A New Challenge??

Harro everbody!

I don’t know why I felt like talking like that.

Whew.  Its been a speedy couple of days since I last checked in.  Worked six hours on Thursday, and then took a meandering drive thru the center of California (Sacramento to the Bay Area via Antioch.)  Absolutely gorgeous drive on back roads (don’t you love mapquest,) and missed all the commute hour traffic on the freeways!  I went that way because I picked up a new light table/sewing cabinet thingy that was custom made.  It was a combo birthday/Christmas present from my daddy!  I will have to take a pic of it for you because it is so neat.  It also has an ironing board built into it!

Went to the Bay Area to take my dad to his doctor’s appointment.  He is having some health problems, but they got blown up in his mind, and he thought it was kind of like a death sentence, and I wanted to make sure he discussed this with the doctor, because he really did not believe me when I would say it was not as bad as he thought it was…Well, Dallas Willard said recently that one of the main purposes of older people was to give us something to take care of.  And I kind of think he is right.  Otherwise, my life would be pretty darn self-centered.

Anyway, back to talking about me (see what I mean!)  My food was pretty weird for these two days.  I actually never ate out, unless you count the TWO times I had frozen yogurt!  And I brought some food with me, but not as much as I usually do, and there was a little too much snackage going on, and not quite enough water intake.  So, as you can imagine, I am not feeling quite as primo as I have been.  In addition, my back started hurting a little more than usual about a week ago, and also my knees, and occasionally my hip have been aching.  I KNOW.  Sorry about the ‘grandma report.’  I’m kind of hoping the knees and hip are because of all the rain we’ve been having.

ANYWAY.  To get back on track right away, I am having a Lori classico for dinner tonight.

Farmstand strawberries (Yumm!) fresh brocolli, and pre-cooked chicken from my freezer--love having this on hand for a night like tonight!

And I have a new idea I think I am going to try.  When I am waiting in line for my dad’s prescriptions, I love looking at all the ‘healthy living’ impulse buy junk they have for sale.  And I bought this little food/exercise journal.

I KNOW.  Back to counting.  But you all know how I love my numbers.  And the journal is for 10 weeks, and I am thinking about making a 10 week challenge for myself–to lose 10 pounds.  That would be so wonderful.  I know my back would thank me.  And that would be the lowest weight I have weighed in a very long time.  The journal starts on a Monday, so I will think about how I am going to do this over the next few days, and report in on Sunday or Monday.  Got to work tomorrow, so need to get a move on.  Have a nice weekend everyone!

P.S.  You gotta love these silly blog awards/challenges!  So far Pubsgal and Shelley have met the ‘award’ challenge.  Honestly, I haven’t laughed as hard or as long as I did at Pubsgal’s hilarious writing about her most embarrassing moment(s.) Honestly, guys, you have to read this brilliant bit of writing!  And the second hardest I’ve laughed in recent days was at Shelley’s post.  Not at Shelley, who was brave enough to post a morning photo, but at how funny she was about it.  Laughing WITH you, Shelley, not AT you.  She is hoping her nominees will follow suit and post morning pics.  I am still waiting for the stone drunk blog entry!  Isn’t it great how honest and open we can be with each other.  Sometimes way more so than in ‘real life’ relationships.

Feed Your Cravings

I think us foodies tend to think of cravings as a bad thing.  But last night, as I listened to the Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast, I was eating the big green salad that I had committed to eat earlier in the day.  And I realized that this was an example of feeding my cravings.  Even though it was cold and stormy outside, I didn’t change my mind about the salad, because that is what I had been wanting for a few days.  I made it a little heartier by roasting two beets and using them in the salad, along with a lot of other good stuff.  I didn’t feel deprived, like I had wanted something ‘comforting’ and ‘settled’ for a salad.  This was actually what I wanted.  It was something I had been ‘craving’ for several days.  (Not sure, but maybe I had been a little low on my veggie intake…)

This was a fantastic salad.  I will be making this one again.

Another example of recent cravings is the fish that I occasionally really want to eat.  Sometimes I just want something that is relatively light but more meat, and the white fish comes to mind.  I’m glad I have the packages of red snapper in my freezer.  Not sure where I picked this up, but I love that the fillets are individually wrapped and frozen–very convenient.  Of course if you buy your fish fresh, you can request the butcher wrap it this way for you.  I do that sometimes too.  Other great white fish is dover sole, petrale sole, halibut, whiting.

So listen closely to what your body is asking for.  Maybe you will discover that it doesn’t ALWAYS ask for a cookie.  Maybe it is asking for something that is actually good for you, and something your body needs for optimal function.

So yesterday I stuck with my plan.  I switched a piece of pizza bread and some grapes for the edemame tofu salad at lunch–both were Vicky creations, and had comparable calories.  I got a little hungry before I went to bed and hit the walnuts a couple of times  (walnuts are my auto go-to snack whether or not I am hungry.  Not sure this is perfect, but they are healthy at least, and I am not eating some stupid non-nutritious processed snack instead.)  I wonder if I had had a small piece of chicken or fish with the salad if the snacking could have been avoided.


Gotta share this salad with you.  It was so good!  First, I roasted beets a la Lynn (peel and cut beets into bite sized chunks.  Spray a cookie sheet with pam, salt, put beets on sheet, spray with pam, salt.  Roast at 350-375 for 30 minutes or more, to desired doneness, turning once.)  I used one romaine heart (they come in packs of three, and one is just right for a big salad.)  I knock the end off of the heart, and stand the leaves in water for at least an hour.  This makes them really crispy.  Chopped the romaine, put in big bowl, topped with the beets, walnuts, one laughing cow wedge cut up, some fat free feta cheese, and a bit of crumbled bacon.  Topped with homemade salad dressing:  equal parts honey, mustard, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.  Although my Cooking Light magazine has a recipe for Spring Vinaigrette that I really want to try on this salad.

More spring photos:

Even the weeds declare the glory of God!

The path down to the little stream.

The little stream is extra full from all this rain.

And a few more daffodils.

Good morning. For real.

Good morning.  Although by the time I actually get this video loaded, it might be evening!

Here is the award I got from Jill:

And just like all awards, there are strings attached. Here be the strings:

1. Get really excited that you got the coolest award EVER!
2. Choose ONE of the following options of accepting the OMB award:
(a) Get really drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight, or for as long as you can focus.
(b) Write about your most embarrassing moment.
(c) Write a “Soundtrack of your childhood” post.
(d) Make your next blog a ‘vlog’/video blog. Basically, you’re talking to the camera about whatever.
(e) Take a picture of yourself first thing in the morning, before you do anything else (hair, make up, etc)and post it.
3. Pass the award on to at least three, but preferably more, awesome bloggers as yourself. Don’t forget to tell them.

I think I will pass this award on to these three lucky bloggers:

  1. Pubsgal.  Because she is one of the cleverest writers around, and if I can get her to write a little more, that is a good thing.
  2. Jane.  Because she is just starting out blogging, but I like her already.
  3. Shelley and Lori.  Because they are my fellow travelers on the short, fit, food-loving, 100 pound weight loss journey!

Here are a few of the links I mentioned:

    Disclaimer:  I do not look nearly as old in person as I look on the video.  I’ve heard that home videos add 10 years to the person’s actual age.  And I am sticking by that story.  Also, does anybody know how to edit videos so you don’t get that horrible picture of me plopping into my chair at the beginning of the video?  There is a place to edit on my flip video thingy but I can’t seem to get it to work.  Also, the whole co-dependent relationship between me and Sophie–her licking me, and me constantly stroking her–a little embarrassing.  I am not even aware at the time that this is happening…

    Food plan for the day (since I am having trouble eating a little too much, thought I’d be accountable):

    • Banana custard oats.  Done.
    • Snack:  Chile Reyeno Casserole (egg dish)
    • Lunch:  Edemame Tofu salad
    • Snack:  New ‘raw vegan protein bar recipe’ I tried.  Of course I adjusted the recipe a tiny bit.  And also I forgot the mashed banana.  Youza, the dough on these was good.  But a little ‘pricy’ at 185 calories per bar if I divide the recipe into 15 servings.
    • Dinner:  Some kind of green salad  (which I really wanted when I first wrote this, but now it is cold and rainy, so this option might change.)

    New shortened recipe idea:  The other day I was quite intrigued with Christie’s homemade fish taco recipe.  Last night I was in the mood for fish, but no tacos on hand.  I just grilled a couple of small red snapper fillets on med-high heat in a pan sprayed with pam, squeezed lime juice over them when they were done, and topped with some store-bought peach-mango salsa.  Quite delicious, and very satisfying with a side of veggies.

    Good Monday Morning to Blogland

    Whew.  After my last post about a bloggy break, it seems I took another bloggy break.  Really, I was just working and very busy.  The comments were so interesting to me and so very kind.  Thank you all.  I especially liked some  of the words you all used. Lori mentioned ‘kinship,’ and I really like that word.  And most of the people who said that they were like me and did not have a brand…well, they do have a style and something that I can count on and look forward to, and that is why I check in with them on a daily or weekly basis.  Lots of times I check in just because of the kinship I feel with them.   And of course, the Miz clarified it for us: being who we are
    writing honestly as we are
    is our brand.  Sometimes I think its like the  nouveau version of pen pals.  I feel incredibly close to some of you all even though I’ve never ‘met’ you in person.  Heck, I even fell in love with a blogging dog, and have truly grieved over her passing.  Cecelia was one of the most eloquent bloggers I knew, and I quoted her frequently.  Cecelia is the reason I even considered adopting a senior dog.  And honestly, Mr. Monk is moving quickly up the list of my all-time favorite dogs.  And as you know, that is a very long list!

    Mr.Monk gets after his bone!

    A soft chair, and a nice bone. Life is good.

    Enough with the photos. I have work to do.

    Sophie gets worried when I take too many pictures of Monk.

    Ah, you've finally come to your senses. He's not THAT cute.

    And now I must get up and give some attention to the other dog. Noah seems to be entering another growth spurt, and he needs a lot of exercise.  Good for me too.  Almost all of his baby teeth are gone, and the big ones are in, so chewing is not as big of a problem.  We are working on coming in the house a little more often.  Yesterday he only knocked two things over…

    As for me, I have been eating out a little too much, and then eating a little too much ‘junk.’  A lot of times when I do this, I will end the evening with a really healthy snack (i.e. yogurt and walnuts,) even though I am not hungry.  It seems to work as a signal to my brain or my body that this is the better way to eat.  Does this work for anybody else?

    What’s it All About, Anyway?

    Well, its always interesting to take a little bloggy break.  It makes you think about why you are blogging, why you read so darn many other blogs, and what is the point anyway.  Of course, you don’t have to take a break to think about these things.  Miz wrote a great post a bit ago reminding us to think about why we blog, and what our ‘brand’ is. I’m afraid I don’t have a brand.  My posts seem to run a wide gamut depending on my mood, the amount of time I have, and what’s happening in my life and/or the blog world at the time.  Sometimes I just blather on about the events of the day.  Lots of time I can’t help but talk a lot about food–I love it.  Then of course, the doggie news and flower/nature shots slip in once in a while.  Sometimes I post every single day.  And then other times, even though I am home, I just don’t seem to have anything to say, or the energy to say it.

    So there you go.  I don’t have a brand.  If I had to name one reason I blog, it is the hope that I might encourage another person struggling with a large amount of weight to lose.  It sometimes seems a miracle to me that I have been able to keep 100 pounds off, and I’d like to think I’ve learned a bit about what it takes to lose weight and keep it off, and I’d like to share that with others.  For sure, I haven’t figured everything out yet.  But I do keep trying to learn and to finesse my approach to food and exercise.  Today I was talking to a friend who is always trying to lose weight, and she said ‘I’m so tired of trying.’  And I agreed with her that some days I feel like that too.  But then I said that I remember the alternative–either someone writes about their physical struggles with being overweight, or I see someone walking very slowly and painfully who is probably close to what I used to weigh.  And I remember the pain I lived with every day.  I remember that I couldn’t even get comfortable sitting in a comfortable chair.  I remember every step being painful, and how the small of my back would burn when I had to stand for too long at work.  I remember how I looked forward to the time when I could use one of those stupid riding carts to get around in.  I remember the dread of knowing that I was going to die young.  And then I’m not so tired of trying anymore.

    So along those lines, I am still experimenting with the ‘intuitive eating.’  Meaning for me, I am not writing down what I eat, I am trying to ‘honor my health’ (choose healthy foods 90% of the time) and I am paying attention to when I am really hungry, and trying not to eat just for the pleasure of it.  Although if I do want to eat for the pleasure of it, I will allow myself to do that sometimes, but I don’t eat to feeling stuffed.  I still have a very good idea of how many calories I am consuming, because I have counted for so very long.  And it makes me feel comfortable to add up what I’ve eaten to make sure its within what seems reasonable (which is approximately 1300-1800.)  (I actually bought the intuitive eating book so I would know a little more about what I was talking about.  That’s where the phrase ‘honoring my health’ came from.)

    Along with all that, I am getting a reasonable amount of exercise in most days.  Two walks a day with Noah, and the gym for weights workouts (sometimes circuit training) 2-3 times per week.  In general, on the days I don’t go to the gym, my walks with Noah are longer, and running is included if the old body feels up to it.

    And it seems to be working.  My weight fluctuates between 154.6 and 157.6.  This morning it was 155.6.  And that was after spending two days with my BF and eating a little out of the ordinary.  We ate out a bit, and enjoyed dessert a bit.  But she is watching her weight too, so when we had lunch out, we just had a snack for dinner.  I was actually surprised that my weight was that low this morning.

    It has been raining non-stop here for two days.  And still the walks with Noah go on.  Yesterday I was walking him in the rain, and I realized that I was actually doing this for myself.  That I was the one who actually liked walking even if it was raining.  Noah didn’t look so thrilled about walking in the rain.

    Here is a picture of the fried rice I wrote about. This batch was made with some leftover green beans instead of the snow peas.

    Gotta Run!

    As in, have no time!  I’m off to meet my BF, and then she’s coming up to my house to spend a day or two.  So Excited!  Thought I’d leave you guys a little photo essay of the goings on with the canine brigade around here.

    Love this shot of Sophie on my lap.  All is right in her world if she gets to be on my lap.  Oh to be so simply satisfied.  (I LOVE her funny little feet.)

    Mr. Monk is not particularly please with Sophie’s ‘all’s right with the world’ point of view.

    This picture was a long time coming.  My neighbor would come over occasionally, and Sophie would run around like a mad woman, but would never let the neighbor touch her.  But when Mr. Monk was so friendly, it brought out a little ‘friendly competition’ in Sophie, and she finally decided it was okay to let my neighbor pet her.

    When we go for a walk, Noah LOVES to grab a branch and carry it.  But it can’t be just any branch.  It has to be a giant branch with lots of junk on it.  Cracks me up.

    Noah, before bath.

    Noah, after bath.  Ahhh, much better.

    Happy Monday, all!  See you in a couple of days.

    One thought.

    Random sad thought that passed through my brain as I contemplated which healthy snack option I wanted tonight:

    I wish this food didn’t have calories.

    I know.  I’m tired.  Go to bed, Debby.

    Just by chance I opened up the fruit drawer for something else, and I remembered that I had decided earlier in the day that an asian pear would be a good after-work snack.  So that’s what I had.  Very filling.  And doesn’t lead me to want to eat more.

    Good night everyone.

    Another Good Day

    Golly, these cheerful good days are getting boring LOL!  Had a blueberry scone with my coffee to start the day.

    Then got out for a nice 3 mile run/walk with Noah.  It felt good to want to run again, and Noah certainly had a lot of energy after all the rain and me being at work yesterday.  Started getting hungry on the way back home, and thinking about what I wanted to eat.  I remembered how I LOVED to have a bowl of raisin bran and milk after my long walks a couple of years ago.  I started liking the raisin bran because of the way this guy wrote about wanting it at the end of a long hike in the Grand Canyon.  He is a fantastic writer, BTW.  The raisin bran was most excellent with a mixture of regular milk and almond milk.  I won’t be putting this back in my regular rotation, though.  I don’t think cereal holds me long enough.

    Then on to MORE housecleaning.  But I got diverted by an interesting project.  I have a thing about not keeping too many books around.  I have 3 bookcases and that is it!  If I want more books (and I do) I have to get rid of some of the old ones to make room for the new.  I usually just take them to the thrift store.  But my mom sells stuff online all the time, and says it is really easy to list them on Amazon.  And she is right.  So that is what I spent a bit of time on.  Its kind of addicting.  If I actually sell some, I could really get into this!

    Well, like I said, the raisin bran didn’t hold me, so for an early lunch I had some roasted brussel sprouts–ooh! I drizzled one teaspoon of maple syrup over them–fantastic!  And a pear.

    More cleaning.

    Then I was REALLY hungry, so had a mid-afternoon meal of ‘turkey bread.’  This is one of Vicky’s concoctions that is so delicious I can’t do justice to describing it.  Whole wheat dough with a filling of veggies, ground turkey, asiago cheese, and just the right spices.  Followed it up with a little bowl of walnuts, raisins, and 8 chocolate chips.

    Then a run to the dump, followed by a trip to the gym for a short workout.  Note to self:  don’t go to the gym at 4pm.  All the little boys are there trying to outdo each other.  Yawn.

    Back home to give Noah some more ‘quality time’ in the yard while I did a little weeding.  Throwing his toy for him in between.  Poor boy.  I am THE WORST thrower in the world.  I have already had to rescue his toy from two different trees…  And then we took another walk.

    I am beat.  But in a good way.  For dinner I had some of my favorite Vicky food –red lentils and brown rice with some apples, raisins, peanuts, sunflower seeds and coconut, all in a curried yogurt dressing.  And another serving of those great green beans that I made the other day.

    I really didn’t add up my calories today.  Probably a little on the high side, but I am pretty happy with my food choices, although a LITTLE heavy on the grains for me.  The house is as good as its gonna get, and now I have three days in a row of work.  But two of them are short days–Woo Hoo!!!

    Hey, if you made it this far, and you know anything about the iphone and/or the itouch, will you read my next post and give me any opinions or information you might have?