Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Force is Powerful!

Just wanted to update about the cinnamon roll situation. I did not eat any. I didn't even pick off a raisin. And, mom was a little disappointed that even R said he would not eat any since he was also trying to avoid eating sugar right now. I swear, I was beaming :)

So, mom put the rolls into a freezer bag and they are now in the freezer. She will eat them when she wants one. Cinnamon rolls don't smell so much when frozen. The house did smell really good for a little while from the cinnamon, but when I heated up my grilled chicken the cinnamon scent was covered up by the chicken. Yay!

For all of you that left me a comment here. I felt the Force, I didn't run away, and I feel good about my choice. BTW, I responded to each of you in the comments. You guys really are good for me. Thanks for the support - hugs to all.

My Mother is Making Cinnamon Rolls...

It's a good thing I don't own a gun because right now I'd like to put myself out of my misery, lol. My dear mother has taken to baking this weekend. Cinnamon rolls. Damn it. They smell so freakin' good and I have been feeling so bored with all this healthy eating sh*t (no offense, Jack).

Maybe I need to get the h*ll out of Dodge.

Sorry, I should have posted a rant warning.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wild Kingdom

Not much is happening around here this weekend. I went out to eat Mexican food and wish I hadn't. I was feeling a pity party coming on so I thought some chips and salsa would lighten the mood. Whatever, I just woke up feeling bloated this morning. I had ordered a diet Dr. Pepper and sent it back. Can you imagine, who sends a diet drink back? Well, it tasted like crap and that may be because I don't drink sodas anymore, but I didn't see any point in finishing something that tasted like crapola.

Since this weekend is kinda dull, let me tell you what happened the other night. We have a really big back yard with some trees and power lines and on the other side of our chain-link fence is an alley between us and the next neighborhood. Every evening, I open the back door and the dogs shoot out and go running all over the yard like wild banshees. Well, the older dog kinda scoots along, but Sydney, the 2 year old thinks she's a beast so she runs at top speed.

Right after the dogs ran past me I heard a bunch of hissing and growling and looked out in the darkness and saw Sydney running all around a whiteish looking critter. I knew right away what it was, too. There's been a possum hanging around our yard and sometimes it's in my garage. Well, I freaked out and went running over to them (as fast as I can run anyway) and just as I got there, Sydney grabbed the possum and started shaking and shaking and growling and all I could think was she was going to get torn up. I was afraid to stick my hands down there to stop her because I didn't want to get bit myself. Those things have ugly looking sharp teeth! I was screaming at the top of my lungs "NO NO NO, SYDNEY, NO" over and over. I'm sure the neighbors must have thought I was being attacked, lol.

Anyway, the possum must have started getting heavy because Sydney slowed the thrashing about down enough for me to grab her by the back of the neck and she dropped the now "playing dead" possum. I grabbed her up and took her inside. Not a scratch on her and the possum was gone when I went back out to check on it. Which was a relief as I didn't want to have to take it to the wildlife rehab and explain that my dog had attacked it.
Needless to say, I haven't seen the possum around lately :). And Sydney thinks she is one tough cookie! When we go out at night now, I go first and shine the flashlight all over the yard to make sure nothing is out there. I was scared beyond belief. I don't think my heart could take that again.

Take care and have a good Sunday.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Be The Change

I've mentioned my son on occasion. He's 25, a struggling musician and college student. He's my heart beat. When he came along my whole outlook on life changed. It might sound cliche, but it's true. Before being a mom, I was reckless and did a lot of risky things with no regard for my own life. Love changes you and I'm so glad it does.

Anyway, when R was little, he liked veggies, but only liked them raw. So, we ate lots of carrots and broccoli and spinach salads. When he went to elementary school, he learned that green food was a bad thing and never touched another vegetable. Really, I had to puree the stuff and mix it in foods so he wouldn't know he was eating them. Peer pressure is a bad, bad thing.

Fortunately, R inherited some good genetic traits from ex-husband-nonpresent-parent: a great metabolism. He's been less active lately and I think he's starting to see that eating fast food and sporadic workouts are not good for the long haul.

Well, since I've been working really hard at trying to live a healthier lifestyle, R is taking notice. He told me yesterday that he wants to get off sugar added stuff, eat more veggies, and go whole grain. Did you hear that? I swear I think I heard the hallelujah choir singing just now, lol.

Kids. When you try to tell them stuff, they don't want to listen. But eventually, they reach that age where they see life with their own eyes and take it all in. I'd like to think that I played a part in helping R see that eating healthier and becoming more active is important and worth the effort. Who knows, maybe I did. But it could also be just him growing up and I'm okay with that!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fiber Therapy

Yesterday I got up early and rode my bike for one hour. I felt great after. Hung out at home, grilled some chicken and veggies (my son is interested in grilling so we did it together). I really wasn't hungry during the day, so I didn't eat much.

Today, when I woke up, I had no desire to jump up and get on my bike. I had no desire to get up at all. I just felt tired. So I slept in till about 10am. I spent the day at home just piddling around.

I finished knitting a baby blanket yesterday, too. One that was on the needles for-freakin-ever! Anyway, I decided since that project was finished, I could start my next project which is a scarf. I spent all damn day looking for pattern. Why I didn't keep it with the yarn is a mystery. I couldn't stop looking until I found it, either. I'm a little obsessive compulsive when I'm looking for something. I HAVE to find it or my mind won't shut up. So, after about 4 hours of searching, I found it. Well that was mentally exhausting, so I didn't feel like riding my bike this evening, either.

I started the scarf and I'm glad I did. It is really turning out to be soothing to my soul. There is something about the feel of the yarn and the repetitive movement that is very relaxing to me. I've missed knitting and I think I'm going to make it a regular part of my day again.

Here is what the scarf looks like right now.

This is the blanket I finished. It's not a gift or anything, I just like knitting baby things. And they are great to have on hand just in case I need a shower gift.

I plan to get up in the morning and ride. Maybe I just needed a me day, with out focusing on diet or fitness. I don't really feel guilty about not working out, but I do have a slight fear that the fat will creep back on during the night, lol ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

-Insert Creative Title Here-

This last weekend was very busy. I had birthday shopping to do (for my mom), a repairman had to come Saturday to fix the ice machine in the fridge (a gear broke that I guess makes the ice come out the door into your glass, and who wants to open the door when you can just stick your glass up there and get fresh cubes, right?), house cleaning, and grocery shopping. In between all that I tried to get some bike riding in but didn't get in as much as I wanted.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday so my son and I took her out for lunch. He had to work that evening so we decided a lunch would work. She enjoyed it, and after lunch we came home and had a little cake. I'd bought a lemon cake since I'm not much of a cake baker. I would have rather bought the Italian Creme, but she's having a problem with diverticulitis and nuts are not on the menu. Besides, I would have been tempted to eat more cake if Italian Creme was in the house. lol

I'm off work for two weeks! Yay! I love being home, and I love my mom, but sometimes I wish I had my own space. G*d, I can't believe I used that word - space. My ex told me that once, that he just "needed some space." Of course, he chose to have an affair in his space, but still that word doesn't sit well with me. Anyway, when I'm home, mom wants us to spend a lot of time together watching movies or TV shows. At her age, these are the things she most likes to do. And I like to watch some things sometimes, but I also like to blog and listen to music and knit and draw. The blogging is what she doesn't understand and I think she gets a little jealous of me sitting at the computer. Maybe she just feels shut out, I don't know.

Blogging is like breathing to me right now, and my blog "family of friends" is a support system like no other. You guys always say just what I need to hear. You make me laugh and cry. You make me try harder to be a better person. You make me want to grow veggies and cook. Did I mention you make me laugh?! And even if I don't leave a comment, know that I am stopping by and loving what I'm seeing!

On the weightloss front, I've lost 1.8 lbs since my last weigh-in! Woo Hoo! It's coming off so slowly but I have to remember two things: 1) I am 52 and sorta dealing with the hormonal luxuries of the older female, lol, and 2) I'm doing this the healthy way this time. I'm not starving myself. I eat food! I'm doing cardio everyday. I'm feeling stronger and happier this time around which makes the journey so much more worthwhile!

Today, I hope you giggle and snort. And don't forget to drink your water! (after all this brain work, I couldn't even come up with a title, lol)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dog Chow

Today, after work, I had to go to the pet store and get a bag of dog food for my dogs. There's nothing exciting about that, I admit, but bare with me. Anyway, I strolled past the cats and kittens that are up for adoption...move on, girl, you don't need any more critters right now. So I got my bag of chow and checked out, loaded the bag in the car and drove home.

When I got home I hefted the bag of food out of the car and headed for the house. Dang, that bag was heavy. I could feel my legs working harder to make it up the slight incline of the driveway. I was huffing and puffing and moving so slow and labored. It was, after all, a 35 lb bag of dog food.

Then it dawned on me - 35 lbs! That's how much I've lost so far! Look how I'm struggling with this 35 lb bag of dog food. When I sat the bag down there was instant relief. I felt so much lighter! I could really tell the difference a few pounds makes. I can't wait till I've lost a 50 lb bag of chow!

The Morning Glory rides are really making a difference in my daily attempt at this lifestyle change diet thing. I'm not as hungry during the day and I even seem to be smiling at total strangers more often. Not that I'm not friendly, but I've been so used to feeling invisible that I don't always connect with people when I'm out and about. But today, at the post office and at the pet store, it seemed I was drawn to the faces around me. Hmmmm. Cool. :)

Have a great Friday and don't forget to drink your water!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

iBike, iPhone, iCan't Keep Up

Yesterday's plan to ride in the morning took a detour. My son, also a night owl, had stayed up all night and was up when I got up Tuesday morning at 6:30. Even though he lives with me, he's in and out so much that there are not many opportunities for good old time face to face chats. So, I chose to take time to talk with him rather than ride my bike. I love who he's becoming and how wise he is for his young age. It was like I got recharged just from our time together :)

I did go for my morning ride today at 6:45 am. I'm really getting into it now and I think this is going to be my favorite time of day to ride. It was so cool this morning. There is less traffic in the neighborhood and did I mention how cool it was? I know, but when the day heats up to 100 degrees, cool air is a blessing!

While riding this morning I listened to a podcast on my iPhone! This may not be so exciting to some of you that have been into i-gadgets but it's a whole new world for me! Anyway, it was a knitting podcast! Yes, I knit. I taught myself to knit during the 9/11 events. I needed something to do with my hands to keep from wringing them all the time so I bought a kids knitting book and taught myself to knit. I haven't been knitting much lately and I want to get back to it. The knitting podcast is fun and interesting and now I'm hooked on looking for other podcasts. Like the NutritionDiva one that Lee told us about. I like it, too.

Now that I'm biking more, and iPhone-ing (is that a term?), and blogging, I seem to be running short of time and have missed reading some blogs. All this geekery is taking some getting used to but I love it! I get on iTunes, though, and sometimes get lost in all the cool stuff that's out there.

Today I feel like I'm really taking charge of me. I feel stronger mentally and physically. I think I can almost call myself a fitness freak. Foodwise, the healthy eating is just falling into place. Yay!

Keep on taking charge of you! It's a great feeling.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Change Up the Fat Burning Ritual

I usually ride my bike in the evening. Since we've been having such horrendous heat here in Houston, I've been riding later and later. That means that sometimes I'm out pedaling at 8:00 at night. That also means that I'm eating dinner late and staying up later. I don't like to eat anything before I ride. Food just doesn't feel right in my tum-tum. And, after a ride I have that great endorphin high that has nowhere to go but to bed. What a waste! There are lots of days at work that I could use that elevated feeling.

So, I got to thinking about this late night exercise ritual of mine, while I was doing all that pondering the other day, and I think it's time for a change. It doesn't make sense to me anymore to get my heart rate up, my engines revved and stoked, just to eat dinner then within a couple of hours, go to bed. When you go to bed your metabolism has to slow down so you can go to sleep, right? Well I don't think I want mine to shut down that soon.

Now, I'm not a morning person, but this morning I got up and got on my bike at 7:15 AM! I rode for 30 minutes (just under 6 miles) and...I Loved It! It was so cool and breezy, still humid, but the breeze had a nice coolness to it. I was a little worried that I wouldn't be awake enough but after 10 minutes, I was wide awake and enjoying the morning. I'm going to work up to riding longer before work, but since I'm not a morning person, I had a little trouble getting out of bed. Plus, I had to shower before heading off to work so my time was running out.

Since I'm getting ready for the Tour de Pink charity ride, I need to step up the daily mileage. Tonight, I rode for 35 more minutes to make my total ride time for the day about one hour. Yay! It was hot but I got in 12 miles for today and that makes me happy.

Nellie ran over some gum in the hot sun. Now she has a strange smacking sound when her tires are turning. I guess it'll come off eventually.

I'm going to bed early tonight, at least, I'm going to try and get to bed early!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Heart Books!

After all that pondering about what to do and why, etc., ad nauseum, I got on the scale this morning and I've lost 1.6 lbs. Woo Hoo! I'm fine with that. And for now, stepping on the scale of terror will just be how I roll. I get too anxious if I don't know where I'm at on the long road to thinnsville. I'm too much of a detail person, so as many of you suggested, I'll just do what is right for me at this moment.

Books are as necessary to me as water. They give me sustenance and energy like no serving of food ever could. I always have several books on my nightstand and at times they spill over on to the floor. Bookmarks are in short supply and sometimes I have to resort to using gum wrappers, lol. Right now I'm digesting these great low calorie servings of inspiration:

Our Lady of Weight Loss by Janice Taylor

Something More (Roxie suggested) is about finding your authentic self. I think I've lost my true self in a pile of rubble somewhere and I'm hoping to dig her out. Little known fact about me is that I once called myself an artist. I painted and sketched and made awesome batik and mixed media wall hangings. Where did I put this artistic side of me? I want to find that part of me. I need that part of me.

The two books by Janice Taylor are fun and inspiring. She is a weight-loss coach, certified hypnotist, weight-loss artist, and creator of an e-newsletter Our Lady of Weight Loss's Kick in the Tush Club ( I'm finding these two books to be loaded with humor and insight that are helping me "lighten up" and go with the flow. Life is too short to face everyday with dread. Janice has a great definition of creativity: "The quality of being creative. Your choice - you can create fat or fun." I'm for creating fun! I love the light-heartedness of her books and yet what she shares is pure wisdom.

The last book is on my list because, someday, I want to ride a long distance bike ride. I dream about riding along the Pacific Coast or in Vermont, really anywhere. When I reach my goal weightloss, I hope to do a distance ride. I'm a member of Adventure Cycling, a group whose mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. They have lots of maps and they even have supported group rides you can take.

Today I've got to go to Walmart, blek. My little fan that I use at night crapped out on me last night. I don't know why, but I have to have a fan stirring the air at night. Ocean dreams? Who knows. Saturday is not my fav day to go to Walmart because it's so crowded, but I'll just get in and get out.

Have a good weekend, stay cool, and let humor lead the way!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Road is Long

I haven't had much to say this week because I've been pondering some thoughts.

  • To weigh or not to weigh?

  • Can I hang in for the very long, long journey to thinsville this time?

  • Am I enjoying any of these lifestyle changes?

  • Who will I be when I get there?

Honestly, this week I've stepped on the scale and first saw a loss, then saw a gain, then a loss. Well, that wasn't fun. NOT. And, I've been on my bike everyday and eaten well staying within my calorie limit with a good deficit at the end of each day. So what's the deal with that? I think my body is on strike. It's quite the rebel. My thyroid is already kaput, what else can go wrong?

And, the more I think about posting my loss (if I had a loss to post, that is) I kinda feel like I'm bragging. I don't want to wave my loss in the face of someone that didn't have a loss. Some of you (Karen) have thrown out your scale?! Geez, woman, I wish I could bring myself to do that! I'm so confused. I'm also terrified that I'm never going to lose all this weight.

It's just not happening fast enough for me. I've spent so much time in this full figured body (doncha like how I said that?) and I'm worried that I'll never get the thinner, healthier body that I keep dreaming about. I know what to do, and I'm doing it, but my patience is running dry like the summer we're having having in Texas.

I'm enjoying the healthier foods that I'm eating. I eat more fruit and veggies, which I like. I never had a soda problem so that's never been an issue for me. Of course, I do have my daily coffee habit to contend with but I'm working on that. And lately, maybe since it's so blasted hot, I've been wanting ice cream. So, Blue Bell has a great no sugar added low-fat vanilla that I dip into a few times a week. Still, it fits into my calories so I figure as long as I'm eating healthy stuff, no damage done.

I've lost weight many times before. All my adult life I've been "losing" weight. I lost weight each summer to wear a swimsuit. I lost weight so I could wear a size 8 wedding dress. I lost weight after I had my son so my husband would stop having an affair. That didn't work, obviously, and he's been out of the picture for 24 years. After my divorce I went into hiding and I've been there ever since.

Most of my weightloss in the past has been aimed at seeking acceptance. I don't feel that way this time. This is new territory for me and it's kinda freaking me out. It'll be a new me, not just in body size, but I hope in my attitude. I just want to be comfortable in my own skin - for me. I don't think I've ever felt that way.

See what happens when I don't have much to say for days?! Anyways, there's a new me taking shape. It's just taking longer than I'd hoped!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy *HOT* Independence Day!!

I don't know what you call this kind of heat. Inferno? Scorching? I don't think I've ever sweated this much in my entire life. After a bike ride my hair is soaked and my clothes are saran-wrapped on. Whatever, I'm not gonna let a little sweat, make that a lot of sweat, keep me from riding. Thank goodness for showers!

After I cleaned house, we put some ribs, hamburgers, and brats on the grill. My mom and son are fans of the ribs, and my son is the brats-meister. I had a burger without a bun and some potato salad and some beans. It was a nice day and doing all the cooking on the grill didn't heat up the house - yay!

I had more to say today but I'm tired now and need to hit the shower. That'll give me more time to get my "profound" thoughts together, lol!

Have a safe and happy holiday! Stay cool and don't forget to drink your water.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stuffed Turkey Peppers Recipe

I made the Stuffed Turkey Peppers from the recipe on page 76 of the July/August 2009 issue of Clean Eating magazine last night. They were easy to put together, and very, very good. I will make these again for sure. Even though this recipe involved using the oven, which I try to avoid in the heat of summer, it was worth getting all hot and bothered, lol.

As usual, I tweaked the recipe to my own liking. It's a habit of mine to put my own twist on things, but who cares? As long as it tastes great, right? So here's the recipe and a couple of pictures to stir up your taste buds. Really, you should try this one!

Stuffed Turkey Peppers
Serves 4. Prep time: 30 min. Cook time: 15 min. Total time: 45 min.


1/2 cup wild rice (I used one cup of Kashi 7 grain pilaf)

1 tbsp evoo (as R. Ray says)

2 cups onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 lb 99% lean ground turkey

2/3 cup low-sodium natural tomato juice (I used low-sod V8)

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

10 grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 assorted medium sweet bell peppers (red, orange, and yellow)

2 oz part skim mozzarella

ONE: Bring rice and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and continue to boil for 25 minutes. (I could skip this step since I used the pre-cooked Kashi grains :p)

TWO: Meanwhile, add oil and onions to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute onions for 2 minutes, then add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add turkey, juice and seasoning. Cook until turkey is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and black pepper, cooking, covered, for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F.

THREE: Fill a large pot half-full with water and bring to a boil. Cut tops from bell peppers and remove all seeds. Add bell peppers and tops to water and return to a boil. Cook, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove bell peppers and dry on paper towel.

FOUR: Drain rice and add to turkey mixture (with Kashi no need to drain the grains). In a glass dish, stand bell peppers and fill with turkey-rice mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella and add bell pepper top. Bake for 15 minutes.

Nutrients per stuffed pepper: Calories: 350, Total fat: 7g, Sat.Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 35g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 14g, Protein: 36g, Sodium: 210mg, Cholesterol: 60mg
(keep in mind with changing a few ingredients, these numbers may have changed some, but still in a healthy range)

I see many possible ways to mix up this recipe. You could use the veggie crumbles instead of turkey for a lower cholesterol count. Or add jalepeno peppers or salsa in place of the tomato juice for a nice bit of heat. I served mine with a side of Edamame, tasted great together.

Have a super Thursday and don't forget to drink your water.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beware of Snacks in Sheep's Clothing

A couple of weeks ago, I bought two boxes of Reese's SnackBarz. I gave one box to my son and kept a box for myself "just in case" I needed a healthier version of a candy bar. This treat claims to have calcium, iron and 7 essential vitamins. Woo Hoo! Zero trans fats and only 120 calories per bar! Not a terrible choice, but still, a choice I shouldn't have made.

The problem with buying something like this is that I don't want to eat just one. Like the old potato chip ad, I can't eat just ONE. I try to avoid the box but I keep seeing it in my mind. And so I cave in and eat another. I should have given them away so I wouldn't have them in the house. If I had not bought the dang things, I would have never had this struggle. I'm learning, really I am, that there are some things that I never need to buy. These snackbarz are going on that list.

So being off this week is wonderful. We went out to lunch on Monday to Qin Dynasty (pronounced - chin dynasty). They have really great Chinese food and I think I did okay, except for sodium. You can't get Chinese with out lots of that, IMO. Yesterday no bike riding due to...RAIN! We had some at our house. It was like manna from heaven. The ground slurped it right up.

Tonight I'm cooking a dish from my Clean Eating magazine. I'll be making the stuffed peppers! I'll tell you how they turned out later and share the recipe.

Have a great rest of the week! Don't forget to drink your water. And watch out for those snacks.