Monday, 30 March 2009

Weighty Matters Monday #1

As I mentioned, in a previous post, I've decided to devote every Monday to my weight loss journey. I don't, however, want to make this blog solely a Weight Loss blog, as I do not want to get back on the treadmill of having that, the whole focus of my life.

That's what happened when I was doing Weight Watchers. Sure I lost weight, but when I found myself looking at other people's plates and mentally calculating the points on them .... enough was enough..

I really believe that if I want to reach my goal, I need to be accountable for what I eat and how much I exercise.

I don't want to be on a diet though. I HATE the word 'diet' with a passion. I personally think it sets you up for failure, because you instantly think of deprivation and all the foods that you can't eat.

What I want to do, is change my habits by eating smaller portions, finding other things to do when the mindless eating, or comfort eating, urges hit me and eating food that is better for me.

I also want to get more exercise and pay attention to my fluid intake.

I tend to forget about drinking fluids. Sometimes I don't recognise the signals that I'm getting dehydrated until I start feeling tired, achy and brain fogged.

I'm hoping to put up tips that help me, recipes and so on.

I'd really like to hear from you, as to what works for you. Once I figure out how to use 'Mr Linky' you can place a link to your post at the end of mine. In the meantime, if you want to join in, just let me know and I'll link you.

Support is a very important part of succeeding in anything you do, so lets give each other some support!! :-)

Good news, is that I lost 2.2 lbs this week. :-)

I found two interesting articles, that pertain mainly to the American diet. Hopefully these issues are not rearing their ugly heads in other countries, as much.

Firstly, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP , which can be found in a frightening number of foods here in the States.

This link and this link gives information on some of the affects, that consuming high amounts of HFCS can have on us and our kids.

The States is showing a worrying increase in juvenile diabetes and juvenile obesity and there is evidence that HFCS may play a significant part in this.

Why would we want to subject our kids to this?

In an attempt to encourage dieters, to eat foods such as chippies, etc ... some manufacturers started using OLESTRA in their foods.

This link may give you pause for though, before you're tempted to throw that bag of Light Crisps into your shopping trolley.

I tried this stuff awhile back. I bought a packet of Lay's Chips. They're not kidding when they say they may cause cramps and diarrhea!!

The first serving I ate was fine. The next serving was not so fine. The stomach cramping was agony and I dared not travel to far from the nearest loo for about 24 hours after eating them!!

Plus, even if you don't have those side effects, your body doesn't get to absorb needed nutrients due to the rapid passage of the food through you.

Definitely no longer on my grocery list!!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Camera Critters - Best Of Mates

Camera Critters

Spring Break is here and with that, finally some time for my camera and I to get out and explore and hopefully capture some interesting shots!! :-)

In the mean time, from my 'memories' folder is a snap of two of my best friends, taken about 17 years ago.

Nikki (dog) and Mischief (cat) were also best of friends, as can be seen in this photo.

Nikki had heaps of character.

One of my funniest memories of her, was the day she was outside supervising the ex-hubby as he mowed the lawn. I stuck my head out the door to check on them and noticed no Nikki, however there was this woman, in a full skirt, walking along the footpath doing a funny kind of dance and furiously batting away at the back of her dress.

Poking out from beneath her skirt was a furiously wagging tail and four long, golden, furry legs, none of which belonged to her.

Apparently, Nikki had seen a new, potential friend walking by and decided to zip under her skirt and introduce herself, in time honoured doggy fashion, by sniffing her butt.

The woman did see the funny side, once we had rescued her from our over friendly 'other child'. I did notice though, that next time she walked by she was wearing jeans. :-)

Mischief definitely suited her name.

She was originally supposed to be my daughter's cat. However, as a small kitten she was very ill.

The vet told us that she probably would not survive. I spent the next week nursing Mischief. I carried her around with me during the day and she slept, nestled on my chest at night. I fed her liquids and medication, every couple of hours with an eyedropper. Slowly she recovered, however, she then adopted me as her Mum and followed me around everywhere.

I was in the bathroom one day, enjoying a few minutes of peace and tranquility. I'd locked the door on all four kids, plus Nikki and Mischief, all who would have joined me given half a chance.

Next minute there was a scrabbling at the top window and a small,furry black and white missile launched herself through.

Mischief was not going to be separated from her 'Mum'. She had climbed on to the work bench, that was outside the kitchen window, scrambled up onto the kitchen roof and then jumped onto the overhang over the bathroom window and then made a leap of faith at the open top window.

Fortunately the kids and the dog did not follow suit !

Our furry friends certainly leave us with plenty of fond memories.

What are the fondest memories of your 'babies' ?

Now go to CAMERA CRITTERS and join in the fun.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta - Ain't He Cute !!! :-)

It's Friday and it's a Fiesta !! At least it is, thanks to Candid Carrie ! :-)

My youngest grandson, Xavier, proudly showing off his new school uniform. Though I don't think the Spiderman shoes are part of the official uniform :-)

He joined his older siblings, Sacha, Logan and Alex, at RUSSLEY SCHOOL , in New Zealand, in early November of last year. NZ schools differ from US schools, in that kids are entitled to start school, on their 5th birthday, irrespective of where in the school year that birthday falls.

I may be biased, but I think that he looks just so darn cute !!!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Where Banana Gets His....

I unashamedly stole this off Candid Carrie's blog. It was in her post, this morning. She's worth visiting, her writings can often reduce me to laughter or tears.

I almost choked on the banana that I was eating at the time. It was part of my breakfast ... chopped up with cereal and yogurt.

Strawberry and Pear ... you are avenged. Banana got his just desserts....

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Sailing My River ....

Spring Break ...YAYYYYYYY !! Means I have time to post and catch up on my blog reading :-)

I've been listening to one of my Garth Brooks albums, while catching up on house work. Actually, if the truth be told, quite a back log of house work!!!

' Callin' Baton Rouge ', ' Ain't Goin' Down Till The Sun Comes Up ', ' The Fever ' and so on, are good moppin' floors music !!

However, ' The River ' really touches a chord within me..

Many of us are going through our own 'rough waters' right now.

Be it the serious illness of a loved one, dealing with job loss and the depressed economy, coming to terms with our pasts, our own health scares and so on.

For me, my life is a river. It has it's rapids and rough waters, however it also has it's calm, sheltered stretches.

My river will be 'ever changing'.

I can choose to sit on the 'shoreline' and maybe dabble my toes, or not ... or I can 'choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance that tide'.

A long time ago I chose to ride my river. I'm not sure at what point in my life it changed from an unconscious choice to a conscious choice....from allowing myself to float along to taking control of the paddles.

There have been a number of shipwrecks along the way. I've shot more than my fair share of rapids. Somehow though, my boat has always righted itself, and patched up and with the help of my support crew, set sail again.

This verse in the song, says much of what I'm trying to express..

'There's bound to be rough waters
And I know I'll take some falls
But with the good Lord as my captain
I can make it through them all...'

How do you survive you own rough waters?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Camera Critters - The Call Of The Wild!!

Camera Critters

Last Saturday, the hubby and I took our little friend Taylor, out to the new Scheels store, that has opened in our area.

At both entrances/exits to the store, they have these large arches, that are actually fish tanks. One side has a fresh water tank, the other is a tropical.

Young Taylor spent some time watching this big fella. It's a catfish, for those of you who are not familiar with them. I'm told that this is quite a little one, compared to what others have seen.

In one of the wings of the store, they have this large display mountain, with assorted creatures of the wild.

This area does not have much in the way of museums or zoos, so for many kids, a visit to this exhibit is the only way they may ever see these animals as they, almost, really are.

Being, originally, from a country where many of these animals can only be seen in the zoo, I'm hoping I have got their names right!!

This badger looks as though it is alive and well and wondering why I'm pointing that
flashy thing at him!

Bobcat and Wolverine...

I think these might be Prairie Dogs ??? Like the way they have one of them posed scratching it's ear.

The wily Coyote. We have many of them in this area and because of the ongoing drought, it is not unusual to see them fairly deep in the city environs. People living in the outskirts of the city, have to be wary about leaving pets outside, unsupervised, especially cats and small dogs.

The three photos, above, come from the wolf part of the exhibit. Shows a deer attempting to defend itself against a pack of wolves on the hunt. I thought they were well posed.

Now go to CAMERA CRITTERS and join in the fun.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Camera Critters - He didn't?? Oh, yes he did!!

Camera Critters

Now, I know that Sparky desperately needed a trim.

However, did the hubby really need to give him a mohawk ???

Now go to CAMERA CRITTERS and join in the fun.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta - Editing Reality :-)

It's Friday and it's a Fiesta !! At least it is, thanks to Candid Carrie ! :-)
Sometimes it's lovely to get an instant fix ... to dream of what could be ... to manipulate reality.

We were on this class field trip last year. We were visiting a children's museum in Carson City.

In it, is this mirror, that changes the perspective of how you look.

It produces miracles. It not only removes many pounds, it also adds inches, lengthens legs and so on.

I loved it. I spent quite a bit of time standing in front of it and dreaming. I called my friends Lori and Cyndia over, to enjoy the magic.

That's me in the middle, capturing the miracle for posterity. Lori is standing next to me (look at that grin!) and Cyndia is wandering over to find out why we've been standing there so long, with silly grins on our faces.

It was really nice :-)

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Apricot Chicken

One of my favourite comfort foods. :-)

I did have photos of the whole process, but somehow they appear to have disappeared off my camera and out of my photo folder. The only survivor was a photo of the finished product ..

Apricot Chicken

*6 Skinless chicken thighs (you can also use chicken breasts, as I did. I cut three large breast halves in half))
*40 g (1 1/4 oz)packet of French Onion soup mix (I used a packet of Lipton's Beefy onion soup/dip mix. I've also browned a sliced onion till slightly caramelized and used that, when I forgot the soup mix.)
*425 ml (14 fl oz) can of apricot nectar (in the US, you can find the Kern's brand in the supermarket drinks aisle, usually)
*425 g (14 oz) can of apricot halves, drained. (If you can't find the apricot nectar, use the juice from the apricots instead.)

Preheat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F).

Place the chicken in an ovenproof dish. Mix the onion soup mix with the apricot nectar and pour over the chicken.

Bake, covered for 50 minutes.

Add the drained apricot halves and bake for another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice to soak up the juices.

I also sometimes add a couple of chopped cloves of garlic and a touch of hot sauce, before baking..

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

This and That...

Been dealing with a lot of stuff over the last couple of weeks or so.

I'm a little stressed out over J's job hunting situation (it's a tough market out there!!) and I think I've let myself get a little rundown. As a result I've been fighting off a cold or a severe allergy and recovering from a nasty gall bladder attack. My knee hasn't been helping either.

I think that my eating pattern,(lot's of stress eating!!) over the last few weeks and a bit, hasn't helped. It certainly resulted in the gall bladder flaring up and me putting on just over 2 lbs of the weight that I had lost.

I've hauled out my knitting needles and started a sweater for myself. I figure if I can keep my hands full and busy, they are less likely to be stuffing things into my mouth!! So far, it seems to be working. :-) The sweater is coming along nicely as well, hopefully I will have it finished this week.

This is what I'm currently making. Wonder if that accessory to the side, will magically appear once I've finished?? LOL !!

March is definitely roaring in like a lion, here. We have a series of big winter storms coming through the area. Mainly rain, down in the valleys so far. However, the local forecasters are suggesting that we may get snow on the valley floor this afternoon. They're calling for 3 inches in the afternoon and another 3 inches this evening. We shall see. The way the weather works around here, is you blink once and it changes!

Anyone else into knitting?? What sort of things do you knit??

The weather going crazy in your area??