Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer Birdhouse

We found this gorgeous birdhouse on Etsy: A Country Way Shop.  It's really well made, and adds such a nice touch to the garden!



Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Pepper Mill

My sister Barbara gave me this awesome pepper mill, part of a gift she and Jack got me as thanks for helping out with my adorable great-nephews this year.  It works spectacularly.  Here I am seasoning some gnocchi before baking in the oven (another Meez Meals prepped dinner).


Friday, June 16, 2017

Workouts With Personal Trainer/Sugar Addiction

I was going to title this, "The Elephant in the Room", tongue-in-cheek, but I am trying to bring more positivity into my life, especially around body image.  It has recently dawned on me, in a BIG way (no pun intended) that I really need to take the difficult steps involved in promoting my own health.

My winter and spring consisted of: feeling unmotivated, not exercising, getting sick at least three times between November 2016 and now (some related to CIRS, but more on that later), and eating horribly, but with sporadic attempts to set myself right.  I would get on a good path, but then feel deflated and unmotivated.  Some of this may be due to feeling depressed.  I have been taking supplements to help this, but the whole exercise piece was missing.  So I stumbled along, knew I was gaining weight, knew I wasn't feeling well even when I wasn't officially sick.  And let's just say that my approach to sugar, ice cream, and candy bars is (and hopefully - was), like that of an addict.

I finally had the courage to step on the scale - shocking.  I know my clothes weren't fitting well, but, you know, tomorrow. I had been thinking of booking some sessions with a personal trainer months ago, but wanted to wait until after Portland.  Then I got super sick, and did nothing.  But eat.

Recently, I watched some YouTube videos on fitness and lifestyle.  I became motivated to try once again to get a handle on this.  In a stroke of luck, I received a free trainer session from the health club since it is my birthday month.  I signed up, was able to choose my trainer online (which was hard, but thankfully I picked one I match well with), and set up the first session.

The first session was mostly evaluation of my strength, flexibility, diet, etc.  Then she had me stand on this diagnostic fitness tool called "In Body":


The In Body told us my weight, which I already knew was up there, my total body fat percentage, my muscle mass, and some other stuff that I wasn't really tuned into (too focused on the first three).  In a nutshell, my fat percentage is too high, and my muscle mass is too low.  It was a lot worse than I thought it would be.  We talked about diet and sugar, and a lot of other stuff.  Ultimately in the end I signed up for a series of sessions.  

I have been exercising every day, even if it is just a walk throughout the neighborhood.  I figured out a .75 mile distance and do that when I don't go to the health club.  And I have stopped treats for now, with the exception of a little bit of nice, dark chocolate (Wei of Chocolate Dark Creamy, sweetened with coconut blossom sugar), and I had a little bit of Tyler's chocolate cake the other night at a restaurant.  I also had ordered some prepped meals from Meez Meals (Mise en Place).  That helped so much with cooking - most of the prep is all done.  I also saw a product on YouTube to add to my smoothies in the morning that seems to help with the cravings.  I am going to go through the fridge, freezer, and pantry over the next few days, and get all set up to promote proper diet. 

So I think I am on the right track.  My trainer worked me very hard today, but I felt great afterwards.  And it is easier to feel positive when one is doing positive things!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Vegan Substitute for Bone Broth

My posting has suffered due to illness.  I won't go into all of it, other than to say that I never fully recovered from a cold in March, and then was basically sidelined for two weeks recently, feeling awful, only meeting the barest of obligations.  But I am finally on the mend again (tired of being sick all the time - what an awful fall and winter I have had!)

I keep hearing about bone broth and how good it is for you.  The trouble is - we're vegetarians.  A while back, I found this recipe for a "Gut-Healing Broth".  The woman who wrote the post brings up some good points:
  • Nutrients and electrolytes in bone broth can be found in vegan-friendly sources
  • The body makes its own collagen 
  • Our bodies can’t even digest collagen whole; rather, we simply absorb the nutrients from our food which provides our bodies with the building blocks it needs to naturally create collagen
  • Eating collagen does not equal having more collagen
  • Healing the stomach lining can be done in other ways
  • The calcium, potassium and other minerals found in bone broth are more than easy to find in plant-based foods plus they contain much, much more goodness
I made this broth.  It had lots of ingredients.  It used coconut aminos instead of tamari or soy sauce, which was interesting (I found the coconut aminos at Whole Foods).  I added Himalayan salt to it (it needed it!).  It had a very strong taste.  I made a big batch and froze a lot of it, parceling out small doses each day of the small Ziploc bagful that I didn't freeze.  I haven't thawed any out since, but will this week.  I just saw an interesting talk on "leaky gut" which inspired me to be more cognizant of this.  

Ingredients all prepped and ready to go

Cooking, after which the brother would be strained.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Portland Photos At Last!

These photos are from our trip to Portland in April.  We did much more sightseeing this time (previous visit was setting Robert up in a new apartment when he first moved there).  As before, all of the food was marvelous.  Portland restaurants can't be beat!

Fabulous view on the look-out

Ty and Me goofing off

These are from the Crystal Rhododendron Garden:







SOMA Kombucha - Yum!

On the way to the falls - what a view!

These are all from Multnomah Falls - Beautiful:






Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Dreamt of Blue Ballet Shoes

Apparently in anticipation of attending Bea's Thursday ballet class today, I dreamt last night that I was at Sylvia's Pointe Shoe Salon, trying on a beautiful pair of deep blue pointe shoes.  It was a fun dream; I had no trouble getting over the box of the shoes.  They looked awesome, and I wish it were real.



Portland Photos and Post Coming Soon!

Once I get my act together I will be posting our Portland trip photos.  I'll also describe all the places we went.

Stay tuned!