Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Not all calories are created equal.

Something I have realized in my weight loss journey.  Not all calories are created equal (hence the title of my post).  Now I know calories from veggies and fruits are better than calories from junk.  That isn't what I'm talking about.  Most people get that.  I have discovered 1200 calories of real food are different than 1200 calories of fat free sugar free diet foods.  Seriously, they are.  Now I'm not quoting some study or recommendation from the powers that be.  No, this is only the observations of a woman with vast dieting experience.

 Based on my weight and weight loss goals, I get 1200-1500 calories a day.  1500 if I move and 1200 if I'm a slug.  It's been that way every time I've dieted.  I've used Sparkpeople before you see.  I've used weight watchers, and other plans too.  Each time I felt the diet food was my crutch.  It helped me get to the end of the day; or so I thought.  Instead, by the end of the day, I would be ready to eat the paint off the walls.  It was only through sheer will power I would get through the day without falling off the wagon so to speak.  Most times I wouldn't be successful, and would eat, and eat, and eat; scolding myself as I put something else in my mouth. You see it was all my fault.  I was weak.  I felt like an addict and wondered if I was actually addicted to food.

Now I know that none of that was true.  I wasn't weak.  I wasn't addicted, and Diet foods were not a help to me.  You see the human body is an amazing thing.  It is like the coolest computer ever.  It knows what it needs to function.  Not just carbs or protein, etc.  It knows what vitamins and minerals, etc it needs for any given task.  It relies on us to give our bodies what they need. It also relies on us to give our bodies what they need in a manner they recognize.  When our bodies don't recognize a component we ingest, they STORE IT!  Fat is the extra anything that comes into your body.  It's the stuff you didn't need to begin with.  Fat isn't just extra calories.  It is the extra whatever not needed by the body.  The body saves it for later.  The flip side of that coin is the fact that your body WILL get what it needs.  It will trigger you to eat until it gets what it wants.  So if you are filling your body with unrecognizable highly processed diet foods, you will have a mighty hard time staying on track.  I know.  I've been there.

Since I've started getting my 1200-1500 calories through real food; whole milk/whole milk products, Butter, Lean meats, fruits, veggies, Sugar, CHEESE (glorious cheese, NOT AMERICAN), I have discovered I'm not hungry!  I get to the end of the day.  I am in range for calories,fat, protein, and carbs, and I'm satisfied.  In fact I have discovered I will get full faster and eat less anyway.  Notice my list of foods I eat.  I'm not "low fatting" this thing.  I keep my fats in range according to sparkpeople by making sure the high fat stuff is tempered with lean meats or fruits veggies. etc.  But when I eat something that is supposed to have fat in it, I eat the full fat version.  Just less of it and I count it!

Time to break with the powers that be and go by logic.  Tamp down those voices in  your head that say you can't, you're not strong enough,  Try the old fashioned portion control and calorie counting with real food and see how you feel.  If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.  To each his own.  But I bet I'm not wrong.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

It's been a week.

And I don't mean the amount of time between posts.  I mean it has been a week.  Not a bad week, but busy.  This was actually a good week when it came to getting things done mainly because Rubic is out of class for a bit.  That will change come Monday so I tried to make the most of it.

In the garden I reclaimed two raised beds that had been taken over by the weeds.  With everything going on the summer as well as the increased amount of rain, the garden and our lawn kinda went nuts.  We managed last week to get the almost foot tall grass cut and I managed this week with Einsteins help, to keep it that way.  Once the raised beds were weed free, I dug in some chicken poo and covered them for the season.  Funny thing though.  While weeding I found,,you guessed it, a volunteer!  It is a squash of some sort.  I think it's yellow squash and as such can stay.  However it couldn't stay in its original spot, between the raised beds.  One, it's in a walk way, and two, I'm covering those beds up.  So I moved the little darling to one of the concrete raised beds which will be in use a while longer.  I covered it with a pot for a few days to let it get used to it's new home.  I'm happy to say it survived the transplant and seems quite happy among it's new friends.  We shall see what it is for sure after a bit.

Always on the look out for things I can do Instead of structured exercise, I moved both runs to some grass (the chickens were thrilled) and turned under the sand bed the larger (4x8) run sits on. In addition I cleaned out both coops.  Much easier to do when they are away and aren't constantly coming in the see what you're doing.  Once returned to their sand bed that evening, the chickens had to investigate.  They seemed pleased with the results.  Oh!  Before I forget!  The babies have all started laying!  I had figured on them laying around September so this was a pleasant surprise.  The eggs are small, especially from the Asian Black hens, but they will get bigger as time passes.  Very pleased.

So, totally off the subject, but kinda still on it I guess, I discovered something this week.  Buyer beware! I have been sewing like a mad woman to get items into my Etsy shop for the holiday shopping.  I ran out of Velcro for the baby doll diapers and my first thought was Amazon.  Uh...no.  Amazon is not cheaper!  Know your prices.  They wanted $8 and some change for the velcro I buy and Joann's had it for about $3.  That is a huge difference.  So yea, bough three at Joann's.  Then I ran out of white thread.  Who knew.  I looked online at several stores and ended up at Walmart to order the thread.  I needed dry milk anyway and thought I could come up with a $50 order to get the free shipping (free shipping...riiiight).  I filled my cart, got the free shipping, but then thought since I had to go by a Walmart anyway I would just pick up what I needed.  Funny thing happened at the Walmart.  The items I had in my cart, and could have had free site to store pick up (isn't that nice of them) for the price I paid online,WERE CHEAPER at the brick and mortar store.  Cheaper!  Not a little cheaper.  Dollars worth!  The dry milk, large 64 oz box, was 14.98 online and the exact same box was 12.98 in the store.  The thread that was on clearance online for $3.09 for 500 yds was $2.97 at the  actual store.  There were other items as well.  So you pay for the privilege of shopping online, and that "free shipping" not so free.  KNOW YOUR PRICES!

Aside from all that stuff, it has been a regular baking, gardening, cleaning, clothes hanging kind of week.  I did get to try my hand at baking a pizza on the grill.  Had to, the power went out just as I was putting them in the oven.  Baked two pizzas on my grill.  Took one of my iron skillets and turned it upside down on the grill rack then placed my pizza pan on top.  Then closed the lid to let it bake.  Success!  The pizzas were good.  I want to figure out how to do that over an open fire for camping.  List of things to do.

So there's my week in a nut shell.  How was yours!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Are you lookin for me?

Usually, I can tell when it's time to write another post.  Mainly this is because I notice my counts going up.  This show people checking in to see what's new.  So since I am assuming people are looking for this weeks post, here ya go.

Things are swinging along here on the homestead, despite the rain.  I am pretty proud of our homestead.  We have single-handedly ended the drought in north Georgia.  Once our dryer died and we began to rely on the clothes line pretty exclusively, we began to have rain every day.  So uh..You're Welcome.  Even so, I am still taking my time to find another dryer.  We should have sun today so out go the clothes.

Aside from influencing the weather, I have begun the baking of bread and granola again.  Cookies are coming soon.  I'm also sewing like crazy to get more outfits for my Etsy shop.  I've finished two and have many more to finish.  In fact this morning I sold out of my small size baby doll diapers.  I have more ready to go.  Well once I add the Velcro fasteners.

My main thing today is to begin putting the garden to bed.  I still have tomatoes and limas coming in and so that part will stay, but aside from one raised bed, the concrete beds are all I have in progress right now.  Little by little I'm diggin in chicken manure and  covering the unused portions with black plastic.  While I'm out and about I plan on letting the older ladies out to free range and begin work on putting wheels on the coops in order to move them from grassy spot to grassy spot.

I've been watching a lot of Joel Salatin videos.  He is the owner of Polyface farms, a sustainable farm in Virginia.  As a result of his influence, I am focusing on compost and moving my chickens as much as possible.  He knows not everyone can afford organic feed etc.  As a result his advice is to trust the grass.  He states the chlorophyll in the grass is like a de-toxifier.   So I will be focusing on getting them moved more often.  Hence wheeled coops.  One day I want to grow up to be a sustainable farmer.  Seriously.  With compost and chicken manure I look forward to never having to buy potting soil and/or fertilizer.  What a wonderful day that will be.  Each year I get a little closer.  Right now I have a fairly good sized (for us) hill of compost ready to go for next year and another started.  I am hopeful I will have enough for next year to compost my entire garden, about 20 x 80.

SO that's an update from the homestead.  How are things in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Frugal aaaaaand not so frugal things I've done this week

There comes a time in every frugal mavens life when money must be spent.  I hate it, but as long as it's worth it I can give it a go.  Such was the case this past week ( and in the next few days).

I have a refrigerator which, at only 2 years old, was pooling water under my vegetable bins (inside the fridge).  In addition my dryer would begin by drying normally, but after a few minutes start running loud.

To fix the fridge I had initially purchased a new gasket (cause according to the user manual this was the problem), but it didn't fix the problem.  It wasn't a total loss, because there was a good sized crack in the original gasket so it needed to be replaced anyway.

My dryer was beyond my skill to heal.

So, needing skills that far surpassed my own, I called a local appliance repair service.  I actually go to church with one of the employees so that's where I started.  A very nice man, the owner actually, came out to my house to take a look at both appliances.  My fridge problem was a blocked drain tube in the back.  He fixed it easy peasy and then showed me how to do it if I ever had to.  He said, though, that he has never had a repeat problem before.  The dryer.....well we will say it is beyond His skill to heal.  The motor is running hot.  As old as the dryer is and all the other things wrong with it, means it just isn't worth the money to fix it.  So I'm in the market for a new to me dryer.  Two things fortunate about this situation.  First, this nice man didn't charge anything for diagnosing the dryer.  Originally I was to have paid him $135 to see and repair both appliances.  Since the dryer couldn't be fixed, I paid only $85 for the repair of the fridge.  The second fortunate thing is my solar clothes dryer!

 This will enable me to continue drying my clothes while taking time to find the dryer that suits my needs.  I really am trying to get away from dryer use in the summer and use it only in the winter.  In winter I want it to heat my house up, in summer, not so much.  So I have time til winter comes in.

In addition to the appliances,  I have to get my eyes checked and hubby needs a new set of frames for his glasses.  Fortunately we have a health savings account which will cover these items.

On a not so frugal note, I'm currently having my wedding set repaired.  The diamond is missing from the engagement ring and all of the rings have to be sized down.  I was wearing my wedding set on my middle finger and not my ring finger.  Let's just say my hands are much smaller than they used to be.  The price to have this done was more than I figured, but Dh reassured me it was fine.  The set does appraise for far more than we are paying to repair it so that's nice.

The frugal part of all of these unplanned expenses was that none of it was financed.  Everything came out of a fund in our savings account.  I would much rather pay ourselves back than pay someone else interest.

Other frugal things done this week, 

Cooking, milling, and cooking down tomatoes for sauce-  I'm then freezing the sauce for canning when cooler weather is here.

I'm back to making our bread and granola again and, as such, have re-opened the country store to make the bread, granola, and jams I sell.  I've sold some as well.  It's nice to be back into the swing of things.  I also sold a set of Baby doll diapers on Etsy.  Filling my Etsy store with more Doll items is high on my list of priorities since Christmas season is coming.  Doesn't feel like it with 90+ degree weather, but I know it's in  our future.

I'm beginning the process of recovering an over stuffed chair we have in our living room.  When done I'll post the before and after pics.  I was fortunate enough to get 8 yards of navy Blue upholstery fabric for about $8 at a thrift store.

So there you have it.  What frugal or not so frugal things have you done this week?