Tag Archives: diet

Mom’s hot chocolate

Here is a recipe that takes me back to my childhood. Growing up, we had a large Tupperware container of this mixture sitting on the kitchen counter during the cold winter months. I came from a large family (4 siblings), which means my parents had to make a lot of sacrifices. We considered this a luxury item.

Here’s the recipe:

4 cups nonfat dry milk 1.5 cups instant chocolate mix 0.5 cups non-dairy creamer 0.75 cups confectioner’s sugar

Add the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Two batches of the above recipe makes enough to fill a two quart container. I substituted Ovaltine chocolate malt for the instant chocolate (a.k.a. Nestle’s Quick) because it’s caffeine free. I prepare my hot chocolate by putting 1/3 of a cup of this mixture into mug and adding 10 ounces of hot water using a Keurig. Stir and enjoy!

During my weight loss campaign, I have a cup of hot chocolate most evenings as my luxury item for the day. If I did the math right, each serving of hot cocoa has 165 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

An oatmeal snack?

In an earlier post, I stated I was trying not to snack After 6 P.M. I feel as though I should preface that statement by saying I can eat supper as early as 3:30 in the afternoon. Yes, I’m an older person but I also eat breakfast before 5:00 in the morning so I can make it to work before 5:45 A.M.

So, as the 6:00 p.m. hour nears I begin bargaining with myself as to what would make an honorable (for the lack of a better word) snack given my commitment to controlling my weight. I’ve had reasonable success with food that warms my stomach such as a Homemade applesauce snack.

Another favorite of mine is making a bowl of one minute oatmeal. The trick here is to control what you’re going to add to the oatmeal to flavor it. My wife reminds me brown sugar or maple flavored syrup are things on the naughty list. So I avoid these. Instead, I opt for fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries or apples. Dried fruit such as raisins or apricots also works. Add a few nuts for a protein crunch. Soften the consistency of the oatmeal with a splash of fat free or 2% milk.

Couch to 5k: the result

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Race day, Saturday September 29th, was a sunny, cool 50 degrees.  I couldn’t ask for better weather.  It was hard to keep my heart rate down as I strolled over to the registration table.  After check in, I mingled with the crowd and talked to several friends and acquaintances who I was surprised to learn had entered the event.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 75-100 able-bodied individuals anxiously wanted to get the race underway.  After a few instructions and a prayer, the gun went off.  Like a herd of cattle we launched ourselves across a grassy field towards a pond we would encircle.  It was immediately apparent this was a serious group of runners who had been training much longer than me.  I, along with one other gentleman, settle back to guard the rear of the pack.

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In hindsight, my training did help me mentally and physically prepare for this run.  Mentally, I knew I had completed training runs longer that the 5k distance.  Physically, I knew I could maintain the consistent pace necessary to keep from being winded.  My strategy was simple, to complete the first two kilometers in around 20 minutes and then throw caution to the wind for the final three kilometers.  That didn’t happen.  Determined not to fall too far behind the pack of runners ahead of me, I completed the first 2 kilometers four minutes faster than planned.  My body was not used to running at this pace.  For the next kilometer I focused on controlling my breathing.  Then, feeling I still had energy in my legs, I decided to maintained the pace until my body told me something different.  I was surprised to see my time was about 40 minutes on the big digital timer at the finish line, a 15 full minutes faster than expected!

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As good as this whole experience has been for my health (I lost 25 pounds over the summer), I have not made any promises to myself or anyone else that I will continue training.  I’m paying close attention to my knees, which have been little sore off and on the last few weeks.

Perhaps if I lost another 15 pounds I could entertain running (jogging) another 5k.

Here is a picture of yours truly showered and dressed post race sporting my new t-shirt.

 

Couch to 5k update

superhero-534120_960_720Well, I certainly didn’t expect my couch to 5k experience to include a trip to the emergency department by ambulance but that’s what transpired last week.  I now have a number of firsts I can cross off my bucket list.  Among them a ride in an ambulance, a stress test and an overnight stay in the ED for observation.

I went through the ordeal alone but I had a peaceful calmness regarding the whole matter.  I’m sure my personal religious faith had everything to do with it.  I jokingly said to a relative, “I’m considering this a spiritual prayer retreat!”

During my stay, I had numerous tests performed.  The result: all indications are I have a healthy, undamaged heart.  My blood pressure on the other hand needs to come down.

While I wrestle with whether or not to participate in a 5k fun run in the future, I am dead serious about shedding the excess weight I’ve been carrying around.  If my cloud of trouble has a silver lining, it’s the 19.5 pounds I’ve lost.  Until then, I’m eating healthy and walking my butt off (pun intended).  A wise woman once told me, “Bill, you can never outrun (as in exercise) your fork!”