Friday, February 17, 2012

Staying Young and Healthy in my 50s

I have discovered some keys to staying healthy these days. I cut out processed foods, and cut out white sugar and flour as much as possible. Eat lots of veggies and fruits and drink my greens daily. That keeps the body much as anything can. Oh...not saying that environment doesn't make a difference, but we want to do as much as is possible under our own power to treat our bodies right.

I am feeling really good these days. I take my vitamins and supplements every day, eat a more healthy balanced diet, and try to get enough sleep every night. I am trying to look as good as I can too. Losing all that weight...55 lbs since a year ago November has been great. I have mostly kept it off too which is a miracle. I can tell when I am eating bad stuff, and a week of really clean eating gets the weight back off.  The one thing that I found is that when my face got skinnier, I ended up with a turkey neck. I HATE that. Too much loose skin under the chin. I found a solution. I started wrapping my face and neck with a body wrap from It Works.  Boy am I happy. Look at the results:
I lost several inches when wrapping my tummy too. You know that belly fat that doesn't want to go away, even when you diet? No amount of sit ups will shrink it. Mine is a menopause belly. Others have baby belly. You know that stretchy skin that is all out of shape with stretch marks and all loose.  You can wrap that belly and tone and tighten it up. I was so impressed that I decided to sell the stuff.  Look at what it does:
Even men like works for them too. Check out this result with a guy's tummy.

So....I now have a business.  I do wrap parties where you and a few friends come and I wrap your tummies. It is not invasive, private, and fun. I measure your tummy, wrap it with the herbal detox patch, and then cellophane. After 45 minutes of percolating, I take you into the other room, unwrap you and measure.  It is great fun, and people get immediate results.  This is great, because I am looking better...shrinking in places, tightening up my loose face lift necessary,  and helping others to look their best and feel great about themselves. My kind of thing. Plus I LOVE people. This business is all about people and that is my "bag" as my husband says.

I decided to make God my business partner. I am trusting that He knows how to do this better than I do. So far so good. I am having a blast talking to everyone about wrapping and showing them my before and after photos. I have been wondering what to do with myself that would get me off my butt and out of the house. I wanted to work without having a 9-5 job. This is great!  Got a party tomorrow morning...6 ladies coming and general merriment commencing.  I am having more fun with this non job than I have had in years. Thanks Marjorie for introducing me to it. If you want more information, please go to the website and contact me. 

Feeling good and staying young. Two things that are important in my 50s. Eating healthy, taking care of myself and staying active is how I am trying to accomplish it. Doing something new with my life and meeting lots of new people, and keeping my brain engaged. I was becoming a couch potato and now I am up and going.  It's good to do that when you turn 57. I look at some people my age and they are looking soooooo old. That is not going to be me. I am going into my golden years...on roller skates, or maybe a motorcycle...whooping and hollering. I am having the time of my life and intend on doing it until my last breath. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pollyanna Was Right

How many of you have seen Pollyanna?  The old Disney movie about the little missionary girl whos parents are killed and she goes to live with her Aunt Polly in a town that is totally grumpy and mean. Her aunt runs the town and everyone in it, including the minister with an iron fist.  Pollyanna is a sunny child who comes to town and changes everything. My friend told me it is a spiritual warfare movie. Thank you Teresa Shannon for that lesson at our retreat 20 or so years ago. I have never forgotten it.  Spiritual warfare involves walking in the opposite spirit of whatever is coming at you. She played "The Glad Game", which was finding something to be glad about in every situation. Today we had a great opportunity to play "The Glad Game" as things went south at the very beginning of our day.

We are on the way from Idaho to Sonoma, Calif to attend my brother's memorial service. He passed away in Dec. which is it's own sad story. We hit snow on the way to Tri Cities, WA and had bad weather all the way to Klamath Falls OR. A 10 hour trip turned into 13 hours. Went to bed after a very long day and got up to drive over the pass by Mt Shasta in California. We took off and drove maybe 60 miles, and hit a rather innocuous piece of ice. Didn't think any more about it. A few miles later, the car started overheating. We made it to Weed, where we checked it, decided to get on the hwy and try to get over the pass. The car got hot, so we pulled off at the next exit. It was a blizzard.....wind blowing hard, snow blowing harder, and us in our car sitting with it off so it would cool down. I called AAA and they couldn't find an approved repair shop in the area. So they arranged for a tow truck to tow us the 65 miles to Redding. The tow truck driver didn't have to do it, but said he would. He arrived about 45 minutes later, put the car on the flatbed, and off we went. As we went, he saw tons of cars in the ditch, and was almost sorry he had agreed to take us. As the drive went on, there were trucks lined up for miles, trying to get chains on. Traffic was backed up and a nasty mess, and he had to drive that way to get back home.  We told him how sorry we were that he was going to be in that. I said that there was no approved AAA repair service in the area...and he got miffed. He said that their shop was AAA approved.  We got to Redding and God told us to bless him with a good tip. I gave it to him and told him God told us to give it, and he almost cried. I love it when God allows you to surprise someone with a blessing.

They took our car right in. They didn't have to, but they were so nice. They came back a bit later and said we needed a new radiator. WOW...not expecting that. Evidently that piece of ice we ran over was not so innocent. It tore a 5 inch hole in the bottom of the radiator. They were able to find one and got it in and got us on the road in 3 hours. We got to Vacaville  at 7:45 which was about 7 hours after we intended to get there.  In all that, there is lots to be "Glad" about.

First... we made it to Weed before the car overheated. That was a miracle.It was 20 miles or so with a giant hole in the bottom.  Phone service for the first time in 65 miles. Our car could have broken down on a pretty deserted road with no phone service in a blizzard. WOW...thank you God.
Second.....the AAA dispatcher couldn't find an approved repair shop anywhere near where we were. Why didn't she see the repair shop in Shasta?  If she had, we would have been there, in a blizzard. They probably would have had to send to Redding for a radiator which wouldn't have been able to get through. The snow storm is supposed to last a week or so.  We might still be there waiting for the part.
Third.....the tow truck driver agreed to take us down to Redding...over 60 miles. He didn't have to, and was sorry soon after we started going. If he had refused, what would we have done?

In the midst of all that stuff, so many things to be "Glad" about.  The glass can be half full, or half empty. It is your choice how you see it. I choose to be a person who sees it half full. If you can learn to do that, you will start to see the good coming out of every trial. I choose to walk in the opposite spirit of whatever is going on. I choose to be glad, have joy, and not knuckle under to every trial that come. It makes life become an adventure. It causes you to look around and see what is really going on, and what God could have up His proverbial sleeve for you.   Many years ago, we listened to the song, "The Great Adventure" by Steven Curtis Chapman. It sort of became our theme song as we went from one adventure to another.

Saddle up your got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace
Just follow your leader into the glorious unknown
This is life like no other...oh....
This is the great adventure.

See the glass as half full, and life as an adventure, and you will not miss the blessings that come your way. See it as empty, life as awful, everything as depressing, and you will miss so many great things that are waiting in front of you. Was the past 2 days hard?  Yes!  Was it also good?  Yes again! Would I trade my life for something else?  Not in a million years.  I love my Great Adventure. I hope that you see your life as a Great Adventure too!  The choice is up to you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Phase 3 HCG Adventures

Today we started into Phase 3 of our HCG diet.  Still no starches or sugars, but we get to add fat. So yesterday we started out with delicious coffee...we like Millstone Black Onyx.  Sounds like an illegal drug doesn't it?  " wanna buy some Mayan Black Onyx?"   To that dark roasted delicious brew we added...wait for it....HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM!   This is my vice. I love heavy whipping cream. I love it in coffee, over fruit, in soup, and anywhere else I can think of to add it to. Add to that avacados, rib eye steak and artichokes and you have our first day of real food.

I would like to say that Bill is at a 26 pound loss and I lost 23 in 5 weeks. I am really proud of my hubby. This diet is not easy to do. So very strict and cheating is really a no no. If you cheat you gain, and you can gain a lot very quickly. We only have 23 to 40 days to do this, so it pays to be POP (Perfect on Protocol). He did it right along with me, but this past week and a half he was pining for real food. Bill is looking really good. His belly has gone down lots and lots. That is what I was so worried about. I have told him for years that I don't want to be a widow, and finally he has lost a bunch. Still a ways to go, but after Christmas is soon enough for more deprivation.
Here we are 2 years ago. Chubby and  happy!

 Wow...hard to believe. We have had fun all along traveling the world.  Even though I walk with a cane because I need a knee replacement. Losing 54 pounds in a year has made a difference. I think that all the world travels will be even more fun when we are skinnier since we won't be tired and weighed down.

5 weeks on on HCG and we are new people. There is a whole lot less of us. Hooray for that!  Here is the new us.....

Like I said...a lot less of us. I would say we still have about 20-30 pounds to lose each. We are on the road to better health with eating better foods. I stay away from processed stuff...boxed or canned foods. Bill loves Nalley's chili (blech!!!). I have to make a chili that he likes better. He loves sweets and I have to find low carb sweets I can make that can tempt him. It will be a challenge. Yesterday I made my own mayonnaise for the first time ever. All mayonnaise has sugar...even the organic stuff. Evaporated cane juice is still sugar. We are in the part of hcg that you can't have sugar so I tried making my own. It came out really good. I am feeling very impressed with myself!
Here's the recipe:

1 lg egg yolk
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 c olive oil or vegetable oil....explanation of oil to follow the recipe
2 tsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar...also explanation to follow
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp white pepper

Whisk together yolk, mustard and salt until combined well. Add 1/4 c oil drop by drop whisking constantly  until mixture starts to thicken. Whisk in vinegar and lemon juice, then add remaining oil in a very slow stream until well blended. If oil isn't incorporating, stop adding and whisk until it is, then keep going. Add in s and pp to taste. It will keep 3-5 days.


Oil...I poured 3/4 c olive oil and started the process. The olive oil was too strong a smell so I only added 1/4 c olive and then did the rest in MCT oil. MCT is an oil that doesn't metabolize as fat in the body. It is expensive and I prefer to only use it on the protocol, but I had it on hand. That brought the smell into a better balance. Whatever oil you use, make sure it is expeller pressed. That means they don't process it with high heat to extract the oil. High heat processing changes the chemical composition to make it really bad for you. Canola oil is supposed to be good for you, but they use VERY high heat to process it, and they also use Hexane gas in the process of extracting the oil. How does that sound as something you want to put in your body...NO THANK YOU!

Vinegar.... I use organic unflitered apple cider vinegar. There are so many health benefits of ACV I suggest you google it. I can't even name them all. Some people drink it straight because it is so good for you. That is too much for me, but I use it almost exclusively in the kitchen now.

The recipe called for less lemon and vinegar. a tsp less of each. I added the extra tsp because it still needed more tang. You can adjust it according to what you like. I first thought it wasn't working as I was adding the oil but I pressed bravely on. It finally started to thicken until it looked like regular store bought mayo. I used my hand mixer with the whisk attachment.

In conclusion...I am learning to do things I have never done before. I gained weight because I was too lazy to cook healthy. Being a carb addict on top of that, means that when you do things the lazy way, you eat processed foods. Processed foods are full of starch and sugar. That causes you to crave more carbs. Then you are chowing down on chips, crackers, cookies etc etc etc. The list is endless.  It's much easier to buy a box of something that you just have to add water to and put in the microwave, than cook something you have to think about. I used to cook when the kids were little. I don't think it was really healthy food. Canned veggies, meat or chicken, pasta or the old staple macaroni and cheese were staples back then.  This new way of cooking is an adventure and I am praying that God keeps me honest and I don't get lazy again. Mayonnaise is just the beginning.  Life is a great adventure and we must keep learning and growing or we will shrivel up and die...or get fat and die which shriveling up inside. I choose to learn and grow! How about you?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adventures in Weight Loss

Fall is definitely here in the Pacific Northwest. Nights are cold, almost down to freezing and days have been uncharacteristically sunny and nice. It's such a treat to have these last nice days before winter bears down on us with sub zero temps and snow.  Bill is home from Afghanistan now, having a well deserved rest. He spent the last year and a half working 3 months without a day off, so he was one tired puppy when he got here. We are enjoying puttering around in the yard, the house and the kitchen together after such a long time apart.

Speaking of the kitchen...we are just starting week 4 of a 40 day HCG protocol.  I am so proud of my hubby who is entering into the whole thing with great good humor. I kept telling him that we need to get his weight off so he will live a long time, because I do not want to be a widow ever!  After 3 weeks, I have lost 16.2 and he has lost 19.2. This is my 3rd round, and his first, so the concepts are new to him. He keeps asking me things like, "Can we have pasta?"  I have to keep the mantra going of NO STARCH, NO FAT, and NO SUGAR. He has done great sticking to the protocol. We have 2 1/2 weeks to go, so I am believing for those to be good weeks of weight falling off.

I am doing a lot of looking at blogs these days:  Low Carb, South Beach, Paleo, and Gluten Free. There are tons of great recipe sites out there in cyber space. I am thinking about the long term, and eating totally different than we have been used to. Bill does like sweets now and then and I have been looking at alternatives to white flour and white sugar. I am very excited to try some of the recipes I've found made with coconut flour and almond flour. I even found a crusty french bread recipe made with no wheat flour. They use brown rice flour, sorghum flour, and some other ones. Amazing! Bill was just telling me that he was wishing he could have some good french bread with his soup, and now he can. At least he can when we are through the stabilization phase. Yes it is carbs, which are not my best friend, but healthier ones to have occasionally.

I've said it before...I AM A RAVING CARB ADDICT!!  White flour and white sugar are like heroin or crack. If I have 1 pack of 100 calorie Cheezits, I will eat the entire box. After eating that, I will tear the house apart looking for those delicious carby snacks and spend the rest of the day stuffing my face. I gained 14 pounds back after going on vacation and taking all the vacation snacky foods with me. Pretzels, chips, cookies, all typical vacation food. That week started me on a downward spiral until I almost undid my last HCG round.  The Bible says that it's the little foxes that spoil the vineyard, and I let all those little carbalicious foxes back into my diet until I gained that 14 pounds back. By the way...this isn't me really, but it could be. That's a horrifying thought!

My conclusion is that low carb, healthy carbs only and only occasionally are the way I have to live my life. No, and I mean absolutely NO white flour or sugar. (Well, maybe Creme Brulee on my birthday!) Protein, veggies and only sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel bread are my life forever. I have to find good sugar substitutes that are healthy which means no Splenda, no Nutrasweet or Aspertame and no Equal.  All these blogs I am reading have been teaching me how it is possible to get your sweet fix without breaking that rule. Almond flour, coconut flour, Truvia, xylitol, erythritol and agave are all names I am getting very familiar with. Cooking with spices that I have never used before is an adventure. The challenge is to keep it interesting so my hubby will come along with me and be happy. I have confidence that we will both stick with it, and will be healthier and happier in the years to come. The adventure continues..............

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ready or Not

Here we are...ready or not! A new chapter is starting and we are just walking it out. Bill is resting and doing some "honey-do" projects. He is talking about what kind of work he is going to look for. The one thing he is sure of is that it won't be anywhere I can't go and stay with him. We are waiting on God for the next step.

What we are doing is getting ready to start the HCG diet next week. Waiting for the drops to come in the mail and then it's full steam ahead. And the good news is that Bill and I are doing it together. He will lose his weight a lot faster than I will and hopefully will learn about eating healthy in the process. I want my husband to live a long time, so getting his weight off is critical.

I want to share some of the websites I LOVE LOVE LOVE in this journey of learning to eat healthy.  There are some spectacular recipe blogs out there, and some sites for HCG that are very helpful. HCG has been a totally life changing thing for me. I have become a maniac label reader. I have learned a lot about my body, which is carb addicted, and what foods it does well with and what foods it doesn't. I am going to have to eat low carb for the rest of my life and be very careful with white flour, white sugar and those crunchy foods I love. The blogs that I have found have been lifesavers for me in this process.


is the place where I am getting my HCG drops, and a fantastic source of information. The 3 people who started this site have all lost weight and kept it off. They have a Facebook support page as well that I am part of. Love these people. If you are ready to get that extra weight off, check out this site.

My favorite blogs which you can find on the right side of this are amazing places to find low carb, and or gluten free recipes.  That is a key for me. Being a carb addict means that I have to get creative.  Kalyn's Kitchen is a Southbeach Diet friendly blog. Healthy carbs, and lots of amazingly delicious recipes.  Elana's Pantry is a gluten free blog and I bought her 2 cookbooks on cooking with almond flour on Amazon.

When I told my friend that we could eat was like she won the lottery. Almond flour pancakes...who would have thought it? I am trying to use almond flour almost exclusively. I buy it online in 5 pounds at a time, because it's a lot cheaper than at the health food store!  I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon because the prices are better. Miracle Noodles is a prime example. It costs about half on Amazon and I joined Prime which is free shipping on most things. It did cost me $79 a year, but with free priority shipping I think it will work out to be a better deal.       

I am trying to figure out how to add a contact me button on here...when I do, I will add it. If anyone wants information on HCG...check out the miracle skinny drops site. And when I add my button, you can email me I hope.  Jump on my bandwagon and let's all get healthy together so we can "Live long and prosper"!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Walking the Talk

Whenever you write about a lesson God is teaching you...look out!  You are for sure going to get a chance to walk it out. Yesterday I wrote about my husband's trials at work and all that was going on there, and this morning he called and told me they fired him. They accused him of condoning the unethical behavior going on.  Nothing like being falsely accused and having your integrity maligned. My husband has always said that he works for the Lord first and then his employer. That means he would never do anything dishonest, or cheat in any way. In fact he has always been a hard a** about the rules. So that hurts, that he was accused when he has always tried to walk in honesty and integrity. I guess we are in good company...Jesus was falsely accused as well.  He said he has peace, and knows God will provide another job. I believe that.

Here's the time where the rubber meets the road. When the rug is pulled out from under you,  it's time to walk the talk. What were the lessons?  Oh yeah...even when you are doing everything right, bad things can happen. I should have seen that one coming. So we need to see what God is doing in the midst of this. What is he working on in our lives and character. Maybe trust, that He is in control, and He will not let us fall. Maybe faith, that He is a good God, always and forever Good, Good, Good.  Maybe one lesson is the walking on water lesson...the storm is raging...and we need to get out of the boat and go for a walk. He won't let us fall.

Another lesson...God will work this for good as long as we keep our focus on Him, and don't start whining and complaining. The glass is half full, not half empty. Bill needs a rest...working 3 months without a day off takes a toll on him, and he is not a young buck anymore. He can come home and start putting feelers out, but a rest is a good thing.  Oh, I can put him on hcg with me, since I am getting ready to start another round.  That's a good thing.  He needs to lose a few pounds too even though he will kick and scream over the diet. We can spend some good quality time together. There hasn't been enough of that, and we can go to church together which I have missed.  So I see blessings in this even though we are wondering about income, and the next job.

Another would be easy to be angry, and curse the woman who did this. She went on a witch hunt, and even before Bill knew about the situation, she had planned his replacement. The kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom. He tells us to bless and not curse, and to pray for those who do us wrong.  That is what we will do. We will bless her with all that God wants to do in her life. God is a whole lot better at the justice thing that we are. If we don't leave it in His hands, then He leaves the whole mess in our hands. If we leave it to Him, then He is free to work in our behalf. I like having the Creator of the universe working for us.

In conclusion...when you are in process of learning something, or teaching it to others, you will be tested. It's the way of things. So we will do our best to walk the talk and be an example of what we are speaking. We will let God continue to form His character in us. That is the good thing, and a blessing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trials and Tests

Today I spoke to my husband in Afghanistan. He was feeling very discouraged about his job, and personnel issues. When he was home, some guys tried to stage a coup, went over the heads of everyone on his base and made a bunch of accusations. They accused people of falsifying time cards and sleeping when they should have been working. Serious stuff. It turns out that his foreman who was left in charge while Bill was on vacation was guilty. He did falsify the records. So he and a bunch of other guys got fired, and here is my husband with a huge mess in his department. Bill is a man of integrity, trying to walk in obedience to God, trying to do things God's way. There are lessons here...and they apply to us all.

#1. Even when you do everything right, the way you are supposed to, things can happen.  Even when you are following God in obedience, you will have trials. Precious metals are forged in fire and so are we. Fire brings out the true character of gold, and it reveals our character as well.  The Message bible says it like this in James 1:2 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. Fiery trials produce character. We are who we are today, because of the things we have experienced in our lives, both good and bad.

#2. Every test and trial has something good that can come out of it if you will choose to be better instead of bitter.  Romans 8:28 in the NKJV says it this way...And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Trust that God is going to bring something good out of everything that happens in your life. If you are in a trial, ask God to show you what His purposes are for you. Ask Him to show you what the place of blessing is. When Corrie ten Boom was in the concentration camp in WWII, they were infested with terrible fleas. She told the girls in her barracks to thank God for the fleas. It kept the guards out of the building and they are able to have a secret bible study. If you haven't read the book, The Hiding Place, I recommend it. Choose to be better. Choose to thank God in the midst of whatever you are going through. You will be surprised at the blessings that come.

#3. If we can bless those who are persecuting us, and pray for those who spitefully use us, then we are opening ourselves up to a blessing. We are opening the door for God to move in our behalf. Not my words, but the words of Jesus in Luke 6:28. When we have people who are doing their best to do us damage, our first reaction is to get really mad, and start to talk and say bad things. That is human nature. If we can practice speaking forgiveness and blessing over those people, it opens the doors of heaven and starts a chain reaction of God's working in our behalf.

The normal reaction of people in trials is to complain, get angry, and say,"Why me?"  If we can learn to cultivate and attitude of gratitude in the midst of difficulty, and learn to speak blessings over others, we will find things changing. We will have the help we need to overcome obstacles and find our way through. If we can learn these lessons, we will be amazed at the things that can happen in the midst of the fire. We will turn to gold, and become people of great character.