Do Alcoholics Earn Drunken Binges?

“I’ve been drug-free for the past ninety days! I have done extremely well, so, to celebrate, this weekend I’m going to stay with some friends and do a few lines of cocaine. I figure I’ve earned it.”

Does that make sense? Of course not. Yet, how many of us do the same thing to ourselves when it comes to sugar or carb-heavy meals?

Am I the only one seeing the damaging cycle we inflict on ourselves when we say these same types of things, only replacing the word “cocaine” with “all-you-can-eat buffets” or “birthday cake” or “cinnamon rolls”?

I remember once when the trainer on Fit to Fat to Fit told his client that the sugar in his cabinet was worse than crack cocaine. While that may sound completely ludicrous to someone who doesn’t struggle with sugar addiction, I get it. I totally get it, and, once you slip up, it’s hard to keep your mind from returning to the scene of the crime. Cave in just once to those caramel coconut stacks in Dollar General and you’ll find your mind wandering there again. Trust me on this one. And, if you’re like me, you can’t make one bag last a week: you’ll keep after them until they’re gone. Just one after another. Then you feel sick.  Oh, not physically sick–unless you’re one of the lucky few whose body won’t tolerate such nonsense– but emotionally sick that you’re such a pathetic, out-of-control, spineless wimp and that sugar has beaten you once again.

It’s better to gain steam and congratulate yourself with pats on the back along the way than to cave in and make half-hearted promises to yourself that you’ll do better “next time.” Four days later you realize that “next time” apparently hasn’t rolled around, yet, because you’re not doing better: you’re still struggling. That’s the kind of beast that sugar is. It takes no prisoners. Just like Satan, sugar is a roaring lion seeking whom it may devour. At least that’s how it feels.

The last time I was on the treadmill, I had to baby it along to keep my speed up. By “baby it along,” I mean that I had to use Fred-Flintstone power to get it to go. The motor really must be on its last leg. And, of course, I use that as an excuse not to do my treadmill.

On one episode of Extreme Weight Loss, Chris Powell had his client use only their own strength to move the belt on the treadmill. That would be torture. I watch these people and it makes my stomach sink to know that I don’t have that kind of fortitude. Even on my best days when I was walking four or five miles, I could not do the things he has his clients doing on that show. I tell myself it’s because I’m obviously older than the clients I’ve seen, but, truth be told, I don’t think I could have done it back when I was thirty, either–or maybe I just didn’t want it bad enough. Does anyone know what kind of magic formula would get me to that place where I want it bad enough?

I walked Chelsea to work this morning. It had been a long time since I took a trip to town on foot, but it didn’t deplete me nearly as much as I thought it would.

Halfway down my street, on the way home, I saw a lady walking behind me with her MP3 player, and she turned into the circular drive of First Baptist Church. I kept walking, but then stopped under a tree to catch some shade (and my breath). I resumed walking, but thought I heard the crunch of small gravel behind me. Suddenly it took me back to when I was well over 300 pounds and walking around the walking track, being passed up by other walkers left and right because I was too heavy to walk at a normal pace, and trying not to breathe hard because I didn’t want anyone to hear my pitiful out-of-shape breathing.

I picked up my pace because I refused to be passed by another walker. I walked just as quickly as I could, reminding myself that at one time 3.3 miles per hour was nothing to me. I continued to walk at a good clip until I reached our backyard, and then I turned to find there was no one behind me after all. Oh, well. At least I got home faster.

Yesterday was the last day of school until summer school starts on June 6. That means I have no excuse not to walk everyday and no excuse not to write everyday. I know I’ve been slacking on both.

I woke up early this morning, before six a.m., to take a shower and fix my breakfast because my plans were to take Chelsea to the emergency room to have a Foley catheter replaced. She had seen a urologist on Tuesday and had a new one put in. Everything was fine yesterday morning when she woke up, but, at some point during the day, something went awry because her mattress protector that we put on her wheelchair cushion was completely soaked, along with her skirt, etc.

This was not good. Something had to be done, but we didn’t think we could get her in to see the urologist again on short notice. Yet, she couldn’t spend her day being constantly wet, either. What she doesn’t need is a skin breakdown or wetness and bacteria in her wound. We decided last night when she went to bed that we’d head to the emergency room bright and early this morning. The earlier the better.

I went into her room to get her up at about seven, only to find that she had about 300 c.c.s in her bag. Now we’re confused. Is it getting kinked somehow?  Apparently it worked fine while she slept. The mattress pad was completely dry.

She decided to go on to work and that if she had problems during the day we could always go to the ER later.

She’s wondering if the catheter she has now is a softer tube than the last one she had and if maybe it’s easier to get it kinked in a fold of skin or by her pad or cushion or something. I can’t see that it is kinked when she raises up, but who knows? We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the day goes.

I’m having so much fun selling (and wearing!) my Paparazzi jewelry! I have another Facebook party tomorrow night! This hostess is my first from Illinois so she wins another free piece of jewelry for that! I’ve got this little challenge set up for myself to get one hostess from each of the fifty states before the year is up, and I started as an independent consultant on March 4.

Illinois added to party map

Paparazzi is helping me with my food cravings at night. When I have Facebook parties, I am busy, busy, busy and certainly have no time to think about what I could be or want to be eating.

Everyone needs to find a passion or hobby that keeps her hand out of the proverbial Doritos bag, whether it’s a book club or crocheting or knitting or even a gym membership or walking club. You know the old saying: “Idol hands are the devil’s workshop.”

To keep sugar off the brain, fill your brain with something else! Keep Skinny Chocolate in your freezer and Coconut Crack bars in your fridge for emergencies. Remind yourself that you’re just a few minutes away from a healthful sweet treat in the form of a cinnamon roll in a mug or a chocolate muffin in a mug. Do what it takes to satisfy your sweet tooth with appropriate THM sweet snacks, and there are a bunch of them on Pinterest.

I have to show you what I’m wearing today!  This is my new Paparazzi photo of the day 2Paparazzi necklace and matching earrings!  Each Paparazzi necklace comes with a simple set of matching earrings, but sometimes Paparazzi releases another set that is more elaborate that also matches the necklace. I have a lot of this color in my closet, so buying these was a no-brainer for me! (*Post edit: We ended up having to go to the emergency room after all to get Chelsea’s catheter issue resolved, and it actually fell out in the parking lot as she was getting into her chair!  So glad we went. If we hadn’t, it may have fallen out as she was getting into bed tonight! The photo on the left is me in the emergency room, wearing my new Paparazzi jewelry, shown also in the photo below!)

Chuck and the kids gave me another Ross gift card for Mother’s Day. Now that I’ve lost weight, shopping is so much fun, and accessorizing is a delight!The 8th Wonder collage

In case you want to find a nice five-dollar item to go with a special something you have hanging in your closet, be sure to check out my Facebook party tomorrow night.  Here is the link:  Wendy’s Wacky $5 Bling Party!

Here’s my Trim Healthy Mama affiliate link in case you’re running low on supplies to keep you trim and healthy: https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df.  Thank you so, so much for using my link! It has been a huge blessing to me and my family!

While I’m handing out links, here’s the link to my Facebook jewelry group!  Haha.  It’s Dirinda’s Dazzling $5 Jewelry #45109 (“45109” is my consultant number for the Paparazzi website!).

I had an early breakfast of Baked Blueberry Oatmeal, so that means it’s almost time for lunch! I think I’m having the grilled chicken ranch salad from McDonald’s and possibly a peanut butter cheesecake shake!

So far, so good today! I’ve been 100% on-plan and I got my walking in.  I drank a Mason jar full of unsweetened oolong tea. I generally take two cinnamon capsules everyday, and I was thinking this morning about getting some cayenne pepper capsules. It seems to me that one of my readers had mentioned her husband taking those.  I’m too lazy to think about making more Shrinker, plus I kind of like the idea of drinking the straight oolong without any sweetener, extracts or almond milk. Does anyone know if I can find cayenne pepper capsules in Super Center?

The Food Expander

I don’t know if Hungry Girl comes on, anymore, because it has been at least a few months since I’ve seen it. One thing I remember about that show is how on one episode she called mushrooms a “food expander,” meaning you can use them liberally to put more food on your plate without putting more calories in your belly.

I sat down to write this entry with a generous sized pizza on a Santa Fe low-carb wrap. Five carbs. That’s all this pizza “crust” has in it.

I browned it and took the floppiness out by putting it in a 425-degree preheated oven for three minutes on each side. Then I spread a small amount of pizza sauce all over the surface with a spoon, added a genDSCF3307erous handful of browned and thoroughly rinsed and drained hamburger that I keep in a ziplock in the fridge, enough mozzarella to cover everything, some colorful, diced red and green peppers and onion, half a can of food expander (oops, I mean, mushrooms) and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese just to pretty up the end result.

This pizza works just as well with pesto sauce, but I had a tiny bit of pizza sauce in a jar in the fridge and wanted to use it up.

Can you have too much pizza sauce?  Absolutely. Can you have too much cheese?  Yes, if you want to lose weight, you have to watch how much cheese you consume.  Hamburger?  Um, I’m not really sure about this one, but I know you can’t have too much mushrooms (or peppers and onions, too, for that matter), so I pile them on.

“Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more.”

A nice article about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms can be found here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858.php

It’s a rainy day here, and that hot pizza was just what the doctor ordered for lunch!  That and a whole pot of coffee.  Yes, I drank a whole pot of coffee by myself since this morning. Suzanne Somers would cluck her tongue at me since she considers coffee to be a “funky food,” but it has zero calories (when you drink it black) and I’ve been dragging lately so I really needed that pick-me-up.

So now I’m wired. I feel like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound. I skipped up the steps to the post office this morning and up the front steps to our house a few times today, too.

Chelsea had a doctor’s appointment to get a refill on pain meds. She can’t take Tylenol or any kind of nsaids because they hinder wound healing, so she has to take something else.

Her appointment was for 10:20, but, when she got there, they told her they didn’t have her down until 12:20. Since the office is filled with nurse practioners, her doctor was the only one who could prescribe her medication, so getting in to see someone else would have been pointless.

She initially decided to wait in the lobby and maybe they could get her in sooner, but then she thought better of it.

“It may have been all in my mind,” she said, “but the longer I sat there the sorer my throat became. Then I thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this. There are sick people here! I shouldn’t be around them.'”  Plus, she said it wasn’t doing any good to sit there and glare at the receptionist, who may or may not have been the one who messed up her appointment time. Chelsea added, “I may at some point make that same mistake at the salon, and I wouldn’t like someone sitting and glaring at me while they wait for their appointment!” So she came back home in her power chair. To her advantage, it wasn’t raining at the time and had just started to sprinkle as she got to the house and as I pulled into the driveway in my bus.

“Wow,” I said, as I hopped out of my bus and starting walking toward the house. “They already got you in?”

“No, I decided not to wait,” she said. “I’ll just have to go back at 12:20.”

It meant a couple more trips for me, but I didn’t mind. As I said, I am wired! At least that coffee has kept me from needing a nap on this dreary, dreary day. In fact, I just may make another pot! I haven’t felt this good in what seems like weeks. It could have something to do with the fact that I refilled all my vitamins yesterday and started taking them again last night. Laziness and procrastination are not my friends, and yet they seem to be my constant companions. Why would I keep someone as a companion who is not my friend?

I’m thankful for how I feel today, and I’m thankful that I have half a day of being on-plan under my belt! My afternoon snack will be oatmeal!  Thank You, God, for good health and Trim Healthy Mama!

Retrain Your Brain

The other day there was a marathon of My 600-lb. Life. There were also a few episodes of My 600-lb. Life: Where Are They Now? One show featured the most successful weight-loss story from that show. She had gone from 600 something to only 137 pounds. She became a motivational speaker for others who were about to embark on the journey she had taken. Because of her obesity she had been unable to conceive, but, after her weight loss, she became pregnant four times, although the first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage: the baby had no heartbeat after just a few months.

As happens many times with these weight loss stories, the process took a toll on her marriage. A lot of times, the spouse/caregiver feels less and less needed as his wife becomes thinner and more independent. There are times even when the spouse has some kind of fetish for heavy women, as in the case of one woman in particular, and her husband said that if she were to lose a lot of weight, not only would he lose his attraction to her, but she would actually be repulsive to him–and he wasn’t just talking about loose skin.

The loose skin makes me a little fearful that I may become less attractive to my husband, although he assures me that will not be an issue, but it’s hard to wrap my head around men being repulsed by women who are within the normal range for weight.

The lady I mentioned in the first paragraph gained over a hundred pounds of her weight back. She had two toddlers to care for and had just found out at forty years of age that she was pregnant again. She began going to a support group, the same type of support group that she had led at one point when she had gotten down to 137 pounds.

What I got from that program was something she told the members of the group. She was explaining how it was that she had started gaining her weight back after finding success with Dr. Now’s program. She placed her hand on her stomach and said, “The problem is that I had surgery here”–and then moving her hand up to her head she said–“not here.”

There is no magic pill, no magic surgery, no magic plan or program. You still have to do the work and you still have to guard yourself against old mindsets and old destructive patterns. You’ve lived a whole lifetime with negative self-talk and bad coping mechanisms. It won’t change overnight. Finding a little success with whatever program or plan you use does not mean you won’t ever feel yourself slipping back to what you knew for so many years.

You have to “retrain your brain.” Just keep doing what you’ve been doing over and over and over and over again, and never say “die.” Never quit. Never, never, never. Take it from me. I watch these shows and I see what happens. A little laxity here, a little negligence there, and you’re right back where you started, and it’s harder to put the brakes on once you’ve lost your momentum.

The same goes with exercise. You can’t just stop. It’s just as easy to slip back into old sedentary habits as it was to build healthy habits of using the treadmill everyday.

If you feel yourself slipping, just do five minutes of walking. Then in an hour do five more minutes. Do three things before you sit down: clear a counter, empty the dishwasher, clean your mirrors in your bathroom or dust above your door frames. Little things like this will not only keep you off your bottom for a few more minutes, but they will also make you feel better about yourself and kick-start your metabolism.

Get out your THM book. Re-read another chapter. Review your food lists. It doesn’t hurt to review. It never hurts to review. Get your passion back.

The same kind of self-destructive behaviors that got you into the mess you were in with your weight can get you headed back in the same direction if you’re not diligent in keeping it from happening. Take a lesson from My 600-lb. Life.

Ask for support from your family. One young lady on Extreme Weight Loss came home from boot camp to find sugar-laden Easter treats on the counter and sugary cereals in the cupboard. She pulled her family aside and said, “This isn’t going to work. I can’t have things like this in the house. I know you can eat cereal, but, if I eat cereal like this, I’ll have half a box.” Boy, have I been there! I can’t even count the times I’ve had two or three bowls of Cocoa Crispies or Cap’n Crunch. When you’re an addict, that’s what you do. You can’t find it within yourself to just say no.

Today is a day that God has given you to make healthful choices for your body and family. You owe it to God, and you owe it to your family. Only God knows how many years you have left on this earth. Don’t you want your remaining time to be filled with mobility and good health? I do. Retrain your brain.

Today another photo memory came across my Facebook news feed. There was a time when I was so ashamed of my fat face and neck that I used only my eye as a profile picture. One of my political like-minded friends thought my profile photo was some kind of profound political statement that he applauded wholeheartedly. Nope, I just didn’t want anyone seeing my fat face and neck.

One of my very favorite bonuses from eating the Trim Healthy Mama way has been losing my neck and being able to see my ears from the front view. I don’t ever want to go back to that sad individual that I was before when I was so ashamed of who I was that I didn’t even want a profile picture.

I’m ordering THM Collagen today! It’s on sale, and I’ve heard lots of ladies raving about its health benefits!  If you want to take advantage of the sale, please consider using my affiliate link! It won’t cost you a penny more, but it will bless me tremendously!  Thank you!  https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

After THM Don't lose heart

I Got a Feeling

“I got a feeling. Woo hoo. That today’s gonna be a good day.” The song actually says “tonight’s gonna be a good night,” but I tweaked it to fit my own circumstances.

I never get eight hours of sleep, but today I did. I was able to sleep in until just after 8:00.

I fixed myself a good Trim Healthy Mama E breakfast, consisting of a banana shake and two pieces of Ezekiel toast.

I worked on the customer spreadsheet for my new Paparazzi business, ordered some new rings and earrings for upcoming parties, got a few pieces of jewelry ready to go out the door, and made plans to go walking to Walmart later with Chelsea.

We’re also going to see the Higginsville youth perform “Peter Pan” tonight. Chelsea’s boss at Uptown Style is directing it, and Chelsea wanted to go to show her support.

The highlight of my day, though, I think, is getting My Luci bagmy new Luci bag delivered that my Paparazzi sponsor shipped to me. It has big clear pockets on the front, so I can carry a few pieces of jewelry with me at all times. A good saleswoman is always ready! Just a few weeks ago in Dollar General this purse would have really come in handy. I had a couple of interested potential customers right in front of me who were oohing and aahing over my earrings and bracelet. “Five dollars, ladies!” I said. Sadly, I didn’t have any other pieces with me that I could sell them. After today that may never be an issue, again.

What My Business CardI really love about my new bag is that, not only does it represent the colors of Paparazzi very well, it really matches the colors of my new business cards which are set to arrive on April 20. I was afraid that the jewelry may scuff up the insides of the clear, plastic pockets and obscure the contents after a while, but Lauren, my sponsor, suggested that I put cell phone screen protectors on the insides of the pockets. What a great idea!

I ordered my business cards from Vista Print after a colleague showed me her new ones in a private message. I adored them so much that I used the same design, only changing my font styles and colors. Don’t you just love them? They even have my Facebook jewelry page, Dirinda’s Dazzling $5 Jewelry, and my website, https://paparazziaccessories.com/45109, on them, too! I am so excited to get them that I just can’t stand it! I can carry those in the front pockets of my new bag, too!

I hope I never lose this zeal for my new business. It gives me something in my life to look forward to besides food. I’ve seen this pattern, not only in my own life, but in the lives of those on Extreme Weight Loss, where we turn to food when we are depressed or bored or tired or angry or a whole host of other things. Chris Powell trains his clients to turn to exercise instead. See, that is the kind of relationship I want with exercise! I could never see myself working out for two or three, let alone eight, hours a day, but, yes, I could amp it up a little. Still, looming in the back of my mind are those horrifying images of hanging, loose skin that I will have if I ever reach my pre-marriage weight. I think those images have played at least a small part in my weight stall. I can be happy right where I’m at–as long as I can maintain and not ever gain back.

Well, I’m excited to get on with the rest of my day! Enjoy your weekend, and make it a Trim and Healthy one!

Can You See God?

Can you see God?
 
That may sound like something you’ve heard one of your children ask at one time—or maybe a grandchild. There are many opinions about where to “find” God. Some people say that God is in nature, or they think that God is somewhere deep within themselves. But what does the Bible say about finding God?
 
According to the Bible, God has been revealed to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. For instance, in John, chapter one, we learn that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Verse fourteen tells us that the Word became flesh and dwelled among us. In other words, God became a man and lived right here on earth. The Bible declares that Man to be Jesus Christ. It was to Jesus that the Father said, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever” (Heb. 1:8). This truth is also borne out in Isaiah 9:6-7, which prophesies of the birth of Jesus and repeats the promise of His eternal kingdom.
 
In Genesis we read that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then we read in the New Testament in John 1, Hebrews 1, and Colossians 1, that it was actually Jesus who created all things. How can this be? The answer is a very simple one. As John 1 says, “The Word (Jesus) WAS God.”
 
Jesus Himself told His disciples, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). And again in John 10:30 He says, “I and my father are one.”
 
We read in Acts 20:28 that God has purchased His church with His own blood. When did God shed His blood?
 
In Isaiah we learn that “the First and the Last” is one of God’s titles (Isaiah 41:4; Is. 44:6; Is. 48:12). In Revelation 1:17 we read these words from “the First and the Last”: “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” When did God die?
 
The answers to these questions are that God shed His blood on the cross and He died on Calvary to pay for the sins of His people. His very name “Emanuel” means “God with us.”
 
Matthew 1:21 says, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” The name “Jesus” means literally “Jehovah saves.”
 
Only God could pay such a price. The blood of any other would not have the power to cleanse us of our sin. God is the only one who could live such a life, perfect and pure. Jesus had no sin of His own for which to pay. That is why He was able to pay for ours.
 
The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death, but Jesus had no sin—so death could not hold Him. He rose victoriously from the dead on the third day, as the Scripture says. We read in Hebrews that Jesus “tasted death for every man,” yet death has no dominion over the God-man.
 
Because He rose from the dead, we can be confident that His sacrifice was sufficient to pay for our sins. If we place our salvation squarely in His nail-pierced hands, no one can separate us from the love and forgiveness of God.
 
It is not by good works that we are saved. It is not by baptism that we are saved. It is by God’s grace alone through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Jesus cried, “It is finished!” Believe in HIS work on the cross. Revelation tells us that He washed us from our sins in His own blood. Salvation is not found in anything but the blood of Jesus.
 
This Easter season, my prayer is that you find God in the Person of Jesus Christ. In Him, you will see God. In His resurrection, you will find victory over sin and death. Turn from your sin and seek after Jesus.
 
2 Corinthians 4:6: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Cara Cara

A couple of weeks ago I learned something frightening on the prescription warnings that accompany my Lipitor bottle. I found out I must never, ever eat grapefruit while taking Lipitor!  What?! I don’t know how important this is, but if it is of utmost importance why wasn’t I verbally warned when I was given the prescription? I mean, grapefruit is a fairly common food, right? Thankfully, I haven’t had a grapefruit for several years, but . . .  I wonder what would happen. Would it be life-threatening if I were to eat a grapefruit?

I thought about this yesterday and again today as I ate my breakfast (or pre-route snack, whichever you want to call it). For the last two mornings I’ve eaten about a third of a cup or so of 1% cottage cheese and an orange.

These aren’t just any oranges, mind you: these are Cara Cara oranges. When I first picked them up in Costco on Saturday, I thought Cara Cara was the company; you know, like Sunkist or Sun Pacific (which, by the way, are about the best oranges I’ve had to date. I wish I could find some more!). As I examined the bag, however, I discovered that Cara Cara wasn’t a company at all, but a variety.  Sunkist is the company.

“What is Cara Cara?” I wondered. Just now, I re-examined the package and, apparently, Cara Cara is the “power orange.” I don’t even know what that means. I’ve eaten them two days in a row and haven’t experienced any kind of super powers–or even regular powers, that I’m aware of.

I’ve been thinking about my Lipitor warnings, however, because the inside of a Cara Cara orange looks just like a red grapefruit. It’s sweeter, but the appearance is nearly identical. The orange, of course, is smaller than a grapefruit, but never in my life had I seen a red orange like this! As a matter of fact, that’s even a contradiction in terms! Aren’t oranges supposed to be, well, orange? Isn’t that, in fact, why they are called “oranges”?

What do I think of the Cara Cara Power Orange, you may well want to know. Meh, I could take it or leave it. There’s nothing really extraordinary about the taste. It’s drier than the Sun Pacific oranges I had last month and not as sweet. I guess that doesn’t mean all Cara Cara oranges are drier and not as sweet, but that pretty much sums up the bag I got.

I can’t get past the color. If it’s going to be red like that, I think it should taste like a grapefruit. In fact, the color makes me miss the taste of grapefruit, and normally I don’t think about grapefruit much at all.

I had more grapefruit as a child than I’ve had in my adult life. We used to cut the grapefruit in half and then run a pairing knife around the perimeter of each section, freeing the meat inside the fruit. Then we would dig out each bite with a spoon. Does everyone else eat them this way? Is this the standard way of eating a grapefruit? It’s the way we were taught, at least. I don’t know why we weren’t taught to just peel them and eat them like an orange. Like a red Cara Cara orange.

I’ve heard of people putting sugar on their grapefruits, but Mom and Dad always put salt on theirs (and ours) so I grew up liking salt on my grapefruit. It doesn’t stop there, however: I like salt on all my fruit: cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, oranges, pineapple. There is something about salt that just wakes up the taste of fruit! People may think I’m odd, but I can’t help it: I like salt on fruit.

*After morning-route edit: Maybe I need to rethink that whole super power thing. This morning, when I got to the preschool, I pivoted in my seat so that I could stand up and walk to the back of the bus to push my child-check button. I do this every morning; then I turn off my bus and wait for one of the teachers to come out and get Bentley off my bus.

Well, this morning, apparently when I pivoted to get out of my seat my earring must have caught on my jacket. After I turned back toward the front of the bus after pushing the child-check button, I heard something hit the floor. I looked down to see my large Paparazzi Glitz by Association earring, lying near the aisle.

“Oh, no, I lost the back of my earring, Bentley,” I said. I scanned the floor of my bus, but knew finding that clear rubber back would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

I went back and sat in the driver’s seat. Then I took out my other earring to show Bentley what the back looked like and how tiny it was. To my surprise it wasn’t clear at all. It was gunmetal, like the rest of the earring.

I stood back up and went to the back of the bus again.

“Can I come back there, too?” Bentley asked.

“Oh, you want to help me find the back to my earring?” I asked. “Sure!”

So, together, he and I scanned the charcoal-gray floor of my bus for the tiny back of my gunmetal earring. It was useless.

“It may have fallen in one of these holes,” Bentley said. I have tracks on the floor of my bus, and, when I first got my bus, one of the teachers had spilled her peanuts on the floor. Some of those peanuts are still stuck in the tracks on the floor of my bus! The only way to get those out would be with a pair of tweezers or a high-powered vacuum!

“I hope it didn’t fall into one of those holes!” I replied. “We’d never get it out of there!”

It was a lost cause. There was no finding that tiny earring back. “Oh, well,” I told Bentley. “At least I have other earring backs at home. I’ll just use one of those.”

I returned to my driver’s seat. I started thinking that if my earring had gotten caught on my coat, then possDSCF3296ibly the earring back had fallen off before I got out of my seat. I felt around the collar of my jacket and down the front of my blouse. Then I started studying the floor in front of my seat. I thought I saw a shiny glint of something by the accelerator. Was it a screw or a shiny pebble? I reached down and picked it up.

“Look, Bentley! I found it!” I said. “Wow, look how tiny it is. I can’t believe I found it!”

“Me, either,” Bentley said.

Perhaps those Cara Cara Power Oranges gave me some mighty powerful eyesight this morning! I wasn’t even wearing glasses! How I saw that teensy-weensy gunmetal earring back against a charcoal-gray floor with pebbles and dust around the accelerator is mind-blowing!

Maybe I’ll have another Cara Cara Power Orange before my morning route again tomorrow, too.

 

 

Kick in the Rear

Yesterday Chelsea and I walked at Confederate Park. My body could tell that it hadn’t been taken out walking in a while. No, I take that back: in recent days I have been to Walmart and back at least twice, but apparently walking at Confederate State Park on April 2, 2016Confederate Park is a whole ‘nuther animal.

We made it back before Chuck got home from work to watch March Madness, but he could tell by the pictures on Facebook where we had been.

Chelsea decided early this morning that we should go again since this afternoon was supposed to be pretty, but, after church and lunch, I sat down to check Facebook and felt my eyes getting heavy.

“If we go,” I said, “it will have to be after my nap because I am tired.”

I got up and fixed my chocolate muffin in a mug for my afternoon snack, after I completely blew the plan with–well, I won’t tell you, but it started with a “whoopie” and enConfederate 5ded with a “pieConfederate 3” and it was plural. I don’t know if I had ever had one before or not, but I can tell you right now it wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it, not one little bit. In fact, just thinking about it now makes me almost ill (or that could be the 1.9 miles at Confederate Park talking. That kind of made me ill, too!  “Water! I need water!” Not only did we walk Confederate Park, we went the “extra mile” and trudged up the hill to the Confederate Chapel and cemetery. Three years ago, I could not have done that!)

Am I insane? How can I do so well and then completely blow it in an unguarded instant in Jim’s Country Mart? I need professional help, I think. Chris Powell, where are you? I’m joking. I’m not dedicated enough to want him to pick me to turn my life around. “Fight or flight”? Find me an airplane, baby, because I am out of here.

I’m still watching all those shows: Fit to Fat to Fit, Extreme Weight Loss Makeover and, of course, My 600lb. Life (Skin Tight is over for the season). I look at the screen with horror and pity, and both of those emotions can be directed right back at myself. Before Trim Healthy Mama, I was on a fast track to out-of-control obesity. I may not have been 600 pounds, but I was still morbidly obese, medically speaking. Even still I’m in that category, but now I’m fighting an internal battle with myself about how much weight I really want to lose. Yes, I want to be healthy, but, no, I do not want hanging skin and triple no, I do not want skin removal surgery. You can say all you want about dry brushing and working out to tone sagging skin, but I’ve watched those shows. I’ve seen those people work out. There is no amount of toning that will get rid of years of abuse to your body in respect to how far you’ve stretched your skin. It can’t be done, and, if it could be done, one of the doctors on those shows would have mentioned it.

When I step in and out of the shower in front of the full-length mirror in our bathroom, I am repulsed by all the dimpled, jiggling skin on my thighs, and I know that the more I lose the worse it will be. Then I’ll have to get those compression garments to tuck all my folds of skin in before I get dressed. So I find myself at a crossroads. No, I don’t want to be fat. I want to be thinner than I am now, but, on the other hand, I can’t imagine what I would look like at 200 pounds. How would I hide all that hanging skin?

When I was going through a storage box/book on the dresser in our bedroom I ran across one of my old driver’s licenses. I do not want to go back to being the person in thaDSCF3288t photo! (I have to confess that I weighed more than is recorded on my license. Oh, the shame. There was no reason to lie, and it wasn’t a lie so much as just neglecting to update the previously recorded information. Call it what you want, but it was still deceitful. And why? Those people don’t even know me, yet how could I tell anyone how much I really weighed? I felt like the lady on that comedian’s tape that my parents gave me for my birthday once. They told her they had to know her weight so they would know how much fuel to put in the airplane. She was thinking, “I’d rather die than let them know my real weight!” Meanwhile, the comedian was saying, “Fill it up!”) So now I find myself in a balancing act, but it’s a balancing act that gives me license to abuse my body further with poor food choices. Am I using my repulsion to loose skin as an excuse to eat more sugar? Again, I think I need professional help!  Dr. Phil, where are you?

I had a good on-plan morning, a rough noon, a nice two-mile walk and a good on-plan dinner. It could have been better, yes, but, oh, it could have been much, much worse.

I’m glad my daughter was here to kick my rear into action. Had she not come into the family room and taken the initiative to go walking, I may never have mentioned it. And now I have 1.9 miles under my belt for today! Thank you, Chelsea!

Confederate 2

 

Good Saturday

It’s the Saturday after Good Friday, so does that make it Good Saturday? Chuck and I spent our day in the city. We started off at BioLife where he donated and I attempted to donate plasma. Maybe I wasn’t hydrated enough or maybe I just had a couple of bad sticks, but I’ve been deferred for eight weeks. It is the second time it has happened to me! Oh, I hate when this happens. I count on that money to buy extra stuff for which I don’t want to take money out of our joint account: clothes (both at Ross and on Ebay), but especially my new jewelry business.

Chuck tells me I have to put the brakes on because he’s not seeing a profit, yet. What he sees is me deposit money from jewelry sales into our bank account and then turn around and take it right back out to build my inventory. I don’t know what to tell him: I can’t book parties with no inventory to show, right? I can’t have just ten or fifteen pieces to sell. As I sell I have to keep replenishing my supply, or else I won’t have a variety from which the ladies can shop.

This afternoon Chelsea helped me go through all my inventory and select pieces for Tuesday night’s Facebook Paparazzi party. It seemed like it took us over an hour to sort through all those boxes of inventory and make sure we had a stock photo for each item and record how many we had of each piece!

I am excited about all the parties I have coming up! I have decided that Chelsea is such a big help to me that I want to pay her for helping me with each party. For instance, I was so flustered with my first party, trying to find stock photos of the pieces I had available (which were scattered in different folders and not all of the pieces were named!) while the party was in session (and finding out I was not nearly as organized as I thought I was) that I wasn’t able to field any questions or interact much with the party guests.

Chelsea was right there to answer questions, direct ladies to the post where the jewelry was posted and take notes on which lady bought which piece. Her notes came in very handy at the end of the party. It kept me from having to scroll through nearly a hundred comments and photos to find out what everyone bought.

Chelsea and I have also decided that she can pick out all the jewelry on my next shipment and pay for it herself. Then she can take it to Uptown Style and have a “basket party.” The clients can select pieces of $5 jewelry when they come in to get their hair colored or cut. That will help Chelsea get a feel for what sells and what doesn’t. Parties also help us see that. If she wants she may show some of her pieces at the parties I book. Then, of course, all the profit for those pieces will go to her. It’s a win/win. We’ll be kind of like business partners, and the weeks I’m not able to buy jewelry from corporate she can.

The longer we’re with Paparazzi the easier it will be to see the trends, and the pieces we know we can sell will become clearer and clearer. For instance, I had no idea copper was so popular right now! Because I’m a winter, copper is not in my color pallet so I wouldn’t think to order it, just because I don’t wear it. What I have to remember is, I’m not wearing all the jewelry I order!  I must have a variety! My taste is not someone else’s taste, and what looks good on someone else doesn’t necessarily look good on me.

Chelsea is an autumn, so she looks wonderful in coppers, brasses and golds, whereas, I look better in silver, gun-metal and black jewelry.

Speaking of gun-metal, I have a Paparazzi necklace aafter makeup appnd earring set that has received more compliments than probably any other piece of jewelry I own. It’s called Take a Bow. It comes also in white and black (both sets are silver, but one has white stones and the other black stones). Mine, as I said, is gun-metal, and I love it, love it, love it! I bought a top at Ross’s last year and this necklace sets the top off perfectly. Since I bought that necklace, I have gotten a few more pieces in gun-metal. Before that necklace, I never realized how much I really love that Ringing off the Hooklook in jewelry. I bought another piece from a consultant who was looking to sell out her inventory so she could start a new business. I had every intention of buying it to sell, but, as soon as I saw it, I knew I couldn’t part with it. It’s called Ringing Off the Hook, and it’s pictured on the left above. I’m wearing it today, in fact!

I have to say that I love how clever the names of the Paparazzi jewelry are, and it would be my dream job to help name the different pieces!

I’m up a pound from last week, but it’s a pound: I’m not too concerned. I’m still doing pretty well with my eating, but my exercise suffered this week, as did my water intake. This coming week I intend to do better, with God’s help.

Chuck and I looked at bikes at Super Center after we had lunch. Blue Springs must have had twenty or so. It was overwhelming. I can’t decide which bike I want. I know that I don’t want to spend over $150 for it, and, if I can get one for less than that, that’s even better. I want it to be attractive, have more than a few speeds (but nothing crazy like twenty-one speeds!), a big, comfy seat, and I don’t even know what else–I guess a bike to which it won’t be that hard to match a helmet. That sounds dumb probably. In other words, I’m basically clueless and don’t even know the things I need to be looking for in a bike, other than price, color and comfy seat.

I came home and started looking online at Walmart.com and was so overwhelmed by it all (like trying to find a Trim Healthy Mama recipe on Pinterest for dinner!) Finally, I just said, “God, I’m giving this one to you. Put a bike in front of me that appeals to me. I’m tired of looking.”

I’m happy that Chuck will be able to go to church with us tomorrow on Easter Sunday. Most years it turns out that he has to work, but finally he’s off. We don’t usually have a big Easter dinner, and I don’t even think about having one, either. Chuck specifically asked if we could since he would be off this year. It won’t be a Trim Healthy Mama meal, but I can’t eat that way all the time. Still, there are things I can eat that wouldn’t be horrible for me, and we’re not having dessert, either.

Here’s my Easter menu:  spiral ham, deviled eggs (of course), candied yams (at Chelsea’s request), Stovetop stuffing (at Cameron’s request), cheesy potato casserole, chicken and noodles (at Chuck’s request), coleslaw, Sister Schuster rolls, and green beans.

I have to get a couple of those dishes going right now, so, before I leave, let me leave you with my Easter Prayer poem that I wrote back in 1996 (or 1997. I can’t even remember now, and I can’t find a framed copy that has the copyright year on it. I bet you didn’t know that about me: that I write poetry. I used to illustrate it, chalk it, and frame it, too, but that was, wow, twenty years ago.)

An Easter Prayer

Thank You, Father, for Your grace
Which saves us from our sin,
The sacrificial Lamb of God,
Who cleanses from within.

All we like sheep have gone astray,
None is righteous–not one.
Because we cannot save ourselves,
You sent for us Your Son.

Free of in, He bore our shame.
Accursed of men, He died.
They nailed our Jesus to a tree:
Our Lord was crucified.

The cruel cross couldn’t hold Him.
The tomb is empty, too.
He conquered death that Easter morn
To reign again with You.

Forgive us when we fail Him–
Our ever constant plea–
Forgive us that we nailed Him
To Calvary’s lonely tree.

One day soon He’s coming back,
And all the world will know
He’s God, Messiah, Master, King
Of all creatures high and low.

No greater name under heaven,
He is the great I AM.
God, thank You for Your gift of Christ,
Our precious Easter Lamb.

Have a blessed Easter, my friends! Thanks for coming by for a visit!

 

 

Flirting with Danger

I wonder about those trainers on Fit to Fat to Fit. After purposely eating junk food for four months to gain weight to better empathize with their clients, what if they become addicted to sugar? Would a rehab doctor purposely do meth or crack cocaine for four months so he can better empathize with the patient? Of course not! That would be dangerous (and illegal, too), and, yet, the trainer on the last episode told his client that the bag of sugar he had in his cabinet was actually worse for a person than crack cocaine.

The trainers on the show teeter between feelings of “This is the best taste ever!” and “I am so repulsed by food right now.” Their goals are lofty. Gaining fifty pounds when you’re a lean, mean muscle machine is no easy feat. You have to work extra hard to gain weight because you have conditioned your body to burn calories just because it’s all muscle mass instead of fat tissue. Of course, this is all conjecture on my part, because I’ve never been a lean, mean muscle machine!

I’ve had several really good days in a row and almost can’t wait to weigh on Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be down another pound or two.

Today Sonic regular sized All American hot dogs or chili cheese coney dogs are on sale for either ninety-nine cents or a dollar. Since I’m so tired I can barely hold my eyes open, I mentioned them to Chuck when he called me from work as I was on my way home from BioLife this afternoon. “Are those okay for dinner?” I asked.

“Yeah, those are fine,” he responded. It’s probably a welcome change for him. We don’t order stuff like that, so it’s rare that he gets a bun of any kind.  Of course, I didn’t get one. I have oatmeal in the oven. It was hard, though, sitting at Sonic, ordering chili cheese coneys for the whole family because of those new shakes they have now!  Seriously, are they trying to kill me?! I just kept staring at the photos on the menu board. Butter toffee! Are you kidding me? For five minutes I sat there and tried to imagine what that would taste like. Pretty incredible, I bet! Then I thought to myself, “Look away. You don’t need to be sitting here looking at this stuff.” I thought about food photographers and how their job was to make photos that made people salivate. In reality, the “food” that the photographers take pictures of is fake food because real food can’t stand up to the intensity of the photo sessions, particularly ice cream and other foods that tend to melt. I knew someone once who was a food photographer, and I was amazed that the food that looks so real in the photos isn’t really edible.

The thought even crossed my mind that I could have just one butter toffee shake–just to try it out–because it would be my one and only time to drink one. I would never have to have another one for the rest of my life. That’s silly thinking, of course, because what if it was so delicious that I couldn’t bear the thought of going the rest of my life without another one?

Flirting with danger, that’s what I would have been doing had I ordered that shake. While I was alone in the car. With no one to be accountable to. No one to judge me. I conquered temptation, though. Aren’t you proud of me?

When I gained that twenty pounds, my son asked me, “What about your blog?” In other words, “if you gain back all that weight you lost, you would have to give up your blog.” Instead of “fit to fat to fit,” I would be going from “fat to semi-fit back to fat.” And who would want to read a blog like that!

Thursday:

Cameron asked me this morning if I was excited about its being almost time to weigh again. I was excited. Until this afternoon. I got back to the bus lot from my afternoon route and was blindsided by a plate of Easter sugar cookies and a bowl of peeled, sliced apples and some kind of heavenly dip made of whipped cream and cream cheese, I think. It would have been bad enough had I had just one cookie, but there were a bunch left and we’re getting ready for a four-day weekend. What if the rest had to be thrown away?  Yes, I know, I know, I know! Poison is better in the trashcan than in my body!!  I should have eaten more than a salad for lunch. Sigh. I had two cookies and some apples and some of that delicious dip and “weigh day” is only two days away. This may not be pretty.

When one of our drivers walked out the door as I was making my way toward the building, I should have known to keep my eyes to myself when I got inside, after I saw him holding that devilish sugar cookie drizzled with pink, blue and yellow frosting.  When will I learn? Walking into an Easter-break, yahoo-four-days-off-of-school celebration when it’s time for my afternoon snack is flirting with danger. It’s just begging for trouble.

What I want to fix for tonight is a big crock pot of sauerkraut and Eckrich sausage, but that would mean I would have to put my laptop down and go to the store.  I may just do that. Ever since our international dinner at church on Sunday I’ve had a real craving. Unfortunately I’m the only one in my family who likes sauerkraut. The good news is, if I fix a bunch of it, I’ll be set for lunch all next week!

I had my first Facebook Paparazzi party on MonFirst Paparazzi Facebook party!day night as a new consultant, and, even though it was only a Facebook party, my hands were shaking, my heart was beating out of my chest, and I couldn’t remember how to breathe. I thought I was set until the party was actually underway, and then I saw how unorganized I really was. From now on, I’m making a folder of photos specifically for each party I schedule–after I go through my inventory boxes and pull pieces for that party.

Everyone seemed to have fun at the party and my hostess earned six pieces of jewelry–if the three people who booked parties that night follow through.

After the party was finished, it occurred to me that I had forgotten to eat dinner! It was nearly nine o’clock and I hadn’t eaten anything since my Triple Zero and an apple at four. I fixed me a plate of Fakertot Casserole before I went to bed. I will never get tired of that stuff!

I’m very excited about my new venture, and I’m having the time of my life.

Sweet Words Last a Lifetime

I couldn’t sleep last night because I was freezing. I couldn’t understand how it could be so cold in our room. I mean, it felt like our bedroom in the summertime–back when we first moved into our house and kept our thermostat at sixty-nine, since it was our first time with central air. Back then our bedroom was like the Arctic Circle, but it was a welcome change after suffering through sweltering summers with nothing but window fans. (Of course, that changed in a big hurry, just as soon as we got our first electric bill! Hi-yah!)

Chuck had told me before bed that he had turned on the heat, but he said he only set the thermostat to sixty-six. Okay, then why did our bedroom feel like a walk-in cooler? It felt more like forty-six, not sixty-six!

After shivering and shuddering under the blankets for fifteen minutes or so, I finally mustered the courage to expose my bare shoulders to the frigid air outside our comforter and jumped up to put on some warm, fuzzy socks. As I walked past the window to the dresser I discovered my window was open! I quickly shut the window and scurried back to the bed.

I put on my socks and scrambled back under the covers, still shaking and shivering. “No w-wonder it’s so c-c-c-cold!” I said to Chuck who had turned toward me to put his arm around me as he felt me get back into bed. “D-d-did you know you had th-th-the window open?” He was half-asleep and merely muttered something incoherent in response.

You would have thought that closing the window would have helped, but, no, I had trouble getting warm all night! Yet, I found if I covered my head, I got too warm and felt suffocated, so I arranged the cover over my face so that I would breathe in cool air through my nose and exhale warm air through my mouth under the covers.

When I got up this morning, I hurriedly turned off the fan (I know, I know, why did I have the fan on if I was so cold, right? The simple answer is because I can’t sleep without the noise now. I’ve become accustomed to it and if the fan isn’t running it’s too quiet to sleep–if that makes any sense! Ha!) I went to the bathroom and weighed myself.

Then, as I was standing in front of my closet to select something to wear, I heard the birds chirping outside Chuck’s window!!! And that, my friends, is why I was still cold even after shutting my window last night! His window had been open all night! Can you imagine the cross breeze we must have had blowing through that room before I shut my window?  Yikes!  B-b-b-brr-rrrr-rrrr!!

On to good news: after stringing together several good, on-plan days in a row I stepped on the scale this morning to discover that I have lost seven pounds in the course of the last two weeks! Yes! That makes me more determined than ever to keep doing as I’ve been doing. Part of that has been just drinking more water.

I am ‘fessing up right now, though, that I’ve been slacking off on my treadmill. That makes me wonder how much I would have lost had I been doing my treadmill every day!

Chuck is working this weekend, so I went to BioLife by myself to donate plasma this morning. When I’m driving by myself, I get a chance to think about all kinds of things. Today I was thinking about words of affirmation and compliments. It turns out that words of affirmation is one of my love languages. It’s my son’s, too. My husband’s love language is acts of service.

Let me just interject right here that there is no right or wrong love language: God made us all different, and we all came from different backgrounds.

Even though I’m a person who craves verbal affirmation, that’s not the kind of thing my husband is comfortable giving. He does all kinds of stuff for me (everything from cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, washing my car, getting any little problem that I happen to mention taken care of)–and he buys me stuff, too–but he’s not a gushy poetic kind of guy and he feels uncomfortable holding my hand–if anyone is looking–and kissing me or putting his arm around me in public is out of the question. You can understand how that would be a problem when one spouse is always reaching for the hand of the other spouse or trying to put her/his arms around her/his spouse’s waist when she/he’s in line at the checkout, while the other spouse squirms uncomfortably and tries to wriggle away. It bothers him that I do these things, and it bothers me that he doesn’t.

I was thinking, on my solo journey to the city today, about how timely, sincere compliments do a heart good. Every so often I will think of something someone said to me months or even years ago and marvel that I have always held those words close to my heart and revisit them time and time again over the years. And then I feel good, affirmed, all over again.

Do you know what I’m talking about? How many of you do this same thing? I have even saved special thank-you cards so that I may find them, tucked away in a drawer or in a book or in a box of Christmas decorations, and read them year after year after year. It makes me feel good.

Examples of things I have saved in my heart through the years: Once a girl I sat by in study hall told me if she had a smile like mine she would smile all the time.

Can you think of a cooler compliment than this? That’s the kind of compliment that songs are made of. It completely made my day. Well, it did more than make my day because thirty-seven or thirty-eight years later I still remember it!

I corresponded by snail mail with a coworker who was in my brother’s class while I was going to college. She told me that I wrote just like I talked. That may not sound like a compliment, but, to me, it was. I was reading Dr. Phil’s book, 20/20 Diet, and the thought struck me that he writes like he talks! When I was reading his book, I felt like I was sitting in a chair right up beside him on stage during one of his shows. He’s an entertaining writer. He engages his readers and makes them feel like he’s right there having a conversation with them. Granted, it’s kind of a one-way conversation (haha!), but you know what I mean.

When I was in college, on one of our many walks across campus, my roommate told me I had more natural beauty than any of the rest of them could ever hope to get from any bottle. Now that is almost poetic. What a great compliment to give to a young woman! I don’t even know what possessed her to say such a thing–it seemed so out-of-the-blue and took me completely by surprise–but I’m glad she did because I have kept it in my heart, even all these years later, and I pull it out to affirm myself when I’m not feeling very lovely.

Another one came from a boy (now a man) that I graduated with. Just recently we connected again through Facebook. He wrote (and I quote), “I swear Dirinda! You just keep getting better and brighter like a third generation rose!” I don’t even know what a third-generation rose is, but it was music to my soul to hear it (or read it, rather)! Now, where was he with that compliment when I had a crush on him back in the fourth grade?!!  Haha!

If ever you are prompted in your spirit to compliment someone–a genuine, heartfelt compliment–do it! It may be something that she (or he) will carry with her for the rest of her life! It may be something that she holds in her heart and pulls out to comfort her when she’s having trouble even making it through the day. Words have more power than we may think, and we want to use our words for good and not evil. As unfortunate as it may be, people will also carry the ugly things we say to the end of their lives, too. May we endeavor to build up with our words and not destroy.

Hey! I made something pretty good last night. As you know, I’m not much of a Betty Crocker, so generally my rule of thumb is “make it fast and make it easy.”

I had those magnificent low-carb Santa Fe wraps (otherwise known as “our new bread”) from Sam’s Club  on hand and wondered what new spin I could put on dinner that would incorporate using those.

I remembered Vicki Cogan, a high school classmate, saying that she enjoyed the pre-made pesto about as much as the homemade so I picked some up in the produce section, right where she said it would be, when I was in Piggly Wiggly yesterday afternoon.

My first thought was to make pizzas, but we’ve been having a lot of those lately, so I started thinking outside the box a little. I had also bought three packages of deli meat: ham, roast beef, and roast turkey, and I wondered if I could make “pizza” out of those–or, really, they would be open-faced hoagies, made out of wraps instead of bread.

I put my wraps in the oven at 425 for a few minutes on each side, so that they would be more crispy than floppy. Then I spread a thin layer of pesto on each wrap and laid two slices of roast beef across the top to cover the whole surface of the wrap. Then I put the ham and roast turkey on top of the roast beef. I covered the top with mozzarella cheese, a sprinkle of sharp cheddar, mushrooms and sliced grape tomatoes (I saw this pesto-instead-of-pizza-sauce-and-sliced-tomato-topping pizza thing on Extreme Weight Loss). 

When they came out of the oven I loaded the tops with shredded lettuce. Chelsea and I split one, but Chuck ate a whole one by himself. They weren’t bad at all, and–you know what?–I liked the pesto! It was the first time I had ever tasted it!

Chuck commented that if he’s going to have pizza he would like hamburger on his pizza, thank you very much, but he didn’t even mention the pesto, so either he liked it or he didn’t even notice the difference. It was my first time ever making “pizza” without pizza sauce. It was also my first time ever making “pizza” with roast beef, ham and turkey, and, even though it was out of the ordinary, it was a nice change.

Tonight we’re having taco salad wraps, instead of having those very-very-bad-for-you tortilla chips. I know that I could make my own chips with lavash, but I have yet to find it! I’ve looked in Super Center, and we don’t have any health food stores or Trader Joe’s around here.

Tomorrow we’re having an international dinner at church. I know this isn’t really an international dish, but I’m taking the Fakertot Casserole from the Coers family (Amanda Coers…thank you, Amanda!!). I’ve made this a couple of times already, and Chelsea and I just love it.

One thing I do, though, is use fresh cauliflower, instead of the frozen, and I steam it first to make sure it will be fully tender when it comes out of the oven. I also salt and pepper the cauliflower before I put all the toppings on. This dish is just as good a day or two or three after it is first served.

Thanks for dropping by for a visit! Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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