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! 😘

 

 

 

Mending Fences and Building Relationships

Earlier this year I decided I was going to write more about life in my blog posts.  Vessels and Vittles started as a way to share my food-diet-health adventures, which are ongoing but as we all know… life is more than food.

Only problem, my life feels pretty nondescript, and rather average most days; I have a basic cycle of eat, sleep, work, church, draw, fixing stuff… lol… not necessarily in that order always…so I wasn’t sure what I was going to blog about…. until now.

“Come and listen to my story ’bout girl named Jan…”  [Sung to one of my fave oldie shows… the Beverly Hillbillies… lol…. for you youngsters.]

So, a few years ago, what attracted me to the little foreclosed white house on the corner with the overgrown trees and shrubs, was the 4′ white picket fence.  For some reason, it gave me feelings of nostalgia; which is weird because I’ve never lived in a house with a white picket fence. I guess I had sweet visions about a little white house on the corner with the white picket fence and all the wonderful things that would happen inside; like a tv family or something.11A58F99-07A3-4075-9A77-3370F7D89C82

Well,  I now live in this house that I saw … except, over the years, the white picket fence had become mulchy, wobbly, and Picket Patrol was my newly acquired role …. counting how many pickets had just fallen off as I drove to and from home each day.  With any bit of rain, or wind, I could be assured that at least some were hanging, dangling or flat-out on the ground.

One Sunday in December, out of sheer frustration, I took a quick picture of fallen pickets and when I got to my Connections class (a.k.a Sunday School) I asked the class teacher if he had ideas of how I could keep these pickets in place until Spring when I’d planned to have the entire fence rebuilt.

Stan, the teacher, had some ideas, he then asked another couple of guys in the class and before I knew it, they had decided to set up a time in the Spring to come rebuild the fence!  Yes, rebuild the fence for me.  I know… I was sort of stunned too. Really?  OK.  Since it was December, it wasn’t on the top of my list of things to do at the moment.

Let me stop here to tell you about this Connections class before I finish the story.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am an Artist, a bit of a Writer, I like to dabble in computer technology a bit, and more than all I am a Christ follower.  These days, that is enough to gain much slander and disdain, but that is not my concern.  Anyway, a little over a year ago, after visiting/attending several churches in the area, I decided one Sunday morning to just go to one that was closer to my house than the others I’d attended… that happened to be Summit Baptist.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Honestly, I had all kinds of preconceived notions about its size, cultural make-up, preaching, etc. etc. but when I walked in there and sat down, I immediately knew something was different.  My strategy when going to a new church was to get their much earlier than the service start time so I could go into the sanctuary, before the buzz of members, while it was quiet.  I’d go and sit, and pray, and basically see how things seemed, spiritually.  I’d say within 5 minutes, something in me just said this is where you belong. Seriously, I hadn’t felt that in a long time. As people started arriving, I waited to see what kind of response I’d get.  I was shocked.  Not only were they nice, but also friendly!  There is a difference you know.

By the end of the service I’d met a lot of people, and as I drove home I thought I really like it here…. but I hadn’t planned to go again right way. There were other churches near me as well. Then, I thought about this lady I met that morning with a bright smile and a kind face (my now dear friend, Mary Ann) who greeted me, asked about me, and invited me to her Connections class – they are called the Encouragers.  Long story short (too late, I know)…. I went back the next looking for Mary Ann and that class and that was it. I’ll blog more about this group and the church on another blog.

Back to the fence. A little more than a year later, this fence party is being planned.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I’d learned that several of the people in the class were participants in an organization called Builders for Christ where they go all over the country (and maybe world) helping to build buildings for churches and individuals in need of a structure. That was cool… I had no concern of their skill level or ability to do this project. I figured if they could build a church building then a fence should be a piece of cake.  It was a relief for me… as I had run into several ill-equipped contractors in my day.

Step 1:  I purchased all the pickets and my friends Mary Ann and Corky met me at the retailer and hauled all the pickets to my house, then they came a few weeks later and brought a friend, Sarah, and they painted all the pickets ( I pitched in when I could… I was working that day).  I was amazed by how they did that… .still amazed.

Step 2: Cliff, Corky, Lewis, Clark and Lynn showed up a couple of weeks later and they started building sections of the fence.  I was still amazed when I looked out there and saw the set up, and the precision.  I still couldn’t believe they were all putting in time, effort, and sweat to do this for me.Photo Aug 16, 9 32 41 AM

Step 3: This was fence building day.  Early Saturday morning… trucks and cars started arriving at my house.  I could tell, these were people on a mission, for real.  Folks, I can do a LOT of things but building a fence ain’t one of them. I felt so inadequate; I really wanted to know what I was doing and chip in but no skills here…so I provided the Chick-Fil-A mini-chicken biscuits. 😎

Neighbors stopped by, and even Quincy the dog came to see me.. along with is owner of course.. It was a great time for my neighborhood to meet some of the wonderful friends and see the Encouragers in ACTION.

Well, let me tell ya’ … about 3.5 hours later, the new fence was complete …. and it is beautiful (and sturdy) as ever.

Now, I mentioned Summit and the Encouragers class previously because as I watched this team of people working in my yard (from 9 years old to 80 years old) I almost felt like it was a dream.  I mean, who does that for you?  Really?

I can almost say, this is a life-changing experience. I know, it’s only a fence, but in a world, where division, altercations, hatred, negativity, racism, etc. is rising, I stood amazed by the amount of love that was being poured out that morning. It reiterated and reinforced my belief that family isn’t only the ones who share your physical bloodline, but it is also those who share the bloodline of Christ, which causes once complete strangers to not only worship together, but to share, work, serve, eat, weep, laugh, agree and disagree together in a broken world. These wonderful people are not only ‘the people I attend church with’ but they are brothers and sisters in Christ, these are people I serve alongside to minister and be a witness in a tough world.

Yes, I am a changed person because…. after all the hard work my brothers and sisters put in this past weekend, I can only say one thing….it looked liked a fence but it felt like LOVE. ❤️

Thank you Encouragers! 🤗  Love Overflowing!💕

Peace and Love to you!🌼

 

Sneaky Little Pounds

It’s crazy how pounds creep back if I don’t stay diligent in my efforts to stay aware of my food choices.  Sigh. 😒

I am not in trouble yet but I  am see how and why folks lose a bunch of weight then slowly over the following weeks it creeps back on… sometimes more. Here is what I think happens:

1. There is an initial rush of excitement after losing weight.  Your body is in burn mode so you are granted the ability to eat a bit more without any changes to your weight.

2. While being on track, you probably are earning less sugar and carbs and your body has gotten used to it.  However, once you start eating a few more carbs and more sugar, your body will retain fluid, and worse, you get addicted to it again and start to crave it, where during weight loss you hardly thought of it.

3. You probably started exercising less and drinking less water.

4.  Basically,  you just quit paying attention…. eating more and eating out more.

I don’t know…. that’s just what happens to me. I get it, because I have done all of the above.  So, I have gained 3.4 lbs in the past three months  yeah, that’s not a lot but I need to reverse things now, not after I’ve regained 10 or 20… or 30+ pounds.

So, when you see this in my refrigerator… you know I’m back to business.

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It’s found to be a green veggie week for sure.  With summer foods coming back in it should be easier to get on track. I love veggies which you know if you have followed my blog. Going to do a lot of raw veggies this week to get a jumpstart.  The fiber fills you up and helps with detox.

I’m ready!  How about you??

Peace and love!✌🏽💕✌🏽💕✌🏽💕

Mango Mania

I like mangoes, but I don’t recall EVER buying a fresh one … until this past weekend.

I was strolling through Sprouts Farmers Market, one of my favorite places, and there they were, a big table of beautiful mangoes.  My first instinct was to take Dionne Warwick’s advice and …walk on by… because any time I’ve seen mangoes they were at least a dollar each.  That’s not a lot but I’m a budgeter and I sorta get a thrill from seeing how far I can stretch a dollar.  However, the bright, juicy fruit called out my name so I rounded the corner of the table and what did I see???  A sign that read… 3 for $1. 👀. For real??

Well, say no more, I bought $5 worth of mangoes …. for those who are slow at math like me, that’s 15 mangoes!!!  WIN! STRIKE! SCORE!

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CONFESSION… I had to get online to see how to peel and eat it.  Haha. Easy though.

I tried one, and boy was it delicious!

so, what do I plan to do with 14 mangos.  I am going to peel and cube them all, place them in a freezer bag and then do the same to some fresh blueberries once they arrive.  Then on some sweltering summer Georgia day, I’m going to break out all the deliciousness and make the best mango-blueberry smoothie ever.  Of course, I will let y’all know how this turns out in some future blog.

I also saw an easy Mango Salsa recipe that sounds perfect for summer parties.

Anyway, I started to wonder about the benefits of eating mangoes…if there were any. A quick research session yielded tons information. In summary:

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You can bet I will be checking weekly ads this summer for mango sales!

Do you like mangoes?

Stay safe out there!

✌🏽😎💕

I Think I See How This Works Now

This food-body connection is really a retraining of the head. Even more than losing weight, I really wanted to learn how to keep it off!  That is the big challenge… I’m sure I’ve lost a million pounds in my lifetime, and have gained a million two hundred pounds. 😩.

Well, for the past six plus months I have held steady… that is an accomplishment for me.  I’ve tried to wean myself off of daily weighing and from putting every morsel on a digital scale and logging into My Fitness Pal. I want my brain to KNOW when enough food is enough… and I want to be in control enough to STOP EATING ON TIME. Easier said than done.

However, In the past 6 months something has worked.  I’ve had times when I did overeat and times when I did under-eat. Somehow it balanced out. I’d be up 2 pounds one day, then down 3 pounds a couple days later. I always remained within a 3 pound window plus or minus.  I’m ok with that.  It seems my body is happy at my current weight.  So I don’t fight it. I did start another exercise program that I will blog about in a future blog.

Anyway, I had some mighty wonderful meals over the past month. One of them was this:

Barbecue Nachos

Barbecue Chicken Nachos from Cue Barbecue.  This was one of the most delicious things I’d had in two years. Great day!  This is definitely going on the treat-list.

Then, during a week of meetings for work I tried something that I swore I’d  ever eat – guess I was feeling adventuresome.  Yeah, I tried it:  Hot Chili Alligator from Henry’s Louisiana Grill …. it was good too; not fishy, not spongy, didn’t taste like chicken, didn’t taste like fish… tasted like…. alligator.🐊  I’m sure it being fried helped 👍🏽

Alligator

Unfortunately, Henry’s was only 1 of several restaurant meals that week. By Friday, I literally didn’t want to eat anything and pretty much didn’t.

On Monday I ate lay out 1000 calories all day which included four types of vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, and rutabaga) and a lot of water, lemon water and tea.

Collard greens

(Aren’t they beautiful?) 😊… were delicious too!

Feeling better already. It’s crazy how my diet during that week made me feel so sluggish.

Anyway, all this to say, I think I see how this works.  There is no getting ON a diet and getting OFF a diet for me.  There is only food awareness and balance; knowing what’s going in my mouth and knowing when to stop. 🛑   Dang! Took me 50 years to learn that. 😒. Better late than never. ✌🏽

Love y’all. 🌺

 

Ending On A Sweet Note

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is coming to a close. What a year! Ups, downs, and all arounds.  I have enjoyed sharing healthy tips with you about food and bodies. You have graciously accepted my random thoughts, discoveries, etc. in this blog. I am ending the year on a sweet note.

Last week my friend Mary Ann gave me a little gift.  In all my life I’ve never seen this kind of candy. It’s called “Kinder Joy”. Have you ever heard of it? Looks like a little egg.  She explained that it has a toy inside along with the candy. 😊.  Just as when I was a kid, I got happy inside,… you know… like when you got a Cracker Jack box, or a new box of cereal with a toy inside.  Haha! Apparently, it still works for older people. Haha.

Because I am like I am, I took pics of the “unveiling”. This is what it looks like.

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I opened it and sure enough there was a toy on one side and candy of some type on the other. A little spoon was attached too. 😊

The toy toy was a little robot…haha…🤖… and instructions came too. Yes, I followed the instructions and put together my little robot.

The candy was like a cream hazelnut flavor, with chocolate on the bottom…tasty and sweet. It looked like Nutella but believe it or not I’ve never tasted Nutella.

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Have you ever seen, or had this kind of candy before?  Interesting, huh?

This little robot and candy made me realize that the best part of getting this little wrapped gift was the heart of the friend who gave it.  ☺️

I guess I am at the point in life where the ‘gift’ itself is very nice and much appreciated but what warms my heart the most is having wonderful friends and family who are woven into the fabric of my life. What would I do without you? 💕

If you are reading this blog, then I thank God that you have lived to see another year and I pray your year to come brings life, health, peace, truth, clarity, and perspective.

See you in the New Year!

💕🙏🏽✨☮️🙌🏽