Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘apple cider vinegar’

CLOSET

When I was younger, if I wanted to lose weight, I would pick a diet, stay on it for a week or two and lose weight. Did you notice? I wrote when I was YOUNGER. Now I look at food, not even eat it and I gain weight. Heaven help me if I smell it. A slow cooker is a gift — prepare the food in the morning, set it to cook and eat it later in the evening when you are tired. Except — if you are home — the fragrance lingers in the rooms, promising good stuff to come. I have tried putting the slow cooker in the basement when Italian spices are included, as long as I stay out of the basement — it helps.

Weekly, monthly magazines always have a new plan, promising weight lose. I have tried a few — the weight loss promised never materializes. I haven’t given up though. Except I might FINALLY have realized what works for me. I wrote a few weeks back that the scale finally moved. It did — DOWN. It has been so long since my weight was down, I’m trying very hard to keep it off. But still live a normal (?) life.

I’m always captivated by a new recipe — especially for soup. Then of course I need to add my own spin. I usually end up with something that has no relationship to the original recipe but at the same time, I might not have liked that either. Since I’m sodium restricted, I eliminate salt and add spice. If I was smart, I would stay with the recipes I REALLY LIKE instead of experimenting with new stuff. Of course, I always say that when I’ve tried something new and missed the mark.

Realizing what works, noticing when weight has gone up and correcting immediately — I’m happy with the numbers I see in the morning. I’ve tried on a two piece bathing suit that I wore ONCE two years ago. Thankfully — this time I didn’t look like a seal AND I COULD GET THE TOP OFF. Last time I wore it, I was afraid I would be wearing it until it either fell off or I cut it off.

I’m still having 2 tablespoons of Braggs apple cider vinegar with honey in the morning and the evening. I’ve tried to increase the amount of water I drink. When I have too much sodium (ate out), I have a cup of dandelion tea — either root or detox. I’m still enjoying my red wine and dark chocolate along with 6 almonds in the morning.

Since I was so happy when I tried on the bathing suit — I tried on blouses that I received at Christmas that didn’t fit. Thankfully now — they DID. Caution to the wind, I tried on a jogging outfit that hung in my closet for too many years to count. IT FIT! I’m not giving up — I still would like to lose another pound or ten.

SCALE FINALLY MOVED

I gave in. I fought the good fight but I had to send up the white flag. For months, or should I say years — I have faithfully logged in my food in a notebook. I don’t measure it but for the most part, I was honest about what I was ingesting. I’m using that word because I can LOOK at food and gain weight — also the smells, oh — the aroma of pizza or popcorn or chocolate. Lets not mention hot dogs, steaks and other assorted invitations to eat.

On New Year’s Eve I vowed that I would exercise EVERY DAY! So far I have kept that resolution. Some days — my exercise is minimal. I’ve switched some exercise to right before bed — leg exercises and the various arm movements I did in the morning. Many nights I’m too tired but I convince myself to move. I seem to sleep better after. The morning I reserve for more strenuous exercises — Tai Chi, Jane Fonda, aerobics. A couple of years ago I did Simons or Belly Dancing — but it was a couple of years ago. I tried Belly Dancing last week, but my knees rebelled.

I was exercising, eating healthy — watching my proportions. Not snacking and THE SCALE REFUSED TO MOVE. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe it went down an ounce only to go back up the next day. My knees continued to yell. I was getting upset with my lack of progress. I continued with apple cider vinegar with honey morning and night. I added Ashwagandha to deal with the stress of life and the results of the election. (I won’t comment on that.) And life went on — up one day, down the next. Oh, maybe down for two days, and I started to get excited only to go out to eat — have too much sodium and watch the numbers climb.

Now I know that if I gave up my wine it might help. But there are many advantages to drinking wine unless you over indulge, consume a bottle or more a day. I’m often reminded of the heart benefits of red wine.

So I ran up the white flag. I surrendered. With all my protesting, you would have thought I was doing something really HARD. Actually it is not. It is just time consuming and I have to PLAN! What am I making for supper? What am I eating when we go out? How many samples am I going to allow myself to have at Costco or other food store? In the morning, I’ll plan out my day using the program on MY FITNESS PAL.

I have only begun but my weight has DECREASED. I don’t know what the number is called. It was one those rounding ten numbers. And I’M UNDER IT. FOR THREE DAYS NOW and going lower. I will admit that I’m continuing on with my gratitude journal. I’m looking at cookbooks for recipes that the WHOLE family will enjoy. (Cooking for one, with two other people to cook for gets OLD!) I’ve made some soup for the freezer and it is my go to for lunch if I’m home. I’m also doing yogurt parfait sundaes for BREAKFAST. BUT I HAVEN’T HAD TO GIVE UP MY WINE OR DARK CHOCOLATE.

My knees still complain but it is early days yet. It dawned on me the other day that my weight in the morning is not as important for my knees as the weight in the evening. That is what my body carries around all day.

PACKING

I’ll admit it. I was worried. My knees have continued to give me problems. They were better — meaning I wasn’t in continuing pain. BUT .. and it was a BIG BUT — I had trouble getting out of the car after we had driven a distance. I was having trouble getting up from a chair, the toilet .. in other words my body wasn’t working as it had in the past. And we were planning to drive to Lookout Mountain, an 11 hour drive away. I didn’t think we would make it in one day. My husband probably could, I knew I COULD NOT! And I was afraid I WOULD NOT be able to get out of the car.

So I began packing for a short stay, including an overnight in a motel. I thought two bags would work out well. One for the extended stay, one for overnights. I forgot that in all of our recent travels, we were staying at places that already had some of our bathroom supplies — toothbrushes, paste, etc. Then I remembered our preferences for drinking and eating. Okay, the bags increased to three for me. My husband was on his own — not only his medicine but also his ham radios. Oh, then I had to add a cooler for his insulin. He remind me that he didn’t have a truck.

Just in case I would forget things, I had help from the other side. My knee hurt, more than usual. Remember the various creams and ointments to help with pain. I had trouble sleeping. REMEMBER TO TAKE SLEEPING AIDS. I was warm in every outfit I put on. I had packed the summer clothes away, putting out the winter wear. WHAT WAS THE EXPECTED TEMPERATURE? Summer 80’s was forecasted. Luckily I had tee shirts and clam diggers still out.

I don’t snack a lot, but while I was packing I was EXTREMELY hungry. Time to buy some snacks and
water for the car. I remembered my tea, my husbands sugar, peanut butter and jelly…. instant coffee and small bottles of wine. Apple cider vinegar was a challenge but I found small glass dressing or wine bottles. Crackers for munching. I was trying to stay with healthy options, so no chocolate.

As more challenges arose, I finally realized I was receiving HELP from the other side. Since we had only been home from the camper for four days before we left again. I will admit that I’M EXTREMLY GRATEFUL FOR THEIR HELP. I will also admit that I was frustrated when so many things were going wrong! My husband took into consideration my traveling concerns and we stopped often. My eyes were bothering me when we left so he did the driving. (He loves to drive!) My feet were also swollen, I brought sandals for the drive. I also wore my half compression socks, only going up past the ankle. Thankfully my knees behaved, the trip was less stressful than I had feared. I could get out of the car. Both of the motels were dog friendly, but Robin had stayed home. Their breakfasts were good, one better than the other. The weather was delightful, sunny skies — dry roads, good traffic. LOVELY TIME!

LYMPH

I thought that one of the things I was doing might have been helping me to lose weight. Since I was doing at least two things at once, I wasn’t sure what was working. I was drinking organic apple cider vinegar in hot water — twice a day. A man at the veteran’s clinic suggested I increase the dosage to two tablespoons and add honey. It was good for arthritis. I was also drinking a cherry smoothie with protein powder and cocoa. I had read that it was good for pain.

Since I was drinking two concoctions, I wasn’t sure which was working. At about the same time, many of the woman’s magazines that I read, had the same subject line — our lymph system. It seems that as a woman ages, her lymph system thickens. Instead of moving nutrients smoothly through the system, the fat gets sucked into the cells and lodges there. One of the suggestions is to have the juice of half a lemon in hot water in the morning. I have heard this before, but I haven’t tried it.

We left home for the camper, and I had my plans in place. I planned to have a cherry smoothie for breakfast — soup or salad for lunch and a normal supper. My plans didn’t exactly work out. First — the smoothie — although I had one or two, for the most part we either went out for breakfast or I had a half English muffin with peanut butter. It was easier — my husband made mine. I did Tai Chi most mornings and my leg raises at night. Instead of Aging Backwards — I enjoyed water exercise. I didn’t use weights — just my arms but I thought it was good for my body, and I enjoyed the group. Since after exercising I was HUNGRY, for the most part I had some of my frozen soup mixes. I had read that walking 10 minutes three times a day helped lose weight. I didn’t do that either. I injured my foot and too much walking didn’t help. As a matter of fact — I seldom got more than 5,000 steps a day.

So I’m sure you are wondering what I an writing about. I’VE LOST WEIGHT! I have no idea how much I have lost — I used to look like I was 7 months pregnant. Maybe 5 months now — my husband says he is starting to see a waist. My fit bit used to be at the fourth notch when I woke in the morning, and I switched it to three as my wrists swelled. Today I hooked it at the 5th space and moved it to four as the day progressed. So not only is my belly shrinking — my wrist is also.

Soon we will go home. I’ll find out exactly how much weight I have lost. Hopefully I won’t regain the lost pounds. I won’t have my water exercise any more. I can still do my Tai Chi and leg exercises. Hopefully I will find other exercises that will help me.

Just HAD TO SHARE.

PRACTICING

It wasn’t that long ago when I answered a question that asked me to list the 10 most important people in my life. The answer/question that made me pause was when I was asked where on the list I was. OF COURSE, I WASN’T THERE AT ALL. And I will have to admit that most of the time, if I am planning meals — I don’t stop to think of what I am going to eat. Since I’m sodium restricted, I CAN’T eat many of the foods that are my husband’s favorites: hot dogs, bratwurst, ham, biscuits and gravy, etc. At the same time he doesn’t care for fresh vegetables or salads.

But I’M PRACTICING. We had two of our younger grandchildren at the camper for a week. I actually made a list of the meals I thought I would make. I was proud of myself when I asked myself what I was going to eat and actually bought the foods I needed. It is a step in the right direction. And since that week, I’ve noticed that I’m including myself more often.

UPDATE:
WEIGHT — sadly no progress, but I haven’t added anymore that has stuck for more than a few days. And I’m not giving up.
PAIN — I’m glad to acknowledge that apple cider vinegar and honey, twice a day seems to be working.
Although I still have some pain, it is not as constant or severe as it was. Hopefully this will continue. I will admit that if I forget and only have the mixture once during the day, or forget completely, pain reminds me of my forgetfulness.
EXERCISE — at the camper I did a complete set of Aging Backwards only once, Water aerobics 3 times. Back home I did a complete set of Aging Backwards, both muscles and bones. I noticed that I didn’t have pain in my shoulders that night and the pain in my left knee seems to be improving. I don’t know if I’m more flexible but I’ve decided to keep practicing.

The synchronicities in my life often make me smile. This week, I remembered I used to make a tuna macaroni salad when my kids were small. I thought it would be a healthy meal for me with the high temperatures, I wouldn’t have to cook for myself. I didn’t find the recipe I used to make, but I improvised, and it is tasty. The tuna salad is NOT on my husband’s menu. When we have been out of town, it takes me a period of time before I’m caught up. During that time, I don’t take time to read my e-mails. Tonight I was trying to catch up. Over the week, if I had been checking, I would have seen tuna fish macaroni salad recipes on line at least two different times. And I smiled.

QUESTIONS

It is very helpful to have “friends in high places” — at times. I ask a question, or I wonder about something, or I have a problem and need a solution. Often the answer arrives in the near future. I hear something on the news, or from another person. A letter arrives in the mail, or a magazine. The method of delivery changes with the situation. And sometimes, the answer doesn’t come at all. It is not a given that I will receive an answer. So when I do, it usually comes as a surprise.

The reverse is also true. When I should be doing something, and DON’T, I’m pestered. Things fall onto my various body parts. I get hit on the head. And I don’t always know what I’m supposed to be doing. When I am slow to respond, the actions continue. The problem might be my weight — it is still too high. The problem might be my shoes — already worn. The problem can be anything — sometimes I can’t figure it out.

Recently the pain in my knees, shoulders and hips has been an issue. A friend at the VA clinic suggested I take 2 TBL of organic apple cider vinegar with 2 TBL of honey. I increased the amount of vinegar right away but the honey became an issue. I was getting honey everywhere when I tried to measure it so I just squirted the bottle. Evidently I wasn’t using the proper amount of honey. When he asked how it was working, I hedged my answer and he replied that honey was VERY important. I have increased the amount of pressure and amount of time of adding honey so hopefully it is closer to 2 TBL. And I’m noticing the difference.

I’ve also backed off on my cherry smoothies only to have the pain resume. I’m trying to make sure I don’t skip too many days in a row.

Recently we were at the camper, and I was in the pool talking to a woman. She had watched a program on public television that concerned the flexibility of the body. She was impressed and ordered the DVD. I’ve noticed that I’m having trouble getting out of the car and off the chairs at the pool. Our sofa has become a challenge. The fact that I’m losing my flexibility doesn’t fill me with warm fuzzies. I have added tai chi back into my morning routine. I have also added leg raises and stretches to my evening routine. They might not be enough. More exercise might be required.

PERSISTENCE

I have been trying to lose weight for a very long time with NO SUCCESS. Imagine my surprise when the scale actually registered a lower number again and then again. I haven’t increased my exercise — in fact, because of the pain in my knee, I’ve cut back. I was getting more than 10,000 steps a day. Now I’m lucky if I get 7,000. While I’m no longer going down, the temperature has risen and the little bit of sodium in my diet equals a weight gain.

I don’t know what is causing this weight reduction, I think it might be a combination. Because of the pain in various body parts I have a cherry – chocolate smoothie for breakfast. The chocolate comes from unsweetened cocoa. I was adding one scoop of protein powder until I read that in order for woman over 50 to lose weight, she should have 25 – 30 mg of protein at each meal. Now I have two scoops of protein with a cup of almond milk. Cherries are supposed to be helpful with pain. Studies of cocoa have found that it may reduce the risk of heart disease and cognitive decline. Two weeks after starting this smoothie, I received an invitation to join a study. I would have to give up the vitamins and stuff I’m currently doing in order to take their pills for four years. I’m going to stay the course with what I’m doing, not take the chance that it might be a placebo.

Since my knee was yelling, a man at the veteran’s clinic shared an idea that is supposed to help with pain. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of honey in water. I’ve taken one tablespoon of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, one or two times a day in water to help with my digestion. So I increased the vinegar to two. When I added the honey it went all over the counter and other places so I just take the bottle and squirt a bit into the warm or hot water. I’m trying for twice a day. It is supposed to take a month before I’ll notice a difference.

The third part of the equation is a mixture of 4 oz cranberry juice in 28 oz of water consumed during the day. The mixture is supposed to dilute the bile in the body, helping it to flow. The article I read suggested having the juice of half a lemon in water in the morning. Since I’m already doing the apple cider vinegar, I haven’t added the lemon juice. Since the temperature has risen, I’m considering adding dandelion tea to the water to help with water retention.

I’m hopeful that this combination will continue to help my weight decrease. This summer is supposed to be very hot. Less weight on my body parts will help I’m sure. Stay tuned. Up or down, I’ll share the results.

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