Welcome To Artistic Expressions

•September 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

 

Hi, I’m Brenda Wilson.  I reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the foot of the beautiful Pikes Peak mountain. Thank you for joining me today!  Love and Light to those of you who have chosen to come along on this phase of my journey.

I’m forging a path of Artistic Expressions all across the internet. Living, loving and learning as I journey thru life. Aspiring to keep an open mind and spirit about the things I learn while trying to impart them to those I meet along the way, and striving to make sense of the lessons and experiences as they come.

I hope to share part of myself and my experiences thru Artistic Expressions and I invite you to come along for the journey.  Taking one step at a time and rounding every corner either cautiously or with zeal.  The journey promises always to be interesting in some way or another.  Pull up a chair and enjoy yourself, I’m glad you could join me.

 Don’t forget to check out my Blogroll for some of the other websites I am currently posting on too.

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All Materials herein are copyrighted by Brenda Wilson except where noted and cannot be used without permission.

The Moon

•August 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Gazing into the night sky I feel the essence of your energy spilling over onto me and making me whole again.

Isn’t This The Truth….

•August 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Isn’t this the truth…
It takes courage to put ourself first so that we can heal.
It takes courage to detach from the chaos in our lives.
It takes courage to say no when saying yes is what you really have to do for yourself.
It takes courage to reach out for help and then to do the work laid before you.
It takes courage to be who you really are regardless of what others think.
It takes courage to put someone elses needs before your own.
It takes courage to get up, dress up, and show up for your life, every single day. 
~ B. Wilson

Welcome To My Blogroll (click here to open the list)

•July 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000157792398

Flickr Photostream:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/artful_expressions/

FRESH INK:  csfreshink.com/profile/BrendaWilson

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Brenda__Wilson

JPG Magazine:  http://jpgmag.com/people/ArtisticExpressions

Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•March 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

March 13, 2010

Counting Calories Versus The Food Pyramid

I’m only two months into my healthier weight loss regimen and I already abhor weighing my food and counting calories. I’m tired of my day revolving around what I’m putting in my mouth and how many calories it has.

Truth be told, I’m afraid of calories. I’m especially afraid of the ones that have little to no nutritional value. The fat, sugar and simple carbs. I’m aghast at how much of this stuff is in processed food. Horrified at how the fast food industry tries to put a mask of healthiness on a hamburger by adding lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. They add it right on top of that huge dollop of mayo-like sauce. I like the taste of a fast food burger too, but for the amount of saturated fat and simple carbs, I can eat twice as much of a healthier choice for fewer calories.

I think there must be a better way. I’ve been counting calories and weighing food most of my life. I know how many calories there are in just about anything. So why am I taking so much time to keep track of them? I don’t want food to have such a paramount place in my life. I want to be able to eat normally and not give it much thought. I want to be able to trust that I can lose weight without worrying so much about calories. I want to trust that during those challenging times in life, I’ll still make wise food choices and not have to worry.

The food pyramid suggests the following servings of each food group per day:

Minimal fats and oils

Dairy 2-3 servings

Vegetables 3-5 servings

Grains 6-11 servings

Fruit 2-4 servings

Protein (meat, beans, nuts and fish) 2-3 servings

Water 8 glasses

This sounds like a pretty healthy way of eating to me……….but is it too boring? Are any of us really eating five servings of vegetables a day? I wonder if food boredom is the reason humanity evolved from a place of healthy eating and ended up consuming so many processed foods? Manufactured flavors enhance these products and we are lured back to them time and time again.

Eating healthy is more complicated than at first glance. We have to decide if

potato chips are part of the vegetable group or not, and what group does cola and a Snickers bar fall under? Eyeing up the freshly baked banana bread sitting on the counter, I wonder if I can count that as my 6-11 servings of grains? I can’t help but wonder why chocolate and wine is nowhere to be seen on the food pyramid and if a PB&J counts as two grains, a fruit and a protein? Nothing is cut and dry regarding food today.

They say it takes 21 days to develop a new routine and make it habit. My habit of counting calories began when I was about twelve years old. I’ve had more than enough time to embrace this routine as a natural and normal part of my life. I’m afraid of calories and I’m tired of counting them. I wonder if I can possibly unlearn it and learn how to eat according to the trusted food pyramid?

Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•February 20, 2010 • 2 Comments

Emotional Eating

Along with the month of February came some health concerns, which in turn caused a bit of emotional upset. Ugh, emotional stress is my dieting nemesis! Here I was worried about how I was going to stick to my healthier eating plan through Valentines Day, when I was completely blindsided by the emotional stress factor. I’ve spent the better part of the month trying to stay on track with my new regimen. There have been good days and not so good days. It’s been a struggle the whole month.

Have you ever wondered what it is that makes you want to comfort yourself with food? Emotional eating creates a complex chain of events. Serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and norepinephrine are the brain chemicals responsible for helping to regulate how we feel. There’s actually a good reason we wrap ourselves in the soothing blanket of sugary carbs during stressful times. These foods increase the production of serotonin, causing a calming effect. Everyone’s familiar with the desire for chocolate when we’re emotionally charged. That’s because chocolate results in the body’s release of serotonin and endorphins. Both of these combined produce a relaxed or euphoric feeling. As any emotional eater will tell you, we eat as an attempt to quell our fear filled, anxious or sad emotions.

If the panacea for our emotions is endorphins and dopamine, then I think we need to find a better way of stimulating them rather than eating to get their attention. Did you know that things like meditation, chanting, scalp and foot massage, laughing, sex, music and exercise all cause our bodies to release these feel good chemicals? I didn’t know either, but in looking ahead, I hope to find an alternative to eating when I’m feeling emotionally charged, so if you see a lady standing on the street corner downtown who’s wearing headphones, intermittently chanting and laughing her butt off, that will just be me trying to avoid putting food in my mouth for comfort. Hope I don’t get locked up.

Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•February 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Summary Of The First Month

The first month on my new healthier eating plan started out on a good solid foundation, one in which I’d planned well for, and ended on a bit of a shakier note. It was a challenging experience.

As I began, I discovered the challenges of exercising with degenerative discs and joints. In addition, I faced obstacles regarding my size. I spent the month working from 15 minutes a day on the exercise bike, up to 25 minutes a day. Starting out very slow, I kept my limitations in mind so as not to injure myself. However, no matter how careful I was, I did have some physical set backs within the month.

I discovered the discomfort of the bike seat and bought one larger in hopes I could continue my exercise in a more comfortable fashion. I bought the Schwinn No Pressure Comfort Seat. The website made it look as big as a tractor seat and I had a good laugh at the prospect of exercising with such a thing. As it turned out, it wasn’t very big at all. I suppose if you have a smallish behind, you’d be able to get by with this just fine, but for us folks with more junk in the trunk, this seat was no more comfortable than the first one. I felt disappointed.

I got off to a good start diet wise. I adjusted my calories to a comfortable level that would produce results. I’m addicted to keeping a close eye on the bathroom scale so I weighed daily. I told myself that regardless of what the number on that scale said each day, I wouldn’t fret or get discouraged if I showed a one-pound weight loss at the end of the week. I plugged along slowly and by the end of the month I’d lost five pounds. One more than I was striving for. Woo-Hoo!

Regardless of my determination and the planning I’d made before hand, I ran into temptations throughout the month. I allowed myself some treats and promised to not feel guilty. I was sure to include the calories as part of my daily number. I learned not to eat anything that I couldn’t realistically figure the calorie count on. I wanted to stay within the limit I’d set for myself.

During week three, the bad disc in my lower back began to cause me a lot of pain. I took one day off from exercising to heal, then two, then three. I felt defeated for a few days, but hung onto my determination anyhow. I was not going to let a couple days set me back the entire month.

As the end of the month rolled around, I reached my goal of one pound a week for the first month of my journey. So on to the second month. February looms over me like a dark cloud. A dark chocolate cloud in the shape of a heart with the words, “Be My Valentine” etched across the top. How does that song by Gloria Gaynor go? You know the one…….” I will survive, hey hey!”

Healthy Weight Loss In The New Year

•February 1, 2010 • 1 Comment

Sugars And Artificial Sweeteners

I’m of the opinion that artificial sweeteners are bad for our bodies. I have this view because five years ago I discovered that they were causing my heart palpitations. I stopped consuming them immediately and haven’t had palpitations since.

I was angry when I first discovered this. I wondered how many other people experienced the same thing and felt that same stab of fear for their health that I did? I wondered why this information wasn’t printed on the packages of these products.

The culprits for me were Aspartame and Sucralose. I depended on them to help me live with my sweet tooth and keep calories down. So many low calorie sweet snacks and drinks contain them. They add an element of gladness to a dieter who’s trying to cut down on calories.

Can you believe these lists of possible side effects?

http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sucralose-side-effects.html

I’m of the opinion that science and marketers will tell us what they think we want to hear about food products just to make a buck. In advertising marketers conveniently leave out the possible toxic effects an item may have on our bodies. Everything seems strictly driven by money. I think advertisements for artificial sweeteners should contain dialogue about some of their side effects, the same as the ads for prescription medication.

I think it’s time to get back to what’s more natural. Honey for example has only 20 calories a teaspoon and sugar has 15. Surely these few calories won’t break our calorie banks for the day.

Sugar has gotten a bum rap over the years. All you ever hear is about how bad sugar is for you and how we should be working to eradicate it from our diets. Why? In moderation, sugar is not bad for our health. Now I’m not talking about dextrose or high fructose corn syrup. I’m talking about pure cane sugar. The stuff we put in our coffee or sprinkle on our cereal each day. That sweet goodness we stir into our iced tea on a hot summer day. That’s the stuff I’m talking about.

We’ve all heard the arguments against sugar, how it raises insulin levels and taxes our bodies. This is substantial enough information to realize that we must consume sugar in moderation. In my opinion it’s much healthier putting a teaspoon of sugar in your cup of coffee than putting a packet of artificial sweetener in it, and I’m quite sure it’s not going to cause me to gain weight.

Ok, ok, I know you’re going to argue the insulin thing with me and remind me that diabetics need a sweet treat from time to time too. I know. That’s why I’d like to tell you about, or remind you of, sweeteners such as Xylitol and Agave nectar. Both are sweet and comparable to sugar in flavor. Both come from natural sources. Both are low glycemic sweeteners. Neither has a bitter aftertaste. Although they are a bit more pricey then sugar, they are worth the extra money if blood sugar levels are a concern for you.

In our struggles with weight loss, adding artificial substances to our diets can’t be good. Let’s all try to eradicate the artificial sweeteners from your diet.