Category Archives: dieting

Vacation Over and Time to Be Fifty

It’s been quite a while since my last post.  A birthday vacation, of sorts.

Actually, I’ve been spending some time on blog construction —  not this one, but an additional one with my younger sister Susan.

It’s called Ess & Jae V2.0.  Get it?  Ess (S) and Jae (J)…..?  The V2.0 stands for the second half of life.

We actually started it after a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Allium in Westboro, where we did a lot of complaining about how much weight we had gained over the summer, eating out, drinking wine, sitting on patios… get my drift.

The blog started out as an accountability tool with us posting our weight loss each week.  However, it’s morphed into a lifestyle blog about being 40+ or 50+ and enjoying the best things that life has to offer.

We don’t always work compatibly together, so this should be an interesting ride.   Time will tell….

On another note, we had our annual Sister’s Weekend in Vermont this year.  I chose the location and Burlington was awesome.  Love the town, loved the valley, loved the people and loved the atmosphere.  Of course, there was big food and lotsa wine, but we managed to squeak in a hike (that nearly killed me!).  Pictures are following…..

Now you can see our pores and everything.

That’s me in the middle.  As you can see, I’ve gained some weight this summer.  Enjoyed every minute of it.  But not enjoying the fact that my pants don’t fit.  And I have a roll around my belly.  Geez, I’m looking like Mom.  I sure don’t want to look like Mom.  Love her, but she’s struggled with her weight all her life.  Nope.  Not good.

So, I have started a new program based on what I’ve learned about my eating habits and physiology this year.  It has been a great year for learning things.

I’m eating moderately high protein, high fat (yum!) and low carb.  After two decades of trying to muscle through the hunger of low-fat dieting, this feels different.  I’m also eating reckless amounts of vegetables.  Observations so far:  this keeps me full longer, on fewer calories.  My skin has cleared up.  And (TMI ahead – brace yourself) a lot less bloating and gas.  It’s been several weeks and I’m down 5 pounds since just before Labour Day.

I plan to continue this blog as well because….well…..sometimes a girl’s words just have to be hers alone.  Not shared.  Just a personal truth.  And maybe a little more frankness than in a family situation.

Thanks for coming back.


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Filed under acne, clear skin, dieting, fitness, food, fun, health, menopause, summer, wine

A Backlog of Words

Workouts:  don’t even ask.  Actually, that’s not true.  There have been some token workouts, but all-in-all, it’s been quite pathetic really.

The birthday season will officially end tomorrow with a last dinner with some business associates.  My enjoyment of the festivities has definitely reached a saturation point.

I need life to get back to normal.  Quiet-normal.  Boring-normal.  Most of all, thin-normal.

This summer of socializing has re-introduced a few pounds to my backside.  A new weight loss project is underway, with a focus on healthy eating, moving more, and a little more accountability.  I’ll blog about that within a few days, hopefully.

As for a backlog of words, not only have the frequency of my posts been suffering, my reading time has been severely diminished.

I have literary constipation, if you will.

Here’s the line-up of the books on my nightstand:

1.  Chi Running.  I haven’t even cracked it open yet.

2.  The Life of Pi.

A gift from Older Sis.

3.  The Glass Castle.  Another present from Older Sis.  Canadian author.

4.  Some mags and easy reading…..

and this (note the “easy fall recipes”!)

5. And last, but certainly not least, this was in my mailbox last week.  It’s an end-of-summer ritual….

6.  This neat gift has also not even been opened, although it’s been sitting on the coffee table for 3 weeks.

I’ve been wanting this for ages!

These don’t even include the cheesy cowboy-romance book that Junior Finance Guy (and his wife) included in my little cadeau.  You can bet that I’ll be enjoying that one sometime very soon, especially the steamy parts where the cowboy hero takes off those chaps.  Oh my……..

I may get in a little reading time tonight.  🙂


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Filed under books, career, dieting, fitness, friends, health, summer

Relaxing Mondays!

Workout:  5 km this morning (before it gets too hot!)

Is there anything better than a summer Monday morning on the deck with a great cup of coffee?  There is a warm breeze, but I’m sitting in the shade and enjoying the fact that I’m not at work!!

Doing a little surfing this morning and here are some interesting articles….

From, here is an article about a young women who went from 100+ pounds overweight to a beauty queen who won the swimsuit competition.  Originally, I was a little freaked out by the picture (check out the bony chest), but after a little research, I found an article on Bree Boyce that pictured her healthy fit figure.   Very inspiring.

Also on the subject of healthy weight, here is an article at Weighty Matters about how we consumers seem to give up our common sense when we want something unhealthy – like potato chips – and the manufacturer adds a healthy nutrient (and puts it on the label).   Interesting phenomena. The author of this blog, Yoni Freedhoff, is an obesity physician here in Ottawa.

On a completely different subject, and because Royal weddings have completely obsessed me this summer, here’s a fun article on Zara Phillips and Mike Tindell\’s wedding on the weekend.  I loved the tone of this wedding, royal protocol be damned!  How fun is this?

And finally, on the subject of common sense, did anyone really think that Jesse James\’ and Kat Von D\’s relationship was going to work?  The guy has a history of hookers and cheating.  Seriously?  C’mon Kat, every woman deserves better than that.

Amusing diversions on a Monday morning because (did I mention this already?) it’s a long weekend, it’s Monday morning, and I’m not working!


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Filed under dieting, fitness, food, health, job, joy, relaxation, summer

Busy Holidays

Workout:  Wednesday – none.  Thursday – 3 miles

It’s a perfect summer day – a bluebird day, as skiers say.  Not a cloud in the sky, no humidity (a big Ottawa problem), a lovely breeze, and 25C degrees.  Absolute perfection.

Yesterday was not so nice, but the thundershowers fit perfectly with my plans for the day.  After 2 1/2 months of dealing with a cracked molar that went south, my crown is finally done and I have a very shiny, better-than-new molar.  I’d take a picture and post it but who really wants to look inside my mouth at all my fillings?  If you do, too bad.  Not happening.

Downside:  no more excuses to eat frosting out of the can!!  😦

So I was up early for my 8:00am appointment with my 12 year old dentist (just seems that way – he’s really 30-something).

After that, I zoomed to Mom’s (90 minutes) to spend the day chatting and relaxing and eating too much of my Mom’s delicious baking.  She made a whole cake even though I only stayed about 8 hours!!  And I wonder why I have a hard time sticking to the mission…..  🙂

I was exhausted when I arrived home at 8:00pm – I did more yesterday than Will and Kate!  They only visited Slave Lake, Alberta, to comfort 2,000 people.  Not nearly as tiring as my day.

If you don’t know the story, a huge portion of this town of 7,000 people was gutted by forest fire that consumed more than 400 homes with only 10 minutes notice.  Thanks to the incredible first responders, no lives were lost.  However, it’s the second largest insurance disaster in Canadian history.

By the way, my Mom thinks Kate is far too thin and desperately wants to invite her to dinner so she can “feed her up”.  Once again, I wonder why I have a hard time sticking to the mission.

Today has been a lovely day.  I had an early morning coffee at Tim Hortons before my walk this morning.  After a quick shower, I headed downtown to have lunch with the Hot French Lobbyist.

We went to Mamma Grazzi\’s for a lovely lunch on the patio.  Picture this:  cobblestone patio surrounded by heritage buildings.  Absolutely lovely.  Going to try to find a picture…..

We sat at the table in the bottom left hand corner of this photo.  My lunch is below (lifted from the restaurant website).


The rest of the day is going to be quiet.  Just me and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Enjoy your lovely summer day.

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Filed under books, dieting, fitness, food, frosting, Kate Middleton, relaxation, sugar, summer, teeth, Uncategorized, William and Kate


Workout:  Nada, unless you count strolling around the mall or running on at the mouth!

You know how you always enjoy time spent with some good friends….you know who you are, University Girl!  And some people suck the life energy out of you?

And not in a good way.

I had dinner tonight with University Girl and it was fun.  🙂 Got some tips on how to use my new Blackberry.

We ate too much (OK, I’ll speak for myself here) and drank a little wine and talked about people we both know.  Some are fun, some are interesting and sadly, there are a few who are draining.

But those kinds of people are always a good mirror for what I may not like or respect about myself.   Do I play the victim sometimes?  Am I whiny? (Yes, occasionally)  Do I have a chip on my shoulder? (Oh-oh, maybe so)

However, we did spend some time talking about fitness and workouts and eating healthy and that’s great motivation for me.  We went to Must Wine Bar in the Byward Market.

Nice spot.  Good wine, although the owner thought I should have been drinking beer with my organic fancy burger.  Why would I, when there was lovely red wine??

I stole these pictures from the website.  Very pretty.

It’s raining and it’s a perfect night for sleeping.  ‘Night.

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Workouts:  3 45 minute walks after work last week, 2 30 minute lunctime walks.  Not sure what else – don’t remember.

I’m reading an interesting book (of course!) called The Habit Factor by Martin Grunburg.

The gist of the book, and I’m only half way through, is that much of our lives are governed not by concious action, but by habits, good and bad.  The author argues that it’s the snall consistant actions of our everyday lives that determine what we accomplish in life.  He has lots of great quotes from both historical giants and current great minds that support his theories – you may see some of them on the quote board shortly.

While I’m reading this, I’m formulating a short term (30 day) plan for better health,  As I move through the book, the author  will show how to apply his strategies to every area of life => career, health, energy, money, family, spirituality.

Interesting ideas.  I”m hoping that by building on my health experiments of this year and using some of the techniques in the book, I can reach some new health goals.

But first I have to get this freakin’ laptop fixed!!!!  It’s driving me crazy.  It’s going into the shop tomorrow for a couple of days, so bear with me.  Wish I could take some pictures of how pretty my wild roses and peonies are!  Here’s a pretty picture of what mine sorta look like.

On a completely different note (but not really), this is a small discussion about cycles and hormones.  And because I’m a math nerd, I have a graph…..

Isn’t it pretty?  God, I love numbers.

I am a creature of hormones.  Sometimes, I feel that I’m at the mercy of my hormones.  Just like my Mom, by the way.  My sisters take after my Dad.  I’ve kept a mood journal in the past to tie my state of mind to my hormones.  Here’s what I know for myself:

Days 1 – 14:  high energy, good mood, very moderate appetite

Day 14, 15:  high energy, high libido, party girl!

Day 16 – 24:  moody, lower energy, HUNGRY!  (This is new as I approach 50)

Day 24 – 28:  sad, exhausted, hungry (PMS)

Let me say that I’m never really outwardly bitchy because (if I do say so myself) I have very well developed social skills.  I mean, it’s only fair to the people around you to take responsibility for your words, right?

My goal as I finish this book is to take the knowledge gained from the experiments and work to formulate some small good habits over the next 30 days.

Stay tuned………


Filed under books, brain, dieting, Dukan, fitness, food, fun, health, joy, maturity, menopause, money, sugar

Tech Issues

Yup, I’m having tech issues.  That’s why the blog vacay.  There is something still not right, so I need to get the laptop back into the shop again.  Gaaahhhhh……..!  Believe it or not, I picked up a virus reading an article about Kate Middleton.  I wouldn’t make that up, I swear!!!

Workouts:  lots in the last 9 days.  Lotsa walking.  My ankle hates me.  My achilles tendon is revolting.  Which coincidentally is what my budha belly also looks like!

That’s what I get for sitting on my butt all winter long.  But I shall persevere.  Feels like a sign from the universe that I need to keep moving or I will get OLD!!!

Also got a workout on a marathon shopping trip to The Salmon Run Mall.  I kid you not……it’s really called that.   Younger Sis and I played hookey last Wednesday to sneak off and take advantage of the great Canadian $$.

I bought shoes.  Lots of shoes.

Almost exactly like this but shinier — I’d take a picture, but my camera no longer syncs with my laptop either.

And this.  Except they’re not Jimmy Choo.  AS IF!!  I don’t think Jimmy would be at the Salmon Run Mall.

Hmmmm… don’t think the fab heels are why my ankle hates me, do you?

Oh, and I bought a pair of these – pink suede loafers from Target for $24.99.  No kidding.  How cute are they?  Wish we had Target in Canada.

It was a totally fun day, complete with french fries for lunch from Wendy’s…which was OK for the diet because we were doing a marathon after all.

Other interesting stuff……

I’m matchmaking.  I’m setting the Hot French Lobbyist up on a blind date with a friend of Younger Sis…..let’s call her Math Girl since she teaches snotty teenagers calculus.

He may be hot, but he’s not perfect-hot for me.  So, cross your fingers they hit it off and things turn out well.  How will I keep my nose out of it?????  It’s going to be SOOOOOO  HARD to mind my own business.


I have a phone interview tomorrow morning (yes, at work) with an accounting firm.  And the best part is it’s just down the street from my current office.  How cool would that be?  I wouldn’t even have to change my morning drive!  I know nothing about the job yet, and if the money isn’t good, I won’t even consider it.

Now, I think I shall slide into some shorts and go hang out on my back deck.  I bought flowers from Home Depot tonight – BOGO Free!!  I may even plant them.  Maybe.  Depends on how well my vodka and Crystal Light goes down.

See?  Pure fitness in a glass.  Ta-ta.

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Filed under career, dating, dieting, food, friends, fun, high school, interview, job, Kate Middleton, love