Calculating Gratitude ~ One Thousand Gifts

Friday, August 31, 2012

Slow-Carb Journey - 25 pounds and counting!

How are you doing? 


I am back to share a recipe and my progress on this Slow-Carb Journey of mine.

Since I posted last, sadly over two months ago, I have conquered 25 pounds on this journey. 

Honestly, along the way these last two months life has gotten a bit complicated and I've learned something about myself, that frankly I have denied in the past.


Life, like I said, got a bit Topsy-Tervy, and emotions have run amok! In this time I've lost enough weight to have had my blood pressure go too low; an awesome thing. Who knew that 25 pounds could be so profoundly significant.

It certainly gave me new encouragement for this dietary change I've made ... Low and Slow is the name of the game ... now 25 pounds in four months is slower than I had planned to lose ... it could potentially add six more months to my goal loss. However, healthy, consistent and sustained loss is also my goal.

So all is good on the weight loss front. 

Part of the reason for the slower pace; Tim Ferriss Blog' book the 4-Hour Body shows many losing weight at 20 pounds per month, is that emotional thing. 

I found myself cheating because I needed solace. A bit of bread here, some rice there (these are things strictly forbidden on this diet) with the self-comfort speak that a little won't hurt ... 


Hurt, as in harm, no ... but, hurt as in slow the process, yes! Cheating, even a little for me slowed my process by a month by my calculations! 

So I am back on the wagon again. Oh! And about the wagon ...

When we diet and are emotional we decide ... or we are taught ... or we think ... WHATEVER!
That we have essentially failed and that we have ruined the process! 


When we fall from the routine all we need to do is get back on and be as diligent as we can on any given day! Whether it a be minutes, hours, days or weeks ... even years for some of us ... all we have to do is get back up and move forward to that goal.

No one ever failed by getting back up!

So there is my pep talk for dieting, exercising and this journey to wholeness that we are sharing here! 

Now for the recipe I developed! 

Delicioso! Black Bean Meatloaf


1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef (if you're not dieting meatloaf mix is acceptable)
2 cups black beans (I cooked my from dried beans with no salt or seasonings)
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper (for sweetness)
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 large egg
1 package Goya Sazon w/o salt
1 tablespoon course black pepper
2 tablespoons cumin powder
1/2 cup salsa (use your favorite; and use more if need be)

** You will notice that this is bread and salt free. The bread free is about the carbs and gluten, I developed this recipe to fit into the slow-carb diet which restricts bread and gluten. The salt free is about my heart and blood pressure, therefore I use the vegetables and spices for flavor enhancement.


It's meatloaf ! 
Mix all of your ingredients in a large mixing bowl and get your hands in there! 
Mix well, incorporating all of your ingredients thoroughly.
Turn meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan and place on a baking sheet to catch the drips.
Put in a 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes (ovens may vary).

Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes and serve with your favorite sides.

In the picture above I enjoyed mine with thick slices of lightly seasoned fresh Jersey tomatoes; a seasonal delight here at the Jersey Shore ...  you haven't enjoyed a tomato until you've had a Jersey ... nothing like them!

Well there you have it ... things are going well. I'm planning a post next week on the Slow-Carb Diet cheat day ... the one day a week Food Carnival for the Slow-Carb Lifestyle! I'll explain why it is vital to have a cheat day ... and why it's healthy! 

I am joining Ann Kroeker for 

 Blessings Everyone!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Slow Carb Journey

Good Morning ...
To my followers I must apologize for the absence ... as I like to say ... Life did what life does and I've been away.

However I have some awesome news in this Woman's Journey to Wholeness!

In  April (the 23rd) I began the Slow Carb Diet! NO! It's not the Atkins diet!

I am following the formula offered by Tim Ferris in his The 4-Hour Body book, and I have been happily amazed! This gentleman is amazing and apparently crazy and he's done all the work and studies for us!

Eat and exercise the way he directs and ....

I have lost 18.2 pounds in a month and 22 days!

The diet is a strict one ... and honestly a boring one ... but it works and I needed something to work!
Beans ... Legumes is the key ... regulating the body's blood sugar to a constant burn is the goal! Everything is spelled out in Tim's book, it simply takes dedication, as does anything we embark upon.

It isn't easy, but it has completely changed how I look at food. I'll be perfectly honest here. I was in heavy, debilitating denial. I was completely blinded to the fact that I was emotionally obese ... a term of my own, obviously! I didn't believe I was eating for sadness, loneliness and abandonment issues from my past. I covered those real issues with the common rationalizations of my family heredity. Things like: "obesity runs in the family" and "CHF is a family disease, as is depression and mental illness and alcoholism ..."; I could go on and on but you get the gist of it.

It is crazy how over years these things, these family ideas and ideals become ingrained in ones sub-conscience! Oh and the damage it does! Just amazing.

Now I am not hungry! Never hungry! And, quite frankly, I now see food as a tool to wellness rather than a treat or a reward for my emotions. Oh, don't think that I don't try and rationalize a cheat, I have, but it was a craving and since I was really NOT hungry I was able to catch myself rationalizing and stop that thinking process. Yes, I was amazed the first time that happened.

Amazed that I WAS an emotional and rationalizing eater ... and I was amazed that I disciplined myself so well.

Oh and just so you know .... one day a week Tim has factored in a "cheat day" a day when you can eat any and all of the restricted foods. I found that I can no longer think of something I WANT to eat on those days! Except for French Toast, and I don't know why french toast. :)

Because I am not hungry I don't think about food.

So now I can focus on the better information I have and a different inheritance!

You all know I am a Christian and I see myself as a Faith Girl! I know that I am healed, have been healed; both in my head and my heart. I know that I know, and I trust the promises of God. To the best of my human ability on every given day I strive to be obedient to God's rules, guidance and precepts. Yet ...

It remains that on some days it is much harder to be faithful with the scale and the mirror showing me what the here and now looks like.

When a girl sees the scale tip the 300 mark the first response is that the scale must be broken! A much easier rationalization with today's new digital scales than with the old spinning numbers scale! Things go through my head like. "the batteries must be dying!" I actually changed the batteries once! Or "maybe the scale isn't leveled." and then you re-calibrate the thing!

Luckily I am truly on a quest to wholeness, one that is not based on the newest bikini on the rack, or on my comparison of myself to my svelte and beautiful friends (and do I have a few of these!).

My quest is built on news I received a bit over two years ago; my one and last heart event!

Since then I have been given a second chance at getting whole. The original story and my experience with God in the ER can be found at the very beginning of this blog, just follow the link.

Since then I have battled the most important piece of this journey, obesity. At first I came home from the hospital and lost 55 pounds ... and then slowly or quickly I gained it all back as I fell into old, bad habits. The only thing I had stuck to was keeping the salt down below 2000 mg a day; or so I thought. Somewhere along a year and a half in I tipped the scales again at 198 and then just stopped looking.

Oh I tried to handle the salt thing ... however, I have found that without a monitoring process you really cannot get a handle on such things. Then as many of you may already know I recently got an iPhone and joyfully I found there are apps for just about everything, including diet monitoring! You can read about that in my last two posts.

Since then, I think March, I have found an app called myfitnesspal, which actually scans the UPC codes on the food to get the nutritional information! Plus it has other features and one can use the online version and sync it to your smart phone or just use the comp is this is your preference.

I also, in the last week, found a pedometer app with GPS, at the urging of my pastor. I did go for the upgrade of $2.99 for the features. This pedometer does not require you to set anything, nor do you have to measure your stride! Easy-peasey compared to those evil little plastic jobs that, no one I know, knows how to make work.

So off I go on this journey with techo tools that I never dreamed of and a diet that actually works! This is truly a journey to a complete me ... Spirit, Soul and Body!

I encourage you to check out The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, which can be easily and reasonably purchased at

Also check out the links to the apps I found, and others, they may just work for you on your journey!

What have you found on your journey? Share it with us. I would love to be a companion on your journey to wholeness, all journeys are better when shared with friends.


* just a note: I do not get any payment or products for the books and products I speak of in this blog. I am simply sharing what I have found that works for me, in the hope that you will benefit from my journey and what I've learned so far. :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nutrition ... and the iPhone ** Updated!

Hello Friends, it's been quite a while since I have been here. I am sorry for the neglect, however, I was not quite doing well physically, emotionally or spiritually. December to now ... almost 3 whole months I was NOT whole. I was behaving like a broken body and soul ... it was a terrible bout of depression.

**I'm linking this post up with Ann Kroeker's FOF; because I miss contributing and since I will be focusing on my health through my diet and nutrition in the coming weeks I believe it would be fun and inspiring to participate Ann's group of friends!**

Seasonal Affective Disorder? A societal trick I think, and one my generation has used as a crutch or synonym for depression. Winter in NJ is a dreary and dank time ... though we enjoyed much warmth this winter season, it remained the typical Jersey gray.

So there's my excuse ... Yet, I did remain in prayer, even though my self indulgent depression kept me from the answers that our faithful Father continued to extend. Oh I heard the answers but somehow could not be motivated to move out of my rut.

I then took a class on Intercessory Prayer, and focused on prayer in a new way. I began, again, to remind God (and myself) of His Word, what He said, what He promised. I began putting the Word in my Spirit again!

One of my prayers was, ' Father please send me something to motivate me to motion'. Faithful even when I am not, God answered! And with a desire of the heart!

You may find this silly and shallow but I know it was God!

It was time for my phone upgrade and I was talking to my sister in Florida. She told me about the deal she got on her upgrade ... the iPhone 3G for  
Now I have wanted the iPhone simply because of the Instagram application! Silly, right, not really if your hobby is photography. So we checked here in Jersey and AT&T had the same deal! And my son paid for the phone and activation as a belated birthday gift!
I really see this as an answer to prayer, simply because in the last week this little phone has motivated me to take pictures (which I have not done in two months) and write!

Also, when they say "there's an app for that", they mean it! So onto the Nutrition part!

I downloaded an application to my new  iPhone called Nutrition. And in 3 days I have learned how unbalanced my diet truly is. Due to the heart event I must limit my salt and fluid intake ... well, it is very easy to get unbalanced if you are just going along without any tools to help you track what you are doing.

With the blood pressure remaining in the healthy range, my appointments to the cardiologist are now 6 months apart. So not much monitoring there.

However, lately, like I said I haven't been feeling well. I began feeling top heavy, once again. Fearing I have gained weight I haven't weighed myself in quite awhile ... though I did today, to great disappointment!

So today I have more motivation ... I want to live and live happy and healthy!
Now that I have an iTool to help track what I am taking in, I have researched and found a way to track the "unconventional" exercise an obese person is able to do in the beginning and I found this:
Walking Calories Calculator @  and I have calculated how and where I walk and entered it into the Nutrition app of my iPhone, along with my weight.

I am on my way to being back on track.
This spring I plan on living abundantly; beginning with the Word of God and prayer in the morning and doing the right things for my health throughout each day.

Have you been down or in a rut this winter? Do you need to get back on track in an area of your life?
If so let me encourage you today to seek God in the bible which my friend likes to call the ... Basic.Instructions.Before.Leaving.Earth!

Father, we give you all the glory and honor this morning for all that we have done and accomplished. It is only through you that we are able to reach the goals you've predestined for us. We thank you Father that you have set the goals and given us the tools to accomplish the life abundant; that when we walk your plan that it is You that walk beside us. With a grateful heart, LORD, we invite you to take the lead today. Amen.

Blessings Loves <3

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Laughter and Froggy Changes and Grilled Cheese Goodness!

My Sunday was unexpected in it's overwhelming frustration and feelings of worthlessness ...

My Monday was, well, Monday; with it's lonely emptiness and Sunday's emotional hangover.

And then came Tuesday! Unexpectedly Tuesday healed with the best medicine ....

... LAUGHTER ...
Laughter is the best medicine. - Unknown

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.
~Irish Proverb
Tuesday began the way each day begins in this routine ... e-mail, devotions and time in the Word and then Facebook! Yes Facebook! ... and this day, thank the LORD!

Miss M. logged a status about dreams of frogs and pictures of Yoda Christmas tree toppers! A really good start ... and the fun began and UNEXPECTEDLY that fun expanded to envelope the whole day and CHANGED our minds!

We vowed, again,(Miss M. and I have done this before) that we would be open to the Unexpected and this Tuesday we would add being open to Change.

Being open to change ... not the nature of today's humanity. Quite comfortable in our discomfort we often resist change and wonder ... yes we wonder ... why we are not happy.

Comfortable Discomfort
we'd rather stay where we are than venture in to the unknown future!

... but not us and not this Tuesday!

We ladies did the adventurous and found that the very change we needed to undo the Monday (or week) before was to kick back and laugh in the face of life!

Miss M., Miss G., Miss L. and I laughed from the beginning to the end of Tuesday. Simple silliness that brought us closer, deepened relationships that don't even have the luxury of proximity, yet are very real and cherished.

These ladies ... some of my favorite people ... saved Tuesday for me and made getting up on this fine Wednesday a pleasure.

There is some contraversy that your Facebook Friends are not real ... but I say a relationship, any relationship relies upon one's genuine desire to be a friend.

Facebook, used responsibly can expand your horizon; adding friends who will change your life without ever meeting face to face.

So you ask ... What did you change?  What did the frog do?? And what about the Grilled Cheese???

We changed our outlook ... we changed our emotional minds ... the frogginess of Tuesday leaped over molehills of loneliness and mountains of frustration and brought the healing of laughter among friends.

We change from moment to moment ... life is change.
The unexpected happens moment to moment, too, but we miss it sometimes in the mundane or our day to day.

But yesterday ... a good Tuesday ... we ladies UNEXPECTEDLY enjoyed each other, learned more about one another and deepened relationships. We CHANGED our outlooks of the day and ourselves and forged into the unknown together. A journey, even a day trip, is better for the company!

There are miles and miles between some of ladies (me and them). Sadly there is that chance that we might never meet face to face ... but those miles were bridged by the unexpected day of laughter.

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. ~Victor Borge


OH! The Grilled Cheese! Well ... one of the funniest threads of the day was Miss L.'s Food Association obsession ... she has food associations for the people she knows! And me ... a fairly new friend ... has the honor of one of her culnary monikers!

I am "Grilled Cheese"!
Defined as the ultimate in comfort foods. Childhood comfort in the warmly rich buttery cheesiness!
I must say my heart was warmed by her comfort in our new friendship and I believe we all got really hungry too!
"We're cool lyke menthol, like that, YO!" ~ Miss. G

So, loves  my suggestion is
... LIVE ... LAUGH ... LOVE...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Books Make Great Gifts! Christmas Suggestions!

Do you find yourself needing a gift for that "they have everything" person; of are you looking for a great gift that inspires and encourages?

Well I have the Books for you!

Also ... in an effort to support small and local businesses ...

I’ve been hearing a lot about supporting Local Small business and business persons; for this Christmas Season!
Being a self-employed business woman with a tremendous amount of self-employed friends and acquaintances, I would like to do my part in this effort to support Small Business in this country!
Ken Jones is a friend whose gift for sharing his personal walk with God and Salvation is astounding. If you are looking for that perfect gift that will give eternally I suggest you check out …

and they make great gifts for yourself, too!… get these two books.
They will encourage, teach and change a life!
Merry Christmas Loves! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Seeking God ... A Busy Month(s)

Ok ... I'm embarking on several hard tasks in the next several weeks.
I embark on them for my heart, for my Spirit.

At church we are reading a proverb a day ... to change our lives. To learn how to live!

I am reading Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel for Bible College class being held in the next two weeks! 2 intense days of classes, two tests and two papers!

I am on a 31 day self-emposed quest to be the Me God created! I am seeking Him in me and me in Him!

... and now I am adding this ... I am doing this ...

Why, you beg?
Because Romans 8 is one of my favorites! I lived on it the first year of my walk with God; yet I never memorized it ... so off I go.

I wonder am I overwhelming myself in all of this? Or is this compulsion a God thing; one urged by my 31 day quest.

We will see ... but I believe Philippians 4:13 I have strenght for all things in Christ Who empowers me!

So off I go ... If you want to know the rules of  Hiding Romans 8 in my heart follow the button above and catch the rules!

I can't think of anything better, right now, to heal this heart! :)

Blessings Loves.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Everyday Grace and A Prodigal Return by Ken Jones

I just received my copy of this Everyday Grace by Ken Jones ... this is a hearty book full of real life devotions! I've just read a few pages; this book will help anyone remain in God's Word simply by it's realism!
I encourage you to get your hands on one NOW! Blessings Loves!