Thirty-One Gifts

Hi! I'm now a consultant for Thirty-One Gifts! I use it to supplement my writing income.

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Holidays and Food

This year, Easter will be light.  My hubby and I are both feeling under-the-weather, so we aren't even cooking a dinner.  That's the easy way out of eating too much on a holiday.  We aren't going anywhere either, because we don't want to get anyone else sick - particularly kids.  For the rest, my advice is to do as well as you can today and start over tomorrow.  That's as best as you can do!

Coloring eggs video and the perfect ham.  (Just go easy on them)

Friday, March 29, 2013

My New Passion

Berries.  I love them in anything: yogurt, by themselves, in cereal, and dropped in salads.  They're not just for pies and shortcakes.  Their benefits are amazing, as they are high in antioxidants, so they are good for your heat, aren't loaded with a ton of even natural sugar, and they are very low in calories.  A bowlful of berries, without anything on them, will hold you back about 50 calories and up - depending on the berry.  You can eat a lot of them, and they are good fillers, and feel full longer than if you just ate chips.  Here's the link to the "7 Berries You Should Eat Everyday."  Have fun being creative with berries!  Let me know your favorite low calorie way to eat them...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hubby's Big Surprise!

A basketball!  I love it.  It's so romantic.  I know, you're thinking, she's crazy, bring on the jewelry!  The thing is, he's supporting my weight loss by thinking of an activity that we can do together and inexpensively.  Something fun.  I love to play basketball.  Even if I miss, I don't care. :)

So, we went a few miles to the local school, and went on to their small, but sufficient court.  There were people around on the swings and walking the track, and I would normally be very embarrassed in front of them, but I didn't care this time.  I was with my man, and we were playing a good old round of horse.  He beat me by two letters, and was surprised that I could play.

We not only got to exercise together today, but we played, laughed, and had FUN.  It was really nice.

I can't wait to do it tomorrow.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Loving Aldi's!

Aldi's is good for someone on a "diet," "watching their weight," or simply eating cleaner food.  First of all, you have to take your own bags and bag it, so psychologically, you buy less.  You also buy less because there are fewer choices.  Now, I can always get what I need there, between that and the butcher shop.  Yes, a real butcher shop, which is not common in America anymore.

The thing is, Aldi's produce is fresh and cheap, the meat is fresh and plentiful, without offering too many choices, and their prices on everything from Greek Yogurt to cereal is cheaper than Publix.  Maybe they aren't cheaper than Walmart, but that place is a nightmare, from the parking lot, in the store, and then back out.  Ours is very busy.  Aldi's is conveniently around the corner, and even the checkout is quicker than a regular store - even if they're busy.

Today was a great day, with purchases of fresh blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, Light and Fit cereal (delicious!), fresh asparagus and squash.  Some chicken and fish, with some staples, and we were off!  It really doesn't take many things for a healthy dinner, and I'll be giving some ideas with pics very soon.  Tomorrow is yoga!  Pics to follow tomorrow~

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fat: Living on the Edge of Mortality

My stepmother recently gave me a ton of advice, which I don't mind at all, but it left me thinking all day: I am on the edge of a precipice, looking down at death in the pit of fat, and on the other end, behind me, are all the things I could be doing: yoga, my bucket list of travel and daredevil fun, walking, playing with kids, going to a water park (which I haven't done in years and years) and more.  You see, intellectually, I know how to get the weight off.  Millions of Americans know how to get it off.  Yet, we don't take it off.

That's what my well-intentioned mother was telling me.  Get over myself and do it already.  Blogging about it is great, the changes I've made are good, but for goodness sakes, get out of your chair and move!  I hear it.  I know it.  It is overwhelming.  She said take it ten pounds at a time.  Seems impossible - 170-200 pounds to lose.

I'm working on a secret project, which I hope comes to fruition in my physical world, but until I know for sure, I've got to move.  I have to make it encompass my day.  I literally have to eat, exercise, and breathe twenty-four hours a day, and that's that.  I've got to watch my intake and every way that I cook things.

I need to change my life - hardcore.  It's time.

Join me as I begin the long journey back to health.  I'm going to turn around and run back to life.  I'm not ready to dive into oblivion, not just yet.

If you've got any tips, let me know. :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Food Ads: Killing the Urge

You know, about dinnertime every night, the suggestive commercials on television turn to food.  A LOT of food:  pizza, fried chicken, burgers, pasta, and more.  Everything you could want is on the TV at that time of night.  Of course, all of it is to get you to get off the couch, lol, and go eat their fattening food instead of your own, or a competitor's menu.  Being a food addict, I am very swayed by advertising.

My body goes into a state of wanting: saliva starts, my belly growls, and I just know I'm hungry.  I probably shouldn't watch TV during that time of day.  Hubby and I are considering working out then, after work, and that would solve that.  You wouldn't think it wouldn't be that hard to lose weight, but it is.  People even struggle with a few pounds, and that blows my mind, because I have so much to lose.  But for them, it is just as hard as it is for me.  No one person is happy with everything they have, but as a friend of mine tells me all the time, "You have to dress and be happy with the package you've been given, and then the weight will fall."  So, I bought a new shirt.  :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day in America

What do we, as Americans, do for every holiday?  That's right, we stuff our faces, and St. Patrick's Day is no different - if you love corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and soda bread.  At least, those are the traditional dishes in my family.  Except St. Patrick's Day, this holiday of cheer, includes alcohol.  Now, I stopped drinking years ago, except for an occasional now and then, but today we will be going to a pub with some friends, and having dinner when we come back, too.

Now, pub atmospheres have a hold on me: the rich wood, eclectic fixtures, and furnishings that make you feel like you're in a living room, not a bar.  I got the bug for them in England, with my friends of today, and we used to go on "pub crawls" in the early days, but those days are over.  I've got to watch my portions and drink a lot of water.  We also plan a walk on the beach, because it will be just across the street!

I have my green to wear, I've got my hubby, and we plan to have a great holiday - you have one, too!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Food and Mood

Sugar can cause a high and a crash of mood.  So can caffeine, alcohol, and carbs.  You know this.  I know this.  Yet, we continue to eat man-made, fructose-laden food (just another name for sugar); heck, sugar was in the bread I used to eat!  The new wave of eating "clean," is a good chance for you to see how you feel when you eat better than when you eat junk.

I did a cleanse a few months back, and I plan on doing another.  My food lately had been mixed: some is clean and some not so good.  The thing is, I feel loads better without salt and sugar, but I truly do feel addicted to the sugar.  If there is any in the house, I'll eat it - eventually.  Probably sooner rather than later.  Very soon, after some footage is shot for a a thing I'm doing in the kitchen, I'm going to clean everything out and put in clean food.  Staples, food, produce, and particularly spices will be changed and added.

Sugar sends me in the atmosphere and the crash is worthy of a nap.  When I eat fruits and veggies, I am energized.  It seems like simple science, and it is, but we, I, make it so difficult.

Solution?  Just get off my butt!

I'm going to follow the Biggest Loser and Jillian's food plans, mixing them up for dinner variety.  We'll see how it goes.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hubby Caves

My husband told me yesterday to not put sugar in his tea anymore!  Yay!  This is a good, big change for us, as I'm tempted - and drink the sugared tea, but it's simply poison.  He's consented to a new way of eating, as I think he sees that we are still eating well, despite eating fresh and clean.  This is huge.  It's like smoking: when one quits and the other doesn't, it's harder for the one trying to stop.

The same goes for food.  It's an addiction.  Recent studies have shown that sugar is as addictive as crack.  That's stunning.  When your partner is eating sugary sweets or munching on chips, it's pretty hard to talk yourself into blueberries and yogurt.  Right?  It's so much better to do it together.  You can shop with each other, plan meals, and exercise.  Having a partner, spouse, or friend join you on your weight loss could just be the component you will need.  I know it's going to help me. :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Attitude

After spending a week or more feeling sorry for myself after gaining weight, I've emerged with renewed energy.  I can't wait to wake tomorrow, even though I am going to a funeral for most of the day, I want to get going on something.  I don't know why I'm afraid to let the weight go, but the answer of watching my food and exercising are too simple not to do.  See, these things are the self-talk I mentioned yesterday.  It's a constant running in my head of the diet devil on one side and the thin angel on the other.

One is saying, "Eat that, it's easy to take off," and the other one saying, "You're going to die, get over yourself already."

It's time to get real.

See ya tomorrow night.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Junk Between Your Ears

   Yes, your brain is there.  It tells you silly things all the time.  Like: "You're not good enough," "You'll never lose the weight," and "Yeah, right, just try to fail."  The stuff between your ears, and how long it lingers there, is sometimes the exact sabotage you don't need.  Weight and losing it, keeping it on, or even being the right (normal) weight is all between your ears.  Always.

   That's why self-talk, inspirational messages taped everywhere, and affirmations are important.  Even the best athletes utilize all of that and more to be successful.  When attempting anything hard, you have to talk yourself into it, right?  Well, losing weight has got to be one of the hardest things to do, and it is the hardest thing I've ever attempted.  It has been a life-long battle, and I'm so glad that my daughter hasn't had to struggle as hard to maintain her weight.  She's good with exercising to keep her weight off and eating rather healthy.

   That's the only two things you have to do, yet we make it so hard on ourselves.  Eat right and exercise. If you are struggling with your weight, remember that you took a long time to gain it, and it won't come off tomorrow.  Meditate.  I've got to do that everyday.  Make a dream board.  I hear they work.

   After yoga tomorrow, I'll make a dream board.  I'll set a new direction for myself.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Just One Thing ...

   I've been blue lately, having gained weight and all, and feeling like it's useless to continue, when my stepmother came up with: do one little thing.  That's all.  One thing in the day.  How could I fail at that?  I did, sorta.  She told me to walk to the mailbox.  I live on a plant, and there's men out there all day, so I didn't do that.  I could have after they left, but I didn't.  I could have done yoga, but I didn't.

   What I wanted to do, more than anything, is to go to Planet Fitness this morning when I woke up.  It's only $20 per month, and they even have coaches to help at that rate.  And right now, no start-up fee.  I get pumped watching the Biggest Loser contestants work out, and I know I need an environment of health, one where I can go every day.  Also, one where I can meet people like me.  The price can't be beat.

   If I go.  That's the thing about gyms ... which is why ole' hubby is not exactly a fan of them - or this idea.  We'll see.   

Thursday, March 7, 2013

On Giving Up

I gained a little weight.  It all seems like such an overwhelming task.  Lose 200 pounds.  Hmm...   I've had this blog now for over a year, and I gained weight during that time.  I'm learning a LOT about food, Superfoods, exercise, and recipes.  Maybe I should concentrate on that.  I've changed some major things: no more soda, far less fast food, no more frying, and adding different cereal, fruits, veggies, and fish.  They are good changes, but not enough.  I gave myself an intervention.

I don't know where to go from here.  My motivation is minimal, and my self-discipline sucks.  I'm so tired all the time and my head swims with the biggest numbers - the pounds.  The pounds.  The pounds.    I watch, "The Biggest Loser," and I think, they can do it, why can't I?  They have trainers and such, I know, but they do it.  As you know, I love Jillian - I respond to that toughness because I don't have the gut in me to do it.

I used to weigh 118 pounds.  I was 21, and I had just returned from the Air Force.  I could run miles.  I could complete a confidence course.

I was strong.

I miss that, and I crave that feeling of strength again.  I need it.  I want it.  I just need to figure out how to get from here to there before I drop dead.  Literally.  I can write about it all I want, but the pounds need to go.

What did you do to get the pounds off?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Insomnia and Weight Gain

Insomnia is not fun.  Far from it, the tossing and turning, and eventual lack of sleep can be maddening.  The next day, you can resemble the best zombie in the world.  I know I do.  I probably will be tomorrow.  I was active today, as well, so I should be sleeping.  Oh yeah, and the sleeping medicine I take.  Of course, I'm on the computer, and that will only keep me awake.  That's the bad thing for a self-professed night owl and writer: the night is quiet and the world is asleep, so it's the best time to write.  You can get more done in a few night hours than all day!  Exactly how much rolling around am I supposed to suffer without sleep before I have to do something?

The problem is, most people eat out of boredom in the middle of the night.  There's nothing better than a bowl of cereal or peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the wee morning hours.  I haven't eaten, but I want to.  That's why I started writing!  "Move a muscle, change a thought."  Or, in this case, not eat.  I'm not hungry, it will mess with my metabolism if I eat this late - or early, and there's nothing I want.  Seems easy not to eat if I don't really want to, but I do sometimes, and many people do every night.

Here's some solutions:

1.   Read.  This usually will put people to sleep.  And a real book or magazine, too-
      Avoiding the back lighting of your Kindle or computer.
2.   Watch T.V. on low with a really boring, quiet show on.  It will lull you to sleep.
3.   Play solitaire.  With cards.
4.   Write.
5.   Work.  There's no reason not to if you are buggy.
6.   Listen to soft music.
7.   Rock yourself in a rocker or swing.  It's calming.
8.   Meditate.
9.   Take a hot bath. (Yes, even in the middle of the night.)
10.  See your doctor if none of this or other things you've tried have worked.

I'm not going to eat, put on TCM, and try to meditate to the sound of voices that remind me of my grandparents.  That usually works.  Good luck!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A "Clean" Salad

Because I was at Aldi's today, I had to get some yummy tomatoes.  When I got home, I got creative with some "clean" food.  This is the recipe I made up:

1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, chunked
1 tsp. minced garlic
Mrs. Dash salt-free chipotle seasoning to taste

I threw all of that in a bowl, and wa-la!  A delicious combo, which, when together, are a "Power Food."  What's that mean?

When combined, these foods have all sorts of benefits, and they are delicious, naturally.  I'm looking forward to my "Superfood" adventures... 

Monday, March 4, 2013

I'm with Garfield on Mondays!

Wow.  Sometimes, Monday hits you like a truck.  Or, maybe I just worked out a lot yesterday, which I did.  I need to.  Why is it so hard to wake on Monday?  It's simply that you've been having fun and doing what you want over the weekend, and then, "Bam!" there's the day you have work and responsibilities.  It's like healthy eating and exercise.

We get lax at night sometimes, but definitely over the weekend, as it offers so much opportunity for breaking all those good habits from the week.  Planning is the key.  On Thursday night, chop up fresh veggies and fruit, and store them in bags and Tupperware.  Then, you'll have plenty of good choices over the weekend if the sweet tooth gets you or if you are just hungry.  For example, I had hummus this weekend, but I grabbed chips to eat with them.  Had I cut some carrots or celery, I would have had it with that, but it was the weekend.  I deserved it, right?

Not really.  I deserve to be healthy and to move with ease.

I think I'll be prepping my clean food on Thursday this week. :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Veggies and Fruit Made Easy

They don't have to be difficult.  They can be easily done in a steamer or simply sauteed in a tablespoon of Olive oil and your favorite seasonings.  My favorite combo at the moment?  Yellow squash, cut into strips or circles, portobello mushrooms, snap peas, and onions.  They are delicious and quick.  I should have put some tofu in and I would have had my protein!

Another great bowl of mine is a berry bowl.  Love them, and strawberries are in season now.  I like to put blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries together and just go for it.  No sugar, no whipped cream. You get used to not having the sugar.  It's delicious, and the antioxidants in the berries are priceless for your body.  You can also throw some yogurt on top.  Also, try a banana sandwich with a small amount of fat free mayonnaise on whole grain bread.  Easy Peasy.

Which, of course, brings us to price.  At Publix, our main grocery chain besides Walmart, the berries can be up to $5 dollars for a small pint or less.  At Aldi's, they are only around $1.39 a carton.  YUM!  However, if you have a Farmer's Market near you, the selection is better and you can find a wider variety of veggies as well.  Don't be afraid to go simple.  Just put them in a bowl and eat them for crying out loud.  This doesn't have to be complicated.