Wednesday, July 26, 2006

That Jesus, He sure does have lofty ideals....

Loved this post. Reminded me how broken we are even in our efforts. Good thing God can still use us.....


I heard this song while flipping through channels on our trip and am husband didn't mind me singing it to him every now and then as we drove for 26 hours, either. ;)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Go. Read.

This post from Chris (formerly of Big Yellow House) is possibly the best thing I've ever read by her. Go check it out.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Thank You

(found this in my husband's inbox and it made us laugh, so thought I would share)

Thanks to all . . .

I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat poop in
the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel with
every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny
Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I
receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me
for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels
looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible
mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a
water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I
forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can
remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking a man along to watch the
car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make
these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes

And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup water in the
microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face...disfiguring
me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be
pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a
perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are
actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support
our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a
number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica,
Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

I no longer have any sneakers -- but that will change once I receive
my free replacement pair from Nike.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now
have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big
brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant
death when it bites my butt.

Thank you too for all the endless advice Andy Rooney has given us. I
can live a better life now because he's told us how to fix

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 I
dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a
sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.Oh, and don't
forget this one either!

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain
gas companies!

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next
70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at
5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your
back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur
because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's
ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's

Have a wonderful day....

Monday, July 10, 2006

USANA Reset Program--I lived to tell the tale!

(I started this review on Saturday but it's taken me a few days to finish it up.)

So my five day long Reset program is over and this morning I celebrated with a low-glycemic breakfast of scrambled eggs.

The Reset program is a 5-day plan that includes three meal replacement shakes plus two snack bars per day, plus you are supposed to have one serving of fruit and one serving of veggie each day. The shakes and snack bars are low-glycemic, and the whole idea of the plan is that diets high in hig-glycemic index foods create a situation where your body holds onto fat.

Included in the kit is a DVD that explains the science behind the system and the information there resonated with me. I have definitely noticed that I never feel full after eating a meal based on potatoes, for instance. Now that I have gone through these five days I have realized that high-glycemic foods probably have a lot to do with my inability to lose weight, and even my recent weight gain when I was eating mostly raw foods for two months. (I gained 7 pounds doing that!) Even when I ate all raw, there was a lot of fruit and grains in there, and the non-raw food exceptions I allowed myself were almost always high-glycemic items.

As you know from reading my day-by-day journaling, at first I really didn't like the shakes. I actually considered dropping out of this review because I felt so distressed by my hunger and the limited choices. However, by day three is was easier, and I think if I had had only chocolate shakes I would have been just fine. (chocolate covers a multitude of sins!)

USANA rep Anne Marie Litz told me that I didn't have to only eat the shakes and bars, and that I could add to the plan if I wanted to. I did, adding one or two additional fruit/veggie servings to each day plus one serving on a protein in the evening.

I did do some exercise as the plan recommends, but did not manage to get it done every day. Still, I lost 9 pounds and one inch from both my waist and my hips! Not bad for five days, eh?

It would have been helpful if the DVD had reminded me that the first day or two on any dietary change is usually the hardest. Sometimes it is so hard that you feel like you can't go on. In every case when I have radically changed my eating I have experienced that after the hardest days it gets much, much easier.

It would have also been helpful if I was single and could have just had no temptations around my house. It is hard to do a diet like this when you still have to cook for everybody. If I could have just done other things and stayed away from the kitchen altogether it would have been way easier.

The Reset products have a lot of soy in them, and I do not believe soy is a good thing for most people to consume on a regular basis. (menopausal women would be the one possible exception) Soy can mess with your hormones in some unpleasant ways so I would encourage you to do some research on the subject before making soy a regular part of your diet. is one good site for getting a lot of information about why soy is not a healthy food. However, for a short-term situation, I felt reasonably ok to go ahead and use it.

Would I recommend Reset to you? Well, that depends. Some things to consider:

Are you comfortable with the idea of replacing your regular food with a shake?
Are you comfortable with adding soy products to your diet?
Do you feel that you can dedicate 5 days to the ups and downs of feeling hungry, withdrawal from high-glycemic foods, etc. so that you can have optimal results?

Since Reset wasn't something I was specifically looking to do I wasn't as great a test case as I might have been under different circumstances. However, losing 9 pounds in 5 days is losing 9 pounds in 5 days! It is over and I can't complain about that!

Obviously now that I have lost some weight I would like to keep that going, rather than just gaining it all back right away. I am going to try out low-glycemic eating and see what kind of results I get. USANA has a nice page about that on their site, so it gives me a good starting point for knowing what would be good choices. (Unfortunately the individual page links don't seem to work for this site, so I am including the information at the end of this post as well.) I also found a really great little workout place near my home that is also inexpensive, so once the kids get back into school I am going to start working out and hopefully dropping another 30-40 pounds.

Anne Marie shared a little about getting into USANA:

I am married, and mom of two kids ages 7 and 5. I work part time as an engineer and got involved with Usana after speaking with Lynn Allen-Johnson. I told her that I had been looking for a home based business, tried a few things, and they didn't work. She told me it was because I didn't have the team support required to build a business. She told me everything offered by her team and I joined right then! It was the best decision I ever made!

I plan to replace my income and quit my job by next summer - I can't wait!
Anne Marie has a special offer for my readers:
Anyone who becomes a preferred member this month will receive a free Sense sampler pack. It has trial sizes of all the Sense products. Retail value: $19.95

I don't know what all is involved in setting that up, so go check out her site or email her at

Low-glycemic breakfasts
Start your day with a healthy breakfast to boost your metabolism. Eating low-glycemic foods will give you energy to get through the morning and won't leave you feeling hungry again an hour later. Try these suggestions for a healthy breakfast:
  • 100% stone-ground, whole-wheat toast topped with low-sugar, natural peanut butter and sliced banana
  • Light yogurt mixed with fresh fruit and low-fat granola or bran buds
  • Steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats cooked in fat-free milk mixed with dried apricots and nuts
  • Low-glycemic cold cereal (look for whole grains, oats, and bran) with low-fat milk and fruit; hardboiled egg
  • Whole-wheat pita stuffed with scrambled egg; fruit
  • Sourdough French toast topped with natural applesauce
  • All-bran muffin with low-sugar fruit topping; fruit
  • Buckwheat pancakes topped with fruit
  • Multi-grain waffles topped with natural applesauce
  • Pumpernickel toast topped with melted low-fat cheese; fruit
  • Rye toast topped with light cream cheese, fruit
  • Vegetable omelet; extra lean turkey bacon; whole-grain toast
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit and almonds
Low-glycemic lunches
A light afternoon meal will help you get through the day. If you order out, substitute vegetables or cottage cheese for high-glycemic sides such as chips or fries, choose whole-grain breads, and include some low-fat protein. Here are some other ideas for lunch:
  • Homemade or canned soups--vegetable, lentil, black bean, split pea, minestrone, or barley (feel free to add extra vegetables)
  • Sandwiches made with lean meats on whole-grain wheat, rye, pumpernickel, or pita bread; fresh vegetables; fruit salad
  • Veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard on whole-wheat bun; cottage cheese
  • Pasta salad with vinaigrette dressing; assorted fresh vegetables and low-fat cheese
  • Mixed green salad with grilled chicken and vinaigrette dressing; whole-wheat toast topped with natural peanut butter
  • Vegetable quiche; sliced tomatoes; fruit
  • Light yogurt with fruit; whole-grain muffin with melted low-fat cheese
Low-glycemic dinner
Enjoy the many low-glycemic possibilities available for dinner. Watch out for high-glycemic side dishes and large portion sizes that could sideline your weight loss efforts. Here are some tips to keep your dinner healthy:
  • Limit intake of high-glycemic starches--baked or instant mashed potatoes, fries, instant rice, boxed side dish or stuffing mixes, refined white breads
  • Choose low-glycemic starches like pasta salad, whole-grain or sourdough breads, baked sweet potatoes, small new potatoes, corn, peas, or basmati rice
  • Fill up on fresh, non-starchy vegetables and leafy green salads
  • Include lean meats, such as chicken and fish, or substitute legumes for protein
  • Try any of the breakfast or lunch suggestions for your evening meal
Low-glycemic desserts
You may not be able to have your cake and eat it too, but you can eat some tasty low-glycemic treats. Try some of these sweets for dessert:
  • Sugar-free jello or pudding layered with fruit
  • Natural applesauce with light whipped topping
  • A small piece of dark chocolate
  • A few chocolate-covered strawberries
  • A few chocolate-covered almonds or peanuts
  • A couple oatmeal cookies with low-fat milk
  • Poached fruit
  • A root beer float with low-fat vanilla ice cream and sugar-free root beer
  • Baked apples with dried fruits and nuts
Low-glycemic snacks
Snacking can be the quickest way to undo all of your weight loss efforts. You can stay on track by grabbing some healthy alternatives when you get the munchies. Try these smart snacks:
  • A small handful of mixed nuts or trail mix
  • A small bowl of low-fat popcorn
  • A few whole-wheat crackers topped with low-fat cheese
  • Celery or a banana topped with natural peanut butter
  • Some whole-wheat pita chips topped with hummus
  • A handful of baked tortilla chips with fresh salsa
  • String cheese and an apple
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • A hardboiled egg
  • Fresh cut vegetables
  • An oat bran muffin
  • A 100-percent-juice bar
Tips for maintaining a low-glycemic diet when eating out
Let's face it, everybody loves eating at a restaurant now and then, but it seems almost impossible to make good food choices when faced with so many options. Here are some suggestions for eating well when you're eating out:
  • Avoid buffets and other all-you-can-eat restaurants
  • Don't go when you're starving; eat a small snack first
  • Limit alcoholic beverages
  • Keep your hands out of the breadbasket, or even better, ask the server not to bring it
  • Go for the salad bar
  • Order items that have been prepared healthfully: steamed, broiled, roasted, etc.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for substitutions
  • If portions are large, split yours with someone
  • Keep low-glycemic foods in mind and order the best choice available
The following are some tips for specific types of restaurants: Chinese
  • Order traditional dishes that feature moderate portions of proteins (meat or tofu) stir-fried with an assortment of vegetables and flavorful sauces
  • Avoid the fried foods and white sticky rice, order brown rice if available
  • Broth-based soups like hot and sour, egg drop, or wanton are good choices
  • Order foods cooked in black bean, oyster, Szechuan, or hot mustard sauce
  • Look for Mediterranean-style items
  • Avoid the bread and high-fat sauces
  • Order broiled, steamed, or poached foods
  • Choose tomato/wine sauces, broth-based soups
  • Choose roasted lamb or chicken dishes prepared with lemon and yogurt
  • Order gyros and Greek salads
  • Avoid the filo-dough, mounds of feta cheese, and puddles of olive oil
  • Try baked fish and chicken dishes that are healthfully prepared
  • Order healthfully prepared legumes, chicken, fish, and vegetables
  • Choose basmati rice--as a side or in biryanis--and chapati bread
  • Try the tomato-based sauces and tandoori dishes
  • Avoid sauces made with large amounts of coconut or coconut milk
  • Steer clear of the white bread and cheesy, creamy sauces
  • Choose tomato or marsala sauces
  • Order a half-portion of pasta and combine with a salad
  • Go for the thin-crust pizza loaded with vegetables and low-fat cheese
  • Try miso soup and edamame (soy beans) for an appetizer
  • Limit the sticky rice (ask if brown rice is available) and avoid tempura
  • Choose sashimi, yakitori, teriyaki, sukiyaki, and grilled dishes
  • Order udon or soba noodles
  • Stay away from the cheese and refried beans
  • Order grilled seafood and chicken dishes: tacos, burritos, fajitas
  • Ask for low-fat cheese, whole-wheat tortillas, and light sour cream
  • Limit guacamole if watching your weight
  • Order dishes that combine proteins (meat or tofu) with vegetables
  • Choose curry, chili, basil, lime, and fish sauces
  • Opt for long-grain rice over white rice
  • Try pad thai and other stir-fried noodle dishes, ask for less oil to be used in the preparation
Stocking the refrigerator
The grocery store may seem overwhelming when you are trying to eat a low-glycemic diet. Shopping for food shouldn't be stressful. Keep the following tips in mind next time you are at the store:
  • Don't go hungry; eat a snack to avoid impulse buying
  • Shop the outside edges of the store first, which is where you will usually find the better food choices
  • Check out the ingredients. Limit foods with large amounts of sugar, flour, salt, refined grains, and hydrogenated vegetable oil.
  • Peruse the "Nutrition Facts." Look at calorie, carbohydrate, and fat amounts for each serving. Also look at the fiber, sodium, and sugar content. Evaluate them against your weight loss and nutrition goals.
  • Focus on making healthy choices of whole, unrefined foods.
    • Stock up on legumes, whole grains, nuts, healthy oils, fruits, and vegetables, low-fat proteins, and light dairy products.

    What Counts as a serving?

    • 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables
    • 2 cups raw, leafy green vegetables
    • 1 large whole tomato
    • 1 large pepper
    • 1 cup whole fruit juice
    • 1 medium apple, orange
    • 1 cup whole grapes
    • About 8 large strawberries
    • 1 cup diced melon
    • 1 regular slice of bread
    • 1 cup cereal flakes
    • 1/2 English muffin
    • 5 whole-wheat crackers
    • 1/2 cup cooked pasta or rice
    • 1 cup of milk or yogurt
    • 1 1/2 oz. natural cheese
    • 1 oz. meat, poultry, or fish
    • 1/4 cup cooked dry beans
    • 1 T. peanut butter
    • 1 egg

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Day Four: Stayin' Alive!

So it's day four on the USANA Reset program and it is going fine. I am now accustomed to being hungry and it does not bother me that much. I do not feel weak or miserable, and the shakes no longer taste quite so bad. I have definitely lost weight and on Saturday I will check to see if I lost any inches.

I have added about 2 extra servings of fruit/veggie each day, plus usually one small portion of protein. I was just too hungry and too weak to not have those items. I have six kids to take care of plus a husband who likes for me to not just lay around complaining about hunger. :)

So, so far, so good.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

And so it goes....

It's the start of day three and things are going better. I'm not even going to tell you how much weight I've lost yet....I'm saving it for the grand total at the end. I do feel a little better today. It's probably part "Hey I'm losing weight!" and part getting through the first two days. I am getting used to the shakes, and was even brave enough to try the strawberry one yesterday and did not hate it. :) I hope Ann Marie is going to have a good laugh over my change of heart on her Reset program.

My belief is that the low-glycemic eating (plus starvation!) is making a big difference. I am planning to continue eating low-glycemic after Rest is through and see if between that and daily exercise I can drop off this extra weight.

4 of my kids started day camp today, 1 is visiting his grandparents, so it's just the littlest one hanging out around here today. I have been working my tail off on business stuff so there will be plenty of time for more of that now that the kids have a daily activity. What's going on in your world?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It All Starts to Taste a Little Better When....

you step on the scale and find out that you're already losing weight!....

Day Two--Getting Grouchier

Yesterday was a hard day. I was hungry and shaky by early evening. Today I started out just drinking water because I couldn't deal with the thought of another day drinking these shakes...

I finally did have one of the chocolate shakes with a banana mixed in, and it's not too terrible but definitely not that good. I also had the morning vitamins (5 of them, and they smell gross) and later one of the bars. I am tired, grouchy, low energy, feel like crud. I am dreading the two other shakes for the day.

I can definitely see why someone desperate to lose weight would choose a diet pill over meal replacement shakes. gah!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Grumbling through day one

I guess every first day of a diet is hard. Of course, the USANA people want us to believe that this Reset system isn't a diet at all. Yeah, well, whatever!

I got hungry around 11:30 and had one of the snack bars and it was ok. Now I am slurping down my "lunch" and hating every minute of it. This shake is vanilla which is not my favorite. I have equal amounts of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry shakes, so I guess I will suffer through one of each per day.

I have already been sad while cutting up a gorgeous watermelon for my kids. It smells so good, and I can't have any because I've already had my fruit for today. It has felt rather sad to look into the fridge and realize that I can't have anything in there (except for my one veggie serving left for today).

I say that it's abnormal to not eat regular food.

Still, I'm going to do this. If the Super Size Me guy could do his experiment for a month, I can do this for five days....

Let The Games Begin!

Welcome to What's Cool Week 2! This week I am going to have some great product reviews for you, PLUS you get to come each day to watch me whine and complain about this 5-day weight loss system I agreed to use!

Oh. My. Goodness. WHAT have I gotten myself into? I posted on Mom Pack that I would be happy to help out some other small businesses by doing product reviews. Ann Marie Litz, a USANA rep, contacted me to say that she had a 5-day weight loss program she would like to send me, but of course she didn't know if I needed to lose any weight.

Well, you know, as a matter of fact I DO need to lose weight. And later this month I'm going to a small class reunion. So, time is of the essence. Send it on!

Now, you all know that I like to go with the healthy option any time I can. I have never used any sort of weight loss system or pills or whatever. They always seem overpriced and unhealthy to me. So far I will say that while I understand the concept behind this plan, I would still say it's overpriced and somewhat unhealthy. (She told me this 5-day pack was a value of $132)

I looked over the program contents when it arrived:

3 meal replacement shakes per day (a little over 200 calories each) (ingredients scared me--fructose is the first ingredient, and it goes downhill from there)
2 snack bars per day
5 days worth of vitamins (apparently the pack only comes with one day but Ann threw in the 4 extras for me)
a little booklet and checklist (so you can check off what you eat so that later when you are starving you will see that, yes indeed you *did* already eat! Oh no!)
a DVD that explains the concept behind the system (low glycemic emphasis) plus has a circuit training video for you to use (i doubt that I'm going to do a 40 minute workout on 1500 calories a day)

In addition to 3 shakes and 2 bars a day you get the BONUS snacks of one serving of fruit and one serving of veggies. Yee haw! I'm gonna go crazy with those baby carrots later on tonite when I sit down to watch a movie.....

So, it looks to me like you get less than 1500 low-glycemic calories a day, plus they want you to exercise. So, it makes sense to me that I should indeed lose weight! You think?

So, I decided to start today, despite the holiday tomorrow. It needs to be done, and I'm ready to get it over with. (snort)

So far I have had my first shake for breakfast, and mixed in a banana since I'm used to having a morning fruit smoothie every day. The shake wasn't terrible, but it wasn't exactly yummy either. I am scared of how I'm going to cope once I'm out of the chocolate kind and am left with vanilla and strawberry.....

I have taken my measurements and in a few minutes will weigh myself, andwill do the same when my 5 days is done. Then I'll know if there are any physical changes after my 5 days of torture. ;)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

It's Time for the Church to Really Care About Abortion

And I don't mean screeching about how bad it is. I mean, it's time for the church to love, care, reach out, and educate itself about the victims of abortion and to show the love and compassion of Christ to those that are suffering from past abortions. This excellent site is a great starting point.