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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kale and peppers and rice, oh my

Today's lunch was a wonderful concoction of crunch and chew, made perfect by the sweet tang of a homemade slaw type dressing. I was out of lettuce and needed my daily raw veggies so just made my chopped salad without the lettuce greens. Carrots, orange peppers, green onion and kale all chopped and thrown in my wooden salad bowl. Half a cup of brown rice and 1T of sunflower seeds and the salad was done. Two dates soaked in ac vinegar plus 1T more of the vinegar and 1T vanilla soy milk blended up in the magic bullet made the perfect dressing. I think I'll make this again tomorrow but use walnuts instead of sunflower seeds and add in some chopped apple for a Waldorf spin. I love how there is always another way to change up a salad, plants rule! 
But what I really wanted to say is about the dates. They are the cheap by the bucket ones, not the luscious medjool dates that are just too expensive right now, and they tend to be drier and leaner and harder to chop and blend.  So I have discovered that keeping a few of them soaking in vinegar in the fridge softens them up so they will blend easier to make dressings sweet. See how creamy the dressing sits on top of the salad before I tossed it all together? It looked like regular coleslaw dressing and was just as good, but I like to think that the date has fiber and micro nutrients that the honey or sugar of a regular slaw dressing lacks. And I do use them in moderation, just one or two depending on how sweet I want the dressing.

I remember how when I first started eating for nutrition and making green smoothies in the morning these dates were my best friend, and a couple always found there way into the blender. Now that my taste buds have adjusted to the greens I rarely use them in the smoothies anymore, but they make a huge difference in the wonderfulness factor of home made salad dressings. I don't often use them together with the vanilla soy milk like I did today, but sometimes you just need that extra comfort factor, and this simple little dressing really does the trick for me.

And I'm thinking I need to soak some of the dates in the soy milk so that they are ready for me to use when I finally get around to dropping by the store for some bananas so I can use them to sweeten a green banana shake :)

I wonder how long that big bucket of dates is going to last, I'm thinking I should freeze some...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Comfy jeans and pink trees

We drove down to an archery shoot in the middle of nowhere yesterday, and to get there in time we had planned to get up at 6 and leave by 6:30.  I knew it would feel like an early start with daylight savings kicking in, but we had packed up our gear and loaded up the car the night before, and I had done my showering just before bed. I had also mentally laid out what I would wear and allotted myself time in the morning to blend up a green smoothie to take in the car for breakfast. On these types of mornings I treat myself to a muffin or biscuit from Mickey D's; I know my honey will be driving through for his breakfast and that I will be walking off the calories in short order.

What I didn't count on was that the jeans I was planning to wear were in the laundry. So there I was this morning frantically trying to figure out what to wear and no time to do it. I did have one pair of jeans that almost fit - they were snug standing up but that would work since we were going to be hiking the range all day. I would just have to unzip them for the drive; they were so old the waist was high enough to strangle me if I wasn't careful. So I pulled them on and was relieved to find they weren't as tight as they had been when I tried them on before the Vegas trip in February, I was even able to tie my boots with them zipped up. In the mad dash to get ready I didn't think about it much more until we had been been on the freeway driving south for about half an hour when all of a sudden I realized that my jeans were still zipped up and NOT tight! I was downright comfortable! I slipped my thumb under my waistband and while there was not extra room, there was also no binding. My first thought was to wish I had weighed in before dressing, but the immediate second thought was to be glad I hadn't.  I am staying off the scale for a bit because I am tired of the games I play with the numbers I see. Instead I am focusing on positive physical results in an attempt change my mindset, and what better sign than comfy jeans that were too tight a month ago!

Another half hour of driving brought us to a rolling orchard of wonderfully pink blooming fruit trees, set against the lush green of the foothills they were nestled against. We have had so much more rain than usual here in central California this year; we don't normally see extended periods of green hills, let alone ones that are so lush they look to be covered with velvet. And I don't normally drive south in the spring either. So there we were driving by this gorgeous scene that I've never had the grace to see before and me with no camera. I am so tempted to spend the gas today retracing yesterday's steps so I can get a camera shot. If I were working there would be no question about spending the money, but then again, if I were working I wouldn't be able to just take off from work to go take a picture. I'm having a hard time figuring this one out, so instead I will just keep that beautiful picture in my mind to cheer my day until either action or lack thereof decides the issue.

What ever I decide to do, it's nice to know I now have a larger pool of jeans to choose from to wear doing it!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I was treadmill walking this morning, reaching deep for motivation to keep going because I was doing too good a job of rationalizing away to myself at why a mile and a half was good enough.  And in my desperation I began to listen to my ego. I know that we have at our core a need for self preservation, and I believed it when I read that the ego was born as a means to support survival instinct. So I found myself listening to my ego as I walked - I'm going faster than that person, I have better form than this one, and why is that lady even here she is going so slow??? Look at me how my shoulders are down and relaxed, my stomach pulled in tight and my breathing steady through my nose as I clip along at a decent incline and pace; look at me and how perfectly I walk!

I caught myself rather quickly, reminding my ever so nasty ego that everyone has a story, that everyone is doing the best they can, and that the person behind me is finding fault with my big butt, my choice of shoes, and pitying me for my mop of hair that had been quickly swooshed back into a clip this morning just as surely as I am judging those in front of me.  We all do it, we judge ourselves by looking outside of ourselves to compare what we are with what someone else is instead of rating ourselves against our own inner divine standards. This is the ego at it's worst. I guess really I should say this is MY ego at it's worst, because I can't really speak for anyone else.  Well, I can, but I shouldn't.

So instead of looking outwards I began to focus my attention inwards towards the athlete I once was and will be again. Inwards to where I keep a fortress of knowledge and where friends are cheering me on and rooting for me to succeed. Inwards to where I am good and pure and wholesome and healthy and from where all things wonderful are born. And when I looked up the last half mile was gone and I punched the cool down button with a vengence! Ha! Take that! 

So of course I had to come home and brag about not giving up, because last night I did give up, and I fell headfirst into a package of cookies.  This is not unusual behavior on a day that began with cold pizza.  So all of my good intentions to excuse my breakfast choice yesterday aside - NO MORE PIZZA FOR BREAKFAST, at least for a while.

I have shorts I want to fit into this summer, and in remembering that I want to share a line from a PT buddy that I found inspiring this moring, "You can have either excuses or results; not both."   Amen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cold Pizza

There is hunger, which a 'normal' person satisfies by eating, and then there is eating, which a food addict does to satisfy...something. God knows what. Some say it's to fill the bottomless pit that lives like a raging monster inside them, never happy and always brimming with need. Others explain it's to dampen the feelings that are threatening to overwhelm them. And while I have been both places, stuffing myself until miserable to do one or the other, most of the time for me it's now simply about opportunity meeting weakness. This morning there might have been a little habit thrown in the mix to make the perfect trifecta of temptation.

Mindless eating to fill a void, mindful eating to purposefully change how you feel - these are things I understand, and I have worked hard to make them a thing of the past. Nutrition and exercise go a long way towards banishing them from MY kingdom. But this morning was a little different, and I found myself getting cold pizza out of the box for breakfast. Typically I break my fast with herbal tea first, then fruit either by itself or blended in a green smoothie. I know this is the best way to start my day, and goes miles towards avoiding the pitfalls of bad choices later in the day. Throw in some Omega 3's to ward against depression and I'm good.

One might think from reading thus far that I was binging this morning; standing in front of the refrigerator and stuffing big fat slices of pizza down my throat, but it wasn't like that. Not at all. So why did having two petite slices of a small cheese-less vegetarian pizza prompt me to sit down and write about food addiction? Hey, I even put them on a plate and carried that small plate to the computer desk where I sat down and savored each yummy bite of my cold, chewy, spicy pizza - which is now sitting in my stomach like a lead ball I might add. That would be the wheat crust - grains and I don't get along so well anymore but that's another story, as is the one about how real food doesn't make me feel heavy like this.  

So why write? I think at first it was to rationalize away why I made such a bad choice, but really it wasn't so I think it was about how reactionary it all was. I woke up this morning, went into the kitchen to put water on to boil for my tea, saw the empty pizza box on the counter and before you could say Jack Spratt I had the box out and pizza on a plate.  There was a tiny bit of me that carefully chose the two small pieces as 'plenty' and there was even the observer in me noting that I was on autopilot and not actively choosing to have pizza for breakfast. But it wasn't enough to stop me, it wasn't enough to think rationally about having the pizza later for lunch or dinner. And I think that is why I am writing this morning, trying to figure out why I didn't stop and think. Maybe there isn't anything to figure out. I love pizza, and cold pizza in the morning with a cup of hot sweet coffee is best of all. Since I no longer do coffee, naturally sweet pomegranate herbal tea sufficed, but I think it was just ... a bad habit temporarily taking over my ship of good intentions. And I don't like that. I want to be the captain. I want to decide what I am eating at all times. I wanted to be able to stand there and think it out.  Something along the lines of, "I could eat this pizza now and feel heavy and slow this morning and risk a low sugar episode in an hour or so which might cause me to overeat to compensate for being light headed and needy, or I could wait and have the pizza for lunch with a salad so it all digests better and I can walk it off right away."   If I can have that conversation with  myself now, what was keeping me from having it in the kitchen at 6:15am?

Yes, I know, I come from a compulsive family. And I love pizza. And for years upon years I have been eating cold pizza for breakfast. For sixteen years I worked at my In-Laws pizza parlour and there was an endless supply of mistakes to bring home and tuck in the fridge. "Waste not want not" my MIL taught me. Which works well for a successful restaurant, but for a successful waste line ... not so much. So I developed a habit. A pretty bad one, but still just a habit - something that can be broken.

So now that I have thought it out, I think the real reason I had to sit and write was all about the guilt. It didn't matter that what I ate wasn't really that horrible. It didn't matter that I ate a sensible portion. What mattered was that I felt like I had done something wrong, and our feelings are all we really have, right? Everything else is external, but we have to live with our feelings - at least those of us who have learned not to suppress them with chocolate cake.  So out of guilt I sat down to confess my sins only to find I hadn't committed any. I think that while I haven't broken that old habit, my new ones were able to contain the damage. I acted out an old ritual with an old friend, but even on autopilot I chose the healthier pizza (oh yes, there were rich cheesy slices of a combo in there too) and I chose an appropriate portion, and I didn't stuff my face standing up - I went and sat down in front of the computer like a normal person.

So after all is said and done, no apologies to the universe after all, just kudo's to me for being able to enjoy my cold pizza for breakfast because the recriminations came later and were dealt with in a just and timely manner here, and they didn't ruin one bite of my spicy little breakfast.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Days of Salt & Butter

I would much rather have had days of wine and roses, but that's not how it's working. On my birthday I bought a small pack of butter, 2 cubes, because I wanted a baked potato with butter - hey, it's been a while! But I had also picked us up a box of flax crackers earlier in the week, and there was popcorn in the cupboard for emergencies; these things are okay to have in the house by themselves but not when there is butter in the house. And it gets worse, the friend I walk with was having a "PB&J" lunch week and went on about how great it was while walking one evening. Sort of like if you were in AA and a friend was extolling the virtues of their favorite tequila. So I had picked up small jars of natural PB and fruit only jam so I could scratch that itch too (since it was my birthday.) This past BD is about to be the death of all my good intentions this week!! Eating yourself to death is not a good way to celebrate life.  I haven't binged, but I have been replacing healthy meals and calories with empty and harmful ones. Gross. And I feel awful. And this morning I was going to get back to my green smoothie for breakfast, but was up at 3am watching a movie cuz I couldn't sleep, and then farmed online for a bit before heading back to sleep. Waking up groggy and irritable after 9am did not make for good decision making; almond milk and cheerios, ugh. I wish I could keep a clean kitchen, but my honey has the right to eat what he wants.

I hate that it only took a couple of days for my positive intentions to turn into a whine fest about bad choices. This is crap and has to stop NOW.

We are heading out to the early matinee to see Alice (whoo hoo) and yes, I will have a bag of popcorn, regular size, and yes I will count the calories as lunch - another meal empty of nutrition - and then order a salad if we actually go out to lunch afterwards. As soon as we get back home I will change and head to the gym to burn off 300 calories to offset the damage. It will be worth it - munching on popcorn in a dark theater is a pleasure I don't wish to give up, nor should I have to give up - I have a plan and it's all good.

The weather has been holding and I've been shooting each day which feels great. We'll head up to our local archery club and range to field tune our bows one day soon; I'm looking forward to the hiking after a season of shooting in the driveway and competitions indoors. 

Move more, eat less doesn't quite cut it, how about, move fun, eat nutritionally! Off to a fun day and a super healthy dinner.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writing makes me thin....

I love it. I added a heart to the begining of my blog title, and now when I log on to write I see, "Writing helps me thin...", which my brain immediately translated and I read as "Writing makes me thin...".  Already positive thinking is making a difference, what a great little message from the universe to cheer me on this morning! And no, I don't want to be thin, it's not going to happen nor would I want it to. I'm a tomboy, with  lots of muscles, and a woman with an hourglass figure no matter how big or small I get. My goal is to move well with lots of comfort and energy - ok, and wearing cute jeans and feeling sexy would be a great plus too -. Anyone who has run to catch an airplane or struggled to sit with their legs crossed or tie their shoes knows exactly what I mean about moving well.  Beyond that I want to be a better archer, which means having a strong back, legs, arms, core .... lol, archery is definitely an 'all over' sport! And the mind is probably the most important 'muscle' involved, so practicing positive thinking can only help me there too. 

But this morning I am thinking about hiking, and about the archery shoot in Redding coming up in June. It's a fierce set of trails, climbing up for generous views of the beautifully forested hills that surround the range. This is a picture I took back in 2000, and each year I look forward to getting to the top of the range and gazing out over this special part of my world...this year I would like to do it without gasping for breath and leaning on my legs to keep them from buckling under me!

Just a quick recap, last year was my first time back to this shoot after a 4 year hiatus. I'm down another 10#'s this year, as I have been the last 3 years in a row, and as always my expectations are a little unrealistic. Even those in great shape are breathing hard when they get to the top of this trail, so another 10#'s gone when I still have 40 left to lose isn't going to make much difference. But this year I have the gym to help get in shape. I'm already treadmill walking on an incline, and today I am going to add strength training for my legs. My vision is of me arriving at the top of this trail a little winded, but standing tall and not panting and looking like someone should call the paramedics! I'm thinking this is a totally realistic goal, and it comes with a cool visual too which will help me keep me focused.

A quick note on goals - I've never good at setting big goals, and I've always felt a little guilty about that. Yes, I have a vision board, and I've written a letter to the universe asking for what I want. But now that I am getting older and wiser (?) I've realized that for me it's more about the small day to day consistencies, and how those will bring me closer to the bigger goals. You know the concept of an economic trickle down effect? (Ha!) Well, it's like that in reverse for me. Focusing on the small important parts of taking care of myself each day causes bigger and better things to happen outside of myself - small positive consistant changes trickling up from my core to make a positive difference in everything else that I want to achieve. So my really big little goal is to treat my body like the temple that it is.
Oops, gotta run, the sun is peeking out and my bow is calling my name! I'm really meandering all over the place today anyway, and my delicioso green smoothie (ingredients on PEERtrainer) is gone, so I'm outta here! lol, lucky you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Cometh

And with it all the hopes and positive energy of a new year. It always amazes me that I stray so far from my writing; it gives me such energy and helps me focus on ... living. I believe in creating positive energy cycles, yet haven't created any. I believe in the power of positive thinking, yet let my mind wander to dark places I would rather avoid. How do people sustain their rhythms of 'everyday life', where do they find their motivation to keep doing the same things over and over in a positive way? I have discovered some truths about myself; I wouldn't call myself manic depressive, although that is a temptingly easy sound bite, I am afraid it is more about the fact that without specific purpose, I tend to be lazy. What a schmuck I can be, and what an awful way to think of myself when I know I am a hard worker and a caring person underneath all this ... this ... idiocy!

I almost rode my bike to the nearby 7-11 to get the Sunday paper. I almost went to the gym to walk yesterday. Disgusting. BUT, a good friend - let's call her Lynneta - pointed me towards a blog she finds inspiring, and from there I linked to another blog by two girls who are going to spend the next year working together to omit 'binging' from their lives. And in those two blogs I found a spark of inspiration for myself from some people who are using the power of intention to accomplish great things. Specifically, I am inspired once again to find that same power within myself. I know it's all there inside me. I know I am a fighter despite the skirmishes lost, just as I know I am an athlete despite the wiggle in my arms.

I am healthier and stronger and lighter in body than I was when I started this blog. I am also healthier, lighter and stronger in mind than I was back then. It is time to build on that, it is time to bring a little bit more positive energy into my journey. For one last time I am going to copy my original blog description here, and then I am going to change it - it's time to be more positive. It just is.

"I am attempting to feel connected to a world gone wrong, and trying to rebuild a life I find hard to understand. Part of this process is searching for divinity while eating for nutrition. Recipes, information I've found helpful, weather reports,and occasional unflattering dips into my pity pool may appear upon occasion."

So, things to focus on. Writing. I love to write, I need to do it everyday whether here or working on a story. It feeds my soul, it's good for me, so I am going to write everyday.  And walking. I have a friend who shares her gym membership with me since I am without work at the moment - how generous is that??? I will take better advantage of this privilege and go work out several times a week on my time while still walking with her on her time; I should have been doing this for months instead of wallowing in my pity pool over the holiday season. Craziness. And archery. My honey got me a new bow last year and I will be out in the driveway shooting everyday there is a sunny spot for me to stand. Okay, cloudy days too, just not the storming ones; fair weather shooting is allowed in your fifth decade ... I just decided!

Writing, walking, shooting.  I guess that's me, those are the things that came to mind just now.  Despite my addiction to computer games I never once thought - how can I make more time for digital farming! Despite the great products I use, and can sell to others, I never thought how can I build a successful business. I thought of writing, and exercise, and shooting my bow. I believe if I do those things to bring some joy and balance to my life the rest will all fall into place. I believe. Wow. I do believe. After everything, that is good to know.