Last week’s finale of The Biggest Loser was amazing. Seeing how the contestants had continued their weight loss and life changing journeys on their own at home was quite inspiring. Michael ended up winning the title of The Biggest Loser by losing 264 pounds – more than half his weight (526 starting weight)! Just amazing.

After the confetti fell and the show was over, I wondered how many people decided to lose weight; who all tuned into the show for the first time, saw where these folks started, and where they ended up. The Pound for Pound Challenge is still out there. People can still join and pledge to lose weight through June 30th – so it isn’t too late.  Right now, just over six million pounds have been pledged, and thanks to a last minute donation from Kroger, the Pound for Pound Challenge can deliver up 7.7M pounds of food!

Unfortunately, Oklahoma has slipped down from 24th place to 27th – so let’s go Oklahoma!  Make a pledge to yourself today to get healthy and lose weight. Just go to Pound for Pound Challenge and click on Pledge – then you can enter some basic information and the weight you pledge to lose will be credited to your community’s food bank. For every pound you pledge to lose, your food bank will receive 14 cents!

Pound for Pound Challenge Staff Updates:
Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge are now at 140 pounds lost! Great job everyone!

Oklahoma has fallen down to 27th place, pledging to lose 78,725 pounds! Again Oklahoma – it isn’t too late to pledge!!!

White Bean Hummus Pitas


Check out this healthy recipe from eatbetteramerica.com!

Fiber Up With Beans
Cannellini beans are loaded with fiber—the soluble kind that helps to lower blood cholesterol. Start slowly so you have time to get used to more fiber.

Prep Time: 20 min
Start to Finish: 20 min
Makes: 4 servings

Hummus
1 can (15 or 19 oz) Progresso® cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Sandwiches
4 whole wheat pita (pocket) breads (6 inch), cut in half to form pockets
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
4 very thin slices red onion, cut in half
8 thin slices tomato, cut in half

1. In food processor bowl, place all hummus ingredients except basil; process 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Add basil; pulse to mix.
2. To assemble sandwiches, spoon about 2 tablespoons hummus into each pita bread half. Place spinach leaves, onion and tomato slices in each.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 330 (Calories from Fat 45); Total Fat 5g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 460mg; Total Carbohydrate 56g (Dietary Fiber 10g, Sugars 6g); Protein 15g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 30%; Vitamin C 15%; Calcium 10%; Iron 30%
Exchanges: 3 1/2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat
Carbohydrate Choices: 4
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


15

Apr

Pound For Pound Challenge Update – Springtime!


Spring is definitely here. If you are not motivated to workout inside on the treadmill, elliptical trainer – or even lift weights – it is time to get outside! No excuses folks! Getting out in the sun can actually help you in many ways!

Some people limit the amount of time they are outside since we are all more aware  that over exposure to the sun will cause damage to our skin and cause skin cancer, BUT studies are now suggesting that regular exposure to the sun’s rays actually improves health. Just 15 to 20 minutes of sunshine twice a week can make a difference. Just make sure to wear SPF 30 or higher, and apply often!

So, you ask, ”what does sunshine do?“ Well, sunshine stimulates the production of serotonin, which promotes a good mental attitude. It also stimulates the pineal gland, which produces melatonin. Melatonin is one of the chemicals that operates our internal clocks and helps with sleep. Ninety percent of our Vitamin D comes from exposure to the sun. We can get Vitamin D from food, but not enough for optimal health which is why supplementing our Vitamin D intake is necessary. What does Vitamin D do for our bodies?

  • Most recent studies suggest that since Vitamin D helps to lower blood cholesterol levels it is a factor in fighting heart disease.
  • Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and teeth as it aids in the absorption of calcium.
  • Sufficient vitamin D also regulates the immune system.
  • Vitamin D may even help slow down the aging process. A study showed that the biological markers, called telomeres, were longer (a sign of being biologically younger and healthier) in participants with higher levels of vitamin D. *Kareen Rose, Health Benefits of Sunshine

So, let’s burn some calories folks: mow the yard, dig in those flower beds or vegetable gardens, wash the windows, take your dog (or kid) for a walk, shoot some hoops – just find something that gets you moving outside and get that extra energy boost your weight loss plan needs. And make sure to slap on some sunscreen!

Join us today to make the change – consider joining The Biggest Loser’s Pound for Pound Challenge. For every pound of weight you pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14 cents to your local Food Bank! (That’s us!)

Pound for Pound Challenge Staff Updates:
Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge are now at 98 pounds lost! Great job everyone!

Oklahoma is still in 24th place, pledging to lose 69,355 pounds!

Black Bean-Bagel Sandwiches

Black Bean-Bagel Sandwiches

Check out this healthy recipe from eatbetteramerica.com!

Fiber Up with Beans:
Black beans are loaded with fiber–the soluble kind that helps to lower blood cholesterol. Start slowly so you have time to get used to more fiber!

Vegetarian BLT – Fiber-rich bean, lettuce and tomato–on a bagel!

Prep Time: 10 min
Start to Finish: 10 min
Makes: 4 sandwiches

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
1/3 cup chunky-style salsa
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin or chili powder
4 bagels, cut horizontally in half
2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, sliced
Lettuce leaves

1. In food processor or blender, process beans, salsa and cumin until smooth.
2. Spread 1/4 cup bean mixture over each of 4 bagel halves. Top with tomato, lettuce and remaining bagel halves.

Nutritional Information
1 Sandwich: Calories 300 (Calories from Fat 15); Total Fat 1 1/2g (Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 400mg; Total Carbohydrate 57g (Dietary Fiber 8g, Sugars 7g); Protein 15g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 8%; Vitamin C 15%; Calcium 10%; Iron 25%
Exchanges: 3 1/2 Starch; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Very Lean Meat
Carbohydrate Choices: 4

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


“For all the debate lately, one basic fact about America’s health care crisis is rarely mentioned. Namely, the one thing that could really reform health care is you, collectively speaking: People living healthier lives.” – Steve Lohr, New York Times

Eating healthy and being active isn’t just about making it into a smaller jean or dress size. It is about being the best “you” you can be. It means less obesity, less diabetes, less cardiovascular disease… just to name a few. Oklahoma has the sixth highest rate of adult obesity in the nation at 29.5 percent and the 33rd highest of overweight youths (ages 10-17) also at 29.5 percent according to a 2009 report by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Here’s something important to know: this is the first generation of children who aren’t expected to live as long as their parents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years and despite programs like The Biggest Loser, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Shaq’s Family Challenge and even Celebrity Boot Camp – it continues to grow. This increase in obesity has both immediate and long-term health effects for our kids and our country. For example:

  • Obese kids are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
  • Obese kids are at a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
  • Obese kids are more likely to become overweight or obese adults, and therefore are more at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, and several types of cancer.
  • Obesity can cut off 10, 12, and 15 years or more of one’s life.

There are some rather simple ways we can each make a big difference in not only our own, but our kids’ lives. If you want to make a positive change in the health of your children and to an extent, the health of our state and country, here are some simple things you can do:
Shop for your family at your local farmer’s market.

  • If you don’t have a local farmer’s market, buy local foods at your grocery store.
  • Buy organic as much as possible.
  • Take your kids with you to shop for foods and teach them where the foods come from.
  • Volunteer with the Food Bank’s Urban Harvest program or one of our partner community gardens – this helps the kids understand that fruits and vegetables don’t come from a can.
  • If you have outdoor space, start a vegetable garden with your kids.
  • If you already have a garden, involve your kids in it.
  • If you have limited outdoor space, consider planting herbs, small lettuces and cherry tomatoes in window boxes or small containers

Just food for thought. It is never too late to change, so if you haven’t already, please consider joining the Pound for Pound Challenge – sign up today. For every pound of weight you pledge to lose, NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Feeding America, 24 Hour Fitness, Subway and General Mills will donate 14 cents to your local food bank.  Sign up now!

Updates:
Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge are holding steady at 91 pounds lost! Woo Hoo!!!

Oklahoma is still in 24th place, pledging to lose 68,134 pounds!

- By Melanie Anthony, Grants Manager

Peanut Butter and Banana Wraps

Peanut Butter and Banana Wraps

From eatbetteramerica.com

Peanut Butter Passion
Peanut butter contains magnesium which helps send signals to the muscles via the nervous system. Muscles help bones move so you can do many things.

Prep Time: 10 min
Start to Finish: 10 min
Makes: 4 servings

1/2 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter spread
4 whole wheat or regular flour tortillas (8 to 10 inch)
1/4 cup honey
2 small bananas, sliced
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, if desired

1. Spread 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter evenly over each tortilla. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the honey over each tortilla. Top with banana slices and chocolate chips.
2. Roll up tortillas. Secure with toothpicks.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 410 (Calories from Fat 120); Total Fat 14g (Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 370mg; Total Carbohydrate 58g (Dietary Fiber 6g, Sugars 29g); Protein 13g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 8%; Calcium 2%; Iron 10%
Exchanges: 2 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat
Carbohydrate Choices: 4
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


25

Feb

Pound For Pound Challenge Update – Exercise


Overall, the Pound for Pound Challenge – Team RFBOK is doing an amazing job. We are sharing tips, making healthy meals, bringing our lunch or “eating fresh” at Subway. All are great steps, but as we reduce portion size and cut back on calories, fat, sugars, processed foods, etc – we really cannot forget the other important component of healthy weight loss and a healthy lifestyle – and that is exercise.

I feel that this blog topic should really be called “Boot Camp Babes.” There are three folks on our Pound for Pound Challenge team that are participating in boot camps – non-military! They are throwing everything they have into some incredibly intense workouts. Debbie T. is one of these brave ladies. When I talked to her this morning, she was talking about how great she felt. She said she had so much more energy, felt great and was ready for Monday. I could literally see the spring in her step.

Another one of our team member’s son has put together a workout regimen for her and there are several folks who are walking the volunteer center a couple of times a week over their lunch breaks. Yep – we have some guys that I know are working out too – but alas, guys don’t share as much as girls (on the norm).

While the newscasters are sharing some not-so-promising news on the weather the next several days, we can all still get a little extra movement in our day. So make that a goal for yourself this week. Find a way to add more exercise or just movement in your daily activities.

Consider joining us and sign up for the Pound for Pound Challenge today. For every pound of weight you pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14 cents to your local food bank.

Updates:
Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge have lost a combined total of 81 pounds.

Oklahoma is still in 24th place, with Okies pledging to lose 57,266 pounds! That is 1,000 more pounds that this time last week!

- By Melanie Anthony, Grants Manager

Turkey Ratatouille

Turkey Ratatouille - Pound For Pound Challenge

From eatbetteramerica.com

Prep Time: 15 min
Start to Finish: 30 min
Makes: 4 servings

3/4 pound turkey breast tenderloin, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 cups frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions, (from 1-pound bag)
1 small eggplant, cubed (2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, cubed (1 cup)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Sprinkle turkey with pepper.
2. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook turkey in oil 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown.
3. Stir in stir-fry vegetables. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in eggplant and zucchini. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
4. Stir in tomatoes; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is desired consistency. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Or, go vegetarian! Skip the turkey, pepper and oil and steps 1 and 2. Add 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) garbanzo beans with the tomatoes in step 4. It’s that easy!

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 225 (Calories from Fat 65 ); Total Fat 7 g (Saturated Fat 2 g); Cholesterol 60 mg; Sodium 440 mg; Total Carbohydrate 21 g (Dietary Fiber 5 g); Protein 25 g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 18 %; Vitamin C 56 %; Calcium 14 %; Iron 12 %
Exchanges: 4 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Lean Meat
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


16

Feb

Pound For Pound Challenge Update – Plateaus


We hear the phrases, “I hit a wall” or “I’m at a plateau”. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a plateau as: a level of attainment or achievement.

Interesting. Most of us use the phrase as a negative remark – one that oozes frustration.  But maybe we should be looking at it in a different way.

I’ve used it in the negative context the last few weeks, as my weight has not changed during our weekly Pound for Pound Challenge weigh-ins. As a woman who has 80 pounds to lose and only losing 11 pounds to date – not going anywhere on the scales is extremely frustrating.

But the fact is – I have lost 11 pounds.  I haven’t gained any of it back. I haven’t quit. I haven’t given up. I need to remember that I don’t live in the Biggest Loser household. Bob and Jillian aren’t my personal trainers. I don’t have unlimited income when it comes to groceries and gym memberships. I am a working mother of two great boys who love burgers, pasta and pizza – and especially breakfast for dinner. So I need to change things up both mentally and physically. If I can choose healthier ways to prepare the meals they love, it helps all of us. If I buy and cook in bulk, then freeze meals in proper portions, I can stay within my weekly grocery budget. I need to find different – yet healthy ways – to boost my metabolism. I need to move more, sit less.

If you are finding yourself at the same weight week in and week out – which plateau is it? The one that adds negative energy and stress, or the one that empowers you to move forward?

The journey of long-term weight loss and healthy living is not a sprint – it is a marathon. It is about finding the right pace – the right pace for you.

Consider joining us and sign up for the Pound for Pound Challenge today. For every pound you pledge to lose, The Biggest Loser’s Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14 cents to food bank in your zip code.

Updates:

Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge have lost a combined total of 65 pounds.

While Oklahoma is still in 24th place – Oklahomans have now pledged to lose 55,602 pounds!  That is 2,500 more pounds than this time last week!

- By Melanie Anthony, Grants Manager


Vegetable Poached Eggs

image001

From eatbetteramerica.com

Egg-specially Good!
Eggs supply chromium, a mineral we need in small amounts. Preliminary research suggests that people with diabetes may need a bit more chromium than others do.

Getting your “daily 5″ of veggies couldn’t be easier than in this hearty skillet egg dish loaded with the good stuff. Rating:  4 ½ stars (out of 5)

Prep Time: 20 min
Start to Finish: 20 min
Makes: 4 servings
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped spinach (about 3 oz)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (about 3 oz)
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne (matchstick) strips (about 1/2 cup)
1 small zucchini, cut into julienne (matchstick) strips (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup fat-free tomato pasta sauce (any variety)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs
1/4 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese (1 oz)
1. Spray 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli, spinach, onion, mushrooms, carrot and zucchini; cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
2. Stir in pasta sauce and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly heated.
3. Make four 3-inch holes in vegetable mixture, using large spoon. Crack 1 egg into each hole. Cover; cook about 5 minutes or until egg whites and yolks are firm, not runny. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

1 Serving: Calories 160 (Calories from Fat 50); Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 215mg; Sodium 350mg; Total Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 8g); Protein 12g

Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 100%; Vitamin C 35%; Calcium 15%; Iron 10%

Exchanges: 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 2 Vegetable; 1 Medium-Fat Meat Carbohydrate Choices: 1

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


Danny Cahill, Season 8 winner of The Biggest Loser, lost a jaw-dropping 239 pounds to become the “Biggest Loser Ever” just a few months ago.

Yesterday, Danny made a few media stops to talk about the Pound For Pound Challenge and hunger in Oklahoma. He plans to sign up for the Challenge to shed the seven pounds he gained over the holidays, and he’s feeling confident he can do it with the Boston Marathon training already underway. We managed to capture some video of the radio spots at KMGL and KOMA – so check them out, if you missed them.

After his media interviews, he stopped by the Regional Food Bank for a photoshoot with our Celebrity Council photographer, Samantha Lamb. For his Food Bank photoshoot, we weighed out 239 pounds of canned goods to show just how much weight Danny was able to lose. Imagine the impact that could have with the Pound for Pound Challenge! (Check out this video – photos to come!) He also met with staff who have signed up for the Challenge. Quite the standup guy!

IMG_4241

If you haven’t already, we all encourage you to sign up to get healthy and help Oklahomans in need! Sign up at http://pfpchallenge.com. For every pound pledged, General Mills and other corporate sponsors will donate 14 cents to Feeding America – enough to provide one pound of groceries to a local food bank. Feeding America will distribute the funds to local food banks based on the ZIP codes of consumers who participate in the Pound For Pound Challenge.

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie


07

Jan

Start the New Year right!


It’s the start of a brand new year, which means it’s time to kick any unhealthy habits we’ve developed and get back in shape. And lucky for you, there is a way for you to get healthy while helping Oklahomans in need!

In partnership with Feeding America, the NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”  is hosting 2nd Pound for Pound Challenge this year. General Mills will donate 14 cents per pound pledged on the Pound for Pound website

Our goal is to make Oklahoma the #1 pledging state in the nation! We need your help to pledge to take the Pound for Pound Challenge, and to let your friends and family know!

Check out this video from last season’s the Biggest Loser, which features a family who receives help from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food 4 Kids program.

Together we can change our lifestyles and help those that need it most.  Sign up for the Pound for Pound Challenge now!

For inspiration from our Challenge Champions, Danny Cahill (Biggest Loser Season 8 winner), Neill & Amanda Harmer (Biggest Loser Season 5 contestants) and (OKC) Mayor Mick Cornett, visit our Pound for Pound page!

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie