Saturday, August 13, 2011
Checked out my fridge last night to see what needed to be used up: and found 5 large organic sweet potatoes, half a large bin of baby spinach, celery, carrots, a green pepper, a red pepper, and half a yellow pepper.
In the cupboard: a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of black-eyed peas, a can of black beans. Dried onion. Cajun seasoning.
So . . . I slow roasted the sweet potatoes last night, slipped off the skins this morning (Charlie loved them) and pureed the potatoes with the tomatoes in the food processor.
Simmered 5 stalks of the celery with the half bag of baby carrots, some of the dried onion, and lots of the Cajun seasoning until soft. Briefly steamed the baby spinach in the same pot, then pureed all of this.
Mixed the simmered veggies with the sweet potatoes/tomatoes and returned to the pot to heat and mix the flavours.
Finely diced the bell peppers. Thoroughly rinsed the black eyed peas and black beans. Added to the pot and brought back to a simmer. Added a little water, adjusted the seasonings (some more Cajun, a little salt).
It's delicious! And: gotta be nutritious. That will be my soup this week, a generous serving for supper every night.
Now: to the gym!!
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
I'm really enjoying "Mind Over Mood" by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky. It's sold over 750,000 copies so clearly I'm a late fan . . and there have to be lots of people here on SP who've discovered it before me.
The intro is by Aaron Beck, father of cognitive psychology AND of Judith S. Beck of "The Diet Solution: Train your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person".
Basic process to uncover the thought/mood connection:
1. Identifying the situation in which you experience the strong mood, eg while at work and speaking to an employee, or while at home and receiving a phone call from a friend etc. etc.;
2. Identifying the mood (one word: sad, mad, anxious, excited, ashamed, etc.) and rating how strong it is;
3. Identifying the automatic thoughts that give rise to the mood, including especially the closely linked "hot thoughts";
4. Identifying the evidence that supports the "hot thought";
5. Identifying the evidence that DOES NOT support the "hot thought" . . . or the mood;
6. Identifying the alternative of balanced thoughts that challenge the mood;
7. Rerating the strength of the mood.
So: not just "power of positive thinking" but more along the lines of actually changing how you feel by changing what you think.
I'm thinking: not a "moody" type, particularly, but this will still be a valuable tool for me. By training and by personality, I'm all for examining the evidence!! No question, the Beck Diet Solution approach was very effective for me, and continues to be effective, in managing weight loss . . . and so why not broaden the cognitive psychology approach to other areas of my life?
Anyone else who's tried this and cares to comment??
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Weighed myself today AFTER lunch (a nice salad and fruit lunch out at the golf club with a glass of red wine too, all tracked) and: 136.5 pounds!! Hurray!!!
So, recorded 137 again. Back down from that pesky 138 on July 30. Leaving a little margin for the scale goddess to play around with . . .
Eternal vigilance? It works.
And: maybe chewing does too.
See link above for an article from today's Globe and Mail concerning the effect of chewing on weight loss. Most of us chew food 15 times; but chewing 40 times results in 12% lower calorie intake.
Not sure how reliable this study is: small sample, all young males (I'm neither). But indicators were that the hormone ghrelin, associated with elevated appetite, was lower in persons who chewed longer. A 12% reduction in calorie intake can translate into 25 fewer pounds in a year . . .
So what the heck, chewing more might be a concept worth chewing on!!
One thing for sure, the kinds of food that require more chewing (freggies, high fibre whole grains) also tend to be the kinds of foods that work for increasing satiety and reducing weight gain.
Monday, August 01, 2011
At stressful points in my life . . . and this is one . . . I focus on optimism.
Because: optimism is the essential ingredient of resilience.
What helps most in willing optimism? For me, it's a deliberate "paying of attention" to how beautiful the world is. Persistently beautiful. Consolingly beautiful. Fascinatingly beautiful.
I know that I can be irritatingly Pollyanna-ish. A bit of a Victorian botanist lady in my love of flowers. (Purple phlox, nasturtiums sitting beside my computer: powdery and peppery fragrances mingling).
But it's noticing the world which works best to take me out of myself, my own pesky stresses and trivial (or not so trivial) problems. And I can choose to do that.
The full grown speckled seagulls squawking at the parent seagulls on the beach, demanding to be fed. And the exasperated parent seagulls flapping away.
A little girl proudly showing her daddy how she can swim. But wanting to make sure she doesn't have to swim too far. "Don't move back, Daddy." And plunging confidently towards him, kicking vigorously. The dad, thirty years younger, grins over at me: he knows I'm remembering.
Charlie, sitting on the verandah with his chin resting on the fretwork, watching a Russian blue cat (the neighbour's) crouched on our lawn. Tail thumping lazily as I tell him what a good dog he is. But never taking his eye off the cat. Which is watching a chipping sparrow under the mock orange.
The golf course sparkling with dew. Sparkling. While over our shoulders to the west, thunder mutters low. And then the sky is black. And we race for the clubhouse. Coffee on the balcony till it's over, and we can head back out. The heady scent of soaked grass. Soaked cedars. Soaked lavender and thyme and salvia. Racing clouds. Then sunshine again.
"The world is so full of a number of things/I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."
(Or maybe queens).
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