Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Salad Day 25,26,27,28,29,and 30

Tuesday, April 19th was a boring salad of greens with Italian dressing.

Wednesday, April 20 I made broccoli slaw with shredded broccoli, mayo, a little sugar, craisins, and almonds.

Thursday, April 21  I cut up green peppers, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, and my home canned tuna.  I do love that home canned tuna.  I hope tuna off the docks is affordable this year.

Friday, April 22  I chopped a tomato, and a used left over salad greens and a little feta cheese for a yummy salad topped with honey mustard dressing.

Saturday, April 23 I was working on the set at the HS so my daughter ran over to Subway and got me a Tuna Salad with all the veggies.  I could have used a fork, but I enjoyed eating the salad because I was hungry.  I even had a few comments about how amazing it is that I've started this project.  When I think about it, it really is... especially with some of the boring salads I've had in the past few weeks.

Sunday, April 24 was Easter Sunday.  I went a little nuts on the salad thing though.  LOL.  The first salad I made was a yummy Mediterranean Tossed Salad.  It was real easy:
 10 cups bite-size salad greens
cherry tomatoes
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into fourths

The dressing was nice too:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 T. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 T chopped shallot
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T white wine vinegar
1/4 t. salt

So yummy!

I also made Banana Fruit Salad.  I know.  It's a stretch to call this salad.  It's more like a dessert.  But, HEY!  SALAD is in the title.  It too, is easy and yummy.

1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup fruit juice from canned fruit
1 small container Cool Whip (I use dairy and soy free)
1 can peaches
1 can pineapple chunks
1 can mandarin oranges
1 can fruit cocktail

You drain all the fruit.  Mix the pudding with 1 cup fruit juice; stirring until thickened.  Add Cool Whip to pudding then add the fruit.  Keeps well too.

My friend made Tabouli

2 cups cracked Bulgar
2 cups very hot water
1 cucumber, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, (8) sliced
1/2 cup fresh chopped mint
2 cups fresh chopped parsley (she used cilantro)
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Soak the Bulgar in the hot water until the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. When it's ready, drain any excess water, if necessary, and squeeze dry.

Meantime, prepare the vegetables for the salad and mix the dressing ingredients together. Set aside.

Stir the prepared Bulgar, other salad ingredients, and dressing together in a medium bowl.

Loved it!

Monday, April 25 I used left over Easter ham and eggs and made a lovely Chef Salad. 

The past couple of days have been yummy salads.  If I put in the time every day to make each salad just as interesting and yummy I will succeed at 365 days of salad.

Today I'll look for something interesting to try.  Maybe a nice Gazpacho salad will do the trick.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Changing My Mind

So my friend recently posted that she is reading some book called Change your Brain, Change Your Life. I’ve been thinking about it. Is changing your brain like changing your mind?

The premises of this book is that your brain controls everything so a change in your brain would make changes elsewhere much easier – your brain now working for you and not against you. This makes sense on a very basic level. The trick is to put it into practice.

I decided that I’d start with the easiest thing… changing my mind. It may be easy, but I will still have to work with it a little.


Here is the thing… I’ve done my fair share of “dumping” UNTRUTHS in the past. However, I’ve learned that the most I dump the most I reveal. I guess it’s like onions… There is always one more layer to peal back. (Thanks Shrek for teaching me this great principle). Thus, in order to get to the heart of the matter I need to be able to remove all the layers that cover the most important truths.

I believe that almost all people are good at their core. That includes me. Peel back the layers.

Weird that I understand this concept on the surface and yet, I allow untruths govern many of my health decisions each day. Time to let that goodness naturally reveal itself—by increasing my awareness of and use of positive thoughts and beliefs.

I think I will start be making a list of the positive: I am a child of God; he loves me and knows me; I have something of value to contribute to the world; I have a strong will that gets me through many narrow scrapes; I have the support of family and friends and yet their opinions don/t rule my reactions to the world; I am fine just the way I am; I will change as God sees fit… I will continue to add to the list throughout my week.

Many of these statements reflect the opposite thoughts that sometimes pop into my brain and effect me in a negative way. There are moments that I have to remember, I DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE IT…I JUST HAVE TO DO IT. When a negative thought comes into my brain I need to write down the opposite thought.

I don’t need to spend any more time listing the negative statements…trust me, I know those by heart.

As I make my list, I will read the positive statements first thing in the morning. And re-read these during the day and before I go to sleep at night.

I’ve done this before and gave it up. I don’t know why. Don’t ask me. Affirmations really do help in retraining my brain.

This is great! It’s like sneaking positive change in under the radar! I like a good thriller and mystery. Your on, Brain!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I don't like to "move it, move it!"

Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.

~Robert C. Gallagher

Here’s the deal: everything changes. Nothing ever stays the same. That is a big part of my problem. I don’t like change. I resist it. I fight change.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my tendency to fight with change is a contributing factor to my resistance of exercise and of truly releasing the pounds that weigh me down. The idea that everything is going to change is not very reassuring.

I am truly a creatures of habit. But I’m not alone. Humans, for the most part, do not like change.

I don’t even like positive changes…at least at first. Exercise is positive… yet I resist. A no sugar diet would be positive… yet I resist. Why is that?

Maybe it’s because I am going to have to learn a whole new system, a whole new look at life. I will have to stretch, grow, or adapt. I don’t like that much. But I can’t just keep going through the same old routines and habits that I’ve been using. Even my “new” routines aren’t making a huge difference (oh for a nice piece of lasagna right now, but I can’t have wheat, cheese, or soy).

I am pretty sure that I don’t like the good stuff at first, simply because it’s different from what I am used to.

Alas, I have to deal with change, because it is inevitable. I really don’t have a choice whether to deal with it. What I do have a choice about is HOW I decide to deal with it.

I can’t guarantee I can have things turn out the way I want them to, it stands to reason I’m going to have to find a way to be okay with whatever happens. I’m also going to have to learn how to change and to embrace change.

Remember that (like the bumper sticker says)…without change we wouldn’t have any butterflies.

I am a beautiful butterfly. Tehehe.

I am going to make changes this year, one week, one day at a time.

Today I changed up my routine and actually got on the treadmill. I walked for 30 minutes. Not bad for a girl who hates to “move it, move it.” I also stretched and made good choices in food. I need to remember these efforts are to keep my heart ticking, not necessarily to become a runway model by Christmas. I believe in miracles, but that would be asking too much. LOL.

So… here’s to me being able to “move it, move it!”

Monday, April 18, 2011

Salad Day 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24

Thursday I enjoyed a salad with fresh veggies and my home canned tuna.  It is very yummy!

Friday I enjoyed a mexican tasting salad.

Saturday was super busy with set building and running a show at te HS.  My thoughtful duaghter brought me a tuna salad from Subway.  She wanted me to stay on track.

My week has been crazy busy, so I haven't been able to go to the store... thus, Sunday was a plain greens salad with my curry rice.

For lunch today I enjoyed some salad with my raw cheese quisidillas.  It was a great lunch!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Salad Day 16, 17, 18, and 19

My problem is finding the time to down load the picture of the salad to put it on the blog.  Sunday's salad was a delisious blend of romaine lettuce, prok roast, tomatoes, steamed carrots, and raspberry vinegrette.  It was so yummy and a bit out the ordinary.

Monday I made a yummy Broccoli Slaw... shredded brocoli, light mayo, raisins, crasins, and cashews.

Tuesday I went back to my usual lettuce and light dressing.

Wedsday was the same.  Let's see if I can spice things up better today.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Clean

Spring has a way of inviting us to take stock of what we have, who we are, and who we want to be, doesn’t it?

Yesterday the winter rain had let up a bit and I could finally get outside and do a little work in the yard. I love my flowers and I really wanted to get all the grass and weeds that were chocking them out of the picture. Thus, after spending a couple hours at the HS cleaning the prop shop and organizing myself for the set I’m throwing together in the next couple of weeks for Little Shop of Horrors, I spent hours upon hours on my hands and knees weeding, pruning, and mowing(I did take a break and watch my son’s rugby game that he got to play nearly the whole thing!).

All this yard work got me thinking about how work in my yard was a little like work in my family.

My parenting has gotten a little over run as of late, just like the choking weeds in the yard. I figure that since my eldest has just gotten married and moved on to her own house, it might be time spring clean my family traditions, patterns, and habits. Inspired by the work happening in the yard, I took a moment to direct my attention on all that I do with those who were once the little ones whose footsteps and fingerprints filled the space of my home, but who have grown and now need some adjusting to make it through to the next season.

My first step was to open my parenting tool shed (for the gardening = i.e. the garage, yard, and even under the deck) and assess the contends contents. Can I find all my tools? Have I been using broken tools? Have I found that tucked amongst the helpful tools, there are traces of philosophies that are irrelevant, unhealthy, and just plain don’t work?

The hardest part in the garden is finding where all the tools have been carted too. I don’t really have a “system” for gardening tools, thus much of my time was spent looking for something that worked. Parenting is often the same.

When my oldest was a new baby, I tried very hard to follow some parenting advice passed on to me by those I love and trust. It wasn’t a good fit for her or for me, yet I found that even after I had discovered and began practicing a different parenting philosophy, the words from that first parenting guide played over and over in my head like a broken record, convincing me I was making poor decisions… even a bad parent. Thankfully, she turned out mostly responsible and now is in the process of making her own family. But what worked for her isn’t really what works for the next kid, or the next kid, or the next kid, or even the last kid. They are all different and even I have changed.

In my garden I like specific tools: my garden gloves, pruners, my claw and the hula hoe. I have gotten rid of most of the other tools I never use. In parenting I have my favorites too. I have discovered that many of us hang on to the cumbersome tools passed on to us, not because they are helpful or useful, but because we don’t know what else to do. Time to go ahead and toss them in the trash. Then I will be ready to fill my parenting tool shed with the useful and the beneficial tools that will grant me success.

If you’ve ever grown any kind of plant, you know that pruning is an important part of encouraging new growth. Yesterday we pruned the hedge and the apple tree. It’s a wonderful mystery of the natural world that cutting off dead weight allows a plant to flourish. Sometimes as parents, we are distracted or busy or just plain exhausted, and we don’t realize that we’re allowing our kids to hang on to some things that needs to be pruned.

I’m working up the courage to exercise some “pruning” of TV programs, phrases, and even foods that my kids enjoy because I believe it is stunting their growth. But it will take courage. On the surface, pruning looks painful or negative, but the truth is that cutting away that which is unwanted is necessary for spurring on beautiful new growth. Sure wish teenagers could see the benefits of pruning dead weight to help them flourish in their daily routines and in life.

The Savior share a parable or two about preparing the soil for seeds. Spring is a wonderful time to consider how we are tilling the soil. Ground that has been sitting dormant needs to be tilled up so that it’s ready to receive new life.

I wonder what areas my family needs to be ready to grow in. Perhaps new growth is waiting to happen socially, academically, in a sport or talent, or spiritually. Sure glad we just had Conference to help guide in preparing the soil. Perhaps we will work on service.

Conference also reminded me of the wisdom to prepare for the storms to come. Spring weather is so unpredictable. I never know what kind of storm is coming. But I’d say the entire world is facing unpredictable storms… some natural and some man made. I prepare my yard by putting tools away, by installing proper drainage, or by securing plants and fixtures so they will be able to withstand the force of the wind and rain.

As the parent of three teens and an 8 year old, I often want to yell, “Board up the windows, there’s a hurricane coming!” I’m sure there is someone out there that can relate! What I need is a safety plan. As a parent I can prepare for the temporary storms that each age and stage of childhood brings.

So far, I have found that my best “safety plan” comes with FHE, family and personal scripture study and prayer, and quality time spent together building relationships. Nothing lasts forever. I had better make it count.

I prepare myself by parenting in the right mindset(best found in my personal relationship with God) — that rocky behavior stems from turbulent feelings from within. When I am prepared mentally for this as a parent, it makes managing the hard phases a little easier.

Finally, when we’ve removed all that old debris, cut off dead growth, and spent time working over the soil and recovering from storms, we get to celebrate and enjoy by sprucing things up. We recently celebrated the union of Kimber and Ray. I know there will be other celebrations in the future. But I need to find ways to celebrate every day. How about finding a way to say “yes” more often than “no”? Is there something I’ve been putting off doing as a family? Why not do it now?

I’m sure I could also relate “spring cleaning the yard” to my journey to better health… throw out the exercise tools that I don’t use, clean up my diet, prune out the eating habits that are weighing my down, prepare better for stormy weather by planning ahead what to do or what to say when confronted with an excuse to not exercise or with a tasty treat that really won’t help me toward my goal. However, today I decided to focus on the one thing that is both my reason for trying to be healthy and my reason for falling off my wagon… family matters. And it DOES MATTER.

Just as I have discovered in simplifying my house and my yard, there is so much freedom on the other side of the hard work of spring cleaning! And there is no question that a good spring clean involves lots of labor, but oh, how wonderful the rewards. ( not including the sore muscles and tired knees. Hey! Is that what is meant in the scriptures about helping the feeble knees and lifting the hands that hang down? I’m so using that on my kids this week!)

For now, it’s time to fill my lungs with a deep breath of joy and gratitude. The work I am doing is useful and beautiful, indeed.

Salad Day 15

Saturday's salad brought me back to my traditional green salad.   The trouble with branching out is finding the time to research, plan and chop up something new to try.  Heaven help me.  If I don't make the time I'll give up sooner than later because I'm bored.

Salad Day 14

Friday night my husband and I were blessed to be able to use a gift certificate to a restuarant we had never tried because it is mostly out of our price range.  He enjoyed a steak.  I got the blackened salmon salad with honey mustard dressing on the side.  It was heavenly!  If you want a fancy dinner at fancy dinner prices in the Monmouth/Independence area, we highly recommend Ragin' River.  My mouth still waters at the thought.  Mmmmm.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Say AHHHH! Now Spit!

It’s been a couple days since I posted. Yesterday I had a legitimate excuse. A dentist appointment.

Most people I know are nervous about going to the dentist… I am part of that √©lite group. You can blame my dental experiences as a child.

When I was a kid, it seemed that a trip to the dentist office was not unlike being sent to a medieval torture chamber. It started off with sleepless nights leading up to your appointment. Then when the fateful day finally arrived, you were dragged kicking and screaming into a cold, heartless waiting room full of other stone-faced victims…er… I mean … patients.

The needles, pliers and other dental instruments were laid out neatly on a stainless steel tray next to the chair. Just the site of them would drive you to the brink of anxiety.

Even the dentists themselves were different. In the mind of a kid, they were evil people that seemed to harbor contempt for their patients. When I saw the movie “Little Shop of Horrors” I didn’t understand the humor. I thought I’d seen that guy.

I remember my dentist reading me the riot act as he filled the syringe with Novocain. I could be brave about it and things would go smoothly, or I could cry and squirm around and risk having the drill go through my cheek or gums. It was a freaking nightmare I tell you. The guy would start drilling into your tooth before the freezing had a chance to take effect. Every time I jumped when he hit a nerve. Suction was new on the scene in those days. Often you would still find your mouth became full of tooth grindings causing you to gag and choke. If you were lucky he’d sit you up and tell you to spit into a steel basin which was connected to the chair. As for the taste … anyone who has ever experienced the taste of a mouth full of rotten tooth grindings knows that it sticks with you for the rest of your life.

Nope…kids today don’t realize just how good they have it.

Until yesterday I thought I was just remembering the visit to the dentist poorly because of the imaginings of a create child.

Yesterday I went to the dentist. I thought I was going in for two simple surface fillings.

I waited 20 minutes before I was taken to the exam room. The dentist came in and gave me a shot in the back of my month to deaden the pain. The last dentist I had seen would wait a good 10 minutes and check carefully, even administering a second shot, before proceeding. This new dentist, one I must see because a change in insurance, waited 2-3 minutes, tops, and proceeded to drill into my tooth.

An electric shock shot through my body and I bit down. It hurt!

He acted rather confused and consented to give me another shot. This time he moved the needle around while he shot in the paralyzing juice.

After a few more minutes, he started in again. This time he put a bite block in. I guess he didn’t want me to bite him again. This time when the electric shock nearly had me jumping from the chair as I jerked my head away from his tortuous instruments.

He looked a bit confused and shot me again. This time in the back of my mouth near the uvula. I had never experienced that before.

As he proceeded I didn’t feel pain, but it was getting more and more difficult to breath. Even my ear was numb. Sound waves felt a little like a tickle.

Anyway, he continued working on my tooth and my head bounced around on the head rest as he drilled and tugged on the tooth.

One thing that a patient, with a mouth full of dental equipment, doesn’t want to hear is, “Hmmm… That’s not suppose to happen.”

I was a little worried. He muttered under his breath. The drilling started over. This appointment was taking too long! My head was beginning to hurt. He continue to mutter about how surprised he was that there was a problem.

Frankly, I wasn’t. This was confirmation that my trips to the dentist as a child were not imaginary.

A couple hours later, I headed home. As my head began to “wake up” I began to feel all the poking and prodding after effects.

Even today, my checks and face muscles hurt. I still have a whopper of a head ache. Today I’m going to lay low and lick my wounds.

Salad Day 13

Thursday was a busy day.  Glad I ate a little something before the dentist.

Salad Day 12

Just an other salad.  Nothing special.  A busy schedule kept me from publishing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In pursuit of my mojo...

It’s official: I’ve lost my mojo… at least concerning exercise.

I’ve lost my oomph about it. I’m still tracking calories, eating a salad a day, and some days I actually stay in my range, but I’m finding myself slipping in my choices a little more. It’s a slippery slope with me, a few days of “eh, what’s ONE order of french fries?” and soon I’m at “eh, why bother at all, give me ALL the french fries”. This is not good.

I also haven’t exercised, much. Also not good. Actually, this is probably the worst because this is the piece that I really, really, really need to remake a habit in my life. I am always going to need more activity in my life than I want. I like sitting, like A LOT… sitting reading… sitting writing. But my body needs me to move. Weight or no, my body, my heart, my muscles, they need me to move. And that’s something I’ve got to get back in the groove of.

Maybe my problem is that I feel a bit like a rat on wheel. Running and running and never getting anywhere. This is not a compelling factor in getting me on track with a daily exercise habit. I guess it’s not that interesting. In the past I worked out like a gerbil on a wheel 5-6 times a week and I ate like a rabbit and I BARELY SHED A POUND. I tried different eating styles and even gave up whole food out of major food groups. It’s been over a year with NOWHEAT, NO SOY, NOMILK PRODUCTS and still NO CHANGE IN MY WEIGHT. All this sacrifice is supposed “to speed up my metabolism”. Nothing.

I’m a little discouraged… but not giving up. Just looking for some kind of answers and my mojo.

All is not lost. I know that I need to keep blogging and I need to get back in the saddle again.

So today, I’m recommitting to this thing. This weekend I will break out the walking shoes, and try hard to get in a mile 5 days a week. When the pool at the college opens I plan on lap swim. This week I will sit down and do some meal planning–something that helps me tremendously in making healthy choices for food, and I will plan NO treats. Next week, instead of coming home and putting on my pj’s, I will put on my workout clothes and tennis shoes. I will, because competition or not, this is about making me healthier. Happier. Fitter. Even if I don’t release one single pound.

Losing weight is awesome, but it’s more than that. It’s trying to retrain my brain that things like exercise is good. That I don’t need that extra side of fries. That a walk at the end of the day is better than coming home and sitting on the couch (sometimes).

Salad Day 11

Today?  Same old same old.

Salad Day 10

I missed posting this yesterday, but I didn't missing eating a salad yesterday.  Yesterday I enjoyed the leftovers of Sunday's yummy salald. I'm looking forward to eating my salad today.  I'm even getting veggies into my morning.  My hubby can make a mean omelet with veggies.  mmmm.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Salad Day 9

Today's salad was to compliment a delisious feast of my version of Chicken Tettrazini.  I used quinua instead of noodles.  It reminded me of couscous.  I added the cooked grain to my chicken pieces, mushrooms, chilies, spices, bacon, and chopped olives.  Since I can't eat pasturised cheese, I tried a non-pasturised cheese.  It was good.  I will be doing that again!  This was real good.  The salad was good too.  :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Salad Day 8

Greens are the salad of choice right now.  There really aren't in the way of good looking veggies in the store about now.  I'm looking forward to spring veggies.

Salad Day 7

Date night with the hubby... A Subway Salad.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Goal to Be an Iron Man

Thanks for all the sympathy that many of you have extended to me at this difficult hour. May my iron rest in peace.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do now… how will I continue my training.

I have been looking for a way to spice up my daily work out. All my friends have been nuts about triathlons... all becoming "iron man" champions... and I just can’t bring myself to join the crazy. After some exhausting research I found MY competition… on extremeironing.com . Oh yay! Feel the burn!

“Extreme Ironing is an outdoor activity that combines the danger and excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”

I can kill two birds with one stone with this idea! Don't you love it?!

In the world of extreme sports you would be hard pressed to imagine ironing finding its way in alongside the likes of bungee jumping, skydiving and hand gliding. (You know me. I am always living on the edge). I was surprised to find that for nearly 15 years the sport of extreme ironing has grown, spreading its roots worldwide and creating a cult following, adding that extra element of both humor and danger into the mix.

What began in Phil Shaw’s backyard in Leicester, England, has attracted followers across the globe. “Iron Men” have performed atop Mount Kilimanjaro, 100 meters underwater off the Egyptian coast, during the London marathon, and in a David-Blaine-style box 20 meters above Christmas shoppers in Leicester. And like any noble calling, this one has inspired others, including downhill vacuuming, inner-city clothes drying, and “apocalypse dishwashing.” Helen Keller wrote, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”

Basically, people take ironing boards, an article of clothes, and of course an iron, to extreme places all over the world. This includes mountain tops, underwater caves, swamps, deserts, and other silly places. The rule seems to be that they have to actually press the clothes, or at least mimic it, in the most precarious situations.

This is the housewife’s dream sport! Most people would think these people are complete losers, but I want to warn you not to be condescending on this one...I'd like to see you all bust your butt to do something like this.

As it stands, this "sport" has its cult following and seems in no way likely to fade away. For those who are deciding to give it a go just remember to practice somewhere safe relatively safe first!

Not sure if you enjoy this sport, but I think it’s hilarious and that's all that matters.

Sadly, my training has a few wrinkles for now.

My Iron Died yesterday. Would you mind having a moment of silence with me?

I will begin training again... after I visit Wal-Mart...

Salad Day 6

I really need to branch out.  Today, all I had in the fridge was salad greens and guacamole.  (This is reall yesterday's post, but I didn't get to it until today).