Tag Archives: weight loss

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.

Homemade applesauce snack

I mentioned in a previous post I was trying not to eat after 6:00 p.m. This goal was to help me manage my weight and ward off late night binging. When the 6:00 hour draws near or slips by me without noticing, I try to look for healthy snacks to minimize the damage. This led me to a new discovery

I like crispy apples…a lot. However, there are times when I accumulate a backlog of them because I either buy too many or the ones I did buy are a little mushy and therefore less desirable. Recently, I came up with a solution to use up those less desirable apples.

I wash and cut two old apples in half and remove the stems and seeds. I put the four clean halves into a microwave safe bowl and add about 1/4 cup of water. I cover the bowl and microwave it for 4-6 minutes. The heated apples turn to sauce. The sauce is extremely hot so I carefully use a fork to retrieve the skins out of the bowl and stir. I suppose you could drizzle some honey and nuts on your applesauce to give it some added sweetness and texture.

There is nothing like a hot snack to satisfy a craving. This also serves to use up unwanted apples.

Couch to 5k: And so it begins!

walk-2635038_960_720I started training last week for a 5k run this fall.  Its the second year in a row I left the couch after a long cold winter and headed out the door.  This year I’m 15 pounds lighter and hopefully maintained a small measure of conditioning from last fall.

My early conditioning plan is to walk/jog three times a week for 20-30 minutes with at least one rest day in between.  I’ve chosen Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays as my workout days.  Since I’m in my 60’s, I want to test my joints and ligaments by alternating jogging and walking laps on a 400 meter track.  Once I build up my distance, I plan to head out on a scenic cross-country route on a woodland trail.

Last Tuesday was my first workout.  The weather couldn’t have been more challenging; a cold, stiff northern wind with 40-degree temperatures surely taxed me mentally.  I spent most of the time muttering and trying to talk myself out of completing the 25 minute workout.  Thank goodness for I-tunes.  Thursday’s workout fared much better.  An overcast sky and southerly breeze hiked the temp to 74 degrees.  Such is the weather this time of year in Upstate New York. Saturday it was back in the 40s and I had to resort to dog walking.  Brody pulled me around the neighborhood while I held on to his leash.

Couch to 5K: the winter ahead

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I ran a 5k about two months ago and haven’t gone on more than two runs since then.  I suppose you could say I’ve been resting my body.  But that would be stretching the truth wouldn’t it.  Autumn is a busy time.  There’s so much to do before the weather sours.  But the snow and cold came very early to our area.  We happened to have the coldest Thanksgiving day on record. It interrupted my fall cleanup.  The leaves are still on the ground underneath the snow.  Sounds like I’m making excuses does’t it.

My main goal this winter is to not gain back all the weight I lost.  I thought it might be a good time to dust off my elliptical trainer I purchased over a year ago and hardly ever used.  I also have a reading list I’d like to put a dent in.  Sounds like a win-win situation doesn’t it?

In the coming weeks I’ll be experimenting with workout times on the elliptical.  During that stretch, there is bound to be a couple of warmer days to exercise outdoors.  I’m shooting for one outdoor and two indoor workout a week between now and Christmas.  Stay tuned!

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.