Sunday, January 30, 2011

Soup Recipe and Computer Allergy

First, here's a Veggie Quest recipe from "What Am I Supposed to Do With THAT?" --
Wild Mushroom Bisque

Last April, I reported having a computer allergy where my neck and exposed upper chest would get itchy, and my right-hand fingers would swell up twice their size, turn red, and have painful tips.  I drastically reduced blogging time.  Here and here.  Well, I've been having the reactions, again.  I had been increasing my computer use especially by typing out the "Eating for Your Soul" intros and lessons and having more recipes to post.  It's to the point where I can't stand touching the computer.  Now, as I type, I'm wearing the lovely yellow rubber gloves used for housecleaning.   Even with the gloves, it still feels a little weird.

I have a touch pad instead of a mouse.  My index is the first to swell because it's the one rubbing over the pad the most.  At night, I'm woken to a sensation that feels like a pin is being poked into my nail bed.  Ice packs bring a lot of relief, although they don't reduce the swelling.

Has anyone heard of this before?  My doctor was stumped about it last year when I showed him.

So, dear blogging friends, I may not comment as much, but please don't forget about me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Veggie Quest - Collard Greens

I've added a new veggie to our menu: collard greens. We actually like them, and it's simple to make (although it needs time in the pot).

Here's the link for my veggie blog:
What Am I Supposed To Do With That?: Collard Greens

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Zumba Dork

I did it! I Zumba'ed! It was very enjoyable. The only bad part was the mirror. I looked like such a dork. Oh, well. If I made the other students feel better about themselves, then I'm happy to have obliged.
Here we are:
What? Aren't you tired of seeing half-dressed Zumba-ites
with their awesome abs?
(btw - Am I the only one that had to do this dance in 3rd grade?)

The instructor finished up with pilates. My legs were jell-o when I left. They were so fatigued that pressing my brakes was challenging.

I look forward to going back.

The plantar fasciitis is "itising", again; the muscles are tight and painful -- no doubt from today's activities. I'll keep with the stretching and foot exercises. I hope it doesn't stop me from the fun classes. Otherwise, I'll have to go back to pole dancing.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gaming and Netflix and Bears, Oh My!

I've some good news, and I've some bad news, which really isn't that bad. I will be writing less detail about the Eating for Your Soul steps on my blog, but some exciting things are happening for Jarah's EFYS project, and an EFYS workbook will be available within a couple of weeks. There also could be a book deal in the future for her. I will write in future posts about the parts of the steps I'm working on and pondering.

(no graceful segue)

Have any of you dealt with computer-game overuse/addiction? I have an 11 year-old son (my oldest) who only wants to play computer games. We have rules and limits, but he busts those limits and can't self-monitor his time. He's brilliant at LEGO and Bionicle designs, but when video games are an option, he'll drop them. We have him in boy scouts and horseback riding to help him expand his interests. We spend time together as a family, especially Mondays. Anyway, we are taking away video games for a month for all of us. It's not as a punishment but as an un-plugging type of thing. I'm worried for him. We'll ease back in with active games like Wii. He'll have to earn it, though, by showing us he can be reliable for self-care, chores, responsibilities, and having other interests.

I've never been a mom of an 11 year old before. I feel like I'm doing the right thing -- there's always that doubt, though. I daydream about getting rid of video games forever. Bad mom? Unrealistic?

We've also suspended Netflix (aka Crackflix) on Danny's and my behalf. I used to hardly watch television, but Netflix makes it too easy. It's like getting a Krispy Kreme doughnut with a click of a button at a moment of weakness. We watch at the end of the day after getting the kids to bed. Ahhh. Peace. Quiet. *click* Then it's 1 a.m. Then I'm practically useless the next day.

Awareness. Change.

(no graceful ending)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Birthday Pics

Count-down* is complete; I've just celebrated my 42nd birthday.  It was wonderful, and I am so thankful for a loving family to share it with.  The blessings in my life are rich -- not monetarily, but being surrounded by people who love me.  (And I just realized I didn't have b-day pics taken with my parents!  But, I am so happy they've been able to move near us).  Everyone made sure I had a pleasant day.

We dropped the kids off at school, had a nice morning together, went to Deseret Book Store where I bought a book for myself and picked up the cake at the Lion House Pantry there.  Danny took me to lunch (Mimi's Cafe -- mahi mahi with brown rice and veggies - yum).  Picked up the kids.  Everyone came over to celebrate, then dinner at my parents.  Oh, yeah, and a "Dexter" marathon with Danny that night from Netflix (I don't watch tv, not even the news, but I do enjoy some Dex).

*When I began this blog, I was at the end of 39.  I had made it a goal of mine to get fit mentally, spiritually, and physically within a year.  I added a counter at the top of my blog.  So, am I fit?  Yes and no.

When I was at the end of 41, I was also just at the end.  I was empty.  Not only was my body out of shape, but I was also mentally drained, and my spirit barely flickered.  Everything just seemed to be a struggle.

Someone may see I'm still overweight and judge, "Aw, she failed."

It's true I'm not the "image" of fitness, although it is better than a year ago, but, I'm not the same person I was a year ago, either.  You can't measure mental-fat-percentage or spiritual-fat-percentage.  If you could, you'd see those are leaner.

I used to binge when I didn't know how to deal with anxiety, etc.  I was mentally and spiritually depleted and too numb from the binges.  I don't have those binge episodes anymore.  Now I'm working on portion sizes and developing habits to listen to my body's stop signals.

I used to never plan meals.  That's still a hard one for me, but I do a lot more planning than I used to.  That brought me to my new blog "What Am I Supposed To Do With That?" where I've been teaching myself new vegetable recipes that my whole family likes (picky 5 year olds don't always count).

I hardly ever prayed.  But it has become so important to me to take quiet time and just be still and say what I'm thankful for, what is on my heart, and what I need help with.  Then I listen.  During the day I say several mini prayers of gratitude.

And I have so much gratitude.  And I think I have enough mental fitness to know to never put another counter on my blog or life, again.

Danny and Me

With Thomas, 11
With Marie, 9
With Skye, 5

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Eating for Your Soul - Step Two

(The following is from Jarah Christensens' "Eating for Your Soul" copyrighted material -- I've paraphrased, summarized, and quoted from her workbook. Writing helps me study and retain info).

Step Two: Seek Truth

A.  Your Body - Become aware of the "Diet Perspective"
a.  about food
b.  about exercise
c.  about progress
B.  Your Spirit - Pray for discernment
C.  Homework

A.  Your Body - Become aware of the "Diet Perspective" - look closely at your thoughts and actions that keep you from hearing your body and spirit.
The diet perspective is the thoughts and actions that keep you at war with food and your body.

They come from:
-diets you have tried
-word-of-mouth (my input:  urban legend, talk shows)
-those you love and love you

1.  DIET ACTIONS:  Here are examples of actions that could keep you from giving your body and spirit a voice about your health.

-Counting calories
-Eating "safe" foods like fat-free or low-calorie
-Eating by the clock (i.e. - only 3 meals per day, no snacks, stop eating past 8 p.m.)
-Putting off hunger with drinking
-Competing diets with someone for motivation
-Eating based on when you deserve it

2.  DIET WORDS:  Sayings you eat and live by.  You may have learned them from your parents, friends, or spouse.  you probably find yourself repeating them to your children.

-Clean your plate (eat everything on it)
-You waste food; you waste money.
-Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
-You can't eat dessert until you eat your veggies.
-You can't eat now; you will ruin your dinner.
-You served it; you eat it!
-You poor thing!  Did you get a boo-boo?  Eat this.  It will help you feel better.
-You can have this candy if you are good.

We are not placing blame.  We are here to stop the cycle.

(I have to pause.  When I first read these diet words during a meeting, I stopped Jarah and said she is taking all of my ammunition away when it comes to feeding my kids.  Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.  We should eat our veggies first and wait until dinner before eating.  That's common sense!  Isn't it?  I sat there wondering what she could possibly say to shift my perspective.  Well, she did over the program's course.  When I catch myself saying these things, I change my words and teach my kids a different perspective and to listen to what their body is telling them.  It's better with my 9 and 11 y.o. -- I still use diet words with my 5 y.o. -- I haven't figured out how to help him, yet.  I'll ask Jarah the next time we speak about this.)

Other diet words Jarah mentioned are calling different foods "good" or "bad" -- she uses "real food" and "play food" instead.

3.  DIET THOUGHTS - Your thoughts are the stem of your actions and words.  Look at your thoughts about food and question them.  Have they brought you closer to your body or made you distrust your body?

a.  Diet thoughts about food
-Do I deserve it?
-I can only eat this if I work out tomorrow (or longer).
-I shouldn't be eating this.
-Did I eat good or bad today?
-Candy bars exist to torture me!

b.  Diet thoughts about exercise:
-It's not worth it if I can't put at least 30 minutes in.
-I need to burn at least "x" amount of calories before I get off the treadmill.
-I really shouldn't be eating this because I didn't exercise today.
-I hate being sore!

c.  Diet thoughts about progress
These are the hardest to change because most of us have experienced some type of success in health changes in a quick-fix sort of way.  It's hard to look at progression in any way other than weight loss ('s measured easily which makes it a convenient way to rate progress).

Seeing progress in a different way is the key to this program.  Being more kind to yourself and recognizing when you are getting better at listening to your body is more important.

You know you are progressing when your diet thoughts about food have been replaced with thoughts like these:
--Am I truly hungry?
--Is this food worth my taste buds? (to clarify -- how many times do we eat things that don't taste good to us?)
--Will I feel deprived if I don't eat this?
--I deserve to eat without guilt.
--I did a good job in listening to my body today.
--It is amazing how my body communicates with me.

Re:  Exercise - Replace destructive diet thoughts with more helpful thoughts like:
--I like the way I feel after exercise.
--I feel less stressed when I exercise.
--My body likes to get up and move.

Re:  Progress - Change diet thoughts to:
--I love the relationship I'm gaining with my body.
--I see that all foods have a time and a place.
--I can trust my body to teach me how to eat perfectly.
--Food is not the enemy.

This is a thinking step -- be aware of the diet perspectives in your life.  If you feel that you can identify your actions, words, and thoughts as harmful, you can stop them now.  If you are not ready, it will come.  You will address more actions regarding this subject in step six.

B.  Your Spirit - Pray for discernment
Every person that has come to Earth has received the light of Christ -- a gift given to you so you will recognize truth when you hear it, but you need to be listening for it.  President Marion G. Romney said this about the spirit and truth, "The truths that can free us from our sins, guilt, false concepts, erroneous understanding, and unproductive habits and behaviors can to be had through the Holy Spirit."  You must be willing to believe that the Lord wants you to come to Him with all your problems, even eating issues.

You can find for yourself what is true for your body.  What may be healthy for others may not be healthy for you.  With study, prayer, and patience with trial and error, you can come to your own understanding of what is healthy for you.

Everyone is entitled to that sacred relationship with their savior and to receive "gifts of the spirit" or personal revelaiton for themselves to discern truth, right and wrong.

Maybe you believe that you are not worthy to receive personal revelations hourly because you are not spiritual all the time:  maybe you yell at your kids, didn't offer to help your neighbor, or sped to get to an appointment on time.

Jeffery R. Holland states, "...The Spirit has a near-impossible task to get through to a heart that is filled with hate or anger or vengeance or self-pity.  Those are all non-conducive to the Spirit of the Lord.  On the other hand, the Spirit finds instant access to a heart striving to be charitable and forgiving, long-suffering and kind -- principles of true discipleship."

Striving is the sweet word.  Please don't be so hard on yourself that you won't let the Lord guide you.  You are doing your best with what you have been given and with what you have learned.  The Lord will show you how to be better.

The Lord judges according to the desires of our hearts.  He will take in account all He has given you:  your upbringing, your experiences, and your weaknesses.  He will take our desires and our striving and make them enough.

Do your daily actions reflect your heart's truest desires?
Idols aren't just things that you worship or things you lust at.  They are also the things you spend the most of your time thinking about.  If you are thinking more about what and how much you are going to eat than about the Lord's will, then food or losing weight has become your idol. 

A story about desires and how they influence actions:

One night, a young idealist had a dream.  He dreamed there was a new store in a nearby shopping mall.  He went in and saw an angel behind the counter.  Nervously, he asked what the shop sold.

"Everything your heart desires," replied the angel.

"Then I want peace on Earth," exclaimed the idealist.  "I want an end to famine, sorrow, and disease."

"Just a moment," replied the angel.  "You haven't understood.  We don't sell fruit here, only seeds."

C.  Homework
1.  Become aware of the diet perspective.  Ask where these thoughts or actions came from.  Do you believe them?  Why or why not?  Have they helped you get a healthier body, or have they just caused more confusion between your body and food?  Notice how bombarded you are with lies and half truths.  Come ready to share what you hear in your head and all around you.

2.  Pray for the Spirit's help to discern what is true for your body.  The Lord knows your truest desires to be healthy, and He cares.

3.  Ponder about what it is that you truly seek.  What changes are you willing to make to get there?  Do you think you'll be happier, or that life would be better if you were the size you wanted to be?

Previous EFYS Posts
My Intro
Program's Intro
Step One

Listen to Online Intro

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Didn't Like Yogurt

I had a rare, leisurely day yesterday.  No hurries.  So, I decided to finally break open the pomegranate that's been sitting on my counter for the past couple of weeks.

 Quite the mess.  So worth it.
Working hard for my breakfast.
( looks like it should be in the
opening credits for "Dexter.")

More appealing and so good.
It used to be that I didn't like yogurt.  I began eating it decades ago to counter-balance the side effects from the antibiotics I had been taking.  I would select the fat free variety in an attempt to be "good."  You know, fat-free this and fat-free that.  I went for the handy little containers with the endless flavor selections.

Have you seen the amount of sugar/HFCS in those things?  They have to add it to mask the flavor of fat-free.

I never could understand the attraction to yogurt nor why the French love it so much.  Then, I had normal, almost undoctored yogurt.  It was from a lonely, big tub (plain, with fat) amongst the limelight of the fat-free, showy, petite, artificially-flavored plastic packages who breeze through life always getting what they want... -- wait, I'm kinda getting off subject.

So, I tried plain with about 4% fat.  Much better.  I do add a little bit of organic sugar to it, but I control the amount -- much less than what the manufacturer puts in.  I also like to add different fruit and sometimes granola.  Other ways I've tried it is by adding my own vanilla and cinnamon.

Do I feel like I'm eating "bad" by choosing yogurt with fat?  Real food is to be enjoyed while providing nutrition.  It's satisfying.

Well, it's breakfast time, again.  I have left over pomegranate seeds.  And plain yogurt.  Yum.