Posted in Diet

Constantly Failing, Constantly Succeeding

When I first began this “makeover” thing I was always worried about whether I was failing or succeeding, or reaching my goals, or gaining or losing weight. It could be maddening.

failureNow it’s two years later. I still haven’t reached my ultimate goal or lost my desired mouth of weight or whatever. But what I do realize now is that I am constantly doing one or the other. I am either constantly failing or constantly succeeding. Sometimes one is happening more than the other, but at least I’m moving one way or the other.

My eating habit was developed over many years. 99% of that time I was eating whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted. Youth will afford you that if you are doing just a modest amount of exercise. I was in the marching band in high school, plus P.E. class, and it was enough to keep me from gaining weight.

By the time I got to my mid-30’s though it was taking more than a little exercise to stay in shape. Fortunately I was in the military and was getting plenty. And I still had not given a single thought to the types and amount of food I was consuming. Surprisingly, I didn’t really get fat until I was around 40. But when it happened, boy, was I in trouble.

The Navy believes in training when it comes anything that has to do with their sailors. So, more than once, I received training about my dietary needs. It didn’t help though. I had already developed some very bad eating habits, which have proven to be extremely hard to change.

ddn-welI still have not given up though. I know what I should be eating, and how much. But I realize that I can’t just switch my way of eating after doing it one way for so long. This will be a fight for probably a very long time. One day it may not be a fight to consume the foods I need for my body. But for now, I fight.

Doesn’t matter if I fail because success is always around the next corner. Doesn’t matter if I’m successful because failure may come in the next moment. What does matter is that I keep going. I can’t change my ways in an instant. It didn’t take me an instant to create my bad eating habits. So, even though the clock keeps counting down, I keep going because I’m constantly failing and I’m constantly succeeding.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes

Peaches & Cream Pie

In case you haven’t noticed from the recipes I have posted so far, I love desserts. And there is nothing I like better that peaches and cream in whatever form it may occur. Have you ever bought those Quaker Oats Variety packs of instant oatmeal. When ever I bought those for my kids I would take out the peaches and cream flavors for my self. I don’t even think they knew those flavors existed until they were teenagers.

So when I saw this recipe on AllRecipes.com I knew I had to try it. But I never did. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Not yet anyway. I am determined to stay true to my diet this year. So, I won’t be making any desserts anytime soon. But I think you should. So here’s the recipe. You can come back and let me know how it is. Maybe I can live vicariously through your experience.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (3 ounce) package non-instant vanilla pudding mix
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained and syrup reserved
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease sides and bottom of a 10 inch deep-dish pie pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and pudding mix. Mix in butter, egg and milk. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour mixture into pie pan. Arrange the peach slices on top of the pudding mixture.

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons reserved peach syrup. Beat for 2 minutes. Spoon mixture over peaches to within 1 inch of pan edge. Mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and sprinkle over top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Chill before serving.

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Posted in Diet

Help With WordPress

I am posting this from my phone. I have lost the ability to access WordPress login from my computer. I keep getting this: 404 Forbidden.

Does anyone know what it means or how to fix it?

Posted in Diet, goals, Health

My Fitness Pal

One of the reasons I was so successful in 2015 with my diet was the MyFitnessPal website and mobile app. It lets you set your nutrient goals, calorie intake, and helps you to see exactly how you are doing as long as you are inputting your meals.

During that year I recorded every meal. I got instant feedback about my nutrients. I knew exactly where I stood throughout the day and could adjust accordingly. It is an extremely helpful website and app.

One of the reasons I began to falter was the holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. The other reason was that I thought I was able to do without the app. Sure, once you have been doing your diet a while you should be able to do without having to depend on an app. But if you are like me the app helps to remind you that you are trying to accomplish something. It reminds you that you have a goal. And it helps to keep on track.

Will I ever be able to go without the app? Maybe, but, why mess with success. So this week I have resumed using the app to monitor my meals, food & nutrient intake through MyFitnessPal. There are also other apps that are just as helpful, but my favorite is the one I’ve been writing about here.

There are others you can check out. All of these apps are available on both iTunes & Android:

I find that I need all the help I can get.

Posted in affordable foods, Diet

Finance & Eating Right

I have to confess that I made a financial miscalculation in 2014 when I chose to buy a new car. Truthfully, I don’t know what I was thinking, except, that I needed a car. Well, it has my finances stretched pretty thin. It has been pretty difficult to pay all of my monthly bills and eat and do other things I need to get done.

If you don’t know, being able to afford the kinds of foods you need to eat right is a big deal. Some would argue that it cost less to eat right that it does to eat fast foods or junk food. Personally, I disagree. There are a lot of “convenient” “quick foods” you can buy in the grocery store that can be stretched a long way. You know the foods. They come in containers and boxes, and the ingredients lists are filled with things you can’t even pronounce. Pop them in the microwave or add hot water and you’re good to go. These foods are found in the inner aisles of the grocery store.

Being able to shop the outer aisles in the grocery store is a big deal. As you know the outer aisles usually are filled with the whole foods which are better for your health. They are the produce and meat and dairy sections. In other words fresh or fresh-ish food sections. These foods have not been processed or have ingredients you can’t pronounce added to them. Of course, there may be some poisons depending on whether or not we’re talking about non-organic or organically grown.

I figured out years ago that simply staying out of the inner aisles and away from “instant” or “processed” foods is enough to improve your health to some degree, even if you’re not shopping organic foods. Unfortunately, the inner aisles cost a lot less, not to mention quicker at home when it comes to preparing meals for your family. So to eat healthier cost just a little more.

Of course, you should, as much as you can, shop those outer aisles. Because I bought a new car in 2014 it has been increasingly difficult to shop those outer aisles. I purchased the car while I was in school as a retired veteran so I had a little extra income. So when I stopped going that income also stopped. I don’t need that much to ease things a little, but I do need something.

Well, I guess I said all of that to get to this point. Today, I begin training to drive a school bus for Berkeley County school district. Commercial driving is another skill I picked up when I got out of the Navy. Actually, I learned to drive large vehicles while in the Navy. I didn’t get a commercial license until I got out.

I have had driving jobs before. I like driving. I have had a spotless driving record since 2001. I am pretty good at it. Driving the school bus will give me enough extra income to get by with more ease and I will be able to continue to shop those outer aisles in the grocery store.

I have been doing the best that I can to eat right this year and it has been difficult. And sometimes I have had to eat those “convenient” foods. It will be much easier to support my chosen eating habit with a job.

So, wish me luck. I will keep you informed.

 

Posted in Diet, family stuff

I Love To Eat!

That is part of the problem. I love to eat. When I get bored, eat. When I watch TV, eat. Go to the mall, eat. And then there is the whole breakfast, lunch, and dinner thing!

I think growing up in a family that loved to get together on Sundays to visit and eat dinner together was one of the greatest experiences on earth. And sometimes I think on a subconscious level that I am trying to recapture that feeling. I think we all do, especially if you had that kind of family.

Eating was always part of a good time. But families aren’t as tight as they used to be. In many ways they still are, but, somehow different. I am part of a family here where I live. I have my kids, friends, people at church, and it is great. They are all my family. But still, it is somehow different.

I can’t put my finger on what it is. Well, maybe I can. One thing that has changed in my life was the departure of my mother in 2013. Many of those nostalgic memories are times spent with her. I’m sure any of my siblings would say the same.

I think eating can be a way to try and recapture the past. And I guess I let it get out of control a lot. I have plenty of opportunities to eat and fellowship with my friends and family, and we have a great time together. But I can’t ever shake that feeling that I’m missing out, and I tend to use food to overcome.

That makes eating right a little harder. But for the past couple of weeks, I have remained faithful to my desired eating habit. Still, it is hard. Boredom still comes and I’m tempted to eat. I try to channel that into time with my saxophone practice and other things, like cleaning my house (I am seriously lacking in that area) and walking.

I love to eat! It just can’t be my number one thing. I’m sure the struggle will continue but I will not give up. The struggle is probably what keeps us alive. So, I’m living the life.

 

Posted in Health

Wow It Really Is Winter

It’s about 10:15 at night on January 3. I am just now feeling like this cold is letting go. My headache is finally gone. My nose has stopped running, and I don’t feel so miserable anymore. What a way to start the year.

Today the weather seemed relentless. The temperatures were consistently lower than 27º. Then it began to sleet. I was surprised. I didn’t think it would last long but it lasted most of the day. Before I knew it my little neighborhood looked very wintery.

 

IMG_0361I opened the door for the cat to go out. She ran out as usual onto the porch then took a giant leap to the ground trying to escape the white stuff. When she landed on the ground she froze for about 20 seconds. Then she slowly makes her way back into the house. I believe she thinks I’m responsible for the ice on the ground.

Of course, this isn’t even close to what’s happening in New York or Cannada. But for us here in the south, it’s a little bit of a big deal. Things tend to shut down around here when there is snow on the ground. We’re just not prepared for such weather. It looks pretty, but it’s got to go.

Anyway, this post is to say I am feeling better for the first time in days. Though, I am concerned what my electric bill will be, as I have had to run the heat quite a bit in the last few days. I have some cleaning to do. While not feeling well I have failed to straighten the place up. I believe our external existence reflects our inner existence.

Posted in Diet

Into The New Year

IMG_0298I am beginning the year with a very bad cold. It started with a very sore throat 3 days ago. Then last night, it just exploded into snot, phlegm, and stuffiness. I feel awful. Forgive the picture. I had trouble stopping the flow of yuck.

Last year, as far as eating healthy and sticking to an eating plan, I failed. That is not my plan this year. The plan is a simple one. It is the same as before; low carbs, high fat, and moderate protein.

It is the Ketogenic diet. It works well. It is easy. High carb foods are hard to resist though, almost like an addiction. Two years ago I managed to go a long time without cheating. I lost nearly 40 pounds. But I get bored sometimes. And when I get bored I start looking for a treat, a sweet treat. Not good if you are a baker.

I guess it will require a little discipline. Sometimes its like I don’t know the concept. Anyway, it has been a rough start. I’ll be glad when I get over this cold.

A new year and new challenges and hopes of new successes abound in 2018. I will keep you posted.

Posted in Favorite Recipes

Simple Holiday Turkey

Where would the holidays be without the turkey? I don’t know, but, I like a turkey during the holidays. Until a couple of years ago though, I had never oven roasted a turkey. I had deep fried a few, smoked a couple, but never oven roasted. So, here is a very simple, but delicious oven roasted turkey from FoodWishes.com with Chef John. I have used this one a couple of times and it is very easy and the turkey comes out perfect every time.

Ingredients:

12-24 pound turkey
seasoning salt: salt, black pepper, and cayenne
3 tbsp butter
4 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 bunch sage leaves
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced

Watch video for directions

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Posted in Diet

End Of The Year Munchies

It is the last month of the year and I have not been able to stay the course. I have been off my diet since Thanksgiving, 2016. I laugh when I think about it. I started out kind of discouraged, but then I decided, I just don’t care anymore.

I went to the doctor yesterday to submit blood for my semi-annual testing. I suspect that the results won’t be favorable. So I’m not looking forward to seeing my doctor in a month.

Of course, like many people, I plan to renew my commitment to healthier living in the new year. It is really hard to remain faithful to healthy living during the holidays, at least it is for me. I’d rather enjoy myself and pick it up later.

I haven’t been to the gym at all this year either. So, at the beginning of the year, the gym, and diet, hard as it may be to get started, is going to happen. As I sit here thinking about it, the task seems daunting. The task being, to actually get started. Once I get started it’s not hard to keep going.

It is not as bad as it sounds though (to me). I like the challenge of being better, doing better, of succeeding. For now, besides playing the saxophone, the challenge of improving my health gives me something to do. I haven’t worked since 2010. That was the year I had back surgery. My life has not been the same since. It’s a discouraging thought, so I try not to think about it.

I’m not sure why I was not able to get hired initially in the years immediately following 2010, but, in 2017 I am quite sure that I can’t do anything that requires me standing for a full day. I have a commercial drivers license so I could drive for a living if I wanted to spend a crapload of hours on the freeway. Or, I could drive a bus, airport shuttle, school bus or something. I haven’t tried though. I’ve gotten used to it working.

I started playing the saxoph0ne again because it is not so physically taxing that I can’t do it. Whether I get to play it professionally again or not, I don’t know. But it is something I would like to do to make some extra money.

So I’m looking forward to a new year, and facing the challenges of life, good health, and simply living. As for this year, I’m done. During the holidays I will try not to overdo it too much. However, I intend to enjoy my self.

Until next year…