Weight Ticker

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weigh In and New Favs!

This is my new latest love...Laughing Cow! Tonight, I'm making Shrimp Alfredo with the Laughing Cow alfredo recipe and whole wheat pasta. This is the creamiest cheese and it's so versatile! I use it on eggs, on sandwiches, on crackers, on celery, and now on pasta. Yum! There are lots of recipes on their site that I can't wait to try. I'll post them as I make them and see which ones I like best! If you haven't tried their Chipotle flavor, hurry up and do so - yum!

On to my weigh in...173 lbs - and that's on a week's worth of steroids! I've had a lot of success during my 6 weeks on Weight Watchers. I'm averaging about 1.8 pounds per week, slightly more than my original goal, but I had weeks of no weight loss to make up for from this summer. It's great to fit in clothes I haven't worn in a year or so, and I'm looking forward to a big shopping trip when I reach my goal.

I got out and walked two miles yesterday and was thrilled to have no pain again, but today I'm limping due to pain in my left hip. Bummer. I didn't walk today, but I'll get out again once this is reasonable enough to walk with. I see the rheumatologist on Tuesday, so maybe she'll have some ideas to help me along.

Looking ahead, I'll be down and out with sinus surgery for a few days at the beginning of next month. On the bright side, I doubt I'll be overeating since it's really hard to swallow without being able to breathe through your nose. This is my fourth time. Let's just hope I make it out without double vision this time. I really like and trust my doctor and feel I'm in great hands!

My Christmas shopping is done, and I have Kindle books on my iPad ready to read, so let's bring on the cooler weather, please. This 95 degree stuff is for the birds! In fact, the hummingbirds are still flitting about like it's mid-summer. Geez. Migrate already! I'm ready for a fire in the fireplace and hot cocoa in my mug!

Happy Autumn!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another Sunday, Another Walk

Okay, so walking once a week isn't likely to get me into great physical shape, but it's a start. This past week was crazy, and I'm battling major fatigue in the late afternoons so I didn't go out. This week, however, I get another B12 injection and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll give me that extra energy boost I need to get out there more than once. Keep those fingers crossed for me, please!

I'm not on my official weigh in day, but the scale was looking pretty at 174 pounds today. That's 10 pounds in five weeks, 16 since I started the blog, and 20 since the beginninng of May. If I start walking, I hope I'll keep losing. I'm really committed to getting down to a healthy weight so my choloesterol and blood pressure will drop, drop, drop! I posted a new picture on the sidebar to show my progress. I can surely see a difference from the first picture to the most recent. :o)

The next two weeks will be a challenge meal wise. Randy leaves for his annual West Virginia hunting trip with the Horn Hunters and then leaves for New Orleans for business the day after he gets back. He'll be gone a full two weeks. That means I'll be coming home to an empty house at dinnertime and no one to cook for but me. I tend to want to go through a fast food place rather than take the time and make the mess to make a meal, even if it's small. To combat this, I froze several meals in small containers that I can quickly defrost and eat with the promise that if I do that, I'll treat myself to sushi nights at the end of both weeks. I'll post about my progress. It's realy going to require some serious self discipline.

On to food finds...Rebecca gave me an early Christmas present of two signed cookbooks from Holly Clegg. She cooks easy, flavorful, nutritious food. We picked the Blackberry Chicken to try and it was delicious! I looked for it online so I could post a picture of it, but I couldn't find it. I did however find this and it's very, very close. The only differences were two teaspoons of oil rather than two tablespoons, and add in 1/2 cup of seedless blackberry jam and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar rather than the cornstarch and lemon juice. Oh, and dust the chicken with salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of thyme. Check out the youtube link below to watch her make it her Easy Chicken.


You can also check out her cookbooks at her website or on facebook. http://www.hollyclegg.com/

This is one of the books she got me since I love seafood and Southern cooking. I can't wait to try some of out when Randy gets back from hunting! It even has venison recipes in it for this hunting wife!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Walked and Didn't Die!

Woot! Woot! I managed a two mile walk (slow and steady) and didn't die of pain, thirst, or fatigue before it was over! 50 degrees makes for a great walk, plus I walked with my mp3 player, and I walked at my own pace since Randy is a runner now. I feel empowered.

Let's add to that succes with the fact that I've dropped a pants and shirt size. I bought 3 new pair of pants today for the cooler weather and was thrilled to find that the larger size slid right off of me. Oh yeah! What wonderful motivation to continue Weight Watchers and, hopefully, walking.

In addition, I'm moving toward better preplanning for eating out. Last night, Randy and I went to dinner at Outback and then on to a movie. I looked up the WW Points Plus for the wood fired steaks and found that a 6oz. Outback Special was my best choice with a side salad w/o croutons with tangy tomato dressing. I had one slice of bread w/o butter to go with it. Oh, and we enjoyed their Ahi tuna appetizer, too. I ate 3 oz. of the steak, all of the salad, and about 1/3 of the tuna and was totally satisfied by both the food and my decision to not stuff myself. I can't eat as much as I used to, for one thing, but I'd planned ahead and had a goal. Awesome! Randy did the same and was so satisfied, he couldn't eat popcorn at the movie. We both had water and that was all.

I'm really looking forward to having my cholesterol (triglycerides) and blood pressure checked in two more months. I want to see those numbers go down!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Weigh In - September 29th

I was 178 at my morning weigh in today. So what did I do for dinner? Two sonic hotdogs (Chicago and Coney Island), tator tots, and half a pumpkin pie milkshake. You can only imagine how excited I am to find out how many Weight Watchers points I consumed today. Thank goodness these mad cravings only come once a month and will be out of here within the next few days. I think I'll avoid the scale tomorrow and wait until next week's weigh in to see what happened. How's that for avoidance?

So how were the hot dogs, you may ask? Well, I'll tell ya. I don't think I'll ever put a regular hot dog in my mouth again. The beef hot dog was far superior in taste. I can already see my ankles swelling, however, so I'm pretty sure it's going to be a very, very long time before I splurge on a high salt, nitrate laden dog again. In retrospect, it just wasn't worth it. The tator tots rocked! THAT I'll do again! lol. The pumpkin pie milkshake was good, but my soy version was lovely so there's no need to go out to get one.

As they say, tomorrow is another day. I'm packing low sodium soup or a tuna sandwich on light whole wheat, a banana, and an apple for lunch tomorrow and my cereal is ready to pour into my bowl, so I'll be back on track. If Randy is home, I'll pick up a sushi roll for dinner and call it a day. That's the thing to do, right? Make a plan and get back on track. I can do that.

The Chicago Dog
(The best of the two I had tonight)

The Coney Island Dog
(Just a regular ol' chili cheese dog)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Banana Cream Pie "Milk" Shake

Banana Cream Pie Milkshake 

This is my Banana Cream Pie "Milk" Shake. I was inspired by the Pumpkin Pie shake from We Are Not Martha and wondered if I could make a shake that was delicious and reasonably low in WW points+. So tonight I created a delicious, creamy, healthy shake that only clocked in at 4 WW points. Woo Hoo!

Place in your blender in the following order:

1 cup ice
1 cup light vanilla soy milk
2 bananas
2 graham crackers
1 to 2 packets Splenda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Blend until desired consistency. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy! (A nice dollop of lite cool whip and a little crumble of graham crackers on the top would fancy it up and give it more oomph!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake is Perfect for Fall!

Kelsey posted a pumpkin pie milkshake recipe from the blog We Are Not Martha on her WTF: What Tasty Food blog. Since I love pumpkin, it wasn't even 24 hours before I tried it. I'm going to post the recipe below, but I did make changes to fit it into my plan. I left off the caramel drizzle and I left out the graham crackers because I didn't want to splurge on things I don't care about anyway. I mean, I love caramels, but the point of this shake is the pumpkin, and I don't eat caramels on my pumpkin pie...I'm a purist. I used sugar free vanilla ice cream and vanilla soy milk. Delicious! (Have I mentioned how much I adore Kelsey? I just love that girl!)

Here is the We Are Not Martha link and recipe:  http://www.wearenotmartha.com/2011/09/pumpkin-pie-milkshake/


Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes
  • 10 caramels
  • 1 T water
  • 1 1/2 C vanilla ice cream
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 1/2 C pumpkin
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 4 graham crackers


1) Put caramels in a small saucepan with 1 T of water on medium-low heat. Keep stirring the caramels until they melt.
2) Put the ice cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3 of the graham crackers into a blender. Blend until smooth.
3) Put the fourth graham cracker in a ziplock bag and crush it into crumbs. Wet the rims of two glasses and place them in the graham cracker crumbs to coat.
4) Pour milkshake in glass and drizzle caramel sauce over the top.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall Delights!

Randy returned from a trip to New Orleans with some axis deer steaks. He marinated them in Allegro and then hit them with some Cabella's seasoning before grilling them. I steamed butternut squash and sliced them lengthwise, then I sprinkled on some maple cinnamon pecans (1/2 cup pecans, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp Smart Balance butter, and 1 tbsp pure maple syrup.) What an amazing fall dinner! We didn't even miss the brown rice that took so long to cook that we just stuck it in the fridge for dinner tomorrow night. There's nothing like the tastes of fall...cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, pears, nuts - yum!

I can't wait until the leaves fall and fireplaces start burning. Then we'll have the sights and sounds I've come to love so dearly these past three years we've been in Louisiana.

The next butternut squash recipe I'm going to try is from Martha Stewart's website. I posted the link above. I'm going to lighten it up by using a lesser amount of low fat ricotta, and I'll use either whole wheat or dreamfield pasta. Butternut ravioli is delicious, so I'm thinking this recipe is going to be great, too! I'll be sure to take a picture and let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weight Watchers Thursday Weigh In Day

I didn't think I'd see it again - 179! I started out at 194 at the beginning of May and I'm down 15 pounds. I'm so thrilled to be in the 170's! It's a shame I ever got this size in the first place, but I have to tell you that when you feel ucky so often and work a stressful job, it's rather hard to say no to comfort food at times. I used moving as an excuse to pig out, too. Finally, though, I feel in control of what's going on in my life and what's going into my mouth. Tonight I had a big pig out on Popchips - all natural pressure popped potato chips with no oils and all natural ingredients. I think it added up to a total of 9 WW points. I can live with that. Much better than a mac and cheese pig out or biscuits and gravy pig out! What a relief! Besides, my weekly "extra points" just renewed today and I still have 40 left for the week. lol. Some pig out, huh?

On the health front, I started my colcys yesterday and had no major adverse effects. The ulcers should subside and eventually stop. Not sure how long I'll be on it, but I'm thankful to have it. I go back to the rheumatologist in 4 weeks to see how things are going. Things are looking up. With the weather changing, I'm hoping to start walking again. I'm going to take it very slowly and see if I can avoid the pain I experienced last time. Randy is running now, so we'll head out at the same time, but I'll walk at my pace and he'll run on ahead and do his thing. This can work if we just keep going at it. I can't wait to have bloodwork done in two and a half more months to see if my triglycerides have lowered and my B12 and iron have raised. I'm going to borrow my friend's phrase of the day and say I have "high hopes."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blissful Saturday

This is going to be a blissful Saturday. The bathrooms are clean, the kitchen is clean, laundry is nearly finished, and I'm headed out for the rest of the days with sweet women I love dearly. Oh, how I need this after the chaotic summer and back-to-school madness I've been through. Finally, things are beginning to settle down and I can relax and simply enjoy life.

Stats day is going to be on Thursdays now due to my Weight Watchers schedule. I can't believe I'm seeing 180 on the scale. Back in early May, I weighed 194. When I started this blog, I was at 190. So 14 lbs in 4.5 months is what I've really achieved. Maybe 3/4 lb per week-ish? Of course, a lot of that came off just recently due to health issues, but this past two weeks it's been because of Weight Watchers. I'm really enjoying tracking points. It's so easy to look up an item. I even build recipes by putting in the ingredients/quantities and it gives me the point value of anything I cook at home. Since I'm going to Olive Garden today, I looked up some websites that give you point values for eating out and found that I can have
pasta fagioli for 2 points and half an order of ravioli portabello for 7 pts. The salad is 2 for one bowl and a breadstick is 2. So, for 12 points I can enjoy the foods I would have ordered anyway and thoroughly enjoy them!  The added benefit of Weight Watchers is that they give you a point allowance for the day, but you get extra points you can draw from throughout the week. Today, I'm sure I'll have to borrow some points but that's what they're there for. :o) Since I didn't eat breakfast until 8 and am having an early dinner at 5 (with a movie right in the middle at noon), I'm simply eating sugar free jello and diced pears for lunch and will have a green salad with balsamic vinegar (all for zero points) when I get home from the movie. How's that for advanced planning and being in control. What a great day! I feel like my health is surely going to change for the better. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

B12 is Good

I can't tell you how exhausted I was on Tuesday and Wednesday. Boneless is the best I can do. I was in bed by 9:30 both nights and still awoke exhausted. While I didn't exactly get a good night's sleep last night due to random late night/early morning phone calls from someone we didn't know, I do feel better since I got my shot yesterday. I was able to grade all of my math tests and get them recorded in both my hardcopy gradebook and my online gradebook. That's such a relief as it means I won't have any Sunday schoolwork to do. Whew! I feel like I'm finally catching up.

Curious about how I'm doing on Weight Watchers, I weigh myself daily. Today I weighed in at 180.7. I haven't seen 180 in over a year (maybe two) so I'm really excited. It's motivated me to avoid overeating and snacking when I'm not hungry. When I do grab a snack, it's in the correct amount and it's healthy! Go me!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Saturday is an all girls' day with a movie at noon with friends and dinner at Olive Garden with more friends. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Half isn't Half Bad

I guess half a pound a week for the past four months isn't all that bad. I'd hoped for one per week but half is better than none, and it's sure better than a gain! Randy has been a huge motivator. He's been running nightly and cut back on his dinners and he's lost many pounds. He's had to have a suit taken up and he just bought a new one. He's looking good and feeling better. I love having company on this journey!

Tomorrow I get my second B12 shot. I have to say, I am feeling a bit better (less foggy brained until later in the p.m.) that I was last week. The antibiotic I'm taking isn't killing me and neither is the iron supplement. Woo Hoo! Next week I see the rheumatologist. I'm keeping my fingers crossed he'll pinpoint my problems and help me get on the road to recovery!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I forgot to put in my stats when I blogged on Saturday. I now weigh 182, but it's mostly due to a tummy bug and the B12 problem. Now that I'm on Weight Watchers again, I expect to drop some weight through actual effort. I'm not currently exercising since I have yet another sinus infection and am on meds, but I will start rowing later this week after my next B12 shot on Wednesday. I'm determined I'm going to get exercise going in my life, but I think I'll start out at 15 minutes at a time.

I'm very thankful for supportive people in my life. My friends, family, and boss are all cheering me on and offering me valuable help. I love you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Anyone out there with fibromyalgia? I'm in quite a flare right now. My eyesight is wacking out over black and white so you can imagine the fun I'm having typing this, grading papers, and reading paperwork right about now. Argh. Here's wishing all my fibro friends an easy transition into fall. Blessings to you all.

I'm including the link to Weight Watchers online. It's been a big help to me and is a comfort in a way. I feel more in control when I can log in my food intake, exercise output, and see a graph that shows which direction I'm heading.  Hope it helps someone out there!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another Fresh Start

Oh my. I don't even know where to begin...

Obviously I haven't been posting since the end of July. I've had some health issue that took over my life and school started at the same time. That all adds up to OVERLOAD for me.

Here are the health issues. All summer, I had sores in my mouth, dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin, a superficial blood clot in my leg, and angioedema (swelling of the throat and face). Sinus surgery has been put off indefinitely. In trying to find solutions/causes they found I'm allergic to my old blood pressure meds. Tried a new one and had adverse reactions to that. Now on the 3rd one and so far so good. I've also had an upset stomach (IBS) all summer. Then when school started, I began having severe stomach issues with fever and also got an upper respitory infection. Dr. gave me Ceftin but I had a reaction to it. Dr. gave me Erythromycin but I had a reaction to that as well. Missed 3 days of school due to illness, then woke up Friday morning with a swollen throat and uvula and had to go get a steroid shot and take Benadryl  so there was another day off of work. Not a great start to the school year.  In the meantime, the dr. took blood and found that I have a B12 deficiency and anemia. I started B12 shots this week. I also started an iron supplement. To top that off, my cholestorol dropped below 200 for the first time in 10 years, but my triglycerides jumped to a whopping 742 which is extra high. So...now I'm on a low sugar, low fat, good carbs only diet.

So...since I can't just scale back and eat my old foods, I started researching diabetic diets and looking into how many carbs to eat per day, etc. It turns out that weight watchers online is very helpful so I re-upped my account and am on weight watchers again. I can keep track of my weight, measurements, and how many fruits/veggies/carbs/and dairy products I have in a day. It's simple and I like the graphs and message boards. They even have a board for women with fibromyalgia although I don't think I'll hang out there too often because I don't like to think about it on a daily basis. Do you know what I mean?

The next step is to go to a rheumatologist to see if they can figure out why I'm B12 deficient. The good news is that many off my symptoms will turn around once the shots take hold. The bad news is that I'm still icky while I'm waiting for that to happen. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep on going. WW is something I can "do" to help myself each day. Hopefully I can start walking again soon and that will help too.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stats Weekend - Saturday, July 30 & Sunday, July 31

I'm holding at 186. No loss, no gain. Just the same. Of course, I haven't been walking on a regular basis and I've been eating whatever I want. And I'm tired of it! Can you believe it? I don't want to eat just anything. I get heartburn. I get a rumbly tummy. Ugh. I'd rather eat smaller healthy meals than the "stuff your face" variety. That's a huge change for me!

It's nice to have company - literally and figuratively. My sister spent a week here and we are like two peas in a pod with our health and eating issues. Luckily, we're in it together and can encourage each other to stick to the healthier route. It's fun to share ideas, past failures, past successes, and goals for the future. I'm looking forward to keeping up with her and having her keep up with me!

Randy returned from his Walgreens Vegas trip, so we walked our two miles yesterday. Today I awoke with a cough that eventually strangled my vocal chords, so I took benadryl and went comatose on the couch and he went for a short run. I hope I'll be able to walk with him tomorrow.

Rebecca headed down to LSU today for a four day program and Kelsey is heading home on Thursday (Rebecca's return day) so we'll have both girls in the house for two weeks before Rebecca goes to LSU for the fall semester. Those will be glory days! Two of my three children under the same roof at the same time. And they both cook healthy things! That means I'll come home from work to healthy meals, and that's a good thing!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Excuses, Excuses but So Much Fun!

My sister, Pat, has been visiting for the past week and we've had a great time together. We've done a lot of fun things and eaten a lot of good food. I didn't even think about "watching" what I ate, unless watching the butter melt all over my freshly baked biscuit counts. lol!

view of Carriage House Restaurant from Stanton Hall antebellum home Natchez, MS is just two hours away and has a large number of antibellum homes to tour, so that was our girls getaway destination. We started out having Sunday brunch at The Carriage House at Stanton House. They have an amazing buffet with fried chicken, shrimp and grits, crawfish tartlets, cornbread, salads, crab and brie bisque, silver dollar biscuits, and blueberry creme brulee. Delicious. We rolled out of there and took our first house tour of Stanton. The house was amazingly grand with 15 ft (or so) ceilings and 12 inch thick walls inside and out. The furniture was opulent and the smell was delightfully musty! We headed over to Longwood next and took the tour there, walked the grounds just a bit, and wilted like true Southern belles. Since we didn't eat until 1 and begin tours until 2, we never did manage to make it to dinner. We were still quite satisfied when we settled down to sleep around eleven.

Monday served up a breakfast buffet at The Natchez Grand Hotel...biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage, jelly and coffee. I stuffed myself with four biscuits (with an array of gravy, butter, jelly) and some eggs so I'd have enough energy to take more house tours. We started with Dunleith, a bed and breakfast, and got a personal tour since we were the only ones there. Next we went to Rosalee, the headquarters of the Union army while they occupied Natchez. I needed a bit of refreshment after that so we went to The Natchez Coffee Company and had a raspberry iced tea and a scone. The atmosphere reminded me a lot of Pinky's in South Tampa but it had more baker items and a larger dining room. Next, we headed out to Melrose, our last stop. Once again, we got a lot of personal attention because we were the only ones who ventured out in the rain to take the tour. Afterwards, we decided we had room for lunch at The Pig Out Inn. It's been in Southern Living magazine twice for good reason. It's great pork barbeque at a very reasonable price. We both ate pulled pork sanwiches topped with cole slaw and had a mini pie for dessert. Stuffed to the gills, we rolled out of Natchez and headed back home to West Monroe, where once again, we were too stuffed to eat dinner.

Pulled Pork at The Pig Out Inn

Tuesday brought a day of clothes shopping around town with chicken salad at Daily Harvest and chicken and dumplings and cornbread at Cracker Barrel. Today, we're rather done with eating. We're stuffed and paying the price. Simple is the key, especially since my disposal is broken and we're awaiting a service call. Who wants to cook and clean with only half a sink and the uckiness of disposal woes. It's a no cooking day of sandwiches, bagels, bananas, and whatever else we can manage without having to wash more than we'd like. Thank goodness. I can't imagine putting anything heavy into my body just now. I'm going to have to go float in the pool to get some relief from the weight I'm sure I put on.

I'm not expecting a loss and will be surprised if I don't see a gain at my Saturday/Sunday weigh in. And that's okay. I keep reminding myself of my goal to change my lifestyle and lose weight slowly. I'm not looking for rapid, temporary loss, but long term overall better health and weight. So a week of indulgence isn't going to set me back a bit. It was a pleasure and I'm glad to move on and away from it back to normal routines and normal foods.

I'm hoping to go back to Natchez for the balloon festival or the Fall Pilgrimage and pig out again. There's more to see and more to eat. I can't wait!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls, Splenda, and Saturday Stats Day 7/22/11

Randy and I developed a love for Vietnamese noodle bowls (rice vermicelli) back when Don Phuang was open on Henderson. When they closed, we started shopping at Dobond Asian market on South Dale Marbry Hwy and learned to make them. They are cheap, easy, and versatile (use shrimp, chicken, or pork), but the best part is they are very low cal. Now that we're in West Monroe, LA we haven't had to give up a thing! We have an Asian market called Bao Bao that has everything we need for noodle bowls, spring rolls, sushi, Pho and more. Other than sodium issues in some of the sauces and soup bases, it's a very healthy cuisine and it's helping me lose weight. I thought I'd include the recipe in this post in case anyone is feeling like a light, fresh change of pace.

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (Serves 4)

Rice vermicelli (you can use rice sticks) - you want about 1/2 cup per bowl
1 cucumber cut into matchsticks
1 carrot shredded
1/2 cup of diakon radish (if you can find it)
1 to 2 cups of salad greens - any kind that you like
a few sprigs of Thai basil, mint, and cilantro
1 lb of boneless chicken breasts or thighs, pork loin, or shrimp
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
sweet rice wine vinegar, Siracha (Asian chili sauce), hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce for toppings

1. Boil water for noodles and put diakon radish matchsticks and diced carrots in rice wine vinegar to marinate.
2.  Prepared meat using your favorite method and brush on hoison sauce the last few minutes as you would BBQ sauce. I bake boneless chicken for 20 - 30 minutes, cook a small pork loin for approx. 30 minutes, or saute shrimp with a tsp or two of canola oil.
3. Boil vermicelli for 4 - 6 minutes, then rinse thoroughly - it's very starchy!
4. Place rice noodles in bowls. Top with salad greens, drained carrots and daikon, cukes, and herbs. Place 1/4 of the meat atop each bowl and sprinkle peanuts on top.
5. Garnish with sauces as you desire. Randy prefers heavy Siracha and hoison. I prefer hoison and sweet chili sauce. Some of our kids eat it with peanuts, others don't.  Pour approx. 1/4 cup of sweet rice wine vinegar over all to mix and mingle the flavors.

I'm no cookbook writer so you'll have to play with the measurements and ingredients. We can't get daikon up here all the time, so we skip it a lot. We couldn't find Thai basil in the store so we grow it now. You get the idea. Play and make it your own.

For a fun twist, take the same ingredients (on a much smaller scale) and wrap them up in spring roll wrappers. You just dip the wrappers into warm water to soften then wrap everything up like an eggroll. They aren't friend. You just each them as they are dipped in peanut sauce and Siracha. Delicious and very healthy!!


Stats for Today:

Still at 184. Must say, I haven't walked or gotten in the pool for a week, but I haven't been pigging out either. My sister is visiting and she brought her walking shoes, so we're going to walk together while she's here for the next week. I think that'll help budge the scale. We'll be walking all over Natchez on Sunday and Monday, too, so we'll get some exercise, but we'll also eat some local meals so I'm thinking I won't see weight loss. Ha!

I'm still thinking about that protein powder. I was going to do it to push me on, but my sister reminded me that once I go off the expensive powder, I'll go back to being hungrier at dinner again, so I'm better off doing it slowly and learning new habits. Good advice.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good Health News!

I almost forgot! The next blood pressure  meds are working great - 117/72! I haven't been that low in two years! Ahhh...

Sunday Stats Day on Wednesday - LOL! 7/19ish

After spending Friday morning in the ER getting my leg sonogramed, I was supposed to sit around with it propped up for the weekend. Of course, that didn't happen. We ran errands all day Saturday and then we drove over to dinner in Jackson with Mama Jeanie and her sister Billie Lynn. Two hours over and two hours back. At least I didn't go over my two hour travel limit without stretching my legs - ha!  Sunday, we swam and ran even more errands, I napped hard, and fixed a lengthy dinner. Why? No idea. I planned on sitting but other people's plans kept getting me up. So here I am on Wednesday with a sore leg that hurts to walk on. It's just a painful tug but it wears on me. Of course, the sit down/prop up thing is a thing of the past. I'm supposed to be walking around plenty to get my circulation going. Bummer. I really don't feel like doing anything but sitting here typing up recipes and creating my family recipe album. Not much movement in that. Things have seriously got to change! Thankfully, my sister is coming to visit from Friday until Wednesday (lol- two hours to the airport and two hours back twice in a week - but it's not over my two hour limit!!) and we'll do plenty of walking around. We're going to the vineyard to listen to the music and meander around, we're going to Antique Alley on Trenton Street, we're going to swim plenty, and we're going to Natchez to see the antibellum homes and shop. Plenty of walking and activity will come over the next week. Yea!

So on to the weigh in.  I'm 174 pounds. No change in inches for two or three weeks now. I'm happy with that 6 pounds I'm down (10 pounds sinced the beginning of May!!) but I would't mind stepping it up a bit. Why? Not sure. I really thought a pound a week would be fine, but I keep traveling and eating and traveling and eating and I feel like I'm going to lose ground once the holidays get here. So...I'm thinking of adding protein powder into my diet (Almased) to keep my appetite down. Almased is a soy, yogurt, and honey powder that you mix in the blender like a smoothie. It's filled with fiber and good things for you. The down side is that it has a gritty texture that you can't make go away. I put cocoa powder, ground flax seed (soooo good for my heart!), and splenda in it, but it's still hard to put down early in the morning. I could just do it at dinner to curb my evening appetite. In fact, I think that's exactly what I'll do. I won't be doing the 3 stage diet plan because I'm not looking for a bikini body.  I'll let you know if it works for me. I hope I'll have some lower cholesterol numbers from it, too!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another Minor Setback

Maybe I spoke too soon yesterday. My train is temporarily off the track again. I have a superficial blood clot (phlebitis) in my leg due to our travels to Pensacola Beach and back. I don't know what to say, but I know what to do. I'll prop my leg up for the weekend and baby it with warm compresses. I'll start slow walking on Monday per doctor's instructions. I'll take the anti-inflammatory for the next month. I'll keep looking forward.

After spending the morning in the emergency room (had to go to make sure it wasn't DVT) I was shaky with hunger. I called my daughter (the one that's going to major in dietetics) and asked if she'd go to lunch with me. We picked Roly Poly because it's one of the healthiest fast food options around. I got a 6 inch turkey applejack wrap with apple butter. It comes in at 340 calories and is delicious!   
Roly Poly

For dinner I wanted some more comfort, so I made baked potato soup. Determined to keep it low fat, I used chicken broth and fat free milk, light sour cream as a topper, and 2% sharp cheddar cheese. It was delicious. I also fried up some of Randy's homemade bacon made with a pork butt rather than a pork belly. It's lean and tasty! Just half a piece made a powerful impact. Randy didn't mind the lower fat version, so it's the recipe I'll use from now on. It'll really be great on a cold winter night.

Tomorrow night we're taking Randy's grandmother and his great aunt to dinner over in Jackson. I think we'll go to Outback. I already know I'll be ordering the salmon, broccoli, and rice. I can't wait!

With my blood pressure issues on my mind, I'm thinking of looking into the DASH diet again. I know I don't want to "diet", but DASH is tailored for peeps like me and has the perfect balance of nutrients and is always low sodium. I think what I'll do is find some recipes to slip into our repertoire rather than trying to follow a complete diet. Maybe they'll have a recipe that uses okra since we have so much okra in our garden right now!

The angioedema and phlebitis are unrelated flukes, I know, but they are both related to my overall health. I wouldn't have had the swelling if I weren't on the Lisinopril for my blood pressure. I probably wouldn't have had the blood clot if I weighed less than I do. All in all, it's just another reminder that I need to get down to a proper weight. Rather than being setbacks, they are motivators. I'm declaring myself a healthy person right now and I'm going to live my life that way from now on. I can't wait to see what health benefits I've gained by June 11th of 2012!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Getting Back on Track - Thursday 7/14/11

My train derailed this week and now I'm trying to get back on track. Between being out-of-town for nearly two weeks and being sick and/or having an allergic reaction to meds, I totally lost my way. Top that off with new meds that cause stomach upset and swelling and, well, it's tempting to throw up my hands and call the whole thing off. Tempting, but not likely. I mean, isn't this the very reason I want to lose weight and get in shape? High blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, and the list goes on. Aging is difficult enough without walking into it with such heavy baggage. It's cliche, but I really do want to play with my future grandkids and have the ability to travel the world or ride four wheelers into the sunset with my sweet husband. I have to get a hold of my health. If not now, when? So, setbacks will come but so will success if I keep getting back on track.

In spite of the wicked heat, Randy and I walked our two miles both Tuesday and tonight, but we're not rushing out to swim, play volleyball, or bocce. Swimming isn't fun right now with the water temp up to 94. It's more like a hot tub than a swimming pool, and bocce in the sun just isn't a bright idea. So walking it is until the temps turn kinder.

The next few weeks will be busy and fun with my sister and Kelsey coming up. We're also hoping to get my inlaws up here the week before I start back to school, but that's still in the works. We have a trip to NOLA lined up and a trip to Natchez, too, so there's a lot to look forward to and plan for. I'll be sure to plan on using wise eating strategies along the way. Maybe my meds will be worked out by then and the swelling issues will be a thing of the past. It would be nice to be carefree for a bit.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Oddities - Saturday 7/9/11

I'm back at the Courtyard in Baton Rouge where we were two weeks ago. We're doing back-to-school shopping at Perkins Row and Mall of America for Rebecca and Marisa. I love this hotel because it has a cafe with calories posted on the menu. They serve Starbucks products, parfaits, cereals, frest fruit, egg white sandwiches, and more so choosing to stay healthy is as easy as pie. I'll try to post a picture of their menu when I get home and get to my email.

So, I'm doing my stats day today since I can't do it tomorrow and I'm 184 pounds now. That's partially due to what I thought was a tummy virus, however, when you put it together with the length of time it lasted and the angioedema episodes I've been having more frequently (especially over the past two weeks) and you have an allergy connection. It turns out I'm allergic to my blood pressure medicine, which hasn't been as effective as it should have been anyway. I'm off the old meds and will get new meds on Monday. If this theory is correct, I can be bothered with more angioedema episodes for a few more months, but they should fade away and I can lead a normal life. I've been dealing with these issues since before we moved to Louisiana three years ago - same amount of time I've been on Lisinopril. Hmmm...could be. Keep your fingers crossed.  My sinus surgery, scheduled for next week, has been indefinitely postponed. He won't put me under until this is totally resolved and was miffed that none of my previous doctors ever put the pieces together before. If he's right, he's right... and I hope he's right.

With the pain and swelling over the past two weeks, I haven't exercised at all, so I'm looking forward to getting back into walking and swimming this coming week. I'm already feeling much, much better and have very little lingering pain, so I think a good walk on Monday night will be a go. We'll see how it goes.

So, food hasn't been an issue over the past two weeks. Bland, mild, small portions made another 3 pounds drop by the wayside. We are enjoying our food this weekend, however, in small portions. Yesterday, we had healthy subway for lunch, then had a delicious dinner at California Pizza Kitchen on Perkins Row. I had half a serving of their four cheese ravioli and half a serving of their bang bang shrimp. Both were good, but if we go back, I'm having a Crunchy Thai Salad. Marisa ordered it last night and it looked and smelled fantastic! I'll try and add some photos when I get home. The hotel computer won't let me use multi-tabs on the internet.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Stats Day 7/3/11

We're back from LSU's freshman orientation and Pensacola Beach and I just weighed in. I'm 187 lbs. (186.9 to be exact.)  Considering we ate at Acme Oyster House, Starbucks, The Courtyard's cafe, and the student union fast food court, I think that's great. I suppose it helped that I got a stomach bug on Tuesday and didn't eat anything for a day-and-a-half. I'm still eating gently. Still, to not gain weight while eating out was a challenge and I rose to it. I tried some of my strategies for eating out. For example, I ate 1/2 an asiago cheese bagel at starbucks with my skinny latte. At Acme, I ate 6 raw oysters, 3 crawpuppies, and a cup of gumbo. At Courtyard, their entire menu had calories beside each choice so choosing a turkey reuben (toasted, not grilled) was perfectly safe. I think I would have been fine even if I hadn't been sick. :o) It's turned into a game now, and I'm having fun!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Stats Day 6/26

I've lost 3 pounds from my original 190. I know it doesn't seem like much, but remember that my goal is to lose 50 by 50 which is still 54 weeks away. I'm going to make it. It doesn't take a ton of effort, I'm discovering, to lose a pound a week. The challenge is in not gaining it back the following week like I did in Florida. I ate everything I wanted. If I do that at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every Tampa or Baton Rouge trip I take then I could see cutting my weight loss in half. So I'm ready to implement new vacation/holiday strategies: 

1. Breakfast:  Protein!  We always stay where they serve breakfast, so getting boiled or scrambled eggs won't be a problem. If they make fresh omelets, all the better because I can get egg white omelets with spinach and tomoatoes. There's always fresh fruit, too. If we're at a place where I can cook, then I'm in charge and can control what I eat. If we eat at a Panera, I can get a breakfast sandwich on ciabatta and eat only half the bread or I can get an asiago cheese bagel with light cream cheese and eat only half the bagel. 

2. Lunch and dinner at restaurants: 
             Option 1:  Look at the menu, pick what I really, really want and eat half.
             Option 2:  Eat from the appetizer menu and have a house salad with dressing on the side                                   and/orlight dressing.
             Option 3:  Order steamed or broiled foods, such as salmon and shrimp, with no butter or sauces.
                             Ask for steamed veggies, no butter.
             Option 4: Look for heart healthy options if they are listed on the menu.

3. Exercise!:  Rebecca and I are taking our workout clothes so we can take advantage of the gyms at the Marriot and Hilton. We're planning on going down to work out together so we'll have a buddy to hold us accountable for actually doing it! At the beach, I'll be able to swim and walk, but I'm still planning on getting on the treadmill or bikes.Fitness Center in Park Ridge/Montvale

I'm going to get to try these out this week since we're going down to Baton Rouge and Pensacola. My goal is to still lose a pound.

I'm not planning on taking my laptop along this week since our days and evenings are planned out, but I'll jot down my thoughts each day and post them on Friday or Saturday when I return. I'll blog the old fashioned way with paper and pencil - lol!

Now, for a belated post about Saturday 6/25 - we had a beautiful day! We walked two miles in the morning, canned pickled beets, lazed in the pool, played pool volleyball for about 45 minutes, and then wrapped it up with bocce in the backyard. I loved it! A day full of play!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Peanut Buttery Goodness!

We're having Max's (daughter Rebecca's boyfriend) going away dinner tonight...grilled raspberry vinagrette venison backstraps, Southern collards and potatoes with Randy's homemade bacon scraps and onions, fried okra, and puff pastry spanakopita. The venison is courtesy of Randy's last hunt, the collards and okra are from our garden. To wrap it up, I making Carrots 'n Cake's Peanut Buttery Bars with chocolate chips (see link above).
  misc. 003Here are my bars before baking. I doubled the recipe and put in the chocolate chips that were optional. I used half agave and half honey, and I used half Smart Balance peanut butter and half Jiff.

misc 1 001Here are the finished bars fresh from the oven. I had to bake them an extra 10 minutes to get the middle done. No prob.

misc 1 002Here are our collards and potatoes from the garden with Randy's bacon. Yum!!

This could be a somewhat dangerous dinner, but it is heavy on the veggies, vension is better for you than chicken, and I'm beginning to understand portion control. In addition, we'll work some of it off with post-dinner volleyball in the pool. Afterwords, we'll settle down with a cup of decaf and a Peanut Buttery Bar. This makes me happy. Besides, in the world of Carrots 'n Cake, Fridays are cookie days. I like that!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Woes - 6/22/2011

Oh, I have the Wednesday woes! We've been over 100 degrees for the past two weeks and dry as a bone for about 6 weeks, so we're very grateful that it's been raining for the past two days. However, I haven't exercised in two days and I'm paying the price in increased fibromyalgia type pain today. My muscles are sore to the touch, my joints are sore, and I'm headachy from sitting around. Ugh.

I got out for a bit today and ate some delicious Greek food - spanakopita and a gyro. It was delicious! Then I had a midafternoon skinny latte at Starbucks and worked on my book for a bit. I even thought about walking this afternoon when the sun came out for a wee bit, but once I got home I stayed home. Somehow, having Rebecca and her boyfriend here has knocked me off any and all routines I've established over the past few weeks. It's like vacation all over again. The bad news is Randy had to go to New Orleans for a couple of nights and he's my walking buddy. The good news is we've been making dinners from Cooking Light and even when we've chosen decadent things like ice cream, doughnuts, and steak, I've made good choices on portion sizes.

I could sit here and regret not walking today. I could bemoan the spanakopita or steak I ate this week. But this is my reality. These are foods I love. None of that is going to disappear from my life. Having company isn't going to go away - and I wouldn't want it to! These are the things that make life fun. All I want to do is find the right balance so these things can happen without my gaining 10 pounds every year.

Tomorrow I'll walk by myself in the morning. That's my un-"ugh" plan to help with the pain. Friday, Randy will be back to walk with me. On Sunday, we're heading to Baton Rouge for LSU's freshman orientation with Rebecca and will be there until Wednesday. Then we're going to Pensacola Beach with Randy for a couple of days. We're staying at Marriott hotels and they have treadmills and indoor pools so Rebecca, Randy, and I can all get in workouts. That makes me silly happy! I have a plan in place and a couple of off track days aren't going to totally derail me! Go, me!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday 6/20/2011 - Stats and a Request for Ideas

What a great weekend we had! Rebecca came home from Tampa with her boyfriend, Max, and we picked up crawfish to celebrate. We played volleyball the pool to work off the fries we had with the crawfish. Sunday we went four wheeling down at Camp Livingston. We lasted four hours in 104 degree weather. Lucily we were in the shade, but the heat and dry, dusty trails got to us. We were whipped by the time we got home. We got in the pool for a cool down, but I wasn't up for volleyball.

Today is staring out well. Gail and I walked a mile at Glenwood's track and are scheduled to walk on Wednesday. Much needed rain is predicted for Wednesday, but we'll just move our walk inside into Glenwood Medical Mall if we need to.

In taking a status check yesterday, I was pleased to see a little more than one of those pounds drop off. I weighed in at 187.7 so I rounded up to 188. I don't care about those tenths of pounds. Too much like my Weight Watchers days when everyone would shuck their shoes, belts, key, etc. just to weigh in. That's not what I'm after. That put a knot of dread in my stomach.  At any rate, it's been a month now since I really started and I've only lost 2 pounds rather than 4, so I'll have to make a few more changes. Since I've added a reasonable amount of exercise, I guess I'll have to start looking more closely at the food choices I make.

I'd love to know what healthy things my friends eat for lunches and snacks. Not many people have been posting here on the blog, but several of you email me privately on facebook. Either way is fine with me. I really need some help in this area because I'm out of ideas. Cupcakes 'n Carrots has some good ideas and I'm trying those, but I need more, please. I'm looking forward to some great, new ideas!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I've gotten a taste of what it will be like to work and keep healthy promises to myself. I've been up at school writing math tests for the upcoming year and haven't gotten home until 4:00 or so. Yesterday, I'd prepared Tracie's Couscous Salad from Paula Dean's show ahead of time, so it wasn't a problem at all to defrost some precooked shrimp and toss it in when I got home. We tended to the garden, shelled some peas, got in a good game of volleyball in the pool, and kicked back with some coffee by 8:00. Not bad!

Today was a different story. After school, I ran to the bank and the grocery store...and I was hungry at the time. Bad idea. It made shopping much harder. I admit I browsed through the bakery, knowing the entire time I should have simply bypassed it. In the end, I didn't pick anything up, but it was tempting. After the fresh veggies and fruit made their way into my cart, I took myself down the chip aisle. Sigh. I didn't pick up chips, but I did pick up a container of popcorn. Real popcorn. That means oil in a pan because we don't have an air popper. Maybe I'll pick one up. We'll see. Anyway, the rest of the trip got a little easier as I breezed up and down aisles, but then I got to the refrigerated and frozen foods. So many temptations. Ice cream. Pies. Cinnamon rolls. Cookie dough. Honestly. It was hard, but I passed them up, as well. Good for me. Almost.

My downfall came when I headed back to produce for the green onions I'd forgotten. There was the sushi dude rolling fresh sushi. And not just any sushi - he was crafting dragon rolls. I have no idea how many calories are in dragon rolls, but I consumed an entire roll on the drive home. As far as snacks go, I could have done worse. I mean, it wasn't a Twinkie. But still, I ate that 4:00 roll and then ate a bowl of Greek Chicken Potato Salad at 6:00. Heavy sigh.

Did I exercise? No. I did garden a little bit carrying containers of water back and forth from faucet to herbs and cukes several times. I picked purple hull peas, too. But here it is 8:30 and I'm not about to get up and exercise now.

I am quite full though. I'll put on a pot of decaf in a bit and have a cup with hazelnut creamer, but I can't imagine I'll consume another bite of food. That's a positive. Maybe I should start a food log to keep track of silly choices I make when I'm tired, rushed, and hungry. Maybe I should keep an emergency bag of trail mix or granola in my purse or car. Today certainly helped me see where healthy choices and good intentions fly out the window. I'm pretty sure it's all in the planning. Plan ahead when, where, and how to exercise. Plan meals and snacks and have them on hand. Don't shop after school without eating a healthy snack first! Plan which days to exercise and which days to take off to run errands - don't try to do them both on the same day!

Words of wisdom. Let's see if I recall them when school starts back in August. Please remind me if I don't!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Carrots N' Cake Homemade Granola and Yogurt

Two thumbs up for homemade granola!

1 cup dry oats (old fashioned)
1/2 cup almonds or your favorite nut (I used almonds and pecans)
1/3 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened because that was my only choice)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds
1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal (on health aisle or at health food store)
3 tbsp agave nectar (on sweetener aisle)
1 tbsp canola oil
Shake of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Add everything except raisins to a large bowl and stir until the oil and nectar are fully mixed in. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray and spead granola mixture onto pan. Bake 15 to 18 minutes stirring often since this is to be a loose mixture. Remove granola from oven and mix in raisins. Store in an airtight container.

Serve over yogurt of your choice. It's also good over oatmeal, fruit, or by itself!

I doubled the batch and froze half.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Healthy Mind 6/13/2001

Now that vacation is over, it's time to focus on my summer plans - fitting healthy foods into my life, finding new recipes, exercising in enjoyable ways (I'm working on this!), gardening, and writing. These aren't the only things I'll be doing this summer - these are just the me things. Mine, all mine.

I've gotten a good foothold on the exercise thing. Randy and my friend, Gail, are a great help! Randy walks with me most nights and Gail is meeting me for 7 a.m. walks a couple of days a week until her surgery next week. We'll pick it up again once her recovery is over because she's also working on adding healthiness into her daily life. Having partners who are willing to slow it down for you but keep you moving is the key to success for me, I think. There's accountability, compassion, and companionship when you have folks who really care around you. I'm enjoying the friendship aspects of exercise even if I'm not enjoying all of the exercise itself. That's a start.

The two things I'm focusing on this week are the recipe searches, which will lead to getting healthier foods into my diet, and the writing. Ahhh...writing. Writing is like the pressure valve for my brain. I can't not write or my head will explode - figuratively, of course. Stories, song lyrics, and silly scenarios are constantly bouncing around in my brain. I remind myself of Walter Mitty, but I think I have a happier outlook and firmer grasp on real life. I'm currently working on an ABC book that has a bit of rhyme and rhythm to it. It's uplifting and enjoyable and that's a plus for my mental well-being.

My daughter, Kelsey, gave me a book for my birthday written by a healthy lifestyle blogger. It's called Carrots 'n Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time by Tina Haupert. I provided the link to her blog if anyone is interested in taking a look. Her book is great! The focus is balance, of course, but it's the way she achieves it that surprised me! She has a date night each week with her husband and every Friday is Cookie Friday. She includes recipes after each chapter, so I have a new goal of trying them all. I made her Homemade Granola and Yogurt yesterday and it was yummy. I'm looking forward to trying her Easy Mediterranean Salad today and her Pumpkin Smoothie tomorrow. I'll take pics and post them along with the recipes. I'll be sure to let you know what I think of them and how I modified them to work for me.

Mental health is as important as physical health. I feel that I'm on the right path to achieve both. It's a great feeling.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11th - Happy 49th Birthday to Me!

Today's the day my "lose 50 by 50" campaign officially begins! I'm very excited and the past few weeks have shown me that I can do this. Thank you, dear family and friends, for your support and encouragement! I'm touched by everyone who's opened up to me to share their own struggles with weight, health, and stress. Together, we can make better choices, share tips and advice, and keep each other encouraged and motivated.

I weighed in today for the first time in ten days after our Florida beach vacation. I gained back 2 of the pounds I'd lost over the past few weeks, so I'm beginning at 189 pounds. I used to shy away from pictures because I hated seeing the proof of the weight I'd gained, but now I've accepted that it's who I am at this moment in time and I need to be in family pictures so my kids will have them to remember me by. It's who I am, not what I look like. With that said, however, I've also accepted that weighing this much is terrible, terrible, terrible for my health and I'd really like to be around for many more years to come. I love my family and wish to be there for weddings, grandbabies, and all the joys that come with them.

I've discovered that I really do feel better after I exercise and I miss it when I don't get any. I sleep better and wake up alert if I've been swimming or walking. I don't care for the pain during walking, but swimming is a pleasure and I'm getting better at it each time. At the beach, we walked a few mornings, and did our share of swimming in the Gulf and the pool. The fourteen hour car ride home nearly did me in and I was weary and sore, but today I cleaned house, did laundry, vacuumed, grocery shopped, etc. and I feel better than if I'd laid around all day perpetuating the problem. Am I sad or mad that I gained two pounds on vacation? Ha! Not at all. If you could only see the food I ate while I was there...cubans, stuffed potatoes, deviled crabs, jambalaya, chocolate cake (twice!), steak, baked potatoes covered in sour cream and butter, amazing muffins from Sweet Sage Cafe, delicious pepperoni pizza from Pajano's, Greek salad, and more. Our vacation was truly a "taste of Tampa" and I'm thrilled I only put on 2 pounds! It could have been so much worse. So now that I'm home and in control of what I cook, if I swim, walk, and row, I should be able to lose that pound per week over the next year. It's exciting to see what's going to happen along the way. I can't wait to be at the end of the year looking back and contemplating what I learned along the way.

Keep my in your prayers, your good thoughts, and your best wishes along the way, will you? I'll greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1, 2011

It's going to be a busy month! I like the busyness better than sitting around day after day. It could be a challenge to stick to healthy routines, but it could also be beneficial to those routines. When I'm home with nothing to do but a load or two of laundry, I sit around on facebook and watch t.v. Then I get bored and start browsing through the panty for snacks I don't need. By the time Randy gets home and wants to walk, I'm tired from sitting around all day and don't want to put in the effort.

However, when I'm "summer busy" I'm in and out of the house, working up at school, spending time taking a daughter here or there, getting dogs to the vet and back again, getting myself to appointments of one kind or another and I don't have time to sit around or aimlessy roam around looking for food. The downfall, of course, will be avoiding fast food, but with my new healthy goals, I can find ways to prepare ahead and/or make better choices. Whether we're on vacation at the beach or here at home, we can keep walking and swimming. I'm excited that June is here and that it's a busy month. Busy can be good!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Last Day of May - How Time Flies By!

The last day of May started very nicely with a walk with my friend, Gail. We went out to Restoration Park to walk the loop and got quite a workout. I can't tell you how much it reminded me of Upper Tampa Bay Park or Lettuce Lake Park back in Tampa. It was very buggy and had the same scrubby look. I think the only thing it didn't have was palmetto bushes. The bugs weren't great, but the shade and the company were perfect!

I can't say much for the rest of my day - laundry, facebook, little clean ups here and there. I did talk to my mom, my mother-in-law, and all three of my kids on the phone. I called two and the rest called me...a nice balance!

We've finalized plans for our vacation/Becca's graduation, which is a good thing considering we leave day after tomorrow. We're looking forward to the 14 hour trip down because Becca's friend, Marisa, will be along for the ride. She's our adopted daughter and has traveled with us before. She's an easy one and makes us laugh. We'll need some laughs to see us through the long, dry miles between West Monroe and Tampa.
I-10 is so boring! Ugh.

Tomorrow is for packing and wrapping up lose ends around here, and then we're off by 6 a.m. on Thursday morning. Rebecca graduates from high school on Friday, and then we're offically done with Hillsborough County Schools as far as the kids go. I've taken a deferred retirement with them so I'll always be connected. It's hard to believe the last of 3 is finishing school and headed to college. We remember our own high school days like they were yesterday, but the kids are proof that the years have gone flying past. Randy and I face our 49th birthdays next week. At least we hit it together.

And, hey! I'll be hitting it a tiny bit lighter. Just think...by next year when I turn 50, I could be 1/4 less the person that I am today. lol! I hope I lose the stubborn, snippy, selfish parts of me and keep the sweeter parts - that would be nice!

Restoration ParkRestoration Park walkway  Restoration Park, West Monroe, LA

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday 5/30/11

Okie dokie. I'm just going to put this out there - I stuffed my face today! We started out the day with a 2 mile walk when all I really wanted to do was sit down with a cup of coffee and work on my book in silence. As with many plans, mine were foiled first thing. Randy got up before the coffee even got put on to brew and started the walk talk. I tamped down my resistance and reworked my thoughts toward the positive benefits of exercise, figuring I could put the coffee on to brew and have some after a post-walk pool cool-down. As I dressed and put on walking shoes, Randy went ahead and sat down with a cup o' joe as he checked his email and watched some inane hunting show. I jealously sniped at him about diving into the coffee without me. He suggested I have some, but hot coffee before walking sounded like heartburn waiting to happen. I downed my morning meds with some plain ol' water and grumbled about male selfishness as we headed out the door. To make matters worse, Randy can walk forever and never feel a twinge of pain. I, on the other hand, was in pain in both legs/ankles the entire way. I think my attitude probably made things worse than they would have been. At any rate, we finished the walk and I headed straight for the pool to cool off. Finally, we headed inside and I sat down with a lovely cup of hazelnut coffee while Randy made breakfast.

This is where the face stuffing began. I was a bit resentful about having to take a painful walk at 7 a.m. and missing my alone time to write, so I decided to get a second cup of coffee and check in on breakfast. Randy's homemade pork butt bacon (buckboard bacon) smelled especially delicious and my stomach suddenly demanded food. I obliged with 3 small pieces of  bacon and discovered I loved the smokehouse flavor and the small slivers of crispy fat clinging to the sides. (See photo below) That was all she wrote. I devoured every piece of bacon on the paper plate and told him to fry up some more. He added hashbrowns and egg casserole to the plate and we had a feast. By that time, all thoughts of writing had flown out the window, but my attitude toward life in general, and Randy, was much improved. He has the Midas touch with everything he does. He's one of those people that is capable of doing pretty much anything he sets his mind to. Happily, I benefit from his abilities...breakfast chef, gardener, hunter, sauerkraut maker, pickle maker, bacon maker, sausage maker, jambalaya maker, griller, well...you get the picture. I think I know where these last 30 unwanted pounds came from. If he'd quit making such good stuff, I'd probably lose more and faster, too!

After the gigantic breakfast, I figured I'd redeem myself by skipping lunch. After doing laundry and making up two queen sized beds, however, I found myself hungry again. Out came the leftover pizza dip with french bread and Cabot sharp cheddar and crackers. We took it poolside and ate and swam the afternoon away. Of course, by "swam" I mean we lazed about on our spring floats until we were sun-ripened like plump raisins. No worries - I spritzed on Bullfrog a few times so I wouldn't be sunburned before we get to Indian Rocks on Thursday.

Finally, dinner rolled around and I found myself hungry again. It's Memorial Day so grilling came to mind, but Randy already had homemade pepperoni (see what I mean?) and beef jerky in the smoker. Rather than make him heat up another outdoor appliance on a 94 degree day, I opted to bake hotdogs in secret sauce in the oven. I made a pack of 7 - yes, 7 - hotdogs in the oven and put some fresh picked green beans and squash on the stove. I filled my plate with green beans and squash to try to counterbalance the pepperoni, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon I'd earlier consumed. Then, I put one modest hotdog on my plate. It seemed like a great plan at the time, but those hotdogs were so darned good! And you know how swimming makes you ravenous. Back I went for another dog, minus the bun...and then another. Yes, I ate 3 hotdogs. Oh my.

Blame it on my attitude. Blame it on my appetite. Blame it on the alignment of the planets, the time of the month, or anything else you can come up with. I couldn't have stopped myself from today's pig out if Jenny Craig herself had appeared at my door. Did I forfeit weight loss today? Did I perhaps gain a pound back? Maybe. But I have to keep in sight my overall goal...lose 50 lbs in 56+ weeks PAINLESSLY. Yes, I said PAINLESSLY.

So now that my attitude has been adjusted, my stomach has been so pleasingly filled, and the antacids have been downed, I'll forgive myself a day of overindulgence and forget about the scale for a moment. Once again, I'll adopt Miss Scarlett's attitude and worry about it tomorrow.

Randy's Homemade Buckboard Bacon

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My life and loves.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Stats Day 5/29

So I weighed in today and another pound is gone. That's 3. I'm enjoying myself. It's fun looking for new recipes and new ways to burn some calories without feeling like I am. We swam today and cleaned out the garage, went to Lowe's twice, grocery shopped, and swam some more. The garage cleaning is my exercise for the day. I did plenty of sweeping and sweating!

As we head into Memorial Day, we're looking forward to another day of gardening (must pick the pole beans), swimming, walking, and errand running. We're also going to start packing for our beach vacation which begins on the 2nd. Since we're staying in a condo, we'll cook most of our meals which means I'll be in control of the menu. Walking the beach each morning is one of our favorite things to do when we're down there and there's a beautiful pool plus the Gulf in which to swim. I'm not worried about vacation pounds this year, even if we do have an Outback night planned and some birthday desserts on the horizon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Deep South Shrimp and Sausage

Deep South Shrimp and Sausage Recipe

Deep South Shrimp and Sausage

  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup refrigerated prechopped tricolor bell pepper
  • 1 (6.5-ounce) link smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp, seasoning, and black pepper, tossing to coat. Cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Remove from pan; keep warm.
  • 2. Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sausage; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add reserved shrimp mixture and garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1/4 cup water; cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove from heat; let stand 2 minutes.