Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Party

Someone had lots of patience & a ton of talent to create this carved fruit display.

Usually we had a big ice scuplture as a display. This year they went with something different.

Not sure what this was called. It had tofu in it and I thought it was pretty good.
Even though my friend, Brenda refused to try it...she won't try anything with tofu.

This pasta salad was also good

Carrie was making someone a tortillini dish. Brenda said that was good..I had eaten enough and so I didn't try this.

What more could you ask for then a room full of friends & food. Right about now, whoever has been reading all my posts in this blog was probably thinking that this blog will by the opposite of (or go against) the last blog..LOL
So yes, even though I went to a holiday party and stayed for about 4 & 1/2 hrs...I don't feel like I went crazy with all the food. I still had my old holiday favorite~yams/sweet potato. Mostly I ate the pasta salad. Course I was to busy taking pictures, so I didn't have much time to sit & eat. I took about 130 pictures that night and have 50+ pictures posted on facebook (before my battery died out that night)
I also won a rice cooker in the gift drawing this year. I have never used a rice cooker before but lots of the foreign exchange kids that work here use them all the time, and everyone tells me how great they are.

Well, today as I type this its "Winter Soltice Day" and I expect another snowstorm tomorrow.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday season~and starting anew

I often am baffled by how quickly people will dismiss changing their diets, when at the same time they are subjecting themselves to tons of Holiday stress. They can manage school plays, cookie parties, baking for 40 but tell them to walk for 20 minutes or to eat something healthy and the whining party begins.
People go through tons of stress – a flu, a breakup, a new job, shopping at Target on Black Friday. And yet, they seem to forget that they are completely able to handle stress when it comes to changing their diet and lifestyle.
This Holiday season I want to encourage you – if you really feel like it’s just so hard to change your diet and lifestyle (especially around the Holidays), give up every thing else. That’s right – no parties, no gifts, no events. Because if you can’t put your own health above one holiday season, I would seriously question if you seriously cared at all about your health.

So many people ignore their own health and don’t understand how much it impacts the lives of their loved ones. If you have a disease like diabetes(like so many of my family members), it’s not just about you – it’s about everyone that has to take care of you and everyone who has to worry about you. Your kids having to give you insulin shots or call 911 because you just crashed, is not exactly holiday cheer. Getting heart disease and dying young and leaving your family because you just couldn’t give up bacon? It’s selfish and let’s face it, doesn’t really promote the holiday spirit when you have to start worrying if this Holiday is your last.

Everyone has it in them, getting up early to walk 30 minutes is far less stressful than getting up at 3:30 AM on Black Friday, and cooking something healthy and tasty takes no more time than cooking that traditional Holiday pie.
now the above stuff I got from another blogger...but totally made sense to me.

And starting Sunday Dave, a guy that works at the rec center, will show me how to use all the equipment in the gym. I have 6 months till my vacation back East to see my son graduate...and I plan on having smaller clothes then. Oh yes, I'm starting a new diet & new work-out program right in the middle of holiday season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey Day is coming

Now why do some people call Thanksgiving "Turkey Day"? I guess that's all the day is for them...a day to eat turkey. Makes me wonder is Thanksgiving the only day of the year that some people eat turkey? I don't know, but it seems strange to me. Sure as a kid, I loved the dark meat on the turkey. In fact 1/2 my plate was full of dark meat. The other 1/2 of my plate was Dad's homemade stuffing & yams. As long as I got those 3 things followed by pumpkin was a good day. Course it took me forever to finish the plate too.

Today I got an email from a friend who asked me when I was going to the employee cafe for thanksgiving dinner. Seeing as I have to work thanksgiving night, I told her that I could meet her around noon that day. Now its not a meal to really look forward to...dry turkey, sweet potatoes with brown sugar or marshmallows or some other sweetener dumped on top, overcooked soggy veggies, hard stale dinner rolls, and the most disgusting pumpkin pie ever. And its the same menu that is served here for Christmas.

Last year, I went to Colorado and spent Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. My sister-in-law cooks GREAT!!!!! You know how criminals on death row can usually pick what they want for a last meal....I pick my sis-in-law to be the cook.

Yes I admit I'm pretty picky about my food. I love sweet potatoes/yams...but not loaded down with all the sweetener crap. I usually buy yams about once a month and just eat them plain with canned crushed pineapple or applesauce.

But yesterday I found a new recipe for them & simple enough to make in a dorm room without a kitchen:

African Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup
Ingredients: Best to use organic and local ingredients:
Soup Base:1 sweet potato
3 medium sized ripe heirloom tomatoes
2 small handfuls sprouted peanuts (I'm just using crushed peanuts)
1x1 inch chunk sweet onion
2 pinches of cumin
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch cayenne or chili powder
1/2 cup water - varies depending on desired consistency
Note: I recommend you use filtered water and not extra tomato to water the soup down.
Too much tomato will dominate the taste of the precious sweet potato.

2 inch chunk of red bell pepper finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
few chopped/crushed sprouted peanuts
sea salt/black pepper to taste
and if you are feeling spicy add a pinch of cayenneon top
- remember a little goes a long way!

Play around with your spices, add more or lessor other ones as well. These 3 went well together.Your spice influences should be those found in curry.

Optional ingredients based on original recipe: add garlic,fresh ginger, green or spring onions and/or red bellpepper to soup base.

Preparation: Place all non-garnish ingredients into high speed blender. Blend until desired consistency. Remember that the longer you run it the more it will heat up... Add more water if soup is too thick. When I poured it into the boil it formed a slightly oil ring around the edgesmaking it the perfect medium soup based consistency... just enough to coat your spoon but soothe and melt in your mouth.

Pour into bowl. Artistically arrange garnish on top!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Salty Lunch

Today I went with Brenda to Tusayan during her lunchbreak. She needed to fill her car up with gas. Then we decided to go to McDonald's which is just down the road past the gas station, seeing neither of us has been there for quite awhile.

After getting our order and finding a booth to sit at, we both agreed the fries were to salty. Well according to the nutrition facts on the trayliner a medium sized order of fries has 270mg of sodium...then of course the workers dump on more salt after they are cooked.

Now Brenda takes a water pill & potassium pill everyday and her doctors have told her to watch out for sodium in foods and to use less salt. Well I guess we both blew that salt rule away today.

My lunch had about 1900mg of sodium and Brenda had about 1650mg of sodium in her lunch.
After skimming through the nutrition list I noticed that the deluxe breakfast has 2150mg of sodium and that's without any syrup &, thats alot of salt for 1 meal.

My lunch also had 1,250 calories. Figured that was also alot seeing as some people try to eat that in a whole day. Guess I shouldn't go back to McDonald's anytime soon.

just sitting home snacking~ had yogurt and Sliced red bell peppers with thousand Island dressing (yes there is to much sodium in the dressing too), but not really hungry for much else.
And I'm not sure how "Tazo Tea" became my new bed-time drink, but I'm having it again tonight. (I don't think there is sodium in tea...but wouldn't be surprised in manufactors added some in just like everything else)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting ready for Halloween

Yesterday before I went to work, I was able to go down to Safeway for some much needed grocery shopping. I didn't buy any halloween candy or soda...I'm so proud of myself. Course my friend, Brenda, bought stuff for holiday baking. I told her that if I bought halloween stuff now that I would end up eating it before this weekend was over and have nothing left for halloween, so I have to wait till the last minute. I just keep telling her "that candy is dandy..but only as long as my uniform fits over my fanny".

I will be dressing up again this year and going around the park riding the shuttle buses for a couple hours and passing out candy to all our guests (had a blast doing this last year). But I am buying candy that I don't like...candy corn & butterfingers & payday candybars(can't stand either one) or something with dark choclate that I don't like and won't be tempted to eat. And seeing as my kids always liked stickers and goofy temporary tattoos I will get some of those to pass out here. Whatever left-over stickers/tattoos I have later, will be mailed to my grandkids.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I got a new frig

Well at least its new to me.
A neighbor that lives 2 doors down is moving into a trailer in trailer village, so seeing as she won't need her frig anymore...I got it this morning. Now my old frig stopped working back in April and my old frig could almost reach as high as my knees. This new frig is almost as high as my hips.

Now I can't wait to go down to Flagstaff this coming week and stock up on produce. I have missed having kiwi, fresh berries, melons, yogurt, soymilk and lots of salad mixings everyday. To bad the Summer season is ending because soon I won't be able to get fresh berries in Flagstaff to much longer. But with winter season coming, I will still get to enjoy tons of apples and maybe more yams/ sweet potatoes. Actually this time of year makes me think of my grandmother's garden and her cooking everything imaginable with pumpkins, different squashes, and her homemade red applesauce (she left the peels on), parsnips, and beets.

I also just got a order book for Schwan's this week and will be able to order from them the next time they stop at Yavapai, which will be on the 14th. Unless I spend all my next paycheck in Flagstaff (in the produce section)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shop Till We Drop

Luckily I had today off work so I could go down to Flagstaff with my friend, Brenda. (She always has weekends off)We went into Michael's craft store.
Halloween is Brenda's favorite holiday and I've been calling her "The Queen of Halloween" for a couple yrs now. She needed to get supplies for project/gifts that she is making for about 30 people, she also wants to make 2 haunted house (1 for home & 1 for her work office) and stuff to make a black halloween wreath. She will go back down later to get stuff for her yummy fattening treats...that will be part of the 30 peoples gifts.

Her excitement was almost contagious as I almost bought stuff to decorate my door. Instead I got jewelry making supplies and a jewelry book to get new ideas. (I'm hoping to sell jewelry at our next Winter Bazaar) I forgot my 40% discount paper so my total was about $63. Brenda remembered her 40% and her total was still about $88. I better sell lots of jewelry at the bazaar to make up for my crazy shopping.

Later we went to Fry's for grocery shopping. Why is it that I always seem to get lost in that store? At least the produce section is easy to find, which is good because I wanted strawberries (2 containers/$5), bananas ( .59/pound), avocados (.88/a piece), tangerines ($1.99/pound), and baby carrots (.88). The avaocados were a tad bit softer then I woulda liked but I got 2 anyways. Flagstaff felt like a sauna today, so I got a few 32oz bottles of powerade for .88/a piece. I ended up losing Brenda in the store when I wandered off to look for Clif Bars...they were $1/ a piece.

Not sure if it was all the driving around or if it was just the heat...but I was sooooo tired on the way home. Was able to make 1 necklace (so far) since coming home though

Friday, August 14, 2009


Well I've been here for over 2 years...29 months to be more exact. I finally went into a place called "Yippee-EI-O!" Now over the last 2 yrs I have heard a few different opinions about the place. Some good & some not so good.
Well I needed to go somewhere different and figured I would check it out for myself and see why others had given me the opinions that they did.

not so good:
1. CROWDED~to many tables cramped to close to each other and they were busy.
2. sorta expensive: COST~ more then I would liked to have paid.
3. did I say BUSY~they didn't even ask what dressing I wanted on my salad, they just automatically put ranch. And it took a long time for a waitress to come over to take my order.

good~terrific fried zucchini & mushrooms..I had to bring 1/2 of them home
Corn-on-the-cob was good also, just a bit small.
I noticed that there were a couple neat items hanging on the wall as I looked around ( while waiting for someone to take my order)

ok, now unless my normal pizza place runs out of fried mushrooms then I probably won't have a reason to return to Yippee-EI-O! I'm to cheap to pay those prices very often. And if I want Salad then I will go to Yavapai where I can make my own, instead of having a waitress bring me a bowl of iceburg lettuce with ranch dressing dumped onto it. Why don't restaurants learn how to make better salads...and not just this one but all restaurants need to learn that iceburg lettuce is not the only thing to throw in a salad bowl.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Well a few months ago, I broke a tooth while eating popcorn. It got infected and abscessed a couple times so I finally had it pulled out this week. Now I hate going to the dentist (and of course don't go often) but the lady dentist at the North Country Healthcare in Flagstaff was great!! Course I have other teeth that need to be taken care of later...after I get on ACCCHS.

Boy if I could go back in time and chance something it would be, "taking better care of my teeth". But for now, its no more popcorn for me.

Actually this week I've been eating lots of applesauce & pudding & ice cream. Yeah not the healthiest diet but easy for me to eat. Starting with next payday, I need to buy more produce and start using my juicer & blender again.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Instant Weight Loss

Want Lose Weight Without Dieting
How I went from 224 lbs to 128 lbs with NO DIETS OR EXERCISE *******************************

Geez, don't you just love getting emails with those subject titles EVERYDAY?? People lately have been sending me IM's every week with some dumb link to acai berry sites. (I have now had to set the messenger service to ignore anyone not on my buddy list)
I don't care what Oprah, Rachel Ray or Dr. Oz says....
no pill (including acai) will make my weight disappear without a diet or without exercise. If it really worked, then we all could sit here with a case of donuts at our feet and a gallon of strawberry milkshake in 1 hand while popping a dumb diet pill with the other hand and have it preform its weightloss magic. Sorry but anyone who believes all the weightloss gimmick ads must also believe in the Easter bunny and all the fairytales that end with "happily ever after" too.
Oh and please make sure to read all the small print if you ever decide to "try-out" some products "free trial" because it might not end up being free.

*Most products that claim to "rev up your metabolism" or "burn fat" contain stimulants. Many plants contain stimulants, and you will get the same effect from "natural" or herbal weight loss products that you get from drinking huge amounts of coffee or tea. Supposedly Stimulants cause you to burn more calories and you will lose weight at first, but you need to take more and more as the days go by, and they can cause unpleasant, even dangerous side effects.

The only ways to lose weight (without surgery or prescription medications) are:
1) Take in fewer calories,
2) Burn more calories, or
3) Both.

I didn't really gain all this weight overnight, so why should I think I can lose it all overnight?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Butt into gear

Well I went in for my weigh-in on Saturday I gained another pound. The 3 pounds I lost a couple weeks ago are now found. Now when I have gone with my friend, Brenda, to the clinic for her physical therapy session I remember them telling her that a person gains weight (water weight) from not moving...not exactly sure how that happens though.

So I guess I'll admit that I didn't work-out at the little gym here at all last week, and didn't go walking much on the rim trail like I should and also didn't spend any time walking the dogs at the kennel last month. The physical therapist said I could come in to use the equipment at the clinic anytime. Brenda already said she's thinking of going in on Mon-Wed-Fri's after work, so if I could just go in with her.

Goals for March:
walk the dogs at least once a week

either use equipment at clinic or gym twice a week at least

find some new trails to explore

drink more water & less coffee

Monday, February 16, 2009

3 pounds down

well, when I went for my weekly weigh-in for the weight-loss competition...I lost 3 pounds and my team lost about 2.35% of our weight, so far. I was pretty happy with my weightloss. Wow, just think~if I could lose 3 pounds every week....boy I would be seeing numbers that I ain't seen in years if I did that.
The weekly challenge this week is just to walk everyday. I'm hoping to get down to the kennels to walk the dogs a couple times this week.

Well I never did get to Safeway to go shopping so my co-worker & I are waiting to start the juice fast. I did get in on the rec center trip to Flagstaff on the 26th though.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

fasting with a co-worker

Now last month, I had made some fresh juice with my juicer and brought some in to share with a co-worker. (think I used to much cucumbers though)
Well yesterday, this same young co-worker asked if I would make more for a whole week. He gave me $20 and a short list of stuff he wants to have in his juice. So hopefully I get down to Safeway (which is an hour away) tomorrow.
He plans on doing his juice fast for a week...and I figured "what the heck¬I'll do this too"

his shopping list consists of:
Oranges (lots)
berries (preferably blueberries if on sale)

Now he didn't have kiwi on his list but I like them in my juice, so I might add them to his juice. For whatever reason he wasn't worried about having apples when I asked him about them...oh well, I usually add them to mine.
So if anyone reading this has any ideas for my co-worker, please let me know.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday~weigh in day

Just my luck, I was up late-late last night downloading pictures that I took yesterday and playing pogo games online, so as usual I got the munchies while sitting at the computer. Yes I knew I would be weighing in today at the rec center, but I ate 4 choclate covered pretzle rods that Brenda made anyways. I also had dinner at Brenda's last night and had a soda.
**reminder to self**

I finally walked up to the rec center to get weighed after 1pm today. I lost 1 pound this week...ok losing is better the gaining in this situation. But I know I need to do better next week. I have to push myself to drink more water and really need to commit myself to going down to the kennel to walk the dogs (which I didn't do at all this last week).

I think Brenda & I will be going back to Safeway in Williams next Friday...hopefully they still have fresh strawberries on sale. I also hope their bell peppers are cheaper then the general store here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Biggest Loser~Grand Canyon style #2

Ok, today I went to the kick-off meeting for our new weight-loss contest. I did this last Summer also, but hope to do ALOT better this time. In fact if anyone is reading this blog that is also in the same contest here at the Grand out for the team called "Maswik Munchers" because I am determined to kick butt this time (probably my own mostly).

This years contest is a little different as each team (3 people on each team) will get points for...weighing in AND losing weight...going to an activity or lecture...completing a challenge (this week drinking 8 glasses of water everyday)....and for each hour we volunteer to walk the dogs at the kennel or picking up litter around the national park.
Now I love dogs but haven't been to the kennel in quite awhile, so now I have an added incentive to go play with the dogs. I have been drinking more water lately anyways but this week's challenge will be a good way to make sure I grab the water bottles instead of the coffee cups and now that my computer is working again, I also have no reason not to dust off my exercise DVD's.

Seeing as Brenda and I went shopping in Williams the other day, I made sure to get some fruit & raw veggies to snack on while I'm sitting at my computer. The fresh produce will be alot better for me then the boxes of different crackers that I had been buying at the general store here. For some reason I seem to snack more while I'm sitting at my computer then I do at any other time.