Thursday, February 28, 2019

Learning Florida History

I can tell you a lot about Michigan history and the influence of the French fur traders and the Jesuits, but in my new state, I don't know a whole lot beyond Ponce de Leon.  On Monday, I went on a tour of a beautiful spot just up the road called Historic Spanish Point.  It was a nice day to walk around and soak up the history, that ranged from shell mounds that date to 300 AD, pioneer life in Florida as part of the Homestead Act after the Civil War and finally the facinating story of Bertha Honore' Palmer, a Chicago heiress and one of the first official snowbirds.  There were stories of burial mounds, cattle ranches, orange groves and million dollar real estate deals that made Sarasota what it is today.

We walked on trails through the thick tropical vegetation, imagining clearing it without power tools.  There were no roads, so travel and shipping of the orange crops was by boat on Sarasota Bay.  The homesteaders picked the spot for its beauty, but the early native Americans picked it for its abundance of shellfish and protection from hurricanes due to its sheltered position on the Gulf.  The plants, trees and restored buildings were beautiful and it's a place I would love to visit again.  And, as an added bonus, now I know the historical significance of the names of the streets I drive every day.

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Slow and Steady

Yesterday held a significant milestone in my journey towards better health.

Over the past nine years, since my diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes, I have been all in on changing my
lifestyle and becoming more healthy.  It's been a slow and steady process that includes diet, exercise
and stress reduction. Along with improved A1c numbers, (3 month blood glucose average) I have
continued to lose weight over the nine years.  Yesterday, I hit my goal weight.  I have never gone up more than a couple of pounds in that time and I might hit a plateau here and there, but the weight has continued to fall off.   I think now that I have reached this goal, I may even work at losing another 5 pounds.

How did I do it?

Diet and Medication

It's important to ask your doctor to prescribe weight lowering diabetic medication, rather than weight
gaining if possible.  They might not tell you, but there is a difference.

My diet is one that has evolved over the years and I do not deprive myself of anything.  I eat
breakfast, a small snack, a later lunch that has the majority of my daily carbs and a light dinner or
protein/carb snack.  I count carb servings all day.  If I want dessert, I have it.  But, it will be a small piece of cake, one cookie or maybe even just a few bites.  Low carb ice cream, Bai coconut water and Truvia for baking are my secret weapons.

Wine does not really effect my blood sugar, but bananas send it soaring.  You learn what works for you.  I rarely snack and having given up caffeine a few years ago, do not drink much soda.  I used to drink regular coke and can't even imagine drinking one now.


Immediately after my diagnosis, I started to walk at least 5 days every week.  I also stared yoga
which I love and has helped me build strength.  Since moving to Florida, there is no excuse not to get
outside.  Year around golf is a wonderful perk. I will never be one to go to the gym, but the important
thing is to move each day.  I also exercise later in the day to help my overnight blood sugar spikes.
My goal for this year is to try some new kind of exercise, like a Barre class.

Stress Reduction

This is probably the hardest to acheive, because life happens to us all.  But, I have learned to distance myself from things that cause stress, sometimes taking a step back if needed.  I quit my job when I could see what it was doing to my blood sugar levels and while not realistic for all, reduce that stress any way you can.

Yoga is a great way to acheive peace for the hour during the practice, as well as the way that peace stays with you.

 I hate the words self care, but it works.

There are no quick fixes to good health, but I am here to tell you it can be done if you are willing to make even some small changes.

Happy Thursday!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Weeknight Minestrone Soup

There are a lot of ways to get your veggies everyday, but my very favorite is in a delicious bowl of soup.  I saw this recipe for Weeknight Minestrone Soup on the Instagram stories of Lemon Grove Lane .  She talks a lot about healthy eating and I find her really inspirational.  I was especially drawn to this recipe, since it was filled with veggies and substituted a couple of potatoes for the pasta you often find in minestrone.  It also has carrots, celery, green beans, tomatoes and spinach.

The original recipe called for rainbow chard, but my neighborhood Publix did not have it, so I used the same amount of spinach.  I didn't have the Parmesean rind either, but added a handful of grated Parmesan at the very end.

This recipe is billed as easy enough for a week night, and I would agree.  The hardest part was the
chopping, but after you have everything ready to go in the soup pot, you basically simmer until the veggies are done.  I added the spinach at the very end, so it would not be over cooked.  You can find the original recipe here.  It's healthy and delicious; my favorite combination. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Out and About

It's been a busy few days, but so much fun.  You know how some days you are content to stay home and relax and other days, especially when the weather is beautiful, you want to be out and about as much as possible.  There is so much to do here and even the most simple things become special when there are palm trees, sunshine and water views in your sight.  I think I will let the photos and captions tell the story, even though I am missing photos from the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning (I bought some fresh Shrimp Ceviche that was to die for) and my early afternoon at the pool on Sunday.   
Life is good in Florida.

Book Group on Thursday night.  We have progressed to wine, snacks and a much larger group.  The book we discussed, The Great Alone, was one of the best books I have read in awhile.  It's very intense, but one that stays with you after you finish. 

On Friday, I was invited to go on a home and garden tour with a few ladies from my neighborhood.  
We saw some really pretty and interesting homes, both historical and new, but all with unique Florida 
style.  The last home, right on the Intercoastal Waterway, with views of the Gulf of Mexico as well, was three stories of fabulous.  We enjoyed a glass of wine after the tour to make it a most enjoyable day.

Late Sunday afternoon, we headed to St. Armands Circle in Sarasota for a little shopping, drinks and dinner.  It's a lovely spot and we found just the thing we were looking for.  We are still enjoying finding house decor with the coastal vibe we love.  My margarita was good and the sunset at Lido Beach was even better.

Happy Monday!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Tropical Super Bowl Weekend

A Super Bowl weekend that included a day at the beach with good friends visiting from Michigan.  What's not to love about that?  We headed about one hour north on Saturday, to the Clearwater Beach area and spent the day in the sun at a condo just steps from a white sandy beach.  We drank tropical drinks, had a barbeque, played some beach games and generally caught up with each other. We love living in Florida, but it is far away from our friends and family.  Days like this, where friends visit, remind us that though we don't live in the same state any longer, the connection is always there and really just a plan trip away, either direction.

Sunday night we went to a Super a Bowl party with some Florida friends and it was so nice to enjoy the game poolside.  The game itself was not the most exciting, but the company was good and it was fun to comment on the commercials and the halftime show with a group.  We had one Patriots fan and the rest were ambivalent, but we picked squares that paid each quarter, so that kept our interest.  

The dessert tray I took was a hit, and included Oreo Brownies, Lemon Squares and Chocolate Chip Squares.  When asked to bring dessert, I like to bring small bites, rather than a bigger dessert.  I find people will turn down a big slice of cake, but usually will say yes to a cookie.

Happy Monday!

{ Linking with these friends}

Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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