Thursday, February 10, 2011
This is a great recipe for any holiday celebration when a cake is required!! We got away from store-bought cakes long ago because of the saturated fat, lard, sugar, high calories and junk that is contained in them. I know, they taste great and some are works of art -- however!!! this little cake is equally delish -- incredibly refreshing, without taking in a lot of calories.
* Approximately 1 cup - 1 1/2 cups of fresh fruit that is in season - we love strawberries but any fruit will do. Be aware if you like peaches. Only use peaches packed in their own juice -- not Cling Peaches -- because you will save lots of calories.
* Sugar free Angel Food Cake. You can find this cake already made in the bakery of your local grocery store. Make sure that it is labeled "Sugar Free."
* Sugar free, fat free Cool Whip
Slice your fruit into bite-sized pieces and place to the side.
Cut the angel food cake in half so you have an upper half and lower half. Place the upper half on a plate and place it to the side.
Generously spread the FF/SF Cool Whip on the lower half of the cake as if you are icing a cake. Place your sliced fruit on top of the recently spread Cool Whip.
Gently place the upper half of the Angel Food Cake on top of the completed lower half. Spread Cool Whip all over the rest of the cake as you would ice a cake.
Place the remaining fruit on the top of the cake and along the bottom. I add fruit in the hole created by the bundt pan for extra fruit goodies!!
For an added treat, you can add either chopped pecans (contain over 19 vitamins and minerals including folic acid, vit A, calcium, manganese, copper, potassium, vit. B and zinc.) ; walnuts (omega-3 essential fatty acids which protect the heart improve cognitive function and reduces the inflammatory effects of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma etc.); or almonds (which provide a rich source of potassium, manganese, cooper, calcium, vit E, an anti-oxidant, and selenium) to the Cool Whip frosting - although remember, while you get lots of nutritional value, you must also consider the additional calories too.
One generous slice of Strawberry Angel food cake = 150 calories
Angel Food cake = 100
Strawberries - = 25
SF/FF Cool Whip = 25
(This blog is dedicated to Brother Dave in celebration of his 56th birthday!!)
And to my Sweet T: (Trainer_T) who cheered me on 'til this blog was posted!!!
(Hugs and Blessings, T!!)
Monday, July 19, 2010
Y'all know that I'm not real good at blowing my own horn ... And, I must concede that, sometimes in life, tho, the Universe comes together - the sun, moon and stars shine brightly in unison at just the right moment; the seas part, Cassiopeia can be seen throughout the universe and -------- voila!!!
So here it is, my own little bit of braggadocio.
Last week, in anticipation of the (Jimmy) Buffett concert at Jones Beach, New York (August 31), I decided a new little diddy from Victoria's Secret -- in the way of a Beach dress to wear to the concert was in order. Since I am still very much on my journey (especially my P90X program which is a whole other story, My Friends!!), and the concert still 43 days away, I sat at my desk at Vicky's web page (she and I are on a first name basis, natch!) , in deep contemplation as to which size to order. One thing I have learned, especially at my age, is to not buy clothes with the anticipation of getting into them "someday" ... "Someday I'll be a Size 2" which never happens -- at least, not in my world!! "Someday" remains elusive and then I've got a closet full of new clothes -- various sizes, of course, that act as a constant reminder of what I "should" or "could" have done. Ordering the small size was not in my wheelhouse. ... But a def plan of action was!! I called my husband at his office and we discussed the matter. "Honey -- just both both dresses you like in both the sizes --- the size you are now (Medium) and the smaller size (Small) because you'll be there soon enough." Now that's a good husband, y'all ... He loves me **and** he gave his blessings to go wild at Vicky's Secret because y'all know a few dresses quickly turns into a couple pair of shoes, too. I happily got off the phone and was ready to order when I spoke with Brother Dave (PIR8DAVE) for his thoughts on the subject. Dave is not only my brother, but my exercise bud and someone in whom I can confide totally and completely. My bravado now dissipated, I posed my dilemma, once again vacillating... Should I get the Medium or the Small? With great kindness and reverence -- and without hesitation, Dave once again reminded me that I have a "bit of difficulty with body image." "Hmmmm ....." I said .... "very true ...." Dave's suggestion: "buy both dresses in a size small. Period. Because no one is more committed or more motivated than you, Joanne .. just get 'em in a small .. they'll look great on you -- if not now, they will just in time for the Buffett concert!!"
When the UPS man delivered the Vicky's Secret box, I knew in my heart that the moment of truth had arrived: I would have to try the dresses on and accept wherever I was at on my journey -- and know that I still had some time to get into the size small should it not fit, which is exactly what I had anticipated. For a fleeting moment I was concerned that if they didn't fit I'd be bummed .. but I quickly dismissed that chatter in my head and tried both dresses on. Oh my heavens!! -- they actually fit now --- like a glove!! omg!!! Simply adorable!!! It was at that moment that I stopped and took a deep breath ..... and acknowledged the Universe for each and every day that I am healthy enough to be able to kick major a$$ in the gym (and P90X specifically!). And then, I acknowledged me --- for giving it hell the past 189 days, when on January 10 of this year I reclaimed my health and recommitted myself to being fit and healthy. Getting into those 2 dresses is worth every minute spent working out and challenging myself; for every drop of sweat I perspire; and for each and every sacrifice that I make to be healthy and fit. One thing for sure, there is no food, no drink, special dinner or treat that I would spend even 5 seconds eating that will ever, ever feel as good as getting into those two dresses!!
... I’m off for another shopping adventure at Vicky’s -- this time, it's because when trying on my dresses, I realized I need a special halter-strap/convertible bra to complete the look --- (and, yes -- in the next size smaller!). (Thankfully I still have 43 days until the Buffett concert!!) So until next time, Dear Spark Friends, thank you for being the best cheering section anyone could ever hope to have, anywhere on the Internet or on the planet; and for your continued love, support and Spark friendship.... I truly believe that ultimately, it is all about the journey - not the destination ... And the honor, pleasure and grace to walk our journeys together is all mine!!
P.S. Look for me to model Vicky's Secret Beach Dresses after the new bra arrives!! ; )
Victoria's Secret Beach Dresses~ Size Small/Petite
This blog is dedicated to: Earl who is my love and heart; and my diet bud and fellow P90X-er extraordinaire, Brother Dave!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Those who know me well, know that sometimes I must retreat and regroup .... It is good for the soul and strengthens the spirit.
Over a year ago, I impetuously decided that I was going to finish school. I had paid the tuition and was on "short leave" when I had my foot/ankle reconstruction and all that that entailed. Two years passed quickly - my precious cat, Mallory Anna's health deteriorated -- and then there was Spark!!! I make no excuses for my Spark time -- I have met friends on Spark that I have laughed with, cried with, loved and supported -- and whether I ever meet them, it matters not to me.... I am blessed to call them "friend."
I gained the proverbial "Freshmen Fifteen" -- and then some.... I immersed myself in my studies. Again, the person who needed me the most was me .. and I didn't have the time. I had fought long and hard to honor me ... to love and nurture myself. And quickly, easily, without so much as a parade or fanfare, I found myself right back at Square One-- thinking I had licked this thing for once and for all. But this time was different. This time I couldn't do all my usual tricks to lose it quickly ... This time, I had to go back to the basics and find the blessing in all of this.
You see, I had gotten where I was apologizing for being me ... ashamed once again for being fat -- which is really weird considering I was 267 lbs once upon a time. But this extra weight really bugged me big time ... Why??? Because I was judging myself harshly thinking that I should know better. All the things that I espouse and hold dear were causally, carelessly, without a second thought, tossed out the window...
On January 10, 2010, I decided it was time to recommit to me ... To begin the process of forgiving myself for gaining weight and getting into the predicament I found myself. And, perhaps more importantly, to find the blessing in this setback. I had to begin to take care of myself once again -- to nurture, accept, and honor me just as I love and honor those in my life. I had time for everyone -- but me. And, as I always say, If I don't take care of me, then who will????
Back to basics is where I found myself last January. I remember huffing and puffing in the gym barely able to do what I once did with relative ease. I embraced it all. I kept a diary once again ... I critically looked at what I ate (and had to eliminate all soy from my diet); began weighing my food, exercising daily -- and I began losing weight with my weekly weight ins -- sometimes only one ounce at a time -- literally. And I was glad to lose that!! The year before, I was angry because I felt my body had betrayed me ... But the truth be told, I had betrayed it with all the years of abuse, crappy eating and yo yo dieting.
Mid-Spring I was putting dishes in the dishwasher, when my brother Dave (as y’all know, my confidant and diet bud – btw -- everyone should have one!!) sauntered in to have a protein drink with me. He, too, packed on the lbs. -- but he jokingly says he is back on the "Joanne Plan." I shared with Dave what I know to be true -- and that is, there is a moment when a life lesson and life blessing is born --- when everything crystallises and makes itself known. My life lesson was that it is never okay to ever apologize for being who we are ---- ever. Regardless of what we weigh. We all have value and purpose - and we all deserve the same love, honor and respect that we so lovingly, easily, give to those in our lives. And I can say with authority, our value and worth is not contingent on what the scale says …. I promise. The scale is merely a measurement – it is not something that should ever determine who we are and how we show up in the world.
Yup ... I''m back... With more Life Lessons learned to share!!!
Thank you **ALL** for your love, support and friendship ... Your friendship and understanding has sustained me -- more than you know.... God Bless you all.
Special love and appreciation to one of the best friends a girl could ever have -- My Michlea who never ceases to amaze me with her love, understanding and friendship and who stood by my side during Mallory Anna's illness. I could not love and appreciate you more if you and I were related, Mich.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The following prayer to St. Francis is dedicated to all those whose life has been graced by the unconditional love & affection of a fur child; and especially Hemingway, an awesome cat who, with wanderlust in his heart, visited his world but always managed to find his way home to share his life , love & adventures with us.
With a new day, and only 24 hours since Hemingway died -- an eternity and a minute all at once, it is the song "Stand a Little Rain"¯ (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) that aid in mending my broken heart and brings peace ... and joy; while making prophetic the words ..." if we are ever gonna see a rainbow, we have to stand a little rain."
Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi
(The Patron Saint of Animals)
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
One of my dearest friends who adores Mallory and I asked me the ultimate question last night: "Can it really be that Mallory Ann is dying??" Stark black letters juxtaposed against the white background made the words jump off of the monitor... And, truth be told it is a very real, honest question posed by someone who wants to know the truth -- but really doesn't ... Because to know the truth means to acknowledge and admit that we all have a finite time on this carousel called "life." I also know that in relating the story of Mallory Ann, My Precious Friend, who I have come to truly love, is reliving unfinished pain and business of a time gone by in her own life, when she loved and lost a fur child; a beautiful white cat who, for a time way too brief, filled her life with joy, love and acceptance that only pets can offer ...
When she and I first met her on Spark, I shared with her my experience and the truth of our friendship -- that there was no accident or coincidence in our meeting; only Divine Appointment. You see, I truly believe that it is by Grand Design that we are blessed and honored by the love and friendship of those who touch our hearts and come into our lives for it is by and through them that we will experience and learn who really are -- what we are really made of; how to grow into and become our Highest and Best Selves .. It is these people who are the ones who love us totally and completely --- without judgment, without condition ... Just Because.
I cannot answer my friend's question because I am not Mallory's Creator ... The One who gave her life and who will, one day, take it away so she can sing sweet, gentle purrs as she plays with an unlimited supply of Kitty Hoot toys "there", as she does here; and when a single blade of grass that catches her fancy for a mere moment, there will be a look of joy and knowing victory on her precious little face that she victorious in her search. This is the blessing of Mallory Ann being "there" one day -- wherever "there" is -- where I know in my heart that she will once again, be whole and complete, no longer in pain, no longer in the struggle.
Mallory Ann's little life is tenuous at best ... And, it is through her life that she has beautifully reminded me yet again, how fleeting our own lives and good health really is; how blessed we are to have a healthy body to navigate through life each and every day; to go about our lives; to carry us to work so we can care for families and ourselves; and how sometimes, in the craziness and busyness of life, we take that for granted; living life frenetically and unconsciously -- day in and day out ... forgetting the fragility and preciousness of this thing called "life..."
My Dear Friends: Please take a moment and hug -- or call ... or send a note -- to those in your life and tell them how much you appreciate them and how much they touched your heart. It is in opening your heart to those in your own life that you will in turn receive all of the love and blessings that you have so lovingly, richly, completely given me...
Bless you all!!
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