Saturday, January 25, 2014

Setting Goals

Up until now I have not set any goals for my weight loss. I've been more concerned with just changing my eating habits and getting into a mind set where I am more conscious of what and when I eat. This is all good except that I have not lost any weight this entire month so far and in fact have gained a few pounds. I think it's about time for me to set some attainable goals!
I realize that in addition to the mind-set, a big part of weight loss is setting goals. Goals are important because they help you focus your time and energy on the areas that count. Without them, you are just sort of floating around aimlessly with no clear direction.

I've been reading a lot about SMART goal setting. To set myself up to succeed, my goals should be:
Specific – Detail the goal. Break into smaller steps. Can be long or short term goal.
Measurable – Be accountable by selecting ways to determine if you have reached the goal you set.
Achievable – Stay motivated by keeping your goals within reach.
Realistic- Keep your goals grounded in reality.
Time Bound – Regular reviews on your progress will aid in keeping you focus.
So lets get started today and set some weight loss goals for the week...
  • I want to weigh in at 140 by next Saturday. That's a loss of 4 lbs., (that's right... I gained 4 lbs. this week!) That will put me back on track with where I was a week ago. I'll make sure that I eat something nutritious for breakfast every morning, (which I have really been lagging in. I tend to run out the door and not eat until lunch time). I'll make sure to have healthy food prepared and readily available for the week so I can easily adhere to a more regular eating program.
  • For the long term I want to lose 10 lbs. each month. That's 2.5 lbs. a week. That put's me at my desired weight of 155 in 10 months.
  • The best motivation for me is thru updating this blog. It really does hold me accountable and provides me with a format to regularly review and measure my progress.
  • At some point I need to incorporate an exercise program. I'm still pondering what this will encompass... more on that later.
  • Staying motivated. That will be a good point for my next blog...
So really the point is to stay on track with a plan and a goal in mind. Got it!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I've been making a conscious effort to include good fat's in my diet lately. I used to think that a low fat diet was the way to go but honestly I feel so much better and satisfied if I eat foods with healthy fat contents. I feel so much fuller with more energy.

Fact: The obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years, coinciding with the low-fat revolution. Cutting calories is the key to weight loss, and since fats are filling, they can help curb overeating.

Fact: A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your waistline. Many fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories.

Fact: The mix of fats that you eat, rather than the total amount in your diet, is what matters most when it comes to your cholesterol and health. The key is to eat more good fats and less bad fats.
Saturated fats and trans fats are bad for you but monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease.

I lived briefly on a 50 acre avocado ranch in the Central Valley and had unlimited free avocados available year round. I used to make a lot of avocados stuffed with things like chicken salad or shrimp or sometimes with sliced tomatoes and strawberries that had been marinated in balsamic vinegar. Really it doesn't take much... a perfectly ripe avocado with anything is hard to beat. The chicken lime soup recipe from Budget Bytes is fantastic with sliced avocados added on top! Avocados are packed with anti-inflammatory benefits that aid in fighting arthritis. They are high in fat but the fat is good fat that has unlimited benefits.

The other fat I'm eating comes from nuts. I love almonds and pistachios! They are a quick snack to have around and particularly good to keep in the car for when you need something to curb your appetite while driving.

Other foods with healthy fats are bananas, eggs, olive oil, and grilled salmon. I love eating two poached eggs on toast for breakfast. It's really light and satisfying. Grilled salmon with asparagus, baby red potatoes and lots of lemons is also one of my favorite meals. Also, a sliced banana with yogurt, chopped peanuts and a drizzle of orange blossom honey is like eating dessert for me.

So really my focus has been to incorporate more healthy fats into my daily diet and not stress about the increase of calories they may add.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I live on 88 acres in the Santa Cruz mountains and our water comes from a well. This is only my second experience with well water. Years ago my boyfriend and I lived on his fathers farm in Ohio with well water. The water had a lot of sulphur and iron in it. It smelled and tasted horrible! I remember my hair was always limp and it was difficult to get soap to lather. This was back in the 70's before people really bought water and so we just lived with it.

I have to say that most of the places I've lived have had poor public water that I would never consider drinking. By all accounts, the San Lorenzo Valley public water is excellent! It's by far better than any water you could buy. I used to live in Carpinteria and drove between Santa Barbara and Boulder Creek every weekend for 4 yrs. I used to haul back SLV public drinking water every week because the water in the whole central coast area was so bad. The public drinking water we had in Vermont was pretty gross as well. You would think that a place like Vermont would have clean drinking water. I remember coming home from work one day, turning on the faucet and being horrified by the bright orange flow coming out. Turned out that the city had done some work on the water main that day. It took a full half hour of leaving the faucet running to clear it out! I never drank their public water again after that.

The well water where I currently live is good. There is no odor and it tastes great. Soap lathers up just fine. I normally would have no reason to be concerned except that here in California, we are in the 3rd year of a drought. The drought definitely affects aquifers. As the water levels decrease, more of the surrounding sediment gets deposited into the water supply. Because the water isn't regulated I'm curious as to the make-up of the water I'm drinking?

Water accounts for 75% of our brain and muscles and 22% of our bones. It carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells, removes waste, cushions joints and regulates our body temperature. In a nutshell, having access to clean drinking water is important in maintaining our health.

I recently have started looking into alternative sources of drinking water and the choices are mind boggling to say the least! What are the differences between distilled and reverse osmosis? What are the advantages of one water filter system over another?  The water store charges 49 cents per gallon for their reverse osmosis water. The local health food store has an in-store water station that sells purified water for 30 cents a gallon. You can buy drinking water out of a vending machine for even less... 25 cents per gallon. The guy at the water store offered to test my well water for free, but the test is only for mineral content and not for disease causing pathogens. Testing for pathogens can get pretty pricey! Decisions decisions...

Honestly, I don't really care where my water comes from as long as I can be assured that what I'm drinking tastes good and is safe. Drinking fresh clean water is the foundation of our overall health and probably the #1 thing we can do maintain a healthy lifestyle. I'll drink to that!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Down to Brass Tacks

I have to admit that I have been slacking in the weight loss arena. I'm doing well with sticking to healthy eating habits but have been at the same weight for around 3 weeks now with no loss.

I had a fantastic meal at a friends house on New Years Eve. Chicken Marsala, rice pilaf, curried vegetables and banana flambé for dessert. It was beautifully executed and such a nice way to wrap up the Holiday Season.

I managed to get through the whole season with only gaining 3 lbs. from my lowest weight. So now it is down to the brass tacks of regaining my previous weight loss composure... starting today!

I spent part of New Years day at the San Jose Flea Market. I had never been there before even though it has the distinction of being the worlds largest flea market. It was a slow day there and many of the vendors were not open, but there was still a lot going on. I was amazed at the scope of the market... it is huge! There is a whole area just for produce and food stalls. Most of this area was closed down but there were still around 20 vendors open for business. I bought the most beautiful, sweetest red grapefruits I've ever had at 3 for $1.00. I also bought some sweet red grapes for 95 cents a lb. There was a vendor open that only sold fresh fruit cups. mangos on a stick, and a large assortment of fresh juices on ice in massive glass urns. I bought the tangerine juice which was fantastic! It is an incredible source for cheap fresh produce and definitely worth the drive over the hill. I'll have to go back on a weekend when it's in full swing.

It is with a light heart and a refridgerator fully stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables that I march forward into the new year. Carry on...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Good Eats

Todays recipe comes from Erika Kerekes of the popular food blog, In Erika's Kitchen. Erika writes a fabulous food blog from her home in Santa Monica. I follow her and find her recipes and style of writing to be fun, engaging and inspiring.

I make a lot of quiche. My son loves it and eats it like he eats pizza. I buy packages of pre-made, deep dish crust frozen pie shells to keep on hand in the freezer for the quiches. They taste good and the time saving element of using the frozen shells is huge!
Most of the calories of a quiche are in the crust and I have often thought of developing a crustless quiche in order to cut down on the calories. I actually made one awhile back from an internet recipe that looked great, but the overall taste and texture was just not there for me. It was too much like eating thick scrambled eggs with vegetables. No one liked it and I ended up throwing most of it out. I've been reluctant to try it again and put it on the back burner... until now.
I was thrilled to see Erika's recent post for a crustless quiche recipe! This is the perfect recipe to kick off the New Year.  Adding the Bisquick to the custard as a binder is genius. This quiche is fabulous and has all the flavors and texture of one with crust only without all the calories. It's creamy, cheesy and packed with protein and vitamin rich nutrients. Can be eaten hot or cold, (just like pizza).
Thank you Erika for posting this fantastic recipe that is destined to be a new favorite!
Wishing all a Happy New Year and healthy eating in year 2014!