I’m green, very green …

I’m a frustrated homemaker. Have been all my married life and – dear heaven – that’s a damn l-o-n-g time!

This morning I made the bed. I sometimes don’t bother to do a proper job of it and I know many of you don’t either. So don’t get all judgemental!  LOL!

I brought out clean towels for the bathrooms and admired my handiwork with a contented smile on my face. Those who know me well will know that I have not had much time in recent years to do these little tasks; the current domestic worker usually did that for me.

Getting back to the green. My immediate family were taken aback by my decision to replace the dirty beige colour on single feature walls in 4 rooms with a muted green that I love. The risky behaviour on my part has been rewarded, IMHO. Smile

The pic shows the work-in-progress in our bedroom. Antique pictures will hang above the bed; I’ve just got to research which box they are packed in! Our single garage is still packed full of unopened boxes and I am only allowing one box at a time into the house for unpacking and *further* donations to local worthy causes…..

The duvet cover will be replaced by a new cover in white or very pale cream made by yours truly. Just don’t ask me when! The floral tapestry cushion was bought with a substantial outlay of Euros in France! Once again, the greens tone in beautifully with the other greens in the small room.

The second picture shows part of the feature wall in the living room – a definite work-in-progress. The stuff dumped on the writing bureau will be replaced by a nice lamp and a jacaranda wood framed circular mirror made by John  Early of Dargle in KZN will hang above it.

As you may have already deduced, I am really enjoying feathering my new little nest!

 

 

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That’s it! Enough already!

Hear ye! Hear ye! Public Announcement!

It really is enough now.  Exactly what is ‘it’ and what is enough already? Weight. Hypertension. Blood Glucose (and the edible kind). Fatigue. Insomnia. Indifference. Oh grief, I could go on and on.. and on …

It’s what my dietician called ‘the slippery slop’. Perhaps I should pen that as ‘The Slippery Slope’. Because it really, really is a Slippery Slope people. Actually, no, scratch that completely. It’s the Slippery Gorge. And do please check out the synonym verbs for Gorge hereunder!

The infamous and notorious (there is a difference) Odyssey takes to the road again tomorrow morning. Let’s be clear on this, tomorrow 19 August 2013 at 07h00 my Odyssey takes to the highway again.  I am mortified to admit here on this horribly public forum that I tested FBG and BP this morning and both are notably elevated. Elevated from my usual readings that is – which were last done on 23rd June. That is the mortifying part – the interval between these routine checks. Won’t be permitted to happen again.  I am not mortified about the readings themselves, they are simply proof of severe self neglect. My excuses for this severe self neglect will become clear as I continue to bore you all in the days and weeks to come 🙂

Gorge (per the ubiquitous Google)

Noun
A narrow valley between hills or mountains, typically with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it.
Verb
Eat a large amount greedily; fill oneself with food: “we used to go to all the little restaurants and gorge ourselves”.
Synonyms
noun. ravine – throat – gully – gullet
verb. gormandize – gobble – devour – guzzle – cram

ODYSSEY : Turbulence

Morning all Smile

In all the turbulence I am experiencing at this time, I am trying to regain some semblance of control by sorting out files, papers, making copious To-Do lists and just generally getting on everyone’s case!

I came across this quotation (you know how I love them) that resonates with me:

“Patience – it is the ability to idle your motor when you actually feel like stripping your gears…”
– Anonymous – 

I will talk to you all again soon but in the meantime – What do you know about HAES? Have I got your attention? I hope so. I will fill you in on this lifestyle/health approach soon!

Have great day Smile

 

Quotations : George Eliot

“ It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

George Eliot

Mary Anne Evans was a Victorian novelist who used the pen name George Eliot. According to Wiki, the masculine name was chosen to partly distance herself from the lady writers of silly novels but it also quietly hid the tricky subject of her marital status.

She lived with the married George Henry Lewes for over 20 years. Mr Lewes apparently had an open marriage; one can imagine how well that played in the Victorian era! Nonetheless, the Evans/Lewes ‘marriage’  was by all accounts a loving and stable relationship.  

After Lewes died, George Eliot later legally married American banker John Cross – a man 20 years her junior. A Victorian Demi Moore?! 🙂

I seem to gravitate towards women who buck the system, don’t I?!

Now from George Eliot to Tom Venuto. Wow! Now that’s a jump! You can’t say my interests are not eclectic!

Tom Venuto, of www.burnthefatblog.com and www.tomvenuto.com fame, writes about his sadness when people think that it is “ too late” for them to do anything about fitness and overweight. You may like to read his 2 latest blog posts dated 25th and 29th June. Don’t be put off by the pictures of his body-builder torso! He is anything but a steroid laden exercise junkie. The man has much to say that  may resonate with you!

Have a great Friday.

Odyssey to wellness : a good software resource

Good morning everyone 🙂

Just a quickie post this morning about Benutriwise software. Priya Jaipal, the developer of this excellent resource, has just published her latest Health-e-news newsletter.

While the newsletter does happen to contain a rather disjointed review of the product written by yours truly, that is not the reason for this post.

Priya is offering a “ World Cup Special” of a huge discount on the price of this excellent tool. The price is only R200,00 and I do urge those of you that may have been hesitating about buying this software to download and buy it on-line.

Marketed as a calorie counting instrument, I do not only use the calorie count function. I am working on ways to track GI (Glycemic Index), GL (Glycemic Load)  as well as Weigh-Less portions on the system.

Have a great day.

I am really upset … 3 Poor self care and diabetes complications

Those of you following this blog will know the story about my friend T who works for a friend/client of mine. At Christmas time he scraped his foot while swimming and by March his foot had been amputated.  He is still getting around on crutches while he awaits a prosthetic foot.

I was upset once again yesterday when I was told that T was admitted to hospital last Thursday with deep vein thrombosis in the remaining ‘good’ leg. He remains hospitalised at this time and I will contact his son later this morning to get the latest update. The grave danger and possible consequences in this situation do not have to be spelled out.

What really, really gets to me is that this whole unfolding crisis could quite probably have been avoided completely. It need never have happened.

T really needs to supplement his pension income, his employer wants to accommodate this but also has to deal with T’s lengthy  absences from work. It has placed my client in a  difficult situation which will have to resolved one way or another.

When we blithely ignore the warning signs that our lifestyle is causing our bodies to deteriorate, we are literally toying with our  lives. There are thousands of medical conditions that can befall us over which we have no control whatsoever. Surely it makes sense to take charge of what we can control and influence? But we just don’t do it.

I am relentlessly driven by a number of things to continue on my odyssey back to optimal (optimum?!) wellness. I cannot just let it go. I cannot just let things slide – much as I am so often tempted to do. I deviate from the path – badly sometimes – and yet I cannot throw in the towel.

  • I value my financial independence and the lifestyle that this affords me.
  • I dread the day my children have to step up to the plate and provide for me financially.
  • I fear being dependant on others to care for me physically. I cared for my dying mom-in-law for over a year before she died and it was a harrowing experience for both of us. Well do I remember the two of us crying bitterly in each other’s arms as I changed her filthy disposable nappy yet again. The anguish she suffered from the pain and loss of dignity is something that still lives with me  26 years later.
  • I am angry at myself for the stupidity I exhibited over many years in not looking after my health and lifestyle.  I still exhibit this same stupidity ; work and stressful deadlines still predominate in my life.

One small consolation is that sanity has now prevailed long enough for me to appoint a temporary office assistant. After only 3 mornings with us, the ‘advent of Nicky’ is changing my office landscape and I will talk more about this in a later post.

Fitness: best stretches for office workers

Following on from yesterday’s post about fitness, I offer herewith the following URL to assist you in compiling a simple, quick daily stretch routine for yourselves. The link provided will take you to a 2 and a half page doc you can print out and use.

http://exercise.about.com/od/flexibilityworkouts/tp/officestretches.htm?p=1

Everything you will ever need to know about exercise is to be found at:

http://exercise.about.com

C’mon! If an old lady can try to get something together you can too!  🙂

For those of you in RSA, hope you have a happy Freedom Day.

Fitness: an essential part of the wellness journey

Those of us who have gym memberships – great stuff!  BUT, in all honesty, are we making full use of the state-of-the-art facilities at our disposal? Sadly, the answer in my case has to be ‘no’.

Do we ask questions of the fitness staff that  wander around all over the place while we are stepping along smartly on that treadmill?  You will be surprised at the snippets of very relevant info they give  re maximising the fitness benefits of the machines, equipment and designated areas of the gym at our disposal. Do we attend the myriad FREE classes on offer?

In this post, I won’t go into all the reasons (read excuses) why we no longer look like we did the day we got married or when we were at our best. Like everyone else, I will stick my head in the sand and not ‘go there’ at this time of writing.

What I want to do is to steer you in the direction of a couple of websites that may inspire us to get up off our butts and start toning up!

In the days of Dallas on TV, Victoria Principal the actress playing Pamela Barnes Ewing (alright, I Googled that – I would never have remembered the full name of her character!) wrote a couple of quite good books on health and beauty. Cashing in on stardom of course and suddenly they’re ‘experts’ on all sorts of things! Her first publication was The Body Principal. I am sorry that I must have ‘hospice shopped’ the book as I no longer have it.

In the book she illustrated and propounded the gentle, stretching isometric exercises that maintained ‘the body’. What a body that was too! In her latest book Living Principal published in 2001, she still looks pretty darn good and she is/was still married to her plastic surgeon husband. (!)She did not subscribe to the ‘feel the burn’ aerobic physical jerks of Jane Fonda and others.

Using the lessons  learnt from Victoria’s book, I created a short, all-over stretch routine that I practised quite religiously early every morning right up to 2003 when we left our farm and moved to the Western Cape. 

The cold, dark and wet Cape winter is closing in on us. My body – I do not take time often enough to check the reality of it’s very poor condition – has more and more loose, floppy bits waving around as the weight goes down! UGH!

What am I going to do about that? Well, for a start, I am going to re-create my morning stretch routine (adding some appropriate weights) and inveigle W into joining me!

We sit slouching over our computers for hours on end daily (in our family most of us have computer based jobs). We are (or will be) paying for it dearly with loss of tone, flexibility, range of motion and all the others ills of little/no exercise in our lives.

I, for one, have paid for my workaholic lifestyle by developing severe osteoarthritis in my neck. A neuro surgeon said to me, ‘This neck is tired’. He prescribed a neck brace which I do use occasionally. He also suggested some supplements to take and asserted that he would deny it if I ever told anyone what he had recommended! Poor man, I understand he too is now a diabetic.

My GP at the time had just returned from 12 years practice in Canada and upon seeing my neck x-rays exclaimed, ‘ Oh my Gaad! Oh my Gaad! Your poor thing!‘ An Afrikaans accent overlaid with 12 years of Canadian accent makes an interesting combination!

We sit hunched over with our necks stretched forward reading our computer screens for hours on end and we wonder why we feel sore and stiff when we straighten up  and try to correct our posture. Young people I know who shall remain nameless are developing exactly the same symptoms. I manage my osteoarthritis with a daily anti-inflammatory – yet another drug added to my daily cocktail – plus a twice daily supplement.

As usual, I digress. Back to the URL’s.

If you go to the URLs hereunder, you will see the sort of thing we will be making an effort to implement. Most of the very basic exercises in the 9 step routine were part of Victoria Principal’s routine and they are as much in use today as they were back in the days of Dallas!

http://www.hearthealthyonline.com/fitness/workouts/anytime-workout_ss1.html

A website I have discovered in my (hopefully discerning) wanderings around the www is:

http://www.livestrong.com/

Connected to super cyclist Lance Armstrong who as we know has had his own health demons to conquer, I think we can safely consider the many tools and information offered on this huge site for implementation in our own lives.

The World Wide Web is truly an astounding place where any info on the planet can be accessed with the click of a mouse. With due caution and a good dollop of commonsense, we can only benefit from using it wisely. More about that in a future post.

Laziest cook on earth. 4

In our days of being Rotarians, W & I enjoyed an active social life with much interaction with  fellow Rotarians and we did a lot of community service work which is what Rotary International is all about.

At the time, it was a males only organisation and one became a member by invitation only. The wives were called Rotary Anns and we dutifully played our part in the organisation which I see is still very active in community work today.

During our year as Rotary President and Rotary Ann President, we entertained a lot. We had a large double storey home, a full time domestic worker, my folks lived with us in the ‘granny flat’ and they were a wonderful support system with our teenage boys. W & I forged ahead with our respective banking careers and did our share of community work while having fun with good friends. It was a good life and we had marvellous support systems in place.

Things are somewhat different today.  We still live the good life, though in a very different way. We chose to re-locate to Cape Town and we chose to take our ‘retirement jobs’ (a bookkeeping practice) along with us.

There is little time left for entertaining and it is not easy to cater for numbers in our flat, spacious as these old apartments are. Later this year, we are re-locating (again!) to a spacious home in a leafy suburb which belongs to our middle son M. But I am getting horribly sidetracked here – that is a story for a later time.

This is the meal I threw together last night for 6 members of the family:

BUTTER CHICKEN : served with brown basmati rice, cauliflower with cheese sauce and a good tossed salad.

MIXED BERRIES DESSERT : Dessert was slightly defrosted mixed berries with a choice of diet ice cream and/or lite custard. Of course, we all chose ‘and’ and not ‘or’! Mix it all up in a purple mess in your pudding dish – divine, almost fat free and low GI.

Pretty good I would say and the scale showed no overnight weight gain at my ‘Sunday Morning Showdown’ this morning. I should have had broccoli with the cauliflower as lettuce does not count as a dark green veg. (Tabitha Hume!) Red, yellow as well as green pepper strips and home grown mung bean sprouts in the salad made up for it in a small way.

Butter Chicken!!! I hear you say. Yes, so simple really. Browned chicken thighs (bone in, skin off) in a little extra virgin olive oil, dumped them in a large casserole dish with lid and poured Denny Butter Chicken Curry Sauce over them. 20 mins with casserole lid on, 20mins with casserole lid off and left them to sit there until the Sharks had won their game against I don’t know who!

The latest Weigh Less magazine is out and included is a Coat and Cook in Sauces Guide. Get it and check it out!. It will inspire you to serve something new for your family while keeping those kilos in check! You can have a quarter of the packet of wet sauce – only 424kJ and 5.0g fat.

I was given a rice cooker recently (my slow cooker/Crockpot actually does the job just as well) and the berries I had bought in bulk out at Hillcrest Berry Orchards at the height of the berry season. I use them as a treat and am only sorry I did not buy many more kilograms of these wonderful fruits at that time. I will really stock up next year.

www.hillcrestberries.co.za

High Tea at the Nelly (Mount Nelson Hotel) is on my Bucket List but the High Tea served at Hillcrest Berry Orchards is really good. Situated in the magnificent Banhoek Valley outside Stellenbosch, this working farm is well worth the trip. Check it out. They also do B & B.

Hopefully, you are starting to see from my scribblings on this blog that we CAN eat delicious food while keeping to a healthy eating plan. With careful portion control we can still ‘have our cake and eat it’!

What’s the score?

In our family, that question almost always means that someone is asking the rugby score. Usually it also means the score in a game involving the Sharks!  As ex-KZNatalians, we are often berated for being disloyal to the local Stormers squad – but that’s how it is. Once a Sharks fan always a Sharks fan it seems!

I am not a huge rugby fan although I have done my fair share of screaming for our team from the sidelines; especially at schoolboy matches. Not unusual for the mother of 3 sons!  I usually only become interested if our team is still in contention near the end of a series. 

One score both W & I ARE interested in is our weight! Now back in CT, we both climbed on the scale first thing this morning to assess the ‘damage’ caused by our wonderful break at Mossel Bay. Also not forgetting the lovely roast leg of lamb dinner plus ‘ Jan Ellis Pudding’  we were treated to at the home of W’s sisters in Dana Bay. (You truly do not want to know the ingredients used for Jan Ellis Pudding! Needless to say, it tastes divine!)

The sisters plus W and I were a gang of 4 when we lived there in 2003-2005 and we had some great times together.  Not sure why but I was quite heartsore to visit there this time and realise that the gang of 4 was down to a twosome again.

Enough of that! On to the subject at hand – the ‘damage’. I should not really use that word as a slight weight gain on holiday is par for the course – (Pinnacle Point course ha ha!!).

W returned home 0.1kg lighter than he was and we can put that down to some pretty long walks on very hilly terrain. He also enjoyed a wonderful +-9km walk with M & J along the now disused railway line from Wilderness to Victoria Bay. Those of you that know that area will know what a beautiful stretch of Garden Route coast that is; Outeniqua Choo-Choo country.  A cloudy day also made for comfortable walking. All in all I would say that W walked about 15km while away and this paid dividends in increased fitness, no weight gain and a complete disappearance of stress.

My result was also pretty good – no loss but a slight gain of 0.4kg for the 7 days away. I am not in any way bothered by this and will simply re-direct my energies to continue the odyssey. W has just walked in with some yummy plums – those firm  ‘black’ skinned ones.  Not a huge plum fan but these are really lekker! Golden yellow  flesh and they do not drip all over you like some plums do! Holford would be pleased – he promotes dark coloured  fuit & veg choices almost ad nauseum!

The odyssey (‘ a series of wanderings’ remember!) continues – the green (actual) line on my Excel chart will be meandering above the solid red (target) line  at the moment but the downward momentum continues. 

I urge you to persevere with your own odyssey – whatever goal you have – it IS achievable

If you have stalled on the trip; if you have lost direction; if you are feeling de-motivated or overwhelmed by what you see as an unachievable task, I encourage you to :

Stop. take stock. re-define your goals. plan your strategy. move ahead. Baby steps are all that is required; as long as these steps are consistently applied, you WILL get there!

Another wonderful thing about an odyssey is that no matter how many times you stop and wander off the track along the way, you will reach your destination if you just keep on plodding along in the right direction!