Chick Fil A to the Rescue

Chick Fil A has become my go-to for fast food. I can get a 12-piece grilled nuggets (0 points), barbecue sauce packet (2 points), a small fruit cup (0 points), and I usually have my own Yeti tumbler of ice water with me. If not, I can get a Diet Coke or diet lemonade. It provides a tasty 2-point lunch (or dinner).

I got out of the house today, and after running my errands, I did my Chick Fil A run, and I’m good to go till dinner time. I will likely enjoy some frozen grapes when I get home, and I want to make some low-point muffins, too.

Ron will likely stop by Whole Foods on his way home and get fish for us to grill for dinner. Ron eats fish on a daily basis. I can eat it several days week. Halibut, especially, is my favorite.

 

Eating well and losing weight affects one’s blood pressure

Today I have not been feeling well – headache and a little light-headed. Oh great, I thought, I’m coming down with Covid-19. However, one of my sisters advised that I take my blood pressure since a low BP could cause one to feel light-headed. So I did – four times over the course of about 30 minutes because I’m compulsive like that. Here are the readings:

117/58       98/57       110/58      110/59

It’s a fairly consistent reading – especially for the second number.  And all four are too low. That could easily account for the light-headed feeling I’ve had – and maybe for the headache, too.

I take BP meds each evening. It’s a fairly low dose, but I’m thinking that with my healthy eating the past 7 weeks, plus losing some weight, that it has affected my BP.  So tonight I will cut my dose in half. I will continue to monitor my BP, and hopefully it will be better after a day or two.

What does “mindfulness” look like?

For the tagline to this blog, I wrote: “A journey of health, fitness, and mindfulness after the age of 70.” So far I’ve written a lot about health via all my WW posts. However, I haven’t written much at all about fitness and mindfulness. So today I will talk about mindfulness.

With all that’s going on in the world today, it is easy to have one’s mind full to bursting with all the news about riots, diseases, unrest, quarantines, etc.  “Experts” weigh in with opposing views on just about everything. That makes it all the more important to deliberately be mindful and to foster mindful practices in everyday life.

Mindfulness can be defined as the nurturing practice of being aware of one’s environment, thoughts, emotions, and experiences “in the moment” while remaining kind and nonjudgmental to oneself and others.

Being mindful is no small accomplishment! How am I kind to myself?  How do I nurture positive behaviors in order to take care of myself?  First – back to the other posts I’ve made in this blog – I am being nurturing and kind to myself by taking better care of my body via eating well and following the WW plan.

Mindful eating is really what WWs is all about.  One unhealthy habit I have is that I quickly eat most of my meals sitting in my recliner either watching TV or scrolling through my phone or laptop. I would like to replace that habit with a more nurturing one – sitting at a table with soft music playing – slowing down and being mindful of taste and texture – drinking plenty of water along with the meal.  TODAY I will start with dinner each day – at the dining room table, music from my iPhone, talking with my husband.

What does mindfulness look like right now in my life?

  1. I’ve recently started a skin care regimen. I’m fortunate in having a good inheritance when it comes to my skin. I’ve never had to do much to have good skin. However, now that I’m in my 70s, the wrinkles are more apparent. Rather than going to bed without removing my makeup first (something I’ve always done!), I’ve started washing my face with a good skin care product (Rodan + Fields), using a toner, and then a face cream.  In the mornings, I apply a sunscreen before applying makeup. I consider it a soothing and relaxing way to prepare for bed.
  2. In the mornings, I’ve started back having my quiet time. I did this for year before, but in the past couple years, I’ve let it slide.  During my quiet time, I read the Bible, keep a prayer journal, and read a devotional – all while enjoying my morning coffee. It is delightful way to start the day, and it’s a “centering” practice.
  3. I make my own healing skin cream. I am a “picker” – meaning if there is any blemish on my skin, I tend to pick at it. It is a habit that is SO hard to break! There’s something about the lack of smoothness that makes me feel compelled to try to make it smooth by scratching at it. So I made my own healing cream that I put on any blemish to help it heal quickly.   I mix it in a bowl and put it in small 2-oz. cosmetic jars. And I’m making a concerted effort to stop the picking! I have made my own regular skin cream for the past year, too. I prefer both the skin cream and the healing cream over any commercial cream I’ve found. It’s not only a self-care practice, it helps to foster my creativity.
  4. I do mindfulness walks around our yard. That was something I started at the beginning of the Covid-19 quarantine in March 2020.  We are fortunate to have some acreage where I can walk. I try to get outside in the sun on a daily basis and just walk around, breathing deeply, for a few minutes each day.
  5. I’m working on more regularly keeping my home clean and neat because a clean and organized environment fosters calm and peace. Yesterday I cleaned out my closet (again!). The pantry is next. Then my art studio. The rest of the house stays fairly clean and neat.
  6. With SO much discord in the world right now, I have avoided the news as much as possible for a long time. I get most news via the internet – but I can select news outlets that don’t have obvious biases. I want to form my own opinions rather than be told what to believe – which is what most news outlet do. That way I can be informed without being manipulated into getting upset or angry.
  7. My Apple watch is set to regularly remind me to breathe deeply throughout the day. Sometimes just taking a deep breathe is calming.

Balance is another aspect of mindfulness, and I think I do a pretty good job of that. I work around the house or paint or cook or whatever, but I also take breaks, I write, and I visit family and friends.

2-Ingredient Dough – Bagels and Rolls

In all the WW groups I’ve joined on Facebook, I have heard a LOT about 2-Ingredient dough. So I decided to try it out.

It is simply equal parts self-rising flour and nonfat Greek yogurt. However, people kept mentioning that the dough is very sticky and that it works better to have a little less yogurt.  Here is what I did:

2-Ingredient Dough

3 cups self-rising flour (37 points) I made sure to be accurate with this measurement so I could figure the WW points. Set aside about 1/4 cup to use later.

2 1/2 cups Fage nonfat Greek Yogurt (0 points)

Mix the 2 3/4 cups flour with the yogurt in a bowl.. Turn out on a pastry board/sheet or on a piece of parchment paper. Knead briefly – using the 1/4 cup flour you set aside to add, as needed, to get it to a smooth ball.  Cut into 16 equal pieces.  I used a pastry cutter to cut the dough ball in half – then cut each half in half, etc.

Shape each piece into a ball.

I took some of the balls and rolled them out long and thin, sprayed with butter-flavored Pam, and then generously sprinkled cinnamon on them. Then I rolled them up (like a cinnamon roll), pressed them down, poked a hole in the middle. Voila! Cinnamon bagels.

Some I left plain, and others I sprayed with butter-flavored Pam and sprinkled “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning on them.

They turned out pretty good. They’re a little tangy, thanks to the yogurt. The only points come from the flour.  So 37 total points divided by 16 is equal to about 2.3 points each.  So one rounds off to 2 points, but two of them round off to 5 points.

I tried both the cinnamon and the “everything but the bagel” – and the cinnamon won, hands down.  Spread a little “Simply Fruit” spread on it – and yummy!

Artificial Sweeteners – pro and con

Today I was thinking about all the foods I’m eating lately that have artificial sweeteners. Not good. I don’t want to live the rest of my life using artificial sweeteners because they definitely do not promote good health.

So, with that in mind, I am going to phase them out. I will figure out healthy ways to enjoy sweets naturally with moderation and common sense. It may be that I have to stop them altogether, or I may only use Stevia and monkfruit. I need to do some research to get more information to see if there are any that are truly safe.

I’ve enjoyed the muffins that I have made with sugar-free cake mixes. However, I bet I can find muffin recipes without the fake stuff that will be low points AND tasty. So that will be my goal for the next few weeks.

Another Zero-Point Cheesecake

Today at my mother’s I decided to try the Zero-Point Cheesecake again. This time I made a fresh cherry compote to serve on top.

The recipe for the cheesecake is at this link.

This time it turned out even better than last time.

My mother said this was about the best tasting thing she’d ever eaten!!! And she doesn’t say things like that often.
For the compote, I chopped up fresh cherries, added about a teaspoon of butter and a couple tablespoons of monk fruit sweetener and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I brought it to a boil in a large pan. I used a potato masher to mash it. I let it simmer a few minutes and then put it in a jar which I placed in the refrigerator.
When I saw these cherries at the grocery store, I knew what kind of topping I wanted for the cheesecake.
Enough for us to each have a slice to day – and more for tomorrow when there will be more people here!

Weekly Weigh-In – 9/4/2020

9/4/2020

I’m pleased with this. I used all my weeklies in addition to my dailies this week. However I logged every single thing I ate.

My goals for this next week is to continue logging everything, drink more water, and to be more active.

I’m in Georgia right now visiting my mother. My weight was done on her scales, which has always matched my own scales.

Thursday Morning Thoughts

Just a quick thought for this morning. I’m becoming a little fixated on the scale. I’ve been weighing every morning. Two days ago I was up. Yesterday I was down. I recognize this pattern from all the dieting I’ve done over the years – and it’s not a healthy pattern. I become obsessed with my weight, and that’s not what I want for myself.

So a new resolution: I will weigh ONLY on Friday mornings, That’s it.  No in-between. I’ve got to end this obsession before it derails me!

One other observation: I’m still doing “secret eating.” Yesterday I had the house to myself for several hours. What’s the first thing I did? I ate FOUR Rice Krispies treats – which was 14 points. I logged them and counted the points, but WHY? I didn’t really want four Rice Krispies treats – but it was like I suddenly had the freedom to eat whatever I wanted. That’s not healthy thinking. I can eat whatever I want whenever I want – as long as I track it and stay within my points.  There’s no need to binge.

This lifestyle is a different way of thinking, and changing long-held practices takes time. However, I am committed to this!

Tomorrow’s weigh-in will be interesting. I have used up all my daily and weekly points last week and this week. Supposedly I should still lose weight. Last week I gained. Hopefully tomorrow I will have lost.

Zero Point Cheesecake

I saw a recipe today for a zero-point cheesecake.  I read over the directions and decided to make it. Of course, I made my own changes to it.  The only artificial sweetener I use is Stevia.  I use only Stevia because I have grown Stevia in my garden before. It’s in the mint family. I’ve chewed on the leaves – and they’re unbelievably sweet! So at least the origin of Stevia sweetener is natural. I know they add artificial stuff to get it into a powdered form. Still, it’s better than sweeteners that are completely concocted in chemistry labs.

I also added an additional egg – to make 4 altogether. The reason I did that is to make the batter thicker and for it to have more substance when it is chilled.

Since I had a big juicy lime in the refrigerator, I decided to make this first one a lime cheesecake.

How did it turn out? This cheesecake is delicious!  I have to admit that I couldn’t wait the recommended two hours for it to cool. So my husband and I split a slice of warm cheesecake.  It makes 8 generous servings.  I used a large deep dish pie plate that I had.  Next time I will use a regular pie plate.

Next time I plan on making a marble cheesecake. Once the batter is in the pan and before I bake it, I will drizzle some sugar-free Hershey syrup on it, and then use a spoon to swirl it through the batter. I will measure the syrup first to be sure and get an exact count of points. The chocolate syrup will probably make the slices 1 point each instead 0 points.

The only ingredient with points in the recipe below is the sugar-free pudding mix. It is 3 points per box. So there are three points in the entire cheesecake.  Technically, that would be 0 points per slice if you make 8 slices.  If you eat more than one slice, I’d count 1 point.

Zero-Point Cheesecake

4 Eggs (0 points)

3 cups Plain Fat-Free Greek Yogurt (0 points)

1 pkg. Instant sugar-free/fat-free cheesecake pudding mix (3 points per box)

1 tsp. Vanilla (0 points)

3 Tablespoons Stevia (0 points)

Pam spray (0 points)

Optional: Flavorings (juice of one lemon or lime, some almond extract, a swirl of sugar-free chocolate syrup, etc.)

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, Stevia, vanilla extract, and any other flavoring you’d like.

  • Mix well.

  • Add the yogurt and pudding mix.

  • Mix well.

  • Lightly spray a pie dish with Pam, and pour the batter into the dish. Spread evenly.

  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

  • Chill for at least two hours before serving.