I'm not a nutritionist. I'm not a fitness expert.

I am a 57 year old woman who has never felt more healthy and fit in my entire life. Five years ago, at 52, I weighed about 80 lbs. more than I do now. I felt much older, with stiff joints and back aches and no energy. And don't even ask about clothes!

My goal was not just weight loss, but to get healthier. I did not "go on a diet," I did not count calories or carbs. I made lifestyle changes, a little at a time. I tried to eat healthier and move more. You can do this, too. You can make changes to look, and more importantly, feel healthier and fit. You don't have to be overweight to be unfit. You will feel a difference in strength, energy, stamina and flexibility. I'm talking to you, men, too!

I can tell you how I did it. Not everything I do will be right for you. Through posts about my progress; tips and ideas about nutrition and exercise; links to sites I like and find helpful, I hope to inspire others to get fit and healthy and encourage a community of support and an exchange of ideas. And have a little fun on the way! Much of our information will be about local Cape Ann sites - walking and bike routes, gyms, types of exercise, yoga studios, good buys on healthy food - but Guests and commenters from anywhere are welcome as well.

Okay, I know you all want to know. Right now I'm wearing a pair of Levis - size 8. A comfortable size 8!

Twenty year old daughter:
"Mom, why are you wearing my clothes?"
Mom: "Because I can!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Abs Diet Power - Instant Oatmeal

Instant Oatmeal

Just eat it! Fiber, especially soluble fiber found in oatmeal, can lower your cholesterol. Dietary fiber can also help regulate blood sugar levels, facilitate digestion, keep you regular and make you feel full.

Instant Oatmeal? I think it's recommended here for the convenience factor. Oatmeal is one of those things that a lot of people may not eat at all, if they didn't eat instant. People like me.

Instant oatmeal has gotten an undeserved bad rap. It's just as nutritious as old-fashioned rolled oats. According to Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for the Whole Grains Council, instant oatmeal, which is often portrayed as nutritionally inferior, is also a whole grain. In fact, in the USDA nutrient database, instant oatmeal possesses the same nutritional profile as regular or quick-cooking oatmeal.

Just make it plain! When I first started eating oatmeal regularly, I was buying flavored varieties of instant. I thought, "It's oatmeal, it must be good for me." When I got more into reading labels and became more focused on total nutritional content, I compared the sugar and salt content, calories and ingredients between flavored and plain oatmeal - all that not-so-good stuff kind of negates the nutritional benefit of the oatmeal.

I make plain instant, but I don't eat it plain! I always have frozen blueberries on hand, so a cup of those (gently microwaved to defrost) go in. A handful of slivered almonds. A few generous shakes of ground cinnamon. I top if off with vanilla-flavored soy milk, which adds just a touch of sweetness.

That's a huge, filling meal with multiple superfoods! I'm not very good at eating that much all at once in the morning, which is something I keep working at. I usually start the day with a yogurt. A little later a banana, then later a protein bar. Sometimes I make a couple of eggs. Oatmeal can be my lunch or sometimes a late afternoon mini-meal.

My social life was unusually busy the past week - breakfast out a couple of days; an all-day and into the evening gathering where great food was constantly being served (rappie pie, cajun shrimp sauce); out and about enjoying the unseasonably awesome weather with friends. I didn't over-indulge on unhealthy food too much, but my eating and exercising habits got out of whack. I didn't eat enough good food and my body feels it! I can't wait to have my oatmeal today.

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