Friday, July 31, 2015

A letter to my doctor

As my regular doctor was out on maternity leave (very happy for her btw) I was left in the hands of the other doctor in the practice for my yearly check up.  At this appointment, I wanted to address my concerns that I am having difficulty losing weight even though I am actively working to do so.

Dear Dr. ______

I came in for my yearly physical exam this week and during the 15 minutes you spent with me I was able to bring up my concerns regarding weight loss.  I explained that I am currently at my heaviest weight ever and I can't seem to get the scale to budge.  I came to you for help.  I am aware of all the crazy diet pills and tricks and scams out there in the world, but I wanted your professional advice.

What I got from you was overwhelming negativity.  You opted to hand me a prescription only after telling me that I needed to be serious about losing weight.  You told me that I needed to diet (and only gave me suggestions to which diets I should look too after I asked you to be more specific).  You told me that you would not prescribe this to me again if it did not appear that I was taking my weight loss seriously....and based on your judgmental tone and scowl I doubt you think I do.

All in all I felt like a complete and total failure before I even got the prescription filled.  I now have 4 days to even get this prescription filled before it becomes void.  I did not come to you, a doctor, for sympathetic hand holding or a miracle drug.  I came for medical advice, suggestions from an actual doctor on the best way for me to lose weight and your professional opinion on how to proceed.  I feel that I got none of that in the short amount of time you set aside for me.

I am currently considering going to one of those diet doctors that advertise in the city's monthly coupon book...they seem nice and hopefully will have a few additional minutes to spend with me regarding my weight problem.

I dislike your doctoring very much

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Starting over, all over again                                                                      Here I am at the starting line once again.  Feels like it's happened a lot in the last few years.  Luckily, I'm at the excited for a new beginning part.

I've been taking some continuing education classes over at the Dermal Institute.  I took the 3 Day Skin Care Technique class and met a great group of fellow Estheticians. I really enjoy taking classes there, the teachers are all great and a bonus is that we use Dermalogica (which is cruelty free).  Up next is a "skin series" class and a class in gaining and retaining clients...which will be pretty important as I currently have a whopping ZERO clients in my roster.

After these classes, I'll be hopping to the application process.  I'm not even really sure where to begin...but I'll figure it out.  Just need to get organized, be focused, and keep up my skills.

Unfortunately my workouts took a backseat when I was in class last week (2+ hours in traffic sure takes a lot out of you!)...but I will get started again, no wagon falling off for me!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A trip to Eden...(A Day Spa)

I love the idea of "detoxing".  Clearing out the bad so there is room for good.  The other day I tried a M'lis Detox Wrap at Luxe in Glendora.  Generally I go there for my cut and color needs (with Lisamarie).
The more I visit this salon, the more I like it.  This was my first trip to the Eden Day Spa side and I have to say that I was kind of amazed.  Past the hustle and bustle of the busy salon area there is a door in the back that leads to another door and into a quiet room.  A comfy couch and dim lighting it is a perfect spot to relax a little before you are led upstairs to one of three treatment rooms.

On with the show though.  My skin therapist today was Michelle, who was nice as could be.  We started with a quick scrub, a quick application of the M'lis Contour Body Cream and then I was all wrapped up with plastic.  I got real cozy for about 40 minutes and even dozed off for a few minutes.  The wrap was removed and I was on my way.  I don't know if I lost any inches, but I was for sure relaxed and smelling faintly of cinnamon. Overall it was a very positive experience and I would for sure visit again for other treatments! For a M'lis location near you click here.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Back to school...the education continues

This week I'm going back to school (International Dermal Institute style).  Taking the 3-day Technique course.  I'm at a strange point of my life where I'm still struggling with the whole "What should I be when I grow up?" 

Part of me totally wants to pursue being an Esthetician, but I know that that goes hand in hand with sales.  I just have never been confident in my salesperson skills.  I guess for me, I'm a look around shopper myself and don't particularly like having a sales associate checking in on me. 

The other part of me really enjoyed working in an elementary school.  I love working with will always have a good story to tell when kids get involved.  Add to that the fact that I don't have any kids of my own (and having them in my future is looking a bit bleak for the time being) I kind of miss the school environment.  Weekends and holidays off? Yes please.  

For now, while I'm in the gray area I'm taking a couple of classes at the Dermal Institute to brush up on some facial giving skills.  Also, I get to go to the student store and pick up some products...yay! (For info on Dermalogica/Dermal Institute/Continuing Education click here).

Saturday, July 18, 2015

My workouts are trying to kill me

In an effort to lose weight and fit into my clothes again (oh yeah and to be healthier too I suppose) I've taken up walking.  I know I got all excited thinking that I would have a walking buddy, but that hasn't quite gone as planned.  No worries though, she got me out there and got me moving.

Sadly, my workouts have been trying to kill me.  It's not like I'm walking through some forest populated with lions, tigers and flying monkeys. I'm also not aiming for any marathon distances.

I arrive at the park a little after 7 (cooler time of day and parking turns to free).  I park by the lake...but away from the ducks.  I turn on my little "Map my Walk" app and get started. The loop around is about 2 miles and I've been going at least 3 times a week.  T

On Monday, I was about halfway around when my shins started to hurt.  Like a lot.  I stopped and tried stretching...but realized that I wasn't stretching where it was hurting.  Took a few more steps, so much pain!  Being at the halfway point sucked, either way I still had a mile to go.  Summoning my inner high school gym teacher I walked it off.  Got home that night and read all about shin splints.

I Googled (as one does) and it told me that the cause of my pain was basically exercise (too much too fast).  I read that I should take it down a notch, get some rest and try something with lower impact.  The heck?!?!  It has taken me forever to get into some kind of routine and when I've finally found one that I've been sticking too (for like several consecutive weeks) and it causes me physical pain! So frustrating.

I made a plan to alter my course a bit and work back into my regular loop.  I found some helpful stretches and added a 30 day Ab Challenge to my workout.

Shortly after altering my course to help my shins I stumbled upon a new problem, quite literally.  On my way back to my car I fell in a hole. I hurt my knee and my elbow and my pride.  Lucky for me I was wearing my sunglasses and did not make any eye contact with anyone! I am now adding "watching where I'm going" to my list of things to make my workouts better.

Cheers to you and your legs that are like working as they should!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Buffalo Cauliflower, a tasty treat

Forever ago I went to a dinner at Mohawk Bend in L.A. We had the Buffalo Cauliflower as an appetizer and it was very tasty.  I've never been much for wings myself and these were a delightful option.

Fast forward to now when I'm watching what I eat (more or less).  I found this recipe on Pinterest (where else?) and decided to give it a go.  They came out pretty well and are relatively low in WW points to boot.  Bonuses for cauliflower: High in fiber, high in vitamin C, and has all sorts of other vitamins/minerals and antioxidants.  So yay for new recipes involving this "nutrient powerhouse"~~not sure where I picked that up, but I know it's not something I would've said on my own hence the quotes. I like it steamed or roasted and one of these days I'll try it mashed.  I don't know how I feel about using it as a base for pizza though.

For the Buffalo Cauliflower recipe click here.

Any favorite veggie dishes you'd like to share? Thoughts on cauliflower in general?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer lovin'

I love summer, it stays light for so long the weather has been delightful.  It's slushy season.  I've been walking along Puddingstone in the evenings (after 7 equals free parking). It's glorious and I know that in California we need rain, but right now I'm just enjoying some rather lovely summer days and nights.

I've been working on fixing up our backyard, replacing some of the dead grass with some prettier (and drought tolerant) options.  Currently still working on the clean up portion, but once I get into the more decorative parts I'm thinking I'd like to go with a kind of Wonderland-meets-Labyrinth motif.  I think it would be a fun way to combine a couple of my favorite movies. 

I wonder if I could find a Hoggle garden gnome somewhere???

Between working in the yard, a couple of 2-mile walks earlier in the week and the trek to Top Deck at Dodger Stadium the other night I've been doing pretty well with keeping active.  Luckily for me the weather has been pretty nice this week.  Here's a quick look:
A view from my hike/walk @ Frank G Bonelli Park/Puddingstone

Hello Kitty night @ Dodger Stadium 

My go to products this week have been: Physician's Formula CC cream in Light/Medium...which I've let it "cook" while I'm getting ready and Josie Maran's Argan Oil Mascara.  That's pretty much it, I'm keeping it pretty simple. 

Hope you are having a lovely summer! Cheers to you. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Remembering your first....fragrance

I was catching up on my reading (of other blogs) and this question came up.  Not only did I remember my first fragrance but I was brought back to the whole experience.  I was travelling home from my first (and so far only) trip to Europe. I had gone to London to visit a friend who was doing the semester abroad thing. I stopped in a duty-free shop and knew that Ralph was popular at the time, I tried it on and liked it and that was first fragrance.

What was your first fragrance? Does it bring back any memories?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cooking with Queens

You know who really knows how to do their makeup?  Drag Queens.  They all seem to have flawless skin always and as a person with skin myself I know that it is impossible to always have flawless skin. I myself go pretty natural on a day to day basis, and "cooking" your makeup is a simple trick for a natural flawless appearance. (It is on the time consuming side though).  I found this step-by-step from Beautylish helpful, but here are the basics:

Step 1: my case I've been using Physician's Formula CC Cream (about $15 at drugstores) as my go to for everything face this summer. Apply under eyes down toward your nose and out toward your temples.  I use my fingers for this step and a light touch.

Step 2: Leave it alone for a few minutes.  Time will vary based on the product you're using.  Some recommend leaving it to set or "cook" for 10 to 20 minutes...I think I wait about 5 myself.  This is the important step though, because you are letting the makeup warm to your skin before blending it in.  The "cooking" is changing the texture of the cream and allowing it to mix with your skins natural oils; it may even appear to change color slightly.

Step 3: Blend.  Some items I read said that their makeup had dried out by this point, but if your prep your skin with a moisturizer and/or a primer it would probably be just fine.  My CC cream held up just fine and I blended with a damp sponge.  

Ace DeVille, photo from Google

Friday, July 3, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Happy America!

Prebaking  and all finished
Fireworks, picnics, beach days and BBQs: for however you choose to celebrate your 4th, may I suggest bringing along some cookies? 

I must first let you know that I make terrible chocolate chip cookies. Always have for some reason.  I can bake other things: cupcakes, brownies, and peanut butter cookies.  Something about chocolate chip cookies though...either to crispy or too flat...always a little burnt. No matter what I do, they always come out a little bit wrong, but I did not screw up this there is hope for all of us.  Back in the bake sales days of my long ago daycare job there was the mom who made the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever...EVER.  These are not those, but they are tasty and they use Greek yogurt in them which I think is an interesting twist and if you happen to be on Weight Watchers they are 2 points per cookie.

Found on pinterest...came out pretty well, except first attempt yielded something more akin to cookie balls.  Note to self: maybe try flattening a little a la peanut butter cookies next time? Chip and Greek Yogurt Cookies
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used all all-purpose flour, it's what we had)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I just shook the shaker a time or two)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I don't like too many, I just gradually added mini chocolate chips till it felt right)

Oven to 375
Grease cookie sheets (I used parchment paper and lightly sprayed Trader Joe's Coconut Oil over it)
Cream brown sugar and butter, add in the yogurt and vanilla
Combine the dry ingredients and incorporate into the sugar/butter/yogurt/vanilla mixture
Add chocolate chips
Space 2 inches apart (they didn't spread too much, so you can probably get a few more cookies on there)
Bake 8-10 mins (Mine took the 10, and still came out chewy)
Cool for a minute and transfer to cookie rack

These stayed fresh and were gone in a few days.  They are not overly sweet, but still a treat.  I only bake about a dozen at a time and refrigerate the leftover dough in a sealed plastic container.

I got the original recipe from Shannon's Kitchen Creations here.

Have a happy and safe 4th (and don't forget to take care of your dog Mitch couldn't care less about noisy fireworks, but he doesn't always know how to dog).  Cheers all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Getting started

Goal: Exercise more.
 What's stopping me? Myself.

In my head, I seem to think that I prefer to work out solo.  The thing about that is that it makes it increasingly easier to make excuses.  For all those articles that say "have a workout buddy", I've always thought "Nah, I'll go to a yoga class or head over to the gym on my own."  Then an hour passes (or two, or four) and I'm still on the couch.  Then I'm all...darn wasted today guess I'll go tomorrow.  This is all while having a membership to 24 Hour Fitness.  24 HOURS (and my gym is actually open during all that time) can I continually be making excuses?  You're guess is as good as mine.

So, having a workout buddy is probably the better way to go for myself.  Luckily for me, I sent a simple "how ya doin" text to a friend the other day which turned into an invitation to go for a walk that evening.  While on our walk she mentioned making this a regular M-W-F outing.  I immediately agreed.  We didn't track our walk beyond the time (about 1 hour) and we weren't like speed walking or doing lunges or anything but we were out there and we were exercising. 

For me, I feel like once I begin working out it gets easier.  Having 3 nights a week that I know I will be active will (eventually) spur me on to be more active in general.  As much as I like to think that I enjoy spontaneity, I actually really like having structure.  The hardest part is getting started.

Hope you are all well and having a happy and healthy summer!