Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crochet Post! Dishcloths #199-202 & 203-206 and Thrive in Five Day 23

 *****Thrive in Five Update Day 23*****

I am feeling fine..... just crazy busy today!   I listened to the audio about the importance of cardio exercise... and will start thinking about how to increase HEART-PUMPING movement to help cleanse toxins and keep me GOING!  But I am afraid that THINKING is all I am going to be doing today..... except for 20 jumping jacks whenever I think of it :-)

I timed it once - I can do 40 jumping jacks in one minute..... so 20 jumping jacks takes 30 seconds.... I have no excuse for not doing 20 jumping jacks several times during the day... just have to think about it!


Don't you love the human brain?  Since I am going out of town tomorrow evening for a couple of days ... and I will be running errands all during the day tomorrow ...... I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off today and.... all of a sudden, there is an urgency to paperwork and chores... and well.. you get it...

so here's the story... I am working on laundry... folding it and thinking... I have those bills to pay, some bread to bake, I'm behind in my blog, there are some ice cream bites in the freezer... go get one.. it's only 5 steps away... WHAT???? double take!  Where did that come from?

It's so subliminal that it's unfair.. I'm not even hungry!

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  I am becoming more and more mindful of how I move through my life.  And THAT is how I will become fit and healthy!

Thrive in Five by Hannah Keeley is giving me the tools and the confidence to take charge (and let God help!)  I am NOT a victim to the ravenous beast who tears into dorito bags and leaves me helpless in its wake.....  I am a strong confident purposeful woman.. and God has plans for me.

I also know that my children are watching.  Just because they moved out, doesn't mean they aren't still watching and learning from everything I do!  I want my girls to see my victory so they know that they can WIN this health/food/exercise battle too - and they can learn HOW.


 Crochet projects finished this week:

Little Red Riding Hoods for my two favorite girls....

free instructions on the Red Heart website.  Click on the link above. 

and 2 hats from Maggie Weldon's 2012 Challenge :-)

#7 and #3..... I will probably keep the pattern for #7, the one on the left.  I liked doing that one - and can use up some of the smaller skeins of bulky yarn I have on hand.

Dishcloths for the week:

#199 Holiday Ruffles Crochet Dishcloth - pictured below on the bottom left.... a chance to try a new technique!  This one calls for an afghan hook... something that I own for some reason but have never used.  After a bit of research on the internet, I learned that the stitch is now called the Tunisian stitch (back in the dark ages when I learned to crochet, it was called the afghan stitch).... and I figured out how to do it.  It's not too difficult and is really pretty.  The cloth is thick and absorbent too!

#200  Wide and Narrow Pathways Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the lower righthand side of the photo below.  Using front and back post double crochets, it has beautiful vertical ridges.  It is really pretty and unusual.  Thumbs up!

#201 African Sunset Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the upper left of the photo above.  Another granny variation, it worked up quickly and I particularly liked the colors :-)

#202  Peach Delight Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the upper right.  This one is a lot prettier than the photo shows!  And it's fun if you are a granny square lover like me :-)  It has a pretty flower in the center and an easy edging.

The next 8 dishcloths are pictured below:

#203  Seagulls Crochet Dishcloth - on the lower left in the photo below.  While I am not sure this will be my favorite cloth to make..... it is by far and away my favorite cloth!  It is so incredibly creative with the sand, surf and sky - and makes me smile every time I look at it!  I will definitely make more of these :-)

#204 Tradewinds Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the lower right.  Easy like a granny square with pretty ruffles worked on top.  Definitely a do again!

#205 Shells & Filet Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the upper left of the photo above.  This one turned out really pretty but was a little tricky to figure out.

#206 Thirteen Grannies in a Square Crochet Dishcloth - on the upper right.  While I didn't care for the extra work stitching this one together, I LOVE the result!  All those tiny granny squares with the flower in the center are really pretty!  This cloth would make an impressive gift.

The patterns are available on www.bestfreecrochet.com - these are archived in July 2011.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly Goals 5/52 & Thrive in Five Update Day 22

The Healthy Habits for the next few weeks have to do with loving yourself and understanding the truth about yourself....  remember how I told you to get that pedometer out?  Well.. this week you are going to wear it every day.  Before you go to bed at night, I want you to write down your step count.  Just write it down... nothing else, okay?  Don't judge yourself.. just log it.  We are looking for facts here so you can figure out where you are!

So... keep up with walking your daily mile... green tea or other healthy beverage.. daily salad and fruit.. and if you didn't put a half cup of beans in your salad, then add the beans to your daily life too!

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 22*****

Measuring Day for me!

No change on the inches - but down 2 pounds on the weight...... slow but steady is the answer - (and measure everything!)  Energy level is improved - shoulder pain is pretty bad today.. BUT considering that I snuggled and carried a hefty toddler for much of the weekend.... and tossed two of them around a bit yesterday - I'd say I earned the pain!  I am healing and it just takes time.

I got the mile and the tea in early!  I feel really good today - if I was my pet - I'd say my eyes are clear and my coat is healthy :-)

I feel a little bit behind because life got busy!  I am listening today to try to catch up a bit and learn about the importance of strengthening muscles!  Strong muscles look great and help your bones grow strong.  Strong muscles help protect against age-related osteoarthritis.... Age-related diseases are NOT inevitable!  And strong muscles burn more calories... so it's important to work on those muscles!

Integrating strength exercises into your life is what will make it happen even when life gets busy...  can you 'attach' a habitual movement to a daily activity?

I've already talked about my laundry routine - and I'm looking for the next thing..... and I think it is going to be in the kitchen!  Certainly I have 1-pound weights (water bottles or soup cans), 5-pound weights (bags of flour and sugar) and 8-pound weights (gallon milk jug!)  I think I will work on shoulder presses (reach to ceiling) and bicep curls.... and push-ups off the kitchen counter once my shoulder gets a little stronger and my chiropractor agrees!


Weekly Goals Week 5/52:

Quite a few items were left over!  Seriously, it's been a busy few weeks and will be again this week.  So that takes a few days out of my calculation - but makes my point about building habits.

1. Left from Last Week (do first!)
                Monthly - Frontline & air filters


2. House focus -  Dog Room & Brown Bathroom - 15 minutes daily

3.  New healthy habit: wear pedometer and log daily steps.

4.  Bring last year's amaryllis bulbs back inside to re-pot for bloom

5. Add quilt strip to quilt and prepare for hand quilting

6.  Do dvd or Treadmill cardio 3 X

7.  Make flyer for church project (mid-March)

8.  Movie Night

9.  Church birthday card ministry

10.  Company W-2s

            Scan photos (30 min weekly)
            BAKE new bread
            Desk 15 min daily – financial & personal
            Health habits: mile / green tea / salad / fruit

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thrive in Five Update Day 21

            I was thinking about the healthy habit program I have set for myself this year.  It's small - but you know what?  That is what makes it do-able.  That is what make is manageable for me... and those are small inflexible changes that will make a difference.

Inflexible in that I get up every morning thinking... I will do these things.  Of course, my world will not end if they don't get done - but things will go smoother if they do.   Doing specific things FOR my body will make the rest of my life better.... longer..... stronger.

This week, I will wear my pedometer all week to see how many steps I get each day.  I won't stress or judge... but simply LOG it.  I am having a little trouble at this point with the daily fruit - and beans in the salad - so will reinforce those habits while checking out my step count.

Will you join me?

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 21*****

I'm feeling pretty good today - and very positive!  I feel like I have now gone through some UPS and DOWNS while I have been on this journey with Hannah - and am coming out on the winning side!  (Don't forget - if you are interested in this sensible approach and honest coaching in a regular life - go to www.hannahkeeley.com and check out Thrive in Five!)

The greatest battle of regaining health (and losing weight) is in my head.  I know that God wants the best life for me... God wants me serving in my greatest capacity.... so it only makes sense that God will help me overcome the roadblocks that are holding me back!  I just need to remember to ask!

Today I am thinking of how to increase movement in my daily life in a way that makes sense to me.  I love to garden and have never shied away from hauling dirt or bending and stooping and all the movement that comes along with heavy work..... and I have worked some of that into my life this cold season by adding an outdoor area to my 15-minute focus cleaning plan...  and soon there will be an outdoor component to the Healthy Habit concept...

It's not hard to cultivate a habit of doing specific target strength exercises while performing daily chores... but it's not enough in the big picture.  It's just a beginning!  (I am not knocking it - it is essential to have these habits in place especially for when life falls apart - which it DOES all the time!)

It's a struggle getting enough exercise though to consistently work that heart muscle!  I have never been an active person - I have chosen a life that mostly exercises my mind and am out of balance.  I do not care for most sports, especially team ones.  I don't even know what teams play which sports!  I am not competitive in the physical arena.... I like to achieve but the process is more enjoyable to me than victory!

I have discovered that I like the structure of a training schedule.... I do the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walks and follow the training schedules pretty well.... potentially what I need to do is find races during the other half of the year so I can keep training in some capacity!

I will keep thinking about it and searching for the answer because a balance of movement and nutrition is where I will find my God-given birthright of health!

So I should ask YOU...... HOW do YOU fit exercise in your life consistently?  How do you choose movement that is meaningful to you?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thrive in Five Update Day 20

I am so excited for today!  I need to leave early to pick up one of my beautiful grandgirls to spend the night!  I will be active today with my toddler girl :-)

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 20*****

Today I woke with a headache but am having different kinds of feelings.... the walk this morning helped clear my head - I imagined cleansing oxygen racing to my cells... it felt good!  The headache tooks its time leaving - but the nausea subsided enough that I could THINK about eating a good breakast!

Didn't have much time to post here - but, while I still have my headache... I feel like I have been given a gift!  On the way home from picking up my granddaughter, I stopped at Sheetz - and picked up some doughnut holes for my son to share with her on our drive home.  I wanted them.... automatically... but my inner voice said.... you are already OFF kilter today... you need to be nourished... and I had a KIND bar in my bag.  (I always carry those because there are NO chemicals in them - just FOOD)  Anyway - I ate that on the way home.... slowly.... and knew that good protein and fruit was entering my body - NOT processed sugar!

And just now I went to the extra fridge in the garage to get bread (there are ice cream bites in there)  Usually I snag one or two as I pass... automatically.... and I opened the freezer to do that... and my response to it was... NO, you don't really want it.  You need CLEAN food today.    WOW!!  What a gift!

Three weeks in, Hannah... weight not doing anything PROBABLY because I am putting in minimal physical effort so far.....  BUT the results are coming!  EVERY sugary item that I do NOT snag..... is JUNK that is not compounding the problem in my system.  I will continue to step out in faith!


I did have a  MAJOR epiphany last night - I am AFRAID!  I am afraid to invest myself too fully into a program where I will fail AGAIN.  Not that I can't lose the weight - I know I can!  I just don't want to go through the pain again.  The pain of losing... the pain of re-gaining because I am not committed to the solution.

(The epiphany is truly a blessing..... because I AM AFRAID replaces... 'I am lazy", 'I'm not able', 'I'm not good enough', etc.   I AM AFRAID is something that will change with faith!  The others are defeatist and kind of, well, terminal)

But the TRUTH is that I AM committed to being healthy.  I AM committed to having energy.

And I KNOW that this slow, sensible, prayerful approach will yield fruit.   God's fruit.... in God's time... as I carefully make good choices...  one by one!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thrive in Five Update Day 19

Consistency is the key to achieving!
   I feel really draggy and awful this morning.... have been up since 3.. I was wakeful anyway and then hubby woke up so it was all over...  I had SUCH a good day yesterday food-wise!  I ate out (and well!) and then fixed a high veggie dinner.  Was still hungry afterwards.. even though I had two helpings.  
Decided to wait it out... DUMB move!  I went back later and hit the stupid chips.  I am definitely going to have to STOP bringing them home.  Soooo THAT is why I feel yukky!  Now.. if I can ONLY tie in my brain the connection between late night snacking and early morning low back pain!  This is where I turn to God and say - Hey, help me please!
While I AM getting squats and calf raises in during the laundry... and armwork (without weights) done as the day goes on, I am still not adding any core work (getting on the floor) and am forgetting the weights in the kitchen for the other leg work.  I need to make an extra effort - perhaps by writing on my daily To Do List and, for a short while, keeping the weights OUT in the kitchen where I can SEE them.
I almost feel like this is where I need to go back to the beginning and start over but I will carry on!  I will make some time today to listen to the recordings again from the beginning to help me a little.  
Listening to the daily audios has become a little difficult.. my hubby is working from home now and has set up his computer near mine.  Because he loves me... because he wants to be near me...  BUT I am self-conscious about what I am trying to do.  Why?  I don't know.  If I knew how, I would download the 5 minute blurbs and listen to them at other times and places.... but I don't so I need to simply go ahead and listen..  maybe God wants him to hear the message too - from someone other than me!
You know - I think I am self-conscious because I do not want to invest in another failure.  I know I was successful in losing weight - but I was not successful in keeping all of it off.  And I feel like a failure.   This time I want to go slowly and do all the things that I need to do for my spirit and my brain to create a healthy lifestyle.
Eat more vegetables! and have faith - that is my message for today!  
Difficult days and bad decisions are part of life.
I am on the right track to a healthy life and am getting better about the hard decisions (even if I did mess up last night - I have not messed up every day... so I am improving!) 
As Dory said in the movie Finding Nemo .. Just keep swimming... just keep swimming....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bread - Prosciutto & Olive Oil Flatbread AND Thrive in Five Update Day 18

Next chapter in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Flatbreads!   The first one is Prosciutto and Olive Oil Flatbread..... it was awesome!  I followed the recipe for the first loaf and it was beautiful!

I found the prosciutto on sale for about $5 for 4 oz. which made two loaves.  Inside the bread was prosciutto ham and rosemary - it smelled heavenly.

And then, because I didn't have more prosciutto on hand... it is lunch meat here!  We are such plebians....  we switched up the recipe using regular ham lunch meat and shredded cheddar

and it was the bomb!  This one we have made over and over..... like the strombolis, it has become a regular request.

The book is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzog and Zoe Francois.... and this unskilled cook is still baking away!

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 18*****

I had a MAJOR epiphany last night....  I have been thinking for several weeks now what my WHY would be to get motivated to really work on losing weight again.  Why do I want to be thin?   A slap in the head moment.... I DON'T!  Not thin per se...... losing 60 pounds 4 years ago was fantastic - but also frightening.  At my age, to all of a sudden be getting that much attention - and kinds of attention I don't really look for... well, it was disconcerting.  I did enjoy some of the compliments... but more than that, I enjoyed FEELING GOOD!  I enjoyed energy.... THAT is the key to my re-gaining some of what I lost - THIN is not enough.

 My life didn't change enough because of my focus on THIN.  The things I did with THIN as a focus could not last because the trade-off didn't work.  The work to STAY THIN wasn't worth the resultant changes.  Lots of small things changed, yes - but I encountered even more problems and changes..... Nothing that LASTED because my focus was in the wrong place.

Deep down inside, I don't care about 6-packs and race medals and new clothes.

I'm a mom and grandma with a sedentary lifestyle... I read, I craft, I write, I garden. It's what I like to DO and it's okay. BUT I can think of a bazillion reasons why I want to LIVE longer and be STRONGER and feel good when I wake up in the morning.

Focus shift to HEALTH and ENERGY (and I will find the THINness that is my birthright).  THIN now becomes a RESULT of my focus on HEALTH.

"THIN" feels like a vanity that isn't mine..... "HEALTH" feels like my birthright and I need to claim it!


Seems like I turned a corner in my body yesterday.. 

Enough thinking and praying and listening and learning .... and the right actions will come to you.  You KNOW what to do... just like I do.

This morning I woke energetic and ready to greet the day... go figure...  I will remember this little victory!

Thank you, Hannah, for the insights and prayer!  Remember that the Thrive in Five program is on sale until the end of January - go to www.hannahkeeley.com and order it!  You'll be glad you did.... (okay, it's not expensive.... you've spent more than this on miracle products that don't work!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thrive in Five Update Day 17

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 17*****

Wow!  Yesterday was so hard that I was pleased to wake in a good humor!  It was a good day... didn't get my mile in because of my dog following (battery in the electric collar was dead).... and I forgot to eat breakfast before I left home!  Not so bad really because, you see, I had packed my lunch.. so I ate my sandwich.  I still had veggies & hummus... and an apple with peanut butter... good stuff that got me through my errand day.

I even managed NOT to eat chips when my son tore into a bag on the way home (personal size, I might add, but I just didn't want to a) eat to satisfy my tongue or b) eat to 'get my fair share').  HUGE revelation and accomplishment I might add here :-)

The day went well...  until about 3:30 and all of a sudden, it felt like the happiness sucked right out of me!

I was driving home and I was fine - but quiet. Anyway, we get home and put groceries away... and I fix a cup of green tea because I am feeling a little down.... and practice taking deep breaths.   My shoulders had really been hurting.

Still feeling a little out of sorts and I remembered I hadn't walked my mile today.  It was too cold and windy for me to put forth the effort to go outside.... so I decided to get on the treadmonster for 20 minutes.  I had that much time before I cooked dinner.   I have to tell you - it was a TOUGH 20 minutes... but I told myself ONE mile - that's it!

I remembered yesterday's action step to BREATHE...... deep cleansing breaths.... so I stopped at the half mile mark..... and breathed.. and I was better....  and then I remembered.... I usually am just about binging at this time..... and I DIDN'T THINK about it until now..... HUGE victory!

Still it was hard to finish - and then I had to focus HARD to go pull dinner together (thank goodness I had already made my menu decision!)  I was a lot better after dinner.

I treated myself to a bubble bath.... and that helped tremendously!  And then I went to bed to read.  And, instead of EATING when the munch monster hit.... I went to sleep.  Easily, readily, naturally......

I think that some of the processed stuff is leaving my body.... I can almost visualize the JUNK filtering out of my body... through my breaths, through my pores....  and as the POISON leaves, the energy will return.  But it is logical that I will feel a bit unstable.... OFF... as my body changes and as I change my habits.

It will be a new reborn ME that emerges and that is an exciting idea!  MUCH closer to what God intended for me :-)

Thank you, Hannah, for the support and prayer.  Your coaching is helping me discover the path that lies within me already!  

And, having Thrive in Five on sale until the end of January is AWESOME!  For the price of a couple of exercise dvds, you can have a resource to use over and over to help you become the best YOU!  www.hannahkeeley.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thrive in Five Update Day 16 AND Crochet Post - Dishcloths # 191-194 & 195-198

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 16*****

I am feeling lethargic and depressed... not sure why.  Part is SAD... will pay particular attention to healthfulness of food today.  More veggies and fruits!

It's warm and sunny though so will make sure I get outside today for a while.

Wow - I almost - ALMOST walked into town today.  It's a 4 mile round trip.. and I used to walk it quite regularly to get my mail & go to the library.... but I caved.... mostly because I didn't want to take the time to find the things I needed to take with me.  But I am tickled to finally be in a physical place where the idea occurred to me!

I DID add to my weekly action plan - to locate my back pack & fanny pack that I use for walking distances and get myself prepared for the next opportunity!

I do a 20 minute mile on the TM AND I did an extra mile today in the sunshine to get all the Vitamin D action I could!

I was successful in turning around a day that started badly - and all through positive attitude and healthy choices!

By the Way - Hannah just posted that Thrive in Five will be on sale until the end of January - go to her website www.hannahkeeley.com and get it!  You will be amazed at the shift in thinking that you will achieve.

Crochet Update!

Most of my work this week has been continuing projects that were already started!  But I can share the dishcloths.....

#191 - Purple Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the bottom left.... Another easy pattern that comes out pretty!

#192 - Glass Menagerie Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the bottom right.  Described as "easy", it had a few more complicated stitches in it.  I love the result but didn't enjoy making it.

#193 - Pink Stripes Crochet Dishcloth - pictured above on the top left.  Very, very easy and quite satisfying in my opinion.  I will definitely do this one again!

#194 - Scrappy Crochet Dishcloth - pictured above on the top right.  My VERY FAVORITE!!!  Simple stitches using all the bits and pieces of leftover threads.... tied together with the ends hanging out.  I love the effect so much that I made several children's scarves using the same technique!  I imagine that when I finish the dishcloth project and have a BIN of cotton thread left over, I will be making a TON of these!

The next four cloths are pictured below:

#195  Lumpy Crochet Dishcloth - pictured below on the bottom left: This one is pretty easy and has a really nice effect when finished.  It didn't quite square up for me but I may have lost count somewhere along the way.

#196 - Layered Crochet Dishcloth - pictured below on the upper right.   This one was fun to do because it is a little bit different.  And the effect is stunning - also nice and thick so it will be a great scrubber.  Thumbs up for this cloth!

#197 - Granny Rows Crochet Dishcloth - this one is pictured above on the right hand bottom row.  Regular granny stitching and looks beautiful.  Another winner!

#198 - Holiday Hexagon Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the upper left-hand side.  This one turned out pretty but was a little challenging to do.  I did something wrong because it doesn't quite lie flat... but it's pretty nonetheless.  I can see if you did a couple of them and stitched them together, you would have a pretty hotpad for your table!

Hope you enjoyed these - the patterns are available at www.bestfreepatterns.com.  I'm not sure how long they will be available for free since the 2012 patterns are now being offered - but I know several of them are still on the site!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekly Goals 4/52 and Thrive In Five Day 15

Yesterday reinforced my commitment to my new habits!  I USUALLY get that mile in first thing..... but my granddaughter spent the night and we were getting ready for church - so my husband walked the dog alone.

It was a long church morning that culminated in a luncheon... which consisted of primarily pasta, cheese and chips!  Yikes!  I really need to make sure there is fresh fruit or veggies or salad at these things....  I didn't eat too much of it because it just felt like it would be - well... HEAVY in my veins.....

I got home and went for a quick cup of veggie soup from the fridge.... was still munchy so grabbed a handful of baby carrots.  I was exhausted so I took an early shower and settled in to crochet... but it kept nagging at me that I had not had a SALAD or green tea... so when I felt like eating again.. THAT is what I went for.  I feel good about my choices - and having the FOCUS on the habits made me behave in a manner that will lead me where I want to go!

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 15*****

(By the way - sometimes my life notes won't be quite in sync with the Thrive in Five because I am living a week ahead of these posts.  I wanted to have some time to make sure my entry makes sense... so below is LAST Monday - not the day after grandbaby weekend!)

Measurements again... BOO!!  I hate it but it is SO important!  Weight is stable.... hips and chest measurements - no change.  Ahhhh...... DOWN 1.5 inches in the waistline.. I'll say hooray for that!  The midsection is where the heart attacks and obesity-related diseases live..... Good-bye waist inches!   And, Katy, keep it up! (that is my little pep talk here!  This is NOT a quick fix!)

I am glad to see SOMEthing... I am tired today and shouldn't be.  Well... I SHOULDN'T say SHOULDN'T because I am allowed to FEEL what I FEEL.... it's what I DO with it that matters.

SO what I will do is SMILE and take note!  I will be honest - but not whiny or full of excuses.  What I will do is remember that I DO struggle with seasonal moods and be more assertive with my daylight lamp, my forays outside (in the "BRRRR.. I don't like it" cold :-), and my Vitamin D.  So what I will do is KEEP on KEEPING on.... with improving my food choices, with increasing my movement, with my daily dozen exercises... which I am still trying to work some of them in...

What I WON'T do is USE this deflated space to beat myself up for NOT being my usual effervescent self.  What I WON'T do is HIDE from myself or from you.

Weekly Goals 4/52

1. Left from Last Week (do first!)
                Monthly - frontline & air filters
                Bring last year's amaryllis bulbs back inside to re-pot for bloom

2. House focus - Breakfast room 15 minutes daily

3.  New healthy habit: eat a fruit every day

4.  Add quilt strip to quilt and prepare for hand quilting

5. Pack for 3 day trip (crochet! Dishcloths specifically)

6.  WATCH new exercise dvd & do ONCE

7.  Make flyer for church project (mid-March)

8.  Movie Night

9.  Church birthday card ministry

10.  W2s

            Scan photos (30 min weekly)
            BAKE new bread
            Desk 15 min daily
            Health habits: mile / green tea / salad

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thrive in Five Update Day 13

Left early on this rainy Saturday to get my grandgirl to spend an overnight with me......  and am spending the day playing with her!

*****Thrive in Five Day 13*****

I keep having the visual image of nasty JUNK floating around in my bloodstream.... makes me look a little more carefully at the STUFF I am eating.... is it really food?  Does it nourish and strengthen me?  Or does it satisfy my tongue only and give me something to do?

Today was a chemistry lesson.... I get it.. not sure I care much.. but the message is the same regardless....  Good food - especially vegetables and whole grains close to nature is the healthiest thing to eat.  We KNOW this... we KNOW that food that is overly processed.. food that does not resemble it's original state... carries chemicals and additives that roam around your bloodstream doing damage.

The update is that I am still doing well...... I am learning and slowly implementing good changes to my diet!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pantry Clean-Out & Thrive in Five Day 12

Having a hard time getting motivated today - glad my mile is done!  And did a few calf raises and squats while I got the laundry going....   I need to focus on 15 minute stints of work or my days will disappear in a haze!

Last night I did my weekly goal assessment to see where I am and what I need to do to achieve them.  Not too bad... got to spend some time yesterday working on my quilt strip and got the hand-quilting done!  yay!  (I haven't touched the thing since last JUNE.... but now for next week, I will assign myself the task of locating the rest of the quilt and figuring out what needs to happen next (not actually DOing it, mind you, unless the timing is right.... but having the step laid out and stuff ready will make it an item for the NEXT week :-)

Good to see progress..... 15 min daily on my entrance (out and in) saw two garden beds cleaned out and a small tree cut down and hauled off, baseboards, doors, woodwork, light switches and light fixtures cleaned, AND a horrible louvered door looks a lot more respectable.  I'm amazed what I can do with a little FOCUS!

Pantry Purging:

Pantry Menus Week 3 -
     If the item is in BOLD - that means I have it already.. the only groceries I am buying this month are perishables and really good deals on things we use a lot.  I do have to chuckle a bit about these pantry purging posts.... I know that most of you, my readers, are MUCH more proficient in the kitchen than I.  This is a true learning exercise for me and a great experience :-)  Thank you for sharing my journey!

#1Random soup, bread and salad
Random Soup... okay random soup is primarily a veggie thing and SO easy!  As you go through your week... dump all the leftover veggies & juices and brown rice in a container in the freezer.  When you are ready to make soup... dump this into a crockpot.  Add a can of diced tomatoes (petite diced for us!).  Chop an onion, some carrots and the end of the celery stalks.  What’s in your vegetable crisper?  Chop it up and add it... Add all the odds and ends of veggies in your freezer – you know.. those little bags with a little bit left?   Is there any cooked meat in there?  Chop that up too...

 okay.. now assess... is your combo more Italian?  Mexican?  Plain?   Add a can of beans that will compliment your mix.. and then spices....  Italian = basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic... Mexican = chili powder, garlic, cumin... plain = bay leaf, thyme, poultry seasoning (for chicken or turkey)

I only skip potato – because I may want to freeze it again if I make too much and the texture of frozen potatoes is not so nice!  That said.... if you have potatoes.... cook them separately and blenderize them and THEN add them.  It makes a creamer soup that will freeze just fine...   (No wonder my freezer is always full - I COOK for it!)

#2Meatball subs and cut veggies
     (I found a bag of meatballs in the back of the freezer). Add these to the clearance hot dog buns I found the other day with a little marinara and mozzarella from the freezer.... and we are good to go.

BTW - I ONLY buy on sale IF I can schedule it in and have a purpose in mind!  If I am not clear on what I will DO with a sale item - it's clutter!  I don't care what the price is :-) I DO like a bargain - but that is exactly why I have to do a clean-out every few months!

#3 – Found a package of polish sausage hiding in the freezer... will add some of the potatoes I got on a BOGO last week and a head of cabbage

#4 2 packages of stuffing.... added ONE to some frozen chicken breasts and broccoli.  Along with a handful of shredded cheddar and a little milk - it was an awesome casserole! Something new :-)

*****Thrive in Five Update*****

Daily Dozen exercises!  LOVE this concept - I've sort of been doing it with my "20s".    But I will change things up a little.... and follow Hannah's suggestions.  I bought the ankle weights - and have found them a nice home in the kitchen so that I can wear the WEIGHTS while I work in there!  Having 10 pounds around my ankles should keep the snitching and snacking to a minimum too!   More leg work in the kitchen..... arm work too.  I am still dealing with shoulder issues so no big weights for now - but I did grab 2 matching water bottles (20 oz bottles are a little less than 1-1/2 pounds each)  from the fridge to do the arm exercises :-)

I find that attaching the exercises to an existing habit seems to help make them happen.  I already have the habit of doing calf raises and squats while folding laundry (really :-) )  And the kitchen ones should come together nicely.... the floor ones I will have to work on because I am not ON the floor with kids any more.  I'll report back on that as I find my groove...

The biggest difficulty I am finding with this program is that I live in the country and use up extra bandwidth (or air time or whatever you want to call it - it costs more!) downloading videos and audio.  I don't do it for anyone else - even YouTube - but, Hannah - you are worth it!

What I am loving the most about this program is that it is helping me make the mental changes!  It is easier and easier to make good choices as I feel better and more energetic.... but also as I remember that I am special - and I am worth the effort!  And, just like I would NEVER be comfortable with MY CHILD binging on high-calorie, non-nutritive food....  I would get up and fix them something healthy!  No effort would be too great to help nourish and nurture them..... so too - I should do for MYSELF.  What am I doing standing at the pantry door trying to decide if I want to eat cereal out of the box because there are no chips in there?????

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bread Adventures - Pretzels and Bialys / Thrive in Five Day 11

Beautiful morning!  Still walking my mile :-)  My husband had a business trip today so I saw him off and then my pup and I went for our walk.  She is not really happy with our morning mile.. but it is as good for her as it is for me..so she is just going to have to get used to it.
It looks like it will be mild weather today so I will make sure that I get some things done outside.  Last week was my "entrance zone" but I wasn't able to get out to work every day so I am glad that I scheduled ONE outdoor area each month..... but then I live in a temperate climate where this is feasible.

Off to make my morning rounds... one load of laundry (with a few squats, etc)... gather food items for dinner (wait, hubby won't be home...but I will take a couple of minutes to gauge the leftover situation and decide on a healthy dinner for ME!) ... pet maintenance... quick round through the bathrooms...  will be back in a bit!

I am still excited about the power of the 15-minute focus bits.... my 15 minutes outside my entrance cleared out the second of 2 garden beds & cut down a small tree.. (something I pass multiple times daily and say....'I gotta clear this up and cut that down').   GOOD changes!  This is a habit that is working FOR me!

For our bread adventures from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day this week, I want to share my pretzels!  The story is similar to the bagels.... I struggled with the SIZE and the rolling and playing with the dough... mostly because I think I got impatient with it.  One of the pretzels below looks pretty good :-)  The rest - not so much!

But the process AFTER I created the shapes was the same as the bagels... boil in a pot of boiling water.....lay on dishtowels to drain..... peel them off, sprinkle with salt and get them to the pan & bake

What was funny - is that my sons wouldn't touch the bagels... but ate ALL the pretzels!  Funny to me because the process and the dough are the same... the only difference in composition was the salt versus sesame / poppy seeds.

I also made bialys according to the instructions but forgot to take photos!  Sorry :-(  But I can tell you about them.  First of all, I had no idea what they are.... and there was no photo in the book.. so I was kind of shooting blind.  At any rate, the process was similar to the bagels only you don't make a HOLE, you make an impression - like a little cup.  And, before you bake them you fill the impression with sauteed chopped onions.  Oh my, they were good!  And, since then I have googled them and found a photo at http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/Bialy.htm

Of course - mine were nowhere NEAR as pretty as this since I didn't know what I was doing..... BUT as I keep saying... pretty is not as important as TASTY... and these recipes work!

*****Thrive in Five Update  Day 11*****

It gets harder to focus on what I am supposed to be doing... I am trying to make sure I get the proper food servings in - and am reducing the amount of non-nutritive stuff in my system.  This is when I start having a hard time keeping up with changes and need to start having more faith in the process.

Life gets busy and I don't focus on my own personal balance.  It is good to have a little audio reminder that MY health and well-being matters :-)  Because this body of mine... albeit overweight... is a marvelous creation that has kept me moving for more than 50 years.  It has born children... and MUCH life!  MUCH joy and MUCH pain... and it is still going strong.....  I am blessed.

I like the visual that the FAT is protection from toxins... but I also know that the FAT is a hated wall I hide behind.... a fortress and a prison.  It is MY time to shed both the THOUGHT processes AND the non-food toxins that are keeping me from my best life... the life God intends for me to have!

Don't forget... the Thrive in Five Program is available from www.hannahkeeley.com for the same cost as a couple of exercise dvds... seriously!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Healthy Habits & Thrive in Five Day 10

I am feeling pretty good about getting my mile in most mornings - are you doing this healthy habit with me?  Okay - well, have you mapped out a mile route around your home or workplace?  KNOWING WHERE you are going helps with the habit part.....

And then did some 20s while I put the laundry on... 20s are my attempt at exercising.  My attitude has been so difficult that I asked a friend to help challenge me to do 20 - JUST 20 - of some different exercises during the course of any given day.  So - for laundry folding, I did 20 calf raises (you know, rising up on your toes), 20 squats and 20 hamstring curls (b*tt kicks).  Easy... no-brainers.... I will do some push-ups off the kitchen counter.. still have to take it easy on my shoulders but ought to do some range of motion exercises like arm circles and shoulder reaches with NO weights.  Maybe we'll see the 20s show up as a healthy habit :-)

Anyway - HEALTHY Habits.... I decided, as part of my healthy journey this year, that it might be easier (I love EASY, sensible and efficient!) to work on a different habit each week.  I think that lots of little healthy habits make a fantastic healthy life - and, hopefully, some healthy choices will end up being automatic.

THEY (whoever 'they' are) say that you can create a habit in 21 days.... I'm not so sure.  Or maybe I'm just a tough nut to crack.... but 21 days doesn't seem to work quite that well for me.  It's not enough!  So I have to FOCUS.  I will work on ONE easy habit per week and see if I can get it to be part of my life.

PLEASE join me if you are interested - and let me know what you need to work on.  Remember - it HAS to be easily implemented - something we can do right away.  I know I am not going to count all my calories or grams of fiber as part of my daily life...but I am ready for a change!

I understand that ONE mile daily is not be enough movement.... and one salad a day is not enough veggies... but, if you are like me, SOME days you won't get THAT much of either good thing - and making it a habit is a really important building block to getting MORE.

So far this year...
                    Week #1. Walk a mile daily
                    Week #2  Drink green tea daily
                    Week #3  Eat a green salad daily (2+c fresh veggies + 1/2c beans)

I have them listed on one of the pages on my sidebar and will update weekly!

BTW... if you are WITH me.. for February, you will need a a little notebook (one you can carry with you) and a pedometer (find yours or go get one - there are nice inexpensive ones at Walmart for about $5).  It's a really nifty tool and I am going to USE it :-)

******* Thrive in Five Update  Day 10*****

Okay - yesterday's emphasis on sugar didn't worry me too much.  I don't usually eat a lot of desserts or processed food.  Well, I say that.... but we just emerged from the sugar coma we call "the HOLIDAY season".  Even if you don't indulge much on a regular basis, I am sure you found your fair share.  Not to mention that if I don't actually read labels and write it down, I am grossly mistaken about my sugar intake.  Just because I don't eat desserts, doesn't mean that LOTS of sugar isn't finding its way into my bloodstream!

Anyway... today we think about FAT and its storage function.  If your body doesn't need it and can't get rid of it, your body stores it.  Using logic, toxins that have not yet been eliminated have to be stored there.  And, again logically... look at the shelf life of some of the stuff you are eating... do you think it CAN be processed quickly by the body?
 A year ago I decided to drop 20 pounds over the summer...  I did it - and then promptly lost all energy and went into a grand funk.  You can read all about my doctor visits (nothing was wrong (!) and forays into better eating in some of my earlier blog entries.  (Resolution Number 1 - weight vs health!   Back Story Part 1) and (Resolution #1 Food as Medicine )  Looking back there were TWO major factors that I believe caused me to TANK.

ONE was cutting way too many nutritive calories.  I know better - but what I did was have a calorie count which allowed me to indulge in chips... so total calories was GREAT.... total nutritional calories was abysmal.

TWO was excessive indulgence in FAT-FREE, SUGAR-FREE items.  As soon as you say 'fat-free, sugar-free', you say chemical-laden, artificial foods.

If toxins are stored in fat... and I cut both my healthy fat intake AND my total nutritive calories dramatically, then I can envision all the poisons flooding my bloodstream.... NO WONDER my poor body was struggling!

Learning to eat better over the past year has been a wonderful journey EXCEPT for the stress and fear of gaining the weight back.  Which is, of course, exactly what happened!  THAT is where I am now.. and I feel confident that in THIS year, I will get a handle on it!  Thank you, Hannah, for your support and coaching!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crochet Post! Hats & Dishcloths and Thrive in Five Day 9

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 9 *****

Following up:  I did complete my commitment to walk a mile every day - and some days that mile has happened twice!  Small victories :-)  The thought of getting back into training - MAYBE - is not quite as frightening as it was just a week ago.  I am still struggling with my shoulder pain from November but am getting better every day.

Natural pattern of eating..... IF all we ate was what was naturally available... then so much temptation wouldn't BE available.  I mean, does it make sense that everyone who lived before US couldn't have been in good health because they didn't have access to the foods we have every day now?  Even all the supplements that are available... does it make sense that you can't have a healthy life without a specific herb or berry from South America?

Sugar and sweets is the topic for today ... I guess that I am lucky because I don't usually crave sugar... EXCEPT after I over-indulge in what I REALLY crave... SALT.  We don't eat desserts around here... though when sugar-y stuff enters the house, it disappears pretty quickly - and I am as bad as the rest. 

It's addictive - and that is the way to look at it... IF you can't manage it... IF you find yourself eating it when no one is looking... or eating out of the bag... or not controlling your intake... it's an addiction.. and something that needs to be controlled.  Period.

I think the important thing for ME to remember here is that overly processed food isn't really food... It doesn't satisfy and it doesn't nourish... and I deserve to be nourished.  I deserve to have energy and strength and a long life.  AND it's not selfish to think that way.... MY FAMILY deserves to have me around a long time in good health and strength too! 

Crochet Stuff...  Hats and Dishcloths...

I found that there is another Maggie Weldon challenge for 2012.   Oh my!  That word challenge gets to me!  Well.. the challenge is actually to design some patterns and I am SO not there :-)  BUT I do like to try new things :-)  I don't know how well I will follow along but the theme is 'things you can make in a day'.  I like quick projects to donate ... so I will play along with this challenge ONLY using my stash of yarn - NO purchases for this project.  This week I did two hats....

Hat #1 - the green and gold one - is easy to do... looks great - but is really big (or my head is small!)  If I did it again, I would use a smaller hook and see what happens...  Might be the yarn too - they specified a yarn I didn't have so I used what I had.  A super bulky weight was specified - used in 2 strands.  One of mine was super bulky (IMO) and the other was a little thinner... anyway - THE HATS!!!

Patterns are available at www.bestfreecrochet.com

and on to the dishcloths....

#183 - Turkey Crochet Dishcloth.... Pictured below on the bottom left.. Absolutely adorable!  This one is easy to do, worked up quickly and is perfect for the holidays!  I will definitely do this one again :-)

#184 - Popcorn Shells Crochet Dishcloth - Bottom right - Lacy, pretty with nubby bobbles to help with scrubbing.. This on is another easy one that is fun to do :-)

#185 Cornflower Crochet Dishcloth - Pictured above on the upper left.  I found in this process that I enjoy doing the ones with the ruffly flowers in the middle.  They are a little tricky to learn - but once you get it, it is one of those techniques that look really difficult.. but are fun to do!

#186  Greenfields Crochet Dishcloth above on the upper right.....  I found a new crochet thread for this one that SMELLS pretty :-)  What a hoot!  A neat idea though I don't know how long it lasts :-)  This one says it smells like aloe (seriously, I don't know what aloe smells like so I can't contradict but it is a light pleasant scent so I am good).  This cloth has a front post technique that looks and feels a little unusual but the instructions are clear and easy to follow. 

The next 4 cloths are pictured below:

#187 - Leaf Crochet Dishcloth - below on the lower left.  Okay thisone was fun to do because it is unique.  It is also pretty.. but I am not sure how it will work as a dishcloth.. or even quite how I would package it in a gift.  Fun though, to do something new!

#188 - My Take on Elaine Crochet Dishcloth - bottom right.  This one was definitely easy.  I enjoyed doing it because of the story.. the designer created it to mimic one that her grandmother did years ago.  I probably won't repeat it myself but would recommend it for a beginner

#189 - Deep Purple Crochet Dishcloth - Pictured above on the upper left.  LOVE this pattern!  I am not a fan of purple.. but the pattern is very pretty and not too difficult.  I think it would make a gorgeous afghan square!

#190 - Passion Flower Crochet Dishcloth - the smaller one in the upper right.  What I can say about this one is CUTE, QUICK, and great for scraps!  Definitely a repeat!  I can see creating several of these when this project is over and I have a bin of cotton scraps!

Remember, these patterns are free at www.bestfreecrochet.com until February so go get them now!  Maggie Weldon has a different challenge now but I will continue sharing what I create until I finish the dishcloths (365).  Hopefully she will have them for sale and I can advertise it while I share the cloths.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekly Goals 3/52 and Thrive in Five Day 8

1. Left from Last Week (do first!)
                Dogs to vet for shots
                Car inspections & work (2)
                Boys' transcript work
                Monthly - frontline & air filters


2. House focus - Breakfast room 15 minutes daily

3.  New healthy habit: eat a salad every day (2+ cups green veggies & 1/2c beans)

4.  Lunch with a friend (postponed from last week)

5. Set up Total Gym & decide daily exercise

6.  WATCH new exercise dvd & do ONCE

7.  Bring last year's amaryllis bulbs back inside to re-pot for bloom

8.  Movie Night

9.  Church birthday card ministry

10.  Assess progress toward monthly goals

Scan photos – 30 min / week
Paperwork – min 15 min daily
Craft – work from craft project box
Blog – Bake next bread, make dishcloths & this year's projects, Reflection piece

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 8*****

Took the measurements again today... I know it's only been a few days but I want to get on a better schedule and it's been a week since I've been seriously trying to implements better ways of THINKing... and I am 4 pounds down!  Yay :-)  I know that it is mostly water because that fast initial weight loss usually is.. but I'll take it :-)  And I'll rejoice because more importantly... I have more energy today than I had last week!

Today is Day 8... and finally, we get to FOOD.  Go figure... a WEEK into the program and we get to FOOD.... I told you already - this is not your typical weight loss program :-)

And then....... no difficult specifics or hoops to jump through.  WHAT????  Who is going to tell me the magic formula?  Just kidding - if you know me at all, you know I don't believe in the magic formula for health and weight loss (even if I DO drool over new marketing gimmicks and purchase dvds :-)

Yet there IS a magic formula... eat FOOD.. not NON-FOOD.  Those are MY words, not Hannah's :-)  But she is reinforcing my thought processes.  This lesson talks about natural food.... whole grains, vegetables, clean, chemical free unprocessed food... God's food.

God did not create twinkies..... this is where man's interference messed things up.   I have done a lot of work in the last year switching over to whole grain pastas and breads.... and have learned much about how misleading nutritional labels can be while still remaining within legal requirements.

But I need to face the fact that although I am using better ingredients overall... the holiday season brought a TON of processed sugar and flour into my home and I definitely got my fair share and then some!  THAT is where my brain and emotions and ego come into the picture and is exactly why Thrive in Five is working for me.

I KNOW what to do.... so do you!   But it's not easy and if you are like me, you are doing it on your own :-)  Your family doesn't want to hear about it, your spouse doesn't want to hear about it... they don't want change.  So, you have to go slowly.... and I cannot tell you how good it feels to have a coach that you can listen to any time you want so that you have that emotional back-up while you build good habits :-)

It is refreshing to hear good common sense... no, I am not going to throw out all the food in my pantry.... I can't waste that much... no, I am not going to make my family unhappy by serving them all new health food because I am in a weight loss mood ..... but YES, I CAN replace that box of white pasta with a better grain choice....   YES, I CAN add beans to that recipe.... YES, I CAN offer a salad with dinner....  there are so many LITTLE things I CAN do that will add up to a better ME :-)

I feel empowered - NOT overwhelmed!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Miracles Abound! and Thrive in Five Day 7

Have you seen any miracles lately??


Why not?  Are you looking?

Life is such a surprise..... every minute of every day brings a small miracle.  The challenge is to SEE them.  The random hug or phone call from a friend or family member... the tv show that is on JUST when you get the chance to sit down... or what about when the item you spent yesterday searching for - turns up where you have already looked?  Do you recognize the little miracles?

On good days, it's easy.... I know I am a special child of God and I know God puts special miracles in my life.

But on those 'not-so-good' days, it's easy to miss the show.  Those are the days when I cannot envision myself being a special child of ANYBODY.  It's easy to sink so far into myself that I don't see the miracles.  THAT is where it is imperative that I OPEN MY EYES and make a point of noticing...

I spotted this iris yesterday..... mid-January... look at the buds on it!  I don't even remember planting it there.  But I know that it is a sign of hope!   I am glad I didn't miss it and I could share it with you.

Miracles abound for all of us!  Do you have your eyes open?

*****Thrive in Five  Day 7*****

Removing stress from my life has been something I have been working on for a while.  And many of you have followed me in the last year as I have wound my way through life and relationships.. so you know that simplifying and relaxing are great priorities of mine!

I must confess... one of my stressors right now is trying to do this total health program (Thrive in Five) RIGHT.  When you choose to live your life out loud, if you will, like I do in print... it is humbling when you recognize you can't do everything the 'right' way.  But the reality is that NONE of us can do everything the 'right' way.  I may not QUICKLY lose the weight (that I will eventually lose) but I DO feel so much better and more energetic... so I believe this is a really good track for me to be on.

I told you at the beginning that I had already gone halfway through the program in December.   I found that the small changes I DID make helped me feel better through the holidays - and though I did not lose weight... I didn't gain any either :-)  But I put the ACTION on hold because I didn't have the time to DO IT RIGHT.   What I DID 'do right' was keep listening and learning.  FIVE minutes... that's it.  A five-minute audio gave me something to think about all day.  And I was ready to begin again.. renewed and ready.  SOMEthing stuck :-)

What I am reminded particularly today is NOT to worry about weight loss.  TRUST the process... I've said it before and I'll say it again.... if you trust the process, it will work for you.  It took me more than 50 years to create the habits that got me here.... it will take me more than 30 days to change it!  Trust the process and stay on the journey!

So, MY 30 days will not look like your 30 days... and I can tell you right now that on Day 31 (or maybe on February 1 :-)..   I will go back and start over so I can be reminded that good health is my birthright!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Read Any Good Books Lately? (January) and Thrive in Five Day 6

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes - though I am moving slowly so far this year!  I am in the middle of The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington - #100 of the Modern Library's List of 100 greatest novels.... but haven't figured out why it is on the list :-)  Written in 1918, the language is quaint.  The story is about a family dealing with a change in their finances and the difficulties in class expectations of the time.  What I really enjoy is the portrait of historical change in society as the automobile becomes popular.  If you enjoy a little history and learning how people think and grow.. you may like it :-)

Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich is a freebie that I downloaded on my Iphone not too long ago in a bored moment.  I like this one - though it is also taking me a little bit of time to get through.... mostly because I like books in print, the screen is not easy for me to see.. and I only read it when I don't have other options :-)  Whether I get rich or not is not really relevant... how I FEEL about my richness is the key in MY opinion.  And if I FEEL rich, well... 'nuff said...

Coach Yourself Thin is one I am itching to get into!  When I initially lost weight (60 pounds in 2007), I did with the help of the Biggest Loser Online Club.  I have to say that their menus are great and there is a super support team - for weight loss!  Two of the resident gurus.... Greg Hottinger (nutrition) and Michael Scholtz (fitness) collaborated on this book and it looks awesome!  I can't say enough positive things about what I know of these guys personally - and the advice they share - so I know that I will glean a lot of POSITIVE affirming information from their book!

Found a book I just can't seem to get through... The Mind of God by Paul Davies....  It's supposed to be a logical explanation for the existence of God.. but it lost me completely!  I plodded along to about halfway - and there started to be diagrams to decipher... and it sat on my bedside table a little longer.  UNTIL... my college-aged son came to me with stars in his eyes, rambling about the fantastic course load he has.  You'd have to know him - and that he is a big thinker who LOVES random information even more than I do .... his courses are Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology.   Well.... I sent this book along with him (both of us happy) and I'll be curious to see what he has to say about it!  It's not often that I am stymied by a book!

And, my favorite at the moment, is my other son's novel, The Last Prophecy.  It's taking time too because he has asked me to help edit it as I go - though I have to say it doesn't need much.  It's humbling to think my kid wrote a novel - but it's WAY cool!

Today is basically a day at home (yay!) to catch up with housework and reading, a bit of crafting and baking, move forward.. and enjoy life!   I'll catch one of my movies from the list for tonight....   a good day :-)

Hope you have plans for fun and family and enjoying life!

*****Thrive in Five Update Day 6*****

FINALLY had the moments of quiet with the scale and the tape measure in the same place!  I actually found the tape measure a couple of days ago but life did not happen in such a way that I could get the measuring done BEFORE coffee and breakfast.  As some of you know, our family situation has changed - AGAIN - and my husband is now happily self-employed once more.  (He spent a couple of years with what I jokingly call "a real job" when the economy tanked... and as of the end of 2011, we are back to OUR normal)  But what that means, is that I am no longer getting up early to get him out the door... so MY morning routine has changed... and he is getting up and walking the dog with me.  An extra blessing - but a change nonetheless and I am figuring out a new way to manage my mornings :-)

So I apologize to Hannah for not doing things on the proscribed timetable BUT I think this program is designed for ME to use in MY life according to what works!  The ultimate reason I decided to try Thrive in Five is because I am searching for a way to NORMALIZE my life and be healthy.  I don't want to count calories for the rest of my life.  I don't want to be tied to a gym membership.  I want to live a life where movement and food intake are balanced and I don't have to think too much about it.  I want my focus to be elsewhere!

And today - Hannah talks about 5 principles of total health.... and BALANCE!

BALANCE is  exactly what I need to incorporate in my life!  For me, the challenge is to identify and look at those areas, determine the areas I am neglecting and decide what changes I can make to bring my life in balance.  For me - I spend WAY too much time SITting.... and worrying... and not enough time enjoying God's creation.  So - a challenge for me is to get outside everyday (which I DO NOT like in the cold weather!)  That said - it always feels GOOD to come back inside :-)

What are you doing TODAY to lead you towards the life of your dreams?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas Planning (?) and Thrive in Five Day 5

What day is it anyway?  Life gets crazy sometimes, doesn't it?

Man - yesterday I didn't get to all the Thrive in Five action steps.... it was a BUSY day.  I had an errand with my husband - and, from where we live, any 'errand' has a minimum travel time of an hour and a half.   This one was an hour and a half away - so by the time you factor in travel time, appointment time, lunch and two small stops (that meant we didn't have to come in TODAY), we spent the day out and called it a DATE!  Hey - we've been married for 20 years... ANY time we can carve out together is called a date :-)  I am blessed.

*****Christmas Planning*****

Okay - so the Christmas stuff is put away.. (or is it?)  At least, it's mostly on its way.  Except for the poinsettias.... what do we DO with those after Christmas, anyway?  They live on and remind us that Jesus was born and true Christmas is NOT over :-)

You've breathed a huge sigh of relief - I mean, Christmas was fun - but intense and pretty time-consuming.   Even at its best, we are ready for a rest when it is over.... for reasons that range from overeating... to crazy relatives.. to juggling schedules.. to figuring out gifts.  I mean it's hard enough to find a gift for Uncle Joe without all the attendant worry of.. should I even GIVE a gift to him?  Does he want a gift?  Is he bringing one for me?  What if he doesn't LIKE (this thing I think I am going to give)... and on and on and on....


Well... now that the dust has settled and you are pretty much back to routine, this is a GOOD time to stop for a minute and reflect.

How could Christmas be a better experience for me and my family?

What did I (and my family) enjoy the most during the season?  What did we enjoy the least?  ASK your family this one, they might surprise you :-)

What do we want to make sure we repeat next year (or avoid)?

What can I put on my calendar TODAY that will make next holiday season a better experience?  (I pack all my cards & Advent stuff in my Halloween decorating box so I find them early enough to do something with them!)

Two sites that I like for Christmas fun:
 www.flylady.net  (for simplifying and organizing)

www.christmasorganizing.com (for a million and one ideas)

and..... one more thing....  Valentines Day is a month away... How do you want to celebrate that?  NOW is the time to get moving if you need some ideas on how to make sure that YOU have a good NO DRAMA day where you feel loved :-)

*****Thrive in Five Update*****

Okay...still hanging in here....

So.. today I have a day at home and will work on the program.  I did crawl out of bed to walk the dog but only made it a half mile.... the wind was whipping something fierce.  I have to keep reminding myself that I am still healing from the dumb kamikaze deer incident a few months ago.  As long as my shoulders ache.... I have to remember to slow down.  NOT make excuses, but be smart.  That said - my shoulder pain is NOT what keeps me from WALKing :-)  That would be an excuse.  The weather is supposed to warm up a bit today so I will get more walking in later.

One of Hannah's action steps today is to plan out a month of menus.... yikes!  I am not very good at this BUT am working on a personal pantry challenge anyway.. so am going to compromise.   I am planning  a list of potential meals and will keep track of what they are and what we eat for the month.  The point (I think) is to be aware of what I am eating and stay in charge of what goes in my mouth :-)  At a minimum, I will have a month of menus to add to my arsenal for another day.

Another tip that may help with menu stuff - I DO have the habit of preparing a soup/stew, a casserole and cut veggies on the weekends.  Also I often THINK up a meat/veggie meal to have ready to fix.... that carries me through most of the week if you count leftovers.  I did create an easy way to come up with ideas by rotating what my family likes if you are interested.... just let me know!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bread Adventures - Bagels! and Thrive in Five Day 4

 Slow and sluggish getting up this morning... I think some of my problem is allergies - mental note: change air filters.... I need to make sure it happens monthly!    Itchy watery eyes (but NOT DRY :-), thank goodness... sneezing and sniffling... it was VERY hard to get out and walk the dog today.  Lately though, my husband has been going with me... how EASY it would be to just let him do it!  But I'm kind of proud of me, I didn't do that!

*****Thrive in Five**** .... Update Day 4


Taking charge of emotions.  uh-oh.....I am STRONGER than my emotions..... wow.... yeah, I know, I've been saying it for a while but it sure feels good to have somebody say it to ME!  Hearing Hannah's voice really helps me more than I thought it would.   I have been working a LONG time on loving myself... on NOT beating myself up.... on recognizing truth and deciding to make changes - rather than bemoaning my fate and whining about it. (Okay, I admit it - I still whine :-)

Much of the work we do on setting goals and living our best lives requires us to change up our thinking.  It requires us to be responsible for the direction of our thinking... NOT ignore our feelings - but recognize them for what they are - and CHOOSE how we wish to respond.

What I FEEL... what I DESIRE.. right now.... might not be the way I TRULY want to LIVE my LIFE..... it takes a little work and a little trust to figure that out... Join me and make the decision TODAY to live a healthy life.


And...... on to my Bread Adventures as I bake my way through Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois  Bagels.... this is funny :-)

What a hoot!!

I am such a clown in the kitchen!  Making the dough was easy.... getting up the nerve to make the bagels took a few days!

First, you break off a piece the size of a small peach.... okay - well, that size is a moving target in my head.  I've had this problem before when choosing between a ball of dough the size of a cantaloupe... or a grapefruit.  Unfortunately (or not), I live in America, the super-sized... I have seen both of these fruits in various sizes.  It helped a lot when I knew that the batch of dough made either 3 loaves (canteloupe-sized piece) or 4 loaves (grapefruit sized piece).

In this case, my dough was supposed to make 20 bagels... but my 'peaches' only got 11.   More on that later......  I made some BIG bagels :-)  Lesson learned late!

After my little balls rose for about 20 minutes... I had to boil them..

Dropping them in the boiling water was problematic (because they were monster-sized).  But I marched onward.... they sure looked weird to me after boiling......

Then they had to drain on some dish towels sprinkled with flour.  I THINK the flour was supposed to keep it from sticking - didn't quite work well for me.  Or maybe I have the wrong kind of dish towel or something... anyway.. it was a tricky process and I ended up with some really gummed-up towels.

Then to bake...baking time increased substantially since they were so big (and I wasn't sure what they were supposed to look like)....

In the final analysis... they tasted like fresh bread out of the oven and that was all good.  They looked like small loaves of bread with holes in the middle... oh well.... I tried..  BUT I didn't have fun so I will probably not make bagels again..

...except..... oh no.... there are more bagels in the book.... maybe practice will make it easier :-) Because I AM going to get through the book :-)

I did enjoy the challenge of creating the bagels ....  I was told that these look like gourmet bagels that this person paid $8 for.  Maybe so.. I never saw an $8 bagel :-) (people pay $8 for a bagel?)

The same dough will make something called Bialys and also soft pretzels...

 The dough is already made and waiting for me.. so maybe Bialys tomorrow?  Hmmm.... wonder what THEY look like...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pantry Clean-OUT :-) & Thrive in Five Day 3

Still rooting through the pantry & freezer and saving a few grocery coins this month..... what treasures are you finding?

Pantry Menus Week 2:
   *rolls in fridge left from larger family gathering - add ham = ham biscuits & cut veggies - super fodder for movie night!

   *Marinated chicken & stir fry veggies in the freezer plus brown rice

   * frozen sour cream & cottage cheese - thawed & combined with whole wheat pasta, shredded cheese, marinara & a can of rinsed kidney beans = mexi-talian kind of casserole.. added a salad and was all set! (Leftovers from this can be frozen for another day :-)

   *Ground beef from freezer (also frozen hamburgers) for a hamburger night.. didn't use them last week.... but cooked all of it up so the boys would have plenty for grazing!  I added oven fries to it.... I found white potatoes as a BOGO yesterday so that was a good addition :-)  Half price is always a BONUS and oven fries are just too easy!

******Thrive in Five****** Day 3

  Well... found the measuring tape... but life interrupted this morning.  I overslept (unusual) and my hubby joined me in my dog walk (a new development!)  I didn't want to take the time from US to take the measurements first thing.  I will do it tomorrow.  Family first!

Shorter walk this morning... it is BITTER cold.  So I got HALF of my walk in and a pledge to get another half mile in somewhere as the day goes on.

This is the day in the program where you figure out - for sure - that this is a Christian-based program and scripture is mentioned A LOT!  I AM a pretty spiritual Christian but I usually avoid scripture-based programs because I find that OFTEN (not always) programs that use scripture references feel exclusive and judgmental.  So, in general, I stay away.

BUT - and it's a BIG BUT - I am always willing to TRY.  Hannah shares universal positive principles, in my opinion... and promotes a positive mindset to live a life I am supposed to live.  The grand life I am designed to live.   While I would not choose to get involved with a program BECAUSE of Scripture verses.... I would not throw a good thing away because of it either.  If you are uncomfortable with prayers and scripture, Thrive in Five may not work for you.  If you are searching for more scripture and common sense together - well.... I guess I'll see you tomorrow :-)

The real work here is NOT telling you how to lose weight.  Those programs are everywhere - there is no magic to it.

The work here is MUCH more important.....HOW to live a healthy life.  If you want real, lasting change... NOT the 'lose 10, gain 20' cycle we seem to be trapped in...  this is DEFINITELY a program worth checking out :-)

It is critical to learn how to KEEP the weight OFF even before you LOSE it... or you will be right back on that roller coaster again.

Not to mention that Hannah spells it out up front right now and offers you your money back.... no worries!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Crochet Post! Thrive in Five, WIPS & Dishcloths #175-178 & 179-182

 Thrive in Five.... Day 2
(Hannah Keeley's total health program)

I keep thinking about how I have God-given right to feel good.  Then why do I allow myself to continue on a path that leads me to feeling bad?  Why do I allow myself to be on a path that puts me in a position to feel OLD before I need to?

I have tried many ways to lose weight and feel better... I wonder if knowing that good health is God's plan for me.... will help me create the good daily habits I need to take care of my body well.

Today I will remember that I am God's child and that I DESERVE to feel good so I can do the work he calls me to do.  To follow God's call, I need to do my part to be as energetic and strong as I can be... so that I have the endurance and length of life that He has planned for me.  Taking care of me is NOT SELFISH - it is a higher call that will allow me to fulfill my destiny.

Reading and thinking is one thing... I'm really good at that part - but I am called to ACTION.... weighing and measuring ME (gulp)  Okay, it's done.. and I move forward.  Well.. the weighing's done.. I couldn't quickly locate the tape measure but do not want to use that as an excuse!  I weighed (instead of waiting until circumstances were perfect) and will hunt for the tape measure..

One of today's action steps is to commit (!) to 30 minutes of exercise - any kind... hmm.... what will I do?  I wonder if that is a consecutive 30 minutes or can it be spread out?  (can you tell I am already looking for excuses?)

Okay - what I will do is build on something I already do.  I walk my dog.  I will increase our walk to a mile and that should just about be 30 minutes for that one walk - so I know I will get more as the day goes on :-)

A little nudge and I am moving! 

******* and on to my yarn stuff...

I have had fun with crafts this week!  Working out of the box I described last week.......

I had planned to show you some hats from the Maggie Weldon 2012 challenge..... no, I'm not doing them ALL even though it's a CHALLENGE :-)   I have taken a little ribbing about not being able to pass up a challenge!  (www.bestfreecrochet.com)

I am going to do them as I desire in order to use up yarn I already have too much of!  The first month is hats & scarves so I can donate them to the homeless ( which I already do every year - so WIN-WIN - my favorite!)

Anyway - the first few hats have ended up in my sewing basket - and if you looked at my goals - you know I didn't get to my quilt strip - or sewing basket - last week.  So I am sharing my works-in-progress instead ... since I haven't done that before....

I have several afghans under construction....  one that incorporates the colors of the Martial Arts do-jang where my son studies....

so the colors look a bit strange - but represent the colors of the belts (dees) and the uniforms (doboks) the students wear


I have two afghans coming along..... pink ribbon blocks with alternating blocks in another color that I plan to either auction myself or give to another 3Day walker to auction to raise the money needed to participate in the walk... picture below

One with each different color block... I will find out SOON if any of my walking buddies are walking in 2012 and might like an afghan to use for an auction to raise the necessary $2300 per walker!

..and then one other kind (2 of them) - very strange colors but I think they will be fun throws!

Called a crazy granny  - and you can see WHY!  the two of them are jumbled together in the photo above!   One is a gift and one is for me!

I will be working on them for a while yet.  Both the Martial Arts & the pink ribbon ones - I will be starting new ones as soon as I finish these because they will be used as fundraisers.

And then dishcloths from the 2011 Challenge at www.bestfreecrochet.com (remember the patterns will be free until February):

#175 Christmas Shells Crochet Dishcloth - Pictured below on the bottom left....  Hard to see the yarn but it's a really pretty white with red and green flecks in it.  The pattern is so pretty and easy to do - I enjoyed this one and will do it again!

#176 - Cinco Bobble Crochet Dishcloth - In the photo below bottom left.... this one didn't turn out as nice as I would have liked.  I might have done it wrong but the bobbles didn't puff out in the middle of my cloth the way that bobbles usually do.  Unfortunately, they DO puff out on the row edges so it looks a little strange... No real problem, it's a dishcloth!  But I wasn't happy with the result.

#177 Impressions Crochet Dishcloth - this is the pretty lavender and purple one in the upper left hand corner.  While it worked up fairly easily, it doesn't lie flat.  Again, that might be me and the way I crocheted it, but it messed up an otherwise satisfactory pattern.

#178 Watermelon Crochet Dishcloth -  I really like the way this one turned out!  Easy to do and really cute - I think it will make a great gift!

The next 4 dishcloths are in the photo below:

#179 Wreath Crochet Dishcloth - pictured below on the bottom left.  Similar in technique to the watermelon above!  Easy to do and a great result :-)

#180 Diamonds Crochet Dishcloth - On the bottom right... this one was a little tricky to figure out.  The end result is pretty but probably not to repeat!

#181 Autumn Lace Crochet Dishcloth - similar to the wreath.  Very very pretty cloth - and easy to do - which makes it a WIN in my estimation!

#182 Witch's Hat Crochet Dishcloth... this one is nothing but FUN!  Good instructions, easy to make and simply adorable.  Cute to make for child's  washcloths!

Hope you are having a FUN crafting week!