Finding Sandi…

It’s been a busy week! I started out with my typical day off and spent all of Monday cleaning house after having grandkids there all weekend! πŸ˜€

On Monday (or was that Sunday? Sheesh, I can’t remember!) I managed a walk with a friend over the bridges that I posted about last week…

Walking the bridges!

Walking the bridges! Around the 3 km mark there is a dock that goes out over the water!Β 

Then Tuesday and Wednesday a commute to job 1… the Center Director at an amazing birth house. Upside… I work with some crazy and fun people. Downside… it’s an hour drive each way and for only 3 days a week, which doesn’t pay the bills 😦

It's been a grey kinda week! Grey dress, grey hose, grey shoes... at least the sun is shining!

It’s been a grey kinda week! Grey dress, grey hose, grey shoes… at least the sun is shining!

Then on Thursday I started a new, every once in a while job, teaching at a college about 20 minutes even further from my home… Not complaining, as it supplements my income!

Then on Thursday afternoon I drove another 35 miles south to do some admin work for a midwife friend of mine who is converting her practice to electronic medical records. I spent the night at her house, so I could get an early start (and not waste time and money on driving!) and had this yummy breakfast…

Chicken sausage, mushrooms and eggs. Mmmm!

Chicken sausage, mushrooms and eggs. Mmmm!

Here it is finished…

Breakfast plated.

Breakfast plated. I love adding avocado!

I then set out for a long day of data entry and scanning. Totally worth it. As it could all be done via wifi I sat outside on the deck next to her pool and worked all day! The Vitamin D was welcome! BeBe loved it too…

BeBe loves being a Florida dog!

BeBe loves being a Florida dog!

Janice came home just as I was cooking this for dinner…

Stir fry: Omaha steaks with scallion, garlic, mushroom and asparagus! OH MY!

Stir fry: Omaha steaks with scallion, garlic, mushroom and asparagus! OH MY!

I have found myself in a bit of a rut and a little down the past few weeks. My plan was to come home, work PT at the birth house and take time to get my health and fitness business up and going. Part of the problem with feeling down is that I COMFORT EAT 😦 Β  Β  I have caught myself reaching for things (mostly dark chocolate or Fritos) when I’m feeling sorry for myself. Two significant things happened yesterday to kick me back on to the right path.

One… I spoke with Jamie, my amazing logo designer, about getting my web site for the business going. She is so encouraging and gave me an assignment to get the text going. So do know that I am committed to getting the site up by FEBRUARY 1st (I say this more for me than anyone else, lol)

Two… I got a message on Facebook in my “other” folder, while on the phone with Jamie! I opened it and found these words (I’ve not posted the whole message)…

I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration your Dukan journey has been for me. I started Dukan on August 20th of this year and so far have banished 50lbs. I have about 35 more to go. Not sure how I came across your blog, but I have finally got caught up to date with your journey. Soooo many times I have turned to read a few days of your blog when I was battling cravings etc and the words spoke right to me!

Towards the end of the message the letter writer encourages me to write more posts, and I need to, and thank you for encouraging me to do that! This weekend I am going to write out a blog post schedule and STICK TO IT! Ironically, she and I started Dukan on the exact same day (a year apart) with the exact same weight to lose! How cool is that!?!!

I need to find myself. I need to take the time to immerse myself in solitude and write and write and write my business goals out, again, once more, so that it becomes clear again. I need to keep writing out my vision boards and focus on making them a reality. And I need to respect who I am, what I’ve achieved and continue to feed my body GOOD.CLEAN.FOOD! Because I look and feel better than ever!

How do you make sure that you turn your visions into reality? How do you keep yourself on track?






Happy 2013!

Wow… what a CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY year! 42 Take offs and Landings… 91,000 air miles logged. From huge airplanes (Boeing A380) to a small 9 seater. China, Hong Kong, U.S., Japan and the Bahamas.

I completed the Dukan diet in May, having lost 111 pounds! And for the most part have kept it off. I bounce up a few pounds, readjust and it comes back off.

I went from not being able to run for 45 seconds to running 5K and completed one. I am now training for a triathlon next August with bloggy friends Cindy, Sandra and Anna and can’t wait!!!

I’ve also done yoga and a program called D.I.R.T.Β regularly… D.I.R.T. kicks my ass!

Last year I brought New Years in with my dear friend Lucy in Hong Kong…

New Years Eve in Hong Kong Dec 31, 2011. With Lucy Rowney.

New Years Eve in Hong Kong Dec 31, 2011. With Lucy Rowney.

Crazy how much has happened in the past 12 months! Crazy how blessed and fortunate I am to have the people in my life that I do. Crazy how lucky I am to have an amazing job with two crazy women that I adore and love working with!!

December 2012Lorie, Me and Miri

December 2012
Lorie, Me and Miri

The next adventure? Planning a conference for birth workers in Ecuador for July this year and planning my own little trip into Peru to visit Machu PicchuΒ afterwards. It’s going to be an amazing trip!

What are your plans for 2013?

I hope all of you have a blessed, amazing, healthy and prosperous 2013!

Sandi πŸ™‚


Dukan – Consolidation Day 222 – Recipe

Wow!!! 222 days since I met my goal weight… time sure flies. I’m nearly half way through the 500 days of Consolidation (it is 5 days for every pound you lost to your goal weight, which for me was 155, so 100 pounds lost… that said, I actually lost an additional 11 pounds for a total of 111 pounds, but I’m not counting those in my Consolidation #)… clear as mud?

Since Thanksgiving I had gained 3.5 pounds. This brought me dangerously close to 150 pounds… On Friday I was 149.8. So I took action. I decided to do 4 Pure Protein days in a row this week. I started on Monday.

2 boiled eggs and 2 slices of sharp NY cheddar (yum!!!)
4 slices of deli roast beef and 4 slices of deli sliced turkey with 2 slices of muenster cheese
Pork Chop baked in the oven with onions

Breakfast: 2 egg omelet with cheddar and 3 slices of bacon (yes, i technically know this is not Dukan friendly, but it is low carb!) πŸ˜€
Lunch: OMG Crockpot Tuesday… recipe below
Dinner: Stuck at the birth center assisting a birth…. 7 olives and 6 squares of feta cheese… low carb, but NOT the dinner I was hoping for 😦
Snack: FF Greek Yogurt w/Splenda

Should have taken a picture BEFORE it was nearly devoured!

Should have taken a picture BEFORE it was nearly devoured!

Dukan Spicy Chicken
Serves: 8 (I feed the crew here at the Palms Birth House lunch on Tuesdays)
1 TBS coconut oil
4 pounds chicken thighs (boneless/skinless) You could use breasts, but thighs are WAY CHEAPER!!!
2 large onions, chopped (I like big chunks)
4 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
Grated zest of a lime
Juice of same lime
6 TBS apple cider vinegar
3 TBS water
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
2 TBS splenda
Dash of salt
I also added a TBS of my son-in-laws homemade Awesome Sauce (think home grown habenaros!)

Turn your crockpot to HIGH.
Heat a skillet on medium with coconut oil. Brown the chicken in the skillet, 3 minutes each side. Add to crockpot.
SautΓ© the onions for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and sautΓ© two more minutes. Add to the crockpot.
In a small bowl mix the rest of the ingredients. Add to the crockpot.
Cook on high for 3 hours.
Eat and enjoy!

This lunch was FANTASTIC! The entire birth house smelled so yummy! It was very much a winter dinner. Let me know if you try it!


Dukan – Consolidation Day 165

Today is the 165th day of Dukan Consolidation for me… I will be in this phase for 500 days and the point of Consolidation is to teach your body that this is the weight it is suppose to be. And I have to say I’m duly impressed with how well this phase works!

I’m following the principles of the Dukan Diet, but eating Paleo, as I do not want to add wheat or any other gluten back into my diet. I also am eating more good fat in my diet (from nitrite free bacon, coconut and macadamia oil, etc) and dairy (full fat) which isn’t technically allowed on either diet, but I’m a cheese girl. The result? My weight has maintained between 143 and 148 the entire time I’ve been in Consolidation!! I’m having celebration meals once per week, but keeping wheat out. Most of my celebration meals consist of a teeny bit of sugar, my one treat. And most weeks, it’s a normal healthy dinner and a dark chocolate bar for dessert. I have no cravings for crap food… Except for the 3 minutes I mourned the loss of crispy spicy KFC chicken. I whipped out my trust iPhone pics and looked at the KFC me and decided I am better than that!

I strongly recommend reading the book Wheat Belly, Mel from NZ recommended it to me in January and I devoured every word. It explained A LOT! And the subject has come up on a couple of my favorite blogs this past week (Shannon and Sonia) πŸ˜€ I never want to have that OMG my stomach is going to explode feeling again. EVER and since quitting wheat, I don’t! It’s that simple.

In regard to exercise, I’m still restricted from running for another 5 days, but I’ve been walking daily and last night did my first yoga class since my surgery, hoo boy did those over the head stretches feel tight! Speaking of surgery, I’M LOVIN’ my arms!!!

Here’s a peek at what I had for brekkies and dinner this week. Pretty typical of my daily intake. Lunch has been broiled chicken or meat and cheese roll-ups.

Bacon and eggs with veggies πŸ™‚

Sirloin Steak and stir-fry veggies… Mmmmm!

Now I’m off to practice a tricep move mentioned on Anna’s blog. Kaye has challenged me to take a pic and post it πŸ™‚

How is everyone else doing weight and fitness wise? Happy hump day πŸ˜€


Recipe – Low Carb – Veggies Steamed in Coconut Milk

So the other night when I made the Coconut Flaxseed Bread that I posted about, I had this half a can of coconut milk left over and had no idea what to do with it… then it hit me… why don’t I pour it in the veggies that are steaming… Mmmm Mmmm Good!

steamed vegetables, coconut milk, vegetables steamed in coconut milk

Thai inspired steamed veggies!

Total time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 6

1 head of broccoli
4 medium carrots
A big handful of asparagus
1/2 c water
1 c coconut milk

Cut veggies into bite size pieces.
Put carrots into pan and pour water over them.
Simmer on med-low for 10-15 minutes (until they are just becoming tender)
**Add a little more of water, if needed
Add the rest of the veggies to the pan and pour the coconut milk on top.
Stir well.
Steam for 5-7 minutes.

Per serving: 74 Calories, 5 g protein, 2 g fat, 13 g carb

Dukan – Sunday Celebration and weekly wrap-up!

Consolidation Phase Day 128 of 500!
Weekly Weight: 146-149
Goal Weight: 155
So Consolidation DOES work πŸ™‚ I can’t believe it’s been 128 days since I met my goal weight! This summer has flown by! I am very consistent with my weight, still weighing every morning and still VERY happy with the results!

This past week has been busy! I am moving back to the States on Thursday after living abroad for 4 years. I have been packed for over a month πŸ™‚ I know, a bit OCD, but what to say. I’ve got 2 large suitcases and a large box as checked luggage (things I didn’t want to risk never seeing again if my shipped boxes disappear into the stratosphere or something.) It’ll be worth paying extra for the peace of mind.

Exercise this past week included running 4-5K 3 times. Walking 4-5K the other 4 nights. I also did 30-45 minutes of yoga 4 times the past week. I hiked the mountain 1 time this past week and hope to do it Tuesday morning as one last hurrah πŸ™‚

I met Hanna and Diana and Jacob (next photo) on the street a couple of weeks ago. They are from Sweden and here to attend the University just down the block from my flat. Jacob had on a Miami Dolphins hat, so of course I stopped them πŸ™‚ They’ve been to dinner a few times and I wish I had met them sooner!



The weather in Hangzhou has been PERFECT this past 4 days. Sunny and a cool breeze. I’ve had the flat windows opened and the whole place is fresh. The summer heat was oppressive! So it’s a nice break.

Let’s see… what did I eat this week. Lots of tea eggs, as per usual. Lunches consisted of leftover roasts (both pork and beef), salad, cheddar cheese and almonds. Dinners were steak stir fry, pork roast, beef roast, shrimp stir fry and my new favorite way to cook veggies; veggies (broccoli, asparagus, carrots and garlic stems) steamed in coconut milk… OH MY you have no idea how good THAT is… a must try! I also had a dinner out with friends at a local sushi restaurant and a hot pot dinner… guests for dinner almost nightly, trying to cook up all the food in the freezer AND say good bye to friends, new and not so new.

Pork roast… Mmm!

Out for sushi with Baby Milva!

hot pot, hangzhou

Out for dinner with Joe, Chiara and baby Nunu!

You throw in the meat and veggies and it cooks in the hot pot… the liquid on the left is spicy, spicy!!! Mmmmmm!




And I did my last water birth lecture in front of a hundred people or so in a nearby town. I hope my message got across to some folks and they have gentler births!

midwife, china water birth

Me and Liang… on our way to my last water birth lecture. She’s the lead midwife supporting water birth at Hangzhou AIMA.

So, that’s my wrap up! How did your week go? Is it cooling down where you live?


Dukan – Consolidation Day 93

I can’t believe how long I’ve already been in Consolidation! Day 93 of 500. Nearly a fifth of the way to Stabilization!

Today’s weight: 148 lb/67.1 kg
Goal weight: 155 lb/70.5 kg

I’m working in Guangzhou for 2 weeks and have the pleasure of having my friend Aisha who lives in Saudi Arabia here as a student midwife. It is so exciting! Yesterday we worked on blood drawing and placing IVs (I volunteered to let her practice on me, as did her husband) and today physical exams and other fun stuff. She’s also working with one of our doctors here.

I ran 5k the night before I came to Guangzhou and I’ve been speed walking 5k an evening here. Hoping to run in the morning. I’ve been having some insomnia this week, for some reason 😦

I’ve also been doing a 10 minute morning yoga routine with YOGAmazing on my iPad every morning and a 25-45 minute routine of my own nearly every evening.

And lastly… I just want to say that I think it’s awesome that food like this is on my diet. No magic pills, no artificial hormones and starvation, just damn good food πŸ™‚

Breakfast: Bacon, red onions, garlic, shaved, organic Parmesan, green apple slices


Breakfast: Pork belly chunks, red onion, cilantro, curry, fried egg with mozzarella


Dinner: Beef steak chunks, red onions, red cabbage salad with cucumbers


Yum, yum, yum!

Ciao πŸ˜€

Just The Stats, Ma’am

This morning weight: 148
Goal weight: 155
Weeks since goal met: 13 or so

B/P this morning: 99/57
Pulse: 58
Cholesterol taken fasting on Monday: 138 πŸ˜€
(I guess eating all those eggs and all that fatty meat isn’t clogging my arteries after all!)
These are from August 2011 & March 2012
Aug 20, 2011 / March 20, 2012
Chest: 42 / 36
Waist: 45 / 33
Hips: 56 / 42 (LOL, my HIPS are smaller than what my WAIST was!)

Measurements this morning:
Chest: 36
Waist: 29
Hips: 39
Total inches lost from just those 3 areas: 39 INCHES!
Overall inches lost: 61! I’m only 63 inches tall!

From the machine:
Lean Body Mass (bone, muscle, water): 79.4%
Body Fat Mass: 21.6%
BMI: 25.3 which is “overweight”. The BMI people don’t take all factors into consideration, so they can eff off…. I’m perfect, for me πŸ™‚ I’ve got some leftover bits from losing 111 pounds, but I’m definitely not overweight, given I’m wearing a Size 8!!

And there’s the stats!



Dukan Consolidation – Day 40
Daily Weight: 148
Goal Weight: 155




4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound shrimp
4 garlic cloves
Large bunch cilantro
2 Tbs GF Soy Sauce or Asian fish sauce (GF = Gluten Free)
**Use Coconut Aminos to make this Whole30 compliant**
1.5 Tbs toasted sesame oil OR 1.5 Tbs Olive oil and 2 Tbs roasted sesame seeds (I couldn’t find sesame oil, so made my own!)

Place all the ingredients, except the chicken and shrimp, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth (took about 40 seconds in a blender using the pulse button).

Place chicken breasts in oven proof baking dish and pour the marinade over the chicken. Place in fridge for 15 minutes.

Prepare your grill or preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When done, the internal temp should be 165F.

I baked in oven as follows:
Cooked for 40 minutes.
Pulled out and spooned the juices on top
Back in oven and added the asparagus dish to the oven

Asparagus, 1 tsp of organic sweet, salted butter, 2 crushed garlic cloves

After an additional 15 minutes, pull out the asparagus, add the shrimp to the chicken dish, drizzle a teeny bit of olive oil on shrimp and put oven on BROIL for 8 more minutes.



Bernadette and Kevin loved it. Going to miss going back to china and being restricted to a burner and pan again.

I fly back to China tomorrow. I’ve had a wonderful time in Florida and North Carolina. 3 more months and I’ll be home for good!

Also, took mom to the train yesterday for her trip back to Newberry. Here’s some pics from our trip…

Love letter from my grandson Shane to my mom, his GiGi… He’s the sweetest boy!

Sydnie and Shane with GiGi.

Me and my mom… I feel so blessed to still have her!


Dukan – Consolidation – Day 20/500

Thursday was Consolidation Day 20 of 500 πŸ™‚

Daily Weight: 149 (please don’t yell at me, Mom!)
Goal Weight: 155

Early start for me because I’m going to Dongguan to one of our hospitals there to do a comprehensive health and safety audit and to give 2 lectures on International Patient Safety goals. I love visiting the hospitals in our group (my company owns 20 maternity hospitals in Southern China) and I always feel warmly received… This was at the main entrance when I arrived…


A big shout out and thanks to my Guangzhou PA Rose, who sent out this picture to the branding department at Dongguan so a more up-to-date me is on the posters πŸ™‚

These hospitals have amazing branding and marketing departments and the are FINALLY using new pictures on the posters. Here’s a poster from April 2011. The pic is one that they were still using a month ago!!


That’s my Vivien in the picture above. She’s the Director of the Hangzhou International Medical Care Center… My home base hospital. Pic was taken April 2011. I’ve changed a lot, Vivi still looks awesome!

So, after getting a nice tour of all 7 floors of the hospital and enough tray brewed Chinese tea to have a good buzz going, I was off on my own to do the audit. These are some of the challenges that I came across. What I love about finding these things is that they are wonderful for educational purposes and a way for me to be a change agent. Having the support of the administration of the hospitals is key.

Can you guess what’s behind this picture frame?


You’re correct if you guessed fire fighting equipment!


Sure looks pretty, unless there is an emergency! At least they don’t have any hiding behind couches like this one…


One thing I really loved was that these posters were everywhere in the hospital…


And they take it seriously with a zero tolerance policy. This is the first Chinese hospital I’ve been in that I could not smell cigarettes! All of our hospitals have a no smoking policy, but the nurses are too polite to say anything. This hospital has empowered the nurses to say no! So exciting!

A big issue I have with H&S here is Sharps containers. I either find yellow bags in cardboard boxes or like this…


They put yellow bags inside the Sharps container and when it’s full, they take it out and put it with the medical waste. I can’t imagine the needle stick injuries that occur 😦 There is a very high Hepatitis B rate here and I shutter to think how high it must be in the healthcare practitioner field. I am currently trying to get our company to convert to snap on top Sharps containers. They are very good at complying with my suggestions!

This is another really cool thing I found today. One of the elevator doors…


After the inspection I did 2 health and safety presentations. The first was on patient identification and the other on the “time out” procedure. And then, as a bonus I showed them my Water Birth in Pictures presentation which is my daughter Tiffany’s 4th birth. A huge hit. Lots of questions, everyone loves that presentation πŸ™‚ Heck I love it. I’ve presented it probably 20 times and I still beam with pride at Tiff’s beauty in labor and the moment she and Joey bring the baby up out of the womb.

This is right before I left to go back to Guangzhou. Me and the Admin from Maria Maternity…


Crazy drive back to GZ and I hurriedly changed clothes and ran to the subway because I had a 7 pm appt with Joey, the torturer, errr my personal trainer. It hurts my triceps to type this post! Lol. We focused on arms and abs for an hour. I then went out to run. It was 84 degrees and 96% humidity… I didn’t get too far…


Note that the stadium I’m running around is to the southeast of where the GPS has me running in circles, lol? Anyway, I pooped out. I couldn’t get any kind of rhythm going, so I jog/walked/limped to the subway and went back to my room.


Breakfast: Low fat Greek yogurt with flaxseed and Splenda
Lunch: broiled fish, garlic stems, broccoli raub with big chunks of ginger
Dinner: 2 chicken sausages, low fat cottage cheese
Snack after workout: 20 almonds and 2 oz low fat sharp cheddar