all the good things – check

  • feeling better overall – check

yesterday I was feeling uneasy again, but today has been a relatively better day – I will appreciate this!

  • eating a home made dish with lots of healthy veggies, yogurt, and garlic – check
  • meeting with an ex-team member of mine and having a great chat and doing some work together – check!

this gave me extra boost! She is a very intelligent and genuine person and talking to her again and learning about her wellness and successful endeavors were a bliss! It made me literally happy 🙂

  • taking the bus on the way back from the office – check

I was lucky – the bus was waiting right in front of the building and I catched it – that saved me around 8 bucks from cab fare today 🙂

  • feeling bored and then doing some work after 5pm – check

I have a busy next week and I just got an additional tasks right this evening. I decided to start it so that I can make my weekend and next week a little bit easier. I am glad I have. I feel good and less stressed and time-crunched now 🙂

  • eating two juicy clementines that were delicious – check
  • drinking fresh kefir – check

I feel so much better when I drink kefir. I feel lucky to have these grains. They work so consistently!

  • seeing two seeds germinating in the yard – check

I planted them last weekend. It was a slightly rainy week, which I guess helped. I am looking forward to seeing more coming up.

Plants are my new hobby! I shared three succulents with my friends and everyday coming home and checking how they are doing is an incredibly exciting experience. The cacti seeds I planted last weekend do not have much of an activity. sadly sun is low this week, which may be affecting their germination. I will see how this saga will go on – let’s cross the finger 🙂

  • having plans for the weekend – check

I need to work, but this is okay. I also would like to go for shopping and get new pots for succulents. I also would like to get additional pots for my yard to plant seeds. I have herb as well as flower seeds to grow and I am very excited about these 🙂 I bought two big bags of soil a few days back, which was easy to do with the help of my shopping cart. I can go get two more this weekend. I want to plant potato in totes!! I have seen it in the internet and I am curious 🙂 I will try 3-4 bags of them and see how this goes 🙂

  • walking in the morning for 10-15 minutes – check

I am not walking lately. knowing what a healthy activity it is, I welcome this opportunity

  • enjoying the show I am watching – check
  • doing my back exercises – check
  • realizing that I have around 300 bucks accumulated for my next mortgage pre-payment – multi check!

I may not be able to save my money as much as I wish, but I keep saving from here and there a little sum that will help improve reducing my mortgage on the long run. I am excited about these and now I am motivated again to stop taking the cab and use that money to increase my pre-payment. I hope to catch the bus tomorrow morning – wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

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I want to go back to my regular self

It is not good to work under stress and undertake too much.

It is not good to eat junk.

It is not good to drink so much soft drink per day.

It is not good to spend money on cab while I can take the bus or walk.

It is not good to feel like nothing I work on moving while they actually do.

I want to be fine again, like prior to 5 weeks ago when I was walking, eating healthy, visiting thrift stores, saving money, and feeling great about myself.

I really do.

I think it is time that I take a couple of days really off and slowly start doing what I used to enjoy; thrift stores will be a good start. Hopefully sometime soon.

weekly budget check

I have not posted last week, but it is similar to this week’s spending; my grocery spending is more or less around the same level across the weeks; I continue to be generous with great people and gifting them (which is a delight); and I have reached one of my financial goals for this month, thanks to the budget for the year 2017! What a success 🙂

———————-

Here is this week’s spendings and savings:

Weekly allowance: $120

Expenses related to the weekly allowance (grocery and cab ride x 2): $68.5

Fun funds saved this week: $120 – $68.5= $51.5

Fun funds expenses: $47

Total fun funds accumulated so far in 2017: $1,176.25 !!! 🙂 

Other expenses: $64 (cab to an appointment and donation)

Savings from would-be-expenses: $49.75 (these are the savings from expenses that I would normally make, but decided not to; such as having breakfast at home rather than at a cafe, walking rather than taking the bus, using coupons/sales etc.). 

—————————————–

Pantry and freezer treasures enjoyed this week: The ones I remember are: frozen veggies from the freezer; canned beans x 2, canned lentils from the pantry.

My pantry and freezer are in good condition, with old purchases being consumed – I am pleased with this 🙂 #endfoodhoarding!  🙂 

And as part of my “eat more diverse food challenge”, I believe I have eaten some food that I have not eaten the week before, some of which are lentil, beet, celery, garlic, and lettuce. I am not paying attention as much as I want to,  but I will get serious about eating diverse food again starting tomorrow 🙂

One positive experience I can note, however, is that my consumption of canned food is significantly reduced! This has been something that I wanted to do for quite some time! I am excited and quite satisfied with this 🙂

Thanks for listening! Happy savings and happy healthy eating! 🙂

weekly budget check

It has been good week. One of these weeks where the expenses are quite low because previously I stocked up food.  Oh, well 🙂

I have had a number of #noexpense days this week; I believe Saturday, Monday-Thursday I did not spend money, not even for transportation because I made the choice to walk 🙂

So it is possible to live without the need of spending money? This, my friends, feels really good 🙂 

—————————————

Here is this week’s spendings and savings:

Weekly allowance: $120

Expenses related to the weekly allowance (grocery): $22.5

Fun funds saved this week: $120 – $22.5= $97.5

Fun funds expenses: $54

Total fun funds accumulated so far in 2017: $1,108.5 !!! 🙂 

Other expenses: $11.5 (soft drinks for the dinner I was invited to)

Savings from would-be-expenses: $32.75 (these are the savings from expenses that I would normally make, but decided not to; such as having breakfast at home rather than at a cafe, walking rather than taking the bus, using coupons etc.). 

Better than spending them, do you not think 🙂

——————————–

Mortgage pre-payment: $225.5!

I am so excited about these payments!

I believe this is my 6th pre-payment since new year. Whatever I can save without much of an effort or planning (e.g. savings from would-be-expenses and the tax return are good examples), I use as pre-payments 🙂 I estimate that I will make around 5K of pre-payments this year – let’s cross the fingers! 🙂

——————————–

Pantry and freezer treasures enjoyed this week: frozen chicken meal from the freezer; and bulghur, wild rice, red lentil, and canned corn from the pantry. Talking about #endfoodhoarding!  🙂 

And as part of my “eat more diverse food challenge”  I have consumed kefir (for the first time in my life), corn, lentil, bulghur, wild rice, carrot, meat, green salad mix, and chicken that I had not eaten the week before (and a lot of sweets at the dinner with friends – ooooops! 🙂 )

Happy savings and happy healthy eating! 🙂

 

joy journal – May 15, 2017

1. I had a pleasant night and an easy morning, for which I am grateful. I decided last week or so that it feels great to notice and note when I have a comfy and relaxing evening & night at home. The same holds true for the easy morning. Easy mornings are those when I get up when I want to get up and those that I do not stress myself by having negative thoughts going in my mind.

2. I m grateful for the bright day outside and the sunlight that make me feel energetic, optimistic, and hopeful! Spring indeed is awesome, my friends. One of the best remedy for feeling down and the seasonal effective disorder (SAD) that I probably have.

3. I am grateful for walking to office this morning. I do not notice anymore that I am walking. I just walk and often am thoughtful while walking. This may not be the best practice, but at least I am not counting the steps or the distance and wonder when i will reach the office. I just do it, it is relaxing, and becoming a second nature for my mornings 🙂 When I think about 2-3 years ago how lethargic and tired I was and all I could do was to take the cab to the office, I feel nothing but lucky, excited, proud, and happy for being capable of walking in the mornings 🙂

4. I am grateful for walking with my new assistant effectively. She just joined my unit but is very positive and intelligent person, so I am really excited to be training and working with her.

5. I am grateful for my mid-morning walk. I just put on my boots, my toque, and my jacket and walked out in the forest next to our building. The air is fresher and cooler, and it is so peaceful over there. I had felt very optimistic when I had done this last time, and this time was no exception. I am happy that regardless of the issues at work, I still seem to like my life and sometimes take my mind away from the issues and focus on the present and enjoy what it may present to me. 

6. I am grateful for inviting a couple of my friends for a dinner this weekend. We have the long weekend this week (Victoria day) in Canada. I hope to cook some great dishes and host my friends with confidence 🙂

7. I am grateful for eating healthy today; I have eaten eggs in the morning, fruits (apple, orange), chicken, and raw veggies/salad in the rest of the day. It feels great to eat healthy food, even though my scale this morning showed that I had gained weight this weekend 🙂 It must be the carbs and desserts I had. Argh! 🙂

8. I am grateful for my kefir grains 🙂 I had fed them yesterday with 1% milk and I was not sure whether they would strive in it. The majority of the sites on the net mention that the higher the fat content of the milk is, denser the kefir gets. I had some density this afternoon, which was good to see. However, not sure whether I should have expected more, so I will monitor this for a week or so and if it does get worse, maybe I will try the 2% milk.

9. I am grateful for feeling lucky for having been given the kefir grains 🙂 I believe that they are healthy and by caring for them and drinking them in the evenings, I am doing something great for my body. This is a very positive feeling. Many years ago when I was in Toronto, I was big on healthy life-style; each healthy food I purchased, every tea I drank, every walking and cardio exercise I did would make me feel great (and approving) about myself 🙂 Sometimes I miss those times; like checking the health and organic stores; finding those really rare but healthy products, and being grateful for being able to afford them… 🙂

10. I am grateful for being healthy and free of acute or chronic diseases.

11. I am grateful for taking the stairs (2 stories) up today 🙂

12. I am grateful for having the evening and the night to myself and my ability and opportunity to relax.

13. I am grateful for today being a #noexpense day.

14. I am grateful for my hand creams that keep my hands moisturized and give me healthy-looking skin.

15. I am grateful for flossing and loving my floss!!

16. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note this here today.

———————————

What am I thanking myself for today?

  1. I like the fact that I make an effort to be healthy by walking and eating better
  2. I like the fact that I like to work and find satisfaction in it
  3. I like the fact that I have the time, interest, and patience to have fermented food (i.e. sourdough bread) and drink (i.e. kefir) at home
  4. I like the fact that I enjoy walking in nature
  5. I like the fact that I dream and my dreams are helping me to solve problems, even though sometime they are annoying or scary

weekly budget check

I have done well this week, too. I think after a while, being frugal becomes a second nature 🙂

————————————-

Here is this week’s spendings and savings:

Weekly allowance: $120

Expenses related to the weekly allowance (grocery and a cab ride): $54.5

Fun funds saved this week: $120 – $54.5= $65.5

Fun funds expenses: $0

Total fun funds accumulated so far in 2017: $1,039.5 !!! 🙂 (a milestone! What do I do with this 1,000 bucks I saved from my weekly allowance? Tell me!!!!! 🙂)

Other expenses: $31.5 (gift and donation)

Savings from would-be-expenses: $43 (these are the savings from expenses that I would normally make, but decided not to; such as having breakfast at home rather than at a cafe, walking rather than taking the bus, the discounts at grocery stores etc.). 

These savings have a special place in my heart because I know that I could easily make these expenses. And, more importantly, every once a while I contribute these saved money as mortgage pre-payments! How about this extra motivation to save? 🙂

——————————–

Pantry and freezer treasures enjoyed this week: frozen bread, bean meal, and red lentil soup from the freezer 🙂  #endfoodhoarding; nothing from the pantry this week (ouch! I may have but I just cannot remember…..)

And as part of my “eat more diverse food challenge” I believe I have consumed around 7-8 food that I had not consumed the week before; ones that I can remember are beet, celery sticks, shrimp, carrot, red lentil, green lentil, and rolled oat. I must confess this is hard – to eat a variety of food and then trying to remember them 🙂 But it is all for good, so I will keep going 🙂

Happy savings and happy healthy eating! 🙂

weekly budget check

After 2 months or so, finally this past two weeks I have saved a good sum of my salary and improved my chequing account balance 🙂 This feels good and is highly motivating. I wish to be able to keep doing this so that I can start the summer with a really strong chequing account.

This week I did not take the cab at all; rather I either took the bus or walked 🙂 Walking as usual is a great activity that relaxes my body and my mind. I have never been disappointed by walking. The trick is to be able to “think” about walking 🙂 Once I am in the good mood and decide to walk, then walking just comes naturally.

Those days that I walk to office feels extremely satisfying because that usually means that I have no other expense and as such those days are expense-free. Thus I feel completely self-sustaining 🙂

—————————-

Here is this week’s spendings and savings:

Weekly allowance: $120

Expenses related to the weekly allowance (grocery): $54

Fun funds saved this week: $120 – $54= $66

Fun funds expenses: $0

Total fun funds accumulated so far in 2017: $974 !!! 🙂 (next week I hope to reach above 1,000 bucks – this is going to be a milestone for me 🙂

Other expenses: $5.75 (1 thrifted blouse and a piece of scrap fabric)

Savings from would-be-expenses: $65.25 (these are the savings from expenses that I would normally make, but decided not to; such as having breakfast at home rather than at a cafe, walking rather than taking the bus, the discounts at grocery stores etc,).

Mortgage pre-payment: none this time

————————–

Pantry and freezer treasures enjoyed this week: frozen bread, chicken, and meatballs from the freezer; canned beans and rice from the pantry 🙂 Hurrah! #endfoodhoarding

And as part of my “eat more diverse food challenge” I believe I have consumed around 9-10 food that I have not consumed the week before; ones that I can remember are chicken, rice, tofu, beans, beef, potato, apple, oranges, and turnip.

Happy savings and happy healthy eating! 🙂

Spring plans

I used to have posts about the things I would like to change or implement in my life. The majority of the time they did work really well and I have implemented them in my life. I do not think I have done this for some time. So let’s roll again 🙂

1. Eat at least 10 food that I have not eaten in the last one week. I keep eating the same things over and over; apple, tomato, onion, herbs, milk, yogurt, beans, cheese, and eggs are the regularly consumed food. While they are more or less healthy, I am afraid I am missing the opportunity to benefit from other veggies/fruits/dry food. In the past whenever I recognized this, I aimed every week to purchase and eat at least 6 different things that I have not eaten within the last week. This time I would like to increase this to 10 so that I can challenge myself (always fun!).

2. Consume the pantry food that are older than a year. I know what they are; rice, bulghur, and wild rice. I am not into rice that much, but I can make an effort to consume more of it. I will get creative with the others. It will be great to use them up so that I can get fresh ones 🙂

3. Thrift shop for blouses and shirts for a renewed wardrobe this Spring :).  I want to budget 50 bucks to keep visiting the thrift stores and buy blouses and shirts. I am happy with my latest purchases and I have been meaning to renew my shirts for some time (many of them have been in use for at least one year). Change is always good and I am discovering that certain styles are fitting me well. It is exciting 🙂

4. Declutter the wardrobe. After I purchase new tops, I want to remove from my wardrobe those that I do not wish to wear; some can be modified (I hope I can make this with my sewing machine),  donate (those that are in good shape), or dump (those that are old and battered). Since this has been a wish of mine for so long, I think it will feel awesome 🙂

5. Clean the yard and plant veggies/seeds. I do not know how the previous owners managed, but the yard is uneven which requires me to fix it. Also there are broken glass bottle and plate pieces everywhere. I cleaned quite a bit in the past but this year I want to do a better job. I also want to grow herbs and other veggies. Spring is almost here, so I can be busy working at the yard the next few months.

6. Lose another 10 pounds. I managed to lose 15 pounds in Fall. I gained 5 pounds back but I am still keen about losing a little bit more of fat. I know morning walks from home to office as well as eating lots of raw veggies and not eating after 8 pm coincided with my weight loss. So I am interested in replicating these behavior and hope that I can lose another 10 pounds 🙂

7. Drink more tea and reduce coffee consumption. I increased my coffee consumption too much. This coincided with me having my weekend breakfast at home rather than at a cafe. I drink around 6 cups of coffee per day now, which does not sound good to me. I do not experience physiological problems like palpitations, but nothing of too much can be good. So from tomorrow on I will focus on drinking 3 cups of coffee per day at most. The rest of the time I can drink tea. Good plan 🙂

8. Get a new hobby or activity that I do not usually do. Whether it is a sitting meditation or hiking the trails, I do not know.  I have read somewhere about “nature bathing” or something like that. Basically it means sitting in a park or around trees, and exposing our body and mind to the natural beauty and freshness around us. I am looking forward to finding a park and doing this this summer.

9. Surprise myself :). I would like to surprise myself by doing things that I would not normally do. I believe this would help me break my routine habits, or see things differently. No idea how I could do this but having it in the list means I will revisit the idea time to time. Who knows maybe I could come up with something interesting 🙂

10. Sew. I could not focus on sewing yet……. I have the machine, notions and fabric, so all I need is a new project that will help me get excited. Ideas?

random thoughts

I always found March-May kind of tricky; they feel like spring but then they are not. As you can guess, yes we are expecting another snow storm tonite. I am sure it is not going to be a snow day, but boy, do I really want the freedom to walk without thinking about the snow banks or ice? Well, looks like I will wait for sometime for that.

Demic GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Nevertheless, I walked this morning and it was a pleasant walk. I had my dental cleaning appointment, which went well. Only that I have been cranky lately and that meant I was not complying with everything. For example, my dental hygienist suggested that I have an additional X-ray, which I refused. She might have had a good reason, but I am not getting an X-ray unless it is absolutely necessary or recommended by a dentist. I am proud of myself for saying NO, which is easier when I am not in the mood. Also, it helped that the hygienist made me extra annoyed by asking all bunch of personal questions, spending time like this, and making me pay for an extra time. Next time, I am making clear that I am keeping the time to make sure I will not be charged more than the required, especially while also being subject to a ridiculous conversation. So, that was how I started my day….

Snl GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Anyways; after that it was better. First, I felt hungry and bought some muffins/baked goods and ate them with great appetite and enjoyment 🙂 Since I usually do not have breakfast, this was a nice change that I appreciated very much – I can do this more often 🙂

Sheepfilms GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The rest of the day was not eventful, for which I am grateful. I walked back home and prepared myself a healthy meal. I still have 10 pounds to shed (that I gained lately), which bothers me. Yesterday, for example I was miserable thinking about it…. Yet, I want to feel positive, rather than negative, and believe in myself that I will take the necessary steps to start removing extra fat from my body… This evenings’ meal was a good example of healthy meal (cracked wheat salad with lots of onion, tomato, celery, pepper, and parsley 🙂
Hope I will keep this determination up 🙂

Yay GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Aims and plans: 3) eating healthier and losing weight

I continue to tackle my recent aims and plans to make my life better, as I wish it.

The third item on the list was: 

3. eating healthier and losing 25 pounds and keeping it off

I have always been a chubby girl, but not overly over-weight until something like 8 years ago when I moved to my current city and I gained weight – around 30 pounds to be exact. I am not sure what exactly caused this; I am thinking possibly the increased stress levels as well as the reduced physical activity levels. In anyways, two years ago my doctor informed me that my blood sugar levels were borderline and even 5% fat loss would make a positive difference in my sugar levels. I took this to my heart but I could not really implement any weight loss/better diet strategies for a long time. Luckily last time we checked it had improved but I was advised to lose weight if I can and increase my exercise levels.

I have made several attempts in eating better and exercising more over my life. Long story short; I know: a) exercising does not make me lose weight, b) if I can limit my night-eats and if I limit carbs, like bread, rice, or even sweets, I feel lighter, c) there is something about chewy raw veggies that helps with water retention or fat dissolution (not sure which one), d) I keep consume the same types of food, which needs to change.

Knowing these I now am ready to remind myself that I can do better and in fact lose the dreaded extra weight. I just need to get more conscious about these, that is all. And this post will just function to do so.

Plan: 1) Shop for 6 different veggies/fruits that I have not consumed in the last 1 week. I did that in the past with success; it aims to facilitate me consume a variety of food

2) drink not one but two glasses of milk every day – I read somewhere that calcium helps keeping the bone health as well as managing weight. I want to see how that goes

3) keep walking in the afternoons and if I can, in the mornings to the office. Make an attempt to walk at the weekends too, even for 10 min.

4) everyday eat at least two raw veggie in the form of salad or snack: lettuce, onion, herbs, spinach, carrots, tomato, and others. There are many options to choose from.

5) For mid-night snack, continue to choose yogurt, milk, and fruits.

6) Continue with the reduced intake of bread (now that I bake my own bread, interestingly I consume less of it..)

7) Have 2 refined carb-less (bread, rice, pasta, etc.) days per week: I just came up with this idea right now and I wonder how that would work….. Since my weekends are usually pleasure-oriented, I guess what I need is to focus on the beginning of the week. Maybe Mondays and Thursdays – how about that? Exciting 🙂

I am currently 200 pounds (ooops 🙂 ) Let’s see where I am gonna go from here.

my baking adventures and excitement in life

I have written a couple of days ago; excitement is a lovely thing 🙂

I have been thinking since then that that is actually very true and I seem to like excitement (planning, thinking, reading or writing about future plans, whether it is my budget and savings, or currently, my baking adventures).

I like this kind of excitement because honestly I am too stressed to enjoy my life. My mood is pretty much dependent on how the work goes and what hurdles we face. This gotta change and I gotta find a balance in my life between work-related emotions and life-related emotions. Eventually I am hoping that they will balance and when one of them sinks, the other can still keep my mood at a healthy level. That is why it is important for me to find things that will excite me. Who knows what it will be next day, but nowadays it is baking. I

I am planning to bake yet another bread tomorrow with baking powder based on a recipe I found on the net. I hope that this time I can do this as I really am not interested in buying another store-baked bread.

While at the beginning of my baking saga, I was only interested in yeast and how it works, I later got determined to bake my own bread all the time, dwelled into other recipes (such as tea biscuits), and now I can see that I am actually getting interested in dishes where oven is involved.

Not sure why that is but I am kind of thinking;

First, my subconscious mind. For years I have been saying “I cannot cook. I do not like cooking.”. Now the term is different (baking) and I believe that is why I am not negatively reacting to it and I in fact am okay with preparing food by baking.

Second, the availability of all kinds of recipes on the internet makes it easy and convenient to select and try dishes/bread.

Third, I am really in love with yeast and how it works, even though I have failed brutally once I was trying to bake bread/baguette. Baking powder is also interesting for me – improvising with these two is an interesting adventure, with lots of learning and all.

Fourth, baking enables me. I can bake for myself and I can bake for others. This morning for example, instead of buying something to eat with my coffee, I opted to bring in my own biscuit and enjoy it with my coffee at the cafe. Yesterday, I baked for a social. These are new abilities in me and I like this feeling.

Fifty, there is an excitement in planning to bake, choose a recipe to try, shop for ingredients, and actually try it. Considering the fact that baking does not require anything expensive and can be done at the comfort of my home, I am extra excited.

Sixth, I am eating better. Well, maybe not the tea biscuits 🙂 but the bread I made and the zucchini dish I tried today are healthier than what I would otherwise eat. I will never try those store made breads full of who knows what. Less chemicals to consume and more confidence in what I am eating. And any veggie that stays in my fridge while relentlessly waiting me to cook, can now be included in an oven dish or a veggie bread. I can trick myself eating more veggies by baking – I am excited about this.

Seventh, making use of what I have and not wasting food/veggies.

Do I have to say more?

🙂

I wish you to have such excitements in your life that make you healthier, happier, learning, and excited about life.

fluffy zucchini and savory dish

Baking and oven dishes are becoming my current, newly found excitement in life 🙂

I have had two small/medium sized zucchinis that have been waiting in the fridge. As part of my self-imposed no-food-waste policy, together with my recent interest in baking and experimentation with flour and baking powder, I decided to improvise a dish.

Here is the product 🙂

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*1 dessert spoon = 0.8 table spoon

Recipe:

1. Grate two small/medium sized zucchini – I left the skin on

2. Coarsely chop a small onion and mix with zucchini

3. Add salt, a pinch of black pepper, and 3/4 dessert spoon of savory

4. Add two dessert spoons of whole wheat flour and 1 dessert spoon of baking powder (in both of the cases, the spoons were over-flowing with the flour/powder)

5. Add 1.5 dessert spoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup of water. Mix everything

6. Whisk 2 eggs with a fork and add to the mixture. Mix all together.

7. Place in an oven dish and bake for 75 min. At the beginning I was not sure what temperature to use or how long to bake. So the first 30 min I baked it at 350 F. Since it did not look well cooked or brownish on top, after 30 min I increased the temperature to 375 F and baked for another 45 min.

Voila!

Bon appetite 🙂

IMG_8351

 

 

 

random thoughts

A beautiful half-Spring day 🙂

Half, because it was still requiring me to wear my hat, scarf, and gloves, but not my winter coat or boots. Yay!

I have had a good time having my breakfast and then working at home for some time. Since the weather was so nice, I decided to go treat myself with another cup of coffee. While I was there, I also got myself a nice piece of sweets. My first treats in quite some time – I am glad I have done this! 🙂

I then decided to check a nearby arts market and bought a nice photo depicting a couple of old but colourful wooden doors. The colours reminded me Spring and I must have had it. I am glad I did give myself this particular treat, too 🙂

With the newly found joy, I walked around. There are really nice houses in my neighbourhood, some of which are quite old. Their unique characters always attract my attention. It was great to enjoy my walk, too 🙂

I decided that lightness I experienced was amazing and making my walk easier. So, after I came home, I removed the extra items from my purse. Now it is lighter, not like 10 pounds 🙂

After that I continued to work, and talked to a few people on the phone. It was fun, too 🙂

My appetite is good today. I am actually craving for sweets but I am determined to not go buy a big box of cake. I am not sure what will curb my appetite, but I am glad that I have had a green salad and a noddle soup prepared by beef-bone-stock; I feel like taking care of my body better today 🙂

I have the entire night to myself and that feels good, too 🙂

ending healthy – life style journal

I have not posted my healthy – life style journal yesterday.

The fact that I am tired of not doing as good as I wish to do. Plus, in the last 3 months while I have eaten better, I did not lose much of a weight. So noting what I have eaten or how much walking I have done per day does not satisfy me anymore.

I am ending it for now. I may start later sometime should I see a benefit in it.

Thank you all of those who commented and supported me through this journey. You guys helped me keep going 🙂

Amazingly, I feel free, too.

Interesting….

Free from drafting it everyday, picking up multiple tags and categories, cluttering my blog with these daily posts…

I have more interesting stuff to write about.

Now, I will go enjoy my newly found freedom.

healthy life – style journal, Dec 2, 2015

Well, at least I managed to snack better at noon and to cook for myself for dinner today 🙂

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar; many cups of it

noon: 1 can of fish, 1 hard boiled egg

dinner: green lentil meal with 3 slices of bread. I also ate many small and toasted breads commercially available. they are crunchy and great with soup, but I also love eating them as they are. This product will be a challenge to manage…

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: 5 min (yay!)

healthy life – style journal, Dec 1, 2015

By working long hours at the office, coupled with the snow on the roads cost me not walking today at all, but that is okay. I knew once the snow started, my walking would be limited. I should make plans as to how to otherwise exercise now..

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

dinner: 2 hard boiled egg, large salad, and 4 slices of whole wheat bread. Since I came home late in the evening, I did not cook anything tonite…

late-night snack (added later): 8 small toasted bread

exercise: none

supplements: vit D and calcium after dinner; missed taking the iron today; hoping to take it before the bed time.

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 30, 2015

It is the end of November already…

I have been eating better and healthier in the last 3 months, with little weight loss. Quite a failure if you ask me. Quite frankly, this resistance to weight loss is puzzling me but I continue to appreciate (generally) better food and healthier life – style that I have since September.

I have not noted this journal yesterday. For those who are curious is it is that because I ate almost completely unhealthy yesterday. 2 bagels in the morning with coffee, sesame crackers and salty trail mix in the afternoon, a big green salad (the best meal yesterday) and some other unhealthy food in good quantity that I cannot even remember now (or, maybe I do not wish to…).

Anyways, here is today’s count:

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: coffee with cream and sugar, 1 can of fish

dinner (planned): boiled carrots with 6 pieces of fish with lemon juice

late-night snack (to be added later):

supplements: iron at the evening, vit D and calcium after the dinner (planned)

exercise: 30 min of walk in the afternoon

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 28, 2015

Well, one of these days again where I have indulged into food.

On the positive side, I walked for 30 min in the morning – that feels good 🙂

breakfast: coffee with cream and sugar, one bagel toasted with butter

late lunch: beef and potato meal, 3 slices of bread. 1 banana

dinner: cucumber and cheese, which was very refreshing. Then fried cheese and two eggs as a treat, together with 3 slices of bread. I have over-done this one, but it was so yummy. Nevertheless I am noting my resentment and hoping this high-calorie and fatty meal will not show up on my diet for a long time.

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

 

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 27, 2015

A beautiful day where I surprised myself by walking longer than usual 🙂

It is nice that sometimes I have meetings first thing in the morning; if the venue is close to my home, I directly walk there. That is what I have done today (30 min). Then I walked back home, worked a little bit and then needed to go back to office to sign a document. From home to office and then back, I walked another 1 hour today 🙂

breakfast: coffee with cream and sugar, 1 tea biscuit

lunch: 1 banana

dinner: beef and potato meal, 4 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: 5 min in the evening

healthy life – style journal, Nov 26, 2015

Well, not too much of a progress today. Lots of coffee and cafeteria food enjoyed with colleagues. I am okay with that.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and sugar

lunch: coffee with creamer and brown sugar, beef and cheese sandwich

late-afternoon snack: another coffee and 1 tea biscuit

dinner: green salad and 6 pieces of breaded fish pieces (frozen, cooked in oven) with lemon juice. This is my all time favorite dinner.

late night snack (added later): 2 hard boiled egg, a small can of black beans with olive oil

exercise: 10 min in the morning.

supplements: iron at noon, calcium and VitD taken later tonight

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 25, 2015

Another day; great in terms of the healthy food I consume. My irregular eating habit still continues, though.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 hard-boiled egg

dinner: green lentil and veggie meal (yummy!); two bowls; mango-berry juice

late night snack (added later):  another bowl of the lentil meal, 50 grms of cheese

exercise: 10 min walking in the morning, 30 min walking in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium to be taken later tonite

healthy – life style journal, Nov 24, 2015

a great day 🙂 I am loving it so far.

breakfast: 1 coffee with creamer and brown sugar. I had my breakfast with me but forgotten to eat it in the morning.

lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: I prepared an interesting meal; I first cooked minced beef in tomato sauce and topped with cut green onion. Also I cooked instant oats with turmeric in a pot. Then in a bowl I mixed both of them. Delicious and filling meal. Very interesting, too 🙂

late-night snack (added later): another bowl of the meal above, mango-berry juice

exercise: the highlight of the day; walked 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. Yahoo :))

supplements: iron at noon, no vit D and calcium supplement yet.

stretching(updated later): 5 min of stretching, mostly to relive my back pain

healthy life – style journal, Nov 23, 2015

Well… well… well.. for some reason I run out of appetite again 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 hard boiled egg, tea

dinner: 1 bowl of red lentil soup (this has been the 4th night I have had this soup – I am grateful for food, but I guess I will just freeze the remaining portion for later consumption. I also learnt that I should use less lentil than before to do this soup in the right amount..), 3 slices of bread, 30 grms of cheese

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 10 min walking in the morning, 30 min walking in the afternoon

supplements: iron after the dinner, no calcium or vit D supplement today

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 22, 2015

better choices – feeling good 🙂

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, coffee with cream and brown sugar. I must confess I wanted to have a second bagel, but made an effort to not. It paid off.

lunch: veggie meal; 2 slices of whole wheat bread

dinner: roasted egg plants served with yogurt, olive oil, and chilly pepper. This dish was something I have done to limit my food waste; I had eggplants that were about to go bad. Cut them out, sprinkle with olive oil, two cloves of garlic and salt;  bake in oven at 350 C for 30 min. Serve with yogurt on top, olive oil, and chilly pepper. Yum 🙂

late night-snack: veggie based meals during the day were not enough – I got hungry. So I also ate two hard-boiled eggs with 3 slices of whole wheat bread.

Later: 1 pear, 3 slices of bread with butter and honey, and 1 can of corn

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: iron at noon, vit D and calcium after dinner

stretching: none

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 21, 2015

I have not noted my healthy – life style activities (or frustrations) yesterday; here they are 🙂

breakfast: 2 bagels with butter,, coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: 2 bowls of red lentil soup with 3 slices of whole wheat bread

dinner: this is where I have done too much 🙂 fried minced beef with onion and egg; this is a practical meal but usually has a high fat content; 4 slices of whole wheat bread; 1 pear

late-night snack: 1 tall glass of milk, 1 pear

exercise: none

supplements: iron at noon; did not take the vit D and calcium supplement

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 20, 2015

Almost forgotten to write this one post 🙂

Well, some good choices made today. Overall, not a bad day at all 🙂

breakfast: food forgotten at home as usual; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 1 pear

dinner: 2 bowls of red lentil, onion, carrot, and turmeric soup with 5 slices of whole wheat bread, raw leek, 1 hard-boiled egg.

I am lucky that I have a blender that made this soup possible. Do you know what else I am planning? To have bean (after boiling slightly; not necessarily to much) and veggie patties using the blender. Any food, even scratch food, can be mixed and consumed this way. technology is awesome. I have so much dry food in my pantry that have been waiting to be consumed; I finally found a way to eat them and I am excited about this 🙂

late-night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walking in the morning and then 30 min in the afternoon. Yahoo!! felt good at both times. I even took a longer path this afternoon. I am in love with myself for the walkings today 🙂

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, calcium and vit D (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 19, 2015

So-so day..

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar. Lots of coffee..

lunch: one can of fish, coffee

dinner: yogurt with cucumber and olive oil dip, raw leek with 6 slices of whole wheat bread

late night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (prescribed) in the afternoon, vit D and calcium later at night.

stretching: 10 min in the evening

 

 

healthy life – style journal, Nov 18, 2015

After eating all the great(!) left overs from the dinner at the weekend and ranting about my inability to keep up with healthy eating habit, I am glad to say that I am returning back to eating better today.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: beefy eggplant meal with 2 slices of whole wheat bread

dinner: pasta with yogurt and cucumber; 2 apples

late-night snack (added later): 30 grms of cheese, 5 table spoon of honey. For some reason, I am craving for sweets. I must say it is likley because of the high carb eating lately. got ta get back to limited carb eating..

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon; calcium and Vit D after dinner

stretching: 5 min! Yay! I did stretch today. Listening to relaxing music and relaxing my muscles, even for a short time like 5 min, felt awesome 🙂 I am glad I have kept this category in my posts so far; it helps me to remember this one activity

healthy life – style journal, Nov 16, 2015

A regular work day with missed breakfasts and lunch… Oh, well.. You know my eating habits. One day, my friends, one day, I hope to convert them for a better and healthier type.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 20 grms of train mix (I am lucky to find this; otherwise I had nothing to eat)

breakfast: 1/2 cucumber, 2 bowls of red lentil soup, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): bread, walnuts, chocolate

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (none yet: i forgot to take it today too), vitamin D and calcium (after the dinner)

stretching: none

 

healthy life – style journal, Oct 30, 2015

Alright… I am back to my daily posts on my healthy life – style plan.

You all know that I did not keep up with it during my trips; reason? The reason was that I took my trips as a great way to remove any restrictions and obligations. To make them enjoyable. The end result was not great, certainly, now that I am at the same weight as I have started eating better 2 months ago 😦

Now that I got this off my chest, here is today’s account:

late breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

late lunch: 1 banana

dinner: one can of corn, 50 grms of trail mix

I do not have appetite today at all…. very surprising as I usually love to eat, especially at nights. Maybe my appetite will get better after this hour 🙂

late-night snack (added later): 1 banana, 1 tall glass of milk, and later; yogurt and 3 slices of whole wheat bread, 100 grms of trail mix

exercise: 10 min walk at noon

supplements: iron supplementation at noon, vit D and calcium tablet after dinner.

stretching: none for today

healthy life – style journal, Oct 20, 2015

I record my weight on Tuesdays; so here is the moment of truth 🙂

I am 202 pounds, 8 pounds less than when I started my healthy eating on Sept 1, 2015.

It is not a substantial loss, but a loss nevertheless. I can do nothing but being appreciative of this and hopeful that I will continue to lose the extra weight over time.

breakfast: forgotten my breakfast at home; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: one can of fish, coffee with cream and sugar, and 1 tea biscuit

late afternoon; 3 soft meatballs

dinner (added later): I do not have an appetite today, either but I will force myself to eat a little so that I do not consume less calories than my body needs to. I have eaten 3 slices of whole wheat bread and 50 grms of cheese. I have noticed that I have been eating these very frequently. I also remembered, through the conversations in the comment area, that I have not been eating enough veggies. Hence, I have also eaten a large cucumber. Life is good 🙂

late night snack (added later): 1 apple

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon (no walk in the morning today – it was raining so I took the cab)

stretching: 10 min in the afternoon while listening relaxing music 🙂 it was great!

supplements: iron supplement in the afternoon,  calcium and vitamin D supplement after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 19, 2015

A beautiful day 🙂

I do not have appetite today, so I have not eaten much during the day yet. I have no idea I will have at dinner, either. I will take it easy and all will be fine.

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with brown sugar and creamer

lunch: did not have much time to eat; munched on peanuts

dinner (added later): 1 apple, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, and 50 grms of cheese so far.

late-night snack (added later): 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 avocado

exercise: did very well today 🙂 30 min in the morning and another 30 min in the evening. Yay! 🙂

supplements: iron supplementation at noon. I took my calcium and vit D supplementation after dinner (they are fat-soluable, so they should be taken with food).

stretching (new): stretched my back, neck, arms, and legs while listening to a relaxing music!. Good job 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Oct 18, 2015

Almost no exercise, but the food I consumed so far has been great 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, one cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. It is amazing that although I keep going to the same cafe, I have no difficulty not ordering bagels anymore. Yesterday the staff at the cafe had asked me whether I would also get bagels as usual 🙂 I said I was limiting carbs and he understood it. He even said “sorry, I did not mean to remind you them!!”. How nice of this young gentleman 🙂

lunch: soup with 3 slices of bread

dinner: soft meatball, leek, and carrot meal; I am in favor of not cooking veggies a lot and make them mushy. I think cooking breaks their fiber and fiber is what we all need. So I cooked first the meatballs and  then added carrot and the leek. I turned off the stove before the leek lost its crispy feel.

late-night snack (added later): 1 big apple (delicious 🙂 ) and 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 10 min in the morning.

supplements: iron supplement before the lunch and calcium+VitD supplement after dinner.

My pharmacists told me that iron supplementation could cause constipation; one remedy is to take it with food/drinks that contain vitamin C, such as orange or apple juice. Apparently, vitamin C helps iron to be absorbed by the body. I thought I would share in case you also are recommended to take iron supplements.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 17, 2015

I am grateful for all the food I have in my pantry, fridge, and freezer.

I am trying to eat a little bit better today and also give my body a rest; I still have the cold but it is getting better. Soup and warm drinks are really good; so is water.

I felt discouraged this morning, as the total weight loss I have had in the last 6 weeks is only 5 pounds…. I had thought I would lose more. It is partly because of the trip I have had lately I guess (eating more and different food, and long flights), but I have two more trips to come, meaning I can expect a similar pattern…On the other hand, with this plan, I have more energy, I walk more, and I eat really well compared to before. I know I am doing much better in nourishing my body.

I hope to see more weight loss soon to at least have some more motivation to keep going. It is too much to think that I will have to cut out calories, eat different things, or exercise more should I not lose weight on this plan.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

late-morning snack: 1 pear

late lunch: salad with tomato, cucumber, green pepper, onion, and olive oil. That was really healthy 🙂

dinner (planned): fish bits, frozen and cooked at oven.

late-night snack (added later): 1 large apple, 1 tall glass of milk, 350 grms of yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and a small spoon of honey – warming and lovely; give this a try 🙂

late-late-night snack (added later): 2 slices of whole heat bread and 50 grms cheese

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning. that is probably all for today, though I am contemplating about walking in the evening. I will see how it goes..

supplements: 1 iron supplement before lunch, 1 calcium and vitD supplement after salad

healthy life – style journal, Oct 16, 2015

Pretty relax day…

I started walking in the morning; I walked for 10 min or so then one of my good friends here gave me a ride. I could not possibly say “no, friend, I am going to walk“. I enjoy her company and we always have sincere and fun conversations. So it is well worth it 🙂

When we got to our building, I realized how hungry I was… Hmm.. So I went to the cafeteria for unhealthy food.

I know well why I do not have my breakfast at home; I gotta leave the house right away upon waking up. I know this is a peculiar habit, but this is what it has been and I have no interest to tackle it. However, I do not know why I do not pick up my breakfast with me before I leave home; that would be wonderful as I almost always have something healthy to grab. Sigh… 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream but no sugar (there was no brown sugar at the cafeteria so I thought “When I go back to the office, I can add brown sugar“). Of course I have forgotten that, too. So I drank the coffee without sugar 🙂 That is interesting as I never thought I would drink a coffee like this… But I guess what helped was the two carrot muffins I have bought and ate, together with the coffee.

I know… I know…. It is so not me. First, I do not actually have a sweet tooth (I am lucky). Second, muffins are not healthy at all (not nutrition-packed and full of sugar, which I am trying to limit to help my blood sugar levels).

lunch: 1 banana, 1 bowl of soup, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 cup of tea, 2 small tacos with tofu.

late-afternoon snack: 1 pear

dinner: 1 bowl of soup, 2 slices of whole wheat. I do not think I am done yet. I will try to eat some raw veggies, such as cucumber or tomato, to get my body some nutritious food. Plus, for some reason raw veggies always help me lose weight.

late-night snack (added later): 1 big apple, tofu squares dashed with honey, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning, 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron supplement at noon; 1 tables of calcium and VitD after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 15, 2015

I keep eating the same things over and over. Are you not bored of the food I consume? 🙂

You should and I finally am. So from this week on, I will try to consume at least one other fruit in addition to apples and 2 veggies that I have not had in the last week.

That plan made me feel good 🙂

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup

late-afternoon snack: 1 banana (yep; something I have not eaten lately 🙂 )

dinner: 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, lots of raw carrots. I bought carrots as part of the new plan of eating a variety of food. I am glad I have. The young carrots (thin and crispy ones) are excellent snacks; I also love them in salads (grated). Yum, yum, yum! 🙂

late-nigh snack (added later): 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup, 1.5 glass of milk

exercise: Walked a little bit longer today 🙂 30 min in the afternoon, followed by another 15 min walk, and then 45 min walk after that. (I try not to sum all up like 1.5 hours of walk. The reason for that there is a difference between a walk here and there and then a continuous walk; I believe a continuous walk would be the one that make me sweat most, but I keep hearing interval training is also great. Your choice 🙂 ).

calcium and VitD supplement: 1 tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 14, 2015

I cannot believe it is mid-October 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

late morning snack: 50 grms of peanut

lunch: 2 cans of fish

dinner: cucumber. tomato, and onion salad with olive oil, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, chicken noodle soup with lots of lemon juice. I have got a cold; so the chicken soup is my best medication right now. I also feel like raw onion does help with it. So the dinner today is full of healing nutrients 🙂

late night snack (added later): 75 grms of cheese. I am not drinking milk tonite; at least I have got the calcium to be obtained from food (not supplement) by eating cheese, even though I did not have enough daily Vit D today.. oh well, tomorrow then 🙂

exercise: 1o min walk in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. There was a function that I needed to attend in the morning somewhere close to my home – I managed to leave it before the coffee and pastry/muffin type of snacks are served (good job! 🙂 ) – a colleague of mine gave me a ride to office, which I appreciated very much. The muscle I pulled the other day has not healed yet so walking is a little bit challenging time to time.

supplements: 1 tablet of calcium and Vit D after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 13, 2015

Today is the day I record my weight: it is 205 pounds. Only 5 pounds less than the start on Sept 1, 2015.

It is going slow; I am not demotivated yet; I know that little by little it will go, maybe it will take longer than what I projected at the beginning, but I will continue to have a healthier diet and physical exercise; they help me nourish my body and exercise is vastly important for feeling good 🙂

breakfast: I have forgotten to take my breakfast with me; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 50 grms of peanuts; it was a day full of meetings and thus I could not find time to eat better.

late-afternoon: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: 3 hard-boiled eggs and cucumber salad with olive oil; 3 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): 2 apples, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon 🙂

supplements (calcium and Vit D): I forgot to have one during the day; I do not think I will have another tonite as I just took medication for my back pain. I should make sure to have milk tonite to get a little bit of calcium and VitD.

healthy life – style journal, Oct 12, 2015

What a great day – happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends and happy Columbus day to my American friends. I hope you all are having a great, relaxing and peaceful day full with sweet moments with family and friends.

I have so far done really well with my healthy life-style plan today. I walked for 50 min in the morning! I did not even take my purse with me; I just left with my key, focused on walking, the rhythm of my body as I walked, and the scenery. I kept pretty much a faster than average speed and I loved seeing how well my body handles it (i.e. without straining itself) and how it made me sweat. Sweating is good; for some reason I am feeling much better when my body works to this extent. I am very grateful for today being an off day, which allowed me to have this wonderful experience.

I know I can do this more often and I know that I do not feel tired as I used to time to time in the past. Starting to walk for leisure again is positively affecting me and I am very excited about this 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: green beans and beef meal (left-over from yesterday)

late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: red cabbage and hard tofu cubes salad with olive oil

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, tofu bits sprinkled with brown sugar, 1 tall glass of milk

exercise: 50 min walk in the morning 🙂

supplements: 1 calcium and Vit D tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 11, 2015

The scale says I gained weight during my trip; if I know my body (and I do), I will lose 2-3 pounds of it in the coming days. I believe this extra weight are mostly water retained in my body due to different types of foods I consumed and the long flights I took. so even though I have eaten during the trip more than I usually do here at home, I am not too worried; the weight I have gained will be lost soon.

breakfast: none (got up late)

lunch: 1 bagel (toasted and buttered), 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

dinner: green beans, onion, and minced beef meal in oven; 1 slice of bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, trail mix

exercise: none

supplements: 1 tablet of calcium and vit D after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 6, 2015

Boy; a long day and I am hungry 🙂

breakfast; coffee with cream and sugar; 1 cheese and avocado sandwich (2 slices of bread and 1 mashed avocado) as well as egg salad sandwich with orange pepper

later; coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: spicy thai soup with one bagel (toasted and ligthly buttered), 450 ml milk

later; 1 apple

dinner: Caesar’s salad, tortilla chips with cheese, guacamole, salsa, and some other dips

second dinner: one small roll of bread, small salad, chicken, and brownie with tea

late-night snack (added later): trail mix, tea

exercise: walking 15 min

supplements: None – I believe milk and food I have had today had enough levels of calcium and Vit D

healthy life – style journal, Oct 5, 2015

I have little appetite today; great after a weekend of little indulgence 🙂

breakfast: forgotten food at home; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: coffee with cream and sugar; a can of fish

dinner: 6-7 fish bits cooked at oven (left over from yesterday); 1/2 hard boiled egg, 1 apple

late night – snack (added later): 1 apple, 2 hard-boiled eggs and two slices of whole wheat bread

exercise: yahoo 🙂 walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon (i am so loving the morning walks. Wish the weather will be permissive for a very long time so that I can keep doing this. Please. please. please. 🙂 )

supplements: 1 calcium and Vit D tablet after the dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 4, 2015

Almost no exercise today, but here and there I have eaten quite well 🙂

breakfast: a small piece of cheese, coffee with cream and brown sugar

late-morning snack: 1 pear

late lunch: green bean meal, 1 meatball, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-afternoon snack: around 50 grms of trail mix

dinner: oven-cooked breaded fish-bits; a large salad with 1 tomato, 1/2 head broccoli (raw), green onions; salad dressing: a little bit olive oil, garlic and yogurt. Give this a try; it is fresh and tasty. After enjoying raw broccoli and garlicky yogurt yesterday, I could not help; I had to have this combination again. I am glad I have – it was really nice 🙂

time to time I crave for garlic; I wish it was more frequent than this as the health benefits of garlic may be more than I thought . Some info on garlic here and here.

late-night snack (added later): around 150-200 grms of trail mix and sunflower seed mix. Ok – I have eaten too much of this…. I think the sweetness of the dried fruit helps me not eat other sweets (like dessert) and the crunchiness of the nuts/seeds is just an amazing feeling, but I better watch out for the calories in this mix.

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: calcium and vit D supplements; one after lunch and one after dinner

healthy life – style journal, Oct 3 2015

relatively good day 🙂

I think I have seen some weight loss on the scale this morning 🙂

breakfast: 1 bagel with butter, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. You may remember my love for bagels; I left the home without thinking about having a healthier breakfast and thought, “ok, what the hey; let’s have a bagel”. I did and I did not even think that I missed the bagels 🙂

late lunch: green beans meal and meatballs; 1 slice of 12-grain bread, 1 English cucumber (too much? well, so be it; it was crunchy, juicy and just fantastic! I am glad I have had it)

late afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner (updated later): red cabbage salad, cheese sandwich with 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 pear, yogurt.

Later at night I craved for broccoli.

Can you imagine?

Have you ever craved for broccoli dear friends? I doubt it 🙂 but if you ever have, please drop a line to say so that I can know I am not the only one 🙂 Anyways, enough with this; just because I do not like broccoli does not mean you do not. Honestly, I loved eating raw broccoli dipped with garlicky yogurt. It was awesome 🙂

I am glad I craved for it and it was fresh and crunchy; I know it is also very healthy. I am grateful for it.

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: calcium and Vit D after the late lunch

healthy life – style journal, Oct 2, 2015

breakfast: forgotten again at home 😦  coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: the best meal of the day: chicken sandwich and salad, coffee with cream and sugar

dinner: 3 hard-boiled eggs and two slices of 12-grain bread

supplements: 1 calcium and Vit D after the dinner

late-night snack (added later): 1 tall glass of milk, 1 apple 🙂

exercise: 30 min walking in the morning; no walk in the afternoon as it was raining.

how to keep up with budget and diet while traveling?

Looking at the title of the post, you might have thought this post is about the useful tips that can help you.

Well, this is not the case. The title of the post a genuine question I have in my mind.

I have a couple of trips to make in the coming weeks. I am excited about them (I like to travel), but of course the time away from the office means extra work before and after the trip, which can explain my stress levels nowadays 🙂

Anyways, since I am on two plans; budgeting and healthy life-style, I wonder how these trips will affect me.

To tell you the truth, I have a tendency to relax, and eat what I want and buy what I want (mostly little gifts for people I love) during my trips.

I have progressed quite a bit with my budget and it is more or less in the right direction, but I still have a long way to go. In addition, my healthy eating and losing weight plan does not work at all. I need to come up with a good strategy and have some motivation and dedication to keep going with these plans.

I am planning to have snacks, fruits, and sandwiches with me on the first day of my trips; at least I may be able to eat one day good, without indulging into eating at my destinations. I am of course planning to taste different food and whatever I like but cannot find where I am (Chinese and Japanese food for example) once I arrived my destinations.

My other challenge would be how to not eat the free food (to be offered at the meetings I am taking the trips for); they are my weaknesses and I am certainly concerned….. Argh… why the snacks and other food offered at professional meetings are not healthy type? Like broccoli. Or milk. Or, I do not know, something other than the pastries, cookies, and sweets?

The only things I am not concerned about are walking and my supplements (calcium and VitD); i will have my supplement pills with me and I am sure I will find milk to drink wherever I go. Also, generally I am very energetic while on trips, partly because I love to explore the cities I am visiting; so walking will not be a problem, either.

So, wish me luck with my trips.

But at the same time, please tell me if you have any tips and strategies that can help keep my budgeting and eating plans on track while traveling 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Oct 1, 2015

Walking in the morning is going well – it is a very appreciated habit now 🙂

I also have had a nice lunch; I was at home working and took the opportunity to prepare myself a nice, hearty sandwich. Cannot complain 🙂

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

late-morning snack: small amount of trail mix

lunch: cheese and avocado sandwich with 2 slices of bread, cheese, and 1 mashed up avocado

late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: 3 oven-baked battered fish pieces, salad with tomato, cucumber, pepper, and olive oil.

late-night snack (added later): 1 tall glass of milk, two apples, 1 slice of bread and a little piece of cheese

supplements: calcium and Vit D after lunch

Exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min at noon 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Sept 30, 2015

I have attended a workshop in the morning somewhere away; so no walking in the morning. I did not walk in the afternoon either; I had a meeting till 7.30 pm and luckily one of my colleagues gave me a ride. So no exercise today.

Eating has not been great, either. In the workshop there were unhealthy snacks which I happily ate. What is it about free food and eating in excessive amounts? I would like to know.

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled eggs, 1 slice of bread, coffee with creamer and sugar; 4 small packs of chocolate cookies or granola bars.

lunch: 1 can of fish.

late-afternoon snack: a lot of trial mix

dinner: kale meal, 3 pieces of battered fish with lemon juice

late-night snack  (added later): biscuits, 1 tall glass of milk, 1 apple

calcium and VitD supplements: forgotten to take after the lunch

exercise: none

healthy life -style journal, Sept 29, 2015

Tuesdays are the day that I record my weight; after 4 weeks of healthy eating, my weight did not change much . My weight is 207 pounds (still). Total loss is a mere 3 pounds in 4 weeks.

Ok; I know that a few days back it was 205 pounds and I am suspicious of water retention because of the introduction of new food to my diet this week; oat and milk. I will see in a couple of days whether that is what it is. Otherwise, I am discouraged but am determined to continue to eat good food.

I know I still need to work on the practice of eating a hearty breakfast and lunch so that I will need less calories in the evening/night; I am almost certain that this will help me to lose weight. We will see how I go with this.

Breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: 1 can of fish, trail mix.

Dinner: kale meal with olive oil, tomato paste, and chili. well, it was tasty but not enough, so I also ate two hard-boiled eggs with a dash of olive oil on top and 3 slices of 12 grain bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, 1 tall glass of skim milk

exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon (at least I am doing this right 🙂 )

healthy life – style journal, Sept 28, 2015

Time to time, change can come quite easy. Not always, but sometime. Especially if you enjoy doing/having the new change.

This is the case for me; I walked to the office from home again this morning 🙂 I did not even think about not walking 🙂 See, there is no mental judo here for me (I had mental judo before; while having quite a difficulty in deciding to take the bus rather than the cab every morning at the beginning of my conscious spending plan implemented 4 months ago).

I used to walk for hours every day prior to I moved to my current city. I mentioned this a couple of times that our weather is a little bit challenging; our winters are long and we can get rain anytime year round . In addition, in winter the sidewalks are usually icy if the temperature is below 0 C for extended time periods and it is not unusual to see the snow banks occupying them, too. These two reasons make walking in my city quite challenging (walking on the road when the sidewalks are not permissive is not a safe practice; trust me). Also, although for some reason I am usually okay walking in the afternoon, as a non-morning person, I am not in the mood to walk in the morning. This was also accelerated with general lack of energy in the mornings. Or, that is what I have thought so far.

Anyways, I am very happy that I have the joyful activity of walking in the mornings lately. I know there will be times that I will not want to do this (e.g. when it is too cold, too dump, or too rainy/icy), but until then I will enjoy doing it 🙂

Good job me! 🙂

On the other hand, I am not sure how my new eating plan is going. I gained 2 pounds yesterday; I am assuming it is the new food types I am consuming (oat, milk) that help retain water in my body (and hence the extra pounds), but I you can guess it is quite demoralizing….

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: did not have time to think about eating a proper lunch – munched on trial mix

late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: meatloaf and 1 slice of 12 grain bread

late-night snack (added later): 1 tall glass of skim milk, 1 apple, 2 small cucumbers. Later: 3 slices of bread and cheese

calcium and Vit D supplements: 1 after the lunch

walking: 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Sept 27, 2015

I ate a lot yesterday night; argh!!! And kind of unhealthy today.. Another argh..

well, I try to convince myself that every once a while it can be okay. I hope, though, I will keep it with “every once a while”…

On the other hand, I am pleased with my decision to drink milk everyday (see below).

Breakfast: 50 gr cheese, coffee with cream and brown sugar

Lunch: waffles.. what is it about waffles that I crave for? Simple – it is their crunchiness. I went to shop and could not resist buying one. Lots of calories, minimal nutrition….

Dinner: mixed salad with red and white radish, cucumber, green onions, tomato, and olive oil.

Late night snack (planned): Skim milk. My doctor’s office sent me a booklet yesterday about the calcium and Vit D intake. It was very useful – thanking them very much. They recommend getting a maximum of 50% of the daily requirements for calcium and Vit D from supplements – the rest better comes from the food I consume.. I loved this. There is quite an information about the food that contain these two micronutrient. I noticed that it is the milk that has the highest amount of both. I am not a fan of milk, but I bought some today and am planning to drink every night. It will feel good (knowing that I have done really good) 🙂

As snacks, I may also get apples or the honey-cinnamon-granola bars I have tried at home for the first time today 🙂

added after the post: ate the granola bars; then I craved for salty stuff and ate a little bit of cheese and 1 slice of bread.

Exercise: 15 min walking in the morning.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 26, 2015

Not bad so far; I managed to cook for dinner (yay!) and had a nice lunch with friends 🙂

Breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and sugar

Lunch: veggie omelet with fries (I know… I know…) and fruit, coffee with sugar and cream. This lunch was awesome. I was with friends, the view and the cafe were great, and the meal tasted really good. Finishing the lunch with fruits, to my surprise, was very nice. Great that I have eaten a variety of fruits today 🙂

dinner: I am cooking meatloaf with tomato, peppers, onions, and broccoli on the side. I placed everything in an oven dish and then boiled water with tomato paste and added it to the dish. As per broccoli, I do not think it is the best companion in an oven dish, but I tasted it (the meal is still cooking), and to my surprise it actually tasted well 🙂 I am glad I added it to this dish and did not just waste it.

late-night snack (added later): yogurt and 3 slices of 12 grain bread, 2 small apples

exercise: sporadic walking here and there. Nothing specific.

Supplements: Calcium and Vit D (x1) taken after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 25, 2015

Yours truly did it again and walked from home to the office in the morning! 🙂

Yay! Could not be happier of myself. Seriously. So well done 🙂

Eating during the day, on the other hand, is still challenging.

Breakfast: forgotten my breakfast at home; contemplated about eating from the cafe but decided against it (good job – no junk today, either), munched on trail mix, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: cheese sandwich, 1 apple

Dinner: hamburger on bun and salad (eating out with friends) – good job choosing salad over fries 🙂

Late night snack (updated later): 1 apple

Exercise: walking 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon 🙂

Supplements: calcium and Vit D (x1)

healthy life – style journal, Sept 24, 2015

Today yours truly did an excellent job and walked to the office from home in the morning!

I was not really in the mood, but then the weather was so nice, and the sky was clear and shiny. Because of the morning walk yesterday, it was in my mind anyhow, so I could not resist the idea. And I made it 🙂

I am very excited about this – I guess not only walking but in fact enjoying is the key; I enjoyed walking yesterday morning (from a meeting venue to my office) and walking today (from home to office).

I wish to continue. There are a couple of things to consider:

  1. from my previous experience of implementing changes, I know that at the beginning I will mental judo each morning to decide on walking. I can find excuses, I can say it is cold, I can say I am tired already (it is not unusual for me to get frustrated with myself and vent here – so never mind 🙂 ). But eventually it will click and form an habit so that I will do it automatically.
  2. I am worried about the weather. It is not fun walking when it is raining and I should be okay with taking the bus then. The same thing in the winter when the sidewalks are icy – it is safer not to walk then. I should be mentally okay with not walking at those times. So based on the past years patterns, I am assuming I should be able to walk in the morning up to 70% of the cases till January. This is not bad at all. After that, it all depends on the weather…. January-March is usually the winter and April-July usually rains. I will see how it goes.
  3. I may want to have extra clothes at the office in case I have an important meeting or so; 30 min walk makes me sweat a little bit. Also I may want to have extra make up material at the office in case slight rain or sweat washed my makeup. Good plan 🙂

Anyways, let’s hope the coming days I will keep walking in the morning, too. With the walk in the afternoon (which I was pretty consistent except it rained too much or it was exceptionally cold/icy outside), that means I will be walking a total of 1 hr every work day. Yay! 🙂

Breakfast: I forgot to have my breakfast again!! where am I going with this I do not know. I should find practical ways to implement it. Maybe I should start having it at home. Or place the lunch box in front of the door so that I can remember it. Coffee with creamer and brown sugar as the only breakfast today (do they count as breakfast? I do not think so….).

On the positive side, I contemplated about buying tea biscuits or another junk food in the morning, but then decided against it – that is a good sign 🙂

Lunch: peanuts and a can of fish.

Dinner (updated later): 3 pieces of oven-baked fish (from yesterday), 1 slice of 12 grain bread, 1 apple. I am not done yet; I am still hungry. I am not sure whether I would get an omelet or a large salad.

Update: 3 hard-boiled eggs with a dash of olive oil, 3 slices of 12 grain bread. I probably did not do good eating that many slices of bread – my skin got itchy; I am thinking – is my body reacting to this type of bread (allergic reaction)? Maybe. On a separate note I am happy about my consumption of olive oil (we all need healthy oils) and the eggs. These additions helped me not to drop my calories below 1,200 cal/day limit (less than that creates a starvation mode in the body, stimulating fat storage).

Late night snack (added later): 100 grms of trailer mix.

Exercise: 30 min walking in the morning and 30 min walking in the afternoon (Yay!)

Calcium and Vit D  supplements (added later): 1 pill today. I need to bring them to my office to take a pill after the lunch.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 23, 2015

Okay; eating during the day is still a challenge for me, but dinner was great today 🙂

breakfast: forgotten my breakfast at home, 3 cups of coffee with creamer and sugar

lunch: 1 can of fish, green tea

late-afternoon snack: peanuts

dinner: a large salad with lettuce, cucumber, fresh cilantro, and olive oil. 3 pieces of battered fish pieces (oven baked, frozen)

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple and two pieces of fish. Later, yogurt with brown sugar

Exercise: I have done great today 🙂 walking 30 min in the morning. It was so nice, so peaceful that I decided to give it a try every morning (weather permitting). I am excited (good to see that I have energy; last May I had tried and I was really tired in the mornings, so I had left the idea then). I also walked in the afternoon for 30 min.

Supplements: my doctor recommended calcium and vit D supplements for me recently. Okay; I started yesterday (twice a day).

random thoughts

I am firm that I made peace with my body.

I am not young any more and as I am not stupid either, I can see what the aging has been doing to my body. My body is not the same as 10 years ago. I have no idea what will happen to it in another 10 years, either.

It is not that I am not feeling sorry; I am.

I used to take care of my body better prior to the last 7 years. I am glad I have. It is true that I could (and I still can) take steps to nourish and tone up my skin, my muscles. I can for example work on my biceps or triceps. Legs. Abs. Neck. I know I can do these.

There are many women out there who have taken better care of their body by diet and exercise and whose bodies hence looks younger. Maybe their genes helped, too. I do not know. But good job – please keep going.

It is just that this (aging and the associated changes in the body) is a normal extension of life. A privilege of living to this age. Who said that I could not live to age?

Honestly I am okay with my body and with aging. As long as both are healthy and happy.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 22, 2015

Sometimes awkward, sometimes great day in terms of eating 🙂

Anyways; it has been 3 weeks that I have been trying to eat better. Since then I lost 6 pounds. Not too much, but considering the fact that I actually gained a couple of pounds within the first week, I will take this as something to cherish 🙂

Breakfast: forgot my healthy breakfast; as a matter of fact I remembered about it as I was leaving home, but did not feel like going back (that is how I relate to breakfast during the week-days. sigh..). Then I bought a cup of coffee with cream and sugar and while on it also a tea biscuit. Well… It was delicious. Consider this one of the “reward me” days (how many have I had lately?)

Lunch: 30 grms of cheese. I was working and did not feel like eating lunch.

Late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

Dinner: that was not bad. I worked till late so I did not have time to cook. So I decided to eat a large (I mean, really large) salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, green peppers, and olive oil. Also had 2 hard-boiled eggs to compensate for the lack of adequate amount of calories to be consumed for today.

Late-night snack (added after the post): 1 can of corn, yogurt with brown sugar. I crave for sugar late nights sometime. I wonder why. I also wonder whether it has anything to do with eating less bread (i.e. less carbs).

Exercise: walking – 10 min in the morning and 30 min in the evening.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 21, 2015

Breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: vastly forgotten; munched on peanuts and coffee with cream and sugar

Dinner (planned): oven-cooked frozen fish pieces – they look like breaded. Ok. lettuce salad with olive oil and lemon juice.

Late-night snack (added later): 1 apple. Okay I love apples but I guess it is time I bring in some variety to fruits. I will try pears next week.

Exercise: walking; 10 min in the morning, 30 min in the afternoon.

healthy life -style journal, Sept 20, 2015

Breakfast: 1/2 slice of whole wheat bread, 1 hard boiled egg, coffee with cream and sugar

Lunch: 1 apple (was working and I did not have time for lunch)

Dinner: chicken noodle soup and red cabbage salad (no olive oil)

Late-night snack: 2 apples, 1 bowl of soup. I am eyeing the yogurt as well 🙂 (added the next day: well I did that; ate yogurt but it tasted sour a little bit; so added 1 table spoon of brown sugar and enjoyed it a lot 🙂 I know… I know… sugar is not that good. I am trying 🙂

Exercise: walking. A lot! Thanks to the Terry Fox Run walk, I got to walk around 1 hr 45 min today. Yay!

healthy life – style journal, Sept 19, 2015

Awkward day 🙂

breakfast: hard boiled egg, coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: totally passed that out – I was working at home (house chores + work on computer)

late- afternoon snack: 1 apple

dinner: fish with veggies, fried onions, and strawberry short-cake. Ok – I went out to dinner with a friend and that was an amazing, decent meal 🙂 Also very pampering; why did I eat the cake? it would be better without it, but hey..

late-night snack (added after the post): 2 small cucumbers. I feel a lot better if I do consume raw veggies. So I ate cucumbers even though I was not hungry. I kinda believe that they will neutralize (or reduce) the effect of the short cake I had at the dinner. Right or not, I cannot know 🙂

(added once again after the post): I also ate 4 slices of whole wheat bread and 40 grms of cheese late at night. I believe the cake increased my appetite – will be careful not to have desserts again 🙂

Exercise: walking 10 min in the morning, and 30 min at late evening after the dinner.

healthy life – style journal – Sept 18, 2015

I did not eat as much as I am supposed to today; gotta be more careful about not dropping the daily calories. Anyways, here is what I have done hopefully to improve my life – style:

Breakfast: forgot to have my breakfast with me again. this is a recurring theme. Not sure how to implement it as a habit. Coffee with brown sugar and creamer

Lunch: 1 can of fish, around 100 grms of peanuts. Coffee with creamer and brown sugar.

Dinner: 1 apple, stir fried leeks and the roasted chicken. I decided I could not eat another piece of roasted chicken as it is again…I must confess I could not eat the entire meal. The leeks are gone, but the chicken is still lingering. I am not sure what to do with it, except that I know I am not going to waste it.

Late-night snack (added later): Cucumber – my goodness; it was never that delicious. I needed something to take the taste of chicken out of my system – what is better than the refreshing cucumber sprinkled with salt? Yummy. Also cheese and 1 slice of whole bread. Okay – I know I keep eating the same things ad I certainly like cheese, but I really wanted to eat something that increases my daily calorie and I was not in the mood to cook. Cheese sandwich is a very practical option for me.

And just around the mid night I craved for sweets; yogurt with brown sugar. Would be better without the sugar, but hey; it was delicious 🙂

My lessons learnt: NEVER buy whole roasted chicken again; it is good in terms of down-regulating the appetite, but I cannot do this anymore. I will rather have pieces (like legs and thighs) and make meals out of them. At least these parts I am okay to eat.

Exercise: Walking; 10 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon, both of which were at high speed. good job 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Sept 17, 2015

I think about two things:

  1. If I need to lower my appetite, chicken is the best food for me (I am serious – try something you do not like very much, which is also a healthy protein and see yourself)
  2. Am I doing good recording my journal everyday? I feel like I am posting too many posts everyday. And the topics are so different. Not sure whether that is good or not..

Anyways, here is what I have done to improve my health today:

breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: did not have time to eat much – I was working on something. So I munched on roasted chickpeas. Green tea.

dinner: a piece of roasted chicken, left-over sauteed greens from yesterday, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, 50 grm of cheese

late-night snack (added later): 1 apple, 1/2 cucumber. Eyeing yogurt 🙂

The total calories I have consumed today is low. That is not good – they say I should have at least 1,200 cal/day; otherwise my body will think that it is starving and will start storing fat. I gotta be careful about under-eating.

Exercise: 10 min walk in the morning and 30 min talk in the afternoon. The afternoon walk was not slow and made me sweat. That is good 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Sept 16, 2015

Not too bad so far 🙂

breakfast: forgotten to take my breakfast with me again. So only coffee with creamer and brown sugar (three cups)

Lunch: two cans of fish, vegetable soup, and a slice of white bread

Late afternoon snack: none

Dinner (updated after posted): roasted chicken and sauteed greens with olive oil, onion, and dash of chili pepper. One apple. Since I ate the legs, now it is the breasts of the roasted chicken I am left with – the part that absolutely lowers my appetite. I estimate that I will completely eat it within the next two days. I will not waste it. I should not forget to give my thanks to this chicken who died to nourish my body.

Late-night snack (added after the post): yogurt – yummy 🙂

Exercise: walking 30 min in the afternoon – considering it was a rainy and misty day, not bad – well done 🙂

healthy life-style journal – Sept 15, 2015

This is the end of my so-called “healthy life-style plan” week. That means I took measurements to see any progress.

My experience with measuring my waist and hips is that it is tricky and does not match with what the scale says. Thus,  from now on I am sticking with the measurement of my weight.

Today my weight is 207 pounds. It is 3 pounds less than two weeks ago. I am not overly excited about this (my weight can fluctuate 2-3 pounds within a day – not sure what the reason is; thinking either my scale is not sensitive/accurate enough or my body retains water – I guess both of these are quite possible). I need to see the same weight over a week to finally become confident about what my weight is.  Therefore I am not treating this as a weight loss; rather I see it as a positive sign that at least I did not gain weight this past week 🙂

What have I eaten today?

Breakfast: one hard boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: two apples

Late-afternoon snack: roasted chicken.

Dinner (updated after posted): 2 slices of whole wheat bread, around 100 grms of cheese, and raw lo bok. Lo bok is white radish often found in Asian stores. I am fond of it because of its juicy texture and light taste. I have been thinking; it is good that nowadays I am not having salad, but rather consuming veggies as they are; overall I consume less olive oil this way.

Late-night snack (added after posted): yogurt – good job 🙂

Exercise: None – it was raining today, so I took the cab/bus.

healthy life – style journal, Sept 14, 2015

A relatively better day, but it is not over yet – so I am not keeping my hopes high. Nevertheless here is the account of today:

Breakfast: one hard-boiled egg, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: munched on peanuts and roasted chickpeas (give it a try – they are not fatty but quite filling; lots of fiber)

Late afternoon snack: 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Dinner: roasted chicken. Chicken is not my best type of animal protein – I like beef more. This one was purchased from a store; I usually consume it in around 4-5 days. Honestly, I do not like the chicken breast at all, which is supposed to be the healthiest part. Anyways, I am planning to have salad later.

Exercise: walking 10 min in the morning; 30 min in the afternoon. Both walking at a faster speed – hoping to increase the energy expenditure a little bit this way,

Things I have done right so far today: having something for the breakfast, walking faster, and roasted chicken (lots of protein)

Late-night snack (added after the post): 2 slices of whole wheat bread and around 100 grms of cheese. Did i mention I love cheese? Hmm. Nevertheless, two things are clear: a) chicken seriously down-regulates my appetite; and b) I am not reacting that badly to eating bread as long as it is not >5 slices a day and as long as the calories from the food consumed during the entire day is not huge. Okay – I have made peace with eating a small amount of bread finally.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 12, 2015

Yesterday late-nigh snack: 1 apple, two slices of whole wheat bread, cheese, yogurt with 2 tbs of brown sugar. I was craving for sweet yesterday night. Try yogurt with brown sugar; it does not dissolve much and you can feel it 🙂

Today – breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 2 cups of coffee with cream and sugar

Lunch: I had a late lunch today; 1 hard-boiled egg. I thought that would be enough till dinner (I was working and did not want to spend time to have a large lunch). Yet, it just made me more hungry… 2 chicken legs (boiled), 1 bowl of chicken noodle soup with lemon and black pepper (delicious).

Dinner: White rice with yogurt. I over-ate it – I do not usually eat rice. When I eat, I eat multiple plates…

Late-night snack: 2 apples. At least I did not eat too much late at night. That is a success 🙂 Also no bread or bagel today.. hmm. that was a great day even though I ate too much white rice.

On thing goes well another thing not so well. Well..

Exercise: 10 min walk in the morning – that is all.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 11, 2015

Okay; getting back to eating raw veggies (as salad), but still no breakfast or lunch today..

yesterday – late night snack: cheese, yogurt, and 5 slices of whole wheat bread (argh..)

Today: breakfast: none (forgot to bring with me to office). 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar.

Lunch: none.

Late afternoon snack: 40 grms of nuts, 1 apple, 1 cup of green tea (yay! something healthy and relaxing)

Dinner: 6 pieces of battered fish with lots of lemon juice; salad with 1 tomato, 1/2 (raw) zucchini, 2 celery sticks, lettuce, and olive oil. This is the third time I am eating raw zucchini in salad and I can tell you it does not have much of a taste. good in terms of having fiber I guess. But would not recommend it as a salad material to anyone, including myself.

I am preparing my hard-boiled eggs now to be consumed at (or, as) breakfast for tomorrow and the following mornings. I thought if I do not have them, tomorrow I can go back to eating bagels for breakfast. refined carbs need to go..

Exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

healthy life-style journal – Sept 10, 2015

I am doing better today after my burst-out in the last two days.

Yesterday – dinner: yep, I have eaten the pastry filled with blueberries 😦

Late-night snack: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 5 slices of whole wheat bread, cheese

Today – breakfast: I forgot again to bring breakfast to my office; 4 cups of coffee with cream and sugar (I really needed a large amount of creamy coffee today)

Lunch: none

Dinner: Stir-fried leek with sesame seeds, olive oil, hot sauce, and soya sauce. It was delicious – a simple but tasty meal.

Slowly I am getting back to my healthy eating plan, but not having breakfast or lunch (which is a long-time habit for me) is not good. Gotta plan better.

Exercise: walking 30 min in the afternoon.

Eye-care: I strain my eyes by reading a lot and for extended periods of time. I think limiting to use my reading glasses will help my eyes a little bit. So I finally come up with the idea of increasing the zoom on the monitor of my laptop. I can see things away from me and my eyes adjusting just fine.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 9, 2015

After learning my defeat against losing weight yesterday (I know; it has just been a week that I started my healthy-eating strategy, but would it hurt not to gain weight during this time?? No…), I went down big time. I am not giving up yet, but this is really demotivating. I promised myself this to be an honest journey, so here are what I have done to further gain weight since yesterday night (irony is high here):

Yesterday dinner: 1 big sweet pastry filled with apple, presumably very unhealthy, purchased from the convenience store. I am not sure what else I ate; did I have salad? probably. eh..

yesterday late-night snack: 1 apple, 1 egg with 2 slices of whole wheat bread, and maybe other stuff that I do not remember right now. The only good stuff I have done was to drink a cup of green tea – it was delicious.

Today: breakfast; forgot my breakfast – munched on peanuts at the office. Coffee with creamer and brown sugar as usual.

Lunch: none

Late-afternoon snack: another apple-filled pastry… In case you are wondering, I bought another one filled with blueberries and am very likely to eat it tonite….

Dinner: not planning anything right now, meaning it is going to be unhealthy; see above.

Exercise: 30 min walking in the afternoon (at least I did not let this one go).

I am not writing this to be a bad role model for those who would like to lose weight by eating right. Please DO NOT eat like this. I am just frustrated with many other stuff in life right now. It is not an excellent excuse, but I know that is an expected hurdle that I will eventually overcome. Over time..

Till then.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 8, 2015

Ahem… It has been a week that I started to try to eat better; less bread and bagel, more and diverse salad and protein resources.

I cannot complain about these changes; they seem to be good for me. It is just that I am not sure whether this eating style works for me. Why? Because based on my measurements, it seems like I actually got bigger 🙂

My shoulders and my waist seem to have expanded 2 cms and my hips 1 cm since last week.

Ahem… Ahem…

Gotta be a little bit more careful then – maybe eliminate extra calories (e.g. limit olive oil in the salad)?

Arggh. Anyways, here is what I have done to live healthier:

Yesterday – late night snack: 1 apple, yogurt, 3 slices of whole wheat bread

Today: breakfast; 50 grm of unseasoned peanuts, coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: a can of sardines in tomato sauce, green tea

Late afternoon snack: 75 grm of peanut

Dinner: large salad with lettuce, red radish, pepper, zucchini, and olive oil. This is the second time I am eating raw zucchini – I must say the idea is weird but raw zucchini tastes just fine.

Exercise: walking 30 min in the afternoon.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 7, 2015

Yesterday dinner: I did not eat the salad I had planned yesterday; I rather had one tomato, 5 red radish, and 3 slices of whole wheat bread in lieu of salad; I felt not like preparing salad.

Yesterday late-night snack: 1 apple, yogurt

Today – breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, coffee with brown sugar. Since no cafe is open today (labor day), I brewed my own coffee and had it with no cream.

Lunch: Lazy cauliflower meal (recipe can be found here) 🙂  I completely made it up and I am glad I have, as it turned out to be an awesome meal. Very surprising as cauliflower has never been among my favorite veggies. Anyways, I also had yogurt at lunch. Additionally, I  craved for garlic and ate 4 big cloves together with the meal. Yum. Seriously. If eaten with meal, it does not upset my stomach and while its smell always increases my appetite, considering its health benefits, it was well worth it 🙂

Late-afternoon snack: Left-over lazy cauliflower meal

Dinner: I am planning a large green salad with tuna, spices, and olive oil (modified this a little bit while preparing it; added white onion, celery sticks, a can of corn kernel, and 1/2 lemon juice. It turned out to be quite hearty and stuffy).

Exercise: None.

Eye care: I really need to prevent straining my eyes by wearing the reading glasses for long times. Today while I continued to read and write, I hardly used my reading glasses. Trying to give my eyes a break from the glasses. Hope to massage them at night with tea bags.

lazy cauliflower recipe

Having on a healthy eating strategy makes me look for ways to create simple dishes (a little bit lazy in cooking here….).  I thought I would share the recipe for the cauliflower dish I am trying today (made it up big time 🙂 ).

1. Cut and wash the cauliflower florets.

2. Boil florets for 5 minutes (or longer depending on how mushy you like your dish)

3. In a bowl, mix 3 eggs, half a bunch of chopped coriander leaves (parsley suits well too), cheese of your choice (I cut them in little cubes), salt, chilly pepper, and 3 table spoon of olive oil. Mix well. Add 4 table spoon of whole wheat flour and 1 glass of boiled water (or 3/4 glasses if you would like a less moist version). Mix well, stand back, and enjoy the scenery :). The dance of the colors is amazing!

4. Immerse the softened florets in the mix and place in an oven cookware. Pour the remaining mix over the florets.

5. Cook in pre-heated oven for 45 min. I cover the cookware for the first 30 min and then remove it in the last 15 min. Broil for 2 min , take out of the oven, and sprinkle with chilly pepper before serving if desired.IMG_8035

Bon appetite! 🙂

healthy life-style journal, Sept 6, 2015

Yesterday – late night snack: yesterday night was another over-eating night. I was hungry so ate 2 hard-boiled eggs, cucumber, 2.5 slices of whole-wheat bread, and 2 table spoons of olive oil….

Yesterday night – eye care: I have reading glasses and since I use them a lot my eyes ache after a while. I remembered that putting wet and warm tea bags (best after brewing your tea) over eyes for 5-10 min would soothe them. I did this three times yesterday. It certainly is very relaxing to eyes.

Today – breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 cup of coffee with brown sugar and cream. Did I mention I eat a lot of eggs and I should change this? Yep…

Lunch: went out to a cafe with my friends. As a result I have a heartier lunch than I would have if I was by myself. Turkey, cheese, arugula, and cranberry sauce sandwich on baget, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. And a little tart – I could not resist the tart, even though I usually do not eat sweets…

Late afternoon snack: 1 apple

Dinner (planned): 2 medium size meatballs, salad with tomato, raw radish, lettuce, onion, coriander, and celery sticks with olive oil.

Exercise: 30 min in the afternoon. I did some house chores this evening and as such did not notice the time. I went out shopping but the store was closed. I wanted to try another one on walking distance. While the second store was also closed, this helped me with walking around 30 min. Yay!

healthy life-style journal – Sept 5, 2015

Doing good in some parts, not so good in others 🙂

Late-night snack: 1 apples, 3 table spoons of sunflower seed (I love seeds and nuts, but I need to remind myself that they are not only healthy but also are packed of calories). Nevertheless, I am glad I did not eat too much yesterday night (not that I was not tempted to).

Today: breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. Today was the second time I have been to my favorite cafe but did not eat their delicious bagels! Good, good, very good 🙂

Lunch: None – I was too busy decluttering the house. Gotta have lunch no matter what.

Late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

Dinner: Salad with tomato, lettuce, raw cabbage, cucumber, radish and olive oil. Meatball and cabbage meal with 1 onion, black-bean sauce and olive oil.

Exercise: 10 min in the morning – in addition I have been working at home non-stop for 6 hours. I hope that counts as some calories consumed.

healthy life-style journal – Sept 4, 2015

Yesterday – late nigh snack: yogurt, apple, and 5 table spoons of sunflower seed

Yesterday – super late snack: 2 hard boiled eggs, 2 table spoons of olive oil, cucumber, and 3 slices of whole wheat bread!! What happened? I can tell you what; I went to bed and could not sleep. Came down and made myself pacified and sleepy by eating…. That is something that I have been doing for many years; it is not healthy at all… The only remedy for a good night sleep is to make the body tired… So where is my exercise?

Today – breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, 2 cups of coffee with brown sugar and creamer. I should find alternatives to egg; too much of nothing is good.

Lunch: none (was working)

Late afternoon snack: around 100 grms of non-seasoned peanuts

Dinner (planning): 6 pieces of battered fish pieces (frozen, cooked in the oven) with a generous amount of lemon juice, a large salad with tomato, 1/2 avocado, a big (I mean really big) green onion, lettuce, and olive oil.

I still consume the majority of the calories after evening (i.e. starting with dinner). It is good that I am eating some food before dinner now, but eventually I will have to have hearty breakfast and lunch during the day and reduce over-eating in the afternoons/nights.

Exercise: walking only – 30 min in the afternoon

healthy life-style journal – Sept 3, 2015

More or less I am keeping up with my new eating strategy, albeit not perfectly. And I guess that is okay too because I do not wish to have a restricted, straining diet that after a while will prompt me to eat more and worse kind of food: my psychology and the long-term sustainability of this eating style are also important. So I am taking it quite easy.

Yesterday – late night snack: I overdid this: around 150 grs of cheese, another bowl of green bean with minced beef meal, and one apple. Sleeping without consuming carbs (such as bread) was, however, not difficult.

Today – breakfast: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar. The interesting thing is this: I went to my favorite cafe whose bagels I love. But I did not crave to eat one today, that gave me confidence and a sense of accomplishment 🙂

Late lunch: 1 slice of whole wheat bread, mashed avocado (1/2), and cheese

Afternoon snack: None

Dinner (planned): A large salad of tomato, pepper, coriander, and lettuce with olive oil and sunflower seeds. The left over meal from yesterday.

Exercise: 10 min walking in the morning only 😦

healthy life-style journal – Sept 2, 2015

Yesterday – late night snack: 1 apple and yogurt. It is quite a success that I did not eat bread (though I was very much tempted to).

Today – breakfast: two hard-boiled eggs, 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Lunch: 1 can of sardines, 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar

Late-afternoon snack: 1 apple

Dinner: tomato, cucumber, and green onion salad with olive oil. Green beans with minced beef and olive oil. No bread (yet).

Exercise: Walking only – 30 min in the afternoon

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Forgot to write my specific aim yesterday: I would like to lose 25 pounds. I have no time-frame assigned, though I am aware at the beginning the weight loss (mostly water) will be faster than the later days. I am okay with that. I also do not think I will never have bread or other refined carbs – I will. Otherwise I do not think that I can sustain such an eating strategy. Mine is more of a chance to turn the balance from high-carb, limited variety, and irregular eating to balanced, more variety, and regular eating (breakfast, lunch, dinner etc.).

healthy-life style journal – September 1, 2015

Okay, so today is the first day to start eating a little bit better 🙂

Mainly I am aiming for reducing the carbs (bread, bagel, etc.), eating salad with raw veggies at least once a day, and integrating more protein and veggies into my diet.

Numbers: I am noting my baseline weight and measurements below: I was very hesitant to write these numbers here. But, to honestly record and track my progress, I felt like it was the right thing to do. Also, I agree with Focused on Family that I should be accepting, not ashamed of, my body (if you like to read her wonderful post, please see https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/35588223/795132452).

weight: 210 pounds, shoulders: 111 cm, waist: 98 cm, hips: 122 cm

Healthy eating:

Late breakfast: Bagel and coffee with cream and brown sugar: Instead of two bagels, I have had one bagel this morning (working at home in the last two days prompts me to go to cafe for breakfast – I better go back to my office). While I am not proud of eating bagel (where is the dedication to healthy eating?), I am happy to see that I dropped it from two to one.

Lunch: None

Afternoon snack: None

Dinner: A large green salad with olive oil, 6 pieces of breaded fish pieces (purchased frozen and cooked in the oven) served with lemon juice. I can tell you; that salad was delicious – good job. And as per the fish; it may be frozen and breaded, but I like it, it is protein, and it is easy to prepare. Considering the fish prices here, it is also very affordable. And let’s not forget the most important thing; I had no bread at dinner!!! 🙂

Late-night snack: I am not there yet; but am hoping to have apples or yogurt. That will be the most challenging part for me as I happen to eat carbs to sleep. Will see….

Exercise: Walking only – 10 minutes in the morning and then 30 minutes in the afternoon.

healthy-life style journal – better eating plan – August 31, 2015

I have known my eating habits for a long time – I know that if I eat regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner and consume food that agrees with my body, I lose weight. I feel more energetic and overall better about myself. Now that I am mid-40s and a couple of years back my doctor had warned me about my high-blood sugar levels, I have no longer have the (silly) option to run away from eating and exercising better and losing weight. Plus, I really want to see myself thinner, like many years ago. It is a good feeling that subsidizes the feeling that comes with aging 🙂

The followings is my primary and abstract plan for eating better; I will adjust and detail it later as I move on with it.

1. Mental work: Yep, I would like to lose weight and it is not gonna happen unless I do something about it. I know the reasons that make me gain weight and overall under-nourish my body. I also understand the very negative consequences of my weight – metabolic syndrome that I possibly have; it can easily turn into diabetes. Who wants this disease? It makes you live less, encourages heart disease and other circulatory problems, kidney problems, and so on. Seriously, do I want to have such a disease? Do I want to have insulin rejections and checks every day and think about the possible consequences in future? NO, NO, NO! (that is pretty scary – perhaps I gotta read more about diabetes so that my mind can get conditioned to take the steps to reduce my diabetes risk…).

2. Shopping: I need to eat a variety of food and also more protein in my diet. Time to start buying different veggies and fruits each week. Also I need more veggies to use in cooking. I should be experimenting with beef and chicken dishes and hopefully cook tasty meals.

3. Cooking inspirations: The timing could not be better; I started sorting out my books to donate. I have a number of cookbooks that I can get inspired from. In addition, there are so many bloggers out there that provide recipes; why not to set time everyday and get ideas? I have already done this this evening; I tried lightly stir-fried kale with garlic, olive oil, and soya sauce. It was practical, tasty, healthy, and did not take more than 10 min to prepare. Way to go. I just need to be resourceful and trying different meals; I know myself if it gets too dry, uninteresting, or routine, I will not want to eat the meal. That is why it is important for me to start experimenting with not only different food and their combinations, but also with different spices, sauces, or cooking methods; re; cooking methods, I hardly use the oven to cook meal. Perhaps it is time for me to start using it. Variety this way will make it interesting for me.

4. Breakfast: This is going to be challenging for me, as I do not have an habit of having breakfast at home. But, this does not mean that I can not prepare breakfast food at home and bring to the office. My favorite items on the list will be hard-boiled eggs or chicken/meatball/cheese sandwiches. I think I can do this.

5. Lunch: I may either bring in sandwiches or buy soup at the cafeteria. Purchasing lunch may increase my weekly expenses, but I guess it is well worth it (saving from preparation time and the food).

6. Dinners: Protein based dinners look like the best for me; something that will not increase my blood sugar right away and keep me feel full longer than carb-based meals. raw salad should also be an integral part of it.

7. Snacks: Whenever needed during the day, nuts, dried fruits, apples and other low-GI fruits, cheese sticks, milk, or yogurt (wow – there are so many alternatives; that is pretty good. Looking promising).

8. So what to do when hunger or emotional eating hits? Drink tea, eat fruits or other snacks, go out for a walk, floss and brush your teeth (read that somewhere; obviously gives a mental break and helps with diminished effect of wanting to eat), work with the dumpbells first (1 set of 10 reps of biceps and triceps and see whether the need for hunger subsidized), do a light house chore (clean the dishes, fix the mats, pick up the garbage, replace the hand-soap or the toilet paper, declutter somewhere!!).

9. How to assess and record the efforts, food consumed, and weights lost (if ever)?: Keep up the “healthy-life style journal” running everyday. Record foods consumed, and the weight and the dimensions of waist and hips everyday.

So it all starts tomorrow. By writing these I know I am making myself accountable. Oh, I will rant along the way, eat unhealthy food probably, will not have time to shop or cook, or will eat just to forget everything. But I know that at least time to time I will keep up with it and if I see a drop in my weight, that will further motivate for me to continue.

So wish me luck 🙂

healthy-life style journal – analysis of the eating habits – August 31, 2015

The simple truth is that there are so many details that I need to be thinking all at the same time (work, house, my life-style and relationships) that my mind, whether I like it or not, prioritizes to work on specific issues and targets. And you can also relate, since I have a limited capacity of mental work, depth, or hours to focus on things during the day, these two reasons, as expected, factors in delayed tasks and unfixed issues.

Well, while there is nothing much I can do to increase my mental limits or the hours in a day, there is one thing I am capable of doing (at least time to time): it is to focus on one thing, examine and clarify the issue, reflect on ways to tackle it, design a strategy to take steps, and monitor the outcome after each steps. This “plan” is well implemented if it is clear, set, and remembered (sadly if I fail to remember my plan, it is usually one thing that sends all my efforts in to the garbage).

That is why I like to write, draw, flow-chart, or simply discuss with others my plans; it focuses me, helps me to reflect in more detail, clarifies my mind, and most importantly, makes me remember it.

You are probably aware of all of these based on your experience or education; I simply need to write them so that I focus, design, and remember my plan – so bear with me when I tell you the very well-known story of planning.

Anyways, now that I have the motivation to finally take care of the long-waiting issues, namely healthy-eating and exercise, I need not only a plan, but also something that reminds me about them each day. That is why I am opening the “healthy-life style journal” page, where I will record my daily efforts, accomplishments, weight loss (if ever – grrrr), or struggles and frustrations.

So, what is my plan for healthy eating? I have been thinking about the pattern of my diet that I think is useful in designing my new, healthier diet:

1. Canned food: I noticed that I eat too much canned food (canned beans, chickpeas, lentils, and fish). Too much of a something cannot be good (in this case the exposure and possible contamination of the food with the can chemicals). Second, since they present themselves as affordable and easy meals, I prefer them but that also keeps me away from making an effort to cook and eat a variety of foods. So from today on, I implement a shopping freeze for canned food.

2. Wheat-products: I know what does not agree with my body and makes me gain weight or accumulate water in my body: bread, bagel, or any other wheat products that are conveniently sold in cafes or stores. From today on, I eliminate bagels and others from my diet and limit my bread consumption to one bread/week.

3. Cheese: if consumed in small amounts over time, cheese is very likable. Yet, I happen to eat the entire block in two days if I can. Thus, from today on I limit cheese consumption to 50 grs/a day maximum.

4. White rice and pasta: Nope; they make me bloated and eat more and more. I hardly eat both of these, so I am in good track.

5. Sweets: I do not have a sweet-tooth; thus sweets are not a problem for me (the majority of the time).

6. Candy, chocolate, ice cream, soft drinks, chips etc: I am lucky in the sense that I only occasionally consume these.

7. Meat and chicken: I am not a big meat eater; yet I kind of think that the lack of adequate levels of protein food in my diet may be contributing to my weight gain. So, I decided to eat more of these.

8. Veggies and fruits: I usually consume a limited variety of veggies and more so of the fruits; I think I am malnutritioning and thus need to bring in diversity to the food I am having.

9. Eating pattern: I usually do not have breakfast (except the weekends), light or no lunch, and multiple dinners in the evening. It is not surprising that I am having multiple dinners; one of the dietitians had said long time ago that such an eating style would starve the body during the day and prompt the body to eat a lot later to compensate for all the calories that are missed earlier in the day. So, I gotta start having breakfast like any other person, prepare and pack (or buy) my lunch, and bring snacks to my office. I also need to cook at home nutritious meals.

Now, time to plan.

to be continued

assessing the progress re; challenges I assigned to myself

Did I tell you earlier that I love to plan?

Maybe not, but that is the plain truth.

Planning and assessing the progress. Slight changes and modifications to the plan if required. Learning along the way, and hopefully also having fun.

I have had a number of challenges I have had assigned to myself a while ago. It is time to review them, adjust if required, celebrate the challenges tackled, and plan for the next items on the list.

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challenge 1: take the bus (not the cab). DONE! – hopefully I will not give up 🙂

challenge 2: eat better and healthy – cut out the carbs and consume more veggies and fruits. Well, missed that one big time.. NEED A PLAN.

PLAN: have regular breakfast, eat more protein, eat more veggies, cut out the bread (one bag/week) and fried eggs, cut out late-night eating, eat more apples and pears. cook at home; make it fun, and monitor the progress.

challenge 3: walk an extra 30 min at the weekends. NEED A PLAN.

PLAN: have the breakfast at another cafe 15 min away from home. Have leisure walks.

challenge 4: do not buy books for two months. I did pretty good with this, with only occasional buys. I have a new two-months freeze in place. DONE! 🙂 Good job! 🙂

challenge 5: cut out the bagel breakfast- one bagel/breakfast. Could not do that yet. NEED A PLAN – maybe withing “better eating” plan.

PLAN: Overall, I should be skipping the bagels as part of the healthy eating plan… Ouch!

challenge 6: do grocery shopping as required and buy small amounts. Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 7: start listening to music and relaxing 20 min a day; this is done easily now thanks to my computer and youtube/internet sources. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 8: drink at least one cup of tea a day. I easily and lovingly do this during the week. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 9: get up in the morning and smile to yourself and hum a song. well, remembered to do only a few times. NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN: just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 10: look outside the window at the office three times a day – enjoy the view and relax. Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 11: record the progress in these areas in breaking the routine or joy journal categories. Not necessarily in these pages, but I kept posting them somewhere in this blog, good job 🙂 Going well. DONE! 🙂 

challenge 12: increase the contribution made to the RRSP account. Nope. This is not happening. This gotta wait until my chequeing account moves to a positive balance. NEED ADJUSTMENT.

ADJUSTMENT: wait till I accumulate some funds or till I cut  my weekly budget in a sensible way.

challenge 13: during the day remember to smile.  NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 14: lose 15 pounds in two months – record weight and food consumed every day. Missed big time! NEED A PLAN – possibly within the healthy eating plan.

PLAN: See above; challenges 2,3, and 5

challenge 15: stick to the plans – I have done these before and I can do it again. Hmmm. Some success here and there. NEED A STRONGER IMPLEMENTATION.

PLAN: remember the success in other challenges; particularly taking the bus. You can do it!!

challenge 16: comb the hair everyday. I do not need that anymore – have the hair cut short. Yay! NOT APPLICABLE.

challenge 17: spare 5 min every day to breathe – just to breathe. Well, this does not make sense anymore, now that I am listening to music for many hours a day and thus relaxing. NOT APPLICABLE

challenge 18: apply sunscreen every morning. NOT DONE…NOT APPLICABLE ANYMORE (summer is gone)

challenge 19: apply moisturiser every night. NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 20: every week, eat two different food from last week – whether veggies or fruits or others. Change the brands or types of canned food or others I regularly consume.NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 21: take the stairs at the office (2 storeys) at least twice a week. NEED MOTIVATION AGAIN.

PLAN:  just remember this challenge; the rest will come 🙂

challenge 22: write the joy journal every day; no matter how dry or repeating it may feel.  I do not write it every day – NEED ADJUSTMENT.

ADJUSTMENT: I am adjusting this to “write the joy journal at least twice a week”

challenge 23 (previously not listed): have a budget, write down all expenses in each category, do not over-spend the weekly allowance, save as much as you can. DONE!  I am certainly spending less than before and more consciously. Yay! 🙂

challenge 24 (previously not listed): continue to declutter the home and donate the usable items.

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Some big, some small steps.. Let’s see how it will go this time. The ones that I will vent about in the coming weeks (just like my past ventings while struggling with taking the bus) will be the most important ones. I am predicting they will be about healthy eating and losing weight 🙂

Cheers everyone 🙂

random thoughts

The summer is slipping out of our hands; I have been wearing jackets in the last few days. I sure will miss the sunshine 🙂 Well…. till next time.

I left the office early but continued to work at home. Sometimes it is a lot efficient this way, though I feel bad about not being in the office.. Anyways, looks like my “take-it-easy” days are over and I really need to kick if I want to finish things in a timely manner. And I do. Working will thus continue throughout the weekend. Cannot complain 🙂

I did grocery shopping this afternoon, which really made me feel good. I like shopping :); I gotta tell you though buying less items and as required made a huge difference in my “waste” levels. I am glad that this is working for me.

Today was also the first day of my new financial week (i.e. feeling rich as I have a weekly allowance at my disposal)- I treated myself with a cup of take-out coffee in the morning, right before a 9am meeting; could not be happier 🙂 And I am really proud of myself that I now have no problem catching the bus or waiting for it should I get up a little bit earlier or late. When I remember the internal fights I have had for several months till the last couple of weeks, I am sincerely surprised. It tells me that change does not come easy but it comes eventually….

By this inspiration and by noting the fact that I was only gaining weight in the last few weeks by not cooking meals at home, I am now moving up with my next challenge in the list: eating healthy food and losing weight. Just like taking the bus rather than the cab, I expect this effort to be a little bit inconsistent at the beginning, but later becoming standard.

And did I mention I loved shopping? 🙂 Yes.. Yes, I have. I will treat myself to a thrifty store visit this weekend. Hey, I may as well bring the bags of clothes that I had sorted while decluttering my wardrobe a couple of weeks ago. I meant to check them again to make sure that I was not giving away anything that I could use, but the fact that I have not done this since then tells me that I already gave up on these items. Time to find a new home for them.

have a great friday evening/night everyone 🙂

random thoughts

I mowed the lawn again and am feeling sooo  tired 🙂 Man, when did I become so old or out of shape? I decided today to take it easy next time; maybe instead of mowing at a single attempt, I can divide it to two or three parts and see how I feel. I am too young to feel this tired just by an hour of yard work 🙂

My birthday is coming and although I would like to celebrate it, I still could not figure out what exactly to do; shall I invite my friends over for a dinner? shall I invite them out to a diner? Shall I spend it alone and by reflection? What shall I get myself as a gift? I have no idea…..

This age is somehow important for me – I am mid 4os and I am feeling like the youth is slipping away from me. I should not be thinking this way as I have seen many people in their 50s, 60, and even 70s enjoying good health and high energy levels. I used to have a lot of energy once upon a time and I miss that feeling.. I know good diet and regular exercise help with the energy levels. So, maybe I will start with cooking myself a nice soup and preparing a hearty salad today. And as long as the beautiful summer days continue where I am, maybe I can increase the amount of walking I am having. Or maybe I can just pay a teenager or a student to mow my lawn next time 🙂

While I am tired and feeling the humidity/hot weather quite a bit, I must say I am very happy with the yard work. On a separate note, among all the seeds I planted, none has grown 😦 The only things that have grown are the fresh mint leaves I had inserted into the soil. Five-six of them seem to have rooted and are growing. I could not be happier as it is a very rare treat to find fresh mint here; I really love eating fresh mint with my salads; and more importantly I know once they get stronger they will spread around to form more mint plants. Yey! 🙂

Now back to healthy food that hopefully help my body recuperate; what else than the old good chicken noodle soup that heals fatigue 🙂 time to go to the kitchen.

cheers,

decluttering and weight loss – is there a connection?

Out of boredom, I opened the first book I have not read for some time. It is a book titled “Does This Clutter Make Butt Look Fat” by Peter Walsh that links the clutter in our environment with extra weight.

Made me think: one of my over-weight friends had told me that there must be a benefit of being over-weight: in sickness when eating may be problematic or not possible, certainly the extra weight helps to provide the body with the energy required for its functioning. As an over-weight person myself, I remember that very well. It also made sense to me biologically (we need a certain amount of energy everyday to keep going). Yet, I am also quite aware of the disease risks associated with being obese/over-weight. Nope, the extra fat needs to go..

This book also made me think my shopping habits: I have the habit of stocking durable items, such as cleaning products, canned or frozen food, stationary items. Sometimes without even using what I already have, I keep buying them. Where does this need come from? Why do I stock up stuff?

Because I feel comfortable and abundant if I have many items I regularly use. Because I may get lazy to go shopping when I need something. Because I like the convenience of not running out of anything. Because I save by doing so, as I usually purchase and stock when items are on sale. BUT would that mean that I also “save” my weight for the sick days? Feel “abundant” and “comfortable” with my weight? Possible. Sub-conscious mind works in a way that I will never understand fully.

Since a while ago, I decided to do the grocery shopping as I need, I will switch to the same with other items now. I will also continue with my decluttering activity at home and yard. Let’s see whether I will this time send the right message to my sub-conscious mind that I am abundant in any way, in sickness too my body will function just fine, and I will buy/eat as needed, not because it is convenient or saves me something.

wish me luck 🙂

random thoughts

Another interesting day in terms of the weather; it has been grey till an hour ago. During the day it rained, too, making the evening walk kinda challenge. Now though it is all bright and shiny!

I loved looking out of the window and seeing the nature as rain drops on it. With the rain came a little wind, moving the tree branches in a beautiful dance. I have taken my time to notice the tallest tree ahead and from where I stood, it looked like that tree has been there for some time. It is amazing to realize that some life forms have a much longer history on earth than us. I wish the trees could talk to us; we could learn so much 🙂

I have a thing for trees; I love them, their leaves, their cycle of life during the different seasons, their barks, the way they bloom during spring, and the flowers should they have any. I have two lilac trees in my little yard, which are about to blossom. The lilac flowers are short-lived yet when they show up, their scent and sight are amazing. I feel blessed to have them in my yard.

In terms of the challenges I have assigned to myself a while ago; some of them I am consistent now, which is a great feeling;

I am getting way better in taking the bus :);

certainly eating better 90% of the time :);

walking everyday whenever the weather is permissive;

as part of my “spending freeze”, so far I have only bought a couple of books (in the last 6 weeks or so), but not 2-3 books/week :);

doing the grocery shopping as required and in small amounts and so far I hardly let any fresh produce rot in my fridge :);

continuing with my conscious spending plan (not perfect but it is still there);

listening to the music both at the office and the house;

I am very consistent about drinking tea at the office 🙂 (except that I noticed drinking green tea if I am hungry is not a good idea; it upsets my stomach);

I love enjoying the view from the office window and getting amazed by the nature and its awakening during Spring (yes, it is still spring here; summer does not come very easily 🙂 );

assessing and recording my progress by writing them down;

applying facial moisturizer;

and wait….

I have lost weight; 8 pounds to be exact! Now…. Not sure whether it is permanent; I am still eating bread and bagels, but not as much as I used to and sometimes I dine out; but generally I seem to not eat a lot before going to bed (which I think is helping me to lose weight)…

I sincerely wish that this is a continuous progress. I just cannot take it granted as like many others, in the past I have lost weight just to gain back again 🙂 So I better keep doing what I am doing!

have a great evening everyone.

joy journal – June 11, 2105

1. I am grateful for feeling better today.

2. I am grateful for the summer weather – for two days straight we have had incredibly warm (not hot) weather with blue sky. Its positive effect on me is incredible.

3. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning. I needed to wait 10 min at home, which I have. I must admit though the first thought passed my mind was “I can take the cab this morning”. It somehow went away after I managed to keep myself busy for 4 minutes at home.  When I got off the bus, I thanked for the opportunity to walk even for a short distance to my building.

4. I am grateful for eating two apples today. Healthy and tasty.

5. I am grateful for meeting with someone in our organization who provided me with excellent assistance on some project-related questions.

6. I am grateful for walking to and from the meeting (total around 25 minutes).

7. I am grateful for attending a seminar by a wonderful speaker; I enjoyed meeting with her, listening to her informative and energetic presentation.

8. I am grateful for walking to the appointment with the lawyer this afternoon. His office is 5 minutes away from my house and I could easily find it. I did mental-wrestling about taking the cab or walking. Eventually walking won 🙂

9. I am grateful for working at home after my appointment – I worked on an important document, which went really well in a short time. I am pleased.

10. I am grateful for meeting with my friends and having a dinner at a nearby restaurant. We were 5 people, all nice and cheerful people. The meal was great and so was the coffee 🙂

11. I am grateful for not over-eating today.

12. I am grateful for my conscious spending plans – lately they started to make a visible difference in my finances. I am highly motivated to keep going and save a lot more.

13. I am grateful for having a relaxing night – it is peaceful.

14. I am grateful for my plans to work tomorrow and possibly Saturday.

15. I am grateful for the coming weekend. I would like to read books, many of them if I can 🙂

16. I am grateful for keeping up with the challenges I assigned to myself: today I walked in the morning and then in the afternoon; took the bus not the cab; ate relatively healthy; did not make a purchase; enjoyed the view from my office; smiled more and had great time with friends; combed my hair in the morning, and determined to lift my mood, finances, and healthy life-style up.

17. I am grateful for being grateful.

joy journal – June 6, 2015

1. I am grateful for the beautiful day today – a little bit foggy, a little bit chilly, but nevertheless a nice weekend day.

2. I am grateful for sleeping well yesterday. I slept till 11 am this morning, a little bit unusual for me, yet the rest of the day was all right.

3. I am grateful that I had cleaned my home yesterday. This week I left my office early and yesterday I took the opportunity to clean the house in the afternoon. That would mean I had the day free today. Yay!

4. I am grateful for the breakfast; I did not bring in my laptop to work this time. That allowed me to go thru the magazines and just relax. I took a couple of minutes to just gaze out and try to decide what to do with my day: I was not rushing, which is a great change 🙂

5. I am grateful for going to the office and doing some work. I feel good and my mind, which was bored by not working lately, is satisfied.

6. I am grateful for taking the bus today and walking in the afternoon back from the office. I am feeling good 🙂

7. I am grateful for the grocery shopping. I think I have not done one in the last week or so. I bought fresh produce, a different type of bread, canned foods (lentils and beans; my favourites as salad), snacks for the office, and so on.

8. I am grateful for now being 7 pounds lighter compared to 3-4 weeks ago. I am assuming it is because of the conscious eating and limiting the bread to some extend. I am still cautious and not getting too excited as I know my weight can fluctuate 3-5 pounds within a day. But this does not mean that I am not motivated to continue to eat well and keep checking the progress. Who knows, maybe this time, I have a chance to drop these pounds.

9. I am grateful for the peaceful Saturday evening and night. It is relaxing and free of issues.

10. I am grateful for seeing the house across from the bus stop today, which is being renovated. They stripped off the front of the house and I can see all the woods and the rest. For some reason, this gave me strength – it does not look as complex as I thought it would be. I am feeling more positive towards the renovations in my house now.

11. I am grateful for all the books I have, which I can look at or start reading to fill the night with interesting information or stories.

12. I am grateful for all the shoes, clothes, furniture and food I have at home that make my life easy, safe, decent, and abundant. I used to stock up durable items whenever I had a chance. I am not stocking up lately but I already have many clothes, shoes, items, and food that I can keep going with. Acknowledging their presence gives a huge “I am abundant” feeling.

13. I am grateful for opening an Excel sheet and keeping tracking my everyday expenses in different categories. I note that I am much more conscious about my spendings now.

14. I am grateful for not going to shopping malls. I want to. I want to check the thrifty stores as well; they are so affordable and contain so many interesting items. But I will not do that for now. I have everything I need. Maybe in a couple of months I can go check them again.

15. I am grateful for tomorrow being Sunday; I have no particular plans so I will take it easy and maybe walk a little bit. If the weather permissive (raining outside now).

16. I am grateful for drinking tea whenever I am in my office, walking from office to home almost always, making a huge effort to take the bus rather than the cab, shopping when required rather than once a week, eating more apples and less bread, walking sometimes just for the love of walking, feeling energized by the good weather, enjoying my office and sight from the window, keeping a modest life-style and being interested in using my money for the best, seeing a positive difference in my chequeing account in the last few weeks, being motivated to do a better job in terms of healthy eating, exercise, and conscious spending, loving my hair for getting longer and combing it time to time :), and dutifully cleaning and aerating my home every week. Boy, I am doing really good 🙂

17. I am grateful for being peaceful and grateful today.

random thoughts

It is a little bit warmer and especially sunny today. the winter coat is gone and I am happy to have two jackets (!) as the outfit 🙂

My poor computer is about to crash – starting up is a pain in the neck and it shuts down very frequently. I crashed the previous one, too. I regret not copying many pictures I have had in it. This time I am experienced; everything is backed up. I did order for a new one, which arrived last week. I just need one more software installed in it by our IT department to bring home. I think I will bring in tomorrow though – I have a feeling that tomorrow this computer may not open at all.

I like this about me – using things till the last minute. Many people do not understand this, but I feel proud of this.

As per the challenges I assigned myself a while ago,  I have been keeping up with walking, drinking tea, listening to the music and enjoying the view from my office, eating relatively healthy, combing my hair and moistening my face, not buying books, doing grocery shopping as needed, conscious spending (except taking the cab), motivating myself with positive words and smiles, and eating a variety of food. I even did walk down and up the stairs once. Not as much as I wished to do, but better than before 🙂

While I usually do not feel hungry during the day, this week was an exception. I have had lunches at the work-place. While they were extra expenses, I am actually grateful that I have more or less a normal eating habit this week 🙂

happy Thursday everyone 🙂

PS: that reminded me about a poem I wrote about Thursday – the forgotten day of the week 🙂

random thoughts

the last three days feels like fall – it is grey and the temperature is less than 14C. I am having a hard time reminding myself this is June 🙂 It is great that I am going for a long trip to a sunny place soon; I am sure my body will appreciate the warmth and sunlight.

I am feeling bored nowadays as I have not worked well in the last few weeks – the good weather certainly distracted me and led me to leave my office earlier than usual to enjoy the outdoors. Yet, my mind is now bored and the only way to cherish is to work. Those who find something great about working would understand how I am feeling right now.

As per my financial goals, I continue to shop consciously, which makes a small, but noticeable difference. And no I did not take the bus this week yet, which feels somehow awkward. Can I start doing it tomorrow?

My mood in the morning is not great – I think this is one of the reasons for me to take the cab. I do not want to strain myself further by waiting and taking the bus. The cab takes me from the front of my house and leaves me at the door of my work place. So convenient. And convenience feels good, though I miss the self-appreciating feeling when I do take the bus. Tomorrow is another day. I can re-visit this then.

I keep eating fruits (apples and oranges mostly), drinking tea once a day, eating healthy as much as I can. At least this part of my life is going more or less as I wish it to be.

On a final note, I have been trying some fictional stories lately and poems earlier. I find I cannot keep working on them for extended periods of time – what I think about while writing is what I feel . So unless I start a comedy-centered piece, I am okay with working on them only time to time :). That also means I have developed a huge appreciation for poets and novelists.

challenging myself – updated list – May

Ok – now that I have some success (!) at integrating some of the challenges I have assigned to myself, it is time to expand it a little bit. I will keep almost all of them, but the new ones (in red font) will just enhance my efforts (green fonts my updates/experience on challenges).

Challenges:

challenge 1: take the bus (not the cab) – get up at 8.15am to catch the bus. getting used to it 🙂

challenge 2: eat better and healthy – cut out the carbs and consume more veggies and fruits

challenge 3: walk an extra 30 min at the weekends – I got it 🙂 with this beautiful weather, staying inside does not feel good.

challenge 4: do not buy books for two months. I think I did buy a couple of books since then, but no. Not unless I feel the extreme need to pamper myself, no new books for two months.

challenge 5: cut out the bagel breakfast- one bagel/breakfast. Could not do that yet. Tomorrow is another day – I will see.

challenge 6: do grocery shopping as required and buy small amounts – many stuff perished in my fridge so far – what a sad waste. Going well. I am not interested in limiting my diet, only to not waste. So far it has been going well.

challenge 7: start listening to music and relaxing 20 min a day; this is done easily now thanks to my computer and youtube.

challenge 8: drink at least one cup of tea a day. I easily and lovingly do this during the week.

challenge 9: get up in the morning and smile to yourself and hum a song. well, remembered to do only a few times. Made a mental note to do more often.

challenge 10: look outside the window at the office three times a day – enjoy the view and relax. This has been one of the most consistent one. what a wonderful idea. With no ego I can say my office has the best view among all on my floor. Plus, when I am at home I get to enjoy the view from my yard.

challenge 11: record the progress in these areas in breaking the routine or joy journal categories. Not necessarily in these pages, but I kept posting them somewhere in this blog, good job 🙂

challenge 12: increase the contribution made to the RRSP account. Nope. This is not happening. This gotta wait until my chequeing account moves to a positive balance.

challenge 13: during the day remember to smile. oh well.. sometimes. Just sometimes.

challenge 14: lose 15 pounds in two months – record weight and food consumed every day. Ok. This is hard to do but I am trying. By means of limiting bread mostly. There is a 5 pounds difference, but hey that happened before, only to gain again in a couple of days later. I am not keeping my hopes high re; this challenge. I will get excited when I lose 10 pounds.

challenge 15: stick to the plans – I have done these before and I can do it again. I am. to my best. I am so motivated nowadays that I am increasing these challenges today.

New challenges (as of today):

challenge 16: comb the hair everyday. Mornings are great when I usually have a couple of extra minutes before I leave for the bus.

challenge 17: spare 5 min every day to breathe – just to breathe. 

challenge 18: apply sunscreen every morning.

challenge 19: apply moisturiser every night.

challenge 20: every week, eat two different food from last week – whether veggies or fruits or others. Change the brands or types of canned food or others I regularly consume.

challenge 21: take the stairs at the office (2 storeys) at least twice a week.

challenge 22: write the joy journal every day; no matter how dry or repeating it may feel. It always makes me feel good.

challenges – daily progress

I am speaking too much today 🙂 this is my third post. But I gotta write this one, as it keeps me motivated and helps me make these changes in my life.

So here is the list of things I have done today to improve my life: I took the bus in the morning and surprisingly did not mind waiting 10 minutes for it; drank a cup of chamomile tea, which I usually do not like but was fine this time; looked out of the window to enjoy the nature and the surroundings at the office; walked back to home and then to the post-office at a fast pace (yay!); am motivated to walk more in the evenings and weekends; ate healthy meals and limited carbs; listened to the music at the office while working; and did not make any purchases.

I have done well today; maybe I should increase/change the challenges as time goes on. New challenges, new excitements, and new reasons to feel good 🙂

cheers everyone

joy journal – May 25, 2015

1. Another beautiful, warm spring day that fills me with energy, optimism, and love. Yes, love. Love for the season, for the sun, for the awakening of the nature, for the renewal, and for the hope all these positive changes bring. I made a mental note today that in the coming years’ March and April, I will remind myself how the Spring feels in May. The things I can do better (e.g. walk more), the things I can do differently (e.g. spending time with nature).

2. I am grateful for taking the bus in the morning – I feel like accomplishing something huge! I even printed out the bus schedule to help myself. I never complained about taking the bus so far – when I can do it I love it.

3. I am grateful for working lightly and not being stressful at all. I enjoy working my mind better than not though. So maybe I can find some problems/questions to work on. Mental exercise is awesome 🙂

4. I am grateful for leaving my office early and walking a little bit longer than usual. I love looking at the houses along the way and thinking “would I buy this house?”. Sometime the answer is yes. I like houses with bay windows and in good conditions (who would not?). I also noticed that I do not prefer houses more than two storeys and without a yard. View is also important 🙂

5. I am grateful for getting an email from a well-respected leader in our field today – she would like to visit our department and get to know our work and interests a little bit better. This is a great opportunity and I am truly honoured by her contact. Would like to do my best to form a great work relationship with her.

6. Oh by the way, I am extra grateful for my colleague who did not respond to the request of the person in (5) above, which prompter her to contact me instead. Am I not lucky that I have this chance of communicating with her? yes, I am. Certainly, somebody’s lack of action is somebody else’s good luck. Thanks a lot 🙂

7. Additionally, I am grateful for my hard work as I had emailed a proposal to a group this morning, which also includes the person in (5) above. I think the timing could not be better 🙂

8. I am grateful for the healthy food I have had today. I ate bread but the rest was all healthy food.

9. I am grateful for watching TV; I am watching a movie I kind of remember, yet I have no recollection of neither the story nor the characters 🙂

10. I am grateful for combing my hair this morning. I do not usually do that for some reason, but now that it is getting long, it is getting all tangled. I better comb it after washing.

11. I am grateful for deciding to take a better care of my skin. I use a wash clothe today to exfoliate and moisturise my face. I hope to remember to put my night cream before going to the bed. I should also start putting sunscreen on my face before I leave the house.

12. I am grateful for loving my flossers. I have been struggling to floss for many years. Right after my semi-annual dental visits, I would continue for some time but after that it would drift from my mind. The one that worked with me was a tri-liner flosser (not the string). It did the wonders with me. it is interesting how long it may take sometime to find out the best working solution for our quests… Trial of new options is a must.

13. I am grateful for keeping up with some of the challenges I assigned to myself a while ago: I took the bus; walked; drank two cups of great smelling and tasting herbal tea; looked out of the window and the yard to enjoy my surroundings; ate mostly healthy food; did not make unconscious spendings; and listened to the music at the office 🙂

14. I am grateful for being grateful, noticing my joyful moments,  doing activities that make me feel accomplishing my goals, and writing them to my joy journal.

have a great night everybody 🙂

healthy eating challenge – day 2

As per the challenge by dray0308, here is my healthy meal for today:

Potato salad with tomato, bok choy leaves, and green pepper, with a dash of chilly pepper, lemon, and olive oil.

Go ahead, have a nutritious and healthy meal, be proud of yourself for doing this for your health, and share the news with everyone! 🙂

joy journal – May 24, 2015

1. A truly exciting and blissful day; it was sunny (although windy too) and energizing. I am grateful for every moment of this day.

2. I am grateful for not sleeping in late. I got up around 9 am, which is great. At first it did not feel so exciting, since the breakfast place does not open till 10am, but eventually I made it to 10 am and then the rest of the day was long and full of things to do!

3. I am grateful for the breakfast and the chats I have had with the staff. They are young bright people who are just going thru school and part-time job at the same time. It is kind of difficult; I remember my own years. but they seem to do both just well and are incredibly nice people to interact with.

4. I am grateful for shopping and getting shocked by the receipt!! It was not too much, but then it was.. I liked the fact that I reacted negatively to spending that much today. This tells me that I am really in the “conscious spending” mode and I am very happy with that. I am extra grateful that I left one item prior to checking out.

5. I am grateful for buying the glues my sister wanted for so long. I am also grateful for the shea butter hand cream I bought for myself; it smells good and feels very smooth. It was above my budget but I bought it anyways to treat myself. Conscious spending does not mean I need to constrain myself to the degree that I cannot enjoy my own money, especially for something that is good for my body.

6. I am grateful for the healthy lunch and dinner I have had today. yes I have eaten bread too (which I am trying to cut), but at least I have also eaten veggies, either raw or canned.

7. I am grateful for spending time in the yard, getting mesmerized and fascinated by the young trees, checking the seeded areas for growth, and removing some dandelion out. I could sit whole day out, breathing fresh air, listening to the trees and birds, and feeling the sun warming my bones. I am lucky I am to have a yard and I am very thankful for that.

8. I am grateful for walking twice today; first while going to the store to purchase stuff and then in the afternoon. The nice thing about nice weather is the energy and wish to be outside it gives. I could not help myself but put the shoes on and went out. walked to another grocery store maybe 10 min away. Since last year I have not been there – it is a relatively small store but the fresh produce is fantastic. I did only buy a pack of chocolate-biscuit I was craving for and enjoyed it while walking back to home.

9. I am grateful for having an upbeat, relaxing, and energizing weekend. This weekend was truly a blessing. My mood is high and I am looking forward to a productive work week ahead of me.

10. I am grateful for TV and the movies I have watched this weekend.

11. I am grateful for having the love in my heart to give to the trees, the plants, and anything else in my yard.

12. I am grateful for speaking with my family and my best friend today; their support is always useful, sincere, and strong.

13. I am grateful for deciding to take a longer route starting yesterday to walk from office to home in the afternoon. The change of scenery should feel good and it will give my body a better exercise.

14. I am grateful for all the food I have at home. My pantry and fridge has more than enough food to let me go through the week.

15. I am grateful for the blogs I have read today – I learn so much about gardening, budgeting, and crafting. Learning and curiosity are the sources of excitement 🙂

16. I am grateful for being relaxed, positive, and grateful today.

joy journal – May 20, 2015

1. I am grateful for having a good night sleep. It is getting warmer and my bedroom for sure feels the difference. I lowered the thermostat yesterday and I think I can lower it more. That feels good. I feel like soon I will start opening the windows upstairs during the evenings. Imagining all the fresh air coming in, that idea excites me very much 🙂

2) I am grateful for having no meeting today. as a matter of fact for the next two days as well I have no meeting scheduled! That is great as it gives me a sense of freedom as well as the ability to focus on tasks that require long and uninterrupted time. I have worked with my team members today and moved one of the lagging tasks ahead. We all are feeling excited about this and certainly motivated! 🙂

3. I am grateful for working till past 6pm today. Longer days, combined with the natural light coming out of the office window is energizing. I seriously did not want to leave the office this evening.

4. I am grateful for walking to home from the office. I still am wearing my winter coat, which started to be too warm. I will try to switch to my spring coat soon.

5. I am grateful for eating eggs for dinner. I love eggs. I had not had any lately. they are so amazing, tasty, and nutritious.

6. I am grateful for not eating too much today. Especially when comes to carbs (such as bread), that is good news for me 🙂

7. I am grateful for checking the bus schedule. What did I see? between 8-9 am, there are 3 services not 2 (that I thought). That makes taking the bus so much easier for me. why did I not notice it before? I have no idea – one of these things that you would think you know, but turns out not. Eh..

8. I am grateful for lying on the couch. I usually sit. But tonite I am resting my body a little bit. I feel like breaking the routine and doing something nice for my body. well done 🙂

9. I am grateful for dumping the garbage, including the junk and dry branches/leaves I collected from my yard. A total of 5 bags – one of the largest dump I have ever made. It is good that I have not forgotten to put them outside for collection.

10. I am grateful for the nice person who housesits when I am away for an extended period of time. Even though I have to pay for the service, the peace of mind in knowing there is someone reliable to take care of my house is great. I also learnt all bunch of stuff about the house safety from this person as well as a security company. Learning is interesting and empowering.

11. I am grateful for deciding to pamper my body by moisturising, eating better, and walking more.

12. I am grateful for my line of credit. Now, that is weird I know – it would be much better if I had not needed it. But I do need it and it helps me from having a negative chequeing account, which costs more than the current credit balance.

13. I am grateful for experiencing something this morning. I went to grab something to eat and on the way back while waiting the elevator, I just straightened my back and shoulders and immediately I felt good. Confident. Determined. Man, it is true that our posture effects our mind and our mood! A very valuable experience for me. Surely will be practised again (highly recommended to try).

14. I am grateful for the quiet and safe night; I am grateful for keeping a quiet and peaceful life; I am grateful for taking time to relax; and I am grateful for everything and everyone that make these possible for me.

15. I am grateful that I could keep up with some of the challenges I assigned to myself: maybe not too many but here they are; eating better and enjoying the view, both at the office and at home, and relaxing.

16. I am grateful for being grateful and finding the energy and the wish to write these to my joy journal.

joy journal – May 14, 2015

1. I am grateful that my mood is up today. Partly because I did hardly have any time slot empty today. I can say maybe up to 8 formal and informal meetings I have had and all went all right. I love being busy but also relax; it was one of these days.

2. I am grateful that I noticed one of the reasons I feel stressed or lazy, especially in the mornings, is that I get up with many thoughts in my mind. I think if I focus on something rather than what I have to take care of during the day or in future, my chances of feeling better is more likely. They say being in the moment helps with this kind of stuff; would like to find a way to divert my mind to more positive things. May not be easy, but I will try 🙂

3. I am grateful that I made a conscious choice of not eating the cake at the social this afternoon, but rather had vegetables. I am seriously proud of myself. I had a chance to eat a variety of veggies and did not let my body get irritated by sugar.

4. I am grateful for one of my good friends/colleagues giving me a ride this afternoon. She is a sweetheart and I am lucky to have her as a friend. It makes a huge difference to have good, kind, wise, and nice people in my life. I am extra grateful that in the car there was another colleague of mine, whose name I had known but never had a chance to meet with. Considering that she had actually resolved one of my work-related issues today (I got a letter from her just today), I was so excited to meet with her. Amazing!

5. I am grateful that weather is nice today; not necessarily warm but really nice and bright. They say it will raise up to 16 C tomorrow. Cannot wait:)

6. I am grateful for having a phone interview in the morning with an applicant for my team. The applicant is not necessarily the best one suitable for my projects, yet there are some nice qualities about him that I may be interested in recruiting him. The phone conversation left a good impression on me. Better than what is written on the paper.

7. I am grateful for shopping in the afternoon. I found fresh mint, which excites me very much. Where I am, it usually is not a common herb, but I love it! I could not be happier 🙂

8. I am grateful for having a large green salad where I liberally used fresh mint. It was amazing! I should go back tomorrow and buy more. I would like to grow mint myself – I tried it before but now more than ever I am determined to find a way to do so.

9. I am grateful that I have had a protein-based meal for dinner and I am very pleased with the recent eating pattern. I bought bread today but I am keen of eating it less and veggies more. I will see how it goes.

10. I am grateful for my shoes, clothes, furniture, stationary items, my computer/cable/internet connection/TV that makes my life easy and comfortable. I am extra grateful for my house, however problematic it may be, for sheltering me from bad weather and the rest.

11. I am grateful for weighing a little bit less today compared to last couple of days. I know my body does not like simple carbs, especially bread, in excessive amounts. I am keen to keep my body happy and continue to lose water or fat, whatever it is that I am losing and have a healthy blood chemistry (i.e. normal level of glucose).

12. I am very grateful that I kept up with some of the challenges I listed a couple of days ago.  Specifically, I could get up right on time (8.15 am), waited and took the bus rather than the cab, drank a cup of tea at the office, not only looked out of my own office window but two other places to enjoy the scenery during the day, ate better and healthier, did not make unconscious expenses, shopped lightly and bought fresh produce, and smiled once or twice during the day (that made me smile now 🙂 ).

13. I am grateful for being grateful today.

cheers

joy journal – May 13, 2015

1. I had difficulty sleeping yesterday night, but I am grateful I got up only 30 min late. That meant me not being able to wait for the bus (argh!) and taking the cab again. I am not going to beat myself up for that, but I am extra grateful that I am feeling not good about this. I am hopeful about tomorrow.

2. I am grateful for taking care of a number of small stuff at work today. I feel the need to work on the major tasks, but when my daily schedule is fragmented between meetings, phone calls, urgent matters to take care of, and my team member’s needs, it is somehow difficult. I am planning to preserve the morning hours for me only. I think that is a great idea and I hope to implement it, starting tomorrow.

3. I am grateful for having a relaxing night at home. I have this new interest of “conscious spending”, which prompted me to look for and follow a number of blogs nowadays. I should say I am really inspired! I know I will not do the majority of the things suggested, but nevertheless they keep me focused on the conscious spending idea and help me to make small changes everyday.

4. I am grateful for having a really healthy dinner this evening. I did not buy bread today, so I am lacking the carbs to make me sleepy, but eating fruit a few minutes ago almost filled me and I hope this feeling will help me to fall asleep tonite. If I can make it, then it will make me believe that I will be able to live without being dependent on bread to make me feel good or sleepy. Confidence is a great feeling for implementing changes.

5. I am extra grateful that while I was getting ready to make pasta for tonite’s dinner, I changed my mind and rather prepared a vegetable dish. How could I do that? I am proud of myself 🙂

6. I am grateful that I worked with a junior team member of mine today on a project. I did not have clear answers but at least we tried to clarify things and I am hoping that was a good learning opportunity for her. She thanked me at the end, saying that now she has a better idea of how things should be. Is that not awesome? It is awesome! Do you know why? Because my other team members always expected me to have answers right away and fix things, which does not happen all the time. Great to have someone new with a different attitude around.

7. I am grateful for working till 6 pm at the office. Since days are longer now, it just feels okay to spend longer time at the office.

8. I am grateful for flossing almost consistently in the last month or so. Now, you may say, dear reader, that this is gross. I totally agree with you! It is gross. but then it is also healthy and I am kind of excited to be persistent about it. The trick that worked for me was to use the “flossers” rather than the floss (i.e. string) itself. this experience reminds me that sometime there are multiple ways to do things and if one way does not work, keep looking for alternatives. And who knows? Maybe we will come across one that works for us. Keep hope.

9. I am grateful for eating an apple today. Why? because of its health benefits 🙂

10. I am grateful for my computer that is still working. It has been slowed down in the last one year and frequently shuts down. When it shuts down, it does not start easily afterwards. Poor thing. It is time to get a new one and I ordered for one. Until the new one comes, I will be thankful each day I am capable of using it and connecting to internet.

11. I am grateful that I remembered to put the garbage out this morning; it is garbage collection day. So far I have not missed it not even once. I congratulate myself.

12. I am grateful for keeping up with some of my challenges today. In short, I ate healthy, limited the carbs considerably, drank two cups of tea, smiled once or so even when there was no one around, looked out of the window to enjoy the view, and did not have extra expense (other than the cab fare) that would threw away my “conscious spending” plan. well done!

13. I am grateful for not being lazy and writing this post tonite.

cheers everyone

joy journal – May 12, 2015

1. A relatively good day; I noticed that as I work, get results, and complete stuff I feel positive. I am very grateful for my job and feeling good, thanks to it.

2. I am grateful for the beautiful day! It is still chilly but bright and shiny. The effect the sunlight makes on me is amazing. Now that I have a window at my office I believe I get exposed to it more and that has substantial positive effect on me. well done! 🙂

3. I am grateful for getting up exactly at 8.15 am (to catch the bus at 8.35 am). They say that if you tell your brain the time you would like to get up, it does work like a clock. If this is the case (e.g. not a coincidence), then I thank my brain for making this possible today.

4. I am grateful that I dragged myself to the bus stop (rather than taking the cab), waited for the bus, and arrived my work place right before 9 am. I am cautious but I do really hope that taking the bus is now becoming a habit for me. Good for the environment, good for me.

5. I am grateful that I ate an apple today at the office. It was delicious and I know it is healthy.

6. I am grateful for drinking not one but 3 cups of tea today! I really love that I keep doing it. I even offered a cup of pomegranate tea to one of my team members, who loved it too. It is great!

7. I am grateful for working really well at the office; one of my team members and I came up with a good idea and did some awesome work. My team member and I are an excellent team – we understand each other, the way we work is similar to each other, she has a keen eye thus we catch mistakes and unclear points well (very critical in our job), and has an incredible positive energy and enthusiasm. I am very lucky to have her in my team and wishing her always the best.

8. I am grateful that I walked from office to home. Healthy and relaxing!

9. I am grateful for eating a large salad and protein-based meal for dinner. I am extra grateful that I limited my intake of refined carbs today.

10. I am grateful that today I did well in terms of the challenges I assigned to myself: I got up at 8.15 am, catched the bus, ate better and limited carbs, drank at least 1 cup of tea, I (when I remembered it 🙂 ) smiled even when there was no one around, looked out of the office window to appreciate the surroundings. Not bad for now, eh? 🙂

11. I am grateful for being grateful.

cheers

challenging myself

I have been thinking about changes that will enhance my life, my health, and my financial health for some time. I have not done anything substantial yet, which finally came to a point that the entire lack of implementation of changes started to make me unhappy with myself.

I do not need to be unhappy about myself.

The main problem of mine is that even though I know what can work, I have the confidence that they will work (I have done similar changes before), I just have a substantial need of pampering myself. The need to relax; the need to take a break from everything; the need to feel good; the need to not constrain myself. The more I pamper myself, the longer the issues remain unresolved, the heavier they accumulate as an emotional baggage.

In other words, pampering myself  = inaction = bothering myself more over the long run.

I do not need these.

From this morning on I invited myself to several challenges:

challenge 1: take the bus (not the cab) – get up at 8.15am to catch the bus.

challenge 2: eat better and healthy – cut out the carbs and consume more veggies

challenge 3: walk an extra 30 min at the weekends

challenge 4: do not buy books for two months

challenge 5: cut out the bagel breakfast- one bagel/breakfast

challenge 6: do grocery shopping as required and buy small amounts – many stuff perished in my fridge so far – what a sad waste.

challenge 7: start listening to music and relaxing 20 min a day.

challenge 8: drink at least one cup of tea a day

challenge 9: get up in the morning and smile to yourself and hum a song

challenge 10: look outside the window at the office three times a day – enjoy the view and relax

challenge 11: record the progress in these areas in breaking the routine or joy journal categories

challenge 12: increase the contribution made to the RRSP account

challenge 13: during the day remember to smile

challenge 14: lose 15 pounds in two months – record weight and food consumed every day

challenge 15: stick to the plans – I have done these before and I can do it again

joy journal – April 16, 2015

What an exciting (and tiring day 🙂 ). Here are today’s list of joyful events, experiences, and hopes.

1. I am grateful and extremely excited that I took the bus this morning, too. I have a weird habit of leaving the house upon getting up. It is an urge that I cannot explain and it does make me take the cab rather than waiting for the bus. And snow days are the worst, as I feel trapped at home. But today even though I had to wait at home an additional 15 min, I made it by keeping me busy with checking the emails. Time flew before I knew it and I arrived the bus stop maybe 5 min earlier. I made it! I hope to continue like this and keep taking the bus. It is easy, affordable, and fast!

2. I am grateful that I gave myself another present by buying coffee in the morning. It is an aromatic kind of coffee that I like. I think I should actually buy myself that kind of coffee to brew in my office.

3. I am grateful for moving my office and organizing everything in my new office. It is such a great office and I really like it. I am so excited!

4. I am grateful that I took a couple of minutes in my ex-office after we moved everything and contemplated about the times, cries, laughter, challenges, and good work I have had there. I have been in that office for more than 6 years… A lot of emotions attached. But, I love the change and I am cherishing it.

5. I am grateful that the water fountain is close to my new office (I drink around a litre of water every day at the office) and there is a sink in one of the rooms where I can wash my coffee mugs and coffee maker without spending too much time.

6. I am grateful for dumping quite a bit of unnecessary paperwork among my files. I think I have had something like two boxes of garbage dumped from my belongings. I am excited that I now have less files and folders, got rid of my second bookcase (which I have never liked anyways), by desk-station’s cabinets can hide away extra folders, and drawers takes up my personal stuff.

7. I am grateful that I had the momentum and the motivation to set everything in proper places in my new office. It was tiring, but I am amazed by my perseverance. I did not think that I could finish it today, but actually it happened. I know myself – if I had not finished it today, the remaining work would remain undone for some time. This office deserved better!

8. I am grateful that one of my work is now accepted! I had seen the congratulating emails after I got my computer is hooked up in the new office around noon. It always feels good 🙂

9. I am grateful that I have got rid of three old computer hard drives today. I do not know why I kept them for so long in my office. I think because they could still be useful for trainees or something. That experience made me remember one of the suggestions I had read somewhere that if we have not used something for six months (clothes included), it is time to let it go. Excellent advice.

10. I am grateful for walking back to home from the office, despite the facts that I was tired and there was a chilly wind outside.

11. I am grateful for eating salad and healthy today.

12. I am grateful that I have the evening to myself. I will take my time to relax, read, and watch TV. I guess one of my favourite TV shows has a new episode tonite. Cannot wait.

13. I am grateful for getting sleepy in the last few nights and going to bed at a regular time. That makes me sleep easily and get up early, too. Lovely.

14. I am grateful for my couch, furniture, food, house, power, TV, computer, and internet connection all of which helps me to have a comfortable, sheltered, and nourished life.

15. I am grateful for tomorrow – I gotta be somewhere else for a 6 hours work-related event but it does not start till 11 am. So I have the morning free. I plan to go to my favourite cafe, have breakfast, and also work till 10.45 am. It is a good plan.

16. I am grateful for being grateful and feeling better and excited today.

joy journal – April 15, 2015

relatively great day; I am thankful for many things today;

1. I am grateful that I slept well. It was comfortable and I woke up easily. I had a meeting at 9.30 am so I could take my time getting up (I planned to arrive directly at the meeting in another building). That also helped me to take the bus, rather than taking the cab. I not only saved some pennies but also walked a little bit to the bus stop and then to my meeting. Great!

2. I am grateful for the person at the desk that allowed me to use their phone to find out where the meeting was. It turns out I ended up at the wrong building and thanks to the phone conversation, I was able to locate the meeting room.

3. I am grateful for 10 min walk from the building where the meeting was held to my office. Morning walks energizes at the end, but I find myself to lazy to walk in the mornings (usually have low energy in the mornings..). I can try more often, knowing that at the end I will feel better.

4. I am grateful for buying myself coffee and muffins for breakfast. Now, brewing my coffee is more practical and affordable (which I do 99% of the time) and muffins are not necessarily healthy; I know. But, it did feel good..(I usually do not eat in the mornings).

5. I am grateful for lightly working (without much stress) but effectively. There was a project that I was working on, writing for almost 3 months. I changed the scope quite a bit as I learnt more about the important details of the work to be done. But today I was able to get a short draft and email it to an important senior collaborator to get his support and possibly involvement. My collaborator would not like to be involved in the project as he is trying to reduce his work load, but is highly supportive of the project and allowed me to use the documents and the work-space for this project. I am forever grateful!

6. I am grateful for having a nice late afternoon meeting, casual and positive conversations, with great colleagues. Always a delight.

7. I am grateful for moving 5-6 more boxes of items from my current office to the new office today. I believe I need another 4-5 boxes to fully carry the items to the new office. I am also grateful that I put an order to move my computer to the new office on monday, but not wednesday, which is my official moving day. That means I think tomorrow is my last day at my current office (friday I have out-of-office tasks to do, so will not be at the work-place). I sure will give my thanks to the office, which has been a home to me in the last 6 years.

8. I am grateful for cleaning some of my (emptied) office furniture today. I still have 3 desks and a bookcase to be cleaned really well prior to the move, but I guess I can do that next week.

9. I am grateful for one of my colleagues giving me a ride back home.

10. I am grateful for having the evening and night to myself. It is peaceful and relaxing.

11. I am grateful for having salad at dinner today. One healthy meal I have had 🙂

12. I am grateful for receiving one of the books that someone I care about asked me to get for her. I found it in my mail box, which is great. Should the book have been big or heavy, the postman would not leave it to my mail box; rather I would have to go to the post-office. I am grateful I did not have to do that.

13. I am grateful for the beautiful day; it is bright yet chilly, but that is okay.

14. I am grateful for having no negative news or experiences today and feeling good. That feeling is awesome :0

15. I am grateful that two bloggers, thesmallc and C. Hills  have shared what they were grateful for yesterday as a response to my joy journal entry! It is really exciting that these ladies adopted the idea of joy journalling and shared own joys! I feel really excited about this and wishing them and everyone else a great experience with joy journalling:)

welcoming the long weekend

The long weekend started and I am not even excited about that; why?

I blame the absence of bread from my life 🙂 I am mostly kidding, but seriously bread or carbs have huge pacifying effect on me. I have not been eating bread in the last few days and sleeping is more difficult, so is feeling excited. Random or causal association? I do not know.

I have 3 days to myself, to be spent with friends and activities such as going to book stores and buying books, which always excite me. I will be away from the office, too, which is a great plus. Yet, here I am thinking; there must be something different that I can do tonite (I am obviously bored right away) and all I am thinking is eating carbs or desserts (even though I am not a dessert person).

Oh well, I think I will actually do that.

joy journal – April 1, 2015

It has been a good day; here what make today a good day and me grateful for it:

1. I am grateful that I am alive, well, and sound.

2. I am grateful for the healthy meal I have had for dinner. I did not eat bread today, either. Kinda missing it as it has a pacifying effect on me. But perhaps after a couple of days, I will get used to that “withdrawal” symptom 🙂

3. I am grateful that even though I had a busy schedule today as well, similar to yesterday I kept calm and efficient and took care of work well.

4. I am glad I have walked back from office to home. I even did grocery shopping, something less to think about for the weekend 🙂

5. I am grateful for my progress in topics that I tend to procrastinate. Mostly because I do not know what to do actually. Such as finding a construction company to fix minor stuff around my house. I cannot say I have found it yet, but I have started and once I start, I keep going. I will do just fine, with some good luck in finding a good company.

6. I am grateful that the positive effect of the books I have had last week are continuing. I am calmer, more positive (and kinder), and quite functional. As a matter of fact, more efficient. I know after a while I will stop reading them and start other books, but I take this experience as a gift.

7. I am grateful that a task that required some extra time, which was not welcome by the other side is now completed. I have done my best to do a good job, as much as I can under the pressure of timeline. If there are any omissions or mistakes, I guess I should remember I have done my best with it.

8. I am grateful that now I have time to move on with other important projects that have been waiting my attention for some time. It is great that starting next week, I will be able to take care of them.

9. I am grateful that I have got a complementary copy of a business book today; it is a great book, did not cost me anything, and it is free to be used by anyone in my department.

10. I am grateful that Friday is off! I am actually very excited about this! Why? First of all, it is a good break from office – I am sure on Sunday I will be bored and be very enthusiastic to go back to office on Monday and work :). Second, I am aware that on Friday stores will be closed; but that is okay; I can clean the house and do laundry that day. But Saturday and Sunday, I am sure I will visit the shopping malls, mostly the book stores, change the environment, drink coffee at different places, buy new books, and read my books with excitement 🙂 excited!

11. I am grateful that I am grateful today.

there… I am complaining about myself

I started writing this post and then erased multiple times.

It is only because I want to complain about myself (for my senseless eating today), but then what is the benefit of the negative reactions? What happened to my joy journal entries? Where is the gratefulness, excitement, and joy of the day?

I have conflicting feelings as you can see – shall I feed the unpleasant feelings I have about not taking good care of my body by eating unhealthy stuff, shall I contemplate a little bit more on it and make a strong mental note of “eat better everyday”, or shall I forget all, forgive all, and focus on the positive sides of my day?

I think for such an important reason (and the reason is my health), I can continue to feel my negative feelings to help enforce my aim of eating better. Focusing on the positive is a great skill, yet sometimes for the long-term good, complaining about my own behaviour/eating and enforcing a better diet is way more valuable.

So, there I am complaining about myself.

This being said, it does not mean that I cannot end this post with a positive tone! I hope everyone who is hungry will find food and nourish their body and soul. I hope there will be no homeless, hungry, or diseased person without a safe and warm shelter, support, and care they need. I hope my senseless eating today (and many other days over the years) will help me to instead start being helpful to others.

tomorrow can be a better day

I am not sure what should be the title of this post: “joy journal” or “random thoughts”.

I will let you decide.

1. It is a sunday night 🙂 The day has been okay; I had breakfast at a cafe, spent time reading and writing, prepared a healthy meal and enjoyed it, and I am into this peaceful night a lot.. Maybe I will go to bed late, till I really relax browsing/reading. I have no interest in going to work tomorrow – I have been feeling so in the last few weeks. For some reason, I am feeling overwhelmed when I think about work. But then when I go to work and work efficiently, I feel great about myself, great about my work, and great about my day.

I can feel the stress on my body, though – my shoulders are tight and achy; I hope this feeling will be gone quite soon.

2) I have been reading quite a bit about the posts written on cancer. It occurs to me how different people go through it differently. And there is so much courage and effort there; important decisions, overwhelming feelings, obstacles that do not exist anywhere else but the reality of cancer to be overcome. Cancer is such as personal experience and such a demanding disease – physically, psychologically, emotionally, financially, and socially. Why do we have this disease? Why did it evolve and make itself an integral part of our lives?

Stories I have read as well as the writings by the patients reminded me that I have not been to my physician for some time and it is time to get my blood test done; running away from the medical care is not the solution – in contrast it can create problems. Cancer for one if diagnosed early can be treated more effectively. It saves lives.

I thank all who shared their stories and increased awareness about this disease. Very well done.

3) This morning there was high winds around here – before that though, it rained… The problem with rain immediately after a lot of snow is that it melts snow… And the snow we have had last week was too much and the city did not remove them from the fronts of our houses. So in the morning while going to the cafe, I noticed that there was an accumulation of rain on around my house, around the snow banks. It alarmed me; I tried to open a passage for this water to run down the street (I am on a street with a slight hill) so that instead of accumulating around my house, the rain would drain down to the street. I have checked it a couple of times, seems to work rather inefficiently. I hope tomorrow will be a better day..

Yes, tomorrow can be a better day 🙂 for everyone I hope 🙂

healthy eating, limitations, and the joy of it

many years ago, I had prioritized the well-being of my body; I was exercising and eating well.

There was an incredible pleasure in going to different stores to get the healthiest food; one store to get the tofu and the dandelion; another store to get bulk tea and spices (and those spices were just awesome! all bunch of different ones, smelling so nice…), another store to get the fresh produce, and yet another one to get the beans and legumes…. My meals were not necessarily the best or the tastiest one (only because I am not interested in cooking), but I was eating a variety of food prepared in a way healthier way than now.

There was an interesting satisfaction in eating healthy – I cannot put my finger on it. But it was indeed a great feeling; something like “I am doing a great job taking good care of myself”.

Why did I stop doing that????

I can tell you why – I moved to a smaller city with limited choices of stores and food. Yes there are some stores I can go get the legumes, but in terms of fresh produce, spices, and teas, it is very disappointing here..

nevertheless, next weekend I will make an attempt to go to different stores around the city to see whether I can find things that are different than what is available in stores close to me.

And that idea excites me 🙂

joy journal – March 19, 2015

Feeling not bad; in contrast I am joyful today, so let’s write them down 🙂

1. I am grateful I get up not late anymore (after the spring daylight saving switch); it is good. I can go to office on time and make the best of the day.

2. I am grateful I have lost a couple of pounds lately; I am loving this. Let’s hope I will continue to eat healthy 🙂

3. I am grateful for working just fine; I had a meeting in the middle of the day, which somehow derailed me from work/focus, but I cannot complain about the work I have done today. Feels satisfactory.

4. I am grateful for taking the bus on the way back from the office. I have witnessed a lovely example of kindness; when the bus had stopped at a stop, 20 meters ahead of us an elderly lady fell and could not get up. All traffic stopped to let the lady go up. However, the lady could not, which I believe was because of either her injuries or the ice on the road. A passenger from the bus, another lady, got off the bus and helped her out. Another person from a vehicle on the road also helped. The elderly lady was able to walk herself, which was very pleasing to see. I thanked the lady on the bus, who helped her; I think kindness should be acknowledged; they have done very well. I hope when they need help, there will be others who will help them, too.

5. I am grateful I did my grocery shopping this evening. I am pleased with what I have got and excited about the salt-bag I purchased; sometimes they are so hard to find! I figured while I have the chance I can get an extra one for the house. Well done.

6. I am glad I have carried my groceries and the salt (25 pounds) to home. Even for a short distance, I think carrying heavy items helps the bones and the respiratory system. Happy with that.

7. I am grateful it is thursday, the day before the friday! I plan to shop this weekend, which is always exciting.

8. I am grateful for getting a working copy of the software today that gave me trouble yesterday. I am extra grateful that I had contacted the company yesterday; they confirmed that they also experienced the problem and they will send out a report to get it fixed/notify people. For some reason, I am feeling very good about that; did my trouble with software yesterday help other users? I think so. Then, the trouble I had yesterday is all worth it.

9. I am grateful for having extra toothbrushes at home – the one I have is new but its such an abrasive kind of brush that I feel like it hurts my teeth/gums. I am replacing it with a soft one I had stocked up a while ago.

10. I am grateful for chatting with a good friend of mine today. Always relaxing to have a good and sincere communication.

11. I am grateful for being grateful and feeling good today 🙂

bread; love or not?

Just a couple of days ago, I started to be a little bit more conscious about my eating habits; I am trying to eat more raw vegetables and less bread.

There is something about either eating raw vegetables or limiting refined carbs such as bread I found helpful with losing weight.

I am not sure which one is the cause of this, but it is good to know that by a simple change, things can turn around.

Since it was only a few days since I started eating vegetables/salad again and losing some pounds, I am not naive to think that I am losing fat yet; it is probably water. Either veggies help get rid of water in the body, or bread causes some kind of reaction in my body, which requires water retention. Argh… The food that I love most seems to work against my body.

breaking the routine – March 18, 2015

1. A software problem led me to work on a team-members’s computer this afternoon. That person was away today so I was able to handle the work. The keyboard, the mouse, and the monitor… they were all different.

2. Preparing a healthy meal without falling in the laziness trap for dinner is my best activity today.

3. For the first time I guess, I shovelled snow upon returning back to home in the evening. How come I did not get indifferent to the snow and how I did not feel lazy, I have no idea.

4. This morning, I made a choice to hum a song upon getting up! Hilarious, yet made me feel good! gotta do that more often 🙂

joy journal – March 18, 2015

Here is today’s joy list 🙂

1. I am feeling alright today; I have been feeling better nowadays, which is great. Not sure whether I have a relax schedule this week and I can focus on work and take care of stuff without much stress, or was it the long-weekend that helped me relax. I am not sure, yet whatever it was, I am very much grateful for this feeling.

2. I am grateful for being well and sound, warm and sheltered. My thoughts are with those who lack these basic needs.

3. I am grateful for not getting a lot of snow today; we had flurries in the afternoon, but it did not continue after that. Everywhere is full of snow – there is no sidewalks visible. This was the heaviest dump of snow this year, which I hope will wash away soon by the help of rain (hope no ice will form after the rain though..)

4. I am grateful for my morning coffee! Always a delight 🙂

5. I am grateful for working fine today; I left the office late again. I had a trouble with one of the statistical programs we have been using. It seems the new version installed in the last few weeks has some problems. I called the company and they showed quite an interest to the problem and phoned/email me back several times to resolve. That feels good.

6. I am grateful for taking the bus this evening; despite the snow.

7. I am grateful for eating healthy. As a matter of fact, I think it was the healthiest meal I had in the last few months. Good job! 🙂

8. I am grateful for noticing once more that sometimes it is best I take a break prior to making a decision for a new issue. I gotta give my mind some room to evaluate things, to see the picture wholly…I am so fed up with fire-fighting with issues everyday that I just do not want to spend time with anything, just make a decision. Sometimes, though later I come up with better decisions. Mental note to self….

9. I am grateful for waking up on time this morning.

10. I am grateful for not having an early morning meeting tomorrow; I can go to bed late tonite and enjoy my time until then reading and watching TV.

11. I am grateful for the kindness I have seen from a stranger today. I may as well create similar experiences for others.

12. I am grateful for shovelling the front of my house a little bit this evening. I predict there will be more snow coming possibly tomorrow, and the already high snow banks around my door is not going to help at all. I actually suspect that these snow banks are getting harder to shovel, so when new snow dumps, it is not gonna be fun.. But I will see how it goes.

13. I am grateful that in two weeks, we will have another long-weekend. Great, great, great!!!

14. I am grateful that I am not sickened by stress, at least do not show some symptoms…. One of my colleagues had some health problems lately which she purely says because of stress… everybody I guess responds to stress differently. I am grateful that despite my stress, my system works just fine..

breaking the routine – March 17, 2015

With or without choice, here are the things I have done differently today;

1. For the first time in my life, this morning I spent around 45 min to open a passage to get out of my home. For the first time!! There was a lot of snow yesterday, but the city’s snow plows should have worked during the night/early morning to put the snow in the street to the front of my house.

2 I ate  salad after a month or so. Happy to eat raw vegetables as part of my new recent “healthy eating” choice.

3. I started real work at the office quite late – may be 3pm or so and continued to work till 7.30. I am surprised because my energy would usually drain in the afternoons. Must be the benefit of the long weekend 🙂

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