Wednesday, February 27, 2013
More of last night's "stewp"! Really?
So let's start at the beginning. I've always thought it was Mom who coined the word "stewp"; at least I've never heard it outside of our family. She made the yummiest stuff on that back burner. Only now I do it in my crockpot. The preferred consistency around our house has always been somewhere between that of a creamed soup and stew. Hence, the name.
It's never the same twice, because you use what you have. It does seem always to be based on beef, chicken, or turkey, but there the similarity ends. I've even been known to use beef kidneys pre-soaked in cold water for a couple of hours in water that was then discarded or leftover tongue. But those were about 3 decades ago.
Any veggies will do. Usually onion, because it's a staple here. But then add any combination in any amounts. Carrots, celery, leeks, celeriac, jicama, cabbage, kohlrabi. Canned corn, green beans, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, tomatoes in any consistency from paste to crushed. Snow peas, sugar snaps, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips. Even mushrooms or chopped greens put in the last hour or so. I'm sure I've left out something that's found its way into the pot sometime, but I sure can't imagine what.
A grain, or at least a carb of some sort. Well, potatoes or sweet potatoes will do. Or any rice or pasta that you have on hand. Maybe whole wheat berries, barley, or quinoa. Get imaginative!
So last night we had stewp made with beef from our area grass-fed source. I was low on veggies, but what I had really needed to get used up. So a couple of onions, lots of celery, and close to a pound of sliced carrots went into the pot. My personal favorite with beef is barley, so that was my choice. Two beef bouillon cubes and a couple of cups of water - and the rest of the day free from cooking. Oh, and this time it was garlic powder and Italian seasoning blend; but of course that's always based on a mix of availability and whim!
Turns out, it was one of the best. (Or maybe it just tasted that good after another day spent with exercise being 15 minutes of shoveling snow every hour except for that wonderful nap). So this morning, I got the pan and ingredients for making our cinnamon-raisin oatmeal. And....you guessed it. Paul came to the kitchen and said, "You know, I'd really like a bowl of what we had for supper last night." What could I say but, "Well, when we've had breakfast food for supper before, why not supper for breakfast?"
So that's what we had. But just so you know it really was breakfast, I had mine with my usual 4 oz of V8 - and Paul had his with orange juice!
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Today I got to 150 pounds, just 10 pounds away from what I chose as a tentative goal some 15 months ago. It's exciting, of course, but I find I'm also more than a little bit unsettled. Too many times, I've lost a significant amount of weight; but I've never maintained within 2 pounds of that weight for even 6 months. Probably 2-3 months was pretty typical. I know I will need to join the groups for transitioning to goal and maintenance, but I'm really concerned about doing it too soon - or too late.
I never had a weight problem until I was 18. Yup, college, but not the typical freshman 15. I'd graduated from high school at 117 pounds. That's not even on my radar, of course. But I got salmonella food poisoning quite early in my freshman year, and I was very ill. I lost weight, 10 pounds in eight days. Unbelievably, I had a terrible time regaining that weight; it took some 8-9 months.
Then I was pregnant during my sophomore year. Boy, did I gain then! And then I lost that baby, and that's when the emotional eating began. I weighed some 140 pounds, and gained about 45 during pregnancy with Tobias. Then I joined WW between the boys and reached my goal of 120. Guess what? I quickly gained back to around 135 and held that until I was carrying David. I "only" gained 40 pounds with David, but there I was - back to 175.
I went back to WW, since I had achieved lifetime membership. I think I "tried" WW tow or three times 1976-80 but hardly got back to 140. Then I discovered NutriSystem and got to 128 toward the end of nursing school. Again, I gained right back to that 140-150 range. So I went back to WW at least 3 more times, unsuccessfully until 1994. At that point I had 130 as my original goal but changed my mind when I got to 135. And that's where I did the best on maintenance, making it almost six months before hitting 140 again.
Then I kept gaining, and I hit my highest weight of 196 in 1997. That was a wake-up call, because I was simply NOT going to allow myself to hit 200. And I didn't; managed to stay 185-190.
In 2002, I found another new weight loss program, Prism. Again, I got down to about 140 but didn't maintain.
So with that kind of yo-yo history, I feel like I'll NEVER figure out my "happy weight." Note, of course, that I'm talking about feelings here, not thoughts or plans. I know I'll figure it out somehow, some way. But right now, I'm struggling with "magical thinking." I want some kind of blueprint, a map, a plan! I want to KNOW when to think in term of transitioning. Yes, it's unrealistic, but it's what I WANT!
That said, I plan to hang in there for the duration. I don't know when or how I'll be able to set what I hope is a permanent goal weight. But I've come this far, and I'm not giving up or turning back!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
It was just so sunny, 50* today in mid-Missouri, that I couldn't spend the afternoon inside. So I hit the Stinson Creek Trail to try out the playlist I've put together. I didn't come home for a little over 2 hours.
The breeze made it a perfect day for walking, so I just kept going. I ended up logging 6.14 miles! I haven't done that since Spring 1979!!
I love my playlist. Most of it is pretty basic tempo, like Manilow's Daybreak and Survivor's Eye of the Tiger. (Yes, I have eclectic taste in music). Almost all the trail is flat to gently rolling. But there are switchbacks at each end of what I walked, going up to an old railroad bridge at one end and a state road at the other. Of course, two of my peppiest songs came at those points! I just couldn't keep up the tempo of Parton's 9 to 5 or McGraw's Just to See You Smile! But the following songs were lots of fun after I'd made the turns and headed back down: Astley's Together Forever and Atkins' If You're Going Through Hell!
I finished up with my favorite cooldown songs. Keith's My List, Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream, and last Today by The New Christy Minstrels. Then I stretched a bit, came home and stretched a whole lot more. I honestly can't remember when I felt better than I did after my walk, so I'm looking forward to doing the whole length of the trail (more than 8 miles) some pretty day next month.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
First off, it's not going to be easy. My Dad and I locked horns regularly, but he was the one family member who has always been there for me. Of course, it was usually in those little everyday ways. The biggest one, though, will always be a part of me.
I was 12 years old, and I had literally read every book of interest to me in the children's room at the Portland (Maine) Public Library. I was not allowed to use the adult section until I was 13. For probably 10 months or so, Dad made the commitment to take me to the library every other Monday. He was not a reader, but he would take something to do and sit at a table.
I would wander anywhere I wanted in that vast upper area and browse any books that struck my fancy. As I found what I wanted, I would take some back to Dad and then I was off prowling again! I don't remember that he never rushed me. When I had my selection of books ready, he would check them out on his card. My favorites that year were biographies and historical fiction, but (then and now) I read just about anything except sci-fi, horror, and mindless violence. Only once did my Dad postpone on me, because he was doing a funeral that afternoon. And he made sure we went the very next day. What a "best memory of Dad" to have, because it went on and on and on....
Mostly I feel somewhere between lost and numb. I've slept and slept over the past few days, even though I've not been sleep-deprived. I've walked, finally, a couple of days, but it has felt like such a chore. Even my stretching, which has felt so darned good since I started it with SparkPeople, seems like I'm just going through the motions - and with limbs made of wood. Several days I've been below calories and carbs; I just don't want to eat. Last night I MADE myself get in that last 100 calories or so with fruit for carbs. Then I spent the entire evening feeling almost obscenely full.
So I'm planning to just keep listening to my body. If I don't want to eat, I don't plan to. I've been on target with water, freggies, and protein. That's good enough for now. I THINK I should be missing my longer walks (minimum 3 miles), but I don't. So I'll stick with 1-1/2 miles or so until I really want to add some more. I'll stretch just because, rather than because I want to. And I'll sleep, or veg, as much as I need to right now.
I've been through bouts of depression, and that's not what this feels like. It feels temporary in a way I can't describe, rather than the never-ending black hole of depression. So I'll just feel my way through this fog and find some sunshine on the other side whenever the time is right.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Died died yesterday afternoon, just a couple of hours after I posted yesterday. He simply stopped breathing while our son Tobias stood by the bed, stroking his Camper's head.
Not two hours before, he had still clearly recognizes his special hospice aide. (He had been on hospice from last December until July, and he was discharged because he had improved so much). He'd always said that no one got him as clean as April did, and I'm sure she appreciated that he remembered her.
About half an hour before, our special Christmas (the Boston pup he'd given to Paul for Christmas 2011) kept standing on his hind legs at the bedside to lick Dad's right hand. When I put him up on the bed, he'd simply lain quietly at Dad's hip - not what one would expect from the dog still often called by his nickname "Wiggle-Bottom"! And Eve had spent the last hour or so jumping up by his left foot and then walking up to sniff his left hand ever-so-gently. Our MandyCat, who NEVER sticks around when someone other than Dad, Paul, Scout (T's wife) was in the house? Well, she spent all afternoon on the back of a chair near Dad's bed, watching everything that went on. Yes, April got to meet and pat her for the first time ever! Clearly, they were all keeping track of what was happening!
I'd thought ever since early morning that we were looking at sometime overnight. So it was just a bit earlier than I was expecting. But Tobias is the one who will take Dad's death harder than anyone else in the family, so I'm grateful that it was as it was. T is well aware of how peaceful his death was, not having to trust what someone else tells him. And over time, that will help to ease his grief, I know.
So another WWII vet is gone, as well as a wonderful Dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather. We will mourn his death for a season, but we will celebrate his life for a lifetime.
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