Tag Archives: diet

Great Tool for Trying to Lose the Lard

JustSomethingCreative

I’m trying to count carbs, staying at 20 grams or under daily, on the Keto eating plan.  It’s easy to fool yourself on how many carbs you’re eating, what kind of portions, etc. I have used MyFitnessPal.com before to track my calories. Now I find I can change the parameters so I can concentrate on my carb count, with an eye to fat and protein in the right proportions.

I just now filled in what I ate for lunch, and then added what I planned to eat for dinner and a snack before bed. It totaled too many carbs for the day, so I played with my plans until I came out fine. This is wonderful. You can TRY different things before making the mistake, rather than feeling bad after you’ve messed up.

 

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We’ve Been Spiralized (if you’ll pardon the expression)

HungryGoddess.com

 

 

I’m probably the last person on the planet to spiralize a veggie. I’ve made cauli-rice and I’ve cooked spaghetti squash, but just spiralized my first yellow squash last night.

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, told me that she had done it recently and she thought it was very good. Somehow, in my mind I was waiting to ‘process’ some and freeze it just to eat in place of spaghetti or noodles.

I used my spiralizer (above) for the very first time and it worked like a charm. I sauteed the squash in some olive oil, added some seasoned salt and pepper, and some garlic powder. It only took a few minutes to cook. My husband doesn’t like to ‘fight’ with spaghetti or anything like that, so I cut the ‘squash spaghetti’ into bite-sized pieces and served.   I put some on my husband’s plate, along with nice roast beef slices, and asked him to try it.

To my surprise, he said, “This is okay. What is it?” Around our house, this amounts to a judgment of ‘we can eat this again.’ (Not ‘YUMMY!” but it’ll work.) I can now look forward to serving this under recipes that call for spaghetti, angel hair pasta, or even noodles.

As far as our new ‘son’ (we’re hosting a 16-year-old soccer-player from Italy for the next school year, starting in August), I’ll ask him to try it. If he likes it, we’ll all try it with spaghetti and meat balls or a stir-fry. If he doesn’t, it won’t be a big deal to make some actual spaghetti for him.

Tonight I’m trying zucchini!

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Filed under DIET!, getting the lard off, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like, taking care of yourself

Chicken Recipe is “YUMMY!”

I really like Karly, of ThatLowCarbLife.com.  I’m finding more and more recipes my husband pronounces, “YUMMY!” from her website.

In a post here recently, I told you about her “Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan.” 

This time I tried her “Creamy Lemon Chicken with Garlic.”

 

Karly Campbell – ThatLowCarbLife.com

This is a different flavor than we usually eat, but my husband kept remarking about it as he took bite after bite. :0)

We buy a big tray of huge chicken breasts by Tyson. The first thing I do when I bring it home is cut each breast lengthwise because a whole one is too much for either of us to eat at a meal. I then put 4 halves into a freezer bag, label it, and put it in the freezer. One tray gives us a freezer full of chicken for lots of meals. Then it’s easy to thaw what we need for a recipe, actually making enough for two meals for us. :0)

I go to Karly’s website regularly now, having bookmarked it on my computer.  I like the fact that she uses easy-to-find ingredients. Her directions are clear, and her recipes don’t take a lot of time, and yet you end up with a meal that brings compliments!  Check out ThatLowCarbLife.com if you want to try some YUMMY food!

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Filed under Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!

Getting the Lard Off Progress To Date

The short answer – I’m down 43 pounds and 47.7 inches. 

Longer answer –

We decided to stop Nutrisystem, figuring that we have learned the lessons they have provided, and now it’s up to us to use them. We had gotten to the point where we were pretty much doing our own thing anyway, and are basically eating poultry or fish, lots of raw veggies and salads, fruit, and nuts.

I’m gathering some nice recipes for the chicken and fish. I’m working at this slowly because particularly at this time of the year, we’re doing a lot outside and I’m too pooped at the end of the day to start a new recipe. We eat a lot of what we call, “Main Meal Salads,” (basically chef salads) for dinner.

One surprising thing was that I’m having to work out a new dosage of thyroid replacement medicine since I’ve lost the weight. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was radiated, so I have none. My life now depends on replacing what my body can’t supply anymore.) Finding the right dosage is a bit like growing nerves – slow, gradual, and painful. Having too much or too little thyroid hormone results in basically the same symptoms – and all of them are extremely annoying. So you try a dosage for 6 weeks, get another blood test, change the dosage, try again. The symptoms remain until your brain is happy with the dosage. No shortcuts. We THINK we have the correct dosage now – at least most of the symptoms have decreased at this level.

My exercise efforts are hit and miss despite my best intentions. I’m working in my raised bed, square foot garden, plus weed whacking in the yard, weeding flower beds, etc. By the time I do several sessions of that in a day, I’m too lazy to try to exercise. I have finally learned the big lesson that being active is NOT the same as doing established exercises. The movement is good, but you’re not working the same muscles in the same way as you do when you exercise.

So, I’m feeling guilty a lot, but my priority right now is working outside when I can. When I get things to the stage where I’m basically maintaining my plants, I’ll do better on the exercise – PROMISE. (Okay, I know you’ve heard THAT before…. :0) )

I’m hopeful that when I report again at the end of May, I will have reached 50 lbs off and whatever inches I can manage. Here’s to a better job of getting the lard off!

taolife.com

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, quality of life, taking care of yourself

First Harvest of Spring 2019

My broccoli is a bit scraggly-looking, but it should be tender and flavorful. I’m going to use it to make soup.

 

Unless something bad happens, it looks like we’ll have the best lettuce ever. This was harvested today – the outer leaves from just three of our plants. This filled two gallon fridge bags. We’ll sure enjoy some of this for our main meal salad dinner tonight!

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Filed under DIET!, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself

Getting the Lard Off Results – as of March 2019

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I have a whole list of excuses, but – bottom line – I didn’t make much progress this month – except on finding some good, healthy recipes that we can eat on a regular basis.

To date – since my lardiest – I’ve lost 43 pounds and 44.2 inches. 

My goal is to lose another 30 pounds or so to get to the place where I can quit trying to get taller and my BMI chart is singing ‘hallelujah,’ – or at least, ‘you’ve come a long way, baby.’ Whatever inches that go with that will be much appreciated. I would love to get to the point where I don’t have to worry about ‘getting into’ clothes. I don’t really care what size it is. I would just like to be able to walk into a regular department or other clothes store and be confident that I can find my size and that the garment has a reasonable chance of fitting.

The biggest goal, though, is health. I’m newly determined – since the death of my brother this month – to do everything I can to improve my health as much as possible. That means a healthy weight and lots and lots of moving.

I’ve used lots of excuses re getting off my duff, too. I’m TRYING to do something different each day to keep getting my body’s attention. I’m already more active than usual, getting my veggie garden started and general working in the yard stuff.  But I use THAT as an excuse to forego my scheduled exercise. (I know, it’s pathetic, but there it is.)

I’m going to try to get started with getting on the elliptical trainer in the garage today. I’ll just worry about today for now.

Hopefully, when I report to you again at the end of April, I can say I’ve made some real progress.

All appendages crossed!

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Stumbling Block

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

For the last several weeks I’ve been fighting to lose more weight. I’ve hit a definite stumbling block, playing yo-yo and saying harsh words to my scales.

Since I started seriously trying to lose the lard, I’ve lost 43 pounds and 44.2 inches. I know that everyone hits bumps that cause consternation, but this seemed to be something more.

A blood test recently showed different results than I was expecting – borderline diabetes (!) and my thyroid hormone levels were askew. I also showed higher blood pressure at my appointment, even though I’ve taken medicine that controlled this for years. Surprises, to be sure!

(My thyroid was radiated years ago due to Grave’s Disease, so my thyroid hormone level medicine and dosage is serious business. Once I was diagnosed, it took a full year to find the correct dosage.) My doctor lowered the level on my thyroid medicine and told me to watch what I was eating, monitor blood pressure and blood sugar a couple of times a week for six weeks and get another blood test.

I did this, having the blood test last week. My blood sugar was again normal (whew!) so I don’t have to worry about that, other than watching what I eat (which I’m already doing.) My blood pressure was better without changing meds. My thyroid hormone level was STILL too high, so my doctor has lowered it again and wants me to have another blood test in 6 weeks.

I did a bit of research and found out that weight is the largest determining factor on finding the correct dosage of Levothyroxine – the thyroid hormone. Since I’ve lost some weight, apparently it took my brain awhile longer to figure out it wasn’t happy with my dosage. The article also said that some results of incorrect dosage were weight gain and fatigue, among other things.

SO – not only am I fighting too-much-food-in-mouth disease, but also incorrect dosage of thyroid hormone due to my weight loss. HUH!  I’ve decided to keep on keepin’ on – hoping that my brain decides it is happy with the new dosage while I continue to try to eat right and exercise, and I’ll try to be patient until I start losing again.

 

 

 

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Decisions on Trying to Lose the Lard

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My husband and I have been on Nutrisystem since April of 2018. We have each lost about 30 pounds.

My husband would like to lose another 10 pounds, but basically he is already at a healthy weight. He is a Type II diabetic, so we’ve been trying to really watch the sugar. He has brought his A1C down from a high of over 16 to 5.4 in January. We monitor his blood sugar twice a week.

I have another 30 pounds to lose. I’m doing this very slowly. Apparently being old, short, and female is a triple whammy as far as speed in losing weight. I’m not in this, though, to lose a certain amount of weight in as short a time as possible. I’m trying to get to a healthy weight for my height (though I’ve tried to GROW TALLER so I don’t need to lose as much weight). I want to keep the weight off.

We are narrowing the foods we enjoy via Nutrisystem (NS). I think this is healthy, because part of the program is learning to cook in a healthy fashion for yourself. We are doing this more and more, learning things to avoid, good things we can ‘throw into the pot’ to increase nutrition, and most of all, portion control. Apparently each of us was ‘eating-for-6-or-8’ so it was quite a shock to learn what is considered a ‘serving.’

To this end, we’re on hiatus from the monthly deliveries of NS food. We’re eating our way through the remaining food. We’ll probably switch to the A LA CARTE membership in May, so we can order the few things we really like and be on our own for the rest. We’re eating a lot of raw veggies and salads, cooked veggies, fruit, nuts, poultry and fish.

We are also following advice from the doctor who wrote “The Longevity Code.” Eating little or no red meat, switching to chicken and fish, eating more veggies, no white stuff (rice, pasta, potatoes, wheat flour.) We’re taking some supplements we didn’t know about, as well.

I’m finding more and more healthy recipes we like on the net. The newest thing I’m trying today is “Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili” from Delish.com

We’re combining the best advice from many sources to come up with something we can stick with – and enjoy – for the rest of our lives.

Other than trying to eat in a reasonable, adult fashion, I’m trying to exercise.

Bored Panda

The big thing I’m trying to do is get my poor, old body to NOTICE that I’m doing a good variety of things:

  • elliptical trainer
  • yoga and abdominal exercises
  • walking video
  • Wii Fit Plus (for balance and reaction time)
  • dance video

I’m also carrying an ‘el cheapo’ pedometer in my pocket as a reminder to get up and move more.  I do something here at the computer, then get up and handle another part of the laundry, then something else, and then come back later to a sitting thing, either here or in my art room. Then I get up again and do the same cycle over again all through the day. The result is a much better number of steps than I used to get, though I haven’t even begun to THINK about getting to 10,000 steps and over, as my SIL does…. :0)  (yeah. I’m bragging about YOU, ML.)

Good results so far are a loss of 30 pounds and a bit more than 30 inches. I feel more energetic and my body FEELS looser, more able to get up and down. (it used to be that the biggest part of the exercise was trying to get myself up off the floor before having to call for a crane to come help.) I am more flexible with less pain in my joints. I’m more optimistic about trying new exercises. I’ll never be what I call an exercising NUT – in that I have to use all kinds of incentives to actually DO it, such as a gold star for the day on my desk calendar, but I AM happy about the improvements I’m feeling.

The biggest remaining factor – other than the 30 more pounds I would like to lose, is that for some unknown reason, my last blood test showed higher blood sugar and a too-high dosage on my thyroid med. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was killed by radiation several years ago.) I have no idea why the blood test showed these new results, but I’m trying a new dosage of meds and I’m monitoring MY blood sugar twice a week when I check my husband’s for six weeks.

I have another appt with another blood test in 6 weeks. Hopefully, that test will show a lot of improvement in my blood sugar and a brain happy with my dosage of thyroid hormone. Wish me luck!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, The Longevity Code - Dr. Kris Verburgh

The Verdict is In

My husband gave it the Basic Broccoli Soup a try and doesn’t care for it. I think it tastes really good. If you’re interested, here is the recipe –

Basic Broccoli Soup – Dr. Kris Verburgh, The Longevity Code

Basic Broccoli Soup 

¼ cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped  (I used minced garlic from a jar)

4 cups water

1 pound broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 vegetable bullion cubes (I used chicken)

Pepper

Finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the water into the pan and add the broccoli, bouillon cubes and pepper. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and blend the broccoli with an electric mixer or immersion blender to puree. Serve with parsley.

Tip –

You can also add 1T dried basil, 1 bay leaf (removed before blending), and 1 small, chopped onion, for extra flavor. (I did this)

You can also make the soup thicker by using more veggies – for example, substituting 1 lb 10 oz of veggies for the water. ( I’m thinking I’ll add spinach leaves to this next time.)

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Filed under Healthy Eating, The Longevity Code - Dr. Kris Verburgh

Broccoli Soup Experiment

 

I’m making soup today – for the first time – ever. I know, since I’m older than dirt, this is probably a surprising statement. My mom made a few dishes that were absolutely spectacular, such as spaghetti sauce, chili, and some casseroles; but mainly, she cooked from many boxes and cans. We always ate Campbell’s soup.

I told you we were impressed when we read The Longevity Code by Dr. Kris Verburgh recently, and that there were a few really basic recipes in the book. One was “Basic Broccoli Soup”  and that’s what I have cooking now. When my timer goes off in about 15 minutes, I’m supposed to use an immersion blender (I actually HAVE one!) to puree the broccoli.

I expect my husband will be UNDERwhemed, since he only eats steamed broccoli because he knows he should and because I fix it and put it on his plate. I really don’t expect him to do more than taste it, but one can hope. I’m mainly fixing it for ME because I love broccoli, and like the idea of being able to microwave home-cooked soup and eat it for a meal or a snack any time I would like.

If this recipe is good – or can be tweaked – I’ll post it here.

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Muffin Recipe – Thumbs UP

“5-Ingredient Banana Nut Muffins” – The Leaf – Nutrisystem

My husband and I each had a muffin for our mid-afternoon snack.

Both of us gave our muffin a thumbs up. It was chewy, crunchy, and sweet.  It has rolled oats, ripe bananas, raisins cinnamon and nuts. Mine didn’t look as good as these, but the muffin tasted good and was filling.  I’ll make this recipe again.

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Unintended Flex Meal Diet Enforcement

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A funny thing happened on the way to our Nutrisystem “Flex Meal” at Arby’s. My husband and I had been being taunted by ads on the TV from Arby’s, advertising a ‘turkey BLT’ and a ‘deep-fried turkey sandwich’ over and over again. We decided that we would spend our flex meal on this, eating half for lunch and the other half for dinner.

We ordered, paid, and then came home with our wonderful smelling sack of goodies. Our 93 pound lab puppy, Amber, was salivating in the back seat, becoming more and more agitated as we neared home. (I felt the same, but didn’t drool, as she did.)

I opened the sack to distribute our wealth to find only ONE sandwich. The lady apparently hadn’t heard my husband order my sandwich. We ended up cutting the sandwich in half, as “I” planned to do with MINE, and shared it for our lunch, obviously having none left over for dinner.

I would have been much happier using our new-found trying-to-become habit of ‘cutting-things-in-half-to-enjoy-the-second-half-later’ to be exercised by US, rather than an innocent clerk at a local fast food shop….

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88 is a Beautiful Number

When my husband had double vision, plus shooting pain in his feet, plus other symptoms, he FINALLY took his ‘sugar problem’ seriously. (He still says he doesn’t have ‘diabetes’ because he doesn’t have to inject himself with insulin daily – silly man.)  The problems were painful enough and scary enough that he FINALLY agreed to essentially give up sugar.

Healthline

This was a really serious thing. Sugar is his favorite thing. He even calls ME “Sugar.”

I decided that, since I really wanted to encourage him to give up the sugar, it was only reasonable that I give up something I really loved – Salt. I even salted already salty things, sprinkling it heavily on everything I ate. I kept a salt shaker by my chair in the living room so I didn’t have to get up when I wanted more…

Food Navigator

We did low-carb dieting, and that helped, but it was dependent on my finding recipes he really liked and that I had the energy to cook after doing ‘whatever’ all day. Plus, we found ourselves celebrating ‘national pickle week’ because we missed so many of our junk foods. It wasn’t a good way to tackle the problem in a serious. steady way. We started Nutrisystem in April. This program is good because it’s low ‘everything’ (sugar, salt, fat, etc.) plus there is portion control – a foreign concept to us since we routinely were apparently eating for 6…

We researched and tested several drinks, in that my husband won’t drink water. We found a great hot drink to replace the ‘coffee-with-2-heaping- sugars’ he routinely drank. (He refuses to use sugar alternatives because they have a bad aftertaste for him.) It’s Alpine Spiced Apple Cider  – Sugar-Free Instant Drink Mix. He mixes in some Potassium Citrate, which is good for alleviating Restless Leg problems at night. His cold drink is Arizona Zero Peach Iced Tea. With these two, he is happy.

We’ve each lost about 30 pounds now and several inches. The very best thing is that my husband’s double vision is gone. The shooting pain in his feet is gone. All other more minor systems are gone.  Within Nutrisystem guidelines, he is able to eat fruit again, and he really looks forward to his mid morning or mid afternoon snack of fruit and nuts.

When we started trying to do without sugar, his A1C was above 16 – an astronomical number. His blood sugar count blew off the top of the monitor! He routinely had numbers in the 300+s.  Now his A1C is below 7. Best of all, his blood sugar number yesterday was 88 !!!!!! (Normal is 100 and below.)

To say that 88 is a beautiful number is the understatement of all time. We have learned that ‘Less is More,’ and are enjoying improved health that encourages us to continue our efforts.

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Now We’re Talkin’

Alamy

Pound 24 came off today!  And 23+ inches gone. I feel as if I am definitely off to a good start now.

I had that happy news and then got to go for a heavenly massage, so I’m feeling that today is a stellar day.

We have eaten more ‘flex’ meals than usual because our Nutrisystem supplies were almost gone. (We got our orders today), so I’ve been worried that the scale and the tape measure would both start backtracking. We held our own and made progress. Hooray!!!

Another happy note – we may be seeing a sliver of light regarding the computer issues that have really been character-building exercises recently. My husband’s motherboard has been sent back for repair or replacement. I ordered another motherboard – a different model – and that should be on its way to us now. Today I FINALLY reached someone on chat at NewEgg who found our order for my previous refurbed motherboard and said she would contact the seller to give us an RMA # within two business days, and – if they didn’t get back to us – that NewEgg would handle the return and refund for us. I had almost given up ever reaching their customer service department.When I tried to use the chat, I was told I was number 75 or so in the queue. When I tried to call, the wait time was 36 minutes or so. I couldn’t just send it back because we had no order # or any paperwork to go with it. This lady – Olivia at NewEgg helped us out tremendously.

Even though we’re still in the trenches as far as working regular computers go, things appear to be improving.

I hope YOUR day is good, too!

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Encouragement

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I’m feeling encouraged this morning in my weight loss efforts. I had gotten to this ‘decade’ on the scale recently – put my hands up in jubilation – then apparently ate some lead that day because I gained a pound. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to get that off again. Finally, this morning, I got that off and a bit more. Hooray!

Losing weight is always hard. Losing weight when you are age-challenged, as I am, is even harder. Getting the lard off when you are overweight, old, and are happiest when you are sedentary is the hardest.

My husband and I are making progress, though. And we intend to keep it off once we get to our goals. People are starting to notice that we aren’t carrying as much lard as we used to, and that’s really encouraging. The fact that our doctor noticed because of significant improvement in our latest blood work is even more encouraging. She said that, at the rate we’re going, we both may be able to stop taking some prescriptions!

My husband isn’t exercising at all. I would like it if he would do something he enjoys to get some, but I choose my battles. He’s almost in the normal range on his A1C now, after a high of over 16. I’m so happy for him and proud of his efforts.

I am pushing myself to keep moving more each day. Today I’m starting with the elliptical trainer in the garage, and then I’ll either do yoga, the firming exercises from my walking video, or both.

The biggest thing is that we’re changing our lifestyle. We are on Nutrisystem for the second time after a whole lot of years. Their program has improved, not only in better choices of food, but also encouraging us to prepare our own meals or eat out in the real world for one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack each week. They call these “Flex Meals.” This has given us the most trouble – since we tend to gain weight with these. The whole point of this, though, is to learn how to cook in a healthy fashion, which foods now fit with our lifestyle, and most of all, portion control in our controlled environment at home and then out in the real world.

An example is that I cooked scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning – our flex breakfast for the week.  Before we changed our lifestyle, we would have eaten 7 or 8 scrambled eggs between us, two pieces of toast and jelly each, some bacon, plus orange juice and coffee. This morning we shared 5 eggs (my share 2, my husband 3). He had sugar-free hot apple cider. I drank a bottle of water with breakfast and am now having a cup of coffee.

We won’t get any prizes for fast weight loss, but we are slowly getting healthier. We feel better as we shed the lard. I am having less pain in my joints and am working on strengthening my core and improving my balance.

One day at a time.

taolife.com

 

 

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Filed under DIET!, Encouragement, exercise

I’m Making Progress

Progress Report:

  • Down 20.6 pounds
  • Down 20.4 inches

I made it through the 1st mile on the Annoying Leslie walking video today. My hips were talking to me, but not as badly as yesterday, and I didn’t have to walk in place a couple of times while the people on the video did the more challenging (kicks and knee lifts). I’m still having to force myself through it, holding my hips at times, but I’m getting there!

I won’t win any prizes for speed of weight loss, either, but I received my purple bear with “20” on it in the mailbox recently, and that’s 20 lbs gone so far, plus a happy, tangible reminder every day that I’m taking better care of myself.

My husband is 5 or 6 pounds from his weight goal now. If I weren’t addicted to him, I would slug him for making weight loss look so easy, while NOT drinking the water he’s supposed to be, NOT exercising, and just waiting for me to bring him his meals and snacks each day, along with making pulled pork for him, since Nutrisystem discontinued the item and teed him off.

We’re both still delighted that our blood test results were SO much better. There is a chance that my husband’s blood sugar number (A1C) will be NORMAL next time, and the doctor says he might be able to completely stop the blood sugar medicine in time. My lipid profile was the thing most improved this time, with each part dropping 60 to 90 points. My husband goes back in 3 months and I go back in 6 months. Here’s hoping our results will be even better!

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20

 

We received the non-frozen portion of our latest Nutrisystem order this morning. We got everything put away, but something was missing! I finally connected with the CHAT portion of the website and waited to talk to a counselor. RebeccaL looked up my account and confirmed with URL that it said the bear had been shipped separately and that it had been delivered! The URL said it had been delivered to our mailbox.

We had errands in Fort Smith, and stopped at the mailbox at the bottom of the driveway on the way. And there it was! A sweet, lusciously purple small bear who said, “20” on his lapel, indicating that my second milestone has officially been achieved and recognized.

I feel a bit embarrassed that I was SO disappointed when my bear wasn’t included in my new box of food, but it’s true. I LIKE getting pats on the head when I’m finally losing the lard (albeit slowly).  With what I still want to lose, I’ll hopefully have a whole ROW of these sweet little bears by the time I reach my goal!

On to the next bear!!!

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

Pet Peeves – Short Rant

amazing-creature.blogspot.com

I’ve told you that my husband and I are trying to get the lard off and get healthier with the Nutrisystem program. We did this years ago, quitting because my husband was able to order fewer and fewer things he liked due to NS discontinuing his favorites. It’s happening again! :0(

Yesterday I spent a LOT of time contacting NS via email and then chat, trying to find out when the BBQ Pulled Pork lunch would be back in stock. They finally told me that it had been discontinued.

On the website on our previous order, it had said something similar to, “Due to high demand and popularity of this item, it is temporarily out of stock.” To find out this month that it has been discontinued was almost a deal breaker for my husband. He isn’t the most flexible person and doesn’t adapt well. We had a tense hour or so while we tried to figure out what to do. He doesn’t care for many of the lunch choices, so he wanted to eat the alternative “BBQ Seasoned Chicken” for lunch AND dinner. It’s only offered for dinner. We finally decided to order only 4 items for his lunches, order other choices for me to use to make flex meals for us, and then order 20 a la carte BBQ Seasoned Chicken items (having to pay extra) and order a bunch as part of his dinner items, as well. WHEW!

The discontinuing of an item that is out of stock ‘due to high demand and popularity’ doesn’t ring true for me. That seems like stupid business – plus you’re teeing off your customers. I would think a company as large as Nutrisystem could either make a deal with the current supplier, find another supplier who makes this, or figure out a way to make it themselves.

The NS program is expensive, but worth it when you’re trying to make a lifestyle change. To have to buy a la carte because my husband has tried, but doesn’t like a lot of the lunch items is really frustrating.

I will try to contact someone there who might be able to do something about this. I really want to stay on the program. Just a couple of weeks ago, my husband was saying he didn’t see why we couldn’t stay on NS essentially forever – but this was before his choices were being discontinued.

END OF RANT

Madeleine Jacobs

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Frustration

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Dieting is never easy, but some things really complicate our efforts.

We are on the Nutrisystem programs. I’m on the one with most choices for women with too much lard and my husband is on the diabetic men’s program.

We were going along just fine until this past order. The BBQ Pulled Pork that my husband REALLY likes for lunch wasn’t available. He doesn’t handle this well. In fact, when we tried Nutrisystem several years ago, he (and then I) quit because they kept narrowing his choices until he gave up in a huff. This is like an instant replay.

I spent a lot of time on CHAT today trying to find out if and when BBQ Pulled Pork would be available again. Bottom line after lots of time the answer was “it won’t be.” Needless to say, that didn’t go over well with my husband. We explored various options – him huffing and puffing all the while – and finally decided to order an A LA CARTE addition to our next order for him so that he can eat the substituted BBQ Seasoned Chicken that IS available for lunch or dinner as he chooses. (He’s almost to his weight goal so he doesn’t have to worry overmuch about calories, and we’re monitoring his blood sugar on a regular basis.)

I would really like to lose my lard.  An unhappy husband, though, isn’t worth it. I’m hoping that they don’t discontinue the BBQ Seasoned Chicken. If they do, that will be all she wrote. :0(

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Feeling Encouraged

I went for my monthly massage with Lynn Moody this morning. I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to it. I was stiff and sore in my lower back and Lynn made it feel much better, as usual.  I’m so lucky to have found her.

I’m feeling encouraged because Lynn said she could tell I’ve lost weight! I’ve lost 15-1/2 pounds so far, and two people have noticed: Lynn today and our wonderful hair stylist, Michael, yesterday. They might just be being nice, since they know my husband and I are trying to get the lard off, but they didn’t have to say ANYTHING.

Officially, I’ve lost 15.5 lbs and 17.3 inches.

I wish I could tell you that I feel so much more energetic, but I don’t. Maybe in another 15 lbs or so. I’m still old. I still have to push myself to get onto my elliptical trainer, do my yoga stretches, over-the-door shoulder pulley exercises, and weight exercise for my shoulders. I’ve added one new exercise called, “The Oyster” which is supposed to be a really good, effective exercise for people who are essentially pear-shaped, like me. It is supposed to strengthen whatever the muscles are that go horizontally around your core, rather than the ones that run vertically, as most abdominal exercises do.

The Oyster

You’re on your back. You pull up your legs so they’re bent. You come up with arms straight in front of you. You push your lower back into the floor as you do this. You come up so your hands are even with your legs and hold it for a count of 5. You do as many repetitions as you can.

I’m still waiting for the 0-6 Pack Abs DVD I bought. I’m standing on one foot and the other to get started with these because the exercises are especially for people like me, who need to strengthen the horizontal core muscles in the right way for my body type so that I don’t injure myself or make things worse, making my belly stick out MORE. These exercises are also supposed to lessen the pain in my back as I strengthen the core muscles, which makes sense.

I know, it’s hard to listen to me being impatient when I hate to exercise, but I’ll stay with it if I feel it’s beginning to help me.

I’m hoping that each time I get my hair cut or go for another massage, there will be noticeably less and less of me!

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Nutrisystem Orders

animals.ekstrax.com – via tailandfur.com

Our orders to Nutrisystem finalize at 6 pm this evening.

I love the fact that we can go online to our account and see what our choices are for the coming order and change them at any time. They also send me emails reminding me of the cutoff date so I have all chances possible to make my decisions.

My husband and I are still trying lots of new items, although our choices for the NEXT order are narrowing to the things we like the most.

On evening snacks, I like the ice cream bars the best, looking forward to mine all day long. :0)  I love both the fudge bar and the orange cream bar. My husband’s choices for snacks are much more varied than mine. He’s into their cookies, particularly the white chocolate chunk ones, but is ordering about 4 or 5 different ones he really likes.

I’ve changed from lots of egg type breakfasts to cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, and cold cereals. My husband likes their Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal the best.

Lunches and dinners vary, although this time we’re opting for more NON-frozen entrees than frozen.

I’m trying to zero in on our flex meals more and more.

  • “Flex Breakfast” is our brunch meal with Breakfast Bunch each Friday.
  • “Flex Snack” is ice cream after bowling on Mondays with our good friends.
  • “Flex Lunches” and “Flex Dinners” are more fluid. Tonight, for example, for “Flex Dinner” I’m grilling us little bitty steaks and we’re having little bitty baked potatoes.  “Flex Lunch” kind of got lost in the shuffle this week. It’s harder because we have very limited choices for eating out in Greenwood that go with our new diet, and we don’t want to completely blow it. We usually concentrate on lots of veggies and a small amount of dip with our NS Lunch anyway. I’ll work on it.

 

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“Lunch Bunch” is Renamed “Breakfast Bunch”

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A nice counselor from NutriSystem (NS) helped me work through a plateau in my weight loss efforts recently. The chat facility is one of the things I really like.

She suggested that I NOT skip anything on the list of what I should be eating for the day, and that I should try swapping the NS lunches and dinners for a week to see if that helped. She also told me to make sure that the powerfuel and smartcarb snacks each had 80 calories.  I’m really happy that these suggestions have worked!

I went for a celebration FLEX  lunch this week for getting to 1100 subscribers to this blog. :0)   I had a delicious lobster tail, steamed broccoli, wild rice, and a Red Lobster biscuit. I don’t get many celebrations, and I LOVE lobster tail, so I threw caution to the winds and enjoyed every butter-soaked mouthful. AND gained 2 pounds. 

I lost one of the pounds yesterday, but today we’re going to ‘Lunch Bunch.’  We like their fried chicken fingers.  I’ve tried counting this at a FLEX ‘lunch,’ but we eat this too early for it to be ‘lunch,’ for us, really making a mess of the rest of our day, so today I’m going to call it a FLEX ‘breakfast.’ This way I’m hopeful that we can do more or less our regular eating schedule the rest of the day.  We skipped our NS breakfast and our FLEX breakfast will take the place of that AND a snack at 11:30. We’ll have a snack at 2:30 and then we’ll be back on schedule. At least I HOPE that works for us.

The FLEX thing is the hardest for me to work into our eating. We need to be able to do our normal social things with friends we love. We look forward to real ice cream after bowling on Monday evenings (FLEX snack) and then our “Lunch Bunch” (FLEX breakfast) on Fridays and fried chicken fingers. If we can make this work, we’ll be home free on the rest of it.

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Confusion Re NutriSystem Solved

urbclekki.wordpress.com

Yesterday I happily started Week 2 of our Nutrisystem plans, carefully having made note of Powerfuels (and lists of) and SmartCarbs (and lists of), as well as what each of us was to eat at the various times of the day.

I got to the point of adding dinner into my NuMi tracker records and discovered that I was going over the calorie limit at the top! I had thought that one of the perks of the Nutrisystem plan was that you didn’t have to count calories, but it was clear that I had messed up in some way. I deleted the veggies I had planned to eat and the snack I had been looking forward to eating after dinner, staying under the calorie limit.

I contacted one of the nice people connected to Nutrisystem via the live CHAT today – one of the great parts of the program, in my estimation. She said that I needed to switch to “nutrisystem’ instead of ‘turbo 13’ as the current stage of my program. (I had thought that when the NuMi page congratulated me on finishing the Turbo week, they would make any changes needed.) The kind lady switched my program stage for me and I was off to the races again.

We ate our first FLEX meal (meals eaten off the plan to teach you how to cope with the real world and not break your new eating plan). We’re supposed to eat one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack as Flex meals each week, preferably not on the same day. We ate our regular Lunch Bunch with our good friends, not wanting to change our cherished time together. My husband had his loved chicken fingers and I had a big salad and a hard boiled egg, figuring I was eating two servings of veggies and one powerfuel.

We are delighted to be eating FRUIT again!  We haven’t eaten fruit in maybe over a year, due to my husband being a type II diabetic and our trying to eat low carb. It’s such a treat! My husband’s blood sugar number yesterday was the lowest it’s been since we have been monitoring it!

We are making changes to our next order on almost a daily basis, finding things we don’t particularly care for, and other things we really like and want more of. The website makes it easy to do that.

So, my confusion and upset from yesterday was solved today. I’ll happily dive into the freezer this evening for a nice entree for each of us and probably an ice cream sandwich!!!

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Good News re Getting the Lard Off!

 

I received the emails today that the frozen part of our first order from Nutrisystem is supposed to be delivered by the end of the day on Wednesday!

Immediately, my husband said, then we should start the program the following Monday.

We were on the way to Fort Smith to take our donation to the Veterans Thrift Store, so I sat there, thinking. On the way back I finally asked him, “Why do you want to wait until Monday to start?” And he answered, “Because it’s more symmetrical than starting in the middle of the week.”

By the time we got home, I said, “I really want to start on Thursday, since we’ll get the rest of the food we ordered on Wednesday and I can get it organized and stored.” (Since it has taken so long to get the two parts of what we ordered, Order #2 is scheduled to be shipped on May 13th. Starting Thursday will give my husband a chance to try several of his choices and we can still make changes until 6 pm on the 12th.)

We agreed to start on Thursday morning (assuming we get the delivery as scheduled.)

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Hooray!

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Believing in Tomorrow

Audrey Hepburn via GrowingBolder.com via Cathy Ruggiero

 

tomato plants

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” ~ Kate Morton

Raised Bed Planters – Row 1

“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view. ” ~ H. Fred Dale

 

Raised Bed Planters – Row 2

“In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy.” ~Robert Brault

We’re due for rain starting this afternoon – going from “Thunderstorms,” to “Heavy Rain,” to “Showers,” to “A.M. Showers,” to “Thunderstorms” through Monday of NEXT WEEK! My biggest concern now is that my sweet plants will come up out of the ground and flow out of the squares and boxes and end up on the ground below…

“You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.” ~ Author Unknown

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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.

graphics

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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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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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Pineapple Glazed Pork Loin Recipe

I really can’t say enough about Dana Carpender. Between her 300 15-Minute Low-Carb Recipes and her Slow-Cooker recipes, I have really all I need for our efforts to eat low carb. She uses down-to-earth, rather than super-fancy, hard-to-find ingredients. I really like that.

I can either start something in the crock pot early or I can opt for a dinner than takes about 15 minutes to put together. I really like that, too.

A couple of nights ago I tried a recipe from the 15-Minute book called, “Pineapple Glazed Pork Loin.” My husband immediately declared it a winner and asked if we could have the leftovers the next night. :0)

“Pineapple Glazed Pork Loin.”

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound boneless pork loin, cut about 1/2″ thick*
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canned, crushed pineapple in juice
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic or 2 cloves garlic, crushed

*Feel free to use thinnish pork chops, instead.

Directions:

  • First, pound the pork until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and saute’ the pork, covering it with a tilted lid. Give it 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  • While the pork’s browning, combine the pineapple, vinegar, Splenda, mustard, soy sauce and garlic. When the pork is browned on both sides, add this mixture to the skillet. Turn the pork over once or twice to coat. Put the tilted lid back on the pan, cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turn, re-cover, and give it another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to serving plates and scrape any remaining liquid from the pan over the pork before serving.

Yield:

2 servings, each with 4 grams of carbohydrates, a trace of fiber, and 22 grams of protein.

MY NOTE: Since I served a veggie and a salad, we were happy to eat half the pork loin for one meal and then the rest as leftovers the 2nd night. My husband has already asked if I have another pork loin on the grocery list. :0)

His grade – “YUMMY!”

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Low Carb Minestrone Soup Is a Winner!

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

My husband’s firm opinion is that Campbell’s Soup is the best and that no one should even try to compete. He ate his words – as well as the soup – last night! :0)

The recipe is for “Minestrone” and the source is Low Carb Recipes for Diabetics by Don Orwell.

He looks as food as medicine. He promotes what he calls Super Foods that boost immunity, promote weight loss, and slow aging. This is the first of his recipes we’ve tried, and we’re really impressed.

The Minestrone Recipe serves 8 to 10. It’s sugar fee, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and nut free. So what’s left? Really good soup!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce*
  • 1/2 oz red wine (optional)
  • 1 cup raw cannellini beans*
  • 2 cups green beans*
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
  • 3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced*
  • 1 tbsp. chopped oregano
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or cumin oil

Instructions:

Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours

NOTES: (MINE)

  • I used a whole can of tomato sauce
  • I used a CAN of cannellini beans
  • I used a CAN of green beans
  • I used ONE zucchini
  • I went lighter on the herbs and spices
  • At my husband’s request, I added some cut up roast beef (about one cup, diced)
  • I added some xanthan gum thickener about half an hour before serving

I really liked this soup, but I’m much easier to please than my husband. HE liked it, too. He requested we eat some of the leftovers tonight, along with garlic bread made with our new low carb bread.  He sounded surprised when he told me it was “good – really good,” and then mentioned it again when we were cleaning up. I have two large glass bowls of soup left. I’m thinking that I’ll serve one of them for us tonight and freeze the other to enjoy later.

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/15/2016

AnimalWallpapers - DesktopNexus

AnimalWallpapers – DesktopNexus

I’m finally getting my eating after dinner until better control, though I have to admit it’s a fight, one night after the next.

I’m doing a combination of

  • re-reading the books that got me motivated in the first place
  • finding better low carb snacks to eat
  • finding more active things to do to distract me before bed
  • drinking more water after dinner

My scale is beginning to show a downward movement again, although I’m still re-losing the weight I thought was gone.

I’m feeling good about my yoga practice.

Bajiroo.com

Bajiroo.com

Most every day I’m doing two 1/2 hour sections of the DVD set “Gentle Yoga.” Today I just finished “Legs,” and “Overall Flow.” I’m beginning to feel looser. I’m beginning to be able to sit with my knees bent, feet under me, without my feet cramping so much, and without the tops of my thighs screaming. I may never be able to bend over and touch my fingers to the floor, but I’m stretching the right muscles to do so. When my back is hurting, I now know that doing yoga will make it feel better. I’m also learning to relax at the end of the sections for 5 minutes, something I feel REALLY hard to do at the beginning. AND, I can now lie on my back on the floor and put my hands over my head and touch the floor behind me – something that was impossible in the beginning.

I’m pairing the yoga practice with some exercises for my abdomen. I’m hoping all this will come together gradually to impress my tape measure, too.

Today I made a new recipe for dinner – Low Carb Minestrone.  My husband came in while I was avidly chopping up veggies and said he thought it was good I was making Beef Stew. I told him it was Minestrone. He said, “But it has beef in it, doesn’t it?” I told him it didn’t have ANY meat in it. He looked disappointed, and asked, “But COULD it have some beef in it?” At that point I relented and added some leftover roast beef to the mix. I’ll let you know what we think tomorrow.

I hope your day has been fun.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise