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Sunday, June 19, 2011

AKA Moose 1964-2011

On June 13th 2011, Paul Anthony Michael Fernandez, AKA Moose, age 46, passed away peacefully at home with his wife at his bedside. Paul was born in Saratoga, California to Constantino P. Fernandez and Ann Dwyer Fernandez who have both predeceased him.
He is survived by his wife Pamela Pimental of Sacramento, his sister Ann Fernandez Swan & brother-in-law Phil Swan of Sacramento, his brother Daniel Fernandez & brother-in-law Angel Fernandez of Seattle, WA, his uncle John Dwyer, aunt Corrine Lee, and their two children—his cousins—Katie & Michael Dwyer of San Francisco, his beloved god-daughters, Brandy DiNatale and Ashley Ramos of Fremont, his mother-in-law, Phyllis Eymann of Sacramento, his Staten Island cousins Jinnie Ericksen and Janet Brown, his Cerritos cousins, Patricia & Don Erlandson, and his step-mother Mary Fernandez of Campbell.
He graduated Saratoga High School in 1982 having been a member of the 1980 Central Coast Football Champions where he proudly wore jersey #65. He was a student at De Anza College and became a CAD draftsman after attending DeVry Technical Institute. He went on to work with a Los Gatos architect, and then to work in transportation engineering for Wilbur Smith & Associates, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, and then as the information systems manager for Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch Architects of San Francisco. Most knew him as a computer geek, a sci-fi and space junkie, who loved all things electronic.
Paul and Pam eloped to Lake Tahoe after twelve years of courtship and remained a loving couple and best friends for twenty-nine years. They were members of Good Shepherd Church of Fremont where Paul served on the budget committee, volunteered as tech support, photographer, and occasional barbecue chef. After their move to Sacramento, they became members of the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Citrus Heights.
Paul's deep love of history led him to learn fencing and the use of a musket. Paul and his good friend Spyros Stamos (now deceased) served as volunteers in the National Civil War Association. They attended events all over Northern California, often serving as docents at Civil War historical sites and appeared as extras in eight Civil War documentaries including Gettysburg, Civil War Battlefields-Manassas and Antietam, which were filmed on location.
Paul will be remembered by all as a low-key gentleman, deeply philosophical, with an intense love of friends and family. Fiercely loyal, he cheered the San Francisco Giants but loved the San Jose Sharks, attending many games with his father, Connie. His passion included quarterly Uno games with his life-long buddies—Michael Brinkmann, Trent Balalis, Craig Citko, and Spyros Stamos.
He considered the most important moment of his life to be able to walk—six months after his below-the-knee amputation—his god-daughter Brandy DeLara down the aisle at her 2009 wedding to Vlad DiNatale.
Memorial service will be held 1:00 P.M. on Saturday June 25th at Good Shepherd South Asian Ministry, 4211 Carol Ave. Fremont, CA. 94538.

There will also be a wake with an informal service at the Sacramento home of Paul and Pam—Casa de Fernandez on Sunday June 26th at 3:00PM to 5:00PM.
Additional information is available by contacting

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Heart Attack

I had a heart attack Wednesday morning, March 30th, hospitalized the same day, had CT Scan, Echo-cardiogram, and angiogram the next, and then released. I am alive.

With a blog about health, fitness, good eating, and “The Cure,” one would probably think discussion of this writer’s heart attack is counter intuitive. I had a stress related incident brought on by years of worry over the health of my husband and not enough cardio exercise. It is my diet that allowed me to leave the hospital in less than forty-eight hours after admission.

No burgers = No plaque

The doctor, a good physician, believed that my arteries would be clogged with plaque as heart attacks occur as a result of coronary heart disease (CHD). The odds were good that bad stuff filled my veins and after a confirmation from the scheduled angiogram a stint could be placed inside the artery to squish the gooey stuff to the walls allowing blood to flow again.

He assumed that I ate a Standard American Diet (SAD).

Having been a vegetarian off and on most of my adult life, I thought the stats would be on the side of stress event verses the CHD. The doctor listened to us—my husband and I—and did additional tests to look for any other possibilities.

The admitting nurse asked a series of personal questions—religion preference, diet, next of kin, and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) agreements. When I told her I ate a Raw Vegan diet, she needed more information. She had not heard the term. I explained. She assigned a dietitian to speak to me.

It was like checking the box for vegetarian on my airline ticket. The standard rubber-chicken meal got tossed and someone was forced to wash an apple, and throw it into a box just for me. Same here.

The hospital dietitian understood vegan, vegetarian, and raw terms. It was the execution of such a diet challenged the capabilities of the hospital’s food system. She knew that my meals needed to be made fresh each day. We compromised on several fronts and came up with the final menu.

  • Breakfast: Hot Oatmeal, soy milk, grapes, melon, Hot herb tea.
  • Lunch: Salad with lettuce, cucumber, mushroom, tomato, canned kidney & garbanzo bean, and Balsamic dressing, Mixed fresh fruit bowl, Apple Juice.
  • Dinner: Salad with lettuce, cucumber, mushroom, tomato, canned kidney & garbanzo bean, and Raspberry dressing, Mixed fresh fruit bowl, Orange Juice.
  • Late Night Snack: Apple sauce, graham crackers

Understand this is the menu for every day—a true motivation for healing and going home. If I had stayed any longer than two days, I would have been forced to have food smuggled in to my room.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I bought all the ingredients for traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage and planned to make Grandma Dwyer’s soda bread to go with it. The meal was meant for the soup-supper at church before Lent service. Making the dish in a crock pot required me to put in the meat first at dawn, five hours later, adding the hard veggies—carrots, onions, potatoes—then throwing in chunks of cabbage just before leaving for church. Great plan.

Three briskets of corned beef and two bags of vegetables sat in the refrigerator waiting my skilled hands—for days. Unfortunately, my car went to the shop but wasn’t ready on Tuesday. I had to pick it up Wednesday morning. Then my husband had two doctor appointments on opposite sides of town with three hour wait in between. Then time slipped through my fingers.

As we drove home, the reality hit me. We had one hour left before I was to arrive at church with my soup du jour. There was no way I could make it. I hadn't started anything. What to do? What to do?

When we arrived, I had twenty minutes to cook, dress, and leave. I thought of chicken soup but then why? Others would probably have that. Of course, with a pastor named Murphy I figured I wouldn’t be the only one planning corned beef on March 16th—the day before St. Patty’s Day.

With no time to eat myself, I decided on a simple Vegan dish that could be shared with the closeted-vegans within the congregation. An appropriate choice in retrospect. The dish proved popular though nestled in between the good Germanic based dishes—kielbasa sausage soup, sauerkraut soup, potato cheese soup—served to a Lutheran crowd.

Only one complaint echoed in the kitchen about the lack of Irish fare that came from our own Pastor Mike. He forgave me my transgression and tried my soup. I think his wife liked it better than he.

Vegan Lemongrass and Thai Chili Soup (17 minutes from start to finish)

1 qt Container Organic Vegetable Stock Low Sodium
1 8 oz Small Can Garbanzo Beans
1 24 oz Large Can Red Kidney Beans
½ cup Celery Heart Chopped
½ cup Bell Pepper Julienned—Red, Yellow or Orange
½ cup Carrots Sliced
3 Green Onions Chopped
6 Button Mushrooms sliced or canned mushrooms
4 leaves of Kale Chopped in Squares
4 leaves of Swiss Chard Chopped
2 rolls of Mung Bean Threads
1/3 cup Mizo Paste
¼ to ½ cup of Frozen Chopped Lemongrass and Thai Chili or chop the fresh ingredients
1/3 cup Soy Sauce

First dump the vegetable stock into a large pan and heat over medium burner. Add the hard vegetables—carrots, onions, celery—and the mung bean threads. Add drained and washed canned beans. Raise the heat. As the mixture starts to bubble add the rest of the vegetables. Stir. When the mung bean threads are soft, shut off the heat and add the lemongrass, Thai chili, Mizo paste and soy sauce. Mix well. Serves six to eight. Should be done in 17 minutes. That’s what it took me. Plus I transferred the whole thing into a crock pot and drove it to the church for Lent service.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Please Define Vegan

This weekend I attended a dinner party hosted by a raw-vegan family. The party consisted of a western theme complete with barbeque chicken and pork for the attending meat-eaters. I grazed happily on trays of veggies dipped in fake sour cream, bowls of vegan chili, and baskets of ruby-red strawberries. After my seventh strawberry, I proudly passed on the offered birthday cake. It was a lovely day.

At the end of the party, hostess Jacki offered several books from her personal library. We discussed being raw, vegan, and hungry during the winter months. Jacki admitted with some reserve that she cooked some vegetables. I confessed my passion for mung-bean-thread noodles in mizo soup. We agreed raw was harder in the frosty months.

The discourse made me realize that I had not addressed terms defining diets in my blog. Not because I couldn’t but it’s so varying from one periodical to another—dependent on the personal experience and age of the writer—that I did not want to spend a week or so writing definitions. So I pared down the list a bit and present the info for you.

Vegan: Someone who does not eat any animal products. No cheese, eggs, milk, fish, chicken, pork. Vegans I have met do not wear leather or animal based make-up. If it requires watering, has a root, and grows then probably it’s edible to a vegan. Adam and Eve—vegan. Cain—vegan. Abel—probably not.

Vegetarian: Someone who does not eat or believe in eating meat. This usually includes not eating fish, fowl, or any food derived from animals but not always. Some vegetarians eat eggs but not fish. Pollotarians eat poultry, but not red meat. Pescetarians eat fish or other seafood, but not red meat or earth-bound animals. The term Vegetarian is loosely used in today’s society.

Raw Foodies: are a group that eats only uncooked, unprocessed, and mostly organic foods. Raw foodies typically believe that the greater the percentage of raw food in the diet, the greater the health benefits. Raw foodies are into sprouting grains, fresh organic fruits, tons of vegetables. Mostly they are into vegan but it is not a requirement. Rawism can include consumption of eggs, raw fish, meats, non-pasteurized dairy like raw goat cheese or raw Greek yogurt.

Raw Vegans: exclude all food of animal origin, and all food cooked above 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit). A raw vegan’s kitchen includes a dehydrator instead of an oven and a high end blender—like the one at Jamba Juice—as a tool for everything else like a microwave. Subsets include: fruitarian, juicearian, and sproutarian.

Flexitarians: or Semi-vegetarians eat usually vegetarian and mostly raw diet. But at the dinner party when the vegan declines to eat any meat this person will try the chicken to be polite. Jane Goodall, a famous vegan, said that she does not completely stick to the vegan diet while traveling. Getting a balanced diet on the road is challenging but can be closely followed if well planned. I can see Jane nibbling a piece of cheese but not chowing-down a steak.

Standard American Diet (SAD): more politely called the Western pattern diet, or the Affluent diet, is the one chosen by most Americans and many people in developed countries. This is how we were raised. We treat every day as holiday. We eat meat usually three times a day, sugar in drinks and desserts, high-fat foods, like French fries and dairy, and processed grains. What the SAD diet lacks is water, natural fiber from fresh vegetables, and whole fruits. We love our morning coffee, processed juice, and pop tarts. Can I have a slice of bacon with that?

I started my life as SAD and have dabbled from time to time as flextarian. Given my improved health and weight loss, I am well on my way to being a raw foodie and very possibly a raw vegan.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rising from Seiza

Most of yesterday afternoon I spent in the removal of two forty-year-old rose bushes. I managed to pull the dirt around the bases only to find roots as big around as my arm and just as long. Clearing another two feet of dirt, I decided that the only way the plants could be freed was to saw through the main roots. My husband bought a nine-inch branch saw a few years ago that fit my need perfectly.

I plopped down on two knees with my fanny resting on my heels and shoved that saw back and forth over the massive root. After cutting all the way through and twisting out the thorny bush, I scooted on my legs to the next plant and repeated the process. When the final rose gave way, I rotated onto the soles of my feet and stood.

With amazement, I realized that I completed a perfect Geisha seiza-style kneeling posture and managed to stand-up from that position without help, groaning, pain, or use of supporting material. Something I did when I was a child, in my twenties, and even as late as my thirties. I’m thrilled that I handled physical work without my back screaming. I’m excited that I can sit on my heels. I’m surprised at this evidence that I am no longer obese and have regained the physical motion I once had.

My aunt passed away a few years ago with cancer. She was a heavy-set woman. When Mom visited her in those last months, Aunt Kate told her that the fat kept her from being flexible not age then she pulled her leg to the side of her head. I now understand what she was talking about.

Oh yes, I still have the aches and pains the next day from overdoing on home projects. My back will always remind me of the 1980 motorcycle accident that squished my fifth lumbar. But now I find that losing the weight gives me greater range of motion and flexibility.

It is nice to feel younger.

P.S. My next-door neighbor took the rose bushes for his garden.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ugly Second Grader

I have lost fifty-two pounds of fat—that’s an ugly second grader. The wall of two hundred ten has been broken and I’m now a svelte two hundred eight. Don’t snicker. It’s a long way down from the 2X clothes and size nine shoes. Yes, even the shoe size has shrunk.

I did manage to squeeze into size 16 pants yesterday. The resulting muffin top was too gross for polite company so I switched to the extra large for the day. I am so close to being a perfect 16, I almost went shopping. That would not be prudent as I hope to be in a size 14 by June. So I picked up a few smaller pants at EcoThrift—my favorite second hand store, paying ninety-nine cents a pair. This will have to do until I hit my goal.

Although I battle cravings every day, the diet has been simple to follow. You would think I would crave pies or cookies. Actually, it’s out of season stuff like watermelon, cherries, and lamb. Lamb is seasonal. Try to find lamb chops in January. My raw-local diet has made the exotic foods like Chilean cherries come off my list replaced by pippin apples available at the market—oh so yummy with fresh ground peanut butter.

For over a month, Ultimate Flora brand probiotics are part of Paul and my daily diet, thanks to the suggestion of our friend, Pam Medeiros. I take adult formula and the Moose has been on the critical care formula to counteract the antibiotics flowing through his veins. These work better than anything else Paul has tried. Though this is my first experience with probiotics for colon health, I have much happier intestines since I started taking the cultures. You might want to check it out.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bye-Bye Cellulite

Standing in the shower, scrubbing my skin with lemon and oatmeal soap, and letting the warm water pour down my thighs, I discovered something missing—cellulite. Gone. The cottage-cheese-rippled legs that have been so familiar these last six years have changed into firm smooth thighs from my sexier past.

Cellulite is excess fat stored in the body in ugly dimpled patterns. Skinny women that gain weight over a short period of time tend to have cellulite more often than their heavier sisters. We, well plumper ladies, tend not to get bumpy legs until enough weight gained makes us obese, adding that extra nastiness around the legs and buttocks—like a pair of shorts made out of bubble wrap. I wore that layer myself.

I am sure there is a wealth of pills, herbs, creams, exercise regimes, and literature covering the elimination of cellulite. I have not looked for any of them. From the start, my goal has been to lose weight to become a healthy kidney donor for my husband.

After meeting my weight goal in November, I decided to continue dieting to reach my ideal body mass index BMI by June 2011. For me the side benefits of continuing the raw food diet for the last three months included smooth skin, no pimples, stronger fingernails, and the elimination of cellulite. That’s quite a laundry list of perks for eating better and exercising once in a while.

Keeping in mind that I am still thirty pounds overweight, it should be exciting to find out what other benefits are waiting for me in the near future.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My husband and I traveled to the Bay Area this weekend to attend the memorial service of our good friend, Spyros Stamos. As Paul has been on four weeks of bed rest, this adventure purported to be outside of his comfort zone and mine. We decided to stay at the same place that I took him when he recovered from fractured hips. Handicap accessible—the room included a shower that a wheelchair comfortably fit, giving my husband freedom to use the bathroom on his own. A luxury by our standards.

The last time we stayed there, Paul was heavily drugged for pain and unconscious most of the time. I had little time to eat or sleep—let alone use the amenities. In anticipation of a different experience, I packed my swimsuit—the red one in all my blog photos—and workout clothes. The first morning there, I managed to get a half hour workout in the gym and twenty lovely minutes in the hot tub.

The same chain of Inns had a location closer to our friends and the memorial service but they wanted $99 for the first night and $75 for each night following. This location close to Oakland Airport offered the exact same facilities for only $57 per night. For thirty bucks, we could afford the time and gas over the seventeen mile difference between the two locations. A bargain—so we thought.

Friday morning, I leapt out of bed and took full advantage of the complementary guava juice, coffee, eggs, blueberry waffles, and yogurt—pulling together a like breakfast for the still-sleeping moose. Okay the blueberries were fresh and the self-made Belgian waffles I made fit in the palm of my hand. I didn’t cheat that badly. After all, exercise and swimming followed the breakfast.

We did the memorial service and visits with friends. Paul held together fairly well considering. We collapsed in the room, watched Denzel be gorgeous in “Unstoppable,” and fell into a restful sleep.

The next morning I brought the coffees in the room. Paul watched the local news channel.

“A young man was shot last night in a hotel close to Oakland Airport,” said the newscaster.

Cameras followed a reporter through the lobby and past our room. The pretty female reporter started interviewing a middle-aged black woman.

“Hey,” I said, “I just talked with her over the coffee machine.”

“Shh.” Paul leaned towards the TV screen.

Seems there was a party on the third floor during the night. Things got ugly. A young man was killed somewhere above our heads.

“Guess we are staying at the Fremont Marriott next time.” I smiled a weak smile at my husband, knowing full well who picked the hotel location.

“Ya think?”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Un-Cook Books

I bought my darling a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day and a pile of books for me. Yep. I went online to looking for raw un-cook books. Most raw recipes I have found so far feed an army of six and I am just one—Moose has a whole other diet. So I let my mouse do the walking. I purchased “Alive in 5—Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes” by Angela Elliott, “Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes” by Kristine Suzanne—hey, it was Valentine’s Day—and “Raw Food Made Easy—for 1 or 2 People” by Jennifer Cornbleet. I liked the fact that Jennifer’s last name looked edible.

After reading all three cookbooks, I found that “Raw Food Made Easy” may be the most useful. Both Ms. Cornbleet—I loved that name—and Ms. Elliott had complete information on how to set up a raw kitchen, what utensils to buy, and when to use them. The chocolate book had pretty pictures.

“Raw Food Made Easy” covered a wider range of flavors including Asian, East Indian, Mexican, and Italian. I craved Italian. Because the portions were smaller I could visualize preparing the food daily. Jennifer Cornbleet had some of my favorite foods listed in a raw version like Olive Tapenade and a mock spaghetti recipe—“Zucchini Pasta al Presto with Marinara Sauce and Not Meat Balls.” Oh, yum. Her book included full menu ideas and a collection of raw desserts for my Sunday cheats.

Hope you will get the spirit to try something new this week. BTW you can go on Amazon and preview the books and a couple recipes.

I gained two-tenths of a pound. Given the holiday and the past month’s events, I can’t complain.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Chocolate

Monday is the day—chocolate abounds. What to do about your waistline then?

My recommendation is to go with the flow only sensibly. That means to ignore the cheap and plentiful options and go with something expensive and memorable. After all it is a holiday of sorts and should hold some sort of excitement don’t you think?

  1. Edible Flowers work as an alternative to chocolate. They are pretty, make you feel good, and are edible. So tell Romeo to get you rosemary, hibiscus, carnations, chrysanthemums, lavender, marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, peonies, or violets from a pesticide-free vendor. Washed flowers can be added to tea, champagne, or salads, or dipped in honey or chocolate. High fiber and low cal, it’s a beautiful alternative.
  2. Godiva Chocolate. Have I gone crazy? The calories? The cost? You can run down to your local drug store and get a giant heart full of cheap-sugary candy, or pick up a six piece box of Godiva truffles for about the same price. Box of six Godiva chocolates equals 630 calories. For about the same price, a box of eighteen Whitman/Russell Stover chocolates equals 2,070. The Godiva will cost three times more than the other options but oh baby the flavor. Have one 105 calorie piece a day for a week to celebrate the love.
  3. My choice—Intense dark chocolate with cacao nibs. The company is Endangered Species Chocolate—available from the local health food store. A three ounce bar costs around $3 and has nine individual squares of chocolate to snap off and eat. The whole bar has 420 calories making each square of ethically traded cacao chocolate only 47 calories each. The flavor stays on your tongue forever and the mouth-feel is incredible. Plus ten percent of the profits support wildlife. The inside wrapper has wonderful information on critters. Love this chocolate.
Enjoy the day by telling someone that you love and appreciate them. The flowers and chocolates are optional.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


My mother approached my great-grandmother, decades ago, on the occasion of the death of GG Mapes’ youngest daughter. Mom asked how she dealt with the loss, having buried two husbands and all but one of her seven children. My great-grandmother turned and gave her the oddest look, paused for a long time, then gave some answer appropriate for a minister’s wife—a response meant to sooth Mom’s soul.

I never believed she spoke what was on her heart.

This morning, I recognized her odd look in the mirror.

Thursday, a dear friend died. He was forty-six years old. Recently, you may have lost someone that was also young. Perhaps you just started your grieving of a sudden death, or you like Spyros’ friends and family have held the grief inside since his November cancer diagnosis. Although the quick end came as a blessing for one suffering with immense pain, it did wrench the hearts of those who loved him.

For me, it seemed to be the last gasp of sadness that I could draw in. My mirror reflected that.

Friday at the memorial service, friends will hold hands, hug, cry, celebrate a short life remembered, and part.

I can only accept the truth that this not the final stage of our lives. I will hold Spyros again. For now, I cannot feel sad anymore. Not about Spyros, others we have lost, or my darling’s ongoing suffering—battling diabetes. The joy must be in touch of my husband’s breath on my cheek. The puppy growling in his sleep. The surprise delivery of flowers from a friend.

The blessings in my life are small and powerful—all I need to end the sadness of everyday living. Maybe that was exactly what my great-grandmother said.

God Bless Your Family

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fruit Bars

Yesterday I made my first fruit bars. This whole-fresh-raw thing is scary to me. I have shied away from making anything that looked like baked goods for fear of difficulty and disastrous results.

After spending my usual two hours surfing the internet, I found enough information to make me dangerous—an informed neophyte. This was what I learned.

Raw fruit Bars are a combination of dry ingredients and wet/damp ones in equal proportions.

Dry—Choose a mix of two items up to a total of 1 to 2 cups
Sprouted Almonds finely chopped, sprouted flax seed ground, sesame seed ground, chocolate nibs lightly ground, or pecans chopped.

Wet— Choose two items place in food processor till thoroughly mixed for a total of 1 to 2 cups
Medjool Dates pitted, dried cherries, dried cranberries, fresh cranberries, raisins, dried figs reconstituted, fresh figs.

Mix—1 cup dry and 1 cup wet together. I have a small one cup food processor plus a coffee grinder I use exclusively for nuts and nibs. So I made these batches in small groups. You can do the same with a larger food processor.

Add—Spices. I like allspice and cinnamon. You pick your favorites about a teaspoon of each.
1 tablespoon of Meyer lemon juice or orange juice
1 teaspoon of citrus zest.


Add—2 to 3 tablespoons of honey or Agave syrup to taste.


If the texture is very wet add more dry ingredients. If dry add more wet.
I found using reconstituted figs and fresh cherries caused my mixture to be wet.
Press the mixture into a greased or lined pan to be cut into bars. Or roll into balls. Top with finely chopped nuts or coconut. Refrigerate for an hour then eat. Delicious.

If you want very dry more portable bars, you can dehydrate them in a warm oven for about two hours. Calories per bar depends on the combination of ingredients. Each bar is packed with vitamins and minerals. Fruit bars are great snacks in the winter.

Monday, February 7, 2011


My God-daughter called me today with a bit of a scare. She had been tested for diabetes at the tender age of twenty-seven about the same age that Paul was when he found out he had diabetes. The tests for her were negative. Yea! However the reality of diabetes looms on the horizon not just for Brandy but for many more in the United States.

Your diet can trigger health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer or it can be utilized to promote health, strong bones, and a beautiful complexion. The choice is a matter of what you put into your mouth. You could eat nine hundred calories a day and lose weight. It really doesn’t matter what calories you consume. Four and a half candy bars are about nine hundred calories. So are four salads, one banana, one slice of sprouted bread with peanut butter, cup of herb tea, ten glasses of water, an apple, six ounces of lemon sole fish, three pieces of California roll with soy sauce. Now which option—the candy or the food—would be the better health choice for dieting? Yet advertisement after advertisement shows skinny people eating “diet” candy bars or getting energy from a peanut caramel bar. No wonder we are confused.

Whole, fresh, and mostly raw foods offer the solution to hereditary—and I use that term as loosely as the AMA does—illnesses like hypertension and diabetes. Americans must give up fast, processed, and comfort foods to live healthy. Don’t take my word for it. Research magazines like “Diabetes Management” or books like “The Cure.” Please look at the statistics below. The source is American Diabetes Association
Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011)
Total prevalence of diabetes
Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 18.8 million people
Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people
Prediabetes: 79 million people*
New Cases: 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.
* In contrast to the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, which used fasting glucose data to estimate undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes, the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet uses both fasting glucose and A1C levels to derive estimates for undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes. These tests were chosen because they are most frequently used in clinical practice.

Under 20 years of age
• 215,000, or 0.26% of all people in this age group have diabetes
• About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has type 1 diabetes
Age 20 years or older
• 25.6 million, or 11.3% of all people in this age group have diabetes
Morbidity and Mortality
• In 2007, diabetes was listed as the underlying cause on 71,382 death certificates and was listed as a contributing factor on an additional 160,022 death certificates. This means that diabetes contributed to a total of 231,404 deaths.
Brandy is changing her life by changing her diet. I hope you will do the same.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Seventeen hours until NFL Super Bowl XLV. My husband, born in Saratoga, California, is a dyed-in-the-wool Green Bay fan—the reason, a mystery to us all. Still he is very excited, even inviting my mother, 49er fan, over to watch the game. There is something symbolic about a son-in-law requesting to spend time with his mother-in-law. It’s the frenzy of the gaming season, I guess.

My question is what to serve on Super Sunday? The Moose is on a restricted diet—no brats and beer. I’m a fresh flexitarian—definition not forthcoming—suffice to say I eat some meat and fish with a lot of fresh fruit and veg. Mom is a traditionalist liking food that is reminiscent of the mid-century. That would be the last century. Plus I invited a few guests that may or may not pop by who may have restrictions of their own.

Most media menu suggestions include salty-greasy snacks followed by pizza, hot dogs, burgers, melted cheese dips, and enough cholesterol to kill every guest by the end of half-time. The stores are loaded with Super Bowl cakes, cupcakes, and decorated brownies. Tubs of caramel popcorn and chocolate dipped pretzel adorn the aisles. Is there a chance of finding anything that looks like big-screen TV food but will not demolish our digestive tracks?

Might I suggest a modest theme from across the ocean—the Pacific Ocean—Japanese Food. When it comes to sports nuts, the Japanese qualify. From ping-pong to baseball, this country loves sports. And when it comes to finger foods, they pretty much have the market cornered with healthy options filled with fish protein and high mineral seaweed.

So I have come up with this menu for tomorrow’s game.

Snacks: Wasabi Green Peas (Green), Vegan Sesame Chips (Yellow), Sesame Blue chips (Black)
Finger Foods: California Roll (Green), Yellow Fin Sashimi (Yellow), Dragon Roll (Black)
Grilled: Teriyaki Chicken & Beef
Dessert: Green Tea Ice Cream, Japanese White Jello garnished with canned yellow peaches
Hot Teas: Green Tea and Black Well Dragon Tea

So the best to the Green & Yellow Packers and to the Black & Yellow Steelers. I am eating healthy this Super Sunday.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I start February off at 213 pounds. Today, I have on a blouse I bought twenty-five years ago for a party in Monterey. How I managed to keep it through three house moves and countless increases in dress size, I’ll never know. But oh do I look good in it.

In January, my weight jumped all over from 217 to 211 pounds and back to 213. I never seemed to be able to drop consistently like this past summer. I would like to say that it was all about choices in the food but not so. My husband has been very ill during the month January. The stress involved in having someone I love in pain, has caused fluctuations in my weight and as well as my sleeping patterns. I found that there were days that I gained weight without even eating.

Exercise like walking the dog and jumping the trampoline worked to reduce stress and helped in keeping the weight going down. Even if the numbers crept up a little during the week, the clothes I wore remained on the smaller side.

I am still shrinking.

Moral of the story: Life gets hard. Keep to your goals anyway. It’s worth it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spring Cleaning Continued

Part of the diet vigil includes knowing what is going into my mouth at all times. I have already cleaned out the sodium laden canned goods and sugar based products to be on this diet. The other day, I wrote about dumping old lipstick. Today, let’s focus on the really scary stuff—the things in the kitchen.

Be honest, when did you last go into the cupboards and dump old spices? The refrigerator and dump barbeque sauce or mayonnaise?

Within my tradition of January and June cleaning, I need to attack the stuff normally ignored—the pricey items we buy for one purpose leave to sit for years in the cupboard. At $3.95 to $9.00 a bottle, spices are held in protective custody to be utilized when and if another recipe calls for it, which by-the-way usually doesn’t happen within the same year.

Let’s talk pumpkin spice. Have some? When did it get purchased? And when was the last time you used it? Exactly, I don’t remember either. I look at spice jar after spice jar unsure as to its age, my eyeballs skewed trying to read the tiny use-by-date stamped on the jar.

Take a look in my spice rack. Allspice used it last spring for a carrot cake recipe. Dump. Arrowroot—Chinese food last week. Friday taco night used Cayenne pepper and Chile powder. Cinnamon, cloves and ginger in all the Christmas desserts. Caraway seeds went into Irish Soda bread made special for Pastor Murphy in September. Ground coriander…hmmm…coriander. I’m not sure what recipe used coriander. Uh. Dump. And so on…

Now when I say dump, I mean take the contents of the spice jar and dump the contents, carefully clean the jar keeping the label pristine, then when you need the spice buy it in bulk or loose—twice a year—January and June. Health food stores, herb shops, Mexican groceries, Chinese stores and farmer markets sell spices in plastic packages or bulk at a fraction of the price of those bottled spices.

You can purchase fresh herbs like thyme, dill, and bay leaf in your grocery store. Fresh is good tasting and good health. If you are feeling particularly farmer-like you can pick up an herb-dish-garden at the local nursery or hardware store. My cousin Thia grows her own salsa garden—tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, onions, cilantro, and garlic. Thia comes from Minnesota which explains her cultivation obsession.

Next walk over to that refrigerator. Take a look at those condiment jars. What do you think grows in them after a month or two? When my husband’s best friend, Spyros lived with us, he purchased different sauces and toppings every week. He liked to experiment with flavor. After a few months I couldn’t figure out what was old and what was new. To solve the problem, I dated the bottles as to the month they were opened then threw away anything over six months old.

I now toss anything over one month old. Mayonnaise-based products are dumped after one week. I’m afraid of food poisoning.

Food, like makeup or anything else for that matter, should be purchased as you need it, stored sealed, then dumped in a reasonable length of time after it’s been opened. This is simple common sense my foremothers taught me.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January Spring Cleaning

Every January and June, I have a ritual that could be called spring cleaning. I throw away make-up, cleaners, paints, and other stuff that can go-south after a while. Why those two months? Well January is a down month. It’s after Christmas. I’m too broke to go anywhere and the weather is usually pretty awful. June is six months later and my birthday. To me, this makes sense.

It started in my teens. I watched some daytime show after school. A doctor told the audience about the bacteria, germs, and crawly things that grow on your eye liner and icky things that happen to the makeup and powder. Six months was the limit on those items according to the forgotten doc.

I’m not a big make-up user—foundation, lipstick, highlighters, powder, and occasional use of perfume. I care that the items are fresh and relatively bug free. My extra cosmetics are kept in the refrigerator. Only the current products are in my bathroom cabinets and purse. Every six months the old stuff gets tossed then I replenish my shelves.

The same logic gets applied to hair brushes, hair spray, shampoos, conditioners, cleaning products, paints, and so on. It may seem like a waste of money but really this is economical. First, I only buy products that I will use over a six month period. I know women with forty tubes of lipstick. I have three—two different colors in the bath and one in my purse.

I also know what kind and shade of foundation I use and how often. I use a bottle of makeup every forty-five days or four bottles per six month period. So I go online look for the best price and buy four bottles of my favorite brand. One goes in the bath and the rest in the refrigerator. I actually save about $6 a bottle that way. Nail polish is the same. I bring my polish to the beauty shop, when I have the luxury to go, because I want the freshest products on my hands and toes.

Since I have been on this crazy diet, I have been reading articles, books, and magazines about the raw food experience. One lady has given up shampoo altogether to lessen the amount of chemicals in her life. I currently keep two different shampoos and conditioners in the bath. She is using baking soda to wash her hair followed by a white vinegar rinse. Although skeptical at first, she swears her hair texture has improved plus she is saving a fortune in hair products. I like the idea but I haven’t figured out how to store baking soda in the shower. Somehow it is going to get soggy don’t you think?

Everything has a shelf life except maybe plastic. So it makes sense to me to keep products in my home that are at the peak of their usefulness. By dumping old products and starting fresh there is a time to understand the value of things around me and the need to use what I purchase—limit my waste or as in the current vernacular, my carbon footprint.

Does anyone know the shelf life of shoe polish?

Monday, January 24, 2011


Beth—my friend, mentor, and blog reader—pointed out that the marmalade recipe may dilute the vitamin C content from over cooking. I disagreed at first, but the more I think about it, she may be right. I altered the recipe to enhance the vitamin C. This weekend after picking another peck of oranges, I will try the recipe out. The flavor should be similar to the previous recipe.

Almost Raw Organic Orange Marmalade ala Pam
Into pan on the stove
• 2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
• Zest of 3 oranges sliced in thin ribbons
• Zest of ½ organic Meyer lemon
• 2 Tblsp Candied ginger if desired
Cook on low heat until the rind is soft and yummy. Shut of the burner and set the pan on trivet to cool.
While warm add
• 1 jar about one pound of organic honey
• Pulp of 10 organic large orange sections – no white parts. Double the amount of oranges if they are small
• Pulp of 1 Meyer lemon—no white parts
Mix thoroughly
Cool to room temperature
Mix in 1 package No Cook Pectin.
Stir for 3 minutes

Ladle into 3 small Ball brand plastic freezer jars or containers you already have
Refrigerate for 1 hour before eating—freeze or give away the rest.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


When my husband and I decided to buy a home, we originally looked for a condo with a tiny backyard. I want little or no work outside of the home. What we bought was a four bedroom single family dwelling with almost a quarter of an acre. Ah, good intentions.

Built in 1979, our place has eight fruit trees—two apricots, crabapple, Granny Smith apple, ornamental plum, pomegranate, Meyer lemon, and an orange tree. All the trees—except the pomegranate, a gift from my cousin Cindy last year—are thirty years old. The centers of the trees are decayed and full of termites and ants. The outer edges are producing a multitude of offspring in the form of fruit beyond the imaginings of this city girl.

This summer I had so much organic apricots that I made jar after jar of apricot butter. The recipe I found on line and required only fruit, sugar, and a crock pot. I gave away ten freezer jars of the stuff and froze three pints for us. The last one, I opened yesterday.

Then came January, with a bumper crop of Meyer lemons and unidentified oranges, I am on my third picking of the citrus fruit. My neighbors run into their houses and lock the doors when they see me approaching with bags of lemons. The oranges are harder yet to give away. The lemons are perfect in flavor and juice but the oranges are small and not sour but a tad on the tart side. When I offer oranges the question is always, “Are they sweet?”

“Well, no. A little on the tart side.”

The victim screws up his or her nose and shakes the head a clear, “No, thank you.”

This morning my kitchen counter displayed three pounds of lemons and about thirty pounds of washed oranges. What to do? What to do?

I went online downloaded a lovely article published by the University of California, Davis. All about oranges, it tells of the care and feeding of the plant plus a few ideas about what to do with this sunny fruit. I did a Google, Bing, and Ask search of orange recipes. Most covered orange marmalade. Some recipes instructed the creation of cordials, candied citrus circles, and orange cheesecake. The recipe with the largest amount of orange usage was a marmalade recipe that called for nine oranges and four cups of sugar. That is correct. Nine oranges and four cups of sugar. That is not jam that is a sugar high.

I read fifteen marmalade recipes including a raw marmalade recipe that asked me to cook one-third of the recipe then mix in the other two-thirds cultured with Kefir whey—whatever that is. I was absolutely sure I didn’t have it in the cupboard. Plus the raw dude wanted me use gelatin instead of pectin. Why no pectin? Maybe, I thought, it was a chemical based product but according to UC Davis pectin is made from the white-pulpy part of the orange. Sounds natural to me.

So I decided to make my own recipe. Yea. I know. What the heck do I know about making jam? I made a lot of apricot jam this summer. The way I looked at it, there were thirty pounds of oranges sitting on the counter and heaven knows how many more out on the tree. What did to lose other than time?

Organic Orange Marmalade ala Pam

Into a clean crock pot
  • 2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 3 oranges sliced in thin ribbons. Okay I was having so much fun with the zester that makes the thin ribbons that I put the zest of 10 oranges in it and it was too bitter so I had to pull out much of the zest. So don’t make the same mistake. If you don’t have a zester then you need to scrape all the white out of the orange peel and finely slice the rind. Good luck.
  • Pulp of 10 organic orange sections – no white parts. I used 20 oranges because my crop was small this year. If you buy oranges they will be larger so you will need less.
  • Zest of ½ organic Meyer lemon
  • Pulp of 1 Meyer lemon—no white parts
  • 1 jar about one pound of organic honey
  • I had some leftover candied ginger from Christmas and threw that in the crock pot

Heat on low heat until the rind is soft and yummy
Cool to room temperature
3 Minutes Mix in 1 package No Cook Pectin (I got that Wal-Mart last fall)

Ladle into 3 small Ball brand plastic freezer jars or containers you already have
Refrigerate for 1 hour before eating—freeze or give away the rest.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


We spent three hours of the afternoon with the homecare nurse. She changed Paul's foot wound dressings and coached me while I administered his first round of Vancomyicin at the house. I am proud to say I made it through without killing my husband or fainting. A small accomplishment for a Monday.

I made a run to the pharmacy for my hubby then stopped at my favorite local health food store which carried Ultimate Flora Critical Care probiotics—recommended by my friend Pam Medeiros to counteract some of the side effects Paul’s home injections of Vancomyicin. Moose still recovering from two surgeries requested chicken soup for dinner. Born in 1964, my husband is a product of television marketing, preferring Snapple to sun tea, Jiffy peanut butter or organic ground, and Campbell’s Chicken and Stars to about any other chicken soup other than my homemade. So not run to two grocery stores, I also picked up organic graham crackers and saltines at the health food store. Too pooped to go on one more stop, I purchased the…gasp…healthy soup.

After walking the dog, watching All My Children on SoapNet, bouncing on my trampoline, and cleaning the bathrooms, I set about dinner. I decided if Paul wanted chicken soup and crackers, I would go for steamed turnips and broccoli. Understand I don’t like either turnips or broccoli or at least I didn’t. Farm Fresh to You has been delivering organic fruits and vegetables every other week to our home for three months now. And WOW. Organics taste different than the food offered in the grocery stores. Organic broccoli does not taste like broccoli. The flavor is milder and fresh. It’s the difference between the flavor and texture of roasted corn on the cob and canned corn. Not the same food.

I plopped two pans on the stove starting the soup in one and flipping the steamer in the other. Poindexter got fed cheeseburger flavored canned dog food. I chopped the turnips and broccoli and tossed them into the pan. Of course I hummed Dana Carvey’s classic song, “Chopping Broccoli” while doing so. Paul and I talked about the Croatian episode of House Hunters International he watched while I cooked.

Something was burning. I looked at the soup then the veggies—steamed poured from both. I poured his soup out into a bowl and set it on the table. The metallic-burning smell filled the kitchen and the dog started sneezing. Pulling the lid off of the veggies, I found the edges of the broccoli black. I had “steamed” the veggies for seven minutes with no water—burning the pan and the contents. Amazed that I did not set fire to the kitchen, I poured water over the grate and shut off the burner.

Paul took one taste of his organic soup and crushed eight saltines into it before taking another bite. I had one bite of blackened broccoli and threw it away. I had an orange instead. Not our best dinner.

I lost five pounds this month.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Raw Sacramento

The Raw Sacramento group has moved to A wise decision on their part. If you would like to check them out go to
Blessings on your day!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Taco Night

My husband came home from a week’s stay in the hospital. He is recovering from a partial foot amputation and infection. During his incarceration, I was free to munch on carrots for breakfast, make fruit smoothies for dinner, and order a veggie omelet at the hospital cafeteria. Now he is back home, I face the daily grind of making two different meals three times per day. At times it is overwhelming. Yet I have found that my friends that make one major meal at dinner time for their families face the same dilemma—what do we fix today?

Moose is on a BRAC diet mostly. That is a diet consisting of bananas, rice, apples/applesauce, and chicken. This mix helps his digestive track which is totally messed up by the twenty-eight different medications he takes three times per day. We deviate a little but keeping in mind that too much of anything makes him very ill. His system cannot tolerate salt, sugar, or animal fats. I cook with none of the three and only have extra virgin olive oil in the cupboard.

A typical day for us.
  • Breakfast: Water, 1 Slice--Organic sprouted wheat toast, soy butter, honey with 1 cup ½ caff coffee with rice milk
  • Snack: Water, Fruit or nuts or combination
  • Lunch: Water, Salad with raw blue cheese or tofu or raw Ahi tuna
  • Snack: Water, Spoonful peanut or almond butter
  • Dinner: Water, Steamed seasonal veggies sometimes with chicken slices sometimes not
  • Dessert: Water, Fruit or Fruit Smoothie
  • Breakfast: 1 container Lite fruit yogurt, glass of juice, ¼ cup caff coffee with milk
  • Lunch: ½ sandwich with turkey luncheon meat, cheese, and deli mustard, Ice tea
  • Snack: ½ banana or apple or pear
  • Dinner: BBQ chicken, 1 cup steam rice, applesauce, Ice tea
  • Dessert: Glass of Port, biscuit or International Decaf Coffee and sugar free cookies
You can see that we do not eat much of the same things. Once in a while I try to combine foods that will accommodate both of our diets. Moose’s favorite is taco night which happens once a month.

Taco Night Recipe
The taco meat:
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • Chile powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup diced onions (yellow, white, or green)
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped
  • Olive oil wiped on a nonstick pan
The taco makings:
  • Taco shells
  • 3 or 4 washed dried lettuce leaves the size of your hand
  • Black olive slices
  • Homemade no-salt guacamole or sliced avocados
  • Non-fat plain yogurt
  • Salsa Verde or Rojas (I make my salsa fresh)
  • Grated cheese (I use Trader Joes Raw Cheddar Cheese)
First add oil, onion, and ground turkey into the frying pan. Cook on medium high heat until the meat is browning. Add garlic and spices to taste. Add a little at a time until you get a flavor that you like. Remember Cayenne pepper is hot and Chile powder is not. Mix while cooking until the meat is browned and coated with flavor. If the mixture looks a little dry add some water and stir.

Serve with the taco makings. My husband fills the taco shells for his meal while I fill the lettuce leaves for mine. The leaves are crunchy like the taco shells with almost no calories. The meat makes it warm and satisfying. If you are not eating meat substitute the turkey with a soy based taco filling in the produce section of your market. Or you can eat the veggies without any meat at all. The salsa will give the south-of-the-border flavor.

You should have enough leftovers for a tasty lunch or taco salad.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I am Not a Bear

Part of my dedication the raw food diet and this blog involves reading magazines, books, and internet articles on the raw world. Overwhelmingly, authors start their appeal to the reader to join this type of diet, usually in chapter one, by comparing our current eating habits—Standard American Diet (SAD) to that which occurs in nature. Bears eat fish in season then the next day eat berries. Elephants eat diets of vegetation. "We are the only animal that cooks." This is somehow supposed to motivate the reader to eat nothing but raw uncooked foods.

A bear may live on raw foods but she does not compose symphonies, create sophisticated cities with millions inhabitants, search for the cure for childhood diabetes, or learn how to square dance with ten other couples. Humans are unique in their need to socialize and interact with large numbers of their kind. Please do not point out bees or parrots. Large numbers yes. But complex socializations no. How many bees work a full time job, attend church and volunteer at a local charity, while rearing two children? I think none.

Please understand my diet is now about seventy percent uncooked and came close to ninety percent during the melon season. Yum. I am sorry I can't go the full Monty on this one. I am not a bear. The comparison of our eating habits to our fellow creatures is weak and missing the basic human factor. We are community creatures.

If we look back at ancient cave dwellers and current tribes that still live what we call a primitive existence, we will see human groups coming together for safety, love, and sharing of food. It’s that sharing of the meal that brings us to cooked and mixed foods.

Do you know the old Sunday school story about “Rock Soup?”

A town and surrounding region devastated a blight made food scarce. Most people there hadn’t eaten for days.

A man sat in the town square with a big pot of water boiling over an open fire. He stirred the pot with a wooden spoon.

A couple walked up to him. “What are you cooking?” They asked.

He gave it another stir, “Rock soup,” he said then tasted the liquid. “Mmm. Almost done.”

The couple watched him sip the soup. “We have a potato. If we add it to the soup, can we share it with you?”

“Oh yes. A potato would add more flavor to the soup.”

A few moments later, a woman walked up and asked the same series of questions. She offered a carrot. More people came by. Soon the town was busy with people adding their bits to the soup. After all the people had a bowl of the finished product, they proclaimed rock soup the best meal they’d eaten in a long time.
The moral of the story had to do with sharing. I think it is a better example of how we came to cook meal.

Our bodies do not need all the junk we stuff into it. The proof is that Americans are getting fatter and sicker. But becoming a bear—eating only raw fish one day and berries the next—is not realistic either. Socially, we gather to share to feed, nurture, and love one another. Have you ever belonged to any group where food was not served within the first few meetings? Even the Raw Society here in Sacramento has monthly potlucks. There is a balance to achieve with a predominately vegetarian life style. In my book it includes shared meals—organic raw and occasionally cooked foods.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Surviving Backsliding

My Moose landed himself in the hospital on Friday. Sunday, he will have a partial amputation of his left and only remaining foot. You can imagine the stress and anxiety on both our parts.

With my husband in the hospital, it is easy to fall into my old negative eating patterns—bad fattening foods eaten at odd hours, caffeinated coffee with cream sipped throughout the day, and snacks, snacks, snacks. Not this time. I’ve worked to hard to get to my current weight and activity level.

I have fallen off the raw food wagon a little. Last night I found my husband’s stash of Christmas candy. I ate one I liked and threw the rest away. Don't feel sorry for the Moose. He's a diabetic and should not have candy stash in the first place. On the way home from the hospital, I wanted to stop at Starbucks for a vanilla latte instead had an instant decaf International coffee in my own kitchen.

Although my choices were not raw-diet legal, they were still better than my old pattern. The idea is to get through the tough times with as little weight gain as possible. We all understand that stress alone can add pounds. Exercise, water, and sleep are the only legitimate tools to fight the bulge during anxious periods. Plus I have the Rounder trampoline to bounce on whenever I feel stress which seems to be continuous.

Oh and pack a lunch sack. Hospital cafeterias are not the place to find nutrition.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"All My Children"

In 2010, I hit my goal of 225 pounds—the weight I needed to be Paul’s kidney donor. In the interim, Paul’s health has declined. His foot wound is now of serious concern. The transplant cannot happen until he is free from open wounds for six months. So July 2011 would be the best case scenario before I jump onto a gurney and hand over a body part to a group of people in masks.

I am currently 44 pounds lighter than my July 1st beginning weight of 260. At 216 pounds—lost one pound this year so far—I am going to push to lose a mere 26 pounds by July 1st 2011. This would put me at my ideal weight 190 and ideal size 14. A healthy goal by any standard.

My darling Moose gave me a Rounder for Christmas. That is a medium size trampoline with a rail that I can use in my living room. Yesterday I bounced for thirty minutes. Today I feel every muscle especially in my fanny and thighs. I am planning to jump to All My Children five days a week and pounce off those inches. The weight is coming off faster than the inches. Exercise is the only answer.

Oh, I am also planning to write this blog about three times a week. I have received comments that once a week is not helpful to the dieter. Expect recipes and meal planning in the following weeks. Okay?

Have a Blessed Day!