Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gluten Free Garlic Pizza with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Provolone



I had an earlier recipe for Gluten Free Pizza which was good, but last night I tried something different and it was goo-o-o-o-d!

I pre-heated my baking stone in a 400 degree oven. (Mine is well-seasoned, but if your isn't, be sure to grease the stone. If you don't have a stone, you can use an seasoned iron skillet, and of course, you can always just use a well-greased baking pan.)


In a bowl, mix:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt (I used Garlic sea salt.)
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Stir in: 
1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon olive oil (I used flavored olive oil from Tastefully Simple)

After you mix well, the batter will be about like pancake batter. With my pizza stone nice and hot, I poured the batter on and spread it out very thin.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Watch it to make sure the top isn't getting too brown. I took it out of the oven and used a spatula to lift it up and flipped it over. This way the crust gets all nice and brown on both sides.

I topped it in this order: 

Flavored olive oil, spread thinly across top
Provolone cheese slices (I let cheese overlap crust so I got a really crispy cheese crust around the edges.)
Sun-dried tomatoes
Parmesan cheese
Pizza Seasoning sprinkled lightly

Put it back in the over for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. I liked this version the best because the crust stayed so crisp. I think it would be even better with fresh roasted garlic. Next time!

If you try this and have suggestions, leave them in the comments. Thanks. - D.


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, July 23, 2012

Corn Belly

New post by Dr. Davis about the effects of corn on our bodies. Very helpful post. I keep the Wheat Belly Blog high on my list of favorites to check every day. Keeps me inspired and watching for those hidden sources of wheat and spurs me on in my overall ‘LIVEt’ - not DIEt. 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waist and Weigh-in


July 2012: Today is Independence Day and I feel FREE! Free of sugar, a lot of starches, and most of all - wheat.  I have to remind myself now of how I felt before I started this new way of eating.

The other night, we stopped by the DQ and I got one of the new blizzards for chocoholics. I got the a small portion, and even with that limited amount, I tossed and turned until almost 5 A.M. I'm convinced it was the sugar. No more blizzards for me!

In the church where my husband and I pastor, we had two funerals in one week. Because our schedule was thrown into turmoil, I actually ate less that week, and gained weight! I snacked here and there and didn't get to drink as much water. Once I got back to my new 'normal' eating, eating more, eating healthy, and drinking lots of water, I immediately went back to my former weight.

I'm not losing weight fast, but I'm still feeling better and slowly, but surely, losing weight. In the long run, I suppose that's best, although with all the changes I've made, I'm surprised the weight hasn't come off as fast as it did those first couple of weeks. I know I need to incorporate more walking into my schedule, but I've been struggling with plantar fasciitis. Good excuse, huh?


March 2012:  I seem to be stuck in the weight department, but I measured my waist this morning and I'm down another whole inch! I was surprised. My body seems to be redistributing and even getting firmer. Which is weird, right? Not that I'm complaining...  ;D

February 2012: I'm finding that by eliminating wheat, I feel better and better with more energy. I haven't lost any significant amount of weight, but just feeling better has always been my goal - and seeing my waist again, of course! It seems as if my weight is redistributing, and it's nice to see my 'wheat belly' going down. Once thing I've noticed - it was a way of life to be sore and/or achy all the time. Now that I'm getting some relief, I've noticed if I had eaten a food with wheat in it, I really feel it the next day. But in a way, I'm thankful in that it reminds me to get back on track so I'll feel better ALL the time.

January 2012: I made it through the holidays with no setbacks. No baked goods - can you believe it? I did have a couple of pieces of candy - those dark chocolate-covered cherries are hard to pass up. I'm down a few more pounds - five to be exact - and still feeling pretty good. My waistline measurement has not reduced by much, maybe another 1/4 inch, but at least it's not increasing as it has in the past after every holiday.

The biggest change I've made - and I think a habit that sets me up for healthier eating the rest of the day - is to have Greek Yogurt and fruit for breakfast or cottage cheese with fruit and walnuts. I bought Stevia to sprinkle on the unsweetened fruit. In the 'old days' (last October?), I ate some type of so-called 'healthy' bar every morning. And then got ravenous within a couple of hours of eating.

Trying to find wheat-free foods, especially while eating out, is difficult, but not impossible. My birthday is in March, so I'm hoping by then to feel much better. The pervasive soreness I've dealt with for the past few years has abated, and for that, I'm very thankful.


December 2011: Finally! I'm starting to see my waist shrink. Down 2 inches. Whew! And I'm down about 11 pounds, although that's not my focus. My waist measurement means more to me as a gauge of my health. Now if I can make it through the holidays holding steady, I'll be starting the New Year on the right foot!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Crackers Made Me Want to Cry


I'm trying to stay away from the high-calorie, high-fat snacks I was so addicted to, like sour cream and onion potato chips or Fritos. It's been difficult to find alternatives. Sometimes I crave something salty and crunchy. The baked Lay's aren't too horrid and the barbecue ones are tolerable.

Last night I went to Costco with my daughter and found wheat-free, gluten-free crackers. I almost wept right there in the aisle.

My daughter said, "Better get two boxes."

You know how big the boxes are at Costco. I started loading two of them into the cart, and she cracked up.

"Mom! I was only kidding!"

Well, I wasn't! I have enough crackers for weeks!

Image: Robert Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Peer Pressure



I've told everyone about the no-wheat lifestyle I've adopted, but I'm still being told that 'one bite won't hurt ya' when yes, it does!

After church Sunday, we went with another couple and my mother-in-law to one of our favorite restaurants, Applebee's, for soup and salad. So far, so good. No bread. Lots of salad.

Then came time to leave and Mother, who's about 100 pounds soaking wet, decided she wanted a blondie. It was really funny. She sat at a table with two men who won't eat much sugar because they are watching their triglycerides, a woman who's pre-diabetic, and me. Mother's always eager to share, but she couldn't get another person to take a bite. She ribbed me one more time, and I finally took two spoonfuls of the ice cream and nuts. Needless to say, I think she thought WE were all nuts not to have some of that deliciousness.

Okay, really. I'm too old for peer pressure. And especially from my sweet, li'l 90-year old mother-in-law!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Garbanzo Bean Flour Pizza Crust

Since I've gone wheat free, I've really missed pizza. I tried one recipe I had that used coconut flour and it was awful - like eating pizza off of a cookie. Yuck.

Last night I surfed around the 'net trying to find an alternative. I stumbled upon a blog with a recipe for "Socca Pizza for One" using garbanzo bean flour. It's different than a regular flour pizza crust, but it satisfied my longing for pizza.

Now, I'm still playing around with this, but here's what I did today:

I have a baking stone, so I put that in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Mine is well-seasoned, but if your isn't, be sure to grease the stone. If you don't have a stone, you can use an seasoned iron skillet, and of course, you can always just use a well-greased baking pan.


In a bowl, mix:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt (I used Garlic sea salt.)
2 tablespoons Parmesan 

Stir in: 

1/2 cup cold water
Drizzle of olive oil (I had some flavored olive oil from Tastefully Simple that's delicious.)

After you mix well, the batter will be about like pancake batter. Today I was eager to get my pizza crust made, but next time, I will let this set for a bit in the fridge.

With my pizza stone nice and hot, I poured the batter on and spread it out. Today I left it a bit thicker, like a normal pizza crust. Next time, I intend to spread it out a bit thinner. I like a crispier crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Watch it to make sure the top isn't getting too brown. I took it out of the oven and used a spatula to lift it up all around to make sure it wasn't sticking, then topped it with organic pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, green olives (my spurge!), and imported Parmesan. Then I sprinkled the entire top with pizza seasonings. Play around with it. Add meat (I don't eat very much of that.) and veggies. Put it back in the over for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. 

Yum!

*Updated recipe 3/09/12: Last night when I made the pizza, I added 2 tbsp. of Parmesan to the crust mix. I let the mix sit for a few minutes and spread it very thin on my bigger pizza stone. What a difference! Totally changed the crust and it crisped up better, too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grain-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

 
I made carrot cake last night using new (to me) ingredients I've found to replace wheat. The recipe can be found here: Grain Free Carrot Cake.

I used dates, pumpkin, and added walnuts. The next time, I'm going to try raisins, applesauce, and pecans. It was really good!

I got all the way to the bottom of the recipe and discovered I didn't have any plain honey. I did add 1/4 c. dark brown sugar. I know - sugar's bad, but I didn't want it to be bitter and there are a LOT of ingredients that could have gone to waste. And really - a quarter cup for a cake that's 13 x 9? Wow. My husband even had a big piece and loved it.

I thinned the icing down to more like a glaze. I baked it in one of my broiler pans, so it was actually bigger than 13 x 9, so I turned my convection oven to 325 degrees and baked for one hour. Try it! I think you'll like it.

Image: Sicha Pongjivanich / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Blues

There is way too much good food around right now to even think about dieting. But no - we don't talk about dieting, do we? We refer to being healthy instead. That has been my goal for a while now. Slowly, but surely, I am seeing my way back to feeling, if not healthy, at least a bit better. I'm drinking more water, less Diet Coke, and more tea. I've started drinking chamomile tea in the evenings which has helped me sleep. I still can't make myself eat beef or pork, but I am eating chicken or turkey at least three times a week and salmon once. I love salmon. Have you been to Lonestar Steakhouse? They have a Sweet Bourbon Salmon that's like eating candy.
My son keeps after me to exercise, so tonight I did. I'm not sure how this will set with my rib condition (costochondritis), but I got on my old Cardio Glide. Remember those? I have one in my basement and went down and glided (why it's called that, I'll never know) for about a half hour. Pray I can still move tomorrow!
I've heard many times that people gain weight during the holidays, but I've always had the exact opposite happen because I'm so busy this time of year, and this year is no different. Perhaps if my gliding works out, I can keep it up and keep the scale going down. I haven't measured my waistline lately. That's really my best gauge.
So, I hope you're making it through the holidays without going crazy with the sweets and goodies that abound this time of year. My mother-in-law made me a fruitcake, and of course, I have to eat it. I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings - and besides - it has fruit in it. I can also find an excuse to eat one more Buckeye - it has peanut butter and peanuts are full of protein. Ha! Now if I could just explain away the butter and milk chocolate. But I don't want to get too carried away with the excuses. Before long, all that sugar really would give me the holiday blues. I've been feeling better, and want to keep on my path to healthy living.
I hope your Christmas and New Year are blessed and full of joy. We'll travel this road to health in spite of all the dinners and parties, won't we? At least, let's try!
(Originally posted 12-09, but not much has changed. :)
Illustration courtesy of Kit Grady, who illustrated my picture book for children, Bradybug.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Wellness Mama

A good friend of mine called yesterday and told me about a blog she follows where she has learned a new way of eating. In five weeks, she has lost 17 lbs. Impressive. But the important thing is, she has arthritis and she is feeling much less pain. Now that's what I call a impressive!

So, here's the link. Check it out. Let me know if you follow the plan and have success with it, too. I'm trying to re-program my mind to think of sugar and flour as toxins for my metabolism.

Here's the link to The Wellness Mama: http://wellnessmama.com/

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Crunch Time!

Okay, people. It's crunch time. I would like to feel good and enjoy this wonderful time in our lives. Instead, I'm suffering with plantar fascitis. At this point, I have to limp. No cute shoes for me.

Here are the causes of the condition:

•Tighter calf muscles that make it difficult to flex your foot and bring your toes up toward your shin
•Obesity
•Very high arch
•Repetitive impact activity (running/sports)
•New or increased activity

Hmm....well, I'm not running and my arches are fine. Yep, you and I both know what's happening here. So, I look at September almost like a New Year. This extra weight is really hurting and making me sick - in more ways than one.

Today, I will dig out that tape measure. I won't bore you with my starting number, but I will post progress as my waist size goes down. That will be my gauge. Not weight. My waist AND how I feel.

Here we go...again.

Image: kongsky / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ouch! Golfer's Elbow?

I said in an earlier post that I was going to give the Pilates Power Gym a try. Well, I did what I always do - I overdid it. Earlier this week, I noticed a burning sensation and occasional pain on the inside of my elbow. It's kind of like when you have blood drawn and then you feel sore in that area, but I had the added element of occasional pain shooting through my arm. When it didn't go away immediately, I did what most of us do these days - I Googled it. Unlike 'tennis elbow' which hurts on the outside, 'golfer's elbow' hurts on the inside. As I continued my search, I ended up in a forum for bodybuilders, and it turns out that using too much weight or improper form when doing exercizes for biceps can cause the condition.

So, even though I love the machine I've been using, I'm going to have to be more careful. In the past, when I hurt myself overdoing, I would quit. "What's the use?" I'd say. "I always get hurt." Well, I'm not going to let myself fall into that trap this time. I'm determined to continue.

Have you tried something new lately? How are you doing with your goals?

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How I Said Good-Bye to Sugar





Are you able to stay away from sugar? That could prove to be very difficult. Here's one woman's account of her struggle and eventual victory over sugar cravings.


How I Said Good-Bye to Sugar












Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trying Something New - Pilates Power Gym


A new year. A new machine. Well, almost new. My friend, Teri, bought the Pilates Power Gym and I got a great buy on it used (Thanks, Teri!). I just had to order the workout DVD. Now that I have the DVD, I have no excuse. I must utililize the machine. So, today is my first day to try the basic workout.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ten Tips for Dining Out




"According to an article published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, larger portion sizes and eating too much fast food have both contributed to the prevalence of obesity in the United States. The research showed that women who ate more fast food meals had higher calorie and fat intake and more body fat."

Unfortunately, I can attest to this. In this article on the CBN.com site, Beth Reinke gives tips for dining out without pigging out. I like that! I'm already splitting my portions in half and saving it for lunch the next day, but I need to work more on getting sauces and dressings on the side.

Dining Out Done Right

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, June 21, 2010

Drug Worse than the Malady?

I just saw another one. A commercial for a drug touted to relieve the symptoms of a serious illness. The funny (or not so funny when you think about it) thing is that the side effects mirror the symptoms of the illness the drug is supposed to treat. I know you've noticed this. The announcer has a bright, chirpy voice for the first two-thirds of the commercial telling you of the miraculous healing you'll receive. Then for the final third, the voice over artist takes it down a notch, lowering his or her pitch and in rapid fire fashion lists the side effects. By the time the commercial is over, my head is spinning. Will it help? Will it hurt? Will I be worse off for taking something that's supposed to help? Good grief.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tripping Down Memory Lane

Here's the other picture my husband found. You'll notice I'm standing behind a table laden with sugar. Back then, I don't remember eating one donut or drinking one cup of punch. And I didn't even drink coffee back then. What a thought! I'm a Starbucks junkie now. Think all that caffeine, sugar, and cream might explain my expanded waistline and depleted energy? Hmm...something to ponder.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Aha! There's My Waist

My husband was searching for information in an old book and found two pictures of me tucked inside. There I am - young and healthy. I started to add 'skinny,' but being skinny was automatic for me back then. What I remember about my eating habits is that I consumed food, but thinking about, preparing, and eating food did not consume me. I ate to live, not the other way around.

I found my waist again, but in a very old and slightly yellowed picture, not in real life. I'm still working on that!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seeing Myself on Video

You know how you can fool yourself into thinking you look pretty good - as long as you don't look into a full-length mirror or see candid pictures of yourself? Wait until someone records you and puts it up on YouTube! We have a new media minister at church and so far, he has put up 3 or 4 videos of me singing. I didn't mind until this last one when I didn't have a large wooden pulpit to hide behind.

The thing is - after watching it a couple times, I could get my mind off of my appearance and enjoy the song and the message. I'm enthused and joyous while singing about My Redeemer and I think that shows.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've struggled with a lot of pain in my ribs as well as generalized pain all over. That particular morning, I had struggled to get ready for our Resurrection Sunday service, but once I start singing, I feel no pain. Please continue to pray for me. I'm almost resigned to start taking the injections into my ribs. The thought of that really freaks me out, but if I can endure momentary pain for weeks of relief, I'm sure it would be worth it.

Here's the video.  I hope you are blessed by the song. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Remove Life's Clutter

A link to a great article: Remove Life's Clutter

I've been making a dedicated effort to start paring down. I think if I can get more of a handle on things around me and lighten up, then it will naturally flow into my way of eating and taking care of my body. What do you think? Sound like a plan?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Never Too Late


A couple weeks ago my son and I were eating in a restaurant when one of my friends from my bowling days came in. I could hardly believe it. She looked like she had lost a good forty pounds. And yes - it did her good! She looked like she had the body of a 35 year old, and she and I are nearly the same age.

I blurted out, "You've lost so much weight!" She looked confused at first and then realizing I hadn't seen her in a couple years, replied, "Oh, yeah. I started running." Running? At our age? Again - something totally off my radar.

It turns out that she and her husband have started running races, and they're doing well. She also had participated in a competition for people who had received organ transplants and won that, too. Get this - in the 50-yard dash and the long jump!

Yes, you read that right. About fifteen years ago, this woman stood at death's door. She had to have a liver transplant. When I first met her several years ago, she was still getting used to the idea that she had someone else's liver. I remember her saying she left all the worrying about it up to her family and focused on getting her body healthy again.

So now that she's healthy again, she's on to bigger and better things. Well, if this was the second part of her long-range plan, it's been to her advantage. That night, she and her husband had stopped in for a bite to eat before they competed in a couple's bowling leage. Her average is 172.

A decade ago, my friend's main goal was to get healthy and try not to reject this gift of life in the form of a healthy liver. Now she's using her body every day in ways she thought impossible a few short years ago. It was quite inspiring. Her example tells me it's never too late to get healthy.

Am I going to start running? Umm...I don't think so. But walking? That I can manage!

Friday, September 18, 2009

An Out-of-Control Soul

I watched Joyce Meyer this morning. She taught on "An Out-of-Control Soul." Very practical and inspiring. I urge you to watch the podcast. The entire series on boundaries would be worth your time. I know I intend to watch this again. I also downloaded the study notes. Here's that link: http://www.joycemeyer.org/jmmweb/broadcast/programs/091709/notes.pdf


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget

In my last post, I asked if it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. Carrie shared some tips that I wanted to highlight. She says, "Yes! It is possible." Here are her great tips:
  • Prepare ground meat, baked or grilled chicken, etc. in bulk.
  • Freeze the meats in meal-sized portions so all you have to do is grab from the freezer.  
  • Same goes for fresh veggies, fruits, etc.  
  • Spend your time on the front end and mass prepare when possible.  
  • On the back end, grab what you need, add seasonings, veggies, etc. and your meal is about 30 - 45 min. away from serving.  
  • Bulk rice stores in freezer, as does flour, if you find bargains on larger quantities than you need.  
  • If freezer space is at a premium, store rice, flour (grains) tightly sealed as possible in plastic or glass with a bay leaf. Bay leaves are wonderful deterrents against bugs!
Thanks for those timely suggestions, Carrie!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Is It Any Cheaper to Eat Healthy?



I'm teaching a class during the Sunday School hour using Bill Hybels' small group study book, Getting a Grip. So far we've discussed getting a grip on life, our schedules, and our bodies. During yesterday's session, we got into a spirited discussion on whether you can eat healthy on a budget.

One couple contends that it's very difficult to buy healthy food when money's tight. My argument was that even when money is tight, it's more cost efficient to buy foods good for you because you are satiated by it. Why buy a bag of potato chips when you can buy a 10-lb. bag of potatoes for about the same cost?

I did make one concession in the argument. It takes more time to prepare the fresh foods. And of course, more effort. We can dive into a bag of chips in no time flat, but it takes more work to prepare the fresh potatoes.

How do you eat healthy on a budget? Is it possible?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

What's Your Trigger Emotion?

We've talked about trigger time, clothing, setting, and food. Is there an emotion that sets you off into a feeding frenzy? What are you feeling when suddenly you become vulnerable to eating out of control?

I've mulled this over in my own life. Several factors play into my impulsivity. One is that desperate feeling of being out of control and the procrastination that comes with it. Since I haven't been able to....clean my house, well then just sit down and watch TV. I'll clean it tomorrow. I haven't been able to....stick to my diet today, well I'll just go ahead and polish off that pizza and then start my diet tomorrow. I haven't been able to....exercise today so I might as well call it a night and I'll exercise first thing tomorrow.

The next days dawns. Do I have a plan? Nope. I'm still flapping in the wind with no goals in sight.

Recently I got up early on a Sunday morning and watched Dr. Charles Stanley's program. One thing he mentioned was making lists. My first thought was, "What good does that do when you can't even find the list?"

But then, Dr. Stanley had a wonderful idea, and this might be doable. I'm not a morning person and half the day is gone before I feel like I'm really getting anything accomplished. His suggestion? Make your list the night before. Don't wait until morning and then try to make a list. You'll be completely overwhelmed. He has a pad and paper by the bed. He makes the list, then goes to bed knowing he has his agenda set for tomorrow. Great idea!

Another emotion I feel when I'm overeating is totally different - happiness. I love celebrating with food. My daughter recently received a promotion at work. What's the plan? Eat out! Anniversaries, birthdays, a sunny day, a rainy day. I can always find a reason to celebrate. I guess the phrase 'fat and happy' would certainly apply to me!

I need to learn to set my emotions aside and view my physical self as important, too. It's difficult to get motivated when you hurt all over. I know. That's where I've been for a while. But I'm wondering - how is this extra weight helping me? It isn't. I have researched. I can find not one good benefit or reason to remain this heavy. And it is affecting my happiness. I'm unhappy with the way I feel more than anything. I'm not too thrilled with what I see in the mirror either, but as I've said since I started this journey, it's more about health than vanity.

So, what have I learned? I'm going to set a pad and pen beside the bed. Make a list. I won't beat myself up if I don't accomplish it all. I'll work at it one step at a time. When I eat, I'll examine my emotions. Am I eating because I feel out of control? Do I really need to eat fatty, rich foods to celebrate a job promotion?

What emotions affect you? Do you have a plan for dealing with them?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Onions, Garlic, and Scallions... Oh My!

I love both! And it turns out they're good for you.

"New studies highlight the value of the powerful antioxidants in these vegetables for health and prevention."

Read more here:

Onions, Garlic, and Scallions... Oh My!

Shared via AddThis

Monday, July 20, 2009

Prayer Request

7-8-09: I will be 'out of the loop' for at least a day or two. I'll be having a couple of tests done where I'll be sedated. The hospital categorizes it as 'surgery.' I'd appreciate your prayers - that I'll be able to tolerate the anesthesia (what I'm dreading the most!), that the tests will go smoothly, and that I'll get a good report. I'll update soon. Thanks, everyone!

UPDATE 7-20-09:

Did y'all pray? I think you did! I only got sick once from the anesthetic and that's a huge improvement over previous experiences, let me tell you.

AND I've quit shaking long enough to tell you the results. The doctor called which scared me. They don't usually call and I have another appointment today, but I've been with this doc for years, so he went ahead and called to tell me the results of my biopsy were NEGATIVE. Whew! And thank God. Those were my first two sentences. lol! My strength is coming back and like I said, I go back for followup. Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers. They were much appreciated!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Think It's Time

Oh, I hate it. And I mean, really hate it. But I think it's time to exercise. I'm at a complete standstill in my progress towards a waistline and I just saw a picture of myself someone sent to me by email. You know - one where they're snapping away while I remained unaware? One where I didn't know to suck my gut in and smile. Oh, dear...

I don't look healthy. I look sick and tired. For a long time, I felt that way, but looked healthy. But looks can be deceiving and now my outside is not hiding how I feel on the inside. In order to remedy this, I must be even more proactive. I have a perfectly good treadmill downstairs. I live in a beautiful neighborhood with sidewalks and a big dog who would love it if I'd take her for a walk now and then.




So even though I've avoided the dreaded 'e' word on this blog, I suppose I couldn't avoid it forever.
Now to come up with a plan...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Trigger Time

It's 3 PM. Do you know where your willpower went? Have you seen mine? Because about midafternoon, it takes a hike. And about 10 PM, it takes off and never comes back.

I'm not a doctor or nutitionist, but I'm fairly certain it has something to do with blood sugar levels.
What time are you most vulnerable to snacking? What's your solution?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Off the Wagon

I'm not sure what falling off the wagon means, but I'm pretty sure I've fallen. I won't say I can't get up, but I'm tempted. The past two weeks have been stressful and the coming two weeks promise more of the same. That said - I can't seem to get back into my routine of drinking water and cutting portions. It's like the the more stressed I get, the more I want to eat. Could explain my present condition!

So I needed encouragement bigtime. This morning Wendy posted a verse on Facebook coming at just the right time for me.

"When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then you knew my path" (Psalm 142:3a).
When I read this, I remembered - God knows. He knows me. He knows my struggles. He knows all about this weary body, and will strengthen me as I endeavor to rebuild this 'temple' where the Holy Spirit resides into a vessel that can be better used to glorify Him.
Back up I climb. I'm determined to stay on course.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

YOU - Staying Young

Dr. Roizen has another book out - YOU Staying Young. I'm not one who obsesses over looking like a kid, but I would like to feel good for as long as I can. Dr. Michael F. Roizen has video health tips and answers to questions like...How do I lower my blood pressure? or How do I get the sleep I need?

Here's the link: http://www.cbn.com/special/youstayingyoung/


Conquering the Munchie Monster

This guy has a recipe for Power Pancakes that reduce your waistline? Oh, hey now - that's for me! Pecan Chicken and cookies, too.


Ready to Pray?

Today I go back to the doctor again for yet another test. Please pray I'll have peace during the test and while I wait for the results.

Also - my son is leaving on vacation. Please pray for a safe trip.

I don't like to take without giving, so I leave you with this verse today. I hope it blesses you. Get your Bible out and feast on His Word today. God is our Master Physician.

Proverbs 4:20-22:

My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

If you have prayer requests for me, please leave them in the comments. Thanks SO much!

UPDATE: Well, this is discouraging. The doc called and the test results were inconclusive. I have to come in for a consultation - whatever that means. Probably more tests.

I know one thing - I'll never had the test I had the other day again. Wow. That was no picnic.

The Good News - my son had a wonderful flight and comes home today. I've really missed him. Please pray for his safe return.

Thanks for the prayers, emails, and comments.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How Are You Measuring Up?

I'm down 12 pounds and three inches around my waist. Seems like I should be down more in weight, doesn't it? I do know the first place I gain and consequently, the first place I lose is in my waist. Remember when I talked about the health consequences of the waist-to-hip ratio? Did you measure?

Monday, May 4, 2009

What's Your Trigger Clothing?

I've already mentioned my trigger setting - in front of the TV, my trigger food - potato chips (sour cream and onion), and now I want to talk about clothing.
I work out of my home, so I have the option of working in whatever I want. Not good.
My trigger clothing? Stretchy pajamas and/or my fleece robe. I feel so comfy without the limitations of a waistband. What difference will a piece (or bar) of candy make?
Do you have a piece of clothing that, when you put it on, you feel like you can go ahead and eat anything with no ill effects? How many sizes do you have lined up in your closet?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Be Mindful of What You Put into Your Body

Takeaway Value from this video:

1. Eat 4 meals a day every 4 hours to train metabolism.
2. Meals should be balanced - 1 part protein, 2 part carbs.
3. Learn how much fat is in your food.

Real Risk

Even though my waist to hip ratio indicates a reduced risk of heart disease, there are still many complications to being overweight. Here are just few from the office of the Surgeon General:


http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_consequences.htm

I saw several alarming facts that could pertain to me. More reasons to make better choices.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Beet, Carrot, Apple, and Ginger Juice

I was reading posts on Facebook when a friend asked for advice on what to do with beets. Suzy suggested she make this juice. After some investigation, I found out that it is posted on a site called GOOP, which Gwyneth Paltrow has. Who knew? I do know that Ms. Paltrow is beautiful and appears healthy, so she's doing something right!

Apparently, this is a basic colon cleanse. Suzy says, "If you want to maximize the health benifits to juicing, don't put juice from fruits in. It interferes with the alkalines from the veggies. If you dont care and just want a good sweet drink, throw in the apple and that little bit of lemon."

Beets are said to lower blood pressure, carrots pack a super beta-carotene punch, apples are cancer-fighters and ginger just loves your heart.

SERVES: 1
TIME: 5 minutes

1 large or 2 medium beets, cut into wedges
1/2 lemon, zest and pith removed
2 large carrots
1 large apple, cut into wedges
1" piece of ginger

Juice everything into a glass, give it a stir and enjoy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

That's My Story

Someone just sent this in an email,
"We all get heavier as we get older because there's a lot more information in our heads. So I'm not fat, just really intelligent and my head couldn't hold any more so it started filling up the rest of me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!"
Wow. I must be a genius.

Prayer for the Journey

















It just occurred to me that while I say, "Oh, God, help me" a lot, I'm not being faithful to ask that God help YOU. I know that God blesses those who bless others, and in my quest toward health, I've been focused on me, myself, and I. Now focusing on yourself is not always a bad thing. I have to say that in the past I've been one to neglect my own needs to help others. But before I wax too saintly, I also know that lately, I've been more, dare I say, too internally focused.

Please let me know your needs, too. I'm on my own journey, but that doesn't mean I can't reach out and help others along the way. I pray today that God strengthens you in your spirit, gives you peace as you pursue health, grants you wisdom in your choices, and healing that only He can give.

Remember - (I say this almost every Sunday as I teach my class...) there are NO small choices. And know that, if you're following this blog, I've called each of you out by name and prayed for YOU.

Here's a beautiful prayer by Apostle Paul to meditate on today. Have a wonderful weekend.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. - Ephesians 3:16-19 (New International Version)

*Art Courtesy of ChristArt: Christian Clipart

Monday, April 20, 2009

He's Working It Out

Another day, another doctor. Can you give a wild guess as to what my next step is? If you guessed more tests, ding, ding, ding! You're right. By the time I get done, I'm going to have had everything checked from head to toe, inside and out. The doc ordered two tests today and thought it was a good idea to follow up with the advice from my primary care physician and visit a rheumatologist.

Last night several people from church prayed for me. I love it when they do that - makes me feel their concern, and reminds me that God is ultimately in control. I have placed my trust in Him, and I know whatever happens in this life is for a reason. When I'm aching and complaining, I would do well to remember Romans 8:28 (NLT), "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Difficult sometimes though, huh?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Waist Time

In the subtitle of this blog, I indicated that I wanted to find my waist again. Vanity tells me I could buy cuter clothes and look cuter in them (well, at my age cute is not my goal, but I'd look better..), but my awareness of health issues has given me a real dedication to getting my numbers down.

Find a handy tool from the University of Maryland Medical System to calculate your waist to hip ratio HERE. According to this tool, my shape puts me at reduced risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes and stroke. I'm a 'pear' so I tend to keep fat off my midsection and more on my hips. I knew that, of course. The good news is that a body does not convert this lower body fat as readily as midsection fat, which keeps cholesterol down.

If you’re a woman, the waist-to-hip ratio should come out as no more than 0.8. A healthy waist-to-hip ratio for men is 0.95. If your belly has caught up to the size of your hips, you should start worrying about your heart, experts say.

Get that tape measurement out. What's your risk?

Monday, April 13, 2009

After the Celebration

What a wonderful time we had at church yesterday! Our choir sang a contata "In His Presence" that came with a DVD to play as the choir sang. Very effective. Because I've been so sick and tired, this year I didn't participate in the choir, and since we had a guest pianist yesterday, didn't play for the service. It was a special blessing to me to sit back and enjoy the service. Last night we enjoyed an Easter concert from Lavawan Riley. I so wish I could play like he does. Wonderful!

After church yesterday we met our son at O'Charley's. They have a new California Chicken Salad to die for - grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, pecans, and dried canberries. It came with bleu cheese, but I opted for cheddar. I also subbed Ranch Dressing for the dressing. I'm telling you, friends, I tried to eat just half, but it was just too good. I ate the whole thing. I think that's the first time I've polished off an entire meal since I started posting on this blog. No rolls for me though. And if you've been to O'Charley's, you know that took willpower!

Also - because I'm intent on finding my waist again, I got out a tape measure. Wow. That's an eye opener. You might want to do the same thing. I've read many times that waist size is more a predictor of health than weight. I'll try to find some research to back that up.

About the pic with this post - last week I posted about how I sang for our Palm Sunday service. A friend sent me a pic she snapped while I was singing. Good times.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Resurrection Sunday

Just wanted to post a note to wish everyone a very blessed weekend. If you're getting together with family, I pray for a peaceful and joyous time. Don't eat the entire Easter ham or down twenty peeps without thinking though! lol!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Snack Yourself Skinny

Kim Bensen, who lost 14 dress sizes through Weight Watchers, cooks up yummy and healthy snacks with Kristi Watts.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Update and Recipe - Herb-Infused Spa Water

Well, I'm not sure who told me this would happen, but if it was you, you're welcome to say, "I told you so." After all the tests, I still don't have a conclusive reason for the rib pain. A couple of the tests showed arthritis, so it's possible to have referred pain from another area of the body, but when all is said and done, I'm being referred to a specialist - a rheumatologist. My doctor seems as frustrated as I am. BUT I'm praising God that nothing too serious showed up on any of the tests - just a couple of minor issues that are being addressed.
If you have whispered even one prayer asking God to heal me, I appreciate it. I know that God made this body in the first place, has a plan for me while I'm in it, and will give me strength to do His will. That's all that matters in the long run.
But in the meantime, please continue to pray that I get some relief from this achiness. It kinda wears on an old gal, you know?


AND if you've scanned this post to this point, I'd like to share another water recipe I found - Herb-Infused Spa Water. Now doesn't that sound refreshing? Click HERE for the recipe.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Different Kind of Blog

Well, another busy weekend flew by. We celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday - my favorite day of the year. My husband (the pastor) gets hundreds of palm fronds for everyone to wave as we praise God. I sang "In the Name of the Lord" and we had an illustrated sermon. Then last night we celebrated with Communion. Most importantly, by the end of the day, four people had given their hearts to Jesus Christ. What a day!

On Monday, I'm usually exhausted, but I'm feeling energized, perhaps because we had such a wonderful Sunday, and also because I'm taking better care of my body. Yesterday, I ate less than half my meal and last night, I did the same.

As far as dietary changes, the only issue I'm still struggling with is drinking water. I got a thermos out to fill each morning, but I even forget to do that! Suggestions, anyone?

I started the blog in an attempt to help myself and others. I was always such a skinny kid. I never really thought about my weight that much until after my second child. Since then I've gone up and down, up and down, then up and up! At my age, my first concern is that I won't have the energy to minister the way I should. I'm also concerned for my joints and mobility as I age. I have a whole slew of blogs, but none of them are 'personal' type blogs. So it's kinda weird posting this way. I wouldn't do this at all if I didn't know there are a lot of women like me - busy with crazy lives. I'm thinking of having guests post on this blog. I've never done that with any of my others, but this one seems so completely different that I think it would help all of us to chime in with our thoughts now and then.

I'm headed back to the doc this afternoon to find out the results of all the tests I had done last week (on my birthday!). I cut back on the anti-inflammatory medicine and my tummy issues seem to have subsided. It's tough to know what to do.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Brain Stimulator and Cancer Killer?

Today Dr. Chauncey Crandall was on the 700 Club touting the spiritual and physical benefits of fasting. Since I'm hypoglycemic, I've never fasted, but the good doctor almost has me convinced that not only would it not harm me, but it would help me tremendously. He mentioned that fasting helps inflammation.

Here's a link to some recipes Dr. Crandall recommends with names like Brain Stimulator, Cancer Killer, and Garlic Breath Delight. lol!

Click HERE.

Have you ever fasted for either spiritual or physical reasons? How did you benefit?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bad Way to Spend my Birthday

My last post was Thursday when I went to the doctor. He gave me a pain shot. Friday I was back in his office for another one. It kinda knocked the edge off, but I still suffered all weekend. This morning, I called and scheduled my tests. The woman who scheduled them was so nice. She said, "You don't want to schedule these tomorrow. That's your birthday." I assured her I wanted to get them over with, so tomorrow would be fine. I'm having a CT Scan, X-Rays, and a bone scan. That should keep me busy!

My blood tests did come back normal, so praise God for that! Keep praying.

On a more cheerful note, my church threw me a surprise birthday party after church yesterday. What fun! I so appreciated them remembering me like that. I'm very blessed.

Since I don't want this blog to be simply about my ailments, I found a fun link to share today. Anyone ever heard of Spark People? They offer a free diet plan, recipes, calorie counter, and a whole lotta stuff. I don't like to put a link in my recommendations unless I've checked it out first. If you'd like to give a looksee, click here: SparkPeople. Let me know what you think.

Oh, and one of the sweet women from church brought me a homemade cake that looks almost just like that clipart. I'm saving it to share with my family tomorrow night. But I'll just have a little - I promise!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's Going on in There?

For the past six months, I have been in pain. Some days it's bearable. Other days, I have to catch my breath when the pain rolls over me in waves. The last time I went to the doctor, he diagnosed me with costochondritis - inflammation of the cartilage between my ribs. In other words, I feel like someone has punched me all the time.
So, today I went back to the doctors and surprise, surprise - I'm in for more tests. It would have been very convenient if God had made our bodies in such a way that it wasn't so difficult to see what's going on inside!
I don't know if you've noticed that I haven't mentioned exercise on this blog. At least not yet. I'm hoping that when I start feeling better (and I say that in faith!!), I'll have the energy to get moving. Since I started this blog, I've actually lost about ten pounds - a small step in the right direction, but a great step nonetheless. Portion control and better choices are making a difference.
If you get a moment, remember me in prayer. My birthday is next week. I'd like to feel like celebrating.
And how are you doing these day? Anyone feel like checking in?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eat This, Not That



Oh, my goodness! An eye-opener indeed. Matt Goulding, the author of Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide, was on the 700 Club today helping viewers deciper food labels.

As I've already admitted, I'm a chipaholic and chocoholic. As for chips, here's an example of his advice:
Eat this: Popchips (1 sm bag), 100 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated)
Not that: Lay’s (1 sm bag), 160 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated)
This is something I've already been doing! So yay for me! Uh, oh. Now he's talking about granola. 14 grams of fat and 30 grams of sugar?? Wow! Click HERE to get the highlights of his segment AND download a Free Fact Sheet. And I love it that he has a book for kids, too!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Weekend

Another Monday morning. I made it through the weekend. Yesterday I taught an adult Bible class, then played the piano for morning worship. We took my husband's mother with us to a new place to eat. Keeping to my portion control, I split a sandwich with her, and even brought leftovers home.

Then we headed to the funeral home. The mother of one of my son's best friends died unexpectedly. Of course, we were shocked, but even more so because this woman was a doctor - and close to my age. She left three sons, all standing in a row beside her casket.

My son has been extra sweet to me all week, and more than ever when he heard of Joyce's death. He keeps telling me to take care of myself, to get this pain in my side checked out, and to watch my diet. He's goading me along on my Road to Health. I'm thankful for him - a gift from God indeed.

After the viewing, we went home for a few minutes, and then headed back to church for a 5 PM meeting followed by church services. We had some wonderful missionaries to Africa as our guests.

So, we ate dinner last night at 10 PM. I might have had an excuse to eat whatever, too tired to even consider whether it was good for me or not, but I didn't. I ate with awareness.

I think I might be 'getting it.'

How was your weekend?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Where's Your Trigger Setting?

You know how it is. You go to a party and as if by magic, none of the appetizers have any calories. The fat's been sucked out of that cream cheese ball, and the desserts taste sweet without sugar. Amazing.
Or you stand in front of the refrigerator sucking down Coke and eating cold pizza. Calories don't count if you're not sitting down, right?

Until you get on the scales the next day. Ouch.

I have to say my Trigger Setting is in front of the television. As I mentioned in the "Trigger Food" post, I love to start with something salty followed by something sweet - preferably chocolate. When I'm watching TV, I can consume an entire $.99 bag of Sour Cream and Onion potato chips in one sitting - and never even be aware that I've eaten the first chip - especially if I'm watching Lost, Life on Mars, or The Big Bang Theory. Although if I'm watching the last one, I'm prone to spewing Coke all over from laughing so hard (Sheldon's my favorite).
So, what's my solution? I don't relish the idea of giving up television. Perhaps I could buy the baked chips. Or eat lowfat popcorn instead. I've already switched to Iced Tea with Stevia. Small steps, but steps in right direction.
Where do you find yourself most vulnerable?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's Your Trigger Food?

In the flurry of new posts, I think this one might have gotten overlooked. What's your trigger food? I found this definition on The Fit Shack:
Trigger foods are any foods that trigger you to overeat and/or binge. They are foods that you just can’t get enough of; one bite is never enough and one helping isn’t enough. Trigger foods can also lead you to overeat on other foods that initially you weren’t even thinking about eating if you feel guilty for eating your trigger foods in the first place!
I've decided mine must be potato chips. My first thought would have been something sweet. After all, I am a chocoholic. But really, it's the crunchy snack foods that get me, because I eat the chips, and then want to follow it up with something sweet - like chocolate.

What's YOUR trigger food? In a later post, we'll tackle ways to combat the urge to eat them and cover other things that trigger us to overeat.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Weekend

So, how did your weekend go? We showed Fireproof, the movie with Kirk Cameron, at our church Saturday afternoon. I couldn't get to sleep that night and woke up early the next morning unable to get back to sleep. I'm not a therapist, but that movie touched me psychologically, I believe. All day Sunday, I felt like I'd been hit by a Mack truck. I taught Sunday School, played for church, left church, went to eat, straight to a baby shower, home for a 45-minute nap, and back to church to play and run the sound.
Keeping in mind my goal to gain health, I ate a WeightWatchers meal before the movie Saturday night so I wouldn't pig out on the pizza we served afterwards. Late that evening my husband and split a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, which kept me to my promise of portion control.
Last night after church my husband and I ate pizza I'd picked up at Sam's Club made by Kashi. It was good! Vegetarian on a whole grain, super-thin, almost like a cracker crust. I think I could be a spokesperson for Kashi. I love all of their products.
Considering how busy our weekend was, I did plan ahead and ate with awareness. Until now, I suppose I would have scarfed down a bunch of pizza after the movie and eaten like crazy after church last night using the excuse, "Well, I've had a long day. I deserve it. And besides, I'll start on Monday."
Tell me - does it ever really work to start something new on Monday?
Oh, and I'm praising God because I just got word from a friend that his entire family of wife and four kids were in a horrendous car accident over the weekend where they had to be extricated with the 'jaws of life' yet every person came out of that accident with no serious injuries.

How'd your weekend go?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A New Mindset

Is it a mindset? When do you switch in your head from being someone who's drifting along through life to someone who intentionally lives every moment to its fullest?
With every magazine touting the best ways to lose weight, stay thin, and live forever young, thinking of food and aging as our enemies comes easily. But we need food to live, and with God's grace, we live another day.
When did getting older become so disgusting?
Now I understand wanting to be healthy. That's my goal. I have a feeling that as I've become an 'older woman,' my metabolism has changed, and it's likely I will never be thin again, and that's okay.
Sometime along the way, I began to drift. Grabbing another handful of M&M's, absent-mindedly eating a 'few' more chips, spooning an extra-large dollop of sour cream on my potatoes. And it all adds up. I need to more intentional in my eating. As a Christian, I'm very intent on living a spiritual life of purpose, but I'm afraid my body has suffered as I focused on the spiritual, ignoring the physical.
What I need is balance - to somehow flip that switch in my brain, eat intentionally, and turn my willpower ON!
Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Portion Control


I was happy to see several friends who are joining me for the journey!

I keep thinking of that riddle. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So I'm making small changes every couple of days. I'm filling up the thermos with refreshing water first thing in the morning and drinking it all by day's end.

Step #2 - Since one MORE bite always seemed like a good idea, my second step in this process is to start cutting portions. I think I eat long after I'm full, many times just because the food is on my plate. After all, I was taught to clean my plate. Weren't you?

My son and I went to Skyline a couple days ago. I got the vegetarian 4-way with beans with the cheese on the side. I only ate half, brought the rest home and had it for lunch the next day.

What's your next step? Care to share?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sassy Water - My First Change

I don't drink. Never have. And I'm not talking about just alcohol (although I've never drank that either). I'm referring to water. I drink tea, coffee, and Diet Coke. I can go days without ever having a full glass of water. Since the body is mostly water, I'm thinking I need to drink.

So my first step on the Road to Health is going to be to drink water. I've realized in the past that if I drink a glass first thing in the morning, before coffee, then I'm more thirsty the rest of the day. It's like I have an inner thirst button that gets activated.

My first change will be to make Sassy Water - a step between my flavored teas and plain water. Sounds wonderfully refreshing and is supposed to calm your GI tract.

SASSY WATER RECIPE

• 2 litres/3½ pints water
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
• 1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
• 12 mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large jug, chill in the refrigerator and let the flavors blend overnight. Drink it all in one day for at least four days, making a fresh batch each day.

Here's to good health! (glug, glug, glug...)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Definition

Found a definition for 'sick and tired.' I just thought it was something my mom always said. Funny!

Sick and Tired

I've Had Enough. Have you?

Okay, people. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. It's about time, or should I say, past time, that I take charge of my health once more. I'm always tired, and lately, sick more often. At my age, this is not a good thing. I see my body going down a path that my mind, for a long time now, has refused to acknowledge.

Plus - it seems wrong on so many levels that I have allowed my 'temple' that God has blessed me with to get in such a state of disrepair.

I'm starting this blog in an attempt to get good advice, find kindred souls, and bring friends on board so that we can keep each other accountable. Care to join me on this journey?
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