Columbian Nirvana

Afrikaans: Geroosterde pitte van die koffiepla...

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We all have our rituals…sacred actions that provide a measure of calm, routine, or link to the Divine. My rituals are being changed due to my weight-loss. Gone are the diet sodas that would provide little moments of bubbly optimism throughout the day. Gone are the sugary deserts that punctuated the week. Now there is flavored water,  and exercise, and home cooked dinners…new rituals making a new life. But one ritual remains, unchanged and indeed sacred. Coffee. Two cups. Daily.

 

There was a time when I would drink my treasured elixir throughout the day, but I curtailed that practice years ago and relegated my consumption of Columbian imported caffeine to the morning and to two cups. Each day, at 5:30 I move through the still and silent house to the welcoming light of the kitchen where I fire up the Keurig machine. I measure the fragrant grounds just so, I pour filtered water in, and press the magical buttons that will provide me with all that is holy in the morning light. It is hot, steaming and fragrant, the smell permeating the small kitchen and pushing aside any remnants of groggy sleep and dreams. The creamer and sugar are indulgent and as vital to the finished product as the beans are. This ritual shall prevail, no matter what happens with my weight-loss.  I allocate precious points to it daily, never substituting lo-cal anything as it is simply not the same and not the treasured experience I seek out before all else.

 

I’ve tried an infinite variety of beans and roasts, but have settled for 100% Columbian. The brands can vary, as the coffee’s in my grocery store are pretty close in quality. I grind the beans in the store, breathing deep and heavy, careful to avoid the shoppers as they might misinterpret my exhuberance…afterall, no one should become this excited by the smell of anything, let alone a bean.  I will buy more on sale and store the bags in the freezer, prices being what they are today.

 

So it goes each morning, a soft introduction into a harsh world of demands and surprises and endless to-do lists. Did I say earlier that rituals are links to the Divine? Why yes I did and yes, I think this is a small prayer each morning that wafts up into the ether along with hopes and dreams for the coming day.

 

 

 

 

 

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Weigh-in Sunday

Another 2 pounds…total 36.4 lbs. I exercised and watched my numbers, but I also indulged a craving or two, again, like a normal skinny person would do and it  worked.  It feels so good to be back in losing mode. My sister and I were at the beach yesterday, and I had planned to walk it, but I couldn’t this week, but now that I’ve been there, I feel like I can go back on my own and walk it. Should be fun. And you can drive on the beach here, which I know you can’t do everywhere. Kinda cool.

 

Julia Cameron – The Prosperous Heart ; A Review

For the first time in my life, I can understand and internalize money and how to deal with it. More importantly, To feel like you have enough, and that you are living in abundance. To put money in a creative and spiritual plane is what is resonating with me.

Structured like The Artists Way, this is a twelve week course in understanding your relationship with money, how to get a handle on it and how to live with a prosperous heart. I did what she says not to do, which was read the book all the way through, (she advocates taking it one chapter at a time and not reading the chapters ahead.)but I’m now going back and reading and working each chapter as she would like me to. I just had to read it all, the book just resonated in me so strongly.

I am writing each morning, counting my expenditures, walking, praying for short periods. Not difficult things to do, but highly effective. I feel differently about money already because I am more aware of it. I am also more aware of the things that make me feel prosperous, and I see that that is a decision as well as a journey.

Money is a spiritual thing…hard for some people to accept, but it made perfect sense to me. All of Cameron’s work is spiritually based, and as a creative person I can say it’s another way I can relate to what she is saying.

Prosperity is not for  the wealthy alone. You can feel very prosperous with very little money and I can vouch for that. The book helps you to recognize this.

As a rule, I don’t pay publishers prices for my books, but I did for this one and I can say it was money very well spent. Get it and do what she says, you won’t be sorry.

http://www.amazon.com/Prosperous-Heart-Creating-Enough-ebook/dp/B005ERIJAC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1330267918&sr=1-1

Product Details

“Jennifer Hudson – I Got This” Review

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Since I’m all about Weight Watchers, I immediately downloaded this book when I heard about it.  It is a memoir (from someone too young to have a memoir really) about her life as she rose to fame, how food played a part in her life, how she viewed her body while making her way in Hollywood  being a plus-sized girl, how she became an inspiration on WW, how she helped turn her extended family around and got them to start losing as well. It’s an inspirational read, giving some insight into a woman who did not have body image problems even though she was plus-sized. She is a positive role model for her fans and for anyone losing weight.

I did find the beginning of the book which chronicled her rise to fame through American Idol and the film Dreamgirls a bit long as I was mostly interested in the weight-loss, but having read it, I see how it built on itself and brought you from the beginning to full circle present as a wife, mother, and spokesperson. I like that she is real, no chefs for her, she is cooking for her family and doing this for the right reasons, to get healthy for her son. She is realistic and she is doing this the right way.

I finished the book quickly, but I felt it was long enough to tell the story well. I like that she did not go into her family tragedy, leaving it a private matter as it should be. Her style is familiar, a person simply relaying the information of her life. You feel like it’s a real person speaking with you. Very effective.

If you struggle with weight, if you want to learn more about the number one weight-loss plan in the country, if you want some inspiration, then this is a book you should read. Worth the money.

.http://www.amazon.com/Got-This-Changed-Weighed-ebook/dp/B005OH9M3K/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1330032045&sr=1-1

This looks great…and her blog is great

Kitchen Slattern

Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken

Over the years I’ve regularly come across recipes for roast chicken that call for bunging the whole bird into a crock pot and just letting it go for four or five hours, and although I find nothing to quibble with in terms of the labor involved (next to none), I have up to now shied away from this approach mostly on principal. To me, the crackly skin and pan drippings of an oven roasted bird are among its main attractions.

Also, most crock pot recipes rely on spice rubs for flavor, and I just can’t seem to go there. I know people love them and the food cognoscenti swear by them, but in my experience they disappoint, usually because they are overly salty, inedibly spicy or both. Three bites into the Moroccan lamb and I’m parched and coughing, leaving me with no alternative but to wash…

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Susan Kiernan-Lewis: The Maggy Newberry Series

 

I came across Susan’s blog and enjoyed it, so I looked into her books. They are great! Available at Amazon, go check her out. Then write a review and tell people about her.

 

 

Little Death By The Sea http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/B005GY0Y8S/ref=sib_dp_kd#reader-linkLittle Death by the Sea (Maggie Newberry Mysteries)

Meet Maggie Newberry, and Laurant Dernier and France…This will make you want to go to France and see for yourself if it’s as magical as she describes. There is a mystery to be solved involving a sister, a child and two countries. The story builds slowly, then has twists and result in a thoroughly enjoyable read that leaves you curious for more. There should be a cookbook!

Toujours Dead http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0970671601/ref=sib_dp_kd#reader-linkToujours Dead

Maggie and Laurant in France…an inheritance, a murder 40 years ago, a murder today, and the lovely Provence countryside weave a compelling tale that leaves you wanting more. Excellent storytelling and character development. This one makes you want to move to France for a year…the food, the countryside…it sounds absolutely wonderful…

Murder In Provencehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/B005H41EM2/ref=sib_dp_kd#reader-linkMurder in Provence (Maggie Newberry Mysteries)

Maggie and Laurant endure and become entangled in another murder in Provence…I never saw the twists in this plot coming, it was thoroughly enjoyable and leaves you hungry for more. And the food continues, and the quaint village life continues, you truly do want to see if it’s as she writes it. I hope she writes a sequel.