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Happy Friday

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I will answer all coconut questions . . . soon. I bookmarked some sources but haven't had time for the rest. Thanks for asking.

I'm spending time on organizational tasks this week, which I know will pay off exponentially, but right now I'm a little behind. Again. LOL.

Tues night & Wed spent alot of time catching up in kitchen with things I had started and not finished, like batchcooking meat, cleaning out the fridge, rebooting crockpots, washing the last 4 pieces of previously emptied Tupperware containers, plus catching up on regular dishes, baking dishes, pans, and crockpots.

I hate cleaning out the fridge! From now on I'm adding wiping one shelf or section a day, to my FlyLady daily routine, so I'll never have to do that again. I skipped the condiment shelves so that's what I'm doing now.

I am struggling with pedometer, finally posted and asked folks for solutions to specific circumstances, and my Step Diet Team is so great!, they answered and solved my problem. April is a great team leader, very knowledgeable and caring. I am testing out wearing a lanyard I already had, so I don't have to spend $ even tho is very inexpensive. So far the pedometer attached to a lanyard is working great.

Thurs & today spent time on menu planning, I'm in a Pantry Challenge on The Crock Pot team; it is fantastic, a very beneficial and eye-opening challenge, I am truly AMAZED, and I'm making great progress; but my priorities keep switching. Now for example I need to use up fridge stuff first, and fresh stuff (potatoes, acorn, bread), then canned goods (I just want the canned goods gone, as many as possible gone, by the end of this month). The amazing results of cleaning out the fridge, and the Pantry Challenge focus and canned goods focus, is I jotted down 35 dinner ideas I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. I'm eating leftovers at the moment; so the 35 takes me from Feb 20 - Mar 26. It's just so unbelievable.

This morning had a washer delivered, and had a bunch of furniture and plants to move, walks to sweep the winter's built up sanding and grit (for traction) and dirt off of; and kitchen space to clear and put back to get ready for the washer delivery. My landlord thanked me for the way I handled being without a washer for a month and a half (didn't complain, and supported his decisions to get the extended warranty people to PAY UP). I don't do extended warranties, BUT, he DID get a new washer out of them (finally) because they messed him around for a month and a half. For me, personally? Never, never, never; but it wasn't my decision.

Tonight am getting down to the nitty-gritty of menu planning, meaning integration with my weekly plan.

Plus I have laundry to start and keep rebooting, job hunting and trying to keep the faith on that without getting depressed, working on building a personal stress eradication program, and working on consistency with exercise.

Jesus gave us this self-test on whether or not we're behaving like a pagan, which I have thought about recently in relation to building consistency in SparkJourney and Weekly Plan, stress, laundry (clothes), and Pantry Challenge (food):
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." The part that stands out to me is: THESE THINGS DOMINATE THE THOUGHTS OF UNBELIEVERS. Hmm, self-check: what is dominating my thoughts? I'm trying to get healthy, find a job, not stress out, use up wisely the pantry stuff I have, etc.

I am behind on ALL my teams and SP stuff. Sigh. If I get daily points I'm doing good.

I'll close with a peek of what I have for Fri & Sat menu/pantry planning to give you an example:

Friday Night Menu:
Leftover crockpotroast shredded beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, cucumber salad

Friday Night Batchcooking and Prep:
Defrost Italian sauce and browned ground beef in the fridge
Soak pintos
Soak small red beans
Brown ground beef in crockpot
Cook ham bones in largest crockpot for 24 hours
Make fresh fruit salad
Make make-ahead stuffed shells
Peel 5 lb bag of carrots while watching hulu. 1/3 leave whole, 1/3 make into sticks, the remainder divide evenly into shredded and diced.
Celery: 1/3 made into sticks, 1/3 sliced, 1/3 diced.
Prep produce for week's salads & soups: red onion rings sliced into rings, white onions sliced into rings, diced white onion, minced garlic, wash and pick over cranberries, wash apples.
Dice and freeze baked ham in 2-cup portions
Prep acorn squash halves; make one tray of oven-ready slices; fridge the rest.

Saturday Menu
B: Fresh fruit salad, leftover crockpot oatmeal, with a boiled egg for protein.

L: Crockpot buffalo chicken tenders, with leftover mashed potatoes, canned greens, cucumber salad.

D: Bake make-ahead stuffed shells to use up wilted parsley, ricotta close to expiry, crockbatched Italian frozen sauce, and pasta. Simultaneously batchcook acorn halves in oven for future use. While it's baking, prepare salad and crisp, and go for a walk.

Remove stuffed shells from oven and slide crisp in for dessert, to use up apples, cranberries, and oatmeal.
Serve with a large green salad to use up organic mixed greens, red onion, olives, and Good Seasons Italian dressing. Crisp will be ready by the time dinner is finished.

Saturday Batchcooking & Prep
1. Cook crockpot pintos for chili, combine with browned & drained ground beef to make chili.
2. Make light, broth-based beef veggie soup with leftover crockpotroast
3. Freeze ham broth. In ham crockpot, clean and make crockpot beef, barley & mushroom soup to use up leftover crockpot roast, barley, & mushrooms
Cook small red beans on stovetop
Cranberry Orange Ginger Chutney
Cranberry jello
Freezer meal: pan of shredded beef burritos to use up crockpotroast
Prep turkey breast for crockpot
Make 3 bean salad to use up canned wax beans, frozen green beans, frozen chick peas, and old small red beans. (Why do they call it 3-bean, when garbanzos make 4?)
Make more cucumber salad for the week.
Make bundt cake for FPU class
Bake banana bread
Empty & wash crockpots.
Scoop and freeze acorn squash meat.

emoticon Happy Friday emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKMYWAY47 2/20/2011 12:16AM

    I wish I had your energy, it all sounds marvolous. I am going to have to incorporate some of this good information to my life, I too am trying to use up all my canned stuff. I did stop buying cans a bit ago and just buy frozen veggies now. Loved reading your blog. Keep up the good work, you truly inspire me and many many others I am sure. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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APRILWALKING 2/19/2011 11:09AM

    Wow, that is awesome!!! Can you come to my house! emoticon

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LINDAB111 2/19/2011 9:18AM

    Sounds like you are making good, positive progress. emoticon

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JANC319 2/19/2011 8:11AM

  No wonder we haven't seen you on the teams much of late!
You're making great progress and I'm proud of you!

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Baby Steps: Finding Ways to Cook With Coconut Oil

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am in a Pantry Challenge on The Crock Pot Team (eat down your pantry) and yesterday for dinner I had crockpot pot roast and mashed potatoes with Brussels sprouts.

I took the meat out of the crock and used the leftover juice to make gravy. First I made a rue with butter & flour on the stove top. But I remembered that I wanted to start using coconut oil for it's many benefits (see so instead of butter I used coconut oil to make the rue.

I have never made rue like that before, but, it turned out great! Very easy. Tasted good. Yes I would do so again. And, it's much healthier than butter.

I also used some in potato garlic soup and it was really good in it, as well. I had some leftover potatoes from another recipe, so made a quick stovetop soup with them.

I'm sure there are a million & one ways to use coconut oil in cooking, but I've never done them. I'm thinking some of the old Crisco recipes, would be perfect for coconut oil. Because coconut oil is solid at room temp, like Crisco.

It's a start. Baby steps, baby steps.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-POOKIE- 2/17/2011 4:38AM

    I like coconut oil for my cottage cheese or soy flour pancakes.

I didn't like eggs fried in it however!!

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WARMSPRINGDAY 2/16/2011 9:42PM

    I have some coconut oil I'm using up, too. I was really quite confused, and still am, I guess about whether coconut oil is health friendly or not. I seem to get such conflicting information. Dietician Becky says the final word is not yet in on it. But my Mom used it on her scalp when she was having some problems, and there was an unopened jar left. It's been sitting here since Thanksgiving and I finally opened it just last week and started using it a bit here and there. I used it for fried rice last week, and fried potatoes this week (mixed it with canola oil), but my husband tasted it on the potatoes and didn't like it. Hoping it helps my cholesterol and doesn't make it skyrocket.

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HANNAHV 2/16/2011 9:01AM

    Isn't Coconut oil wonderful! Have you tried it as a spread on bread instead of marg? very tasty indeed. Also great for dry skin or sun burned skin! love the stuff myself

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JANC319 2/16/2011 7:57AM

  I love the "eat down your pantry" challenge. A few times a year, I go to the store & only buy milk and bread. Then I have to make meals of what I have on hand already or use up food that I made in advance and have frozen for future use. I'm not very good at the defrosting part, and so they sit in my freezer, uneaten.

I haven't tried coconut oil. I really dislike coconut - does it have that flavor?
I thought oils that are thick at room temperature were bad for you. Any links to enlighten me?

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-SHOE- 2/16/2011 4:21AM

    I love me some coconut oil in my morning yummy.
Shrimp is also really good cooked in it.

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6 Rose Colors and Their Meaning

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6 Rose Colors and Their Meaning

Red: Love and Romance
One of the most universal of all symbols, the red rose represents true love. It has also appeared throughout history and across cultures as both a political and religious symbol.

Yellow: Friendship, Joy, Get Well
Throughout history, yellow has been closely associated with the sun, making these roses excellent for cheering people up. Yellow roses send a message of appreciation and platonic love without the romantic subtext of other colors. The color represents feelings of joy and delight.

Pink: Love, Gratitude, Appreciation
Pink carries with it the connotation of grace and elegance, as well as sweetness and poetic romance.

Dark pink roses are symbolic of gratitude and appreciation, and are a traditional way to say thanks.

Light pink roses are associated with gentleness and admiration, and can also be used as an expression of sympathy.

White: Purity, Innocence, Sympathy, Spirituality
Early tradition used white roses as a symbol for true love, an association which would later become the hallmark of the red rose. Also known as the bridal rose, the white rose is a traditional wedding flower. In this sense, white represents unity, virtue, and the pureness of a new love. White roses are also associated with honor and reverence, which makes them a fitting memorial for a departed loved one.

Orange: Desire, Enthusiasm and Passion
A literal mixture of yellow and red, orange roses were seen as a bridge between friendship symbolized by yellow roses and love represented by red roses. They can be an expression of fascination, or a gift to say 'I'm proud of you.'

Lavender: Enchantment, Majesty, Love at First Sight
The color purple has a traditional association with royalty. In this regard, shades of lavender roses suggest an air of regal majesty and splendor.


I enjoyed these pictures of roses and thought you might, too.

If you didn't get roses for valentine's day, give them to yourself. Safeway has long-stem large roses, $10 for a dozen, all year long every day.

~ Stop and Smell the Roses ~

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 2/19/2011 12:13AM

    That was very interesting. I know there is a whole language of flowers. I think there was a book written about it some time ago. I love the color and the scent of the lavender roses, but they are hard to find. They have almost a spicy scent. Thanks for sharing this.

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RIGHT_VIEW 2/18/2011 7:36PM

  I would buy myself flowers if I could. In my home, it's a choice between cats and plants. Any plants have to be out of reach of the cats! I am a flower and plant lover, thanks for the lovely blog.

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SIMPLE_IS_BEST 2/16/2011 6:34PM

    This is a neat blog! Thanks for sharing it!

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JANC319 2/15/2011 12:22PM

  Beautiful! Thank you

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JERSEYDEBBIE23 2/15/2011 10:00AM

    thank you for sharing!

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Sat - Grocery Specials

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Perusal of online weekly circulars for grocery specials found these buys in the Mount Airy and Gaithersburg areas of Maryland:

Lucerne 32 oz shredded cheese $4.99, 15.6 cents per oz
Florida red grapefruit $ .50 ea
Safeway sugar 4lb, check label 100% cane?, $1.99
3lb bags Organics Assorted Apples, $4.99 ea, $1.66 per lb
(Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious)
4lb bag Organics Navel Oranges $4.99, $1.25 per lb
Diamond Walnuts 16oz $4.99, might have coup

Earthbound Farms organic celery $1.99 ea
Large cantaloupes $1.99 ea
Boneless chicken breast family pack $1.79 lb
Birds eye boxed veggies 10oz $1.00, might have coup
Tuttorosso 29oz canned tomatoes $1.00, might have coup
Welch's Grape Jam or Jelly 32 oz $2.09 - $1.00 coup = $1.09, 3.4 cents per oz

10 to 16 oz frozen veggies $1.00
Jalapeno or cubanella peppers $ .99 lb

- Large cantaloupes $2.00 ea
- Smuckers Jams, Jelly or Preserves 18 oz, $ .83 each, 4.6 cents per oz
Buy 3 for $7.50 and get $5.00 off your grocery order = $ .83 ea
- Sargento Shredded Cheese 8 oz, .99 ea.
Buy 3 for $5.98, - 3 $1.00 off one coupons = $2.98, = $ .99 ea, 12.3 cents per oz

5lb red grapefruit $3.88, Safeway 50 cents ea, so needs to be at least 8 in bag
Red grapes $ .98 lb
10lbs chicken leg quarters $ .49 lb

MAGRUDERS Sunday specials:
Wings $ .99lb
Thighs or drumsticks $ .88lb
Large AA eggs $1.00 dozen
Red peppers $1.00 lb
Cantaloupes $1.50
Scotties tissues $ .99, I'm out & I definitely have coup

I am in a Pantry Challenge so I don't need much, eggs & produce mostly.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARMSPRINGDAY 2/15/2011 5:31AM

    Pantry challenge sounds interesting. Is that trying to use up the things in your pantry instead of purchasing? Acutally sounds like me these days without officially entering a challenge.

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142 Days: New Personal Weightloss, Stress, & pH Challenge

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

During the period beginning Feb 9, and ending Jul 1, there are 142 days that I'm creating a personal weight loss challenge for myself. I watched "Heavy" on, and they did this in 180 days; I'll do 142 instead. I'm including in the 142 Day Challenge the things I have learned - so far - from dozens of natural healing sources since my sister died from cancer.

A. Move my feet before I eat. This is in acknowledgement that I have a real problem exercising. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being severely bad problem, I'm minus 10. I have a wonderful program to tackle this: The Step Diet Team. I just have to DO IT.

B. Drink 1 tablespoon raw organic apple cider vinegar in 8oz of water before each meal.

C. A combo of Jon Gabriel principles with intake of high pH foods resulting in the following new lifestyle change habit. At each meal I will focus on ADDing 5 things:
1. Protein
2. Live Food
3. Omegas
4. Foods with high pH index
5. Coconut oil

D. Drink a half teaspoon baking soda in 8 oz water before bed.

E. Work on Flooding My Body with Oxygen.

F. Work on Eradicating Stress.

A critical aspect recommended by Dr. Coldwell, Jon Gabriel, and many others, is to identify your specific causes of stress in your life and then target them for eradication. This is a tall order for me, but stress makes us acidic; it's not just our diet that does so. Stress produces cortisol. Dr. Coldwell says 86% of cancer is caused by stress. Neuroscientists confirm the cortisol from stress wreaks havoc in our brains and probably gives us Alzheimer's, and the link between cortisol and Alzheimer's is definitely indicated in PTSD patients. Stress and trauma definitely need to be dealt with. Jon Gabriel says lack of cortisol during his weight loss journey is WHY his skin was able to shrink back without surgery even though he lost more than 200 lbs. (This would explain why some people need surgery to remove excess skin after mega weight loss, while others don't; some people eliminated their stress and others lost weight while not addressing their private stress issues.) Cortisol destroys the elasticity of your skin, the function of your brain, and many agree stress causes cancer.

As a general rule, pathogens and cancers cannot survive in an oxygen-rich, alkaline environment.

Jon does talk about one positive stress: all-out exercise 10 mins, 3X per week. It tricks your body into thinking weight loss is needed for survival, i.e. a tiger is chasing you. I'll power walk those ten mins.

For two weeks in a row, I've lost weight without trying while eating all the "wrong" foods, hamburger buns, pasta, etc., and the only thing I did differently was to intentionally include high pH foods in my diet. If it's working, don't change it . . .

Here is a list of foods with high pH indexes. Pick only the ones you like.

raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) in water, in salad dressing, in salads
raw lemon juice, see ACV
baking soda in water
greens (kale, collards, bok choy, etc.)
cucumbers - I've been eating these in apple cider vinegar
Vegetable Juices
Raw Spinach
raw limes
Ki Sweet
Olive Oil
celery - some classify into list below
barley grass

Medium Alkalizers, not as good as the above but still good:

Green Beans
Sweet Potato
Maple Syrup
Rice Syrup
Herb Teas
Spring/Mineral Water
Flax Seed Oil
Lima Beans
Green Tea

Source: see clickable links for pH foods at the end of previous blog about Otto Warburg.

There are other categories (less alkaline but still good; then several categories of progressively more acidic, etc.). But I'm taking a clue from Jon Gabriel, which is, FOCUS ON WHAT TO ADD TO EACH MEAL.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YW84FRIDAY 2/14/2011 8:44PM

  Sounds like a solid plan. As for the vinegar, my mom had us doing this as kids. We hated it! LOL!

Hope you have an awesome week! emoticon

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CAROLINAGIRL45 2/12/2011 5:51PM

    Carol, thanks to this blog I decided to try the vinegar. I just started taking it today. I read that an added benefit for arthritis is to mix it with honey, so that's what I'm doing a couple times a day. 1 Tbsp. of each in 8 oz. water. I hope to feel a difference soon. :-)

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WARMSPRINGDAY 2/10/2011 5:04PM

    Good stuff to know. I've heard about the apple cider vinegar, but don't know where to get it raw. That sounds like something I might like to try.

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A*L*P* 2/10/2011 8:41AM

    I can't find enough good things to say about ACV, It is a miracle cure for a lot of different things.

You're so insightful and I love reading your blogs, thanks for the challenge Carol!

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CAROLINAGIRL45 2/10/2011 5:09AM

    Good blog! Interesting about the high pH foods. My husband was taking vinegar tablets for a while and was losing weight. Must be something to it. I might try the vinegar and water mixture. Thanks for the information!

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NELLIEC 2/9/2011 9:26PM

    My cats and my dogs make sure I move my feet before I eat. I have to dash around giving them food and checking their water, and taking the dogs out for their pottying. I believe that somewhere in the Bible it says something about feeding your animals before you eat.

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    This is great!! You are going to meet all of your goals for sure~~

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