Change is a good thing-twenty-five things in twenty-five years!

Random post here that I felt the need to document for safekeeping for the days I’m not feeling positive about change.

  • I’ve quit every single thing I’ve ever been addicted to in the last twenty-five years.
  • I got married almost 25 years ago and I’m still married.
  • I learned how to say I’m sorry and mean it.
  • I discovered, for the most part, my purpose in life.
  • I found my best friend.
  • I grew up.
  • I became ultra-responsible.
  • I learned humility.
  • I also learned I don’t know everything.
  • I admitted to myself and others that I’ve made some really bad choices, decisions, and mistakes.
  • I haven’t had a traffic ticket in 31 years and knock on wood I’ve never been in an accident where I was driving, but was in a couple while someone else was driving as a teenager.
  • I’m a foodie.
  • I’m a business owner.
  • I finally went to college (eight years and three degrees)
  • I advise people on their taxes, estate planning, finances and work as a CPA.
  • I speak two languages and I’m working on a third.
  • 75% of what I watch is international tv and film with subtitles.
  •  I’ve had a savings account for fifteen years that I actually deposit money into.
  • I’ve managed to not have to take any prescription medication of any kind and I’m almost 55.
  • I’ve discovered that I’ve spent my entire life in a reactive state vs. responsive state (I’m working on it).
  • I laugh a lot.
  • I take care of myself–the biggest change>> I eat 3 healthy meals a day.
  • I spend less time being angry.
  • I’m not scared of confrontation.
  • Quitting isn’t an option.

This list may seem quite random/all over the place concerning things I’ve accomplished or overcome or even skills that I have developed. And for the most part that is true–though the list doesn’t quite tell the whole story. You see twenty-seven/ twenty- eight years ago I was homeless, working as a CNA, in a relationship with an abusive drug addict, and really so close at any given time to become another statistic. I had an eating disorder brought on by years of not eating properly, I was constantly injured at my job and on pain medications, and I survived on 40 oz bottles of beer, cigarettes, and mountain dew. I owned nothing. A few years before that I was in another really bad relationship and was being emotionally and sexually abused regularly. I didn’t own anything then either not even a decent car (even though I had 3 jobs). Mainly because I was helping the person I was with to pay his bills. I also had a spending problem–buying things I didn’t need and lending money to “friends” all the time. I was angry all the time and had been since I was a teenager. I was immature even though I often did very mature things in my life. I was irresponsible even though I took some of my responsibilities seriously. I quit a lot of jobs–and in some cases never even collected my last check because I was scared of confrontations. I refused to go to college, instead opting to get into healthcare. I loved working in healthcare but I never made more than $6.00 an hour until I worked in healthcare management. I suffered six serious back/neck injuries from working in nursing homes that were short-staffed.  I refused to commit in either of my relationships and I am so happy about that. I never believed I would ever get married and didn’t until I was 30 years old. I lived like a rock star for twelve years straight. I suffered from severe depression from the time I was 13/14 until my mid-thirties. Learning a new language seemed impossible to me and subtitles really annoyed me twenty years ago. I was once a very reckless person and was often given “passes” when caught driving recklessly or acting irresponsibly, even driving under the influence when I was in my twenties. Not proud of this at all. Twenty-eight years ago I was arrested for writing 3 bad checks for groceries and to help pay my rent. I spent thirty days in jail and I was on probation for two years. Almost ten years ago now I stood in front of a Governor’s board and asked to be pardoned for that crime. If you’ve never had to look into the pardoning process I will sum it up in two words—really hard. I wrote several essays and was able to prove to the Governor’s board I hadn’t had so much as a traffic ticket for over twenty years. I was granted a pardon after I stood up in front of a whole room of people and made my case. I learned true humility and I grew exponentially from that experience ( from arrest-pardon).

So, in closing. Change is good. No matter how much we fear it. Some of the things I changed about myself were really really hard and at times seemed impossible. Some of the things that changed over the years saved me. There are other things that have changed in the last twenty-five years that are not so profound and not entirely positive. But, the good definitely outweighs the bad and that is where I am at today.

Many blessings to all making changes.

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FODMAP–What is it ?

What is FODMAP?

FODMAP is an acronym for–“Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”

“And what that means is when you eat something that is a short-chain carbohydrate, which for you is highly indigestible,  your gut bacteria will then use these carbs that didn’t digest as fuel to produce hydrogen gas which will cause you extreme pain and/or discomfort in your digestive system. You may also experience mild or severe diarrhea because this process also draws water into your intestinal tract.”  This information was found here.

I’ve blamed my inability to be able to eat sauerkraut, kombucha, onions, even grapes on allergies, intolerances, even IBS for years. Turns out IBS may have been part of it all along. I’ve had IBS since I was an eleven or twelve-years-old (maybe I’ve had it all my life?), but didn’t get diagnosed until I was in my twenties. For me, that meant an upset stomach and bouts of both constipation and diarrhea in the same day. There has never been enough known about IBS to say that there are known foods to avoid. So, I’ve never avoided food because of IBS. That said in the last fifteen years I have experienced a lot of food intolerances starting with gluten. If I eat something that has wheat germ or wheat protein in it I get seriously sick. On the other hand, if I eat one piece of bread with wheat flour I may only get a small rash. I have been unable to eat onions, garlic, kombucha, relishes–basically, anything fermented or that ferments for about twenty years. As the years have gone on the list has gotten progressively longer and finally about a year ago I decided to continue my research and find out why. Finally, I found the problem-FODMAP, that’s my problem.

So what can I do? The first thing I can do is to follow a low FODMAP diet.

So what is a low FODMAP diet?

A low FODMAP diet is one that requires you to no longer eat those foods and drink that are high FODMAP.

So, here are some foods that are high in FODMOP (this list is not complete):

Apples, applesauce, peaches, berries, cherries, canned fruit, and watermelon. All sweeteners–high fructose, honey, sorbitol, and xylitol to name a few.  All dairy products. All the gas-producing vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli +more), onions and garlic. Beans, lentils, baked beans, and soybeans. Bread, pasta, most cereal, tortillas, waffles, and pancakes. Also–crackers and chips. Barley and Rye and Wheat–so beer, fortified wines, soda with high fructose, soy milk, and fruit juice.

After reading that list you might ask yourself what’s left? Is cardboard at least safe? Because that’s what I thought I was reduced down to eating– my mind just reeled. On one hand, I had found the mysterious issue I have long dealt with and on the other, just about everything available for humans to eat (there’s a lot of healthy food on the do not eat list) was going to have to be eliminated from my diet.

So what did I have to personally eliminate from my own diet? Thankfully I’ve always been a picky eater so here’s the list–peaches, watermelon, soda, honey, onions, garlic, beets, peas, sour cream, cottage cheese, pasta, crackers, and chips. There is a lot of other stuff like–no longer do we eat in restaurants because I’m also sensitive to food additives and preservatives (xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan, msg, and sodium nitrite). None of those preservatives or additives are good for you anyway, so I’m kind of glad I can’t tolerate them. It’s hard to eat at other people’s homes or get-togethers because people become so offended if you don’t eat or end up bringing your own. Unfortunately nowadays several of our friends have some of the same issues I do so diets have really changed among our little group. The middle aisles of any grocery store have long been my enemy. We haven’t brought canned, frozen, or boxed food, packets, mixes, sauces, or spices into this house in almost fifteen years. So there’s that. It would have been really hard for me to take all of the restrictions at once. Fortunately or not several years ago I changed my diet drastically because I thought I was suffering from gluten intolerance.

So what can I/you eat — a low FODMAP diet includes:
Fish, red meat, eggs, fats, oils, bananas, raspberries, strawberries, all nuts except pistachios, maple syrup, lactose-free dairy products, tomatoes, turnips, yams, zucchini +more, corn, oats, rice +more, water, coffee, and tea.

*None of the above lists are definitive or exhaustive*
*Also everyone is different and what works or doesn’t work for some may work for others*
*Consult your physician before changing anything in your diet*

What does my new diet look like? Well, I still eat dairy. I’ve been eating yogurt, drinking probiotics and milk for years, and I do not have any plans to stop. I do not get gas, bloat, or discomfort from eating dairy. All of my dairy products are organic except my yogurt. I eat Activia yogurt every day. I don’t really eat any red meat or eggs, but I do eat a lot of fish and nuts, and peanut butter, and the occasional small helping of baked beans. I eat a lot of carrots, lettuce, yams, zucchini, and tomatoes. As far as fruits go I eat a banana every day (I like the partially green ones), I also eat strawberries and raspberries year round. I don’t snack so no worries that I can’t eat crackers, or cookies, or chips. I drink water, tea, and have the occasional cup of coffee now. I bought a Chemex coffee maker and have discovered the rich taste of coffee. Up to now coffee always tasted awful to me. Now I know why–the oils from the beans weren’t making it to my cups of coffee. With the Chemex pour-over style of coffee making the oils make it to each and every cup. What a game changer for me!

I’ve also got to watch that I don’t use condiments because of the likelihood there is garlic or onion in most. So–no BBQ sauces, or most salad dressings, pickles other than Vlasic found in the refrigerated section, no chili, or taco or fajitas seasonings. I stopped eating tacos and fajitas –actually, anything really spicy about 15 years ago when I quit smoking. I probably never liked spicy stuff, but smoking made eating them tolerable. I’m one of those rare creatures that actually like to taste what my food really tastes like. I don’t cover up, or enhance, or flavor anything except with salt and pepper. As far as my husband’s diet goes he still eats everything he has always eaten–with the exception of most of the stuff in the middle aisles of the grocery store. That said he has never been one for boxed or frozen food as he grew up with a mom who loved to cook/bake and she made everything fresh or from scratch –three meals a day/365 days a year.

One last thing that is worth mentioning is to be aware of your supplements and vitamins when you have an issue with short-chain carbs or sensitivity to food additives.  I’ve taken supplements for almost 30 years–I use a Vit D. spray that is really working miracles on me, and I get a vitamin b12 shot regularly, plus magnesium, and iron every day. Recently I researched a better way to get magnesium and ordered some plant-based magnesium. I thought that I had researched everything, but what happened was I hadn’t. Turns out plant-based magnesium is red algae and extracted from red algae are polysaccharides which are better known as carrageenan, which I get very sick from. And sick I was, I was sick with a stomach ache/pain and diarrhea for 3 days. Once it was all out of my system I was fine. From this point on I’m going to stick with what I’m currently taking and not try anything new if I don’t have to.

To say I wasn’t sad years ago when my entire diet changed would be an understatement. I mourned and mourned for a long time. But the pain I experienced was so bad that I was willing to do anything to make it stop. I have been tweaking my diet for years and years and now may be the final tweak? Looking at all the forbidden foods makes me think I have always had this issue. I’ve had stomach aches, and distention, and pain in my digestive system for as long as I can remember. I think poor nutrition as a child played a major role. I also think my skipping meals, not eating enough good food, and at times eating too much nutrition lacking junk food finished me off. In my case, I compounded all of this with many years of drinking mountain dew and abusing alcohol for several years until I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking in 2003. I had stopped drinking mountain dew in 1997.

I’ve been changing my diet by trying something and either eliminating or sticking with it since 2000. First, it was dairy, which I fixed with buying organic dairy. And then it was gluten, which I fixed with the elimination diet, and then I discovered additives, preservatives, onions, and garlic bothered me. If you’ve ever looked at a food label you’ll know preservatives are in almost everything, and onions and garlic are in everything else.

Now, as I’ve said, I know what my issue really is and it is FODMAP. I don’t know what really causes this but I do know diet changes have helped me immensely. There are still plenty of things one can eat– you just need to try and then eliminate if need be and then try the next food item. And on and on until you create the right diet for yourself and move forward. You will adjust and no longer feel that there is virtually nothing left for you to eat. Good Luck and I hope my article helps you on your path to better eating!

Here are links to the information I found that has helped me:
What you can and can not eat on the low FODMAP diet
FODMAP 101
What are FODMAPS?

What I wish I could have told my younger self—and other birthday ramblings

The day has come– I’m turning 54 and I know it’s cliche to say it, but I sure don’t feel like 54 is supposed to feel. Though how do I know what 54 is supposed to feel like? Growing up 54 was close to your grandparent’s age, edging up on social security. Gosh at 55 I’ll be able to get free coffee at certain restaurants and 10% discounts on other retail stuff. I think at fifty-four I should feel accomplished. I think I should feel comfortable in my life, perhaps at ease with all the decisions I’ve made. No doubt I should have a regret or two and maybe aches and pains and pills on the nightstand. Thoughts should be toward retirement, travel, and life insurance policies.

I laugh sometimes at the sheer craziness of being in my fifties. The other day my husband and I traveled to Madison Wisconsin to start my birthday week with a nice meal and some light shopping. We visited a beautiful neighborhood in Madison that I could definitely see us retiring in. A couple of times I pointed toward people I thought were interesting and suddenly I thought–OMG, those people are my age. One was having a hard time with their walker and so my husband stepped up and lent quick assistance and all was well. Another person was having a hard time with an elevator and so we stepped up and held the elevator door open until she could wheel into the elevator. We are often handy like that having both worked, side by side, in a nursing home. It didn’t hit me at the time, but seconds later I said out loud “I’m the new old” and my husband nodded. Which of course to me meant that the people I was helping were in my age range. Either one of them could have been me. Now I know 54 isn’t that old, but consider this–out of all the people I’ve known in my life—friends, boyfriends, co-workers, and acquaintances, over 1/2 of them have passed away. My childhood/teen/young adult friend passed away over a decade ago, and several friends of mine who were younger than me have passed away, along with many co-workers I’ve had over the years. I’ve lost three “best friends” over the past thirty years. All gone way too soon. There isn’t a year that goes by that I don’t wonder what any one of them would look like or how their life would look had they been given more time on this earth.

So, what would I have told my younger self if I could? Here’s what I would have told her– stop worrying because in one week or one month everything is going to change again. Listen when someone tells you everything will look better in the morning because, perhaps it’s magic, but it does. Don’t give all of yourself to people who are just in your life for a minute–when they walk away seemingly without a care they leave a great big void in your heart and soul. If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it. Respond don’t react and don’t let emotions control important decisions. Use your head not your heart sometimes. Don’t believe for one-minute material possessions can fill a void. Unconditional love fills you up not things you buy or think you need.  Be frugal. Moderation in all things no matter what things we’re talking about. Stay away from people who don’t want the best for you. Stay away from people who hold grudges, or don’t appreciate you, or judge you without knowing you.  Accept you will be rejected by people simply to be rejected but it’s not the end of the world. Be yourself and when people walk away from you because of who you really are–consider that a blessing because you wouldn’t want people in your life who don’t want to be a part of the real you anyway, right? Take better care of yourself and try as hard as you can to see a future for yourself. Don’t give up. Don’t stop trying. Believe in yourself even when no one else does. Take risks. Travel everywhere you can afford to travel. Choose jobs or a career that makes you happy and that you enjoy doing every day. Thrive vs. survive.  Surround yourself with good people and walk away from bad.  Don’t leave the door open even a slight crack for toxic people to crawl back into your life. Sometimes you have to walk away from someone in your life in order to protect them from the truth. Learn how to say no. Learn when to walk away. Learn when to stay.

Some things I’ve learned over the years that I often share with those at the shelters I volunteer at are–don’t fear failure rather fear never making an attempt to try something. Throughout my life, I kind of sat around waiting for the right time, the right place, the right this or that. There is no right time -there’s now.  Do it now. Try it now. Even if you fall flat on your face you will have tried which is so much better than waiting because you’re afraid. I let emotions control me just about my whole life. I had a lot of issues growing up that I kept quiet about. I grew up in a household where you didn’t talk about personal stuff. My step-father often said “children should be seen and not heard.” And he lived by it–no giggling, or laughing, or roughhousing allowed. My mother didn’t believe anyone ever had any problems as bad as the problems she had.

I have learned so much in the last fifteen years–way more than I could ever put into words. One thing that I definitely want to express to anyone reading is–be careful about what you do to your body, the people you surround yourself with, the jobs you take just for the money, and the things in your life that stress you out. All of this has a direct effect on your health. My body is full of scars and wounds of a not so well lived life. Thankfully twenty-five years of smoking haven’t given me any surprises -yet, but I’m so glad I quit 15 years ago. Choosing to work in healthcare and stay working in facilities that always worked short destroyed my back. Working in group homes where I was often thrown around or hit trying to restrain/keep patients safe has caused me years of pain from broken fingers, toes, and a neck injury. Not knowing that there was always something wrong with me due to childhood trauma caused me to live a life of bad decisions, choices, and mistakes most of which were made from a place of fear rather than a place of love. I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to heal my body and mind after discovering that I’ve been living with PTSD for most of my life.

So as I approach the wonderful day of my birth I must say–I am glad I made it here. I am sad that those I was close to as a young adult are no longer here to share old age with. We spoke often of how we would all look in our fifties and what we’d be up to. The things that make me the happiest are the simplest things in life. Ironically as a teen, I wanted nothing more than to get away from country/farm life and travel the world. Yet for most of the last twenty years I have lived in or near farmland. It’s impossible for me to think I could ever live anywhere else except a place where there are fields of hay and cows a mooing. Have I ever mentioned on this blog how much I love cows? I do. Being humble is a good thing and every now and again eating humble pie is also a good thing. Saying no works. I fully admit at 54 that there are a few things I should have done better. I regret that when I made choices I didn’t consider myself in the choice. So many things in my life would have been different. I regret that throughout my life I may have helped and been far to generous to people that wouldn’t have even given me a glass of water if I was dying of thirst. I regret spending so much time listening to family members lie and allowing them to use me. Thankfully that chapter has come to a close. I regret not being good at the things that should have come naturally to me like motherhood. It took me until I was in my forties to see that what I’d needed most in my twenties was love, support, and maturity. Becoming a mom wasn’t my magic pill or fix. Everyone wants you to believe being a mom is a natural thing you get once you deliver your baby. It’s just not true for every mom. Well, it just wasn’t true for me. I wish that my parents would have believed I could be a better person almost twenty nine years ago now–but they didn’t and honestly neither did I. They simply believed I was acting up and behaving immaturely and not responsible enough to do the right thing. I was some of those things, but I was also an addict and had recently been diagnosed with depression, and was suffering from heartbreak and abandonment. I wish they could have seen my need for their love and support.

Most of all what I’ve learned and would tell my younger self is that you ultimately as an adult make your own bed–so you need to be careful how you go about doing that. Your parents are responsible only up to a certain point for how things turn out in your life. There comes a point where you must figure out who you are and what you want in life. Sometimes you make mistakes but then you know you’ve got to own those mistakes. Last but never least in all things have a plan b because life is unpredictable.

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!!

Perfect Pumpkin

Now while pumpkins are plentiful is the time to start buying and baking–because pumpkin has so many health benefits not known to the general public.

About 10 years ago now my husband and I were in the middle of trying to adopt a greyhound. Our love and desire to have a greyhound become part of our family was huge. After most tracks in this country stopped racing greyhounds, local agencies formed to help people/families adopt the retired greyhounds. The one we were trying to get had really bad teeth (potential of hundreds of dollars of care) and she also had problems with her stomach also due to the poor diet given to racing dogs. Time and again at meetings we heard stories of how the foster families and forever families were always using pumpkin with their greyhounds. Pumpkin will bulk up their stool, settle their tummies, and boost nutrition. Unfortunately, because of where we were living at the time, which lacked the appropriate space for this particular greyhound, we did not adopt her.

I’ve never forgotten how much I learned about pumpkin–here’s what I know:

  • It’s rich in vitamin A
  • One cup of cooked pumpkin is 49 calories
  • High in antioxidants that may reduce your risk of chronic disease
  • It’s high in beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C–boosts immunity
  • The nutrients in pumpkin are good for your eyesight
  • Nutrient dense, low calorie, may produce weight loss
  • Antioxidants lower risk of cancer
  • Is packed with fiber
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Versatile foodstuff that you can add to anything–wraps, salads(cooked) veggies, stews, soups and more

Some people may not know this but pumpkins are a type of squash. Pumpkins and squash belong to the same family called Cucurbitaceae.  Every year I bake up two dozen squash and pumpkin, then let cool, place in freezer bags and freeze. We then are able to eat squash every single month, almost, until the next year’s season. If one or both of us is feeling ill I will make up a pumpkin risotto. Pumpkin risotto does the trick every time. Here is the recipe–Pumpkin Risotto

I also roast all my pumpkin seeds for snacks and to add to bird food.

When you’re done with your pumpkins instead of throwing them into the garbage, where they’ll just clutter up a landfill, choose to break them up and set them out in a place where the birds and other small animals can get to them.

As we head into the season of sickness I would also like to add this article that has natural health remedies such as pumpkin, ginger, rice, and sweet potatoes that help manage diarrhea, nausea, and flu-like symptoms.

Until next time– stay healthy and happy!

The Beginner’s KetoDiet Cookbook by Martina Šlajerová– a book review

I would venture a guess that everyone on Planet Earth has heard about the Keto diet. I follow at least 50 people who have tried it this year. Often to me anyway, the diet seems complicated and in the back of my mind, I’ve always got several questions about what it all means, and how successful any one of them have been on it.

Until I reviewed The Beginner’s KetoDiet Cookbook by Martina Šlajerová. Here is the review I recently posted–

The Beginner’s KetoDiet Cookbook is an informational cookbook that thoroughly explains the science behind the Keto diet and with that offers easy to follow recipes, with easy to understand instructions, and fairly easy to obtain ingredients. I enjoyed the informative parts early on in the book and loved the easy to understand charts. I would describe this book as being one of the most user-friendly cookbooks out there for those interested in trying the Keto diet. I tried several of the recipes with my favorite chapter being soups and salads. I also loved the garlic and herb focaccia and brie egg muffins. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is planning to try the Keto diet. In The Beginner’s KetoDiet Cookbook you will find food swaps, substitutes, carb counters, instructional information, a Keto staple grocery list, tips for success, recipes and so much more.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher Fair Winds Press for giving me the opportunity to review The Beginner’s KetoDiet Cookbook by Martina Šlajerová.

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Buddha Bowls by Kelli Foster–a book review

One of my favorite cookbooks this summer has been Buddha Bowls by Kelli Foster. Here is a current book review I completed on this fabulous cookbook–

I’ve been looking for a cookbook like Buddha Bowls by Kelli Foster for a long time. I needed recipes with pictures, easy instructions, fairly easy ingredients to obtain, and fairly quick and painless preparation. Buddha Bowls has it all and then some. Every time I fix a meal from this cookbook I am asked for the recipe. Out of all the cookbooks I own and have cooked from this cookbook has had the most compliments. Most of the dressings are now my go-to dressings, and whenever I need a power lunch or a meal with perfect presentation and taste–Buddha Bowls by Kelli Foster is my go-to cookbook.

 

 

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review.

Professional Reader

10 Book Reviews

 

Eat like your grandparents did!

ourgrandparents

I was inspired to write this blog post mainly because this week I’ve witnessed dozens of epiphanies from people who’ve been dieting since January. Obviously, we all know several people who jump on the dieting bandwagon the first month of the new year. What some of us may not have known — is that it would seem come the new school year many of these same people begin questioning their diets. If I saw one, I must have seen a dozen people come to the following revelation >>> They’ve decided to try eating in moderation because some book told them to. So add moderation as a trend to the trendy diets for the people we know who are on diets 11 months out of the year.

I’m really not trying to be snarky about any of this. Dieting is serious stuff. Dieting, constant dieting and changes in your body, can and will do serious damage. Dieting is always temporary. Temporary until the dieter falls off the wagon temporarily, temporary until the next trend comes along, or temporary until the dieter quits for good. Quick weight loss plans are quick temporary diets. Unfortunately, the damage dieting can do may not be as temporary as the diet itself.

The plain fact of the matter is dieting leads to disaster–every single time. This is a fact that is backed up by doctors, therapists, dieters, and healthcare practitioners. Nowadays there are diets that eliminate food, bread, dairy, meat, grain, plants, supplements, air, etc. You get my drift. I know at least one person on each one of these “diets” and some that are on a different diet train month after month after month. Hey, do what’s best for you but know this– it’s been proven that trendy diets do more harm than good. It’s clear to see that naming which diet, diet plan, or supplemental drink you’re on via social media is trendy, but in the long-term none of it will do your body good.

Slowly but surely most people come around to the idea that if they eat in moderation, eat whole foods, and exercise they will lose weight and improve their health. Diet gurus, MLM’s, influencers, and bloggers have really done a number on people. I see people all the time throwing out big boxes of meal plans, diet books, shakes, supplements, kits, and so on. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars of stuff. Yes, they lost a couple of pounds, maybe even 20 or 30 pounds, but they starved something somewhere in their body to do it. It’s a fact that once they stop whatever they are doing they will put the pounds back on and probably continue to keep putting them on. Which will reaffirm to them they should be dieting or that said diet was working.

It’s your mind that you have to put on a diet, not your body. You need to learn about nutrition, food, and what each thing that you put into your mouth does or doesn’t do for you. You need to learn about portion size, about eating whole foods and what whole foods are, and how to buy, store, and prepare nutritious foods.

Fifty years ago common sense informed people that eating in moderation was the only way to diet. In the last thirty or so years people have written most common sense off as old wives tales(apparently) and instead have spent millions of dollars trying the latest fad. And now? The latest fad is to eat in moderation. Go figure.

It’s also sad that people have to buy dozens and dozens of books to teach or reteach themselves how to feed their bodies. Has society really and truly strayed that far away from the obvious answers?

If you need to buy books then at least buy books by licensed nutritionists and registered dieticians. Your family doctor is great for everything health related to your specific health needs, but if he’s like mine will be the first to tell you he didn’t study nutrition in med school. Again–I repeat, when it comes to nutrition seek out licensed nutritionists and registered dieticians. That means you don’t look for or take advice online from— commission based sales representatives, MLM distributors, motivational speakers, or doctors, med school students, or armchair doctors before consulting your physician.

Take what you can from any information you find whether online or at the doctor’s office–whatever directly and safely pertains to you. In every “fad” or “trendy” diet there is some good. For instance you will learn about portion size, or exercise, or how to cut out bad carbs, or to drink more water, and eat a variety of different fruits, veggies, and foods. All this is good information until the fad or trend tells you to stop doing this or stop doing that (which has nothing to do with moderation). Moderation works! Consult your physician so that he or she can give you the full picture on your health and then ask to speak with a licensed nutritionist or registered dietician before trying any of the popular diet fads or trends discussed online 24/7.

Though I may not have ever gone on a “diet” I have spent the last twenty years on a 1600 calorie a day meal plan.  This isn’t a fad or trend diet meal plan, but one that is set up for my age, weight, and health concerns. I limit sugar, I don’t drink anything with caffeine, and I keep my carbs at 800 calories of carbs a day. I walk briskly 3 x a week, and stretch and do yoga 3x a week. Every day I eat 3 fruits and try to eat 3-4 veggies. I don’t eat processed food. I do eat bread. I do eat meat approx. 3-4 times a month. I drink half my body weight in water every day. I’m by no means perfect and I haven’t always eaten this way.

Full disclosure– thanks to genetics I have the potential to balloon up to 250-300#– maybe more. I have many things in common with my paternal grandmother; including her body shape (pear) and ability to pack on the pounds.  I have never ever been on a diet. I am not skinny. I weigh 35# more than I should, but it’s not due to eating unhealthy. In fact, 99% of it is due to not being able to be as active as I need to be due to a back issue. I’ve been eating whole foods in moderation for over a decade and have never weighed more than 168#. I deal with arthritis in my feet and Fibromyalgia issues daily which also limit my ability to walk, hike, and ride a bike as much as I’d like to. I get a lot of advice on what foods and drinks to avoid based on my issues. Time and again I hear–don’t eat dairy. First, I am not allergic to dairy nor am I lactose intolerant. It is my strongest desire with the issues I deal with to have good strong bones. I drink 12 oz of organic milk every day. I also eat 2-3 slices of organic cheese a week, and during the summer months enjoy the heck out of a good ice cream cone 1-2 times a month. I experience zero inflammation from dairy. There is a link between lactose intolerance/milk allergy and inflammation–I found a great article on this which is below:

Inflammation and  dairy

Metabolism Basics

Why Dieting is Harmful by a Fitness Expert

Five Reasons Not to Diet in 2018

Diets Don’t Work–so why do we keep trying them?

If you take anything away from what I’ve just written I hope it is that I am very concerned about all this trendy dieting. I totally understand people want and need to lose weight. I totally understand all the emotions connected with people and their weight/body image, and health. I worked in healthcare for twenty years starting as a certified nursing assistant and retiring in healthcare management. I worked with certified nutritionists and registered dieticians all the time developing meal plans for clients throughout the twenty years I worked in healthcare. These are the people to go to, consult with, and work with for weight loss and better health.

I think there are a lot of well-intentioned people on the internet that try something and enjoy good results and then want to pass that information along to others. Whether by selling others shakes or powders or supplements. I certainly don’t begrudge them trying to help people, while also trying to support their family with extra income.

That said– it is wise to consult your physician, naturopath,  or nurse practitioner before trying any new diet or supplement being sold or shared online. As I stated before your doctor may not be able to advise you on nutrition based on what he/she learned in med school, but they will be able to tell you whether a new diet or supplement is a good idea based on your health, current meds, and any information they can glean about said new diet or supplement.

Until next time–give whole foods and some of these nutrition books a try–(Amazon links, but not affiliate links)

Basic Nutrition

Good Calories Bad Controversial Science

The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook-1000 recipes for choosing, cooking, and preserving whole foods.

2018 Container Gardening- Week 11

This past week we’ve been dealing with cooler rainy weather. Not necessarily good for what I’m growing. I can’t remember if I updated last week, but I’ve lost most of the blossoms on my pepper plant–so probably no peppers this year, though there are new possibilities. This happens they say (the experts) when temperatures are too warm. The week they dried up it was very hot here with heat indexes of 103 degrees. Last week I picked my first tomato and it had blossom rot– I know what causes this and that’s too little calcium in the soil. So I went out and gave all my plants some Purple Cow Compost tea and a few days later picked my second and third tomato and they are just fine. My peppers had this issue last year and I was too late in catching it.  My lavender is getting leggy, but my rosemary and hens and chicks plant are thriving. We trimmed the lime coleus and now have two healthy branches that are flourishing.  Currently, that geranium and petunia plant I picked up at a local nursery is filled with gnats. This happens a lot with plants and soil that sit outside in the wet for long periods. I’ve bought many a bag of big box dirt(never again) that was filled with fungus gnats. Looks like this geranium and petunia were planted in some of that stuff at the nursery. So, I will probably get rid of that plant this next week before they start flying indoors. That’s it for this week. All total I’ve been planting, watering and caring for my container garden for 5 months now– with almost 3 months of it spent outside gardening.

 

2018 Container Gardening- Week Nine

So this week things have stayed pretty much the same in my container garden. Missing are both Walmart non-smelling
geraniums. Not only did they not smell like geraniums, they basically bloomed once and died. I have since visited a nursery and purchased a new geranium plant along with a new petunia plant plus more Purple Cow composting soil. My husband and I live in an apartment complex for now. We are hoping by this time next year to be moving. A few years ago maintenance came around and planted shrubs etc. near everyone’s front door. I am assuming they felt that the tenant should thereafter be responsible for all care and maintenance of said shrubs and plants. Well, the soil these plants were planted in was all wrong, not to mention the kinds of plants planted, and the fact they were hastily put in and during one of the hottest days of the year. For over a year I watered an entire courtyard near our door and four plants right next to our front door. I also fertilized all the plants that were around our unit. Unfortunately, most could not be saved–mostly due to the fact of the soil they were planted in, they were planted shallow, they were planted late fall during a heat wave, and then come spring the area was sprayed by them with a toxic weedeater. This spring nearly everything was dead so we decided to go out and buy hostas at our own expense. I thought hostas would do well near our front door and they still might. However, the spot near our front door gets extreme heat in the afternoon and shade in the am. Hostas need warm sun in the am and shade in the afternoon. This information did not deter us, instead, we went ahead and dug holes, filled them with Purple Cow composting soil, and planted the hostas. Today I made a sunshade for both plants and will cover with said sun shade for part of every afternoon. Keeping fingers crossed. My lavender is doing well since being cut back, and so is my rosemary. Our tree is still recovering, the lime coleus continues to flower and is about 2.5 ft tall, and I have a total of 14 green tomatoes waiting to ripen. How’s your garden doing?

2018 Container Gardening- Week Eight

This week I have teeny tiny pepper buds on my plants. It is so neat to see the flowers become fruit! As reported I am down one geranium,soon to be two, so I went out and bought a red geranium and red petunia to replace them. I learned my lesson at long last–no more plants no matter what from big box stores. I cannot believe I bought not one but two geraniums for $11.00 a piece and they didn’t smell like anything. For most of my life I couldn’t stand the smell of geraniums or petunias, but now my garden would not be complete without their unique smells. It sounds weird but it is true, and I can’t describe what they smell like–so next time you’re planting a garden buy some and see for yourself. They grow on you, I promise. Everything has doubled even tripled in size since plant. See for yourself–Happy Gardening All!