Blue Skies Smiling at Me, Nothing But Blue Skies Do I See

Blue Skies, Smiling at Me, Nothing But Blue Skies, Do I see. Well, not really. Do you know that song?

It’s been three months since my last post. That was unintentional.  Back in April I was moving along with lots of goals, challenges, intentions, motives, duties, requirements, etc.. … then, BAM! I was suddenly overwhelmed. No one noticed.  I didn’t even notice at first.

Life happens. Sometimes smoothly and uneventful, and sometimes like a boulder racing down a mountainside stopping only after it has run over you and slammed onto a street or some other obstacle below.  I woke up one day feeling like a boulder had crushed my soul.  I was doing too much. I am pretty good and managing multiple things; have always done it without much issue, either by choice or necessity. But suddenly, I was overwhelmed by my own life and circumstances.

The first thing to fall apart was my eating habits.  After 2+ years of being healthy, I found food to be a visiting friend again. :(. Yep, gained some poundage. 😦  I woke up in the morning only looking forward to crawling back into bed that night. I did the things I had to do to with little excitement.  Some disappointments rolled into my world.  I thought I was getting depressed, but decided I was overloaded and tired; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

One of the biggest things I took away from this time is that ….. everyone else is overloaded and tired too. Everyone else is managing a boatload of issues as well. OK, not everyone, but I bet you needn’t look far to find someone in your world who is suffering from loss, death of a loved one, illness, children issues, aging parents, financial issues, relationship/friendship issues, etc. Lots going on in the world. Not to mention things that are happening politically, economically, and socially in the world.

I had to slow down for a few weeks. Be alone. I primarily got up in the morning, worked at my job, and slept. Thank God for friends… but there really is some truth to the saying, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.”

Anyway, in the midst of those low slow days I would go outside at lunch time and sit on my back patio and just look at the blue sky, the beautiful trees, different kinds of birds, and jumbo bumblebees hanging around the Rose of Sharon. I notices that after lunch I must felt better. Being outside in the sunshine, thinking about nothing,  just sitting and breathing refreshed my heart and soul.

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….. I even got a chance to photograph visiting bunnies too.

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During this time, I realized I needed to do something that was out of the ordinary for my world. Fortunately, I discovered a ‘thing’ that has brought a happy distraction to my life. As a younger woman, I used to wonder why some older women I knew spent so much time in their yards and gardens.  Why???

I know now.

I discovered that digging in the dirt a bit each day and planting things was a ‘happy’ thing for me.  So, I planted.  I bought a manual tiller and started tilling areas of my lawn and planted Microclover in the lawn.  I planted 2 Moon Flowers plants a friend gave me.

 

I planted a container flower arrangement for the first time in my life.  I loved how it turned out. Pretty good for a newbie.20190727_154325274_ios.jpg

Right before this time, I planted 25 or so Japanese Maple tree seedlings that I pulled from my yard this Spring. Tending to these babies was, and is, a wonderful daily distraction for a few moments each day. Here is a picture of the babies.  I’ll do another post on this later.  (See April 7, 2019 post)

Japanese Maple seedlings
Japanese Maple seedlings. The two trees on the bottom are the parents of these little ones.:)

All that to say, I’m feeling much better and  back on track, finally.  I am eating healthily again (…going to do another post on this process later… doing some changes to better maintain hopefully). I’m sleeping more soundly, and I am dealing better with life issues overall.

Thank God for life!🌺

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How do you regroup when you become overwhelmed?

Do you have a garden to ‘play’ in?

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Love you guys! 😘

Peace and Love to you.

 

Kinda Keto, But Not Really

More than two years ago, when I lost the majority of my weight, my strategy was to simply reduce calories enough to lose weight…and it worked, for the most part. Once I got closer to my goal weight I stalled, big time.  There was only one thing to do, reduce calories again, but, my strategy stopped working.  😩

I increased exercise, which in turn increased my appetite, which made me eat more and gain weight. So frustrating. All the while, I was hearing about the KETO craze, that it was similar to the Atkins Diet, which meant low carb. A friend reached out to me and tried to share info, but I had no interest because I had a plan that mostly worked.

After stalling for a while, I got tired. I started eating a bit more, exercising less, gained 10 lbs and totally quit logging. I was down to about 1000-1200 calories oer day.  WAY TO LOW. I felt fine, got tired easily, but was frustrated by the stall. I did notice 2 things though; I was very soft, and I did not feel strong. Lifting things that should have not felt heavy, were. My conclusion, I’d lost a LOT of muscle mass. No bueno. I needed a new strategy.

My goals were the same; be healthy, eat clean foods, be strong, not let food control me, and I really got tired of “logging” my food. 🙄

Sooooo, I joined a KETO page on Facebook just to sorta stalk it and see what these KETOers were all about. Now, I am not much of a meat eater, however, I remembered while losing weight, the weeks when I ate more chicken or beef, I lost more pounds. Hmmmm….

Long story short, (too late, I know🙃), I tried KETO, kinda. I just wasn’t that strict about it. I up’d proteins and kept up my veggie eating, but reduced carbs to minimal per day, and I increased my fats (that is HARD TO DO after decades of hearing “watch your fat intake” 🤯).  I didn’t measure a thing. End of the week down almost 2 lbs. 🤷🏽‍♀️  What I noticed is, I was not hungry AT ALL. Matter of fact, I felt I had surely gained because I felt so full, or I should say, satiated all the time. I had energy so I exercised more. Go figure, there must be something to it. I’m going to try it again this week in my Kinda Keto way to see if this past week was just a fluke. I’d like to lose another 15 lbs bit I’m not stressing about it. I have more muscle mass and feel good so what more can I ask.

Anyway, thought I’d share some of the protein options I made in my Ninja Air Fryer. Love this thing!

chicken drumsticks
Air Fryer Chicken Drumsicks
Air Fryer Meatballs
Air Fryer Meatballs
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Air Fryer Chicken Wings

I also cook veggies in the Air Fryer sometimes. Works pretty good too!

 

 

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Air-Fryer Asparagus

Well, that’s all folks! I’ll let you know what happens with my Kinda Keto plan. 🤗👍🏽

Peace!

 

This Rollercoaster Ride Called… Eating Right

The struggle is so very real, people…. but that’s OK…. I’m not alone.

A couple of years ago when I was in the midst of my major weight loss, I started hearing about KETO eating. If you haven’t heard of it yet, never fear, you will when you return to this planet. 😒  I looked into it but I haven’t jumped into it …yet. It seems everyone is trying KETO now,  but it must not be user-friendly because I’m seeing more about Dirty Keto… or what I like to call it, Cheap and Easy Keto.

I’m also noticing an increase in talk about ‘fasting’, specifically, Intermittent Fasting.  I might try this at some point, just because it seems more natural and beneficial to the body.

Seems everyone is trying to figure out how to lose weight and keep it off. Like I said, the struggle is REAL! I’m a witness.  I lost 57 lbs a couple of years ago, but gained about 14 lbs and have been holding steady since.  I’m not to concerned because I realized at 57 lbs that I was lighter but I didn’t feel strong.  I think I lost a lot of muscle tone, and was earing too few calories. I read recently that when you eat low-calorie for a while your body gets used to living on that low amount.  When I increased my calories to around 1500 to 1700 per day I gained about 5 lbs. Then, because I felt weak, I started walking a lot and doing High Impact Interval Training exercises and sure enough gained more….but the curious thing is my clothes felt the same and loser in some cases🤷🏽‍♀️.

I guess it is true that muscle weighs more but takes up less space.  That’s a hard concept to accept when you are addicted to the scales like I am. I’m trying to change my ‘scales’ ways. 😣 However, I do feel so much stronger in my core and overall. So, now I’m just trying to stay on a good eating path.

It’s a rainy, rainy day on this Sunday afternoon.  I was invited to a Southern Buffet restaurant after church…. so tempted to do it but I had already planned to do some meal prep. I went shopping yesterday and bought some goodies…

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  1. Cucumbers, Yellow, Red, and Orange peppers are my go-to foods.  I’ve blogged about them in previous posts.  I just cut them and put them in jars.  They are a great snack for me. I either eat them plain, or sprinkle them with a little rice vinegar.
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Keeping my food in jars seems to extend the life of them. I don’t have to eat them all in 2 days.

2. Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts, I tried it!  Wow!  This is a keeper. I love my Air Fryer but never have I tried veggies in it. So, easy…tossed the Brussel sprouts (Premee cabbages as a young friend calls them, 😒🤣) in a tad bit of oil, Himalayan Salt, and garlic powder and put in my Air Fryer on 375 for about 12 minutes. YUM! They were so delicious. I know they look burnt but they are just roasted.  I bet adding a little brown sugar and some bacon bits would make this instantly ‘gourmet’…I almost did it but remembered my new healthy eating ways.

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3. Asparagus… you either like it or not.  I love it, stinky pee and all.  I actually saw a post somewhere recently that asparagus is a major cancer fighter.  I meed to research this though.  I usually eat it most when it is on sale and it’s been on sale so 3rd week in a row I’ve made it but this time I pur it in the Air Fryer to try. Boy! Good results again…just 6 minutes in and it’s done  👍🏽

4. Chicken Thighs. Nope, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan or anything, I just eat little meat naturally.  I need protein to lose weight I learned, plus it helps keep my hunger in control. Since I was Air Frying, I put these in last; same seasonings.  Also, I found 2 small Filet Mignon steaks in the back of my freezer from an Omaha steak gift pack I received…last of the beef goodies.  Put those in the Air Fryer too.

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This chicken was so juicy and delicious! I just sampled what I cooked because it’s for the upcoming week, of course.  So, now I have no excuse for not eating healthy this week. I’ve got all these goodies plus a bin of apples.

Fortunately, everything I cook has to be eaten only by “me”…not sure anyone else would enjoy my kitchen science experiments…I’m not much of a foodie though; I just don’t want to feel hungry, so… let’s see if I can have a good week of eating healthy food. Hope you do too!  ✌🏽😎

Peace and Love!😘

Jan

“…May the peace of God guard your hearts and mind (thoughts) through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:7❤️

Playing with Broccoli Cuts

 

I’m sitting here wondering if there is a real reason for broccoli cuts.?🤔

agriculture broccoli close up close up
Photo by slon_dot_pics on Pexels.com

I mean, Broccoli florets make sense; they are pretty, flavorful, and healthy,  but ‘cuts’ are basically the stems – cut up, right?

AD586F1A-E222-4C9D-9D0A-53DB9F04E125The picture looked all luscious and delicious but the bag of frozen cuts I bought did have one or two small florets…whatever, I really did expect what I got, not what was on the bag.

I added a bit more chicken broth and let the cuts get softer than how I usually eat my veggies but I had a plan. Then I got out my Ninja blender. I added the thoroughly cooked cuts, added a bit of half and half (all I had), added more broth, salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric and hit the ON button.

It whirred around until, it was light green, smooth, a bit creamy and ohhhhh so tasty.

VOILA! Turned those worthless cuts into a delicious gourmet soup.

I had some for dinner tonight. It’s a cold, dark, long winter night and this concoction hit the spot. I think I might try this with fresh broccoli stalks next summer.

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Might not look so tasty but this was quite delicious!

So, not only can you turn lemons to lemonade but you can also turn blah broccoli cuts into deliciousness.

Go make you some soup! 😎👍🏽

Turkey Carcass Make-Over

Ha!  My title made me chuckle. 🦃🦃🦃

Well, I have never been responsible for a Thanksgiving dinner in my adult life. I’ve had to bring a dish occasionally but never has anyone looked to me for the Thanksgiving Day bird… thankfully. I think I cooked one myself one year just to see if I could do it. 🤷🏽‍♀️

However, I do like getting the carcass. This year I was invited to my friend’s house with her family and it was a wonderful time!  After her husband carved the turkey he was prepping it for the trash! Hoooooollldd up!!!

Everyone looked at me strangely when I requested to take the poor carcass home but in my mind I could see the most delicious broth on my stove. I don’t have to plan family meals so I make things that work for me…. soups, sautéed vegetables, chicken/or a little beef burger and fruit make up most of my diet….the rest is occasional ‘cookie, chips, chocolate’…not even gonna pretend to be 100% right all the time…  lol…it’s called being human.

Anyway, they wrapped the bird and I carried it home. Today I bought carrots, celery, and onions and made homemade turkey broth.  Just for the record, my house smells so good right now.

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I put all the ingredients in a big stock pot I borrowed from my neighbor, added a gallon or so of water, then brought it to a boil.  Then let it simmer for a couple of hours, then added more seasonings to suit my taste. I still had all the turkey parts in it. I’m going to let it cool in the refrigerator then strain it and skim any fat tomorrow.

I’ve only ever done this once or twice before and both times came out perfect. You can fund real recipes online for  homemade turkey broth.

I plan to sip plain broth as a warm-me-up drink, or use it to add to vegetable soup recipes or simply when cooking vegetables…instead of using plain water I will use the broth. It’s quite tasty.

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Just wanted to share this in case your turkey carcass looked too delicious to toss!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stay safe out there!

 

Love and hugs!🤗❤️

Hi …It’s Been a While

It has been a while people! Summer rolled on by as I was trying to ‘get things done’ around here. Now it’s Fall.🍁  And just like I wasn’t paying attention to the calendar I haven’t been paying much attention to my food choices.  Sooooo, 11 pounds later I sitting here like … what exactly did I eat that equates to 11 extra pounds?🤨🧐😞

Really, it’s all good, well, not really good but … I’m trying to say I reacted so differently than I had in the past… which is growth in more than just my weight. Back in the day, those 11 pounds would have sent me spiraling but this time I KNEW I just needed to readjust and be aware…. stop the mindless grazing…but doesn’t this look goooood?… Warm Peach Cobbler from Brookwood Grill 😊.  Tasted good too!  Happy Birthday to me.💕

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Warm Peach Cobbler!

…for the record, I shared this with another person….too much for me.

I did readjust… and have lost 5 of the 11 pounds so far. I had to change something though. For the past 2 years I’ve used the My Fitness Pal app, which I really liked…. just got bored with it and slowly stopped using it, which means I wasn’t tracking, and therefore was eating more. Uggghh!  For me, logging my food, not necessarily every morsel but keeping a general idea of my calorie intake, is a GREAT HELP!

I switched to the Lose It! App.  I LOVE IT! It’s colorful, engaging, lots of little tips and applications to play with…and it rejuvenated my desire to log. I only have the free version too.  If you want to pay…there are lots of additional things to help you.

I have been eating fun stuff that I love to celebrate my birthday month.  That’s over for now…. back to lots of water, lots of veggies, lots …OK,  ‘some’ exercise 😂. I do feel better, less dense. I actually did a bit of a detox to get back on track… it helps a lot. I did start eating these….they are healthy, easy, delicious and not too caloric. There are a few different varieties  all of them are good.

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Well, that’s all for now.

Lesson learned: The road to healthy living has U-turns, potholes, traffic violations, and sometimes a broke down vehicle but road side assistance comes along in various forms; a motivational article, an encouraging friend, and sometimes just a fun new app. 🤗

Peace and Love! 😘

 

 

 

Sour + Greens = Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut might be one of those ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ Foods.  Although I go through seasons of eating it, I really like it.

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Definition from Miriam Webster Online

I was at Whole Foods a while back and couldn’t find the sauerkraut.  One of the employees there led me to what she said was the best she ever had.  Okay, I took the bait… and am glad I did.  2FEAA758-4314-4F90-816E-3068465B6B0FI wanted it because I’d had digestion issues and knew that fermented foods would help get my gut bacteria back in balance.  This is what she showed me.

I finally opened it… weeks after buying it 😏…. and expected to taste, well sauerkraut.  However, this was indeed… very good, fresh, not salty tasting, and not so overly sour.  The store employee was correct…. probably the best I’ve had.

Well, decided to share a bit of info about Sauerkraut I found online…8 Surprising Benefits of Sauerkraut (plus how to make it).

1. It’s nutritious. I kinda knew that…it is cabbage. Cabbage is good for you.  But look at all the other goodness in it:

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2. It improves digestion.

3. It boosts your immune system.

4. Read rest of article here… 8 Surprising Benefits of Sauerkraut (plus how to make it)

That’s all I’ve got today!

Toodles! 😘