Category Archives: food

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…..you 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.

Advertisements

1 Comment

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

Onwards with Fifty

Workouts:  Socializing.  That is all.

It’s been a crazy two weeks.  And I’ve loved every minute of it.

So, now I’m 50.

Let me tell you about my world.  I’ve done 5 dinners.  2 lunches.  Drinks on a couple of patios.  A weekend away.  Way too much eating and considerable consummation of beverages.  🙂

I had a great weekend away in Niagara-On-The-Lake.  What a beautiful, beautiful little town.

This is main street.  Gorgeous, eh?  This is someone else’s picture – check out the website on the bottom.

Cottage Girl, Best Friend and I shared Belfry Cottage which was just outside of town.  This pic is from the website…much better than the ones I took.  I think I need  new camera.  Couldn’t be my photography skills.  Nope, couldn’t be that.

Cottage Girl’s room (I did take this picture).

Best Friend and I shared this room (yup, took this one too).  Note the bags on the bed.  Good photography.

We toured town, took in a production of My Fair Lady at the Shaw festival, the play being written by George Bernard Shaw of course, and the festival also celebrating it’s 50th birthday.  What a coincidence!

That was Friday evening of last weekend.  Saturday, it was all about wine.

Cattail Creek Winery was the first we visited.  Small, young winery, big success and great wines.  Of course, I bought some of their product…um….maybe 3 bottles.  🙂

Coyote’s Run Estate Winery was the next adventure and we had a great experience here!  I would highly recommend the wines and the staff were incredible. Bought some wine here too…um….4 bottles.

They had a Yoga in the Vineyard program!!  How groovy is that?   Except it’s 6 hours from my house.  Sadly.

Wine + yoga = ZEN, I think.

Saturday night, it was all about food (with a little wine thrown in, of course).

We had dinner at The Oban Inn.

Oh, my word, it was gorgeous.  You can check out the food photos here, because we ate much too quickly to take any pictures.

Definitely a weekend to remember.  With some of my favorite girls.   Both 50-something glorious women.

Note the wine glasses in hand and the blur!  It was a good trip.

And a new program begins today.  More on that later.

Ta-ta.  Enjoy your Saturday evening.

2 Comments

Filed under food, friends, fun, wine

The Day After The Big Day!

Well, that’s it!  I’m 50. 

I can hardly believe it.

The day was filled with great energy, good food, good wine, streamers (in my office!!) and cupcakes.  How could that not be anything but good?  🙂

I’m headed off to Niagara-On-The-Lake for a long weekend with Best Friend and Cottage Girl.

Have a nice weekend.

1 Comment

Filed under food, friends, fun

Productive Sundays – Pasta, Plants & Preparations

Sunday morning workout:  gardening, 1 hr.

It’s not even 9:00am yet, and I’ve spent an hour weeding, pruning and mulching the front garden.

Don’t be impressed – I let it get completely overgrown.  It was very shabby.  The virginia creeper was taking over the front walkway.  The postie was in danger of getting swallowed up by creeping ivy when he delivered my mail.  They make horror moves about yards like mine.

OK, it’s not this bad, but it was pretty bad.

Now, I’m drinking coffee, roasting a spaghetti squash in the oven before it gets too hot, blogging (obviously) and watching a Sunday morning TV program called  It\’s Just Food.

It’s a groovy little Canadian program that shows how simple cooking really is.  This morning is fresh homemade pasta.  Who knew it was so easy??!  Makes my creative juices start flowing while I”m making my grocery list.  Bacon, spinach and cheese ravioli.  YUM!!

Also on the agenda for today are groceries, some meal  planning, and a trip to the Rideau Center for some shopping.  Best Friend is looking for a new watch and I’m always happy to window shop.  Except the fall clothes are out…..and it’s going to be 90 degrees here today.  Talk about a disconnect!  Who can look at cozy sweaters when it’s sweltering outside.

It’s going to be a busy week!  Monday, I’m having dinner with Younger Sis to celebrate our mutual birthdays.  We’re almost twins except that we’re 6 years apart.  That’s probably why we get along so well.

We’re checking out the new small plates menu at Allium.   Check it out…it looks awesome.

Tuesday is a free day – must get some serious exercise and maybe some yoga.

Wednesday is my 50TH BIRTHDAY!!!  That means I’m going out for lunch with my fun work peeps at Stoneface Dollys which is one of my favorite restaurants.  We’re not inviting Obnoxious Sales Guy.  Picture stolen from the website.

After work, Younger Sis and I are planning to go to a new yoga studio called Empower Me Yoga. 

I plan to get my Zen on and set my intention for the coming year and perhaps the coming decade too.

After that, we’re going for gelato at Truffle Treasures  which makes the most amazing chocolate-peanut butter creation you have ever tasted!

On to Thursday,  I’m having dinner with Cottage Girl and my real estate agent.  Who is also a friend.  Who I don’t see often enough. I love spending time with fabulous girlfriends – both of these women can teach me lots about rockin’ 50.

And then, early, early, early on Friday morning, Best Friend, Cottage Girl and I are going on a road trip – Niagara-On-The-Lake!  It’s a picturesque community not far from Niagara Falls that has lots of quaint towns, award-winning wineries and the Shaw Festival.  We’re going to see My Fair Lady!  We’ve rented a guest cottage on an estate so that we can relax and drink coffee…and wine, of course….on our very own patio.

Whew!  What a week it will be.

On a couple of other completely unrelated notes, I’m going to drop into Chapters today to look for this book:

I’m a terrible runner and I want to enjoy it more.  There has to be a way to train smarter, rather than harder.

I think I just experienced one of the benefits of being 50…..smarter, not harder.  Maturity.  Wisdom.  🙂

And way off topic, call me crazy but is anyone disturbed that Michelle Bachman just won the Ames Straw Poll?  Far be it from me to stick my nose into US politics when our Canadian version isn’t a whole lot better, but can’t anyone see that this woman is a wing-nut???  Good grief.  Don’t the folks in Iowa get any decent media coverage?

Soapbox moment over.

Happy Sunday.

1 Comment

Filed under chocolate, fitness, food, friends, fun, health, joy, maturity, relaxation, wine, yoga

Ahhhhhh….it’s Saturday

Workout:  nothing yet today.  Friday:  none.  Thursday:  30 walk at lunchtime.

Ahhhhh….it’s Saturday morning.  That means coffee on the deck.  That means a yummy breakfast (eggs over-easy, toast with butter and fresh berries).  That means peace and quiet.  That means increased mental energy and calm. All the better to plan the day.

Gotta love Saturday mornings.

Let’s see, what happened this week?

I went to see Friends with Benefits with Younger Sis.  Loved it!  It was a completely fun, giggly rom-com and perfect for a girls’ summer night out.  I’m now a big fan of Mila Kunis.  She has crazy-fabulous energy, gorgeous eyes and a Lauren Bacall voice.

Loved her in Black Swan too.

Justin Timberlake, I do love too, but mostly I like his music and the crazier characters he plays in movies (read:  Sean Parker).  Don’t love him as a romantic comedy lead.   However, if you don’t love his version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, then you don’t love music.  It’s absolutely brilliant.

Plans for the day include getting some exercise, bagging up some clothes for donation, and grocery shopping.  For HEALTHY FOOD!  It’s been a bad week for convenience food.  PM S.  What can I say?  It seems to get me every month.

I’m also thinking about what kind of fitness plan I want to put into place for autumn.  Workouts this summer have been a bit hit-and-miss although I try to move every day.

I think I miss the gym.  There!  I said it.  I really wanted to change things up this year – do something different!  I’ve had some kind of gym membership for the last 25 years and I’m one of those people who actually used it (mostly).  I did lots of yoga this year but lost interest after a while.  However, I’m going do more after reading an article on how yoga increased the bone density in the spines and hips of middle aged women.  That’s me.  If I can find the article again, I’ll post it, but I may have read it at work.  I’ve also done lots of walking, a little running and regular stretching.

But it’s not enough.  I need to have a more regimented plan.  Since I’m almost 50, you know.

I have no idea where this gym is, but isn’t this a great weight room?

Oh, and someone flirted with me this week.  The Boss’ step-son.  While fixing my computer.  He’s our IT guy at work.  He’s newly single (actually in the throes of a messy co-hab split).  Nothing to take seriously, but definitely good for this 49 15/16ths girl’s ego.

Leave a comment

Filed under fitness, food, health, summer, yoga

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  Runningintoshape.com, 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!

Yay!

Leave a comment

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

No Title – Just Stuff

Workouts:  Wednesday – nada; Thursday – three rounds of each floor of  Bayshore Shopping Centre in the A/C (not sure how far but that’s the only way I was going to get some miles clocked when it’s 110F outside); Friday – nada; Saturday – 2 miles + shopping at The Rideau Centre; Sunday – 2.5 miles (so far)

I think I picked up a  bug last week – definitely feeling yucky.  It wasn’t the “Back-to-Work-Blues-After-Holidays” and it wasn’t the heat which I love.  Not sure, but I’m feeling a whole lot better this weekend.  🙂

The heat finally did break here, and it’s a lovely Sunday morning.  The flowers are perking up and there is a cool breeze.  I hope it breaks for all those suffering in the US.

Do you see a theme in my workouts?  Shopping malls.  Definitely a great way to get some activity when it’s too hot to be outside.  A little hard on the wallet, but I restrained myself.

The shopping trip yesterday was with Younger Sis to pick out a birthday gift……yes, 50 is rolling around fast!  I decided I want a watch.  I picked out a beautiful one, but I don’t get it until the actual day.  That’s the way we do things in our family.

I fell in love with this watch ….but at $695, it was beyond my budget, never mind my sis’s.  That’s a mortgage payment!! We don’t give big gifts in our family – small and thoughtful is the way to go.

But I love this watch………..  😦

You can’t really see from the picture, but it’s very sparkly.

Also this week (since I was a slacker with posts), I finished not only The Girl Who Played With Fire but also the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.   Yes, I just couldn’t put them down.  AND…..I rented the Swedish movie version of the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Because I’m obsessive like that.  And yes, it had English subtitles.

I hope the American version is better.  Just sayin’.

With Daniel Craig, how could it not be?  🙂

Must record the date in my calendar…..

Off to the market for fruit and vegetables.   Have a lovely Sunday.


Leave a comment

Filed under fitness, food, money