Progress Report #1

It’s been just over a month since I decided to transform my life. Let’s see how I’m doing.

No Alcohol at Home

Since mid-January of this year, my husband and I decided to not drink at home. We normally drank about 5 nights a week…that’s a lot! We would have wine usually, or an occasional martini. In our past attempts to reduce our alcohol intake, we decided not to drink from Monday to Thursday. Then Tuesday would hit, and it was usually me who would say, “Honey, let’s pick up a bottle of wine tonight”. So, that wasn’t working.

In January, I just decided we had to do something more radical. We would never achieve our health goals unless we changed our lifestyle. We put all our bottles of booze away, out of sight. We made a decision that we would drink only when we were out for dinner or at other social events. No drinking at home.

Well, guess what? We did it! We have, NOT EVEN ONCE, had any alcohol at home! I am so proud of us. We’ve learned that drinking at home really was just a habit. Only time will tell how long this new habit will last.

Healthy Food

We’ve been eating healthy food most of the time. We focus on potatoes, grains, veggies, beans and fruit. Most breakfasts are oatmeal with fruit, nuts and plant-based milk. My lunches (I am fed at work-I know…spoiled me!) are usually a green salad with veggies, hummus and or beans and a little balsamic/oil dressing, followed by some kind of soup (sometimes with cream) or pasta and tomato sauce or a veggie burger patty.  Sometimes I veer off course and overeat at lunch, or I eat something I know is not good for me (a few perogies with sour cream or a piece of non-whole grain bread with hummus or a faux peanut butter).

On the weekends, we’ve been going out to eat in restaurants…some weekends a bit too often. I’ve had pizza, salads with goat cheese, spinach/artichoke cheese dips etc. I am still not choosing meat (I am having shrimp at times), but I lean towards having dairy when we dine out. I think it’s sort of an excuse to “cheat”, but you know what? I’m OK with it. If I need to veer off course a bit on the weekends until I can sustain a healthy diet on a more long-term basis? So be it! Instead of being hard on myself, I am celebrating my successes!


I’ve been moving my body more…yay! For the first month, I did a walk/run combination on Saturdays. Each week, I walked/ran at an indoor track. I kept a record of the laps I ran, and increased the number each week.  6 laps = 1 mile.

Week 1: 6 laps    Week 2: 15 laps    Week 3: 16 laps    Week 4: 18 laps    Week 5: 21 laps

It is so awesome to see my progress. Is it huge? No. Is it awesome…yes! For the last two weeks, I’ve also added in 1-2 treadmill walk/runs in my basement as well as some wall push-ups and planks. It is not much, but I am DOING it!

Weight Loss

I’m down about 5-6 pounds. Yay!


I was feeling low, like I wasn’t having much success. I lost the 5 pounds in the first 2-3 weeks, and then I plateaued (probably the restaurants). I wanted the weight loss to be faster, so I didn’t think I was doing a good enough job. Then I realized how hard I was being on myself. I was looking at the negative only. I turned my thinking around and told myself…Wow! Look at the success I’ve had (see above). Look at the things I’ve stuck with. I can’t give up now! I am making progress!

My journey has taught me to keep trying and to keep checking my attitude. Remember to recognize all the awesome things you do. We can be our own worst enemy, or we can be our own best friend.


What’s Next?

A trip to Mexico in about three weeks. Yay! Escape for ten days from winter in Canada!

To give me a little boost, I’m going to do the following for as many days as I can until we leave for Mexico.

Healthy Liquids After 5

  1. Eat breakfast, lunch and snacks through the day as I normally would.
  2. After work (I’m usually home between 5 and 6 p.m.), I will drink only water, juice (juiced at home from mainly veggies/greens with some fruit), broth or tea. If I feel ravenous, I will have only raw veggies and fruit.
  3. Weekends: Stick to the above if I feel like it.

I started my Healthy Liquids After 5 yesterday and feel great! It’s amazing how light you feel when you don’t eat dinner and/or snack in the evening. I’ll report on my progress; I’m not sure how many days I will follow this plan. I am hoping to do it for at least 10 of the next 18 days.

Note: I do not believe in quick diets to lose weight, as a general rule. I believe in eating healthy and establishing patterns that lead to long-term health. However, I see nothing wrong with doing short spurts of limiting food intake (juice fast, raw foods until 4, etc.) to give ourselves a boost. The reason I’m doing this is for a short-term solution to drop some extra pounds quickly before I put on a bikini in Mexico. I recognize that as soon as I start eating in Mexico…most of the weight will be back by the time I get home. I can live with that; I will then get back to the healthy habits I am developing and work on my long-term weight loss and health.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,


Go Brown, for all your Rice

To me, the best kind of rice to always have in your kitchen is brown.

Long grain brown rice.

Short grain brown rice.

Basmati brown rice.


Brown rice is a whole food, a whole grain. White rice, however, has most of its nutrients stripped away


Make a batch of brown rice on the weekend and leave a container of it in the fridge. You can grab it quickly through the week and combine with some beans and veggies.

It’s so easy.

I really enjoy the brown basmati rice, Here are a couple of quick pictures I took this past weekend.

I started by soaking 3 cups for 30 min. (soaking time recommended on package).

Then I rinsed it and put it in a pot with 4.5 cups of water.

Next, it went on the stove on high, with the lid on, until it began to boil.

I turned the element down to low, without removing the lid and left it on the element for 30 min.

That’s it. I let it cool and then found a container.

Healthy rice for all through the week!

Wishing you a healthy, successful journey,


Mrs. Dash – a kitchen must

Find “kitchen musts” on the SHOP page.

I use Mrs. Dash, Original by adding it to soups, and rice and beans/veggies and other dishes while cooking. It also brings some life to dressings and sauces. It has NO salt, which is a bonus because you can have all the flavors without the salt. Of course, if your dish needs a little help in flavor, then at least you can control the portion of salt by adding your own.


Product description: An all purpose, versatile blend of 14 savory herbs and spices including onion, black pepper, parsley, basil, orange peel and tomato adds flavor excitement to any dish.

Ingredients: dehydrated onion, garlic powder, black pepper, dehydrated carrot, lemon juice solids, dehydrated orange peel, parsley, tomato powder, citric acid, lemon oil, celery seed, basil, bay leaves, marjoram, oregano, thyme, savory, cumin, mustard flour, cayenne pepper, rosemary, coriander.

Look at that list! Everything looks like something I would put into my body. The only ingredient that is not ideal is citric acid, which is a preservative. Although it is naturally found in some citrus fruits, commercially used citric acid is not.

I’ve read different reports on citric acid. Some say it is produced by a mold that is fed sugar (usually corn-derived). To me, it’s important to recognize that it is a commercially synthesized product. It is just something to keep in mind. I think the main point here, is that on the Mrs. Dash list, it is the only ingredient that gives me pause. Ideally, the best herb and spice mixture would be one that you make yourself.

You can find Mrs. Dash products almost anywhere, but if you cannot, click on the image and order through Amazon.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,


Quickie Meals

Is eating healthy easy? It can be, but usually when you really want something worthwhile, it takes some effort.

So, you need a little effort to be able to eat healthy meals and avoid the convenience food trap.

Take 2-3 hours on your weekend to get ready for the week. It really is that simple.

Don’t think you have the time?…Make the time.

Let’s say we have about 12-18 waking hours each day of our weekend. That’s 24-36 hours on a weekend.

Anyone can fit in 23 hours to plan ahead.

What’s the pay off?

Healthy, guiltfree meals through the week that energize you and help you veer away from convenient fatty, sugary, processed foods.

Let’s look at what I did last weekend:

1. While home Saturday doing other things, I made a pot of brown basmati rice AND a pot of oatmeal (I added chia seeds and ground flax seeds to the oatmeal, once cooked). I popped them in the fridge, once cooled.

2. Sunday: I tried something a bit different that turned out to be a HUGE success! I found some thin plastic containers that are distinctly different from the other containers we use for food (I discovered these treasures at Dollarama). I made a meal in each one, which was ready to go for any meal during the week (lunch for my daughter or hubby to take to school/work or as a quick dinner).

Dollarama containers

Here’s what I made, labeled to identify the contents.

How I made them:

1. Mexican: I layered the following:

-rice (the rice I made the day before)

– black beans, raw chopped red pepper and salsa

-sautéed jalapeños, red peppers and Mrs. Dash seasoning (original)

2. Green Beans and Onions: I layered the following:


-sautéed green beans and onions with Braggs Liquid Soy Seasoning

My reward? A text from my daughter a few days later.

She has told me on two more occasions how convenient they are for her and how tasty they are.


I love it when my ideas turn out well. The experience reminded me how EASY it is to prep and make healthy food!

Anyone can do this!

The idea is to play around with some basic foods and flavours you like as well as different containers.

One day, I might put together some more specific “recipes” for these quickie meals.

Hey…if I can do this, you can too!

Give it a try, if you really want to eat healthy.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,


Chickpea Etc. Salad

In our house, this “salad” is a hit as a spread on Wasa crackers.

It also works on top of a green salad or as a spread with a tomato sandwich.

Chickpea Etc. Salad

A No-measure Recipe

1. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas.

2. Add to large bowl and mash, leaving some chunky bits.

3. Chop and add any veggies and herbs you like (for this batch, I used celery, red pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro). Choose amounts you like, according to your tastes.

4. Add lemon juice (fresh or bottled). Mix well. Add a tablespoon at a time, until you are happy with the taste.

5. Add several shakes of Mrs. Dash seasoning (original).

6. Mix well.

7. Add some sea salt to taste.

8. Something missing? Play around with it. Add a little pepper or more Mrs. Dash. If you have a sauce or condiment you like, try it.

Note: This recipe is oil free. You could add mayo, but then you take some of the health benefits away by adding such a high fat condiment.

You could also make this with black beans or another type of bean.

Let me know what combinations of ingredients make your Chickpea Etc. Salad a hit in your house.

Wishing you a healthy and successful journey,