Monday, August 12, 2013 new favorite vegetable...

My goodness, I have been so unreliable with this blog but summer has taken over my schedule and left me with little free time (yes, this is what I do with my free time, oh, and I do laundry). Anyway, I am now back from NACAC  in Toronto where I presented a Hazardous Parenting Healing workshop and met up with old friends and hopefully made some new friends as well. That was my last planned attendance at NACAC so I made sure I saw whomever I could.

Well, now that I am back in real life I can get back to managing my stress more effectively. No weight gone yet, but I'm doing well with swimming several times a week and riding my exercise bike in the evening. The calorie count is still reasonable, although I had to eat pasta a few times in Toronto because of limited menu choices. I could have had a salad but really, that is never going to keep me full for a whole night and I find I just can't eat meat anymore. Don't really know how I returned to being a vegetarian, it wasn't a plan, I just seem to have gone that way again.

My kids and Sonja are camping now so I'm alone during the week and that lets me experiment with food. I'm trying out new kale based recipes this week and so far have been very happy with them. Here's what WebMD has to say about kale:

"One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw."
I've also been working hard on my stress induced eating. It's not so much that I eat badly, or jump into a potato chip bag, but stress really makes me exhausted so I simply don't have the energy to cook or eat what I should and then I lose whatever gains I've made. 
Stress is still in my every moment. My son who is critically depressed is a constant worry for me, but I'm learning to accept that I can only do what I can do. So, I try my best to help where I reasonably can, and then trust in my son and God to work together to get him where he needs to be. 
I'm also focusing on what is good. For example, the partner of one of my young adults took me out for lunch the other day. No reason that I could find. He was just being nice to me.I floated on joy from that all day. 
So onward I go. I hope your day is as good as you can make it. 
Here's a recipe I found for a kale/sweet potato/black bean casserole. I had it for supper last night and brought some for lunch today. Yummy. This recipe will make enough for two.

2 cups diced sweet potatoes
2 cups black beans
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 cup kale
1 cup salsa
1 cup cheese (any kind will do or try a mix of cheeses)
Preheat oven to 425
Dice up the potatoes into small pieces and layer on the bottom of a small casserole dish. 
Next, add a layer of onions, then a layer of black beans, then the kale, then add the salsa and top with the cheese. I used a very mild salsa but you can spice this up as much as you want. 
Bake for about 25 minutes. 
So simple. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Getting on track...

Oh my, getting back to exercising after my grief break is not easy. I just can't seem to get moving. I'm not crying all the time anymore, but my body has this weird heavy feeling. Not just the usual heavy feeling I have because I'm ...well...heavy - but its like I'm encased in an emotional load of cement. I assume that as time passes, this load will lighten. Grief certainly is an energy vacuum, isn't it.

I'm eating okay - not going over my calorie limit but still too many carbs. Again, lack of energy from grieving so if I see that I'm getting low on low carb food I may not have the energy to stop at the store and pick up those extra vegetables. Again, I assume this will right itself as I recover.

I'm also struggling with whether or not I've resumed my vegetarian ways. I used to be a vegetarian and then went back to eating meat - but it's getting too hard to do that - I just can't seem to put the flesh of an animal into my mouth. I think I can still eat a turkey and I am eating chicken on occasion, so we'll just have to wait and see where I end up on this. It's so easy to eat vegetarian low carb or whatever with the internet to turn to for recipes and menus.

Stress is a struggle that I am managing well. Lots to be stressed about - facing the fact that one of my sons has returned to harsh drug abuse to escape the loneliness of his life. He has social anxiety disorder as well as other brain based challenges and he self medicates with the bad stuff. I can't do much about it as he is an adult and I can't make him go to therapy or take meds. I am trying to set up some services that he might accept so will keep working on that. I find I wake up at 4 a.m. with worries about him competing with memories of my mom's last painful days and then the cortisol overloads my brain and I'm up for the day. I try to use that time to meditate and heal my brain and if that doesn't work, then I head to the shower and begin my day. I'll do whatever I have to in order to stop the ruminating. I guess I used to use food to change my thought patterns, now I use meditation and QuiGong and EFT tapping. Much healthier.

Here's a funny/weird thing - I've been listening to the Gabriel downloads for eating and weight loss. I really liked them but they start with a visualization of a white light going up the spine - starting at the base of the spine. Now, that area is totally agitated and unhappy. I can *feel* it all the time, like an irritation or mental pain. How weird is that?! So, I'm tapping and using other meditations instead.  I mean really, who walks around with full, and unpleasant, awareness of the base of their spine.

So, take care of yourselves - I'm still working while most of my family is camping. I join them on weekends. This weekend I'll 5 of mine plus 3 grandchildren - should be busy - no time for sitting or ruminating.

Don't forget to check out my youtube videos on stress reduction and also visit my Hazardous Parenting facebook page for more easy stress reducing tips.

Chick pea salad ------A tasty and easy summer salad recipe.

  • 19 oz can chickpeas
  • 1 large tomato, chopped or several whole small tomotos
  •  ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro 
  • 1 diced avocado
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, cumin, chili powder, and salt.
  2. Add the chick peas
  3. Add the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and toss together. 
  4. Stir in the avocado 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Death and health...

Sorry I've been away so long. My mom was dying and that took up all of my time for a while. She was a wonderful woman, a really good mom, she was my friend, and she died of Alzheimers. That's relevant to this blog for a number of reasons that I'll twist and twiggle my verbal way to.

My mom did all the things you are supposed to do to avoid the awful A. She always ate well = healthy food, little sugar or fat, no drugs, very little alcohol (maybe 4 ounces of wine a year), no cigarettes, kept her mind stimulated and challenged, no weight problem, daily exercise (still walking 5 fast miles a day at age 80), no family history of it. But it got her and it wrecked her last years of life and left her in pain and agony in her last few weeks. I hate hate hate hate  it, but I digress.

The thing is, she did it all right and still suffered, so what does that mean to me? Does it mean its okay if I stay fat and sedentary? I sure would rather die early of a heart attack than linger a few years with the awful A. And, I don't want my family to watch me suffer as they had to watch her.

No, I guess that if good health can't prevent disease, then poor health isn't going to either.

I put back the little bit of weight I had lost - sitting for days & nights in a 10 by 10 hospital room and indulging in carbs isn't in anyone's diet plan. I had healthier food choices, but truly I couldn't manage to do so - I needed all the seratonin I could get. Oh well, I can get back to swimming now, and back to more structured and intentional eating. I'm really happy to get back to swimming - it's the only exercise I can stand and I love it.

My kids were great while I was doing bedside duty. My grown up kids, all seriously acting out teens just a few short years ago, were supportive and caring and did their best to be kind to me and to their grandmother. This event gave me the opportunity to see how well they have turned out and how committed they are to our family. My mom would have loved it too. They younger five did well - they cleaned the kitchen from time to time and did their best not to create more drama.  I can't ask for more.

So, now it's back to real life. I miss my mom so much. I want her back now. Guess it won't happen.

Take care of yourself, and hug your mom if you are lucky enough to have a good one. 

Remember,  you are entitled to a better day.

Recipe - here's a really tasty sandwich for days when you have time to fuss and when you are willing to spend a few extra calories on lunch.

CRISPY TOFU SANDWICH  - by the way - I just buy the peanut sauce - I never have time to make my own.

Crispy Tofu Sandwiches with Ginger Peanut Sauce
  • 1-14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil
  • Ginger Peanut Sauce
  • 6 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2-3 tsp. light brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. ginger juice (see note)
  • cayenne to taste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. lite coconut milk or water
  • Sandwiches
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 c. sliced green onion
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 4 sandwich wraps, pitas, tortillas, or naan (if you don't eat dairy, make sure the naan is vegan if you use it!)
  • lime wedges (optional)
    Crispy Tofu
  1. Cut tofu crosswise into 8 slices; cut each slice into two triangles. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high eat. Carefully place tofu in skillet (the oil may spatter a little!); cook about 5 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Transfer tofu to plate lined with paper towels to absorb any extra oil.
  2. Ginger Peanut Sauce
  3. Whisk together all ingredients. Add additional coconut milk or water, one tablespoon at a time, to thin sauce if necessary. (Some peanut butters are thicker than others, so the amount you need depends on the type of peanut butter you use.)
  4. Sandwiches
  5. Heat sandwich wraps, tortillas, pitas, or naan according to package instructions--you want them to be pliable so they can be folded over without breaking. Top each with 4 pieces of tofu, shredded carrot, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, and peanut sauce and fold. Serve with lime wedges, if using.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Losing some weight... I think...

Well, I had to go shopping for some new clothes and guess what - I actually needed to buy one size smaller. That was a surprise!!! I don't see any difference when I look in the mirror and no one has mentioned that there seems to be less of me - my family hasn't noticed and none of my hyper alert clients have commented (the kids and teens notice everything - and they always comment, but not on this). So, I guess it isn't visible yet, or I'm losing in it places that other people don't stare at, such as my belly and my upper thighs. Anyway, I'm happy.

I haven't done a lot different that I can tell, but I am listening to the Gabriel Code and I'm doing my QiGong breathing and I know those make me perkier which in turn make me move more and I move more quickly. I have to admit I don't actually listen to much of the GC because within minutes of putting in the ear phones, I'm sound asleep - but I assume parts of my brain are still taking it in.

Good news on the bathing suit issue - I actually found one. It's just too ugly for words. I think that the designers of fat lady bathing suits are trying to punish us for our obesity. I can't think of any other reason to make such UGLY designs. Oh well, I got one that fits and I will start swimming again tomorrow. I meant to get back to the pool today, but one of my ragers was doing her thing this morning and I was so totally focused on doing my breathing and remembering to parent from my heart and not my temper that I failed to grab my bathing suit. Not a Freudian slip, just a typical moment of overwhelm that is part of Hazardous Parenting.

By the way, for those of you who also live with ragers, the new and very controversial  DSM has a new diagnosis that I found very relevant and appropriate for a number of children and youth. Check it out if you are living with a rager too. Here's a good description of Temper Dysregulation Disorder.

So, take care, and remember, you are entitled to a better day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Better days...

I haven't noticed any change in how my clothes fit, but my goodness, I have certainly notice a change in my energy levels and in my mood and my appetite has decreased (YAY!). I feel downright perky lately and my mood is much better despite some really difficult life challenges that are going on now.

The only things I am doing differently are the Qi Gung exercises and the Gabriel meditations. I rarely stay awake for the entire meditation because the minute I totally relax I fall asleep - I'm sure you can understand that! However, I assume my brain is still listening and something is getting absorbed. I also don't do much with the Qi Gung but it's made a difference in my posture all day long which, of course, increases the amount of stress reducing oxygen that my poor over cortisoled brain receives. I think I'm going to take training in QG if I ever have the time because it's the only method of that type of exercise that I've ever been able to do (other than swimming) without screaming from boredom.

With my new found energy and perkiness, I decided to take my closet extender and put it into the family room in front of the tv - so now instead of sitting on the couch I sit on the closet extender and push those pedals till my legs get tired, then I rest, then I pedal, then I rest... you get the idea.

I've also noticed that I'm crying more about my mom. She has Alzheimers (despite living the kind of life all the experts say will *prevent* the disease), and she suffers greatly because what little is left of her mind is the  anxiety section, and she suffers with that day and night without remission. I was heartbroken over this but coping, and now I just cry a lot. I think that is better than what I was doing - maybe not.

A number of people have asked me if I practice the stress reduction techniques I post on my Hazardous Parenting facebook page. Yes, I do. I can't do them all every day but I do some more than once a day and for situations or events for which they are most effective. My goal is post 1,000 stress reduction tips. If you have any you would like to send to me, I'd be happy to post them and note that they are from you. It's great when we can help each other. 

So, onward and upward, I hope, with the Gabriel meditations and the Qi Gong, and hopefully there will soon be a need for a smaller size clothing!

Have your best day possible!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Now I'm meditating the fat away....


I've determined to get my focus off the weight and onto my body in a more holistic manner - I mean, I'm totally aware of my fatness, and I'm not psychologically cut off at the neck. I haven't been abused so I don't have the body related issues that go with that kind of trauma, and I do recall the days when I gloried in my figure and felt vibrant health. I also make it a point to walk my talk, and, as you may know, I practice eft tapping both in my clinical practice and in my personal life - I use the *Chasing the Pain* method of eft tapping which links the feelings in my body with my emotions so I experience the connections daily as I tap away the stress of being the target of a rager or knowing I will have to deal with police or whatever awaits at home. But, even with all of that, I don't think I actually live enough in my body (if that makes sense).

Part of the reason is that I spend most of my time interacting with others in a setting that makes them the focus. My clients need me to be totally focused & connected with them, alert to all of their body signals and verbal cues and their basic communications. My children need me to be totally focused in the same way because, as I said,  I live with ragers and other behavior disorders: and, those who are more emotionally stable and those who are grown are still my children, and they rightfully expect to be the center of my universe in all contexts. That leaves precious little time in the day for me to contemplate the feeling of the blood flowing in my arms, or the energy in my hands, or to experience the beat of my heart.

When I decided to start to really get into my physical being. I thought of doing yoga again as I recommend that to many clients, but, to be honest, I hate yoga. It bores me to tears. While I'm doing the poses all I can ever think of is that I am going to die of cognitive inertia.  Looking around at other choices, I decided to find something that was meditative because I use meditation daily to heal my stressed neurons. There's a gazillion weight loss meditations out there and they all make incredible promises. I finally chose one that a friend of mine is using and is dropping pounds weekly. It wasn't that I see this as a magic pill, but I think the process must have some merit since it's having such a drastic impact on her. (I don't have any affiliation with this guy or this company and don't receive any kickbacks, and I will be blogging about my success or failure with this).

So far I've really enjoyed it. My only problem is that there is a night time one and I can't stay awake long enough to listen to the end. I fall asleep with ear buds in my ear. I hope that there is a subliminal effect!  haven't noticed any change in my eating but neurons don't change overnight (except under extreme duress) but I like the trips he takes me on inside my physical being so I'm happy to continue at the moment.

Well, if you are on a weight/stress reduction journey, I wish you the best. I'd love to hear what you are doing.

Remember, you are entitled to a better day!
And, don't forget to check out my Youtube videos on stress management for Hazardous Parents as well as my Hazardous Parenting facebook stress management page.

Here's a  lower cal, tasty lunch recipe that I love.


Two slices of pumpernickel bread (great for diabetics)
Thick slices of tomato
Thin slices of avacado
Vegan mayonnaise
A couple of leaves of spinach
Put it all together and it makes a great lunch, especially if you are like me and have to eat at your desk.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pounds aren't dropping off...or sliding off...or melting away....or......

Day  27

Still no sign of weight loss. I believe that I have to do this slowly so that my eating habits and my stress management skills are permanently changed for the better. At least I think I  believe that. Okay, what I really want is for my eating and stress skills to change, but I want the weight to come off NOW. Not a stupid pound a week. At that rate, and with my current weight and age, I'll be dead from old age before there is a noticeable difference.

I know that part of the problem is lack of exercise - I garden and I do housework, but I'm no longer on an acreage so the gardening is just weeding and flower stuff and a few vegetables, not the hours of real digging and hard work I used to have to do. And the housework, while endless, is tedious and takes every evening, but it's with all the modern conveniences. Pushing a mop around the floor isn't going to compensate for the lack of a real workout. I could dance around while I mop - but after a full day of work and and an evening of parenting, there isn't much dance left in me. So, till I find a bathing suit I'm willing to wear to the public pool, I guess it's time to get to the gym. I still hate that, but then I might hate being dead and I sure hate being fat, so it's the lesser of all my hates at the moment.

Stress is another matter. I live with ragers, and my wonderful mom is suffering intensely with Alzheimers. I manage the impact the ragers have on me, but its very, very hard to detach or move away from the grief when I know my mom is trapped in a body that hurts her and a mind that is frozen in anxiety. I don't have any stress management for the deep sorrow that puts in me so the glucose from that will keep transforming to belly fat at the speed of lightening.

So, don't forget to check out my Hazardous Parenting facebook page for some stress management skills, and hop on over to Youtube and look under my name for more stress management using eft tapping and meditation.

Remember, you are entitled to a better day! 

Hey, here's a great recipe. (I'm sort of vegetarian in that if I have a choice I don't eat meat, but if I'm at someone's home for dinner and they serve meat I will eat it). I love this recipe - tasty, fast, and healthy.

White Beans, Spinach & Tomatoes over Parmesan Toasts

Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 
Total Time: 


  • 4 thick slices country-style whole-wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • 1 10-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil, or 2 tablespoons prepared pesto


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Top bread with Parmesan, place on a baking sheet and bake until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and beans and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes are beginning to soften and the beans are heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach, pepper, salt and broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in basil (or pesto). Spoon the bean-and-spinach mixture over the Parmesan toasts and serve hot.


  • Make Ahead Tip: The spinach-and-bean mixture can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave.