Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ten pounds lighter!

I started my weekend with a weigh in. I am TEN (10) pounds lighter!!!! TEN (10) pounds lighter! 10 pounds lighter! What a great feeling! Now, on to the next TEN pounds. Have a great week end everybody!

Thank-you! and Dreaming....

Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you.
These words of gratitude are for YOU!! To all of you who read and follow my blog. My motivation to move toward better health continues to be high because I know that I have followers and readers. Thank-you for sharing your encouraging comments, tips and your own stories. Each one of you are making a difference for me! I KNOW that I could not do this without you.
Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you.

I have always wanted to run in some kind of a race: 5K, 10K, something. Just for the fun and the satisfaction of doing it. I also want to hike DOWN and back UP again in the Grand Canyon. Right now physically I could not to either because I simply do not have the stamina or the endurance. But, I want to. And I will. Someday. I know I will someday. And someday is coming closer for me each and every day. My dream to realize these two physical challenges keeps me going down the path to better health. What about you? What dreams do you have for yourself as you move through your journey to better health?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Peddling around

My goal for the next thirty-three days is to bump up the exercise. So, today, I woke up and basically jumped on my bike with Ellery, almost permanent houseguest and 5 year old granddaughter) in the Burley. We went around Lake Harriet and back in 32 minutes. Not bad for not being in the saddle for a while. Boy. Did it feel great to get outside and bike. I never thought I would be blogging about how I missed exercise over the past two weeks, but I did and do. I do a lot of thinking on the bike. It clears my head to peddle around. But it is also hard work for me to bike, especially when you consider that I am pulling a 42-pound girl in a Burley and include all my excess baggage. Well that is A LOT to cart around.

I learned something else about myself in California, I have little stamina for walking and for standing. I think this is a result of my weight finally catching up with me. It took a great deal of effort to walk the mile or so back and forth to the beach from our hotel. I had to mentally “psych” myself up for it, too. And because exercise is hard for me, physically, I can find a million and one reasons to not exercise and succumb to that little devilish voice in my head that says: take a taxi...skip it, just this once...tomorrow is another day and so on. It is a mind game that I am playing with myself about exercise. Today I won by getting on the bike. I won each time I walked back and forth to the beach last weekend. But life is up and down right now with my father in decline and all the other things that are part of everyday living. I wonder: Can I keep it up? Can I continue to move forward?? So, I am sending all you bloggers and readers a question: What do you do to keep your exercise up when that little voice, or other methods of procrastination start to overtake you??

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day Thirty-Three!

Today is day 33 of my journey to reclaim my health. Back on day three I faced the challenge of eating out with a friend. I blogged about keeping up with my plan to reclaim my health and to eat healthy, especially because it was just day three and not thirty-three. Well, on day thirty-three, I am happy to report that I am still with it. If you have been reading my blog you know that I faced many challenges related to eating that come with life, like watching sporting events with your family, delicious luncheon fare while working and a declining father, but through it all, I have done good. Not perfect. I do not aim for perfection. I just want to regain my health. I give myself a B+ so far.

Ruminations on Day Thirty-Three:
My clothes are a little roomier, not much, but a little.

I am logging my steps on a pedometer on my iPhone and averaging over 6000 steps a day!! That is close to two miles.

Allowing myself a treat, whether it is an In and Out Burger (390 calories) or a kiddie size Dairy Queen (200) lifts my spirits and allows me to not feel deprived. I have learned to plan for these treats by working them into my overall daily calorie intake.

Blogging and reading blogs is therapeutic for me. I do not feel alone, but am surrounded by people who support this journey. There are invisible arms wrapped around me and all of us who are on a journey to better health.

I am worth the efforts that it takes to continue on my journey.

I have a hard time exercising every day. Some days it does not fit in. Although I am stepping at a reasonable level, I want to be sure I am really getting more exercise. For now I will set a goal of 4-5 times per week on the bike.

I am slowly realizing that in order for me to loose the amount of weight that I should it will take a while. Perhaps even a year. I cannot look out that far ahead, but, I can look back at the past thirty-three days and know that I might, just might be able to keep it up for at least another thirty-three days. Weight (pun!) for ruminations on day sixty-six!

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.I can do it. I can do it.I can do it. I can do it.

Thanks for reading and TTFN!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LA: In and Out, Dodger Game and sticking with it

Over the past four days I was in LA completing a few affairs for my father. As many of you know, traveling can be a challenge to new habits of good and nutritious eating. For me there are other challenges besides just the travel to LA. I am originally from LA, so I know my way around many good eateries. Plus LA is and SO Cal in general is home to my favorite fast food chain: In and Out. I am generally not too much into any fast foods for many reasons not just the our physical health but also environmental health reasons. But, when it comes to In and Out, I am weak in the knees. As a matter of fact almost any member of my family who visits CA goes first to In and Out. I know exactly where the one is closest to LAX and you can bet I went there upon arrival.

Okay. Wait a minute you say. How can you go and eat In and Out when you are SO committed to healthy eating? Planning. That is how. Plan. Plan. Plan. I went on line to find out exactly how many calories were in an In and Out Burger (no cheese for me please) and some fries: 490 plus about 200 for a few French Fries(Yep and Yikes!). What to do: eat super careful on the day before and the day after. I tried to bring in my calorie totals on the low side, about 1200 vs. the 1500 I aim for daily. So, I walked into In and Out knowing exactly what I would eat. I enjoyed every bite. I ate it so s-l-o-w-l-y. Every bite. It was delicious! Here is a picture of the food we ordered. Yum!

Next challenge: Dodger Stadium. If you have been reading my blog you know by now that I am a sports fan: Tour de France and World Cup Soccer, but I am also a huge Dodger fan. I try to take in at least one Dodger game a year if at all possible. A trip to Dodger Stadium was exactly what the doctor ordered to take my mind off of the real business at hand in LA. Here are a few pictures:

Did you notice that there is a Subway icon on the top of the Dodger sign? Well, Subway is exactly what helped me to go to a Dodger game and eat sensibly. Dodger Stadium allows you to bring food in and even soft-sided coolers (imagine that in the Metrodome!). My hubby and I stopped at a Subway as we drove through West LA to Dodger Stadium. I felt a little self righteous (this was one day after my In and Out joy) as we enjoyed our delicious and only 310-calorie per sandwich lunch. It tasted great! There is NOTHING in Dodger Stadium (even those beloved Dodger dogs) that hold a candle to something from In and Out. Sure, it all tastes great because most of the foods are either salty, fatty or sweet. But to me, the stadium foods are just not worth the calorie expenditures. So, advice to any of you going in to a sports stadium: check online to see if they allow you to bring in food items. It makes a difference and you will be glad you prepared.

Another thing I found really helpful in LA was the fact that in many restaurants the calorie and nutrition break down are listed right on the menu. I know from reading Marion Nestle and her blog that listing nutritional information is required now by law in NYC. But, as you can imagine there are many industrial interests that oppose such mandated nutrition facts on restaurant menus in other cities or as national policy. At IHOP and Hooters in the LA area, they DO list the calorie values for all items on the menu. Believe me , it is a shock to see how many calories are found in some traditional fare. Take an omelet for example. What do you estimate for calories for a veggie omelet (seems healthy, eh??)?? 200. 300. 400. 500. 600 calories. Nope, all wrong. It is over 800 calories, especially if you have it with cheese. Imagine, eating 800 calories for breakfast. Add in OJ and a piece of toast or two and you are WAY over 1200 calories. For breakfast!

I found the nutrition statements on the menus invaluable. I used the nutrition guides on restaurant to help me to make good food choices. At the hotel where we stayed there was an IHOP, which made it very convenient to eat breakfast there. What did I eat at the International House of Pancakes??? Oatmeal. Yep. Plain oatmeal with raisins and a little non-fat milk and brown sugar. About 220 calories each morning. Another place we went was Hooters. More for convenience too, since it was near the Santa Monica Pier, which was a brisk walk from our hotel. Check out the caloric count for the salads at Hooters. Can you believe you can order a dinner type salad and that will cost you at least 500!!! Calories?!?!?! What to do?? Check out the garden salads. They have less than 100 calories. If you also have your salad dressing on the side and dip your salad in instead of pouring it all over, you have a reasonable meal with few calories. They also serve steamed shrimp-a small serving is only about 200 calories.

Now mind you, not ever restaurant disclosed their nutrition facts. This made me guess that posting nutrition information is voluntary in LA or CA. My awareness was heightened because of IHOP and Hooters which made it possible to be more informed as I made menu choices at restaurants without nutrition facts.

So what am I learning about myself? I can enjoy the foods that I like (In and Out) and make good food choices when I am traveling. As a matter of fact, I believe I enjoyed that burger and the few fries much more because I was so mindful about the calories and developing a plan that it would make it possible for me to eat them without any guilt or feeling like I was binging. And another thing: I found out that having these infrequent food items once in four days was enough for me. I simply did not crave them any more. I was actually satisfied. I also know that it is very possible to go to traditional high calorie eateries, In and Out being one, and to a ballpark and eat sensibly. Ruminating more, I am learning something else out about myself: that is, I can take the normal ups and downs, even the life events and continue to eat sensibly. Notice I said sensibly. I am not perfect. But, I am learning to eat sensibly; to plan and to be overall more attentive to what I am eating. Liberating and empowering. Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 26, 2010

One MONTH: Thirty Days!

Today marks one month; !!thirty days!! since I made the commitment to better health. Over our lives, a lone month is but a flicker in time and not long. We often loose sight of what happens in our lives across a month’s time. I know I sure do and have. Each and every one of the thirty days that are now part of my past I thought about the decision I made to revive my health. Each and every day I made some progress toward this renewal and in so doing, I deepened my own commitment and resolve to continue. Success begets success.

One month: thirty days. Some moments and days were filled with joy and exuberance like the Dutch going to the World Cup Finals, others were darker and oozing with uncertainty as my father entered hospice and others filled with relishing the natural world as a teacher, a learner and a human being. As many of you know, such a dichotomy in emotions can lead to choosing unhealthy foods, overeating and even binging. Whether we celebrate life’s events or ponder the end of life, food and eating are never far away. I blogged earlier about the aromas and the palette appeal that faced me everyday at lunch while I was teaching my summer course at the U. And as you know doubt might guess, what made this month a success for me is the way I planned to eat at every event I went to. Every one. What do I do? Simple. Pack a lunch box. Here is mine.

I take it with me wherever I go. I bought a couple of small freezer cold packs to but in it. I pack it every day when I am on the go depending on what I will be doing or where I will be. My favorite lunch box snack right now is a cup of red grapes. I love them because they CRUNCH when you bite. Plus, eating one at a time takes awhile. By the time I finish my 1-cup, I feel like I have been chewing for a while. Yum. I also pack often the Trader Joe’s fig cereal type bars. They have only 120 calories per bar. They are relatively good for you-no high fructose sugar. And they are delicious. Yum!

BTW: I am 6 pounds lighter going into my second thirty days. Yippee!

Goals: Move more: I did great for the first 20 days, but the last third, was tough. Work and life made it difficult. So, my goal for the next thirty days is to move more at least 22/30 days. TTFN and thanks for reading! Michele

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Life has been a blur these past 10 days. So much has happened and is happening. Tomorrow is my last day teaching my summer course at the U. This is the first time that I have had the pleasure to work with a small group of teachers. They worked incredibly hard on their citizen science research. We did field research with a few wildflowers looking at their phenophases across various elevations in a rolling prairie. I posted some pictures a while back. But, here are a few more.

This picture is of Gray Headed Coneflower. The flower in the foreground is in "full"flower while those on the sides are in "first" flower.

These next two are of Canadian Goldenrod. The first one is "first" flower and the second one "full" flower. Our research group studied the impact of these flowering stages as a function of elevation.

My father is back at home in assisted living. He left the hospital in incredibly good spirits, as we all are when we get to go home. Hospice is involved now in his care. It is amazing that he has no pain.

So, yes, life has been a blur for me these past 10 days. But, I continue to be pretty strong about my healthy eating habits, and this is not always easy. At the U they order the most fantastic and delicious food for all the instructors and teachers, including me. Imagine being tempted by Middle Eastern or Mexican food or some other great and non-traditional luncheon items. It was hard not to say no on a couple of days. But, again I found my best ammunition is planning ahead. Most days, I brought my lunch.

Through the blur I let my exercise go. I have not been on my bike for 8 days- the longest all summer. It is back in the saddle by Thursday for me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Facing challenges head on

I knew that moving forward to better health would be a challenge. It is. Life happens around you as you are living and moving toward better health. Right now, my father is at the end of his life, literally. He has an aggressive form of esophagus cancer, which will be relentless until it claims him. It is untreatable. He is coming to terms with the inevitable, as are we, his adult children. He has had a long life, which he characterized last night as “satisfactory.” He will be moving into hospice in the next day or two. I wrote earlier that my father would never receive a father of the year award, but despite that, he is a human being, and he gave me life. Strong emotions are present and emerging.

As you can imagine in any significant life event like this one, I will be challenged to maintain my new resolve toward healthy eating. I do not see myself eating so much out of emotion, but am concerned that I will be surrounded by so many foods and such a vast quantity of foods that I (we all) enjoy (comfort food some to mind) during this time. So many family members will be coming to say good-bye and many will be staying with us. Thus there will be different people preparing food and I envision more snack type items available. Yikes! How to get through this?? Scary. My usually resolve is wavering. Thus I am blogging. I have been so good about “planning ahead.” Can I continue to do this even when faced with the challenges that will come my way??

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 17, chips and a cookie!

Where did you spend your beautiful summer day today?? Inside? Well, not me! Here are a few glimpses of where I spent the day....

Today I spend the whole day at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum leading a small group of teachers in citizen science field work (counting phenophases-ask me about these sometime). No kidding. I can hardly imagine a better place to be on a beautiful summer day but in an outdoor haven of botanical wonder.

I bring this up, not just to rub it in a little, especially if you were indoors, but, to document to you, my reader(s) that this kind of a day reminds me again of why I am making the decision that I am to get healthier: the world we live in, the natural world, is breathtakingly beautiful.

Being at the ARB meant one other thing for me today: box lunches. I played it safe by ordering a roast beef (like I do at Subway). I expected a piece of fruit, but alas, none. Instead I found myself face to face with a bag of potato chips, and good ones made with sea salt no less (if you know me this is one of my favorite junk foods) and a chocolate chip cookie. What to do? Ruminate of course. While I ate my sandwich, I ruminated (pun intended) and made the decision to EAT them both. The chips were 210 calorie and I guessed the cookie (about 2.5 inch in diameter) was also about 200. This would be my splurge for the week. So, I ate them s-l-o-w-l-y… s-l-o-w-l-y… and enjoyed every single morsel and do not feel one bit guilty. Nope, not one bit. What is happening to me?? No guilt. No feeling like I need another cookie or another chip. By enjoying them, I gave myself a little gift, a little present (and it is not my BD month!). That was all. You see, I am transforming and uncovering the new me. And discovering that I have more resolve then ever about getting healthier. And this is how I will do it: eat healthy, most of the time, but when I choose to eat something that is not healthy, enjoy it. Period. Enjoy food. Period. I love to eat good food. Those potato chips were good. That cookie was delicious. Yum.

No exercise yesterday (swallowed up by the course I am teaching) but today: 7 miles on the bike (45 minutes!!). Love, the new me....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday! Day 15!!

Well, if you were, like my family, cheering for the Netherlands in World Cup soccer, you are not so happy at the outcome. They did have a great run and it was fun. And, I would like to report that through all of the games-I continued to watch what I ate. I am getting good at planning to bring some good foods and this really paid off over these past few games with the FAM. So, the Dutch lost, but I am a winner!

This will be a challenging week for me because I start teaching at the U on Monday. The teaching is the fun part. The hard part is the delicious meals (lunches and super snacks) that we provide for the teachers. I have no idea how the delicious food is prepared, but I do know that it will be high in hidden calories, so a no-no for me. I plan to bring a lunch instead.

Bike: about 35 minutes today. Today, Jan and I biked around the Lake together. He actually commented on how much “faster” I am getting. So, another win for me!

I started reading Geneen Roth, When Food is Love, book. A little over the top-but some good points. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 13!! & Unexpected Tenderness

Do you walk through life with a partner? I do and I know I am fortunate. Today I witnessed something poignant, touching and tender with my life's partner. My elderly father is declining. He is almost 90, so the fact that he is declining is not really a surprise. We took my father to a GI guy today, my spouse and I. Now, my father would never garner a father-of-the-year award, but he is my father. There we were in the doctor’s office where my father had just had his vitals, including BP taken by a medical assistant. The medical assistant finished all the intake items and left the room, leaving my father’s flannel shirt rolled up and unbuttoned. My life’s partner reached over rolled the sleeve down and buttoned the old guy up. And patted him on the arm. This was such a small act of dignity and kindness; extraordinarily every day, but tender, touching and poignant. And this was his father-in-law, no less! And a grumpy and ornery old guy, too!

I bring this little story up here because part of this whole uncovering thing is to make it possible that I WILL continue to share my life with this fabulous human being and that the life I share is healthier and much more fit. The health risks that I have put between us are life threatening and serious: the risk of diabetes being number 1. I do not want that life for me or for him. Thus, move more and eat less. Cha, cha, cha.

Speaking of eating less: this was the highest calorie day so far: 1576 calories since I started blogging. For the first time since I started on this journey I felt hungry. I figured out by the end of the day why: no snacks. No grapes. No fruit. Easy fix: hop on the bike and get to Kowalski's (which made it a 30 minute exercise day)!!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big Butt!!

The exact words uttered by the five-year-old grandbaby were “Oma’s big butt” as I was getting into the boat and climbing up the ladder over the Fourth of July weekend. Makes you kind of cringe, doesn’t it? Out of the mouth of babes… Ouch! I have been “labeled!” But, (pun intended), this is a true statement and an excellent observation. I have a big bottom, derriere, butt, tush, buns, caboose, taillights, fanny, keister, hinney, rump or seat warmer (there are many more synonyms for butt that I will not use here). So, what do I do in the throes of humiliation from a five year old? I embrace it and use this truthful statement to get me to move more and eat less. As I thought about this comment over the last couple of days, I realized that this is one of my buttons. I am uncovering my buttons and determined to move forward with resolve and a sprinkle of humor. Thus my picture above. What about you? What is your button? How will you overcome your buttons and those that push your buttons on your weigh (pun again!) to a healthier you?

PS: 54 minutes on the bike today!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 11

Do you like the taste of water? Well, it is not my favorite. If I gulp a glass of water on a hot day, I get sick in my stomach. But of course water is GOOD for you. So, here is what I did today after 42 minutes on my bike: used filtered Britta water, added ice and one slice of lime, quartered and poured it all in a frosty pint glass (Bar Harbor Brewing Co. no less). Yum.

After a good bike ride or exercise I like to have a little something to eat. If you have read my blog "What I am Eating Today" entries, you know I like to eat strawberries and grapes. Today, I notched it up a bit by putting one cup of blue berries, strawberries and grapes in a small bowl. Eating it out of a bowl with a small fork allows me to think this is something special, which it is!! Here is a picture:

Biking: I finished my ride for today. I decided today that I will document my exercise my number of minutes vs distance biked, walked or whatever. As I get faster, I will do more. Today, I feel inspired to ride the bike and that is because of Lance. Yep. Lance Armstrong. I am a Tour junkie (and so is my son), especially about him. You can follow it here: ( For me, it is not just about the Tour. It is about how Lance overcame serious obstacles. Most people know about his testicular cancer and remarkable recovery, but few people know that Lance was tagged as one of “those” kids-hyper active-type in school. He of course, turned his energy to athleticism. And the rest is history. So, when the Tour is going on (Today is Stage 4), I am inspired to stick with biking through Lance.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 10 and Semi-Finals of World Cup Soccer!

It is the Semi-Final Match today at 1:30 between Uruguay-Netherlands at the World Cup in South Africa! I predict a sea of orange across the country with life standing still at kick-off.

The dutch won 3-2! They are on the way to the final match. Hope they play with greater skill then they did today....

I am happy to report that I survived a World Cup Lunch with the Fam by planning ahead for the BLT and the griesmel. This is a pudding made with semolina flour. Delicious! We continued our celebration by taking the boat out once more to Lake Johanna. Another victory-not a single, not a single, peanut M & M!!!!!

What I am eating:
1 cup serving of TJ (Trader Joes) Raisin Bran clusters with .5-cup milk: 190 + 60=250 (Kind of boring, but filling)
OJ: 5 ounces=74

BLT on WW, lettuce with tomatoes: Bacon 120, bread 200+ 20
Grisemel (a Dutch pudding) with 1.5 cups of milk: 153 + 65 sugar and mel

Grapes: 1 cup 100

Grapes: 1 cup 100
.5 cup Greek Yogurt (Non fat) with strawberries: 60 + 45
1 large apple: 150
7 whole almonds: 68

Total for today: 1405

Almost forgot: I did increase my exercise: 7.5 miles on bike!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day Nine!

I am someone who likes to have real life contexts of things that are nebulous. Obviously, I have a great deal of weight to subtract from my current mass to be healthy. But what does this look like? Some folks think about dog food or other tangible objects, like flour or potatoes. My tangible reference point will be my grandbabies. Let me introduce them to you and their approximate real time weights.

Baby Noah: 10 months weighs in at 20.5 pounds:

Aiden: A healthy and vibrant three year old who weighs in at 31 pounds.

Han: A talkative and expressive 3.5 year old who weighs in at about 32 pounds.

Owen: A boy with loads of energy who weighs in at 44 pounds.

Ellery: A girl with spunk who weighs in at 42 pounds.

Nani: A sports girl who weighs in at 62 pounds:

Now, remember that bike and carrier picture from a few posts ago? Well, I have that bike carrier because I tend to pedal around town with one or two of the babies. I prefer actually to bike with them because it helps me to keep in mind how much extra baggage I am carrying around. When I tow Ellery up and down the Linden Hills, I know I am lugging around 42 extra pounds. I also know I need to shed at least 42 pounds. My body has been lugging around those extra pounds (at least equivalent to Ellery) for 10 years! So, those babies keep the weight and the pounds real for me. What about you? What works for you to keep it tangible and real?

What I am eating:

1 cup serving of TJ (Trader Joes) Raisin Bran clusters with .5-cup milk: 190 + 60=250
1/3 of 9-inch banana: 45
OJ: 5 ounces=74

WW Toast with 1/2 bananas: 100 + 36
1 serving milk: 102

Grapes: 1 cup 100
Multi grain crackers about 140
Deli turkey: 140
Granola bar: 120
Dried apricots: 55

Salad with a small amount of turkey: 100
Grapes: 100
Cauliflower: 1 cup: 20

Total for today: 1382

Exercise: Yesterday: once around Lake Harriet (3.5 mile); today, to Kowalski's and back: 2 miles total. It was a rainy day again-so goal for tomorrow is get the biking back up!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Week Two!

Happy Fourth of July!!

Yesterday, July 3, will linger in my mind as a picture-perfect day. We took our three oldest grandbabies (7, 5, 5,) out to Lake Johanna to play in the water at the lake. This was the start of the call to the water for the rest of our family and extended family. Lake Johanna is a lesser-known small lake in the Twin Cities metro area. Clear and clean water because it is spring fed. Small, so the big boaters go elsewhere, yet big enough to tow a tube with small and big fries. Deep, too, for jumping off the back of the boat, doing cannon balls and learning to swim (small fries). There is a wonderful small county park with play equipment and a sandy beach. On the opposite side of the lake there is a small college and an assisted living/nursing home complex where my elderly father resides. We were able to anchor our boat in the shallow water and walk swim to share at the Home. By late afternoon, all of our family, including my elderly father, was down at the lake under the trees watching the water and the shenanigans of the small and large fries. Here are some pictures:

Week Two!! Today begins my second week (Day 8): It was a successful week first week. I weathered eating out, World Cup family gathering and the fourth of July and came out on top by eating healthy. I am surprised at how determined I am and it is growing. Only two weeks ago, I would have told myself: “Oh, just this’s the fourth of July for crying out loud...” and then go on and eat whatever was served. Not last week. Not this week. Preparation and planning. That is my motto.

I planned for our third of July at the lake by preparing all the food myself. Organic carrot sticks (cut and prepared by me!) with triple layer Humus from Trader Joes; bowls of grapes; lettuce, tomatoes and other sandwich items; deli meats and some multi-grain Trader Joe crackers (no trans fat or hydrogenated oils). Plus lots of water (filtered with our Britta) and some other drinks. It worked. All the kids ate the carrots; all the grown ups appreciated the humus dippy. No one else brought any other chips or salty side items-so healthy was the theme.

Last week, I did move more, but only 5 out of 7 days. SO this week my goal is to move more, 5 out of 7 is okay for me, but I would like to bike and walk, too, not every day, but maybe 3 out 7 days I do both.

What I am eating:
Day 7 (Third of July)
1 cup serving of TJ (Trader Joes) Raisin Bran with .5-cup milk: 190 + 60= 250

1 cup of grapes: 100

Tuna (.5 cup chunk lite in water) (85 + 25 for Mayo) on WW bun( 100) = 210
Carrots with humus dip: (26 + 50)=76
1 cup of grapes: 100

TJ Multi Grain crackers with tuna: 40 + 85 + 25= 150
Carrots with humus dip: (26 + 50)=76

Tuna (.5 cup chunk lite in water) (85 + 25 for Mayo) on WW bun( 100) = 210
Carrots with humus dip: (26 + 50)=76
1 cup of grapes: 100
(Yep dinner same as lunch)

Bites of this and that: 100

Total so far: 1222

Day 8:
1 cup serving of TJ (Trader Joes) Raisin Bran with .5-cup milk: 190 + 60= 250

Lunch (at the Local)
Mango and grilled chicken salad: 360 (chicken)
Mango: 70

Grapes: 1 cup 100
Multi grain crackers about 140
Deli turkey: 140

Bites and tastes: 100
Total: 1160

TJ Mango/Tangarine sorbet (1/2 cup measured): 80

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 6

It case you have not noticed it is the World Cup Soccer Tournament. My family is crazy intense over the World Cup Soccer because my hubby is from the Netherlands! If you have not heard, the Dutch beat Brazil by 2-1 and are going on to the semi-finals! I do not know the statistics but it has probably been more than 30 years since the Dutch made it this far. When the Dutch scored that second goal, I could feel the Netherlands as a land mass rising above sea level because so many Dutch folks were jumping, leaping and springing in the air. Another round of tasty beverages, please. Here is what the NY Times has to say:

The Netherlands scored twice in the second half to stun the five-time champion Brazil, 2-1, in the World Cup quarterfinals on Friday, the biggest Dutch win in the tournament since the team’s glory days in the 1970s.

I begin today with a re-cap of the Dutch game because watching that game around the TV was a huge family event. A breakfast extraordinaire with a waffle bar no less. Fabulous waffles from scratch. Whipping cream. Real Maple syrup. Butter. Fresh fruit. Yum. You get the picture. I am HAPPY to report that I did not have a taste, a bite, or a lick of any of the waffle bar items except for the fresh fruit and nuts. I planned for it by bringing a little lunch box type cooler with some fruit, milk and 1 cup of the organic raisin bran cereal that I have been eating this week. Another victory over food for me!

What I am eating today:

1 cup serving of TJ (Trader Joes) Raisin Bran with .5-cup milk: 190 + 60
.5-cup strawberries: 26
walnut: 48

1 cup of grapes with 1 cup of strawberries: 150

PB on WW with banana: 100 + 23

1 cup of grapes with 1 cup of strawberries: 100 + 45

Buns, hamburger, whole wheat, 114
Grass fed beef, ground, hamburger, BBQ, 10% fat: about 250
Corn, white, sweet, cob, kernels, frzn, 80
Baked Beans, Boston recipe, canned, 170

Total so far:

Thursday, July 1, 2010


A new month. The lovely month of summer July.

Today I decided that one of my goals this month will be to eat more veggies. I do okay with fruits-but veggies, not so much. Today I will also face another temptation: family BBQ out at the lake. What to do? Plan. Planning is the ammunition I will use to allow me to enjoy foods at the BBQ, too. First I made potato salad. This will be the first recipe that I share with my readers. I am an “eye baller” when it comes to cooking, so if you try this recipe, adjust according to your eye and what you find appealing. Second, I am "saving" my calories by trying to stay below 750 calories for breakfast and lunch. My target daily caloric intake is between 1350-1550 per day. If I make it, I can splurge on 600 calories for dinner (BBQ!!!) with a little left over for evening snack! Preparation and planning. Preparation and planning.

The taste of food is important to me. Dill is one of my favorite herbs; I adore the taste of dill. I also LOVE food that CRUNCHES!!! Today for a snack, I used some of the celery stalks (crunch) (2) left from the potato salad, whipped up a small dippy sauce with Trader Joes spicy brown mustard and then sprinkled this with a little dill. At 5 calories per serving this was a yum dip. Try it. You’ll like it.

What I am eating today:

1 cup serving of TJ (Trader Joes) Raisin Bran with .5-cup milk: 190 + 60
.5-cup strawberries: 26

Celery stalks with mustard sauce dippy: 15

PB on WW: 100 + 23
1 cup of grapes with 1 cup of strawberries: 100 + 45

1 cup of grapes with 1 cup of strawberries: 100 + 45

Grilled chicken: approx 140
Potato salad
Several licks of DQ: 65
Fresh veggies with humus: 75

Total so far:

Exercise: I road twice around Lake Harriett-another 7 or so miles on the bike today!

Michele’s Potato Salad

Just a note about this photo: I like to eat from these small Pyrex style bowls (5 ounces). Small bowls help me to manage smaller servings. This is also a small Dutch coffee-stirring spoon.

10-12 small Yukon gold potatoes
½ cup of a vinaigrette salad dressing (today I used Kraft Greek vinaigrette)
¼ cup (or there about) of sliced olives
1 small onion, diced (I like the sweet onions in this salad)
6 stalks of celery, diced with the leafy tops on
Dill, probably 1 tablespoon
3 barely hard-boiled eggs

Wash and then boil potatoes whole with skins. Turn heat down to simmer. Set your kitchen timer for about 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes is plenty of time for the potatoes to be barely done. Let the potatoes cool down (about 1-2 hours) so you can handle them. Skin potatoes and dice in chunks that appeal to you in a bowl. Add in vinaigrette and mix. Toss in celery, onions and olives. Mix well. Next mix in dill to your taste. Finally, cut up eggs. Refrigerate and enjoy. Calories per serving (per cup) (Michele’s best estimate): 104 for potatoes, 1 tablespoon vinaigrette, 45; token olives, celery and onions: 10; Total per serving: 159. Enjoy!