Archive for October 2011

meetups and thoughts

My two nutritarian friends came into town on Friday and we had quite the feast:

I made sweet potatoes topped with black beans and greens etc and a dollop of soy yogurt (a recipe from the Fuhrman site).  We made salad from Holly's lettuce and pear, my red pepper and a yummy salad dressing from the Fuhrman site.  Holly made delicious stuffed mushrooms.   Suz brought curried squash on brown rice.   I got full eating all this great food.   After our feast, we went on a walk at Olbrich community gardens, and then went, where else, to the co-op.  That was interesting as we shared many food tips about all our favorite foods, as well as the ones we have to avoid (the cowgirl cookies are sometimes a challenge for me).  I got a lot of new ideas from our discussions as we strolled through the store.

Some quotable quotes were "I'm an unethical vegan" and "I'm a vegan on weekdays."

Today I heard a great quote:  "The best way to bring someone over to your cause is to have more fun than them."   For me, the biggest difficulty about eating healthy is sometimes thinking that I'm missing out on what everyone else is eating.  It's all in how you look at it.  I just need to think of it as I'm the lucky one, having the most fun eating the best food.   Along those lines, last weekend I was out on a walk at a conservancy and a group was roasting marshmallows over a fire and making s'mores.  Well, you know how those nostalgic feelings can make you wish you were joining them.   Today I was meditating in front of my fireplace (wow, is that ever easy to meditate in front of a fire!) and I was thinking about our ancestors roasting winter squash in their fire.  Then I realized, our difficulties in eating healthy usually arise from nostalgia for eating the things we used to eat and drink with our family and friends.   Maybe we just need to go back further in time.  The last 50 years are a blip on the history of our people.  Go back further, and we are talking sweets only on very special occasions.   So just let your nostalgia go a little further back in time and you can imagine roasting squash instead of marshmallows, and relishing a good fruit instead of ice cream.

weekend cooking

It's fall and my food choices are changing with the season.  It's winter squash time!   Here's what I'm planning to try this week:

And that's just for lunch and dinner.  I'm thinking sweet potatoes for breakfast.  I made a huge pot of soup using veggies from the garden mostly.  This has white lima beans, purple barley, onion, eggplant, collard greens, leeks, mushrooms, 2 cans of garden tomatoes, broccoli, and italian spices.  I froze it into several containers to eat during the week.  I still have some containers from my last batch of soup so I can have some variation.  Here's my plan for the week--don't know if I will like it, I'll know tomorrow--brekky will be sweet potato topped with bean soup--I'm usually hungry after exercise class.   Here's an example from today's lunch:

This also has banana, fresh ginger and cilantro.  It tasted quite good.  

Lunch and dinner will be salad (cabbage, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, seed mixture, vinegar) topped with squash, soup, apple, and pomegranate seeds, and probably some fresh ginger.  The squash I'm hoping will be easy to prepare, just baking in the oven.  I'll microwave it to heat it up.  I have no idea what this will taste like, but I expect it will be pretty good.  I mean, almost any mixture of veggies and fruit and greens tastes good.

Here's a quickie large salad I made tonight:  cabbage, spinach, romaine, broccoli, then some pomegranate seeds, seed mixture, and fruit-infused vinegar.

Here's one of my most favorite treats.  I ate this yesterday while making house mate's smoothies.  It's just frozen mango, frozen blueberries, and a little d'angou pear vinegar (optional).  I love this.  It's easy to make thoroughly enjoyable food out of simple ingredients.


hello fellow friends from around the world, welcome.

Blogs and meetups

This blog has very appetizing-looking and healthy recipes!

Yesterday I attended an excellent talk by John Allen Mollenhauer, a lifestyle coach.  Wow, I'm tempted to hire him!  His website is called Nutrient Rich.  He has a free ebook called "Break Free of the Diet Traps!".  I downloaded it and looked it over and found some helpful things in it.  

Tomorrow I'm going to meet up with some nutritarian friends, yea!

And if I have time I'll attend the Whole Foods supper club on Thursday.  

That's a lot of nutritarian socializing.  Hopefully that will become the norm!

DEL updates House Early Learning & Human Services Committee on progress

Leaders from the Department of Early Learning (DEL) presented to the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee on Wednesday about our progress in several areas since the Legislature adjourned in May. Watch the presentation to hear the latest on the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant, efforts to promote quality in licensed child care, home visiting and more.

The PowerPoint presentation DEL used is available online here.

Checking in

I'm back to a busy busy schedule at work so it's hard to post on week days.  How are you doing on the Pre-Thanksgiving Challenge?   I overate 3 days on fruit and nuts, which is not good, but...I'm just observing it for now and letting myself learn the lessons I need to learn.   I want healthy eating to be a choice, not an exercise in willpower. I usually feel like eating the most healthy foods in proper quantities.  I guess I'm just letting myself be reminded of that through experience.

As I mentioned before, one of my goals for the challenge is to optimize my protein intake.  I'm trying to get stronger at the gym and want to help that with my food intake.  I'm monitoring my food intake with cronometer.  Now this is just something fun I'm doing so don't feel you should have to do this also:  Following Dr. Fuhrman's food plan will provide you with plenty of all your necessary nutrients.  But it is instructive to see what foods have the highest protein.  I can see where I can tweak to get more protein.  For example, I can cut back my raw carrots a bit and replace them with sweet peas.  I love peas so that's easy to do. The other thing that's very noticeable is that fruit has a lot less protein per calorie than green veggies (leafy or otherwise).  But fruit has a lot of other healthy nutrients so it should be part of the diet.  I find 1-1.5 lbs per day of fruit is a good amount for me.  I've been eating veggie bean soup and also putting edamame in my salads every day.    The combination of the soup, edamame, and lots of green veggies in the salads gives me about 14% protein which is good for building muscles.  I could optimize it more but I love me carrots.  Today I got some mediterranean pine nuts from Dr. Fuhrman.  He recommends these and pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds for optimal protein after a workout (along with beans and veggies).  I'll add those in to next week's salads.

Washington throws its hat in the ring for federal early learning grant

Washington state has submitted its application for a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant. The federal grant will provide $500 million in state-level competitive grants to improve early learning and development programs. The Department of Early Learning (DEL) is leading Washington’s application for the grant, which could bring up to $60 million to our state over four years to support early learning for our children.

RTT-ELC is meant to help states raise the quality of early learning programs so that children start school ready to succeed.
Governor Chris Gregoire said of Washington's application, “This application is bold and it is ambitious, but it is also achievable, and that is what the grant competition is all about. We have submitted a plan that will push our state forward in providing the kind of high-quality early learning opportunities our youngest learners need and deserve."

Washington's application lays out a plan for how to use the grant money:

  • Expand the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS), our state’s kindergarten readiness assessment, to include all incoming kindergarteners by school year 2014-15.
  • Take to scale our state’s quality rating and improvement system, which helps early learning programs improve the quality of care and education they provide to young children and provides information on quality to families.
  • Enhance the state professional development system by offering awards and incentives to those who work with and care for young children.
"This is an important opportunity to help Washington children," DEL Director Bette Hyde said. "Washington is uniquely positioned to move forward quickly if we win a grant because of the work we’ve already done with WaKIDS and QRIS."

DEL created a webpage to keep the early learning community informed about progress on RTT-ELC. That page includes fast facts about Washington's application.

The Associated Press ran a story about Washington's application, "State seeks $60M from feds for preschools."

Today, DEL representatives updated the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee about the RTT-ELC and other DEL news. That hearing will be available on TVW's website.

DEL will continue to tweet information about the application and related news using the hashtag #rttt (which stands for Race to the Top) at

More success stories

Laurenstyle lost 5.6 lbs, reached her exercise goal of working out 5x/week, even in the pouring rain!  And she reached her third goal of Learning to appreciate the journey of ETL.  I thought here wording of the last goal was inspiring:

Iam appreciating and so GRATEFUL for the journey. It’s truly become a way oflife.  It’s hard to document all that’s happenedin this area, but it’s definitely powering a shift in all areas of my life. I have a whole new work ethic and am accomplishingthings as never before. Not only my ability to focus and concentrate, but my abilityto be more efficient, compassionate, a good listener, develop creative solutions and justenjoy my fellow coworkers has just skyrocketed.

Suzette lost 17 lbs!   Here goal was 20.  That's great!  She also is helping family members adopt this eating style.

tejasjjain struggled at first (how many of us have been there?!) but got on track and her habit of late night snacking is almost gone!   She "only" lost 4 lbs.  Hello, that's great!

Lois made substantial gains:  giving up her regular glass of wine, and working on her overating tendencies.  She has the same problem as me, getting too thin when 100% compliant, and then over-reacting by over-eating, sometimes off plan.  Someone else on this challenge has this problem too.  Interesting, huh?

Linda did a lot of successful detective work with her auto-immune food triggers.  As she said, she knocked this one out of the park!  A combination of fasting and various food selections refined her food choices.   Her second goal was to expand her repertoire of recipes that her son can enjoy.  She accomplished this one too.  Finally, she wanted to get more exercise.   She still has work to do on this one--hopefully in our next challenge!

Dru conquered her date overeating tendencies and can now have them in the house again.  And she bought a new wardrobe.  She definitely wants to stay on plan so she can continue to wear her new smaller clothes!

Thanks everyone for participating.  We're doing a new challenge (no vitamix award, sorry!).  Here's the post on that.

The Runner-Up(s)

Jan and Jerry.  Here is their report:

Afunny thing happened when I took my brother Jerry under my wing to help himlose weight...I lost weight too! He ended up losing more than 40 pounds on the"greens and beans" diet. And he got off his diabetic medications! Ilost only a few pounds but I reached a milestone weight that has been eludingme for a good long while.
Jerrydutifully texted me his weight and his blood sugar reading every morning. Thatgesture, I believe, helped him to keep his weight and health goals first andforemost in his mind. Those daily texts also provided him with accountability. I taught Jerry the acronym G-BOMBS (aka GOMBBS) to remind him what foods to eatevery day. It is such a simple but powerful and effective thesesix foods and regain your health. It's all about greens, beans, onions,mushrooms, berries, and seeds!  And teaching Jerry about healthy eatinghelped to reinforce the information for me.
Thisis not to say that it was all easy...there were temptations and slip-ups andother obstacles along the way.  Accountability and keeping it simple....that'sthe combination that led to a successful outcome. 
Weboth have more weight to lose and this six-week challenge was a great start.Thanks, Barb!

And the winner is...

Diane Watkins!  

Oh, this was soooooo hard!  I don't like being a judge and selecting a single winner.   So many people did really well.  Congratulations to all of you.   Here is Diane's final report:

I discovered the Eat to Live program in June and immediatelyembraced it. I did extremely well the first 3 weeks, then found it difficult tocontinue. We were traveling a lot with my husband’s work and I found itdifficult to find the foods that I needed in restaurants, which was our usualway to eat on the road. So, I was looking for help staying on the diet when I found yourchallenge. This was exactly what I needed to help me adjust to the ETLlifestyle. I chose to set my goals as learning to organize my food and life tofit the Eat to Live program and staying on the program throughout the 6 weeks,specifically healthy eating at every meal and every snack.
 I feel that I have met these goals, although I am still learning andevolving. I found it easiest to get into a pattern of eating that supportsthese healthy eating goals. While the foods eaten change, the pattern hasstayed the same. I eat a fruit salad and fruit juice for breakfast, a largegreen salad for lunch, and a homemade bean or lentil and vegetable soup orsteamed vegetables for dinner. I sometimes add beans or a sweet potato to thelunch salad to keep me from getting hungry again before dinner, but I usuallyeat my beans in the dinner soup. I also have a green juice in the afternoon,when I have time to make it in the morning, and green tea or water during theday. I will occasionally snack on some homemade low-fat hummus with snow peas,nappa cabbage or other vegetables. I’ve discovered a few excellent no-oil saladdressing recipes. My favorite is tangerine juice, lemon or lime, and vinegar.The hardest part of the challenge is to not eat late at night, when my husbandhas his late night snack.
 I wake up each morning hungry, for the first time in my life. I wasnever much of a breakfast eater in the past. And I am usually ravenous by dinnertime. But I can honestly say that I have not had any problems with cravings,which is also unusual. The fruit satisfies my sweet tooth; but I am used toeating a lot of salt. I will admit that I cheated a few times in the beginning,adding salt to my soup, but I have gradually adjusted my salt addiction and amdoing better now. I am slowly getting healthy. Although I have a long way to go totruly regain my health, I can honestly say that I am a lot better off now thanI was only 6 weeks ago. I have a heart arrhythmia and an autoimmune diseasethat have severely limited my movement and energy levels in the past. Gettingmy health back is my priority right now, because I had truly lost it. I need toturn that around quickly. I believe that the Eat to Live program is my bestchance of regaining a healthy body. The autoimmune disease manifests itself in very painful skin lesionsthat make my life difficult. The Eat to Live program these past 6 weeks hashelped, I have only had one new lesion in the last 6 weeks, and the old lesionsseem to be improving, although not fast enough to suit me. It seems to me thatimprovement is directly related to my consumption of green juice. The more Idrink, the better they get. I also had a bad episode of A Fib during the challenge. This is notunusual, actually only having one is probably a great improvement. In the past,I have had bad episodes regularly, sometimes weekly, so one in 6 weeks is animprovement. I have increased my nut and seed consumption and that seems tohave helped. My blood pressure is good, without medication and I have more energythan before, with the exception of the week of the A Fib episode. I have alsolost some weight, although I promised myself I wasn’t going to concentrate onmy weight during this challenge. I wanted good health to be my goal.
 I have made quite an improvement, although I still have a ways togo. I will be joining you on your next challenge and look forward to a lifetimeof healthy eating. I appreciate your running this challenge and supporting us.The Vitamix has been a nice incentive, and I do need one; but I know that I ama winner either way. I really feel that a Vitamix would help me drink more vegetablejuices and this challenge has only intensified my longing for one. I have beenmaking juice in my regular blender, but I have to strain it. The entire processtakes a lot of time that I don’t really have in the mornings. The fruit juiceis easier, since I can drink it without straining, and it seems to blend a lotfaster. I have been struggling to figure out how to afford a Vitamix, we arevery strained financially and It doesn’t fit into our budget. I am putting iton my Christmas list, however, in the hope that we might manage it. My husbandand I talked about getting one for my birthday, which is only a few days away,but decided that we just couldn’t make it happen right now. Thank you for this challenge and your support.

Pre-Thanksgiving Challenge!

Hi everyone,

We had so much fun doing the 6-week challenge, let's do another one!   Sorry I don't have a vitamix to offer this time.  Let's just share our successes and struggles, inspire each other, and win good health.

Here's my idea.  From Oct. 14 (tomorrow) until Nov. 23 (day before Thanksgiving) is 40 days which is 2 days shy of 6 weeks.  Let's try to eat healthy for the next 40 days, and then we can each decide for ourselves how we want to celebrate on Thanksgiving.  Maybe you want to splurge a little or a lot, on healthy food or a few bites of the traditional stuff.  It can be guilt-free if you plan something reasonable, and eat healthy for the next 40 days, right?

Let's think of goals for ourselves and send in updates when we feel like it.  I'm trying to get stronger at the gym, so in addition to eating only healthy foods and not overeating (my forever top two goals), I will try to eat the foods Fuhrman recommends for building muscles:  edamame, sunflower seeds, mediterranean pine nust, beans and...I'll have to check his latest post to make sure I got them all.

okay, let's go.

ps, I'll post the winner of the last challenge on the weekend.

Good night!

day 42!

This is the last day of the 6-week challenge!  Congratulations!  I'm eager to choose a winner for the vitamix, but I should give people at least a few days to send in their progress reports.   Send them to  Here's my progress report:

My goal was to eat only healthy food and don't overeat.  I started the challenge early so mine lasted 48 days.  I misbehaved 5 days out of 48.   On four of those days, I overate on fruit and nuts.  On one day, I ate some unhealthy food too (darn it!).    So I achieved my goals for 43 days out of 48.   That's good but I think I can do better.  I'm ready for the next challenge!   My goal for that challenge is to optimize my protein as I'm trying to get stronger at the gym.  And of course, to eat only healthy food and don't overeat.

I think I will start a short Oct. challenge, and then do monthly challenges until it gets old.

MIstakes are good--haha, that typo was not intentional

My kid friends that were visiting and a dream I had last night reminded me that kids learn almost entirely from making mistakes.  As the 6-year old was shaking my salad to stir it, I could see the future, and sure enough, there was a spill.  I dreamed I was in a car with a teenager and he took this turn too tight and I could see the future and we rolled over--very slowly, nothing dangerous, but how were we going to explain this to the person we borrowed the car from?  I thought, what a weird dream.  Then I thought, kids learn from making mistakes.  So do we all.  So let's proceed with our learning.

Hey, I just noticed that my previous post was my 1000th post!   Isn't that something.

Day 41, winding down!

I've started getting updates from people on how they did.  The stories are inspiring, and they are not without their struggles.  It will be fun to share them with you.   You will see the many different goals and victories and obstacles and it's all good because we are just trying to achieve better health.

I've thought more about my weekend splurge.  I realize I have just been using visitors as an excuse.  When I think about each time I did this in the last year, none of my visitors expected me to eat their food.  Most were more interested to try my food than have me prepare theirs.  Last night, the kids visiting me helped me with my food prep, and they were astounded that I was planning to eat all that salad in one day.  I gave them an apple and they made their own fresh squeezed orange juice.  One of the girls said, "I wished I didn't like chocolate like Barb".   So you see, they like me to be this way.  I just used them as an excuse.  There was no pressure.  Boy the excuse machine is so clever!  

Today I saw some nice looking home-made oatmeal raisin cookies at a talk, and thought "I could restart tomorrow!"  Oh boy.  The first few days are always tough because of that one.  Then I thought, maybe I could make some of my own nutritarian oatmeal raisin cookies.  Another interesting thing I realized today is that I wanted those cookies only about 15 minutes after hearing this nightmarish health story from a friend, due completely to diet.  You'd think that would be more of a deterrent, wouldn't you?

In some ways, this journey we are on is very easy--the food is good, we feel great eating this way, our health and energy goes up.  There is no rational reason on earth not to eat this way 100% of the time.  So then why is it so hard sometimes?   I don't know.  Because we are social.  Because we don't react well to forbidden foods.  Because sugar, fat and salt are addictive and excite our pleasure centers and taste really good and call to us---the funny thing is, even after we have lost our taste for it.  Oh, I guess smokers go through this too.  They physical addiction wears off long before the psychological.

Is it Day 40?

Only 2 more days of the challenge?!   Let's see, we started on a Thursday, so it will end on Wednesday!  Well, you can start sending me your progress report whenever you are ready.   Send it to me at  Let me know if it's okay to post it.  I think people will enjoy hearing how others did.  It's especially helpful to learn how you solve your problems, and how you learn from your mistakes.

I started my challenge a week early so I suppose I could say I finished it on Friday.  I suppose that's a good thing because I unexpectedly stumbled on Saturday, with my desire to eat my guests' food.  For 6 weeks, I behaved quite well except for a couple of days on my vacation when I overate nuts and fruit, and then on last Thursday when I did the same.  But on Saturday, I wanted to eat everything they ate, just because they were eating it, even though I didn't like the taste.  Can someone explain that one to me?  I stumbled last summer with visitors too.  I have visitors again today but I'm okay.  I'll have to be more cautious next time.

Besides being busy with the visitors, on Sunday I did food prep, biking in the outstanding weather, and harvesting the garden.  I made a nice soup from garden produce and beans, which I'll have all this week along with my salads.  I harvested a bunch of greens and brussels sprouts from the garden and froze them.  It was a fun day.  And it was very fun with the visitors.  Then today was back to work and exercise and more visitors tonight.  whew.  So I'd better get back to them.  

Should we do a new challenge?  I'm thinking monthly challenges might be easier chunks to handle--for one thing easier to count the days, and a month might seem more doable for accomplishing a goal.

Governor, families, teachers join DEL in celebrating 25 years of ECEAP

Almost 170,000 children have been part of the state-funded preschool program (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, or ECEAP) since it began in 1985. Last night, families, ECEAP graduates, teachers and state leaders celebrated 25 years of growing Washington’s future at an ECEAP reception in Olympia.

Governor Chris Gregoire kicked off the evening, saying, “If we get it right early with a child, then they will succeed in school and they will succeed in life, and they won’t end up in the safety net.” Watch the Governor’s remarks on DEL’s YouTube channel.

Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, spoke about her experience as the first ECEAP staff member in 1985. She wrote the first set of ECEAP performance standards and set up the first pilots around the state.

Another highlight of the evening was Melissa Estrada, a former ECEAP student who graduated valedictorian of her high school and is now studying to become a nurse.

Watch for photos from the evening and a special 25th anniversary publication, “ECEAP: Making a Difference,” to be posted soon on the ECEAP section of the DEL website.


Day 36

I had an interesting experience today.  We have a family visiting us and, well, you can fault me for this, but I just decided to give them the foods they like.  Weird thing #1 was grocery shopping and buying all this stuff I used to buy in my previous life, over 6 years ago--cereal and milk and ham and cheese and bread and cookies and ingredients for a spaghetti dinner.  Trying to remember what the ingredients were, and searching for this stuff was as confusing as when I was first learning where the tofu and tempeh was.  I made the dinner just like I did before I changed my diet, with no regard to health.  Weird thing #2 was cooking meat, and then not being able to test it to verify I had the right flavorings.  But I was told it was good.  How can you go wrong with lots of fat and salt and meat and seasonings and cheese and butter?  It is easy to cook this way.  The bread was drenched in garlicy butter.  Of course, that was a hit.  One of the girls just wanted the garlic bread and noodles without the sauce--drenched in butter and parmesan cheese.  Weird thing #3 was my reaction to the food.  Part of me wanted to eat it.  I know the spaghetti sauce tasted really good and I wanted some, but I don't want to eat animals.  I know the garlic bread tasted really good but at the same time I was grossed out by the greasiness of the butter and it does have an overpowering smell.  Wierd thing #4 was cleanup.  Boy did that take a lot of soap.  I was thinking, it would be good if you could do a similar cleanup to your blood vessels after eating this.

Unfortunately, a reaction to all of this was that I overate on my foods.  I didn't eat regular meals at mealtimes, just ate randomly.  I ate too much fruit, too many nuts, too much essene bread, a few turkish figs (they were good), what else, carrots, some cabbage, edamame with d'angou pear vinegar and chopped walnuts (that was good).  I made a nice ice cream from a banana, cherries, walnuts and grape juice.  I discovered that frozen mangos and peanut butter is a nice combination.  Maybe that was weird thing #5.  ha.  Okay, so I have something to work on in my next challenge:  Dealing with visitors.  This was a problem for me several times this past year.   Well, tomorrow is a good opportunity to get started.  I get to watch them eat my old diet all day long.  I will behave.  I can do this.

Day 35

Quick post before going observing (I'm an astronomer...).

My oatmeal (see yesterday's preview) turned out awful.  The food warmer must be hotter than a slow cooker, not colder.  The oatmeal was burnt!  yuck.  so I threw that out.

I nibbled on carrots, sugar snap peas and a little fruit while making lunch and dinner.   Oh, here's something that turned out great:  I took some beans and grains from the freezer--a batch of just beans and some kamut, barley and wild rice cooked up, bland on it's own--and added a mashed baked sweet potato (which I decided later probably wasn't needed), some curry powder, cinnamon, and sliced grapes.  This was great!   curry powder, cinnamon and grapes is a great combination and will turn a bland dish into a yummy curry dish.

Then had big salads with the usual local and garden produce:  massaged kale, cabbage, lettuce mix, spinach mix, jicama (okay, that was from Mexico), yummy yummy asian pears! (from California), yummy kiwi berries (from California), red bell pepper, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, d'angou pear vinegar.  okay, that wasn't such a local salad after all except for the greens.

gotta run, see you tomorrow!

New rules for Working Connections Child Care in effect

The Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidy program rules changed on Oct. 1, 2011. DEL wants to make sure you know about the changes.

WCCC basics
WCCC helps eligible families with low incomes pay for child care while they work or meet WorkFirst participation requirements.

What changed? The most recent rule changes:
  • Made permanent emergency rules about entry caps, waiting lists, income limits and copayments to ensure the WCCC budget meets limits established by legislation and the Governor.
  • Addressed compliance with federal and state audit requirements.
  • Clarified several rules to streamline applying for and receiving benefits, and qualifying to be paid as an in-home or relative provider.

Some notable changes include:
  • Every applicant must go through the WCCC application process, regardless of their participation in other DSHS assistance programs.
  • The benefits start date is now the same for TANF and non-TANF recipients. All applicants must complete the application and verification process within 30 days. Applicants who do not meet the deadline must re-apply if they want to receive benefits.
  • Rules around verifying income and employment now allow providing a previous year’s income tax return and allow untaxed, in-kind income and taxable corporate compensation to be counted as income.
  • DSHS must verify the citizenship or legal residency of all children who participate in the program.
  • Benefits are provided only for hours when parents work outside of the home.
  • Self-employed applicants or recipients must provide additional verification such as a business license or registration and a self-employment plan.
  • An in-home or relative provider who cares for children receiving WCCC benefits may not receive WCCC benefits for his or her own children during those same hours.

 More information is available on DEL’s website at

Day 34 of the Challenge

wow, only 8 days left!   Then we start a new one because I'm in a groove and want to stay there!   I'm not perfect, but I'm doing pretty good.   Today's foods were similar to yesterdays.  I made a big salad from kale, cabbage, salad mix, spinach, D'angou pear vinegar, sweet red pepper, jicama (part of one), 2 nectarines, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds.  That was divided into 3 bowls for the 3 meals.  Then two small bowls of beans and greens from the freezer, and a baked sweet potato and baked beets.  Then I had some carrots and part of an asian pear when I got home.  Oh my gosh, asian pears are yummy!  I heard someone rave about them on the Fuhrman forums so I bought some and they have a very interesting flavor, almost honey like or vanilla like.  I put the rest of the asian pear into tomorrow's oatmeal.  Check out my new toy!  And it was only $10:

Here it is next to a coffee mug for scale:

I was thinking for a while that it would be nice to find a small slow cooker to cook oatmeal in.  Well, I was shopping the other day and came across this cute food warmer.  It's meant for dips and things and it says it's not a slow cooker, only a warmer.  But you don't really have to cook oatmeal so I figure it will work.  We'll find out tomorrow!  Oh, I should add cinnamon to it.  It's got a little under 1/2 cup oats (41 g), 4 chopped walnut halves (9 g), and a small handful of raisins (10 g).   But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Today's food totaled 1503 calories; protein 53 g (11%), fat 22 g (13%), carbs 298 g (76%), fiber 75 g.

Time to get some shut-eye.  I exercised hard today and I'm sleep deprived.

Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) retreat information now online

The Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) held a full-day retreat on Aug. 31 at the Lacey Community Center. The retreat was meant to build relationships among ELAC members, including several newly appointed members; develop the ELAC functions and guiding principles; and identify potential early actions for the group. The retreat was open to the public.

Some ELAC members are appointed by the Governor. Others are appointed by various organizations as required by state law. ELAC members provide input and recommmendations to DEL so that our strategies and actions are well-informed and broadly supported by parents, early care providers, health/safety experts and interested parties.

Here’s ELAC member Sen. Nick Harper, D-Everett, on why early learning is important for him and how he expects to help ELAC reach its objectives:

And here’s Educational Service District 105 Early Learning Director Cynthia Juarez, a Governor’s appointee:

For more information on ELAC and to view the agenda and related materials from the ELAC retreat, visit

some useful tips from PeerTrainer

I thought these PeerTrainer daily email tips were useful:

How to Eat Healthy at a Party
Creating an Environment of Thin
The Three Bite Rule

Actually, I think I will add to this post as more come up, so I don't make a new post each time.

day something

wooey, life is busy when you return from vacation!  I gotta go to bed and get up early so this will be quick.   I took a picture of today's food but I'm too tired to download and post it, sorry.

Today I had a baked sweet potato and some small baked beets spread over 3 meals, salad spread over 3 meals, and a beans and greens meal spread over 3 meals.  The beans and greens were some cooked beans and grains from the freezer, added to that garden produce:  collards, leeks, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, basil, rosemary, parsley, tomatoes.   The salad was massaged kale, cabbage, red peppers, nuts and seeds, D'angou pear vinegar.    We went to a favorite store to buy frozen fruit for housemate's smoothies and I always snack on the many fruits they have available to snack on.  It amounts to about 1 serving of fruit because it's just tiny samples.  It's fun.  I also ate a plum that I bought.  Tonight I overate on carrots.  I have many weaknesses and one of them is eating during food prep.  I just really like to do that.  Rather than fight that battle right now, tomorrow I will just reserve a bunch of carrots to eat during food prep.  Since I'm gone all day, I prep my food the night before.

Good night, sleep well, have a great day tomorrow.  Have a great goal, obsess about it, be proud of it, plan to achieve it, enjoy the journey.  :)

Total calories today 1641 (more than enough), protein 68 g (12.3%), fat 24 g (12.5%), carbs 327 g (75.3%), fiber 84 g

National Child Health Day -- helping children lead healthy lives

Today is the 83rd annual National Child Health Day. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created a website to feature important resources that assist families in finding health care services. Resources featured on the website include the 311 Prenatal Hotline, Insure Kids Now, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, Text 4 Baby, Find a Health Center Locator and the Maternal and Child Health Program.

Take a look at 

Day 32 of the Challenge, and Napoleon Hill

I got home from vacation and the vita-mix is here!  I wish I didn't have to open the box but there is probably a receipt I'll want to keep.   Now I realize most of you won't win it and I'm sorry about that.  But as you make continuous improvements to your health, you will be winning the most valuable award of all!  And for those struggling, I've been inspired by this audiobook called "Napoleon Hills Keys to Success."   I'm actually surprised by how much I like this.  It's kind of old-fashioned in values and a bit "American-centric" so non-Americans might be a bit put off sometimes (but only sometimes I hope).  and yet, well, I did grow up with these values so it does speak to me.  Plus it presents some very positive values that were missing in my upbringing and that makes it much more appealing to me and adds some healing to some old feelings.   Anyway, getting to my point, here is a quote from the audio tape: "Every adversity carries a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit....Defeat may be a stepping stone or benefit."   Look at your obstacles and defeats, not as failures, but as the seeds of even greater success!  Seriously.  This is absolutely true.  You will learn more, you will have more insight, and by solving your problems, you will discover new things.  So if you have not done so well on this challenge, take that as an opportunity to benefit, yes, benefit from this experience and sow the seeds of success.  (Plus, you can do better on the next challenge!).

In fact I will have some learning and future successes to sow based on my modest overeating today.   On weekends I tend to let myself eat in a less ordered way to provide contrast with my more structured weekday meals.  I think that's okay, though perhaps I should revisit that.  

This morning I had yummy oatmeal wtih oats and raisins soaked overnight, heated in the microwave, let sit while showering, then added frozen cherries and blueberries and heated again.  Yum!  

Then I just ate haphazardly from about 11 am until 5 pm.  I was doing major food prep, 6 frozen smoothies for housemate, freezing lots of garden collards, and fixing tomorrow's meals for me and housemate.  oh, I did make a nice salad:

This had fresh local spinach and cabbage, really good local red sweet pepper, edamame, nuts and seeds, and D'angou pear vinegar.  Just a simple salad but very yummy because of all the fresh local ingredients.

Then I ate a ton of carrots, and also went crazy with the frozen mango which I love, and nibbled on the smoothies.  I also had some kiwi berries.  Those were yummy.   and some sugar snap peas.  Those were not great.  They haven't been great for a while.  It's not the prime season for them I guess and I should stop getting them.  I did keep track of everything I put in my mouth and it came up to more than my usual amount of calories.  But tomorrow's meals will be less than my usual amount--not on purpose but my fruit isn't ripe yet so tomorrow is lacking in fruit.  Today made up for that so I guess it just averages out.  I will go shopping tomorrow at a store with lots of fruit samples so I plan to score some there.   I will post tomorrow's food tomorrow so I don't confuse myself or you.  Here's today's summary:

Total calories 1762,  protein 52 g (10%), fat 28 g (14%), carbs 359 g (76%), fiber 74 g.

The NEXT Challenge

Okay gang, tell me what you think of this.  Our challenge ends after day 42, or Oct. 13 at midnight.   I will send a vita-mix to the lucky winner.  

Here's the thing:  I want to keep going.  I'm going to the November immersion and want to continue the streak.  Then after that we have the holidays.  I want to get through those with as little harm as possible.  We're talking  Oct. 13-Nov.24 for the second one, and then Nov. 25 - Jan. 5 for the third.  Then in the new year, everyone else will be dieting and it won't seem so hard to eat healthy.  Plus after 3 challenges, we'll have such great habits, maybe we won't need more (ha, I wish.  I think we'll always need extra motivation since we're going against the society's grain).

Here's an idea we came up with on the Fuhrman forums.  How about everyone who wants to join contributes a small chunk of change ($5?  $10?).  Once we know how many entered, we decide on a gift or just pool the money and give it to the new winner?   Or divide the cash between 3-5 winners?   I know in this challenge I will have a hard time deciding who the winner is!   If we do a money pool, who should decide who wins?  I don't mind doing it, and I'm happy that it's hard to choose because it means a lot of people are making great progress!  And of course, the best reward of all is your health!   Alternatively we could have a small jury decide but I don't want to pile on the work for myself or others.  Please send in your thoughts and ideas!

Back from vacation!

I returned home to a healthy garden.  woo, lots of collars, kale, brussels sprouts, eggplant, and broccoli!  Lots of overgrown green beans too.  The green beans were extremely productive this year.  We even have some bell peppers now--they got off to a slow start.  We had lots of over-ripe cherry tomatoes and some ripe ones too which I ate right there.  I also ate some frozen cherries as a treat.  So I updated my calories.  Tomorrow I'll get my food logs in synch with my daily report so I'm not editing the next day.  I'll have to figure out what to prep and what to freeze tomorrow.  I don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen but I do need to prep a lot to make the weeknight prep easier.  I want to go on a bike ride too.  or maybe a swim.

How are you doing?  It's day...31 today!