Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm a Geek and a Glutton Part 2

First off, sorry Desiree, I'm calling myself a geek and a glutton, again. I will consider my ears soundly boxed! Ouch! Not so hard!!

After showing you all the beautiful and bountiful veggies Hubby and I brought home from the produce auction, I thought I'd show you how lovely they all look in their new homes/jars.

But, first, in addition to all the veggies I showed you in the previous post, here are some additional fruits and veggies Hubby brought home. Most of the fruit went into our homemade brandies. (Wait until I tell you about that!)

Can't you just smell those sweet peaches?


More peppers

Beautiful Bing Cherries!
Oh my gosh, they were soooooo delicious!
So, here is the little story about the cherries. I was not with Hubby on this particular auction venture. But, he had been wanting to get peaches to try peach brandy. And, I wanted a few peaches to can. I will admit, I was a little weary when I saw that we now had a garage full of produce. He also came home with 48 pounds of Bing cherries! He quickly told me he was planning to use those for brandy as well. I love Bing cherries, and quickly checked our list of approved foods for our diet. Yes! They were on the list. (I might have eaten 3 bagfuls myself. ) That still left a considerable amount of cherries that needed attending to. But, I quickly turned them into pie filling. 

These cherries were one of the last things to be auctioned off. There is a "seconds" section, where produce that is past its prime (to put it nicely) is auctioned off just to get rid of it. Usually, the high bidder gets first choice, then everyone gets a chance to take whatever they want, at the same price. He took four "flats" because he wasn't sure of the quality of the cherries. When  he got them home, and we inspected our "deal", we both wished he had brought home much more. Those cherries were gorgeous! Only seven were bad enough to throw away! How much did we pay for them? About 75 cents a pound! 
Peach and Cherry Pie Filling

Bread and Butter Pickles


Monday, September 26, 2011

Project 52 and the HGC diet

I have been slacking quite a bit with my Project 52 updates. August was crazy busy with canning and pickeling everything under the sun! September has been busy with traveling and cleaning up the outside to get ready for w-i-n-t-e-r!

I LOVE Fall, but I sure hate what follows it! Now, I must admit that the past two or three winters haven't been all that bad (for me), due to the constant stream of hot flashes that I had been having. Since I was always so hot, I thought Hubby would appreciate it if I did my part to save some of his hard-earned money by keeping the thermostat set at about 62 degrees. Unfortunately, while I was quite comfortable, everyone else in the house was freezing!  However, today, I'm sitting here with goose bumps all over me, and the temperature is 60 degrees, outside! I'm starting to get nervous that "hotflash season" may be over, and I'll be back to being the ice cube I used to be! 

That had nothing at all to do with Project 52, but, I was on a roll!

The Number 1 goal on my list was to lose 30 pounds. Ten (or twelve) years ago, my goal was to lose 10 pounds. Five years ago my goal was to lose 20 pounds. Do you see a pattern? I have been going the wrong way for quite some time. The "Face the Moment" came when my normally short and stubby fingers started looking more and more like sausages. I had to pull off my wedding rings before they started cutting off the circulation. Not good.

Although I had been able to lose weight before, since entering the "Big M" stage of life, it just was not happening. My size 12 jeans were getting tighter and tighter to where I could barely breathe. Hubby and Amazing Daughter have always fought the weight issue due to super slow metabolism. 

But, this summer, at a family reunion, we discovered a miracle! One of Hubby's seven brothers had recently lost 34 pounds in a ridiculously short time. Now, you may balk at some of the things I'm going to tell you, but you can check it out for yourself. They had read a book, "Fat2Fab" which is available only in Kindle form. We don't have a Kindle, so I just got my info online.

The secret is a hormone called: hCG. And, it is a miracle. It's inexpensive,it's safe, and it works. I repeat, it works! I just now came across this link, and it has excellent information if you want to check into this further. When Brother D said, "They don't recommend exercise while on this because of the low calorie intake." , I was sold. Ok, I just focused on the "don't exercise" part and not the "low calorie" part.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. This diet was first discovered by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons back in the 1950's. (If you want to give it a try, do your own research. I checked it out, but when it comes to recording facts, I might possibly forget something...) If you want all the scientific reasoning, you might want to buy the book. Or, you can go right here to read quite a bit of info.

We bought our drops at the health food store for $19.95, much cheaper than anything you'll find online, and we got great results.

So, in a nutshell, this is the diet: Days 1 and 2, take 10 drops three times a day. Eat like crazy. Yes, you read that right. Glut yourself. It's called the "Loading Phase". We quite enjoyed those two days. Because on Day 3, you start the Very Low Calorie Diet of 500 calories a day. Yes, you read that right. But, before you start spazzing out, I will tell you that with the drops you don't get hungry. Well, you might get a little "hungry", but you won't be STARVING! The hCG also helps you lose fat from your fat storage areas and not lean muscle areas. There is a very strict list of foods you can eat, and you MUST NOT STRAY from this list. No cheating what-so-ever! With that being said, I must say that this has been the easiest diet I have ever been on!

This may sound a bit unbelievable coming from a sugar/chocolate addict, but the things I craved the most were more vegetables!

Breakfast consists of black coffee or tea. One tablespoon of milk is allowed, if you don't like your coffee black.

Lunch and supper: 3.5 ounces of protein (weight before cooking), 1 veggie, 1 fruit, 1 melba toast. Everything is to be cooked in water or grilled. Grilled burgers, grilled steak, grilled chicken! Who's complaining? One day each week, I measured/cut the meat to size, then grilled everything all at once. Makes fixing the meal a snap! There is no restriction on salt, pepper, or other spices, so we never ate bland food. 

All day: lots and lots of water, coffee, or tea.

That's it.

Here are some examples of what we ate:
Fresh Tomatoes with Basil, Grilled Chicken, Orange

Lettuce Steak and Orange Salad

Chicken, Green beans, and Apple

Fresh Tomato with Basil, Steak, Strawberries

Spinach Steak Strawberry Salad with
Balsamic Vinegar and Melba Toast

Asparagus, Chicken, and Apple

Asparagus, Grilled Burger and Apple

Drink lots and lots of water, tea, or coffee - a gallon!
My system for keeping track of liquids was to put a

button in the dish for every 16 oz. glass I drank

Something else that may surprise you is that there were many times when we were completely stuffed after eating. Ocassionally, we would have to save our fruit to eat later. We were just too full to eat it! I am not kidding!

 Stay on this regiment for six weeks or until you've lost 34 pounds, whichever comes first. Since the three of us are doing this together, we're following Hubby's lead. He lost his 34 pounds in five weeks. (Brother D did it in three weeks!!) Amazing Daughter and I are at 23 and 21. At that point, stay on 500 calories for two days, but discontinue the drops. I was a little worried that I would be starving, but, I (and Hubby and Daughter) have made it through without any problems. 

The next phase is two weeks at 1500 calories, which now sounds like a feast! I think you work up to 1500 calories, and it is recommended to stay away from sugar and carbs. Following that, go three weeks of just eating. This is to re-set your weight and metabolism. When we finish the program, we should be able to eat whatever we want and not gain any weight. If we do find ourselves gaining more than a pound or two, we're to eat a steak and tomatoes. I can handle that. Brother D stayed within a pound. When that phase is finished, and  if you're not at your goal weight, start all over again.

Do you want to know how good those drops work? Someone offered me these brownies. These were more than offered, they were left in my kitchen! I was not even tempted! I am a true chocoholic! I have stashes of chocolate everywhere! I even put my nose down close and inhaled deeply. Nope. Nothin'. I wrapped them in plastic wrap and put them in my freezer, where they are still sitting! Now, that is sayin' somethin'!
A temptation that I overcame with NO PROBLEM!
(Peanut butter and chocolate brownie)

I had to make a quick stop at the local Goodwill Store, and bought a couple pair of jeans in a size 10. They are loose on me. My wedding rings are back on and are not cutting off the circulation! Whoo hoo! One more phase should do it for me, and I plan to reach my goal. I have never, in my life, actually reached a goal! But this time, I know I will!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm a Geek and a Glutton

Now, when I say that I'm a geek, you may picture me as looking like this:


Or possibly, this image came to mind...sans the moustache:

(However, if you have read more than one blog, I'm sure neither of those images came to mind.)  But, it was a clever "hook" was it not? 

And, when I say I'm a glutton, you may think I look like this:

Well, when it comes to chocolate, there may be a lot of truth to that one.

However, I am really a geek for vegetables and a glutton for punishment. This is how I came to that recent conclusion.

Even though I have a garden, it only produces enough for one meal at a time, so Hubby and I usually find ourselves at the local farmers auction in order to get enough food to can.

When I arrived at the auction, and saw all the beautiful vegetables, my mouth started salivating. The colors were so vibrant, the aromas so sweet. Well, not all of the aromas are sweet. Most of the suppliers are Amish, so mixed in with the sweet aromas of fruit and freshly baked bread, is horse manure and sweat. (Most Amish do not use deodorant.) I just wandered around saying, "Oh! Look at those beautiful beans!We need those!"   "Try to get those gorgeous peaches. We need those, too!" What I didn't come up with, Hubby did.

Lovely veggies and fruit

Vibrant colors

Freshly baked bread and goodies! YUM!

Amish don't like having their pictures taken. I try
to honor that, but sometimes, I can't help myself.
So, I have to take a shot on the sly.
I try not to get their faces.

One of the good aromas - onion rings!
One moment while I wipe up my slobber.

A quiet moment

Hubby in action! Total concentration!

Here's a little snippet of the sounds...

So, that is a short explanation of my geekiness. And, now about my gluttony. 

I could be called a glutton for vegetables. but you may decide that I am a glutton for punishment.

Are you sitting down? Well, believe it or not, this is what we brought home from the auction. I warn you, the sight may be quite shocking!
The last of the tomatoes, waiting patiently to be loaded.

This is how the pick-up looked.
There's another layer underneath.

Contrary to what you might think, this is not a produce shop.
This is our basement when everything was unloaded.

Aren't the colors beautiful??

Purple beans.
I was very disappointed to see the purple disappear
as the beans were processed.

Lovely peaches for Peach Cobbler this winter.

Beautiful carrots!

So pretty! So lovely!

Are you a vegetable geek??
I was just a little busy last month!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trip to Nashville

Hubby and I had a nice trip down to Nashville, TN to spend some time with our granddaughter, Sweetie Pie, and our son.  She is a natural born teaser (or maybe we trained her to be), and she finds great delight in teasing her "Pappy". She especially likes to tease him by not giving him kisses. She will kiss everyone in the room but him. But, you can be sure that as she's kissing me or her dad, she's also looking around to make sure Pappy is watching!

Aunt Jennee was able to take a few days off work and spend a long weekend with us. She was going to arrive late on Wednesday night. Sweetie Pie was very excited for her arrival, and planned to have a party for her. We told her it would be very late, but she was not deterred in the least. She set the table completely by herself. The menu included strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, and mandarian oranges. After all this, she said, "Now, we need a centerpiece". I was floored! She's five! So, we went outside, I snipped off some spikey leaves, and she put them in a short glass, with water. It looked fine. "Now, we need some rocks".  So, she went outside, scooped up a handful of rocks from the driveway, and plopped them in the jar. And, it made a very nice centerpiece. I didn't get a picture of it, but trust me, I was impressed!

We took her shopping for school shoes. She found this lovely pair of shoes with her favorite princesses on them. The day after we bought this pair of shoes, (with velcro) she learned how to tie her shoes. Then, she wanted a pair of shoes that tied! (Bad timing on our part!)

Nashville, Tennesse is the home of the world's only actual size recreation of the Parthenon. It is an amazing sight to see.

Just to give you an idea of the size of those pillars

Aunt Jennee and Sweetie Pie were hiding from us,
but someone peeked around the pillar just as I
was snapping the picture!

This shows the ceiling

Sweetie Pie snapped this picture
We had visited the Parthenon back in 2000 (I think!) At that time, everything was white. The gold was added in 2002. Very impressive.
This is not a small statue!

Lots of gold all around

The back of the statue. She is holding Nike,
the "god" of victory, in her hand.

The shield

Pappy and his Sweetheart
We had lunch with Dad at his high-rise building. She liked being up that high!

The "Batman Building" of Nashville
 We went bowling one night, just for fun. None of us are bowlers. My score was  60, or something equally ridiculous. But, for the record, I did manage to get one strike! When we got to the bowling alley, I told Sweetie Pie she would get to tie her own shoes! I no sooner got those words out of my mouth, and the guy handed her a pair with velcro ties. (My timing is impecable!) Oh my. She was very disappointed, and began to cry immediately! We were able to exchange them for a pair with shoestrings, and she went to work, happy again!
 We have started a new tradition. On our last day in Nashville, we go out for pancakes at the Pancake Pantry. If you don't want to wait in a long line, get there early. Seriously.
All I can say is, "YUM-O". Yes, I did go off my diet for this one meal. (Wouldn't you?) Technically, this is not a pancake. It's a crepe filled with chocolate ganache.
Chocolate Sin
 Everyone else got this delectable pancake.
Sweet Potato Pancakes with
Cinnamon and Cream Syrup
Bears and Berries
(chocolate chips)
for Sweetie Pie

After our tummies were full of pancakes, we went to a Greek Festival. The aromas of the food made our mouths water, but, since we were full, we didn't partake, tempting as it was. There was a petting zoo, pony rides,and lots of booths.  But what she  really wanted to do was climb the wall! We told her maybe next year!

And, that concludes our week in Nashville.

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