Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Aloha

Aloha! A simple and short word that means many things to the Hawaii people including: hello and good by; love; to consciously manifest life joyously in the present and as a way of life, to name just a few.
I was privileged to experience aloha on the island of Oahu over the past 10 days. Many members of my family traveled to this beautiful island for the wedding of a good family friend.

Coming from a very much wintry Upper Midwest I was taken a back by the incredible majestic beauty of that beautiful state. The vibrant flowers delighted my heart and fed my soul. 



The wedding reception was held in a beautiful botanical garden on the north shore of Oahu. Beautiful setting. Beautiful couple. Amazing to spend time with my adult children, their partners and some of their off spring.


I ate well. I was enthralled by the taste of lettuce of all things. I eat good produce and everyday. But the lettuce I eat in MN tastes nothing like that in Hawaii. We went to many farmers’ markets and became quickly spoiled by the variety of vegetables and fruits.  I exercised well, too. I rented a bike and logged over 100 miles on it. The area we stayed had an excellent bike path and some hills that made it easy to hop on every morning. Plus, we swam and played in the water nearly everyday.
We hiked up a couple of mountains, too, a few times.
It was a remarkable trip and remarkable in healthy ways, too. Throughout I was mindful to eat well and enjoy things in moderation. I had a little ice cream most days, and of course enjoyed a nice piece of wedding cake. I also became familiar with the wonderful world of Hawaii smoothies at Lanikai Juice;  made with a variety of fruits and a little yogurt they were delicious and refreshing. I never binged or even wanted to. My healthy eating and living life style is really part of who I am now. 
I enjoyed island time and tried to live aloha every day. My plan is to keep living aloha every day. It is now back to work for a few days before I head north to Barrow, Alaska to supervise some students. Take care. Stay strong and keep moving forward toward better health. 
Aloha,
Michele

Saturday, April 6, 2013

What is working for me and off to a cyclists paradise!


Greetings!
Over the last two weeks we have seen some mixed weather in the Upper Midwest. We hit 50 degrees a week ago for the first time. The very next day we were down in the low 30’s. For me this meant that I was able to get outdoors and bike and surprisingly get in a little more cross-country skiing. My biking miles last week were 43 and cross- country skiing just about 10. I put my skis away now, and I think for good. I logged over 76 miles of cross-country skiing this winter. Biking season is slowly getting underway. There was a lot of snow to melt (as you can see from the picture with Ellery).
I put my trainer away too, with means I am optimistic that I will be outdoors and cycling.
I dropped another pound last week, which puts me at 44 pounds off since I started. I am very encouraged by the fact that the scale is going downward. This has not happened in a long time. I am on a very regular pattern of eating, plus I exercise about 500 calories worth at least 5 times a week. Both of those measures are making a difference for me.
Here is what is working for me as far as what I eat:
Breakfast
Two pieces of toast (bread is 100 calories a slice), one with tsp PB and one with one tsp jam. Except on Sunday when I make a two-egg omelet with a ton of peppers and onions.
Juice (ruby read grapefruit light) with ¼ cup of OJ
Lunch:
Most often times I have a frozen meal that is less than 300 calories, sometimes Kashi, sometimes Lean Cuisine. I usually have a piece of fruit, too.
Dinner:
6/7 days are a green salad with a variety of toppings (such as a handful of beans, shredded carrots, cucumbers, craisins, hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, green peppers, strawberries, apples, or other fruit) with 1 tablespoon of my favorite light salad dressing.
Snacks:
Three snacks a day, yogurt smoothie everyday. I have a snack midmorning, mid-afternoon and usually after dinner. I mix and match from the following list:
1 cup Fage yogurt with forzen strawberries (smoothie)
Honeycrisp apple
20 small pretzels (for one serving)
Frozen Weight Watcher yogurt bar
Cup of grapes or strawberries or other fruit
Crackers
½ cup or one serving of chocolate ice cream
My calorie totals are between 1200-1500, although I have to be honest and say that I do not keep track anymore. I wrote everything down for over two years. I feel pretty confident that I know what 1200-1500 calories are now. I am very diligent and deliberate about what I eat and plan my food when I am away from home. I enjoy making my food, including all the food prep that is involved in chopping up all the veggies for my salad. I am always on the look out for really good produce because it is one of the main staples of my diet. Looking forward to the farmer’s market, which opens in my area at the end of April.
I cooked up a storm over Easter weekend. Cajun food is becoming a family favorite. I am slowly learning how to get a real nice kick in the side dishes that I make: red beans and rice and  jambalaya. I made some Dutch treats including apple tart and these wonderful filled cookies, called gevulde kok. I had some tart, but none of the cookies. I saved my extra calories for the chocolate eggs by See’s that I love (100 calories each). I allowed myself one a day, except for Easter when I had two. Other than that chocolate I had TWO M&M’s and 10 jellybeans. That was it. And we had Easter and the Easter egg hunt (128 eggs) at our house! So, I think I am getting eating through holidays down, too.
Many in my family will be traveling to the island of Oahu (yes, in Hawaii!) for a family wedding late next week. I worked hard to organize my teaching schedule so that I could go in the middle of the semester. Everything is falling into place nicely. I have never been to an island like Hawaii. I look forward to learning more about the natural history and beauty of this lovely area of the world. I intend to rent a bike as soon as I can so that I can cycle in paradise!
Thank-you all so much for the very positive comments from my last post about my good health news. Your support and encouragement help me to stay focused. Hope you are all doing well in your getting healthy and fit goals.  Stay strong! TTFN,
Michele