Tag Archives: healthy eating

Carrying On

Hello Dear Readers,

I hope this post finds you healthy and at peace.

In just 5 days I will call Disney and schedule our next trip to Walt Disney World. We hope to go on October 20 of next year. Because we are Disney Vacation Club members, we can call and book our home resort, Old Key West, 11 months in advance. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, we will have 8 nights and 9 days at Disney: Mike, Emi, James, Ida, Jake, Eliza, Baby Jarvi and me.

This time it won’t be so much about time in the parks, although we will have tickets for 5 days. This time it will be all about the babies. Ida will be 2 & 1/2 and Baby Jarvi will be 8 months old. Dumbo, Prince Charming Carousel, Meeting Mickey, It’s a Small World and splashing in the water fountains will be the focus of our days. Probably just a few hours in the parks and then time at Old Key West.

I take none of this for granted. I know that if we are all there it will truly be a gift from God. I am doing my part to be there. As of this morning, I am 54.4 pounds down since May. I am learning how to eat as a diabetic. Now I just need to start moving more. Please pray that I can and do move more.

May God bless and keep you, dear Readers. Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

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Waiting for Weight

I heard on one of the doctor TV shows last week that a study shows that it is a good idea to weigh yourself every day. Apparently this way you keep honest with yourself about your eating habits and your exercise regime. I think this is a great idea for those who are at or near their healthy weight.

However, for those of us who are big girls (boys), it may not be the very best idea. Case in point, I have been scared straight (no disrespect to the Scared Straight program) by my last visit to my family physician and by my recent diagnosis of diabetes. So a week ago today, I began paying very close attention to the variety of healthy foods that I am eating and especially to the portions of said food. I bought a Fitbit Alta HR which let’s me know by vibrating on my wrist, when I’ve been sitting too long. So to make a long story short (I know, too late. 😉 My habits have changed drastically for the better.

Because I heard that it would be good to weigh myself every day, I did so.  First five day? Down, down, down more than ten pounds, which may give you an idea of how very much I have to lose. News flash: well over 100 pounds to get to a healthy weight.

Yesterday, my weight stayed the same. Today I am up six tenths of a pound. Now my usual reaction to a gain has been to say, “Well, crap, what use is it to even try!” Then I would go to the nearest sweets outlet and gorge on cakes and candies. Since I have been scared straight, that is no longer an option. Now I am faced with a conundrum. Do I keep weighing myself every day, and find a new coping mechanism for dealing with temporary weight gains? Or do I weigh myself less often, weekly or monthly, so I’m not faced with that possible problem daily? I’d really like to check in with friend Wayno. He is a family physician/general practitioner (I don’t know the difference.) I might just have to give him a jingle this week. If I do, I’ll let you know what he thinks. In the meantime, please weigh in (excuse the pun, with a nod to Linda Vallier who tickles us everyday on Facebook with a new pun) with your weighing habits. Every day? Or somewhat less often?

Thank you faithful Readers! It means a lot that you read these.

Donna     PS: Thank you to my son Jake and daughter-in-love Eliza for the iPhone accessories for early Mother’s Day. How fun! A personal fan that connects to my phone, which is gonna be so great in church this summer and a karaoke mic that works with my phone. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I already sent my daughter Emi and grandbaby Ida a video of me singing Happy Little Working Song from the movie Everlasting. This thing is a blast!

Being Accountable

The thing that bothers me about blogs, is that they seem so narcissistic. “This is me. This is what I know. This is what I do. Me, me, me, me, me….blah! I think of that each time I make an entry here. Even I get tired of reading about me, thinking about me, examining me. I am not writing this blog because I NEED an audience. I am writing this blog to keep myself accountable for the choices I am making everyday. Will I really move more? Will I really take control of the portions that I eat? Will I really make better food choices to actually feed my body and not just stuff myself with empty calories? Will I really test my blood glucose every day.  So this is my way of being accountable.

In that vein, let me share that I am having a very good day. Two meals consumed so far, nutritious and appropriately proportioned. Activity? I vacuumed the living room, changed the 4 ink cartridges in the printer, bagged some clothes to give away, worked the cat litter (Ugh!) and I plan to do some laundry today.

Now, why is this still called a Disney blog? Because it is a wonderful motivation for me. We had planned to go and spend four days at Disneyland Paris in the fall of 2018; however for our same amount of DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points, we can spend 8 nights in a Grand Villa at Walt Disney World in Florida. I want to be able to enjoy that time as much as possible. Watching my first grandchild (Ida, sweetest and smartest baby girl!) discover all things Mickey is a very exciting prospect! And sharing that time with the family? The best! I will use some visualization of that reunion when things get tough; it will help me to carry on. It may sound ridiculous, but Old Key West is my “laughing place.” (“Everybody has a laughing place, a laughing place to go-ho-ho.” From the movie Song of the South. Hmmm… no wonder I like Splash Mountain so much.) When I finally get there, I exhale and truly relax.

My latest Disney discovery is a book titled, “the easy guide to your Walt Disney World visit.” I really like it because it is snippets of info, rather than long tomes and epic-sized missives. In the Twitter universe where we want our info fast and short, I find this book very appealing. I highly recommend it; check it out.

Enough for today. Love and peace to you dear readers with prayers for our great country and the world.

Donna

Shocked Back to Reality (Get Real)

OK, here’s the deal. I stepped on the scale this morning, and received a huge shock. I have been living in denial…again. My weight has crept back up to an alarming number. I have been making some really lousy choices, and they have caught up with me. I love watching “The Real,” a talk show on the Fox network with a diverse group of young women. They hold each other accountable for “getting and being REAL” everyday.  I am going to GET REAL and hold myself accountable for every bite I take and for every step that I physically take.  I won’t do it to beat myself up; but to consciously make better decisions. I felt so good when I dropped some weight and was eating well and moving more; and I will strive for that again.

I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for today. Just a routine check-up to get my high blood pressure meds renewed. I called this morning to double check on the time, and they have no record of an appointment for me.  Now I remember very well calling and making an appointment, but my doctor’s office recently moved. I’m just gonna chalk up the mix-up to their move. So I rescheduled. You see, I am prediabetic, so I always have my blood sugar checked when I go in. I have to make these lifestyle changes before I am a full blown diabetic on meds. For now it is controlled with diet and exercise. (How long is that gonna last, if I keep making bad choices?)  So…here I go again.

  1. No more sugar (I am a full blown sugar addict currently out of control) Help me, Jesus! And he will!
  2. Keep my portion sizes down (Aim to quit before I’m stuffed…eat to live, not live to eat)
  3. Lots and lots of veggies (Aim to eat veggies throughout the day, not just at dinner)
  4. Water and more water (Less coffee and more water)
  5. Walking a bit everyday (Even if it’s just back and forth in my porch, or around my house in the AC on high ozone days when my asthma kicks in)

I must admit, Dear Readers, that I am feeling a bit discouraged, but not defeated. As long as I keep do-ing, (To quote Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”), I am not defeated. All prayers and words of encouragement are welcome.

Let me know what’s up in your life. Really, I want to know.  Blessings on you!

Donna

Reason and Raving

After much deliberation I have decided to keep the name of my blog as Donna’s Destination Disney.  Here are the reasons why:

  • As a member of the Disney Vacation Club, I plan/hope to get to a Disney destination every three years.  In 2015, I went to Walt Disney World for 8 glorious nights in October. In 2012, I went to Disney World for a week in December. In 2018, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I hope to go to Disneyland Paris for 5 nights with the family in September.
  • The thought of visiting and walking around a Disney destination is great motivation for me to eat well and move more.
  • I am a mega Disney fan, so from time to time, I will post Disney related info, like…

Frozen Ever After and the new Soarin’ opened this week at EPCOT.  The wait for Frozen Ever After is over 3 hours long as I type this.  Holy cannoli!! I can hardly wait to ride those rides, yet there is no way I would stand in a three hour line to do so.  Geesh! What an exciting time at the Disney parks what with Shanghai Disney opening this month, too.

Now on a more serious note: the senate today voted down 4 pieces of legislation that would make it tougher to mass-shoot Americans.  Shame on them!!  I really do believe that those who voted down this legislation are representing the NRA, NOT their own constituencies.  Election time is coming and it’s time to take a stand voters; these NAY voters on this legislation have to go!

I believe in the right to bear arms. I do. If you need a pistol to feel safe in your own home, I have no problem with that. If you hunt and need a specific rifle to get it done, I have no problem with that. [I am a carnivore, too. ;)] But enough is e-bloody-nough! These assault rifles should not be readily available. And if you are on the terrorist watch list or the no fly list, you should have a hard time purchasing a gun. That just seems like common sense.

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.

I am striving to eat better by planning our menus and by trying out HelloFresh, a home meal-delivery service.  Here’s what they say on their website:

1. We create amazing recipes. Each week our chefs create amazing recipes for you that are easy to prepare. Our meals are interesting yet simple. And we ensure that your diet is balanced and varied.

2. We do the shopping for you. Tired of wasting time at the grocery store? We do it all for you; from creating the recipes and planning the meals, to grocery shopping and even delivering all of the pre-measured ingredients right to your door!

3. Free Delivery! We deliver everything straight to your door, so you can skip the trip.

4. You prepare delicious meals in your own home. We are More Than Food. Quick and easy recipes, no fancy equipment or techniques, and no obscure ingredients. Our mission is to help you get nutritious and delicious meals on the table.

Sounds great, right? I’ll let you know what I think in a few weeks.  I am expecting my first delivery tomorrow.  I ordered 3 meals per week. I figure this will help us to try some new and interesting recipes for awhile.

As for exercise this week: I only made it to the Rec center on 2 days last week, but I did move around a lot more at home.  My walking buddy hurt her back, so she can’t come with me for awhile.  It’s so difficult to get myself up and out without her to hold me accountable. However, “I am responsible for me. I need to be the change I want to see.  I need to get up and walk.” Hmmm…not a bad mantra.

Today I got up and emptied out my closet, because there is a leak in our air conditioner in the attic and the entry to the attic is through my closet ceiling. The leak is bad enough that there is water pouring into our guest room.  Yuk! I think I walked a mile back and forth with all my stuff: clothes, books, pictures, memorabilia, etc… I was sweating like I’d had a full body workout, and now I have the aches and pains to prove it.  My walking for today will be a run to the grocery store to finish out our week of grocery needs.

Then we need to batten down the hatches, because the weather is supposed to get ugly all day tomorrow, thunderstorms, possible tornadoes and much heavy rain. Help me, Jesus!

That’s about it for today.  Thanks for reading and following me on this journey of my senior-citizen life.  You, dear reader, are precious to me.

Donna

PS: I am LOVING the Grandma gig! My grandbaby Ida is so amazing! I can hardly wait to hold her again. She’s already 4 and a half weeks old. She has a head of beautiful dark hair. She likes to hear singing (especially her mama’s voice). She’s learning so much everyday. *happy sigh* My heart is so full, as I see pictures of her growing. I am so very thankful!

Adventures in Cuisine

Meatless Monday ended up being Meatless Saturday, which was a blazing 90+ degrees with high humidity and ozone warnings. We had Chef Salads, and although our meal was meatless, I did include half a hard-boiled egg in each salad and a few cubes of cheddar cheese for protein. I had made Chunky Vegetable Chowder on Friday to have with our Friday Hammy Sammys, so we had the leftover chowder with our salad. Here’s the recipe. It makes a lovely summery, veggie soup.

Chunky Vegetable Chowder from Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes

6 large servings 3 carbohydrate choices

Ingredients:

  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  3. 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  4. 8 medium green onions, sliced (½ cup)
  5. 3 cups water
  6. ¾ pound small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 ½ cups)
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
  10. 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  11. 2 cans (14.75 oz each) cream-style corn

Directions:

  • In 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bell peppers and onions; cook 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in water, potatoes, thyme and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes and tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients; cook about 1 minute or until hot (Do not boil, or it will curdle).

Seriously, get this cookbook, Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes.  It is fabulous!!

In an effort to educate our palates and try some new things to keep some spice in our marriage 😉 Mike and I made a curry together for the first time ever. Yes, we cooked it together. I found a relatively easy recipe at verucaspice.com. Here’s the recipe…and, oh yeah, it was delicious!

Indian Chicken Curry by Nirali Patel at verucaspice.com

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  1. 1 pound chicken breasts, cubed to bite size
  2. 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  3. 1-8 oz can tomato puree
  4. ½ a red onion, fine chopped (1 cup)
  5. 1 heaping teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  6. 1 heaping teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  7. 1 Serrano chili, finely chopped (optional)
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. 1 teaspoon ground garam masala
  11. ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. ½ teaspoon red chili powder to taste
  13. Juice of ½ a lime
  14. Salt and pepper to taste
  15. A little over 1 cup of water

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and fry until they are golden for 6-7 minutes.
  • Add ginger and garlic and fry for 30 seconds, reducing heat to medium.
  • Add tomato puree and continue to cook for 6-7 minutes until a lot of the water has evaporated and oil starts to seep through the mixture.
  • Add spices (except garam masala). Fry spices in mixture for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cubed chicken and stir, coating all pieces.
  • Add the water and stir well. (Stir in the Serrano pepper here, if you choose to use it.)
  • Cook, partially covered for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. You can uncover and let moisture cook out if you wish.
  • When at desired consistency, add garam masal, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!

I know it looks complicated, but it really wasn’t. And it was so tasty, and not at all spicy hot. I don’t think I’ve ever had the spices turmeric or garam masala in my kitchen before.  Turneric is so pretty…and tasty.  We didn’t use the optional Serrano pepper, but we will try it next time. Mike likes spicy hot foods, and I’m willing to try it once anyway.

As for progress on the rest of my quest: Joan and I have now been to the Rec Center to walk for 4 days.

  • Day one-I walked 4 times around the track…thought I was gonna die!
  • Day two-I walked 5 times around the track…pretty sure I did die for a minute there. 🙂
  • Day three-I walked 4 times around the track and quit because it was 90+ degrees and humid out, and I was going grocery shopping from the Rec center. I was fairly OK after the Rec Center, and circling around a stroke after grocery shopping.  I will not push that hard on such a hot and humid day again!
  • Day four-I walked 7 times around the track. After six laps I felt really good so I thought, “What the heck; I’ll do one more lap.” Then after my seventh lap, my feet, knees and back were VERY unhappy.

Tomorrow will be Day 5 at the Rec Center. I plan to be in the moment (not just thinking about getting it over with), and I will listen to my body, stopping at the first sign of actual distress.  And hey, 13 laps is a mile, so I made it over a half mile yesterday. Woop!!

Thanks for reading, dear friends! God bless your day

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Miracle

Hello Dear Readers,

Welcome back! I want to share something that happened to me several years ago. On a spring day, I attended a half-day women’s retreat at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. If you’ve not been to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, it is a lush, green, stunningly beautiful place to walk and wander amid the scent of the flowers and plants surrounding you. I highly recommend it as a place of quiet meditation, or as a place to contemplate nature at its manicured finest!

Anyway…about a dozen women met there at 9:00 am. We chatted together for a bit then were sent off to write down our thoughts in several areas of the Gardens.  We met back at 10:00 am and then again at 11:00 am to share our thoughts. Then we met at noon in the cafeteria for lunch and wrap-up.

At one point in the morning, we were sent off to find a quiet place to to sit and pray and then to pick a question out of our retreat booklet to answer.  I chose: “What type of a plant are you.” I thought, “What is this Barbara Walters?” It was one of her favorite questions when interviewing celebrities. (Actually it was, “What kind of a tree are you?”) Here is what I wrote after my prayer time:

“In the precious garden where God’s human’s handiwork is seen, where do you see you? Are you the prairie grass standing tall, stretching up and up to praise God and feel the warmth of the Son? Do you bend gently with the wind in joy at your freedom? Do you bend sharply in the bluster of winter?”

“Who are you?”

“Are you the willow, long and slender, reaching up for the heavens, then dropping down to caress the waters of the earth? Do you dance and sway to nature’s music?”

“What, in nature, are you?”

“Are you the rose, vermillion in your beauty and splendor? Do you bloom under God’s watchful eye, pleasing those around you and hiding your prickles in shadows?”

“Me? I am the English Oak. Solid…sturdy…stocky. Yes, I bend with the wind, I, too, dance and sway for my creator. But my roots go down deep. My roots grow down, down, down into the solid packed earth, gripping rocks and soil to stay rooted. Rooted in God’s Word.”

“In God’s garden, there is room for all. Each of us on our own path, yet each of us is designed as part of one plan. Too small and busy are we to see the whole garden, but we can believe the One who holds the whole garden in his hands.”

That’s it, and believe it now more than ever. If we are just content to bloom where we are planted and then trust God for the rest, we live our lives in perfect peace. I am where I am because of God’s plan and my own choices.  And right here and right now God can use me for his purposes.  And wants to use me AND you, too.

And here’s the miracle: when we gathered back to share which question we had chosen the ladies read, one by one, the question they had chosen and their thoughts and meditations. When it came to my turn, I kept flipping back and forth to find the question that I had answered. (“What type of a plant are you?”) Hmmm…even though I had read and reread that  question many times in my meditation, it was nowhere to be found in the retreat booklet. God let me see the question that I needed to answer. I am still humbled and in awe of this simple gift God gave to me on that morning. God is good!

Blessings, my peeps.

Donna

PS: I rejoined the Rec Center and plan to meet my friend Joan there three days a week to walk.  I know I could step out my door and walk, but with the heat of summer and the poor walking condition that I am in, the Rec Center is a better option.  I can do a lap and then sit to recover, then walk another lap, sit to recover, etc… Also I have started planning better meals and cooking with purpose again. And on Saturday I will make my first Indian dish, “Indian Chicken Curry-Quick and Easy” recipe by Veruca Spice. Check out the website at http://www.verucaspice.com. Really good stuff for expanding the palate!