My Secret Weapon for the Holidays

It’s that time of the year when I switch to eating more winter vegetables, i.e. leafy greens, squash, rutabaga, etc.  With the holiday season upon us, I anticipate my diet will include out of the ordinary foods.  I mean, I will likely have more party foods, sugar, snacks, etc. 😏

I do have a strategy that I use to combat the  deluge of food associated with this season. You do know that the more sweets you eat the more you crave because it is addictive in addition to being delicious, right?  Have you noticed how on the day after you eat a lot of food you tend to be more hungry than usual?

Well, the way I combat this is to KEEP a selection of ready to eat vegetables in my refrigerator so when the muchnies hit.  If you are like me, when the hunger strikes I start rambling through the pantry in search of anything….and before I know it I have wolfed hundreds of calories in a matter of minutes.😩. I don’t even think I realized how many calories I could shove into my mouth in such a short time until I actually started tracking with MyFitnessPal. I was shocked! I easily added 500 to 700 calories (or more) in no time. Those little snacks over time add up to extra pounds.

Soooo … my secret (not so secret, really) weapon is having readily available vegetables. I have several Christmas parties scheduled in upcoming weeks so I decided not to purchase too many groceries this week. Instead I cooked some frozen veggies I had already.

This afternoon after church I made three favorites: okra, green beans, brussel sprouts.

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Whole Okra, Whole Green Beans, Brussel Sprouts

I used to majorly dislike okra until about five years ago.  Now I love them. You know what? If you get a hunger attack, grab a couple cups of vegetables like this, drink some water and wait about 10 minutes, and the hunger subsides.

Vegetables are full of fiber and vitamins….and low calories! Even if you have other snacks afterwards you won’t want to consume nearly as much, therefore, you will eat less calories.

I am pretty basic in my veggie cooking. I use a teeny bit of coconut oil or olive oil in either my cast iron pan or my copper pan. I use a little bit of water because I’m not making soup here. Water seems to wash out all the flavor. I use high heat, cook them fast. So, my veggies stay green, and are done but not mushy. I add a variety of spices: Himalayan salt, fresh ground pepper, ginger, smoked paprika, curry spice mix, and whatever else looks yummy.  By the way, adding spices reduces the need to add a lot of salt.  That’s it. 😊

Anyway, just thought I’d pass this along in case you needed a strategy to help you get through the season.

Peace and love.

Do I Have a Hangover?

I slept for 8 hours and stayed in bed another 2 hours after that, yet still I could hardly drag my tail out of bed this morning. It didn’t seem I was coming down with a cold or anything. I just felt ‘draggy’ …. that is so uncommon for me. Back in the day, I irritated a many college roommates with my sunshiny early morning risings 😊 But this morning …

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I pushed myself up to get ready for church but before I knew it I had plopped down in my big easy chair.

By noon, I was still there but I had realized my problem.

For more than 18 months now I have been eating ‘mostly’ healthy clean food … and over time I’ve developed a natural burst of energy and stamina and I’ve needed only about 6 to 7 hrs of sleep at the most. Yesterday I ate bad ALL DAY LONG … and today I am paying the price for it. It has made me realize how eating good keeps you feeling good and keeps you going!

I hung out with friends all day and had a great time but we ate junk food or such most of the day.  Started out the morning with pumpkin pancakes, eggs, and sausage. Then moved on to fried pies at the Apple Orchard, and ended the day with hot dogs, mac-n-cheese and s’mores over a fire pit….with snacks thrown in. It was all fun and laughter yesterday but today I feel as though I have sludge running through my veins. 😩

My first HANGOVER!!  A ‘food’ hangover!🤢787CB33B-0B32-4C4A-8274-FBCC19F51711

I’m sure I’ve had a food hangover before but when you’ve not had ‘bad’ foods in excess for 18 months you really feel it when you indulge!  I’ve never had alcohol before but if a hangover from alcohol feels worse than what I felt this morning then I can’t even imagine.

This morning I stared out with a lot of water, lemon water with a bit of apple cider vinegar in it…more water…and a green salad for lunch/dinner.  I plan to do intermittent fasting this week to give my body a rest.

Lesson learned for sure. FOOD IS MEDICINE!

The way I see it, I’ve got two choices: eat bad – feel bad, or eat good – feel good.  Well, it’s probably not that simple but eating good food can’t possibly be bad for you in the long run.  Right?

Just wanted to pass along a little real-talk here.

Have a good week…and be safe out there.😘

Jan

 

Good Eats This Week

I have no real purpose for writing this particular blog post other than to show you how pretty and colorful these foods are. 😊

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I am getting back into my fall foods program. During the summer I eat a lot of veggies that aren’t cooked; peppers, salads, carrots, summer squash, watermelon.  However, when the temps start to drop I like cooked veggies, warm soups, and lots of apples.

This week, as you see in the photo I am having: Green Cabbage, Rapini, Asparagus, and Broccoli.  Lots of ‘cruciferous ‘ veggies, which are very good for you.  I just listened to a broadcast this week that stated how broccoli helps fight against cancer.  These four vegetables are at the top of my favorites list.

I also marinated my last two pieces of King Salmon that I ordered from Alaska last Christmas. Boy! Is it delicious. It is going to be a tasty week.

I white vinegar washed and cut up everything after church this morning.

I sautéed all the veggies in a bit of coconut oil, added Himalayan salt, ground pepper, onion, and garlic powder.

What are you having this week??

❤️ & ☮️

 

 

Fall Refresh

It’s Fall!🍁  Time to hit the REFRESH button.

What do I mean??  Well, if you’ve followed this little blog, you know I have purposely tried to eat healthy more often than not. For some reason that is easier to do during Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons, than summer.  The long daylight hours, more physical activity, and hot weather just makes me hungrier.  I eat more; which means I gain pounds usually.  Frankly, healthy eating can get oooold!😒 (Because fattening food is more fun 😂).

This summer I really tried to just maintain. I did eat a few more calories per day, around 1500-1800 per day on average, but I also ‘moved’ more so I guess it all balances out because I lost 3 pounds overall this summer.

I’m that hard stage right now where weight loss is not the real issue, but just staying on a good path, eating food clean food, and moving my body.

Fall is a good time to REFRESH and REFOCUS!

Today I am encouraging and motivating myself so tomorrow, Monday’ I am ready!  I will likely on Monday and Tuesday morning until 1pm drink lemon water, ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar), cayenne pepper, honey just to give my body a rest. (check here for more info on the drink – use your good sense people, I’m no doctor).  Then I eat lots of veggies.  This seems to give my mind and body time to get in sync and detox a bit.

You know I love my veggies and the cooler weather has me thinking about roasted Brussels sprouts, rutabagas, kale, greens, and crockpot soups. Yum!

I just found this information I had saved in my files… good motivation. Food really is medicine!

God's Pharmacy

Over the past 14 months I’ve learned to listen to what my body is saying in terms of cravings. I now know if I am craving certain foods it’s usually due to my food intake being a little unbalanced. This table helped a lot.

Check this out too!  It might help if you need a Fall Refresh as well!

File Apr 23, 9 37 32 PM

Keep up the good work!  Let me know how you are doing!

👍🏽💛🌺🍂

The Next Big Step

I did something that I hadn’t intended to do only a few weeks ago.  As you know (or if you didn’t now you do), over the past year I’ve lost 58-ish pounds so consequently I had a boat load of clothes that were too big; nice clothes too.  Notice I said ‘had’.

Over the months I removed clothes from my closet as they got too big, or I should say, as I shrunk because the clothes didn’t change.😏  I put them in big 33-gallon size lawn bags and stored them in the attic … just in case. In case of what though? … famine, war, natural disasters, financial crisis?? No, in case I crept back up as I’d done before. You who have lost and gained a few times in life know what I mean, right?

Last week, I had sort of a revelation.  Although I DO NOT plan to gain weight ever again, I hung on to my big clothes simply because of fear. The only thing that is different now than all the other times is this time I had a mental change that involved losing weight so I can stay healthy and fit, not to look cute. In other words, my motivation was different. So, keeping the clothes was basically a crutch.  Would a person who broke a leg keep crutches around after the leg was better in case he/she broke their leg again?? Likely not.

I’m no fashionista by any stretch of the imagination.  I like clothes that are somewhat conservative, with a bit of color and flair, and somewhat traditional so I don’t have to buy new clothes each season just to keep up with the styles. I had some nice things in those Lawn and Leaf bags. 😞

Yesterday, I decided to part with them all.

I thought long and hard about what to do with them. I even had some ‘tender moments’ as I inventoried the clothes as I prepared to deliver them.  [COMING CLEAN RIGHT HERE: I had to phone a friend for counseling as I held up some favorite shirts and dresses that no longer fit 😒😊…I recovered quickly though. My friend reminded me that God is my Provider and He has moved me to a new healthy place. So true.]

I was encouraged to keep packing up the stuff and soon my car was loaded with bags of clothes (and a few other things) and off I went. Must. Load

 

After much thought, I decided to give everything to Must Ministries. I learned of this organization through a church I visited, where I met the President of the organization, who was also the Pastor of th church. I was very impressed with all the organization does in the area. They have a donation center where I delivered all my things. I prayed that whoever received the clothes, whether for free or small donation to the ministry, would be humbly blessed.

Driving away, I felt like I’d lost another 10 pounds! It really was a load off of me to get rid of them.  I’m not a pack rat at all (I will blog about my wanna-be minimalist lifestyle at a future time), so getting rid of these things made me happy in multiple ways.  I also had to renew my commitment to keeping this fat off because there were no BIG clothes in the attic… a new daily challenge. Who knows, maybe my current clothes will become my new BIG clothes one day. 😉

Don’t be afraid to take the next step! 🌺

Peace and Love.

Looks Yucky … But Tastes Great 👍🏽

The hardest part of eating healthy for me is keeping the food variety going strong. Once I find a healthy calorie-smart delicious food I tend to stick with it, but after a while even the most fave food can become b.o.r.i.n.g. So, I am always in search of new and different (but not too crazy) foods.

Here are some foods I rarely ate before that are now a part of my regular food list:

  • cottage cheese
  • Spaghetti squash
  • mustard
  • eggs (straight from the farm)
  • riced cauliflower

A couple weeks ago I discovered a new food. Flatout light flat bread! Oh my! It’s perfect!  I eat a lot of red/yellow/orange/green peppers, cubes, sweet onions, and lettuce…basically salad…but after eating so many of them, even I was getting a little bored with them.

FlatoutThese wraps come in plain, wheat, and spinach as far as I know. I bought spinach, and I wrapped up some veggies, tuna salad (made with tuna, a boiled egg and cottage cheese, yes cottage cheese). It looked sorta nasty but great day it was so good.IMG_5886

I’ve since had wraps with egg salad, veggies alone, and turkey breast slices.

Needless to say, I have an extra package of wraps in my freezer. Going to try making a flat bread pizza next.

Let me know if you ever try this product.

Happy wrapping!

Looks Yucky … But Tastes Great 👍🏽

The hardest part of eating healthy for me is keeping the food variety going strong. Once I find a healthy calorie-smart delicious food I tend to stick with it, but after a while even the most fave food can become b.o.r.i.n.g. So, I am always in search of new and different (but not too crazy) foods.

Here are some foods I rarely ate before that are now a part of my regular food list:

  • cottage cheese
  • Spaghetti squash
  • mustard
  • eggs (straight from the farm)
  • riced cauliflower

A couple weeks ago I discovered a new food. Flatout light flat bread! Oh my! It’s perfect!  I eat a lot of red/yellow/orange/green peppers, cubes, sweet onions, and lettuce…basically salad…but after eating so many of them, even I was getting a little bored with them.

FlatoutThese wraps come in plain, wheat, and spinach as far as I know. I bought spinach, and I wrapped up some veggies, tuna salad (made with tuna, a boiled egg and cottage cheese, yes cottage cheese). It looked sorta nasty but great day it was so good.IMG_5886

I’ve since had wraps with egg salad, veggies alone, and turkey breast slices.

Needless to say, I have an extra package of wraps in my freezer. Going to try making a flat bread pizza next.

Let me know if you ever try this product.

Happy wrapping!