Working it…

Green common beans on the plant.

Green common beans on the plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whew…I have been one sick pup (or kitty) the past couple of days.  Didn’t do anything yesterday except drag myself from the bedroom to the bathroom.  My boss texted me last night to let me know that the zone vice president was going to be in the area today and he asked me to come in early.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him how sick I’d been, he gets so freaked out when the big wigs come calling.  So I went in and worked today…no visit tho…and now he’s off to Illinois…gosh darn the luck!  I felt awful all day, not sure how much help I was…but at least I was there, right?

I take that back, the not doing anything at all yesterday…I did do a light upper body strength training workout.  Then followed that with a light core workout before work this morning…nothing too strenuous…but at least I’m getting back in the habit.  The light strength training doesn’t do a lot for me other than reinforce the habit of exercise and that’s what I’m working on now.

Still haven’t gotten back to writing…although I did sign up for Camp NaNo for August…so maybe not writing so much in July will be just what I need to succeed in August.

As for the kitties…well, sometimes they seem to be getting along and other times not so much.  Spook still chases Scout like she wants to kill her, but it must not scare Scout too much since she’s jumping out from behind doors attacking Spook…come to think of it, maybe that’s why Spook is trying to kill her!

I think I’ll actually be able to hit up the farmers market this weekend…I did pick three small ripe tomatoes from my “garden” the other day…yum!  I wouldn’t mind some green beans, cucumbers, summer squash, peaches and who knows what else…I’m ready for some taste tempting fresh-from-the-farm produce.

Alright, now it’s time for me to think about getting some sleep so I can (hopefully) wake up in the morning feeling better…no more upset tummy, fever, and headache please…

Gardening? Not so much

I don’t know what’s happened to me this year, but I just haven’t been able to get motivated to do very much gardening.  I’ve got some tomato plants and a pepper plant growing, the lettuce is done what with the hot weather we had a week or so ago.  I just can’t seem to  convince myself to get out there and dig in the dirt.  Maybe I’ll just give the farmers market my business this summer.

Ooh…that reminds me, the little farmers market (as opposed to the huge, super-busy farmers market on Saturday mornings) starts this week on Tuesday afternoon/evening.  Just may have to meander on over there Tuesday and check out the offerings.  I guess, if I’m not going to do my own gardening this year, at least there are some local farmers who will be glad to do it for me…well, for the right price…

farmers market in B’town, 2011

The long and winding road to fitness, day 110

Cucurbita moschata 'Butternut'. Original descr...

Image via Wikipedia

How pleasant to have a day off work and have the weather be amazingly gorgeous.  I went out to the farmers market this morning, bought a butternut squash and some other cute little squash (I can’t remember the name of it, but take my word for it, it’s cute!). I also bought a bunch of kale to use in my minestrone tomorrow.  Whatever’s left over, I’ll bake as kale chips.  Think I’ll flavor them with some garlic this time.  There were really a lot of people at the farmers market for an October Saturday.  Of course, the weather might have had a little to do with that. 

I wanted to go out for a drive and take some pictures, but I just didn’t feel up to it.  I’m still feeling kind of sick to my stomach and tired.  So I decided to just kind of take it easy today.  I went through my coupon files and got rid of all of the expired coupons and cut out the coupons from the flyers that were kind of piling up.  I gathered a bunch to take to work to share with my co-workers.  There are so many coupons that I have no use for, but I hate to just throw them away.  So sharing them with the people I work with is my answer to that.

I hate to admit this, but I did no exercising today other than the walking around at the farmers market, and that was more of a stroll.  Well, I say no exercise, but I guess I can count the range of motion exercises and stretching as something.

My eating was, once again, just okay.  Not enough veggies and only two fruits for the day.  I’ve got to make that minestrone tomorrow to up my intake of veggies.  If I can find the link to the recipe (I’m pretty sure I found it on,  I’ll try to post  it tomorrow.  If you like the minestrone at Olive Garden, you’d like this recipe.

I’m going to have to go in to work for a little while tomorrow morning to do payroll (yeah, I guess that’s somewhat important) and exercise my creative abilities (ahem) in putting together an ad board and then send a picture of it to the district manager.  I also need to make sure they do a good job with the ad set.  All in all, I’m hoping to finish in 3 hours or so and then get out of there and enjoy the rest of my weekend off.  Who knows, maybe tomorrow I’ll feel like taking some pictures.

I wanted to share this picture of a pumpkin that our floral designer created as a way to honor breast cancer survivors (and those, like my mom, who lost the battle).  My mom is never far from my thoughts. 

The long and winding road to fitness, day 109

National Lampoon's Class Reunion

Image via Wikipedia

Ahh…the work day is done, the weekend has begun!!  As you probably guessed, I have the weekend off and I’m pretty excited about it!  Don’t really have a lot of plans, but I don’t intend to go in to work and that’s good enough for me!

I worked all day today, but didn’t feel all that good.  At one point during the day, I thought about just going home, but I stuck it out and managed to get quite a bit of necessary work done.  I had a lot of really nice customers in the store today, cute  happy babies, people trying on little Halloween accessories and taking their pictures (who would have thought, 20 years ago, that you’d be able to take pictures with a phone?  Technology is an awesome thing), people just generally feeling good and being cheerful…that’s what I like, makes my day much better~~

I had Cheerios and a banana for breakfast again today.  (Have you noticed that I kind of get stuck eating the same thing for several days in a row?) Lunch was a Lean Cuisine that I won’t be buying again…some kind of chicken, veggies and noodles in peanut sauce…not very good…ended up throwing most of it away.  I drank my V8 fusion with my lunch, so got a serving of veggies and one of fruit there.   I did eat this cute Little Debbie pumpkin snack thing…not bad.  I also had yogurt with cherries and granola for a snack this afternoon, that was pretty darn good!!  Dinner was some bread sticks (that I made) and some lite Ranch dressing…not bad, probably should have had some soup with the breadsticks…think that’s what I’ll be cooking this weekend…maybe minestrone, with kale?!  Hmm…farmers market, here I come.

Exercise was strength training and range of motion exercises and some stretching.  Walked for only 20 minutes, I still was feeling the effects from yesterday’s truck.  I think I’ll do some walking tomorrow and maybe get some good pictures.  I noticed how pretty the leaves were tonight when I was coming home from work.  I just love fall.  And right now we don’t have to have the heat or air conditioning on…pleasant…and frugal!!

I saw an old school friend in the store today…that’s one of the things that’s pretty cool about my job…I manage to see people who I may not have seen for a long time, get to chat a bit and catch up on what’s happening in their lives.  I really should go to my next class reunion.  Can you believe I’ve never gone to one?  What’s up with that?  I just never really had the desire to go, but now I’m thinking I wouldn’t mind it…we’ll see…

What about you?  Have you attended a class reunion?  How was it?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 29

Vintage Ad #1,337: Weight Watchers at Work

Image by jbcurio via Flickr

Well, I have mixed feelings about my vacation being over.  On the one hand, I really enjoy my time away from work.  I enjoy being able to sit at the computer in my pj’s, sleep in, and do what I want.  On the other hand, I know I eat better when I’m following a routine, when I take the time to plan my meals and prepare my food ahead of time.  I tend to do that more when I know I have to go to work.  So it’s back to my daily work routine in the morning.  I’ve already prepared my lunch and snacks to take to work, I’ve planned what I’ll have for breakfast and dinner, and I know what exercise I’ll do.  This is something I need to do even on the days I don’t have to work…it simply works better for me.  I’m not sure what my objection to doing this daily is…

While I was off work most of last week, I was able to accomplish a lot of important things that I’d been putting off (eye doctor, health assessment, BMV), but I didn’t eat as well as I should have.  I actually ended up gaining two pounds while I was off work.  I think part of that has to do with how active my job is.  I know I haven’t been anywhere near as active even though I did exercise daily.  And, of course, part of it was my eating.  I know I ate more at home than I eat at work.  So…back to the daily routine in the morning.  I’m going to do my best to drop these two pounds this week. 

I just started taking part in an online weight loss plan through my insurance company.  I mean, I JUST started it, like an hour ago.  I’m committed to taking part in this every day, doing my best to follow the guidelines, learning all I can about how to better manage my stress levels and control mindless eating.  I’ll keep you all updated as I go forward.  I think I can, I think I can…no, I know I can!!

Have you ever taken part in any kind of weight loss programs?  Weight Watchers? Support groups?  Something with a dietitian or through your doctor?  How did it work for you?

Kai and kale at the farmers market

I didn’t set out to buy kale at the farmers market Saturday, but as I was perusing the assortment of veggies, someone stopped close to me.  When I looked up (I always have to look up unless the person is maybe five years old), I saw it was Kai, a co-worker from days gone by.  Kai had just finished her boot camp and sauntered on over to the farmers market in search of kale.  She said she’d been eating a lot of kale chips and needed to replenish her supply.  We talked for a few minutes, then went our separate ways.  But the kale stuck in my mind.  So I,too, decided to search for kale.  Once I started looking for it, it was everywhere, it seemed.  I finally decided on a nice curly kale, made my purchase and continued on my way.

In case you don’t know, that’s the kale on the right side of the picture.

My attempt at artistry…an heirloom tomato nestled up to a soft cloud of kale and  crispy green beans.

That nice fluffy mound of fresh kale bakes up into this crunchy bunch of kale chips.  Way better for you (and more importantly, for me, since I’m going to be the one eating them) than any kind of chips you can buy at the store.

Thanks, Kai, for reminding me how much I like these…and it was great running into you Saturday morning!!  Those boot camps are doing what they’re designed to do…you look fab!!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 28

Blackberry pie made with a pastry crust

Image via Wikipedia

Day 28…hard to imagine I’ve been at this now for four weeks.  I still have a lot of room for improvement, but I guess that can be said for all of us in most areas of our lives.  At least I’m still working on it, haven’t given up, don’t intend to give up.  I’m so grateful for all of you who are taking this journey with me.  The load is lighter when shared with friends.

Today was a pretty good day.  I think starting the day by going to the farmers market put me in healthy mode.  It made me think about what I wanted to eat today, tomorrow, and when I go back to work next week (Monday…boo…).  While on vacation, I didn’t plan all my meals and snacks like I do when I have to go to work.  That’s okay, but I know I do better when I plan.  So I’ve already decided what I’ll take to work Monday and Tuesday (I’ll be off Wednesday), what I’ll eat for dinner those days, what snacks I’ll eat throughout the week.   I’m as ready as I can be to go back to the work routine, not looking forward to it, but ready.

I got in an hour of walking today…that was really all of the exercise I did.  I ended up eating a little over 1525 calories for the day, so pretty good there.  I made up some kale chips with the kale I bought at the farmers market today…yum!!  Also cooked the green beans I bought.  Tonight’s dinner was fish, green beans and kale chips.  Cantaloupe for dessert.  And this cantaloupe was the best of the season so far…delish!!  I think peaches and melon are my favorite summer fruits.  Well, except for strawberries and blackberries, those are pretty tasty too.  I love how much better all the fruits and veggies taste in the summer.

Zucchini blossom in my little garden…

I’m going to go out early in the morning and try to find some blackberries to pick.  I noticed some the other day when I was walking, so I’m going back that way to see if they’re ready to pick yet.  Kind of reminds me of when I was a kid and we’d go out blackberry pickin’ with Grandma and Mutt (her big old dog).  And that reminds me of the blackberry cobblers she used to bake.  She’d make the crust from scratch and put everything in her deep cast iron skillet, bake it until the crust was brown and the juices were bubbling through the cracks in the top crust.  Oh my…she’d dish some out on a plate and put a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it…heaven!!  I’ve never even tried to make a cobbler like that.  But I do like to eat the blackberries raw…just pop them in my mouth. Yum!

What summer dishes do you remember from your childhood?  Is there anything that you prepare now that reminds you of the good old days?

Early morning at the farmers market

I woke up at about 6:30 this morning.  Then I debated going to the farmers market.  Yes, I wanted the fresh veggies and fruit.  Yes, it’s always nice to walk around talking to the vendors.  Yes, I usually run into a friend or two.  BUT…man, did I really want to have to get dressed and make my way out there?  Then I remembered my new motto…get up, get out, and get it done.  So that’s exactly what I did.

This is the view when I first entered the market.

People…the crowd becomes a solid mass of people in a couple of hours.  That’s why I try to go early.

I think farmers must have a little artist in them.

The farmer at this booth was asking me about my blog…never know when you’ll get a little publicity, do you?  I really should have cards printed to pass out…

After I walked out of the market area, I turned around and had to capture this view.  Isn’t it peaceful?  I love Bloomington!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 27

Gary's Sugar Snap Peas and Pea Blossom - So Pr...

Image by EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin' hooky ;o) via Flickr

Twenty seven days, can you believe it?  Fast approaching a month on this journey!  I had some blood work done today for insurance and my results were fabulous…the NP was even surprised.  I don’t know how much credit I can take for it, a lot of it probably has to do with genetics.  But I do believe the exercise and healthier eating doesn’t hurt.  At least now I’m sure where I stand as far as blood glucose and cholesterol are concerned. 

I woke up today feeling so much better than I did yesterday.  Who knows what caused the flare-up yesterday…just one of those days, I suppose.  I was able to accomplish all the running around I needed to do today and still made it home by noon.  At least I’ve now accomplished everything I wanted to get done this week.  Well, except for heading out to the farmers market tomorrow morning.  I’m looking forward to that.  I’ll take pictures tomorrow, as long as I don’t forget to take my camera.  I want you all to see how nice our local farmers market is. I will be there and gone before the huge crowds hit though, I don’t like walking around not even being able to see the various vendors’ booths.  I definitely want to buy some fresh corn, tomatoes and peaches.  I don’t need peppers, cucumbers, or zucchini because my little garden is producing plenty for my use.

Today I ate 1625 calories, walked for 60 minutes and did a little stretching.  Dinner was awesome.  I had fish, corn on the cob and sugar snap peas…double yum!!  Oh yeah, and I had a cold chai latte…I think this is going to be my favorite summer drink.  It tastes like you’re being bad, but you’re really not.  And it has to be better for me than a diet Pepsi (no, I still haven’t given them up.  My plan is to finish what I currently have in the house and not buy more…I sound like some kind of addict, don’t I?).

So…what’s everyone else got planned for the weekend?  Out and about?  Stay at home?  Fun?  Chores?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 14

The Marylebone farmers' market in London, Unit...

Image via Wikipedia

Fourteen days.  Two weeks!!  I’m doing it!  I went to the farmers market this morning and got some delicious peaches as well as some veggies (can you tell I like fruit a lot more than I like veggies?), did quite a bit of walking around and a little people watching (the elderly couple walking through the market holding hands, the little boy wading in the water…both adorable). 

I kind of went over on my calories for the day though.  I ate close to 2,000 calories today.  I don’t really have any excuses other than I didn’t plan what I was going to eat.  Learning from this, I’ve got tomorrow’s meals and snacks planned out.  That seems to be the best way for me to stay within my calorie range…and why not utilize what works, right?

My exercise was light today too.  The walking I did at the farmers market plus about 10 minutes of faster paced walking earlier, and that was it.  Tomorrow I’ll get in more exercise.  I’m going to increase my cardio minutes again.  I’m still doing cardio that is low impact in an attempt to avoid the knee pain I had last year while running.  I’m also going to work hard to build muscle, in the hope that it will provide additional support to my knees.  I can definitely tell I’m not in my twenties any more…

I’m a little disappointed in how I did today, but I’m not going to allow that to derail my efforts.  I’m just going to be stronger tomorrow, plan better and do what needs to be done.  Have you ever had a bad day (or even part of a day) and then just thrown in the towel?  I can’t even count the number of times I’ve done that, but not today, not tomorrow…I’m just going to keep moving forward, one step at a time…come on!!