Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Thursday, January 31, 2013

thursday crafts~ V-Day heart pins

My neighbor, Carol, is always doing crafts, especially around any holiday. Yesterday she called and asked if I could help her make some heart pins for Valentine’s Day. It was so simple and they turned out really cute, even made some for myself to take into work and pass around to patient’s family and staff.  I thought what a great project to share here on Journey with the holiday in a couple of weeks. They can be made into any size, just adjust the quantity of beads and length of ribbon.

This Valentine heart pin is made using inexpensive tri-beads, a pipe cleaner, and some lacy ribbon.  The ribbon is weaved in between the tri-beads, resulting in a full, frilly look to the pin.  This pin makes a perfect gift for a teacher, special friend, or complete stranger.

8 inch red pipe cleaner
lacy ribbon, approximately 3/4 inch wide
red tri-beads
small length of ribbon for the bow
fine wire
pin backing of choice

1.  Begin the pin by threading a red tri-bead on to the pipe cleaner.  Next, thread the ribbon on to the pipe cleaner, through one of the lacy holes.  Follow with another red tri-bead.  Work near the end of the pipe cleaner, for easier threading. Continue by threading the ribbon on again, as shown below.

2.  Continue threading until you have most of the pipe cleaner covered.  Below are close ups of how the pipe cleaner should look from the side, and from the top.

3.  When most of the pipe cleaner is threaded, wrap the remaining pipe cleaner tightly around the last tri-bead to secure it.

4.  Bend the pipe cleaner in the shape of a heart, and secure the ends by wrapping the last tri-beads together with a thin piece of wire.

5.  Add a small bow to the pin. This can be secured with a fine wire or some glue.  Add on the pin back and the beaded heart pin is ready to wear!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

meal ideas ~ homemade breads

Who doesn't like or love bread? I know it is one of my “dietary” downfalls, especially sour dough. One of my goals for Colorado is to make our own breads and we have been gathering several recipes to try. These two are great basics. I have also tried to make my own sour dough and starter; however, the bread is very heavy, almost too heavy. Recently there was a recipe from Mother Earth News that looks promising and I will post it once I have had the time to try it. In the meantime, give these two a try you’ll not be sorry.

Hearty Mixed Grain Bread
Craving a classic? The honey-wheat flavor of this bread makes it easy to get your daily fiber and mixed grains.

1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup uncooked seven-grain hot cereal
3 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
Fat-free milk
1/4 cup rolled oats and/or flaxseeds

1. In a medium bowl combine boiling water and cereal. Let stand for 20 minutes. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the all-purpose flour and the yeast; set aside. In a small saucepan heat and stir 3/4 cup milk, the honey, oil, and salt over medium heat just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F). Add milk mixture to flour mixture along with cereal mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, the flaxseed meal, and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is almost smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 60 minutes).

3. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease a large baking sheet; set aside.

4. Shape dough halves into 8-inch-long oval loaves that are about 4 inches wide at the center. Place shaped loaves 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush tops of loaves lightly with milk; sprinkle with 1/4 cup oats and/or flaxseeds. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped, covering loosely with foil, if necessary, the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Transfer loaves to wire racks and cool completely.
 Makes 24 (1 slice each) servings.

Seven-Grain Bread
This full-bodied bread is an easy choice for your diet: 16 big slices per loaf, and 111 calories with 4 grams of protein per slice. Try it with a little bit of honey on the side.

3/4 - 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seven-grain cereal
1 package active dry yeast
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg or 1/4 cup refrigerated egg product
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup shelled sunflower seeds

1. In a large mixing bowl stir together 3/4 cup of the all-purpose flour, the cereal, and yeast; set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan combine the water, applesauce, honey, and salt; heat and stir just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F). Add applesauce mixture and egg to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the whole wheat flour, sunflower seeds, and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can.

3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours).

4. Punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan.

5. Shape dough into loaf. Place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (30 to 45 minutes).

6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. (If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.) Immediately remove bread from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 1 loaf (16 servings).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

healthy living ~ hair care treatment

Since having my issue with my thyroid last summer my hair has been abnormally dry, brittle and thinner.  My endocrinologist promises that it will get back to my normal once everything else normalizes, until then I began to research what I can do, especially for the dryness. Of course there are several over the counter hair care items…but you know me- why buy when “real” natural can be made. Here are a couple of recipes that I have tried and found to be the ticket.

Oil Treatment for your Hair

Oil treatments help to deep condition your hair from root to tip while stimulating the scalp and strengthening individual strands. Infusing oil with the healing benefits of herbs like rosemary and calendula makes this luxurious treatment wonderful for normalizing either dry, itchy scalp or oily conditions.

1 Tbsp organic Rosemary Herbal Oil
1 Tbsp organic Calendula Herbal Oil
5 to 10 drops cedarwood or orange essential oil (optional)

Mix the oils together in a glass bottle and shake well. Fill a separate bowl with very warm water. (careful not to get the oil too hot; it will burn your hair. I use hot tap water.) Place the bottle in the bowl and allow the oil to heat slowly for a few minutes. Test a drop of oil on your wrist to check the temperature. Rub some of the oil in your fingertips and massage into the dry scalp starting at the front. Using a circular motion, work backward toward the crown and add more oil as needed until the entire scalp has been massaged. Next, massage oil into dry hair from the scalp to the ends using a gentle motion. Cover your hair with a shower cap or recycled plastic bag and wrap a hot damp towel around your head. Relax for 20-30 minutes before shampooing out. Enjoy your soft, beautiful hair!

this next recipe is absolutely wonderful!!!

 Make an Herbal Hair Mask

Combine 1 teaspoon of triphala powder (an Ayurvedic herb you can purchase online), with 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and a small amount of water until a paste is formed. Wet hair and apply paste to scalp and hair. Leave on for at least 20 minutes and rinse.

What is Triphala Powder?
One of the most popular herbal formula, which has been used in ayurvedic medicine since time immemorial. Triphala powder is a Ayurvedic herbal formula, that is made using equal parts of Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. The other names for these herbs are Amla, Baheda and Harada respectively. The word triphala is a Sanskrit word, which in literal terms means 'three fruits'. The powder of the three herbs is made from the fruits, without the seeds. Each of the fruits are rich sources of different nutrients. Amla for example is a rich source of Vitamin C, whereas baheda is a bitter fruit, that is rich in Vitamin A, proteins and Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Harada is not only popular in Ayurveda, but also in Tibet, where it is known as 'king of medicine' and is a heart and brain tonic. There are many uses of triphala and they range from hair care to digestive aid. and can be purchased online or in your local health food store.

talk about dry flyaway hair- bad hair day supreme

Monday, January 28, 2013

use moon phases for life schedules

Saturday night as I was leaving work I mentioned to everyone that Sunday night was the “official” full moon. Beside the normal “look of dread” from my hospital coworkers, (full moons are not so fun when dealing with ill people) a couple of them gave me that “So? Why are you so excited?” pause. Remember, I am new to some of these nurses with my recent change to a new unit.

One coworker, who has known me for a long time, asked. “Do you still wear your Full Moon Faerie Mojo scrub top?” Then he explained to everyone that I only wear this top if I am working on a full moon to enlist the help of the “fairies” to make it a smoother shift.

I grinned and nodded- I am always surprised when most people haven’t a clue as to what phase the moon is in. It is a great planner, calendar for tasks, as well as being beautiful in any given phase you might catch.  

In the modern world, we spend so much time indoors, it is easy to lose track of the moon. Very few people could answer with confidence what phase the moon is in at any given time. Is it full or new? Is it waxing or waning? But if you decide to become aware of the moon, it can be very rewarding to observe it as it waxes to full and wanes to darkness every month. Just knowing what's going on with the moon helps us feel more connected to the shifting of the natural world. It also offers the possibility of harmonizing our own energy with natural rhythms.

New moons are good times to begin things, from planting a garden to dreaming up a new goal or vision. The energy of the waxing, expanding moon influences all things to grow. Full moons are good times for completion. If there is a project you want to finish, aim to finalize it by the time of the full moon. As the moon wanes back into darkness, allow yourself to be emptied, swept clean for the new project, or the new commitment, that the new moon will bring. Utilize the energy of the waning moon when you are ready to cleanse, or release something you no longer want or need. During these times, integrate more stillness and introspection into your schedule.

Most calendars keep track of the full and new moon, but you can also buy much more detailed lunar calendars that show the phases of the moon for an entire year. Of course, the easiest and best way to track the moon is the natural way, looking for it every night, and observing it. After doing this for a while, you will begin to feel a kinship with the moon, knowing where it is in its cycle and feeling its influence on your life.

the official "Full Moon Faerie Mojo" top of 17 years

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

meal ideas~ healthier sheperd's pie

This lower fat version of the classic hamburger casserole is made with very lean ground beef, more vegetables, and fewer potatoes than the traditional version. The other nice thing about this can make it in the morning, refrigerate, and heat when ready. You can also make the filling and freeze; when ready to serve fill a ramekin, make the potatoes, heat, and enjoy. Makes 4 servings.

Shepherd's Pie
2 medium potatoes (about 10 ounces), peeled and quartered
1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut up
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 ounces 90-percent or higher lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup water
1 ounce can stewed tomatoes-cut up large pieces
1/3 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or sage, crushed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a covered medium saucepan, cook potatoes and parsnips in enough boiling water to cover about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Mash with a potato masher or with an electric mixer on low speed. Gradually add yogurt and salt, mashing or beating to make potato mixture light and fluffy. Cover and keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is brown. Drain well. Stir mixed vegetables and the water into mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in undrained stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Heat through. Divide mixture among four 12- to 16-ounce individual casseroles or ramekins, or transfer mixture to a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Pipe or drop mashed potato mixture in mounds atop hot mixture.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are heated through,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

healthy living~ it's here, 9 ways to help

It’s here…..
Chances are many of you have already been feeling the flu's nasty effects. And experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the country's  flu season has not yet reached its peak but is already taking its toll.

Whether you've received your flu shot or not, there are some natural steps we can all take to ward off influenza and to protect our loved ones from the fever, cough, achiness, and general unpleasantness associated with this nasty bug.

1. Wash your hands
One of the most effective and easiest methods of flu prevention is something we should all do several times a day--simply because it's good manners. Do it after you use the restroom, of course, but also after you've shaken someone's hand, kissed hello, been on public transportation, attended a party, gone to the gym, and many other situations. You can never be too careful, especially this time of year.

2. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is important in every season, but it is particularly useful in the winter. It's easy to forget to drink enough water in the cold weather, as we're not sweating as much as we do when it's warmer outside. Steadily drinking six to eight glasses of water a day can boost your immune system, keeping your body strong and ready to fight off illnesses all year round.

3. Exercise
Like water, exercise has immune-boosting effects. It also enhances circulation, reduces stress, and offers another mode of eliminating toxins through perspiration, according to naturopathic doctor Amy Rothenberg. Of course, take care not to overdo it. If you're really sick, get plenty of rest and consult a medical professional before engaging in any physical activities.

4. Eat an organic, plant-based diet
Increase the amount of organic fruits and vegetables in your diet, particularly those high in vitamin C, such as papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and kale. To be safe, you can also take a vitamin C supplement. I recommend camu camu, a plant-derived antioxidant vitamin that is considered a top source of vitamin C.

5. Take a vitamin D supplement
Have your vitamin D levels checked with a simple blood test from your physician. If they're low, consider taking a vitamin D supplement to help prevent not only the flu, but also a host of other health conditions--like cancer and cardiovascular disease--that have been linked to vitamin D deficiency.

6. Enlist probiotics
As discussed in my Green Your Tummy blog, these so-called "good bacteria" in your gut have been shown to help fend off colds and the flu and can rebalance the bacteria we need in our bodies that can be destroyed by antibiotics. Probiotics come in pill form, and a typical dosage is in the billions of CF units, but you can also introduce probiotics into your diet through yogurt, miso, tempeh, kimchi, coconut kefir, and sauerkraut.

7. Try elderberry
Elderberry syrup is not only packed with vitamins A, B, and C, but it also stimulates the immune system, has been shown to prevent colds and the flu, and tastes delicious. At The Imus Ranch, we make elderberry syrup from scratch, but you can find a bottle at your local natural foods market. If you feel a tickle in your throat, soothe it with some elderberry tea.

8. Use essential oils
Essential oils are restorative, curative, and natural antibacterial agents. They also happen to smell pretty great. Diffuse grade-A essential oils throughout your home, or apply them topically to your skin. Apply some oregano oil to your back, chest, and the bottoms of your feet. Aside from being a natural antibiotic, it also has bacteria-fighting properties and is a powerful antihistamine.

9. Get your omega-3s
Rather than turn to fish oil for your health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, consider going right to the source and using marine phytoplankton instead. It's where fish get their omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, as well as their vitamin A. You can enjoy the benefits by simply adding 10 to 15 drops into your water or juice.

Monday, January 21, 2013

simple change-massive upset?

HolyPinkPig~ how can a simple work schedule change turn one's world upside down…. I haven’t a clue, but it has. I changed positions at work, actually only switched units in the hospital to have fewer days in my work week. But surprise-surprise to me, my life seems to have been turned upside down and I feel as though I have less time than before. For example, I use to have every Monday off and now work every Mon and that simple change has left my “to-dos” schedule, my “organized weekly plan,” shot to all hell, not to mention what changing the rest of the week around has done.  Somehow, last week try as hard as I could…I did not get one post for Journey done, let alone be able to do anything with Jesse’s blog. Lily the Black Bear in Minnesota had her cubs and I have barely even been able to peek in on her webcam. I know I will catch up, it will mellow out, and I will once again get back into a rhythm. But until that happens I feel as though I am floundering through my days. ha!

As life usually does when I am “floundering”…it lays something at my feet to say “okay hot-shot, I’ll once again help you out, chew on this for a while.” This morning I was going through some papers and found an old meditative chant I use to recite and thought I might share it with you. I remember coming across this a long-long time ago, it is a Buddhist verse that is good to repeat when one feels stressed and overwhelmed by chores and demands.

I choose not to waste time on empty desires and needs.
I vow to overcome cravings for experience.
And when I do feel an upsurge in energy, spacious attention and clarity,
thus arises the understanding and time to do what has to be done.

As with all of Buddha’s chants one must meditate on the “meaning of those words.” Okay, so now I shall go meditate and then buckle down to make a new “to-do” calendar that fits with my new work schedule and maybe get something done this week :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

"If you could only have one?"

Getting ready for my annual "de-vesting" and thinking about what items I want to take to Colorado next fall reminded me of this post I did a couple of years ago. It also got me thinking, and wondering, if I would change anything in my "if I could only have one" list ~ nope, I kept the list exactly the same. Now, deciding what to take to Colorado is a whole other matter- since it won't be the final move, I will be living in the cabin, not the house,...and everything that goes with me must fit into my Subaru, on top, and a "carrier-basket" in back- it will be challenging to be sure. I will keep you posted.. :)

now onto my de-vesting post of 2011~~~

This is the time of year I do my “de-vesting” getting rid of stuff; making my mental and physical list of things I could do without and get rid of; and to whom or where this stuff should go. Everything must be recycled or repurposed.   As I was scanning my possessions I began thinking about what if I could only have ONE, one of this kind of thing or one of that thing, and it made me think about what  I value, and why. It was a fun challenge, give it a try and see what you come up with. Here are just a few of mine:

If I could only have ONE……

Picture on my wall: this polar bear sunning
flower in my garden: a viola
Book in my bookcase:  Lion of Ireland  Morgan Llewellyn
Style of music: new age - harp
Pair of shoes:  hiking boots
Wear one color:  dark brown (hides the dirt best)
Profession:  wildlife veterinarian
Place to live forever: Colorado mountains
Person in my life:  my best friend & husband, Steve

When I mentioned my theme for today’s entry to a friend, Angie W., she said that she likes to play a little game when she is in a room full of people.

 “If she and another (someone in the room) were the only two people left in the world, who would she choose.”  I think that is a great idea and plan to think about it often—adding a “why would I choose that person over anyone else.” 

if you could only have one "....."  think about it, it may surprise you.

Friday, January 11, 2013

friday photo ~ tub of piglets

copyright Tales from the Rock

copyright Tales from the Rock

     my Welsh friends and fellow Bernese Mountain Dog devotees have been having more than their share of rain…. a lot more- so much more that the pigs on their small holding have taken refuge in their food trough, which was drier than their piglet pen… ha!  
     a wonderfully witty bard, Tony,  tells of the fun and challenges of owning a small holding- his many critters are characters that keep him busy and life from being boring. I suggest you pop in and have some fun.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jaguar cubs born at zoo bring new genes

This wonderful story was found by Steve, who loves wildlife "almost" as much as I.  My biggest concern for zoo animals is the thinning of genes and what horrors that brings to the future of a species. Not only are these little guys adorable...but what they add to the future of an endangered species is outstanding.

Jaguar cubs born at Milwaukee Zoo bring new genes 
by: CARRIE ANTLFINGER | Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two jaguar cubs are providing more than just cooing fans for Milwaukee's zoo. The spotted brothers are introducing new genes to the endangered species' captive population because unlike most zoo babies, their father was born in the wild.

The blue-eyed cubs, born Nov. 13, don't officially have names just yet, but keepers at the Milwaukee County Zoo are calling them "Gaps" and "Dots," due to the markings on their heads.

Stacey Johnson, coordinator of the jaguar species survival plan for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, said it is rare for zoos' reproductive programs to have access to animals born in the wild.

"They are bringing in a new inflow of genes that will help sustain the population over next 100 years," Johnson said.

He also noted that the cubs — the first born at the zoo since 1975 — are also beneficial because female jaguars currently outnumber males in zoos in North America.

The cubs, currently about the size of house cats, are still too small to navigate their multi-level exhibit, so they aren't yet on display. But fans can catch glimpses of the curious cubs and their mother on the zoo's live webcam.

Zoo officials plan to put the cubs on display by early February.

Their father, Pat, was captured in Central America after being deemed a problem jaguar for attacking cattle, so he was a bit of a celebrity at the Belize Zoo before coming to Milwaukee in 2008. The estimated 15-year-old animal also has a book named after him, "Pat the Great Cat: A Jaguars Journey," which was written by children in Milwaukee and Belize as part of a literacy program.

The cubs were the first for their mother, Stella.

The cubs will remain at the zoo for about a year before being moved to other zoos whose jaguars need genetic diversity, zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Diliberti said. Jaguars are found in the wild in the southern U.S., Mexico, Central America and South America.

The webcam has received about 16,000 hits since it went live Dec. 18. The average time spent on the webcam is about 25 minutes — compared to 2 minutes on their home page, Diliberti said.

"People are really following their story, which is wonderful," she said.

visit the webcam, you'll not regret it: 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

meal ideas ~ roast beef w/ mushroom-fig sauce

I think winter and roast beef go together nice because when you heat up the oven you get to warm the kitchen. This tasty roast beef recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal or even a special dinner. Cremini mushrooms mingle in a red wine sauce so decadent that it's hard to believe its low-carb. Serve it with some buttered-balsamic green beans on the side. leftovers? this make wonderful roast beef sandwiches for another day!

Roast Beef with Mushroom-Fig Sauce
SERVING SIZE: 3 ounces beef and 1/4 cup sauce CARBS: 8

1 2 - 2 1/2 pound beef eye round roast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz fresh cremini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot 
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup lower-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup chopped, stemmed dried figs
Fresh rosemary sprigs

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Trim fat from meat. Sprinkle meat with the salt and pepper, rubbing in with your fingers.

2. Place meat on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into center of roast. Roast, uncovered, for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until thermometer registers 135 degrees F (it is not recommended to roast an eye round roast past medium-rare). Cover meat with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Temperature of the meat after standing should be 145 degrees F.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallot to skillet. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are just tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add wine to skillet. Return to the heat and bring to boiling; boil gently, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until wine is reduced by about half. Whisk in mustard and 1 teaspoon rosemary. Add broth and figs. Bring to boiling; boil gently, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until liquid is slightly thickened and reduced by about one-third.

4. Thinly slice meat and serve with mushroom sauce. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

healthy living~ fad diets don't work

In today’s world the pressure to be thin is unnerving, but being a healthy weight and eating nutritiously is the bottom line of being healthy. I saw a blurb on the news that the number one New Year’s resolution was to “Be Healthier” and “Lose Weight.” And get this...of the billions of dollars the diet industry makes, most of their profits are in the first four months of the year. Fad diets do come and go, some return, some come back with slight changes and new names. Some hang around forever, even though the results are not lasting. We've all heard of the low-carb Atkins Diet, which works for some; and then the ever-popular, South Beach Diet. Most of the time fad diets have rules and restrictions between what you can and can’t eat, when you can eat, how you eat, and yep, where you eat; it just leaves the mind confused and the body exhausted.

Losing weight and keeping it off requires determination, there is no doubt about that. It also requires time; most of us are too impatient to see results. We want what we want when we want it; people will do anything for quick and easy results. I use to be that way. I have tried so many fad diets….nearly all of them and I can say I probably have lost at least two hundred pounds over my life time. BUT so far, the weight  I lost in 2011 and the additional from the “thyroid storm/lobster fest” this summer has stayed off.  How? I believe with all my heart it is because Steve and I still follow one simple rule every day--- 

to lose weight and keep it off—“portion size + exercise = the right size.”

 Start eating your meals on a 9" plate instead of a 12"-14". You will automatically cut your portion size and your mind can still see a full plate- over having a huge plate looking only half full.

So, if you are a member of that “Most Common New Year’s Resolution” group, please think about what I have said and stay away from the Fads. Just for fun, here are ten of the craziest, if not extremely dangerous, diets that have come, gone, and still hanging around.

1. Master Cleanse
The Master Cleanse (aka the Lemon Cleanse and the Maple Syrup Diet) is a ten-day program that was developed by Stanley Burroughs in 1941. The whole idea is to detoxify. With this strict regimen, it is believed that the body should be rid of harmful toxins in the body, as well as losing weight and curing disease. In the period of these ten days, nothing is consumed except for lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It has been stated that some people have stayed on the diet for as long as 45 days. Crazy. There are definite risks involved. The diet lacks many of the important vitamins and nutrients that are necessary for the body. You do lose weight for certain, but in return you are rewarded by massive headaches and constipation, due to the lack of food passing through the body.

2. Sleeping Beauty Diet
It was believed that the King himself, meaning Elvis Presley, was an advocate of the Sleeping Beauty Diet back in the 1970’s. Basically, in a nutshell, this diet is described as sleeping off unwanted pounds. So, you can sedate yourself for several days and lose weight at the same time. Nothing like multitasking.

3. Grapefruit Diet
Otherwise known as the “Hollywood Diet,” this fad diet basically involves eating half a grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice with each meal. However, daily caloric intake must be below 800 calories. So the diet is strict, but weight loss is promised because of the supposed fat-burning enzymes found in grapefruit. Unfortunately, experts state that there is no medical evidence of this being true. Going further, the monotony of the diet is a prescription for future boredom that may result right back to bad eating habits.

4. Tapeworm Diet
Advocates of this diet claim that ingesting cow tapeworms allow you to eat all you want while still losing weight. The tapeworm creates an environment in the intestines that hinders digestion while also consuming some of the nutrients of the food. The idea is that once you reach the desired weight, you take an antibiotic, which kills the tapeworm. Besides the obvious drawback of consuming a worm, another problem with this fad is that some tapeworms, such as those from pigs, can be lethal. The FDA has banned the importing or selling of tapeworms in the US, so hopefully that will help put this ridiculous health fad to rest.

5. Vision-Dieter Glasses
Okay, so this option isn’t really dangerous. It’s more along the lines of stupid. These glasses were designed so that when you wore them, the food you saw looked unappealing. So with the blue tint of the lenses, food might look less desirable, but at the same time, so will you. Shame.

6. Cotton Ball Diet
Cotton. It’s the fabric of our lives. But can eating cotton balls help you lose weight? According to some, it was believed that eating cotton balls could suppress your appetite, since apparently they are low in calories, but high in fiber. The side effect? They could clog your digestive system, since cotton balls, you know, absorb things. And they’re kind of fluffy, so imagine what it could produce. Ew.

7. Diet Fork
This is just as silly as the vision-dieter glasses. If the size of your fork is smaller, that means your food portions should be smaller too, right? What a concept. Next.

8. Ear Stapling
Sure, there is such a thing as ear piercing. But ear stapling? This diet involves stapling your ear cartilage because it supposedly suppresses your appetite. However, this method is illegal in Florida and can cause infections, nerve damage, and extreme pain. Duh.

9. Diet Patches
These are designed for the lazy. Nicotine patches help smokers avoid the craving, and they are also FDA approved. However, diet patches are not. So while these patches seem too good to be true, it’s best off to save your money and lose weight the right way. The effect of these diet patches will most likely not help you at all.

10. Cabbage Soup Diet.
This diet was very popular back in its day, but still seems to make its way around the dieting scene today as can be evidenced by Jaime Pressly and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who both credit this diet for their weight loss. The premise is that you can eat as much cabbage soup as you want, but the rest of the diet includes a severe restriction of other foods. The cabbage soup recipe itself has almost no calories, so your total daily consumption while on this diet is less than 1000 calories. In addition to starving yourself in the name of weight loss, those on the diet report typical side effects of hunger including headaches, fatigue, irritability, and lack of concentration as well as intestinal discomfort (including that infamous cabbage flatulence). Any weight lost during this diet is quickly re-gained when you begin eating again.

Monday, January 7, 2013

rainy sunrises, hawks, and bears-oh yea!

welcome, hello, and a happy New Year to all.

We still get up at the crack of dawn and take our morning walks, a promise made when we lost Jesse, yesterday morning greeted us with a surprise: cloudy, rainy and cold. After much debate we bundled up and headed out to Yorba- just as the sun was coming up I glanced at the sky and was once again filled with joy. How can anyone not love mornings?

We also happened upon a red-tailed hawk with his breakfast. yum...if you're a hawk :) 
       I sort of disappeared last week… bad girl… and did not post anything. Not that I forgot my friends on Journey, I thought about what I should be posting every day~ ha! I took a vacation, literally, from my normal every day routine and relaxed. It was nice. We did our traditional “New Years Beef Willington” which I will post pictures this upcoming Meal Ideas on wednesday.

      It is January and what excitement does that bring……“bear cams!”  yep, the webcams are up in Minnesota and both Lily, who most likely is pregnant, and Jewel, who still has Fern and Herbie (born last January) in their den. It will be interesting to see the differences between when Lily had Hope and Jewel in the den compared to Jewel having Fern and Herbie in theirs. Remember this is a new study, Lily birthing Hope in 2010 the first time a black bear was seen in the “wild” in their winter den- and giving birth. Every year brings new information and wonderful scientific data.

So, for those who think a bear sleeps all through the winter and have never witnessed a cub being born in the wild, you will need to go check out the cams at the North American Bear Center. Of course—from this point on the Thursday Postings will be about these and any other wildlife webcams I find that you will enjoy.  We will check in on Siku from last year, he has grown a lot! and will still be in his enclosure for a couple more years, his activity increases over the winter and spring, the most fun time to keep an eye on him. Then we’ll check out one of our eagle nest and see what is brewing- or better said “warming under mom and dad’s feathers."  With technology in the webcam field there will be a number of new cams up and running that should prove to be exciting. Sorry, Aspen Willow is not quite ready for an online webcam, but next year it could happen. Keep your fingers crossed.

here are the links to the web cams for Lily and Jewel: enjoy~

North American Bear Center ~  highly recommended you visit, oodles of information

Lily's Den Cam - 2013
 (there could be cubs born this year)

Jewel's Den Cam 2013  
(with yearlings, Herbie & Fern)