Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 28

Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex with skim milk and small glass of orange juice (and I actually remembered to take my vitamins today, wheee!)

Lunch: two small, thin slices of leftover veggie pizza, one brown rice cake and a few cherries

Dinner: 6 steamed dumplings with dipping sauce, about half of a small order of beef lo mein, and a fortune cookie.

Evening snack: several small homemade brownies.

Creativity: got a lot of good good work done on a new skirt for Faire :) All I have to finish now is the waistband and the hem :)

Exercise: Walked around the market and swept and cleaned out the workshop space for my *Shakespeare Camp* that starts after I get back from vacation :) Also, I treated myself to a pedicure today, which, while not exercise, is good self-care :)

I'm sorry, I forgot to take my blood pressure again. My blood pressure cuff shares an outlet with my cell phone charger, and sometimes I forget to switch the plugs, I apologize...


The Bodice Challenge: Day 27

Breakfast: Gluten Free Cinnamon Chex with skim milk, met with my co-teacher for a lesson plan once-over for my summer Shakespeare Workshop, had a medium chai latte with skim milk

Lunch: Last two pieces of pizza from yesterday's dinner and a small bowl of strawberries, and a Nutra-Grain Bar

Afternoon snack: While driving to Rochester yesterday afternoon, my blood sugar plummeted. I had eaten lunch, so I was surprised when my stomach cramped up and I started to shake and sweat. I used to be prone to hypoglycemia when I was younger, and it's mostly allyed now, but every once in awhile it pops up. I hung on until the nearest rest stop. I pulled in to a Dunkin Dounts and had a lowfat chocolate milk, a plain donut and a croissant. This leveled me out pretty well :)

Dinner: Went to a Pure Romance Party hosted my a friend of mine for another friend who has just started as a Pure Romance consultant. Pure Romance sells lotions, body oils, scents , lingeries, and.....ahem....romance products ;). We ordered takeout from a local greek restuarant before the party,I had a Greek Salad with gyro meat, and split an order of hummus and dolmades with a friend. At the party, I had some strawberries stuffed with marscarpone cheese, a few pear tartlets, a few small pieces of white and dark chocolate, and about half a glass of blush wine. Btw, I had a fabulous time, and if you live in the greater central/western NY area and want to book a party or look at the Pure Romance products, may I please direct you to my dear friend Allison's Pure Romance website?

Exercise: 34 minute walk

Creativity:  Aforementioned productive and creative meeting with my co-teacher for our K.I.D.S. Doing Shakespeare Camp in July :)


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 26

Breakfast: Fat-free raspberry yogurt

Lunch: One sunny-side up egg and two slices Italian bread toast with a small scrape of butter and a handful of fresh cherries :)

Dinner: personal sized pizza at Unos with dried figs, roasted tomoatoes, goat cheese, pesto and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (NONOMNOMNOMNOM!!!!) I didn't finish it, brought some leftovers home :) Also, a side salad with walnuts, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette.

Evening Snack: Homemade chocolate Egg Cream (which contains neither eggs nor cream) it's milk and seltzer water with a drizzle of chocolate syrup NOMNOMNOM :)

Exercise: Weeded around the pool and one of the flower gardens in my backyard, lots of errand-related walking...

Forgot to take blood pressure in the a.m. and was out of the house most of the day, apologies...


Monday, June 27, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 25

Breakfast: 1% whipped cottage cheese and fresh strawberries

Lunch: We went to my grandmother's house, and she had just made vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  Yeah, I'd love to tell you I didn't have any, but I had three. However, they were small, about the size of a small muffin. When I got home, I had a brown rice cake.

Dinner: Linguine with homemade pesto and grilled asparagus mixed in :) One plateful, no seconds...

Evening Snack: Ovaltine with skim milk

Creativity: More productive than creative. Got all of my photos and documents and suchlike off of my old desktop and backed them up on my new external hard drive. Got the computer dismantled and brought down to the car. Tomorrow it's going to Best Buy along with my old, old, computer, hopefully I can get at least a few dollars in trade-in value for them. Once the new job starts and I have a few decent paychecks under my belt, I'll be upgrading to a new laptop as well.

Also, the last two days have brought several miracles for Mikey :) A new cosigner has surprisingly and graciously volunteered to cosign his Sallie Mae Loan, and, at the last minute , OSTM decided to grant him an extension on getting his loan materials in, and will still allow him to start in July!!!!! WAHOOOOOO!!!! Thank GOD!!! Today was a flurry of getting everything together in time, and we're cautiously optimistic :)

Exercise: 33 minute walk with Mikey :)

Blood Pressure: 115/75

The Bodice Challenge: Days 23 and 24

Saturday: Was visiting a dear friend and his family for the day :)

Breakfast: one slice of cinnamon raisin bread toast with a small scrape of butter

Lunch: Honey Bunches of Oats with Pecans and Almond Milk

Afternoon Snack: Chips and Ranch Dip

Dinner: Small fried fish filet, homemade tartar sauce, and a few steal fries

Dessert: Klondike Bar (YES, I did promise to swear off ice cream until next weekend, but my hostess offered me one and I said yes before I remembered that I had committed to an ice-cream free week. So, I ate it. It was an honest accident, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it)

Creativity: Recipe trading and cooking :)

Exercise: 25 minute walk

Blood Pressure:  117/77

Sunday: Drove down to Astoria to get my brother, who is moving home for the summer and possibly permanently. Spent a lot of time in the car, (10 out of 13 hours), but it's always nice to get a few hours in the city :)

Breakfast: Special K with skim milk and blueberries

Lunch: two slices of cheese pizza and two mild buffalo wings

Dinner: Two slices of Italian bread toast with butter, 1% whipped cottage cheese and fresh  strawberries

Exercise: OMG, did I get my fair share of exercise....there was a street fair on Ditmars Blvd between 35th and 36th street, which is right in front of where my brother lives, so the street was blocked off. We had to park two blocks over and four blocks down, so, basically, 6 blocks away. We parked the car and walked 6 blocks up to my brother's apartment, up the stairs, got an armload of stuff, and walked 6 blocks back to the car. We did this three times. So, I walked the equivalent of 36 city blocks yesterday, half of those times carrying suitcases, duffel bags, boxes, etc. And let me tell you, I am FEELING it today. I'm sore from neck to ankles. But, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't too bad. It wasn't raining, it wasn't ungodly hot, and we weren't carrying super-heavy things like tv's and furniture, etc. So yeah, I EARNED those two pieces of pizza....

Creativity: More productive than creative, see above :)

Blood Pressure: 113/77


Friday, June 24, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 22

Blood Pressure: 118/77

Breakfast: Special K and skim milk

Lunch: Tuna Salad wrap (lite on the mayo) with lettuce and onion, no cheese. Side of mixed fruit, a few spoonfuls of 1% cottage cheese

Dinner: Split a fish dinner with Mikey . Half of a breaded fried haddock filet, a little tartar sauce and half of a medium-sized order of french fries...

Evening Snack: Dish of chocolate ice cream, my LAST until I go to Lake George a week from tomorrow (can't wait)

Exercise: About a 10 minute walk this morning, and two 15 minute walks this afternoon, my house to the grocery store and back

Creativity: More productive than creative. Went to my new job today to meet my supervisor and learn more about the position. I will be working in Client Services and Marketing for an ambulance billing company :) Everyone has been extremely nice so far, and this job has something I have never had before: BENEFITS!!!! I CAN GET OFF MEDICAID, WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

On the downside, my poor Michael has suffered a real disappointment today :( He was all accepted and ready to go to Massage School and start classes July 1st, when, due to circumstances completely out of his control, his financial aid was unable to be processed and approved in time for him to start classes in July. His acceptance has been deferred, and he can begin in September or January, so all is not lost, but he has worked very hard to get everything in order on his end and a setback like this is extremely frustrating and upsetting. It's so frustrating when life kicks you when you're already down, but we are going to make the best of it.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 21

Blood Pressure: 117/72 wahooo!!!

Breakfast: Special K with skim milk and blueberries sprinkled on top

Lunch: Almond-rice crackers with yogurt cheese and strawberries

Dinner: One brown rice cake with garlic hummus, green apple with 2 small slices of cheddar cheese

Snack:  Dish of ice cream (I'll be going on an ice cream fast next week in prep for our week at Lake George, where the Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop lives:)

Creativity: New Food Blog Post :)

Exercise: 40 minute walk with Mama, we would have walked longer but it started to thunder and lightning, so we came home.

In other news, I got my haircut today, nothing drastic, just a good trim, but, on a whim, I asked the hairdresser to blow dry my hair out straight, just to see what it looked like. My hair is very curly, and that's the way I normally wear it, but I was curious to see how I might look with straight hair. It looks good, very.....1970's...sleek and smooth :) I still prefer it curly, which is what it naturally does, but this was a fun little experiment :)

Also, I think it's true what they say in that it takes 30 days to form or break a habit. I'm coming up on three-week mark of The Bodice Challenge, and it's starting to feel like something is missing from my day if I don't exercise in some form :) So, yay for healthy habits :)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Days 19 and 20

 Blood Pressure: 111/78

Breakfast: Gluten-Free Honey Nut Chex with Skim Milk

Lunch: was doing some shopping out in Fayettville, stopped into King David's, one the best Greek/Middle Eastern eateries in the Syracuse area (Michael and I went there for our first dinner date:). The daily special was lamb and white beans over rice with a small Greek salad, one falafel patty and a piece of pita bread. I was alllllll over that :) I also had an order of grape leaves.

Dinner: Baguette, cheese and grapes and about half a glass of wine on Steph's sun porch, yay!!!!!

Exercise: alternating between laps and water-jogging in the pool.

Creativity: Started my next Food Blog Post :) Should be up on Thursday at the latest :)


This morning was the funeral for Michael's grandfather. Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. Everything went as well as can be expected, and it was good to spend time with Michael's extended family, many of whom I had never met before. Obviously, today was extremely difficult and emotionally draining for everyone involved, but we're hanging in there....

Breakfast: Honey Nut Chex with Skim Milk

Lunch: There was a luncheon after the service at Michael's grandfather's church, a *dish to pass* type of thing. I had some macaroni and cheese, salad with oil and vinegar dressing, fresh fruit, a small chocolate chip bar and a small brownie. No seconds.

Afternoon Snack: One brown rice cake with one spoonful natural peanut butter and a few spoonfuls of 1% cottage cheese.

Dinner: Ate late because I had rehearsal for Two Gentleman of Verona tonight Stopped by Pita Al Saha on Marshall Street, had a gyro with lettuce, onion and tzaziki, no cheese, and an order of grape leaves, minus the side of extra tzatziki for dipping. I stopped into Insomnia Cookies and had a small frozen yogurt, also.

Creativity: Aforementioned Two Gents rehearsal :)

Exercise: I have to be honest, I didn't do any regimented exercise today, unless you count walking to and from the car to the cemetary. Today was an exercise of my emotions and consitution, I didn't have much left for anything else. When we got back from the luncheon we showered and took a nap, and then I had to depart for rehearsal. I going to beg an exercise pass for today, and I'll make up for it tomorrow.

Blood Pressure: 125/81, Up a little from yesterday, but considering the nature of the day, it's not too bad...


Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 18

Blood Pressure:  118/77

Breakfast: Gluten Free Honey Nut Chex and skim milk

Lunch: Greek Salad with grilled chicken, one piece of french bread and iced tea with lemon, no sugar.

Afternoon Snack: Ice Cream Soda (Mikey had a really lousy morning, and ice cream makes everything better)

Dinner: almond-rice crackers with homemade yogurt cheese and blueberries. Mikey and I split the last piece of strawberry pie from yesterday.In my defense, there was half an ice cream cake in my freezer from yesterday and I didn't even touch it. I chose to have a small piece of the pie that we made, since I know exactly what went into it and had control over the quality of ingredients :)

Exercise: 47 minute walk with Mikey :)

Creativity: Bought material to make a new garb skirt :)

Victory of the Day: Went to Target to buy a few shirts, I fit into a size small :) Wheee!!!!


The Bodice Challenge: Days 16 and 17


Breakfast: Two slices of Asiago Foccacia bread from Pasta's Daily Bread, spread with homemade yogurt cheese and a drizzle of EVOO.

Lunch: More homemade yogurt cheese, two brown rice cakes, one spread with natural peanut butter, and three little almond rice crackers.

Dinner: Birthday dinner for my uncle at my grandmother's house. Three triscuits dipped in homemade crab dip. One dish of salad (no cheese, just lettuce and other veggies) with oil and vinegar dressing. ONE dish of pasta with homemade meat sauce and ONE slice of bread (yes, ONE, you ave no idea the self-control it took, but I escaped a pasta dinner with my huge Italian family with only dish pasta of pasta and one slice of bread, can I get a high-five???) 

Dessert: One small slice of birthday cake, no seconds.

Forgot blood pressure today, I apologize.

Creativity: Tested another recipe and took photographs. Also, went to a production meeting for my Summer K.I.D.S. Shakespeare Workshop : ) Whee :)

Exercise:  Washed my father's car and my car, and did more hedge trimming and cleaning up brush. Also, went swimming in my pool, some some just general swimming and floating, but I water-jogged 15 laps around my pool , ten laps with the current, five laps against the current :)

Blood Pressure: 114/77 :)

Breakfast: Raisin Bran with skim milk

Lunch: Almond-Rice Crackers (Gluten-Free and pretty tasty!) with yogurt cheese and blueberries

Dinner: Cookout for Father's Day and my parent's 35th Wedding Anniversary :) Appetizer: 3 small slices of pepperoni and three small slices of cheddar cheese. One glass of lemonade. Two ears of corn with salt but no butter. Three salt potatoes with about a teaspoon of melted butter, two sweet italian sausage patties, no bun, grilled asparagus, tossed salad with oil and vinegar, and chickpea salad. I made a deal with myself that if I refrained from bread during dinner, I could have dessert. I went the entire meal and did not cosnume one single piece of bread, and rewarded myself with one small slice of strawberry pie and one sliver of ice cream cake.

Creativity:  More productive than creative, helped with the cooking and and cleaned off the porch and set up chairs in the backyard for the BBQ.

Exercise: Nothing structured, but lots of walking around, lifting and carrying and cleaning.

Now that I have passed the two week mark, I am simultaneously very excited and very frustrated. Without doubt, I feel better. I have more energy, I can walk farther, swim laps longer, etc. Also, my blood pressure is improving. And for these things alone this challenge is ultimately worth it and I'm very glad I undertook it. Mysteriously though, this new energy and lower blood pressure has not manifested in measurable loss of weight or inches. My clothes fit about the same. I am in the same three-pound window I was in when I started the challenge, and those mystery five pounds that appeared around the time I started the challenge are still here. My % body fat is still about the same and I have not lost any inches around my hips or waist. I have to admit, this is upsetting me. I'm working very hard, and, like I said, although I feel much better, judging by the various *numbers* (weight, body fat, etc) I haven't really shown any progress, and that's very frustrating. Any advice or words or encouragement? Please?


Friday, June 17, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 15

 Update: Michael's grandfather passed away about an hour ago. His children had been with him all day and the end was peaceful. Please send your vibes to Michael's family. Thank you all very, very much.....

Blood Pressure: 112/80

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup

Lunch: Natural peanut butter on crackers, a few mall slices of cheddar cheese, and an Odwalla Superfood smoothie

Dinner: Okay, dinner tonight was a fitness fail (but a comfort food win). My Mom came home this afternoon with pizza, garlic bread, and Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream. I would like to say that I did not indulge in any of this, but that would be a gigantic lie, it was delicious :) I added in some extra exercise to compensate for it a bit :)

Exercise:  Trimmed the hedges and cleaned up the clippings for two hours this morning with my parents. Lots of bending and raking and some lifting. Also, went for a 40 minute walk after dinner.

Creatvity: Recipe Planning :)


Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 14

    Michael's grandfather is about the same, no better, no worse. He has been moved to a different room where he can be made more comfortable. Last night, Michael and his relatives said they could feel the spirit of Michael's grandmother in the room, who passed several years before, so we know he is not alone :) Michael's final interview with the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage was this afternoon, so he should be getting his official acceptance call very soon :)  If you would be kind enough to send all the vibes you can spare, for Michael's grandfather, for his family, for his schooling, and that the financial stuff will fall into line, thank you!!! (In case you missed this or do not know me in person, Michael is my boyfriend)

Breakfast: Raisin Bran and Skim Milk

Mid-morning snack: Ovaltine and Skim Milk

Lunch: Greek Salad, no meat, just veggies and a little feta and some oil and vinegar dressing along with dolmades and tzatziki.

Exercise: 36 minute walk in the rain with Mikey

Dinner: Iced peppermint tea, 1% whipped cottage cheese and blueberries

Blood Pressure: 121/81

Creativity: More productive than creative. Got lots of school stuff accomplished today for Mikey. However, as I said above, when we got home, it was starting to drizzle, so we went for lovely, lovely walk in the rain :) Very cleansing and soothing after a few very difficult days :)


The Bodice Challenge: Day 13

    I'm sorry about the delay in this post going up. Yesterday went from tranquil to incredibly stressful and hectic. Michael's grandfather is in the hospital. He had pneumonia a few weeks back, he was hospitalized, seemed to have recovered, and was released, only to have the pneumonia flare up again, this time worse than before and he had to be readmitted. He seemed to be improving earlier this week, he was awake and coherent and eating, but he took a bad turn Tuesday night and it has been downhill ever since. He is, for all intents and purposes, unconscious. Both of his lungs are filling with fluid, he is in renal failure and has developed some congestive heart issues. He is 94 years old and the doctors do not expect him to recover. At this point there is really nothing to be done. All they can do is make him comfortable and wait for the inevitable. The family has been coming to visit him and say what will most likely be their goodbyes. Obviously, this is a very difficult emotional time for Michael's family. All thoughts and prayers for Michael's grandfather and family would be much appreciated. Thank you :)

  Breakfast: Oatmeal with skim milk, blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup and green tea :)

Exercise: Lovely morning walk on a gorgeous day :) Walked for 45 minutes and was barely tired when I got back!!! This is a huge improvement over two weeks ago when I started the Challenge, when, depending on the temperature, I was getting tired after 20-30 minutes of walking.  Yay for progress!!!

Lunch: Another serving of that slapdash vegetable soup I made last week (tomato puree, veggie broth, white onion, carrot, cannelini beans and herbs with some evoo, white wine, and cider vingar) I sprinkled a little Parmesan over the top, crumbled in two small slices of soft Italian bread to improve the texture, and ate a medium sized bowl of it with the last half of the Za'tar pita from my market trip last week. Yes, the two slices of  bread crumbled into the soup were probably not necessary, but they made the soup taste better and gave it a better texture, which means I'll be more likely to eat it and reap the benefits of all the veggie goodness therein, gotta pick your battles....

Dinner: We stopped for a late bite on the way back from the hospital, the only place we passed was a Wendy's. I had the Berry Almond Chicken Salad and I only used half the dressing. We split some french fries. They were selling candy bars there for a local fundraiser, so we split a small dark chocolate bar.

Creatvity: I'm not sure if this counts, but yesterday I dropped off the garage sale leftovers at our local Humane Association for a sale they'll be having soon as a fundraiser, and while there I went in played with all the kitties :) Very therapeutic :)

I did not get a chance to take my blood pressure. I forgot to do it in the morning and was going to take it in the afternoon, but didn't get a chance to as we spent the evening in the hospital. I will keep you updated on what's going on with all that.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 12

Blood Pressure: 123/80

Breakfast: homemade oatmeal pancakes with blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup ( food blog post coming soon!)

Lunch: the remaining two pancakes and a small bowl of 1% whipped cottage cheese

Dinner: went to Outback Steakhouse with Mikey because we were running errands in that area. Had a 9 oz. sirloin with a baked potato (I had the butter and the sour cream on the side and only used about half of it) and a garden salad with vinaigrette.

Evening Snack: Iced Chai Tea with Skim Milk :)

Creativity: revamped the aforementioned pancake recipe and took photographs of the same in prep for my next food blog post :)

Exercise: Nothing regimented, but lots of walking today :)

Tomorrow'a supposed to be nice, so I'm hoping to get in a nice walk and a swim :)


Monday, June 13, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 11

 Was a twinge more indulgent than I meant to be today.....

Blood Pressure: 111/83

Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex with Skim Milk

Lunch: 5 dolmades with a little tzatziki and half of a Za'tar pita

Afternoon Snack: Okay, full disclosure of a few moments of weakness this afternoon. I was putting some stuff away in the downstairs freezer, when I came across two boxes of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies :) I ordered the cookies back in March and stuck them in there because Lent was starting and my mother had given up cookies and other such baked goods and I didn't want to be disrespectful of her efforts. If I have to explain the siren call of Thin Mint cookies, I honestly don't know what's wrong with you......anyway, I had about six cookies, and the serving size is four, so I had 1.5 servings. Also, last night, my mother made a cinnamon coffee cake to bring to her quilt guild meeting tonight. She decided not to go, so we had a coffee cake on our hands. We each had a small slice.

Dinner: 5 dolmades, a dollop of tzatziki, and a bowl of fresh raspberries

Evening Snack: Went out for ice cream after rehearsal. Had a small chocolate peanut butter milkshake.

Creatvity: Planning my next food blog post and rehearsing for Two Gentleman of Verona

Exercise: Nothing formal, but lot of walking as today was full of errands. I tried to park far away from the places I was going to so I could get more walking in :)

Tomorrow's another day :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 10

Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex with Skim Milk

Lunch: small bowl of 1% Whipped Cottage Cheese, English muffin with natural peanut butter

Dinner: Took some of our profits from the garage sale and went out for dinner. Went to Danzers, the best German restaurant in the 'Cuse, in my humble opinion :) I had one and a half potato pancakes with a little applesauce and sour cream, an open-faced grilled reuben sandwich, and a hot fudge sundae. Indulgent? Yes, but I've been very good this week and we busted our asses all day for the last three days to get this garage sale up and running and packing up all the leftovers and hauling them to the Rescue Mission when it was over. So, I feel I earned a treat :) It was absolutely delicious and I'm ready to start my efforts afresh tomorrow morning :)

Exercise: 20 minute brisk walk around the neighborhood with Mikey :)

Creativity: Pulled out an old book of crossword puzzles that I forgot I had while we were manning the garage sale this afternoon and got through three puzzles!!! Yay brain exercise!!!

I apologize, I didn't get a chance to check my blood pressure this morning either, I was too busy. I'll get right back to that tomorrow morning :)

This has been a very hectic weekend, but we got a lot done, and made a decent chunk of money in the garage sale, so it was worth it :) Two Gents rehearsal tomorrow, whee!!!


The Bodice Challenge: Day 9

Another hectic day, but a happy one :)

Breakfast: Had a great breakfast with Mikey's family, got to meet his wonderful sis-in-law Alicia and gorgeous 6-month old niece, Ava :) Had blueberry pancakes with just a tiny bit of butter and a medium drizzle of real maple syrup.

Lunch: The rest of the pancakes (they were HUGE) and a few fresh strawberries.

Afternoon Snack: One slice of fresh cheddar oregano bread from the market and a little of the Labneh I got at the market the other day.

Dinner: Half of hamburger (no cheese, just a scrape of aioli), some roasted asparagus and a small portion of  homemade pasta salad, made with EVOO, not mayo.

Evening snack: Strawberries with a dollop of whipped heavy cream

Excercise: Ten laps around the outside of my pool, five jogging, five fast walking . Got winded way sooner than when I swim laps around the pool, which was a small blow to my pride, but I got through it :)

Creativity: My mother found a box of old books belonging to my brothers and I from when we were younger. Among them I found one of my favorite YA novels, * Maniac Magee* by Jerry Spinelli. My 5th grade teacher read this book out loud to us and I was hooked from the first sentence.  Yesterday, after finding the book I opened it and read it cover within a few hours. It was every bit as good as I remembered :)

I forgot to record my blood pressure this morning, I apologize....

More tomorrow:)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 8

Between the garage sale and a long awaited appointment with the Ear/Nose/Throat Doctor, today was pretty hectic, but still did reasonably well :)

Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex with Skim Milk

Lunch: Natural Peanut Butter and Homemade Jam on Italian bread with fat-free yogurt

Dinner: Mikey wanted Chinese, so we went to a nearby Chinese Buffet. I disciplined myself to not have any lo mein, or anything fried, just rice, meat, and veggies, and a few steamed dumplings.

Snack: One small serving of gelato

I forgot to take my blood pressure this morning because we were so busy setting up for the garage sale, will do it tomorrow morning.

Exercise: All the lifting and carrying for the garage sale, multiple trips up and down the stairs, etc.

The garage sale used all my creative energy today, but we made a decent chunk of $ and it's only the first day, so it paid off :)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Bodice Challege: Day 7

Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex with Skim Milk

Lunch: FARMER'S MARKET GOODIES!!! Normally I go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings with my Mama, but for some reason I felt the need to go today. The market is open 10am to 6pm on Thursdays. Admittedly, there are a lot fewer vendors, however, the crowds are a lot smaller and there is still some great stuff to be found. One of my favorites, a woman who makes all kinds of Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern foods was there. So, I walked away with grape leaves, Labneh (Greek yogurt flavored with EVOO and spices, NOM), and Za'tar-spiced pita bread :) Also, the first round of local strawberries has arrived!!! The ones I bought are from Baldwinsville and they are pesticide-free (WIN). They were so fragrant I could smell them before I even walked up to the table :) They're on the small side, but absolutely delicious :) So, for lunch I had the grape leaves, half of a Za'tar pita, some Labneh, and a bowl of fresh strawberries :)

Dinner: Lots of running about this evening doing garage sale stuff, so I didn't have a sit-down dinner, I had more strawberries, a little more of the labneh, some bread, a spoonful of natural peanut butter, a spoonful of Nutella, and a handful of Rice Chex ( obviously, not all at the same time, just a series of small nibbles)

Snack: After going all around my neighborhood with Mikey putting up Garage Sale signs, we stopped by Hafners for an ice cream soda :)

Blood Pressure:  114/78 Woot!!!

Exercise: Swam laps/water jogged in the pool for 15 minutes, walked around Market this morning :)

Creativity: Like yesterday, more *productive* than *creative*, painted signs for garage sale and hung them up around the neighborhood :)

Yay :)

Lynn :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Bodice Challenge: Day 6

Breakfast: Rice Chex with Skim Milk

Lunch: Wegmans California Roll made with brown rice and a drizzle of soy sauce, one cup blueberries :)

Snack: Iced Chai Tea Latte with Skim Milk

Dinner: Shrimp over iceberg lettuce with a few crackers and cocktail sauce

Evening Snack: bowl of light ice cream :)

Exercise: First swim in the pool of the season!!! Swam five laps around our 24 foot round above ground pool, water-jogged ten laps, and swam five more laps :) Also, carried a few more (heavy) things up from the basement for the Garage Sale....

Creativity: Actually, today was more *productive* printed out and distributed fliers for the Garage Sale,  and helped Mikey with his FAFSA and other assorted school prep stuff :) I did get to sit under a tree in my backyard and do nothing for a little while, too, and that was wonderful :)

Blood Pressure: 111/81 :)

Not bad at all :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Bodice Challenge Day 5

Breakfast: Oatmeal with skim milk, blueberries and a drizzle of honey :)

Lunch: slapdash *use up the leftovers* vegetable soup with veggie broth, tomato puree, about 6 grated carrots, a splash of white wine, a splash of cider vinegar, cannelini beans, a handful of fresh herbs from my garden and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese . Two small slices of soft Italian bread. Also had one glass of Ovaltine with skim milk

Creativity: New Food Blog Post!!!

Blood Pressure: 124/80 (up a little from yesterday, but it's warm, and the A/C hadn't kicked in yet when I took my BP this morning)

Dinner: Rice Chex with Skim Milk ( the soup I had for lunch was really filling, so I wasn't very hungry)

Snack: small bowl of ice cream ( I got out my food scale and measured:)

Exercise: Several trips up and down the basement stairs carrying heavy objects up to the garage for the garage sale this weekend.

On a mildly related note, I have had headaches for three weeks straight. Between PMS, sinus issues and tension/ neck strain headaches, I cannot catch a break......I need a massage, or a trip to the chiropractor, or both....I can't keep popping Advil Anyone? Anyone?

But, other than that, a good day :)


Monday, June 6, 2011

The Bodice Challenge, Day 4

Blood Pressure: 117/78 :)

Breakfast: Raisin Bran Cereal with Skim Milk

Exercise: 23 minute walk around my neighborhood, moderate/fast pace

Lunch: Natural Peanut Butter and a banana sandwich on Mulitgrain (YUM, thank you, Elvis:)

Snack: Vegan "S'more" milkshake from Strong Hearts Cafe (no, I'm not going Vegan, they just make AWESOME milkshakes :)

Dinner: Potluck dinner at Book Club Meeting, tasting portions of blackened chicken, pulled pork, fruit salad, my couscous salad, and two slices and whole grain bread :)

A good day :)

The Bodice Challenge, Day 3

Blood Pressure (AM reading) 121/81

Breakfast: 1 serving 1% Whipped Cottage Cheese with a spoonful of homemade strawberry rhubarb jam mixed in and two small slices of stretch bread from Pastabilities. Beverage: Water

Lunch: And here, friends, we come up against one of my greatest challenges when it comes to food: the unexpected treat. When I'm eating at home, or going on a planned food-type outing, it's relatively easy for me to make healthful choices and stick to my goals. However, if I'm presented with a novel food that I wasn't expecting to be put in front of me, I lose my footing. I went to the first read-through for *Two Gentleman of Verona*, the play I will be performing in this summer. The read-through was at the home of the director. We sat out on the porch and read through the play. It was a mild afternoon and quite pleasant. I thought there might be some refreshments, but I wasn't expecting fresh-squeezed lemonade, iced tea, homemade chili cheese dip, homemade salsa, homemade french onion dip, and several kinds of chips. A stronger person than I may have been able to sit there and not eat any of the treats, but I hadn't eaten lunch yet, and I was hungry, so I let myself have some. I had one large handful of tortilla chips, one large handful of regular chips, and one medium sized scoop of the chili cheese dip. I chose the chili-cheese dip because it had beef and beans in it, and a smaller amount of that would satisfy me than the other dips because of the protein content. I did not have any of the French Onion Dip or the salsa. I had one glass of lemonade, and, if I'm completely honest, an ice-cream sandwich. When I got home I had a handful of fresh cherries :)

Creativity: As I said above, I went to the first read-through of *Two Gentleman of Verona*, the play I will be performing in this summer. It is set as an 1870's American Western. I have been cast as an Outlaw. Although the Outlaws were originally written as men, the director has chosen to cast them all as women. And yes, in the world of the Old West, the director envisions these "Outlaw Women" to be prostitutes ;) *insert, impish, devilish grin here*

Dinner: One medium sized plate of linguine with homemade vodka sauce, no seconds. One bowl of fresh cherries

Exercise: Skimmed pool, and went for a 22 minute walk with Michael :)

The hardest part about today came this morning when I weighed myself. I go in and out weighing myself, sometimes weighing myself every few days, sometimes only every few weeks or so. It's been about three weeks or a month since my last weigh-in. The last time I weighed myself, I was 153.6 lbs, for a weight loss of almost 10lbs since the beginning of the year. Yesterday, just for curiosity's sake, I stepped on the scale, and was stunned to find that I was up to 158.2lbs, a gain of almost 5lbs, in a MONTH. *blink!* What? This affected my mood for the rest of the day. I could not fathom where those 5lbs had come from, there have been no drastic changes in my food habits or exercise routine, I rarely if ever eat junk food. WHERE DID THEY COME FROM? The rational part of my brain did eventually kick-in, reminding me that weight can fluctuate several pounds depending on how much water you've imbibed and what time of the month it is. And muscle weighs more than fat, and I think I've put on some muscle after all lifting and carrying I did at the daycare plus all the yard work and such I've been doing lately. So, it was a shock to my system, but I'm getting over it.

Tomorrow is another day :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Bodice Challenge Day 2

     Since I want other elements to be incorporated into these next 5 weeks (and beyond) besides diet and exercise, I've decided to rename my personal efforts *The Bodice Challenge* rather than The Bodice *Diet*,  the word diet always conjures images of deprivation for me, and I want my life choices to be about celebration :)
Again, not a bad day. Farmer's Market days are hard because we inevitably come home with delicious baked goods, so rather than completely deprive myself and not have any, I let myself have a reasonable sized portion of them :)

Breakfast: one small cinnamon roll from the Farmer's Market, and one bowl of Rice Chex with Skim Milk
Lunch: MuMu Muesli with plain lowfat yogurt and a bowl of fresh cherries
Dinner: Grilled chicken with boiled salt potatoes(2) and a small slice of butter, salt and pepper, with a side of sugar snap peas sauteed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with salt, pepper and garlic , with three small slices of fresh Italian bread each with a light swipe of butter
Dessert: A few sips of a failed attempt at a smoothie. The smoothie had Ovaltine, skim milk, ice and fat free caramel yogurt in it. The caramel yogurt gave the smoothie a *chemical* sweet taste, so next time I'll just use plain yogurt.....

The only beverage I consumed today was water.

Exercise: 1. Helped to open the pool today which entailed carrying things up from the basement, dragging things into the backyard from the garage, lifting off the cover and skimming the pool.
 2. Walked to Wegmans, 12 minutes each way, for a total of 24 minutes, with an honorary minute spent walking around the store for 25 minutes :)

Blood Pressure: 124/81, pulse 86 (I didn't find my blood pressure cuff until the evening, but I'll try to record a morning reading tomorrow) 

Creativity: Sitting down with some new food magazines and planning some future food blog posts :)

I'm getting in the swing, excited for tomorrow :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Bodice Diet Day 1

Fellow Garbaholics, Sterling is only 5 weeks away (can't wait!!!) In an effort to whip myself into shape for the hill-climbing and corset wearing, I have accepted Merlyn's Challenge :) Go check out the particulars over at Merlyn's Musings. (If you don't know Merlyn, or don't know what Sterling is, YOU SHOULD :) In short, for every day, we post what we ate/ drank, exercise, a creative accomplishment and a blood pressure reading (if you have access to a blood pressure cuff or machine).

Here we go!!!

Breakfast: MuMu Muesli with Skim Milk
Lunch: One slice Italian bread, turkey meatloaf and a small bowl of cherries
Dinner: went to Taste of Syracuse, so I had lots of small bites. One small square of baklava, one made-to-order California Roll, one boneless buffalo wing, one gyro, one order of grape leaves and tzatziki, and one small dish of gelato. Nothing deep fried, no alcohol. I've also had lots of water today, had two bottles of water while we were walking of around the festival.

Exercise: Walked all the way around Taste of Syracuse, twice.

Creatvitiy: Wrote a letter to a friend

I have to locate my blood pressure monitor, so I will start posting on that as soon as I find it.

Not a bad start, looking forward to tomorrow!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Washing My Face With Honey

Not just a snappy title, friends, it be true :)

   In case it hasn't shown up on your radar yet, I'm something of a  hippie. I try to minimize the chemicals in my life and look to natural alternatives first, particularly where food and personal care products are concerned. Several years back I began to educate myself on the subject and, frankly, the amount and type of chemicals present in the products we slather onto our bodies every day is effing SCARY. If anyone's interested, I can make some great book and product recommendations :) The first thing I ditched was conventional deodorant back in, like, 2005, because I didn't want to be exposed to the parabens and Aluminum Chlorohydrate, both of which have been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer's Disease *shudder*. For years now, I've been going back and forth between Crystal Roll-On deodorant (mineral salt-based), Avalon Organics Cornstarch-based, Talc-Free, Paraben-Free Baby Powder, and, when I'm poor, just plain old cornstarch, depending on what season it is. They've all worked just fine for me and I would highly recommend any of them.

  But enough about my armpits. As I said, the last two weeks or so, I've been washing my face with honey instead of a daily face cleanser or anything like that. My idea for this came from two places. Firstly, from my friend Sarah (who,coincidentally, is a fabulous cook and is starting her own food blog, Kitchen Witchery) when she told me a few years back that one could make a great face scrub by mixing a few spoonfuls of honey with a few spoonfuls of brown sugar. Super easy, super cheap, and it made my face incredibly soft :) I do this scrub every few weeks. Fast forward a ways to when I ventured into the blogging world and discovered an awesome environmentalist by the name of Deanna Duke, who writes two fascinating blogs, Crunchy Chicken and Green Goddess Dressing, the latter of which is devoted to personal care products, homemade and otherwise. It was on this site that I found a thread about washing your face with honey. Apparently this is hugely popular, with threads and posts and how-to's aplenty when one knows where to look. People swear by it. It has to do with the fact that honey has natural antiseptic and natural soothing qualities. I'd been doing the honey scrub off and on for ages, but for some reason, I never made the jump to ditching my normal cleanser and using honey exclusively. A few weeks ago I was at the Farmer's Market, and I had one of those *what the heck? No time like the present* moments and bought a small squeezy bear of local honey (though some people just use regular grocery store honey and it also works fine for them).

     Friends, I'm about two weeks in and I LOVE IT. My face is clean and smooth and soft and not the least bit dried out. No breakouts, no sticky residue, nothing. Really, you just use it the same way you would any facial cleanser. At the sink or in the shower, wet your face, rub it on, rinse it off  ( if you want it to be more of a mask, leave it for a few minutes, etc). You can mix it with brown sugar or cornmeal if you want it to be a scrub. My skin is not at all irritated, but I suppose if you have wicked sensitive skin I would just test it out on small area and make sure you don't break out. If you happen to be allergic to honey, I would avoid washing your face with it, but barring that, you're good, just use your head. I love washing my face with honey for several reasons:
1. It works, just as well if not better than conventional cleansers.
2. There is not one single scary chemical in it, it's basically about as natural as you can get.
3. It's CHEAP. The entire bottle of honey cost me $2.75. No joke. Two dollars and seventy-five cents. You're not going to find a conventional cleanser for that cheap, believe me.
4. Honey doesn't spoil. It will never expire or lose effectiveness, it will last indefinitely.To give you an idea, when several Egyptian tombs were opened and excavated, archaeologists found honey inside the tombs that was still edible.....yeah...this stuff lasts :)

So, give it a shot. It's cheap, it works, and it's chemical-free :) Me Likey:)

   In other news, I have left the daycare. My last day was last Friday. I really do want to dedicate an entire post to my experiences there, varied as they were. But for now, let me just say that I love all the children I cared for there with all of my heart and leaving them was indescribably hard. But it was time to move on. I did make some friends there also, which was lovely :) I have a new day job on the horizon that will be starting in July that I'm very excited about, details to follow shortly. For now I'll be planning my summer K.I.D.S Shakespeare Workshop that goes up the second week of July and enjoying this rare and wonderful period of  downtime. I do not want to squander these days. I want them to be a good balance of productivity and relaxation, and I want to strive to take them one day at a time and not get ahead of myself. Friday evening after my last day, I went out for ice-cream sodas with Mom and Mikey. On Saturday I went to the Farmer's Market, helped Mom plant the garden,went out to dinner with friends and saw more friends in a great local production of *Into The Woods*. On Sunday Mikey and I went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Watchfire, which was awesome :) On Memorial Day we cooked out with our neighbors. On Tuesday I was productive in the morning and the spent the afternoon laying in the sun and running through the sprinkler in my backyard. Tuesday evening Mikey and I went out for our 10 month anniversary :) We went to a great restaurant on the shores of Oneida Lake, Borios. It was very hot that day, so we sat on the back deck overlooking the water and sat by the lake after our meal :) Wednesday I had a *Julius Caesar* performance in the morning, had a preliminary meeting with my new job in the afternoon, met Mikey for dinner and then went to Byrne Dairy for ice-cream. Today I was a good, productive little monkey, getting a lot done both inside and outside of the house, including going through my e-mail, deleting all the accumulated junk mail and organizing whatever was left into folders. It feels good to be getting things done that normally fall to the wayside when I have a day job occupying most of my weekdays.

  As these "days off" continue, I hope to be blogging more often, I have so much to say and, for once, I have time to say it :)

Love to All :)