Monday, December 30, 2013


With a new year comes a new beginning. I am so ready for a fresh start. One where just maybe I have more control over my time and life events.

Though I have become a fan of NOT making New Year resolutions, I am about GOALS. So here we go for 2014:

Eat Smarter
Exercise regularly
Keep Active

With those three GOALS in mind, 2014 will turn out as it should.

In the coming week, I'll be revamping my post schedule, possibly reducing the number of days. But the days will be more regular so you'll know what to expect AND actually find the post here.  ::: crossing fingers :::

In the mean time, please share your GOALS for 2014. I really don't like talking to myself ;-)

Happy New Year and Enjoy the Journey in 2014!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Okay... we are back home from Nashville. Had a lovely visit with the family and now it's time to get back on track. My daughter and I both tried to watch our intake but she is much more strict than I am so I am sure she is paying for the indulgences more than I am. I do know I gained 2 pounds.

We ate out on Friday night - Olive Garden is more a 'treat' for me. I only eat there maybe twice a year at the most. I had the Lobster Cannelloni (510). Very good. Rich but very good. You only get two so the portion size is very doable. I started off with a bowl of Zuppa Tuscana soup (170 cal). I don't care for a Caesar-based salad. I only ate 1/2 of a bread stick and drank part of an unsweet tea.

Saturday was Fall Festival at the oldest granddaughter's school. We started out with breakfast at IHOP.
Another place I don't eat any more than I have to. I'm just not a fan. Though I do love their Colorado Omelet. The Colorado has 1210 calories. I ate half and saved the other half for Sunday morning. So at 605 calories, though high the omelet is all protein and vegies so I'm good with that. The only curse was drinking one of their flavored coffees because I can not stand the taste of their brew and what's breakfast without coffee. I indulged in the Swiss Mocha at 190 calories. I didn't eat anything at the fall festival but did enjoy the jerk chicken, corn on the cob and brussel sprouts my daughter prepared. I'd forgotten I even liked brussel sprouts. Thanks Sue!  Later in the evening we all had a slice of the apple pie I baked for a benefit last week and wound up bidding on trying to raise money for the family. #8 of apples in one pie! I know Apple Pie is my son-in-law's favorite pie and was happy to share with him.

Sunday morning, Sue made french toast and bacon. I ate 1 slice of the french toast, the other half of my Colorado Omelet and 2 pieces of bacon - one of which I shared with the youngest granddaughter. Sunday on the road was damaging. Hubby chose Red Lobster for lunch (around 1:30). They have crabfest in progress. I had a platter consisting of Maine Lobster tail (4 oz), Grilled Shrimp Skewer and Shrimp Scampi. I chose steamed broccoli as my side. I also ate part of my house salad and drank an unsweet tea. I don't like the Cheddar Bay Biscuits (I hear you all gasping for air) What I thought was going to be a light dinner (6:30) at a little road cafe we like turned out to be a meal of country fried steak and mashed potatoes with gravy. I've had their country fried steak before. I was just smart this time and did not eat the mashed potatoes but did have a cup of chili and an unsweet tea.

The point is you can not travel and indulge in some things. I did try to portion things out so the damage was less than it could have been. Awareness is the important part of any journey.

Enjoy yours!

Monday, October 28, 2013

WEEKLY PLAN - October 28

Hard to believe we are heavy into fall. Last week I moved my tomato plants into the greenhouse and they froze anyway! Well, in their defense, the temperature did get down to 24 degrees. I was so looking forward to babying those fruits at least into Thanksgiving. Oh well. Hopefully next year I can better plan for the cold snaps.

Our local town held their Fall Festival last weekend. I avoided the funnel cakes, deep fried oreos. I did have 1 soda. At a benefit later I had 2 hot dogs. 1 with and 1 without bun, a small bowl of chili and a bottled water.

My plan for this week is to just stay on track and to remember to take my vitamins. I've not done well on that lately. I just get busy in the morning with work and don't think about them. Time to reprogram my brain.

I am also going to start stretching. I found a heavy quilt I can use as a floor mat until I can reach the yoga mat stuffed to the back of everything in the living room. Only another week without a bedroom. Then I can have my living room back with full access to the treadmill and the Wii.

Bob will be home Wednesday night and we'll finish the bedroom remodel. I'll be planning meals for 2 so I'll eat more vegetables. I hate to open a can of green beans because I find it hard to eat 1/2 of the can today then reheat the other 1/2 later. Buying the single serves is too expensive. Cooking for 1 is easy in some ways and more difficult in others.

What will you do this week?


Wednesday, October 16, 2013



For the most part I do like exercise. I'm active, despite my day job as a writer which requires a lot of sit-down time.

My Challenge: Things keep getting in the way whenever I plan to start a regimen.
This last time, I had repositioned the treadmill so I could plug it in and have it facing the TV. Three days later everything from my bedroom had to come into the living room/ dining room for a total 'rip the carpet up' remodel thanks to fleas. Ugh! I can't get anywhere near the treadmill.

I could go walking but I know my knees are not ready for the incline on my road yet. Driving into town to use one of the tracks is an option but it seems once I leave the house my day is shot. I really prefer to stay home.

Then there's my Wii. I LOVE my Wii for workouts. If there wasn't a King sized sleigh bed in the middle of the living room, I'd be good to go.

So for now I'm doing some yard work, moving furniture in spurts (as the remodel dictates) and doing stretches in the middle of the kitchen.

I just know the tummy has to go! What is your Tried and True Tummy Toner?

Monday, October 14, 2013

REGAINING CONTROL - a step forward

Okay, I never really lost control. Not of eating, anyway. Just my time.

From the time summer hit I've never gained a solid foothold in any aspect of my life. There seems to have been a constant string of 'occurrences' I couldn't do anything about. As I look at the contents of my bedroom, including my bed, overtaking the living room and dining room, National Novel Writing Month looming on the horizon followed by the holidays and guests from Poland I have to wonder. WHEN?

Well, WHEN? is NOW!

So I'm back and planning to get back on course with multiple things.
1) Blogging - I've put together my Blog Planner for 2014.

I spent time studying what I wanted to accomplish in the new year and the best way to track my activities for tax purposes as well as all my avenues of promotion. You can read the full description of the Blog Planner on my Creative Dreams blog. 

Although I've watched what I ate, I also found myself listening to other people and got into trouble. The only thing I use any sweetener for (Splenda is my chosen alternative) is my iced tea. I tried to eliminate the 'fake' stuff and instead switched to a 1/4 tsp. of sugar in a tall iced tea. That was the ONLY change to my diet. In two weeks I gained 5 pounds! I was at my heaviest weight EVER of 191 pounds. Oh so NOT going to happen! I've since dropped the use of sugar in brewed tea. I still use a packet of Splenda in the instant iced tea. But I've also found I don't need the Splenda in my coffee. 

In addition I'm trying to remind myself to eat more veggies. I buy stuff for salads but unless I eat salad 2x a day every day, the stuff spoils on me. I have a hard enough time trusting lettuce after so many issues with contaminates in the past couple of years. Walmart now offers salad kits in their produce section. The bottom part of the bowl is a serving of ice berg lettuce (okay, not my first choice since I was introduced to Spring Mix. The top tray looks like a paw print. Each 'pad' is filled with a salad additive based on the type of salad you choose. The Cob has chopped bacon, julienne turkey ( might be ham), chopped hard boiled egg. A separate smaller bowl contains salad dressing. I love how everything is sealed tight and clearly marked with an expiration date. Since my nearest SuperCenter is almost an hour one direction, this lets me see at a glance how many I can purchase for the week without risking spoilage. And after I've worked a 12-hour day, opening one of these and mixing everything together is more tempting that fixing a full-blown salad from scratch. My granddaughter, Adrian, has started me on grape tomatoes. I pick up a bowl of these when I purchase the salads. When time to eat, I wash 6 - 8 or them, cut them in half and add them to the salad. No more rotten tomatoes on the counter.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'll talk about my current exercise challenge and what I hope to accomplish in spite of the obstacle.

Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Hardees for me has always been a love/hate relationship. They have changed their branding so many times over the years, frankly it's been a bit hard to keep up with. Who remembers Carl, Jr? Or when they served fried chicken. I will admit their fried chicken beat KFC in my book and I loved their little peach cobblers. I don't know what they did to that crust but I could have done without the filling and just enjoyed the top layer of goo stuck to the underside of the crust.

I will commend Hardees for providing much better nutrition information than some of the places we'll visit over the coming weeks. I also love the fact I can create my meal and see how many calories I've racked up.

I encourage you to go to their site and Create Your Meal with what you would NORMALLY ORDER. The process will be a real eye-opener, I promise.

Case in point. Here's my usual Hardees lunch when I go (which is seldom, but still)
     1/4 pound new Jim Beam Bourbon Burger - 650 calories Yikes! (though it does offer 30g of Protein)
     Unsweet tea was not an option. But except for the Splenda, no calories there anyway.

So there's my dinner. I don't like french fries. Since I only eat 3 or 4, I usually just snitch from Bob's order.

And before I go any farther, if you think ordering the salad is getting you off the hook - you might be better off indulging in the double cheeseburger. Let's find out, shall we?

Let's start with the SALAD
A Side-Salad  - 120 calories.
   Add Ranch dipping sauce: 140 cal
   Add Honey Mustard dipping sauce: 180 cal.

So for a SIDE salad, (which usually comes in a 4" bowl) we're looking at around 300 calories depending on your dressing choice. You can shave this by doing what I do. If I know I'm going to be eating out, I carry a small bottle of homemade Olive Oil and Red wine vinegar in my snack cooler (along with my premade unsweet tea) Often times even if oil/ vinegar dressings are an option, they are not made with PURE OLIVE OIL, but rather a SOY/ EVOO blend.  Go for the good stuff!

If you need more than that salad and a beverage to carry you through until dinner, you're going to add a burger or something. What about:

3-Piece hand-breaded chicken tenders.
      260 calories AND 13g of fat.

1/4 little thickburger
      420 calories with everything.
Remember when I talked about the Meal Planner earlier. For things like burgers, you can add/ subtract the items you have on your burger and their calculator will adjust the calorie count.

Hardees does offer a Better For You Menu.
Whether you are Low Carb, Gluten Sensitive, Trim It or Veg It - they have items for you. Cool huh!

But it's tricky.  Remember our 1/4 little cheeseburger was 420 calories?
A Low Carb 1/3 pound burger is 470. On the Upside, because it's low carb, there's no bread so you can enjoy the calories in a bit more burger. The 'sandwich' comes wrapped in lettuce and a paper wrapping.

For a Trim It option, let's go back to the 1/4 pound burger. We already know what the regular burger in this is going to cost us. This one is only 220 calories! Presented just like the Low Carb version, but the smaller patty.

The Veg It Thick burger - Hold the Patty - is a whopping 510 calories!
What are you getting for this Veg It option?  Bun, cheese, pickle, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard, ketchup. A 1/4 Thick Burger WITH MEAT has less calories!

Finally, for the Gluten-Sensitive...You get the 1/3 pound Low Carb option for 470 calories

My Tip on this post...  Plan Ahead and make use of their Meal Planner. 

Make your choices and print those meal options out onto a small card to keep in your wallet. In fact... as soon as I get some creative time I have a key chain you're going to LOVE!  I might even give one away. So stay tuned!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


From now on this post will run on Thursdays. But since it's late in the day.. okay almost bedtime, I'm posting this to run tomorrow in place of Weekly Recap.

Three or four years ago I picked up a book at Sam's Club called EAT THIS - NOT THAT. (Link takes you to the 2013 edition) There are several books in this series. One of the things I like about the book by David Zincezenko and Matt Goulding is they back up their choices with nutritional information. The reason for renewing every year is because as restaurants especially begin to take note of the healthier trends both by their patrons and FDA regulations, they are keeping on top of those changes.

Over the next few Thursdays I'll be focusing on Eating Out. With summer approaching, we'll be on the go more (if that's possible) It's good to be armed with the information before hand. But, you don't have to take this book as gospel. Check out websites of the places you like to eat. Find the item on the menu you would normally order, then look for a healthier alternative. Sometimes the things you THINK you're selecting as 'healthy' are not the best choice. Like any other product you purchase, approach your meal options with a 'buyer be ware' attitude and you'll be ahead of the game!

Today we're checking out APPLEBEES. While they offer very little nutritional information on their site, over the years, they are one establishment that has tried to offer healthier combinations. Remember when they worked with Tyler Florence for great grilling options? Yum! The Food not Tyler... well, okay, maybe. I'd LOVE to work in the kitchen with that man just once in my life. Maybe that should be a 'bucket list' item for me.

I started with the items the book offered up (Keep in mind, my copy is 2010).

Chicken Fajita Rollup
1,050 calories
Chipotle Chicken rolled in a flour tortilla with melted montery jack and cheddar cheeses, shredded lettuce and pico de gallo and served with a Mexican Ranch dipping sauce.
We have this mindset - and you'll hear me make this reference often - that tortilla's are the better choice over break. Not true in most cases. Unless you're using a corn tortilla, than the option is a little better.

Italian Chicken Portobello Sandwich
360 Calories
Now there's a swap for you. A drop of almost 700 calories!
While this item is no longer listed on their menu, I can tell you what makes it a better pick. Lean Protein, Fresh Vegetables and a side of fresh fruit.

My Choice
Classic Turkey Breast
Though no calorie count is given, for a sandwich option this is one of the better choices. Thick slices of lean turkey, lettuce, tomato on a Ciabata bun - A light, airy bun. I recommend asking for the Smokey Mayo on the side and use it sparingly. Add an Unsweet Tea and you have a light lunch.

Most of their sandwiches are heavy in BACON (I know) and CHEESE. Keep in mind, even if you're striving for H Protein, L Carb, the bacon is okay but the cheeses they use are HARD cheeses and best eaten in moderation.

Other Options:
Weight Watchers
They offer 3 options:
Grilled Jalapeno Lime Shrimp (8 WW points)
          Served with black bean corn salsa on a bed of grilled zucchini and marinated tomatoes
           w/ a side of white rice
Creamy Parmesan Chicken (12 WW points)
           Grilled chicken breast, creamy au gratin parmesan sauce.
            Served w/ steamed spinach and mushroom rice pilaf
Lemon Parmesan Shrimp (13 WW points)
           Blackened shrimp sauted with tomatoes, onions and basil.
           Served on a bed of white rice

The problem with each of these is not what you might think. It is NOT the rice. Rather when it comes to calories, the problem is with the shrimp in options 1 & 3 and the CREAM sauce in option 2.

As you can see by the WW points, #1 is the best option here.

Under 500 Calories
If you're going out to dinner, you're going to splurge a little. And based on an avg. calorie count spread out through the day, an extra 100 Calories for 1 meal isn't all that bad... but wait... you've not taken into account an appetizer (PASS  - Really! You're getting enough food on the plate), your beverage (unless you drink water or unsweet tea) and possibly dessert. Okay, I'm the first too admit it's really hard to pass up the Dessert Shooters. They are tiny so I guess that's my 'give'.

Your Under 500 Options are:

Roasted Garlic Sirloin
     7 oz. Sirloin marinated in garlic, grilled to perfection
     Served over sauteed onions. Herbed potatoes and a grilled Portabello mushroom cap stuffed
      w/ creamed spinach round out the plate.

Napa Chicken and Portabello
    Grilled chicken breast topped with portabello mushrooms and onions smothered in a red wine reduction
    Served over sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, red onions and crispy red potato chunks.

Signature Sirloin w/ Garlic Shrimp
     Seasoned shrimp in a light cream sauce top this 7 oz sirloin, grilled to your preference.
     Served with herbed potatoes, seasonal vegies and fresh-made breushetta with sliced almonds

Zesty Roma Chicken and Shrimp
     Grilled chicken breast w/ blackened shrimp.
     Served over red potatoes, zucchini, red onions, Roma tomatoes,  basil and peppers.

All great options. And safe.. until you think about the additives. If you MUST have an appetizer, request a To- Go box WHEN YOU ORDER. As soon as your order arrives, immediately portion the meal in half. Two meals for the price of one. That's two nights you don't have to cook!

I do this when I go to my favorite Mexican restaurant. The amount of food is ridiculous! I bring half home, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and date it. Then I have a meal for later in the week when I have a super busy day in the office and just want to heat something up and veg in front of the TV after I've shut the computer down.

Next Week - We're off to visit HARDEES.
Until then... Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, May 6, 2013


Okay ... I love the rain. I know we need it and I'm hoping the moisture continues after the garden starts coming up... you know, when we really need it LOL  But as long as it's raining, I don't plug in the internet or the computers. Which puts my blogging behind farther than I'd like to be.  I've been off-line the past 3 days and it looks as if about Wednesday we should have another 5-day run. So I'm cramming to try and write posts and pre-schedule them as best I can.

So let's talk about today. I've had a craving for fried bologna on toast. Haven't had bologna in years (though Bob swears my el' cheapo hot dogs are just bologna rolled up). Last week it really sounded good. So I pulled the partial loaf of whole grain bread from the freezer and crossed my fingers that one a day wasn't going to pack the pounds on.

Whew!  I'm down 2 pounds at 184.

I have added in a few carbs, such as white rice with my stir-fry... but in 1/2 C servings to accompany an entire wok full of vegies. I have been taking pictures of everything I cook lately and just resized a bunch of the photos this morning so they're ready to plug into Wed. blog posts.

Over all I feel pretty good. I want to start exercising again tomorrow. After being off-line since last Wednesday, I was too far behind on here to even think about it today. Since I'll be tweeting The Voice as part of my day job for the next 3 nights I can't even hop on the treadmill while I watch TV. But I'm making time tomorrow. I'm in that place where I feel my body is completely healed and 'm ready to get back to moving around.

Here's to a week of Getting Moving... and another pound off.

Live the Journey!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


This week we come to the final Chakra... the 7th Chakra.

This is our Crown Chakra - our ENERGY CENTER - at the skull.
Representing Spiritual Enlightenment and union with all living things. The Energy Center is associated with the colors of white and violet.

Signs of this chakra being blocked may include depression, lack of sense of spirituality or even swinging the pendulum the other direction - to a fascination with religion or occults - as we search for balance. We may feel a disconnect with life's flow. If you are an emotional eater you may see significant weight gain as you choose the comfort of food, isolating yourself from family and friends. We become loners because we feel we have nothing to offer.

With a balanced 7th Chakra you should experience a stronger connection to the universe. You are able to create and live the life you desire.

As I work out my shopping list for this week, these are things I need to include for a healthy, balanced 7th Chakra:

Fruits & Vegetables with white pigmented and/ or skins.

(I'll pass on those last two... just can't bring myself to eat these!)

I had already planned on a couple of healthy snack cookie and muffin recipes for this weekend... including Morning Glory Muffins which contain bananas, zuchini and carrots.

Beginning next week we'll get back to our Exercise Tuesday posts as we discuss the different exercises best for the Chakras and sharing recipes on Wednesday that coordinate.

Here's to balanced chakras and a healthy journey!

Monday, April 29, 2013


I've determined I really like bell peppers... in any color. While grocery shopping last week I picked up three bell peppers - 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green. As I cut into them the other night for a Teriyaki Stirfry (coming up in a couple of weeks) I discovered the green bell pepper was perfectly shaped for a stuffed pepper. I've not had stuffed peppers in a very long time. So I used half of each of the red and yellow pepper for the stirfry and put the remainder in a zip bag with the seeded green bell.

Last night I made the stuffed bell pepper - chock full of diced red and yellow bell peppers, a 1/2 C of cooked white rice and a 1/2 C of browned ground sirloin. (More about the sirloin thing next week)

This was dinner last night...

I'll share the recipe with you on Wednesday.

In the mean time, I realize though I'm still high Protein/ low Carb I'm also automatically incorporating fruits and vegies into my daily eating regime. Something I've had to focus on in the past is now coming naturally to me. 

And I'm still...

Enjoying the Journey

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I know I missed posting last week. First day home with hubby after my trip and still so much to do on the house before rains moved in later in the week. I just did not get on line much at all.

So this week we pick up with the Sixth Chakra - The Third Eye. This chakra is associated with both physical vision and mental clarity. We receive inner guidance and use this to tune into our inherent wisdom. The Third Eye is also associated with my favorite color - Purple or Indigo. Purple has always been my 'power' color though it isn't one I wear often. Odd.

An unbalance in the Third Eye Chakra may affect memory, unexplained phobias or decision-making. Chronic headaches, vision problems and obsessive or compulsive thinking. Emotional eating and weight gain can cloud this Third Eye center, preventing us from seeing ourselves as we really are. Correcting the balance in the Sixth Chakra will help strengthen intuitive powers and trust in inner wisdom.

Foods that will aid in bringing the Sixth Chakra back into focus include :
Black Currants
Plums (fresh or dried)
Purple Peppers
Red Cabbage
Red Grapes

Next week we'll discuss the basics for the Seventh Chakra.
Until then.... Enjoy the Journey

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Before I talk about this week's Chakra, I am going to make a quick abbreviated post that should have been up yesterday. Yesterday was m first full day home so of course it meant running errands with Bob. What is it about one or the other of us being away from home that the first day back becomes 'errand day'? I spent part of the afternoon catching up on some email.

I did get on the scales yesterday morning to discover I had GAINED 2 pounds over the course of nine days. I guess the couple 'treats' I allowed myself were enough to make a difference. While I can't go 'liquid' like my daughter, I do know I have to be really careful this week if I'm to not gain any more and look 'presentable' at the symphony on Saturday night.

Speaking of my daughter, I hope you'll check out her new blog and story. She is an amazing woman. Like me, when she gets something in her head, she's like a locomotive on a run away track when it comes to focus. Her blog - getfit4younotthem is a testimonial story of what you can do when you set your mind to something.  We are both on our own personal journey, just taking different paths while finding what works for each of us. That's what the 'journey' is all about. Thanks to her journey, I know I'm ready to get back to exercise.

Okay... CHAKRA time.  Today we're talking about the Fifth Chakra - the Throat. We all know where our throat is located, but do we understand the connection this chakra has to the rest of our body? Represented by the color BLUE, this energy center is associated with the thyroid and parathyroid glands. Because this chakra involves sound, we also associate it with communication, speech and self-confidence.

If the Throat Chakra is stagnant, you might have difficulty communicating with others and expressing yourself. Signs of problems may include frustration, social anxiety, dishonesty and a short attention span. Bob will tell you the only one of these I may deal with is the latter. I have what we call 'ooo shiny thing' syndrome. If something catches my attention, I am off. Though the 'medication' for this unbalanced chakra is NOT something I deal with. When the Throat Chakra is out of wack, you may find yourself stuffing your throat full of food, causing weight gain.

When balanced, you speak the truth and can express yourself creatively in a variety of ways. You are also a good listener. When the Fifth Chakra is healthy, you have energy for speaking, singing, thinking and other creative pursuits such as writing.

To stimulate the Fifth Chakra wear colors blue and blue gemstones such as lapis. When it comes to food, think Anchovies, Blueberries, Blackberries, Organic Honey, Crabmeat, Crayfish (mud bugs), Lobster, Mussels, Salmon, Sardines, Scallops and Shrimp

Do you notice something about the proteins in that group? They are shell fish (with the exception of Salmonand Sardines. Fresh, blue-water types of fish. I think Swordfish would also be a good one to add to the list.

And when it comes to exercise for opening up the Throat Chakra, you can not beat a good Yoga routine. Breathe!

Enjoy the Journey

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I know I'm squeaking this in tonight before bed. I'm traveling this week and trying to be 15 places at once. Thankfully my Chakras have been aligned and strong so I'm not allowing myself to be as stressed as I could be. I am ready to go back home but that won't happen until Sunday.

This week we are talking about the Heart Chakra. Located behind the sternum with the thymus gland and the heart, you might think the color Red when you think of this chakra. Associated with Love Energy, the Heart Chakra is actually identified with the color GREEN.  The fourth chakra is the center point, connecting the three lower chakras to the three upper chakras.

People who experience a blockage in this chakra may experience depression, romantic rejection or jealousy. Isolation and loneliness are a constant struggle. A dysfunctional heart chakra may be the root of difficulty experiencing empathy or compassion in themselves or those around them.

If food is your avenue for dealing with any of the above systems, than you can add weight gain to the list of issues. If you are going to eat... eat the foods that will help put you on the right path. Look for foods with green skins or pigments:

Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados, Broccoli, Cabbage, Celery, Cucumbers, Edamame, Green apples, Green grapes, Green peppers, Honeydew melon, Kiwi, Lettuce, Limes, Peas, Pears, Spinach, Zucchini.

Without knowing this list before hand, I went shopping yesterday. I am staying at a hotel with a mini-kitchen so am able to cook my own foods and stay on track. I bought a tub of fresh mixed fruit that included honeydew and Kiwi. Lettuce, Green Peppers also went in the cart. I'll try to pick up on the other foods this week when I eat out.

For now...
Enjoy the Journey

Monday, April 8, 2013


I'm off to a decent start for the week. Considering I will not be at home for the next 8 days. I tried to pack appropriately i.e. making sure to have a couple flavors of my protein shake and the fresh fruit I knew Bob wouldn't eat while I was gone. I'm starting the week of at 183. Would really like to drop at least 1 pound... happier with 2 while I'm traveling.

I did eat out at my favorite Chinese buffet last night. I haven't been in there in almost 4 years and the hostess still knew me when I walked in the door. I didn't over-eat. They have one thing on their buffet none of the MO restaurants carry... Peanut Butter chicken. Yum! I did go back for seconds on that treat.

I also drank part of a Mello Yellow last night so the psoriasis is acting up this morning. I'll limit that the rest of the week to just when I take my vitamins. With the amount of vitamins I take each morning, soda seems to be the only thing that doesn't make them want to come back up before I've even started.

I'll need to go grocery shopping before I do too much more today and I know we'll eat out tonight. I'm hoping for Golden Corral or HomeTown buffet. Massive amount of protein options without killing the travel budget.

So here's to a week on the road...
Enjoy the Journey

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Today I begin working on the Third Chakra... the Solar Plexus Chakra.

This chakra is associated with identity and self-esteem. The energy radiating from the third chakra controls motivation, ambition and power, with a physical location near the lower ribs and the color YELLOW

Okay, anyone who knows me knows this is probably my strongest Chakra. Very seldom do I have a day where I am not aware of where I need to be, how I need to get there and what I hope to achieve. My sister has even accused me of being arrogant.

But I think it all stems back to something my (step) mom said to me when I was about 14. She told me unlike my (step) sister, whom had some learning disabilities, I had the ability to achieve anything I wanted. How empowering a small phrase can be. Mom was my champion against my dad whenever I wanted to do something or be part of whatever was going on in school. She also taught me everything I know about cooking cleaning, gardening and caring for a home. Even now, as I approach an upcoming 9-day travel without my husband, I am making sure there is food in the freezer, the things he likes to eat are in the pantry and his clothes are clean. Yes, he's capable of taking care of those things... and does very well. But it's just part of that upbringing I can't let go of. A sort of 1950s mentality on what it means to be a wife.

My third chakra directs my daily routine in how I conduct business, follow through on things I start and network with people.

So although I have a well-balanced Solar Plexus, I will still look at what they suggest I do to stay the course.
Fruits and vegetables that contain YELLOW pigments are high on the list. So my shopping yesterday included:
Water Chestnuts

When I researched yesterday, an article on also suggested whole grains. Well, we know THAT is not going to happen. But I could do with a hearty bowl of oatmeal today.

So here's to a Bright, Shiny Week of Yellow Foods of motivation!
Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, April 1, 2013


Happy Monday and April Fools!

For the record, I am NOT an April Fools kind of person. A challenge for a practical joker of a husband. And trust me, after the day I've had, I'm NOT in an April Fools kind of mood. It's just been one of those days. LOL Nothing BAD... unless you count me having to break into my own house LOL Just one of those days.

I have managed to maintain my weight this week. I'm not sure why no loss but am going to keep a closer eye on things for this week.

The week will be hectic. Bob comes home Wednesday night. Thursday we are on the go most of the day, Friday I will be packing for my trip and then leaving early Sat. morning. I'll have to be vigilant if I'm to continue to drop at least 1 pound a week, though I'd be happier with two.

Tomorrow begins working with the Third Chakra. I know I've not done much of the 'orange' stuff this week like I should have. I'm going food shopping today so maybe I'll research that third chakra and plan ahead. That would be a nice change of pace.

Until then.... Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I think I did very well on the Root Chakra last week. I already notice a difference in that I don't have that 'out of whack' feeling any longer. Though my change wasn't huge, it didn't take much to change how I felt.

This week we move to the 2nd Chakra- The Sacral Chakra

The Sacral Chakra is represented by the color ORANGE. For the woman, this is located in the uterus. (Spleen for men). Known as the 'seat of creation', this is related to sexuality and conception and helps us to identify and process our emotions.

If the Sacral Chakra is out of balance, you may experience weight gain ( related to emotional eating), have a fear of intimacy and problems with infertility.

Okay.. so I'm wishing I'd known this about 30 years ago. I have PCOS... PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS comes with a full trunk of issues... including infertility. Maybe if I'd known about this sooner, PCOS may have been averted and I may have given birth to my own daughter. Though don't get me wrong. I am proud to have the daughter I chose and after seeing her give birth to both of my granddaughters, I'm not too upset at having missed that part LOL Women who go through child birth are my heros.

BUT... and here's the big one...

Knowing about it now might help alleviate some of the side effects of PCOS that I still deal with on a daily basis, such as high testosterone levels... which in turn forces me to shave more often than I like and in places as a woman I should never have to apply any kind of a razor to.

I can say I am NOT an emotional eater and I don't have intimacy issues... unless you count that I'm turning into a hermit more and more.

Water is also associated with the second Chakra. So making sure I drink lots of it is on my agenda. However, I am having to drink it in the form of decaf tea as while I can make multiple trips to the bathroom with tea (it's a natural diuretic), I find my body retains plain water. Which is sad because I'm one of those people who REALLY like water.

For this week I'm keeping up with all those yummy RED foods of the Root Chakra while adding ORANGE foods for the Sacral Chakra. Foods like:
Sweet Potatoes

There are others listed, such as Apricots, Mangos and Tangerines but I don't care for those. And though I love cantaloupe, good ones are hard to come by right now.

Carrots, sweet potatoes and oranges I can purchase. Pumpkins, while not in season are available in pumpkin puree - great for muffins or custard. Peaches, are also not in season but I have fresh ones I canned myself last fall. The next best thing to fresh.

And because the Sacral Chakra is associated with Water, fish and seafoods are also great choices.

So with these things in mind.. I am off to work on Week 2.
Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, March 25, 2013


Before I go into today's post I want to thank Karen and Amy for stopping in this week. I love having visitors. It does get lonely out here on the 25 acres of seclusion. Welcome ladies. I hope you'll stop in often.

Well, so far everything seems to be working the way it should be. I went 6 days without a cup of fluffy. That is a definite record for me. LOL I did have one Sunday morning just because it was Sunday and I'd been good throughout the week. So that will be my Sunday treat as long as I've stuck to program.

For the good news... I'm down 3 pounds from last week. I started last Monday at 186. I am now 183. So YAY! Now to see if I can repeat the process for this week. Bob and I have that 'whom ever loses the most in 3 weeks wins $50 thing. I could use an extra $50 for my trip to IL in April. I miss my favorite JoAnns Fabric and Crafts (the one in Springfield MO though nice just isn't up to the store I'm used to in Peoria) So while I'm up there I hope to get an awesome deal on the outdoor fabric for the furniture in my new gazebo.
Though we'll both benefit from the gazebo I'll use it tons more than Bob will so that makes the fabric a 'treat'.

Okay.. today is my last day on my Root Chakra. I don't have my book handy to see where we go from here. I'll have to wait and let that be a surprise tomorrow. :-)

Until then...
Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

EXPLORING THE CHAKRAS as a Weight-loss Option

If you're like me, you've at least checked into every diet out there. Everyone seems to be an expert at something and have an opinion on what works.

A couple of years ago I purchased a book called The Inner Peace Diet. The heading claimed "Attain permanent weight loss and pure bliss in just 7 weeks".  Okay. It sounded like more of a spiritual take so I picked it up. Flipping through it I saw that the book dealt with healing the chakras. I figured even if I didn't lose weight, I'd learn more about my chakras so brought the book home.

Though it took me over two years to actually take the book off the shelf and get more in depth, I'm glad I did and wished I'd done it sooner. Enlightenment is POWER.

First off, the book takes you through the 7 chakras, explaining their location in the body and how they relate to your over-all health. Here's what the second paragraph under Chapter 1: Your Root Chakra had to share...
           "Your first chakra directly reflects your ability to flourish in your environment. When you have a balanced and thriving root chakra, you enjoy feelings of safety, security, stability and stillness. "

The fourth paragraph is the one that resonated with me the most.  Apparently a blocked first chakra explains my feeling of being uncomfortable in my own skin and out of touch. Or in my opinion - like a bloated whale!

So for Week 1 I am to 'stabilize the first chakra'. Through meditation, eating RED foods as well as foods from Mother Earth will help me become more grounded. The book suggests the following foods:

The Protein Power recommends eliminating seeds and beans during Phase I but everything else is good to go. So during my grocery shopping on Tuesday I came home with:

Spring Mix salad greens
Red sweet bell pepper
Red apples (Red Delicious and Gala)
Roma tomatoes
 and lean meats such as lean sirloin for stir fry, lean pork loins.

I also have dried and frozen cherries.

Although the book suggests non-processed foods, I did buy smoked turkey and cured ham lunch meats. They were on sale and Bob and I like those just for snacking. Plus, there's a recipe under my FOODIES link on Pinterest I want to try the cured ham with.  I'm not a big breakfast person but I do require protein first thing in the day so I need to expand those options.

Please join me on this Journey as I discover how the Chakras affect over-all health.
Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Finally getting to a point where I can at least post things on the days they are suppose to post... even if not early in the day. Baby steps here until the Texas Music Awards are over on Saturday and I can focus on EVERYTHING instead of one particular subject.

I've been picking up some recipes on Pinterest and found a Chicken Salad to modify to fit my tastes. The link takes you to my FOODIES Board, so you'll need to scroll til you come to the Chicken Salad recipe. It was uploaded by a user - not linked to a website.

What caught my attention was that offered Craisins as an added option. The local Memories Sweet Shoppe Cafe where I go to eat at least once a week makes the most amazing Chicken Salad on Croissant. Everything Cindy makes it from scratch. Soups, salads, sandwiches.... Yum! And she always tries to make sure there is at least a 'healthy' option on her menu. She is a retired line boat cook so she knows her way around a kitchen and how to satisfy hungry appetites.

So when I found this recipe on Pinterest I wanted to try it. I eliminated the pecans but added the Craisins.

Here's the recipe I came up with:

1 - 13 oz. can Shredded Chicken (I get the 3-pk cans from Sams Club)
1/2 - Gala Apple - cored and chopped
1/4 C Craisins
1/4 yellow onion - diced
1/4 C shredded Fiesta Cheese (I like the fiesta cheese for the blend but you can use whatever you like)
4 T Light Miracle Whip
2 tsp. minced garlic (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
Seasoning Salt/ Fresh Ground Pepper

Drain the can of chicken and put it in a bowl.
Fork the chicken apart.
Add the Miracle Whip and mix. (You could also use plain yogurt or a blend of the two)
Next add the spices. (If you do this BEFORE adding the chunky ingredients you'll get a more even distribution of the seasonings.)
Also - I used Seasoning Salt because I didn't have any fresh CELERY... which I would have prefered for taste and texture. 
Add the fruits and mix. (I used an apple corer/ slicer for the apple but found I still wanted the sections narrower so sliced them again before chopping into chunks)

I served mine on a bed of Spring Greens and fresh spinach with ROMA tomato wedges. I used a full cup of the chicken salad as I've not eaten much today and probably the reason for my headache... that and too involved in my current Kindle read. hehe

I cored and chopped the entire apple but only put 1/2 of it in the salad. I can snack on the other 1/2 apple chunks while I'm working on here tonight.

Try this recipe and let me know what you think! Also.. I hope to add a PIN button in the next couple of days so if I post it here, feel free to PIN it.

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, March 18, 2013


Okay... I've been lamenting for the past couple weeks as to how what I'm doing doesn't seem to be working. I'm counting calories religiously. Until I pulled the muscles between my shoulder blades I had worked up to a 2-hour workout on the Wii Fit EVERY day.  And still the pounds would not budge. As in I bounced back and forth from 185-186. Technically, a normal 1-2 pound fluctuation. I decided I had to figure out what was going on.

Oh yeah... I did a Jillian Michaels 2-week detox. Not to be gross, but nothing changed their either. I'm regular and normal in that department so was a wasted $16 IMO.

So Saturday while I was out for some shopping and lunch I took the January 14th issue of FIRST for Women. Dr. Oz smiled from the cover asking the simple question "Slow Metablolism?" Well... YEAH!

I turned to page 30 where the enlightening article began by asking the question about what was the SINGLE best change to make heading in to 2013 if you wan to reach your dream weight.

The answer: Eating RIGHT for your metabolic type. 'New science links eating wrong foods for your metabolic type...'

Okay. I have heard for years that certain foods work for some people while others fail miserably. Everyone is NOT CREATED EQUAL when it comes to the foods our body will accept. I've also taken these little 'What's Your Metabolic Type' quizzes before. And you know what? I ALWAYS fall into the same category. So why do I keep trying to eat the way other people think I should instead of what is right for ME.

This particular quiz asked 7 questions under 3 different categories to determine my metabolic 'type'. Depending on which category you could identify with the majority of the questions determined the foods you should be eating. By recognizing myself in 6 out of the 7 questions under one of the categories, I found myself to be a TIGRESS.  (Doesn't that sound appropriate for someone who writes romance novels on the side? hehe) I came close to being a GAZELLE... scoring 4 out of 7.

So what does this mean?
I metabolize PROTEIN more effectively. Which makes sense. When I'm hungry or 'snacky' I would much prefer protein over anything. While I've been counting calories religiously, I've also followed the stream of WHOLE GRAINS. I don't eat a lot of potatoes. But I would eat Whole wheat Pasta, Multi-grain bread, whole wheat rice. Dr. Pholip Goglia- author of Turn Up the Heat: Unlock the Fat-Burning Power of Your Metabolism said something that described EXACTLY how I've been feeling lately. Bloated and miserable!
"When the body is trying to adapt to something inappropriate, it registers that as a form of trauma--and when the body senses trauma, it produces inflammation and hoards fat."

The other thing that made me think about what my body has been refusing to do (after reading the article) was that I lost the most weight and felt the best when I did Protein Power several years ago. So I dug out the book and went back through the basics. I am now on Phase 1. The hardest part so far is not having my 1 cup of fluffy in the morning. I figure I can't give this idea a chance if I don't commit to it completely.

The one thing is that I can enjoy protein. I won't miss the grains and if it prevents me from feeling like a bloated pig by end of the day then I'm all for giving it a shot.

So Protein Plan with lots of fresh fruits and vegies it is.
Tomorrow I'll tell you about something I've added to help me stay focused.
Until then...

Enjoy the Journey 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Breakfast Pizzas

YUM! This simple breakfast is only 300 calories!

My daughter got us started on these easy-to-make breakfast pizzas. The recipe below makes 12. After they are baked and cooled, I loosen them from the cookie sheet then slide the cookie sheet full into the freezer. When they are frozen, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in a rubbermaid container. Plan ahead for breakfast by placing one pizza (per person) into the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Microwave on 70% power til hot through.

You will need:
1 Jar - TOSTITOS Monterey Jack Queso cheese.
         (Bob doesn't like any level of spice so I use MISSION Cheddar Cheese for his)
1 6- pack Thomas Muffins
18 Eggs
1 16-oz bag Kraft Fiesta Shredded Cheese
1 package Hormel Maple Bacon.
           (although my daughter swears this brand works best, I've had good luck with Corn King)
Onion Powder
2 T. Butter

A extra- large cookie sheet will hold 12 pizzas easy.

Preheat Oven to 425.
Cover the cookie sheet with aluminum foil then spray with non-stick spray

Prepare the muffins by slicing them in half (sandwich style).
Mix 5 eggs with 1/4C plus 1/8 C milk in a bowl.
Dip the muffin halves in the milk wash to coat both sides and place on the cookie sheet.
Place in oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven to cool on the cookie sheet.

Make the bacon.
Get a second cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray (NO foil!)
Place the individual bacon slices on the cookie sheet in a single layer.
Bake approx. 12 minutes or until desired crispness. Be prepared for the bacon to smoke. This is the Maple in the bacon. It's fine.

While the bacon is cooking, make the eggs.
Place 12 eggs in a bowl and beat. Add a splash of cold water, salt and onion powder, mix.
In a large skillet over medium heat, place 2 Tbsp Butter and melt.
Add egg mixture and cook like normal scrambled eggs until ALMOST done. You want them about 2 minutes from being done as they will finish cooking in the oven.

Spread 2 Tbsp Cheese sauce on each muffin half.
Separate each strip of bacon into 3 pieces and place them next.
Add about 1/3 C scrambled eggs to each. (This equates out to about 1 egg per person)
Top with 2 Tbsp shredded cheese

Place back in the oven for 3 minutes... just to melt the shredded cheese.

Serve immediately with 1 C. fresh fruit or 1/2 C. canned fruit (rinsed of juice)
I prefer the fresh fruit but where we live it isn't always an option unless I plan to have these the day after we've done the weekly grocery shopping.

You can make several variations of these. You'll just want to watch your calorie swaps
We've used Canadian Bacon slices. 70 cal. per 3 slices
              I use a biscuit cutter to cut the center out - away from that rind edge.
Sausage patties. 90 cal per 1 oz pattie (Jimmy Dean)
Corn King Bacon. 45 cal per strip

You can also make a Sausage gravy variety.
Use a white pepper gravy with a slice of Jimmy Dean sausage (haven't checked cal on canned gravy)

If you plan one morning to make a batch of these, you have quick morning breakfasts that are filling.

Enjoy the Journey!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

WEEKLY PLAN - Feb. 25th

Happy Monday!
Okay, it's Sunday night and I'm watching the Oscars. I have my favorites amongst the nominees this year. But primarily I watch it for the Red Carpet. I have a 2-book series I've been working on and the heroine in book 1 is one of the Top Five Fashion Designers in the world. One of the scenes takes place at the Oscars. Watching the show makes research at least relaxing.

In case you are wondering, Bob lost 6 pounds on our 3-week challenge and won the $50. I'll have to hit him up for it again when he goes back out. If nothing else, it keeps him on track during a time when eating is determined by his work schedule.

I managed to hang on to a 1-pound loss. I did determine I believe part of my loss was fluid in the tissues in the muscles in my back. Some of the swelling has gone down and I look forward to another massage by Amy Cecil. She was amazing! Although I still needed the occasional muscle relaxer as well as the combination of heat/ cold, I've been able to still work around the house. I even got back on the Wii Saturday. I only worked out for one hour and avoided the boxing for now. But it was nice to get back to my work out.

This week, my plan is to just focus on working out  without pushing the limit. Bob and I are also counting the calories carefully, keeping each other honest.

And with a tooth finally gone, I'm back to enjoying salads with spring greens, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and baby portabella mushrooms. My dressing of choice. EVOO and Red Wine Vinegar.

Speaking of Red Wine, a sweet red wine by Bella Bello has become my nightcap of choice... and yes, I'm counting the calories. Bob has his scoop of ice cream, I have my glass of wine.

Here's to a successful week as the Journey continues....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Okay... I've been so proud of myself for getting up to two hours at least three days a week. Then I did something really stupid. I started arguing with an inanimate object.

I hope to get my sidebar updated with my Wii Fit workout routine by the end of the week but for now, here's what I'm doing.

I start out with Balance games for my twenty-minute warm up.
5 rotations each:
Volley Ball
Slolam Ski
Ski Jump
Lazy River

By this time the arms, legs and neck/ shoulders have stretched out and I'm ready to move on to Aerobics.
5 rotations each:
Basic Step
Hula Hoop
Boxing (though I've since started 1 round at 3 min and 2 rounds at 6 min for the 15 min equiv.)
Advanced Step

For cool down I do 20 Minute Step. I start out at the low setting for the first 5 min, step up 1 level for the next 5, the top level for 10 then work my way in reverse.

I end with meditation until I can get all the way through - usually takes 4 or 5 sessions to get my body down to where it will completely relax and allow this.

Everything was working fine until my Wii control decided it didn't like boxing. I've checked the battery, the meter for battery life is fine... but for some reason the right control (actual Wii bar, not the num chuck) has decided it only wants to register the hit periodically.

So, my determination to make it register overpowered my common sense. In trying to force it to register I've managed to pull something between by shoulder blades. OTC muscle relaxers (that have always worked for my back issues) and my pleasant jetted tub are not working. Stretching it out isn't working.

So in about an hour I'm getting a 30-min Swedish massage. Whether the muscle gives up or not, I'll still feel like liquid when I get off the table. Here's hoping Amy Cecil at Serenity Balance Massage can get me back on the board!

Whatever it takes to keep me on this journey!
Blessings on your journey.

Monday, February 18, 2013

WEEKLY PLAN - Feb. 18th

Happy Monday, everyone!

So far so good. Because I had to be up and out of the house this morning, I failed to get on the scale. When I weighed on Saturday I was at 184. Hoping I can keep it there. I don't anticipate losing another pound before Thursday when Bob and I compare our weight loss for our challenge, but it would be nice.

This week I just want to keep doing what I've been doing. Well, with one modification. I had swapped out my morning cup of fluffy for a cup of hot lemon water with honey. In case you don't know, that is a great liver purifier. If you have a binge weekend with too much alcohol or soda, drink this the following morning and you'll notice a significant difference in the puffiness the next day.

By the end of Week 2 of this I realized I have developed an allergy to citrus. I thought caffeine was the culprit in aggravating my psoriasis. But apparently it is citrus and citric acid. Anyone want a couple lemons?

So now when I'm home, I start my day with a bottle of water to go with my two 100% whole wheat fig newtons before exercise. I'm saving the fluffy for when I write at night and need the little extra caffeine.

Bob comes home on Wednesday. Time to figure out the best way to keep myself on track. We eat on different schedules when he's on the boat so when he comes home, we have to figure out the best way to synchronize... or eat individually. I look forward to sharing meals with him. I think we'll sit and talk about the best way to go about this rather than me just saying this is what we need to do.

What does your Weekly Plan look like?

Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Today would normally be a Recipe share. But in looking through my pictures, I see the ones I wanted to use are missing.

So I will spend the next week working on recipes, taking pictures and be ready to share goodies with you in the coming weeks.

In the mean time, what is your favorite snack?

Around here, we have fallen in love with snack bars by either Special K, Atkins, Fiber One and SnackWells.
From Special K, we especially like the new Pastry Crisps. If you like Pop Tarts, you'll love these. And if you've never been fond of those jelly filled pastries, then I encourage you to try this anyway.

I've never liked Pop Tarts. There seemed to me more pastry than goo and I like goo. Pastry Crisps come 2 waver-thin 'pop tarts' to a pouch. You can eat them cold, but I like to pop them in the microwave for about 10 seconds. They come in Strawberry, Blueberry, Chocolate and new Brown Sugar/ Cinnamon. YUM! I thought the chocolate ones would be my favorite but I've found I prefer the strawberry or the brown/ sugar cinnamon. They are 100 Calories per pouch.

When you need chocolaty goodness, reach for Fiber One 90 calorie Brownies by General Mills. They come in Chocolate Fudge as well as Chocolate/ Peanut Butter.

I'm not a big candy person, but when I want a candy bar of some type, I usually grab a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. The calorie count in those is too high to even contemplate. But Atkins has answered the craving with their Peanut Butter Cups. At 160 calories per serving (2) they are definitely a treat, but a better choice of the two. I also love their salted nut rolls at 140 calories each.

Sometimes you just need something sweet and it's nice to have the calories figured for you. It's like you can indulge without guilt leaving a nasty after-taste.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fluffy Coffee

NOTE: I've had multiple request about my 'fluffy coffee' so I have bumped this post up from it's original place of February 2012. The content has not been edited.

Okay... so yesterday's weigh-in, not so good. I'm up 4 pounds! I'm trying to figure out how that happened as what I can eat has been limited. I have a wisdom tooth pushing against a molar. It's loose. I also have 2 cavities. Yes, I see dental work in my immediate future. But I already know he won't do anything unless I let him do the full X-rays. That isn't happening until the wood splitter is paid off. So a couple more months at least. In the mean time, I eat what I can. This means I'm not eating the salads and fresh vegies I would like to be eating.

However, I have surmised that it might not be so much of what I'm eating as 'how little' I'm eating. My body may very well be in starvation mode since all the stuff I have a taste for, my teeth don't want to endure so I'm not eating a lot.

On the upside - I still haven't been drinking soda! I am so proud of myself for this one. I'm down to 2 of my fluffy coffee's a day - most of the time. One in the morning and one in the evening if I have a late writing night. I'm also using the standard 9 oz. pedestal coffee mugs - not a huge cup.

My Fluffy Coffee is truly the 'necessity is the mother of invention'. I knew I was going to miss my Borders Caramel Mocha coffee during my writing sessions when we moved to the wilderness. So I set about creating my own. I do have to add, THIS version is a lot lower in caffeine and in sugar than Borders' version. I don't use 'espresso' at all - let alone 2 shots for a medium coffee. I use Folgers Caramel Drizzle coffee for a drip coffee maker. I also drink it the 'lightness' of tea as my husband refers to it. I don' t like my coffee to eat a hole in my stomach. I like to enjoy the flavor.

The Mocha base recipe comes from an old homemade Hot Chocolate mix my mother-in-law shared - minus 1 VERY SWEET ingredient. My Hot Chocolate base does not have Confectioner's Sugar. In fact, the ONLY sugar is in the Nestle Quick 'No Sugar Added' cocoa mix and the non-dairy creamer. One cup of my Fluffy Coffee contains less than 8 grams of sugar. Granted, that's one half of a daily allotment, but when I consider the big picture, it isn't so bad. When I think of what I've saved by not drinking soda, I'm way ahead of where I used to be.

Fluffy Coffee:
Cocoa Mix:
6 C. Nestle Quick 'No Sugar Added' Cocoa
3 C. Powdered non-dairy creamer

Mix this all up really well. Store in an airtight container.

Make a pot of the Folgers Caramel Drizzle coffee to your strength preference.

You may use whatever beverage cup size you choose. The size will determine the amount of Cocoa Mix. Fill your mug approx. 1/4 to 1/3 cup of mix. (the more cocoa, the creamer your coffee)

If you're used to a sweet coffee, add 1 Splenda or Truvia packet
Fill the rest of the way with fresh brewed coffee.

Decorate the top with a dollop of Sugar-Free Cool Whip, scant drizzle of Hershey's Lite or sugar free Syrup and Hershey's Caramel Syrup (sorry, no sugar free available for this one)


There you have it. The recipe so many of you have asked for :-) And a picture to entice you to try it.

Continuing the journey

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Okay... yeah, I know. It's not 'tomorrow'. When Bob is home I just don't have concept of time anymore. But I'm striving to work on that. He left yesterday and I have three weeks to set my 'working' routine.

But today, I want to talk about a new workout routine that seems to be working for me. And it's FUN!

In 2011 Bob and I purchased the Wii system. We are not big gamers but thought something like this might get us off the couch more. You get more exercise playing Tiger Woods on Wii than you do on Play station. I wanted the Wii Fit to go with it. Several of the ladies on my paper crafting group have one and love it.

I love  the Wii. Since the first of December I've been trying to work out every day. When Bob isn't home, it's easy. So far I've gotten up to a 90 minute workout.

I start by warming up... basic stretches on my own.
Then I do what amounts to 20 minutes of warm-up on the Balance Games. I do five rotations each:
Soccer Practice (using your head to hit the balls coming at you)
Slalom Skiing
Ski Jump
River Bubble ( you are in this bubble of water going down a winding stream - try to get to the end without popping your bubble on the rocks - or getting it popped by bumble bees)

From there I move to the Aerobics games. Don't let the word GAME fool you. You will get a workout if you do enough repetitions. Again, I do five of each.

Beginner Step Aerobics
Punching Bag
Advanced Step Aerobics

Then I begin a cool down to fill out the 90 minutes:
Beginner Step Aerobics

I'm going to finish out this week on this pace. Next week I'll add in either the running or the bicycling. I played with it Monday and really liked it. Because either of those are an impact sport, I'll do them in the evening when I can pull out the exercise (shock absorbing) mats.

I want to work up to a good two solid hours in the morning, the running or cycling in the evening for at least one hour. Then the weekends, I'll play Wii Sports for FUN.

What do you do for exercise? Whatever you choose...

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


... or two.

When I pulled the dress I had in mind from the closet, I realized I have two.

Long Sleeves
First off, they both are the same shade of black. I took them on the same door in the same light so not sure why the long sleeved one looks washed-out. It really is a very pretty dress. I purchased both of these from Undercover Wear Lingerie and Daywear when I was a representative several years ago. I really miss buying clothes from them. They hold up extremely well.

Either of these dresses would look nice with a string of pearls. The perfect little black dress for any occasion. However, I am concerned about two things.

1) Will they be long enough? Although current etiquette no longer requires a full-length gown, it is suggested the dress fall below the knee. I don't think either of these do.

2) Right now, they are snug fitting. When I drop the weight, will they hang on me? I mean, seriously, if I find curves again don't I want to show them off a little? What's the point of losing weight (from a vanity standpoint) if I'm going to wear something that fits like a gunny sack?

So for now, I'll keep thinking Little Black Dress and keep working out... which I'll talk about tomorrow. I'm making progress on that front and can't wait to share with you.

Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A New Year... A New Beginning

Yep... it is that time of year again. Okay, so I'm about three weeks behind. Story of my life recently.

In past years I've always taken the month of December off. It's a perk of working from home. I schedule things to wind up around Thanksgiving then I'm done until the first week of January. I get to enjoy the holidays. The only thing I do pertaining to work is to clear out the present year files and set up the accounting system for the new year. It's always worked well in previous years.  This year... Not so much.  But there was a happy bonus to my very chaotic December.

I had the pleasure of spending time with The Polish Sinfonia from Krakow Poland.

I've been married to my best friend for almost thirty years. He loves me for who I am tubby middle and all. He has accepted my female issues and still wants to make love to me after all these years. A woman can't ask for more than that... or can she?

Understand, I wouldn't trade my spot here in the Ozarks for anything. I love it here. But that doesn't mean I don't want to see other places and experience other things. Those desires kicked in full force in December when I had the opportunity to interview, and spend some time getting to know, Steven Byess and the Polish Sinfonia Ensemble. I've always loved Big Band music, 1930's and 40's musicals and listening to instrumentals. When we lived in IL, I was close enough to attend some great music opportunities in Peoria but didn't have the budget.

Now we have the budget and none of those things are available within a reasonable driving distance. So I was delighted to hear the Polish Sinfonia from Krakow Poland would be visiting our small community of approx 600 people in December. I had first met some of the members in December of 2011. What an amazing experience. You can read about their 2011 visit on my Ozarks Journal blog... created specifically to share Thank You cards from grade school children with the Symphony members after they had returned to Poland. (But will begin showing regular updates in the coming weeks)

Aside from funds, one of the things that prevented me from attending a real symphony was the silly notion I wouldn't fit in with 'those' people. I was not elegant, I was not sophisticated, and I did not have a fluid bank account to dress properly

After spending time with the ensemble, their conductor Steven Byess, and new friends Dr. Dan Ross and Katie Bowden, I realized I am the only one holding myself back. I am planning to experience a full symphony in April.. Katie and Dan will be performing with the Arkansas Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Steven Byess. Having friends both in the ensemble and directing, I won't feel out of place and am looking forward to the experience.

So how does this fit in with the Journey? I do not want to attend my first symphony looking like I should be rolled down the isle. I want to look and feel confident. I have a little black dress in my closet that will work... if I lose a few pounds. I don't mind having to shop for a SMALLER size but I do not want to buy a bigger one. So my goal is 2 pounds per week. That's approximately 25 pounds in 12 weeks

Next week I'll show you a picture of my current little black dress and what I've been doing the past 8 weeks towards fitting into a new one.

Enjoy the Journey!