Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baked Apple Simplicity: A Treat from the Orchard

Jake eating a Pink Lady apple

What can you do with all of those luscious apples you’ve picked from the orchard?  

Here’s an easy recipe idea that will support your weight management goals courtesy of my husband Jake. He made baked apples the other day in such a simple way.  These baked apples taste as good to me as apple pie and they’re low in calories!.

Baked Apple Simplicity

Serves 4

  • Wash 4 apples (Pink Lady) and cut each in half 
  • Core apples by cutting them out in diagonal wedges
  • Top each apple half with 2 teaspoons of honey and ground cinnamon to taste
 Cook in a toaster oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned and tender.

Bon Appetite!

What’s your favorite way to make an apple dessert that's not loaded with calories?

Yours in Joy and Health!

Kay Loughrey

Apple Picking at Homestead Farms, Maryland

Friday, October 21, 2011

Clearing Away Negative Thinking to Help Fuel Weight Loss

Kay at Impact & Influence Intensive
I’m with about 300 people right now in San Diego who are taking the Impact and Influence Intensive with with Lisa Sasevich.  I’ve joined many other workshop participants in making a commitment not to complain, criticize, and gossip for the next 21 days.  I made this decision because I knew from past experience that negative thinking affects my well being and that of those around me. 

What does staying positive have to do with losing excess weight permanently?  It’s no secret that losing weight and keeping it off takes resilience and a focus on meeting cherished goals.  Carping and negative thinking is like throwing a wet blanket on the joy and motivation that are so vital for shedding excess weight permanently without giving up your life.

The idea for making this commitment came from The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance a book by Edwene Gaines that Lisa Sasevich sent to each of the workshop participants as a gift to read before the workshop began on Thursday.  Thanks Lisa!  In the book, Gaines issued a 21 Day Challenge as part of a “life changing” process for learning how to set goals.

How about joining me in making a commitment not to complain, criticize, and gossip for the next 21 days?  Please let me know how it goes.

Yours in joy and health!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Forgotten How to Relax? Try T’ai Chi

James Mao, T'ai Chi Master 

What was your earliest memory?  More than likely it was a time when you were carefree and didn’t fret or worry.  You played, ate, slept, and focused on what was before you.   Then challenges came along (after age 10 most likely) and you began to gradually forget how to relax. 

Are you interested in regaining this kind of relaxation?  If so, T’ai Chi Chuan may be for you.  I interviewed my T’ai Chi teacher Master James Mao for this blog post because of the many ways it has helped me achieve a greater inner resilience and feel healthier.

Master Mao has practiced the Yang Style of T’ai Chi for 12 years and martial arts for 35 years. During our interview, Master Mao observed that relaxation is the most important principle of T’ai Chi. The more relaxed you are, he said, the more you can tap into a universal energy.  This energy comes from using Chi that comes from the Dan Tien from just below the navel. 

Master Mao mentioned that he gained more energy, his body became stronger, and his tendon system was enhanced once he practiced the form correctly each day.  His students most often mention to him that they have a better temper, more energy, their muscles are stronger, and they feel healthier from doing T’ai Chi.

How did Master Mao get started with T’ai Chi?  He grew up in Asia where T’ai Chi is known as a very powerful martial art.  He studied a number of martial arts like Judo, karate, and wrestling. Then he studied with T’ai Chi Master Julian Ju whose internal power was so strong that James Mao became curious about how he could acquire this level of internal power. 

T'ai Chi Class with Master Mao
T’ai Chi is most beneficial when practiced the form 4 – 8 times each day.  The form comes with a warm up and a meditation (called Universal Standing).  The meditation is a way to harmonize with the universe by emptying your mind.   During the meditation, the head is suspended as if from the sky.  Your mind is expanded and freed to see things from many different angles.  Imagine you are in a 3 or 4 dimensional environment.  For example, “It’s as if you are in a park and see a tree, you become the tree, and then you see the tree again,” reported Master Mao. 

What you learn by observing things from different perspectives can be used in other areas of life such as in resolving disputes.  When two persons each insist on their respective point of view, they find no resolution according to Master Mao.  Minds become focused, limited, and can’t be calmed.  Resolution comes when you no longer insist on your opinion and can release the narrowed perspective.    

How to get started with learning T’ai Chi?  Master Mao advises that, “You need to be patient.  T’ai Chi isn’t a cure all, and is a long-term commitment.  Don’t expect to learn it quickly,” he said. He also mentioned that you need a teacher as a role model so that you can aspire to reaching his/her level. 

What are your comments or questions about T’ai Chi?

Yours in Joy and Health!


T'ai Chi Practice with Master Mao 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Be Choosy: Walking the Talk on Weight Loss

Kay working out

I just came back from the Saturday Farmer’s Market.  I bought home some baby Italian kale.  What I didn’t bring home was the Gluten-Free Chocolate Overload iced cupcake I bought and ate at the market.  Some people may think that I should feel guilty about this indulgence.  Yet, I savored every bite.  In fact, I have the Weight Watchers Points Plus available this week for this kind of splurge.  By now, I splurge like this with “a significant dessert” about once a month.

A premise of my approach to weight management for myself and those I coach is that we can include our favorite foods in our weight management program.  The challenging opportunity is to “be choosy.”  Being choosy means picking and choosing what, when, and how much to eat and drink.  And how wonderful it is to savor every bite and eat without guilt.

So, how am I doing on my own weight loss?  It’s been an all out effort since we came back from France in August to lose the 4 pounds I gained.  I’ve cut back on desserts, alcoholic drinks, and snacks.  I’ve really stepped up my aerobic physical activity, now just over an hour on most days.  

What do I have to show for all the effort?  As of this week, I’ve lost 5 pounds, and am within the normal range for my height.  I’m losing about ½ pound a week, my usual rate of weight loss. My goal is still to lose 3 more pounds, though not by October 15.  

I’m pleased about my own weight loss progress at a time when I’m starting a new weight management educational services company.  It’s my job to walk the talk! 

The first session of my new weight management seminar for Adventist Health Care System was last Tuesday.  Now, seminar participants are busy making time for weight management, establishing their food and physical activity goals, and monitoring what they eat.  So exciting!

How are you “being choosy” about what you eat and drink to manage your weight?

Yours in joy and health!