Saturday, April 28, 2012

Are You Real or Fake?

Interesting question, isn't it? 

The point of this blog? Getting there.  Next paragraph.  Keep reading.  :)

I've been thinking a lot about oil pulling (still doing it, still loving the benefits I get from it) and this has led me to think about more natural alternatives for health, healing, and general well being.  Don't worry, I'm not "going hippie" on you.  However, I have been giving some deep thought to what I eat.  Especially with my recent weight gain.  I'm attributing it to stress eating and lack of exercise.  But, also to WHAT I eat.  So much of it is processed garbage. 

Thus, I'm working diligently at making changes.  Eating "real" food and less "fake food.  Food less processed.  Food without everything removed from it - like fat or sugar - and other less healthy things added into it. 

So, I'm using more butter vs margarine.  I will probably never totally convert to butter, but I have noticed it takes much less butter to cook with and the flavor is wonderful.  Using a small amount of butter, saves calories, satisfies my hunger and is healthier in the long run.

Sugar - this is more difficult. Due to gastric bypass surgery a few years ago, ingesting regular sugar causes some rather unpleasant side effects called "dumping" and is not fun. So, I have to be careful how many grams of sugar I take in each day. Thus, I use the fake stuff in my coffee.  But, I use raw sugar, honey, molasses or other alternatives the rest of the time. 

I'm also using more olive oil, coconut oil and butter for cooking vs canola oil or spray oil (propellent anyone??) when I need added fat.  Have I stopped using canola completely?  No.  I will probably always have some around, but the more I read about it, the more I believe the others are better alternatives.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are also getting top billing in our diets.  I'm baking more of our treats vs buying cookies, etc. I even make hamburger rolls when I plan ahead.  They are tasty!  Homemade pretzels, while time consuming, are incredible.  Just a few minor changes.  When I find the local farmers market (next weekend, I hope) I plan to start buying vegetables there.  Fresh, local, home grown vegetables.  Yum!  I can't wait. 

Speaking of buying local, I am so into supporting local businesses vs chain stores.  Small Mom and Pop places from cafes to furniture to clothing.  I think these places are what keeps each town unique and special.  Plus, it's fun to find them. Do you patronize your local shops too or do you stick with the chain places?

Coffee:  Oh yes.  A wonderful cup of Gevalia is at my right hand.  It keeps me going.  It is flavored with the fake sweetener, but has a splash (seriously, just a small amount, maybe 1 TBSP) of real half and half - no fat free stuff - in it.  That's another small, but wonderful change I've recently made.  :)

Are you considering any changes?  What are they? 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

Grabbed your attention, didn't I? 

No, it wasn't just a tease.  I really am going to discuss some of my favorite guilty pleasures.  Guilty tv viewing pleasures, that is.  Come on.  Admit it. You watch things on tv you don't want to admit to anyone.  So, let's dish today on what we are watching, that we enjoy, but somewhere deep down we know we probably shouldn't enjoy it quite as much as we do.

*sigh*  Okay, here is my list.  In no particular order.

American Idol - I love people pursuing their dreams and getting to be part of it by watching and voting for who I believe is BEST.  To me this means whose music would Ibuy if they made a cd.  I love some of their voices (Joshua, Jessica, Elise) but I doubt I'd pay for a cd.  Sing along with them on the radio, yes.  Spend money, no. 

America's Next Top Model - Drama, drama, drama.  They also have a dream but these girls are mean!  They talk behind each other's backs.  They are vicious.  But, it's so much fun to watch the train wreck. 

Toddlers and Tiaras - Yes. I watch this show.  I am a bad person. But, those pagent Moms.  Oh. My. Goodness.  The kids make me laugh - especially when they act their ages.  But, the Moms are crazy!  I love watching them say things like "she's so mature for her age.  She really gets it. She understands so much about what it takes to win."  Um, hello?  You are talking about a two year old.  How much can she really understand?  Seriously? 

Fashion Star - I adore the behind the scenes drama as they prepare each week.  All the tantrums, talking about each other, etc.  However, I LOVE this show and what they are doing.  Again, another bringing a dream to life show, with drama on the side.  How perfect can you get??  Plus, I want some of those outfits.

The Bachelor and/or The Bachelorette (spelling?????  None of the ways I spelled it passed spell check and none of them looked right either.  Whatever.)  Everyone loves love.  And, watching someone fall in love is awesome.  Dating 15 people at once.  Hello drama!  Awesome.  Except for Chris Harrison telling us even 10 minutes "this is the most dramatic episode/season ever".  And, do we really need all the teasers before each commercial break?  Get on with the show!

Paula Deen cooking shows - I am a Southern girl so I "get" her.  Plus, I love all the butter and mayonaisse and sugar.  Yum. However, when I make the recipes - and I frequently do - I lighten them dramatically.  Sort of like Bobby's "Not My Mama's Meals" versions of her recipes, only I did it before he started his show.  So there, Bobby!  :p

Say Yes To the Dress - Brides.  Bridesmaids.  Opinionated Mamas, friends, brothers, Dads, etc.  It's awesome.  I love it.  Plus, there is a 'happily ever after' element to it to warm your heart.  Love the weddings they show at the end where you see all the hard work come together.  Ahhhhhhh......  And, all the bickering, tears, multiple dresses, frustration, misunderstandings, well, there you go.  All the drama you need packed into 30 minutes.

What Not To Wear -  I love the ambush.  The people who think they "dress okay" and it's everyone else's problem.  What does fashion matter anyway?  Etc.  The shock.  The disbelief.  The tears.  "I can't find ANYTHING."  Wah wah wah.  Been there.  Done that.  Wish I could go on the show!  I love the  snarky but true comments from Stacy and Clinton.  I love the way the subject eventually comes around and sees themselves differently.  The outcomes are usually GREAT.  Win win. 

Castle -  All around great show.  Love it.  The tension.  The silly one liners.  The gruesome parts.  The love story, that's a back story. You want them to get together, but you know when they do, the show has MAYBE one more season, because once all that tension is gone, it fizzles.  He is so cute.  She is so smart.  Okay, so maybe I don't feel guilty watching it.  LOL

I know there are more, but these are the ones that immediately popped into my mind.  Other than Paula's show, the rest  are filled with drama.  I love drama.  Is it okay to admit that? I know some have slightly redeeming qualities, like winning a prize, having your dream come true or getting a desperately needed make over.  But, the tears, the anger, the disappointment, etc. - I love it.

In my real life I don't like drama.  But on tv? Love it. It's there to make us feel good about ourselves.  I really AM smarter than a 5th grader.  But, not if I watch that show.  So, I don't.  I hate when tv makes me feel stupid.  I infinitely prefer feeling superior.  Don't you?  Come on.  Be truthful.  It's okay.  We are in the blogosphere.  It's okay to be honest here. If you believe that, I've got some ocean front property in Waco to sell you.  Call me.  Now.  Really.  Here's my number 555-123-4567.  Gotcha again <---Lion King reference.  Did you say it like Nala??  I did. :)

What are your guilty viewing pleasures?  Come on.  I told you mine. 

Writing update:  I have made it to Chapter 8.  Still working on it.  Sort of.  It's been ages since I sat down to write.  Life has been interrupting. 

Coffee:  None yet.  Must be why I'm out in left field today.  LOL  But, I will be drinking some Gevalia soon.  Promise.  With REAL half and half, not the fat free stuff.  Why not?  You only live once.  Might as well use a little splash of the good stuff vs a big splash of something that doesn't taste as good and probably isn't as "good" for me as the real thing. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

April Showers.....

It has been almost a month since I last blogged.  I can not believe it!  Where has the time gone? I am a bad blogger.  A very bad blogger.  My abject apologies.  Sincerely. Now that I have completed my grovelling, let's move on. 

They say April Showers bring May Flowers.  Well, it has been raining in my world lately.  Huge torrential downpours of stress, aggravation and mind boggling change.  I won't go into all of it, but I will hit a few high lights and update you on the things we often discuss.  :)

Oil pulling update:  Still going well.  I have played with it a bit, going a day without to see what happens, etc.  Using only olive oil or only coconut oil.  I sometimes get tired of it.  Some days I gag.  Somedays I don't want to do it and don't. I am pleased with the results.  I can tell a difference when I don't do it.  I have made it part of my routine and will continue.  Feel free to ask questions.

Writing update:  Eh....  Going well. Sort of. I haven't written much the past couple of weeks. Life has interrupted. 

Last week.  Wow, last week was distressing. Now life should be a little less stressful. Up next, finding a new place to rent for the next year and moving.  Yippee. I have until the end of July to find the place, move in, situate everything and clean this house.  Can I do it?  Yes, I can!!!! 

Fashion:  Oh my.  I am slipping.  Dreadfully so.  Skinny jeans, yes.  I have some great shoes, but rarely wear them.  Sometimes, I manage to wear one of my designer outfits, but not as often as I should.  I am often wearing skinny jeans and loose, oversized t-shirts. Sad but true.  I need a make over in the worst possible way at the moment.  And, I need to lose 10 pounds.  A.S.A.P.  Thus, no OOTDs for a while.  A long long while.

Hair.  Ick.  Currently waiting for it to get long enough to do something cute.  I'm also in desperate need of a stylist.  A good stylist. *sigh*

So, this is my update.  Lots has happened over the past month.  Lots. 

Coffee:  Oh yes.  Lots and lots and lots of coffee.  Coffee by the pots full.  Gallons of coffee. Most of it really good.  Some of it, less than.  I didn't drink much of the less than tasty coffee....