Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Life is changing...

Saturday, I trimmed trees for an hour and a half. Me. I did that. This is amazing. Really.

Not so very long ago, working in the yard for 15-30 minutes was tough. I couldn't do much of anything else for the rest of the day and, in fact, was wiped out for a few days.

I not only trimmed the trees, but I also did my physical therapy afterward. I accomplished quite a bit.

Sunday morning, I couldn't deny the bush beat me up a bit. I was a little sore, but blessedly ibuprofen took care of it.

On Monday, I was right back and doing my regular workout.

No excuses. Go me!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Carpe diem... Richmond...

NASCAR ~ Carl came in 6th! Whoohoo!! Go Carl!

Since I tackled the pruning again on Saturday, my white T-shirt was brown, so I did laundry.

I have a book to finish writing. No excuses.

I've a book I'm reading; I'll use it for breaks.

A little cooking will be done. It's Monday. I usually do a little cooking in the morning. There's something about creating yummy food... I enjoy it.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Thank Goodness It's Sunday... #152...

~ Josh Groban and Celine Dion The Prayer:

~ Chatting with good friends.

~ Learning to own the truth.

~ Good books that lift and inspire.

~ My sister.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Heroes... Survivors...

In this case, more specifically, survivors of the Boston explosion. Yahoo shared nine brief stories:


What impressed me was the determination to move forward. What also impressed me were all the donations to help out.

May God bless them and strengthen them and lift them. They are examples of courage and hope.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Whole30 week 3

Friday: Chapter 15: I hate olives. Really hate olives. A little on pizza is okay. Much of anything else? Not so much. I don't care for macadamias either. Yes, I have no trouble at all turning down a chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie. Bleh. Avocado is okay. I've tried adding them to my diet, and it's a nice change but wound up hating it when I had it day after day after day. Don't care for hazelnuts.

The oils I consciously choose: Coconut, butter, and olive. In that order.

Personally, I find this book far too complicated and in many ways unreasonable. From the way this is presented, I should be dead. The more I read the more magical it is. It might simply be the word choices. It's great if you have the money to spend on many of these pricey speciality items, if that's how you want to spend your money.

There are a lot of assumptions. Because a label says it is organic/humane whatever, doesn't mean it is. More than likely, organic doesn't mean what you think it means, neither does humane. It's amazing how flexible those terms really are. The only sure way to know what you're buying is to grow it yourself or know the farmer/butcher and know they practice what you expect.

Oh, boy. Joel has jumped on the drop dairy and grain bandwagon.

Why am I so opposed? Been there. Done that. I was miserable.

Do I follow the popular recommendations on how to eat dairy and grains (skim and whole)? No.

What do I do different? Whole milk and processed grains, removing the bran. Since I've changed from reduced fat milk to whole milk, I don't have near the trouble with feeling hungry. I've included grain and excluded grain. I feel better with grain in my diet.

I am suspicious of anyone who requires others to jump through hoops, even if they are willing to jump through hoops themselves. Hoop jumping is complicated and unpredictable.

Saturday: Chapter 16: Actually, I've learned to listen to myself, it's just that I ignore myself a lot or the old habits are louder. Nothing new and doing mostly, though not perfectly. Imagine that. What a surprise: use spices to spice it up. I can't eat most spices. Lucky me.

Chapter 17: It's only 30 days. Warning: This is not an allergy elimination diet. How do I know? Eggs are a common allergen, and yet they are on the okay list.

Chapter 18: The rules -- their plan, their rules. It only makes sense.

Chapter 19: The problem with re-introducing food is there are so many other factors going on in your life. Yes, I've tried this in my own allergy elimination diet. Imagine my frustration when I recently learned I have very little trouble with egg yolks. All these years, I've avoided eggs and all I really needed to be careful of were egg whites. Using only 1 day is not advisable. It can take your body up to 3 days or more to show symptoms. I can eat egg yolks once or twice a week, with at least 3 days between, without repercussions but definitely not every day. I've gradually cut corn from my diet, more particularly popcorn, and I miss it a little. Corn chex settles the craving, and I'm able to skip it for weeks at a time.

Chapter 20: I look forward to hearing about the long-term studies someday.

Chapter 21: Agreed, check out this diet with your doctor, especially if you have specific health problems.

Chapter 22: There wasn't really much of anything I haven't heard or read before. I hadn't realized how much study I've done on nutrition.

I think the program will work great for some people. I'm not sorry I read the book. I wouldn't buy it.

What I got out of reading the book?

I need to be more mindful of what I eat. I knew this, but this reenforced many of the things I've been slowly but surely changing in my life already.

Sunday: Reflecting: I'm still troubled by how mental, not physiological, issues affect a person's eating habits. Someone who has been abused will often hide behind weight. When I was biking over 100 miles a week, I lost a little weight. Someone I do not trust noticed and complimented me. I promptly put on 10 lb and then 10 lb more and 10 lb more. I was still biking over 100 miles a week.

Monday: Reflecting: I'm a bit baffled by the whole paleo thing. If you believe in Creationism, then you believe wheat and honey and milk are good things, wouldn't you? God says they're good. If you believe in evolution, regardless of whether or not you believe in God, then why would you advocate anything resembling a caveman-type diet?

Tuesday: Reflecting: My tummy is not happy. Why? What have I eaten the last few days? I've been pretty simple. I did try to up my fruit and veggie intake from 0-1 serving daily to 2-3 servings daily. Really. Bah. About once every year or two, my insides are so messed up the only thing that calms it all down is Pepto-Bismol. I know it's bad when the stuff is actually palatable. And yes, the last time this happened was when I tried to increase my veggie/fruit intake. *pfft* I'm also well aware that most people do not have this problem. Lucky me.

Wednesday: Reflecting: Feeling a little better but still stressed.

Thursday: Reflecting: Went to Sam's Club. Usually a downfall. They have lots of yummy food for a really good price, including the 100-calorie snacks of some of my favorites. I checked the packages, thinking I wouldn't be tempted because they'd have soy. Nope. No soy. I made a decision. I'd rather lose weight more. I bought what I planned and left. Go me!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Week Ninety-Six of REAL...

REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps (SEALp) consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 50.

PT ~ Physical therapy using 2-lb weights M/W/F and 1-lb weight T/Th/S.
UB ~ Upper body exercises
BD ~ Belly dancing (my version of it, anyway)

The 19th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 20th: 4-mile walk. PT. BD. I fought the cat claw (a parasitic vine), and I won, today anyway. I do realize this is vine comes back and comes back, but I removed most of it from the bush it was devouring.

The 21st: Rest. Cold. Really cold. Not good. Napped in the afternoon because I could not keep my eyes open. Oops. It isn't going to be an easy night.

The 22nd: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD. Woke up every two hours, give or take. Bah. How stressed am I? I've eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 3 nights in a row, and 5 or 6x in the past week. 

The 23rd: PT. BD.

The 24th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 25th: PT. BD.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tough discussion...

Pets, as much as we would like them to, do not live forever.

I don't have to make this decision right now, but I have made it twice. Neither time was easy.


In Mark's Grace, coming out May 21, Grace worries about having to make the final decision. She's afraid to become a pet owner because she doesn't want to make the final decision.

Making the decision for my horse was difficult and yet not. He was deteriorating. When the vet told me he only had three grinders left and he would have to go to soupy alfalfa pellets, I knew it was time. This was my child who loved to eat. It was his joy in life. He'd had back pain and problems with colic his whole life. How could I take away one of his great joys?

I remember him pacing the fence when I brought his grain every morning. Hay was brought, and he was right there, first in line. I talked with my vet and my farrier and a lot with God.

It was an amazing experience letting him go, not easy, but I knew he was finally pain free.

My dog was a whole other story. I wish I'd had the list provided in the above article. I think it might have helped. It still wouldn't have been easy, but maybe I wouldn't have felt so much like I was guessing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

For the food experts...

I'm allergic to bran.

I looked up bran allergies. What do I find? No one is allergic to bran. The experts touting that it isn't actually bran but a protein in the flour.

Oh, really?

Care to explain how I'm able to knead white bread with no adverse effects, but when I knead whole wheat bread the palms of my hands look like they're sunburned?

Care to explain how making a bran mash, straight bran, nothing else, makes my hands look like I've slipped on bright red gloves?

Apparently, I needed to say it. I think I can let it go now.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Carpe diem... Kansas...

NASCAR ~ Carl came in 17th. Sigh. Square the shoulders. Next race is coming. Go Carl!!

What needs to be done today?




Allergy season is here. I'm tired, tired, tired. It's difficult to sleep well when you have trouble breathing. Allergy medicine helps, but it's wearing.

Added and edited 1811 words, completing a chapter and started writing the next chapter. Whoohoo!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Thank Goodness It's Sunday... #151...

~ Kenneth Cope's His Hands:

~ Star Jasmine blooming outside my window.

~ Self-moving lawn ornaments that make me laugh (feral cats)

~ The opportunity to do what I love.

~ Friends who inspire me.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Heroes... Unknown Soldiers Blog...

Yes, I posted this last week.


Why do I know so much about terrorists, and I've never even heard the names of the soldiers shared in this blog?

God bless our troops.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Whole30 week 2

This falls under my REAL program, though I'm realizing lower caloric intake no longer fits...

Friday: Chapter 8 I don't drink alcohol or use artificial sweeteners. I agree "sugar = sugar = sugar." I'm unwilling to condemn sugar. Salt and sugar are amazing preservatives. I have blackberry jam in the middle of winter because sugar preserves it. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are comfort food but also excellent when the schedule is tight, not to mention cheap. God called Israel the "Land of Milk and Honey." If God okays it, who am I to deride? Then again, Jesus turned water into wine for a wedding celebration. At that time, wine was safer than water. So it would surely have been safer during the caveman time. I'm not endorsing wine. I'll never drink it. I've seen friends turn into idiots when they drink and others are very responsible. One size does not fit all.

Chapter 9: Yep, I try to avoid most of these oils, though processed foods make it difficult. I'm doing more and more cooking from scratch. For years now, I've only used olive oil and butter. Recently I added coconut oil. By the way, these oils weren't on the no-no list in the book. The only oil I consciously use on the list is grapeseed oil in homemade lotion. It doesn't have much of a smell and stays liquid.

Saturday: Didn't read, today. Didn't eat particularly well, but did much better than I have in the past. In fact, did a whole lot better than in the past.

Sunday: Chapter 10: Oh boy, just throw out something incredibly inflammatory. "...science, our education, and our experience have completely altered our perspective..." Dangerous to put so much faith in imperfect science, imperfect education, and imperfect experience... Hmmm... actually, a lot of triggers... "I know best." "I read the experts." "I studied." "I'm smarter than you." "My opinion is the truth." "Men become learned and think themselves wise" comes to mind. It seems they're smarter than God. Ummm... yeah, lots of triggers. Moving on.

Yep, that openminded attitude I wanted is shutting right down.

The authors are writing this as though the food supply is perfect. Grains keep better than fruits and vegetables.

There are so many contradictions and such a picture perfect perspective all I can think is "poor little rich kids." It reminds me of the cooking programs that tout using only fresh, local ingredients. Great if you live where there's fresh produce available year round, not so much if you live in a place with extreme weather where the growing season is short or limited in what will survive. It doesn't help that they're incredibly condescending.

Anyone with IBS has experimented with what can and cannot be tolerated. Bread has always been one of those foods I could eat no matter how messed up my insides were when I ate anything else.

Legumes, I don't eat very often. I keep pork and beans for my food supply, again, they store well, but it also means I need to eat them occasionally. Don't store what you aren't going to eat.

I've avoided soy for years. It makes me gag. I'm not going to fight it. However, it's a pain trying to not find it in everything I eat. It's everywhere. Soy is used as a natural estrogen replacement, you know, the feminine hormone.

The problem with this isolating of foods: In all the dissing of grain and legumes I didn't see any mention of the fact that beans and rice are a complete protein.

Oh, how thoughtful, instead of peanut butter you can uses sunflower butter... please read heavy sarcasm. Peanut butter: $5.72 for 40 oz sunflower butter: $6.99 for 16 oz.

They are not tackling at all the truly psychological ties with food: Traditions, abuses, games...

No, they have no idea what it's like to go hungry, to have food used against you, to be fed food that makes you sick and eating it because it was that or nothing.

Monday: Chapter 11: Dairy. Short and simple answer for me: I've done without dairy. I did without dairy for years before the new-fangled lactose free products. Rediscovered dairy. Will never cut it from my diet again. Why? A couple reasons. I feel better when it's in my diet. Visible reason? My nails. I am able to track how much dairy is in my diet by how hard or soft my nails are. Soft nails are not helpful. They tear easily, down to the nail bed. Nasty. Painful. Not healthy.

Tuesday: Chapter 12: If you've been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, leaky gut syndrome, diabetes, celiac disease, or other such illness, I think the book would be worth the read. Read with your brain engaged. I really am looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

Part of my difficulty with the book is I've done a lot of experimenting on my own already.

Wednesday: Chapter 13: I love marrow. I'm not a fan of fish. Again, I've done a lot of experimenting on myself over the years and know what suits me well and what doesn't.

Another personal observation: Don't tell me what I CAN'T do. I probably would have done better with this book if I'd started with Chapter 13.

Spoke too soon. Vote with your dollar. Ummm... would love to if I could afford it.

Funnily enough, I hate meat fat. Really. I even prefer lean bacon. I can eat a couple slices of bacon, if it's well cooked, and then I'm done.

I always saw meat as an important source of protein and other nutrients. I've also talked about the insanity surrounding eggs. Growing up, I lost track of how many times eggs have gone through being praised and villainized. Doing my own experimentation, I've discovered I'm able to eat egg yolks without undue side effects but no whites.

Thursday: Chapter 14: Of the 20 veggies, I am able to eat 6 on a regular basis without becoming ill, 7 including tomatoes if I use them sparingly. Fermented veggies are absolutely out, unless you want me casting up my accounts simply because of the smell. No one advises retching as a way of losing weight.

Of the 10 fruits, I cannot eat 2. Pretty good, except I can't eat the other 8 on a regular basis or in large quantities, we're talking less than 1/4 cup every few days of some of those.

We still agree sugar is sugar.

A continuity editor might have been a good idea. Some of the "gems" should have been cut completely. Interesting but didn't move things along, and, in fact, sometimes bogged things down, clouding issues.

I'm more than half way through the book. I've ranted and complained and disagreed, a lot. Am I sorry I'm reading it? Nope. I'm discovering how much I know. I had no idea. I will be reading the rest of the book during week 3.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Week Ninety-Five of REAL...

REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps (SEALp) consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 50.

PT ~ Physical therapy using 2-lb weights M/W/F and 1-lb weight T/Th/S.
UB ~ Upper body exercises
BD ~ Belly dancing (my version of it, anyway)

The 12th: 3-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 13th: 3-mile walk. PT. BD.

The 14th: Rest.

The 15th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 16th: PT. BD.

The 17th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 18th: PT. BD.

It's noticeable to other people I'm losing weight. I haven't stepped on a scale in months. I don't miss it. My clothes are fitting differently. A few clothes have been removed from my closet. My fitness is improving.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me: