WEIGHT LOSS COMPETITION ANNOUCEMENT

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Hello All,
The time to announce the Winner of 1st Weight Loss Challenge.
The Winner is Gloria Nunez!
CONGRATULATION TO GLORIA!!!
Yesterday I have given her t prize which consisted of:
– Dinner in one of the best Shanghai Seafood Buffet
– Cup with note ‘Gloria Winner”
– Wallets with different currencies for a good luck to continue dropping weight while increasing the wealth
We have spent a wonderful evening in this fantastic seafood restaurant.
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I invited her to seafood buffet to show that really even eating in the buffet but lean, mainly seafood and lean meat and raw or grilled meat, may cause weight drop or at least no weight gain, if you keep carbohydrates under control.
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This buffet is in form of hot pot. Today by occasion of sharing the 1st weight contest winner, I wanted to explain what is really Hot Pot? This is something I learned while living in China and actually love it.
The Chinese hot pot (also known as steamboat) has a history of more than 1,000 years. It is common in many countries of Asia: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hot pot seems to have originated in Mongolia and Jurchen where the main ingredient was meat, usually beef, mutton or horse. It then spread to southern China during the Tang Dynasty and was further established during the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. In time, regional variations developed with different ingredients such as seafood. By the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644 to 1912), the hot pot became popular throughout most of China. Today in many modern homes, particularly in the big cities, the traditional coal-heated steamboat or hot pot has been replaced by electric, propane, butane gas, or induction cooker versions.
Hot pot refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. Vegetables, fish and meat should be fresh. Frozen meat is sliced thinly to prepare it for hot pot cooking. Slicing frozen meat this way causes it to roll up during cooking, and it is often presented as such. The common meats used include lamb, beef, chicken, duck, mutton, and others. I like the most lamb and beef, as well fresh fish and seafood. Me and my daughter we add a lot of mushrooms, I also use different kind of leaves.
The cooking pot is often sunk into the table and fueled by propane. Or alternatively above the table and fueled by a portable butane gas stove or hot coals. Meat or vegetables are loaded individually into the hot cooking broth by chopsticks, and cooking time can take from 1 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of food. Meat should be cooked at the very least 20 seconds depending on the thickness of meat. Other hot pot dishes include leafy vegetables, mushrooms, seafood, and noodles.
You can find fish, shrimp and squid noodles too. First time my husband thought such noodles are normal noodles of fish, shrimp or squid taste so he did not want to order. After I had ordered we realized that it apparently was minced fish, shrimp or squid meat, which you need to squeeze to your ‘hot pot’ (soup /broth) thru the small whole out of plastic ball, by going out it had just noddle shape only.
My daughter did not want to take rice cake as she thought it would be a sweet cake with rice flavor and here again we had surprise as a rice cake was simply kind of pressed dumpling in rectangle shape which most tasted like a rice dumpling or pasta. Of course such misunderstanding may result from poor translation of the dishes as in China there is still low % of people who speaks and writes English fluently
The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter during supper time. Before I was eating mainly hot pot with my family in restaurant close to Carrefour. Now after finding this great buffet, which was recommended by one of my employee who knows where are the good restaurants. All kinds of food cooked It can be eaten bland to very spicy, depending on how much spice has been put in the stew.
I also eat the broth (soup) as I believe the cooked meat leaves there a lot of good minerals and vitamins, it is kind of a soup, which is also healthy and during winter time warming you up. Very good after the party, I usually add to my broth garlic, and venerate sauce, my husband takes spicy broth and likes sesame dipping sauce, while my daughter usually takes mushroom broth and no sauce.
I strongly believe that cooked meat is much leaner from the fright one, if you are dieting you may skip source and just eat the cooked meat. When I tried to drop the weight, I used to eat mainly seafood and fish cooked, and no soup & no sauce. What can be leaner than cooked fish or seafood?
There are often disagreements between different styles of hot pot enthusiasts. Some like to place items into the hot pot at a relaxed, leisurely pace, enjoying the cooking process, while others prefer to put everything in at once and wait for the hotpot to return to a boil. Occasionally due to evaporation the boiled water needs to be refilled. Usually the stew is strong and zesty enough to not require adding more condiments.
There are many regional versions of hot pot throughout China. What makes one different from another is the broth and the specific meats used. In colder Northern China, lamb is a common choice. I have learned from my Chinese friend that lamb is the type of meat that warm you up this is while is the type of meat very common and often eaten in the North of China. Cantonese hot pot, is has plenty of fresh seafood, including live shrimp, oysters, and squid. Mongolian-style hot pot is known for its flavorful broth, which contains ingredients like goji berries, jujubes, and a mix of herbs. The city of Chongqing is famous for its use of Sichuan peppercorns and other very spicy ingredients. The Sichuan food is very well know from its spicy taste. There is whole world of other hot pot traditions, like Japan’s shabu-shabu, Thailand’s Thai suki, and more.)
There are different styles of hot pot around Asia, and even within a given country, each household will do it a little differently, but if there’s one universal hot pot rule, it would be this —you don’t “hot pot” with people you don’t like. Like fondue, hot pot is one of the most social of dining formats. Not only are you gathered at one table sharing a meal, but you’re cooking your food together in a shared pot. It is important to respect Hot-Pot etiquette. Every Chinese would appreciate that you know and respect the rules. For example do not ruin broth: My daughter does not like spicy food, and is very sensitive, if I would touch with my spicy chopstick non spicy broth, I could ruin her not spicy one. It is also not nice to begin cooking a piece of food in one broth and then finish cooking it in the other broth. You should also be careful inviting business guests, as explained above the eating hot pot together is very social gathering and not everyone may feel conformable to share broth and eat that way, so be careful. You think you may offer exotic, unusual dinner, it may happen not everyone enjoys it. One of my friend sim ply hates this type of dining, so you need to know somebody’ s preferences before inviting for the hot pot.
To make a hot pot at home requires little more than some planning, preparation work, but most important certain type of equipment and of course ingredients. If you are really interested how to make it and what type of equipment you need let me know I may explain in the next post
I think overall you may notice that Chinese are slim, maybe not the younger generation, due to spending too much time sitting and eating the fast food. In the typical Chinese restaurant you may hardly find deserts, Chinese for desert would eat fruits, or kind of healthy stuff, not very sweet.
Until 25 years ago, before the advent of fast-food in China, Chinese people have the lowest obesity rate. What is their secret to maintaining a trim waistline given their great obsession with food? If you look at their way of life, it revolves around food. Their common traditional greeting, “Have you eaten?” (Ni chi bao le ma?) and the number of people in the family is defined by the number of mouths to feed (kuo-mouths) show the emphasis on food. They even qualify the ability to eat as a blessing. I try to analyze the way Chinese people eat and their whole approach to food and come up with some observations as to why they generally weigh a whole lot less.
I have also incorporateD some of my tips from after my observation, which I successfully apply:
1. Forget Calories eat Balanced food
To the ruler, people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven ~ ancient Chinese proverb.
Somebody told me that Chinese people don’t have a word for “calories.” Chinese do not map out their meals in terms of how many fat calories. They do not count calories. To be honest with you even before coming to China I have never counted calories, why because I am too lazy. I also do not believe in the amount of calories you consume, but the quality of food yo9u intake. Chinese people view food as nourishment and enjoyment, they tend to eat a more balanced meal—a little meat, some vegetables and always, rice or noodles. I strongly believe that the calorie-controlled, low-fat diets are less effective than low glycemic load diets, which is exactly what a traditional Chinese diet is. You would be surprised how fat may be some of the Chinese dishes. Again here I will keep repeating:
– Eat proteins!
– Your carbohydrates should consist only from healthy choices: rice, preferably brown, quinoa, buckwheat. Whole grains include barley, corn, oats, rice, wheat and any other grain that contains all parts of the original grain: the bran, germ and endosperm of the grain. They are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and contain some antioxidants that are not found in fruits and vegetables. Remember vegetables & fruits are classified to carbo as well, so sometimes if you want to drop weight, is ok to eat proteins and veggie only. Pls. ref to Dukkan diet.
– If you want to maintain your weight, instated of sweet desert eat: dark chocolate and fruits, mainly berries. Great combination is raspberries and dark chocolate. One of Polish celebrity (Tatiana Okupnik) eats that and looks great.
– If you are not in burning phase diet, I mean on weight loss, eat a well-rounded meal with the 3 main groups of foods—some carbs, some proteins and lots of vitamins and minerals (i.e. vegetables and fruits). Avoid waist-enhancing sugary, nutrient-deficient foods. Select the best, less processed foods. It is better to eat cooked or raw meat, instead of canned or packed in foil processed mean in form of ham.
Chinese traditional symbol for the opposing, yet complimentary forces of yin and yang, sometimes described as 2 fishes swimming head to tail.
Yin & Yang
Yin and Yang are synonymous with the Chinese take on life—they believe in balance—even in their food preparation. Yin “cools” the body whereas Yang “heats” it up. In their food preparation, they often use (wet and moist) to balance yang (dry and crispy). A popular dish comes to mind—Szechwan beef—strips of crispy beef stir-fried with cooling celeries and carrots. Some restaurants (common in Asia) even employ this concept when serving their foods. They actually do a thorough examination (by means of questioning and taking pulses) to determine your yin-and-yang status and then they proceed to prepare a meal for you based on their findings to restore the balance of yin and yang in your body. Why the emphasis on balance? “Most protein foods are seen as yang, carbohydrates as yin. The combination of these two helps stabilize blood sugar, which is key to good energy (chi) and minimizing weight gain. Balance is key—as in a well-balanced diet, so utilize this concept in your diet plan.
2. Desserts, eat or not?
Chinese people love desserts too. But desserts is often looked upon as a side, an after-thought kind of arrangement unlike Westerners who view desserts as the grand finale to their meal.
Eat first, talk later ~ common Chinese saying
For most part, Chinese also like to end their meal with desert, but instead of crazy sweet Cheese cake they take a plate of fruits. I doubt some of their dessert choices I would ever name a dessert -red beans soup, mung beans with sliced dough sticks, almond jelly with lychees, banana fritters, glutinous rice balls with sesame paste, and mango pudding. With the exceptions of some, most Chinese desserts are not terribly sweet and some desserts are made with medicinal value in mind—Ginseng sweet soup with red dates and eggs, bird’s nest soup. They are not heavy cream or very sweet. When you are trying to lose weight skip dessert, if you are trying to maintain your body weight choose a very healthy alternative—eat fruits as desserts.
3. Replace your sweet drink with tea
Chinese tradition of drinking the tea is one in the world.
Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one ~ Ancient Chinese proverb.
Since the chance discovery of tea by Emperor Shen Nung back in 2700 B.C. when some leaves fell into his cup of hot water, tea is almost always serve with food. Growing up, the pot of tea was always near, in the kitchen, and instead of soda or juice with a meal, hot tea is often the beverage of choice (actually the only choice with the exception of water in my house). My husband and daughter loves sparking /soda/ water. I drink both, sometimes I have really taste for sparking, but most often I drink tea or just water or water with squeezed lemon.
Tea has plenty of health benefits:
– it eliminates toxin,
– aids digestion (that’s why it is often consumed at meal times),
– fights damaging free radicals (because of its potent supply of catechins—powerful antioxidants)
– reduces risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Tea, especially green tea is a fat burner and it can also freshens breath (another fringe benefit)
– tea’s catechins and its naturally occurring caffeine help to reduce weight. both catechins and caffeine increase metabolic rate and rev up the body’s ability to burn fat. If you do not believe I am the best example. Last Saturday I invited my Chinese friend, who was keeping asking me how I managed to loose so much weight, and since she stayed overnight for breakfast I have served her Purer Tea with the body detoxifying supplement. I took as well, the next day my weight dropped by 1 kg. I will promote everywhere the healthy benefits of Pu-Earth (Puer) Tea. Please ref. to my one former post where I explain all healthy benefits. I guarantee if you replace you sweet soda with this tea plus green tea you immediately drop in your weight body mass. 100% Guarantee!
– X-out soda and juices or fancy drinks to go with your meal. Elect to drink tea (black, green, white or red) for that extra fat-burning boost. At the time in a day you may have taste for different kind of tea.. Important to remember some kind of teas (green, black) may work like coffee and you may have hard time to sleep. Before going to bad you may choose chamomile tea.
4. Do not afraid of soup
Chinese people love soups—in the morning, noon and night. After I moved to China and took one of my first business travel staying in the Chinese hotel, I was really surprised that the hotel restaurant serves for breakfast the soup. It seemed strange but quickly I started to adapt and now cannot imagine when traveling not to take soup in the hotel. It is prepared similar to hot pot, you may pick different kinds of veggies, meat, seafood and the hotel servant will quickly boiled for you in a broth. You may add muddles, eggs and some spices. There are also other ingredients to add no need cooking like tofu, garlic, chive, soy sauce, vinaigrette.
He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician ~ Chinese proverb.
Very important, they do not eat the creamy, heavy version of most western diet but light, liquid based soup with an assortment of vegetables, meat and often, herbs. For instance, they use goji berries, dates, ginseng, galangal, lemon grass and ginger—among others, to flavor their soups. They generally don’t add up to many calories, since water has zero calories and they fill you up to induce a feeling of satiety. Chinese herbs used when preparing soups have various health benefits—from improving immune system, detoxifying toxins to maintaining good eye-sight.
Do not afraid to enjoy the soups with your meal. Very crucial – make it light, make it healthful to enrich health without taking a whole bunch of supplements to make up for nutritional lack.
5. Raw or cooked veggie?
Sure salads are healthy and rightly so, if they are prepared with nutrient-rich fresh vegetables and healthy dressing. Chinese people don’t like raw vegetables for the most part. They like to rock their woks with their stir-fries—lightly cooking their vegetables with intense heat. It may not necessarily healthier however sautéing vegetables can make the nutrients easier for the body to take on, as: the stomach finds it hard to digest too much raw food and this can lead to bloating and weight gain. If you have enough raw, Increase amount of vegetables by different preparation, use Chinese way of cooking them. Try lightly sautéing your vegetables instead—one more creative way to eat your vegetables and you may be doing your body a great service—since lightly cooking vegetables make nutrients easier to digest and at the same time to absorb.
6. Eat rice or not?
Chinese people love their rice, especially white, fluffy rice. In fact, if a woman cannot cook good fluffy rice, her culinary skills are often called to question
The rice is cooked ~ Chinese saying (It’s too late to change, or to regret something. The English equivalent—don’t’ cry over spilled milk)

Chinese also love noodles and they carry auspicious meaning: eating noodles on your birthday ensures a long life. Their love for simple carbohydrates doesn’t sound like a good diet plan. You would point is against what I keep recommending on my blog. So yes it is partially true the rice does not help weight loss, although rice is high in carbohydrates, it is also low in fat and high in nutrient. it will fill you up quickly, so you are not snacking on low-carb and high fat foods, which can translate to weight gain in the long run. From the other hand remember when you want to loose weight eating white rice will not help much, while you should not afraid when you are trying to maintain your weight. Overall white rice and noodles may not be the best thing about the Chinese diet but if you watch the portion size (should be no more than a quarter of your plate or no more than a small bowl of rice), it can actually fill you up, thereby preventing unnecessary snacking later to quell hunger pangs. One of my Chinese employee say he cannot imagine dish without rice as he would not feel filled up without a portion of rice.
The best alternative is to replace rice and noodles with brown rice or the healthier whole-grain version. Which I recommend over and over here on my blog.
Chinese way of eating with chopsticks may be another add to the Chinese way of diet control solution, you cannot pick a bunch of food can you pick up with a pair of skinny bamboo contraption.
So start from buying the chopsticks and train using it with every dish, half of the weight battle may be won, just by using them 
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Now coming back to the Weight Loss Competition.
Be ready, coming soon the next round. This time I give you more time to sign up:
1. The sign up period starts 1st of July and ends 15th of July. The earlier you sign the more time for weigh loss battle you have.
2. You sign register as a user with the statement: ‘I am in your 2nd weight loss challenge’
3. I respond to your email, important your email must work, and you send me your photo and current body weight, please have a witness to confirm your body weight as of the date of and ending the competition
4. The competition will last this time longer, a full quarter. so up to 1st of September.
5. Again you will have 5 days, from 1st to 5th of September to send me your new photo with new weight with % of body weight loss during the weight loss contest.
6. Please get your witness confirmation.
7. The 2nd Weight Loss Competition Winner Announcement will be 1st of October. I realized I need more time for gift idea and preparation.
8. Again I will sponsor the prize.
Good luck and do sign up starting 1st of July!
Look how happy was Gloria and hope she got another motivation kick.
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Looking forward to see you in 2nd round!

Overcoming Obstacles

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Hello All,
It is so nice to read all your positive feedback and very valuable comments. Just before I go to my new post I wanted to thank all of you who shared with me some of the issues with my website. I am still learning a lot of things about blogging and technical capabilities. I appreciate your patience and promise to fix all the issues I have influence on. I can assure that I try to go thru all of your comments, the number of users grows every day so I hope I will be able to follow on your feedback to improve my website.
Today I will share a bit about how my easy down with diet influenced on my weight going up within 4 days. Last Saturday I stepped on weight and 126 pounds no surprise, and guess what almost every day 1 pond up. Well when you will read:
– what,
– how much
– what time and how late
I was eating I believe you will not be surprised. This ‘diet’s relaxation’ came after being so optimistic checking weight after coming back from Texas, US. And here the first warning, do not resign completely from regime and do not relax too easily and keep checking weight.
What would happen if I did not check weight for 2 or maybe 3 weeks and keep with the same ‘optimistic’ approach? Well 4 pounds in 4 day = 14 pounds in 2 weeks! Yes that is it. Maybe not 14 straight forward but could be.
I was checking weight and recording almost every day, so later I will share how weight grew and what caused it, per my observation. It may be more important for some people rather than observation what causes weight loss.
Before I move on, I wanted to share my day, after seeing on scale 130 pounds. For those who does not know I made a limit, my preferable weight is 125 pound and the highest is 130 pound, which I promised to myself not to exceed.
So here I am. Probably I should cry and stop eating at all and only exercise. Probably yes, but I also advised DO NOT to jump from one extreme to another.
After waking up I started my day with warm water with lemon, in one of my post I shared benefits of it already.
So Thursday excellent day, Sunny Shanghai, pollution only AQI = 42, which mean air quality excellent (for China conditions ), since for a few last days I went sleep very early, pretty heavy after significant amount of food, Thursday I woke up at 4:30am. I thought to run on treadmill which I have at home, but since weather was so nice decided to walk all the way to my office, over 7km. Surprisingly it took me only 1.15min, pretty fast walking. Well maybe slightly more since I stopped in Starbucks and bought Venti Latte. To be honest last time when I saw in Houston the board with prices and each line had a number of calories, Grande Latte has 190 cal., go and check they have it on website:
http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/caffe-latte

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I explained to myself to minimize the coffee intake with milk to small portion in the morning or skip it at all or drink without milk, only if I am very tired and feel sleepy.
Well not this Thursday when was waking up at 4:30am, having night calls which last ends after midnight, I needed a coffee. Last week I felt pretty tired which could still due to jet lag resulted from time zone changes.
Again you need to watch what you eat when having jet lag, as you may easily overeat not feeling full, and have appetite disorder.
Just to remind possible jet lag symptoms:
– Daytime fatigue
– Disturb sleep –such insomnia, early waking or excessive sleepiness
– Difficulty concentrating or functioning at your usually
– Stomach problems, constipation or diarrhea, I compare it to the time I was pregnant I gained a lot of weight as I was trying to overeat my unpleasant feeling in my stomach
– Muscle soreness
– Menstrual symptoms in women
Some of the symptoms you may miss match with sickness or even flu.
Anyway no excuses but it is hard to motivate to do some sport or exercise.
Yesterday before 6am I walked to the office all the way. Just in front of Starbucks took few photos. There were Chinese women dancing with ancient Chinese sworn. This is a very common practice in China as on the main Shanghai squares and streets, we see people dancing together or alone and doing different kind of exercise.
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Chinese people do not shame, even when somebody is watching them, they value their healthy life style, so you can see a lot of them walking backwards. I was asking in my office why, apparently they do to train different part of muscle and unload and relax spine. Apparently this is a centuries-old tradition in China. There’s some sort of legend of immortal creatures, who “walked backwards faster than the eye manages to capture”. So maybe the Chinese walking backwards because they want to be immortal? Or maybe they think that back in time and become young go? I believe they clever enough to start to work out unused muscle, or maybe to balance the body or spirt.
There is much more interesting about sports in China and here few more that you can see every day while walking thru main streets of Shanghai for instance.
Chinese people perhaps do not have to sport as a professional approach as our Western neighbors, but it derive much more pleasure. This applies mainly older people, because only they have the time to his regular practice. As they say the statistics, 3/4 of citizens over age 60 regularly several times a week practicing some form of movement.
The favorite sport is dancing, they dance in pairs or in Individuals on the streets where they put the tape recorder. For parquet, Chinese uses their parks and squares, were, and generally all that is large and flat. Even less demanding for the location to train is tai chi, as it requires only a piece of a flat surface.
It is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: its hard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, and longevity. As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some training forms of t’ai chi ch’uan are especially known for being practiced with relatively slow movement.
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Tai chi are grown in alleys under the trees, the playground and place on grill. It looks like a strange dance in slow motion, but it develops the muscles of the whole body. If you consider the tai chi you must absolutely train it every day for true results.
Unfortunately, the beautiful Chinese tradition of sports (whatever it was) always and everywhere seems to be ending. The Chinese government raises the alarm – the young generations of sports was overcome laziness. Young Chinese are forced to spend hours to be the best at school with minimum focus on sport activity, they do not like to move and prefer iPhones & iPads from any sport activities. Just by ride the subway to see how everyone pushing to get in line for the escalator to not having to climb. Many wears glasses due to constant watching or playing on iPhone.
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Even in the restaurant the family is sitting at one table but each of them separately is using its own iPhone. It looks like the walking about in 20 years to so many disappear from the Chinese streets. That’s pity.
Well to be very honest I should not only complain this is in China only. Recently while traveling from Houston to LA, I saw 2 young girls during all flight talking with each other while holding and constantly showing something on their iPhones. It would not be very strange however I had strong impression they would miss topics while taking them away their iPhones, as conversation was focused on what they showed to each other in their phones. Well maybe I am too old, but here are the nice conversations that can last for a long time, exchanging the interesting topics, thoughts, discussions with sprit. Am I dreaming … Time to do something with it… Ok I think enough for today. Let me come back to merit.
So to get back on track I decided to walk all the way to office total almost 10,000 steps.
After reaching office I finished my coffee and ate dragon fruit with small cup of almonds.
DragonFruit
Pitaya, commonly known in Asia as Dragon Fruits, to prepare a pitaya for consumption, the fruit is cut open to expose the flesh. The fruit’s texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds. The flesh, which is eaten raw, is mildly sweet and low in calories. The seeds are eaten together with the flesh, have a nutty taste and are rich in lipids, but they are indigestible unless chewed. The fruit is also converted into juice or wine, or used to flavor other beverages. The flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea.
Several of the Padres who missionized Baja California recorded an unusual form of consumption of pitaya that is also shared in some O’odham stories from southern Arizona. It is called the “second harvest” of pitaya seeds. With the scarcity of fruits in their lands, the pitaya was such a prized fruit that once it was eaten, the natives would wait for their own excrement to dry, then break it apart separating the pitaya seeds. These seeds would be ground into a flour and eaten again, giving the pitaya’s “second harvest” its name. Disgusting. Interestingly, the O’odham name for the Milky Way translates as “the second harvest of pitaya’. A 100-gram (3.5 oz) serving of white-fleshed pitahaya provides an estimated 21 milligrams of vitamin C, which corresponds to 34% of the daily value (DV) set for vitamin C. By way of comparison, this is less than half the amount of vitamin C found in an equal serving of oranges but more than three times the amount of vitamin C found in carrots. Vitamin C is perhaps best known for its ability to strengthen the immune system, but it also offers many other health benefits. When you eat dragon fruit or other foods that contain vitamin C, you boost your body’s natural ability to get rid of heavy metals and other toxins, promote the healing of your body’s cells, and improve your ability to cope with stress. Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant that is vital for overall good health and beautiful skin. So again, encourage you at least drink warm water in the morning with lemon, if you do not have other fruits that contains high % of vitamin C. Lemon you should have available all the time. Coming back to Dragon Fruit: A 100-gram portion of dragon fruit delivers 3 grams of fiber, which is equivalent to 12% of the daily reference value for dietary fiber. In addition to its nutritional value and health promoting effects, the dragon fruit is praised for its appetizing crunchy texture and refreshing, sweet flavor which is like a cross between kiwi and pear. To preserve most of its flavor and nutrients, the dragon fruit is usually eaten raw as a healthy snack or it is pureed into smoothies.
I probably do not need to promote almonds nutrition value, many of you probably know that some of top models apply diet that consist only from Almonds, so let us have a look for almonds nutritional value. It looks like almond has most of what are body needs. The almond that we think of as a nut is technically the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, a medium-size tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers. Like its cousins, the peach, cherry and apricot trees, the almond tree bears fruits with stone-like seeds (or pits) within. The seed of the almond fruit is what we refer to as the almond nut. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. In addition to their cholesterol-lowering effects, almonds’ ability to reduce heart disease risk may also be partly due to the antioxidant action of the vitamin E found in the almonds, as well as to the LDL-lowering effect of almonds’ monounsaturated fats. In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains 62 mg of magnesium plus 162 mg of potassium. Magnesium is Nature’s own calcium channel blocker. When there is enough magnesium around, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Potassium, an important electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and the contraction of all muscles including the heart, is another mineral that is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Almonds promote your cardiovascular health by providing 162 mg of potassium and only 0.2 mg of sodium, making almonds an especially good choice to in protecting against high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. On top of it an almond-enriched low calorie diet can help overweight individuals shed pounds more effectively than a low calorie diet high in complex carbohydrates. Although nuts are known to provide a variety of cardio-protective benefits, many avoid them for fear of weight gain. People who ate nuts at least twice a week were much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never ate nuts.
Practical Tips:
• I cut some almonds and spread them over the salad, in Whole Foods you can buy ready nuts’ crunch, I will share a photo in the coming post.
• Spread some nut butter on your morning toast or bagel (if you still eat bread … try to avoid in burning phase)
• Upgrade that lunchbox favorite by spreading organic peanut butter and add grape jelly on type of bread you like or healthy choice
• Fill a celery stick with nut butter or simply just enjoy a handful of lightly roasted nuts as a healthy snack.
Don’t let concerns about gaining weight prevent you from enjoying the delicious taste and many health benefits of nuts! How many great childhood lunches involved a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Reminder for those who are on Dukkan diet, watch which phase allows you to eat nuts. Very important where do you buy them, coming next. Regarding the almond, nut butter, we are not talking about commercial of the shelf, making it in the store by your own or at home, at least buy the organic ones. One more all these: Manganese, Copper & Riboflavin helps with energy production
Almonds are a very good source of manganese and copper, two trace minerals that are essential cofactors of a key oxidative enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), thus keeping our energy flowing.
Almonds that are still in their shells have the longest shelf life. If purchasing these, look for shells that are not split, moldy or stained. Shelled almonds that are stored in a hermetically sealed container will last longer than those that are sold in bulk bins since they are less exposed to heat, air and humidity. If purchasing almonds in bulk bins, make sure that the store has a quick turnover of inventory and that the bulk containers are sealed well in order to ensure maximum freshness. Look for almonds that are uniform in color and not limp or shriveled. In addition, smell the almonds. They should smell sweet and nutty; if their odor is sharp or bitter, they are rancid.
Since almonds have a high fat content, it is important to store them properly in order to protect them from becoming rancid. Store shelled almonds in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dry place away from exposure to sunlight. Keeping them cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. Refrigerated almonds will keep for several months, while if stored in the freezer, almonds can be kept for up to a year. Shelled almond pieces will become rancid more quickly than whole shelled almonds. Almonds still in the shell have the longest shelf life.
Almonds are not actually raw unless you purchase them from the grower. The USDA pasteurization laws require them to be pasteurized before they are sold in the super market. These nuts easily absorb pesticides because of their high oil content so it is best to purchase organic almonds.
That’s when I learned that even pasteurized almonds could be labeled as “raw.” In fact, they can be steamed, irradiated, or treated with chemicals, and still be labeled as raw!
1) You can buy directly from farmers–> either at farmer’s markets or online
2) You can also buy almonds that were grown outside of the USA.
At end of Thursday I was very happy of my total activity:
Total walked distance 16,733 steps (12 km) and 45 minutes on the pool, I deserved for dinner:
– Fright chicken liver with different grains –buckwheat, quinoa, oat bran with sour kraut
– And before going to sleep 2 glasses of red wine and 2 pieces of camembert president
And now quick overview of this week what caused my weight going up.
So Sunday morning 05/17, my weight was 126, but whole Sunday I was eating a lot of carbohydrates –starting from sandwiches for breakfast and ice cream, then big lunch at Chinese restaurant: huge spicy crawl fish platter, fish soup, a jelly rice with bacon, the eel with tofu and beef in spicy sauce, small rice pizza and big beer. Hmm seems quite enough for all day. Well this was not the end of the day I had a dinner and late supper with sandwiches and Gouda cheese. Since Saturday I played bridge and in the evening ate mainly snacks, I was eating too much carbohydrates & fat on Sunday.
Let us have a look Monday 05/18 I had a good start and wanted to keep it mainly proteins, actually only proteins, eating 3 boiled eggs in the morning and 2 filet mignons for lunch, since I did not plan to walk nor exercise I thought to eat something small in the evening, and here was surprise since my husband bought broad been, I really love it cooked with small amount of salt. We cooked whole portion about 1 kg, since my husband went out for training I ate with my daughter everything and believe me or not most of it I finished by myself, on top of it just before going to bed. Next day no surprise, my weight went up.
Tuesday morning 05/19 weight = 128.5 pounds, and again just walking one way to work, and eating really a lot of carbohydrates. Bread talk was on top of my list and not only for bread, 3 sweet buns, and 1 pizza. At home again sandwiches with Gouda cheese. Tuesday I was pretty tired and went sleep very early about 8pm.
Wednesday 05/20, morning weight = 129 pound, not so bad after so much Bread Talk… Again only one way walk to subway, about 5,650 steps. Morning mix of grapefruit, orange and lemon juice. Office coffee with milk and 2 big sandwiches with Fromage and Gouda and Eggs, after lunch chocolate croissant with Dinner chicken liver with potatoes and sour kraut, bread with butter and whole tin of mackerel in tomato sauce, desert -ice cream with dark chocolate crunch.
Coming back to Thursday, weight = 130 pounds, why I am not surprise. Now if I keep eating what I did the last 4 day and no activity soon will come back to point where I was in back October 160 pound This is not going to happen.
So I did a lot: long distance walking > 12km, swimming, and sauna so at the end of the day I deserved for 2 glasses of wine with Camembert Cheese. Following very big lunch, that consist of:
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1. Big Dough Soup with Shredded Lamb
2. Lamb leg
3. Oat Noodles with Tomato and Eggplant
4. Edamame beans
5. Sunflower seeds
6. Sea buckthorn
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I would like to promote here the health benefits of Sea buckthorn ‘Seaberry” . Sea buckthorn is an herb. The leaves, flowers, and fruits are used to make medicine.
Sea-Buckthorn
Sea buckthorn leaves and flowers are used for treating arthritis, gastrointestinal ulcers, gout, and skin rashes caused by infectious diseases such as measles. A tea containing sea buckthorn leaves is used as a source of vitamins, antioxidants, protein building blocks (amino acids), fatty acids and minerals; for improving blood pressure and lowering cholesterol; preventing and controlling blood vessel diseases; and boosting immunity. Sea buckthorn berries are used for preventing infections, improving sight, and slowing the aging process. The seed or berry oil is used as an expectorant for loosening phlegm; for treating asthma, heart disorders including chest pain (angina) and high cholesterol; for preventing blood vessel disease; and as an antioxidant. Sea buckthorn oil is also used for slowing the decline of thinking skills with age; reducing illness due to cancer, as well as limiting the toxicity of chemical cancer treatment (chemotherapy); balancing the immune system; treating stomach and intestinal diseases including ulcers and reflux esophagitis (GERD); treating night blindness and dry eye; and as a supplemental source of vitamins C, A, and E, beta-carotene, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids.
SEa -berries juice
In foods, sea buckthorn berries are used to make jellies, juices, purees, and sauces.

Different parts of sea-buckthorn have been used as traditional therapies for diseases.[14] Bark and leaves have been used for treating diarrhea and dermatological disorders. Berry oil, either taken orally or applied topically, is believed to be a skin softener. In Indian, Chinese and Tibetan medicines, sea-buckthorn fruit may be added to medications in belief it affects pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood or metabolic disorders.

Finally Today Friday, Happy Friday, imagine 128.5 pound, drop only by 1.5 within 1 day, not bad, but look how much activity I had to do. What is more important I ate normally and still were able to drop with my weight.
Just to summarize, I see I gain when eating too much of:
– Bread
– Fat cheese
– Sweets
– Fast food, French fries, and deep fried stuff.
By the way I think Bread Talk is very tasty but I would classify same as fast food, even thou they bake there at the store, still a lot of wheat and other adds into it, on top finished with cheese, chocolate or sugar which does not work for me.
Today I will not share more tips, wanted to give you some insight, that I even after you loose weight, you should watch products that are not for you. You need to find the answer to one very important question what you prefer:
– Eat in small amount but what you really love and feel all the time hungry due to small portions and high sugar content and high glycemic index, that raise your sugar level so you do not feel full
– Eat to feel full, but not usually tasty dishes, but that force your body to burn calories by digesting it and keeps you full for longer.
I am type 2, cannot starve all the time, if your sugar level is to low you get angry and cannot focus on your job, or other task you have to do.
Have you ever though why usually for actresses that plays the scrofula are tent to be very thin or even unhealthy thin almost anorectic, while happy people are rather seemed to look fluffy. My point here is I do not want to be fluffy but I want to be happy and at the same time do not want to look line scrofula.
Well difficult to find a balance, isn’t?
This is why I believe you should not be always hungry as you will be always angry on anything, at best scenario tried to do anything and enjoy life.
I truly believe that proteins gives you power, energy and making you full, while carbohydrates destroy your body cells and immune system, make you happy but just for a few minutes, until you finish your favorite cake and even not as when you finish you feel guilty which of course does not make you happy anymore longer.
At the end I wanted to share with you something which made me really admired the people who I watched, the name of the team is Horse man. On 9th of May just after coming back from US I was with my daughter on Shanghai Longines Global Champion Tour.
There was an entertainment team during the break who was giving the amazing show.
You may imagine horses jumping 160 to 170 cm at Grand Prix Show Jumping Competition. The obstacles on such competition are with heights up to 1.6 meters (5 feet 3 inches) and spreads of up to 2.0 meters (6 ft 7 in).
I took some pictures from Shanghai.
Here you have horses and humans jumping the same height.
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What this gave to me after watching this show, that we create the limits ourselves.
Robert Anthony wrote that:
‘You can have anything you want, if you get rid of the belief that you cannot have’
Overall human absorb so much thoughts and plans for the future that recalls the life only when his days on earth are numbered. But then it is too late for anything.
So let us do not life pass by us…
Carpe diem…

I am going for the horse tour tomorrow.

Back from Texas

Goals are dreams with deadlines

fitness goal

images dream big

Hello All,
Coming back from my business travels and actually soon the time to announce the weight loss contest winner.
I was getting a lot of new users recently on my website and I try to answer as they come, anyway due to my absence I was unable to follow them immediately.
About winner announcement I am going to write a separate post.
Today a bit about my trip to Texas, US.
As most of you probably know Texas is very famous of its food, Tex-Mex, and different type of Pappas…,
not only these but many, many others, price wise very reasonable. However I notices since I move out of Texas back in 2013, price in Houston area went up.

I took with me all my family and what I was afraid that actually we will be eating too much and I gain weight quickly. In restaurant you are unable to control how much fat or carbohydrates is in it. So coming back from my business travel and no gain weight, well no loose but not gain it is achievement too, I want to share how to dine during business travel not to get additional weight. It was one of my biggest problem before, I was usually gained the weight as I ate huge breakfast, lunch and dinner with big desert. In the meantime eating chips or other hand evening drinking wine.
Surprisingly this time I almost did not change my habit, but did a little modification.
I was not watching amount I ate, rather focusing on what I was eating.
Here you can see photos from Pappadeaux and Oceanaria Restaurants:
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For example for breakfast I took white eggs, oat bran with some berries.
Lunch if I had small, salad or so. For dinner I tried to eat mainly seafood or meat: oysters on the shell, lobster tail, stake. I came for the best season for crawfish, and this was also one of my main menu. We ordered wine, and believe me I was shocked when checking weight when I came back no change, maybe 1 pound. I had no time to exercise, only one day I was able to go to gym & for horse riding.
Today let me summarize few tips for you while on business travel, I am sure you have a similar complaints & excuses as I had before:
1. The food selection is not lean what to do?
Suggested solutions:
– You can pre-order in the plane the diet food, or fish instead of normally served,
– Another way if you cannot make a selection, eat only protein out of served dish, skip potato, chips, or rice or noodles
– If you still do not feel like eating food served in the plane, you can go on the airport to the restaurant and order salad, and eat there or take to go.
2. How to make healthy choices in hotel?
– If you are at the hotel, and food is not lean, then eat only berries and oat brans, ask to make only white eggs or eat the boiled ones. Skip the bread and any fat add like bacon.
– The other option would be to go the grocery and buy something small for breakfast, but most of the hotel should have some kind of lean choices so you are not forced to eat scramble eggs and bacon.
3. What if I am served lunch at the client or supplier or invited for lunch?
– Usually people who are invited they do not want to put the person who invites us in uncomfortable situation or make such lunch inconvenient, or think they may be rude not to eat what is served
– Remember it is not impolite to tell you are on diet and ask for ordering lean food
– The other option is to eat half, also explaining that main reason is you are on diet
– Keep the same solution as in the plane when food is served and eat only proteins and veggies
4. Coming now to dinner with business guests, the most hard part to keep lean, right?
– Not exactly, why because here you can make a choice of dish you order unless it is pre-ordered than same rules as during lunch applies
– If you should assist drinking wine, skip desert. Overall I recommend to avoid sugar and sweet dishes, but if you cannot restrain, share with someone.

5. I do not have time for exercise during business travel!!!
– This is also very true, usually it may be because of jet lag, early meetings & late dinners. Other meetings convention or you have urgent work to be done
– Try at least do something one day is better than nothing
– If you have jet lag, sometimes instated of working I went to gym, even at the night time, or very early morning – 4am
– If you are too tired, just walk on treadmill 1h, without jogging, go to swimming pool if you can
– Do not give up in full your weight loss program, name it ‘freeze period’, meaning you come back to it immediately when you are back home
– Do not extend ‘freeze period’ to put diet on hold longer after coming back from business travel

Overall the main mistakes we do is:
1. Lack of continuity in our strive to our goals
2. Human tent to finds too many excuses, instead of turning them to opportunities
3. By our nature we are lazy, so we try to avoid forcing ourselves to anything that requires more efforts
4. If we lose our routines , we lose control over what we are doing, not only weight loss, but sometimes our lives
Let us do not give up and pursue to our goas to make our dreams come true.
We can still enjoy life and make it even more successful when we manage to overcome our weaknesses.
Our proud of ourselves will make us even stronger for the next push!
Wish you all good luck in your race to make things happen !!!

goals-dream-life-thinkist goal