Is Social Media Healthy?

Hi everyone.  I have been sick for almost a week and thus absent from my blog.  I’m feeling a little bit better today, but also feeling pretty guilty about my frequent ice cream “medicine”, which worked wonders for my sore throat, but obviously did not help my diet.  My meal plan this week will pretty much be whatever I have in my fridge that is somewhat healthy:

  • Breakfast (8am): 6oz. 0% Fage Greek yogurt with 1/4c. granola & 1/4c. freeze-dried fruit.
  • Snack (11:30am):  Apple with peanut butter and lots of Hershey kisses
  • Lunch (3pm):  Salad with carrots and peppers.   Lots more Hershey kisses 
  • Dinner (7pm): 1 cup homemade squash soup and grilled cheese.

*****

I did the unthinkable today – I deactivated my Facebook account.  I must say, they make you feel awfully guilty about it too, with pictures of my family and friends saying “we will miss you… are you sure you want to leave us?”.  They also make it very difficult to actually delete your account, so I just deactivated it for now. 

So why would I want to leave the behemoth of social media networking?  I got a new phone recently that includes a Facebook widget with rolling status updates, and discovered that most of my “friends” are not really friends at all.  If I didn’t know, or even like this person in high school or college, why would I want to keep track of them now and know every detail of their daily life?  And even if I do know and like this person, do I really need to know the details of their potty-training or what they just bought at the store?  Um, NO.  Nor do I like the thought of these “friends” or random strangers perusing around in my own information.  Besides, I’ve always been more of a loner, not keeping up with my real friends after moving over and over again during my military upbringing.  Plus, most businesses have now caught on to social media sites as networking tools and I’m tired of the barrage of marketing and requests to “become a fan on Facebook” e-mails. 

But more importantly, I found that Facebook was more a source of frustration than networking, and simply unhealthy for my personal well-being.  It seemed to be just a personal brag-book for some of my “friends”, and most of what they were posting was based on the fabulous life they want everyone to believe they are living.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I am a naturally competitive person and don’t need the daily reminders of what I don’t have.  At some point, I have to find acceptance with myself and my own life, and Facebook was not helping. 

I’ve actually read several articles about people pulling the plug on social networking sites lately.  Here’s one of them in case you’re interested, and there are tons more if you Google it.  http://www.businessinsider.com/10-reasons-to-delete-your-facebook-account-2010-5

I even debated deleting my blog, but ultimately decided against it because my blog is mostly anonymous.  There’s no personal information about where I live, where I went to school, or even my last name, and my readers are mostly just random strangers who are looking for Cinch Diet recipes.  My blog is basically my personal journal that is not really meant for social networking. 

So there are my random thoughts of the day.  I’m eager to hear some of your opinions on the Social Media debate, whether or not you agree.

Ate a Cupcake… for my job!

My husband says I must report to the blogging community that I ate a cupcake.  Yes, it’s true, but it was not a secret splurge – it’s my job!!  I work in the Culinary department for a restaurant company and we are introducing cupcakes this month, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  Carrot Cake & Red Velvet… and they are surprisingly good.  At least once every couple of weeks (sometimes more), I’m requested to sample one of their latest concoctions, especially since I’m known as the department sugar-addict.  Oh, what’s a girl to do… 

I also got to try our new vegetarian cakes recently, which will probably replace our veggie burgers.  I actually like our veggie burgers, but the new ones are a-m-a-z-i-n-g!  They’re basically shredded zucchini that’s mixed with a proprietary blend of breading and spices and then lightly fried.  You can order them with 2 side dishes for a “petite plate” or on two mini-buns with a side and salad.  Despite the light frying, the petite plate will actually make a good diet-friendly option if you’re eating out.  (Here’s a restaurant diet hint – don’t ever get anything on a bun, or if you do, be sure and tell them to hold the butter.)

Cinch Day 1 – 5 Day “Fast Forward” Phase

Day 1 is in the books! 

I’m glad I was off work and planned to spend New Years Eve at home with my husband, because the grocery shopping, recipe study, and food-prep was more time-consuming than I expected.  I suggest starting on a weekend!  My husband thinks I’ve gone crazy, ha ha ha, but I’m having fun.  Of course, I also spent some extra time taking pictures and working on my blog so I could share my experience with everyone, but it was worth it for the motivation factor.  Apparently it’s working too because my sister has agreed to join in!  Good luck, Liz!

I consider myself somewhat of an expert at the grocery store and know very well how to dissect a food label, so I was surprised to find that it was a little challenging to find acceptable forms of my 5 ingredients.  Here’s what I found…

  • 15 cups of raw spinach, approximately 2 large 10-oz bags.  

  • 20 cups of raspberries, about 8 frozen 10-oz bags.  Cascadian Farms is the only one I found that didn’t included added sugars and is found in the Organic or Health Food section.  I tried to get the significantly cheaper regular variety in the frozen foods section, but they included “liquid sugar”.  Be careful and check your labels!  I also considered fresh, but 10 pints at $3.99 each would have been quite costly!

  • 2 cups of sliced almonds.  At first, I purchased a bag of bulk almonds from the produce section and chopped them up in my food processor, but then discovered that you can also buy the sliced almonds in bulk (for cheaper!) in the Organic section at Kroger.  But if they don’t have any bulk at your grocery store, you can also find bags in the Baking aisle. 

  • 10 Tablespoons of natural RAW almond butter, about 1/3 of a 16-oz jar.  After realizing the the organic product I had at home had added sugars and oils, I tossed it, then had to look at almost every jar in the organic section before picking MaraNatha All Natural RAW Almond Butter.  When in doubt, read the ingredient label and be sure all that it includes is “raw almonds”… no oils or sugars.

  •  60 ounces of non-fat PLAIN yogurt. , 2 of the 32-oz tubs.  I decided to try 2 different kinds to see which one I preferred.  The Stonyfield Farms product was almost twice the cost, but organic.  Be sure to get the non-fat, plain variety.  0% greek yogurt is OK too, but I think it’s a little too bitter since I can’t use any sweeteners for the Detox phase… I normally add fruit, agave or honey to sweeten it.

 

  • 10 large eggs.  There are different sizes and types, but I like Eggland’s Best LARGE eggs.  Careful not to get extra large!  You’ll also want to boil 5 of them when you get home so they’re ready for your dinners.  You can store un-peeled hard boiled eggs in the fridge for about a week.

  • 4-5 tangerines (for flavor & salad dressing)
  • Seasonings  – herbs (salt-free) cinnamon and nutmeg (plain, without sugar), balsamic vinegar.  NO SALT!

 

MEALS

  • Meal 1  (9:30 am) – scrambled egg with spinach; raspberries and almonds.  2 cups water.

The egg & spinach combo was a little bland and the spinach flavor really stood out, so I had to add some pepper.  NO SALT!!  Overall, not bad.  I might try some adding spice tomorrow.  The raspberries and almonds were very yummy.

 

  • Meal 2  (1:00 pm) – yogurt parfait with raspberries and almonds.  2 cups water.

This was delicious and tasted like dessert!  I sprinkled a little cinnamon and nutmeg on each yogurt layer and that really spiced it up.  I might also add a few sprigs of mint next time (I grow mint in my kitchen).

 

  • Meal 3  (5:00 pm) – spinach salad with raspberries, almonds, boiled egg, homemade tangerine balsamic vinaigrette .  2 cups water.

This meal was my least favorite of the day, primarily because I’m not much of a salad fan, and do not care for a strong vinegar flavor.  I think tomorrow I’ll omit the vinegar, and blend the fresh-squeezed tangerine juice and raspberries for the dressing.  I thought the egg might taste strange with the fruit, but actually it was a good combo.

 

 

  • Meal 4 (9:00 pm) – smoothie with yogurt, raspberries, almond butter, ice.  2 cups water.

The smoothie was great – kind of like a fruity milkshake to finish out the day.  I had to add a little bit of water to help it blend, and also added a sprinkle of cinnamon and sprig of mint.  For those that are used to a super-sweet smoothie (my husband played guinea pig), you might find this a bit sour or bitter due to the plain yogurt and raspberries.  I’m not sure what to suggest other than give it time for your taste buds to adjust.  By the end of 5 days, you are supposed to have a new appreciation for natural flavors.

Summary… surprisingly, I did not feel very hungry between meals and the meals were pretty good.  Not a cheeseburger and chocolate, but tasty without the guilt!  Looking forward to Day 2… 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Happy Thursday, it’s Cinch-Eve!

Hi everyone.  Wow, I’m so flattered to suddenly have so many new followers!  That is so motivating!!  Although I am not officially starting Cinch until tomorrow (I’m cleaning out my fridge + the book will arrive today!), I’ve done very well this week.  I haven’t missed a workout, and more importantly, I haven’t touched sugar despite the leftover holiday candy luring me from the candy dish!  I was tempted to throw it out or take it to work, but my little brother was so excited to give me the bags of candy he’d found (Cadbury Christmas eggs), so I’ll keep them around for company and work on my will power. 

On a totally different subject, has anyone tried Maybelline’s new “Red Revival” lipstick?  According the advertisement, it’s the best red lipstick ever.  I’ve always wanted to try red, but after wasting many hours in the makeup aisle, plus several failed attempts at actually wearing it in public, including my boss teasing me about how it “just doesn’t look right on you”, I gave up.  I’m always skeptical of any claim in a magazine or other advertisement, but I had great Walgreen’s coupon that almost negated the cost, so I decided to go for it.  I did have to go to 3 different Walgreens before I found one that had it in stock, and I got my latest Shape magazine in the mail yesterday and there’s a feature about this same lipstick.  OMG!  This is truly the best red lipstick ever!  For someone with fair, blotchy, olive skin, I couldn’t believe this color could actually looked good on me, but it does!  Even my husband, who normally avoids me when I’m wearing dark lipstick, has told me several times that it flatters me.  You can be the judge: 

Maybelline Red Revival Lipstick

I promised to post my daily food journal, so here you go.  I’ve basically eaten the same things for 3 days as I try cleaning out what little I had in my fridge.  I’m assuming I’ll post something similar when I start the Cinch program.  So it’s off the grocery tonight to stock up on organic spinach, raw almonds, frozen raspberries, Eggland’s Best eggs, and Dannon non-fat plain yogurt (the brands are just my personal preference).

Thursday      
Food Description Calories Fat Carbs
Fruit & protein smoothie 300 4 30
Apple 110 0 24
10 almonds 70 6 1
Baked potato with sour cream 200 3 35
Large salad w/ veggies, lt dressing 300 6 15
Teriyaki chicken 150 1 5
Broccoli with cheese 130 5 4
Pineapple 78 0 18
       
       
Grand Totals 1338 25 132
Workout – 15 min cycling; Weights + Elliptical   yes

The Morning After

The morning after a weak moment in my quest for healthy eating.  Granted, there is very little sinful food in my house, so my “splurge” consisted of about 3 servings of baked Tostitos with sour cream and salsa, plus a small bowl of low-fat ice cream with extra dark-chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.  I somehow still managed to get under my daily calorie maximum, but I feel badly nonetheless. 

So as all of my nutrition coaches have said, learn from your mistakes and move on; you cannot undo what has been done.  So what did I learn?  Well, it started just like it always does… someone at work had a treat that I needed to sample.  In this case, some deluxe chocolates from Alaska.  I had 1, yum, then 2, 3, 4.  I stopped at 4, but the wheels were already turning.  So I went to the gym after work to finish the workout I had started earlier that morning.  I managed 30 minutes on the elliptical and became very tired.  I drove home determined to stick to my pre-planned healthy dinner, but then I wanted a little snack while I waited for my husband to finish playing with his bicycles and come inside for dinner.  The little snack turned into a big snack and that was that.

So what I learned is that I have not yet mastered portion control and still struggle just to have one and done… and am very lucky I’m not 300 pounds!  On a positive note, however, I have gotten better at starting over with my healthy habits the next day (today!) instead of letting it drag on.  I WILL conquer this!!!

       
Food Description Cal Fat Carbs
Homemade granola bar 210 5 28
Low-fat cottage cheese 90 3 6
Pear 100 0 22
Large salad w/ veggies, lt dressing 300 4 20
10 almonds 70 6 1
Lentil soup 340 5 43
1 cup 1% milk 110 3 11
Grand Totals 1220 26 131
       
Vitamins     yes
Workout – Stregnth,  30m fast walk     yes