Monday, January 10, 2011

A-weighting Success!

For those of you who know me, you know food is my folly! Whether it's baked or broiled, sautéed or seared, fricasseed or fried- I LOVE FOOD! As a Georgia Peach, our Southern family celebrations and holidays revolve around food and good times shared in the kitchen. I begin menu planning for these events months in advance and day dream about the moment when all of my food fantasies will come to fruition. The career path I have chosen also exposes me to fine foods and a bevy of beverages on a daily basis. As a catering sales manager in a Four-Diamond Hotel, one could almost say it is my job to recognize and sell good food! With my proclamation of food love now known, there comes a price... Over the last few months, Rick and I have seen our love of tastes materialize into a loathing of our waists! We have both had more fun than a pig in mud packing these pounds onto our person, but now it's time to take control of the situation and get back to where we once were. Both Rick and I are competitors by nature; we are first-born leaders who have always sought for that number one spot in the sun. Instead of just making a trite New Year's Resolution to lose weight, we have turned this feat of fitness into a friendly little wager. Our competition is simple, satisfying and is based on positive reinforcement. We simply have agreed that the individual who loses the highest percentage of their body weight by May 1st, 2011 will get to choose a (5) day long trip to anywhere in the Continental United States. Rick has his heart set on a Pacific Coast Highway road trip in California while I have my sights set toward a Culinary Crusade in the North East. Either way, we will be experiencing the benefits of weight loss and have an awesome trip to look forward to in the fall.
I was once an avid disciple of Weight Watchers and had great success with the program in college. I now plan to use a few of those tactics to help me reign supreme. Here are a few tricks and treats that helped me get through the days, the weeks, and the months that eventually led up to my weight loss goal.

Sweet Tooth: I am pretty sure I keep the Oompaloompas employed at the Wonka Factory with my insatiable love of sweets. They have inevitably been the downfall of all my diets! Instead of my caramel Sundae, I now turn to fat free whipped topping. Crumble a reduced fat Oreo in this fluffy cloud like substance, sprinkle a little unsweetened cocoa powder in the mix and place in your freezer for just a bit. After that first bite, you will feel like you are indulging in a Dairy Queen Blizzard or it's delightfully delish faux, the Mc Flurry. Fat free whipped topping and a maraschino cherry also pep up fat free chocolate pudding if that's more your speed. Other sinless sugary items include a Tootsie Roll Pop, a handful of Jelly Bellies, or a piping cup of sugar free Swiss Miss with mini marshmallows- all coming in under 70 calories! Hopefully these will be the answer to all your sweet dreams!

Midnight Snacks: You have brushed your teeth, put on your jammies, but you are craving something salty before you hit the sack. My savory savior has been 97% Fat Free Butter Popcorn sprinkled with some reduced fat parmesan, maybe some Italian Mrs. Dash and a spritz of spray butter. String Cheese, Mini Rice Cakes, and a Bowl of Healthy Choice Broth Based Soups are salty and sinless snacks. Great for lunch or bedtime, try a Guiltless Grilled Cheese! Spray butter (2) pieces of light white bread and layer with one slice of sharp fat free processed cheese. Grill and gorge guilt free, dahlin's!

Down the Hatch: As a self-proclaimed social butterfly, I enjoy sipping cocktails with the ladies whenever I can. Adult libations like high calorie mixed drinks and frozen daiquiris can really make that calorie count go crazy. A glass of wine or Champagne are usually your best bet, but when you simply cannot go without your favorite cocktail, sip down one of these slimmed down drinks.

Mojitos- White Rum, Sprite Zero, Fresh Lime Juice, and Mint

Cosmo- Orange Flavored Vodka, Light Cranberry Juice, and Fresh Lime Juice

Mimosa- Champagne with a Splash of Reduced Calorie Orange Juice

Bloody Mary- Pepper Flavored Vodka, V8, Worcestershire, Cayenne, Olive Juice, Salt & Pepper

Margarita- Tequila, Lemon-Lime Crystal Light, Reduced Calorie Orange Juice, Fresh Lime Juice

*Pearl of Wisdom* I know many of my gal pals have reverted to drinking flavored vodkas and diet tonic or soda, but please do your research! The majority of the flavored vodkas on the market are actually brimming with sugar. Please refer to the vodka manufacturers' website for calorie info before you imbibe in what you think is a diet friendly drink!

I jokingly told my boss the other day when she asked what my New Year's resolution was that I don't make resolutions, I make life changes. Ok, I know it was a pompous and cheeky little statement, but it's true! Hopefully, without completely depriving myself of my true love of food and fun, I can make a few small but impactful changes to my daily life that will bring me closer to where I want to be!

Cheers to you reaching your goals, whatever they may be this year and this lifetime!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Put Your Best Foot Forward in 2011

The snowing is snowing and the wind is blowing- there is no doubt that old man winter is in full effect! With the mercury in those thermometers as low as it can go, it's about time to treat those tootsies to a little pedi-pampering. The harsh, frigid and sometimes blisteringly cold weather of the season can take a toll on our skin and especially our frequently flaunted feet. Even though most of us Divas find fantastic coverings for our feet during the winter, like your favorite furry Uggs or a pair of Leopard-print Louboutin Boots (in MY dreams...), your tootsies still require the TLC you would normally lend them at the peak of sandal season! Hopefully, you are not snowed in and could make it to your local nail salon, but if you are, or would just like to take the D.I.Y. approach to fabulous feet, take a few of these toe-pointers for your own good. Your feet will thank you!

*Soak Em'- Fill a small tub with warm to hot water (personal preference), a squirt of your favorite shampoo, and let those peds marinate. You will want to soak your feet for at least 10 minutes to soften the skin before exfoliating, but I bet you won't be watching the clock during this luxe process. If you have them lying around the house, add a handful of those decorative glass stones you see in floral arrangements. Work them around the tub with your feet and toes as they can stimulate your pressure points. A much more cost efficient and less intimidating approach to acupuncture. (Needles scare me, how about you?)

*Scrub Em'- Exfoliate feet using an over the counter defoliant, made with equal parts of Epsom salt, olive oil and hand soap. Pay close attention to heels and tiny toes as dead skin tends to build up there. Trim up those nails and cuticles while you are at it- no monster claws!

*Soften Em'- Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly with a few drops of fresh lemon juice to clean feet. No, we are not making lemonade; the acid from the lemon juice helps break down dead skin and allows the jelly to do its job! (Strawberries would also serve the same purpose, but wouldn't you rather put those bright little berries in a glass of bubbly?) Cover them with your cutest cotton socks and leave on overnight. Wash your feet the next morning and marvel over your smooth soles!

Make a day out of this foot fete, ladies! Treat your feet and yourself to a little R&R. Grab a magazine, light a few candles and push play on your favorite Michael Buble CD! As you sip your Champagne, let all the troubles of the world melt away.This winter your feet will be so fabulous, you will give Dr. Scholl’s a run for his money.

Cheers to posh paws and a bountiful and blessed New Year!