Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our new adventure!

My silly little dream is going to become a reality!  We are going to be a farm!  We are starting with dairy goats, yes, I am going to learn to milk a goat!  I can't wait!  I've already decided I am going to sing to them as I milk, in my mind, they will love me for this and give me more milk.  We'll see how that works out.  I am working with lots of agri peeps, so this is a great undertaking.  I love goats, and I can't wait to look out our front door and see my little herd!  Next....chickens!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Old recipes and memories

Yesterday I decided to pull out "mom's recipes", which is a book of recipes that I have been collecting over the years since I was a teenager.  This book is HUGE!  Hubby wanted chicken casserole, so I decided to "honor" him with one of my oldest recipes...I made this many times over the years, and it is a simple, yummy casserole.  When I opened the book to the recipe page, it brought back so many is typed, by me, when I was a teenager, on one of my favorite Christmas presents ever, bought by my mom.  No, it was not electric, and as you can see, there was no correction tape, either.  But the casserole recipe is on the same page as my "famous" peanut butter cookie recipe.  My youngest daughter, Lindsey, used to make these cookies at least once a week, but would always say "they just aren't as good as yours, mom!"  There are smears of peanut butter on the recipe, and the years have turned it yellow and wrinkled.  It is now in a plastic sheet protector.  Time to redo it on the computer, you think?  NEVER.  These recipes are part of my life, just like a photo album, and I love flipping through it and remembering.

Friday, July 30, 2010

a quickie....

been doing a lot of sewing...but I wanted to mention that I took a few photos of myself the other day, and was surprised to see that my face looks a lot slimmer!  The scales say I've lost another 2's still working!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Update on the natural deordorant/antiperspirant

Hubby used my cornstarch/baking soda combo yesterday...then he went out and mowed our lawn in 100 degree plus weather, and came in to show me that his shirt was wet everywhere...except under his arms!  Then he went to mow another lawn (our high temp for the day was 106), and when he got home, he was a convert!  No stinky pits!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Refresh your towels!

As I was telling you before, if you have baking soda and vinegar, you can clean most anything!  (and I promise, the vinegar smell goes away)  I found this tip on how to "refresh" your remove all the detergent and softener buildup, and make them absorbent again.  By the way, in case you didn't know, you should never put fabric softener in your towels, because it makes them less absorbent.  If you think they need a little softness, put a half cup of vinegar in the rinse water.  Anyway, I digress....our towels had been suffering from stiffness, lack of absorbency, and a certain "stinkiness", a musty, sometimes sour smell that washing wasn't getting rid of.  Yesterday I washed a load in hot water with a cup of vinegar, then ran them again in hot water with a half cup of vinegar.  Hung them on the line.  Hubby came in as I was hanging them out, and could not believe I didn't use detergent, because they smelled so fresh!  This is just a refresher, normally we wash in cold water, so next time I wash them, I will try the new laundry detergent I have made...which I will share in a later post!!

Natural shampoo/conditioner

Let me just say that the recipes I have found are just not working for me.  I will continue to try to find something, because we spend a fortune on shampoos and conditioners!  The first couple of days, the baking soda shampoo worked very well, actually I think it is still working well, but the vinegar rinse is not working for me.  It makes my hair "hard"...but shiny.  I just don't like the stiff feel, so I will keep looking till I find something, and I'll post it here!  This is my hair, after the first natural wash and condition.  I blow dried the top, so I could tell if it was clean, but the back and underneath is still damp.  It looks really good, but feels weird to me.  It feels kinda like "2nd day hair".  It is clean, even the greasies!

Chocolate/Zucchini cake

This is totally yummy!!!!  I made it this weekend when 2 of my daughters and my mom were visiting, and everyone loved it.  It is very moist and sinfully chocolately!!  and good for you.  :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


This is one of my favs since I started the vegetarian!  It is so yummy.  I enjoy mixing up new drinks, so while I was preparing the pizza, I made a pineapple-pomegrante I am full AND mellow, LOL.  I wish the pic had captured how pretty the drink was...

Natural antiperspirant/deodorant

Okay.  So you might say, "no way can I take a chance on changing what I use to keep my pits fresh and lovely".  This probably won't cost you anything, since you most likely have these ingredients in your kitchen cabinet right now, so just give it a try for a few days.  The few people that I personally know who have tried it, including me, have been very pleasantly surprised!  Since I had a hysterectomy and started on hormones, I have been dealing with a problem I've never had in my life - stinky pits.  I have changed deodorants many times, but I still had the problem.  I don't sweat very much, never have, but I am very paranoid about any weird smells coming from my body.  :)  Anyway, I found this wonderful website well as many others I found while researching this.  They all recommended a mixture of 4:1 cornstarch and baking soda.  That's it.  I used 4 TBs cornstarch to 1 TB baking soda, and put it in a small airtight container, with a powder puff.  Let me tell ya, you have never felt so silky smooth and dry under there before!!  There is no irritation at all, even when I applied it immediately after shaving.  (and I have very sensitive skin)  There is no scent, so if you're like me, I kinda miss that, but then again, having no smell is better than having BO/baby powder emanating from your pits.  The only alteration I have made is to add about another TB of baking soda, only because I am freaking paranoid (seriously, just ask hubby), so you may not need this.  I'd say you can adjust according to your needs.  I have read that pure baking soda (no antiperspirant protection here) may cause skin irritation.  What a cheap beauty product!  Try it - you'll LOVE it!  Next....I haven't shampoo'd my hair in 5 days!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I am attempting to "green" up my home...hubby is willing to go along with this, as long as it doesn't interfere too much with his set routines, or hair products, ha ha!  I had already switched over to Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent, which is awesome, and Greenworks cleaning products.  I have since read that you basically only need baking soda and vinegar to clean anything in your home!  This includes your body parts!  I am going to be telling you about the different things I have tried, and how they worked, one per day, so as not to make this too long and tedious.  Tomorrow I will begin by telling you about my awesome new deodorant/anti-perspirant.

Saving my life...and the world...

Okay, okay, so being green and organic takes a lot of time!!  Just because I haven't blogged doesn't mean that I'm not still sticking to the program!!!  I have lost a total of 11 pounds, and 16 inches since I began this new way of life in March.  Best of all, I have had no migraines since then!  I have not had my prescription refilled since March!  I have not converted totally to veganism, I still eat lean meat on occasion, usually tuna, chicken, ground turkey, or sometimes a lean red meat.  I have tried organic beef patties, as well.  I try to buy organic when possible/affordable, and stick to veggies, whole grains, and fruits.  I do still have a glass of wine or mixed drink when I want it.  I have been really slack on the exercise, though, was doing an hour every day there for a couple of months, but haven't done it in a month or so....still feeling good, though!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A cheatin' weekend

This weekend I cheated a little...we had "date night" Thursday night and I had one of Applebees' 550 calories meals.  I had the sirloin, with "seasonal veggies", which turned out to be a giant plate of broccoli and potatoes.  I was a little disappointed, wishing for a few carrots or something!  I know, that's not such a cheat, huh?  Here's the good part - I had 2 top shelf strawberry margaritas.  :)  Anyway, I have discovered an interesting link:  I used to wake up starving early in the mornings, nearly every day.  Most of the time, my stomach would wake me up before I was ready to awaken.  Friday morning I woke up starving!  This was the second time since I cut out meat that I had noticed that same occurence after eating meat.  Got up, stepped on the scale, and had not gained any weight!  Woo hoo!!  Friday night hubby fixed some low fat, Angus burgers.  I had one on my whole grain thin buns, with brown mustard, vegan mayo, lots of romaine lettuce and some dill pickle slices.  I also had a "shandy", which is a concoction made from a dark beer (Michelob Ultra Wheat, in our case) and topped off with something like 7-Up, or in our case, Mike's Hard Lemonade.  Again the next morning, nothing gained!  Hubby made a nice pork tenderloin on the grill last night.  I had a small slice (it was luscious!) with a large salad.  We ate early, so later while watching tv, I had some Orville Redenbachers Natural grain 50% less fat popcorn, and a few Immaculate cookies.  OMG, these are my new favorite cookies in the world.  I had only just discovered them, when Food Lion apparently decided to stop carrying them.  These little boxes of yum usually cost $3.99, so I keep them hidden.  :)  When I went grocery shopping this week, they were closeout priced to $1.79, so I bought every box they had!  Any, I after eating meat for three nights in a row, I got up this morning, got on the scale, and VOILA!!!  Another pound lost, for 9 pounds total now!  That is with no exercise to speak of in the last 3 days, unless you count a few hours of yardwork.  I am so loving this!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I wish I had started this sooner!

I almost don't even know where to begin...there are so many things I want to say, and so little time to actually put them down.  I have had so much success with my "life change" that people have started to ask me about the details, so I thought I would try to take the time to record it.  

Over the past several years, I had begun to gain weight, especially around my middle.  I am now 48 years old, and never really had a problem with my weight, until after ovaries were removed.  Then I tried every diet known to man, without any success.  I was tired all the time, had an average of 15 migraines a month, and took 3 different migraine medications, as well as blood pressure, cholesterol and thyroid prescriptions.   I could not sleep at night, and was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and had to use a breathing machine at night.  So, I bought a treadmill, and a pilates home gym.  I was so tired I was never able to keep up an exercise program.  I made several appeals to my doctors to help me, to make suggestions, to try to find what could be the problem.  I was told many different things, which I'm not even going to go into here, but no really good advice.  I spent countless hours, days, weeks researching diet plans, exercise programs, to see what might work for me.  I should make it clear, that I do have a pretty long history of eating healthy and exercise, prior to beginning to feel the aches and pains of arthritis and the onset of the weight gain and tiredness. 

I was laid off from my job Dec 29, 2009.  When my husband made it clear he wanted the treadmill out of the house unless I was going to use it, I decided that no matter what it took, 2010 was going to be the year I made a change.  In January, I set the treadmill up in the living room so I could watch tv while I walked.  I put the pilates gym in the spare bedroom.  Beginning January 7, I started walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes, every day.  It nearly killed me at first.  My knees and feet hurt.  My hips hurt so bad I could barely sleep at night.  I went from the treadmill to the pilates gym, for 30 minutes.  So I worked out for one hour every day, except weekends.  After two months, I had lost 2 pounds.  I was so discouraged.  Although I could tell the workout was getting easier, I really couldn't tell any difference in my body.

One day I was watching Oprah, and the show was about the harmful food we are putting in our bodies.  She showed a clip of the movie "Food Inc", and had Alicia Silverstone as a guest, talking about her book "The Kind Diet".  Oprah mentioned that Amazon was running a special for her show, so I purchased both the movie and Alicia's book.  I can honestly say that it changed my life.  While I had already removed fatty meat, sugars, most refined "white" foods, caffeine, and milk from my diet, I was still eating a lot of processed foods.  Here is what I did, starting day 1.

I made a huge pot of vegetable soup.  I froze some of it.  I ate this vegetable soup every day, most of the time, twice a day.  I bought maple syrup, honey and organic raw sugar.  I already used brown rice, and love whole grains, I just added more to my diet.  I started eating more beans, black beans in particular.  I already used soymilk, and I added tofu to my diet.  All this gives me lots of protein.  I make my own hummus.  I found organic, vegan items at my local Food Lion and online.  I expected that I would be tired, but I actually have more energy.  I don't eat any dairy, with the exception of greek yogurt, because it is just so good for you, I didn't want to give it up.  I very rarely eat any meat, although I will, if I want it.  When I eat meat, it is a lean beef, chicken or fish.  I very rarely eat an egg, but again if I want it, I will.  I eat lots of grains, vegetables, and fruit.  I found a great website that has vegetarian recipes, and they are awesome!

Here's the good part.  Since I began this diet in March, about 6 weeks ago (maybe 8), I have lost 6 more pounds, and several inches.  You can actually see muscle definition now, and my husband is always telling me how much I'm shrinking.  I am still losing weight, even though I have slowed down my workout schedule a little.  I still exercise about 3 times a week now.  I love the food, it does not feel restrictive to me at all.  I think that when you know you are putting good things into your body, it makes you mentally healthier, as well.  I am sleeping all night, and have not had a migraine since I began my new way of eating.  I am hoping to be able to go off blood pressure and cholesterol meds someday.  

I did not measure before I started, because I had done so so many times in the past, and nothing worked.  I did find measurements that I had taken in May of 2009, and was not surprised to see that I had gained 11 pounds since those measurements were taken.  I do weigh myself daily, so I know exactly what I weighed, but I really wish I had measured, becuase that's where the big difference is.  When I started in April, I weighed 179 lbs.  I now weigh 171.  I'm 5'9" by the way.  My goal is 150, but I know that since I am adding muscle, a slow weight loss is expected.  Here are my results so far:

Hips  lost 1 inch (and my butt is no longer jiggly!)
Waist lost 3 inches
Bust lost 2 inches
Upper arms lost 1/4 inch each
Thighs lost 2.5 inches each
Calves lost 3/4 inch each

So I'll keep you updated!