Category Archives: weight

Real Food

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It is officially the weekend! Hope that most of you are also having time off

from work. I do feel bad for those who are weekend ‘warriors’ or have to

go into a job, while others are off. It all balances out, I suppose. My oldest

daughter is one who works weekends, gets a couple of weekdays off, along

with my son. Both are busy parents and partners with someone who is the

one who is home over the weekend. While during the week, I may keep a

healthy eating balanced ‘diet,’ on weekends; I enjoy ‘splurges!’

My friend and I walked to Dairy Point, to get our ‘end of summer’ meal

there. Mine is a hot dog with onions, pickles, relish and mustard, fried

mushrooms with ranch dressing to add more calories and dip into and

a sundae. This place roasts nuts, they have what they call, “The Nut

House,” as part of their business. This will let you in on why I get so

excited to go there, (remember that I like butter pecan ice cream?)

I usually ask for their hard ice cream in the butter pecan flavor, a big

dose of hot caramel, real whipped cream, a cherry on top with roasted

salty pecans added over the top. This was my meal. No apologies, to

the ones who don’t eat animal by-products nor the ones who are possibly

dieting…

 

I love this quote that is attributed sometimes (accidentally) to George

Carlin, the comedian. It is actually taken from the book, “The Vision of

Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree” by Roger J. Corless:

 

“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to

satisfy your hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.”

 

In order to ‘redeem myself’ and make myself not feel too guilty about my

innocent ‘splurge,’ I am going to let you in on some healthy and yummy

foods to snack and enjoy over the weekend!

 

Here are some appetizing and delicious natural food products that can be

purchased in your local grocery store or Trader Joe’s may have another

equivalent, more fresh choices available, too.

1. Sabra.  Have you tried this brand yet?

I love the Classic Guacamole with healthy fat, fiber and Vitamin C.

 

2. Wholly Classic Mild (or you may try a spicier blend) of Salsa.

I like blue corn chips to dip into this and feel the tomatoes and

flavors are almost as good as homemade salsa. In this healthy

snack, there are only 10 calories in the salsa, but keep in mind

the word:  moderation when it comes to the chips!

 

3. Triscuit’s have a great line called, “Hint of Salt,” which makes

this a good one to add a slice of low sodium cheese or peanut

butter to make it complete.

 

4. Here’s another cheese to try on those Triscuits, woven crackers:

Kerrygold Reduced Fat Dubliner cheese. This is made from milk

from grass fed cows, smooth texture with 1/3 fat.

 

5. Another choice of cheese is Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese.

I love this natural, lower fat cheese with the flavor of sourness, like

it is made out of sour cream.

 

6. My youngest daughter and I had an antipasto box and added hummus

with sliced carrots and cucumbers from Opa’s Greek Restaurant, located

across the street from my apartment to watch a movie. We felt self-righteous

and healthier than our usual buttered popcorn and chocolate candies, we

usually buy to eat when we are sitting on a mattress in my living room floor.

We watched the movie that Beth recommended, so I must write a review soon

on the movie. Coming Soon at a blog near you!

 

7. A delicious and acquired taste that was shared with me by a friend, is the

Kalamata Olive Spread that supplies good olive fat and that tangy flavor of

olives. I enjoy this on pita corners, supplied by the Opa’s Greek Restaurant

or spread directly on a thick slice of cheese.

 

8. Planter’s Nuts has come up with a great new product called, “Nut-ration

Heart Healthy Mix.” This can be a great protein snack that meets some of

your salty taste buds’ needs! (Hint: 50% less sodium than their other cans

of mixed nuts.)

 

9. If you are one, like one of my old boyfriends, who likes to have pizza to

‘chow down on,’ you may wish to try Amy’s brand, which has a whole wheat

kind of crust or Amy’s Pesto Pizza, with has less saturated fat and sodium,

along with baking it will bring out the fresh taste, you can also add some of

your garden herbs and vegetables. You may find this brand either in the

general frozen foods’ aisle or you may need to look for Amy’s in the healthy

frozen foods’ section. In our local Kroger’s, I found several variations of

this name brand in a separate area of the store, close to the produce

department.

10. Since I mentioned deep fried mushrooms, on my lunch menu today, I

should offer a healthy alternative: “Alexia Mushroom Bites with Roasted

Garlic and Olive Oil.” They are a non-greasy yet tasty substitute. I like to

add a low fat ranch dressing, which if you haven’t tried Cindy’s Kitchen

brand, their product line offers Fresh Buttermilk Ranch. Yummy!

 

When I mentioned that my youngest daughter and I viewed a movie,

while eating the antipasto and hummus with vegetables, I would also like

to include in this post a recipe for:

“Spiced Chickpea Yogurt Dip”

Serves 12 people.

a. Rinse and drain 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas.

b. Add to food processor, with 6 T. of 2% plain Greek-style yogurt,

2-3 T. of fresh lemon juice, 2 T. of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp.

minced garlic and 1 and a 1/2 tsp. Moroccan seasoning (McCormick

has this, along with other shops sell different variations).

Season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

c. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

(Makes 1 and 1/2 cups.)

Serve with pita chips, corners or crudités for dipping. Or as I

mentioned, we chose to add carrots and cucumbers.

 

Which, by the way, the fun walk and lively conversation, along with the

tasty treats, were ‘way’ worth it the calories and ‘danger’ to our arteries!

Yet, definitely not ‘worked off’ on our 1 mile walk home.  My friend chose

a chili dog, a peanut butter shake and also a side dish of French fries. No

ranch, just ketchup.

 

Have fun any way you can this weekend!

Closing with a ‘real’ quote from great comedian/philosopher, George Carlin:

“Those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music.”

 

 

 

July 24, 1987: An Insurmountable Achievement

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A young girl, who was overweight and sometimes ridiculed, went off

to college. Even there, she did not get concerned about her rising

weight, her expanding waist line. Her health was failing, due to long

hours of studying and limited extra time to walk, exercise or worry

about her diet.

It was not until she reached the age of 40, that this wonderful woman

decided to take action! She started hiking and going on natural trails.

She made plans to achieve more miles, and she started to make progress

in her renewal of energy and her health revived, too.

At age 66, she climbed the highest peak in Continental United States,

Mt. Whitney.

How motivating!

How exciting!

What an exhilarating ride this story is taking!

You will be so much more inspired, when you get to the true climax

of this story. I am very proud of this woman! I wrote this all by myself

hoping to build to where you will hear waves of roaring instruments

or trumpets blasting…

This is the anniversary of her biggest climb:

A woman named Hulda Crooks climbed Mt. Fiji, in Japan when she was

91 years of age on July 24, 1987!

Way to go, Hulda!

I would like the songs, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Climb

Every Mountain” to be included in your heads while reading the final

chapter of her life.

Hulda Crooks reached the age of 101, dying in 1997.

What would have happened to her life, had she not reached the place

she could hardly walk or breathe?

It makes all of my little complaints and ‘molehills’ seem quite small!

A Dip into Serendipity

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A journey that once had begun, had gotten swept

under the table. The story had included exciting

beginnings and abrupt endings. It could have been

a nice, safe trip along smooth railroad tracks in

a predictable direction. Instead it had been quite

dramatic.

The way it all began was discussed, along with

where it had become derailed. It seemed suddenly

urgent to get the passengers united to head into

the future, reconnecting ties that had been torn

and broken.

Seemingly impossible reasons, years ago, to ever

be healed, were forgotten and forgiven.

Ice cream was delicious at Graeter’s in Upper

Arlington, Ohio last night. The ice cream place

is a franchise started in Bexley, Ohio, in 1870.

The relationship had started in 1980, between four

close friends, two couples who were into natural

foods, a Lancaster co-op and a business together.

From friendship, sharing stories, then traveling

a long and winding path that took both couples in

different directions.

From the traditional beginning, which had led

into separated, fractured lives, arose a child.

It was an unplanned and unexpected event. It

would leave a lasting, hurtful impact on all,

from 1985 until 2014.

The strange story would include heartbreak and

some moments of crying. The redemption, found on

3/21/14, would heal most of the wounds.

Who would have thought the woman with the ‘white

picket fence’ background would have held such a

wild story behind her outwardly quiet demeanor?

The serendipity was the ties that brought someone

from a far distance, of St. Louis, Missouri, back

to Ohio. The trip originally had nothing to do

with the woman nor her golden child.

A letter, sent out like a beacon, had been mailed

over cyber-space. Previously sent, hand written

letters, over the years, had been met with

silence.

No answers.

A coincidental trip to a gravesite in Cincinnati,

was fortuitous for the people to be reconnected.

Death had been over a few years ago, it was in

the memory of that loved one, the journey had

been made back to Ohio.

Tears of happiness flowed. Sweet memories of a

happier time embraced the four people sitting

across from each other.

Stories of the past, including similar family

histories of international immigration; one

generation ago for the father and two generations

for the mother. Unknowingly, both parties had

heritage from Germany. This shared lineage filled

the minds of the people with wonder. Over twenty

or more years ago, they had not asked each other

such questions.

Other kindred moments, included a love of music,

one for an accordion, another for a clarinet.

Two hands that reached out, were held, showed

dryness of skin, smallness in size and arthritic

joints. Family physical traits passed down.

Personality traits, such as independent streaks,

with some admission on both parties, of being

rather self-centered between child and father

were exchanged.

Faded, tarnished memories of the Lancaster days

were renewed and explained. They lost their

rusty feel and became polished, smoothed over.

Time truly heals all wounds.

The ties are now beginning and reaching out.

They are beautifully becoming braided into a

circular wreath where the child now knows of

another family. Intertwining, growing and

letting go of the hurt and regret.

The family was a gift well received.

The failed attempts to have connections had been

shared with the child, over the years. The way it

disappointed her, had recently come to light.

The other family is filled with aunts, uncles and

cousins who long to know the estranged member.

I indulged in my favorite choice of butter pecan

ice cream, covered with Graeter’s ‘homemade’ recipe

sauce of butterscotch, real whipped cream and a

cherry on top.

The symbolism of a cherry on top was the real,

relieved feelings, bubbling to my soul’s surface.

My family member had a simple scoop of butter

toffee chip, while the father ate chocolate chip.

The fourth person had an ice cream cone with a

cup of freshly brewed coffee.

He was the observer, the in-law, who would be the

recorder of the tale to regale the Missouri folks

back home. He had captured all parties in photos,

sent via telephone, as soon as taken.

The observer was warm and welcoming and through

his part as the ‘new’ uncle, he introduced one

of the first cousins into our conversation.

A girl named Brianna, age 12, who will be part

of my child’s life forever.

One of many new connections…

The wise, well humored observer asked if this

would be included in the title of my next post

on my blog: Serendipity.

I was not sure, at that moment, if I would indulge

in another post. Sharing this may be too much.

I mentioned that I had written a “Carry On” post,

earlier in the week. After much reflection last

night, I chose to share this story here.

Albeit in a bare bones, no details’ way.

Pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

The ‘once upon a time’ heavy weight was removed,

thrown out the window, for good.

By myself, I drove up the road on 315, a curving

tree-darkened route that led to my adopted home

of Delaware.

I had fled from another small town, almost 28

years ago.

The last remnants of the weight, the ‘chips on my

shoulder’ were lifted.

Its breadth and depth, unable to fully explain

to others who had known me.

All I know this was no longer needed to be held

on to. The baggage had no necessary purpose or

reason to be kept anymore.

There still is a chance for this ‘white picket

fence’ woman with the ‘solid core’ and deep roots,

to have her happy ending. Her child could now

proceed with new ties that bind.

Not the way she had visualized from her childhood,

but still a fantastic way to close the book.

Newsworthy Ties with Cleveland!

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An Alternative Title for this Post:

“Two Films, New Life and a Funeral”

There was a photograph on the front of the Plain Dealer newspaper,

of a man’s funeral being held in Cleveland. It was for the founder of the

company Progressive Insurance, Peter Lewis.

Lewis passed away down in Coconut Grove, Florida and the services

and funeral were held up here in Ohio. He died on November 23, 2013,

a man who was a billionaire and had given over $500 million dollars to

numerous charities, the three main, renowned ones being Case Western

Reserve and Princeton Universities, along with the ACLU.

Peter Lewis was buried in a simple pine casket with his black Stetson on

top of it. He had waited until September, this year, to marry his longtime

lady friend and partner, during his later years who he loved dearly.  The

essence of this report of his death is to tell you that this Jewish man, Peter

Lewis, held high regards for the rights of people of all backgrounds in our

country. His proof was in his support for the agency that can either be

sneered upon or praised. He chose philanthropic projects that served and

added to peoples’ lives. He wanted workers’ rights to receive a lot of his

financial support, even at the “expense” of losing some of his valuable clients.

Mr. Peter Lewis’ memorial service was peppered with others who declared his

outspoken, kind and humorous nature, held at the Temple Tifereth Israel on

University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio.

Such praiseworthy descriptions for the deceased, were given, that anyone would

wish to be remembered in such a manner:

“A loving father” and an “ethical leader.” The family flying in the “Untouchables,”

a jazz band, who played and filled the air along the Cleveland streets during the

procession from the memorial service to the gravesite:

“When the Saints Go Marching In…”

There were a few people interviewed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer who said, Peter Lewis

had acted as “saint” in his 80 year lifetime.

Another photograph that caught my eye, was of Kevin Costner. Sorry, men! I

am sure that you know we, women, cannot resist his “charms!” Anyway, there

were a group of attractive people gathered in a local watering hole. The movie,

“Draft Day” will be released in April, 2014. It is a fun movie that any Cleveland

Browns’ fans will love and a story that is fictional. It is about the Browns having

a General Manager played by Kevin Costner, joined with the beautiful actress,

Jennifer Garner and witty Denis Leary. The Cleveland Brown alums will also

be exciting to view, with legends, Jim Brown and Bernie Kosar. The Lionsgate

movie was filmed around Greater Cleveland area. This will be all about the

NFL draft, coming out a month before the NY drafting process  begins.

In 1961, a Clevelander Langston Hughes wrote a play about an African American

celebration of Christ’s birth. He entitled his play, “Black Nativity.” I am proud

and excited that this play has been annually performed and celebrated around

the U.S. by varied groups but its origin from Cleveland’s poet, playwriter and

novelist is important to bring people up to date in that there is a movie being

shown now based on this play. “Black Nativity” has Forest Whitaker, Angela

Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige in the cast. It has been not well

received by critics, but will be worth seeing by the people I believe due to

the beautiful music and meaningful message. There is a teenager who has

been acting up in it, asks his grandmother this question. A line that is being

attributed to the original play goes like this:

“How do you keep your faith when so many bad things happen?”

Her wonderful and powerful, but so simple answer was,

“God’s grace is all around you.”

An exciting and happy news event occurred at the Cleveland Metroparks

Zoo: Announcing the rare birth of a Giant Anteater! It is their first to

be born here in Cleveland, in our Rainforest exhibit.

This occurred on Monday November 25, 2013. The “baby” is less than

2 pounds and is being closely guarded and protected by its mother.

The sex will be hard to determine for awhile. The proud mother, “Pica,”

will be having this baby clinging onto her, almost appearing like a

marsupial in its infant appearance. She is 13 years old.

Travis Vineyard, the zoo’s animal curator, tells a few facts about these

animals.

Anteaters are insectivores, or bug eaters. (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).

Hey, does that last word sound like a dinosaur? Well, they are one of

the oldest animals… The females can weigh as much as 80 lbs.,

while the males can weigh as much as 100 lbs. Their origin is from

South or Central America.

Another interesting fact that I learned about the reason why these are

challenging creatures to take care of, they have a slurry or flurry or

slushy concoction that appears as a milkshake made of tiny pellets and bugs.

The zoo now does not have to blend this up on the premises, but a company

out there produces these and sells them.

So, there are always things happening in Cleveland and I was happy to give

you a few ‘ties that bind’ me to this place on Lake Erie, Ohio!

Weighty Subject

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My Mom raised her shirt to show me while she was in the bathroom,

I was putting on a dab of makeup for dinner. She said, “Look at my

abs, Robin!” I looked at her loose skin that is spread across her petite

body and said, “They look great, Mom, what have you been doing

to get those?” She replied, “I remember Jack LaLanne, do you

remember him? He was a good motivator for exercise and good

nutrition!”

When I looked up Jack LaLanne, he had lived from 1914 up until

2011. Quite a long life with some very extra special motivations that

included good and peppy words, toning and lifting weights. He was

ahead of his time!

I repeated my question to get Mom ‘back on track’ and said, “So, what

have been doing differently to create those abs, Mom?”

Mom pondered for a moment and said, “I pick up leaves and stones off

the sidewalk, I lift my legs when I walk the dog in the dark, like I am

marching to get this flab off the back of my legs. Then, I sometimes

will do arm stretches and touch my toes. The dog thinks I am nuts!”

I smiled warmly at my mother who I absolutely love so dearly, hoping

against hope that she will be here for many more years. I told her one

thing I remembered her emphasizing during my college years of eating

pizza and “pigging out” on all the junk foods she never allowed in our

household, like ‘ho ho’s, twinkies, glazed honey buns,’ and the salty

treats from the machines in the basement of our dormitory. I would

frame the junk food in the terms of my form of “rewarding studying”

and “getting down to business.”

“Mom, where did you hear that phrase ‘tuck in your tummy and

pretend there is a string on the inside of your belly button pulling it

towards your back’?”

She looked at me, “Didn’t Richard Simmons say that on his television

show?”

I responded, “I am not sure he had his own show, but I will check on

that after dinner… he was a guest often on talk shows and he was

quite a character!”

Oh, by the way, Richard Simmons was born Milton Teagle Simmons

in 1948 and is now 65 years old. He is still featured in commercials,

some movies and he is a big facilitator for dancing and exercising to

the “Oldies!”

She said, “Oh, he was so funny in those short shorts! Only Twiggy

looked good in those kind of outfits!”

This subject, weight, is a challenging one. It is a sensitive topic. I am

often afraid to approach it. With my daughter in law who still struggles,

at age 27, to lose her “baby weight.” To my best friend, Jenny, who gets

worried now that she is retired, that she will get heavy. I remind her of

how loving she was when I gained during my forties, due to worries,

menopause and not having a busy sex life. I remind her that my Mom

was cruel and would give me zweiback crackers and cheese while she

would make my ex-husband huge roast beef sandwiches upon our

arrival from traveling up Rte. 4 to Vermilion.  I keep the subject light

when some of my table mates make fun of my quinoa and brussel

sprouts meal that tastes like General Zso’s (Cho’s?) delicious Chinese

food. (My daughter uses red wine vinegar, sesame seeds and roasts

the brussel sprouts in olive oil. I am not sure other than red pepper

flakes, what spices she uses.)

But the subject of weight comes up so often, I had to broach it with

you! I had to ask, what are your weaknesses? What are your best

motivators?

I love walking and talking along the paths in parks, miles can go by,

not worrying about the pace, but somehow it slides by. I enjoy hiking

trails that are up steep inclines and I wish, personally, that I didn’t

have to work in the hot, hot warehouse where I do eat anything, but

at what “cost?” It seems so strenuous, I always wonder, silently,

“Will I last for as long as I would like my Mom to last? I would like

to be here on Earth for years and years, for my grandkids’ and great

grandkids’ sake!”

Should we worry less and just enjoy life?

I am glad to have my Mom to give me a light hearted take on the subject.