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Hydroponic Tower Garden

Now that I’ve lost 20lbs on Weight Watchers, I’ve been inspired to continue to stay healthy and at my goal weight.
So far it’s been 3 months, and I’m maintaining my weight with no problem.

I’ve always wanted to have a garden. I’ve dreamed of going outside in my backyard and picking my own vegetables farm to table, but I’m a bit of a Prima-Donna. I’m willing to do the work, but I don’t really like working with dirt, and bugs.

What is Hydroponic Farming

I was introduced to a Hydrponic Tower Garden a couple of months ago.
Hydroponic farming grows plants with only water and nutrients rather than dirt. The Tower Garden, a vertical, aeroponic growing system, allows you to grow up to 20 vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers in less than three square feet—indoors or out. So it’s the perfect companion for me!

How does it work

You start by growing seeds in Rockwool. Once the seeds mature, you put them in the Tower Garden. Notice how I didn’t say “transplant” them. You literally “place” them in the Tower Garden. No dirt involved. The Tower Garden has a continuous water system built in, that runs on a timer. It uses 98% less water than a traditional garden.

I’m growing Basil, Peppermint, Peppers, Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and squash. The maintainence is pretty simple. You maintain the PH of the water, and make sure the 20 gallon water tank is full when it evaporates, and the proper nutrients are added. There’s lots of support. I belong to a great Facebook group, and I have someone local that supports me.

It’s been alot of fun taking care of my plants, and I’m learning so much about gardening.

Interested in learning more? Leave me a comment.

Managing WW Points

Now that I’m fully engulfed in WW, and it’s my second week, I’m learning that tracking your meals is not only a necessity, it can be quite challenging, especially when your goal is to lose weight, and at the same time, have points left over for something you crave. The irony! I mention this because I’ve joined a WW Facebook group and much of the discussion and questions are about those looking for lower point alternatives to satisfy that craving. Why is it that most of the time that craving is unhealthy?

At my last weigh-in I attended a workshop, and was surprised to learn that many people in the class were not tracking their meals. Maybe they are “technology challenged” and don’t want to learn how to use the app, but what a disconnect!! Tracking my meals is teaching me so much about food. In fact, when I get curious, I search a food I used to love to eat and just about fall off my chair at how many points it is!!!! 1 slice of pan size pizza is 5 pts. I would eat the whole pizza!! 8 slices!! That would be 45 points. That’s 2 days of meals in one sitting!

My brain is being re-wired and I’m beginning to understand how really unnecessary that kind of indulging is. I call it indulging because that’s what it is. Eating is something we do to sustain what our body needs daily to survive, right?

All that being said, the tongue is a powerful thing. It’s a little devil living inside your mouth. Not only for what comes out of it and the words it spews, but for what potentially goes in, and the lengths we go to satisfy it.

The nice thing about WW, is that you have complete control over what you choose to eat within your daily points. So if you’re craving a meal that uses a lot of points, you can satisfy that craving, and sacrifice points somewhere else. I’ve chosen to have dinner be the bulk of my daily points, mostly because my body is used to having a light breakfast and lunch, and a heavier dinner. Having a heavier dinner also keeps me from having a dessert. By the time I’m hungry again, it’s time for bed.

So today I decided to satisfy my craving of an Italian Sausage Grinder, which is a 9 point dinner. I was able to enjoy my dinner, satisfy that craving, and still keep my daily total at 23.

 

Why Weight Watchers

We are inondated with weight loss programs particularly at this time of year. Company’s hoping to capitalize on our New Year’s resolutions take advantage of our weak spirits and over indulging lifestyles.

The first time I lost alot of weight, I gave up Wheat for a year. You can see a glimpse of my Wheatless journey here. or by typing in Wheat in the search bar. I lost about 10lbs just giving up wheat for a year. I’ve added wheat back into my diet, but through that journey I learned the food items to stay away from that effected my digestive system.

In the past I’ve also lost weight using the app My Fitness Pal. I was able to lose at least 5lbs., and keep steady weight management.

I gained about 10lbs. when our pipes burst in our home January 2018, and we were put temporarily in a Residence Inn (blame it on the pipes, right?). Temporary turned into 7 months! I think I would have gained even more weight if we had not had a kitchen. We actually went out to eat very little, but in spite of the situation, here I am, 10lbs. heavier!

 

So why Weight Watchers?
Several reasons.

  • I had good success with My Fitness Pal.  It’s a tracking system for calories, similar to tracking #WeightWatchers, so I was already familiar with this type of system.
  • I wanted to learn how to change my eating habits through the foods that “I” chose to eat. I didn’t want to buy food from a weight loss program. I need to learn how to choose, and prepare my own food in a healthy way.
  • Although I was afraid of the “point” system, it has created a calculator in my head that I can associate with food items. So grabbing a “zero” point snack is now associated with fruit, veggies, chicken, seafood, and eggs!
  • I wanted to have the flexibility to plan meals ahead of time, and cook healthy meals that my family can also benefits from
  • The cost was good

It’s only been 7 days, and my second weigh in is tomorrow. But so far it’s been a great experience. Based on my height, current weight and goal weight, I get 23 points a day. Here are some things that I’ve learned so far.

  • “Zero” points are an opportunity to change your eating habits. Over 200 food items are zero points. So when you’re hungry, you grab one of those 200 items, that you can eat unlimited. Your old habit may have had you grab chips, or cookies, very high in calories, fat and sugar, and also unlimited in consumption, but doing alot of damage!
  • Planning dinners ahead of time allows me to have more flexibility with meals during the day. So I plan weekly meals Saturdays, and shop Sunday. So far, many of my dinners are recipes from WW, Skinnytaste (included WW points), or  or recipes that I already love that I modify. Most of the dinners are between 0 and 6 points. Everyone is always looking for new recipes!
  • Leftover points from the day allow me to have a dessert.
  • Leftover points also rollover into the week if you don’t use them. They call them “weeklies.” Use your “weeklies.” Remember your body has to have enough calories to burn to lose weight.
  • You can earn points by achieving Fitness activity.
  • Join a WW facebook group for support, questions and ideas

I’m ready to take on my 2nd week!

 

Time to get healthy

So it’s 2019!! Time to get healthy.

I decided that I want to lose 10lbs. The possibility of being border line for several now common diseases is not appealing to me at 53!!

So I joined #WeightWatchers Saturday January 5th at 158lbs. I lost 2lbs. in 4 days. I’m very encouraged.

Blogging has always been like therapy for me, so I’ve decided to blog my weight loss journey.

Now there are many #weightloss blogs out there, but I hope to encourage others with my journey, delicious #low-calorie #recipes, tips and ideas.

Below is a great recipe. Sometimes I modify to original WW recipe to get the points down, or to eliminate food items that I don’t like.

 

Salmon with Warm Blueberry Vinaigrette

(WW Recipe. WW FreePoints per serving: 3pts.)

Yields: 1 filet and 1/4 cup sauce per serving

1 tsp. unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (5-oz.) skinless wild salmon filets
1 Tbsp. chopped chives

You can either grill or roast the salmon. If roasting, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.

Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add shallot. Cook, stirring constantly, until softened, 1-2 minutes. Stir in blueberries, vinegar, syrup, water, rosemary and salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally and pressing the berries with spatula to crush, until mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, sprinkle salt and pepper over salmon and, if roasting, place on baking sheet. Bake until salmon is just slightly pink at center, 10-12 minutes.* Alternatively, you can grill the salmon 4 minutes per side.

Spoon blueberry sauce over each serving and sprinkle with chives.

It Really is a Small World . . . An Amazing Story!

April 1978

Rustling…….Whispering……… I awake from a deep sleep and focus on 3 dark figures in the night, but I’m not alarmed because this scenario is becoming all too frequent.

Another night that the pulled out couch in my room is being used. Now a 13 year old girl needs her beauty sleep…what gives? I settle in and continue my ever so important sleep.When I awake in the morning, there lay 2 small girls sound asleep on the pull-out couch. I ignore them, as I tip toe about getting ready for school, trying to avoid the large couch that occupies more than half the floor space.

When I arrive home after school everything is arranged neatly back in it’s place in my room, like nothing ever happened.  Continue reading

Autumn Aroma

Road in New Hampshire

The weather in New England never ceased to amaze me when I lived there. It could go from a sizzling summer day to full-on autumn in the blink of an eye.  That “autumn state of mind” is what I miss most about Boston. That 60s and below chill in the air, those bright gorgeous oranges, golds, yellows and reds against a blue flawless sky, and the smell of fallen leaves is what I miss most. When I first moved to California, my college room-mate sent me pressed leaves from Connecticut. She’ll never know how much that meant to me!

Autumn is my favorite season. Here in California we don’t pack away the flip-flops and flimsy summer outfits until almost November. We continue to have warm days, but despite the lack of fall pizzazz here in Southern California, the Fall soon brings cool nights, and morning fog.  Autumn is a time for high school and Monday Night Football. NBA Basketball creeps its way into our home at the end of October. The days grow shorter and the nights are longer. Somehow this “autumn state of mind” prepares my body to long for quiet indoor days, curled up with a hot mug in hand, reading by the fire. Autumn brings cornucopia foods to the table. Fresh squash and yams, apples, pears and cranberries. Stews, Chilies, and roasts soon fill up the house with warmth and succulent aroma.

Kick off the Fall season by filling your home with the aromatic benefits of essential oils. Diffuse clove, rosemary and orange essential oil. Clove provides anti-bacterial properties, while Rosemary promotes clear thinking, and Orange burns toxins in your body.