Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I must have eaten 6 or 7 peaches today. They were so ripe and sooooo good. These were from the store, but we used to live where peaches grew right behind our house. Some nights, I'd go pick a bowl full of peaches and we'd just eat them all for dinner. The sugar content was so high right off the tree. But today's peaches from the store were pretty wonderful too.

I just realized as I wrote this that I planted a peach tree today too. I bought a bare root peach tree from Costco a few months ago (maybe even as far back as February). I'm not that great at keeping up on gardening, but saw that they were selling peach trees and thought maybe I could get it to grow here (even though I only know of one person in the whole county who has peach trees that produce -- and she says it's only once every 4 or 5 years). I guess I was hopeful though, so I bought it. Then I let it sit on the side of the house in it's little root ball bag and wondered if it would survive. It rains enough here that it seemed to do well. We had a spell of sunshine and my gardening friend told me I should move it to the side of the house. I did and it's lived there since.

This morning, however, I saw that the leaves looked dry (see, I'm not completely oblivious to the needs of my dear plants, but pretty close, actually). I had a big bag of top soil and decided the time had come to plant it in a big pot. I would have just put it in the ground, but our house is for sale and I'd like to take it with me. It's not like I don't think I can buy another one when we move (and the thought that this might not survive a move did cross my mind), but I seriously doubt it ever will produce fruit here, so it's probably better off going with us to Southern California.

So I ate a bunch of peaches and I planted a peach tree. How peachy is that? Here are some nutritional peach facts (for just 1 peach) in case you're curious:

One medium peach (with skin) contains 1 gram dietary fiber.

Potassium - 193 mg
Phosphorus - 12 mg
Magnesium - 6.9 mg
Calcium - 5 mg
Selenium - .4 mg
Also contains trace amounts of iron, zinc, manganese and copper.

Vitamin A - 524 IU
Vitamin C - 19 mg
Folate (important during pregnancy) - 5.5 mcg
Niacin - .97 mg

This chart doesn't include all the phytonutrients recently discovered (and rarely listed on labels), nor those yet to be discovered.

I also love dehydrated peaches. They are so yummy warm out of the dehydrator -- they're better than peach cobbler! They're excellent days, weeks, & even months later. I just have never had them last for more than a week. We eat them faster than we can make them. Just slice them and dehydrate at 108 degrees over night. Make sure there aren't any moist spots left or they will mold (learned that the hard way my first time). I throw sliced peaches into my sprouted wheat cracker recipe too. (I can't seem to find that recipe on my previous blog posts, so I'll post it tomorrow.)

Peaches are also great in green smoothies. I often throw one in place of a banana in my smoothie recipes. Gives that sweet, creamy taste and texture. They're also good just blended by themselves. When I was 12 (I only remember this because it was the bicentennial year 1976), my aunt got married and I helped cut up fresh fruit for her reception. They had us peel peaches and blended up the peelings for us helpers to drink. It was amazingly good and something I've never forgotten. TTFN!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Writing a book!

Well, it's official -- I'm writing a book! I just wanted to let you know so you could say you knew me when :). My husband is an artist and I love to write. We have 6 children and feel like we're pretty good experts on what kids love.......and I've always wanted to write books. So I'm going to merge that desire, his drawing talents, and my undying passion to help others eat healthy foods by writing some children's books that somehow teach children to eat real food, but in a fun way.

I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but have been afraid of failure. Pure and simple. That time is over. I may still fail (at first anyway, and maybe over and over), but I'm going to get my pen rolling and will keep going until I find a way to make it work. Fun stuff!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vacations and Weight Gain

Vacations and weight gain -- do they have to go together? They seem to want to. I'm not sure what it is, but most of the time when I go on vacation, I gain weight. I've tried all sorts of things to remedy this -- bringing produce in the car for snacking, bringing my step, weights, yoga mat, videos (even TV/VCR combo to one reunion back in the days before portable dvd players or laptops). I usually do pretty well the first few days, but somehow that "I'm on vacation" mode tried to extend to vacationing from my healthier ways of eating and I get off track.

Fortunately, I don't travel that often. My mom is a school teacher and travels most of the summer and on each holiday break. She ruins her weight loss progress every time. I only do it maybe one or two weeks out of the year. Still, it's enough to frustrate the process and interfere with my journey in health.

I just drove through 3 states to get my daughter back to college for summer term. I didn't plan all that well. It was my "rest week" in my exercise rotation -- so that worked well. I was supposed to do less intense workouts all week, so I brought my yoga mat and went for walks as much as possible (went swimming one day). Driving 15 hours each way (divided into 2 days each time) certainly doesn't help though. I was sedentary and was eating much more than usual to keep myself awake and from going stir crazy. Visiting friends and relatives can present challenges too, but I think I'm getting better at handling that. I still didn't do as well as I'd hoped though and came back to my scale 5 pounds heavier.

I have one more vacation planned later this summer and am going to do the following to prevent the weight gain and to ensure I stick with my eating ways:

  • Bring a cooler with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies
  • Continue to replenish cooler as trip progresses with fresh foods
  • Make green smoothies beforehand and freeze several to take in cooler
  • Drink plenty of water (I found myself dehydrated 1/2 way through this last trip)
  • Use that yoga mat every night before bed or each morning before shower
  • Question self if the fake foods are worth it. Stick with whole foods, fresh if possible.
  • If I eat out, split a dish or just get the side order.
  • Stay away from bread -- it causes weight gain abroad just as much as it does at home.
  • If the *vacation* mindset starts to creep in, chase it away with a dose of reality.
I'll let you know how I do at the end of the summer. I've practiced many of these tips before and have done well. For now, I'll endeavor to get these extra weight off well before that next trip. TTFN!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fat pants -- to keep or not to keep

Definition of "fat pants" -- the pants you used to wear before you lost weight or had to buy because you gained weight. There isn't a particular size that determines pants to be "fat pants" -- they are just the bigger pants in your closet that you have to wear when you gain weight or have on hand in case you gain again.

Now the question often comes to me, "Should I keep my fat pants or get rid of them?" Some people (we could call them experts, but what exactly is an expert in the fat pants field?) say that as soon as you lose weight, you should get rid of your fat pants. Otherwise you are just keeping the option open to gain weight -- making it easier because you know you have the wardrobe for it. Some say if you wear your fat pants when they are a little roomy, it may make it so you don't notice when you do gain weight. I doubt that though. I always can sense how my clothes fit and when that's changing whether the pants start out baggy or not.

Others say that you should wear comfortable clothes when you gain weight. I know when I gain weight, it's twice as discouraging to walk around in tight pants (not to mention uncomfortable). After I had my last baby and was 20 pounds heavier than usual, I heard Dr. Phil say that when you're trying to lose weight, you should wear clothes that you feel good in so you are in a positive mode. You'll succeed when you feel good about yourself. I actually went out and bought a few new pairs of "fat pants" that I could feel good in after hearing this and it did make a difference in how I felt until I was able to get back into my other clothes.

Now I have a bit of both. Mostly I have my weight loss clothes -- the ones I wear when I'm at the lower end of my weight range. (I tend to fluctuate up and down 5 pounds all the time -- sometimes up to 10 if I'm not careful around the holidays). Then I have a size up of pants that I have to wear when the weight has crept on and the others are too tight. I don't enjoy being that size, but it sure is more comfortable to wear them.

And yet I wonder . . . would it be better when I am at the lower end of my weight to just give the bigger sized pants to the thrift store and vow to never need to wear those clothes again? It would be nice. But I just fear I would gain the weight for whatever reason anyway then have only snug clothes to wear. Hmmm. Perhaps I should go a whole year without going up a size first just to see if I can do it. It's not like my clothes are so trendy that someone will miss out on the fashion of the season if I wait that long.

It would be nice to have weight maintenance mean always sticking with that particular weight, but for me (at least for the last 5 years), weight maintenance has been more like a pilot flying on course. He's not really on course the whole time, he's veering off, then getting back on, winds blow the plane off a bit, then he gets it back on the path again. I'm not really yo-yoing, just steadying myself to stay about where I feel most comfortable and healthy. Maybe that steadying range will get smaller and smaller, so I don't have to hold onto quite so many clothes.