Jenny Mustard


Do you know Jenny Mustard?  She’s so much fun! I love watching her videos about minimalism on YouTube.

I don’t know Jenny personally, of course, and my life is nothing like hers but somehow I sense she has a good heart in that healthy body she’s currently walking around Germany.  She hails from Sweden.

Jenny is a vegan, as is her husband, David.  I’d like to head in the vegan direction, but I have a long way to go before I can say I’m meat and dairy-free.  I am working on being more natural and homemade, and whole foods in my kitchen, though.

I made homemade no knead artisan bread this week, and it was sooo, sooo yummy!  Nothing like the wonder bread that I am forced to buy when shopping my regular super markets in NEPA.  I’m planning a whole grain version of the no knead bread this weekend.  I hate to knead yeast breads, and I love the holes that fill the chewy slices when no kneading is done before the baking begins.  Really chewy and wonderful!!

Today, I decided to share one of Jenny’s vlogs here, so that you can know her too.

Again, I love her heart!  Enjoy!!

A Week of Being Honest

000blmg onion

Dinner last night: Grand Fail!

The good news: I learned a lot from it.

We went out for Veteran’s Day, celebrating hubs service to his country and our family.

Thank you, Bob! You’re the bravest man I know.  Muahhh!

Our restaurant of choice was offering a free onion to all vets. Yum, my hubs love them. Little did I know that thing had 649 calories.

Yikes! What?! No kiddin’?!!!  Ugh!!!!!!

And if that was not enough, I went on to have a bowl of soup, a roll, steamed broccoli (108 calories, really?!) and 2 small pieces of chocolate candy. Actually, I ate the candy before we left the house, because I had eaten a very light lunch and didn’t want to have low sugar symptoms while we waited for a table.

Interject here some helpful info about the onion place.  If you call ahead, their rule is that you won’t wait more than 20 minutes to be seated once you enter the restaurant, regardless of the normal wait time.  We called ahead, and although I was skeptical, the did seat us on the 20 minute mark. Good job, OSH!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled post:

When all the eating was done for the day, I calculate I swallowed a whopping 2,149 calories yesterday.

Who knew. It didn’t feel like a lot going down. 😉

I’m trying to look at this in a positive way today.

My goal for this week was to honestly record real values concerning what I ate. I’ve struggled with food lately, too much, so I decided it was time to get real about what I was actually putting in my pie hole.  The holidays are coming soon and there will be lots of opportunities to sample, bite, munch, and devour delicious recipes made by many, so I’m concerned. I don’t even want to think about how many calories are in most people’s Thanksgiving meals. And Christmas munching, forget about it!

I needed to take stock of what I was doing before the holidays began to unfold.

I’m not happy about the number of calories I ate yesterday, but I’m glad I’m counting them. An honest inventory of my behavior with food helps me course correct. I’m all about change these days, so having a better handle on what I’m doing is a good, good thing. This is the only way I’ve found to stop eating too much.

I hope your Veterans Day was an opportunity for you to spend quality time with your sweetness.  If your hon is not a veteran, I hope you found a veteran and thanked him or her for the service they provided while in our military.  America is strong because of their sacrifice.

If you’re reading this and you’ve served in some capacity to secure my freedom–THANK YOU!

I’ll end with a picture of my veteran as a babe in arms.  Sooo long ago.  When the world was young…

Firming up the Jiggles, and Giggling

Just popping in quickly this afternoon to report the progress I am making with the bike and some weight training I am doing.


As you know, some time ago I bought a recumbent bike.  Since that time I have been using this baby to vamp up my exercise program.  Some days I do thirty minutes on the beast; some day I do more. I feel especially accomplished when I am able to do an hour on the bike, but most days it is thirty minutes for me and I’m done.

I am amazed at how quickly I have felt the rewards of my consistent workouts on the bike.  My pants are looser (I can most feel the difference in my pant legs).

What a shame.  I “might” have to buy more new clothes.  😉

Honestly, though, the bike is not enough to make my weight fluctuate much, so I have been thinking about what more I could do until the cold, harsh winds subside.

Enter:  The Female Body Breakthrough.

I had heard about this book from Lori at Finding Radiance. I was inspired by posts that show what she is doing each week.  I know that with my lower back problems I could stand to strengthen my core, and with my desire to do more kayaking this summer, I need to buff up my upper body strength. This program seemed like a naturally good place to start.

I bought the Female Body Breakthrough book on and it came in the  mail a week ago. I would have begun the program then, but I always have to have time to absorb things before jumping into the deep end of the pool, so to speak.  I read a little and planned a little, and dreamed a little, and was almost ready to begin when I fell on Sunday. Ugh!  That set my start time back a little, but last night I did my first exercises from the book.  I was amazed at what I was able to do, and yet humbled by the fact that what I thought was Phase 1 exercises turned out to be the warm-up section of the book.


If I was this winded doing the warm-ups, what would the real exercises do to me?

Today, I have been consciously aware of how different my body feels.  Really different–like everything that jiggles is now a “little” firmer.  The bad side of firming things up is that not all areas firm at the same rate or time.  Right now, I am not happy with these pockets of fat hanging off my upper thighs.  I’m hoping they will shrink soon, but until then I intend to sweat it out a couple of times a week with this set of warm-up exercises, until I can actually move on to Phase 1.

Soon–REALLY SOON, RIGHT?–it will be warm enough to walk outside.  I can’t wait!  Yesterday was the first official day of spring, and I heard birds chirping, so I am hopeful that soon, really soon, right, I can get out there and enjoy a power walkgood, down some country road.

Until then, I will keep doing what I’m doing and keep feeling good about it.

What are you doing in preparation for spring and warm weather?  Do you weight train regularly?  What is your favorite toning exercise?

My Empty Sugar Bowl


My sugar bowl is empty.  I’ve quit filling it. That’s right, I have voluntarily quit filling the sugar bowl at my house. Over the years, I can’t imagine how many bags of white sugar have been poured into this bowl and then scooped out by my family, one tablespoon at a time (when we weren’t just dumping the contents into our already sugared cereal bowls).  No more!  These days while I may use white sugar for some things, and yes, I do still have it in the house, I don’t use it for sprinkling on top of foods, or adding to my coffee, or tea, or hot cocoa.

Quitting white sugar that once poured forth freely from my sugar bowl is just one of the changes I have made in order to regain my health and lose unwanted pounds.

Other changes include:

Weighing myself daily.

Buying a new exercise bike.

Putting in 30 minutes of more on the bike five times a week.

Reporting my food to my food sponsor.

Starting this blog.

What are you doing to enhance your weight loss efforts?  What has been your best strategy for losing weight and keeping it off? 

Guilt and Chicken Wings

000chicken wing-close upLast time I checked in with you guys, I was dealing with guilt over eating 2 small squares of pizza and 2 chicken wings. 

Some of you might say, “Come on. Grow up.  Really?  You ate that much and you’re guilty about it?”

Yep, I am.  I’m also nervous about it.  Nervous because I know me and food.  We have a love/hate relationship that spans decades.

I’m concerned whenever I stray from the food plan I have for myself. That plan was put into place so that I might achieve health and fitness goals that NEED to happen in my life.  However, I’m also aware of the need to remain calm when a decision is made to go off plan, and to analyze why I did it, and what it cost me.

In any attempt to determine what Saturdays pizza and wings cost me, I decided to create a mock-up of what my pizza slice looked like.  I wanted to create a visual for what I truly ate, instead of depending on my imagination or eyeballing to inform me.  I wanted a reality check, so I got out a piece of paper and I began to record what I originally thought was a small piece/square of pizza.

My first attempt was to draw a rectangle that was 2×4″ in size.

I looked at that rectangle and immediately knew my square was bigger than that.

I put another inch on the long end of the rectangle. Now we were getting somewhere.

It still looked smaller than what I remembered eating, so I drew another half-inch onto the side of the rectangle.

Better, but was it right?  Was the slice I ate really that small?

I turned the rectangle side ways.

I picked the paper up and put it to my lips.

Was that the size of the piece I had eaten on the weekend?  It seemed right, or at least close.

Problem is: I ate two “squares” of pizza on Saturday.  Two squares that size, plus 2 chicken wings and a cup of hot tea.

Searching the internet to determine the calories in this serving of lunch was not easy.  From what I could tell, 2 mild buffalo chicken wings is about 110 calories (for both), and a slice of cheese pizza from a small pizza is calculated at 130 calories each, so that’s what I will go with per slice for my pizza eaten (although I am pretty sure I ate less than that, seeing how my slice was smaller and I gave part of the crust to the cat).

The difficulty with knowing how dense the calorie load is with processed foods is evident here, which is why I have moved away from consuming many processed foods. Plus, I don’t like the chemical load I get with much of what I find in already-handled-for-you foods, pizza included. Who knows how much oil they put in the dough, on the dough, or in the sauce when they made that pizza.  And forgetabout the oil in the cheese “product” they slathered on top.

My lunch on Saturday cost me conservatively between 370 and 550 calories.


And when you add in the emotional response I had to eating that little bit of food, the total is much larger.  Plus, it didn’t fill me, and I had to get through the afternoon with cup after cup of hot tea, so that I would not eat again until supper.

Keeping this weight off is not easy.  Losing more weight is not easy.  Staying away from fast food pizza and wings is not easy.  It is worth it, but it’s not easy.

Today, I have declared a wheat-free Wednesday for me.  I’m still trying to escape the damage done on Saturday, and really through the entire weekend.  With company in town, I could have done better. Thank the Lord, one of the wee ones in the house this weekend loves veggies and fresh fruit. I tried to hang with him and soak up his vegetarian ways.  He does like pizza, too, though.  Don’t we all?!


No Junk July

food wrappers

A few weeks ago I read the blog of a gal who was trying to make her way through No Junk June.  I’m not sure if No Junk June was her idea or if it is a national push toward eating right and escaping the scourge of fast food during the month of June, but it sure sounded good to me. Since I was half way through June when I came upon this gal’s blog, I decided I couldn’t take up the challenge in June, but July might be a good time to try something different.  I’d been moving closer and closer to a whole food plan for months, but still had a few niggling habits with soft serve ice cream I needed to work out.

For some reason, ice cream and summertime are inseparable in my mind.

Anyway, I am two days into No Junk July and feeling pretty good, but I’m not sure how great I’m doing.  I had a sub for lunch today.  Grilled Chicken on Whole Wheat.  It was loaded with veggies, and the chicken was real, but what about the bread?

I have to decide if I’m going to classify a roll made by others as fast food.  Today, I say NO, it is not fast food. Tomorrow I may change my mind.  Here’s the thing though, I don’t bake bread, so unless I eat bread that someone else has made, I can’t eat any bread while I’m eating my way through No Junk July.  I can’t see that working for me, so for now bread stays on the list of wholesome foods to eat, and not junk.

I will limit how much bread I buy and consume during July, but I will not forfeit bread eating all together.

I eat very little fast food at this stage in my healthy development.  I do have the occasional soft serve (see earlier admission of this guilty pleasure), and I had been drinking coffee with artificial sweeteners.  Until yesterday–that’s when I classified artificial sweeteners as fast food for this month and decided I will not be partaking.

Oh, boy, can I do this?

I will definitely be seeking out different brands of coffee to consume during July, so that I can curb the bitter and increase the smooth taste I want in my brew.  Without cream and sugar, coffee is a whole ‘nother beast, so wish me well as I make the switch from light to dark, and robust to smooth.

No Junk July means I will have to tweak my Saturday morning “me time”.  Usually on a Saturday, I escape the day-to-day grind of making a living and crawl off to a dark corner somewhere to be alone and read, write, and get ready for a class I facilitate on Sundays.  Not having my creamy sweet coffee to escape with will be hard.

Maybe I should side step the coffee all together and go all tea for July. We’ll see.

Wish me well as I begin this July adventure, free of the junk.  I’m hoping to report that all went well by month’s end. I will be continuing to follow all my regular bloggers and find encouragement from them while I’m trying this.  So glad to be doing this with their help.  Together, we get better!

Tossing My Cookies, I Mean Cabbage


cookie with shadesDo you ever worry about food at your house going to waste, or not being eaten by the time it begins to go bad, or lying around in the pantry long past the expiration date on the container? I do and I did for years. There is a decided difference in how I handle this problem today that is not at all how I handled it ten years ago, or even five years back.

I throw it away.

You heard me right. When food is expired or expiring in my house now, I throw it away. I don’t eat twice what I need, I don’t slightly fresh foods, and I don’t try to push food on others who don’t want it, don’t need it, or don’t like it.

Instead, I throw it away.

I give myself permission to throw it away, because I know that tossing it is healthier for me and my wallet than eating more.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about those old habits I had with expiring foods, before I got clean. It’s a wonder to me that I don’t still think the way I once did about them. Used to be I would say, “Oh, what a shame.  If I don’t eat that, it’s going to go to waste.”

Now I say, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” always making sure my back is to the trash can.

I’m not crazy, after all, just getting tough with food.

I like the decided change I’ve made with my eating, and I like the fact that I’m losing weight again.  I may have hit on the right combination for me to make my body respond as I need it too. I’m hopeful, anyway, and keeping my fingers crossed.  The last thing I want to do at this point (or ever again), is attempt to shove more food down my pie hole at a time when I am finally seeing some progress.

It has been five long months FIVE LONG MONTHS that I have been on this stupid plateau.  Time to change.  Time to toss!

I’m learning that while some foods will always spoil faster than I can eat them and therefore will go to waste, that’s no reason for my waist to expand [and my hips, and my flabby arms, and my thighs…].

This girl is tossing like a Olympiad, and finally seeing some results.  Viva La Garbonage–or however you say that in Spanish.  (I think you say it: basura, but I like Garbonage better.)

What’s that, you say, Mr. Pepper?  No, I won’t be eating you tonight. Say hello to Mr. Garbage Can.  He can’t wait to make your acquaintance!