Category Archives: DIET!

Today’s Tomatoes

We had a nice bunch of tomatoes ripe today. I now have a bowl of them, plus a container of much smaller, cherry type tomatoes that I will eat with other raw veggies as snacks. This is one of our favorite times of the year. We are rich in tomatoes!!!!


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Balanced Diet

Forwarded by Marsha Koenig

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Swimming Through the Confusion

I told you that my husband and I are doing two months of the South Beach Diet in an effort to get back on track on our keto eating plan. Yesterday I finally figured out that we should be eating PHASE 1 foods for two weeks (until the end of next week.)

I went onto the website in order to ask a question about the snacks and the soups. Some of the snacks didn’t have any stripes and said nothing about what phase they were, plus the soups said nothing. They are short-handed there, I guess due to the coronavirus, so it took a long time to reach someone. After the chat, I am more confused than ever.

She said, “We aren’t doing the phases anymore.”  All the stuff I read and printed the day before stressed staying on Phase 1 for two weeks, so I asked again – getting the same answer.

I am still going to mainly try to stick with stuff marked Phase 1 until all is gone, but won’t stress over eating a Phase 2 thing, when needed.

If you read what is provided on the website, there are a number of other discrepancies; one example being the use of salt. In one place it stresses you should look for “low salt” canned veggies. In another, it says ‘feel free to use salt liberally.’  I am watching my salt, so I will continue to use it the way I am now.

So far, I’m happy that we are trying to get back on track with our keto eating plan. We are getting a much-needed wake-up call regarding ‘portions.’ We are learning to plan ahead better so we have healthy snacks. (My husband was happy with his DIY celery and cream cheese snack yesterday afternoon.) I made a salad to go along with our ‘Texas Chili” entree last night.

I am hoping that by the end of the two months on the program, we’ll be better able to handle things on our own again, having received a boost from the good people at South Beach.


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I told you yesterday that I felt dumb because I finally noticed – after 2-1/2 days – that “Phase 2 and enjoy with Phase 3” was printed on my husband’s package of pancakes.  Intelligent woman that I am, I thought, “Maybe we’re screwing up.” I spent a half hour or so finding some information on the South Beach website and printing it. I spent another hour or so reading the information, discovering that

  • Amazingly, we are in Phase 1
  • We are only supposed to be eating/drinking Phase 1 stuff until the end of next week
  • We are right that the DIY part (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, two dinners, and two days of snacks each week) started at the beginning of the program

I separated the aqua-striped packages (Phase 1) from the purple-striped stuff (Phase 2) in my husband’s box, and then did the same in mine. I did the same with our frozen foods. There is a bit of confusion, as the soups don’t say what they are, and it is unclear about the prepared snacks, but I will see if I can reach someone to talk to on the website today.

I told him we are only eating and drinking BLUE stuff – except for DIY meals and snacks – until the end of next week. (Actually, we’ll continue until all the BLUE stuff has been consumed -whenever that is – before going on with Phase 2.

My husband is still upset that so much chocolate stuff was included in his box, when he carefully ordered what he wanted. He really doesn’t like chocolate, and has no patience with the coronavirus causing supply chain problems.  I have given him the vanilla stuff they put in mine – also not ordered. He will have to make do with some of the chocolate stuff if our supplies don’t last until the end of the month.

I have gone onto HIS account page and MY account page, making sure that he has no chocolate ordered and I have no vanilla – with high hopes.

My husband only has about 10 or 15 pounds to lose to get to his goal, so he is much more cavalier about the diet than I am. He wants to cancel after the next month’s order is confirmed as shipped.

I have more to lose than that, but I’m hoping that this two-month ‘pay attention’ time will remind us of things like eating something sensible every few hours to avoid hunger, to eat reasonable portions when we do eat, and to avoid things we know we shouldn’t be eating.  I will continue to use the carb tracking they provide, whether we are eating the prepared foods or not, as I am more likely to keep with the program doing that.

I am trying to walk for 10 minutes 3 times a day, as they suggest. I’m also doing a half hour of “Gentle Yoga” stretches daily. (I think that the 70+ times I have to get up and go to the bathroom each day, due to all the water I’m drinking, should also count as exercise. :0) )

Fingers crossed.

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, taking care of yourself

More Intelligence Required

I am feeling pretty dumb right now.

We just started the South Beach diet after lunch on Wednesday. We are messing up, mainly due to stupidity – MINE.

They don’t include a lot of instructions – that’s on them. I read the paperwork that came with the order, but I haven’t been reading the packages and boxes of food carefully enough. They are clearly labeled, “Phase I,” “Phase 2 and enjoy in Phase 3”.  I just noticed THAT this morning when my husband wanted to fix pancakes.

He decided that it was ‘too much work’ to make for just himself, so we got out another package and he cooked for both of us.  He technically followed the directions, but I’m not really sure of that, since I was doing other morning chores. We ended up with really THICK, pretty hard – pancakes.  We decided we will not pass judgment on these until “I” cook a batch. THEN I noticed that this was a “Phase 2” food, and we shouldn’t have been eating it yet. Oh, well.

I will have to get on the website and see if I can find more information. We probably shouldn’t be doing the DIY meals, either, yet. Oh, well, again.

They sent my husband a whole bunch of chocolate stuff he didn’t want. I guess they were having trouble filling orders and just did the best they could. He immediately dumped all that out on the table, refusing to eat or drink them. (Patience and ‘going-along’ have never been his strong suits.) I went on the site yesterday and modified his order for next time, eliminating all the chocolate. I hope their warehouses are in better shape for the 2nd order. Meanwhile, I had some vanilla stuff in my box, so I gave that to him and I took the chocolate.

When we get back home from Lunch Bunch (our DIY lunch this week), I’ll get on their website and see if I can figure out what we’re SUPPOSED to be doing.




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Nice Morning

Can Stock Photo

I had a lovely massage this morning. I asked her to just leave me there and let me drift off to sleep, but she made me get up, pay her, and leave. Imagine that! She is truly a miracle worker. I feel a lot better.

It was getting dark as I left – at 11:00 in the morning!  I got home just before storming started. I shut the garage door, and closed up the house. It has rained, but it doesn’t seem to be severe at this point. We have more waves of storms coming this afternoon and tonight.

I chatted with our son in Thailand this morning briefly. There is 12 hours difference in our times, so we have to chat quickly sometimes. He sounded really happy. He said, “last night when i was falling asleep i was listening to the rain, and i think i heard some kind of religious singing from somewhere, maybe the nearby wat, and i was feeling the breeze from my fan, and i thought to myself how fortunate i am.”

We are on our official whole first day of the South Beach Diet today. (We started after lunch yesterday.)  So far, we’re doing fine, although we’re fumbling around some. We like the shakes, and the ‘ice crushes.”  Mine are chocolate, of course. :0)  I got home from my massage late for our morning ‘snack.’ We went ahead and did that, deciding we would delay lunch for an hour or so. I have keto chili in the crock pot for one of our DIY dinners for the week. I’m interested to see what we think of our lunch options.  I have found that their ‘peanut butter bites” (a package of small cookies) is delicious. I am trying to record what I eat and drink on the tracker on their website. It’s different that the other I have been using, but I’m determined to make it work.

I received one of the new wooden earring shapes I ordered yesterday, and am eager to get up to the art room to see what I can do with it. :0)

I hope you’re having a wonderful day.


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Filed under DIET!, Family, Favorite Things, Mother Nature, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

1st Impressions


Our first shipment of the South Beach Diet was delivered this afternoon – right after we ate lunch.

1st impression – there was a lot more frozen food than I expected. I apparently didn’t read carefully enough, so I was scrambling to find an organized way to store my husband’s choices in one place and mine in another. My husband immediately wanted to know what he could have for a snack. We had JUST finished lunch, so I firmly told him I needed some time to get my act together, and that we would have our ‘afternoon snack’ around 3 pm.

2nd impression – we will be eating more TIMES each day than we have been. We have been doing intermittent fasting and then eating lunch and dinner (with an occasional dessert) before bed. This obviously hasn’t been working – though we have helped the failure along by eating stuff we shouldn’t and not paying enough attention to portion size. Now we will eat 6 times each day – having breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and a dessert type snack each day.  I will be doing ‘do-it-yourself’ meals and snacks – 2 of each spread out over the week. I’ve gotten out my calendar so I can do some planning. One regular ‘DIY’ lunch each week will be Friday’s Lunch Bunch. Since we’re starting Wednesday afternoon this week, I’m doing the best I can to get in as many DIY’s as seems reasonable.

3rd impression – We have just enjoyed our first ‘afternoon snack.’ My husband had a vanilla shake and I had a chocolate. They seemed a bit ‘thin,’ but the flavor was good.

4th impression – This is not as much ‘just heat up the food and eat it’ as the Nutrisystem we tried quite awhile back. There is cooking even on the meals provided in the program. (For example, I have tried to prepare my husband that he will be mixing and cooking his breakfast pancake mix.) I really think this is a good thing. We will be constantly aware of what we are eating, preparing much of it, actively engaged, rather than just nuking something and taking no responsibility for it.

5th impression – we are supposed to be eating 3 non-starchy veggie servings each day. (I’m happy because we’ll include tomatoes from our garden and some salads, as well as small servings of other good veggies.)

6th impression – I may have to live in the bathroom! We are supposed to drink half our body weight in fluid each day. I will make every effort to drink more, but my eyeballs are already floating, trying to drink 64 oz of fluid each day.

7th impression – they suggest that you keep your exercise routine to a minimum during the first week since your body is adapting to a new way of eating. They suggest walking 10 minutes 3 times a day. I will plan to add my old lady stretching yoga routine to that, since that is not at all strenuous, and is relaxing.


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Filed under Attitude, DIET!, exercise, motivators, taking care of yourself

Help is on the Way!


As you can see, I have gained weight over the course of the last couple of months. I can blame it on lots of things, but the truth is, I ate the wrong things and ate too much, and didn’t exercise enough.

We ordered the first shipment of what we plan to be a two-month “get-back-on-the-horse,” “shot-n-the-arm” course of the South Beach diet,

the closest to the keto plan we have not been following closely enough lately. We are hoping that once we see the results on the scale, we will be re-motivated to act like adults and eat responsibly.

One aggravation is that we ordered on June 22nd and we still have not received our order. I got on the chat part of the website and talked to a nice lady who tried to find out what the problem was. She told me that they were waiting for parts of our orders to be delivered to THEM. I know that everyone is having problems with shortages, slow shipments, etc. due to COVID-19. They are probably trying to work with a skeleton crew, and they can’t ship until the orders are complete.

I found out recently that MY order had finally shipped on the 6th, but my husband’s had NOT. That is upsetting because if HE is unhappy, MY life is even more of a challenge. I checked this morning and found that HIS shipment was shipped on the 6th, too – apparently the his account had not been updated when I checked last time. HOORAY!

They use Fedex, but their track your order link isn’t working. I’m hoping we will get the delivery this week and can get started. Fingers crossed!

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Motivation is Funny

Frans Lanting Photography-John Steed via Gitta Newman via Penny Yaffee Krakow


During the pandemic my husband and I have gotten lax about our keto eating plan. We are eating mostly that, but OTHER things come home in the grocery bags that “I” didn’t put in the cart. I’ve been cooking healthy, but have little will power when it comes to listening to my husband crunch fritos, Doritos, or potato chips, bagels, no sugar added cookies, etc. I also get cravings for starches – particularly rice. My husband won’t eat any of the substitutes, and usually that is fine. I have mine frozen in portion sizes and can just pull one out – except that I haven’t been. Excuses abound and the pounds gradually return…

On June 22nd we decided to get more serious before things got totally out of hand. Needing something to really get our attention, we ordered the South Beach diet program of prepared meals and eating plan. Our intention is to do this for two months. They include DIY breakfast, lunch and dinner two days per week, so I will still be cooking keto style, but hopefully, we will re-learn portion sizes, good practices, plus hopefully  a recipe or six that we like. I am hoping that at the end of the two months we will be back on track for losing the lard.

Our problem NOW is that because of Covid 19, their staff is cut and they are behind on orders. We ordered on the 22nd and according to their website, our first order has not been shipped yet. I’m hoping the first month’s food will be shipping in the coming week.

A funny thing, though –

Since we made the decision, both of us have eaten more carefully – I guess in preparation for starting the actual program. I’ve lost 3 pounds and my husband has lost more than that. My opinion is ‘whatever works,’ but it’s funny – and GREAT – that the lard is starting to come off again.

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Thoughts on a Friday 6-26-2020

Thrive Global

I’m feeling GOOD this morning. I’ve been eating very carefully since my illness and I think I’m at 100% this morning – no upset – no pain – AHHHHHH!

We have the front and back doors open this morning, bringing in a nice breeze. There is a good chance of rain today, but I’m hoping it will hold off until AFTER we get home from Lunch Bunch with our good friends. This week is the last week we have to eat at a picnic bench in the parking lot. July 1st the restaurant will open in some capacity, so next week we are back to our normal table. (We go early enough that there are usually only the two waitresses there with us, or someone coming in to grab a take-out, so I’m not worried.)  One of our friends is celebrating a birthday today, so it will be extra nice.

I finished weeding my raised bed square foot garden before I got sick, and that is still looking good. The squash plants are looking healthy, though they haven’t shot vines out yet. The little bitty celery plants are still alive. I’m going to check our tomato planters on the other side of the house this afternoon.

I’ve decided that one of the next projects will be pressure washing.

Getty Images

We have two sets of outdoor chairs that are in serious need of a good cleaning. I will also do the deck, back sidewalk, driveway pad, front sidewalk, and front porch. This will probably take several days of work, but it has been a couple or three years since I did it last time, and so is needed.

I’m working on my Important Spreadsheet, getting through the first pass on it yesterday. I need to find answers to questions, and then I’ll finish that up, print copies for several places, send the URL to our son, etc. I will put it on my calendar to check for needed updates in three months, instead of six, next time.

My husband and I decided that we needed more help and motivation on our keto eating plan. Neither of us has built up good willpower and so we have gotten lax lately, gaining several pounds. We decided to do two months of the South Beach Diet

to give us a good push toward getting back on track and losing some lard. We have signed up and are awaiting our first month’s delivery. I’m HOPING that we will be well on the way at the end of the two months. Built into the program is DIY meals, so I will still be using the good keto recipes we like – just reminded of portion size and encouraged to NOT add things we shouldn’t. Fingers crossed this will stop our bad habits and make the scales stop frowning at us.

I am awaiting an order of wooden shapes for earrings. I am in communication with a nice lady who likes these –


but would like them 2″ in diameter, instead of 1″, as they are on the website. She also wants them in hot pink and white. I can’t wait to get started! :0)  I also ordered some other shapes, so will dive in and see what other fun I can have.

Feeling better is making me think of spending time in my art room. Hopefully, I can get upstairs today…

Have a wonderful Friday!



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Filed under DIET!, Family, Friendship, getting the lard off, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Thoughts on a ________

Keto Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Bowls

I have just finished cooking this for tonight’s dinner (and tomorrow’s, with the leftovers). This is the second time I’ve cooked it, and my husband raved, even though he is not a huge fan of broccoli. Chicken Alfredo has always been a favorite of mine, crossed off my list when I started Keto because of the pasta. This recipe has no pasta and I don’t miss it!

When I told my husband earlier that I was going to fix it for tonight, his one word answer was “YUM!”

Net carbs are 7 grams per serving. This recipe is 4 servings.

I have truly never found a recipe book where we really like most of the recipes until this one. She uses down to earth ingredients so you are not having to hunt all over town or order a bunch of stuff online. They are also not labor-intensive recipes, a big plus in my book, since nowadays we are working outside a lot and I don’t want to go to a lot of trouble for something to eat.

This recipe is now one of our staples.

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A Balanced Diet


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Trying to Lose the Lard

Actually, I’m feeling encouraged that I am back on track since yesterday.  I am planning what I will eat using, trying to get as close as possible to my macro percentages again today.

We came through another tornado warning last night with no damage that I have seen so far. I’m am truly thankful. This is one of the days that we are thankful we live on top of a hill because flash flooding is forecast. I will be glad when this mini-monsoon season we’ve been having is over.

To celebrate that, I’m planning to get on my elliptical trainer in the garage after lunch and do at LEAST 15 minutes. I’m hoping that I will be able to do my ‘regular’ 35 minutes;  but since I’ve been a slug lately, I don’t want to push it too hard. I also plan to do at least 30 minutes of my “Gentle Yoga” stretches before the afternoon is over.

I am again planning to bake a loaf of keto bread, plus a Twice-Baked Cauliflower Casserole” by Suzanne Ryan. My husband isn’t fond of cauliflower, but I’ll just serve him quietly and see what he says.  We will have a hamburger patty and a salad, so he should have plenty to enjoy even if he isn’t fond of the casserole. We’ll see.

It feels good to have a plan and feel in better control. Fingers crossed.




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Filed under Attitude, DIET!, exercise, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like, Mother Nature

Back on Track – I HOPE

The Pandemic is my latest excuse for not sticking to my diet and exercise program. (I have a whole sackful of excuses – and add more at a ferocious rate.) My husband is another excuse – he doesn’t have as much weight to lose. We grocery shop together, and all kinds of things I shouldn’t eat show up at home when we put the groceries away. I have decided to stop using this as an excuse, though. I’m hoping the man will live for MANY more years, so I will just have to be stronger on avoiding his ‘extras.’

Yesterday I got disgusted with myself – FINALLY. I re-read the first part of Simply Keto by Suzanne Ryan. I am feeling re-motivated to get back on track and start losing the lard again.  I am now, (starting again yesterday) tracking my food intake on Suzanne tells you how to tweak the settings there so that you can follow your macro and even tweak it from time to time as needed. (Your ‘macro’ is the comparative percentages of fat, carbohydrates, and protein you should consume each day in order to try to lose the girth.) I have also decided to spend more time on, Suzanne’s website, to try to STAY motivated.

Before I fell off the wagon, I had lost 40 lbs and 43 inches. I have gained 9 pounds BACK since the Pandemic started. :0(  Since it is beyond stupid to try to stay safe from the virus while simultaneously stuffing food I shouldn’t be eating into my mouth, I’m promising myself to treat myself better.

Because of my good friend and hair dresser Michael Remillard, I learned that maltitol is to be avoided. Yesterday, when I was re-reading Suzanne’s intro, I noticed that she mentioned it, too, but apparently I simply read over the top of it. It’s in a lot of sugar-free and no-sugar-added products. It can spike blood sugar and is to be avoided.

Also, because of Michael, I have discovered an ice cream I can eat when I must! The brand name is Rebel, and the flavor I think is wonderful is Mint Chip. I’m also on the lookout for Triple Chocolate.  The PINT has 4 net carbs!  The pint lasted me for 4 servings. Hooraaaaaay!

One of the things that Suzanne said that really resonated with me was that  when you make a mistake at one meal, instead of just blowing off the rest of the day and eating whatever you want because the day is ‘blown,’ you should redouble your efforts by eating correctly the rest of the day, giving yourself a break and sticking to the plan. You don’t have to be perfect – you just need to be consistent.


Yesterday I made her “Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Bake.”  

“Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Bake” by Suzanne Ryan, Simply Keto

She encourages you to throw extra low carb veggies in wherever you can, so I throw fresh spinach into her already delicious recipe. (I tried broccoli previously, but my husband didn’t care for it.)  He doesn’t mind the spinach at all. :0)  6 servings. We each enjoyed a wedge of this with a big salad.

I’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding carbs. (My personal macro has me staying at 14 carbs or under daily. )  My biggest problem is adding fat. I am studying her meal plans at the end of the book this time to get a better handle on what I can choose to better reach the 70% fat in a healthy manner. I have been tending to eat too much protein, and that can throw you off, so planning my eating with MyFitnessPal will help there. I can enter what I’m planning to eat, see how that meets my requirements, and adjust BEFORE I eat a wrong thing.  I am learning to pay more attention – using the tools that will help me, reading labels more carefully, etc.

Snacks and desserts are danger areas for me.  I have avoided these area in Suzanne’s book, but found something I want to try after the next trip to the grocery store – “Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nut Fat Bombs.”  I love casseroles, so I’m also going to get set up to try her “Twice-Baked Cauliflower Casserole.” 

Another lady I find who has good keto recipes is Kyndra of Peace, Love and Low Carb.   She sends recipes to my email inbox.

Sorry if I’m talking your arm off, but as you can see, I am newly motivated. I am hopeful that by NEXT Monday, I can report that I have lost some weight, changed a measurement, or I can report on the new recipes I’ve tried.

Meanwhile, I’ll bake a loaf of my keto bread today.


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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Healthy Eating


I’m going to have to switch gears for the coming week, starting today – hopefully.

I’ve been working outside, whacking down weeds, cutting back trees, spraying weed killer and ant killer, etc., in an effort to keep Mother Nature from reclaiming the totally wild, wooded land we bought around 33 years ago now. (We built our home on top of this ridge line in 1987.) This is a full-time, never-ending job, and I have to say that we grow some really healthy, impressive weeds here. Some of them are taller than I am!

Last night, while my husband and I enjoyed a much-appreciated evening on the deck while grilling our dinner, we talked about the fact that the ‘weed trees’ were again encroaching on our view of the valley below. The slope of our land is impressive, too, and there are totally rocky places where it is treacherous to even think about walking. This is where the weed trees are. I am going to attempt to cut these down, a few at a time, over the coming weeks to try to reclaim our view.

This gives you an idea of what we can usually see.


That said, here is the 10 day forecast for our area –


Maybe I should be trying to built a raft or boat instead of thinking about weed whacking….

The end result of a forecast like this is I want to take a nap. I feel super lazy. I can’t even get excited about playing in my art room right now, though that could change once I’ve finished my coffee.

The only thing I PROMISE I will do today is make a ‘sausage-egg-and-cheese bake’ for our dinner tonight. This is a wonderful keto recipe from Suzanne Ryan of Simply Keto.  My husband grinned and gave a happy thumbs up when I told him what I planned to make today.  Actually, I’ll promise another thing – I will do at least 35 minutes of gentle yoga stretches today.

Otherwise, I’ll have to fight my natural inclination to stretch out in my chair in the living room under my snuggly throw and take cat naps (with at least one, if not two, actual cats!) today.

I hope you have a happy Sunday.

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New Possibilty!


I’m trying to do intermittent fasting and keto in order to lose my lard.  The pandemic is my latest excuse for having trouble sticking to it. The biggest problem for me lately is that my husband is requesting dinners like spaghetti with meat sauce, or one of our favorite dishes – beef with mushroom soup, onions, and things over rice or other pasta.

Lately I’ve had trouble serving my spaghetti sauce over zoodles or spaghetti squash,  or the soup and meat or chicken sauce over cauli-rice or whatever. I’ve really been missing PASTA.

My friend Marsha came to the rescue, telling me about a new non-carb pasta she found. The brand name is Banza, and they make all kinds of pasta – penne, shells, and rotini plus spaghetti.  The pasta is made from chickpeas.  It has a LOT fewer carbs. Not as few as I would prefer, since my goal is to eat 20 grams or less carbs per day, but a huge improvement over regular pasta. I can now splurge every once a awhile, solve my cravings, and hopefully stay on my eating plan.

I ordered six boxes – 2 each of Penne, Shells, and Rotini. I’ll let you know how my new discovery turns out.


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Filed under Challenges, DIET!, getting the lard off

Between Storms

We are having a stormy weekend. Between storms, I went out to check our veggies, and wanted to share their progress with you.


These are the tomato plants in what I call the “nook” planter. They are in a spot on the back of the house with our porch on the left side of this picture. They are more protected from wind than the other tomato plants.


These are the tomato plants in the other brick planter we converted to square foot gardening with the soil alternative.  I saw some sweet yellow blossoms!


This is the main veggie garden.  I hope you can see that we are finally rid of the thigh-high weeds that were on the ground under the boxes.  There are a couple of areas I’ll spray again – if the rains ever stop – but mostly I have them under control now.


A little bit of head lettuce and then the sweet red onions.


Spinach in the foreground and head lettuce behind.


The head lettuce is forming heads now!  I’m still going to harvest leaves for salads while the heads are growing.


The spinach is putting on lots of new leaves.

I’m encouraged by the garden so far. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that, with all this stormy weather we’re having, we don’t have a lot of hail that will kill the plants.  We are sure enjoying lots of big salads!

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, Healthy Eating, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds


Excuses abound. I’m setting the excuse bar at a higher and higher level. (Everyone has to strive for something! )

The pandemic. Staying home. Cold, rainy weather. Husband asking for comfort food.

Then the real reasons – my laziness, my lack of motivation, my weakness.

All combine to add lardage when what I INTEND to do is to continue my efforts to lose the lardage and exercise regularly.

Now I am trying to re-lose previous loss in order to get where I was before so that I can enter new territory on the scales and with my tape measure.


Hopefully, the answer is “yes.”

Right soon now.

Maybe tomorrow…

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Harvest 5-9-2020

These pictures seem like they are the same couple of pictures TWICE. Actually, they are two different batches of lettuce I harvested today. I took two views of each batch so you would get a good idea of how much the head lettuce is producing. This is one view of batch # 1 today.


A second view of the first batch.



Batch # 2


Batch # 2

I processed and washed 9 gallon plastic bags of lettuce leaves today. I am rich in lettuce!  Guess who will be eating LOTS of salads starting at lunch today…

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Thoughts on a Wednesday 4-29-2020

in an email from my friend Marsha

We have had a busy couple of days.

Yesterday severe weather was forecast, including rain, high winds, large hail, and flying hairballs to start around dark. I took old sheets out and covered up the veggie plants in my garden, plus my tomato plants, protecting them as much as possible. The bad weather came, with lots of lightning, wind, rain, etc. I didn’t know if we got the hail. This morning I uncovered everything, and we seem to have come through with no damage to my sweet veggies!

I’m doing several loads of laundry to change the dirty, dripping sheets into clean, dry sheets ready for the next time.


I am really relieved. If we have a quiet, nice day tomorrow, I’ll work on cutting down the weeds and then spraying weed killer UNDER my raised bed boxes, as well as around the perimeter. I’m not sure if we need more mulch to spread under the boxes. I’ll know more when I have the weeds under control.

I’ll also use the push-around weed whacker to clean up the area beside the garden. We have the lawn mowed after finally getting the new belt installed, but my husband didn’t have the time to mow around or beside the garden.

I took pics of our rose bushes before the storm. It’s a good thing, because ALL of them are bent clear over after all the wind and rain.  I am going to try to find some things to prop them up while they try to recover.




A small sign of things starting to get back toward normal was that the company that sprays for bugs for us called and sent out Adolpho to spray the inside, plus around the outside of the house for everything – including elephants. When you live outside of town in a wooded area on top of a ridge line, one of the things you take seriously is the creepy, crawly things that will suddenly erupt without constant heavy duty spraying by professionals. We have Tri-Hill Pest Control, 1308 Zero St, Fort Smith, AR 72901, (479) 782-2847.  Adolpho is the man who comes to help us. We can’t say enough about him. 

Besides uncovering plants, washing sheets, and meeting the bug man, I have made us lunch and baked another loaf of keto bread. I can’t say enough about this recipe from

I’ve tried a lot of recipes for bread, since that was the thing I had been missing the most. I wanted one loaf of bread that I could slice and eat instead of eyeing my husband’s roll with dinner. I wanted one that I could slice and put in the toaster while my husband had regular bread – and one that I might even be able to use for a sandwich, if I felt the urge, such as when we want a comfort dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for dinner.  I wanted the yeasty smell and taste of regular bread, as much as possible.

This one does all this. One loaf lasts me approximately a week. It doesn’t rise as much as regular bread, but it tastes good to me. I don’t feel deprived watching my husband eat regular breads – rolls, bagels, toast, sandwich bread, hot dog buns, etc. I will eventually branch out, trying other keto recipes for all of these various things, but this has really helped me in my efforts to stay on keto and lose the lard.

I hope that your day is full of hopeful things, too.



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Thoughts on A Tuesday 4-14-2020

New Animalbook

  • I seem to be UNABLE to stop touching my face!  I’ve tried several things without success. As much as I pull on my nose, I should look like Pinocchio!
  • I am using every excuse in the book (and even inventing some new ones!) to cheat on my diet and exercise.

Fat Animals-Rollin Wild by BMC-Nasim Biswas-2018

Each day I ‘start over’ in my mind, looking forward to exercising and eating right. Maybe TODAY I’ll get going again!

  • My sweet veggie plants and new tomato plants made it through another freeze. As far as I can tell, this is the last time I’ll need to cover everything. I have the first load of sheets in the washer to get all clean and dry for when they are needed again. If the weather warms up (it’s 40 now) I’ll try to get a good start on getting the TEENY, TINY weeds out of my veggie garden today.
  • My goldfish have done their trick of dirtying up their aquarium again, so cleaning that is on the agenda for this morning. Happily, I am able to get everything out, clean the aquarium and put all new stuff in it in about 35 minutes now.
  • I have an idea for a painting rattling around in my head. I’ll try to get up to my art room today to get a start on it.
  • Bacon-wrapped keto chicken is on the menu for tonight. I’ll fix a nice salad – with spinach and lettuce from our garden – to go with it.

I hope you are finding good ways to spend your days as we all hope that we can put the threat of the virus, as well as financial worries from the economy being shut down, in the rear view mirror.

Stay safe and well.

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Our 1st Harvest of 2020!

I went out this morning and weeded in our veggie garden. I was able to do a small first harvest!


We will enjoy lots of lettuce leaves from the head lettuce plants. Eventually, the head comes up in the center of each plant.  I’m basically a city kid, not having tried to grow anything before, so I was like a kid at Christmas when I went out one day last year to find I had heads of lettuce – just like in the grocery store – but larger, and NICE. Nice enough I was able to share with my friends.


I am hoping that my spinach will produce a lot. We will enjoy this in salads, but I will also try to freeze a lot of it. I love it that there is no waste.

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Thoughts on a Thursday 3-26-2020

Since it finally quit raining for a bit here, we are scrambling to get our yard under what passes for control around here.

My husband used the riding mower a couple of days ago to cut the grass (mostly weeds) for the first time this season. We had spread weed killer earlier, but this spring has been a perfect one for all the weeds that have ever been in our yard, encouraging them to burst forth as never before. Some of the weeds were over a foot high! It took my husband twice as long as usual to mow, but he got it done, leaving huge amounts of cut grass everywhere. The next day he used the push-around weed whacker to get big places he couldn’t reach with the mower.

That left it to me to wield the hand-held weed whacker to get what is left, trim and edge the sidewalks, around the planters, under the deck, etc.. This spring has also encouraged the weeds to come up in the rocks we have around the house. Usually we can simply spray weed killer on them, but this year they are so prolific we actually have to pull what is there first. I did the front yard yesterday. My body is complaining pretty loudly today, but I’m going to try to get the back yard done today.


When I finish, I’ll schedule a half hour to 45 minutes of gentle yoga stretching to get these old muscles stretched out again. I’ll schedule the elliptical trainer for days when I’m not doing so much in the yard.

I’m finding it difficult during this time to stick with my keto eating plan. I love the basics of it, but find I’m craving comfort type food during this stay-at-home time. I realize it’s probably just another excuse, but I ate some Blue Bunny New Freedom No-Sugar-Added Ice Cream with my husband last night.  It’s better for my husband, but it’s bad for me, as far as carbs go. It also has maltitol, which we should both be avoiding. “Being good” is difficult. Being good when my husband keeps bringing things I need to avoid into the house makes it more challenging. Being good during a pandemic is an even larger challenge.

Today I found a Low Carb Yellow Squash Casserole that sounds yummy. I’ll make that to serve with our leftover hamburger patties for our dinner tonight.  I will also make a loaf of bread from a favorite keto recipe so I can have some tonight.

It’s funny what each of us considers something that is ‘necessary’ to do in times when you are encouraged to stay home and avoid unnecessary contact with other humans. Apparently washing his car at the local car wash is a necessary thing for my husband, since he has just left to do it. I’m not even sure it’s open, though it is designed to be a place where no humans are needed. We will see if he comes back with a clean car or not.  Mostly, he has complied with staying home, so I’m trying not to fuss at him TOO much…

I am grateful that we are still healthy; have a warm, dry home; have food and water; and have Internet, books, TV, music, DVDs, art, pets, AND to-do lists to get us through this crisis. May we come out the other side as soon as possible and get people back to work.

Stay safe.




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Keto Cooking

“Keto Chili” from Suzanne Ryan, Simply Keto

My husband requests this chili regularly. We both love it. A nice comfort type food for cool, rainy days as we have been having.

This keto bread has allowed me to stay on my eating plan without feeling deprived. I was REALLY missing bread. My husband, who is almost at the weight he should be, and who is only having to watch sugar, eats regular rolls, bagels, toast, etc.   I tried to be upbeat about it, but it was bothering me more and more. Sometimes I just gave in and had some of his bread, and then felt really guilty. The scales, of course, told me how bad this was.

I finally found this keto bread recipe. I wanted ONE recipe that could serve several purposes – I could butter a slice as if it were a roll with dinner,  I could put a slice in the toaster and eat it with bacon and eggs. I can even use it for a sandwich, though it’s a bit crumbly for that. It doesn’t rise as much as a regular loaf of bread, but I like it – a LOT.

Eating like this, plus doing my yoga daily (this is Day 3 of my restart) and planning to add back my elliptical trainer sessions starting tomorrow, will hopefully help me shed my excess poundage.


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Wonderful Wednesday

My early spring garden seems to be doing well so far. I got out my trash can full of old sheets, plus clothespins, putting it under one of the tables, so I can cover the plants tonight. I’ll be doing that a lot until the threat of freezes is over. I will try to get onion sets when we do errands today. I would love to finish weeding the other boxes in the garden and get the onions in as soon as possible.

I’m trying to ignore the fact that – wherever I look – things are calling out to me to be SEEN and FIXED. I have made a priority list for the day. If THAT gets done, I’ll move on to the lesser list. (Who would have thought I would now have TWO lists….

The roast I cooked in the crock pot yesterday turned out really well. My husband asked if we could have the rest cut up with onions, mushrooms, and cream of chicken/mushroom soup tonight over rice (for him.) I’ll do that with cauli-rice for me. :0)

The sun is shining brightly today, so my spirits are lifted each time I look out the window.

Hopefully, I’ll be playing in the dirt this afternoon!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.


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Thoughts on a Saturday 2-15-2020

The sun is ALMOST shining today and it’s warmer, so I’m a happy camper.

We just got back from running errands. We have two main things on our list today –

THING ONE – getting a replacement collar for the shock collar we use rarely with our 94+ pound yellow lab, Amber. The shock part is still working, but the collar is too short now. Once we get one we can use, we’ll start working with her again in the yard. We need to be able to take her to the vet, for example, without worrying about her pulling my husband or me down and making us face surf on the ground. Our biggest problem is that she minds well when we are by ourselves. She looks at us as if she has never seen us before and is totally deaf when we are out in public.

THING TWO – adjusting a door knob assembly so that the door to the guest room closes and stays closed, rather than opening with the nose of a dog or cat.

I told you that we don’t really celebrate any holidays like birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, etc. My husband was raised without big celebrations and I don’t want him to feel obligated to get me something just because of the calendar.  When we find something we think the other will like, we get it and give it, regardless of the day.

I have also told you that I’m a very happy, spoiled lady who is treated better than I deserve 99% of the time. Two examples –

He bought me these earrings a couple of weeks ago. I just love them. They gave me some trouble trying to actually get them into my ears, though. The post is curved and didn’t want to go through the hole in my ear. I kept trying. I finally decided to wait until my earlobes were completely happy and THEN try them. I wore them yesterday!!!! My husband was a bit disappointed, saying they were ‘small,’ but they looked pretty. I tried to get a pic of them with me wearing them, but I wasn’t able to.

TODAY I opened a package in the mail to find these –

The picture doesn’t show how sparkly they are. They are called, “sidewinders” or something similar because you see the whole circle while they are in your ear, not just an outside edge. I will put them on and try to get a picture. Fingers crossed!

See what I mean about being happy and spoiled?

After several days of running like a nut, I’m fairly caught up today.

I am planning to –

  • Bake a loaf of keto bread
  • Get back into exercising – with my elliptical trainer in the garage plus a session of yoga later today.

I hope that YOUR Saturday is a fun one!


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Thoughts on a Wednesday 1-29-2020

Animals Collection

Even though it’s gray, 44 degrees, raw and rainy here today in Arkansas, I’m having a nice day, and have many things for which to be thankful.

Yesterday I opened our mail to find a pair of earrings my husband had found and ordered for me!

I just love them. It doesn’t show here, but the stones are kind of sparkly!  The design of them is giving me a bit of  a problem, though. They have a curved piece on the front that goes through the hole in your ear, and then you close the back onto the end to hold it in place. I’m having trouble getting the curved part through my ear. I’m continuing to try different techniques, but so far, no luck. :0(  I’ll keep working at it because I really want to wear them!

I’m working on a new wooden plaque in my art room. I think it’s going to turn out well, and I’m having fun working on it.

Since it’s still raining, we’re having to delay our trip to Ft. Smith to take our donation to the Veterans Thrift Store. Hopefully, we can do that tomorrow. I’m already finding more things I would like to donate, but the back of our truck will be full with what we have already.

Early this morning I put ingredients for Keto Chili into the crock pot, so we’ll have a nice comfort food type dinner this evening.

Today I’ve decided that my next clean out project will be my clothes closet. I need to move warm weather stuff out and move cold weather stuff in. I want to take my time, though, and get rid of a bunch of for each ‘season.’ Happily, some of my clothes are simply too large now, thanks to my efforts on eating Keto and exercising.

So it’s back to work now, after taking a short break. I hope that YOUR Wednesday is treating you right.




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A NICE Keto Bread!


I just finished my SEVENTH new recipe for keto bread. I have been trying to find one basic recipe that I could eat when my husband is eating dinner rolls from the deli/bakery,  that I could slice and toast for our dinner/breakfasts, and might be able to use for a sandwich. I know – that’s a lot to ask of one recipe, but I’m not one who loves to spend time in the kitchen. I want to be able to do something reasonably quickly that tastes good and has good texture.

I have to say I’m happy with this recipe. It’s called ‘Keto Bread’ and the source is

This is the SEVENTH – and best – recipe I have found. I like the fact that it contains yeast and rises a bit. like actual bread. It has enough that you can smell and taste the yeast a bit, too, satisfying my hunger for REAL bread without containing no-no’s like white flour, regular sugar, etc.

I had all the ingredients on hand except for ‘inulin.’ I looked it up, finding it was a sugar alternative with pro-biotics. I have “Swerve,” and so used it instead. (I ordered the Inulin so that I can use that next time, just in case it does make a difference.)

My bread isn’t as pretty as the one shown above, but it sliced nicely, even though I really rushed it on giving it time to cool completely. (my husband loves warm bread and butter. )


This is mine.  The pic was taken after I sliced two pieces right out of the middle of the loaf when it was still hot.  The flavor and texture are nice! If you’re trying to eat keto friendly things, try MyKetoKitchen 



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Best Friends

Happy Living via Linda Orrell


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Thoughts on a Thursday 1-9-2020

New Animalbook

We are getting rain. We had some last night, we’re having some today, severe weather possibly tomorrow, then maybe a wintry mix Saturday. I wish that Mother Nature could do this moisture over Australia…

Between storms, my husband and I drove to Ft. Smith this morning to leave our first donation of the year to the Veterans Thrift Town Store. I am really impressed with the people who run this place. The store is always clean, and the people who work there smiling and helpful. The people in the back who help us with our donation are always really nice. We now donate most everything we have there.  If you live in the area, their address is 3500 Jenny Lind Road, Suite B, Fort Smith, AR 72901.  Their phone number is (479) 783-7225. They are open Monday through Saturday, 9am to 6pm.

I am doing better with my keto eating plan efforts and my exercise.  I just took one of our favorites – an egg/sausage/cheese bake – by Suzanne Ryan – out of the oven for our dinner tonight. My husband actually requests this dinner. I serve it with a side veggie or a salad. Delicious. I’ve been doing lots of yoga lately to try to straighten out my back. It’s working. I’m almost back to normal now. A twinge, when I bend forward, like to pick something up off a table, but otherwise good. I’ll try to add my elliptical to the mix very soon.

I’m going to try another keto bread recipe probably tomorrow. The loaf I’m finishing is fine, but my husband doesn’t care for it. I would LIKE to find one that both of us enjoy. The search continues…. oh- I almost forgot to tell you! I’m on the hunt for Crepini Egg Thins with Cauliflower. Walmart usually carries them, but is out of stock at the moment. I’m planning to try using them as a wrap in place of sandwiches, since trying to eat things from rolled up lettuce isn’t really working for me.

It is dark outside, and it’s only 4:30! Looks like we’re in for another storm.

I hope you’re having a good day.



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