A Spoonful of Health

A Blog About Wellness

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Why I Stopped Soda

Soda, oh so sweet, bubbly, tasty soda!
Soda pop is so terrible for you, but it’s so delicious! It’s delicious because it is a sugar, and sugar is so damn yummy! Soda seems so refreshing on a hot day, but the truth is, due to sodium content, it is actually making you more thirsty! And there is nothing hydrating about soda. Sugar + Salt = Dehydration and FAT
I’ve had two soda’s since I’ve started to get healthy.
1. Was an italian soda on my birthday, so no salt, but added cream
2. Was a Diet Soda at Sonic when I was out with my husband
DIET soda is just as bad at regular soda, possibly worse! Yes it has no calories, but there are lots of studies linking degenerative diseases to sugar substitutes.


Soda is made for numerous reasons
1. It makes you fat and increases bad cholesterol
2. Diet soda still increases blood glucose levels, which leads to weight gain, and possibly diabetes!
3. The artificial coloring in dark sodas is carcinogenic
4. Accelerates aging
5. Messes with your hormones
6. It causes pollution
7. Teeth decay and gum disease
8. It’s addictive
9. Heart disease risk, due to build up to fats
10. Gout
11. Dementia
12. Asthma
13. Osteoporosis
14. Reproductive Issues

Now if that doesn’t convince you to quit soda, I don’t know what will. Soda is sugar, and sugar is addictive, so I understand it is not easy to quit! But there are way that will help! If it’s the sweetness of soda you like, try juice! If it’s the bubbles you like, start with a carbonated water mixed with juice. Eventually you will need to quit the bubble because carbonation leads to osteoporosis because it leaches calcium from the bones, but it is still much better than regular or diet sodas!

References: Rodale, Wellness Mama, Authority Nutrition, Babes and Kids Review.


Flavoured Waters
A great way to kick the soda is by flavouring boring old water!
You can easily make a pitcher of these for drinking at home, or you can throw the few ingredients in a travel bottle!
You will want to use a spoon or a muddler to crush your herbs and smaller fruits to bring out the flavours a bit more.
You can mix up any combination of fruits and herbs to make your favourite flavours, but here are a few I can’t get enough of.

Strawberries and Basil
Cucumber (slices), Mint, and Ginger
Lime, Orange and Lemon (slices)
Grapefruit (slices) and Cucumber (slices)
Watermelon and Mint
Blackberry and Sage

So you can just add these items to water and let it sit overnight in the fridge, or for an even stronger flavour, you can poor hot water over the fruits like you would be making a hot tea, and then let it cool overnight in the fridge.

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1 Month Progress

So we are a month into my simple life changes and here are the results so far.

Day 30 205 lbs, 45 lbs to go
1 Month Measurements
Bust 43.5″
Chest 35″
Arm 12.5″
Waist 35″
Hips 44.5″
Thigh 26.5″
Calves 16″
Stomach 43.5″
Size 18

I am still considered a size 18 overall, but I am wearing size 16 Old Navy shorts and they are a bit big, but the 14 is too small.
So I am up in some things (I think due to bad measuring the first time, I couldn’t find my measuring tape so I used a string and a ruler haha). I am the same in some things, and I am down in others, so yay! I think my boobs are up because of breast feeding, but my hips and waist are down! So maybe I will actually fit into last years summer shorts!

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Eating While Pregnant

I did not eat well during my pregnancy. I didn’t think that I had changed my diet very much while I was pregnant. I didn’t think I was eating much more, or eating worse things, but apparently I was, because I gained 50 lbs!

So how can my bad experience help you? Well I can tell you what you SHOULD be doing when you are pregnant and trying to stay fit.

First off, NO DIETING once you find out you are pregnant. If you are already overweight, consult your doctor about what you should be doing, you SHOULD NOT DIET, but you may be told to eat healthier. For a healthier diet the best place to start is the good old food pyramid, and portion control.
Choose MY Plate has the USDA recommended portions and categories you should be eating from.

Now, once you are pregnant, you will have to make some changes in your diet. First off you will actually need to consume more calories. I know, who wants to eat more when they are trying to lose weight! Well you have a human inside of you and s/he needs to eat too! You will need to consume an extra 300 calories per day. And no that does not mean go eat a chocolate bar. Those need to be HEALTHY calories, particularly protein. That leads us to protein, you need to consume at least 60g of protein a day. There are a ton of great protein sources, greek yogurt, chicken, beans, lentils, milk, cheese, and quinoa. The last few things you can do are mild exercise (if you don’t already exercise, and if you do (you probably aren’t reading this blog), you can continue to exercise at your regular level, with doctor consent), getting a good nights rest (do whatever you can to make your rest the best you can, get special pillows, sleep alone, whatever you need) and stay hydrated! This was the thing I was worst at, I hate water! But guess what, if you don’t drink water, then you retain water and that makes you larger, gives you stress marks, increases blood pressure, etc! So about the BEST thing you can do for yourself is to drink a butt load of water.

OF course there are special circumstances to all pregnancies and you will want to consult your doctor before making any large changes in your life, but these are all great things you can do!

Oh, I almost forgot, a prenatal multivitamin, your growing baby needs folic acid! You can absolutely get this from foods such as dark leafy greens, citrus fruit, beans and lentils, but a prenatal vitamin is gonna make sure you don’t miss anything your growing baby needs.


Asian Style Baked Chicken Legs and Vegetable Stir Fry
This recipe gives us protein, folic acid and a ton of other vitamins from the yummy veggies!
This recipe appears to have a lot of salt and oil, but it’s just a marinade, so it won’t all stick to the chicken.

8-10 drumsticks, cut slits into chicken
8 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger root
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
spices/herbs of choice, parsley, salt, pepper, chinese five spice, etc

Blend all ingredients except chicken, marinate chicken overnight in ziploc bag with the liquid you just made.
Bake in a non-stick baking pan for 45 minutes at 375°F.

Vegetable Stir Fry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic
Dash of Pink Salt
2 cups broccoli
2 cups cauliflower
1 medium carrot
5 shiitake mushrooms
1 large bok choy
2 tablespoons & 1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon white cooking wine
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon tahini paste
1 teaspoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
A pinch of red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t like spice)

Chop onion and garlic into slices and heat on stove with olive oil and pink salt for about 7 minutes. Chop up all veggies into small pieces. Add all veggies EXCEPT bok choy to the pan, and continue heating for another 5 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, then add bok choy and the new sauce you just created to the pan. Cook for another 8 minutes, stirring often so the sauce doesn’t burn!

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20 Minute Stroller Walk

How is just 20 minutes a day helping me reach my fitness goals?
20 minutes of walking burns between 90 and 110 calories and it can reduce the chance of premature death by 16-30 percent! Any exercise is better than none!
Going from my inactive lifestyle to a slightly less inactive lifestyle can make a huge impact.
However, I’m going to need to do a heck of a lot more to reduce my weight. 20 minutes is great if you are extremely unfit or a senior citizen. My excuse as I’ve said before is my knees are crazy messed up from the extreme weight gain. But starting this week I’m adding a leg workout to my walk to kick it up a notch! Part of the reason I want to add to the walk beside fore more exercise and strength is that our bodies grow accustom to repetition and eventually the 20 minutes of walking will do very little for my body. So my additions this week will be I will walk at a fast pace for the first 10 minutes. Then I will do lunges for 30 seconds, and hold a squat for the next 30. I will continue walking at a fast pace for the next 5 minutes. Then another 30 of lunges and squats, and then moderately walk for the last 3 minutes. It isn’t much but it’s a slow start to getting my legs strengthened for doing a 30 day leg challenge next month. Look forward to that!
I’ve been walking five days a week and taking two off. I try not to take two off in a row because exercise only works if it is regular.


Now walking with a stroller is like using a piece of gym equipment, you have to use it correctly or you’ll end up hurting yourself and possibly your baby!
When I first thought about exercising I decided I would see if I could jog, I started and as I pushed the stroller my weight pressed down on it and my stroller started tipping backwards towards me. So lesson one, the stroller is not a crutch to lean on.
1. You want your elbows against your sides and your palms close together on your stroller’s handle, this will help engage your core muscles.
If you can keep your stroller’s handle below your waistline, this will also engage your core. You do not want your elbows at a 90 degree angle, you want them at a more obtuse angle to take strain off your arms.
2. For an arm workout, you want your handlebar in a higher position to make your elbows 90 degrees, then do your walk keep your elbows as close to your sides as you can and drop your shoulders, this will work your triceps.
3. If you are in a safe place like a park (and NOT on a road) you can pull your stroller behind you, or push in front using one arm, and alternating halfway through your walk. this will work biceps.
3. Finally for legs and butt, you just need to take large steps, do lunges, or hit the hills! Keeping your handlebar at waist level.

For more information on stroller walking, check out Walking Mama, she has an amazing e-book all about stroller walking!

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Lemon Water

My first goal is starting each day with 16oz of lemon water.
This already puts me 2 cups into an 8 cups of water a day routine. I am going to try to drink more than 8 cups of water by making my cups 16oz instead of 8oz. It should be fairly easy with the lemon because it is not so boring. I’m going to try some other water flavours later on, such as cucumber water, or putting berries and mint in water! Anything to make it not so blah!


I am putting lemon in my water because it gives it flavour, and I hate plain water.
But there are MANY great reasons lemon added to our water is beneficial.


This week I will be linking to two other blogs which gave me some amazing recipes so I could make Chicken Wraps!
I started with homemade Tortillas from A Sweet Pea Chef. These were the yummiest flour tortillas I have found. I edited the recipe and used whole wheat flour instead of white, and I used vegetable shortening. I think these would be amazing made with butter, but I did not want to stray to far from the original recipe on the first try. The nice thing about the homemade tortillas is you know exactly what you are putting in them. There are no preservatives or sugars. I used whole wheat flour to give me some whole grains for the day! Of the reasons I wanted to make tortillas is because I had SO much stuff in my pantry and I need to find ways to use it!
In the tortilla I put lettuce, tomato, shredded cheddar cheese and homemade sweet and spicy mustard. I will post the recipe for this in the future.
Of course my chicken wraps would not be complete without chicken strips!
I had two chicken breasts in my freezer so I cut them into strips and followed a REALLY easy recipe for Oven Baked Chicken Strips from Happy Money Saver. This recipe is great because you make a ton and freeze them for the future! You can add in any spices you want to the flour part. Again, I used whole wheat flour, and I added pepper and thyme to mine for flavour!
Chicken breast is great because it is a lean protein, and being oven baked it does not retain all the fat you get from deep frying!
This recipe made us about 5 wraps and gave us a bunch of leftover tortillas which we have been using for breakfast wraps, and peanut butter snack wraps.


Post Pregnancy Life Changes

Where to begin?
I just had my first child at the end of 2014, it’s 2 1/2 months later and I’m still a balloon.
I felt that I had a rough pregnancy, nauseas for 5 months, and not gaining weight, and then BAM gaining 50 lbs before I delivered. I ended up with high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. Of course I can blame pregnancy for some of this, but I also need to blame myself and my poor eating habits. I was over working, working odd shifts, shifts that were different than the shifts my husband was working. This led us to eating out a lot, and snacking throughout the day instead of making healthy meals. Not to mention I fell of the wagon and fell in LOVE with soda again.
My baby was 9 lbs, and I lost about 20 lbs since she was born. Half was her and half was water weight.
Right after she was born I thought I’d start getting in shape and eating great. Except I was sore from the fast weight gain, my knees hurt, my back ached. I was tired and not getting any sleep. Heaven forbid if I put her down to try and eat or clean. Then I was breastfeeding and that was not going well, so then I was stressed out!
Needless to say it’s almost 3 months later and all I’ve done is for the past 11 days no soda, and 20 minute walks each day.

Clearly I need to do more, but at least I’ve finally started!
So join me over the next many months, possibly years as I work towards being a healthier person and getting back into the shape and weight category I’d like to be in.

I’ll post as often as I can with a child in tow, my goal will be every wednesday. I’ll talk about what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been eating and exercising. Every other post I will include a recipe that I had tried during my journey, and discuss the benefits of the recipes in weight loss/health.

The first 3 things I am doing to start losing weight and get in shape are 1. Drink 16oz of water with 1 tbsp of lemon juice first thing in the morning, 2. Drinking ZERO soda, and 3. Minimum 20 minutes of walking with my stroller each day.

Day 1 215 lbs, 55 lbs to go
Starting Measurements
Bust 43.5″
Chest 36″
Arm 12″
Waist 37″
Hips 48″
Thigh 26.5″
Calves 14″
Stomach 45″
Size 18

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

While I am in the process of moving and have no access to my nutrition programs, here is a delicious gluten free cookie! These are also dairy free if you use dark chocolate. I have not tried making these with an egg substitute yet, but in time I will let you know how it turns out!
Note: Just because these are gluten free does not mean they are the healthiest food on the planet! Limit your portions! This a a nut butter and sugar recipe :P

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Me

Yields: 18 Cookies
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup peanutbutter, any kind
1 egg
1/2cup chocolate chips, any
granulated sugar

1. Preheat overn to 350 F.
2. Beat brown sugar, peanut butter and egg. shape dough into 1 1/2inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Dip fork into granulated sugar and flatten each ball. Press 4 chocolate chips on top of each cookie.
3. Bake 12 minutes or until set. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 5


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