Weight Loss Progress Report

Okay, this will be a monthly feature. At least until I’ve reached my goal :)

Most of July was spent losing and gaining the same freakin’ few pounds. Yet when I look at my overall tracking chart I’ve hit or surpassed my targets with the exception of one week.

23 pounds down.

What I noticed in July is the inches are disappearing. I had to clean out my closet and dresser this weekend due to clothes being too big. Awesomeness!

I had planned another cleanse for July, mostly to keep my palette set to no sugar, but also to kick my weight loss to the next level.

CleanseThe cleanse consists of two days of greens, some combo of parsley and lettuces this time rather than the nasty Swiss Chard mix, and a day of “sweets.”

The first time I did this I dropped 7 pounds and wasn’t overly aware of being hungry. This time…oy…very hungry. I don’t know if it was the different greens or if my water intake was off or what. My results weren’t as impressive either though it did take care of the budding craving for something sweet.

Additional cleanses will be played by ear but suspect anytime I hit a plateau I’ll choke down another three days of juiced meals :)

The sweetest thing that happened in July is that That Man has joined me in the pursuit of weight loss. It makes this whole process that much easier.

Tasty Tuesday: Gluten-Free Bread

Basic BreadMaria and I talked about comfort food, aka bread, in the comments of my Gluten-Free Muffins post last week. The smell of fresh baked bread, heaven.

I’ve been limiting my wheat intake for a while now and, surprisingly, haven’t really missed the bread. However, it is still a comfort food. When I’m feeling weak, or simply tired of tacking what I’m eating, the idea of warm bread calls my name.

The Wheat Belly Cookbook has a Basic Bread recipe. It’s the starting point of just about every bread recipe in the book and the foundation for yumminess like French Toast.

I was missing the Garbanzo Bean flour for the recipe but was able to stop at Whole Foods after my hair appointment Saturday. Thus…

Baking Day!

Basic Bread SliceThe Basic Bread is a dense bread and very filling. It is not, however, a bread you’d want to eat dry. At least, it’s not for me. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the results.

As with the muffins, substitutions were made: olive oil instead of butter, and a soy-based yogurt for buttermilk.

Made up more muffins, too :)

What’s one of your comfort foods?

Tasty Tuesday: Gluten-Free Muffins

Allow me to preface this experiment a bit. My mum is a nurse by trade and a supporter of holistic medicine and a firm believer that most illness can be controlled, if not cured, by diet. A few years ago she came across the Wheat Belly books by William Davis, MD. After reading the books and conducting her independent research, she went wheat free at home.

Their results were amazing.

Mum had struggled with Thyroid issues most of her adult life and this leveled her numbers. She also dropped almost 100 pounds. Go Mum!

My dad no longer needs any kind of meds to manage his diabetes.

To say my parents have a new lease on life is an understatement. Inspirational too.

Now, a one of the foods the blood type diet says to avoid, for my blood type, in order to lose weight is wheat.

Well, Mum had sent me the Wheat Belly Cookbook and Cooking with Coconut Flour (by Bruce Fife, MD) but it wasn’t until Sprouts opened near me that I figured it was time, long overdue, to give this whole wheat free thing a try.

I stocked up on about half the recommended pantry items for a wheat free kitchen and cracked open the cookbooks. My first attempt:

GF MuffinsMuffins.

The recipes make six muffins each so I made Blueberry and Carrot Nut.

I did substitute the butter with olive oil because the blood type diet also recommends I avoid dairy to lose weight. Though I did keep the eggs – that’s an experiment for another day! (And a word to the wise, make sure you have a shifter because shifting the coconut flour by hand is a time-consuming task.)

The results:  Yum.

Ten on Tuesday: Beloved Furniture

ToT-ButtonToday’s prompt is 10 Things About Your (insert your choice of furniture here).

So here’s 10 things about my Bedroom Suite.

  1. My parents bought it in a garage sale the year they married.
  2. My parents shipped it cross country, at least once, including a ferry crossing or two, and brought it to the states from Canada.
  3. I claimed it the summer of ’76, rescuing it from our family garage sale.
  4. I’ve moved it cross country twice.
  5. I remember the thrill of touching the top of the highboy dresser for the first time as a child. It sparkles in my memory like a rite of passage or, at least, growth.
  6. I’ve watched that same thrill dance in each of the wee beasties’ eyes when they touched the top of the highboy dresser for the first time.
  7. Two of the four wee beasties were born on the bed embraced by its head and foot boards.
  8. It is a French Provincial suite consisting of head and foot boards, dresser and mirror, highboy dresser, and two night stands in a natural wood accented with gold leaf.
  9. It needs Maria’s refinishing magic, desperately. Barring that, money and time :-)
  10. It officially became an antique in the years since I claimed it – I estimate it to be in the neighborhood of 130 years old this year.

~Sorry no picture, too much chaos here in Casa de Barclay.

Video I Love: 100 Days of Rejection

My boss goes to a lot of conferences as part of her job and the industry in general, not to mention an impressive number to receive awards. One of the things she likes to do when she gets back is schedule staff meetings to watch videos of the various keynote speakers.

She breaks out a bottle or two of wine and our operations manager will bring in snacks.

We did this Friday afternoon. #lovemyjob :)

The keynote speaker was Jia Jiang.

It was a “my story” speech and very inspirational.

He shared his story of coming to America as an exchange student and landing in rural Louisiana. Landing in a town of about 500. He came from Beijing, a city of about 15 million at the time. I’d say that’s culture shock, LOL.

But his speech was about rejection. At some point he found himself living the “American Dream.” He was working for a Fortune 500 company but had no passion for the position. He was married with a baby on the way. His wife gave him six months to follow HIS dream. Four days before his son was born, he quit that Fortune 500 job.

Would you have the guts to do that? I wouldn’t.

Long story short, his dream fizzled but his wife wouldn’t let him give up. Thus he went on a journey to desensitize himself from the pain of rejection. He even created a blog of videos journaling his road to overcoming rejection.

There are so many levels of wow in that to me.

Here’s a shorter but similar speech ~ ENJOY!

Tasty Tuesday: Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed TomatoesAnother recipe I dug out is compliments of Rachael Ray:

Lemon, Garlic, and Cilantro Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

I first tried this as a side for steak. It was more miss than hit with the males thus I filed it away. However, it fits nicely in my vegetarian diet and covers a dinner and a lunch for me without too much thinking — and that’s always a win :)

Staying the Healthy Course

This vegetarian thing seems to be working for me. Yay.

And maybe there is a reason behind it.

While at my nephew’s wedding I chatted with my sister-in-law about the blood type diet she’s been following for years. According to her, and my follow up research, I should be a vegetarian. Now, I haven’t completely cut out diary but I noticed I’ve reduced my intake quite a bit without orchestrating it.

All rather interesting.

As of Wednesday, I’m a pound and a half shy of 20 pounds gone! Woot.

Yep, recalculated calorie intake and burn numbers. Lost another 48 calories this week and upped the amount I need to burn by 20 calories. Rather worried about reaching that number of calories burned each day. Getting the exercise in, beyond my daily walks with Beastie Girl, is a major challenge.

It’s mostly a time thing. Work. Wee beasties out of school equaling a lot of movies and sitting (card and board game type activities) because it is so stinkin’ hot. Feeling guilty if I go somewhere after work to work out, even if only three times a week.

Blood Type Diet: Fact or fiction? Discuss in the comments :)

So Far Gone Reveal

A Tuesday Book Talk Special, on a Thursday!

so-far-gone-e-reader-copyIt’s my pleasure to help Avril Ashton reveal her latest cover. Congrats Avril, the cover is delicious :)

So Far Gone

Jacob Donnelly wants something new. Something different. Which is why he’s got a one-way ticket to New York and his bags packed. One last night out to the bar finds him in a sexy stranger’s bed, giving in to an explosive chemistry Jacob had been searching for, but never found. Until now. It’s too bad he’s leaving town, although once he finds out his one night stand’s true identity, Jacob can’t get away fast enough.

Cash Warner made a mistake. It doesn’t matter that he’d never felt anything like the fire generated between him and Jacob. He doesn’t plan to ever see his one-night hookup ever again. Except he does. When the reality of what they’d done fully sets in, Jacob flees, leaving Cash struggling with how to deal with the bitter taste of betrayal he can’t escape. Because even with Jacob gone for years, Cash can’t stop wanting more of that one night. Fate conspires against them once again, bringing Jacob home after tragedy strikes, and they’ll find it near impossible to keep their distance despite being committed to other people.

So Far Gone is releasing August 1st.

~ * ~

BIO:

A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Stone Mountain, GA., with a tolerant spousal equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing the plot points of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother.

Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.

Addicted to cake, the ID Channel and the UFC, Avril writes Erotic and GLBT Romance for Ellora’s Cave, Evernight Publishing, eXtasy Books, Secret Cravings Publishing and Total-e-Bound.

Website: http://www.avrilashton.com

Friend me on: http://facebook.com/writeravrilashton

Follow me on: http://www.twitter.com/#!/AvrilAsh

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/author/avrilashton

Tuesday Book Talk

Open Thread for Readers:

  • Got a book you want to talk about?
  • Frustrated with a book or series?
  • In love with a new one?
  • Found a buried treasure?
  • An issue that keeps popping up in the books you are reading?
  • Just want to chat about stuff in general?
  • Post away…

Inked

I finally did it. Only ten years in the making!

Last May, I talked about this tattoo.

Tat_outlining_1

Outlining

Tat_shading_1

Shading

Tat_finished_1

Finished

I’m completely thrilled with how this turned out.

For those of you on the fence:

Start to finish, this piece took two hours.

I was pleasantly surprised at how little this hurt. I’m not sure if that’s due to me having a high pain tolerance or, more likely, extra padding, LOL.

During the outlining stage it felt like someone was drawing a pin across my skin, the only painful part was when it felt like it was going against the grain, if that makes sense.

The shading stage didn’t hurt at all.

Aftercare, I recommend A&D ointment. It seemed to speed up the healing process. You use a light coat over the tattoo for 5 days then switch to a lotion like Lubriderm for 2-3 weeks depending on location. A tattoo is completely healed once the flaking is over and there is no raised skin in the tattoo area.

The itchy/flaky period of the healing process is the worst! You don’t want to scratch which can damage the art.

And don’t tell That Man, but I think I caught the tattoo bug…

This one I had been thinking about for ten years.

Another, which I can’t do while working where I do as they don’t allow exposed tattoos (and I don’t plan to be regulated to trousers for the rest of said tenure), is an ankle tattoo to represent the wee beasties. I’ve wanted to do this since youngest came along but it wasn’t until oldest designed it about five years ago that I added it to my list.

After my post last year and someone mentioning a sister tattoo, I have that on my list too. I even know what I’d like to do if beloved sis is up for it :)

I better stay on top of this weight loss, LOL

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