Saturday, February 23, 2013
I can't help but think one or two packets of seeds could be the revolution that everyone needs to just start eating more vegetables. You don't need a lot of space. Find an old cloth shopping bag. Buy some potting soil and compost or use your own. Fill the shopping bag. Water the soil mix. Sprinkle on a mixture of lettuce seeds. Set in a sunny place and water once more. Lettuce likes it cooler. So do peas-do sugar snap peas. Soak them about 2 hours in room temperature water. and plant a grid of sugar snap peas in your bag two inches by two inches. Set this bag by a railing they can use for support. They will grow 4 - 5 feet tall. And then a tomato. Buy a plant already started. If you're going with the shopping bag, get a "patio" tomato, or one that is determinate. Transplant the small plant into another bag. Dig a trench as long as the widest part of your bag. Take your tomato plant out of its store pot. Lay it down in the trench with the root ball on one end, and the top of the plant at the other. Cover everything except the top of the plant with dirt. The stem is covered with hairs. Each hair becomes a root which helps to feed your tomato so you get lots of tomatoes.
You can use an indeterminate if that word seems to match your personality, but be ready because they are vines. They'll grow as tall as the support you give them. If that is only 5 feet tall, they'll grow UP five feet, and then head back down again.
Be sure you place the bags where you and your family can watch what happens every day. Give your bag a cup or two of water. You don't need to drag out the hose every morning.In about a month, you will be plucking leaves from the lettuce every other day for salads. In a month and a half, you'll have your own salad daily. In the third month you could have tomatoes and sugar snap peas to add to the bowl.
But the sugar snap peas probably won't make it to your salad. SOMEONE will be sneaking the pods as they plump up, and eating them before they ever get inside. Be sure to harvest them as they get plump so they will continue to grow and give you more delicious welcomes.
Be sure to share the wonder of your plants as they grow. Share with your kids, grandkids, the neighbor kids. If they ask questions you don't know the answer, hand them the google machine and have them find the answer.
Or better yet, say "Why don't we watch and find out."
You won't have enough food to keep from going to the produce market, but you will have an enriched life.
When your plants are done, pull them out of the bags, shake dirt off the roots, and plant some more seeds.
Friday, February 22, 2013
I am not from a generation that was taught to do a personal workout. 4 years of cancer therapy and surgeries was my workout that just about did me in.
Years of driving thru (the drive thru) was the extent of my workouts, along with eating all the calories that I picked up with untold reps.
So now, even though I have set the goal to be as healthy as possible, there are still times when the workout, as many people here in sparkdom define that, doesn't seem as important as you might think it should.
Instead of making excuses, I find work arounds.
My Yorkie, Jewels insists on going for a mile walk every morning. And if it's raining, she refuses to go. I get out my umbrella and go without her.
If it's a bad thunderstorm, I have a zumba DVD I pop in. I figure that will come in handy this summer if we don't get our walk in before it hits 100 degrees.
Social Security says they have overpaid me and that I owe them $6900 by May. And if that's not a hardship, I can pay them back at $596 a month till paid off. Either way you look at it, that is a hardship for anyone on Social Security. So the gym membership is going. That will also save gasoline because it's a 20 mile round trip. I've saved almost $100 a month by not going to the gym.
But I must take up the slack. And since I love going to my community pool, and I have a recumbent bike, I think I'll be okay on the fitness front. I can also walk on the bike trail and pretend I'm in a class with the Zumba DVD.
So excuses are handled by a switch in thinking, a switch in plans, a switch in time saves calories burned, and $.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
This picture says 500 words because it was taken about 3 months ago, and the other half of the story has continued.
In the bike pic, it says I had lost 35 of the 46 total pounds.
It says I'm happy.
It says I'm active, doing fun things.
It says I'm alive, with a blood pressure in the normal range.
The other half you can't see shows I'm eating healthy food, doing routines to go to bed earlier to get a good night's sleep. It shows I've started a team to share anti-angiogenic food concepts with others. It shows I've stopped drinking sugary drinks. It shows I eat a ton of fruits and veggies daily. It shows I've streamlined my menu planning, prepping, and cooking so I'm not in the kitchen all the time. It shows I'm in the pool 4-7 days a week. It shows I walk at least a mile a day. It shows I'm eating whole food which I process 90% of the time. It shows I'm even growing a lot of my own food organically in 4 raised beds on a small lot in a 55+ mobile home retirement community. The other half of the picture shows that I'm creating habits for a healthy life for the long term.
The last 6 months is the longest I've ever stayed on a diet program. That is because I finally get it, that losing weight fast is for the short term, because it doesn't give me time to set myself up for long term success. So, while my streaks aren't consecutive because of techie issues, I AM establishing a long running streak where I will continue to
drink the water,
eat 2 pounds of veggies and 4 fruits as the basis of my eating plan,
choose 10+ anti-angiogenic foods daily, maintain fiber intake at 30+,
avoid processed foods with lots of additives which I can't pronounce
buy whole foods and process it myself
keep my organic garden growing veggies (and a little fruit)
take vitamin D3 supplement
do daily cardio,
get 8 hours sleep
And now, I must go start some seeds and set out some transplants.
Monday, February 18, 2013
I was having difficulty drinking 8 cups of water. How about YOU? Here in Sparkdom, I found lots of tricks like keeping a wedge of lime in your glass, refilling the minute the glass empties, etc. to help me get the job done.
I didn't like to think of water as a beverage. It couldn't win when up against my sodas or McDonald's Iced Coffee.
So I switched my thinking. Since my body was 97% H20, I started thinking of it as food that my body required to keep my skin young, to carry all the great nutrients I'm now eating to all parts of my body in a swift bloodstream, to help all my brain cells remember.
I worked hard to melt away the fat. I followed Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live 6 weeks plan over and over and lost 45 pounds. I'm about half way to goal.
During the last 6 months as the scale went down a half pound or even a whole one, I have been visualizing 2 - 4 sticks of butter melting on a griddle and flowing down in to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where it could never flow back upstream and find its way back onto my body. And that visualization has worked for me.
But once I really thought about it, I realized that water that was carrying those wonderful fat and cancer fighting nutrients all over my body, was also the transport to move all of the unwanted fat molecules out. If I didn't provide the water, those fat cells just lined up at the corner of Overweight and Obese and yelled, "Where's the Bus??"
And then I argued with myself and said, "Well, they can just ride to their doom on my soda, or McDonald's Iced Coffee." But since I know a bit about how things work inside, I knew my body had to work hard to process the sugars or fats in those drinks first and carry those nutrients out to all cells in my body. More sugar and fat going to each cell before the unwanted fat molecules could board the raft that would float them to their doom.
I wondered if I was confusing my body. Probably not. It pretty much does all of its jobs without any thought on the subject. But still. It was ready to give up fat molecules, but I was sending it MORE unneeded sugars and fats. "What do you know that I don't know? Are they predicting a famine out there in the Junk Food Drive Thru?"
So I stopped Imagineering that quiet stream floating the nutrients to all my cells, and started Imagineering a raging flood of water clearing out the junk I had thrown out along the banks of the streams of unhealthy drinks I had been feeding my unhealthy body.
So I'm now thinking of plain water as an important part of my health program, NOT as a beverage.
At first I had to do little kid rules like, "No iced coffee until you drink 4 cups of water." or "Finish your 8 cups of water and you can have a soda."
My idea of beverage has changed and is pretty much iced or hot tea. This summer I might make an iced coffee as a treat on a hot day, figured into my snack for the day. I have stopped fooling myself. I know my body doesn't need those drinks, but it DOES need fresh water to stay healthy.
And if you still need help, the visual below might do it, because every glass of water is a rainbow of promise that you give to your body, a promise that you will never let it be parched again.
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