Monday, October 23, 2017

Do you feel like you're floundering?

Sometimes...well, most of the time...I feel like I'm floundering in life.  The days run together and before I know it, a year, or two, have passed.  At least that's how it feels in my head.

I realized I have no goals in my life.  Back when I was in high school, I wanted to go to college.  I did, and then I wanted to graduate from college and get a job.  Did that.  Got married and had kids.  Checked that off the list.  Then I got the kids through school and college.

Now I'm stuck.  What's my next goal?  I have nothing in mind. 

Thus, I'm doing goal setting right now.  What do I want out of life?  Besides losing weight, do I have an attainable goal in mind?

I looked up goal planning online and found these articles:

Personal Goal Setting: Planning to Live Your Life Your Way -- Many people feel as if they're adrift in the world. They work hard, but they don't seem to get anywhere worthwhile.


9 Steps to Define your Goal Destination and Devise a Plan to Get There -- how to define realistic goals and reach them.

So next up, figure out my goals.  One of these articles says to stick to one or two of your goals at first. 

Do you have your goals defined and are you working on them?

Have a great week!
Markee


Monday, October 16, 2017

More Instant Pot Love for Our Meals

Chicken:
I'm still using the Instant Pot, and loving it!  First, I now make my own dog food (well, sort of).  I feed our dogs three times a day with plain old meat (and chewy bones in the morning).  Then, they have their regular dry dog food out all day long so they don't go hungry.  I was giving them canned chicken (the human kind) but I have no idea what's really in it.  So now, I make them chicken thighs and give it to them three times a day.  I also give them hamburger sometimes, and other things as well (like steak, if my husband does it behind my back).

The Instant Pot makes it SO easy!  I put the thighs into the pressure cooker, add some liquid, and walk away.  I make a bunch of them, so I put them on the poultry setting for about 40 minutes or so, just to make sure they're cooked.  I go do other things, come back, and voila...really soft dog food for a few days.  Fantastic! 

Oh, and I also make chicken for us.  It's so soft and delicious, it just falls off the bone!  YUMMO!

Beef:
I made the BEST beef stew.  My husband said it was the softest stew he's ever had, and it was a chuck roast (which can be tough).  I browned the edges, put it into the pressure cooker for 1/2 hour with some beef stock and spices, let the steam out, and added the vegetables.  After heating up again, 4 minutes later, the stew was done and DELICIOUS!  No kidding!  Soft potatoes, carrots, and onion.  I could've added the peas, but I didn't want them mushy.  So I put those in the microwave (steamed peas from Green Giant) and added some to the pot later.

Yogurt:
I even made yogurt with that thing.  I've made it once and am making more today. It's SO easy to do!  I used this recipe (https://www.tidbits-cami.com/2015/09/homemade-yogurt.html) --fantastic!  (The recipe is on page 2 and I make 1/2 recipe).

I just needed to find a good starter yogurt with live active cultures.  That means I had to find a plain yogurt in the yogurt aisle.  I tried Greek yogurt, but that's not my favorite.  So next up--Activia.

Then, it takes 1/2 gallon of milk (I use 2% for now), 2 tbsp of that plain yogurt, and 1.5 tbsp of dry milk (optional, to make it thicker).  After scalding the milk, then you turn the Instant Pot to the yogurt setting and let it on for 8 hours.  After draining it, add sweeteners and fruit, and you have yummy yogurt!  It sounds a lot more difficult than it is, but it's really easy!

I had a problem draining the first batch, so I bought some almond nut bags as a strainer.  I ordered a 3-pack of this one from Amazon:  Pro Quality Nut Milk Bag  Cheesecloth is really tough to handle.  I found that out the hard way.  Check out the tidbits recipe and you'll see how easy it is to put the string handle on a cabinet knob and drain the yogurt liquid into a bowl.

Why am I doing this?  Yogurt has now become my go-to dessert.  It's really filling and stops me from wanting ice cream.  It works.  Try it.  I may even try to make frozen yogurt with my ice cream maker.  Hmmm...LOL!


So happy cooking!  Everything tastes so much better than going out to eat, or making pre-processed frozen meals. I have to admit the meat is even softer than in a crock pot.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Instant Pot

I noticed that the Instant Pot went on sale this past week on the 'deal of the day' at Amazon.com, so I ordered one (at $30 off, I couldn't resist).  It's basically an all-in-one electric cooker.  I wanted it for the pressure cooker.

My mother made a lot of our meals in the pressure cooker.  Hers sat on the stove and had a tendency to want to explode, I think.  But the meat was so tender, it was ridiculous how fast things cooked.

Since I want to make more good foods for my family, I figured this was a good investment.  It's also a steamer, you can make yogurt, it's a slow cooker, you can saute, and do a bunch of other things I haven't even explored yet.

It got to my house two days after I ordered it, even though I opted for free shipping and was willing to wait a week.  I immediately read the directions and made chicken breasts in it.  I sauteed them first, to defrost them a bit and brown them (I freeze a lot of things in our house).  Then I put them in the Instant Pot.  In 15 minutes, I had soft meat that fell apart!  Amazing!

So, if you're looking for a fast way to make soft meat, think about using the Instant Pot.  I haven't tried vegetables in it yet, but I think I can put a whole pot roast in there with veggies and have a meal in less than an hour.  I figure anything that keeps me away from processed foods HAS to be a good thing.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, October 2, 2017

What's your favorite?

If you had to choose a go-to comfort food right now, what would it be?  Why?

Here's an example of one I'd choose.  Potato chips.  Why?  Back when I was a kid, both of my parents were teachers.  My dad taught at the college and my mom was an elementary school teacher.  Mom got home about the time we did, and the first thing she did, before she made any dinner, was to open a bag of potato chips.  Her favorite were onion and sour cream.  We'd all sit around the kitchen bar and talk about our days over an entire bag of chips.  It brings me comfort to remember those times, back in the day.  Weird, yes, but that thought brings me comfort.

What is your comfort food and why?

Have a super week!
Markee

Monday, September 25, 2017

They're Everywhere!!!

I can't get away from sweets!  Here's proof, from my twitter page:




They're everywhere, following me around!  😁  I think they're evil!  HAHAHAH!

I hope you have a wonderful week.  Don't let those chocolate cookies wear you down.

Markee

Monday, September 18, 2017

Dieting is a State of Mind

How much is too much food?  How do you know it is?  Do you wait until your stomach is full, or do you tell yourself, in your head, that you've had enough?

I've been battling this thought for a while now.  How can I tell that enough is enough and tell myself to stop?  I still would love to be able to do that, so I don't have to use any external list of what I've eaten to know when enough is enough.

Here's what I concluded, though.  Dieting is a state of mind.  It's mind over any desires, or self-control.  It's the ability to say 'enough' when you're not so full you're sick.

Thus, my quest continues, to find that balance.  I've lost a little bit by doing this but not enough.  Time to step up the quest.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, September 11, 2017

Who Are You Eating For?

Two of my three kids live at home now.  They're both done with college.  One has been working since March (our youngest, who just turned 22) and the middle kid just graduated in May with a dual degree in math and history education.  However, after some awful student teaching experiences, she doesn't want to teach.  She finally got a job starting today.  Since she's been home, she's been in charge of making the dinners.

Because our middle kid was upset because she wasn't employed, she needed positive feedback for her dinners.  Granted, it wasn't that difficult to do, because she's a pretty good cook.  But she wanted to experiment to give us 'new experiences' for meals.

It hit me last week--who am I really eating for?  I ate every dinner just to keep her happy.  It was good food--don't get me wrong, but was I even hungry?  Nope.  So I was eating to keep the peace.

This week, she starts that new job, and everyone else will be at work.  Last week, I found out that my tiny job is going away, so I'm alone with tons of time to do whatever I want to do.

Guess what?  I'll be eating for myself.  I'm in charge of dinners, so I don't have to eat to keep anyone happy.

Does that ever happen to you?  You go to a friend's party and they shove food into your face.  Do you eat to keep the peace, or do you decline and upset the friend?  That happens a lot.  And sometimes, I'm not even conscious of that split-second decision.

Take back your life and eat for YOU.  Easier said than done, I know, but you'll be happy you did.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, September 4, 2017

Looking Back

Our youngest daughter took it upon herself to copy all of our home movies that were on VHS tape to her computer, and then to DVDs and external hard drives.  It took her hours upon hours to do this job, which was amazing.

She laughed and laughed while working on this project.  Some of what the kids did as young children were just hilarious.  But most of all, she laughed at some of my comments.  She was so impressed that both of us (my husband and me) were so upbeat and positive.  We were even calm, according to what she saw.

I watched some of the videos and noticed something else.  I was more calm the thinner I was.  I also saw the weight roller coaster I've been living for a long time.

Reality was slapping me in the face.  This is the legacy I'll leave behind.

What kind of backward glance do you see when you think back over the years?  If you don't have video of yourself, take some today if you can.  Even pictures help you see what others see.

Anyway, have a wonderful Labor Day if you're in the states.  And, as always, have a super week!

Markee

Monday, August 28, 2017

Have Faith!

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.



I saw this quote this morning and realized that in order to believe you can meet your goal, you have to believe you can do it.  Have faith you can get to where you need to be.

One step at a time, but you have to actually climb each step.

So, take that step with me today!  One day at a time, one step at a time, one pound at a time.  Slow and steady will win the race but only if you have faith in yourself that you CAN do it.  I have faith you can!

Have a great day!
Markee

Monday, August 21, 2017

Today is going to be AMAZING!

Have you ever woken up and thought, today is fantastic!  I can't wait to put my schedule in motion to get done what I want to do?

That's my goal.  I want to see each day as a new fun day, with a list of things to do that I get done.  It would be fantastic to make that happen.  That includes all the food I want to eat for the day on a list, as well as things to keep me busy and not able to think about the cake in the refrigerator.

I call it 'seeing the trees instead of the forest.'  It's related to this post:  Systems for Achieving Goals.  If you look at each day as a day to reach your goals, and every day is like that, you'll eventually take on the entire goal, day by day--taking in each tree before you see the entire forest.  I think it makes life easier.

So today, what are on your lists?  You need to have a food list, and a 'productive' list.  Under that productive list, you might want to include 'have to do' things and 'want to get done' things.

Here's an idea of what you can use (feel free to right-click and download these) or you can make up your own.





Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Keto Diet

Our daughter went on the Keto diet.  For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it limits the number of carbs to about 20 (around an apple in carbs) for the day.  That's not much at all.  I think the South Beach Diet and Atkins are based on the same idea.  Lower carbs means faster weight loss.

Our daughter was on this diet for about a week or so when she started to get lightheaded and felt 'hungry in her throat' (whatever that is).  I kept telling her it wasn't good to be on that diet for long periods of time.  I learned that from a nutritionist for my diabetes.  Too few carbs (below 135) will make your muscles deteriorate.  Our daughter got scared and went off the Keto diet.  I'm not saying it doesn't work but for people with blood sugar problems, it may not be a good idea.  There are other side effects from this thing, like what it says in WebMD:  The Down Low on Low-Carb Diets.  I suspect our daughter has low blood sugar (like I had as a kid).

So, if you're considering a low carb diet, read up on the side effects and the down side first.  Also, if you're still sure you want to do it, consider cycling the low carb with a normal diet.  I'm not sure of the time frame, but I wouldn't go more than a week of low carbs at a time.  I just don't think it's safe...but that's just from what I read.  There are a few benefits, but I'd be concerned with that it does to your body, and then when you DO go off the thing, it seems as if the weight comes back on fast.

What do you think?
Markee

Do you feel like you're floundering?

Sometimes...well, most of the time...I feel like I'm floundering in life.  The days run together and before I know it, a year, or two, h...