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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 10/14

I'm enjoying my decaf and cream in the mornings, not tempted to add sugar, but still struggling a little in the afternoons. Big crunchy salads for lunch and my rice\veggie dish for dinner make me feel like I am finally getting enough servings of healthy foods during each day. Plus I am back to traveling with an apple in my bag so I have something to eat on the way home, removing the impulse to stop.

My urges to eat are a bit less I think, and I'm snacking less in the evenings.

I had A tonight and we did some reading together and then threw her in the shower; lord that child can get filthy - a testament to how much fun she has for sure.

Thank heavens tomorrow is the weekend again already, I am exhausted. I think I need to juice for a day; green and spicy sounds really good right now. Maybe Saturday; I can pick up cucumbers and ginger at the local produce stand tomorrow. Yes, good idea!

Time for bed, I can't stand here a minute longer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 9/14

I suppose it was a negative response from yesterday's picture and frustration that I indulged in both the bagels and 'crack' donuts that showed up in the office today. I also had half a cup of real Starbucks coffee with cream and two raw sugars. WTF???

No more f**ing sugar! Period. Jesus.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 8/14

Today was going well until D at work emailed everyone in the office a picture that had been taken at the brunch party. I was sitting at the front, and caught in the distortion of the lens, while the rest of the girls were circling around the end of the table. I was so angry\embarrassed\ humiliated by the picture, but it wasn't until driving home that I realized that I would never have sent the picture out where one person is caught in an ugly expression while everyone else looks nice. There were several pictures taken on a couple of different phones, and I am going to have to assume that it was the best picture of the most people. That there was no malice intended, that it just worked out that way. A cartoon horse caught in the middle of a rawkus whinney - in a pig suit. That was me. My first reaction was, I may never eat again. With that thought came the memory of having that exact same reaction to an office picture last year - yet instead I ate more than ever and now I am another ten pounds heavier.

On the way home I didn't get potatoe chips from the gas station, tacos from JITB or an ice cream from either BK or McD's. I did not pick up a spicy bite from 7-11. I came home and heated up a bowl of mixed veggies tossed together with my dirty rice.  Lunch had been the other half of my cabbage salad with sliced pea pods and pepitas.  So lots of veggies today.

And brunch - I had half a waffle with a small pat of butter and a scoop of fresh blueberries and strawberries on top. Oh, and a small glass of champagne. I hadn't counted on that and it was past my ability to refuse when I had already not taken pastries, muffins or cheese laden quiche.

God I am a twit, to try to hard so much of the time to absolutely no avail. What is the friggin point. I had better go cool off and collect my wits.

A little Harry Potter, reading some Dr. Seuss with A, venting with R who agrees it was rude to have sent the picture to everyone, and I am about over it. I think I'll go back to being invisible, it doesn't hurt so much.

Is my detox making me emotional?  I foresee an early bedtime in my near future. And kudos to me for not putting any refined sugar on my plate today, anywhere.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 7/14

Half way through this little mini sugar experiment. I think I was expecting more of a change in my energy, but it has decreased how many times a day I think about eating something. I've noticed a new bad habit of having something just before bed - something bad like a salami sandwich. I know I am overcompensating for the sugar but still it's frustrating that I can't yet stop the thought from becoming an action.

I had a yummy big chopped salad for lunch and a baked potato for dinner - same as yesterday - and so far tonight no eating. The challenge is once everyone goes to bed. I am too old to be sneaking food, and while I am not doing that exactly it has always been a problem that I eat too much when alone. Remember the story when I was just little, maybe ten or eleven, and creeping up the stairs to the kitchen to make a midnight snack. My food challenges started early, and yes, it was about the same time as the abuse began, but I can't go there. Probably ever.

Tomorrow's challenge is the big breakfast scheduled at work for a maternity leave party. There will be waffles and fruit, a quiche and a frittata, bacon and chicken sausages, butter, fruit only jam and real maple syrup and whipped raw honey. I think waffles with fruit will be the ticket. And a slice of bacon, I don't think I have it in me to say no to the pig.

I'm still enjoying the coconut cream in my coffee, but I read the label and there are a couple of questionable ingredients which was disappointing. I'm thinking the next stop after sugar are eliminating the processed fats anyway so it is probably a short lived transitional habit.

Tired again this evening, and back on the couch after starting dinner for the kids. I know it's the allergy fight, and I am grateful I am just tired and not coughing my lungs up, but dog I feel like a slug.

Positive note: I walked to the store twice today. Once to pick up salad fixings and once to retrace my steps and find my reading glasses, which I did! I am so thankful to the person who say them and set them aside where they wouldn't be trampled yet close so I would spot them. Whoever you are, you rock!

Time to refill the water and head to bed. Sweet Dreams fellow beans.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 6/14

Forgot to post. Let's see...made a wonderful dirty rice dish for weekday meals using caramelized onions and brown rice. Then I tossed in a whole tray of diced and roasted veggies; celery heart, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and orange bell pepper. Light and flavorful and low sodium. I used the modified magic mushroom mix to season the dish - the first time I have used it 'raw' - and it worked very nicely.

It was a kicked back day, though I did get laundry and dishes done between movies, and thank heavens M finally finished the pie. I did have one more small bowl, but it wasn't much.

That was about it, although there was a moment outside with the breeze against my face that reminded me I do like being here.

Spring is fighting for it's place in the year, as Summer keeps trying to muscle it's way in. I think of those as feminine seasons while Fall and Winter seem masculine. Having been raised on the White Witch who reigned in Winter I am not sure why. Anyway, 40's in the morning and 80's in the afternoon; I'm sure many places in the country (world) would love this, and I'm not really complaining- mostly just commenting on the global temps going wackadoodle.

Tired all day again, but tomorrow is a work day and I will be more engaged and active.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 5/14

The couple of times I briefly woke in the night to turn over I could hear the rain and wind outside. The roses will be happy as I haven't been watering them this year, and the trees. I need to get on a tree watering schedule, I don't want to lose them in the drought.

I have a baptism to attend and a keepsake to purchase this morning, so no Saturday chores for a change; I can't wash my hair and do laundry in the same day or my back pinches. I wonder if my coffee is ready, I am not yet awake and this blathering is irritating me.

Sins of the day:
Cake at the Baptismal lunch
Nachos for dinner
Apple pie for dessert

Ugh. I want to vacuum out my body. Instead I will drink water and go to bed and start over tomorrow.

I will say it was a nice day, and I did enjoy the Catholic Baptism; prayer and ritual do have their power and place in our lives in my humble opinion.

Heading to bed for the crash.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 4/14

Let's talk pie. Twelve inches of sugared crust, ooey gooey rich syrupy apple pie from Costco. Because there is one sitting in the kitchen and I have not had any. Nor will I. While the idea of pie is very appealing, it's not as exciting as my sugar detox experiment. It may be hard in the middle of the night to say no to pie. And it may be hard again in the morning, saying no to cold pie and hot coffee. Sigh. But I'm not going to stress about it. If it happens that I am tempted I will just google sugar detox and read instead. Or watch tv. Or write. Or anything really except eat pie.

I had a big green salad for lunch. Slicing up snap peas in my salads is really working for me. They have a satisfying crunch and curb my hunger in the same way beans do.

Four days without sugar in my coffee, and only a couple of small slip ups (HFCS in two slices of whole wheat bread and a small cajun fries from Popeyes. Wait. Google. OMG zero grams of sugar. Whoo eee. Of course they are not good for me but at least there was no sugar.) Only ten days to go, I'm almost a third of the way to my first goal. Then I'll see if I can do another week. And another. It would be awesome to go a year, but if that is what happens it will also follow that I will find a healthy way to make apple pie. I am sure there are recipes out there, I am not alone in this.

My sleep is still disrupted, but that is just business as usual; I either sleep hard or in fits. And I am still a bit of a stinky girl, but not as bad. Plus I am drinking more water. Which is weird because I thought I would be more thirsty having to slush out excess sugar, but the reality is that maybe my immune system is working better because it's not as inflamed and I'm working on getting other items out of my system. Bottom line, I am thirsty for pure clean water and drinking more of it.

So after reading what I had written I discovered that my ideas were all over the place, non sequiturs galore so to say, and I had to drag and drop sections of text putting similar topics together so as to limit the meandering feel of the paragraphs.

Tired and ready to lay these old bones down. While I am not anxious to have my life speed by, I am glad the week is over and that there is the weekend ahead. Time to kiss A and cuddle with K.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 3/14

So many times today I wanted to write, but it's only now that I am getting to the keyboard. All of the stress of work, and then having an old 'panic type' attack in Lowes, and then getting home in an absolutely pissy mood I called it a day and put both my jammies and the tv on knowing I needed to decompress. It's been a while since I 'lost it' and I am blaming my eating of course.

First I was a person short at the office and worked through lunch. When I felt hungry I just chugged water not wanting to stop until I was done with the processing, that never happens, not on the 'natch. So heading home for the day at 3:30 I stopped in at Sprouts for a few things; apples, carrots and bananas. There was a display of organic cheese crackers so I looked at the label expecting to see sugar and there was zero, nada, zilch. So I bought the box, and snacked on the way home. In bad traffic. For an hour. Well there went about a thousand calories - literally. I neatly folded the empty box and tucked the evidence away in the recycling box once home.

Then I put away the groceries and my things as M was finishing up the dishes in the kitchen. Refilling my water bottle I thought I should make dinner so I would be out of the way when it was time to make theirs. So I heated up some pea soup and  made a grilled swiss sandwich. Halfway through dinner I realized I shouldn't have been hungry after eating all the crackers (which I had conveniently forgotten about while cooking) and what the heck was wrong with me! Adding insult to injury, checking the ingredients on the bread I had used I was astonished to see HFCS - we never buy bread with crap in it. But it had been a tight week for grocery money and there is no use being upset over such a small detail.  After dinner I laid down for a moment watching 'How The Universe Works' (love that series) and woke up about an hour later. Grouchy. Dehydrated.

Realizing it was garbage night R and I worked at getting everything out. I had picked up the parts to fix the leaky hose out front and throw away the expandable hose we had tried. Unscrewing it to throw away I noticed the bib was leaking and the old hose that I was going to fix didn't have the end piece to hook up to the bib. In the drought I couldn't just leave the dripping untended so I headed down to get a new hose bib for later because the old one was frozen and would need to be worked on another time and a cap to hold the water until we could get around to it. Lowes sucks. Bibs at one end of the store, hoses god knows where I never could find them in the garden center or the repair kits or anyone to help me until I was close to tears and pissed off. So of course then I was rude and then I had to apologize and then I fled with just the. Shakey, teary, mad at the world. And then screwing on the cap the damn water kept dripping! I left it in M's capable hands and fled.

Now it is much later, and I can see what happened. Damn those crackers and my irresponsible eating. But at least I am now calm and the day is over and I can put it all behind me. It's been a long time since I had an attack and I hate that I put  myself in that position. Nutrition and emotions definitely have their wires crossed, and a spark on one can wreak havoc with the other.

My snack tonight was an orange, juicy and sweet and delicious. Real food, real nutrition. Tomorrow will be a better day. No skipping lunch again, no binging on anything that I wouldn't normally even be eating just because there was no sugar in the ingredients. With highly processed grain there doesn't need to be, our bodies are very accommodating that way. Just food, just common sense for day four.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 2/14

1:50pm Just a quick afternoon note; for the first time in ages I feel the urge to have some...Chocolate! Is this because I am not getting my regular dose of sugar in other ways?  Ever since January when I made the decision to keep my fingers out of the candy bowl I have not been tempted. And now that I have decided to cut out sugar all of a sudden I can hear the siren call of the chocolate bars at the other end of the office. I will not go have one. I ate a banana instead. But it's making me a tiny bit grumpy! Okay, what was the advice? Don't fight it, don't fuel the fire, accept the feeling, know that it's okay to feel this way and that it will pass, and just keep busy at my desk. Deep breath. I so want to succeed here, I don't think I can face another failed challenge just at this moment.

From Holly's Blog:

I will not cave, I want the calm.

I made it out of the office, and through the evening too, without any refined sugar. I have had three pieces of fruit today, which is normal and healthy, and had an antioxidant mix of nuts and dried fruit for a snack a while ago because I was hungry. I'm not used to feeling hunger - obviously I eat too much on a regular basis or I wouldn't have weight problems - but it was just a small serving and I didn't go back for seconds.

The really super weird thing that I noticed tonight changing into my jammies (no lock on the door and a six year old that may invade my privacy at any given moment) is that I stink. I mean, I sat at a desk for hours, did some light shopping after work, and then watched tv with the Fam. Sweat? Stink? Gotta google....and yep, it's all over the place, this stinky business. I know about detoxing because of my Orenda relationship, but I have never smelled like this before -it's a 'not me' musty odor and makes me think that maybe sugar really was\is poison to me. It's only been two days, so I'm a little surprised, but I guess it means I really am detoxing. Enough grossness.

I need to stop by the store for more bananas in the morning, that was a life saver today. Two down twelve to go.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sugar Detox - Day 1/14

"If you have ever struggled with sticking to a diet, I would encourage you to try kicking sugar out of your life.  What harm could it do you to experiment? To see if you are one of those who might be  sensitive to sugar.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by exploring that option."  Holly

I'm going to strive for two weeks to explore that option and go sugar free.Hopefully there will then follow a third and fourth etcetera etcetera as I begin to feel better. The real challenge may come in the mornings where my caffeine and fast food addictions may rear their ugly heads. But as for now I feel empowered and confident that my intentions will prevail.  I will make herbal tea for my morning drives to work, and stay away from any processed foods that always contain added sugar. Fresh fruit and nuts will probably be breakfast for a while as I detox from my sausage biscuits and decaf. 

Anywhere you find hope or motivation grab on and hold on for dear life, and some of Holly's phrases have given me hope. Into the fray I go!

Update: Breakfast was an orange and a banana eaten in the car on the way to work. My tea was sugar free; I have discovered a blend of a floral Rooibos and an herbal chai type mixture that satisfies in robustness while not requiring additional sweetness. Lunch was a nice surprise. I had home made pea soup (have I mentioned how delicious this turned out?) and a salad of tomatoes, avocado and pepitas. Drizzling on my salad dressing I panicked realized there was probably added sugar, but there was only pineapple juice concentrate so I'll take it and be glad there were no added sugar type ingredients. At some point when choosing the dressing I must have already been employing the no sugar mentality.

Dinner: last of the black bean soup when I arrived home, and R is bringing home fries from In N Out. Beans and potatoes, can you say starch? But we evolved eating these foods, and at least there was no added sugar in the soup. Wait, I need to google In N Out fries....Yes! just potatoes and oil, it's all good.

On a roll....ha one almost done and just a very slight headache this afternoon. More water, more water.

Hydrated and ready to bed; I'll bet I sleep well for not having had any coffee this morning. But first, time to snuggle with Kaylee and watch tonight's episode of The Flash.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sugar Detox - blog reposts

Sean at Diary of a Winning Loser
Holly at 300 Pounds Down and a link to her Sugar Addiction\Detox website tab.

These are the three entries I read today after signing on to write after an early dinner. I need to say that it had been 'Pie Monday' at work and I had indulged a coworker who is VERY pregnant and yearning for banana cream. Consequently there is left over banana cream pie in the fridge as I type this. After reading the above posts and being motivated to take the next step in my own sugar detox.

So how has that been going for me, anyway? I am asking for less in my morning weekday decaf, I still haven't eaten a single small candy bar out of the bowl at work, but ice cream remains my nemesis, and as Holly so aptly writes - is my master. Such an embarrassing way to think about this, but I also find great hope in her post, because she confirms that it is not me lacking in the Wonder Woman department, but rather that I have let sugar become my master. If I were to pinpoint one culprit that has replaced the greens that I was once so adamant about including in my meals it would be sugar, or maybe that dashing duo, sugar and fat.

The good news is that there are three people to help me demolish the pie and I finished the mint chip ice cream last night so there is no temptation calling me from the freezer. Once the pie is gone, that is it. Poor A, she lives for her desserts, which tells me she is likewise under the influence of a cruel master and she is only six. A while ago we decided that desserts would only be on Friday night, but all of us seem to suffer from comfort deprivation around here despite the abundance of love to be had and we really need a different answer if A is to have a better life as we all hope and strive for daily.

I am going to bookmark Holly's post and read it everyday to remind myself why it is so important. It's not like I haven't known this for ages, but something in the way she said it spoke to me this prevening, so I'm rolling with it. After my piece of pie. That wasn't important, the big step will be cutting out my coffee again, and detoxing from caffeine as well as sugar. But I have done it before and I can do it again.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Coconut Cream and Raw Honey

Both mornings this weekend I have sweetened my decaf with coconut cream and raw honey. Smooth and delicious, not clingingly sweet but delightful in that there is no bitterness left in the coffee, just the rich roast of the beans and the heaviness of the cream. Warming the cream and honey together in the microwave so they combine and can be stirred into my cup, the coffee stays hot. I need not say more.

We are having something like beach weather these days, cold and grey in the morning, sunny and hot in the afternoon, yet without the salt of the ocean there is no magic for me in the combination compelling me to go outside. More me than the weather I am sure, but discouraging as I dream of wanting to go outside. My body may embrace the lifestyle of a hermit, but my spirit does not. The small bits of time spent in the backyard are so important to me; I wish I were motivated to do more out there.

And the whining begins, I'm gone. And I'm back to whine some more. My fat clothes, instead of being large and comfortable, are instead actually fitting me. So I am growing, and unhappy in my attempt to dress and go out. A vicious cycle that, too big to go out and growing by leaps and bounds because one is not going out, is hard to ignore. How I wish for a friend to bolster my attempts at eating less, and how I berate myself for not reaching out to the ones I have. I did make it out for breakfast items for the Fam and potatoes and canned tomatoes (spanish rice later this week?) for myself.

Time to go start the soup; last of the Easter ham, lots of bok choy and carrots, and split peas this time. (I followed the recipe on the back of the bag of dried peas, adding the magic mushroom mix and substituting red palm oil to saute the onions.

Below is Michelle Tam's Magic Mushroom Mix recipe which I have been in love with since my daughter introduced it into our kitchen. I am not a 'Paleo' fan, but this is marvelous stuff. Today I put my low sodium interpretation on the recipe and instead of salt and red pepper flakes used about 1T of the chipotle blend from Mrs. Dash. I won't know for sure until I taste the pea soup that is finishing up on the stove or the ham and potato gratin that is in the oven, but I have a good feeling. (Note: both dishes are delicious.)

One would be right if from the last paragraph they deduced I have been happily cooking away in the kitchen for the past hour, in bare feet with my story playing in my ears. The great escape! But now I have meals for the week, both dishes full of veggies and one of them with the added decadence of swiss cheese, butter and flour combined into a lovely sauce with milk and nutmeg. Milk is NOT in my usual list of what I will eat, but making a cheese sauce is definitely the one exception I can live with. Fortified with salads these dishes will make awesome meals.

Timer! Time to blend the soup.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Not much

Yikes, I missed another day; they are disappearing more quickly than I can record the mundane events that have transpired.

Highlights from yesterday:
   We did not have pie at work
    A and I played Clue while listening to Family Fued
This morning it's an organic vegan breakfast of homemade new potato fries. Cooked in one of Mommer's cast iron pots they are delicious. I was going to make a hash with bok choy and spinach but A requested fries, so there you have it; we are putty in her fingers.

My current audio book is full of magic and eccentric characters, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and it will soon be a seven part series on BBC; something to look forward to watching this year. Because obviously I do not currently watch enough tv.

What a lazy day. The most pressing chores were taken care of, but not much else. Well, A and I did re-pot the cherry tomatoes and get the sage planted.

Yawn. Good Grief. Tired of being tired.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bait and Switch

I was surprised to see I missed posting yesterday, I can only guess that there was nothing noteworthy, I was tired, and preoccupied with daily life. I know A had softball practice and I made burgers for the family. That entailed two trips to different stores for the right ingredients so that took up some time. In the evening A and I played Yahtzee, and  after she went to bed I caught up on some recorded tv shows.

Speaking of which, I was so sorry to see Joey leave American Idol, she performed just beautifully. I have a suspicion she will be picked up by some label to do a record anyway.

Tonight I baked a Costco pizza for the kids who are at a softball game with A. I feel totally - cheated- upon discovering that this is NOT the same pizza they cook and sell in the stores. Same taste on top, but totally different crust, more akin to a frozen pizza than the chewy delicious fare you get when you purchase it already cooked. Bait and Switch I'm telling ya~I won't do that again.

Movement: shopping, dog messes removed, lawn mowed, garbage taken out, on the floor to watch a little tv, core exercises balancing A as she crawled over me while we chatted with her Mother about her day at school. Hey, it all counts! And she's sixty pounds now, no small feat to balance her weight. Six and Sixty, we are quite the pair. Have I mentioned that her foot is exactly as long as my hand from palm to fingertips?

TV remains my nightly refuge, and collapsing into bed my favorite feeling. I do remember Summer mornings when I was anxious to be up and puttering in the back yard before work, and glad of the light after work to do a bit more. How I took that energy for granted. I want it back.

A week from Saturday we go to a Christening for little V next door and I have a new lace blouse to wear. It barely fits; I must watch what I eat for the coming week so I am not bloated and unhappy when it is time to dress for the occasion. Green smoothie for dinner tomorrow? Yes. Tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Random thoughts, literally head to foot.

Being told what to do, or that something I have done is inadequate, can be fairly irritating to someone just starting in on their seventh decade of experience. Breathe and let it go. Breathe and let it go.

Another gorgeous day outside while I often sat working at my desk. I did get out for a short stroll while chatting up a friend on the phone, soaking in the sun and letting the breeze air me out.

Dinner was leftover veggie ham soup, still delicious, and a banana. If I'm not going to make a smoothie then I need to get in my potassium and magnesium another way; muscle cramps are no bueno.

Overseeing homework and a scooter ride three times around the 'circle' of our court was time well spent with A. Now she is snuggled up behind me on my bed watching the end of Frozen while I type and listen in to the movie. I do so love this child, and I am so grateful she wants to spend time with me.

I have been doing some feet exercises and following a video today by Katy I discovered that I have made progress! This small token of making headway makes me so glad, and is very encouraging to this girl. Go Feet!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter Ham for Lentil Soup

It's Monday morning, and like any other day it begs for new beginnings and fresh attitudes and chances galore. I think it is time to play the Pollyanna game, looking only for silver linings and finding the positive side of everything. Every little thing. That being said I am trying to talk myself into going into the kitchen and making a green smoothie. I would welcome the energy, my body ready to soak up the nutrients it would provide, any nutrient at all, any single little one. But my brain is screaming against the cold and dark of the kitchen and repelled by how loud the blender would be shattering the quiet of the predawn.

Maybe if I blow dry my hair first the noise will convince me at some subconscious level that the additional disturbance of the blender wouldn't be so shocking. Yes, I'll try that.

While I didn't make a smoothie for breakfast, I did remember a previous idea of making my smoothies for dinner so that is my new intention.  I don't feel like adding a food log to my daily blog just now, so instead I will just mention all of the good things I eat to reinforce the positive.

Lunch was leftover salad; I made enough for lunch yesterday to carry over for a couple of meals. Lots of baby lettuces and spinach, green onions, snap peas and cabbage. For dressing I thinned out the coleslaw dressing from Easter dinner with rice vinegar and celery seeds. It covers nicely without having to use a lot. Delicious, and I am hoping all of the pea protein will hold me through the day since I forgot to add my seeds. Wait, those can be my snack on the way home. That works.

I am happy with my feet today, and contemplating walking to the bank instead of driving. Losing the Crocs turns out to be a wonderful idea. I almost said Fabulous, which reminded me of the BBC series I use to love watching; something to google later to see if anything is going on these days from that crazily creative woman.

Home now, and lentil soup is in the works - just waiting for the lentils to finish cooking. At least it is a dish full of veggies and some greens. (No, I do not think ham is healthy, but it is here and needs to be used and at times I have a thrifty gene that needs to be satisfied.)

Saute one diced medium yellow onion in red palm oil until soft and golden red
    (This takes about 20 minutes, then stir in about 1T of magic mushroom mix until coated)
In the meantime:
1. Begin defrosting ham stock leftover from Easter - about 3 cups
2. dice and set aside
     2C carrot
     2C bok choy, including greens
    1/4 celery root
     2C left over ham

Once onions are ready add ham stock, plus one  box of Imagine's low sodium No-Chicken stock
Bring to a boil, then add 2C organic green lentils and cook covered until lentils are tender (20-30min). Add diced veggies and if necessary enough water so vegetables are 'loose'. Bring back to a boil and cook covered until tender, about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your dice.

Add Ham, and water to desired consistency. (This makes a good stoup, stew or soup.) Turn heat down to simmer and let the ham heat through, about another ten minutes. If your are keeping it thick, stand and stir occasionally. If making soup cover, set the timer, and go about your business.

DO NOT SALT. Taste first, ham stock is salty. Add freshly ground pepper.

I'll take half of this next door, I haven't done anything to help with baby V who is actually no longer a baby but a rug rat.

I'm glad it's Monday prevening and there is softball practice and the house will be quiet. The wind is cooling down the house, the leaves of the eucalyptus are singing to me through my window, and I am thankful for the bounty in my life; family to love, food to cook, and our little house with cozy beds - each to their own for collapsing into at days end.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Calling a verbal

I feel I have been contributing to the negative side of the world's mental health. I do know there is a connection between all of us, and I hate that I am not helping raise the mood instead of lower it. My Bad. Maybe writing everyday isn't such a good thing afterall; reinforcing the negative instead of the positive most days. I'm just not sure this morning where I am going to get the oomph to switch up my lingering moodiness. This exhaustion I have been experiencing is draining more than my body, and saying I need to turn it around doesn't seem to be doing the trick.

Time out.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Just out of the pity pool and dripping wet

We were in a motor home, leaving an archery range with our bows packed away and quivers hanging from seat backs, the arrows bright splashes of colour against the dim interior. It was darkening rapidly outside as we headed to the side of the road where the view spread out before us. Later I would think it reminded me of Skyline in Oakland where you can look out over the San Francisco Bay and be mesmerized by the view. But back in the dream I was turning away from the view, away from H, and turning my back on all of the ways I had not been myself, all of the pretense that I had evoked in order to be with him, all of the choices I had freely made that had been about him and never about me I was so desperate to love and be loved. I didn't think these details in the dream, I just knew that was what my turning away meant. And then the dream fractured and I was driving up to the restaurant, and I think I went in even though it wasn't my shift, finding my father in law and walking back out with him; he was trim and healthy and handsome as all of the men in that family are and I felt myself break inside and asked him how he had finally lost weight, how he was able to finally win. And he morphed into my grandfather, and I was looking into Joey's eyes, and he looked me straight in my eyes and pointed to the back of his head. It's in here, it all in your mind he said with every bit of his being - just radiating out the message to me. And then it was over, and I woke crying because I had not stayed asleep long enough to understand, and I missed my grandfather and my son so much in that moment that I prayed to them, asking for help, begging for them to stay with me.

Once fully awake and unable to get out of bed, I lay there watching tv and talking myself down from the grief, talking myself into a cup of coffee and moving and finding some bit of sanity to begin the day. So it was that I was sitting in bed drinking my decaf when A woke and came stumbling in for her early weekend snuggle and to show me she could read a book she had brought with her. Normal returned rather quickly after that, and I was up putting in laundry and starting the dishes while the Fam prepared for a morning of softball.

Now I am just exhausted, and my thoughts are once again full of family; sitting in grandpa G's lap while he watched tv, watching grandma H putting on make up and going through her box of costume jewelry that was so much a part of her personality. Playing canasta with her on her beautiful back patio during my highschool years, spending time with Podder in his darkroom while he developed his pictures, visiting G & C where they lived in a gorgeous canyon and G playing guitar and C working at her pottery. Mommer puttering between the laundry room by the basement and the lanai where there were treasures to dream over. Upstairs to visit Aunt B and her porcelain doll in her beautiful attic room. Playing croquet with all of the cousins I loved so much and missed when we weren't together. So much family, so many memories, how on earth can I be sad and weepy with those to draw on; how did I end up here coming from that? It's a mystery, and I have to believe it will all work out in the end.

How I wish my heart would stop aching.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A disappearing day

Nothing worthy of mention, just more whining. I will skip this today.

Breakfastspring greens juice
Lunch: grilled cheese at Fat Maddies
Early Dinner: ham and cheese sandwich
Snack: garlic bread

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Katy Says - Interviews

I stayed up late last night, past 11:30, listening to an interview Katy did talking about her views on movement. And today I thought about all of the little things I am doing that she mentioned: sitting on the floor instead of the couch while watching tv (sometimes), moving around at my standing computer desk and trying to stay dynamic, standing up for as long as I can after spending so much of my day in a chair, breaking up my work day so I am not glued in my chair for long stretches, wearing more 'natural' flat soled shoes with room in the toe box for toe flexing, walking barefoot over uneven terrain when I can, getting up and down off of the floor more often.

I may not have made huge strides, but I am on the right path towards better alignment and physical health. At some subconscious level I am trying to prepare my body for when I do start losing weight, I know that one day everything will come together and start making sense and I will be a better version of myself than I am now. I just know it.

 And since I like sharing posts by Katy, here is another interview with Soft Star Shoes this time that she shared today. Check it out at Katy Says.

Breakfastdecaf, sausage muffin
Lunch: Spinach gorgonzola salad at Prima Vera
Early Dinner: Han and cheese on Sheepherder's bread
Snack: spring greens juice

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I have heard over the years that one should not ever be too
     Lonely or

But what about busy, bored and bothered? Those three B's are bad for me. And is the L really for lonely or maybe lazy? Too busy to prep fresh food, too bored by my choices to make an effort, and bothered about one thing or another and feeling driven towards easy comfort food. So I take the lazy way out; give me bread and watch me mellow. And suffer from heat burn. Talk about a physical manifestation of yin and yang.

I did stop for groceries on the way home, and prepared the Fam a meal so they could come home from softball practice to real food instead of  picking something up. But the same level of effort for myself? Not so much.

Here, let me whine some more about being tired. Let me pretend I will get up in the morning and prepare a fresh green smoothie and harness some real energy. It's so hard to be in a cold kitchen when a warm breakfast is calling me from the road. I feel the need for a sledge hammer to break this awful terrible breakfast addiction I have succumbed to this past year.

Keep fighting. Yoda would be so disappointed. No one needs three servings of bread a day.

breakfastdecaf, sausage muffin
lunch: Green juice
Early Dinner: Ham and brown bread
Snack: broccoli, garlic bread

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesday outing

Strange day. To work early, then busy getting as much done as I could. Broke for a bowl of soup but kept working. Seeing the time and being at a good stopping point I packed up and came home, arriving at 2:15. What? How on earth did I leave an hour early by accident? I really am losing my mind. But the house is quiet and warm, and It's lovely to feel protected from the wind and rain that are dancing about together outside.

Leftover holiday food is the essence of comfort, IMHO. And so easy to throw together for a meal. I'm not sure calling my little saute at 3pm an early dinner is accurate, more like a 2nd lunch, but it doesn't matter. I must have come home for a reason, and it's my habit to eat upon arriving home, so there you have it, an extra meal thrown into my day; I'm not complaining, just listening to my body and apparently not thinking much. How can that be a bad thing, following one's instincts, or rather, why should it end up being so destructive when one does that? Free Will, that is suppose to be our reigning glory, that we were put here with the ability to choose our fate. Personally I think having a few more tools in the old belt would have been nice, given how difficult it is to make good/wise choices, and how badly the outcome can be even when trying to do what is right.

Jeez Loueeze and say la vie. Quit thinking and take a nap already.

Later, rested, and heading out to see Cinderella. Popcorn will be my second dinner :)

I enjoyed the movie, especially the mice becoming horses, and the dancing and sets and locations - and I couldn't help but compare the storyline to Ever After, probably my all time favorite Cinderella story. This modern cast was wonderful, and even if I ate too much popcorn it was a nice evening out. Which is why I went, to prove to myself I could have one of those ah la solo. It did feel strange driving after dark, and walking alone downtown between theatre and parking garage, but movies are fun and I will go again. But next time I will remember to ask for the Senior rate! Apparently I do not look my age (thank god) and was charged full price.

Time for tea and jammies and a snuggle with my little Kaylee.

breakfastdecaf, sausage muffin
lunch: Amy's Lentil soup, sprouted barley crackers
Early Dinner: Ham and beans with wilted greens (spinach)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday - first all the work and then the yawning

It was a fast food day - all my time and energy going towards work where we were two short again. Lord please help them with their health.

Once home I watched a little tv but then was on my feet doing dishes as we had left quite the mess in the kitchen last night, no one managing the fortitude to deal with the havoc that goes hand in hand with a holiday. At least there were leftovers for an easy dinner.

I was wishing today that I could be that girl I have dreamed of so often, the one who cares and takes action and becomes healthy. I see the cute tops on the girls at work and want to be like them, yet my hand doesn't stay put when there is something wonderful to reach for and eat.

I'm too tired to fight with myself tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I won't sleep in and will take time to make a smoothie. I will NOT let all the spinach in the fridge go to waste.

breakfastdecaf, sausage biscuits
lunch: Amy's Mac N Cheese, sweet greens juice from Sprouts
Dinner: Toast with ham and cheese, coleslaw

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Cometh

The girls are in the bathroom curling and primping for their annual Easter brunch date with close friends; it's so fun to listen to their chatter. When they are perfection I will snap a pic of A in her easter dress and hat for for my Mom. I'm so thankful they have extended family to celebrate with, and then I get them for our traditional easter dinner this evening. 

I wish I had access in the garage to use my grandmother's rose dishes, but everything is jam packed out there. The connection to relatives who have passed is always stronger during the holidays, and they are often on my mind as I cook and clean and remember childhood holidays with my first family. Grandmother Henrietta and Grandpa Guy, Mommer and Podder, Mom, Dad, R and D, Aunt Beth. These were the people most important to me, and friends and family radiated out from there. Uncles Guy and John, Aunts Cecilia and Candy, cousins M, C, N, H and E. Those gone and those who remain that I love still, and miss, and sometimes weep for wishing I were closer and not such a recluse. But I am what I am....and all that.

Dinner was lovely; flowers, a pretty little flower candle,Mommer's flatware and fish plates.  Earlier in the day I had sliced strawberries and lightly sugared them to sweat and make delicious syrup. On top of angel food cake and under home made whipped cream they were a wonderful dessert.

Hot tea, a family game of Monopoly Jr. and finally John Carter of Mars a fitting diversion to finish off the day. (I'm not a purist, the movie works for me.) I once again find myself feeling gratitude for all of the blessings in my life, for the people.

And back to work tomorrow, and large bag of fresh spinach in the fridge begging to be used for green smoothies and dirty potatoes, and salads. I am ready to comply - easy when one is full of ham and treats.
breakfast: Egg on one slice of toasted ciabatta, decaf
lunch: fruit, flour tortilla with PB
Dinner: Honey spiral ham, cheesy potatoes, coleslaw, brown bread, baked beans

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Getting Ready

229 - I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in quite a while, and was pleasantly surprised that I was still under 230. With all of my bad choices of late, well, I'm just glad.

I will take my ibuprofen regularly today, something I have been avoiding, so I can get a lot done. I want it to be pretty around here for tomorrow; a small salute to the holiday and new beginnings. I think that in some important way, Easter is the spiritual start of the new year from my mostly Pagan point of view.

A and I spent the morning catching up on The Pirate Fairy, while I had my breakfast and coffee in bed. Now, it's time to get busy; Saturday chores, here I come!

Laundry done, and with the help of A and a bottle of lemon oil the table and buffet are gleaming in the dining room, my yellow roses a bright spot like the sun in the middle of it all, and the kitchen counter cleaned and decluttered so the dining room looks bigger. This evening I'll rotate the dishes and clean up my dinner mess. I wonder if I would ever do chores were it not for my audio book distracting me from the mundane duties. In between was a game of Clue (A's first win ever!) and some more tv. While the day was sunny in the morning, the afternoon gradually darkened to grey as the wind took on a brisk icy edge. A was VERY upset with me that I declined her invitation to a bike ride. My Bad.

The Music Man is taping, I've had a ginger beer to relax, and the day is winding down. 80% chance of rain tomorrow, so R says; I'll try to get some kindling cut with the limb saver in the morning. Wait, maybe in deference to my neighbors and the holiday I should put that off and just gather up what we have to start a fire for tomorrow afternoon. I hate being rude.

Better get some extra water in, I'm feeling the salt from the chips.

breakfast: toasted ciabatta, lettuce, deviled egg sandwich, decaf
lunch: snacks; a deviled egg, a rib, a mandarin, a kiwi, a Barqs root beer (sugar and caffeine)
Early Dinner: Nachos (organic cheese and sr cream, my beans with salsa, black olives, green onions and a little guacamole. Yum.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Heading into the Week's end

Friday, thank heavens. This expression a little more deeply heartfelt than the usual flippant TGIF.

Lunch was a Costco run and I escaped without  having anything to eat; not pizza, not a polish dog, nothing. I did bring home ribs to cook for dinner (they were delish) along with corn. Another grocery stop on the way home and we now have everything we need for our Easter dinner Sunday (except for the brown bread) and Nachos for lunch tomorrow using my awesome black beans.

I am looking forward to colouring eggs with A tomorrow, and cleaning up the front of the house. I have a bouquet of yellow roses that I trimmed and tied with white ribbon for our centerpiece at dinner Sunday, and a chocolate rabbit to share. Easter is coming, and I am grateful for all of the small blessings that surround me and lift me up when I pay attention. It's nice to be out of the pity pool for a moment and see clearly. Again I say, if only I could always feel this way, but these times are fleeting and I basque in their temporary glory.

Time to cuddle with A and watch Tinker Bell. Once again I thank heavens the weekend is upon us!

breakfast: decaf, sausage biscuit
lunch: two raw carrots, omg is that all I ate?
Snack: small bag of kettle chips (sea salt)
Dinner: St Louis dry rub ribs, corn on the cob, ciabatta bread and butter

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A morning rant, an evening burrito

At work and still fuming from yesterday's happenstance. Poor J had to hear my rambling vent which segued into other challenges we face as a department here in nine to five land. She is a blessing in my life, truly.

I was up in time this morning to move my beans from the crock pot to the fridge and I'm anticipating a yummy dinner this evening. I'll grab some kind of thin wrap from Sprouts at lunch and some vine ripened tomatoes, I have lettuce and cilantro, onions and an orange pepper already at home; these will make a delicious wrap with the beans once I have blended and cooked them down to the right consistency. Well worth the effort.

And then leaving work on another sour note. What the What? Deep breath. Don't waste energy on the absurd nature of others. Just don't. "Do what's right, do your best, treat others as you wish they would treat you." Something like that, from the football coach. Damn, now I have to google. Lou Holtz, and I was close. Words to live by, as were many others he shared.

Got home and went straight to work on the beans, first blending then stirring to keep the popping down. It took an hour, constant stirring the first half on medium heat then less stirring at a lower heat for another half or forty five while I washed pans from yesterday and wiped up all the splatters. Finally having the right consistency I sprinkled some jack cheese on a flour tortilla and warmed it in the microwave. Layering on beans, fresh avocado & green cabbage I had thinly sliced, a dollop of sr cream and a handful of fresh cilantro leaves and I was done; I had an awesome dinner. R & M snacked on my lovely bean mixture while making their dinner; we don't often share food too much so that was nice. And I think Nachos this Saturday is a go.

Time for bed, again. Hopefully this time to sleep.

breakfast: decaf, sausage biscuit
lunch: mixed veggies heated and tossed with a toasted Qrunch pattie (quinoa) and a spoonful of ragin' jalapeno jelly. One of my favorite 'fast food' lunches that I had forgotten about.
Snack: two raw carrots on the way home
Dinner: Homemade bean burrito
Dessert: banana at 10:30 when I tired of tossing and turning.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Crockpot Beans with a little Whine

Today something happened that felt like....disrespect. For my intentions, my knowledge, my abilities as a communicator. I just turned 60, shouldn't I be past this? I'm not sure what it says about the human condition that A and I can both have our feelings hurt despite the gap in our ages. I guess I have enough experience to realize it's them, not me, and how I react is my responsibility. But I was sad driving home, and it was a couch potato kind of day; I was just exhausted emotionally and all desire to move had left the building. Now it's dark and I'm ready for bed and wondering if I should have watered the new sage plants before turning in.

tap tappity tap tap, "Yes?" "Did you forget your beans?" "I did, thanks!"  Off to the kitchen to put the black beans I had cooked for an hour earlier in the evening into the crock pot with a whole bag of fresh spinach, two 16 oz cans of diced tomatoes with onions, celery & peppers, then healthy dashes of cumin, chili powder and oregano. They will cook overnight on low and I'll take them out in the morning and throw them in the fridge. After work tomorrow I'll make bean soup, most or all of which will be blended and cooked down into 'refried' beans. Greens cooked into beans makes a luscious healthier version of the dish, and I am sure there will be a burrito or two in my near future. Or maybe Nachos next weekend; I do need to use up the rest of the sour cream. See, not helpless.

Time to tip out four tums, one for Kaley (she loves them) and three for me before I attempt to lay down. Another burning reason to MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES. Sigh.

breakfast: decaf, sausage biscuit
lunch: kale salad like Monday
Snack: popcorn
Dinner: red potato, butter, sr cream
Dessert: well deserved hearburn