Archive for July 2013

How Many Calories Per Day should you be trying for?


Calories?  Counting calories?  NO WAY!

Well then are we High Carb, Low Carb, Low GI, Glycemic Index, Low Fat, No Fat, Low Sodium, Good Calories, Bad Calories?  How do you know how much or how little?  Are we weighing everything or having to buy all these special 1/4 cup, half cup, one cup containers so that we don’t “go over”

How the heck can we keep track of all of that?  Well with my lifestyle plan, you don’t have to weigh or measure anything!

You don’t count calories, you don’t have buy a special scale to measure anything and the only containers you need are those you already have on hand.  ( I do frequently use ziplock baggies )

So folks, ditch the calorie thing!  Throw out or at least hide those scales (both the food and the body scales), and please, know that if you are hungry on my plan, you are not eating enough!

With me, if you are not losing weight, you are probably not eating enough.

With me, if you are not losing inches, you are probably not eating enough.

As always, I won’t diagnose any disease or condition.  As a Certified Fitness Nutritionist I will, however, share with you the secret of not only my personal success but that of many of the participants that have followed my rules, suggestions, and lifestyle.

My goal, my passion is to help as many people as I can overcome their challenges in adapting to a healthier lifestyle.

Send me an email at or give me a call at 719-243-4586.  If I do not answer, please, leave me a message.  I will get back to you and together we will change your lifestyle, your life.

Turn your FOOD PYRAMID upside DOWN!

Happy Friday!

Remember the food pyramid we grew up with?  Take a look at the link below and you will see the validity of turning that old pyramid upside down!

“Free to Serve” went beautifully

Over 300 of Sunnyside regulars, friends and visitors ended up serving in one way or another today. Drains got cleaned out, seniors were sung to, school grounds were cleaned up. Older property’s got some long overdue maintenance.

The BBQ beef sandwiches and lunch menu went over so well that we had too little BBQ leftovers to even count as leftovers.

While we still had way too many sweets on the table, the meal was so much healthier than in past years and I think we are going to have to work hard to keep topping the success we had today.

My particular group of volunteers worked their tushes off getting everything ready for the luncheon. They went non-stop from the get-go until the last dish was washed and put away. We had drop ins that jumped right in helped set up chairs, mover wall dividers, pull more beef, stir more BBQ sauce, slice more oranges, apples and pears. They worked so hard and I was so grateful for their help, for their commitment to getting everything ready for that first group of outside volunteers that came in earlier than expected.

We fed them all.
Thank you Sunnyside Christian Church Kitchen Crew! You were awesome!
Thank you Sunnyside Christian Church Free to Serve Community Volunteers! You gave the community a look at Christian love and service. Thank you.

Healthier BBQ – choices and solutions

Choices and Solutions. By the end of the 3rd or 4th week on my weight loss program, everyone has heard that at least a dozen times, :) So how do I find solutions or what choices can I make?

Well, for one small choice – Every year my church has a “Free to Serve” Sunday where instead of a normal church service, we gather at the church, then go out in groups to different agencies, schools. public utility areas, senior homes, individual homeowners in need and so on to do what we can to take care of whatever needs they may have. It may mean clearing the yard of weeds or painting a deck. It may mean cleaning out sewer drains for the city or landscaping work for a school. It may mean replacing screen doors and updating windows on an older home. Whatever is needed. No one gets paid, except of course for the feeling of accomplishment when we pay it forward.

As the special events leader for SSCC, I usually end up in the kitchen preparing a meal for the hot and tired workers to come back to. In previous years that meant firing up the grill and doing premade hamburgers with the usual fatty, sugary sides. The burgers were always donated, which is a blessing. However, that meant we usually got the least expensive, or rather, lol, the most “economical brand” and by the time they were grilled, they ended up dry and cardboard like at best. I was one of the ones making the peanut butter rice krispy treats with a very thick chocolate and butterscotch topping. lol OR buying gallons of the least expensive ( meaning least natural ) ice cream to dish out.

What was my solution and choice this year? (Facing a perhaps violent crowd if it doesn’t work) This year we are doing BBQ beef sandwiches with a combination of homemade and store bought BBQ sauce. All, by the time we count the nursery, security and kitchen volunteers, for 300 + workers. yy

Healthier? I think so. I got beautiful 120 lbs of Round Roasts at Sam’s Club for $2.28 Lb. The roast are less fatty and have NO additional ingredients. (take time to read the label on your next burger package) Right now those roasts are slow cooking with carrots, celery and onions at the base with garlic cloves inserted into punctures through out each one. I made a BBQ sauce base with natural tomato only ketchup, onions, green chili’s, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and paprika.

The fat content of the roasts was minimal. The sauce base ingredients were natural. Only “labeled” food ingredient that will be added is the store bought Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce that really does have a pretty good label on it except of course for the High Fructose Corn Syrup. AH well, 1 gallon of that to spread over 350 servings? I am not feeling too, too bad.

This year instead of potato and macaroni salad that usually comes from a refrigerated or deli section with who knows what on that foot long label, we asked for donations of apples and oranges to go along with the watermelon. Yes there will be chips and cookies but not near as much as there was in the past. We also have veggie burgers for those that prefer them.

Am I getting everyone healthy? Probably not. Will everyone go away with a nice lunch tomorrow with probably half the calories of a normal church dinner? yep. Is it a start. yes.

Free to serve. Perhaps for me that means leading a crew and bringing in as much as I can for a healthier kitchen right here at Sunnyside.

Have a great weekend folks!


Have you ever used Greens to replace bread for wrap sandwiches?

When I’m in a rush, I often find myself standing up and eating whatever I can get my hands on with no rhyme or reason. Realizing that this happens more often than I’d like, I recently started to prepare nutritionally potent spreads or dips that I can quickly dig into with a spoon or spread onto green leaves right before I run out the door. This recipe is for a simple steamed broccoli mash with flavorful add-ins, including garlic, nutritional yeast, and olive oil. Spread onto kale leaves and roll for a perfect snack or lunch.

This recipe is filled with health benefits from the kale and broccoli, too. Broccoli is teeming with potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamins K and C, and fiber. Plus, Several large studies suggest eating only four servings of broccoli per week could reduce the risk of developing prostate and other cancers [1]. Kale is packed with vitamins K, A, and C, plus carotenoids, flavonoids, and isothiocyanates, which have been found to decrease cancer risk [2]

Recipe: Kale, Red Pepper, and Broccoli Spread Rollup

Photo by Aylin Erman

Serves 1

What You’ll Need:

1 cup broccoli florets 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 large leaves of flat leaf kale or collard greens 1 roasted red pepper (jarred in water is fine), cut into strips

What To Do: 1.Trim broccoli into 1-inch florets. 2.Place florets in a saucepan with about 2 inches of water, and bring the water to a boil. Cover and let cook for about 5 to8 minutes, or until the broccoli is softened. Drain out the water. 3.Combine the broccoli, olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor, and blend until smooth. Set aside. 4.Now it’s time to prep the kale: Lay the green leaves flat on a surface. Using a knife, cut along the edges of the middle stem, remove, and discard. Split the leaves in half along where the stem once was. 5.Spread each leaf with a few spoon fulls of the broccoli mixture. 6.Lay one or two strips of red pepper on top of the broccoli spread. 7.Starting from one end of the leaf, roll ’em up, and enjoy!

Have you ever used greens to replace bread for wrap sandwiches? Share your favorite recipes and ideas in the comments below!

Doctors Visit today 7/5/13

September two years ago, I sat and argued with my doctor that taking the 100 mg of synthetic thyroid was not helping and had not helped since I first started trying it years ago at much lower doses. He agreed to keep me off it (knowing I wouldn’t take it anyways) but informed me I would be back and by all rights he felt I should be on 125mg per day.

Well fast forward just a bit; I didn’t immediately get on the lifestyle program I follow these days, not right away that is. In fact, I allowed myself to gain another 15 – 20 lbs, felt even less energy, dragged through my days at work and would come home and CRASH! Every day. Every night.

But that following January, after a rather harrowing experience with my asthma, missing work and income again……….. I had a “come to Jesus” talk with myself and lost a few lbs. but could not seem to get below the 185 no matter how I tried.

Shortly after that is when the Clinic Director came to me and presented a new weight loss program he thought would work for the clinic – BUT first he wanted both him and myself to try it.

We did. Try it.

Fast forward to today? Over a year later, I stay between 148 and 152 at the highest. I seldom weigh myself more than a couple of times a month. I know now that if I am eating right, I don’t have to weigh myself.

I have given away my size 16’s, 14’s, 12’s, and size 10 pants/jeans, and am very comfortable in a size 8.

The best parts? My total cholesterol when last measured was 173 vs the 258 at that argumentative appointment with my doctor.

My thyroid reading at today’s result appointment? NORMAL!

My asthma drugs? I nebulize less than twice a month vs, 2 – 3 OR more times a night.

My energy? I seldom need the alarm to wake me up.

The only thing in today’s visit? My partial pancreas (another tumor removed several years ago), is still working too hard so even though it is “natural sugar”, I need to lower my intake of fruit to less than the two servings per day that is normally part of this lifestyle.

In a challenge to me the doctor, (after congratulating me on the weight and lifestyle), suggested I limit my fruit to less than daily – perhaps even trying to limit it to maybe once a week! That my folks is gonna be hard. I love fruit. But I also love life. AND I also do not want to start having to artificially help my pancreas. If I can do it with diet, that is how I want to do it.

So for the next three months. Veggies, lean and clean meat, with fruit as a treat! My next appointment is the 5th of October with blood work the week before.

Wish me luck. I will keep you posted. love, p