Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Paleo Zone - Day 1

I am modifying the Paleo diet by way of what is called the Paleo Zone. It's pretty much the Paleo diet, but allows for dairy.

My first challenge was finding food that I could eat at Liberty Science Center's cafeteria. It wasn't easy, and I failed the Paleo part, but still managed to eat something healthy. I got grilled chicken with lettuce on a wrap, so the wrap part is the failure. Still, I did better than I'd hoped.

Tonight, I am having egg whites and spinach for dinner... strawberries for dessert. My son's having the same, and there is an amazing brand new tub of caramel swirl ice cream in the fridge that he will be able to indulge in for dessert. Will I miss it? Hardly. I am very focused on getting my life back on track, so if it means no sugar (no ice cream), that's a small sacrifice.

Anyhow, I'll be making Sugar Cookie & Strawberry Shortcake candles all night so at least I will get to smell something fabulous!

Monday, February 20, 2012

From the Heart (my heart, literally), Why We Are What We Eat

I just got back from an appointment with my cardiologist. I will be retuning again shortly, to do a stress test, so that I can be cleared for exercise. Having mitral valve prolapse, it's important that I have my heart checked regularly. My cholesterol is normal, and my blood pressure is a healthy 110/70. But there's the scale and a magical number that should grace the scale, but it didn't. Er...

Apparently, someone (my two thumbs pointing back at me) needs to get back in shape.

The last time I saw my cardiologist, back in 2005, I was 20 lbs. lighter than I am now. A size 2, who power lifted and spent two hours a day at the gym. I ate clean (read = Oxygen magazine clean), no added fats, dairy, carbs... veggie slices (fake cheese) in Pepper Jack flavor was the closest I got to egg whites with cheese. Dessert was a pint of strawberries with wheat germ and a swirl of Hershey's chocolate syrup. Decadent, to me, at the time.

That's me, the tan one in the swirly dress. Power lifting size 2. I want that back.

Now, I can't blame this added weight on having been preggers or anything, because by 2005 I had already been a mom for a handful of years. Thin came post-pregnancy. Here's what happened ...

I started spending less time at the gym. My life was fuller, my responsibilities greater, and I rested on the fact that I was in such great shape. I thought I could just level down to maintaining (which I could have, had I not started... eating cheese burgers and fries on a thrice weekly basis. Oh, and having two or three Stellas with that meal). I still worked out, less though, and maybe I gained 5 lbs. I wasn't as cut up as I'd been, nor was I spending as much time at the gym, but still, I was only a size (at that point) 4. Tiny.

First weight gain, 2006 and size 4 (blurry old cell pic). I remember taking this photo to remind myself that i was getting fat. Oh, how i'd love to look like this again.

Slowly, my gym time cut back less and less. Thirty minutes of cardio. Twenty minutes of lifting. Three times a week. Max. And my eating started getting worse.

Seven months later, I was a size 6. Okay, still not fat, but heavier than I was accustomed to being. My endocrinologist (I have Hashimoto's disease) told me to be careful. His concern wasn't that weight or size, but that it was climbing, which isn't good for your endocrine system. He asked me to restrict my diet and lose those 5 pounds. I restricted until the pounds came off, then ate them right back on.

I was bellydancing at an event, and remember thinking how fat I looked in this photo.

Summer passed, and I wore dresses and skirts the whole time. My bikini still fit, it wasn't pretty, but it fit.

I remember being in this bikini and seeing my belly (see it?) and knowing that I was no longer thin.

When autumn came, and I put on a pair of jeans, I could just get them buttoned (they used to be huge on me). 

This was the last time the size 6 actually fit with comfort. These were baggy two years before.

A year later, I had a condition that was being treated with steroids (Prednisone) so on went another 10 lbs. No more size 6. Ever since then, I've been fighting with those pounds. Now, straining in a size 8, I've had two doctors tell me to lose the weight. My cardiologist said it's not about appearances or fitting into a certain size jeans. It's because my heart doesn't want to do all the work of lugging those extra pounds around.

I cannot imagine what more I need to hear before it sinks in.

I have to stick to my good habits (the Greek salad with grilled chicken at the Denville Diner, the egg white omelets packed with veggies), and ditch the bad ones. My cardiologist is a woman who went through menopause and is a little older than I am, and she's thin. I asked her how she maintained her weight through it all and she said, point blank, she just doesn't eat the way she used to. She has to eat less.

Wish me luck. Now the only day I can have something fattening is FKF. No fried foods, grilled cheese, bread (except PB&J on wheat), bagels, pastas, cheese (except feta, goat, and the occasionally mozzarella on a slice (not three) of pizza.

And so it begins...

Yes, I Still Send Cards.

"Yes, I still send cards" is on a pin I purchased from a card company called La Familia Green. It's one of the best pins I've ever seen, so I bought a bunch of them. Letter writing is a dying practice, and I am determined to at least try to bring it back!


Today is Make or Mail Monday. Now if you know me, you know that I am a big proponent of writing and sending mail via the United States Postal Service.

I make my own cards sometimes, however bad they may be. Usually, though, I buy handmade cards or postcards and keep them in my desk drawer (the desk was once my grandfather's) to save for when the spirit moves me. Today is one of those days.

I am writing a letter to a friend who lives in Florida, who I haven't seen in a few years. Just writing to say hello and let her know I am thinking of her.

Might I inspire you to get in touch with an old friend today?

Exit 39, Denville card by my man, photographer Ward Vogt. Available on his etsy page.

Write a note or letter and mail it out today. It can be as simple as a writing a few words on a postcard, or as involved as making your very own card. You can go to your local, family owned shop, and buy a card, or send a postcard that shows your town. You can even just write on a piece of paper that you were going to recycle. Now you cannot mail it today, since it's a holiday, but you can put it in the mailbox to be picked up tomorrow...

Whenever I go on vacation, I buy a bunch of extra postcards that I don't plan on sending during my trip, and then mail them out to local friends just for fun. What's more fun than getting a postcard from Paris, with a postal stamp from NJ, sent by a neighbor?

Have fun with it. Write to someone who may need to hear your kind words. And if you haven't anyone you'd like to write to, go ahead and send me a postcard from the town that you live in. I'd love to receive it. Mail to Domestic Goddess, PO Box 243, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Files Are Back

It's been a while since I've written. I've started my own company, and running that (a hands on company, because I literally make my own candles) along with the company Ward and I have together, plus the kids and family stuff (sports, parties, cleaning), has kept me very (happily) busy.

But I've missed you. I've missed writing, and getting your responses. I've missed writing about things that matter to me, however large or small. I hope that you will receive me with open arms.

Starting today, I will post a "Domestic Goddess Do of the Day" on my facebook page. It will be something to do, whether it be fun, supportive, important, or silly. Each day will change, so if you don't like one of the dos, just don't do it. Come back the next day and see if you like that one. I will be doing each do of the day, so it won't be anything tough or expensive, but it may involve drinking (so if you don't drink, modify it), baking, exercising, writing...

Now, every day will have a theme, but the Do won't have to do with it. So Sunday Funday is a day to have fun in some way, but the Do might be unrelated. So really, you have two things to play with doing each day. Get it? I will remind you what the day is, and also give you a DG Do of the Day. Double the fun!

Monday is Make or Mail Monday. This could be make up, make out, make something, money making Monday. It could be mail a letter, pay and mail a bill, mail a postcard, sort the mail, throw out old mail.

Tuesday is Top It Off Tuesday (or take your top off Tuesday, if you want to get down witcho lover!). Top It Off Tuesday is your day to make sure your gas tank is full by topping it off. The idea is to always have at least a half a tank of gas in your car (unless you drive a lot) and it pairs with Fill 'Er Up Friday... but that's getting ahead of myself.

Wednesday is Whittle Away Wednesday. This is the day to clean out your junk drawer, or get rid of a pile of papers that have been sitting on the table, bag up clothes that don't fit, etc. Whittle away at something that's been nagging at you, just once a week.

Thursday is Throw It Out Thursday. Go around your space (room, apartment, house) with a small garbage bag, and throw away everything you can't find a home for, no longer want, or meant to trash but didn't. If it's something that someone else can use, you can put it in a separate bag for Goodwill, but PROMISE yourself that you will take it to Goodwill within the week. Otherwise, it will end up in a pile that will be (eventually) dealt with on an upcoming Whittle Away Wednesday.

Friday is Fill 'Er Up Friday, Fresh Flower Friday, and Fat Kid Friday. Fill up your gas tank, get yourself (or someone else) flowers, and eat something that is NOT part of your eating plan. It's all about indulging! For your gas, pay by cash to save money (most gas stations charge more when you pay by credit). What about Fat Kid Friday? Fat Kid Friday started and is celebrated weekly on Wake Up with Taylor!, the fabulous radio how on Sirius XM 109 (satellite radio). It's on every morning from 7 - 11 a.m. (I bought Sirius just to listen to Wake Up!) This means that on Friday you get to eat something you've been dying to eat all week: a donut, pizza, a chocolate shake. Go all out!  Expect that I will give you a food indulgence suggestion each Friday.

Saturday is Settle In, Settle Down Saturday. Settle in, settle down, just means to let the worries of the week fall to the wayside and relax.

Which brings me back to Sunday Funday. Have fun, whatever you do! PERIOD!

Download and print to remember the daily do standards, posted below!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dad's Post to Daughter on Facebook (commentary)

Last night, I saw a post on a friend's facebook page. It was of a father reading a post his daughter had written about his parenting, their family, and her life at home. 

It's been all over facebook since then, and people are either very opposed to what this father did, or love it.

The biggest criticisms have been that he calls her spoiled, and that her being spoiled is his responsibility. Other comments have been that he should have talked to her privately, rather than put this up on facebook. 

As a mother, whose child may be perceived as spoiled, I can say that there is a fine line between giving your kids every opportunity and gadget they desire because you want them to have the best, and spoiling them. This dad admitted to have been living on his own at 15, working, going to school, and volunteering for the fire department. It's my guess that he wanted his daughter to have more than he had at her age, not to spoil her. Giving kids things don't spoil them, so long as they are reminded that getting them is a priviledge, and I don't doubt this father did that (based on what he said in the video).

It's also my guess that he did talk to her privately, countless times, over and over, as all us parents do, and let me say that kids will push the boundaries to see where they begin and end. My 11 year old does it all the time. He's not spoiled and we all communicate with one another. Still, he tests the boundaries.

In my eyes, this father has had it with his daughter's acting out, and needed to make a grand gesture to let his 15 (OMG, 15!) year old know that he is paying attention and holding her to higher standards than she'd like to meet. And it would be my very big guess that she will NOT end up on any teen mom shows. He's not permissive, and he's not giving up. He's taking her to task.

I know that a lot of you will disagree with this post, but I thought long and hard about writing this. When I showed the video to my son today, I asked him if he agreed with the father, or thought that he was being unfair. Ironically, he agreed with the father. 

It took a lot of nerve for this father to post what he did, knowing that he would face tons of criticism. I believe he did it out of love. I can only expect that he is getting both kudos and criticism for what he did. Personally, I give him a lot of credit.

Here's the video. Please watch the whole thing from beginning to end before making a judgement. Thanks so much.