Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lighten up, y'all

I just got a new cookbook, called "Lighten up, y'all-Classic Southern Recipes made Healthy and Wholesome. It's written by Virginia Willis who is a columnist for, a contributing editor to Southern Living, and was named one of the "Seven Food Writers You Need to Know" by the Chicago Tribune.
The photography in this cookbook is suburb. It really made me want to try the recipes. I like the fact that the nutrition facts are with the recipe. I also like Virginia's little stories that she tells throughout the book.
I decided to try the Turkey Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy. It took me about 30 minutes to put this recipe together because of chopping onion, mushrooms, parsley and garlic. I also had to shred carrot. Then everything had to be cooked before I added it to the ground turkey. It took an hour to cook in my oven. I was being kind of lazy and wasn't going to make the gravy until  I took  the meatloaf out of the oven and it looked totally dry and unappetizing. I quickly made the gravy. My husband's reaction was that this is a keeper recipe. Mine, not so much. It didn't really taste bad, it just didn't make me want seconds. The gravy did make it look more appetizing, but I still don't think I want to make this again. I will try some of the other recipes that sound really good, like "Beer Battered Shrimp, Lemon-Basil North Georgia Trout, Chicken Tortilla Soup, or Brown Sugar-Strawberry Shortcakes.

I received this book from "Blogging for Books" for my honest review.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Diabetes Solution

The Diabetes Solution by Jorge E. Rodriguez, MD and Susan Wyler, RDN is a great book for anyone that has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes or Prediabetes. The first part of the book is titled "Know Your Enemy." The chapter titles are "Understanding Type 2 Diabetes", "Screening for Type 2 Diabetes", "Understanding Prediabetes", "Complications from Diabetes', "Understanding Medications That Treat Diabetes," Understanding Gestational Diabetes."

Part Two is Manage Your Diabetes. Chapters are: Good Foods, Bad Foods: What you should Eat, The Blood Sugar Budget, The Recipes, Move it or Lose it: How Exercise Can Improve Blood Sugar, How Stress and Sleep Affect Type 2 Diabetes, Bariatric Surgery: When All Else Fails, and The Diabetic Solution.

Having been diagnosed with Prediabetes, I feel this is a great book to read and learn about your condition. The doctor is very clear in explaining how you can take charge and manage your diabetes. Getting this diagnoses can be scary and at first you just don't know what to do. I found myself going into denial for about three months before I could do anything. If my doctor had suggested this book, I think I would have been able to get right on managing my disease. The diet Dr. Rodriguez suggests seems to me to be a cross between The Mediterranean Diet and Weight Watchers. It's not impossible to follow and it's good for you.  Knowing that exercise, sleep and managing stress will help you control your diabetes is great, too. I would recommend this book for anyone that just got diagnosed with diabetes or has had it a long time and needs a refresher course on how to live healthy and manage your disease.

I received this book from "Blogging for Books" for my review.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Power of Unstoppable Faith

This "book" turned out to be a 55 page booklet but I think there is an actual book. The Power of Unstoppable Faith is written by Nick Vujicic. He was born without limbs and if anyone would have a reason to feel sorry for himself it would be him. He does not waste time feeling sorry for himself. He is upbeat and knows God put him here for a reason. He is a motivational speaker and shares his faith through "Life Without Limbs", an organization that helps share the message of the hope in Christ to the entire globe. This booklet made me want to read the real book plus other books he's  written.
I received this book from Blogging For Books and received no other payment for my review.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Elk Visit at McGregor Mountain Lodge Estes Park, Colorado 10-25-2014 tak...

We went up to Estes Park this past weekend for a stay at McGregor Mountain Lodge. We took one of our daughters and her family with us and had a really great time. I took this video of this elk right outside our cabin. What a thrill! It was only about 6:30am and I thought I would go out and sit on the patio with my coffee. I remembered what the innkeeper said about looking around before going outside, especially if it was dark. I looked to my left, nothing there. I looked to my right and about six feet away from the door was this big fella. I quickly woke my granddaughter up and we grabbed our cameras and started snapping away. I finally had the good sense to turn on the video portion and got this video. Hope you like it. I'll post some pictures when I get them downloaded.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pre-Diabetes and Weight Loss

In January I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. It was a big shock. I went to the doctor for my physical after getting my new health insurance. I hadn't been to a regular doctor for two years. I had taken myself off my statin drug for cholesterol because I didn't like the side effects I was having. I had been off the drug for a year when I saw the doctor. I fully expected to hear the doctor say that my cholesterol was  sky high and I needed to start taking the statin drug again. Imagine my surprise when she said my cholesterol was fine but my A1C test was 6.2 which meant I had pre-diabetes. She wanted to put me on metformin but I said no. I think I went into deep denial. I said I would diet and exercise and I went home and proceeded to do nothing. I guess I really didn't believe her or I thought magical thinking would cure me. I went in for another A1C the end of April and found out my results were now 6.4.  You are considered a diabetic at 6.5. That shook me out of my complacency! I immediately started metformin and I took a diabetes education class. I cut as much sugar out of my diet as possible and got an app for my smart phone called Healthediabetes from Calorie King. I limited myself to 1200-1500 calories a day, tracked my blood sugar and started walking. I had my A1C checked  again the end of August and it was 6.1. I want to see it back in the normal range of 3.5-5.6 and to that end I've taken off 22 lbs. I have another 50 to go but I'm determined to get it off and keep it off this time. My life depends on it.

I'm not going to tell  you that I never have sweets anymore because that would be a lie. I will tell you that I allow myself a bite or two but not every day. I'm trying to live by everything in moderation and to cut out what triggers me to eat more.
One of the tools I'm using to make sure I get my exercise is a Fit Bit Flex. I wear it on my wrist 24/7 and it tracks every step I take and how I'm sleeping at night. Since I started using it, I've walked everyday and each day  I've progressed. This week I got 44,089 steps. That's great for someone that three weeks ago got 8,876 for the whole week. I'm ultimately reaching for the goal of 10,000 steps a day and I know I will get there.

Yesterday I broke down and went clothes shopping. I hate to shop for clothes but was delighted to find out I had gone down a bra size, a pants size and a  shirt size. Yippee. I think I'm going  to save for a nice pair of cowgirl boots next!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen

I received this book from Blogging for Books a couple of weeks ago, but I've been so busy, I didn't pick it up until yesterday. My kids and grand kids were coming for dinner so I decided it would be a perfect time for dessert baking. 

I watched Francine Bryson on the American Baking Competition last year and she became my favorite to watch. The show was hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and had a variety of people from all walks of life competing, but Francine stood out as a sassy, but sweet Southern lady that really knew her way around a kitchen. I felt like she got robbed when she didn't win, but she was a finalist and I knew I would  probably see a cookbook from her someday.That day has come.

Her  new cookbook, Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen is a must have. Her recipes are clearly written and easy to follow and the pictures are beautiful. She includes little  stories about how she came up  with the recipes and it really is an entertaining read. I love Francine's pie chapter, where she gives a lot of great recipes for different kinds of pie crust before she starts with the actual pie recipe. In the chapter Baked Goods to Show Off, she has a recipe for World-Famous Chocolate Bacon Peanut Butter Pie. She made this on the show and the British judge almost tossed his cookies when she told him what she was making, but once he tasted it,  he was won over big time!

Today I chose to make Cheater's Caramel Apple Dump Cake. It was a really easy recipe and the whole family loved it. How can you go wrong with apples, apple pie filling, cream cheese, cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel syrup, and a boxed cake mix. These recipes may not be health food for every day consumption but everybody needs a little sweet in their life sometime


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Giants vs Rockies

Tuesday night we got to go into Denver to Coors Field and watch the Giants and the Rockies baseball game. Our two youngest daughters sent us tickets so off we went. The game didn't start until 6:40, but we decided to go early so we could watch batting practice and have dinner at the ball park. We got there about 4pm and the gates opened at 4:30pm. We went up to the roof to find out that the restaurants didn't open until 5pm so we hung around and I took some pictures.

Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence in the dugout

The Giants going through their stretches.
Mike  and the Rockies mascot.

We had a great time at the game and hope to get to some more next year.      

The New Indian Slow Cooker

I received a new cookbook in the mail today. The New Indian Slow Cooker by Neela Paniz is a soft cover book with about 60 recipes in it.  I have to admit that I've never tried Indian food before, mainly because my hubby refuses to try it because he doesn't like anything spicy. The pictures in this book are beautiful and it made me hungry just looking at them. However, I know I will probably not use this cookbook.
 Using my slow cooker means easy cooking for me. That set it and forget it is what I like about slow cooking. Looking at the recipes in this book, it seemed to me that not only was there a lot of prep work before going in the slow cooker, the ingredients list for some of the recipes was daunting. When 1 have 22 ingredients in a recipe that are expensive and hard to find, I usually wouldn't pick that recipe to cook.
I  did like the stories the author told about her recipes, but I think I need to try out an Indian restaurant before I try any of these recipes to see if I like Indian food.
I think if you are a big fan of Indian food and want to re-create that same food at home, you would probably love this book.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.