Tag Archives: TOPS

The Eclairs in my Refrigerator

I know, it’s not right, putting such delectable delights in a blog that has been focusing on weightloss, but here it is, together with a link to the blog where I found it.  (The most recent recipe is for a Fig and Almond bread that I want to have a closer look at.) http://livinginthekitchenwithpuppies.blogspot.com/

I didn’t make up the phrase that I’ve used in my title.  It comes from a writer/basket-ball player named Jay Carty and I had the opportunity to hear him speak (and he helped me shoot a basket!) many years ago.

But, even though I don’t have the book, I still remember the phrase and it has been applicable in my life.  I have been messing with “eclairs in my refrigerator”.  This time they took the shape of chocolate covered almonds.  I thought that I could have just a few of them at a time – this time.  But, alas, that has not proven to be the case.

To be honest, I don’t much like eclairs. They don’t call my name like other things do.  Often I can ignore the calls, but NOT when they are in my house.  That’s the reason I try to keep from having things like ice-cream, Nutella, and peanut-butter in my house.  When they come in, they beg to be enjoyed.  And once I start, I find it so hard to stop.

Of course, this analogy applies to much more than food, even though it is very appropriate to that area of my life.  It speaks to the way I spend money.  It impacts how I spend my time.  It helps my choose appropriate books to read and what to stay away from.

I need to stay away from certain foods if I am to successfully maintain my weight loss and keep it going on the right track.  This means I also have to keep my wallet at home and I need to stay away from the bulk food section where the chocolate almonds spend most of their time!

What is keeping you from getting your jobs done?  Let’s take time to clearly identify them and keep them out of the refrigerators of our lives!

Have a great day!



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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, Uncategorized, WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature

Finally, at long, long last…

It’s been a summer of focusing on other things.  I’ve been going to the gym every single week day, usually first thing in the morning but on a few occasions I had to go at night.  This was very strange, but I survived!

I think at this phase in the game, I’ve got the exercising down to a habit.  But it is time to add something new to the mix.   That however, is for another post.

My Monday weigh-ins have been disappointing of late.  Up and down, up and down and the only exiting thing was that the middle number was still a 2, all be it barely.  Today was cause for excitement, however as the scale dropped substantially and I’m now much closer to losing 30 pounds than I was before.

The actual number is 224.5 and I’m glad its closer to the teens than it is to the 30’s.

What changed?  I’ve been moaning and groaning about not being able to use the elliptical machine.  I’m not yet cleared to do my weights.  I’ve found, in the past, that bikes and treadmills are BOOOORING!

I started out by increasing my treadmill time to 30 minutes plus cool down.  I’ve enjoyed listening to Thru the Bible (www.ttb.org ) on my second hand Ipod.  And every 5 minutes I bump my speed from a moderately sedate 3.5 mph to a moderate jog of 4.5 mph.  This is known as fartlekking and is supposed to be good for your heart.  For me it relieves the boredom of going nowhere on a belt.  I’ve done this every day for the last few weeks.  Then I do some time on the bike, 20 minutes max, and that’s where I get my reading and pondering in.  It was good, especially today!

It’s the food part that I really need to sort out.  I’ve successfully avoided the yogurt and cheese aisle.  I’ve had good success with the cookies, especially since they started selling them in pairs again.  I’ve even eliminated the chocolate malt balls.  Alas, I’ve replaced them with chocolate covered almonds.  I don’t think this is a terribly good thing, but almonds are better than the malty stuff inside those malt balls.  Aren’t they?

Anyways, we are now in new territory, numerically speaking, and that is encouraging.

I hope today finds you in new territory – doing things, becoming the person God in His infinite wisdom created  you to be!

Have a wonderful day!

Marcia (who is off to the library to return some over-due books!)

PS:  I hope the cookie doesn’t tempt you!  Save them for Christmas!


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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature

It’w Weigh Day! – and a Recipe!

Good morning!  I hit the scale today, after another night of too little sleep.  I live on a main road, and they decided to do some repairs last night.  I did forego the ending of “The Deathly Hallows” which was getting a bit too scary for my liking (I will finish it in the light of day!).  But just as I was adjusting my head on the pillow all kinds of strange noises came out of the “silence”.  After that came the flashing lights.  But the spots they fixed look lovely and traffic has been moving nicely since I got up this morning.

I don’t look well when I’m tired.  I don’t feel so hot either.  I don’t weigh much less either.  I don’t know why that is – but I feel heavier too.

Anyways, I’m down half a pound from last week.  I’ve been to the gym every week day, which is the goal.  I’m also finished all my course work, so I can go back to focusing with “gazelle intensity” (the Dave Ramsey term I was looking for on Friday) on this matter of getting myself to a healthy weight.

I’ve created and am actually working from a menu-plan that I type up on the computer.  It’s pretty simple  but it has room for everything I need to have.  Of course it is printed on pink paper so that I can find it easily.

I’ve also “Messed with the Recipe” again, so I’ll share that with you!  The recipe was handed out at the Calgary Stampede this year, but you can find it here:


  Here’s a picture of it as well, to inspire  you.  Because I am trying (mostly ) to stay away from wheat, I don’t use couscous.  But grain is grain, and there are other small round grains that would work.  My choice was quinoa.  I made some other changes along the way as well.   So without further ado…

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup raw quinoa or millet – if you are using the quinoa, rinse it well!)

4 eggs, hard boiled.  (I kept them out of the salad mixture because I want to add canned salmon instead and see how that tastes!)

1 can chick peas (19 oz ) drained or cook your own, and add 2 – 3 cups.

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes – I used the whole box because “The more veggies the merrier!”

3/4 cup diced sweet pepper.  I bought an orange one and I have no idea where it is.  When I do find it, and I hope sooner than later, I’ll add it in.

3/4 cup diced or grated carrot.

1/2 cup chopped green onion or sweet onion

1/3 cup finely chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste.

I used the broth to cook my quinoa.  It doesn’t take long – 10 minutes or so.  While it was cooking and cooling I chopped and mixed together the veggies.  Once everything was done I added the dressing – there is a recipe on the website, but I just added the herbs (1 tbsp. dried basil, 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder) to the quinoa.

To serve, I cut up half a romaine heart and add about 1 1/2 cups of the grain and vegatable mixture.  I top this with some light salad dressing and enjoy my meal.    And it is a meal in itself – very filling!

Having said all of that, it’s lunch time and pouring bucketsful of rain.  I guess I won’t be cutting the grass just yet!  Maybe I’ll have some of this salad for my lunch!

“See you lighter” as we say in TOPS, And thank you for being my encouragement!  Have a great day!


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Could these Bananas make me fat?

Well, GOOD MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I excited or what?  Yesterday was a busy day at Eau Claire Market, where I helped with the “Give a Little Knit” for L’Arche Calgary.  It was fun, fun, fun, and we had lots of people knitting, spinning, eating and just having a good time!

We had lots of fruit and while you can’t see them, those are some nice, organic slightly spotty bananas.  I resisted.  It was hard.  I just reached past and grabbed an apple or some strawberries instead!

The reaction to my giving up bananas has been interesting. Most are worried that I won’t get enough potassium in my diet.  You would think that bananas are the only source of potassium.   Almonds have a lot, artichokes, cantaloupe, dried beans, beets, spinach.  A baked potato has more potassium than a banana.  So do lima beans.  Here’s the link to the source of my information: http:/ /www.fatfreekitchen.com/nutrition/potassium.html

Having said all of that, here are the numbers for the week!  There’s been a major breakthrough here, and I am excited!

After 23weeks…

(to June 13)

Weight Loss

Number of Visits

Cost per visit



This Week


4.5 pounds


Last week




Year to Date





This week




Week One of resisting those ripe, spotty bananas!

If you’ve been following my journey you’ll know that the last 6 weeks (post Hot Cross Bun overload) have been a struggle.  There was a bit of yo-yoing and the scale wasn’t moving the way that I wanted it to!  Today it was a totally different experience as I moved the weight down and down and down!

The point of all of this?  Sometimes something that is good for us, does other things to us that aren’t so good.  For me it seems to be bananas – especially the ripe, ripe ones!  I’ll buy a cantaloupe or two today!

Is there a good, healthy food in your life that you’ve had to give up?  What were the results of that?  Feel free to share in the comments page!

Have a great day!


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To Carb or not to Carb – that is the question…

This is still one of my favourite inspirational pictures.  Just getting up in the morning and going to the gym is like a step off the plane and into thin air.  I’m just used to it now.

I also found the spot in Why We Get Fat where it counsels avoiding the grapes and bananas.  It’s on page 156, where a low carb diet from the early 60’s is printed.  That was just for the record.

I’ve come to a conclusion after reading the book and looking at other websites and blogs that discuss this.

First of all, I’ve noticed that I consume more sugar than I think.  Bananas are good for me.  Enjoy.  Grapes are good for me.  Enjoy.  Yogurt is good for me.  Enjoy.  Cheese is good for me.  Enjoy.  If you ask my friends, I eat a pretty healthy diet.  No pop.  Very little white flour, rice or sugar.  I grind my own grain, bake my own muffins, and now again I’m baking my own bread.

But, if you’ve been following my numbers, you’ll notice that I’ve parked in the low 230’s for a month.  I had to investigate my eating.

I’ve decided to continue to carb.  I like my morning coffee with it’s half cup of frothed milk and teaspoon of sugar (I keep a measuring spoon in the sugar bowl). And of course it is in my lovely red cup.  I also like my porridge in the morning.  It’s a no brainer and I need that after an  hour at the gym!d

I also like my muffins and my bread.  I like making them.  I enjoy messing with the recipe.  And I enjoy eating them – in moderation.  I have to say as well, that with less sugar I am eating less of them, which is a good thing, I think.

It’s easy to get sucked in to someone’s logic and accept it.  I think I do that a lot with all kinds of things.  At the beginning of the book I was ready to jump in to the NO CARB camp, slowly but surely.  Now I think I’ll stay on the edge, tweaking as I go.

Whatever, I’m glad I read the book.  If skipping the bananas and the grapes will make a difference, it was worth it!

Have a great day!


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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, Was that worth reading?

Summer Challenges!

My TOPS group ( www.tops.org for your nearest chapter!) is running a series of challenges for the summer.  Each week we add a new one!  Here are the first 4.

1.  Create a SMART goal.  Tristan Loo (www.SIA-ha.com) has a great planning sheet that we used.  The goal is to achieve it by the end of 13 weeks.

This is the goal sheet I used to define how I will declutter my space 3 items a day.

2.  Our second goal was to repeat positive affirmations.  I remind myself that as the TOPS pledge says, “I am an intelligent person!”  I also remind myself that “I take care of myself”  and “I treat myself with dignity and respect”

3.  “Eat 4 vegetables per day!”  This one is vital to my success.  And the hardest one, believe it or not!  I have been enjoying my salads – 3 cups romaine lettuce and 1 cup cherry tomatoes – with a variety of toppings to keep me from getting bored.

The new challenge is to “Add 2 cups of water” to your routine.  Some people have a hard time getting enough fluids.  This is a baby step that will get you on the right path.

I’m keeping a water bottle by my computer.  That way I don’t start wandering around my kitchen looking for something else.

Feel free to join us in taking on these challenges!  It all helps!

Have a wonderful day!



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Day In and Day Out.

One of my first red envelops was loaded with encouragements.  The one that I have by my computer is, and I’ve probably said this before, but why not say it again!

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

Because I’ve been continuing to visit my gym, even though the scale was less than reflective of my efforts,  I am again seeing the results I wanted to see.  However, that’s not all there is to the story.

After 20 weeks…

(to May 23)

Weight Loss

Number of Visits

Cost per visit



This Week

lost 2.5



Last week




Year to Date




This week




This book has been open at page 62, where you can find the Vegetable exchange.    Our TOPS chapter has been challenged to eat 4 vegetables every day.  I’ve taken up the challenge, and it showed up on the scale this week!

While it hasn’t been true for all of my life, the last year or so it has been very difficult for me to eat vegetables.  I’m not sure why, but it takes work and effort on my part to get them past my lips.    I’ve measured my salad – 3 cups of lettuce equals one vegetable exchange.  So does 1 cup of cherry tomatoes.  Every day I make a salad.  Some days I add half a can of salmon or tuna.  Other days I add some kind of fajita mix – chicken, beef, sweet potato.  Every once in a while I even eat it plain with a bit of dressing.  I just have to say that I’m really enjoying this dressing – new from Kraft.  It has only 30 calories per tbsp. and lots of flavour.  And it’s not too spicy either.  I don’t like a lot of spice in anything, especially my salads.

I’ve also been seen eating raw cucumber and zucchini on my breaks, and at home for a snack.  Can you imagine?

Fruits, somehow, have always been easier – maybe because they are sweeter and easier to grab.   Sometimes I think I ate too many of them – especially cherries and globe grapes.  Again, it comes down to balance.

Anyways, I will continue to build the 4FV habit, and we’ll see where it takes me.

Have a wonderful day!


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