Scale Day v38.0

Hello loves. Isn’t it a simply glorious day. The sun shines so bright in the sky and spring is here to stay. I am in a pretty good mood, but I’m also trying to shift my mind to all the bright things. You know, cup is 1/2 full, not 1/2 empty, which is my preferred state of mind. I see a new morning ritual forming. Do you have a morning routine that helps you get into a happy mood? Sometimes for me it’s the workout, seeing my kids happy morning smiles or that first cup of joe that gets me in a happy mood for the day. But what if the happy mood occurred regardless of what was to happen, wouldn’t that be nice!

How about the morning you wake up expecting the scale to be all cruel and give you a gain and you someone how you let that slip right off your shoulders, because regardless of what the scale has to say you are going to keep pushing forward.

I was expecting a gain this morning and for good reason. I was on average 200 calories over my daily limit and I got in 163 minutes of exercise, not the hoped for 300. I was preparing myself for the gain and convincing myself that it would be ok. Not because I have become complacent with my weight, quite the contrary. I am finally at a point in my journey where I feel confident that I CAN keep going, that I CAN move forward and that makes me happy. I am happy to believe.

So a gain was NOT going to spoil my mood this am. What am I supposed to do now that I didn’t gain, nope I lost 1.4 pounds!! Not only has a new zero entered my life (I now weigh 130.5) but I entered the 23s in the BMI (my BMI is now 23.9). I’m now only 0.5 pounds away from my goal weight!! Oh holy cow!! 34.6 pounds are gone!!

How am I going to celebrate? Well I don’t want to get ahead of myself, I do still have that 0.5 pounds to lose. But I see new goals in my future. I’m tempted to set a new goal weight, but I’m not sure. Maybe my next goal will be more activity related. hmmmm…

What goals are you setting for the spring?

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Help, says the Plant. Save Me!

Plants are so easily fooled by the weather. It’s sad that they can’t be bothered to carry a pocket calendar. That’s silly? Well so are plants trying to bloom in mid-March in Michigan!! All you southerns are probably giggling, but this is some serious business for the plants up here where it is still supposed to be chilly and it’s up to us to save their pretty season.

Sure we are setting all kinds of new record high temperatures but problems are looming on the horizon!! We may not get our typical last snow of the season this year in early April, but it is a safe bet that several frost will visit my town and yours between now and Memorial Day.

What to do? The lilac buds are already appearing, but the pretty flowers are not yet here…it will frost before they bloom…no lilac blooms this year…and that scenario gives me the ugly face.

There are several options actually. I’m going to give you the 3 I am familiar with: bring inside, cover or water. These tips are important this year, but keep them in mind for anytime you have vulnerable plants and frost decides to visit.

  • Bring inside: easy if your plant is in a pot, not so easy when your plant is in the ground. Simple solution: don’t plant in your pots until you are sure frost is done for the spring. If you want to pot early prepare for some lifting or continue reading for the other two options.
  • Cover: burlap works best but a sheet will do. Be careful with the sheets. Do not allow the sheet to touch the delicate new life on the plants, since the harsh gold will seep through and still cause damage. Use polls, sticks or what ever you have to keep the fabric up and off the plants.
  • Water: I’ve had great success with the water option. Water the plant the night before the expected frost and BEFORE the sun goes down. Watering when the temperatures are still warm will keep the warmth in your plants. Be sure to cover the plant and the soil around the plant with a water.

If you forgot to bring in, cover or water the night before a frost you do have on last chance. WARNING: this may or may not work. Before the sun shines down on your frost covered plants drench them in water, rinse away signs of the frost and cross your fingers that while the frost was on your plants it didn’t do any lasting damage.

Good luck plant lovers, now I’ve got to go weed. It’s only March, gosh this is so weird.

Scale Day v37.0

Oh vacation how I miss you. You were good to me when I needed you, but now you’ve up and left me, boo hoo hoo 🙂 just kidding around. It is however a bit of a shock to the system getting in and out of vacation mode. Knowing spring (actually it’s mid-summer right now in Michigan, expected high today: 86!) is right around the corner is keeping my mood light.

It was about this time last year when I started my slow roll into my healthy journey. It took a few months to get a steady roll, but this is where I began. Seeing pictures of me during last years vacation was a sock to say the least and the final straw in my unhealthy coffin. 

Lots of changes in my routine, nutrition and activity level all together helped me to take this years vacation 32.6 pounds lighter. But would you see the changes in the photos? We all know pictures, when not touched up, are pretty blatant.

Is that the same girl? Yes, that’s me. If you look close in the first picture you’ll find another inter-library-loan book with the same blue paper down the front. I’m not sharing any beach pictures here, yuck, I’ve still gots some work to do!! But I think I look healthier and that makes me smile.

The other question was how crazy did I go with the eating during vacation? And did I get in any exercise?

The week started off like a shot, oh hells bells, it wasn’t looking good on the exercise front. Not until Thursday did I get a chance to take a walk/run on the beach. I planned my walk with the 1st week advice from couch to 5k. I was nervous to start my 60-seconds of running, I mean wouldn’t my back side bounce like crazy (like it used to) and would I be able to run for a whole minute?!? Surprise, surprise I did it and it was so much fun that I kept going and going and covered twice as much beach as I thought I would. In the end I spent 45-minutes on my walk/run, I little long I know and my calves paid for it the next day too, but I felt friggin fantastic!! Saturday I got another walk/run in, with a more respectable 25-minutes. Not sure how I’m going to fit running in at home, but I must find a way. I want the challenge. I’m craving the challenge.

On to some eating admissions. I got in my water on vacation, thank goodness too because on average I had 500 more calories a day than I normally do, holy cow. No, I didn’t eat a cow, but at some times I felt like it and that I did NOT enjoy. What I did enjoy was the coconut shrimp, yummy.

So what did I do the day after vacation ended?

I got up and worked out and stopped at my calorie limit and did the same yesterday, but today I had to face the scale.

Expecting a gain, I was shocked when I found a loss? What? I have no idea how, but in the last 2-weeks, with a 2-week total of 295 exercise minutes & the crazy vacation week eating I lost 0.6 pounds. I’ve hit a new low of 131.9 pounds, BMI 24.1!

I survived vacation with a loss, amazing, and a new challenge. First Priority: lose that 1.9 pounds and FINALLY get to my goal weight. I’m back to all my goals here, calorie limit, water, sleep, 300-minutes of exercise a week, I needs it all!! I must also fit in walk/run time, I’ll let you know next week if I find a way.

Vacations are good, re-charged I am.

Now, have you seen the teaser for Breaking Dawn part II?

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

I’ve been spending a lot of money on taco seasoning lately. Love taking several pounds of meat (chicken, turkey or pork) from our bulk store, little water or stock, taco seasoning, and putting it all in the crock pot!! I’m a cook and freeze kind of girl and when a large part of our meal can come from the freezer the evenings become all kind of easy.

What was I writing about? Oh, right, taco seasoning…

I also love taking what I actually like in prepared foods and making them fresh myself. Not sure why it took me this long to figure out my own Taco Seasoning, it really is simple. I started with several recipes and now I’ve found what I like. Below you’ll find the inspiration recipes and my final tasty choice.

#1

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

#2

3/4 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. each cornstarch
1 Tbsp. crushed dried red pepper
1 Tbsp. dried minced garlic
1 Tbsp. ground cumin

#3 (from the same page as #2)

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

#4

1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 cup cumin
1/2 cup oregano
1/2 garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup minced onion
3-4 Tablespoons cayenne pepper
4-6 Tablespoons sea salt
3 Tablespoons arrowroot powder (optional)

#5

1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground dried hot red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine (or substitute 2 teaspoons onion powder

Since my kids are eating the meat I’ve left out the heat. After trying the recipes above I tried: less chili powder, more paprika, more oregano, less cumin, LESS salt, less pepper, pinch cinnamon, cloves & a pinch of nutmeg…ding, ding, dong, yum that’s tasty!!

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg

I put everything in a coffee bean grinder (I have one that only grinds my herbs, although some coffee grounds might be good here too, but not herbs in my coffee, yuck!!), pulse for a couple of seconds and that’s it! Use it all within about 6-months. Most sites talked about putting a couple of tablespoons of seasonings for each pound of meat, you probably could lower this a bit, but that’s for you to figure out. Isn’t that great, you can find out what you prefer and do exactly that.

Happy TASTY cooking!!

Scale Day v36.0

Vacation come take me away!! It’s been a year since I have been on a real vacation and I’m anxious for this one to start. Lots of packing and last-minute workouts going on, more about all that later and hopefully you can help me with a list. My birthday is officially over, so sad, but I had a great week and lots of great eats.

My parents came for a visit, a 24-hour visit, possibly the best kind for MY parents. She brought all kinds treats, peanut butter cookies, amaretto cookies, chocolate biscotti, fresh ricotta cheese, roasted red peppers, fresh italian green olives, and her homemade red gravy and meatballs. Oh, holy geesh!! Then, the day after my parents left we had a house full of friends and sinfully delicious food.

I didn’t go crazy on the calories, but I most certainly blew past my calorie limit by 300 calories at least twice last week. To counteract the calories I tried to step up the exercise, I beat last weeks total by almost 40-minutes, but that only brought my 268 minutes. I exploded the calories & I didn’t hit my 300-minute goal. Well it was my birthday week and I don’t regret it for a minute. When the scale reported I was up 0.04 pounds this morning I was not surprised. On a plus side my BMI is unchanged, still at 24.2. Disappointed to be going into vacation with the scale going up, but then I remember that there is 32.6 less pounds going on vacation this year and that frown turns upside down 🙂

While I’m on vacation I wont be doing my typical workouts and that is fine, everyone needs a break from routine once in a while. We’ll be staying right on the beach, Satellite beach actually, and I plan on daily walks on the beach. My goal will be 30-minute morning walks. Not first thing in the morning, because first thing in the morning I will be curled up with a book and cup of joe. Hearing the waves while you relax with a good book is simply the best. At least once I plan on practicing my Nia moves on the beach. Lastly, when ever it is convenient so probably not everyday, I want to spend about 20-minutes doing something and here is where I need your help. What exercises do you like to do that do not required any equipment? Here’s my list so far:

  • crunches, reverse crunches, double crunches, side crunches, bicycle crunches & V-sit-ups
  • Donkey kicks: straight back and knee lift to the side
  • lunges backward, sideways (with my butt back) and forward
  • push-ups
  • planks
  • Stretches

I might simply follow ShrinkJeans #6packMarch

 

now for a real treat

How excited are you about Hunger Games? OMG!! Follow the link to see: Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Meet Lenny Kravitz’s Cinna

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I’ll be back in two weeks for another scale day post vacation. Did you see that cring? Ouch!! I have one more thing to share, hopefully by Friday I’ll have that post out. Have a great couple of weeks and don’t forget to spring forward this Saturday night.