Monday, October 21, 2013
"You have to be willing to accept the information, you have to be willing to work hard. You have to be motivated to go to practice with an open mind."
This morning I found my way to one of my dear SparkFriend's blogs.
There is always a lesson, a challenge, a gift meant for me if I pay attention when I explore and interact with the SparkPeople community. Yes, along with the Spark inspiration, seemingly unrelated pieces from multiple areas in my life begin to appear, flow, and join. I notice the gradual development of a common theme, or perhaps a grand scheme, that I need to address, practice, or transform in my life. I could be used to it by now, but I choose to enjoy the magic and wonder of this creative process.
Today's offerings are about miracles, purpose, congruency, and love. I don't yet know how these ideas fit together, but I'm giving my SparkFriend's challenge a try. She suggested writing down 3 or 4 thoughts and saying them four times a day for a week.
My list is in the form of affirmations:
1. I am a miracle; God has a purpose for me.
2. I am recreating the outside me to be congruent with the inside me.
3. I choose love as my antidote to fear.
What will become of the union of my cerebral thoughts with HAWTGRANNY2014's challenge of repeated awareness and intention? What will be the practical application to benefit my health? My experiment has begun... I'll report back in a week :)
Meanwhile, SparkFriends, may your journey to health and well-being beckon you into action TODAY. May your Spark energize your travels TODAY... and TODAY may you heed that voice saying, "Go on, take a step forward, you can do it..." Believe, my SparkFriends, just for TODAY.
"I do believe we're all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other."
Friday, October 18, 2013
A couple days back I shared one of the permanent lifestyle changes I want to make. I want to improve the quality of the food I eat (while reducing the quantity) by eating seasonally and locally. As I wrote, I believe this is a nutritious, cost conscious, and delicious choice.
We have been blessed by friends and neighbors who kindly share the excess of their gardens. The harvest of Butternut Squash is bountiful this season!
I like to either bake or microwave Butternut Squash and eat it simply with a sprinkle of cinnamon, black pepper, and Molly McButter. The other day I baked two so that I would have some left over for one of my Fall favorites, Butternut Squash Soup.
My intention was to use my usual recipe which calls for some apples (this year from my very own tree!). However, change is good, and I recalled a recipe I pulled out of Redbook Magazine a few weeks back. I remembered those "Marketing savvy" words on the cover which always catch my attention:
"MAGICALLY MAKE YOU LOSE"
Those tantalizing words on a magazine, book, TV show, website, etc... Oh how they pull me in! "Lose," yes I want to lose weight! "Magic," uh, that means it must be easy! Wow! Put the two words together? You've sold me!!!
(Sorry Kelly, you weren't what caught my attention!)
Anyway, moving along here, I found that the recipe for Kelly's Butternut Squash Soup had ingredients I liked, seemed relatively easy, and sounded fairly nutritious. So last night I gave it a whirl.
Keep in mind that I did start with already prepared squash. I think I will do that from now on. I might even bake the potato along with the squash next time. I like the flavor baking or roasting adds to many freggies.
I'm thinking this recipe would also work well with pumpkin substituted for the squash and I could probably still add in some apples if I wanted. I never experimented with recipes before joining SparkPeople... see how the mind opens to new ideas in a supportive community?
Let me tell you, this was the best butternut squash soup I've ever had! Delicious, filling, so satisfying! I enjoyed a serving last night for dinner. Today I had another serving for lunch. This is one of those special recipes where the leftovers get even better. I appreciated that the chilled leftovers did not separate as can often happen with a creamy soup. Wondering if that's because of the coconut milk instead of dairy milk.
Will I magically lose? Well, yes gradually if I drink my water, move my body, and eat within my calorie range. All are lifestyle changes I can live with!
Oh, did you want the link?
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
One of the permanent lifestyle changes I want to make is to improve the quality of the food I eat while reducing the quantity. I buy into the idea that eating seasonally and locally is a more nutritious, cost conscious, and delicious choice.
With that goal in mind, today for lunch along with some sardines, I had baked butternut squash and my spur of the moment attempt at a waldorf salad.
The squash was so yummy and sweet to my taste. I only added a sprinkling of pepper, cinnamon, and Molly McButter. And how easy! All I did was half the squash, scoop out the seeds, put in a baking dish cut side down with about an inch of water, and bake for 350 for 4o minutes. I could have microwaved it, but I wanted extra for a soup I’m making later on. Additionally I like the fragrant smell of the baking squash. I portioned out a cup for my lunch for about 80 calories.
The salad was the true highlight of my meal. I used apples from a tree in our yard. How local is that? Organic and seasonal for sure!
The funny thing is that I have lived here for nearly thirty years. This is the first season that I have used apples off that tree because I always thought them to be wormy and just not edible.
Earlier this fall I saw a picture of a basket of organic apples in a blog on clean eating. It made me realize that my apples looked just the same… kind of dark and splotchy off the tree. Sure enough, however, a bit of scrubbing and my apples are gorgeous, crisp, and sweet.
I have no idea what type they are, but I do know that of all my apples I have cut, I have only discovered two unwanted visitors who apparently like them as much as I do! Not one of us has been poisoned by pesticides.
My Waldorf Salad recipe on the fly turned out pretty good! It made a filling serving for one with about 170 calories.
80g chopped apple
50g diced celery
10g chopped walnuts
10g golden seedless raisins
1 Tbs reduced fat mayonnaise w/olive oil
This is a lifestyle change I can live with! Perhaps a repeat performance at dinner tonight?
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
What does it take?
What does it take to convince myself that healthy eating in portions to support my goal weight is just as easy and desirable as consuming “junk food” with abandon? That is the question I am pondering this morning as I finish my breakfast smoothie.
I’m at the start of another day with my thoughts, intentions, and actions in alignment with my path to well being. I’ve had my vitamins and my smoothie contains almond milk, protein powder, fresh fruit, and greens. I’ve added organic apple this morning and I am delighting in the aroma, flavor, and consistency I’ve happened upon in my experimentation with nutrition. It feels easy at this moment, at this step.
My days often start off this way. However, just as often, I take a detour following dinner along a winding desolate road flanked by dangerous steep cliffs. Worse yet, I have been inviting my husband along for the journey.
Last night after dinner, playing the part of Eve far too well, I offered my dear soul mate a large container of “homemade” sugar cookies I had baked from a packaged cookie mix. Together we sat and consumed cookie after cookie with abandon as we watched Showtime’s depiction of King Henry VIII’s excesses.
This morning I realize that into our bodies, organs, and cells we had dumped huge excesses of processed junk; white sugar, white flour, chemicals with names I cannot even recognize or pronounce. Last night was just another in a chain of similar evenings over the last month.
And it was easy. Thoughtless.
The result of this treacherous, recurrent, although varied, evening side trip over time, you ask? The results of my experience over the last four weeks shocked me. The answer does not so easily make its way from my mind, through my fingertips, and onto the keyboard. It’s not easy for me to type or see the number in this blog. My scale registered a gain of twenty pounds this morning. Yes, that’s right… a big two “o.” Twenty pounds. My weight went from 139 to 159 from August 28 to today, September 24. I didn’t know that was possible. Now I know.
So where to go from here? Part of me echoes the words of a straightforward German boss I worked for several years ago. He often asked, “Why should it be easy?” Good question. Isn’t it worth the effort to work toward what we want?
Another side of me believes that it IS MUCH easier to be well rather than sick, easier to have energy rather than fatigue, easier to fit comfortably rather than squeeze into my clothes, easier to feel strong rather than weak, and easier to respect rather than regret my choices in regards to my health.
What does it take? One step in the direction of health is an easy place to start again. I’m onto the next step…
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