Sunday, May 31, 2015

Just a quicky!

Bonjour from Rivière-du-Loup (Quebec),

After spending last night in the hotel, today we are going to drive all the way back home. For lunch, we are going to do a side trip to my hometown, Québec city, but other than wave to the people, we are going to just drive throu.

Tomorrow we are going back to the health journey, can't way to see more fruits and vegetables. We are going to take a few days off to chill as we are both tired. If anyone need help in the next month with moving, we are NOT available. (I'll find an excuse later on LOL)

I can see my wife giving me the eyes, she is getting the suitcase ready for our imminent departure. So enjoy your last day of vacation from me ha ha ha

Saturday, May 30, 2015

I have sinned

Forgive me father, I have sinned!
Darkness put her painted claws in me again
Her vision drowns like service wine
Whispered kisses so divine
I was blessed but now I've come undone...
I was not an angel but I was good
Refined sugar found its way into my coffees.
Two tea spoons a day, I was weak
I was sweet less but now I've come undone...

If this was my only sin, I would keep my chin up
Wine and beers I have consumed
I drank so much of it that I drowned
I was alcohol free now I've come undone...

The last but not the least of sin
I listened to the fries calling
I ate them knowing they were forbidden
I was spud-less now I've come undone...

At least I didn't murder anyone
This shall be my redemption?
But I know I'm only diverting
As I confess while drinking one more sinful coffee!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Millionaire at Fifty Five

I want a man who's kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?”
- Zsa Zsa Gabor


 You just can't built a one million nest egg without breaking some.

This week, I looked at my account, I had over 1,000,000!

They say that the first one million is the hardest to earn. I'm retired now so a nice cool million in my account will surely bring me a lot of dividend for the next years or so.
I'm not going to turn into a snob, but if you haven't gain a million yet, you might not get every thing I'm saying...
Please don't judge me because my nose is up in the air; I'm just following my personal physio advice to keep my shoulder back. The nose just follow the shoulder lead!
Being a millionaire is not for every one, I get that. Some people just drag their feet and don't get as far as they could have, I'm not judging, it's life (anyway it's how, us millionaire, see things)
Maybe I'm a little too cocky, I'm already working on getting the next million, that would be something to be bi... billionaire that is!
From now on, I'll considered myself an accomplished expert on accumulating so much wealth. I'll even going to give you all one of the secret, FREE OF CHARGE. Are you ready?
Get a good pair of running shoes, this will be the only limousine you need to walk over a million steps in 2 and a half months.
My latest merit badge from Vivofit.
Can you imagine if I had had a dollar for every steps I took... how much would that be again?


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Physiotherapist or Angel

Last week, when I visited my doctor, my quality of life was in question. According to the X-Rays and the reports, he said I would have to manage my pain as this was a degenerative condition. “It will not get better. From now on you have to restrict yourself to activities for the elderly” was his recommendation.
Less than 5 minutes to be told life would not improve. My effort to get in better health was not making a difference. This was a heavier weight to carry than the extra 40 pounds I lost! I was down but there was nothing I could do about it, I had to accept my faith. I was not complaining, I had already lived such a rich life, had so many great experiences that a lot of people might only get to read about and dream of having. I had no regrets!
Yesterday when I met my angel, hidden in a physiotherapist outfit, all I really wanted to know was what were the limits brought by my condition. What exercises could I do to slow down the degeneration.
I spent over an hour with her, a good part of that was answering her questions. She wanted to get the whole picture. She then explained exactly what I'm facing as far as the shoulder tendinitis is concerned. Connected to the shoulder is the muscle which goes down to my back. It doesn't seem like the recent pain in my back is from my mild case of Osteoarthritis after all.
For my back, there are 2 things at play. My shoulder tendinitis and my loss of weight. My weight loss is a front loaded loss and she compared my previous weight to that of a pregnant women. If you look at the posture of pregnant women, they arch backward to support the belly. Probably because of my belly, I was doing exactly that. But I didn't get the delivering relief that the ladies get after nine months ha ha, I carried that extra weight for over 20 years. Now without that weight, my posture changed, my shoulders and back are no longer compensating for a heavy belly and I’m leaning forward. So I have to remember to keep my back straight which I did in my angel’s office and I could already feel a difference.
She proceeded to poke me all over, some poking brought some pain but it was not really that bad. She also took all kind of measurements to see the difference between my right side and my left side. There is a small difference between the two as far as my reach goes and only my right side gave me pain when I reached further.
She gave me one exercise to do until we meet again. Just one! I had asked my wife to come with me so that between the 2 of us we would know all the exercises involved. But just one, I can remember that much :)
I asked about what were my limits as far as exercises and sports are concerned. Other than not move my right arm above 90 degrees, like smashing a ball in pickelball, I have no restrictions. And this is  TEMPORARY, it's only until the inflammation in my shoulder is reduced!
Today, I'll resume walking and when we come back from our daughter’s move, I'll get back to running. I'm so excited...
If I were a drug user, I'm sure the high I got from yesterday’s news was a lot better than anything chemically induced.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

JUMP you little shit

Today I went to see a physiotherapist. This was the first time I had ever met one in person. All I knew about physio is what I had seen in movies. You know the ones where they teach people to walk again. And the patient falls down, but the therapist picks them up and yells: “get on the program you little shit!”
So I was not my usual cheerful self , I was uneasy about the session but I wanted to learn more about my limits.
I imagined the therapist would be the size of a gorilla, a large one at that. I thought she would be as soft as a drill sergeant pushing you to climb Everest. When she’d say “jump” I would answer “yes sir!” She would have been trained in a country where a little pain is for sissies so there has to be a ton of pain and tears.
Then a smallish girl, younger than my daughters called my name, I am shaking, the gorilla has an assistant, maybe she is the one that mops the floor after the victim cried so much.
I entered the torture chamber and the girl followed. She smiled and welcomed me in her dungeon. I'm still not sure though, I've seen the transformation of Hulk, anytime now her clothes might just rip apart.
What on earth is going on, she started to interrogate me asked me questions, so far NO pain. She seems to know so much, I'm starting to feel less scared. BEWARE my mind is warning me. I looked around the room, there is a bed, her desk, a couple of chairs, but this is not a room for torture. Sneaky devils, I am not going to fall for this one, I'm sure anytime soon, she is going to get one of the tools of her trade: pliers, hammers, nail gun, long needles, whatever.
Please forgive me folks, I can't finish this true story right now, my nerves need relaxing. Tomorrow, I'll tell you all about my visit.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I felt like I was a bread machine this morning :)

This morning, I was reading some blogs and drinking my coffee when I noticed we had bananas that were ready to be used.
I though about banana bread but being a fan of peanut butter, I wondered if anyone ever made a PB and banana bread. How original of me, right?
Well it took Google about 2 nano seconds to find tons of MY original idea.
So I found one I liked but I modified it to be healthier. I have baked before following a recipe strictly but this is my first EVER experiments in baking.
The aroma is starting to escape the oven and it smells so good right now and there is still 45 minutes left on the timer, sniff sniff; how on earth am I going to wait? Don't worry, I don't intend to give you folks an update every few minutes.
If you can read these lines, the experiment was successful, if you can't well lets not waste time, you are reading right now, right? Or maybe you are looking at the pictures?
Meanwhile here is my very own recipe:
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Coconut Oil                           1/2 Cup (or 1/2 Cup of Butter)
Truvia                                     3/4 Cup (or 1 Cup Sugar)
Eggs                                         2
Natural Peanut Butter     1/2 Cup
Bananas                                2 Mashed
All Purpose Flour             1 Cup
Whole Wheat Flour        1 Cup
Baking Soda                      1 Teaspoon
Chopped Walnuts          1/2 Cup

1- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 5*9 inch loaf pan or line with parchment paper.
2- Soften Coconut Oil. (15 secs in the microwave should be enough)
3- In a large mixing bowl, cream together Coconut Oil and Truvia. Add eggs; beat well. Stir in peanut butter, bananas, flours and baking soda until blended. Fold in walnuts. Pour into prepared pan.
4- Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Did you notice Ivy, I spelled 'flour' right from the start; old monkey do learn, right? ROTFL (Rolling on the flour laughing)
The results are in, dim the lights... Alright we watched the finally of American Idol so I'm still under the influence :)
Two testers out of two were happy with the result. It tasted more like a Banana bread but with a light peanut butter flavor.
My wife is not a fan of PB, she had taken out the Nutella to “improve” the experience if need be. However after a few bites, she liked it so much that the Nutella was staying safely in the jar. For the last bite, she couldn't resist the Nutella's attraction and she went for it. She said Nutella wasn't worth it. Oh my gosh, I didn't know one day I would have to compete with Nutella and my money wouldn't have been on me!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Age is Relative

It's hard to believe another week has gone by. This morning it was time for my step-up on the scale ritual.
The numbers stopped at 175.2, that is a 1.4 lb loss in a week. I think even my doctor would approve of this slower pace.
This week for my exercise I just walked 5-6000 steps a day. I also started to eat more, for example the orange cranberry loaf is gone. I had help with it though, I didn't binge. I found out that with increasing the amount of food I eat, I get hungrier faster. Strange to eat more and want more.
On my post about Growing Old, I got two comments about my age: “I don't think 55 is old by anyone's measure.” and “55 is definitely not old”.
When I wrote my post, I was dealing with the punch I got after learning I had a degenerative back problem and I was told I have to limit what I do.
I have been really good at getting my weight down with the goal of increasing my quality of life only to learn that I'll have to think in term of managing pain and limiting my activities. This blows!
But it's nothing I will waste time getting upset about, it's the hand I was dealt and it's the hand I will play.
There are people who are 25 years old and have to deal with a lot worse than I have. There are others that are 80 and are in much better shape. So a number is a number, there is no age that is considered “old”. We played pickelball with young 80 years old and I was an old 55.
I don't consider myself old but there are signs that I'm not in my prime anymore.
I remember when I was 18 or 19, my brother was 24-25 (we are 6 years apart). At the time, he was in a “low paying” job, working nights and getting minimum wage. He couldn’t see a way out. He told me he was too old and couldn’t do anything else!!! He was gifted, he had a green thumb, there were healthy plants all over his house, he  had an aquarium and he was breeding his own fishes and birds.
He could have been the best in either fields (pet store or florist) but in HIS mind, he was too old to start over. It just doesn’t matter what is right in front of you, it is what you see that is important!
I don’t have any relationship with my family, I cut that off, but the last time I saw my brother he was 37 years old. He had started a business with temporary garages which he would install in the fall and take down in the spring. He was also working at the same type of business as when he was in his twenties still hating the work and still hating the business. I’m sure nothing has changed now that he is 61.
Age is relative but not time! You can’t do anything about one, no fountain of youth yet, but you can change the quality of how you spend your time.
I had this quote on my wall at work (I don't know who it’s from):
Make play a high priority in your life for if you die tomorrow no one can play for you, but someone will do your work for you!!”
It's going to be a busy 2 weeks, I started to do some work outside and we are going to visit our daughter who is moving into her first house. I'm not sure how much I'll be blogging in the next weeks but I'll try at least to stay current with all of you. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Orange Cranberry Loaf

After spending countless hours looking at picture of food, salivating all over my monitor in the search of a recipe to try, I found this Orange Cranberry Loaf from: “She bakes here

The original recipe calls for 3/4 Cup of sugar that I replaced with 1/2 Cup of Trevia.
The next time I bake this loaf, I won't bother with the orange zest. I didn't find it added to the taste and there is plenty of Orange juice.
I will also try the same recipe using raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, what-ever-berries I have and maybe push the envelope further and add a bit of unsweetened chocolate.
When the loaf got out of the oven, I invited our neighbors for testing purposes. I have rarely seen them move this fast ha ha ha. All of us enjoyed it but then again who would not enjoy a warm loaf just out of the oven? 

So in my recipe book, this was a success!
Orange Cranberry Loaf


·         1 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
·         1 1/2 tsp baking powder
·         1/2 tsp sea salt
·         1/2 cup of Trevia
·         1 tsp cinnamon
·         1 egg
·         1/4 cup vegetable oil
·         3/4 cup pure orange juice
·         2 tsp orange zest
·         2 cups frozen cranberries

1.      Preheat your oven to 375*F. Spray your loaf pan with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
2.      In a large bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour (if using), baking powder, sea salt, trevia and cinnamon. Set aside.

3.      In a small bowl, beat the egg and add oil, pure orange juice and orange zest.

4.      Create a well in the dry ingredients bowl and pour in the wet ingredients mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir together until no flour is visible. Gently fold in frozen cranberries.

5.      Spoon the mixture into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

6.      Remove pan from the oven and let cool on a wired rack. Seriously, I don't think this step will EVER happen!

In my search I can't tell you how many times I came across brownies recipes. This seems to be everyone’s passion.
I bought some Chia seeds and Quinoa. This is new to us, so I'll see what I can do with those 2 new ingredients next week. If youre using them and have a good recipe, please let me know, I would love to give it a try.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Growing Old

Yesterday I returned to see my doctor. That's two days in a row spending quality time with my “friend”.
I was skeptic about him having the results from the previous day's X-Ray. He looked at his computer and what did he find? The results were in!
He started to look at my shoulder X-ray. Without even reading the report he told me: “When they write that much, it's always bad news!” WHY on earth would you say that to your patient? Read the damn thing first and then tell me what is going on, don't you agree?
After a minute he looked at me and said I have tendonitis. He explained it and showed me the X-Ray. There are calcium deposits between my bones and the shoulder muscle. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug and referred me to a physiotherapist. He seemed ready to move to the next problem, but I was not.
I take Calcium supplement every day, could it have anything to do with that?” I asked him.
Why are you taking that? Do you eat dairy products?” he answered!
Then I got a lecture why men don't need calcium supplement, women do and bla, bla, bla Darn, I got another lecture. But in the end he said the calcium supplement had nothing to do with my Tendonitis.
I asked him if I could continue to play pickleball.
NO! From now on, you have to limit yourself to non-violent sport “for the elderly”; bowling not the big pins the ball is too heavy for you, swimming, pétanque” I kid you not, that was his answer. Needless to say, it was not making me happy.
I told him pickleball was a big part of my life. He then told me the problem is the smash. In pickleball you don't smash the ball that often, so after talking with him a little we decided I can play but no smashing; don't tell my opponent that I have a handicap.
My back problem; I thought he said I had Osteoporosis but after looking it up I think he said I'm starting to have a mild case of Osteoarthritis. It is a degenerative disease but I have a mild case. I hate for it to be even a mild case but what can I do!
Of course he didn't tell me much about it, so Internet came to the rescue.
It can be painful – the pain may result from prolonged immobility” This is exactly what I have, when I move, like walking or playing pickleball, I don't feel any pain but as soon as I stop the pain returns.
Osteoarthritis can be managed with the use of joint protection (decreasing the amount of work the joint has to do), exercise, pain relief medication, heat and cold treatments, and weight control.
All of those treatments I have already started on my own, there is nothing else to do. It's going to be a managing the pain strategy. You just can't get your spine replaced :( Now if someone tells me I don't have a good back bone, they will be right!
Nowhere did I find this next treatment but I think I'll prescribe myself a liter of wine a day, repeat if necessary. Ha ha ha!
Tuesday I'm seeing a physiotherapist, I'll know more about my conditions from her. What is important for me to know is what I can and can't do.
Even with those news, the moral is great. I'm 55, so my body keeps reminding me, and I need a lot of reminders to register this number. My brain is still stuck at 13 years old, well maybe 13 and a half!