Sep 16, 2010

Obesity Epidemic: One Cookie

Okay, so I'm sure you've heard plenty about obesity, or so you think. I graduated with a degree in Nutritional Science, soon will sit for my exam to become a registered dietitian, and am currently continuing to pursue by Master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics: I've heard about obesity!

But today's reading for graduate school stated facts in a new way, calculations that I could have done, or facts that I could have researched previously, but honestly shockers when you get right down to it. There's plenty more information on weight, weight gain, weight loss, diet composition rather than simply weight, body composition rather than simply weight, but this is just a little tid bit for today.

Taken from Managing Obesity: A Clinical Guide published by the American Dietetic Association

  • An individual who drinks one additional 12-ounce can of soft drink per day (approximately 150 kcal) will gain approximately 15 pounds over one year if he or she does not reduce consumption of other food itemsor increase energy expenditure from physical activity.
Shocking to anyone!? An additional Coke can cause as much as 15 pounds of weight loss. I know some of you may be thinking, oh I already drink Coke so does that apply to me? If at the moment you are eating the same amount of calories each day, including a Coke and have not gained weight over time, you may be eating exactly what you body needs to maintain your current weight. However, if you were to add a Coke to that and make no other changes, then yes, 15 extra pounds. Oddly enough, and encouragingly enough, if you were to remove that Coke from your regular diet and replace it with nothing else, change no activity levels, then you'd mathematically speaking lose 15 pounds in one years time.

I know weight loss, and gain seems like a bad omen, luggage that just hangs onto us, or some scheme that someone else must be controlling. However, simply less calories in or more calories out (exercise) equal weight loss. Yes there are other factors that affect us, I am currently reading about social and environmental factors that contribute to obesity like dangerous neighborhoods where people are too afraid to walk, stores all the way across town so that you cannot walk to the store but must drive, etc. But that topic is for another day and another post.

I'll keep you updated on the findings of this class "Managing Obesity" and hopefully you will find it both educational and motivational. Leaving you with one last quote from the book:
  • In fact, by one estimate, an imbalance of as little as 100 to 150 kcal (Calories) per day, or about as much as one cookie, is sufficient to explain the entire obesity epidemic in America.

Sep 14, 2010

Name Changed! Oh wait, not yet.

So after much research, after pressing 1 for English and 2 for help with everything else, and then 0 to speak to an operator, today I set out on my journey to change my name. Some of you may be thinking "wait, she's been married for over 4 months and has yet to change her name!!" but little do you know about the systems of name change. And if you're a boy and married: kiss your wife for the hassle she went through to change her name, if you're not married yet, someday, thank your wife, lots.

Heading to the Driver's License Office
So the Social Security Administration was simple, and I received my new SS Card in the mail yesterday with my new last name! So today I load up my car with everything I need for any errand to run in Tyler and all documents that identify me or any of my belongings and begin my trek. Then I realize I didn't write down how much cash I would need at the Driver's License Office. No worries, I'll just call my mom on the way and see if she can look it up.

Then to City Hall
Now headed to Tyler and realize that the menu that I listened to on the automated message from the Driver's License Office while trying to figure out the payment, never mentioned anything about car registration. But I know I need proof of registration and insurance in the state of Texas to get my new license! So I see the sign for the City Hall of Lindale and I pull in and I ask the poor lady sitting behind the desk, "where can I register my car?" She directs me down Highway 69, turn left at the BBQ place and it's the red metal building...hmm.

Then the Smith County Offices
So I find the building, closed for 5 more minutes due to lunch hour and finally get inside. The woman behind the counter takes my paperwork as I read a sign that says "Cash or Check only, No Out-of-County Checks" and I realize that my checks aren't even from a county, they're from a Parish and I don't have tons of cash just hanging out in my back pocket. I notify her that I'll have to be back "in-a-sec" because I need to get cash, and she says "oh honey, it'll be more than a sec, you need to A. get better proof of insurance, update your coverage for the Texas standards, B. get a Texas inspection sticker, and C. return with $88 cash! Well, okay.

So at this point I've called Kyle and my mother to make the best decision. I decide I'll head over for insurance, but seeing as it's later in the day and I don't want to be driving around with a Texas inspection sticker and a Louisiana plate, I'll postpone until tomorrow.

To State Farm
So I head to State Farm. Oh, how wonderful State Farm is, if you don't like your insurance company switch to them, my agent is wonderful and really a God-send. So I explain that I will be adding my car to my new husband's policy so that it meets the Texas state requirements. Amanda (my agent) informs me that yep, she understands, but really my card printed in Louisiana simply has less information than the people in Texas are used to. My current coverage from Louisiana is fine to get registered with, and then when I have more time, we'll go ahead and add me to Kyle's plan. She prints me a large Texas sized insurance card with mu Louisiana insurance info and I'm all set. whew!

So for those of you who may not have been able to keep track here's the
How to Change your Name while Moving from Louisiana to Texas
1. Wait to receive your Marriage Certificate in the mail.
2. Go to Social Security Administration with a) Marriage Certificate and b)License to apply for your Name-changed Social Security Card. This one is FREE!
3. Wait to receive your Social Security Card in the mail.
4. Get the title signed over from your parents if they owned your car previously and they are giving it to you, or obtain the Title to your Car.
5. Get your car inspected in the state of Texas to obtain an Inspection Sticker, there will be a fee.
6. Obtain Texas sized Proof of Insurance. It must state the Liability Amounts.
7. Go to the County offices with your Title, License, Proof of Insurance, and a vehicle with a current Texas Inspection Sticker and $88 in Cash (as of 9/14/2010).
8. Go to the Driver's License Office (you may not have one in your small town, I have to go to Tyler) with your New Social Security Card, Registration Proof, Proof of Insurance, Birth Certificate, and Marriage Certificate and Cash (Amount may Vary).
9. Tie Up all loose ends: Visit your bank and change the name on all your accounts, order new debit cards, and checks as needed. Notify your health insurance and auto insurance company. Notify your employer. Notify the university you attend and have attended for their records (you may have to fax them a copy of your marriage certificate). Notify any professional organizations you are a member of (American Dietetic Associate, etc.).
10. Have your husband take care of dinner that night ;)

I'm loving married life, glad and excited to change my name! and normally, I wouldn't mess with Texas, but today, Texas messed with me first. Good luck to future brides, I'll notify you all when my name is eventually changed :)

Sep 10, 2010

Refrigerator and Progress

Don't worry this has nothing to do with progress and politics... simply progress on cleaning. The road long but we are continually pacing ourselves. We have tubs labeled "Garage Sale" others I've labeled "Kitchen Stuff that Needs a Place to Go" and then "I want to Keep this but Have no Place to Put It." Yep, that's where we are on the house.

But honestly some routines are kicking in and I'm loving it, like we got a REFRIGERATOR!! Now we had one before, but see it was a mini, and well you just can't keep much in there. But Kyle found us a great deal on Craig's List and now we have a beautiful (and inexpensive) new refrigerator. So cooking dinners has become much more fun because it means simply cooking the food, not daily to the grocery store and then cooking the food!

As far as more routine, ladies Bible study started up in Lindale which is wonderful and such a blessing, which also means my mornings start with a daily reading from our new study. School started, and although that routine may have many people cringing, I love school, so I'm real excited about the learning and studying and cramming and writing papers right up until the deadline... see I'm dangerous. :) But I will admit that Kyle had to ask about the laundry quite a few times, apparently doing all these other things made me forget a load in the dryer oh for about... 5 days or so. Ooops!

Anyway, recipe for last night's dinner was fabulous and cheap. I'll try to be posting our new and old recipes (some I had long ago on another blog) for anyone who like me need the recipes that are good and cheap-ish and boy-friendly (AKA include meat) and are decently healthy...

Rockin' Burrito Wraps
Serves 4
(And approximately 14 grams of FIBER per serving!)

4 Burrito Sized Tortillas (I don't use whole grain for this one because I like them to stretch well)
1 Can Black Beans
1/2 to 1 pound of Ground Beef or Ground Turkey (I did half and half because I had leftover in the fridge)
1 Taco Seasoning Packet
2 Cups Uncooked Brown Rice
Cheese (as desired)
Sour Cream (as desired)

1. Measure out two cups uncooked brown rice and place in rice cooker. Follow instructions on rice cooker (mine tells you how much water to add... for me it's 3 cups of water and takes about 25 minutes to cook with a 20 minute set time... will explain later.) Sprinkle a little taco seasoning in with the rice and then set to COOK.

2. Brown meat on med-high heat in a skillet. Add taco seasoning and a little water, mix, allow to bubble, reduce heat and stir.

3. Pour can of beans into pot to heat. No salt needed due to canning processing.

4. Once rice is done cooking, you will need to remove the lid, stir it up, and then replace the lid to allow for the rice to reabsorb the moisture This step is key with rice especially brown rice. My rice cooker has a WARM setting as it sits for about 10-20 minutes.

5. Assemble and eat. Tortilla with rice, meat, beans, salsa and maybe a little cheese or sour cream. Kyle likes the cheese, but I like the sour cream, so we have both.

6. Enjoy! (and notice it serves 4, so you can have others over or have leftovers to pack a lunch the next day if you are only cooking for two!) Also I could the servings on 2 man servings and 2 woman servings, if you know what I mean ;)

Sorry no pics, forgot to take then and now it;s all eaten up... but next time :)

Sep 6, 2010

Clearing Clutter: Labor Day

Picture Courtesy of

Okay, so don't worry, that is NOT a picture of my own home... It is however a picture of the worry that someday my home may look like this. Here's the thing: Anyone out there ever started from scratch moving in and finding the right place for everything to go? Well I'm sure maybe tons, but it's quite a daunting task. Sure I could just stuff everything in a closet (wait, we don't have many of those, lol) or a bag or bin, but I really like for everything to have it's very own space.

For those of you who knew me in high school and saw my room, you may not believe that... at all. See I was so involved that I had no time to really clean, and well when I did have time to clean all the Stuff that I had accumulated had no shelf, no cubby, no box that it had been assigned to. So if I didn't know where it was supposed to go, it stayed on the floor. Well, in high school, many things that did have a place were still on the floor.  The summer after my senior year, I found time to clean, really throw stuff away, get rid of things, use the shelves and WOW... fun thing for you is that I took step by step pictures. Here it is:

So now in my very own house (well we rent it, but still it's our home) I want to do the same thing as we move in so that nothing ever is in need of it's own "spot." I just spent some glorious time throwing away all the make-up in my travel toiletries bag that I've had since high school, maybe even some middle school (oh my!) and why have I been lugging that around with my literally everywhere I travel, whew! And I tell you what it felt great, absolutely wonderful.

So today, being labor day... sure get outside, enjoy the weather, enjoy your family, but maybe you can sneak in some time for the throwing away of old things that tie you down, whether it be your old makeup, your old clothes (donate), or the monogrammed napkin from that wedding you went to when you were younger that honestly you don't even know where those people live anymore. (Seriously). Keep the old family, and the old friends.

Enjoy Labor Day, you've more than likely worked really hard this year.

And don't worry, lol, pictures of our real house soon... once clutter cleared.

Sep 3, 2010

Still Moving

So I thought that moving in took a few days... in my previous experience moving in one bedroom into a college dorm/apartment does only take a few days. Moving into a house however, takes quite a while! Our house looks more like a house, but now rather than looking like we're moving in, all the extra stuff just looks like we're either a.) messy or b.) hoarders.

Either way TODAY is the day of ultra cleaning. The only thing on my agenda is organizing the house, and therefore, it's getting done!

I will mention though that throughout the chaos progress has been made. I have changed my name to my married name at the Social Security Administration (only 5 months late, no prob), done quite a bit of processing for my new job, and cooked 2 whole meals!

First night was a wonderful idea I stole from my friend Elizabeth and altered a bit. Wonderful! It was my first night to cook for Kyle since we've been married (due to Colorado and moving, lol) and I was excited for the sit down at the cute table with a candle lit and stare into each others' eyes... however, we don't have a table, I'm not sure what box the candles are in, and it was his night for the Fantasy Football draft, lol. Yep, so until the internet guy gets to the house, he had to sit outside in his car to catch on of the neighbor's wi-fi. So dinner was in the truck, on our new plates, with the glow of the computer screen. But oh the story that will be to tell, much better than any ordinary first dinner.

Okay so I'm getting back to the house cleaning, and when I find my camera I'll add pics of the 'first dinner.' But until then, here's the recipe-ish.

Crispy Chicken Spaghetti (needs a new name)
Serves 4

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Packet 'Shake-n-Bake' or Off Brand
1 Tablespoon Olive or Canola Oil
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 Cups Spaghetti Sauce (Your Choice)
2 Cups Noodles (Your Choice)
Family Size Can of Green Beans
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a medium sized pot put water to boil for noodles, add salt as desired.

3. Cut Chicken into strips (about an inch wide and 4 inches long).  Pour shake-n-bake mixture into bag provided, add dash of garlic and Italian seasoning. Mix bag. Add two strips, shake bag to coat chicken, remove from bag and place on oiled (olive or canola) non-stick cookie sheet.

4. Cook chicken for approximately 15 minutes flipping chicken halfway through cooking. To check for doneness, check temperature of chicken breast. Should be 180 degrees F.

5. While chicken is cooking, once water is boiling add noodles to water cook approx. 8-10 minutes until al dente.

6. Drain noodles, add spaghetti sauce to pot with noodles and simmer on low until bubbling.

7. Place green beans in microwave-safe dish and heat until warm. (I usually steam frozen green beans, but our lack of a refrigerator right now made me buy canned).

8. Serve 2-3 strips of chicken atop 1 cup cooked pasta with green beans on the side...and enjoy.

More to come, but I've got to clean. :) Pictures of the place soon... once it's picture worthy.
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