This is Alfred. Alfred LOVES mashed potatoes. I also love mashed potatoes. If I give Alfred potatoes on a small plate and make it easy for him to eat the potatoes, he gobbles them and will eat them all. (Do not worry, I do not do this often or give him too much).
Last night I gave him a small container, with just a little bit of mashed potatoes in the bottom. He did not want to stick his head in and eat them, so he stuck his paw in the small bowl and scooped them out a little at a time. As he was doing this, the bowl kept moving. After just a few dips of his paw, he gave up and walked away.
I am thinking that my new diet strategy might be to serve my food in ways that are challenging. For example, if I want ice cream, I have to eat it with a fork standing up on one foot.
Five years ago yesterday I quit smoking; this was a significant life event for me. I started smoking when I was seventeen; I was forty-eight when I quit. I had stopped a few other times in my life but always went back to smoking within a year. Hitting my five-year quit anniversary is exciting! Quitting is not easy and maintaining it is hard work; it does get easier over time but is still difficult.
Right around the time I quit smoking I also started eating better and exercising; starting this healthier lifestyle, I lost nearly 50-pounds. It is the first time in my life I lost that much weight without the assistance of weight loss medications or a frozen food plan program. I simply changed my eating habits and started to exercise. Like anyone who has been on this journey I was excited and convinced that this was it, I would never gain the weight back. Looking back on my five-year quit smoking anniversary, I realize that I was very wrong.
I did lose a lot of weight, and I did it the correct way, using food and exercise. I maintained the weight for maybe a year, and then it slowly started to creep up again. I am now at the same weight I was before my first journey. This is disheartening and hard to accept. I mean I can take it because the scale tells me that I have to accept, but it makes me sad. Today I was reflecting on being a non-smoker and how happy that makes me. That is when it clicked, weight loss, like smoking cessation may not be a one-time journey. I have to try again. I have to look back on what I did right and where I failed and begin again.
Also, I have to be ready. I was ready to quit smoking. I was not just stopping because it was expensive, or because of my health. I wanted to stop because it was annoying to me, it was getting in the way of what I wanted to do. I wanted to stop smelling; I wanted to exercise more, I wanted to feel better, I wanted to have more time in my day, and so many other things.
Now, I am ready to lose weight. Just because I failed once, it does not mean that I will fail this time. If I do fail this time, it does not mean that I will fail the next. We have to continue to try; we have to find THAT time, the time that is right for us. I believe that this time exists and that this is the time for me.
Going to school now actually is realizing a dream for me, going for something that will allow me to change careers and reach my goals.
I mentioned in my post the other day that looking for a school to attend that is 100% online is not for the faint of heart, it is a jungle out there and you need to bring some equipment on your journey. More on that in my next post, for now, I will just tell you that I have decided to seek my degree by attending Tiffin University. Tiffin University is in Ohio; they are a private school that has been around since the late 1800s. So far Tiffin has been attentive and helpful without acting like telemarketers on the last day of the month that are trying to reach their goal (no offense to folks in that line of work, I have done it).
My daughter received her graduate degree from Tiffin University, and she had a good experience and now has a degree from a reputable school. My daughter was my best reference, and not that I do not trust her, but I did do some of my own research, more on that at a later date. Like a suspense novel right?
I am seeking a degree in Healthcare Administration; this may not seem terribly exciting to some, but it is for me as it allows me to make a career change and meet my long-term goals. In about five years or so I want to move back to the east coast, near a beach. The area I am considering does not have a lot of large business, which is necessary for my current career. However, this area does have a large health care presence. With twenty years of management and my newly earned degree, I am hoping to be able to make this move and earn a good living. Bonus, I will be living near the beach and not need to move when I retire. Great plan right?
I do not generally use my blog to rant, but I am so frustrated by the seemingly lack of consideration that I am experiencing right now.
When did it become OK to not RSVP to an invitation? Did people forget that money is being spent, that plans are being made? If you do not RSVP to the invitation, I do not know your intent; I do not know what you are doing, I am not psychic! I am either going to have too much food, or not enough, too much space or not enough.
Have we really convinced ourselves that we are so busy and so important that no one else matters? I am sorry, but a couple of minutes to make a phone call, send a text, email, anything is not too much to ask; it does not have to be a letter.
If you read this do me a favor never forget to RSVP, I mean never. It is rude, thoughtless, and stressful for the person who sent the invite. You are not that busy or important, get over yourself and RSVP.
End of rant.
Cooking is not my thing, I mean I really dislike doing it. When I was not watching my weight it was easy, just eat whatever is handy, or order delivery, anything to not have to think about what to eat. Now that I am trying to eat better and feel better, I have to think about what I eat, I have to put ingredients together in my head that will be healthy and filling.
I am going to share some of the things that I keep in my house, that keep me happy and out of the kitchen, well at least I am not in the kitchen for very long. By no means is this list meant for everyone, but maybe it will spur you to find a few of your favorite things for your kitchen. I would also like to state that not all of these things are healthy and natural, but they are not awful either and fit into my eating plan.
So, here goes –
- White Corn tortillas – these are tasty, not a lot of calories, and keep for a very long time. You can have them with breakfast, lunch or dinner
- Jennie-O Turkey sticks – White breast turkey, 25 calories, cut them up in a salad. Yummy!
- Reduced fat string cheese – grab and go
- Spring Mix and baby spinach – hundreds of things you can throw in it for a quick meal
- A mix of Chard, Kale, and spinach or other greens for smoothies. (Invest in a smoothie blender, I have a Ninja, totally worth it!)
- Oscar Mayer Natural Turkey Breast – Tasty, low cal, and easy with just about anything
- Pico de Gallo – everything already cut up and ready for you! I do not have to cut onions, or peppers, or tomatoes. Heaven!
- Grated Romano Cheese – or Parmesan – whatever you like. Delicious on salads, over meats, obviously with pasta.
- Pasta – good go to in a pinch and just about everything I listed here can be added to pasta to make it better!
- Bananas – I love bananas 🙂 Pick another fruit if you do not like these, keeping any fruit on hand is good for a quick snack.
- Rice Cakes
- PB2 – for my rice cakes. If you have not tried this powdered PB I recommend that you do.
- Coffee – I love coffee, more than I love bananas, it is a necessity.
- Tuna – I always have a few pouches of tuna on hand.
- Frozen Berries – they do not go bad and are great for smoothies
I keep a lot of other things also, spices, etc to use when making these, but looking at this list, I could make a weeks worth of meals and spend very little time in the kitchen. Also, only using my stove top, never having to turn on my oven!
That is it. Nothing new, or earth shattering here, but if, like me, you are cooking adverse, maybe you could think of some things to do with these ingredients. I promise, just a few minutes from the kitchen to hiking, or shopping, or watching TV; anything other than cooking.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Some call this a Hallmark holiday; I say use this day to feel the love around you no matter who shares that love. Right now, I am surrounded by my pets, now that is true love :).
I want to write some poignant words today about Cancer and how awful it is, but really this is all I can think to say. I am speechless in my sorrow.