Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's Not Always About a Number on the Scale

I weigh myself every morning, and I never know what I'm going to see when I step on the scale  because my weight can fluctuate .5 to 1.5 pounds from one day to the next, for no rhyme or reason.  I'll battle that same pound for weeks at a time - up, down - up, down - so that when I do go down that half pound, I'm ecstatic.  It's often short-lived, though,  as I'll be back up a full pound the next day.  Frustrating!

I live in sweatpants and sweatshirts here at home, which is a good thing because I hate shopping for clothes.  No matter how much weight I might lose, I'll always have the big butt, so finding anything to fit even when I was a skinny chick eons ago was always a challenge, and of course it got worse the older I got and more weight I gained.

I did splurge on a new pair of jeans before visiting my son and his family in NC in September, and noticed yesterday that they were a little loose.  Not hanging off me or anything, but definitely not snug like they were when new.  I didn't think too much of it because jeans can sometimes 'give' a little the more you wear them.  

I'm headed to NC again this week to spend an early Christmas with them and wanted a decent-fitting pair of slacks for the trip, so I headed to Kohl's after church today.  After much frustration at not being able to find anything at all in a size 16 that didn't look like it was designed for someone in their 20s, I almost gave up.  I did find one rack that had a pair that I thought would be appropriate for a more matronly figure, so snatched them up.  On a whim, I grabbed a size 14 also and marched off to the dressing room.  Well whatdya know ... the 14 fit better than the 16.  I was jumping for joy!

I had put several pair of jeans in storage bags in the closet some time back, figuring that I'd never get into them again, yet still wasn't quite ready to part with them entirely.  I'd tried them on a month or so ago and couldn't even get my leg in them.  I dug them out tonight and ta-da!  The first pair I grabbed now fits (except they're very long ... rats) - in fact, since they fit so well in the butt, they're actually a bit loose in the waist!  I also found a pair of black semi-dress pants that fit well.  I haven't worn the black slacks probably since I was working 8 years ago or better, and the jeans even before that - probably 10 years!  It's a good thing jeans and basic black slacks don't go out of style.

The long-forgotten size 14 jeans fit great!
©Marie Anne St. Jean

If you know anything about me at all, you know that I hate having my picture taken because I'm not photogenic at all, so the fact that I'm sharing this selfie with you tells you just what a big deal this is for me.

I've not been so good about staying low-carb as I should, and I've had days where I didn't get my daily 10,000 step goal with Fitbit, but I haven't let it stop me.  I get my butt back on the treadmill the next day and do a little more.  Pushing myself up and away from this desk and doing some serious walking every day is definitely paying off.  It hasn't happened overnight, but it IS happening.  The pounds are coming off slowly, but to be able to put on the size 14 jeans that I never thought would grace these hips again is the biggest motivator for me, not a number on the scale.

So, fellow fitness fanatics and weight-loss wonders, don't get discouraged, no matter what your number is.  If you keep walking, jogging, swimming, or whatever your exercise of poison is, you will reap the benefits of better health, and you will look and feel better, and the numbers will catch up when they're ready to.  Don't be tied to that number on the scale, just know that whenever you move, you're doing something good for yourself.  And you're worth it.

~ Marie Anne

Monday, October 20, 2014

Finding Fitbit Friends, and Keeping Them

Chances are that if you have a Fitbit exercise tracking device, you're a competitive person.  Even if you don't have a lot of friends, seeing your own stats day to day will have you competing with yourself to better them.  A little friendly competition with Fitbit friends, however, might challenge you even more.

Finding friends on Fitbit
If you've connected your social media accounts with Fitbit, your dashboard will show you suggested friends based on existing connections on those networks. To find more friends, click on 'community' on the Fitbit site and look through the various forums and find groups of people with like interests.  You'll find no end to the number of people who are doing just what you're doing - looking for more friends.

What I look for in a Fitbit friend
To me, being a friend on Fitbit is more than just clicking that 'add friend' button.  The point of having friends is to provide motivation to keep going day after day, no matter how discouraged you might be.  Friends can be a support network, but if you know nothing about each other and there is no interaction between you whatsoever, there's really no point in having a large list of friends, in my opinion.

I'll admit that I added friends willy-nilly when I first joined Fitbit a month or so ago, but I've since changed tactics.  I've decided to pare down my list and include only those who have put something in the 'about me' section of their profile, or who I've interacted with on a fairly regular basis.  To me, have a completely naked profile tells me that the person is there to do their own thing and not be social at all.  If that's what works for them, there's nothing wrong with that, but I want a little more from my friends.  That might be a close-minded way of looking at it, but it's my way of thinking, and I'm entitled to that.  I'm not saying that everyone should bare their life stories to strangers, but we can all put something there, either a goal we're working towards, or one we've already attained.

Friendly activities
It only takes a second to click on the 'cheer' button on Fitbit, so don't be stingy with that either.  If you see a friend who hasn't been active in a while, send a note and ask if everything's ok.  If your dashboard stats show that you've been running neck-and-neck with a friend and just pulled ahead of them, stick your virtual tongue out at them with the 'taunt' button, following up with a friendly note saying why you've done so, and spur them on.

If you have the app on your smartphone (and it works with your device - there have been problems for some), start a challenge with friends and bring the competition to a little different level.

Once you've connected with some friends on Fitbit, you never know where it might lead.  There are groups on Facebook for different age groups, locales, people facing physical or medical challenges, etc., and that might be a little more personal and easier to navigate than the groups on the Fitbit site.  You might even find a special friend or two that you have other things in common with, which can lead to friendship outside of just the fitness connection.

Keeping friends means being a good one
If you rely on your Fitbit friends to keep you motivated, make sure that you're doing the same for them in return.  I'm guilty of not interacting much on some days, and I need to do better myself.  Having said that, I'm off to do some cheering before I head out for a walk.

~ Marie Anne

Don't have a Fitbit yet?  What're you waiting for?  You can find the various Fitbit devices and accessories on

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hiking Hopewell Mound Group in Chillicothe, Ohio

Jethro is ready to go
©Marie Anne St. Jean

I needed a break from walking the short distance up and down my boring road several times a day and remembered that there was a walking trail at Hopewell Mound Group just a few miles from my home, so I decided to take Jethro out early this morning. The trail begins from a parking area on Sulphur Lick Rd. in Chillicothe, right near the intersection of Maple Grove Rd., not far from Frankfort.  It starts out in a more open area with a packed sand/fine gravel walking surface on fairly level ground, then begins to wind up a hill to a wooded area.

Once in the woods, watch for roots on the trail that might trip you up.  Depending on the time of year, you'll also need to be careful of wet leaves and hickory nut pods, those wonderful green balls that can send a body flying if you step on one just right.  At one point you'll find a few stairs set into a hill, but they're very widely spaced and not steep at all.  There is more than one footbridge, but they're also easily traversed.

Lots of wet leaves, but we got this!
©Marie Anne St. Jean

The trail continues in a complete circle if you go all the way around to Sulphur Lick Rd and walk along the bike path, or you can turn at any point on the wooded area of the trail and come back the way that you came.  Since it was Jethro's first time to hike Hopewell Mound Group, I elected to keep our jaunt a little shorter and stayed on the trail.  The longer footbridge (photo below) was covered in wet leaves, and since I'm not as sure-footed as I used to be because of a bum knee, I decided that was a good place to turn around.  My Fitbit registered approximately two miles for the ground we covered today.

Longer footbridge where we turned around
©Marie Anne St. Jean

The walking trail at Hopewell Mound Group is a pleasant one, and not too difficult.  Anyone who can manage small inclines for short distances should be able to navigate this trail without difficulty.  The park is open during daylight hours year round, with an adequate parking area and bathroom facilities available.

Almost there ... let's go home, Mom!
©Marie Anne St. Jean

I hope to make this hike twice a week, alternating which dog will come along (I have three).  I think adding Hopewell Mound Group to my short list of walking areas will help to break up the monotony and keep me moving.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other ...

~ Marie Anne

Looking for more dog-friendly places to hike in Ross County, Ohio?  Yoctangee Park in downtown Chillicothe is an easy option, and Great Seal State Park on the outskirts of town affords a little more of a challenge.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How Can I Get More Steps in to Meet My Fitbit Goals?

If you use a Fitbit or other fitness tracker to monitor your daily activity, you know how hard it can be some days to meet your daily or weekly step goals, especially if your job requires you to sit at a desk for extended periods.  With a little creativity, however, you can not only achieve your daily goals, but surpass them.  Below are some tips to increase your daily steps without taking a lot of extra time out of your day.

Stairway to heaven
It's a no-brainer that taking the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator is better for you, but don't just take the stairs when they're right in front of you - go look for them.

If you work in a multi-story building and there are facilities on more than one floor, go out of your way to go to the restroom on your break.  Instead of taking the easy route and going to the bathroom down the hall, take it a step (well, a few steps) further and walk up a floor or two instead.  The extra minute or so won't be missed, but the extra steps will be a bonus towards meeting your Fitbit goals.

Shop 'til you drop
When grocery shopping, go up and down every aisle, whether you need to buy something in that aisle or not.  It's a good idea to shop with a list in hand so that you're not tempted to buy things that aren't on your eating plan, so browse the aisles looking for the items that you need, and when you hit an aisle that you don't need anything from, scoot along smartly without stopping to look at the items on the shelves.  Score bonus points for going up and down every aisle at a decent pace when you've completed your shopping.

It's more difficult to do this when the stores are crowded, so pick days and times of day when you're less likely to be tripping over other shoppers' carts.  Also, if you wear your fitness tracking device on your wrist, you'll need to push your cart with only one hand in order for the steps to register.

Step up during play time
If you have young children, set aside a little time to actively play with them for at least a few minutes every day.  Put some music on and get everyone up and dancing, lifting your legs up high and swinging or pumping your arms.  You'd be surprised at how much fun you can have while getting your steps in.

No kids?  No excuse!  Crank it up and get moving to your favorite music video.  You don't need to tune in to an actual exercise program in order to groove to the tube - pick some lively music to jive to and just get up and do it!

Photo by Arizona Foothills Magazine

Stay tuned 
While watching TV, get up and move during the commercials.   When you get up to go to the bathroom or get a drink, take a couple of extra trips down the hall and around the living room before sitting back down.  If you don't need to get up for any other reason, get up anyway.  Step in place or around the room for the duration of the advertisements, then plop down and get comfy again when your favorite show comes back on.

I use that trick often but do it in the reverse when watching "Dancing With the Stars" - I'll get up and move while the performers are dancing. I find it motivating to see some of the older people out there dancing and figure if they can do that, I can at least march in place.

Mail call
Don't check the mail from your car when you come home, but park your car, then walk to the mailbox.  If you're home when the mail comes, walk down to get it, then make an extra trip or two up and down the driveway or walk to the end of the block and back.

Something for everyone
While cooking, walk back and forth the length of the kitchen while waiting for the water to boil or until time to stir something.  Talking on the phone?  Keep your feet moving as much as your mouth is.  I get LOTS of steps while talking on the phone.  I'm up and moving the whole time.  Waiting for a file to download?  Get up and step in place in front of your computer. You'll meet your Fitbit goals in no time.

When all else fails
If the day is almost done and you've fallen short on your goal, don't give up.  Walk up and down the hall and around the inside perimeter of your house if you have to.  You might think it's silly (and I know my dogs are convinced that I'm nuts as I do this almost every evening), but is it silly to try to reach your goals while getting fit?  I've been known to crochet while walking in place, so I'm sure you can't look any sillier than that.  I'll set the piece I'm working on on the back of the recliner and step and stitch at the same time.

Since I've started doing these and other things every day, I've had no trouble at all making my 10,000 daily steps goal on Fitbit, and usually can get to 13-14,000 steps with a little effort.

You don't need to carve out large chunks of time to fit exercise into your day.  Think outside the box and see how easy it can be to add extra steps to the activities that you're already doing every day.

~ Marie Anne

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Knee Injury, Be Damned

Photo from Quick Home Remedies
In an attempt to get back in shape, I started a walking program two years ago and worked my way up into intervals of a very slow jog.  I felt great!  Had no trouble breathing, stamina was good even with all the extra pounds, but then my legs started to hurt a bit.  So what?  I'm a retired Marine and you know how us jarheads are, so I pushed through it.  Pain is a sign of weakness leaving the body and all that.

Big mistake.

A combination of my uneven road full of potholes, plus the pounding my lower body was taking when I took up the slow jog, coupled with thinning bones from being an old-timer - all took a nasty toll on me.  I ended up in excruciating pain at the end of one session, tears-in-the-eyes kinda pain, and couldn't even get up out of the chair.  I won't bore you now with the details of how the VA 'took care of me', but suffice it to say that they didn't.  A couple of different diagnoses, one of them outright wrong, kept me sidelined and in pain for months.  The best I can put together from the original MRIs and radiologist report is stress fracture and torn meniscus.

Fast forward two years and I've still got pain in the right and now left knee as well (no doubt due to taking up the slack for the right knee for so long), but pain in the left is usually only evident when I move a certain way.  I last had an MRI a year or so ago and the diagnosis at that time was bursitis.  From everything I've read, it fits.  The third bursa, on the lower inside of the knee, can be problematic with those who are getting on in years and/or overweight, and that matches up to the area that's causing me trouble.

The swelling is still very evident in my right  knee (the site of the original injury) and I have to be extremely careful when not on an absolutely level surface because if I hit a dip or pothole, boom, I'm on my butt.  I need to find a competent orthopedist at the VA and see if they'll consider aspirating my right knee to draw the fluid out of there.  I think two years is enough time for them to see that it's not going to go away on it's own, don't you?

Now as long as I take care about where I put my foot down, I can manage to get around quite well without causing further injury.  I've started taking joint supplements and bought a Fitbit to keep me motivated, and I've been meeting my walking goal of a minimum of 10,000 steps every day, and some days do more.  I'm determined that this injury and lack of proper medical care is not going to keep me fat and sedentary for the remainder of my years.

I'm taking my life back.

~ Marie Anne

Monday, October 6, 2014

It's Past Time to Get Fit

Photo by Zenia Blanco
Hey stranger.

I let this blog go dormant because "I" went dormant.  The stupid knee injury two years ago had me sidelined for a long time, and it's still not healed properly yet.  Regardless, I've jumped back on the bandwagon, knee injury be damned! I still have bursitis in my knees but it's not as painful now that I'm walking more while still pampering them.

I'm not going to let that get to me, though.  I've invested in a Fitbit and love everything about the gadget itself and the motivational people and tools on the site.  I'm doing very well so far with keeping up with my daily goal of 10,000 steps and I hope to increase that as I start to drop some pounds and continue this journey to getting fit.

Have a Fitbit? Look me up and let's connect!

I'm also trying to stay low-carb again, so between that and the increased activity level, something should start happening soon.

I'll elaborate more about the knee injury and other things related to my diet, weight, and fitness shortly, so keep your eyes open and come back to visit often.  I'll share my progress, what's worked for me, and other helpful tips about nutrition and fitness.

It's good to be back!

~ Marie Anne

There are a couple of different types of Fitbit devices, but this is the one I have (Fitbit One) and I love it!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Coconut Flour Lemon Bread Recipe – First Attempt

Finished Coconut Flour Lemon Bread
©Marie Anne St. Jean

I’m still trying to get back on the low-carb bandwagon, and have been researching alternatives to baking with white or wheat flower.  I found organic coconut flour at my local Mennonite/Amish market, so thought I’d give that a try.  I don’t know how coconut flour compares to regular flour in carb count, but it is gluten free and likely better for me in that regard, so I figured I’d give it a try.  Paleo is another new dietary regimen buzz word, and I guess coconut flour fits into that program also.

I’ve never used coconut flour (or any flour other than made from wheat), so I did a little research first to see how it compares to white flour when baking.  I’m glad I did, because I found that it reacts so much differently than regular flour, and requires more liquid than you would think.   I searched for bread recipes with coconut flour and found several, and they took between 6 and a full dozen eggs – yikes!  Most called for a sugar substitute as the sweetener, with some giving directions for using white sugar, but I decided to try honey instead and added a little lemon juice to liven things up a bit, thinking since honey is more liquid than sugar, I could use less eggs.

I think what I came up with worked out great.  Coconut flour isn’t going to give you a real bakery bread-like texture, but will result in something more akin to cornbread.  Think of it as banana bread without the bananas – it’s not sweet, but not like ‘real’ bread either. This isn’t something you can make sandwiches with, but it’ll taste good with a pot of beans, or with a little butter and honey or jam with your morning coffee or tea.

Since the trick to working with coconut flour is getting the ratio of flour to liquid correct, I was surprised that I nailed it on the first try.  Here’s my recipe, followed by notes of what I might change next time:

Ingredients for Coconut Flour Lemon Bread

¾ cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
5 eggs
½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/3 cup honey
1 tbls lemon juice

Sift together coconut flour, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl.

Mix together eggs, butter, and honey in separate bowl until well blended.  (If the butter is lumpy, use a mixer on low for a minute or so, and break up lumps as much as possible).

Add sifted dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix well by hand (a heavy spatula worked well for me), adding lemon juice.  Batter will be thicker and less liquid than cake batter, but not as stiff as cookie batter (it will resemble cornbread batter at this point).

Spoon mixture into a greased loaf pan (it doesn't pour well) and bake at 350* for 40 minutes.  Turn out onto wire rack to cool.

Mixture will resemble cornbread dough
©Marie Anne St. Jean


- I wasn’t sure how much honey would be needed as a sweetener, so I started with approximately 1/3 cup, but don’t think the result was quite sweet enough.  I’ll probably increase to ½ cup when I make this again.

- I also wasn’t sure how much lemon juice I should add, so I started with 1 tablespoon.  I didn’t really get the lemony flavor I desired, so will increase to 2 tablespoons the next time I make this recipe.

- Since bread made with coconut flour doesn’t really rise, it looked pretty skimpy in the loaf pan.  I think I’ll try using smaller loaf pans next time.  I might also increase the coconut flour to a full cup and add an extra egg, and increase the amount of honey and lemon by a small amount if using a regular sized loaf pan again.

Fresh out of the oven
©Marie Anne St. Jean

If you make coconut lemon bread using this recipe, please let me know how it turns out, and whether you tried any of the changes that I suggested.  I've already eaten half of this first loaf this afternoon, so I'll undoubtedly be trying the new variations soon, and will post my results again.

Now that I've tried coconut flour, I think I'll try making my own almond flour and see what I can do with that.

~ Marie Anne

(Yes, you can even buy organic coconut flour through

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tips to Keep You Drinking Water During Winter

(Photo by collectmoments)

Everyone knows that drinking water is important to our health, and it's just as important to stay well hydrated in winter as it is summer.  We need to replace what we lose when we perspire when the weather is hot, but water is essential year round for so many health reasons, so don't put your water bottle away when the temperature drops.

Water aids in digestion, helps our kidneys flush out toxins, and is important for healthy looking skin.  Inadequate fluid intake can result in muscle fatigue, as cells can shrivel without it, so drinking water is essential from a fitness standpoint.  It can also help regulate our body temperature, which is important any time of year.

But I Don't Like Plain Water

Many people don't.  Trying adding a drop or two of lemon juice to flavor it just a bit.  I always ask for lemon with my water when eating out, and I've grown accustomed to the taste, so now I replicate that at home.  I don't use fresh lemons often enough to justify purchasing the fruit, but the bottled lemon juice is a good substitute, and it really does only take the smallest amount to make the water more palatable.

Drink More, Spend Less

I've never believed in spending good money to buy bottled water.  Since I pay a water bill every month and my tap works just fine, I refuse to spend extra only to add more plastic waste to our already overcrowded landfills.  A filtered water pitcher has been a good investment for me - my water is clean and tasty, but without the added hassle and expense of having to buy it in bottles.  My refrigerator doesn't have a water dispenser, so the pitcher is perfect for my needs.

But It's So Cold!

One of my biggest stumbling blocks that keep me from drinking enough water in winter is that I'm always cold, and who wants a cold drink when they're already freezing?  Give me that mug of hot chocolate!

To help get over that hurdle, I leave the water pitcher on the counter every day and drink it at room temperature. It's not exactly warm, but it's much better than when it's refrigerated.  Leaving it out in the open also serves as a constant reminder throughout the day to keep drinking, which is harder for me to remember when it's chilly out.

I probably still don't drink as much water in winter as I should, but I'm much more diligent about it now, and these tips help me keep things flowing a little easier.

~ Marie Anne

Monday, February 10, 2014

Using Massage to Rehab Sore Muscles

Guest post by Renee Sanchez

Many people suffer from sore muscles whether it is due to exercising, long days at work or even just through the natural aging process.  No matter the reason for your sore muscles, you’re probably just looking for relief so you can relax and sleep at night.  There was an experiment conducted by researchers to find out exactly what happens when muscles go through the massage processes.  The following are the steps that were taken and what was concluded from the experiment

The Experiment

The experiment required subjects to offer tissue samples through a biopsy procedure before and after the subject exercised.  First, the subject offered a sample of a leg muscle while it was resting and before the exercise routine began.  After this incision was allowed to heal so it would have no impact on the results, the same subjects were placed on a station bicycle until they were exhausted and could go no further.  Another biopsy was taken directly after exercise from one leg.  The other leg was massaged for ten minutes and it too had a sample taken along with the leg that was not massaged.  After a period of rest, they took more samples in order to see the progress of the injuries and repairs

Over Exercise Injuries

When the muscles are over exercised there are small tears in the muscles that can lead to reactions in the immune system such as inflammation.  This is caused when the body goes into overtime to fix the cells that were torn during the overexertion.   It has always been thought that massage helps to repair those little tears because it caused higher blood flow through the damaged tissue but was never tested before.  This brave set of subjects allowed themselves to be cut time and time again to get the samples needed to determine if massage was really that beneficial or if the tissue would have repaired itself without the need for massage

The Results

It was found that massage not only increased the blood flow to the damaged cells but also aided in the production of certain compounds which aided in healing.  One compound, known as Cytokines, which aid in the inflammation of the cells, was also reduced.  Mitochondria, the compound that helps turn Glucose into energy were increased in the muscles that were massaged.  In layman’s terms, the massage did indeed help the overexerted and damaged muscles rebound from the stress that was put on them to heal faster and more effectively.  There are drugs on the market that offer the same results but many would rather have a good massage rather than taking drugs, which may also restrict the healing process in the long run.

So if you exercise a great deal and you find that you’re exerting yourself a bit too much, you may want to invest in a handheld massager like the Hitachi wand.  Unless you want to spend a great deal of money on massage therapies every time you workout, this is the next best option.

Author Bio:  Renee Sanchez has been aiding individuals in their recovery from sore muscles for many years.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Another Low-Carb Trick - Cabbage for Lasagna Noodles

Photo by Eirik Newth
I made a post the other day about low-carb pizza crust made with cauliflower, and mentioned that now I needed to find a substitute for pasta.  Well Tay must have heard me, because she came up with a recipe to use cabbage in place of lasagna noodles.   I don't see how cabbage could work as a replacement for regular spaghetti, but lasagna works for me!

Her recipe doesn't include meat, but I would definitely add a layer of ground beef and sausage to make this more like a true lasagna.  I like my lasagna to have a thick layer of meat and honestly, the lasagna noodles are secondary to the meat and cheese, in my opinion.  Since both meat and cheese are ok to use while following a low-carb diet, I'm definitely putting this on my list to try soon.  I don't buy cabbage often, but I have a half head left from dinner the other night, but not sure I have any ground beef on hand, so it still might have to wait a few days.

I wonder how it would work with a layer of cauliflower in place of the lasagna noodles?  I'll give that a try too and report back!

What's your favorite part of homemade lasagna?

~ Marie Anne

Earn While You Burn With Walgreens Step Balance Rewards

Using SparkPeople to earn points for trophies and passing your Fitbit friends as you race to your goals are great incentives, but how about earning something more tangible from working out?  Walgreens will pay you in Balance Rewards that you can use for free products, just for weighing yourself and logging your workout every day.  You won't get rich overnight, but if you're going to work out and watch your weight, you might as well get a little something for doing so.

You can join communities of like-minded people on Steps, and also earn badges as you progress.  If you have FitBit or a similar device, link it to Walgreens Steps to accumulate Balance Rewards points automatically without even having to log in.

If you need an incentive to lace up your sneakers every day, the promise of earning while you burn might be just the motivation that you need.

~ Marie Anne

Friday, January 31, 2014

Low Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Photo courtesy of Taylor Rios
I fell off the wagon so hard that I hurt myself, and it's been a struggle to get back on.  I really need to buckle down and do the low-carb thing again, as it's the only thing that works for me since I have a true carb addiction.  Some of the things I really miss when following a low-carb diet are bread, pasta, and pizza.  My friend Tay has come up with a low carb pizza crust made from cauliflower, so this might be just the thing to encourage me to keep at it.

It doesn't take many ingredients, but I'll have to remember to keep grated parmesan cheese on hand as I don't use that too often.  I haven't actually tried the cauliflower pizza crust yet, but I have done mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes and like that just fine, so I'm pretty sure I can take Tay's word on this one.

If you try out her recipe, please let me know how you liked it.

Now to find a good substitute for pasta ... still working on that one!

~ Marie Anne

Do I Need to Drain Cucumbers?

Because of their high water content, cucumbers are a great low-calorie vegetable to include in side dishes or eat as a healthy snack.  Th...