Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Heinz 57

Have you seen that new TV show "Who do you think you are?"

It is all about family histories and is really cool to watch.

Well it got me interested and I have been researching my family history for the past week or so.
I joined for 3 months to gather some info and found records of my Father's parents marriage, his father's registry for the army (WWI), and his father's family listed in the 1911 census.

I also found out that my Father's father's parents (you get that? great grandparents on Dad's side) were from Scotland.

My Dad's mother's father was from England. I also for copies of her family listed in the 1901 & 1911 census records.

After hunting down an uncle (my Mother's brother) that lives locally but whom I haven't spoken to in years, I had a nice long chat with him and gathered tons of info.

His father, my grandfather on my Mom's side was an orphan, was in both world wars and was later a police officer for 20 yrs. The town he was born in in Quebec was mainly Irish immigrants, so he could have possibly been Irish.

My uncle's Mother's (my grandmother on Mom's side) parents came from Texas.

So, so far I have Scotish, English, Canadian, American and maybe Irish blood in me :)

I still have lots of hunting to do, I don;t yet have names for my Texan relatives and so much else. But it is really fun finding all this stuff out :)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Still on the Beach

South Beach Diet that is - man I WISH I was on the real beach! I could SO use the heat. Although we are supposed to get some warm weather here in the next couple days 23C (73 F).

Nice warm Easter weekend. Yay! I always remembered playing outside with a new jump rope or hula hoop each Easter as a child, most of our recent Easters have been way too cold for that!

Day 9 of South Beach Diet today.

While doing the South Beach Diet (SBD), I have been trying out new recipes. Last night I made Taco salad. I know Mexican food is very popular in the US, but not as much here. We have had tacos before, but never in salad form. It was a hit all around! Great because I can't have taco shells at the moment.

My recipe was based on Kalyn's Taco Salad recipe. If you are looking for SBD recipes, Kalyn's Kitchen is THE place to go!

I used pinto beans, homemade taco seasoning, light caesar dressing and added diced avacoda and tomatoes to my finished product. I grated the cheese on the fine side so that I used much less than we normally would have. I also really loaded our plates with salad and went easy on the meat/bean mixture.

Even my picky son loved it! I think this recipe will be added to the monthly roster :)

This post is part of the following blog carnivals - please check them out for some fabulous food ideas!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Day 4 & 5 on the Beach

Day 4

Breakfast was the same as the previous 3 days, good thing I like eggs, so I don't get bored too easily.

Not as energetic today - it is cold out and I feel like hibernating. Cuddling up with a new book from the library.

Lunch: 4 ham rollups (deli ham, 1 wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic & herb cheese split between the 4 slices of ham, top with a pickle spear & roll up) , a boile degg and a large red-leaf & romaine salad w/ red wine vinegar & EVOO.

Dinner: Leftover Crack Slaw from last night. I had to force myself to eat - didn't feel hungry at all.

Snack: Soy nuts, cup of milk

Day 5

Again same breakfast other days.

The scale says I am down a few pounds, I am sceptical, I often fluctuate 3-5lbs per day. I will wait until the end of the Phase 1 (another 9 days) for an actual total lost.

I have been making my coffees with a spoonful of instant coffee and 1/2 teaspoonful of hot chocolate mix. The mix has sugar but I am not adding any addtional sugar to my coffee, so not so bad.

Lunch: 4 ham rollups with guacamole & pickle spears & a boiled egg.

Dinner: Yet more leftover Crack Slaw.
K has a work function tonight, so I'll have the leftovers and just whip something up for J.

I've been crafting again - here are some of my recent ATCs.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Day 3 on the Beach

I had to get up several times last night to use the bathroom even though I did not drink THAT much water. After one trip at 4am, I felt wide awake and had a hard time getting back to sleep.

Eventually got up at 7:30am and actually felt quite rested which is new for me.

Breakfast: 1 egg & 2 egg whites, sliced whole tomato, 2 pcs ham bacon, 5 oz tomato juice. Coffee, 1% milk & stevia.

Snack: Soy nuts

Lunch: 2 pcs deli ham with a smear of light mayo and pickle spears rolled up, 2 cups red-leaf & romaine salad w/ EVOO & balsamic, and a boiled egg.

Snack: 1 pc of deli ham, 2 oz tomato juice,

Dinner: Crack slaw (ground beef & cabbage dish - not bad).

Snack: 1 cup 1% milk, tea, stevia & milk

It's weird, the mayo actually tasted sweet to me today - same mayo I always use.

Works For me Wednesday - Keeping your mind off food

I am now on day 3 of the South Beach diet - and actually it is going quite well.

On a swap website I belong to (, I recently participated in a "10 things to do instead of eating" email swap. Tips to help each other stay motivated and not give in to tempation.

Here are mine:

  • Crochet granny squares – they are a small enough project that you can whip one up in about 15-20 minutes (or less if you are good J). You can use odds and ends of different wool and make it a never-ending colourful project.
  • Make ATCs. You are probably familiar with ATCs, but if not, they are artist trading cards. Small works of art. Again easy to whip one off in a short amount of time or equally easy to spend hours making several.
  • Read a good book. I order books online from the library, so always have something on hand to read.
  • Write a blog post. Pre-write posts so that you always have something interesting on your blog.
  • Give yourself a beauty tune-up. Go find a facial mask of some type, use it, file your nails, pluck your eyebrows, have a nice soak in the tub, shave your legs.
  • Journal about your day, how you are feeling and what your plans are. Stay positive!
  • Doodle. Just grab a scratch pad and a pen and doodle. Some doodles turn out to be works of art!
  • Clean & organize your hall closet. Put away the winter gear and get those sandals and sun hats ready to wear.
  • If feeling crappy, write your feelings down on a piece of paper and then burn it! (Practice safety of course!).
  • Set the timer on the microwave for 10 minutes and then do a frantic quick clean. See how much you can accomplish in 10 minutes. Empty the dishwasher, wash some dishes, sweep the floor, put in a load of laundry, fold a load of laundry, clean out the fridge, fluff the sofa cushions, straighten some magazines. The list is endless. And you will feel like you have accomplished something instead of eating.
Sharing tips works for me!

For more great WFMW tips go to We Are That Family.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Day 2 on South Beach Diet

Breakfast: 1 egg & 2 egg whites, scrambled with green onion, and a sliced tomato, instant coffee, 1% milk & stevia.

Snack: Tea with milk & stevia

Lunch: Found a container of Frog (broccili soup) in the freezer, but it was too old. I have to make a new batch soon.

So I had cucumber slices with homemade fat free hummus, seafood salad on a romaine lettuce leaf.

No headaches so far.

Snack: Tea with milk & stevia. 2tbsp of chunky peanut butter

Dinner: Chicken breast pan fried in olive oil, 2 cups roasted veggies (cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms and garlic). Couldn't eat it all - not hungry.

Snack: 1/2 Cup soy nuts

Mild headache in evening.

Still low on veggies and need more water. Lots of energy though.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Day 1 on the Beach

So I finally started the South Beach Diet today. Last week was March break and there was just too many outtings and eating out to be restrictive.

Today I had:

Breakfast: 1 egg & 2 egg whites fried in cooking spray.

Did groceries after breakfast or would have had a tomato and some Canadian bacon as well.

Lunch: 1 oz pc of havarti cheese (full fat), 1/2 a large English cucumber with homemade fat free hummus (about 1/2 Cup).

Pot of mixed tea (reg tea, green tea & berry blend tea) with stevia and 1/4 cup 1% milk.

Had a bad headache - took a 40 min nap.

Burst of energy - washed all the dishes in record time.

Dinner: 1 dozen med-small shrimp, pan-fried in EVOO with green onions & 2 cups roasted cauliflower, garlic, mushroom & asparagus.

Snack: Cheese chips (microwaved cheese until crisp) just 3 though because I don't have lowfat cheese. 1oz spicy roasted chickpeas (store bought)

Didn't get my 4 cups of veggies in or my 2 cups of dairy (but I never do-don't much like dairy). Low on the water intake too.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Mini March Break Update

Sorry I haven't posted lately. It is March Break this week and so kiddo is off school.

We went to the Eaton Centre on Monday - which I remember as being MUCH larger and more interesting when I was a teenager. Not much to do there now. Most stores are clothing stores, so unless you are looking for clothing not a lot to do. We wandered the PATH (underground walkway system and mall) a fair amount. I didn't hav ethe best walking shoes and my feet were killing me. We still had a fun day.

On Friday we are going to Vaughn Mills. DH & J are looking forward to going to Bass Pro Sporting Goods store. I will wear my new more comfortable walking shoes :)

The tempature today is supposed to hit 18 C (64.5 F) in Toronto (will be a bit cooler out here because of the lake).

Have a good week and weekend!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Frugal Fridays - Frugal Arts & Crafts

You may have noticed I have really gotten into making artist trading cards recently. I find it very relaxing and since they are so small, I can whip up a few in very little time.

As with most art or crafting, supplies can get pricey. Fortunately, I already had many art supplies.

ATCs (artist trading cards) are 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size. They also have to be sturdy, so plain paper won't cut it. You can purchase ATC blanks, pre-cut cardboard at artist and craft stores.

However, I have found a cheaper option... food boxes. Cereal, crackers, pop boxes etc... It takes a bit of time and effort to measure them out and cut them up, but not that much.

As I have played around with the ATCs I have also found other household supplies or garbage that I can use in my art, such as:
  • plastic wrap,
  • any cardboard box
  • tin foil,
  • the scrap tissue paper from sewing patterns,
  • images and patterns from magazines,
  • tags from clothing,
  • plastic from packaging,
  • candy wrappers
  • paper towel,
  • patterned paper napkins,
  • newsprint
  • pages from old books
the list is endless.

I now really look at things before I throw them away, always wondering if I can make something out of it.

I am only doing this for myself, but I imagine this would be great for people with little ones that make several masterpieces every day - no more running out of paper!

Here are some artwork I have uses recycled items on.

This one uses a wrapper from a Quality
Street chocolate from Christmas time.

This one uses plastic wrap

The words on this one were printed
on scraps from a sewing pattern

This is a page from an old book with a coffee stain

This collage uses many recycled items, a bit of twine,
a clothing tag ripped up, sewing pattern paper,
old music sheets, brown paper bag and old books

And I made it all on a piece of a coke case
This is the beginning of an ATC made
using a paper napkin and ink stamps

For even more great frugal tips, head over to Life As Mom!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Works For me Wednesday - Starting Over with Weight Loss pt2

So to continue with last week's WFMW post, I am getting back on track with losing weight.

I have decided to go with The South Beach Diet. It is kind of like the Atkin's Diet, only healthy :)
No copious amounts of fat and red meat. I know many people have been successful with Atkin's but that doesn't make it healthy. The amount of people who also acquired health issues while doing Atkin's cannot be ingored. the soapbox.

South Beach Diet Phase 1. (Basics - if you want specifics, get the book)
  • No starches (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereal)
  • No sugar (I usually add sugar to my coffee, so will be using Stevia in powder form instead, not crazy about it but...)
  • No fruit or fruit juices
  • Nothing high in fat (no full fat cheese, no skin on chicken, no bacon etc...)
So what WILL I eat?

One of the key things to achieve is to really UP your veggie intake. Eat as many as possible.

This is my plan.

  • 1 egg, 2 egg whites, scrambled with green onion & mushrooms in PAM-like spray
  • Sliced tomato
  • Ham bacon, or lean Canadian bacon - 2 pcs
  • Coffee, 1% milk & stevia
  • Mixed greens - 3 cups
  • grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin tuna in water, drained
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 avocado diced
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 wedge Laughing Cow Cheese
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • 2 cups Roasted veggies - mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, zucchini, garlic

I can probably add stuff to this if I needed to, but I eat far too often right now, one of my bad habits, and I have to get over that. Being home is a challenge too, I can constantly be noshing.

Of course, I will need to drink my kazillion gallons of water as well. I do ok now, with probably a liter or a liter and a half per day, but I need to drink more.

Hopping on the treadmill or taking Peanut out for a walk won't kill me either.

I'll keep you posted as to how it goes. Anyone want to do it with me?

For more great ideas, pop over to Shannon's place (this week only then back to Kristen's place)

P.S. If anyone has any great dieting tips or inspiration, I would LOVE to hear them!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Plans for the week

I haven't yet really started The South Beach Diet. But I am making small changes heading in that direction.

This week I will:
  • Drink more water - aiming for 3 liters total
  • Use less sugar. Usually have 2 tsp in my 1 cup of coffee each day, now at 1 tsp
  • Aim for less bread overall
  • Take my Omega 3, 3 times a day
  • Get on the treadmill a couple times this week
Unrelated to weight loss, I also intend to do the following:
  • Read a couple books I have bought but put aside (The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, & The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra)
  • Tidy my office and craft area - it is getting hard to see the table
  • Plan meals for the week (only have to do 3 nights and K is out of town on Tues night and tonight we are scrounging (each getting our own thing))
Happy Monday!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Simple Sunday

I had a nice sleep-in kind of morning. Dragged my butt outta bed around 9:30am. Had been at my friend's till late last night for a birthday (her's) & chick flick night. Good food, good friends, good laughs.

J had soccer at 11am, his team won 5 to 3, but it was well earned, the other team although they only had 6 players, played well & hard. J's team is currently in 3rd place out of 8 teams.

We picked up a couple groceries on the way home and the rest of the day will be a nice lazy Sunday with a bit of laundry and housework thrown in here and there. I'll also work on some art as well.

Dinner tonight will be roast chicken thighs, roasted veggies and chicken rice. It will be the first dinner with Papa since he got back last Sunday after his 2.5 months away.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Works For me Wednesday - Starting Over with Weight Loss pt1

Starting Over - with weight loss that is.

It is time....again :P

It is time to get serious about weight loss. I have no more excuses, the holidays are long over, (even though we did have tons of stuff left over that took us into January), Valentine's Day is over (even though we really don't celebrate it), and it is finally getting nice enough outside to take walks again (ah here comes that massive snowstorm!).

Although I am very overweight, it is not because of yo-yo dieting. I actually haven't done that much dieting in my life. I plan to diet ALL the time, actually doing it...not so much.

I did Weight Watchers a year or so ago and was successful for the 1st week then yo-yoed for the remaining couple months I was a member. Down a couple pounds one week, up a couple the next. I think when I quit, I was up 2 pounds from where I started. This is not WW's fault, but I didn't like paying the $17 a week for half hour meeting that was half WW product pushing.
If I had stuck with the program it would have worked.

Back in 2004 I did The South Beach Diet and I think that is what I am going to do this time too.
I was decently successful with it - I lost about 17 lbs. After the initial 2 wk phase that is quite challenging, I felt SO much better it is hard to describe. I felt lighter mentally! Dh also kind of did the program and lost about 12 lbs.

But then my Mom passed away and I slid right back into my bad eating patterns and have been there ever since - habits are so much easier. No thought required.

I have been thinking about vegetables a lot lately, I think my body is craving them since it hasn't had them in so long :)

In phase 1 of the SBD you cannot eat ANY fruit or fruit juice. This really shouldn't be an issue for me as I am not currently eating many fruits anyhow (I know I should be). I also have to cut out ALL starches:
  • Bread
  • Potatoes
  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Rice
This will be the challenging part! I love pretty much all of these with the exception of cereal.

In Phase 2 you can reintroduce some of these but in healthy whole grain format.

I am at a point right now where I crave an unhealthy food, go eat it (sometimes in copious amounts) and afterward still not feel satisfied or even enjoy it while eating.

I sometime eat something salty, which needs to be followed with something sweet, which in turn needs something salty again...and so on... I don't think I know what I am looking for.

For anyone out there reading thinking I am trying to fill an emotional void...stop right now.

I probably should have lead with this - I have NO self esteem issues. Sure I'm fat, but I am still a great person.

Half the time, I forget that I am fat until I see a mirror, then it is like "Wow when the hell did THAT happen?!"

I don't put myself down. I state the facts. I AM fat. Mostly because I AM lazy. Just the facts. I KNOW I can do anything if I set my mind to it - it's just the Setting part that I am not so good with :)

So I don't necessarily eat because I am sad, mad, lonely, depressed etc... I eat because I like to eat and because it is a habit. Watching TV? Must have munchies. Even if I just finished dinner. Reading a good book, must have snacks.

These are all habits - habits that MUST be broken.

Wow this became much longer than I planned - I'll continue this post next week...but for now...Starting Over with Weight Loss Works for me!

For more great ideas, pop over to Shannon's place (this wk & next only then back to Kristen's place)

P.S. If anyone has any great dieting tips or inspiration, I would LOVE to hear them!