Friday, August 19, 2011
. . . Hydrangea. I was so surprised to happen upon this beautiful specimen:
I love that they are so fascinating in that, unlike most other plants, the color of their flowers can change dramatically. Losing a hundred pounds has been a dramatic change for me. My mindset into maintenance has been a little rocky, while at the same time, remaining within a pound or two of my recommended goal. Happy, Happy!
Just as the journey to a new and healthier person takes great diligence, determination, and commitment to a good action plan, you’ll find that changing the color of hydrangeas may not be so easy. Hydrangeas can change color as they adjust to the new environment with a varying pH balance in the soil. It is not unusual to see several different colors on one shrub the next year after planting.
You’re already active on one of the best websites to good health by being on SparkPeople.com. The website below gives tips on how to change the color of you hydrangeas should you be interested in learning about the application of aluminum to the soil.
More about hydrangeas: www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/colorch
Hope you’re making the adjustments you need to meet your goals successfully.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
. . . without the questions
As inspired by NEWMAC2011's blog today:
I'm currently enjoying retirement (albeit, an early one) and confess to have been overweight, fat, and obese my entire life (except once in the mid-seventies for a brief stint). At 261 lbs, I wanted to lose one hundred pounds, so I considered myself morbidly obese and referred to these words regularly for motivation in starting the journey. Then I finally saw one too many photos of myself where I could not apply that “skinny photo” edit to. I jumped on the Weight Watcher bandwagon on May 31, 2006 when some coworkers joined Weight Watchers.
Type 2 diabetes had cropped its head up in my family and I knew it was only a matter of time. I had already been tested and required a sleep apnea machine, as well as meds for an irregular heart beat and high blood pressure.
I was tired of having to shop at the fat-women’s boutique and was beginning to find a little too much comfort in the 3X and 26/28 sizes. It was time to make a change. Besides, if I travel to another country, I don’t want the locals to point to me and say, “Look at that fat American.”
Healthy changes I’ve made include:
1) From eating high-cheese and high-fat commercial pizza to a much healthier pizza, with a cheese garnish, over veggies on a healthy tortilla, wrap, or sandwich thin.
2) From having a bowl or two (or three) of ice cream or frozen yogurt several times a week to a 110-150 calorie serving of low-fat ice cream or yogurt a few times a week.
3) From eating lots of sweet rolls, quick breads (banana and zucchini) and white breads, to eating some whole grains, light, and skinny-sliced breads and wraps.
4) From eating the creamy soups (clam chowder and cheesy broccoli) and Alfredo pastas to enjoying broth-based soups (Pho), whole-grain pastas, and marinara-based sauces. I occasionally taste the cream soups or eat small portions.
5) From thinking about lying down until the feeling to exercise was going away, to moving at least thirty minutes a day and often four times that during team competition. I enjoy walking and hiking on nature trails the most, but a walking DVD will do nicely. I also enjoy marching or walking in place and Tai Chi.
6) From frying in my Fry Daddy weekly, to shelving the unit totally. I occasionally share a fried dish out and occasionally bake something I would have normally fried. A teaspoon of olive oil goes a long way!
7) I love incorporating lots of freggies (fruits and vegetables). I enjoyed two plates of spicy hot veggies at the local Chinese buffet yesterday . . . lots of bean sprouts, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, pepper and pea pods helped to meet most of my daily nutrients (calories, protein, carbs, fat, calcium, and fiber) for the day, while my sodium was a little high.
For lunch today I enjoyed my version of a Thai cabbage salad.
Even though this weight loss journey of a hundred pounds took five years, I’m planning on maintaining a healthy life-long learning habit to keep my knowledge active. It feels good to be off the sleep apnea machine and buying a size 12/14 now. WooHoo!
For a link to all the questions to create your own weight story, visit: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Saturday, August 13, 2011
. . . and yes, that was my lame attempt to mock McCoy when he proclaims many times over, "He's dead, Jim!" What can I say? I’m a bit of a Trekkie fan.
Paradise, during the summertime is sunny, hot, and wet – many times over -- within the same day. I thought I might take this opportunity to capture a little of the wild life we enjoy while here. We have flowering Jatrophia bushes in both the front and the back.
We seem to have a friendly bunny that enjoys a daily stroll through the yard.
Our Firebush has never looked so healthy and is about to bloom. At one time, we suspected it would go by the wayside like that of our Bird of Paradise and Live Oak tree (both lost in hurricane Wilma in October of 2005).
Our sea grape probably should have been trimmed back from the roof.
Our pigmy palms are doing nicely.
I can remember, while living in central Wisconsin, nurturing a split-leaf philodendron (first photo below) and schefflera (lizard sunbathing on leaf) for about ten years to what I thought were a monster of a plant. Then learned they grow like weeds (trees) in Florida. They are h-u-g-e and consistently need trimming back to control. I understand lizards are a sign of good health.
When we don’t get enough water, there seems to be enough “drip irrigation” that forms naturally from the roof line so that these beautiful ferns continue to thrive. This reminds me of being back in northern Wisconsin. That’s my partner doing what he enjoys the most while being here . . . being a lounge lizard, on the lanai, reading a good book (science fiction or mystery/adventure). Last year, after listening to a segment on the Today Show, I bought him the series of Stieg Larsson books, and he’s re-reading them all with this one being The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
May you find beauty at your fingertips today.
Friday, August 12, 2011
I’ve already been at the edge of my learning curve with my new Android phone . . . I don't think I've found the bells and whistles that my team’s dear TheTurtleBear found so useful while on vacation. So I'm still taking photos the old fashioned way, albeit with my twelfth digital camera. I'm finding that the older I get, the less I seem to be able to find all these changes as user-friendly as I wish they were.
My laptop has gradually been s-l-o-w-i-n-g down and I knew it was nearing life support. Then came the fatal message the morning after beginning a Norton scan: Back-up immediately . . . disk failure could be imminent! Yikes! This is it! Save me!
Whew! For someone who usually shops long and hard for the best deal, this what-seems-like-a-lifetime Sony girl has become a back-to-school Dell girl, learning a whole new set of what seems like everything (keyboard, software, etc). And yes, this has bitten into my SparkTime and fitness minutes. Fortunately, the peace that keeps me from falling off the technological edge is my continued muttering of the passage, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Even though I've been a bit computer challenged, I have found that I was able to get much more prayer shawl knitting time in, create some great eats, and enjoy a cool sunset. MrsD shared with me an Easy Bean Salad and being that I enjoy a crunchy texture, added a few colorful yellow, red, and orange bell peppers and celery:
Nutrition for 1 cup (6 oz): calories 179, fat 5 g, sodium 204, carb 29, fiber 7.5 g, protein 8.3 g.
The sunset in paradise as I was leaving the computer shop and grocery store:
Many of you know how much I enjoy my food. I also like to take a little extra time occasionally to make it look like an extra special treat -- you should have seen my medically-induced “plain yogurt and gelatin” diet under glass with and candlelight – but I digress!
One of the biggest key to my success remains in measuring and tracking, so I take you through my breakfast this morning in three parts: measure, plate, and enjoy!
Nutrition for this complete breakfast, served on a huge 11” plate dish includes my morning coffee and water: calories 288, fat 1 g, sodium 101, carbs 67, fiber 9 g, protein 8 g.
May you also get through the stresses of your day and enjoy something great!
Monday, August 08, 2011
I knew it all along! . . . I enjoy eating a little too much! The good news is that at least I’m enjoying a much healthier fare of food these days. The other day, I bought the most beautiful looking green beans, just as my friend, NorthwoodsMom8, was beginning to pick them in her garden. I don't know what it is with my "firsts" of the season, but I just can’t seem to get enough, then I proceed to pig out! I grilled five cups -- actually thinking I might share them with my mate -- and then proceeded on eating both plates! Sorry dear, you nap, you lose! . . . I just love vacations in paradise!
Nutrition: calories 219, fat 6, sodium 62, carbs 40, fiber 19, protein 10
I can hardly wait for my first plate of fresh vine-ripened tomatoes! I just came off of freggie (fruits and vegetables) challenge where I typically enjoy about twenty servings of fruits and vegetables in any given day. As you will see, I continue to enjoy my freggies! My fruit bowl breakfast is so thick, you can eat it with a fork. If I were to use a full mango yogurt serving, then I get a tasty, Indian-style healthy fruit salad or dessert cup for about four people.
Nutrition: calories 267, carbs 60, fat 1, protein 7
For lunch today, I had almost forgotten how good freshly ground pepper dressed up the best of my tossed salads . . . yummy! For the sake of convenience, sometimes I make salads in a big container and occasionally I just build two or three at a time. Also pictured is a 4-oz serving of my potato salad with 1 oz of the Special K chips with sea salt.
Combined nutrition: calories 394, fat 8, sodium 1174, carbs 64, fiber 10, protein 23
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is my way to say a special thanks to those of you who shared a comfort food substitution or recipe you enjoy. It means a lot to me!
Care to share another food that you attribute to the secret to your success? Whether it is now or later, please keep me in mind when the time is right.
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