Holiday Break – Day 8

I have nothing to do today, so I will pay a visit to my office. Just to slowly get back into the grove and prioritize things to do in the new year.

I have come up with my New Year Resolutions:

  • limiting animal meat in my diet
  • losing 30 pounds of weight
  • reducing fat and salt consumption
  • walking faster

None of these – except the walking part – are new wishes.

Money Success GIF by NAB - Find & Share on GIPHY

I have tried to be vegetarian for a very long time. My first trial in almost 20 years ago ended up with altered brain chemistry (I think Vitamin B deficiency). So I ate animal meat every once a while, sometimes more than once in a week. I remain however being mostly a plant eater. I will try again – I feel for the animals.

Losing weight has been my life long goal. It hardly happens 🙂 But every little bit of consideration and exercise helps.I should have hope that even small actions will bring me small but significant positive effects.

Now that I am over 50, I am more and more concerned about potential health problems. So salt and butter/olive oil can get less consumed now.

I am an avid walker, but I hear that walking fast even for a shot period of time can bring extra cardio benefits. So, I will aim for it.

Run Away GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

As per New Year Resolutions – I too am skeptical that they work, but what I like about them is that it gives us a chance to reflect and realize what we want for ourselves. Having these goals in mind is important. Sometimes we find new inspirations and goals, and they change our lives, too.

If you have resolutions and cannot complete them, do not worry. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder as you have actually prioritized yourself and wanted to improve your life. This is a golden act.

I am grateful for the Holidays Break that makes me reflect on myself and realize my wishes.

What do you wish for yourself in the New Year?

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Change is good and is here

Happy Sunday, folks – I hope you all are safe and well.

Do you know this feeling when you constantly run from one thing to the next and wish you could just stop and process what has been happening?

Run Away GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I bet you do.

Those who follow my blog knows that I have an intense work that makes me run from literally one meeting to the next, from one task to the other.

I hardly have that life-work balance, and work most of the time, even when I am exhausted.

The good thing is that I have been taking a couple of days off here and there, and this gave me the much needed opportunity to just stop and process.

Relaxing Space And Time GIF by Mya - Find & Share on GIPHY

What did I find during these self-reflection moments?

I have done so well within the last few years, and especially since the Holidays since when I was non-stop working. Yes, things are slower and requires much more effort and time (working from home..), but I have actually done quite a lot, and also entered into new areas and experiences professionally, so I actually admire my interest and resilience now.

I also found out that I was in peace with my past and was peaceful in the present. Whether this is because of my age and wisdom coming from it, or something else (like my antidepressant medication), I do not know. What I know is that I feel good and I am aware that everything happened and every choices I made, even the bad ones, brought me to today.

Chanel Iman Peace GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I also realized that I had changed a little bit, especially during the pandemic. I can so “no” more easily and reduce my workload (and stress). I can stop being too meticulous on things that do not matter that much. I still do a great, high quality job. I just better sort what needs my meticulousness, time, and efforts at full extent, and what does not.

And, I found out that I need to change a couple of things in my daily life. I struggle with eating a variety of food – I tend to eat the same greens and fish all the time. Recently shopping became just an automatic act, picking up the same things all over week after week. I always fell into this routine. I made a mental note that I could make an effort to diversify the food I am consuming, and make cooking and eating a little bit fun.

Cheese Stirring GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I also need to care more about my bones, muscles, and flexibility as a mid-age lady. I know walking is great but it does not help much with the bone density, so light weight training as well as stretching need to be an integral part of my daily life. These are not new aims – in the past I was able to keep up with them for sometime, and then they slowly slipped out of my routine. Why? Because I have so many things in my to-do list. By having a me-time, which will help these permanently integrated in my life. is thus more important than ever.

Workout Gym GIF by Petter Pentilä - Find & Share on GIPHY

My weight. I was always a big girl, which I do not mind. But with age came the fat in the belly area, which I do not like. I know what makes me lose weight and what makes me gain weight. Exercise will not make me lose weight, only what I eat. So more greens, less starchy food, and more protein. That is my best dietary strategy to lose the fat. Since I many times in my life wanted to lose weight but never kept it, perhaps this aim is now more important than ever. Why not to make the weight loss one aim that will stamp my mid-age years? Worth trying 🙂

Professionally, I looked at my to do list and I have seen a couple of things only 🙂 That means I can start new projects, undertake new roles, and develop more as a professional. I am very excited about this 🙂

Dont Worry Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Somethings however does not need to change. They are well established in my life and they are good. for example, saving, investing money for my retirement. Cleaning the home regularly. Visiting the thrift stores for items I may need and use. Helping others in need, such as family or animal shelters. Limiting waste, especially food waste. My furniture or other items in the house. All good for now.

The moral of the story is that sometimes we need to stop and help our mind bring us what needs to be cherished and what needs to change. Both are good. Take that time off, folks.

Personal plans and excitement for 2020

It is the last day of the decade….

We are closing a year with all the happenings and entering into a new chapter in our lives with great expectations. This day deserves some closure on our emotional world and some new paths in our life directions.

While reflecting during the holiday season this year, I noticed that in terms of having plans for the new year, I felt like floating randomly rather than swimming in a direction towards where I want to land.

Was this a bad thing? A good thing?

Upon further reflection, I have seen that I have achieved quite a bit of what I wanted in the last years, and was maintaining these in my life as well. This meant that I did not need to have specific plans to integrate them in my life. These included my financial plans/savings, being resourceful, keeping hobbies (like books, baking) and work-productivity and all. I had a great job (even though stressful), a house (even though still paying off mortgage), a simple and effective life-style, and was constantly reflecting on life, myself, and my work. I was healthy and did not have a chronic health issue and such. In the book of many, these meant I had a good life.

So, eventually that sensation of floating turned out to be an indicator of a good thing 🙂

It also meant that there were other things to change and improve in my life, I could work towards higher levels of satisfaction and meaning in life.

Eventually, my wishes and plans for my life from now on all came on the following four areas:

  1. Wellness and well-being
  2. Recognition
  3. Success
  4. Sorting out what is important and what is not


  1. Wellness and well-being
  • I want to lose fat.

I am over-weight. I have always been, I guess. But this is getting a little bit our of hand.

My weight-related issues have controlled me and my life my entire life. I was fat. Ugly. Disgusting. Unwanted. Unliked. Unloved. I feel resentments towards those, including my own family members, that unknowingly sow the seeds of low-self esteem in me because of my weight, and making me resentful towards them.

I want to feel better about myself; I have that years of training – by both the family and society – that I can only be pretty if I am slim. I cannot shake this up. I believe that I will feel better, pretty, and confident if I lose weight.

A second and perhaps a less important motivation is health-related. I want to drop the extra fat so that my knees, back, and feet experience less pressure & less wear and tear. I want to feel strong and able for a very long time. With my lower back issues in the last 4 years and my feet/knee problems since this summer, it is becoming at an alarming level. I believe that it will also help with metabolic disorder – if I have that – and heart health should I lose 15% of my body weight. This is, my friends, 33 pounds.

They say that in order to accomplish a goal, it must be as specific as possible, have a time-line, and be measurable.

My timeline is a year from today; by the end of 2020 I plan to lose 33 pounds off my current body weight.

The plan for this?

I must just control my out eating; when I eat what I eat regularly I slowly lose weight. But when it is the holidays, there is a social, a trip, or visit to home, I eat and eat and eat. End result is gaining what I have been losing.

There must be a way to end this process.

I will also cut out wheat – I will try to bake breads using different flours and see whether this makes a difference. And will be drinking green tea. The rest can be pretty much like before.

  • Exercise, bone health, and supplements

I have been walking steadily almost every day, which is great. However, winter is here and it will be kind of difficult to walk on the icy weather. Nevertheless, I am determined to keep walking as much as I can. In addition to this, I re-introduced my in-home exercises during the holidays. They are light stretches and weight-training exercises, such as push-ups or lifting dumbbells. I also have back exercises that straighten my abs and back muscles. I can feel the sore muscles on my back, abs, and arms which tells me that these exercises, however, light they may be are working 🙂

In terms of bone health – I must pay more attention to taking my Calcium supplement and drinking my milk. I have no hots for the milk, my friends. Yogurt is great, but not the milk. So, I do not know what else can be done, other than reminding myself to take my supplements.

I also have iron, vitamin Bs, and vitamin D supplements. I want to use them time to time, even though a regular use is not needed. Iron particularly may be needed as I am moving away from eating animal meat again. Vitamin D is great as it is the winter season and it helps absorption of Calcium.


    2. Recognition and 3. Success

I have been working very very hard and meticulously, and I have made lost of positive contributions to my field and work-place.

I rightfully now accept and welcome all the great recognitions, awards, thank you notes, and letters by my unit, institution, and national and international organizations. I also welcome and accept with open arms the success that I deserve, promotions, invitations, awards, acknowledgments, and all the other indicators of success that are a part of my line of profession.

I have no hesitation to welcome these.

2020 is that year – once again but in a very longtime now – that I lift my chin up with confidence, satisfaction, and pride & be excited about my work and my accomplishments.


    4. Sorting out what is important and what is not.

This is a must. Does it take minutes even hours to decide what gift to pick, what action to take next?

Both in my professional and personal life, I do find it increasingly difficult to confidently make decisions for no apparent reason.

I have no plan for this, other than to ask my self each time whether it is worth my energy, time, and mental efforts. I must remember that these are important too and should not be depleted so easily. Luckily, I picked a book yesterday just on this topic – I believe it will be helpful to me.


With these and with love, I end this post. I wish all of you a great new year, my friends. May it bring to you whatever your kind heart desires and deserves.

Sweet 2020.










A look at my 2019

I have had an interesting year, for sure.

I remember that at the beginning, I was frustrated with my family a lot and was ready to cool our relationship. Then, a dear family member of mine had a near-death experience, which made me re-think about my stupid frustrations. It was a very rocky and startling start to the new year…

I was working hard and stressed, and frustrated. On top of these, I also had developed insomnia, with 4-5 hours of sleep every night. There were toxic colleagues around, which made things worse. I knew I was going for a tough time, but also kept my hopes high. I took a couple of days off in mid-winter and did not even check my emails during this time. It was refreshing and one of the best decisions ever.

Then I went to visit my family and had a pleasant time with them. It was also quite relaxing for me. Since then I hardly have had insomnia.

Upon turning from this visit, I made important decisions. Two things have controlled me during my entire life – my weight and junk food. I decided to end both of these and take the control of my own life. I succeeded in refraining from junk food (almost 5 months now 🙂 ), but my weight loss saga is far from a success. I am still determined, however.

I continued to work hard and got an international recognition mid Fall. This was one of the best feelings ever. I also took new roles and enjoyed them very much.

One of my most toxic colleagues has left my unit, leaving me with a sense of happiness and comfort.

I saved quite a bit of money, especially after quitting the junk food. It was amazing. My chequing account is now at the positive numbers, and I was even able to make a pre-payment order.

In so many ways, it has been a challenging year – personally and professionally. But I also see many positive developments in me; like taking time off from work, keeping my hope up, pursuing freedom from habits that drag me down, saving a good amount of money and appreciating my family better. I also see how lucky I am sometimes; the toxic people leaving my work environment is a blessing.

There are things, like weight loss, I must continue to work on. But I know I will. There is still a week till 2020 – this is the best time for me to formulate what I would like to change and improve/integrate in my life.

It is exciting 🙂

random thoughts


I have had three long and unproductive meetings in the last two days. As a result, once again I ask for a world without work meetings.


I said it.


I have seen a colleague of mine in one of these meetings. She and I hit off quite fast a few years back. Even though we do not see each other much, we seem to get along just fine. She told me today that she has been sick for sometime and she had quite worrisome days. We talked. Our approach to health problems are similar, so I understood her well and treated her the way I would like to be treated if I were in her shoes. As a result, she was relieved and happy, and so was I. And our friendship, thus, got stronger.

And that feels good.


I have been trying to lose weight since August and I am not losing it…… What is going on, really? How do I reach that goal????




By the way; those that waste my time with these meetings where I am not even needed, do me a favor and get out of my head. I would love to feel rather peaceful and hopeful tonite than remembering and getting annoyed by your memory.

So, here is a beautiful piece of music that just washes my palate and gives me positive vibes.

Good night friends.



random thoughts

After a couple of days with temps around 30C, I welcome the cooler and slightly rainy today 🙂

I continue to sleep well – the last 2 weeks since my vacation. I hope it will continue like this for ever. I really do! Insomnia and waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep have been such a recurring and annoying theme, in the last year particularly… I am grateful for the comfortable and easy sleep I have in the last while.

This is the 5th day that I gave up junk food (yes, again. I am trying again).  It is hard. Very hard. I know after a few weeks, I will get used to living without them, but the first days are the hardest – especially at around noon. Then, I crave for them. Yesterday and today were particularly difficult. I believe with each day it will get better, but goodness, is there a medication or something like that to get rid of the cravings!!!

It is quite a mental judo. But, I want to be in control of my life and quitting junk food is one the ways to do it. The second one is to lose weight. Interestingly junk food addiction and weight gain are linked, right?


And both of them have been a struggle for years (or decades). They both made me feel dissatisfied/angry with myself and with my life. Five days ago I decided that I wanted to remove these from my life, be content with myself, and take control of my life back. Do you think I can do these?

No more junk food (how am I going to “gift” myself when I am stressed or want to enjoy my moment?), eating better and cooking at home (I actually do this and enjoy it as long as I have time), looking better with better outfit (yes, I want to buy new ones as soon as I start losing weight; I have not updated my wardrobe in the last while) and a better hair cut (boy, I love my hair but it really does not look good in this humid weather. I want a short, modern cut that I will wear with love and confidence), and feeling more confident and self-pleased as a result.

I really want to do these, but it is hard, especially with the cravings I have for junk food during the afternoon.

I have little confidence in me that I will get over these and reach my objectives, but hey, maybe I am in a lucky period of time.



the 8th day of the staycation

Wow!.. Days pass quickly. I cannot believe that I have 6 days left before I return back to office and start a work-marathon….This thought somehow depressed me, but I will let it go.

I have had a fine day with shopping and nothing else in particular. I am making an effort to have free time so that I can reflect rather than keep myself busy with doing house chores or other activities.

The year 2016 has been quite an interesting year for my life. I felt happiness quite a bit; especially when I started yoga/stretching classes in January. It was going well, I was feeling connected to my body and appreciating it, but then one night I pulled a muscle on my back and I quit those classes. Alas..

I under-estimated how bad that lower back problem was and even though I was recommended to see a physiotherapist I did not and two weeks later I pulled it again. I had no chance but to take it serious. And I have. I attended physiotherapy, my work-place purchased me a standing desk, and I have been doing my back stretches/strengthening exercises  quite frequently. My back is feeling alright, but I am not naive to think that it has been healed completely. I will keep taking care of it.

Then late February my dad passed away and sadness engulfed me. if you follow my blog, you know I am grieving quite a bit… He was a gentle soul who deserved much better. I wish our lives were different.. May he rest in peace.

My relationship with my family strained a little bit after my dad passed away and we are trying to mend it. I never thought that I could have such a serious issues with my family members, but I did. Just recently I decided to go visit them this summer – I hope things will be back to normal. Love is stronger than anything else, even though time to time I too succumb into disliking things and people. Nothing changes the fact that my family is important to me.

In October, I went to a European convention and got strained there for two additional days because of a labor issue in the host country. The stress and anxiety I felt was palpable – would I be able to find a hotel room to stay? When could I return back safely? . Eventually it turned out to be okay, but this incident changed me a little bit. perhaps next time I can handle it better (not that I wish another adventure like this…). During those times I accidentally stepped on a song by Sia – Chandelier, which remains to be one of my favorites since then. I believe there has not been a day that I have not listened to it. The voice is captivating (though I am not sure what to think about the video).


In May I started to bake my own bread and in september I started my own sourdough starter 🙂 these two have been quite interesting adventures and  I am so happy that I have them in my life 🙂

And lately in November or so, I also became interested in sewing; I bought my sewing machine and have been collecting all the notions and supplies since then. I am not good at sewing yet, but I hope I will be over time 🙂

And, as per my budget; I have had the greatest budget at the beginning of 2016; it was the leanest budget I have had in the last 7-8 years and it did wonders for me. I was able to significantly reduce my spending, bring my chequing account to a positive balance, increase my RRSP contributions and my mortgage payments. During summer I succumbed back to spending unnecessarily, yet I hope the new year will give me a chance to keep my budget on track.

And finally; I lost around 15-20 pounds during the the past year. I suspect that baking my own bread and my lower back problem both contributed to it. I am feeling good about it and wish to keep losing some more fat in the coming year.

As per work; it continues to stress me out and I perform well, however, less than before. There are times that our interests change and I guess it has been the case for my work too. I still do a considerable amount of work, but there were times that I wished I could retire. Retirement is a distant dream, but it is such a freeing dream… I wonder what else I would discover and get interested in….

This year was also one of these that I made an attempt to be more social. I hosted a few times at my house, but it worked out well. I socialized with friends and colleagues and enjoyed them to some degree. Honestly I am not very interested in hosting or socializing again anytime soon, but I am glad at least I tried, made an effort to enjoy these occasions, and realized once more that solitude is the best life-style for me.

Quite a busy and influential year, is it not? 🙂

joy journal – Oct 23, 2016

I am feeling very joyful and I cannot wait to share it 🙂

1. I am grateful for the warm weather. It has been raining yesterday and today. There is a lot of humidity and surprisingly a relatively high temperature. My window is open right now to let the cool and fresh air get in. What a luxury for a late October day 🙂

2. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up not too late. I was refreshed and ready to walk and work my body. It is a great feeling for someone like me who is usually not a morning person. I give half of the credit to the warm weather.

3. I am grateful for going to two stores and getting stuff that I would be needing soon. One of them were eggs, which were on sale. Since I consume eggs quite a bit, I was happy to find them on sale and stock up for the coming weeks. I love it when the food I love is on sale; it makes me very abundant and grateful 🙂

4. I am grateful for walking like 30 min in the morning to the stores. It was a fine day; my body enjoyed the walk and the sweats, and I was convinced once more that my iron and vitamin D supplements are doing a great job keeping my energy levels up. I lived in a minimum energy levels for almost 7 years… It is hard not to feel sorry for yourself when you do not even want to walk 10 min to a store. It is actually a horrible feeling, as I was prior to that time quite active and energetic. I am so grateful for my doctor putting me on these supplements and making me feel alright again. May they find the help and support when they most need it.

5. I am grateful for the milk I drank this noon – it was fresh and so tasty. Milk has never tasted so great to me, so I savored it for some time…

6. I am grateful for talking with my family and sharing laughs 🙂

7. I am grateful for my family being safe and sound.

8. I am grateful for my no food-waste policy. I admit that I am not 100% successful in this, but since last year I have come quite a long way. Today, I prepared a nice dish with the stalks of the swish chard that were left from yesterday’s baking. Basically, fry a large onion in vegetable oil, cut and mix in the stalks, add 1 cup water, let them soften for 5 or so and then add salt and chili flakes. Yummy 🙂

9. I am grateful for being 194 pounds.. I am steadily and slowly losing weight and I am excited about this. The tricks were: a) limiting late-night eating, b) eating raw veggies (like celery, red cabbage, cucumber, tomato, herbs, lettuce, carrots etc.) every day. I believe both of these are working just fine. I also think increased calcium intake helps with weight loss, though I have no idea whether this is a scientific fact or a statement from the milk lobby?

10. I am grateful for my new hair; for the first time in my life I have long bangs now. My hair is neck-length and my bangs too. For the first time in my life.. And I am loving it 🙂 Go try something new and surprise yourself 🙂

11. I am grateful for the food I have had today; all fresh, healthy, and tasty.

12. I am grateful for the sourdough I baked today; I should have baked it a little bit longer but it was just fine. I added a little bit more salt this time, which really suits this hearty bread. I hope to remember to continue with it.

13. I am grateful for having so many food and pantry items at home. I believe I do not need to purchase anything for a month or so (except the fresh produce and milk). Looks like I have done very well in terms of stocking up things that I regularly use. I feel very abundant and excited about it 🙂

14. I am grateful for the TV show I have been watching since yesterday – The legend of the Seeker. I remember this show from many years ago and I am loving seeing it again. Thank you youtube for making this pleasure possible.

15. I am grateful for having an uneventful and relaxing sunday. It may be a work day tomorrow, but that also is fine.

16. I am grateful for being safe, healthy, and felling good about myself, my body, and my life.

17. I am grateful for being grateful and feeling excited and happy 🙂



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.

joy journal – July 26, 2016

Been a while… There are many things to note yet I will keep it to the things/experiences/people that have been giving me excitement, hope, and happiness lately.

1. I am grateful for the day. It has been just the right temperature; neither hot nor cool, with a little breeze and lots of sunshine. A perfect summer day :).

2. I am grateful for getting up earlier than usual and not getting crazy about hastily leaving the home a soon as I wake and dress up. I spent around 30 min at home in the morning, browsing the internet while waiting for the next bus at 8.30 am. It is awesome to note this (waiting for something/someone makes me crazy usually. waiting for the bus, which is scheduled for every 30 min used to make me extra crazy. But I seem to have tamed… at least for now… is that not awesome?)

3. I am grateful for taking the bus and arriving the office earlier than usual. I have had a peaceful morning when I brewed my coffee and enjoyed it, worked productively, and felt overall good about work and life.

4. I am grateful for walking back to home in the afternoon and taking care of some emails and other paperwork after that. Working at home is usually a very relaxing practice for me. I am so lucky to have a job that gives me such a flexibility.

5. I am grateful for watching TV this afternoon. After my back problem that occurred early in the new year, I had hardly spent time in my living room, or sat on the couch and watched the TV. Couch is not good for my back so it was not long before I moved up to the bedroom again, but nevertheless this change was very welcome 🙂

6. I am grateful for cooking a healthy meal for myself today. I tried a new recipe that I have got from a neighbor while I was on vacation. Pretty tasty stuff made with cracked wheat (bulghur). Hope to post the recipe one day.

7. I am grateful for the open windows and the fresh air filling my home. What a luxury it is! (old man winter does not let that to happen very frequently.)

8. I am grateful for my new throw, couch covers, shirts, and socks; tea, spices, seeds to be used during baking (nigella, sesame, poppy seeds etc.), corn flour, rice, hard salt to be consumed;  decorative artwork that my sister has given me as gifts; the bowl that I had picked up from my dad’s house as a memorial; the walking shoes and the winter boots that will last like for ever. It feels great to remove any hesitation about having/finding comfy shoes and winter boots- I feel blessed to have found and purchased them 🙂

9. I am grateful for my laptop and the internet connection that make it possible to write, read, and learn 🙂

10. I am grateful for not gaining weight lately. Hope to drop more of those resistant fat particles 🙂

11. I am grateful for having food in my fridge, freezer, and the pantry. what a blessing to know that I have more than I can consume and I am abundant.

12. I am grateful for my friends here whom I have called or seen yesterday. It is so relaxing to know that I am surrounded with good and kind people. This is particularly important for me to realize, as I have just come back from a family visit. i do not feel lonely and I feel like I have a life here 🙂

13. I am grateful for the hand moisturizer that makes the wonders all the time. My hands are prone to get dry yet this moisturizer is just right and it smells awesome. I am lucky to have found it 🙂

14. I am grateful for my plans to shop this weekend. Shopping is always a delight (if done responsibly, of course) 🙂

15. I am grateful for my back feeling good and being pain-free in the last month or so.

16. I am grateful for getting sleepy now. I may have some kind of jet-lag, which is okay… if you have ever experienced difficulty falling asleep, you will know why I am excited about getting sleepy. Long live the jet lag! 🙂

17. I am grateful for being safe and sound.

18. I am grateful for my family; we may be a hard ball together but we sure love and care each other. I am extra grateful that they are fine, healthy, and safe, too.

19. I am grateful for being grateful and being excited to have written this post.


joy journal – June 6, 2016

1.  I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up for a new day 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus and getting excited about it 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee and my office that makes brewing my own coffee easy 🙂

4. I am grateful for my glass water jar that makes drinking water a delight. Water remains cool and fresh – way better than the plastic bottle I used to store my water. I am very happy about this progress 🙂

5. I am grateful for working with a strong focus in the morning and submitting two important documents this afternoon. I am very relieved 🙂

6. I am grateful for walking to home from the office and continuing to work at home.

7. I am grateful for having no mice activity in the last few days. I hope it will never return back!!

8. I am grateful for deciding to pick and dry the flowers from my yard this weekend. Next year, I will bring dried lilacs from my yard (in a picture frame) to my mom as a gift – I think she would like this 🙂

9. I am grateful for cooking a healthy meal and eating with love 🙂

10. I am grateful for the food in my fridge and freezer that nourishes and feeds me 🙂

11. I am grateful for having a lovely chat with my neighbour.

12. I am grateful for reading bread recipes and getting excited about making a new loaf this weekend. I plan to prepare the initial dough on friday and leave the dough in the fridge over night. The next day I will rise, proof, and bake it. I am aiming for a high-hydration bread (80-85%) – let’s see how this adventure will develop 🙂

13. I am grateful for being relax and peaceful today. Since I am taking care of important stuff prior to my vacation, I am feeling more confident that till then I will finish all I aim for. This is a great feeling 🙂

14. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

15. I am grateful for being a couple of pounds than last month. I hope this is a permanent fat loss, but not transient water loss 🙂

16. I am grateful for my facial moisturizer that nourishes my face and skin 🙂

17. I am grateful for being grateful and taking time to reflect on these beautiful things 🙂


plans for Spring

Change of season is a great reminder of the continuity of the change in our lives. While I cannot control every change in my life (like aging), I can make some changes in areas that I need.

1. Decluttering again. It has been a while since my last decluttering activity. while stretching my back muscles this evening I noticed all the books that I will probably never read again. I love them but it may as well be the time to depart our ways. I hope they will get enjoyed by someone else.

Books are of course just a start. I am sure I have accumulated one or three glass jars here or there; some old cleaning cloths somewhere around the house; some old socks and shorts/pants that wait to be retired. I am sure this decluttering will not be as extensive as the previous one (it was a major effort) so I hope one weekend I will just start and complete it. Not this coming weekend, but sometime..

2. Eating better and hopefully losing weight at the same time. This has been a continuous wish that has not occurred yet. why is it so hard to lose weight at middle age? I used to easily lose weight if I wanted to when I was young, but my two latest trials ended up with gaining weight. what is happening? what should I do differently?

I know limiting bread and other refined carbs (like bagels and pasta) helps to lose weight. I also know that fruits like apples or pears as well as raw chewy veggies like cucumber  and daikon help me to lose weight. There is something about raw food – I can guarantee you… So, my aim is to eat at least one apple or pear and one chewy veggie everyday. wish me luck 🙂

One of the best ways is to bring fruit to the office. I often need snacks anyhow; why not to eat fruits? Hmmm.

3. Time for new shirts. I have not shopped for shirts in the last one year or so. I have exhausted my current ones, except a couple of nice ones that are kind of tight now… If I lose weight, they will be lovely to wear. Should I wait or buy now? Okay – maybe two shirts can be purchased, why not?

4. New hair? I have been meaning to have a hair cut for sometime but so far I have not done this. The last time I have had it (around two months ago), the hair dresser did not shorten it much. So now I have shoulder length hair. While it is not bad, I always have liked short hair. I really hope I will find in me the motivation to go to the hair dresser this weekend and I will find a great hairdresser this time. I also need coloring, but I will do this as usual.


1: a future weekend

2: starting tomorrow

3: this weekend?

4: this weekend?; I can have the hair cut at the shopping mall when I can also buy the shirts. So this is quite doable if i do go to the mall this weekend.




today’s bits

It snowed so lovely today I wished all of you had seen it (yes, even those who live in warm climates). There is something nice about seeing the sky white, the large snow flakes slowly moving down, and the trees covered in soft snow….

I realized today that it has been years, if not decades, that I actually made a snow ball in my hand. I have tried it this evening while walking back home. To my surprise, the snow did not stick and I ended up with only a tiny snow ball (with a diameter of an inch or something) in my hand 🙂

Anyways, snow made it easy to walk on the road; even though there was ice underneath snow (it provides an effective cushion). I came home not feeling bad about my choice of walking this evening.

I did not go to yoga/stretching classes since last friday or something. I hope to get my back pain lessen till next monday, when I will attend a class. I have another physiotherapy section tomorrow afternoon. Hope it will be helpful…

I have a long (3 hours meeting tomorrow), thinking of which makes me tired and bored already. The fact that I called for that meeting does not make it easier. We have some stuff to discuss, which probably will take two or three 3-hours meetings. Man….

This week I do not need to purchase a lot of grocery – I could not consume what I have bought last time yet. Plus, I was planning to eat mostly protein-based food, yet considering that within the first week of such a diet I gained weight, I am dropping it. My pantry has many food awaiting to be consumed.

One other reason I have gained weight lately is that I keep eating at night. I cannot sleep and I find eating helps me get sleepy. Very unhealthy situation. And the reason I cannot go to sleep easily is that I keep watching TV series or movies on my laptop till late, even in my bed, which hyper-activates my mind. I should try to stop that..On the other hand, browsing on the net in bed is actually very enjoyable. Quiet a dilemma I have.




today’s bits

After the large amount of snow dumped yesterday, today was quite. Only that now it is chilly and we have ice everywhere. While I did good not risking slipping on ice in the morning (by taking the cab rather than walking and taking the bus), I could not show the same intelligence(!) on the way back home.

I did not slip or fall but, man, it was close. For the first time this evening I was sorry that I walked. Lessons learnt.

Other than this stressful walk, the day was peaceful. I worked full hours. I also requested an ergonomics assessment for my office and made contacts to get my standing desk. My feeling is that it will take some time, which pisses me off. Funny thing is that even my chair at the office (which is ergonomics by the way) is not supportive of my back. Even when I put a pillow to support my lower back. That makes me sad and angry at the same time. My chair at home is way more supportive. I noticed that the difference is mostly because the chair at the office is wider and I do not, I cannot, fully contact its back with my own back. This gotta change.

On a separate note, some of you may remember that last weekend I was planning to start eating better (this time I am trying to eat more protein at each meal). Well I kind of did and now I am 7 pounds heavier… I am frustrated… A similar thing had happened last fall. I really do not like this.

Well, enough venting for today 🙂

challenges, progress, challenges..

I used to have a number of challenges I have assigned to myself. Time to time I wrote about them, the last one can be found here.

Many of them I seemed to have integrated into my life, which is very pleasing. For example, taking the bus rather than the cab; shopping freeze on books (and others; for example I am on a shopping freeze for clothes now till March); limiting the food waste; getting up in the morning and smiling to myself :); increasing my RRSP contribution; smiling during the day for no reason; limiting the bagels with one per weekend day; breathing exercises and stretching; appliying sunscreen+moisturizer everyday and a night cream every night (since the new year).

One thing I could not do is to lose weight 🙂


You remember my healthy life – style journal where I recorded everything I have eaten every single day for some time. You know the story; I could not lose weight and happily (!) I ended the journal.

I have no intention to start that journal, but now that I have done major improvements in my life (e.g. budget, yoga/stretching classes, taking the bus etc.), the time has come to tackle this issue again.

Tomorrow, I wish to start eating better again. My aim is to lose 25 pounds in the next 4 months.

February: 10 pounds; dropping to 200 pounds from 210 (current weight).

March: 7 pounds; dropping to 192 pounds.

April: 5 pounds: dropping to 186 pounds.

May: 3 pounds; dropping to 185 pounds.

Maintenance of weight after that.

Can I do it?

I am capable of doing this with diligence and determination. Whether or not I will do it, on the other hand, is another story.

Wish me luck.


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.


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

the mental judo

I am perhaps famous with my “mental judo fights”, where I keep thinking, paining, putting and effort, and struggling about the same issue over and over.

It is not fun; fighting with your own thoughts or choices. Wanting something, trying, putting an effort, and then not being able to continue, be effective, or achieve. Having frustration and lack of confidence as a result. Feeling bad about yourself.

The struggle is usually a habit that I need to change for the better. Take my healthy eating and losing weight saga, for example.

Weight: For my entire life, I struggled with my weight. It is true that in the last 6-7 years, I have gained a lot of weight; 35 pounds to be exact. There are reasons that I can count for this; lack of physical exercise, lack of time, stress, and eating usually unhealthy food or snacks among the top ones.

Walking: When it is combined with the rainy/snowy weather, walking becomes a challenge. I am more comfortable walking in the afternoon than in the morning. When I walk in the morning, it is always a great feeling. But my challenge is to start walking – taking my feet out of the house. When I start it, I enjoy it. When I can walk it, I enjoy it. My day at the office starts better and I feel proud of myself. That is when it is not raining or snowing of course. So I accept the fact that during winter and the majority of the spring, I may not walk in the mornings. Ok.

Gym: Walking is of course not the only exercise I can get. I have gyms at my work place. One of them is quite suitable for me as it is pay per visit and quite an affordable one. I was planning to start it late September; alas 2 months have elapsed and I still did not start it. What am I (not) doing?

Weight loss: In terms of weight loss, I thought by limiting the carbs (which is also good for lowering my blood sugar levels) and by eating better food, like raw veggies, salads, and fruits like apples and pears, I would lose my extra weight….. I thought so because in the past I was able to lose weight. It turns out that is not the case anymore – I have been on a healthy eating journey since September. While I have lost 8 pounds till early October, after that I simply gained them back. It is not working. To lose my weight, I must try another way….

Having these two items, exercising and losing weight, on my “to-d0-list” has been tiring.

It has been years………

I WANT to achieve these.

But there is always something more important to take care or channelize my energy into. There is work, there are issues in life, at work…. There is always A LOT for me to handle. Whether or not they are excuses, I do not know.

What I know is that today I have been thinking; how would I feel if they were gone from my list?

Healthier? Yes

More accomplished? Yes

Freer? Absolutely Yes! 

I today imagined how my mind would be freed of these concerns, attempts, struggles, and issues.

I imagined how energizing this would have been.

I am not naive enough to think that my mind would not fill up with new mental judo activities. And that is okay; at least they would be new, not stagnated ones like these two issues.

Wish me luck as I start planning and implementing new strategies to tackle my weight loss and exercise goals.




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 17, 2015

I am in a state of self-pampering and lifting off the imposed restrictions nowadays. This directly reflects on my diet and behavior – I do not care of eating better or not eating fatty food at all. I do not.

I am rebelling.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

late-lunch: 3 slices of whole wheat bread and beefy eggplant meal

dinner: 3 slices of whole wheat bread and beefy eggplant meal; chocolate

late-night snack (added later): yogurt, cucumber, and olive oil dip with whole wheat bread

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

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

stretching: none

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, Nov 15, 2015

Well.. I have eaten high-carb today, very sugary.

I have had guests over for a dinner yesterday and that meant I purchased and cooked meal that I would usually not consume; that means tasty bread like baguettes (I love them), sweets like frozen yogurt, etc. That means the first couple of days after such dinners, I eat left overs which are not only different from what I usually eat, but also hearty and rich in calories.

I keep saying that I keep eating the same things over and over; that is true. My diet is usually simple and does not have much diversity (although I strive for it time to time). Perhaps it is the best for me, as the other food I cook (for others) are usually high in calories… Dilemma…

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar, red lentil soup with baguette

lunch: red lentil soup and baguette

dinner: frozen yogurt with walnut – a lot of it

late night-snack (added later): 1/2 avocado, 1 pack of chips

exercise: 10 min in the morning

supplements: none yet

stretching: none

healthy life style journal – Nov 14, 2015

I had friends over for dinner; that meant cooking a lot during the day. Also eating and enjoying it with great company 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar

lunch: 30 grms of cheese, 1/2 slice of bread

dinner: lettuce salad with avocado and olive oil; red lentil soup, pasta with cheese, a slice of pumpkin pie, and ice cream

late nigh snack: none

exercise; 5 min walking in the morning

stretching: none

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon; no opportunity to take the vit D and calcium supplement today

healthy life – style journal, Nov 13, 2015

Not a bad day.

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

lunch: none (I was working; what an excuse…)

dinner: carrot, onion, and meatball meal with a dash of black bean sauce and 3 slices of whole wheat bread. Later for some reason I craved for raw leek, which was yummy 🙂

There is something nice about the raw food that my body likes. Any ideas what it is? I am curious…..

late night snack (to be added later):

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning and in the afternoon 🙂 well done; very relaxing activity. My mental clarity increases as I walk. It also relaxes me. The weather is just perfect; not too cold, not too dump. I wonder how long I will be able to have the pleasure of walking.

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

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 12, 2015

My disinterest in food continues.

breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg (yay for not forgetting it), coffee with creamer and brown sugar. Lots of it.

lunch: 50 grms of trail mix

dinner: 1 tomato, 1/2 large cucumber, 100 grms of cheese, 1 avocado, 2 slices of whole wheat bread

late night snack (added later): 2 glasses of milk, 1 apple, 2 slices of bread

exercise: the highlight of the day! walked 30 min in the morning and then another 30 min in the afternoon 🙂 Yay!! 🙂

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

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 11, 2015

Another day with irregular eating; both eating carbs and then not.

I am not as careful about carbs as at the start of this journey; I keep telling myself it is because I am not afraid of carbs anymore, I tend to eat other healthy food almost everyday, and even though I slip back to carbs, I keep bringing myself back to the protein and raw veggie side.

I also must add that my weight does not change much. If I really want to lose weight, I will have to do something more drastic in the coming days/weeks.

I once had tried eating small meals 6 times a day; it does work, dear friend, yet I really have no time to implement it. I can hardly remember taking my breakfast (which is usually 1 hard-boiled egg); how am I supposed to remember to pack with me not only this but also lunch and snacks?

Every single day, I must add.

I may be a hopeless lazy person. Or someone who does not really care.

Why can I not care about my weight loss? I am over-weight (obese I guess, based on BMI scales). I have near border blood sugar levels that keep scaring me time to time, I am getting older and as such my metabolic rate is getting lower (i.e. I am likely to gain more weight with the same amount of calorie consumption).

I kinda think it is because there are so many things in life that I must face and work on, I choose the ones that are either manageable or at the top of the priority list.

If my weight loss is not on the top of the priority list, for very good health reasons, then that means I am doing something really wrong.

My health should be on top of my priority list. This healthy life journey should be on top of my priority list….

breakfast: 2 bagels with butter, 1 cup of cream with brown sugar and cream. I met with my friends at this beautiful Remembrance Day holiday. This was my breakfast at that meeting.

lunch: none (I was working at home)

dinner: half green cabbage half lettuce salad with olive oil; 6 pieces of oven-baked frozen and battered fish pieces.

I forced myself to eat these fish; after 1 piece I was done. You may think I am over-eating, but no. The total calories I consume for today is not at the healthy level. That is why I ate the other pieces.

My lack of appetite is continuing to worry me. I usually would have a big appetite in the evenings. Not anymore. Together with my iron deficiency, I am scared that this points to a sickness…

late-night snacks (to be added later):

exercise: 15 min walk in the morning to the cafe I met with my friends.

supplements: iron ([prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium (recommended) after dinner. these, at least, I am consistent with.

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 10, 2015

well, not a bad day 🙂 thank you all that supported me yesterday.

I can do this!! 🙂

breakfast: got my breakfast (1 hard-boiled egg) with me (good job!) before I left home, but forgotten to eat it at the office :)))) Coffee with brown sugar and creamer as usual (I never forget this one, do I?) 🙂

lunch: I was busy with work, so only another coffee with cream and sugar

dinner: pasta (left over from yesterday). I was very conscious about it being solely carbs (which is not good for my weight loss aim). So I decided I would eat something healthy after that. That is how I ended up eating 2 bunches of broccoli, raw, with a garlicky yogurt  as a dip. Yum 🙂

late night snack (added later): 2 small glasses of milk, 1 hard boiled egg, 3 slices of whole wheat bread

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron (prescribed) late afternoon, calcium and Vit D (recommended) after dinner

stretching: none (would be appreciated if I started this again)

healthy life – style journal, Nov 9, 2015

Like the idea of dieting and the (same) types of food I consume, I am getting bored of writing this journal…

Pew.. I did not feel as bad as I thought it would 🙂

It is okay, dear reader; occasional ranting is a feature of mine – nothing serious 🙂

Here is today’s account:

breakfast: remembered to take my breakfast with me! Yay! It was 1 hard-boiled egg. Of course, with it I have got coffee with creamer and brown sugar.

late-lunch: 1 cup of chicken-vegetable soup

dinner: carbs. carbs. carbs.. Well, I am not afraid of carbs anymore, but it would be nice if I had not eaten them too much, like before. Pasta was the dinner today, together with lettuce salad with olive oil dressing. Yummy.

late night snack (added later): lazy bean salad; mix a can of beans with a small onion and add a dash of oregano, salt, and olive oil. Vola! 🙂 (no milk tonite – does not look like a fit with the bean salad)

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning and 30 min walk in the afternoon.

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon, vit D and calcium (recomended by my doctor) after dinner

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 8, 2015

there has been changes in my body, which incidentally overlapped with the time I started to eat less carbs and more protein.

As a person good with observations and patterns, I could not help but think whether the carbs were not so bad after all; perhaps they help and are required for certain body functions?

Perhaps I have not done well by limiting carbs that much; but I can tell you this; the amount of carbs I was eating was above normal limits too.

So even though I have had this conflict in my mind, I will keep limiting the carbs and continue to eat better. I just will not get crazy about occasionally eating carbs.

Today’s diet reflected this.

late breakfast: 2 bagels with butter, coffee with cream and brown sugar. I ordered two bagels to test myself; nope, they are not as tasty as before so I am glad I have done that. the way they are toasted has not been great lately and that strengthens my choice of not eating bagels anymore. The coffee is not tasty either; I never liked this cafe’s coffee – so why do I keep drinking it? the answer is that it is in my favorite cafe. The cafe is my favorite because of its bagels and its staff, not the coffee. I decided to change the cafe from now on; it will also help me with seeing different places and having different experiences. A great step towards breaking a habit and the routine in my life. Exciting! 🙂

late lunch: 2 bowls of vegetable chicken soup

dinner: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 tomato, and half a large cucumber with 2 slices of bread. I was too lazy to cook and I wanted to eat raw veggies. I am glad I ate the tomato even though it is not one of my favorite veggies. It was from the last week and I am glad I have eaten it before it started to go bad. Cucumber, as always, was a delight to eat.

late-night snack (added later):  1.5 glass of milk; 10 rice  cakes with caramel. Totally too much. Yet felt good. Like when you are at school and they tell you not to eat during the class. Or laugh. Or talk to our peers. And something prompts you to do it anyhow and miraculously you do not get caught. I am not sure whey I am rebelling against healthy eating (am I bored?), but mentally I am feeling good.

exercise: 10 min in the morning

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon; vit D and calcium (recommended by my doctor) after dinner

stretching: none yet

healthy life – style journal, Nov 7, 2015

Interesting day..

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

late-lunch: vegetable soup in chicken stock

dinner: hah! here is the fun part. 1 can of corn and 6 chocolate chip cookies. I was at a store and could not resist buying and then eating the chips. What prompted me to eat them I have no idea. I guess it is one of those days when I find some freedom in my choices. As a matter of fact, with my budget as well I am a little bit relax nowadays. I guess I will wait and see how this episode will develop.

late-night snack (added later): 300 grms of yogurt and 4 slices of bread; 5 more cookies

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning and another 10 min in the evening

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

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 6, 2015

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: two cans of fish

dinner: breaded flaky fish pieces (4 of them – it is delicious; how do they do it? this was a frozen meal and certainly yummy 🙂 ), a big red cabbage and celery salad with olive oil and lemon juice; This salad was the healthiest thing I have eaten this week. The raw veggies; especially those that are hard to digest (such as red cabbage, lo bok, cucumber) are good for my body. I know it as I feel it.

late-night snack (added later): 5 slices of whole wheat bread and 350 grms of yogurt. I craved for yogurt tonite – it happens time to time. I did not want to eat that much bread but then as long as it helped me to eat yogurt I did not mind (maybe I should have?)

exercise; 30 min walk in the afternoon

supplements: iron at noon (prescribed) and vitD and calcium after dinner (recommended to me by my doctor)

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 5, 2015

Not bad today 🙂

breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and brown sugar; 2 whole wheat bagels toasted with margarine

lunch: no food; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: I turned the left over crack-wheat salad into another meal; basically I had one large onion sauteed in olive oil; added a little bit of hot sauce, 3 eggs, and celery stick together with the left-over salad and cooked for 3-4 minutes. It turned out to be tasty 🙂

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

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

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

stretching: none

healthy life – style journal, Nov 4, 2015

It is a good day in terms of eating healthy food; I still need to implement strategies that will help me eat more in the mornings and at noon.

breakfast: coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: 100 grms of trail mix, coffee with creamer and sugar

dinner: cracked wheat salad with tomato, pepper, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice. This is an easy and nutritious salad that is also filling. I have a large bowl, which I am working on time to time.

late-night snack (added later): one hard boiled egg to eat something enjoyable, which I had hoped would bring back my appetite (I love eggs); later 1 apple and a tall glass of skim milk 🙂

I am not sure why I do not have appetite. I usually would have a great love for food, especially at the evenings and nights. It is good at one hand as by not eating too much at nights, I am doing a favor to my body. On the hand hand, the low counts of calories I have been getting in the last one week or so means I am involuntarily slowing my metabolism. Hope to resolve this soon.

exercise: 30 min walking in the evening

supplements: iron (prescribed) at noon and vitamin D and calcium tablet (recommended by my doctor) after the dinner.

stretching: none today (I better re-start this – it is so enjoyable..)

healthy life – style journal, Nov 3, 2015

breakfast: forgotten to pick my breakfast from home; 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar. As usual, I am not feeling hungry in the mornings. I must do something new to encourage myself to have breakfast..

lunch: 1 can of fish, 50 grms of trail mix, coffee with creamer and brown sugar. I must say I have been reducing my sugar intake in the last while. That is good news 🙂

dinner: 1 pear, 3 eggs fried with 50 grms of cheese in olive oil, 3 slices of bread. The fact that I do not cook nowadays is working against me… Fried eggs help me to gain weight. Making a mental note again to start cooking at home.

late night snack (added later): 1 apple, 3 slices of whole wheat bread, 300 grms of yogurt sprinkled with a generous amount of olive oil and dried mint. This yogurt is a very refreshing dip – give it a try if you like the taste of dry mint with yogurt.

exercise: 30 min walk in the morning; climbing up 4 stories of stairs. Ok – when I arrived at my building this morning, the elevators were not working – so here is my extra exercise for the day! 🙂

supplements: iron at noon (prescription), vitamin D and calcium table after the dinner (recommendation by my doctor). I decided to note the prescription and recommendation to this list, as I do not want anyone else to get inspired and take these supplements without their doctor’s recommendation. Please have your doctor’s opinion before taking supplements.

stretching: none so far….

healthy life – style journal, Nov 2, 2015

Another low appetite day, which worries me. If I am not wrong, low calorie intake is not good – eventually makes the body feel like on starvation mode, which later helps with gaining more weight upon returning to regular diet.

I am trying to eat as much as I can today.

breakfast: forgotten my meal; 2 cups of coffee with creamer and brown sugar

lunch: no meal; coffee with creamer and brown sugar

dinner: 1 pear, 1 cup of left-over rice from yesterday, cucumber and yogurt sauce with olive oil. 3 slices of whole wheat bread

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

exercise: 30 min walk in the afternoon (yay! walking is great and I have not been able to do so in the last 10 days or so; very grateful)

supplements: iron supplement at noon, calcium and vitamin D supplementation after dinner

stretching: not done this yet; hope to find time to do some light stretching tonite, while also listening to relaxing music 🙂

healthy life – style journal, Nov 1, 2015

it is surprising to notice that I have been keeping this journal for 2 months now.

Since I am eating and nourishing my body with better food and necessary supplementation, I am glad I have started this journey.

Today has been a good day in terms of good eating; cannot complain 🙂

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

lunch: turmeric rice, cucumber and yogurt sauce with olive oil and dried mint

dinner: the same as the lunch

late-night snack (added later): 50 grms of trailer mix

exercise: 10 min walk in the morning

supplements: iron at noon, vitamin D and calcium after the dinner

stretching: none today.

Hoping to walk and stretching tomorrow. Good that I have not forgotten my supplements so far 🙂 Rice is usually does not agree with my system, yet is a welcome change in my diet. Yogurt and cucumber are always awesome to eat and the addition of mint has given a fresh kick to the meal 🙂

healthy life – journal, Oct 31, 2015

late breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with cream and sugar

lunch: 1 pear

dinner: soup, fish, salad, pasta, and bread. A generous amount of rice crackers and a little amount of fruit. I was invited for a dinner with great friends. I enjoyed being with them. the food was amazing 🙂 I feel bloated and like eaten too much 😦

exercise: 10 min in the morning

supplements: iron supplement at noon, bit D and calcium supplement at night

stretching: none

random thoughts

It a beautiful crispy and sunny fall day again 🙂

The beauty around the weekends (or no work day) is the freedom that it gives in terms of how you would like to spend your day, the absence of rush of the work or work environment, and the possibility of having nice conversations and get-togethers with friends and family.

I also like the feeling of “taking care of myself” feeling – whether it is shopping for grocery, cooking a nice meal, cleaning my house, or handling other stuff related to our daily life.

Taking care of ourselves is a must and although I often times forget this, especially when I work, I love doing the activities that remind me that I am on track.

I used to have a great relationship with food, always looking for diversity and nutrition. It was a pleasure going to the stores and finding excellent veggies, fruits, and others. I would find myself often grateful for everything that is available to me and for being able to afford them. I am still hugely grateful for these, but something is missing really…

Over the years, my priority changed from taking care of myself to taking care of work. It is a mistake if you ask me. Those who follow my blog knows that I love my job; it is interesting, keeping me engaged and being productive, the work I do I believe benefit many people and humanity as a whole. The satisfaction coming out of it is incredible and I am very grateful for having this work-line.

I have been feeling, rightfully, though it is now time to switch to “taking care of myself” mode. I have been struggling with this for some time (my healthy life-style journal and breaking the routine page is a good example) but I keep going. Not everything is perfect but I am putting a continuous effort. I am determined to do better for myself and although I lack better and newer ideas, I believe I will do better over time.

They say it is not the end point but the journey that matters, that is valuable. Perhaps that is true in my case. I have seen quite positive changes with my other efforts (conscious spending plan is an excellent example) – I have more or less functional plan that excites me and yields positive and immediately observable outcomes. I need to see over years how it goes and how it helps me to handle financial problems and enables me to retire comfortably. I am grateful for doing this so far and the hope and confidence it gives me now.

Of course, I would like to see the same progress I have with my conscious spending plan with the healthy life style plan. I have been thinking; I am not sure what the reasons behind me not losing weight as I used to, but age is one factor. And of course I should not forget the effect of the trips and my mentality that promotes unlimited eating freedom during the trips (I seem to have gained 8 pounds back in a week). I wonder why I can do so well with the budgeting but not better life style?

Perhaps it is the fact that with budgeting I can see a progress in my finances in a week, while with the weight loss, it is kind of tricky. I remember when I had walk on to the scale a couple of weeks ago and seeing an 8 pound difference and how it had made me feel accomplished and more motivated to keep doing…..

Going back to the idea of “not the end points but the journey matters“, I believe that what I am going thru with my healthy life style plan should be a teacher for me, I should be noticing things about myself and my life as a whole. Perhaps I am aiming for the wrong things (i.e. weight loss) than the beauty of having a healthy life, with great food, exercise, and stretching. Perhaps I am hard on myself and put the weight loss as an indicator of the success of my plan…..

Considering that is possibly the reason (I have implemented many good things as part of this plan, such as walking more, especially in the morning, started stretching, eating whole and healthier food, cutting out bread and carbs from my diet, and supplementing my diet with calcium and vitamin D and milk, both of which are great help for my bone health) is in fact an eye opener.

Perhaps what I should focus on is all the good things I have done for my body and physical health, rather than the mere weight loss.

have a great weekend everyone 🙂

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

middle age awakening

As a middle aged person (mid 40’s now) and familiar with life and death, and change in the body and age, I have started to have different feelings, different thoughts for some time now.

Death is a subject that I, like many people, would like to ignore. I am lucky in the sense that none of my family members and dear friends have yet passed away. But I am at an age that makes me realize that this may change soon, starting maybe with my parents. Not that this means that young people in my family or friends cannot die; they may. It is just that the increasing age makes it more likely. And all is scary…

I do not think I will ever come to terms with death or understand it fully for that matter. But I am glad I at least started to realize how real it is.

A couple of days ago, I thought about my own death as well; it scared me as it felt lonely. This thought, the thought of my own death, was something new to me. I did not want to die. This somehow helped me to notice my love for life.

I decided to do and prioritize things differently to have a life that I will love and has no or little regrets.

Regrets are hard and like anyone else I too have regrets; I wished I was happier for example. I wish I had handled things better and made my well being a priority. I wish I had spent more time with my family and I did not love my job that much. My job probably has a bigger role in my life than others, as I not only earn a living with it, but also changed the countries and cities I have lived in,  hardly got settled in anywhere, and with it and because of it I have got to get many difficult life and work experiences.

Eventually, I am grateful for what I have become and for my life as a whole. But it is time to re-think, re-assess, and re-decide what is important, what is not. What deserves my time and energy? How do I find more meaning in it? How do I help others better? How do I stop beating myself and relax? How do I take better care of myself? What are my needs that I neglected? What can I dump along the way to release myself from stress, sadness, and hopelessness? What excites me and how do I get them?

I feel like I will revisit this topic time to time. I am not interested in having a bucket list of 50 things to do before 50, but hey, maybe I should. Maybe they will help me discover my needs and wishes. This is gonna be challenging as I am someone who does not have long term plans, but maybe that also should change.

Now that is what I call the middle age awakening, rather than a middle age crisis 🙂

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 🙂

random thoughts

It was a busy day, but there were a lot of social interactions and laughs as well. So I cannot complain 🙂

I am very grateful that there are two more work days and they are meeting free. That means I can focus on the urgent work at hand. I think I will have to work at the weekend, but that is okay, too. I incidentally invited some friends over; I am happy to host them although this is going to make my weekend a little bit busier. Nevertheless I am looking forward to it 🙂

This week, neither my budget nor the healthy life-style plan is going well, but I am not going to beat myself about either of them. I know myself – when the right time comes, I will do better. I right now am observing and analyzing; what is happening? what needs fixing? what can I do? I trust myself that with both of these plans, I will eventually do a lot better.

There is something so nice about trusting that the best is yet to come. That things will turn around  good. That I can and will do better. That there is something better coming after each struggle or failure. This has always been like this – frustration just means that there is something better I will get to experience, design, or plan. It is just a matter of time.

That is a good feeling.

I have other plans about my life and work that I would like to implement. I am excited to be able to handle them, too. Knowing that I cannot implement many new things all at the same time, naturally would like these two to work out well first (so that I can move on with the new plans). I have done well with the budget, though I still have a large unnecessary expense to erase form my life. The healthy – life – style plan is going good but not so good; I am generally eating better, cut out the bread and bagels a lot, I walk extra in the mornings; it is just that the weight loss is not there. Anyways, that too will happen one day; I just need to keep going 🙂


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 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).

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 🙂


I have been pretty occupied with my budget and weight-loss journeys lately. They both aim to benefit me and require daily effort and recording/assessing of progress.

Along the way, I forgot to be grateful for life, to notice little thing that make me happy, to note the people, things, and events that gave me joy.. It does feel superficial and empty without being grateful, joyful, and happy; there are so many things out there more important and more valuable than these two plans…. I am happy to note this today.

Do not get me wrong; I am also grateful for coming up with these plans – I needed both. My finances would be much worse, very constraining, and depressing in future (now that I own an old house); and my weight is only going up and this is scaring me.

Those who are familiar with my posts will know what a struggle it is to implement and make these plans more or less established changes in my daily life. I rant, I get excited, I complain…I get excited again 🙂

It is draining sometimes – going through this phase. Especially at the beginning. Later things become alright one way or the other (either done, replaced, or modified to suit the reality).

Today I am not going to rant; I will rather give my thanks for the reasons that made me need these changes; the budgeting plan particularly.

I am grateful for the house I own; it is old, but newly renovated. I love being in this house and in the little yard it has – with all the trees and flowers that bloom in the spring. It is on a great location, helping me continue with my life and work with no problem (e.g. my work place is in walking distance, the bus stop is close, there are restaurants, a big grocery store, and multiple convenience stores in my neighborhood etc.). Last year I had a major roof problem, which took me 9 months to get someone to fix – it was a nerve-breaking experience. And it was expensive – after paying it my chequing account drop to $0. It has been an ongoing battle to have a positive balance since then.

And since last March, I got crazy over a crack on one of my interior walls, which I was told is possibly a foundation problem. I am still waiting for it to get visibly worse (if it gets…) so that we can start repairing it. The quotes given to me are not for the fainted heart.. And I know that there may be other unexpected repairs or expenses associated with the home-ownership (for one example, my property tax just got increased, argh..). That is why I came up with my budget 3 months ago: All the expenses incurred for my house and those that are possible in the future.. I could not see any other way out of this psychological drama.

Yes, it was a struggle, I was not consistent in the beginning at all, but now I am very much comfortable with my budgeted life. I cannot talk for sure about the future, but I am sincerely hoping I will continue like this.

You may ask “why is she grateful?”.

I am grateful because I do see this budgeted life as a continuous life-style that saves me around $10K/year. That is a huge amount of money that sure will help cover the expenses related to house repairs and maintenance over many years. And more importantly, I started not too late so that I can see the savings (however little they may be) accumulating before I face serious repairs. This way, I bought time and am feeling at more ease (this saved funds may not be enough for the repairs, but still are they not better than not having any savings? I could as well just continue like before and throw them away with my spending ..)

While I cannot say I am totally at ease with the possibly huge expenses associated with home-ownership, I can say that budgeting allows me to take the home ownership a little bit easier.

I just needed to reminded this to myself today.

Thanks for listening.

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 13, 2015

Turn of events (see the end).

Breakfast: Forgot to have breakfast at home and directly went to the cafe. What did I get? A bagel with cream cheese, one large cup of coffee with cream and sugar. I do not know why I ordered bagel again, but one thing is clear – if I do not have breakfast at home, or if I do not bring it to office, I either eat unhealthy stuff (like bagel) or do not eat at all (at the office).

I do not know why I do not have an habit of having breakfast at home.

Lunch: I went out to shop so I missed to eat something at home. I ate nuts (cashew – yummy but also fatty I assume).

Dinner: Chicken noodle soup, 4 slices of whole wheat bread, cheese, tomato and red radish. I did not feel like cooking something or preparing salad.

Bread and bagel have found their existence in my diet once again.

Anyways, enough with the rant.

Maybe I am doing it wrong; maybe I should not feel frustrated only because I ate bread or bagels. Maybe what I should be focusing is what I have done right. Intuitively rewards are much more motivating than punishment. Hence;

What did I do right today? Eating raw veggies (at dinner), protein (cream cheese at breakfast, cheese at dinner). Cashews are supposed to have protein, fiber, and fat (hopefully good type). Since I did not have salad but rather had the veggies as they are, that means I did not have the calories that would otherwise come from the olive oil (I always have olive oil in my salad).

ok – now this feels better.

exercise: walking, 10 min in the morning, 15 min in the afternoon. better than nothing.

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 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.

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


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

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

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 🙂

joy journal – June 25, 2015

1. I am grateful for being alive, healthy, well and sound.

2. I am grateful for going to work a little bit early today; that allowed me to attend a meeting, send important emails, and meet with my team members. We worked till 6.30 today, what a day 🙂 We fixed some errors and moved the projects. One of my team members said “it is good that we are checking all the data; even minor we have a chance to fix the errors”. That is pretty awesome! 🙂 I am usually annoyed by errors and get tense, which is also reflected on my team members. Nowadays we have been checking many important data, finding errors, and fixing them, which makes our work high-quality; but it certainly drains me and one of my team members who needs to fix the errors introduced by his work. It is hard…. But I am glad at least this part is over now and confidently we can use the data for our future projects 🙂 I am also grateful for one of our team members keeping us positive during the entire time and reminding me that we were doing great checking our work.

3. I am grateful for walking in the afternoon although it was raining a little bit. Very healthy exercise and the rain was good for my skin (a natural moisturizer) 🙂

4. I am grateful for not gaining weight nowadays. My face looks a little bit thinner and longer; I feel like I remember this face I see on the mirror now 🙂 I now officially lost 10 pounds in the last 2 months 🙂

5. I am grateful for working on an important document today with a team-member; it is moving and will be okay. But there are so many gaps and editing to be done that I am feeling strained or demotivated. Yet, we keep going.

6. I am grateful for getting a visit from a senior colleague of mine, who is an amazing speaker. He delivered us a mini-talk a couple of day ago at an event, which was inspiring, motivating, and lovely. I invited him to give us another, longer talk sometime which he enthusiastically accepted. How great!

7. I am grateful for feeling a little bit better this evening as we continue to take care of the work at the office. yesterday I was pretty stressed, but this one is lovely..

8. I am grateful for the tea I have had in the evening; relaxing and nourishing.

9. I am grateful for my warm home in this cold day. I am not sure what degrees it is out there but I had to wear a sweater today, in addition to my trench-coat. I want the summer…. A lot..

10. I am grateful that despite the weather being relatively cold this June, my power bill has reduced quite a bit compared to the last month. Almost 45%… That is great, is it not?

11. I am grateful that today was the pay day and according to my calculations I keep saving from my cheques. This time not as much as I would like to as I had to shop at the weekend for needed items (a new luggage etc.); it made me feel down at first but later I decided to use this feeling to enforce further savings and keep consciously spending every single time..

12. I am grateful for the peaceful night and the music I am listening.

13. I am grateful for tomorrow being Friday. Not that I am looking forward to taking a rest at the weekend (will be busy with work and things to do at home), but just because it is a Friday 🙂

14. I am grateful for getting only neutral or good news today.

15. I am grateful for my throw, couch, and pillows that make my night so comfy, so relaxing, so warm..

16. I am grateful for the “free television” channels in my cable; I gotta see the TV shows and series I like whenever I want as long as they are made available in these channels. One particular series I like is the “Elementary”. What interesting characters and twists.

17. I am grateful for being able to find all these things that make me joyful and feel better.

joy journal – April 26, 2015

I am literally pushing myself to write this journal today. While writing I am sure I will feel better remembering things that I am grateful for – that is my greatest motivation to write now.

1. I am grateful for going through ups and downs, positive and negative in life, which so far all are deal-able things. It does not mean that I am having a great time; I feel like acknowledging things helps with reducing their effect and seeing them within the larger picture helps me to downgrade their importance and thus their effects.

2. I am grateful for having breakfast this morning. Not necessarily enjoyed it as I was not hungry, but that is okay.

3. I am grateful for the throws one of my friends gave me a while ago. I use them to cover the couch while I am sitting on it. They help it from being getting dirty as I am known to have ink stains all around where I am 🙂 At first I did not like them, but now I can see how useful they are.

4. I am grateful for its being Sunday and still afternoon. I am seeing today as a great opportunity to feel my emotions, rather than suppressing them. It is not pleasant but I think healthy.

5. I am grateful for tomorrow being a work day, which will help me to start dealing and moving with the work-related issues. I hope to get positive progress.

6. I am grateful for my TV and cable. I am watching a movie; the sound track for a few seconds made me felt good.

7. I am grateful for all the food and clothes I have, my home, my furniture and all I can get for myself to provide myself with a comfortable life.

8. I am grateful for my job that keeps my mind busy and helps me with my life.

9. I am grateful for family and friends who support me, listen to me, make me laugh, and enable me to share.

10. I am grateful for the grey day that makes me feel like I am having a long evening and night, which are the most peaceful times of the day for me.

11. I am grateful for chatting with one of my colleagues at the breakfast cafe in the morning. What a nice feeling to be around nice and positive persons.

12. I am grateful for watering my plants yesterday. I sometimes forget to do this. The effect of water is immediately observable. I like plants; one of my plants has been with me for 5-6 years. Quite a resilient plant that does not require much of a care but still keeps green and leafy through winter and summer.

13. I am grateful for being lazy today; not doing much other than watching TV, occasionally writing and reading.

14. I am grateful for getting increasingly aware of the life-style changes that I need to make. I cannot say that I have taken firm steps to do the changes, but they keep showing up on my mind and keep bugging me. I wonder when I will make the changes. I kind of feel like when the right time comes, they will happen. But if I keep having my excuses (i.e. lack of time or energy,, stress levels, need to pamper myself), I am not sure whether it will become reality. I can only hope.

15. I am grateful for not being crashed under the weight of my issues.

16. I am grateful that I know I have options to change my life for better. I can start exercise programs, I can shop better and spend time at the kitchen to prepare healthier food, I can cut out unhealthy food from my life and actually save some pennies, I can start walking in the morning to increase my daily exercise, I can take a break during lunch to walk around a near-by pond and park, I can start doing exercise by watching exercise programs at home, I can motivate myself to lose weight… The problem with weight lose is that it is hard to keep off the pounds coming back and different programs seem to work with different individuals. I know exercise helps me to keep it on track (but not necessarily helping me to lose weight but sure helps me to feel good and maybe eat less), so what is the best way? what is the best continuous way to lose weight for myself? Gotta figure that out. Bread comes to my mind first. Leave the bread out and then see.

17. I am grateful for having some left over meal today. I am not feeling like cooking; so the left-over is quite helpful.

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.

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