Mostly Pictures, Few Words

Outside, Autumn won’t arrive here for awhile yet.  But inside….

 

Sign I hung on my office door.

 

The scarecrow head says “hello”.

 

Yes, my inside fall does make me happy.

 

I hung this on the kitchen pantry door this year.

Picture I colored to put in my son’s lunch on Friday.

There is plenty more autumn in my home but you get the idea. (If you want to see a few more pictures check out the Pretending it is Autumn post.)

WELCOME AUTUMN!

 

How to Handle Sweet Treats

My two Whole30 goals were to stop snacking, especially on sweet things and get back into my weight window. I accomplished both of those in 25 days.

If my goal was to make eating simply something you do to fuel your body I would have succeeded there too.  The Whole30 really sucked the joy out of meals.  For me food is a big part of holidays and special occasions.  What I hadn’t realized was how important meals were to day to day family life.  That doesn’t mean the meals need to be unhealthy but it does mean we all need to sit down to the same meal.  I don’t know why this is and it doesn’t seem logical but it is the way I feel.

Would I do a Whole30 again?  Yes, if that is what it took to get me off the sugar train or regain control of snacking.  But I am hoping another Whole30 won’t be necessary. (I am pretty sure I say that every time!)

I thought a lot about how to keep to my goals post Whole30 in regards to baked treats and candy.   It is not enough to say I am going to eat less candy or have fewer desserts.  I needed to be concrete with my limits or “Smart”.

S – specific

M– measurable

A -achievable

R– results focused (or in this case realistic)

T– time-bound

I don’t want junk food to be an all or nothing proposition.  I don’t want to mindlessly inhale crap without even tasting it.   I want cake and cookies to truly feel like a treat.  I want to enjoy baked goods or candy like it is something special. Like when I was a kid.

Growing up we only had cake at birthdays, pie on holidays and candy at Halloween and Christmas.  The rest of the year we sometimes got homemade cookies and occasionally pudding or jello or ice cream.  That was it. Oh, and when my Dad worked Saturday nights (he was a firefighter) sometimes he would bring doughnuts home on Sunday morning.  That was always a big deal!

My dessert tracking page

Keeping all that in mind I decided to limit myself to one sweet dessert or treat item a week.  That seemed realistic.  And it had to be homemade (except for ice cream).  I set up a page in my Bullet Journal to keep track.  I picked Sunday as the day the week would start.  I marked the weeks off and made notes about holidays or occasions that fell during that week. I had a plan…

A plan that I am not following at all.  I am still not snacking and I am still eating way less sweets but I am not limiting myself to just one a week.  Turns out it was not a realistic goal.  But I didn’t  throw in the towel completely.

I am being very mindful about what I eat. Crazy hormones are still a problem but I try to remain cognizant of what is going on physically and emotionally at any given moment. A few times I have taken a nap instead of mindlessly shoving junk food in my face. I am doing quite well with only eating when I am hungry.

I started tracking desserts yesterday in order to maintain my mindfulness and to keep from returning to my old habits. I’ll make a little slash mark on my tracker for each sweet treat consumed and for now I am writing down each treat I eat. Still sticking with the must be homemade rule.

My plan and intentions are a little different that what I had hoped for. But it is still a goal and one I will hopefully achieve without making myself miserable or gaining too much weight. Here goes nothing!

Coloring meditation, how to have my treats without the calories!

 

 

 

Pretending it is Autumn

Still triple digit heat here which is rather depressing. But there is no doubt a change to the angle of the sun and shorter days. And the calendar does say September!
My new carpet installation triggered a bout of spring cleaning that will most likely last into next week. It was an excellent excuse to put away summer decorations and that means I got to decorate for fall a few days earlier than normal.

This is where Halloween Town will go in a few weeks.

So here is how I pretended on Monday that it really is autumnal around these parts:

  • I made Fiesta Turkey Casserole for dinner, a recipe from my Gooseberry Patch “Autumn with Family & Friends” cookbook. A little spicy and warming without being too heavy, perfect for Monday Night Football.
  • I walked the dog at dusk.  The sky was a mass of gray clouds and bats were flitting around.  It looked autumnal even if the still in the 90’s temperature said otherwise.
  • My beloved Denver Bronco’s were on Monday Night Football (with a nail biter of a win over the Chargers!).  During halftime I enjoyed a piece of homemade apple crumb pie.  Made with apples we picked ourselves a week ago.
  • I “lit” the fireplace and had to snuggle under my Bronco’s fleece as the a/c kicked down to it’s nighttime setting.

Ah, nothing like the soothing light of a fire. 🙂

I was sitting right in the path of a vent so it really did feel a bit chilly when the a/c was running.

Tuesday morning autumn continued:

  • I started a loaf of bread in my bread machine.  Nothing smells better than baking bread except for….
  • I put apples in the crockpot with a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to make a batch of spiced applesauce. That smells wonderful too.
  • I washed my fall quilt and hung it outside on the line to dry.

You know, it doesn’t feel like pretend autumn at all for it is autumn in my head and my heart and my home, all the places that matter!

 

A Taste of Minimalism

We are finally getting our upstairs carpet replaced as I write this.   Ever have flooring done while you are living in a home? It’s a huge pain and a big disruption and a lot of work.

Ten days prior to the install date I started moving books, pictures and knickknacks. So I had a few days of an empty-ish bedroom. All the furniture was still in it but the shelves and tops were bare. It felt weird.

Then on Sunday we moved out all the smaller furniture and I got a taste of what my bedroom would be like with only a bed and a nightstand.  I thought I might like it.  My room is pretty small (10’x11′ I think) so I thought having some empty space would feel nice. Turns out I didn’t love it.  I felt like I was in a very small hotel room or a hospital room.  Bare isn’t for me.

I like having stuff.  My dream for my forever home is to have one full wall of shelves filled with books and a few knickknacks.  I like having a decent pile of clothes to choose from. I don’t want to wear a “uniform” and frankly I don’t find it hard to get dressed in the morning.

My hang up with stuff (specifically with spouse and small child) is that it has to have a “home”.  A place where it needs to be when not in use.  Apparently I am the only one of us three that knows how to put things away when I am done. Clutter just lying around drives me nuts. My son leaves his library books everywhere: on couches, chairs, the floor etc. Other than the book I am actually reading my library books are on a specific shelf in the living room bookcase. I always know where to find them and never have to spend time running around looking for books that have come due.

I don’t like it when there are too many things for a space.  And I agree with getting rid of things you don’t use or like or need. But I think there is too much extremism going on right now. The choice doesn’t have to be a 4000′ mansion or a 400′ tiny house.  You don’t have to limit your clothes to 33 items or having a closet so stuffed you can’t get things out.

Me?  I am shooting for a forever home that is probably around 800′ to 1200′ depending on the layout. I want to be surrounded by my books and mementos from my travels. I want a kitchen that I can cook and bake in with all the pans and bowls I need. I want a front porch and space for a few flowers, maybe a tomato plant and a spot to grow a pumpkin.  Nothing teeny and nothing humongous.  I want a life that is sized just right for me.

* The picture is of the Redwoods in California. I don’t think you can have too many trees or that they can be too big.  🙂

Whole30: Week 4

Day 22

B: chicken hash, last of the roasted cauliflower, 1/2 pear

L: egg salad, 4 olives, 1 carrot, snow peas, a banana

S: coconut chocolate Rx bar

D: grilled chicken cashew salad (no dressing) from Culver’s*

Seems I feel a bit hungry all the time now, despite eating hearty meals.

*I am guessing my salad at Culver’s was not Whole30 compliant in some way. ( Cornstarch in the chicken and the cashews may have had peanut oil was all I could find that wasn’t compliant.)  For some this would mean the Whole30 was over or needed to be restarted.  Being an adult and having my own goals of not snacking and reducing junk food I am merely going to press on.  I actually consider this meal a win as I normally order a pork tenderloin sandwich or fried fish plate.  And I did not take even one teensy taste of my son’s ice cream.

Day 23

B: two fried eggs, 1/2 grapefruit, a banana

L: egg salad, rest of grilled asparagus, 1/2 pear  And I watched “Chesapeake Shores” while I ate. Ooh I am such a rebel eating and watching tv at the same time!  🙂

D: an apple and some cashews eaten before I went to my son’s school for Curriculum Night. (I had planned on eating leftover chicken hash after I got home but I just wasn’t hungry.  It is awfully hot and humid here these days.)


Finished the 1000 piece puzzle!

Day 24

B: last of the chicken hash, 1/2 grapefruit

L: chicken tenders, carrots, small baked potato w/ghee and a banana

D: roasted pork loin, pan roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash, applesauce

The house smelled wonderful with the roasting meat and dinner was tasty and had an autumnal feel, but frankly it was a bit much for the triple digit heat.

Day 25

B: quiche and a banana

L: chicken tenders, leftover brussel sprouts and squash, applesauce

Finally the local PBS has the latest season of the “Great British Baking Show” on.  I watched the first episode this afternoon.  Yum!

D: apple and cashews

Day 26

Well, there is no day 26.  I officially ended my Whole30, er Whole25 this morning with a piece of toast (homemade bread from the freezer) and peanut butter (TJ’s no sugar added).  I accomplished my goals of no mindless snacking and reduced my sugar intake. I lost 4 1/2 lbs which was rather disappointing.  I felt like I ate so much less and certainly no junk food.  But I am back in my weight window so I did succeed with my goal.

Now the hard part begins…..

to be continued.