Sunday, February 23, 2014

From the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, some tips for buying and handling food safely.

Shop for non-perishable items first and leave refrigerated and frozen items for the end of your trip.

Place meats, poultry and seafood in separate bags from other foods.

Transport perishable foods in the back seat rather than a hot trunk. And when you get home, unload groceries right away.

If foods need to be kept refrigerated or frozen, make sure to store them safely within two hours of leaving the grocery store, or one hour in weather over 90°F.

If you use a reusable grocery totes, be sure to wash them often in warm, soapy water.

Use two grocery totes: one for raw meat, poultry and seafood, and the other for produce and ready-to-eat foods.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The DHC challenge for today was to relate a situation in which you had to use patience.

Often, when we are in the middle of the situation, it is difficult to see the big picture. We are in the the moment and right smack dab at the center of all of that stress but that saying, this too shall pass, usually proves true. All you have to do is wait it out.

I had a very stressful situation last year and I see friends now who remember how overwhelmed I was at the time and ask me how I'm doing. They always seem surprised when I say, I'm fine. At the time, I felt like I was riding a bucking horse and holding on with just a handful of mane. If any of you have ever been on a horse that's throwing a fit and wants you off their back, you know that feeling of being totally out of control. You feel helpless and totally at the mercy of the "fit thrower's" whims. Unlike a horse, the motivation of these antagonist can often be unclear and your defenses totally useless against a hidden foe. So, I learned two things that finally gave me peace of mind and closure, patience and acceptance. I just held on for dear life for a while and waited for the storm to pass. Then I accepted the decision of the protagonist and I closed the door and moved on. I guess that's three things because although I know there is another saying that says, get back on the horse, this time, I've decided to leave that horse in the stable. You not only have to learn in life to have patience and acceptance but to know when to walk away. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

I've recently started running up and down the hills over in the pasture. Our DHC challenge today was to start a new exercise or start doing an old one again. I'd also love to pump up the bike tires and get them out of the garage soon. I may actually need new tires because they've been sitting in there, gathering dust for a very long time.  The reason we stopped riding the bikes (and we were fanatics about it, 10-20 miles each day, rain or shine, hot or cold and around 65 miles a day on the weekends...and that on mountain trails!), was an accident I had on our own country road not far from my house. Long story but basically, I was being chased by one dog and peddling hard to outrun it. I was looking back at that dog when its brother jumped off a ledge right in front of me. I hit the dog and my bike flipped catapulting me twenty feet through the air while I tried to turn to keep from landing on the top of my head. I hit the ground on the side of my head and my shoulder and then skidded 15 feet until I came to a stop at the wheels of a truck whose driver thankfully saw what was happening and stopped. Except for a concussion and major road burn that had ripped my clothing and skin off one side of my body, I was unharmed but I was left with a residing and haunting fear for many years after that. I tried to keep riding for the next few months after the accident

but found that I was suddenly terrified of riding down hill which makes riding almost impossible around here. That was almost twenty years ago, I become inactive and put on a lot of weight. I've recently come to terms with my fears. It took me long enough but I feel renewed and ready to get back out there and get moving!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Well, after a week of struggling with my diet and cravings....which I occasionally indulged with a few chips and some yo-yo weight is back down to where the tough week started. So, although not progress in weight loss, I still count it as a win. The best improvement though is my energy level. I really dragged through those first two weeks of this diet/lifestyle change especially the first one but now, I feel like I can do anything! Finally making progress on the house again and starting to exercise again. What was a struggle just walking and pushing that loaded wheel barrow up the hill over the past two weeks, I did at a run this morning! In fact, I ran up and walked down one slope of the hill several times and I'm thinking I'll start doing that and hopefully adding a  "lap" each day. We also have started walking again. We aren't measuring and timing just yet because we've been getting out of the field and into the woods where the walk is steep and rocky in places but a great work out. Still haven't gotten the exercise equipment moved but I'm hoping, with Steve's help, that will happen by the end of today.

And did I mention it snowed last week? I mean it REALLY snowed last week. At least, it was a major storm for East TN. The temps were so warm that most of it was melted by the end of the day but it was beautiful (if challenging) while it lasted.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The news and social medias have been all abuzz about the Biggest Loser and Rachel Fredrickson's extreme weight loss to win the show. It is ironic that a show that constantly promotes quick, unhealthy weight loss is now criticizing someone for doing just what they've been taught to do? I read an article about something Lindsey Vonn said. She was talking about going to movie festivals and openings with Tiger Woods and how it makes her feel to be amongst all of these reed thin women. She called them skinny-fat because she said that they might be super thin but they were the unhealthiest bunch she'd ever seen and covered in cellulite. The news media's take on this, Lindsey Vonn has body image issues!??? They don't see or won't admit that the media, movies and fashion promote unhealthy lifestyles and weights but that Lindsey is the one with the problem for pointing it out. The news media are still talking about her statements and it is so sad to me. I think of all of the young girls who starve themselves to try and look like the movie stars and models. I think about the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence being called fat in the news! My argument with Biggest Loser wasn't that Rachel was indeed at least ten pounds underweight but that they were being hypocritical about the purpose of their show which isn't about health but how you look in the end. Our society needs a major makeover!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Rachel Frederickson, the 2014 winner of the Biggest Loser.
Personally, I think she looks great and healthy. I don't think her weight loss was any more dramatic than the two men's. There has been such controversy and I hate the way Jillian and Bob seemed to distance themselves and throw Dolvett under the bus on this. Rachel has stated that she eats the 1600 calories a day that the show's nutritionist suggested. She is an athlete though, world class swimmer, and I imagine she might be addicted to exercise now. Plus there is the competition and she is a competitor so that would urge her to lose even more weight. From all of her statements, she is concentrating on maintenance now not any more weight loss. I seem to recall many male winners who lost as much in the past and several very thin female competitors, too. To me, this almost feels like a case of sore losers.
As an athlete, she probably has developed an incredible metabolism. She says that she eats 1600 calories a day. It could be that she's just exercising too much. She was a world class swimmer before putting on the weight and she finished that triathlon way ahead and way easier than any of the others. I'm hoping that her weight levels out in the weeks to come and that she hasn't become addicted to losing weight. I very much have an addictive personality and when I was exercising three to four hours a day and eating around 1200 calories, I lost a lot of weight very quickly. I lost down to 105 at first but thankfully, had no desire to be smaller. I eventually leveled "up" to 135 and was very happy there. That's the weight I'd like to be again. The thing about anorexics is they see themselves as fat even when they are terribly thin. I wasn't like that and Rachel didn't seem like that either. Like her, I became addicted to exercise and weight loss and lost too much initially but good sense eventually kicked in and brought me back to a healthy weight.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I usually treat these personality tests as harmless yet meaningless fun but shockingly, this one, based on your creative self, fit me to a T. Which door would you most want to walk through? I was a 6 by the way, "6 – You are a confident person with an eye for detail. You can come across as someone who is all together and exciting; yet you are just YOU on the inside. You care about your appearance and how the world sees you, yet the inside your home or car is probably a total mess! Your personality can be self destructive, for you could turn against yourself when the going gets tough. The life of a person who is a living a total contradiction... has got to be a difficult one. Remember to breathe and just relax. Life is not just about pleasing others. Truth is, the world isn’t always watching... Take time to reflect on who you truly want to be? What is it that you truly want to do?"

1 - You are a fun individual that likes to keep things light and airy. You are all about nurturing others and appreciating the simple luxuries in life; such as your fine dishware, favorite candle or eating artisan bread from the local bakery. You most likely have a love for traveling and other cultures. You truly want the best for everyone and love creating a welcoming atmosphere. It is important to remember that if you ever feel that you need help or support, it is OK to just ask someone. 

2- You are clean and simple and don’t like any frills. You might strive to have a clean and perfect existence; but is it totally worth it? Don’t you feel that there is something missing? You are all about your personal achievements and you take pride in your work or career. Although you might be on track with your career path or have a few diplomas/ certificates on your wall, you need to spend more time on developing yourself as a person. Remember... the real you. Life is all about creating balance, surrounding yourself with color and creating memorable adventures. If you are finding that you have been taking the safe road lately, try veering off the beaten path. You might surprise yourself!

3 – It is obvious you are a quirky individual and very interesting to the people that you let into your life. You are good at many things... a “Jack or Jill of all trades”. You are an artistic individual that expresses yourself in many ways. You can make something out of anything and are not a stranger to your local thrift shop. You can basically make vintage “new” again. It is easy to get stuck inside the house or inside your urban bubble; but remember that you have to get out and connect with nature. It is time to come down out of the clouds and get grounded!

4 – You are an old soul that can be slightly dramatic. You are a very artistic person that loves to express yourself through writing, music, art or some kind of expression. You are a dichotomy; for you can be very open and friendly, yet closed and deeply private. You often have your guard up, keeping your thoughts and troubles to yourself. Although you might think that nobody will truly understand you, if you allow yourself to open up and share your feelings, you will feel so much better. Deep down you are not aright with any imperfections and you feel the need to come across as “the rock” in any group situation. Know that people are willing to share their feelings with you and want you to share your feelings with them. 

5 – It is very important for you to fit in and feel as though you are a major contributor in every situation. You always have things going on, for being productive is what makes you feel at ease. Your busy-ness can sometimes cause the need for you to become more aware of what is really going on around you. What does your body want you to be doing? It is alright to relax on a Monday and simply just BE. Feel free to take some time to figure out what you really love to do. Possibly try some new hobbies or activities that are out of your normal routine. Explore being you, even if that means relaxing. Life is not just about how many muffins you can make in a single batch or how many fit-it jobs you can do in one day.

6 – You are a confident person with an eye for detail. You can come across as someone who is all together and exciting; yet you are just YOU on the inside. You care about your appearance and how the world sees you, yet the inside your home or car is probably a total mess! Your personality can be self destructive, for you could turn against yourself when the going gets tough. The life of a person who is a living a total contradiction... has got to be a difficult one. Remember to breathe and just relax. Life is not just about pleasing others. Truth is, the world isn’t always watching... Take time to reflect on who you truly want to be? What is it that you truly want to do?

7 – You are a simple minimalist that always has important things to do. You care for others and find your time anything but your own. You surround yourself with meaningful things, for you are very sentimental. Family and friends are very important to you and you would do anything for them. Not putting yourself first has made your life a safe and complacent one. What is it that can enrich your life today? What will make your life more colorful and enjoyable? Even though life gives you labels such as a mother, father, wife, husband, teacher, manager, etc; remember that your life is still YOUR life. Take a moment to decide what you want your future to look like. It is perfectly acceptable to want wonderful things to happen to you. Carpe Diem.

8 – Your fun and playful personality keeps you young and youthful. Although you are easy going, you tend to have lower self-confidence and anxiety about specific things in your life. You are usually unorganized; yet don’t even know where to start to help yourself to fix the messy problem. You are a proud individual but you need to learn to love yourself more. You need to take the time to find yourself through self expression. How are you currently expressing yourself to the world? Remember that there are people around you that can help you, but you need to let them know you are willing to receive help. Life is easier when you let people in.

9 – You are a quirky person that is always making things work. You are an amazing problem solver that prides yourself on your thrifty living. You like to live an uncomplicated life and usually get by with the basics. Why would you need anything else? You are very easy to please and love doing things for others. Whether it be fixing your neighbors toilet, building a bird house for your mother out of reclaimed wood or helping your friend find a great living room set at the thrift shop; you are always there to lend a hand. Remember that life is special. It is OK to treat yourself to amazing things. You are special too!

10 – You are one who truly appreciates stability and wholeness. You are a reliable person that takes pride in their love of quality and detail. Some might say “cookie cutter”, but you say dependable! You always know what you are getting because you have checked the consumer reports. You love safety and security in all parts of your life. You prefer not to have anything frivolous or extra, if you can’t see the use for it. Chances are you have some sort of creative side that you have curbed in some way. You might love scrap-booking, music or art; yet would never try to make it your career. You feel your problems are your own and nobody needs to be burdened with them. Just keep in mind that exposing your true self to the world (or your neighbors) is not a crime. We are all human.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dinner Feb. 01, 2014

oven baked salmon (layer of sliced lemons, salmon, drizzle of olive oil and garlic, herbs and spices..bake 20 minutes at 350) spinach, arugula and romaine greens topped with cucumber and avocado with a dressing made with no fat Greek dressing, ranch mix, taco mix, chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro and hot pepper.
A friend recently asked me where I get my recipes. Here is what I told her. I usually just improvise. When I stopped eating gluten about three years ago, I had to get creative. Now that I'm trying to cut out all sugar and processed foods, I'm having to become even more inventive. With the salmon, I saw a recipe online sometime ago for shrimp made in the oven with sliced lemons. I changed it by using coconut oil instead of butter which I thought made it better because the coconut oil has a more subtle but slightly sweet flavor. I thought why not try making salmon that way but substituted olive oil since it seemed a better match for the fish. As for seasoning, I cheat a bit and almost always use either or both Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb or a variety of Joe's Dirt both of which are gluten free. The salad dressing came from me trying to kick up my usual veggie dip a bit by adding the tomatoes and hot peppers and then I decided to add the cilantro and onions to make it more of a pico de gallo. As for the salad itself, I love salads because they are like playing with my food. The avocado is something I've been adding to everything since learning its nutritional and diet benefits.