In Need of More Visuals

It seems like FOREVER since I was able to share my food thoughts here. Life and a hectic schedule at work have taken over, with the result being I feel rushed all the time. When I’m rushed, my food choices are not as likely to be good ones. I grab something on the run, and I tend to “nibble” more at stuff that I know I shouldn’t eat.  Stuff sitting there and readily available to me in the heat of a hungry moment.

I have a few apples on my desk and I’m planning to get one of those eaten later this afternoon, but yesterday I struggled with pumpkin muffins that were sitting out in plain view–a gift by others who don’t struggle with their weight the way I do some days.  Ugh.

At lunch today I was thinking that if I could create a set of visuals, flash cards if you will, that I could then use/rotate each day to make sure I’m eating what I need, it might be helpful.  I tend to eat too many grains, and not enough fruits.  Fill-in sheets that are meant to provide a space for me to log the different food groups I am supposed to eat don’t work for me.  I need something more visual.  I wonder if something like this exists?  I would buy a set, if I knew where to get them.

Do busy times equate to hectic eating in your world?  What do you do to ensure you get the right amount of fruit, veggies and protein into your diet each day?

Friends and food

When we sat down to supper last night, it was with good, healthy, hearty food in front of us and friends all around. It had been a while since we had prepared a meal to enjoy with others and it felt great. Our menu consisted of meatloaf, roasted vegetables, fresh-made and still warm applesauce, cornbread with home-canned corn, almond milk, and freshly baked apple crumb pie for desert. Everything served was home-made and unprocessed through commercial means, except for the salsa I put in my meatloaf, the secret sauce I put in my recipe.

I felt pretty good last night, physically speaking, I mean.  Almost no back pain was evident as I prepared supper and did the dishes afterward.  I was able to move and bend and enjoy my time with our guests.  We played a card game called Buzz Word, I had never played before.  It was fun. 

When it came time to have desert, we were ready.  I don’t usually eat pie, don’t particularly crave it, and since I’m avoiding sugar, I try to avoid sugary deserts too.  I still have not gotten the knack of using Truvia or Stevia for desert making purposes.  I’m a bit skeptical of both them and Splenda, and would rather use real sugars and eat less of what ever they are in, than to put this other stuff in my body.  We joked about the fact that my guys are pie hogs.  They actually fight over who is going to get the biggest piece or the most servings.  My men have been known to hide pie, gorge on pie, sneak pie and beg for me to make more pie, but as you ladies (and gents too) know, pie making is labor intensive.  I don’t make it every day, and good thing, because my guys would be as big around as they are tall, if I did.

This morning I hopped on the scales as I do every day.  I thought my pie eating last night might have been reflected in a gain on the scales this morning, but it was not.  Maybe it will catch up with me tomorrow or the next day, but I hope not.  I won’t be eating another slice and I didn’t finish what I had last night.  Like I said, pie is a pretty safe bet with me.  I much prefer chocolate covered nuts to a slice of pie. 

Do you ever eat pie? If so, what’s your favorite kind?  With autumn is full swing, what are you making/baking that showcases the variety of apples available these days?

Physical Therapy

Change is possible. Some days, its inevitable. I’ve learned to roll with the punches, so to speak, but I still don’t like change, unless…

I like change when it brings about the results I’ve been searching for, and makes me feel better. Today, I feel better. Yesterday I ate a lot of whole grain during office hours. I then went home and ate veggies and fruits. I had a salad of greens and nuts for dinner, along with mandarin orange slices and tilapia filets that were breaded and baked. I also drank some almond milk and ate a few more nuts later in the evening as a snack. My food consumption yesterday wasn’t the best I could have done, but I felt good about it and the scale reflected a maintaining number this morning, so I’m glad for that.

Yesterday my eating got waylaid when I had an extra long physical therapy appointment to attend.  Today, I’m feeling much better from going to that appointment.  It gets hard to continue to eat right and lose weight when you hurt badly every time you move.  I’ve been stymied in  my weight loss attempt by the fact that I cannot do much walking and almost no exercising to help move things along.  The number on the scale doesn’t go down, not nearly as quickly as it should, and I feel powerless to make it move when I cannot move myself without wincing.  I am hopeful that the PT will get me back to where I need to be and quickly.

Food is fuel, God is Love, and Change is possible–I keep reminding myself of that as I wait for the answers and the healing to come. 

Which do you prefer, almond milk or soy milk?  On your bad food days, what do you do to ramp up your enthusiasm? 

Bagel Blitz

Today I had my first physical therapy session. Read all about it here.

I came to work a half-hour early today so that I could get in the time I needed to complete my work hours before my appointment, and so as not to have to stay late tonight.  I accomplished half my goal.  I erased 30 minutes of my appointment time through comp hours, but then the therapist kept me an additional 30 minutes over what was projected, so I’ll still be staying late tonight to make up that time.  It’s okay, though.  I know these things happen.  What is more disconcerting to me about the long PT session is the fact that a lack of planning on my part meant I did not have a lunch to eat after I returned to work. 

Here is where the fast food demon strikes.

I did not do horribly in choosing food at the drive-in window near the PT facility. I ordered a pumpkin latte without the added sugar and whip cream and a whole grain bagel, plain, which I then toasted once I got back to office and spread with real butter.  This would not have been so bad, had it not been that I had a whole wheat bagel toasted with butter and hot flavored tea (no sugars) for breakfast this morning, again at my desk. 

I try not to eat this way, I really do, but sometimes I fail.  I’m within my calorie allowance for the day, I think, but where is the protein? Where is the vitamins A, B, C, D, F, and the rest of the alphabet?  I guess they will have to wait for supper time and for me to sit somewhere other than my desk.

I’m blessed that the physical therapy office is close to my work place, and that makes things easier for me as I seek treatment.  I’m hoping that my back pain dissipates quickly and I can get back to regular workouts at the gym, which are much less expensive and more to my liking.  I’m rather shy when it comes to physical things, so I don’t like the attention PT brings but with the pain I’m dealing with now on a daily basis, I’m willing to do almost anything for relief.

I will make sure to fill my belly with veggies, fruits, and protein tonight.  I have a few acorn squash on the counter at home and black beans and Farro I can cook.  I also have apples, puny as they are this year.  Supper will be a rainbow of colors and flavors.  I’m hoping that offsets the grain choices I consumed during daylight hours today.  I’m not perfect, but doggone it, I am trying.

LANDSTUHL, Germany (Oct. 16, 2008) Physical th...

LANDSTUHL, Germany (Oct. 16, 2008) Physical therapist Lt. Cmdr. Mitchel Ideue, Officer in Charge of Inpatient Services at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, in Landstuhl, Germany, gives Army Sgt. Charlie McCall a physical therapy treatment. (U.S. Army photo by Michelle Barrera) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What do you do to fend off frustrations on bad food days?  Have you ever had physical therapy?  How long did it take you to recover your physical health, after starting therapy?

Progress Slowed

Heading back to the office after a weekend of pain is a good thing.  Sitting upright in my chair keeps me mindful of my posture, and believe it or not, I hurt less when I’m sitting upright.

I’m struggling with lower back pain again, and this time it has brought its ugly cousin, hip pain, along for the party in my body. I don’t know if it is the result of a change in the weather and temperatures that is bringing on this renewed pain, but I’m not liking it. It’s slowed my progress considerably. 

Being in constant pain means I’m constantly tense. I catch myself clinching my jaw a lot these days. I also find myself having to consciously release the tension in my shoulders several times a day. I don’t know how to stop myself from reacting to this pain with stress, but I do have a script from my doctor for a muscle relaxer/pain-killer and a referral for physical therapy, so I’m going to give that a try.

When I hurt like this, I want to do nothing but lay around. Problem is, laying around hurts.  Standing for any period of time hurts too, but in a different way.  Back pain is the worst!  It makes it difficult to do anything, let alone cook good meals and grocery shop.  

This weekend, I shopped in spurts.  I was in town several times for differing reasons, so instead of getting all those groceries in one clump and having to haul all those bags to the trunk of my car by myself, I shopped a little here and a little there.  It seemed to work.  I made soup for supper and a cornbread recipe I found in the Everyday Happy Herbivore cookbook, that uses pumpkin and fresh sage in the batter.  I told my hubs that I think I might never use another cornbread recipe again, this one is so luscious.   

I picked soup for supper because we haven’t had it in a while and the season changing and the weather growing colder seemed to suggest it was a good choice.  I was astonished at how small a serving I was able to eat.  My stomach must be shrinking somewhat.  It was good to put the warm broth and rich and flavorful cornbread in my body.  I felt like I was eating a healing meal last night, and that felt really good to me.

After supper I tried one of those muscle relaxers and I was so glad I did.  I got more sleep last night than I have in a week’s worth of nights. 

What do you cook when you’re having one of those stressful, painful days?  Do you ever shop for food in spurts?  Are you a fan of home-made soups, and if so, what is your favorite?

My Change…Accountability

In my last post I asked the question:  what eating habits have you changed this year?  I thought I would address that question in my post today. 

About a month ago, I began a process of reporting my food to another person.  Actually, I have two people I report my food choices to each day.  Both of them are trying to cut the fat out of their diets, and both of them are struggling with challenges like those I face.  One of them is working to adopt a paleo food plan, the other is simply trying to get away from the processed junk that is everywhere available in our society.

Eating out of boxes and paper wrappers is killing Americans, more and more each day.  But eating raw and natural foods is expensive.  It takes a real committment of time and money to make the switch away from fast food, to real foods.  Finding someone who will encourage that change is essential, though, if we want to keep striving for optimum health and fitness.

I’ve toyed with the idea of posting my daily food here, on my blog.  I’ve seen it done other places.  I even visited a blog that had nothing but food as it’s content.  It was a food diary, as far as I could tell, and listed everything the writer had eaten for each day of the week.  My hesitation in starting a food diary on-line is that I’m not sure I’m strong enough yet to absorb the critique I might get from readers by doing this.  Can I honestly admit to eating things I shouldn’t if I know the “neighborhood” can read all about it each day? I’m still making that decision.

For the overeater, eating can be a very personal pass time is often an addictive behavior.  Food choices are reflective of personal decisions, and in the case of an obese individual, bad choices.  Being overweight is associated with feelings of shame and embarrassment, especially for those who like to feel as if they do a good job controlling themselves.  Obesity is a major factor in  social isolation, too.  Fatty’s feel left out, so we eat to comfort ourselves, and in eating to comfort ourselves, we are left out.  Ugh, it’s a vicious cycle.

Hoping to break the cycle of shame, guilt, eating to comfort, and feeling isolated, then eating more, self loathing, and more eating, I have decided to share my food choices with two people I trust to love me, guide me, and help me stay encouraged and on the right food track during this journey. So far, it has been a good decision.  I feel more accountable to eat right each day, and they feel like they, too, can be honest with another individual about what they are eating.  None of the three of us are perfect in our food choices, and I don’t expect we ever will be, but we are making progress.  At the very least, the isolation connected with eating mistakes has been erased.  

Do you ever eat alone, so that you can eat all you want and still hide the fact that you overeat?  What foods do you want to eat alone?  What foods have you banished from your pantry because they make you feel this way?

Changing things up

Change is possible. I believe that. When something stalls, or its discovered that it wasn’t right in the first place, change is the answer. 

By change, I mean the action of making a decision within myself to do better, reach farther, and maybe, just maybe alter my future by making better choices today.

I have felt for a little while that the theme of my blog (the background) was too dark, so today I changed my theme.   At this point in my life I’m trying to be more positive.  I’m trying to see the changes I’m making in my life as positive changes. I’m trying to focus on the benefits that have come to me by eating better foods.  I’m trying to concentrate on learning all I can about eating right.  I’m hoping to get myself acclimated to the proper diet and exercise program before the end of the year.  I’m working really hard to see it happen, see this miracle of recovery come to me before we close out 2012.  It’s been a good year for me, and I want 2013 to continue the winning streak.

I read yesterday that many people diagnosed with diabetes have had the disease for, on average, seven years before it was discovered.  That’s hard for me to imagine in one sense, but not hard at all in another.  I had blood work done yearly for many years, and diabetes did not show itself in those test results.  My doctor knew that my mother and sister were diabetic.  He treats my mother.  Why didn’t he know I was?

Looking back, I can see many indicators that I was diabetic.  In the end, the biggest indicator was a swollen liver.  I’m hoping and praying my liver returns to normal size as my blood sugar levels are controlled by diet.  And I’m thankful that my blood sugar levels can be controlled by diet.  I’m grateful for the reading and the experimenting with foods that I’ve done this year.  As I have shared in the past, medical dietitians were no help to me.  I had to learn on my own.  I thank God for the information on the internet and blogs written by other health conscious people.  Learning would have been much more laborious, if even possible for me, had these resources not been in place. 

This year my life has changed a lot.  It seems appropriate that my theme on my blog page would change too.  It will be good to open up my dashboard to the blog and see a lighter blog background looking back.  I hope you, my readers, like the change.  I may change it up again, but for now, this is what I’m going with–light and airy.

Thanks for reading and for commenting. I’m learning from this journey, and YOU are a valuable part of that education.  I thank God for you!

What do you do when you sense the need for change in your life?  What eating habits have you changed this year? What is still left to change in your diet routine?