will remember to request my toast with no margarine.  Since I am avoiding High Fructose Corn Syrup I steered clear of the jelly for my toast but I enjoyed every single bite of this:
It was just DELICIOUS!  I ate all of the omelette and most of the hash browns.  I left the toast behind because I forgot to bring it home for the puppies and feel so bad for wasting food.  

My total for the hash browns and HUGE omelette was only 320 calories.  Not too shabby for a meal that really filled me up and fueled me up for the rest of the morning.  

The moral of the story is that I feel like I treated myself to a really nice little breakfast out and about but didn't sacrifice my eating plan - even the hash browns.  I am eating them early in the day and using that fuel to push me the rest of my day.   You don't have to sacrifice everything that you love, just adjust the way that you eat a little bit.  

Thanks you, Dot's Diner for a wonderful breakfast and I am SURE that I will see you guys again really soon - I am determined to try some of your healthy lunch and dinner options too!  Who knows where this journey will take me eating next?

Much Love, 

Celeste is not only competing to be the NOLA Biggest Loser 2.0, but she is also working full time as the Metry Chick, an artist who created NOLA style gifts with a little Metry Attitude thrown in for good measure.  She also writes as one of theReal Housewives of NOLA as the Wednesday blogger.  Check her out on Facebook and Twitter

Photos courtesy of ME!  I took the photos this morning at breakfast on 28 Jun 2011.  This post was not requested or sponsored by Dot's Diner in any way.  

Expectation vs Reality Round I

Sunday was my first weigh in for the Biggest Loser!  I am in second place with 2.96%.  The one in the lead is 3.43%!  I was not expecting that at all.  I am a perfectionist and REALLY wanted to be in first place.  I was frustrated. I cried a little, pouted some and vented more - then I went for a walk/run.  I really needed it and needed to get out for a bit.  In the past I would have quit so I am pretty impressed with myself if I do say so myself!  My brain tells me that I did really well and better than average on my loss, but I wanted more.  I just do.  I think I might know where B, AKA, Competitive Barbie might get her competitive edge from.

Well, I am not stopping now or even slowing down a little.  Yesterday was my rest day and now I am raring to go again!


Much Love,

Celeste is not only competing to be the NOLA Biggest Loser 2.0, but she is also working full time as the Metry Chick, an artist who created NOLA style gifts with a little Metry Attitude thrown in for good measure.  She also writes as one of theReal Housewives of NOLA as the Wednesday blogger.  Check her out on Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A favorite thing...

I have a coffee fetish!  I love all kinds of coffee.  My favorite of all time is Cuban Coffee and is the reason why us Cubans are such hairy people - because that stuff will make you sprout some hair!  It is strong stuff!  The problem with a lot of coffee that people love is that they will go and get a Large Caramel Granita (481 calories) or a Small White Chocolate Cappuccino (251 calories) and think that they got it with skim milk so it's all good!  Skim will probably save you about 100 calories, but boy, buddy, that is a MEAL in a drink!

I am a HUGE fan of PJs.  One, because they are local and I am SOOO pro local, but secondly, because the baristas in there get to know you, they're super friendly, their affordable, not StarSucks AND they have great coffee.  That was actually reasons 2-5,  but I don't care.  

If you want the flavor in your coffee but don't want to add the additional calories of a flavored syrup, or don't like the sugar free versions, look into their flavored roasted coffee.  The Southern Wedding Cake is just delicious!  Sweet and tasty without the caloric hit that flavored syrups hit you with.  Their King Cake coffee is my favorite, but this one is growing on me too!  So, stop in at your neighborhood PJs and pick up a cup of their flavored coffees!  The flavor is added to the bean and not to your butt!

Much Love,

Celeste is not only competing to be the NOLA Biggest Loser 2.0, but she is also working full time as the Metry Chick, an artist who created NOLA style gifts with a little Metry Attitude thrown in for good measure.  She also writes as one of theReal Housewives of NOLA as the Wednesday blogger.  Check her out on Facebook and Twitter

PS - this post was NOT sponsored by PJs at all.  I just feel like if I go there so much I should just tithe there, well, maybe so should you.  They're a good thing.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's ON! The Biggest Loser Contest has BEGUN!

We weighed in last nigh and the contest is ON!  NOLA Biggest Loser 2.0!  It is soo easy to say, so easy to get ready for, but once you step on the scale and see THAT NUMBER it all hits you at once!  I am FREAKED out!

Like any fat chick I have gone on 100 diets!  I have tried this MISSION 1,000 times.  I saw a program on tv and the lady said, "every day I wake up on a diet and every night I go to bed a failure".  I am soo not trying to do that this time, but the self doubt creeps in.  It's so insidious.  WOW!  This time though I am ready for a life change.  I don't want to diet.  I want to help my food work for me!  I want to make my body work this time.  I can't really remember the last time I was really happy with how I looked and more importantly, how I feel.  That's sad.

This morning I woke up on a mission.  I made my shake, I did a workout, I ate breakfast and I am sticking to my plans.  Tonight I will go to bed still on my mission and I will do this for 77 days!  I takes 21 days to form a habit, so I better get to steppin!

Last night I freaked out a little - okay, a LOT - but I am determined that everyday I will wake up and be ready to take this on.  I know there will be setbacks, I am just trying to prepare myself that they are Setbacks and not putdowns.

Everything will work out and this will WORK!  A friend of ours gave me a good SLOGAN - HAAR-D work pays off$$$! I'll remember to keep this in mind.

I'll be posting along my journey, so can you keep up?

Much Love,

Celeste is not only competing to be the NOLA Biggest Loser 2.0, but she is also working full time as the Metry Chick, an artist who created NOLA style gifts with a little Metry Attitude thrown in for good measure.  She also writes as one of the Real Housewives of NOLA as the Wednesday blogger.  Check her out on Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mini Goals

I am working a lot on setting goals and how to achieve those goals.  It is so much more complicated than I thought.  I love lists and planning.  I ADORE it.  But I am just not that GREAT at it.  The perfectionist in me wants it to be PERFECT.  In taking this course "How to achieve your goals and live the life you love" by Simplify 101 I am learning about goal setting and dreaming.  I really am taking these lessons to heart.  One thing that I am trying to do is setting mini goals and deadlines within my main goal. 

This is my main goal:
On August 28th, 2011 I will reach my goal weight and win the NOLA Biggest Loser2.0 competition.  I will feel health and energy that I have not felt in a really long time. I will be someone that I am proud of and my family is proud of.

Within that goal I have little mini goals:
  • I will drink 1oz/# of water minimum everyday in June.
  • I will drink 1oz/# of water minimum everyday in July.
  • I will drink 1oz/# of water minimum everyday in August.
  • I will take my vitamins every day in June.
  • I will take my vitamins every day in July.
  • I will take my vitamins every day in August.
  • I will break my loss into 10# goals.  Each of these goals will be eligible for  a reward.
    • Here are my Rewards:
    • A Massage
      A Pedicure
      Mani Pedi
      New workout shoes from my favorite store
      Classes at the Y

A New Coach Wristlet
I put all of these on a VISION BOARD.  They are in front of me and I can see them everyday!  I will also go back to giving myself gold stars.  A few years ago whenever I went to the gym or worked out I would come home and put a gold star on the calendar for that day.  It was really great motivator to see how many stars I could get.  I guess it doesn't just work for two year olds. 

I am excited about this journey and can't wait to get started! 

Much Love,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I WILL be the Biggest LOSER!

I am entering a new phase in my life right now and one thing that has eluded me for YEARS has been my weight.  I have lost and gained the same 30+ or - pounds for the last 15 years.  I am SOOO over being fat.  It is in my genetics, but it is also in my list of excuses!  I need to push away from the table.  I have read the books.  I have the knowledge.  Now I have found the drive and yeah, I've said it before that I was serious.  I was serious 3 months ago.  SO WHAT?!?!

I love FlyLady and in her book, Sink Reflections she talks about getting acknowledgement from your spouse and she says that they've seen you commit a thousand times, read 100 books and now that you are starting to do something they don't want to jinx it.  Just give them the benefit of the doubt.  I find myself here now.  I want to tell the world but I have that self doubt in the back of my head.  I've committed a thousand times.  I've planned it 100 times.  Now I am making changes.  I don't want to jinx it.

This time I am putting $100 where my big fat mouth is!  I am entering a Biggest Loser type of competition with a bunch of family friends.  The pot I will win is about up to $800 right now.  That's nothing to sneeze at!  I am planning a serious vacay for the Sarge and I with those duckets!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm doing it...

I am working out!  There.  I said it and typed it.  Now I am STUCK!  LOL!  And I love it! 

I looked over my previous post and list:
  • my feet hurt Heading to the podiatrist today.  I can do the bike and elliptical
  • when my feet feel better i can work out  Again - Dr. appt in a few.
  • if my feet dont hurt today they will tomorrow and I don't feel like hurting What a whiner!
  • once my shakes get here They're here and they taste great!
  • i have too much work to do Work is still getting done!
  • after vacation My vacation isn't until July now that B has remediation.
  • after school lets out School's out!
  • its too hot It's SUMMER
  • its too cold Must have been high.
  • too much to do around the house There will ALWAYS be stuff to do around the house.
So, now that I am out of excuses I am getting my butt in gear.  I have also started a gratitude journal.  It really changes things to complain about when you write down what you are grateful for!  Hoping to get some relief from the doc today!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Leave it to Tony Horton to call me on my BS...

Closet Garbage Eater

by Tony Horton

You know who you are. You’ve got all the answers and your lousy at taking sound advice because it’s easier to be lazy. The tilt-a-whirl of disappointment goes round and round and you pretend everything is okay. You’re not fooling anyone and everyone else knows what you’re up to. It’s easy to lack self discipline because you’re not alone. Misery loves company.

I’m sick and tired of hearing why you can’t stop eating crap. Stop blaming your thyroid, boyfriend, childhood and ancestry because it’s not working. The problem is your inability to face reality. The real issues are your lack of accountability, willpower, determination and the lousy company you keep. It’s also your lame plan or lack there of. Your reasons why suck and you don’t tell the truth about what you stuff in your face when no one is looking.

Your horrendous eating habits is the American terrorist within. If the level of disease caused by unhealthy choices continues at this alarming rate then we will destroy ourselves without any help from the bad guys. Fad diets, pills and miracle potions used to lose weight never work in the long term and they never will. Dozens of studies show that calorie control diets that still allow you to eat forms of unhealthy food always fail. I’ve never met anyone who started a “weight lose only” diet and stayed on it. So you lost 50 pounds and kept it off for 5 years. Why did you gain it all back in 6 months during year six? Are you proud of that?

When diet deprivation becomes too much the closet eating begins. Your reasons for falling off the wagon are plenty and you’ll defend them till you’re blue in the face. Good for you for choosing the option that required you to be lazy again. Choosing gluttony is no way to build your manifesto my friend. What is your reason for being on this earth? Why do you really put that garbage in your mouth? Do you want to know why? Do you want to look at it closely? Do you care enough?

The simple answer is choice. I hope you weren’t expecting something more complicated. How do you choose what to be? How will you work to be better than before? Who will you surround yourself with? How long will your better choices last? Will you continue to be the closet garbage eater or will you finally get your act together, stop making it about you all the time and begin to be an example to the people in your life who need your help?

77 pounds to go.

Okay.  I am saying all the right things, feeling this right way, but just am having trouble getting motivated. 

I have a WHOLE LIST of reasons why I can't lose weight right now:
  • my feet hurt
  • when my feet feel better i can work out
  • if my feet dont hurt today they will tomorrow and I don't feel like hurting
  • once my shakes get here
  • i have too much work to do
  • after vacation
  • after school lets out
  • its too hot
  • its too cold
  • too much to do around the house
The real issue is that I am NOT a priority in my life.  I KNOW that is what it is.  Do you make yourself a priority?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wagon? I think I ATE the wagon...

I am so ashamed.  I think that is the perfect word.  I am totally ashamed that I fell off the wagon - in fact, I think I might have ATE the wagon.  I am trying to recommit, but it's hard for me right now.  ech.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Personal Trainer Follow Up

Today I had my first training session C. Christian Beavers over at Ultimate Fitness on Prytania, near Upperline.  At first when I walked in and I was a little doubtful, was this really going to work.  It was all weight machines.  Is this for me?  Yeah, he kicked my ass, in a good way!  He had me on a machine in the first 5 minutes and my heartbeat was going and I was sweating - no treadmills or steppers, just working on weights and building me up!  It was great!  My 30 minutes flew by and I was pushed further than I thought I was going to go.  I would have quit when I started trembling, but he kept me going.  That's the importance of a trainer!  Working on getting some goodies for you guys too!

Personal Trainer Time!

Today is my first day with a personal trainer.  I am a little nervous, but really excited.  This was a luxury I didn't think I could afford, but thanks to (a type of group discount site) I was able to get 4 1/2hr personal training sessions for only $24.  It was a sign!  I will have to let you know how it goes.  So far, I am impressed.  I checked out his website and really liked what I saw.  Over the phone he asked a lot of great questions about my height, weight, age, goals and fitness level so he could get what I wanted to work on.   Here are some tips on choosing a personal trainer.
By , Guide
Updated October 19, 2010 Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board
If you want to lose weight, get healthy and/or build muscle, hiring a personal trainer can be a step in the right direction. A good trainer can help you set up a program that meets your goals and teach you the best way to exercise. Finding and choosing a trainer can be a little confusing and, for some, intimidating. It's not easy asking for help, but going in with more knowledge about how personal training works can make it a little easier.
What is a Personal Trainer?
A personal trainer should be, at the least, educated and certified through a reputable fitness organization (see below). This person's job is to assess your fitness level, figure out what your goals are (or help you set goals) set up a program and keep you motivated. He or she will push you past your comfort level--something difficult to do on your own. A trainer also provides:
  • Guidance on reaching your goals
  • Education about strength training, cardio and basic nutrition
  • A reason to show up at the gym each week
  • Accountability
  • Aays to help track your progress
What is a Session Like?
Each session usually lasts about an hour. The first meeting is devoted to assessing fitness level, body measurements, exercise and health history and goals. Be prepared to step on the scale, have your body fat tested and answer specific questions about your goals. After that, you'll spend each session doing cardio, weight training, flexibility or other activities depending on what your goals are. Your trainer will show you how to do the exercises, help you figure out how much weight to use and give you pointers for getting the most out of each exercise.
What to Look for In a Personal Trainer
  • Education: A personal trainer should be certified through a reputable personal training organization. An exercise science or other related college degree isn't necessary, but the more education your trainer has, the better your workouts will be.
  • CPR: your trainer should have an updated certification in CPR and/or first aid.
  • Experience: Make sure your trainer has experience, especially in relation to your goals. For example, if you're a bodybuilder, you want someone knowledgeable in that area.
  • Specifics: If you have a specific medical problem, injury or condition (such as being pregnant, heart problems, diabetes, etc.) make sure your trainer has education in these areas and will work with your doctor.
  • A good listener: A good trainer will listen closely to what you say and make sure he understands your goals.
  • Attention: A good trainer will be focused only on you during your sessions.
  • Tracking progress: A good trainer will regularly assess your progress and change things if necessary.
Personality is important too since you'll be working very closely with this person. Make sure you get along with your trainer and feel comfortable asking questions.
How to Find a Personal Trainer
One place to look is your local gym. Most gyms have personal trainers on staff and offer attractive packages for personal training. You can also look in your yellow pages, use Personal Trainer Finder or IDEA Fitness Connect to find trainers in your area, or search for local personal training studios. The cost will vary depending on where you live and your trainer's experience and education. Typically, the cost will be anywhere from $30 to $100 a session.
At some clubs, you may get assigned a trainer. However, one of my readers sent me these tips for doing a bit of investigation before you take the plunge:
  • Get a referral from a friend who's had success in reaching their goals with a personal trainer
  • When you're at the gym, watch trainers with their clients and see how they interact. Make a note of trainers who get along with their clients and seem fully involved in their workouts...that may be a good one to choose.
  • If you do get assigned to a trainer, make sure you tell the manager if you'd prefer a male trainer over a female trainer or vice versa, or if there's anything special you'd like to work on (getting in shape before pregnancy, getting ready for a marathon, etc.) so you'll get a trainer with experience in that area.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stay Local = EAT Local!

I want to start off saying that I have not been sponsored or paid by ANY of the companies that I mention below.  I just really love local businesses!  I have always been a champion for supporting local business - not just because I AM one, but because it is the right thing to do!  Shopping locally puts more than 4 times the revenue back into our local economy and local pockets.  Shopping local doesn't mean that you have to make drastic changes.  You can start small and easy!

For instance, when I shop for groceries there are a LOT of options out there.  Most people choose what is convenient for their shopping choices.  I am lucky, out here in da Metrys we have a LOT of options:
  • Dorignac's
  • Zuppardo's
  • Rouses
  • Robert's Fresh Market
In New Orleans there are even more options with little neighborhood markets readily available.

And that is just grocery stores.  One of the awesome things about those grocery stores is that they support local growers and food manufacturers.  If you also want something local and can't find it - just ask.  They will be happy to order it for you!  

I realized how spoiled I had become when I we evacuated to Montgomery, AL for Gustav.  I was looking for fresh baked bread or a local bakery - nothing.  I was looking for local sandwich meats - nothing.  I was looking for local mil - nothing.  BOY!  Was I spoiled!  My friends could not believe that we have access to all of those things right here at our fingertips.  Don't take it for granted.  Make sure you take advantage of all the yummy local options that are available to us!  

For local meats I like to ride out to the German Coast Farmer's Market on Saturday morning out in Destrehan.  Cox's Meat Market has local, wonderful meat options for you.  They also have a permanent location out in Reserve that you can go to.  German Coast also offers a wide variety of vendors!  Also check out the Gretna Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.  I look forward to visiting with those wonderful local folks the second Saturday of the month and stocking up on fruits, veggies, tamales, wine, smoked meat and local honey. YUMMY!

Locally grown food just also TASTES better!  Who can argue with that?  A Creole tomato on Bunny Bread - make you slap your mama!  

The positives definitely outweigh the negatives.   Just pay a little more attention to where you shop and you'll find that local shopping is only baby steps.  Choose local bread instead of a national brand (Bunny, Leidenheimer, or store bakery).  Choose local sandwich meat (Chesesi, Manda).  Choose local Milk (Brown's, Barbe's, Klienpeter).   By no means is this a full list.  I would welcome you to share your favorites here too.  

As far as seafood goes, I cannot fathom how a Red Lobster or Long John Silver stays in business here.  Why choose frozen, processed fish from out of state when we have the fruit of the sea right here in town?  Visit your local seafood store year round to pick up the freshest items!  Most of the time the fish was caught that morning.  I asked Leanne Ely and she told me that our locally caught Catfish (avail as low as $.80/lb) can be used as a substitute in ANY fish recipe.  What else could you ask for? 


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just a TASTE!

Yesterday I was at a FundRaiser for CDP, a preschool in New Orleans.  It was a great opportunity to bring awareness to this cause and met some wonderful people.   Before I even went to the event I knew that Jacques Imo's Cafe, one of my favorite places of ALL TIME would have food there. During French Quarter Fest I can't wait to get their duck poboy.  I know I can get it any time I want from Crabby Jack's, but what can I say, I am a sucker for tradition.  Back to the point - I LOVE their Alligator Sausage Cheesecake.  That was what was on the menu yesterday.  Sarge made me promise to bring him some home, no matter WHAT it was.  I bought a little place and here's the important part.  I had a TASTE.  Just a little bit of it and it tasted soo wonderful.  Then I wrapped it in the foil I carried in my ice chest and toted it home for Sarge.  He loved it.  I was VERY proud of myself.  Two weeks ago I would have eaten the whole thing, so fast I would not have even tasted it.  That little taste satisfied my cravings.

For dinner last night we went to Short Stop Po Boys and picked up a couple of poboys for dinner.  My first instinct was to get a regular sized one, and a coke, and chips, and something fried.  But I got a small roast beef.  Not the healthiest, but I REALLY wanted it and it was REALLY good.  I ate well all week.  I didn't DESERVE it, but I really wanted it and I got a small one, not a regular or large, and not fried shrimp.  

Now, off to the Parade to make some groceries!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A conversation on healthy eating with the Dinner Diva!

While making groceries this week I started to ponder the whole question of healthy eating.  What constitutes healthy?  Is healthy eating more expensive?  Is there an easy way to do this?  I didn't have all the answers and when you start researching OMG, do you find answers!  I am trying to keep it simple - if it didn't come out the ground or doesn't have a mother - don't eat it.  Thanks, Jillian Michaels.  That's a way of eating I can do.  But I still had a lot of questions and some of my readers had questions so I had a conversation with the incredibly awesome Leanne Ely, of Saving Dinner. 

Just a little background, Leanne is a nutritionist that I became familiar with through Marla Cilley,  the Flylady.  I was a little starstruck when she would answer my tweets, and to email her directly, well, that had me giddy!  I have been a Saving Dinner fan for years.  I have subscribed to her incredibly awesome menu mailers for a long time and have tons of them on my computer.  She has a really great way to create family friendly menus for a whole week and give it to you complete with grocery list, to your inbox every single week.  I even purchased some that were for the freezer meals.  I cooked and created weeks worth of meals in a single day and had a freezer STOCKED with awesome, healthy meals. 

Well, onto the good stuff.  I am going to post the questions and then Leanne's answers right under them. 

So much of what I am hearing is that it is too expensive to eat healthy. In NOLA (I live 15 min from there) food is a way of life, but local resources are around and keep growing. 

It's not too expensive to eat healthy--it's just a CHOICE. You buy a bag of organic apples or you buy some crappy crackers that cost .99 instead. Which is cheaper for a snack? The crackers, yep. But which in the long run will ruin your health? The crappy crackers. (I can do this all day long...write these kind of examples out! LOL)

Besides pork, turkey and chicken, what are red meat options for healthy living?

BEEF! Make it grassfed and you're in business. Also bison...good healthy alternative.

Lunch options for people working in retail and more focus on young people who don't cook every night.

Take LEFTOVERS from dinner the night before, keep it in the fridge at work (or pack it in a little ice chest yourself) and warm it up. Leftovers are our friends--they make lunch a SNAP!

Grocery bills can seem to double when buying healthy. Why is this and what can we do to help more?  I know it is because you are spending the same amount but just all at one place instead of a little at each drive through.

I think that's a myth--my grocery bill goes DOWN when I'm buying raw food that requires preparation and cooking. Why would healthy be more expensive? If you look at the food pound per pound for what you're getting, you get WAY more value for you dollar with healthy food as opposed to junky stuff. The nutrients alone save the day in that department!

Picky kids - how do you get them to eat healthy and gluten free?

You don't give up--you keep offering them healthy foods, you make sure your offerings are gluten free and you stay pleasant about it. When you turn food into a battle, you ultimately lose the war on healthy eating.

One trap I fall into is that I go into the store with great intentions for the weeks and then life happens and I can't cook like I'd like to or leftovers wilt in the fridge. Any tips?

Yes, FREEZE anything freezeable. I am known for doing that. If I have leftover soups (like my lentil soup--only one serving left) I'll stick it in the freezer to keep it going bad. Any veggies? I'll do a quick stir fry or steam them up and THEN freeze for later (add to soup/stew, etc.)

With Easter around the corner what strategies can we use to not let those baskets full of candy get to our waistlines. Any better alternatives to have in the house instead of chocolates and other goodies.

Just get a FEW good quality organic chocolates. Keep them in the freezer, pull out an ounce a day and you're good to go. DARK chocolate though, not all those silly marshellowy eggs and chicks!

So, what I got from Leanne is that it is all about choices.  You may see your grocery bill go up, but if you total all you would have spent on eating out and drive through and add that to what you normally spend on groceries don't be surprised if your bill goes down.

I have decided to give up fast food for Lent too.  I don't enjoy it, it doesn't taste good and it is terrible for me.  I'll still keep Subway, can't get crazy! 

If you have any other questions I am sure she would answer them! 

Much Love and Healthy Living,

Finding my Motivation.

31 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

“80 percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen
Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.
How do you find motivation to exercise when you just don’t feel like getting off your butt? I ask myself this question every now and then, and I have the feeling I’m not the only one.
A few weeks ago, I wrote 4 Simple Steps to Start the Exercise Habit … and the fourth and final step was to add motivation as needed until the habit sticks. This post is to help you with that fourth step.
There are a million ways to motivate yourself to exercise, actually, but these are a few that have worked for me. And trust me, I’ve had days when I’ve struggled with exercise. Most recently, the things that have helped include finding a workout partner (one of the best motivators!), logging my exercise, reading magazines, books and websites, and rewarding myself.
  1. How you feel after a workout. I always feel great after a good workout. It’s a high. And I let that motivate me the next time: “You know how good you’re going to feel, Leo!”
  2. Time for you. While many people make time to take care of others (kids, spouse, other family, co-workers, boss), they don’t often make time to take care of themselves. Instead, make your “you” time a priority, and don’t miss that exercise appointment.
  3. Calories burned. If you count calories (and it’s really one of the most effective ways to lose weight), you know that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn — and the bigger your calorie deficit.
  4. Having fun. Exercise should be fun. If it isn’t, try a different kind of activity that you enjoy. As long as you’re moving, it’s good for you.
  5. How you’re going to look. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. Now let that visualization drive you.
  6. Magazines. It motivates me to read fitness magazines. Not sure why, but it works.
  7. Cover models. Sure, they’re genetically freaky, and probably Photoshopped to look perfect. But for some reason, looking at how good a cover model looks helps motivate me to work harder.
  8. Blogs. I enjoy reading blogs about people who are into running, or losing weight. It can show the ups and downs they go through, and you can learn from their experiences.
  9. Success stories. I find the success stories of others incredibly inspirational. If a fitness website has success stories, I’ll almost always read them.
  10. Forums. Do the monthly challenge on the Zen Habits forums, or join another forum full of like-minded or like-goaled peopled. Check in daily. It really helps.
  11. Rewards. If you exercise for a few days, give yourself a reward! A week? Another reward. Do it often in the beginning.
  12. Fitting into new clothes. Wanna look good in a smaller size? Work out!
  13. Being attractive. That’s always a good motivator, as I’m sure we all know. Edited to correct language.
  14. Adrenaline rush. I get a rush when I exercise. Ride that rush to complete the workout.
  15. Stress relief. Wound up after a long day at the office? Get out and work off that stress. It makes a world of difference.
  16. Time for contemplation. I love, love the quiet time of exercise for thinking about things. Most of this post was written in my head as I exercised.
  17. A workout partner. Best thing I’ve done.
  18. An exercise class. Sign up for a class, perhaps with a friend, and you’ll be motivated to get there and work out.
  19. A coach or trainer. Worth the money, just for the motivation.
  20. An exercise log/graph. For some reason, writing it down is extremely important. Really. Do it for a week and you’ll see what I mean.
  21. Your before picture. You often don’t realize how far you’ve come. Take pictures.
  22. A 5K race or triathlon. Just sign up for one, and you’ll be motivated to train.
  23. The dread of feeling “yuck” from not exercising. I hate how I feel after not exercising. So I remind myself of that when I feel tired.
  24. Living long enough to see your grandkids … and play with them.
  25. The scale. It’s not motivating to weigh yourself every day, as your weight fluctuates. But if you weigh yourself once a week, you’ll be motivated to have it keep going down, instead of up. Combine the scale with the measuring tape, and measure your waist.
  26. Reaching a goal. Set a goal for weight, or your waist measurement, or a number of days to work out, or a number of miles to run this week. Setting and tracking a goal helps motivate you to complete that goal. Make it easily achievable.
  27. Posting it on your blog. Tell people you’re going to lose weight or exercise daily, and report to them. You’ll make it happen.
  28. Motivational quotes. I like to print them out or put them on my computer desktop.
  29. Books. I just bought a strength-training book as a reward. It makes me want to hit the weights!
  30. Others commenting on how good you look. When someone notices the changes in your body, it feels good. And it makes you want to work out more.
  31. An upcoming day at the beach, or a reunion. Nuff said.
Now I have a the Crescent City Classic in April and then a trip to the mountains in June, not to mention the pool opens at the swim club soon - so I have a TON of motivational images and goal dates.  Its just about getting out of my own way I think. As for a workout partner - not so much.  I am not a fan of that.  I like to concentrate - maybe if I had a partner and not a workout friend.  I don't know.  What do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daylight Savings - I'll Take it!

Daylight Savings time is one of my favorite times of the year.  It  means the end of cold weather and Spring is springing.  The downside is that my internal clock gets all messed up for about a week!  Here is what I found in researching how to adjust.

How to Cope with Daylight Savings Time

It’s that time of year again – Daylight Savings Time. You will set your clock forward one hour before you go to sleep, which means one less hour of sleep. Daylight savings time starts at 2 a.m. Sunday. Remember – you “spring forward” one hour.
For most workers, this time shift is rough and it causes weeks of sleep deprivation. You are probably going to be moodier than usual, and your productivity may suffer.
Daylight Savings Time, or DST for short, causes you to lose one hour of sleep, but at least it’s a sign that spring and summer are on its way. Winter is on its way out the door! The days are getting longer, which means we’ll have more sunlight at the end of the day. It’s always nice to drive home when it’s still sunny outside!
Still . . . Having to wake up an hour earlier is rough.
So how can you cope with Daylight Savings Time? Consider these helpful tips to help you survive the time change.
Changing Your Clocks Ahead of Time. Daylight savings time doesn’t officially start into the early hours of Sunday morning. You can prepare yourself for the time change by setting your clock forward one hour on Friday night. (Obviously, if you have plans on Saturday, you’ll want to remember that you changed your clocks early.)
After you set your clock forward, you’ll want to set your alarm clock for your regular waking time. Try to eat all your meals and go to bed at the time you normally do. By the time Monday morning rolls around, you might feel more adjusted. It won’t be as jarring and exhausting as it normally does.
Avoid Long Naps. If you love taking long naps later in the day, avoid it. Take a shorter, 20-minute catnap instead. Long naps can make it harder for you to sleep through the night. If you start to feel tired, why not take a short, brisk walk outside? Exercise releases the serotonin, a brain chemical that helps your body adjust to the time change.
Don’t Drink Alcohol. Say no to the nightcap. Alcohol interferes with regular sleep cycles, and it can hinder the quality of sleep.
No Eating Before Bed. Make sure that everything is well digested in your stomach before you to go bed. Don’t eat before you go to sleep. Have dinner earlier in the evening. A heavy meal in your stomach can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
Open the Blinds Before You Go to Sleep. Having more light in your bedroom may help your body better adjust to the new time change. Open the window blinds before you go to bed, and in the morning, you may be pleasantly awoken by bright rays of sunshine.
Go to Bed an Hour Earlier. This is common sense. Try to go to bed an hour earlier, so you can still get the same hours of sleep you normally do.
Don’t Drink Caffeine in the Afternoon. Everyone needs a cup of java to keep going in the morning, especially on Monday when you have to go back to work. But avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon, because it can make it harder for you to fall asleep that night.
Chances are, you will just have to cope. You will lose sleep, and you’ll be exhausted. You’ll deal and get used to it.
Of course, some of the strategies we'll have to look up for next time or in November,  and some are just CRAZY (i.e., the alcohol one) but I'll keep DST!