Honey's Treasures

Honey's Treasures

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Morning Walk.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone is having a blessed day with loved ones.  We had nothing planned this holiday so we decided to visit Cloverdale.  Here are some pictures from our morning hike to the bottom of the hill from where we're staying.  It was only a mile to the bottom and a steep climb back up the hill to the campground.  They're having a potluck at 1:00 and we were set on joining the all the lovely people camping here but at the last minute we got invited to our friends home in Santa Rosa. 

Such a beautiful countryside. 
Cabin swings.
Dried blackberries.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No Boots For Me.

Over the past two or three years, I've been wanting to buy a pair of boots.  Once in a while we'd be window shopping and I would see a cool looking boot in the window display and go inside the shoe store to try them on.  Either they wouldn't have my size or it wasn't a good fit; too tight, too loose, etc..  I like to shop online.  So lately I've been checking around online to see if I can find a pair and found several that I like and was close to picking a pair and ordering.  Michael suggested that we drive down to REI in Berkeley tonight so that I can try some on before purchasing.   

This boot was the most comfortable but my heel slipped up and down inside:
Teva De La Vina - My favorite.
Merrell Waterproof Captiva Strap Boots.
The heel was too big on this one, too.
Keen Bern Baby Bern Boots.
Again, the heels too loose for me.

I tried on a few others but couldn't find any that felt right for me.  One thing I learned is that my heels are narrower than I thought.  Mike said that there must be a pair of boots somewhere out there and eventually I'll find them.  Still searching...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weight Loss and Healthier Eating and Living

Over the past two years I've been trying (or thinking of trying) to lose weight.  For me to get serious, I mean truly serious, I think it was simply getting sick and tired of the way my clothes fit and not being able to wear my old clothes.  I work out at the gym several days a week, spin classes, treadmill, StairMaster and weight machines and even though, all that exercise wasn't doing the trick.  Thinking I was eating healthy, my body weight kept increasing little by little.  Sneaking up on me.  I didn't feel that I was considered 'fat' but I did have some 'fat' on my body that wouldn't go away with exercise alone.  My daughter had lost some weight and I think that really inspired me to finally make a change.  She convinced me that it really wasn't too hard after the first few days and she was right.  I think those were the hardest.  Once I'd made the decision to do something about it, there was nothing to stop me from accomplishing my goals of getting leaner and more fit.  Once I set my mind to something, I mean seriously set my mind to it, then I just do it.  You see, it was bound to come to a head for me eventually because I've never been more than five or ten pounds overweight in my life except for when I was pregnant and that's not being overweight.  

On October 6th I began counting my daily calorie intake on this free site SparkPeople.com.  What's great about SparkPeople is that they even give you meal time suggestions and recipes.  There is a whole network to tap into if you decide to utilize it. 

By counting my calories it's really helped open my eyes as to what a serving size of food really is.  Based on my height, age, weight, etc., it told me that I should consume between 1200 and 1500 calories per day.  I'm sticking to the low side of those numbers just so I can take it off a little quicker but a couple of times have gone over the 1200 calories.  As of today I've lost a total of nine pounds.  Yay!  I've at least seven more to go but maybe as much as twelve more pounds.  It will depend on how I look and feel.

For the most part, I weigh and measure out all of my serving sizes.  If a box of crackers says a serving is 3 crackers, that is all I eat.  I also cut out all potato chips and french fries and things like that.  I don't miss them and don't crave them.  The only thing I might crave and have a weakness for is popcorn but limit myself on that and always cook it myself and mostly skip the butter but once in awhile might treat myself to a pat of melted butter on top.  I'll tell you what I do to my popcorn to make it tasty in a minute.

Here's a few samples of what I've been eating.
Since I began doing this, I have one serving size of oatmeal every single morning.  At first I was using 1/4 teaspoon of honey to sweeten but now I omit that and make it more hearty by adding 1 tbsp of raisins, one date, 1 Tbsp of dried cranberries, a little banana and, or things like that.  I also have a little health mixture that I made up and keep in the freezer.  I always add one small teaspoon of this to my oatmeal bowl.  All together, my calories for breakfast comes just under 300.  I usually have 1/2 cup of orange juice, too.  The calories includes the o.j..

Nutritional Mix (can have some or all of the ing. below) Store in freezer; 1 tsp. = 1 serving.
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup chia seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup roasted, lightly salted pumpkin seeds (find Pepitas at Trader Joes and roast them yourself)
1 cup finely chopped nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts (whatever you want or a mix)
If I have any healthy granola leftover such as Kind, I will put some of that into the mixture.

This is a sample of my lunch.  Salmon, sometimes smoked salmon as shown here, 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese, 1/2 tomato, baked sweet potatoes or other vegetable.  I like to mix it up for variety.  Sometimes I have 1/2 cup brown rice and/or a piece of fruit such as a fuyu persimmon or an Asian pear to replace one or two of the things on my plate.  I always use a small plate for my lunch.

Samples ideas for lunch, I choose two or three things and not always do I include meat:
3 to 4 oz. cooked chicken, salmon or other fish
one boiled egg (the whole egg, the white and yolk work together and is healthy)
1/2 cup brown rice or one slice of wholegrain bread with a very small pat of butter
small green salad, 1 tbsp low fat dressing
piece of fresh fruit or a small bowl of berries
baked potato, 1 small pat of butter and/or 1 tbsp low fat sour cream
1/2 cup vegetarian refried beans and 1/2 cup brown rice

For snacking, I keep out a bowl of nuts, the kind you have to crack open to eat.  I find that this works better for me than leaving out a bowl of any kind of food that you can just pop into your mouth as you walk past it.  That's a no no around here.  No candy, no ice-cream and no potato chips.  As I said, I don't crave these things.  I must mention though, we did go out for lunch last Wednesday, it was a special date with some friends.  We all went to an ice-cream parlor and I split a sundae with Michael.  It was a little splurge and I didn't feel guilty because I've been doing so good and am committed.  I think it's important to have little treats like this without any guilt.  Or it won't work.  Simple as that.  Gotta live life and have a little fun and enjoy things.  

Other snack food ideas:
1 serving size = 1/4 cup nuts (roasted and unsalted peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, walnuts, etc.)
(sometimes I cut this in half and only have 1/8 cup)
serving (1/4 cup) of raisins or other dried fruit such as dried cranberries.
piece of fresh fruit
1/2 cup non fat cottage cheese and tomato with black pepper (note: 1 cup = 1 serving of cottage cheese) Always non fat!!
Raw carrots
Celery with 1 tbsp. low fat cream cheese or 1 tbsp. pure peanut butter (you know the kind that separates, not full of hydrogenated fats, just real peanuts and salt for the ingredients listed)
Non fat yogurt with a little cut up fresh fruit or berries or nuts.

Dinners Usually at least three items from this list.
1 serving lean beef, chicken or fish or sometimes beans and sometimes no meat at all.
A serving of cooked vegetable
non fat cottage cheese with tomato and pepper or dill
1 serving size steamed, boiled or baked potato, fingerlings or sweet potato. 
1 slice of whole grain bread and small pat of butter
1 serving size of brown rice
1 serving (1 cup) of homemade beef stew, beans, spaghetti, soup, etc..

These are only small samples of things.  Monavie also has a meal replacement shake and once in awhile I would have that if I didn't have time or want to take the time to put something together.
It's a quick on the go nutritious and delicious meal replacement that comes in chocolate or vanilla.

Well, there you have it in a nutshell.  My diet plan.  One thing to mention about my change in workout schedule.  I now go to spin class two days per week and at least three and sometimes four days a week I'm hiking 4.5 miles a day which ends up being anywhere from 13.5 to 18 miles per week.  So I'm not spending as much time at the gym and I think hiking is really making a difference.  It's not a hike for wimps.  It's a steep and steady climb up to the top and it's making my legs slim down and stronger.  I'm hooked!  We even hiked in the rain one day last week. I bought a new hat which folds down to cover my ears when it's cold and windy and snaps up in place when not needed.  I got it at Duluth Trading Company.  I love their clothing.  Very well made.
About popcorn.  I love popcorn.  Always have and always will.  Up until very recently, I was using a little oil in a popcorn popper to make my favorite treat but yesterday purchased a Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn popper.  It was on sale at a hardware store in Alameda and I decided to get it for more healthier popcorn.  I haven't tried it yet but plan on having a movie night very soon.

To freshly popped popcorn add two or more of the following:
A little salt
Nutritional yeast (I found a store in Alameda that has a tasty, non bitter one)
The yeast adds a little cheesy flavor to the popcorn.
Dried ground oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc., basically Italian seasoning.  Just a little needed.
Garlic (garlic can be garlic powder, which is easy to sprinkle on top or use freshly minced garlic in a little melted butter for a treat)
Grated Parmesan Cheese.   

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tuesday and Today's hike

It was scheduled to be a busy day for us so I set the alarm early the night before.  The alarm music woke us up at 6:30 am on Tuesday morning and I immediately turned it off.  It was so warm and cozy underneath the blankets, I wasn't ready to wake up.  We had to force ourselves to climb out of bed and get ready to go on our morning hike.
The weather report had hinted at rain so we dressed warm just in case.
 Pitter-patter, pitter-patter went the rain on the hood of my red Gore-Tex rain jacket.
Thick fog at the top of the hill.  Even though it technically didn't pour down rain, it was a steady drizzle and we both got thoroughly soaked from the rain.  We were both thankful when we reached the bottom and instantly turned the truck's heater up high.  I took a nice hot shower when we got home and it felt so good to let the hot water pour over me.

This morning's hike was quite different than Tuesday.  It wasn't wet or foggy but was very, very windy.
Heading up the hill, toward the bottom, we had a strong tail wind that only lasted a short time.
However, as we climbed higher the wind switched and we had a very strong head that blew down on us.
If only pictures could capture the wind.  It was quite an adventure climbing the hill this morning. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Cabinet

Cabinet Here.
This is our latest cabinet design.  It's meant to hang on the wall and store things and there are two shelves behind the doors.  Can be used in the bath, kitchen, office, mudroom, etc..  Your color choice from our color samples and can be customized in color and or size.  We're going to be showing another color of this same style very soon, we're just waiting on some specialty hardware we ordered to be arriving next week.

Our color samples are here; https://www.etsy.com/listing/169418253/wooden-shelf-furniture-cabinet-storage

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ready for the Cooler Weather

We've been hiking this hill, up to the very top, three to four days each week and two days per week I do a Spin Class at the gym and Michael goes on a little bike ride.  I cannot tell you how good it feels to climb up this hill.  Sometimes we take a longer route which winds it's way around to the back side of the tower and meanders through scrub oaks and cherry trees and other tree species.  It's really quite pretty.  I'm prepared for when the weather turns a little cooler and am looking forward to it as it gets quite warm on this hike.  I just bought some new clothing and a hat to keep my ears warm from the biting and chilling winds for when the weather turns.  Our plan is to hike throughout the winter, weather permitting.  If it rains, the trails will get muddy and then we'll have to change up our workout by trekking the hill going to Rancho Solano which is also a pretty good climb but is paved.
Still blue and purple.  Some of my hydrangeas are fading.
Delicate looking Cyclamens are popping up in our wooded section of the yard.
All of my potted wild rose plants are showing signs of needing some tlc.
I retired my work pants recently.  I think I would have kept them had they not been full of holes in the crotch area.  Big holes.  Too big to repair and I wasn't going to run around wearing these any longer.  It's kind of funny, every time I go into a store wearing my work pants, little children stare at my pants.  Now I'm working on getting a new pair to look as good!  ha ha

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Some Excellent Movies to Watch

A Royal Affair
After the Wedding
The first two are true treasures. 
Catherine Cookson's The Secret
Actually, there are quite a few Catherine Cookson's novels that were made into movies and you can find them on Netflix.  They are among my favorite movies.  I wanted to post The Dwelling Place but couldn't find a clip to link to so I posted The Secret shown above.  Like I said, they are all very, very good.
Loving the Bad Man
The last movie is quite different from the rest in that it's a Christian movie.  Loving the Bad Man is about a young woman whom is raped and becomes pregnant.  She decides to keep the baby and goes against her parents wishes who want her to have an abortion.  She makes a conscience decision to forgive the man that raped her and it was very moving.  A very good message about the power of forgiveness.  Stephen Baldwin has a role in this one, see his interview here;

Friday, November 1, 2013

Yesterday Morning Hike

We started out at the free parking lot (so we'd get a little more walking in) at Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Park
Inside the park at this point.
Began going up the hill on this gravel road.
A group of morning hikers ahead of us.
Looking toward the freeway.
Golden morning hillside.  There's the tower we're heading to.
Mike has his walking stick and knee brace on.
At this point, we've already passed the group of hikers.
Here comes Mike followed by the people.  As you can see, I've run on ahead.  It's all about the pictures for me.  Well, and the hike!  I love to climb hills.
I think at this point, Mike is thinking, 'What the (insert swear word of your choice) did I get myself into?'
Steep climb here.
Beautiful lichen covered rocks scattered throughout.
Still a ways off.
Me and my hiking shoes.  Keens are so comfortable.
Almost to the top!
Passing the Vacaville Prison off to the right of the path.
At the top.
Heading down the steep main road to the bottom.