Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year New You Challenge

Thought I'd toss a challenge out there to you along with a prize, yep, I said a prize!

It's about to be a new year.  Your goal is a new you.

Here's my challenge. First: No Resolutions.  You set yourself up to fail when you make a resolution so I don't make any.

1) Make a blog.  Blogspot offers a free blog as do several other sites like WordPress.  I like Blogger so that's what I use.
2) Tell me your blog's name and web address so I can link to you thereby follow you =)
3) Place a current picture of yourself on your blog along with you current age, weight, height, and waist measurements.
4) Tell us what you're doing (exercise wise) to lose weight on your blog and update us at least weekly on  how things are going.
5) Tell us what you're eating and if you're supplementing  to lose weight.
6) What is your 'and then what' goal for after you lose your weight

The two rules I will enforce: No slimfast/shake/liquid diets and no diet pills.  This must be an exercise and healthy change in diet weight loss program or you're going to set yourself up to fail.

On June 30, the person who has recorded the most weight lost while also keeping your blog up to date, will receive a $30 gift certificate to  Hollywood Body Spa and Laser

This spa has locations in Athens TN and Cleveland TN, If you are out of town or in another state, then I'll find a comparable salon and spa to award your gift certificate from.  I would also like your permission to feature your before and afters in my future book, and not just the person who wins, but ALL of your stories!

I'm going to compete along with the rest of you, but I'm not allowed to win because I'm the sponsor.  I'm your coach and competition!

Get your WEIGHT LOSS GAME ON!  Who wants to win????

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where the heck have I been?

I've been working my backside off, and stress eating...ham...chocolate...and BREAD. Today, however, I took one look at a biscuit and thought *yuck*, so my 'that's bad for you' groove is getting back into the swing of things.  I only gained 2 pounds so they will easily be lost by Jan 1, unfortunately that throws off my goal of losing 3 pounds to go under 200 pounds.  No biggy, I'll have lost it in another week because I'm going to start running again.  Cardio exercise removes that god awful gut hanging around my middle so I can show off my abs that are so nicely toned that you can feel them under the fat, but doggone it I want to SHOW them off not just ask you to take my word for it.

My poor stability ball fell victim to a naughty kitty cat who thought it looked like an excellent scratching post =(.  I had hoped to get a new one, a pilates mat, and a kettle bell, they look so very inviting (aka challenging!) but I'll have to take care of that another time when I have money again.
My weight loss story is going to be profiled on AOL's That's Fit sometime in the coming year.   The talks are already in the works.

I am so pumped over it!  I needed the motivation, now I have it!  And I want that bikini ready body NOW!

That pleasant little surprise fit so perfectly into my plan to write a book.  Teeny tiny baby steps.  I even have a semi-thought out outline for the book.  You've seen it on here before, but I'm going to list it again.

Chapter 1  What's your motivation
Chapter 2  Plan your plan
Chapter 3 Move it! Tone It!
Chapter 4 Why you need a playlist
Chapter 5 Shopping Lists  and What not to eat/eating out
Chapter 6 Menus and Recipes
Chapter 7 Supplements and why you need them
Chapter 8 What not to wear when your FAT clothes are too big
Chapter 9 Savvy simple beauty tricks
Chapter 10 How to deal with naysayers, wet blankets, sticks in the mud, and party poopers
Chapter 11 Journaling/blogging your way thin
Chapter 12 Why pre planned, cookie cutter diets never work
Chapter 13 How to make a diet 'your way' work for you
Chapter 14  It's a lifestyle change!
Chapter 15 Tell me again, what's your motivation? 
Chapter 16 When your significant other isn't supportive
Chapter 17 You're there, what's your 'and then what?' plan?

Chapter 18 Before and Afters....Their Way (me and my friends who've done successful weight loss our way)

I'm sure I'll add to and subtract from those chapters, but it's a working outline nonetheless.

Hope everyone is safe and snuggled up  and warm here in the north/south east.  We have about 6 inches of snow, the perfect excuse to drink hot chocolate and eat a lot of buttery popcorn.  I'll probably  indulge in a little of both. 

Remember, you can have what you want, just in moderation.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Observations and progress report

My butt no longer hangs over the edge of my seat.  If I have a muffin top at all, it's barely noticeable.  I pulled my size 15 pants off without unbuttoning or unzipping them.  Size XL is entirely too big, Lg is almost too big too.  We won't even talk about  those 2x shirts that look like omar the tent maker gone amuck in my closet....My wedding band is getting too big for my finger.  My shoes are getting too big for me, now, if only my belly would go away too...

I had the most amazing workout ever 2 days ago.  I actually did (don't laugh, I bet some of you can't do it!) 5, yes, 5 shaky, real pushups  considering I haven't been able to do a real push up because my gut and boobs were in the way I'd say that's progress! 25 roll ups while holding my stability ball over my head! 4-15 second planks, 1 Just 1 Side plank,YAYAY  I did it lol!  try it and let's talk about difficulty sister!  10 bridges plus 10 more with leg lifts. 6-10 second basic swan plus 10 more with leg lifts. 4 up/down dogs(tried something new, oh man love the burny stretchy feeling). My abs and obliques are still so very sore it's hard to move but what a wonderfully delicious kind of sore it is!

Followed with a nice long hot bath and a slathering of creamy vaseline lotion and I'm soft, smooth, and relaxed even if sore.

What did you do today?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Pics

Starting Weight June 2009  269 lbs
Current Weight  December 2010  201.9 lbs

Since I seem to have lost my measuring tape again, I'll just post pics instead so you can be the judge.
My son Caleb and I have been playing with my new camerea.  Haven't quite figured out he setting so hang with us while we play.  sorry guys, no indecent pics to follow =)

This pic just went all kinds of wrong.

If we just had the settings down

Hubby liked this pic best

Starting to curve in the correct direction FINALLY!

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Product Review

WOW! Tastes Just Like Peanut Butter.  That's the name of the product.  It's made from organic toasted soy beans and touted as a Peanut Butter replacement.  My husband doesn't like it, but he'll eat it.  Caleb says it's too sweet.  Grant doesnt' care.  If it's food, he'll eat it, though he did say "Yay! mom bought real Peanut butter today!"  because I did buy real Peanut butter today.  I think the product is okay.  It has a different texture and slightly different taste.  No long lasting after taste like 'real' peanut butter. 

It has the same calories, but has more health benefits for you like 1200mg per serving of Omega 3.  Less sodium.  More iron.  Other than that, pnut butter and soy butter are pretty much even on nutrition.  Except you can take the soy butter to school with you.

I'm on the fence on this one.  The texture and taste are a bit off putting, but once you've had a couple of bites you no longer notice them and if you're allergic but would dearly love to sink your teeth into something as close to pnut butter as possible without having a reaction then this is your best bet.  I'll use it for cookies and other recipes that call for pnut butter.  Hmm, wonder if you can make pnut butter fudge with it? 

How to make Holiday baked goodies better for you.

Instead of oil use unsweetened applesauce.  For example:  if the recipe calls for 1/2 oil use 1 cup of applesauce.
Use cinnamon it's good for your blood pressure, it smells and tastes good in almost all baked goods.
If you mustmustmust use oil sub cooking oil with GrapeOla (grapeseed oil)
Add 1 tbsp ground flax seed
Add 1 tbsp wheat germ
Add 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (not the quick cook kind they turn icky in recipes)
Use 1 tsp high lignan flaxseed oil
Dark/Intense unsweetened chocolate chunks in place of chocolate chips.
I'm a fan of organic, unrefined sugar in place of regular table sugar.
Unsalted raw nuts in place of regular nuts.
Unsulfured dried fruits
Organic, free range, no chemicals used eggs

There are so many healthier options out there and some of them your friends and family will never ever notice if you add or replace with in recipes.  I have brownies in the oven right now that have GrapeOla, ground flaxseed, wheat germ,  old fashioned oats, and organic eggs in them as well as chunks of unswettened intense dark chocolate.  My kids were licking the bowl.  They have no clue I 'healthified them!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Trouble With Couponing

httpI like to save money as much as the next person.  My friend Leann used to say I pinch pennies so hard that ol' abe cries and begs for mercy. I like using coupons for things I need around the house, namely paper goods, shampoo, toothpaste, female supplies, and cereals.  I use store cards, and until recently, I purchased off brands.  I don't do off brands anymore because they cost as much, sometimes even more, than the name brand.

But.  I have a problem with couponing in general. Where are the coupons for actual healthy items?  Sure some of the juice coupons are for things that might be good for you as long as you purchase the 'natural' or low sugar versions. Given the number of obese people around, I very seriously doubt they're even looking at sugar and salt content.  Sometimes you might stumble across a frozen veggie coupon or a canned veggie or fruit. 

I have found coupons for eggs attached to products that you had to buy three of in order to get the free eggs.  Do I really need three boxes of  ready to serve bacon to get the free eggs?  Or the 4 boxes of cereal to get a free gallon of store brand milk?  Better yet, do I need to buy 6 boxes of pastries to get a free pound of bananas? Really?  Are you bargain shopping or on a secret mission to kill yourself and your family with all those cans of biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and crescent rolls?

More than half the coupons I've looked at and or considered have been for heavily processed foods.  Processed means most of the nutrients have been removed and tons of preservatives added. Bacon, egg nog, macaroni and cheese, potato chips, biscuits, rolls, cookies.  I read an entry tonight on one of th couponing blogs I follow where a man purchased $400 worth of groceries and only paid $180.  The drawback, 14 boxes of cereal, 18 boxes of various and sundried potatoes, pizzas, cokes, cookies, 1 turkey, 2 chickens, pasta and pasta sauce, canned veggies (canned isn't the best for you but better than no veggies) and the list went on.  I sat there thinking wow, that's a pretty good haul while at the same time thinking ughh, where are the good things to eat?  Does that make me snobby?

Sure, I indulge in the risky business of purchasing the mentioned items in an effort to make my family happy when it comes to dinner and school or weekend lunches.  Even they will tell you such purchases are few and far between.

I've decided, just tonight, that I'm going to go in search of healthier food choices coupons then list the sites, maybe even links to the coupons themselves for you, my readers, because I want you to have other choices and eat helathier while saving your hard earned money.  It's only fair.

First up is:  Driscoll's Berries  Driscoll Berries to be exact.  Subscribe to their newsletters and get a .50 cent coupon just for signing up to receive their emails.

Horizon Dairy   Organic Milk   Click the coupons icon.

Udi's Gluten Free Bread   Wonderful bread and baked goods.  $1 coupon.

I'll post more as I find them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Three Pounds and 10 Truffles

I gingerly stepped on the scales this morning fully expecting to have gained weight since I ate as much of Grant's edible Science project as he did.  For such a skinny thing he sure can EAT! Shock and amazement and no error reading 201.8!  I broke the 204 strangle hold by cheating my ass off three days ago!

So I was a good girl all day today.  I only drank water.  I had mandarin oranges and yogurt for breakfast.  I had tuna and California Avocado for lunch. I took all of my supplements.   But my husband walked in with a box that said from (insert friend's name here) which meant I had won her weekly drawing for free candy.  OMG!  Handmade hand dipped TRUFFLES!  BIG truffles.  Delicious truffles.  Plus some chocolate caramel pecan.  I ate 2 truffles and two of the pecan things....sigh.  I feel sick.  Not because I ate them, but because I'm thinking I may have sabotaged myself.

I've worked too long and too hard to get where I am now.  I want to weigh less than 200 pounds on New Year's Day.  I don't know why New Year's day, maybe it's because everyone makes New Year's resolutions for that day and I want to be able to say I already met my goal for the year 364 days early?
I want to and WILL weigh 140 pounds by August (to look like I belong in the bikini).  That means I have to be more careful about everything from eating to exercise to sunbathing to taking the correct supplements.  And God those truffles are calling my name!  10 Truffles.  Just 10, well 5 now, I ate 2 Keith ate 2 and the dog managed to steal one!.  the boys each ate some of the pecan yummies so they're all gone..
I want to  and WILL rock a bikini body by August. It'll have to be a bit on the modest side, but hey, I'll be 42 and have stretch marks so gotta cover some things that just can't be fixed without expensive surgery I can't afford.
The more I type the less yummy the yummy truffles become.  I'm reminding myself of my goals, here in the Christmas season.  See!  You can lose weight during the holidays!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Friends Inspire me

In talking with one of my friends tonight about her 'yucky tummy' I became a bit inspired. 

We often become 'yucky tummified' when we eat things we shouldn't, we all know that. 
1) Taking too large a bite.  The faster you eat, the more air you swallow.  The bigger the bite, the less room in your mouth the less you chew.  You want to chew one two three four and swallow.  Your stomach needs more than huge chunks of food in it. It needs the saliva produced in your mouth to help react with the acids in your stomach to help break down your food.  What happens is your stomach can't properly utilize/process your food.  It travels along to your colon where you become gassy and 'stopped up.'  Gassy makes you feel yucky.  'Stoped up' makes you feel yucky.  Lack of proper nutrition, even if you are eating right, makes  you feel yucky.

Chew your food slowly.  Remember that old addage about 20 chews per bite?  There's a bit of truth to it.  We tend to ignore it in favor of getting over with dinner and back to whatever it was we were doing.  Slow down.

2) Drinking too much with our food is just as bad as taking too big a bite and not chewing properly.  The liquid makes our food swell.  It doesn't have the same chemical reaction with our stomach acid to break down the food and we get the same yucky tummy problem as mentioned in problem number 1. 

Just take sips of water with your food to 'wet your whistle'.  I know as we get older the tendency is to drink more with our food because we don't produce as much saliva as we used to, so add a little balsamic vinegar to your plate or a bit of lemon to help get the old salivary glands going.  There can be too much of a good thing when it comes to water.

3) Salt, oils, strong vinaigrettes, sauces(especially hot sauces, chili sauces, salad dressings) can do a heavy number on  your stomach.  Just as oil and water don't mix neither do oils and stomach acid.  Vinaigrettes will hae a negative effect on stomach acid, actually all of the above will.  They're best avoided.

Salt?  Why salt?  If your food is salty you tend to drink more water so look back at number 1 and 2 for the reason salt is listed here.

4) Yeasty foods.  Number one culprit in bloat.  Add yeast to acid and what do you get?  The way your stomach feels makes the hindenberg explosion look like a sparkler on the 4th of July!  Overly processed, white breads are bad news for digestion.  if you must must must have bread, aim for whole grains, not whole wheat,. While better for you than white bread,  whole whest is still too processed for  most people to digest.

So what to eat?

Whole grains like brown rice, long grain wild rice (not that prepackaged overly processed full of sodium stuff either)  Add your own flavorings.  Experiment.  Branch out a little.  Adventures with food can be fun!

Raw or lightly steamed veggies (can be fresh or fresh frozen).  Use Mrs Dash or just a little parsely and garlic on them if you need flavor.  Cruciferous veggies, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, are hard on the stomach but necessary ruffage and nutrients are in them so enjoy them once or twice a week.

Proteins like eggs, beans, and hard cheeses, but not the strongly flavored/sharp cheeses. 

Tofu is bland by itself, but added to mild soups or mixed into breads, cakes, and puddings will supply a major walloping of protein that easily and quickly digested by the stoamch.

Low sodium broth based soups. the heavier, creamier the soup the worse it is for you. the harder it is for your stomach to digest.

Fresh or fresh frozen fruits.  I dont' particularly care for frozen fruit as it tends to be soggy once defrosted, though this time of year I don't have a lot of choice. Fresh frozen is cheaper than out of season and tremendously expensive fresh fruits from Mexico.

Lean cuts of meat and fish. 

Eggs, even the yolk.

Simple proteins are easily digested.  Don't make things hard on yourself.  Eating isn't rocket science 101.  You have the knowledge tucked away in your brain.  Look for it.  Even in the Bible, people knew what to eat.  What do you see in there?  Olives, figs, meats, bread (There was a simple recipe and I'll tell you now, there are no hydrogenized oils, gluten free, high fructose corn syrup in that bread!  it's whole grain baby!) Simple oils, likely from flaxseed and olives, corn, fish, poultry, milk, honey, dates, wine...simple to grow, easy to maintain and harvest and store.  Nothing was wasted.  Nothing was overly processed and those people were healthy aside from famine, wars, and the occasional pestilence and or disease. (you know what I mean lol, they lived a long long time!)

Use a little common sense.  Think about what you're putting in your mouth. 

A little over a year ago I woke my self snoring and literally suffocating under my own weight when I slept on my back.  Keith had awakened me several times asking if I was okay because he thought I'd stopped breathing.  The fat was packed in so tightly around my internal organs that I was truly drowning myself under all that fat.  It pressed into my stomach forcing the acid in my stomach back into my esophagus reducing the amount of sleep I got each night because I couldn't breathe, stressing me out,  raising my cortisol levels and therefore helping my weight steadily rise.  I was taking prevacid and tipping the the scale  dangerously close to 300 piunds.  I was only 31 pounds under 300.  Only????  Eeesh!

A  little over a year later, I'm still just a hair over 200 pounds, but I'm in much better shape, except from bouts of insomnia from just simply getting older female hormone issues, and tonight, eating far too much sugar when I'm not used to it, while helping Grant with his edible science project. 

My anemia is under control, actually it's almost eradicated.

My period is pretty normal and predictable, not terribly heavy, and lasts less than a week. WOHOOOOO! 

I can now sleep on my back without suffocating.  Hubby still says I snore but I think  he's waking himsellf up with his own snoring.

 Acid reflux?  What acid reflux?

I owe my  thanks to several things. 1)  Age.  I realize I'm not getting any younger and I'm pretty much out of time to take chances with my  health. 2) My former ob/gyn telling me she could find nothing wrong with me so she wanted to do a hysterectomy.  huh?  My uterus is perfectly healthy so you want to remove it?  What kind of sense did that make???  So I dumped her and went to another og/gyn who told me as gently as possible to lose weight that most women who had my problems found that 200 was the magic number in putting their hormones back in their place.  He was right.  Now I just wonder what will happen when I get more toward my goal of 140? 3) My parents both have major health issues due to  their weight and I don't want to go their route. 4) Anne Louise Gittleman for writing Before The Change  5)My stubborn pride in deciding I wasn't going to die a fat woman.   And last but not least, 6) my husband for pissing me off enough to actually lose the weight the doctor suggested.

I might be getting old, but we'll just see who's 3rd rate now.  I love him dearly, but his mouth keeps him in soooo much trouble. 

What are you afraid of?  You dont' have to be third rate on a good day and you certainly don't have to be fat.  Take a slow, leisurely walk with me on the not-so-fat but not-so-thin side for a while.  It's easier than you think.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Product Updates

Mostly YUCK!

I've been seeing and reading all about this delicious drink that's all the rage amongst the stars, and from what I've tasted of the 'miracle drink' all I have to say is no wonder they lost weight. What am I talking about, you ask? Cocowater. It has an almost sterile tast to it if you want to call that 'taste'. It's almost vomit inducing it's so very bland.

I even tried the berry juice added flavors...still utterly disgusting. I tried it cold. I tried it warm and it was still ICK!

I used it in place of water or milk in my oatmeal. That, in my opinion, is the best use for the stuff. I can't stomach it any other way.

If you're feeling adventurous and have $2 to waste on it, sure, give it a try. I poured what I hadn't used in oatmeal down the drain.

Ice water with lemon has more personality and is a lot more palatable. You know how I feel about water with lemon, sure, I'll drink it, but it certainly isn't my favorite.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Where does she get all those wonderful toys?!?!?!?!?!

Why AMAZON.COM of course!  Get yours soon for a pre-holiday workout! The first thing you'll notice is that I'm not a name brand/label loyalty person. I use what appeals to me most without much regard to who the manufacturer is.

I like this ball. It's light weight and perfect for beginners. When you become more adept then spend the big buck for a better ball. In the meantime this ball is pretty tough. It holds my big butt just fine!

Pilates mat (which IS different from a yoga mat) This is on my wish list. Anyone wanna buy it for me so I don't go sliding across the floor anymore lol!

Soft ball weights. Good for people who have trouble gripping traditional handheld weights. They're squeezable so they make good stress balls too. My kids play with them not even realizing that they're exercising. My husband uses them while riding his recumbant bike. I use them while on the stability ball or add them in while doing Pilates. Think 2 lbs isn't much? Try to work with them for about 10 minutes. tell me what you think then /sly smile/

Resistance Bands. Oversized rubberbands that are fun no matter what exercise you're doing. You don't know you're exercising 'til after the fact. I don't recommend the bands that hook over the door knob or under the door. they have been known to come lose mid exercise and the results have not been pretty...

I'll put up my favoritest (making up words again) video links later so you can have a look at them for yourself. Time to cook supper.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


 A kid in the candy shop I am today!

My Swanson vitamins arrived.

Calcium carbonate/magnesium oxide/Zinc oxide+D  1000/400/15/400 mg
Vitamin d3 2500 iu
CoQ10 30 mg
Acai Berry Extract 500mg
EPA/DHA  180/120
Evening Primrose Oil  1300mg
Alpha LipoicAcid  50 mg
Melatonin 3mg
Sublingual b12
CocoWater! It's icky if consumed by itself, but I used it to moisten oatmeal, much much better!
CocoWater plus pomengranate and acai berry extract
Feron (to treat my anemia.. ferrous iron supplement that I'm NOT allergic to finally)

Venting some frustration

I need to vent:  I'm not mad at any one person, except me...

If I had known 10 years ago what I know now I would have changed back then. I'd be in a better position in life by now, I think.   But you know what?  I might have totally wasted 10 years, ages 30-40, but I like who I am now.  What I don't like is suddenly feeling like I'm being stuffed back into my insecure teens and 20's.

I like my hair dark, so I put it back dark today.  Phooey on all those highlights or 'chunking' as it's called.  My mom called it 'frost'.  Frost is for old people and I'm not old.  If I do anything to my hair it might be a minimal highlighting but don't hold your breath.

I like to think and speak for myself.  I don't like people putting words in my mouth or making decisions for me.  I let people do that a lot when I was younger.  Let me bobble and fumble around and make some mistakes, how the hell am I supposed to figure me out if you do for me what would be right for you?

I'm doing my 'lifestyle change' my way.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't do fads.  I might experiment with altering a fad to fit the way I want to do things, my perogative.

I've been given plenty of leeway on making things work at work.  I like that.  I like to stand on my own two feet.

I'll tell you what else I don't like.  It's being flat broke.  I hate telling my kids we don't have money to do something or buy something they'd like to do or have. They rarely ask for anything.  Caleb broke my heart a few years ago when he broke his arm. He didn't want to go to the emergency room because he knew we couldn't afford it.  It appalls me to even admit that.  Grant told us last year he couldn't think of anything he wanted for himself for Christmas.  Neither one of them has offered to make a list this year for Christmas.  They've watched us and my parents struggle with challenge after challenge after challenge this year.  We keep thinking, okay, things have got to get better and they only worsen. Where's the bottom of this stupid abyss?  Are we there yet????

We keep doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting a different result...isn't that the very definition of insanity?

It's time to do something different and I have no clue what that would be or where to start if I did. I am my own worst enemy and I am where I am now because of decisions I made, actually I let someone else make them for me up until the last 3 years, I've been gaining /making up ground ever since.  But I'm stuck now.  How the heck do I get unstuck?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Heroine!

Dr. Anne Louise Gittleman.  I love this woman!  She packs a lot of USEFUL  information into  everything she does and it isn't expensive, time consuming, or complicated.  What she offers is common sense backed by a good deal of experience and science.

Top 10 superfoods for women  (A fairly easy list to shop from, chock full of things you may already buy)

Before The Change: Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause  (Life changing for me, follow her plan in this book for 2 weeks, just 2, and see how much better you feel!)

Diet-Detox (On my wish list for sure!)

Fat Flush For Life (Also on my wish list)

When I first opened Before The Change, I was skeptical.  Just another bunch of blahblahblah from some doctor who thinks she knows everything about what I'm going through and wanted to sell some crackpot diet pill that won't do anything promised.  Turns out, she did know, very well. And she wasn't hawking some miracle pill.  She had a very simple plan: a relatively inexpensive list of vitamins, minerals, and supplements and useful advice.. 

Sometimes it's the overlooked, under rated, simple things that work best. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Carbs make me sleepy part 2

I seem to be getting A LOT of hits on the Carbs Make Me Sleepy post.  Apparently I'm not the only one affected by such problems.  Most heavy starches send me into an almost comatose state.  Sugar, potatoes, pasta, and breads are the worst culprits.  Thanksgiving dinner is probably the most notoriously obvious example I can think of.  Please note that though turkey contains trytophan it is not the turkey that knocks you out. It's all the carb laden side dishes who are the wolves in sheep's clothing.  It's the combination of the two that deliver the knock out punch on Thanksgiving day.

Your diet affects your mood.  Mood- Food Relations

Your diet affects your insulin levels.  Lower your carb intake and lower your insulin levels.

BUT.  You can  Take control of carb cravings.   by exchanging bad carbs for good carbs as shown on this list of good and bad carbs

To make a long story short.  Carbs affect the levels of seratonin in your body. Seratonin is a feel good/relax hormone.  Carbs also affect insulin levels in everyone, but, especially in people who are Insulin Resistant.  If you have a high intake of carbs then you're going to become sleepy.  I hate the feeling of not being in control of my body because of the foods I eat.  I refuse to eat a lot of bad carbs.  I have turned down some of the yummiest looking breads and deserts in favor of remaining alert/awake and in control. 

At one time I lived in the Tellico Grainery indulging myself their delicious pastries(brownies and carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting, or the HUGE cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting or sugar), sandwiches(the best rueben to ever cross your lips!), and breads (OMG! Fogacia!)

Now they're a once in a blue moon treat.  I cringe at the thought of bread beyond Pepperidge Farm's 15 grain bread.  I was actually nauseated at the sight of Thanksgiving dinner being slapped on peoples plates on some new report last week.  I loved shrimp fettucine, but now, ummm, no thanks.  Pass the salads with dressing on the side. Or the sushi. Or the closest veggie plates that aren't laden in grease, butter, salt, or cheese.  That pretty much eliminates Cracker Barrel huh?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner and just one spoonful

It all adds up.  Calories, that is. And salt intake.  For the most part, I behaved myself,sticking mainly with turkey and vegetables.  However, my veggie shoices were actually poor for the most part and unfortunately the best veggie (the one I liked the most) was pickled green tomatoes rinsed and fried with pickled okra.  Salt central! 

I took an exhaustion related nap after eating 2 slices of turkey breast (no seasonings used), no dressing, 1 small spoonful of mashed taters, fresh turnip greens (unsalted), cheesy mixed veggies (tons of salt again), northen beans (canned therefore SALTY), fried okra/tomatoes. I didn't even touch the rolls and I love brown and serve rolls, but I didn't touch them.  I was a good girl,for the most part..  I also had 2 deviled eggs and a slice of Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake (made with tofu) with 1 spoonful of low fat less sugar Breyer's Vanilla bean icecream.  Sweet tea to round it off.

So what happened while I was sleeping?  My body is so unaccustomed to salt and sugar that I swelled up like a big balloon.  My kidneys have been working overtime trying to filter all those toxins I put in my body today.  I feel bad and very thirsty.  The swelling is starting to go down finally.  My hands were so swollen that they were difficult to use.

One thing I did notice while napping, I slept on my back without waking up gasping for air for the first time in years.  I woke up slightly when my son was in my face saying "hey mom, did you know...."  And the second time he was tucking me in on the sofa because my feet were freezing (he's a sweet young man who loves and takes care of his mom).

I'm drinking a lot of water to try and flush the ick out of my system.

I think I would really love to have a slice of that apple pie still sitting in my kitchen, but the more I think of it the less appealing it is.  Perhaps the appeal is the fact that it's sitting in there going to waste and the mom in me says don't waste food.  It needs to just waste.  Maybe one of my kids will eat it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spark people

When I first signed up on Spark People I was put off by the number of whiny people who needed permission to even breathe.  I was put off by a number of things, but the 'permission to' crowd drove me insane.  Don't get me wrong.  I understand there are those out there who don't know how or where to begin losing weight, I certainly didn't, but I also didn't go on a blog site asking how much salt to put on my mashed potatoes or when to eat or how much to eat.  I'm a firm believer that you eat what you want, in moderation, until you're satisfied.  Not stuffed to the gills. We all (I hope) have enough common sense to know when something we're eating may not be the best for us.

I'm a sushi addict.  It's not bad for you in its un sauce'ified' state.(I make up words to suit my needs, in case you haven't noticed)  Sushi Faq  How did I get onto sushi?  I was supposed to be talking turkey...

Spark People sent me an email, probably one of the better emails I've gotten from them as someone has  FINALLY used some common sense!  8 Ways to Trim The Thanksgiving Calories    You know what?  I dont' think I'll ever look at eggnogg quite the same way.  I love the stuff, with a splash of kahlua or baileys, but what CALORIES!

My advice: Exercise caution laced with a bit of food adventure and a lot of common sense when it comes to holiday feasts. 
My permission: Taste what you want. Indulge what you like. There's no rule that says you have to stuff yourself like a Thanksgiving turkey. Just go easy on the salty, overly sweet, gravied, and sauc'ified' foods and you'll do well.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Weekend.  I'll be at work.....

Side note: Be nice to the cashiers and sales floor people who are getting up before the cold butt crack of dawn, leaving our families to be able to provide you with 3 a.m. customer service in our stores.  We are just as tired and overstuffed as you are.  We would rather be at home in bed too.  Play nice, be patient, better yet, order online...faster, simpler, no lines....

I also have noticed I have some new readers. Hi and welcome to what is fast becoming my OCD lifestyle blog. To leave me a note just click comment at the bottom of the post. I love just getting a 'howdy!" sometimes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just Stuff

fresh food perspectives    I stumbled across this neat blog today while searching for healthier bread recipes.  Enjoy.

I must not continue eating the way I have been the last two days.  I think I'm eating out of boredom and I'm eating really bad stuff (except the sushi).  Tonight I ate a huge amount of blackberry cobbler.  My stomach is protesting so I probably won't do that again anytime soon. It's not that I'm gaining weight, it's that I'm not really doing anything constructive to help counter weight gain.  My stability ball is sitting beside me taunting my every breath.  How's that for guilt?

I have my order ready for a 3 month supply from Swanson Vitamins and believe me it won't get here soon enough.

Swanson Vitamins

My internet usage has probably more than doubled in the past few weeks.  Boredom.  Cold weather setting in.  Lack of sunlight,  You name it.  Just any excuse to not exercise or eat better and here I am in my 'No Excuses Zone' lol!

Perhaps I should just go to bed and get some sleep instead of staying up all night?

G'night all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pecan CheeseCake Recipe

This is one of a few instances where I actually use raw sugar instead of agave or  honey


1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 14 oz silky tofu drained and patted dry set aside on paper towels while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
15 oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Combine pecans and 1/4 cup brown sugar; cut in butter or margarine with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Beat tofu at high speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar; beat well. Add cornstarch.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in pumpkin and spices. Pour mixture into crust.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle pecan mixture over pie. Bake for 5 additional minutes, or until butter or margarine and sugar melt. Cool on a wire rack. Cover, and chill for at least 4 hours.

Side note: You can cheat this recipe by using 1 cup pumpkin butter in place of pumpkin puree and pumpkin spices.  Just be sure you use Pumpkin Butter that is sweetened with juice instead of sugar to cut down on all the sugar in this recipe.

Updates and a Cheesecake Recipe

My Current Measurments

September   Weight  208         October  Weight 205  November  Weight 203
Neck 15.5                                15                              15               

Biceps 14                                 14                              13(fat loss)

Wrist 6                                     6                                6.5 (go figure)
Bust 40                                    36                               34.5

Waist 36                                  36                               36 (what gives?  obviously not my waistline grrrr)

Hips 47                                   45.5                             45
Thigh 27                                  24                                24
Calf 17                                   17                                16

Hmpf.  3 inches lost in 5 weeks time. Bad Melissa!  Too many sodas. (waves goodbye to the caffeine crutch) However 12 inches off  and 5lb off since September isn't so bad.  I need to get back on a regular exercise routine and steady diet.  I'm not even going to use holiday eating and schedule for an excuse.  This is the No Excuses Zone.  Just because it's the Holiday season doesnt' mean you can't eat right or better.  I have to pay attention to what I'm doing, to what's going into my mouth, so do you.

It's cold outside so it's time to tune in to good exercise videos. Suzanne Deason's Pilates Conditioning for Weight loss is a very good, easy, slow paced introduction to Pilates.  Just remember it isn't quantity but quality when it comes to exercise videos.  If you can't keep up dont' stress yourself out to catch up.

Mari Winsor has 2 easy exercise videos I use:  The first is body sculpting using resistance bands ($9 for the bands at WalMart or KMart)  The other is Mari Winsor's Basics. Easy Easy Easy, very slow step by step instruction for even the most overweight of beginners.  If your tummy and butt is in the way, attempt the exercise anyway.  That stomach has to go!

There is no cardio workout involved in the above Pilates videos.  I reccommend walking.  Get up and move yo' ass in the fresh air and sunshine, even if it is freezing.  It'll get your blood circulating.  there's no one to keep up with.  No video taped instructor who looks too freaking happy while she's telling you you can do it!

Download some rockin upbeat tunes to your mp3 player and  hit the trail.  Cleveland has some great walking trails.  Tellico has so many off the beaten path trails it isn't funny. Safety note: know something about the trail before you tackle it.  Take a friend with you who won't try to sabotage your attempts to feel better about yourself, even if it is unconscious.  Take your dog with you. Dogs love to go on adventures.  Big Dawg  has been known to drag me onto paths unknown (read, he made his own trail) and I'm still alive lol!  Sometimes he sabotages me by having to stop at every.single.tree. I guess I get my exercise in by firmly planting my feet and  forcing him away from every.single.tree. Do you KNOW how many trees are on the walking trail in Tellico?  DO YOU?  Eeesh.

Simple Tofu Cheesecake Recipe
Warning: If  you haven't cooked with tofu before, then this is not a recipe to try for a holiday.  It took a long time for me to get it right simply because of the soggy nature of tofu

2 lg. eggs

1 lb., 6 oz.  extra firm tofu drained and patted dry

2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup honey or agave (experiment with this til you find the right 'sweet' for you)
1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp. fresh-grated lemon peel

2 tbsp. butter

3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

(1/2 c. preserves or fruit for topping - optional)

Blend 1 egg and 1/2 the tofu and lemon juice until smooth. Pour into bowl. Blend other egg and rest of tofu and lemon juice. (Needs to be smooth and creamy - use a blender). Stir in honey or agave, vanilla , cornstarch, and lemon peel. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter and stir in crumbs. press into bottom and up sides of 9 inch pie plate. Fill with tofu mixture. Bake 50-55 minutes. Cool. Chill 3 hours or longer.

So there we have my belated updates. time to finish up the dishes nd laundry before hubby and kids get back from Atlanta.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Melissa's Favorite Things This week!

Plus how to navigate this blog because I'm directionally challenged even here lol!

I have new readers! YAY!  My before and in progress pictures were posted in the first week of August so go all the way back there if you're interested.  Recipes, menues, shopping lists, and play lists are scattered throughout.

My new favorite of the week is SUSHI! Anyone surprised at that?  Thought not.  As reminded by a friend, sushi is good for you until you start adding the sauces to it.  Go easy on the soy suace...sodium central.  Use the low sodium version.  Better yet, mix a bit of wasabi paste into your low sodium soy sauce...put a kick in your mouth for sure...also her suggestion.  Besides, hot peppers ARE good for you.  Scroll down to find the post on hot pepper benefits.

In other news:
I've had the house to myself since yesterday morning.  It's a bit quiet and just a little spooky to me.  Good thing big dawg is house broken. No one, and I mean no one will try to get past him if they're smart. 

My hands are cold.  I'd love to have a big bowl of oatmeal with agave and cinnamon even if it is after midnight.  I've done a bit of housework in between working at KMart and going to the funeral home and out for sushi. See there it is again lol!  Sushi!  I may need intervention if this keeps up =)

Anyway, time for this ol' girl to go to bed. Another girl's day out tomorrow. We're getting our hair done and grabbing a quick bite to eat then I'm going to visit my mom at the nursing home then my grandmother at her home.  'Nother busy day.  Oh well.

Stability Ball Routine

You have all seen me posting about being on the ball and falling from the ball but I bet most of you have n no idea exactly what I meant.  The following models are not me in any way shape or form, especially the man lol!

My disclaimer: I dont' own these pictures.  I am not a fitness expert.  These are justa few of the exercises that I do on a bi-nightly basis to find my waistline and get my female curves to turn back in the right direction.  This particular exercsie can and will hurt you if  you'r enot careful.  If you're uncertain about a move, talk to your doctor first, because, guess what?  I'm not a doctor either!

Stabilty Ball Routine part one!

Pilates version of a crunch.  Pull your navel in like you're sucking in your gut.  Here the model is adding a slight twist to her move which helps tone the obliques

Stabilty ball version of a Pilates Swan.  I love this move.  You can feel between your shoulders and all the way down your back as it strengthens your back.  Hold your gut in during the upward motion of this exercise. Feel the BURN!

This position lands me in the floor every time I try it.  You have to concentrate really hard on controlling your back and stomach muscles to be able to hold the position.  to make it even harder you can lift one hand  or one leg  challenging your balance even further.  I haven't gotten that far yet.

Stability ball version of a Plank.  I cna barely do a plank without the ball and usually wind up in the floor whenthe ball rolls away as I don't have enough control of my back and abdominal muscles yet. 

Stability Ball version of a curl up.  I love this move too.  It burns!  Suck your gut in as you move and use your abdominal muscles to control your body as you lower yourself back down.

Another stability ball version of a Pilates Bridge.  Pull your gut in here as well.  Burn burn burn!

This version of a bridge also lands me on the floor.  Gotta work more on the control doggone it!

Hips, thighs, back, glutes, abs. This takes a lot of control and deep concentration  so that your back doesn't arch off the floor.  Talk about feeling a burn.  Tap feet with ball side to side to challenge yourself.
Stability ball routine part 2: Add 2 pound soft weights to the exercises where your hands are free for more strength and sculpting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waxing Nostalgic

I lost a friend this past week.  I had just found him, rather he found me, on Facebook a month or so ago and now he's gone on to heaven.  I avoided the last highschool reunion becuase I was ashamed of how muchweight I'd gained.  There.  I said it.  I hid myself from the people who know and love me best outside of my family.  No one should have to live like that.

It was sooo good to see and talk to people I haven't seen in years, my fault for hiding.  I'm not hiding anymore.

I miss my friends and family.  We're not getting any younger, let's stop being strangers.

Something else I miss is my still AWOL measuring tape.  What gives?

okay.okay.  It's a weightloss/lifestyle change blog so I'll switch gears, even though I do want to go on and on about how much I miss everyone just to make sure I drive home just how much I've missed everyone and drive you all away lol!

I'm having a terrible time with healthier versions of Thanksgiving favorites.  I've found better solutions to some things, pecan pie is not one of them.  I've been turned off to artificial sweeteners in cakes and breads.  In fact I gagged on a delicious looking piece of pumpkin bread and banana bread in the past 24 hours simply because it was 'sweetened' with splenda.  Holy smokes are you trying to kill everyone in the store!?!?!?

Don't  not use sugar, use less of it, lower the amount of oil in the recipe, use unsweetened applesauce in place of oil.  Use agave or honey in place of sugar, use egg substitute if you're worried about cholesterol.  You should be worried about using ARTIFICIAL read FAKE sugar in your foods.  They cause all kinds of harmful side effects from cancer to insatiable hunger to migraines.  You're putting CHEMICALS in your body.  They arent' natural.  They're BAD for you..

Sorry, digressing...

so far Thanksgiving dinner line up is a s follows

Baked turkey

Couscous/apple/walnut dressing

Mashed cauliflower (instead of taters)

Savory (Herbed) Vegetable broth gravy

Shells n cheese (for the kids)

Pumpkin Pecan cheesecake (hah! it's made with tofu!)
Chocolate Cake (Unbleached whole grain flour,tofu, wheat bran wheat germ and ground flaxseed!)
Sweet tater casserole (sweetened with applesauce, bananas, raisins, pineapples, and agave)
Turnip Greens
Soup Beans
Baked Acorn Squash
Fried Okra (For the rest of the family)

Seems turkey has been given the bum wrap of late. It isn't the culprit in post Thanksgiving dinner nappiness, it's the heavy carb laden sides that are the guilty party.  CARBS MAKE YOU SLEEPY!

The avergae person will consume a staggering 4500, that is four thousand five hundred calories on Thanksgiving Day.  My stomach  protested when I saw that number.  it said "No way! Nuh uh!  you're not eating that much!"  and I probably won't.

I look forward to the holidays.  I love the sights, smells, and sounds. All the hustle and bustle.  I love to bake and give homemade goodies away.  This year is bitterweet because my mom is in the nursing home. Again.  Trying to recover from a broken leg.  I think we'll either figure out a way to kidnap her from the nursing home or smuggle a Thanksgiving feast in to her room. Cue the Mission Impossible theme music......


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lack of Update

It's hard to do your measurments when your measuring tape has gone AWOL. 

WalMart has a yummy fresh veggie line called Marketside. I'm in love with their fresh salsa in hot, medium, and mild.  20 Calories of 2 Tbsp!  Very little sodium or sugar and it tastes really really good.

I mixed 2 tbsp into plain brown rice and it was quite tasty/filling.  Saltaholics might want more salt, but I'm good with it as is.

Working days is seriously tearing into my exercise and diet regimen.  I need a YMCA membership so I can go work out on lunch break instead of eating.  oooooooooooooooohhh or a tanning bed membership!  Decisions decisions!  Both?  meh.  I can't afford to do that.

I need a new hobby too. find that infernal measuring tape!

Monday, November 8, 2010

When your last name is Murphy

Murphy's law applies ten fold.  The rotten past week is now spilling over into this week and I want to know what gives?  We just keep on taking hit after hit, get right back up and keep going, but I'm beginning to wonder how much more we can possibly take?  Two cars of three are down.  We have no money, and when I say NO MONEY I mean NO MONEY. Tuition is due.  Doctor and dentist bills are due. Mortgage is due.  We broke out a credit card to rent a car because our 2 cars couldn't break down AND be repaired while I was on vacation.  Nooooo, too simple. 

If your'e a guy reading this, you're about to cross over into the too much information zone.  This is your one second warning.




And to top it all off, Caleb informed me I look like I'm gaining my weight back.  GASP! ARGHHHH! NOOOOO!!!

But he's right.  This last menstrual cycle put the entire household through hell.  I went on a hellacious chocolate and soda binge. I was mean spirited during the day and wore my husband the last 2 nights before 'mother nature' arrived..  I've not done that in a long long long time.  Probably a good thing I was on vacation I would have gotten fired with my bad attitude and short fuse. And I mean short fuse.  Everyone pretty much stayed out of my way. Even our pets.

The scale says three pounds heavier and I have a monster bloat going on that would make Oprah look thin. I'm out of my vitamins and will have to wait until we get paid again before refilling my evening primrose supplies.

Ladies, evening primrose oil, 1300 mg is a GOD SEND when it comes to controlling mood swings and hormones.  I'm of the unprofessional opinion that it also helps curb cravings and bloat as well.

I've discovered 2 new online hobbies. couponing and survey taking for points to redeem for rewards, mostly gift cards, but hey, I'm short on cash and Christmas is coming up fast!.  I'm thinking this new obsession with couponing is contributing to my erratic almost OCD behavior and general gloominess.  I must not get on the computer so much, but there are so many surveys and coupons to find! And there is no warm sunshine with its siren's call drawing me away from the computer in favor of soaking up it's rays.  Sure, there's sun out there, but damn it's cold!

And therein lies my moodiness.  Lack of sun.  It encourages the release of feel good hormones. Natural Vitamin D contributes to those feel good hormones.  Vitamin D deficiency contributes to the juggly fat under your skin, that gross stuff that hangs over your waistband.  I read an article just this week where a doctor suggested that obese, note OBESE, not fat for those who think that needing to lose just 5 pounds qualifies them as obese, Obese women should consume as much as 10,000 IU of Vitamin D per day.  Almost all OBESE women are 80% or more deficient in Vitamin D.

Now, when I first read that article I mulled it over.  When did I start losing weight?  When I started supplementing my diet with Anne Louise Gittleman's peri-zappers and a multi that contained Vitamin D and I started laying out in the sun frequently.  Vitmain D central.  The weight started falling off.  I wasn't even exercising then. Just eating better. So, this is the way I think it works:  Vitamin D up to 10k IU, lots of veggies and fruits with a little meat/cheese/protein  on the side and you are well on your way to weight loss  that is not all that hard.That's what I did. Then add in a bit of exercise, just 15-20 minutes per day or even every other day and you'll  begin to see some results within 2 weeks. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It has to have curb appeal

I take my lunch to work, sometimes I even carry breakfast with me to work as well.  First I get "Let's see what Melissa has today' crowd as I enter the lounge area who look my lunch over with the expertise of experienced foodies.  They say one of two things "I don't see how you eat that" or "Do you really eat like that all the time?"  My choice.  My food. And 9 times of 10, yes I do eat like this all the time.

The floor crew later in the day get to experience my entree choices in all its colorful glory.  I get the following statements in one form or another "I can't eat like that."  Why not?  and "Wow!  That's a pretty lunch!"

Pretty?  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and presentation is everything when it comes to food.  It's something akin to selling a home.  If it has curb appeal it will sell. The same for food: If it appeals to your tastebuds then the food is sold. 

Your basic fried chicken dinner.  Smells good doesn't it?  It doesn't have a great deal of curb appeal, not a great deal of color under it or around it, unless you want to count that sea of white plate covered in gravy with matching white bowl.  You'll probably still eat it, but wish it wasn't so boring.

 Watermelon Feta Salad presented in a red bowl with a sea of green under it accented with black white and red ingredients.  That's how you create curb appeal for food.

If you're not sure how to create curb appeal for your food start with your dishes.  Really, not many people pay attention to what the food is on but how it is presented, but if you start out with something colorful and still serve boring food, the color is there.  If you're stuck with a plain white plate (because they go with everything right? ) then it's time to learn curb appeal and fast!

Green perks everything up in a heart beat.  Either put the food on a bed of baby spinach, or add a big sprig of parsely on the side.  Orange slices under the sprig of parsley or lemon wedges along side it amp up the color.

Need more color?

Try serving multi colored pasta instead of plain old elbow noodles. Purple potatoes instead of plain white potatoes.  The taste is the same, they're just a funny color. Brown and wild rice instead of plain old white rice. See where I'm going here? Variety is the spice of life and when food gets boring it's time to liven things up a bit!

Dress up a plain salad with whole or sliced radishes, baby carrots, and pitted black olives toss some herbed feta cheese over it, serve your dressing on the side because dressing covers up the pretty salad. Toss some unsalted sunflower seeds on the salad for a little extra crunch.

Multi colored sweet pepper rounds dress up sliced meat, chicken breasts, and salads.

Having traditional southern fare of  fried taters, pinto beans, greens and cornbread or poor man's dinner as I call it, (best dinner on earth as far as I'm concerned!)  Carmelize thinly sliced onions and spoon generously over the greens.  Add some diced sweet red peppers and drained black beans into the cornbread mix then cook it. Mix sweet potato fries with your white potatoes and bake them instead of frying them sprinkle with course ground pepper and sea salt.  Add drained black beans and drained white beans to your red pintos.  There you have a more eye appealing palate of food.

A coloful snack in our home consists of  roasted red pepper hummus (orangey red in color) and green sugar snap peas or garlic hummus (pale white) and baby carrots.

Even cereal and milk can be made more appealing by adding blueberries  or strawberries or rasperries. Not bananas they're not colorful, good for you, but not colorful.

Experiment.  Look at food magazines and websites.  Attend cooking shows.  Learn to make your food more appealing.  You won't have as many left overs and you'll find yourself buying more colorful  fruits and vegetables just to make your foods more appealing/pretty.  There's nothing more satsifying than hearing someone excalim "WOW! Your food is always so pretty and colorful!" 

Then watch it disappear. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Shopping List

Not that kind of shopping list =)
Holiday Cooking

I love to cook for the Holidays.  Calories, Salt, Sugar, of course, are some of the biggest problems with all the fun get togethers going on now through January 2nd.  I can't tell you how to avoid the pitfalls of someone else's cooking other than you know the more sugary, crunchy, or creamy it is the more calories it has in it.  Same for alcoholic beverages the more syrupy and creamy they are the more calories packed into them.  So think about what you're putting in your mouth rather than blindly consuming any of it.  I'm not saying don't eat it, just think about it first.  The addage a moment across the lips an eternity on the hips applies tenfold here.  Use your head not your tastebuds.

These are your Holiday Cooking Must Haves:
-Ground Turkey or Chicken
-Whole Chicken, skinned (you can't buy them skinned you can either ask the person at the meat counter, who will look at you like you've lost your mind or just use your kitchen scissors at home to make short work of it)
-Whole Turkey, skinned (this you will have to do at  home after the turkey has defrosted)
-Black Olives
-Herbed Feta Cheese
-Baby Spinach leaves
-Black Beans
-Whole Flaxseed
-Ground Flaxseed
-Finely milled Wheat Germ
-Organic Cinnamon
-Organic Fresh Ginger (peeled as needed)
-Organic Thyme
-Organic Whole Rosemary
-Organic Orange Zest
-Organic Parsley
-Organic High Lignan Flaxseed Oil
-Organic Coconut Oil
-Sugar Free Hard Peppermint candies
-Organic Semi-sweet chocolate
-Old Fashioned Oats (not the quick cook variety)
-Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
- Eggs.  I buy a very particular brand of eggs that are brown cage free hormone free omega 3 rich.  I find t hem at Bi-lo and every once and a while at Wal Mart

Why must your chicken or Turkey be skinned?  Skin and fat is where bacteria live and rapidly multiply in raw poultry.  Make sure you rinse the abdominal cavity out very well.  For those of you who don' t know, make sure you remove the packaged organ meats and gravies inside the cavity of your poulty. Also when rinsing out the abdominal cavity of your poultry, please ,please, please don't use soap.  That taste will not go away.

The other reason not to keep the skin on your poultry: to reduce your tendency to stuff flavorings (which are FULL OF SALT) under the skin.  you also won't be Stuffing the skin full of boutter either to 'make the meat more tender'.  More like make everything taste like butter which is full of fat and salt as well.

Here's how to cook your holiday bird:

Skin removed and bird rinsed thoroughly, patted dry.   Using 1/2 cup grapeola dip a basting brush in grapeola and generously brush over your bird. In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of the following Rosemary, Sea Salt and parsley, rub into your bird inside and out.  If you have a large bird then use what you need accordingly.  Put your bird in its pan.  Add 1 inch of water in bottom of pan.  cover pan tighly with foil even if it has a lid and cook accordingly.

OH NO! NO STUFFING!  No, no stuffing in the bird, one of the top three causes of food poisoning during the holidays is stuffing cooked inside poulty.  the bird might be done but the juice dripping into the stuffing inside the bird is full of bacteria from the raw meat will make you sick if it isn't cooked or if it's left to sit for a while before serving.

Your alternatives: You can go ahead and ignore me and have your precious in the bird stuffing (which is full of salt and other nasty preservatives AND bacteria) or you can have wild rice pilaf or fancy couscous (recipes later as I dont' have them directly in front of me) or even a homemade stuffing cooked in a seperate pan from the bird.

I was asked recently why I had such a huge long shopping list.  Technically, for me, it isn't huge long anymore.  For people just starting out it is.

I suggest buying a few of the items at a time not all at once to keep from busting your bank account

Ground Flaxseed
Eggs (cage free, hormone free)
SoBe Life Water
Herbed Feta Cheese
Baby Spinach

That's our must have list.  Everything else is bonus/icing on the cake/whatever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It's been a crappy week so far.  Probably the best thing that happened is that my mom is out of the hospital and in rehab at the nursing home...again.  She had total knee replacement about 2 months ago, was doing well, then her femur just under the knee replacement decided to break.  Back to the hospital, back into surgery and back to the nursing home for her.  I told her no more hopscotch or tap dancing for a while.

I made chili for supper tonight.  Rinsed all the beans, drained the meat, but my stomach feels like it's a ticking time bomb, burning and belchy tummy night for me.  Silly me had a cranberry vodka on top of that so I guess I get what I deserve.  It'll be a yogurt only day for me tomorrow.

I've abandoned 30 day Pilates challenge again.  however, I'm still doing my workouts on the stability ball. I'm sure I look graceful and beauteous while working on it lol!  (yes that's sarcasm) But I'm envious of the bodies I've seen others get who were much heavier than I am. Envy is a powerful motivator. I fully intend to have a rockin bikini body by my 42nd birthday. 42 is a scary number further away from safe child bearing years and too freakin close to menopause for my comfort, but as I've said before.  I can't do anything about age by I can do something about fat.  It's only 50 pounds away and I lost more than 50 in the last year.  It's do-able.

Ever try to do a roll up or a plank while your belly is still dragging the ground?  Talk about humiliating.  Better yet, you're  not supposed to have an arch in your back while doing roll ups/crunches, but your butt is so big it lifts your lower back off the ground while your droopy boobs have pooled under your back also forcing your  back  to arch even .  OUCH! No wonder people give up on exercising.  There's no real instruction for the truly obese on how to do the exercises correctly.  The only advice I've seen is to get a personal trainer like everyone can afford those types of services.

I'm wondering what is wrong that I can't seem to take a good picture of late?  Is it the hair that is making me look far too pale? The lack of sun bathing as it's a bit too cool outside so I no longer have a healthy sun kissed glow?  My hair won't do a darned thing. My make up is all wrong.  I feel like a stranger in my own body.  I still startle myself when I look in the mirror, whoa!  who's that? Oh it's me!  I look old and worn out.  Eesh!  Ever had that experience?  If not and you're over 40, it's coming soon to a mirror near you!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Tricks and Treats

Artficial Sweeteners are a NASTY business!
 The good the bad and the ugly lowdowns on everyone's favorite sweeteners here on Halloween as you sort through all those goodies in your trick or treat bag..

Things to remember: Aspartame causes cancer.
Splenda   is a chlorocarbon (a chlorine containing compound)  Chlorine, as in BLEACH.  And you're putting that in your body everytime you consume it.

High Fructose Corn Syrup   is a hidden sugar that can cause problems with diabecs who arent' payign attention to what is in their food. 

The good stuff?  Honey, the darker the better, though it does cause a temporary spike in blood glucose levels, it isn't as dangerous as sugar.

Agave, a 32 on the glycemic scale whereas honey scores a 58, and granulated sugar (table sugar) score 65.

So pick your poison.  I prefer granulated sugar to artificial sweeteners, at least it won't cause cancer.  I use a lot of honey and have recently started using Agave too.  I like them both.

How's that for short and to the point?

Updates on weight and measurements on the 9th!

Me in all my witchy, windblown glory.  Okay so I cheated and got out of my black pants that were uncomfortable in favor of a pair of well worn, comfy jeans. and I lost my hat to the wind lol!  Hubby said I won the boob appeal award.  I think I look fat (I know I am, but this just made it look worse!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

So I'm a chocaholic =)

Melissa's Brownies

This makes a very heavy/dense brownie chock full of protein, omegas, high lignans, and fiber.


2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon, melted
2/3 cup honey or agave (adjust according to your taste)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup  cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I usually just use the whole bag =) )
1/2 cup old fashioned oats (not the 1 minute kind)
1 brick silky or extra firm tofu (pour juice off, let tofu sit on paper towels while preparing batter then dice up for easier mixing)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 tbsp grapeola (grapeseed oil)
1/2 tbsp flaxseed oil


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flours and baking powder.

3. In a large bowl, cream together the 1/4 pound of butter, honey, and oils until smooth, then add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and tofu along with the wheat germ and ground flaxseed and blend well.

4. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa with the melted butter and the milk. Pour into the honey mixture, blending well. Whisk in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into bars.

I'm going as a witch for Halloween this year, same as last year, with a more modern twist.  the much lighter hair is throwing me because I had a much darker look in mind, kind of like the witch from that old television story The Trouble With Miss Switch (aka Miss Switch is a Witch)I'll post some pics of me in my outfit while I'm learning to make my 'look' match what I have in my mind's eye and then the final product on Saturday. Wohoo!

I'm painting faces on Saturday at KMart in Athens from 1-4 if you want to come by and bring your little ones for a little 'magic transformation) Hehe, my magic wand is a paint brush.

I'm not the best face painter but I love doing it and the kids dont' care if it's perfect or not..

Friday, October 22, 2010

You Have My Permission

Whoa!  Three posts in one night!  Don't get used to it.

One thing has been bothering me, beside food police.  It's the sheer number of people who seem to want or need permission to do something for themselves.

Sure, I'll give you permission.

1) You have my permission to not be fat anymore.
2) You have my permission to eat better.
3) You have my permission to feel good about yourself no matter what.
4) You have my permission to not clean your plate.
5) You have my permission to color your hair.
6) You have my permission to buy clothes that you look good in. Notice I didn't say that look good on you.  There is a difference.
7) You have my permisssion to do your diet/change of lifestyle your way.
8) You have my permission to tell Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, and Jenny Craig that their cookie cutter diet program doesnt' suit you that your life and your body doesn't fit in with their cookie cutter mold.
9) You have my permission to totally screw up your 'diet' as long as you eventually get back on YOUR program
10) You have my permission to a design it yourself lifestyle change.
11) You have my permission to exercise as much or as little control as you wish over your lifestyle.
12) You have my permission to not feel guilty around me while you're eating chips and I'm munching on carrots and hummus.
13) You have my permission to indulge in whatever you like.
14) You have my permission to call my lifestyle change a diet.
15) You have permission to quit/give up at anytime, just don't expect sympathy from my corner

All I ask is that you refrain from telling me what my 'diet' rules are.
1) a: I don't punish myself for totally screwing up my meal and snack plans for the day. 
    b: I don't have actual written out meal/snack plans, just whatever is available and I feel like eating (within reason)

2) I don't call it a diet, because technically it isn't a diet per se, unless you want to consider food consumption a diet as in "Her daily diet consists of a lot of fruits and vegggies and whole grains" instead of "She eats a lot of weird stuff on her diet."

3) I don't fear failure. I just dont' accept failure. I get up and dust my knees off, or my ass, depending on which direction the blow came from and go at it again.

Anything else you  need permission to do, you have it.  Unless it's illegal, at which point, you're on your own.


Blogger has an interesting feature called stats, far better than the feed reader and feedjit. Apparently, in my blog's existence since August I've had 1072 hits.  It looks like I had the most hits when I posted my fat girl pics.  What anyone's obsession is with my terrible fat girl pictures is beyond me, but okay, whatever floats your boat. 

ONE  THOUSAND SEVENTY TWO HITS!  Mostly from facebook.  The number amazes me. Judging by feedjit and feed reader's numbers I thought I was doing a poor job of finding people to 'talk' to.  I don't feel so bad now.  I'll take the 1072 which averages out to a little over 300 hits a month or roughly 10 hits a day.  Not bad for a 3 month old blog.  Technically 4 month old blog, but the 1st month I don't think I published but maybe one or two things.

I just wish when people visit my blog that they'd drop a 'howdy' as they breeze through.  Don't make me feel like I'm talking to myself please.

Diet Police

If there's one thing I can't stand it's the diet police who are watching my every bite.  I never said I was on a diet.  I never said I couldn't eat whatever I wanted to eat.  What I did say is that I'm paying attention to what I eat.  I'm paying attention to the calories, salt and sugar in what I eat.  I'm not counting anything, it's too much trouble.  I don't punish myself for the days and times I stray from what I normally eat. I just wipe the crumbs off and try to do better.

I'm paying attention to my body's signals about the types of foods it will tolerate.  Right now, I don't seem able to tolerate most starchy carbs and I'm okay with that.  I was never a fan of potatoes or pasta or bread to begin with.

I have intense cravings for fresh vegetables (sweet green peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers mostly) and some fruits (blueberries) which sucks this time of year because they're not readily available or if they are available they're extremely expensive and the tomatoes taste grainy.  YUCK!

I have a  huge appetite for Lindt's Chili Chocolate, but I find I can eat it or leave it as evidenced by the not even half eaten bar still in the fridge.  One square does me just fine for the day.

I ate shepherd's pie for supper last night (without potatoes) Still full of calories, but minus the carbs, no salt!  I didnt' use salt!  and I still woke up one pound lighter. HA!

Oh, and weight as of tonight 204.2 I finally snapped that strangle hold of 205.  About time too. I thought I was doomed to 205.  How's that for a Halloween nightmare? 

I ordered my shirt for Halloween and now I'm afraid it's going to be too big for me.  Pants, well, I guess I'll be shopping Cato's and maybe some other specialty stores to see if I can find something that looks good with the shirt.  The leather that I wanted to wear escapes me this time due to finances and still being over the 200 pound mark I set for myself.  I know there are lots of women who are well over 200 who are wearing leather and um, yeah, we all know what that looks like...

I promised Shirley a brownie recipe and that ain't happenin' tonight because I'm being lazy lol.  I'll post it sometime this weekend, promise.