Seasonal Foods

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's amazing how some people adapt to change differently than others, but for me? It's been a good experience in some areas while in the emotional department, it was a different story. Yesterday, I stepped on the scales and nearly did flips in excitement from the results which were called out on my talking scales. I am down ten pounds since my changes began! To me, I'm just incredibly excited about that. I'm not sure if I have mentioned in previous blogs before about the edema I have in my legs pretty severely, but even that is going away. That said, however, on Friday night, I had a bit more swelling than I'm used to do to sitting those long 8 hour training shifts. I am going to figure out how to get more movement or whatever so that I don't swell so badly. On Saturday, I took Lasix to get some of it off of me, but I'm wondering if there's another way to keep it down throughout the week.

I wanted to share that bit of information as I'm just incredibly pleased with the scales moving again. On November 1st, I will reveal my weight here in the blog. In September 2009, I weighed in at 463lbs and wore a 5X in stretch pants. I'll talk more about my clothing changes as well at that time.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned before, this blog is about everything, but mostly weight loss. But I wanted to tell you about these two sites I use today as well. Every morning, I get emails from them to click on advertisements and to read, then get paid for them. I wanted to share them with you today. I have my Windows Email set up so they trickle into their own folders and I can click on them at my own desire. One of them is about to cash out, which is what made me think about sharing them this morning. There's nothing too it but clicking and reading emails advertisements. They will take you to a website in your default browser. I love this stuff because although you can't get rich from doing it... those pennies add up and it's nice to get checks in the mail over time. GO ahead, check them out, and if you have any questions, then just ask.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I haven't been able to write over the last few days as I just started this job on the outside world and it's really time consuming to be honest. I'm so used to waking up in the morning, starting a fresh pot of coffee to brew while I'm in the shower, then it's coffee, Facebook, and logging into work right afterward. Transitioning from working at home to working thirty minutes away was very emotional for me. The biggest part of those emotions dealt with the fact that I was away from my daughter and then the fact that the contact between my sweetie and I was very limited. To understand this, I've been with my daughter since she was four. Yes, she goes to school, summer camps, a different church than I, etc... however, I've always been right there by her side after school when I pick her up and then through the night. This past week, she ended up staying with her friend from Wednesday night until Saturday morning. It was awful for me to deal with that because I couldn't see her in the mornings nor in the evenings. I work 2nd shift, so I just miss her as I leave and she's getting home from school.

On top of that, my sweetie and I began talking in July of 2009, only a few short weeks after I had moved to North Carolina. From the moment he sent that first email to me, we have talked nearly non-stop every single day. Seriously. We have sent more messages via email, Facebook, and text messaging than any normal person. We never run out of things to say and when we're not together, we're always and I do mean ALWAYS talking. So, now, not only was I away from my daughter, but my communications with him was also cut dramatically.

It was rough. It was a very rough week and by Saturday, my emotional turmoil took a turn for the worse and I lost it. It was sad, it really was. I think I shed more tears yesterday than I've shed in a year. Seriously. My emotional wreck even upset him, which is something I never, ever do because he's very precious to me and I am protective over his feelings. It's the Gemini-Leo relationship and we fit it to a "t". When I say I'm protective over his feelings, what I mean by that is that I'm gentle with him, we are always very calm with one another and if we have problems arise, we never yell, accuse, threaten, or any of that mess. We seriously work things out like civilized human beings. Yesterday, something in me flipped upside down and his feelings were like that of a lit cigarette under my shoe because I literally smashed them. I felt like shit. I couldn't even explain in the moment why I was so nasty towards a situation that came up and unfortunately, I upset him. It's so rare that I do that, as a matter of fact, in the 15 months we've been together? That's actually only the 2nd time I've ever done that.

Perhaps the situation was heightened for him because he was already going through some other emotional issues, so it wasn't entirely because of me that he had a bad moment yesterday, but I definitely poured gasoline on his fire. I felt horrible because unless you are in a relationship like the one we share? You simply wouldn't understand. We're very protective over one another and each other's feelings, so it was a shock.

Anyhow, the good news is, our relationship is important to us. Our relationship is priority and when he walked in the door yesterday, at first, he was hesitant to even give me one of those monstrous hugs that he always gives me. We talked. I listened to his feelings without interruption and then he listened to mine. I had to explain to him how new all of this was to me and of course, he too was going through separation anxieties from me. We're not used to our communication being dropped like that. Not only was our communication dropped, but we also always spend Wednesday through Friday together and even that was taken away because I had to work.

I love him. I love that man more than I ever knew I could possibly love. When I moved to NC, I wasn't coming here to love, I was career pointed. That was my life... career, daughter, cats, ya know? But now that God brought him into my life, I've learned over the past 15 months that 2nd chances are beautiful in life. With this man, I've learned so much. I've learned that real love is real, I've learned to be patient even. Me? Patient? Yea, that was tough. I've learned that not every man is out to hurt us but also that no one is perfect and that our imperfections can be seen past if we're willing to take that chance. We've grown up together and in the process, have grown on one another. He's places me in the palm of his hand and shines me up like a diamond should be shining. We've had people trying to break us up, we've had people put us in positions which would've broken us up had we not been strong together, and we've had daggers thrown at our relationship. And yet? Each time people do this to us, we grow stronger together.

The point of this blog, I guess, is to say that no love is perfect no matter how we present ourselves. As we decided yesterday, if our relationship was perfect and without flaw, we'd be God, and we know that is not going to ever be the case. It's how we handle the negative situations which determine our success in our partnership. There's some growing up to do in areas, but we go through those hurdles together. I find myself getting impatient sometimes, I find myself dealing with those thoughts alone, and then I end up flooring them out into his lap all at once and overwhelming him with them, but then we deal with that.

I don't know. Life is strange, but love is even stranger. Time is precious, don't waste it on blocking out the good stuff in life, even the one person who makes you feel like a diamond, a precious stone... because being loved and sharing your love with someone else? It's an amazing feeling. We're 15 months in and we are still electrified by one another in so many ways. It's just amazing.

That said? I've lost 8 pounds this week!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dinnertime

The kitchen is my home. I absolutely love to cook, rather it's something simple or something major. I experiment all the time in the kitchen as well. Tonight is no different. Last week while at the store, I was attempting to buy tilapia, our favorite white fish to eat, but somehow, I grabbed a bag of whiting instead. No problem, it's not as mild as tilapia, and we'll use it just fine.

I'm experimenting tonight and in my pan, I layered baby carrots (which next time will be sliced in half), four pieces of fish which were sprinkled with garlic, paprika, garlic, pepper, more garlic (we love garlic, can't tell?), and then splashed on soy sauce and lime juice before covering it with mushrooms! I'm serving this wild a wild rice dish I'm making, which I hid in chopped baby spinach (teenagers!), as well as making collard greens to go with it.

In the old days, before I gave up many things I used to eat, I would have baked up corn bread and even baked macaroni to go with this. I'd even probably go as far as frying that fish rather than baking it. The end result however, is a much healthier dish than the old days and very tasty. My teenager doesn't mind foods like this and enjoyed it as well, so what we have here? Is a winner!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blog Design

If you would take a moment and let me know if any of my side bars are running into the blog, please let me know. When you do, also let me what browser you are using. I work from the Opera browser, but was having issues when viewed with the Firefox. I think I have it fixed, but want to make sure.

Stress + Depression = Weight Gain

Yesterday, as I lay next to my sweetie and he was holding me as we were talking about some things, I was thinking about how comforting it felt to be there. I am so in love with him for many reasons and one of those reasons is how he makes me feel when we're snuggled up together and discussing things in our life.

There are days in my past where food has done the exact same thing. I'm sure we all can relate to this at some point in time. Life can be really tough for us at times, knocking us off our feet, and sending us in a whirlwind of depression or we can be stressing severely about whatever issue is going on.

Do you have a comfort food which soothes your senses, even if only temporarily?

Even if you don't, I do. When I get downright depressed or bothered by every day issues in my life, I normally avoid stuffing my face with that comfort food. You're going to be surprised to know what it is because talking with others, I know they eat fried chicken or have a milkshake from McDonalds. Some bake cakes or order take-out Chinese. As I think about mine right now, my eyebrows crinkle up, asking myself, what exactly is so good about this combination. Okay, let me show you:





That's right. Jalapeño Cheddar Cheetos with Philadelphia's Whipped Cream Cheese. I'm going to be downright honest and go the full length here. When I do this? It's not the small, snack-sized bag you see pictured here, but instead, the full-sized bag and nearly the entire container of cream cheese is demolished when I cower in my corner and eat this mess. Let's break this down because many of us are in denial when it comes to just how many calories, carbohydrates, fats, and etc... that it is we eat in our time of comfort.

Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos Nutritional Information for ONE serving:



A one ounce serving has all that, but when you buy a 9-ounce bag, broken down is:

Calories: 1530
Fat: 99 Grams
Carbs: 135

Read that with me, ONE THOUSAND and THIRTY calories. Let's move on to the cream cheese:

There wasn't a nutritional label available, so I went to SparkPeople and put the information in there for one bowl of whipped cream cheese. Just look at this:



So basically, what you are seeing is this:

Calories: 720
Fat: 72 grams
Carbohydrates: 0

For a grand total of 2,250 calories and 171 grams of fat.

I'm simply disgusted right now. I've never broken it down like that before. I've never even justified that eating this comforting garbage would've added so much damage to my body. Compare this with my daily nutritional goals and you'll understand my upset. My daily nutritional goals in these the three areas are:

Calories: 2,200
Fats: (varies)
Carbohydrates: 75

I can't really add in the fats because it does vary considering I somewhat follow a low-carb plan. I do say, "somewhat" because I don't intentionally do it. If you are new here and haven't seen me mention it before, I simply stay away from most processed foods. It's a rare day that I will eat pasta, rice, or breads or even refined sugar, corn syrups, etc... basically, my eating style is that it has to be less than 3 ingredients and must be grown or once walked the earth. So my fats do vary, but back to that comfort food. From this point on? I'm going to refrain from buying those Cheetos. At the end of eating that mess, I feel worse than I did before I started because the guilt eats me up. It's rare that I do eat that, but I believe it was just a week and a half ago that I found myself in a bag and a bowl.

The next time you find yourself eating emotionally like this, do what I just did... look up the information and put yourself on blast for the world to see. I'm sure if you're anything on the mindset that I am while trying to get this weight off, you will be ashamed and will look at your food differently.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A New Chapter of Life

It's been quite a long time since I've last worked outside the home as my motherly duties took priority over doing so. Instead, I've encountered and worked quite a few work at home endeavors. Most of these positions were customer service jobs though the majority of them were telemarketing. Yes, I used to call people up during their dinner hours to sell them some sort of product. The amazing thing, these jobs pay well and I've done very well with them in the past. Unfortunately, the last few months, I've hit some major hurdles and have decided to take the next step.

Mind you, my daughter will be sixteen years old in December and I've been home with her since she was four years old. This is a major chapter in my life and I'm really looking forward to it. After nine weeks of training, I will be taking calls for a major cell phone company, providing customer care either in billing, accounts, or technical information. How exciting is that? Of course, with the good things, including the benefits package and the pay, comes the things I'll have to adjust to. For instance, being able to be home for my daughter first and foremost. By working from home, I can set myself as away and have conversations with her, etc... but now she will have to wait for breaks or for our 6am chats before school. I'm also used to working on my own but as a team virtually, but now my team will have access to me in person.

I'm not sure what this is going to be like, but I look forward to the 30 minute commute as a time to enjoy some conversations with God, listen to some good music, or just to think. Yes, that's 30 minutes up and 30 back and best of all, I'll be traveling through the foothills in Virginia. It appears to have once been mountains but right now, the trees are all changing colors and it's so beautiful out there! When I first went for my on-site interview, I could barely drive speed limit as I was so mesmerized by the masterpiece around us nor could I get over my ears popping as the elevations changed.

Anyhow, I think by being out of the house and working, this will work wonders in my health as well. I already plan on digging out my carry-on cooler to stock it full of water bottles to keep under my desk. I've scoped out the parking lot and plan on parking the furtherest from the door for some extra steps, and I will be sure to never carry change or debit cards to eliminate the desire to attack the snack machines or McDonalds across the street. It's hard to realize just how difficult it is to keep from munching when you work from home. Even the healthiest snacks can work against you if you're not up and moving around to burn those calories back off. So, I really think this new chapter is going to be full of blessings for my health as well as my financial situation.

For those who work from a cubicle or a desk, what type of healthy snacks do you keep at your reach if you're allowed to do so?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm Going to Start Today, Repeat 10 Times

How many times do you say this to yourself or do you hear others say "I'm going to start today..." in reference to weight loss efforts? I've said it, you've said it, your friends have said it. Do you ever stop to think this could be causing failure in yourself? As a matter of fact, the whole dieting phase in your life is setting you up for failure anyhow because diets do not work. They simply don't work! You can spend $200/week on prepackaged meals, pay your fees to a dieting club, or whatever else you may be doing... but is it necessary to do so?

Everyone is different. Some people feel the need to become dependent upon diet pills, others believe a magic shake is key for the mornings, some need to be forced to eat less by having surgery, and some take control of their lives by changing their habits and changing their lifestyles. See, what you must know is that a diet will set you up for failure. Don't ever "start today", just make changes instead. If you find yourself eating more calories or more fat than you want to be eating, just eat less. When you go to the grocery store, rather than buying a $3 bag of chips, but a $3 bag of apples instead. If you're thirsty, those end caps are very encouraging to grab a pop, but look for the water instead. Bottled water isn't 100% healthy for you, but it's better than filling your body with sugars and carbonation.

Are you "starting" today or are you simply going to make some changes? It's not easy when the world is filled with so many dieting options, but you can do it.

Let me tell you some of the changes I've made. After losing those first 65 pounds, I got kind of hard tracked into working long hours, so guess what that meant? Less working out and less walking. The truth of the matter, that was a choice I made due to ignorance. Instead of taking a few steps, which of course are better than none, I was logging into Facebook and chatting with my friends and family. Not a good option. This morning, I did something differently. I worked for an hour, then instead of logging into Facebook, I grabbed my walking shoes, and took a walk down the block and back. I do live on a dead-end, I do live on what's known as a simple block, however, those few steps I took were a much better choice than logging into Facebook. We can't burn off calories by logging into Facebook.

Another change I made in the recent weeks is where I park at the grocery store. Unless I have someone with me, I park at the far end of the lot, and power pace to the door. I sure do! When I come out, I can't always power pace back to my truck because I may have a cart. Want to know another way of burning calories? Don't push the cart back to your vehicle. If you have four or five bags, carry them. If you have more and can safely carry them without causing injury? Carry them! You will burn more calories and work more muscles carrying your groceries to the far end of the parking lot than you would pushing the cart with your groceries in it.

It's just little changes that can make a difference. You may laugh at this one, but my house is very open and I have two ways to walk to the bathroom. One walk is actually 11 steps more than the other way. Which would you take? Unless it's an emergency, I feel that 11 extra steps for the day is better than not taking any at all. Little changes, that's all it takes. What kind of changes will you make today?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today's Adventures = Nervousness

Today is the beginning of a new adventure for me. In 1998, I quit my job to become a stay at home mom and have been home ever since. Although my title may have been SAHM, I was far from that as I began adventuring into ways to make money at home. While making money at home and being a SAHM, I also slacked in taking care of myself and gained much weight while doing so.

This year has been filled with new adventures and new doors opening for me. One of the most recent things I've done was purchase a vehicle with strictly cash so I would not have to make any payments. It was rough handing what little cash I had left, but I did it and I'm proud of it. With the new vehicle, I decided my next step was to find a job on the outside of the house. I just don't want to work from home any longer, or at least not as my full-time requirement. And so I began looking for a job.

I've been working in call center type work for years and decided this is what I still want to do until I get out of college. I found a place that caught my interest and submitted my resume. Less than 2 hours later, they called me!! I had my phone interview yesterday and now today, I will be driving the 30 minute drive to the actual call center to show them my computer knowledge, submit the drug test, and a few other things so they can get me registered for the 90 day training session.

I'm so excited! But I'm also nervous and my guts are in my throat. I feel like I woke up pregnant this morning as the first thing I did was throw up because I'm so nervous. I figure by the time I set out on the road, I'm going to be completely free of all the nervousness, or at least I hope!

Have you ever got like that before? This is so exciting to me because now I'm thinking with this outside job, I will have less time to raid the fridge, less time to munch on things I shouldn't be, and even a bit more movement as I will be parking at the end of the parking lot as well as walking around the building during breaks and potty runs. Not only that, I get to start shopping for new clothes in a few months as I don't have much at all. Until then, hello bum-looking-me! I used to love dressing up, but since being at home, I've converted to a jeans and tshirt type person, only dressing for church and believe me, when I dress for church? I still remain quite casual.

Wish me luck, my new friends! I'm so ready for this next chapter in my life, but these nervous feelings need to get out of me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Snacking

For some reason, the word snack is a word which irritates me the same as nails on a chalkboard irritates others. I don't like the way the word sounds, looks, nor do I like the aggravation it causes.

Let's talk about snacking or munching between meals. I just walked to my refrigerator in order to grab another water bottle (bottles which are refilled btw) and I grabbed a snack at the same time. There is always some sort of food at our disposal, isn't there? Rather it be chips, vegetables, fruits, or even other leftover foods, it's there and it's within eye level, begging to be tasted. My snack of choice at this current moment was a handful of juicy, plum grapes, nothing major. What if there were a piece of pie sitting in there? Would I have grabbed that instead?

One of the things we all must learn, in order to be a healthy snacker, we need to avoid buying the foods which cause problems in the first place. I have generous sized basket in my fridge which is located on the top shelf. Why? it's within arms reach, I don't have to bend over to get anything, nor shuffle behind jars to get to it. In the basket, there are cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, and baby carrots. These are typically the things I enjoy snacking on. As one who eats more proteins than carbohydrates, there are other times where you may find a bowl of BBQ chicken legs which I make with my own sugar-free BBQ sauce or even chicken wings or cheeseburgers. Seriously! If I get the munchies, I have learned that a protein will keep my hunger at bay as opposed to a handful of grapes or baby carrots.

That said, a common mistake many of us make, including myself, is eating improperly. I used to eat one single meal a day. Dinner. My dinners used to include mostly starches and carbohydrates or as I call them, empty nutrients which turn into fat! To this day, I still have troubles eating several times a day but I'm getting better at it as time progress. Rather than eating two or three meals a day, breaking these meals down to five or six eating sessions is healthier for us. It's hard for me to do this, do you have the same problem?

Anyhow, let's talk about snacking. What do you enjoy snacking on? What is your worst enemy and your best friend when it comes to snacking? Regardless of how you fulfill your daily nutritional needs, snacking plays a role for all of us.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Where is that excitement?

After you are through reading my blog this afternoon, I want you to go stand in the mirror and take a good look at yourself. Why am I asking you to do this? I want you to take a trip down memory lane for a moment. What were you wearing on the day you first met your sweetie? What were you wearing the day/night you realized you were falling in love with one another? Where you wearing oversized sweats and formula stained tshirts? I have a feeling you weren't wearing those at all.

I'm bringing this to your attention for a reason. All too often, we get so comfortable in our relationships and marriages, that we know in our hearts that our men accept us for who we are and tell us so, but I can almost promise you they desire to see the woman they fell in love with every now and then and when they do? It's exciting to them!

I hear women say all the time how unattractive they feel or how they don't measure up to someone their husband/boyfriend may have been peeping at in the store. I want to say to them, honey, have you looked at yourself lately? How long has it been since you bought a new compact? How long has it been since your dead-ends were trimmed off? Did you brush your hair before he came home from work?

It's hard to raise children, shuffle jobs and daycare, plus prepare the home so he can come home to a hot meal. But I can tell you this, five minutes to powder your nose and add a bit of shimmer to your eyelids will probably get you a heartier smile, a longer kiss, and maybe some excitement in the bedroom.

I don't want you to take this the wrong way at all, but what I want for us to do is not fall into routine and get comfortable, but later complain when you feel your mate isn't attractive to you anymore. This doesn't mean do this every day, but why not once a week or so, pretty yourself up for your man. Feed your children and get them put into bed earlier, then light a candle and have dinner with your sweetie. If you want your mate to stay in love with you, make him fall in love with you over and over again because routine gets boring and routine may cause straying eyes and actions.

Just saying...