Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The long and Short of it

Last night for dinner I made an odd vegetable for one of our sides- long beans. I choose these because our market had them for a low price, and I am a big fan of choosing any vegetable that is a little different than the normal 11 varieties available year round as frozen.

These are similar in taste and texture to green beans, but yet different. They have a more compact consistency and a more earthy sort of taste. The beans within the strands are small and compact, much like those in okra. Amongst oriental people these are served on Chinese New Year because it is believed that they encourage a long life. In truth they are not related to the green bean, but rather a member of the cow pea family.They are a good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, and a very good source for vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and manganese. They are sometimes called Asparagus beans .

There are several different recipes out there as to how to cook them, but I choose to keep it simple. I trimmed the ends from the beans( tail and tip), and then broke them into smaller portions for cooking. For our small family, the pound bunch yielded enough for two meals, so half were cooked and half were kept for another meal. I put them in a frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil and about a quarter cup of my chicken stock and stir steamed them till tender. Definate yum !These would also go well with sliced mushrooms, onions, tofu and more.If you see them in your market, give them a try !

Monday, March 30, 2009

Making and taking stock

Since we have moved out of eating salads, I have started making soups to go with lunch for son and myself. Hubby is not a soup person, has trouble transporting it and...well lets be honest. He just does not like it. It happened in childhood, when his mom would try to do creative means to stretch the food dollar. With six kids and one income, creative moves are a must. One of her standards was navy Bean Soup, but according to the hubby, it had no taste whatsoever. I think the reason may have been that my MIL never knew the secret of a good stock.

A good stock is a critical ingredient to making a good soup. Most people will take the easy way out and buy ready made stock in a can. It is time saving, but not necessary. The cost of ready made stock is high, and the ingredients can sometimes be "bad". High in sodium, high in fat, high in MSG and more. So why not make your own ? It is very easy .

First thing you need is meat with bones. Why bones ? The marrow ads a richer flavor to the finished product. Next, you will need vegetables.It is safest to stick with the long keeping varieties such as carrots, cabbage, rutabegas and so forth. Include onions and garlic in that mix as well, and no need to peel them. The peels add flavor and nutrients to the product. I make my stock at the same time I cut up my weekly lunch/snack veggies.

The ends go into a crockpot along with the meat and spices. This batch included raw chicken legs, leftover chicken vesuvio, some cabbage that would not fit in the other crock where I was making corned beef and cabbage, rutabegas , water , bay leaves, thyme and parsley. I put it on high for 6 hours and then flipped it to low and let it steep overnight. In the morning I strained out the meat and veggies ( some would use the meat left for chicken salad) and put the liquid in the fridge. In a few hours the fat has risen to the top, where it can be skimmed off and discarded

For a few minutes effort I get 8 cups of fat free, low sodium chicken stock to use in a range of soups and dishes. For example, did you know that you can replace oil with stock when stir frying veggie ? You can also replace the water that you cook pasta or grains in with stock for a whole new taste sensation. OIn days gone by people made stock out of any leftover dribs and drabs of food that were leftover or resulted from food prep. Outer cabbag leaves, onion skins, carrot or beet tops, leftover turkey carcases- you name it. It was a frugal and tasty move !

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Celebrate !

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven. A time to be born...and a time to celebrate that fact. Yesterday was our son's 17th birthday, and we spent it in a full day worth of celebration. Some would say "you should stay on a program no matter what". In my opinion, these are people who consider their life's worth according to the possessions they own and the titles they have.They don't impress me much.Then there are those who understand not only the value of but the reason for life's celebrations. I call these people normal, balanced and healthy. I like them.

So yesterday the boy turned 17. This was the last official birthday of childhood for him, and for us the anniversary of the day our lives were turned upside down in the most wonderful way. Suddenly we found that our heart now had two legs and was able to walk independent from our bodies. He was a long time coming to our lives. We dealt with infertility for 8 years, then a still birth, and then a complicated high risk pregnancy . These were amongst the challenges that had to be mounted before his comming to be. Now 17 years have passed, he has made it, we have made it, and the three of us are a lot wiser for the journey. Time to celebrate !

We do not do a lot of gifts in our family, but instead choose to "gift" each other with experiences. Policy is when it is your birthday you get to choose the foods,and unless there is an allergy concern, everyone else shares in the choice.In past years it has been the excuse to make your parents eat kiddie food, or make the boy eat ethnic dishes. One gift thing that was given was Wii points, which allowed son to download games from the Wii connection. One he chose was a game manufactured by the company hubby works at. The game is Target Toss Pro Bags, and it is one of those that is really fun for the whole family, and can be played with a croud. Think of bean bag toss done in a sort of Horseshoes mode. It is a lot of fun to play !

And yes, son thinks it is very cool that daddy works for a company that makes video games. He of course would LOVE to go work with dad. Some things sound so glamerous to kids.

There was only some mild yoga stretching exercise for me, ,but a lot of time spent doing Reiki self treatments to try to adress whatever blocks I might have picked up. It does not burn calroies, but can help your body and emotions balance out so that your body is able to work in the way that is is supposed to. It also has the added benefit of making you feel deeply relaxed, which was something I really needed aftr the last 2 weeks of homeschool !

So here is the rest of the day- not all items are pictured because I forgot

Breakfast- The good choice meal- and son's favorite
Rolled oats, Rolled Barley and Rolled Rye with pumpkin
ground flax,wheat bran,seed nut mix,coconut,olive oil, goji berries,crasins and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, orange

Lunch- Son's choice, and not so good, but sort of a family traditional favorite
5 White Castle burgers, apple, Yo Plus Digestive Yogert
Diet Sierra Mist

Dinner - the guys gor pineapple shrimp deep dish pizza- I have an allergy so I got
Chicken Vesuvio, , french bread, salad ( I only ate half of the dish, and the leftover chicken is being used to make homemade chicken stock today)

Birthday cake ( yellow cake with strawberry cream icing) most of which was discarded/donated to the tech guys where my husband works who work long hours and will eat anything that is not nailed down,
Chocolate Chip Gelatto (gelatto is Italian ice cream that puts our premium stuff to shame, and it contains milk, cream, sugar and whatever fruit or such that it is flavored with. A definate yum !)

It was a really fun and relaxing for me day. I was not feeling the best and hubby took pity on me and did the grocery shopping on his own ( my hero !) This allowed me to spend the time in self treatment and do some reading to see if I am perhaps doing something to injur myself with reiki work. I learned that the only thing I may be doing wrong is not doing enough self treatment. Reiki does not harm, and the person doing the work ( sending) is a channel. Reiki works to heal the channel as well, but if your life is filled with stress , you can clench and block things. When this happens, it becomes like a clogged pipe. To keep the flow going you need to clean out the pipe on a regular basis.Kind of like the need to clean your washer, dryer lint trap or dishwasher. I feel a lot more relaxed, balanced and ready to face another week of exercise, healthy options and...teaching chemestry !

While the day was "bad" from an eating point of veiw, it marked progress for us allin another way. This was an intentional celebration, with full knowledge of how bad it is and we stopped when we were satiated. In the past, this kind of day would have been known as a normal "It's Saturday, we are shopping and I don't want to cook "day. Now that is a frightening thought !

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Exactly what is important here ?

This looks to be a day of contrasts, and one that is going to make me ponder very big things. First off, weigh in

Me- up 1.2
Hubby up 2.6
son DOWN 3.0

It seems that the more meatless hubby and I go, we gain. Son on the other hand loses.

Then just when I was sitting down to open my mail, feeling very disgusted with the constant gains and not knowing what the heck I am supposed to be doing with my body as to weight loss, I get two emails about Reiki cases I have been assigned to work on. (Reiki is a hands off energy system that is used for purposes of healing). I get about 30 cases a week these days, and many you never hear any feedback on. Two that were assigned to me have experienced "dramatic improvement". One is a case of Leukimia, the other end stage esophogeal cancer. The second was not expected to live beyond the week, but has improved enough that his prognosis is now excelent. I am glad, and I know it is not me healing here, but Reiki which I merely channel.

What is the lesson here ? Is my weight gain due to an energy blockage ? If I can channel the kind of energy to heal things like cancer, why can't I channel it to get my body to lose weight ? Or is there a deeper reason why I am at the weight I am at ? You know, sort of like the fact that electricity passes through water better than sand ? I really don't know. All I do know is that no matter what I do, my body hovers at this level.

Exercise- Walk 25 min
Yoga 10 min
Wii Fit 10 min

Oatmeal, Barley,Rye mix with coconut, goji berries,
wheat bran, flax seed, seed nut mix,peanut butter and olive oil
orange, Yo plus, coffee and milk

Brown rice and Rye mix with peas and cheese
Yo Plus, apple,Diet Sierra Mist

Whole wheat pasta with tomatoes, zuchini,carrots, peppers,onions,
mushrooms, garlic and cheese
Broccoli, Diet Sierra Mist

Friday, March 27, 2009

Awards and progress

First off, THANK YOU to Marissa at Trim the Fat for the Kreativ Blogger Award ! It is always a very nice way to start the day. I don't know if I would call myself creative hough. More like too stubborn to accept the physical laws and limitations of time, space and money, and just bratty enough to make it change according to MY terms.
When receiving this award, you must list 7 things you love and pass the award on to 7 bloggers. My list of loves goes like this...
  1. my soul mate and husband
  2. my son- my partner in crime !
  3. homeschooling and all it's craziness
  4. being an alternative healer
  5. nature
  6. cooking
  7. thinking

There are so many wonderful people in the blogging community, and I love reading each and every blog I come across. Every one of them makes me think in some way , but it seems I must limit my picks at this time to just 7. So I pick the 7 that I am always most anxious to read in the morning. I would include Marisa, but I think the idea is to share the wealth amongst others, so I pick

1.Kathy at Kath eats real food - such creative food ideas !

2Hollie at Hollies Weight Loss Blog - I love her determination and I keep rooting for her success

3 my husband Phoenix at Phoenix Minstrel's refection pool - always a deep thinker !

4 Squishy at Squishy - more times than not reading her posts reminds me to get moving

5 Skye at Sky's the limit - she does not post as much these days, but I look forward to her posts !

6 Mary at Mary's Biggest Loser Journey - her determination keeps me going !

7 Lindsey at For The Love of Oats - anybody who falls in love with oats is a good person in my book !

And now, progress. Son has been the reason we began and the biggest loser in this house. He likes to watch The Last 10 Pounds and reruns of The Biggest Loser with me in the afternoons, and sometimes the new season on Tuesday evenings. Lately, he has understood the idea of Before type clothes, and has taken to trying some of his on. Last night he tried on one of his pre weight loss favorite shirts and I snapped a picture.

This is before these are today at 71 lbs lighter !

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Catching a breath

Alive, busy, and doing fine with food. Exercise however is not very likely to happen !
I did do very well with eating yesterday, including having a 12 inch veggie sub for dinner. Love Subway. Even held strong when hubby suggested we grab KFC. That is never going to happen again if I can help it ! he was not being a sabatoure, just very busy and tired himself , and old patterns are so easy to fall back on . I even managed to get in 25 minutes of exercise on the Wii, but today is lesson planning day and it is not very likely to happen.

Saturday is son's 17th birthday, and he has his heart set on Pizza and birthday cake. So we will do a small pizza - order out for one as our oven is still broke. Accompany that with a big side salad. Cake will be a small cake of his choice. Most likely whipped cream, but I am suggesting to him ways we could make an angel food cake gloppy with fat free whipped cream and strawberries.Again, baking is not an option as the oven is still broke. We shall see- birthdays are reasons to celebrate. His birthday is reason for me to celebrate as well. After 10 years of infertility, in walked this little miracle who has happily turned my life upside down from the moment of his conception. I wonder if there really was life before someone called me mommy !

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I give up !

Okay day, you win. I head off to Subway for dinner. Enough is enough- there is only one of me with two arms, two legs and all the standard operating parts.

I kiss Jared on days like this !

Of course it was the MOTHER of Invention

When the going gets tough, the tough get creative enough to make the tough sit there scratching it's head wondering what to do next.That's my motto and I am sticking to it ! School has been very busy, demanding, frustrating these past two weeks for both son and myself, and sadly there is nothing for it but to push through it. One thing that could greatly help us both is exercise, but it is the one thing that has been the hardest to get done. Even options like the Wii fit have been hard to get to , let alone do for any length of time. One person using it for 30 minutes is one thing- two people doing so is an hour commitment because it does not have a two player function. The other day my mind wandered to some creative solutions to this time dillema, and came up with a very weird but workable solution for times like this. Meet our new peice of fitness equipment:

It is a cheap child's indoor basketball toy, but we do not use it for basketball. What we do a couple of times during the day is place the set at one end of the house, and take each of the balls one by one to a basket at the other end of the house, and then transfer the balls one by one from basket to basket, and then back again. Silly sounding, but it gets each of us moving, and slowly the minutes add up. It works. Then I add on more movement to my own time by dropping use of the electric powered vacuum and grabbing the manual carpet sweeper.Go over the whole house a few times a day at odd breaks between activities, and it adds up. Advantage is, with my life there is no time for gym membership( add commuting time to the time spent which there already is not enough hours in the day to fit in), this requires no special equipment to eat up real estate in our very cramped living quarters, and it can me used by multiple people at the same time. It's a winner.

Now, yesterday's log
Yoga 10 min
walk 45 min

Rolled oats, Rolled Barley and Rolled Rye with
ground flax,wheat bran,seed nut mix,coconut,coconut oil, dark chocolate chips and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogurt, orange

Turkey on high fiber roll up, homemde minestrone soup
celery, carrots and papaya cantelope salad
you plus, Diet Sierra Mist

Dinner -
Universal Marinade Chicken, Whole wheat pasta
red cabbage, baby carrots
Diet Sierra Mist

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mom Math

Okay class, here is a math problem for you. As a human being, ,living on planet earth, you are given 24 hours to spend each and every day. (No Johnny, you cannot barter for more. And Carrie, you cannot trade your puppy for half of Sally's hours). Now get out your pencils and work the fooloing addition problem

Hours needed to sleep- 6
hours needed to eat 1.5
hours needed for meal prep 1
hours needed for minimalist housekeeping chores 2
hours needed for personal maintenance( shower, teeth brushing, bathroom breaks) 1.5
Hours needed for homeschool prep and paperwork 1
hours needed to execute homeschool 8.5 (highschool level is not pretty)
hours spent finding free homeschool materials , lesson plans and support 3
time spent blogging and reading email( for homechool support and weight loss) 2
hours devoted to energy and reiki work with clients 2
hours spent working out .5

What ??? That comes to 28 hours. Something is not right. So what can you do ? Doubleteam ! Find ways so squeezing in exercise in 10 minute increments, using things you have on hand. Writing emails while eating, showering and doing lesson plans, keeping one ear on a conversation with your husband while you do energy work. Doing reiki work while homeschooling. doing meal prep during lanuguage arts. Turn cooking into science class if nessisary. Treat all of life as a sacred opportunity. Give up one of the above activities ? Not going to happen. Reason is I am a human being undergoing weight loss, and humans are multifaceted, multi talented individuals.

Anyway, in the midst of all that, here is the log for yesterday

Wii fit 15min
walk 10 min

Oatmeal with
ground flax,wheat bran, crasins,seed nut mix,coconut,goji berries,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, orange

Turkey breast on High fiber bread, lentil veggie soup
carrotand celery sticks, apple
Yo Plus digestive yogert, Diet Sierra Mist

Dinner -
soft lo carb high fiber tacos with southwest vegetables( zuchini, yellow squash, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro)
Multi grain rice, papaya cantalope salad
Diet Sierra Mist

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Slug Day

I plead the slug card !

There were very good intentions yesterday. Sun was shining, a walk was planned and time was available. Seemed to be the promise of a very good day. Then entered in a very small pear shaped villain , who has a mind of it's own an agenda that is at very best a mystery. It has never been a very cooperative partner in my life, and now that it is reaching the end of it's reign of function ability, it has decided to act like a preteen girl who has been told that she can not wear clothes that reveal her belly button just because everyone else is. If this pear shaped organ had arms and legs it would most likely be running through the house slamming doors and throwing stuffed animals at them. Happily it does not, so it chooses to express itself in the only way it knows how. That would be The Period from Hell. I have been gifted with these many times in my life, so no alarm on that front. I have gotten older, wiser and more crafty, and so has my pear shaped friend. It has perfected a method with which it can deliver maximum annoyance to me, it's hostage. Either that or perhaps it is aspiring to spending it's next life as a panther. It has spent a week in a kind of easy but painful existance, delivering craps every few hours to act as the exclaimation points of my life. But then, after a week where it has lead me to belive that it has had it's say and will now slink back to being a silent partner, it has sprung into full attack mode. Complete with a marching band, several platoons and heavy artillary. When this happens, you get really nervous about being far from facilities. Black becomes the fashion statement of choice. And things like work outs become forgotten lore. Inelectually I know I will not die from this experience, but parts of my brain choose not to test that belif, so I opt to play The Slug Card. And that is exactly what I did.

Wii fit 10 min- and then give it up !

Oats, wheat and barley with pumpkin in the crockpot
ground flax,wheat bran, crasins,seed nut mix,coconut,goji berries,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, orange
Ham and swiss on high fiber tomato basil wrap carrots, celery, cantalope
Yo plus, Diet Sierra Mist
Dinner -
Rib eye steak, whole wheat couscous
corn on the cob, green beans
Diet Sierra Mist

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What is responsible eating ?

Due to the amount of activity yesterday, I never got a chance to snap pictures of my meals, so none posted today. Not a problem , as it gives me a chance to blog about something that has been on my mind a lot, namely responsible eating. Pictures will be back tomorrow !

What exactly is responsible eating ? If you ask 10 people you will get 20 different answers , according to whatever circumstances they face. To a person on a weight loss journey it means eat within your caloric needs. To a vegetarian it means eating cruelty free. To an economist it means eating economically.All good points, but I think each of them is rather short sighted because they treat the eater as merely a mechanical device instead of a true human being. Eat this because of your responsibility and commitment to _____, and just ignore the other "emotional" factors is a formula for failure.

I think it was Shakespeare who said "Man does not live by bread alone", and no greater truth has ever been spoken. Bread, while the staff of life , if served without the circus is only half the picture. Man has nutritional needs to preform a chemically based function called physical health, but man was also gifted with six senses. Seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling ...and connection with a concept of Divinity. Be that in the form of an organized religion, experiencing a moving piece of music , time spent with a fellow human with which there is a commonality , each are ways in which one touches the Divine. It is not how most people would term it, and my reasons for calling these manifestations of the Divine are complicated, so let's just agree to say that it is so ( simply to keep this post from resembling a novel). All humans have a space that holds the shape of Divinity,is hollow, and all of our efforts in life direct us towards filling that shape with experiences that contain an aspect of Divinity. It often comes in the most ordinary forms- a beautiful painting, a meaningful song, time spent with a good friend, the kiss of a lover , and a good meal. Yes, God can be found in chocolate cake. Even better if that chocolate cake is in the company of those you love. Some forms of religion not only recognize that man makes contact with the Divine through 5 senses, but encorporates this into the worship service. Art is present to draw the eyes twoards God, music, smells, gestures and vocal responses do the same. The purpose ? To help satisfy man's hunger and thirst for the Divine.

Overweight people seem to have a body composition that is more water than that of a normal weight person. Water, some say, is a physical element that embodies the spiritual things in life. We are born from a watery place of nurturing, we shed water when we express strong emotions, we use water to cleanse and renew ourselves. I don't think the connection between spiritual nature and water is off the mark, and beliefs do begin because of an actual experience expressed in simple terms. If those of us who are overweight fall into the practice of stress eating, it is then logical to believe that what we hunger for is not food, but connection to Divinity. We need our souls fed in particular because of current events in our life. For whatever reason, the need reached a crisis level.

So why don't we simply accept this as a reality of being human and stop sending our spiritual self into starvation mode ? Instead of seeing those foods that do more to feed our soul than body as "bad guys" ( thinks like ice cream, grandma's cookies, Uncle Nicknac's lasagna and such) , why don't we accept that we do indeed need them ? Why not supply our soul with that kind of nutrition on a regular and predictible basis. Rather than dreading holidays, parties, buffet restaurants and such because of these foods, why not simply accept that they nourish our spirit, and that is just as important as getting in the right mix of fat, fiber, protien and so on ? Simply eat a serving, enjoy it, and continue on with the buisness of life ? I think if you deny yourself those foods that feed the soul, your soul reaches a point of starvation and then you go nuts. Or you get to your goal weight , find that you never really learned how to live with real food and real experiences and you gain it all back.One way this can be done on a regular basis is to bring back the custom of Sunday dinner. Sundays were, at one time, the day you gathered with family and had a meal that was something a little special. It took a little more time, featured foods that were more about spiritual comfort and traditions than small waistlines, and was reatly looked forward to. And you know what ? When this was a common practice, people weighed a lot less. Perhaps the reason was it not only fed the body but equally the soul and it provided a big dose of stress relif on a weekly basis.

Holidays are there for a reason. So is chocolate, prime rib, lasagna and fudge. Same is true with carrots, tofu, chicken breast and fish. Chemically it is all fuel. Spiritually, it has different values.Life without eating a gift of candy from a lover is not a real life. Celebrating Christmas with your family and nothing but celery sticks is not real life either. Eating the Chocolate volcano or deep fried turkey and then spending the next few days eating lighter and moving more is real life. Life and food are so much more than numbers on a scale.Nature itself agrees and provides an infinate pallate of taste, smell, color and textures. We as humans are soft machines, but incedibly complicated machines. Everything in our makeup was placed with a good reason and for a purpose. Physical hunger causes us to ingest physical food. Emotional hunger forces us to seek ways to surround ourself with spiritual things- or ingest them. Both kinds of feedings are nessisary to be a balanced, healthy human being. Satisfying both needs is indeed responsible eating.

I am going to try my best to embrace this concept. I will celebrate the high points in life as well as watch the points and calories taken in and burned every day. I will exercise my body every day and exercise my spiritual muscles through finding meaningful ways daily to connect with the Divine. I will eat carrots in both stick and cake form. I will take a walk and take time to meditate. I will strive for responsible eating in every way, every day.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What do you mean I only get 24 hours in a day ??

I think something with the official change of seasons has made everything wake up and take notice, meaning it suddenly demands attention that you had forgotten to give it all winter long. There were intentions of heading to the woods for a walk before grocery shopping this morning, but paperwork and laundry got in the way, got off to a late start, and the woods were forgotten. It was very nice to have a leisurely breakfast together though. Son and eat together every morning, but dad only gets to join on the weekends. So we took a little longer to eat our pumpkin oats and yogert, but the relaxation was much needed.

One interesting thing with this weeks weigh in. We all ate the same meals with portion size adjustments according to our caloric needs. We all go the same amount of exercise. Hubby and I gained, but son lost. 2.4 pounds to be exact. What was the difference ? The only difference was that hubby and I both had very stressful weeks - him on one front and myself on the same front plus another. Stress is not just an emotion, but an emotion that generates a hormonal response. Our bodies are designed for survival, and when it perceives stress, it kicks in a hormone called cortisol that makes our bodies hang onto dear life for survival. Even if you eat nothing ( and we do not stress eat), your body hangs onto calories and converts them almost instantly to abdominal fat. If you do stress eat, the body simply has more to store and play with. The stresses of the week made for many nights of no sleep, no communication, and no physical expression. Yes, sex can help you lose weight because it helps you to dispense with stress. That is unless you attempt to have sex in the worst way- standing up in a hammock. Broken bomes and stitches are not stress relivers.

I have been thinking about this a lot today , and I am realizing that there are many stresses in my life at the moment that could be better managed. Another thing I am pondering is what could best be called responsible eating. Not simply eating things low fat and so forth, but embracing a whole new relationship with food itself. Food in a more balanced, healthy light that includes the whole human person. More on that tomorrow, for tonight is family board game night. Son was the biggest loser and it is his choice. He wants to play Tiger Woods golf on the Wii, and I can't let him down.

Saturday weigh in

Just a quick post- life is insanely busy

Weigh in - up 1.4. Considering the two fast days not surprising. Yet , how absolutely realistic is it to live a life where one never celebrates with any ethnic foods or sweets ? I believe to do so is to deny a very important part of being human , and what good would that do in the long run ? To live a life of nothing but "perfect" food choices, hours every day devoted to acting like a gerbil in a habitrail and consequentially taking your time , attention and presence from several equally importaint situations because you need to spend an hour exercising ? ( No , I am sorry , but i can't make the parent teacher confrence. i have to be in the gym. No Billy, I can't go to your soccer game because that will mean I can't spend my hour in the gym. And Grandma, I am sorry but you will have to get other people to come visit you in your home bound state. I have to be at the gym so i can lose weight !)

Life is so much more than a simple number on the scale.

Friday, March 20, 2009

St Josephs Day

First off, let me say that some of the following is NOT weight loss friendly, but instead food for other reasons. Theological concepts are sometimes better expressed through a table than a sermon. Second, this was one of the anticipated and planned for bumps in our week, so no , I did not lose my mind.That being said, I present to you our St Josephs table. A very minor affair compared to what is done by many others who celebrate the day.

St Josephs Day, to Italian and Polish Catholics, is a day that is marked in a similar way to St Patrick's day, but in a different fashion. It is not so much a day to proclaim your nationality , but rather one to say thank you to a special friend. St Joseph was the husband of Mary, and amongst the Sicilian people , a powerful friend in high places so to speak at times of hunger, danger and so forth. To say thank you, on his feast day an elaborate feast was created. Rules are the food had to be begged for, and then you had to invite everyone in the village to come and eat. Other rule was, the feast must be meatless. As a part of our homeschool lessons , we explore different festivals and their original meanings. This year we did a unit on St Josephs day, and being part Sicillian and very into food as theology, my son asked that we celebrate this holiday . So we both researched and learned just how to do this. My husband has only experienced these to a certain level in a church congregation, so it was a fun experience.

left to right- St Josephs bread, figs,zepoli
also included pictures of St Joseph, candle and red carnations

Breakfast-( not pictured, same as yesterday
Oats, barley and rye with pumpkin
ground flax,wheat bran, crasins,seed nut mix,coconut,goji berries,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, blood orange

Turkey and swiss on high fiber bread with olive oil mayo
Lentil veggie soup
apple, carrots, celery
yo plus digestive yogert,water

Dinner - the St Josephs meatless feast
Portabello stuffed ravioli
spinach, yellow squash
zeppoli, St Josephs bread

Now what exactly is a zepoli you may ask ? Picture a cream puff, but rather than fill it with whipped cream sort of filling, fill it with a custardy sort of ricotta kind of filling. They can be baked or fried- ours were baked
I took a picture of the inside- they are more filling than dough !
I have absolutely no idea how many calories or points these have, but they are an important point of the celebration. St Josephs bread is the same way, but from all I can discern it is basically a French bread with sesame seeds that has been formed in a braided ring, so the caloric count would be the same.

Exercise involved a 45 minute walk after dinner. Definately not enough to burn off a zepoli, but....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Teaching is work

Yesterday it was an absolute miracle that I got any exercise in at all. I woke up and got involved immediately in something with my energy work that took more time than I had planned on. Then we moved into school mode and ran into snags with both language arts and math. Both wound up adding almost 2 hours to our school day with no real resolution- very frustrating. Then the remainder of our courses took more time and needed more explanation than anticipated, and the both of us felt stressed, aggravated and just unpleasant. We broke out The Biggest Loser weight loss yoga to get in our exercise and de-stress, but found we still could not complete the whole routine. We did get in 25 minutes of work, and felt much better afterwords. Our school day ran much longer, and I was stressing because this was also the day I had to do menu planning and grocery list planning. About 3 oclock I realized I had not gotten into the shower yet, and then it was time to start dinner. I planned on going out tomorrow evening to do some clothes shopping, and in order to frede up time it meant doing next weeks lesson plans as well. I did and got in some more strenght training and yoga exercises after dinner, but had to stop because of my knee pain. The more I try to work poses like The Warrior and The Cresent, the more unstable my bad knee becomes for a time, and it limits my modility. However, not pushing will never get the muscles that support it to build up and improve, so you gotta do what you gotta do. I did wind up begging to the universe to clone me several times during the day though. There are not enough hours to do what I need to get done, let alone analize how others are progressing on their journeys and writing bullying comments about it. Like it or not, my life is a lot more than weight loss and numnbers on a scale. Same is true with everyone else, and it is the balanced person who realizes that.

So yesterday's log

Biggest Loser Yoga 25 min
srength training 15 min
water 136 oz

Breakfast-( not pictured,same as last umpteen days)
Oats, barley and rye with pumpkin
ground flax,wheat bran, crasins,seed nut mix,coconut,goji berries,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, pear

Lentil veggie soup, Dubliner cheese
2 Wasa rye crackers, celery and carrots
Blood Orange, Yo Plus Digestive Yogert

Dinner -
Grilled greek chicken, barley
corn on the cob, green beans

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring and jump ropes

Another very busy day yesterday. As we move to the close of another homeschool year, once again it is time for us to step up the efforts in order to help cement the concepts for life. Such moves are never quick and simple, but always worth it.

We got outside to do a jump roping routine, and discovered two very important things. One, I can no longer jump rope because of a knee that I severely injured years ago. My body will not jump- not even to do a jumping jack, and my knee will not move in a way that will let me go into a full run. Perhaps in the future as my leg muscles become stronger this will change, but right now it is a no go. Second, my son is a kinestetic visual learner, meaning he has to watch an example in order to do it himself. I tried to show him how to jump rope by simply walking over the rope , but he could not understand it at all. He kept putting the rope behind him and raing one foot to his shoulder as he began to turn the rope and then kept getting tangled up in it big time. After 20 minutes, I suggested we give up and go for a walk. I found out later that hubby was never able to jump rope as a child either, so he never could do it. I , on the other hand used to do double dutch and chineese jumprope, and I cannot fathom how people cannot figure out how to jump rope. Live and learn. So we went for a nice long walk instead, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, and spotting evidence that spring really does start this Friday.

young ground ivy

young dandelion

young globe thistle

Yesterday's log
walk 50 min, 20 minutes of tragically inaccurate jump rope illustrations and attempts to unwrap jump rope from son

Breakfast-( not pictured, same as yesterday
Oats, barley and rye with pumpkin
ground flax,wheat bran, crasins,seed nut mix,coconut,goji berries,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, pear

Lunch- not pictured, same as yesterday
Chicken and swiss on high fiber bread with mustard
Minestrone soup, celery and carrots, apple
Yo Plus digestive yogert, Fresca

Dinner -
Corned beef and cabbage
potato, carrot, rutabega, turnips, onions
Irish soda bread,Promise light margarine

veggie leftovers from this meal are going into a batch of lentil soup for lunches

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Busy day

Some days the best laid plans get tossed out the window for very good reasons. It was a beautiful day outside, and I had planned on getting out to jump rope, but never managed to do it. School took a lot more time and effort than I calculated, and accident with a bottle of hair dye demanded my immediate attention, and a third attempt at a UPS delivery demanded my presence. So no exercise happened. It is not the end of the world, as I do get in exercise almost every day. However, it makes me feel bad when life demands make me miss out. Today will hopefully be better.

So just the facts for the day

Oats, barley and rye with pumpkin
ground flax,crasins,seed nut mix,coconut,goji berries,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogurt, apple

Minestrone soup, chicken and swiss on high fiber bread with hummus
celery and carrots,pear, you plus digestive yogert

Dinner -
Whole wheat pasta with summer squash, yellow squash, carrots, peppers and walnuts
Broccoli slaw, sliced cucumbers

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shopping on Sunday

There was an original plan to go out to the woods yesterday, but I was feeling rather insecure about being away from a bathroom for any length of time or walking through muddy trails. So we chose to go investigate the wilds of Target instead. I wanted to start looking for something to wear on Easter as well. I am terrible at shopping for clothes. It takes me months to find something I like, but when I am not looking or do not have the money, I seem to find things popping off of the racks. We are going to go to my Mom's house for Easter, and I have not seen them since last October, so it is a good enough reason to add to my wardrobe. Did not find any clothes, but I did find two jump ropes, and i plan on taking my son outside today to learn how to jump rope. This is not something we can do inside, as we live on the third floor and our neighbors would not appreciate two heavy people jumping to get fit. As a kid I LOVED to play jump rope, and I was really good at it. It should be a lot of fun giving this a whirl.

Walk 30 min
water 144 oz

Steel cut oats, barley and wheat berries with molasses and cinnamon
ground flax,crasins,seed nut mix,wheat bran,coconut,goji berries,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, pear

Turkey and Swiss on lo carb high fiber tomato basil tortilla wraps (100 cal 2 g fat and 12 g fiber !)
apple, celery and carrot sticks
Yo Plus Digestive yogurt, Diet Sierra Myst

Dinner -
Whole Wheat pasta with 3 mushrooms and onions
( porcini, crimini and shitake in olive oil, butter and thyme)
Broccoli salad
( bagged broccoli slaw, crasins,water chestnuts, sliced almonds, olive oil mayo, vinegar and splenda)
Brussels sprouts

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Eat Responsibly

There should be a law that no woman should be allowed to enter into a grocery store handing out free samples while hormonal and stressed. I thought it hysterical that one of the display tables was offering this button

My son grabbed one while he was making the rounds because mom said it was okay. What kind of samples you ask ? Irish cheese, gourmet pasta and sauce, corned beef, gyros, spaganoki ( the greek spinach and cheese pastry ) and so much more. It was not pretty ! I was in shock over getting the monthly visit after six months without, disgusted at the fact that my hormones are ruling my life, in discomfort because of cramping, and stressed because of trying to focus on the list with a serious case of brain fog meeting a store that was rather crowded. I do not do well in crouds for a lot of reasons. It started with the Girl Scouts selling cookies out front, and me deciding to buy a box and simply doling them out in portion sizes. I was a girl scout years ago, my son thinks any opportunity to talk to a girl is a good thing, combined with me being hormonal, so I told him go buy a box.Ting a lings to be specific. And then we entered into the store, grabbed lunch, and discovered this was the weekend where it was converted to The Den of Iniquities. Yeah, I blew it. However, today is a brand new day and I can get back on track if the cramping does not kill me .

walk 2 hrs

Oats, barley, rye flakes cooked with pumpkin
ground flax,crasins,seed nut mix,wheat bran,coconut,goji berries
blackstrap molasses,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, blood orange

samples at store - literally lost count and track

Lunch- sausage pepper stromboli, water
1/3rd of a zeppoli

Dinner -
Southwest chicken and pasta
yellow squash, Diet Sierra mist

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hello Mother nature ? You can take it back !

Now here is a kick in the head ! I have been changing the way I work out, increasing the fiber in my diet and using EFT and Quantum Touch treatments with Reiki to help my body balance out energetically . I have reason to suspect that part of the reason for my stall is related to a blocked energy meridian, and these things will help.

This mornings weigh in showed that I lost a pound, which meant something was working. Last night i started having these odd emotional sort of waves, thinking some things that are not normal for me, and feeling kind of achy in my thighs. Hmm- this is familiar. This moring while we were out shopping i discovered the reason. "Hello. It's Mother nature with your monthly visit."

SHIT ! I am 50 , and I have gone 6 months without her knocking on my door with that package. First thought was Why do I still have to deal with this nonsense, and then the realization that my weight issues have very little to do with what I eat, how much I eat, how much I do or do not move or anything else. I am held hostage by hormones, and unless I deal with the root surgically, nothign can be done about it.

I think it is time to get real. it is time to fully embrace the fact that I cannot do this for weight loss, but rather to help my body get through this transition in the most pro active way I can. If the scale moves down, great. But in the mean time, healthy eating will support my cardiovascular system, my bones, my muscles, and properly nourish all the systems as they need. The exercise will help me stay strong, clear headed and relatively stress free.

So unless I can find the office to return this package, that's my story and I am sticking to it !Q

Weigh in

Weigh in. First always comes weigh in on Saturday. I think my scale would be offended if you did not step on it first !

Me- DOWN 1.0 !
Hubby- DOWN 1.8 !( big for his normal loss)
Son UP 1.2- with him I do not know if it is because he is developing muscles or growing or what.

So the no salad week seems to have proven to be a success for the most part. Statistically, two out of three of us lost with changing from salad to cooked veggies. I have been doing other things as well, such as upping the fiber intake and doing energy medicine workouts with my meridians , so that is a factor as well. Next week will once again be a no salad week, and the stumbling blocks of both St Patrick's Day (my holiday) and St Joseph's day ( hubby's holiday). Will just have to fit them into the plan .

Biggest Loser Weight loss yoga 15 min- still cannot do the whole routine- some of the moves are hard on my knees
strength training 30 min

Oats, barley, rye flakes cooked with pumpkin
ground flax,crasins,seed nut mix,wheat bran,coconut,goji berries
blackstrap molasses,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, blood orange

Lunch- meatless Friday
Hummus and lettuce on sunflower seed bread, homemade cream of broccoli soup
carrots and celery, apple, Yo Plus digestive yogert
Diet Sierra Mist

Dinner -meatless Friday
Pepper and egg sandwich on whole wheat roll
apple, blood orange(was going to be cole slaw, but I got too busy to make it)
Diet Sierra Mist

Friday, March 13, 2009

Secrets from a farmer

I have been being a good girl this week and not stepping on the scale. It has also been a few days since I worked with my Wii fit ( been doing other things) , so I have not even had Mergatroid giving me a peek. The guys however have both decided to take little sneak peaks at the scale, and if it holds true tomorrow morning, it's going to be a great week. The only thing that they have both done different is drop eating the salad. By salad I am talking a mix of romaine, boston, arugala, dandelion greens with a sliced scallion, 2 raw mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of crasins, 1 tablespoon of a seed nut mix( pepitas, sunflower seeds and sliced almonds), and 20 sprays of Wishbone salad spritzers. Oh, and 3 strips of a red bell pepper. Not exactly the stuff of which weight gains are made, and as a matter of fact according to the calorie factors and all that, a pretty respectable addition to any healthy eating plan. So what gives ?

Is there perhaps a weird truth here that pig farmers have known and silently chuckle about ? Yes, pig farmers. One of my uncles was a pig farmer who also dabbled in oil wells. We would head down to their farm on the day after thanksgiving for the weekend, and once in the summer. It was always such a cool place to go , as the lifestyle was so radically different from our own in the suburbs. We would get to help out with a lot of the farm chores, swim in their pond, practice target shooting wih rifles, wander around being taught about different herbs and wild plants and more. My uncle was the first person who taught me how to read the make up of the soil by the naturally sprouting weeds, which has proven to be a valuable lesson in my studies.One day while we were working with the hogs, he said something to me that I took for a sign of insanity, but is begining to make me wonder. While we were in town for an errand, he stopped by the town's resturant and picked up a bucket of scraps. It was filled with lettuce greens , and he was excited. He told me that the best way to fatten up hogs was to give them all this lettuce stuff. He said if you want to keep them lean you feed em grain, but when the time comes to fatten them out, greens are the way to go. I thought he was crazy, and everything I have learned about weight loss since then says things to the contrary. Pigs are similar to humans in many biological ways, and similarities can be drawn . Did you know insulin comes from pigs - or at least the original formula did ? It's true. So if something can fatten up hogs, can it do the same to humans ?

Yesterday as to my own efforts proved to be another good day. More paperwork so more spontanious walking, but I also got in a spontanious, free flowing sort of yoga and pilates work out that just felt so absolutely wonderful !

Walk 65 min
yoga 20 min
water 160 oz

Breakfast- I believe I could eat this every day for the rest of my life- it is so filling and fun to play with
Oats, barley, rye flakes cooked with pumpkin
ground flax,crasins,seed nut mix,wheat bran,coconut,goji berries
blackstraqp molasses,olive oil and peanut butter
Yo plus digestive yogert, blood orange

Lunch-featuring my favorite bread in the whole wide world !
Turkey black bean pumpkin chili, sunflower seed bread with Promise lite margarine
celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes,apple
Yo Plus digestive yogert, Diet Sierra mist

Dinner - Chicken trying hard to taste like salmon
Vinegar herb marinate chicken breast ( Balsamic fig vinegar,
balsamic garlic vinegar, dandelion infused vinegar, parsley and dried celery leaf)
Brown and whole grain rice, Summer Squash,California blend
Diet Sierra Mist