Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hump Day

The temperature this morning is 14 degrees and I am reminded how much I dislike Winter!  As with everything in my life, I try to find the positives in things.  So my number one positive has always been I love boots!  So when it gets cold I get to wear them!!  Yep its true when I can think of anything else, that is the one thing I can be happy about...its boot time!

Truth is, there is a few things that make winter acceptable beyond being fashionable in my boot collection.  Another thing I like about Winter...well really the Fall to Spring season is SOUP.  I find it an amazing way to get my vegetables as well as fullness when I need a little extra somethin-somethin!
For those that have been to the Biggest Loser Resort you know we had soup with every lunch, which was so comforting!  Especially after a chilly hike!!  I try and have soup ready to go in my refrigerator, which keeps me from reaching for the wrong thing when I'm hungry.  So many soups require no dairy at all, which keeps the fats away.  I fell in love with a squash soup recipe in the fall and I continue to use it for all types of squash, including butternut squash!  I don't really like butternut squash soup recipes but absolutely love using this squash recipe for all my squash soups.

Here is a recipe I found and use often:
Squash Soup (use with all squashes)
2-3 squashes (creamier soup with 3)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. dried ginger
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (adds nice amount of heat)
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
4 cups vegetable stock (organic is preferable)


The first thing I noted, it is much easier to get the squash out of its skin if you roast it in the oven.  In a 400 degree oven place seeded halved squash on foil lined cookie sheet. Roasting time is around 40-50 minutes, check with fork for tenderness. When cooled you can easily scoop out the insides and throw out its outer skin.
In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add carrots, apple, shallot and onions and saute until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Once tender, add salt, ginger, sage, cayenne, allspice, squash and vegetable stock. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and puree mixture.  Calorie in a cup are about 75.  Of course I always have at least a 2 cup serving!  YUMMY
Another variation of this soup is to add beans such as pinto beans adding protein to the equation!  In fact, next batch of my soup will have beans in it.  Note to all I am NOT a bean person at all, do not like the texture, but it will be puree'd in it and I won't even notice!!

Lastly, although winter does make it hard to go outside, it definitely makes for indoor exercise to be cooler.  And Fall and Spring are the best time for outdoor hikes!  So these are the things that keep me accepting of cold weather.  
So me and my popsicle toes will get warm with some comforting soup and indoor cardio today.  

Hmm...I think its time for some soup!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Support on Facebook

My last year of life, was spent without reading any of the supportive post and blogs that I have always thrived on in the past.  After my reappearance I immediately felt strength just knowing others were out there, giving support and drawing support.  I was invited to join a group this week and it seemed to be a great source of support for those that wanted it, as well as a place for educators both physical and emotional to give their advice.  And there is so much to be said for those that have had the experiences that others are dealing with.  Support is key!  It shut down for a spell, but I think I just needed to pick up the ball and get it rolling.  So if you would like to come in and join our support group, please do!  I am working out the kinks of getting new members so if you have difficulty, just message me at my facebook name or look up Cat Cee Chez.  The group if you want to join is called: Cat's Support Station and the link is below.

Okay, I have a zillion things to do today, so I am off to getting things done!  Hope to chat with you in the group!!

Have an awesome Sunday!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Sun is Shining

Finally, the sun is shining here in NW NJ.  It seems like its been weeks since there has been any blue sky in the horizon.  Maybe mother nature was waiting for me to clear the skies by getting back on track.
No matter, as today I am feeling invigorated and know I am finally ready to move forward with my journey to better health and fitness.

If you've ever read my blog(s), you know I have been living in denial this past year, completely ignoring everything I had trained myself to believe in. So I have taken a good long look at myself and this is what I have come up with:  
1) Comfort food mentality - Definitely it crept back on me in 2012 there is comfort in food, and when I am stressed, its my number one go to.  Although my subconscious nags me to not give in, I DO! 
2) Definitely another cause of my problem is not having the right food around me so I reach for the wrong thing, because its convenient.  I need to frequent the grocery store so I have what I need.
3) Timing is everything, I can not wait till I am so hungry I grab for the wrong food, I must make a conscious effort to eat prior to being super hungry.
4) My husband, who I love so dearly is definitely another reason I make the wrong choices as he loves his evening snacking, and makes me feel like snacking too.  
5)  And lastly, not having my daughter Michelle in NJ didn't help, as she has always been a reminder of good health.  I use to feel accountable for my actions when she was around.  Good news, I have her back in NJ!!  She was in San Diego working at the Golden Door Spa (if you think BLR is expensive its NOT...this is!) as well as selling an awesome line of cookware called Saladmaster and doing extensive cooking classes.  I am so happy to have her back, I missed her not only for my healths sake, but just having her nearby is so comforting.

So I have figured it out as I type today where it all comes from, yet now I need to get moving forward and not fall back again.  I think to move forward with your health,  you must find and examine your triggers, and learn to work with them so they don't jeopardize your progress.

My daughter Meika and her husband, Warren seem to have their eating so controlled.  They count their vegetables daily, as if they can't skip one in their day.  Now that I find myself baby/Biba-sitting they cook for me off and on.  Meika will hand me my food and say, okay so we had 2 vegetables in our eggs this morning, now here is 2 more with the lunch, leaving only one more at dinner.  They are impressive, and what I really take from them, is try and get more whole foods in my diet and make sure I have them at hand.

So as I set out to have a great 2013, I have my house full of whole foods, and I will embark on eating more fruits and veggies, and less carbs and sugars.  

I have concluded that the best diet, is NO diet.  This is not a race, there is no finish line, this is a way of life.  One thing I taught myself in my old blog without even planning, the easiest way to good health is making sure my calories stay within my limit, and that I get a move on.  So I am back to keeping my meals around 300 per meal, allowing for 5 meals, which means I can snack!  I don't have any set meals this way, but I do know what meals have worked in the past, from either just experimenting, the Biggest Loser Resort, or my month on Cinch.  I also understand why breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for me, its starting my day without starving.  There is no need to starve just start eating, and plan on 300 calorie meals.  It is such an easy way to stay on track, it worked before and will work again.  My one perspective that has changed somewhat this time, is I intend on making a point of adding more vegetables to my meals.  

So 300 calorie meals + more vegetables (I don't count calories of green vegetables) + whole foods + water = 1/2 my body weight in ounces.  

As with last time, if I know I am going out and will be eating, I will cut back on the snacks and save them for going out so I can add 600 calories to my dinner.  Its going to work again, it was actually the easiest way I have found to drop pounds and not feel deprived.  I truly believe a person has to find what works for them, I have been on everything, and for me this is the way to go.

Today my breakfast was french toast = sandwich rounds (100c) 1 egg (70c) 1 cup frozen berries heated(70c) 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds (40c) laying on top of cinnamon (spices speed up your metabolism) (cooked with Pam because the equivalent of butter is 100 extra calories)  Total calories = 280 calories.  (no veggies yet so I will be making an awesome acorn squash soup to add to my veggies and my fullness today).

I am so ready for when I woke up to the sun, I am reminded of how everyday I get up after having a good food day, is a sunny day.  When I eat horribly, I wake up regretting it, not today, not tomorrow...I am back on track.

Weight today...yes I did get on that damn scale 186.8.  Weight gain since Cinch, 31 pounds!

First goal...Valentine's Day...weight loss under 180. 

As in the past, tiny steps....small goals...realistic time frames...I am so there!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Year of the Cat

I am returning back to the world of blogging, along with returning to my journey to good health.  2012 was a silent hidden year for the most part leaving those that have followed me to wonder where I disappeared to.  I think 2012 was just full of too much of everything, leaving me to be second and struggling with my journey to self improvement.  Reflecting back on my year, I would say, my self preservation was a wash!  I  pushed away the things that  I was proud to talk about within my pages.  And here I sit in 2013, thanking God for where I am today, and for letting me survive my neglect.  I'll be honest, I haven't weighed myself this year at all, I do know I am fitting in a size 14 stretch jean, and that I go nowhere without my Kimora tummy tucker.  I have taken note to the clothes that I bought after my great success with The Biggest Loser Resort, and how they sit dorment in my closet. I look at myself in the mirror and think I am not that much bigger than when I left BLR, but much bigger than my success with Cinch.  I note that my body is something I avoid in the mirror after a shower, it is a reminder of my lag.  2012 is finally over, and a new year is here.

The struggles of 2012 are behind me, and have left some great remnants to rejoice in.  My daughter Marie found true love in February, and moved away in July to be with her one true love.  This is a joyous absolutely wonderful thing, and I couldn't be happier for her although I wish she found her love in NJ.  The greatest joy came on August 9, 2012 with the birth of my grand daughter Biba Harlow May.  I can not express what this has meant to me this year and the joy she continues to bring.  You grand parents understand.

2012 brought a lot of change, as my husband stepped down from his TV stage to pursue his own band, as well as focusing on giving back to the Arts through teaching aspiring future musicians around the globe.  This is a scary transition that has been terrifying to our bank account.  Stress is a scary destructive anomaly.

We lost our golden retriever in 2012, and with all the changes accuring it was not only stressful on me, but my family.  My youngest daughter, Morgan took Alan's job change terribly, and worse was losing her best friend, our golden, Rembrandt, her companion, and confident for 14 years.  At 23, in 2012, Morgan also had her gall bladder removed, then followed it up with emergency surgery for a cyst.  And then received an overdose of medication from the hospital, which was swept under the rug.  She has pushed through and is doing well now.

My brother was admitted in the hospital with an aneurism as well, which I flew to his side to be with him. It is impossible to operate on my brother so he must control his stress as well as take blood thinners forever.  He is uninsured and never married, so his family is all he has and here I am across the country feeling helpless most of the time.

I have always been in the habit of self indulgence when I am stressed. And I found myself not caring about putting the wrong things in my mouth, and exercise was rarely achieved.  In August, I took a wonderful hike with Alan & Morgan in PA at Bushkill Falls.  It should've been the start of my recovery, but instead I hurt my knee and had to climb 1200 steps with it hurting.  Unfortunately, this time it caused sciatica damage.  I did very little exercise anyway so I didn't even really notice I had a problem till November.

November was a month of reckless endangerment to myself.  I had decided to take HCG and melt the pounds away.  So I took drops, and surely 10 pounds came off rather quickly.  I started noticing major tingling in my right leg and foot which seemed to come from my sciatica pain.  I would stretch the leg to try and eleviate the pain, and the more I did it, the more my leg and foot seemed to tingle.  I finally googled  and discovered a side effect of HCG was blod clots and everything that goes with it.  I was in the ER that night having CT work done and insuring that I didn't have a clot in my leg or brain.  I was sent home with anti-inflammatories and pain killers.  At that point I realized what an idiot I was to take the HCG in the first place and got off of it.  I followed the weaning process as necessary to reset your body clock, but it didn't work.  Even after 3 weeks of no carbs at all I seemed to continue to gain weight.  I had added insult to injury by even beginning the HCG.  Now I had to try and get back to some normalcy.

December I went to babysit my grand daughter, or as I like to call it Biba-sit.  I came home with a nasty flu that Biba and her daddy brought home from a trip to England.  I went from the flu, to a cold, to laryngitis for the next few weeks.  From there I had to shop for 15 people coming for Christmas and try and get my house in order for 8 extra people sleeping at the house for 10 days.  I had decided to avoid carbs during this hectic time and although I didn't weigh myself, I at least didn't feel that sluggish holiday feeling I usually have.  Family arrived on December 23, Christmas day was awesome, 15 family members together, including the brand new grand baby!  At 5AM following Christmas, my husband woke up sick, and was vomiting.  Shortly after that I found myself doing the same thing.  I spent the next 36 hours with a bucket on my toilet.  We managed to get food poisoning on Christmas Eve from clams, which I noticed tasted funny.  Everyone else was fine as we were the only ones to have a clam at dinner.  The following day, my brother in law came down with a flu and 104 fever.  Not long after that I was sick again with another strain of the flu, along with my parents.  I spent New Years Eve in bed, sick!

So all I can say about 2012 is good riddance to most of it!  Thank God the 2 blessings we did have in 2012.  By the way....I am extremely grateful for all I have and have received, and am very blessed,  this is just simply my explanation to where I was in 2012 and nothing more.

So WELCOME 2013, I am super to the duper excited about you being here, and getting back on track is my main priority.  I realized, that being honest with myself, was also being honest on my blog.  Putting it out there, what was going on, how I was doing, and what I was doing.  So I am back, and I am ready to tackle all of my weaknesses and strengths and get where I want to be in 2013.  When I started my original blog back this month in 2010 I had no idea where it would take me.  Since then I have become a strong empowered woman who understands she can do whatever she sets her mind to, so here's to me in 2013, as I have my sights set on good health!

Thanks to all of you out there that have come to know me over the years, for reading my confessions, and as always I appreciate your comments and your support.