Wednesday, December 31, 2008

8 Pounds or 3.6 Kilo

No, that's not the weight of a baby, though it could be. It's the amount of weight I lost in the first three weeks of my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet.

Thank G-d; I can't complain. I have no real weightloss goal. I just want to get my life back on the right food track. Whatever weight goes off, deserves to be gone. I have lots and lots more to lose. Oops! Suddenly I felt like I was sounding like the Israeli government trying to explain its war aims. It's OK in a diet, as long as a doctor didn't prescribe major changes, oops! again.

Thank G-d it's raining, but I just couldn't drag myself out for a walk, and I was too cold in my house, and I do need daily exercise.

Tonight I made quinoa for the first time. I cooked up my usual vegetables, onions, carrots and squash (sauteed in oil) and added the quinoa and some boiling water when the vegetables were almost cooked. Start Fresh considers it a carbohydrate, and I'm allowed two servings per day in week three. I think I used too much water. It was sort of like a soup, but that's OK. It's winter, freezing winter. Not only didn't I measure exactly, I didn't even consult with a cookbook. So sue me!

Thank G-d For The Rain

This post isn't about the weather. I don't know why I gave it that title. Maybe it's because without rain, my vegetables won't grow here in Israel, and as you can see from the pictures, I do eat a lot of vegetables. I always have. That's how I was raised. So you wonder, so do I, why am I so fat? I ought to start my annual, (which never takes place every year,) check ups. This time I'll ask that the blood test check my thyroid, too.

It's hard to believe, but I'm finishing week three out of five of my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet. I hope to get to my neighbor today to see how much weight I've lost. My skirts feel looser, really.

I do eat well on this diet. I have cooked vegetables almost every meal along with fresh salad. Some meals are only salads, and sometimes I feel that I've had enough salads, so there are cooked vegetables. Generally the protein is either eggs, fish, tofu or white (hard or soft) cheese. I stopped eating yellow cheese a few years ago. There are just too many ingredients. Read the fine print on the package. Also my cooking has a minimum of ingredients.

Like this baked vegetable dish. You can see everything; just sprinkle on some oil and any spices you want. It's no more difficult than making a sandwich. You just need the cooking time. If you like to microwave, which I don't, it really takes a couple of minutes.

If you want to cut out the oil, bake it on the special paper or in a cooking bag. No, you don't have to burn it like I did.

Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet recommends a lot of tofu, but I think the amount they like is too much for me. Not everyone digests tofu easily, so next time I'm reducing the portion.

Fish is great, and it's filling. I found some individually-wrapped in the freezer section of our local supermarket.

Dieting shouldn't mean starving. I love to eat, and I'd really like to get a couple of sizes off of me. That would still leave me overweight, but I want to find a weight and eating "style" I can live with. I don't want to get myself to a weight which becomes the launching pad for another weight gain.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On The Last Night of Chanukah

Yes, I know that Chanukah is over, and I should have gotten all this blogged earlier. But yesterday I was busy. It was a big babysitting day for me and the grandkids.

And I've been blogging an awful lot on Shiloh Musings about the war.

Here in Shiloh, it's hard to believe there's a war going on. Things are just regular, quiet, boring regular.

In a lot of the places now under fire, they had no idea what was going on when there was shooting on our roads.

You'd think Israel was such a giant country. Even in my small town of Shiloh--The Real One From the Bible, from neighborhood to neighborhood, from street to street and sometimes even house to house, we don't know what's happening.

Please don't laught at that hunchbacked candle. I felt sorry for it. Nobody wanted to use it, so I used it as my "shamash" to light the oilive oil.

The Chanukah Menorah, Chanukiya, is supposed to be lit in public view. I'm glad we planned these long windows with deep enough sills to set up lots of Chanukiyot.

Chanukah is a public holiday. Just over an hour before the final candle-lighting I got a call that there would be one in the Park in Memory of Avihu Keinan.

The holiday which celebrates bravery is the perfect time for a memorial to Avihu, l'ilu'i nishmato, may his soul be "elevated."

Too Slow!

This computer is much too slow, especially once the avg virus check kicks in, like now, or when I have youtube or iba tv or radio on. So, as soon as I finish planning my Start Fresh kosher diet meals for today, I'm switching to the too heavy to schlepp laptop, even though the keyboard isn't at all comfortable to use. That's also where I upload videos, and here's the latest.

It was taken the last night of Chanukah, here in Shiloh. Moshe and Chana Keinan invited us to the Avihu Memorial Park for candle lighting. Their son, Avihu, was killed in a badly planned army action in Gaza a few years ago.

Monday, December 29, 2008


These are the duda'im of the Bible. They're supposed to increase fertility.

Interchangeable Meals

Maybe I'm just peculiar, but being a real breakfast eater, I find myself with "interchangeable meals." Today I had fish (salmon), sweet potatoes, carrot, squash and onion with some salad. Yes, for breakfast.

I'll have my eggs (vegetable omelet) for lunch at my daughter's, when babysitting.

It's a bit complicated when planning my Start Fresh kosher diet meals. I'm in a rush, so I just wrote it, like I was having fish for lunch and eggs for breakfast. I know that the "customer support" will just say something like:

"If it's good for you, and the daily intake is in the diet, do it."
I do feel good doing it this way. I don't feel heavy and weighted down after eating. I feel energetic, and I don't suffer food cravings. That means that it's a good diet for me.

Lots to do today, and sitting by the computer is too sedentary.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Carnival Sunday

Sunday's the big day for blog carnivals. For people who have Sundays and not yom rishon*, first day of the week, it's a day one can spend on the computer.

*I live in Israel, and Sunday is the first workday of the week. Many people have Friday or half of Friday off the prepare for the Sabbath.

That's why when I host a blog carnival, I spread out the work over days. The following two posts explain my method.

I had a busy day today. In the morning I went to Tel Shiloh for special prayers, since it's Rosh Chodesh, the first of the Jewish Month, and then, after lunch I went to a funeral. It was also in Shiloh. I didn't know the woman well, but I do know her daughter-in-law.

Then I went for a walk and to a neighbor for a festive candle-lighting, the last night of Chanukah. G-d willing, I'll post pictures at a later date.

Oops! Did you think I forgot the carnivals? No way.

There's lots to read in Havel Havelim!
That should keep you safely by the computer for awhile. Enjoy!

Ups and Downs

Referring to my the Start Fresh kosher diet. Concerning the diet, my mood is up and weight is going down. That's what it should be.

Today, I'll be up and down in other ways, too.

In another hour, I'll be going down to Tel Shiloh for our monthly Rosh Chodesh Prayers. That's the women's prayers on the first of the Jewish Month. This month is Tevet. If you'd like updates/notifications, please let me know. I also have a Facebook group for it.
Then a different "down," we'll be at a funeral here in Shiloh. More on that later.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Should Wait

News from the states is of bargains I'm missing, sales so irresistible, I can't imagine not buying and buying, even if I don't need anything. I keep getting tempted to call my daughter and sister-in-law:

"Maybe you can find me a ... or a ..."

But then I remember, I'm losing weight on the Start Fresh kosher diet. And I did lose some weight. And I'm not tired of the diet, nor am I craving food, forbidden food that is.

Actually, I don't need to ask favors or spend a thousand dollars plus to get to New York for sales. I keep getting text messages from my favorite Jerusalem stores about "2 for the price of 1" and other great deals.

I can't, wouldn't dare, predict how much weight I'll be taking off, if it'll make any real difference in my clothes. I could lose 30-40 pounds (14-18 kilo) and still be overweight, but I guess my present clothes would look funny.

Taking off the weight is one thing; keeping it off is even harder.

Right now, it's easier to resist the cakes than the sales...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Maybe I Made A Mistake

The door's open. I just had to open the merpeset, balcony, door. The house stinks of cooked food, burnt candles and oil. It's like some old tenement.

The problem is that it's freezing outside, though not raining. There was a drop of blue in the sky, so I took the sheets off the bed and piled them into the washing machine, along with other things which dry best outside on my fantastic 5 meter clothes lines. But the clouds are back, so it may not be a good day to wash the sheets.

Of course, since we're in the midst of a very serious drought, it's forbidden to complain about rain. Without rain, there won't be water to launder the clothes, wash the dishes and ourselves, nor will there be water to fill the swimming pools.

Keep praying for rain, but... maybe it could be just a bit warmer. My fingers and feet are frozen...

Busy, Busy

I've been blogging on Shiloh Musings all morning, and it's late already. So just click there and also Creating A Dream
The Eye of the Storm to see what I'm up to.

Yes, it's Friday, and I have to finish cooking.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feasting and Dieting Can Go Together

I posted some Chanukah pictures taken in Shiloh and at our Chanukah Party on Shiloh Musings. I'm also enjoying that I can comment and blog on my blogs without signing in and out constantly. Maybe the time has come for a new picture, the same for both blogs...

There's something very interesting going on, now that I'm on the Start Fresh kosher diet. The more I can eat, the less I crave the food. Also, my body/appetite seems more attuned to my activity level. Today, because of the blessing of rain, I didn't really get out. I just walked to a neighbor to weigh myself, and yes, Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, another bit of excess weight has disappeared.

One of the most important things in my kitchen is my covered frying pan. I do a lot of cooking in it, and because the handle fell off a number of years ago, I can also use it in the oven. Yesterday, I made myself a tofu dish. It was very simple:

  • onion
  • carrot
  • tofu
  • fennel
  • tomato
  • olive oil
  • tamari sauce
  • dark miso

Cut everything up, and place the tofu and vegetables in the pan, with the tomato on top, and of course the oil. Cook on a low flame. When it's almost done or getting dry, add the tamari sauce, to taste, and then just before turning off the flame, add the miso.


Let it "sit" a bit still covered. Then eat it with a salad. Yes, you may add all sorts of other vegetables, too.

Here's the food my kids served me on Chanukah. Yes, it was a very thick vegetable soup, a couple of days' worth of carbs, but OK, no potatoes in my bowl.

Vegetable soup

And they also "fried" a special batch of latkes for me in a teflon pan, with minimal oil. These latkes were great, with all sorts of shredded orange vegetables and basil and parsley.

Low fat latkes

I guess the kids really want me to lose weight!

Dieting During Chanuka

On the good side, it takes me less and less time to set up my Start Fresh kosher diet menus. But the frustrating part is that they don't list all of the options each day.

I'm trying to catch on to that and save my "staple food" in the "favorites," but that's a new trick for me.

Today I planned in my head to have a dairy dinner with cottage cheese and salad. With it the "fat" would be a slice of avocado. Yes, that's what I'm still hoping to eat, but I had to click a different fat, since avocado wasn't an "official" option.

Of course, being "me," I immediately see that possibility and do it frequently, like clicking cucumber for breakfast, when I know that I'll be cooking its cousin squash in my omelet. I just have to remember to put avocado in favorites.

It would be a nice option to be able to click "all fats," or "all limited vegetables" when in menu choosing mode. Just a suggestion.

I may as well report here that I overdid the carbohydrates last night, at our family Chanukah Party, but not by all that much. Jerusalem's most handsome bachelor did the cooking in his abode overlooking the Machane Yehuda shuk. He made a real rich vegetable soup and very carefully kept the potatoes out of my bowl. And the latkes were like no other latkes I've ever eaten. There were all sorts of vegetables, mostly orange (the healthiest) and they were shredded, not finely grated. In addition, there were fresh basil and parsley leaves. Of course, when you live in one of the world's greatest open-air vegetable markets, you're not going to make your great-grandmothers' Belarusian potato-onion latkes.

The kids are very supportive of my diet, and so they made me a special batch with minimal oil on a covered Teflon frying pan. No sufganiyot were served, nor any dessert for the adults. I guess I raised the kids right.

G-d willing, bli neder (don't hold me to a vow,) pictures to follow.

Making Life A Bissel More/Less Complicted

In theory, it should be easier....

On occasion, I've blogged about my dilemma of whether or not to keep blogging on both this blog and Shiloh Musings. This is the blog which has the lesser number of regular readers. Most "hits" are via google, looking for my recipes. But I do have a loyal band of cyber/blog friends who enjoy my various posts here.

When blogger turned beta, I ended up with separate accounts for the blogs. That situation kept causing me awkward technical problems, like having to sign out/in from blog persona to blog persona to answer comments on the blogs. I found it very annoying and time wasting.

So, I found a solution. Each of my blog personas invited the other to be a contributor it its blog. That way, I can blog on both blogs from both identities. Hopefully, this won't be too confusing, and I have a feeling that most people won't even notice.

For me the biggest problem will be paying attention to which blog I'm clicking into on the "dashboard." Those who blog on blogger will know what I mean.

So, that's it. Now to set-up today's Start Fresh kosher diet menu.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Special Chanukah Treat From Leora!

A totally delicious Chanukah Kosher Cooking Carnival from Leora!


There are so many totally wonderful posts included. Next month's KCC will be hosted by Ilana-Davita. If you're interested in hosting one, please let me know at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Please send in any suitable posts you write or see on the web. The Kosher Cooking Carnival is more than just a recipe carnival. Being that it's about kosher food, posts about Jewish Law are included, also, restaurant and cookbook reviews, traditions, memories and diets. Here's the link to send in your posts, or just email me.

A Chanukah Present and JBlog Visits

When I saw Leora's "caption this" post, I knew that I had to post this "mural," by three young artists. As you can see, the Jewish art world has a future!

Last week, I took the grandkids to a fun bazaar where the kids did lots of great arts and crafts, but my jacket and trusty pouch, especially the pouch, will never be the same. My kids find my "carrying it all on my waist," and I'm not referring to fat, terribly embarrassing, so I knew that I'd have to replace the pouch with something clean.

Yesterday, when my daughter returned home to her kids, whom I'd been caring for, she brought me a present. I've now exchanged my "Steve's Packs" for a "Modan." There are some big differences in the design. Simply put, the "Steve's" is more masculine and functional, while "Modan" is more clever and feminine. Today I have to transfer all my stuff.
Baila impressed me with the books she's reading. I read lots of junk, mysteries, detectives etc. I try not to buy anything, except for my annual "bag of books" at 50 cents each from the Great Neck Public Library every summer. My daughter #1 passes me her books, for reading and storage, like the full Michael Connelly collection. Yes, highly recommended. I also borrow from neighbors. Not long ago, I read "Family Matters," (sorry I don't remember author etc) which was good. Now the same friend lent me "The Link," by Nachman Seltzer. I'm still reading it. On rare occasions, I've been given Jewish books for free to review on my blogs.
And last, but not least, as part of MAZAL TOV to Hadassah, who's soon to marry again, I super-highly recommend that you read her post about the mikvah.
Chag Urim Same'ach
Have an Enlightened Chanukah

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Double Two

On the second day of Chanukah, I finished my second week of Start Fresh kosher diet.

I started today with a nice salad, as you can see. Since I was going to babysit for the grandkids, I knew that I wouldn't be eating all that much. In the end I managed to make myself an egg with frozen greenbeans. It tasted better than it sounds. I also ate a yogurt. When I got home I had a big dinner.

No, I didn't weigh myself. I do it at a friend's house. I just didn't have time, but I'm pretty confident that I'm losing, since my skirts fit differently and feel longer.
One thing that keeps repeating is that I eat less than I've planned on eating. It happens almost every day. I don't eat all the snacks, nor do I eat all the vegetables I've planned. Today, I wasn't tempted by anything while babysitting. And the other night, it wasn't hard to ignore the cakes.
I have so much weight to lose, I doubt if my losses show already, and I've stopped telling everyone I meet how I ended up on a diet. I guess I've told them all, already.

HH, Worth Waiting For

ck finally got out the latest Havel Havelim after lighting the second candle of Chanukah. It's the perfect jblog Chanukah present, so enjoy the various and varied posts he included.
He has been claiming that I've insulted him by not visiting when passing through the shuk. From the description of his view, he must be near Jerusalem's most handsome bachelors. Well, Dave, just give me your number, and maybe some day I'll surprise you.
Just hold the calories, please.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day Two of Chanukah

I have a lot of babysitting to do this week. My daughter isn't on a "teachers' schedule."

The girls and I made sufganiyiyot, and I didn't even taste them. Not even one.

That's for two reasons. One, I wasn't offered any. There wasn't all that much batter, and the girls had so much fun. They never offered, but actually, I never end up eating at my daughter's. I can't sit down to eat when I'm busy with the kids.

Actually, my daughter and I planned on my eating there, eating a meat meal. The sufganiyot are dairy, meaning that once a drop of meat has been eaten, we're forbidden from eating the sufganiyot. That was the plan.

We're both trying to lose weight. I'm on the Start Fresh kosher diet, and I'm amazed at how easy it has been. I don't feel hungry, and I'm starting to eat less. I rarely eat all the food I've planned in the personal daily menu.

The girls had a friend over.

They lit Chankah candles in the Chanukiyot they had decorated in gan, nursery school.

Eating Well, Though Dieting

This is the first day of Chanukah, and I haven't been tempted by the sufganiyot. I can't say that I'll stay immune to them the entire holiday, especially as my daughter informed me that we'll be making some for the kids. Sufganiyot are like jelly donuts. The "classic" and less expensive ones are, but nowadays, they're filled with an unlimited variety of calorie rich forbiddens. So, even if you make them at home, as healthy as possible, you're still talking about deep-fried dough.

For almost two weeks now, I've been keeping a public diet diary, since I'm on the Start Fresh kosher diet. I may not be the strictest dieter they have, since so far, I've refused to weigh my food.

As you can see, I do eat well.

The vast, vast majority of the foods I eat are from the unlimited salads and vegetables. That's why my plates look so full. Psychologically, it makes all the difference, at least for me.

Last night we were at an event at the Menachen Begin Heritage Center, and I had no problem finding vegetables to eat. Actually, I brought dinner along with me and ate it at my husband's office. I took a cucumber, red pepper, a slice of avocado and some cottage cheese. I really didn't need to eat any more, but I couldn't resist the vegetables and as a consequence was so stuffed that I couldn't even look at the cakes and sufganiyot. I may have over-done the fat, because of oil they used in cooking, but I had no carbohydrates, even the sweet potatoes.

Over the years I usually find that the sufganiyot aren't worth eating. Except for my homemade ones, they're always disappointing, but I never feel that way about the potato latkes...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Some Borrowed Entertainment

I can't believe that we're just a few hours from lighting the first Chanukah candle. I just don't feel "ready." Why should you be deprived?

Thank G-d, it's already Chanukah in Benji's "war zone." Enjoy...

And here's another treat, I've been planning on giving you. When I saw this, all I could think of was that somebody poured white powder over Frum Satire. The old guy has all the same body language
as Hesh!

What do you think?

Have a wonderful Chanukah!
Chag Urim Same'ach!

More On Dieting

It 's hard for me to believe that I'm really dieting, even though Start Fresh kosher diet has been easy to integrate into my life.

But as a veteran blogger, a sign of being a real dieter is having a post in the Carnival of Weight Loss. There are a lot of very helpful posts about dieting.

I'm sure that it doesn't make me an obsessive dieter to check out how others succeed in losing weight. I've trying to avoid obsessiveness in general. There are enough things in this world to get "nuts" about. I'd rather be relaxed about my food. Keep the stress out along with the calories.

I just got back from my two kilometer stroll around the neighborhood.

I've been checking up on Jewlicious, since they're supposed to be hosting the next Havel Havelim, and it would have had been nice to put both announcements in the same post. But since one isn't supposed to postpone a good deed, I'm telling you about the weight loss carnival now.

With Thanks, From The BBC

We hosted the BBC last night. We haven't had journalists sleep over for over twenty years, if memory serves me right. This is the first time we've done it at our empty nest. The kids used to be a major part of the enterprise.

I don't remember receiving "house gifts" from The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice and other media who took advantage of our hospitality, but last night's guests brought these gorgeous flowers and a good bottle of wine. Actually, it's not the type of wine I like, but how would they know...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thank G-d It Didn't Taste Good

Since I'm a week and a half into the Start Fresh kosher diet, I'm trying to be more "careful" about what I eat, but I don't want to feel deprived, because that causes food cravings and lack of control binging.

So, today at the Kiddush (snack) after synagogue I wasn't quite sure what to eat. I knew there would be vegetable sticks, since I brought some, and they're on the basic menu in my neighborhood. But I had to have some sort of cracker, pretzel, something with wheat. Then I saw the Jerusalem Kugel, which I like when it's good. It's an interesting combination of sugar and pepper and noodles. Actually it's rather difficult to get it right, and thank G-d, whoever made this morning's should do it all the time. It was awful. One bite was all I could stomach. I put it away, and kept eating salad.

We had artichokes for lunch, and I ate it with a double fat portion in the form of avocado. That was still within the diet. I had my third "fat" as sesame paste with salad.

Actually I don't eat much on Shabbat, especially when nothing's very tempting.

I'll make up tomorrow's menu tomorrow morning.

Friday, December 19, 2008

We Were Supposed To Be The Bigger And Stronger Generation

When I was growing up in the 1950's and '60's, we constantly heard that we were bigger and stronger and healthier than any generation before us. Our parents were raised in the poverty-stricken Depression, or in countries ravaged by war, so we were fed more meat and dairy products than they could ever have imagined.

Antibiotics and vaccinations meant that we could survive and avoid illnesses which had buried our parents' siblings, aunts and uncles before they even reached adulthood.

When we were young parents, while watching our parents, then in their 50's and 60's so youthful, playing with our children, we expected to be even more so. And now we're that age, and for many of us with living parents, we're discovering that our parents are actually in better shape than we are. Or that we're suffering from medical conditions a decade or more before our parents did. Or that we have serious weight problems, while our parents never did.

One friend and her siblings are troubled to discover that they all suffer high blood pressure and cholesterol, though their father, close to a hundred doesn't, and their mother who died well after her ninetieth birthday didn't either.

Another friend and her siblings have all been seriously overweight, suffering many of the associated medical problems since their forties and fifties. One sibling already died of obesity-related problems in his forties. Their parents lived to over eighty, slim and trim, suffering from fewer medical problems than their children.

My parents, well into their eighties, are both slim, but I've been overweight for at least twenty years, even though I have always eaten healthier food than most people. I' referring to fruits and vegetables, not lots of meat, poultry and dairy products.

As we were growing up the predictions were that we'd outlive our parents. I'm beginning to have my doubts. There are a few reasons. One is that a couple of generations ago, weaker people/children died young. They didn't survive illnesses, which today have medicines to control and cure. That's the simple math.

Another reason we may not survive as long as our parents are the very diet habits which made us bigger and taller as kids. We've eaten too much meat and dairy. Most of us were given bottles of sweetened milk or sugary artificial formulas as babies. In the early twentieth century babies were still breastfed. That gave our parents a long-term health advantage we never got.

Doctors and statistic charts were too involved in our childhoods, and they still control parents. The aim to gain as much weight in the early months and years set kids up for trouble as adults, middle-age and if we make it, old age.

Recent health articles bemoan the fact that today's children suffer from medical conditions once only seen in the middle-aged and elderly. But that's for another post.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Should I Eliminate the Carbs?

Week two in my Start Fresh kosher diet, and I get two servings of carbohydrates a day. I feel heavier, fuller and heavier. That's after the brown rice, which I cooked with onion, carrot and a bit of oil, besides lots of water, so they'd swell bigger and weigh less per grain.

Or maybe I'm feeling more bloated from the salt in the Tamari sauce, I use to give the tofu flavor. Yesterday, I didn't have all that much exercise, just to the bus stop, from the entrance of Ofra to my daughter's then to the babysitter, then the afternoon program and then the grocer and then the bazaar and then back to the house. At least a kilometer, I guess.

Today, I walked around my neighborhood twice, making it at least two kilometers, meaning about 1.2 miles. I was much more active the beginning of the week.

On Monday I had a great workout in the pool. There was water aerobics, and then I walked in Jerusalem. I also walked there on Sunday. On Tuesday, there was the tour of Herodian, no long walks, but tough stairs, strain on the knees, but divided between the two.

I still can't believe that I'm on a diet. If I find that there's no weight loss this week, I guess I have to cut down again on the carbs. I think that all I need is cooked vegetables. They satisfy me like carbs. When I made the rice this time, I made a lot for both me and my husband. I took my portion and added it to the tofu and vegetables, and then I put the rice in the fridge. Whoever made up the rule, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," was right. In my non-dieting mode, I'd just keep taking spoon after spoon after spoon and discover that I'd eaten enough to feed a family of big eaters. Now you know why I'm so fat. It happens to me with carbs.

I'm getting tired, and I still have some stuff to do in the kitchen. The house is an awful mess. Shabbat's tomorrow, so I had better stay away from the computer, at least for now.

The Stains Are Worth It

My beige winter coat and my grey pouch, which I use daily instead of a pocketbook, are colorfully decorated with paint stains. Today I laundered the coat twice, even using stain remover. I'm afraid to touch the pouch, because laundering ruins the fabric.

No, I haven't taken up a new hobby, nor was I attacked by a Jackson Pollock. I took my grandkids to a festive "bazaar" at the Ulpanat Ofra, the Girls High School in Ofra. There were Arts & Crafts tables, where for ns5 shekels each they could make a "project," and for another ns5 each, another project. In the end they completed four projects each.

They had lots of fun, and the high school students helped them and even took them to wash their hands periodically, when the paste and glitter coated them like elegant gloves. I wonder if my daughter has realized that the gorgeous clothes the girls were wearing may never be the same. And I may need a new jacket and certainly a new pouch.

But we did have a great time.

Am I Becoming A Dieter?

You can call this a "public diet."

I was really happy and surprised to discover that I had lost over a kilo on Start Fresh. It's not an awful lot, but I hadn't been as strict as I could have been.

That's because I don't want the diet, or any diet, to take over my life to the point where there's a separation between living and losing weight. My goal, which I had almost convinced myself was impossible, so not worth even trying to achieve, was to find a way of being thinner without being in "diet mode." Does that make sense?

A "diet" is a temporary thing, and I need a permanent change, which I can live with and feel is "me" and not some "diet." Have a lost you?

Yesterday, day #8 of the Start Fresh kosher diet allowed me two portions of carbohydrates, the veggie variety--no bread or pasta. I planned them as brown rice and d'la'at, pumpkin. It's harder for me to resist "too much" rice if I make up a big batch and take a portion, so I figured that cooking up the rice with the tofu would be best. But I have no idea how much uncooked rice would swell into my allowance. As little as I cooked, it was probably too much, and it took much longer to cook than I had planned. So of course, I ate later and was more stressed when leaving the house in order to go babysit. Luckily, my neighbor, who had also been waiting for a ride to Ofra, reassured me that she had been waiting a half hour before I arrived. I didn't miss anything.

I didn't feel any "better" after having the rice. I get filled up and satisfied from cooked vegetables. On the other hand, the d'la'at was a great addition.

So, my head has begun to spin:
"Maybe I don't need the carbs. I felt fine week #1 without them."

I know that can get "dangerous," and it's not the mental place I want to be. I want to slowly, gradually and naturally change my eating habits, so weight will come off and stay off. My body has to change. Neither of my parents has my weight problem. I'll deal with that sort of phenomenae in another post.

blogger isn't spellchecking, so please let me know if there are typos, thanks

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You Can Never Be Too Careful

Please don't remind me of Howard Hughes, who really had a fetish about touching anything that may have been dirty. I wash my hands a lot, but not like that. Right now there's paint on my hands, that I haven't been able to get off, from the arts and crafts my granddaughters did.

I used to be the cook in the local day care center, and I had all sorts of rules about keeping food covered, and I refused to grind fish in the food processor. People thought I was a bit fanatic, but nobody ever got food-borne illnesses or food poisoning during "my watch."

I'm constantly washing my hands with soap when dealing with raw meat, poultry and fish. Also I try to wash off after touching uncooked egg shells, and I don't serve any recipe with raw eggs. So I was very curious about a yahoo article about dangerous foods.

Eggs: While most eggs aren't going to make anyone sick, experts estimate that more than 2 million germy eggs (as in Salmonella infected) get into circulation each year, sickening 660,000 people each year and killing as many as 300. Um, maybe we should think twice about eating that cookie dough (or, judging by our conversation on Vitamin G, perhaps you'd rather take your chances?). How to buy cleaner eggs? Make sure the carton says they're pasteurized and never buy a dozen that contains any obvious cracks or leaks.
Peaches: They're pretty, but that's just skin-deep. Health experts warn that peach skins are doused in pesticides before they make it to grocery store to prevent blemishes. On average, a peach can contain as many as nine different pesticides, according to the USDA. This is one fruit you might want to buy organic (which may have blemishes, but won't have pesticides). (Here's How Peaches Can Help You Build Muscle.)
Pre-packaged salad mixes: Surprise! "Triple washed" doesn't mean germ-free say experts. Pathogens may still be lurking so be sure to wash your greens before tossing in your salad bowl. (Don't make these salad mistakes!)
Melons: Get ready to be grossed out. According to the article, "when the FDA sampled domestically grown cantaloupe, it found that 3.5 percent of the melons carried Salmonella and Shigella, the latter a bacteria normally passed person-to-person. Among imported cantaloupe, 7 percent tested positive for both bugs." Ewww. Your best bet: Scrub your melons with a little mild dish soap and warm water before slicing. (Stay healthy with these delicious winter fruits!)
Scallions: Blamed for several recent outbreaks of Hepatitis A, and other bugs like the parasite Cryptosporidium, Shigella and Salmonella, scallions present a food safety problem because of the way they grow (in the dirt) and lack of proper washing. While you can't control what happens in restaurant kitchens, you can give them a super-duper washing at home before cooking with.
Other dirty foods in the article include chicken, ground beef and turkey, raw oysters, and cold cuts. Click here to read 5 more.
Yes, I felt sick after reading it, too. When we made aliyah (moved to Israel) there was a cholera epidemic, so for years I rinsed all fruits and vegetables in soupy water. There was always a special bowl by the sink for that purpose. As I write this, I picture that blue bowl. I still rinse everything eaten raw in water, but not soapy water. And the leaves, like lettuce and cabbage which sometimes have bugs, get soaked in salt water and then I check and check and rinse again.

And I haven't mentioned the Bamba scare. That's related to the peanut article I want to write.

Yes, I Did!

I lost weight the first week of my Start Fresh kosher diet!! I was very nervous about it, because I didn't weigh food nor "obsess." If dieting is going to work for me, it has to fit naturally in my life. I've also, over the decades dieted and read so many diet, health, nutrition books and articles and gone to uncountable seminars and lectures that I'm considered an "expert," though fat and failed.
Yesterday, was a very busy hectic day.
I started it by getting up at 4am in order to be ready to leave the house before 6:30. As I've written many times before, I drink a lot of water and coffee and then must leave time to "eliminate." We should eliminate yesterday's food before filling up on today's.
Yesterday, I ate my breakfast at the Beit El T Junction, since I knew that I'd have to wait over twenty minutes for my ride. The night before I made a vegetable omelet. It was perfect, and during the tour of Herodian, I noshed on carrot sticks.

diet picnic meal

Being so busy, I wasn't hungry, until I made it home after 3. Then I took the cottage and salad, I had packed for lunch, and ate.
I made myself a great supper, fish and vegetables and salad. I used one of the individually packed frozen salmon I bought in our local "supergrocer," sauteed with the usual vegetables including cabbage. After it was cooked, I flavored it with tamari sauce.
This morning, I tried a different breakfast, fresh salad with white cheese and a slice of avocado, better use of my limited "fat." It was certainly more satisfying than the spoon of olive oil. But, again, the problem I have with a raw breakfast. I feel hungry, even though there was plenty of food. Cooked vegetables, which isn't one of the Start Fresh choices makes me feel more satiated. I'll have to discuss it with the Customer Support.

Now that I'm in my second week, there's more variety. I can have some carbohydrates. Bread is still out, and some vegetables are considered carbs. I guess that means that I can have soups. I'll have to ask. I must admit that I had a small portion of vegetable soup yesterday after our T'hillim, Psalms, reading session. A neighbor started bringing a pot of soup. I asked for just the liquid and greens.
OK, on with my day, the fourth wash is in spin cycle. G-d willing I'll blog about the "colon cleaning" lecture I fled from and why.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Falling Asleep On The Seat

I was all set to blog about today, going to Herodian with Matan, and... my Start Fresh diet, but....

I got up at 4am, so I could get out on time to get to the Matan Bible tour. B"H, some friends I've known since my teens had offered me a ride. but I had to get to the T Junction so they could take me.

Bli neder tomorrow. Sleep's most important. Good night!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just Another Few Days

Don't you see that gorgeous dla'at, Israeli pumpkin? I was in Machane Yehuda Market today, and these big, thick, juicy orange pumpkins kept staring at me, tempting me. I'm not allowed to eat them at all during the first week of my Start Fresh diet. Later they're among the "limited, starchy vegetables." Well, that's something to look forward to.

Think of what a good dieting girl I've become. I'm craving pumpkin.

Today was a big challenge. I ate out at the Cafe` in the Steimatsky Book Shop in the Mamila Mall. I got a tuna salad sans potatoes. They first served me "with," but I returned it. The quantity may have been too much, but I didn't touch the bread. I asked for it to be "bagged." I'll slice it and put it in the freezer for when I can eat it.

It's a very pretty restaurant. At least my friend and I had a good table.

I went to the Neve Ya'akov pool this morning and had a great workout. Then got off in the center of Jerusalem and walked to Mamila, where I met my lunch friend. So that's a lot of exercise.

Afterwards she dropped me off at the ACE deja vu Houminer Hardware Store. People who live in Jerusalem in the 1970's are bound to remember "Houminer's." It was the place to buy nice closets and rods for the bathroom and a lot of other things that today you find at ACE. It's funny, but I can't remember what was there before the ACE moved in, because it was always "the Houminer Building" for me. And now, it's like a resurrection, but just with a different name. I bought us a new garbage pail for the kitchen. The clerk was nice and made me a handle out of tape, so I could carry it easily.

I carried it to Machaneh Yehuda market, where the dla'at teased me, and I bought some carrots and cucumbers. I can eat them "unlimited." Then I continued walking until I got to the bus station. Traffic was awful, so I just kept thanking G-d for making me healthy enough to walk the necessary distance. Yes, I did get a lot of exercise.

Then when I got home, I tried to catch up on a few things. If you check my other blogs, you'll see what... For dinner I had chicken, cooked for Shabbat, but heated up with a carrot, squash and an onion. Served with some salad, of course. I always try to do all the week's meat/poultry cooking when I'm cooking for Shabbat. It makes it much easier to eat well.

I always eat the salad and vegetables first, then, lastly the chicken.

Will My Grandchildren Know Me As A "Fatso?"

I find some of the pictures of me with the grandkids horrendous. I look even more obese than my mental image of myself. Could I really be that fat? I hate to think so, but I probably am.

A couple of my daughters dug up my dungarees (does anybody call jeans dungarees any more?), bought for the summer I was a counselor in HILI I, out of the attic. They tried them on and insisted that I must have had been very thin. Strange, because I had always considered myself fat. It didn't help that I'm not built for the "Twiggy" styles popular in my teens. I guess that my parents were happy that they never had to reprimand me for "too short " skirts. And once I had become religious, that was an even better reason to keep my skirts no higher than my knees.

Now my problem is a lot more than just "heavy legs," so I consider it siyata diShmaya that I was offered a chance to try out Start Fresh. I'm still in the first week, and I have to find solutions to how to integrate it into my usual activities. I presume that most dieters have the same dilemmas, and I need encouragement.

My kids seem in shock and don't want to get too involved. They're right, and anyway, it'll take a while to see results, and G-d willing there will be results. At this point, I don't know how far I'm going to try to take it. For the past few years, I've just been relieved not to have added weight. My weight, after a "great gain and figure change" about fifteen years ago, I got off about a size, more from exercise than diet, and I've been pretty stable ever since.

Those are the girls you hear speaking Hebrew in the background.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Was Planning on Showing You My Tofu Meal, but...

... it got a bissel burnt, but it tasted great! According to Start Fresh, we can eat lots more tofu than cheese, fish or poultry.

I made it in my large covered frying pan by sauteing the tofu with onion, carrot and squash. I took a large, too soft tomato and put the cut up pieces on top of the other vegetables. When I realized that I had cooked it a couple of minutes too long, I poured some tamari sauce over it. I ate it with beansprouts and an orange pepper.

This is a picture of my Friday omelet, made with vegetables and served with salad.

And here's today's very late lunch. I was in Jerusalem until 2 and didn't want to spend a fortune on a salad. Earlier in the morning I ate the cucumber I had taken along. I just bit into it, as if it was a long giant cookie. Then on the way to the bus, I bought a plain yogurt, low fat. So I had my snack before lunch. Then when I got home, I heated up some vegetables from Shabbat, poured in a can of tuna, packed in water. I wasn't looking forward to the dry tuna, but the cooked vegetables made it much easier and more pleasant to eat. That's the trick. Of course, I had some salad with it.

And for supper I had the tofu. I'm sort of getting used to the idea of dieting. I visited my sons in Nachlaot while walking from the Center of Jerusalem to the bus station. I told them and the other guys in the apartment how I ended up being on a diet. Everyone was very polite. Nobody pointed out that I really need to be on a diet.

Following is some very nice music to eat by from the dinner in Honor of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

Jack, By Any Other Name... still top honcho for Havel Havelim! Take a look at the latest HH.

Hat tip to Jack for this inspiring movie:

Controling Food and/or Predicting Meals

I've always done best when eating very "routinely," but my present life is harder to predict. Every day is different. On the diet I'm doing, I have to plan, so I'm trying to be pretty general, just worrying about the restricted foods. If I'm allowed unlimited "undressed" salads and vegetables, then does it really matter if I eat differently from what I "clicked" on the computer?

One reason I've avoided dieting for years is that I don't want to obsess about food. I'll see what the Start Fresh customer service says about this. There have already been days, like Friday, when I didn't eat the planned snacks. There just wasn't enough time. In general I have trouble with the snacks, the latest dieting wisdom on most diets, which requires eating every 2-3 hours to prevent low blood sugar and hunger. I understand it and agree with it, but it doesn't usually fit my routine. I like it when I suddenly find myself hungry. Then I know that I can eat and should.

On with my day...

Old Age Is Getting Closer-- "I'm A Sandwich"

We're four generations, bli eyin haraa, shouldn't tempt the "evil eye." Even though I'm approaching "senior discount age," my parents are still alive. I also have grown children, empty nest, and grandchildren.

I babysit pretty regularly, a couple of times a week and go to the states to see my parents once a year.

My parents, like many, have stayed in their house too long. Almost nobody likes to move when they're "on top of things" and functioning OK, but once everyday life gets too hard, moving is almost impossible. I'm checking out old age, independent living "homes" for my parents in Jerusalem. I don't know if they'll really come, and with today's United States economic depression/recession, who knows what they can afford. As ridiculous as the prices are here, it's worse there.

My kids are concerned and wonder how we'll be in another decade or two. I don't blame them. My parents, in their prime, were much more competent than we are.