Let’s Have A Catch Up!

Well thank you, Mona, for the kick in the butt to write a blog πŸ™‚

Where to start? The radio show I talked about in my last blog was so much fun! I had nausea all day that day, for nothing! The hosts made me feel like we were sitting in a comfy den, chatting over coffee. If you missed it you can click here: Sandi on Maternally Yours radio

The first weekend in September I traveled to our nation’s capital to visit my friend Rana, her husband Mohammed and their son Azooz. They were here visiting from Abu Dhabi. So wonderful seeing Rana. She is like a sister to me and I cherish our friendship!

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I can’t believe how big Azooz has gotten!

On Monday morning my dear friend Danielle came visiting!

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We had a wonderful breakfast with Rana and then she dropped us off…

We visited The Mall, the Lincoln Memorial at one end, and the new Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial. We even saw President Obama when his helicopter flew just above our heads at the MLK Memorial.

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Oh, and this happened first thing Monday morning! I didn’t let it prevent me from walking all over DC!

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I just did this…

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And continued on.

On Tuesday I spent about 5 hours walking around Arlington National Cemetery. What an amazing experience.

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The servicemen and women in this section were born in the 80’s and 90’s very sobering. I found myself whispering, “thank you”, over and over.

Then it was time to fly home. Wednesday morning I drove to work and then went to my chiropractor Ian Schtulman’s office for an X-ray. Diagnosis… Fractured 5th metatarsal. That’s a fancy word for broken foot. So I am now wearing this gorgeous fashion accessory…

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That night was girls night out… Nothing like hanging with the girlies! I met some new friends who are just as awesome as the old gang!

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Friday brought me to the International Institute for Health Care Professionals where I have the honor to teach student midwives. I have to say its the highlight of my week… Here are some of my girls at lunch with me…

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Saturday I was suppose to run the 9/11 Heroes Run, but broken foot wouldn’t allow me. So I got up early to support my friends who were running it and took pics!

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Saturday night was my friend Lorie’s 50th birthday party… It was a wear all white party, which I thought was an awesome concept… Then I found out why…

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Yes, that’s me, all did up!

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I was spared the color fun due to my broken foot πŸ˜€

Sunday morning spent with family at Life Church Jensen Beach… The part of the week I really look forward to! I stopped for a sunrise coffee…

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Sunday afternoon spent having a BBQ with my friends Ed and Elizabeth… Watched my Dolphins win their season opener and the Serena win the US Open… Phone call from midwife colleague Tammy to GO NOW to an address she texted me… She had three births going at the same time! What an honor to assist one of my former assistants and be present at beautiful beginnings…
This is me charting on the electronic medical record on my iPhone (technology rocks!!) and assisting the baby with breastfeeding at the same time πŸ™‚

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At midnight the birth workers, having been present at 5 births total this beautiful Sunday, gathered at the Irish pub for libations and to exchange birth stories… I love these beautiful women!

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Poured down the rain on the 70 mile commute on Monday morning. Cranky from the rain or lack of sleep? Nope… Thankful for the busyness of my life and for the rain to nourish my space here on Earth. I was rewarded with this, just as I pulled into work…

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Busy, busy week working all my jobs… Monday & Wednesday the Birth House, Tuesday & Thursday SLB Billing (my midwife billing service), also did a ton of paperwork to help a sister midwife get caught up. Thursday night, Life Groups (another highlight of my week), Friday teaching in Boca at the midwife college.

Wednesday, September 11 was my baby Tiffany’s 28th birthday. We also buried my Uncle Russell at the So. Florida Veteran’s Memorial Park. Uncle Russ was my mom’s little brother and Tiffany’s Godfather. He will be missed. He was quite the jokester!

And then off on another travel adventure to catch a baby in the Virgin Islands…

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I missed baggage check in by TWO MINUTES, so had to change flight to 8 hours later… Not a big deal. Had a yummy breakfast…

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And hung out in the Admirals Lounge for the day. Even got to watch my Dolphins win the 2nd game of the season! I “checked-in” on Four Square from the Admirals Lounge and American Airlines TWEETED about me on their Twitter account… How cool is that???

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Ill post an update from St. John in a couple of days… Need to make breakfast and get ready for the beach πŸ™‚ Here’s a couple teaser photos…

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Sunset

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View from the flat I’m staying in.

I hope everyone is having an amazing September!

Ciao!

Travel – Australia

G’day Mates!
So I’ve been in Australia, on business, for 10 days and thought I’d share some of my pictures with you. I can’t express the happiness I have strolling through a park and seeing koalas hanging out in the tree. Not a zoo, just a national park. And the kangaroos and cockatoos and kookaburras and Galahs. Pretty awesome πŸ™‚

The family I’m staying with eat all organic and mostly gluten-free which is wonderful. Good healthy eating, lots of hiking and fresh air! I met some people from Meet-Up here and have hiked a couple of times with them.

Here’s the pics…

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Three koalas in a tree πŸ™‚

Magpie… You lookin’ at me?

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I made yummy gluten-free coconut muffins…

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And another sunset…

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So, that’s the first ten days… I’ve got a few recipes to post, hopefully in the next couple of days!

Ciao!

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!

Ciao!
Sandi πŸ™‚

 

Strep Throat – Ugh!

Yuck! I’ve come down with strep throat and it ain’t fun! Started with a sore throat on Monday evening, but when I woke up on Tuesday I seemed fine. I took some Vitamin C before going to bed and then again in the morning.

Tuesday at noon I headed north to go to a meeting in Tallahassee (7.5 hour drive) and felt pretty good all day until around 700 p.m. just before I arrived in Tallahassee I started getting chills and felt warm 😦 It progressed on to a sore throat by the time I went to bed. I took MORE Vitamin C and had some tea.

Wednesday morning up early to go to the pre-meeting breakfast meeting with midwives and birth center administrators from around the state. Oh boy did my throat hurt! Had some tea with honey with breakfast and tried not to think of how many carbohydrates were in the friggin’ honey… sigh. By the time I got in the car at noon to drive back to south Florida I had a full on fever, chills, body aches and major sore throat 😦

Met my mom in Gainesville to pick up BeBe (she babysat her overnight)…

Doesn’t my mom look fantastic for 81?!?

And by the time I reached South Florida at 800 p.m. last night my throat was so sore I had to take Ibuprofen…

Not much better today… although I think the staff is happy that the boss has no voice! It was awfully quiet around here today. I’ve officially consumed a half bottle of honey 😦 Not getting on the scale for DAYS! πŸ˜€

How are all my friends in the North East U.S. doing with the second yucky storm in a week? Check in and let me know how y’all are doing!

Ciao!

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!

Jacob

 

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!

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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!

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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?

Ciao!

Recipe – Low Carb – Roast Dinner

Last week I met 3 Swedish students that are here in Hangzhou to study a semester at the local university. I’m an extrovert (I’m sure most of you figured THAT out by now!) and the young man in the group was wearing a Miami Dolphins cap, so of course, being the Dolfan that I am, I said hello! By the end of the conversation I had invited Jacob, Diana and Hanna to my flat for dinner on Friday. Tatiana, one of my colleagues, also joined us.

On the menu:
Roast (this one was a prime rib hunk of love!)
Spaghetti squash (that turned out to be pumpkin, lol!)
Roasted vegetables – Onions, yam (which ended up being Taro) and carrots **TARO IS *NOT* LOW CARB… just so you know.
Fresh salad

I cooked the roast for 3.5 hours in the toaster oven and it was PERFECT… I had to fight the urge to not consume it before the guests arrived! The meat fell apart with the fork. In the container with the roast I added the onions, taro and carrots.

I also put the “spaghetti” squash I cut in half, cut size down in a different pan and added the balance of the onions, taro and carrots and baked in the toaster oven (after the roast was done) for 50 minutes. This is when I realized that the “spaghetti” squash wasn’t and went to plan B πŸ˜€

Plan B was removing the flesh from the pumpkin, mashing it, adding in 4 pkts of Splenda, a Tbs of ghee and a tsp of cinnamon… OH MY GOODNESS was this yummy!

I threw the salad together and welcomed my guests… we had a lovely dinner! Here’s the pics!

After everyone left I did a quick clean up and then went for a short 3 km run around the block… perfect way to end the evening!

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Hunk of prime rib love… Mmm! You should always brown each side of the meat before roasting in the oven.

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Just browning this made the house smell delish!

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Carrots, celery, taro and onion… perfect compliments to a roast!

Seasonings… keep it simple!

Taro, Taro root

Taro in all it’s purply glory… It’s quite starchy, but has a lot of bang for it’s buck… it’s full of fiber and tastes a bit nutty.

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Ready for the toaster oven!

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My Un-spaghetti squash… it was yummy anyways!

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Falling apart with a fork!

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The veggies after I removed from the roasting pan… Nom!

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Making Mashed Pumpkin

Mixed Salad

Mixed Salad… I love adding purple cabbage for color and taste!

Dinner ready for the guests!

Hanna, Tatiana, Diana and Me… Lovely dinner companions!

One of the awesome things about living abroad is the people you meet. We have choices in life. We can go about our business and walk around with our eyes averted or we can keep our eyes open and look for new friendships. I choose the latter. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world these past 4 years living abroad… treasures, every one of them and lots of stories I have of my journey, as I head back home for good in 10 days.

Do you extend yourself to strangers?

Ciao!

p.s. added a pic of my Blue Sparkly Notebook to the last post πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dukan – Celebration Sunday & Mountain Hike

Sunday was Consolidation Day 114 of 500.
Today’s Weight: 145
Goal Weight: 155

Sunday is my Celebration Sunday day on Dukan. When you enter the third phase of Dukan, the Consolidation Phase, you get one celebration meal a week. You can eat whatever you want. This is in the first half of Consolidation (mine is 500 days long and the rule applies until I hit day 250). In the second half you can have 2 celebration meals a week.

I’ve chosen to remain wheat, gluten and sugar free, so my celebration meals usually include something like french fries (i’m not eating white potatoes) or lots of fruit! That was the case today.

I started the morning out with a 2 egg omelet with onion, asparagus and garlic. I then went on a 5.59 km mountain hike with my friend Tatiana. This is the trail that I try to hike every Sunday morning when I’m in Hangzhou. I have to say that during yesterday’s hike up I realized that I was really going to miss this part of living in China. Moving back to Florida (which I love more than any place in the world) won’t include mountain hiking!

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Burned off breakfast and then some!

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286 meter = 938 feet… not a bad climb πŸ™‚

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mountain hike, hangzhou, china

Tatiana

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And I wore shorts… in public. You can see West Lake in the background. It’s a beautiful view from the top of this mountain!

And this was my reward… a fruit salad for lunch, along with a iced cafe latte with Splenda and a TON of water… like 2 liters.

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I shared this delicious fruit platter with Tatiana. So fresh and cool after a long hike in the heat.

My driver Jerry met us at the restaurant and took us to the wet market. I’m going to have to go back and get pictures… I’m always so busy picking out my stuff that I don’t pull out the iPhone and take pics! The wet market has the freshest veggies, fruits, meats and live poultry and fish to choose from. I get my veggies, pork and beef there. The stands that I purchase my pork and beef from both have range free farms. The meat is butchered the day before and I can pick my cuts. Tatiana picked out a 1/2 kilo of live jumbo shrimp to make us a late afternoon snack.

We got home, I separated out all the meat and spent time reading for a while. Around 4 Tatiana simmered the shrimp with fresh ginger, sea salt and pepper corns. I made a wasabi & tamari mix and we had some yummy shrimp!!!

Didn’t have dinner, as I was stuffed. I had a couple of bites of cheese and a handful of almonds to round out my evening.

What did you do on Sunday? Were you active?

Ciao!