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Showing posts from August, 2015

Day 114: GF Pumpkin/Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip cookies this morning.

Where have you been all my life?  I seriously enjoy the taste of almond flour and flax meal. It is not floury tasting. More grainy.  And my tummy is very happy!  Also, these cookies are rich and moist.  I don't feel the need to eat more than one. I just savor each morsel!


I am puttering around this morning. Enjoying a week with no rigid schedule.

I am getting ready for lunch with my friend Sandy. I think we are doing Bloody Mary's at the Ram.

I should probably just have one. Because I need to either hit the trail or the gym when I get home.

I feel almost pain free this morning. I just stepped on the scale.  Of course, I wish the numbers were going down more quickly. But I am happy with my state of mind and relaxed physical state.

I am going to finish my tea and do a bit of bible study.

I am also looking forward to spending some time with my ukulele and my piano.

My daughter and son-in-law come back from hunting…

My Ookoolaylay :)

I am watching a video about my new instrument. The Hawaiian pronunciation is "Oo-koo-lay-lay".

Apparently, the ukulele is not simply a small guitar. It is an entirely different instrument. It can be traced back to the 19th century to an instrument called a "machete" from Portugal. It is a member of the lute family. It has four strings.

And it is just so frikkin cute! :)  Just saying.

Day 113: Say Hello to My Little Friend!

Today I had a real live day off!

I really should do this more often.  I started the day by downloading some new books to my Kindle. I enjoyed last night's book so much, I purchased another by the same other. It's called What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I am already hooked!

I also went to church and the grocery store.  I'm feeling really solid about my eating.  I bought some chicken and made a recipe from my Wheat Belly cookbook: "Pecan-crusted chicken".  I also made majadarrah in the crockpot. Majadarrah is a Lebanese dish I love. I discovered Lebanese food when I was 21 years-old, working for the Forest Service Information office downtown Portland. Abou Karim was just up the street and became my favorite lunch spot!

I spent two years as a vegetarian, so I became quite efficient at making majadarrah. But I must say, today was about the best!  I slow cooked lentils with cumin, a touch of cinnamon and turmeric.  When they were soft, I added cooked brown rice.…

Day 112: My Bedtime Story

I awoke about 4:00 a.m. this morning to a rumbling sound. I instinctively put my hands on my belly. I often wake up hungry.  Thought it was my stomach growling.  But then I saw a flash of light. And heard a much big rumble. And then the sweet sound of rain! :) I went out on the deck and breathed it in. Tried to let the dog out. She stood in the doorway and sniffed and then turned around and went back into her kennel.

I lay back down with the window wide open, the fan blowing the sweet smell of rain into my room.  Next thing I knew my cell phone alarm was beeping 7:00 a.m. at me. I almost hit the "snooze" button, but remembered my new resolve to rise earlier.  I tried to jump up and holler "Another day of life!  Carpe Diem!" I just raised my arms and stretched and before I noticed that all was dark.  I tried my light switch. Nothing.  Power outage.

I figured it was the storm this morning.  I was due to meet my mom at 8:30, (which is 8:00 SBT -Standard Blanche T…

Addendum to Day 111: GO Hood to Coasters! AND....Super BP!!

I just got back from the trail.  Major attitude adjustment! I took Honey, my daughter's dog. She is still learning to walk politely on a leash, so it was a bit of a workout. Especially since today was the Hood-to-Coast run and we encountered hundred's of people on the Springwater Trail!

But there was such positive energy in the air. Two ladies were stationed at the corner of SE Foster and about SE 106th, making sure runners crossed the road safely. They cooed and awed and petted Honey which made her very happy.

When we got back, I headed into the garage to forage around through my music. I am planning my next concert. Also wanted to find some music for students. And lo and behold, I found my old blood pressure machine.  So I drank a big glass of water and sat down and put on the cuff. I took three measurements to be accurate.  They were all similar:  98/78 with a pulse of 67. My weight this morning was 193 pounds.

Then in the same box as the machine, I found a blood pressure…

Day 111: This Apple Fell FAR from the Tree!

Last night I made about five days of lunch packets.  Quinoa, edamame, salmon bowls.  I'm quite looking forward to today's dinner on the road!

Yesterday was a very good day.  I had a two hour rehearsal with my friend Judy playing recorder- piano duets.  We talked about performing for a few of the area music clubs coming up in the fall.

Then I had my pre-made meal of kale salad, eggplant, chicken and yogurt.  And iced tea.

Then I accompanied the last Broadway voice class of the summer. we did a little performance for a small audience of their friends and family. As usual, playing music elevated me.

But this morning, I woke up grumpy again. It is quite humid. Rain is in the forecast for this weekend. YES!!!!

I had nice bible study this morning with my neighbors around the corner.  They told me they were feeling kind of cranky lately too.  And their dogs were anxious.

I must be on the same level emotionally as a dog.  I seem to pick up feelings from the air.  Perhaps I have some…

Day 110: Bring on the New Testament! :)

Today is a very good day!  I woke up with less pain and with a cheerful outlook. My daughter and son-in-law were packing up for a hunting trip.  A lot of excitement in the air.  My son is staying home because he has to work and go to boxing class.

Honey, my daughter and son-in-law's dog stayed home too. She will be going on the next trip. She is, in fact a English Pointer! But she needs more training and this is going to be a long trip.

My son actually asked me if I was walking the trail this morning. I told him yes, of course. He asked if he could come along and bring Honey!

I was so happy to share my trail with my son.  We did a nice 1.5 mile loop.  It was getting hot and Honey was panting, so we came back. We'll be having a healthy lunch at Laughing Planet before I go to rehearsal.

He took a picture of Honey and I.  I still am carrying a lot of fat around my middle, but it is slowly melting. And I am not giving up. Never give up!

 This morning before our walk, I sat down t…

Day 109: Grumpy in the Morning/Joyful in the Evening!

Oops! It's 11:53 p.m. I almost let a day slip by without blogging!

Don't want to ruin my record!

But today was a very grumpy day. I must have looked like the internet famous "Grumpy Cat" this morning because my daughter looked at me and said, "Are we grumpy this morning, Mom?"

Sigh. She knows me too well!

I don't really know what the deal was. I woke up sore and cranky.

Dragged myself around most of the day.  Did a bunch of yoga. Walked about a mile.

Still cranky.

Drank some ice water. Made an iced chai tea. Made my son-in-law a special jalapeno hash browns and eggs Birthday breakfast. Gave him a card and some Nike socks. (The man is picky about his socks!)  That got me a hug of thanks.

I felt better for a bit.

But then they left for his mom's house.  I went up to the post office to return my latest Gwynnie Bee shipment. Which by the way, was the dress I wore to my concert. And I LOVED it! :)

I stopped at Fred Meyer's on the way back home and to…

Day 108: BACK ON THE TRAIL!!!! Veselý úterý!

I got a lot done this morning:

Baked some flax/apple/walnut muffins.  They are wonderful!

Baked some eggplant slices for my dinner on the road today.  Made a tomato/onion/parsley salad. Packed some of this for my dinner too. Along with a big of chicken breast, sliced turnips and a banana.

My plan was to walk the trail. But I got so preoccupied with baking, laundry and cleaning that now it is time to go teach. But I will walk briskly between students' homes!  I have an hour break between students. I need to buy my son-in-law a birthday present for his birthday tomorrow and I will stop at the library.

I rode the stationary bike briskly for about 5 minutes just to get my blood flowing. Then I did some yoga and pilates.

I had my cauliflower pizza for breakfast. May I praise my own cooking? It was DELICIOUS! But more like a cauliflower lasagna consistancy. Next time I need to bake the crust on an actual pizza pan. I used a casserole dish and it was so thick, it didn't dry out enou…

Day 107: Cauliflower Pizza Crust, Ethiopian Food and a Foot Massage, Oh My! :)

Today I had lunch with my son and daughter at the food carts at Cartlandia on SE 82nd.  I ate at Rahel's Ethiopian Food Cart.

Oh my goodness. I love Ethiopian food! I first tried it years ago at Jarra's on SE Hawthorne. This was superb. Flavorful. Healthy. I had spicy lamb, collard greens on rice instead of the injerra bread because I am avoiding wheat. The young lady who served me was so gracious and sweet. Highly recommended! My son had the traditional Doro Wat (chicken) with vegetables, rice and hard boiled egg.

Love this food!

As predicted, I had low energy today. I felt like I had been run over by a truck. It is my typical post concert depression. But I expected it. And I was prepared!

In the morning, I texted Daniel at The Fabulous Foot Spa and scheduled a massage. He got me in at 10:30 a.m. Afterwards, I headed to Fred Meyer on a mission. I was going to make cauliflower pizza crust! I've seen the recipe in several gluten free books.  I also stopped a…

Day 106: Relax and Enjoy the Music

Just got home from my concert.  It went well!  It was a small, but very appreciative crowd.  My students who came were engaged and seemed to have fun.  I think I will stay with this format.  I love seeing young people enjoy classical music!

It was more than just a concert for me. It was a get together of people who mean a lot to me. And what is so nice about these events is now these people are connected to other friends, family and students in my life.

My mother put together strawberry shortcake and lemonade. We even had gluten free poundcake for the gluten sensitive. I tried one and it was quite good.

I did break my no eating after 7:00 p.m. rule tonight. I decided that it is ok on "special occasions".  Especially since my daughter, who works part time as a bartender promised me one of her famous bloody mary's when we got home.

My daughter and son were both there.  It was so nice to see friends and students and be able to introduce them to my adult children. My daugh…

Day 105: GF Apple/Walnut/Cranberry Bread Smells Like Heaven to Me!

I am so excited! As I type this, I have my first ever gluten free bread in the oven baking! The house smells divine!  It is apple/walnut/cranberry bread based on a recipe from "Wheat Belly" by Dr. Davis. It uses almond flour, flax meal, applesauce, coconut, coconut milk and coconut oil.

I can't believe I'm really doing this. I was very sceptical of the whole gluten free movement. But I have had such success in just a week, that for now I am sold!

I took my blood pressure again at the "higi" kiosk at Fred Meyer today. It was in the evening, after I taught all day and had rehersal, and several large meals.  So I reserve the right to deduct 5 pounds for food and clothes!  But here are my results:

Blood Pressure 113/73 mmHg Status Normal Pulse 59 bpm Status Low Weight 198 lbs I am really impressed with my BP and pulse.  No wonder I am feeling so calm. Not anxious or irritated! :) These were my stats just ONE MONTH AGO:
Check-In Results Blood Pre…

Day 104: Talking BP

I am still basking in the glow of my readings yesterday.

My BP was 96/69! Pulse 68. I have often worried about high blood pressure.  I had not gone so far as inquired about meds. I am trying to live a med free life if possible. I just take a calcium/vitamin D supplement, a B-complex, vitamin C and acidophilus (which I just added again yesterday).

Plus my weight is dropping noticeably.  At last!

One of the biggest changes I've made recently is to remove wheat from my diet.  It's been about a week now. I haven't even had much time to get a good workout in over the last few weeks. It has been hot. I have been feeling under the weather.  Way under. Tired, aching joints. But I have been walking and doing yoga stretches. And I have been preparing for my concert. When my concert is done, I will get back on the exercise train.

I was looking at blood pressure charts online. My BP is considered "normal" on most of the charts. On the chart above from, it sh…


I was feeling so good this afternoon - calm, balanced and virtually pain free - that I stopped at the kiosk at Fred Meyer to check my weight and blood pressure. And I wanted to do a happy dance right there in the store when I saw the results! This with all my clothes on, after eating a big breakfast. No wheat is the ticket for this woman. YAY!!!!

Day 103: Liquid Acidophilus is My Super Hero of Choice!

I ended up not going to sushi last night with my friends. I took a sushi "raincheck".

I had a really good afternoon of practicing at the music center for my concert. But I was having pain in my lower abdomen. I don't know if it was nerves, the hot weather, or something I ate.

I didn't go to my class either.

I stopped off at HoHo, a Cantonese restaurant nearby and had a bowl of rice noodle soup with seafood.  It helped a bit.  I didn't eat the fortune cookie. I read the rest of the "Wheat Belly" book.

I think I am nervous about my concert.

I also think I am eager to get back to my routine.  Maybe I am getting old and boring. But I enjoy getting up and going for a long walk. Then coming back, praying, doing bible study and household chores. Prepping meals and then going to work.

I usually feel really good after a concert. Kind of like a performance high. Then I crash.

So I am going to try to go into this one as if it is just another day. I am prepared.  …

Day 102: Friends take Friends to Sushi! :)

Continuing to improve with the removal of wheat from my diet. I ended up 
ordering the "Wheat Belly" book by Dr. Davis for my Kindle. Couldn't wait for it to arrive at the library.

I practically inhaled the book. Read most of it last night, highlighting sentence upon sentence!

I wish I would have read this book as a young person.  Might have changed a lot in my health. But not looking back. Being right here, and looking ever slightly forward! :)

I lost another pound overnight.  I can't wait for weight and measurements day on Monday!

But today is going to scorching hot again. I am headed down to the music center to rehearse for my upcoming concert. The music center is housed in a 102 year old brick building that was originally built as a firehouse back in the day.

Believe or not, they have excellent A/C!

I have a class tonight. Classmates of mine are taking me out for sushi before class!  I know soy sauce is not gluten free and rice has carbs, but I feel that it is …

Day 101: Wheat Belly

My friend Cindy has been following my blog and giving me wonderful words of encouragement.  It makes my heart smile that people are actually reading and supporting me! :) I sometimes feel that I am just writing to myself. But lately more and more friends have been telling me that they read my blog.

Which makes me feel more dedicated to sticking to my new lifestyle!

A few days ago, Cindy recommended a book called
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, by William Davis M.D. Just what I need!  I really feel that wheat has been one of the culprits in my eating disorder.  I reserved a copy at the library and had a sample of the book sent to my Kindle.  I will let you know what I find out! But, after briefly scanning the sample, he does recommend not eating any cereal, even whole grain.  Several times over the last week, I thought about cereal for breakfast. I really believed that the high fiber was low fat and healthy. But I am determined to try a…

DAY 100: The Amazing Foot Spa!



That is such a significant number.

Triple digits!  Almost one third of a year!

I've been noticing big improvements overall especially this past week.

Last night I restated my focus.  I added decreasing caffeine. I also want to start adding more people time.  I have been very me-focused. I needed that. I needed to become my own best friend. And I have drawn closer to God.  But my goal is not perfection. It is a more balanced, happy, productive life. And I can't have that if I don't reach out to others.  As I become healthier, I hope to expand my circle.

Continue These Healthy Habits Daily exercise: Yoga, walking and/or weight training. Some jogging (when it is not hot) Daily prayer and bible study. Daily blogging. Daily listening to wonderful music.  Daily piano practice.Daily focusing on healthy, whole food meals. Eating most meals at home. That one is a big one. And it was a recent change. And a difficult one! But I am already feeling so much more energetic!  …

Day 99: Waking up!

Yesterday was a bit of a breakthrough. My mother and I have always enjoyed spending quality time together talking and eating. Most often in a restaurant. Over the years of single parenting, my life had gotten so busy that I had cut out all extraneous activities. Including time with my mom.

A few years ago, as we talked on the phone I told her we should find a day to meet every week for breakfast and conversation. And so Saturdays with Mom began!  I always look forward to seeing her and catching up. I usually don't worry about my diet on these days. I figure it is just once a week. I usually have a large meal and then hope it will satisfy me for most of the day.

But this has backfired.  Lately I feel tired and in a blur on Saturdays. And that is my busy day of teaching! Having a big breakfast also has not guaranteed that I will not be hungry later!

So, we changed the plan.  Yesterday I made breakfast! No wheat for me.  And it actually tasted much better than the restaurant we freq…

Day 98- On the Right Path "Pho" Sure! :)

I do believe I am on the right path.

Happy Saturday! :) 

Day 97: A Wizened Winter Hen

"On the trail again...!!"

I woke up early and did my normal routine. But I took some time to stretch on the deck outside and breathe the COOL air! When I got up for real, I was so happy to see overcast skies! I haven't witnessed the promised rain yet, but the air feels pregnant with succulent drops (how poetic am I?!)

I went for a nice 1 mile walk on the trail. Oh, it feels wonderful to be back! I had my radio tuned to Classical 89.9.  I listened in rapture to a lovely Beethoven quartet.

I had my yogurt and one of my daughter's avocado devilled eggs and a few slices of turkey bacon for breakfast.  I also drank some grapefruit juice and my tall glass of ice water.

Did some prayer, wrote in my prayer journal and some Bible reading. 

I stepped on the scale and was pleased to see it had moved down another pound.

I am a bit stiff. But I am not a spring chicken!  I'm thinking maybe a wizened old winter hen! :)

So I am about to do some yoga, shower and go teach and pra…

Day 96: Like a Boss!

I felt good all day today!  I got up at 5:00 a.m and cooled off the house, let the dog out, water the plants.  I even made a lunch for my son - My prepackaged specials!  He had to leave the house at 6:00 a.m.  this morning and has been saying he wants to eat healthier.

Then I did some stretches and lay down with the fan.  I read the news on my Kindle. I was so happy to see that they are predicting only upper 70's and RAIN for tomorrow. YAY!!

When I finally got out of bed, I did some good yoga stretches, read my bible and had some prayer time.  Then I made another batch of premade meals.  Today would be the last of the ones I made from Sunday, because I have been sharing with the kids.

This time I sauteed chicken breasts with the same spices as Sunday.  But I sauteed them whole instead of in chunks. Then I sliced them and divided them amongst the tupperware containers.  I also steamed some fresh broccoli and baby carrots and put those on top.  I washed a bag of wonderful red grape…

Day 95: Happy Dance!

I woke up this morning two pounds lighter! And with much less pain, fatigue and stiffness. 

Happy Dance! :)

Yesterday I ate only meals prepared from home.  They were high protein and kept me feeling satisfied during the day.

I must admit after picking up my daughter, son-in-law and son from the airport, my intestines settled down.  I think I was more worried about them than I cared to admit.

My daughter and son were really impressed with my meal prep. I even sent my son a lunch packet with him to work today!

For breakfast, I heated up the omelete cups and made my special garlic/onion/jalepeno pepper/cilantro hash browns. But I didn't have a jalepeno, so I pulled a banana pepper off the plant on the deck and diced it up.  I didn't want to use much salt, so I mixed in some nutritional yeast.  Very tasty!

I just did some lovely yoga stretches to "The Watermill" by Ronald Binge which comes in at number 270 out of 300 on the Classic FM of Fame.

Beautiful piece. Very re…

Day 94: Dandelion Tea!

A breakthrough!

My meal prep is brilliant! 

Today I plan on eating 0% wheat.  I finally went to bed last night without a headache. My stomach felt less bloated and my head not so fuzzy.

Having all my meals planned and prepared took a big weight off my shoulders, and hopefully it will take weight off elsewhere!

I'm having some dandelion tea as I type this.  I have some in my tea cupboard. I read that it is good for digestion and weight loss. But I decided to read up a bit, and it does a whole lot more.  And according to this article:, it has MANY health benefits! Who know? That little weed in our lawn is good for us!

I have decided not to continue drinking the spirulina energy powder for awhile. It has yerba mate tea in it, which I love, but I'm wondering about the caffeine content. It does rev me up, but I feel a little tense during the day.  Ideally I would like to wake up naturally and not d…

Day 93: Comparing Stats and a Fresh Start!

Today is weight and measurements day!  So, in honor of me staying with my program for 3 months, I thought I would compare today's stats with my beginning stats. 

Today's Stats: 08/10/2015 (Day 93) Weight: 197 lbs. Neck: 14.5" Chest: 43" Waist: 38.5" Hips: 45.5" Biceps: R 13.5"/L 13.5" Thighs: R 23"/L 23" Calves: R 16"/L 16" Ankles: R 9"/L 9"
Beginning Stats: 05/26/2015 (Day 15)  Weight: 203 Neck: 15" Chest: 47" Upper Abs: 41" Waist: 41" Lower Abs: 49" Hips: 48: Thighs: 23" R, 22.5" L Biceps: 14" R, 13.5" L'

So, I took my first measurements on Day 15. So the results after 78 days are:  

Weight: Loss of 6 pounds.   Neck: 1/2 inch loss Chest: 4 inch loss Waist: 2.5 inch loss Hips: 2.5 inch loss Thighs: No change Biceps: 1/2 inch loss right arm.

Alrighty then! Results! I'm digging this!!
And I have not been working out very strenuously for the last few weeks.…