I'm sort of adopting this idea from Tracy (buckthirteen blog), she occasionally does these "unqualified product reviews" in her blog. The unqualified part cracks me up, because I, (just like she does I'm sure) feel that I am way more qualified to review products that are supposed to be healthy/helpful etc. then the people that currently write the reviews. Over the past 5 weeks, I have had some success, but I can't take credit for it all myself. The following is a list of things I love, or have recently discovered and come to love, as essential items in my success.
Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred- I bought this video about a year ago. It was supposed to be the thing that finally made me get back in shape. I did the video every day for a week, then maybe 3 times the second week, and then very sporadically. However, I have recently re-discovered this video, and WOW. The workouts are amazing. In 20 minutes, I'm sweating more than in my 45 minute cardio sessions at the gym. If you are looking for a rainy day activity or perhaps your gym is closed due to a recent fire, this video will do the trick.
Morning Star Farms Vegetarian Sausage Patties- I know, any fatty that reads the word "vegetarian" stops reading and immediately refuses to believe 'that hippie crap' could taste good. Well, its that thinking that got us here today. The stubbornness, the attitude of not trying anything new...Let me tell you, these things are magic. I use them in my Saturday Morning Breakfast Burritos, homemade Mcmuffins, with pancakes and syrup, and one time, a few months ago, some friends were staying over and went out and got McDonalds in the morning. I took the sausage out of the McMuffin, and replaced it with one of these patties...coulda fooled anyone. At 80 calories a piece, they are well worth the chance someone might look into my shopping cart and think I'm one of those liberal hippie abortion having tree hugging Seattleites.
Safeway 'Eating Right' Multi-Grain Pasta- The hardest thing for my Italian DNA to get over was giving up white pasta. I had to. Something about pasta makes me want to eat and eat and eat. Why set myself up for failure? I vowed to try and give up pasta, but knowing myself, there would be times when I just had to have some noodles covered in red sauce, topped with parmigiana and pepper. I went to the store and bought 1 box of each type of whole wheat or multi-grain pasta. The Safeway Eating Right brand was hands down the best. It had a sort of sweet, nutty flavor, and even fooled my boyfriend! Not to mention I filled up fast and didn't have the need to keep going back for more.
Grapefruit- See my post dedicated entirely to grapefruit...
'Lose-It' Application for the iPhone- This free app lets you set a goal for yourself, calculates how many calories a day you need to meet that goal, and track all your meals and exercise for the day. Every single person/program recently dedicated to weight loss stresses the benefits of writing down everything you eat. This is hard to get into the habit of, but hey, so is exercising and eating right! Might as well do them all at once. I always have my phone with me, so I always have my food diary with me. Oh, and the there is a very satisfying graph that shows weekly progress.
Quaker 'Lower Sugar' Instant Oatmeal- I take one of these packets to work in the morning, use the water cooler/heater to make it, and ta-da! Breakfast is served. I like the Apples and Cinnamon flavor.
Propel- A few years ago Gatorade came out with this genius water product. Fake sweetened, fake flavored water with vitamins. I loved it from day one, although in its pure form, it is too sweet/heavy for me, so I cut it 1/2 and 1/2 with water. Now they have those little packets that all powdered drinks come in now, and you can control how much flavor goes into your water. I get so sick of just plain water, so I add some flavor and vitamins. I know this isn't ideal, but it gets me to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, and that is proven to help do a body good.
Nalgene Bottle- I'm old skool, I just can't get into those metal Sigg bottles. I hate the way the top squeaks when you unscrew it. I hate that a water bottle has become a fashion/status symbol. I just made sure to update my old Nalgene bottle with one that is BPA free. I take it everywhere. It is indestructible. It lets me know how much water I've ingested everyday. My Nalgene is absolutely essential to my health.
Those are the top items today that I am in love with and could not be doing this without. I'm sure as I move forward, I will experience evolutions, and have new things to love. I will keep you updated on any ground breaking discoveries I make.