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MANAGING MY MIND MANAGES MY WEIGHT

I am happy to say that I turned 73 in June and now have lost 52 pounds! I thought this post bears repeating and even is more convincing with more results. I have a goal for next year at this time to report a possible loss of 10 or more which will put me at a 40 year lowest weight. My husband has jumped on the get healthier and in shape, but he will deserve his own post as he has made great and I mean great strides in the last 6 months.

I think this photo was taken when I was approaching the 50 pound loss marker.

Here is the original post that confirmed my life eating style change:

I am turning 72 in June and have lost 37 pounds. No, not by any miracle diet, not by restricting or avoiding any particular food……Smaller portions and when I eat the good foods outweigh the bad ones….Literally. Today, I am not an expert but I want to share my experience in a lifetime of fighting the bulge. I used to be an exercise advocate and to all of you who exercise, Kudos. As I got older, the thought of having to exercise is not as exciting as it used to be. I do stay active for my age but never do I hit the gym or track like the golden years of youth. Here is how I have gotten to where I am today and maybe, some of it will make sense to some of you and you get off the diet track and get on the eating the amount of food that you can digest without a lot of digestive side effects and maintain and/or lose some pounds. This is not a solicitation for any method of culinary preferences, just a woman who struggled for as long as she wanted and found a way to make it happen for her.

Arline Miller, 71 years old, 37 pounds lighter, and still loving life.

About 8 to almost 9 years ago, my husband encouraged or maybe the better word is demanded I go have blood work. I was the worst person as I felt good almost all of the time but had somehow began to fall asleep in the late afternoon even sitting up. I say this lovingly, and now appreciatively, I went to get him to stop saying everyone needs a check up at least once a year. Okay, so I gave in with no idea of what I was about to find out. First, I had always been on some kind of “diet” or “program” since I didn’t want to be fat so I could name so many diets I tried. My thoughts are any diet will work for the time you can stay on them. It is the harsh truth that it is almost impossible to stay on any diet for a long period of time. We get bored eating the same foods; we feel victimized and controlled so we rebel; or the excuse event such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, cruises, trips, etc and we make the almost guarantee to fail on the diet statement of “I will eat a little now and go back on my diet, just this one time and it will be fine.”

PHOTO OF ME before the weight loss and I wish i showed a picture of my whole body at the time. This is me at my highest weight.

On to the chapter of the doctor’s appointment: I go and cheerfully think I will be fine. I was just tired, no problem. I am a go getter and workaholic so that is why I feel tired. Right? No, Wrong. I will repeat the words my doctor said to me, “You are a walking time bomb. You are diabetic with your A1C at 8 with hypertension, overweight, and your cholesterol and liver enzymes are out of sight.” What was he talking about? I was close to tears, in shock, and thought he was a jerk. He had to be talking about someone else, not me, not superwoman. Oh, did I walk out of his office in a fog, a stupor, and thinking he doesn’t know me. I had always had a mental theory I was okay as I kept a positive attitude.

When I got over my pity party. Yes, I had a big one and even contemplated accepting the bad news and not doing a blasted thing about it and go on with my bad self. Then it hit me that he actually said, walking time bomb. Uh oh, that meant if I didn’t do something to change or diffuse this bomb in me, it was, or rather I would explode. I woke up in the reality, what I was doing was not the path I had to choose.

Food satisfies when it is dressed up for the celebration of a meal.

Next, all of the dieting experiences I had previously performed looked like the way to go. On one program, then to the next, and then trying another one as I had a hard time either eating all salads or meats, or only bland food. I am a rebel and this jerked my chain and I would think even when I was losing weight that I am not living; I am existing.

I decided once I had lost 17 pounds and wanted more off that me restricting my foods only raised the element of rebellion in me. One day, as I wake up very early, I had an epiphany to try to eat small portions of those foods I crave and eat healthy foods in larger portions so here came my new eating way of life. If I made potato salad, I took out a heaping tablespoon of it and placed it with my other food. If I made a cake, I cut a small slice, almost a sliver, but I ate it. I cut my portions of meat down to 1/3 of a fried chicken breast and yes, it was fried or from the air fryer. I eat a tablespoon or two of mac and cheese, rice, potatoes, and I will eat 5 or 6 french fries. I don’t ever take out large portions and I eat a half bowl of soup, spaghetti, or a small plate of mini portions. I eat a good size salad and use my dressing of choice but I don’t pour it on, I use it sparingly. The surprise from this change is I am full even with smaller portions and find I cannot eat a large quantity of anything. I retrained my mind and that is why the title of this blog is Manage Your Weight is To Manage Your Mind.

Make your plate pretty and now, my plate would be a salad plate and a lot less quantity.

If you want to try this method, don’t do it all at once. Try cutting the portion of the highest carb or sugar foods first. Breads can be cut out or lessened in amounts. Just be conscious of the amounts not what you eat. If you have a sandwich, cut it into four (4) square pieces. The mind will adjust and feel you have eaten more. The next time, make a half sandwich and cut into two (2) pieces. You will be amazed at how you will feel satisfied since the separate pieces will give you the satisfaction of more than one. Cut pieces of meat into smaller pieces prior to beginning to eat as you will see more pieces and it will feel like more. The next time, cut a larger piece of meat in half and do the same thing and so on and so on. Peel fruit and go ahead and separate the slices on your plate. The next time cut the fruit in half and you will find yourself eating a lot less over time. Make your plates pretty no matter what you are eating. That is something I do feel I do that makes whatever, even if small portion, is enticing and calms the cravings and satisfies my desire from food.

The old saying of make sure you eat everything on your plate is the root of all food evil. On this luscious and healthy meal, there is nothing wrong with eating small portions and repurposing food for another meal. I will have some blogs on my repurposing food anther time.

As I think that i will spend some blogs on how this process has changed my life and how much sweeter it is now that I know a small taste of something good, instead of feeling deprived keeps me on track. It’s the mind, not the diet, that causes the best things to happen.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known to the original location for credit reference.

Reinvention Queen Revisits Potatoes

The following post was from almost a year ago and I decided that it is getting that time again for thinking of chowders, oyster stew, soups and chilis so what better way but to revisit this idea. Look for the other ideas for reinventing our normal foods into a new dish. Here is how I expanded some great potatoes into a delicious c

Yesterday, we were the recipients of one of my husband’s long time friend, David Fletcher who is an avid gardener, first bounty freshly dug new potatoes and awesome fresh garden grown onions. I was over the moon with the sight of the vegetables and I washed them off and thought of my childhood. Before I share both of my dishes, I thought I would reminisce a little.

When we were little, times were not easy but they were good. I don’t have a memory of a horrible childhood but rather a time much simpler than all the craziness in the world. We had neighborhood playmates and if we could be called a gang, it was an innocent one, and we now call ourselves the Willow Street Gang. One of those neighbors is smiling if he is reading this, as Duane Tucker and I jokingly refer to our days on that little street in my hometown of Douglas GA. Now, for the background story of the new potatoes or potatoes in general. To say our Mother could stretch a dollar for a mile, would be to insult that crafty lady. How she could make a meal out of almost no cost is still a mystery but one I remembered after I became an adult.

We may not have had a bounty of food but she always had just enough to feed us all. There were four children and two adults and one can of salmon would feed us and we left full. A mess of potatoes and we had the creamiest, tastiest, and filling meal. She would make bread to go along with it and sometimes if a neighbor had surplus and we got vegetables, oh yeah, we ate well. As I stated, she could make enough for us growing children to leave the table satisfied. When I made the fresh new potatoes, I was smiling while cooking them. Now, let’s move on to how I made two meals from this yumminess.

A large pot of stewed new potatoes with so much flavor.

Arline’s Stewed Potatoes:

  • Approximately 2-3 lbs of potatoes (new for me but regular russet potatoes can be used)
  • 1 large onion preferably sweet Vidalia or similar sweet garden variety chopped
  • 1 large box chicken or vegetable broth (chicken used)
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • Mixture of garden herbs with more dill than others
  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour (either type, SR or AP)
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half Cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T Onion Powder

Scrub potatoes and cube into large bite size pieces. Place them into large pot with the broth. You can use some water in addition to broth if you need to fill to above potatoes. Add butter cut into cubes with crushed or finely chopped herbs as stated above. Cook until potatoes become fork tender on medium heat.

In a small cup, place some of the broth and flour and whisk until flour is dissolved. Add to pot and mix together. Add cream to potato broth with salt and pepper and onion powder and turn on low heat. Cook until they are very tender. Turn heat off and let the potatoes soak up some of the thickened liquid. (Tip: If liquid is not thickened enough, you can add a small amount of corn starch or mix small amount of flour to thicken to a sauce of richness.

These were so delicious that I almost didn’t make the next dish from the leftovers but I couldn’t resist the reinvention from them to the easiest clam chowder I have made. I made my simple but you can go wild with carrots, celery, whole kernel corn and use canned clams. The possibilities are endless but this one was put together in a couple of minutes with the biggest task of opening cans.

Reinvention Step of Enhancing Stewed Potatoes into Clam Chowder in Five Minutes.

To the pot of new potatoes, I opened three cans of Bar Harbor New England Clam Chowder but may I say, there are numerous brands of canned great chowders on grocery shelves so I used what was in my pantry. I added some celery seeds, garlic salt, mushroom seasonings, oyster sauce, and some Old Bay Seasoning to pump up the chowder flavorings. This I leave to all of you fine cooks, use your creativity. You can make it spicy and/or hot, but I go the middle of the road.

In a few minutes, I have a new meal so that it doesn’t reflect leftovers. This morning, I will return the chowder to the stove top and cook it very low and slow for all of the flavors to blend and when it is lunchtime, it will be Chowder Time at Millerville. All of this done with very little effort.

Here is the clam chowder complete with grated white cheddar cheese.
I seared some scallops marinated in buttermilk and herbs galore and seared them in a hot skillet with butter, grape-seed oil, soy sauce and oyster sauce. I made a roulade sauce. Definitely a delicious accompaniment to the chowder!

Until We Cook Again……Happy Meals……Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material if used and original location and author are known, it will be sourced for credit reference.

REINVENTION QUEEN “HAMS” IT UP

I posted the following blog post about a year ago. Since that time, I have baked more ham, froze the bone with meat, and used them to season cabbage, greens, beans, soups, and I thought that it is a good mental reminder to think of ways to continue make the most of meats that we cook. I am adding a list of ideas of how to use leftover ham before the original post:

  • SUGGESTIONS FOR LEFTOVER HAM
  • Leftover Ham Salad
  • Ham and Bean Soup
  • Leftover Ham & Leek Pies
  • Baked Ham and Penne Pasta
  • Ham and Cheese Croissant Casserole
  • Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets
  • Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Pizza
  • Ham Hash
  • Glazed Ham Hash Loaf
  • Leftover Ham Breakfast Sandwich
  • Ham and Cheese Grits Casserole
  • Ham and Pineapple Rice
  • Ham and Potato Casserole
  • Ham Pot Pie Soup
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Biscuits
  • Leftover Ham Chowder
  • Leftover Ham Sandwich
  • Split Pea Soup
  • Ham and Cheese Sliders
  • Leftover Ham and Potato Soup
  • Ham and Spinach Casserole
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Scones
  • Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Frittata
  • Waffles with Leftover Ham
  • Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
  • Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding
  • Leftover Ham Pasta
  • Monte Cristo Sandwich

For the recipes for all of those listed above please visit the following link to find out how delicious these recipes can be: https://insanelygoodrecipes.com/leftover-ham-recipes/

Last weekend I informed my husband I was craving an oven baked ham like I used to do before the days of the wonderful smoker prepared hams he does so well. I have to say I have enjoyed the past few years with Greg smoking the turkey and ham which gave me the room in the oven and the time it took. But like they say, you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I think the same goes as you can take the cook out of the kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen out of the cook. Yep, I was craving it and you may have figured something out about me, I will not be denied. As I was baking this wonderful and best smelling ham, my mind was already going to making all of the extra meals.

This is what we were craving ….juicy, flavorful, and just right!
The picture of my ham after it was glazed with a pork dry rub, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, honey, brown sugar, everyday seasoning, coca cola at the end but mixed in glaze as well.
The first meal and the one we had craved was Ham Sammies with the softest bread we could find along with mayo and salt and pepper. I tell you it was over the chart yummy.
Foil is important and you do see it but I tent the top with foil and seal the sides while it bakes, It keeps the flavor and allows the meat to tenderize while baking. I baked this ham at 325 degrees all day with the last two hours at 300 degrees. I kept it foiled and it turned this gorgeous color.
I like to score the ham to thoroughly cook with the basting glaze seeping into the meat further enhancing the flavor.
I can’t even express the flavor this ham brought to our kitchen. If you consider how many ways you can use this ham, it becomes economical even in these high food cost days we are in.
I use the ham bone in the first meal I make after baking the ham but I have frozen the bone with some yummy ham attached for soup later.
The ketchup is purely for me and something my Dad taught me. The ham pieces flavor any kind of beans and black eyed peas too.
One of the favorite Reinvention Queen is to season fresh or even frozen greens with my ham pieces. Blanch the greens first and all bitterness will leave.

The pictures show several ways to use a baked ham. As someone who doesn’t like to waste any food, I will share a list of selections of how I will use leftover ham. I start thinking of what meals I use the meat at the onset of preparing it.

  • How to use a baked ham for many meals without getting tired of it:
  • Ham and rice (cook the rice in some broth with the ham pieces). Add garden peas and carrots or celery for flavor.
  • Ham and stewed potatoes (Stew potatoes with onions and add ham pieces to enhance the potatoes) You can add vegetables but I prefer the ham and potatoes.
  • Make a ham crusted pie. Use a bag of frozen vegetables thawed and a can of cream of celery or mushroom thinned with some heavy cream. Add cubed ham and mix with salt and pepper, garlic salt if you like, place in a frozen pie crust that you can bake but not brown and cover with another pie crust. Bake at temperature on pie crust package.
  • Breakfast suggestion: Slice ham and place in hot skillet to fry slightly and use in biscuits with fried or scrambled eggs. The slightly browning will make a great taste change from baked ham.
  • Cube ham pieces and add to soups. You can freeze the cubes and conveniently add to so many dishes as needed.

I could keep listing meal suggestions but you can use your own ideas once the creative juices begin to flow like the ham juices that come from making your own. I love fast and easy preparation but taking some time and preparing the foundation foods are worth every minute. Thanks for allowing me to share my ham ideas with you. It is great the first meal, fantastic the second round, and even more wonderful when you can freeze some for the next time you crave some old fashioned, slow baked ham by thawing it out and not even having to cook dinner. Until We Cook Again…..Happy Meals from Arline Miller, the Reinvention Queen.

(C) Copyright, 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material is sourced to original location and author if known for credit references.

WHEN YOU THROW OUT THE TRASH, THROW OUT SOME BAD HABITS TOO

Throw out the bad habits and stock up on healthy, adventurous times, and a great life.

I have been busy with my day job and I haven’t had time to post but it has given me some time to think of some bad habits that I, and I am going to say I am not alone, have acquired during the pandemic. That’s it…..I said it! Now, what are we going to do about it?

I will relate this blog to taking out the trash, cleaning out closets and drawers, and oh my, yes, eating. We have become a country of plastic, paper, jars, and those packages that are made bigger to give us less of the actual things we pay for. If you don’t believe me, look at a package of tortilla chips and see how heavy the actual packages have become. We accumulate more trash from the “disposables”. I have thought about this action and realize we can reverse some of the negative results on ourselves by eliminating the “human disposables”.

Photo courtesy of kindpng.com

What do I mean? I prepared a list of what I am labeling Human Disposables, and I am not talking about Depends. Here is my thought provoking human disposables we may have accumulated and which we can remove or throw out with the other trash in our lives:

  • My plan of healthy eating has disappeared and replaced by fast food or unhealthy snacking
  • My hygiene or personal care has changed. Nails and hair are done only if we have mandatory events.
  • My wardrobe has become a vision of the comical Walmart shopper.
  • My entertainment has changed from outdoor activities to become an award winning couch potato.
  • My vocabulary has become a muddled conversation formed from the social media/television/reels/tik tok.
  • My reading list has disappeared to google expertise without any meaningful research.
  • Mental exercises are limited to whatever is the topic of the day and decisions are not based on quality critical thinking but more impulsive and relatable to the popular thought for that day and switchable if the main street media decides to go into a different direction.
  • Finances are a troublesome thought but no hesitancy to stop the spending and become frugal in difficult times.
  • Romance, date nights even if it is simple have been eliminated or have been pushed to the background.
My husband and I on a lunch date.

Having listed what I observe by others and even me on some of these, I wanted to offer some suggestions on how to “throw away” some of the items listed.

  • First, let us return to healthy eating. I personally have returned to mentally focusing on preparation, shopping, and planning meals which are better for our eating plan. Prioritize health first and cosmetics will help complete our physical overall look.
  • Take pride in what we wear and put the sweat pants, yoga pants (unless you are doing yoga or other exercise) in the drawers. This is a good time to clean the closet and organize a “healthy wardrobe”. For those of you who are too young to remember the A-line dress, I will give you an interesting thought. Waist lines went up 1 1/2 inches upon introduction of the looser and no longer defined waist. What happens if we cover our bulges with loose tops, maybe we think we are fooling ourselves and we can get away with a few extra inches. Not really!
  • Mental exercises are as important as physical exercises. Why? If we are mentally sharp, we have more confidence and the more confidence we exert, the more we will concentrate on the total package. Think more, act more, and see more results.
  • Pay attention to finances, learn how to budget or at least set up a budget, and don’t indulge in impulsive purchases out of boredom. Out of control spending only makes your life become out of control. About 6 or 7 years ago, I talked with my husband and showed him how I planned to pay off all credit card debt and we agreed to making it happen. It worked and within a year and a half, they were gone and I am happy to say we only use a card to complete a purchase with cash back points and pay the entire purchase off before any interest charges. You can do this if we can. I think I wrote a post on this subject but may do a repeat for reference.
  • Romance helps everything to better. Choose time for your significant other and even if it is watching a movie with popcorn/snacks, do it. Budget a lunch or dinner and don’t talk about anything but good times and pleasant subjects. The food will digest and so will your love.
  • Find entertainment/reading to be outside of the usual media such as news. Don’t get your education from one news source or biased outlet. This is hard today as no longer is anything composite/round table with lots of different views which is the preferred way to learn. Discuss, not argue, with people of different beliefs, religions, cultures, and listen. You don’t have to change your beliefs, but you may understand why others think differently. Calm composure of thoughts, rather than trying to push beliefs on others, is a positive flow of communication.

Okay, now tie up your collected trash bag and get it out of your life. I am in the process of bagging up useless bad habits acquired during the sagging events of the past few years. I like to think, and no it’s not morbid, if today was my last one on earth, what would I like to leave as a legacy for myself? It is definitely not a big bag of chips. May I leave a positive footprint of creativity, mental inspiration, and some good, loving thoughts? How about you?

Live Life, Love Life, and Live Life to the Fullest by Cleaning Up Your Life Trash and Remember to Recycle by Giving to Others.

Spend time for other’s special occasions like we were honored to attend Wyatt Smith’s 90th Birthday Celebration.

(C) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are sourced to original location/author if known for credit reference.

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