Slow and Steady Helps You Maintain Wt Loss for Good!


By: Nikki Nies

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already December! Part of me wonders where the time has gone, while the other part of wonders when it’ll be July 2017. Why, July 2017 you ask? I’m hoping to meet my weight goal by July 2017. You see, if you’ve been following my previous posts, you might have come across my candid sharing of my current weight struggles.

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Original Image by Bjorn Soderqvist via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already December! Part of me wonders where the time has gone, while the other part of wonders when it’ll be July 2017. Why, July 2017 you ask? I’m hoping to meet my weight goal by July 2017. You see, if you’ve been following my previous posts, you might have come across my candid sharing of my current weight struggles.

Between February 2016 and July 2016, I gained an obvious 20#. It was so obvious, a gal I barely knew made a comment that I must be ‘eating well.’ While it’s one of the most honest, true statements, it’s seared in my memory and was part of catalyst in recognizing I couldn’t stay at my current weight. For those taking notes, never tell someone they look like they’re ‘eating well’, it will never be received well.

While we just wrapped up Thanksgiving, it’s always a great season to share gratitude. I’m grateful my struggle with my weight was only 20#, when I know others have and continue to struggle with maintaining triple digit weight losses. When I started using MyFitnessPal in July 2016, I was at heaviest, 150#. Since one shouldn’t be losing more than 1-2# per week, I estimated I’d be where I wanted to be by December 2016, which would be about 20 weeks /20# weight loss. A 20# weight loss would make me back to my original/desired weight and hopefully allow me to maintain this weight loss instead of going on an unhealthy fast/detox.

It’s felt like two steps forward, one step back. I’m trying my best not to obsess over numbers, but not weighing myself for months is one of the ways I found myself 20# over my desired weight. I need to give myself grace and recognize a healthy weight loss is trial and error. My new As you can see, weight has been up and down. Earlier this week I was 133.8#,which was my lightest in months, but yesterday I weighed myself and I was 134.6#. I won’t ‘punish’ myself for that 0.8# weight gain, but I need to recognize where I am on my weight loss journey. I’m recognizing, when I see the number on the scale going down, I don’t need to ‘reward’ myself with desserts or think ‘I can afford to eat this cake’ since I’m down. I’m learning to reward myself in nonfood ways and to look at the big picture. Will that entire cookie really satisfy me? The saying ‘A minute on your lips, forever on your hips’ rings so true! You only need a couple bites to obtain that euphoric feeling.

At Thanksgiving, I tried 3 different desserts. Key word is ‘tried’ I had a bite of each and it satiated me! I didn’t feel deprived or that I was missing out.

As we are all working on our weight loss journeys, we need to remember why we started. Not throwing in the towel when we overeat at one meal, not becoming discouraged when the weight on the scale doesn’t reflect how hard we’ve been working and remember we want to maintain the weight loss, not have a dramatic weight loss that’ll only come back in a matter of months.

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My MyFitnessPal Weight Progress

I’m still 6# away from my initial weight. While I don’t want to get fixated on the number, I want to maintain my trajectory. I’m happier cause my clothes are fitting like they should/used to and I’m losing weight the right way! This upcoming Sunday, I’m taking my first salsa class. These last few months, I’ve gotten into a better rhythm of exercise, taking advantage of free exercises at Klyde Warren Park, walking on my lunch break and using the stairs more than ever instead of the elevator.

Why did I say I can’t wait until July 2017? Again, hope to be at my healthier, happier self! Please share where you are on your weight journey? Don’t let the numbers on the scale define you, but embrace where you are, set tangible goals for where you want to be and how to get there. Share with us @WeDishNutrition on victories, setbacks or inquiries you have!

Between February 2016 and July 2016, I gained an obvious 20#. It was so obvious, a gal I barely knew made a comment that I must be ‘eating well.’ While it’s one of the most honest, true statements, it’s seared in my memory and was part of catalyst in recognizing I couldn’t stay at my current weight. For those taking notes, never tell someone they look like they’re ‘eating well’, it will never be received well.

While we just wrapped up Thanksgiving, it’s always a great season to share gratitude. I’m grateful my struggle with my weight was only 20#, when I know others have and continue to struggle with maintaining triple digit weight losses. When I started using MyFitnessPal in July 2016, I was at heaviest, 150#. Since one shouldn’t be losing more than 1-2# per week, I estimated I’d be where I wanted to be by December 2016, which would be about 20 weeks /20# weight loss. A 20# weight loss would make me back to my original/desired weight and hopefully allow me to maintain this weight loss instead of going on an unhealthy fast/detox.

It’s felt like two steps forward, one step back. I’m trying my best not to obsess over numbers, but not weighing myself for months is one of the ways I found myself 20# over my desired weight. I need to give myself grace and recognize a healthy weight loss is trial and error. My new As you can see, weight has been up and down. Earlier this week I was 133.8#,which was my lightest in months, but yesterday I weighed myself and I was 134.6#. I won’t ‘punish’ myself for that 0.8# weight gain, but I need to recognize where I am on my weight loss journey. I’m recognizing, when I see the number on the scale going down, I don’t need to ‘reward’ myself with desserts or think ‘I can afford to eat this cake’ since I’m down. I’m learning to reward myself in nonfood ways and to look at the big picture. Will that entire cookie really satisfy me? The saying ‘A minute on your lips, forever on your hips’ rings so true! You only need a couple bites to obtain that euphoric feeling.

At Thanksgiving, I tried 3 different desserts. Key word is ‘tried’ I had a bite of each and it satiated me! I didn’t feel deprived or that I was missing out.

As we are all working on our weight loss journeys, we need to remember why we started. Not throwing in the towel when we overeat at one meal, not becoming discouraged when the weight on the scale doesn’t reflect how hard we’ve been working and remember we want to maintain the weight loss, not have a dramatic weight loss that’ll only come back in a matter of months.

I’m still 6# away from my initial weight. While I don’t want to get fixated on the number, I want to maintain my trajectory. I’m happier cause my clothes are fitting like they should/used to and I’m losing weight the right way! This upcoming Sunday, I’m taking my first salsa class. These last few months, I’ve gotten into a better rhythm of exercise, taking advantage of free exercises at Klyde Warren Park, walking on my lunch break and using the stairs more than ever instead of the elevator.

Why did I say I can’t wait until July 2017? Again, hope to be at my healthier, happier self! Please share where you are on your weight journey? Don’t let the numbers on the scale define you, but embrace where you are, set tangible goals for where you want to be and how to get there. Share with us @WeDishNutrition on victories, setbacks or inquiries you have!

Yes, I’m Late to the Game of Overnight Oats, But I Still Made It!


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Original Image by Meal Makeover Moms via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

I’ve always shied away from eating cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles and scones for breakfast as I’ve always been hungry within 15 minutes of consumption. It’s always been a struggle since these are ubiquitous, yummy breakfast options. Thankfully, I’ve found a way to add oats to my breakfast routine! The best part about overnight oats? Making them the night before means no changes to my morning routine and with a plethora of toppings and additions, I’m not afraid of getting bored!

Initially, I’ve started out with a simple, classic version of overnight oats and I haven’t deviated from that formula since it works so well!  However, as I’ve said, overnight oats can AND should be customized to your dietary needs and preferences. As always, take advantage of local, seasonal produce to ensure variety and optimal freshness.

  • Make it vegan: use plant-based milk, yogurt, and maple syrup for sweetener
  • Make it sugar-free: drop sweetener and add 1/2 mashed ripe banana
  • Make it gluten-free: use gluten-free oats

Since I’m late to the game, what’re your favorite way to make overnight oats? What made you get on the band wagon when you did? What part of this great phenomenon am I missing? Please share @WeDishNutrition!

Sources: http://wholefully.com/2016/03/07/8-classic-overnight-oats-recipes-you-should-try/

Taking time to look through Grocery Ads is Multi Beneficial


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Original Image by William Allen, Image Historian via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

I used to grumble at the thought of grocery stores not only wasting paper sending me fliers for their weekly sales, but said fliers would take over my mailbox. With over 7 different grocery chains advertising their sales items on a weekly basis, I used to think who’s got time for that? However, one day last week a couple of the food items from El Rancho caught my eye. I’ve been changed ever since. Before I continue, I need to share disclaimer that I’m still an avid fan of Aldi. Before last week, I didn’t look much further than this minimalist, cost saving store. Yet, my elitist attitude towards Aldi has changed a bit.

Now I avidly take the time on Tuesdays nights to look through the 7+ fliers to compare prices, see latest trends, recipes, obtain meal planning ideas, what’s in season, free services (e.g. flu shots) and better familiarize myself with the marketing of that brand. My ads go from Wednesday-Wednesday, with me often times writing down good deals and then rewriting better deals. It’s a great way to quickly compare what prices are REALLY the best.  Due to my tunnel vision view of Aldi, I’ve missed out on some great sales (e.g. I haven’t seen boneless, skinless chicken breasts for less than $1.99/lb., however, when I branched out and looked at El Rancho, they had the lovely $0.99/lb. price). Yet, here’s a copy of the notes that I took from my last Tuesday night:

 

  • Fiesta: Friday 4-12PM 99 cent 18 count eggs; 24 pack of toilet paper for $7
  • El Rancho: 4# sugar for $0.99; 2# tomatoes for 99#; boneless skinless chicken breast for $0.99; 128 oz vegetable oil for $4.98

I feel a bit dumb ignoring the above circulars for however x amount of time it’s been, but it’s better late than never. Also, if you haven’t noticed, Fiesta and El Rancho are ethnic grocery stores, which provide a plethora of additional types of produce that I might not find a traditional Kroger or Publix. Sometimes seeing produce in person is the push you need to finally incorporate achiote to meals!

 

I’m sure in your local area you have supermarkets competing for your business too, so sign up for email alerts and keep an eye out for foods you love! I’m grateful my roommate isn’t a huge cook herself and I can stop up on $0.99 boneless skinless chicken breast for months!

Oh, Show Me Your Ways Mortar & Pestle!


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Original Image by gorgeoux via Flickr 
By: Nikki Nies
While a mortar and pestle has been around since ancient time to prep ingredients into paste or powder, its use isn’t as ubiquitous as it used to be. The bowl-mortar is often times found in hard wood, bamboo, iron, steel, brass, basalt, ceramic or stone form while the pestle is the club shaped object that’s used for crushing and grinding. The word mortar is Latin for ‘receptacle for pounding’ while pestle derives from the Latin word, pestillum which means ‘pounder.’
My initial thoughts on using a mortar and pestle are to grind own spices. I’ve used it to make my own Italian seasoning! However, I know I can broaden my horizons and use it for pastes, marinades, curries, pesto, gazpacho and guacamole like many others do. Native Americans have used the bedrock mortar to even grind acorns and nuts and the Japanese use wooden mallets with their mortars to make mochi. Due to their historical appearance in preparing medicines, it’s frequently associated with the pharmaceutical and masonry professions.
Due to the quick use of motorized grinders, mortar and pestles have phased out of mainstream society, however, developing countries still use to husk and dehull grain.
If you’re purchasing your first mortar and pestle, it may be helpful to orient yourself to how to use it. First up, make sure to never use detergent. All you need to do is rinse with plain water without detergent and let it air dry. Additionally, it’s important to season first to eliminate possibility of grit in food.
How to season:
  1. Place a handful of uncooked rice in mortar and grind until pulverized. Discard and then repeat until rice is white instead of gray or ash colored.
  2. Add 4 peeled cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon [kosher] salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Grind evenly and then discard mixture. Rinse mortar and pestle with clear water and air dry prior to storing or using.
Don’t replace a hands on, flavor inducing experience with grinders, blenders and/or food processors. Next time you’re whipping up a grand meal, share @WeDishNutrition how you’re using your mortar and pestle.

 

No Need to Wait for New Year’s for Resolution, Make Vision Board Now!


By: Nikki Nies

Vision boards aren’t just for obtaining career objectives, but any and all personal goals too! After hearing a sermon where I was challenged to pray bold, big prayers and to dream big, I translated that into creating a vision board. Not only does this board have things I want (e.g. a tiny house), but feelings I want to always seek (e.g. cozy, warm cuddling feelings). By having my vision board on the opposite wall of my bed, I wake up to the pictures, quotes and inspiration images that I’ve pasted on there and ready to conquer the day!

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Original Image by Colleen Gavin via Flickr

Vision boards aren’t just for obtaining career objectives, but any and all personal goals too! After hearing a sermon where I was challenged to pray bold, big prayers and to dream big, I translated that into creating a vision board. Not only does this board have things I want (e.g. a tiny house), but feelings I want to always seek (e.g. cozy, warm cuddling feelings). By having my vision board on the opposite wall of my bed, I wake up to the pictures, quotes and inspiration images that I’ve pasted on there and ready to conquer the day!

By having a designated area of what you want to feel in life–whether it be where you want to be career wise, financially, spiritually, relationship wise, physically, emotionally and/or what your dream house is, it can be the step you need to make your dreams a reality.  Furthermore, think about what your goals are in all aspects of your life.

What’re the rules for making one? The great aspect, there aren’t any! A vision board is catered to your likes, desires and wants, but again, to be most effective, it should reflect what you want to feel in life. Material things are nice, I have pictures of tiny house on mine, but they’re also fleeting.

How does a vision board help, you ask?

  • Keep dreams, hopes and aspirations front and center with visualization of where you want to be. According to Psychology Today, many athletes have used vision boards for decades regarding desired performance.  Having visualizations all in one place can also aid in seeing the big picture and how certain goals are interrelated 
  • Keeping a reminder of inspirational and/or encouragement (e.g. notecards from loved ones) from the past in one place can be the ‘push’ you need  
  • Helps think outside of the box and challenge you to admit and discover what you REALLY want
  • Better attract future opportunities your way
  • Can be made anytime! No need to wait for New Year’s Resolution, which often times are broken in a matter of weeks! Add visions at any time too!
  • May help in overcoming obstacles to success as you may be able to see how to get from point A to B better and help establish healthier habits
  • It’s empowering by putting you in the driver’s seat of your life! Giving you back control you may have felt you relinquished previously to supervisors, other family and/or colleagues

What are must haves for your vision board? Share with us @WeDishNutrition if you’ve effectively used a vision board, what have you seen turn into a reality? 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-rider/the-scientific-reason-why_b_6392274.html

https://www.counseling.org/news/blog/aca-blog/2012/06/13/why-vision-boards-work

What You Gain As a Minimalist


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Original Image by James Joel via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

I can’t give you a definitive calendar date of when my love for tiny houses started, but I’ve gone to every available tiny house open house available in Dallas, TX, watched [almost] every Tiny House Nation episode there is, applied to go on show and have my own Pinterest board dedicated to tiny house essentials. I can’t remember life without loving tiny things! Even the things I like are mini, such as tiny saucers and purses. After a quarter of a century, I’m quickly seeing first hand why the ‘less is more’ is so true!

Minimalism hasn’t been about living with as little as possible, at least in my life. It’s been about removing the extraneous, so that the essential things have space to live. -Leo Babauta

 

Why you should minimize some aspects of your life?

  • Less stuff = a greener planet. The fewer things you buy, the better for the environment. Rampant consumption is a terrible waste of the Earth’s natural resources.
  • Clarity of purpose and releases freedom of being tied down to ‘things.’
  • Less to clean and more time to focus on what you really want to do, such as exercising or increasing quality of life by spending time with loved ones.
  • It’s been found people dictated by materialism are often times have lower self esteems.
  • Able to save more and spend on more quality, fresh ingredients.
  • Promotes individuality and self-reliance

Yes, minimalism contradicts every advertisement that bombards us, but take back your life and ability to pursue what you want, not what you think you should have.

Sources: http://chemistry.umeche.maine.edu/CHY431/Basics/PurPyrm.html

The Powerful Benefits of Minimalism and Living With Less: 11 Experts Speak Out

3 Psychological Benefits of Minimalism

The Top Ten Benefits of Being a Minimalist

How Being a Yelp Reviewer as Made Me Ask More Questions and Connect with Servers


By: Nikki Nies

Last night, my roommate and I went to Sushi Star in North Dallas as our last meal together before we part ways. While we’ve lived together for the past year, this was our first meal out together. We’ve done tons of cooking in the home together or take out, but when I thought about it, it was crazy to think this was our first time breaking bread together. It made me realize how much one can learn about another just by dining out.

What do I mean exactly? I warned my roommate that I tend to ask questions when dining out, it’s rarely a quick exchange of ordering. Thankfully, she was fine with that. Over the years, I’ve learned to ask questions, not only for clarification of what menu descriptions are, but to discern what to order if it’s between two menu items.

Someone ordered a beer or maybe two
Original Image by Susanne Nilsson via Flickr

For example, we were debating on either getting the salmon or crabmeat sushi tower. After learning about the nutritional difference between imitation and real crabmeat, I make every effort to eat only real crab meat. Since the menu didn’t detail which type of crabmeat was used, I asked! I’m glad I did, as the restaurant uses imitation crabmeat.  After a few more exchanges, we didn’t end up getting either tower as I was drawn to the tower due to aesthetic look of it. I’m glad I asked more questions (e.g. how much food is it) as I would’ve been underwhelmed with the tower dish. I hope servers can see my genuine interest in understanding what’s been served and recognize I understand there’s only so much space on menus for descriptions.

Of course, there’s always a polite way to ask menu questions. I try to only ask the ‘necessary’ questions and take the suggestions, such as ‘What do you recommend?’ as they should know the menu quite well. When dining out, I try to order foods I wouldn’t necessarily make at home. I don’t mind spending a few more pennies for the ‘seafood’ version of  a meal, as I’m grateful someone else is taking the extra steps to cook the lobster or steam the mussels.

Hopefully, you can relate to my inquiries. I’m sure you’ve seen some menus state subsitutions aren’t allowed. Politely, if it’s not too busy of dining time or you can sense they’d be open to substitutions  (e.g. a local, fresh restaurant). Most servers want to accomodate requests, especially dietary restrictions, but don’t want to be bombarded with elaborate changes.  Many restauranteurs are happy to make accomodations if the dishes are made to order and again if you ask politely. While I believer it’s a minor request, I always ask with a smile if they can hold the mayo or sour cream. I urge you to ask for substitutions whether it’s listed or not. Many patrons are fine with [sweet potato] french fries as the generic accompaniments, but I never opt for that. I know I have to make a more concerted effort to obtain my allotted fruits and veggies for the day, so I’m willing to pay the extra couple dollars to do so.

I hope from the above suggestions, you can tell I enjoy the whole dining experience and appreciate any and all suggestions servers make. I want to use all my senses and take advantage of their knowledge of the dishes. Most recently, I’ve started writing restaurant reviews on yelp.com, which has elevated my dining experience. I want to be able to articulate better how a meal was, better than stating ‘It was good.’ While critics may say some of the reviews on yelp aren’t written by real people, I’ve used yelp religiously to pick out great restaurants and I want to do my part to help direct people to great restaurants, food and service.

Are you an avid yelp user? Do you write or read reviews regularly? How has asking your server questions shaped your dining experience?

Sources: https://www.rewardsnetwork.com/blog/questions-every-restaurant-server-know-answer/

Get Inspired with ‘From Fat to Finish Line’


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Original Image by From Fat to Finish

By: Nikki Nies

Wanting to jumpstart your health regime, but seeking a team of encouragement and accountability to help? ‘From Fat to Finish’ may be the community you’ve been waiting for! Through this community

‘…of dedicated runners with one goal, to help each other.’

you are not only given a real time, virtual community of people that are working towards their own fitness goals,  but ‘challenges’ that can keep the tasks exciting and twists to up the ante and find local events to get to know your fellow runners. Besides, you never know how you can be an inspiration to others by sharing your story too!

Therefore, whether you’re just getting back into walking a few blocks a day or training for your ‘nth marathon, From Fat to Finish can meet you anywhere you are during your journey!

Needing a bit more inspiration? Check out the 2015 documentary directed by Angela Lee that walks through 12 runner’s experience with 200 mile race from Miami to Key West Florida while losing over 1200 pounds!  Initially, many of the runners dealt with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other by products of obesity, but through the use of digital community and working together to meet their goal of shedding pounds to run the race, they once again proved that if you set your mind to it, it can happen! One pound at a time! Get your copy today via rent, download or purchase!

Learn more about how you can join the community and get moving today! Site | Blog | Twitter | Facebook Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Youtube 

Sources: http://www.fattofinish.com/
http://www.runnersworld.com/newswire/from-fat-to-finish-line-documentary-premieres

http://fromfattofinishlinefilm.com/