Friday, April 03, 2020

Chest pains

Ok let me get the white elephant out of the room.   I’m having chest pains.   Yes..chest pains.   Is it shortness of breath?  No...just an ache.   Do I think I have Covid 19. Probably not.    Do I think I’m having a heart attack?  I don’t think so   But regardless...I have chest pains!

So what is happening.   

Before I go on, I want to say that I have experienced a period in my life before where I suffered from chest pains.  Badly enough that I ended up in the ER.    Badly enough that I visited my family doctor numerous times and had a lung function test....and a this test and a that test.  And badly enough that I visited a cardiologist for more tests.  I went back and found the post where I first started talking about this issue....way back when.    They deemed me healthy as a horse and concluded that ‘maybe it’s stress’.   The chest pains continued on and off for a few years.  And then one day...they were gone.   Is it coincidental that they disappeared when my marriage ended?   I think not!!!  

I haven’t had a single chest pain in years!!!  And then all of a sudden a week or two ago they started.  

Of course the first thought was ‘tightness of chest’, I bet I’m getting the Corona Virus!  I kept it to myself for a few days...probably wrongly so.  (We were already doing the isolation thing with me working at homes so I wasn’t foolhardy with being out and about).  But the pains didn’t worsen.   In fact, as time went by I noticed that they would come and go.  

I have even gone running and while it feels really tight while I run the tightness isn’t long term and subsides shortly thereafter.  (Hey, I’m out of shape...I expect my chest to be tight at that point).  

I finally brought it up to Jason and told him that that ‘I’m having some chest pains and I think it’s from the stress’.  I couldn’t even make it through the conversation without crying.  The stress just came bubbling forth.   I watch the news and I fight tears.  I think about what’s happening, I fight tears.   I am just super stressed!   He is worried about my ticker...but hasn’t forbidden (aka kindly asked) me to not run on my lunch breaks!  He agrees it is most likely stress and anxiety but is a bit  worried about my heart.  But we both see how it gets worse when I’m talking and thinking about everything that’s going on.

Why the stress?   Jason is off work so I’m worried about being a one income family.  I’m petrified that my mom will get sick and I’ll lose her.  I’m worried about Jason...if he gets sick he doesn’t have health insurance....would he get the treatment he needs or would they opt to give limited treatment to someone that has insurance.  The news utter depresses me, yet I can’t stay away.  So yeah...stress!

So what is my plan???  It is definitely NOT to eat myself silly!  Although I did that one day for lunch this week.  It was a day that I was feeling blah. (Stress AND monthly hormones). I just didn’t go for a lunchtime run....which left me way too much time to eat lunch...and to keep eating lunch...and keep eating...and keep eating!!

I plan on continuing to try to run on my lunch breaks.   It feels good to get outside.  It breaks up the day at work and it gives me some fresh air.   

Most importantly....I pray and keep moving forward.   This time we are in is getting a lot of us.  But I know we can make it!   We just can’t give up!!!


Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Stay at home Orders

Well Maryland has done it.  They have joined the ranks of other states with stay at home orders.  It shouldn’t change our lives all that much.  We have been living under that ‘suggestion’ for a week already.   Jason goes out daily and drives to the woods to hike a bit....but exercise is allowed...specifically hiking.  So that should be ok to continue.   I have been going out for a run at lunch around my neighborhood...but once again, that should be ok also.  Really they just made the ‘essential business only’ suggestion an executive order.

Maryland does not have an end date.   Washington DC is through April 24...and Virginia is through June 10!   Shall we take bets on when the end really will be?

Meanwhile, working from home is going well.  I finally think I have my cat settled down. 

 She was all in my face for the first week of working from home.  Little did I know I just had to change the placement of the chair.  She did not like the rungs of the chair against the window....I had to put the chair as if she was sitting with me at the table/desk.  I also added a towel (she didn’t like the blanket) and voila....sleeping peaceful kitty!!!

Life is going well...the stress levels and anxiety are sky high....but I’m sure that’s for most people in our world right now!!   I’m just trying to continue a healthy life amidst this mess!!!!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Week one of Almost total Isolation

I have been working at home for about a week now.  It has been a week of learning.  A week of adjustments and a week of continuing vows.  Ohhh it was a week of craziness on the scales also!

I started working from home.  I knew that eating would be difficult.  I knew that I would be tempted to walk into the kitchen on my breaks and forage like crazy!   Knowing that didn't make it any easier to combat either!    Day one I did great!  I ate my normal lunch and felt proud of myself.  And then it went downhill.  On day to I gorged!   The rest of the week wasn't 'horrible, but it definitely wasn't awesome!


The other thing that I did really well?  On the clear days (we had two rainy days) I got out on my lunch break and went for a 15-20 minute run.  This is huge on a couple different levels.  One, it is exercise.  Two it is getting me running again.  But thirdly, it kept me from eating!  If i'm not near the kitchen during my work breaks, I don't eat!  WIN WIN!

It's been a long time since you have seen a run picture hasn't it???? 

I remained a bit stressed.  Jason is now home from work for the duration of this mess....or until things simmer down and the boss reopens.  But I know that we will survive and make it.  Together we can make it!  We are the lucky ones because as of right now, my job seems pretty secure and solid...so at least we have one income.

We did get out and hike a bit over the weekend....so there was that going for me at least!

I was worried about my weigh in.  All week long I was showing up on the scales.  But toward the middle of the week it thankfully started to drop a bit.   By my weigh in, I had recouped and I managed to pull  out a wee little loss.  I was so relieved!

Life is uncertain right now for all of us.  But I beseech everyone to not give up.   If we give up our pursuit of a healthy more fit life then we are letting this pandemic win!   Lets not go down without a fight!!!!  It is going to be crazy.  It is going to be nuts.  It is going to be stressful and sometimes that stress will show up on the scales.  BUT if we stop fighting then we have lost.    No matter what the scales say, I will be fighting!

Friday, March 27, 2020

This work from home stuff is hard

I have been working from home for almost a week now.  It has been a blessing that I am so grateful to have.   There have been some aspects that I love!  It is so nice to have no commute!  It is great to be able to fold a load of laundry on my 15 minute break.  It has been fabulous to go out for a run on my 30 minute lunch break.  (Well except for the days that it was raining).  I have absolutely loved some of these aspects.

But I am not going to lie.  There has been one aspect that is really rough.   That is food.  I have found myself walking in circles on my 15 minute breaks trying to avoid going to the kitchen to get a snack.  I have found myself eating more than I need on my lunch breaks.  I used to simply carry a healthy lunch of fruit, veggies and a piece of cheese to lunch and when it was gone I was done.  NOW the kitchen is right there and it is hard to be done.  I look in the fridge and I see leftovers and I eat them.  I see food and I want it! 

I have GOT to stop this spiral.  I am up a few pounds. I can blame stress all I want.  I can blame that time of the month being right around the corner.  I can blame all sorts of things.  But the harsh reality is that I have lost control of my eating!

I need to focus on the good aspects..those runs. (albeit slow runs) and build on those successes!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir-Fry

It is time for another healthy recipe.  And believe it or not, I am going to be cooking up another recipe that is predominantly mushroom based.  Why is that so shocking?  I don't really like mushrooms!  This is the third recipe that I have made with mushrooms that I really like!  I have made this recipe twice now in the last few weeks....it is that good! 

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir-Fry

Ingredients
2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
3 cloves garlic
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
2 tsp ginger
1/4 cup broth (more may be needed to keep vegetables from sticking during cooking)
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup cashews (optional...can add water chesnuts)
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame seeds

Directions:
1.  In a large skillet on high heat add  broccoli, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, ginger and broth.  Cook, stirring often until broccoli is soft.  Add more broth as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
2. Stir in the carrots, cashews, vinegar and soy sauce.  Stir well and simmer for about 2 minutes.
3. Sprinkle with Sesame Seeds.
4.  Serve alone or on top of quinoa or brown rice.

This recipe takes a few minutes of prep time to slice the vegetables but is super quick to cook!  It is one of our new favorites!



Monday, March 23, 2020

Stress has grabbed hold of me

I know, I know...this is my weekly weight loss report.  But I’m going to tell you right now....you aren’t getting the number that the scale said!  But you will get a report on my efforts!  For sure!

My weigh in week started strong! I was determined to los weight!  I was going to do this!  And that first day was fabulous!  I got outside and got in a walk in on my lunch break.  The weather was fabulous and signs of spring was everywhere!  I was tickled because I had never seen turtles in the lake where I walk on my lunch break!  But we have them!!!

 The weekend went well also.  I worked to keep my eating under control and we did a bike ride  AND went for a hike!

I was hot in the trail to a great week!  I had navigated the weekend...I was ready to face my work week!  And if you have read many of my posts, you will know that my work weeks are usually the easiest for me to keep my eating under control.  I had this week in the bag right?  And let me say...I did great with my eating through my work week...except for one stressful night!  But.....

On Monday the rumors were flying at work. There were three main and somewhat substantiated and connected rumors, they are as follows.   ‘I heard from the security guard in the lobby that someone that works for another company in our building is symptomatic for the corona virus’,   ‘My friend has told me that our company has received notice that someone that works for another tenant in the building has had direct contact with an infected person’ and   ‘I heard from my friend who is friends with the cleaning person that someone that works for the company on floor six has texted positive for corona’.     The rumors seemed even more substantiated by the lack of people working on those other floors.  The parking garage was a ghost town!

Those rumors had me doing a lot of thinking.  The virus apparently lives outside the host for hours upon hours!   I was worried about working and the risks I was taking.   I was worried about the finances and paying my bills if I didn’t work.  I tried to walk and relax as much as possible!  Both on my lunch breaks and after work each night.

My weight did not go down.   Even though I was watching my food intake my weight did not drop.  In fact, my weight seemed to be going up!  Was stress the culprit? I know I’ve been stressed enough to be having my sleep interrupted by dreams.  Dreams that are replaying some of my stress induced worries.  So maybe, but  I don’t know!

On Thursday my work sent me home to work.  (Oh I had heard a rumor about it but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen and work out for me...so I was stressed all week about that too!)  that night was stressful as I set up my work station at home but couldn’t connect.  I did trouble shooting but it wasn’t working.  Finally at 9:30pm I heard that we wouldn’t be able to connect yet...IT was still working on the programming to allow us to remote into the system.  

On Friday the rumors were finally confirmed.  The individual in all of those corona scare rumors had indeed tested positive.  I got the official email telling me that while I most likely didn’t have direct contact, they were notifying of possible contact and proximity.  While there is no way of knowing if I had direct contact, I most likely did NOT have face to face contact,  but there is no way of knowing for sure who was in the elevator with this person or standing beside this person in the shared cafeteria and other common areas during the days before they started showing symptoms.  Regardless of if I had face to face contact....I know that I most likely touched a surface that this person touched.  Be it an elevator button, door handle. Stair rail.  Something.  So this  hit close to home.   

So with that being said, I DID visit my elderly mother who  has diabetes and is considered high risk.   Don’t worry, I didn’t stay long.  You see. I stood on the walkway in front of her house and she stood on her porch and we talked for a few minutes.  I was never closer than 6-8 feet.    I never thought in a million years that I would be not allowed to visit with my mom in the way that we are all accustomed to while we were alive.  You know...go in, relax on the couch...root through her fridge to see what’s good....those important things that you do at your mom’s house. We are working to keep my mother safe.  I know she is going stir crazy and is super lonely stuck in her house all day by herself.  So I’m doing what I can to make it easier on her.  Lots of phone calls....and an outside and safe distance apart short visit.  You see mammas  just have to see their chickadees face to face once in a while to make sure they are all right...so I gave my mamma that opportunity.  And hopefully it broke up the monotony of her day.   (And yes....later that evening the reality of our current situation and all the stress bubbled to the surface and I sat and cried for a few minutes)

Last but not least....we did our bi weekly grocery shopping.  I can honestly say that it was the first (and second) times that I have EVER had to wait in line to get into a grocery store (any store). 

 Aldi’s was just to get in when they opened.   The organic store was because they were only letting a certain number of people in at a time.   So when someone would leave, they would let the next shopper in.  (I appreciated that line...it kept the store from being overcrowded!!).  I went with my grocery list...which I didn’t call a grocery list.  I  referred to as my wish list.   And I was super lucky....almost everything was found in our normal 2-3 stores that we visit on our grocery days.  However yeast was an issue!  There was none to be had!  I was thinking that pizza crust was not going to happen. (How did I let myself run out of yeast in the first place??). But then we ran into a store for my mom....and I wasn’t even looking for yeast, I had given up!  And low and behold...there it was!  So every item on my ‘wish list’ was purchased.   Yay!  We are stocked for two more weeks of eating.  (Probably a bit more...I usually have like 3 meals or so extra due to leftovers and eating out on occasion)

So the stress ate me alive this past weeks.  My life and our world is in a total upheaval.  There is nothing I can do but hold on tight for this ride!  I have some ideas for my health and fitness for the next weeks and months of this ‘new but temporary norm’. We will get into them in an upcoming posts. In the meantime...I’m just hanging on....and yes...I did gain on the scales.    

Stay safe my friends!




Sunday, March 22, 2020

My absolute Favorite!

On of my absolute favorite dishes to make is a Breakfast Casserole.  Years ago a chain restaurant used to have a breakfast casserole on their menu.  It was delicious....but it was hit or miss if they had it.  You see, they only had a certain number made and when they were gone for the day, they were gone.  It was always a good day when I got there and found that they were still serving the breakfast casserole.  But sadly, they took the item off the menu and I was left without my favorite dish.    Thus began my quest to find a recipe!  It took a while but finally I found a recipe.  This recipe has been one of my favorites for many years now.  It is easy to prepare, is filling and remains a favorite dish of mine.

When I give you the ingredient list, I will be giving measurements.  However, I hardly ever measure anything and just throw it together.  It works every time....like a charm!



My mouth is watering even as I type this out!   So without further ado, I give you my favorite meal!

Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup croutons
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1 tsp ground mustard
2 tbs milk
breakfast meat, pre-cooked and but into bite size pieces (optional)

Directions:

1.  In a round baking dish place melted butter.  Spread croutons over the melted butter.
2.  Top croutons with cheddar cheese.  If adding meat, sprinkle meat over the cheese and croutons.
3.  In a small bowl mix eggs, dry mustard and milk.  Pour egg mixture over cheese. 
4.  Cover casserole dish and place in the refrigerator overnight/for 8 hours.
5.  Remove casserole dish from the refrigerator and preheat  oven to 350 degrees.
6. Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through and eggs are set.
7.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

I'm telling you....are you drooling yet??  This dish is SOOOO good that you need to run to your kitchen and make some Breakfast Casserole right now!  (ok, maybe not right now...but you get the point!)


Friday, March 20, 2020

Time to readjust and change

I am drowning.  I am drowning big time!   I have so many plans.  I have so many dreams.  I am full of amazing ideas!   Seriously awesome ideas.   I am so gung ho to start them….and I do.  But then I find myself drowning in a sea of ideas and half started projects or as is the case right now……so many projects that I am struggling to find the time to maintain these projects.  I find myself running like a chicken with my head cut off as I struggle to maintain the level of projects that I desire.  And it’s not happening.  Something always gets lost in the shuffle.  Most importantly, I get lost in the shuffle and that is not what I want.


  I am working on living a healthy happy life and being the best me possible.  That means that I need to sometimes reevaluate my life, my priorities, my commitments.    And before I get into this, let me tell you that this is a hard post to write.  I started the year 2020 with a word of the year.  Commitment.  Part of me feels like I am failing and not being committed, but the other side of me knows that something needs to change because what I am doing is losing its ‘fun’ appeal and that is a problem.


So let me start with this website.   I started Beliefinmyself many years ago.  (Was it really 2006???  Where has time gone.)  I started it mainly as my own personal journal of my weight loss journey.  I wrote when and what I wanted to.  I didn’t care about a schedule or anything like that.  I wrote what was in my heart when my mind told me to write it!  But I stuck with pretty much weight loss only!  This site was for weight loss only and my life did not intrude.  But over the years I started to include some aspects of my life but I still did not overly combine my life, even though life and weight loss go hand in hand.  About two or three years ago I decided that I needed to write with a purpose.  So I set up a schedule of posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It worked for me.  It helped keep me accountable for my weight loss.   It kept me writing.   I was happy with that.   All was going well!


Way back in 2015 I started a second blog.  This second blog was for my love of miniatures.  It was a place for me to go to talk about my attempts at ‘dollhousing’ and creating my own miniatures.  Once again I wrote when I had something going on and when I felt the urge to post.  This blog turned out to be used heavily on my part because people ALWAYS want to see my miniatures and it was easy for me to pull up the blog and show off my creations.  So for that, the pictures on the site are great!    There were long periods of no posts but I was ok with it…it was there in the background waiting for me when I needed and wanted it.


Enter website number three.


  In mid 2018 I decided to take one of my old photography  blogs and turn it into…..something.  Yeah, something. What is the question.  I had grand plans for recipes at one point.  I had grand plans for travel at another point.  I also thought about doing reviews.  Yes, I was all over the place.  I would post for a bit then back off and not post anything until the next fabulous idea would hit me!  Then I would post all fast and furious for a while.  It was a vicious cycle.  Post, not post, guilt, brilliant idea, post, post, not post. This blog has been on my mind for the last 2 years. But then something else would come and edge it a bit further out of my thoughts.


In 2019 I started  Youtube channel.  Yes, a Youtube channel.  If I thought that maintaining a blog was a fair amount of time, a youtube channel is 100% more costly in time.  Yet I enjoy!it…and my rate of uploading videos grew from once a week to two times a week and then a third time a week……followed by some random videos that I called bonus videos.   And then I decided to throw in a miniature video each week…in addition to  the 3-4 videos I was already creating.  I was doing this on top of my full time job….a job that has a 1.5 hour commute…EACH WAY.  My work days are between 11 and 12 hours each day…5 days a week. 


I remembered my word of the year and I decided to remain committed….to EVERYTHING. Time management was a big thing….but It was difficult.  Yet I loved doing everything!  I used my one planner to try to keep things straight.  And it does work.  But Seriously  look at my planning page.


It’s crazy…I have different things posting on different days.  I know my system and I can barely keep it straight! A typical week was beginning to look like this…… I was committed to over 10 posts/uploads a week. 


Am I insane????   Yes, I am!   And while I’m not stressed…YET.  I can feel a dissatisfaction from the pressure starting to grow a bit.  SOOOO  I am stepping back a bit!   It is time to reevaluate and adjust.

 

The biggest change is that while this website will still be heavy in weight loss it is going to be more all-encompassing.  I have already added recipes, which isn’t a stretch, I’ve done this off and on over the  years and this after-all a weight loss website...so recipes fit in! But I will also  be adding random travel/exploration of our world posts.  I will be adding in some review posts. I will be writing what my heart desires.   I will be combining all of my ‘fabulous’ ideas into this one website to create my journal…my contribution to the world….something that makes me happy. .    I will still be posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  As of right now I am still leaning toward Monday continuing to be my big weight loss report and weigh in reporting day.  (I weigh in officially on Friday, but it is so much easier to leisurely write my post versus rushing like mad to write it and post it all on Friday morning after my weigh in).   The other two days are up in the air.  You will still get recipes added to the collection.  But you may also get some other things.  It will depend on my mood at the moment.  And who knows…you may get extra bonus posts….I don’t have to be tied to that posting schedule!  (Such as my corona virus shame post last Tuesday) 


Beliefinliving will be closed down permanently VERY soon. (if not already by the time I post this).  I will be moving those posts over here at some point. You will probably see a slow integration of some of those older posts show up on this site.


I plan on keeping tasteoftiny.blogspot.com open.  I enjoy having my dollhouses in one spot.  But don’t be surprised if you do see some miniature posts on this site also sometime in the future. I really want to make a commitment to post weekly on tasteoftiny, but as much as it pains me to say it, I have to back off of the ‘I must post weekly or else’.  I am working more on my miniatures, so posts SHOULD come naturally the more I work.  We shall see.  Tasteoftiny is definitely something I can revisit at a future date. (and it is also hurting me because I would LOVE to take tasteoftiny to something bigger. But right now, it is going to remain a blogspot address and remain my little baby……)



As for Youtube.  I am not giving that up.  HOWEVER, I am planning on only keeping my Sunday, Wednesday Friday schedule set.  But I’m not sure if I will keep my themed days or just post what I want on those three days.  No pressure!


So my new schedule is really only 6 commitments a week.  Which is still a whole bunch.  But it is MILES better than what it was getting to be.  I believe actually deleting the beliefinliving will eliminate some of that stress and pressure to actually utilize a website that I am paying for (my website renewal for that website comes due in about 1-2 months). 


 So let me see how this adjustment goes.   Some of the changes will take a while to actually be noticeable…..but change is a coming!

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Baked Portobello Parmesan

I have never been a huge fan of mushrooms but as we have tried to segue into a more meatless existence I have found myself coming up against more and more mushroom base recipes.  I decided to give mushrooms a REAL try.  I started small and had a recipe that I was able to chop them up quite fine.  And guess what?  I survived!   I got a bit braver and decided to go all in.  I decided to make portobello Parmesan.  I wasn't sure how I was going to handle this recipe....it is ALL mushroom!  But I knew that jason would like it, so I forged ahead!   Jason loves this recipe and I  have to agree, it's not too bad.....for mushrooms! (hahahah nope I'm not to the point of loving mushrooms ....yet....but I am really trying to see if I learn to like them a bit more....and for me it's not a taste issue...it is a texture issue!)

Portobello Parmesan

Ingredients

1 Portobello Caps
1/4 cup marinara
1 slice of mozarella cheese
1 tbs parmesan cheese
2 tbs olive oil

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Wash mushrooms and allow to dry
3.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Brown portobello caps on each side, allowing to cook until just starting to get tender
4.   Spoon a small amount of marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. (You can use individual dishes or if you are making multiple portobello caps, you can place all of your portobello caps in one large baking dish
5.  Place portobello caps in baking dish upside down. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over the mushroom. Cover the sauce with the slice of cheese and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top. 
6.  Bake for about 10 minutes...or until sauce bubbling and cheese if golden.
7.  Serve immediately.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Corona Virus Brings Shame

As panic over the corona virus sweeps the country world I am filled with a multitude of emotions. They range from my own panic and fear, to worry about what is yet to come  and also to shame.  Yes shame!  I am ashamed...at the people around me but also a wee little bit of shame at myself.

The corona virus has started to drastically affect my personal life here in Maryland.   My work is talking about changes that they can make to reduce risks and keep the business operational.  Jason’s boss has offered some short term and long term options for him in order to stay safe.  Things are totally up in the air about our employment. 

All of these changes are concerning. Will we have a paycheck.  Will we be able to survive.  Will we be able to get groceries when we need them?  When will we get sick because let’s face it, I don’t think it’s a matter of IF we get sick, but a matter of WHEN.  And with that thought comes the worries about how hard the virus will hit me!  I’m worried my family. I’m handling the concerns though.    I took time out yesterday at lunch to walk and pray about everything that is happening in our world. 

The worry escalated for me yesterday when I was at work.  The rumors were circulating about one of the other tenants in our building.   Apparently we have had a case of the corona virus  identified in our building.    According to the rumors it was two floors below me....but we share the elevators...the lobby and the parking garage.  Now in fairness, these are rumors and one rumor stated it was only a person that had direct contact with an infected person. But I will say this the rumors came from a pretty solid source AND the other floors had virtually no one working!   The building and parking garage were empty (except for the floors my employer  rents because we were fully staffed). 

 I have  called  my mother and I have told her that she probably won’t see my face for quite a while. I’m not risking taking this to her.  She is older and has some health concerns. (Diabetes, high blood pressure, etc). So I will just keep calling her. (My brother lives across the street but I will drop stuff off if they need me to....but I will wave through the windows...because I have come a lot closer to this virus that I want my mother to come).   So there is some real concern there about my health and the health of my loved ones.  

But I am also shamed.  I am shamed at my fellow Americans.   Jason and I get groceries every other week.  So a week and a half ago we went grocery shopping.  The stores were still relatively normal at that point.  I saw some signs of an impending panic.  The soap aisle was absolutely decimated and the bread aisle was a bit sparse.    But other than that there were no visible signs of what was to come.  Jason and I had talked and we agreed to beef up our perishable grocery purchases  to have a few spare meals....but we had no panic and we only picked up enough for maybe 4 extra meals). All was still ok.   But then in the ensuing week our world went belly up nuts!   The authorities started closing schools and businesses. People went into a panic mode!   I have always laughed about the ‘snowflake affect’ that causes people to run out to the stores to buy up toilet paper and bread anytime there is a threat of snow.  But the panic of an impending snowstorm has nothing on this panic!  This has been insane!  And I am ashamed at the selfishness I have seen in people.  I have seen people walking out of grocery stores carrying 4 or 5 big packs of toilet paper!  My word! You are going to be able to wipe the butts of a family of 10 for a year with what you just bought!!  How selfish are you?  There are people that really do need toilet paper Because they legitimately ran out and now they can’t get it because you have a bedroom full of toilet paper!

I initially laughed about the toilet paper panic and come up with two solutions for the off chance that I run out of toilet paper.  The first, I’ll just hop in the shower to clean myself!  The second option is that I go back to days long ago (think long long ago when they didn’t have toilet paper or think a little more recently to cloth diapers). I will just keep a bucket with some water and clothes detergent...or borax and we will use wash clothes to clean ourselves and then put the wash cloth in the bucket until it’s time to run a load of laundry.   No biggie!   I was secure and felt fine with my options in case we somehow ran through our 10 rolls of toilet paper that were left in our big package that we had purchased weeks ago!

But then something happened.  We ran into the grocery store for our bi-weekly stop to get water and fresh fruit.  We strolled through the store just out of curiosity.  I walked by the toilet paper and I saw those three packages left and here is where my shame comes.  I couldn’t help myself.  I put one of those packs in my cart!  I don’t need toilet paper.  I estimate that we use one roll per week.  That means that we had toilet paper for roughly 3 months!  I didn’t need it!  Yet there I was buying it!   I’m ashamed at my selfishness!   Sure, it’s going to be used....eventually.  But did I really need it?   Did I conceivably take it away from someone that really did need it?  Yes!   And that is to my shame.

I’m not writing this to shame anyone that did buy 10 packs of toilet paper or 20 loaves of bread that is slowly growing mold in their kitchen.  I am writing it because this pandemic is a chance to learn about ourselves.  It is a chance to see our perseverance and will to survive.  But it is also a chance to see how we handle adversity and hardship.   I had a minor setback with my toilet paper purchase, but I want to come through this pandemic in style with grace, ethic and kindness.  I only hope the world around me decides to do the same.  

Monday, March 16, 2020

Excuses......reasons....well.......

I am really trying to not babble excuses!  I swear, I am trying!  But what I am going to write sounds suspiciously like an excuse!  The excuse is not that I was as lazy as my cat either!!!!


I gained weight this week.  0.8 pounds of gain!   BOOO!   But yay...I honestly thought it was going to be more!

So let's get into the why......

Weekends are notoriously rough for me with my weight loss efforts.  I do so much better when I'm at work and packing my breakfast and lunch.  I eat what is packed and I don't deviate!   Weekends however are a free for all.  Dinners out.....desserts (sometimes) and just foraging for food for breakfast and lunch.  So imagine how you think I would do on a 5 day weekend! 

We had a death in the family and I had some bereavement time from work......and those five days were filled with lots of........food.  I had a donut.  I had a piece of peanut butter pie.  I had cake.  I had heavy meals at restaurants.  Seriously....I deserved a whole lot more than that 0.8 pounds! 

Now when I went back to work I did clean up my eating .....kinda.  The first day back I was super stressed out due to a presentation/interview.  That didn't help the eating...but I tried!

And in fairness.......the week my dad passed away, I gained....and I gained BIG....so it could have been worse!

So what am I doing?  I weighed in and I accepted my gain.  I also sat back and said "no more"  this week it gets serious!   Now remember, I had cleaned up my eating a few days before my weigh in (pretty much the day I went back to work).  But I'm getting even more serious.  This is my time!!!!!


Friday, March 13, 2020

Focus on the good

It is no secret.  The scales are beating me up! The numbers just do not correlate with my efforts!  It is frustrating to no end!

Years ago when I was actually consistently losing I could eat something and I knew exactly what the scales were going to do and say!  I would eat and there was a direct and correlating reaction on the scales...good or bad!  This time around there seems to be no rhyme or reason!  I eat something that should cause me to gain/retain water and I drop on the scales! But conversely, I eat a piece of lettuce and the scales go up by 10 pounds!  (Ok, maybe not 10...but you get the idea!)

It’s frustrating!

So I am going to focus on not the number on the scale (ha right..I talk big but I still weigh myself every day!).  Instead I am going to start focusing on ‘one thing I did for me today that was healthy!’   If I focus on making those healthy changes...the weight WILL fall off!

It sounds like a good plan to me!!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Roasted Broccoli

No let me be clear about this.  I have never been a big fan of broccoli.  I could 'stomach it' on occasion, simple because I knew it was so healthy!  Yeah, not  raving review for broccoli.  However, a few months ago I decided to try to try a different way to prepare the broccoli.  OH. MY. WORD.  I am in love!  There is no more broccoli of doom.....it is broccoli of yum!

So I decided to share this recipe with you.....so that I can share the love!
Ingredients
Broccoli (enough for two)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs garlic powder (to taste)
2 tbs Parmesan Cheese

Directions
1.  Wash Broccoli and cut into bite size pieces and place into a bowl
2.  Drizzle broccoli with Olive Oil.  Sprinkle cheese and garlic powder over the broccoli.  Stir to coat.
3.  Place broccoli in a baking dish that has been sprayed with a cooking spray.
4.  Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until the broccoli is crispy and lightly browned.
5.  Serve immediately and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have!  Roasted Broccoli......a delicious side dish!  It truly is delicious!


Monday, March 09, 2020

Can I just throw the scales away

Another week...where does time go???  It’s nuts!!!  We had another fabulous week!  

**We got in a hike and I walked on my lunch break every day but one!!!  We even got an evening walk in one day!  Go me!    

**My eating...that was pretty good!!!! 

** I took time to actually work on my hobby of dollhouses!  And just found that I enjoyed those few minutes each night!  In a way it’s good because so much of what I am doing is completing one step and then waiting for the glue/paint or whatever to dry!  So the 20-30 minutes a night of working on the dollhouse is perfect!!!

**I am even posting some videos of my dollhouses and projects on my YouTube channel!  I have thoroughly enjoyed that!!!  Mainly because it is giving me a visual of my work that even if I change/upgrade or no longer have the dollhouse, I will still have the memory!  The most recent video upload is the building of one of my dollhouses.  And of course I am starting to once again post on my blog for miniatures!! 





** As for my weight...I gained a half pound.  Pretty much I wiped away my loss for last week!  I am exactly where I was two weeks ago!



So that was my week!  This upcoming week is going to be rough for weight loss!!!  Really rough!!!

Friday, March 06, 2020

Black Bean Burgers


We have been making a more conscious effort to eat less meat and focus instead on deriving our protein from other methods.   For the most part, we have been doing really well.  But sometimes you just need a hamburger.  I set out on a mission to find a black bean burger that we would both enjoy.   I soured recipes.  So many of the recipes were long and complicated.  So many of the recipes called for ingredients that I had never heard of....ok, maybe I had heard of them, but they were not things that i was overly familiar with.  I wanted something simple.  I wanted something that contained flavors that we liked.   It seemed hopeless!   And then I found a recipe that sounded like something that just might work.  I put it on the menu...but I was so skeptical.   Jason was skeptical.   We kept pushing off this meal....maybe tomorrow.  Until one day I decided to just do it.  OH. MY. Word.  Why did I ever wait???  These burgers have three ingredients....and all items that are almost always in my pantry.  The taste was delicious!   Why did we wait so long?

Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

1 can black beans (lightly drained)
1 cup quick oats (uncooked)
1/2 packet dry onion soup mix

Directions:

1  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Thoroughly combine. (I used my hands)
2.  Divide mixture into two equal portions and shape into a hamburger shape
3.  Spray a skillet with a non-stick spray and cook burgers on both sides unti golden brown and hot the whole way through.
4.  Serve immediately. 

To see more recipes visit my recipe page!



Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Monthly Goals

Where does time go? Let me tell you, the older I get the faster time flies by!  How can it already be March?????    But enough about how time flies, lets start talking about how I did in the month of February!  Yes, it is time to review my monthly goals!
So there you have it.....some success.  Some failure.  Some of the failures though were out of my control as I had those back issues.  But that's all good.  I'm not going to let my issues derail me.  I'm looking to CRUSH March's goals!  
So here were my goals for February:

1.    Track Every Bite  I nailed this one.  Every bite, every lick, every taste was tracked!  This is actually almost second nature now.  Notice I said almost....old habits lie deep so I'm not going to say it IS second nature!

2.  Put money in savings.    Ding Ding Ding!  Done!

3.       Weigh less at the end of the month  (who cares how much as long as it is less!)  Well.....my weight is acting wonky!  There has been no reasoning behind what my weight does.  The week that i ate all my weekly point and was in the negative I lost big. The following week when I was perfectly in line I showed a gain.  But I measured which I talked about on Monday on this post     But that said, my weight loss numbers for the month......

4.       Be active at least 20 minutes four times a week!    I did pretty good with this.  The weeks before my back issues. (if you don't know what happened...you can read about it here)  Once the back issue raised it's ugly head, I wasn't able to get these workouts in!  I still managed a bit..but not the 4 I was aiming for!   That said, if you average my numbers it DOES equal out to be an average of 4 a week! (I told you....those first weeks were rocking!)

5.       Keep my eating in check at least 6 days of the week (Allowing one cheat meal) and never never never go over my limit in weekly points in a week!  (And currently I am not swapping and using my fit points!)   I did great wit this........for 3 weeks!   The week before my back issues was horrible.  I ate my weekly points.....I ate more than my weekly points!  I was in the negative....which means that this is a fail!   BUT that said, that week that I overate was the week I lost big.  Go figure!

6.       Average 5,000 steps a day!  (While this is still an average, I will be looking more closely at my daily totals  to try to avoid the hikes carrying the rest of my slacker days!  Somehow I managed to make this one happen also!   Thank heavens for some long hikes on the weekends and some lunchtime walks!   The first weeks of the month I was doing great with actually bringing my daily step count so much closer to my daily goal!   

So there you have it.....some success.  Some failure.  Some of the failures though were out of my control as I had those back issues.  But that's all good.  I'm not going to let my issues derail me.  I'm looking to CRUSH March's goals!   And those March goals?  Exactly the same as February!

 Track Every Bite
2.       Build my Savings
3.       Weigh less at the end of the month  (who cares how much as long as it is less!)
4.       Be active at least 20 minutes four times a week! 
5.       Keep my eating in check at least 6 days of the week (Allowing one cheat meal) and never never never go over my limit in weekly points in a week!  (And currently I am not swapping and using my fit points!)
               6.       Average 5,000 steps a day!  (While this is still an average, I will be looking more closely at my                 daily totals  to try to avoid the hikes carrying the rest of my slacker days! 

Monday, March 02, 2020

The scales need to die

Another weight week has ended adn that means that it is time to share my week, my weight loss efforts and my results on the scales!  So lets get to it!

We started this week with fabulous weather.  Oh my word, it was wonderful!    On saturday we didn't have the time to really get outside.  We went to the car dealership where I bought my car and my baby had it's first oil change.  That took ALL. MORNING. LONG.   The line was forever long. Next oil change we will be there when (before) they open!  We swung through a store or two...stopped by to see my family and then stopped by to see Jason's parents.  That was pretty much the full day!

On Sunday we had to do groceries...but we did that early and got out to hike!   It was literally teeshirt weather!   Don't worry, we were wise and chose a path to walk/hike that was easy easy easy!  Nothing strenuous or difficult for my healing back!   It was great because we saw ruins.
We saw abandoned buildings

And all sorts of cool stuff!

I took a tumble...but luckily it did not jar my back and hurt me more.  I did however fall on top of my good camera.....and having that between me and the ground has caused some pain and bruising on my stomach!

On Monday it was back to work....and I got some walks in during my lunch break....but it was the normal crazy week.  I kept my WW points in line.  I ate what I was supposed to be eating and I didn't go overboard. ...I was right where I needed to be!  

So why did my weight pop up?  Why did my weight show up ALL. WEEK. LONG?????   I honestly was worried about my official weigh in that was scheduled for Friday.   Luckily by about Wednesday my weight was showing signs of dropping!  But would it drop enough to show a loss...or even a maintain???  So lets get that official weigh in out of the way.

I lost 0.6 pounds!!!  And I couldn’t be happier!!!  Ecstatic!!!


So here is the extra thing.  I have ALWAYS said I was going to get more religious with taking my measurements.  I will take the measurements and then forget about it.  Or I will take my measurements and then lose the numbers.  I don't know that I have EVER remembered to do my measurements the next month....until this month.  (Thank heavens for my monthly weight loss planner that has everything in one place!)  I measured on 1/22/20 and again on 1/25/2020.  Oh wow....I lost at least one inch on every measurement (except my legs...they were 1/2 inch or maintain numbers).  And some of my measurements were closer to a 3-4 inch loss.   I was blown away!   

So there you have it....my week in review.  I am SO happy that I finally (after years and years of saying I was going to do it) managed to complete my measurements and see a change!  I am definitely planning to follow up and measure again net month!  It was a rough week on the scales...but I pulled out a loss!  Go me!!



Friday, February 28, 2020

Pumpkin Pasta in a Parmesan Garlic Sauce

We were walking through the grocery store when we saw the most interesting display of squash.  So many different kinds of squash! What did they all taste like?  How did you prepare them!  We took a chance and picked out a few different (new to us) varieties and we went home to research!  This recipe is the result of that grocery trip!   It is good and we have had made this a few times since that first time!

Pumpkin Pasta in a Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce

Ingredients
1 squash- kabocha works well
1 TVs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz pasta
1/12 cup fresh spinach leaves.

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400°
2.  Cut the squash in half and remove seeds.  Peel the squash.  
3.  Cut the flesh of the squash into bite sized pieces.  Transfer to a baking dish.  
4.  Drizzle with olive oil and too with salt and pepper to taste.
5.  Roast squash at 400° for 40 minutes, stirring the squash after the first 25 minutes.
6.  Cook pasta as directed on the packaging.
7.  In a medium sauce pan add 1/12 cup heaving cream and garlic.  Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes or until slightly reduced.   
8.  Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to milk and garlic in sauce pan.  Stir.
9.  In a large bowl add cooked pasta, spinach, pumpkin/squash and garlic sauce.  Stir until well combined.
10.  Serve immediately.   Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

This recipe takes time.  It is not overly labor intensive...it just takes time to wait for your items to simmer and roast.  But the taste is well worth it!!!  

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  We have certainly enjoyed the taste in our kitchen!

For more recipes visit my recipe page!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

We love our hot and spicy foods....buffalo wings included.   In fact, buffalo wings were one of the food items that we were concerned about missing when we talked about going to a more meatless diet.  However, a conversation that I had with a coworker kept coming to my mind.  She had talked to me about the  most delicious cauliflower recipe.  I was skeptical, but willing to give it a try.  Why not.  I began to search the internet and somehow I stumbled upon this recipe. 



Oh my word!  When I tasted this recipe for the first time, my eyes widened in surprise. They were actually quite tasty!  I was hooked!
Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Ingredients
  • 1 large head Cauliflower
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup Hot sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice
  •  1 tbs butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 cup Water
1.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2  In a large bowl whisk flour, water, garlic powder and paprika in a bowl until batter is smooth.  Add the cauliflower and toss to coat.
3. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the cauliflower halfway through.
4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, melted butter and lemon juice until well combined.
5.  After the 25 minutes bake time, brush the cauliflower with the hot sauce mixture and return the cauliflower to the oven for an additional 15 minutes
6.  Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing and celery sticks.

I am telling you, you will be scratching your head and wondering where the meat is in this recipe.  They taste that much like buffalo wings!   This recipe is a winner.  It is so good, that within two or three days of making this for the first time, Jason was asking for it again!
For more recipes visit my recipe page!

Monday, February 24, 2020

A week from.........

OH my word...this past week had it all!  Fun, pain, bad food choices and .....victory.... yes, victory!  It was a week of craziness for sure and it ended with my normal weigh in.  How in the world was I going to do on the scales after all that crazy in my life?

We started our week out with a little trip away. We decided to go down to Front Royal for a little overnight trip.  We have spent a fair amount of time in that area hiking the trails in the surrounding mountains.  We actually had plans to hike, but well....we got sidetracked with roaming through small towns.   We started by stopping in Harpers Ferry, WV on the drive down to Front Royal (VA).
It was COLD!
  It is always fun to walk through that town and stroll through the quant shops.
Every time we go into tis one store, I stop to admire the door handle.
 After our Harpers Ferry stop, we headed down to Front Royal and we roamed through that town.
They have cool shops also!
 We explore and visited the general store....which is a store that has just about anything!  It's always  fun place to explore!  (I even bought a nightgown!)

Of course we tried on cowboy hats!
 We had a nice relaxing time in Front Royal but on Sunday we decided to change our plans.  We decided to make the drive to Manassas, VA to visit a candle shop....and the other stores also.
Actual mailbox in Manassas
 Yes, we went for a candle shop.....they have really nice candles!
 While in Manassas, we visited the Manassas Museum.

 And roamed through more shops.
 On the way home we even had time to check out a mountain bike trail system.


It was a a great little getaway!   But shortly after we arrived home my back started to hurt a little bit.  Within an hour it was not a 'little pain'.  It was an all encompassing pain that left me quite immobile!  Oh it was a bad flare up of my lower back issues.  I babied my back all night and hoped that a good nights rest would do the trick to get me back to normal.

But alas.....Monday morning I woke up and I could barely move (I didn't sleep well all that night either)   I didn't go to work because of it!  Luckily a day of laying flat brought me to a point where I could at least navigate....slowly and carefully a day at work.  So back to work I went on Tuesday. I was moving gingerly for sure.  But I made it!  

I even made it outside on Wednesday for a walk!

While I remain tender and achy, each day I can see some improvement in my back!

My food.....holy moley!  Let me tell you that while we were away I blew through my daily points....AND my weekly points!  A day at home on Monday didn't help. When I got up off the couch at lunch I started with a healthier option for lunch..but the pain and boredom drove me to make some reallly bad choices!  OOPS.  So by the time Monday night was done I had not only eaten all of my weekly points......I was in the negative!  BADLY!

On Tuesday I stepped onto the scales and my jaw dropped!  My weight was down.  WHAT?   I got back on track on Tuesday with my eating (So much easier to do while I'm at work......less temptation...I just eat what is in my lunchbox!).   And I started to hope for fantastic things on the scales..   All week long I hoped and prayed!

Friday morning rolled around and I stepped onto the scales.  I was so nervous!   But that nervousness changed to elation!


Why yes....I actually lost 2.8 pounds! I have no clue how.   However, I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth!  I'll take it....and I'll keep my eating in check this week because I am SOOO close to my next reward AND regaining my 100 pounds lost status!   That happens in 2 pounds!   I can do it!!!!!

I won't lie.  This week was rough.  But the scales were kind!  It doesn't always happen that way.  Sometimes it's the exact opposite (the previous two weigh ins). There is no rhyme ot reason.  That is why we have to stay the course and not let those numbers define our efforts!  Take the losses when the come........and keep doing what is right when the numbers don't show up!