I'm a woman with lots of uphill climbing behind me. I'm a freelance writer and editor and a mortician by education (retired from it). I enjoy working online and writing my first Young Adult book.
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I just laid aside my phone on the nightstand. It was bedtime. My vision stopped at my silvery, shiny, Overeaters Anonymous, 24-hour “coin” reflecting my lamp light. I hadn’t picked it up since my first (and only) 24 hour on program day. I only lasted that 24 hours. This coin says on the front “To thine own self be true.” Also, Unity, Recovery, and Service” were written in the middle. On the back of the coin was the serenity prayer.
I recalled that my good friend, Heather, kept her 24-hour coin nearby every day. It’s important to her to stay abstinent from processed, sugary foods and not to overeat. It should be important to me, as well, but it only represents another time of trying again and not sticking with a diet. I should look at the trinket as the commitment I made for a clean-eating 24 hour period and was successful!
Unity – means this to me: being part of OA fellows and attending meetings regularly. It means I need to listen to recorded or live meetings when needed/possible.
Service- means to me that I could be helping others on this same path I’m walking.
Recovery – means being on a program of controlled eating (not eating compulsively) on a regular, steady basis.
I do think this little silvery disk is important. It reminds me that I CAN work very hard (it’s not easy in the beginning) and be successful at changing my eating and my life!
Is there a better way to eat? I’ve tried so many diet plans that I’m ready to get to the heart of this subject.
I boiled down the two best ways (for me) to lose this fat. Yes, I need to lose over 100 lbs. These two types of eating are counting carbs or counting calories. I HAVE to count something to keep my daily intake low enough to actually LOSE weight. So, I researched for days and found that a low carb method of eating is very good for my body.
I’m pre-diabetic, so I’m insulin resistant. I need to cut the carbs for sure. However, I tried eating low carb for a week. It was not enjoyable at all for me. It’s not something I can stick with very long. I like sandwiches on hearty bread and an English muffin with a poached egg between the halves. Never mind the hidden sugars in ketchup or every other sauce/dressing. I was driving myself crazy keeping up with the sugars and general other carbs.
So, I tried counting calories. It worked better for me but I still didn’t “feel” well. I realized I could (and should) combine these methods somewhat. It’s not strict Keto but it might work.
I started on a Wednesday and lost two pounds by the following Monday. I was happy with my diet choices, and my body felt pretty good so far.
I cut out desserts and processed goodies. I also choose sugar free BBQ sauce and ketchup now. I still like regular salad dressings, though, but I have discovered that a homemade balsamic vinaigrette saved the day for me (and hubby likes it, too). I’ll include this recipe below.
Using a glycemic index book, I discovered the many foods that were low and healthful. I also found out which made me feel bad. It was simple. You can look it up online. You don’t need a book. 😉
I also have begun drinking a two-ingredient mix that helps lower insulin response before every meal. It’s 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a good amount of water (or other liquid of your choice). Do NOT just down the vinegar alone. It will hurt the enamel on your teeth, and isn’t so great for the stomach.
My crockpot has been a life saver. I can put in any protein and throw in some veggies, and voila! Dinner will be ready at 5:00 pm. There are also great slow cooker recipes for low carb diets online, too! I do not like to cook, so this way of getting dinner done makes me very happy, and my husband, Dave loves the homecooked meals regularly.
Have you ever roasted fresh veggies in EVOO and dried herbs? I love roasted brussels sprouts, green beans, asparagus, thin spears of carrot, and any other fresh veg that happens to look promising. Try doing this. I set my oven on 350 degrees and roast away until the veggies begin getting a charred appearance. You might want to stop cooking them earlier. LOL.
Since vegetables are a big part of this diet plan because they are low in carbs and SO good for me, I try to eat them as much as possible. I love frozen veggies that can be steamed in their own bags. Easy!
Salads are, of course, another go-to. Add some protein to the top (egg, chicken, turkey, tuna, etc). Soups are also a fave of mine. Canned or homemade, I enjoy both. More variety is had with canned, though, but they contain more salt and calories unless you choose ones without these additives. Read the labels closely.
I just ordered a variety of Cliff bars as snacks when I am traveling or running errands and need a snack. I’ll see how this turns out. They are not low in carbs that I am aware of but they are within my “snack” calorie limits.
Another tip, I’ve been having hot tea before bed. Herbal tea mostly but any kind will do – unless caffeine keeps you awake. During the day, I have matcha tea, chai, rooibos, hibiscus, green tea, and other herbal teas with great flavors like lemon or orange spice. A hot tea at bedtime curbs hunger or even the “I want a snack” mind hunger.
Sara Lee makes a light bread. It has 45 calories per slice, and it’s full of fiber. I have been purchasing this bread lately. If I don’t want a “bread” sandwich, I use a big leaf of romaine lettuce filled with my favorite sandwich middle. Yum!
Ok, time for the balsamic vinaigrette recipe I promised. Have a healthful day!
Lea’s Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar, 1 clove garlic, salt and pepper, 2-3 Tbsp. honey (start with 2), 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Mix in a jar with a lid. Shake together. Keep in fridge for 2-3 weeks. Add salt or honey to taste at the end.
1 serving is 2 Tbsp./ 84 calories/ 5 carbs/ 6 fat/ 0 protein
Some call a Keto diet “trendy.” Many people have tried this eating plan with great success, so we can call it successful if you stick with it properly.
You will be choosing more fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, eggs, bacon, butter, and cheese than on most other diet programs.
The first couple of weeks, you might see headaches, fatigue, and drowsiness. This can be expected. You are changing your whole body’s fuel system. This period is called Keto Flu.
Lots of information is available or low/no carb diets, so it’s easy to find parameters of the diet, and because so many people are on this plan, there is a community of your peers to chat with.
I know you hear this often with eating plans, but please check in with your doctor about your new way of feeding your body. He or she may have suggestions for you and can also check your body while on this program.
Limiting calories is important. However, don’t go below 1200-1400 per day. Your body needs a basic minimum to merely fuction.
Try the following blog for more info. It has good all around suggestions and also offers different popular food chain options for you.
According to the CDC, over 73% of American adults are overweight or obese. Being overweight is linked to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Try to lose weight slowly because fast losses can cause issues like gallstones and even existing muscle loss. You also need to avoid quick weight loss because you likely won’t get the nutritional needs your body requires. So, you would be deficient and lacking energy, as well. Nevermind that your mood will also be affected adversely.
An average female uses about 1200 calories just to maintain her bodily functions, so increase this calorie number by a few hundred, at least, to see losses in fat but to remain healthy.
Don’t forget to get some good sleep each night, too. That is when your body is repairing itself.
Add fiber to your daily intake. Fiber helps you have a faster metabolism, so goodbye extra weight. Choose vegetables for this, if possible, because they also contain iron.
Eat some protein at each meal. It will keep you full longer, and it boosts your metabolism so you will lost the weight more quickly.
If you must have a snack in the afternoon, choose a protein with the snack. Watch the amount of food you choose for your snack. It’s not a meal.
Don’t eat after dinner. You want your body to recover and repair itself while you sleep – not to have to digest food you just ate.
Journal your eating habits. Include your beverages and snacks. I use the Loseit! app. It’s a calorie counter. Myfitnesspal is also a helpful app.
Move your body each day. Do as much as you are able. Walk – it’s easy for most people. If you are bored, walk at a shopping mall or Walmart. Just don’t stop a lot to shop. Walk and look at the same time.
Strength train! This keeps your muscles from wasting or your body from using your existing muscle as energy.
Remember, just START. Don’t put off your health. Take it one day at a time. Take it an hour at a time if you need to. You can do this! Lose the extra weight!
Even if you have heard about Matcha tea, read this!
The Chinese and Japanese have a history of drinking Matcha tea, and they are healthier because of it. It’s been used for thousands of years!
My favorite way of drinking this tea is either pure (with hot water added) or iced with a bit of sweetener added and some almond milk. Go easy with the sweeteners, though, they can mess up a healthful drink. I make my own matcha at home, so I know exactly what’s in it.
Here are some great benefits to drinking this tea:
It has a rare amino acid that gives you relaxation in the brain. Anxiety/stress may lead to an agitated mood but Matcha tea balances your mood. This amino acid is L-theanine and is common in teas but this tea offers up to five times the amount as other teas. How does that stand up to your black or green variety?
2. It increases your metabolism and helps you get rid of fat. You will burn more fat even sitting still than without the Matcha tea. Imagine if you exercise a bit and watch your calories at the same time. You could get some help losing weight.
3. You’ll get about 135 times more antioxidants than regular green tea offers. These antioxidants can get rid of those awful free radicals that cause such damage to your body. It helps you stop some of the UV rays to your skin, as well. So, you can look more youthful in your skin. 😉
4. It helps your immune system to work well. Want a healthy immune system? Drink Matcha tea. It treats inflammation.
5. It helps the memory. L-theanine also helps you to remember important facts. If you are learning all the time, it can improve that retention.
6. It helps you stay younger longer. Matcha has been thought to slow aging. That is like a fountain of youth! Have you ever heard studies of a portion of Okinawa, Japan about their living longer? They do, and often-consumed Matcha may be the reason.
7. There have been links between this tea and reducing cardiovascular disease. So, drink up!
8. Matcha tea can help with depression and anxiety. It can also increase blood flow, healing you from the inside. You won’t feel as stressed. That is worth incorporating this tea into your life.
9. It contains catechins which may have cancer fighting benefits.
It’s May, Mental Health Awareness Month. I thought I’d blog today because I suffer from a mental disorder and want to quickly share my trip from “normal” to needing help and back to normalcy. If you have a mental problem, you can improve your life, too.
I was 44 and experienced a break down when my oldest child left home. I had always been “Mama,” and my heart was broken. I cried so hard that I was overwhelmed and a change overcame me.
Mania was what took over. Of course, I had not idea I was in a manic state. It felt like a very good mood. I was high on life. Even when I saw that my 25 year marriage was not going to be salvaged, I was in a good mood. The mania lasted about 7 months. I lost 40 pounds in two months, was promiscuous, dabbled in weed, drank too much, spent too much, and took two pricey vacations. I also couldn’t keep a job for more than six months.
After the six months in the best moods I’d ever experienced, the tides turned.
I immediately went into a deep depression. I didn’t cook, clean, go out of my house, or do anything I used to find enjoyable. I even dropped out of college when the depression began. I just stopped going. I wanted to die every day. I prayed that God would take me in my sleep. Antidepressants were my doctor’s answer. They would lift me a little – only to quickly let me return to soul-sucking depression within a couple of weeks.
My life was in shambles for seven years! I saw therapists and counselors. I changed medical doctors several times. I sought help anywhere I could, only to find no relief.
I researched depression online all the time. I’d check out suicide rates for women my age and know I only had a short time left on earth. There were no answers for me.
Once, I texted my family that I loved them and thanked them for the help they had tried to give. Then I took off in my car to kill myself – somehow. I didn’t want to injure anyone else though. There were no answers in this endeavor. Because of a flicker of hope in me, I drove to my GYN. She was an understanding, kind, and smart woman. I got to see her right away. The receptionist evidently saw the immediate attention I needed. She sent me (and my grown son who had made it to me by then) to a local mental health hospital where they asked about sixty questions.
By the time I finished answering the questions, I was coming down from the immediacy of the suicidal emotion. I realized I wasn’t a threat to myself anymore, and the hospital let me go. The black dog depression still loomed over me, though.
Soon after, I changed physicians once again. I couldn’t give up. This time, I found the right one. She and I figured out that the mania I experienced was part of the depression and that it was Bipolar, type 2. We added a certain type of mood stabilizer (generic Abilify) to my antidepressant.
Within a week, I was elevated to a mostly normal mood each day. I could sleep again and wasn’t staying up for days in a row. We had settled my questions. I knew what was wrong and could treat the symptoms. Unfortunately, the disorder doesn’t just go away. I didn’t care. I found help and was elated!
Now, six years later and still on the same meds (they were raised in mg a bit over time) and doing very well. My kids say I’m “Mama” again. It feels good to wake up and not dread having to merely survive through another day.
So, my dears, mental health can be yours if you don’t give up on yourself. Whether you have bipolar, severe depression, or anything else, hang in there. Keep seeking help. It is out there. I am proof.
I can’t seem to bring myself to diet again. It’s been one after another over the years. I’m fatter than ever but can’t commit to another eating plan. I just want to NOT think about my eating. That is a mistake, though. If I don’t watch my daily eating, I’ll get as big as my sofa!
I’ve decided to go on a Not Diet. I’ll lose weight by doing small things like eating frozen, healthful meals. I’ll choose Crystal Light in my water instead of sodas. I also like iced tea with fresh lemon. There are many small things I can do to help me lose some fat.
I work from home and on my laptop. So, I’m sitting all day. I will get up every 30 minutes for a walk around this big house or the acre outside if the weather is nice. I’ll also choose to not buy my favorite sweets or savory snacks but substitute healthier versions for them. I was into Little Debbie powdered donuts for a while. Ugh! NO nutritional value. I do like fruit. This will do for me.
I need to journal my food so that I stay honest, though. This, I will start doing again.
There will be nuts and seeds in my cabinet. I like chia seeds in my Dannon Lite and Fit Yogurt! There will also be celery and cucumber next to my ranch dressing in the fridge. If the chocolate pudding cups aren’t there, I can’t eat them. Therefore, the celery’s crunch will solve my need for chips, as well.
Here goes. I’m trying something different. It will be a slower loss but hopefully my weight will keep going down instead of up!
Any ideas for small changes you can share with me?
I’ve had Bipolar Disorder since 2007. It came on like a tornado and continued twisting my life into oblivion for seven years!
It began with months of severe mania. I spent thousands of dollars on needless items, was sexually promiscuous, smoked marijuana regularly, flunked out of college, ended my 25 year marriage, and much more.
It was a time like I had never experienced. I learned what euphoria meant.
After the mania phased out, severe depression set in. I visited my doctor and was prescribed antidepressants. They worked about 20% for me but I got worse as the months and years passed.
Suicide thoughts became a daily, almost hourly, companion. It was an awful way to live. I switched antidepressants when I felt the current one wasn’t working but I hadn’t found the right doctor to help me figure out what exactly I had. I had been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and that wasn’t what I suffered from.
In a short bout of mania once, I didn’t sleep at all for three days! Yes, mania can creep into the depressive times and wreak more havoc.
After seven years of miserable living and being barely able to survive because I couldn’t hold down a job, I found the doctor who would give me my life back. She put together my symptoms and said, “Bipolar.” I added a certain mood stabilizer to my antidepressant and got immediate results.
I was back!
I not only functioned but I thrived. I remarried a wonderfully kind man, got back in school and finished my degree, and was a good mother and daughter again.
I tell you this story in hopes that if someone out there is suffering from mental illness, he or she will never stop seeking medical help. Even if you have a doctor you like, this physician may not be “the one” to solve your issues. Also, if you have a loved one who just “isn’t right,” you might be able to help.
Today, I work online as a counselor/advisor and make good money. I function well and have no more depression or mania. It’s been this way for 6 years now.
I get the first Covid-19 Vaccine in about an hour and a half. I have mixed feelings. Of course I want to prevent myself from getting this virus (a second time) but I also am afraid of this shot. It hasn’t been on the market long, and no one actually knows, on a large scale, what it can do to a person long term.
However, I have eighty year old parents who don’t need this virus, and I don’t want to give it to them either.
So, I am going to one of the local hospitals to get my shot. I’d love to know how you feel about the vaccine. Please leave a comment!
I’ve always been able to tell what others are thinking and feeling. It wasn’t a special gift or anything when I was young. I just knew I was different. Other kids my age didn’t have the same senses and feelings I did.
As a young adult, I had two children. I was a great Mama. I noticed my empathy for others around me grew stronger during this time. I also could tell what was going on with the neighbor couple we were acquaintances with – like when they were having marital troubles. I knew what Gloria was thinking even though she smiled and said kind words. She never liked us and felt like she was better than we were. Her husband, Bob, was different. I picked up on his sincerity from the first time I met him. He followed like a puppy wherever Gloria said to go, though.
As I grew into my 40s I noticed another shift in my Intuitive nature and the empathy I had for others. I didn’t always like these “gifts.” The strong feelings left me exhausted and hurting for other people. Actually hurting in my chest. It felt heavy. I had a sadness about me when I knew someone was in pain or if their lives were in turmoil.
I’d never believed in “psychics” before but was starting to delve into the subject. I still wasn’t serious about it all. I was just super sensitive my husband told me.
However, in my 50s, I met a woman who worked full time as an online psychic. She made very good money and always seemed to know what I was thinking. I confided in her how I had always felt about my “sensitivities.” She said I needed to get online and help others with my gifts. I shrugged it off for months. I wasn’t anyone special. Who was I to help other people with their problems in life?
One day, I got serious about the subject – after being exhausted one day from holding in a friend’s marriage problems. I got online and signed up to take chats from strangers. I was scared to death but kept myself honest and open. I didn’t use cards or dice or any other devices. I merely was there for these hurting souls. I felt their pain through their words as they typed to me and I typed back.
That beginning turned out to be a huge blessing of a job for me. I now work part time as an advisor on keen.com (I’m Cajun Queen). I have heard many stories about many types of people. It’s a very interesting career. I feel so blessed and satisfied to be able to do this job. Yes, I get tired mentally and stiff after sitting for so long some days. But, it’s worth it to help those out there who are in need.
I just thought I’d let you know how some of us who are online advisors (some are called psychics) think. I’m not out to make the callers stay online as long as possible for the money. That is a misconception some of my acquaintances. I type quickly and I don’t waste their time.
So, there are some of us out here who are honestly doing a service for others on these psychic sites. Just thought you’d like to know.