Last night I went to a "Go Healthy" event in which Ali Vincent, the first female Biggest Loser, was presenting and my personal favorite, Devin Alexander, host of Discovery Health's Healthy Decadence and author of several cookbooks (three of which I own). My favorite is The Decadent Diet. I've swooned over Devin's recipes on this blog before - her chocolate layer cake and zucchini boats are just a couple that have become hits both with us and our family and friends. Bill's brother, Tom, just loves the chocolate cake and the mini-cheesecakes and chocolate brownie cups were a hit at book club just this week!
Devin's food tastes great and she has worked to re-create the flavors and recipes we've come to love - without the hefty calories and fat! Devin lost 55 pounds almost twenty years ago. She has kept the weight off primarily through diet and food choices. She is a sweet gal with a wholesome and honest personality who shares her experiences and lessons from her heart as she will come out and say, "I am obsessed with food". She's turned this into a healthy obsession that has launched her career in ways she never expected.
I know I'm a little in my own world on this because as I excitedly shared with folks this week about getting to go to this event - pretty much no one had heard of Devin Alexander or her show. Folks were more intrigued by the presence of a "Biggest Loser" participant. However, I remember a time when a twenty-something me would get up each morning to watch a little known gal named Rachael Ray. I'd print her recipe using my dial-up internet and make whatever her recipe was - every week - faithfully! Maybe this'll happen one day and this cookbook author will one day have a network talk show of her own!
Besides getting to meet an author in person, getting my sticky, crusty, well-used cookbook signed and have a photo snapped, I did learn a thing or two!
Fat really is heavy! Nikki and I got to hold five pounds of fat. Wow, it is heavy - and takes up a lot of surface area! Yuck! Then, we got to saddle on twenty pounds of weight on our belly. No wonder back pain comes with weight gain. Ugh!
A Triathlon is definitely out of the question. Um, it was never really in question, but after listening to John Curley from Evening Magazine talk about how he almost drowned in the swimming portion of the IronMan France - I still have goosebumps!
Zumba looks fun! Nikki and I were intrigued with the "Zumba" dancers from the Y. This is a fun, Latin-inspired dance that gives you a great workout at the same time. Hmmm, wonder what classes are offered locally other than the YMCA?
Watch the numbers on lean meat. When purchasing lean ground beef - make sure you buy 96% lean. Devin gave the example of using even a small percentage difference of 93% can result in a significant calorie difference.
Set goals. If you don't set a goal, you are unlikely to achieve noticeable results. Even starting small - eat 100 less calories per day or bike one mile farther each month - it all adds up!
A little goes a long way. When making something with chocolate chips, for instance, use the mini chips. This way you're more likely to get a chip in every bite - thus spreading the flavor. Same goes for salads. Take the time and prepare a "chopped" salad. This way, you get more of the flavor in each bite and are less likely to use as much dressing.
Cook extra. Cook extra chicken breast when preparing a recipe. This is a great way to keep good food on hand when you want a quick snack or are looking for some protein to add to a salad or other meal. Munching on healthy cooked and seasoned chicken is a much better alternative than a lowfat cookie or other quick grab-and-go food.
Find ways to enjoy the foods you love. Devin said she hasn't eaten fried food since 1987! Wow, I don't know that I'd achieve that kind of record, but what she explained made sense. She loves french fries, fish and chips, onion rings, etc. However, she's chosen to eat these foods when she prepares them and can choose the ingredients and bake rather than fry. When she's eating out, she sticks to choices she knows are healthier options.
Olive Oil is Important. Yes, Dr. Oz tells us extra virgin olive oil is good for us, but a tablespoon or two - not glug, glug, glug, glug... Devin recommends an olive oil mister (with the real stuff, not the cans from the store). Shop around until you find an oil you truly love and when you spray on top of your baked foods before cooking that is the first flavor you'll taste when you bite into it and it will make your meal all the more satisfying!
All in all - it was a great event for only $15.00! So glad I went! Thanks for joining me, Nikki - it was great to share an evening with you!