Get Beach Ready Like Skinny People

The Independence Day celebrations have ended and the summer as been officially kicked off. Are you ready? Let’s do as skinny people do and get our beach tote ready for some summer fun!

Here are some tips and suggestions to help you find the right swimsuit for your body, sunscreeen for your skin, and sunglasses for your lovely eyes.

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25th Annual JazzReggae Festival

This past Memorial Day I had the pleasure of accompanying Michael, of at the 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival. The JazzReggae Festival is a two day event that focuses on Jazz on the Sunday before Memorial Day and Raggae on Memorial Day.

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Want to lose wieght? There’s an App for that!

iphone vs htc

New Year’s Resolution shot to hell? That’s okay.  You can still regroup and reach your weight loss goals.

So half the year has passed and you are not at your half way point? Want to stop letting the gym take your hard earned money each month without you so much as driving by?

Right now is the perfect time to refocus and recommit! And the key to this may lie in your pocket.  No, I am not talking about the gym membership card on your key chain; I am talking about your smart phone!

Whether you prefer an Apple or an Android device “there’s an app for that”.

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Heart Health and Our Flexitarian Dinner Challenge

In honor of Women’s Heart Health Month, I would like to share with you the heart health benefits of a flexitarian diet. A flexitarian — or flexible vegetarian — is someone who eats mostly plant-based foods but occasionally eats meat, poultry and fish.

In this two part post I will give some  information on women’s heart health and the guidelines for a flexitarian dinner that Michael and I will host in our home.

We are inviting friends to cook and share meatless dishes that are healthy,  appetizing, and delicious enough to convince people to give up meat once in a while.

My hope is that by having the dinner, my guests and I will be introduced to dishes that make meatless meals less intimidating.

After the dinner, I’ll report what dishes were served along with how well they were received.

Why Heart health for women?

More than 42 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease. More than 8 million women have a history of heart attack and/or angina, a chest pain or discomfort that occurs when an area of your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood.

Five and a half million women will suffer angina,  chest pain or discomfort that occurs when an area of your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood

Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women, killing more than a third of them.

35.3% of deaths in American women over the age of 20, or more than 432,000, are caused by cardiovascular disease each year.

More than 200,000 women die each year from heart attacks- five times as many women as breast cancer.

More than 159,000 women die each year of congestive heart failure, accounting for 56.3% of all heart failure deaths.

For African American women, the risk of heart disease is especially great. Heart disease is more prevalent among African American women than Caucasian women, as are some of the factors that increase the risk of developing it— such as high blood pressure, being overweight, and having diabetes.

Hispanic women also have high rates of some factors that increase the risk of developing heart disease, such as diabetes, being overweight or obese, and physical inactivity. Some 83 percent of midlife Hispanic women are overweight or obese, and more than 10 percent have been diagnosed with diabetes.

More than 80 percent of midlife African American women are overweight or obese, 52 percent have high blood pressure, and 14 percent have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Facts from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute articles “What is Aginga” and “Heart Truth“.

Why Flexitarianism?

Eating a plant-based diet has many health benefits. People who follow a vegetarian diet generally eat fewer calories, weigh less and have lower cholesterol levels than do nonvegetarians. If giving up meat all together seems too drastic for you, flexitarianism might be a good compromise.

By enjoying the benefits of a plant based diet — without giving up ALL of the other foods you love — you will be positioned to prevent the conditions that could lead to poor heart health.

Participating in the Flexitarian Dinner Challenge

We are asking each guest to bring a vegetarian dish to the event.  The dish cannot be a dessert! Since the best way to really know what we are eating is to make it ourselves, we are asking everyone to cook their own dish! Sorry folks NO store bought dishes.

Here are some tips we are offering participants:

A Successful Dish in the Flexitarian Challenge should be…

Healthy: The dish should have moderate calories and be limited in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium. The recipes should use some of the following: beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lots of herbs and spices for flavor, and small amounts of vegetable or olive oils.

Simple: The number of ingredients should be limited and easily found in most major grocery stores. Dishes should appeal to children and adults alike.

Delicious: Of course it should be!

Each participant will present a tasting (2-3 bites) of their dish.  During their presentation, they will have the chance to tell us what they are serving (think Iron Chef) while also discussing key ingredients and nutritional information.

Judges will rate their dish in 4 categories:

  1. Presentation (10%)
  2. Nutritional value/knowledge given (30%) – give us the numbers, we want to know
  3. Taste (40%)
  4. “Flexitarian” – ism (20%) (wow, I would give up meat if I could eat this everyday)

Bonus Points

  1. I “flexed” for a week bonus (5%) – Participants will be given 5 pts for taking a break from meat. If they pledge not to comsume any meat starting Monday February 28  — and stick to the plan — they will get 5pts added to their total score.

After everyone has presented our guest judges will tally their votes and announce the winners! Yes, there will be a prize for 1st place!

Do you want to try the flexitarian challenge?  What are you thinking of cooking?  Leave a comment and let us know!

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11. Exercise with Their Sweetie

Today is Valentine’s Day!  If you’re like many Americans, you’re looking forward to spending time with your significant other, maybe having some wine with dinner and dessert, and then heading home for a night cap.

What about going for a run or hitting the gym together too!?

Along with the healthy benefits of working out – more energy and stamina, washboard abs, and a derrière worth smacking – working out as a couple could also make your relationship stronger.

There are plenty of reports* on how exercising with your loved one can improve your relationship.

Backing up the theories and research, Nicole and I took some time today to get in a work out together.

It was fun chatting on the treadmill, sweating together in a cardio class, and then splitting a healthy meal afterward.

It was also nice to see other couples working out together.  We even saw Boris and Nicole Kodjoe spotting each other on the free weights!  Not only were they getting some quality time in, they were prepping each other for their next magazine cover photo shoot! 😀

Boris and Nicole Kodjoe on the cover of Ebony.

OK, maybe you aren’t prepping for a photo on a magazine cover, but just think about it.  What if someone asked for you and your S.O. to be on a cover and YOU were the only one working out.  Would you accept the invitation with confidence or would you start searching on

If exercising with your sweetie is tough, you might have to step to them like Vidal Sassoon and tell them “If you don’t look good, WE don’t look good!”

Looks aside, what matters is being healthy for yourself and your relationship.  If you love yourself enough to drag your ass to the gym, next time, why not love your sweetie enough to drag their ass along too?

As you’re thinking of ways to show your sweetie that you love them, ask them to join you in your workout! What fitness routines work for you and your loved ones?  What do you do to encourage them to work out with you?

* Here are a few articles on relationships and exercise

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10. Avoid Weight Loss Hazards

Encouragement to consume high calorie goodies is all around us.  We’re presented with commercials on TV,  radio, billboards on the streets, and more.  Oh, and don’t forget, all the websites dedicated to good eatin’! 😉

For Skinny People and the rest of us, these traps could be easy to avoid.

We can change the channel;  We can look past a billboard;  We can choose to NOT click on a picture of a huge bacon cheese burger that links to an article describing the latest restaurant week or trends in food trucks.

Yeah, I personally struggle with that last one.

However, looking past these temptations is easy because they’re not there.  I mean, the temptation is there but  the root of it is not physically present.

That is, the bacon cheese burger is not in our faces, dripping with ketchup and spicy mustard, steaming hot with a plume of aroma that picks us up and draws us in close enough to take a bite.

The hardest traps, though, are the ones that are right in front of us.

Here we are, walking this path trying to “get it right get it tight” and all of a sudden we hit a landmine: donuts in the break room!

TGI...FAT? Donuts in the break room.

Yes, weight loss hazards in the office are some of the hardest to get around.  It could be coffee and donuts in the morning, Betty’s home made cookies around lunch time, or Ed’s retirement cake in the afternoon.  And where I work, it seems like its ALWAYS someone’s birthday or last day of work.  Yikes!

Today I took tactical control of the situation and dodged the donut land mine.  It felt pretty good saying “no thanks” and enjoying my oatmeal instead.

What weight loss hazards do you face regularly?  How do you get past them!?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Daily Progress Report 2/2

Okay so Day 2 wasn’t the best. I reached my goal for calories burned, thanks to my power walk during lunch. Michael and I are going to Weight Watchers today so I know I will start to improve soon!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Summary Chart

Calories Consumed Goal 1850 Calories Consumed Actual 1961.3
Calories Burned Goal 2350 Calories Consumed Actual 2436
Calorie Difference Goal 500 Calories Consumed Actual 475

*Calories Burned – Calories Consumed = 500 cal. = 1lb/week

The good, the bad, and the ugly…

*My goal is 20% Protein, 20% fat, and 60% Carbs

Ugh, I think it was the PM snack. I could of found something way more healthier and for less calories to eat. I am going grocery shopping this evening for some healthier snack options to keep at work.

Do you have any suggestions for a healthy PM snack? I’m listening.

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Daily Progress Report

Michael — The main contributor at South Bay Foodies — and I have challenged each other to lose some weight. I am hoping that as a couple will be able to motivate each other to victory.

There is $100 up for grabs and of course my pride is on the line! How could I, Ms. Skinnypeopledo, lose to a “foodie”? By nature they eat, right?

To add some accountability, I have challenged myself to do a series of mini-posts in the form of a food and calorie log. With the help of my trust bodybugg, I will track and post the nutritional good, bad, and ugly of my day.

Well here goes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Summary Chart

Calories Consumed Goal   1850 Calories Consumed Actual 1611
Calories Burned Goal        2350 Calories Bruned Actual      2112
Calorie Difference Goal      500 Calories Difference Actual 501

*If Calories Burned – Calories Consumed = 500 cal. everyday; I should lose 1lb/week.

The good, the bad, and the ugly…

*My goal is 20% Protein, 20% fat, and 60% Carbs

I don’t feel that I did too badly for my first day. I didn’t skip a meal. But I did eat a lot of carbohydrates plus I didn’t work out at all yesterday. I will at the very lease try to walk tomorrow!

I was amazed, though, to see how much sodium is in my diet. 1170mg of that was from the noodles alone. I need to reduce my sodium intake and drink more water!

Do you have any helpful tips? Where else can I improve?

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9. Drink smoothies

Outside of water, Skinny People love smoothies.

Lucky for those of us that are late to join the craze, there is no need to run out to your local retailer and buy a fancy juicer. The food and beverage industry has done all the leg work for us and we have plenty of options when it comes to bottled juice smoothies.

I recently had the opportunity to try a couple of Naked brand smoothies — Green Machine and Mango Protein Zone — and I loved them both!

If you can get past the color of the Green Machine (pea green…ugh) you will be pleasantly suprised by the amazing flavor! Once you read the ingredients and nutrition facts you will instantly realize all the benefits of Naked brand smoothies.

Go on, try it!

Buying them individually can be a little expensive but Costco has them in bulk (smaller portions though; 10oz bottles). They even come in a variety pack! Check your local wholesale market for similar deals.

If you are looking to increase your intake of fruits and veggies or maybe introduce a protein shake into your diet, I highly recommend Naked brand smoothies.

If nothing else, drinking these shakes will make you look health conscious and cool! (maybe)

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Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallots

This is a family friendly recipe that’s easy to prepare and cook.  Works well with thighs and drumsticks too if you have those on hand. Serve with rice and roasted vegetables for a complete meal!

Makes 4 servings

8  Shallots or 1 large onion
4  Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and ground black pepper
1   tablespoon olive oil1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and
cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley

1. Peel shallots: halve small shallots and quarter large shallots. (If using onion, cut into thin wedges.) You should have 1 cup shallots or onion wedges: set aside. Sprinkle chicken lightly with salt and pepper.In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken: cook for 2 minutes.

2. Turn chicken. Add shallots to skillet. Sprinkle shallots lightly with additional salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to10 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink (180F internal temperature), stirring shallots frequently and turning chicken, if necessary, to brown evenly.  If necessary,add additional oil to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to medium-low if chicken or shallots brown too quickly.

3. Transfer chicken andshallots to a serving platter. Cover to keep warm. Add zucchini to skillet. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to platter with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Budget-friendly meals

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