Thursday, September 21, 2006

Five pounds later...

ADA Loha! It's a difficult life, that of a jet setting biz woman, but someone has to do it. Spent the last 5 days in Honolulu rubbing elbows with wizards of nutrition and health. Now that I am back safely in the Atl, let us turn our attention to one of the ugly consequences of business travel. I confidently stepped on the scale this a.m. and discovered five extra pounds...sur moi?!? Ok, one too many macadamia nut candies and a few networking cocktail parties, “bam!!!” (as sweet little Emeril might exclaim) my "thin" slacks are a little uncomfortable. This is no time to panic with the Autumnal equinox in two days, fall fashion is in full swing with slim fit jeans and tights back in style!!!

BTW, this as proof that slim and healthy are not effortless and calories do count, and count even more as we (fabulous women of the world) ripen/mature/smolder/bloom/gain wisdom/ok, age. I have another figure threatening business trip next week and I can't return with another five pounds, so it is time for a plan. I know my options for weight maintenance. Too many calories consumed and not enough calories burned makes Audrey's energy and health lag. To recover and re-balance, just flip the equation---seems so easy in theory, but when the chocolate cravings haunt you and jet lag makes diligence as appealing as last seasons jeans...
Here's the plan. Step 1, food journal. Keep closer track of exactly what I am eating, esp on those biz trips, so I can determine if I am really hungry or just tired and have an appetite. Step 2, exercise log. Keep track of daily activity. Heck they have workout rooms in hotels for a reason, and I will be packing my walking shoes. Step 3, hold off on those fatty indulgences until body is back in balance and the return on a healthier weight. Step 4, document progress in blog to stay accountable and if there are other ladies out there who want to lose 5 lbs with me, please respond! It's always easier to work off difficult pounds when you can do it with a friend.

Finally, Splenda® had come out with French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavored coffee sweeteners. I had a chance to try them in Hawaii and they are fabulous, plus zero calories! Might be a new addition to the morning routine. Stay strong, stay sugar-free, and TTFN!

Friday, September 15, 2006

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Living the low-cal lifestyle

Hello Monday! Is there a better way to start the week than with a vigorous 5 AM workout followed up with a protein and fruit smoothie, sweetened with Splenda®. I feel energized and in a great mood to tackle the week ahead, no matter what is waiting for this wily working girl. Now that is what I mean by the low-cal lifestyle. Care of mind, body, and spirit with strength building exercises, nutrient-packed food, and a positive mindset to take on the world. Before I run out the door, I grab some healthy snacks for the day (2-3 snacks or mini- meals), which will keep my energy up and metabolism boosted all day through. On the menu for today…whole grain crackers with slices of low fat mozzarella and green apple (enough for both mid morning and mid day snacks), low-calorie vanilla yogurt with Splenda®, ½ tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat bread with diet soda for lunch, and a yummy Asian chicken salad with a low-cal sesame dressing, which I make at home using Splenda®, for an early supper or a late day snack. These mini meals are all tucked securely in the company fridge, ready for me at any moment. The best thing about low-calorie living is that I actually spend less at the grocery store because I avoid all the junk food aisles, eat more nutritious foods by loading up on fresh fruits and veggies, and don’t sabotage all the effort I put in to my workouts. Living la vida low-cal is magnifico!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In the beginning...

Why do I blog? The real question is why not. I’ll try almost anything once, from skydiving and bungee jumping to eating black pudding and haggis in the UK. Then there was that time in college when I wore a miracle bra to a frat party. Needless to say, that never happened again.

Another reason for this inaugural post, I finally succumbed to peer pressure after several friends talked me into it. Seeing as how there are already so many people posting their every thought and impulse on the World Wide Web, I figured why not join the crowd!

Most important, however, I’m writing this blog to both chronicle my efforts to maintain a healthier lifestyle and encourage others to do the same. Rapidly approaching the “Big 30” – and cursed with a family history that includes Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Diabetes, heart disease and various forms of cancer – I’ve found it’s more important than ever to adopt a smart, balanced approach to eating and exercise.

If you’re wondering what kind of insight I could possibly provide, well who better to write about a low-calorie lifestyle than someone who works with the Calorie Control Council? After several years cranking copy for daily newspapers in various cities, I turned in my reporting notebook last fall and moved into the world of communications. Through the ironies of destiny, I’ve wound up in Atlanta, working with CCC and other non-profit associations. I have spent a good chunk of time in recent months reading up on research involving low-calorie sweeteners and fat replacers. And I now have the pleasure of hanging out with registered dietitians who can rapidly tick off the number of calories and fat grams typically found in a slice of pizza.

However, don’t think this blog is coming from some gal with a perfect figure who’s always been able to hit the size 4 and 6 racks in the juniors department. I’ve had my share of ups and downs on the weight merry-go-round. Thanks to competitive sports, I was fortunate enough to make it through adolescence and early adulthood without having to watch what I ate. So it was a rude wakeup call when I hit my mid-to-late 20s and realized my butt got bigger just looking at a piece of cake. Now almost 30, I’m still trying to get back to my previous size – but that struggle has become easier since adopting a lower-calorie diet.

So what is the good news? Well, for one, science proves that eating low-calorie foods containing sugar substitutes such as sucralose (brand name Splenda®) are not only safe, but also a smart way to maintain a slim figure. Now, rarely will a high-calorie food pass my palate if I can find a lower-calorie, sugar-free option. And speaking of low-cal options, Splenda has virtually changed my diet. I put it in my coffee daily and am increasingly incorporating it into baking and cooking recipes.
As I (cough) “mature,” science dictates that I could be putting on at least a pound a year due to loss of muscle and increased body fat. To counteract that, I’ve been exercising daily and eating lower-cal foods, i.e. fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grain breads and cereals, non-fat dairy. Let’s just say the days of mindless eating, beer bongs, tequila shots and chain smoking are officially over. I stay aware of calorie intake and how many of said calories I burn during the day. Like many other women, though, I still enjoy the occasional chocolate treat, pastry and cocktail. I’ve learned how to indulge in every one of these treats – and still regularly meet friends for dinner and drinks (in moderation, of course) - without packing on pounds. How? By making low-calorie substitutions whenever I can.

Be forewarned, this blog will be all over the board. Entries will range from the latest health news trends, scientific research, advice and commentary on “sugar-free” eating to snarky observations about general news and pop culture. Overall, I hope to help interested parties find ways to navigate this buffet of life while staying – or becoming – healthfully slim (no fad diets or eating disorders allowed). If you want the tricks of the trade, then this is where you’ll get the dish. Hope you enjoy!