Tuesday, May 24, 2016


It's the season for business of life. Not the fun business, the businessy business. Like.. dentist yesterday, jury duty tomorrow.. that kind of business. Oh, and tomorrow I get to take my 29 month old for her 2 year well baby visit that I, umm.... never scheduled until now. Did I mention I hadn't been to a dentist in Arizona before? Yeah, that....
So, the business. I get the feeling, just with that intro, that you, my fair readers, might get a glimpse of the little bit of delinquency in my life.

It had also been a while since I had an appointment with my "Diet Dr." at Arizona Health & Wellness when I showed up last week. Overdue might be the word. I've been pretty faithful in my weekly group meeting attendance, making probably 2 times a month. But faithful in my adherence to the LCD (low calorie diet)? Let's put that in the not-so-much category. I've been faithful in exercise, faithful with my morning shake, but come 3pm my willpower and cravings and mommy survival mode kicks in and good food choices go out the window. 

Let's face it ladies, sometimes life is survival mode. But every day can't be survival mode! My Hubs mentioned something to me this morning... something about finding purpose in our everyday lives and how we shouldn't just live to die another day... that our days should be more. But I digress, my diet days... well, they certainly could be less. Less sugar, less carbs, less wine.

On my drive to the "Diet Dr." I went thru an internal assessment about where I am. Hmmm. Coming up on my one year anniversary of the VLCD New Direction Diet, how am I feeling? In all honesty, the euphoria of losing the weight is gone. I've gotten out of the habit of even trying to replace two meals a day with shakes or New Direction food. I haven't bought new clothes in a while. My measurements are the same. The scale fluctuates a couple pounds up over the weekend, and back down by Friday.  My running is on the "dreadmill". Sum total, I feel kinda blah. 

                              Blah like a selfie after the gym with an air conditioning vent. Lovely. 

Part of me wanted to declare a new amazing goal - Diet Dr. had previously mentioned losing another 20 lbs. My best high school friend is getting married in September - how about I try to lose 20lbs before that?! How about I go back on shakes? How about I do something? Anything? I just need to break my current mold...

But Diet Dr. in all her wisdom saw, what I know in my heart -  this is the new norm. My body, I told her, is pretty happy at this weight. I work out hard on most days. I chalk up some impressive numbers on the FitBit. All said and done, I can still nibble a bite of a chocolate chip cookie and enjoy a glass of cab and maintain... I just can't eat cookies and drink wine all the time.

Diet Dr. gave me a calendar, she said, two grades for each day. A color for nutrition - green, yellow, red. A color for exercise - green or  red. Mark each day, when you see a string of reds in a row, it's time to do better. I know that feeling. The yuck. The stomach is full. The carbs have settled in. One week into my new visual calendar on the fridge and I could see why I was feeling pretty blah. Lots of yellow, a couple red. Blah.

So, we cleanse. This isn't a traditional cleanse. It's a New Direction Diet reset if you will. I need a couple of green days. I need to prove to myself that I can control my cravings. I have willpower. I am strong. I may be up a couple pounds but I am not up 75 pounds! I need to get over my little mental blahs.  The Diet Dr. gave me this idea so I feel vindicated. A couple of days on shakes does the body good.

Cleanse Day 1 - Yesterday
How it went:
Breakfast - Coffee w/ drop of stevia
      New Direction Chocolate Shake made with ice coffee
Workout - 3 Miles on Dreadmill

Lunch - 2 X New Direction Peanut Butter Bars
Snacks - Lemon Luna Bar
                  Raw Almonds (24)
        Pure Protein Bar
Dinner - New Direction Chocolate Shake
Water - LOTS more than usual
Total Calories in: 1,262 Total Calories Out: 3,194

The scale showed a nice dip this morning, but that feels mostly like inflammation. Time will tell. 

Cleanse Day 2 - So Far
Breakfast - Coffee w/ drop of stevia
      New Direction Chocolate Shake made with ice coffee
Workout - 20 Mins Stairmaster w/ some Kettlebell
Lunch - New Direction Chilli w/ Jalepenos

 Snacks - Apples w/ Peanut Butter
Water - Lots and some with lemon juice.

This isn't about the weight. This is a resetting - a grounding if you will. I've been out past my curfew (so to speak), and this is a little bit of discipline for the body and the soul. Hubs reminded me last night that I wasn't fasting and as I complained about my stomach growling, he also noted that when I was doing shakes before I wasn't training like I am now. So, I ate that Pure Protein bar. I don't want to be dumb about this, I just have something to prove... to myself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A 5 Egg Day

So, I wasn't truly diligent in my chicken blogging... As of May, here is where we find ourselves.

Our little girls hatched on November 2, 2015. We raised them up in a cardboard box in our garage and shortly after the first of the year we moved them into the big girl coop.

Spring sprang here in Phoenix and with it so did the crowing of our favorite "hen" Penny. Showing her true colors as a, well... more of a Pat than a Penny, we waited it out a couple of weeks to make sure that the crowing wasn't an aberration.

Penny, er, Pat started crowing in earnest towards the end of March. Within hours of putting up the Craigslist ad, off Penny went to a new home. We miss him/her but our little backyard flock wasn't designed to have a rooster.

The first week of April, Cookie, one of our Buff Orpingtons graced us with our first egg. Here's Cookie and I taking a celebratory chicken-selfie.

Then our second Buff Orpington, Zoe, came on line about 10 days later.

Then Red, our larger Welsummer showed us her first spotted offering, a lovely dark speckled egg pictured left.

Then Charlie, the smaller Welsummer sang us a super loud and energetic "Egg Song" and before we knew it, we had two nice dark speckled eggs in our nesting boxes.

Last week we had our first 4 egg day. WOOT!!

I figured it might be a while before we saw a 5 egg day, but our nutty Ameracauna, Lucy, gave us our first green egg over the weekend - and lo and behold, all 5 hens laid an egg yesterday! A 5 egg day!! And I might just put up with Lucy's nuttiness for those gorgeous green/blue eggs she's giving us!

The hens will lay the most eggs their first year of laying. I've been happy to share half dozen here and there with teachers and friends - we've eaten quite a few, and I'm happy to have more arriving every day. Nothing better than farm fresh eggs. Now, how to combat those black flies.....