"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

I know I said "blog like no one is reading" but it's nice to know these people are

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Raw Food Detox Debrief

So I made it through the 7 day detox as prescribed by the Raw Divas. And I have to say I am quite proud of myself. I did not slip up once, although I may have jumped the gun on finishing when I ate dinner out with my Other Half and his mother on Saturday night, I think I was supposed to go through to Sunday morning but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go to my favourite restaurant in town and sit by the water, enjoy a glass of Prosecco and the delicious food.

But I digress, the week started off with major headaches for the first couple of days, probably due to caffeine with drawl more than anything. I don't drink a lot of coffee, a cup or two in the morning but my head was screaming by the afternoon of the first day then it subsided into a dull roar by Day 2 and by Day 3 I was okay. I have to admit I rather enjoyed the "Green Smoothies" for breakfast and am still making them. I blended kale, bananas, strawberries, mango and blueberries with just a wee bit of OJ and they were great. Filled me up and kept me going until lunch.

Lunch was either a bowl of fruit, the easy way out for me as I cut up fruit and have a bowl in the fridge all the time anyways, mostly watermelon, cantaloupe and mango. Or if I was feeling inspired I made a salad of all the veggies I could fit in a bowl. I did miss having dressing on it and found it a little dry so again I added a bit of OJ or one day I pureed strawberries to drizzle over. Not the same as balsamic vinegar but better than nothing. I love fennel so I ate a lot of that and I bought the premixed salad greens as a base. I didn't try to grow my own sprouts or mung beans (yuck) so I didn't get a lot of protein and you aren't supposed to have any oils at all so no nuts or seeds for the 7 days.

As the week went on I found making meals for the boys easier and the biggest thing I learned was that it is possible to make a meal with out grazing through the process. That is my biggest downfall since I tend to eat an entire meal before we even sit down at the table. And I didn't touch bread for the week either, my other weakness. Had my first slice of whole grain toast this morning and it was okay and I had my smoothie as well.

By Friday my waistbands were looser and while I still felt tired by the end of the day I have to admit I felt lighter and not just weight-wise. My whole body felt better, not so puffy in the morning and although bags under my eyes aren't gone I think they may have lightened up from dark purple to more of a lilac hue.

So what else did I learn that I can incorporate into my daily life since I am definitely not a total raw food convert? Well, I think the thing I can do is save my splurges for when they are worth it like when we go out for dinner. There is no point in pigging out on bread and butter at home or eating the kids leftover tuna casserole just because it's there. And when we do go out I will try to skip on the bread basket and concentrate on the meal. I am drinking more water and I am not sure whether I will ever go back to coffee. I tried some decaf this morning and it just didn't do it for me and it's the morning ritual I enjoy more than anything else.

As for the alcohol or lack there of, Friday night I was craving a cold Corona so badly as I sat watching the kids swim but I stuck to my guns and passed, just added another lime to my water. And even missing out on the champagne at book club was okay since I felt fine the next morning instead of slightly hungover and tired from staying up too late which is really the problem these days. I can't function if I go to bed past 11pm anymore. I am realizing that my eating habits are more situational than anything else. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and just like I tell my kids to get out so they aren't thinking about food from the minute they get home from school, I need to make the meal, get out and go sit on the porch or weed the garden.

More than anything else I know the thing that I got most out of the experience is that I feel like I did something for myself. I didn't necessarily lose a ton of weight but I didn't cheat once and it is the first time I have ever challenged myself to something like that so it's a big deal. It felt good to be in control. My friend who was my phone buddy (and it's good to have someone to call because the Divas emails are pretty generic and not terribly inspiring) when I felt my willpower caving has suggested that it might be something we could do every 6 months or so. Don't know if I 'm that keen but talk to me in January after the Christmas eat-a-thon when my ski pants are digging into my waist and I just might be ready to jump back on the raw food wagon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bet the World Cup players don't get to do this

Number Three on a break-away

Number Two takes the throw in

Then it was down to the pier to cool off

Ahhh ... summer

Friday, June 18, 2010

For My Other Half - Happy Father's Day

You are the King of Fishermen

You are the best to snuggle up to

You never get tired of reading stories

You've known me since forever

I love you

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Raw Day Five

Can't say I'm feeling better, not hungry just bored and my jaw aches from crunching through all those veggies. No worries that I am turning into become a raw foodie convert, Sunday can't come soon enough. I'll be hitting the Father's Day buffet with a vengence. But on the other hand it has made me more mindful of what I eat and I have created some truly beautiful salads which I hope to continue to do once I am back on the cooking bandwagon. Off to make my green breakfast smoothie. Who knew kale and bananas were such a delicious combo, maybe I should suggest it to Ben & Jerry.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Fruit Bowl Overfloweth

Fruit and Veggie.jpg

Okay, first off a disclaminer. I am not a dieter. I have never counted calories or eaten cabbage or grapefruit for days on end. I love food and cooking but lately I have been feeling like I had to do something to shake things up. I have been feeling awful - no energy, bloated, clothes too tight. I read about the Raw Divas on somewhere and thought, "Hmmm, maybe this is something I can do." I went to the website and signed up for the 7 Day Detox before I really had a chance to talk myself out of it. Then I did what any normal woman would do - I told my best friend she was doing it with me.

So right after I signed on I started getting emails from Tera, not terribly frightening ones but with enough raw food fevour to make me think, "What have I gotten myself into?" But of course the whole idea wasn't just to lose weight or eat nothing but sprouts for a week, it was to challenge myself, to step outside my comfort zone to use a tired phrase.

The detox started with 5 days of prep, just stuff to read and think about, then they dropped the bomb. The first day was a 24 hour fast. Yup, nothing but water for 24 hours. Now for a mother of three not eating for 24 hours is my idea of hell. I still had to prepare all the meals for my family and then watch them eat it. And explain why I was doing it to my boys who use "fat" as the worst insult they can think of. I don't know why but that in itself is a whole other post. So I thought about starting on Monday instead of Sunday since we were at the cottage and that meant the usual huge breakfast of bacon, eggs and sticky buns from our favourite bakery. But I decided that there would never be a perfect time to start, so I just did it. Had a wonderful meal Saturday night and then avoided the kitchen Sunday morning as the bacon was frying. I told my Other Half what I was doing as we got into bed Saturday night but of course he didn't get it and had forgotten by the morning when he called me for breakfast.

The day wasn't so bad, I kept busy cleaning out closets and I did make the boys lunch without too much pain. But then the headaches kicked in. Don't know if it was the lack of caffeine or food but they lasted all day and made me very grouchy. On the plus side I wasn't thinking about my stomach because my head was hurting so much.

So yesterday was day one of raw food eating. I went shopping and bought a full grocery cart of fruits and veggies. Spent nearly as much as I usually do on a regular shop and boy are my crispers jammed and my fruit bowl overflowing. I had a smoothie made of local (yeah!) strawberries, mango and frozen wild blueberries. Then cut up fruit for lunch while watching the two older boys in their regional track and field meet. Luckily for me this year they decided to forego the usual BBQ with hotdogs and chips, instead encouraging the young athletes to pack healthy lunches. About time I say.

I felt pretty good all day, no more headache and by four o'clock when my energy level is usually at its lowest I was fine. For dinner I made pork tenderloin with carrots, cukes and sugar snap peas for the boys dinner and I sat down to an awesome salad. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of it but it had almost everything I had jammed in the crisper and the fruit bowl including mixed greens, cilantro, fennel, oranges, blueberries, pear and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds which I now realize aren't on the detox list. It was gorgeous.

I had a good sleep and woke up this morning somewhat saddened by the fact that my hubby remembered not to make me coffee but I did make one of the Raw Divas' Green Smoothies with kale as a base then blueberries, strawberries, mango and banana and although it started a little brown once I added the blueberries it looked much more appetizing. For lunch I'll try a lettuce wrap.

So, so far so good. I do feel better and they say the dark circles under my eyes will start to disappear. If they do then I'm sold. I don't think I will be a convert to the raw food lifestyle, I love bread, cheese and a good steak too much but it has re-energized my salad making and eating. Plus, as a reward at the end of the week my friend and I are treating ourselves to a dinner at one of Toronto's raw food restaurants. I'll keep you posted on how it all pans out (no pan intended or was used in the writing of this raw food post)

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Long Walk Off a Short Pier

Yesterday my Number One Son, the 12 year old, headed off with a bunch of friends after school. I didn't actually see him but my neighbour knew where they we going, or so she thought. Turns out after they went downtown to the convenience store, meaning they walked down the hill to the block of shops that constitute the main drag in our little town, they then headed to the pier. (There's a picture of it in the previous post) That's okay, I just would have liked to have known where to look for their bodies when they washed up on shore.

You know the old parental saying, "If Johnny jumped off the bridge, would you?" Well, this bunch of pre-teen boys who all are beginning to suffer from S.T.B.S (Stupid Teenage Boy Syndrome, my diagnosis) all decided to to take a long walk off a short pier. They went swimming with no adults to supervise. Now they will tell you that of the five of them, three almost have their Bronze Medallion and they do but the key word is almost and I don't think for a minute anyone of them could have rescued their buddy if he got in trouble. The pier is about 10 feet off the water and it is great fun to jump off of, it is one of the things I love about living here but I am not ready for my boys to go swimming there on their own yet. But S.T.B.S. kicked in and off they went like a herd of lemmings.


But wait, it gets better. I didn't actually hear about the swimming until this morning. What I did hear about last night was the photographer who took their pictures and asked for their names. Number One Son told me that they were going to be in the paper and I asked, "Why?" "Some guy took our picture and asked for our names." But not our local reporter who comes to every little event around town, no some guy from somewhere else. Great. Okay, I thought, time for a little reality check. I asked him if he thought that was a smart thing to do, give his name to a stranger? "Noooo," he replied. "I guess not. But he only took one of the back of our heads." Well, it turns out that he didn't just get the back of their heads, he also got pictures of them all jumping into the water. Three times so he could get the shot. Apparently one of the boys has his card which I will be tracking down to call and ask him if its his paper's policy to take photos and the names of kids without parental permission.

I am not one of those over-protective parents, I have no trouble signing the release form at school allowing their photo to be taken and even put on the school website. Hell, I have this blog and I put their pictures up all the time. It wouldn't take much for someone to figure out where we live but I choose to believe that most people, whether on-line or in RL, are not pedophiles or stalkers. But still, I want my children to stop and think before they do stuff. Any stuff, from something big like getting into a car with someone who has been drinking to something little like swimming without adult supervision (I now that's not little but, it's all relative) We are entering a whole new universe here at the house of Cid and I have to start thinking one step ahead of my boys. It's not just riding bikes to the store to buy candy, they are stepping further and further out of my control (I choose to believe that at sometime I had control) and I want them to have that independence which is why we live where we do and not in the big city where they wouldn't have been able to do anything on their own until well into their 20's. But there are limits and boundaries and I guess we really have to start talking about them. Number One Son is smart and a little cautious which is a trait I intend to foster but the herd mentality is powerful. This is only the beginning of trying to teach them to think for themselves or at least to think, "What would my mother say about me doing this?" I may not be Catholic or Jewish but I'm banking on a big dose of maternal guilt to keep my children safe for the next ten years or so.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The 12 Childless Days of Summer and Beyond

I know I made a huge deal last summer about all the things I was going to do while the boys were away at camp but I learned my lesson, sort of. The weather didn't cooperate so there wasn't much sipping drinks on the patio (too rainy), I never finished touching up all the nicks and dents in the trim (too lazy) and my Other Half and I didn't sleep naked (too cold) but this year ... this year it will be different.

First off they finish school on June 29th and go to camp on June 30th! Couldn't have planned it better if I tried. I know it will be a crazy whirlwind getting them packed (remember The List?) and ready to go but as soon as they step on the barge My Other Half and I are going on a road trip! We're heading down east to deliver two boats, one to Nova Scotia and the other to Newfoundland which is the only province I have never been to. Very excited, it will be a two day drive to North Sydney, N.S. then a six hour ferry ride to Port au Basques and then on to Cornerbrook. I can't wait, I love road trips. Already planning my playlists and downloading podcasts. I might even sign up for Sirius Satellite again, if only to see if Martha Stewart's crazy daughter Alexis still has her show, Whatever. Just checked, she does and she has a blog. We listened to the show a couple of years ago while driving home from Florida, it is raunchy and quite funny, not at all what Martha would call "a good thing."

But back to the 12 Childless Days of Summer and Beyond. I am going to make a list of what I want to do, as well as a few things I need to do and hope that the weather cooperates and My Other Half is ready, willing and able. (And I will also encourage the boys make their wish lists like Sarah at Clover Lane did and I will try to accommodate any requests as long as they don't involve public pools or water parks)

So here goes.

My Top Ten List of Things I Want to Do This Summer

  1. Ride my horse more than once a week which will get him in shape so I don't have to worry that he is going to keel over on me after we gallop.
  2. Try to make a slipcover for the chair in my bedroom which because of old age and a puppy looks awful but it is my pile chair and when I do eventually put everything away that I pile on it I would like it to look nice.
  3. Finish touching up the trim or rather start over again since all the touch ups I did last summer have been scraped off. What I did get done looked so nice for a while.
  4. Rearrange the furniture in the basement once we get the hand-me-down sectional sofa from a friend's mother. I want it to be less of a playroom since the boys don't really play as much any more. There will still be some toys left but I want the TV set up so they can sit and watch or play games without trashing the whole room. The old IKEA pullout couch has more than served it's purpose and has to go.
  5. Update my blog header as soon as I figure out how to do a collage on my MacBook, I had it down pat with Picasa but now I am using Adobe Elements so if anyone out there knows how to do it, let me know.

But wait a minute.

This list is way more need than want so screw it. I am going to concentrate on the wants rather than the multitude of needs.
  1. Go for a paddle down the river we live on but never take advantage of.
  2. Get out on the sailboat we inherited and go for sunset cocktail cruises with friends.
  3. Get out and play soccer which we signed up for but haven't been able to do since the kids' activities take priority.
  4. Take My Other Half for a horseback ride so he can see how special the gift he gave me truly is.
  5. Do something with some girlfriends - go to the spa, go for a bike ride and then the spa, go to the new winery nearby after the bike ride and the spa.
  6. Throw a couple of dinner parties with an eclectic group of people. Eat outside with lots of candles, wine and good food.
  7. Go to the beach for picnics, the beach which we live near but hardly ever go to.
  8. Help my Other Half to breathe deeply, sleep well and enjoy this wonderful life he works so hard to give us.
  9. Try the Raw Divas Seven Day Detox just to see if it makes me feel any better and to give myself a challenge. After that ... give myself another challenge.
And finally Number 10. Enjoy my time while the boys are at camp and enjoy my time with the boys for the rest of the summer.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Grandparents Tea

Number Two Son has had the most wonderful teacher this year, one who really "gets" him. She has been so patient and encouraging and he has, as a direct result, had a fantastic year academically and socially. He is more confident and has tried so many new things and to top it all off she organized this unbelievable "Grandparents Tea" last week. The kids made the invitations for each set of grandparents. My boys are lucky enough to have all their grandparents still living and fairly close by so NTS made three of everything. They decorated picture frames, made murals, the mothers cooked up a storm and we all got to see the Grade 4 Talent show which was hysterical.

The class has talked a lot about the stereotypes we have of old people and so their skits and songs poked fun at playing Bingo, using cell phones and dancing. The afternoon ended with a slideshow of photos of all their grandparents and my son and another boy sang "Photograph" by Nickelback. Everyone had tears in their eyes. The kids who had grandparents who were no longer living made gorgeous collages of photos and messages in their honour. My parents and my mother-in-law were overwhelmed by the time and effort put into the entire afternoon. I am quite sure that someday in the future when my son is asked if he had a teacher who had a real impact on him he will remember Ms. Comrie.

Number Two Son and "Geeya"

NTS and "Dippy"

NTS and Grandma

Thanking Ms. Comrie

Number Two Son - one of the MC's

It was much more than just a "tea"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

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