Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DAY 151 -- Who am I?

Please bear with me as I am about to "expose my soft underbelly" so to speak.  Recently I was brought face to face with myself and saw something that I didn't realize was there.  This post might be lengthy as I sort this out, so hopefully you will read it all, otherwise you might be confused over changes in my blog over the next couple days.  I would greatly appreciate input or feedback on this post.

When I started this blog, I decided to use a pen name.  I did not do this out of secrecy... or so I thought... I did this out of wanting to protect myself on the Internet... or so I thought.  Hopefully people read the section on my blog homepage that tells that I was using a pen name.

Along with starting My Healthy Eating Challenge, I've been working on an "Addiction Recovery Program" to help myself deal with my addiction to food (my overeating).  This program is similar to the Alcoholics Anonymous twelve step program.  I have not attended any meetings, but I've been working on it on my own, using a workbook.

As I've worked the steps about honesty and truth, something kept nagging at me in the back of my mind... my use of a pen name for this blog.  At first I could not understand why the nagging thoughts.  It wasn't like I was being dishonest, after all, I had the information about my pen name posted for anyone to see!  Still, the thoughts continued to plague me, until I finally took it to God in prayer, hoping He could help me sort it out.

What was revealed to me really shook my world and I've been trying to figure out how to deal with it ever since the "truth" hit me between the eyes.

Get this... here I was telling myself, and my readers, that the reason I was using a pen name was for privacy issues on the Internet.  Well, when I brought up that so-called "fact" in prayer, God showed me a major inconsistency in my life.  I actually have another blog and I don't use a pen name for that one!  In fact, I have personal information on there... the area I live in, where I went to school, my name.   If Internet privacy was my issue, why was I not using a pen name for that blog!

Whoa.  That really shook me up.  How could I not even notice that I was using my actual name and information on one blog and a pen name on the other?  How could I not even notice that inconsistency in my thinking about Internet privacy?  I was stunned, it made no sense to me, and it took a lot of soul searching and prayer to sort it all out.

It boiled down to this: Shame, Fear, and Lack of Trust.

Shame.  I did not realize how much I feel ashamed of my over-eating.  I have conquered so much, for crying out loud!  I stopped eating sweets 9 1/2 years ago and have stayed strong in that aspect.  That's a MAJOR accomplishment.  I am a different person than I was all those years ago.  Almost night and day different.  Why then, do I feel so ashamed that I struggle with food addiction?

Fear.  I used a pen name not because I feared strangers learning about me, but because I feared people I actually know might come across my blog if they googled or searched my name.  There are some people in my life -- and get this -- they are people I rarely have contact with -- that are not very supportive of my endeavors.  I sometimes get the feeling they would love to see me fail, and perhaps even expect me to fail.  So I feared that if I wrote daily about my quest to eat healthy, and failed in my attempt, they would rejoice in my failings!  I feared others (not strangers) knowing if I failed!

Which brings me to Lack of Trust.  I did not feel I could trust those certain people with my daily blog posts.  I did not feel I could trust them not to hurt my feelings, or talk about me behind my back.  I did not trust them to encourage me.  I expected (in my own imagination) that they would wag their tongues and their fingers, "See...she's a failure."

My other blog (which will be revealed in a future post) contains thoughts and feelings and goals too.  My other blog chronicles my return to school, my chosen field, my university studies, my hopes and dreams, my career path... all of which could be ridiculed or mocked... all of which I could fail at on any given day.  So why did I not fear having others find that blog?  Why did I not fear what others might say about that?

As I pondered and prayed about my inconsistency between the two blogs, I received an answer.  Because with my other blog I feel confident and secure.  I don't care what others think.  I don't care if others mock or ridicule.  It's what I've chosen to do and what I love and I don't even care if I fail at it, because at least I tried!  With this blog, however, I do not feel confident.  My daily battle with food addiction is real, and painful, and I often fail.  I want to succeed.  I know with God's help I can succeed, but I don't know if I can carry through.

That's a big reason I started this blog.  I hoped by making myself accountable to others, I might actually succeed...I might actually carry through with my goal to make healthy eating choices daily.  And I want to continue this blog.  But I want to continue as myself.  I feel like that will be a big step in my twelve steps... revealing my first name (I've been using my middle name), and more about myself.  I want to post photos of myself.  I want you to see what I looked like before I started my sugarholic recovery.  I want you to see what I looked like after losing almost 90 pounds.  I want you to see what I looked like at the beginning of this challenge.  And I want you to see what I look like at the end of this year.

I feel like opening up and sharing more deeply will aid in my recovery from food addiction.  I am anxious, yet scared, to make this step.

I wanted to explain what was going on before I make the changes to my blog.  I wanted to get some feedback, is this the right thing to do?  Are you still with me?  Have you ever experienced a situation where you didn't realize you were not being honest with yourself?  

Monday, May 30, 2011

DAY 150 -- Pathetic attempt.

Our daughter and her husband invited us to their place for a Memorial Day barbecue.  I knew this could spell trouble for me.  First of all, she asked if I would bring the hot dogs and the buns.  They supplied the hamburgers and the condiments.  So I went to the store and bought really nice buns from the bakery department, and bought my favorite kind of hot dogs even though I kept telling myself I would NOT eat any hot dogs since I didn't want to eat the processed meat.

All throughout the day I kept reminding myself, "Okay... just eat a hamburger pattie with lettuce and tomato and skip the bun (refined flour).  Don't eat a hot dog at all."

BUT NOOOOOooooo.... WHAT DID I DO????  I had a hamburger WITH the bun -- it looked so delicious from the bakery...like homemade, they even needed sliced.  "What's one bun going to hurt?  It's Memorial Day," I told myself.  So I ate it with just a twinge of guilt.

In the meantime, the rest of the family is ranting about how wonderful the hot dog buns are.  SO WHAT DID I DO???  You guessed it... I ate an entire hot dog WITH the bun.  I could have just nibbled a little piece of bun to taste it, but nope... I ate the entire thing.

Let's sum this up.  I ate a hot dog made of processed meat.  I ate a hamburger bun and a hot dog bun, both made of refined flour.  And I ate too much ... a big hamburger, and an entire hot dog.  OINK.

Definitely did not follow My Healthy Eating Challenge today!  Sheesh!  This does not bode well for next week when we go on vacation with our family.

Okay, I'm done flogging myself.  Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

DAY 149 -- Husband's saggy slacks.

This morning as we prepared for church, my husband exclaimed, "Look at this!"  Then he showed me how baggy his suit pants are now.   In January those slacks were tight, then he lost enough weight for them to fit just right.  Now they are suddenly way too loose.  We were both stunned.  Those slacks used to be considered his "skinny" pants since he bought the suit during a time when he had lost weight, and even had the suit tailored to fit him properly.  They've been his measurement of "if I lose weight, I can fit into my suit better."  He's lost enough weight to shrink out of his skinny slacks.  It was an exciting moment.

Later, as he was walking in front of me across an asphalt parking lot, I noticed that his pant legs were draping around his shoes.  It looked like the scene from the movie BIG, when the boy (played by Tom Hanks) walks across the street as he returns home - his adult size suit hanging on him.  That's what it reminded me of as my husband walked away.  A tall (6' 3") boy in a draping suit.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

DAY 148 -- Upcoming H.S. Reunion

I keep thinking about my high school reunion rapidly approaching.  It's planned for July, and although I've known about it for about a month or maybe two, it seems like it's sneaking up on me. 

My Healthy Eating Challenge is about making healthy food choices and not focused on weight loss,  but the thought of a reunion fills me with the desire to lose lots of weight and tone up.  Yet, what do I do?  The opposite.  It seems like whenever I feel a time crunch or pressure to look my best, I start overeating.  I'm sure I need some analyzing over that, but in the meantime I just keep telling myself to get a grip, get back on track, and stop worrying about it!

Here's a cartoon I've kept for many years.  It makes me chuckle since it's quite appropriate for what I'm feeling today!

Friday, May 27, 2011

DAY 147 -- The taste of healthy foods.

I remember years when for me the thought of healthy food, or rather health food, conjured up an idea of bland flavor and cardboard.  This idea was fueled by Euell Gibbons advertising for Grape-Nuts cereal, "Ever eat a pine tree?  Some parts are edible."  Doesn't that just make a person want to run out and buy natural foods?  Comparing natural foods to eating pine trees or cattails did not convince me that eating healthy was a tasty way to go.

In the late 1980s early 1990s, with all the touting of getting more fiber, I went on an "all things bran" kick. I prepared bran muffins, purchased bran cereals, and tried to get my family enlisted in the fiber cause.  One morning my husband searched for some breakfast foods in the pantry.  He located a plastic storage container on the floor with what looked to him like one of the popular bran cereals.  After pouring milk over his bowl of "cereal" he took a big bite.  Added more sugar.  Tasted it.  Nope, still needed more sugar.  He admits thinking to himself, "I don't care if this stuff is good for me... it tastes like cra*."  

About that time the kids came along, saw the contents of his bowl, and asked, "Dad, why are you eating the cat food?"

Pretty sad when a person totally expects "health" food to taste bad.

But now, for me (and thankfully my husband too!), the thought of eating natural food takes on a completely different image.  I picture whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, and tasty meals prepared from scratch.  And although I do eat an occasional bowl of Grape-Nuts (since it doesn't have added sugar), I sweeten it by adding fruit, and have no desire to eat a pine tree.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

DAY 146 -- Quote to ponder.

"We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are." ~Adelle Davis

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DAY 145 -- Number One Flunky

We made a batch of healthy muffins tonight, with my husband serving as the "number one flunky."  I tell him whatever I need him to do and he does it.  For instance, "mash the bananas," "break up the walnuts," or "those ingredients can be put away."  We make a great team and it makes baking more enjoyable for me.  I don't mind baking or cooking as long as I don't have to do everything.  I like being the mixer-upper and let someone else do all the chopping and preparation stuff.  And my husband likes how we work together in the kitchen.  He even puts up with me talking to myself out loud.  "One teaspoon of baking powder.  One teaspoon of baking powder.  One teaspoon of baking powder."  I have to repeat stuff to myself because I get easily distracted when cooking.  My daughter learned that first hand when she was helping me in the kitchen when she was a little girl.  We made tuna casserole together, and put it in the oven.  As we cleaned up our mess, I realized I had forgotten to put the tuna in.  We had to pull it out, remove the special cheese and crumb topping I make, stir in the tuna, and patch the topping back together.  :)

But I digress...

I usually like to make several batches of a variety of muffins (which we freeze individually wrapped, ready for snacks) but tonight we only had time to make one batch.  We were completely out of muffins in the freezer so we needed to get some made.  Hopefully I will have time Saturday to make more.

We also made a batch of a rice medley (Organic Harvest Medley from Costco) which we also freeze in individual size servings.  We've done this for years and it really works for us, especially since brown rice and our favorite rice medley takes so long to cook.  We do up a huge batch and then after the rice cools, we scoop small portions in little zipper bags.  This is very handy for lunches or for quick meals.  (Hint:  I usually under cook the rice a bit since it absorbs more water while it cools in the pan.)

We used the last of the previous batch of rice when we had our supper tonight, so that too needed restocked in the freezer.  I still need to make regular brown rice to freeze too.  Again... maybe Saturday... if my number one flunky is available!

(see recipe page for Crunchy Banana Muffins)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DAY 144 -- A tie-in to yesterday's post.

Hope you don't mind another post regarding swimsuits.  I guess I have swimsuits on the brain because vacation time is fast approaching and I remembered the last time I went swimming (last summer) I realized my suit would need replacing this year since the elastic was starting to give out.  Even though I hadn't planned on making clothing purchases until after the end of my year long challenge, I might need to break down and get a new suit.  A very unpleasant task, trying on swimwear.  *shudder*

Some years ago I purchased a greeting card that cracked me up.  I bought it for myself, just to keep, because it makes me smile every time I see it.  

Here's the front:

This inside of the card reads:  "I think the ruffle really makes a difference, don't you?"

According to the on-line article I mentioned yesterday, the ruffle should be up around the neck.  That would make all the difference.  hahaha

Please don't think I am body bashing or being hateful towards my own body.  I just like to laugh at my imperfections.  Years ago we bought a house with a pool.  I was thrilled because I could finally swim in private.  The first time we used the pool, my husband and kids were already in the water when I came out in my swimsuit.  Our dog did not recognize me in all my bright white blob-ness and began to growl with his hackles up.  Seriously!  Each time I tried to get to the pool, he got between the family and me, teeth bared and growling.  It was soooo funny!  We still laugh about it.

I've come a long ways since then.  I weigh far less, and I can tolerate being seen in public in my swimsuit, which is a good thing since we now live in a condo and use the pool at the clubhouse.  But still... trying swimwear on is just a grind.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

DAY 143 -- The perfect swimsuit?

Last night my husband was pointing out my unusual callouses on the soles of my feet.  I told him I have those marks so that when I am sunbathing on a crowded beach he can recognize me by the bottoms of my feet since my body will just blend in with all the other bikini clad women.  

We both laughed over that.  First of all... I don't even own a bikini.  Second of all...let's just say I would not blend in at all.  I am super white skinned, even when I have a tan.  Third of all... let's not even get into body shape.

Speaking of body shapes, I just saw an article on realsimple.com about finding the perfect swimsuit for each body shape.  It cracked me up that for the category of full hips and thighs all the swimsuits had some flourish that was supposed to distract the viewer from noticing the saddle bags.  I'm sorry folks, but when my lily white drapery thighs (draping to my knees) are hanging out there, no bedazzled brooch, or fancy ruffle around the neck is going to pull a person's gaze away from my exploding biscuit dough legs.  

Not one of the swim suits on that site offered the nice cover up shorts that I need.  :-)


Sunday, May 22, 2011

DAY 142 -- Elk meat.

Today we tried a different meat ... elk.  One of my brothers goes hunting each year, and when we visited him last month he gave us a few steaks to try.  We cooked the elk tenderloin steaks today (we'll have the venison -- deer meat -- another time.)

I grew up on wild game, mainly deer, but it's been years since I've eaten any and I'm not sure if I ever had elk.  I probably did, but I just can't remember.  However, I've never cooked it before, that's for certain.

I followed my brother's instructions, and soaked the steaks in milk first to remove the "gamey" flavor.  Then I rubbed the steaks down with salt and pepper and fried them.  

The result: a pleasant taste... a little different, but pleasant.  I have to admit I was a bit worried, since I couldn't remember for sure if I'd eaten elk before.  I do remember eating caribou one time and I definitely did not like it.  So I'm glad the elk meat was a pleasant experience.  Whew.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

DAY 141 -- Need new clothes.

With warmer weather here, I've looked over my clothing choices and realized how limited my wardrobe is right now.  I mainly have winter clothing.
I would love to chuck some things and get some new items, but I told myself I would not do that until after I've fulfilled my year long healthy eating challenge.  

So I ordered a new pair of sandals ... after all ... my shoe size won't change, right?  :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

DAY 140 -- Trying to fix glitches.

Ever since blogger was "down" last week, I've had some glitches in my posts.  I tried to fix them tonight and caused myself more problems.  After spending too much time trying to fix my fixing, it's now super late and I'm going to toss in the towel and try again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

DAY 139 -- Substitutions for alcoholic beverages in recipes.

I tried one of the recipes I printed out last night, and it was quite tasty.  I posted the link on my Recipe Page.

The recipe calls for dry white wine.  Whenever a recipe requires an alcoholic beverage, I pull out my trusty substitution list.  I want to share this handy list, so here it is:

When a recipe calls for....    ---      use any one (or a combination) of the following.

  • Dry, Red Wine  ---   Water, Beef Broth, Boilion, Tomato Juice, Diluted Cider or Red Vinegar.
  • Dry, White Wine --- Water, Chicken Broth, Bouillon, Ginger Ale, White Grape Juice, Diluted Cider Vinegar.
  • Beer or Ale --- Chicken Broth, White Grape Juice, Ginger Ale.
  • Brandy --- Apple Cider, Peach or Apricot Syrup.
  • Rum --- Pineapple Juice or Syrup flavored with Almond Flavored Extract.
  • Sherry --- Orange or Pineapple Juice
  • Kirsch --- Syrup or Juice from Black Cherries, Raspberries, Boysenberries, Currants, or Grapes.
  • Cognac --- Juice from Peaches, Apricots, or Pears.
  • Cointreau --- Orange Juice or Frozen ORange Juice Concentrate.
  • Creme de Menthe --- Spearmint Extract or oil of Spearmint diluted with a little water or Grapefruit Juice.
  • Red Burgundy --- Grape Juice.
  • White Burgundy --- White Grape Juice.
  • Champagne --- Ginger Ale.
  • Claret --- Grape or Currant Juice or Syrup or Cherry Cider.
  • Flaming Desserts:  Use a sugar cube soaked in Lemon Extract then set atop the dessert and light it.
(I avoid refined sugars and syrups and sodas, but wanted to include them on the list so all of the choices are available to those who need them.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DAY 138 -- Sidetracked with recipes.

I sat down to write a post and found myself sidetracked with looking at recipes on the Real Simple website.  After oogling over a vast variety of recipes (hitting the arrow: next, next, next...), and printing out too many to try any time soon, I now find time has slipped away like an unattended child.

I like to print the recipes, especially since in the past I had a bad experience with finding a delicious recipe on-line but when I went to make it, the recipe was no longer available on that website!

Now I need to hit the sack...if I don't get sidetracked on the way.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DAY 137 -- Thought about Biggest Loser

This is the first time we've watched an entire season of Biggest Loser.  When the show first came out, I think I watched one or two episodes.  Wow... watching the transformation over the 20 weeks has been amazing.  I am very excited to see the finale next week and see the contestants that went home early on... see how they did on their own at home.

The contestants gain such confidence in themselves too.  Watching their inner journey was just as fascinating as watching their physical change.


Monday, May 16, 2011

DAY 136 -- Rough Day

It's the end of a rough day and I will welcome sleep.  I wonder why some people turn to food when upset or stressed out, but others don't.  I tell people, "If I was the type of person that lost my appetite when stressed out, I would look like Twiggy."

All in all, I did okay today, considering.  I didn't pig out, and still ate healthy foods, but I have to admit I really, really wanted to make a humongo bowl of popcorn and eat the entire thing myself.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

DAY 135 -- Article about sugar.

I recommend reading this...

"The Dark Side of Sweet"

Very informative...made me grateful I gave up sweets years ago, and grateful I started to avoid packaged foods for My Healthy Eating Challenge!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

DAY 134 -- Donating food.

We received a plastic bag at our place with instructions to fill the bag with canned goods or packaged foods for a charity.   The printed directions on the bag requested the bag be filled with high protein items if possible, like canned meats and peanut butter.

Back in January when we stopped eating most processed foods, we cleared out our cabinets and pantry of almost all items we didn't want to eat, and gave those items to our daughter and son-in-law, since he was still in school and they lived on a tight budget.  I felt some twinges of guilt then, but my daughter assured me that they would eat healthy as often as they could, and would supplement with the canned goods I gave them.

Even so, there were many items I did not give the kids because I felt it was just too unhealthy with nitrites and chemicals listed in the ingredients.  I just could not bring myself to give those items to them--as though I was giving poison to my family.  But I also could not bring myself to throw the food away!

Now, with the plastic bag delivered to our place, I took the opportunity to fill it with those items we don't want to eat and don't want to give to our family.  I feel confident the items will be appreciated since they were almost all high protein foods, but I still feel guilty.  I can't bring myself to pass "poison" on to my kids, but I can give "poison" to strangers in need.


Friday, May 13, 2011

DAY 133 -- Comic

After my previous post, I searched for a comic I cut out of the newspaper years ago regarding phen phen.  The comic showed drug store employees clearing the shelves of phen phen prescriptions and replacing the bottles with tennis shoes.

I clipped the comic and saved it because it was a humorous reminder to me that no quick fix can take the place of healthy eating and exercise.  However, I searched my files and cannot find the cartoon.

I did come across another cute comic though, and decided to share it instead.  This is how I used to feel about giving up sugar...and how many people feel about it now.  :)

DAY 132 -- Extremes?

I learned a young friend of mine decided to go on the HCG diet to "get a jump start" in losing weight.  I feel sad for her decision.  It seems so extreme to me.  Once again I shake my head in wonderment over why she can choose to go to such an unhealthy extreme such as the HCG diet (eating 500 calories a day and receiving injections) because she considers eating healthy (avoiding processed foods and eating more veggies, fruit, and whole grains) to be too extreme.  I don't understand.

I told her that my husband (a healthcare provider) says that the HCG diet is unhealthy and dangerous, but she says her doctor told her it is safe (and sadly, many do).  Is this the same doctor that will bill her for the injections and profit from her treatments?  Probably.  And remember all the doctors that prescribed phen phen, and considered it safe?

Don't get me wrong, I can relate to how she feels.  I used to feel that desperate years ago, in fact, I was one of those that lined up for phen phen.  Thankfully, I did not follow through with the prescription.  I can't recall why I stopped, but I'm so grateful l I did!

I feel sad for her because of her desperation and inability to see beyond the "magic" fix, but when I was her age I was caught up in the same helpless philosophy--that I could not do it on my own, and certainly could not give up sugar!  Or so I thought.  How I wish with all my heart that I could go back to my younger self and teach myself to eat healthy.  I think of the years wasted before I finally woke up.

Maybe that's why her decision saddens me...because I can't go back to my younger self, and I can't even convince my younger friend that there is a better path.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

DAY 131 -- Herb Plants

I bought two small herb plants today (oregano, and sage).  It cost less than buying the twigs in the produce section, so I figured I would give it a try.  If it goes well, I will buy some more herb plants later.

When I made the lemon pork with cumin recently, it called for fresh sage and I thought I had some on hand, but I didn't.  So, I started thinking...maybe if I grow my own little plant, then I will have it when I need it.  

Sounds reasonable in theory, but I don't have a green thumb.  Most plants consider themselves sentenced to death row if they come to my house.  I have improved over the last few years though...a couple plants have actually survived my care.

So it is with great hope that I will tend to my fresh little herb plants.  Wish them luck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DAY 130 -- Garlic

When I think of garlic, I often think of a line from the movie "Crocodile Dundee II" where Walt watches an Aborigine named Diamond eating a bat he had roasted over the fire.  Walt asks him, "Are you really enjoying that?"  and Diamond responds, "Nah - needs garlic."

I love garlic.  If a recipe calls for garlic, I usually add an extra amount.  Yet, until recently, I rarely used fresh garlic; I used minced garlic that comes in a jar.  I guess I figured since it was found in the produce section, it counted as fresh.

Now, since I try to use fresh ingredients when cooking, I started using real fresh garlic.  Wow...more flavor!

I think the main reason I avoided using fresh garlic in the past was because the first time (and probably the only time) I used fresh garlic I had two problems... First of all, I didn't know how to get into the garlic sections and spent a large amount of time peeling and peeling and peeling each little section. Frustrating.  Second of all -- and this is a major problem -- I didn't know that each "section" was actually considered a "clove"... I thought the entire bulb was a clove.  So the recipe, calling for one clove, received the entire bulb.

Ok.  I love garlic.  But not that much!!  And so began the tradition of using jarred garlic, up until recently when my daughter showed me how to peel the cloves quick and easy.

It's amazing how I avoided using fresh garlic all these years because I thought it was hard to prepare.  Kind of like when I never made homemade mashed potatoes until starting this challenge.  (See Mashed Potatoes)

Now I have to be careful when I add extra garlic to a recipe because of the stronger flavor of the fresh kind.  I don't want to my husband to respond, when asked if he's enjoying his meal, "Nah - needs less garlic!"

Monday, May 9, 2011

DAY 129 -- Are calories created equal?

Last Friday when we were at our favorite market looking at olive oils, my sister-in-law was stunned to see the amount of calories listed: 120 calories for 1 tablespoon.  She gasped, "Won't this make me fat?"

We tried to explain the "healthy oil" benefit, but she was still flabbergasted and asked again, "Won't this make me gain weight?"

I told her that I use olive oil every day, usually multiple times a day.  I cook with it and use it on my salads. Yet, I have lost weight even though I don't count calories.  

I used to think that a calorie was a calorie... that it didn't matter what a person ate, as long as he or she stayed within caloric range.  For instance, if a person wanted to consume 1200 calories in a day, it didn't matter if those calories came from veggies and fruit, or if those calories came from cookies and cake, all that mattered was that the calories only added up to 1200, or whatever calorie goal a person selected.

My Healthy Eating Challenge seems to defy my view of calories.  Since starting this personal challenge, it seems that calories are not created equal.  My view now is that calories consumed from processed packaged foods can add to weight gain, whereas calories consumed from fresh, wholesome, healthy foods can help promote weight loss.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

DAY 128 -- Mother's Day

Highlights of my day:

My husband brought me breakfast in bed... a tomato and cheese omelet, whole grain toast, and some orange flesh melon (like a honeydew, but orange).  

At church, I received a pretty pink flower to pin on my dress.

This afternoon my husband gave me two new blouses and some pajamas.

I had a nice long nap.

My son called me to wish me a Happy Mother's Day.

This evening we went to our daughter's place where her husband fixed us a delicious meal of grilled chicken served with coconut rice (cooked with coconut milk).

My daughter gave me a "gorillapod" style tripod for my camera.

I played with the grandchildren and received snuggles from them.

Now the day draws to a close.  I feel happy and content.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

DAY 127 -- Husband's hamburger hankering.

My husband told me he was hankering for a hamburger.  We have not had a hamburger since December because we just never felt like having one--until now.  He searched the Internet and located a local gourmet burger place that guaranteed their beef has no antibiotics or growth hormones, and they grind their own beef purchased from local farms.  We went there for lunch.  

It's nice to know that when we do have the rare hankering for a burger, there is a place that at least seems to offer a better choice than processed frozen supposed beef patties.

Friday, May 6, 2011

DAY 126 -- A day of pomp and ceremony.

What a fantastic day... I "walked the stage!"  I returned to school (as a "non-traditional" student) in the fall of 2007, and graduated in December of 2010 with a BA.  Attending the commencement, and convocation today, made my graduation feel official.

The weather was perfect, especially since we had to stand out in a parking lot this morning as we waited to enter for the commencement ceremony.

After the commencement, I went to lunch with my husband, niece, and sister-in-law.  We ate at a little deli, and then snooped around the adjoining market where they sell high quality olive oils, vinegars, and cheese.    My niece and sister-in-law had never been there before and loved it.  They bought some healthy olive oil to use.

Then we returned to the campus for my convocation, where I walked the stage.  Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren joined us there.

What a day of celebration.  I graduated with high honors, and at my age it feels good to reach such a goal.  I remember at the end of my first semester, I was surprised to see I earned a 4.0.  I thought it would be fun to see how many semesters in a row I could carry that GPA.  So each semester I worked hard, and did extra credit work whenever allowed.  I carried that GPA through to the end, and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

So today, I've had fun, I've celebrated my accomplishments, and basked in the ceremonies.  Tomorrow... it's back to regular life again.  :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

DAY 125 -- Humorous quote.

Lately I posted several meat recipes (roast beef, meatloaf, lemon pork)...  today I decided to post a fun quote about red meat....

"Red meat is not bad for you.  Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!"  ~Tommy Smothers

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

DAY 124 -- Lemon pork, and green cantaloupe?

Our meal last night was tasty; however, it turned out to taste very similar to another recipe I have used in the past, so for that reason, we felt a little let down.  Don't get me wrong...it tasted great, but we had our mouths watering for a new flavor.

Here's the link, it really is delicious:   Lemon Pork with Cumin

(The recipe calls for dry white wine, but I substituted it with chicken bouillon.)

Well, if I wanted a different flavor, I certainly got it today.  I was hankering for cantaloupe since we purchased two of the melons from a local market, so I checked to see which one was the most ripe (squeezing the navel and taking a sniff).  Then, I whacked into it with a knife and was shocked to see that the flesh of the melon was green...like a honeydew!  That's when I looked at the sticker on the "cantaloupe" and saw that it was a galia melon.  I quickly looked at the second melon in the fridge, and sure enough...it's a galia too.  

Yesterday I wanted a new flavor and got same-o, same-o.  Today I wanted a typical flavor and got something new.  Life is like that at times.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

DAY 123 -- Aroma torture! :)

I am trying a new recipe in my slow-cooker and I gotta tell you...I'm being tortured!  It smells so wonderful.  

I had a fresh pork leg roast I purchased from the local farm and wasn't sure how to prepare it, so I looked up some recipes on-line.  Several recipes sounded tasty but I lacked the ingredients, so I might try them another time.  The recipe I selected was called, "Lemon Pork with Cumin."

I will let you know later if it tastes as good as it smells -- and I will post a link to the recipe if it is a "keeper."  

(I think I should prepare slow-cooker meals on days that I am not home!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

DAY 122 -- Pleased with weigh-in.

This morning I stood on the scales and saw that I had lost two pounds during the month of April.  That surprised me since it was a difficult month with two funerals, and a long road trip, which wreaked havoc with my routines.  Plus, I struggled during the month with overeating...using food for comfort...eating when I wasn't hungry and not stopping when I felt full.

Two pounds lost in a month may not seem like much to "die-hard dieters," but I am pleased.  Very pleased.  I totally expected no weight loss for the month and possibly a weight gain.  In spite of the stress and spurts of overeating, I still lost weight, and I realize all over again...eating healthy and avoiding processed foods really works for me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

DAY 121 -- I love meatloaf.

I love meatloaf.  I can't remember a time, even as a child, that I did not like meatloaf.  

When I was very early pregnant with our first child, we took a vacation to Hawaii (knowing that once children arrived, we might never get there!), and while I was there I felt nauseated most of the time (the only time in either of my pregnancies where I felt sick) the heat and humidity added to my misery, not to mention the unfamiliar foods.  We went to a luau and I felt bad that I could not enjoy the food since I felt like I was going to loose my meal at any moment.  

What does that have to do with meatloaf?  Well, there was one day that the only thing that sounded good to me was a meatloaf sandwich.  We still chuckle about how we were in such a wonderful exotic place surrounded by luscious foods, but we wandered around Honolulu until we found a cafe that served a meatloaf sandwich.  (It was delicious by-the-way!)

My kids used to enjoy meatloaf also...until the saw the movie "A Christmas Story" where the youngest boy sits at the table whining about eating his meatloaf.  After that, my kids would not touch meatloaf.  (I think, however, that they finally outgrew that tendency.)

I make several versions of meatloaf, depending on what mood I am in, but my very favorite recipe for the dish is "Spanish Meatloaf" which contains green olives.  Oh my.  So yummy.  I prepared that for supper tonight and both my husband and I muttered "Mmm mmm mmm" in unison at our first bite.  Then burst out laughing.

Here's the recipe for Spanish Meatloaf.