Still going strong on no soda.
The light duty person has been diagnosed with per-diabetes and high cholesterol, so we have been doing a lot of talking about diet, etc. She's a big meat eater, so I suggested she may want to try cutting back on meat by using it as a condiment to her meals, as well as cutting out/back on dairy and eggs.
I've been doing fairly well with the DD. The one item I'm having trouble with is getting my greens.
That's partly why I'm thinking about getting a dehydrator - so I can make Kale Chips (maybe spinach ones too?) Then I can use them to dip in my homemade hummus. Taking care of greens and beans!
I'd also like to do dried apples like my dad's friend Pete does. Every time I go out to CA, I come home with bags of died apples. So addictive.
I found one on Amazon for $50 I like, but plan on checking Craig and FB first. DH thinks that's a good idea in case I end up not really using it.
I got an email from the Achievmint app today telling me how many points I'd earned. I've been ignoring them because I thought that I'd earned the max number of rewards. But today I decided to see why they kept sending me emails.
Well, I guess they restructured their program so that even people like me (who earned $200 from them) could continue to earn rewards in $10 increments. I'm halfway to the next $10! Guess I'll start tracking my water again.
Also last night I decided to look at the Bounts store ... and was able to snag a $10 CVS card! I tried to get a second one, but it wouldn't let me add it to my cart.
I stopped at a Dollar Tree yesterday (Tuesday) and was disappointed to find that most of their frozen vegetarian selections weren't available anymore. At least they had a good selection of frozen fruit.
I also bought 4 plastic canisters to put rice/beans/quinoa, etc. in. I need to buy some more, and also find my sharpie so I can label them.
I got a reply back from N e l n e t. They didn't answer whether they accept 3rd party checks or not, but they told me here to send a payment ... So, I guess we can try and see?
DH needs to recertify for the IBR plan. If it's based on 2015 taxed income, he should be okay still. By next year when it'd be based on both of our incomes together, we'll already be in student loan repayment focus so it won't matter. Right now we are focusing on the medical debt.
(Citi gives the option of sending rewards money to either a student loan or a mortgage. Otherwise, I'd send it to the medical debt. The medical debt has no interest, but the interest on the student loans is negligible, and the mortgage isn't bad either. I just want the medical debt gone first. Even if it doesn't totally make financial sense. )
Archive for September, 2016
Still going strong on no soda.
Now I am at 3 weeks of no soda!
I got home from grocery shopping on Sunday, and then went out for a walk. Just as I was getting to the house, DH calls me to find out where I was.
We ended up going to check out some more cars around town, and in Home Depot to check out week whackers, etc.
By the time we got back home, the majority of the time I'd planned for cleaning/cooking was gone.
So ... DH cleaned out the kitty boxes (bleach) while I got dinner on and did a few of the cleaning tasks I'd planned.
Dinner was eaten about 9 p.m. That's not late for DH, but is way late for me.
After dinner/cleanup/conversation, DH asked me to help him figure out the blood glucose meter. Yes, the thing I had gotten him nearly six weeks ago.
What a bizarre and un user friendly contraption that thing is! Finally about midnight DH had had enough and decided to try to find some youtube videos to figure it out. I was beyond exhausted.
Today I managed to get my lunch put together, and breakfast made, so that they were both within the DD guidelines.
Why is the Vegas contest idea out?
Well, on Sunday before I went grocery shopping, I stopped by the gym to do my initial weigh in and to ask some questions I had from the packet.
The guy who I talked to had no idea what was in the packet. For example, the packet stated that you could another facility, but would just need to have proof of that. He told me you could ONLY work out there.
So today I emailed the main contact person to clear up the confusion. He said the same thing! Even though the packet contradicts that.
This, plus a few other things, led the light duty person and I to agree to forget this whole thing.
I am thinking about joining Planet Fitness, which would only be a short distance out of my way on the way home from work. And only $10/month. DH thinks this would be a good idea as well.
DH also suggested that maybe I could go use the gym membership I already have (and have to pay til March) on the weekends when traffic wouldn't be such an issue. He's got a good point. Now, just to do it.
I'm probably going to go to bed not too long from now. I've a massive sinus? headache, probably partially triggered by the short night's sleep.
DD 20 (Saturday) was a bit of a wash. I had my regular morning smoothie and toast ... but then had a craving for pizza and chocolate ... and gave into it. Didn't get much other of the DD (daily dozen) foods in.
Today is a new day.
I spent a little time updating the budget last night. I was thinking that we were going to be getting kind of close to the limit on our groceries, but even after double checking that all receipts were entered, I found that we had nearly $140 left! No way we would need to spend that much in the next 7 days.
So, I moved $70 of that to paying for the Trans Siberian tickets (my birthday category only had $15 in it ... the tickets were $108. Needed to whack some moles ...) I found a few other places I could WAM (move money) from, and fully covered that category.
I would have waited to buy the tickets until I had them funded normally, but by buying them when I did, I saved $40.
I can hardly wait for November 17!
I've had a pretty lazy start to the day so far. After DH woke me up coming home this morning (4:30 a.m.) I managed to go back to sleep til nearly 9. I love Sunday mornings. The cats weren't so happy about my staying in bed til 9 ...
In a little while I'm going to go to the gym to do my initial weigh in for the Vegas Trip Contest, and then go do some grocery shopping. Probably Aldi's, HyVee and SuperSaver.
Then I need to clean/bleach a couple of the litter boxes, sweep, vacuum, clean the bathroom, mop the laundry room ...
I'm planning on doing a simple dinner tonight I think. A Chef Boy'r Dee pizza with a side of broccoli and beans. That'll make DH happy and me happy too. (And won't take 3 hours of prep time.)
I'll bake some sweet potatoes for my work lunches this week, and portion out some of the beans I made last week. (How long are cooked beans okay in the fridge?)
I read an interesting post on the blog No Meat Athlete about how to really make lasting habit changes.
I don't believe personally in meditation/mindfulness, but I would like to get back into the habit of spending time daily reading/thinking about the Bible. Usually when I go for my walks, I listen to the podcast Brian Hardin's Daily Audio Bible, but it's easy to let my thoughts wander (especially when he's on the chapters with long lists of names ...)
Ten habits I would like to incorporate in my life:
1. Daily Bible reading (physical book) Start with 5 minutes, and slowly increase to 30. (Read Sabbath School quarterly??)
2. Memorize one Bible verse a week. (Use Memorise?)
3. Play the piano daily. (Start with 5 minutes, and work up to 30.)(Purchase iPad piano app?)
4. Practice Spanish. Start with 5 minutes, and work up to 20 minutes using Duolingo or other sources.)
5. Wake up an hour earlier. (Start with 5 minutes ...)
6. Daily flossing (much better about this, but could be even better.)
7. Practice releasing stress through other means than chocolate. --Say "Oh Well" -- Chew gum --- .....?
8. Spend time daily doing something to make the house more home like (other than daily cleaning the litter boxes) Start with 5 minutes, work up to 20.
9. Average 7,000 steps daily. Or, 30 minutes of movement daily. (Start with average of 4,000 / 5 minutes movement and work up.)
10. Make contact with one family/friend (other than Grandma) 2x a week. (Start with 2x a month, and work up.)
Habits 1 and 2 kind of go with each other, so I think I'll make those my focus for September/October.
What are some habits/small changes that you might like to focus on?
I'm still managing to stay away from soda. I'm finding out again, like other times I've managed to go more than two weeks avoiding it, that it gets to where I'm not sure why I wanted it in the first place. I'm at that point now - where a sip of DHs Cherry Coke doesn't even tempt me.
As far as the Daily Dozen - I'm still doing fairly well with it. I think I may modify it a bit ... such as making beans a 1/2 cup per day UP to 3 servings. Eventually I may work up to 3 servings daily, but most nights all I want is something simple like a bowl of cereal and maybe some fruit. When it gets colder, it'll be easier too ... soup or a sweet potato w/beans, etc.
DH didn't like the spaghetti squash too much. We have 3 mo I'm going to try making a spaghetti squash "pizza" and see if he'd go for that. I had lots of leftovers to eat this week because DH wasn't too keen on any of what I made on Sunday. I'm going to have to toss some of it, because I couldn't even eat it all.
One thing going to work on this weekend is coming up with a meal plan mainly using what we already have on hand, but using it in a different way (to make it more palatable to DH.) He was mentioning to me that he thought we shouldn't be buying more perishable items until we used up what we have. (I didn't say that if BOTH of us were eating them ....)
*Exercise - Fallen a bit short on this this week, due to 2 days of evening meetings and a road trip. Got in a 30 minute walk today though!
DH may have found his winter vehicle - just an hour away! Thursday when I got off work DH called me and asked me if I wanted to take a road trip to O city to see the car. Although I was pretty tired and really wanted to get a walk in, etc., I said yes.
It's a 98 Subuaru - not sure how many miles - $1400. Needs new tires and a driver's side mirror and the windshield replaced. DH was supposed to call the dealer today to talk to them - I forgot to ask him if he did or not.
I really hope this car is workable. A 1 hour road trip is much preferable to a 12 hour roundtrip!
One of our local gyms is running a contest starting on Monday for a trip to Vegas. You enter as a team of 4, and earn points based on exercise, tracking food, weight loss, participation in nutrition events, etc. You get free access to their gym for the duration of the contest.
The winning team of 4 gets a 3 day/2 night trip to Vegas. Airfare and hotel only.
So ... I got the light duty lady to agree to partner up with me - we'll be assigned two more people.
Doubt we'll win, but it'll be fun anyway.
(This contest is mainly a marketing gimmick to get people to join their gym - it's a new company taking over the locations a defunct gym.)
It's free. (Although you can earn more points by buying stuff at some place, or also by scheduling a chiropractic consultation / visit (sponsors).) I may go ahead and do the chiropractic thing - check to see if a visit would be covered under insurance.
I ended up getting 6 hours of overtime this week! Two meetings from 5 - 7, and then a 3rd meeting I wasn't supposed to be at initially, from 3 - 5. Due to my union contract, that 30 minutes of OT HAS to be 2 hours.
2 of the meetings had about 125 people each, and one had 49 .... lots of twiddle the thumb time at that one.
I received my signup bonus for the AE Charge card - 25000 points plus another 1000 for my "purchase." (paid medical debt) Let's just say I'm underwhelmed at the choices.
Most likely we're going to go with using it as Amazon credit. 26,000 points translates into $182 at Amazon.
Or we may keep it around in case we do some traveling, and then we could use it on a more dollar for point basis at hotels com.
I'm going to try contacting N e l n e t again tonight to see if they accept a 3rd party check. I've already sent them two emails through my husband's account (that I set up for him online ...) with no response. (student loans)
DH and I agreed that if we don't get a response within two weeks this time, that we'll send the $600 in rewards from Citi to the mortgage instead. That'd be more than a one-month payment. (The mortgage company responded to my inquiry within about 6 hours!)
Once that finally clears out the rewards points, then I'm going to check into having that card changed into the Double Cash back card (that doesn't have an annual fee.)
No Soda. About an 80% on the daily dozen. Chocolate bought and consumed.
The day didn't start well. I tossed and turned more than slept. Then when DH got home he tells me he's decided his car is "safe" for a 6 hour shift, so wouldn't be using mine. After a 2 hour "discussion" he promised to come straight home and change cars if he had the slightest hesitation about the wheel bearing. (DH got home about 3:20 a.m.)
As soon as I turned the lights on at work, I had a customer - one of the agencies. I later found out that I gave them the low income version instead of the full fare. I was blurry eyed and a bit foggy AND had two calls on hold before I'd even logged in. uGH.
After lunch I found out that the route changes are being postponed til November 1. Citing that the city budget has not been passed.
This is a mixed blessing. On one hand having more time to finalize prep will be very helpful. On the other hand, we have spent a massive amount of time advertising an Oct 3 start date. Now we get to explain that there's a new start date...
BTW - if anyone has an interest in bus driving, we are looking for drivers. ASAP.
I helped out the first open house about the new routes tonight. 120 people showed up! Less than 7% sounded disgruntled, and of those, most of them we were able satisfy them.
It was actually kind of fun. Tomorrow I get to do it all over again. 4 hours overtime, thanks much.
Day 15 of no soda.
Had a Kit kat gifted to me by the lady doing light duty. I'm a milk chocolate gal - rarely dark.
I think I got an 87% today. Lots of leftovers from dinner.
I think DH and I are both getting tired of roasted veggies. I need to come up with something else. Not salad. He won't eat salad. Veggies have to be cooked.
So, how did DH save the day?
Well last night I was afraid I had fried my blender and my InstaPot. The blender would be a horrible loss due to daily use, and the InstaPot, I'm just starting to figure out what to do with it.
I'd tried everything I could think of. DH had me try plugging the blender in another outlet, and it worked! So then we thought that the outlet went bad.
But when I plugged something into it, it worked!
So, we thought maybe just the IP had fried.
But then DH made the wonderful discovery (which he will tease me about forever) - the removable plug in cord was NOT plugged in to the back of the pot!
Crisis averted. Wooh!
Of course, on the other hand .. since DH hadn't made an appointment to get his car looked at (the wheel bearing fixed) and had just let it go and go (he did buy the needed parts ...) he tells me on Saturday he needs my car.
It probably will be most of this week before it can get fixed.
And of course this week just so happens to be when I have two evening meetings in a row after work.
Thankfully my boss said she'd be ok with me riding with her to the meeting, and taking me home on Tuesday. Wednesday won't be an issue since DH doesn't work til 9 PM.
But still... Ugh.
I needed a few stamps to mail something, and since after I got home, DH had the car, I walked to the next closest gas station which sold stamps. (I called first!) Got a good 35 minute walk in too.
On my way home, a lady that I've seen quite a number of times on my walks was in her driveway unloading groceries with her son? She said hi to me and asked me if I lived in the area. I told her that I lived just around the corner.
She then told me that if I ever wanted a walking partner, just bang on her door after 3 pm and she'd throw on some shorts and go! COOL!
Something else pretty good. I got a call from my doctor's office about my blood work. They said that my platelets had improved a good bit, and to stay on the iron supplements - they seemed to be working!
I need to call back and make an appointment for another retest, and also ask what the numbers were. I hate how they don't give you a copy of the results unless you ask. It's so annoying. I want to track these things myself!
So, I've been pretty frustrated with one of my paid to exercise apps - bounts. It works fine, but I haven't been able to redeem for a reward in a LONG time. I have enough points for at least $15 worth of rewards.
But they are all out of stock. Except one - Crutchfield. A $25 reward. I need another 2k points or so for.
I had been wondering why I'd even want that. But then I got a catalog in the mail today (or I should say DH did) and it was for ... Crutchfield! I browsed through it and at first thought everything was WAY out of my price range and nothing I'd really want.
Then ... then I saw it. A little device you plug into your stereo which works to make your stereo bluetooth compatiable. That just means that you can listen to your iPhone music without any cords connecting to your speaker system. $50.
This is a goal I can work towards.
Something else I forgot!
DH agreed to go to a real concert with me! Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Nov 17. It'll be an early birthday celebration for me. Thank goodness the guitarist he likes is in this particular group (I guess they divide the group into two to cover more territory.)
Now I just need to buy the tickets!
I had my first real test today regarding soda... DH got a Mountain Dew from Runza while we were out looking at car lots. I was thirsty, but I had water with me. Not even a sip.
So today is going to be difficult to assess.
This morning when I got back from my walk, I didn't want to just make a smoothie. I wanted something a little different. So I decided to make "ice cream" using my usual smoothie ingredients, except less liquid and more cacao powder.
Unfortunately. I way overdid the cacao powder and no matter what I added, I couldn't get rid of the bitter taste. I managed to eat maybe half of it, one painful spoonful at a time.
Like my husband likes to say - Laura, taste and add, taste and add. Ugh.
My great northern beans turned out pretty good I think. 25 minutes in te Instant Pot. My hummus is ok, but I really need to find my food processor so I can make it smoother/creamier.
Another disaster - I put a spaghetti squash in the IP to cook for 6 minutes. When I cut it open, I realized it needed more time. But .... the outlet isn't working anymore! I tried resetting it, but did no good.
Hopefully when DH wakes, he can figure it out.
I have tofu "steaks" marinading right now, and probably should get the veggies in the oven for roasting.
I would have gotten more done today, but DH woke around 11 and wanted to go around the car lots. A ride with DH is much more appealing than cleaning.
We found one vehicle he liked, but it didn't have a price tag. I'm betting it'll be way out of our price range. We'll see I guess.
Today makes 13 days sans soda. I don't really miss it that much.
I did buy and eat some chocolate on Friday, but much less than normal. I actually ate an apple instead of eating the chocolate right away ....
I'd say Day 12 was about a 85% and Day 13 about a 65%. I had leftover pizza for lunch today (from Thursday Little Ceasar's) and it wasn't all that appetizing.
I was going to go on the Saturday afternoon hike with some fellow church members today, but after I finished my earlier post and started to get ready, I realized I just wasn't up to it.
Instead, I took a 90 minute nap.
Even after getting up from my nap (to see DH off to work) I still wasn't feeling very good. So, no walk today.
I'm really hoping I'm feeling better by the morning because I'm way behind on cleaning, and I need to get food ready for the week. Tuesday and Wednesday will be late evenings for me (helping explain the new bus routes to people) and I don't want to derail my healthier eating.
I'd really like to hire someone to come in and assist/push me to get the cleaning done. Maybe some organizing too. Also have someone help me figure out how to make the house smell better ... Sigh.
I did some grocery shopping the last few days. DH agreed that if I made a big pot of Great Northern Beans, that he would eat them throughout the week. (This was after I read to him the section on how people were able to eat 1/2 cup of legumes daily on top of their regular intake, without it causing weight gain. In fact, it caused the opposite. Plus helped to regulate the blood sugar, etc.)
The beans and chickpeas have been soaking since Friday night. I am going to take them out of the water in a few minutes. Maybe use the Instant Pot for the GN beans so hubby can start eating them.
I bought from our local "Farmer's Market" store - almond milk, spaghetti squash, eggplant, red onions, apples, oranges, 2 lbs of Great Northern beans, 1 lb of chickpeas (going to make hummus and roast some too), 1/2 lb of Brazil Nuts (eat 2 a day to help with thyroid, plus heart health), two Medjool Dates ($$$$$$) and some other things I can't remember. $26.xx
From HyVee, 3 candybars (3 for $1), red seedless grapes, ?? $13.xx
From Dollar Tree - multiple bags of frozen broccoli florets, frozen asparagus, a couple spices, etc.
From another local grocery store (Russ) -
bananas, ten different spices/herbs (ground mustard, bay leaves, chopped basil, ground ginger (to keep at work), sesame seeds, ....
I also looked at buying Chlorella and liquid B 12 ... but couldn't stomach the cost. I was thinking about buying some fresh kale too, because the fresh/non-bagged stuff was on a good sale, but I didn't know for sure what was the kale I wanted (3 varieties) - I wanted to try making Kale chips. So I didn't get any.
I'm about halfway through How Not to Die taking notes. Some of the recommended stuff is SO expensive. I'm thinking I'll stick to the recommendations that are a reasonable cost, and then IF something happens to me, then I can go for the more expensive stuff (like Chlorella ...)
A part of me is really frustrated that I'm feeling so poorly even with having been eating much higher amounts of fruits and veggies for nearly two weeks, and little junky food.
I'm not giving up though. Something has to work to get me feeling energetic again. Maybe if DH sees it working for me, he'll be more willing to expand his choices as well...
Redeemed a $25 Walmart gift card today from SBs.
Also used a $30 Petco gift card I earned last month by setting up "repeat delivery) to order some grain free cat food and more litter. Cost after rewards and gift card - $6.86
Almost forgot! The mortgage FINALLY posted to my credit reports! I got a call from the fraud alert place my company uses that there were two alerts - one that the mortgage had been added, and one about the inquiry from Chase.
Later I'll post another one, but only have a few minutes right now.
1. I'm 40 years old, and will be 41 in December
2. I have furkids, featherkids, and shellkids only. Too many of all of them.
3. I am a newleywed - married April 24. DH is why I am mom to so many non human kids.
4. I was an elementary teacher for 8 years, a tutor for two, and an elementary school librarian for 3 years at a mission school for Navajo children.
5. I live in Nebraska. Nebraska is something like state #13? for me.
6. In January, I will have been blogging at SA for 12 years!
7. I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. Far from perfect, but trying. I would NOT have voted for Ben Carson if he'd somehow gotten on the ticket.
8. I am a vegetarian. Currently I still will eat eggs and cheese and ice cream ... however ... I am trying to wean myself off of all those things.
9. If chocolate could be my main food source, I'd be a happy woman. Sigh.
10. My DH and I met the first time online in a SDA dating website in 2004. We dated a few months, went our different ways. In March, 2012? I called him. In May we saw each other again, and have been together since (except for a short stint ...)
11. I have family in Texas, Tennessee, California, Ohio and Egypt.
12. One of my dad's younger brother's and his wife have lived more of their adult life in the Middle East than in the US. They started as paid missionaries, and now are sponsored by various organizations to do a health ministry.
13. Walking is my favorite form of exercise. Especially walking outside.
14. Lifting weights is my second favorite form of exercise ... although I don't do it consistently.
15. I love to read, although between keeping up with various forums, blogs, etc., plus taking care of my non human kids, have not left me much time to do much reading lately.
16. Music is like an elixir to my soul. Listening to it (most types except heavy metal/punk/rap) and singing loudly off key are two of my favorite ways to enjoy it. I did not inherit my mom's singing ability. Nor my brother's.
17. I have one younger brother (35) who lives in CA. He's a pretty awesome dude all around. I'm very lucky to have him.
18. I've had the opportunity to meet several SA bloggers in real life. MonkeyMama, LookingForward, ThriftyRay and another one (sorry, brain disturbance ...) That was a blast!
19. I feel so blessed that nearly 12 years ago I came across this website. It's not just a blog site to me, it's part of my family. DH doesn't quite get it, but he humors me when I talk about my blog friends.
20. Ok, I must really get going. I am going to be late for the afternoon "hike"