Monday, July 25, 2011

A Sunday Morning Walk in the Neighborhood

As part of my exercise program, I try to walk once or twice a week. I like getting out in the sunshine and just taking the time to commune with nature. I am in a large metropolitan area, but we still have our points of beauty. I believe that it is important that we take the time to appreciate what is around us. So for today, I am going to share with you a few pictures that I took along the way.

I just love the color of these flowers. They really pick up the neighborhood. One of the reasons I like to walk is that I feel better when I get back to the apartment. It is the splashes of color, the interesting scenes that we observe, and quite frankly some of the people in the neighborhood. I did not take pictures of my neighbors this trip however.
This arch just wants to make you go in and ring the doorbell. It is colorful, beautiful and most of all welcoming. Every time I pass this entrance, I want to take a picture, so today I did. And I am just getting started on my walk.

This wall with the pink and purple flowers really caught my attention. The morning sun just seemed to draw your attention to them. I love the way they are just peeping over the wall. By the time I took this picture, I was about half-way through my walk. I was feeling good and could feel my energy coming back.

Today I ventured into a new neighborhood. I saw this tree or bush, and fell in love with it. The flowers, the sunlight, the bigness of it. WOW!! I had to get a picture. Behind it was another tree with purple flowers. Now I have to admit, I love flowers, trees, plants, etc. I just don't know their names.

As I was walking, listening to music that was uplifting, I saw this tree over the fence or house or whatever. I had seen it before when I was in the car and was specifically looking for it.
From the street it is really striking. I just had to find it and get a picture. The one before it was approaching  the house and the other was after I had passed it. Now it was  time for me to move back into my own neighborhood and head for home.In the next block, someone honked their horn and waved to me. It was one of my tax clients. What a pleasant surprise.  I have one more picture to show you.

This rose reminded me of peppermint, a taste that I think leaves a fresh taste in your mouth. I loved the flower. And so with that I returned to my apartment, feeling better because I had taken the time to go out and explore my neighborhood. So take the time, explore. Stop to smell the roses along the way. You will feel better for it. And remember, walking is one of the best exercises for losing weight

I hope you enjoyed my pictures. I look forward to any comments, or questions you might have. Remember the way of the tortoise is slow and steady. In the end, we win, we win!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Carmageddon Made Me Do It! - Not!

Saturday, I blew my diet. I could blame it on Carmageddon, but I won't .I do live in the San Fernando Valley not far from the 405, where the bridge was coming down.  I am not sure why I drove from work to the 7-11 Store, and purchased two bags of chips, but I did. I have been working hard to get my exercise in, to eat right, and I blew it. Oh, and I went home and consumed one bag of chips. Just like the old days. Chips are one of my comfort foods. So what did I do?

I could have felt sorry for myself, disgusted with myself, angry at myself or kicked myself for doing such a stupid thing. But I didn't. I know that this is a process and sometimes I am going to slip and fall. I don't know why I chose this week-end to slip, but I did. I made a choice to dust myself off and get back on track. I   know that I will have to work harder to burn off those calories. But I am trying to change my habits. Yesterday, I feel back into an old habit. Today is a new day. It is the first day of the rest of my life. That may be an old saying, but I still love it.

This morning, I got up, got dressed and took a walk. It was over 30 minutes and I enjoyed every one of them. We have a bridge that is being replaced at the end of our street. It has been out since December. So, I walked down to the bridge with my iPhone in hand and took some pictures. It looks like it is getting close to being finished. The last time I was there, the bridge was gone. Now it has been widened and looks good.

By the time I got back home, I had taken a few pictures and was feeling like I was getting back on track. Today, I watched what I ate and stayed on program. I am feeling better about the direction I am taking my life. Like the tortoise, I know that slow and steady is my pace. It will help be win the race.

I can do it. I can make better choices. I don't know why I went off my diet, but one of the things I have learned is if you are going to go off your eating program, plan and limit what you are doing Sometimes, we just need that comfort food, for whatever reason. Today was a better day! Yeah!

If you have taken a wrong detour in life, start again. We all make mistakes, but we can chose again.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions. I am leaving you with another picture I took on my walk today. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Love My Thane Flavorwave Oven.

I love my Thane Flavorwave Oven. In fact I am on my second one now. The newer model is improved from the first one. The Thane Flavorwave Oven is a miracle breakthrough that turbo cooks your meal up to three times faster. From the freezer to the table in less than 30 minutes, sometimes much less. I had a steak for dinner tonight. I like my meat medium well to well, so in 12 minutes it was done, juicy and delicious and easy to cut. You can bake, broil, roast, barbecue, steam, reheat and more.

The secret of the Flavorwave Oven is the halogen heat, infrared waves, and convection cooking. As a result, food is cooked faster and juicer. Fats and oils are removed and food is always cooked to perfection. I use it as my main source for cooking. It is great for weight loss.

I also like it because I can take something out of the freezer, put it in the Flavorwave Oven, add some onions and sweet potatoes, and have a great meal in less than 30 minutes, depending on what I am cooking. My husband and I like thick crisp bacon. We don't have it often, so I put the bacon in the freezer after breaking the package down into 4 slice packages. I put them on for four minutes at 400 degrees F, that thaws them enough so that I can separate them. I put them on for another 14 minutes, turn them over and go for another 14 minutes. The bacon is nice and crisp and the fat does not go in my body, it is on the floor of the Flavorwave.

I have fixed steak, pork chops, chicken, pizzas, pork ribs, fish, biscuits, and frozen dinners in the Flavorwave Oven. They have all tasted delicious. I like the fact that I can set the timer, go do something else and my dinner is ready in just a matter of minutes.  I rarely use the microwave any more.

I also like the fact that the Flavorwave Oven does not heat up the whole apartment like the oven does. In the summer, when it is hot, that really helps and I am more inclined to cook. Living in an apartment without a balcony there is not much opportunity to grill out. My Flavorwave Oven takes care of that just fine.

It is portable. I keep it in the kitchen, but if I wanted I could bring it to the table, take it in a camper on a trip, or over to a friend's. It is not heavy. It cleans easily. For the way I like to cook, it works great.

Why am I telling you about it? There are a couple of reasons. First, I feel that I am cooking healthier. Other products I have tried have left food tasting dry. It is easy to use and you don't have to stand over it like you would if you were frying something. Secondly, I am sold on the Flavorwave Oven as a method of cooking. It is fast. It is easy.

I don't know how long I had my first Flavorwave Oven. When the plastic dome cracked last year, my first thought was to go to the computer and find out if they were still making them. Sure enough they were. Mr. T has done an infomercial on the oven that you can check out on Thane's website at

The newer model has a large glass bowl on a stand. The oven's working parts cover the bowl and heat the food. It actually seems to work much better. At least for me, it does. I included a picture of the top of the Flavorwave Oven so that you can see the control panel. It is easy to use, allows you to set the temperature and time your cooking.

In researching for this blog, I also discovered that they were available on sale at 
They are also on sale at eBay

If you have one, let me know how you like it. I should tell you that this is an unsolicited testimony. I get nothing from Thane, Amazon or eBay, except for the satisfaction of sharing about something I use and really like.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

You Are Never Too Old To Learn

You are never too old to learn. Learning is a part of the human condition. Do not buy into the old saying that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". It is a lie. No matter what our age, if we are willing to put the effort we can learn. Not only that, learning new things keeps our minds active and our bodies younger. Don't give up. Keep learning.

Older adults may simply learn things differently than when they were children. After all, the longer we live, the more information we collect along the way. We learn to process information differently. A child is like an empty pitcher waiting to be filled. An adult already has information, experiences and life expectations already in their pitcher. Learning for them adds to what is already there.

I have met many people many years my senior over the years. The ones who are still learning and doing things are much younger than those who have stopped trying to learn and grow. Just like we need to exercise our bodies, we also need to exercise our minds.

So, what can you do? Or perhaps the question is what can't you do. The list is wide, so I am going to share a few of my favorite ones.

1.  Go to It is a website that allows you to learn and earn grains of rice to be given to the poorer countries of the world. It has six categories with two areas in each. The six categories are math, English (vocabulary and grammar), geography, chemistry, languages (German, Spanish, French, Italian) and Humanities (Literature, Famous Paintings). It is multiple choice with four possible answers. Every correct answer earns you 10 grains of rice that go to an area of need. So far this year players have earned 6,726,923,450 grains of rice. Wow.

2.  Read a good book and share it with your friends. You can join a book club or even start one.

3.  Take a class. If you can't take a class at a local adult school, college, and local organization, you can take one on your computer. I have recently learned about Great Courses at You can order DVDs, CD's or just get them on line. Every month they have great sales. The courses are taught by university professors, and best of all there are no exams. The hardest part is determining which one you are going to take first.

4.  Find something that you have always been interested in and start researching. The World Wide Web has so much information that it is like going to the Library of Congress and trying to ready every book. Impossible, but what fun in the trying.

5.  Learn to speak a new language. We are truly becoming a world community. Especially in the United States, there are so many cultures. Make a friend who speaks another language and the two of you can teach each other. Or you can take one of the many classes that are offered. After that, maybe you can travel to a country where they speak the language.

6.  Play word games. Do crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Play cards with friends. Play scrabble on line.

7. Learn a new hobby. Find one that you have a passion for. Find something that you can do successfully.

8. Volunteer. Take those skills that you have developed over the years and find someplace or someone which what to share them. You'll be glad you did.

No matter what you decide to do, take a moment today and learn something new. It will keep you younger longer. I am going to earn a few grains of rice now. See you next time.

Thank you for reading this. If you have any comments, or questions, please let me know.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Time to Celebrate with Friends,Fun and Food

I am redoing an earlier blog in honor of Thanksgiving Day and the upcoming December Holidays. There is no need to make your holidays a time to gain weight unless you really need to. Put food last on your list.The First Thanksgiving was a celebration of survival. We are going through challenging times, so let us celebrate our survival. Make friends and fun your cornerstone this holiday season.What can you do to make sure you stick to your eating plan? We can overeat and try to compensate for it the next week, We can plan ahead and allow for some of those extra calories. Or we can loudly proclaim, "I am on a diet" and make everyone, including ourselves, miserable. Or not!

The USDA website has a podcast with a few suggestions on what you can do at a party.
1.  Fill up on fruits and vegetables
2.  Put no more than 2 items on a plate at a time.
3.  Get your food and move away from the table.
Their research has show that when you follow these tips you are more likely to eat less, and to eat healthier., See podcast "Holiday Parties--- Made Healthy."

By putting two items at a time on a plate, you can take your food away from the table, enjoy it and if you want go back for more, it's okay. My suggestion is that you wait a few minutes before going back to give time for the food to settle.

Another idea if you are going to be the guest, prior to the event, talk to the host/hostess and find out what they are planning on serving. Then, you can offer to bring something that you know that you can eat and enjoy.

If that is not possible, do not go to the party hungry. Eat a health snack before you go. Remember the purpose of the party is not about eating, but about having a good time with friends and family, celebrating the occasion.

Watch what you drink. If you drink alcoholic beverages yourself to one or two and then drink water. Colas are another area to watch carefully, Limit the number you drink, even if they are diet drinks. They are not healthy. If you are drinking fruit juices, remember they have calories as well. Don't go overboard. When in doubt, drink water with a squeeze of lemon or lime. Nobody will know the difference.

One of the things I sometimes do is to reduce my calories earlier in the day so that I can enjoy myself at the party. It is really about planning, and being careful about what we eat. It is better to go and eat less and have a good time, than to overeat and live with the consequences.

Don't let the eating get in the way of enjoying your friends and having a good time at the party. You can do it. Remember we are really trying to develop a new lifestyle, not let the old one regain control.

Have a safe and happy holiday. Eat right, and celebrate your freedom from overweight.

Thank you for reading this. I invite any comments or questions you may have.