A New Lifestyle ( My tips on Successful Weight Loss)

Before
at 162 lbs

About 10 months later,
after at 132 lbs


Listen to me…I’m no expert nor do I pretend that I know what the right practices for your lifestyle will be. I’ll tell you what I do know and what I’m 100 % confident about as it pertains to my life. If you want to lose weight and become fit, you need to throw away the word diet from your vocabulary. Once you commit to a diet it solidifies pressure on many aspects of your life such as your eating habits, social eating, your exercise regiment, etc. This kind of deep hold on your life works but what I’ve learned is that it doesn’t last. Eventually it fizzles out!

My weight loss journey unexpectedly was launched through a stressful situation. I don’t wish this on anyone but it catapulted me into a different version of my life. It was a negative that transformed into a life changing positive. ( Thank you God) I was living from one sweet to the next with an overload of non-nutritious foods on the menu. I didn’t exercise nor did I wish to. I was sick for weeks every winter with a run down immune system. Lastly my emotional and mental well being went haywire, thrusting me into rough waters to try to swim out of.

One day I woke up…really emerged and I asked myself, is this the way I want to truly live, to exist and not thrive? That day I set a mini goal on the horizon, that I lose a little weight for my son’s wedding. Then I started eating healthier and lighter. Instead of eating a whole sandwich at lunch, I cut back to a half. I snacked on almonds, pistachios, fruit and veggies and hummus. I walked a few times a week with my neighbor Anita, not only experiencing a great workout but a mental strengthener from our enlightening conversations.

As my journey progressed, I maintained active in my garden and did yard work. I stacked wood with Tom while sucking my abs and bottom in. ( This sounds wacky but I feel it helped) I practiced my old Denise Austin aerobic/ exercise/ weight training dvd a few times a week. I journaled( and still do this) all the meals and snacks I ate so that I would see what I actually shoved in my mouth on a daily basis. It’s a fantastic way to stay accountable to yourself. This has been quite an eye opener as I didn’t realize how much I was eating. Journaling goes hand in hand with meal and snack planning. Jot down what your meals and snacks will be for the week and use this for a generated grocery list. Try a variety of foods so you don’t tire of your choices.

stin also has a website and free exercise videos here and there

One trick that worked for me was not weighing myself. In the past on my weight loss journey, I would get upset if the scale didn’t favor me so in turn I ate. This time I went for months not weighing myself but gauged my progress through how I felt physically and how my clothes fit me. As they got baggier and bigger I knew that I was getting favorable results. Now I weigh myself once a week at school for The Biggest Loser program, which isn’t a competition but an individual track of your personal weight loss.

As of yet I have lost 33 pounds and feel unbelievable! I feel healthy, fit and in turn that helps me emotionally and mentally. Knock on wood, I haven’t caught the flu or even a cold this winter! Proper sleep at night and a multi- vitamin has its benefits as well.

Here are some of my tips that may help you:

Start small without huge expectations and pressure

Downscale your meals at first, focusing eating a variety of fresh vegetables, a protein every meal and limited carbs like potato and rice

Eat two snacks a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That would put you at five times a day of eating( three meals and two snacks)

Drink lots of water and stay hydrated

Start exercising a few minutes at a time every day or every other day. I started at three times a week with the dvd and now I practice it four to five days a week, 50 minute workouts every time

Walk with a friend twice a week to start. Make sure you stretch first to avoid painful Charlie horses at night. This happened to me last summer! Ouch!

I skip eating bread all but maybe a piece of toast a week and sometimes a half a sandwich at lunch. It’s been a tough adjustment as I love bread! But I’ve done it and sometimes I treat myself!

Try to not talk too much about your new lifestyle, unless it’s collaboration with a friend who is doing the same thing.  Sometimes talking about a diet to everyone puts pressure on yourself.

Try simple body moves while washing the dishes or brushing your teeth. I do a stretch where I try to keep my heels up tall and squeeze my legs, calves, thighs, inner thighs, bottom and abs as I go up and down a few reps. While washing dishes I kick my legs up on each side six reps while sucking my abs and bottom in.

My great snack ideas that have worked for me:

Carrot or celery sticks with hummus ( I love red pepper and the garlic flavors)

celery sticks with peanut butter

10 whole cashews, 15 almonds,or 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

apple slices and peanut butter ( sometimes I sprinkle dark chocolate chips and granola pieces on them)

pretzels with hummus

roasted chick peas 1/4 cup a serving, a great source of protein!

Avocado slices and ak- mak sesame crackers

one orange, two clementines, half a banana, one cup berries are all one serving for me

one mini box of raisins


Breakfast ideas:

One piece of whole grain toast ( I buy loaves of freshly baked bread from a bakery in Vermont that sells to Shaw’s) with two tablespoons peanut butter, a half of banana or apple slices

An overnight oatmeal cup, 1/2 cup steelcut oats, 1/2 cup milk, one tablespoon peanut butter, place in a small mason or jelly jar, set in fridge overnight. The next morning add apple chunks or banana slices and more milk if needed. You can eat this hot or cold, I enjoy it cold.

1/2 cup Grape Nuts or Kasha Shredded Wheat cereal with fruit

1 cooked egg with spinach and garlic, one or two slices bacon

2 small homemade pancakes with fruit one tablespoon maple syrup

Treat yourself





One important aspect of my new eating lifestyle is treating myself! I have always savored chocolate and have adamantly decided that I will still eat it in moderation. Most of the time I treat myself three times a week, mostly on weekends so I can workout to limit the damage. Sometimes I indulge in a cup of Haagen Daas almond milk ice cream or a homemade cookie or two. Other times I have a few squares of dark chocolate or dark chocolate raisins. Don’t feel guilty if you go off track, after all you are human! Maybe a rigorous walk or workout will offset your treat intake.

freshly cut carrot sticks to roast, a delicious side dish!

I will post on this topic again as I try new things in my new life and will communicate my strengths and shortfalls. All I know now is that as a 49 plus woman ( a few months shy of the big 50), I currently feel the best that I have ever felt physically! I wish this success for you as well! I feel women need to support other women during the journey instead of tearing each other down!

Believe in yourself for you are worth changing your routine! It may take a few weeks of trial and error with building confidence, but stick with it until it becomes a positive habit.

Let me know how your eating/ exercise regiment is going. Are you committed to feeling the best you ever have? If so, take a chance and make small changes that could grow into an amazing positive lifestyle!

I made these low fat Chocolate Chip cookies with banana yesterday. All they have is two ripened bananas mashed, 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp. Vanilla. Mix together. Place in tablespoons on cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 350 F for ten or twelve minutes. They will be soft and need to be stored in the refrigerator.



All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕

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My Morning Affirmation

Good Morning Self,

What could you do today to live in peace?

Try deep breaths while closing your eyes. Listen to your lungs inhale and exhale, clearing your mind of worries.

Think positive thoughts of yourself and others.

Start fresh this brand new day,

Ridding your mind of “ I can’t do that”.

Grasp on to joyful thoughts and memories.

Build yourself up for new possibilities,

while bashing negatives that create barriers.

Believe that YOU can make this day

AMAZING in every way!


Sunday Savory Crepes with Strawberry Sauce

My first strawberry sauce
I love golden brown crepes

This Sunday morning I woke to yet more snow on the ground and chilly temperatures. After loading up the stove with trusty hard wood, I ventured to my kitchen to create a warm wholesome breakfast! My husband was out snow plowing while I happily cooked. One of his favorite breakfast foods is crepes, a thin pancake made with flour, salt, milk, an egg, and oil. ( I use coconut oil and added a few tablespoons of Oat flour to the white.)

I try to use up what I have in the fridge and freezer and since I had a few frozen whole strawberries, I tried my hand at making strawberry sauce. My first time, other than making blueberry sauce! I put the strawberries in a small pot, added honey, cinnamon and water. It took a few minutes to boil and then I turned down the heat to a low simmer. It smelled like homemade jam and tasted so delicious with a bit of New Hampshire maple syrup and crepes!

Below is the Crepe Recipe I took from my aged Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

1 cup flour ( I added 3 Tbls. Oat flour for a healthy nutty taste)

1 1/2 cup milk ( I used Lactose free Milk)

2 eggs

1 Tbls. Oil ( I used Coconut oil melted)

1/4 tsp. Salt

Combine dry ingredients. Add milk, eggs and oil. Beat until blended. Heat a skillet or electric skillet. I brush it with butter. Spoon about 2- 3 Tbls. batter for crepe. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with blueberry or strawberry sauce and top with maple syrup.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday morning breakfast and savor every delicious bite!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Netflix Suggestions Part II

We are fortunate to spend under $50 a month on television entertainment. Years ago we were fortunate enough to have our employer pay for our satellite tv. Back then cable wasn’t available in our neck of the woods and that was the best you had. Now many tv watchers are rethinking the high cost of cable and satellite services and are resorting to downstreaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime to name a few. We have those three services as well as YouTube available on our PlayStation console. I’m happy to report my avid tv watching husband is completely satisfied with all the shows, something that worried me in the beginning.

Here are a few Netflix suggestions that are downstreaming currently.

Wonder ( this is on the dvd plan but also available on Amazon’s Prime)

A sentimental family film featuring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. It’s about fifth grade Auggie who has facial deformities and his loving family who supports him throughout. It’s based on the book and years ago I read it in school with fourth graders.

The Holiday Calendar

This movie is about a motivated photographer who is gifted a magical advent calendar. The calendar could lead her right to love. It’s a sweet holiday story with that Hallmark feel.

El Camino Christmas

This movie drew me in and I don’t usually like robberies or violent movies. I’m not sure if it was the acting and their interesting characters or bonds that are formed…all I know is that it was a good movie and very entertaining!

Julie & Julia

An oldie from 2009 but a great movie. It is about a woman who cooks up all of Julia Child’s recipes. Meryl Streep is fabulous in this! I would recommend this to you if you love to cook!

Big Miracle 

This flick is also an oldie from 2010 starring Drew Barrymore. She is a reporter who writes about stranded whales in the Article Circle. Based on true events, the US and USSR work on rescuing the whales. A good family movie!

This time of year I get my Christmas movies out to compliment Netflix. Every weekend and some week nights I choose one to watch in front of our Christmas tree. Yesterday I chose A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. I remember long ago as a teenager watching it and loving his acting. It’s a calming way to indulge in a hot cup of coffee in my comfy armchair. Within the next few weeks I’ll view It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone and I’ll Be Home for Christmas. 

What movies do you watch this time of year?Are you also bypassing cable tv and opting for downstreaming apps? 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Serenity in Fallen Snow

 This morning I woke to hungry mewing cats crawling all over my bed , yet even so, there was a serene stillness in the house. Glancing out my living room window I saw a magical snow dusting on the cars and blanketing the ground. Stray dancing snowflakes fell from a murky sky. Suddenly I had an urge to be out in this canvas of beauty. I quickly pulled on my boots and ventured outside in the tranquility. The air was frosty but exhilarating to my lungs. Everything was still and peaceful. 

 

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Tom’s truck was gone indicating he had to sand roads for the town. I trudged back in the house. First I fed the eager felines and then brewed a pot of coffee. The wood stove crackled in harmony as I peered out into the white world. How grateful I am  for this serene Sunday morning with nowhere to be but here in my cozy little house in the country! 

 

 

It is mornings like this that remind me to breathe and just be. Maybe today I don’t need to rush out into the world to make my mark. It all happens here in my snug home with a wintry white picture show in view.

 

On such a beautiful morning I remember that today is November 11th. Happy Veteran’s day friends! Thank you veterans ( especially my dad David Doyle and Tom’s dad Robert Blowey and my friends Laurie and Russ Burridge) for the sacrifices you’ve made for our country!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️❤️❤️

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A Spring Morn

 

It’s a spring morning in New Hampshire. As I rise the wood floor boards are freezing to touch. Goosebumps spring through me as I glance out the bedroom window.An emerging sun welcomes my rising from a deep slumber. It warms the earth as robins and chickadees fly all about the yard.

A hot cup of coffee and a watch outside begins the day. Chipmunks already are at their daily routine skittering all over the front lawn. One has made a hole in one place where I tripped the other day. I’m not sure what Tom will do with it or will he leave it?

 

As the day warms I shed blankets and turn off the electric heaters. It’s been about two weeks since we’ve had a stove fire. It actually is a luxury for Tom not to haul wood to the house and kindle a fire so early. The house is warm enough, as the day warms up to the 60’s and lasts until the night cools off. Our heating season is coming to an end besides a sporadic wood fire on chilly June mornings.

 

Nearby yards host delicate daffodils and tulips, springing their rich yellow and pink colors, a beautiful combination with the rich green grass hue. I long to have a daffodil and tulip garden and add it to my yard wish list for coming years.

 

Tom trimmed our sprawling apple tree in the back yard. It looks so much better with branches cut back. Bumblebees fly from blossom to blossom, a good sign for my upcoming garden growth. Gotta have those bees!

 

Just the other day I saw my first hummingbird on a cherry tree branch. It must have been visiting the blossoms. My feeder is up now and I’ve spied the little guy already making a visit for a sugary drink.

 

As this beautiful day emerges with all the possibilities of nature, I remain extremely grateful for this country life. Despite the worries and anxiety of everyday living and an ending school year, I find this quiet yard a haven from it all. It’s a quaint refuge where I can gather my thoughts and center my mind as birds chirp in the background. I can only hope that you all find this harmony in a corner of your world. If you have this, grasp it with all your might and indulge in its elements. It’s the best and cheapest therapy around and will prepare you for what you have to face in the near future.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Sunday Morning

 

The quiet moments of a Sunday morning calm me and my soul. Every working person knows the weekend is when you get things done at home but not only that. It’s a time of peace and quiet, an opportunity to rest and recharge your batteries for the coming work week. Without this time, I become exhausted and distracted.

 

 

 

You may attend church and that’s your peace. Perhaps you read a good book by candlelight or meditate in a dark room. Everyone relaxes and recharges in a different way. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it generates tranquility in your life.

 

 

There are various activities I do on a Sunday morning. I sit with my steaming coffee and look out the window watching my world wake up. Sometimes I blog and catch up on friends’ blog entries and comment. Other times I make a breakfast for us. This morning I made crepes, one of my husband’s favorites. On the side I heated up blueberries, added a dash of cinnamon and a tablespoon of sugar. It was fun to fill my little cordial cups with orange juice and set the table as if we had company. I love a good chance to use my best china and light the candles.

Here’s hoping you all have a restful Sunday!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul