Monday, February 28, 2011

DAY 59 -- Leftovers are sometime even tastier!

Saturday night when our daughter visited, she was anxious to eat with us and see how tasty the food could be.  She helped me select a recipe from the menu items I had planned for the week.  She chose a recipe titled "Oregano Olive Chicken" that I had torn out of a Reader's Digest.  The recipe called for white wine, but we used the optional version of chicken broth.  (We don't drink alcoholic beverages.)  The recipe included green olives, capers, fresh oregano, fresh mint, and fresh thyme as well as garlic and cider vinegar.

She chose the recipe because her husband does not like green olives or vinegar, so she knew she could not make it at home.  This was her chance to try it.

I served it with brown rice but I think it would have gone better with some whole grain pasta on the side.  It was still delicious though.

I cut the recipe in half, and we had one serving left over, which I ate for lunch today.  Mmm mmm mmm.  I think it tasted even better today because the chicken had marinated in the juice and herbs.

Have I mentioned I love eating healthy?

Here's a picture from the recipe.  Also, I used boneless, skinless, chicken breasts rather than the whole chicken the recipe called for.

DAY 58 -- Oops! Forgot to post yesterday!

The day got away from me yesterday.  Sorry.  :(

During our evening meal last night, my husband told me that he feels like he's come out of a fog.  He started this on a month "trial" basis.  He figured if he didn't see some kind of measurable change in a month, then forget about eating healthy.  Two weeks is all it took to convince him that this was the way to go!  :)

I admit, it sure does help to have him eating the way I prefer to eat.  Makes it easier on meal preparations.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

DAY 57 -- Energy for the grandkids.

I'm awaiting the arrival of our two grandchildren for a visit.  When I first went off sugar, I wondered how I would be the kind of grandma to make sugar cookies with future grandkids.  Now I have two little grandkiddies and I don't worry about making cookies.  I figure we can use the cookie cutters for homemade "playdough" or clay.  I remember how my own grandmother used to make clay-dough and I loved to sneak pinches of the salty substance.  So, I can still build memories with the little ones.

Eating healthy allows us more energy to play with the grandkids, so even though they might not have a grandma that makes cookies for them, they have a grandma and grandpa that play with them.  Our daughter loves it when we watch the kids because we play with them so much they are worn out and sleep hard the rest of the night!  :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

DAY 56 -- Forgetting to eat.

I like the feeling.  The feeling that food is not ruling my thoughts and my life.  There are days that I forget to eat until my stomach reminds me that it's way past mealtime or that I missed a meal.  For years food was the focus of my attention.  There were days when the only thing that motivated me to get out of bed was the thought of something yummy I could eat.  "Mmmmm Lucky Charms!"  That was a favorite.

I used to have a sweatshirt with the words, "Start your morning with a donut and a smile.  The smile is optional."

For the past 9 1/2 years I have not needed the thought of sweets to motivate me.  Now, with eating healthy foods and only eating when hungry, I like the feeling of forgetting about food.  I read a quote that said, "I've come too far to take orders from a cookie."  Well, I've come too far to take orders from food.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

DAY 55 -- Where's My Personality???

To anyone who might read this... please be patient... this blog is a work in progress. I feel like I've been in school so long that my writing style over the past several years evolved into academic writing. When I read other people's blogs, it seems like their personality shines through, and I get a glimpse of how I used to write before the professors stomped it out of me.  :)

I will strive to do better about loosening up.  In fact, maybe I should start by changing my font. This looks too formal.

There, how's that? Or maybe this? ( there a difference?)  

Anyhooo... I love to laugh, and I usually try to find the humor in situations. Hopefully that will come through in future posts. I think I will attach a goofy picture to this entry. After all, I want people to realize that eating healthy does not turn one into an academic stick in the mud.  :)

  I know it's not very cute, but this was my first attempt at macro photography. I was trying to see if I could make the heart of a lettuce look interesting or artistic. Unfortunately it just looks like I am obsessed with a lettuce heart. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DAY 54 -- Avoiding Artificial Sweeteners

Yesterday I posted about my awkwardness when offered sweets.  Today's post focuses on artificial sweeteners.  I avoid those too, for two reasons...

1) Artificial sweeteners do awful things to my body.  Some make my heart race, some give me super bad headaches, some give me severe stomach pains, and some give me bad gas.

2) Artificial sweeteners are still addictive to me.  I am addicted to sweets so even if an item is artificially sweetened, I would still want to overindulge in it.

Combine those two reasons together and it can cause major problems.  The first Valentine's Day after going off sugar, I decided to buy some sugar-free chocolates for our celebration.  I ate the entire box of chocolates and was sooooo sick and in soooo much pain afterwards!  That was the end of that.

One time a friend of mine went on a fad diet where she only ate a certain supposedly healthy cold cereal for breakfast and for lunch and then ate a regular meal for supper.  She called me up one day and told me she was having severe stomach pains ever since starting her "diet" and since she knew I was into "healthy eating" she wondered what I thought might be the problem.  I asked if she was using an artificial sweetener on her cereal and she admitted she was.  I told her to STOP USING IT!  She did, and the pains went away.

I have another friend that wonders why she gets bad headaches regularly, yet will not give up her diet soda.

People ask me what I sweeten my foods with.  First of all, I don't WANT my foods very sweet, second of all many foods are naturally sweet and don't need anything added.  But I do put natural fruit like banana or peaches in my shredded wheat, oatmeal, and hot cereals.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DAY 53 -- When offered sweets...

When I am offered sweets I am never quite sure how to respond (even after all these years).  Whenever I respond with, "No thanks, I can't eat sugar," then they ask if I am diabetic and I have to explain "no, I am a sugar addict" which leads to a huge discussion which I don't always have time to get into.  (If you want to know more about this, see the My Story page.)

But if I respond with, "No thanks, I don't eat sugar," then it sounds like I am uppety and better-than-thou.  

When I respond with a simple, "No, thank you."  Then the offerer usually tries to press, "Oh come on, take one...." or they berate themselves because they don't have that kind of "will power" and so forth.  

I always appreciate it when I go to a meeting or whatever and the treats are just out on a table for those who want them... rather than having someone serving and asking if I want any.

And I especially appreciate when people offer additional choices that are not full of refined sugar, like fresh fruit, or chips and salsa.

My husband, a diabetic, enjoys making people squirm.  When offered treats he responds with, "What are you trying to do, kill me?"  :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

DAY 52 -- Headache from Sugar Fumes?

Today I went to a nursing home to help a couple ladies.  While I was there, they played Bingo.  Normally, during their Bingo days, the staff makes bread in a bread machine (whole wheat as well as white) and serve it when they finish playing.  Today, however, the staff forgot to start the bread, so they baked cookies in some type of portable oven while everyone played Bingo.  It's been 9 1/2 years since I've eaten cookies or sweets, so the smell of the sugar cookies baking was nauseating to me, and by the time they were done, I had a headache.

I've occasionally had headaches from gas fumes...but I think this is the first time I've had a headache from sugar fumes!  :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

DAY 51 -- Making Too Much Food!

One would think that I should have learned to cut recipes in half when we became empty-nesters (several years ago), but I am just now learning this.  Why?  Because even though it was just the two of us, we were eating too much, so if a recipe said that it served 6, I would make it for an evening meal and have leftovers for lunch the next day, and then have a couple servings to freeze.  For that reason, I never reduced the amount I was used to cooking.  Now, however, because we are eating only when hungry and stopping when full, we have discovered we eat far less.  So a recipe that states that it makes 4 servings, really ends up being 8.  Our freezer is filling up with leftovers.

I need to remember to cut the recipes in half!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

DAY 50 -- Healthy Eating, Good for What Ails You!

A friend of mine recently learned she is pre-diabetic.  Her doctor put her on a strict diet, so she is hopeful that with diet and exercise she can avoid diabetes in her future.  Healthy eating and exercise can help prevent, usually reduce, and/or cure so many ailments.  She takes numerous medications for all kinds of health problems, most of which would not be necessary if she were eating healthy and exercising.  I bet she will see much more than her pre-diabetes disappear if she will eat and exercise for health.

Friday, February 18, 2011

DAY 49 -- Rewarding myself

Since I worked so hard getting clutter under control yesterday, I treated myself to an afternoon of reading a novel.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post (Reading Pig) I cannot put a novel down once I start.  Thankfully the book wasn't super thick, because I didn't get started reading until after lunch, but I finished in time to make supper.

Now I am paying the price with sore eyes--both from the reading and from crying.  Dang!  Why did I select a sad novel?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gotta share a recipe!

Oh my goodness, I just finished eating supper and it was so tasty I licked my plate clean!  I kid you not!  (I was eating alone--husband is working late--so I guess I didn't need "manners.")

I entered the recipe on my recipe page.

DAY 48 -- Losing Excess Clutter Weight

I feel soooooo good right now.  I spent the day de-cluttering and rearranging my office and it finally feels like a creative atmosphere in here.  While I was in school I did not have time to keep up with everything and my office became a "catch all" where I felt like I was going nuts every time I entered the room.

There is still plenty of sorting I need to do, but I boxed stuff up and moved it to a nearby closet so that creative energy can re-enter this room.  As I worked...lifting...carrying...going up and down stairs...I noticed that my pants are getting baggy.  That's a good feeling too.  Shedding physical pounds as well as shedding the excess clutter weight.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DAY 47 -- A squash is a squash?

Tonight for supper I prepared some kind of a squash, not sure what kind.  I know it was not an acorn squash and it was not butternut or spaghetti squash, but I guess it really didn't matter because it tasted like... squash.  :)  Which I happen to love, by the way!  It amazes me how delicious it is with just butter and salt and pepper.  Years ago I only ate squash if it had a ton of brown sugar on it.  Why did I feel squash needed sugar when it is already sweet?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

DAY 46 -- Exercise

Lest someone think that my weight loss comes from exercise, I want to point out that I have been fairly consistent with exercise over the years, so exercise is not something new that I started with my healthy eating challenge.  I usually get 3-5 days of formal exercise in during a week.  I strive for 5, but life happens.  I do informal exercise too--like going up and down our stairs, making extra trips on purpose to get more exercise that way, and I park way out in the parking lot when running errands.  I rarely take an elevator, even if I have to walk 4 or 5 flights of stairs.  But as I said, I have done this for quite some time.

I wear a heart monitor during my "formal" exercise (meaning: when I am dressed in exercise clothes working out to specific exercises).  When I post on my exercise page that I did High Intensity, for me that means I got my heart rate up and kept it up in the high end of my target zone.  High Intensity is different from High Impact.  I do a mixture of high impact and low impact -- depending on what the exercise is and how my joints are holding up!  :)
For my personality, I have found myself to be far more consistent with exercise when I exercise in the mornings at home using a large variety of exercise DVDs, which I have purchased over the years.  I don't have to get all dolled up to go out, I wear mis-matched fitness togs, and have bed head!

Several years ago I joined (on-line) "The President's Challenge" and have earned the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.  I am currently working towards the Platinum Award.  (I have 315,000+ points towards the 100,000 points required.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

DAY 45 -- More weight loss!

Happy Valentine's Day to me!  I weighed myself this morning and I've lost another 4.5 pounds since the last time I weighed (on January 31).  All together I have lost 15.5 pounds.  (See my page for "At the Start" where I keep track of weight loss.)   Once again, I point out that I have not counted one calorie, fat gram, carb or whatever.  This amazes me.  Eating healthy really does pay off!  I am so grateful for this.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

DAY 44 -- Feeling Cold

Lately it seems like I can't get warm!  The weather where I live is actually warm for this time of year, and yet I feel cold.  I walk around bundled up.  What's with that?  Is it the weight loss?  Would it make that much difference?

Today I wore  a dress that I haven't worn in a long time.  It felt great to wear it again.  :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

DAY 43 -- The "Run Around"

Having one car sure does stink at times.  I feel like I have to run all my errands in one day (when I have a car available) and it wears me out!

Lunch today was very colorful and nutritious... a tossed salad, and chicken pasta primavera.  So delicious.  I had to use regular pasta shells though...I thought I had some whole grain pasta shells, but I was wrong.   When I used to made this meal, I always served Pillsbury breadsticks (sprinkled with garlic) on the side.  Today I replaced the packaged breadsticks by taking a slice of heavy whole grain (multi grain) bread, buttered it, sprinkled it with garlic and sea salt, sliced it into strips, and broiled it until toasty brown.  It was a hit!  Mmm mmm mmm!

Friday, February 11, 2011

DAY 42 -- The Fat Standard

I recall when I first went off sugar (October 2001) and began to lose weight.  After a significant time and weight loss (eventually losing 80 pounds) I remember some of my friends making comments like, "I better be careful or you will end up skinnier than me!"  This comment, or similar comments, came about numerous times.  It was as though I was The Fat Standard and as long as I was fatter than all my friends, it was fine, but if I got smaller than any of them, then something was amiss!  They could no longer view themselves as skinny if The Fat Standard was smaller than them!  That must mean they were fat!

It really bothered me when they made such comments.  I'm not sure why it's been on my mind today;  perhaps because I am on the right track again and losing the weight I gained over the last couple years.  When I returned to school and began to eat on the run and not take the time to read labels, some of the weight crept back on.  It feels sooooo good to eat healthy again and see the pounds start to slip away.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

DAY 41 -- Reading Pig

I call myself a reading pig because when I read a novel, I cannot stop until I finish the book.  I cannot read in spurts--I've tried time and again.  I wish I could read in spurts.  I know people who do, and I envy their ability.  To me, however, it feels too much like pausing a movie multiple times.  Drives me crazy!  So... when I want to read a novel, I have to block out an entire day (if it's a thick book).  I don't dare start reading in the late afternoon or I will continue reading into the wee hours of the morning.

I'm a sugarholic in recovery.  I wonder if there is a recovery program for reading pigs.

DAY 40 -- Insight on my previous post.

First of all...drats!  I totally thought I had posted yesterday, but discovered I had not!

In my last post, I was wondering what I was trying to feed.  I felt down and wanted to eat, eat, eat.  That night I learned I was suffering from a major problem... and overdose of what I will call "Vitamin I."  What do I need?  What am I feeding?  Why do I feel emotionally hungry?  blah blah blah  All my thoughts focused around ME!

I was "me-deep" in conversation with the Lord.  "Help me feel better"  "What's wrong with me?"    All my prayers were about ME ME ME!!!  "Bless ME!"

Somehow the Lord got it through my thick noggin that if I would stop turning my thoughts and worries inward, and start looking outward (to focus on Him and what He wanted--which is to serve others) then I would feel better.  And of course, He was right!  :)

So Day 40 was a much better day since I spent most of the day helping someone else.  I even made a sign to hang in my kitchen.  "It's not about me!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DAY 39 -- What am I trying to feed?

Today is a struggle and I don't even know why.  I feel down.  I feel like I want to eat and eat and eat.  Thankfully I have healthy foods to eat, but still... I am trying to eat only when hungry and this is not stomach hunger I am feeling, it is emotional hunger or head hunger.  I don't know what I am trying to feed.  I've tried praying.  I've tried listening to uplifting music.  I've tried resting.  I don't know what's going on.  Hormones?  Denial of feelings?  Mourning?  (A friend from high school died recently.)  Unmet expectations?  What???

I hope I can figure this out soon!  Anyone out there have suggestions?  Is there anyone out there?

Monday, February 7, 2011

DAY 38 -- Shopped til I dropped.

I took my husband to work today so I could have the car.  A long list of errands awaited me, which took me all day to accomplish.  Sheeeesh...having one car really stinks at times.  We need a second vehicle, but we don't want debt, so we are willing to tough it out until we save enough to buy a small pickup.

Went shopping at a market where they carry lots of organic foods (fresh foods as well as canned).  I get such a good feeling when I come home with healthy foods to stock my cupboards!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

DAY 37 -- Enjoying meals!

It amazes me how much we enjoy our meals.  Tonight we had roast beef, steamed sweet potatoes, and green beans cooked in olive oil with silvered almonds.  Mmm mmm mmm.

After eating, we like to sit and talk at the table.  My husband and I find that to be a favorite part of the day.

DAY 36 -- Cooking Shows

I forgot to write a post yesterday.  I started to earlier in the day, then decided to wait, then forgot.  *sigh*

We recorded some cooking shows to see if we would get good ideas, but as we watched some of them yesterday, we not only got ideas, we got hungry!  Not good!  So we decided to stop recording those shows.  :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

DAY 35 -- Mental Health Day

I decided to call today, "Mental Health Day."  It is now 4:34 PM, and I'm still in my jammies.  Don't get me wrong...I was not being a lazy bum!  Rather, I spent the day sorting, sifting, and organizing in my home-office.  I am faaaarrrr from being done with the organizing tasks in this room, but it feels so good to have some stuff done.  Cobwebs in my head seem to disappear with each item I filed, or deleted, or shredded, or placed in a cute storage box.

I feel refreshed.  Now I will reward myself with a nice hot bath in a jetted tub.  Aaaahhhh.  Then I'll fix a healthy supper for my hubby and after that I might decide to go buy some more office organizers!  (The organizer stuff is a combination Christmas gift and Valentine's gift from my man!  He knows the way to  my heart!!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

DAY 34 -- Grieving

Today I am grieving the loss of an old friend from high school.  I want to eat to feed my grief, but so far I have resisted.

I know it's a short post, but I don't feel up to writing anything more right now.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DAY 33 -- Being brave.

Well today I went skiing for the first time in my life...and I'm in my 50s.  I even used to work at a ski resort, yet never went skiing!  The jury is still out as to whether I will go again.  The boots I rented hurt my legs soooo bad!  Yikes!  I might give it another try and see if with some adjustments I can be more comfortable.

I'm grateful to still be in one piece, and grateful I am still on track.  I did it for one month, now I am starting my second month of eating healthy.  YAY!

DAY 32 -- I forgot!

I forgot to post on the blog yesterday.  Very busy day.