Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wellness Wednesday - The Cucumber Chronicles...

Before I delve into the fascinating world of what I eat, when I eat it and all things cucumber -

Mirjana wanted you to know how touched she was my your prayers and thoughts.
I'll see her again tomorrow.
She does not have a blog - but Jaimie does - a pox upon me for not sharing it yesterday.
I can think of nothing 'funner' than to hitch up the Squirrel to the Heep and do a cross country tour with a few chickens in tow.
How I would love to meet you all and hear your stories.

But for now - you shall hear mine.

And my story today is about cucumbers, and how I'm smitten with their cylindrical goodness.
I eat one everyday - sliced, with the skin - lightly salted with my fancy pink Himalayan salt and a bit of fresh crushed pepper.

Cucumbers are now known to contain  antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties -helping prevent cardiovascular disease as well as several cancer types, including breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
Eat your cucumbers.

I shall shout it from the rooftops from here to eternity - I believe that your fork is the greatest weapon in building your health, or destroying it.

I've struggled with my weight forever.
I have precious few pictures of me thin, or average at best.
It's been the thorn in my flesh - and oh how much flesh there was for that thorn.

Here's me at my heaviest - nearly 300lbs - hiding behind a freshly planted magnolia tree at Glen's 40th birthday.

Here are a few others - the glasses and clothes should giveaway what year it was!

sweet Lord

Glen's a handsome cuss isn't it?
I imagine my weight has embarrassed him on more than one occasion.

And here's one I found of me and my mom at my wedding shower in 1983.
Still one of my favorite pics, we resemble each other so.

I often wonder how this journey is going to be any different from any other that I've been on - I've lost the weight twice before, and gained it back, plus some.

What seems different to me now can be summed up in two words.
Gratitude and acceptance.

Acceptance that this is 'my struggle'.
We all have something.
Acceptance that it just is what it is, that I just don't feel well when I eat processed foods.
Acceptance that I'm possibly never going to be 'fixed' and will always have to guard my mouth carefully.
And I'm OK with that - most of the times - sometimes I still have my temper tantrums and think that 'life isn't fair, why can Sally have the Twinkies and I can't?'

Grateful that I found a program that works.
Grateful for my Coach.
Grateful for all of you.
Grateful that I'm learning how food truly affects the human body.
Grateful for the journey.
The joy is in the journey - not the destination.

I want you to know that I still struggle.
I want you to  know that at times I pace the floor, praying for strength to stay out of the kitchen.
I want you to know that sometimes I fail.
I want you to know it's not easy, but it's worth it.
I want you to know that you can do it too.
I want you to know that you shouldn't wait until you 'feel' like doing it - that the wanting to do it will come after you start doing it.

Did I feel like working out at 248lbs?
No sir.
I kept my cellphone handy for a call to 911.
No joke.

Do I jump out of bed and feel so excited to do squats now and eat super clean?
I still want pancakes and syrup many a morning.

But I pause and think of how emotionally painful it's been to be the fattest girl in the room,  how physically painful it's been at times to just get off the floor.
I'm done.
So done.

Basically, if a food has a label - I don't eat it.
I'm not 100% on that - but it's my guideline.
I'm still human.

I'll close with this - my favorite recipe for breakfast - I've shared it before, but I'll share it again.
I eat it just about every morning with two cups of fresh fruit. 
If I don't eat this - I eat four egg whites with one yolk and a bunch of veggies mixed in and scrambled.
I find eating the same thing for breakfast - going on autopilot with it, pretty helpful for me. 
It's a no brainer.
Surprisingly, I don't get tired of it.

The Coop Keeper's Eating Clean Breakfast Sausage

1 lb of ground turkey BREAST
6 T oatmeal
2 egg whites
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 T fresh sage, chopped (you can substitute dried ground to taste - maybe 1 teas)
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 salt

I mix this all together, and form four patties out of it.  It keeps in the fridge since I eat one patty every day.  I spray a hot skillet with Pam Olive Oil spray.
You can pre-cook them all and microwave them.  (I did that when we went camping, and it was fine).  Or you can make a ginormous batch and freeze them.
Aaron, the Boychild loves this sausage!

I just started using the Breakfast Sausage spice from The Spice House and I won't go back now - it's utterly, ridiculously delicious.


  1. You hit the nail on the's all about what we eat. I know within 5 pounds if I have been eating right or not lately. The timing of food intake is also important and we really should eat less as the day unfolds. You know the saying "breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper" is true. I always maintain my weight if I don't eat at night. Makes a big difference with me. I can't believe how much you and your mom looked alike. She was a very pretty lady and you look amazing. My favorite sandwich has always been tomato and cucumber. Can't beat it. I think I may have one for breakfast :) Hugs, Deb=^..^=x4

  2. I'm so proud of you for sharing with us your struggle! I struggle with the weight and right now is winning! I'm gonna try the sausage, sounds good. Of course, I work at a grocery store and it's bad to be around food all day long! Poor choices I make and then all of sudden I get right on again!

  3. Ok, cuke yup ate one today...fancy salt, no but gotta get me some of that. I had been eating really clean but have regressed. Your recipe has inspired me. I always do so much better when I start the morning off right.

    And, the picture of you and your mom...just beautiful.

  4. You are so brave to show your "before" pictures. I haven't wanted to have my picture taken in about 10 years. I can't stand to see myself this big. But now I have a grandchild and I really want to have pictures of us together. So, I'm working harder than I ever have. It's so hard! But you are very much mt inspiration, so thank you!

  5. I think Lysa TerKeurst said, "Dieting is hard, being over weight is hard. Choose your hard." True.

  6. Dear Jayme, I totally understand the feelings you are sharing with us--but please, please don't ever suggest Glenco or ANYone was ever embarassed by being seen with you, whether you weighed 100 pounds or 300 pounds. Beauty comes from within and you are a beautiful person no matter what the scale says. Your charm, wit and humor outweigh (or would under-weigh be more dietetically acceptable??)your physical presence.
    And my goodness, those gorgeous expressive eyes, cheekbones and smiling lips??? I wish you would see your beauty as we do.
    Go you, for the health and the well-being and well-deserved pride in accomplishment that your weight loss has brought you, but remember, too, that we all love you and are proud of you regardless of that number on the scale.

  7. Dear Jayme, to echo Lee, I am sure that Glenco has never been embarrassed by you. I know my sweetheart always admires me (and when I am feeling my worst too!) and when I say I don't want to embarrass him or for him to be ashamed of me, he says he is proud of me. Yes, I know he wishes that I'd lose weight, but he wishes it for me, so that we can do some of the things we used to, and so that we can do some of the things we dream about doing. I'm sure it is the same with Glenco and you.

    And- wow! do you look like your mother- beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe, I like the idea of being able to make several days up ahead of time.

  8. I am so proud of your accomplishments and for sharing your struggles with us. Doing a happy dance for you!

    Looking at the cukes, I see a trip to the farmers market in my near future. I had no idea they were so good for us.

    Thank you for the recipe and I googled the spice place. Will get some Sausage spices, I will be making your turkey sausage. Now that is one awesome filling breakfast you have there. Question, how often do you eat? Many say to have something every 3 hours.

    My trick is when I see something I want that I should not have.... I envision dog poop on it in a big way with smell and all, I have a vivid imagination... Big turn off. Truly, we can train our minds...

    My splurge is Dove chocolates, the kind you send in your packages. I do treat myself to 3 of them twice a week.

    Thank you for being you and sharing your journey.

  9. I am so fat and so discouraged. This actually made me burst into tears. I love that you have found something that works for you and you are doing so well. That is beautiful. I prayed for you right this second. Wishing you all the best on your weight loss journey.

    You are very beautiful. Even in your 300 pound picture. So pretty.

  10. Keep up the good work with your weight loss. Your mom looks just like I remember her. Very beautiful. 7 years ago today I was 70 pounds heavier and told I had type 2 diabetes. If I didn't change my path I don't know if I would be here today. I am still on my journey and would like to lose another 30 pounds. I still have my ups and downs. I also keep an old picture of myself on my fridge to remind me of what was. Keep up the good work Jamie you are doing great and remember we all still have our struggles and life is worth living to the fullest. Take Care, Mar

  11. I am truly amazed at how you have done and know that it is a struggle everyday while I am 30lbs away from what I should be I have lost and gained that 30 pounds at least 10 times in my life. I like your eating plan and wish you many peacful days of health in the future.

  12. I just watched the dvd Food, Inc. If that doesn't change people's mind about eating I don't know what will...

  13. I had something wonderful and great to say, but Lyn at the Wrensnest beat me to it.

    She is 100% correct you know.


  14. Girl you are the bomb diggity. I love you fat or thin but I am glad you are getting healthy. You have inspired me to do the same. I am like you that I fall off the wagon but I don't stay off, I get right back on and trudge forward. You inspire me! Love the dude in the tank top...

  15. Do you know how inspirational you are? You are leading some people to good health! You are a good egg, Miss Coop Keeper!

  16. There's nothing I can add to the ladies who posted ahead of me...your personality shines through regardless of the number on the scale. Thanks so much for sharing your story. Thanks too for sharing your recipe. Could you possibly give us a menu, maybe a week's worth, so we can get an idea of how to begin? Maybe it'll even kick-start a little weight loss and get us motivated!

  17. I really love this post. Don't I say that on every post you write? Seems so. I love the sausage recipe. I love that you are sharing. I have a friend here that has been struggling and she has gone gluten free in just the last week. She lost over 7 lbs her first week! That was a huge record for her. She has PCOS and the doctors feel that a gluten free diet will help her lose weight and possibly even get pregnant. I made her join up with you on FB for recipes.

    Hitch up that wagon and come on down!

  18. I love your posts, sometimes it seems as if you are writing from my head. I am happy for you and your successful weight loss and very much appreciate your sharing the process with us.

  19. Wishing you health, happiness and success on your journey! XO

  20. Thanks so much for sharing your journey! It can't have been easy....I so hate my fat pictures. It is a difficult road and can take a lifetime to fix...I just now have come to the conclusion I just can't have very many carbs. I eat very healthy but need to keep the carbs to veggies and fruit only and between 50-100 grams. But I will do this! Thanks for the encouragement.

  21. I have been reading your blog for a while; it's one of my favorites. Being you is a lovely thing. I am a small person, weigh just what I should although just now I'd like to lose about 3 lbs. I lost 20 lbs 4 years ago and it made me feel like a new person. But I work every day to stay at a good weight. As with Deb, I try not to eat much in the evening. And like you, I try to eat healthy: no sugar or whites, fresh and real. But the point I'm wanting to make is that even women of normal weight, especially of a certain age (I'm 55), have to work to be that way. We're all in this together. And losing weight is all about doing it for ourselves, because it allows us to feel so much better. Cheers to you. Thanks for your wonderful transparency.

  22. I did not know all the pluses of the lowly cucumber. Thank you for that and all that you are. I eat the same meal for breakfast everyday too. It's just easier that way isn't it?

  23. Jayme,

    Thank you for continuing to open up about your journey. I have managed to re-gain almost all that I lost over the previous two years - but there is a young one growing inside this time.

    It is the growth of gratitude and acceptance has made the increased weight (even on my bottom) an OKAY part of this journey. I know I'll be back soon with a little friend to school up in the ways of healthy eating.

    And by the way - Glenn is a handsome man, it was fun to sneak a peak at him today :).

  24. Love the fork in the road picture. I am so excited for your journey so far. I am still struggling to get started. I so love that processed food, lots and lots of it. Please pray for me. Thanks! Mary Beth

  25. So THAT's Glenco. Handsome indeed. Thanks for your honest account of your weight journey... it's truly a forever struggle, but you are managing beautifully. Good work :-)

  26. Do you grow your own cukes, Jaymes? Mine are always bitter. I don't know why, but we can't even eat them. You've got me craving a cucumber sandwich right this very minute. Of course I'd have to put some cream cheese on it though. Is cream cheese 'clean'?

  27. When you git to that fork in the road you must decide. You did and you rock! Now pass some sausage! Please?

  28. I love that phrase 'the joy is in the journey, not the destination'! So true in all areas of our lives! I need to remember that when faced with a difficulty or struggle!

    You are amazing for sharing your journey, struggle and all, with us! You're such an encouragement! (Sorry you stopped by my blog on the day I posted a tasty treat...)

    We changed our eating habits after my husband suffered a massive heart attack at the young age of 46. He survived because he was young but we were told that his eating habits needed to change. That's when I began doing a lot of research on food and how it affects our bodies. So by you eating healthier to lose weight and keep it off, you're also creating a healthier body!

    Keep up the great work!

  29. You are really looking awesome. Even better than when I saw you in Cedar Lake. Your enthusiam to take this journey, then turn it into something to help others is a powerful statement as to just how wonderful a heart you have. I've been not eating out of boxes and plastic for several years now. Trust me it gets easier. Of coarse I wasn't the wonderful baker you are, but with time you will even get that figured out. Sunrise in Lansing is a great place to shop for staples, especially in the winter. One thing I just wanted to let you know. You may want to cook your sausage and eggs in coconut oil. It actually gives them a great flavor. Olive oil is great in cold or low heat applications, but in the higher heat to cook things like eggs it becomes toxic.

  30. Jayme -- made your turkey sausage. First one didn't have enough spice. I added more before I cooked the others and it helped tremendously. I heated one up this morning for breakfast, along with some cantaloupe. Thanks for the recipe!!

  31. Okay...I came back to print off that sausage recipe. Yesterday, looking at that pic of you & your mama I kept thinking she looks like someone? Who does she look like? Today it hit me. The blond gal, the sheila on the Crocodile Dundee movies. Seriously... if your hair was blond in that pic y'all could be twins! :)


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