Friday, February 29, 2008

Make Mine a Mocha!

Are you a chocolate lover?  Do you also enjoy a daily cup o' jo?  Then you obviously know the tantilizing joy of a good Cafe Mocha!

Well, here's a shout out to my good neighbor, Joe, a fellow chocoholic and caffeine addict who tipped me off to the best way to enjoy a little chocolate treat.  No Sugar Added hot cocoa mix in your cup of coffee is a wonderful, cheaper, better-for-you way to enjoy a Mocha without that trip to the local coffee shop.

I use Swiss Miss's No Sugar Added Milk Chocolate, bought in bulk at Costco.  (Note that this is a seasonal item at Costco, and I don't think they'll carry it past March.)  One envelope is 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 7 grams of sugar - and for my taste, one envelope is more than enough for two cups of coffee.  I know that some will need a little more creaminess, so add a tablespoon or two of skim milk, and you have one delicious treat!  

Figure that a 12oz Tall Cafe Mocha from Starbucks has 270 calories, 12 grams of fat (7 of which are saturated) and 26 grams of sugar.  Order it with nonfat milk and no whipped cream, and you at least go down to 2 grams of fat, but still 25 grams of sugar.   Starbucks now touts their Skinny Mocha, and the 12oz version comes with only 90 calories, no fat, but still 12 grams of sugar.  (Which, really, isn't that bad, but go with me on this.)

And let's not forget about the financial cost of a daily Starbucks habit - a Tall Mocha is what, almost $3 with tax?  Plus the cost of driving there? And who really orders only a Tall?  You know you go for the Grande or Venti when you're there!

So go easy on your waistline and your pocketbook, and enjoy a homemade Mocha today!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blueberry Surprise

Remember just a few days ago, I was waxing poetic about Honeyville Farms shipping me a can of freeze dried blueberries by mistake - a $30 can that I paid $16 for, I might add!

Well, my son didn't take to them at first, but as all FitMommas know, you have to try, try again when it comes to getting your kiddos to eat healthy food. So around Thursday, my son realized that he loved blueberries, and I was happy as a clam. And now, this past weekend, I've found out a surprise about blueberries.

First of all, my sons fingers and mouth are stained purple, and I wonder if he's emulating Violet Beauregard from Willy Wonka.

Second....the diaper. As any FitMomma know, food does funny things to the bowel of a toddler, and blueberries apparently are no different. Blueberries consumed in mass amounts are not pleasant when they come out the other side. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Last Night...Not Good...

My husband is out of town until this afternoon, so last night I found myself alone.....with food in the house....and late night munchies.

I'd spent most of the afternoon preparing our taxes, and then followed up with lots of research on a new computer. After I put my son to bed, I didn't do the smart thing and settle down on the couch to watch a movie and snuggle with the dog. No, I headed back to the computer to strain my eyes for a few more hours. And then it hit....this insatiable need to eat. And eat. And Eat.

I couldn't stop. I was even saying to myself, "Self, you're gorging yourself, and you need to stop." Did I count to ten? Did I fill up on a few glasses of water? Not, I just kept eating. I'm not sure if it was boredom; it wasn't stress eating. I felt like I was hungry, but I couldn't possibly have been. I can't define it, and I think that's even more disconcerting!

Of course, today is a new day, and there's certainly no need to dwell on the past. But I really wish I could figure out what the source of that binge eating was. Apparently, I can't be left alone!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weight Loss Calculator

FitMommas of St. Peters member, Amy E., found a pretty cool website for calculating weight loss.

This Weight Loss Calculator can estimate how long it will take to achieve your desired weight loss, depending on how many calories you cut. For instance, I have about 8-10 pounds to lose, and I can achieve that by end of April if I cut 500 calories a day. Good to know. Not sure if I'll put that into practice, but interesting information none-the-less!

Thanks, Amy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Key to Happiness on 60 Minutes

I find it intriguing this whole idea of what really makes us happy. Because my life so far as been a case study in finding out what things I thought I wanted that don't actually make me happy. When I was 18, I looked forward to my future as a Marketing VP, living my perfect life in my perfect house with my perfect husband and kids. 15 years later, I'm learning that no logoed purse or Plasma television makes me feel happier than simple time spent with my family and friends.

So intrigued I was to see on Yahoo a link to a 60 Minutes segment called "The Key to Happiness." Turns out - surprise, surprise - that Americans aren't actually that happy as a whole. In fact, we score pretty darn low among free nations, and the wealthiest zip codes in the country have some of the unhappiest residents. In our quest to have it all, in our belief that more is better, we've lost the focus on what is most meaningful to us, and let those family and friend relationships slip. The professor interviewed in the segments commented on how American women are particularly unhappy, not enjoying time with their children, because they don't engage with their children. Apparently, they're too busy admiring their new designer handbag?

So why do so many people equate their happiness with how many toys are in their house? And by toys, I'm not talking about Fisher Price, I'm talking HDTVs, SUVs, MP3s, and all other manner of cool abbreviations.

So take a look at The Key to Happiness, and let me know what you think. On one hand, it all seems so obvious, but if it's so obvious, why are we all still trying to attain more things rather than relationships?

Freeze Dried Fruit on the cheap

My son has some few quirks, one of which is not eating wet foods, particularly fresh fruit. But he loves freeze dried fruit, which can get quite expensive in those tiny Gerber bags you buy at the store. So I did a little Google search, and found an online company where I can buy in bulk.

Honeyville Grain has a great selection of freeze dried fruits and vegetables, and if your kid is quirky like mine and consumes these in mass quantities, I strongly recommend them as a place to buy. They have flat rate shipping, and every once in awhile, they'll send out a 10% off coupon. I buy a large can each of apples, strawberries and raspberries, which run $15-17 each can. This last shipment, they accidently shipped me blueberries instead of strawberries, which was fine by me, considering the blueberries are over $10 more! I have noticed that their prices have slowly been creeping up, so if anyone finds a better deal, please pass it on. It may just be related to how all food seems to be slowly getting more expensive!

Skinny Cow = Yum!

You will soon learn that I'm an Ice Cream fanatic. And I've seen Skinny Cow in the stores, and even saw Oprah raving about it as part of the Best Life diet.

Yesterday, I took a big gamble and bought a big box of the ice cream sandwiches at Costco. (You'll soon catch onto my Costco addiction as well!) I figure bad ice cream is still ice cream! Holy Schmoly, they are just simply delightful! What's even better is that they are only 140 calories a sandwich (worth two Weight Watchers points), 97% fat free, 3 grams of fiber and no trans fat. And did I mention how scrumdilicious they are?

AND if you are a Costco member, it's coupon time, and they have a coupon for these fantastic little treats (not that they're little, they are very satisfying!). So you get a box of 20 sandwiches, normally $8.21, and they have a $2.50 coupon running through March 9th, I believe. If Ice Cream is your thing, as it is mine, run, do not walk, to Costco and buy some!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Ah-Hah Moment

So, the whole idea of FitMommas, for me, was born out of the idea of how to be fit and healthy while raising a family - two things that don't necessarily go hand in hand. At the start of 2007, a couple of my Playgroup friends and I started FitMommas of St. Peters on We scheduled walks in the mall, support groups ala Weight Watchers. During the Spring 2007, I was able to get back to my pre-baby weight. Leading into Summer, we added Stroller Aerobics workouts, and even with a few hiccups here and there, my workouts and eating were pretty good.

But one thing I really wanted to concentrate on was my mental health, because I strongly believe that it may be the biggest key to overall health. That entailed, for me, blogging regularly about the daily ups and downs of a healthy lifestyle with kids, searching out articles and news on health topics to share with everyone, and getting to that mental core.

So mid-September hit and my 1 year old son Sean got a cold. It turned into bronchiolitis, and we were in the dr's office for almost 3 hours doing breathing treatments before we could go home. Since then, he's caught four more colds, all of which have led to the same thing, and an official diagnosis of Asthma. Sean was kind enough to share every cold with me. In mid-December, the stomach flu hit every family member, save the dog. I don't remember that ever happening, not even as a kid. My husband, Trey, and I both got hit over the head with the regular flu not quite three weeks ago, and have since been dealing with a severe ear infection (Trey) and severe sinus infection (me.)

Hardly the fit and healthy lifestyle I'm supposed to be living.

But over the weekend, I started to realize something. This is my life. Ah-Hah! For better or worse, germies or not, this is it. I keep waiting to start this mental journey until "this" passes, but the fact is, pass or not, it's my life, and the whole point of FitMommas is how to be fit and health and deal with life as it's thrown at you. It's not easy, if it was, everyone would be doing it. It's hard, and there are tough days, and there's guilt and there's a need to let it out before you explode. I've totally been missing that point.

So I hope to start that mental journey here.