November 15, 2016

The Lawn at Castle Hill

 

You will be blown away at The Lawn at Castle Hill, Newport, RI!  

Magnificent views, delicious food, with my wonderful husband, we spent the afternoon here!

 

You are welcomed with a sign looking out to the East Passage, Narragansett Bay!

You are welcomed with a sign looking out to the East Passage, Narragansett Bay!

 

I don't know what happens, but you feel really something special when your here!

I don’t know what happens, but you feel really something special when your here!

 

You are seated at a table...

You are seated at a table…

 

with breathtaking views!

with breathtaking views!

The restaurant is warn and inviting.

The restaurant is warm and inviting.

The starters...

The starters…

were as delicious as they looked. New England clam chowder, hot and creamy, full of clams. The simple mixed green salad, pickled beets and goat cheese, delish!

were as delicious as they looked. New England clam chowder, hot and creamy, full of clams. The simple mixed green salad, pickled beets and goat cheese, delish!

 

Lunch was a halibut wrap with two types of relishes and Jeff's grilled angus cheddar burger, both served with fries. The meals were as good as they looked!

Lunch was a halibut wrap with two types of relishes, and Jeff's grilled angus cheddar burger, both served with fries. The meals were as good as they look!

Lunch was a halibut wrap with two types of relishes, and Jeff’s grilled angus cheddar burger, both served with fries. The meals were as good as they look!

 

Lo and behold, as full as I was I ate my desert, spiced sweet potato bread Poached pear, oatmeal lace cookie, sweet cream.

Lo and behold, as full as I was I ate my desert, spiced sweet potato bread,
poached pear, oatmeal lace cookie, and sweet cream.

I also helped Jeff with his chocolate parfait, with salted caramel. and roasted peanuts. Devine!

I also helped Jeff with his chocolate parfait, salted caramel, and roasted peanuts. Devine!     

It was a delicious lunch, with great views, and a totally relaxed vibe!

It was a delicious lunch, with great views, and a totally relaxed vibe!

Sometimes a very simple meal and beautiful surroundings will help erase the effects of a challenging three day work week!  I needed this!

 

My New Friend! (he lives in my tree)

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October 18, 2016

THE EDIT-Lots of Things Going On!

It’s been a crazy and busy week since my last post!  I’ve been shaken to the core with the swinging temperatures of the northeast and the challenges of meeting a new donut in town, happily it didn’t have disastrous effects on my diet!

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A trip to PVD Donuts was exciting and frightening!  I wanted to try these donuts mainly due to all the positive hype surrounding them!  Jeff loved them, I was not impressed, probably because of the lack sugar I have eaten in the last month, they were much too sweet for me!  The donuts looked as if they were pieces of art, and I haven’t met anyone who has eaten one, and not loved it!

The drop in temperature had me switching from summer hand creams and trying out the new ones I purchased in August, yet only used in warmer weather.  The Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer, was not what I had expected!  It receives rave reviews and football teams actually use it.  I have extremely dry skin due to the RA meds, and when the weather dropped last week, I was left with cracked dry hands.  The Jack Black Hand Healer went on extremely thick and further irritated my hands, when rubbing the cream into them.  I didn’t feel any relief after the product was absorbed, my husband tried it and liked it, it will not go to waste.  I’ve been using the La Mer Hand Treatment, for a while and love it!  What’s not to love about a silky cream that is non-greasy, and sinks into your skin?  It leaves your skin soft and supple and helps with dry cuticles.  I use it sparingly because of the price, but am seriously thinking of making this my one and only hand cream!   The last hand cream I purchased was the Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn.  What is buckthorn?  I read about this product during the summer in the fall favorites section of magazines.  I immediately purchased a 1 oz tube for $12 mainly because it was given the Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner 2016.  Not really crazy about it, it wasn’t greasy which is good, but it was not very moisturizing.  It does have a SPF 40 sunscreen in it, and that’s a good thing!  handcreams-1

This last product is from Chanel, I have been using the Chanel Le Weekend De Chanel for about 8 weeks.  According to Chanel this product:

“Enhances renewal and replenishes hydration to give skin a much-needed weekend break. Combined with relaxing Rose Water, a gentle Glycolic Acid Complex is gradually released for ideal exfoliation and lasting moisture. Skin is softer and more luminous for the week ahead.

During the weekend, apply morning and evening to the entire face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Use in place of your usual serum and moisturizer, and always follow with sun protection in the daytime. Apply two days in a row to intensify the benefits.”

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I look forward to the weekends because of this product, it exfoliates my skin and leaves it feeling refreshed and moisturized.  My skin looks healthy and feels great, and that is sometimes all I need!  It’s another product that is extremely expensive but delivers the goods!

Knitting Update:  Going slow and steady, maybe driving Jackie crazy!  A picture will surface next week of my progress!   Hope you like my week in pictures!

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October 11, 2016

SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

I’m on a new diet!  I normally would call any weight lose program a food plan, but a food plan and I don’t normally get along, so I’m following a diet!  This diet that I am on is, The Microbiome Diet, by Raphael Kellman MD.  This book was introduced to me by a doctor I follow on facebook that my husband is a patient of at MGH.  

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Since I know that all diets are not for all people, I’m just going to give you a brief summary of what this diet is about and how I am working it!  First, the book was a difficult read for me, extremely technical and off-putting.  What I did take away was if I followed a very strict regimen of foods you eat to heal your gut and avoid foods that cause your gut to be unhealthy, you will lose weight.  The foods you avoid are processed and packaged food, trans and hydrogenated fats, dried and canned fruit, fruit juice, gluten, all grains, sugars and artificial sweeteners, dairy products and eggs, deli meats, peanuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, iceberg lettuce, canola oil, alcohol. What it leaves you to eat are fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins, which you eat for 21 days.  The book also lists vitamins you should take, I ignored them because I am already taking vitamins suggested by my rheumatologist.   The second stage is for 4 weeks and you follow the same 21 day diet with a 90% compliance rate (get to cheat & eat foods not on the list) of the above listed foods, and upon completion you start the final stage where you eat these foods with a 70% compliance rate. I really made it sound easy, but this is just a simplistic interpretation of the diet by me, not gospel!

I just completed the first 21 days and with minor slip-ups, have lost 10 lbs.  The slip-ups  were due to the fact that I didn’t read the book carefully enough and ate eggs, sweet potatoes and a few other foods I should have avoided.  I did stay clear of processed foods and sugar 100% of the time, and I like the result of my efforts.

I like how I feel, I find what I’m eating agreeable, I’m satisfied and have lost many food cravings, so I’m just going to do my best and stay the course and hopefully acquire healthier eating habits.  

Along the same line of bettering my life, I noticed the hardest part of the diet was my night-time grazing that I missed immensely!  My favorite meal on any day was usually after dinner.  So after a visit from my knitting friend Jackie I started making a throw, under her tutelage to keep my hands busy and myself out of the kitchen!

In future posts I will periodically share my anticipated success at dieting, but you’ll see my throw grow each week until I’m done!

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Signing off now with hopes of success in your life with whatever your goals may be!

MY WEEK IN PICTURES!

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September 13, 2016

SOME OF MY SEPTEMBER GOALS!

Even though you may have developed a plan for dealing with challenges in your life, you don’t always realize the results you are seeking.  I’ve come to the realization that even the most highly touted products and life strategies, are NOT, one size fits all.  Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease, it is painful because of the stiff and swollen joints that can wreak havoc on your body.  I maintain a most comfortable standard of living by following my doctor prescribed medication schedule.  Sadly, some of the medications that relieve the pain and progression of the disease have many negative side effects.  I have trust in my doctor, knowing he has weighed the potential risks against the benefits of the medication he has prescribed.  Yet, it is difficult to deal with unpredictable health issues, but it is more difficult to sit back and wait for medications to alleviate all my discomfort and symptoms.  So, I am attempting to seriously work on ways to minimize the side effects of my medications, and set new goals to lose weight by dismissing foods that render no nutritional value to my body and overall health.

-I’m saying good-bye to my beloved Coke Zero, a drink with no nutritional value that contains carbolic acid through carbonation that may weaken my tooth enamel, and the caffeine in the soda can weaken my bones.

-I’m saying good-bye to Veggie Chips that are made with vegetable flour, but don’t actually contain any vegetables.  If I fall off the the healthy eating wagon, I’ll eat a small bag of Cape Cod Chips.

-I’m saying good-bye to all the Energy Bars that live in my home, car, work draw, & pocketbook, that are filled with chocolate, high fructose corn syrup, and saturated fat.  I have tried many, but the Energy Bars I like best, are not the healthiest or lowest in calories.  I find myself eating one as a treat or substitute for a candy bar.  If I fall off the healthy eating wagon, I will devour a Milky Way Dark bar!

-I’m saying good-bye to my beloved Trail Mix!  Love it so much I can eat an entire bag, and still feel good about myself! It’s calorie laden, I must kick the habit!

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-I’m saying good-bye to Smoothies that exceed the 900 calorie mark.  I will not fool myself any longer, believing its all good calories.  Hopefully, by kicking the smoothie obsession, the weight will melt off!   

-I’m definitely saying good-bye to Frozen Yogurt, it was never a favorite of mine, but knowing that it contained less fat, I ate it.  Now knowing some brands of Frozen Yogurt contain the same amount of calories and sugar as ice cream, I’ll stick with an occasional scoop of Brigham’s, The Big Dig Ice Cream, and be extremely happy!

These small changes are definitely going to help me lose the weight I need to lose, but most importantly, I’m much more aware of the contents of some of the foods I eat, and want to make better choices of what I consume. If I’m unable to monitor my food intake, I pray that I only moderately fall off the wagon, and quickly climb back on and keep tracking my intake!

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August 2, 2016

An Epiphany!

You don’t need to have an autoimmune disease to benefit from a healthy diet, for many people it is the way to go, well I drank the Kool-Aid, made the commitment, yet I’m still struggling with weight loss.  I’ve got the grocery/farm stand shopping down, I buy real, unprocessed, and whole foods.  On the way home I think of all the shoes and bags I could add to my collection if I wasn’t so health conscience and spending an arm and leg on groceries. I am always anticipating the miraculous changes in my weight, that seem to elude me.  Honestly, there are some days that I experience the joys of my efforts, but there many days that I feel junk food/sweets deprived.  Foods sweetened with figs or dates are delicious, but they don’t always satisfy my sweet tooth.  Intellectually I know the importance of losing weight, plus the benefits and relief to my joints I will gain, if I do lose weight, yet I’m still chubby!

I believe my biggest problem is, I read too much, and am constantly changing my weight loss game plan.  Last night while I was thinking about how I was going to attack my weight loss, I thought about a 7-year-old Mary Ann! Mary Ann 6 years - 1 After being so proud and excited about making my First Communion, I spent hours looking over the pocketbook the school gave the girls.  It contained rosary beads, a scapula, and most importantly a girl’s version mass book.  In the back cover of the book, there was an explanation about visiting the confessional, and categories of sins to confess.  During my post Communion confession, I couldn’t remember any sins I had committed that week, so I made some up and just figured I’d add my lie to next week’s confession.  So I wouldn’t make the same mistake of not remembering my sins, I started to write all the infractions I was making during the week, not forgetting to add last week’s lie to my list. 

Armed with this list in hand and my brothers Boy Scout pen light, I walked up the hill to church for confession.  What a shock that priest had when I fired up the pen light and began.  I was instructed to throw some light on the deepest reaches of my soul and the Father McCarthy was not impressed, I think he went catatonic! It was definitely not a good idea to set off a pen light in a confessional, but I also realized I would have had a successful confession if I was allowed to continue, only because of my well thought out list. It occurred to me that I was approaching my weight journey in the wrong way.  It couldn’t be a day/week on, day/week off commitment, and the only way I would be successful in reshaping my eating habits was to be accountable!  I can’t change the amount of time it is going to take getting into shape, so I am going to do, not think about what I should be doing!Father McCarthy - 1

Take this as a warning, that on my blog, you will occasionally be subjected to an account of my weight loss journey!  I whole-heartedly intend to log my progress, stay committed to my goals, and keep a food journal, and most importantly, not eat Funny Bones for breakfast, lunch, & dinner! 

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