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Practical Means of Eating Well in a Crowd

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Last night went well..
Before I left I had a personal pizza on a whole wheat pita with black olives on it. Then I had a bowl of homemade vegetable soup I'd made the day before yesterday. This really helped me. After I ate the salad I was not at all tempted by the lasagna.

The hostess filled up plates and we passed them around the table till every one had one. I just kept passing them and didn't keep one (the meal was lasagna with meat sauce and garlic bread). I did have one small piece of bread. I also had two or three small pieces of cheese. I filled my plate with salad and it only got a comment by one person who asked if I could eat the meat in the lasagna. So my veganism was a good smoke screen. SO the hostess was not offended (I don't think she even noticed....she was in the kitchen most of the time.)

I did have a very small piece of my birthday cake (ice cream cake this time). Wish I'd been more intentional about savoring that. I kind of ate it while talking to people so didn't get to enjoy the flavor. they also had two kinds of pies which I eschewed. Over all I did well.

My daughter brought a whole tray of cookies home from her work's Christmas Party. I had two of them and she told me there was a piece of cheesecake in the fridge with my name on it. WHY do I never think of the garbage can in time???? I gobbled it down and therefore blew away all the progress from yesterday. You can't ever let your guard down...because our modus operandi is to eat whatever we have edible in front of us. Whether we really want to or not. I need to come up with some "WHHOOOA Baby" questions to ask myself before I shovel food into my face.

1- Am I really hungry? (And I don't mean "toxic hunger" hunger pains....I mean with TRUE hunger. for more explanation on that look at Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book Eat to LIve_)
2- Is this item of food worth blowing a day's or week's progress?
3- If I don't eat it....If I put it in the garbage or back in the fridge and walk away...not only will I feel empowered, I will probably forget my desire to eat that thing in a matter of minutes. Maybe set a time...say a half hour...before you plan on eating something off the plan...During that thirty minutes l0ok over your notes from your journal, or read ETL or just ask yourself why it is you want to lose weight and is this food really worth diverging from your path. If you are in public put some distance between you and the temptation. And go somewhere and meditate on your goals or just focus on your breathing until the temptation has passed.

I'm preaching to myself here.
What have I learned? 1) eat before going out...and make your meal something you like so you don't feel deprived.
2) Do not eat mindlessly not pick at appetizers or cheese trays
4) meditate or better yet, pray to the Lord to ask him to help you be disciplined and to give you a means of escape from the temptation.
5) Then once you've been successful KEEP YOUR GUARD UP...there always could be a slice of cheesecake in the fridge!!

It's a new week. I"m not going to weigh myself until Wed. I need to get a good grip on myself until then. I like what Chris Downy has to say about what you do when you get off track and make a bad choice. Then consciously do two GOOD things to over power the bad choice. I'm off to do some exercises now...My lunch was now with these exercises I should be fine. I hope these thoughts have been of help to you.

you are not going to believe what a friend just dropped off.....a Whitman's Sampler. GOOD GRIEF Charley Brown I ever get a break?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 12/15/2014 11:00PM

    Maybe you need to look at another book. Beck Diet Solution teaches you how to control the mind. It doesn't give you a strict meal plan to follow, but simply trains you to look at food and your relationship with it differently. I have had several Spark buddies blogging about their experiences and it seems to be catching on like wildfire. They have had incredible success with it. I witnessed the transformation of one Spark friend continuously frustrated over losing and regaining the same lbs over and over again to finally losing it and keeping it off when she started following Beck. The transformation in her writing was incredible from I will restart again on such and such a day, or I will try again to I am doing this, it won't get the better of me, I have got this. I own it! I almost feel like taking it up myself when I finally get out of this job and have more time to commit. emoticon emoticon
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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NANCYJO1000 12/15/2014 3:08PM

    You need to re-gift...send it to work with your daughter! :)

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Making BETTER Choices--when the Best ones are not Possible

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I've been struggling this week. I"ve "caved in" a couple of times while eating out. It was my birthday and a friend took me out for dinner to the Olive Garden. MMMmmm breadsticks!! and I was having fantasies of pasta Alfredo...However when the time came to order, I had decided on Grilled Salmon and broccoli, and we had two bowls of salad and (sigh) I had three breadsticks.

Then yesterday while eating out with a friend, I had fantasies of fried chicken on a biscuit with gravy. But instead I ordered two pieces of French Toast using whole wheat bread and it was topped with bananas. This was on their 600 calorie or less menu. (which still is way too high)

It is true that I had two pieces of my birthday carrot cake (not on the same day) and I really should have just pitched the last piece in the garbage.

So I have been feeling like a failure....The scale has crept up two pounds and this added to my disgust with myself.

But then last night I was thinking. No, I did not live according to the Eat to Live principles. But the truth is that in each diversion from the "path"...I ended up making much healthier choices than I'd initially intended. So maybe I should stop slapping myself around and high five myself for making better choices.

Tonight I'm invited to a friend's house for a lasagna dinner (with a group of my friends). I checked with her...she is serving salad. But what to do about the garlic bread and the lasagna? I've decided I will have a bowl of my homemade vegetable soup and then will make steamed collard greens and shredded carrots covered by a raison/balsamic sauce before I go out of the house. Then, with a full and satisfied tummy, I will have some salad and yes,maybe one piece of garlic bread and I suppose I will have to take a tiny piece of lasagna...but I will not eat all of it.

I still have not done any real exercise. This morning I need a maybe I can do some exercise and not worry about sweating. I know I need to do cardio...but really need to strengthen myself before I attempt to really work hard on the bike or walking. But once more, while not choosing the ideal path, I will make a choice that is better than it could be...and I will try to give myself credit for doing even that.

That old anorexic in me would have me flagellating myself for not being perfect. I need to get around that because there is a world of self-hatred in that line of thought and these days, rather than punishing myself for my "failures" by not eating for a week, these days I punish myself by making terrible choices and pigging out on whatever takes my fancy. I do not want to walk that path. (or to roll down it either :) ). So right now I'm trying to feel good about making better choices...maybe not the BEST choices...but sometimes circumstances demand flexibility and you just have to make the best of them and give yourself credit for doing as well as you did. And then pick yourself up and keep on the path that I have chosen to take...The path that will lead to better health and a slimmer body.

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JCLJR4547 12/13/2014 7:53AM


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_LINDA 12/13/2014 7:50AM

    Yes you need to stop beating up on yourself. Now. Eating out is always a minefield. Its a good thing we don't have that Olive Garden here as pasta is my favorite. I would find it hard to resist alfredo pasta as I have it so rarely (none of my relatives will eat at a pasta place -its burgers or Asian) I will eat my Mom's lasagna, but carefully weighed out in a reasonable portion, whereas before I would just stuff myself. Garlic bread is a problem too to stay away from and eat only one small piece. I wish you luck on that, your plan to eat beforehand should go a long way to helping out with that. Remember the socializing is what is important -be a chatterbox -it makes it hard to eat while you are talking ;-)
Remember even the healthy choices in restaurants will be laden with salt, make sure you drink plenty of water to offset this and flush your system.
You just have to do what you can for exercising even if its just bed exercises or chair or light ST. You can work your abs just sitting on the edge of a chair and leaning back while tightening everything up, no arms or legs needed. With no one around to encourage you, you must be your own gentle encouraging workout buddy. Being at home I miss the daily encouragement of my Mom, but my Spark friends fill in nicely. Perhaps you should join the Chair exercise team -the leader there works really hard to include everyone and has an excellent page she created herself with great resources. Maybe there you could find a workout buddy with severe disabilities to encourage and support you better than most on here can understand. She does challenges that are inclusive and non-judgemental. Like number of steps per day, no matter how small, just trying to increase them a little at a time, etc.
emoticon emoticon
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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CURLYANNIE65 12/13/2014 5:53AM


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

All you are today, is the consequence of your choices. It is true that things happen about which we lack control...sickness, financial issues, etc. But it is true that we have choices in how we will respond to such difficulties. You know the expression, "That which does not kill me, makes me stronger"? That is true for most people but there are people who cave in under pressure. That too, is a choice. It can be hard to pick yourself up from the ground and get going again, but truly, it is a necessity that you make that choice. And that includes your eating habits. It is time to take responsibility for our eating habits. Because that is what they are: habits. Habits, like smoking, can be hard to break, but bad habits can kill us. At the very least they will make us miserable.

If you look at yourself and you are Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead*, it is time to make a change. I'm preaching to myself also.. Begin with one thing and change it. Then when you have that down, add one more good habit. OR, if you are really motivated and want to see an immediate change for the better, read a book like Eat to Live, or Eating for Health by Dr Joel Fuhrman ( ) or you may choose to read the writings of Dr MacDougal. or "The Pleasure Trap" which is an excellent book about the grip of habits we can form in our search for a quick pleasure fix and the trap that leads us to in all areas of our lives. Make a radical change: a complete break from your bad eating habits.

If you follow one of the mentioned plans, you will see almost immediate results. It is true that there is a period of detoxing that your body will go through and that can be disconcerting and may cause some people to give up. Just remember that your body needs to adjust to your changed habits as much as your way of thinking must change. Be patient with this process; it only lasts for a week or two. And then your tastebuds will stand up and clap their hands at the sight of Brussel Sprouts!! And Spinach ...and you name it...these foods will become so satisfying and the joy you will feel at giving your body such a gift of good food, will make every bit of sacrifice worth it.. No more will you eat the last potato chip and feel that bitter taste of regret and shame.

Then comes the hard part. For me, changing my food habits was easier than beginning to exercise has been. I think back to 2010 when I lost 70 lbs and was really working on my body's capacity for exercise.. I felt SO good after each workout. I was high on endorphins and loving it. If I was forced to miss workouts (like when I was in the hospital for asthma or surgery) I felt awful and missed it horribly. But give me three or four days away from working out and once more I had to deal with entropy. And now I am completely out of shape following a rash of surgeries, asthma and autoimmune disease. These are all mountains I must cross and conquer. And is a matter of choice. How badly do I want it? Is Victory right around the corner? Or will I, once again, not make the choice for health. (and "not to choose, is to choose")

Sometimes we can feel that we are standing at a precipice with a herd of coyotes ( is it a "herd"? Maybe a Pack of coyotes is better) at our backs. We feel that we have no choice but to fall into the depths. But maybe you missed seeing the tightrope you could have walked, or the helicopter flying ahead dropping a rope ladder. The Bible said that we will not feel temptation that is too great to bear....God will always provide a way out that we can bear it. ( that is good news for His children). So when you feel temptation...start looking for a way out. That may mean simply closing the refrigerator door and walking out of the kitchen. Or choosing an apple instead of cake. It is a choice.

So often we can feel like a victim of our circumstances. I have struggled with this trap. I have four autoimmune diseases as well as asthma, glaucoma and peripheral neuropathy. I am in a lot of pain all the time. And it is easy to say, I cannot exercise today, I hurt too much. But that is a choice and a trap all in one. There is always something I can do. Something positive. Something proactive. And it is those little "somethings" that will hopefully , in time, make it easier to do the "big" somethings. A big change is comprised of a lot of smaller choices. Break it down. Don't look at the mountain before you...look rather at the next place you can put your feet step. one decision at a time. And before you know it you will be scaling tough walls which had previously held you captive and now you may climb over them with ease. It all begins with the decision to act for health. You will stumble but you needn't fall. Grab the hands held out to you. Look for the next step...and then Choose to take it.

I'm preaching to myself here also. I still have a lot of weight to lose...but I've done it once, I can do it again. "With God, all things are possible."
Today I will do some exercise. It's time to make that choice and to stop listening to the naysayers (some of whom reside in my own head) and listen to the voice that beckons me to change my life for the better. I have all of you to help me and encourage me. And I know that I can do it. One choice at a time.

*Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, is a must see movie...You can find it on Netflix.

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_LINDA 12/10/2014 7:18PM

    Know it well, that daily pain. I only have three autoimmune diseases, but they are certainly laying waste to my body in short order. I guess I thought it wouldn't be so bad if they attacked parts that could be fixed, but I have not heard anything good about back surgery. So right now I made the choice to quit my job and get started on my bucket list before I become too infirm to enjoy life. For me, its travel, seeing new wonders. Not sure if I am that capable now, with one useless arm, unable to lift or carry anything. I want an active vacation as I like to hike and see green spaces. I have 20000 air miles that will expire if I don't use them. That would be criminal after how long it took to build them up. Right now my meals are very healthy, but I am salty snacking which is bad and making it a struggle to maintain my weight. Its a little stress, a little pity party and the sad fact that my Mom will not travel with me now after waiting so long, so many years for me to be free of surgeries and commitments because she won't leave her beloved dog. She doesn't trust anyone to take care of her. I hope nothing happens to that poor dog because my Mom would be as devastated as losing a child, in fact she even said she would give up her own life to save the dog!! So I am not as happy going solo. But I should be used to being alone as that is how I have lived most of my life.
Here is to choose to break out of the cycle of choices that keep us chained like any prisoner.

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Ho Ho Hum

Saturday, December 06, 2014

My house does not have the tiniest bit of Christmas about it. I should at least change the table cloth and get the one with the autumn leaves off of it. I honestly cannot go out to the garage and bring in boxes. I cannot take all the current decorations in my house down into the basement. My daughter had said she would help but she hasn't been home long enough to do anything. She is working today and tomorrow so it will not get done this weekend either. emoticon

A couple of years ago my friend came over and did all the decorations (except for the Christmas tree....we haven't had a tree in probably 5 or 6 years). I wish someone would think of that this year. It's not something you can ask for.... " 'scuse me but would you come and bring Christmas to my house?" My dad told me two of their friends are coming over to decorate their house. I'm glad. My parents have always had spectacular decorations....inside and outside. I know it's important to them to have it done. My mom is sick once again with C-Diff. The last bout of it nearly killed her. I'm very worried about her. She just had cataract surgery as well--and it had some complications. She has been sick with one thing after another for the past three years. She just got over bronchitis and a COPD flare and was doubt that's where she picked up C-Diff.

Anyway. I'm glad Christmas will visit their house. They could use some holiday cheer.

Back to things nutritional.
I have been doing well. Am back to having steady weight loss ...even though I have not been perfect at keeping the rules of Eat to Live, it is enough to still lose weight.

Last night we (my dad and I) went to Jake's "Way Back Burger" and although I could taste a burger in my mind,, instead I asked them to crumble a Veggie Patty over a garden salad and I used balsamic vinegar and oil as a dressing. So that was one temptation conquered (oh, and they had eggnog milkshakes too!!)....and I did enjoy the salad.

I still have not made progress in exercising. Maybe I will do some today. I will walk up and down the stairs several times. (I dont know if I can do more than one trip)...I will do some double leg lifts while laying on my bed, and I will do some wall pushups. Not hard, right? Why do I have such a hard time exercising? I know it is because I ham very very weak (I have steroid myopathy which is muscle damage or death due to the meds.) I can barely walk down to the basement. I know that I must be more aggressive in getting myself moving...or I will be in a wheelchair again very soon. And I don't think I have it in me to be able to claw my way back to standing and walking like I did a decade ago.

Goals? Keep doing what I am doing - food-wise. And get this body MOVING to regain my strength.

I wish all of you a blessed Christmas. Remember that little baby in his manger crib and give thanks to God for the gift of salvation that that God-babe made possible.

Here is my gift to you:

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_LINDA 12/6/2014 3:00PM

    emoticon with the weight loss!! That is just plain emoticon
to be able to do that without exercise!! But oh is the movement is oh so important. I am very concerned what is going on with my spine, it came on very quickly, relatively speaking, but is an explanation as to why I am in so much pain and can't sleep. Ironically, relief only comes with movement, the painkillers do nothing. Hence the insomnia and being restless all the time. But my ailing feet and ankles can only take so much. What can we do?? What ever it takes to stay out of that wheelchair for sure. I am not ready to be put in a nursing home yet. Are you? We have to do what we can when we can. Take advantage of any opportunity where you feel reasonably well (if that is possible)
So very sorry to hear about your Mom :-(( Praying for her recovery and that the good Lord will send an Angel to watch over her..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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KATBWIN 12/6/2014 7:56AM

    Maybe your daughter will find time between now and Christmas. Last year, I think it was last year, I got my decorations up Christmas eve. But that is another story.

I am amazed at your ability to resist temptation in food. I have been reading the book Eat to Live but have not "translated it" for all the eating out we are doing recently. I will get the hang of it like you have.

I hope you get some christmas decorations out and may you and your family have a joyful holiday.

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Back in the Saddle

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Well I had a week of poor choices. Fortunately for some reason I did not have much appetite so that helped to keep it from being a catastrophe. Then on FRiday I bought some veggies and fruit because we were out of everything. Last night I cooked collard greens with shredded carrots and a raisin, balsamic, cashew sauce over the greens and carrots. (You blend those ingredients in the blender with a little water and it makes a lovely sauce). I really did not expect to like the greens. I thought they would be slimy and mushy but they weren't. Despite 13 minutes of steaming , they still had texture and a slightly crisp feel. I felt like I was giving my body a gift. Collard greens are one of the most nutritious things you can eat. Dr Fuhrman is always singing their praises....and now I know why.

I had a little of the sauce left over so today made a smaller batch of the same meal and also had a salad for lunch. And to get my quota of beans in I had a black bean brownie for dessert.

For tonight I am making Brussels Sprouts.....another new favorite that I'd avoided for my whole life up til now. I had cooked some about a week ago and fell in love with them. My daughter likes them too so I'm making them for both of us.

Today I was terrified to weigh myself after my week long excursion to the "Dark Side"....I thank the LOrd for the gift I found on the scales. I had only gained a half a pound, despite eating crap for a week. The only explanation I can give is the fact that I skipped meals, not being hungry.

So now, being back on track once again, I am sure that my weight loss will pick up. I am awaiting the transformation of my taste buds....When a slice of pizza tastes like a salt lick, and Doritos taste like chemicals. Already my taste buds are rejoicing with the good food. Soon I will lose my predilection for sweets...and for lots of bread or pasta. I'm allowed one starch a day and it is encouraged to make that starch a vegetable squash or sweet potatoes. Tomorrow I am planning on making a small batch of whole grain spaghetti and having sauteed zucchini and summer squash topped wiht spaghetti sauce and non dairy cheese. It sounds delicious. I am only making the most simple of Dr Fuhrmans recipes....also I am finding some from other online sources such as Spark People. As long as they conform to the guidelines he laid out in his books, then I can't go wrong.

When my husband was eating the Eat to Live food, his chest pain disappeared and his labs were normal for the first time in years. And yet now, he is refusing to eat this food....even though he knows it is the only hope he has of remaining alive. His arteries are all 99% or higher clogged with plaque. He has 5 stents holding two arteries open...however the junk he is eating is going to re-plaque those stented areas and then he will be in serious trouble. I've begged him to join me in eating the right way....but he is determined not to.

I have set up for myself a list of goals and a point system for when I meet those goals. They are more in depth and more personally geared than are my Spark goals. I plan to reward myself with every hundred points on my system, and also for every ten pounds I lose. So far Ive lost 14.

I not only WANT to do this. I WILL do this. That is my promise to myself. And at some point I need to get more serious about exercise once again. The recumbent bike is the only type of cardio I can stand due to the Rheumatoid Arthritis in my ankles and knees. I have been doing some strength training with pathetically light weights. Ive gotten completely deconditioned. And I know that If I do not exercise....once i lose significant weight Im going to be a saggy skinned mess. In 2010 when I lost 70, I was working out really hard....and I did not have much extra skin. However, this time Im heavier and am less able to exercise.

Maybe --as Dr Fuhrman has said, --eating properly will reduce or even eliminate Autoimmune Diseases. He held out less hope for those of us who've had the illnesses for years. So maybe it won't go away....but maybe it will stop some of the inflammation and thus the pain.

I can always hope.
Then I could exercise again maybe.

I'm feeling so good about getting back in the saddle.

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PGHP31CK 11/24/2014 10:31AM

    WOOPWOOP! Cheering you on, 'cause you're gonna do this!!


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JANISMKW 11/23/2014 11:17PM

    Good for you. The collards sound delish. I never had brussels sprouts growing up but I like them now if they are cooked well, e.g. roasted through. I ordered some in a local restaurant cooked with mustard... they were good too.

You don't say much about getting protein, though. I we don't get a LOT of it when losing weight, especially if not exercising a lot, we can lose muscle as well as fat. If not able to exercise a lot, it's hard to put muscle on. Less muscle means less calorie burn, lower basal metabolism, and it's harder to keep weight off.

By a lot of protein I'm talking 1.5 grams a day per kilogram of body weight. (That's what I read.) It would mean 150 grams of protein a day for a 220 lb. person. My goal is at least 100 grams of protein.

I wish you great success, just would hate to have you lose muscle and make things tougher for yourself down the road. God bless. Stay healthy. Hugs!

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_LINDA 11/23/2014 5:06PM

    Collard greens are tough so its a good job you gave them some extra cooking time. Sounds like great recipe, glad you could handle making it. Sounds like you are getting back on track big time. Great to hear! Sorry about your husband though, its a shame he can't be inspired by you.
You do have to look after yourself and your own needs first.
Keep up the great work!!
{{{ gentle hugs}}}

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 11/23/2014 9:07AM

    Good job! emoticon

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KATBWIN 11/22/2014 8:12PM

    Hi, since you have mention in your last two blogs about Dr. Fuhrman, I decided to read further. I found they have his Eat to Live book at the public library, I am going to swing by there tomorrow and check it out. Between your blog (and the information I found on line) my curiosity is peaked. I am always a little suspicious when someone seems to promise us the moon as in his website, but I also find when I eat a heavier portion of vegetables I seem to lose weight and feel better so I feel there is something here I must follow up on. The con is you said his recipes are intensive to make, I am not that comfortable in the kitchen so intensive cooking may not be my style. At the same time your collard green recipe sounded good.

In closing, I am glad you were able to get back in the saddle. I look to reading more in the future about your journey.

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