DAY 948 aka 2 1/2 + years in PURGATORY ~ UPDATE on the HOUSE FROM HELL and LIFE


While I was cleaning up the kitchen and dinner dishes recently I realized I’ve been posting quite a few recipes, but have been severely lacking on my actual “writing” about what is going on in our lives. For years I have worked really hard at keeping this an eternally optimistic blog full of grace for the great and wonderful blessings in my life, always trying to live by the old rule, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”BUT, there comes a time to call out the crazy acrimonious instigators and tell it like it is, if for no other reason than to get it out of my head so I can be more at peace.

Well, today is the 2 1/2 year mark (though it feels like 10 years), the house is sold and we are completely packed and CANNOT WAIT to have this horrific experience in our rear view mirror.

You all know my categories for this place,  A HOUSE FROM HELL, REHABBING GRAMS & GRAMPS HOUSE, CHRONICLES OF MY MISGUIDED COUSIN BETH which fit REALLY well, but in the 2+ years since we started this project there are a few tags that could be added that now fit even better like GOLD DIGGING WITCH WITH A GOD COMPLEX, THE FOX IS LOOSE IN THE HEN HOUSE, NO BALLS COUSIN and LOONEY TUNE UNCLE.

ALL of this is so sad to admit, you never want to believe the worst about your own family.  This experience has lent credence to the adage that family isn’t always blood, but those you chose to love. It still baffles me that anyone can turn their back on their family, their own flesh and blood,  for money which is exactly what my uncle did when my aunt passed away and he took up with the apparent GOLD DIGGING WITCH WITH A GOD COMPLEX.

He became an even more arrogant, egotistical and abusive cheating bastard after taking up with her. Almost immediately she had his power of attorney and things took an immediate turn for the worse as they tried to swindle us beyond belief. After hiring an attorney we were able to force the sale, but are still losing a ton money on the deal. My uncle used us and our skills as well as our cash to get the work done on the house and then tried to evict us claiming we had done nothing to better the property.  Fortunately, I kept a chronological progress here on the blog, every receipt to the tune of over $50,000.00 and a detailed log of hours which adds up to over $200,000.00 of labor. So, unfortunately, my blood uncle did swindle us in the end, but worse than that he abused a sacred blood relationship.

The definition of swindle is: swindle – to use unscrupulous trickery or deception to defraud others or cheat someone to obtain money or other assets. 

Many of you remember how disheartened we were when we arrived here to find NOT what we were told, but the HOUSE FROM HELL full of…well just FULL and filthy!  It was a rodent’s dream AND it was a hoarder’s nest. It was full to the rafters and even the rafters were full and so was the backyard and the garage.

The agreement with my uncle was that the house was ours for a discounted price if we came to help clean it out and care for my aunt.   He was offering to help get us back on our feet after the cancer, surgeries, VA claim issues and health issues.  Ironically, if he really loved me he would have never exposed me to this house which ultimately left me with the bacterial infections one after another that culminated in my bypass surgery. Supposedly we were going to use our abilities in the process of helping him and make some money for us too, NOT end up completely upside down and worse off than when we got here both financially and physically not to mention we never even had a chance to work on the VA red tape mess.

Here are the BEFORE and beginning AFTER pictures to refresh your memory

So on to the before and after pictures. Hubby is upset that the before pictures don’t truly show how HORRIBLY DISGUSTING this place really was. I just hope the after pictures show how truly GREAT it is now – it really is turn key now!

There was “STUFF” everywhere!  The walls where all stained from who knows what and the carpeting was full of melted wax and cigarette burns even in the closet.  I have to say that my cousin was evidently suffering from some form of mental illness because this is NOT how she was raised!
The picture above is what I got out of the bedroom carpet on the first pass of available floor with my Rainbow Water Vacuum. Disgusting does not begin to describe how it looked or felt.  Below was just one of the cracks to be repaired that was caused by the foundation issues.
The master bathroom didn’t look too bad until you looked close or opened a door and saw all the mold in the wood. So, it ended up getting gutted too. It took me 2 weeks, but I did get the tile clean in the shower, but we still need to find someone to professionally refinish the tile.

Finally a new window and completed bedroom. We used wainscotting floor to ceiling for the new bathroom walls.
The spare bedroom was stacked to the ceiling with junk!  It also housed much of her “business” food products.  What was the city thinking when they gave her a food license to operate out of this house? Not to mention it is completely against the H.O.A. rules and regulations for this neighborhood. In the photo below the bottom left hand corner was mouse droppings. YUCK!!

This is the pantry floor as clean as it would get!  We scraped off all the linoleum and sanitized the foundation before re-flooring.

This 10 pound bag of sugar was spilled ALL over a pantry shelf and was one of the biggest sources for the ants, cockroaches and mice.
unfortunately we can’t seem to find the picture that shows this room stacked 10 feet tall of papers, cabinets and “crap” so have to start with this empty picture.
ATRIUM late 2016
The door would no longer open due to the foundation issues and she used this 24 square feet (8×3) as a “CAT BOX” area.  I hate to admit that this was the MOST disgusting of ALL the house and required several bottles of hydrogen peroxide etcher after we removed the toxic 2 layers of tiles.
FOYER 2017
New floor, new door and new paint are done and looking good. I LOVE how much light the new door lets in.
These are cracks, tears and stains in the atrium/living room carpeting.
It took weeks/months to get the living room to this organized point LOL.  Notice the crack near the vent?  It went all the way to the floor and was 3 inches wide.  It is also why we waited over 3 months for the highly recommended dry wall guy that turned out to be a HUGE joke. The picture below is the living room after we finally got it emptied and ready to start painting.
This is one of 3 sections of the living room carpet that had melted candle wax all over it.  She had just arranged the furniture over it.
LIVING ROOM late 2016
We made built in cabinets in the living room to hold things like the DVD player, WiiU, movies and games, etc…
I could not get Whiskey to move so she’s in the picture! There are still many Christmas things sitting around as I get them pack up to put away, but all in all it’s looking good.

There was a funky built in area above the tub for linens that needed to be removed and the walls had to be re-done after the 2 layers of wall paper were removed and the wall board was peeling away. 

 This was after hubby spent 4 weeks cleaning and and making a path for donation and trash.
GARAGE late 2016
Hubby has done wonders at creating a neat and organized garage!

It took months to get to this freezer and then weeks to get into it.  The key wouldn’t work!  Turns out the seal had failed and there was a HUGE layer of ice sealing it shut.  It then took hubby days to chip away ALL the ice and bag the food that was there. We are SO thankful for our trash guys.  For a case of beer and soda twice a week and some “special” bottles at Christmas they took ALL we gave them.  Way more than they were supposed to or should have.  We thank them for going ABOVE and BEYOND!

From this point in the attic you can turn 3 directions, but they all look about the same.  We got as much stuff out of the attic as the house it seemed. It is now ALMOST empty except for some insulation that needs bagged and the storage boxes I added just around the opening for when we move.
I tried to salvage these globes covered in nicotine and dirt, but in the end it was a lost cause.
JUST A TYPICAL TRASH DAY.  It looked like this, sometimes double this EVERY! trash day (2 times a week) for 9 months!
The wiring had to be all re-done as gramps and possibly Beth’s boyfriend, Tom had done some really scary Mickey Mouse jobs that left us thankful the place hadn’t been burnt to the ground.  We found an awesome Electrician and while Tommy was expensive, he is a Master Electrician and left us with a safe feeling allowing us to sleep at night.

This was the path hubby created through to the back gate.

Did I ever mention that the neighbor next door in a 2 story tried to buy this place because he loved the floor plan, but my uncle wouldn’t sell until the foundation work was done? In ALL honestly this house would still be sitting here in the same condition we found it if we hadn’t come long when we did.  Unfortunately for us it appears my uncle does NOT appreciate any of this. He still wants more money than it was worth and said if he’d realized it’s condition, he would have just dumped it.  If that is the case I have to wonder why he didn’t sell to the next door neighbor to begin with and honestly if he’s going to “DUMP” it why not do so to the people who spent the money for the parts and labor AND did the back breaking work for over a year?

Here are the FINAL AFTER pictures of an empty sold house:

I would like to say I am thankful for this experience and the lessons learned, but I just can’t. I do know grams is no longer turning in her grave over what her son and his daughter allowed her home to become because we have restored it and made it better.  The girl scout in me has taken over though and we are better people for having done the right thing by family and are DEFINITELY leaving it better than we found it.

I can say I am glad it’s over and after taking some serious time to rehab at the gym and in the pool to regain my strength this summer elsewhere, we will move forward to something better FAR FAR AWAY from any influence of my caustic, toxic, back stabbing uncle who gave such a wonderful speech at our first Christmas about how lucky they all were that we came to the rescue when they were in over their heads because of my Aunt’s Alzheimers and dementia after my cousin died and left this place such a shambles.  He went on and on about how he would make it worth our while because he had no real idea what an F***ing Pig his daughter was until we spent months just cleaning out the place to begin this project.  Calling his daughter, my cousin an F***ing pig were his words, not mine, but then he turned around and literally swindled us out of our time, my health, our trust and our money.

My rant is done.  I know Karma and God will take care of the rest.


You know the old Yiddish proverb, Man Plans, God Laughs? If not, you should learn it just to keep yourself sane.

So, as many of you know I have been suffering from some health issues the past few years, especially this last year. To give you a quick background when I was 24 I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and not doing well. Several months into the disease I went to my rhuematlogist, held out my hand with 32 pills in it and said “I can’t live this way”. She agreed and we moved into treating the disease and it side affects like Fibromyalgia with BETTER diet.  I immediately gave up ALL steroid medications, preservatives, splendas, aspartames, diet food of any kind, non GMO food, canned “food”, boxed “food”, fast food as a whole and started perimeter shopping and scratch cooking with “REAL” foods. My life improved almost immediately.

Fast forward many years to 2011 and my oncologist claiming this change in food prep and eating for all those years saved my life when she was able to lift out a twice torsioned (wrapped around the ovary 2 times) volleyball sized ovarian tumor from my body intact and I have been NED (no evidence of disease) for almost 7 years since.  She decided it was because the cancer had nothing else to feed on in my body except itself. I knew I was extremely blessed when after 6 more months of testing everything and everywhere to make sure it was the only tumor, that they found none. I follow up regularly with blood work and testing.

Fast forward another year and I’m having problems with the hiatal hernia that my cancer doctor found, but left alone. Enter a new gastroenterologist who was able to fix the hiatal hernia and shredded esophogaus with a Nissen Fundoplication (2012). This didn’t alter what I ate except in the beginning 2 months, but did alter how much and how often I ate.  I also gave up 90% of bread – just filled me up too fast.

Fast forward 9 months (2013) and the mesh from the Nissen Fundoplication failed requiring a revision surgery and another period of liquid food adjustment.

Fast forward to 2016 and the E.Coli bacterial infection that landed me in the hospital with a concussion because I lost consciousness and fell after becoming violently ill.  For the next 13 months I was tested by neurology and cardiology for my symptoms before they finally handed me off to gastroenterology which had a HUGE wait time so my wonderful primary doctor got tired of waiting and began doing logical testing on her own. She was the one who founda new hiatal hernia (again) from mesh failure and referred me to the surgeon.  His testing was further delayed another 6 weeks past their normal backlog by Hurricane Harvey.

I love my surgeon and his immediate staff as well as my hospital nurses Ericah and Lexi.  Other than that the hospital will be getting a not so favorable review from me.  The recovery nurse should NEVER have contact with human beings and the respiratory therapist is negligent with he lack of follow through and the nurse’s aides need to be trained in patient care and helping.

We went into last Wednesday believing he was going to be able to fix the fix on the revision surgery.  Unfortunately this is where the Yiddish proverb enters.  I had planned food and EVERYTHING on the fix of the fix, but he was unable to correct the issue and had to make a drastic decision to do a bypass. This is a HUGE DRASTIC LIFE CHANGE for anybody, but for me there is very little information written on it because it isn’t for someone who isn’t doing it for weight loss.  I mean EVERYTHING written about the subject is for people who need to lose significant amounts of weight. The diet is strict because of the bypass in general and I can live with that, but the recovery time has now doubled!

And once recovery time is over the way you eat and how often, etc.. is a lifetime change! I can live with the long term lifetime diet and special vitamins as it is high protein, low fat and REALLY healthy which is right up my alley anyway.

So here we are on day 6 of 90-120 days of nothingness except keeping a food and medicine journal.  I cannot tell you how much ALL of your thoughts and prayers have meant to me and are seeing seen me through this ordeal. There is 1 good thing. I did want to lose about 15 pounds and now that is already a given. 😀

I’m starting to research getting the highest protein, nutrients and minerals into the most flavorful recipes compactly. So I will obviously be revamping some old recipes and looking into some flavor packed Japanese Ramen and/or Thai recipes where I’m making my own noodles with high protein. At the end of the recovery time above an average day for the rest of my life will be small nibbles of small meals that total 4-8 ounces per meal three times a day with 2-2 to 4 ounce high protein snacks, up to 64 ounces of water or tea and 5 mandatory vitamins.

The bottom line is that I need to learn to live with a NEW normal.  You know what they say, LIFE is 10% what happens and 90% how you’ll deal with it. I’m up for the challenge and looking forward to better health.


I know many of us would like this to be the way we take care of ourselves, on a regular basis, but since this isn’t really all that realistic, let’s look at some other ways.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to create a balance in your life. Being a perfectionist Virgo I’m a list maker by nature, but I also find that those lists help me to stay organized and balanced. Both of which are crucial in my situation. I don’t share this with many, but for the sake of argument I will today.

To look at me today you would think I was the healthiest person you’d met recently. But, I have Systemic Lupus as well as Fibromyalgia and Raynuad’s syndrome. I was only 24 when diagnosed and was so sick I was unable to participate in my own life. I was being eaten alive from the inside. After the first few months with the help of my Rhuematologist and a serious change of habits coupled with an open mind I was able to participate in my own life again. So creating that balance is one of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself.

You’ll notice that rest and play are about 3/4’s of that pie chart. I was a workaholic sometimes pulling allnighters to get everything done. But, when I started getting more rest (a fact my body would no longer allow me to ignore) and spending some down time for myself, I was able to get more “WORK” done in a shorter time because my attitude was in the right place and my energy had been replenished.

The other area that I had to seriously address was eating. I was a college student working on my credentials and holding down 2 jobs so meals were on the run as well as hit and miss. But, foods and their components as well as their preparation became a crucial part of keeping me well.

Many of us grew up during the “convenience” years. You know when mom opened a can or a box and just added another can of something and there was dinner. Then as a society we began consuming more and more fast food (prepared who knows how) as well as consuming more and more soft drinks and “diet” foods.

Guess what though? Despite being told these are all okay, they really aren’t. The first thing my Rheumatologist did was take me off of ALL foods containing sacchrin, nutrasweet and/or any other preservative like you’d find in a box product or pre-prepared food. Like she pointed out, a little of a natural thing like real sugar or butter go a long way. You know what else? Within just a few weeks of changing my eating habits alone I was feeling tons better.

I cannot emphasize how important it is to think about what you put in your body. As my rheumatologist pointed out our bodies do not have receptors for chemically altered or created “foods” forcing anything like that through your kidneys and liver overworking your body. While I do not advocate any one diet (other than plain healthy eating) there are a few things to consider. Some of the healthiest things you can put into your body grow naturally (fruits and vegetables) while some of the other things we eat like shrimp who are bottom feeders and pigs who will eat anything are not so good for you. As she pointed out a little thought and common sense can guide us well.

Another crucial area is your dental health. I cannot emphasize how important this is. What may be hiding in your teeth and gums may be making you less than healthy. Daily flossing as well as multiple brushings could change your life. Make that dental appointment today!

I ran across the book above tonight at Jamba Juice and wished I’d had the time to research it better, but it looked quite interesting.

I have not read this book below, but loved the title and intend to seek it out also. More than anything else I want to emphasize that if you are not taking care of yourself, you will be of little value to others whether that is your children spouse or elders.

MAY THE MOTIVATION BE WITH YOU TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Change those bad habits, get more rest, play a little more and make those appointments today! I’m living a “normal” life today because I did.


Many of you know about the ongoing struggle I have been having after being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.  Even before the cancer, I struggled with living a clean eating and healthy lifestyle to cope with the aspects of Systemic Lupus.  Now sandwiched right before the cancer diagnosis was also a a diagnosis of Systemic Scleroderma which now labels me with a “mixed connective tissue disease” label.  Oh and by the way none of them have cures.  This makes want to find a way to live even more healthy so I’ll be around for the cures!
Without going into a long story, many years ago after the Systemic Lupus diagnosis when I was in college and after 6 months of taking Progesterone and various other drugs, I went to my Rheumatologist (a fortunate recent referral and a truly great doctor and caring woman after several other doctors who really had no clue) and said I can’t live like this!  The Progesterone had put almost 60 pounds on me, I could no longer play racquetball (something I did 3-4 times a week) or jog (something I did 5-7 times a week after being a cross country runner in high school). It took me years just to take off that weight.   LOL at least I was a 90 pound weakling prior to the steroids!
This great and caring doctor sighed with relief and asked me to sit down so we could talk!  Really, she just wanted to chat and chat we did for an hour and a half.  I truly believe that she changed my life forever!
The first thing she did was refuse me a support group – I know that sounds strange, but she truly felt I was better off with my positive attitude working through the steps with guidance.  Step 1 was to change my eating habits.  Remember I was in college, always eating on the run from whatever vending machine was close and diet everything to keep from putting on any more weight.  So, she had me write down my diet for a week and guess what?  When you see it in writing you realize how much all those “a little here” and “a little there” things add up! After that realization was Step 2 – eliminate the “non food” items from my diet.  She qualified these “non food” items as anything that didn’t have a direct receptor in the body.  This included saccharin, aspartame, splenda, anything processed with ingredients the average person can’t pronounce and preserved in a box or a can.  Below is the new food pyramid in an easy to read and follow format.

And here is an easy to follow breakdown!

It is a personal choice, but she also asked me to stay away from pork and shellfish – you know the bottom feeders of the world that will eat anything!  As she put it, garbage in, garbage out via your kidneys and liver!

Step 3 was to get regular exercise, proper rest and meditation to care for my whole being.  Oh and to avoid stress – yeah right, not easy in this world.  Sound advice for anyone, healthy or not!

So, the bottom line is that you were given only one body and despite popular belief, it cannot be easily replaced and does require the proper fuel and rest to work properly.  The easiest way is to start with a good diet.


When I was a little kid I thought vegetables came from cans and sauces came from packages.  You know, just add water and voile you have spaghetti sauce.   I thought it was pretty cool that we ate like the astronauts – we also drank gallons of Tang. Back then, “original” Tang was still made without artificial sweeteners.  Then I turned 10 and dad cooked for a Thanksgiving dinner with these funny looking green stalks called celery and orange ones called carrots and these big round yellow things called onions and this big pot full of homemade broth and voile I was in love with scratch cooking.  Obviously there was a difference between my mom’s cooking and my dad’s cooking.
From then on I became the family cook since mom worked full time and I learned that I preferred scratch cooking with real food to the cans and packages. This was when I also became interested in nutrition and eating well and began reading labels.
Years later all this knowledge paid off when I became sick and my doctor asked me to not use certain things – things like preservatives and “fake” or diet foods.
ASPARTAME: is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. The most notable name brand of aspartame is Nutra-sweet.
SACCHARIN:  is an artificial sweetener. The basic substance, benzoic sulfilimine, has effectively no food energy and is much sweeter than sucrose, but has an unpleasant bitter or metallic aftertaste, especially at high concentrations. It is used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, biscuits, medicines, and toothpaste.

There have been studies trying to link aspartame and saccharin to carcinogens.  Some say they are successful, others say they are not – you know all the bureaucratic red tape arguing back and forth for FDA approval type BS.  You are never sure who to believe, but as my rheumatologist asked, which receptors in your body are geared for accepting these things?  Since the answer is none, then all of these go straight to your liver and kidneys for filtering them out of your body as toxins.  I have even read recently that there is a theory that they never leave your body and just keep recirculating.

CARCINOGEN:  is any substance, radionuclide or radiation, that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes.  Common examples of carcinogens are inhaled asbestos, certain dioxins, and tobacco smoke. Cancer is a disease in which damaged cells do not undergo programmed cell death. Carcinogens may increase the risk of cancer by altering cellular metabolism or damaging DNA directly in cells, which interferes with biological processes, and induces the uncontrolled, malignant division, ultimately leading to the formation of tumors. Usually DNA damage, if too severe to repair, leads to programmed cell death, but if the programmed cell death pathway is damaged, then the cell cannot prevent itself from becoming a cancer cell.”

While the world is on this ever faster spinning merry-go-round, does that mean that you or I have to be too?  NO it does not. I have had this major discussion going on recently with some friends about cooking.  They have young children at home and feel that their lives are too busy to cook from scratch.  They also say that they don’t believe that “fast” foods and “package” cooking is all that bad.

Let me leave you with this excerpt from this article: Increased Cancer Risks – Hazards of Genetically Engineered foods so that you can draw your own conclusions.  Think about this and do more research on your own if you like, but remember it the next time you say you are too busy to read a label, know your ingredients or cook from scratch.

“This Brave New World of Frankenfoods is frightening. There are currently more than four dozen GE foods and crops being grown or sold in the US. These foods and crops are widely dispersed into the food chain and the environment. Over 80 million acres of GE (genetically engineered) crops are presently under cultivation in the US, while up to 750,000 dairy cows are being injected regularly with Monsanto’s recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Most supermarket processed food items now “test positive” for the presence of GE ingredients. In addition, several dozen more GE crops are in the final stages of development and will soon be released into the environment and sold in the marketplace. The “hidden menu” of these unlabeled GE foods and food ingredients in the US now includes soybeans, soy oil, corn, potatoes, squash, canola oil, cottonseed oil, papaya, tomatoes, and dairy products.

GE food and fiber products are inherently unpredictable and dangerous-for humans, for animals, the environment, and for the future of sustainable and organic agriculture. As Dr. Michael Antoniou, a British molecular scientist points out, gene-splicing has already resulted in the “unexpected production of toxic substances… in genetically engineered bacteria, yeast, plants, and animals with the problem remaining undetected until a major health hazard has arisen”. The hazards of GE foods and crops fall into three categories: human health hazards, environmental hazards, and socio-economic hazards. A brief look at the already-proven and likely hazards of GE products provides a convincing argument for why we need a global moratorium on all GE foods and crops.

In 1994, the FDA approved the sale of Monsanto’s controversial rBGH. This GE hormone is injected into dairy cows to force them to produce more milk. Scientists have warned that significantly higher levels (400-500% or more) of a potent chemical hormone, Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1), in the milk and dairy products of rBGH injected cows, could pose serious hazards such as human breast, prostate, and colon cancer. A number of studies have shown that humans with elevated levels of IGF-1 in their bodies are much more likely to get cancer. The US Congressional watchdog agency, the GAO, told the FDA not to approve rBGH. They argued that injecting the cows with rBGH caused higher rates of udder infections requiring increased antibiotic treatment. The increased use of antibiotics poses an unacceptable risk for public health. In 1998, Monsanto/FDA documents that had previously been withheld, were released by government scientists in Canada showing damage to laboratory rats fed dosages of rBGH. Significant infiltration of rBGH into the prostate of the rats as well as thyroid cysts indicated potential cancer hazards from the drug. Subsequently, the government of Canada banned rBGH in early 1999. The European Union (EU) has had a ban in place since 1994. Although rBGH continues to be injected into 10% of all US dairy cows, no other industrialized country has legalized its use. The GATT Codex Alimentarius, a United Nations food standards body, has refused to certify that rBGH is safe.

All that said, I love this newer style food pyramid, it really shows you how important each food group really is – see what you think.

Attitude Adjustment~It’s easier than you think!

Many of you know that these past few years have been all about “others” needs and that very soon I will be stepping down from that caretaker role to take care of myself. One of the things I have learned most is that everyone has a different attitude AND that attitude can and will define you, if you let it. I recently saw a plaque somewhere (sure wish I could remember where) but I found it here on the internet. I thought it would be nice to share as a motivational tool. Have a wonderful summer weekend! Me, I’m hoping to hit some garage sales and maybe take in a movie.
Instead of a recipe this week I leave you with the
For many people, dieting is like a death sentence as it symbolizes the end of their love affair with food. Gone are the weeklong – or even month-long – binges that are replaced by a strict regimen of healthy eating and exercise.
Nobody’s perfect, especially when it comes to what they eat. If you try to do things exactly by the book and consume every meal on plan, you’re setting yourself up for failure. The time will come when you want to enjoy a small piece of cake to celebrate your son’s birthday. Maybe you just want to feast on a bowl of lobster bisque at your favorite restaurant that you only go to once a year.
Take heart – you can indulge and still stay on a healthy meal plan. A good rule of thumb is to try and stay on track 90% of the time and feel comfortable straying no more than 10% of the time. No weight loss program will succeed if you feel like you’re being deprived. Today show nutritionist Joy Bauer is a big proponent of consuming 90 percent of your diet from healthy foods and 10 percent from fun foods.
For 90 percent of your food, follow these guidelines. Consume three servings of whole wheat starches a day. Eat at least two servings of fresh fruit. Eat as many fresh vegetables as you like. Have a lean protein with each meal. Limit the amount of fats at each meal.
The other 10 percent of the foods you eat should come from those fun foods. Bauer even has a list that includes one ounce dark chocolate, ½ cup low-fat ice cream, 1 ounce pretzels, 1 ounce baked chips, 7 cups light popcorn, 4 licorice sticks and more.
By enjoying your favorite treats in moderation, you won’t be saddled with feelings of deprivation, which will make it far easier to lose.