Sunday, June 27, 2010

Full Moon Hiking

First night time hike for me was last night.  It was a full moon so I planned a Lanikai Pillbox moonlight hike.  It was beautiful. There were a lot of cars parked at the entrance and two huge groups of people at the top, but even with all of those people it was still beautiful and serene.  There is something about being out in nature at night that I miss.  The moonrise was exceptional, it looked huge and I wish my camera could capture it.  I had to pirate some pictures from my friend Shane who joined us on our hike because his camera captured the moon better than mine.  All in all I'd say that moonlight hiking is something I'd like to try more often.

To Journal or Not To Journal?

Okay, so I've lost a lot of weight.  I'm at 133.  I'm keeping my goal at 125, but I'm pretty pleased to be where I'm at.  I know that food journaling had a lot to do with it and I'm sad that I was a skeptic for so long.  The only problem with journaling is that I hate doing it.  And because I hate it, I haven't been doing it recently.  So my question is how to make journaling a little easier, now that I'm on a roll.  How do I keep motivated?  I guess the answer is that it's not easy and that's why it works?  So just keep doing it.  Darn it, I hate it when I'm right, cause usually that means more effort.  I'm going to go pull the old journal out and write down what I ate this morning.  Another reason journaling works, I have to document the McDonald's breakfast, which is never a really smart choice.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eating Healthy on a Low Budget

Found this thread on and thought I would share the link as well as my thoughts on this topic. The poster is looking for low cost ideas to continue her healthy eating after her husband lost his job. 

I have always had to budget very strictly for groceries and am actually thankful that I grew up poor because now that I'm having a hard time with money again I can fall back on a lot of strategies that my mom used.  You need to find a good balance between your beans, rice, pastas and other long-shelf life items and fresher stuff.  Otherwise you'll get really bored.  Buying frozen, in my opinion, is the best way to save money and still eat fairly fresh.  Now that they freeze things immediately off the farm or the boat, they thaw out really well and taste good.  I always have the huge bags of different varieties of frozen mixed vegetables in my freezer.  You can throw some in a lot of different dishes to change things up.  Put some in soup, in a stir fry, corn or peas can go in a salad, or in your pasta sauce.  Frozen fruit is also really good, although I don't freeze it myself because I have bad luck with it.  It always gets freezer burn.  I just buy bags of frozen strawberries or peaches, or blueberries or raspberries.  These don't seem to last as long as the frozen veggies for some reason, so I have less of these on hand, but you can thaw them out with a little splenda to replace syrups, put them in your pasta and salads, use them instead of salad dressing.  Frozen chicken, shrimp and fish are usually in my freezer.  Plus, I finally purchased a FoodSaver and although it takes some time when you are packaging your meat, it is a huge money saver for us.  I'm a Costco member and you can buy a ton of high quality meat for a low price, but you need to separate it, suck the air out of it, and freeze it immediately.  A permanent marker to mark when you bought it and the stuff lasts a pretty long time. 
If you combine your frozen food with fresher items, it doesn't feel like you are sacrificing.  I always buy either a bag of salad or a head of romaine lettuce.  I also always buy a big bag of onions and a bag of potatoes when they are on sale.  They last pretty long and you can use them in a variety of ways. 
Another great way to save is to have canned stuff on hand.  I am not a big fan of canned veggies, I prefer frozen, but you can't beat canned beans.  They are pretty inexpensive, especially when they are on sale, last forever and can really add flavor to an otherwise tasteless dish.  It can get boring if you stick to the red beans, but there's all kinds out there.  Garbanzo beans, black beans, pinto beans, and beans already in sauce.  You have to be careful with the sauce or flavored beans because they can be packed with a lot of sodium, and hidden calories, but you always have to weigh the health benefits with the risks.  And having flavored beans sometimes is better for you than a bag of chips, so I say splurge sometimes.  Beans are great, but the other day I was browsing the canned goods isle and discovered a whole world of foods that I have been ignoring.  There is canned chiles, tomatoes (obvious, but overlooked), tuna fish, and my new favorite- canned fruit.  They have alternative ways of packing it these days, so it's not all in high sugar syrups. They have all kinds of yummy fruit in cans. This is how it really saves you money: I buy the big container of yogurt, which appears to be a more expensive option, however- mix about 6 ounces of yogurt with some canned fruit, and have a snack.  You will not feel hungry for a while.  That's where it saves you money, and I believe it's why people who eat yogurt lose weight.  I cannot believe how full I feel after a small yogurt snack. It's great for a work snack if you have a fridge. 
Hope some of this stirs some healthy eating in you.  It's easy to buy cheap, unhealthy food because you think eating healthy is too expensive.  I am also looking forward to hearing more ideas about eating healthy at low cost!