Walking the Dog ~ a good thing

 

Sophie Winter Coat 2011
Sophie The Wonder Dog

 

I’m not really on a ‘walking the dog weight loss plan,’ but doing just that has bumped-up my metabolism and increased the rate of my weight loss. Four years ago, when I started regularly walking Sophie, I wasn’t thinking of obtaining any health benefits or losing weight, I just thought it would be nice to get out and walk in good weather instead of letting her out in the backyard to do her business. Surprise! Surprise! I’d been stuck on a weight loss plateau, unable to go below a certain weight, and walking the dog busted right through that. The weight started coming off again.

Since then, my ears perked up every time ‘walking’ was mentioned on a lifestyle TV show. Lo, and behold, it’s considered to be one of the best, if not the best exercise for longterm health. I walk three-quarters of a mile twice a day, every day…or a mile and a half. It’s changed and improved my overall physical health.

The Mayo Clinic says a regular, brisk walks can help maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage various conditions including heart disease and high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mood, improve balance and coordination. I take easy walks, although at times Sophie and I will take a short run. Very short. Trust me. When I first did that, four years ago, I was winded after the sprint. Now I can easily trot along for short distances, and Sophie loves the run.

There is no downside to this. If you have a dog, I urge you to walk your canine friend. It will do you both a world of good. If you don’t have a dog, but have a spouse, child, grandchild, or friend to take along get out and give walking a try…or take a camera and take interesting shots as you go along. 

   Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? ~  1 Corinthians 3:16 [NASB]

 

Excellence of Strawberries ~ killing belly fat is murder

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Titania waiting to get a few slurps of milk at the bottom of the bowl when I finish breakfast

I’m still getting beautiful, organic strawberries for my Cheerios. I go outside and pick a handful every two to three days for my “heart smart” cereal.

I purchased a couple of strawberry plants at Home Depot several years ago and planted them in a large container which lives on my deck. They come up every year giving me fruit. I douse them with organic fertilizer a few times during the growing season, water a lot,  and that’s it.

This year I’ve gotten a bounty in not only strawberries, but also tomatoes and sweet peppers. I think it’s because we’ve had a lot of rain…and I do keep up with watering every evening.

Real strawberries the way God made them are much smaller than the ones in the supermarket, or even at the farmer’s market. But they’re delish and healthy, have no pesticides, and have very few calories and carbs. A few health blogs have dubbed strawberries “the world’s healthiest food.” Research indicates strawberries help to burn stored fat. Yippee! They’re said to ease inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Another claim is they boost short term memory. Really? Oh, I almost forgot that one.

Sauteed Fish ~ killing belly fat is murder

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“Baked fish again! That’s so boring,” ~ is the dieter’s lament, but it doesn’t have to be a breaded fish fry either. If you’ve cut waaay down on starch and carbs it’s essential to stay away from the dredging flour and bread crumbs.

Even if you’re not watching your waistline, it’s a good thing for every cook to have a basic sauteed fish recipe in their arsenal.

If I were to make a literary comparison, this would be a sub-genre, rather than a specific story.

  • Fish
  • Pan Fried Fish
  • Sauteed Fish

Rather than a specific recipe, it’s a way to cook no starch, low carb sauteed fish. If you’re like me, every time you make it, the dish will be slightly different. This depends upon your whim and what ingredients you have on hand.

You want flavor, so the first step is to saute some veggies and garlic. I took a small tomato chopped coarsely, two sliced cloves of garlic, and 1/8 to 1/4 C coarsely chopped red onion. Saute until tender in olive oil or canola oil. I stirred in a handful of fresh basil leaves. [But, you could just as easily add some coarsely chopped red, orange, or yellow sweet pepper, or use oregano instead of basil. Or anything else you’ve got on hand.]

I have a secret seasoning (so please don’t tell anyone). I use an old Mrs. Dash shaker and mix together 1 Tbs garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp celery salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp chili powder. I love garlic, but if you don’t, when you saute the veggies, use one fresh sliced clove of garlic instead of two.

Sprinkle the secret seasoning to taste (here after called SS) on one side of four average size fish fillets. I often used flounder. Turn that side down in the pan. Do this with all four fillets. Make sure the heat is on medium to medium low, so you don’t burn the fish. Make sure you have enough oil so that you don’t burn the fish, but it shouldn’t be swimming. [Get it…fish swimming. Just a wee bit of humor, very wee.]

Sprinkle SS on the other side of the fish while they are in the pan. It only takes a minute of two for the fish to cook. Turn them once and cook another two minutes. Handle as little as possible, or the fillets will fall apart.

I arranged all four fillets on a plate for the photo, but when I serve I use a spatula and place two fillets on a plate, serving two people. Obviously the recipe is easily doubled or tripled. I serve this with steamed broccoli or with a fresh garden salad.

This is a recipe my heroine Veronica Ingels, gal PI, would like. As my contemporary series progresses, she gets more and more into healthy eating (all while hunting bad guys). However, this dish is good for anyone, but is especially good for those of us in mid-life who are heart-smart and waist conscious.