Sunday, October 26, 2008

fatty - that's me

Ok, I went shopping today and it was sad.  I had to get a size larger jeans.  I had to get a size larger bra.  Not in the good way - in the fat way.
I'm not up a lot on the scale.  About 8 pounds from where I'd like to be, but only 3 above my limit.
But something clearly has to be done.  I can't just slide by anymore at my age.  I have to actively combat that law of entropy.
So, I'm thinking that I will do the cleanse that I bought a couple of months ago.  It's just a 10 day thing, but it might help me feel better and get rid of my cravings.  I have been eating too much sugar and yeast. 
So, I'll do that and quit eating the sugar and yeast.
I also need to start walking every day, or at least 4 days a week, for 10 minutes.  The dog needs it, too.  Now that it's cooler, it should be easier to fit it into my schedule.  I am also going to find out if any local friends go to the rec center to work out.  If they do, maybe I can meet them there.  

So, how is it going with you?  I know Robin is getting ready to drop a few pounds. ;)
What about the rest of you?  Sugar?  Pop?  Exercise?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Sorry it's been so long since I've posted here.
I have lost enough weight to put me back in my acceptable range.  I definitely need to exercise, though.

The other day I was at the health store to buy calcium supplements.  The sales woman told me something I hadn't heard before.  Even though the recommended intake for women is 1000 to 1500 mg per day, she said it is potentially harmful to try to get all of that through supplements.  She recommended taking about 500 from supplements and getting the rest from food.  
Apparently your body is only about to absorb about 20% of the mineral from the supplement.  The rest has to be eliminated by the body.  This can possibly contribute to kidney stones and other problems. 
When you eat food, your body is able to absorb 100% of the mineral.
I guess that's what supplement means, isn't it?  I tend to use them as substitutes instead.  

So, here are some good dietary sources of calcium.  What are some of your favorites?  

Dairy FoodsServingcalcium (mg)

Milk, whole, 2%, 1% skim
1 cup
Milk, evaporated
1/2 cup
Cheese, hard
50 gm
360 (average)*
Processed cheese spread
4 Tbsp
Cheese, processed slices
50 gm
Cottage cheese, 1 or 2%
2 cups
Cottage cheese, <0.1%
2 cups
Yogurt, plain
3/4 cup
290 (average)*
Yogurt, fruit bottom
3/4 cup
233 (average)*
Frozen yogurt, soft serve
1 cup
Ice cream
1 cup
*calcium content varies, check label
Beans and Bean ProductsServingcalcium (mg)
Tofu, medium firm or firm, made with calcium sulphate
150 gm
Tofu, firm, made with calcium sulphate and magnesium chloride
150 gm
White beans
3/4 cup
Navy beans
3/4 cup
Black turtle beans
3/4 cup
Pinto beans, chickpeas
3/4 cup
Nuts and SeedsPortioncalcium (mg)
Tahini (sesame seed butter)
2 Tbsp
Almonds, dry roast
1/4 cup
Almond butter
2 Tbsp
Sesame seed kernels, dried
1/4 cup
Meats, Fish, and PoultryServingcalcium (mg)
Sardines, Atlantic, canned with bones
75 gm
Sardines, Pacific, canned with bones
75 gm
Salmon, canned with bones
75 gm
GrainsServingcalcium (mg)

Oats, instant, regular, no sugar added
1 pouch
Non Dairy DrinksServingcalcium (mg)

Regular soy beverage
1 cup

Vegetables (all measures for cooked vegetables)Servingcalcium (mg)
Turnip greens
1/2 cup
Chinese cabbage/bok choy
1/2 cup
Okra, frozen
1/2 cup
Mustard greens
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
Chinese broccoli (gai lan)
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
calcium (mg)
1 med
OtherServingcalcium (mg)
Brown sugar
1 cup
Blackstrap molasses
1 Tbsp
Regular molasses
1 Tbsp
Asian FoodsServingcalcium (mg)
Dried fish, smelt
35 gm
Soy bean curd slab, semisoft
100 gm
Daylily flower
100 gm
Sea cucumber, fresh
100 gm
Soy bean milk film, stick shape
100 gm
Seaweed, Wakame, raw
1/2 cup
Seaweed, dry (agar)
1/2 cup
Fat-choy, dried
1/4 cup
Soy bean milk film, dried
100 gm
Boiled bone soup
1/2 cup

Thursday, August 21, 2008

ten pounds!

I have gained ten pounds since the last time I weighed.  I'm not sure what that time period is, but only a few months, I think.

This gain puts me over my upper limit.  I allow myself some fluctuation room, but this puts me over the top of what is acceptable!

I know exactly how it happened, too.  This summer I have been eating just about anything I want.  And here's what I've discovered happens when I do that:

I become insatiable.  I just eat and eat and eat.  When I am avoiding the foods I know I should, I can eat a reasonable amount and then be satisfied.  But not true when I am eating the things that my body can't handle.

I gain weight!

I fall asleep every afternoon.

I have worse PMS symptoms - the emotional symptoms.

I am more depressed.

My body hurts worse.

I have heart palpitations.

My stomach bothers me a lot.

So... I am back off the sugar and yeast and chocolate and will soon also go off the wheat and egg yolks and everything else that I am sensitive to.

I am going to do a cleanse.  I will pick it up from the store tomorrow.  It is a short one, but a good start, I think.  I will also start drinking lemon juice in a big glass of water each morning, dry brushing my skin, and taking salt baths.  If the rec center has a sauna, I may go spend some time there.

After that, I may do a more intensive yeast cleanse.  That would take several months and exclude fruit, honey, potatoes, etc.  Maybe after Christmas?  What's Thanksgiving and Christmas without mashed potatoes?!  Meanwhile, I will be avoiding all of the things that are bad for me.

I have to get my mind back in the right place, too.  I have to stop allowing myself to feel deprived because of all the things I can't eat.  

So, I know that Mel and Julie both are working on this.  Let's all encourage one another.  It is difficult.  I really would love to eat a pie right now!  LOL  But I am fed up with feeling so lousy!  And I want my pants to fit again!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cancer prevention

Beans- may prevent colorectal cancer.

Berries - may prevent skin, bladder, lung, esophageal, colorectal, and breast cancers.

Cruciferous vegetables - may prevent many types of cancer.

Dark leafy greens - may prevent mouth, pharynx, larynx, stomach, breast, skin, and lung cancers.

Flaxseed - may prevent colon, breast, skin, and lung cancers.

Garlic (and other allium vegetables such as onions, scallions, leeks, and chives) - may prevent stomach, colon, prostate, bladder, skin, lung, esophageal, and breast cancers.

Green tea - may prevent colon, liver, breast, prostate, lung, skin, bladder, stomach, pancreas, and esophageal cancers.

Pomegranates - may prevent prostate, lung, skin and colon cancers.

Red and purple grapes - may prevent lymph, liver, stomach, skin, breast, and leukemia cancers.

Soybeans - may prevent breast and prostate cancers.

Tomatoes - may prevent prostate, breast, lung and endometrial cancers.

Whole grains - may prevent colorectal cancers.

This information came from Delicious Living magazine.

More good reasons to get our fruits and veggies!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Coffee, Coke, Tea... what's your poison?
I personally have almost zero tolerance for caffeine anymore.  But I read an interesting article and want to pass on what I learned.

Coffee itself contains more antioxidants than other beverages.  It can possibly lower the risks of liver cancer and type 2 diabetes, whether it is caffeinated or not.  Caffeinated coffee may reduce incidence of gallstones and lower the risk of Parkinson's.
Caffeine in any form can improve focus, memory, reduce fatigue, and possibly stave off Alzheimer's.  There are a lot of claims as to the benefits of caffeine.
So enjoy your daily cuppa whatever and don't feel guilty about it.  

But we do need to remember that caffeine is a drug.  You need to decide how much you are willing to be controlled by that substance.  If you can't say no - then it is controlling you.

The article I read suggests that if you need the caffeine to function then you likely have an underlying problem that should be addressed.  Poor sleep, bad diet or perhaps a thyroid or other metabolic problem.

It is recommended that you take breaks from your caffeine habit on a regular basis.  Cut back gradually and eat a more alkaline diet, which would be more fruits and veggies and less carbs, cheese and meat.  Increase your vitamin C, B complex,  and calcium and magnesium to help you through the process of quitting.

Like every good thing, we need to maintain moderation.  So enjoy your coffee, coke, tea, or whatever, but you be the one in charge.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

recipe for you

I made this the other night when my mom was here.  It was very good.  The kids said "Yuck.  I don't like squash.  I don't like zucchini.  I don't like herbs on my chicken.  Yuck."  But I told them tough beans and to shut their traps and eat it.  Ok, not really.  I don't talk to my kids like that.  I might say tough beans, though, I guess.  Anyway.  I told them they had to each try one bite of the zucchini and a half of a chicken tender.  They ended up eating all the chicken and several pieces of squash.  I didn't even bother trying to get them to taste the eggplant.  The eggplant was a bit disappointing, but the rest was good.
Because I can't have tomatoes or peppers, I left those out.  I doubled the recipe and marinated some chicken tenders in that.

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetables

(I used regular sized veggies and sliced them)


1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 small eggplant sliced into 2-inch-thick rounds
3 baby summer squash
3 baby zucchini
3 baby pattypan squash
1/2 medium red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, left whole
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 2-inch-wide slices
1/2 red bell pepper, cut the same

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over vegetables.  Marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Grill them until tender, 5-10 minutes per side.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Try putting some fresh mint leaves in you water.  It actually makes the water feel colder.  It's great for your digestion, too!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

great site

I get this magazine free at my health food store and they have a beautiful site!  It is full of healthy, yummy looking recipes.  Go take a look and maybe you'll find something new to make for your family.  Or maybe something to take to Robin for her family!

Monday, July 14, 2008

what we had for supper

A package of romaine salad
toss in some:
white raisins
chopped apple
sweet peas
mandarin oranges

On the side (because not everyone like them) I had:
chopped onions
gorganzola crumbles
chopped chicken from a cooked- at- the- grocery store chicken

I put poppy seed dressing on mine.  The others used either mango or raspberry.

It was good.  It was healthy and the best part was that everyone liked it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

grilled chicken ratatouille

I got this recipe out of Eating Well magazine.  I thought it sounded good and kids might like it if you watch Ratatouille afterwards!

3 T - extra virgin olive oil
3 T - chopped fresh basil
1 T - chopped fresh marjoram
1 t - salt
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 - red bell pepper, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
1 - small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 - medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
4 - plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1-medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
4 - boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed
1/4 t - freshly ground pepper
1 T - red-wine vinegar

1. Preheat grill to medium-high

2. combine oil, basil, marjoram and salt in a small bowl and reserve 1 T of the mixture in another small bowl; set aside.

3. Coat both sides of bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, tomato and onion pieces with cooking spray.  Grill the vegetables, turning once, until soft, and charred in spots, about 5 minutes per side for the pepper, 4 minutes per side for the eggplant and zucchini and 3 minutes per side for the tomatoes and onion.  As the vegetables finish cooking, place them in a large bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

4. Rub the  tablespoon of reserved herb mixture on both sides of the chicken and sprinkle with pepper.  Grill the chicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

5. Meanwhile, transfer the grilled vegetables to a cutting board and chop into 1-inch pieces.   Return to the bowl and toss with vinegar and the remaining herb mixture.  Serve the grilled chicken with the ratatouille.

*edited to add the ingredients I missed the first time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It is important to eat lunch every day.  If you don't you will be hungry.

Ok, how's that?

Actually, lunches can be difficult for me.  Especially when it is only me.
What do you eat for lunch?

Lately, I have not been eating very well.  I have not been getting my fruits and veggies.  I think I've been eating mostly potato chips and cheese.  That can't be good.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Wow.  It has been a long time since I've posted.
I just wanted to say something about breakfast.
They say that eating breakfast every day is important for weight loss and maintenance.  It seems to work for me.
I didn't used to ever eat breakfast.  And even now I don't tend to get hungry until 9:30 or ten.  But I find when I eat breakfast I feel much better through the day and I think it helps me keep my weight under control.

I tend to eat an eggs, frozen waffles (natural, often wheat-free), turkey sausage, and hashbrowns.  Not always all at once, but now and then I do.  Usually it's one or two of those things.

What do you eat for breakfast?  And if you don't eat it, why?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

five a day

Ok, I am doing pretty well staying off the sugar.  So my new focus is going to be exercise and getting my fruits and veggies.
I found a site that is helpful.  A serving really isn't very big so it shouldn't be too hard.  According to this site I should be getting five servings a day.  I can do that.
Like you, my problem is cleaning and cutting and storing the veggies.  I tend to forget about them and let them spoil.  But frozen veggies count and so maybe I won't make it more difficult by trying to use fresh all the time.  
The site also describes the health benefits of different color groups of veggies and lists some, so that we can have ideas of different things to eat.  Variety is important.  During the summer I could easily eat five servings of watermelon per day, but I don't think that's the way its suppose to be done.
I'll have to remember that potato chips probably don't count.
I don't really care if I smother my veggies in butter or sauce.  My point isn't to eat less calories, but to eat more nutrients.  A little bit of fat, LITTLE BIT, like olive oil or butter actually releases the fat soluble nutrients from the veggies, anyway.  So even if you are trying to cut back on calories, you should add just a tad of fat to your veggies.

I bought a book on how to select and prepare produce.  Several grocery stores have the book available in the produce section for you to refer to while shopping.  Look for it or ask the produce manager about it.  If they don't have one, then ask the produce people about fruits and veggies you aren't familiar with so you can try new things.  Ask them to help you choose the best and know how to tell if they are ripe.  They can usually give you preparation tips, too.

Here is the FDA site on five a day.  It's not as pretty, but has a lot of information.

A site with tips for incorporating fruits and veggies.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

a post

I could think of things to write if you guys gave me some ideas.

I have been off the sugar, except for a few jelly bellies, and am starting to feel fewer cravings.  I am starting to feel better, too.

One thing I am really bad about is eating veggies.  I just don't like to eat them.  When I have them, I usually enjoy them, but I don't go out of my way to get them.  I am very deficient.  
What are your favorite veggies?

Friday, April 11, 2008

sugar sugar

The past couple of days I OD'd on sugar.  Here are some things that it does to me, some of which I only discovered yesterday:

Makes me very tired
Makes my head feel full and foggy
Makes me dizzy
Makes me irritable
Makes me feel anxious
Makes my heart palpitate
Increases muscle pain and stiffness
Makes me fat

Thursday, April 10, 2008


ok.  I haven't actually given up sugar yet.  Since I knew my birthday was coming, I figured, "why bother."  But tomorrow I will go cold turkey!
I know Mel is doing it!  Yay!
Anyone else?

Also, I realized yesterday that going shopping on a birthday is not such a great idea.  First of all when I saw myself in one of those mirrors they have everywhere, it looks like I have a bruise on my cheek.  There is no bruise.  What is that big dark smudge?  

Then everything I tried on was too small and I know I wore that size a couple of weeks ago.  Pooey.

I'm not putting on pounds.  I'm just turning to flab.  I'm losing muscle mass and replacing it with rolls and pudges.  

So, not only am I giving up the sugar.  I have GOT to start moving!  Just have to.  My dog is fat, too, so I guess we will be taking walks together.  I am thinking to ask some women I know in the area if they want a walking partner.  I would be so much more motivated that way.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?  Do you do it at home?  At a gym?  At all?

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I need to not eat sugar.  Lately, I have been craving it worse that usual.  I gave in and ate a bunch of Easter candy and now I can't stop wanting it!  

So, I have to go cold turkey again.  Who's with me?  Anyone else got a monkey on their back?  Wanna kick the habit with me?  Lend me some support?  

We'll all feel much better if we do it, no matter what issues we may have.  

When I say sugar, I mean processed white cane sugar or brown sugar.  If you want, you can have honey, maple syrup, stevia, agave, maple sugar, date sugar, beet sugar, barley malt...  Oh goodness, there are all kinds of sweeteners out there.  They just require a little more effort and thought.  You can't go to the ice cream shop and get ice cream made with barley malt or something.

And an added benefit is that we will lose some weight!

Ok, are you in?

Monday, March 10, 2008


I'm sorry I haven't posted here in a while.  
I thought I would show you a pic of how I looked about seven years ago at around 200 pounds.

Here I am a couple of years ago.

I have kept about 50 pounds off for the past five years.
The changes I've made were not easy.  The first thing that had to happen was God broke that thing in me that kept me eating all the time.  You can read my first post on this blog to see what I'm talking about.
I cut out sugar, almost totally, but I still have a treat from time to time.  This is the single hardest change to make.  But I eat honey, stevia, succanat, molassas, and agave nectar instead.  
I don't eat fast food anymore, except for an occasional Chick-fil-a.
I try to eat naturally, and organic when I can.  But I eat butter and chips and cheese, (I just prefer the natural kind without antibiotics and hormones and preservatives.
I've already told you about the trans fats and I think that cutting those out goes a long way.
The bottom line really is the sugar and the fact that I am treating my liver better by not running so much junk through it.
Anyway, If you are struggling, I would suggest starting with the sugar.  Cold turkey is the only way.  And it will be tough.  But if you want to do it, I will pray for you through it!  Once you've conquered that, the rest will be much easier.
And if you're like me and food controls you instead of the other way around, then pray for God to deliver you.  He will.  And it is wonderful to be free of that!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

fighting colds and flu

I used to be the lady giving flu shots to everyone.
But since then, I have done some research and now I no longer take the flu shot. I did my research on the CDC site, too. Not some anti-immunization site. If you did deep enough on there you might find some reasons not to get the shot yourself. But it's an individual decision.

Whether you get it or not, you are still at risk for the flu. Especially years like this one where they don't get the vaccine quite right and people are getting the flu anyway.

I want to specify that the flu is not vomiting. That is a virus, but not a flu virus. Influenza is a specific type of illness that involves high fever, chills, body aches, headaches, sore throat, severe fatigue and cough. Some people may have some stomach involvement, particularly children, but those are not the primary symptoms.

The flu can be like an extreme cold or bronchitis.

Here are a few natural immunity boosters and flu-fighters. Black Elderberry extract is a great immunity enhancer and has been used for centuries. Look at the Sambucal site for more info. I don't use this brand, anymore, but it's got good information. It works by actually preventing the cells from replicating. That's the same way that the anti-viral medications the doctors prescribe work. I read info stating that it is as effective as those medications. It can be taken daily as an immunity booster. I just keep it around and take some at the first sign of any cold or flu symptoms. It tastes good, but strong. For my kids, I mix it in a cup of grape juice, then they can't even taste it. ( I use the Nature's Answer brand. This other brand was bought by a new company and added a lot of artificial ingredients.)

Zinc suppliments will shorten the severity and duration of colds. I don't know if it works for the flu or not, but I would try. I use Zicam, but there are other options. One day I suddenly became very congested in my nose and sinuses and felt like a full blown cold out of nowhere. I was on my way out of town to meet a friend so I stopped at a store and picked up some of the Zicam swabs and used them according to the directions. Within a few hours all of my symptoms were gone. That is the most dramatic experience I've had and I think it was because I started the treatment less than an hour after the symptoms began. I have used the product every time I get a cold and it has helped every time.

There are homeopathic products out there such as Oscillococcinum for flu. I haven't tried it, but I just bought some to have on hand just in case.

Umcka cold remedy is something else that I have on hand but have not tried.

I have had good success with some homeopathic cold rememdies in the past. They relieve symptoms without all the nasty side effects of regular cold medications.

Echinacea is another helpful product for building your immune system.

As always, if you want to try any of these products, research them first yourself.

One of the main things you can do to stay well is wash your hands frequently. Also, eat well and take your vitamins and drink lots of water.

Hope you all stay well!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

natural cleansers

It is easier for me to just give you a link to a site about cleaning with vinegar and baking soda than to try to get all the information on here. So check this out. It also has links for further information.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

keeping it clean

There are some easy things you can do daily to help your body get rid of toxins. One of the main things is to try to elimate as many toxins as you can from your environment and food.
Do what you can to eat clean foods.
Use natural cleansers when you can. White vinegar is an excellent all purpose cleanser and it's probably less expensive than regular cleansers. Baking soda can be used for a lot of cleansing needs, too. Lemon juice and lemon oil are great. Lemon kills germs.
Then, to get toxins out that you alread have in your body:
Every morning right after you get up, drink a large glass of water with some organic lemon juice in it. It doesn't have to be strong. Just a little juice in there. Make sure it is palatable. Lemon is a wonderful antimicrobial agent, but it is also very cleansing to the liver.
Use a dry brush on your skin before you shower or bathe. They sell these various places, or you can use a loofa. You brush your skin according to the instructions. This exfoliates the skin which allows the skin to excrete waste as it should. It is, in fact, the main elimination organ of the body. The brushing also stimulates circulation, stimulates the lymph system and helps all of the toxins and fats to break up and be released.
Take a salt bath as often as you can. Sea salt is best, but epsom salt will work. The osmotic properties of the bath draw out the toxins. You want to be sure your water isn't too hot, and you don't want to soak more than ten minutes as you begin doing this. If you take longer or take a hot bath, you can get woozy. Also, rinse off, so that the toxins go down the drain.
We already talked about juicing, and that is a good addition to the routine, if you can manage it.
None of these things are difficult or even expensive. They do take some planning, and intentional effort, but not much! I've recently started doing these things because I had just not been feeling as good as I wanted to. I'm already seeing a difference.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

to eat organic or not?

What does it mean when a food is organic?
This is from the back of a box of cereal made by Cascadian Farm:
The USDA organic standards prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in organic foods. Also, they prohibit all artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Organic farmers rely on natural methods of soil building and crop rotation to keep their fields fertile and to reduce the negative impact on the environment.

Stonyfield Farm, which makes dairy products has a great page explaining the pros and cons of organic.

Organic foods do cost more and so you have to determine if it is worth it to you. But the good news is that they are becomming more readily available all the time. Both of our main grocery chains, King Soopers (Kroger) and Safeway, have their own organics line of products now. And I had heard that WalMart does, too. Tyson has recently begun selling ice glazed organic chicken. So with the increase in availabity of these products, the prices have already begun to improve. Organics don't cost as much as they did even a few years ago when I began contemplating all this.
I don't buy all or only organic. I buy it when it when I can.
I almost always buy natural, hormone and antibiotic free dairy, eggs and meat, whether they are organic or not.
The difference? The cows, chickens, etc have to have been fed organic feed in order for it to be certified organic.
Here is a list to show you which produce has the highest level of pesticides in it, then you can choose which ones you want to buy organic and which you don't. I had heard that strawberries were the worst and that apples were ok, because you could peel them. But we don't peel our apples, and I am surprised that they are so high on the list.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

healthy restaurants

I love Jason's Deli. The reason I first loved it is that all of their food is trans-fat free! And if you've been reading this blog, you know that I can't eat them. I think they are very bad and they make me sick. So it was wonderful to have a place I could eat without having to quiz them about everything on the menu.
They have delicious food, too! Great sandwiches and soups and a big, fresh salad bar. Many of the sandwiches are big enough to split.
Not only are they trans-fat free, they also use organic products as much as they can. Most of their salad bar is organic.
And now, they have eliminated all MSG and they will soon be eliminating all High Fructose Corn syrup. I haven't posted yet on the evils of corn syrup, but I will -- if I remember.
So they are constantly changing to improve the health value of their products.
Plus, they have free ice cream for dessert! (ok, so that's not so healthy, but it's FREE ICE CREAM!)

The Cheesecake Factory uses natural, antibiotic and hormone free meats. They also use wild-caught fish. These are good things. I love knowing that the meat I'm eating is good quality. And who doesn't love The Cheesecake Factory?

There are some local places that offer healthier choices, too. Like Goodtimes Burgers, which are found only in a few western states. And some other more local, family owned places.

Do some research online for your area and see what you can find. I love supporting these places so that maybe other businesses will catch on that there is a demand for healthy, good quality food!

Friday, February 1, 2008

health care

Sorry that I have been so lax in my blogging. It is difficult to post about health when I am feeling unhealthy! (Ate something wrong -- or have a bug)

I told you the story about my gallbladder problems and how that led to my seeking more natural methods of health care and treatment. Another factor is that I really like the philosophy of the natural health care crowd. They believe in finding and solving the underlying problem rather than just treating the symptoms. That makes good sense to me.

I have had a lot of weird symptoms in my life. A lot of questions that never got answered. And in the meanwhile I had a lot of tests to confirm that nothing was wrong.
Need a procedure done? Ask me, I've probably had it.

CAT scans
Upper GI
Nerve conduction tests
Gallbladder ultrasound
Pelvic ultrasound
Stress echo
Holter Monitor
Cystoscopy, but I was very young and slept, so don't ask about that one
Induced Labor

I'll let you know if I think of more. But that's an awful lot of stuff considering that I have very few actual diagnoses. A stroke, probable gallbladder problems, and duodenitis. I think that's all that's actually ever been wrong with me.

See why I might be fed up with the medical system? On the other hand, I would sure hate to have something wrong and then it not be found. There has to be some kind of balance.
I'm hoping that by eating healthier, taking my supplements and continuing with medical check-ups, that I will find that balance.

*My spell check is not working and I am a terrible speller. My apologies!*

Friday, January 25, 2008

food sensitivities

Sorry that I haven't posted in so long. I have a list of things to talk about, I just haven't been in a very wordy mood lately, I guess.

For a long time I had some skin issues that I just could not get rid of. The doctors were no help and I was growing very frustrated. I'm talking years of these issues. No lotions or potions made any difference.

So, my chiropractor/nutritionist at the time offered a blood test that determined what food sensitivities a person had. It claimed that food sensitivities could be behind a number of symptoms including stomach upset, headache, dizziness, rashes and more. So I decided to go for it in the hopes that maybe something I was eating was behind my problem.

The test wasn't cheap, but they take the blood and expose it somehow to fifty different foods. It doesn't measure allergies. Those produce a histamine reaction and people usually know right away when they have a true allergy. Sensitivities on the other hand cause more insidious symptoms that may not occur until several days after the offending food is consumed, so a link isn't always obvious.

So, when the results came back I was given a list of things that tested positive for sensitivity. It was a longer list than I would have liked. The top thing on my list -- the worst offender -- was yeast. My list also included chocolate, cabbage, pork, tuna, tomatoes, millet, cane sugar, wheat, and more. So, after getting the results I had to eliminate all of the listed foods from my diet for ninety days. Then, I had to add just one at a time, eating some for three meals in a row and then stopping it again for four days. During those four days I had to be alert to any symptoms I might have. Then do the same thing with another food.

Well, it turns out that most of the things on the list really do cause symptoms of some kind. The ones toward the bottom of the list, like beef and wheat, don't bother me too much. But if I eat yeast, my skin problem comes back. It's gone otherwise! I also get bloated, gassy and tired when I eat yeast.

Chocolate seems to make me dizzy. Pork gives me gas. Etc. So, I have learned to live without most of the things on my list. I would not have thought it possible when I first got the test results back, but I have.

I miss those foods, though. My hubby is probably tired of hearing me longingly say, "I miss chocolate. I miss pizza. I miss bread."

But it's been a very good experience for me because I am not one to deny myself anything I want usually. I've had to learn how to do that, and it's been good for me. In all kinds of ways!

Recently, I've lost ten pounds for no reason and the only thing I can think of is because I've not been eating those foods, (for the most part). Weight loss is one of the claims they make. Plus, how can I not lose weight when I can't eat chocolate or bread!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I always read labels, now.
I look first of all to see if any of the fat is trans-fat. And I don't just look at the box that gives grams. I go straight to the ingredients to see if there is any hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat in there. Because they can put it in and if it is less than a certain amount, they can say zero trans-fats. It may be a very small amount, but that stuff builds up in your system, so I just stay away from it completely.

I look then to see what the sugar is. Is it high fructose corn syrup? Is it refined sugar? If I'm going to buy something with cane sugar in it, I try to have it at least be unprocessed, like cane syrup. Better yet, I look for things sweetened with fruit juice or honey.

If it's sweetened with cane sugar, I also look up in the other box to see how many grams of sugar per serving. I personally don't even look at the calorie box or fat count. I care more about what the source of the calories is and what kind of fat it is.

You may care about other things like salt content or maybe you do care about how much fat there is. We all have different concerns.

When I am buying something like cereal or a frozen pizza, I look to see how many ingredients there are. Some lists go on and on! Next time you are at the store, grab a frozen pizza, and then grab a Tombstone pizza. Tombstone has very few ingredients by comparison. It is made of the things that a pizza should be made of : flour, yeast, salt, cheese, tomatoes, etc. The other pizza will have a huge list of things you don't even recognize!

Some of the things listed are vitamins and things like that. You could look some of the things up on line. Other things are preservatives and additives and junk and fake stuff.

I think label reading is a good habit to get into. It takes some more time, but at least you will know what you are eating.

Monday, January 14, 2008

makeover monday

Here's a recipe I've had for awhile that I got from my sis. It's very good. And I don't even like meatballs. But these I can pig out on.
I have made some changes to the recipe to cut the sugar content and make them healthier.
Here's the original recipe and I've put my changes in parenthesis.

Julie’s Meatballs

3 lbs ground beef (I use bison. It's leaner and always hormone/antibiotic free. But use the best hamburger you can buy)
12 oz evaporated milk (you can use skim, do they make skim evaporated milk?)
2 cups oats ( good for you! fiber.)
2 eggs ( I have no problem with eggs, but if you do, just use whites)
½ cup chopped onion
½ tsp. Garlic powder
2 tsp. Salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp chili powder (onions and spices, good for you!)

2 c Catsup (here, I just switched to regular tomato sauce and they still turn out very sweet.)
1 c brown sugar (Use Succanat, it tastes like brown sugar, but isn't processed)
½ tsp liquid smoke ( I have no idea what this is. A bunch of chemicals, I guess. But it wouldn't taste right without it)
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ c chopped onion (more garlic and onion! Kill those germs in your system!)

Make walnut sized balls, mix sauce and pour over balls. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Makes approx 80 balls.

Friday, January 11, 2008

just fish

Robin asked about fish. I LOVE fish. It has been a favorite as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, I always chose fish at the Cafeteria restaurant.
I personally don't care if my fish tastes strong, I love it. I have never tried a type of fish that I don't like.
But I think this recipe would be very good! After the recipe, keep reading, I have more to say.
This by the way is from the Whole Foods site, again.

Cod Poached in Tomato-Tarragon Sauce

A flavorful sauce of tomatoes, tarragon and a touch of orange juice makes a delicate companion to cod. Serve with rice or pasta.

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup fish stock or chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 1/2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 4 or 6 pieces
sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons orange juice
Chopped fresh tarragon or parsley

Heat butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add white wine, increase heat to medium and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add fish stock, tomatoes and tarragon. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Season fish with salt and pepper. Add fish to skillet, spooning tomatoes on top. Cover and simmer until fish can be flaked and is fully opaque, about 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spatula, transfer fish pieces to a platter.
Add orange juice to skillet. Simmer sauce, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes to reduce slightly. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning. Spoon over fish and garnish with fresh tarragon or parsley.
Nutrition Info
Per serving (About 13.5oz/384g-wt.): 250 calories (60 from fat), 6g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 34g protein, 13g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 85mg cholesterol, 530mg sodium

My husband who does not particularly like fish likes Orange Roughy and Mahi-Mahi. They would both be good types for you to try if you also don't like fishy fish.
As far as mercury goes, all fish have some, but the bigger the fish, the more it has because the big fish eat all those little fish and the mercury content from all those little fish adds up. So, while I love shark and swordfish, those are the type that should be eaten very rarely.
Here is a government site giving the mercury values found in different types of fish.

I prefer wild caught to farmed fish. While I like the idea of farmed fish because it renews the resource, I have read too much about farmed fish being more polluted than wild fish. A man at the seafood counter told me that the study that says that was funded by fishermen who catch wild fish, so the study was in their favor. I don't know. You can make your own choice. I personally look for wild caught and get it when I can.

I like to just sear my fish in a skillet with a bit of olive oil or butter. I like it broiled or grilled. I seldom use actual recipes, I prefer it straight. Although Trout Almondine is one of my favorites!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

recipes and flax and fish

Another idea for recipes is that you can send in recipes that you like and together we can see how we can make them more healthy. You can e mail them to me at keep 1 hope at comcast dot net.

Robin has asked about flax seeds. See the comment section of the last post.
I have done the flax seed thing and just found it to be too big of a hassle. They are good for you and here is a good site to read all about them. But you have to grind them for your body to be able to access the nutrients and it's just a pain IMO. They taste ok, though. I did flax oil for a while and I just dipped my bread in it like olive oil. I like the flavor. But fish oil has the same good fats in it that flax has and they are more readily available to the body.

So, that's my take on flax. Its good for you and recommend using either that or taking fish oil capsules.

FYI, some people have trouble with fishy breath and burps from fish oil. I've never experienced that.

chicken nuggets

My kids love this recipe:

Crunchy Homemade Chicken Nuggets
This recipe is perfect for teaching young children how to cook. You do the cutting, and help the kids do the rest. (Make sure they wash their hands thoroughly after handling raw chicken!)
4 Servings
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
3 cups crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
vegetable or olive oil for spraying pan
plastic or paper bag
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Slice chicken breasts into 2-inch strips. Marinate chicken pieces in yogurt for one hour or up to 24 hours, refrigerated.
Prepare the crunchy crust by combining the corn flakes, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place corn flake mixture in a plastic or paper bag. Drop chicken, a few pieces at a time, into the bag and shake thoroughly to completely coat. Remove chicken pieces from bag, shaking excess mixture from each piece. Place coated chicken pieces on a sheet pan lightly sprayed with oil.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until crunchy on the outside and cooked through. Serve with dipping sauces.
Nutrition Info
Per Serving (190g-wt.): 260 calories (30 from fat), 3.5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 1g dietary fiber, 30g protein, 26g carbohydrate, 65mg cholesterol, 900mg sodium

At health food stores and maybe some regular stores you can get cornflakes that contain no sugar or corn syrup. They are sweetened with grape juice. I like to use those.

I got this at Whole Foods. They have a lot of great recipes. Some of them have unusual or expensive ingredients, but many of them use ingredients that are on hand.


I have all kinds of recipes and cookbooks. Stevia cooking, low-fat cooking, whole foods cooking, vegetarian cooking, juice and smoothies and more.
Would you like me to share recipes? And if so, what kind would you like? Give me your requests and I will see what I can do.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Stop drinking your calories

I think the number one thing people could do to lose some weight is to stop drinking calories.

Ever notice how people are drinking all the time? Pop, sweetened teas, juice type drinks like Snapple, always something. Now it's coffee. But not just coffee – it's liquid dessert.

A 12 oz can of pop has 136 calories. 33 grams of sugar. How many do you drink per day?

A Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino Grande size has 430 calories. 60 grams of sugar.

A Cappuccino Grande has only 120 and 10 sugars.

Pumpkin Spice Latte has 380 and 49 sugars.

Just so you know.

If you take in 500 less calories per day, you can lose a pound per week.

Do you drink four cans of pop per day? Most people don't drink cans anymore they drink those bigger bottles.

How many Starbucks' goodies do you have per day?

Ok, so maybe you love this stuff too much to give it up. I'm just saying. Stop drinking your calories and you can probably lose weight with just that one change.

Now, there is nothing wrong with an occasional pop or coffee treat. But make it a treat. Back to the post on tasting the food. If you get a white chocolate mocha something, savor it. Enjoy it. Make it satisfying. Same with the pop. We tend to drink pop like water, especially with meals. These days I seldom drink it, but when I do, I make it last and I also have water with my meal and drink the water for thirst and the pop for flavor.

So, there's something for you to think about.


Sunday, January 6, 2008


I am finishing up a stomach bug here, I hope!

Anyway, Robin asked about cleanses.
The only one I've done was a yeast cleanse.
Let me explain from the beginning.
We all have bacteria and yeast that grow in our gut. I call it my "garden". The proper name is intestinal flora. There should be more of the good bacteria than there is of the bad stuff. The good flora strengthens your immunity, insures good bowel health, provides proper absorption of nutrients and who knows what else.
In this age though, we do a lot that kills off the good flora. Because they are bacteria they can be called biotics. So, when you take antibiotics, you kill off all biotics; the ones that are making you sick, as well as the ones that are your friends. The drug doesn't know the difference. But the yeast is not killed by antibiotics. It is usually kept in check by the good flora, but now that it is all gone, the yeast thrives. It takes over the gut.
Sugar, food aditives and other things also destroy these bacteria.
I grew up on antibiotics. I took them several times a year, I'm sure. Every year. Until I was 24. So, how much good stuff did I have left, I wonder?
I developed IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome. I also had many symptoms of yeast overgrowth. Overwhelming fatigue for one. IBS, for another.
So, when I started trying to become healthy in alternative ways, I started doing a yeast cleanse. I found the rules online and took some products from my health food store. I think this really helped make headway in the situation. Then when I started seeing the nutritionist, she gave me clearer direction and also some better supplements. Her diet was actually less restrictive than the one I had been trying to follow.
The diet generally prohibits any kind of sugar including fruit and simple carbs. In prohibits anything containing yeast, alcohol, and mushrooms. She told me just to stay away from sugars including fruits.
Anyway, I think it really helped, although lately I've been thinking that maybe I need to do it again.
I can't remember the cost, although the money I saved by not eating all that junk probably paid for the cleanse.
I think I did a liver cleanse through my nutritionist, too, but I don't remember much about that. It was just some supplements.
I have heard from various sources that the Metagenics cleanse is excellent. My nutritionist had this as well, but I didn't do it. I know people who have and had great results. I don't know the cost, though.

Back to the yeast thing. One easy thing you can do to help get your "garden" in balance is to take probiotics. They are the good bacteria that you need. They come in pill, or liquid form. You can get a few in yogurt, but not enough to make a difference. Acidophilus is one that you've probably heard of, but there are hundreds of different good bacteria and yeast that we need. So I switch from brand to brand every time to get enough variety.

Friday, January 4, 2008

taste your food

Maybe you've heard of or even done the Weigh Down diet. I did. It had some good principles.

There is a book called French Women Don't Get Fat. It is a good book and you should read it.

The basic premise is similar to one of Weigh Down's principles. Taste your food. Enjoy it. Relish it. Savor it. If it isn't wonderful, don't eat it.

Did you see Ratatouille? The critic said "I love food. If I don't love it, I don't swallow."

And the rat said to his brother, "Don't just pork it down!"

Good advice.

I read an article by a lady who was being taught the same thing. Really taste your food. Think about it instead of just shoveling it in. And so she contemplated one of the potato chips she had been scarfing and realized that that it was rancid, too greasy, too salty and stale. She didn't even actually like it.

How much food do you eat that you don't even really love? Sometimes, I know, you have to eat what's available. But most of the time we have a lot of choice in what we eat.

The book (French Women) gave chocolate as an example. Put a small bite in your mouth and let it melt on your tongue. Roll it around in your mouth. Think about the saltiness, the sweetness, the bitterness, the texture. I found that when I do this, I can take one small bite of dark chocolate and get a huge amount of satisfaction from it. Then I don't feel like I want to eat a half pound at once.

So, today, try to really taste everything you put in your mouth. Except maybe your vitamins. But, you know, food. Think about it. Is it worth it? Is it worth the calories? You may find that you really like things you didn't think you did, (like dark chocolate) and that maybe you don't really like things you tend to pig out on, (like potato chips).

I need to do this, too. It certainly hasn't become habit with me. I still tend to eat without thinking and enjoying. I know that I eat a lot more this way, too.

Let me know what you discover. Let me know what you think.

And if you get a chance to read that book, tell me your impression of it as well.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


The ultimate answer to my gallbladder problem, other than avoiding the trans fats, was supplements. I got frustrated with all of the information on line and finally found a nutritionist to guide me. She had me take beet green supplements that cleared the problem right up. I don't have to take them anymore. Only if I have a flair-up and I only have a flair-up when I eat trans fats.
Now, I want to point out that the ultrasound didn't show any stones. If you have gallbladder problems, then consider trying what I did, but keep in mind that what works for one may not work for another. Although, my nutritionist did tell me that she had never seen a patient that did not have good results with that particular supplement.

Now I take fish oil, Borage oil (supposed to be good for skin), Evening Primrose Oil (saved me from PMS), multi-vit, extra B complex, SAM-e (for depression, sleep, and arthritis), calcium and magnesium.
Sometimes when my stomach hurts I take DGL which is from the licorice root. It coats the stomach and heals it. Like natural Pepto-Bismol.

I also take something else that I will tell you about in a separate post.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


My hubby has started a juice fast. He's done this before and had pretty good results. We have a juicer and he drinks nothing but fresh juices and water for a certain time. I'm not sure how long he's planning to do it. He loses weight, naturally, but it also clears out all of his cravings and cleanses the body.
I don't want to do it.
But, I do like juicing. When I was really sick with my gallbladder trouble, my stomach also got really bad. I think it was irritated from the other problem, somehow. But I couldn't eat anything. Not a cracker, not jello, not rice, broth, anything. It gave me a tummy ache. So the friend who gave me suggestions told me to start juicing.
So, every morning I made juice of carrots, beet, cucumber and apple. The beet helps thin the bile and the other stuff is just good for you. You know, it actually tastes really good. And it helped very quickly. I started feeling better within a couple of days.
I don't juice much anymore, but now that my hubby is doing it, I've been drinking more. I really would like to do it each morning. I feel very good when I do.
It can be expensive because the juicers are expensive. But I found one brand new online for $30 or $60, I can't remember. But either price is great for a juicer and it works very well. Its a *Krups brand. Buying the large amounts of organic produce isn't cheap, either, but if you're only drinking juice once per day, it isn't so bad.
And my hubby ate out everyday for lunch, so buying these veggies isn't costing us any more than we were spending, anyway.
*edited to correct the brand name of the juicer.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

delicious recipe

Curried Yogurt Chicken

1 cup plain yogurt,
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup fresh cilantro, ( I used 1/8 cup dried)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
1 Tablespoon curry powder
Black pepper
2 lb chicken pieces

Combine all ingredients except chicken. Put chicken in a shallow glass dish and cover with mixture, making sure all pieces are covered. Cover dish with plastic wrap and let marinate for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove chicken from marinade. Place chicken in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.