Saturday, February 16th, Day 165, Strawberries
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
Today I thought strawberries would be a good reward for posting a blog entry for 31 straight days.
Too Early To Rise Does Not Make You Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise
I got up around 3:00 AM this morning–way too early. However, I got my blog posted. It is now 6:55 AM. My husband got up. Then he went back to bed. I asked him if he would like to get a haircut with me today. He said, “I don’t know.” I guess that probably means no. Maybe I will ask him again later when he is fully awake.
Celebrating Partial Victories
I have now been keeping my blog every day for 31 days. That is an achievement! My spiritual leader advises us to celebrate partial victories and milestones. I am often reminded of my parents. We lived in Ontario, Canada and were studying the Book of Mormon as a family. My parents said if we completed it, our family of fourteen could vacation in Florida. Vacation time arrived after getting only half-way through the book. Mom and Dad said we could go to Washington, D.C. instead, which was about half-way. We went, and that was every bit as fun as going to Florida.
A trip would be good, but driving would not feel like a reward to me like it was for my parents. They always loved to travel. Besides, a trip would interrupt my ability to get a blog out, so it may disrupt my consistency. However, I could call a friend. I have been planning to visit Jacque at the retirement community we lived in last year. Let me call her later on today. Talking to her would be a wonderful reward. I am also planning to make ambrosia for her to take when I visit her. She loves fruit and nuts, like I do.
What would be an adequate celebration of my partial victory? A bowl of strawberries? I could make a delicious shake with frozen strawberries. Let me think about that some more.
I am checking my blood pressure. It is a little high. I am going to medicate it, even though my health coach said my medication will not work on an as-needed basis. I need to check my blood pressure every day. Sometimes I get feeling it is fixed, and it is not, at least not permanently.
JV Life Tracker Scores in Cronometer
I scored 14 in JV Life Tracker for yesterday and logged my score in Cronometer. To add JV Life Tracker as a biometric, I clicked on ADD BIOMETRIC and clicked on the plus sign to the left of Weight. That allowed me to add a custom biometric to the end of the list. I entered ‘JV Life Tracker’ and ‘points’. You may wish to add custom biometrics of your own.
Planning My Errands For Later
Yesterday, I planned a little trip to do a few errands today. At this point, I think I will postpone the trip until next week. I am feeling tired from lack of sleep last night. My husband is not feeling too well either. I am kind of disappointed in myself, but I will do it later. It is all planned.
Cronometer Trends Nutrition Report
My Cronometer Trends Nutrition Report since January 7, 2019 looks excellent.
The Cronometer report says 100% TARGETS. I can mouse over each nutrient and see what foods have contributed. That helps me know what is worth the money nutritionally.
For improvement, I should still get more potassium and less sodium, but I am getting close to getting my electrolytes balanced, which I am proud of. My average potassium to sodium ratio is 1.437. I am aiming to get it closer to 2.0.
I ate 1705 calories per day on the average, which is a bit too many for losing weight but good for weight maintenance. Cutting back on calories would help. However, my appetite has a say in that.
I am getting exactly 100% of my dietary fiber target, which is 30.0 grams daily on the average. That is very good, though it would not hurt to get more.
I am getting 65.5 grams of sugar on the average. My goal is to get 55 grams or less, so that is something I can work on. Very little of that is added sugar, but some of it is. That is where I can cut back.
Omega Fatty Acids
My omega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acid ratio is 4.111. 4.0 would be ideal, but 4.111 is very good. It includes .7 grams of omega-3 oils from fish oil daily or just more than one capsule of fish per day (600 mg per capsule) on the average. Two capsules of fish oil daily would probably be more than enough.
I could eat a a bit more fat and a bit less carbohydrate. My protein intake is just a bit above my target.
On the whole, I am proud of what I have done. The more important thing is that I have a lot of data because I have played the game consistently. The day I decided Cronometer was an exciting game was a gamer-changer for me. I started playing Cronometer for all it was worth.
Cronometer has a few weaknesses, but its strengths are unbelievable. I heard about it from Dr. Joseph Mercola, a prolific health blogger, with whom you ought to be familiar. It is quite flexible and gives you an enormous amount of information, especially if you choose foods for which there is complete data. Cronometer goes to great lengths to provide accurate, complete food records. Sometimes food manufacturers are tight-lipped about what is in their products, so getting a complete record is not always possible. In the year and a half I have been using Cronometer, I have only rarely had to enter a food record myself.
Cronometer is a Canadian company. I would love to work for them as a software engineer or food researcher. However, the company insists you move to British Columbia, Canada first. I prefer living in Colorado.
It is now afternoon. I could call Jacque. Monday would be an okay day to visit her. Let me see if she is available. We made an appointment for Tuesday. Monday or Tuesday morning, I will get ambrosia ready. Visiting Jacque will motivate me to get in the jeep.
Why strawberries in February? In Utah, we had a large patch of strawberries on my walk-out ledge. About this time of year, the plants typically show through the snow. The strawberry greens are tremendously hardy, even in the cold. I used to eat a lot more strawberries. I have several strawberry recipes in my cookbook, KaeLyn’s Korner Kitchen: Complete Meals for the Healthy-Minded.
Chocolate Shake with Strawberries
I especially like the Strawberry Chocolate Shake, which I fixed for breakfast over and over again.
I can get Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries from Costco. That sounds delish.
I could use chocolate fudge Orgain instead of Muscle Milk. I could try it with either the vegetable protein powder or the whey, and I have both. The sweetness will not be as strong as with Muscle Milk, but that is okay. If I need more sweetness, I can add a touch of stevia, since frozen strawberries sometimes need that.
Then I could even add some organic tofu, which makes it super creamy and adds protein and fat.
I will have to put a chocolate shake with strawberries together again. I still have my Vitamix, which I brought with me to Colorado from Utah. It is not as powerful as it used to be. I hope it can still do frozen strawberries.
The ingredient that really adds to the flavor of the shake is extra cocoa powder. Instead, I can order cacao, a raw organic chocolate. I do not have any of that right now, but it is probably available at Sprouts.
Then I just need psyllium powder or husks to thicken the shake and provide dietary fiber. They are probably also available at Sprouts.
David Wolfe, a popular raw foodist, said that cacao and berries, including strawberries, release each other’s antioxidants, so they are a great combination.
One little extra touch not in my cookbook that I want to add is natural vanilla powder. With chocolate, vanilla, and strawberries, this shake can be Neapolitan! If I do another cookbook, I will have to call it ‘Neapolitan Shake’.
Alone, each of the ingredients may not seem like the thing, but in concert they are wow! So delicious.
Sharing the Excitement
I mentioned getting some frozen strawberries and doing this to my husband. He has zero appetite right now, so he did not respond much. Let me get this together by the end of next week. Before I can do this, I need to order a new tamper stick for the Vitamix. It got lost in the move.
My husband is not feeling well today. He needs more assistance to get around. I have not gotten out in the hallway for my walk either. Due to getting up so early, I am rather drowsy, but I have not been able to sleep, even when I lie down.
My husband is up in his rocker now watching TV, this time with the sound turned on.
Getting Strawberries Back in the Diet
Putting strawberries back in my diet should give it a boost in flavor and nutrition. Strawberries are very nutritious, one of the most nutritious fruits. Since they are one of the “dirty dozen,” they are best purchased as organic strawberries. The strawberries on my walk-out ledge, of course, would have been okay, as long as I did not spray them.
So, what should I do with the remainder of my evening? I do not feel like doing a lot. I could spend some time with National Geographic. Maybe they even have an article about strawberries. Let me see.
The July 1903 issue has an article, Big Things of the West, that describes huge produce and fish from the western coast of the United States. That was when there were only 80 million people in the United States. The author was confident that there would be adequate food into the future. He mentioned huge strawberries growing in California, but did not say much more about them. We still get large strawberries from California, but they are not that huge. Things have changed since then. I liked the author’s optimism.
Speaking of optimism, that is activity #2 from The How of Happiness. Today, with my husband not feeling well, I have had to work harder to remain optimistic. For a time, I was even afraid my husband would die. I asked him if I should call for medical help. He did not want that however.
I have just finished up Cronometer for the evening. I topped off my potassium intake at 110% (5183 mg). I want to get my average closer to 100%. (It is 94% now.) Sodium was too high again today. My ratio of potassium-to-sodium was 1.694. That is better than my average ratio of 1.437, but not quite 2.000 yet. I predict with optimism that I will continue to do better and better at the Cronometer game.
Hopefully, my health will do better as well. The main problem I had today was with my sleep. Sleep is a big deal and affects weight loss efforts as well. Overall lately, I have been healthy.
Obviously, the Cronometer game is figuring into my self-image. I believe if you want to keep a diet diary, you must define yourself as a diet diary keeper. Then doing it is almost automatic. If you do not put it in your self-image, it will be a struggle to do it all the time, and it will seem like a waste of time. A game you really love is not a waste of time–at least it does not seem to be, even if it is. Keeping Cronometer is more productive than most other games. I love it the more I do it.
While I have a few more minutes to write tonight, I want to continue discussing self-image. Self-image is a set of information that describes the sort of person we are. We all have a self-image, even if we are not aware of it. The good news is that the self-image can be changed. I noticed from the time I was in grade school that some people say, “I am not that good at math.” And then they were not. I scored 100% on some times tables drills in fourth grade, and from that point on, I believed I was good at math. Believing that, I believe, actually made me better. In college, I minored in mathematics along with majoring in computer science. It was only because of my belief that I was good.
My mathematics minor did not happen automatically. When we moved from Ontario, Canada to South Dakota in 1976, I fell behind my classmates a year in math. I studied with a teacher to catch up what I missed, but I was still a year behind my senior year of high school. Not to be daunted and believing in my mathematical ability, I checked out a teacher’s edition of a college algebra and trigonometry text and tutored myself over part of my senior year and through the summer. I was able to take calculus my freshman year of college, and I aced it. I aced three calculus classes.
This may seem like bragging, but I am showing the power of belief. If my fourth grade teacher had shortened the drill slightly, and perhaps I had only gotten 80% of the answers right, my whole future could have changed. If I did not believe I was good, then what? Back in first grade, I was miserable in math. I vaguely remember my first math test. I did not understand the concepts at all, and I did very poorly. I do not remember my score, but it was one I would not want to remember. However, my fourth grade teacher was able to turn things around with some simple drills.
Education for Self-Image
Admittedly, the school system does not work that well for everyone. It is important for children to feel success starting at an early age and then get in the habit of success. One thing that helped me was that my parents drilled me on times tables at home before I took the drill at school.
If you are willing to take time like that for your children, it will really help. Some parents go even further and home school their children. I have mixed feelings about that because I believe socialization is also an important part of education, but often a home-schooled child will stay above grade level. I home-schooled my niece in math while she was living with my parents. I think a mixture of public and home education works best. Private schools can be very helpful too if you have the resources for them.
Self-Image as a Writer
So how can I get an accurate but empowering picture of myself? My intention is to continue my writing, despite how many people read it or what they say about it. That will establish myself as a writer. So in my self-image, is ‘writer’. In grade school, my writing scores were always lower than my math scores. My creative writing scores were lower than my oral communication scores. Does that mean my writing was no good? I may have thought so for a time. In 1983, I started writing a story on a typewriter. I got a few pages written, then stopped. In 1987, when I married my first husband, I showed him the story. He said I must finish it. So I did. I still do not have it published, but you can read it here for free. It is called Lisa’s Light and Hope.
I had a lot of people read Lisa’s Light and Hope, and they liked it. However, I was very sensitive about it. I felt like my focus on blindness was a dark part of myself, and I was ashamed. I still have not fully come into the light about it. I wrote a sequel to Lisa’s Light and Hope called Scarlet Night, which I published in 2017. Why did I publish the sequel first? That is a good question. I just thought the story line moved faster, and it made a better novel. However, both books are good.
Will I write more fiction? I do not know. Right now my focus is on this blog. I often say to my husband, “Tell me a story.” He always tells the story of the two of us, and how we live, “happily ever after.” I say, “I like that story.” My husband is a very private person. He has admonished me to be private too. That does not always work for me as a writer. I have kept some things private however, such as the name of my husband and the name of our home town in Colorado.
So how can I make my self-image empowering? From yesterday, I have the GPA, etc. description: gorgeous, peaceful, efficient, tenacious, and careful. Those qualities should help me as a writer.
How Self-Image May Affect Depression
Maybe I can carefully, efficiently, and peacefully investigate why I have sometimes felt down on myself, even to the point of clinical depression. Social comparison is one way down. However, there must be a part of myself that devalued my very qualities. Maybe I did not get the attention I wanted. I was in a family of fourteen, so it was difficult to get my parents’ attention. To be honest, much of the attention I received was negative. It appeared to me that Mom simply wanted me to be different than I was. I showed her a straight A report card. She responded, “Boring, always the same.”
But should that matter now? I know it does not work to blame, but I am looking for the root of what could have gone wrong. I think it is time to wake up and value myself for who I am, even though I never felt my mother did and perhaps still does not. Just months ago, Mom said she had always been proud of my good report cards. That is not how I remember it. So am I just overly sensitive or what?
Expecting my mother’s approval has always tripped me up. I suppose I would still like it, but I do not need it. I am not really sure why she withholds her approval. Anyway, I do not believe in the blame game. I just want an empowering self-image.
I am not saying I do not have faults, but I do not have faults that should cause me to be clinically depressed. The depression could just be a chemical imbalance, caused by genetics. I think there is a strong environmental component to it. It started in my teenage years when I did not feel accepted by my mother. I felt that my father accepted me, and I felt close to him because of that. He died November 28, 2018. I had planned to live in my mother’s basement until she died, but a part of me recoiled at that possibility, especially with my father gone. I am so grateful that my husband brought me to Colorado, where I can find my empowering self-image.
To be fair, my mother repeatedly complimented my appearance, especially when I did my hair a certain way, and she thanked me for my services when I did things for her. She liked my cookbook pages and helped me get my cookbook published. She even passed on compliments someone else said about me. Interestingly, she followed me into Toastmasters and ELP (Entrepreneurial Launch Pad) and joined herself. In 2017, she encouraged me to go ahead with my piano performance, even though I was depressed and felt discouraged about it, and it went off okay.
My husband is helping me to build a positive self-image. He realizes I am not perfect, and he prefers it that way. He has made it clear that he has loved me all along, since we first met. After we met, he never looked for another woman; he wanted me. He has given me money and resources that far exceed anything my parents ever gave me. Finally, I am free to worship God in a way that suits me. Maybe that is why I have had no clinical depression since I came to Colorado. I have been stressed and overwhelmed, but I have still been functional.
I slept much better last night. I finally lost a little weight, down to 55.9 kilograms. I was able to serve my husband some Moose Tracks ice cream last night without nibbling on it myself. I re-thought my past with my mother this morning. Even though I have felt un-accepted by her, she has supported me in a lot of things.
Respecting My Character
Our deepest difference is over religion. I expected her to have difficulty over my religious decisions. I agonized over what she might do and joined a support group before doing what I did. Maybe she will eventually respect my character anyway. She said some things about it that were not very complimentary and that were not based on fact. I did not try to straighten her out with the facts; I just hope she will see them.
Again, I am grateful that I am in my Colorado home. My husband and I are bonding like we never have before. Last night, his shakiness went down and his stomach started feeling better. He was able to get to the bathroom without assistance. I feel encouraged. He also slept better last night. The future may offer more challenges. However, we have gotten this far.
Getting Ready to Get Some Strawberries
Today, I am ready to play the game of Cronometer. Soon I want to get some strawberries. If my Vitamix is not powerful enough for the frozen strawberries, I want to get an updated Vitamix. I have had mine since 2007. I have some money to pay for it. My finances have improved since I sold my Cadillac. I am grateful for my mother’s part in getting it sold.