Tuesday, March 25, 2014

End of Detox Journey

Week three of my detox diet ended on a high note.  I lost a total of just over 6 pounds and lost an average of 1 1/2 inches from my waist (3 points) and hips.  My honey was anxious to take the "after" pictures and compare them to the "before" pictures.  I wasn't so keen on the idea as I wasn't expecting to see an improvement. But, as you can see below, after just 3 weeks, there is noticeable improvement. Not as lumpy and bumpy as before. And is it my imagination or does the woman on the left look older than the woman on the right?

I still have a way to go to look the way I want to look, but for just 3 weeks, I can't complain at all with the results. 

I ended the 3rd week the day before my honey and my anniversary, and, unfortunately, took advantage of eating what I wanted (to a point) at a nice restaurant the next evening. Needless to say, I messed up on slowly introducing back in the food(s) without any other "toxic" foods.  So, after sulking for about a week and eating some of the foods I should have waited on, I decided to do the 3 weeks again.

This is not necessarily a bad thing.

1. The recipes are all good.
2. I just may lose more weight (a shame, I know)
3.It's not that hard, and my body loves it! (So do I)

So, now you may be asking, "what did she do?"  I tested "The Virgin Diet" using "The Virgin Diet Cookbook" after reading her book "The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days "

I'd love to get your feedback or comments on this.  Has anyone else tried this detox diet?  If so, what were your results?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

One-Line-a-Day Gratitude - Baby Girl

"Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude." - HeadedSomewhere.com

What was the best part of my day?  Watching my grand-daughter lean for her daddy and witnessing his heart melt.

Detox Journey - End of Week 2

Week two proved to be a challenge on this detox diet. I started the week off gaining weight. The first day was about a half a pound and the second day I gained another half pound.  I was so discouraged. I was following the diet and couldn’t figure out what, if anything, I was doing wrong.

I am still unsure but I think I may have figured out in part what was going on. First, and I think most importantly, I wasn’t getting all my water in. At best I was getting in 40 oz a day.  Secondly, I wasn’t getting good nights sleep.  Lack of sleep can actually cause you to not only hang onto weight, but to gain it as well.

Week two had me eating lunch instead of drinking a smoothie. I found myself just eating leftovers from the previous nights supper, as I didn’t want to prep and cook lunch and turn around and prep and cook dinner as well.  I did several times anyway. I don’t think that contributed to the weight gain, but certainly dampened my excitement on top of the weight gain.

All in all, I ended week 2 at 130.4 pounds, a total loss to date of 5 pounds. Losing is better than gaining, so I can’t complain.

Even though my struggle with the whole weight gain/weight loss started my week out on a down note, what happened next certainly raised my spirits and put me back in a determined mode.

A routine visit to my doctor delivered good news. Doc had my blood work done and checked my CRP (C-Reactive protein), which measures the inflammation in your body. (FYI, inflammation is something we want to avoid as it eventually causes all sorts of damage to our bodies in the form of diseases, ulcers, weight gain, etc).  A standard range is 0.0 to 1.0. My results were 0.1.(very good)   To further my excitement, my total cholesterol dropped another 10 points from the last time I had it checked and is well in the normal range now. My triglycerides have always been high and for the first time ever, it too is now well into the standard normal range! So even though I didn’t shed a chunk of weight in week two, I know that eating this way has improved my insides.

Other pluses that I’ve noticed are; I haven’t experienced pain in my knees when I climb stairs, I have more energy and I am not suffering from bloat and gas.  All in all, a big improvement in my general well being is totally worth the stall on the scales this week.

One more week of detox, then I begin introducing back some of those foods to see which ones are the big offenders.

My goal this week is to pay more attention to my water intake and to try to be more consistent with my workouts.  I’m still only doing 15 minutes of *burst training with 20 minute incline hiking on the treadmill on my off days. However, my work out times have been more off than on this past week.

Sticking with me?

One more week to go. Hang tight.

*(High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called burst training, involves short bursts of high-intensity-style exercise for 30 to 60 seconds followed by one-to-two-minute recovery periods.)

Sunday, March 02, 2014

One-Line-a-Day Gratitude - Hawks

"Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude." - HeadedSomewhere.com

What was the best part of my day? Witnessing two hawks mate in the trees behind our house. The encounter was brief, but it means we'll get to see them nest and raise their young close by again this year.

Detox Journey - The End of Week One

I finished week one!  

Sorry didn't mean to leave any of you in the dark. I thought reporting daily was going to be just a bit... bland, so I decided not to update every day.

I finished week one at an even 131 pounds. That is down 4 lbs 4 oz of my starting weight. Not too shabby. It's better than the typical 2 lb weight loss per week, but not as strong as the hopeful 7 lbs this plan suggested could be possible to lose in the first week.

I have been faithful to the menu plan every day except yesterday, Saturday the 1st of March. I had my morning shake and then held a cooking class in the morning.  After class ended, I got busy cleaning up and chatting and skipped lunch.  I know, I know, I shouldn't have skipped. I warned you that lunch would be my biggest obstacle and it has proved to be true. I did snack on carrots and roasted red pepper hummus, (a recipe in the book)  later that afternoon and finished strong with a Kale and White Bean soup last night. Yesterday started week 2 of this journey. 

I started exercising this past week also. Just 15 minutes a day, working out to JJ Virgins 4X4 DVD. It's 4 body parts with 4 exercises in just 15 minutes. It's a great way to get back to moving again, and boy, oh boy, did I feel it the first few days.  I don't want to go crazy just yet. I don't want anyone who may read this to think you have to work out hard or for long periods of time to lose weight. I want this to be about the food we eat, or don't eat, in order to get healthier and get to an ideal weight for our individual bodies.

I am happy to report that all the recipes included in this book have tasted yummy.  That's always a plus when venturing into any type of diet, long term or short term. Except for my lack of discipline when it comes to lunches, I find this plan to fit in well with my lifestyle and way of eating. I've had to adjust to very little, and just pay attention to what's going in my mouth, making sure to actually EAT lunch, and to stay away from grazing at the candy bar located central to every lower room in my house.  I do still struggle with getting in all my water before I go to bed. I can easily get 40-50 ounces in, but have to make an effort to remember to drink more and more often throughout the day to get in the 64 ounces I should be drinking.

All in all, so far it's going good. Tune in next week for results at the end of week 2!

Keep cheering, I can hear ya!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Five Minute Friday : Choose

Jumping back in with a beautiful group of writers over at Lisa Jo Bakers, for Five Minute Friday.  Today's word is Choose.


Life is full of choices. When we wake up in the morning we can choose to be in a good mood or a bad one, regardless of how we felt upon rising.  We can choose to love our spouse in spite of their faults or we can choose to harbor resentment towards them for not being meeting our expectations.

I am currently choosing to do a 21 day detox diet, even though I could just as easily choose to stop at anytime and grab a handful of peanut M&M's, but I made a choice to do what I feel like is best for me in the long run. 

 We all need to make a decision on what we choose to do with and in our lives.  Some are short term choices, like my detox, and others are long term choices, like who we marry. The most important choice we can make is where we spend eternity. With any choice we need to decide what is best and stick with it.  It's easy to change our minds, but do we give up what we want most for what we want RIGHT NOW?  

It's your choice.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:


Five Minute Friday

Monday, February 24, 2014

Detox Journey Day 3

Mon Feb 24
Water: 64 oz
Weight: 132.6 - loss of 1.3 lbs  Total so far 2.8 
Breakfast: Protein Smoothie
Lunch: Protein Smoothie
Dinner: Left-over Bean and Nut patty with lime vinaigrette dressing and cucumbers, Mixed greens salad
No snack
Exercise: 4x4 Bursting -15 minutes
Notes: No cramping last night!  I'm hoping it is just all in the water control. I slept well last night too. Today I awoke ready to start exercising. I used an exercise DVD I own from JJ Virgin where you intermingle 1 minute of aerobic exercise between pushing, pulling and core muscle work outs. I followed that up with about 10 minutes of yoga. I believe I waited to long to eat supper tonight and was very hungry. After I ate, I found myself wanting to snack, but realized that I wasn't hungry for food in my tummy, but food in my mouth. Tomorrow I will have this lentil loaf to just heat up as soon as it's time to eat supper, so hopefully that helps with the craving to eat. 

If you already caught it, I did eat left-overs yet again. I did make a fresh meal, but I had guests in my home until after 6:00 pm, so I didn't get started on dinner until then. The Lentil Loaf that I was planning on eating tonight took almost an hour in the oven and had to sit for 25 minutes before slicing, and I was STARVING tonight. So after I popped the loaf into the oven, I heated up my left-overs and enjoyed a meal I could eat before going to bed.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Ugly Truth

Days 1 & 2 of my detox journey.

Here I go. As scary as this is, this is the ugly truth. I'm about to share with you what I try to hide from everyone.

 In four years I've gained seven pounds, and almost all of it has gone straight to my stomach. I am 53 years old, wear a comfortable size 6 and sometimes 4. I am post menopausal (thanks to chemo) and, according to a popular weight loss program, I am at a perfectly good weight.

Really?  Does this look perfectly good to you?

I can camouflage my pudge most of the time, but let me tell you, this is NOT attractive.  Nor is this easy to show you. 

Normally I go to great lengths to avoid letting people, especially my husband, see my body flaws. Tonight I asked him to not only look at my flaws, but to make sure they show well in these pictures. (He's a very good amateur photographer). He, of course, didn't hesitate when I asked him to photograph me in such an unpleasant light, bless him. Usually I tell him I don't want to see a picture of me unless he touches it up to remove what I see as unattractive. Instead, I said "make sure the bulges show".

I've done it now. I've exposed the ugly truth, and I've committed in public to change the way I look for the better.  

Yesterday was my first full day to detox. I'll share some basic information today so that I don't keep repeating myself in these next 21 days.

I eat pretty healthy and have for a long time, even more so since I finished treatments for breast cancer. I started then trying to eat healthier than I already had been. I had heard too often that obesity and the Standard American Diet (SAD) was linked to certain types of cancer.  I was, and still am, determined to do my part to not get cancer again by eating as healthy as I can.  What I've learned in the last 4 years has been at times a bit overwhelming. But I've read so much on different diets, different food choices, and different life choices, that now I'm beginning to see the similarities in some of these.  I am learning that not all "healthy foods" are good for us. Instead, some of them can cause not only what I experience, the pudge, joint pain, brain fog and embarrassing gas and bloating, but other symptoms as well. 

This particular diet that I am just starting has 3 cycles. In cycle one, I will be cutting out gluten, peanuts, corn and sugar.  There are 3 more foods listed to cut out, but I already don't eat those.  At the end of this journey, I will share my resource with you so if you are interested, you can discover the other "healthy foods" that can cause issues. 

For the sake of information, I am currently a vegan, so I am choosing the vegetarian option on this diet. Also, I've never been a good lunch eater, and smoothies are frequently my breakfast already. You'll see smoothies for my lunch too...for now. Hopefully I get more creative with lunches. However, these smoothies aren't made with fruit and yogurt.  These smoothies are made using ingredients like; organic rice protein powders, fruits, leafy greens, chia seeds, flax seed, almond or coconut milk, healthy fats like avocado and flavor extracts.These can change depending on the smoothie. So don't freak out that you see those often. I'm getting plenty of nutrients and protein in these 20 oz smoothies. Plus all the ingredients I'm using are approved in this diet. The book I'm following has plenty of recipes too, so that makes it easy to follow.

Join me if you wish, on my detox journey. Hopefully I'll have some much nicer pictures to share at the end of my 21 days.

Goals: Lose 7-10 pounds and/or lose 2 inches in my waist, drink 64 oz water daily, exercise 5 days a week, have more energy, experience joint pain relief, and stop the bloating!

Sat Feb 22
Water: 40 oz
Weight : starting weight 135.4
Breakfast: Protein Smoothie
Lunch: Protein Smoothie
Dinner: Bean and Nut patty with a lime vinaigrette dressing and cucumbers, fresh roasted broccoli and cauliflower
No snacks
No exercise
Notes: Not a bit hungry after the second smoothie. Was wondering how I was going to eat again that day. 

Sun Feb 23
Water: 60 oz
Weight: 133.9 - loss of 1.5 lbs 
Breakfast: Protein Smoothie
Lunch: Protein Smoothie
Dinner: Left-over Bean and Nut patty with lime vinaigrette dressing and cucumbers, fresh roasted broccoli and cauliflower (that was so good last night!)
No snack
No exercise
Notes: Cramping in my leg during the night. A symptom I've experienced on other restrictive diets. However, I noticed I had more energy today. 

I had planned to cook a different dinner tonight but time got away from me, so left-overs it was.  But it was good! Tomorrow I'll post a fresh meal and post the recipe on It All Begins with Dirt for Meatless Monday. Hint: I'll have to source my recipe.

Can I just say, I'm a little nervous about sticking with this for 21 days, plus adding exercise into the mix, all the while reporting this to whoever is reading this blog. I'm not as nervous about those of you I've never met as much as I am about family and friends reading it. They KNOW me! This is going to take discipline on my part as I find it very easy to put off exercising.  We have our exercise equipment in the basement and it is COLD down there! I know, I know, I should be thankful for that once I start sweating, not a good excuse, but can't blame a girl for trying. 

Okay, day two is done. Stay tuned for day three and beyond!

Decisions, Decisions....

Hi! I'm glad to see that folks have been stopping by in my absence  My apologizes as it's been awhile since I posted last.  It's been longer still since I really felt like posting anything. 

Let me try to explain. A LOT has been going on in the past year and a half that has been life changing.  Some good, some... not so good, and some quite frankly, that have left me with more questions than answers.  I've even wondered if I had anything to share on this blog that anyone would even care about, or if I should even take the time to blog. (Just getting real here). 

The good news is (for me) that I've been contemplating things and getting back to the basics in a lot of areas. From asking "what is it really all about?" to decluttering just about everything. I am trying to simplify my life, my surroundings, and the way I eat.

Some of the decisions that I have started to ask myself are simple and easy to answer, and some on the other hand will take commitment over the long haul.

Here are a few of the decisions I've been pondering lately:

1. Do I still need all those business suits that I haven't worn since the late 90's?  Uhh, NO! Time to get rid of those and a few (or more) other items in my closet.

2. We've lived in this house for over 6 years now and there are still boxes of decor in the basement that have not seen their place in this home. Do I pull them out to see if I can use them, or just get rid of them? What would you do?

3. I'm still waiting on direction from heaven on what I'm supposed to be when I grow up. Until then, do I pursue what I think I might like to do? And If so, one or all options?

This is just a small sampling of the questions I've asked myself lately, and they all stem from a desire to clean it up and start back simply. My Mission should I choose to accept it: To clean up my clutter, both inside and out! From asking myself if I really need, or just want to buy yet another item, to detoxing my body and starting fresh again by only putting good and healthy things back into it (And what is healthy....really?). And finally, going deeper in my faith. Stop using God as God only when it suits me, and make Him my God everyday. 

There are drawbacks to committing to all these things though.  Time and commitment being the biggest deterrents  Some of these decisions can be solved in an afternoon (like cleaning out my closet). While others will take time AND commitment to make them happen (like detoxing my body).

I have a dear friend that helps keep me on track with the small day-to-day tasks, like making a birthday card on time, or finishing a baby-doll quilt. But, we are both in the midst of the same fog where we're still trying to figure out the bigger picture. We are both avoiding holding each other accountable to the bigger, more time-consuming projects, because we know that we can't hold the other accountable if we aren't willing to do the same with ourselves.

That's where this blog comes in (ok, I'm really nervous about this). I am going to begin what I feel I can accomplish IF, and that's a big, I'm not promising results,"IF", SOMEONE in BLOGGERSPHERE please hold me accountable, IF I can get some encouragement somewhere.  I'm not saying I'm a wimp when it comes to tackling a goal and accomplishing it. I've done that numerous of times in my past (mumble mumble) years on this earth and have been quite successful at it. BUT, I've never in my entire life, been this low on self-esteem and high on doubting myself.  (whew, I feel like I've been to some kind of meeting...Hi, my name's Mindy and I'm....... )

So, with that in writing, now forever on the WWW (unless I accidentally with knowledge delete it), Whether one or hundreds read this post, I am going to journal my physical detox journey.  After all, I started this blog for the pure joy of journaling just for myself and a few family and friends back in 2006. I can do this!

The plan is to detox for 3 weeks. No, I'm not sitting on the potty all day.  I will be eating clean  though, and eliminating certain food groups. I'll be working on trying to keep my eating clean and begin firming up this body.

I'm not going to reveal what plan or diet I'm following until it's over, as I don't want any haters bashing it and sucking out my drive to finish. But I will share generically what I'm doing and the results I have accomplished. If at the end of the 21 days I've been successful, and I pray I am, I will share with you the resources I'm using to clean my body up both inside and out. 

I'd love to hear from anyone who would be willing to share tips and/or be my cheerleader.  I'll be sharing some of the recipes I'm eating over at my other blog; It All Begins with Dirt ,if anyone is interested.  So, with this declaration in mind, and the fact that I actually started this detox yesterday, I will be posting 2 blogs today. This one and my first, "here's what I've done post".

My goals are: To physically feel better, lose about 7- 10 pounds, have better, younger looking skin, and to firm up what wiggles and jiggles that shouldn't.

Wish me success!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Power of Thanksgiving - Togetherness

'Tis the night before Thanksgiving and all through the house, the excitement of family gathering has me scurrying like a mouse.

The projects I've started have yet to be completed, yet here I sit blogging as I'm physically depleted.

And yet what to my wondering eyes do appear, but a completed tablescape below my chandelier...

All tongue-in-cheek aside, I am so thankful for this time of year when the holidays give us excuses to spend time around the table with family and friends.  There is something so special about breaking bread with others. Sharing food and conversation around a table laden with soul comforting food brings a sweet satisfaction to my heart.

I hope your Thanksgiving, whether it be with many or a few, begins with giving thanks to God for the many blessings He has given you.

It's been way too long since I've shared a tablescape, so I thought I would take this opportunity to do just that. Thanks to my honey for taking the pictures. I'll be sharing these with the gals over at Susan's between naps on the porch for Tablescape Thursday just as soon as I can.

This year I was inspired to create a metallic looking table for our shared meal.

Click on any picture to take you to a larger view

The ladies who frequent Tablescape Thursday like to know where to get the items on the dining table.  I'll let you know, it's easier to just start by saying almost all of these items are from Pier 1, my absolute fav place for inspiration.

I enjoy using glass charms. That way everyone can know which is their glass.

These napkin rings will most likely be showing up in a lot of my tables. I can see how they lend themselves to several "looks". I especially like the pop of red against this metallic table setting.

 The detail is fantastic! Yeah, I'm liking these.

This little bird was just the right "something" for this simple floral arrangement.

Sequins and iridescent beads add just a touch of bling to this otherwise simple setting.

 Neutral floral accented with rhinestones keep this glamorous without going overboard.

The layers of the place setting. The soup bowl was a purchase from Marshall's a couple of years ago and the luncheon plate is from Ikea from many years ago.

These Pier 1 pumpkins were just the right touch of fall for this setting. Although this year Thanksgiving brings us winter weather. 

 I had originally intended our table to be monochromatic neutrals in varying shades of white, but this Pier 1 vase was an inspiration for an entirely different feel. I'm so glad I found it!

I needed just a little more... "something" when I first set this table. These dewy leaves added just the right amount of color and I love how the red ones pull out the color in the napkin rings.

And great grandma's buffet didn't get left out in the cold. This arrangement had all the elements to tie in beautifully with the table.

Another pumpkin and leaf to compliment the scaping.

This picture was taken before we got another round of snow, so it at least looks like fall instead of the winter scene that is outside right now. 

I hope you enjoyed our table, and I pray your heart is filled with thanksgiving.  Blessings on you and yours.  Happy Thanksgiving!