Diet Myths

On todays post boys and girls I thought we would talk about some diet myths.

The diet industry rakes in billions of dollars a year. From what’s sold in grocery stores to what your neighbor is pedaling, it’s all aimed at a specific need…..

Over weight people looking for the secret sauce to lose weight.

Diet culture perpetuates so many harmful myths that can lead to disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with your body and food.

The diet industry pushes so many ideas that people feed on ( pun intended, sorry πŸ˜‰) I thought we would take a look at some of these myths.

The reality is, weight loss is science. Every person needs a certain amount of calories to live. They need a certain amount if they are more active or less if they’re not. Whatever your caloric need, if you reduce them, you will most likely lose weight.

You don’t need cleanses or detoxes

Have mercy. When I see ads for this, or posts of people asking about them or the “best” ones to do, or worse, selling them, my eyes just wanna roll outta my head.

Just say no.

Our bodies are amazingly made. They have an incredible detox system called the liver and kidneys. They do a spectacular job from the day you’re born til the day you die. Putting your body through a “cleanse” will probably make you miserable, lighten your bank account and have no long term sustainability to it. Doing a cleanse doesn’t kick start your weight loss or make you “healthier “. Yeah you may drop some water weight ( big deal) but it won’t contribute to real weight loss. Run from anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

You need to eat a lot less

Actually, no. Sometimes people are so restrictive with their food they lose slowly or hardly at all. Really, you probably need more calories than you realize to sustain daily living and lose weight. Eating to little can hinder weight loss. Wanting to gain more muscle? Then you really need to eat and know exactly how many macros you need in your day.

You have to skip meals

Really you shouldn’t skip meals. And a meal doesn’t have to be something “big” it just needs to be something small and healthy. Eating regular meals keeps your blood sugar levels steady, keeps hunger at bay and hopefully keeps you from devouring your “real” meal because you’re so hungry.

Eat real food

1200 calories are for everyone

Um….no they’re not. That is such a low calorie diet that you are guaranteed to be hungry. Not to mention, no one will fit into a standard cookie cutter diet. Our needs are all different.

For instance when I would be in the heaviest part of marathon training my calories were obviously quite a bit higher than days I wasn’t training. The same applies to you. Every day could be different depending on your activity level. Find an accurate BMR ( basal metabolic rate) calculator. This will help you determine your personal caloric needs based on your lifestyle. Use this as a guide for food intake. You can adjust to maintain, or reduced by 10% to help with weight loss.

You have to exercise to lose weight

Oh yeah, the diet world will tell you in fact, the more, the better. Feel the burn and all that right? Exercise off last nights dinner or the dessert you had.

Here’s the reality. Exercise is great. It’s wonderful for your body and mind. It makes you feel good. It can help with weight loss. But really, it’s what you put in, or don’t put in your mouth that largely contributes to it. If your diet is awful weight loss will be a struggle. You need to start with your nutrition for successful weight lost. And please remember, you can’t “work off” food you’ve eaten.

Start your day right

You have to cut out food groups

Please don’t. Unless you have a need to do so, for your health, your body benefits from nutrients found in all food groups. There are no “bad” food groups so stay away from programs that demonize them.

Sugar is evil

Listen let’s be honest. Sugar isn’t bad, a drug or some horrible toxin. You know where the problem is for some people? Their personal control issues with it. Understanding the “why” of their excessive consumption is the first step to dealing with it.

Healthy foods are more expensive

Not really. You can buy lean meats and lots of fruits and veggies for reasonable prices. Learn to shop seasonable items and stock up on sales. Frozen or canned are good options too. Buying less healthy foods or foods that don’t offer as many nutrients are just as pricey.

Slimming pills and teas

No. These things promise unrealistic goals and in reality will only leave you hungry, frustrated and giving up. Not only that pills can have adverse effects on your heart and metabolic system. And please stay away from programs that have you spending tons of money on all of their pills and supplements and eating very little food.

No snacks or treats

We’ve all either been that person or seen them at a meal or party. They are “dieting ” and have restricted all fun things. They do not allow themselves anything enjoyable on their quest to lose a few pounds. The sad part is, this isn’t sustainable as we want to enjoy life and food is a part of that. Instead what works is eating a normal balanced diet and enjoying a reasonable treat. It won’t sabotage your weight loss effort. Allowing favorite foods can help you reach your goals.

Allowing favorite treats should be part of a healthy food plan

Carbs are bad for you

No, they aren’t. But you need to understand there are two types of carbs.

Complex carbs are good and essential for energy and mental clarity. They are found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes etc

Simple carbs are what you need to limit in your daily diet. These are found in things like cookies, crackers, chips, sodas, baked goods, sugary drinks, fast foods and more.

Build your daily nutrition around healthy complex carbs to help with weight loss, energy and mental clarity.

You have to be hungry to lose weight

Hunger is a natural body signal so we know when we should eat. Feeding our body is the only appropriate response. Withholding food, or restricting what you eat is disordered thinking and not good for your body.

In conclusion

As you can see, diet myths aren’t an exhaustive list. To be successful it helps to:

Start small. Don’t attempt it all at once.

Find good foods you love, that satisfy you, and build on that.

Remember there are no “quick fixes ” weight loss is a slow and steady in reverse process.

Do exercise you enjoy that makes you feel good and do it several times a week.

Be patient with yourself. Love yourself. Celebrate big victories and small ones. Look for “nonscale” wins like more energy, inches lost, lifting heavier weights, or just feeling better about yourself.

With some common sense, daily discipline and smart choices you will hit your goals while you dodge the myths.

The Journey of Total Knee Replacement

I realized this past Friday, April 15th, marked one year since I had a total knee replacement (TKR). The weekend was kinda busy and whatnot….hello Easter…..so I thought I’d take some time now to reflect on my journey this past year. This may be more of a “story”  than a blog post.  My hope is that maybe my journey may help or encourage someone facing this surgery.

How did I get to the point of TKR?

A good question.  I was in the final weeks of training for a duathlon in 2018. As I was in the last few miles of a training run my knee started bothering me. Of course my thought was “nooooo nothing better get in my way for the race “.  It settled down and weeks later, I did my second duathlon coming in again first in my age group. That didn’t impress me as much as seeing my finish time against some of the 20something guys. That was satisfying 😜

The finish line of a race listed as the toughest in Texas. A 5k hilly run, 16 miles of nothing but lots of big hills on the bike, and then a 2 mile run. The photo doesn’t show how cold and sweaty I am or reflect a quad and hip that cramped up coming in on the bike ride as I finish the final run.
That finish line never felt sweeter.

I wish I knew it was potentially my last duathlon or I would’ve savored every aspect of it more.

The final piece after months of training,  standing on that podium.

As things go, after I finished a race, I dialed back my training for a few weeks. On my first run back out ( weeks later) I felt almost crippled afterwards. I cut out running and focused on cycling but my knee continued to bother me.  I finally gave in and headed to my sports doctor ( ahem…. months later) fully expecting to hear I had torn something and would need surgery. After the x ray he came back in and announced,  ” you’ve got a good old fashioned case of arthritis going on” this was certainly not what I expected to hear.

He said listen “You’re out there kicking ass and taking names.  You are certainly not my usual middle age woman patient. Between life, genetics, and all you’ve been doing, that’s what we’re dealing with. ” We discussed some options, one of which was eventually getting a shot in my knee that could help.

Essentially a band aid, a costly one, only prolonging the inevitable, knee replacement surgery.

I left his office and pretty much dealt with it over the next couple years. The pain in my knee got progressively worse as it was bone on bone. I did go in for the set of two shots ( 600.00 my part with insurance) in the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, I never noticed any change. He told me  “ok we’ve tried all the options and the next step is total knee replacement”

Yeah ok…obviously I wasn’t super excited at this prospect.  I had never had any surgeries and this one sounded a bit, intense,  to put it mildly.

He handed me a referral for an ortho dr, one he assured me, would be focused on getting me back at my athletic endeavors and sent me off.

The next few months involved meeting with the doctor, getting an MRI, another appointment with the surgeon and then finally at that January visit we scheduled the surgery for April 15.

Gosh. I tried several times to work myself out of it as it got closer.   But on the other hand I had a knee that hurt enough to keep me awake at night so I was kinda hoping to ditch that problem, among others.

As it got closer there were the usual pre surgical things to do, like labs, a chest x ray and meeting with the surgical nurse who went over all the details for before, during and after surgery.

Over and over I heard “you’ve picked a rough first surgery but you’ll get through it”

Eek.

I requested to be his first surgery.  It was out patient and I would go home that day so I figured being first in meant I’d get out sooner.

My surgery would also be robotic assisted surgery which is super high tech. It allows the surgeon to operate and make cuts and incisions with exact precise cuts in the bone and tissue. This is done in real time with a computer and a very recent CT of my knee. You can learn more reading about Mako Robotic Knee surgery.

Show time

This is what it looks like when your surgeon signs off on your knee πŸ˜… that big line? The slice and dice line.

I arrived at 5 a.m. trying to act cool but I had to laugh when the nurse asked if I ever had anxiety….I was like…. I mean right now, kinda yeah….she assured me they expected that and not to worry.

Whew! I was normal! πŸ˜…

All the final things were done, the surgeon last to appear asking if I was ready for the show.  I asked him if he had enough of whatever he needed to be on his A game. He assured me he was good and he was ready to fix my knee up, and then it was off to the OR.

Listen, as I mentioned earlier,  this was my first surgery so I was really calculating everything that was going on. I was struck by how bright the OR was, how alert, busy and full on active everyone was greeting me. I asked them if they wanted me to hop over to the other table, and after I got settled a mask was immediately placed over my nose and mouth that felt a little to snug. The guy lifted to adjust it and said ” we’re just giving you some pure oxygen “

And that my friends, was it till I heard two girls talking close to me saying what pretty pink hair I had ( which I did) and did I want a cracker?

Say what?

Me…. mumbling….are we done?! They assured me we were and if I woke up I could have a cracker.  In my head, I was giggling thinking how you offer parrots crackers… 🀣 in reality I was trying to peel my eyes open.

Seriously.  Y’all that sleep after surgery is the bomb. I was so cozy. I was hearing the convo in room, the nurses talking to my husband, how things went etc but gosh, I was sooooo good where I was at….like my eyes just didn’t want to be open.  I got prompted again…. whyyy are they making me talk??

After accepting ( rather blindly) the crackers and Sprite given to me, I was asked if I wanted to get up and walk.

Me….you know I’m still asleep right? And my leg feels like….nothing…..

Them…. you get to go home if you walk. Ah yes,  I remembered now. I got to head home if I did the “required things”.

Eat.  Go to bathroom.  Walk.

I got up on edge of bed, grabbed the walker and hustled myself out to the hallway when they called me back.  One thing my surgeon does is to make sure his patients have a nerve block ” we want you to wake up comfortable”.  I thought of it as an epidural in my knee. I had a full leg brace on immobilizing my leg. My foot felt like a thick foam block. Think how your face feels after a dentist visit and novocain.

With a numb leg, a foggy head ( those are good drugs) and zero pain,  I crawled into the athletic clothes I had worn. My surgery had been at 7 a.m. and by 1 p.m.  I was loaded up heading home 😳

Ya know what’s really trippy? Being in a car sailing down the highway while you’re still looped out from anesthesia. 

I kept my eyes closed the ride home ’cause the world was really spinny.

Home and recovery

This was how my leg was neatly packaged after surgery. Thankfully that came off next day. This was to protect my leg till all the meds had worn off and I could feel again

My surgeon ordered PT ( physical therapy) for 2 weeks at home that started the day after I got home. I was ready to work and do what was needed to get back to doing life. I faithfully did exercises  they left for me making them my “job”. I did them 3 times a day and walked as much as I could. I made my leg bend and flex just like I would have before surgery. 

More nice packaging
This is where the satellite went.

A look inside at my fancy new joints the top gadget is a satellite that communicates with computer that didn’t stay 😜
My surgeon grabbed his handy fake joint model to show me what mine looked like, except as he said, yours is metal, this is plastic
The silver and gray parts are the new joints

Days after….

It was so amazing to have that awful pain gone in my knee that walking felt great even if I had major surgery two days prior. By day 3 I tossed the walker cause I was walking fine without it and my PT guy said it was more of a hazard to use it if I was walking ok.

Physically, I hadn’t been sure what to expect but I had minimal swelling and no bruising. Of course I lived with my ice pack so I’m sure that helped quite a bit. My PT guy was encouraging telling me I was far ahead of what they expected patients to do a few days out so that built my confidence. And not to mention I was horribly motivated to make things happen. I had goals.

This gadget was a nice lazy form of exercise πŸ˜… you set machine and it bends your leg for you. I’d get it set and take a nap.

Pain

Ok I’m almost embarrassed to say this but I really had minimal pain, and at that I didn’t consider it bad. One thing I paid attention to were all the people who told me to be diligent about staying on track with my pain meds. I’m stubborn but not dumb and certainly wasn’t interested in hurting if it could be avoided. I took them every 6 hours as prescribed even setting a 4 a.m. alarm to stay on track. My goal was to get off of them as soon as possible. Within the week I started spacing them out farther testing it. Gradually I was down to just a night one ( cause I like my sleep πŸ˜…) listen to what they tell you about pain meds!

2 weeks post op

2 weeks out I checked in with surgeon and had bandage removed. His stitching skills were impressive

It honestly didn’t look as bad as I was expecting. As you can see there was minimal after surgery bleeding.

After assessing all of my bending and flexing he cleared me to drive since I wasn’t on the pain meds.

Freedom! My first drive out, 16 days post op. This is when I realized how much you really use your leg to drive! A short trip, my leg was tired.

Another thing we discussed was exercise. He knew my goals were to get back on road cycling and at least walking again. I told him I wanted to do a bike race that was 10 weeks post op. What did he think? He said let’s do it! All he asked was that I ride not clipped in so if I had to get off bike fast I wouldn’t wrench my knee.

2 1/2 weeks out on my first walk….a half mile. It was a start
The road under my feet again

Of course, I focused a lot on my upper body since I could work that how I wanted

Nothing like some metal on my hand

Meanwhile

The leg is healing up well. The stitching will flatten out hopefully leaving a slim scar

As my leg healed I had moved over to 6 weeks of PT at a place in town. As my therapist told me a lot I wasn’t their “normal” patient. Being fairly strong and fit going into this surgery had definitely given me an advantage. Since I exercised before surgery the moves were work but doable work. He would put me on bike at the end of our sessions.

My first time on was my first slap in the face with my surgery.

I couldn’t do a full spin rotation.

How could this be? Riding a bike was well, riding a bike. I gingerly tried to press forward when my foot slipped causing it to go farther than planned.

That was the first genuine pain I had felt. I saw stars. Not cool.

I was in tears, literally crying thankful my back was to the room so no one would see a grown woman crying.

I felt all my goals shifting. How could I do a race in 7 weeks if I couldn’t pedal fully? I was crushed when I left PT that day.

I came home and started reading and there was a suggestion of pedaling backwards first. Then gradually ease into going forward. Next time I went I tried that. And I did it the following time…each time pressing into it a bit more…..then finally a full spin. I held my breath easing into another round and another. Tears came again this time but they were of joy. It was all I could do not to whoop out loud πŸ˜…

As I kept practicing on the bike at PT and on my trainer at home, race day loomed closer and I was pressed deciding if I’d be ready to do a 18 mile race in a few weeks. Being on the bike I still hadn’t gotten any serious miles on me. I finally felt confident enough to hit the road, this was about 8 weeks post op. I did 9 miles for my first ride.

Unfortunately by the time I felt I could do the race, no matter what my speed, the race had sold out. I was a bit crushed and then decided I would simply do my own “race”. Really it was about me and my goals anyway, right? I determined I would get up the same day as race, leave out in the morning and do that 18 mile ride making it a celebration of my body and what it could do.

And I did it.

The morning was gorgeous and I had never felt more alive. Although riding not clipped in felt awkward, I managed to get it done. And not just 18 miles, but a little more with gravy on top πŸ˜‰

It turned into a nearly 20 mile ride. 😊

My speed certainly wasn’t what I was used to but gosh it felt amazing.

Needless to say when I saw my surgeon a couple weeks later he immediately asked if I did it. Ha he was honestly like a proud parent.

Lots of activities after my knee surgery. Rowing was great for continuing bending and flexing. Those weights don’t hurt either.

Where am I now?

The knee healed up pretty nice…..and I really don’t mind my battle wound.

A tidy scar πŸ–€

I make jokes that I may be the old person who tells the weather by my knee 🀣 it does feel tighter when the weather changes. My surgeon said its the barometric pressure.

Other things: when I’m on my feet all day or it’s hot my leg can feel like it’s ” fuller” or tight. My bending, and straightening of my leg is as good as it was before surgery. I’m able to do things I could prior. My knee itself can still feel tight around the surgical area but my surgeon said it can be a solid year or longer for things to settle down. A small area is still numb. That may or may not go away. Being on my hands and knees is doable, but I have to position my weight right as it can be uncomfortable, like in the surgical area.

Strength wise I think my right leg is lots stronger now than my left. My legs are strong but I find myself doing a little extra with the left to make it keep up. I am always mindful that I can and should always be pushing my new knee a little more to continue to get the maximum from it.

Final thoughts

Since I had this surgery at least 6 people I know have had it. They have reached out and asked questions. I have answered based on my experience and journey but they will be different for all of us. Our experience will be based on many factors from our overall health, fitness, physical limitations and our mental determination (which I believe is the biggest factor for success) ask questions and make sure you educate yourself on all things associated with it. Oh yeah, and do everything you’re told, including managing your pain meds.

Tell me, have you had a TKR or are you seeing one in your future?

Saturday Snippets

Let’s chat briefly about getting on an exercise program. I know with the start of a new year it is often the marker for many to either start one or if they’ve been side tracked, get back on it again.

Regardless of what camp you are in, it’s not easy to get into that disciplined routine.

We have good intentions but often those can be pushed aside because we’re tired, feel we don’t have the time, or we simply lack the initial drive to prepare ourselves to go.

Short and Sweet

When we think of getting into our chosen exercise, there is often the idea that it has to be all or nothing or an hour long session to count. This simply isn’t true. In fact, if you haven’t worked out in awhile you should aim for shorter workouts to let your body ease back into it, mentally and physically.

Where to start?

Honestly, getting into my workout clothes immediately centers me for what I’m going to do. Have certain clothes or shoes you use for your activities.

Start small. Certainly you could take 15 -20 minutes to go for a walk or run, do a bike ride or lift some weights.

Determine the best time of day. I know if I don’t get my workouts done in the morning, it won’t happen later in the day. It sets a tone for my day and gives me an immediate sense of accomplishment after my workout. For you, evening may be better. Whichever it is, find the time best for you that you can stick to.

All movement counts I’ve been guilty of thinking that because my workout was shorter that somehow it may not count as much. It crossed my mind coming in from “only” 2.25 miles yesterday morning ( in the 25 degree morning!) I reminded myself it far beat staying inside doing nothing!

Same for you. Whatever purposeful movement you choose trumps doing absolutely nothing. Start small and make it your goal to increase your time and days. Before long you will have built your own disciplined exercise regimen. 😊

Cold but satisfying miles!

New Year and The Diet Traps

It happens every….single….year.

Before the stockings have been unhung from the chimney with care and the last remnants of wrapping paper have been fished out from under the sofa, it shows up.

Stark, plain, and sucking the joy from the holidays, the diet products appear overnight replacing the cheery Christmas items that were there only days before.

Scales, diet drinks, supplements, pills, potions and more. All of it aimed at consumers who are aware that they have enjoyed their holiday feasting and endless bowls of chocolates, maybe a little to much.

It didn’t take long for things to start showing up on my newsfeed with offers of help by joining groups, or buying secret sauce potions that would magically get rid of Christmas fluff.

If there is one thing that predictably shows up at the start of a new year are diet traps.

Diet programs abound as a new year starts

I’m not quiet on this topic

I speak out on this quite often, much to the annoyance of some. I am vocal on the topic because the diet industry rakes in millions of dollars a year from people desperate for a miracle fix. This comes often at a high price.

Whether it’s from grocery store shakes, pills, and meal replacments or pricey products from MLM companies making pie in the sky promises, the competition is fierce to collect on those who are desperate to lose weight and get fit.

Some thing’s may work…

Listen, there is a vehicle for everyone that will lead them to success on their weight loss journey. There could be a certain “thing” that works for a person that starts them on a path to success. That, is more rare than not. Most will have good intentions and buy into some program or structured plan ( that is not tailored for their body and specific needs) they will throw money at it, make a go of it for maybe 4-6 weeks before they fall back into their old habits. The only thing lighter being their bank account.

How you feel on a restrictive diet.

So what works?

As much as I’m “anti-diet” and the whole quackery of the diet industry, I’m very much about sane and practical methods that are sustainable and can be done for your life. These practices are *free* and really require a person to make a daily commitment to small consistent choices. This will lead to weight loss and a sustainable way of living. Oh…and it won’t suck the joy from your life either.

Tips and tricks

There are things you can do that will lead to good habits and building good habits can make positive changes in your life

Move. Every day if possible do some purposeful activity even if it’s a 10 minute walk. Do something for yourself. Challenge yourself to increase your time.

Rest. Often overlooked, getting sleep and having energy for your activities will make you feel good.

Water. Most people come nowhere near drinking water they need that keeps you hydrated and provides crucial fluid to your body. Try to get a glass in first thing in morning, even before your coffee β˜•

Intuitive eating. This basically means listen to your body. Hungry? Eat. Hunger satisfied? Stop eating. Not hungry? Don’t eat. We have become so conditioned to eat at specific times without listening to our bodies that we are losing touch with our natural body signals.

Don’t starve. Nothing will derail you faster and send you running back to the Cheetos than depriving yourself of food. Food is fuel and you need a certain amount to operate optimally. You don’t have to starve and be miserable to lose weight.

Eat. Make your daily food intake healthy whole foods as much as possible. Eat balanced meals that incorporate all food groups. Eat foods you like, in moderation. Remember that “listening to your body’ thing πŸ˜‰ and don’t remove all “treats” from your life. Just be mindful of them and selective on what you do have. Remember a treat is an occasional thing.

Know your triggers. If certain foods trip you up or cause you to binge, don’t have them available. Try to understand the reasons why you eat, basically, what’s your relationship with food? Most of us have deep reasons why we eat and it goes beyond hunger.

Be kind to yourself. Life is a journey. Make your goal of weight loss and fitness a part of your journey. Take one day at a time and remember slow and steady is the best plan to success. Weight loss ( done right) takes time and not “2 weeks”.

Word.

Happy New Year kids. What goals do you have this year?

Monday Musings

Hey kids! Happy Monday and the start of a new week. Honestly, with this past year, on any given day I’m thinking ” where are we in this week?!”

Please tell me I’m not alone in this….

I’d say Monday’s are for coffee but really, every day is for coffee.

We’ve been enjoying a milder than usual summer here in south Texas. When I say milder I mean we’ve not had any 100 degree days. And to make things even better we’ve had more rain than we ever see in a Texas summer. Like things are still green! And not crunching under your feet….amazing.

Oh it’s still hot enough and we’ve also got that wonderful humidity to go with it too.

Which makes morning workouts awesome

I had to forfeit my morning walk the other day when unexpected thunderstorms showed up. So I went to my plan b, heading into my own little gym in my garage. But gosh by the time I finished, I looked like I had been out in the rain. Serious sweat fest.

I opted to start with 20 minutes on the elliptical and followed up with 40 minutes strength training. I love mixing up my workouts. Sometimes I start and end with cardio and sandwich strength training in the middle.

My version of hitting the bar

I did get out for my power walk the next day. I’ve been increasing my miles and wanted to incorporate these huge hills into those miles. I planned to do a couple sets of them when I got down there, which I did.

When you take your heart rate from one extreme to the other. πŸ˜…

The large number on top is what I watch while I’m cooling down. The rate at which it drops back to normal gives me a good idea of my recovery heart rate. Minutes after I took this pic, it had dropped to the 70.

I think when people start an exercise program they aren’t really thinking about how it builds their heart and lungs, which are obviously muscles. Your recovery heart rate gives you a good idea of how your exercise is helping your heart

It is recommended to get a 150 minutes of cardio exercise a week. Are you getting yours?

Exercise goals

I believe everyone should have some kind of exercise goals. We all have a starting place from where we can begin working to build our strength and fitness. Recently, I personally found this so true and was so grateful to fall back on a foundation of strength and fitness.

Why you may ask?

Well kids, April 15th I had total knee replacement surgery. I fully plan to write a specific post on my experience with the process, my recovery, and how cool high tech surgery is now days. More than ever was I grateful for all the days I had spent training my body working out and building strength as I leaned into that while my other leg got back on track.

I won’t spend a lot of time on it in this post, yes I’m doing great. I will say I set a goal to do a 18 mile race on my bike, 10 weeks post op, and I did. πŸ˜‰

Actually I did a little over 19 miles πŸ˜‰

So that has been one of the um… more interesting….things I’ve been up to

Then there’s my vintage business

If you’ve followed me awhile, you know I have a business where I flip vintage furniture, among other things. That has grown quite a bit this past year and I’m grateful!

Not a bad transformation eh?

Just one of the many projects I’ve been working on. *** so…many.. projects… ****

Then there’s food

I do have fun exploring new recipes. I made this recently, it always goes over well.

https://pin.it/7HO3EOA

The mixture of chicken, rice and peppers and pineapple makes for a savory meal.

And one more….I’m on a chicken kick

https://pin.it/yYOAQpO

I’ll leave you with this

I hope no matter how your day is going, that you will find the good in your day and be grateful. Grateful for the life you have and literally the next breath you take. I hope that you see the good in life and embrace it and you find joy in ordinary moments ❀

This.

Fruit or Vegetable?

I recently did a random post on my Facebook page ( oh heck most of them are random) showing off my breakfast ( food pics,novel, I know)

I had come in from a longer bike ride, hungry, with food on my mind. Not just any food, I wanted avocado, fresh tomatoes and a piece of whole grain bread.

Good carbs…healthy fats….perfect.

As I bantered back and forth with comments from my post one of them said something about loving fruits and veggies for breakfast.

Ah! Rats. In my casual post I really didn’t get technical as to if these items were….fruits? Or vegetables? The comment was later indicated that he just enjoyed both at breakfast, not getting technical. Well by then my mind had already started crafting this post.

So….what are they?

Like many of you, I never deeply pondered what they are, I just enjoy them. But are tomatoes and avocados a fruit or veggie?

So delicious. But what are they?

Let’s talk about avocados

Not particularly beautiful, but very tasty…….

Avocados are one of the few fruits (yes, technically they’re a fruit, not a veggie) that contain healthy unsaturated fats. These fats help lower undesirable LDL cholesterol when eaten in place of saturated fat. The avocado is considered a fruit because they fit all of the botanical criteria for a berry. They have fleshy pulp and a seed.

Avocados ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. To speed up the process, place the avocado in a paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days. The fruit is ready to eat when the stem comes out easily (or, if the stem is gone, when the fruit yields slightly to gentle pressure).

Nutritional info: One serving (about one-third of a medium Haas avocado) provides about 80 calories and nearly 20 different nutrients, many of which are considered heart-healthy, including unsaturated fat, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin E, and potassium.

Now….. on to the tomatoes…

The botanical classification: Tomatoes are fruits.A botanical fruit would have at least one seed and grow from the flower of the plant. With this definition in mind, tomatoes are classified as fruit because they contain seeds and grow from the flower of the tomato.

But wait….there’s more

It’s also a vegetable because someone said it is.

Say what?!

Botanically it’s a fruit. Legally, it’s not. Legally it’s classified a vegetable.

And the origins of that discrepancy lie in a 19th-century Supreme Court case so obscure, many tomato experts aren’t even aware of it.

β€œTomatoes have such an outlandish history,” said George Ball, the chief executive at the seed company Burpee. β€œMost people hear it and are bewildered for life.”

As Ball explains it, fruits and vegetables differ in one major botanical way. A fruit is technically the seed-bearing structure of a plant β€” and a vegetable can be virtually any part of the plant we eat.

At the time of the court case in question, Nix v. Hedden, fruits and vegetables differed in another big way, as well: Imported vegetables were slapped with a 10-percent tariff upon their arrival in the United States, and imported fruits were not.

When one Manhattan wholesaler β€” John Nix & Co., owned by John Nix and his four sons β€” got hit with the tariff on a shipment of Caribbean tomatoes, he disputed the tax on the grounds that tomatoes were not technically vegetables.

The case, filed in 1887, made its way to the Supreme Court in 1893. There, the court disagreed with the Nixes, ruling that people neither prepare nor eat tomatoes like fruits β€” and that they should be taxed accordingly.

β€œBotanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas,” wrote Justice Horace Gray in his 1893 opinion. β€œBut in the common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables.”

So there you go. The Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled them as a vegetable….long ago…..

Bet you learned something new, didn’t you?

About my breakfast….

Admit it….it looks delicious

I’ll leave you with a refreshing summer tomato salad to try.

https://pin.it/4DTTYOB

Your turn

Do you like tomatoes and avocados? What would you say they are? Fruit or veggie?

Tips For A Healthy 2021

Happy New Year! Here we are in 2021, poised on the threshold of so many new possibilities and adventures. Like my new empty planner, the year waits to be filled with the ordinary and extraordinary.

I promise not to wax all nostalgic on you or proclaim “new year, new me!”

About the only thing new happening is getting a new haircut, with some color adjustments coming soon too 😏

Is this sassy enough for you?

Let’s face it though, before the candy and wrapping paper are out of the store aisles the focus turns to weight loss products. The snake oil people rise up in full force ready to capitalize on those bemoaning their excess weight.

Shakes, supplements, pills and cleanses abound.

All promise fast, unrealistic results, yet sadly none will work and the individual will be back where they started.

If you make any goal or resolution for yourself, don’t give in to diets or gimmicks that won’t help you in the long run.

What can you do?

I get it. 2020 was, well, intense for most of us. Quarantine had so many at home for longer periods of time, this equaled more sedentary time, out of our usual rhythm, eating more and more foods that we may not usually eat.

Enter, a few extra pounds.

This has many looking for ways to quickly get rid of it.

The reality is, there is no “fast ” sustainable way. We have to methodically work our way backwards to our goals in a slow and steady manner.

May I offer a few suggestions?

So what will work to get back on track and be sustainable?

Forget about pointless things like 21 day juice cleanses, detox teas, and pills, weight loss shakes and replacement “meals”. Don’t cut all your carbs or withhold treats or resort to the lastest diet craze.

Detoxes and cleanses do a good job of cleaning your pockets.

Besides your liver and kidneys do a great job detoxifying your body. πŸ˜‰

Do however……get plenty of rest, drink 2 liters of water, get in 10k steps a day, and use a 80/20 approach to eating ( 80% of the time you eat healthy balanced food, 20%, hey have some fries πŸ˜‰)

Balance is key to long term sustainable success. No one wants to feel restricted or deprived. Allowing for some treats gives us freedom and thus keeps us from giving up.

Some basic 101 food suggestions

This can work for all of us…

Eat at least two fruits a day, load up on veggies at every meal, choose complex carbs, eat lean proteins and healthy fats and make water your drink of choice. Eating a good variety keeps us satisfied and reduces the chances of binging on less healthy food later.

Finally, a few reminder notes for 2021

Focus on nutritious and healthy foods. Think of how good you’ll feel fueling your body with good food.

Focus on progress, not perfection. Slow steady progress wins over a fast quick ( temporary) fix.

Get in some purposeful exercise that you like and makes you feel good.

Track your water, exercise and food if it helps get you on track.

Set realistic weight loss goals and celebrate the big and small goals.

With some careful adjustments, 2021 will be a year of positive progress for you!

Tell me, what strategies do you use to lose a few pounds and keep your eating healthy? Do you have some goals for this year?

Monday Musings

Happy Monday kids!Where oh where do I start in today’s Monday Musings edition?Let’s start with one of my fav topics…. snake oil offerings…. aka health and wellness companies looking for those desperate to lose weight, along with their cash.When it comes to health and nutrition there are some guaranteed buzz words that will send me head on into the other direction. If you come at me with words like “cleanses “, “detoxes”, “fat burners”, telling me I need to get toxins out of my body, and that I need to spend my days drinking shakes or mystery drinks, I’m gone.Like yesterday, gone.I like to eat my food, not drink it.I get it. With the weirdness of the last few months people are stuck at home alot more.Feeling emotionally strung out they reach for the ice cream cartons and chocolate.”Quarantine 15″ is a reality for many people. Well, hopefully not that much. Life has been crazy and food, for alot of us, can be entertainment, comfort, or simply boredom eating. Being home extra time gives more opportunities to graze when we usually wouldn’t.No matter what your current weight situation, you don’t need to be cleansed or detoxed from your affair with ice cream or fries.Just incase you don’t know, cleanse and detox are buzz words for “starvation and being miserable “. I’ve never met an honest person who wasn’t ready to finish and get back to normal life from being “cleansed”. And the weight loss from it? Nothing but water loss, not fat.And I’ll say it again for the kids on the back row…..there is no such thing as a fat burner! If that stuff actually worked, everyone would use it and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic.So what would I recommend? I’ll put it as succinctly as possible.Eating! Eat good nutrionally dense foods with adequate protein that satisfies you.Feed and nourish your body with good foods, don’t deprive it or eliminate foods it needs.And don’t forget to allow treats because life is good and you shouldn’t live deprived.You don’t have to starve to lose weight or feel constantly hungry.Movement!If there is one thing under used for our wellness, mental and physical, it’s exercise. Exercise makes us feel strong and can clear our minds. I do my most creative thinking during exercise.Don’t get caught up in thinking you “have” to do it to lose weight. Take the weight loss out of the equation.You can build strength, gain energy, develop more muscle mass, develop your cardiovascular system, and flex your creative mental energy without actually losing weight. ( do it often and frequently with my suggestions on healthy eating and it will happen) you should exercise no matter your body size because it benefits you in so many waysBut please, don’t get on the cleanse and detox hype bus in a quest to get to lose weight.Speaking of building strength….I have been making strength training a part of my physical discipline for awhile. This week I tossed a little more weight on my bar moving from 155 to 185lbs on my dead lift. I did 3 sets of 3 for a starting place. I was pleasantly surprised when I did it again yesterday, it didn’t feel as hard as I was preparing for. I look back to several years ago when I got 8 lbs dumb bells and they were a little work for me ha it seems crazy now since I use 25lb for alot of my arm work. Consistency does pay off.You… no matter where you are… have a starting place for your health and fitness. You just need to find it.Speaking of all things health I’m excited to be reading this book, Give Yourself More. I’m also excited to finish so I can write a review on it. This book takes women past “just” losing weight to learning more of themselves to giving themselves “more” in life. I previously did a book review on Georgie’s “Lean Habits For Weight Loss” ( find both reviews in my posts) which focuses on building healthy, sustainable habits for life long weight loss. You’ll find my review here on my page when I finish this book .Oh…..and if you never had a black Nitro brew coffee, you need to. πŸ˜‰No how about some fun stuff? I’ve shared with you before that I have a little vintage furniture business. Of the many positives I ponder in this weird time we are in, is how it has continued to grow. I moved into a larger space in the shop,and became a retailer for a well known chalk paint company. It took off so fast I made the move to become a premier retailer (lots of perks with it) all within a few months. I put together my website and launched it. I’ve gained alot of followers and picked up lots of custom orders with new customers.My little hobby, this fun little side gig, has turned more and more into a thriving business.All during a time things were closed and nothing was moving.I used that down time to be productive, to work and accomplish new things. I firmly believed that things would get moving again and I wanted to be heading that way, ready.Guess you can say I never let grass grow under my feet.I’d challenge you in this time to find something new to learn, build a hobby or craft. Take care of yourself and maybe get into some type of exercise. Use this time as an opportunity of personal growth. Read, write, reflect.Ok you wanna see some of the things I’ve dragged home recently, don’t you? I love showing you pieces from days gone by 😊

Antique six leg table
Harp media holder
Gorgeous antique china cabinet. Selfishly. I’m keeping this
These antique cabinets got a little make over
I transformed this cute telephone bench. She sold this weekend 😊
Painted in my fav, Antebellum Blue
Just a little snap shot of some of my projects, my many, many projects 😱So I guess I’ll leave you with this thought. Are you using this time to be productive in new ways? A lot of our lives and schedules may feel perhaps, a bit disjointed right now. We can look at it all in a negative way, or a way of accomplishing new things we haven’t done before.Tell me…. have you used this time to try new things or to learn something new? Are you focusing on caring for yourself in how you eat and move ?

Weight Loss Basics

You know that old saying “don’t reinvent the wheel”? It basically means don’t duplicate a basic method that has already been optimized.

I’m carrying this thought over in today’s post to weight loss.

Heads up…I may get on my soap box regarding this topic…..

So I may be a little passionate about it

I’ve seen plenty of those weight loss “health and wellness” posts from companies lately and they just make me twitch. You know the multi level marketing gimmicks your neighbor may sell or the current hype a celebrity is pushing?

Yeah, those.

Why does it bother me? Because there are so many people desperate for a quick and easy fix to get rid of their fat and feel better about themselves that they are willing to throw money ( and a lot of money) at a bunch of hyped products and supplements that will give them the good life.

The reality is, for the most part, all the majority will lose is a lot of their hard earned money.

And listen up, if they have a secret group, will “PM you” info or won’t publicly share what their great weight loss programs are about, run.

Run far away.

If their stuff is so awesome they should be willing to shout from the roof tops to anyone who will listen.

Also, if they can’t discuss their miracle products with you and refer you instead to the cookie cutter company video on it, run. They should be educated enough on it to discuss with you. Sadly, most of them are clueless to what’s in those “amazing” products they pedal.

If your new daily diet consists of using more of their products than eating good food…..well……you better be getting away from that too.

The other reality is this……

No matter what vehicle you try to use to lose weight, it comes down to relatively simple science.

You have to expend more calories than you take in for weight loss to occur. It’s not a complicated. Yet on the daily people try to way over complicate the process.

They keep trying to reinvent the wheel for losing weight.

They keep looking for the easiest way out, the fastest way to get there.

There is no fast way, weight gain doesn’t happen overnight nor will weight loss.

Let’s get back to the wheel

I know the old school way for weight loss isn’t cool or trendy. It’s not a current diet fad or an over priced “health” program.

But somehow, it works. And if you get going and stick with it you will develop a new way of thinking and behaving. It will become a lifestyle for you, a way to simply live.

You don’t have to reinvent ways to lose weight nor does it need to be made harder than it is.

The basics

You don’t have to count calories and log every bite of food although if doing so keeps you on track, do it.

I’ve used an app called Lose It that calculates your daily calories by what you enter. Or you can use pen and paper to keep track.

To have an idea of how many calories your body needs you might find a BMR ( basal metabolic rate) calculator online. You plug in all of your info, including purposeful exercise you do ( or don’t do) and it will tell you how many calories you need to live each day. From that number you can make small reduction of calories to help with weight loss.

A reasonable, healthy and sustainable weight loss is 1-2 lbs per week. You may lose more in the first week with water weight and some weeks you may lose a bit more ( or nothing)

Any program promising big losses week to week is not realistic or sustainable.

Eat real food. Crazy I know. Don’t get caught up thinking you have to eat some weird diet foods or starve to lose weight or worse you use a companies “fat burning ” products haha ( which are nothing more than pills loaded with caffeine)

A sample of what my breakfast can be like

Eat real, nutrionally dense foods. Think single ingredients or five or less on a label. Eating real food, and enough of it, will keep you satisfied and not hungry. Eat foods you enjoy.

Oh and that….you don’t have to starve and be hungry all the time to lose weight. If you’re hungry eat a healthy, snack. It’s ok to get hungry before a meal ( those are natural given signals for us to eat)

Speaking of….get back in tune with your body. If you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be hungry, get back to that. Learn to eat when hungry and stop before you “feel” full. This could take a bit of training but it’s the best way to build a healthy relationship with eating. You don’t have to empty your plate.

Practice mindful eating. Be aware of what you eat, how it tastes, smells etc. Being mindful helps you slow down and savor the experience.

Don’t deprive yourself. Eating what you enjoy leads to success. Learn to eat smaller amounts and allow that to satisfy you. In time this will become a habit.

Weigh in weekly to check your progress . Anymore than that becomes counter productive.

Allow for treats. Life is going on, enjoy the birthday cake or an evening out. Just get back on track with your goals the next day

Exercise. You don’t need it for weight loss, ( it helps) but it does make you feel good and strong not to mention it helps clear your head too. Find activities you enjoy and pursue them. Get good at doing it.

In summary

Know how many calories your body needs for daily living then subtract 10-20 % to create a deficit.

Eat real food, enough of it, to satisfy hunger.

Set realistic weekly/monthly weight loss goals.

Relearn your bodies cues for hunger and satisfaction

Eat mindfully.

Allow for occasional treats.

Plan for purposeful exercise, most days of week ( this helps with your calorie deficit) find exercise you enjoy doing.

Be patient with yourself on your journey. Change takes some time!

You don’t need magic pills, potions or other extreme measures to lose weight . The old tried and true method works perfectly, you just need to implement it and give yourself time to reach your goals.

Tell me, do you fall back on other things to lose weight or approach it like a slow and steady lifestyle?

Monday Musings

Cake. It’s been a week of cake.

We have a plethora of birthdays this time of year and yours truly is the cake maker.

My kids know they can request whatever kind they want and I’ll whip it up for them.

My middle son turned 28 May 1st. After a reminder I hadn’t received his request, did he wish for me to make him a boxed cake?

I got a link to a monstrosity of a 5 layer cake. Initially, I thought it was a joke. But then I’m always down for a challenge and dived into the project

Two brownie layers and three white cake layers.

Yes, that is buttercream frosting between those layers

11 eggs, three packages of butter, 7 cups of sugar, 10 cups of powdered sugar for buttercream frosting, 30 Oreos and brownies that get made with brownie layers to decorate on top and a partridge in a pear tree.

Ok I jest about the partridge πŸ˜‰

I weighed it.

It weighed 13 pounds.

I don’t exaggerate.

13 pounds of ridiculous deliciousness.

You know what I’m afraid of? I’ve now set the bar to high and who knows what they will come up with next. πŸ˜„

Yes, there is a literal second dessert piled on top of this monumental cake.

The aftermath….it is a wee bit tricky cutting five layers.

Even my guys with the biggest appetites were out done by this cake.

We all decided this…the cake and brownie layers were delicious enough to just make independently. The eggs, real butter and buttermilk made it a light, airy melt in your mouth cake.

The brownies had lots of eggs giving them a cake consistency and with all the cocoa powder they had a good chocolate flavor.

Think you wanna try it? Find it in my Homemade Cake folder on Pinterest!

https://pin.it/S3hiAKL

When I’m not whipping up cakes…

I’m attempting to live a healthy lifestyle. I’m sure glad cake can fit into that!

I’m also glad I started the day off with some miles on the bike.

Nothing like some hills to make you work a little hard πŸ˜…

How are y’all doing with home work outs during this time?

Remember fitness need not be hard or complicated. Brisk walks or jogs, bike rides, swimming, or hitting the treadmill or elliptical are good ways to get cardio.

Strength training can be accomplished with a variety of items at home even if you don’t have weights.

You have a body and can do plenty of body weight exercises!

I find boxing to be rather therapeutic πŸ˜‰ not only is it good strength and cardio, it just feels good to let my energy sink into that bag.

Don’t forget about yoga and other stretching moves to keep you flexible. It’s also a great way to center your mind.

Exercise is not only good for our bodies, but our mental well being too.

Staying mentally and physically well during this time is important for our overall health.

In other life activities

Am I the only one who wakes up trying to remember what day it is??

Like seriously.

True, life is a bit different lately, but I don’t find all of it bad.

There aren’t lots of things pressing on me to go to different activities or places which means time home and time to do not only home projects but work on my business projects too.

My shop in town opened back up this weekend so I’m glad to have things out of my back room and filling up my space.

I’ve had an increase in custom orders so that’s a win.

I also jumped into becoming a retailer for Dixie Belle chalk paint. Ah, nothing like making a financial investment when things are closed down πŸ˜…

I kinda like diving off the deep end with new adventures.

Speaking of projects

Wanna see some of the things I’ve been up to?

Before. A custom order. She wanted it white. Dixie Belle has a color called Fluff, soft white with grey undertone

Definitely a bit brighter.

Then there was this old trunk….

I’m horribly in love with this piece ❀ it got some layers of black and white paint, distressed, a lovely floral trasnfer and I lined inside with some fabric that’s been waiting for the right project.

Then there was this old French provincial table. I seriously adore this style. Solid, classic, beautiful lines, these pieces remake so nicely

And a couple things I’ve scored recently. It’s been hard getting things…I’m ready to go hunting again !

Sweet old dresser definitely dated and needs a fresher look!

And an antique ladies writing desk and chair. This is gonna need work but I thought it was the coolest thing.

And before I go…..

I made the best chicken dish tonight and everyone went crazy over it. Fast,easy with a Mexican flair to it. Find it on my dinner recipes file on Pinterest

https://pin.it/cwzpiX1

I served it with Spanish rice and beans. Have plenty of rice on hand, the sauce is amazing over it!

Tell me what you’ve been up to? How are you keeping fit and staying sane in these days?