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.

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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.

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.
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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. 

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.


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

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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.


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!

I Tried These 2 New Foods

I’m not the most adventuresome when it comes to trying new foods.  Chances are, if it is slimy, looks like it will attack me as I eat it, or comes out of the ocean (except salmon and sometimes shrimp), I won’t mess with it.

Recently, I tried two new foods though… quinoa and riced veggies (cauliflower). Hmmm… interesting things I discovered about both.

First, the quinoa.  Was walking through Publix and saw this on sale and bought it. Read lots of good things about quinoa, good source of protein, and that it’s a SEED, not a GRAIN, therefore no gluten issues.   Who knew? (I didn’t apparently).


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It looked fairly interesting in the bag, and I thought it would be a good way to ‘feel’ like I was eating pasta, but wasn’t so, I cooked it (just like rice) and surprisingly it was very delicious. The tri-color made it interesting  too.  I believe it comes in black, white and red, or so,etching like that.

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So, I don’t know if it was because I was in such a hurry to try this on the first day or what but the second day I opened the container and saw this😳:

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…are these WORMS??? … I won’t lie, I did have a ‘moment’  🤢

I started Googling like a mad women and discovered that the little wormy-looking things were actually sprouts… it’s a seed, so the cooking process causes the quinoa to germinate! OOOOHHHHHH! I get it now!   Found that to be quite interesting … so I continued to eat it and wasn’t grossed out at all…because it’s like sprouts … I can do that.

The next new thing I tried was Riced Veggies (cauliflower). I’d seen this online too but no way was I going to do all I saw in the video because cauliflower is not one of my favorite vegetables so I figured it didn’t deserve the labor involved in ricing it.  However, while at Kroger I saw this and thought! “Here’s my chance!”

File May 29, 11 52 34 AMIf I liked it, it could be a good substitute for real rice, which I loooove (and rarely eat). So, it went home with me.  It was interesting for sure; looked like rice kind of too.  I cooked it easily enough and added my usual spices ( garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, etc.)  and it was surprisingly very good.

File May 29, 11 51 32 AMNow, I won’t say it ‘tasted’ like rice, however, there is something about the texture and look of it that satisfies (or maybe tricks) your brain to ‘think’ rice …. but only for 20 calories per cup.  I think I can do that too.  😎   There was a recipe on the back for Stir Fry Riced Vegetable.  Yum…I bet if you add some chicken to it, 😋.  I’ll let you know if I try it.

So, there you have it! I recommend both of these.  They’re definitely being added to my list of ‘regular’ foods I like.

Is This Considered ‘Cooking’?

I don’t cook.

That is my standard answer when asked about cooking. However, I think I will have to change that statement because I now cook nearly every week.  Not because I enjoy it, but because I want healthy food in the house. Every Sunday I cook a bunch of stuff and have it for the remainder of the week.  My evenings are typically filled and busy with things I need to get done, so I like to finish my day job, eat, then move on to my projects/commitments.

After stating “I don’t cook” to a person I met recently, she looked at me and said, “Well, what do you eat, do you eat out all the time?”  I’m sure I had a crazy look on my face because in actuality, I DO cook.  I guess in the past I thought of cooking as preparing a meal that included all the food groups for people to eat and survive on.  I don’t do that. I just cook for myself, and there is no one to complain, and no one who has picky food choices, etc.  I cook most vegetables the same way, in a little coconut oil, salt, pepper, and lot of spices … boring but tasty.

So, a typical Sunday includes getting home from church and washing, dicing, slicing, sauteing, steaming food … I guess you call that cooking, huh?

Today, I decided try a new vegetable.  I went to a local farmer’s market and bought Swiss Chard.  I recently watched a video to see how to prep and cook it.  Looked simple enough;  like the way I cook collards, spinach, kale, etc.

Swiss Chard

I gave it a bath (in water, white vinegar and baking soda) along with the other fruits and vegetables I bought today at the market.  Everyone gets a bath, then a vegetable brush scrub – sometimes with dish soap. I know it sounds excessive…. but when I watch all the hands that touch vegetables at the markets its a wonder (if you know me) I don’t come home and throw them into the dishwasher.

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Anyway, I ‘cooked’ the Swiss Chard and it was pretty tasty.  Tastes similar to other green leafy vegetables but with it’s own distinct flavor.  I will definitely add this to the food rotation list.

The way I handle eating healthy, by cooking all at the beginning of the week, might not be for everyone because by Thursday, I am usually completely sick of whatever I cooked; but fortunately it is mostly all gone by the end of the week. I have to have a large number of options because I cook 3-5 veggies per week so I need enough options to rotate.  This week was this:

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  1. Red/Orange/Yellow peppers – I wrote about this in a previous post; a good snack veggie.
  2. Collard Greens – I cheated this week and used bagged ones – I knew I was not going to want to spend all afternoon picking greens.
  3. English Cucumbers – another good snack food
  4. Yellow Squash – I eat a lot of this during the summer.
  5. Swiss Chard – I bought one bunch.  It shrunk down to about 3/4 of a cup.  It was more expensive than I imagined – $2.49/bunch.  I will have to catch this on sale in order to have enough for the week. LESSON LEARNED:  Don’t be afraid to try new foods.
  6. Decided to try Quinoa too – I read it is a great source of protein, which I need because as you see, I didn’t cook any chicken, or other meat for the week. I’m not vegan or anything, it’s just that I had beef twice last week and I’m not craving anything ‘meaty’ so I decided to skip a week of meat and just have eggs, cottage cheese, and quinoa as my protein.  It was pretty tasty. Will likely add this to the rotation about once per month.
  7. Bag of apples – was really inexpensive at the market
  8. and Cantaloupe was on sale; not my favorite but will satisfy the craving until juicy, red, decently priced watermelons arrive.

Before you decide you can’t cook and eat like this all week, fret not, because I don’t either.  This food makes up about 70% of my diet now.

I might throw in a slice of Ezekiel Bread and peanut butter one evening, or I might go out with friends and have a salad with chicken on it … or sometimes I might decide to have popcorn with sprinkled with hot sauce for a snack.  The Sunday cooking is primarily a way to not get caught in a state of being really hungry and going for junk food because I don’t have good food in the house.  It works for me…. might work for you.

Sooooo, maybe I am a cook after all…. but I still wouldn’t count on me to cook a full meal for ya…. unless you want a Veggie Plate. 🙂 

‘All You Can Eat’, That’s Me (For Real Y’all)

Literally, in the lives of mosquitoes everywhere, I am simply known as ‘Golden Corral’ Buffet.  😒

I have no idea why mosquitoes and gnats and every other winged insect is attracted to me. Haven’t been able to attract a brutha in all my natural life but 10 minutes outside and I’m slappin’ myself all over the place because of mosquito love.


I’m going to be ready for these little beasts this year. Growing up, I played outside a lot during summer. By Fall, my arms and legs were scarred and stabbed pretty bad from infected bites. I still get some alarming reactions to bites on occasion.

All this Deet stuff is not for me. Yes, I know it works but I just can’t cover my skin in whatever chemical is in those bottles and cans; it burns, stings, etc.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t – you need to do what works for you. For me, Homemade Bug Balm worked.

I made this recipe late last summer and never really had a chance to use it so it rode in my car all winter until this week. The first night I was outside before dusk working away, by the time I came inside I was itchin’ like ‘cray’. I remembered the balm in my car so on the next night (more yard work to be done) I opened the jar, sniffed it (still smelled the essential oils), dug out a small amount, rubbed it on my exposed legs, ankles, arms and hands and went to digging trenches and planting more herb plants.

Let me tell you! Not ONE BITE all evening. All manner of insect stayed clear – mosquitoes, gnatty little winged-critters, crawly things – I had my own little bug-free aura going on. An additional benefit… my skin was so soft.

I used a simple recipe I found online. There are several out there but I had most of the ingredients on hand for the one I used. Follow the link for directions.


You can find essential oils all over the internet these days. I have several friends who sell them so if y’all want to post your links or contact info in the comments below go ahead.  I bought Beeswax pellets on eBay. Like I said, there are several easy to make bug repellant recipes online, both balm and spray varieties…check out a few.

I am going to make more of this and put in little 2 oz and 4 oz jars to keep everywhere and to give away to itchy friends.  I’d feel much better slathering this on children too.


Try it! You’ll like it!  Everyone will like it…except mosquitoes and their kin!

Buzzzzzzzzz off bugs!

Eat Your Veggies – They’re Free!

Eat your veggies!”
You don’t have to tell me twice.  Fortunately, I love vegetables; I mean from the hard-core, dark leafy green ones to the orange and yellow root ones.  OK, I’m not so much a lima bean and sweet pea girl, mainly because of the texture, not the taste.  However, Split Pea soup is one of my favorites – go figure.

In our house when I was growing up, my mother, cooked lots of vegetables, so I really never had a chance not to like them.  Although we ate corn, mixed vegetables and such, she didn’t consider those to be ‘real’ vegetables.  If she did make those, they were treated more like a side dish to go along with the hard-core vegetables (greens, cabbage, broccoli, green beans, etc.. haha!

I do remember when she introduced broccoli to me, at around 10 years old.  She steamed it and covered it in melted cheese.  Yum!  I could do that.  Then, eventually, the amount of cheese was gradually lessened and after a while no cheese at all was added… straight broccoli.  She introduced lots of veggies to me that way – never really forcing it but mainly just shared her love of them and it sorta rubbed off on me.

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Anyway, I’m not much of a ‘cook’ per se, but, I cook 3-5 different kinds of vegetables per week for two reasons; 1) because I really do like them, and 2) I call them my free food – they fill you up and keep you healthy too. In the beginning of my ‘get healthy journey’, I used to count every calorie throughout the day, but because I eat so many vegetables, I was not meeting my caloric intake by the end of the day.  Seriously,  you can eat mounds of vegetables in a day and end up eating only about 500 calories. That’s a good thing in a way but I had to start NOT counting any of my veggie calories – hence, Free Food! So now, whenever I am hungry, I go to any number of vegetables and the calories don’t even count.  Nice!

This week’s veggie menu includes:

Rutabagas – I have these about once per month!  I buy it fresh – yep, a big old wax ball of a vegetable.  They used to be really difficult to peel and cut but I noticed a couple of years ago that they are now really easy to cut. I’m guessing a new variety has been developed.

Green Beans – I buy Whole Frozen Green from Publix.  Publix frozen vegetables are so good – no stems, really fresh tasting, and they often have a sale of 8 bags for $10.

Spinach – I bought fresh this week; although in a pinch, I will buy these frozen too.

Cucumbers – Cucumbers are like the snack food of choice – looooow calories, crunchy, and filling because they are mostly water.  I sometimes will put them in a bowl, sprinkle with Himalayan salt and coarse black pepper, and spritz with Rice Vinegar for a bit of a sweet/tart flavor. You can down a ton of cukes and you’ll be weight safe.

Big Red Bell Peppers – Boy do I love these too.  I found out if I buy organic ones, they don’t get slimy by day 4 of being sliced in the fridge.  Interesting, huh?  Sometimes the organic ones cost less than the non-organic ones. I eat them raw, and treat them like the cukes with salt, pepper and vinegar sometimes.

(Frozen Whole Baby Okra ) – was on the menu to cook, but after making all the others stuff I decided not to cook these.  Might have been too much.  These are delicious too.  I get them from Publix also – they are small, tender, and tasty.  None of the big ‘ol tree bark tasting ones that are often put in bags of frozen okra.  I will steam them mid-week if I run out.

Y’all think I’m joking when I say I love veggies huh?  Well, get this … I do often eat them for breakfast.  I’m not a big fan of most breakfast foods.  I don’t like sugary and bready things in the morning because I found out that if I eat that in the morning, it triggers my hunger button and I end up being hungry all day long.  However if I eat protein and veggies in the morning my appetite seems to be more balanced all day and I have less of a tendency to want to munch.  I know it’s crazy – and I’ve been laughed at more than once over the years about it but it’s all in fun.  Broccoli, okra, salad, green beans, greens, and spinach have all been on my breakfast menu before.

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About proteins – I’ve never been a big meat eater, and at one time I could have probably been considered a vegetarian but after a few years of battling anemia I decided to eat more meat.  So along with all these vegetables, I throw in chicken and salmon quite often, and once every couple of months, I will buy 1-lb of the best, organic, lean grass-fed ground beef I can afford and make 2 oz patties for each day of the week.  It’s just enough to keep my body and mind happy.

That’s it – so what vegetables do you plan to have this week?

Let me know if you have any questions!

Peace and Love!

Weigh In – Way Out!

For a two-year period in recent years, I decided I would stop weighing myself and let my ‘good sense’ and visual analysis (a.k.a mirror check) dictate if I was climbing up the scales or not. Bad idea.  Some 40 pounds later I was physically getting in my own way as I tried to turn over in bed. How does that happen?

A body scale has been my worst enemy at times in my life.  They say that the ‘numbers’ don’t matter but in my world, the numbers were everything.  From childhood, I was always considered obese to morbidly obese according to those little height-weight medical charts. To this day I still don’t agree with that chart. One of my favorite reads was “10 Reasons Why the BMI is Bogus!”. Who knows how true it is, but it made so much sense to me.

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Anyway,  I’ve had an awful history with the scales.  In the past, it has literally dictated whether I had a ‘good’ day or a ‘bad’ day, all based on whether I was up a few or down a few pounds…. overnight.  Craziness!.  I remember waking up  on some days feeling all happy and ready for my day, I’d jump on the scales and if the number wasn’t right, it was like a switch flipped in my brain and I was instantly self-hating and miserable the rest of the day. Don’t judge, I know I’m not the only one who has done this.

It took years to understand the ‘psychology’ behind the emotions that were tied to the scales.  I had no understanding of being healthy in those days, I just wanted to be ‘thin’.  It seemed good things happened if you were thin… and could wear cute clothes.  What was I thinking…skinny isn’t even in my DNA so it was like I was fighting an invisible beast… and losing.

As I approached 50 years old, I decided that being healthy was the most important thing to me. Like I said in previous posts, I didn’t want to get any of the medical maladies that most times come from bad eating habits and lifestyle (and if I did get any it wouldn’t be because of my own bad choices).  I think I had decided by 50 that being overweight, fat, fluffy, whatever you want to call it, was just how it was going to be for me…. but…. I could choose to eat healthy, move more and at least make the effort.  So,  on July 6, 2016, I did just that, and soon I started to drop pounds.

I still weigh daily, and doing so has taught me a LOT!  At first, I saw the numbers going down pretty steadily every day.  It was invigorating to me!  I have a digital scales that weighs to the 10th pound so even 2/10 of a pound felt major. Using MyFitnessPal app, I could see the little graph moving down daily. Happy, happy, happy. Weighing daily made a nice little chart.

But then after a month or so, I noticed the some ‘up’ days happening.  Initially had an old reaction like… “WHATTT?!?  … this can’t be!“…. I had to tell myself, “Girl, just ‘keep doing what you are doing? Your goal is to be healthy, not skinny.”  That was hard for me. I had to train myself  (talk to myself) to not have a ‘reaction’ to a silly number, but I faced those up days with the attitude to just keep eating smart!

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Sure enough, the numbers would drop a bit again, then maybe a day when it was up a bit, then down some more…. I was interested in the graph, it showed me that weight loss is not a smooth slide downward, it had ups and downs, some spikes, and some drops…but over the long haul there was weight loss. Just having a visual of the graph helped me to understand how the body loses weight, and that there are multiple factors that affect whether you are up or down…. hormones, exercise, sodium intake, humid weather… all kinds of things, not just food intake. I read that a body can gain as much as 10 lbs overnight given the certain reasons. Wow!  I am slowly releasing the scales-madness.  The scales is just a tool I use.

I’m at a good place now after all these years.  I still wish I weighed a less but I don’t stress about it anymore. If I maintain my good eating habits I figure my body will stop losing when it gets to where it’s supposed to be.  It’s not driving me and my emotions like it used to. I actually stress more about whether I’ve eaten enough good green veggies in a day.

I wonder sometimes if I am starting to think like a ‘normal weight healthy’ person who just eats good food so they are not hungry, to enjoy the taste, and stops eating when full.

Hmmm, that would be nice. #goals


* I was going to talk about some food choices here but decided to put it in the next post. A part of being healthy is getting enough sleep, so…. ‘good night!’