Skating Uphill-May Edition “Be Good To Yourself!”

 

May is now officially declared “Be Good To Yourself Month!”

Yes, I love to change the designation of months. I think some of them are silly anyway. I mean who really knows or cares if it is Dairy Month if they don’t live in Wisconsin? Also, I get that April Showers Bring May Flowers and all of that, but I honestly think we can do better.  So now, we are going to have a special month absolutely dedicated to ourselves. That may or may not sound a bit selfish to you. I am thinking not. Think about how little you actually do just for you-not because you need to or not because you have to or not because someone else wants you too or any other reasons why we give to others first. Just for this month, try some fun experiment’s for you and you alone-OK?

The first one will be the hardest-it was for me anyway. I have regained five pounds from my goal weight success story of last month. I know a couple of others in the same boat and I don’ necessarily mean YOU. So, let’s just simply forgive ourselves and move on. Gasp! Idi I just say that? What I really meant was NOT to give up and go back to being a slacker, even though that has a lot of appeal for me. What I meant was to kind of let it go. I stopped and looked at why this weight situation was happening to me and it was because I had gone off of several of the things that were working for me.

I usually have the same healthy breakfast and I somehow lost that habit between Easter Brunch and chocolate eggs. I lost my way in a forest of PEEPS. So now back to 80 calorie yogurt with two teaspoons of mixed nuts and a cup of mixed fresh fruit. I really like that and it is quite filling. I am back to basics with no sacrifice and no regrets. Do little fixes and check out results. Nothing dramatic, all right?

Buy a good book. I love murder mysteries wet in cool places. I just finished a series of books set in the time of Richard the Third and have now started reading a series of murders set in the 1920’s about a down and out aristocrat who goes to London to try to find a job with only a finishing school diploma for a reference and she gets caught up in murders in the best of families at lovely manor houses and, of course, she solves the mystery and keeps the family names from the dreaded scandal that was so much the kiss of death in those days. Good fun and I really love things set in totally different times. It adds to the fun of a good read. Try it.

I love a massage or a spa day, but that can get expensive. Instead, I treat myself to a new personal item-make-up, face moisturizer, perfume, a really good smelling shampoo, a bottle of nail polish in a flashy shade, lunch out, or my personal favorite: flowers. I have very low standards when it comes to flowers because it is hard to find flowers that I do not love. Grocery store flowers are just fine with me. I have some pretty vases and I love to play with arrangements. Plants are fun too and designers will tell you for lots of $$$ that plants soften an environment beautifully.

Finally, for absolutely no money at all, take the afternoon off and watch a movie. Take a warm bath, wash your hair, rub lotion on your feet and put on socks, smear cream all over your lovely self, and just fade out for a couple of hours. Book it. Make an appointment with YOU. I did this a couple of days ago and binge watched an old TV series on Netflix and actually nodded off. I have not had an afternoon nap in I can’t remember how long. I woke up feeling smooth and lovely next to my flowers and yogurt mixed with a bit of honey and gave myself a no guilt pedicure. How sinful-NOT!

Remember, May is now Be Kind To Yourself Month and I honestly think you know what I mean. I bet you could pick three things you would love to do for yourself right this minute, couldn’t you?  Love, Judith

 

PS-As you know, I read a lot and some of the new things food wise on the pipeline have to do with oil. We knot that olive oil and other natural oils can be ultra-healthy, but have you tried a tuna salad with your own recipe but with olive oil instead of mayo? Also, pasta salad with olive oil instead of mayo is way healthy. Finally, I have recently come across several recipes using avocado oil. I am a huge avocado fan being originally from California so I was happy to find spray avocado oil at my grocery store. For more food tips check out www.skatinguphill.com.  See you next month

Skating UPHILL-June Article (2019)

 

 

                                           Keep It Fresh!!

No! Don’t you dare let the beauty and fresh start inspiration of Spring turn in to the “Dog Days” of Summer, Y’All!       The Uphill Skater

Keeping it fresh is a huge challenge. I don’t just mean those of us who like to lay out in the sun and drink wine or have chips and a soda for lunch either. I mean ME! I have been writing this column for quite a while and I always try to bring something new to the table. No pun intended ladies, because I don’t mean just food either. In fact I subscribe to five different magazines just to keep current and to try to keep you current as well. Getting in a rut is all too simple because the “rut” things we do are feel good stuff. Of course, right, right? Otherwise why would we keep doing them?

This month I have several anti-RUT suggestions that are cheap and easy-by the way, those are my favorite two adjectives for things in life. Oh, is that a rut-I think yes. Sigh. That is my first suggestion, by the way-stick to get out of the rut things that suit your lifestyle. Don’t go too far out of the box, or you will never stay there. Cheap and easy suggestion number one is to do more of what you are doing, but change it up a bit. I volunteer at t thrift shop and I have been doing the ladies clothing department. I recently asked to do books for a while and be trained on the cash register. Who knew-I like this way better and plan to stick to it. Cost- 0000! Satisfaction and new fun-$$$$$!

Also cheap and easy is to try a new food. I am into healthy stuff for the most part and I have done roasted veggies for a long time. Recently I added turnips and Brussel sprouts to the sheet pan and it is a huge improvement. There are tons of new kinds of tea to try and I got a big box from my daughter from Mother’s Day and it has been fun. She also included honey stix which are just great. Kale and broccolini are pretty new to me if perhaps not to you but I love both of them. Finally, remember now that the summer season is here to keep it fresh at your local Farmer’s Market.

Where I live there are many excellent Farmer’s Markets and I have been going for quite a few years, but this year my something new out of the rut has been pick your own. Just now it is pick your own strawberries, but I also this year I have picked my own daffodils and that has been fun. I am soon going to take my grandson out to pick our own blueberries and then we will pick grapes and apples. We have also been on jaunts to a local farm to see baby goats and calves. How lovely this has been.

Let’s now spend a little money. I know I said cheap and easy, so if you have not done so already, why not try a thrift shop. Even if you do not think this is up your alley, just try it once for me. I recently scored a Talbots brand new blouse for $1.50 and I put it in the wash and it came out looking like brand new. I buy most of my grandson’s T-shirts for .50 because they either get super dirty or ripped or simply outgrown so quickly it does not pay to spend more. I also buy books, many books, for just a dollar. Used children’s books are a feature at all thrift stores and many will exchange your old one for one you have not read to whoever you read to and then you can keep up the process. Thrift store shopping can be a hoot. You literally never know what you will find.

Finally, let’s look at either busting out a new hobby or helping your old hobby group try a new whatever. I love to play bridge, but my husband and I have moved up from party bridge to a type of duplicate bridge that is more complicated and difficult. Not only have we enjoyed this, but we have made some very interesting new friends. Our neighbors recently invited us over to play canasta and we said yes. Drawback: I don’t play canasta. I quickly learned on line. OK, it is not that hard, but I did actually learn something new and It is quite a lot of fun. So, my tip is to branch out. Bring a new person to book club. Read a type of book you have never read before. Serve a completely different type of snack or wine. See-cheap and easy.

One more thing: if you have never gone to a blog, try going to www.skatinguphill.com. It has new recipes, sayings, shared thoughts, and lots of other stuff. When you try it, leave something of your own like a comment, recipe, profound thought, and so on. You get the idea. Do it for something completely different.

Yes, same old, same old, I will see you next month. Don’t stop reading Skating Uphill. We are not going to get THAT radical!  Love, Judith

Comments on Grocery Savings Article $$

Oh, Boy did I get called out on my saving tips at the grocery store. ! Yes, I did not mention the two most important grocery store $$ savings ever!!!

  1. Always shop from a list. Make out the list standing in front of your fridge/deep freeze and in front of your pantry. Do a visual inventory as you write down needs.
  2. Shop from your planned food usage during the week or whatever time span you use to shop. If you shop weekly think about kids lunches and your lunches. Think about a bag of small apples or HALO oranges. I hate to say it, but you might also think about one of those huge bags of chips to break up onto little plastic bags. I know chips are not good nourishment, but at least this way you can pick a baked chip with low salt or a high fiber tortilla type chip.  Think about dinners and plan at least one dinner out with leftovers for lunch the next day. You know what your family likes so shop to that. Experiment around if you think you can!

My kids used to eat the same thing pretty much and that was cereal or oatmeal with fruit for Breakfast, a packed lunch with a sandwich and a fruit, and a yogurt or pudding cup (home made) for dessert. Today, my grandson can take things to be put in the microwave, and also he has special ice pack containers that let him take things that might otherwise not keep cool. This made shopping for those two meals pretty easy for me, but your kids might like more of a variety.

I used to cut pb&j sandwiches into cute shapes with a cookie cutter until my daughter made me stop doing it. Hmmm.

Five Ways To Save Big $$$ At The Grocery Store!

I love to grocery shop and often do it just for a field trip to look for information for an article. I am a pescatarian and my husband eats anything and everything so I shop widely at several different stores and Farmer’s Markets. Here are a few really good tips to shop well and economically.

 

  1. Always check out the newspapers for grocery store ads and shop those specials but only as they fit in to your meal plans. Do not buy something just because it is on sale or go into a store to buy a special and come out with a ton of other overpriced stuff!
  2. Go to the back of the store and check out the clearances. If items are not too near the due date and they fit in to your food plans for the week, load up. Also check out “day olds” in the bakery.
  3. Don’t buy already chopped up things unless you really need to time wise . things that are cut up go off much more quickly than whole products. Particularly things like chopped salads go off very quickly compared to head lettuce and whole packages of carrots and celery. Bagged broccoli and celery and cauliflower are also much more costly than buying unwrapped . Don’t buy too much fresh in bulk. You always think you will eat it all, but seldom do.
  4. Buy store brands and stock up when they go on sale. Buy things that last a while or that you can freeze when they are a store brand special and you will really save big. Personally I recommend the Walmart “Great Value” brand. Just compare some time when you are out shopping. Store brands are generally placed near name brands and sometimes the price difference is quite shocking.
  5. Shop in bulk whenever you can. Check out what you use a lot, a particular cereal brain or type for example, and buy a bunch when it is on sale. Watch due dates, but in general this is a good $$$ saver. I buy pasta this way and canned goods too!

I know a coupon shopper who saves tons and loves to do it almost as a hobby. I don’t seem to be able to make that work, but obviously millions do. Try it?

Groceries expenses can be kept in line with very little trouble if you follow these tips. If you have others, please share n the comment page.

Try Salmon/Japanese

Oh, what to order at a Japanese restaurant??  Recently we ate at a fabulous Japanese restaurant called OKINAWA and I found tons of good things to have. Tempura vegetables were yummy. Hibachi veggies with fried brown rice-yes! And the best of all, teriaki salmon. Remember, we are pescatarians so salmon is a great source of Omega 3.

Go Clean!

As promised, I am going to elaborate a bit on my PINK article regarding so called “clean” make-up. Skin cleansers and moisturizers generally make several claims:

First of all, natural means ingredients sourced from nature. Ingredients can be animal, vegetable or mineral but they have been minimally modified. Watch out if you want to use a product with no animal products.

Naturally derived can mean ingredients may have been processed with chemicals  Be sure to check the label to see what percent is actually the “natural” product.

Nontoxic and chemical free are vague terms at best. Look for disclaimers like Parabin free or contains no formaldehyde. Be very careful to read all labels if you are allergic.

The terms green or sustainable can be misleading. I once bought a tube of acne cream that was labeled green only to find out that the term referred to the package, not the product!

The most specific term to look for is organic or better yet, look for what per cent is actually organic. Even in this case, always check ingredients for fragrance free, dye, free, pesticide free, etc.

Many of these products are very expensive. I suggest you find sample sized items of something  you wish to try. As always, carefully read labels and be sure you understand what you are buying. Just an added note: if you have been buying the same product for years, do re-read the ingredient list. Many times a product will be “reformulated” without notice and you may not like one of the new or different ingredients.

 

Pescatarian Life!

Yes, Pescatarian Life is easier than veggie or vegan. The addition is fish and shellfish. Just look at some of the fabulous stuff WE can eat!!

                                                          FRUITS

Apples, bananas, blue berries, cantaloupe, all varieties of oranges, pears, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, all melons, peaches, grapefruit, persimmons, kiwi, lemons, raisins, pineapple, and many others I have forgotten!

                                                          Vegetables

Artichoke, broccoli, Kale, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, carrots, celery, spinach, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes ,lima beans, cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms, and many others have forgotten

                                                               Dairy

Milk-all types: soy, almond, Fairlife, Lactose free, etc., Cheeses and the variety is delicious and virtually endless, any and all types of ice creams and sorbets, cottage cheese with any and all of the additives (I like pineapple), my mainstay, yogurt and I use any and all types including soy yogurt, cream cheese, particularly on a bagel, and many others I have forgotten!

                                                              Fish and Shellfish

I could go on and on here, but I will mention my favorites: salmon prepared any and all ways including salad, patties, croquettes, and so on. Same for tuna. All fish is good. All shellfish is good too, but calamari is the highest in cholesterol remember.

So, in conclusion, remember with so much stuff out there to eat, who wants a candy bar??  Another mainstay for me is oatmeal by the way. I also eat quite a lot of Frosted Min-iWheats. If you read the label, it has most of your daily requirements when you add a half of a banana, a few blueberries, and some Fairlife milk. PS-Don’t forget to add a bit of protein powder to your smoothie!!

                                                           Eat Well-Eat Healthy!

 

Vegetarians Versus Pescatarians

Vegetarians could and should eat a wide variety of food choices for good health and balanced vitamin and mineral intake. I have been a vegetarian for some 32 years and I have recently made a big conversion. Having spent a lot of time looking into and writing about (PINK Magazine) healthy lifestyle choices I have concluded that for me personally the selection of adding fish and shellfish to my diet can be not only healthy, but healthier!

Tune in to this portion of the SKATING UPHILL blog for more info about this new eating option and you will find health tips, recipes, and much more. I look forward to sharing this healthy lifestyle option with you.

Get Out The Grill!!

Yes, even here in the hills the weather is getting warm enough to grill. I will start soon with some yummy recipes for grilled everything so stay tuned.

Also, please do feel free to submit some of your own grilling ideas. I just did some veggies on a cedar plank that I bought originally for salmon and boy Mmmm good.

Let’s get creative with some great summer ideas.