Monday, August 25, 2014

In the Unlikeliest of Places

"Every meal doesn't need to be a party in your mouth."

When I read those words, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. And it wasn't in a book, or at some weight-loss symposium, or on some guru's blog.  It was found in a thread on a forum dedicated to snarking on health bloggers. 

"Every meal doesn't need to be a 
party in your mouth."

Sometimes the Universe sends you just what you need exactly when you need it. 

I can't believe it has been four months since I last posted. There have been much happenings here that have kept me busy. True, the desire wasn't there, but that was really a small part. So where have I been? Other than the work related injury in early June that had me incapacitated for a month and on restricted activity for July, much of it has been good. Hopefully this post will stimulate my writing juices so I will come back soon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bow Ties Are Cool

The desk agent at the gym greeted with me with a warm smile and was wearing a bow tie. This about sums up how happy I am with my new gym. It's not perfect, there is the gum popping guy (I could even hear him through the music on my headphones) and of course, the obligatory trainer having his trainee do heavily loaded back squats using the Smith machine. But it's super clean and I've managed to work the nearly-empty times into my schedule.

I've been lifting two days a week using the The New Rules of Lifting for Women program along with the AquaFit classes in between.  And I have found a new favorite...

The rowing machine!  I make like Frank Underwood and plot ways to vanquish my enemies while rowing away like a lunatic.  It's deceptively difficult, I started off doing 2 minutes and have worked my way up to 10 minutes of high intensity intervals. It's smooth, very low impact but hits about every muscle and gets the heart pumping like crazy.  Something about activates endorphins like nothing else, I started laughing so hard when when I was done, it was a really good feeling.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Slim Plate System Review

The folks over at Slim Plate sent me the system to review.

Slim Plate is a set of plates, bowls, cups and "cutters" designed to help the user become portion aware and lose weight without counting calorie and using real food.

In a nutshell, enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snacks (or one snack and one dessert,) one cold sweetened or alcoholic beverage of choice, one hot sweetened/creamed beverage of choice per day using the system to achieve proper portions. Everyone in the house can eat the same meal.

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There are four dinner plates included (clockwise from top left)~ Inspired, which is for vegetables and protein only, is to kick start the program. Savvy adds in a small portion of starch at dinner, for continued weight loss. Master is for transitioning, increases the starch allowance. And finally the Maintenance plate.

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Also included~ The breakfast portion plate, the cold up (fill with your favorite beverage to enjoy once a day, be it non-diet soda, sweetened iced tea, or WINE,) the hot cup for milky/sweetened coffee or tea, or hot chocolate once a day, cereal/soup/chili bowl and the snack/fruit bowl for twice a day (use this for fruit or salty snack like chips for pretzels,) and the cutters for things that don't fit in the lines like muffins, bagels, sandwiches, and pancakes.

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All the dinner plates are 9 inches across. This is a close up of the Savvy portion plate. The blue section is for starch like rice or potatoes. The red is for protein. Green is for veggies. Women need to work just inside the lines, men can work just outside the lines without piling up. (Though I wouldn't worry about a little piling on the veggie section, a no one ever gained weight by eating too much steamed broccoli!)

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These are proper dishes, more like china then chinette and they feel sturdy and well made.  

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Notice how itty-bitty the breakfast starch portions are! Though the sandwich circle looks to be spot on with the size of a slice of Ezekiel bread.

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Each plate comes with the cheat sheet printed on the bottom.

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Here are the cutters for things like sandwiches and breakfast sweets. Get the proper portion size of muffins and bagels by cutting them down to size.

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Itty-bitty muffin cutter. It's about 2 inches across, so no muffins bigger than your head allowed (BOO-HOO!) But, according to the site, use the muffin cutter for cookies and have two. That sounds more fun!

The website has a bit of a gimmicky look about it but if you look beyond that, the product itself is well-made and really quite pretty. There is a smart phone app to use along with the system and has portion guidelines for dining out. There isn't a tool for condiments like butter and syrup and snacks like nuts and nut butters. That's when the good old kitchen scale and measuring spoons are going to come in handy.

There is an informational webinar hosted by the doctor who designed the Slim Plate System starting on April 30th for blog fans. The series will give a more in depth look at how to use the system along with meal plans and healthy eating tips.

I very much like that the creators of the program discourage the use of fake diet foods, artificial sweeteners and fake egg products like egg beaters. I also like that they encourage physical activity.

Not so much, the plan creators advocate the use of low-fat dairy. I prefer to eat the real thing. Missing out on good fats from pastured butter and fermented dairy products from pastured animals is just too healthy to avoid. And the weight-loss centers that sell this system sometimes use phentermine with the plan. I NEVER advocate the use of diet pills (prescription or otherwise.) Just NO!

If you are interested in purchasing the system, the cost is $98. My readers can use the code LOVETOEAT for $5 off! Please note that this offer is good only for the full purchase, not the installment plan, but there is a 30 day money back guarantee.  

If you order and try the system, please come back and let us know how it's working for you and what you think.

***FTC Disclaimer~The product highlighted in this post was sent to me for free by the company for review purposes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I decided to make my first visit to the new gym the Aquafit class. I almost talked myself out of it last night and this morning. Always my own worst enemy! I'm not usually prudish but locker room nudity makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps that's why I always joined very basic gyms, never had to use the locker room. But I soldiered on, got nekkid, put on my bathing suit and got in the pool.

Aquafit was fun! Easy on the body but definitely a good workout. I can see myself making the Wednesday class part of my routine. I treated myself to some time on the whirlpool then the redwood sauna after the class.  Oh, how I love saunas and hot-tubs though dragging home the bag full of sopping wet gear is another story.

I just got some cute new tee shirts to wear for lifting. Motivating and funny! I like the longer arm length and the v-neck is flattering.

I just finished cleaning out the master closet. I find it daunting parting with certain things but I gave myself some tough love and chucked out all the old, stained tee shirts and even have some things to donate. Packing for the beach is going to be so much easier now.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I'm still here, still fighting the good fight. I got sick after the trial (again.) The Predinsone I took in the fall definitely did some damage to my immune system and I've been behind the 8-ball ever since. I had a bad case of strep throat with a sinus and ear infection that snowballed into a bad head and chest cold that lingered for over a month, had to cancel my Boston trip because of it. :(

I've been juicing lots of vegetables, drinking plenty of bone broth, and drinking kefir to try stay healthy and I think it's working. I feel pretty good, if not a little out of sorts from the time change. Oh, stop whining! 

We had a little taste of spring on Tuesday, it was 80 and sunny and breezy and heavenly.  But then it got cold again. I'm pretty pleased we didn't get more snow like other parts of the country.

Getting and staying healthy is my top priority as I have rescheduled my Boston trip.  I'm flying up in July, which is going to be awesome because I have not been back to New England in summer months for years and it's such a great time to visit. Lobster bakes, beaches, drives up the coast!  I've also got a beach trip planned for later this month. My Mother and Auntie (The Ducks) are living it up on the beach at Saint Augustine and Donna and I are heading down to spend some time with them. I can't wait to get some sand between my toes.

In other news, I just joined a gym because after reading this fantastic article, I realized how much I miss lifting. It's one of the few fitness activities I enjoy at and thought it was high time I got back to it.

I was going to re-join where I was previously going but they raised their prices and I started putting scripture up on their website. It just turned me off because while he may be for some, Jesus is not my co-pilot or my personal trainer. So, I hopped over the LA Fitness website and found an online special, an offer I couldn't pass up. No contract, reasonable monthly dues, no bible thumping. Maybe I'll even try a spin class (eh, maybe not.)

I'm going to dust off my copy of The New Rules of Lifting for Women (affiliate link) and get going on that. I will let you know how I like my new gym and try not to complain too much about the delayed onset muscle soreness that I'm bound to have. Everyone has different ideas about what "get in shape" means but all I know is the shape of my couch is not the one I'm loving on me right now.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Long Trial, A Fine Conclusion

My jury duty concluded on Saturday afternoon at 3pm. From an observer's standpoint, it is nothing like what you see on television legal dramas or in the movies, although the plaintiff's lead attorney, "Big Daddy" as I called him in my notes, a southern man of a certain age who whistled his S's, was quite the character and had the occasional flare for the dramatic. The defense presented a very clean case, no smoke and mirrors, just very professional across the board. The judge did a great job of keeping everyone on track and making sure we had ample breaks because the amount of information, both medical and legal, thrown at us over the course of those 9 long days was exhausting. The bailiffs took very good care of us.

This was a case of medical negligence. After 9 long trial days we were given our charge and were asked to deliberate beginning on Thursday at 4pm. We broke after 6pm and spend a very intense, 9 hour day on Friday and continued deliberating on Saturday.

We started out at a 7 to 5 split in favor of the plaintiffs, a couple whose baby suffered a traumatic brain injury at birth. We went over every bit of information and evidence that was presented to us. We eventually worked to an 11-1 split in favor of the plaintiffs, by where the judge called us in and asked our foreperson where we stood and on what side. We were delighted when a settlement was reached based on this information. I don't think we ever would have gotten to a unanimous decision but none of us wanted to give up.

I learned after the fact that this case had been tried before and the judge had to declare a mistrial because the jurors, after 8 hours, stated that they were locked and in no way would be able to reach a unanimous vote. They were locked at 10-2 in favor of the defendant, the doctor. I found this fascinating at how 12 different people came to such an opposite conclusion. 

Because it was a civil trial, not criminal, we had to base our decision on the "preponderance of the evidence" rather than proving guilt beyond the shadow of a doubt. Just a feather's weight on the scales of justice was how it was explained to us and to be honest, it really was just the weight of a feather on one side or the other of how we stood. I learned so much, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and I am sure that I will be a much better nurse for having been a part of this process.

Many tears where shed when all was said and done. I lost much sleep during the course of the trial and none of us took our service lightly.  It was indeed a privilege to serve on this jury alongside such a fine group of kind and dedicated people, not one of them will I forget, and hope I get to see them again under different circumstances.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mercy of the Court

I mentioned jury duty in my last post. I reported on Monday, spent all day in the jury selection process. I returned Tuesday morning to find myself sitting in the jury box with the other lucky jurors and then the opening statements were given. 

It's been a very long and exhausting week and we're only half done. My life is in limbo and we truly are at the "mercy of the court."  My fellow jurors are a nice bunch and the case is very interesting but listening to hours and hours of expert testimony is tough. Last night was the first time I was home before 7pm.

I have an overflowing laundry basket to deal with and look forward to cooking a proper meal for Rob and myself this evening. I'm staying in my pajamas ALL DAY and there is no way in hell that I'm putting on a bra.

Have a great weekend, I intend to!