Tuesday, November 24, 2009

That Was Odd

Tuesday night is a crazy night for me. It's the night I lead my Weight Watchers meeting. This means that I rush from the office to my meeting, then home. I don't get home until at least 7pm.

Getting home late is a disaster for many reasons, mainly because I don't eat for a very long time before running into the house. And when I run into the house, I just want to eat ANYTHING. Disaster. Couple this with the fact that I'm taking a cake decorating course on Wednesday. This means that I bake either a cake or cupcakes on Sunday, and have to make fresh buttercream icing on Tuesday night when I get home from my meeting. All of this just leads to disaster.

But tonight, tonight was different. I was driving home and I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Steve and I just do what we want on our own for dinner on Tuesdays, which makes it easier, allows him to eat earlier, and also allows him to eat what he wants, which is usually hamburger helper or kraft dinner (tonight's choice was KD with lots of veggies in it - YAY Steve!).

Back to what I was saying... I was driving home trying to figure out what I would eat for dinner. I needed a protein, a starch, some veggies, and an oil. My first thought was pasta, since you can easily get all of those things in a pasta dish of some sort. But I just didn't feel like getting into a big mess in the kitchen. Then I thought... edamame!

I came home, counted out half a serving of baked tostitos, covered them in yves veggie ground chicken, some leftover sweet potato burrito filling, some BBQ sauce a la BBQ chicken nachos, some edamame, and a teaspoon of chili olive oil. Under the broiler. Served with tofu sour cream. Sooo delicious! And filling.

Luckily I only ate about a tablespoon of buttercream. That stuff's just hard to resist. Thank goodness there's only one more week of the course after tomorrow night.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Health Report

I'm not sure if you've all been following my boring health issues, but for anyone who has been following, I wanted to send you the latest report.

I think I mentioned that my allergy tests came back and they indicated that I have a severe allergy to dairy. This is extremely sad news. I can live without milk and yogurt, but having to limit cheese and ice cream will be a serious challenge.

But there's a bit of a silver lining. I've decided to make compromises. This means that I will be splurging on coconut milk and soy ice cream, as well as really REALLY great cheese. The stinkiest I can find. I figure there's no more excuse to eat less-than-stellar cheese. Eating cheese won't kill me, it may just cause me acne, or it might not once the majority of the dairy is out of my system for a while. I figure a pimple now and again is a small price to pay for delicious cheese.

I've also gotten my hormone test results back. It turns out they're a bit wonky too, but not too too bad. I have a low level of progesterone and a slightly higher than normal level of testosterone. This means that I was heading down the road to PCOS. Thank goodness we caught it early! This means that what I have going on right now is completely reversible! Whew! I really consider myself lucky with this one, since PCOS means it may be difficult to conceive and carry a child to term, along with all kinds of other side effects like insulin-resistance, and the inability to lose weight.

The slightly higher than normal level of testosterone hasn't had many ill effects on my body yet, although it almost definitely played some part in my skin issues as well. And luckily again, it's not a high level, only very slightly above the normal range. I am now taking saw palmetto (an herb usually given to men to control prostate issues) to level out my testosterone production. My naturopath seems to think that taking the saw palmetto, along with zinc daily will get me back to normal in no time, probably by spring.

Thank goodness I decided to see a naturopath! I couldn't thank her enough at my last appointment. She really has changed my life. She did more for me in 3 months than my family doctor has done for me in 10 years. Phenomenal.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hungry Days

Don't you just hate those days when you feel like your leg's hollow and you're desperately trying to fill it with food?

Today is one of those days. Yes, I've had protein at every meal. Yes, I've had plenty of fruits and veggies. Yes, I've had more than 3L of water today. Have these things helped? NO!

In times like these, there's one snack I turn to for help. Popcorn. Popcorn is a low-calorie snack that you can stretch out for a while. Popcorn is actually fairly filling too. And popcorn can taste however I want it to. We have no shortage of flavourings for popcorn - shakers that taste like salt & vinegar, dill pickle, BBQ, cajun - the tiny little jars fill one shelf of our snack cupboard. Sometimes I dip my popcorn in a dip, or barbecue sauce, or salsa. Sometimes I melt peanut butter in the microwave and have it with that, or sometimes I sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on my popcorn.

Is it the best snack choice - no, but it sure is better than eating a lot of other things.

What do you eat on your "hungry days"? How do you like your popcorn?

Monday, October 26, 2009

If You Don't Like Sappy...

don't lick spruce trees.

This is my post-TOI sentimental moment. A little different than my Saturday evening attempt at a sentimental moment. :-) And I don't consider myself an emotional person, but I can't hold this in.

I think this weekend really changed me. Really.

I went to Toronto thinking the weekend would be fun, but I was surprised at what it turned out to be. I spent the weekend with amazing, warm, accepting, vibrant females - something I don't have the chance to do often on such a grand scale. Any future opportunities to do so will not soon be passing me by.

Over the years my friends have thinned out as we've gone about living our lives, and I'm lonely sometimes thinking about it, and I'm sure a lot of us can relate. I can't feel the same kind of lonely today. I have a lot of new friends who feel my oldest friends. I cry thinking about it - I've teared up so many times today. Before this weekend, I didn't feel like I had a lot of close friends, but now I feel like I have a lot of great friends just within reach. I'm really sad that we can't be geographically close everyday, but that will make the times we'll see each other that much more special.

Knowing each of you online has been a real pleasure, if not a daily adventure, but meeting each of you in person has changed everything. The virtual personalities I interact with everyday have turned into vibrant women that I can now picture in my mind, and your typed words can now be matched with your expressions and mannerisms.

This weekend has renewed my faith in myself a bit too I think. I conquered a physical and psychological challenges in my two day trip. There were people climbing those stairs, young and old, all individuals from any kind of background, all striving to achieve the same goal. That's what life is about.

Now I'm ready to move on to the next challenge. I'm going to try to challenge myself more often, daily even, and I'm not going to settle for laziness or apathy quite so easily.

To the women of Toronto: I have no way to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of you, but I'll keep trying to for a long time. You made an insecure small-town girl feel at home in one of the largest cities in the world. You opened your arms to a complete stranger and gave me a warm hug that I still feel as I sit here typing this.

I left little pieces of my heart in Toronto. I brought pieces of you home with me to replace what I left.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Vegan Pizza?

Yes, vegan pizza. That's what I had for dinner tonight. I can't believe I can even say that. That makes me feel good. Say it slow with me... vvveeeeeggaaaannnnnn pppiiiiizzzzzaaaaa. Mmmmmmmm....

I started with my favourite homemade pizza crust, which I make from a Moosewood recipe. It is so good, and very healthy.

I topped it with a tomato sauce, veggie pepperoni, veggie salami, peppers, onions (from our garden), vegan "cheese", and green olives. It was really quite delicious.

This weekend I'm planning on playing with tofu. I'm going to take the time to try at least two new recipes involving tofu, one of which is a vegan mayonnaise recipe. I will be posting pictures, so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Since getting my allergy test results last week, I'm very excited to try all of the foods I thought I was allergic to, including tofu.

Last night I tried tofu. And I liked it.

We used it in a stir fry with some scallops,lots of veggies, and a ginger sauce. It was really good! This will make it much more tolerable to be allergic to dairy, since there are lots of great things you can do with tofu.

This weekend, I'm going to make a mayonnaise substitute with it.

I also made some vegan cookies called tropical delights. I'm trying to find a substitute for the cookies of the same name I sometimes get at the Second Cup. It turns out that the original cookie is made at Nature's Own Bakery in Barrie. Neat. Anway, these cookies are soooo good - filled with papaya, pineapple, dates, oats, coconut, and cashews. My first attempt was delicious (and addictive), but not the consistency I'm looking for, so I'm going to try again, also probably this weekend. When they turn out the way I'd like, I'll definitely be posting photos!

Friday, October 9, 2009

October - The Most Glorious of Months

God did wonderful work when he conceptualized October.

There isn't a single thing I don't love about October. I actually think this month defines me in some strange way. I think that people have pairings with types of everything, you know what I mean? Like there's one of every type of thing that would be our partner. Well I know without a doubt that October is my partner. I have nothing in common with March, and little in common with July. But October and I were meant to be. The colours, the weather, the seasonal foods, everything about October is perfect.

When October rolls around I get this wonderful feeling that comes about. I feel like retraining, and remembering, and rethinking, and redoing, and reminiscing. I want to get in touch with old friends, and make new friends, finish old adventures and start new adventures. October makes me want to be the very best manifestation of me. It's so cleansing.

I feel like getting in touch with old friends and boyfriends, and I feel like having girl time with my sister and my girlfriends, and I feel like being tucked inside at home with Steve and Samson. I feel like walking through the woods and making soup and pickles and tea, and other delicious treats.

I love October.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Product Review: Food for Life Rice Tortillas

Tonight for dinner I had myself a Food for Life Brown Rice Tortilla. I filled it with a tuna salad.

About the Product:
Made by the same folks who make Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain bread. These are the first available certified Kosher, all natural, Wheat & Gluten-Free tortillas and were specifically developed to fit the needs of individuals who are looking for Wheat & Gluten Free food options. The ingredients list includes only: brown rice flour, water, tapioca flour, safflower oil, rice bran, vegetable gum, and sea salt. They are about 8" round, and there are 6 in a package.

My Verdict:
Not too shabby. They weren't a bad substitute for a regular flour tortilla.

Nice and big for the amount of calories in each.
A good source of fibre.
Wheat, gluten, and corn-free.

They are a bit tougher than a flour tortilla, which I guess is expected, as it is with most gluten-free products.

Well That's Pretty Cool:
Each of the tortillas are separated by a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking.

I'm Starting to Embrace the Comprehensive Elimination Diet

I posted a couple of weeks ago that my naturopath, Parissa, has put me on a comprehensive elimination diet to get me started on trying to figure out what it is I might be allergic to.

If you've even been on an elimination diet of any kind, you know it's not fun. I spent the first couple of days just wandering the organic and specialty sections of my favourite grocery stores, just looking. And feeling sorry for myself. I thought it was bad enough to avoid some foods I used to love because they weren't the healthiest of choices. Now I was tasked with trying to avoid foods I'd always known were healthy choices, specifically wheat and dairy.

While the elimination diet isn't fun to follow, it's nothing if it's not interested and an eye-opening experience. I've tried so many new, glorious and not-so-glorious products in the past couple of weeks I can't even tell you! But I'm going to try.

I'm going to start blogging about some of my new product discoveries. I hope it helps others with food sensitivities, or those who are avoiding a food for some reason.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tonight's Meeting - Setting Goals and NSVs

It appears that my meeting has become one of the more popular ones in the city. I think it's because the meeting is the earliest evening we have and the first meeting after the weekend. Not that it matters to me why it's popular, I'm just happy that it is.

Tonight's topic was about setting goals and non-scale victories. These topics are usually a bit difficult for me. For some reason when I talk about goals in my meetings, my members have nothing to say.

Clearly, they all have a goal. The only conceivable reason why they may have walked into a Weight Watchers meeting without a goal is because their doctor has coerced them into doing so. Otherwise, they have a goal, maybe not a specific goal, but a goal nonetheless.

It was important that I drive home the importance of regular goal setting to my members tonight.

I begin by asking them about their goals. I get great response from the young married couple, Angela and Kevin. They're so great - I wish I could let them know how much they enrich my meetings. They're always so upbeat and refreshing, and they're never afraid to talk in the group. Most of my other members stay clammed up.

I knew that in order to get them talking about their goals I would have to push them. So I did. I wasn't giving up this time. Goal-setting is the most important thing you can do for yourself. I asked them about short-term goals, goals they're shooting for in terms of general health goals, and vanity goals. Lo and behold, they started talking to me.

I heard, "I have a goal." *cue angelic music - LAA!* "I'm going on a cruise." Yes! A goal to shoot for! Then, "I have some new fitness goals", followed by, "I'm getting married next year." Goals, people! Goals!

For those of you who don't have a goal - find one, figure it out, and think about it all the time. Do what you need to do to keep it in the forefront of your mind. Use post-it notes, put a picture on your refrigerator, keep it in your iCal. Just do it, remember it, and think about it all the time. Change it up, keep many goals on your mind, one for today, one for this week, one for this quarter.

Don't be discouraged when you have a setback. Please remember that setbacks are part of the process. No one is perfect, and no one ever made it to a goal without a setback or two. We're human after all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

No Wheat and No Dairy

Makes Tara a hungry, cranky girl.

I went to visit a naturopath on Thursday. I went because my family doctor is really dropping the ball on me, and I'm completely discouraged. Anyway, I am concerned about the acne I continually seem to fight with, as well as my elevated heart rate and ever-changing allergies.

Now I'm convinced most of this is all related. She's testing me for any allergies I really have. I've had traditional allergy testing done many times, with the pin prick test and the scratch test. She is testing me via blood sample, and I should have the results in a couple of weeks, which I'm very excited about. Then I'll finally know what is causing me issues and what isn't.

She also thinks I may be having issues with digestion. She thinks this is why I have a low B12 level. In most young people who have a low B12 level, this usually means you're missing an intrinsic factor in your stomach that is needed for the body to absorb B12. I told her I had asked my family doctor to proceed with testing to find out if this is my issue, but my family doctor refused to test me, and told me to just take a daily B12 supplement instead.

For now, the naturopath has asked me to try a diet that will allow for minimal effort by my digestive system. So no dairy, no wheat (two high-incidence allergens), and she has asked me to not eat raw fruits and vegetables, since they are difficult for the digestive system to process.

Now being a vegetarian, cutting out wheat and dairy is seriously challenging. I'm like a celiac vegan. Not fun. Fish, rice, and cooked veggies. Booooorrriing!

And to any celiacs out there, I now understand what it's like to try to live the way you have to. It must be terrible. Hugs to all of you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Teed's 1st Annual A-Z List for Foodies!

Hello fellow foodies!

I've decided that I would put together a list of all things foodie 2009. I'm hoping to continue the list on an annual or semi-annual basis. I'll try to post a new letter every single day. Now that's dedication!

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Moosewood Recipe - Puffy Pancake from New Classics

This week I'm on vacation, so I'm going to be cooking and baking up a storm. I'm taking every opportunity to embrace this new way of eating. And besides, I love being in the kitchen.

This morning I made the Puffy Pancake from Moosewood New Classics. I made a few changes. The original recipe calls for apples and an apple sauce made from apple cider.

I substituted with pears for the apples and added mini chocolate chips, but kept the rest of the ingredients the same. I didn't make the apple syrup either, we served with maple syrup.

The pears and chocolate were divine, but the next time I'll make a custard or english cream to serve this with.

A definite hit though, we'll definitely be making this again.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Think I'm Officially a Lacto-Ovo-Pescatarian

What a mouthful. A mouthful of vegetables.

We stopped at the Country Pumpkin on our way home from the camp today. It was so great. This is why I love living in the country. Our bounty:

Which in turn yielded a dinner of corn on the cob with blue cheese butter and beets and shallots (a Moosewood recipe):

This is Why I Love Living in the Country

Gardening, and reaping the benefits of others' gardens.

I can't believe how much it's grown, especially the cucumbers! They grow fast! And they were actually an afterthought to the garden, so we planted them in pots on our patio.

Look at our teenie little broccoli!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tea Time!

I decided today that it was time I learned how to brew a proper cup of tea. I went to Trinitea's, on Regent Street here in Fredericton, for a lesson in brewing.

They were so nice to me! I learned that you use about 1 tsp per cup for a regular tea, but maybe 2 tsps per cup for a light flavoured tea. You brew green tea for about 2 mins per cup and black tea for 4-5 mins per cup. Good to know!

I picked up some organic gunpowder green from China and some strawberry cream green from Japan.

I can't wait to try them!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book: Skinny Bitch

I read the majority of this book, written by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, yesterday. I'll say that I'm mostly disturbed by the content.

I didn't expect the book to be about veganism or vegetarianism. Or animal rights or animal slaughter. I cried.

I do try my best to incorporate a lot of vegetarian meat substitutes into my diet, and we often eat completely veggie meals. And when we buy meat, and other products, we choose organic and free-range as often as we can. And in all honesty, I'm sure the book was more of a portrait of what happens to animals in american slaughterhouses rather than what takes place here in Canada.

But I think it has changed me a little. If I've ever considered being completely vegetarian, and I have many MANY times, I've never considered it as strongly as I do today.

But is there really anything wrong with drinking milk, or eating other dairy products or eggs? I don't see anything wrong with this, as long as the animals from which these products come are treated well.

This is going to be a bad thinking day.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Feeling Sorry for Myself Today

I hate days like this. I hate feeling like this.

I'm out of the loop with my old girlfriends. They're still my friends, but I'm out of the loop. They're all doing stuff together and I'm not included, not purposefully, but because I just don't live as close anymore and I'm not around them anymore.

It still sucks. I miss them, and I can't help but have hurt feelings when I know they're all doing things, or when I find out I miss things, or when someone who used to be out of the loop is now in the loop and I'm not.


Friday, July 24, 2009

I've Got a New Line

I started a kickboxing class 3 months ago. It's really tough. Like, really hard workouts, think you might pass out tough. I love it, I really do. It pushes me. It burns a lot of calories.

I'm happy to say that now, in my third month, I've noticed that I have a new line on my arm. My arms have never had definition, NEVER. So with this new line, I now have two: one at the base of my bicep, running from my armpit to my elbow, and this new one, running in the opposite direction between my bicep and my shoulder.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tara's Got Her Groove Back!

I lost my groove. I couldn't find it anywhere. I checked behind the hot sauce, on the cookbook shelf, in the liquor cabinet, at the back of the pantry. It was gone.

Then I hosted the dinner party on Saturday night, something I committed to a couple of months ago. I dreaded it right up until the day before, lamenting over what to make, flipping fruitlessly through a myriad of cookbooks and food magazines, something I used to love to do. This was not like me. I was panicked about the meal.

Then I finalized my menu. Suddenly, everything fell into place. I picked a theme, tried some new dishes, and made some new friends.

Now I can't be stopped! I'm back to gettin' my groove on in the kitchen!

It started Sunday, with my sweethawt cherry jam, a recipe I just made up on the fly. Nice.

Then last night, I created my new favourite thing, but let me explain. This month in our Weight Watchers meetings, we are really emphasizing fruits and vegetables. I often try new things at home to help me stay connected to my members. So I promised them I would try something new this week, a cold soup, and then I would let them know how it was in our next meeting.

Keep in mind, I've always been against cold soups, they just sounded awful to me. I had no desire to eat cold soup AT ALL.

But I did it anyway.

I made a cold minted watermelon soup, à la picture below:

There it is, not plated nearly as fancily as it should be, as it's only coming to work for lunch today. But if I could, I'd dress it up in stilettos and gloves ladies. It's that good. My new favourite summertime treat. Go ahead and taste it. I won't tell anyone you licked your monitor.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Saturday's Dinner Party

We hosted a dinner party on Saturday night. And it was great!

I prepared a lot of things ahead of time:

I toasted my litte crostinis for the bruschetta:

Stephen made our other little appies, the tomato basil mozza poppers. I made my pesto potato salad, marinated the chicken, and mixed the berries with all of the extras for dessert.

Here was our menu:
Bruschetta, Tomato Basil Mozza Poppers - Appetizers
Balsamic Rosemary Grilled Chicken
Pesto Potato Salad
Zucchini Cheese Roll Ups
Puff Pastry w Limoncello Berries and Vanilla Bean Honey Cream - Dessert

The dessert was so simple, and so amazing! I will definitely make this again. First time I had used a real vanilla bean, and I don't know if I can ever go back. So delicious!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Me and My Sweethawt - We Be Jammin'!

I've had some cherries in my refrigerator that needed to have something done with them. Something. Three pounds worth of fresh sweet cherries that needed something done with them.

So this is what I did.

I jammed 'em. Yup, me and the dog, jammed. That's him taste testing the cherries on the right. He's such a foodie. Has to make sure everything's perfect. "Quality control" he calls it.

Steve supported us from the couch, and took pictures. We jammed mostly to the black eyed peas. We used black cherries, an apple, an onion, a jalapeno, cinnamon, nutmeg, a lemon, and the other mandatory jam ingredients. I'm calling it my Sweethawt Cherry Jam.

I can't wait to eat this with CHEESE!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hosting a Dinner Party Tomorrow Night

Why is this causing me so much anxiety?!? This is crazy!

So I've decided on most of my menu, Italian themed.

Appetizer: Bruschetta, 2 or 3 kinds, probably goat cheese and caramelized onion, white bean, and the classic tomato

Main: rosemary and balsamic grilled chicken, pesto potato salad, and another veggie salad or zucchini rolls

Dessert: berries with either limoncello and mint or a vanilla limoncello cream and mint

Beverage: frosty lemon martinis (perhaps), shandies, and limoncello sodas (maybe)

Here's hoping it goes alright.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Herons and Beaver and Dead Livestock... Oh My!

Hello all! I know I haven't been updating you much lately, but I've been on vacation. I'm now on the tail end of my time off, unfortunately.

We bought kayaks this week! They are so great! I'm going to be taking some great pictures of them soon and will post. We kayaked today here in Fredericton for the first time. We've had them down and around by the camp at the lake, but today was the first time we went in town. What a trip!

We went up a river called the Nashwaak. We saw a blue heron just a few minutes into the trip, and we got really close until it flew away, but we kept seeing it all the way up the river. It was the most beautiful scenery, just like out of a movie. And the water was just like glass. So beautiful.

On our return from being up the river (we went about 2kms up), we saw a beaver swimming! I mean we see beaver a lot here, ;-), but I've never been this close to a beaver. We usually just see dams or beaver houses in marshes and bogs on the side of the highway or something, but I've never been this close to one. He was just swimming across the river. Then we saw one of his friends further down river actually propel himself up out of the water and slap his tail down on the water to alert the beavs that we were in the area! Very cool! Then the beaver closest to us did the same thing! They kept doing this until we went past them. It was awesome!

So, where does the livestock come in you may ask? Well we were just about to take the boats out of the water, and we were rounding a turn when I saw what looked like a rock, well kind of like a branch from a tree bent down and stuck on a rock. So I went close to investigate. Turns out the "rock" was a rump of a dead calf! The poor thing must have either died and fell in the river and got swept down and caught on this tree, or it got caught up in the flood and swept down river or whatever. It was awful! And smelled even worse! I've never seen a dead carcass like that before. Terrible, seriously traumatizing. I felt awful for the poor little thing.

That's all for today folks. Tune in again for another episode of "What the heck is that thing?"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Forget What I Said Earlier...

There's only one thing I can do to be best I can be. I'm becoming a Breatharian!


I'm Going to Be Who I Want to Be

I think it's time for me to fess up. Why I feel the need to do so, I'm not sure. This may be a long one.

For a long time now, I've been giving the impression that I am the person I want to be, that my life is what I want it to be. Well it's not true. Not at all. I've been living a bit of a lie, really.

I try to give the impression that my life is just what I want it to be, that my life is enviable. It isn't.

I work a lot, and I try to make that look somehow glamorous. It isn't. Truth is that I probably work so much to avoid a lot of things I'd rather not deal with.

I pretend I'm perfectly happy in my relationship with S. I'm not. We have a lot to work on, and it's only been recently that we've both owned up to that and we're really working on it. I will admit that it is more my issue than his (honestly). I'm lucky to have him, and he's lucky to have me too, but I really think we need to work on appreciating each other a bit more.

I let people think I'm in control of my life and that I'm emotionally checked in and stable. I'm not always like that at all. I allow my emotions to run in cycles - not a good thing to do. I bottle things up, then blow my top every once in a while. I'm working on that too. And sometimes I can't even explain why I feel the way I do. I'm going to look into whether or not there's something chemically wrong, and if there is, I'm going to deal with that.

So I've decided to become who I want to be. I'm going to work on being stronger, nicer, more laid back. More spontaneous and less anxious. I'm going to strive for making healthy eating, consistent exercise, and emotional control part of everyday life.

I'm working on it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I am SICK to death of this!

I am so tired of not being able to be even the littlest bit off plan without gaining like 2 lbs! I'm tired of it! I eat quite well, especially compared to other people, I exercise regularly. Why can't I have a slice of pizza without gaining weight? WHY?!?

I'm going to the doctor about it too. Something's just not right. It was never this hard before, and I'm at my wits end with it. I'm requesting hormone testing and a heart test. And she's going to get one scheduled for me. Period.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Can I HAVE a Bigger Crush on Matt Mays?!?

No, no I can't. He's great.

Matt Mays and the Black Crowes were awesome on Saturday night. It poured rain from the sky like I've never seen in June, but it didn't matter - it was great. I totally drank and ate way too much, but I don't do that very often, so whatever. I really needed the stress release.

Now, one more weekend of concert-going left! Moncton for Bon Jovi on Saturday night! Thanks for the tickets sister-friend!

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Weigh In Day

I've changed my weigh in day from Tuesday to Thursday.

I've been so frustrated with not losing, even though I'm really trying. I know it's only like 5 lbs, but they bug me and I want them gone again. So I'm going to play a mind game with myself. Switching my WI day to Thursday should force me to be a smarter eater on the weekend, which is usually the worst for me. We'll see how it goes.

This weekend we're going to see The Black Crowes (Saturday night) and Live (Sunday night)! Bands like this NEVER come to Fredericton, so we're pretty pumped about it. There are lots of other bands playing too, including Matt Mays and El Torpedo, and Age of Daze. It's supposed to rain all weekend (good for the garden), but it should still be fun!

Why did the turtle cross the road?

We don't know.

Last Saturday we headed down to St. John to see Cirque du Soleil. It was great. On the way down we're driving along (S and I, and sister and brother in law), and we see what looks like a rock in the middle of the highway. As we drive past, we realize it's a big turtle. Just hangin' out in the middle of the highway, waiting to be squashed. We turned around and Stephen jumps out of the car, grabs him and runs him off to the side of the highway to some water nearby. Poor little guy! A bus flew by a few seconds later. He just wouldn't have made it.

Wildlife conservationists we are!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tomatoes and Peppers and Herbs -- Oh My!

The garden is in! It took a LOT of time to finally finish, but I cannot wait until we get to reap what we have sown!

We planted: tomatoes (yellow boy, roma, tiny tims, beefmaster, and heirlooms), peppers (green bell, jalapeno, chocolate, and cherry pick), cucumbers, beans, peas, carrots, squash (sweet mama and buttercup), zucchini, watermelon (sweet baby), lettuce (romaine and simpson), spinach, beets, pumpkin, onions (spanish, red, and green). I think that's it.

And we have an abundance of herbs: cilantro, chamomile, chocolate mint, lavender, chives, garlic chives, thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, and lemon balm.

We are gonna be hooked up!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What I Think About When I'm Exercising

I have no idea where this post is coming from, but whatever. That's part of the beauty of having a blog.

What I think about when I exercise depends on a million factors like:

~ Whether or not there's something big that might be completely preoccupying my thought process to begin with,
~ How tired I am,
~ Whether or not I feel like exercising, or whether it's "forced",
~ The activity I'm doing, or
~ My environment

If there's something that I can't get off my mind, it doesn't matter when I'm doing, that's what I'll be thinking about. Relationship issues, family issues, work issues - if any of them rate an 8 or above on my immediate relevancy scale, that's what I'll be thinking about.

If I'm tired, all I'm going to think about is how hard it is to be doing what I'm doing, how I'd rather be on the couch reading, or in bed sleeping, or a million other things that require no energy.

If I want to be exercising, I feel great. If I'm in the mood for a run, I run straighter, faster, with better posture and a higher, longer step. If I feel forced into exercise, I'd might as well have stayed home.

If I'm kickboxing, I think about lots of things that are very different than when I'm running. I get out a LOT of frustrations during my kickboxing classes. I kick that bag HARD if I'm angry, or frustrated. Sometimes I think I'm an ultimate fighter and how tough that would make me, or what it would be like to be in a ring with some chick and having lots of other people watching me fight. Cool. And I'm always thinking of what challenge Andy will throw at us next. Andy's our uber-good-fighter instructor. He kicks our butts regularly.

If I'm running, and I'm in the mood for it, I think about how light I feel. How I could be a marathon runner, and how other people think it's so hard to run, but I can do it. I think about crossing a finish line, I think about the other runners I meet on the trail and how I need to look ultra-confident and fit when I pass them on the trail. I think about my form and how I look to other people who see me running.

What do you think about when you're exercising?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Wonders That Are... 100-Calorie Packs

I can't stand these things, and I want everyone to know it. Here's why:

1. Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT new products in those pouches. When you discover a new kind of 100-calorie pack, you haven't discovered a new product people. You've discovered an old product that's had a face lift, and divided into smaller pieces.

2. These things are crazy expensive, considering the amount of product you actually get. For instance, Craisins now come in 100-calorie packs. You get 8 packs of Craisins at 28.3g each (less than 1/3 cup). In the regular bag of Craisins, you get 170 grams. Which do you think is more expensive to buy?

3. The amount of packaging on these things is insane. I mean sure, you can recycle the cardboard box they come in, but the difference in packaging will cause Mother Nature to cough up a lung.

That's all, rant over.

Oh, and here's an interesting article to read:
CTV Article

Any comments? Any 100-calorie packs you can't live without?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Think My Arse Just Fell Off Back There!

This is what I'm thinking as I'm on my 6th kilometer of today's run. Holy monkey, this was a tough run for me.

We ran what is known as the outside loop of the 2 bridges here in Fredericton. Gorgeous run, almost all trail running, with a scoot across the walking bridge over the river. Beautiful. It's a total of 6.4km.

I guess I'm now part of a running group, which I swore I never would be. I always thought I'd have to run alone, since I think I'm slow. See, I have this issue where my heart rate tends to soar up to the near-200 beats mark and it forces me to slow down. I figure I'd probably pass out otherwise. So, no biggie to me, but I don't want to be the one at the back of the pack holding my other runner friends up. And yes, I've been to my doctor about this, and I'm fine.

Kickboxing class again tomorrow. I'm pumped!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tonight's Meeting Topic: Get Fit for Free

What do you all think? If you had loads of money to hire a personal trainer, sign up for any fitness initiatives you wanted, would you be more fit?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Watch Out for Wendy, That Tricky B*tch

PSA: Never trust a red-headed adult woman who wears her hair in pigtails (as seen in the photo, below):

She is one conniving little b*tch.

Recently, I went through a Wendy's drive thru to grab a quick dinner for Steve and I. I order him a burger combo, as I usually would. But instead of saying, "That'll be $7.19, please drive thru", the woman in the box says, "What size combo would you like?". Weird. I say, "medium". This is where she tricks me. It turns out that a medium, which I assumed was the old regular size, is actually a size up from the old size.

So, beware, if this is happening in your area, the SMALL is the old MEDIUM. Like we need bigger sizes and people tricking us into buying them. Sheesh!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kick That Bag!

That's what I spent 45 minutes doing yesterday, and it was awesome! I attended my first cardio thai kickboxing class last night. It rocked! I did however injure myself a bit, nothing serious, but both knees are purple and I busted a blood vessel on the top of my right foot. It was so worth it though. It went kinda like this:

Minute 1: Skip until your calves feel like they may seize up
Minutes 2-3: Skip while lifting your knees up
Minutes 3-4: Skip faster
Minute 5: Skip until you feel like your calves may explode, seriously
Minutes 6-8: Standing leg lifts
Minutes 8-10: Standing quick side kicks
Minutes 10-11: Pushups
Minutes 12-13: Walking pushups (I stared at my friend open-mouthed when he asked us to do this)
Minutes 14-15: More freakin' skipping
Minute 15-16: Plank

Minutes 17-40: Kickboxing! Various drills with the bag, punching, kicking, kneeing, super fun!

Minutes 41-45: See skipping interval above, and repeat
Minutes 46-50: Stretching, sweet sweet stretching

I would seriously recommend this workout to people looking for a real challenge! It was awesome!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Think You Gnome Me, Homey?

I'm going to bet that most of you don't know I'm a gardener. I think I do it mostly for the gnomes.

Today I took a vacation day to stay home with Stephen and get our garden plot ready for planting this weekend. I secretly stayed home to be able to do enough yard work and gardening to earn an ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone from Stephen's workplace. See, Steve's a gardener by profession. I'm just a good actress.

We will have a garden that is at least four times the size of last year's garden. We borrowed my dad's tiller and made us a nice plot. I CANNOT WAIT to plant it and watch it grow. I will be posting many many pictures.

Also stopped at a local greenhouse that was recommended by the wonderful woman who runs our doggie daycare. I will actually post a special post devoted to her tomorrow. I love her! Anyway, so the greenhouse was great, owned by a man who couldn't have been less than 117 years old. So cute. Once we told him Laura told us to stop by, we quickly became best friends. And he told us that everything they have is grown organically!!! YES! We will definitely be back! Today's purchase was a million pansies for my window boxes, for a total of $21.

The next couple of days will be mayhem. Steve's mother and her boyfriend (of a million years) are coming to stay for the weekend. They tell us it's to go fishing, but I find it hard to believe that anyone in their right mind would travel over 2 hours to go fishing when they live on the coast of the province. The last time they came down to go fishing, we caught one fish, one. And I was traumatized. I just don't think fishing's my thing. I'm not one to get up at 4.30am to sit on a riverbank and fight flies. Call me crazy. I do love the outdoors and fishing, provided someone will bait the hook and deal with touching any fish that might be dumb enough to land on my rod. That's about it though. So I'll probably take a novel.

This is what happened the last time:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today's Meeting Topic: Motivating Strategy

*Sigh* Such a difficult topic...

We all start out with a great attitude and all the commitment in the world when we get on the weight loss wagon. But, once the initial weight loss tapers off, many people drop out of Weight Watchers before they reach goal. Or once they reach their goal weight, many people don't even hang around long enough to reach Lifetime status. And some, after becoming a Lifetime member, start to slowly gain their weight back. Most often people blame this on having lost their motivation.

Motivation: whatever inspires you to do the things necessary to reach your weight goal and stay there.

"Last straw" incidents are important to get members started, but to sustain motivation they need to focus on the good feelings they'll get when they achieve what they want - which inspires them to take the necessary steps to achieve it.

So, have you left your motivation somewhere? What does it look like? Where can you find it again?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Life's Too Short Not to Eat Cake

Life's too short not to eat cake, or ice cream, or cheese. Really.

It amazes me to no end that people are willing to sacrifice good quality, delicious food for the sake of losing weight. Or that they are afraid to eat good food once they realize the amount of calories they're about to ingest. But you know what? Life really is too short not to eat these foods.

For me, it's cake, ice cream, cheese, wine, good bread, or good chocolate. Why would I deprive myself of those things? None of these things are deemed "bad" foods, as long as they're eaten in moderation. Well, cake is probably the worst of the bunch, but still isn't bad for you in moderation.

I had a WW member tell me once that she was at a birthday party one weekend and said no to a slice of cake. You want the punch line? It was her birthday! Yeah, HERS!

I felt awful about it, because I thought it was my fault, that somehow I had led her astray, or given her the wrong impression, or painted cake in a bad light. So I addressed the group of people the following week, just in general, to let them know that it's not one slice of cake that got us here, or even one slice a cake in the course of a week. It's lots of cake, after having eaten pizza and fries, or too many scoops of mashed potatoes, or a double serving of spaghetti. And it's a lifetime of these habits that landed us in a Weight Watchers meeting. It's NOT ONE TIME that gets us, it's a LIFETIME.

So eat cake people! Let's not deprive ourselves of the good foods we love. Just learn to make choices.

Life is just too short not to eat cake.

Wake up and smell the roses

Ah, the smell of the roses... I can't wait! Yesterday was a great gardening day, so we took full advantage of it.

I've decided to plant a hedge of roses and other lower lying white flowers along the driveway. We filled it in with natural mulch. It will look like the following:

OK, I can't get my diagram to post properly. How's about I just post pictures later? :-)

Anyway, the roses I chose (from left to right):
- Mellow Yellow, a light yellow hybrid tea
- Toro, a dark red hybrid tea
- Marina, a yellow-orange blend floribunda
- Iceberg, a white floribunda
- Intrigue, a mauve floribunda
- Chicago Peace, a yellow-pink blend hybrid tea
- another red one whose name escapes me right now

The smaller, shorter white flowers that will make up the background of the bed are called campanula white clips (or bellflower). I cannot wait until all of them start blooming!

I also potted all of my herbs yesterday. So far I have lemon balm, basil, cilantro, parsley, chamomile, thyme, and rosemary in pots, as well as chives, garlic chives, lavender, and chocolate mint planted in the ground from last year.

I love gardening season!

And we haven't even touched the veggie garden yet! EEK!

Friday, May 22, 2009



Yup, that's how many I took today, or so the peed-o-meeter says. And it's wrong and I know it.

New rule: No wearing the thing on my runs. I don't know why, but the steps just weren't being counted right. On a normal work day 10569 steps ain't too shabby, but when I park further away from the office to get more steps in AND I go for a run, this number should be higher. Crud.

Oh well, our team is still winning. If I can manage to get enough steps in to make up 1090km by the middle of October, I get a $50 gift card of my choice ya'll.

My Virtual Walking Tour of the Province

We have a new competition at work to virtually walk around the province, 1090km. I'm on a team of 5 who are trying to complete this.

So I bought myself a new WW pedometer. Very interesting. A bit expensive (even for me with a staff discount), but interesting. So far today, 2855 steps, which translates to about half an AP earned.

On another note, I've come to realize that I work very closely with a serious food snob. She thinks she knows everything about food, and is very VERY picky. Drives me nuts. So now I love proving her wrong. I know it's not right, but I'm just that kinda girl lately.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The 16 Days of Working -- Day 11

What day is it? Where am I? WHO am I?

We actually had a day off in the midst of the 16 days. We had Sunday off. Ahhhh... I got to hang out with my mom and my sister, and it was great. We went shopping. Bought myself a pair of chocolate brown wide-leg capris and a couple of cute shirts from R&W.

Got out running at lunch time. This is the only possible time I can get out running, on the days when there's nothing going on at the office (rare). So I took advantage of others being in meetings today, and went out. Went about 4.7km in 32 mins. Not too bad, considering I haven't been running in a week. I want to be able to finish a 5K in under 30 mins, comfortably, before the end of the summer. I'm pretty sure I'll make it.

Eating's on track so far, but even though I know I'm not hungry, I just want to eat! Ugh!

Hoping we get something good brought in for dinner tonight. It's getting tiring eating out every single night.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The 16 Days of Working -- Day 8

Wow, these are making for long days, especially when you're in the same room with the same people 12/7. Oy.

At least we finally got some fruit and veggie trays to much on today. Yay! For the most part, us ladies in the room all eat quite healthily, so that's good. It really reduces the amount of junk food that gets brought into the room.

I think we're taking tomorrow off too! Bonus! I'm hoping to get a little bit of activity in, considering I've done nothing for a week or so. It's discouraging. Fingers crossed for good weather!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The 16 Days of Working -- Day 6

This is the longest week of my life. I'm starting to crash at about this time of the day everyday now. It's awful. The only thing we look forward to is dinner. Sad.

I made myself get on the treadmill last night after my 12 hour workday. I ran for about 20 minutes, but faster than I usually do, to try to save time. I've been feeling a smidge guilty that I'm not getting regular exercise. Then instead of falling asleep quicker, I couldn't close my eyes until after midnight. Today everyone's telling me how tired I look. Um yeah, I'm tired. Surprised?

What's with all of this swine flu talk anyway? Why do people panic about these things?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The 16 Days of Working -- Day 3

I managed to make it to work by 8am - a small miracle, as I'm compulsively late for everything, at least a little.

I also peeked at the scale this morning and it shows me down 1 lb. Tomorrow is officially my weigh in day though, so I'll wait and see what it says then. After WI I'm going to adjust my points to have a stay the same week until the next couple of weeks are over with. I figure it's the best I can hope for.

People are already driving some of us nuts. The room we're all working in is a bit overheated due to all of the computers we have running. One girl (wearing a wool sweater) is already complaining of how hot it is. Um, ya think wool sweater girl? :-S

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The 16 Days of Working -- Day 2

Ugh, it is going to be so incredibly hard trying to eat healthily for the next two weeks.

This morning we went to Subway for breakfast. She told me it was delicious and I had never tried a breakfast sandwich from Subway before, so off we went. It proved to be a hilarious first time visit. It was the first time the girl working had opened a store in the morning. She didn't even have the register functioning, so we just got her to calculate our totals with a calculator from the back room. It was funny, but we felt pretty bad for her.

For lunch, Quiznos. To me, there's only 1 choice there anyway, the honey bourbon chicken. And it was good, but I'm burning through my daily points like a mad woman!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The 16 Days of Working -- Day 1

It's finally here! The first day of the 16 days, plus the 4 days from last week, if anyone's counting those.

I came in prepared. I bought myself lots of great groceries to have on hand for the time we're here, so that I can snack when I want and won't always only have the option of take out pizza and chinese.

Got myself:

Skinny Sticks
Baby Carrots
Skinny Cow Caramel Vanilla Bars
Almond Breeze
Optimum Slim Cereal
Canned Salmon
Ezekiel Bread
Pumpkin Seed Butter
Skim Milk
Dried Prunes

Now I can't wait to eat... *sigh*

Took the dog for a walk around the lake this morning too - it was gorgeous. Today's the warmest day we've had yet. *sigh*

Friday, April 24, 2009

The 16 Days of Working

Tomorrow is day 1 of 16 days of 12 hour shifts. Ugh!

The good news is that I will have lots of time to complain about it here.

Some bad news tidbits include: extreme exhaustion, whiny co-workers, take out food daily, no exercise time, no baking/cooking time, and no puppies at work.


My Dark Night

I suffer from depression. I don't publicize it, but I think I want to talk about it.

I have always been an over-thinker, to the point where I could exhaust myself, even as a child. My mother took me to doctors wondering what was wrong with me. I even had to be treated with medication to help turn my mind off so I (and my parents) could sleep at night. I worried incessantly, mostly about things most kids didn't even think about. It was really hard on my family, and it made it worse for me to find out that my younger sister wasn't like me. She was easy to deal with, and happy go lucky. It really made me feel like I was a burden on Mom and Dad. So I would try to be more like my sister and internalize my anxiety, which made it that much worse when I found out I couldn't internalize it for long and had outbursts of emotion. It wasn't easy for me to make and keep good friends. I spent a lot of my time alone, drawing or reading.

I was a fat kid too, constantly being subjected to open criticism from my peers. The first time I tried to lose weight, I was 12. A baby really. And it hardly worked. It was horrible.

As I got older, I learned to handle my feelings a bit better. I'd say the most comfortable I was with myself was in high school, when I had the most friends. I met my best girl friend when we were almost in high school, and I had finally found a friend I could trust. *Love ya Ky* I also met my first serious boyfriend, who was good to me. *Thanks Dan* But the rest of my friends were toxic.

When it came time to go to university, the misery returned. My best friend and I were going separate ways, since I didn't think I could handle being too far away from home. I was going to be alone again, left with the group of toxic friends.

Surprisingly though, I made some friends quickly, something that was necessary to survive in my faculty. The next 5 years were a real test for me. I had my first bout of debilitating depression. I self-medicated a lot with alcohol and whatever dose of anti-depressants I felt like taking on any given day. I had a boyfriend that was more emotionally unhealthy than I was. I learned all about the evils of binging and purging. My friends mistreated me and took advantage of me. I'm still not sure how I survived, seriously.

Finally something happened. I still don't know how, or what, but something changed. I started sticking up for myself. I didn't let my friends walk all over me anymore. I told them how I felt, and most of them rejected me. Not that I didn't think they would. So I left my house in the city and moved back in with my parents for a while. It was another very difficult time, since I felt so alone. But I was alone with those friends anyway, so ultimately I was better off. While I lived with my parents I reconnected with lots of friends from my past, and lots of new friends.

Geez, this must be boring to read.

Anyway, things started looking up for me. Ridding myself of my toxic friends was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I still miss some of them, but I'm not willing to put myself in that position ever again. I bought my first house in the country, lost 70 lbs, met Stephen, I sold my house, we moved in together in the city, bought another house, got the dog.

I still live in fear though. Fear that the depression will return, that my life isn't what I really want, that I'm not living up to my potential, that I'm in the wrong career. I'm unsure of what I want, and I feel like time is running out for me. Sometimes I'm uncomfortable with my own thoughts and feelings, and that's just not a great place to be.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Joel Plaskett Was Awesome!

What a great show last night!

He was so painfully and wonderfully maritime! And funny! And incredibly slight.

He had his dad Bill, Rose Cousins, and Anna Egge playing with him. They're all joining him on this tour. Last night was only his second stop too, so if he's playing near you I strongly encourage you to go see him. Really entertaining.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My 100 Miles

There's a new show on the Food Network on Sundays called 'The 100 Mile Challenge'. We've been watching it, and finding it very interesting. It's really made me much more aware of how I can support and find local farmers.

So this map shows my 100 miles. We have lots available to us in our area, or so we realized after looking. We even have an organic flour mill in Speerville!

Lose Weight Through Vibration?

T-Zone Vibration Technology:


Apparently people are paying $60/month to use these machines. One of my members told me about this last night at the meeting. Her sister does this. And she says her muscles hurt after being on it as if she just worked out. And she's lost 27" all over her body. Really? Please note: this woman's sister hasn't actually lost any weight. And I guess if you measure every part of your body you can, you're going to see a bit of a difference, aren't you? They might be measuring her at 40 different spots!

Apparently this stimulates your muscles without you knowing it. Didn't Bruce Lee develop some kind of machine like this after he was in an accident?

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Confessions of a Splenda Junkie

After long last, I've finally made it back to goal. FINALLY. And I did it after reading a great book, and taking the advice I always give to my WW members. When my members reach a plateau, they usually grab me after a meeting and hit me up about what to do. The conversation usually goes like this:

Member: "I need to ask you something. I'm staying OP all week, and it seems like no matter what I do I just can't lose any weight - can you help me?"

*Please note: this member always looks like they've either been hit by a truck and didn't mind it, or they look like they would rip a chocolate bunny out of the hands of a six year old, then proceed to bite Mr. Krispy's ear off right in front of this child. Sometimes I let out a little giggle when they look me in the eye, to hide my fear.

Me: "Are you getting in your fruits and veggies, and the rest of your healthy food servings?"

The member ALWAYS says yes.

Me: "Then you have to take a good look at the foods you're eating other than your healthy choices. Are you eating enough? Are you eating your Flex and activity points?"

The answers vary, but this is often where the ugly truth comes out. Usually people are filling their days with 100-calorie packs, or they aren't eating enough. I stress to them that it's really important to take a look at the quality of the calories they're taking in, not just the amount.

Every time I struggle with a plateau I learn something. This time I had to take my own advice and look at what I was eating. This, in combination with Jillian's new book, are what finally got me back to losing the extra 10 lbs I've been carrying around since fall. I was eating a lot of chemical crap - diet pop, artificially sweetened EVERYTHING.

So I went back to basics, eating whole foods. No artificial anything. And it actually WORKED. And it's for good, forever. I'm not going back to being a Splenda junkie.

Since I'm a huge foodie, you wouldn't think that I'd try to scrimp and scrape by on low calorie alternatives for real food, would you? Well I did. And it didn't pay off. My food tasted worse and ended up stockpiling chemicals in my body. NOT GOOD.

Now that I've rid myself of the Splenda, the extra weight seems to be falling off, without a whole lot of effort on my part - a big change from a month ago where everyday was a struggle and I wasn't losing an ounce. In fact, I was gaining.

Eating Chemicals + Exercising = Gaining Weight Anyway -> BAD

Eating Real Food + Moderate Exercise = Losing Weight Without Thinking About It-> GOOD

And, to top it off, I haven't had a pimple since I made the change! That is huge for me.

So sing it with me girls, "Don't you put it in your mouth..."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year, Fresh Commitment - Confession Time

I'm recommitting this year. I've gained 15 lbs. I feel like a fake. I'm not happy about it.

I bought new gym equipment for our home gym. I'm weight training starting tonight. I have everything I need to do this.

I'm doing it today.