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Two Weeks until Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I hadn't even thought about Thanksgiving lately. I didn't realize it was only 2 weeks away. I have promised myself that this year I won't stuff myself and eat smaller portions and pick the ones lowest in calories if possible.

My Daughter-in-law and best friend and I have been preparing Thanksgiving dinner together now for several years. She usually cooks the ham and turkey and is heavy on the starchy veggies like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravey, etc. I usually make the turkey dressing which I will make this year as usual. I don't particularily like dressing so I don't worry about eating it. I also make fresh cranberry sauce from the whole berries. I am designated to make another veggie and she asked if I would cook some of my frozen corn from the garden. I'm thinking another starch which none of us need. We don't make the green bean casserole as none of us like it. I'm thinking of doing raw veggie and fruit trays this year. And just serve the veggies with fatfree salad dressing as a dip. I plan to make a sweet dip for the fruit using fatfree sour cream and fatfree coolwhip. Jackie is making a sweet potato pie and maybe a pumpkin pie and wants me to make a pecan pie. But when you look at all this food and think of the calories...well if I eat only 1 bite of everything, I still will get my calorie count for 3 days worth. I plan to try drinking lots of water before going and then just fill up my plate with the raw veggies and fruit and the turkey breast only, even though I don't care for turkey. I would much rather have the ham. I'm not planning on eating the potatoes or sweet potatoes but may eat a tiny bit of corn as I plan to prepare it without butter. (they can butter it themselves if they want) and skip the pies and eat the fruit instead.

This is the main dinner I have to really worry about as we usually prepare finger foods and healthier fare for christmas. I will post again after Thanksgiving on how I fared on eating and watching those calories.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"I think people that have a brother or sister don't realize how lucky they are. Sure, they fight a lot, but to know that there's always somebody there, somebody that's family. "
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park, Cat Orgy, 1999

I only have one sister and she is almost 3 years older than me. She has always been the "small" one in the family. She is only 5'2" and been a petite size most of her life. She turned 60 this year but you would never know it. She retired from teaching after 30+ years in the Texas system and has now been teaching in Arkansas for about 5 years. She says that the present year will be her last each year but yet she somehow continues to stay with it. She and I both share so much. We both have rhumitoid arthiritis and we both have sons. And since mom died in 2002, we sometimes feel we only have each other. We also both love the outdoors and the changing of the seasons. We also both are teachers.

We are also so different in so many ways. I think she looks more like my mom and I look more like my dad and paternal grandmother. She is small and I am large. She is not a crafter but I love to craft. She doesn't garden, but I do. But she is the only sibling I have and we share so many secrets and wishes and dreams.

She lives about an hours drive away and we met this past Saturday for a nice autumn hike. We had so much fun that we want to try to do this more often. We have been through so much together. When mom got alzheimer's we both asked ourselves...."will this be us when we are old?" Funny thing is when growing up, we would fight like cats and dogs but as we both age, we have grown closer than ever. It is always good to have a sister for a friend.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAZACK 11/15/2008 8:41PM

    I have one sister that is 2 years younger that me but she is the one with the gray hair. During the past year and a half we have become closer. There were issues beginning from our childhood that we have finally talked about. We have always loved each other and knew we could count on each other but our lives drifted apart. Our Mother sort of came between us unknowingly.

Mary Ann

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ANGORA4 11/13/2008 8:21PM

    Beautifully said!

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Color Changes

Friday, November 07, 2008

I think I've had the flu last week and weekend. Felt a little better on Sunday but weak and shaky. On Monday, I asked Sonny (husband) to take a ride up into the mountains to look at the fall color changes. It was a good thing we did so as since then the leaves have steadily fallen and it is beginning to look so bare now. I took some awesome photos and we even stopped and took about an hour hike. It just happened to be where we had spent our honeymoon as well.

Speaking of color changes. We always need changes in our lives. We need changes for the better. I truly believe I'm making good changes now. I've lost 37 pounds and still need to lose about 37 more to be a good healthy weight for me. Right now I'm concentrating on changing my exercise habits. I also found out this week that I'm not immune to "falling off the horse" so to speak. I had lost 3 pounds this past week, which I'm sure has alot to me being sick. But it seems I've tried to make up for it today and I went over my calorie range. That is pretty good considering I didn't go that far over and it was the first time since joining Sparkpeople in April. But like they always tell you, "You have to get right back in the saddle."

Another change that needs to occur is for me to do more toning exercises to get these muscles back in shape to what they need to be. So changes will be occurring to build those good habits into me. It takes several days of doing to make it a habit...so I've learned so this change will be a needed change.

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ANGORA4 11/9/2008 6:21PM

    I was so surprised to drive up to church today, and find the hills so bare. It was still lovely last week. But now, it was all brown. Almost brown. Always found the Bradford pear so useless, as it didn't make fruit. Then I went out to the brown field, and saw one bright orange red spot. Turned out to be a baby seedling from the callery pear (parent of Bradford pears) that came up from the roots of a grafted tree.

It was lovely. I found the callery pear, and it was still glowing orange. Started seeing Bradford pears planted where I'd never noticed them. Brilliant orange, red, mixed with green, glowing against the brown elsewhere.

Funny, isn't it, how things you never valued turn out to be special.

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Health issues

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm really having some health issues right now. I was started on Crestor almost a year ago and have been having bladder and yeast infection problems. I had trouble before with my kidneys while taking some high powered Rhumitoid drugs so I have to be careful. I've just read up on side effects of Crestor and one is renal failure. I had called my gyn early this week about the yeast infection and they want to see me pronto but then couldn't work me into their schedule for 2 weeks. I've been running fever especially at night so haven't felt well at all. I am worried about the Crestor though as my urine has had a funny smell for several months now. I called my local clinic and they are getting me in Friday morning and hopefully will test my blood and urine for anything. It is just awful to feel so bad. I have kept at keeping my calorie count down close to 1200 and at least between 1200-1500 which is what is good for me to lose weight without problems. I've also been managing to walk though it seems to have gotten harder lately.

On another note, baked 3 pie pumpkins and put pulp in freezer. I made some pumpkin custard from a team member's recipe and made it with low fat milk so made a nice healthy alternative to pumpkin pie. I've also been baking my apples and eat with a little cinnamon. I don't particularly like raw apples so this is great for me and get the taste of an apple pie. These are much healthier as neither has pie crust which is high in fat. I'm now not as worried about the coming holiday eating as know I can do this and keep the healthy spark.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGORA4 11/9/2008 6:07PM

    Barb, It's so hard when you don't feel well. Amazing how much you still get done!

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SUMMERSILK 10/30/2008 11:13AM

    Hi Barbark,
I was reading your blog and I thought I'd share my experience with arthritis meds and Crestor. I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Glad you're going in to get checked out.

I have kidney disease and they took me off all NSAIDS for my arthritis several years ago, as they're hard on your kidneys. My PCP put me on Crestor as well, but my Nephrologist said from a kidney stand point that he would prefer that I take Lipitor for my cholesterol problems. By the way, I lowered my cholesterol by 14 points just by taking Fish Oil and I hope to get off the Lipitor some time soon. Good luck to you!


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Seasonal changes

Friday, October 24, 2008

I don't know what it is about colder weather. My body seems to think it is going into hibernation mode and I seem to get more hungry. I have really struggled this week to keep the calorie count within my range of 1200-1500. It has been hitting in the higher ranges than I would like. I've upped my exercising and know this has alot to do with it as well. I'm not noticing any weight loss either. I think it is my time to hit a wall. Another bad thing is I love all the "comfort" foods this time of year. Sweet potatoes, chili, soups, potatoes, pumpkin pies and peanuts in the shell. I'm trying to find ways to make these lighter and not as heavy as I used to make them. I've learned to make my fruit pies now with Splenda so that helps but still they are higher in fat than I would like. I know I'm really going to have to watch myself through Thanksgiving. My daughter-in-law loves to cook, especially bake so thankfully she will handle most of the cooking this holiday season. I'm also looking at buying healthier Halloween candies like the fruit roll ups and gummys instead of the regular high sugar, high fat things. I may even buy pencils and hand out. But I have learned through this summer that there are definitely things I don't need to keep around my house like chocolate candy!!! I have found a "guilt-free" chocolate frozen fudge bar with only 60 calories so let that be my chocolate treat. I still have a long way to go and hopefully I won't fail during this time of year. Another main problem is with colder wetter weather, I do not like to move much. Joints just don't seem to work as well, but I am going to really make an effort to get out an walk. Walking, I've found, is peaceful and theraputic and I really enjoy it!! Still don't like basic exercising but am trying. Hope to make this a really fruitful holiday season.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BGGARDEN 10/26/2008 7:27PM

    I keep a little sampler of dark chocolates in my china cabinet just for those special days that I need a bite of sweetness. I think we get cravings for a reason. :-) NOW THE Reece's Peanut Butter stash has to go!!! I did hide those in my husbands office so I couldn't get to them as easy. I can't wait till the Halloween season is over. The extra sugar candies are usually gone by then!

You have a wonderful blog - Thank you for sharing your challenges. I look forward to your next blog.

Happy Autumn !


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CARLI_MAE 10/25/2008 10:55PM

    Okay, mystery solved. I was wondering what I was missing in the general chat. Pep talk? What pep talk? Is Barb feeling bad? ok -- if it's any consolation I've been fighting hybernation mode too & not very successfully. I hope you saw my clarification on the board about not being worried about Bambi ... LOL .... I may be a die-hard liberal, but the only hunting I object to is the inhumane kind and that directed at endangered species. So it really is the bug bites I'm afraid of ... hahaha.
Mmmmmmm ... I love sweet potatoes! They're not that high in calories, either, as long as you just bake them and eat them plain ... if you hit a good batch and bake them long enough, they're plenty sweet without adding butter and making them candied.
I also have a mini-challenge strategically planned for next week to keep our grown-up hands out of the children's candy ... hahaha (I know, I'm such a meanie, but you know I just want to help y'all). Anywhooo, if you don't see a new post for it, remind me will ya?

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MYMISSY 10/25/2008 4:14PM

    Barbara instead of making fruit pies, make them in the fruit crumbles....that way you cut out a lot of the pastry. I occasionally make crumble, not too often though now as pastry really upsets my acid reflux with in a few hours of eating....you could also just have the fruit part and put in on frozen yogart, that's yummy. What ever the Season brings to you, enjoy and do not stress out too much, we are all beginning to make much better choices at least 90% of the time, which is a good thing. emoticon

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