A Recipe Recommendation and a New Food!

I save hundreds of recipes from the internet. I rarely try any of them. The other day I was scrolling through all my old bookmarks and came across this recipe for Banana Split Bars. And it wasn’t even in my recipes folder! I checked it out, and the stats sounded good to me. I liked the list of ingredients–no wheat or sugar–and even better was that I had all the ingredients in the house. I can’t remember if I ever made these before. But they are most certainly worthy! I followed the recipe exactly, and baked them for 30 minutes. They were soft-set, which I like.  I cut them into 12 bars (because, you know, I am a volume eater.) This made them about 190 calories each. They are delicious as a breakfast treat, or for a nice dessert.

The new (to me) food is Edamame spaghetti. I saw the box on my way out of Costco, checked the stats, and was astounded. Ingredients list: organic edamame and water.  Same calories as a regular serving of pasta (200 cal) but 24 GRAMS OF PROTEIN and 11 grams of fiber per serving!! I really like edamame, so I decided to try this. So far I’ve only tried them with a bit of garlic and olive oil, but they were very good. I liked the texture (much better than whole wheat pasta.) As far as taste…they were pretty neutral, just like I think normal pasta is. There was definitely no “weird” taste. I have all the ingredients for my Darn Good Spaghetti Sauce, and I am going to make that for dinner tomorrow. 

In The Garden

I returned from my trip to the seaside (high’s of 70 degrees,) to a heat wave here in the foothills (100 degrees when I arrived home.) The garden looks a little sad about the heat, but it mostly fared well, thanks to my “babysitter” being willing to water the plants while I was gone.

First, here is where I was (I went to Cambria Pines for rug hooking camp again.) I managed to get away to visit the sea three times. I even took a few walks along the boardwalk that they have there.

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Day 3:

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This is a houseplant that I bought at the nursery in Cambria. It is so beautiful. Does anybody know what it is? (they told me, but I can’t remember.)

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I found a few new blooms to share. The fairy impatiens have taken over!

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Another of the grocery store roses has bloomed!

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The volunteer Teddy Bear sunflowers have started to bloom!

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The hydrangea is full of buds. This is the first to bloom. It is a lace cap hydrangea. Unfortunately, I think hydrangeas like it a bit cooler. I wish they had bloomed earlier.

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This is very weird. This was a plain old hydrangea. It has been weaker than the other hydrangea ever since we planted them in the ground two years ago. Last year it didn’t even bloom. And this year, there are two blooms like this on it. Its like it has morphed into a completely different plant! I think it is very pretty.

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And just a view of the sunny bed.

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We are having a drought here in Sunny California. Some of you might have heard about that :) I am on a well, so my watering is not really restricted. But I do try to be responsible in my water usage, and of course, I worry occasionally about my well going dry. My main concession is that I am not adding any new plants right now. The best way for me to do that is to just not visit the nursery :(

Not Perfect

I just returned from a week long trip to the Bay Area and Cambria. And as usual, when I travel, my food and exercise regime is severely interrupted. I eat different food than I eat at home. I eat more food. I eat sugar and wheat freely (two things I minimize in my normal daily diet.) I drink less water and more coffee. I give a half-hearted nod to exercise. And since many times my travel involves quilt or rug hooking workshops, I spend way more time sitting for extended periods of time.

All that to say that when I was driving home, I said to my friend “I gained ten pounds this week!” And I truly felt like that.

Long time readers will know that I don’t believe in weighing yourself after any travel time. I do believe that just the actual physical traveling can make you retain water and/or pounds and can affect your weight. So I usually won’t weigh myself for a full week after I return from a trip. But this time, I wanted to see if my estimate was right. Sure enough, my weight was up 9 pounds from when I weighed myself the day before I left on this trip. Four pounds are already gone in 2 days. Interesting.

Sometimes this travel bit is distressing to me. Why do I think its free season on food consumption when I travel? Why can’t I get it under control? Why do I gain so much weight when I travel, when I’m really not eating any more than the “regular people?”

Well, coming home, and comfortably slipping back into my regular routine, with no longings for wheat or sugar, and extra doses of fruits and veggies, is always reassuring to me.

And yesterday, when I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that I am not yet perfect. It just made me laugh at myself. I really only share this stuff in case it is helpful to someone working on (imperfectly) maintaining weight loss. I hope it might be encouraging.

Too Much of a Good Thing

debby:

I don’t have much new to say, so thought I’d share what’s happening on my quilty blog!

Originally posted on debby quilts:

I am a multi-project person. I always have been, and once I accepted that reality about myself, it was much easier to move ahead with my work. But once in a while, it gets to be too much. I can’t keep track of all my projects. My chair, where I do hand-work in the evening, looks like a rat’s nest. And something conspires to make me stop starting new ideas (they never stop!) and to work on finishing what is in front of me.

I signed up at the last minute to go to rug hooking camp! I’m so excited about this. And it served as the impetus to get my projects in line. So I put away the latest embroidery project (I only had the quilt sandwich made, and then got “stuck.”)

I got busy working on the “sea” part of my rug. I wanted to have that finished…

View original 348 more words

In The Garden

First rose of the year!

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This wildflower was literally growing out of the side of a rock on my road!
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The star jasmine (saved from the trash heap!) is finally blooming.

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And the peacock with her beautiful headdress :)

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My grocery store rose. Did I tell you I was too cheap to buy a rose at the nursery for $40? So I saw these rose bushes outside the local grocery store for $5 each. I bought three of them, and two of them actually lived and have blooms this first year.

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Practicing my close-up shots:

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All of the flowers in this shot were volunteers!

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The first blooms on the “fairy impatien.” These are growing all over the yard, and they are all self-seeded from one plant that I bought last year.

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My baby astilbe. Maybe I have finally found the right place to grow these…

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And this is the stonework that MLG did this week for me. I kept buying more of the stones from Lowes and Home Depot, until I had a decent amount to work with, and so we extended the front courtyard(?) that I had done myself years ago. There is a slope to the land in my yard, and so MLG worked at making sure the water drained the right way.

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From this angle, you can see where the travertine path comes in.

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And this is the most astounding thing of all. Did I complain to you about my apple tree not having any blossoms this year? I mean, its a young tree, so I was not expecting apples for 5 years (that’s what they said at the nursery.) But I love apple blossoms, and so I was very disappointed that there were literally 2 clusters of blossoms on the whole tree. And then this morning, I was looking out the window, and what do I see but a real apple growing!! And there is a second apple–so one from each blossom cluster.

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Its heating up around here. I hope you have nice weather wherever you are, and have a wonderful relaxing weekend.

 

Diet Fatigue… and a Maintenance Experiment

Diet Fatigue. Its not something I’ve seen defined anywhere. But I bet all of you who have ever been on a diet know what I am talking about. Sometimes it wears on you, all this thinking and restricting and counting and denying…whatever your particular form of dieting happens to be at this particular time.

I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. That is, I started this last weight loss adventure over 10 years ago. I have been “maintaining,” more or less, for over 8 years. I guess I won’t talk about anybody else’s experience, but for me, maintaining has been an ongoing tension between a diet mindset and trying to “normalize” my relationship with food. One thing that’s been consistent about my maintenance: I have consistently gained and lost between 10 and 20 pounds over the years.

So right now, I’m tired. I’m really really tired. Bah to diets. A couple of weeks ago, on my way home from church, I bought a particular junk food baked item that I love. I’ve probably had 3 of them in the past 10 years. And I ate it on the way home. 430 delicious calories. And then I proceeded to feel “bad” about that choice for the rest of the way home. And it made me mad, that I couldn’t even enjoy a treat without angst. And I remembered for the first time in a long time why I had said “I will never diet again,” and I “maintained” a weight of 257.5 (haha, I have to laugh that the .5 was so consistent when I used to weigh back then) for over 20 years. My mind flashed on all the candy bars I ate every day (that I never eat now) and I wanted to eat all of them, right now! Fortunately, I mostly got over that feeling by the time I got home. And, BTW, its only a 20 minute drive from the grocery store to my house :)

So I decided to try an experiment. You know how some folks say you are sabotaging yourself by restricting your calories? So I decided to try eating more. Mind you, I’ve tried this many times over the years, and sadly, it never works for me. The rules are different for the formerly severely overweight person. ANYWAY, the experiment. I decided to log my food into LoseIt. Bu I would not worry if I went a little over their calorie allotment for me. After all, that calorie allotment was supposed to be for weight loss, and that was not my goal for this experiment. My goal was to not GAIN any weight, which is a constant worry for me. And I would log ALL my exercise, and eat all those “exercise calories” if I wanted to. I would only weigh once a week to make sure this crazy plan was not leading to weight gain.

I know for most of you, this will just be another form of dieting. But for me it was reassuring to have the parameters of logging food and exercise and weighing once a week while I experimented with eating more than normal.

I’m pretty sure I ate more than I usually do, and I did eat without guilt or angst. I’m pretty sure I exercised a little more. I think LoseIt was pretty generous with their exercise calories, but I just went with it. And the result of the experiment? For five weeks I maintained the same weight. One week it would be two pounds up, and another it would be two pounds down. But for five weeks, my weight was very consistent.

Diet fatigue doesn’t last forever. And this experiment will not last forever. According to most experts, change in your diet and exercise is actually a good thing for long term weight loss. So if you’re feeling tired, don’t throw in the towel. Give yourself a little grace, and try something new or different.

In the Garden

Well, I didn’t think there was much new to report, but I went out to the yard, and found more to take pictures of than you might want to see! Fun.

The biggest thing is something that MLG has been doing for the past couple of weeks. I have this thing about paver stones……I like them. So I saw these rectangular travertine stones, and they seemed like such a good price, so I bought 16 of them. Had no plans or idea of how to use them… showed them to MLG, and he came up with this idea. Which I loved, but umm, yeah. It took a lot more than 16 stones…. Sigh. I have been to Lowes and Home Depot three times in the past two weeks, and brought home and unloaded about 1500 pounds of stones from my car. We have more stone plans :)

Anyway, I love this little path between the shade garden and the Japanese maples. Its not really as long as it looks in the picture. MLG uses a level and works hard at making the uneven, rocky ground work so the water will drain the right way.

From one direction:

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And from the other direction:

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After yesterday’s rain (yay!) Sophie and Bess found something extremely interesting smelling out there.

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Then Bess got bored with it.

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The shade garden. Pretty soon there will be some color in there.

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Noah and his never-ending quest for THE LIZARDS.

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Here’s a new plant I got. The foliage is really almost white. Its called Abutilon Savitzii. Its related to that Japanese lantern plant that I have.

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And now for some color! I love the delicacy of the poppies.

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And the brilliant color of these pansies:

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These volunteer nasturtiums are already doing so much better than the ones I planted last year.

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And these sweet little clover flowers come back every year. I love how they are peeping through the teacup.

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These little begonias came back better than last year!

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A new perennial flower I got (sorry, lost the label, don’t know the name.)

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Another new plant to fill in an empty spot. This is a Lavitera. Its quite a rangy bush, but I love the flowers.

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This cracks me up. Can you see that the star jasmine has vined itself up the peacock, and has provided a fancy headdress for it?

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Here, you can see it better in this picture. This was the star jasmine that was thrown on the trash heap a couple of years ago. It is doing wonderfully this year.

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And I was trying for one last shot, and Noah photo-bombed it!

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Here you go. I hope all of you have a wonderful, peace-filled weekend!

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