A Participant’s View: Spice It Up!

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If you have been following my Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less experience through my blogs and you read the argument between “Old Lynne” and “New Lynne” last week [See “When the Scale is Unkind, Give Up????”], I think you will be pleased to know that “New Lynne” took the reins for this past week.   Instead of dwelling on the “Weigh Less” part of the program, I concentrated on following the lesson about making low-calorie choices and making them taste great, so I could enjoy them, rather than feel righteous and/or deprived.  As I reflected on the lesson, I realized that eating healthily does not have to mean eating dismally.

I was very conscious – and conscientious —  all week about what I was putting into my mouth, and how I prepared it.   The spice rack got a great workout:  I was liberal with cinnamon and cloves on my sliced peaches and pears; my Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blend was a useful friend on fish and chicken; and I used garlic on almost everything!   My husband and I grilled salmon, corn, and peppers for our Labor Day cookout, and when we didn’t grill during the week, we baked and/or roasted.lynne-week-5-one1-1024x756

I made my version of Spinach and Mushrooms (see Photo) at least twice during the week, and an additional time, mixed it up a bit by substituting a cup of chopped up broccoli.  The garlic and the tablespoon of Soy Sauce are the key to a great-tasting, low calorie side.  Here’s the recipe, for 2 people.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 to a pound spinach, washed, with a bit of water still on leaves
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup skim milk mozzarella, shredded

Using a medium non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and brown the garlic until it is soft and golden brown (about 3 minutes).

Add the mushrooms and saute until they are nicely browned.

Add the soy sauce, and stir, and then add the spinach (with some beads of water clinging to it), and cook until spinach is nicely wilted and soft (about 4 to 5 minutes).

Just before serving, sprinkle the mozzarella on top, and stir until just melted.


Several nights (but I will admit, not all of them),  I poured wine into a measuring cup and then made several wine spritzers, with lots of Seltzer water and lemon, to make my 6 oz goal more attainable.


As  you might have guessed, when I weighed myself  at the end of the week, not only had that nasty .8 pound come back off, I had lost a bit more to boot!  Hats off to the program, and to New Lynne for getting me to keep on keeping on!

Here are my notes from Lesson 5, Move More:

Moving more is the key not only to more rapid and sustained weight loss, regular exercise coupled with a healthy diet can help you manage stress, sleep better, reduce the risk of heart disease and other illnesses, and just feel better.

There are two types of moving  – general physical activity in your daily life (such as walking, climbing stairs, playing and lifting and pushing) and intentional exercise, in the form of aerobics and muscle-strengthening activities.

Class members shared ways that they build activity into their day, such as:

  • park far away from work or store
  • climb steps instead of taking elevator
  • vacuum and or polish with vigor (“wax on, wax off”)
  • walk the dog
  • play golf (with cart) or disc golf (it’s usually free!)
  • play catch or tag or “SPUD!” with the kids, throw a frisbee

For more vigorous, intentional activity, class and instructor mentioned things like:

  • golf (carrying bag yourself, no cart)
  • disc golf (on a hilly course and jogging to the next hole)
  • badminton or volleyball
  • racquet ball
  • hiking
  • Zumba
  • machines such as treadmills, stair climbing machines, skiing machines
  • boxing
  • swimming
  • water aerobics

And specifically for strength training, folks mentioned

  • boot camp
  • doing work outs at a gym
  • 10 – 15 minute workouts 3 times a week of sets of push ups, crunches, sit ups, curls with weights, planks, chair dips, etc.

One person mentioned that if you can have a personal trainer, even just for a few times to get you doing the exercises correctly, it’s great.  Rachel agreed, and said that you seem to try harder when you have a trainer, and the workout seems harder and better.

In setting your goals for intentional exercise, figure that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity (brisk walking) OR 75 minutes as week of vigorous intensity ( eg. jogging or tennis or swimming) AND muscle strengthening on 2 or more days per week.

If you are exercising already, then for even greater benefits, aim for 300 minutes ( 5 hours) of moderately intense exercise OR 150 minutes ( 2 1/2 hours) or vigorous aerobic activity and the same amount of muscle-strengthening as above ( 2 or more days per week).

To gauge your intensity, try this test:

if you can sing, it’s light.

if you can talk but not sing, it’s moderate.

if you become too winded to talk, it’s vigorous.

Remember – set achievable goals that are right for you.  Don’t worry about what others around you are achieving (Rachel mentioned feeling great about what she was accomplishing at the gym until she began comparing herself to another woman who was “killing it,” and Rachel’s “air went out of her tires.”  Luckily, she “talked herself”  into re-visiting how she felt, how much she was pushing herself, in comparison to where she had started and her goals and abilities, not in comparison to the woman next to her…and she was back on track).

And, remember, too, that you should always strive to get more energy, push yourself more; you will never really get to the “top step,”..it’s the getting there that counts, not the being there.

Also – think about planning for your exercise every day; put it into your “To Do List.”

And – this is very important – Don’t make excuses!!!!!  Find a way to “fit it in” so you can “fit in it.!”


  • Keep up with buddy; get your buddy or someone else (spouse, kids, friend at work) to exercise with you.
  • My strategy for the week is to be more physically active during my normal routine (eg. walk in place during class, or when I am talking to my mother and daughters and sister; do deep knee bends and other “ballet – type” exercises while I cook).
  • Bring a nutrition label to class, of a food I eat fairly regularly.