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A WEEK OF HABIT

This past week my three teeny, tiny goals were these:

1  Eat oatmeal for breakfast several times.

2  Get to bed early at least twice.

3  Perform some kind of exercise every day.

HOW I DID!

Goal No. 1 EXCELLENT!  I ate my oatmeal several times this week. Not every morning, I’m still working on getting back to that, but several times.  I feel good about how I practiced this habit this week.

Goal No. 2  SCORE!!!  I was able to get to bed early two times this week, and boy, did I need it.  This hot muggy weather is killer, so I was glad to get in my jammies early, turn on the overhead fan, and snooze.

Goal No. 3 FAIL!  Other than moving around in an unorganized way, I have not exercised more than a few minutes this week.  I’m still experiencing a lot of pain in my leg and foot, some of it brought on by all the activity last week, when family was in town and we celebrated at our house.  This one will definitely be going on my list for next week. I need to do better.

RANDOM THOUGHTS I WOULD SHARE AS I ADULT THROUGH LIFE

Work has been tough.  A mixture of busy and boring, with some emotional stuff thrown in for good measure.  I’m not sure how I’m feeling about it all, but I’m trying to remain positive and help where I can.  We have several large projects in the works, with hard deadlines that always makes things interesting.  I sense that others are also, a little on edge.

The big news this week is that my co-worker won a cruise to the Caribbean that was GRAND PRIZE in a weight loss competition sponsored by our local gym.  She lost 34 pounds and beat out the second place entrant by a tenth of a pound.  Woohoo!  Regrettably, she has already returned to some of her previous eating habits. Still, I’m happy for her, and I’m hoping she can maintain the loss long-term.

I shared with you a few weeks ago that a spiritual development group had been recommended to me, didn’t I? I think I did.  Anyway, this group comes highly recommended and will be meeting through the fall and winter of 2016, and into the early spring of 2017.  I’m excited to think about the possibilities with this group, and will be sharing what I learn as I go along, so stay tuned for that.  We begin Sept 12th.

I’m going through another shedding phase with my hair!  My stylist mentioned it to me the other night when I got a trim.  I had noticed it myself, too. She asked that age-old question: Have you been feeling stressed lately?  Well, goodness, yes.  Haven’t we all?  The difference is that sometimes, because I’m so good at pushing the pressure back, my stress levels are only revealed through a loss of hair.  Ugh!  Remedy as I know it:  More early sleep nights, more culling of negativity from my circle of friends, more veggies in my diet, and more water throughout the day.  I think that spiritual reconnect I’ve been looking for from the group scheduled for this fall will help too.  I’m looking forward to that!

Frustration re: Passports.  I’ll finish this update by saying that I found the passport applications and photos I had misplaced, but still have not found our birth certificates.  Where is the world are they?  Only God knows these things.  In the meantime, I wait and keep searching for them. I know I put them someplace. Where, oh where is that place???!!

GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK — THE SAME AS LAST WEEK

1  Eat oatmeal for breakfast several times this week.

2  Get to bed early at least twice.

3  Perform some kind of exercise every day.

When have you found something tucked away in an unexpected place?  When has frustration found you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back to Basics–Sugar and Flour FREE

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Disclaimer:  Photo depicts half-eaten cookie, because hey, I couldn’t resist!

Have you ever thought about the good ole days and remembered something that seemed important to you back then?

That happened to me last week.   I was reminded of the walks I used to take, the eating schedule I used to be on, and the cookies I used to love to eat–they are both flour and sugar FREE!

Then it happened!  I looked over at the counter and there, in plain sight, with brown spots all over them, were two bananas.  It was kismet.  I was fated to make a batch of those cookies I had remembered so fondly only the week before.

For all you who would warn me that I need to lose a few more pounds, so treats are probably the last thing I need, this:

These cookies are full of gluten-free old fashioned oats, with sugar-free applesauce, almond milk, and overripe bananas.  They meet every one of my eating goals and I include them in my daily meal plan, so they aren’t really “treats”.

Here is an All Recipes recipe for the cookies, which is nearly identical to the recipe I use.  The big difference with mine is a lot more cinnamon. I love them spicy!

I will warn you: If you make these cookies, be prepared for them to have a very different consistency than your normal crumbly oatmeal cookie. Without flour or sugar, these kinda resemble the mouth-feel of a rubbery mouth guard.  But hey, at approximately 52 calories in each cookie ( as opposed to 125-175 per cookie with normal oatmeal raisins), you can’t go wrong with these.

Remember what I said the other day:  EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS A TRADE OFF.

These are a good trade-off if you ask me.  Enjoy!!!

What is your favorite cookie flavor?  Can you stop at just one?

 

 

Cravings, Be Gone!

Today I had a thought about my food plan…

For a while, I have been skipping my daily sojourn in search of lunch and instead have been eating my first meal of the day later in the day, beginning with home-made oatmeal at lunch.

I’ve also switched to almond milk, instead of dairy on my oatmeal.

I’ve made sure I have fresh fruit to go with the oats, which already has walnuts in it.

When I baked my last batch of the baked oatmeal, I used half the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for, and it’s still sweet with 1/3 cup of raw sugar added to a 9-10 serving batch.

I replace half of the oil called for in the recipe with natural, no-sugar added applesauce.

I usually put blueberries on top before digging in.

It’s all good tasting, good for me, and a slow-acting infusion into my blood stream that results in lower BGLs and its helping me stop the cravings!!!!

What I realized today is that not getting in the car, not searching for lunch when I’m already hungry, and not eating something sugar-laden or factory-made (ie: highly processed foods), is helping me help myself.

Used to be, the time between lunch and dinner was my hardest time with food. It was that time of the day when I craved a snack the most.  I think it was more about boredom than hunger, but nonetheless, in the afternoon was when I wanted to get in trouble with food.

I talked with another compulsive over eater this week, discussing plans for eating boring foods at supper in an effort to quit the mind games we COEs suffer from.  The way this individual sees it, planning a supper that doesn’t include “favorite” foods, even if one can eat them other times, provides for a more tranquil day.  I’m in!!!

Serenity now, instead of in some distant fantasized time!  Sounded good to me!

It made sense, and this afternoon I realized that I had been doing the very same thing, but in my own way.  Ha!  Together, we get better!

Do you have a specific time, day or night, when you want to eat more than you need?  What tactics have you employed in order to fight back against food cravings?

Here is my Baked Oatmeal recipe again…

Lori’s Baked Oatmeal

2/3 cup raw sugar (I cut sugar in half, but recipe calls for this amount)
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup no sugar added applesauce
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
3 cups old fashioned oats

Raisins and walnut, as desired (I add a handful of nuts and half handful of raisins.
Directions: Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add the fruit and nuts, mixing well. Spray an 8X8 pan with Pam and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
I take it out when the top is a little brown, but if you want, you can finish at 30 minutes.
Serve warm or pack it for lunch. Its incredibly satisfying and good for you!
Makes 9-12 servings

ThreeGoals-AlternativeHappy Thursday! 

It’s time to pony up to the blog and report on my three teeny, tiny goals this week.

What I proposed to do this week was eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning, do nine minutes of exercise first thing each morning and spend ten minutes researching and/or creating an action plan for eating that would help me reduce my caloric intake to 1500 calories per day before the end of 2015.

How I did…

Goal No. 1 Pretty well.  I ate oatmeal for breakfast 6 out of the 7 days I set out to do so this week, with one day eating off plan.  I can’t even remember what was happening that morning, but I am giving myself an atta-boy for staying true to my goals even while vacationing with my ladies.  While there was lots of yummy stuff to eat for breakfast while we were away, I made sure to put oatmeal down my pie hole, because I said I would.

Yay–feeling good about Goal No. 1.

Goal No. 2 Pretty well.  I did my 9 minutes every morning, save one.  That morning I did exercise, but not for the full 9 minutes.  I hurt that morning and I had the wee ones at our house.  I had to reserve my strength for later in the day, when we visited Mt. Pisgah State Park and enjoyed the festivities there. At lunch time that day we laughed so hard that J could barely catch his breath.  He loves to enjoy life.  What a blessing to have him near for a few days.  He and A make me smile when thinking of them, let alone spending time with them.

I also walked several days while on vacation, and moved a lot more than usual.

Goal No. 3 was a near FAIL.  I only researched recipes for two days out of this week, instead of the every day schedule I was shooting for.  I was on vacation part of the week, though, so that definitely affected my goal.  I could not get my notebook to work while on the road, so while I had to lug it with me everywhere I went, I could not get it to connect when I wanted it to.  I am replacing that albatross soon!

I will say I am finding myself a tad bit resistant to doing what is necessary to make Goal No. 3 a sustaining habit.  Why?

I’m frustrated with myself that I can’t easily achieve this goal, but I’m not giving up, and I’m not beating myself up over my results this week. No way!  I will double down and tweak this goal to make it even teeny, tinier.  Maybe that will work. We’ll see.

My Three Teeny, Tiny goals for this week will be as follows:

1. I will again exercise for 9 minutes each morning before doing anything else.

2. I will eat oatmeal for breakfast this week.

3. I will figure out why I am resistant when it comes to having a better plan in place for dinner time.

This week I am on the hunt for identifiable distractions, hindrances, and road blocks to attaining this goal.  I will review with someone what I discover and ask them to give me their opinion on how I can better adapt myself to this goal of eating 1500 calories per day before the end of the year.

Some observations I am making as I go along the way:

I can feel my leg muscles toning as I am doing my morning exercises.  It’s such a good feeling to realize that this teeny, tiny amount of time spent stretching and moving each day is making a difference in my body.  Even small changes add up over time!

As I work to achieve my goals each week, I can feel habits being formed.  I’m experiencing more compelling reasons to press forward with my goals, and I’m feeling less antsy about when I will finally be able to say I have developed a life long habit with any particular behavior.

I’m feeling more empowered in my personal life, and therefore, more willing to put in the time and effort it takes to see habits develop.

I can see change occurring, and that inspires me to keep at it and do even more to get healthy and stay healthy, one day at a time.

I am beginning to once again call SATISFACTION my close friend and neighbor!

What teeny, tiny thing have you done recently that made all the difference in your life or the life of another?  How have you celebrated victories over complacency in the past?

Meatless Monday-Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Walnuts

000baked-acorn-squash_1One of my favorite foods is acorn squash with brown sugar and walnuts. Squash done this way is my go-to for vegetable deliciousness during the winter months especially, but in the summer too. In the summer, I’m more likely to cook the squash in the roaster, out on the front porch, cuz who wants to fill the house with heat when it’s already hot outside?  Not this girl.

Yep, we bake this way in the hills of NEPA!

I do not grill, but I bet there is a recipe out there for acorn squash on the grill.  I’m sure there is.

This dish is so easy and so very tasty, and it can be done by almost anyone.

Here is my method for roasting the squash in the oven. I’ve never timed it in the front porch roaster, but 35-40 minutes is my usual cook time no matter how I roast it.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Cut acorn squash(es) in half vertically, from stem to stern (top where the stem grows out of the ground, to the pointy bottom).  Scoop out the seeds and toss them, unless you like to roast them. They are edible, but I don’t bother with roasting them.  Now, on a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash cut side down; cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 40 minutes.The foil tent helps to steam them, so they are done quicker.

While squash are roasting, prepare the filling you will use to sweeten them (although they don’t really need this step, they are delicious without sugar, too).  Mix together some butter, some brown sugar and some walnut meats; amounts depend on how buttery or sugary you want the end product.  I use less butter and more nuts for mine, and natural sugar instead of brown sugar.  Experiment with a couple squash innards and see how sweet you like yours.  What you add to the mix really depends on what you like.  Raisins, craisins, and dried cherries can be added, as can rice, but remember that then your squash will have added calories.  For that reason alone, I refrain most times.

Plus, hubs doesn’t like raisins or craisins, but he loves him some squash, so I like to make it the way I know he will like it.

Once the time is done for roasting the squash, flip each half over and add some part of the butter/sugar/walnut mixture to the cavity that has been previously salted and peppered.  Put the squash back in the oven for 5 minutes and you’re ready to enjoy a sweet treat that is also good for you.

Note: you probably could use Splenda on the squash to cut the sugar, but I like my acorn squash without artificial sweeteners, and I don’t eat them every day, so I splurge and add the natural sugar crystals to my mix.

Enjoy!!!

After Thanksgiving Thankfulness

I didn’t gain any weight during the Thanksgiving Holiday!

In fact, I came out of the holiday weighing exactly what I did going into it, and this morning I weighed less.

Woohoo! This is great news for a recovering COE!

How did I do it? 

I measured everything I ate.

I made sure I invested myself in other people.

I kept up with my 30 in 30 exercise regimen.

I burned added calories by playing with babes on the living room floor at my brother’s house.

I tried a new technique when making pie, but I also made a choice to forego one particular favorite food of mine–a fav filled with sugar.  I can honestly say that I didn’t miss it, although I thought I would, and my blood sugar wasn’t sent into the stratosphere by partaking of it.  Plus, there were no leftovers of forbidden fruits.

I thought I would share with you a few pics from my Thanksgiving Day celebration.

A picture of the pie–it really did turn out great!

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Don’t you love those fox salt and pepper shakers? So cute

 

 

 

My younger son likes apple crumb topping on his pie, while my hubs likes as much flaky crust as he can get with his.  I decided to shoot for both, and used a dish towel set on a slice of tin foil, covered with two pot holders to weigh the pie down on the top as it cooled.  For those of you who like to cut corners by folding your dough in, rustic-style, this method prevented the top crust from cooling high above the filling, a no-no in my play book.  The pie turned out nicely, and I was very excited about that–probably more than pie crust warrants, truth be told. 😉

I also wanted to share with you a picture of me and my love. I call this Winter Blush. DSC_1850

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving where you are, that you didn’t gain ten pounds after the dinner meal, that you had a lil bit of snow to play in after eating, and if you don’t celebrate the holiday, that you were able to celebrate a personally happy and healthy Thursday!  Mine was blessed beyond belief.

Thank you, Lord.  Change is possible!