Diet 2008

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Health and Exercise


This has been my New Years Resolution for most every year of my adult life.  I have achieved it...several times.  I remember how good I felt. I go again.  Since misery loves company I invite you to join me in this endeavor.  Email me and let me know if you are joining me in losing a few bags of sugar.

I have decided to measure my weight loss in five pound bags of sugar.  I need to lose a bag of sugar off of each butt cheek, both thighs, and my abdomen.  Perhaps God will be so good as to throw in a double chin.  As you can see, my goal is to lose 35 pounds or 7 five pound bags of sugar.  That is quite a disquieting thought.  I am carrying around an extra (at least) five five pound bags of sugar every day.  No wonder my legs creak!!!!  A realistic weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week.  I have also found that it is easier for me to lose weight if I set achievable goals.  Whereas 35 pounds sounds almost impossible...five pounds is doable.  I will take five pounds at a time.  With real effort I should be able to do five pounds every two or three weeks.  I should be able to lose 25 pounds within at least 5 least by the time we set for the wedding.  Our only son marries in July.

My goal is not to be thin...just not to feel fat.  And I want to look good in my clothes...for me. My husband loves me just as I am.







 35 to lose























A part of my motivation is our granddaughters. They come from a family of folks (me! and her grandfather) who have battled weight all of their lives.  It would be nice if we could give her healthy habits from the very beginning.  So gaining healthy habits is something I owe my children. 

Age is something I will tell.  But don’t ask my weight.  You will not even find the truth on my driver’s license.  It says 115.  I was that weight at 16.  But, I had only just gotten there and did not stay there very long.  

 I was a fat, miserable little girl.  Then in the 9th grade my mother had me assigned to do a special program on track and field because she did not want me doing stunts and tumbling.  I had a mole removed from my head as an infant that she was concerned about.  That turned out to be the best thing she could have done.  My time walking and running during that hour gave me a lot more exercise than waiting my turn to roll on a mat. Ten pounds fell off immediately (within 2 weeks!).  I was shocked…and inspired. I was feeling good and energized.

 I had always enjoyed music and dance so I put on the music (How the West Was Won) and exercised for hours after school until I could bend my back like a pretzel and do splits like crazy.  In addition, I started giving away all starches at lunch in the cafeteria…bread, potatoes, etc. and focused on the meat and vegetables.  At night I broiled myself a steak.  Of course, Mother insisted I eat breakfast before school, so I gobbled down some eggs.  Without really knowing anything about diet and exercise, I wound up doing what my body needed. 

 I was a cheerleader in High School.  Sometimes I dream I am late for cheerleader practice.  I do back flips in my dreams.  Then I wake up with a back ache and my knees creak as I crawl out of bed.  That dream though lingers in my mind because when I am dreaming this my body actually feels like it fits.

 Getting cheerleader was a fluke.  I had lost 25 pounds in the 9th grade and went crazy trying out for everything.  I joined the Latin Club, the Spanish Club, the Future Teachers of America, got a part in the school play and was tapped into the Thespian Society, was in the Honor Society, and so, when it came time for cheerleader tryouts I said why not?  I never expected to win…and didn’t.  Then in the middle of the summer the cheerleader sponsor called and said one of the cheerleaders had dropped off the squad and I was runner-up.  Did I want the position?  Duh!  So I put down my Barbie dolls and picked up some pompoms. 

 I had a wonderful time and got to know some great girls.

 Of course, three children and umpteen diets later, I face the same dilemma as millions of baby boomers…the choice of an active healthy life or a sedentary life with the continual battle with weight.  So, I have engaged a personal trainer to give me motivation.  Bared my soul to the world on this website and invite friends to join me. 

 Looking back I see several elements of my success at losing weight in the 9th grade that every diet I have ever been on have in common.  I can (act of the will) copy those now without having to pay someone to tell me what I already know:   

 1.      Exercise.  Fresh air gives one a new perspective on life…time to think deep thoughts as one breathes deeply.  A brisk 20 minute walk boosts metabolism.  (Educated folks call this a “cardio” walk.)  10,000 steps equals 500 calories.  Elizabeth recommends wearing a pedometer every day.

2.      Drink lots of water.  64 ounces every day.  8 eight ounce glasses.  I read recently cold water actually boosts metabolism as well because your body must warm it to body temperature and that burns calories.   Drinking water flushes the body and helps you not retain fluids.

3.      Eat at least 7 ounces of lean protein divided into at least two meals.  Protein boosts metabolism.  Sometimes we prefer carbohydrates and neglect protein. 

        Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

Very Lean Meats
A one-ounce serving provides approximately 35 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 0-1 g fat
Three ounces provide approximately 105 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 0-3 g fat 
  • 1 oz white meat of skinless chicken, turkey or cornish hen
  • 1 oz flounder, cod, haddock, halibut, trout oz tuna canned in water
  • 1 oz most shellfish, including clams, crabs, lobster, scallops, shrimp, imitation crabmeat
  • 1 oz nonfat cheese
  • 1 oz nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 oz of luncheon meats or other processed deli meats with
  • 1 g or less fat per serving
  • 2 egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute
  • ¼ cup textured vegetable protein (meatless ground meat substitute)
  • 1 oz vegetable burger patty containing 1 gram or less fat per ounce – add 10-12 g carbohydrate and approximately 20 calories per ounce
Lean Meats
A one-ounce serving provides approximately 55 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 3 g fat
Three ounces provide approximately 165 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 9 g fat
  • 1 oz chicken or turkey with dark meat, no skin oz pork tenderloin, fresh ham, Canadian bacon
  • 1 oz lamb roast, chop or leg
  • 1 oz lean veal chop or roast oz USDA Select or Choice grades of lean beef, including round, sirloin, flank, tenderloin, ground round
  • 1 oz USDA Select or Choice grades of steak including porterhouse, cubed, T-bone
  • 1 oz herring, salmon, catfish, sardines
  • 1 oz canned tuna in oil
  • 1 oz rabbit
  • 1 oz 4.5% fat cottage cheese
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 oz cheeses with 3 grams or less fat per ounce
  • 1 oz processed deli meats with 3 grams or less fat per ounce
  • 4 ounces or ¼ cup light tofu with 3 grams or less fat per ounce
Medium-Fat Meats
A one-ounce serving provides approximately 75 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 5 g fat
Three ounces provide approximately 225 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 15 g fat
  • 1 oz chicken (dark meat, with skin)
  • 1 oz ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 oz fried chicken
  • 1 oz veal cutlet
  • 1 oz ground lamb or lamb roast 1 oz pork top loin, chop, cutlet
  • 1 oz ground beef, meatloaf, short ribs, Prime rib, corned beef
  • 1 oz any fried fish
  • 1 oz cheese with 5 grams or less fat per ounce
  • 1 oz feta
  • 1 oz mozzarella
  • 1 oz ricotta oz or ¼ cup tofu
  • ¼ cup tempeh
  • 1 oz sausage with 5 grams or less fat per ounce
High Fat Meats
A one-ounce serving provides approximately 100 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 8 g fat
Three ounces provide approximately 300 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 24 g fat
  • 1 oz spareribs, ground pork, pork sausage
  • 1 oz most cheeses including cheddar, muenster, Monterey Jack, Swiss
  • 1 oz most processed sandwich meats like salami, bologna, pimento loaf, capicola
  • 1 oz most sausages including Bratwurst, Italian
  • 1 oz hot dog (pork, beef, turkey, chicken)
  • 3 slices bacon


4.  We also need at least one serving of fat to keep the brain functioning properly.

Fats are broken into four categories, each playing a different role in your heart health.  Keep saturated and trans fat lowest and focus on increasing mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Each serving contains approximately 45 calories, 0 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 5 g fat.

High Monounsaturated Fats (choose most often)
  • 1/8 avocado
  • 1 tsp olive, canola, peanut oils
  • 8 large black or green olives, stuffed
  • ½ oz most nuts
    4 pecan halves
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
High Polyunsaturated Fats (choose more often)
  • 1 tsp stick or tub margarine
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat, light or nonfat margarine
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 4 English walnut halves
  • 1 tsp corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp salad dressing
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat salad dressing
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds
High Saturated Fats (choose least often, if at all)
  • 1 tsp stick butter
  • 2 tsp whipped butter
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat butter
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1 tsp bacon grease
  • 2 Tbsp boiled chitterlings
  • 2 Tbsp coconut, sweetened or shredded
  • 2 Tbsp half and half
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 1 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp palm, palm kernel, coconut oils
High Trans Fats (choose rarely if ever)
No specific serving sizes provided – limit total quantity of the following foods:
  • Fried foods
  • Commercially baked goods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (e.g. shortening, partially hydrogenated soybean oil)
  • Any foods containing the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated

5.  We need three servings of fruit a day.  One day a week two of those servings can be substituted for a couple of glasses of wine.  (Four ounces each.  You’re cheating if you go for the big pour!)

Each serving contains approximately 60 calories, 15 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 0 g fat
  • 1 small apple (4 oz)
  • ½ cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 medium (4”) banana
  • ¾ cup blueberries
  • 1 ¼ cup whole strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries or boysenberries
  • 1 cup cubed canteloupe or honeydew
  • ¼ cup cubed watermelon
  • 1 medium peach
  • ½ medium grapefruit
  • 1 kiwifruit (3 ½ oz)
  • ½ cup fruit cocktail, extra light syrup or own juice
  • 12-15 grapes
  • 12 cherries
  • 2 small plums
  • 3 dried prunes (also called “dried plums”)
  • 2 Tbsp raisins or other dried fruit
  • 1 medium orange
  • 4-6 oz most 100% fruit juices

6.  Plus we need three servings of vegetables.

Each serving contains approximately 25 calories, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 0 g fat
  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables (e.g. kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, bibb lettuce, iceburg lettuce, watercress)
  • 1 cup raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, broccoli, asparagus, leeks, onions, beets, green beans, cauliflower, peppers, celery, cucumber, water chestnuts, zucchini)
  • ½ cup cooked vegetable (e.g. see above for raw)
  • 6 ounces most vegetable juices

7.  Add 2 servings of a starch.  (Whole grains are always best.)  Go easy on potatoes, rice, pasta, and white bread.  (My experience says they are the enemy.)
Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta

Each serving contains approximately 80 calories, 15 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 1-3 g fat
  • 1 slice whole wheat, rye, white, pumpernickel bread
  • 2 slices reduced calorie bread
  • ½ hot dog or hamburger bun
  • ½ English muffin
  • ½ bagel (1 ounce)
  • 1 small roll (1 ounce)
  • ½ 6” diameter pita bread or lawash bread
  • 1 6” diameter corn or flour tortilla
Cereals and Grains:
  • 1 oz most cold cereals (1/4 – 1 cup)
  • 1 ½ cup puffed cereals (e.g. puffed rice)
  • ½ cup cooked cereal (e.g. oatmeal, oat bran, cream of wheat)
  • ½ cup cooked brown or white rice
  • ½ cup cooked enriched or whole-wheat pasta or Soba noodles
  • 3 Tbsp wheat germ
Snack Foods:
  • 8 animal crackers (unfrosted)
  • 2 graham crackers
  • ¾ matzoh cracker
  • 4 slices melba toast
  • 3 cups popped light popcorn
  • 2-6 baked whole-wheat crackers 6 saltine crackers
  • 2, 4” diameter rice or corn cakes
  • ¾ oz pretzels
Starchy Vegetables:
  • ½ cup cooked corn or 1 medium ear of corn
  • ½ cup cooked peas
  • ½ cup cooked mixed vegetables
  • 1 small, 3-oz baked potato
  • ½ cup cooked mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup winter, acorn or butternut squash
  • ½ cup yam or sweet potato

      10.  Ladies, let’s not forget our calcium.  We need one serving of Dairy a day.   
             Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese

Each serving contains approximately 80-110 calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 0-3 g fat
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) nonfat or 1% milk, lowfat or 1% fat chocolate milk
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) nonfat or lowfat buttermilk
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) calcium-fortified light or reduced fat soymilk
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) nonfat or 1% plain or fruited yogurt made with sugar substitute (Try Yoplait thick and creamy 100 calorie lime.  It's great!)  Tastes   like key lime pie.
  • ½ cup nonfat frozen yogurt

 Leave off artificial sweeteners as much as possible because it actually triggers sugar hunger.

Go easy on the salt because it makes you retain water. 

You MUST EAT ALL THE FOOD YOU ARE ALLOWED.  Weird, but it actually works!  The thing we are most inclined to do is quit eating.  Then those of us who God blessed to survive the famine have our bodies economize on the calories.  So we starve ourselves of nutrients and our super efficient body saves us calories!  So, it is important to eat a balanced diet.  What it amounts to is common sense...moderation.  This diet is disciplining ourselves to right portions and right choices.

When you BREAK THESE DOWN INTO FIVE SMALL MEALS you actually continually stoke that furnace and make it burn more efficiently.

NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST.  You have to fire the furnace!  2 cups of coffee are okay and this is where you can use some artificial sweetener.  I also use a couple of dashes of Lite creamer.

There are okay products to use to liven up the diet such as...Lean cuisine ( less than 300 calories with 7 grams of fat or less.  And I have discovered a delicious salad at Wendy's with chicken and balsalmic vinaigrette dressing.  There are great salads at Applebees and TGI Fridays.  Also, I am told that Chicken Marsala at the Bonefish Grill is okay for our diet.  I have bought a new onesie teacup and pot for herbal tea throughout the day with a twist of lemon.  Hot tea does help quell hunger and make you feel a bit elegant.

Quick and easy household measurements to use as portion control guides

  1. 3 ounces of meat is about the size and thickness of a deck of playing cards.
  2. A medium sized piece of fruit is the size of a tennis ball.
  3. 1 ounce of cheese is about the size of four stacked dice. 4. ½ cup of ice cream is the size of a tennis ball.
  4. 1 cup of mashed potatoes is the size of your fist (depending on your size; commonly the size of a female fist).
  5. 1 ounce of nuts should fit into the small of your hand.
  6. 1 teaspoon of margarine or butter is about the size of the tip of your thumb. 

It goes without saying that we use Pam to cook with.  We use Olive Oil whenever possible. (I recommend Fleishman's Olive Oil soft butter, also.  It tastes just like butter, but it is olive oil!

My Sister 9a cardiologist) recommends a Centrum vitamin (good multi-vitamin), 2 capsules of fish oil (for the heart and cholesterol)

If you discover dishes that "fit" our diet, let me know!  I refuse to give up going out to eat or eating with my friends.  Being with friends and family make life worth living! 

Also, Grandmothers whose grandchildren love to bake you have a suggestion as to a healthy substitute that kids enjoy doing?  I want to be a good grandmother and not deny my grandchild those "cooking" experiences...what do you suggest?

Remember, there are so many things that can interfere with your weight loss:  antibiotics, cortisone, etc.  Don't get discouraged.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  I know that I can go in five months from a tight fourteen to a tight ten.  Been there done it.  Wore the t-shirt.  The tight ten was lots more fun.  Whatever you have to lose take it one step at a time.  One five pound bag of sugar at a time. 

Create your own chart with your own goals.  If you join me...let me know how you are doing!


Your name




























Okay, that's all I know.  Let's give it a go!  God bless you.

Some good diet recipes from sister-in-law Pat Ramsey

Pat Ramsey's Bean Salad

3 - 4 T olive oil
3 - 4 yellow onions
6 - 7 stalks celery
2 cans Goya small white beans
2 cans Goya pink beans
1/3 to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. Chop onions into small (about 1/4 to 1/3 inch) pieces and sauté over medium low heat in olive oil for about 3 or 4 minutes. 
2. Add the celery, which has been chopped into 1/3-inch dice.  Stir and let simmer while you
3. Open cans of beans, rinse them well and drain in colander. 
4. Put well-drained beans in large bowl and add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix.
5. Add onion and celery mixture and stir to mix well.
6. Transfer salad from bowl to a container (at least two quart size) and refrigerate.

This recipe makes about two quarts of salad and lasts more than a week in the refrigerator.  It's a favorite at my garden club.  I developed this recipe when I decided to eat healthy and lose weight. It's filling, healthy and
relatively low calorie (less than 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving) so it's become a staple of my diet program.  Phil likes it hot so he warms it in the microwave. For variations you can add sliced green or black olives or chopped sweet pickles.  I've also tried it with diced cheese, diced ham, and diced Italian salami.  All good even though they add calories.

Pat Ramsey's Cabbage and Sausage Soup

This is another recipe I developed for my healthy eating weight loss plan.  It calls for hot sausage, but sweet sausage can be substituted for those who prefer less spicy fare.  Pat Ramsey

3 Tbs Olive Oil
6 - 8 cloves garlic chopped

3 or 4 medium onions sliced
4 large or 5 small zucchini sliced into rounds
1 1/2 or 2 cups sliced carrots
1 large can tomato puree
1 large bag shredded cabbage
10 - 12 links hot Italian sausage
Hot pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

1. Start browning the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. As the links cook, turn them and pierce them liberally to allow fat to drain out.
2. In a large soup pot, sauté the garlic (which can be either chopped or sliced) in the olive oil over low heat for a minute or two.  (You don't want to burn the olive oil or brown the garlic too much since it will make the whole thing bitter.)
3. Add onions and sauté with garlic until translucent.
4. Add can of tomato puree and two or three cans of water to pot with about 1 t of salt, several grinds of fresh black pepper and 1/4 to 1/2 t hot pepper flakes.
5. Add cabbage, carrots and zucchini and let come to a boil over medium high heat.  If liquid doesn't cover the vegetables add more water.
6. When the sausage is cooked, remove to plate and drain excess fat from skillet.  Drain fat off carefully because you want to save the good browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
7. Deglase the skillet by transferring two to three cups of the soup liquid (not vegetables) to the skillet and placing skillet back on burner.  Stir
contents of skillet to remove the good brown bits and reduce soup liquid.
8. When soup liquid is reduced by about half transfer it back to soup pot.
9. Sausage should be cooled enough to handle by now so slice each link into thin (10 to 14) slices per link. This can be done while you wait for liquid in skillet to reduce.
10. Stir sausage slices into soup.


The food list comes from the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center website.