I Believe In Me

I enjoyed a wonderful lunch date with hubby (yesterday) – As we were talking about health as a whole…I said “The key to success is believing in me”.

Climbing that mountain just over a week ago did something to me. My attitude has drastically changed towards exercise.

I feel empowered with an “I can” attitude. I will climb that mountain again ~ I believe in me.

I don’t want to forget this moment, it’s pretty amazing.

Blessings – Debbie

Things That Make Me Happy

Autumn is the time of year when I start to feel that sweep of joy rush right thru me.  There’s something about this special season that kicks off the holidays.  So to kick off my very favorite season, here are a number of things that make me happy.

We’re starting our hunt for another nest to call home for a while.  Today was my very first day out.  Makes me happy!

House #1 has amazing views and such a beautiful patio stretching across the entire back of the home.  The inside of the home was gorgeous as well.  It has a lovely master/master bath with a huge picture window over the jacuzzi overlooking amazing views.  Guest rooms were extra small and no room to accommodate the office.  Another down side, there was no room for the pool table which we don’t want to give up.  Hubby and I both agree, this is a “no”.

While looking for another nest, we continue to enjoy our current views.  Picture taken from the kitchen window.  This makes me happy.

A perfectly spun web on the front porch, made me happy.

I’m Thankful – For the fact that I like cutting my fruit instead of taking big bites out of it.  Totally makes me happy!

Last but not least:  Zig Ziglar motivated me today, he says – “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” I had my early morning hike with an elevation gain of 443 feet this morning.   Thank you for that Dear Zig, I need to remember this daily.  Makes me happy!

Blessings – Debbie

Crisp Fogy Morning Walk

Oh my oh me or is it – o me-o, my-o?  All I know is this one thing, my legs are still in pain from our hike this past Saturday.  Namely my claves are pretty much tight as ever.  As my feet hit the floor bright and early I could hardly put one foot in front of the other.  After a bit I was waddling and humored with my predicament.  It takes a while to go from neutral into first.  After awhile, my legs start to warm up and it’s not so bad.  Then is when I asked hubby if he thought it would do me good to get out and exercise.  He was all in favor, so long as I didn’t push too much.

So I promptly hit the pavement.

With my walking stick.  I left the other one at home.  It kinda felt good to have this in hand in the event I encounter a coyote, stray dog, snake or what-have-you.  Honestly, it was most helpful climbing nearly a 200′ hill, made me wish I had brought the other one today.

After climbing a few hills and 50 min later, I found myself in this spot for the next 15 or so min.

It’s nice not to be lying around.  But, I do hope these aches and pains wear off soon.

Hubby grilled extra chicken the other night such that I can have leftovers for lunch.  Served with fresh hunks of cucumber and cottage cheese, topped with lots of pepper.

It’s a great day.

Blessings – Debbie

Weekend and Monday Joy

Long weekends…When hubby has a Friday off, it’s a little extra special.  And I can still hear him ask “what would you like to do this weekend”.  I believe he asked either Thursday evening or Friday morning.  I replied, “I would like to climb that mountain”.

On Saturday, this is the mountain we climbed.  Of the pictures I posted yesterday, most of them were taken from the top looking out in all directions.  Here’s one taken today from a distance, to fit the majority of the mountain in the picture.  My legs are still talking to me today, but I hope we climb it again one of these days.

I did get about a mile worth of exercise in this morning.  This is the path of choice today.

It was a beautiful morning and to this day, we’re still breathing in So Cal.

On a whole different subject – I talked about giving up coffee a couple/few posts ago, I won’t get into it again.  What I will say is that I have a yearning to sip on something warm…

While grocery shopping, I lingered on this isle.

The more I lingered, the more I knew the feel of my old mug (even if it is my coffee mug) would be most welcome first thing in the morning.  I forget exactly what tea it was I purchased (some sort of Green Tea) but it was quite soothing.

Does it replace coffee? I won’t go that far but it was nice.  I may even have another cup this evening.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of making the most of things.  In the end, we may come to realize it’s not so bad after all.

Blessings – Debbie

A Climb To The Top

It was such a beautiful day for a hike to the top of a nearby mountain.  And yesterday was just the day.  I can say I have successfully reached the summit of a mountain as this was my first experience.  Words can’t express the joy I felt when I reached the top.

My new hiking shoes helped me reach the summit.

Walking sticks, how did hubby know I would need these?  He’s a wise man as I would not have made it to the top without them or him.

There was a black weatherproof box at the top with a book enclosed.  The book was for any and all to sign.  It was fun to reach the top and leave our mark.

Blackhawk in the distance as we enjoy the cool breeze on top of the world.

This was such a high for me as we perched ourselves up there for quite a while.

Our Journey to the top was pretty amazing.

At some point I asked hubby if he remembered to pack the tent.  Tent, what tent?  We don’t own a tent.  But it was one of those times I believe I could have spent the night.

All great adventures have to come to an end.

In this case, it’s time to plan another adventure.  As we like to say, life is one great big adventure after another.

Blessings – Debbie

New Is In ~ Old is Out

It’s a big surprise to me that I’m a fan of Greek Yogurt.  Having tried it (plain) years ago, I knew we would never jive.

That is, until the Dietician encouraged me to give this guy a try.  So far, I’ve tried the pineapple, peach and raspberry.  I have no favorites, they’re all so good.

We’re getting along quite well.

Fiber One on top provides nice crunch.

 I can see a future for us!  It’s that good.

Continued from the other day regarding my coffee cream delemma…I can’t get away from the fact that the cream I love has trans fat in it.  It messed with my head and I haven’t been able to drink coffee since.

While food shopping this week, I stood in front of the cream selection for quite a while and nothing looked as good as my best friend (Creme Brulee Coffee Mate) there on the shelf.  Right then and there I talked myself out of drinking coffee.  I even poured the bottle (in my fridge) down the drain.  And just like that, I’m not a coffee drinker.

Honestly, I think I’m mourning my old cream, the aroma of coffee first thing in the morning, the feel of that nice warm cup in my hands, the sheer goodness of the coffee paired with my favorite cream.  It’s a sad day.  This too shall pass…

Perhaps I’ll find something in the future, but for now, I need to just let it go.

Blessings – Debbie

A Visit With The Dietician

Much has been running thru my mind the last few months as I seek a life long healthy approach.  Answers came in form of what I’ve always heard and sought out via internet, magazines and books.

But I needed more, something concrete such that I can hold the tools properly without second guessing what I’m doing right/wrong.

My questions ranged from food combining to eating for your blood type.  And searching for something reasonable.  I’ve done the Weight Watcher program in the past, love their program and would highly advise anyone struggling to go for it.  However, for me for now, I’m ready to go dig a bit more into health, eager to shine the spotlight on things that need to be addressed.

For the last couple of months, I’ve stuck to:

  • 1,000 – 1,200 calories per day
  • I don’t eat until I first take inventory of what is going in.
  • Weigh myself each day and plug the numbers into a graph
  • Measure all servings with either the kitchen scale/measuring cups/spoons
  • At least 8 glasses of water a day – No diet soda (except when we dine out)
  • No sweets – except for special occasions and vacation
  • At least 5 + servings of fruit and veggies a day

It all sounded good, I was doing great and the plan was working.

I was finally to the place that I wanted more and that’s when I found myself face to face with a Registered Dietician, yesterday afternoon.  After viewing my history and the plan, the RD put a spotlight on two areas that hurt.

The first area was the amount of sodium I was taking in.  My daily recommended amount of sodium is between 2,000-2500 mg a day.  The love I have for canned green beans squashed my daily recommended amount on the beans alone.  I’ll eat the whole 3.5 serving for lunch with tuna and then again for dinner with another protein = 2,380 mg of sodium.  That hurt, really big.  But I have the tools I need to get my veggies in each day, minus all that sodium.  I love my veggies, bring on the fresh produce.  I’ve got the perfect pot to steam them or I will enjoy them raw.

The next area was the hardest thing I have to swallow.  It was learning my favorite coffee cream has trans fat in it.  What makes it worse is the bottle flat-out says on the front all nice big and bold 0 g Trans Fat.  The sad part, the fat is number 3 on the list of ingredients.  We all know what that means.  I learned companies can make serving sizes smaller such that they can wiggle out of saying it on the package.  I’m sure all of you knew this already, where have I been?  Partially Hydrogenated Oil in the ingredient list = Trans Fat.  The nerve!

I’m not dumping out my newly opened huge bottle of creamer.  So I have a little while to look for the cream she recommended.  Or a while to determine if my coffee drinking days are over.  It’s all good whatever happens.  If you’re reading this and have a cream to suggest, I’m all ears!  FYI – My love is the Coffee Mate Creme Brulee,  it will be bitter-sweet saying farewell after all these years.

Since I have records of everything I eat and how much I eat a day, we were able to pretty much dissect everything.  I’d say between the sodium and cream, I wasn’t doing too bad.  And she actually suggested we have that bar of chocolate once a month or so.  In no way did she suggest we deprive ourselves totally.

Here’s my brand spanking new daily plan:

    • Calories:  1,000 – 1,200
    • Carbs:  at least 120 g
    • Protein:  at least 65 g – 80 g
    • Fat:  45 g ~ Max
    • Sodium: 2,000 – 2,500 mg

Note:  2 servings of 4 – 5 oz of protein + 2 – 3 servings of low-fat/non fat dairy per day

We touched on breakfast ideas.  She is in favor of the oats fruit and walnuts that I love so much.

It doesn’t get better than this.

We touched on the healthy snacks I was already eating, she encouraged me to work in a little more protein with my daily snacks.

Lunch and dinner were planned:  4 – 5 oz protein + 1/2 cup cooked grain or 1/2 cup starchy veggie + 1 – 2 cups steamed/raw veggies.

Multivitamins (one – per – day complete) + Fish oil supplement (1,200 mg DHA/EPA per day)

Exercise was discussed.  She encouraged at least 15 min per day x 7 days a week.  Totally doable!

And finally, a healthy weight was touched on.  Her happy weight for me left my bottom jaw on the floor.  It was more than I expect from myself, as in I think I should weigh way less than her ideal weight for me.  When she asked if I could live with that weight, I replied.  “I’ll be happy with it as long as I’m healthy”.  Once I get there she’ll work with me to keep it even for a while.  She’ll be willing to guide me at that time if I wish to lose more.

The quote (below) is one that hit me several months ago.

The patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life.  Don’t take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop.  ~ Quentin Regestein

The older I get, the more I want to hang out with good health.

Blessings – Debbie

The Night The Lights Went Out

I interrupt our St Louis travel pix with an update to say we’re home sweet home!  Just one day into settling in we were hit with that huge power outage yesterday afternoon.

When the power goes off in San Diego, we party!  Hubby grilled a mean chicken and veggie meal.

 We shot pool before it got too dark and played backgammon by candle light.

We settled in the backyard where we enjoyed the beautiful night sky, cool breeze and bonfire.

This is as close to camping as we get.  What a beautiful night all the way around.

Our emergency radio came in handy.  Hubby posted this to his Facebook status, live as it happened:  “Some reporter just asked the spokesman when they knew there was a problem with the power grid, his response, “when the lights went out”. Bravo Sir, Bravo!”

Our little set-up.

The remains of our bonfire.  What a great way to make the most of our evening.

We were so thankful for the cool evening as it felt like air-conditioning with our bedroom windows open all night.

Sometime during the early morning hours, power returned and all is well in So Cal.

Blessings – Debbie

Fun With Family

Sunday was quite a special day as we were gathering with more family.  We took a little two-hour road trip to see hubby’s sister Cindy and family.  Little did we know a feast was in the works.  Ham, pot roast (with potatoes, carrots & gravy), pea salad, salad, homemade rolls, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, hash brown casserole…Hmmmm, what did I miss?  It was all so delicious and prepared by our nephews.

We also celebrated our great-nephew Ben’s birthday.

We had cake and homemade banana ice cream…So yummy!

And played on the front porch with Ben’s new “Fire Truck”.

It took no time to figure out the duties of a fire chief.

His hose could reach nearly 15 or so feet.  There was lots of fun, especially since the adults were playing along.

Big sister quickly caught on…

At times there was a driver and two willing Chiefs.

Love that Sam posed side-saddle on this old tricycle my hubby and his siblings used to ride.

Precious Connie – She was my little buddy…

Big sister was willing to pose for pix…

I had to get a shot of her pretty boots.

Connie always had a smile when I pointed the camera her way.

It was such a joy to cuddle with Ben.

Three of our great-nieces and nephews.  We got to see our other great-nephew last week.

Hubby’s sister with her two sons and families.

While the children played into the night, the adults rustled up a fun game of Texas Holdem’ Poker.  By the end of the night,  Brad ran away with all the chips.  Good Game!

A visit to Cracker Barrel before heading back to St Louis yesterday.

Great-aunt Debbie can’t take too many pix…

Little Ben fell fast asleep before our meal arrived and slept all through his breakfast.  Hubby took good care of him.

We have more family to see before we make our way back home.  I’ll be back with more pix later.

Blessings – Debbie

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

A visit to St Louis is not complete without a trip to Ramon’s.  This has been hubby’s favorite Mexican restaurant ever.  It became my favorite Mexican restaurant back in our dating years when he took me here for the first time.  He always judges Mexican food to this place.  I understand why.

So, this was the plan last evening for our sit down meal.  We have been doing so good on our healthy eating that we neither wanted this basket of chips that sat in front of us.

After dinner, hubby took me for a little drive thru his old hometown.  We passed by the old Collinsville water tower.

Drove by the worlds largest CATSUP bottle.  I was impressed.

But to see the Kahoks play football, would have the be the highlight of the day.

Our nephew Luke # 48 made us proud.

Even though the team lost, we left feeling we were already winners.  It was pretty amazing to hear screams from the stands to pass the ball to #48!  I couldn’t help but feel proud of all the hard work Luke does for his team.

Our nephew Trey, he was a hard one to catch.  But oh so cute!

Our great-nephew Austin showed up for the game too!  His grandma (my sis-in-law Chris) had just given him a cow bell to ring during the game.  Good job ringing that bell Austin!

Our nephew (body builder) Eric and his son Austin.  These two are two peas in a pod.

Children who sat right in front of us but were too cute and wanted their pix taken too.

Back home after the game.  Two very proud parents of four of the finest sons you will find.

Luke, Gerry and Trey.  We wish Eric would have been able to make it over after the game.

Gerry and Beth – Our newly engaged (this month) nephew.  She is such a doll, I totally love this girl and welcome her with open arms to the family.  They drove 3 hours one way just to see his brother play and to see us.  Great kids!

Chris had just finished taking care of Luke’s wounded arm after the game.  I think she was telling him to never get hurt like that again.  (I kid) She is such a great mom, loves her boys but I love how she lets them be boys.  She and my bro-in-law have done an amazing job with these guys.

As our evening came to a close, all felt right with the world and quality time with family.

I never tire of passing by the arch night or day, it’s such a beautiful sight to behold.

This wraps up another glorious day in St Louis.

Blessings – Debbie

A Visit To St Louis

Hubby and I took a trip to St Louis this week.  A trip to visit with family and friends.

What do you do on the plane to pass the time away?  I played games on my phone like:  Reversi, Sudoku and the most fun was playing Color Touch.

I took pix the other day when I had my mani/pedi and found color touch to be a fun app to toy with this pic.  + the fact that it helped the time pass quickly…

Soon we landed and were greeted with a heat wave, like I’ve never experienced in all my live long days.  There was no gradual introduction to summer as it clearly slapped us in the face.  And I recall exclaiming to hubby “This is so UN San Diego”.  I’ve been a little under the weather ever since.

We quickly gathered our things and secured our rental car, made our way to the hotel and bathed in our nice air-conditioned room.

That evening we went to visit hubby’s son Ryan and his choice was to go for a little sit down at the local Starbucks.  Anyone who knows me well, knows I have a soft spot in my heart for the place.  But I snubbed it kindly while visiting with Ryan while he enjoyed his iced something or other.  Great visit we had.

Yesterday we got to spend time with Ryan and Lauren.  Mostly Ryan as his car was in need of attention.  It was a long ordeal, ask the mechanic.  All is can say is at day’s end, the mechanic offered Ryan a car and at day’s end, Ryan secured that new car!  Not without hubby doing his homework, but I won’t get into that long story here.  We can all say what a great day and deal all the way around!  And we topped off our evening spending quality family time at Panera Bread.

Sometime during the evening hours back at the hotel, I caught myself dreaming of home.

And I spent all night long in Southern California.  In my dreams…

Blessings – Debbie