Monday, January 3, 2011


I am hoping you are getting excited about getting started. One thing you can work on in the next few days is setting up an account at

This service is free and you will learn to love it. It is one of those things that gets easier to use the more you use it.

One of the things that will earn you points is recording EVERYTHING YOU EAT every day. THE CHANGE FOR THIS ROUND OF COMPETITION IS YOU MUST RECORD WHAT YOU EAT ON THIS WEBSITE rather than in a notebook or on a scrap of paper.

A few helpful things:

1. If you have a smart phone there is an app to use myfitnesspal on your phone
2. It is OK to write what you have eaten on a paper as long as you enter it into the computer program before midnight each day
3. Take the time now to sign up for the website and to set your goals. You will choose how many pounds you want to lose per week and the program will select a number of calories per day for you to eat.
4. You will earn points every day for entering EVERYTHING you eat on the program and you will earn bonus points every day you stay within your caloric allowance
5. If you exercise the program allots you more calories in your daily amount! Yahoo!
6. The program has a lot of food items from restaurants and grocery stores already entered. As you select those things you eat most often you can save them which makes it way easier the next time to enter what you've eaten. Sounds complicated but it's super easy.

So go ahead and sign up and set up your goals. Wait until Wednesday morning to weigh and measure. That information can be entered here too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Challenge for Week #6

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Track and Measure = Improved Results

There's a saying that goes "When behavior is measured behavior improves!" There's something about making an accounting that can spur us on to greater success. Our challenge for the week is:

I recommend

Both are available on the computer and on smart phones.

Your challenge is to:
1. Sign up for a tracker
2. Enter data for the amount of weight you want to lose per week so that it can give you a target number of calories for the day
3. Enter every mouthful of food, every drop of water and every minute of exercise daily.
4. Stay within your calorie range

For the days you stay within your calorie range you will earn 5 bonus points!

It has been amazing to me that on some days I feel like "I've hardly eaten anything" or "I've only eaten low calorie foods" but when I enter all my foods into the database I have filled (or over filled) my daily caloric need. It adds up.

These trackers can be a pain at first but once you enter the foods you most often need they can actually be super fast.

Another thing you will find is that exercise is a welcome bonus. My daily caloric allowance is 1200 calories and it is pretty tight to stick to that. But when I enter my daily exercise it adds those allowable calories to my daily allotment. What a difference it makes! This has really helped me to learn that to eat enough that I feel satisfied and full I need daily exercise to aid the weight loss!

*Note if you already use a daily tracker you might want to choose a category to monitor (fiber, fat, carbohydrates etc.) Do some research on the ideal daily amount and then make sure you are staying within healthy ranges!

P.S. When I made this same challenge in our last round of competition I noted that EVERYONE THAT DID THE CHALLENGE LOST WEIGHT. And everyone that did not do the challenge did not lose weight.

You can honestly complete the daily tracker in less than 10 minutes per day. If you are not losing weight as rapidly as you would like it is vital to track your daily food intake so that you can make a wise determination of any changes you need to make!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Eat 9 Servings Every Day

Eat 9 fruits and veggies per day!

Our Challenge for This Week will be to up your intake of fruits and vegetables to a total of 9 servings per day! If you eat 9 servings of fruit and veggies every day you can claim your regular fruit and veggie points and an additional 5 points per day for meeting the challenge!
Oh my goodness why would you want to up your fruit and veggie intake to 9 servings per day? Well, besides the Word of Wisdom encouraging us to eat fruits and vegetables, science has discovered some major disease-fighting benefits, not to mention one of the best weight-management strategies to come around in years.
The Dietary Guidelines from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, recommend four to five one-half cup servings of fruits, and four to five half-cup servings of vegetables every day. Why so much?
"Because we know that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have less heart disease, and they have a healthier diet overall," says Lisa Hark, PhD, RD, author of Nutrition for Life (DK, 2005). "This is the first time they have said our dietary guidelines are not only to promote health, but to reduce the risk of major, chronic diseases and conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure."
So what does nine half-cup servings really mean? Does juice count? Do all the fruit and vegetable servings need to be fresh? And how can one possibly eat that much food without gaining weight?
"When I originally heard nine servings I thought, 'Wow'," Hark admits. "But if you think of it as two cups of fruits and two and a half cups of vegetables, it's a lot less daunting."
Hark recommends against drinking juice and taking multivitamins to meet the guideline requirements and of course we do not count multivitamins as meeting the requirement for our challenge. "Fruits and veggies are a great source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble fiber. They're also a good source of vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants. The natural source is always better. Juice doesn't give you much fiber, and it has too many calories." (Yes you can count juice and cooked veggies but see how many servings per day you can get of fresh raw fruits and veggies!)
Nine servings of fruits and vegetables seems like a big challenge. So we've broken down the guidelines and talked to some real women to find real solutions for eating more fruits and vegetables every day. Here's what we found.

  • Asparagus, canned 7 spears
  • Asparagus, fresh 5 spears
  • Avocado Half
  • Aubergine One-third of a large one
  • Baby sweetcorn 6
  • Baked beans 3 tbsp (1/2 cup)
  • Broad beans 3 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
  • Broccoli 2 large florets
  • Brussels sprouts 8
  • Cabbage 3 heaped tbsp shredded, (1/2 cup)
  • Carrots 1 large
  • Celery 3 sticks
  • Cherry tomatoes 7
  • Chickpeas See Pulses
  • Courgette Half a large one
  • Curly kale 4 tbsp (1/2 cup)
  • Eggplant One-third of a large one
  • French beans 4 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
  • Kidney beans See Pulses
  • Lentils See pulses
  • Mixed salad Cereal bowl full (1 cup)
  • Mushrooms, button 14
  • Onion 1 medium
  • Parsnip 1 large
  • Peas, fresh, frozen or canned 3 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
  • Potatoes Never count towards your daily vegetable servings, in any form
  • Pulses, cooked: kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils etc 3 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
  • Salad leaves, lettuce etc Cereal bowl full (1 cup)
  • Scallions 8
  • Snowpeas Handful
  • Spinach, cooked 2 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
  • Spring onions 8
  • Sugarsnap peas Handful
  • Sweetcorn, fresh, frozen or canned 3 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
  • Tomato 1 medium
  • Vegetable soup 1 serving of fresh or canned soup
  • Vegetable sticks Handful of mixed - celery, pepper, carrot etc
  • Zucchini Half a large one


  • Apple, dried 4 rings
  • Apple, fresh 1 medium
  • Apricots, dried 3 whole
  • Banana 1 medium
  • Blackberries Handful
  • Clementines 2
  • Cherries, fresh 14
  • Dried fruits, mixed 1 tbsp (1/4 cup)
  • Figs, fresh 2
  • Fruit and vegetable juices 250ml (1 cup) glass
  • Fruit salad, fresh or canned 3 heaped tbsp, (1/2 cup)
  • Kiwi 2
  • Grapefruit Half
  • Grapes Handful
  • Lychees, fresh or canned 6
  • Mango 2 slices
  • Melon 1 large slice
  • Passion fruit 6
  • Peach, canned 2 halves
  • Peach, fresh 1 medium
  • Pear 1 medium
  • Pineapple, canned 2 rings
  • Pineapple, fresh 1 large slice
  • Plums 2 medium
  • Prunes, canned 6
  • Nectarine 1 medium
  • Raisins 1 tbsp (1/4 cup)
  • Raspberries 2 handfuls
  • Rhubarb, cooked 2 heaped tbsp (1/3 cup)
  • Satsumas 2
  • Strawberries 7

Hark explains that the orange and red vegetables are important because they're usually loaded with beta-carotene. "Beta-carotene is good for the skin and good for the eyes. And the green leafy vegetables are a good source of folate, and of course that's good for women and heart disease prevention."
Another key finding: since leafy salad greens are kind of bulky, you need to eat one full cup to count as one serving, instead of the usual half-cup serving size.

the snacking strategy
So how do real women get fruit and vegetables into their diets? As it turns out, snacking between meals is the secret to success.
"Eating more fruits and vegetables is something I struggle with, especially since I got pregnant," says Sasha, a beauty and fashion editor from Brooklyn, New York. "I do a few things, like eating dried fruit, which seems easier to snack on. I keep baby carrots in mydesk for when I want to munch on something. And lately I've been eating a lot of edamame -- the salt itches the snack itch."
Hark says dried fruit and edamame are excellent solutions. "Dried fruit is very helpful -- it's a great source of fiber and it's easy to carry around with you," she says. "Edamame is healthy -- it's a soy bean," says Hark. "I don't think it's a significant amount of salt. But if you don't want to have so much salt, you could wash them."
Baby carrots seemed to be a popular choice among the women we talked to. Says Denise, a mother of two and the managing editor of a major Web site, "My two-and-a-half-year-old-daughter and I share this passion: healthy dipping sauce! It adds flavor and is a pretty safe way to snack and get veggies in your diet." Denise and her family love dipping baby carrots in salsa, hummus, fat-free dressing, and plain yogurt with dill sprinkled on top.
Keeping fruit at your desk was another foolproof strategy for our health-conscious group. As a vegetarian, Lexi, a parenting editor from Brooklyn, New York, has made a habit of keeping a box of clementines at her desk and in her kitchen whenever they're in season. Plus, her doctors have been preaching the benefits of extra fruits and veggies to her for years, so she's made some rules for herself.
"If I want bread, I have to have a veggie, too," explains Lexi. "When I make egg salad, for example, I always want crackers with it. But if I get crackers, I also have to cut up a bell pepper to use as a scoop. Oh, using veggies as snack scoops is another big rule of mine."

If you have any good fruit or veggie recipes or favorite ways you fit them into your diet please "Reply All" and share with the group!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Go the extra mile!

The challenge for this week is to add some daily exercise into your non-exercise part of your day:
1. Intentionally park far away! Avoid those convenient spots and park farther out EVERYWHERE you drive
2. Take the stairs instead of elevator
3. Stand instead of sit- waiting for a doctor's or other appointment? Stand instead of sit during part of your waiting time
4. Watching television- take a few minutes to stretch or do some ab exercises

For every day you add some exercise into the non-exercise portion of your day you earn 5 bonus points for a maximum of 30 points (spend your Sabbath "resting")

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our challenge for Week #2 is to eat meat sparingly. You can prayerfully decide for yourself what "sparingly" means to you but I would hope that each day you award yourself the bonus points you have eaten less meat than is your habit.

Please be creative with this challenge and if you find any new and wonderful meatless dishes send the recipe and I will forward it to the group!

(If you already abstain from meat you can get your bonus points by tracking protein grams and making sure you are getting a sufficient amount of daily protein)

Doctrine and Covenants 89 has this to say about our consumption of meat
12 Yea, aflesh also of bbeasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used csparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or bfamine.

Just a review of a few definitions (I always use Webster's 1828 Dictionary because it was printed near the time that Joseph prepared our scriptures so I think the meanings given here should be as close to accurate as we can obtain):

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

1. Not abundantly.
2. Frugally; parsimoniously; not lavishly.
3. Abstinently; moderately.
4. Seldom; not frequently.
5. Cautiously; tenderly.
Hmmmmmm... doesn't sound like sparingly means a moderate portion at every meal, or meat every night for dinner or even several times a week. It actually even mentions abstinence. And the scripture itself tells us that it is pleasing to the Lord that meat not be used.
But we are told it is OK to eat meat during times of famine or winter. Hmmm
FAM'INE, n. [L. fames.]
1. Scarcity of food; dearth; a general want of provisions sufficient for the inhabitants of a country or besieged place.
2. Want; destitution; as a famine of the word of life.
Sounds like we are not now in a famine. But winter is coming!!
1. The cold
season of the year. In tropical climates, it cannot be said to be cold.
I'm not trying to get super extreme on you but I'd like you to really think about this topic. Do you that eating meat is bad for your health?

The list of diseases known to be associated with meat, which are commoner among meat eaters, looks like the index of a medical textbook.

Anaemia, appendicitis, arthritis, breast cancer, cancer of the colon, cancer of the prostate, constipation, diabetes, gall stones, gout, high blood pressure, indigestion, obesity, piles, strokes and varicose veins are just some of the well known disorders which are more likely to affect meat eaters than vegetarians.

Avoiding meat is one of the best and simplest ways to cut down your fat consumption.

Add to those hazards the fact that if you eat meat you may be consuming hormones, drugs and other chemicals that have been fed to the animals before they were killed and you can see the extent of the danger. No one knows precisely what effect eating the hormones in meat is likely to have on your health. But the risk is there and I think it's a big one. Some farmers use tranquillisers to keep animals calm in overcrowded conditions. Others routinely use antibiotics so that their animals do not develop infections. When you eat meat you are, inevitably, eating those drugs. In America, over half of all antibiotics are fed to animals and I don't think it is any coincidence that the percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin went up from 13% in 1960 to 91% in 1988.

The healthiness of a vegetarian diet is perhaps shown most dramatically by the fact that lifelong vegetarians visit hospitals 22% less often than meat eaters - and for shorter stays! Vegetarians tend to be fitter than meat eaters - as well as healthier - and many of the world's most successful athletes (particularly those who specialise in endurance events) follow a strictly vegetarian diet.

It is the fat in meat that does most harm - and which makes meat eating an even bigger health hazard than smoking.

Here's some LDS Quotes

"It is an unusual circumstance to see a man a hundred years old, or a woman ninety. The people have laid the foundation of short life through their diet." (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 187)

President Hinckley had stated, "I regret that we as a people do not live [the Word of Wisdom] more fully." (Ensign, May 1990, p. 51)

Concerning the Word of Wisdom, Lorenzo Snow is reported to have paid "special attention to that part which relates to the use of meat, which he considered just as strong as that which related to the use of liquors and hot drinks." Elder Snow "was convinced that the killing of animals when unnecessary was wrong and sinful, and that it was not right to neglect one part of the Word of Wisdom and be too strenuous in regard to other parts." (Journal History, 5 May 1893, pp. 2-3)

One hundred years ago, in a meeting of the church leadership, then-Apostle Lorenzo Snow "introduced the subject of the Word of Wisdom, expressing the opinion that it was violated as much or more in the improper use of meat as in other things, and thought the time was near at hand when the Latter-day Saints should be taught to refrain from meat eating and the shedding of animal blood." (Journal History, 11 March 1897 p. 2)

President Heber J. Grant stated, "I think that another reason I have very splendid strength for an old man is that during the years we have had a cafeteria... I have not, with exception of not more than a dozen times, ordered meat of any kind. ...I have endeavored to live the Word of Wisdom and that, in my opinion, is one reason for my good health." (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 15)

John A. Widtsoe of the quorum of the twelve apostles said in his book on the Word of Wisdom, "It was shown in the history of plant science that plants contain all the necessary food substances: proteins, fats, starches and the carbohydrates, minerals...water [and] vitamins. The Great builder of the earth provided well for the physical needs of His children. Countless varieties of edible plants, vegetables, cereals, fruits and nuts are yielded by Mother Nature for man's daily food. If one uses meat it must be used sparingly and in winter or famine only.... They who wish to be well and gain the promised reward stated in the Word of Wisdom must obey all of the law, not just part of it as suits their whim or their appetite, or their notion of its meaning." (The Word of Wisdom, a Modern Interpretation, 1950)

President Joseph Fielding Smith's wife, Jesse Evans Smith, said, "my husband doesn't eat meat" and he felt a "disdain of meat and (a) love of vegetables." (Brigham Young University Daily Universe, May 6, 1971, p. 1)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

And We Begin Again!

Well ladies we are on the big count down. We begin this Wednesday!! Just a few things you need to do in preparation:
1. Find yourself a partner and notify me of both of your names and e-mail addresses.
2. Tell everyone that you are beginning a new lifestyle of healthy habits starting next week. If you have friends that want to join make sure they contact me by Monday.
3. Throw out the sugar cereals, cookies, cakes and ice-cream and fill your fridge with fresh vegetables and fruits. Choose a variety of types and a rainbow of colors.
4. Wednesday MORNING weigh yourself and carefully measure your waist and hips (you may want to take other measurements for your personal satisfaction). Keep a record in a safe place.
5. Dust off your running shoes and pull out your exercise bands, work out videos, bicycle etc. Start planning what you are going to do for your daily exercise.
6. Familiarize yourself with the information under the rules and reporting tabs on this website.
7. Get yourself a jar and start putting in $5 a week for our contest fee. Money needs to be mailed at week 5 and week 10.
8. E-mail me with any questions or concerns

*Note the weekly challenge for the first week will be to check in with your partner DAILY. You can text, e-mail, voice-mail, phone or run by but every day do something to encourage your partner to focus on the many aspects of healthy living so that you get a tremendous first week score! You earn points every day for doing the challenge.