Category Archives: smartpoints

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REINVENTING YOURSELF

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One hundred year old trees still recycle themselves and come out with new flowers. Recycle yourself. Know that nature gives you the clues to living.”

Tao Porchon-Lynch

 

Reinvention, I feel like I have been mastering the art of reinvention as of the last few years. Like Tao Porchon-Lynch I often look to the trees for wisdom and inspiration. They are our pillars of wisdom, they reinvent themselves but always grow more beautiful with each passing bloom. I try to always look up to them, they are my role models. I am always in the process of shedding my leaves and patiently waiting for my blossoms to emerge. 

I am not going to sugar coat it, the last two years have been challenging to say the least. Soon I will write about the crisis I was in and what is to come in the second half of 2017. My Mother has been ill in ICU in Cleveland, Ohio but she improves a little each day. I am so grateful to all my friends for keeping her in their prayers. If she can get through, I can conquer the world. This is my Mother below, at 15 in the black bathing suit. What a beauty.

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I am most proud that as a weight loss blogger going through a challenging few years that I kept all my weight off despite the changes, the plateaus, and the hard moments that came my way. A move to San Francisco from West Hollywood, a move back to West Hollywood was just a a portion of our hardships. One could just throw in the towel and I admit there were a few times that I contemplated quitting. A good friend talked me out of it, so here I am moving forward.

My weight is still holding strong at 159 lbs and I am back counting my Weight Watchers points, and eating clean most of the time. The 80/20 rule works for me, I eat clean and leave a little wiggle room for special treats. I use Weight Watchers to keep my portions in control and to keep me from obsessing over good and bad food. It is food and I am grateful for it, and I am learning balance as I lose weight and get fit and strong.

Speaking of fitness, I did slack off there a little. I fell and injured my knee and my shoulder has been injured. Tomorrow I am starting a Melissa Bender 30 day Challenge and I plan to work on my running. I hope to be able to run to the Santa Monica Pier from my West Hollywood Home in the end of the month. I can do it and so can you. Join me on my quest to be more fit and strong and to finally get to my elusive goal weight.

http://www.benderfitness.com/2014/05/original-30-day-workout-challenge.html

Love and Light

Rose

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WEIGH IN DAY

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Good Morning to all, and what a beautiful Monday it is here in West Hollywood. I am off today and tomorrow, wrapping up my days of cat sitting two beautiful Lilac Siamese. Noodles and Peaches are my other Siamese loves, and my cats have been missing me so it will be time to go home. 

It is weigh in day and I am so happy I stayed the same at 159 lbs, I skipped the last few weeks. My scale broke, and I got frustrated with things. I am still 24 lbs to goal, and with everything going on in my life I admit to having just a few cheat days. Friday night I ate a huge tuna sub from subway, and I definitely felt ill the day after. It made me realize that my eating plan is not just about weight and appearance. It is about how I feel, my health and well-being. I had heartburn for the first time in a very long time, and I didn’t even recognize the symptoms. If you can see from the graph above I have plateaued again since February, but that is ok, No  weight gains is great for me.

I decided on Sunday to get back on track, still counting my points but going back to an anti-inflammation diet and every Monday I can deviate just a little. That way I am eating not to lose weight only, but to continue to feel good and energetic. Mondays will be the only day I consume things like flour. I believe in this type of program but I also know it is good to allow treats and deviations, just not all the time.

Here is a link to a good list of food for this type of eating from Melissa Bender Fitness.  http://www.benderfitness.com/2017/01/anti-inflammatory-diet-grocery-list.html

Today I am reveling in the fact the scale stayed the same. I feel good, and I will not be deviating this day because I am getting back on track. Next Monday will be my semi cheat day. Today it is all non processed foods with lots of produce.

My knee is healing and I feel my shoulder is too, so soon I will hit the pavement running again and start my work out schedule. I decided to rest so I would not be down for the count for longer than need be. I listened to my body even though I wanted to ignore it, and I am feeling so much better now. I have weaned myself off any pain pills for my knee too, I do not need them anymore and they made me feel awful. The last few weeks I have been walking but that is it. It is hard to slow down but I am healing.

That is all for today. I am going to go down to the pool and take a dip, or if it is too cold go in the jacuzzi.  I am celebrating that the scale stayed the same, it will be much easier now to get back on track.

It’s a lifestyle not a diet. Love and Light to all.

Rose

 

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LOW SODIUM FOOD SWAPS

Do you worry about high blood pressure but you are unsure how to lower your sodium intake? Last week in the emergency room my blood pressure was alarmingly high. For me health comes first so I try to aim for a clean diet with minimal processed foods. I follow the 80/20 rule. I eat clean 80% of the time, and allow little portion controlled treats.

I make small swaps to insure I am not eating too much sodium. I always choose the swap instead of the higher sodium choice. I sometimes fall off the wagon and buy store bought bottled dressings when they are on sale, or I may use soy sauce occasionally; but I get right back to my low sodium way of life. The less processed you eat, the less likely you will eat too much sodium. I always notice a difference in the appearance of my skin when I consume too much sodium. Try these swaps and as always drink a lot of fresh water. I buy a lot of these items at Trader Joe’s. The prices are good and they tend to have all the no sodium products I prefer. This way of eating is good for my short term and long term health, but it just makes me feel good. I think you will feel the same and that is where the motivation to eat clean and healthy comes from.  

Here are some of my main low sodium food swaps

Swap salted peanut butter for unsalted peanut butter.

Swap Canned Beans, vegetables and tomatoes for dried, fresh, or no salt varieties.

Swap salad dressing and make your own with lemon, olive oil and vinegar.

Swap regular canned tuna for unsalted canned tuna.

Swap cottage cheese for Greek yogurt

Swap regular bread of sprouted Ezekiel bread

Swap instant oatmeal and cereals for old fashioned oats

Swap store bought marinades for citrus juices and vinegar

Swap cold cuts for fresh meats, fish and eggs.

Swap table salt for fresh herbs, spices and garlic

Swap high sodium vegetable broth for Trader Joe’s Vegetable broth

Swap feta cheese for goat cheese or Swiss cheese.

Swap potato chips for Trader Joe’s roasted plantain chips

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Love and Light

Namaste’

Rose 

 

 

WEIGH IN MONDAY

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Happy Monday to all. Today is Weigh in Monday and I decided to skip my weigh in, and weight til next Monday. Notice the spelling of wait? I need to step away from the scale, scale back from the stress of the numbers. I had a really rough week, and there are some extra stresses at the moment in my life, and I am no stranger to chaos, stress and change. How I will handle these changes will be determined in the weeks to come, but today I am breathing and just taking one moment at a time. That is all you can do anyway.

Last week I went to the ER, fell and injured my knee days later, and had a personal crisis put upon my plate. I did not track my food, I really just lost interest in logging, but I caught myself and today I begin anew, and next week I will jump back on the scale with renewed vigor no matter what the outcome is. One of the keys to losing weight is staying consistent even when life throws you lemons. Take those lemons, make lemon bars and share with others. Kindness to others always makes you feel better when you are down.

I also had a lot of positives happen this week too. I got my hair done and I am so happy with it.

My next story I pitched for Mt Lebanon Magazine was accepted. Here is the link to the first essay they published about me and Melissa from Melissa Bender Fitness. (http://lebomag.com/a-newfound-friendship/) I sent off more submissions to other magazines and websites in regards to my writing, my poetry, and my weight loss story. My book Camellia in Snow, here is the link,  (https://www.amazon.com/Camellia-Snow-Rose-Bruno-Bailey/dp/1515347141/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 )  will be at Books Soup and Vroman’s in May.

Every day is an opportunity for success, even if the success is just a tiny glimpse of success that is to come. Keep dreaming no matter what is going on around you.

Now I wait and look for more places to write for and to submit. If I fall and tumble, I will pick myself off, dust my ego and keep moving forward no matter how slow. When I am down I will write, and when I am up I will run. No matter what life throws at me, I will channel it into something positive. I don’t know where I am going, but I know I am a go getter.

Namaste’ 

Love and Light

Rose

 

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NOT A NUMBER

 

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What is a number? Are we defined by numbers? Think about it, how many times a day does someone ask for your bank number, your credit number, your age, weight and phone number? Do we have names or numbers? I admit sometimes I wonder if people think differently about me after I share with them my age number. I admit to being so excited about my weight loss and the fact I finally weigh in the 150’s. Does that mean I am different than what I once was? There is a fine line between past and present, here and then. At the end I choose to be Rose. Not better but not worse, just the same me who is just so grateful to see yet another day. I’m just getting stronger and healthier. I will never lose sight of any of my dreams and goals just because society has deemed me a number. Names not numbers.

Rose Bruno Bailey

 

Happy Monday to all. Monday is my Saturday, since I am off Mondays and Tuesdays. It is also my weigh in day, and the day I allow a little wiggle room into my healthy eating plan after I jump on the scale. Today my treat of choice is Russian Chocolate Coffee Cake from Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles. They bake everything homemade and the Russian Chocolate Coffee Cake is my favorite. Of course with some delicious cinnamon coffee from Dunkin Donuts my day is dusted with sugar and spice and everything that is nice about the simpler moments of life. A little quiet time to enjoy my treat, and retreat into the cavern of my mind and do a little writing. Even the most extroverted person needs a bit of solace found in silence.

Weigh in day, my updates have been the same for over a month. It seems my body has decided 159 feels good, 159 feels strong. My body is telling me to get off the scale and focus on fitness; work on your running, flexibility and yoga practice and I will get back to you when I am good and ready. That is the message I am getting from my body after one month of stepping on a scale that is not cooperating. I have finally deciphered the translation in the numbers, get off the scale and get moving.  YOU ARE NOT THIS NUMBER. 

Message heard loud and clear. I am not a number. I am still going to pay attention to the scale, because even in maintaining weight loss it is good to know where you stand; just don’t stand on the scale more than once a week. Jump on, mentally record where you are and get moving. This week I am back to focusing on my fitness now that my toe is on the mend. I have also found a way to do my Yoga Sun Salutations without injuring my rotator cuff any further, and I will post about it in a few weeks. 

I love life, and that means loving the body I am in. I am not chasing a new body, but a body that is stronger and healthier to allow me to achieve all of the goals I set for myself and to keep living my best life.

I have come a long way from where I was in 2013 and I am grateful, and I will continue on this journey; losing weight without getting to caught up on the numbers on the scale. The numbers are there to guide me, but not to define me.

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Love and Light and Happy Monday,

Rose 17308904_1436309309747864_4383739146682615547_n

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TRANSFORMATION TUESDAY

Good morning to all. Happy Transformation Tuesday. Yesterday was my weigh in day, and I stayed the same holding steady at 159 lbs. Being at this weight gives me a little anxiety. You may ask why being the lowest weight since I began my weight loss would cause anxiety. This is the reason: I know that weight can go up and down, even during a weight loss journey. I stayed the same for two weeks, and I lost 9 lbs since the middle of January. I know there will be a time when I do everything right and the scale will stay the same or tip back up. I just do not want it to go up when I am in the high 150’s. This may seem silly, but I am so proud to make it to the 150’s, and I want to stay here for some time. Since I broke my plateau in January 2017  I lost 10% of my body weight. That is a win to me.

This photo was me in 2013, well above 210. This is me today at 159 lbs and so proud.17190854_1425955677449894_8538028883844596331_n

This begins a brand new week. I am really loving Weight Watchers Online and having the app on my phone. It is freedom and totally liberating to me. I eat healthy and have done so since 2013, but the little bit of wiggle room I have now makes this feel more like a lifestyle than deprivation. If you remember I went six months without a cheat day, and that drove me crazy, and I didn’t lose a pound in those six months. Balance, I am finding my balance. Yesterday I had a inspirational brunch with a friend Emily at Mel’s Drive in West Hollywood. Eating out doesn’t have to be impossible. We split our entree and made healthy choices. The omelette was egg whites with veggies, cooked dry with no cheese. I had a few of the grilled potatoes. It was all about the coffee and conversation. Balance is key to life, and enjoying yourself makes it worth living.

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Speaking of balance, I am working on my fitness, my yoga and my running. I am also a bit of a klutz and I bruised my toe. I do not know how, but I have injured two toes in the last few years, and bruised one toe I previously injured. I did not trip on my own feet, it was choreography. They say dancers and former dancers tend to be klutzy, and I am here to say that is a true fact for me. Today I feel so much better, so I will get out for a walk and perhaps a run. I do really need proper running shoes. I have learned that shoes make all the difference. I prefer Saucony. Do you have a favorite running shoe?

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I am learning that weight loss and fitness is not linear. It is up and down, and back up again. There will be times when your body tells you slow down, and times when you kick it up a notch. The key is to listen to your body. Don’t let setbacks stop you, take a rest than keep moving forward. It is Transformation Tuesday and for me transformation would be impossible without the day in, day out daily hustle to get to my goals. Have fun while you are out killing it.

Lee Strasberg once said, It’s about the work. 

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MAKE IT COUNT MONDAY

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“Don’t give up! It’s not over. The universe is balanced. Every set-back bears with it the seeds of a come-back.”
Steve Maraboli

Good Day to all, it is  Weigh In Monday and I am off for two days. I love to use my days off to catch up on my writing and my plans. I am always redesigning my life, even when set backs happen. I continue to forge forward always, and I never give up. I love this quote above, it truly speaks to me.

I think I am going to call Weigh in Day “MAKE IT COUNT MONDAY.” It has a special kind of hopeful ring to it.

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This week the scale did not budge, but I expected that. I stayed at 159 lbs. I know the scale can sometimes be that fickle friend, one day it shows you love and the next day it stands you up. There you are, standing on the scale with all the hopes of the hard work you put in the previous week, and then nothing. Not one bit of movement, no matter how many times you step on the darn contraption. 

Weighing in should not cause that much drama, do not view the scale as a frenemy; someone you love to hate. Instead embrace the process, weight loss is just like life; you will have your ups and downs. Each week is a brand new chance to reinvent your approach. This week I did not feel well, I felt a bladder infection coming on and I drank all my extra points in cranberry juice. I knew the extra calories of all that juice could alter my outcome on the scale, but my body needed healing. I recently discovered cranberry pills, highly recommended by friends and I am now on the mend. Remember, this is all for your health and wellness. I am completely fine with the scale staying the same this week.

I am embracing the process of the journey. I am going to work harder on my fitness this week, and keep my food clean and keep my points on point. Monday is my splurge day, but I will not go overboard. Splurging within my point range.I will make an effort to get at least 6-8 fruits and vegetables a day. Maybe I should begin making smoothies with veggies again. I will stay motivated and put in the work, it is all about the work.

My workout schedule for this week:

The 3 W’s. Four days a week on my work days after work, I will do my workouts by #benderfitness. I am tailoring them to the fact I have a shoulder injury, and I will also be doing exercises for my shoulder to help myself heal. I will complete two walks a day on my work days. This is all easy to remember, if I work, I workout and walk. The 3 W’s, walk, workout on work days.  http://www.benderfitness.com

Three days a week I will run, I will work up to 3 miles each day. I will also do home yoga and flexibility training 3 days a week. Again, 3 days off equals 3 miles. No way I can forget this plan. Here is my yoga, flexibility and running plans.

http://www.benderfitness.com/2015/05/5k-training-for-new-runners.html

http://www.benderfitness.com/2016/10/daily-yoga-challenge-10-sun-salutations.html

http://www.benderfitness.com/category/flexibility-training

I will work on sleeping better, and not stressing even though life can sometimes throw a pie in your face, and trust me I have dodged a lot of pies lately. Willpower, a good attitude and a smile works wonders; and perhaps just a taste of the pie. 

I am off for now. Namaste’ Love and Light.

Happy Monday,

Make it Count

Rose

MAKING FOOD MY FRIEND

Your body is a temple not a trash can. At the same time, you have to learn to live with food, not without it. It is fine to occasionally eat foods that are not considered healthy. For me, I now follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I eat real, clean food, and the other 20% I allocate a little wiggle room for occasional treats and goodies. I find this plan is sustainable for life and living. I can maintain this forever, and not feel deprived. This is how I am moving forward in my weight loss journey, and my life.

Rose Bruno Bailey

Food, it is a necessity of life, the staple of living. We need fuel to live. Food not only feeds the body but it can nurture the soul. Food can be healing, and it can be addictive. For some food can cause anxiety and fear, how much is too much?  One cannot decide to just quit food and go cold turkey. You have to learn to live with food, to achieve balance, to make food your friend.

For the longest time food was my enemy. When I was age 13 I began dancing, and an adult dance teacher told me I must lose 30 lbs between freshman and sophomore year of high school. That began my journey of making food my enemy. I had eating disorders and spent most of my early days trying to avoid food. You can read about it here. http://mychangeforaten.com/eating-disorder-past/

That post was in 2013. This is now 2017, and I am here to say the old habits came back after that moment. I decided I did not need Weight Watchers after some time, and went at it on my own. I lost my weight, but the old feelings of being obsessive about food came back, in the form of what I was eating instead of not eating. I went from my starving days of yesteryear, to being obsessive over good vs bad foods. Carbs, gluten, sugar, just a little sent me over the edge of guilt and obsession. I think I was bordering on a new eating disorder called Orthorexia. Melissa Bender from Melissa Bender Fitness was the person to suggest this was how I was behaving. She knows my background with food.

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or·tho·rex·i·a
ˌ
noun
  1. an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.
    1. a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods in the belief that they are harmful.
      noun: orthorexia nervosa; plural noun: orthorexia nervosas

     

I am happy to say here I am in February 2014. I feel like I am back in control of my eating disorders, and I have done so with Weight Watchers Online. Melissa Bender told me she is so happy I am making food my friend, and I am too. I can safely say I am still eating healthy, but I now have a little wiggle room. I no longer obsess with what I am eating, I track it daily on the Weight Watchers App and I am done with it. I eat clean, but I allow some treats here and there. I work the plan each week, and if I feel something is not working, I try something new the next week. I have broken my year long plateau and lost 9 lbs since January 14th, 2017. That brings my weight loss goal closer, I am now 24 lbs from 135 lbs. I will always do this, I will maintain my weight by the points system after I get to goal. I will achieve lifetime status with Weight Watchers, and have a healthy relationship with food.

I am grateful for the food that nurtures me and fuels my body to do the things it loves to do. I will not obsess over bad and good food. I eat clean and healthy yet I enjoy life, and with life comes the occasional treat or celebration. Food is no longer my enemy, food has become my friend. Every Monday, after weigh in I enjoy a treat with my coffee. I do that, and I am still losing weight. I really look forward to the scale, and the treat afterwards.

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I will leave you with this, a quote from the weight loss guru himself.  We miss Richard Simmons. If you would like to hear the number one podcast in the country, Missing Richard Simmons, here is the link. I was interviewed on the last day of Slimmons. I hope Richard is well. https://www.facebook.com/MissingRichardSimmons/

We miss you Richard Simmons.

I’ve always practiced this: Love yourself. Move your body. Watch your portions.

Richard Simmons

 I love myself, I am watching my portions and moving my body Richard. Thank you.

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WEIGHT LOSS MILESTONE

16387009_1393904893988306_2621029889834396704_nMy weigh in day is on Monday. I am working so hard, and I really get excited for weighing in. This week I finally made it into the 150’s, a milestone I have been chasing for over a year. I finally broke my long time plateau with Weight Watchers Online and I lost 9 lbs in a little over a month. That is 10% of my body weight.

I lost my initial weight between the summer of 2013 and 2016 and than the scale just stopped moving. I continued to work hard on my fitness and I continued to eat healthy but nothing could get the numbers to go down. I even kept off every pound through an ongoing crisis. I never gave up nor will I ever give up. One day I will write about the crisis I am in, but for now I keep all of that private.

I can officially say I am 24 lbs from my goal weight of 135 lbs.

Cue Happy Happy face.
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EASY ITALIAN CHICKEN

Hello to all and Happy Saturday.

I am busy, and sometimes it leaves little time to cook. I do love to cook, when I have time to be creative in the kitchen I can concoct some delicious recipes. On other days I try to cook something that takes little time and preparation. Let’s face it, we are busy but we still wish to eat healthy and delicious home cooked food. I tend to cook a lot of soups and chicken dishes, foods that help me stay within my smart points on Weight Watchers.

One of my go to recipes is a one pot chicken dish, Italian style. Have you heard of Dump Cakes? It is when you just throw all the ingredients in a pan and bake and voila you have cake. This is my version but with chicken.  It is absolutely delicious and low smart points if you follow Weight Watchers. I usually serve it with mashed cauliflower. One pot meals make eating healthy and staying within calorie and point range seamless. I buy frozen chicken because I am on a budget, but the recipe can be used with fresh chicken as well. I hardly call it a recipe, it is so simple to cook. Healthy home cooking on a budget doesn’t have to be complicated.

My portion of one piece of chicken, mashed cauliflower, sauce and one small red potato was 10 points.

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Manga 

You will need:

I bag of frozen chicken

Two tablespoons olive oil

Vegetables of your choice cut into pieces. I used Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, red and white onions, yellow squash, red potatoes, green and red peppers, and about 8 cloves of garlic. 

Two cans crushed tomatoes (low sodium)

Half can of water

salt, pepper, oregano

In large roaster, add two tablespoons of olive oil. Than add chicken, vegetables and potatoes and garlic. Finally, add two cans of crushed tomatoes, garlic, and season with just a little bit of salt, pepper and oregano. 

Mix all ingredients and cover, baking for over an hour at 375. It depends on your oven, mine took a while. I always just check the chicken. The package of frozen chicken says to bake it for 30 minutes, but that is not correct for my oven. My chicken took over an hour.

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This is a simple recipe, and it makes the most delicious sauce. It is all done in the oven. The Mashed Cauliflower is so simple as well. 

Boil Cauliflower until soft. I just added two tablespoons of lite butter and used a potato masher. I spooned in some of the tomato sauce for flavor and mixed with pepper, oregano and a dash of sea salt.

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Happy Saturday. Food that is simple leaves more time to get active. Have a wonderful day.

Rose