Well, another month has gone by, and the women are showing awesome results. So far, they have lost a combined 97.5 pounds, with participant Deborah Perrodin losing 25 pounds!
“Biggest loser” Perrodin is my inspirational story this month. Last year, her seemingly healthy-as-a-horse father underwent double-bypass and valve replacement surgery. That was a wake-up call for Deborah. “It took us all by surprise,” she says. “It scared us.” In 2007, she put on the pounds following her own surgery. The oldest of five girls, she felt a responsibility to set an example. So, she signed up for the challenge, both to be a role model for her siblings and, most important, to be there in the long haul for her 16-year-old son, Angelo Landry, her “pride and joy.”
Last year, the American Heart Association and Personally Fit for Women launched The Go Red for Women Personally Fit Challenge, a 12-week lifestyle management program combining weight loss, exercise and spirituality. At the beginning of the program, the participants had to forego bread, rice, cereal, pasta and potatoes. After two weeks, we were allowed to gradually add in one of those coveted carbs, substituted with a healthier version.
This month, our leader, Personally Fit owner and nutrition expert Dawn Foreman, asked everyone to bring a dish made with a whole grain to the weekly group nutrition session. With these creative cooks from south Louisiana, the usual bland-tasting whole wheat, barley, bulgur, quinoa, brown rice and wild rice were transformed into tasty dishes, like shrimp with wild rice and crawfish and brown rice casserole. My favorite was the beef pot roast with barley, crafted by Go Red challenger Carmon Simon. It was so delicious that I just had to share the recipe with you.
During the last two weeks of the challenge, Dawn took us grocery shopping to find the most nutrition-packed foods. We spent the most time in the produce section, where we learned that colorful veggies and fruits generally provide the most bang for your buck. So, dis the pale stuff and stock up on those papayas, sweet potatoes and red peppers.
As for me, I finally dragged myself to a small group exercise class — and I’m glad I did. Personal trainer Jill Woolfolk coached us through a 30-minute interval training session that was as tough as any hour-long workout I’ve ever tackled. After huffing and puffing through the class, I left red-faced and exhausted. But I definitely felt the “burn” two days later.
So far, this program is really working for me — and I’m not even an official participant. I’ve been following the group since Day 1 to report on its progress. My pants’ waistlines are no longer leaving squiggly lines on my middle. I’m not expecting to have the Bertinelli-bikini bod, but I would like to be able to walk the beach without too much jiggle.
And, try Carmon Simon’s dish below — it’s really terrific.
Pot Roast, Gravy and Barley
1. Thaw 3-pound beef bottom round roast overnight in refrigerator.
2. Place roast with 4 cups of low sodium beef broth into slow cooker for 7 hours on high. After 6 hours, add onions, carrots, etc., if desired.
3. Steam 1 cup dry barley in rice cooker or steamer with 2 cups water. Fluff barley when finished.
4. Serve 1/2 cup of barley cooked with 2 oz. of beef topped with 2 spoons of gravy.
To thicken gravy, add a little teff flour.
The Go Red for Women Personally Fit Challenge participants learn the ins and outs of healthy eating via a tour of Albertsons. Pictured from left are Dawn Foreman of Personally Fit, Kellee Charles, Raquel Zenon, Deborah Perrodin, Donna Baudoin, Amy Bolgiano and AHA’s Laura Broussard.
Jefferson Street Pub continues its generous tradition with its 4th Annual Festival Preview Party this Thursday featuring Big Sam’s Funky Nation.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Pop-up dinner of chef Justin Girouard’s creations reflect farming traditions
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.