Saturday, October 29, 2011

Eat More To Lose Weight?

This goes against everything I "assume" I know about weight loss. There is a general principle involved with losing those extra pounds, and that is to burn more calories than you take in. Sounds like simple math, doesn't it?

Here is what I have learned recently: It isn't that simple.

I've been on a healthier living style for almost two years. I started out losing weight at a very consistent rate. What I was doing was working, and I was thrilled. Then, suddenly, last fall I hit one of those hideous plateau's. At first I thought the weight loss stalled because we had gone on vacation, and, well, things weren't in their usual routines. Ahem.

There is much more to our bodies than just math. Yes, you should keep track of your calories, but let's face it, the chemistry and hormones in our bodies are each different, so what works for you may not work for me, and vice versa. Some may say, "You eat HOW MANY carbs a day? I'd weigh a ton!" and eating "X" amount of carbs is fine for you.

Also, what about sodium? I've recently discovered how much sodium there seems to be in EVERYTHING. Cheese, sandwich meats, ketchup,... everything! I'm glad we do a lot of our cooking from scratch, but even so, there is plenty of sodium in our diets, even if we didn't add it in.

Everything balances differently for everyone. And just when you think you have it figured out, it changes.

So what happened last fall? I worked through the winter and this summer with no significant weight loss, in fact I gained some back since last fall. UGH! Not a lot, but enough so I was irritated. After doing some research I realized almost all my workouts were cardio related and what I needed was some strength training. Muscle burns fat, and I needed more muscle. I'm not talking body-builder type muscle, just some toning, so don't start picturing me lifting 100lb dumb bells, okay?

I joined the local gym and the trainer got me going on a strength training program. It is circuit training style, which I really like because it appeals to my short attention span. This I started at the end of August.

Now I would love to say here that I have lost all manner of weight, but truth be told, is that I have not. I have lost a little bit, and toned up some. I feel strong, energetic (as I sit here in my pj's and bathrobe), and healthy, and that is all good. But to be perfectly frank, I want to see the scale move.

I joined over a year ago, to help keep track of calories and how much I was exercising. Now, feeling discouraged and wanting to see the numbers on the scale decrease, I decided to up my exercise to see if that would help shock my body into acknowledging all my hard work. In one week I burned 4200 calories, just exercising, not counting my BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate) calories. One pound is 3600 calories. So.... you do the math.

I got on the scale with high expectations, and after all that hard work I lost a whopping two tenths of a pound.


Ugh. I wrote a quick little post on the MyFitnessPal forum and got lots of responses, all saying the same thing: I'm not eating enough.

Here is what I thought I knew but didn't:

When I first signed up for, it asks you some questions and you fill out some information (all confidential) to find out your BMR. Your BMR is your Basic Metabolic Rate, basically, how many calories you would burn by just breathing. Then you add in for your lifestyle, whether it be very active, or sedentary, or anywhere in between. That number is the recommended caloric intake for your day. By the way, you also have nutritional columns in your diary for carbs, protein, sugar, sodium, fat, and you can customize all of it.

You also have an exercise log. You input your goals, then in tells you how many calories per day you need to meet that goal, per week. When you exercise, you fill it in, and it keeps track of it all.

All in all, a nifty little set up.

HOWEVER, there is something called the Net, which I have largely ignored, mostly because I didn't get what it meant. I kept seeing it referred to, but disregarded it. Now I was being told I wasn't eating enough, and that my "Net" should be 1200 at least. So, again, making use of the forums on the site, I posed the question, and here is the response I got:

"Here goes:
You are allowed a certain number of calories every day, say 1400. That's without exercise. It's dangerous to go below 1200 calories, again without exercise. That's just the calories needed to run your body.

Now, you exercise - say you do 500 calories worth of exercise. If you are allowed, 1400 calories of food, you've used 500 on exercise and now you only have 900 left to run all the functions of your body.

If you don't eat up your exercise calories, you are constantly running a deficit and your body will slow your metabolism to make sure that you can still function - meaning it gets harder to lose weight.

If you are allowed 1400 calories from food, without exercise, that's what you should see in the net column. Do not go below 1200 in the net.
Hope this helps. "

Hmmmm. Okay, so basically, I have put my body into starvation mode, so when I do anything, it is saying "Whoa there, toots, you ain't feeding us enough to do that, so I'm going to burn your muscle, and leave the fat because I'm reading a famine here."

I didn't mean to, really. To me, it was basic math. The more calories I burn, the more I lose, right?

It is a little more involved that that.

That was last Friday. Over the weekend I invested in The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook, got some items for high protein type snacks, and embarked on the "eating more" theory.

Let me clarify, "eating more", sadly, does not mean downing a pint of your favorite ice cream. What it meant for me, was incorporating a mid-morning snack, and an afternoon snack, and even a small snack in the evening if need be.

My weigh in days are usually Fridays. For kicks and grins I weighed myself last Wednesday. In 5 days I lost 1.6lbs, and that included having pizza over the weekend, once Saturday, and leftovers Sunday night.

I don't expect that rate of results all the time, but here is what I did, in a nutshell:

Breakfast- something with protein and whole grain carb, and any veggies I can get away with, when possible.

Mid morning- a protein snack, like reduced fat string cheese, or fat free yogurt, that sort of thing, and a fruit (for a healthy carb choice).

Lunch- something reasonable. Lately I've been into whole wheat wraps with tuna, or deli cut meat with low fat cheese.

Mid afternoon snack- again, focusing on protein and carb combinations is important. This snack is especially important for me as my workout time comes after it, and before supper.

Supper- another focus on protein/carb combo, with reasonable side dishes. I've been experimenting with the recipes in my new cookbook, and I can I just say that it is much easier to cook one large healthy meal for the whole family, than cooking for them, then trying to find something for me.

After dinner snack- light in calories, but just a little bit of something to keep the ol' metabolism happy.

With good planning I had been hitting my calorie net goal, though admittedly going over a bit in the sodium department. One thing at a time though, for me.

Last night I had a little slip. My net was only around 1100, but I figured out why. I had a filling breakfast, and usually my morning snack is around 11am. I'm usually starved by then anyway, and don't need reminding. However, we had eaten later than usual, and I never had a morning snack. PLUS, my afternoon snack was just a Kashi bar, and for supper we had a filling, but low calorie meal. I shorted myself several hundred calories that I just never did make up all the way yesterday.

I figure it will balance out though as we usually make pizza Saturday nights, and that will be a substantial calorie meal.

Oh, I might add that I've dialed back the exercising a bit. Instead of burning 600-800 calories per workout, my goal is now between 300 and 400 burned calories. And I'm trying to drink more water, too, which I'm usually pretty good about anyway, but it never hurts.

So, if you made it through this whole post, hopefully my experience has taught you to really watch your calories to make sure you are getting enough! Unless you are laying in bed all day and doing NOTHING but breathing, you need more than 1200 calories per day for the long haul. You can certainly lose some weight for a while on 1200 calories, but you will eventually start eating away at muscle, not fat, and feel tired and eventually the 1200 calorie diet will fail miserable. Save yourself the frustration and eat at least 1500 HEALTHY calories, and be active. You'll feel much better! If you exercise a lot you may want to up that even more. I suggest going to and signing up. It is free, and a great way to keep track of what is going on, and there is a great wealth of encouragement and knowledge there.

If you join, I am Beehiveof8. We can "friend" each other on there, too, and encourage each other.

Disclaimer: As always, check with your dr. if you have any issues that need professional attention.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas!

The following tip was found on MyFitnessPal.

Take a can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drain and rinse very well. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Toss with 1T Olive Oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and whatever spices you like (chili powder, curry, cinnamon, whatever floats your boat).

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes until they're crunchy.

These are good as snacks, or as "croutons" on a salad.

Is this not the simplest, easiest, and very healthy idea you have heard lately? I can't wait to try it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

An Award!

Thank you to IHaveBeenBlessed for this award! I am honored, and if you have found any encouragement, humor, or something to make you smile here, then even better.

Here’s what I found out about it (Thanks to Christina's research):
The Liebster award (“Liebster” is the German word for friend or love) originated in Germany. The aim of the award is to bring more attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

There are a couple ‘rules’ for the award:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog
2. Thank the giver by linking back to the blogger who gave it to you – Thank you Rachel at We Will Walk Forever Holding Hands
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. (will list below)
4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

In essence, it’s like a chain letter for bloggers. But I am willing to play along!!!

Now I am SUPPOSED to re-award this five times, according to the rules. So, Here it goes:

1. For her lovely quilts and creations, CatLoveAndQuiltMaker .

2.The Opulent Poppy

3. The View From Hidden Valley

Well, duty calls here, and I must end this now. Looks like I didn't make the required five recipients, but oh well.

Everyone have a blessed day!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Uh Huh... There It Is Folks


*WARNING* ~ The following contains a frustrated rant.

I HATE HATE HATE the new Yahoo upgrade or whatever you call it. I certainly don't think it was an upgrade.

Heretofore, I have blithely used my Yahoo bookmarks without incident from Google Chrome. I love Chrome. It works well on our computers, unlike Internet Explorer, which is slow, and tends to lock our main PC up. Oh, and my laptop doesn't seem to care for it either, though it does better than the PC. I don't think Vista and IE get along that great, so we decided a while ago to just use Chrome which was faster anyway.

NOW.... Yahoo has supposedly "upgraded" or something. Now I HAVE to use IE 9 (not an old version of course!) to be able to access all my bookmarks. Basically, from what I can read between the lines, Yahoo is now in cahoots with Internet Explorer, and are holding every one's bookmarks hostage. Nothing like a little Internet extortion to start out the day with bang.

Let me say that again, you HAVE to go through IE9. Chrome just says you have to download to IE 9. Then you have to use it.

Well, as I said before, we haven't used the IE in a long time. I had to download an upgrade just to be ABLE TO download the "new and improved" upgrade. Then my puter of course had to restart... twice. Then it locked up. Then my mouse got broken, but nevermind about that.

So, now I am on the laptop. Thankfully, the IE on here is much newer, and the downloading process was easy. But I am still rather ticked off that I have to go IE 9 and too bad so sad for me if I don't want to.

I don't understand this. IE is free. Chrome is free. Yahoo is free. So why can I only access MY bookmarks through IE9? Seems stupid, narrow sighted, and reminiscent of some of IBM's problems years ago, and we all know how that ended up.

To the Yahoo people:


BTW... when I just typed this all out, and tried to post it, IE9 of course locked up. I had to close out IE9 and go to Chrome, to my blog, and repost this entry.

Seriously? This is an upgrade?


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

Oh yes, oh yes!

It is that time again.

How many of you have heard of, or attempted the NaNoWriMo challenge? Every year November is National Novel Writing Month and the NaNoWriMo has a special site set up for writing and keeping track of your word count. You can see on my side bar that last year I actually completed the challenge after deciding, four days late into the month, to go for it. Me, and everyone around me, thought I was insane.

Well, there are 13 days left before the challenge starts. I've been contemplating all season if I should try or not. My "to do" list before Christmas is huge. My quilting list is behind. Sewing for the family is stacked a mile high. School is more time consuming this year than ever before. I've joined a gym and spend about 90 minutes a day working out 4 to 5 times a week.

Seriously, do I even have time to even think about it?


Who me?

The problem is if you are a natural-born writer you simply can't resist any excuse to create and go into what Louisa May Alcott called a "writing vortex" from time to time.

The NaNoWriMo challenge is perfect. It is 50,000 words in one month of pure creativity. Spelling doesn't count. Grammar doesn't count. Cohesiveness doesn't count. Good story lines don't even count. The only thing that counts is the number of words. If you hit 50,000 by the end of November then you get a cool NaNoWriMo challenge winner button and the satisfactions that writers are addicted to of creating with words.

They even have a children's and teen's challenge at the same time. My daughter Esther is very interested in that.

I still haven't decided for sure if I will join in this year or not.

The practical side keeps a litany of the above mentioned reasons why I shouldn't take this on. I am totally swamped this fall. It would basically cut out a month of time I have for preparing for Christmas. I really can't afford that.

Can I?

So, the wiser decision would seem to be not to give in to the urge to join this challenge. I will cheer on my daughter, and putter away at my "To-Do" list.

Yeah, right.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Free Pumpkin Ebook

Go on and get it! It is a freebie Ebook about processing pumpkins, and making all manner of tempting goodies from pies to pumpkin rolls.

Free Pumpkin Ebook

Thank you to the Homeschool Freebie of the Day for this fun resource! Now... to go and get my hands on a couple of pumpkins!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stuff and Nonesense

Happy Monday everyone!

We finished out last week with a very busy day Friday finishing up canning applesauce, cleaning, and catching up on some laundry. The children were quite motivated because I told them if we could do all that, then Saturday could be a designated "pajama day". In other words, it was a Kick-Around-Be-Lazy type of day. The weather was perfect for it... rainy, gray, blah. You'd think that with nothing but the bare minimum to do the day would drag, but seriously, it went so fast! There is never enough time to do all the "nothing" you want! We really needed a day to just take it slow, and I for one, really appreciated it!

Sunday was our regular schedule with church services, and a relaxing afternoon. I had thought to go for a bike ride or walk after dinner, as the sun was out nicely in the morning. However, by the time dinner was over, it had clouded over, was getting darker by the second, so I opted to read and nap. Ambitious, aren't I?

We are off and running this morning and I almost feel at a loss without the usual thought process of "okay... time to make the applesauce" reverberating through my brain. Mondays are my organizing days, so it is plenty busy for sure! The sun IS out today, so I'll take the kids all out later for some outdoor activities and call it P.E..

I have been knitting and sewing whenever I can and I have finished a few projects. Unfortunately our camera woes haven't been resolved yet. Some things I can share, and some I can't, as they are for a certain holiday approaching faster than I can realize. Ahem.

I hope you are all taking time to enjoy this wonderful autumn season. Our leaves are about 90% gone now. I can't believe how fast the foliage has changed and fallen! Dale cleaned the chimney last weekend (he was the only one with any ambition) and we are all set to start the woodstove whenever we want.

There is the quick update from the Beehive. Have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finkelstein and Jesus

Finkelstein and Jesus

Jesus was wandering around Jerusalem when he decided that he really needed a new robe.

After looking around for a while, he saw a sign for Finkelstein, the Tailor..

So, he went in and made the necessary arrangements to have Finkelstein prepare a new robe for him.

A few days later, when the robe was finished, Jesus tried it on -- and it was a perfect fit!

He asked how much he


Finkelstein brushed him off: "No, no, no, for the Son of God there's no charge!

However, may I ask for a small favor. Whenever you give a sermon, perhaps you could just mention that your nice new robe was made by Finkelstein, the Tailor?"

Jesus readily agreed and as promised, extolled the virtues of his Finkelstein robe whenever he spoke to the masses.

A few months later, while Jesus was again walking through Jerusalem , he happened to walk past Finkelstein's shop and noted a huge line of people waiting for Finkelstein's robes.

He pushed his way through the crowd to speak to him and as soon as Finkelstein spotted him he said: "Jesus, Jesus, look what you've done for my business! Would you consider a partnership?"

"Certainly," replied Jesus

"Jesus & Finkelstein it is."

"Oh, no, no," said Finkelstein.

"Finkelstein & Jesus. After all, I am the craftsman."

The two of them debated this for some time.

Their discussion was long and spirited, but ultimately fruitful -- and they finally came up with a mutually acceptable compromise.. A few days later, the new sign went up over Finkelstein's shop:

(Oh come on... I know you laughed! Thanks to my hubby for sending me this in an email.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall, Autumn, Whatever You Call It

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

This has been my exact thought over the last several days. Our rainy Fall has relented into some simply beautiful days, in which I loathe to spend more time than necessary inside.

We have been busy however, with doing up 12 bushels of apples into applesauce. Last week we produced 135 quarts, not including what was saved aside for eating on at the next mealtime, or for snack. We are nearing the end of the 12 bushels, with only 4 or so left to go.

Over the weekend we attended the Fall Festival in a nearby town. We went to a Quilt Show, a Wood working show, the book sale at the Library, a couple of yard sales, and the local corn maze and obstacle course.

I also did the last mowing of the season. I know it is silly, but I really like the last mowing and try to finagle all the chores so I can delegate that one for myself. I love to think back over the summer and review the highlights, and remember back when the mowing was saved until after 7pm because it was so hot, and note with satisfaction that in the evening I needed my hooded sweatshirt and the air was already cool and crisp despite and unseasonably warm day.

These sunny autumn days are indeed precious. They only come once a year, and many of the autumn days this year have been rainy and gray. So, if your day today has sunshine in it, lift your face to the sky and thank God for such a simple, yet profound gift of a few minutes basking in the autumnal rays.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

If You Liked Little House on the Prairie....

You'll like the book "Caddie Woodlawn" by Carol Ryrie Brink. It is an easy read, and if you loved Laura Ingalls you'll be endeared to Caddie Woodlawn.

Speaking of Little House on the Prairie, I got an email from and the editor had a mock up sock pattern, inspired by the party scene in Little House In the Big Woods. It uses the Lozenge lace pattern. It could easily be adapted to any sock pattern, and maybe I will try it sometime.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Well, it has been a while hasn't it?

A few quick updates:

The basement of the church is dried out, and we are still gradually getting it cleaned up. At least one partition, one door, and possibly a cupboard or two in the kitchen may have to come out. All the metal chairs are rusted beyond usefulness. So, I've been washing all the dishes and whatnot in the kitchen, putting them in totes, and storing them upstairs for now. The folding tables are getting the same treatment. Walls are showing mildew still, and we are trying to get that conquered. The furnace is fixed and running, but the water heater is still kaput. We also decided that while we have everything out and off the floors, once all the destruction/reconstruction is done, we'll be repainting the cement floors, which has been on the "to do" list for a few years.

We have been busy as a family as well. School is going well enough, though the first week was a bit stressful, what with a flood and all. :P Dale has been home from work for about 4 weeks, so I took advantage of that, and got some extra sewing and knitting in and opened up an Etsy shop! It is called PiecefulQuiltzEtc. There are only a few items in there, but I plan to keep adding to it. I am working on some pretty fingerless gloves now to put in, and another baby quilt.

Here is a sneak preview of the fingerless gloves:

I will also be making a pair out of a beautiful jewel toned purple as well. The yarn is Caron Simply Soft.. and it is luscious! I'm very pleased with it.

Also while Dale was off from work we were able to go up north to help his mom stack the 24 cords of wood she got for heat this winter. She has RA, and stacking wood is not in her range of ability. We also bought 12 bushels of apples. In the midst of all this, a tummy bug went through the house, and we had various kids down up to last weekend. It wasn't severe, just lingering. You'd think you were over it, feel fine, then it would reappear again.

Everyone is hale and healthy now, and when/if the rain ever stops we'll be stacking our wood here and doing some end of the season type of yard work. Today however, we started making apple sauce! I'm hoping that since now things seem to be settling down a bit I'll be able to blog more. I have some major sewing/knitting to do for Christmas, and will be jumping in with both feet and hands immediately!

We have had a sunny day here or there and one afternoon while the older children were finishing up their school work, Isaac, Jerusha and I went outside. We raked up some leaves, then they would jump in it, bury themselves, then I would re-rake, make another nice pile, then they would jump in... you get the idea. They tuckered me out, and I even got blisters on my hands!

One knitting project I was glad to finish up were Elizabeth's socks. I think I mentioned before that I was almost done with them, and had her try them on for kicks and grins, and she couldn't get it over her heel! UGH! So I modified the pattern, and now they are being worn proudly by the recipient. I have to cajole, threaten, bribe, beg, plead, sneak them off her feet so I can wash them! There is nothing like hand knit socks to make you feel all warm, cozy, and loved!

Have a blessed day everyone!