Monday, January 12, 2015

2 Fitness Tools That I Use Daily

I'm still keeping on track as far as exercising and eating goes.  Here are a few of the meals I've enjoyed over the past few days.

1 cup of oatmeal with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, half a cup of fresh strawberries, 1 cup of orange juice, I chose Trop 50 since it's only 50 calories per serving, and a piece of toast with 1 teaspoon of sugar free strawberry jelly.

1 cup of Kashi Crunch cereal with 1 cup of skim milk and half a cup of fresh berries, 1 cup of orange juice and a slice of toast with very little butter.

Believe it or not this was a snack.  One can of tuna in water mixed 1 chopped sweet pickle and 1 tablespoon light mayo on Butter lettuce leaves.  This is under 150 calories and filling.

This was my breakfast this morning a grilled cheese sandwich with two slices of cheese and half a cup of fresh sliced strawberries along with my cup of green tea.

The first fitness tool I'm using is a Fitbit.  f you're not familiar with one, it's a device that you wear to track your steps.  Depending on which model you have it also does other things such as track number of stairs climbed, calories burned and lets you know how well you sleep.

 I have the Fitbit one that does all of these.  I don't wear it at night.  I sleep pretty darn well.

  They range in price from $60 - $250.  If you would like to know more about them click here.

I also use myfitnesspal.  I have the app on my iPad, but you can use it online using your computer or on your smart phone using the app.  I really love myfitnesspal and have been using it for quite a long time.  This is where I record what I eat every day.  You also record your weigh-ins.  One of the things I love most about it is that you can scan items and it will look it up.  For instance if you have a cup of Campbell's Tomato soup for lunch, just scan the upc code on the can and it will bring up all the nutritional info you need.  So very cool!  If you are using myfitnesspal send me a friend request.  My user name is lauriebeth1955.

Time for lunch!  Until next time......  


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Super Shred Day 4

Today is Thursday, January 8th.  I missed posting yesterday.  Let's get that out of the way first.  I can't promise that I will post every day.  My goal is at least every other day.

Tuesday's dinner consisted of Greek chicken that I made in my slow cooker accompanied with a Greek salad and leftover steamed broccoli and carrots.  Here's the recipe.  I did tweak it.  Instead of using chicken bouillon cubes and water I chose to use organic low sodium chicken stock.  I find bouillon cubes too salty.  A simple Greek salad made with sliced cucumbers, chopped cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion.  I made the Greek dressing using this recipe.  A little reduced fat feta cheese to top it off.

Yesterday's breakfast was a veggie omelet made with 1 whole egg, 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese, shredded carrots, diced red pepper and onions sauteed in a teeny bit of olive oil.  I have a mister for olive oil which makes sure you don't overdo it.  Sliced banana on the side.  I slice the banana and eat it with a fork because it takes longer to eat.  Of course, I drank my lemon water and green tea.

After working out my first snack was one quarter of a sliced avocado with turkey slices wrapped around each one.  About 150 calories.

The plan calls for two morning snacks so my second snack was a 100 calorie bag of popcorn.  No picture, but I'm sure you know what popcorn looks like.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, a slice of tomato, a slice of cheese and one teaspoon of mayo.  And an orange.  I do love fruit and am so happy when I can have some.  I use Sara Lee's 45 calorie bread.

Dinner was a huge salad.  When I made the Greek chicken I made a double batch so I would have two meals. I used a mix of Romaine lettuce and mixed spring greens, about 4 cups.  The usual veggies, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and shredded carrots.  I used a light balsamic vinaigrette.

After dinner I had dessert which was a 1/2 cup of non-fat vanilla yogurt with a 1/2 cup of fresh fruit.  I chose a mix of blackberries and strawberries.

This morning's breakfast or meal one was a fruit smoothie.  I was a little disappointed because I like to chew my food not drink it. But, there is a bright side, the first snack is 90 minutes after meal one and on the approved list is oatmeal! So that's what I'm going to have.

The smoothie was actually quite delicious.  It's called a chocolate razzy.  The ingredients are 1 cup of frozen raspberries, 3 ice cubes, 1/3 cup of skim or almond milk, 4 tablespoons of non-fat yogurt and the best part.....1/4 cup of chocolate chips!  It's 200 calories.

I drank my green tea.  I forgot my water, but I did drink it after.  The idea of drinking the water is to fill you up before you eat.

I am exercising daily, so far.  The RV park that we are staying at has an exercise class 3 days a week in their social hall.  They play a Leslie Sansone DVD.  We always do 3 miles which takes 45 minutes.  If you're not familiar with Leslie, she does walking workouts. Let me tell you though, they are intense.  Since I'm striving for 10,000 steps daily, Henry and I took a 50 minute walk before dinner.  That gave me over 12,000.

Next time I'll share with you some of the other tools that I'm using.

Enjoy your day everyone!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Shredding The Weight Off

After a long absence I'm back again.  Ever since my husband retired my life has been a whirlwind.  In 2013 I had shoulder surgery, which put me out of commission for awhile.  I was trying to get back into the groove of things when our oldest daughter gave birth to our 5th grand-child.  And then, last September, while exercising,  I tripped over my own feet and broke my right wrist.  I was in a cast for 5 weeks.  It wasn't all bad..........I didn't have to wash dishes!

Anyways......I'm back and going to try this blogging thing again.

Since we are spending our winter months living in a Fifth wheel camper in Florida, there are no home projects to be done.  I'm sure you would be pretty bored reading about me sitting around and reading.

So, since it's the beginning of a New Year.............Welcome 2015, I thought it would be the perfect time to shed some pounds that I put on, and maybe, just maybe you would like to follow along with me on this journey.  If there are any of you out there that need to lose a few too, then maybe I might provide a little inspiration too.

First I'd like to give you a little background regarding my weight.  I never had a weight problem until after I had children.  Those darn kids!  After each pregnancy I struggled to loose weight and always lost it all with the exception of about 10 lbs. per child.  That resulted in a weight gain of 30 lbs.,  then of course since I couldn't stand it when the little buggers didn't clean their plates, I cleaned 'em for them which packed on another 20 lbs., give or take a few pounds. By 1997 I had reached my all time high of 185 lbs.!  I was never one of those people that looked in the mirror and saw a fat person.  I looked and thought, damn I look good!

  In December of 1997 my husband was diagnosed with cancer (don't worry, he's cancer free and has been since 1998). At the beginning we didn't know what his outlook would be and I began thinking that I needed to take better care of myself so I could take care of him and our three children.  That's when I joined Jenny Craig.  I was able to take off 30 lbs. in 6 months by eating their food and taking advantage of my counselor. I'm proud to say that I have keep the weight off, except for times when I would over indulge and pack on a few pounds.  Once I gained back 10 lbs. and went back to Jenny Craig to get it off.   I try to give myself a 5 lb. range to stay in.

Last winter was our first one that we spent in Florida.  When we arrived in January I was 150 lbs.  I really wanted to get down to 140, which I haven't seen since I was married 40 years ago.  I know, I know, some of you are probably saying what the heck is wrong with her.  150 lbs. is a good weight.  Not for me it isn't.  When I gain weight I gain around my waist and stomach, which is uncomfortable for me.  By the time we went home at the end of March last year I had reached that goal.  Somehow over the summer I gained 7 lbs.  I know how it happens, I get lazy about exercising and making healthier eating choices.  I am GOING to get rid of this 7 lbs.

I have decided to follow the Super Shred diet by Dr. Ian Smith.

Have you heard of it?  It involves eating 6 times a day, 4 small meals and 2 snacks.  There's no fancy or weird ingredients to buy.  It's just about making healthy choices.  There are rules to follow, as there is with any healthy eating plan.  A few of those are you are limited to only 2 cups of coffee a day, you must drink a cup of green tea or hibiscus tea and lemon water every morning with your breakfast.  You must also drink a glass of water before each meal.

This post is getting pretty long so I'll go into more detail next time.  I would like to share with you what I have eaten so far today so that you can see for yourself that it's just regular food.

For breakfast this morning I had 2 pancakes with 1-1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup.  It's best you use real maple syrup, not Aunt Jemima type syrups. I also had one slice of bacon, 1/2 cup of fresh berries along with my green tea and lemon water.

And yes, I did drink my water before I began eating.

For my first snack I had a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and a 1/4 cup of diced grilled pineapple.  The pineapple was leftover from last night's dinner.

It doesn't look like much but it was tasty.

Lunch consisted of 1 cup of Progresso Light Chicken Chowder soup with 1 saltine cracker, a glass of Crystal Light and of course my lemon water, which I drank first.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it.

No eating plan is complete without including exercise.  Yes, you must exercise!  I took an hour walk this morning after breakfast.

I'm using some other tools also, but that's for another time.  I'll let you know tomorrow what I eat for the rest of today.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Porch Update And A Big Announcement!

 I know, I know.  I went missing again.  But for good reason, and this is my big announcement!  On June 12th we welcomed our fifth grandchild into our family.
Isn't he just precious!  He has a big brother and two big sisters who are giving him their undivided attention!  So that's where I have been.
 Here's a little update on our porch.  It has a floor!

Progress has been slower than anticipated.  After the floor was finished we had three straight days of rain, HEAVY rain.  Sometimes Mother Nature just doesn't cooperate with our plans.  I hope to have a roof by the next update.  Oh yeah, that step is temporary.  It's just a wooden box.  We had to put something there so no one would forget there wasn't a step and fall.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Mudroom Renovation Begins

If you recall I told you all that I would be working on our mudroom renovation while Henry is building our new porch.  I'm almost embarrassed to show these pictures.  There isn't usually stuff out in the middle of the floor, but I had already begun the big clean up when I remembered I needed to take pictures.  I will admit, though, that the room was a huge mess.  After all it's just a walk through from the garage to the kitchen, but it's a nice room and deserves to be prettied up.

Those white trash bags are winter coats we no longer wear so I bagged them up and donated them.  It seems every time we would get a new coat, the old one was left hanging in the closet.

This is the closet after I removed a lot of coats and old sneakers.  The sneakers went in the trash because some little rodents (mice), had made nests in a few of them.  YUK!

You can see sunflower seeds scattered on the floor that those little buggers were hoarding.  I store sunflower seeds for my bird feeders in a covered metal trash can, but they managed to still squeeze under that lid.  I read somewhere that a plastic tub is better to store seeds because of the tight fitting lids and the plastic is pretty tough to chew.  So, of course I bought a nice new tub to store the seeds, so we shall see if it keeps them out.

This is the trash can I was using.  See that blue bag laying on the floor?  That was a bag of thistle seed that they chewed holes in.

This bench is where we stored winter hats, gloves and scarves.  More seeds!  I washed everything.  This bench will no longer be used for storage.

Enough rodent pics.  Let's take a look at the decor.  When we bought this house 16 years ago, the walls had mallard duck wallpaper and border, which I stripped.  I decided I wanted it to look like the outdoors.  So I painted the walls sky blue with some swirls of white for clouds.  I stenciled a white picket fence, added some hummingbird and butterfly Wallies.  Remember those?  I even stenciled the steps to look like brick. Henry built our closet to look like a shed, then I added trellis and dollar store faux flowers too.  Let's not forget the plastic window box attached to a window with more dollar store faux flowers.

This is the entry into the kitchen.  The door to the right goes out onto our back deck.

That door goes to the garage.

The tall faux plant found a new home...............with someone else.  I put it by the road with a "free" sign on it.  Just behind it to the right you can see the flower box.  That is also now gone.  Yup!  That's where we store our cushions for our deck furniture during the winter.  Miraculously nothing chewed them. We have to find a new solution for that.

These are the walls.  Say good-bye because the next time you see them they will be so much prettier.

So, now you have two reasons to keep coming back.  The porch and mudroom progress!

Have a good day!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Porch Demolition

It has been six months since my last post.  Shame on me, I'm such a bad blogger.  But, honestly, I've had a lot going on and blogging wasn't my top priority.

If you have read my previous posts you know that last summer I broke my toe and I had surgery on my shoulder last September and I literally could not do a darn thing.  Once I started Physical Therapy things improved drastically.  I am happy to report that I am back to 100%, complete with full range of motion.  Needless to say I am anxious to continue with all my home improvement projects.

Also, last December 28th we packed up the camper and headed to Florida for three months. It was so nice to get away from the snow and cold.  We had a great time and made a whole bunch of new friends.

 Now that I've caught you up on everything let's get on with the show.

I have been asking for two years now for a front porch.  As you can see our old front entrance is nothing but steps.  We don't use that entrance. We go through the garage, however guests use it and it is hideous.

See what I mean?  Blah looking!  
 The first order of business was to get that bush out of there. We have lived here for 16 years and I have always hated that bush.  We live in a rural area and have lots of deer.  The deer chew the heck out of it during the winter.

 Ta-da!  Bush is gone.  It took poor Henry most of the day to get it out of there.

 Time to remove the old steps.

Whew!  That was hard work...........for him, not me.  All I did was take pictures.  I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but notice how the blacktop is sloping toward the house?  I'm not a carpenter or anything, but even I know that shouldn't be like that. Sloping toward the house means when it rains water flows toward the house, which freezes in the winter, which is probably the reason the door always sticks during the winter.  We have literally had to use a rubber mallet to pound the door shut at times.  I know!  CRAZY!  Of course Henry fixed that problem.

 I know it doesn't look like much of anything right now, but all this lumber will be a porch soon............very soon.

So, that's where we are at right now.  While Henry is working on the new porch I have decided that our mudroom, which is between our garage and kitchen, needs a makeover, so I will be working on that.  I'll be doing a post about that tomorrow, so stay tuned.  I promise, I will be back!

I really appreciate those of you that have stuck with me.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Long Anticipated Guest Room Reveal

It's been so long since I've posted that I've almost forgotten how to do a blog post!  So, you're probably wondering where I've been and what I've been doing.  Maybe not, but I'm going to tell you anyway.  In a nutshell I have been recuperating from the surgery that I had in September to repair a tear in my rotator cuff tendon.  If you have never had this done or know someone that has, it is not an easy thing to recover from.  My first month was spent in a sling.  Once the sling came off I was given small exercises to do at home.  My arm was pretty much useless.  The third month I began Physical Therapy to regain strength and range of motion.  I am just about back to normal.  As I mentioned in a previous post, Henry retired the end of August.  December 28th we hitched up our camper and headed to Florida, which is where we will be until March 31st. But that's another post.

Today's post is about our guest room that finally was finished just before Christmas.  Henry had to finish what I had started.  So, grab a cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, glass of wine, whatever your preference is.  This is going to be a long post.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

Are you ready?  Here we go.

This is what it looked like before.
The only ones that ever slept on that bed were the cats!

After the removal of the wallpaper border and molding, it was time to paint.  The bottom was painted Arctic White by Glidden from Wal-Mart and the top third was painted Charcoal Heather by Olympic One from Lowe's.
 You can read more about that here.
 The ceiling was painted and the unfinished window casings were spackled and painted.
Instead of buying a new ceiling fan we dismantled the old one and spray painted the housing black and the blades white.  The housing was gold. There's nothing wrong with gold, but it's not for me.  Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the blades. They were a very bad looking faux wood grain.
End result!
Another thing I did not take a pic of was the doors, which were also a bad faux wood grain.  All  the other doors in our house have been redone.  We painted the doors and the moldings Arctic White in a gloss.

The doors were give one coat, then molding was nailed and glued on, then a second coat of paint was added. I wish I had a better picture. 

 Instead of buying new door knobs, I spray painted the ones we have in a satin nickel.    They were original brass.

That's as far as my participation went.  Henry had to finish the rest of it.

The next step was the board and batten.  I found a great tutorial here.


 The old carpeting had to be removed.  As you can see Henry had a helper.     
  The final thing was new carpeting. The room is not that big so we opted to buy a remnant.  I had trouble finding the right gray, but finally did at the most unexpected place.  Ollie's.  I'm not sure if everyone is familiar with Ollie's, but they have a little bit of everything.  They buy overstock from other stores.  I have purchased really nice King size sheet sets for $11.99!  I digress.  The remnant measured 12' x 15' plus it had bound edges.  The kicker..........we only paid $132!  It still had to be cut to fit, but it is really nice.  I almost forgot about the padding. That was a hand-me-down from my daughter.  There was really nice wood flooring in her living room underneath the carpeting when they bought their house.  She gave us the padding after they ripped out the carpeting. The padding was practically brand new.  The previous owners had installed it only about a year before they sold.
 Onto the final touches.  This is the fun part...........decorating.  I really try to re-use what I already have if I can, so I took this little yellow side table and painted it the same turquoise that I used on the armoire.  You can read about that here.


I got that darling little lamp at Dollar General.

I made a burlap wreath for above the bed.

 I found the Queen size bed on Craigslist.  The lady I bought it from had already redone the headboard and it was a perfect fit for the room.  We already had a mattress, but needed to buy a foundation, which we found at Big Lots for $100!  It was supposed to be $132, but rang up $100.  I think it was on sale.
I bought the bedding at Wal-Mart for $29.97!  Great bargain for a comforter, shams, bed skirt and a set of sheets! 

I already had the candlesticks, but found these battery operated candles on sale at Kohl's for half price just before Christmas.  They even came with a remote control!

The curtains are from IKEA.  I did have to cut some off the bottom and hem them. They were a little long. I already had the curtain rod.

As you can see, the room is quite small.  I stood in the doorway to take this pic. To my left is where the armoire is.  I still want to hang some family photos on the walls.

Who doesn't love a side by side.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by.