Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Non-dairy Pumpkin dessert (+my modifications)

I saw this posted on Twitter and decided that I'd give it a try.

I made it according to the recipe with the exception of using regular pancake syrup (Log Cabin) instead of real maple syrup. I'm not a fan of soft, rotting bananas, so the bananas I used were pretty firm. I probably should have pre-mashed them a bit before throwing them into the mix.

After tasting the mix, I thought the pumpkin taste was a little strong, so I added a cup of plain Greek yogurt. I'm not vegan, nor do I have a lactose problem, so adding yogurt works well for me. The bananas give it plenty of sweetness so I will probably cut the syrup amount to 1/4c and use honey instead. I'd also add a little more nutmeg and maybe more cinnamon.

It freezes pretty hard if you let it freeze over night (kind of like freezing homemade ice cream). I was mixing it every 40 minutes or so for a few hours to help it freeze evenly. My suggestion is to make it several hours before serving it and serve it the same day you prepare it.

I also think that adding pieces of baked pie crust would be delicious or serving it in mini pie crusts would be good.

If you try this, be sure to let me know what you think!

John <><

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Exercising the Body; Exercising the Mind.

What was the turning point?
What was it that caused me to go from an out of shape, overweight, unhealthy person to the guy that started eating better, getting some exercise and doing the things that I needed to be doing to become more healthy.

The truth is...

...I had to get my mind right.

I had to make the mental determination that I was heading towards an early death if I didn't make some serious lifestyle changes.

Over the past twenty-one months, I have had my mental lapses. They were followed by the physical lapses--poor diet choices (bad foods and too much of them) and less activity. If I don't keep the mental focus, I lose the physical battles.

I have to admit, I'm not the committed exercise freak that some are. I have no desire to try an intense daily training program. I'm not going to start Cross-fit, P90X, Insanity or any other crazy fitness program. I'm not going to train for a triathlon, half-marathon or even a 5K. When I get tired, I rest. My mental focus isn't up to that kind of training. I simply want to be fit and healthy.

Today, I'm back to refocusing on good, healthy living--mentally! The physical part will follow.
It's just a matter of making one good choice at a time, right?

Eat healthy today...or not.
Get some exercise today...or not.
Keep mentally focused...or not.

One good choice at a time.

Take the stairs...or the elevator.
Watch TV...or take a walk.
Apple...or potato chips.
Soda...or tea...or water.

One good choice at a time, right?

Be well,
John <><

Monday, September 22, 2014

Falling off the wagon...so to speak

It's been nearly two weeks since my foot surgery (hammer toe correction) and I'm finding out how easy it is to slip out of a more disciplined healthy lifestyle and back into a less disciplined one.

By less disciplined, I simply mean that I'm not paying close attention to what I'm eating and making some less than stellar choices. I've been pretty much sedentary as far as physical activity goes, but that is going to change. In the past couple of days I've managed a couple of short bicycle rides and a little bit of walking. I don't think I'm up to my 4 mph walking pace, nor do I expect to walk 3 or 4 miles, but I am ready to get back to it. I've done a little bit of yoga in the past few days, but find some of the poses difficult and uncomfortable for my foot. Guess I'll just have to do the poses that are not uncomfortable. (Balance, by the way, is much more difficult when a toe doesn't work!)

And as long as it's time to get back to regular exercise, I might as well get back to documenting my food intake. If you're not keeping track of what you eat (including how much), it is amazing at how quickly the extra calories can add up!

I've noticed that since I've been less disciplined about the documentation of what I eat, the pounds have started to creep back on. It has been more noticeable in the two weeks with no exercise. I'm going to strap on a goal of a little more weight loss and work towards ending 2014 at 190. That may be tough with the holiday season, but it is doable if I keep my focus.

Today is the day!

I've had my coffee and my breakfast (300 calories) and now it's time for a walk. It will be slower than my usual pace but they say that even at a slow pace, you're still lapping everybody that's sitting on the couch!

(It's funny that the same people that say things like that are the same people that tell you it isn't about what everybody else is doing. Your only competition is yourself.)

John <><

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to Cycling

A few days ago, I wrote this short piece at Out of My Hat about going green.

Yesterday, I managed to buy a cheap bicycle to replace the one I had been using (my daughter's).
Since I'm not an avid cyclist and I don't need it for anything more than getting some exercise, I hated to spend much money on a bicycle. I bought about the cheapest thing that would suit my size and will start riding again.

I was doing most of my riding on my mid-shift breaks and I'm trying to get out of the mid business, so I don't know when I'll get my riding in. Southwest Missouri isn't too biker friendly, with few bike trails and no bicycle lanes. As a matter of fact, there are very few shoulder areas on which to ride. I like using the airport terminal loop at night--it's well lit and there is little traffic. I managed a little over 12 1/2 miles last night.

There is a neighborhood loop that I walk for a few miles and I could use it for cycling. It would be relatively safe but I'm afraid it might get boring. I guess I'll have to weigh the safety factor against the boredom factor and just make sure that I'm getting the ride time in--after all, it is about the exercise.

I'm also going to try a few other things in the way of exercise and conditioning. I think some shorter, more intense workouts are going to find there way into my days. Truthfully, I just don't have the desire to get crazy about being fit. I just want to be a healthy fit, not a fanatic fit.

I would like to be able to bike or walk more when it comes to short errands. I guess I'll look at bicycle locks and scope out areas where that will work. I'm not sure how far I think is too far when it comes to bicycle errands. I suppose that time will also play its part in those decisions. Overall, I'm just trying to be more mindful about good healthy habits and making good environmental choices, as well. They do kind of go together.

Another yoga class tonight, then working a second mid before taking a week off!

Be well,
John <><