Eggggg-cellent!

Ha! That title so corny, but it cracked me up [pun intended] 😂 Seriously, I’m about to discuss eggs… just in case my corny introduction has failed. 😏

I remember back when the poor little egg got a very bad rap for the cholesterol it contains. Everyone treated the egg like it suddenly got “cooties” and I’m sure ‘somebody’ made a whole lot of money ….. but it wasn’t egg farmers.  Thousands of yolks went down the drain and the world of bland egg white omelets was born. *blech*.

I wasn’t a huge egg eater anyway, and my cholesterol levels were toward the low end at the time anyway so I paid little attention to how many eggs I had in my diet.

Fast forward years later, I run across an article from a doctor who was touting eating up to 12 eggs a day for health.😳🤔  Then I started seeing more and more egg promos.  So, why the gradual fading of the Scarlet ‘E’?  I don’t know.

deviled eggs

Anyway, a year ago when I started focusing on my health, I needed a good protein sources that didn’t involve a lot of beef and chicken. Eggs seemed to be the way to go, but I wondered about their benefits or risks.

I found a newsletter on healthline.com (Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Eggs)  that pretty much sums up what a lot of other articles stated. You can read it here.   The following is an excerpt from the newsletter.

********************************************
1. Eggs Are Incredibly Nutritious
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. A single large boiled egg contains :
Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
Folate: 5% of the RDA.
Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
Selenium: 22% of the RDA.

Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.
This is coming with 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats. Eggs also contain various other trace nutrients that are important for health.

2. Eggs Are High in Cholesterol, But They Don’t Adversely Affect Blood Cholesterol
It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol. In fact, a single egg contains 212 mg, which is over half of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg. However… it’s important to keep in mind that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood (4, 5).

3. Eggs Raise HDL (The “Good”) Cholesterol
HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein. It is often known as the “good” cholesterol (9). People who have higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and various health problems (10, 11, 12, 13).Eggs

4. Eggs Contain Choline – an Important Nutrient That Most People Don’t Get Enough of

Choline is a nutrient that most people don’t even know exists. Yet, it is an incredibly important substance and is often grouped with the B vitamins.

5. Eggs Turn LDL Cholesterol From Small, Dense to Large, Linked to a Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

LDL cholesterol is generally known as the “bad” cholesterol.  It is well known that having high levels of LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease (19, 20). But what many people don’t realize is that there are subtypes of LDL that have to do with the size of the particles.

6. Eggs Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Antioxidants That Have Major Benefits For Eye Health

7. In the Case of Omega-3 or Pastured Eggs, They Lower Triglycerides as Well

8. Eggs Are High in Quality Protein, With All The Essential Amino Acids in The Right Ratios

Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body. They’re used to make all sorts of tissues and molecules that serve both structural and functional purposes. Getting enough protein in the diet is very important and studies show that currently recommended amounts may be too low.

Well… eggs are an excellent source of protein, with a single large egg containing 6 grams.

9. Eggs do NOT Raise Your Risk of Heart Disease and May Reduce The Risk of Stroke
For many decades, eggs have been unfairly demonized.

It has been claimed that because of the cholesterol in them, they must be bad for the heart. Many studies published in recent years have examined the relationship between egg consumption and the risk of heart disease.

10. Eggs Are Highly Fulfilling and Tend to Make You Eat Fewer Calories, Helping You to Lose Weight

Eggs are incredibly fulfilling. They are a high protein food… but protein is by far the most fulfilling macronutrient (47).

Eggs score high on a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures the ability of foods to induce feelings of fullness and reduce subsequent calorie intake (48).

[Above excerpt from Top 10 Benefits of Eating Eggs]

********************************************

My Personal Experience with Eating Eggs.

For most of my adult life, my cholesterol was in the range of 170 – 200, even when I had put on excess weight.  I was good with that. So when I lost 57 lbs over the year, I was excited to see how my cholesterol changed.Yes, I ate a lot more eggs.  Each Sunday I boiled 6 eggs and ate them over the week.  I didn’t think that was so many. I usually have one in the morning for breakfast with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.  It satiated me and kept the hunger away for a while.

Last week I had my cholesterol checked; one year ago it was 201.  This week it was ….. 230!!!!!   …. even after losing weight!   I told the nurse my weight loss journey.  She looked over my numbers and explained that even though my number was high, a doctor would not likely put me on any meds because my HDL (good cholesterol) was 71!!!!  about double what they like to see, and my LDL (bad cholesterol) was low.  Most important she said was that my overall ration was 3.2, which is lower than the <4.7 ratio they like to see. 🙂

So,  even though  it was high, it was high because of the elevation of all the good cholesterol I now have.  Interesting huh?

I’m no doctor so I don’t know how to explain this any better than I have already. I’m NOT advocating that YOU go out and eat a dozen eggs per week. I’m just sharing what happened to me….and passing along some info.

Anyway…. Happy crackin’!

Peace and Love! ❤
 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Total Solar Eclipse: August 21, 2017

Eclipse 2017

😳😳 NEVER LOOK AT THE PARTIAL PHASES OF OR TOTAL ECLIPSE WITHOUT PROPER EYE PROTECTION! 😳😳

I went to Fernbank Science Center this week and learned some interesting facts about the coming eclipse. Yes, I could have learned the same information by Googling it but that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun and interactive as sitting in a planetarium with friends and youngsters having a live Georgia Tech astronomy student narrate the whole thing.

Here are some of the things I learned, in addition to…

😳😳 NEVER LOOK AT THE PARTIAL PHASES OF OR TOTAL ECLIPSE WITHOUT PROPER EYE PROTECTION! 😳😳 ….. did I say this already??🤔

• On August 21 a total solar eclipse event will happen in North America stretching from the west coast in Salem, Oregon ending in South Carolina.


• The last time an eclipse crossed from west to east was 99 years ago! …and get this… the last time a total eclipse was seen only in the United States was in 1776!!!


• The last one in the USA was 38 years ago.


• Ten (10) states will be in the path of totality … meaning folks in the 65 mile wide path of totality will get to see the eclipse in its fullness.


• The whole event only lasts a couple of minutes or so … or less. Millions of people are within an hours drive from having a great view of it.

… for other interesting facts, Google is your friend. 👍🏽 (lots of info is on the Internet)

One last thing…. Seriously, did I say this already?

😳😳 NEVER LOOK AT THE PARTIAL PHASES OF OR TOTAL ECLIPSE WITHOUT PROPER EYE PROTECTION! 😳😳 ….. did I say this already??🤔

… in other words…

If you look at this eclipse without proper eye protection (glasses made specifically for viewing an eclipse), then this eclipse could be the very last thing you will ever see clearly in your natural life… a.k.a blindness.

P.S. I will probably watch it on television. 😏

Eating Out … Then Eating Right

The past month of my life included more than usual travel. Some for business and some for pleasure; some in planes and some in cars.

It also included a whole lot of eating out.  I’m not fond of eating out on a regular basis because restaurant food tends to have ‘more’ … more sodium, more fat, more sugar, and just plain more food. I chose carefully but still ate more than I usually do so I am glad to be home.

After a grocery store run this morning, my refrigerator looks normal again. I’m looking forward to eating mostly fresh vegetables, fruit and a bit of protein.  Mainly because after eating out so much I feel … sluggish and … sleepy. It’s amazing how energetic I feel when I eat better. I really need not slip back into bad eating habits too; it’s sooo easy to do. The more junk I eat the more I crave. After a year of good eating, I rarely had cravings…but the last few days I have craved all kinds of stuff…and caved too. 😣  Oh well, the key is to get back on track right away.

So, this is what the meals this week will include:

1. Lettuce – 2 heads of Green Leaf and 3 small bunches of Romaine lettuce 🥗

2. Red, yellow, and orange peppers

3. Cucumbers🥒

4. Onions

5. Watermelon🍉

6. Cherries🍒

7. Nectarines

8. Yellow summer squash

9. Organic carrots (organic) – *more about this later

10. Breakfast will probably be a boiled egg 🥚 and cottage cheese ( sounds nasty but is actually pretty good and a good hit of morning protein).

Lunch and/or dinner will include these foods along with a ton of water and a couple mornings of fasting.

Regarding the carrots, I don’t buy organic veggies unless they are on sale except for carrots (I buy whole carrots in the bag).  I wash everything in vinegar water. CarrotsHowever, I’ve noticed something about some non-organic carrots; they have little to no taste compared to organic carrots. Plus, non-organic carrots get slimy after a couple days when I cut them up. Organic carrots taste so good and carrot-y. 🥕🥕🥕

A couple summers ago I jarred my cut vegetables and it worked out nicely. Last year I was too lazy to do it and I was busy eating too much junk and gaining weight. 😏

I decided to use jars this week.

IMG_5773

…. oh, also having pitted prunes… because I like them. Haha!

Tomorrow is Sunday, a good day to get back on track.

Be Inspired!

☀️

Jan

 

 

The Not-So-Funny Thing About Fat

July 6, 2017 was a year since I started changing how and what I ate.  I didn’t know for sure what would happen physically, but I knew I needed to gain control of myself in a way that could be for the rest of my life. I had no intention of blogging about it, as a matter of fact, I didn’t even tell anyone initially; I just started making small changes after the first three or four days of detoxing. Boy, that was hard.

One year and 57 lbs later (that’s a good rate I think for myself; just over 1 lb per week average) I feel I have some control but it’s still about daily choices . I’m sure the loss will be slower in the following weeks and should stop completely in about 6 to 8 months, simply because I would have to eat less than 1000 calories per day to keep losing.  I don’t plan to do that; the goal is to be healthy, not sick.

I only started to blog about my eating changes after getting numerous emails and texts about what I was doing.  The weight loss was being noticed. I was mainly focused on my health. I didn’t necessarily want to put it all out there on the internet but I wanted to be an encouragement to anyone who needed it. It is hard work people! Much encouragement is needed … from anywhere.  Blogging can put one in a vulnerable place but I’m willing to risk it if there are people out there who will read the blog and can get another boost to keep going. I know when I started it gave me great hope to see others who were eating healthier and on the same path and struggle as I was.

So, a whole year has passed.  I have never watched my health habits for such a long stretch but like I said in an earlier post, my motivation this time was to BE HEALTHY,  the weight loss was a nice benefit. You probably noticed that I haven’t put any photos of myself on the blog yet.  I have several photos but I mostly posted headshots.

IMG_0758

The not so funny thing is, before losing weight, I really didn’t feel fat, or looked all that fat to myself.  I had a million excuses in my pocket, ready to use any of them when confronted by my own self about my size. They worked for the most part. Lying to oneself is as bad, if not worse than, lying to others… just saying.

Anyway, I can’t say I’ve had setbacks over the past year because my new way of thinking is not about ‘falling off the wagon, and ‘getting back on my diet’…it’s about making choices…and we can all do that…everyday.  I just had to make way more good choices than not so good choices in what I consumed. So, if I had a meal that was a not so good choice, then I made sure to follow it up very closely with very good choices for the next few days. Simple enough.

You notice that I said, not so good choices versus bad choices. What exactly is a bad choice??  In my world, there are none. IMG_0763
I’m not a regimented robot, I’m a human being, and that includes moments when I had foods that were not so good for my body (chocolate cake, pizza, chicken wings) but they were good for my mind and spirit at the time. Also, life offers different occasions where you’ll enjoy some tasty foods. A little bit does not derail you, and it keeps from feeling deprived I’ve found.
Side note: If discipline is and issue and you know you won’t quit till the entire pizza or cake is devoured then you might need to come up with a different strategy for yourself before you take the first bite.

That’s all for now. I hope the bearing of my struggles has encouraged and challenged you to keep a healthy lifestyle as your goal.

P.S. This blog is to encourage myself too. 😏😎

Jan

Taking A ‘Real’ Break

For the past week I have enjoyed time off from working to be with friends and family in my hometown.  I haven’t been back to the place I was born and raised in more than 15 years, and haven’t seen many of the people in as many years or more. Don’t do that people….go visit your family and friends as much as possible.

My life was getting away from me; doing more of what I had to do rather than want to do.  Like many I assume, I work way too much at different jobs and projects…and before you know it life and time slips by. I was thinking, now that I am in my 50’s, I really need to regroup, reorganize, and re-prioritize life. Some things I have to do…like work to pay the bills, but I also need to make sure I ‘stop’, just stop and enjoy the times, places and moments of my life. So, this is what this week was about.

The crowds and madness of airports and flying is not my thing…😳😣 so I took a 15 hour road trip from Georgia to New York. I love being on the road…if/when retirement ever comes my way my dream is to rent a mini-RV a couple months a year and drive the country… exploring all things, writing about it and drawing portraits.  😊🙏🏽 … I might be part nomad and  ‘wanderer.

As I drove through Kentucky, the fields of bluegrass seriously touched my soul. Blue skies and puffy white clouds on the road was the perfect remedy to weeks-on-end of non-stop work and things that had to be done. The closer I got to Lake Ontario the more relaxed I begin to feel as this was my home territory.  I’m not fond of snow any longer but I remember  summers that included humidity, sun, misty rain, chilly nights in July, … ever-changing weather. The saying goes, if you hate the weather in Rochester, wait 10 minutes and it’ll change.

I saw so many parts of my home town…. some beautiful, some not so much…but they are all a part of my memories growing up in the area. Conesus Lake was perfect on the day I visited.

IMG_0721

How did I ever miss going to the Harriet Tubman House when I lived here? It was so inspiring to hear her life story again…an amazing woman for sure.

IMG_0723

Also visited parts of the city where I used to roam around regularly.  Sadly, many parts have deteriorated in the past 15 years as I’m sure has happened in several cities across the country with the decline of the manufacturing industry.

IMG_5251

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also enjoyed attending a surprise birthday party for a sister-friend!  A wonderful time… and let me just put this tray before your eyes😌😋. I was in cookie heaven.  Can you believe these were homemade??

IMG_5434

So now my week of R&R is coming to an end.  I can’t believe I want to stay a while longer. Currently, I am sitting on the back deck of my dear friends’ home, under an umbrella, feet up, viewing the countryside, feeling the breeze and prepping my mind for the journey home. Every other day has involved me criss-crossing the city to visit with everyone I could fit into a day. Today is me chilling.

Quiet. Peaceful. Relaxing. It’s just beautiful y’all.

IMG_0724

Hope you will find a place to rest and relax this summer. Be safe!

Peace, Love, and God’s Blessings on YOU!

Self-discipline: But Who Wants To Do That??

IMG_0714The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. synonyms: self-control

Self-discipline is hard. Let me just put that out there to start; if it wasn’t, more people would exercise it. It’s just plain easier to not exercise, to eat what your body is yelling for, and to engage in all sort of activities that backfire on your own well-being.

Since dropping some pounds I’ve been told that I have a lot of self-discipline. 🤔 I never really thought about it; I guess I do, but I never used it much when it came to food…or not as much as I should have.

After some thought, I would say everyone has some measure of self-discipline if you are managing your life to some sufficient degree. I mean, you must discipline yourself to get up and go to work, pay your bills, manage your stuff, be responsible for your ‘people’, etc.

So here are the three ways I use self-discipline while trying to be healthier:

Self Discipline Strategy #1:

I am NOT a gym rat. I don’t like the smell of gyms, not just the body sweat mustiness, but the smell of all the equipment … the rubbery and plastic-ky smell. I would rather get outside and exercise if it weren’t a million degrees here most of the year. 🙄 I prefer to work my exercise into my life as much as possible, which isnt easy considering my job requires that I sit on my rump 8-10 hours per day.IMG_0715

Fortunately, I work for a great company and have one of the best managers ever and he allows me to telecommute a bit. With that, I have a big counter that is actually standing desk height so I started standing up all day. After a couple of weeks of this I started having leg and back pain (moderation please)…so now I stand for 4 hours then sit. Still great for building core and lower body strength.

I also bought a low-end treadmill that folds up out of my way when not being used. No, I don’t jump on that thing for 3 hrs per day, but I do manage to do 20-30 minutes 3 or so days per week. Don’t laugh! It’s better than nothing and after more than a year I’m still doing it. That is part of the goal….to keep it up long term.

Last, I do floor exercises: leg lifts, stretches, etc, that I got from a PT. They help a lot too.

Self Discipline Strategy #2:

I’ve discovered over the past months that one of the best ways I can control my food intake is to simply talk to myself. I did realize I was doing this until one day I heard myself out loud saying, “OK girl, that’s enough. Stop eating.” 😂. Guess what? It worked. It was like I obeyed my own positive commands. I kept talking to myself, especially in the evenings when I KNEW I didn’t need to eat anything else for the day.IMG_0713 It works, although I have to say it numerous times on occasion. Apparently, there is power in telling yourself what you will or will not do. I’m sure there is some scientific data behind this somewhere based on psychology or religion or something. I’m not even interested in the research of it, I just realize when I know in my brain that I’ve had enough, I sometimes need to tell my body the news. “Just stop girl!” Maybe that is a basic definition of self discipline.

Self Discipline Strategy #3:

It’s so funny when people see me eating regular food, or so-called unhealthy food they seemed all surprised. 😳 😊. People, that’s the whole point. The reason we (I should say ‘I’) struggle is because the first thing one thinks of when dieting or getting healthy or whatever, is what needs to be eliminated from their diet so suffering can take place until defeat kicks in.IMG_0716

That wasn’t my strategy this time. I still go out with my friends, I still eat what I like, I don’t feel like the last year has been a year of deprivation and torture, and I’ve lost 57 pounds so far. I once heard of a man who explained his secret to a major weight loss. He said, “Well, I only eat once slice of bread instead of the whole loaf.” Yep, that’s pretty much the strategy I’ve adopted … sounds like self discipline to me.

That’s all I’ve got for you this evening people so… go talk to yourselves! I just told myself to go get on the treadmill…for 15 mins 😌

Talking About Snacks

I’m back!  I hoped to blog more than I do but … life happens. I’ve been out of town a bit and while away I had a chance to think about blog topics. One thing I thought of was snacks.

If you are like me, snacks often become ‘main meals’. Since I don’t have to please anyone with my culinary talents I tend to eat a lot of random foods and try new (sometimes weird) food combinations.  I thought I’d share some of my favorite snacks.

File Jun 22, 6 52 46 PM

1. DEEP RIVER ZESTY JALAPEÑO POTATO CHIPS:
YAAAASSS!!!  I bet you weren’t expecting this, huh?

This is my #1 favorite junk food snack. I love kettle chips…. but they DO NOT love me (bloating from salt). So, now that I try to eat healthier I don’t eat them nearly as much as I used to.  In the past year I’ve had them twice. So, no harm done physically.

Even though they are not a regular  snack anymore, they stay at the top of the list for my go-to mental health prescription.

2. MINI PRETZELS KNOTS AND MUSTARD:
Something I’ve learned over the past 11 File May 09, 8 19 00 AMmonths is that the ‘crunch factor‘ is an important part of ‘eating’.  Sometimes after eating I still wanted to eat, even though I am satisfied and not thirsty. I figured out that what was missing was the crunch factor.  A hard crunch of a pretzel completely satisfied this need.  So on occasion I will eat pretzels with mustard as a dip.

 I am a HOT AND SPICY mustard girl.  I have some mustard that makes my organs burn but it’s so good; and the best part is that most mustard varieties are only 0 to 10 calories.
2017-03-11 09.10.14

 

Side Note:  This Sweet Hot Mustard right here had me lit up when I first tried it! The first taste is so sweet and just as your brain registers the sweetness the fire hits you and all normalcy vanishes…but it’s so good.

What else is in the buggy that day? … grapefruit, spinach, and lemon ginger tea. 

 
3. FRESH CUT VEGETABLES:
This has become a favorite.  I keep red, yellow and orange cukes and pepperspeppers, and cucumbers in the refrigerator so when I have an attack to eat when I’ve already had a meal, I do not eat anything I’ll regret.  I can eat unlimited amounts of this … guaranteed to be full and satisfied long before I’ve racked up any substantial calorie count. Typically, I sprinkle with salt, pepper and rice vinegar.

 

 
4. APPLES … APPLES …WATERMELON:
These are my two favorite seasonal fruits.  I eat apples all winter and watermelon all summer. Both are good to me and for me.

File May 21, 5 54 52 PM

5. POPCORN (Made on the stove):
I don’t eat microwave popcorn, but I eat lots of popcorn… (filler food). I have one of popcornthose Whirley-Pop Popper that you put kernels in to make popcorn on the stove.  I use a bit of coconut oil and I buy Amish kernels …. taste so good.

Whoever told me about putting Hot SAUCE on popcorn, I’m coming for ya …. that is the BEST SNACKING ever!  Try it!
OK, that’s it.

 

6. BOILED EGG & COTTAGE CHEESE:
I texted this picture to my mother and she Boiled Egg and Cottage cheese snackresponded with one word … “YUCK!” 😂😂

OK, it might not look all that appetizing but it does the trick.  If you need a quick hit of protein and need to stave the hunger, this does it.  The egg is about 70 calories and a 1/4 of cottage cheese is about 50 calories, so for about 120 calories, you get protein and a feeling of fullness.

What more do you want people?  P.S. I don’t even register the calories for the cuke slices…. it’s minimal.

What’s that sprinkled on top?   Cayenne Pepper.  I put it on many edibles; it gives a little kick to your food, boosts your metabolism a bit and it’s good for you.

Now you have to tools to snack and not blow your healthy living goals!