Monday, January 31, 2011

The last day of the first month of the rest of your life

You did designate January, 2011, as the first month of the rest of your life, didn't you? Heh.

So if some of your New Year's goals have fallen by the wayside – mine would be journaling all of my food and exercise, every day – then today's a good day to reboot the system. Why wait until the first of next month? It's a Monday!

I didn't meet any of my three activity goals, but I'm beginning to think I might have been too ambitious. I need to take into account three things:
  • January weather, which limited outdoor activity
  • I don't care for strength-training (but I keep trying to care)
  • Time spent is probably more important than miles slogged through
I will give myself credit for working out most days in January, and for only going fewer than 60 minutes a couple of times. I haven't tallied the numbers yet. Something to look forward to!

I still have 2GB of data transfer remaining on my USB modem plan this month, and one week to spend it. After helping Elora get up to speed, so to speak, with her high-speed internet service, I started poking around in the iTunes podcasts and found a bunch of language-learning ones. Since my granddaughter is taking French, and I took it in high school, I've decided to learn to parlais francais while I walk. Maybe we can have a real conversation in a foreign language when she visits this summer. Right now we're at the "bon nuit et bon matin" stage. Which is fine, but it could be so much more!

'Cause that's how I roll: more, more, more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Quote Day

Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.
~ Doug Firebaugh

Not that all of your tomorrows won't be perfect anyway, right?

I've read and heard about and experienced the phenomenon of success building upon success. We don't suddenly wake up one day running four-hour marathons, throwing gourmet dinner parties or looking like Halle Berry.

Those accomplishments, and countless others, are the result of many days of practice, diligence, consistency and - dare I say it? - blood, sweat and tears.

Layering is not just something you do when you head outdoors during YET ANOTHER WINTER STORM. It's what you do with your life.

We're nearing the end of January already. I could have done better with my goals this month, but I feel good about myself and my overall efforts. I've laid the foundation for future success.

Perhaps the most important word in today's quote is "inch." Success rarely comes swiftly, and lasting success is a process.

What are you doing to inch your way toward a better tomorrow?


Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't you hate it …

when you're working on a project (in my case, custom-designed candy bar wrappers) and the power goes out.

Arghhhhh!

Fortunately the power goes out frequently enough here in the Middle of Nowhere that I've learned to save, save, save, especially when I'm working on a Photoshop document.

One of my mother-in-law's favorite foods is a good old-fashioned Hershey bar. No dark chocolate for her, thankyouverymuch, she loves milk chocolate. So we're going to give Hershey bars with personalized wrappers for party favors. Maybe I'll pick up one of those giant-sized bars for her.

I may have found a tutorial on how to make a cupcake-shaped cake without buying the mold. I'll have to study it, but at first glance it looks like it will work.

So. Did I walk yesterday? You betcha! Four miles, outdoors, and it was great. I'll always like walking outdoors better than doing an indoor workout. Pretty soon, I hope, I'll be running outdoors. I keep downloading half- and full marathon training plans for inspiration. One of these days …

Food continues to be good. The big lack in my life is the willingness to pick up a dumbbell. I have a mental block about it, and I'm just going to have to put my big-girl panties on and get over it already!

But probably not today. Heh.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The blahs



Well, it appears that maybe – maybe – I've been trying to come down with something the last couple of days, which could account for my lethargy and lack of motivation. I managed to do half an hour on the elliptical yesterday before I started feeling lightheaded, dizzy and a little sick to my stomach. I stopped and took it easy the remainder of the day.

I didn't even make dinner, and I think my husband was glad. I'd planned to bake a couple of winter squashes with a filling of ground beef, onions, celery, couscous and African spices. Whenever I say "squash," he gets this funny look on his face like I'm going to make him eat liver or something. Squash is way better than liver!

So we'll have it tonight, and he'll eat it and he'll like it (because he's eaten and liked it in the past), and the next time I serve it he'll wrinkle his nose again. Until he cleans his plate. Heh.

Woke up feeling okay this morning, not great, but not dizzy. It looks like I'll be able to walk outdoors today; the temperature should be in the upper 30s/low 40s – perfect!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_uVnYKdG8cok/TT7ANw-2uKI/AAAAAAAABpQ/KkzJiW-mAeQ/s1600/024.jpgIf you follow my Project 365 blog, this image will look very familiar. As a run-up to the big birthday bash for my mother-in-law, I did a practice run on one of the treats we'll be serving. You "paint" melted chocolate on mini-muffin cups (twice, chilling after each application), then pipe peanut butter (or mousse) in the cups. Peel off the paper cups before displaying/serving. Very putzy, but very pretty, don't you think?

I've been trying to figure out how to create a cake that looks like a cupcake without buying the $35 Wilton cake mold. I'm making two kinds of cupcakes to serve our guests, but also wanted the bigger one for the blowing-out-the-candles ceremony. Will have to Google for tips and, as a last resort, I'll just bake a regular layer cake.

Okay, that's enough outta me. I'm glad whatever got me down yesterday has decided to move on. 'Cause I need to do some  movin', too!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Time for a reboot

Hmmm. My Friday quote was prophetic, in a way. While I hadn't consciously considered abandoning my New Year's goals, I slacked off quite a bit over the weekend.

But I haven't quit.

My husband and I are hosting a birthday party for his mother in less than two weeks, and I'm the party planner. So instead of exercising Saturday, I went shopping. And shopping. And shopping. Which doesn't burn as many calories as climbing on the elliptical, but takes a lot more time.

I did climb on the elliptical yesterday, but stopped after 45 minutes, instead of stretching it out for a full hour. Not a big deal. I felt good for doing what I did.

So today is a reset/reboot/renew day. Food has been great. I'm meeting and not exceeding my caloric goal each day, and I'm eating good quality, whole foods. I'm logging my food each day, as well. I just need to ramp up the activity level. At some point today it's supposed to hit the mid 30s. That's warm enough to walk outdoors. Although it's snowing right now.

Again.

I completely skipped weight-training workouts last week. Sigh. I know how important it is to strength-train, but I just don't like doing it. I need to get over it already.

I finished another pair of Pop-up Paws last night and began a hat. I'll be sending them to the same friend who recently received the felted clogs (which she loves, by the way). She's going through chemo treatments and is losing her hair. I don't think I can knit fast enough to finish the hat and get it mailed this week. Her wig fitting is Thursday.

My grandson asked for a pair of fingerless gloves. Imagine that, a "tween" who actually wants something handknit by his grandma! Since he recently learned to knit himself, he thinks handknit items are pretty cool. I asked him to make me a coaster for my morning coffee. Can't wait to see what he sends!

Enough, enough, enough. If you, too, are rebooting your week, I wish you well.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Quote Day

It's always too early to quit.
~ Norman Vincent Peale

Quit? Who, me? It's only January 21!

Nah, I'm not quitting, but just in case you're done, done, done working toward your New Year's goals, well, today's quote's for you!

Yesterday looked like the day before yesterday – a four-mile walk, calorie goal met and I logged everything. Today's intentional exercise will definitely be done on the elliptical. We have a tiny bit of snow covering a sheet of ice. And it's c-c-c-cold!

I've not done a strength-training workout this week, unless I can count moving a fairly heavy bookcase from my house to the second floor of the garage. My back and shoulders and upper arms would love to count that as a weight workout! If I do one today, it will be a lower body routine.

Let's see, what else … I got some knitting done while I was gone, but haven't touched the project since I got home. The older I get, the more time it takes to regain my energy after a long drive. I've been turning in pretty early. (Despite the fact that I don't have a nine-to-five job outside my home, I find myself only knitting in the evening, after dinner, in front of the television. What's up with that?)

I tried something new on the drive this time: I started listening to an audiobook and I'm so hooked on it I just downloaded another one. The one I'm working on now is Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. I was surprised to find that part of it is set in West Virginia, near where I live, actually. His description of West Virginia's drivers was spot on! It's a very long book – 24 hours total reading time. I'm torn between wanting to know what happens next and not wanting it to end.

The next book is Born to Run, which I've read about and which was reviewed by the Fat2Fit guys. Maybe it will get me psyched for running again.

Of course, with snow-covered ice, I won't be starting today.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Having trouble ...

getting back in the groove.

I hadn't expected my little getaway to be such a problem, as far as food and exercise go. True, I walked yesterday (four miles) and true, my food came in slightly under the calorie goal. And I logged everything, too. Looking at what I just wrote, it would appear that I am back in the groove.

But I'm not feelin' it. And that, above all else, is what I need to believe I'm on target.

Maybe the feeling will come back today. Right now I'm just going through the motions. I guess maybe it's like that saying we use in AA: Fake it 'til you make it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Health care debate

I refuse to waste my time watching the House of Representatives waste their time debating the repeal of the health-care law. It's on the TV, though, because my husband doesn't mind wasting his.

Since it's on, and I'm in the house, pieces of the rhetoric drift out and assault me.

One phrase that really irks me is the right-wing contention that PPACA is "government-run health care." Bullsh**. Insurance companies run our health care, and they'll continue to do so under reform, for a mandated larger number of consumers.

The other phrase that more-than-irks me is when they call it "Obamacare." Call it AHIP-care. Call it Big Pharma Care. Call it what ot is: PPACA. But don't use my President's name to denigrate it.

I don't like PPACA. I still support and am working for single-payer Medicare for all. PPACA is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't go nearly far enough.


Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Let's call this a placeholder

Or maybe not. I mean, it will be a post, but it probably won't be very long.

My younger granddaughter summed it up nicely Monday morning as she and her parents were preparing to go back to their home from Tennessee. She said they were going to "drive, drive, drive, hotel, drive, drive, drive, North Carolina!" When we explained that there would be no hotel stop this time, she amended it to be "drive, drive, drive, lunch, drive, drive, drive, North Carolina!"

That's what it was for me yesterday.

The trip was wonderful, I really enjoy being with both my children and their spouses/children all at the same time. We gathered together for my older granddaughter's dance recital. There were 21 pieces and she was in nine of them, with two solo spots. She's very talented, and very down-to-earth.

And now it's home again, home again, jiggety jig. I was able to get at least 60 minutes of exercise in each day I was gone, thanks to the great walking trail that runs through their neighborhood. I missed yesterday, though, but one missed day won't derail my goals. Food was all over the map. We. Just. Won't. Go. There. Let's just say my daughter is a fabulous cook and loves to entertain.

So now I have to deal with laundry and mail and tidying up around here. And planning a party for my mother-in-law's 90th birthday. 'Cause I love to entertain, too!

I'll be updating Project 365 in a day or two. Didn't take all the pix with the Rebel, but I did take a picture every day. So far, so good!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I CAN WEAR MY JEANS!

Have been living in sweats and yoga pants all fall and winter, because I refuse to buy a larger size of blue jeans.

Tried them on a couple weeks ago - no dice. This morning? Zipped right up!

I'm not losing pounds, but something's happening ...


Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Brrr. And grrr.

Damn, it's cold! 17 degrees right now, with a wind chill of 3. The wind is gusting up to 45 miles per hour, or at least that's what the most current Winter Storm Warning says:

* WINDS...NORTHWEST WINDS AT 15 TO 30 MPH WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS TO 45 MPH WILL OCCUR INTO THURSDAY MORNING ...CREATING BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW.

I woke up at 3 a.m., which isn't as bad as it sounds, since I went to bed last night around 8:30. That's plenty of sleep. But I'll have to take a nap today to get through tomorrow.

I'm heading out to visit my daughter and her family in Tennessee, which is about a 7-hour drive. To get ready, I need to do some laundry. My laundry room is in my garage. My DETACHED garage. Meaning I will have to brave the wind and snow and cold in order to have clean clothes for my trip. Oh, and the luggage is out there, too.

I'm sure Elora <http://justofftheonelaneroad.blogspot.com> doesn't feel a bit sorry for me - she has to brave the weather to milk the cow and feed all the animals. That's more important than clean laundry.

So I'll quit my bitchin'.

I have completed both of my planned strength-training workouts this week. (Thank you again to Gingersnapper <http://somegingersomesnap.blogspot.com/>, who sent me some DVDs!) Yeah, me! I also have managed at least 60 minutes of daily intentional activity so far. I hope to keep it up while I'm gone; it will depend entirely on the weather.

My mileage goal for January is toast. The elliptical measures distance, but not miles - it counts how many revolutions the flywheel turns. I'm not worried about missing the mileage goal, though; it was incidental to the primary ones of weight-training and an hour a day.

Anyway. Not sure how much blogging will get done while I'm gone. The BlackBerry makes it more likely, but I might take a little break anyway. May your weather be lovely all weekend. Mine, too!


Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ya wanna take it outside?

Sometimes, even when it's cold and even when I have a cool new piece of gym equipment, I need to walk outdoors. Yesterday was one of those days.

I waited until mid-afternoon, when – theoretically – the temperature had climbed to its peak for the day, and did four miles, rather effortlessly. It helps me a lot to take the Fat2Fit guys with me. No matter how many times I listen, I hear something new, or I hear something and realize I can apply it to my situation.

If you're new here, the Fat2Fit philosophy is to eat the number of calories daily you would need to maintain your goal weight, according to your BMR. There are tools on their website to help you calculate this number.

(I want to stop and give a shout out to Shauna, who directed me to the F2F podcast in the first place. Brilliant! Thank you!)

New Years (and, to a lesser extent, Mondays) offer such hope and promise for changing behaviors which have held one back. Speaking for myself, of course! Heh. I began implementing the F2F philosophy in late November, but allowed myself to indulge a bit more over the Christmas holidays. Before 1/1/11, though, I was back in the saddle.

The most difficult and challenging aspect of this philosophy (they don't prescribe a "diet") is eating enough. After a lifetime of reading (in magazines and books) and being told (by doctors and husband[s] that I should eat 1200 calories per day to shed lard, it's hard to make myself eat more. And, frankly, I'm not shedding lard, but from what I've learned that's to be expected when you go from starving yourself to feeding yourself. (1200 calories is what a hospital would feed a 7-year-old girl in a coma daily in order to keep her alive.)

I have every confidence that lard will be shed. If not, you'll be the first to know.

At any rate, I'm not adding lard and I'm eating much more than 1200 calories per day – 1700 to 1800 as a rule.

It's wonderful to eat a filling breakfast, a decent lunch, a satisfying dinner, a couple of snacks and not gain weight. When I was trying to limit my calories to 1200/day, I would eat part of my breakfast before my walk, finish it afterward and not eat again until dinner. I would be hungry all day, tempted by "bad" foods and take out my frustrations on those around me. I was rarely satisfied and I thought about food all the time.

Not any more. When I'm lusting for a high-calorie treat, I either fit it into the day's calories or decide the calories aren't worth the cost. Or I decide I'll have it later – later in the day, later in the week or later in my life.

It would be much more difficult to change my lifestyle were it not for the little food diary I loaded onto my BlackBerry. Keeping a food journal has been shown to be a major predictor of weight-loss success, and it's also one of the hardest good habits to establish. I use the FatSecret app, but there are many others available for all the smartphones out there.

Why am I rambling about all of this today? I'm not sure. I don't feel like my enthusiasm is lagging, but maybe yours is. If so, I hope I've helped. It always helps me to realize that what I'm doing has benefits, that I'm working toward goals and that I'm more likely to reach them by taking it slow. I've done quick-and-dirty weight loss before. Just look where it got me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lady Marmalade

The five-hour, start-to-finish marmalade project begins by peeling three pounds of oranges. I used half red oranges and half navels.
You then boil the peels twice, to reduce the bitter taste and make them easier to scrape and slice.
A pile of pith. Hah! I crack myself up!
The fruit, ready to cook.
Thinly sliced orange peel. It doesn't take as long as you would think, because the peel is very soft. And the knife is very sharp.
And we're cooking.
And cooking, and cooking, and cooking. It takes a long time for this much fruit and peel to reach 220°.
The final product – a very bad photo, indeed. But very tasty marmalade!
The marmalade-making project was both successful and disappointing. Successful in that I used a new recipe in which the peels are first boiled and then sliced, cutting the slicing time and effort significantly.

Disappointing in that I cooked the mixture too long, thus reducing the amount of product. And the product is, um, thick. Very thick. Like, we have to nuke it for a half a minute in order to spread it.

I noticed that the fruit stand down the road has a new shipment of Florida oranges. I may be making two batches of marmalade this year.

Before I publish this, I had planned to post this today ever since I finished the project, not knowing, of course, what horrific events would transpire over the weekend.

I am heartsick about the shooting in Arizona. I realize that the young man who is responsible for the actual shooting is unstable. But I agree with Pima County Sheriff Dupnik that the rhetoric spewing from right-wing talk radio and "some television stations" fuels the fire, as do politicians who choose to use verbiage that might incite the unstable among us to arm themselves and then commit violence.

What have we come to, here in America, when a nine-year-old girl who just wants to meet her Congressional representative is randomly killed in an attack on democracy? When a federal judge – by all accounts a fair and honest man – is taken from his family and community for no reason we know of, so far? When a bright, caring, committed Congresswoman is inflicted with life-threatening trauma and an uncertain recovery? And the others … I have no words, but these:

What have we come to?

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday Quote Day on Saturday

The difference in winning and losing
is most often... not quitting.
Walt Disney

Is it too early into the new year to say, er, type the word quitting? Probably not. Some new year's goals and resolutions have already bitten the dust. Including mine.

Sort of.

I wanted to get 60 minutes of exercise in each day. I did 40 early yesterday morning before I left to take my husband for his cataract surgery, thinking I could either walk for 20 minutes while I was waiting for him (didn't happen – bitterly cold, and I felt like I needed to be available and present for him), or whip out 20 minutes when I got home (also didn't happen – plain-and-simple gosh-darned tired took over as soon as I hit the door).

I also wanted to strength-train twice. Well, yesterday was the last day to get that in. See last parenthetical expression in previous paragraph.

I did, however, do a total of 533 minutes of intentional exercise the first week of 2011, 35 of which were strength training. That's almost nine hours, and averages out to 76 minutes per day. No quitting here!

No losing weight, either. I'm surprisingly not upset about it. I had a calorie deficit every day, a large enough one that I should have lost a pound and a half. I've been abusing my body for such a long time that it's still holding on to every calorie, but I have every confidence that eventually the scale will move in the downward direction. In the meantime, it's nice to maintain at a level of eating that is this freaking comfortable!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Waiting. And waiting.

My husband and I made it to the hospital just fine. Thank you to the weather forecasters for overplaying the weather alert for today. We left early, which has left me with PLENTY of time on my hands.

My husband is in surgery right now. I have been knitting, reading and ignoring a steady stream of weight-loss commercials since we got her at about 10:45.

Before we left this morning, I did a 40-minute elliptical workout! Yeah, me! I assembled it last night and did a 20-minute test drive.

It's completely non-impactful - no pounding, no pain - but a VERY good workout. I was sweating in no time. Thank goodness for the cute little face fan!

In order for the iPod to work, you actually have to be moving. Pretty motivating if you want to hear the rest of a podcast.

Assembly took about 3 hours, including unpacking, and you need a helper for parts of it.

All in all, I'm calling it a good investment after less than a day of use. The ability to work out when it's cold, dark, snowy and icy outdoors is a big advantage for this old lady. Folks like Jonathan (I'd direct-link if I could!) can handle those conditions, but I'm willing to be a wuss if I can be the sweaty one on the elliptical!


Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sunshine in a jar

Orange marmalade, yum! This was a five-hour project, start to finish. Is it worth it? To me it is!
Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

It figures ...

We have to travel tomorrow for my husband's eye surgery, so OF COURSE we have yet another Winter Weather Advisory:

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM EST FRIDAY...

It really doesn't look too bad, 2 to 4 inches of accumulation total, and my car has all-wheel drive. But I'm guessing not everyone else on the highway will be so equipped.

Ah, well, we'll at least be traveling after daybreak so we can see the other vehicles careening into us! Heh!

I've logged 21+ miles so far this year. Today will be mighty busy and mighty cold. I hope we can get the elliptical out of the back of the car and into the upstairs office/workout room. It would be nice to do a workout without freezing my face off!

If not, well we'll be at a hospital tomorrow; if my face freezes off, I can get it tended to there. Heh.



Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Grounded

I feel kind of like I did when, as a child, my mother would take away a cherished privilege as punishment for some misdeed.

The fabulous, wonderful, amazing, awesome 3G modem that connects my desktop computer to the internets came with a 5GB limit. The nice people at the US Cellular store said it was really, REALLY hard to exceed that limit.

I managed to get there three days before my billing cycle ends. I have a 5GB limit on my phone, too, but it's more difficult to compose lengthy blog posts or chatty e-mails on the mini-keyboard. And it's really, REALLY difficult to leave comments on others' blogs.

So here I am, poor me, unable to use the desktop without paying a quarter per megabyte (that adds up fast!), sitting in the corner with my BlackBerry.

Life is SO hard. <smirk>

Fortunately I have lots to keep me busy for the next few days. Today I need to bake bread and make mozzarella, do laundry and clean the floors. And, hopefully, go get the elliptical! Tomorrow I'm FINALLY making the marmalade from the oranges which came last month, and Friday I'm going to be my husband's driver. He's having cataract surgery.

I'll be updating my Project 365 page (I haven't figured out how to create clickable links in an e-mail, which is how this post is being created) on December 8th. I'll be walking, strength-training, ellipticalling, cooking and knitting while I'm grounded. I just won't be transferring data from the desktop!


Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Still organizing …

and walking and eating within my calorie limits and feeling gggggggreat!

Tomorrow is when the elliptical is supposed to be available for pick-up. I kept thinking it would be, um, later. When you don't work a 9-to-5 job, the days sort of run together. (Notice I didn't say I don't work, because it feels like I'm doing something – whether it feels like work or not – all day!)

What that means is that today is the day to complete the office organization, and figure out what, if anything, I need to buy to make it work efficiently. I already know I want some wall pockets, but there might be something else that would make things look or feel or work better. And since I'm going to be in a large town with shopping opportunities a Staples, well, I need to take advantage, right?

I moved the computer to a different desk, which is a little higher than the old surface and I further screwed things up by elevating the monitor atop a box. (Covered in white paper, because a plain brown cardboard box just doesn't get it.) How is that screwing things up, you might ask? I can no longer sit comfortably in front of the monitor on my Swiss ball. I have to – sob – use a chair. Guess I'll have to figure out something to do with the Swiss ball. Like … oh … crunches, maybe? Heh.

If I'm going to do strength training twice weekly, which is one of the New Year's goals I set, I need to do it today and again Friday. The best thing I could do for myself in this regard is to put in a DVD and pick up the dumbbells as soon as I publish this post. Before I start the organizing project, before I eat breakfast, before I do anything else. It's so tempting to push it back again, but I'm running out of week!

Will I or won't I? Film at 11.

For Anne, who requested the butternut squash recipe:

Two medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup honey
1 Tblsp. grated fresh ginger

To facilitate the peeling/cutting of the squash, pop them in the microwave for five minutes and then let them cool a bit.

In a large skillet, melt the butter with the water. Add the squash cubes, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes.

Add the honey and grated ginger (and I added some cinnamon at this point, probably a couple teaspoons) and cook a few minutes longer, glazing the squash. Transfer to serving bowl and serve warm.

My guess is that this comes out to about 230 calories per one-cup serving. Sounds like a lot if you're on a very-low-calorie diet, but it fits perfectly in my 1800-calorie/day plan. I have trouble eating that much, after literally years of eating 1200 or less, so vegetable sides like this are a good addition to my plan.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Delish!

Baked chicken stuffed w/goat cheese (recipe in current issue of Cooking Light), coleslaw and butternut squash in a ginger-honey glaze.
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The fruits of my labor

Planted in the spring, harvested in the fall, eaten January 1st! Yum!
Black-eyed peas. From what I gather – in a completely unscientific poll – you either like them or you don't. Or, if you're my husband, you think you don't like them, but you do!

I made Hoppin' John for New Year's Day, using the recipe from my tried-and-true Betty Crocker cookbook. (Surprisingly, the Southern Living cookbook didn't have one!) I added celery and Tabasco to the called-for ingredients, and used a diced leftover-from-New-Year's-Eve barbecued pork rib instead of bacon or smoked ham.

Why is Hoppin' John one of the traditional New Year's Day foods? Here's the answer. Sort of. It's one of those things that's kind of hard to pin down.

The only thing I forgot to do was keep a few of the dried peas to plant this coming spring. Or maybe I did and I'll find them when I start figuring out what I need to order this year. Seriously, though, these came from a bag I bought at Kroger. Much better value!

To round out the meal and add to our luck, we had carrot "coins" steamed in a little orange juice and seasoned with ginger, and beet greens, which I'd blanched and frozen last fall. We love beet greens, and I think it's so cool that the liquid in the bottom of the bowl is as rosy as a beet, even though the greens are, well, green.

So far, so good on the goals. I couldn't wait for the New Year, so December 31 looks just as good as January 1 and 2 do. I've walked each day, eaten around 1800 calories/day (slightly less, but who's counting?) and feel good about being able to keep it up.

Marilyn commented that I need to eat the proper number of calories, and I'm wondering if she thinks I need fewer or more? I used the BMR calculator at Fat2FitRadio.com (my new gurus), and 1800 calories also is in line with the US Government's Food Pyramid. I use the FatSecret BlackBerry app to track food and exercise; their website suggests 1700 for light activity and 1900 for moderate.

Compulsive? Who, me?

Lessee, what else. Oh. Yeah. Knitting. My husband's grey boot socks are finally done. That second sock (mitten, glove, slipper, sleeve) always takes longer than the first! I should stick to hats and vests. Heh. I need to shop the stash for wool for the next couple of projects. It feels so good to be knitting again! And while I am mostly a process knitter, the projects in my queue are all going to people I love, so it feels darned good to be productive, as well.

My other big project, which I started yesterday, is to move my computer to a different part of the room to make room for the elliptical, which should be here Thursday. I worked for an hour on this yesterday afternoon; another couple hours should get 'er done. What I've learned from this exercise is that I have too much stuff!

At one time I got interested in polymer clay, for instance, and made beads for precisely two necklaces. Now in the first place I wear very little jewelry, very infrequently. And in the second place I bought many colors of clay, a machine that rolls out the clay into very thin sheets and various other tools to make different shapes and sizes of beads. I'm headed to Tennessee later this month and it's all going with me. I'll put it in my granddaughter's craft closet, where I know it will be used joyfully.

There's more, but it'll wait for another post at another time. You probably quit reading when you clicked on the New York Times link anyway. Heh. If you're still here, thanks for reading such a long, boring post all about me-me-me, and hopefully I'll come up with something more interesting tomorrow.

I'll leave you with this: Wanna see my limes?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's almost as good as 01-01-01

1-1-11! Happy New Year! I'll be taking a walk, watching football, knitting (that second sock still isn't finished!) and making and eating Hoppin' John.

I've heard an old wives' tale that what you do on the first day of the year is what you'll do all year, so I'm definitely not going to be mopping my ever-dirty-in-this-weather floor. So there. Heh.