Another Gratitude Friday, with gratitude to Diana. http://creativestructures.blogspot.com/
A few items I have been very grateful for during the past six months I've been getting healthier:
Exercise resistance bands. These are nifty little things. A set of handles connected by stretchy rubber tubing. They come in three different levels of resistance, to be used in various ways. As you stretch them your muscles are working, and as you release while still holding, the muscles are still working against the lessening resistance. They've done amazing things for my upper arms. They are light and portable, so you can throw them into a suitcase. It takes a bit of practice to learn how to use them, but there are plenty of DVDs, websites and books with clear instructions.
Trader Joe's 0% plain Greek Yogurt. Tastes great, non-chalky, and much cheaper than the Fage. I eat it every morning with fruit, a bit of Stevia, and cereal. I mix it with salsa for a dip. I marinate chicken breasts in it with spices and lime juice. And while we're talking about TJ's, I've also been grateful for their low sodium organic chicken broth, salsas, Kosher chicken, ground white meat turkey, Joe's O's cereal, and 21-Salute salt-free herb mix.
Stevia. This is a natural plant-based sweetener with very few calories. I've found that using more than just a bit gives a slightly bitter aftertaste; but its great to use in sweetening hot drinks and yogurt without chemicals.
Costco. Yes, its a big box store. (But at least from what I've read, does well by its employees and sources locally from small producers as much as possible). What I think it excels in is produce. My weekly shopping list from them includes tiny green beans, spinach, lettuce, raspberries and strawberries in season, mini cucumbers, mushrooms, hydroponic tomatoes; and seasonal treats like chantrelle mushrooms, Tuscan melons, figs, persimmons. They also carry organic chicken, big tubs of Sabra hummus, their Kirkland brand of egg substitute is much cheaper than Eggbeaters, do a very decent store-made lime and chipotle marinated shrimp, and a huge roasted chicken for $5.00. It's interesting to compare our grocery cart to the others in line.
Kalyn's Kitchen. http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/ This website, while focused on recipes for the South Beach Diet, has a lot of fantastic recipes, and links to many others. I've gotten so many great ideas and delicious meals from her site. Very strong on vegetable recipes.
Kirkland egg substitute. The Costco brand of eggbeaters. One cup is equal to 3-4 eggs, has 120 calories, and 24 grams of protein. Makes for a huge frittata with sauteed spinach and tomato, and is often my lunch.
FitDay. http://www.fitday.com.I use this website to track my diet and exercise, it has a pretty good calorie counter, and you can graph your weight loss.
The treadmill and DVD player, and my NetFlix account. I've caught up on years of movies as I've sweated.
Russo's Market, Watertown. This is a wonderful produce store, carrying all manner of the usuals plus lots of Asian, Latin, Middle Eastern, and Italian items. Where I go from everything from cauliflower and swiss chard to long lavendar Chinese eggplants, jicama, and Armenian lavash bread.
Spray cooking oil. I use this instead of pouring on the oil for sauteeing, for roasting vegetables, for making sure food doesn't stick to the grill.
Fiber Gourmet pasta. http://www.fibergourmet.com/default.aspx This is great stuff. A pasta that's loaded with extra fiber, which brings the calories count down. It certainly isn't as marvelous as an imported pasta, but it's really very decent. One cup is only 130 calories, with loads of fiber. It isn't carried in many stores, so I order directly from the website.
Humn. I'm sure there are more, but I'll do another post with them at some point. Hope this is useful to someone!