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God is good. He has been my best friend through the storms of my life. In a world that is really hard, He is light and life and joy. He is always good and always faithful. He is the core of my being.He is my Heartsong. Contact me if you are searching for more information on Him. There are religious fanatics. I am not one. But I know Who has been my help in EVERY area of life. I am happy to help you on your search for what is real. I am trying a new lifestyle. It's working, I have lost over 20 pounds in the past 5 months. I hate the word diet. Diets never last. My new strategy is to change my lifestyle and embrace healthy eating and exercise habits. My latest addition to my health strategies is to have one serving of MUFA's at each meal and keep my caloric intake between 1200 and 1400 calories a day. I have been using prevention.com's my health tracker located on their toolbar to the far right on their homepage. It is free, easy to use, and has really helped me to keep track of what I am eating and how much I am exercising . I am swimming for one hour a day. I was walking 5 miles a day, but I got a stress fracture. Do any exercise you like! Just get out there and move. You will feel happier and eat less(endorphins, I think.)Exercise raises you metabolic rate. So does drinking ice cold water. I read a recent study that said 16oz of ice cold water raises your metabolic rate by 30% for 2 hours. FLAT BELLY DIET (1200-1400calories/day with one serving of MUFA's /meal) 1.Oils – flaxseed, canola, olive, sunflower, peanut, or soybean oil (and a few others) all do the trick. Pesto sauce also counts! One serving = 1 tablespoon. 2.Nuts & seeds – Nuts and natural nut butters (such as almond butter or peanut butter) are a great source of protein. Try adding nuts as salad toppers, or combine the butters with vegetables or crackers. One serving = 2 tablespoons. 3.Avocado – Slice an avocado for your salad, add a layer to a sandwich with sprouts and Swiss, or chop it and add it to salsa or another dip. One serving = ¼ cup. 4.Olives – Black or green olives can be used as toppings on entrees such as pizza, pasta, or chicken breast. One serving = 10 large olives. 5.Chocolate - Go with dark or semisweet chocolate. Top your Pinkberry with chocolate chips, add shavings to a favorite low-calorie dessert, or simple indulge in a dark chocolate square. One serving = ¼ cup. I have been incorporating more MUFA's in my diet for a while, but I didn't realize that I needed one serving per meal to accomplish my goals of lowering bad cholesterol and losing some belly fat. I have had a lot of stress for a long time, which I know has contributed to weight gain and belly fat. Stress increases cortisol levels which helps to pack on the pounds. MUFA is short for monounsaturated fatty acid. Scientists already knew that they were associated with longevity, but new research demonstrates that they also can help you lose belly fat. Several new diets are cropping up centered all around MUFAs – you may hear them called ‘Flat Belly’ diets. Eating one serving at each meal can help control cravings and provide a mental and physical boost. Regardless of what your plan is, you can incorporate these delicious and nutritious foods into your diet. I love really spicy, food, but I have developed low calorie, low fat ways to cook the things I love. I try to maximize flavor and reduce fat, but I am going to try to make sure there are enough MUFA's in what I cook to be heart healthy. I use a lot of vegetables in my cooking to make my dishes rich in flavor, antioxidants. and vitamins. I love to cook and only recently started trying to write down some of the things I cook. This has been fun. I really enjoy RecipeZaar. mufa info link http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0887/is_1_19/ai_59017979/ http://www.oliveoilsource.com/cooking_olive_oil.htm http://www.bodyecology.com/08/08/21/6_benefits_monosaturated_fats.php Recipes link: http://www.prevention.com/cda/categoryextpage.do?channel=weight.loss&category=flat.belly.diet&topic=flat.belly.diet.food