Thirty-One Gifts

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sugar and Chocolate = Mood Enhancement?

It's true.  Chocolate and sugar increase endorphins and give you a great feeling.  However, sugar gives you a bad crash, which eradicates its good qualities.  Besides, it's really poison, as I have written about before.  That didn't keep me from going to the peanut M&Ms today.  Again, I didn't buy them, but I'm having trouble saying no to things being brought into the house, particularly when I am in a sullen mood.  I want to reach for those things that make me feel better, and chocolate has always been a "go to" food for me.  I love it - all types and in many forms.  So, what do I do?

Well ... Katie is coming tomorrow to teach me how to make her great raw cookies, which we have to dehydrate, but are full of fruit and nuts.  What's that mean?  They will be good for me, give me natural sugar with a natural lift, as well as the protein in the nuts for clean energy.  I still have to eat them in moderation, but that's not the hard part.  I've battled and won the portion control.

I even have a surprise for Katie: she's bringing a recipe, but I looked up one with a cocoa base, fruit, and nuts - to suppress my chocolate cravings.  I hope she approves!  Tomorrow: recipes and pictures!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Importance of Medication

Ever gone without your medication?  I didn't have my blood pressure meds for the past week or so, and I never felt so bad.  Since I'm without insurance temporarily, I order them from a Canadian pharmacy, as they are significantly cheaper, and it took them longer to get here than expected.  One thing that saved me from feeling worse is the Chinese herbal medication that I take (under the care of a physician), and they are wonderful at keeping my core feeling calm.

However, when I received my meds yesterday in the mail, I immediately took them and felt better within an hour or so.  My heart calmed, my insides stopped feeling rushed, and my blood pressure normalized.  I also slept better.  I feel great today, even enough to exercise again (I suspended it when not on the medication for safety), and I will attack some yoga today.  I feel a huge need to stretch and sweat, and the meditation will do me a world of good.  I'll be on insurance in a week or so, and I won't have that problem again - and I'll make sure to always get them a couple of days early.  I can't wait to lose enough weight to go off of them - permanently!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bacon and Cheetos

I fell off the wagon at lunch today.  Had a bacon sandwich and Cheetos.  Bad.  Bad.  Bad.  Why did I buy it?  I didn't, but that's no excuse for eating it.  However, I'm no angel (quiet peanut gallery!), and I've been blue lately.  And tired.  I let all that get to me, and I just ate what I wanted.  It tasted good ... till the heartburn hit.  I'm not liking that, but my body seems to be telling me what I should and shouldn't eat lately.  I think I cleaned my body of a lot of yuck, so when I put it back in, it's rejecting it.  

Back on the wagon tonight, I'm about to pull a lovely roast chicken out of the oven, and I'll whip up some brown rice and green beans to go with it.  That should be loads better.  I didn't salt anything, as a matter of fact - it's what I'm trying to cut out completely now.  I watched "Julie and Julia" today, not for the first time mind you, and was inspired to cook - really cook.  I used spices on the chicken that are not going to raise my blood pressure, and I won't add anything else except some pepper.  I'm not going to beat myself up about the lunch today.  Just do much better tomorrow.  Gotta go get the chicken out!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Eating at a Friend's House

One of the hardest things to do when you leave the house is to eat properly, particularly when you are staying with someone, and have no control over the food they serve.  This happened to me week before last, and ended up giving me the worst case of indigestion by the end of the week.  I stayed the week, and I was able to catch good things in between main meals, like fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola bars; however, the rich clam chowder, ribs, mac and cheese, and more was an overload to my body and it could handle the rich foods.

It's because I've cleansed myself of a lot of junk when I add it up: no diet cokes, no processed sugar in my tea, more fruit, hummus, good-for-you cereal, and more.  The little changes are overcoming my bad habits.  I think from now on, I'll hit the grocery before staying with someone, or I'll take a care kit.  :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Water, Water, Everywhere!

It's been raining cats and dogs here in Florida lately, and I figured if the grass grew that high from the rain, then I should reap some benefits as well.  Besides, my doctors and trainers and books - oh my - have told me for years to drink the "blue gold," as it is now called.  I've started drinking one glass of water for every glass of tea, and it works for cleaning your water weight out, if nothing else.  However, water has many benefits as seen in the video on this page.  It cools me off faster than anything else, and though I'd rather drink tea all day, which I do a good job of, I'm beginning to crave the water.  Good thing, as it's very hot here.  Drink your water every day, as you'll begin to feel better: more clear-headed, thinner, and your fingers won't plump up in the heat so much!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fruit: Solving the Sugar Cravings

Fruit!  I'd forgotten how much I love it.  When I went thoughtfully shopping the other day, Publix (our local grocery), had fruit bowls on sale for buy one get one free.  After skimming the small bowls for up to $8.00 a piece, I went for the uncut versions.  I picked up a whole pineapple, which is easier to cut than you think, cherries, grapes, strawberries, apples, and mangoes.  I'm having a ball this week.

Here's how to cut a pineapple:

If I have a sweet craving, I just eat a small bowl of fruit afterwards, and I feel better.  The cherries take longer to eat, so I munch on them as a snack.  They are also a natural painkiller, so I don't have to take a pain reliever for my daily headaches if I eat them.  I've had headaches my whole life, so a pain free fruit is heaven sent.  My friend, katie makes the best no-bake cookies with fruit.  I think she and I will have to see each other very soon!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sugar is Poison

While watching 60 minutes tonight, I viewed a story about how sugar is a poison.  Yep.  Seems that some doctors got together to research it, and they placed people in MRI machines to see the effects of sugar on the brain right after they injested it.  The brains reacted the same as they would if they had injested cocaine or heroin.  Sugar increases the release of dopamine, and the result is heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and more.  Here's the video, and I urge you to watch it.

Boy, am I glad I quit putting all that straight sugar in my tea ...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Feeling Great - Burning Calories!

Did you know that cleaning burns calories?  Sure you do, but do you know how much?  I just cleaned an office for 90 minutes, and I burned 720 calories.  I made sure not to stop and kept my heart rate up.  Cleaning is not the most fun thing to do, but if it works, then I'll do it all the time.

Now I have to clean the house - so more calories will be burned.  Of course, tomorrow is a rest day for exercise, so I won't be doing anything but chilling out.  However, I'm getting used to the movement, and I'll want to do something, even if it's just a small walk.  I have more energy now.  Yeah, just after a week.  I feel like doing things during the day that I just looked at with disdain before.  Like - cleaning my house!  Till tomorrow ... weigh day!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Muscles are Screaming!

The workouts have made me sore in muscles I didn't know existed.  It's good, I know.  It's also the third day, when you are the most sore from working out.  If I can stick it out for 30 days, as my sister says, then it will be a habit, and I will crave it.  Since I'm using weights (2lbs.), and I lift them in every way there is - over my head, out front, to the side, and more, my arms and shoulders hurt the most.  The good thing?  I know it's working or I wouldn't feel it.  I'm working it, and hard at that.

On the food side, I am so into hummus.  I may have mentioned it, but it's my favorite lunch, dipping into different flavors with my whole wheat pita bread.  LOVE it.  It gives me energy and it's quick.  It's a perfect lunch for the office, because it's so portable.  Another thing I'm digging the most is dried fruit for desserts.  It's very sweet, so you don't need much.  Cherries and pineapple are my favorite.  Try them, you'd be surprised how many ways you can use them to cook with as well.  They are great on salads.  Well, on to tomorrow.  I'll be pushing through the pain! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jillian kicked my booty!

Jillian has kicked my booty.  I am exhausted.  She says if you stick with it, you'll crave it.  I hope so, as my body is screaming, "What are you doing to me?"  The soreness is not the worst I've ever had - but it is everywhere.  I mean everywhere.  The combinations that she puts you through works every muscle, particularly your core.  When she said she was working everything out, she meant everything.  I'm including the video that I'm working on, and it's only because I want to share the greatness of it and the pain.  Just push play and go.  If you don't have hand weights, use cans of food.  Here's to tomorrow - another day of changing my body...