Friday, April 30, 2010

Quick 'n Dirty Post

No, not THAT kind of dirty. Tsk tsk!

Just a quickie (no, not THAT kind of quickie! Really....) before I head home to my cyber-spaceless world for a weekend of tasks, more tasks, JD's b-day, and a funeral for an old family friend. RIP Tante Willy. Your laughter and joy in life echoes in my memories still.

Here's what I've been up to lately:

April Salad A Day challenge has gone well. Most days I did have salad and some days even twice! Like this day (above) - a breakfast spinach-avocado-mango smoothie (AKA Salad in a Glass) in front of my supper (black bean salsa chicken in the slow cooker). And here is lunch for the same day:
My goddess, is that healthy or what?

For my May Challenge, I am going to do the 30 day Shred DVD by Jillian Michaels. I am fully expecting to be hobbling and groaning for at least the first week. Can't wait! (insert dripping sarcasm here)

I bought a new time and money saving appliance this week. (Yes. I can save money by buying stuff. I have that talent. More sarcasm to be inserted here.) Behold:

I finally caved and bought a rice cooker after pondering and researching them for months. I mean, a rice cooker? Why not just use a pot and the stove? I've made perfect rice this way for....for...well, a heck of a long time!!!! This was a tough one for me because, although I love labour and time saving appliances as much as the next gal, they have to be real work horses to justify the expense and the room they take up in the kitchen, in my opinion.

Let me tell you, this lil' baby does everything but knit socks. It cooks porridges, puddings, soups, all kinds of grains (barley etc.), legumes, rice (all kinds - some of which I have never heard of), risottos, it steams (veggies! eggs! fish! chicken!), it slow even makes tofu. Which I doubt I will ever do, but never say never. I do like to cook from scratch....but TOFU? I rarely even buy it. Oh well.

This week I made basmati rice at 730 am (to pack into JD's lunch meal), then left it on (Keep Warm function) till supper, and the rice was still hot, tender and fresh at 7 pm. I've also woken up to perfect cinnamon and raisin steel-cut oatmeal. I heart my new rice cooker! The only appliance one would need when travelling...or on a desert island...well, if it had an electrical outlet. Mine even comes with a cute carry handle for "making and taking".

Other news: we have found a wonderful potter to make wedding favours. Wife of a co-worker. Ta-Dah!

I won't tell you which one we picked. Gotta leave something for a surprise.

More stuff next week....gotta run now....have a good one!

Friday, April 23, 2010

We are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

My home computer has been infiltrated by a very nasty virus, ostensibly AND ironically promoting itself to be AntiSpyware software. I don't know how I came to download it, because as soon as it popped up, I knew it to be bogus and tried to get far, far away from the darn thing. Alas, the damage was already done. And what a lot of damage it proved to be.

My IT guardian angels have laboured valiantly to cut the cancerous trojan out of my old wreck of a tower for several days now, but it looks like the patient died on the table. My computer has to be reformatted.

Which means, at home, I am cut off from cyber-space at least until next week. In the meantime, I shall:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April Challenge and Various Musings/Updates

I have decided that (amongst other things) April is SALAD A DAY month. I do love eating salads, but am not always organized enough (read: too darn lazy) to prepare them for my meals. Above, behold my ginormous Tupperware bowl (a popcorn bowl, courtesy of Blockbuster Video many, many years ago) which holds enough salad for JD and I for at least 3 days. I want to make it a habit to eat more veggies and SAD is a good habit to start.

So far so good with the SAD challenge....well, except for the day we dropped into Burger King with our coupon for Whopper combos (2 can dine for $8.99!) and they were OUT of salads. That day the salad was of the fried potato variety...sigh. (And it was actually kinda tasty....I am not a fan of french frys or usually even potatoes....but I did enjoy these as they were not too salty and I was HUNGRY.)

Here's my backup plan for this challenge - formerly known as a Green Monster, I now re-christen you: SALAD IN A GLASS:

This particular SIAG was comprised of about:

4 cups spinach, steamed to a little pile of concentrated leafy green goodness

1 cup skim milk

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 scoop Whey Gourmet protein powder (vanilla, of course!)

So delicious. So guilt-free. So all about cramming in that much fruit and veggies before noon!

Picture a Day Update

During my recent bout with the respiratory virus from hell, I was less diligent about hauling the camera out every day. Though I did take snaps on most days, I am now so far behind on posting them on this blog I am going to start over - tomorrow....yep, not even gonna try to get caught up. Forward, onward, never look back...rah rah...and all that (said with a plummy British accent). Because it's my blog and I can.

Menopause on Pause?

My little seconds-long (minute-pause?) tropical moments, which have been on hiatus for several months, seem to have returned over the past week. Is it possible for this to happen? Menopause to go in and out of remittance? Or is something else going on? I guess there is nothing to do but wait and see what my body decides to do next.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

We Live in the Garden of Eatin'

Over the past couple of months I have been trying to lose weight and reshape my body. My target is, of course, to look good on my wedding day. But my overarching goal in this plan is optimal health. Success so far is 3 pounds and 5.5" gone. Not astounding results by any means, but considering that I am making minor but sustainable long-term lifestyle adjustments, the results look very very good.

As the above is my focus, I have been reading and researching a lot lately about different food choices, diets and lifestyles focused on food choices. And believe me, this is not hard to do. It seems our Western society is obsessed with this topic. The number of food bloggers alone on the internet is astounding.

Vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, primal, paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Flat Belly....these are just a few of the diets I have either tried or researched over many years. The often contradictory advice out there is most confusing. Carbs = good; Carbs = bad; Fat = good; Fat = bad; High protein, high fat, low carb; high carb, low fat, low protein.....etc. etc.

Two things I know for sure (my goddess, I sound like Oprah...sorry!) from all my research thus far:

1) Fresh fruits and vegetables are common to all scientifically sound diets out there.

2) We are so so fortunate to live in a time and part of the world where we actually have the luxury to have a choice about what to eat, rather than just being grateful to have enough to eat. Not everyone on the planet can say that. Something to remember every time I sit down to a meal.

Mindful Eating - that's what's on my mind right now.