Sunday, April 29, 2012

Continuing On...

   Nearly a week ago I mentioned that I was doing a virtual "hike" to Ouzel Falls at walker Tracker, and suggested that you join me. (You still can! Click on the link "Join Me on Walker Tracker" in the sidebar. Then after you have joined, go to "competitions", and join the Rocky Mountain 4 competition... Its full of photos!)
   We are reaching "Calypso Cascades"... and here is a video...(which despite the thumbnail, is right-side up!):

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Heart rate monitor

   Finally I decided to buy a simple heart rate monitor, to really check if I am getting aerobic exercise. It showed what I suspected: only my "faster" aerobic walking is probably aerobic. I hope that the monitor will encourage me to keep my pace up....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


  Today is Israel’s Remembrance Day, when we remember those brave men and women who gave their lives for the sake of  the right of Israel to live in their land, as well as the numerous victims of terror. Tonight is the start of the Independence Day celebrations.
   Unfortunately, all too often, in years past, these days have been marred by misunderstandings, especially between the Chareidi  (ultra-orthodox)and the chiloni (non-religious) sectors.
   So I decided to make a short clip with pictures (mostly from Israel), and many from my family album, where we see that the Orthodox, chareidi, and chiloni public can get along, care for each other, . Whether we are Ashkenazi, sephardi, modern, Litvish, Chassidic, etc,(various sections of Am Israel) we are one people. Also we need to include those with disabilities.
    And for my non-Jewish special-needs readers, I will say that the message of getting along with those who disagree with you (you like inclusion, an acquaintance prefers all special-ed) is just as pertinent. And by the way, I included several pictures of Ricki in the clip; all are preceded by a heart-shaped transition effect.
   Note: The “music” for the clip is an A cappella (all-vocal) selection from a disc (of A.K.A/ pella) which I purchased. Please do not copy the music track.
   (Note : Those women whose eyes were blacked out are women who probably would not want to be featured on the "net")

Monday, April 23, 2012

Walker Tracker- Hike to Ouzel Falls!

   If you look at my side bar, you will see a link to Walker Tracker. This is an EXCELLENT site, encouraging walking and healthy eating.
   I am currently "sponsering" a walk there - a virtual hike- to Ouzel Falls (in the Rocky Mountains). Join me! (Sign up at Walker Tracker (it is free), and then join the "Rocky Mountain Hike #4" competition.
   Here is a video of COPELAND Falls (which is on the way to Ouzel)

No Shortcuts!

   Why am I sitting down in the middle of the morning to write this blog post, when I really have better things to do?
   Well, I am one of those persons that our sages call “truth zealots” – people who have trouble seeing lies and shutting up about it. That’s one factor.
   The second factor is that due to religious restrictions (lasting about a month) on listening to instrumental music, I have been listening to a (religious) radio station while working, rather than my MP3 music collection. And, invariably I am subjected to their ads. And the problem is that whenever the ads play, my blood boils, until finally I gave up and say now to write my reaction….
   So what has me up at arms? There are SO many things wrong in the world, but the blatant lies of a weight-loss pill company has me boiling.

   “Lose weight! Eat all you want! Abandon your unnecessary diets! Lose up to 8 kilos a month! Join the thousands who have lost (with our product)”

   Is there anyone who believes this  %^>*$##*$$& rubbish  ???

   The only way to lose weight in a healthy way, long term, is through SENSIBLE diet and exercise. And 8 kilos a month is not plausible. True, you can easily lose 2 kilos the first week of a diet, but it won’t continue that way.
    Losing weight sensibly means figuring out what is triggering your overeating, and finding other (non-food) means to achieve those things.

   And if anyone out there is hoping that maybe, just maybe, this   %^>*$##*$$&  works, the proof that it doesn’t is in their own advertising.

   If YOU had lost weight successfully with a miracle product, wouldn’t you tell your overweight friends? Of course you would. So IF they had “thousands” of successful weight-loss clients, believe me, they WOULDN’T have to pay for prime-time advertizing…….

   Sorry. There are no shortcuts. But believe me, this “long and winding road” to true weight loss is doable, enjoyable, and FUN!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

True Confessions and the Price of Apple Pie

  The most significant thing about my last two posts is what I did NOT write: I gained three kilos over Passover. And while I know from experience that I can loose it quickly, a part of me deep inside is very fearful of backsliding. It would be SO easy to stop being careful, basking in my new thinner wardrobe, the daily compliments I receive… and slowly put unneeded pounds back on.
   Most of this last week I was good—kept my diet faithfully, despite a lot of hunger. But then can the weekend. And I definitely overate today.
   At the onset of Passover we had received (from an organization that we know) three small containers of cooking apples (in addition to a plentiful amount of onions and potatoes). The onions and potatoes were used up, but Thursday morning had me glancing at three boxes of apples, and wondering what to do with them. The easiest way to use them up was obvious to me…..use them to make an apple pie. But I was hesitant to do so, because my mother’s apple pie recipe makes a confection that is hard to resist. In the end, I did make the pie, determined to have no more than two pieces of it. Well, the two pieces became four. As, in my heart of heart, I suspected they would.
   That is the price of baking an apple pie.

 Next time I bake a pie, I need to honestly access that price.
 OK. Now is the time to go forward, get back on track 100%. And get under 80 kilos again….

I know I've been AWOL

   Sorry for being so uncommunicative. Passover was a diet disaster- ate way too much , mostly from lack of sleep. I could tell what was causing me to overeat, but had little self control.
   Now that the holiday is over, I am pretty much back on track, and I am working to try and get into a routine that includes a half-way normal amount of shut-eye....
     Ricki is still struggling to get back into her get-up-and-get-going early morning wake up, and has missed her ride to school every day since school restarted on Monday. Luckily her sister was able to take her by car most of them. Finally tonight I was able to get her to bed at an early hour, so I hope that she will get up on time tomorrow.
   I am still not back up to my usual "walking" levels. Post Passover is also a busy time, and then when that was winding down, I managed to pull my back. (Lugging a heavy microwave back to the kitchen can do that to you......)  However, I had noted to myself that this is the first time that I have had back trouble since after losing my first twenty kilos......
   This afternoon I curled up with a good book and took a "day off" from just about everything. Tomorrow I hope to get back to my 10,000 daily steps (12K would be even better...).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

End of the Passover Holidays….

   Thursday evening and Friday day were the last 24 hours of the Passover holiday. But since they were followed by Saturday, for all practical purposes the holiday (and leaven-less eating) continued through and until Saturday evening. (And in actuality, bread will be TABOO in my house until I get my Passover dishes stored away.)
  This is the first year that I did not get my dishes stored away the same evening that the holiday ended, and left part of the big job of getting them away for the following morning….and it is all due to our “adventures” from the end of the week.
   What adventures?
   Well, after staying up most of Wednesday evening preparing for my coming guests, I dove into bed Thursday night, ready to get some decent sleep before continuing cooking and serving the noontime holiday meal on Friday. (After which I would need to finish my cooking for the upcoming Sabbath….)
  Suddenly at about 9:30 am, the lights went out. I opened my front door, and seeing that the lights were off there, I assumed that it was a general power outage that would probably be fixed soon. [I will not go into the details of electricity and Jewish holiday/shabbas (Sabbath) observance, but in general (unless it is a life-threatening situation), we do not fiddle with our electric appliances/lights on the holidays, but use them as they were set up before the holiday or Sabbath starts.] After a while I realized that it was an outage affecting only OUR building, and the reality set in: I was looking at the certainty of the next 36 hours being without electric power: no lights, and more importantly, no fridge!
   But of course I have great neighbors, and whoever I asked gladly took some of my freezer/fridge items in for the weekend. I also changed my menus, making things simpler (ie, flexibility). In the middle I paused to give myself a lecture:  “Rickismom, you are NOT going to worry, nor fret, you will do what you need to, not worrying about the small amount of food that will spoil, etc…..”    Of course this is easier to do than say, but I managed in general to take things in stride.
   I also realized that without electric lights even on Saturday evening, until the electric company would come fix the problem, there was NO way I would finish getting the dishes away. And I decided that it wasn’t so bad, that there is no need to rush….
[Image: hand-made matzah--ie, unleavened bread:]

    Of course Friday evening with not enough candle light to read with, I went to bed on time. And woke up feeling GREAT! And now that Passover is finished I can stop gorging on junk. [It is VERY hard to diet on Passover, because besides having fattening holiday meals, matzah (at MORE calories than bread) just doesn’t fill you up like 2 slices of bread. And in addition there are also many good diet foods not available for the holidays.]

 And I will forgive myself the relapse, as long as I :
1)get back on track RIGHT away
2)start getting enough sleep

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Reminder From Heaven (or at Least the Heavens)

      Yesterday was a blustery type of day. It was supposed to be my last heavy-cleaning day before Passover (which starts Friday evening). I was planning to clean my living room as well as my fridge. That is a lot to do in one day, and I hoped to get an early start. Ricki left at 8 am for school, and I decided to dash next door to her doctor, to get a needed renewal of one of Ricki’s prescription medicines. Then I could buy the medicine early Monday, when I would go for my weekly weighing at the pharmacy. I also wanted to pop over to the bank and pull a bit of money from the ATM machine. The doctor’s office was empty of patients (as it usually is on Sunday mornings), and so within minutes I had the prescription.
     Next stop was the bank. The ATM machine was out of money (as it usually is, and not just on Sunday mornings…), so rather than walk all over town looking for a working computer, I opted for a live teller. I entered the bank and was relieved to see only two people ahead of me. But their business took quite a while. Finally after about twenty minutes, it was my turn, and as I opened the identity card I was holding (having taken it from my purse), I realized that it was Ricki’s. So I started fishing for mine. When I did not find it momentarily, I stood aside and let the next in line take my place. And I then went deep sea diving into the trenches of my purse, until I finally had to admit that my identity card was NOT there. Now not having an identity card is a big no-no in Israel, First of all, you can’t pull cash funds from the bank without one. And I couldn’t get Ricki’s CONCERTA without one (as it is a potentially abusable drug). So I went home and started calling stores where I might have left it during one of my recent purchases….to no avail.
        Finally I gave up, and decided to go order a replacement one, consoling myself that I needed a new one anyway since my ID picture contained therein is 80 kilos over my current weight. So I walked to the necessary office, getting needed photographs on the way, and waited nearly an hour in line. Finally at 11:30 I left with a new identity card in hand, but at least 3 hours behind in my schedule for the day. I was a bit peeved and anxious, knowing full well that it would be neigh-well impossible to finish the day’s work. Passing a store, I went in and bought some halvah. Walking home I was having a mental battle: treat myself (poor, poor me…) to halvah, or stick to my diet. And the halvah side won. I was about to take some, when suddenly I was reminded from heaven (or the heavens) that my actions were not correct: a bird flying above unloaded a tremendous amount of bird shit all over me. I instantly lost all appetite, and had to hurry home to change…. Now I am saving the halvah as a SMALL treat for a day that I REALLY stick 100% to my eating plan……