Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dances with Skunks

Cool and damp here this morning. While this should be a good thing for people who try to do daily exercise, I am finding that the damp is REALLY affecting my joints of late. Not just my knees, but my hips and my spine as well. When I say pain, I mean a sudden feeling like your skeletal system is about to crumble into dust and you are going to fall into a big quivering mass of goo, with bruises on top like sprinkles. The Catch 22 part of this is, if I do not move the pain gets worse. If I do move , my son starts complaining asking if I am done yet. So then I have to block out both the pain and the whining.I have yet to give into the lure of using some kind of herb or drug to manage the pain. Why ? Basically because I am stubborn I guess. This mornings walk was just not pretty, but it got done.

We caught the premier episode of "Dance Your Ass off" last night. While the concept is a good one, the show , to me, seems to lack an endearing hook . I cannot relate to a single one of the contestants, I don't like the music and I think the costume designer is about as creative as a clump of dirt ( Hey, let's go grab the wardrobe for the In Living Color dancers and make them in plus sizes !). I am sorry, but spandex, strategically ripped fish nets and wadded up bandannas are NOT a fashion statement. They are simply a human expression of a Decorator Crab, and best lest for the bottom of the ocean. Why is there the perception that fashion must reflect the clueless, poor and oppressed ? Gads, stop me, for I am on the verge of entering a clothing rant !

Our complex has become sort of a hag out for teenage skunks who like to try their hands at releasing their aroma late at night. The last 2 nights I have been awakened by the acrid scent of skunk cologne wafting in from our windows. I love nature, but skunks make me pause on that thought.

Short week this week- hard to believe that it is time to start planning ext weeks menu already !

Monday, June 29, 2009

Blustery Dinner

Yesterday was a day that it seems all I could do was cook ! Hubby had to sing at 4 services, and so after a yoga session I got busy. It is always nice when things work out that way. When everybody is happy busy,it makes for a good day. While I was working I spotted six lemons in our fruit basket that looked like they needed immediate attention, and i turned them into sugar free lemon italian ice with the help of my ice cream maker. it was a good opportunity to use up some of the stash of splenda I am trying to get rid of. ( I don't know how stevia preforms for cooking). It turned out very lemony and refreshing, but it kind of made me slightly sick to my stomach. I have been avoiding splenda for almost a month now, and I am noticing the subtle ways it impacts my body. I read somewhere that one of it's worst affects on the body is that it binds with certain protiens and bacteria, and it upsets the internal flora of your digestive tract. End result can be cronic constipation from a lack of the beneficial bacteria, which can lead to weight stalls, weight gain and numerous long term health problems.

We decided to take a dinner picnic to the woods in an effort to "salvage" the day and get in some quality family time. I made some ham and veggie roll ups on La Tortilla totillas, snagged some bing cherries for each and broccoli salad, and we headed out to eat in the sunshine and HIGH winds . I think you should be able to claim activity points for sitting, eating and trying to keep everything from blowing away on your plate in comical ways.At least it keeps the moquitos away, and there are enough of them of late to show a difference on the scale from blood loss as a victim of their feeding frenzy. Son was sort of luke warm about the idea till I told him it was perfectly acceptable to spit cherry pits ( it would not be an official childhood without such an action). And it got even better when I introduced him , or reaquainted him with two wild berries, now perfectly ripe. He got pretty into toe idea of walking along and sneaking in ripe black mulberries and black bramble berries ! It was decided that the mulberries are sweeter, and I belive it will be a bit easier to motivate him to take walks in the woods now. He knows there is food out there ! I know there is food, medicine, refreshment, entertainment and endless surprizes at every turn. I trust he will come to know this as well.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mystery solved

After posting yesterday's weigh in I was looking at our food log, and realized the reason for the gain. I bought the little ice cream maker and had been working on creating a recipe for dairy free gelato, and we wound up having my results 4 times in the week ! Now just for the sake of argument, each time it was within our range of points/calories for the day, in measured portions and contained basically 1 serving of non dairy milk , one serving of fruit and a small amount of corn syrup and corn starch ( a tablespoon each) per batch. We each consume 3 servings of fruit and 3 servings of dairy every day. Difference is , both the cornstarch and corn syrup are popular name brands that use GMO grains. Interesting, isn't it ?

Point to me is gelato experiements will be limited to one time per week. Last night we tried my attempt at watermelon gelato, and it was a definate winner. Ingredients were watermelon, water, almond milk, splenda , corn syrup and corn starch. It came out like a sorbet, and will definately be something I make in the future. Sadly I forgot to take a picture !

We managed to take a walk out in the woods yesterday before grocery shopping, as it was a beatiful day finally ! I use the term woods wrong because this place is actually a restored prarie. I forgot to bring my camera, and I should have. A prarie is a beautiful thing, constantly in bloom in some way and constantly changing. I kept drooling over all the medicinal plants in bloom, and all unavailable for picking as it is a State Forest Preserve. Overhead were several hawks and a redwing blackbird kept following me and chattering. It was a nice change of pace !

This week is supposed to be more moderate tempuraturewise, and we are planning more outdoor exercise as a result. And no more gelato outside of Saturday night !

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday and the scale comes out

Weigh in

Me UP 1.0
Hubby UP 0.6
Son UP 4.6

Perhaps it is the backlash from switching to alternate not dairy milks ? If anything we are eating less and moving more.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yoga, digestion and a meme

Yesterday was a weird sort of day. I did 30 minutes of yoga, using some positions that are best for back and abdominal s. It felt so good doing these the other night that I decided it must be something my body really craves. I think one of the affects happened later on in the afternoon.

I decided to tackle a personal project away from my computer, the sun was beating down through the window so son begged to use my computer to play Cartoon Network's Fusion Fall. It is something he has been begging to do , but his computer is too slow to accommodate. So we were both tied up in our own happy pursuits and missed the news that Farrah Fawcett died. It's weird- in a way it reminds me of 9-11, another day when I was away from the radio, computer and TV to hear when it all happened. That day I was busily trying to help my son understand addition and subtraction with the help of stuffed animals. This day found me transferring 3 years worth of notes into mini books. After a time son took a break and I joined Facebook- something that I have hesitated doing. It is fun ! We headed out shopping in the afternoon, but I had to cut the trip short because of the worst case of gas I have ever had in my life ! Don't think yoga does more than let you stretch ? I beg to differ ! I think in my case it got my digestive track working full speed. After shopping( which hubby so generously finished up for me) we learned that Micheal Jackson had died. So I have come to a conclusion- I killed Micheal Jackson by joining Facebook. ( Yes I am joking- I have a weird sense of humor !)

Anyway, Rosie tagged me to do a meme. I am going to break the rules and say if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged ! ( And thanks Rosie !)
1.Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention & add one more question of your own.

2. Tag eight other people

What is your current obsession? At the moment, making mini books and making weight loss a more flowing thing

What are you wearing today? Still in my jammies at the moment

What’s for dinner? Chicken sausage in marinara sauce over corn pasta and broccoli carrot cauliflower blend

What’s the last thing you bought? several grocery items, including two baby watermellons in a bag that had the two guys making all kinds of comments. Men ! What is it exactly that makes them turn so stupid at the sight of anything that resembles a breast ????

What are you listening to right now? My son freaking out about a spider in his room. It obviously does not have breasts.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? To the woods

Which language do you want to learn? Scots gaelic

What do you love most about where you currently live? Urban stuff is close, surrounded by pockets of woods

What is your favorite colour? Emerald Green

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? Probably a pair of capri pants- I am not into clothes really. If it fits and does not require a commitment from me to wear, I like it. My husband is the clothes person in the family.

Describe your personal style? Nondesctipt Mom wear

If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on? A trip to Borders !

What are you going to do after this? Put on clothes and get back to work transfering notes

Your favorite smell? Sun warmed old wood

Do you collect anything? Esoteric knowledge, Tarot cards, minature houses and St Nicholas/Gift giver figures

What makes you follow a blog? If a person is real and mindy

What's your favorite kind of onion? Red onions

What’s one thing you dream of doing? Getting back to the physical condition that I was when I was 17 and appreciating it !

What is your biggest regret? Absolutely no regrets- everything in life happens for a reason

What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? Watch the clouds and hope it becomes a violent storm, and get wet in the rain at any possibility I can that will not make me look like a stupid old woman playing in the rain.

Do you have a tattoo? No- religious reasons

What are your favorite books? Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne and many, many more

Are you left handed, right handed, ambidextrous, or a little of both? a solid righty

Are you a big fan of memes? I am a meme junkie !


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Got Gain ??

Still gaining weight in spite of your best efforts to lose ? Perhaps This could be the reason.

Just say no to GMO foods

Exercising in spite of it all

I haven't been taking food pictures lately because we seem to be eating the same thing just about every day. Breakfast is oatmeal or crockpot grains with pumpkin and the same toppings, lunch is a sandwich on arnolds thins with veggies, snack is a green monster, and dinner is now another sandwich with veggies.Terribly exciting stuff to the whole world, PLUS photos take a great big chunk out of the memory /space that Blogger allots to you. So unless we eat something different, I will just skip the photos.

Yesterday was another really hot and humid one, so we stuck to Wii fit. I felt bad about missing the opportunity to get out in the sun, but not so bad about the missed opportunity to have my knees try to buckle on me from arthritis. There are days that I think spening an hour playing Wii bowling and tennis gets us more calories burned than our walk, with less asking "are we done yet ?" and comments about how someone is hot and getting buggy bites.( Son has an allergy to mosquitos, which has always made out door activities in the summer months interesting). The Wii tennis is fun, and if you are not careful you can really hurt your joints smacking at that immaginary ball ! In the evening we all did Wii fit, and I was in a kind of restless mood, and I remebered all of the reasons that I fell in love with Yoga when I was a teen. Which reminds me, I really need to get back to The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD. I keep forgetting some of the options I have at my disposal !

I have been experimenting with non dairy milks for a variety of purposes, and learning to make my own to save money. Yesterday I tried making coconut milk, and it was easy. Coconut is surprizingly good for your body, especially if you have any kind of thyroid condition. Mine is wiggy because of PCOS and Menopause, so coconut is a good choice for my body. To make it you take 1 cup of coconut (unsweetened) and 1 cup boiling water. Let them soak till the water cools and then process in a blender. Strain out the liquid and store in the fridge for 3 days. It does seperate, so shake before using or skim off the top portion and use as coconut cream. This milk would work best for cooking it seems. I added it to our oatmeal this morningand it made for a slightly richer tasting bowl.

Not sure what the scale is doing right now, but suddenly my underwear are all getting bigger. It is annoying because they keep twisting under my clothes and getting bunched up in uncomfortable ways. Ill fitting underwear makes you cranky ! Guess I should break out the tape measure and find out if I have lost enough inches to make that number go down.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

listening to me

I want to clarify something- I have not given up the pursuit of weight loss, but instead have decided to shift the focus to being more attentive to what my body really wants and ignoring things like points, calories and so forth. I am an odd duck, because I actually crave things like fresh fruits, veggies and lean protein. In the past I have reached for really bad choices out of a desire to make things quick, save money or fit in with everyone else. End result , ,in my previous life before weight loss, I would crave a really ripe peach but agree to a bag of chips because that was what everyone else wanted. Or rather than hitting the supermarket salad bar to get what I craved, I would agree to a pizza because it was easier, faster and cheaper. Homey aint playin that game any more ! Instead of worrying about getting in so many points and not going over, I am eating what I am really hungry for. Starting with, what I belive to be the finest thing on the planet to eat in the mornings at the moment, my breakfast bowl !

Pumpkin oats topped with ground flax, olive oil, crasins, wheat bran, goji berries and coconut. I ran out of the goji berries , and I have to decide if these are worth the price to keep including. I enjoy the taste and texture of these, so I will probably buy more.

It has turned hot and humid here like overnight. Yesterday it reached 102 with 70 percent humidity, and it was hot even early in the morning. We went out for our walk early , and son got in a snit about something ( gotta love teens) and decided he had to run . Mainly away from me, and the heat proved to wipe him out quick. We cut that activity short ( at his weight he is still at high risk for having an exercise induced heart attack, so I do not push), and came back in to play with the Wii and other pursuits.

Lunch and dinner both wound up sandwiches with raw veggies and fruit on the side - not pictured because I forgot. It was decided that for this week and next sandwiches would be good fare while the heat is on. Home made iced non dairy lattes will also help to revive everyone in the late afternoon. Midafternoon, son and I have come to really enjoy our Green Monsters
This one is made with unsweetened almond milk, fruit salad( fresh pinapple, mango and cantalope) a handful of fresh spinach and a scoop of hemp powder. Hemp is a fantastic source of omega fatty acids that do your body so much good. No, you will not get "high" from these. While it is the same botanical family as marijuana and hashish is made from hemp, those parts come from the plant and not the seeds. That is one of the wonders of the plant community- each part of the plant preforms in a different way. Consider the tomato. The fruit is good to eat, but the stems and leaves are toxic. With a potato the tuber is wholesome but the vine and leaf is toxic.

I an embarking on yet another project- eliminate bremade "healthy" snack options. We buy a fair amount of cereal bars like Kashi, Oatmeal to go and Fiber One, and I want to put an end to this. One reason is cost. Another reason is with making them on my own I can create healtier options that do not contain unhealthy things. My son does well when eating glutens that come in a high fiber form, but not so well with ones that do not. (it's a puzzle to me) The other day I made the infamous "one point" black bean brownies, and my son opted for these over the kashi bars.

I feel better about feeding these to him than some other options, but they can be made even better. Current way is to take a can of black beans, rinse them and puree, and add to a box of brownie mix. Combine and bake according to the directions. I came across a recipe that I have in my files to make your own brownie mix, and this would yeild something cheaper and healthier with subsituting different items for healthier or more allergy free ingredients.

Brownie Mix

6 cups all-purpose flour ( can subsitute whole wheat or a gluten free mix)
4 teaspoons baking powder ( non aluminum is best option)
4 teaspoons salt
8 cups sugar ( can use Splenda, turbano sugar or so forth)
1 8 oz. can unsweetened cocoa powder

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa. Stir with a wire whisk until evenly distributed. Put in a large airtight container. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10 to 12 weeks. Makes about 15 cups BROWNIE MIX.

2 1/2 cups of this mix equals one box of commercial brownie mix

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Winds of change

Something has changed.

Somehow, somewhere, the focus has been redefined to me. It started as weight loss mainly for my son, but moved into better overall health for us all and then took a grand leap into defeating Autism, and improving hubby and my health.Suddenly I find myself thinking things like "let's get out and take a walk to soak up as much Vitamin D and strengthen our immune systems" instead of let's go walk to burn calories and gain activity points. When contemplating dinner for the week ahead I am thinking what will our bodies need a lot more than how many points or calories things are. When considering recipes I look for the healthiest options for ingredients instead of what things will make it the lowest in calories. And through it all, my inner voice whispers that if you are getting proper nutrition your body will be satiated faster and you will eat less. It also repeats that with proper nutrition the body will behave as it should and a normal weight will result.

It is a fact that obesity is simply another manifestation of malnutrition. A body that never gets the proper nutrients will force the inhabitant to eat mass quantities (through outrageous hunger) in order to attempt to get what it needs. If a person , in an attempt to lose weight, simply restricts calories and grabs foods that reflect that yet have no real nutrition, they will fail. If you restrict fat and bulk up on fiber, you will fail ( and become very uncomfortable). Yet if you ignore the conventional wisdom for dieting and focus on really feeding your body, you will lose weight and improve your health. Appetite is not simply a behavioral thing. Try this- right now as you are reading this, will your appetite to kick in. Does not happen, does it ? If you become emotionally stressed and desire to eat, it is because your body is craving a substance to help it address the biological needs of the emotional situation. Most likely it is fats ( real needs are Omega fatty acids) and salt ( your thyroid and adrenal glands DESPERATELY need salt to function properly. High blood pressure is not caused by an abundance of sodium, but a depletion of potassium). Our normal response to such cravings would be things like candy, chips and fried foods, simply because that is what we are culturally conditioned to ingest. However, if we reached for a handful of nuts, avocados or even fruits, we would find the biological need addressed. Instead of doing mindless movements with a machine in a building with artificial lights, get out and walk in the sunshine. Your body will thank you in many ways for this, including an edge against all forms of cancer.

I thank Weight Watchers for the skills it teaches with portion control, but I feel it falls short of a real health move. It begins to attempt to address the concept that we need food for life and health, but it just does not take it far enough. From this day on I am no longer going to concern myself with calories or points for our intake. Instead I am going to focus on optimal nutritional needs and the best forms of movement we can get in.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day

Today is catch up day it seems. We have been having problems with our internet provider the last few days, and so posting has been kind of hit or miss. First off, weigh in results for the week

Me- total maintain. Considering our diet changes , my hormonal state and the horrible weather, I am really pleased. Statistically, people who shift to a Casein free/Gluten Free diet or other such measures, they gain 20-30 pounds because of the changes in dietary fat and the way the body preforms without these substances. Therefor, a maintain is like a loss. Maintaining is the hardest part of the weight loss journey anyway. Many lose weight, but few seem to be able to keep it off for the rest of their life. Shocking, but very true.

The guys both experienced a gain
Hubby- UP3.4 (ouch !!! And no real reason why)
Son- UP 0.2. That kind of gain is most likely from too much belly button lint !

So we begin another week on program, with a new addition. I bought a small ice cream maker this week. It has a bowl that you freeze, and makes about a quart and a half of ice cream. With eliminating dairy and avoiding soy, making our own ice cream is a matter of economic necessity. Our Trader Joes and Whole Foods are too far away to make non dairy ice cream purchases possible, and our local stores charge way too much for these, so it is time to learn to make them. I experimented last night with coconut milk ice cream, but I did something wrong and it froze too solid in the curing process. It did taste incredible though - need to work with this a little more.

We made a trip to Trader Joes yesterday and decided that the store has way too much healthy and tasty stuff . We went mainly to pick up Almond Milk and walked out with over 50 dollars of wonderful healthy goodies. Son has become very adventurous as far as food ( a whole different planet from the boy who would only eat plain white cooked pasta due to texture), and begged to have candied hibiscus flowers. I take responsibility for this- I have added flowers to salads and beverages in the past, and he knows that the majority of items carried at Trader Joes I will say yes to.So after a check for offending substances I agreed, and he happily munched the candied flowers as we head for the next desitinatin. And then a miracle happened- he said "Okay, I have had enough of these ". He is developing an awareness of satiation of a craving or desire, AND the ability to make himself stop. He is learning very well the concept that we eat for hunger and nothing else.I think when he gets down to his goal weight, he will actually be one of the few who is able to maintain for the rest of his life because of skills he has learned on the way.He also announced that sugar makes him sick to his stomach, which it most likely does. This awareness is going to remove a lot of battles.

He also has absolute eagle eyes, and if I tell him what I am lookiing for, he finds it when it elludes me. At the second stop we were going to pick up something for him and I to eat at the birthday party while the others are eating cake. We have cereal bars in the house, but I thought it would be helpful to grab something out of the ordinary, but healthy for us. He seems to have a certain tolerance of gluten in specific forms and not an incredible sensitivity to casien, so our needs are easier to acchive than many. He knows we are trying to avoid certain things, so I asked him to help me find these bars. I squint and the words on the packages sometimes do not register( it's a Mom brain thing), so it takes a while. He glances at the rack and grabs a box, saying "here mom, they are gluten free ! And sure enough, they are ( Envirokids Organic Crispy Rice Bars). Way to go kiddo !

Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there. For me it is sort of like a get out of jail free card, as my own father and grandfathers are dead.My father died of breast cancer in 2004, was cremated and I have two small portions of his ashes in my possession. There is my father in law , whom I have a sort of waiting room relationship with, and my husband , whom has turned out to be a better father and husband than I ever dreamed possible. We are not really gifty type people, but exchange a lot of mindy concepts. He wrote last night about his thoughts on being a father, and for the first time I realized just how different the experience is of being a parent between men and women. Men seem to look for a connection between themselves and their offspring and attempt to fill a perccived needed roll. For a woman it is different. Something begins to grow in your body, shares your heart, and then has the audacity to seperate from you, still carry your heart, but now has legs to independantly carry your heart far away from you. That perception colors everything , and becomes the motivating factor for how we interact with our children. My own dad was a loving but tough man who saw God in nature and each of us five children as a physical embodiement of the love he shared with my mother. I was the oldest, and he jokingly called me his Love Child ( not totally true- I was absolutely legitimate). I was very much like him, and we would butt heads often because of this fact. I look like his clone, as does my son. He was one who questioned the status quo on everything, and valued an intelegent approach above anything else.Often times I think I feel his presence around me, giving me a nod of approval at all I am trying to to for my son, and it makes me smile. With his nod and all the sacrifices my husband makes for myself and my son. I think the future is indeed bright.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm somebody's Mom

I wish I could say I have been happily wrapped up in exercise- but I have not been.
I wish summer would find me more able to just get out and play- but it does not.

What has been happening is a lot of master planning, cutting and assembling and running from mold. Yes, picture a cheesy horror film where the main character is chased by a big mass of black, evil looking mold. Let's call it "It Came From The Midwest,In The Summer That Was Not". So many grey, cool rainy days make for an ideal situation to breed mushrooms, mold and mom anxiety about what still needs to be learned in the two short remaining years left till graduation. It's sort of the same kind of feeling you have when you pack your first diaper bag for that first outing with your brand new firstborn, but this time you are trying to fill them instead of a bag with everything you believe they will need for life ahead.

Yes, I have gone into hyper mommy mode, and I cannot shut it off. Good thing is for me hyper mommy mode means I become a nutritional nazi, and there is no variation from the healthy eating plan. Bad news is , if it does not involve being a mom I cannot jump ship even for a minute. It's not that I do not want to, but I cannot find the off switch or chord to pull to indicate I want off at the next stop.

A miracle happened the other day. I was feeling the affects of my accidental mold cocktail and tried to sit in a different chair that had more padding, and I threw my back out slightly. It was not a sharp pain, but instead constant annoying achyness, and finally I decided the only way to get relif was to lay down. I talked son into joining me to watch some mindless TV in my room (hubby was out at a rehersal and son and I planned on watching his show together). As soon as my head hit the pillow I dozed off. Hubby came home early and I asked him to rub my back with some home made arnica compound and I fell asleep. For some reason I woke up a little later and asked for a tylenol, and the next thing I knew it was morning. All together I got 11 hours of sleep- something that has not happened since I was pregnant ! For those keeping score, that would be 1991.

Tomorrow morning is weigh in, and I have no idea what to expect.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Games to play someday

It's been two days of feeling pretty yucky here, and the weather is not cooperating at all !, Lots of cool, grey humid days have made for a bumper crop of mushrooms on the lawns and mold spores in the air. Damp weather is heck on my arthritis, so any exercise this week has been done in a very half hearted fashion.

Meanwhile, we have been enjoying green monster smoothies for our afternoon snacks, and I have been being productive puttering around the house and creating materials for next years homeschool. It is really nice to be able to do this at my own pace, making leisurly decisions about the year to come.Son has been watching coverage of E3- sort of the Superbowl of electronic games. Many new products have been announced, ad a few have found their way to my wish list. One is Wii Shape- a combination of the Wii motion fitness games with the Playstation Eyetoy for a mote total movement game. It sets up a routine for you, makes fitness assessments and more. Another is Personal Trainer Walking for the Nintendo DS . It seems to me that the electronic game industry has gotten pretty intelegent in the last couple of years. Sometime next year they will release Wii Vitality Sensor -sort of a very handy biofeedback tool for relaxation. I am really curious to see what games they come up with for this !

Hopefully the affects of the mold will pass through me by tomorrow , and it will be a more active kind of day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Note to self

This is a public service reminder to the mother of this Incredible Shrinking Family. Mold makes you sick. Mold is formed anyplace liquid is allowed to accumulate.In order for mold to not grow, the surface must be washed with an alkaline solution, such as dish soap. Air drying IS NOT ENOUGH.

So the fact that you are sneezing , feeling totally wiped out and incredibly nauseous is your own fault. Air drying a pitcher is not enough. You will have to use soap and water on that puppy !

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy little rice balls

Sundays should be special. One day a week to rest, relax and renew is simply good practice for your overall health and well being. Years ago Sundays meant a special dinner, and it is a nice tradition to keep if nothing else is possible in your life. Many of our old family recipes taste oh so good, but are loaded with items that can cause a problem for weight loss, allergies or so in. Rather than toss them, I say re-invent them to suit your needs. Which is just what I did with one of my husband's family favorites, Arrancini. It is a stuffed rice ball that looks like a mini orange, and is just plain yummy ! My husband's grandmother would make these for every family gathering and everyone looked forward to devouring as many of these as they could. The original was deep fried and then baked, most likely to reheat after transport or storage. My sisters in law and I have taken up the tradition of making these, and lately these recipies have been revamped to be healthy as well as delicious. Here is mine

Arrancini - feeds 3

1 cup of brown rice, cooked to package directions
1/2 cup egg subsitute
1/2 cup parmesagn cheese ( actually we used a sheep cheese, not a cow one)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb chicken sausage, cut into bitesized portions and cooked
1 cup egg subsitute
2 cups bread crumbs( I used some made from rice bread)
In a bowl, mix the cooked rice, 1/2 cup egg subsitute, cheese and parsley. Mixture should be wet and glue-y
Line your items up, with water to moisten hands between balls. Divide the rice into 9 sections. Place one portion in your hand, flatten and place a peice of sausage on it.
Now surround the sausage with the rice and form a ball
Repeat till all the rice is gone. Then roll the balls in egg subsitute and bread grumbs, giving a slight squeeze to make sure they are compact. Place in a greased 9x13 pan. At this point you can store them in the fridge or freezer for future use.
When time comes to serve, place in a 350 oven for 45 minutes. They will come out slightly brown, slightly crispy and very delicious. You can eat them as is, or top with a marinara or pesto sauce. For parties we eat them on their own, but for dinners I top them with tomato sauce and serve them with a veggie- asparagus was the side of choice last night

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Weigh in

Once again , the contestants approach the scale in a form of weekly homage. Did our bodies cooperate, or is there some hidden snag we have not discovered ?

Me- DOWN 1.4
Hubby- DOWN 2.8
Son -DOWN 5.6

Son is the biggest loser for the week- Yay !!!! Me, sadly I suspect that my loss is a result of hormones and has absolutely nothing to do with what I ate or exercised. It has been this way for so long that I give up second guessing. Not going to get excited about it or second guess until I drop down to the 220 's ( I am currently 238). Hubby- who knows ? It has been a totally normal week for him with minimal exercise, so.....

In either case, ,it is nice to see the scale go down, and I am really happy son had such a nice loss ! It gets tricky to figure out just how to move with him, in dealing with weight loss and a diet to reduce his autistic behaviors.

Thus begins another week !

Friday, June 12, 2009

Monsters and Mayhem

One thing that seems to be making the rounds on more heath conscious blogs is something called The Green Monster. It is a smoothie with green veggies and fruit. My first introduction to this was through Kath's blog , but it has been popping up all over. Angie kind of got addicted to them for a short term, and I kept thinking I had to try one for myself. From what I had been reading, the base ingredient was fresh spinach, and from there you get creative. I did not have spinach, but instead had a boatload of assorted greens for salads ( romaine, escarole and Boston)that would go bad before we could use them all. Last week I went back to buying heads of lettuce, cutting them up on my own and storing in zip locks. I miscalculated the amount needed, so a surplus was created. I wondered if lettuce would make an acceptable replacement, and the only way to find out was to make one.

I was making this for two, so I took 2 nectarines and cut the flesh from the pit, 2 cups rice milk,4 handfuls of spinach, 4 scoops of protein powder ( this brand lists a serving as 2 scoops) and 4 ice cubes and placed them in the blender. Hit stun, and in a few minutes you have this lite mint green colored smoothie. Split it into two cups and....

It was delicious ! Son drank down the whole thing in two gulps. I nursed mine a little longer, and I was surprised how tasty and filling this was ! Then I realized that had I heard about these 17 years ago, I would have thought I stumbled onto the Holy Grail of kid food. We were dealing with so many food battles in those days !

Smoothies are a terrific way to get nourishment fast. They are a great way to get a big hit of nutrients fast, as the liquifying process is the first step in digestion. Nutrients hit your stomach in a form that is quickly absorbed, and you reap the benefits sooner. I noticed an hour after I had one that i felt like I had just gotten in 12 hours sleep, a weeks vacation, a good workout and a cup of coffee all combined.

We got in more walking last night at one of the stores we shop, and then the guys tackled a computer reformat. Son managed to pick up a very nasty Virus , and our spyware could not remove it, so a reformat was in order. For some this sounds like a major thing, but sadly in this house it is as common as the need to wash windows or steamclean a carpet. Son turned into little super hacker when he was 18 months old, and we have gone through every parental control and safeguard on the market. He bypasses them all , and not out of malicious action. He simply thinks in a very literal way and language nuances miss him. For example, the first couple of times that he used a disc washing software( a clean up thing for the hard drive) , he thought it meant he had to wash his monitor as well. Anyway, as a result the hubby has become a master at fixing computer problems , and has become everyone's go to guy when problems happen as a result.So the two of them sat down to reformat the computer ( daddy is teaching son what to do). My husband is very patient with him, and the two of them are the best buddies on earth. Between the technical stuff they joked with each other and got things working again. It was nice to watch them interact together.

It's a sunny day here finally. Off to walk in the beauty !

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sometimes you just want to smack people

Enter a new hurdle in the weight loss game.

We homeschool, and up till now we have included our daily exercise as the PE segment of our day. When it is not raining and we are not swamped with work, we go out for a walk. On the days when the weather is icky we use the Wii, weights and DVD's to work indoors. It's not perfect, ,but it is a routine we can keep up with according to our lifestyle, budget, transportation limitations and so on. And up till yesterday, we pretty much have the place to ourselves. Gym membership is out because we have no way to get to one, cannot afford it ( homeschooling and Autism intervention take up any extras we have), and because son is under 18 all of them want for him to attend an orientation class that meets at times when it is impossible to attend. So we do what we can, without disturbing the neighbors.

Last night we decided to go out for a walk as a family after dinner, and there were numerous other famililies and kids out there. School let out for the public school kids yesterday, so it was the usual first day of summer thrill sort of vibe in the air. Dads playing soccer, a few parets trying to organize kids play and other little kids on bikes. We started walking and a couple of kids around 8 yrs old kept riding past us on bikes, and one kept looking at Nick and yelling "baby" because he was walking with us. (Yes kid, this is some baby at 17 yrs old, 6 ft tall and over 300 lbs). We told Nick to just ignore him, that he is not a baby, but the kid kept up and it was really starting to upset Nick. One thing that I have to deal with that most parents do not is that my child is big enough and strong enough that if he lost his temper he could actually kill a kid unintentionally, so there are just things that you intervene in that other parents have the luxury of just letting ride it's course. So rather than have the situation escalate to a potentially dangerous scene, I suggested we go walk at the store. It's not perfect, but it is moving. He agreed , and we had a good time.

This morning I told Nick we would go out for our walk early, and he started getting upset that the kids would make funj of him. Score one for bringing him into more awareness, but minus several for having that awareness be a painful one. I told him the kids do not tend to play outside early, so it will be fine. He was protesting, but I managed to talk him into it. We got outside and there were a couple of adult men sitting on the picnic tables and Nick started freaking that they would make fun of him, and I assured him this would not happen. So we walked, they kept staring at us and Nick was very nervous about it. I told him that it does not do any harm to look, and they were probably wondering what we were doing and maybe they would think about exercising themselves . Each trip around brought a new level of anxiety for him and he was really eager to be done. We finished without incident, but it seems this is going to be a factor to deal with for a while.

It really sucks for my son, but there is a potential to teach him how to be very resiliant. He has so many strikes against him here- he is not related to one of the families, he does not speak spanish, he is homeschooled, he is Autistic and has speach difficulties, he is overweight and he is part of a family that does a lot of things together. Several of these things , sadly, are considered to be strange things in today's society.

This is not a sort of strategy that Weight Watchers meetings will teach you to use.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Parenting Autistic children should be worth activity points

Yay ! Finally the new oven arrived about 3 :30 in the afternoon, and life can get back to normal again. While we waited yesterday we tried out The Biggest Loser Workout, but kept smacking into each other with the weights. Not a good thing, so we kept having to stop, change positions and then try to get back into the flow of the workout, so I don't think it was as affective as it was meant to be.

We got dinner at ElPollo Loco, but was not totally as planned because they were out of a few things. Hubby went to pick it up with my son, and any time one tries to do something with my son , you need a list or an iron clad thought in your head. I should have gone with but...anyway he woundup getting the grilled chicken, Spanish Rice, mashed potatoes and gravy and corn tortillas. Good news is it is all gluten free. Bad news is it had dairy and is way too carby, but I can understand how it happened. His brain is patterned into a KFC mold, and when you are in unfamiliar surroundings and you are accompanied with a person who chatters non stop about things that have absolutely nothing to do with the activity, things you have an awareness of in ways that do not make sense, you fall into old patterns. Bless his heart for getting dinner and giving me a half hour of silence ! The chicken was AWESOME , the potatoes normal for mashed potatoes, the rice looked more like fried rice than spanish rice. A little high in points, ,low in veggies for the day than our norm, one incident of dairy , but good. We will order from them again in the future, but this time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Waiting day two

Day two of Oven Waiting. Ours is being replaced, and the replacement will be here hopefully today . Because of the uncertainty of the time and the fact that I will have people working in my kitchen sometime today, we are planning carry out for dinner. Tricky when trying to keep things healthy and dairy free ( Gluten free will happen once the oven is here). We are going to try a new to us chain- El Pollo Loco. They offer grilled chicken, steamed veggies, salads and several healthy alternatives. It is really nice to discover convenient, healthy alternatives for those times when life happens.

Did get in some walking yesterday and a totally on program day in spite of the endless sitting around and waiting. I was also able to get a lot of paperwork and cutting done for next years school materials, so it was a good day.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Spent a good chunk of the day moving things in the kitchen in preparation for getting out oven either repaired or replaced. No walking, but a lot of activity points !

Our oven has been dead for several months now, and it has not been a big issues. Plus, in order to make room for someone to come in and look at it , involved moving a microwave cart that is filled with a ton of needful stuff. During the school year, sadly, if it is not exploding or on fire, I learn to work around it. There just is not enough hours in the day.

But now it is summer, and now I am more convinced that we have to make serious dietary changes, there are going to be things that I will need to learn to make or go broke buying ready made all the time. Either that or let my son stay trapped in his world. So today I will get to wait for the staff repair guy to come , and then explain to this man who speaks limited English (and I do not speak Spanish) that my oven lights, and the gas kicks in , but it does not get any hotter than 220 degrees. Happily, hubby is staying home to translate. He is a manager for a lot of Spanish speaking people and I hope he can translate this ! Anyone know how to say "it needs a new thermocouple" in Spanish ????

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Music to my ears

The scale shall not be mentioned here this week. There are far more important matters in life at the moment. Each day that we work with biomedical intervention through supplements, diet , Energy medicine and removing the heavy metals, we see steps of improvement with our son. Yesterday two incidents served as a crack in the ice, so to speak, and it was as if Nick was all of a sudden awake after a long sleep. We had lunch at our favorite store, and afterwords he wanted to throw away the trash. There were two receptacles there, as there have been as long as the store has been open. One marked trash and the other marked refuse. He looks at them and asks me "Mom, is this trash or refuse ?" Amazing thing is this is a kid who NEVER asks questions outside of what is for dinner and what are we doing today.I used to think it was because he was amazingly independent, but I have since realized it was because he was incapable of understanding exactly how to phrase one. The questions he would ask were simply ones he heard phrased in TV shows and such. Parroting and not independent thought. Then as we were shopping, he was doing one of his comforting gestures of reading everything he saw outloud ( one reason I cannot shop without a list), when suddenly he started asking "Mommy, what do we use this food for ?". These incidents give be proof that our efforts are definately paying off. Scale be damned. It's not that I will stop trying through diet and exercise, but rather I am going to measure our successes in a whole different way.

Last night with dinner we tried two new dishes- Cilantro pesto and "fakaroni and cheese", which is actually hominy with a vegan cheese sauce. The latter was greatly anticipated by my son, who used to absolutely adore that horrid blue box stuff. The pesto was tried because of some new findings on it's affects to remove heavy metal toxins from the body. It is a very tasty way to get healthy ! We had it on grilled burgers ontop Arnold's thins( we are NOT Gluten Free), tossed salad and Camimari tomatoes. It was a nice way to conclude a day filled with walking and exciting new developments !

Cilantro Pesto - from Mathew's Puzzle

2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Brazil nuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups packed fresh cilantro
2/3 cup olive oil oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt to taste

Process the cilantro and oil in a blender until the coriander is chopped. Add the garlic,
nuts and seeds, and lemon juice and mix until the mixture is finely blended into a paste.
Add a pinch to sea salt to taste and blend again.
Store in dark glass jars if possible.

And now for the fakearoni..very tasty, but best eaten if you have avoided the Blue Box for a long time.

Carrie's Cheesy Imposter Sauce -
from Ginger Lemon Girl
(Gluten free, casein free, soy free, yeast free)

2/3 cup unsweetened hemp milk (I used rice milk)
3-4 tablespoons cooked chick peas (canned is fine!)
1 heaping tablespoon tahini
3-4 tablespoons cashews (or pine nuts)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon - 3/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce (add to taste)
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
3/4 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon diced pimiento peppers
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients in blender and puree until very smooth. Pour mixture into a sauce pan
and heat on the stove on med-high heat for several minutes until heated through.
Pour heated cheese sauce over pasta, potatoes, rice, vegetables, etc...
Place leftover sauce in an airtight container and store in refrigerator. Consume within 2-3 days.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Can I change the channel ?

Saturday morning, and we tune into the cartoon show called Weigh In. In this weeks episode

Me UP 1.4
Hubby UP 1.2
Son UP 2.8

So I ask myself what is important here ? Is it better to have a number on a scale go lower, or cure my son from Autism ?

Obviously the latter, so the former is going to involve finding a new balance that works.I am not sure just what that is going to be yet.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Guest Chef

Mommy has not been feeling the greatest today . It's not anything as interesting as Swine Flu or a tropical fever, but rather a little gift from Mother Nature. Make that a jumbo load package sort of delivery. As you get older, things get very irregular, and comes in quantities that you never knew before. Needless to say there was no exercising today as a result, and it became an opportunity for son to work on some Life Skills. He really loves to cook, and I have been letting him try more complicated dishes. He still makes me very nervous when he uses a knife, but the only way you learn is through hands on experience. I belive every human being should have the skills enough to cook, grocery shop, do laundry, sew simple repairs,create and follow a budget, change a tire and balance a checkbook before they move on their own. Learning how to do grocery shopping and such are definate added bonuses. So that being said, son was given the opportunity to play cook today, and dinner was of his own design.

Nick's Crocpot Pasta Florentine- serves 3

1 jar spaghetti sauce
3 links chicken asiago sausage
6 oz whole wheat pasta, uncooked
1 c water
1 bag frozen spinach

Spray crockpot with Pam. Slice sausage into couins. Put 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of the crock pot. Add raw pasta, spinach , water and sauce. Mix, cover and cook on low for 6 hrs. Serve with shavings of Parmesagn cheese( can omit) Note- the pasta cooks in the sauce and comes out very tender.

He also made a tossed salad and lemon water to go with the meal. Admittedly, the recipe could use a little something, but it was tasty, filling and healthy. I think the boy did very well !

Tomorrow is weigh in. Other than tonight at dinner with the cheese, we have been dairy free for a week, and I am really curious to see it's affects.

Weight loss not going as you expected ?

Experiencing a weight loss stall ? Even if you up the exercise, count calories and stay perfectly on your weight loss plan you either stall out or gain for a long period of time ?Thyroid okay ? If all of the above is true, This scary fact of life may be the reason.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Non scale victory

It has been said that you are what you eat, and I am learning entirely new meanings of that phrase, thanks to my son and his special needs. I am also getting an interesting little high five from the ghost of my father, who always told me that I could do anything I put my mind to. He also called me a hardhead, because once I caught a vision of something that I wanted, there was not a power in Heaven or Earth that could stop me. So these two forces met and challenged me through this very sweet channel, pictured wearing his brand new tye dyed tee shirt.

We have been working with supplementation and dietary changes to help him to lose a massive amount of weight , as well as come into the light from the darkness of Autism. So far we have seen a lot of small improvements, and today was another. This time it came in a medium that I am able to share with others.

Nick has never gotten the whole thing with art. First off, ,he has dysgraphya, which is a nerological weirdness that scrambles signals between his brain and hand muscles, so he struggles to write. It works something like this- decide to write the word love. Remeber how to spell it, and THEN remeber which direction the letters go, how to form them and struggle with your brain to get your hand muscles to coordinate. Now add autism's texuire issues that scream the pencil drags, the paper feels too loud and more. Handwriting has been a great struggle, and coloring or painting a nightmare. Enter in the "Mr Literal" factor of autism, where if you are told to color a picture, you do just that. Apply a mish mash of assorted colors onto the paper without any clue that you are supposed to stay in the lines or create something that is a representation of anything. Such as this picture, done by him roughly six months ago, at age 16 and a half
Today there happened to be an opportunity to do some coloring and drawing. For most kids, a collection of markers, crayons and such with a supply of paper or coloring sheets would provide some entertainment , but here they always brought great frustrtion, so i ignored them in the summer months. However an email led to a spontanious art lesson, which led into a coloring session, and a miracle happened

The very first picture, colored by my son in which color is used to bring a visual representation into existance . This is BIG stuff ! And while the scale may or may not be moing very fast for us, more important things are happening at lightning speed ,thanks to the dietary changes and supplements. Moms of these special guys- if you have the slightest inkling that biomedical intervention might work for your child, I would advise you to move Heaven and Earth to find a way to begin. Even if you cannot find a DAN! Doctor or Occupational Therapist, read all you can and apply what you can for your own child. It could make a world of difference !

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I was thinking this morning about food, health, the impact nutrition and additives have on our bodies. It started off with some reading I was doing about biomedical intervention to reverse Autism ( through gluten free/casein free diet, supplements and more) , and it led to thoughts about the obesity problem in our country today. Yes, mathematically in order to lose weight y9ou have to expend more calories than you ingest. But what if one of the unseen factors is the way our bodies process the new toxins that are so prevalent in our food systems ? Chemical additives, artificial sweeteners and more that are used to insure that we have an ample supply of o so yummy cheese doodles and an assortment of products designed to allow us to indulge in our bad eating habits with less guilt -aka the 100 calorie snack pack and such ? Did you know that one of the genetically modified crop strains is designed as a suicide strain - created to produce no seed offspring ? Many others are designed not to germinate untill they are sprayed with round up . Is this kind of food really and truely safe to ingest without serious affects on the way our bodies process food ? Are you really willing to take the risk and find out with your own health ?
That being said, I determined as I ate breakfast to cut out all non organic foods from our diets as quickly as possible. Only one of the items in my breakfast bowl is not organic, and that would be the Crasins. Time to find a new alternative once we run through our stash.

Son and I spent 45 minutes with Wii boxing after breakfast. I was feeling like punching a lot of somethings, and the Wii is a good way to safely get out agression. Son really likes to "fight" with mommy, so it made for a plesant morning for us both.
Morning snack consisted of chocolate Almond Dreams milk and grapes. Son prefers the Almond Milk, I prefer the Rice Dreams, but the Almond is lower in calories and a bit cleaner. Interestingly enough the Rice Dreams has more calcium than either the almond or cows milk.

Today was my planning day , and I decided we are going to try a second week dairy free. After looking at this weeks sales, inventorying the cabinets, creating a menu and a shopping list it was lunchtime.
Homemade lentil soup, carrot sticks, a turkey burger on an Arnolds Thin and leftover vanilla popcorn made from a local small buisness from Monday's snack stash. While Arnolds are not organic, they are free of trans-fatty acids and high fructose corn syrup, so i think I will make an exception with these unil i can find a comperable alternative. Buying organic meat is going to take some thinking. I do not know if our budget is going to stand for this one.

More puttering around the house and catching up some reading, and in the afternoon son reminded me it was snack break
So we had fresh strawberries and cocoa dusted almonds. The strawberries are organic , but not the nuts. I think this one will be easy to find alternatives to .

Dinner was an experiment that worked really well. We had some top round steak in the freezer that needed to be used. Steak happens to be the one food I cannot cook well, and when we had this last week it was officially chewy steak. This time I decided to turn it into kinda sorta an italian stir fry-ish thing. I sliced the steak thin, sauted it in a pan with olive oil, onions and garlic, then added a can of diced tomatoes, some italian seasoning and a shot of salt. Cover and let simmer for an hour, then serve on pasta with shavings of parmesagn. I uesd tricolored corn pasta amd served it with a side salad made from herb green mix, baby persian cucumbers, green onions and black olives. It must have been good, as the guys inhaled it.
No big plans for tonight except do some deep thinking while hubby is at a choir rehersal. Perhaps I will play some more Wii with my son. Tomorrow is the first day of Hollies Walking Challenge and I am signed up and ready to roll !

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cloudy with a chance of Tye Dye

Woke up today to another grey, raining cold morning. I think this is one of the wettest springs we have had in a long time ! We had plans for starting the day off with a walk, but postponed it for a while till the rain stopped. So meanwhile, we enjoyed our favorite breakfast- pumpkin oats with toppings
I won't list what all is in there because it is the same thing and I have written about it many times. The rain kept falling , so son and i played with a tye dye kit to make two funky tee shirts. I have done tye dye many times but this was a first for son, and he enjoyed the process. Finally the weather broke , so we went out for a 40 minute walk around the complex. Over the weekend we calculated how many times we were going to have to walk around the parking lot to know for certain we could walk to the library and back. That number and goal is 60 trips. Today we only made 10, and called it quits because it was starting to rain again and my knee was killing me.
We grabbed a snack of almond milk and cherries. For some reason we were both kind of hungry. I think it was because yesterday we were very low on protien, and our bodies were kind of craving more. Afterwords we both got involved in our own intrests. Ah, the joys of summer !
Lunch was a Sloppy Jose on Arnold's Thins ( leftover chicken breast heated in salsa), with a cup of homemade minestrone soup, carrots, cherry tomatoes and some sweet potato chips leftover from yesterday. I kind of chuckled to myself. Before this way of life we would have bought two huge bags of Sunchips and finished them in an afternoon. Now, we buy smarter snacks, portion them out, and they last a long time. Leftover chips were never seen in those days ! After lunch son and I decided to play some Wii boxing. So about 30 mintues of competing wit each other, throwing punches and getting a good work out.
Afternoon snack was fresh strawberries and cocoa dusted almonds. Almonds are a good source of calcium, and one that is easier absorbed by the body than dairy. We are choosing nuts and alternative milks to get our calcium while we try dropping the dairy. As far as my health , i am feeling calmer for some reason. Son has become quite moody, bt it is very possibly due to a further yeast die off in his system. Things can get a lot worse before they get better in these cases, so I am thinking I may continue the experiment for two weeks and then decide.
Dinner was quinoa pilaf ( green onions, carrots and garlic) Citrus marinated grilled chicken breast, california blend and a tossed salad of spring greens and baby persian cucumbers. Our market had these on sale and they are so cute ! These are an unwaxed cucumber, so no need to peel them before eating. They have a more mild cucumber flavor as well. After dinner hubby suggested we head out for a short walk. My knee was really bothering me because of the damp, so we only made it around 2 times. But hey- that is 2 times more than what we would have done sitting on or butts.

The plan for tonight is to catch more of what I call accident TV- The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Son likes to go watch his own stuff in his room in the evenings, so we are free to explore some of the strangest offerings available on TV. T really cannot wait till the next season of The Biggest Loser begins. Or some new offering by The Duggers (18 kids and counting). I will most likely snack on some more cherries later tonight.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Birthday and good times

Today was a day of relaxing celebration. I am not one who gets into big splashy celebrations or so forth. I think it is because I was the oldest of 5 kids and birthdays were kind of hard to distinguish from any other holiday, Then as I got older I kind of got turned off by the expense for things that lasted for one day and then forced you to pay longer for the indiscretion. I have nothing against those who see things otherwise, but it is just not me. So that being said, today I turned 51 and it was a perfect day !

Started the day off with Crockpot pumpkin grains. It is a mix of barley, brown rice, wheat berried and steel cut oats cooked in water and solid pack pumpkin and seasoned with cinnamon and ginger. Then you top it off with olive oil, ground flax, crasins, goji berries, wheat bran and coconut. We all adore this breakfast, it is really inexpensive and filling !

After breakfast we kind of mucked about watching silly Youtube videos with the happy Birthday song, silly babies and whatever else turned up. Silly kick back fun, and then we headed out to the woods for a walk. This time I actually remebered that we should take pictures of us ! So if you are wondering what 51 looks like, wonder no more !

Me and my son- he is a full head taller than me !
Hubby and I - I realized the other day that there are very few pictures of the two of us together for some reason.

After a walk and a bit of an impromptu botany lesson ( I showed hubby and son several medicinal plants) , we headed off to the Goodwill for some sport shopping. You never know what you are going to find at places like this ! I found several thick binders to store this year's lapbooking projects and had fun browsing through books, clothes and baby furnature. I found a couple of things that I wished I would have had when Nick was a baby !Then we headed down to Sweet Tomatoes- our facvorite all you can eat salad and soup bar.
For some reason this got only one of the plates of salad I had, and it is blurry . This one was spring greens, red cabbage, beets, butternut squash, broccoli,cucumbers, red onions, garbanzos, sesame seeds and several other things I cannot remeber.
Second pass was a half cup of Potato Barley lentil soup, two peices of roast red pepper whole wheat foccacia, fruity oat bran muffin, whole wheat buttermilk biscut. I had a blueberry acai vitamin water to drink- not that bad but not as good as their green tea strawberry blend! Normally we get just plain water but the last time had a deal that included one of the beverages, and we tried them and loved them.

Then we headed to the grocery store to pick up healthy snacks and thenback home for some pay per veiw movie watching and a sort of lazy afternoon. We saw White Noise( really good) and Nick and Nora's endless mix tape( stupid if you are older than 17). Between the two we all got a little nibbly and made a snack food sort of dinner
Sweet potato chips, vanilla popcorn, bing cherries, cocoa dusted almonds and sparkling mineral water.It comes out healthier than theater food, healthier, and you can get comfy and talk during the flick without disturbing anyone. It just works out better for us.

Tonight we plan on catching the soap opera that is John and Kate Plus Eight ( we have been watching them for about 3 years), and just hanging out.

Have a good one !