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Day 319: The Amazing Jicama!, Counting Calories Burned and "Yosegaki Hinomaru"

I am absolutely digging my jicama! I bought a big one on Monday. About the size of my head. I shaved of slices and drizzle it with lime juice.  Explosion of flavor in my mouth! My daughter suggested sprinkling "Tajine" on top. Whamo! When I visited Tijuana, Mexico when I was in my early 20s, the highlight of my trip was the food vendors. I still recall the fruit plate:  pineapple, mango, coconut, bananas and jicama, drizzled with lime juice and sprinkled with a chili powder much like Tajine!  This is a memory I do not mind reliving!

I googled the jicama, and discovered it is quite nutritious!


"Low in calories but high in a few vital nutrients, jicama is a bit of a contradiction when it comes to its starch content. It provides one-quarter of what's needed daily in fiber per serving. But not just any fiber jicama's fiber is infused with oligofructose inulin, which has zero calories and doesn't metabolize in the body. Inulin, a fructan, promotes bone health by enhancing absorption of calcium from other foods, protecting against osteoporosis. Inulin has a prebiotic role in the intestine – it promotes “good” bacteria growth that maintains both a healthy colon and balanced immunity. Because it has a very low glycemic index, jicama is a great food for diabetics, and low in calories for those interested in weight reduction.
Jicama is also an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C - 44% of the daily value per serving - and a powerful antioxidant that zaps free radicals to protect against cancer, inflammation, viral cough, cold, and infections.
Besides healthy amounts of potassium, this little powerhouse can help promote heart health, since high-potassium vegetables and fruit are linked to lower risks of heart disease. Jicama contains important vitamins like folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and thiamin, and the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. Like potatoes, they should be used sparingly due to the high carbohydrates content

My daughter just burst in and bellowed, "gym"! So I best be going while I have the motivation. I slept better last night. And am holding steady at 189.

I will post my psalm of the day when I return....

It is evening. I had quite a wonderful day!  My daughter and I talked about our fitness goals. I told her I wanted to step it up, exercise more, eat healthier and lose 9 ponds this month. I realized that I have been going to gyms on and off since I was 19 years old. A VERY long time!  It is about time I took this seriously!  My daughter studied nutrition in college.  She gave me a scientific formula for weight loss. I wrote it down, so I could post it here.

One pound of fat is 3,500 calories. To lose one pound a week, either burn an extra 500 calories a day or eat 500 less calories a day.

So...instead of focusing on the time and distance on the treadmill and eliptical today, I focused on calories burned. I have such a smart girl!

This made a big difference in my motivation today!

So, my goal is to burn 500 calories a day.  I burned 218 calories on the eliptical and 192 on the treadmill.  Total of 310 calories burned. But there is more!  After dinner this evening, my daughter asked me if I wanted to go to another gym she belongs to. 24-Hour Fitness.  My son and I could go as her guest. And they had a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.  I burned another 90 calories on the treadmill and then had a wonderful sauna, steam room and jacuzzi session.

Plus I did my upper body weight training earlier. I am thinking I made my goal of burning 500 calories.

In addition, she has been nagging me about my poor water consumption. She told me:

"The average person needs to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. For weight loss and optimal health, 100 ounces a day. 1 gallon equals 128 ounces"

I have a lovely 20 ounce water cup. So I have been filling it all day. I am proud to say I just finished my fifth cup, aka 100 ounces of water!

 A very good day indeed!

I am feeling very thankful for my family today. Having time off and spending it with them, makes me realize that I do have a place in this world!

We had one of our pre-made crock pot meals- beef fajitas. Very tasty! Tomorrow will be turkey chili.

We also visited the Oregon Historical Society downtown. I have not been there since I was a child. There was a lot of fascinating information. I would like to go down again when I have more time, to study it in depth. There was some disturbing information about our past, including the exclusion of the Chinese and the Opium wars.  Also the good luck flags of the Japanese known as "Yosegaki Hinomaru". A touching story of how Japanese families would send their soldiers to war with these good luck flags, signed lovingly by family members.  Apparently, many of these flags were taken home by American soldiers as souvenirs.  But there has been an effort to return these flags to their families, organized by the Obon Society.  This was my favorite exhibit, but quite emotional.  Here is a picture of some Yosegaki Hinomaru on display.
And, now at the end of my evening, I am finally looking at my psalm of the day. Psalm 14.  Another lament.

Psalm 14

1Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.
2The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God.
3They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good, no, not one.
4Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord?
5There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the company of the righteous.
6You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.
7O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

I looked up a commentary on this psalm, and found this explanation of the word "fool" from

"Some have understood these words to indicate that atheists are unintelligent. Yet many atheists throughout history have had a very high level of intelligence. In addition, the word "fool" used in the Psalms is one that typically refers to someone who lives in ways morally opposed to God's teachings. This saying, therefore, is not related to intelligence, but to morality.

Of course, this is not to accuse all atheists of being immoral people. The emphasis is that those who claim "there is no God" believe and live in a way that is opposed to God's plan for our lives. Whether an atheist lives immorally or not, the claim is true that to live as if God does not exist stands opposed to the teachings of God's Word."

I must say at this point in my life, on this journey, I would rather be a fool for Jesus than the alternative.  I used to be such a skeptic, wanting to see first before I believed. But as trite as it sounds, there was a moment as a church pianist, many years ago, when I was playing "Amazing Grace", when I got goose bumps. At the moment, I told myself, perhaps I needed to believe first and then I would see.

Since  then there have been many moments.  I still question, but I do know that God is real. I do feel His presence. And I do feel He answers prayers.  


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