blogging, enjoying family, Exercise, fitness, Food Addiction, food and family celebrations, Having fun, Maintaining Weight Loss, organic food, Thankfulness, weight loss journal

Four Days of Pie for Breakfast; It’s time for the Gym!

pecan pie
Hi, I’m pecan pie. I’m sweet, delicious, and crunchy, but be warned, I’m almost half a day’s worth of calories!

To say that I had nice Thanksgiving would be an understatement. This holiday was probably one of the most splendid that I’ve had as an adult.  My husband will insist that I say this after every holiday, but this Thanksgiving truly upped the bar for my love of planning, cleaning, cooking and entertaining for family and friends.

We had a total of ten people between immediate family and friends.  I did the majority of the cooking prep the day before, in order to have time to be a proper hostess on the actual day.  My only holiday challenges were seating and table arranging in my small house, and figuring out how to prepare my first organic, pastured turkey.  I decided that rather than worrying about my tiny home, I would imagine that it was placed somewhere in Japan, where it’s size would certainly upgrade it to mansion status.  This gave me a much more positive outlook.  I consulted the Food Network, and used The Pioneer Woman’s instructions and brining recipe to make sure my turkey was juicy and delicious (and it REALLY was).

The combination of food, friends, and family was stellar and our day lasted well into the night, with games and chatter.  Though I sent people home with tons of leftovers, there were still quite a few high calorie treats left at my house.  (Did you know that a slice of pecan pie has 540 calories?)  I’m not sure of the caloric content of pumpkin pie, but I know that from Wednesday through Saturday, it was a part of my “healthy” breakfast, as were dark chocolate walnut brownies.

Today, I’ll begin damage control.  My short foray with sugar ended last night when I microwaved a piece of pecan pie and adorned it with three ample scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.  This morning, I had my usual Fiber One cereal with a half cup of almond milk.  I’m drinking tons of water, and soon as I hit publish, I’m scurrying off to the gym.  I may have overindulged, but I’m not afraid.  I know my winning formula of eating properly and exercising, will have me back on track before the week is over!

Did you overindulge during the Thanksgiving holiday?  Do you have a clear plan for getting back on track after going food crazy?

blogging, Having fun, love, marriage, nature, organic food, photography, Travel, vacations, wedding anniversary, Writing

A Wild and Wonderful Weekend

My husband an I had an anniversary weekend that equaled the awesomeness of our past 13 years of marriage.  We travelled to the picturesque Canaan Valley region of West Virginia and spent a romantic three days in a lovely log cabin. Believe it, or not, I’ve never stayed in a cabin before,  This one was super cute with a fireplace, hot tub, and all of the other amenities that I love while “camping!”  Here’s a shot of the back of the cabin.  Somehow I neglected to take pictures of the inside, but trust me, it was adorable.

This is the back view of our little cabin.  It overlooks a very active stream! (photo by me)
This is the back view of our little cabin. It overlooks a very active stream! (photo by me)

The campground couldn’t have been more gorgeous either. Right beneath our back balcony was a little stream bursting with the biggest golden and rainbow trout I’ve ever seen.  I think their size had quite a lot to do with the “trout chow” vending machines that were conveniently placed near many of the ponds and streams.  For just a quarter, you got a huge handful of trout food that created a true feeding frenzy each time a pellet hit the water.  The sheer number and activity of the fish made the water look like it was a boiling, seething mass of fins, tails and open mouths.  It was probably the best show I’ve ever gotten for a quarter!

Our view of the cliffs from the cabins balcony. The Potomac river is nestled beneath the trees at the base. (Photo by me)
Our view of the cliffs from the cabins balcony. The Potomac river is nestled beneath the trees at the base. (Photo by me)
a huge golden trout in the stream behind our cabin. (photo by me)
a huge golden trout in the stream behind our cabin. (photo by me)


There was also a rather skittish duck family residing in and around the banks of the stream behind our place, too.  I can’t fault their nervousness, as I can imagine that more than once some kid has accidentally pelted them with trout chow.  I did manage to get a few careful shots with my zoom.

This family was easily frightened.  It took some patience to get a picture of them. (Photo by me)
This family was easily frightened. It took some patience to get a picture of them. (Photo by me)

My absolute favorite part of the weekend was watching the muskrat couple that also shared the stream behind our cabin.  I’d never actually seen a muskrat in the wild before.  My first glimpse of them was on the bank, and I immediately mistook them for groundhogs, as their body shape and coloration are so similar.  As soon as they slipped into the water, I caught sight of their long “rat-like” tail and knew immediately what they were.  (Don’t let their name fool you, though they are of the rodent family, they’re not rats.  Their closest relatives are lemmings, mice, and voles.)  These muskrats had dug a channel of tunnels all along the banks of the stream, and it was a delight to watch their very busy antics.

Muskrat love!! (Photo by me)
Muskrat love!! (Photo by me)
They were so cute swimming through the stream!  (Photo by me)
They were so cute swimming through the stream! (Photo by me)

This wasn’t my first foray into this wilderness, but it was my healthiest. This area of the state is well-known for a plethora of outdoor activities and were determined to get in our share of swimming and hiking. The swimming part was well taken care of by the huge saltwater pool at the campground.  I got up super early each morning to get in 30 minutes of swimming to start my day.  Mornings are often chilly in the mountains and I think most of the jacketed people I passed on the trail to the pool thought I was crazy.  Luckily, the water was much warmer than the 55-60 degree air and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

On our last visit, over ten years ago, my excess weight really slowed me down.  I’d desperately wanted to hike the Seneca Rocks Mountain Trail, but only made it about a 1/4 of a mile up the steep path.  This time, I hiked the entire trail with no problem. We also visited Blackwater Falls and enjoyed the trails and views there.

The picturesque Seneca Rocks (Photo by me)
The picturesque Seneca Rocks (Photo by me)
Crossing the bridge to the trail's start.  (Photo by me)
Crossing the bridge to the trail’s start. (Photo by me)
Almost to the top! (Photo by me)
Almost to the top! (Photo by me)
I made it!!  A view from the top.  (Photo by me)
I made it!! A view from the top. (Photo by me)
The awesome view from the observation area!  (Photo be me)
The awesome view from the observation area! (Photo be me)

The only thing that was a problem in this area was finding fresh, healthy food choices. Eating out wasn’t an option since the restaurant choices were either fast food, or greasy diner fare.  Luckily, the cabin had a fairly well-equipped kitchen. However, the only grocery store choice in this area was sadly lacking.  Nutrient-weak iceberg lettuce was the only salad choice and the rest of the produce section was extremely sparse. Fortunately, I did find some nice lean chicken and a few veggies to grill up during our stay–and an awesome watermelon (my favorite fruit) for dessert.

On our last day there (our actual anniversary), we traveled to Thomas, WV to eat at the Purple Fiddle with its clean, simple, homemade, organic fare.  I had an awesome turkey and pesto hummus Panini and my husband had a jalapeño turkey wrap.  The Purple Fiddle is well-known for its live music, and we arrived just as Bob Keel was beginning his first set of original, folk, and classic covers.  Funny thing is, Bob is actually from our area, and my younger daughter, who does Contra dancing has heard him play many times.

Lunch at the Purple Fiddle.  (Photo by me)
Lunch at the Purple Fiddle. (Photo by me)
Great music from Bob Keel.  (Photo by me)
Great music from Bob Keel. (Photo by me)

Before leaving Thomas, we visited the fabulous little riverside shops where we found our usual anniversary gift to ourselves; a piece of local art from wherever we’re visiting.  This piece not only summed up our wonderful weekend, but the past 13 years of marriage that we’ve shared together!

Not the greatest photography on my part, but this is the print we got at The White Room Gallery in Thomas, WV.  For more work by this artist visit his etsy site
Not the greatest photography on my part, but this is the print we got at The White Room Gallery in Thomas, WV. For more work by this artist visit his etsy site
blogging, emotional eating, enjoying family, Food Addiction, Having fun, learning, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, New York City, optifast, organic food, photography, public relations, setting goals, Travel, weight loss journal, Writing

Changes are Coming my Way!

Guess What I’ve Been Eating?

This past weekend in New York, at my doctor’s suggestion, to avoid carrying around a cooler of shakes , I ate a small amount of real food for both lunch and dinner. I actually had no difficulty finding healthy food in Manhattan, as there seem to be places serving fresh, organic fare at every turn. From our last trip to the Museum of Modern Art, I knew that the Terrace Café on the 5th floor had some great healthy choices.  For lunch, I had the Miso Salad, sans dressing, with thinly sliced, grilled beef medallions, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, and radishes topping a bed of fresh arugula.  We also ordered an appetizer of Lemon Hummus served with a thin, crispy flatbread.

The avocado was to die for! (Photo by me)
The avocado was to die for! (Photo by me)

Of course, with a shrunken stomach, after four months of nothing but Optifast shakes, I certainly wasn’t able to chow down on the entire salad, but I did manage two pieces of beef and avocado, as well as about a cup of the other veggies.  I also had a teaspoon of the delicious lemon hummus.

After lunch, I had a refreshing cup of Mighty Leaf Tea’s,  Marrakesh Mint for dessert. This tea isn’t available in my area, and I’d never tried it.  The funny thing is,  when I ghost blogged for the organic restaurant, I had to do an entire post on this brand.  (This is why I’m always wary of the blogs of businesses! :))

My husband chose our dinner spot based on our pickup location. Harrington’s Bar and Grill on 31st Street. My choices here were a bit more limited, but it was pouring rain and really chilly, so I was very content to be inside. After much consideration, I chose the grilled herbed salmon salad. It feature grilled, sliced salmon on a bed of romaine, with tomatoes, cucumbers and red and green peppers. I ate one of the small pieces of salmon and about a cup of vegetables.  My salmon loving husband and daughter gladly polished of the rest of the salad for me.

My Grilled Salmon Salad.  The tomatoes were delish!  That's my daughter's grilled veggie sandwich in the background. (Photo by me)
My Grilled Salmon Salad. The tomatoes were delish! That’s my daughter’s grilled veggie sandwich in the background. (Photo by me)

Weight Loss News

I lost a whopping 2.8 pounds at Wednesday’s weigh-in! After a quick high-five celebration from my doctor and nurse, my doctor said she’s ready for me to start making the transition back to food.  This week I’ll be having 4 oz. of lean protein with 1-2 cups of non-starchy vegetables for one of my meals.  I ‘ll still be drinking my shakes, but I’ll have four instead of five. Instead of doing another 9 weeks of Optifast, after this 9 weeks ends in June, I’ll be switching  to a program  called  Weight  Wise.  I’ll have 2 balanced meals and 1 snack of regular food with 2 Optifast shakes per day.  I’ll stay on this plan for two months, seeing my doctor bi-weekly, and the behavior modification specialist the other two weeks of the month.  Then, if I still have more weight to lose, I’ll do another 9 week round of Optifast. At this point, I have 33 more pounds to lose before I reach my goal weight.  By switching up my program, my body won’t become complacent with Optifast.

It’s funny how my relationship with food had changed.  Being back on it, isn’t as thrilling as I’d imagined it would be months ago. I think it has a lot to do with having so many more things in my life to look forward to other than just a meal.  My weight loss has caused me to become more involved with activities and people and those are the things I’m enjoying more. Food is lovely, but it’s just the fuel that gives me the energy I need to embrace life.


I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend with pretty weather~ It’s actually going to be in the high 60s here!  Hooray! 🙂 Anyone have exciting weekend plans?

blogging, cats, Crafting to lose weight, optifast, organic food, weight loss journal

A Flowery Field in a Snowstorm

This landscape is a feast for my snow-worn eyes!  Thank you, Lita!
This landscape is a feast for my snow-worn eyes! Thank you, Lita!

This morning I was honored to receive the lovely Field of  Flowers Award from the über talented Lita Doolan from the blog Any old world uncovered by new writing. This award couldn’t have come at a better time, as my area is currently expecting 12 to 15 inches of snow.  Though Lita calls herself “an emerging writer”, I find her plays and poetry masterfully written. Plus, isn’t the name Lita Doolan just the coolest ever? 🙂 Check out her blog, you’ll be impressed!

The Field of Flowers Award is a gift that keeps on giving, because I get to give it to seven other lucky bloggers!

Before I announce my choices, here are a few rules they must follow:

  • Thank the wonderful blogger who nominated you.
  • Place this decorative award on your blog.
  • Nominate 7 other deserving bloggers and write a little something about why you chose them.
  • Let your nominees know that you nominated them.

Here are my 7 fabulous nominees:

  1. Maria Smyth from Still Times-Our China and Life Adventures–  Maria is a skilled photographer, a delightful writer, and thoughtful commenter.  Hers is the first blog I began following when I began my adventure here on WordPress.
  2. Kim from alwaysthinkingimfat– Kim is on a journey to lose weight and improve her life just like me!  Her posts are always insightful and inspirational.
  3. tvkapherr from Cats at the Bar– tvkapherr is the proud human of 18 cats and one noisy dog!  His cats have allowed him to take many adorable pictures of them.  His blog had me at meow!
  4. Elaine from foodbod– Elaine’s blog makes me hungry, but luckily, she guides my palate in the direction of healthy vegetarian fare.  Elaine inspires me with her delicious dishes, lovely pictures and sincere writing.
  5. trisheggplant from Geeky By Association – trisheggplant is my Optifast buddy!  She calls herself a geek, but her writing, attitude, and kind comments prove her to be quite cool and determined.
  6. laflor5233 from Mi Casita, Mi Ranchito– laflor5233 is super crafty!  I was drawn to her blog by the gorgeous pictures of her quilts.
  7. Sophie from British Chick Across the Pond– I just became acquainted with Sophie and her blog today.  Her writing is witty and fresh, and I can’t wait to read more!

I hope you’ll take some time to check out my nominees.  Thank you once again, Lita, for this sweet award! 🙂

blogging, losing weight, Medical Weight Loss Program, organic food, public relations, weight loss journal

Day 12: Fat Chick Blogs for Organic Restaurant

This could be my hand reaching for those delicious, organic tomatoes! (Photo by  Alanthebox Wikimedia Commons)
This could be my hand reaching for those delicious, organic tomatoes! (Photo by Alanthebox Wikimedia Commons)

Last year, I helped an overwhelmed friend out by doing some writing for her public relations firm.  One of my jobs was blogging for several of her client’s businesses; acting as a “ghost blogger” so to speak.  The really intriguing thing about entering the spirit world of blogging is that you have to write in the “voice” of the business owner.  It’s no surprise that my favorite business to blog for was a pricey organic restaurant that I’d actually never been to, due to the fact that it’s located nearly six hours away.  Because I’d never actually met the owner, whose persona I was to occupy, I was forced to rely on her website bio, and three previous blogs that she’d written.

From her expertly staged picture, I could see that Ana, was a little sprite of woman who was the embodiment of healthy living; sleek, shiny blond hair, flawless skin, and an impeccably toned body.  She looked exactly like I would if I laid off the donuts and exercised ten hours a day.  Her bio told me that she was a world traveler, an avid skier and mountain biker, and that she and her husband had just returned from a wine tasting tour of Italy.  I hated her and love her all at the same time.

Envy aside, I soon fell in to her character as I researched, did phone interviews, and wrote about the different vendors and events associated with her restaurant.  I wrote as if I personally knew the man who grew and  snipped each leaf of organic lettuce from his local, sustainable greenhouse.  I penned tales of  exclusive, sold-out, culinary events just like I’d been there in my little black dress sipping a thoughtfully crafted TenutaDi Arceno.

For nearly a year, I wrote and lived vicariously through Ana and she raved to my friend about the quality of my posts.  Little did she know that sometimes my keyboard was tainted with Doritos dust.

My bank account may  never allow me to live the lifestyle of Ana. I’m a literal wreck on skies and wine gives me hot flashes, but if I work hard enough I can achieve a healthier fitness level and much better eating habits.  That’s good enough for me!

Have you ever wanted to be like someone else?  Who?  Tell me about it in the comment’s section. 🙂