Tag Archives: coffee

Changing of the Seasons

I love autumn!  I cannot wait until the leaves change and fall to the ground, and the air turns chilly.  There’s nothing better than walking down the street or through the park, colorful leaves on the trees, dry leaves crunching underfoot, cool air, scarves, hats, boots, warm jackets, steaming cups of coffee with friends.  Love, love, love, love, love fall. Cannot get here soon enough for me.

One thing I’ve always loved about the fall is the food that comes with it.  Apples, pumpkins, squash, root vegetables, all those hearty stick-to-the ribs foods that help keep you warm on cool autumn days.

I know fall has not truly even started yet, but the food is everywhere already.  Pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee, apple pastries drizzled with caramel sauce, etc. are all over the place just taunting me.

I love going to coffee shops.  I don’t even have to get coffee.  Tea, water, popcorn, whatever, I’m happy just to be there.  I read.  I write.  I chat with friends.  This is a happy place for me.  There’s a Caribou Coffee in my neighborhood.  I love to walk there after dinner.  I stop at Starbucks on my way to work.  I take a moment to sip some coffee and center myself before heading into work.  There’s a nice little independent coffee shop not far from me that I like to go to sometimes.  The Rappahannock Coffee.  Nice little place.  It’s a bit far to walk, but still a good place to go.

These coffee shops are filled with all of the yummy fall pastry treats and blended coffee drinks that I love.  Some kind of pumpkin coffee, with sweet syrupy pumpkin flavoring, topped with whipped cream, drizzled with caramel sauce.  All kinds of pumpkin flavored pastry treats.  I love this stuff, and I cannot eat it anymore.

I cannot have bread, and I cannot have sugar.  Going to my favorite coffee shops has been pure torture.

Needless to say, these past few weeks have been a little difficult.  Dunkin Donuts does have pumpkin coffee beans that a friend of mine picked up for me.  That has helped.

I am kicking around some ideas in my head for my own brand of pumpkin, squash fall treats.  Once I have an actual idea put together, I’ll test out the recipe, take pics, and post them here.  I was able to put together a pretty good gluten-free pumpkin pie for my sister when she was first diagnosed with celiac disease, so I’m sure that I can make some sugar-free yummy pumpkin treat for myself for the fall.

Today is going to be a pretty exciting day.  I have a lot to do.  A good friend of mine is having a grand opening kick off for her art gallery and work studio.  That starts at 4:00pm.  I am doing some cooking for that.  She has requested that I make my curry chicken salad with mango chutney.  I made it for a party about 4 years ago, and she missed the party because of a family vacation.  She’s been hoping I would make it for her ever since.  So, tonight’s the night.  I have already started cooking, which is probably why I’m so focused on food this am.

I also have to hit the gym, get my hair done, and do a little bit of work.  All of this before 4:00pm.  Not sure if I will get it all done, but I will try.

Some good news, I am down one more pound.  I had kind of a rough week, so I’m pretty happy it ended on such a positive note.  Work was pretty busy and stressful, but ’tis the season there.  And I was struck by constipation not once, but twice this week.  Fortunately, I am doing much, much better today.

Anyway, sticking with my promise, I am posting a pic of today’s weight.  Oh and looking at this picture, I want to get a pedicure today.  I have to get hopping!  Have a great weekend!

weight

I Can’t Believe I Did It!

I know for most people walking is not such a big deal.  I’ve written about this before.  Walking is reflexive for most people.  You want to go somewhere, you get up and walk.  No big deal.

Well, for the past few years or so, walking has been very difficult for me.  My back hurts a lot, my feet hurt, and I have asthma caused by my obesity.  I have to stop to take frequent breaks and walking is very difficult and close to impossible for me.  Until recently that is.

Since my surgery, I have been told that I must exercise.  I cannot do any strenuous exercise yet, but I have been advised to walk as much as possible.  Usually, I have been going to malls or stores and walking around.  Now with the Christmas shopping season upon us, going to Target or the Mall is just a crazy thought.  Any walking to be done will be mostly pushing and shoving or standing around waiting to walk through aisles due to the throngs of people clogging up the place.  So, I have been walking down the hallways of my apartment building mostly.

Since the surgery, walking has become a bit easier.  I’m breathing better, my back hurts a lot less.  My feet still hurt, but I can usually go quite a distance before they start bothering me.

Today I was sitting around my apartment listening to music and reading a book.  It was getting close to the time where I should start walking through my apartment building.  I was really dreading it.  I did not want to go shopping, but I did feel like leaving my apartment.  I really needed a change of scenery.

I wanted to go down the street to where the shops are and walk around.  The problem is, how would I get there.  I live at the midway point up a very large hill.  I do not own a car. I don’t live far from the shops, but since walking has been difficult, I was a little bit apprehensive about walking there.  Normally, I would take a cab, which is really kind of ridiculous.  There is also a bus, but the shops are one stop away and that also seemed a little silly.  Plus another bus was not due for an hour.

I decided to suck it up and try to walk down to the shops.  I had been doing much better now that I’ve lost some weight.  Plus, I figured if I had too much difficulty, I could always pick up some groceries at the supermarket and take a cab back.  So, I bundled up and put on my walking shoes and started my trek.

Walking down the hill was surprisingly easy.  I had no problems whatsoever.  I was cold, but I was not out of breath and my back was not bothering me.  I rewarded myself with a steaming hot cup of decaf coffee at the coffee shop.  I continued reading my book, (yes an actual book with pages bound together), and enjoyed the warmth of the overcrowded sole coffee shop in this part of town.

Once I had read a few more chapters and drank as much of the coffee as I could, I donned my hat, coat, gloves, and scarf and headed back out into the cold.  I walked around for a little bit, passing all of my favorite restaurants enjoying the smells of the different foods.  I thought the smell of the indian food would make me crazy, but what did me in tonight was the smell of bread and oil coming from the newest italian/pizza place.  I wanted the fresh hot bread dipped in olive oil so bad! OMG it smelled good.  But I kept on walking until I reached the bus station.  All that was left was to decide how I was getting back up the hill.

I checked the Next Bus app on my phone and there wasn’t a bus due for a long time.  Walking down the hill was easy.  Walking up the hill, I was a little bit worried about.  I decided that I could wait an hour or so for a bus so that I could go one entire stop, try to hail a cab, or just tough it out and walk up the hill.  I decided to walk.

There is a bench about midway before the entrance to my apartment building.  I did stop and rest there, not really because I was tired or needed a break, but because I was afraid of how I would feel by the time I reached my building if I didn’t stop.  When I did reach my building, I did have to stop to catch my breath.  Walking up hill is much harder than walking down.  I did not have to stop for long, though.

Now that it is done, I feel great!  One month and 38 pounds ago, I could not have done this.  I never would even have attempted to walk down to the shops let alone walk back up!  I really feel like I have regained a bit of my own independence.  I’ve hated the limitations that being so heavy has placed on me.  Being able to walk to the village and back makes me feel like I really will be able to get my life back!  Yay me!

Today’s picture is a piece of art work from one of my friends in my writer’s group.  Her name is Sushmita Mazumdar.  She’s an artist and a writer.  She writes children’s stories mostly based on her own life in India, which she then makes into hand-made books.  All of her stories are true stories, although sometimes the main character will have a fictional name.  She also makes all kinds of art, much of which is made to represent a story book she has written.  She recently had a show at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, which I went to see.  This painting is about a story about a kite.  This is my favorite painting of hers.

If you’re interested in supporting artists or into shopping local for the holidays, check out some of her books and artwork.