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Part 2:The right tools: Foods that helped me lose weight.. and keep it off!.

January 8, 2012
This is part 2 of a 3 part series about starting the new year off right!.  It might be helpful to go back and check out the first part of this series “Starting off the new year motivated!”.
With this post  I wanted to give you a head-start with some the foods I used to lose 120 lbs…… And use now ,  to stay healthy, in shape and keep that weight off!.
You might like to take a look at my previous posts as well that could help you along with this series , help you gain even more motivation and  idea’s on how to live a healthier lifestyle.  Deciding to live the best and the healthiest  ife you can is the best gift you can give to yourself….
And those who love you.  🙂
(I did not put down the cost of each product because I found that it varies from store to store and region to region.)
As always:  Please check with your Doctor before starting ANY kind of diet or exercise program. 🙂

The right tools can make ALL the difference!

 A confident head-start
You know how it goes… You start a diet and the first thing that usually happens is you end up having to give up your favorite foods.  
  Starting that diet you then realize you have to go FIND new ones to replace your old, and maybe not so healthy favorites.   That can take a lot time and can also cost a lot of money, to be honest.  I mean it can cost enough today, to eat healthy foods that aren’t fattening, too high in sugar, sodium or calories and taste good. 

Regular exercise and eating healthy always pays off!

 I wanted to hand you a list of foods that were researched and ones…. I stand by because I use them everyday.  Foods I KNOW from experience work and are terrific !  Ones that aren’t too high in cost either.  I budget too so I understand that concern.   
I was really excited to do this  part 2 of the series because I’ve been there so many times starting a new diet and giving up so many favorite foods and feeling like I will be doomed to eating stuff that tastes blah, boring, or just plain BAD.
Like  ice cream that taste like cardboard for one.  
This time around though I learned something amazing!.  To just about every favorite food you have to give up, there is a delicious healthy food out there to take it’s place that you will like just as much.  Yes !   Just as much! …
I wouldn’t have thought it either.  I’ve had done this too many times …But now, with people choosing to be healthier and demanding better choices,  we have a wider more varied selection of foods out there now and the choices are getting better and better all the time!.
 I want YOU to experience the feeling of confidence and pride in yourself for starting a new way of life that will take you to places you never thought you could go and feel things you thought were only for others and not for you. 
I thought that way.     I did.      I don’t anymore.      I ……….was wrong.

If YOU believe in yourself, you can accomplish things you never thought possible!.

My list of some favorite healthy replacements! (drum roll)


Totally awesome and so good for you !



Vita tops…..Okay, each one of these suggestions is apersonal favorite”,  but these are  really “tops” with me !! (yes..unfortunately – pun intended).  

The chocolate ones are ALWAYS sold out and you will find me climbing to reach the last box..from time to time. (another advantage of losing a lot of weight, I can do that now.  🙂   And for these you will want to make that climb!.

Not overly exspensive for a diet food,  usually most foods that are catagorized as healthy, Organic or slightly good for you can cost more.  These come four in a box….Most choices come in the form of a muffin top.  Or you can get the regular muffin, smaller and I believe only in chocolate.  Good in size, the tops, or the muffins are great. They come in different flavors.  A few are Corn, apple crumb, chocolate and banana.  If you look on the back of the box you’ll see a list of other  flavor choices or you can go on the webiste  or even call the number given on the back of the box 1 – 877 -VITA -877  to get information on their products.  You make the choice.

A healthier choice !

94% fat free microwave Popcorn…..Gotta love this product guys!  The stats are SO different than the rest in calories and fat calories it’s really odd but this is one I enjoy and it makes it so much easier to have a  salty snack low in calories and fat and  “crunchy” to satisfy that side of your brain.. Very, very good!

Did you know that one medium popcorn with butter at your local movie theater is 71- 97 grams of fat and 910 – 1220 calories!  Choose this and you can eat the whole bag for not many calories… About 100 !!

Stats….   1 cup popped calories 30   fat. cal. 5    total fat  3 g   Sat. fat 0.5 g   Chol.  0 g  sodium 160 mg.   sugar 0 g    Carbs 24 g    protien 4 g

Sometimes I eat the entire bag!  ..Because I can!  Low calories !    This is a great snack .  The flavor  is so fantastic too. I have even used different condiments on it to switch it up!.

great snack!

Snyders Organic Pretzels….. These are great tasting and they have more then a few flavors but I like to get the Organic ones. One of the places I choose Organic.  It makes me feel good too!.   The Organic choice comes in a couple flavors and I like the Whole Wheat and Oat. I like them with Apple butter, Peanut Butter, almond butter, hummis and of course plain.

Stats…For one ounce (about nine pretzels)…

110 calories for one serving   fat cal.  10  Total fat..1.5 g   Sat. fat  0 g   Chol. 0 g   sodium 100g Carbs.  21 g   Sugars 3 g


Great energy boost!

 Nutrition bar.. Dark Zone Bars… Zone bars come in different flavors.   It helps me out during workouts if I’m really doing a long workout or didn’t get to eat  ince breakfast.  These bars a super !   I have literally been working out and felt them kick in and felt stronger and got a boost of energy and strength from it!.  This to me is the Snicker’s bar of healthy nutrition bars !. No kidding,  it’s Awesome!.

(Stats on this one are for the Zone perfect Dark Chocolate Strawberry)

Stats….. Calories  180   calories from fat 45   total fat  5 g    Sat. fat 4 g    Chol.  5mg  Sodium 170 mg  carbs. 22  Sugars  14 g   Protien  12

Healthy snack foods are important. Always read the nutritional information

Healthy snacks are important. always read the nutritional information

Quaker Butter Popcorn Cakes …… I know, “bleck”.. but wait !, Rice cakes? NO ! these are popcorn cakes… Big, huge,  taste difference !.  They come in really handy for me and I love them.   I do eat regular unsalted ones and they are pretty good .  This brand is the best I think .  I like using them in different ways, One way I use is Peanut butter on them with a slice of banana (fav) I have had them with chicken and tuna fish as well. For me they can take the place of bread.   For me though bread is not a huge deal.   These will come in handy for something in that line and a replacement for crackers which as we all know are loaded , most regular ones,  with fat.

Stats…..Calories  35 each   total fat 0   sodium 45 mg   Carbs. 8 g   protien 1 g.

All in all these are pretty cool for snacking, dinner and just eating alone on their own!

I had the the regular burger, but you can also choose Quorn cheese burgers!.






quorn  soy – free meatless burgers………It’s a meatless and soy – free Burger.  It doesn’t taste like regular hamburger but has a almost a smoky taste that reminds me of sausage.  On that note,  it would be a great breakfast companion for eggs!  You will most likely find it in the healthy foods/Organic frozen food section of your local supermarket as I did.   I had mine on a english muffin, Organic baby spniach, organic kechup and organic tomatoes.  YUM !. Very healthy and …Very good !.  

The first two ingredients listed are partially rehydrated egg whites and textered wheat protien.  To give you a little idea of the texture and understand ….it is not a meat burger.  Their website is  So that you can look more into the foods they offer and their ingredients. Each burger is 4 oz. and you get 4 in a box.  “quorn”  is the brand name and you can choose fom other products from them as well.  I just took a chance on this. I will be buying it the next time I am in my Local supermarket for sure!

It’s a really good idea to “mix it up” when it comes to your diet as a well as your fitness plan,  so try something different once in a while!.  Something I have learned and am implementing in my routine on a more regular basis now.    It feels good !.

Calories    90  per serving      Total fat calories  30    Saturated  Fat   5%    Total fat 3 gr.   Cholesterol 7 g    Sodium  290   Dietary fiber  3 g   Sugars 1  g    Protien 11 g 




The bottom line

I know it’s not easy.  To walk away from that comfort food.   I know.   It took my whole life to find that strength.  But I promise you right here and right now.  I never would have  if I had stopped trying.  You can do it.    When that spark, that desire finds you, you will find something more than you thought you ever would.    I want YOU to experience the feeling of confidence and pride in yourself for starting a new way of life that will take you to places you never thought you could go and feel things you thought were only for others and not for you. 

I thought that way.     I did.      I don’t anymore.      I ……….was wrong.

I hope that I have given you some tools to help you go into your new diet plan with a head-start and healthy alternatives that can replace the old standards that get us no where but that same old place   Feeling we could have more…..We can.     You can!.



One more thought…

"Should I try again?".

 “Good ol’ Chuck”

He always doubted Lucy.  Because she always gave him reason too. Everytime he tried she would pull that football away at the last second.  Funny thing about Charlie though.  He never gave up trying to kick that ball.  He thought, “Maybe this time I can do it.”  

He did too you know.  In the episode called “Magic” he finally did it!.    Magic.  Not magic, he  just never gave up trying to achieve that goal.

Don’t you either.  🙂

This coming week I hope to be posting earlier in the week than usual.  The 3rd part in this series will be my goals for the future and a few other things. 

 At a readers comment, and a great idea, I will be posting my fitness plan for the next few months as well.  I “talk the talk” enough,  so I want you to see I also “walk the walk”! lol 


Thank you for coming to the blog!. 

Follow me on Twitter by clicking “follow me” on top of the blog.   🙂

Follow me on Facebook ! 

Please visit my friends blog  I know I mention it at the end of every blog.  Because I know what you will find when you get there.   Motivational, inspirational and friendly dialouge. …  Try it.    🙂

I have a few new blogs I will be telling you about in the future as well. This blog has brought so many amazing people into my life I would like to share their amazing voices with you.


 Sharing idea’s is one way we can help each other and that’s what it’s all about here at  “A Work In Progress” ! . So, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about my choices and if you have other good idea’s!  And if you already use any of my choices!    🙂

Thank You again.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2012 10:52 PM

    I was really excited about this post Colleen because I was curious to learn what you were eating. So now that I know, here goes.

    So are the Vita tops for breakfast or just a snack? I don’t normally snack. I also don’t keep any sweets in the house because if they are there, I’ll eat them and the majority of the time way more than one serving. I don’t know, I’ll go through that craving stage and when I’m there look out. So I just don’t keep anything in the house I shouldn’t eat. I’m not someone who will get in the car to go get something. I hit the grocery store maybe once a month and I’m not going back just because I’m having a moment.

    I can’t stand that fat free popcorn, I’m sorry. I rarely go to the movies but from time to time I will buy the theater buttered popcorn for when I’m watching a movie and want something different. I don’t crave salt or anything like that so I don’t go nuts on the popcorn. But I do like it buttered.

    I don’t care for pretzels I’m afraid, way too dry for me.

    Now the Zone bars I’ve had before and they weren’t too bad but then again, I don’t really snack and after my walk every evening, dinner is only about an hour later so I won’t snack then.

    The only way I like to eat the popcorn cakes is with peanut butter on them. I do love my peanut butter which is the kind of sandwich I have everyday. But I eat it on wheat bread with no chips.

    I’ve never tried the soy burgers and I’ve heard mixed things about them. I’m not against giving them a try for something different. That would be a change.

    Thanks for sharing these little tips with us. Can’t wait to learn even more.

    I’ll be chatting with Dan tomorrow night so I’ll see how he’s doing then. I wish you both the best of luck with this.

    • January 11, 2012 8:27 AM

      Hey Adrienne!,

      The Vita-Tops are so amazing!. I have them usually at night with sliced strawberries and no fat whip cream. I laugh sometimes when I look at the It looks like 1000 calories.. But 2 Vita -Tops wih 1 cup of sliced strawberries and the whip cream adds up too 275 calories!. They taste amazing.
      I used to bake. and I mean BAKE. I made a chocolate mayonaise cake that you would die for and to me the chocolate Vita – Tops taste better to me. No kidding!. They go in the toaster oven, warm them and then they are ready and honestly great. Breakfast? you can eat them anytime. The corn ones are great for breakfast!.
      The popcorn.. Yea you are right it can be a dry snack. But it’s filling and tastes good. This brand does. I don’t eat many pre packaged foods. When I looked at my list I saw most were snack food type suggestions. But I thought that was a good thing being that I think it’s the snack foods that mess a lot of people up on a diet. That is the thing people seem to miss the most. The foods that are deemed “unhealthy” chips, cookies, etc…
      So I thought this would be handy. Give people a list of what they will miss the most and want back in their diets the most.
      Pretzels, yea I know dry but I don’t eat them that way. I use hummus or Peanut butter with them.
      The zone bars . Adrienne I love those things.. lol Those are dangerous for They have a couple new flavors like the strawberry chocolate that are so good!..
      Popcorn cakes.. Now, speaking of peanut butter..That is my weakness! I love it so much. that’s what I put on the rice cakes and slices of banana ! oh yea baby! Half way through losing the weight, I started craving Peanut butter like crazy!. My trainer friend who also lost 120 lbs. said she did as well. Weird huh. So Peanut butter on those rice cakes is great. I have 3 great peanut butters I have researched and I use . They are on my new list of healthy foods I’m making for the blog!. There are so many .. If you want to know now I can email you the stats and names. They are the best ones I have found so far out there for taste and nutrition.
      I had the soy burgers for dinner tonight on a english muffin, baby organic spinach, organic grape tomatoes, organic cheese, organic ketchup and low fat mayo. That was 370 calories..and was filling.. I love that meal it makes me feel so
      I honestly think you have things pretty in control! I think you do a great job taking care of yourself.
      Dan. He makes me laugh. I have to wonder how INTO this P90X thing he is..I have to ask if he is going to post his progress like he said.. I wanted to do that as well..
      I got mine today!. I was so excited, I opened the box and took a look. Well, it is going to take a few days of watching, reading and making a schedule before I start..
      So the new start off day I’m shooting for is this Monday !. I think it’s better than jumping in . My brother Mike said “Coll, if you don’t read it, watch the videos and know what you are doing you will do it wrong. What’s the point then” He is right. I was just so wanting to start NOW! I am looking at their nutriton plan as well. I want to start it feeling I have a plan and schedule.
      Now THAT sounds like our friend systematic and careful… and very planned lol He’s a good guy.. I like teasing When you talk to him tell him Colleen is keeping her eye on him. lol poor
      Thanks Adrienne! the next post is the best two tips I came up with on my own ..not packaged foods..The most helpful food idea’s, simple, but KEY!– Also, MY goals for the new year..yikes !
      Thanks for coming and supporting the blog! Have a great week my friend ! 🙂

  2. January 11, 2012 5:06 PM

    Wow…you lost 120 POUNDS!?!?! That is absolutely incredible! Congratulations – even more so for eating healthy and sticking to it.

    I’m a vegetarian, and I do try my best to eat healthy (but Oreos and chocolate in all forms are a serious weakness). I also do a regular, daily Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga practice, so that keeps me fit, keeps me focussed and influences my food choices as well.

    I should go back and read other posts of yours – I’m wondering if you have a regular exercise routine; I’m guessing you do. Thank you so much for sharing these recommendations; the burgers especially look great – I’m going to see if they have them in Canada (where i live :-)).

    • January 13, 2012 2:42 AM

      Hi Ruth !

      I’m honored you read the blog.. Awesome. Oh Thank you so much Ruth. I lost the weight 2 years ago. I think I got used to hearing that kind of response.. It became SO NICE !. So hearing it again now… Such a good feeling, thank you !.
      The funny thing about losing that much, I have had people asking me “What kind of surgery did you get?” LOL.. I didn’t realize that it was unusual to lose that much just exercising and eating right. LOL After all I am not the only one. I have friends I met at my gym that also lost that much or close. So I don’t feel that amazing.. But gosh Thanks ! 🙂

      Chocolate ! Oh Ruth have I got a chocolate mayonaise cake for you! I used to have it every night with chocolate covered strawberries AND chocolate covered macadamia nuts..all handmade by Moi! I know.. But it was my treat and I didn’t get it..
      Life was waiting for me!.
      Do you really like yoga? how tough is it? I am very interested in learning more. I know some about it, more about Pilates but I have started wondering if I’m missing something.
      I do have a regular routine but for a while now, I have been bored…Can’t have that in a fitness plan !!
      I was at the gym today..Since the holidays (Thanksgiving to now) it has been difficult to get to the gym everyday As I was. It’s been freaking me out! LOL
      I have not posted my workout ..You have given me a great idea though!. This last installment of posts for this series I will add my workout to it. You should know!. Readers deserve to know I’m not sitting at home eating bon bons LOL I really do workout!.
      I am a faithful reader of Dan Gheesling’s Blog as well as yours and Adrienne Smith and a couple others.. I have been learning so much from you all.
      I decided to take on his challenge of P90X! I just recieved it in the mail on Tuesday. I am going to begin this Monday. 1/16 I want to test it out, read the book some, I want to do it right! Then figure out a schedule for that AND working out at my gym!.
      A vegetarian! Cool. I eat natural or organic chicken, but read meat I only have once in a great while. I just don’t care about it. I was eating vegtarian all last year actually!. Never felt better!.
      The Quorn burgers, they are sold in 9 different countries but of course, Canada is not a Country they are sold in at the moment. But you never know.. When researching this product I read people and mostly vegetarians, in Canada are upset about that!. You might just see them soon! 🙂
      Gee thank you for coming! I look forward to seeing you here again 🙂 Have a great day ! 🙂

  3. Brittany @ZonePerfect permalink
    January 12, 2012 7:12 PM

    Happy to hear you’re a ZonePerfect fan! Sign up for our VIP Program ( for coupons, news and more!

    • January 13, 2012 2:47 AM

      Thank you Brittany I appreciate that! Hey those bars are better than any candy bar! and healthy ! Can’t beat that !

  4. January 14, 2012 1:28 AM

    Uh-oh the SHIT is about to HIT THE FAN! 🙂 I committed a sacrilege! I left a negative comment on our powerful “Gheesling Gang” leaders blog! Oh God, the World’s gonna come to an end!!! 🙂 🙂 Forget the fact that the comment was truthful and justified. It’s just the fact the NO ONE has ever done it before! Oh my God! What will become of us? The “Gheesling Gang” is in peril. Ha, ha, ha. Oh Colleen, I just hope you never give up blogging. You write such good-natured, good-hearted positive wholesome stuff. You never will give me the chance to find error. You’re too sweet. But, as for our Danny, trying to get so much done BEFORE 9:19 AM like if he’s running for a touchdown…..well….sometimes “faster is not always better”… I’ve so gently pointed out 😉

    • January 18, 2012 11:06 PM

      I did read your comment to Dan. I have to say I did wince a few times..I feel everyone has a opinion and should be able to voice it. So I know Dan will let you and I have no doubt answer you in the way I think he will. Thank you for it, and respect your opinion because he is a very respectful, Man. That’s one reason I, respect him so.
      I thought he had a good idea really. I saw it as it was meant. “Off the cuff” in a way, and a good thought he wanted to share that might benefit another person.
      I do have to say “mediocre”.. Ouch! But that was your opinion and your right to voice it. 🙂 But I have to, as a “Gheesling gang” member, take a stand.. “mediocre”.. never. 🙂
      Thank you for you kind and smart comments about me hahaha…
      Seriously, thank you, I needed today, to hear that 😉 your kind words and support mean a lot. Have a great rest of the week!


  1. Some Favorite Health And Fitness Accounts. | A Work In Progress

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