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Just Swinging By … Click Here To Comment!

Just thought I'd pop by the Internet Cafe on my way from the beach to my massage … 🙂

This morning = Canopy Zip Line Tour … amazing! There is a video if you follow this link that should give you a sense of what it is all about. Extra special bonus por moi … three months ago, I would not have been able to do this as I exceeded the weight limit.

Yesterday, we met up with my next door neighbours, B & C, and wandered around Viejo Vallarta, which was a trip. C calls Mexico functional chaos with beauty and I'd agree with that. Chaos with a sense of humour, I'd add. No one takes much very seriously here and I really need a dose of that in my life. On the other hand, the "not taking things seriously" includes a complete absence of awareness of road safety, no helmets while on ATVs and motor bikes, no guard rails, an enthusiasm for tequila …

Speaking of which … knock on wood … no food issues. Everything has been totally yummy and benign. Either that, or the tequila chasers are adding the appropriate amount of disinfectant to my system. Today, while S and I were out doing the Tarzan thing, J entertained herself wandering around the village and came upon a fish store that was just loading in the catch from the morning. S and I returned to a meal of freshly caught (and unbelievably cheap) red snapper and shrimp. Heaven!

The Christmas Eve seven hour trip that I mentioned before was the Sierre Madre Adventure and it was outstanding. We stopped at various spots about every 40 minutes, including a "farm" half way up the mountain. We had a short tour of the fruit trees and a termite colony before being treated to a snack provided by our hosts – homemade tortillas that we watched being made along with fresh homemade fillings for soft tacos – guacamole, salsa, beans, etc. It was the most delicious food I've had on this trip. I'd recommend anything that Vallarta Adventures does – the guides are great fun and very skilled and knowledgable, not to mention patient.


Note to wizzy: Your copy of On Beauty is safe and almost read. I'm warming it up for you. It might have a bit of sand between the pages when you get it back, tho …

OK … massage time … hasta la vista !

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How to Lose Weight 2 comments

So, I've lost 31 lbs since June 29, which any normal person would be happy with. Yes, I am happy with that. I am also happy with having lost 30 inches, in total. 2.5 feet. Wow. Yes, I need to go shopping. Aside from a bit of stress at the moment, I feel terrific physically.

Unfortunately, I'm 10 lbs behind in terms of meeting my overall target of 90 lbs by next May. When Fundy Boy is done, I'm going to get to the gym 3x a week. That should help get the metabolism up there where it needs to be.

People ask me two things:

a) Has it been difficult?
Yes and no. The program I'm on – which I won't name as I don't really want to get into promoting it – offers excellent support and suggestions, in addition to herbal supplements.

Some days are easier than others. There is, of course, a connection between stress and eating. I don't crave sugary foods – I find those easiest to avoid. I do crave fried or greasy carbs (pizza, fries) and bread. Some days, I'd give anything for a fresh Ace bakery baguette and some lovely crumbly old English cheese. The other night, I really craved this particular treat. I had some really lovely mozzarella on slices of apple instead, which kept me from doing anything more drastic and damaging.

I miss Gryfe's bagels.

It is very motivating to see results. To need new clothes and to fit into old clothes I never thought I'd fit into again. I love it when people notice, of course.

Some days, believe it or not, I just don't think about it. Bad food is just not an option anymore.

b) How are you doing it?

Here are my new rules for eating, probably for the rest of my life …

1. Drink lots of water.

2. Eat a breakfast with protein every day.

3. Reduce carbs. If you are going to eat carbs, eat a small amount before noon.

4. Reduce or eliminate sodium. Of course, this is impossible – but give it the ol' college try. When you've indulged in a sodium-rich meal, move immediately, with all haste, to point 5 …

5. Drink LOTS more water.

6. Monitor portions. Learn what a real portion is.

7. Make a deal with yourself that you can eat a "restricted" food in a limited amount (i.e. pizza) only after you eat either a bowl of vegetable-based soup OR a  lot of veggies/salad.

8. Eat something like this every single day, either for lunch or dinner:

9. Speaking of which, make your own foods. Eat 100% homemade foods. Reduce the amount of restaurant and processed foods. This will help with both portion control and sodium/fat reduction. Unless you are into deep-frying at home … which I do not recommend.

10. What are you doing reading this? You should be drinking more water!!!

11. Ignore people who say "oh, but you have to treat yourself … here try this cookie, I made them myself last night." Tough tittie – keep your damn cookie. These people are not trying to help, they are trying to help you stay status quo. Seeing others change can be very threatening. One week I found myself confronted by one of these people almost twice a day and I had to get really tough.

12. Plan for meals and snacks. For example, I eat an apple every day around 10:30. It keeps cravings down and holds me over to lunch. Of course, this means I have to think ahead to have the apple actually WITH me. I cook a big healthy something (i.e. lasagna or soup/stew) each weekend and divide it up for lunches and dinners the rest of the week. Here is some curry carrot soup with a lovely design on it (I'm not responsible for that … ! 🙂 ) in low-fat sour cream. MMMmmmm … I used low-sodium chicken broth and noticed no loss in taste. This would be one of my fav things ever even if I wasn't watching my weight!

13. To achieve 9 and 12, one needs to get organized and make food a priority. I think this part will get less onerous as time passes. The weeks when I have not been able to really focus on this have been my least successful weeks.

14. Keep a food diary. Write all food and liquid intake, even if you aren't sticking to plan. Keep a weight chart in the same book. Shortly, I'm going to add an activity/exercise section to mine. That way, when you have a good week, you can figure out what works for you. When you have a bad week, you can figure out exactly what went wrong. (You can also start to figure out how to "cheat" and get away with it! How much activity do you require to get the metabolism up to burn off those french fries?)

There you have it 14 ways (sort of …) to lose weight. Come on … your body will thank you for putting less strain on it. Taxpayers will thank you for putting less strain on the healthcare system. I'm taking it on as a personal challenge … oh, and if you are not going to join me, please help me out by keeping your damn cookies to yourself!  

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Pause to Refresh 3 comments

I have broccoli under my fingernails. Ick.

N and I are chopping vegetables, prepping for a huge meal I'm serving on Tuesday – Boxing Day in Canada. Why are we chopping today? Because I'm "on the road" until then …

23rd (Today) – driving 2.5 hours west, dropping N off with her family, going to my brother's for family Christmas Dinner tonight. Two siblings, one sibling-in-law, two nieces, two nephews and lots of familial politics. Should be a hoot – must take camera.

24th – proceed from brother's to my ex's, another 2.5 hour drive southeast from there. Christmas Dinner #2. Let's see … the line-up there … my ex, her "adult" daughter who hates me (she hates everyone, so I don't take it personally), my ex's ex-husband (said daughter's father, he actually likes me – phew), assorted mutual friends. One rather odd acquaintance. We are playing board games and the present-opening game. The one where one person opens something and then trades off, or keeps it, etc. See note above about familial politics. Camera will be in tow.

Driving home after the merriment. Merriment a.k.a. blog entry fodder …

25th – Christmas at my friends' here in Toronto. We were planning to go skating in the afternoon but it isn't cold enough. Much merriment, much less blog fodder. Political intrigue much less fervent.

26th – 12 people (including me) having a sit-down dinner at my place. Tortiere, ham, scalloped potatos … etc. My place is very small. Not for me, and not even for one other person and a dog. I had my family over for Christmas dinner a few years ago and it was tight. That was with eight of us … 12 … wow … should be interesting … 🙂 … I'm making my Mom's ham recipe which involves a glace made of ginger ale, cloves and brown sugar, poured over the ham that is all tarted up with pineapple and cherries. Mmmmmm … . There was a request for me to web-cast the event. I web cast a New Year's party I had a few years ago and that was a hit. However, I don't think that will be possible this time.

Can't comment on the politics at this event … should be low dosage … phew … still, I'll be takin' pics!

OK – back to the broccoli … Merry Christmas everyone! Hope those travelling do so safely and those staying home do so surrounded by love and warmth.

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Blessing or a Curse? 5 comments

I think I've embraced the concept of project management perhaps a little too deeply. Perhaps bordering on psychosis.

I've been taking advantage of some weird limbo time that I get occasionally as I watch my students slave away at their final assignments. One of the things I use this time for is to make a plan for my time over the next six days. I have blogged about this before … my handmade, six-day planner.

(Aside: That was interesting, scrolling back over the past year of blog entries … hmm … more on that later …)

So, looking forward, I need to:

  • finish marking a truckload of assignments and exams and projects
  • finish a number of projects around the house
  • prepare food / menus for the holiday season
  • shop for food for the holiday season
  • buy presents for people

This is in addition to all my regular stuff that I do. To me, this translates into making a LOT of lists, and thinking carefully about each one. So, I wrote down in my hand-made planner "make lists".  I'm not kidding. I wrote on my list … make lists. I guess that makes the list I wrote it on the "meta-list" … or maybe I'm creating a list breakdown structure … an LBS, by any other name, would smell as sweet … see, I think I'm losing it …

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Korean Market Tour 1 comment

Lex took me on a tour of a Korean Market yesterday, conveniently right around lunchtime. 🙂 Other than that it is fun to hang out with Madame Cheapeats, my ulterior motivation was to witness this first hand. That's a rice cake maker, doing what it does best.

I'm also intrigued by Lex’s ability to take photographs of stuff and make them interesting so I figured I could watch and learn. I'm not naturally a visual person, more of a text person and a music person. But … do these things need to be exclusive? Can I learn to "see" things differently? I think of myself as being a terrible photographer, never framing things properly and always cutting off people's heads. Maybe I can learn …

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… what about what I had for dinner Saturday night? Click Here To Comment!

eMiLy and I wandered into Trimurti Saturday night, craving Indian food. Usually, to get my fix of curry, I head down to Gerrard and Coxwell and belly up to one of the bazillion lunch or dinner buffets there, and I'm mostly pretty happy about that.

No more.

This was, bar none, the BEST Indian food I've ever had – and I have eaten a LOT of naan, raita and gosht in my time. I believe eMiLy is in agreement with me on proclaiming the virtues of this place.

We had Saag Paneer, Butter Chicken (of course), Beef Madras, naan, raita, rice. The food took a long time to arrive, but it was so worth the wait. The butter chicken was smokey and complex, the saag paneer was much spicier, richer and – yes – more complex than I've had before. The gravy with the Beef Madras was heaven. Every bite was exquisite.

Run, don't walk, to Queen West, about half a block East of Babur next time the curry craving monster hits you. I'd be recommending it to Lex if it wasn't already in Cheapeats.

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