Monday, June 30, 2008


I walked this morning for about 45 minutes.

Breakfast was walnut raisin bread with the last of the butter. I'll make some more this week.

I prepared lunch this morning - pan fried tofu with 5 spice, Braggs (soy sauce), asparagus, kale and an egg.

I'm very hungry now. I don't have a yogurt with me or I'd eat it. I may have to eat the lunch soon and then just get something later.

ETA: I just ate my lunch.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Second

I walked for a hour. It was a very nice walk, and I realized that for most of June I did not walk. If worrying and anxiety burned calories, I'd be set, but it does not, and is not healthy. I need to stop letting how I feel dictate what I do. I need to just get up and walk even when I feel like hibernating. I need to move on my yoga mat and sit on my zazen cushion even when I am afraid of what might come up. I need to go see my acupuncturist a few more times.

I did some yoga tonight - a yin yoga practice of holding the poses for a while. It felt good to stretch, even though it can sometime bring up emotional things that I've been storing way inside my joints. It also made me sleepy, which is a nice side effect.

Dinner was a pork loin chop, pan seared, and then I stir fried a bunch of chopped asparagus in the pan drippings. Very very tasty. I should have made some brown rice for lunches, but I'm so sleepy now that I think I will go to bed soon.

Sunday Sewing

I've been sewing all day. One outfit for a person who doesn't even weigh 20 pounds. But it is very cute and if I can find my box of buttons my little nephew wll actually be able to wear the outfit without its falling down.

So now it's 3pm, and while I've been standing for most of the day at my sewing table (otherwise known as the ironing board) I haven't done any actual exercise. So, I'm about to go to the hilly place by the ocean for a walk, before I come back and recommence my button search, and then start to sew a pair of shorts for my other newphew because the whole double sided crossed-bodice, snap crotch, and buttoned straps just isn't going to happen twice today - but I do want them both to have semi-matching outfits on the 4th of July

I made some more walnut raisin bread and have nibbled on that throughout the day. You can't really eat when sewing. I have a lot of kale and some garlic scapes that need to be made into something around dinner time.

The Boy has finished his 2-day 150 mile charity bike ride and should be arriving back around these parts by ferry sometime this evening.

And here are some not so good photos of the outfit.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday evening

A short post to keep me on track.

I have not eaten all the butter, just in case you were wondering. I took a loaf of the bread and some of the butter to The Boy's house. I have been eating 2 slices of the bread as toast in the mornings, and it does quite a nice job of keeping me filled up until lunch time. I will definitely be making more of it this weekend. The Boy will be

My exercise has really slacked off. When I had those few weeks of anxiety, I just really didn't want to be out moving, and I slept more. I think I've kicked it, though. (I will say that I used to discount people who got anxiety and thought they should just 'get over it'. Not anymore.) I did about 30 minutes of yoga on Monday morning which felt good, and then I meditated for 20 minutes. It led to a much more calm and focused day, and carried over into today. Most of this afternoon and evening it poured rain here, but it finally stopped and I got in a 20 minute walk with the dog. I saw a firefly.

And for those of you who didn't like the sometimes negative tarot cards (even though I told you those didn't count), here are some nice affirmation cards instead.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Putting the Butter in "Beets, Butter & Mountaintops"

Today at Whole Foods I found organic, grass-fed, unhomogenized heavy cream. And you know what that means - homemade butter!
It starts off just like you are making whipped cream. You beat it for a while and nothing happens, and you wonder if anything will. And then.... passes quite quickly from whipped cream into something strange. I think mine skipped the whipped cream phase altogether, or else I blinked and missed it.  Then a minute or two later...
...the buttermilk starts to separate out and the butter solids start to clump together.  Pour off the buttermilk and keep beating for a while. 
Here's the buttermilk. 
And here's the butter! Then you sort of knead it with a spatula to get more of the butter milk out, and I salted it, too.  It has a very strong flavor because it is grass-fed.  I haven't tried it on the bread yet, I think I will wait for morning.  

Exercise today consisted of weeding about 80 pounds of garlic mustard and some other invasive vine out of the raspberry patch.  The poor plants were getting strangled by the weeds, so I spent some time in there this morning getting bitten by mosquitoes and trying not to get scratched on by the raspberry stalks.  Hopefully, they will be happier now and we'll have berries soon.
I'm going to walk the dog after dinner (which will probably be posted about as well.) 

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bread & Butter Blog?

If this keeps up, I'm going to have to start a blog about bread making. But, since I don't buy bread for my house, and have started making it again, this post falls within the guidelines of my blog which are "anything I want to write about that is not sewing and is marginally related to eating or moving or my boyfriend's dog who eats everything."

OLP and I were trying to decide whether pedis or wine would be more relaxing after work, when I realized that what would be most relaxing was kneading bread dough. Because when I knead dough, I am just kneading dough. I can't worry about things because I'm making sure that the dough is the right consistency, and I'm getting happy when it turns from a ragged ball of dough into a smooth lovely shape as I take care not to add too much flour, but also not to leave it too sticky.  It is the only chore, besides sewing, which I find meditative. I think I was meant to be a farm housewife.  

Today's, or rather tonight's, loaf was the Italian Whole Wheat Walnut Raisin Bread from Bread for All Seasons. This was not the everyday, workhorse bread from last weekend. No, this is a lovely sweet and rich loaf. The batch has a 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of honey, 3 cups of walnuts, 2 cups of raisins and 4 cups whole wheat flour and about 2 cups of white flour. I weighed the dough because it was so heavy - it weighed over 4 pounds.

After the dough rose, it was laid out and then half of the walnuts and raisins were pressed into it.

Then I rolled it up, flattened it again, and pressed the rest of the nuts and raisins in (so there is a layer of walnuts and raisins inside that dough, as well as on top of it):
Then I rolled the dough up again, and formed 2 loaves. Most of the nuts and raisins are on the inside, which I think keeps them from burning.  Then the loaves sit to rise again. 

Here they are after rising, which some parchment paper to keep them separated.  I ground a little flax seed on top for decoration.  

And here they are out of the oven. They are gigantic. I don't remember them being that large last time I made them (which was 10 years ago, so I might have forgotten.)  I had 2 slices with some grass-fed butter that I'd found at Whole Foods and it was perfect.  I will be bringing one of the loaves to the Boy tomorrow, after making sure he has a dog-proof place to store it since I will not be very happy if the dog eats this bread! 
If you like making bread, this is a very satisfying loaf to bake, and makes wonderful toast! And because it is so rich, just a little bit is perfect. 

I'm going to the farmstand tomorrow to see if they have kale yet. Let's hope so! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nary a green in sight

I'm of the belief that a diet should be balanced over a week, not necessarily every day, and so the fact that my dinner was completely void of vegetables does not concern me. It was a lovely pork chop cooked with salt, pepper and rosemary, and then a slice of my whole wheat bread topped with fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil. All on a plate that is almost too small.

The bread is nice because it's good enough that I want to eat it, but not so good that I want to eat more than a slice. And it's just so satisfying to know that I made it myself.  (I brought a loaf of it to the Boy's the other night, and he called the next day to say that his dog has jumped on the table and eaten it. All of it.  The dog is approximately the same size as the loaf of bread...)  

My massage was heavenly, and just what I needed. The masseuse is very strong and has the spindly little fingers that just stretch and rip the muscles and fascia to get them to relax. It sounds painful - and it is at the time, but I left there and my back didn't hurt so I'm happy. I did some more yoga tonight to get my legs and hips stretched (it has been too long since I did pigeon pose) and hopefully that will keep me on track.

And here's a cool site to get free Tarot Card readings. Just remember not to take it too seriously if it is doom and gloom. But do take it seriously if it is good news!

Same lunch, different day

Look's surprisingly like yesterday's lunch, no? Today was: one chicken thigh, 1/2 a zucchini, 2 aspargus spears, and the rest of the bunch of broccoli rabe. Then I toasted a peice of the wheat bread, chopped it up and put it in the bottom of the bowl. Yum. But the bread might have been better with a little bit of butter. Maybe the butter from this morning's toast could have been used at lunch.

I have decided to not go to my networking event tonight, and to get a massage instead. Much better.

Checking In

Yes, I did my yoga last night. It was mostly hip openers and twists and lots of down-dog. My lower back seems to have seized due to the stress and lack of exercise, so I was trying to relax and stretch the muscles around it so the bones could shift. It seems a little better this morning. Of course when I got to a networking event tonight and stand in flats for 2 hours I'm sure it will be none too pleased...

Breakfast was whole wheat toast with butter and almond butter. And I did remember my yogurt today. And the stress seems to be abating.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fajita Night!

Ah, fajita night. My old friend. My trusty companion that comes bearing all the veggies I need for one day. I knew I needed more veggies for the day, and wanted something quick, so I threw together a batch of fajitas: about 4 oz. of shrimp, 1/2 a zucchini, 1/2 a small red onion, 3 mushroom, small bunch of broccali rabe - seared on high heat with salsa, then wrapped in some whole wheat tortillas spread with a little plain Fage yogurt. The perfect amount, and they tasted perfect. For dessert I had a few walnuts.

The dog and I went for a short walk when I got home, but her back legs keep giving out on the way home, so more more walkies tonight. I think she spends too much time running away and frolicking in the woods when we go to The Boy's house, and then has to recuperate for a few days when we get home.

I am committing to doing a half hour of yoga before bed. There, I've said it. And I'll post in the morning to let you know it was done.

Lunch Picture

Now that I have returned to blogging, I suppose I shall return to posting pictures of my meals. Even though a commenter on my last post wished that "weight loss bloggers" would not post pictures of food (which she may have been kidding about, especially since the picture was of whole wheat dough.) . Well, I'm not a "weight loss blogger" and I like posting pictures of my food so I will continue to do so. Hopefully it provides people with inspiration and ideas, and shows that losing weight is completely possible while eating whole foods rather than sugar free/fat free/prepared foods, etc.

Anyway, this is today's lunch. 2 chicken thighs, sauteed. Then I chopped up some asparagus and threw the lid on the pan while I blow-dried my hair. (I'm usually making lunch while I get reading in the morning.)  It needed some sort of grain, which I did not have, so I chopped up the heel-end of the bread and put that in the bottom of the bowl, and then put the other things on top. I also ground up a tablespoon of flax seed and sprinkled that on top, since flax seed oil is supposed to help with an anxious mind and overactive adrenals (which is what my acupuncturist said was the issue with the pounding heart - too much adrenaline.)
Breakfast was 2 slices of the whole wheat bread with a little almond butter.  I forgot to bring my yogurt.  Dinner will probably be some pork, and some more vegetables. 

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Feeling Kneady

Here's the bread so far. After kneading it for quite a while, to the point my wrists started to hurt, I put it aside to rise.

After rising, split into loaves, brushed with water, sliced the top and now for another rise. I might cut this rise short since if I let it rise for an hour, and then cook it for an hour, it won't be done until 9 p.m. This will have to be a bread that is started on a Friday or Saturday night since takes quite a while too prepare.

Late Night Pizza

Somehow the Boy and I had our internal clocks off a bit yesterday, and dinner ended up being at 9:30 p.m. We had planned on pizza for dinner so the dough was ready and rising in the oven, but we had to take a trip to REI first, and then stopped at Whole Foods to get some more pizza fixing and ice cream for him. He loves ice cream and I never have any at my house.

By the time we made it back here, it was almost 9, and then we had to cook the spicy chicken sausage, and build the pizza - pesto, arugula, mushrooms, spicy chicken sausage, small pieces of fresh mozzarella and some crumbled goat cheese. Then when it was done we sprinkled some fresh basil and grated sheep's milk cheese on it. It was fantastic. I had 2 slices, he had 6, and I had another for breakfast.  I usually have shrimp and thinly sliced red onion on my pizza, but he does not like those things so we mixed it up a bit.  

I am making whole wheat bread today. The recipe is from Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings which is about food and zen. The recipe calls for making a sponge at night (a tiny bit of yeast mixed with flour and water) and the finishing the bread in the morning. But, I started it this morning, and will let the sponge sit for 7 hours and then finish the bread this afternoon. It's second rise is 3-4 hours, so it still won't be done until evening.

I lifted my weights yesterday, and have been doing some stretching. My lower back has been in pain for a few days which I'm sure is from the stress and lack of sit-ups.  And since the stress and anxiety are back under control, and the sit-ups have been resumed, things should be better soon. 

Other meals today:  2 eggs with sauteed mushrooms, zuchhini and thinly sliced asparaugs. Not sure about dinner yet, it depends on when the bread is done. 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's How You Feel, Not How You Look

I loved seeing the scale go down, the tape measure show smaller number, getting rid of too-big clothes and buying smaller ones. And I loved how my body got stronger and more fit. And then the anxiety hit.  And what size I was wearing or how fast I could walk didn't matter.  All that mattered was trying to breathe so my heart didn't pound out of my chest.  And trying to keep just moving forward no matter how much things felt like they were going to spin out into the ether. 

I went to the acupuncturist yesterday, finally.  Some ear needles, and some under my collar bone and below my belly button and after a half hour on the table I could feel things shift.  He also recommended trace minerals, since if you get dehydrated and your trace minerals get unbalanced that can cause anxiety. So I have these drops from the Great Salt Lake. It tastes like concentrated sea water, but if it will rebalance things, I'll drink sea water. And take my flax seeds.

The point of this is that when I was having the anxiety over the last couple weeks, I would have taken those 12 pounds back in a second if it meant I would have felt better. Of course it is possible to both be at a comfortable weight and feel good, but what matters most is feeling good. And making sure that things are good on the inside.

Today is a good day. My appetite is back and my fridge is full again with chicken and pork and yogurt and green things and water and grapefruit juice. I bought an orange blossom tomato plant at the organic farm (the picture above [from the internet, not the farm] is what they will look like when they have grown) I might sew. And lift my weights. And put the kayak rack on the car. And later I will make pesto and arugula pizza to share with The Boy.

And I'll continue down this path to better fitness, being ever mindful of what is going on inside as well as out.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

I have not forgotten about my little blog. Nor have I forgotten to eat mindfully and move often.  I have just been having some intermittent, but at times rather taxing, anxiety about work things, which I know will ultimately make me better at what I do and stronger.  However, the effect of the anxiety (in addition to the 1 a.m. wake-ups, pounding heart, distractedness, etc.) is that I didn't want to be blogging, or outside exercising too much. So I didn't.  I walked on some days, meditated on other days, did a lot of house chores, tended my little garden, got my kayak out of the shed into the sun, and tried to remember that everything is exactly as it should be.

Now that the heat of last weekend has passed (which completely threw off my Sunday cooking) and now that I have blogged again, I think I can keep doing it. And I will retake my measurements. The scale seems to be holding steady at around 176 173, and my smaller clothes are still fitting, which is good. I do need to get back to my regular habit of lifting weights and doing sit ups.

I had decided to take Friday's off of work, but what I've decided to do today is take the morning off and get some things done at home, and then go into the office in the afternoon to bill a few hours and then meet my friends for a drink after work.

So, that's where I've been and where I am.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Tale of Two Dinners

Last night when I got home from work I was hungry, so I set about making some fajitas - kale, turnips greens, broccoli, onions, peppers and shrimp. The green things had seen better days and needed to be eaten. I had eaten one when my Boy called and said that he had just gone on a long bike ride and wanted to go to dinner. I told him I'd eaten some, but that I'd join him anyway. We went to a little restaurant and he had a burger and fries and I had a bowl of steamed mussels. They were so good, and the perfect complement to my earlier meal.

Leftover fajita fillings are for lunch, probably with some brown rice.

I found a bag of clothes that I had put in the closet because the jeans stopped fitting me. They fit me now, but some of them are too short, and some have a fit that is not quite right so I might have to donate them anyway - but it was nice to find smaller clothes that fit me.

Breakfast was oatmeal with the usual fixings. And now I'm going for a walk with the dog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A New Day

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Moving on from yesterday... I had pork for dinner last night. It was very good.

This morning my schedule was off, so I stopped at Panera for a bagel with cream cheese. Not my ideal breakfast by any means, but it sufficed.

Lunch is chicken and brown rice and no vegetables because I didn't want to cook any this morning and there was nothing that could just be thrown in the bowl. And a plain yogurt. And OLP just called and I'm going to meet her at Whole Foods in a little bit, so I can get my veggies in then.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Stress Diet

Work just sucks right now. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying to be an attorney with my own practice when I clearly have no idea what I am doing half the time.

Anyway, I made myself eat breakfast this morning since not eating it was screwing up my days. It was my standard oatmeal breakfast and was good. Then the stress of the day cut off my appetite, so I just picked at my salad (arugula, chickpeas, avocado, fresh mozzarella, olives, tomato) so that I didn't pass out during my new client meeting (they hired me, and I actually do know what I'm doing on their case so that's a plus.)

I'm going to try meditating later. There are some workmen showing up at my house tomorrow morning at 8am which messes up my morning routine since I will have to be showered and pretty much ready to leave by then.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Biking and Belly Aching

I rode for 30 minutes. It was a nice ride, but hot. I really should go earlier in the day. Since I've returned, about 2 hours ago, my stomach has felt queasy. I figured it was the heat, but it's very annoying especially since I made a point to drink water throughout the day before my ride. And some during my ride. And after my ride. I'm making some rice for lunches this week, so I'll have some of that when it's done and see if it helps.


Today is a grazing sort of day. I had my coffee outside and for some reason, a bowl of red radishes (from the farm yesterday) seemed like the right thing to have for breakfast. The dog was outside with me and a fox ran through the yard. The dog chased it but soon came back since I had the dog cookies and the fox did not. I was reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and wondering if I could raise a turkey along with my chickens and contemplating where to put a much bigger and better garden next spring.

Later, I had a yogurt. Then for lunch I had 2 eggs with some of the white turnip greens. Very yummy. That did not fill me up, so I had a couple of olives, a bit of fresh mozzarella, a slice of avocado and then a small spoonful of almond butter. That seems like it should be enough food to keep me full, but I just entered everything into Sparkpeople and the total came back as 620 calories, which is about 300 calories short of where I usually am after lunch, and it explains why I am still hungry. Also, most of my calories have come from fat today, so I will try to find something with lean protein.... Ok, I am making the rest of the scallops with broccoli rabe. That gets me up to 800 and will hopefully make me full enough to go for a bike ride. The scallops came all the way from Mexico, which is not local, but sauteed with the rabe greens (which will certainly be in next year's garden) it is so good that I have allowed myself those. The farmer's market near my house sells live lobsters, so perhaps next week I will buy one of those....they are local.

Having finished the rest of my lunch, I am now full and ready to go biking.