I did it! This past Sunday was my first ever Rugged Manic Race! It was tough, rough, but loads of fun. Climbing ropes. walls, uphill and downhill, through the mud, under barbed wire it was tiring to say the least!
Had I not been working out, I would have been sore today and barley able to move. Now, just to be clear NuVal itself didn’t make me successful. However, NuVal was huge factor in combination with fitness, determination and discipline. No one thing is going to make you magically lose weight. Theres no magic pill, no magic drink. There is however the NuVal system which is such an easy to follow system of portion control and knowledge about what you’re putting into your body! It’s all exclusively at your Big Y World Class Market, and one of their best missions is “Living Well and Eating Smart” and with NuVal, its pretty dang easy.
Below is a piece from the NuVal website, that explains a little about what gets factored into a NuVal Score.
Nutrients considered to have generally favorable effects on health:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Nutrients with generally unfavorable effects on health:
It makes sense! All the things that are favorable (vitamins and nutrients) are essential items that can assist in weight loss/control, and general health. So products in Your Local Big Y that contain lots of these items will have a higher score. Products that contain more of the unfavorable health effects, will draw the score down.
That’s not to say you CAN’T eat items with low scores. Again, this is about PORTIONS, and being aware of how much of something you’re putting into your body.
My journey isn’t over, I have much more health and wellness to focus on my long term goal, and I am looking forward to continuing to live well, eat smart with NuVal and my Big Y World Class Market!
We are coming to a wrap up with the introduction to the NuVal system. Easy to use in your local Big Y World Class Market! My energy is up, I’m down 13 pounds since i started using it, and I LIVE what I’m eating. Let’s recap the last 10 weeks:
1. NuVal is NOT a diet. It is a guide to help you make better eating choices. I might sound like a broken record, but that seems to be the message some still have trouble understanding.
2. This IS about portion control. The NuVal score is based on whatever the portion size for the item might be. For example, remember that Captian Crunch that had a score of 4? You Can’t eat the entire box and call it a 40. (That would be kinda cool though)
3. Trade up your food choices! Instead of the beef, trade up the score to chicken. It’s easy
4. You’re kids can eat healthy too! My dad used to say “do as I say not as I do”. I don’t like that philosophy. I’d rather have them do what I do, eat right! (and clean their room, but I’m kinda bad at that)
5. Water is your friend, especially before and after workouts. You need to hydrate! (NOTE: the water in vodka is NOT what I’m talking about)
6. Big Y has the best sales week after week. They also have enough choices for you to make the right decisions, and the NuVal system to do it!
I’ll be doing the Rugged maniac race in less than two weeks! I have the running down pat, but today I started working with a personal trainer to tone my upper body. My arms feel like Jello, and my gluts are on fire! BUT the good news is with all this healthy food I’m getting from my Big Y, my muscles are repairing quicker. Its just like a car, the better the fuel, the better the gas mileage. Why keep putting cheap fuel in you when you can put premium in? and with Big Y sales, you can bank on paying less for more!
UPDATES ON MY PREP FOR THE RACE NEXT WEEK!
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???
Yes, thats right folks…football season is underway. When you’re watching your favorite team, you know you’re going to want a snack! Forget the fatty chips, and dips, there are plenty of healthy ideas you can do with the help of the Nuval System exclusively at your Big Y World Class Market!
How about some Egg Salad? Traditionally, egg salad is made with Mayonnaise. (avg Nuval score 11). But why not try Dijon Mustard? It has a near consistency to mayo, but has a Nuval Score of 24! You’re trading up a full 12 points and adding a little zest to your dish! And the good news is, Big Y Large white dozen egg (Nuval 33) are buy 1 get TWO free! Plenty to make enough for your football viewing party!
What’s a party without bacon? and Scallops? How about bacon Wrapped Scallops?
Regualr bacon has a nuval Score of 7. Let’s trade up to Butterball Turkey bacon, buy one get one free this week with your card, and a Nuval Score of 17! Sea Scallops are on sale this week too, $14.98/lb and Nuval of 51. You don’t always have to buy a full pound, sea scallops go a long way, so you could do the 12oz package of Turkey bacon to 1/2lb of scallops. Feed 6 people that way for less than $10!
The point is you can live well and eat smart, and enjoy the food your eating! Look for the NuVal Score and with the Best Sales week After Week, you’ll have no problem feeding you and your hungry football fan friends!
26 DAYS LEFT!!!
That’s right, on September 29th, I will be roughin’ and toughin’ it at the Rugged Maniac race in Southwick, MA. Am I prepared? Thanks to the NuVal system at my Big Y World class market: YES! YES I AM!
Things have been going great as far as eating goes (except for a slight grill mishap on labor day)…my body is toning up, my workouts are getting tougher (which is good, it means my body can take more)
I’ve said this throught the blogs and videos…NuVal is NOT a diet. You can still eat anything you want, but the score is merely a guide to help you make BETTER choices. There’s nothing wrong with ice crea, candy, chips, etc…all things that your Local Big Y has great deals on week after week. Its more about PORTIONS. 3 months ago, I was snacking on more junk than healthier items. But since my introduction to NuVal, my awareness about what I am buying/eating has increased.
Big Y makes it easy too! Like this week, instead of buying low score lunch meat for a sandwich, why not “trade up” to the Starkist Solid White Tuna Buy in Water 1 get 1 free this week! NuVal Score (70)
Or for dinner, instead of burgers, how about Lightly Season salmon burgers? Only 2.75 for 6oz and a NuVal score of 87!!!
Choices in every department at you Big Y world Class market, exclusively hosting the NuVal System!
Let me know how you’re doing! email@example.com or Facebook.com/stevenagle
Week 7 BACK TO SCHOOL!!!
Or Starting School anyway…that’s what my two kids did last week…Buddy and Champ!
But get this…WE have to make their lunches! What an inconvenience! (please sense the sarcasm)
Truthfully, its hard to know what to pack for them. I remember when I was a kid I got sick because my mom just made me PB&J sandwiches EVERYDAY….its not her fault, she just thought I liked it.
Nowadays, you need variety…small portions of many different things.
With the extra time I need to put into making these lunches, luckily with Big Y world Class Markets, its NuVal to the rescue! Why worry about food labels when you can just look for the score!
Here’s some items your kids will LOVE to add to their lunch and with some decent NuVal Scores!
And of course with the best sales week after week at your neighborhood Big Y, you’ll save big!
Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt (Strawberry has NuVal Score of 84) – 12/$10 With your Express Savings Club Card. Great for the sweet tooth kid (they don’t have to know how good it is for them!)
General Mills Cheerios (NuVal-37) – $2.88 (great in a little baggie for a snack!)
1lb bag of Grimmway Farms Baby Peeled Carrots (NuVal-99) – 2/$3 Express Savings Club Card (another part of a delicious lunch!)
It might be difficult to train kids to eat healthier items, but just trade up the NuVal Score and sneak them in there. They won’t know the difference!
WOAH! I just realized I have 46 days until my rugged maniac race in Southwick! Luckily my Big Y world class market has all the foods I need to succeed using the NuVal System!
Let’s focus this week on some before and after workout foods!
I usually do a 30 min run 3 times a week. Sometimes I need a little extra energy, but you definitely do not want to eat anything heavy! Bananas have a NuVal Score of 91, have enough sugar to give you the spike of energy you need, and keep you satisfied until the end of the workout.
If you have the time, cook up a serving of Sweet Potatoes (NuVal 100) .99 cents/lb, the score speaks for itself, packing nutrients and carbs that you’ll ned to not feel bogged down after a workout.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE DRINKING LOTS OF WATER!!! The weather is much too hot and you don’t want to become dehydrated.
AFTER WORKOUT FOOD
Here was my downfall, before I was introduced to NuVal by the good folks at Big Y, I would just work out. Run for 30-40 min. After doing that, my body was so hungry from all the calories I just burned, I would basically just gorge on whatever was available. My mentality was “well, I’m burning it off anyway”. That’s sort of true. Yes I did lose weight, but because I was running a lot after not being active for about 5 years. Its when you plateau and realize, “hmm, something ain’t right here!”
Its all about balance, which was VERY hard for me to learn. PORTION control is a huge factor.
Chicken breasts are protein filled and lean. They’re also easy to cook. The last thing most people want to do after a hard effort is stay on their feet preparing a complex meal. Single-portion, precooked chicken breasts can be divided into individual plastic bags in the fridge or freezer, ready to be warmed up after a workout. (Sam’s Bonless this week 2.99/lb! NuVal 39)
Microwavable steamed rice (brown rice NuVal 82)can also add some healthy variety to your quick chicken meal. Think brown or wild rice. A frozen vegetable can complete the post-run dinner.
TRADE UP THE DESSERT!!!
This week, Chobani Flips (Blueberry has a NuVal score of 87) – 4/$5 Compared to YoCrunch Oreo Flavor (NuVal 28) that is also on sale…
ALL ITEMS BELOW AVAILABLE AT YOUR BIG Y WORLD CLASS MARKETS!!!!
This weeks video talks about cereals, which again is part of that most important meal of the day: breakfast!
To accompany this video, lets talk about all those crazy scores for cereal. If you’re running like me, or doing any kind of exercise, you need fiber to help “shed the weight” if you will. Fiber moves all that stuff along inside of you, and helps get rid of the waste. Again, its about portions! DO NOT go eat an entire box of Fiber One in a sitting. If you did, you’d make yourself sick..and I no one would want to be around you (if you catch my drift).
Here are some scores for cereal. This is taken from NuVal.com
Cap’n Crunch Sweetened Corn & Oat Cereal NUVAL 4– SAY IT AIN’T SO CAP’N!!!!
General Mills Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal–NUVAL 35 okay, getting better
Hodgson Mill Unprocessed Wheat Bran (Millers Bran)—NUVAL 100 You might have to get used to the taste but High Score!
Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal—-NUVAL 31 better than the regular corn flakes!
Kashi Strawberry Fields Cereal …..NUVAL 6 yes, that says six. Don’t let the name fool you!
Post Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal with Almonds, NUVAL 26 haven’t tried but not a terrible score.
Post Frosted Shredded Wheat—-NUVAL 31 lots of sugar, could make you crash later!
Take any one of these and add your favorite fruit, that will spice up the flavor and won’t give you as much “processed” sugar and some of these contain.
The thing I’m learning is that foods aren’t always what they are cracked up to be. What you think might be healthy, sometimes isn’t! This is how NuVal can help you make that determination, if you’re eating something that’s got a score of 26? TRADE UP! Go for a 35, or even 100!
Share your progress with firstname.lastname@example.org
Lunch. What to do, what to do.
The old me would not have eaten breakfast, drink coffee all morning until 11AM and then order a giant Italian grinder with extra mayo. I did it because I was starving myself all day, and then your eyes get bigger than your stomach and boom! Congratulations, you’ve just committed yourself to a carbohydrate/saturated fat coma. And its only noon!
NuVal to the rescue!
I can’t stress how simple this system is. You walk around your neighborhood Big Y World Class market, and just look for the score. So instead instead of the giant submarine sandwich, how about we trade up? Remember, its best to eat small healthy snacks throughout the day so you’re not starving by lunch.
You’re going to think I’m nuts telling you this and frankly I thought i was a little crazy too. Flax seed bread. Doesn’t sound that great, but its delicious and has a NuVal score of 81! Chop up a half red onion, some celery, and mix it all together with some Tribe Hummus. Yes, Hummus. Its got a score of 41 as opposed to mayo (2..yikes!) and spread that on flax seed bread and you got yourself a healthy hearty lunch. You’re getting a serving of grains, protein and veggies all in one.
Lunch is another important meal of the day, as it re-energizes you several hours after you’ve had breakfast. That’s if your eating the right things of course. Shooting for a high NuVal score lunch menu will keep you away from all the low scoring stuff that will burn you out.
“Go, go, go!” Do you ever feel like someone is standing next to you yelling that during your day? I sure do. 3:30am: wake up, shower, brush teeth, get dressed, slug a cup of cold coffee and boom! Out the door to be at Rock 102. What did I forget? Oh that’s right: Breakfast! Remember that? Breakfast was the thing all the adults told you was the most important part of the day. Oh, how self absorbed we are as adults to forget the simple things we were taught.
Let’s look at the word itself, breakfast. It’s actually two words “break” “fast” which means you’re breaking the fast since you last meal (presumably dinner).
This important meal not only satisfies hunger cravings, but your metabolism gets a jump start for the day.
So here’s what I started doing. Instead of cooking breakfast every morning, I start Sunday night and make breakfast for every day of the work week. It took me about an hour, and it’s pretty simple!
Head to your Big Y World Class Market and start saving! Live well and eat smart while you do it too.
First stop was dairy: Big Y Large White Eggs (NuVal Score- 56) is 2/$3 per dozen. Score!
Then head to the bread…Thomas whole grain English muffin (NuVal 25) on sale , buy 1 get TWO free! (Freeze what you don’t use, they’ll stay good for up to three months)
This is all I did for breakfast. Cook 1 egg, toast one muffin season with salt and pepper. That’s it! Wrap them up for the week, and all you have to do is grab one on the way out the door. Remember, it’s portion control! 1 egg and a muffin might not seem like a lot, but small healthy meals throughout the day make all the difference!
Dinner idea for this week:
You’ll see in the video this week Carrie told us about “trading up” the score for NuVal. So instead of the shrimp, trade up to salmon. You’re in luck this week too, because your big Y world-class market has wild Alaskan sockeye salmon on sale for $9.98 per pound and a NuVal score of 93! wow! Simple and easy to cook;
(Note: the following recipe is from natashaskitchen.com)
1.5 lbs salmon
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 large OR 3 small cloves of garlic, pressed
1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
⅛ cup mild olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 450° F and line a rimmed baking dish with foil.
In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley, 2-3 cloves pressed garlic, 1.5 tsp Dijon, ½ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, ⅛ cup olive oil and 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice. Mix well.
Cut salmon into even portions and lay them onto your lined baking dish skin side down.
Generously brush all sides of your salmon with the sauce and top with fresh lemon slices.
Bake at 450°F for 12-15 minutes or until just cooked through. Don’t over-cook or your fish will be dry. Voila! Easy, excellent dish.
Follow along Facebook.com/stevenagle
So I’m really liking the ease of shopping as I get to know the NuVal Scores on items. I’ve been shopping and finding all kinds of great sale items and making some pretty kickin’ recipes, which you can always check out on my Facebook http://facebook.com/stevenagle or my Twitter @snaglepuss.
Today I visited the Westfield Main St Big Y on a mission to get Seafood and salad. I picked up some Fresh Express Mixed greens, only $6 for 2 bags! Green and Red Pepper, red onion, sliced portabello mushrooms- all with NuVal Scores of 93-100. I plan on making a fresh salad with a homed blue cheese vinaigrette. I’ll post the instructions for that on facebook.
Next I went to the seafood department. I got some delicious Atlantic salmon filet, on sale for $6.99 /lb this week with one of them silver coins! I will take a 1 lb of that, cut it in to 1/4 pound pieces, drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil on each. Then take a few drops of lemon juice over each one, season with sea salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Bake for 15 min at 350 and you are good to go!
Look, I’m not a living well eating smart genius (yet) but I am starting to take the right steps to do so. Yes, its a struggle when you really want a giant chocolate bar (Score of 1!) but look for the Score! I had a sweet craving today and instead of buying candy, I traded up the score and bought Fiber One Oates and Chocolate bars (Score of 25). So, not only is the score on my choices creeping up, I’m learning to deal in portions.
I had another naysayer today come out with “Oh what are you a diet spokesman now?”
“NO! Its not a diet! Why don’t you listen to me?” I snapped.
Its all about being AWARE of your choices. And how much of those choices you are consuming. You can’t avoid every food with a low NuVal score. You can, however, know that you can either eat less of those low scores, or splurge a little more on the higher scores. You can do it! I can help you!
Feel free to email me any questions!
Alright, so if you’ve been following me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/stevenagle) for the last six months, you know that I have been trying to change my exercise habits. I’ve always had a struggle with weight. Always eating too much, not really getting any exercise (although it is quite the physical task to make spam and mac and cheese at 2AM after drinking adult beverages all night).
Back in February, I saw a picture of myself from a Rock 102 Work release event. Suds in hand, standing next to Bax, I was absolutely horrified. “How did I let myself get this big?” Not only was the picture enough to make me start to rethink things, the lovely people of Facebook also had their say:
“Steve looks pregnant”
“Steve, did you eat the rest of Bax?”
“Looks like someone had too many french fries and wings”
And so on, and so on….
Doing the job I do, its not easy to not been seen, whether it be pics or videos or public appearances. It was time to turn things around.
So, what to do? As much as I wanted to make a change, I also started making excuses. “Well, with the kids and work, I don’t have time to exercise.” Kids are a great excuse for getting out of things. If you’re at a party you don’t want to be at, you just say “Sorry, gotta go, kids are getting restless!” Its a great excuse for stuff like that, but it can also hurt you too. I just had to make time to get a daily work out in. Then a friend of mine told me about the app “Couch to 5K”. Just 30 min, 3 times a week, it will slowly introduce you to running long distances without stopping.
My first week on the app I thought I was going to die. It wasn’t even hard for an average person, but for me being so out of shape, it was brutal. It was a min and a half of walking, then a min of running for 1 min, total 20 min. Yikes. I wanted to give up after that fist minute run. But, I just kept telling myself “Keep your eye on the prize”. My prize was being able to walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. Always set small little goals! Too big, you might fail.
Week after week it got better. My stamina increased. My Distance increased. I felt a hell of a lot better!
After 9 weeks, I could run for 30 min without stopping! 3.7 miles! I had signed up for the Westfield 5k, but that still wasn’t for weeks away. So, I decided to keep going and got the 5k to 10k app. I got halfway through the program when my first official 5k Arrived. Having trained for 13 weeks, I did pretty well. 31:52 was the official time, roughly 10:30/mile. Success.
I continued and finished the 10k program and can now run steady for 70 min (roughly 6 miles) without stopping. I noticed my body shaping up, However, I wasn’t losing any weight! What the deuce?
I went to my doc for a physical. I told him my weight concerns and he explained to me that diet is the key. Not diet in the sense of Atkins or South Beach, but watching the foods you eat.
He was right, I am burning calories like crazy with all this running. But I’m also still eating like crap! Pizza, wings, Hamburgers. All that stuff is ok in small portions, but I’m not a small portion kinda guy.
The good folks at Big Y World Class Markets reached out. They told me about this NuVal System in place in their stores that help you make better decisions. What is it? Its basically a food scoring system. Rather than look at all the food labels for fat, carbs, sat fat etc. the NuVal System does all that for you and puts it in one single score based on nutrition. 1-100 with 100 being the healthiest. You can read more about how the score is figured here:
They do math for you! Yes, I hate math! That’s why I love this system. The NuVal score for items on the system are located right next to the price on the shelf. You can see more info in the video above.
Food labels can be tricky. Sure, that giant bag of Swedish Fish may say “A Fat Free Food” in big letters on the bag, but there is virtually no nutritional value in them giving it a very low NuVal Score.
LET ME BE CLEAR, the NuVal systemm is NOT A DIET. Its a tool to help you be aware of the nutritional value in items. Portion control still exists. So just because Avacados have a NuVal score of 93, does not mean you can have 12 in one sitting. Again the score is to help you make healthier choices in eating.
Trade me up, Scotty!
One thing thats great about NuVal is knowing the score. If in the past you chose a cereal with a NuVal Score of 14, why not check the score of something comparable with a higher score let’s say of 37. The products are there in your local Big Y World Class market, and with the best sales week after week, you’ll easily find something thats right for you! Trade uo to the healthier choice!
So here I go on my first week. We will be releasing vides to accompany this blog and you can follow along with my progress right here. Share your story too! email email@example.com and let me know if you have any questions or to tell me your progress.
Finally, here is a quick and easy recipe you can make for the warm weather. I am a sucker for mayo and macaroni, but this week I am trading up to asparagus and olive oil!
Asparagus and Tomato Salad
1/4 olive oil
1 Tsp. Minced Garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well, set aside.
1 bunch Asparagus, ends cut and then cut bunch in half
2 med. vine ripe tomatoes, cut into one in chunks
1 Bag of celery hearts, chopped
1 small onion chopped
Toss all ingredients into large salad bowl and coat with dressing. Refrigerate for one hour, Enjoy!