Million Pound Matchup Tip: Invest in Frozen Vegetables

The tip this week is a good one, stock up on those frozen veggies. Take some extra time at the grocery store to explore the frozen goodies that are out there these days. You can get all kinds of mixed veggies, and some have seasoning already added for extra convenience. Just double check the sodium and make sure it’s not too out of whack. I tried the frozen cauliflower with the cheese chips. They cooked up in no time. Then I whirled them in the blender and viola – that fancy mashed cauliflower you find in restaurants! I can also give kudos to the microwaveable veggies in the steamer bag. It takes five minutes. Add a little salt, pepper, butter and toasted slivered almonds (make ‘em in the toaster over) and you have yourself a very upscale side dish.

I don’t think you need to know the reasons to fill up on frozen veggies, but here goes:

- they’re low in calories so you can bulk up on veggies when you are hungry with no guilt

- they have lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and water (each veggie has its own set of key nutrients, but just rest assured that there’s lots of good stuff in there your body needs)

- they have fiber to keep you full and keep things “running smoothly”. Most people don’t get the 25-35 grams of fiber per day they need, loading up on veggies is a great way to get closer to that total.

Aim for several cups of raw or cooked veggies each day. Eat ‘em up yum!!!

Biggest Loser Couples Episode 3 – What’s With the Big Numbers?

images.jpgLast week the contestants lost very little weight and they were extremely frustrated. This week we saw serious numbers. What gives?

I think there were some clear answers in the episode.

In short, everyone kicked it up a notch. Higher intensity and greater duration of workouts means more calories are burned. As they learn the ins-and-outs of good nutrition they can better comply with the Biggest Loser diet and they begin to realize the extra snacking isn’t worth the calories.

a note about the gum pitch: I tried this and it has worked at times and other times it has not. Personally, for me it works better to brush my teeth after a meal or if I feel tempted to snack and I am genuinely not hungry.

If you are genuinely hungry, go for a low-cal, high energy snack like a few nuts, celery, apple or banana with peanut butter, veggies like sugar snap peas or red pepper with a little hummus. Don’t forget the water or herbal tea, which will help keep the extra snacking under control.

If you’re doing the million pound matchup from home, keep the “kick it up a notch” approach in mind. If you are walking outside try to take a route with hills. If you are on a treadmill set a small incline, even a 1% grade makes a difference. Try to interject jogging spurts, even if it is only 10 second. Tomorrow it will be 20 second jogs and by the end of the week you’ll be at one-minute jog intervals.

Whatever you do, make sure you do something every day! I can’t stress this enough. You will have days where it seems impossible to get a workout in. Don’t skip. Do push ups, sit ups, wall squats, jumping jacks — and any other similar exercises you can do in your living room. Fifteen minutes is better than zero. Fit it in. I exercise while I watch the Biggest Loser believe it or not and I don’t even have a treadmill. I just do any exercise I can think of that uses my body weight as resistance. Don’t quit. Don’t back out. Don’t give up.

Good luck this week!!!!

Million Pound Matchup Tip: Eat More Soup

The tip for January 12th suggests you should eat more soup, especially in cold weather as a way to get more vegetables in your diet. I think this is a good idea. I like that they suggest to stay away from cream based soups which generally are higher in fat and calories. I also like they suggest to add beans or rice to canned soups. I actually suggest that you take a little time to make your own soup. You can control the salt and vegetable content. Soups are easier to make than you think.

Here’s a basic recipe for a vegetable soup:

- sautee chopped celery onion, carrot (about a cup each) and a few garlic cloves in 2 tbsp olive oil or canola oil for 5-10 minutes

- add 2 cups of cabbage or kale, chopped

- add stock or broth (vegetable, chicken or beef) try to use low salt or use 1 part stock and 1 part water

- add other veggies and beans (mushroom, tomatoes, green beans, cannelini beans, garbanzo beans)

- add spices and  herbs (I usually add a small amount and allow it to boil then add more as needed. Try dried oregano, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, a couple pinches of curry or turmeric)

Have a soup and salad for lunch or dinner. The beans in the soup will give some protein, but you should try to include protein in the salad by using chicken breast, tuna fish or a hard boiled egg.

Instructions for Participating in The Biggest Loser Million Pound Matchup

images.jpgSome people have posted questions about participating in the Biggest Loser Million Pound Matchup. Here are instructions that should help. Please visit back to this blog where I will be live blogging about the show. I’ll also post diet and exercise tips for weight loss. Each post will be tagged “million pound matchup”. There’s no public place to share your team URL, but if you want to be part of this community of support, please feel free to share your URL.

1. Visit the Million Pound Matchup page. http://biggestloser.msn.com/

2. After the intro click the “match up” link on the scale on the left. It will take you through three steps that explains the contest, what they are looking for in their LiveSpaces page, and how to register.

3. Set up the live spaces page. Visit http://home.services.spaces.live.com/ and click “get started”. It will walk you through how to set up a page. Remember your URL because you will need it to complete your registration. Set up the basic page and you can come back later to make it pretty or more detailed.

4. Complete the registration at http://biggestloser.msn.com/ Have your LiveSpaces URL ready for the registration process.

5. Use your LiveSpaces page to chronicle your journey. It’s how they will select winners.

Don’t get intimidated by setting up the LiveSpaces page. I am not doing it because I already have a blog and I know I can’t support both. So, I am not officially in the contest, but I am here to participate and provide support.

Best of luck!

– Rebecca

Biggest Loser Million Pound Match Up – Share Your LiveSpaces URL and Set Up Tips

So maybe you saw the premiere of Biggest Loser 5 and you went to sign up for the million pound match up. I know some people were having problems setting up Windows Live Spaces to register for the contest. I know I have had issues getting the page with my MAC. I also know others were frustrated because they didn’t have a partner. Still others were annoyed because they expected more from the match up. It’s not as simple to set up and track progress as expected. I noticed the contest is not decided by who loses the most weight but they want people to blog thoughtfully and share experiences. I like this approach. Nevertheless, I think people got really excited about it and feel a bit let down.

I am still doing the match up with my mom although I may not maintain a LiveSpaces page. I only have so much time for blogging and I think I can be more productive using my own blog.

I wanted to create this post as a forum for people to share their LiveSpaces URL and also offer advice to people who would like to participate but need a little help getting it all set up. I hope people find it useful.

In the meantime, look for weekly blog posts on this site. I will try to LiveBlog each episode of BL5 (worst case I’ll blog about it as soon as I can watch the show) and I’ll offer nutrition tips, recipes, and workout strategies along the way. Please e-mail me questions you have and I will do my best to respond and blog about them. Each blog post will be tagged “Biggest Loser 5″ and “Million Pound Match Up”.

I encourage everyone to post comments, thoughts, ideas, inspirations, links to You Tube videos of your experiences or links to your LiveSpace.

Let’s motivate each other!

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