Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weight Watchers Points Plus Program

Hey ya'll.  Long time no writeroonie. 

I'm happy to say that I joined Weight Watchers almost 2 weeks ago, and have already lost 7 pounds!  I don't know why ... maybe it's all the summer produce .... big fat tomatoes, fresh corn on the cob, crisp green beans, plump cherries and juicy peaches ... but it seems a lot easier this time.

Another thing in my favor?  Everyone I know is trying to lose weight too!  All my co-workers are trying hard to eat healthier ... all my friends are on Weight Watchers with me ... and my hubbers is trying hard right along with me.  Christina and Dylan and Madison joined a family gym and are getting healthy too.  Heath and Annie practice healthy eating, and Eddie plugs along at going to the gym and maintaining his wonderful weight loss success from several years ago.

So I tell ya ... how can I not succeed now! 

I have to admit the first few days of portion control were hard.  But now that Weight Watchers doesn't assign points to fruits and vegetables, it made it much easier to get over that hump. 

I'm looking forward to being in control and posting some real progress!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

5 Months!

Wowzee, I just checked my blog and realized it's been 5 months since I've written. 

Some good things have been happening, though.  The art class is going great.  I entered my second painting into a show and it got accepted.  Didn't sell, but it got on the wall, and alot of people came on opening night.  it was a lot of fun.  The show  was called, "Feast for the eyes" and my painting was of Madimoo looking through a cake dish at some cupcakes.  See below:

I just finished another painting of Madimoo that I am going to enter into the "Liberty" show and I'm going to entitle the picture "Freedom of Expression."   The show begins July 1 and runs through the 31st.  Say a prayer that it will be accepted into the show! 



We went on a great vacation to Newport, Rhode Island; Cape Cod, Massachussetts; and Old Saybrook, Connecticut.  I'll post about that with some pictures next.

I also started a new job!  Loving it so far.

I've also been living a little more simply (cooking more, painted my front door instead of buying a new one, put my own new mailbox up instead of paying someone to do it, etc.), and giving more to charity. 

So those were all things on my to do list in January.

Now .... I know what you thinking ......the other thing on the list .... weight loss

Oh man.  What can I say?  The scale needed dusting this morning.  Need I say more?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Update

Photo of chicken egg being fried in a panImage via Wikipedia
It hasn't been a week yet, and I've lost 5 pounds.  I'm pretty psyched.  The 400 calorie meals are working out pretty good.  This morning I had a very satisfying breakfast of:
1 fried egg (70)
one slice of double fiber wheat toast (100)
2 pieces of low sodium bacon (70)
1 cup of blackberries (70)
light butter (50)
hot tea

If it stops friggin snowing, I want to get 1/2 tuna salad on multi-grain (240); 1 cup of chicken nooodle soup (100) and 1/2 cafe classic salad (80) at Paneras for lunch.

Dinner will be a Healthy Choice frozen entree, salad, and an orange.

We were supposed to get snow showers.  Looks like a friggin blizzard to me.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update on Hubs

Main complications of persistent high blood pr...Image via Wikipedia
My sweetie pie went to the doctor yesterday.  He lost 5 pounds and his blood pressure was down to 110/70!  We were both ecstatic.  He wasn't counting calories.  I made meals for him at home, without added salt and used ingredients that had no added salt and low-sodium products (i.e., no salt added tomatoes, low-sodium chili seasoning, etc.).  He ate healthy stuff, yogurt, fruit, salad, baked chicken, low-salt chili, sandwiches on whole grain bread, steamed vegetables without added salt, and steamed rice. We did go out to dinner over the weekend, and he did get what he wanted, but it was pretty darn healthy -- grilled mahi mahi, mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables, and half a dinner roll.  And Sunday he ate more grilled fish, mashed potatoes, salad, and broccoli.

I'm finally getting into mental readiness for healthier living as well.  I've shared with you all before that I am definitely a stress eater.  While I was preparing all kinds of healthy things for Hubs, I was sneaking a doughnut here and there. But his good results, and being scared by recent events, I'm back on plan with the 400 calorie meals.

I've started the painting classes on Sundays, and they are really helping me with stress.  When I walked into that art class for the first time, I felt I had come home.  The smell of oil paints, paint thinner, and clay from the pottery class..... HEAVEN!    I completed a small, and simple, still life with a bowl of fruit, and will be working on a new project this week.  I definitely am feeling happier, and more balanced.   

This morning I started out with my two of my old friends ... skinny cinnamon dolce latte and an apple bran muffin.  I bought Healthy Choice entrees and fruit for lunches. 

I'll keep you posted.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hello Again

It's been a while.  We had a bit of a scare in our family.  Everything is okay, but because of it, we are making some lifestyle changes.  It seems life in your 50's is all about coming to grips with the fact that our bodies are betraying us, little by litte.  If we are to soldier on to a good, and healthy, old age, we can't continue in our old habits.  No more workaholic hours, cokes, coffee, french fries, and doughnuts.  No more evenings just watching TV. 

Things we all hear everyday, but it hits a little closer when someone you love ends up in a hospital with scary symptoms. 

Part of our lifestyle change is a low sodium diet.  This is harder than it sounds.  Sodium is EVERYWHERE.  I planned out our meals for the week, and I basically bought natural foods -- unprocessed frozen vegetables and fresh vegetables, lots of fruit, oatmeal, low-fat cheese, lite yogurt, fat-free milk, whole grain bread, chicken, hamburger, and fish.  I found myself spending an hour in the store just looking at the sodium content on labels.  The vending machine is a definite no-no because the sodium in that stuff is outrageous. 

A plus about eating a low-sodium diet is that it pretty much ensures that you are eating healthy stuff. 

I made some low-sodium chili with the low-sodium McCormick chili seasoning (I only used half a packet to cut down even more, and used no salt added tomatoes, corn, and beans -- it wasn't bad ya'll.  I also brought out some diet cookbooks and found a Weight Watcher's recipe for chicken pot pie, which we'll be having tonight.  I'll let you know how that turns out.


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Monday, January 10, 2011

3 pouds for the week

Not the best, but I'll take it.  Pretty good for not a whole lot of effort on my part. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gonna Try Harder Today

It's Sunday, and I've lost 3 pounds this week.  I'm going to try to be extra good today and make that a 4 by tomorrow so that I can that total for the week.

Yesterday I had a sausage mcmuffin and and o.j. for breakfast.
Lunch was a very unhealthy bag of frito chips and hostess chocolate cupcakes.  (I know!  I know!)  But ... I was at work and I wasn't able to get to the microwaves -- they were blocked off. 
Dinner was grilled chicken and steak strips with red, green, and yellow peppers, and onions.  (my low carb meal for the day).

Today I've started out better with oatmeal, yogurt and fruit.
I have to go to work today, so I'm taking a peanut butter on rye, some fruit, and pretzels.
Dinner will be a salad.

I'll let you know what the scale reveals tomorrow!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lost 2 pounds

tagliati e rifiniti con la forchetta ricetta/r...Image via Wikipedia
I think the one good meal thing is working.  I woke up 2 pounds lighter this morning.  My menu changed last night from grilled cheese and soup to cheese ravioli with marina and 3 cocktail-size meatballs with unsweetened ice tea.  I think the grilled chicken ceasar salad at lunch did the trick!  We'll see how it works today.

I'm planning on having my low carb meal at dinner -- cobb salad at Mimi's.  Breakfast was sausage mcmuffin and o.j.  Lunch will be a healthy choice entree.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

One Meal at a Time

I am having a rough time getting in the wagon this time.  I think the wagon is just going to have to slow down and I'm going to have to climb in slowly ..... like starting with one meal a day being the right kind of meal.  And then working myself up to two good meals a day, and then eventually three.  Of course I'll aim for more than one right one, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't make it.  

Today I met that goal at lunch.  Met the girls for a birthday celebration today.  Had a grilled chicken ceasar salad and unsweetened tea.  I managed to leave the bread alone. 

I had a sausage mcmuffin, no egg, for breakfast and some o.j.

Dinner will be chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwich and some cut up oranges.

It's really cold out there ya'll.  Brrrrrr!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mac 'n' Cheese

Macaroni with cheeseImage via Wikipedia
We had a farewell luncheon for one of our co-workers today.  Here's what we ate:

Homemade Mac-n-Cheese
chicken and gravy
greens
potato salad
salad
rolls
sweet potato pie

You think the scale is going to go down tomorrow morning?

Me neither.
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Lost a Pound

Lost a pound.

Hopefully I'll never find it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Getting it Right, or Not

Steak 'n ShakeImage via Wikipedia
I definitely did not get it right yesterday.   I didn't bring enough for lunch -- two lettuce wraps just didn't cut it.  And I forgot my snack.  I was starving when I got home.  Tried to tamp it immediately with some hummus and pea pods.  Yummeeeo.  (Not!) 

So I had every good intention of eating my chicken, broccoli, and brown rice for dinner, but then I got a call and joined my family at Steak 'n Shake. 

If you're wondering if there's anything good at Steak 'n Shake ..... well, yeah.  Just not good for you.  A steak hotdog, fries, and double chocolate shake later, I wallowed on out to the car and rushed home to watch "The Bachelor."  By the way, is the guy creepy or what?  This is the dude that left two girls at the altar on a previous season.  He's back after three years of getting to know himself and getting some therapy.  He's a changed man.

The first girl out of the limo tells him she has a message from America, and slaps his face.  And he says, "Thanks, I needed that.  I like you even more because of that.  I like your spice."   He then goes on to give her a rose later that evening.  What the !#$%&!  

But I digress. 

Today I'm doing alot of the 'heel of the hand to forehead" motions, and trying to get rid of the nightmarish visions of the scale this morning when it boinged a little higher than yesterday. 

But I will prevail.  I will conquer.  I will not give up.  Onward!
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lettuce, Tomatoes, Peapods -- Oh My!

Lettuce wrapsImage by toastforbrekkie via Flickr
In looking back at past blog posts it came to my attention that I am not a big fan of NO CARBS.  So I'm modifying my eating plan to reflect Phase 2 of the South Beach diet, whereby you can add some fruit and a couple of servings of wholegrains. 

In preparation of eating healthier this week, I went to the grocery store and spent $67.00 for the week.  Not bad, huh?  Here's the menu plan for tomorrow:

Brkfst:  Oatmeal, hardboiled egg, orange
Snack:  peapods and red pepper strips with hummus
Lunch:  2 wraps:  (rotisserie chicken, roasted red pepper, and feta cheese wrapped in romain lettuce leaves)
             grape tomatoes
Snack:  1oz cheddar cheese
             apple
Dinner:  more rotisserie chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli and two cups salad
Snack:  sugar-free pudding

I'm ready for this. 

Really I am!

I swear.

Oh you just wait.

You'll see.
           
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Friday, December 31, 2010

In Preparation Of

In about 14 hours, it will be 2011.  I've been doing some reflecting the past few days of things I want to accomplish this coming year.  I think I touched on this in a previous blog, but here is my final list:

1.  Lose weight. 

It's at the top of my list every year.  Well, this past year I did manage to lose 15 pounds, and I kept off 10.  That's not fantastic, nor mind-blowing.  But it's a start.  I seriously began my journey in late June, so I stilll have a few months to make up for lost time. 

I spent some time these past few days going through all of my diet books and there is one that dominated the pile.  South Beach.  I have the original South Beach book, two South Beach cookbooks, South Beach SuperCharged, and numerous magazines that feature the plan.  So maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.  So I sat down and went through the cookbooks and the Phase 1 plan and wrote down my list of ingredients for the first week.  I'll let you know how much this sets me back at the end of the week and I will do a daily rundown of how it's working.

2.  Live More Simply

By this I mean spend less.  I will live by the mantra "do I really NEED this?"  I have enough clothes so that I do not have to buy anything for the next year.  I don't need any furniture, or things for my house. 

I will not be eating out much, because this wastes alot of money, and truthfully, I don't know what the heck they put in the food.  It's definitely NOT doing me any favors.  I have steadily gained over the years and it is largely due to the fact that I eat out almost all my meals and I have overburdened my body with fat, salt, and sugar.

I will worry less.  This is living more simply, believe it or not.  Do you know how much time and energy I waste on worrying?  That also causes weight gain.  Food has become my way of coping with stress.  Sugar seems to be the drug of choice for tamping it down.  I figure if I worry less, I might get less cravings.  Bottom line .... I can't control anyone but myself. 

3.  Give More/Save More

The money I save on not eating out and by not buying so much stuff, I want to divide between giving more to charity, and saving more towards retirement.

4.  Nurture my talents

I am starting an art class on January 9th .  I want to be able to produce a painting worthy of selling by the end of 2011.

I have already begun working on a novel.  My goal is to have something ready by December 1, 2011 to present to a publisher. 

5.  Refresh my Soul

I am not a big believer in organized religion.  However, I do believe they serve a purpose.  Like schools, I believe churches are integral in teaching people about love and forgiveness.  How to distinguish from right and wrong.  Now if they would just leave out the guilt and threats of hell, they would be perfect.  Love and forgiveness.  That's what makes the world a healthy place.

I believe our relationship with our Creator is just as individual and unique as our fingerprints.  If a person becomes very quiet, and goes to a place where God is evident, they will begin that dialogue that brings them closer to Him.  That place could be as dramatic as a mountain, an ocean, or a powerful storm where lightening strikes a little too close for comfort.  Or it could be in their own backyard under a tree while birds are singing, or something as simple as seeing their baby in the morning light peacefully sleeping.  We have all felt God on a deeper level.  There's something in everyone's life that has taken their breath away, that made them want to say thank you to the person who made it possible.

This coming year, I want to love more perfectly.  I want to forgive more readily.  I want to commune more with my Creator.  And finally, I want to continue being grateful for all the blessings in my life.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas

Santa Claus is coming to townImage by Zanastardust via Flickr
On Christmas Eve, I donned my festive top, sparkly earrings and sparkly glasses, and Kevin wore his red plaid shirt, and we drove over to the Duckett's for dinner and a visit from Santa.  Madison (aka Madimoo) is 3 and 1/2 years old, and boy was she lovin' Santa.  She heard him knock on the door and ran to greet him and jumped up and down screaming, "It's Santa, It's Santa!" 

Santa was perfection with his genuine white beard, but apparently took Michele Obama's weight loss campaign to heart, and lost some weight.  The kids didn't mind.  His red suit, merry smile and boisterous Ho! Ho! Ho! got them in the spirit real quick.  While Santa read the "Night Before Christmas," Madimoo was in charge of the bell ringing, and her cousin, Haley, was in charge of turning the pages.  Santa left out the part about the "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth" and one of the kids noticed.  So Santa mentioned how he had given up smoking the pipe a few years ago on account of how bad it is for ya.  I thought that was pretty clever.

Now if you don't like Christmas, I suggest you go over to the Duckett's house.  Every nook and cranny of their three story home is dressed up for Christmas.  I counted seven trees, but there could have been more.  My favorite is the upside down tree with presents on top, and the star on the floor, and grinch-themed ornaments hanging from the branches.  A big old Grinch sits in a chair and guards the tree.

The dinner menu was full of home-made goodies that included two kinds of turkey, ham, meatballs, sausage balls, macaroni and cheese, green beans, corn pudding casserole (Christina made it and it's my favorite!), coleslaw, macaroni salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, and I don't know what else ya'll.  It was all fabulous. 

After Rudolph picked up Santa, we enjoyed homemade chocolate covered cherries, homemade mounds, red velvet cupcakes, pecan pie, other kinds of pies, cakes, and cookies.

Then while the children opened gifts, the adults drank some wine, and played a money game, where I won the pot!  Beginner's luck! 

Christmas day I was able to sleep in and enjoyed a leisurely day of watching some old movies and getting ready for Christina, Dylan, Madison and Eddie to join us for Christmas dinner.  Heath and Annie are in Canada spending the holidays with her family this year. 

Madison was very happy that Santa came to our house too, and she eagerly ripped open packages.  One of her presents was a princess dress and necklace which she immediately put on and modeled for us.

Dinner was apple and raisin stuffed pork loins, twice baked potatoes, green bean almandine, spring green salad with raspberry vinaigrette, and rolls with butter.  Dessert was coconut cake and cheesecake.

Dylan and Christina gave us a Magellan GPS device, which we will LOVE LOVE LOVE!  We used theirs for a trip this past year and fell in love with it.  Now to planning our trip across country!

Kevin gave me a book I wanted, a Wolf Kahn calendar (one of my favorite artists), a COACH purse (yeah, that's right!), and a Le Vian ring that will stop traffic.  His Mama taught him well.  He sure does know how to treat a lady right!  

Heath called us from Canada, and I got so tickled when he told me what he got for Christmas.  A juicer.  I don't know, ya'll.  Something about that cracked me up.  I asked him .... "Did that thing, by chance, come with some doughnuts?"  Hee hee.  A juicer.  Now if that ain't telling somebody something.  That just might have put me in a bad mood.

Well, January 1st is coming here shortly.  I guess that juicer will come in handy to get rid of all the excesses of the season.  But until then, I'm going to enjoy these last few days of the year, and dig into my secret stash of homemade mounds bars!
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

As I get older, I reflect more and more on Christmases past.  I don't know if it is just pure nostalsia, but it seems things were Merrier when I was a kid.  People greeted one another with "Merry Christmas!" every where.  Christmas music played at all the stores.  Santas were jollier, and the Salvation Army ringers were friendlier, and everyone put money in the bucket.  People sang carols in neighborhoods.  Me and my fellow youth choir members caroled through the cold and windy streets of Old Town Alexandria and then met back at the church hall for hot dogs, cookies, and hot chocolate.

The window displays in the stores in downtown DC were spectacular, and we would get dressed up and go downtown to see them.  Of course we also stopped to see the National tree and the trees of the states.  We went ice skating.

Everyone I knew had real Christmas trees.  Getting the tree was a big deal.  We would go to several lots to pick out the perfect one.  Dad would take them out and spin them around and then  stomp it to see how many needles would fall off.  He would pull off a few needles and rub them between his fingers and smell them.  He knew which one would last until the middle of January, and which would fall before Christmas.  Decorating was a family event with Chrtistmas music playing followed by milk and cookies.

There were more parties.  Every school had Christmas parties.  Remember the Life Savers box of all the different flavors that a lot of kids bought as presents.  We made snowflakes out of white paper and hung them on the windows.  We would be sick at the end of the day from all the cookies and candy and soda.

Then there was the church youth group party, the neighborhood party, and then all the parties that my parents went to -- the minsister's party, the youth minister's party, their friends the Fittons had a huge party and they had the biggest house with the tallest tree flocked with fake snow.  We would go to other parties too, my Dad's office party, my Mom's office party that was held at a hotel, and a few other parties that various people at church would host. 

Every year we got together with two of their friends and we made candy the entire afternoon -- bark, divinity, and the candy that looked like stained glass and had a spicy taste.  Then Mom would make peanut butter blossom cookies, and grandmother would make sugar cookies with green and red sprinkles.

Everybody in my neighborod believed in Santa.  My Dad and I always left out two cookies and a glass of milk for him, and then in the morning, like magic, all  the presents would be under the tree, and my handmade knit stocking would be stretched to the limit with all kinds of stuff. 

Then Christmas morning, we would eat Christmas casserole (eggs, sausage and cheese) with crescent rolls, sliced oranges, and hot chocolate that I poured out of my miniature teapot.

It was grand.

I love Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fruit and Oatmeal

Started off today with some oatmeal, fruit and milk. 

No promises here.  Just trying to get by minute by minute, hour by hour, and see if I can get through the entire day eating healthier.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lost 4 pounds --- And a Great Article

Because of the fierce winter weather, I have not eaten out this past week, and lost 4 pounds without trying.  I think it's the sodium (or lack of)!  Found this great article, which I will try doing as well:

By Linda Rao


We came up with 25 ridiculously easy healthy eating tips — total no-brainers — that make impressive nutrition happen even on days when you're on autopilot. Do the Big Easies, and you'll automatically get seven servings of fruits and veggies, all the calcium you need, plenty of fiber and omega-3 fats, tons of healing antioxidants, and more.

And the payoffs? You improve your chances of fending off cancer, stroke, heart attack, and diabetes; have more energy; stay slimmer; keep your mind sharp; and sidestep urinary-tract infections.

Imagine it's a typical weekday, and you're busier than ever. Now, do the healthy eating Big Easies!

Healthy eating tips: 6 a.m – Rise and shine

You hit the snooze button for the last time and fumble your way into the kitchen. Now try these healthy eating tips:

1. Drink orange juice with added calcium. If you start the day with orange juice, don't miss the chance to get calcium, too. This superstar mineral fends off PMS, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. And the latest? It might even help you lose weight! Most calcium-fortified orange and grapefruit juices have as much calcium as milk — or more!
2. Take a multi. One little pill, such big benefits! People who take a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement have dramatic reductions in the risk of colon cancer and heart disease, studies show. Another benefit: The folic acid in your multi is almost two times more absorbable than the form of this vitamin found in food.
3. Have "seven-gram" cereal. That means cereal with at least 7 grams of fiber per serving, because eating cereal is your easiest chance to get lots of fiber in a small package. Not only is fiber a cancer fighter, but it actually cancels out some of the calories you eat! For example, if you eat 30 grams of fiber a day — slightly more than double what most of us get — your body will absorb 120 fewer calories a day. That adds up to a 13-pound loss in a year!
4. Toss some blueberries on that cereal. Blueberries are youth berries. Even frozen blueberries are so packed with antioxidants that just a 1/2 cup can double the antioxidant power of most people's diets — something that experts suspect will slow down your aging clock. Blueberries actually reversed memory loss in one animal study!
5. Make your coffee with milk. If you make instant coffee with hot water, all you're getting is a wake-up call. Use milk, and you've got cafe au lait — along with insurance against osteoporosis from the calcium and vitamin D in the milk.
6. Drink a glass of water when you brush your teeth. You've got the water and the glass right there. So drink! Only one-third of all Americans get the recommended eight glasses daily. Think a little shortfall doesn't matter? Signs of mild dehydration include fatigue upon awakening, fatigue at midday, lack of concentration, and headaches.
Healthy eating tips: 8 a.m. – On the Job
With these healthy eating tips, snacks at work can make you healthier:
7. Take an apple to work. Put one on your desk in the morning, and an apple becomes see-food — the handiest snack to grab when the munchies hit. If it's not there, you'll be hunting for sticky buns or whatever else is around. In addition to apples being a low-cal snack, a recent study revealed that the lungs of apple-a-day eaters may have better protection against air pollution.
8. Stash nuts in your desk. Probably because nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, magnesium, and phytochemicals, folks who snack on a small handful of them four or five times a week tend to live longer, several studies suggest. Just don't overdo it: One ounce of peanuts (approximately 1/8 cup) contains about 170 calories and 14 grams of fat.
Healthy eating tips: 11:30 a.m. – Grocery shopping
You dash out for groceries over your lunch hour. Here's how to be a healthy shopper even when you're on autopilot:
9. Buy better bread. If you eat white bread, you're eating vitamin-fortified starch. Whole-wheat bread has fiber, important nutrients such as selenium and copper, and a treasury of other healthy ingredients. Maybe that's why whole-grain eaters seem to have less diabetes, breast cancer, and heart disease. Just don't be fooled by a dark color: Unless the first ingredient includes the word "whole," it isn't whole-wheat bread.
10. Choose canola salad dressing. Are you a salad eater? Terrific! Now look for a dressing made with canola oil, rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). One study found that nurses who got more than 1 gram of ALA per day had half the number of fatal heart attacks.
11. Be picky about decaf tea. Regular tea delivers a rich stew of healing antioxidants — but some decaf teas don't. If the decaf method isn't listed on the package, assume they used ethyl acetate, which dramatically lowers antioxidant levels. Look for tea that says it's been decaffeinated with water and carbon dioxide (sometimes called "natural" or "effervescence") — which preserves antioxidants.
12. Pick up whole-wheat pasta. Do you need more help getting to your 30 or so grams of daily fiber? Try doing this: Substitute 1 cup of whole-wheat pasta (6.3 grams of fiber) for the same amount of regular (2.4 grams). This one easy switch pushes you 4 grams closer to your total daily fiber goal.
13. Find ice cream that builds bones. You know you want some. So find a brand with 15 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for calcium in a 1/2-cup serving. That means when you eat a cup of ice cream, you'll get 30 percent of the DV for calcium — as much as a glass of milk. Same tip applies to frozen yogurt.
Healthy Eating Tips: 12:30 PM: Takeout Pizza
Buying pizza to eat lunch at your desk? Give it this instant healthy makeover:
14. Order Pizza the "Double-Half" Way. When you order, ask for double tomato sauce and half cheese. Double sauce? Many studies link higher consumption of cooked tomato products with reduced risk of prostate and other cancers. Half cheese? You'll cut down on artery-clogging saturated fat. Trust us, after just one "double-half" pizza, you'll never go back!
Healthy eating tips: 4 p.m. – Party time
Your division boss is retiring, and there's a goodbye reception. These tricks build automatic nutrition into calorie-laden buffet tables:
15. Sidle up to the shrimp. These denizens of the deep are ultralow in fat and calories, but they taste so rich that you can really satisfy yourself — without gaining weight! (Twelve large nonbreaded shrimp contain just 65 calories and less than 1 grams of fat!)
Healthy eating tips: 8 p.m. – In a restaurant
The choices! The sauces! Here's how to automatically make your restaurant meal healthier than ever:
16. Order dessert first. Ask your waiter if they have berries for dessert, then order them as an appetizer. Low-cal raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and ellagic acid, a compound that's being studied as a colon cancer fighter. Since restaurants get the very best berries, don't pass up this heavenly superfood!
17. Order half your entrĂ©e as take-out. One restaurant portion could feed an entire fraternity house — who needs all those calories? So when you order an entree, ask them to automatically put half of it directly into a take-home box. That way, it'll never show up on your plate! Staying slim helps lower your risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and many other illnesses. And you'll have a ready-made meal for tomorrow!
18. Reach for the sparkling water. Few things are more chic — or better for your health! So whatever else you drink at the party, make sure you also sip on a glass of club soda or seltzer. Staying well hydrated helps fight urinary-tract infections by keeping your urine diluted.
19. Dip your carrots. Are you snacking only on carrot sticks? Make sure you eat them with some fat — a dab of dip or a cube of cheese. Without any fat, you absorb very little of carrot's cancer-fighting carotenoids.
20. Say, "salmon!" Don't miss this boat! Salmon is one of the richest — and possibly most delicious — sources of omega-3 fats. By boosting your intake of omega-3s, you may help ward off depression, severe menstrual cramps, macular degeneration (a cause of blindness), fatal heart attacks, and possibly even breast cancer. (A 3-ounce serving of cooked salmon has 1.9 grams of omega-3s; in comparison, 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast has a mere 0.05 grams.)
21. Side with the veggies. It's easy to leave a restaurant without touching any vegetables except french fries — unless you routinely order a side dish of broccoli, spinach, or whatever they've got that sounds good. The antioxidants in veggies — including vitamins E and C — prevent the free radical damage that promotes cancer, cataracts, and memory loss. Antioxidants can also bolster immunity, fending off things such as the flu. Not a veggie lover? Make them taste better by adding a little pat of butter — but remember that a little goes a long way.
22. Finish with tea. Don't miss this chance for a tidal wave of antioxidants — tea has more than most veggies. People who drink 4 cups of green tea a day seem to get less cancer, perhaps due to a powerful antioxidant called EGCG. Black tea contains quercetin, a compound that helps prevent blood clots — the immediate triggers of most heart attacks.
Healthy eating tips: 11:00 p.m. – Bedtime
Congratulations! The day is over … at last. Now finish up your healthy eating day with a few more Big Easies:
23. Have a cup of hot cocoa. Love chocolate, but still want to be healthy? Good news! Cocoa (chocolate with much of the fat removed) actually has even more antioxidant power than tea!
The flavonoids in cocoa can keep blood platelets from clotting, which may prevent heart attacks. Plus, the milk in hot cocoa loves your bones! (Note: An average cup of cocoa has less than one-tenth the caffeine of instant coffee. But if you're very caffeine sensitive, bedtime isn't the best time for any caffeine.)
24. Not drinking cocoa? Pop a calcium supplement. Most women get less than one half of the calcium they need for strong bones, so if you're not drinking cocoa, bedtime is a great time to take a calcium supplement. (If your tummy is empty, calcium citrate supplements are absorbed best.)
25. Drink another big glass of water after you brush your teeth. Yup, more water. And another solid reason why: In a study last year, people who drank lots of water had less colon cancer. Down the hatch

Linda Rao is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to "Prevention Magazine."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Self-Control

Everything is true that is in this article:

http://fitbie.msn.com/node/1308

In case you can't access the link, here's the article with my comments in parentheticals:

Ever heard a doughnut cry out your name?  (UM, YEAH!)  It happens to me every time I pass my neighborhood bakery and inhale that intoxicating, sugary smell. Most days, I'm able to resist. But sometimes, before I know it, I've broken one of my primary New Year's resolutions and stuffed two into my mouth. What happened to my willpower?

Many of us struggle with that vexing challenge—whether it's sticking to a new diet or resisting a shopping spree. Why is our self-control so strong on some days and so weak on others? *(HAVEN'T I ASKED THIS QUESTION BEFORE?!)  Contrary to popular belief, willpower is not dependent on psychological strength alone. (GOOD TO KNOW!)  Physiological factors, such as blood sugar, brain chemistry, and hormones, also influence—and can undermine—our powers of self-restraint. (I KNEW IT WAS SOMETHING ELSE -- BECAUSE REALLY NOW, WHO WANTS TO BE FAT?)The good news: "Once you understand the forces that weaken your self-control, you can do a lot to strengthen it," says Kathleen D. Vohs, PhD, associate professor of consumer psychology at the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. Here's how to reinforce your willpower so it's ready when you need it.
Budget your resolve: Each of us has a limited supply of self-control, which means if you try to exert it in too many areas at once, you'll rapidly deplete your reserve. A study from Case Western Reserve University illustrates the point. Researchers placed freshly baked chocolate chip cookies before two groups of participants, instructing one group to eat two or three and the other to eat radishes (while watching the others partake). Then everyone was asked to try to solve an impossible puzzle. Participants who had to resist the treats gave up on the problem twice as fast as those who were allowed to indulge. "Willpower is like gas in your car," says Vohs. "When you resist something tempting, you use some up. The more you resist, the emptier your tank gets, until you run out of gas." (ISN'T THIS AN ARGUMENT FOR EATING FRESHLY BAKED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!)

Tip: Concentrate your willpower where you need it most. Don't try to cut down on your computer chat time and lose weight at the same time. If you've spent the whole day fighting the urge to tell off a difficult colleague, don't go shopping after work. Vohs found that people were willing to purchase more when their willpower had been drained by a previous unrelated exercise in self-control.  (THIS EXPLAINS IT -- LIGHTBULB MOMENT -- I'M TRYING TO DO TOO MANY THINGS AT ONCE!  HMMM, MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN?)   
Keep blood sugar steady: Even a small blood-sugar dip, which occurs after you've skipped a meal, can impair the areas that oversee planning and self-restraint. Ironically, research shows that exerting your willpower decreases glucose even more. So if you skip lunch and spend the afternoon fighting the desire to dip into a coworker's candy jar, you could set yourself up for an evening binge. (KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE!)

Tip: Eat small meals that contain both complex carbohydrates and protein throughout the day (including breakfast). Keep protein-packed energy bars—with at least 5 g of protein—in your bag so you never have to skip a meal.   By stabilizing blood sugar, you'll be better able to resist overeating—and other impulsive activities—later.

Don't overdiet: Eating too little not only depletes glucose, it also curtails the production of leptin, a hormone made by fat cells that helps regulate appetite. "Within a few days of starting to diet, your leptin levels can drop by half," explains Neal Barnard, MD, author of Breaking the Food Seduction. "Plummeting levels can increase appetite and bring on a binge."  (YEP!)

Tip: Follow "the rule of 10": Multiply your target weight by 10, and never eat fewer calories than that daily total. And be sure to exercise 30 to 40 minutes each day. (A walk is fine.) Daily activity also maintains healthy levels of leptin, research shows.  OKAY, THAT'S 1500 CALORIES A DAY AND SOME WALKIN'.

Don't skimp on sleep: Research shows that getting less than 6 hours of snooze time decreases decision-making abilities and leads to what Vohs calls "failures of self-control" as the day wears on. One mechanism in play: ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger. One study of healthy adults found that after they got 4 hours of sleep just 2 nights in a row, their levels of ghrelin increased by 28% and their appetites by a whopping 23%, especially for salty snacks and sweets.  (THIS IS A DEFINITE ISSUE FOR ME -- I'M LUCKY IF I GET 6 HOURS EVERY DAY)
Tip: Sleep between 7 and 8 hours each night. To get that amount, keep your room dark, quiet, and cool and develop a presleep ritual, such as a 10-minute meditation, to banish the day's stresses.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Failing Miserably

I haven't written because how interesting is it to hear this:

Up a pound.  Up a pound.  Up a pound.  No gain.  No gain.  Up 1/2 a pound.  Up 1/2 a pound. 

Oh yeah, I've taken residence at the "Doughnuts" farm.  It's a real nice place to visit.  I became great friends with Doughnut's cousins .... hamburgers, fries, cokes, pizza, and cookies.

I'm trying real hard to get on the wagon and get the heck outta here, but I may be stuck for a while -- like until after the cookie party. 

So when you see me, just look at my face, and don't let your gaze wander down to say belt level. 

I have met some challenges, however.  I finished my Christmas shopping, and the wrapping.  Got up the tree and have almost completed decorating the house.  Tonight I aim to decorate the exterior of the house.

I completed four chapters of a book I'm working on.  I painted a picture for my son, Eddie, for Christmas, and I have another work in progress. 

Some fellow blogmates are already talking about New Year's resolutions.  Here's mine:

1.  Lose 30 pounds and keep it off.
2.  Finish my book and submit it for publishing by Dec. 01, 2011.
3.  Complete the art class that I am starting on January 9, and complete one piece of art that is good enough to sell.
4.  Pay off all my credit cards.
5.  Save more.
6.  Give more to charity.
7.  Live more simply (i.e.,  # 8 below; don't buy anything unless I really need it).
8.  Limit eating out to once a week.
9.  Read a spiritually uplifting book and practice what I learn from it.
10.Buy a house in Florida with a pool (kinda goes against #7, but hey, it's an investment, right?!).

Today's eating:

Breakfast:  4 pieces of cinnamon raisin toast with butter and 8 oz milk
Lunch:        1/2 buttermilk fried chicken breast; grilled zuchinni, 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, and a biscuit with butter and honey
Dinner:  spaghetti, green beans, italian bread and butter

I could do some damage control and just have cereal for dinner, but it aint gonna happen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hernia Diet

I'm losing weight folks, but it hasn't been fun.  I have been forced to eat small meals for the past couple of days due to my hernia acting up (it's above my belly button).  Went a little overboard on house-cleaning the other day, and moved a certain way, and wham!  I am trying to wait this thing out and hope it will get better.   Good news: weight loss, and more money in my wallet because I haven't been out shopping!

Anyone who happens to read this:  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  May you have a wonderful day with your families! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Online Again

It's been a while.  My computer went on the fritz -- the graphics card died and they told me I might as well get a new one.  So that's what I did.  Got myself a new Toshiba that is pretty awesome.

Today is Eddie's birthday, so we had a birthday breakfast followed by some shopping.  He'll be going out with some friends tonight to see the new Harry Potter movie and then do some go-karting at an indoor rink.

Gorgeous day today.  Scale is still not making me happy, but to be honest I haven't been really trying.  It hasn't gone up anymore, but it sure needs to go down.  I'm off next week.  We plan on doing some work in the yard and some painting and wallpaper removing, so maybe that will help nudge some off.  I'm also going to be cooking every day and include lots of healthy stuff.

Going to the grocery store.  Gonna make some chicken divan and salad for dinner.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Junk Food Diet

Maybe I should try this:

http://thestir.cafemom.com/food_party/112156/twinkie_diet_vs_vegetarian_which

Turdimonious Thursday

"Turdimonious."  That's a word I just made up -- a fancy word for "crap."  That's what I felt like when I stepped on the scale this morning and it showed 2 pounds up.  What the ?????   I don't even know what to say about it.  I even lifted one leg, leaned a little onto the wall, and shifted where my feet normally rest -- and it still didn't budge. 

This is what I have learned:  unless you do something radical, you are not going to lose weight.  Screw the "baby steps," and the "just deduct 100 calories per day," or even "500 calories per day."  Unless I cut down to 1200 or less, I won't lose weight.  And at 1200, I will eventually plateau at about 3 weeks.  That's just a fact of life for me. 

Reality sucks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Report

I've lost five of the seven pounds gained.  I pretty much ate what I wanted for breakfast last week, and then had some kind of grilled protein, vegetables and small sweet potato for lunch, and then cereal and a bagel at night.  I also started taking Vitamin D supplements along with my regular vitamin.  A couple of years ago some blood work revealed that I had basically no Vitamin D.  I was put in a 10-day regimine of a huge dose of Vitamin D and I remember feeling miracuously healthy after about 3 days -- no aches and pains.  I was reading in a magazine over the weekend about the benefits of taking Vitamin D -- that it can actually promote weight loss (especially belly fat), and relieve arthritis, along with other aches and pains. 

Talked to Eddie alot over the weekend about Woodrow Wilson.  He was not happy there.  He told me some things that were going on that are quite disturbing actually, and I feel really bad about pushing him to stay there.   He wants to go to Germanna Community College, so we went there Friday and made an appointment to see a counselor next Friday.  He also went to the new hospital across the street from the campus and filled out an application for a volunteer position.  The plan is by Spring to get him a small apartment near campus.  He may have a roommate as he has a couple of friends in the area who are looking to do the same thing.

One thing he learned at Woodrow was cooking.  He seems to have a bit of a natural talent for it.  He made lasagna yesterday.    But he's still a scientist at heart and wants to pursue that at Germanna, and then transfer to a four-year college. 

Gonna stick to ceral at night, and see what I can lose this week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thunderous Thursday

What a day!  Almost 3 hours in traffic this morning.  If people would just frickin pay attention!  Another truck and a few cars, and only one lane opened.  And if that wasn't enough, what dreary weather we're having.  There is nothing pretty about the rain today. 

Madimoo isn't feeling well, and that makes me feel bad too.  I trekked the mountains to pick up Eddie last night and it started raining on the way back.  Not fun.  4 hours sleep.  Need I say more?

I really won't mind going to sleep tonight and waking up to a new day.  Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow, and things will be a bit brighter.

But there is some awesome news!!  JUDY IS A GRANDMA AGAIN!  Congratulations, Julie, Carlos, and Owen!  Can hardly wait to see Elijah!  (Thanks for blogging about it Jean!)  I knew Julie was in labor yesterday, and Judy left me a message early this morning that she had the baby at 1:00 am.  Whew! 

I've been in control of my eating today which is a HUGE surprise.  Bagel and oj for breakfast.  Grilled salmon, grilled zuchinni and small baked sweet potato for lunch.   Some kind of salad for dinner. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jury Duty

I was on call today for jury today, but it was cancelled.  I am one of those people who do not like jury duty.  I served on a jury once before, and I was uncomfortable with the entire process.  I do not like being responsible for a person's fate.  Unless there is video coverage and the image is very clear, or there are at least some witnesses, it is hard for me to watch someone break down after hearing that they are going to prison.

I'm also one of those who unrealistically believe love can cure all.  I think most of the people on the stand are victims of their circumstance -- how they were raised -- the abuse they may have suffered, the poverty they may have struggled with.  I think of the movie "Trading Places," and realize most folks turn out completely different if they're given different circumstances.  I do realize there are some criminally insane people out there, and I agree they need to be off the street.  But I'm not talking about those people. 

So, now you understand why I was pretty glad when I called the court number and heard the message that the case was cancelled. 

Now, on to food.

Hanging in there.  No weight loss this morning.  But I'm plugging on.  Two pancakes and water for breakfast.  Chicken, vegetables, and sweet potato for lunch.  Cereal and bagel for dinner.

Ran some errands last night, did some laundry and kept moving until 7:30 pm.  That's pretty good for me considering bedtime is at 9:30.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One meal at a time

I'm heeding some lessons learned from my fellow blogger Christina.  I'm going to blog more and just maybe, I'll lose more!

This morning I ate a bagel with butter and jelly and a cup of coffee.

Lunch was a very small (about 3 oz) steak, baked sweet potato, cranberry juice, and a small salad with light vinaigrette.

Still planning on cereal, fruit and a bagel for dinner.

Christina and Jean .... I miss you guys.  Start blogging already!  I have nuttin' to read at lunch time!

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One Pound Down

Yesterday I ended up having a small grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and a small baked sweet potato for lunch.  For dinner I had a bowl of raisin nut bran cereal and a bagel.

Ditto for today.

I'm trying to force myself to get some exercise so I cleaned all three bathrooms last night.

Tonight I plan on vaccuuming and dusting the downstairs, and doing some laundry.

I started a novel yesterday for the November Novel Writing Challenge -- 50,000 pages by the end of the month.  Yes.  50,000 pages.  My computer at home is on the blitz -- need to replace the backlight, so I will stop by BestBuy tonight and see if I can get it fixed. 

I am very limited in using the computer for personal use here at work, so I have to get my laptop fixed -- I'm lost without it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1st

It's been a week since I posted.  Been crazy busy lately!

Some good news:  Heath's current firm surpassed the L.A. offer, and promised additional staff so he's staying in Philly!  Woo hoo!

Eddie came home for the weekend, and he and Dylan went to the Colbert/Stewart rally in DC.   Besides some sore feet (they walked and stood on their feet for about 6 hours), they had a really good time.  I was here at work Saturday, so I was a witness to the HUGE crowd that came.  It was something else.  Here were some signs that people were carrying:

SENIORS FOR LEGALIZATION OF POT
THE CIVIL WAR WAS AN INSIDE JOB
I STAND FOR GOOD POSTURE
I HATE SIGNS
HAVE YOU SEEN MY KEYS?

I also posted some pictures for you to enjoy!

We enjoyed some shopping over the weekend, ate at Mimi's, and dropped Eddie back off at school yesterday afternoon. 

Last night we had chili, mummy dogs, and witch hat cookies, over at Christina and Dylan's and went trick-or-treating with Madimoo, who was dressed as a pink "SUPER GIRL!"  She blinged herself out with an awesome pink bead necklace, and a "special powers" ring.  With her pony tail swinging, and pink cape flying, she led the way around the neighborhood singing, "trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!" 

And now that November 1st has officially arrived, I am ready to get rid of the 7 pounds that I gained back. 

Here's today's plan:

Breakfast:  cereal, bananna and milk
Lunch:  1/2 egg salad sandwich on wheat, cup of soup, apple
Dinner:  Cobb salad  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Isn't it the most gorgeous day?!

Male Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang) in the M...Image via Wikipedia
I woke up early this morning, and had breakfast outside with Kevin, enjoying the morning breeze and hearing the twittering of birds.  Kevin raked and swept, and I did some cleaning, and then we went together to the store.

We had the house power-washed this week and the carpet downstairs cleaned.  I've cleaned the whole house and dressed it for fall.  I strung some mini white lights on a tree inside the house and strung fall leave garlands around the windows, placed some pumpkins and fall flowers around, and it looks pretty cozy, if I say so myself.

I've taken a few minutes to blog, catch up on my emails, and now I'm going to read a chapter of "Little Miss Shopaholic."

Wish I had bought a hammock while I was at the store.  

Food, you say? 

Don't ask.

I'm still in vacation mode.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

FOOD, FOOD, EVERYWHERE!

I just can't get back into the swing of things.  I don't know what my problem is.  I'm not stressed out.  I'm not worried.  Life is good.  So why can't I get back to 1600 calories a day?  I am craving everything that is wrong for me.  And I'm gaining.  Oh this is MADNESS! 

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Feeling the Side Effects

List of U.S. state foodsImage via Wikipedia
I'm feeling achy, tired, and all around lousy, and I know it's due to my poor eating habits the past week and a half.  It's difficult trying to get back into the groove of healthy eating.  I'm craving pancakes, and doughnuts, and pasta, and jumbo shrimp and risotto.

I didn't do too bad during the day yesterday, but I had to work late last night and grabbed a happy meal from McDonald's for dinner, with 3 chocolate chip cookies.  And if that wasn't bad enough, I got a child's size chocolate milk shake. 

While I was eating that, I started catching up on emails and read one that Ellie sent me about what's in McDonald's hamburgers.  YUCK!  No wonder I'm feeling lousy.

Wish I could say I did better this morning, but sweet cravings got the best of me, and I ate a double chocolate chip muffin (not the Weight Watchers kind), and a cup of milk.

The good thing is that I have the rest of the day to make good, so I will heat up a Healthy Choice entree that I brought with me for lunch, with some brussel sprouts.  Ditto for dinner.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Grandbaby #2 In the Oven

Sometime in the latter half of June, Christina and Dylan will bring another child into this world! 

YIPPEEEE!

I'd write more, but I've got some shopping to do, ya'll!

Vacation

It's been a while since I've visited Bloggerville, so here's a little diddy about what we've been up to.

We went to Cape May, New Jersey, and stayed in a beautiful Victorian home one block from the beach.  We were able to see the ocean from the front porch.  We stayed in the Parlor Suite, which is on the first floor, and included a master suite, private bathroom, kitchen, dining area and living area.  The top of the windows were stained glass, and windows abounded in every room.  The dining area was in a turret-like area with windows all around.  They had a miniature replica of an antique stove, but it had a flat top!  Very cute!  The kitchen also had a full-size refrigerator, microwave, and all the fancy little dishes, teacups, silverware, pots and pans that you would need.  The living area had an adorable fireplace beautiful Victorian furniture, and a flatscreen tv. 

The bedroom was luxurious with a king bed dressed in soft egyptian cotton and elegant bedcoverings with lots of comfy pillows.  There was a huge armoire, gorgeous dresser and a pair of chairs.  A victorian sink was in the bedroom area, and the shower and toilet were in their own room.  The shower was dressed with elegant curtains and soft rugs were pleasant to the feet once you stepped out of the shower.  We had our own private porch off the kitchen with rocking chairs, and private, free parking on the premises. 

The town is flat and everything is in walking distance.  We walked along the beach on the cement promenade that runs the length of the town, and had breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House.  Delicious pancakes made better with a view of the ocean while we ate and drank our coffee.  We went shopping at the outside mall just a block and a half away from where we stayed, and found lots of cute things that we couldn't leave without. 

We took a trolley tour of the city and saw all the beautiful Victorian painted ladies (that's what they call the houses), and heard some interesting stories about the residents, past and present. 

Also took a drive to the Cape May light house and then out to Sunset Beach, where you can dip your toes in the water about 10 steps from where you park your car.  There is a little gift shop, putt-putt golf, and a ice cream joint that was unfortunately closed due to the season.

We had perfect, breezy, sunny weather and enjoyed some marvelous food.  If you ever go to Cape May, you must check out Tisha's.  They serve lunch and dinner, and it's a bring-your-own-bottle kinda place.  We will remember the next time and bring a bottle of wine with us.  They sell bottles, but they start at about $28 a bottle.  We had the seafood risotto with jumbo shrimp and scallops with mushrooms and spinach over risotto with a delicious sauce.  The meal started with a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette that was out of this world, along with crusty hot rolls fresh from the oven and creamy butter.  We simply did not have room for dessert, but will make sure we save room next time!  Tisha's has to be the #1 restaurant in all of Cape May.

Another great place to eat is Alethea's.  It's a huge inn across the street from the ocean, and wherever you sit inside, you will have a nice view.  We enjoyed a fantastic hamburger and chips with sweet tea for lunch.  They have an antique shop on the premises and a huge porch with big rocking chairs where we sat and enjoyed the sea breeze and absorbed some Vitamin D from the sun. 

Cape May was wonderful.  We went off-season, so it was almost like we had the town to ourselves.  Just enough people to keep it interesting, but not too much where you had to wait in line or need reservations anywhere.  The beach is clean and beautiful.  One thing we will do next time is rent a two-seater bike (they kind of look like paddle boats), but they're bikes, and they have a little canopy to cover your head.  Very cute!  We saw lots of bikers on the beach promenade.  It's a perfect place to bike.

As soon as we left Cape May, a little raindrop fell on our windshield.  The weather matched my mood.  I didn't want to leave and wanted to shed a few raindrops of my own!  So we decided to extend our vacation and head on over to Dover Delaware, where we played the slots, and Kevin won $68.00 at the penny slots!  We enjoyed a great late afternoon buffet lunch at Dover Downs, and ended up spending the night in Dover. 

The next morning we had breakfast at Bob Evans and then headed to Wilmington to visit Alfred DuPont's beloved Nemours.   What a place!  The grounds were stunning with pools, fountains, flower beds, statutes.  And the house!  Oh my gosh!  You all should take the time to go visit this place.  Expect to be there about 3 hours (more if you want to walk the grounds on your own).  Start at the Visitors center and take your time visiting the timeline that is the hallway.  Enjoy a 15 minute movie giving you some background about the DuPonts, and in particular, Alfred and his wives.  Then a bus takes you up the winding lane to the house.  They break you up into groups of 6 and give you a personalized 1 hour and 15 minute tour.  Be prepared for steps and lots of standing -- but it is worth it!  After the tour you can walk the grounds and meet the bus a little later, or get on the bus right away and take a narrated tour of the grounds (you get the narrated tour even if you meet up with the bus later).  They will take you down to the garage where you will see some beautiful cars -- the Rolls Royces were my favorite. 

I left Nemours with a great respect for Alfred Dupont, a great philanthropist, and all the wonderful gifts that he left behind, most notably to the Children's Hospital which sits on part of the original 3,000 acres that used to be part of his estate.  His estate continues to provide for the sickest of our children. 

The Brandywine area, where Nemours is located, is gorgeous.  We had been to the area before when we visited Winterthur and Longwood Gardens -- something everyone should see before they leave this earth as well.

We ended our visit in Wilmington with dinner at Red Lobster and then headed on home.  One of our more delightful vacations.  Can hardly wait until the next one!

Now, about food.  What can I say?  I enjoyed myself.  Immensely.

Let's just say I gotta do alotta damage control!  Day One.  Week One.  Again.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More good news

Got the results from my mammogram.  The girls are just fine!  I'd take them out for a spin and celebrate, but they aint what they used to be, if you know what I mean.  No flashy convertible for them.  Supportive and sturdy humvee, maybe.

Now if I could just join Dr. Oz and his two VERY devoted fans, Judy and Ellie (because really now, Dr. Gloom and Doom couldn't have any more fans), and get the other end checked out.  But I just don't know ya'll.  There's just something very invasive about it.  Yee gads.

The cold is getting a little better.  Kevin got me some chili, and I could actually taste it. 

I had oatmeal and oj for breakfast, chicken noodle soup, rye toast, and prunes for lunch; and chili, a small burger, peaches, and a bananna for dinner. 

We'll see what the scale says tomorrow.  Back to cereal, milk and fruit.  Yum-yum.

Day Two

Chicken soupImage via Wikipedia
I lost 1.4 pounds on the first day.  I am home today with a cold.  I had oatmeal with apple and raisins, and some oj for breakfast.  Because of the cold, will probably have some chicken noodle soup, toast, and o.j. for lunch.  Dinner will be another Healthy Choice entree of lemon pepper fish, brocoli, rice medly and apple crisp for 300 calories.  I will add 50 cal. brussel sprouts and a side salad. 

How I wish this cold would go away!
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Day One of Challenge

I can't believe it -- it actually was pretty easy to do, although it's only 5:00 and I just finished my dinner.  But I feel stuffed, and I can still have a snack if I get hungry later.

Breakfast and lunch (cereal, milk, bananna) worked fine with about 370 calories each. 
Dinner was healthy choice salisbury steak with green beans, red skin potatoes, and caramel apple multigrain crisp (310 calories for the whole meal).  I added 50 calories of steamed baby brussel sprouts, and an apple. Pretty yummy.

I woke up with a cold today, and so I'm going to take a hot shower, and snuggie in my blankie and read until I fall asleep. 

A Very Good Weekend

This past weekend was one of those that go on the keeper shelf.  Dylan, Christina, Madimoo and I went to see Eddie at Woodrow Wilson on Friday.  It was a gorgeous day and a lovely ride through horse and farm country.  Eddie was doing great, and looked good.  He lost a little weight, but he said the food pretty much "sucks."  But then again, he's pretty spoiled as we went out to dinner every night because I just don't cook much anymore.  So bland cafeteria food is hard for him to get used to. 

We went on a shopping excursion to Walmart and all had dinner at a steak joint.  Took some pictures of his dorm and realized the room needs some serious decorating.

He will be coming home for a visit this coming weekend as he has an orthodonist appt, and we plan to get some posters and a floor lamp, and maybe some curtains too.  The blinds in the dorm have seen better days. 

I also accomplished alot over the weekend, purging the house of things I don't use, and taking it to Goodwill.  Still have alot of Christmas stuff to go through and donate, which I plan on doing this coming week.  I'm also making good headway in my fall cleaning, and made a grocery store run to stock up on my week of turbo cereal dieting.

Heath is in gorgeous San Francisco on a job interview with a law firm.  They flew him out last night and he's staying in a beautiful hotel with a room that overlooks a part of the Golden Gate Bridge.  He says the city is beautiful at night.  The law office has two offices in California -- San Fran, and Los Angeles.  The San Fran people will meet him for breakfast at the hotel, and then he will fly to Los Angeles for a round of afternoon interviews.

I'm so excited for him.  He's so young and has already done a lot in his life.  He sang opera in the Young Artists program in Santa Barbara for two summers, studied opera in Italy for a summer while at college and met the love of his life, a fellow opera soprano.  After graduating college, followed her to Chicago and married her.  Honeymooned in Italy.  Got a job with a law firm in Chicago and transferred to their Philadelphia office, and now he's interviewing for a dream job in sunny California.

It's so far away.  But I'm happy for him.  If he accepts the job, we Virginia hillbillies just might have to crank up the jallopy and  join him and Annie.  And of course Dylan, Christina and Madimoo will have to come too.

And you want to hear some more wonderful news?  Christina and Dylan will find out very soon if they're going to be parents again.  Life is sweet.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Challenge

A spoon containing breakfast cereal flakes, pa...Image via Wikipedia
Judy and I are going to try out something different this week, starting tomorrow.  We are going to to the Turbocharge Special K Diet for one week -- compliments of Women's World, Jan. 19, 2009.  Supposedly, the skinny-minis that tried it out for Women's World each lost 8 pounds in one week, so I'm thinking I should be able to do it too. 

If anyone wants to join in, let me know, and we'll post our results next Monday.

This is the diet:

Breakfast:  1 bowl of cereal, up to 170 calories
                  1 small piece of fruit or 2/3 cup berries
                  1 cup fat-free or 1% milk

Lunch:        Same as breakfast
                 
                  or

                  1 1/2 cups mixed greens, 2/3 cups chopped veggies
                  3 oz lean beef turkey, or chicken or fish
                  1/4 cup shredded low-fat cheese
                  2 tbsp lite dressing
                  2 small whole-grain crackers
                  1 small apple or pear

Dinner:       1 frozen entree up to 280 calories
                  1/2 cup steamed vegetables
                  1/2 cup fresh fruit

                  or sample cooked meal:

                 4 oz fish, baked or sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil
                 1/4 cup mushrooms and 2 tbs ripe olives
                 1 cup steamed veggies
                  1 small whole-grain roll (less than 100 calories)

Snack:  choose one daily:  1 small pear or apple and 2 tsp peaut buter
                                         1 cup lite yogurt; 1 tbs nuts
                                         100 calorie pack almonds
                                         1 small fruit or 2/3 cup berries

I've already bought my stuff for the week.  I plan on doing cereal for breakfast and lunch, and doing a McDonald's chicken ceasar salad, and their bag of apple slices, sans the dipping sauce,  if for some reason I'm out and about and cereal is not readily available.  For dinner I will be eating Healthy Choice entrees, the Green Giant microwavable single serving vegetables, and a piece of fruit.

The cereals I chose were Multigrain Cheerios (110 calories for 1 cup -- so I can have 1 1/2 cups and it will look like ALOT!)  I also got a box of Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidants Berry Yogurt Crunch (170 calories for 1 cup).

WHY THIS DIET IS GREAT:

Don't really have to think about food much, it's a very simple plan with limited selections.
Budget friendly.
Easy portion control.
Cereal increases your vitamin intake.
Excellent weight loss results.

I'm R-E-A-D-Y!
                
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

THE BEAST

It took me FOUR friggin hours to get to work this morning.  There is nothing worse than driving in rain with a full bladder.  I had even contemplated turning around at one point and going home.  I should have.  What a friggin night mare.  50 miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the beast. 

I got in at 9:00 am and was starving.  Ate 2 waffle sticks, 1 and 1/2 pieces of bacon, and a cup of grits with butter.  I could have done worse ya'll.  There were some muffins and pastries whistling at me, but I walked on by. 

Gonna have some soup for lunch, and another salad for dinner.