Thursday, June 10, 2010

Have you tried Zumba?

I've decided that I'm going to try this. It looks fun!!! My kids ask me, "How were you so skinny, when you got married?" I tell them that I danced my booty off at clubs, every night! So I know that this has to work.
Who wants to take the Zumba Challenge with me?

Also, my girls LOVE the wii Just Dance game. They come out sweating!!! That's going to be my workout, today.


Zumba — What's Shakin'?
Article By: Mary Elizabeth Hurn

If you haven’t heard of Zumba, the Latin music dance workout, it’s time to step it up and check it out. Take one look at the Weight Watchers Community and you'll see that more and more Weight Watchers members are discovering that Zumba is an effective and — most importantly — fun way to burn calories and collect activity POINTS® values.

Typically an hour long, a Zumba class typically combines salsa, hip hop, samba, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton and belly dancing moves and is customizable for men and women at all fitness levels. For example, if you’re more advanced you could add a turn or a hop to a particular move. Unlike traditional step and aerobics classes, there’s no choreography to remember, so don’t be nervous if you’re not a trained dancer. The instructor just changes from doing one step over and over to another step, so the class has a fluid progression. Zumba enthusiasts stress that a typical class doesn’t feel like a workout at all, but a dance party.
Zumba routines include interval training with both fast and slow rhythms. Classes also use resistance training to tone muscles while burning fat.
You can also try a Zumba Toning class which uses toning sticks, 2.5 pound weights that double as maracas to up the fun (and muscle building) level.

Basic Zumba steps
The Merengue March: A basic Latin dance step where you’re essentially walking in place while moving your hips a little right to left. Your arms are about even with your chest and bent at the elbows about 90 degrees.
The Booty Circle: Exactly what it sounds like, you move your hips in a circular motion along to the beat of the music.
The Andale: Take a step with your left foot and bring your right knee up with a small hop. Step backwards on to your right foot and do a small kick backwards with your left foot. Repeat. Then start with your right foot.
The Reggaeton Stomp: with your feet together and your torso bent slightly forward, you just alternate stomping each foot slightly in front of you: left, right, left, left; right, left, right, right.

Meet a Zumaholic
Anita Sado, a self-proclaimed “Zumbaholic” and a Weight Watchers Leader says the class works almost all of the body’s muscle groups. “You definitely work your core and your booty. You’ll also feel it in your upper arms, shoulders, across your chest and in your quadriceps.”
“The whole idea is that you’re not thinking about working out while you’re taking class,” says Alberto Perlman, CEO and co-founder of Zumba Fitness. “You feel like you’re in a nightclub, so Zumba is perfect for those who typically don’t get excited about working out.”
Zumba was started by chance more than 10 years ago by Beto Perez, an aerobics instructor in Miami, FL. One day he arrived at the gym and realized he’d forgotten the music he typically used to teach. So he went out to his car and grabbed his personal collection — salsa and merengue. The class focused more on freestyle dance than set choreography, which had the class members asking to do the same type of class the following week. The rest, as they say, is history.
The class spread like wildfire and is now available at more than 50,000 locations in 75 countries around the world. In the US, you can find Zumba classes at many 24 Hour Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, Equinox, Town Sports, YMCA and Gold’s Gym locations.
Jill Bennett-Weiss lost weight combining Weight Watchers and Zumba. “It’s so fun and liberating to be able to shake your butt,” she says. “You’re made to think that only skinny beautiful people can do it, but seeing all ages and sizes in the class is very encouraging.”Say goodbye to shy
If you’re intimidated by Zumba, don’t be. Maria McCalister, a long-time Zumba instructor, says you have to go to a few classes before you really get the hang of it. “I have students who started out shy and a bit awkward who have transformed into totally different people. Plus, you have to remember the other people in the class are watching me, they’re not watching you.”
She also says it’s key to remember that everyone at one time or another had their first class, too. “You’re all there for the same reason,” Bennett-Weiss says.
Sado agrees. “You need to trust that you’re in a safe place, as safe as a Weight Watchers meeting. But you have to have the attitude that you’re doing it for you and you’re doing it to have fun.”
Gyms can pick their own pricing model for the class (either offer it free, or for a fee).
You can find a class at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why Eat Breakfast?

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper." - Adelle Davis

I've started eating breakfast every morning. I was one of the people that thought I was cutting calories.
I found this article explaining the benefits of eating breakfast.

Lose Weight: Eat Breakfast
Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight - and keep it off.
By Jeanie Lerche DavisWebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
What's for breakfast - coffee? Most mornings, we barely glance at the kitchen. Fixing breakfast takes up precious time that's in short supply. But there's ample evidence that the simple act of eating breakfast -- every day -- is a big part of losing weight, lots of weight.
"People skip breakfast thinking they're cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved," says Milton Stokes, RD, MPH, chief dietitian for St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. "Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, bingeing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure."
The Benefits of Breakfast
Eating breakfast is a daily habit for the "successful losers" who belong to The National Weight Control Registry. These people have maintained a 30-pound (or more) weight loss for at least a year, and some as long as six years.
"Most -- 78% -- reported eating breakfast every day, and almost 90% reported eating breakfast at least five days a week - which suggests that starting the day with breakfast is an important strategy to lose weight and keep it off," says James O. Hill, PhD, the Registry's co-founder and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Earlier this year, two studies in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association backed up this finding. Though they were funded by cereal companies, dietitians say they underscore the message - breakfast is important to weight loss.
A group of researchers analyzed data from a government-funded study that followed more than 2,000 young girls from ages 9 to 19. They found that regular cereal eaters had fewer weight problems than infrequent cereal eaters. Those who ate cereal occasionally had a 13% higher risk of being overweight compared to the regular cereal eaters.
Another research group analyzed government data on 4,200 adults. They found that regular breakfast eaters were more likely to exercise regularly. And women who ate breakfast regularly tended to eat fewer calories overall during the day. Those men and women who ate breakfast cereal had lower overall fat intake -- compared to those who ate other breakfast foods.
It makes sense: Eating early in the day keeps us from "starvation eating" later on. But it also jump-starts your metabolism, says Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, nutrition manager for the Duke Diet & Fitness Center at Duke University Medical School. "When you don't eat breakfast, you're actually fasting for 15 to 20 hours, so you're not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight."
Among the people she counsels, breakfast eaters are usually those who have lost a significant amount of weight. They also exercise. "They say that before having breakfast regularly, they would eat most of their calories after 5 p.m.," Politi tells WebMD. "Now, they try to distribute calories throughout the day. It makes sense that the body wants to be fueled."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beef Stroganoff with Dumpling noodles

Tonight I made a wonderful meal, using ground beef. Gil gave it 5 stars!!!

1 pound 95% lean/ 5% fat raw ground beef
1 package McCormick Slow Cookers Beef Stroganoff Seasoning
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tbsp Argo Corn Starch
Tony's Seasoning to taste
3 cups of water
Non Stick Spray
Skinner Dumpling Noodles

Cook Noodles according to package for 4 servings. Points value per serving 4

Add Tony's to beef and divide into 4 thick patties. Spray pan and brown patties on both sides. Add 1 cup of water, cover. Mix McCormick Seasoning with 1 cup water and corn starch. Add seasoning and mushrooms to beef. Add 1 cup of water and simmer, on low, until beef in cooked.
Serving size 4. Points value per 4

Serve with noodles. Total points value per serving 8

Tips: you must use Argo Corn Starch or adjust the points value. I always pour the sauce in a measuring cup and divide by the total number of servings. I figured out the points according to Weight Watchers Recipe Builder. This is a wonderful tool to have. You can find it on Weight