over fifty

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

A healthy-hot breakfast and crazy-busy schedule are no longer incompatible concepts. Fast food chains have heard the cry of the multitudes and there are more options available than ever before to eat well – even when you’re in a hurry. So if you don’t have the time, or the ingredients, to put together something warm and tasty before you head out the door, here are 5 breakfasts to try from one of the fast-food chains you pass on your way to your busy day. Click on the pictures for the nutrition details.

1. Starbucks – it’s not just for coffee anymore. Skip the sugary beverages and filler-up with the Egg and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich. A whole-wheat English muffin with egg and cheese satisfies for about 280 calories. Add a plain cup of coffee or tea and breakfast is served!

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

2.  Fast doesn’t have to equal sandwich. McDonald’s offers Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. Ordered without the brown sugar, it’s still sweet from the fresh and dried fruits as well as the light cream. It’s a great vegetarian option!

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

3. Coffee and no donuts. But you won’t feel deprived with Dunkin’ Donut’s Egg White and Cheese Wake-up Wrap. Amp it up with an iced Caramel Latte Lite on the side and you’re still under 360 calories! The wrap is just one of the under-400 calorie options on the new DD Smart menu.

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly4.  Get your sweet on. If you’re looking for something sweet without breaking the calorie bank, try the French Toast Sticks at Burger King. With it’s 1-oz syrup mate it comes in at about 350 calories and a surprisingly low (275mg) sodium count.

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

5. If you have a bit more time, Panera has some good choices. An interesting 300-calorie option is the Almond Quinoa Oatmeal. Steel-cut oats are topped with quinoa, honey, cinnamon and the satisfying crunch of toasted almond slices.

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

5 to Try for Breakfast on the Fly

5 Last Minute No-Eat Treats for Your Valentine

5 Last Minute No-Eat Treats for Your Valentine

Whether you lost track of time or you just added a new Valentine-recipient to your list, you are not stuck with sugary snacks or overpriced flowers as gift options. It doesn’t matter if  your Valentine is 5 or 50, there’s a little something on this no-eat sweet treat list that you still  have time to get!

  1. Gummy Bear Scented Blueberry Earbuds. Toys R Us sells them for under $8.

Last Minute Valentines

2. Conversation Heart Pillow. The one pictured was found online (click picture for site), but variations can be found at Barnes and Noble, Target, Claire’s, and Nordstroms.

Last Minute Valentines

3. Cupcakes that serve a purpose. Memo pads, sticky notes, and notepads come in a variety of cupcake options that are perfect for some sweet notes! Shop party supply stores, dollar stores, toy stores and big box stores. While you’re at the party store, pick up a bag of Valentine pencils. Gift alone, add a few to accompany your memo pad offering, or divide into ribbon-tied bundles to be presented to multiple Valentines.

Last Minute Valentines

 

Last Minute Valentines

4.  Sweet socks. Not to be confused with “sweat socks.” The pictured trio is from Kohls.

Last Minute Valentines

5. Soaps that look good enough to eat.  You can find delicious-looking soaps in stores that sell bath and kitchen supplies, but if you’re feeling crafty, check out this video to whip up your own batch of not-to-eat sweet treats!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce

Last Minute Valentines

Friday Flash – Motivation

As you head into the weekend, keep heading toward that goal you have set for yourself. Don’t let slow progress discourage you. Little steps add up for big results! It’s about always moving forward – you can’t achieve a goal without first moving toward it. The thing to remind yourself is to

Friday Flash - Motivation

National Pie Day – January 23

National Pie DayThere are actually two annual pie days in our calendar – how lucky are we!!! Pi Day, the celebration of the mathematical constant π, takes place on March 14 as 3, 1 and 4 are the first three digits of π. OK all you Math Lovers – mark this day on the calendar for some wacky Pi fun!!!

The other national pie day is celebrated tomorrow, January 23 and was created simply to celebrate the edible pie. As near as we can tell, this day became a ‘holiday’ in the mid-1970s when Charlie Papazian, from Boulder CO declared it so. The American Pie Company took up sponsorship of this national day in 1986.

For more pie history, check out these two sites for starters – Time’s history of Pies and the Pie Council. You may find yourself wandering all through the annuls of pie history if you are part-time foodies like we are.

January is a perfect time to enjoy the comfort of either a savory or a sweet pie. The weather outside (at least here in Michigan) is frightful! A warm, delicious smelling and tasting dinner, or dessert, is welcome relief.

022I recently made my first homemade, from scratch, pie crust and all, chicken pot pie. I was going to be out-of-town for the weekend and this was something that could be re-heated for those left at home. I was surprised at how wonderfully delicious it was. The kitchen was an absolute disaster, but I learned a few things that will make it easier next time – because this pie was fabulous and there will definitely be a next time!!

I used Ina Garten’s recipe with a few adaptations. She also has a version that uses lobster – yes please!!! You can personalize your pie as well and include veggies you know your family will enjoy if they turn up their noses at peas and carrots (although Forest Gump believes they are a natural and perfect combination – just like him and Jenny).

Here are a few other ideas for celebrating whether savory or sweet suits your fancy! Click on the pictures to get recipes from the sites in which we found these delicious items.

  • Fried Green Tomato Pie: Made the summer before last when I was left with way too many unripe tomatoes in my garden. This was WONDERFUL!!!Fried Green Tomatoe Pie
  • Classic Sour Cherry Pie : I usually have some cherries left over from summer time picking to allow for out of season enjoyment.

Classic Sour Cherry Pie

  • Empanadas: Some would argue that these are not true pies as they are fried and not baked. However, they do involve dough and filling and could even be baked if one desired so….pie it is – say we!

EmpinadaPicture by Stu Spivak

  • Greek Chicken Phylo Dough Pie: I believe this would also be good with beef or pork – yummy!

Greek Chicken Phyllo Pie

  • St. Patty’s Apple Pie: This one could be saved for use in March for a Pi Day Celebration in combination with St. Patty’s Day!

St. Patty's Day Apple Pie

With the variety of pies listed above, it would seem that pies really do allow for creativity and ownership. As we start the new year, we certainly encourage celebrations of each of those traits.

Enjoy your weekend and may you find time for pie eating at its finest!

3 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Make – and Keep!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

There are two types of New Year’s Resolutions. First, the ones that you are making again (lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, get organized, stop procrastinating, blah, blah, blah) Second, the ever popular I-resolve-NOT-to-make-New-Year’s-Resolutions resolution. Both categories are so tired, they should be permanently retired! We are ready for a new-and-improved New Year’s Resolution category – resolutions we look forward to keeping! Here are three that fit nicely into our new category.

  1. The Jar. This idea has been circulating in various forms for the past couple of years and I expect it will be around for years to come – because the results are so positive. The simple premise is you leave a container in a place that you see often and drop in notes throughout the year to commemorate moments, events, thoughts  – whatever you want. At the end of the year you read your notes. I did it this year for the first time, and my husband and I will read through the notes as part of our stay-at-home New Year’s Eve celebration. Our jar was a simple quart canning jar that I left on the kitchen counter – in spite of the fact that it matched nothing! I put a couple of mini notepads inside as well as a pen so that it was convenient to write our notes. I remember some of the notes I dropped in over the past year – a surprise visit from a dear friend, a stupid joke that had us laughing until our eyes watered, the trio of goats that showed up in our back yard. What I’m really looking forward to is reading over the notes I forgot about – and appreciating the moments all over again! As the months went on we found ourselves talking about “a laugh that will make the jar” and referring to events as a “jar moment.” Writing the notes not only magnify the appreciation of what is good or special in the moment, it records a memory to be enjoyed again later. And all for zero cost and a time investment of occasional minutes!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

2. A year of Christmas Spirit. One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is it seems to soften hearts and promote generosity. Giving and acts of kindness are at an all-time high during the month of December. Soup kitchens are overrun with volunteers wanting to help serve and an abundance of carolers cheer up nursing home residents. Then comes January, and everyone is all niced-out. But the needs of others don’t get put on hold until the next holiday. And our own need to get outside of ourselves and help others (which can put our own problems and challenges in perspective) doesn’t end when the last holiday decoration is boxed up. Calendar in a monthly act of kindness, generosity, or encouragement. Whether it is twelve months of support for a specific charity (rocking babies, sorting books, serving food, . . . ), twelve different selections (sending a note of encouragement to somebody, mowing another’s lawn, putting a potted plant on a neighbor’s porch . . . ) or something in between, it’s all good. Not only do others benefit from your resolution, but studies show that such acts of kindness benefit the doer physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The ultimate win-win!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll Want to Make - AND Keep

3. Blast back to your past. Commit to a year of lightening up, letting your inner child have a playdate, and go retro. Make a monthly date with yourself (or with a pal) to take a step back in time with something you enjoyed from the past. Whether you  schedule an activity (bowling? swinging at a playground?), watching a movie from “the day” (anybody remember Parent Trap?) or indulging in that blast-from-the-past treat (helloooooo Sander’s Bumpy Cake!!), be intentional about staying young at heart!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

Set yourself up for success and productivity by making a New Year’s resolution (or three!) that you will look forward to keeping!

 HERE’S WISHING YOU YOUR BEST YEAR EVER! HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!

5 Fast, Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

blog2 edible christmas trees

Looking for a festive addition to your holiday buffet that offers a tasty alternative to sugar-laden treats? Here are 5 colorful options that are fast, festive and easy on the calories. Presenting: EDIBLE CHRISTMAS TREES!

The kiwi tree comes complete with ornaments – with very little assembly required!

5 Fast, Fit and Festive Christmas Foods

If you want a little more drama, start with a styrofoam cone and some toothpicks to have your tree go vertical. Berries, melons, kiwis – plenty of fruit options to make your own masterpiece!

Fat Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

For those impromptu gatherings, you probably have the ingredients for a vegetable tree in your fridge already. Sliced pepper stems, cauliflower tree lights, broccoli floret greens all make great substitutions for the cucumber/carrot/tomato version shown. While a click on the picture gets you to the site it originated from, I couldn’t find the specific link for this  tree. I suspect you’ll be okay on this one without specific instructions!

Fast Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Tree

Does it get easier than a one-fruit tree that’s naturally decorated in Christmas colors?? Click on the picture for Eating Vibrantly’s suggestion on attaching the “tree trunk.”

Fast Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

These pita trees are a great choice for an appetizer to contribute to the office party or family potluck. You will arrive knowing that no matter what is on the buffet, you have a great choice to snack on. They look artful and the recipe is an easy mix of seasoning, fat-free sour cream and guacamole. This substantive finger-food is a calorie bargain at only 30 per tree!

Fast Fit Festive Edible Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees never tasted so good!

Make Me Laugh!

MakeMeLaugh

It’s Friday!!! Best way to celebrate is with some humor! (Maybe we should change this to Monday Morning Mood Makers!!). Any who – enjoy the following Friday Funnies – in no particular order.

  • In honor of our weight loss journey

Zero to Eight

  • Just because it made me laugh

OCD

  • Because I recently had to show my granddaughter how to play solitaire after she lost electronic privileges.

Solitaire

  • Because it reminded me of some of the ‘hearing (loss)’ funnies shared at our house lately.

Recipe Error

Birthday Suit

We feel you are now sufficiently (and possibly inappropriately) armed and dangerous and ready to enjoy the weekend (like that never happens!).

12 Ways You’ll Know I’m Close to Goal Weight

blog2 goal weight

I thought I’d beat the New Year’s rush and get started on a weight-loss program before the holidays. I’m not one of those people who tries every diet that comes along. No – I know exactly what works. It’s as simple as less calories in, more energy out. So what a rude awakening it was to discover that knowing what works isn’t enough – apparently one has to actually do what works. Ugh!

I am a grown woman – I can “just do it,” right? Well, that is what I kept telling myself. The mantra works in so many other areas of my life, but no matter how much I mentally beat myself up for not having more “willpower,” I could not “just do it.” It was quite humbling to have to admit that I need external assistance if I’m going to change things. So I mentally reviewed my distant past, when I looked my best, and asked myself what was different back then. It didn’t take me long to figure it out. Accountability. The buddy system. Having someone who counted on me as much as I counted on them to keep heading toward the goal. But I don’t have close friends nearby, I no longer live in a neighborhood where I can recruit a neighbor to walk, nor do I have a schedule that allows for driving to a gym 2-3 times a week. By necessity, I got a little creative. I called a professional friend who had recently had a total knee replacement and worked in an office a few blocks from my own office. Having had two total-knee replacements myself in the past couple of years, I pitched the idea of doing something to protect our new knees.

I am a life-time member of Weight Watchers – a feat achieved three decades ago while in my twenties. Not that the organization would claim me as a spokesperson at this point, mind you. One of the reasons the habits learned back then may not have really taken is because I had a bad attitude. Well, maybe more arrogant than bad. My twisted logic included premises such as on weigh-in day I could splurge because I had six days left to “fix it” before the next weigh-in.

12 Ways You'll Know When I'm Close to Goal Weight

But I’m older and wiser now, with  a new and improved attitude! I know the program really boils down to making wise food choices that include variety and moving more. It has the built-in accountable-to-self component with the weekly weigh-in and I  had found somebody who had a common goal, thus creating that mutual accountability component. So now I am ready to head, once again, toward the feeling-my-best coveted “goal weight.” I remember well the excitement felt as clothes became loose, energy increased and I closed in on that reasonable number that both my body and wallet (no more payments when you maintain goal weight) would thank me for. I also remember how those last few ounces seemed to mockingly hang around, delaying the big day, and the weigh-in-day creativity of members who were mere breaths away from “goal weight.” So I’m already planning ahead for success. Here are twelve ways you will know that I am ounces away from the magic number:

  1. My eyebrows are plucked into commas;
  2. My legs are shaved despite the fact that there’s snow on the ground;
  3. My short hair just got shorter;
  4. I turn down coffee on weigh-in day;
  5. There’s only a white stripe where the wedding ring I hadn’t taken off for 38 years used to be;
  6. My skin is hot pink from having the top layer loofahed off;
  7. My fingernails have been trimmed to almost nonexistence;
  8. I seem to be flossing my teeth excessively;
  9. My face is make-up free;
  10. I’m going sockless in spite of my mother’s lifetime warnings about how doing so ruins your shoes;
  11.  I refuse to put a band-aid on a profusely bleeding papercut;
  12. I’m pulling lint out of my pockets.

So if you run across me and I’ve got a smile and a swagger, don’t let the pink skin and the funky eyebrows fool you – it will mean that I’m enjoying some sweet success!

What weight-loss program, plan or tips work for you?

More Friday Five Funnies (Vol. 3)

More Friday Five Funnies 3

We’re ready for a little down time after a hectic week! We figured that might work for you, too – so we’re sending you into the weekend with a few chuckles. We have plucked 5 favorites off our Facebook page that have been posted since our debut sampling of FB funnies and the summer update smiles. Enjoy!

Friday Five Funnies

 

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Facebook page yet, drop by for a visit. We hope you LIKE it!

5 Ways to Put a Smile on Someone’s Face

5 Ways to Put a Smile on Someone's Face

“Be the reason someone smiles today.” Seeing that slogan pop up on social media regularly attached to lovely pictures and happy faces can fade into visual noise after a while. But it’s a terrific daily goal to set. Being the reason someone smiles benefits you as much – or more – than the recipient of your kindness. Oh, I know you’re not kind to get the physical, emotional, and spiritual lift that studies indicate doing good for others result in, but those are wonderful side effects, don’t you think?

Putting a smile on someone’s face is  as easy as offering a compliment or encouraging word. If you want to add a little creativity to the mix, here are 5 more ways to light up someone’s day:

  1. Give the compliment they can carry with them. Type out compliments on some make-your-own colorful business cards that can be found at office supply stores. Smile-inducing statements like: You have a beatiful smile! and That color looks wonderful on you! and Most fun shoes I’ve seen all day! and You are great at your job! Put a rubber band around your stack, carry them with you, and pass them out generously as “needed” throughout the day!
  2. Give a moment of your time. Next time you get good service at a restaurant, fast food place, hardware store, etc., ask to speak to the manager. They will be pleasantly surprised to be summoned for a positive reason and the employee may get props. A couple of days after letting a Best Buy manager know how an employee went above and beyond to offer assistance on, as we found out after the fact, the employee’s day off, we returned to the store. There in the Best Buy entryway was a framed picture of our awesome helper with a sign that proclaimed him “Employee of the Month.” Quite a payoff for a few minutes of time!
  3. Give the unexpected. Pick up some flowers while you’re grocery shopping – a little bouquet or mini-potted roses from the floral section most stores have now. After you pay for them, hand them to the person behind you in line and tell them to have a nice day. You’ll both end up smiling!
  4. Give them a reminder. Let that person whose company you enjoy, but rarely get to connect with, know you’re thinking of them. Use social media to send a bright picture (maybe of something they collect or a place you visited together?) with your just-because-I’m-thinking-of-you message. Sending a text or leaving a voicemail can be just as effective. Recently I remembered an adventure (okay, more of a misadventure) a friend and I had shared years ago and I called her to tell her how it still cracked me up. I deliberately called at a time I didn’t think she’d answer so that she would get the surprise message. I couldn’t get through the message without laughing as I recounted the memory. Which made her laugh when she received it. Mission accomplished!
  5. Give a blast-from-the-past. Send a hand-written thank you note to someone who has touched your life by some act they wouldn’t expect a thank you for. That wonderful role model, or a person whose wise advice has stayed with you, or someone who inspired you to take action. You know – that person who puts a smile on your face just by thinking of them. It’s your turn the make them smile!

Mary Tyler Moore isn’t the only one “who can turn the world on with her smile”* – we ALL have that power. Let’s go forth and use it well!

5 Ways to Put a Smile on Someone's Face

*If you did not recognize that reference, it may indicate that you aren’t in your fifties – please know that you are still welcome here!