Ag shame….

I cannot believe that I was last active on this blog on 17th January. As I’m sure I have said before my life is ruled by SARS. The Receiver of Revenue has non-negotiable deadlines and nasty penalties for non-compliance; which explains where I have been for 2 weeks.

Being a sucker for cute pictures, I am kicking off this weekend’s posts with one of the cutest pics I have ever seen. It comes from a selection of National Geographic’s best pictures.

See you later I hope!


A great resource…….

One of the most powerful resources I have found to help me with weight reduction is the keeping of a food diary or a food log. It really is not a big deal to record your intake and the daily habit very soon becomes routine.

A few years ago, I created an Excel workbook which I called Eileen’s food planner. At the time, I was also active on the Weigh-Less forums and when other members read about my planner they started requesting copies. At one point, I had e-mailed my planner to more than 100 other members! We were able to record our food intake daily and the planner would keep track of each formula automatically. Eat too much and the relevant total/s would reflect in bold red!

Eileen’s food planner still exists on my computer but has been superceded by a far superior tool – Benutriwise Calorie Counter, Nutrition, Exercise and Health Tracker. Developed here for South Africans, the inexpensive Benutriwise software application is really well worth checking out.

I introduced the software to my doctor and she is as enthusiastic about the program as I am. Pre-loaded with the nutritional values of almost 2 000 food items, the software automatically calculates BMI, suggested weight loss targets and default calorie/kilojoule totals. Carbs, protein and fats as well as vitamins and minerals are tracked automatically. A new feature is the exercise tracker which I have yet to use!

This evening I had to send my doctor information about blood glucose and blood pressure readings and I simply printed BG & BP reports out of Benutriwise and e-mailed them to her. Magic.

If you would like to know more about how I use this resource, let me know!

That’s cool man! – as we say this side of the mountain..

What’s cool?

My weight loss of 1.1kg this week! BMI now 32.7.
I should explain that I have 2 ‘weigh-in’ days a week – Thursdays at my Weigh-Less class and on Sundays when my husband & I weigh-in on our good electronic scale.
The experts agree that a target of .5 to 1kg per week is achievable and safe healthwise. My own weekly goal is .5kg and this I can achieve quite easily.

The comment I hear all the time is, ‘Great stuff Eileen – but how are you doing it EXACTLY?’ I will try to be more specific about this in my posts but it MUST be borne in mind that there is no ‘one size fits all’ remedy when it comes to our own unique health issues. Your health professional will help you to determine – WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR OVERALL HEALTH STATUS – the balance of protein, carbs and fat you should be consuming.

What could you do RIGHT NOW to kick start your own journey to better health and vitality?
For me, the short answer was to ‘UP’ water, fruit, veg and wholegrains and ‘DOWN’ unhealthy trans and saturated fats. That’s it.

I will be writing later today about how I record my progress. The experts all agree that keeping a food diary is KEY and I will be telling you about an amazing little software application I have discovered. Inexpensive, simple to use and developed right here in South Africa.

‘See’ you later – I am off to find my favourite brand of lite ice tea before my son IT buys up all the stock!

I would be honoured…..

Hopefully you will note that subscriptions to this blog are now available. Simply enter your e-mail address and hit enter! An e-mail will arrive in your inbox requesting confirmation of the subscription. Please confirm and – hey presto! – you will receive an e-mail each time I post more trivia on this odyssey.

I would be truly honoured to have you as a subscriber to ‘Eileen’s Odyssey’.
Best wishes to all from this side of the mountain.

Reluctant Mr Rat … long walk to freedom?

Having not seen nor heard from Mr Rat the whole of Boxing Day, we were somewhat put out to hear the ‘banging’ sound again in the kitchen rather late the next day. The wily rodent had obviously not taken the bathroom window route to freedom on Christmas night.

My son N, wife K and daughter Princess were visiting and we had just finished off Helen’s ‘cheesecake’ lavishly topped with ice cream. ‘Lite’ variety of course…..

We all agreed that the sounds emanated, once again, from the kitchen. So K – being the intrepid warrior known as ‘Admin’ that she is – urged WJJ into the kitchen with her where they surveyed the silent cupboards and sullen appliances.

Convinced by now that Mr Rat had got himself into the large swing top garbage bin and had been battling to get himself out, Admin persuaded WJJ to carry the garbage bin out of the apartment. N and his mother relaxed calmly in the living room and – honestly – only kept their eyes peeled because they did not want Princess to get a fright if Mr Rat came hurtling around the door jamb into the room.

At Admin’s insistence, the garbage bin was carried down four flights of stairs to the garden and deposited under a shrub for the night. And that we assumed was that for Mr Rat. N, Admin & Princess departed for home and WJJ and I proceeded to batten down the hatches. Just in case, all doors leading into the kitchen passage were locked and further sealed with towels rolled ‘draft excluder’ style. Mr Rat would not be able to venture into any other rooms other than the kitchen and the passage.

Safely barricaded behind the bedroom door, WJJ and I settled down for the night – only to awaken when WJJ paid his customary 2:30am visit to the bathroom. I followed suit and it was a real schlepp to lock and seal the bedroom and bathroom doors with rolled towels all over again.

Once awake, I can never go right back to sleep and I lay in the darkness thinking of nothing much in particular. A faint sound jolted me into total wakefulness and I strained my ears listening carefully in the darkness. There it was again and this time I knew that Mr Rat was trying to enter our room – the faint scratching sounds made that obvious.

Very quietly I sat up in bed and reached carefully for my light switch…. blinking in the suddenly brightly lit room I literally had to slap my palms over my mouth as I fought nausea spasms that rushed up in my throat. There, in full view, was Mr Rat making his way across the expanse of carpet towards the barricaded bedroom door. As I gaped in horrified shock, the damned creature took fright, turned tail and ran towards me scuttling back under our bed!

Frozen in my sitting stance, I managed to prod WJJ awake enough to grunt ‘bullsh*t’ when I whispered frantically that the freaking rat was in our room. With much muttering and with me directing operations from atop the bed on my side, WJJ got out of bed and came around to my side to stand there nonplussed. With both of us holding our positions while we assessed the situation, we decided that WJJ would subject his creaking knees to torture and shine my torch under the bed to seek the dreaded rodent.

Sure enough, there under the bed on WJJ’s side was Mr Rat himself – no doubt as frozen in terror as we were. With much effort and more creaking of arthritic knees, WJJ came upright and stood immobile next to my side of the bed. Both of us were too scared to move a muscle but something had to be done…

Gathering up all my courage, I inched my way to the bottom of the bed – all the while expecting Mr Rat to latch onto my toes at any second or maybe even jump up onto the bed next to me. Of course, I was the one who had to leave the room immediately to direct operations from the safe- uh – from the vantage point of the balcony. With amazing agility, I leapt off the bed, rushed to the door and was out of the bedroom in about 2 seconds tops.

Summing up the best battle strategy, I opened the front door as well as the security gate, leaving them wide open, all the while shouting – he won’t wear his hearing aid – encouragement to WJJ still trapped in the bedroom with just a walking stick and a miniature torch as weapons.

Our kitchen has no door so I wedged a full length framed mirror from the guestroom across the doorway to the kitchen. Now our intrepid rodent only had one way to go when leaving our bedroom – down the passage and out of the front door.

I made my way through our lounge to the enclosed balcony and directed operations through the bedroom window. WJJ was instructed to quietly open the bedroom door, creep round the bed, get back down on knees and vigorously rattle walking stick under the bed….

Mr Rat streaked out from under the bed, through the door, turned right – crashing into the mirror barricade – veered left and hurtled down the passage and out the front door. WJJ, now triumphant in victory with enemy in full retreat, boldly followed him out the door only to see Mr Rat stop in his tracks and come racing back down the corridor towards our front door.

Much brandishing of the walking stick and loud hollering ensured that the animal once again turned tail and fled onto the landing above the stairs. WJJ assures me that he did wait long enough to see Mr Rat start down the stairs before he firmly slammed the foyer door, blocking any return to #6.

And that, said the proverbial cat, was that for Mr Rat.
One small thing still bothers me though and really doesn’t bear thinking about.

The following day, we asked our weekly domestic worker J to clean and vacuum very thoroughly under the bed. Knowing the long story of Mr Rat, J called me to come see what had come out from under the bed. Huge piles of fluff – just shows how well she cleans – littered with little black droppings.
Says J in her broad accent, “Maffrou, hy moes BAIE lank onder die bed gewoon het om so baie drolletjies te maak!”………..