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!

💕🙏🏽✨☮️🙌🏽

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.

Set Point Theory

“Set point is the weight range in which your body is programmed to function optimally. Set point theory holds that one’s body will fight to maintain that weight range.”

I am wondering if I have reached my set point. In the past 6 months I’ve lost .2 lbs. 🤔   I have done the same as always except I am exercising a bit more.  Shoes have gotten bigger, rings have gotten bigger but no pounds lost. I am not too concerned though. I feel great and healthier.

Matter of fact, I am starting to explore new foods. I met a new friend at church recently and she texted me to go grab a dinner somewhere. We ended up at a new Indian restaurant… Curry Village. I really liked it. Will go again. Very tasty. I’ve grown fond of curry over the past year. Tonight I ordered a basic dish … Curry Chicken. It was a huge portion … this is what I packed up to bring home..enough for two more little meals.

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Anyway, going to keep doing what I am doing in terms of making good eating choices and being mindful. I chose this meal tonight because my day was filled with healthy choices of mostly low calorie healthy choices … in other words I had calories to spare. So I tried the Indian Rice Pudding. Boy that was different… certainly not my mother’s rice pudding. This was a mixture of soupy tapioca-like, cold, breakfast cereal ….but…actually tasted good.  I won’t get it again but it was good.

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Sorry for the bad photo of it.  I didn’t think to take a picture until after I ate most of it  😂.

That’s all for now. 😊

Peace, love and good food.

 

Having My Burger And Eating It Too

I know I am probably late to the party, as usual, on this but I discovered something that has made me quite happy.

I’m not a big meat eater as I mentioned in previous blogs however, every few months  or so I just flat out crave a hamburger. I am not fond of fast food burgers primarily because of the calories, the bready buns, the greasiness ….  buuuuuutttt…… I was browsing through some nutrition pages recently and saw something about Bunless Burgers…. huh?

Peaked my interest so I followed the link to Five Guys Burgers and Fries and saw they offered their burgers and hots in a bunless version. Seriously?  OK, everyone knew this except me I’m sure but I don’t eat at burger joints.

Anyway, I had to try it and this is what I got:

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries Bunless Burger

Looks good, right??

You can’t tell in the photo but there are two parties there. I ordered a regular burger with all the veggie toppings. It was so good. I got my burger and veggies and no guilt.

You can get it in a tin container like I did or if you need the ‘sandwich’ effect they will wrap it in lettuce so you can hold it.

Definitely a keeper find! Plan to do this again when I have another beef attack.

Try it some time. 👍🏽

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??

❤️ & ☮️

 

 

Just Grateful…Plain and Simple

Unlike most people, I welcome change because change means I am still moving – hopefully forward. The only time I like to be still is during rest and prayer – both which are times of recharge and restoration.

This past week I celebrated birthday number 53! 😳😊.  Boy, did it arrive quickly.  I welcomed it with anticipation; not for any particular reason, just because I felt incredibly grateful for all things in my life, the good, bad and ugly, because those things are why today I am feeling so grateful. God has truly orchestrated all things for my good.

53 is a big change from, say, 23 or 33, but I have no desire to be anything other than 53 this year, to be all that 53 entails: wrinkles, whiskers, flab, silver hair, experience, wisdom, maturity…all of it. Thank God, my Creator, I also have good health still! So grateful for so many things.

How did I celebrate? Well, I my dear friend wanted to do something fun for the day so I took off work (my rule is to always take off work on your birthday) and we played all day…no real plan, just flowing with the day. For me, just being with friends and family I love is gift enough.  My love language is definitely ‘quality time spent’. I’d much rather be with YOU than any of the STUFF you can give me. 😘

We started out early with a trip to Alpha Soda Restaurant.  I love their stone ground grits, and since hasn’t been on my food list in the past year, I was excited to go.   When the server found out it was my birthday she surprised me with this! So sweet of her!  That was my order in the corner of the photo: bowl of grits, eggs with cheese and an English muffin.IMG_6613

From their we headed to Avalon.  I’m not even sure what you call Avalon – I guess a fancy mall with stores, restaurants, condos, etc.  IMG_6614We lakes all over the place their, got lost in the parking deck a while, walked around some more, laughed a lot, and rested  in some beautiful chairs in Crate and Barrel, haha! It’s a beautiful atmosphere there.

After some an afternoon lunch of soup and sandwich at Panera Bread – had to get my bowl of Autumn Butternut Squash Soup, we chilled a bit, just having good conversation.

Believe it or not by evening, we headed to another restaurant. 😂😂. Oh my goodness, one of my fave places, The Village Tavern.  I had a new dish, Braised Meatball Skillet …. Yes, more grits.  I only tried it because it was such a unique combo – and it was extremely delicious.  Wow! Again the server learned it was my birthday and …. Bam! Another desert. 😂😂  …what diet??!

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No joke, by the time I finished the day, I thought I would explode!  So this little beauty I was gifted was taken home.  So fitting though, because I was just plain and simple … thankful. 😌

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P.S.  I was chicken to weigh-in the next day, but I did, and to my surprise was down 3.4 pounds.  I guess I gave my body something to do in digesting all that food. 😏 However, I pretty much fasted the entire next day to give my body a rest.