Category Archives: DIET!

Trampoline?

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I’m trying, once again, to control my eating and increase my movement. This image above describes my efforts to date. I have just started recording my food intake and exercise on MyFitnessPal.com in an effort to –

  • acknowledge that I need to (I lie to myself a lot)
  • plead with my husband not to show me he loves me with a buttered muffin from the microwave
  • come to terms that my meals are okay, but the combinations are above my 1200 calories and 40 grams of carbs limit
  • focus my efforts to keep my mouth shut and my body active

I had my usual breakfast. We’re planning to stop at the deli to bring lunch home (I will either get fish or chicken ONLY – no ‘meal.’) I was going to have leftover beef stew and some garlic bread for dinner, but NO! That puts me way over my limit, so we’ll have a large salad, instead. I’ve built in my orange dream bar for desert. This combo will bring me in under on calories and at my limit on carbs for the day. I’m also going to do 15 minutes on my elliptical machine and 30 minutes in yoga stretches this afternoon.

I’m doing pretty well until after lunch. Then I go nuts for some reason. I have no clue why, but instead of continuing to be disgusted with myself, I’m changing what I’m doing. If I can do this for a week or so, I can get back on track. We’re not planning to have or go to any holiday parties. My biggest ‘enemies’ are my husband and myself.

I’ll make it a point to fix some things that are on my diet to eat as snacks, in case I think I’m starving to death. :0)

Today is Tuesday. I’ll plan to get back to you about my progress NEXT Tuesday. Hopefully, I can report that I’m being good and making progress.

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Ready for Winter?

We’re pretty much ready for winter now.

I finished mulching the flower planters yesterday – finally.

We cleaned out two square planters in order to plant new Rio Samba rose bushes in the spring. We converted two brick planters to be square foot planters for tomatoes, so four of our brick planters didn’t need mulch. The other 10 did. I feel good that things are cleaned out and protected now.

I dug up the elephant ear plant, potted it, and put it in the greenhouse.

 

Same for the Purple Passion plant. (I put two starter plants in water beside the big one. It would be fun if I could get those to grow. )

The jugs of water are an attempt to keep the plants warm in the greenhouse during the winter. I’m hoping the water will warm up during the day and keep the plants warm at night.

The Bibb lettuce is still doing well in my square foot garden.

 

Here is the Simpson lettuce. Both are in the same raised bed box, so when we have a freeze coming, I just have to cover one box with a sheet and clothespins. I’m hoping I can keep these alive for at least another month, if not more, depending on Mother Nature.

I’ve started two celery plants in pots on the window sill. I’ve never tried this before, so it should be fun.

 

This tomato plant is also on the window sill. I’m hoping I can keep it alive for the winter and replant it in the spring. Fingers crossed!

I still need to clean out the plants on the deck, but these are much easier to handle. They can wait for another day.

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Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane – Take 13

The Awesome Daily

I told you that I did something mysterious and hurt my back. I have no clue what I did, but I was in real agony for about a month, unable to do much except gripe, groan an try to sleep while my husband tried to keep things afloat and take care of me. I’m really not interested in repeating this experience, so I have CAUTIOUSLY begun my yoga for old ladies stretching again, plus CAREFULLY starting up my sessions on the elliptical trainer.

I have to put Amber on the porch because getting on the floor is an invitation for 65 pounds + of dog to sit on you, mouth open, with too many teeth available.  I’m doing stretching on my own on my mat, rather than trying to do a lesson from my “Gentle Yoga” DVD set. I’m up to 10 minutes again on the elliptical – pretty pathetic, except I don’t know what I did to trigger my problem. I’m treated myself kind of like a time bomb at this point, hoping to ease into more and more.

Since I’ve been walking and playing with Amber several times each day, plus working in the yard, I’m still getting a reasonable amount of exercise.

Now – If I can JUST be a good little girl and eat my low-carb stuff, my world will be complete.

taolife.com

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Fall Garden Pictures – October 2017

Here are 2 celery bottoms, one of which has sprouted a bit, and a core of head lettuce, which is also sprouting. I’ll move them to the garden soon.

 

Bibb lettuce, started from seed. I can start harvesting some of the leaves for salad soon.

 

Carrots. I need to read my square foot gardening book to figure out what to expect here and when.

 

celery plants. I’m harvesting separate stalks, since I didn’t tie them together as I was supposed to do.

 

Newish celery plants.

 

Radishes ready to harvest.

 

Simpson lettuce.  Some is ready to start using.

 

My sole spinach plant. I don’t know what happened that the other seeds didn’t make. I keep meaning to plant more, but the days get away from me.

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Fall Square Foot Gardening

Everything is coming along in the fall garden. I have several celery plants, with two more, plus one head lettuce plant, almost ready to go out to the garden. The radishes may be ready to harvest. Two types of lettuce, Bibb and Simpson, are almost ready to start harvesting for salads.  Carrot tops are getting taller.

 

Meanwhile, I just ordered a book that I hope will answer my never-ending questions about how to get started in my new greenhouse.

 

We visited with our friends, the Taylors, last night while bowling – and eating ice cream afterwards –  and I found out that I’m supposed to wait until the elephant ear leaves die, then cut them off and dig up the bulb, putting it in a pot of peat moss and storing it in the garage. Same with the pretty purple plant she gave me. I’m watching the lows on the weather forecast, planning to bring the two fall tomato plants into the greenhouse to put in large pots of Mel’s Mix. I have no idea if they’ll make it over the winter or not, but it’ll be fun to try.

Otherwise, I’ll wait to get my greenhouse book, then prep my seed starter trays, some with Mel’s Mix and some with peat pellets to see if there are different results. I’ll try to plant seeds of all the things I want in my spring garden.

I’ll try to get some pics of the fall garden and post them soon.

 

 

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New Recipes

I have found that trying to combine eating low-carb and feeding my diabetic husband to be a bit of a challenge. I fell into a trap of my own making several months ago, opting to eat what HE ate. NOT GOOD! Mostly now, I can fix low carb meals and then add extra things he can also eat into the mix.

I have found that getting a husband to try new foods, substitutions, and new recipes is a character-building exercise. For example, the substitutions of spaghetti squash for pasta and riced cauliflower for rice just won’t work for him. He’s like a little kid, making faces and being quite dramatic.  Happily, though, he is very supportive of my trying new recipes.

I tried one for chicken thighs in the crock pot last night. You’re supposed to thicken the juices with xanthan for use as a gravy. I made rice for him and I ate spaghetti squash. I like anything with a gravy-like sauce, so I thought it was pretty good. He praised the tenderness of the chicken, and he liked the rice, but the sauce, not so much.

I’ll cut up the leftover chicken tonight, combining it with cream of chicken/mushroom soup that he particularly likes, and serve it over rice for him and cauli-rice for me. It’s not quite as low-carb with the soup, but I can work around it to make my day come out under my limits.

Meanwhile, I’m glad we’ve found some substitutes for things he loves so he doesn’t feel deprived and walk around looking hangdog:

  • Arizona Zero Peach Tea
  • Alpine Sugar-Free Apple Cider Mix
  • A&W Sugar-Free Soda
  • Sweet Freedom Blue Bunny Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Sweet Freedom Blue Bunny Ice Cream Cones
  • Jello Sugar-Free Cups

Now I just have to practice NOT feeling deprived MYSELF when he eats without having to worry about carbs…. (I’ll try to make a list of good things I have found that make eating low-carb much easier and post them for those who might be interested.)

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, Healthy Eating

“Want To” vs “Doing”

Translating intention to action to results is difficult. If I could bottle it, I would be a gazillionaire and could stop entering PCH and MegaMillions.

Trying to get myself to actually DO the things day after day that will get the results I want seems like a pipe dream at times. When I’m eating right, doing yoga and my elliptical trainer, and concentrating on moving more, I feel better – physically, mentally, and emotionally. So why am I still having to MAKE myself do these things, lapsing for a day or two, losing my motivation, failing to take each day at a time?

I am again talking to myself – pretty harshly – since I think I may be like our lab puppy, Amber, and need a shock collar to take things seriously, rather than blowing things off.

THIS TIME – I have my ducks more in a row (if you’ll pardon the pun on the pic above.)

  • I’ve been missing bread a LOT. I’ve now found Bob’s Red Mill Low Carb Bread Mix that is a net 5 carbs per slice. I wrapped it around a hot dog yesterday and bit in with gusto. (I’m still going to try my new weird screaming green silicone bread maker thingie, but I’m finding other priorities at the moment.)
  • Thanks to my son, I found a new nutrition counter and log called “Cronometer” to replace MyFitnessPal, which is good, but the people don’t maintain the website well. The front page hasn’t come up for months. I haven’t tried to add a recipe new to the website yet, but, so far, entering what I eat and logging in my exercise daily is quick and easy.
  • Since my back finally quit hurting (still no clue what I did to cause the situation) – I am able to do careful stretching in prep for getting back to my “Gentle Yoga” DVDs with Cat Kabira.
  • Also, since my back quit hurting, I am able to start catching up with all the house cleaning that was ignored while I vegged out in my recliner on my heat pad on muscle relaxers, ointments, pain patches, etc. Feeling that I’m doing something significant each day to purge/clean/reorganize is making me feel more together and in control of things. (Today’s project is finishing up scrubbing the master bathroom)
  • We’re supposed to get rain today/tonight and a very welcome cool front, lowering the temperatures and humidity that have it feeling like over 100 degrees F. for the past month. We are more than ready, and I’m itching to get back out to my square foot garden and see what’s what. :0)

Tonight we’re having spaghetti and salad, with a bit of bread. (Newman’s Own Marina sauce is low-carb. My husband prefers small elbow macaroni to spaghetti, so I’ll fix that for him. I’ll have spaghetti squash as an alternative to spaghetti, and a piece of my low-carb bread I made.)

SO – desire to be healthier, get the lard off, increase my flexibility and overall health merge with good intention, motivation, means, and attitude to give me a good start. One day at a time.

 

TaoLife.com

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Garden Update

I planted some seeds recently because I was unable to get the plants I wanted for my fall garden locally. I used a plant starter tray with a transparent lid using peat pellets. I planted Bibb Lettuce, Simpson Lettuce, and Spinach. I put the planter on our dining area table where it would get some sun.

They have sprouted, looking less than impressive, but are still alive at this point. I’ll turn the planter around so that the sprouts will straighten up in their pointing in the direction of the sunlight, and hope for the best.

 

This is the latest from the tomato plants. I still have a few green ones on the vines. I planted two tomato plants a few weeks ago, and one of them has a blossom. I have no idea if they’ll have time to produce tomatoes before frost. If the weather starts looking iffy,  I plan to dig them up carefully, put them in large pots and put them in the greenhouse to continue the experiment.

I planted more celery in the garden recently, plus radishes, plus lettuce, spinach, and carrots. When I’ve had a chance to get out there and weed, I’ll try to take pics for you.

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Day Off

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Since my back has been in protest mode lately, I’ve leaned toward comfort food, rather than eating my low carb food. The low carb foods can be really good, and I don’t feel deprived, but they aren’t comfort food.

Today I’m taking my last day off. To that end, I asked my husband what he has been missing most. He immediately said, “chicken chunks and soup over rice.” And so it shall be. I also got some double stuff oreo cookies as my official send off back to being a grown up.

I’ve decided it doesn’t matter anymore whether my back hurts. I’m going to get back to doing what I know I should – gentle stretching and eating right.

If someone could come up with low carb, low sugar comfort food, he or she would be a gazillionaire.

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Goals

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Yesterday we had our quarterly primary doctor appointment.

Our doctor was really happy with our blood test results.  I’m doing well on my current dosage for thyroid and my numbers otherwise continue to improve – all in the normal range now, when I used to have high cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. My blood pressure was the best ever. – 124 over 68.  My husband’s A1C showed the best results since we had the scare about a year ago. His number then was 16.1 (this is a ‘call-the-medics’ SCARY number on diabetes). It is now down to 7.3. We’re shooting for under 7, and our doc says this is doable, and he was REALLY happy with my husband’s efforts to cut out sugar. :0)

Now, all ‘I’ have to do is get the lard off.

To date I’m down 25+ pounds and 18-1/2 inches.

We’re following a low carb diet with as low numbers on sugar as possible. I’m trying to stay under 1200 calories and 40 carbs per day.

Yesterday I had my best day ever on steps – almost 8,000. I’m seriously trying to move more – a bit of a challenge lately since my back keeps having spasms. My doc checked it out, confirmed it was in the muscles rather than the spine, and put me on muscle relaxant meds for about a week. He wants me to take them for two days and then I can EASE back into my yoga.  Then I’ll try for a yoga session and a half hour on my elliptical daily.

I’m tracking what I’m eating and my exercise on MyFitnessPal.com. The fixing of problems on their website isn’t great. The main page where you can see how many days in a row you’ve checked in, see how much weight you’ve lost, etc., is STILL not working (over 3 weeks now), but their foods data is the best I’ve seen, so I’m staying with them.

My husband and I are finally on the same page on motivation to eat right. This is really helpful. My willpower isn’t that great, and it doesn’t take much at all for me to throw in the towel and go get a pizza. Last night, though, when we were exhausted from our efforts all day long, my husband suggested we go to Subway. I can get a double chicken, bacon, and ranch salad that is really good and on my diet, and my husband can indulge in a foot long sandwich. He was good last night, except for getting 2 oatmeal raisin cookies… :0)

SO – WE CAN DO IT!

I’m hopeful that by the end of September, I can report a reasonable weight and inches loss. I’ll keep on keepin’ on, and concentrate on

 

TaoLife.com

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MyFitnessPal.com

I use MyFitnessPal.com to help me stay on task in my efforts to stay under 1200 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrates each day.

I’ve been annoyed for the past three weeks or so because the “My Home Page” isn’t working properly. No one seems to be trying to fit it, so the annoyance grows.

I tried two other online free food and exercise websites. I used them for several days each, because there is a learning curve, and ‘different’ seems harder at first. I finally gave up and went back to MyFitnessPal because of their food search feature. This is by FAR the best food search I’ve found. I can look to see if a food or recipe is already in the data bank. If it isn’t, I have the option to add it, and another option if I want to share it with others. I can add foods quickly once they are a part of my personal eating history.

One of the programs I tried required that I add EACH INGREDIENT of a recipe separately, then add them up and name them. They had no record of what I had eaten before, so I had to look each thing up for every meal. Bah – Humbug!

One of the programs didn’t list carbs. I had to list the foods I was planning to eat, then show ‘reports’ to figure out if I was staying under my limit for carbs for the day. Bah – again!

One of the programs insists that you look for things in a certain manner – example: first ‘egg,’ then ‘hard-boiled’ wasn’t listed, so I had to change to ‘custom’ to get another list! (Each time I ate one! Bah-for the last time.

SO – MyFitnessPal isn’t perfect, but for my needs, it’s wonderful, non-working home page and all.

 

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Today’s Harvest

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With the heat index, it feels like it’s 106 degrees F. here this afternoon. I came in dripping from just gathering the ripe tomatoes when we got home from Lunch Bunch and errands.

The tomato production has really slowed. We haven’t had anything but green ones for quite a while. Today, though, some had ripened. They aren’t as pretty as the previous ones, but they taste just as good. We’re coming to the end of the season now. I’m trying to get some tomato suckers started in the house that I can transfer to the greenhouse later, but it’s a challenge.

 

 

 

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Attitude is All

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This resonates with me and makes me laugh, but I don’t think this way anymore.

Today’s ‘yoge’ is “hips.”

I just finished getting a “Chicken with Creamy Orange Sauce” by Dana Carpender into the crock pot for dinner tonight. It’s amazing to me that we have never tried one of her low carb recipes we didn’t like. With her slow cooker recipes and her “15 Minute” low carb recipes, I have pretty much all I need to keep me on track. I also just got a low carb bread recipe book to use with a really odd-looking lime green silicone bread bowl thingie.

I have no clue whether this is actually useful or not, but I’ll give it a try and report back to you.

With rice for my husband (cauli-rice for me) and some salad, dinner is taken care of. When I finish this, I’ll make us some lunch.

MyFitnessPal.com is keeping me on track with my eating again. I keep being amazed at how far off I had gotten. I was making low carb meals, but was sabotaging my efforts with the portions, side dishes, and sugar-free stuff “I” was eating to be companionable with my husband. Now I’m being careful to stay under 1200 calories a day and under 40 grams of carbohydrates, plus move more.

 

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It’s encouraging that this 2nd round of the 8 sessions in the DVD set is a bit easier. I don’t kid myself that I’ll loosen up quickly, but I know that as long as I get on the mat every day with Cat Kabira, I’ll be working toward my goal. She has a very compassionate, encouraging manner that I find very appealing.

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One day at a time. The next weighing and measurement day is this coming Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be able to report a bit of progress.

Have a happy day!

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I’m Not Sure I Bend That Way…

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I just finished doing the “Lower Back” session on my “Gentle Yoga” DVD set by Sixtyandme.com. This is the 2nd time I’ve done this one since I got back in the saddle of eating RIGHT low carb and doing daily yoga again, and I have to admit it was a bit easier this time than last week.

That said, I seem to have spent YEARS stiffening up. I particularly notice that my arms and shoulders are stiff. It is very uncomfortable for me to lie on my back, lift my arms to about shoulder height or higher, and just lie there. I really feel an uncomfortable pulling telling me that people aren’t meant to open up that much. That’s MY problem, though, because clearly that shouldn’t be a problem. So each day, when we’re doing the final relaxation pose, I purposely put my arms in this position and concentrate on breathing into the tension I feel. I don’t know how long it will take for me to loosen up, but it’ll be worth whatever time that is.

I also find I cannot SIT on my feet from a bent knee position. The front of my thighs really scream. SO – after my relaxation, I get into that position for just a few seconds, hopefully longer each day, breathing into it.

I’m determined to get my body to loosen up. Each day I feel that I’m doing good things for my body. I used stupid excuses of what else I needed to do for a couple of months and lost ground, but I’ll get it back. As each pound leaves and each inch goes, I feel more and more confident that my lifestyle is the right one for me.

TaoLife.com

 

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Yesterday’s Harvest

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August 12, 2017 · 5:55 pm

Bouncing Back – Getting the Lard Off

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Since I got back on the horse with MyFitnessPal.com and my goal of under 40 carbs and under 1200 calories per day last Saturday, I’ve lost 3 lbs. Total lost is now 23 lbs.  Since MyFitnessPal allows you to ‘play’ with various scenarios of what you’ll eat on a given day, you can work in things that are technically on the ‘not-to-eat’ list. An example:  we found some really nice-looking bicolored corn on the cob. By trying different ideas out, I was able to incorporate an ear of corn into my low carb day! Happily, it was some of the best corn on the cob we’ve ever eaten. Hooray!!!

 

I’m consciously moving more, having physical stuff outside or inside each day to add to my daily steps. I’m now averaging 5,000 steps per day, AND getting outside goals accomplished. On measurements, I’ve lost a total of 15 inches.

 

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I’ve done yoga sessions on “Joints,” “Neck and Shoulders,” “Lower Back,” “Spinal Health,” “Hips,” “Legs,” and “Balance.” Today I’ll do the last session on the DVD set, “Overall Flow.” I FEEL better. Though I’m a bit sore from stretching in ways I haven’t for too long, I’m feeling looser and a bit more energetic. If I’m tired and sleepy during the afternoon, I take a nap, but I didn’t feel the need for the first time in a long time yesterday.

I’ve had a good starting-over week. I’ve made some progress and feel a difference. I feel more in control of myself.

On with Week 2!

TaoLife.com

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Back into Yoga – Day 6

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Last Saturday I started doing yoga again after a several month hiatus due mainly to laziness and stupidity. (We had a lot of things going on and I had lots of excuses at the ready.)

I’m using a DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga” via SixtyandMe.com.  The teacher is Cat Kabira and I can’t say enough about her.

The practice is geared toward women

  • who have never done yoga;
  • may have had surgeries on knees, hips;
  • may not have exercised in the past umpteen years;
  • are 60 or over; etc.

There are 8 practices on the two DVD set, each one geared toward a different part of the body. I’m doing one session each day, lasting 30 to 45 minutes. Today was “legs.”

I’m having to start over in my practice because during my hiatus, my poor old body stiffened up quite a bit. I’m taking my time, stretching and performing each pose the best I can, knowing that in time I’ll loosen up again. Right now it’s quite a challenge for this old lady, but I trust the teacher and the poses to make me more limber, strengthen my core muscles, get me to stretch out, help me relax, help me sleep better.

I’m on DAY 6 today of being back in the saddle, eating low carb, recording what I’m eating and drinking, planning ahead so I don’t mess up, and doing one session of yoga each day, plus whatever else I have time for.

 

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I have some soreness and stiffness, but that reminds me of what I lost by not doing the yoga and not taking care of myself. I also know that this will be short-lived, now that I’m treating myself better. I have one more session devoted to “balance” (something I really need) and then there is an “overall flow” on Saturday that pulls out some of the best moves from each of the sessions.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed is a change in my attitude. I feel GOOD that I’m trying to take care of myself again (even when my husband is eating an ice cream sandwich (or TWO!) in front of me while we watch TV.) I’m feeling GOOD that I’m moving a bit more easily.

It’ll be good when my scales and my measuring tape are confirming some good changes, but in the meantime, I’m giving myself the gift of better health!

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Day Three of Being Back in the Saddle

The Cincinnati Zoo

This is DAY THREE of making SURE I’m eating under 40 grams of carbs per day and under 1200 calories, plus doing at least a session of yoga.

I’m using MyFitnessPal.com to list everything I’m eating and drinking to plan things out after breakfast. I’m gritting my teeth as my husband eats chips, sugar-free candy, sugar-free pop or tea, no sugar added ice cream sandwiches, but he’s eating the way he should for his diabetes. I’ve quit kidding myself that I can indulge, as well, but I AM building in my orange ice cream bar at night into my totals, relishing every bite.

I’ve been doing my one session per day of “Gentle Yoga” and am feeling better for it. I did “Head and Shoulders” Saturday, “Joints” yesterday, and “Lower Back” today.  It feels good to be treating myself better this way.

I feel as if I have a good start on getting back in the saddle of taking better care of myself again.

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Day One – Dose of Reality!

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So – This is Day One of Finding-my-Act-and-Getting-it-Together-Again.

I finally did my first yoga session since we adopted our new puppy May 13th. I may have even stopped before that, but it shows how far my intentions have gotten off the track. I did “Neck and Shoulders” today of what I call the “Old Ladies Yoga” DVD. It’s actually called, “Gentle Yoga” put out by Sixtyandme.com. The teacher is Cat Kabira, and she’s a wonderful, accepting, caring person. She encourages you to be the best you can be, accepting where you are and what you are able to do at the given time, and encourages you to KEEP DOING IT.  I had never done yoga, and was intimidated at first, but I started really feeling a difference after several lessons.  There are 7 lessons devoted to particular parts of the body and then an ‘overall flow’ session which takes the ‘best’ moves from each of the other sections. Then there is a 2nd DVD called, “Gentle Yoga Flows.” I’ll work my way up to that one again.

I went back to the MyFitnessPal.com website and signed in for the first time in a LOOOOONG time. I had deluded myself that, since I was cooking low carb and we were trying to find substitutes for the things my husband, a Type II diabetic, missed the most, that sugar-free somehow meant not many calories or carbs.

I have to admit I was pretty shocked when I started to list what I had already eaten, plus planned to eat the rest of the day. I had to really work to juggle things to get back into my under 1200 calories per day and under 40 carbs a day I was doing previously. LOTS of changes and a BIG dose of reality. My husband can continue to eat as he has been, but “I” cannot!

I also had to acknowledge the ground I’ve lost on weight loss and measurements loss. :0(

OKAY. Today is DAY ONE. I’m already doing better than I was yesterday. I’ve acknowledged the error of my ways and I’m stopping the delusions under which I’ve been living for the past few months. I’m listing everything I eat or drink and have gotten back into my yoga practice. I’m moving more otherwise, doing lots of work outside and projects with my husband, plus walking the new puppy several times each day. I started with an average of under 2,000 steps per day. Now my average is 4 or 5,000 per day. I’ll see how much I can add to that.

I’ll try to report back to you each Saturday. I may not give you numbers for awhile, at least until I’m back where I was before my act was ‘lost,’ but I’ll do my best to be better than I was yesterday EVERY day.

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Where is my Act and What Have You Done with It?

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I was doing pretty well, eating low carb, losing weight, getting better numbers on my quarterly blood tests with the doctor, learning yoga for old broads and doing it daily. Then ‘something happened,’ and I lost it.

I have umpteen excuses, but no one, including me, is interested.  What is good is that I am FINALLY wanting to get my act back together, rather than ignoring the whole problem and playing Pitiful Pearl.

I do well on my eating until late afternoon and after.

  • I’m going to start drinking a glass of ‘Meta,’ Appetite Control Sugar-Free Orange Zest Dietary Supplement mid afternoons. I also got some sugar-free gum, hoping that if I’m chewing on something, I won’t stuff my face with anything else.
  • I’m going to start using the crock pot again, getting dinner going in the morning when I have the most energy, rather than waiting until after I’m exhausted to fix dinner.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING – as soon as I finish typing this – doing at least one session of  “old broad” yoga.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING listing my food and exercise on MyFitnessPal.com as I used to do.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING drinking more water. I already do it when I’m hot from working outside, but I’ll try to make sure that I drink much more than I am now regardless of my work load.

I HOPE to be able to report to you soon that I am back in the saddle of good eating habits, plus moving more, and starting to get results again. I hope that if you’re having challenges in trying to treat yourself better, you’ll find the motivation to start again with me.

 

TaoLife.com

 

 

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Multi-Shampoo Day

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Heat index is 110 degrees F. today. UGH.

Amber and I went out to the garden to plant 3 celery plants and take pics of my squash. Then we walked out to the greenhouse so we could take pics of my husband’s ham radio tower which now has THREE sections together. By the time we got back to the house, my head was not only wet, it was dripping. UGH. It’s always hot in Arkansas in the summer ( July and August are the worst). We’re used to that, insulating ourselves from the heat as much as possible. This year, though, we’ve had a lot more humidity than usual. I’m too old for humidity, I find. I refuse to wash my hair more than three times a day, though – so if you’re coming to see us, I might look like an exploded dandelion.

______________

Since I  planted my first celery this year, I’ve learned two things:

Thing One – I’m supposed to be giving them a lot more water than the rest of my garden plants. I’ll keep using the irrigation system, but will also arrange to add extra water to the celery a couple of times a day.

Thing Two – I’m supposed to be tying the stalks together tightly as they grow. I’ll give that a try, but I’m not sure that’s a workable thing. I may just continue to come out and cut some stalks when they’re ready and let the plant do its natural thing.

I planted two spaghetti squash plants grown from seed taken from one bought at the store and sprouted in a glass in the kitchen. I now have FIVE spaghetti squash(es)! I’m not sure what the plural of ‘squash’ is. Anyhow, they’re looking great. Pics below.

I spent about an hour in the raised bed square foot garden yesterday trying to catch up on the weeds. I got things pretty much under control. Even with irrigation, the heat is stressing plants out now, so I’m feeling lucky to have anything still alive. I’m concentrating on trying to keep the plants as comfortable as possible, growing where and how they want to.

This grape tomato plant spread out all over one whole 4’x4′ square planter. Since it has blossoms all over it, I’m just letting it take over the planter.

 

The marigolds are happy. They don’t have very many plants to protect right now. Such happy-looking flowers! (Celery plants are along the back of the marigolds.)

 

Two of the spaghetti squash. I’m just pulling up the vines that spill over the box, spreading the vine carefully over the dirt and letting them go where they may. I put special plastic melon holders under the squash for support. I guess I’ll harvest these soon, as they’re getting to be the size of some I’ve bought at the store. They have blossoms on the vines, too, so I may get more!

 

Three new celery plants planted this morning.

 

 

Two more spaghetti squash(es). you can see a couple of yellow squash blossoms.

 

And this is a dog plant……

Amber went with me to plant the celery and take pictures this morning. She loved walking around under the planter boxes, enjoying the new world…  she got hot, too, and jumped into her pool on the way back from taking pics of my husband’s tower.

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Tomato Plants From Suckers – Take 1

These two tomatoes were ready to be harvested this morning. We have one harvested a couple of days ago, so we’ll feast on sliced tomatoes tonight!

Yesterday I tried to plant suckers in order to grow new tomato plants.

“Tomato suckers, or side shoots, are the growth that appears in the crotch between the stem and a branch. (See photo above.) If left to grow, they will become another main stem with branches, flowers, fruit and more suckers of their own.”

I carefully gathered several suckers, went to my greenhouse where I had pots of Mel’s Mix ready, moistened the bottom of each sucker in water and then stuck it in rooting hormone  (shaking off the excess) and put the suckers in the pots. I then watered the pots. It was really hot in the greenhouse so I left the thermostat-controlled exhaust fan on.

 

This is what the thermometer in the greenhouse showed this morning, although it didn’t feel that bad. The exhaust fan is set to start and run when the temperature inside the greenhouse is 90 degrees F. or higher. It was off. The outside temperature is 77 right now.

 

As you can see, Trial 1 was a failure.  I chose and cut the suckers carefully. The fact that I planted in the heat of the day, rather than in the morning or right before dark may have been a factor. I read the directions on the rooting hormone and followed them carefully, so I don’t think that’s the problem. The fact that the thermometer is reading so high vs the exhaust fan being off may be a factor. I may bring the thermometer in and see if it’s working correctly. *

*It’s now about 45 minutes later. I brought the thermometer inside and my husband shook it. It has red dye now in the bottom of the package. Apparently, the temperature in the greenhouse blew its top off. We’ll hunt for a different style today while we’re out.

On a happier note – I harvested the first of the experiment to try to grow celery from the bottoms cut off stalks bought at the store.

 

 

I cut off the bottom of the stalks of celery I bought at the store and put each in a glass of water. These need to grow a bit more before they’re ready to be taken out to the garden and planted. (If you look carefully, you can see that in the glass that’s second from the left, I’ve put the end of a head of lettuce in a glass, just for giggles.)

 

The celery plants are bushy, rather than looking like what you get at the store. I cut the largest stalks, leaving the smaller ones to hopefully grow.

 

There is a LOT of greenery on each stalk. I washed everything, then cut off the stalks into usable pieces, washed them again, and then took the bowl of cut celery to my husband in the living room where we each tried one. Oddly enough, they taste like celery! :0)

I’m like a kid at Christmas. After several tries and several failures, I’m actually growing edible celery! Woo HOOOO!

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1st Tomato Harvest

Yesterday the first tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. I saw a couple that will be ready in a few days, too. We feel rich!

This is a wonderful time of the year for us. We LOVE going out to test the tomatoes to see if any more are ready to come in and be devoured.

We ate three of these with our dinner last night and may finish up this first harvest this evening. I guess that people who have grown up having gardens know all the veggies and fruit that homegrown tastes so much better than what you can buy at the store, but the only one I personally know about is tomatoes.

I wish you were here so I could share with you

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Tomato Plants

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One of my husband’s and my favorite things in the world is home grown, red, ripe, sliced tomatoes with a meal. No matter what else we try to grow, tomatoes are the main thing.

We built a raised bed, square foot garden for our other veggies (though I AM trying some grape tomatoes in two of the squares this year), but we moved our tomato plants to the east side of the house. We have a brick planter in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch at the end of the house, plus an eight foot brick planter on the east end of the house.

 

This is the 8 foot planter. We have six plants here. We planted two plants every two weeks.

 

This is “The Nook”. There are only two plants here, planted two weeks apart. As you can see, we have really large plants that are difficult to keep supported.

 

Here is a closeup  of some of our green tomatoes.

 

And here are more.

 

And HERE is the first ripening tomato! Whooopeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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Harvest May 24, 2017

I’m still mainly doing cleanup from our recent storms, but I got a nice batch of spinach today.

 

Our weather has turned really warm and humid (except for today) and the lettuce is starting to bolt. I’m hoping I can harvest a lot more before the plants are done until I plant more for the fall garden.  This is red leaf lettuce.

 

Romaine lettuce.

My husband wants me to plant iceberg lettuce. We don’t get the plants in this area for some reason. When we get our greenhouse finished, I’ll plan on trying to start some iceberg lettuce seeds for the fall garden.

Meanwhile, we have some delicious, fresh-from-the-garden goodies for a big salad tonight.

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Getting The Lard Off Progress (?) Report – May 12, 2017

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I have an impressive number of excuses for why I fell off the wagon on my efforts to get the lard off, but I’m happy to tell you I’m back in the saddle now and have re-lost some of my re-gained weight.

 

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I’ve been on my ‘start-again’ regimen for about a week now and am finally seeing some progress.

I have been doing fine until dinner, and then my appetite is limitless. I’ve beem disgusted with myself.

I found something that is helping, both physically and as a support. It’s called, “Meta Appetite Control Dietary Supplement.” It’s made by the makers of Metamucil. It’s orange flavored and sugar free. It’s 11 grams carbohydrates with 6 grams fiber ( 5 grams usable carbs per serving. )

They suggest that you put two rounded teaspoons into 8 or more ounces of water and drink it with meals up to 3 times daily.  Just having it available is helping me. I’ve only had to make two servings during the week – once between a lunch and dinner, and once when I was up in the middle of the night ready to eat everything in sight. Otherwise, just seeing the can on the counter is motivation NOT to need it, if that makes any sense.

I’m hoping that getting my appetite under control again, plus getting back into my good exercising routine will get me on the road to good progress reports for you again.

I’ve been doing a lot of work in the yard lately, so I’m plenty ‘active,’ but I need to work in time for more regular exercise, as well.

My husband has surgery next week, but once that is over, I’ll try to get my days into more of a routine.

Much appreciation for your support!

Graphics

 

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Harvest May 8, 2017

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Cold temperatures and nearly torrential rains for over a week followed by intense sunshine wreaked havoc in my square foot garden. I spent an hour weeding, pruning, and harvesting today, and another hour cleaning up what I harvested. I’ll probably do one more session out there before the day is gone.

Just at the wrong time for the broccoli and cauliflower. I found a bit of harvest-able broccoli, but the cauliflower was granular-looking and dry. The rest of the main broccoli plants had bolted, so I had to cut those off and hope for some more shoots off the main plants.

 

The romaine lettuce really surged, showing me that next time I plant this, I’ll only have one plant per square. When they touch another plant, the outside leaves get yucky and croak. I have a lot of pruning to do to get these plants happy again.

The spinach went nuts, as well. I harvested a bunch today, cleaned it, and froze it.

The red leaf lettuce plants look like small BUSHES now. I’ll tackle them tomorrow. I harvested the rest of the radishes and will start another two squares of seeds soon.

I’ll need to try to either get up earlier and get right out to the garden, or plan to work out there right before sundown. The sun is really intense and this old lady gets more than enough in an hour’s time.

I feel bad when the garden isn’t at its best. It’ll probably take another day or two before it is under control again. My goal will be to have it done, plus the weed whacking of the yard finished, before the rain comes again Thursday.

 

 

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Tomatoes 5/5/2017

Since the rains came and the sun started shining, the tomatoes have really grown. I spent some time today tying up branches, trying to get them to climb the trellises my husband made. This is the smaller tomato plant in what we call “The Nook” beside the porch and behind the house.

 

This is the larger of the two nook tomato plants, planted about two weeks before the smaller one.

 

Here are the two together.

 

We have six more tomato plants in the brick planter we also converted to square foot garden plants, with Mel’s Mix. We bought these at three different times, again trying to expand the season and spread out when the tomatoes ripen a bit.

 

You can really see the difference between the plants here.

Finally, I just planted two grape tomato plants in the main garden a week or so ago. I’ll take pics of those when I start repairing what the rains did to the plants out there tomorrow.

My mouth is already watering! I saw some sweet yellow blooms here and there today…

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Garden After the Storms

The temperature right now is 58 F., and there is a gusty wind. The sun is finally shining. I’m feeling really grateful that the Greenwood area of Arkansas seems to have come through the storms pretty well.  Fort Smith got some hail damage, power outages, and some wind damage, but overall, it could have been a lot worse.

I went out for the first time since Thursday to see what was left of our garden.  There is no major damage. The plants are beaten up some, but seem to still be alive. I’ll be spending a lot of time out there, once it warms up a bit, trying to prune the dead parts off the plants, etc.

This is the largest of the spaghetti squash plants I started in my kitchen from one I bought from the store. It seems to be doing fine, although there is no sign of any veggie yet.

 

I think I’ll probably go ahead and harvest all of the radishes and plant more in other squares.

 

This is the largest of the celery plants I started inside, cutting the bottoms off stalks I bought at the store. I have a couple more plants to bring out to the garden. Again, I have no clue what to expect. I may just get leaves, but I’m having fun watching. :0)

 

I’ll need to do a LOT of pruning on the lettuce and the spinach. They both got pretty battered with all the wind and rain.

 

I’m going to go ahead and harvest the broccoli plants before they shoot spears up. I’m hopeful I’ll get more heads from the other parts of the plants.

Look at this! I’m delighted to see this sweet cauliflower head. I think I’m supposed to arrange for the leaves to cover the heads so the head will stay white.

 

As you can see, LOTS of pruning will be needed to get the plants looking the way they should, but I’m grateful that the garden seems to have come through all the severe storms okay.

 

 

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Tomatoes

Home-grown sliced tomatoes are one of our favorite things. Each year the only thing my husband is excited about is planting tomatoes. He hounds me from WAAAAAY before we should be planting them until every space for tomatoes is planted.  Last year the two plants in what we call ‘the nook’ beside the porch and behind the house got SO big that a big storm broke them off in the middle and folded them over into the yard. They never recovered. We still got some tomatoes, but the tomato orgy was over.

My husband built some stakes for the tomatoes in the nook this year. These blue stakes are about 6 feet high and made of metal. They are sunk to the bottom of the front of the planter and then lean against the brick wall behind. They’re super sturdy. I’m worried, though, that the metal will get hot and burn the plants. We’ll see.  The picture above is the plant we planted three weeks after the other one in the planter, hoping to extend our tomato season as long as possible.

 

Here is the other plant in the nook. It’s much larger and both have yellow blossoms already!

 

This is the other tomato planter. It has been converted from a flower planter to a square-foot garden planter. We have fairly sturdy tomato cages that stick down to the bottom of the planter. I planted the six plants at three different times, hoping for the best. They have really grown this past week. They weren’t even touching the cages last week.

Yesterday I found two grape tomato plants at one of the stores in town. I throw these into salads, eat them with carrots, celery and dip, and love the way they give color to whatever you’re eating. I HOPE they’re happy in the garden.

As soon as the rains quit, I’ll go out and see if I can tie the plants up carefully to give them as much support as possible. We’ve been having heavy rains, lots of wind, some hail, and flying hair balls lately. I’m trying to be thankful for every drop, but I hope all this doesn’t batter my poor little plants…

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Garden Images – April, 2017

I’ve just come in from a little over an hour of weeding and pruning in the garden. The pictures here were taken BEFORE I did that, ad I’m cringing a bit that you can see some little weeds and leaves that need to be removed, etc., but I wanted to share my delight in how well things seem to be doing now.

I actually have little bitty heads of broccoli coming on!

 

This is a terrible picture, but I have TWO cauliflower heads showing!

 

This is the largest celery plant, though I have several others. No clue yet whether I’ll actually get a stalk or not. (See what I mean about the little weeds? Most of them are gone now.

 

These are Georgia Sweet Onions. They seem to be happy now, rebounding from the hail storm.

 

This is one of two squares of radishes.

 

Red leaf lettuce.

 

This is the largest of the spaghetti squash plants I started from seed in the house.

 

And spinach. I was so delighted to find plants for sale this year at the local co-op. I hope that I thanked the guy effusively enough that he’ll try to get them again and again. I can’t be the only person looking for them and wanting to grow it.

I mainly cut up spinach for salads, or put the leaves in the rare sandwiches we eat now. I’m going to try to actually cook the leaves this year. It might be a thing where we love the stuff in the can, but the actually fresh leaves taste like a completely ‘different animal.’

Does anyone have directions for how best to cook fresh spinach leaves?

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