12/30/2011

My Adventure with Henna (Part 2 The Results)

I would like to take this opportunity to officially announce my new status as a "henna head."  I have no idea why I waited so long! My hair is naturally soft, but the henna helped to strengthen it without making it feel hard or brittle.  I also love the natural amount of sheen that the henna treatment has given to my hair.  Color wise, I was not expecting much (if anything).  I do have a noticeable amount of auburn areas in my head.  I plan on purchasing some indigo for the next time I do a henna treatment since I'm more of a fan of really dark hair.

Please let me know any great websites where I can order some ''Indian" products.  I don't mind experimenting sometimes when it comes to hair, but um I don't plan on sporting an unintentional Amber Rose in 2012.

 ..............I know, I know.  No pic= it didn't happen.

12/29/2011

Quote of the Day

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
-Winston Churchill

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12/28/2011

My Adventure with Henna (Part 1 Application and Anticipation)

I have a few personal habits that I plan on improving next year.  While I haven't came up with my exact list of hair resolutions and my regimen, I did decide on getting a jump start before the ball drops on 2011.

For months a bag of henna has taunted me.  I always had plans on doing a henna treatment when my hair was natural but for some reason they always ended up being postponed.  A sudden thought hit me while I was browsing through various hair blogs and websites- why not do a henna treatment.  I was in the mood to do something to my hair and henna would actually be beneficial.

Here is the link to the instructional video that I followed per CurlyNikki.com.  I pretty much followed the instructions exactly.

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This is the type of henna that I used.  A member on a hair forum sent it to me along with a few other Indian products since there are not any Indian stores where I live.




This is my henna concoction after I mixed it.  Yummy-NOT!

 Originally I was going to use Motions to shampoo and condition my hair.  I'm trying to use up old products before I buy anything else.

 I ended up opting for Suave Professionals Black Raspberry and White Tea Shampoo and Conditioner for Color Treated hair.  It will be forever before I use these family sized bottles up.

 Yikes- the monster from the poopy green-shaded henna lagoon!

 My head looks like the love child of Big Worm from Friday and Lady Gaga.

 That just looks nasty.

 Fancy huh?  I decided to try Nikki's idea of putting an elastic band around the shower cap and tucking it in.

Right now I'm still sporting my henna hard hat since it has only been a few hours since application.  I plan on posting the result of my adventure with henna either tonight or tomorrow...

12/25/2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

It's hard to believe that another year has almost passed and in less than a week we will be officially saying good-bye to 2011 and welcoming 2012.


I haven't posted in a while...[cue a soundtrack of crickets sounding] but I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  In the midst of scrambling to get all of my last minute shopping and gift wrapping done, the true spirit of the holiday season hit me.  I feel truly blessed and thankful for all of the things that I have and the few things that I have been able to accomplished since I started this blog. I have been able to lose weight and for the most part keep it off.

Merry Christmas,

CurlieBelle

P.S.  I haven't forgotten about the "40 Pounds in 4 Months Challenge."  I will post my weight loss total on Saturday.

11/18/2011

Quote of the Day

"YOU CAN DO SOMETHING!

Your life will always be to a large extent what you make of it.
The mold to your success and fortune are in your hands.
You cannot do everything, but you can do something.
You choose your thoughts and actions. Only you can find success.
Nobody can do it for you. Nobody will do it for you. You have to make it happen.
If you take responsibility for your actions,you can live your dreams."





I found this quote on http://timothypatrickcarney.com/daily-motivations-for-october-2011/ which is a website geared more towards marketing professionals rather than individuals interested in losing weight.  Nevertheless there is something about it that I can relate to.  For me, my weight loss journey has been filled with numerous ups and downs.  I have had moments when I have felt completely frustrated and wondered to myself if I can do it.  Sometimes I struggle with fitting everything "in" even though my intentions are usually admirable.  One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned is to do what I can and focus on doing something rather than accomplishing nothing.

11/17/2011

YouTube Workout Video of the Day #34

Zumba anyone?  This song is old, but I think this workout is still pretty good even though it is not quite as intense as some of the other videos I've seen.


11/16/2011

Mid Month Check In and Denise’s Daily Dozen

Right now it’s time for another update.  I got on the scale earlier this morning and the good news is that I haven’t gained any weight.  The bad news is that I have not lost any either.  I’m not discouraged since I know that I haven’t been working as hard as I should.  The only option that I have is to step my game up.

I was browsing through the weight loss and nutrition books at my local library when the title of this book caught my eyes- Denise’s Daily Dozen.  I remember working out to Denise Austin at 6:00 A.M. and 6:30 A.M.  on Lifetime Network when I was in high school.

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The premise behind this book is very simple.  Denise Austin encourages readers to exercise each day using a routine consisting of a set of 12 moves which take only 12 minutes to do.  If you miss a day of working out all you have to do is add that day’s routine to the next one.  You can either do another day’s routine or a bonus daily dozen workout if you have more time to workout.   Although this program does seem a big gimmicky, I like the fact that the moves are a combination of cardiovascular, toning, and flexibility exercises.

Each day of the week is dedicated to a specific workout:
Monday: Cardio Fat Blast
Tuesday: Lower Body and Ab Workout
Wednesday: Cardio Kickbox Workout
Thursday: Upper Body and Ab Workout
Friday: Body Boot Camp Workout
Saturday: Athletic Kettlebell-Inspired Workout
Sunday: Yoga Stretch Workout


I plan on doing mini updates on my progress with this book as well as a review.

11/15/2011

YouTube Workout Video of the Day #33

Here is another great YouTube Workout video.  I absolutely love this!!!  Mix up your workout routine by getting your heart pumping to this workout to Beyonce's "Move Your Body" which was part of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" fitness campaign.


11/13/2011

Holiday Workout by Kim Strother

The holiday season is almost here.  I found this video on YouTube and decided to share since it gives some creative tips for fitting in a good workout in between holiday gatherings and etc.

Slight Update

Hey everyone!  I'm not sure why it has been forever since I last posted, but I've been working on a lot of things that I can't wait to share.  Today is the 13th and I still plan on doing my weight loss update on the 15th.  I'm still losing weight and I went ahead and posted my goals for this month at the beginning of the month.

One of the main reasons why I have been having difficulty lately getting things posted is due to computer problems (le sigh).  I ordered a new laptop via Ebay (yes I said Ebay) and so far so good.  I hope everyone is doing good and good bye for now.

Curliebelle

10/19/2011

Workout Song of the Day

I was on YouTube last night scrolling threw hair videos when I was reminded how much I love this song.




Weight loss update, emotional eating, and other randomness

I know I'm a few days late, but it's once again time for a quick weight loss update.  I actually got on the scale a few days ago but I haven't had time to post anything yet.  Anyway, I have lost another 2 pounds.

I am slightly depressed that I haven't lost more but at the same time I am thankful that I have lost some weight.  Everything at work has been very stressful.  I have a coworker who is extremely negative who chooses to talk about everyone else and make everyone that they work with completely miserable as if its a part of the job description.  At first this person's attitude didn't bother me but after they were given a promotion everything has gotten ridiculous. I hate being in a situation where I dread going to work.  I am a big girl so I do what I have to do but I didn't realize how much everything has gotten to me until I noticed how I have been doing a lot of emotional eating lately and I haven't had much motivation or energy for.....anything.

I'm still determined/motivation/#refusetofail.

10/05/2011

Quote of the Day

This isn't really a quote per say, but I wanted to share.  I was reading a post called Blast From The Past (Throwback Edition) #1 on one of my favorite weight loss blogs (Transitional Vanity) where blogger TinaDivaTV shared pictures of herself from a year ago before she started her weight loss journey.  Anyway, she mentioned how she used to feel like the "big" girl in her group of friends which caused her to hate taking full body pictures with them.  I can definitely relate to this.  Of course, this is something that goes beyond weight since almost everyone has something about themselves that they feel self conscious about.

Today's inspirational quote/poem focuses on living life to the fullest. There used to be (and still is at times) things that I am hesitant to do because I feel conscious about how I might look or  how others might perceive me.  Although deprivation is usually associated with weight loss, I still believe that it is important for me to still enjoy myself by taking the time to pamper myself and enjoy life:

Imagine a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out all of it, of course!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost whatever you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.

To realize the value of

* One year, ask a student who failed a grade.
* One month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
* One week, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
* One hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
* One minute, ask a person who missed the train.
* One second, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
* One millisecond, ask the person who won an Olympic silver medal.

Value every moment you have, and count it a gift from God. Treasure it by sharing it with someone special—especially your spouse and children. Remember that time waits for no one. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” 
—Psalm 90:12

10/01/2011

Weight loss Challenge Update

Sometimes I feel like I always write the same thing- working, trying to eat better/doing okay, blah blah blah.  I try to keep this blog positive which is difficult sometimes when I'm feeling super stressed or in vent mode which tends to happen every now and then...
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On a really positive note, I think I'm doing okay with this challenge.  I have been watching what I eat (including the portion size) and burning more calories throughout the day when I am not able to exercise.  Yesterday was my weigh in day and I have lost another 2 pounds for a total weight loss of 12 pounds this month.  It doesn't sound like much but I'm happy as long as I am losing or maintaining and not gaining.

On another note, I'm excited about getting back to my exercise routine especially because I finally have a set (full time) schedule at work.  There is a group of ladies at work who go walking after work and I plan on either tagging along until the weather gets too cold.

One of my favorite exercises I used to do in high school was get up early in the morning and do step aerobics for at least 30 minutes every morning.  Not only was I able to work my way up to an hour each morning, but my legs, thighs, and butt were extremely tight and toned. Thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies and yesterday I found a stepper board (I don't know if that is the right word) for $3. Now I know I could just buy one of those machines from Wal-Mart, but why pay retail when you don't have to especially when I was just looking for one of those old school "no frills" platforms.

Tomorrow I will post my goals for October.

Thanks for reading,

CurlieBelle

9/27/2011

Quote of the Day

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There are only a few days left until my end of the month weigh in.  It feels like so much has been going on this month.  Last Thursday I turned 25 which led me to reflect on my weight loss journey and a lot of other things that have been going on with me.  I honestly feel blessed for all of the things that I have and the path that God has led me on. 

9/17/2011

How much do you weigh?


How much do you weigh?  Seriously tell me.  I'm not trying to be funny.  I was just wondering...



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9/15/2011

Day 15 40 Pounds in 4 Months Challenge Update



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Today is my first weigh in of this challenge and before actually stepping on the scale I was a bit nervous and excited. Everything so far has been going good for me.  I'm still working two jobs and doing my best to watch what I eat.  A few days ago I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a few items for my meals for this week.

Usually I sort of end up settling for a microwaveable meals but this time I decided not to purchase any in order to force myself to cook.  I cooked some some garlic roasted mash potatoes and grilled pork chops for lunch at work (I also made one of those quick and easy banana pudding but it was more of a for the family type of thing than myself) on Monday night, a grilled (George Foreman) hamburger and a cup of all natural yogurt on Tuesday, and grilled chicken breast with stir fry noodles for Wednesday night.

As I've mentioned before, when it comes to cooking I would described myself as....inexperienced.  There are some meals that I can cook for myself but to be honest I have never really had any interest  in cooking until fairly recently.

On to the results..........................................

9/05/2011

Quick Challenge Update, Wendy's, and Other Random Thoughts

Just checking in with an update (:  Today is Day 5 and so far everything has been going well.  I have been drinking more water and moving more at work on the days when I'm not able to workout.  I have over a week until my first weigh in and I'm hoping that I will lose at least 5 pounds.

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Apparently Wendy's has an age limit or weight limit on their Kid's Meals because I was interrogated a few days ago after I ordered one.  Usually I try to eat before I leave the house but I decided to grab something to eat with my mom.  Literally the girl at the register gave me a crazy look and asked me if I was serious and if I wanted the small drink that came with the meal.  It was kind of ridiculous/funny the way her demeanor changed once I explained that I was cutting calories (I know Wendy's sells salads lol) and I was going to drink water as a refill after I finished the small sweet tea. I'm actually proud of myself because I've been trying to make better choices about what I eat and usually I just drink water when I'm craving something to eat even though I'm not really hungry.

That's all for me.  Happy Labor Day and don't eat too much barbecue!

8/31/2011

40 pounds in 4 Months Challenge Starts Tomorrow

This year  has went by fast.  Only four months left until 2012...

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I tend to be a very practical person, especially when it comes to weight loss, but I decided that I want to do a challenge that would be....challenging and something that would help to jumpstart 2012.  Everything has been going great for me during the past few months and the only thing left that I haven't accomplished yet involves my weight.  I turn 25 around the end of September and I have decided to challenge myself to lose 40 pounds by the beginning of next year.

This challenge is long term so I want to keep the rules flexible.  So far these are my plans:

8/30/2011

Quote of the Day


I am a major procrastinator.  Sometimes it feels like everything that I do is at the last minute.  Even when it comes to exercising sometimes, I tell myself tomorrow but tomorrow ends up being the next and eventually whenever. 

I like this quote because it serves as a great reminder that it is never to late to do anything and even if things right now are not how I want them to be, it still is not too late for me to create my own destiny.  

8/28/2011

Quote of the Day

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This quote is a bit corny but it is definitely very true.  I know a lot of people who deprive themselves of so many things while they wait for their life to get better.  To be honest I've done it before too.  I have a few things in my closet that I refuse to give away because I dream of fitting into it again one day.  I also tell myself that I'll go shopping for (fill in the blank) after I lose a certain amount of weight or I fit into a certain size.

I have struggled with my weight since I was a small child so I know that any amount of weight that I lose is only going to be a temporary fix.  I am going to have to continue to exercise and watch what I eat (and the portions of the food) in order for me to maintain my weight.
Realistically speaking, change does not happen overnight and it's pointless (and potentially mentally damaging) for me to deprive myself of a new outfit because I am not physically where I want to be.  This does not mean that I should allow myself to indulge in food, but I do think that it's okay for me to reward myself occasionally during my weight loss journey.

What do you think?

8/27/2011

Quote of the Day

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I saw this quote on SparkPeople and I decided to share.  When it comes to weight loss or any other type of lifestyle change, they both require a daily commitment to ones goals.  I work at a treatment facility where there are a lot of people there struggling to change themselves.  A lot of times my clients vent to me about their frustrations and usually I tell them one of the following: 1) remind yourself why you are attempting to change 2) realize that it is not going to be easy and that there will be times when things may not go as you plan 3) understand that some of the most worthwhile things in life are not the easiest to attain.

Although my weight loss journey/struggle is not quite the same as the issues they are struggling with, I still believe that my advice is just as relevant to them as it is to myself.

CurlieBelle 

8/26/2011

Starting over at Zero

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I have done a few challenges on this blog.  One of the reasons why I like them is they help to push me to do more.  I have been thinking about it for the past week on what kind or type of challenge I should do.  A few things came to mind but right now I realize that the best way for me to get started again is to get real with myself and start over again at zero pounds lost.

Tomorrow I will post the details of my new challenge.  One of the things that I like about this one is that it is more long term and I plan on doing more than just exercising.  I picked up a book a few days ago that focuses on the emotional and mental aspects of weight loss.  It includes two motivational CDS as well as a bunch of worksheets and daily logs.  

I plan on documenting my progress on Sparkpeople as well on this blog (I will update with the URL to my SparkPage) to give myself some accountability.  Hopefully I will be able to reach my goals in order to start the new year out right (hint lol).

CurlieBelle

8/25/2011

Update

It's been a while since I posted anything.  For the past month or so, I have been working two jobs which has left me with little time to do anything else.  The good thing is that I do enjoy both of the jobs that I have but unfortunately my choices when it comes to food have been okay at best- mostly processed or prepackaged food (not good I know).

I started this blog months ago because I was determined to lose weight.  I still am although I know it is not going to be as easy as it was before when I was not working.  I plan on doing some updates/maintenance to this blog over the week and starting over with a new plan and new goal.  

I really want to express how much I appreciate readers, followers, and everyone who has taken the time to comment.  I also want to give a shout out to TinaDivaTV and all of the ladies in the BlackHairMedia (BHM)Summer Shape Up Challenge since I feel that I would not have been able to make the progress that I did make without them!

CurlieBelle

8/02/2011

YouTube Workout of the Day #32

Who says that push ups have to be boring?  I saw this video on YouTube and I think it's perfect for anyone who is looking for more challenging exercises to integrate into their routine.  I don't think I'm at the point yet to be trying all of these moves, but I figured it would be good to share. I also love how intense this guy is in the video.











8/01/2011

Fitness Goals for August

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This past month I feel like I became sidetracked.   I don't know what anyone else's fitness plan for the month of August is, but mine includes more accountability and weight loss.

Instead of coming up with a long list of fitness goals that might be impossible for me to achieve, I plan on sticking to the basics- exercise, eat less junk/more healthier foods, and drink water.  These were the simple things that I did early on in my weight loss journey that worked for me.

I plan on starting out this week with 8 glasses of water and gradually increasing the amount of water that I drink during the month.  I also want to take the same approach with my exercise routine.  I'm going to start out with 30 minutes at least 3 times this week and also increase it during the month.

Food wise, I think the biggest thing I need to do is track what I eat.  I hate the extra amount of time that is involved with it but quite honestly websites like Calorie Counter are great tools that I know I should be utilizing instead of "guessing."

Even though I hate the idea of weekly weighs-ins, I feel like looking at the scale might become an even bigger motivator for me. I plan on weighing in later on this morning and doing my weigh-ins every Sunday night when I get off of work (well technically I get off at 12 a.m. on Monday) to get a good measurement of my weight.  My goal this month is to lose at least 5 pounds.

I'll post more specific details later, but so far this is my plan for Week 1:

  • Drink 8 glasses of water each day (no exception....seriously).
  • Exercise 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.
  • Write down everything I eat.  Next week I am going to focus on eating within a specific calorie range, but this week I want to see exactly how many calories I have been eating lately.  

I refuse to have any setbacks this month.

7/27/2011

Richard Simmons + Broadway = A Fun Workout


I'm trying to get back into my workout routine and this morning for whatever reason I just didn't feel motivated. I own a lot of videos, but after a while I get bored with Tae Bo, Hip Hop Abs, and Denise Austin. This morning I decided to try something different....RICHARD SIMMONS. Not just regular Richard Simmons but Richard Simmons' Broadway Sweat. It is an aerobic workout/dance routine to songs from The Wiz, Chorus Line, and Oklahoma among others.

The entire video is 60 minutes long and I didn't know what to expect since I purchase it a few weeks ago. It starts out to a warm up dance to "There's No Business Like Show Business" from Annie Get Your Gun. I worked out for about 25 minutes this morning and surprisingly it was a lot of fun. Richard has a good personality and the moves to the routines are easy to learn (and I also was able to incorporate a few of my own).

Now I know that most people associate Richard Simmons with dancing Grannies, but I would recommend this workout to anyone who is looking for something fun.

Warning: There is a lot of glitter, sequins, and bad outfits/makeup in this video.

YouTube Workout of the Day #31

Everyone has heard of Zumba by now.  It's a fun and energetic dance workout that helps to get the heart pumping.  I was browsing YouTube for a dance workout and I decided to post this one since it would make a great warm up.  The title of the video is Extreme Zumba and yes (to me) it lives up to its title.






What do you think?   Do you Zumba?

7/26/2011

YouTube Workout of the Day #30

I found this video on YouTube somewhat by accident when I was looking for a fun and easy morning workout.  All you need for this routine is a jump rope and lots of energy!


The YouTube in this video is  (click the name for a direct link to her channel) and she has a lot of great workout videos on her channel.  






Feel free to comment and share some of your favorite workout videos/websites in the comment section.

7/22/2011

....I'm still here

It has been a while since I lasted posted something although I originally planned on challenging myself this month to work out as much as I could.  The weather in Alabama has been firecracker hot with a few bursts of heavy rainfall.  Aside from coping with the heat, I've been working enrolling back in college (two years later after receiving my B.A.) and applying to a Nursing program while still working on reaching my weight loss goal by my birthday.  I also started working a new job this week.

Instead of making a bunch of excuses, I decided that I will once again start posting the YouTube Workout Videos of the day since it was always a great way for me to sneak in a workout.  I plan on updating my blog and getting back to my regular posts this week more motivated than ever.

I hope everyone has been doing well and have a great weekend!

7/06/2011

I'm calling you out!

It's summertime.  It's hot.  It's humid.  But I'm still calling everyone (and myself) out....

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Yesterday I posted about the challenge on the BHM Get Fit Sparkpeople page about how each member is challenging each other to see how can have the most exercise minutes for the month.

This challenge is flexible.  It's not about losing a particular amount of weight, exercising for a specific amount of minutes each month, or restricting yourself to a certain caloric (yes that's a word lol) intake.  Simply challenge yourself to be physically active this month.

Although I am informally calling it the "July 2011 Just Exercise Challenge," the focus of it is not lifting weights, running marathons, or hour long cardio sessions.  Being active can include almost anything such as taking a walk, going for a swim, dancing to some of your favorite songs, playing basketball outside with a few of your friends, and etc.

I plan on keeping up with the amount of minutes I "exercise" this month although you do not necessarily have to.  The summer is slowly dwindling down so why not also use this challenge as an opportunity to enjoy the weather before we have to be shut in during the fall and winter.

If there are any fellow bloggers who are interested having a challenge ourselves, I say unto you in the words of the Rock- "Just Bring It!"

(I kid.  I kid.  If anyone is interested, we can have a challenge ourselves though.)

7/05/2011

July's "Just Exercise" Fitness Challenge (Via Sparkpeople.com)

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I am a member of a few teams on Sparkpeople and normally I shy away from challenges (well ones that I have doubts about whether or not I would be able to complete, but this is one that the competitive side of me couldn't pass up.

The goal of this one is simple- have the most fitness minutes on the BHM's Get Fit Sparkteam in July.  So far there are only three challengers- ColumbianQueen, Virtopia, and me.  I'm the newbie on the team and off to a late start due to the holiday weekend.

I don't know if its the hot weather or the BBQ, but I have been a bit sluggish lately.  Since there really isn't an estimation of how many minutes I will need for the month, I decided to come up with the strategy of getting at least 200 minutes a week.  I don't plan on weighing myself during the month except for on my starting date (today) and at the end of the month.  

I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to keep up with my fitness minutes on this blog yet, but I do plan on updating on effective and ineffective strategies that I come up with to motivate me to exercise.  I think one of the main reasons why a lot of people struggle to exercise is due to the fact that sometimes it's hard to schedule in the time between family, friends, and working.

Feel free to share any of your exercise tips or plans for this month in the comment section (:


6/30/2011

June 2011 Fitness Challenge: RESULTS

Day 30 is here!  This past week I have been doing a lot of working out outside- mostly walking on a local trail with my mom in the morning.  My original goal this month was to lose either 8 or 10 pounds although I did try to be realistic about my expectations.

Before I post my results for this month, I want to give out some quick shout outs to Kaytee (http://hautepinkheels.blogspot.com/) and Naturally Sweet (http://naturalsweetner.blogspot.com)
for participating in the challenge with me!

I'm not sure if I will be doing another "monthly" challenge but I do plan on continuing to workout, eat healthy, and lose weight.

So on Day 15 my weight loss total for the month was 3 pounds.

Day 30 I lost........6 more pounds.

My total for the month is 9 pounds.

Yay Me!

6/24/2011

Website of the Week #4: Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb Menus

It has been a while since I last posted a website of the week, but I wanted to share this blog in case anyone is interested in low carb eating/meal ideas.

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Overview:   I will be honest and say I love carbs- breads, pasta, rice- YUMMY- but I know they are not good for me or my waist line.  Early  in my weight loss journey I realized that I would have to cut my intake of these foods if I wanted to lose weight. But I didn't want to go on a diet like Atkins for three reasons: 1) I normally do not eat a lot of meat. 2) Doing any type of extreme "gimmick" diet is not something I envision myself doing for the rest of my life.  3) I am not very creative when it comes to cooking and coming up with meal ideas.  Anyway, I came across this blog and quickly bookmarked it (lol before the days of my blogger/reader subscriptions).

Positives:  Jim Moore, the creator of this blog, has not only lost over 180 pounds but he has successfully kept the weight off years later.  His blog is updated daily and it features his low carb menus for each day.  I think this is a great blog for anyone who ever ponders the question "What am I going to eat today?"  You can scroll through the list of menus from the past week or even back to December 2007 when the blog was first created.

Negatives:  This website has changed a lot since I first visited it.  There are a lot of ads and etc. going on the main page but it still is very informative.

You'll love this website if........… you are attempting to reduce the amount of carbs you eat and are looking for a bit of inspiration and meal ideas.

Links:
http://lowcarbmenu.blogspot.com/search/label/menu
(This is a link to the menu archives.  I decided to post it instead of the main link since it allows you to sort through the menus by each month.)

http://www.livinlowcarbdiscussion.com/
(This is a link to the website's forum.  It has a lot of helpful information and advice for anyone starting out on low carb eating or trying to maintain it.)

What do you think?  Share some of your favorite websites, blogs, and/or YouTubers.

6/22/2011

June 30 Day Fitness Workout Challenge: Week 4 Workout Plan


This month is going by so fast for me.  The end of the month weigh in is quickly approaching and sadly I'm already thinking about next month's fitness challenge (any suggestions?).  Last week I did a "free style" workout plan.  I like having the flexibility that it provides so I think I'm going to do that once again this week.  It has been a while since I incorporated weight training consistently in my workouts so I am going to try to include it as well.

Although I know that I have been losing weight, I still haven't noticed a big difference yet physically.  I love the fact that I have more energy now.  My eating habits have also improved a lot and the majority of the foods that I eat are home cooked (I would share recipes but cooking is definitely not my talent).

Anyway, I want to thank everyone who is participating in this month's challenge with me and everyone who has stopped by and/or commented.  I really appreciate it and this blog is helping me to stay motivated!

6/21/2011

June 2011 30 Day Fitness Challenge: Day 15- Day 21



I hope everyone is doing great.  Today is Tuesday and once again time for me to post my exercise journal updates for the past week (Week 3).  Tomorrow I will post my workout schedule for the last week in this month's challenge.

Day 15 (Wednesday)- Tae Bo Inspirational Workout
Day 16 (Thursday)- 30 minute walk at local trail
Day 17 (Friday)- Rest Day
Day 18 (Saturday)- Hip Hop Abs Total Body Burn
Day 19 (Sunday)- 30 minutes aerobic stepper
Day 20 (Monday)- Rest Day
Day 21 (Tuesday)-  Denise Austin Kickboxing

Nothing exciting happened this week to be honest.  I definitely enjoyed exercising outside on Thursday although it started to get a little hot.  This week I plan on dusting off the pedometer that I purchased a few weeks ago.

Curliebelle

6/15/2011

June 2011 30 Day Fitness Challenge: Week 3

Originally I was going to do a workout schedule for this week, but I think I'm going to free style this week and hopefully give my workout videos some rest and do some workouts outdoors (although the temperature where I live in Alabama was 102 degrees yesterday).

..............And the results from my Day 15 Weigh- In:


 Down 3 lbs.

It's not a lot but I'm happy (: I plan to continue full speed ahead.  I hope everyone who is participating in the challenge with me this month is having great results.

CurlieBelle 

6/14/2011

Blog Updates and My Randomness

I have a short attention span.......so I decided to do a mini blog update.   I added more Inspirational quotes and (since I apparently forgot) updated the Fitness Challenge page.  By the end of the week, I should have the YouTube Workout Video page updated too.

Tomorrow starts Week 3 for me and it is also the mid month weigh in.  I will post my workout schedule for Week 3 tomorrow since I have spent this past week debating on whether to stay natural, texlax, relax, go to Sally's and stock up on a great heat protector for flat ironing, or just protective style.

I know it's been 18 months since my BC, but I never realized researching relaxers was so stressful...lol.  Maybe because I'm like Spiderman now and the whole "healthy hair care/journey" thing gets my senses tingling.

I digress since this blog is not about hair..............

porkypig.jpg (450×391)

Curlie Belle Cheat Sheet #3: 10 100 Calories or Less Sweet Summer Treats


Disclaimer:  I am not a nutritionist but I am a Skinny Chick in the Making that happens to suffer from a sweet tooth every now and then.  The following list of items are some of the snacks that I have came up with using either my personal experience and/or Calorie Counter to measure the calories.  Some of these snacks are in the "snack pack" variety which I think helps as a starting point when you are trying to master portion control.  

Feel free to add some of your own favorite sweet treats in the comment section.


Frozen Treats

1.  Mars Mini Ice Cream Bars
I spotted these in Wal-Mart a few months ago.  These ice cream bars come in a variety of flavors: Twix, Snickers, and Milky Way (my favorite) to name a few.  Although the amount of calories per bar differs based on the type, the most calories that any bar will have is 90 calories.  My favorite the Milky Way Mini Ice Cream Bar has 80 calories.

2.  Brown Cow Jr. 100 Calorie Ice Cream Bars
Brown cows are my favorite and I think that this lower calorie variety offers a good alternative for me on those rare instances when I am craving one since they are only 100 calories.  I will forewarn anyone considering picking these up that they look like a regular Brown Cow that has been cut in half.  I still love them and my favorite thing to do is share one with my 19 month old nephew.

3.  Snapple Sorbet Bars
These bars really do taste like they're made from the best thing on Earth.  I like these because they are made of natural flavors, no artificial flavors, and 1 bar contains about 27 calories.  All you have to do is stick them in the refrigerator and go.  They are perfect for hot summer days when you want something light and a little sweet.  If you can't find these (which I discovered at Dollar Tree), most of the popsicles I have come across have similar calorie counts or less than 50 calories.


4.  StoneyField Farms Gotta Have Vanilla Frozen Yogurt 
Frozen yogurt offers a great alternative to ice cream since it is much lighter and just as (if not more so) tasty.  This particular product only has 100 calories.

5.  StoneyField Farms After Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt 
*See #4 but a 100 calorie treat for the chocolate lovers.

6.  Weight Watchers Virtuous Vanilla and Strawberry Ice Cream
81 calories....ice cream.....need I say more?


Miscellaneous Sweetness 

7.  Weight Watchers Luxurious Chocolate Marshmallow Dessert 
I used to think that pre- packaged diet food tasted....not good lol. But I'm learning that I was wrong and they offer another option to satisfy a sweet tooth for under 100 calories (97 calories to be exact).


8.  Healthy Harvest Granny Smith Apple Sauce
Sometimes I prefer to eat something that it is not as overtly sweet.  I know that apple sauces is a bit ol' skool, but at only 50 calories in one serving, I am loving this Vitamin C filled treat.

9.  Oreo 100 Calorie Thin Snack Pack
I think that the snack pack varieties are a good option for people who are just starting out on their weight loss journey or for anyone who wants a "pre portion controlled" snack that is only 100 calories.  I listed the Oreo Cookie pack but there are also Chocolate Chip Cookie and other flavors available.

10.  McDonald's Calories in Apple Dippers with Low Fat Caramel Dip
Although I like to avoid fast food restaurants, I also love having an option of a snack I can grab whenever I am out running errands or shopping.  These apple dippers with caramel (yummy) only have 100 Calories.
  


Next week I plan on posting some healthy (as in nutrients and etc. w/ no Cookie Monster graphic) mix and match snack ideas that are less than 300 calories (which is my snack goal amount on SparkPeople).

6/13/2011

Another week (sort of) starts

Today is Monday....2 days before the mid month weigh in..... and I honestly have no idea what to expect.  This past week I fell off a bit- but I'm still motivated.  The motto of my blog and healthy lifestyle journey is that tomorrow is another day and no matter what I try to do the best that I can.

It's smokin' hot outside today so I decided to opt for an early morning kick boxing workout.  Wednesday starts Week 3 for me but I plan on building momentum before Wednesday.  I've actually avoided hopping on and off the scale everyday this month so I honestly don't have an idea if I have lost or maintained my weight. I decided to hop on the scale a bit early and see and it looks like I have lost some weight.

Tomorrow I plan on posting my cheat sheet of 100 calorie of less summer sweet treats.  I am always searching through Wal-Mart for healthier snacks that also taste good.  While I do avoid sweets and other treats the majority of the time, I still feel like its important for me to exercise self control and satisfy my sweet tooth every once in a while.

Until then,

CurlieBelle

6/10/2011

Happy Friday and a Quick Weekly Recap

This week has been super busy for me....which I know is no reason to let exercising take a back seat.  I was helping a friend move Wednesday and for some reason I decided that my 5' 3" self was superwoman.....I hoped on the back of her Explorer to help with tying down a mattress and.....FELL....on the hard cement.

I think my ego was hurt more than anything else.  (Note to self: flip flops and long pants= bad.)  My wrist is still slightly swollen and a bit sore. Needless to say, exercising has taken a back seat the last two days for me although I've been doing my best to continue eating healthy.

Today I plan on catching up on my exercise especially because Day 15 is not that far away.

Good luck to everyone who is participating and I hope that you are all doing great!  Have a fabulous Friday!

6/07/2011

June 2011 30 Day Fitness Challenge Week 2 Workout Schedule

I hope everyone who has decided to do their own challenge is doing well.  Here is my workout schedule for the next 7 days.


Week 2 Workout Schedule
Day 8 (Wednesday) Living Arts Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss (60 minutes)
Day 9 (Thursday) Denise Austin Power Kickboxing (40 minutes)
Day 10 (Friday) Rest Day
Day 11 (Saturday) Tae Bo Capture the Power (Power) (46 minutes)
Day 12 (Sunday) Hip Hop Abs Ab Sculpt (25 minutes) + Mini Stepper (10 Minutes)
Day 13 (Monday) Rest Day
Day 14 (Tuesday) Buns of Steel 4 Super Advance Workout (40 minutes)


Hopefully I will be able to continue the momentum this week.

6/06/2011

June 2011 30 Day Fitness Challenge:Day 3, 4, and 5 Recap

Continuing to move forward with this challenge and I honestly can't believe I'm already on Day 6. Tomorrow I will post my workout schedule for Week 2 although it is a bit odd that my week starts on a Wednesday.  Anyway, I've been doing pretty good eating wise although it is hard sometimes especially with the recent holidays and leftovers (BBQ is healthy right?).

Day 3 was my rest day and I definitely enjoyed it.  After doing my yoga workout in the morning, I spent the rest of the day going to yard sales and shopping.  I ended up picking up a pedometer and a yoga video from a local store called Dirt Cheap for only $.20 each brand new.  I also bought a Denise Austin kickboxing video for $.50 at a local yard sale.

Day 4 was the first time that I've worked out to Turbo Jam.  I actually enjoyed it and it was a good workout although I still love my Tae Bo....which brings me to Day 5.

Day 5- Tae Bo Capture the Power Strength Video.  This month I've been trying to focus on conditioning and strength training so I'm not sure if I will be able to meet my weight loss goal for this month.  I think the fact that  I did not pass out after I finished this workout shows I'm making progress lol.

Day 6- I thought that today was a workout day for some reason.  Anyway,  I woke up pretty early this morning and got my Pilates workout out of the way.  Even though today is a rest day, I still love the idea of doing some type of stretching routine to help increase my flexibility.

I have some old Buns of Steel videos that I brought on Ebay (duo VHS and DVD players=awesome) that I might dust off this week.  Last month I did an aerobic step Legs of Steel workout that was amazing.

Feel feel to comment below on your progress this month.

6/02/2011

June 2011 30 Day Fitness Challenge Week 1 Workout Schedule and Day 1 and 2 Recap


So far I have had a great start with this challenge.  I feel umm...sore but in a good way and hopefully my efforts with pay off at the end of the challenge.  Initially I wasn't going to do a workout schedule, but I think it helps me to plan everything ahead of time.  It eliminates the chances of me scrambling to find something to do to at the last minute.  I also like to schedule in my rest days to since they are something to look forward to.  This week I'm trying something new by doing a Yoga or Pilates workout on my rest days.  I've done the Denise Austin  Power Yoga Workout before and it gives the body a GREAT stretch.

Week 1 Workout Schedule
Day 1 (Wednesday) Shaun T Hip Hop Abs Fat Burning Cardio (30 minutes)
Day 2 (Thursday) Tae Bo Cardio Workout (44 minutes)
Day 3 (Friday) Rest Day [Denise Austin Power Yoga (20 minutes)]
Day 4 (Saturday) Turbo Jam Punch, Kick, and Jam (50 minutes)
Day 5 (Sunday) Tae Bo Capture the Power Strength Workout (46 minutes)
Day 6 (Monday) Rest Day [Denise Austin Power Pilates (20 minutes)
Day 7 (Tuesday) Mini Stepper (35 minutes)

Day 1 & 2 Recap
It has been forever since I did a Hip Hop Abs workout.  At first I wasn't really into it so I decided to put on some Beyonce (it helps to drown out the Shaun T) and I ended up having a pretty good workout.  My stomach is still a bit sore (not in a bad way though since I can tell it was from working out my core).   I do plan on working out some more to Hip Hop Abs since it is fun compared to a lot of the workouts that I have tried in the past.

Today I did the Tae Bo Cardio Workout.  I will admit it- I like Tae Bo.  It always gives me a great workout and it the intensity is always there.  I hate wasting my time exercising to 30 or 40 video where I don't feel any impact (I judge my workouts by how hard my heart pumps and how much I sweat) even though I know I worked hard.  For the most part, Tae Bo never disappoints me.   I'm not sure if it was because it's been a while since I did this video or what, but it definitely challenged me today.  Looking forward to my rest day tomorrow.


Feel free to comment below and share your progress this month.

6/01/2011

I know, I know.........I said no more challenges but................

.............I couldn't resist especially because they help to keep me accountable.




Here are the rules for June's 30 Day Fitness Challenge.

1.  Workout 5 days a week for at least 35-40 minutes with 2 rest days.

2.  Drink at least 8 bottles of water (64 ounces of water) each day.

3.  My daily calorie target is 1200-1500 calories.

4.  I will check in twice a week and do my weigh-ins on Day 1, Day 15, and Day 30.

5.  My goal is to lose 8 pounds for the month.  I'm not sure what I will get if I meet my goal- maybe another Tae Bo dvd (uh maybe not lol ).

6. The only restriction that I have is NO EXCUSES.  The focus of this challenge is to help me develop consistency and keep my body moving.

So far I have gotten a jumpstart on my workouts for the month.  I have been doing a lot of aerobic stepper workouts (and sweating) during the past few days.  I plan on keeping the momentum going especially because I have a maxi dress that I can't wait to wear.

5/31/2011

Fat Attack: The Cold Hard Facts about Five Fast Food Burgers

funny gifs

Let's be honest.  Like most people, I have heard the "fact" that fast food is bad for my health.  For the most part, I cook all of my meals at home ( I have watched too many episodes of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares to do otherwise), but last night I decided to look up the nutritional facts of 5 popular fast food menu items.  While I already knew that some of the information would be alarming, the truth ended up being more surprising than I expected.  Here are the cold hard facts about 5 favorite fast food items.

1.  McDonald's Angus Bacon and Cheese
This is one of the newer sandwiches that have been added to this restaurant's menu.  The amount of calories in the sandwich alone was not what surprised me the most.  The amount of sodium that it contains is staggering.

Just the Facts:
790 calories, 350 calories from Fat, 39 g of Fat, 17 g of Saturated Fat, 145 mg Cholesterol, 2070 mg of Sodium
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does that mean?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a limit of 1500 mg of sodium each day.  Increased sodium intake increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke among other things.
Chart: Average daily sodium intake age 2 and up: 3,436 mg. Tolerable upper intake level: 2,300 mg. Recommended adequate intake level: 1,500 mg. How much daily sodium our bodies need: 180-500. Decreasing sodium intake could prevent thousands of deaths annually, because nearly 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to high blood pressure.

McDonald's Nutritional Informational Source: http://www1.mcdonalds.com/bagamcmeal/


2.  Burger King Triple Stacker with Cheese
Based on the sound of the name alone, this burger screams everything but healthy.

Just the facts
1230 calories , 82 g of fat, 32 g of Saturated fat, 225 mg of Cholesterol, 1550 mg of sodium.
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does this mean?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a limit of 20 g of saturated fat per day.  Not only does this burger contain a whopping 1230 calories, but it also contains 12 g more of saturated fat that is recommended for a person on a limit of  2000 calories per day.  The amount is still considered excessive for individuals on a 3000 calories per day eating plan as well.

Burger King's Nutritional Information Source:  http://www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/category1/menu-item161/index.html


3. Wendy's Double Baconator
I was a little shocked about this one, especially because I used to (years ago) order this without cheese.

Just the facts:
930 calories, 520 calories from Fat, 58 g of Fat, 25 g of Saturated Fat, 195mg Cholesterol, 1840 mg of Sodium
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does this mean?
The total number of calories that I strive to eat each day is between 1200- 1500.  This burger alone has more than 2/3 of the amount of food that I eat each day!


Wendy's Nutritional Information Source:  http://www.wendys.com/food/Nutrition.jsp

4.  Krystal's Double Big Angus Bacon Cheeseburger
This burger is not quite as calorie packed as the last one although it still is quite hefty.

Just the facts 850 calories, 530 calories from Fat, 59 g of Fat, 22 g of Saturated Fat, 120 mg Cholesterol, 1580 mg of Sodium
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does this mean?
The majority of the calories in this burger (similar to the other ones that have been posted) come from fat.

Krystal's Nutritional Information Source:  http://krystal.com/menu/

5.  Hardee's 2/3 lb. Monster ThickerBurger

This burger is called a "monster" for a reason.

Just the facts 1320 calories, 860 calories from Fat, 95 g of Fat, 36 g of Saturated Fat, 210 mg Cholesterol, 3020  mg of Sodium
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does this mean?
This burger alone is equivalent to all of the calories that I eat in one day!
Hardee's Nutritional Information Source: http://www.hardees.com/menu

5/30/2011

Official May 2011 Tae Bo Challenge Results


When I started this challenge,  my goal was to do Tae Bo only workouts for 30 days.  I am pleased with the results that I have had although I will be honest and admit that I lost some steam towards the end of the challenge.  I think the biggest goal that I have accomplished this month is learning how to control the foods that I eat and to make better choices.
                                                  
The results- 15 pounds down!

My other thoughts-
1.  No more specific weight loss video challenges for me.  I think it's going to be a while before I do another Tae Bo Workout.  I've started to have dreams where I do Tae Bo workouts.

2. I learned to push myself and my body.  I have felt a tremendous difference in the way that I feel from when I started this challenge and now.  My stamina has improved and I have learned that I am capable of more that what I used to settle on doing.

Overall, I did enjoy working out to Tae Bo and the challenge was fun.

5/25/2011

YouTube Workout of the Day #29

Each day, I feature a new YouTube workout video of the day. The criteria for the video is simple- it must be fun, motivating, easy to do, and........of course something that will help us all get closer to the skinny chick (or guy) inside of us.




Here is another great Pilates workout.  The great thing about this video is that it's a full body workout.


Feel free to tell me what you think and share some of your favorite YouTube workout videos in the comment section.

5/24/2011

30 Day Tae Bo Challenge Week 4 and 5 Workout Schedule and Other Thoughts

Last week, I stopped doing my Tae Bo Challenge daily posts.  It's not because I've stopped the challenge, it's just it's been hard for me to balance this blog with some of the other things that I have going on.  With that said, I am continuing my challenge full speed ahead until the end of this month.

When I first started this challenge, it was part of a challenge that I had signed up for on an online forum that I am a member of.  After a week or so of that challenge, I found myself being the only posting/participating .  It has been a bit rough embarking on this by myself (especially because a lot of other people are using more popular videos like Zumba and Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred) and due to the boredom factor.  Even though I try to rotate the videos that I do each week, Tae Bo is still Tae Bo and looking at the same people workout each day gets boring.

Day 22 I did the Bootcamp Workout and it felt good to push myself.  I have 8 more days left until I weigh in and I plan on making the most of it.

Week 4 Schedule May 22- May 28
Sunday- Tae Bo Billy's Bootcamp Basic Training Workout
Monday- Tae Bo Strength Workout
Tuesday- Tae Bo Cardio Workout
Wednesday- Rest Day
Thursday- Tae Bo Power Workout
Friday- Tae Bo Inspirational Workout
Saturday- Tae Bo Advanced Workout

Week 5 Schedule May 29-May 30
Sunday - Tae Bo Basic Workout
Monday- Tae Bo Billy's Bootcamp (End of Challenge)

I plan on doing biweekly updates instead of the daily ones since most of the feedback that I have each days sort of ends up being the same.

YouTube Workout of the Day #28

Each day, I feature a new YouTube workout video of the day. The criteria for the video is simple- it must be fun, motivating, easy to do, and........of course something that will help us all get closer to the skinny chick (or guy) inside of us.




Today's video is a Pilates ab workout that will give you a great workout.


Feel free to tell me what you think and share some of your favorite YouTube workout videos in the comment section.

5/22/2011

Insanity (and I'm not talking about the Workout Program)

The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.



I have been doing a lot of self reflecting this week- focusing on the things that I have accomplished and the things that I need to work on.  Among the seemingly unrelated maze of what I thought were happenstances- I found several patterns:

1.  No sleep= lack of time or energy to exercise.  Also the later that I get up in the morning, the less time I have for living my healthy lifestyle.

2.  I am able to drink my 8 glasses of water each day when I get a jump start in the morning.

3.  I generally love exercising, but I thrive when I challenge myself and have variety.

4.  I thrive on structure (meal planning and calorie counting) although I'm also able to be more relaxed when it comes to my eating plan (I can eat one cookie without eating the whole bag).


This week I plan on focusing on getting my sanity (and momentum) back by doing the things that I know work for me.  Even though it seems like common sense, the truth is a lot of times I subconsciously work against myself instead of working on behalf of my well being.

(Republished from my SparkPeople blog.)

5/21/2011

Healthy Recipe: Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Looking for a sweet (and healthy) recipe that will help you cool down this summer?  Try this recipe for strawberry frozen yogurt that does not require a lot of time or culinary skill.  The best part about it is that you do not need an ice cream machine to make this tasty treat.





Prep Time:10 minutes
Ready in:10 minutes
Yield:4 servings, about 3/4 cup each
Ease of Prep:Easy

Recipe Ingredients
 1 16-ounce package IQF (individually quick-frozen) unsweetened strawberries (about 3 1/2 cups)
 1/2 cup sugar , preferably instant-dissolving
 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt or buttermilk
 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Recipe Directions

  1. Combine frozen strawberries and sugar in a food processor. 
  2. Pulse until coarsely chopped. 
  3. Combine yogurt (or buttermilk) and lemon juice; with the machine running, gradually pour the mixture through the feed tube. 
  4. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the workbowl once or twice. (The frozen yogurt should be firm enough to be served directly from the food processor, but if it is a little soft, let it harden in the freezer for about 30 minutes.)
(Freeze for up to 1 week.)

Health Advantages: low calorie, low carb, low sat fat, low cholesterol, low sodium, heart healthy.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4
 Amount Per serving
 Calories:150 cal  Carbohydrate Servings:2 1/2
 Carbohydrates:21 g Dietary Fiber:2 g Cholesterol:1 mg
 Fat:0 g Sodium:12 mg Saturated Fat:0 g
 Protein:2 g Potassium:157 mg Monounsaturated Fat:0 g
 Nutrition Bonus:50 mg Vitamin C (80% Daily Value).

(From www.eatingwell.com)

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