I realized I haven’t provided any updates on my weight/healthy living goals lately. I’m proud that I’m still mostly soda-free, and hoping to keep it that way. We haven’t bought a 12-pk of soda since March, meaning our home has been soda-free for over six months now!
I’ve had, on average, one or two fountain drink sodas each month, usually when I don’t have any other options I’m happy with, and I had a soda with lunch each day at BlogHer because I needed the cold caffeine. Had our hotel’s refrigerator actually let us put our own drinks into it – rather than making it a pressure-sensitive mini-bar stocked full with no room for our own stuff – I would have made it through the conference with Starbucks Refreshers instead. I still didn’t like the taste of soda as much as I used to, and really don’t like the taste of diet soda anymore.
My weight is holding steady, usually between 161 and 165 pounds. I’m a little bummed that I haven’t been able to get back down to my goal weight that I reached last year, but at the same time, I’m mighty pleased with myself for not having a massive gain, even when I wasn’t closely watching my diet. Which means I’ve maintained this weight for over a year now – and that’s worth repeating – OVER A YEAR NOW! That’s without constantly tracking every calorie or working out regularly, too.
I’m not saying that my current habits are good, though. While I’m trying to eat less processed and artificial foods, I do find myself saying yes to junky food more often than I should. With the holiday season looming in the distance, this is the month to crack down and get those best practices into shape again.
I strongly believe that part of the success in maintaining my weight has been cutting out artificial sweeteners as much as possible. The diet soda was the worst offender, but certainly not the only. I think the diet industry is (possibly on purpose) sabotaging efforts by including artificial sweeteners in so many of their products. There are studies linking artificial sweeteners to increased weight gain, so there’s no reason for many people to continue using them.
We’ve been eliminating artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, and cutting back heavily on processed foods. If we can pronounce every ingredient on the label, and say all the ingredients in a single breath, it’s generally a good start.
One food I changed my mind on is yogurt. I used to eat the “light” brands of yogurt all the time – yogurt is healthy food, but lower calorie/fat yogurt is better, right? Not quite. I stopped when I realized they weren’t doing me any favors by substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar. So I eat the full calorie, full fat stuff now.
I especially like greek yogurt (extra protein!), and also yogurt with real fruit in it. I don’t like plain yogurt, but I also don’t like “fruit-flavored” yogurt, either. Give me yogurt with real fruit chunks in it (and not just at the bottom, either!), or blended together in a smoothie.
Yoplait Fruitful is a new favorite of mine – no artificial junk, and 1/3 cup of real fruit blended in each serving. Full disclosure: Yoplait provided me with complimentary samples, but I’ve already purchased plenty more with my own money since then.
Looks good, right? Tastes good, too! And it’s even safe for Cordy to eat, since there’s nothing artificial in it.
Mix a little granola in with it, and that little cup of Yoplait Fruitful fruit and yogurt is a powerful snack or breakfast. They come in five flavors: pineapple, strawberry, peach, blueberry, cherries & red berries (my favorite!) and mango pineapple & orange.
They’re only available in the Midwest at the moment, but should be nationwide in coming months. I found mine at Meijer. You can snag a coupon for Yoplait Fruitful yogurts on the Yoplait site like I did – it’s on the right side of the page where it says “enjoy with a coupon.”
I’ve found these make great single-serve smoothies, too. Empty one container of Fruitful yogurt into the blender, add a scoop of protein powder if you’d like, add four or so ice cubes, and blend. If it’s too thick for you, add a little water or juice when blending.
This has become one of my new favorite mid-morning snacks. It fits in well with my calorie goal for the day and tastes like dessert. Win!
We also recently signed up for a local produce delivery called Green BEAN Ohio. They provide us with a box of fresh fruits and veggies every other week, many of them locally grown, placed right on our doorstep. This has made it easy to get some of our favorite staple items from local growers: red potatoes, green beans, berries, cucumbers, spinach, corn, fresh cilantro, zucchini, and now apples. Having it delivered every other week forces us to use more produce because we don’t want to let it go bad and waste money.
I’m especially excited about having zucchini again. I’ve already made zucchini muffins once, and need to make another batch this week. The kids love taking mini-muffins to school for their lunch dessert, and I don’t feel any guilt over what they’re eating. If you’d like my zucchini muffin recipe, one of the few things I am skilled at making in a kitchen, you can find it in this post.
And finally, we’re getting moving again. Aaron and I signed up for the Color Me Rad 5K in October – we did this one last year and had a lot of fun with it. In June we did a different type of color run, but I still had some restrictions on movement due to the incision on my back, so I walked a lot of it. It was hot, too. No excuses this time – I want to give it my full effort. Locals – want to come run with us?
I’d like to find a workout to do at home, too. I have my treadmill, but I need to find a workout video or series of exercises that are exciting for me again. I can’t do the 30 Day Shred anymore because my knees can’t take the abuse, so it’s time to try out some new routines. Any favorites out there?
So that’s the current plan: eat less artificial junk, eat more fruit and veggies, and get more exercise. I can do that, right? Maybe this will even move the scale back to my goal weight again, too. Although at this point I think I care less about the scale numbers and more about how I feel and look. If I feel good and like the way my clothing fits, that’s really all that matters now.
Anyone else feel like a new season is a time for reflecting on and updating your goals? I’d love to hear any goals others are setting for Fall.
**Thanks to Yoplait for sponsoring this post and introducing me to their Fruitful yogurt!