Danger Zone

000cholsteralHubs got the results of his blood work in the mail yesterday.

Ought oh, his cholesterol is elevated; 208

He said: Guess I’ll be going on a diet.

I said: Uh hunh.

He said: What do I have to do to get my cholesterol level down?

I said: Eat more fresh fruit and veggies. Eat less Texas Hots. Eat more oatmeal and Farro, and other whole grains.  Eat less milkshakes and fish sandwiches from Mickey Ds.

He has access to wonderful, healthy, whole and home-made meals at home and is only occasionally asked to eat chinese take-out or subs (no mayo or oil, please), but until now he has fussed about giving up his junk food.

We’ll see how this goes…

Next up: My blood work, at end of month.  Hope its better than his.  :/

Do you keep track of your blood work while dieting?  What junk food do you hate to think about giving up?

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Meatless Monday–Fruit Smoothie

I’m trying to switch things up a bit in the morning, and get back to the benefits of eating raw, including less calories consumed and more fiber and fullness to carry me through the day.  Meatless Monday seems the perfect day to highlight one of the yummy drinks that are available for boosting metabolism.  I haven’t tried this one yet, but I will, soon.  If you try it, let me know how you found it.  I’m looking forward to getting back to basics and lots of raw fruits and veggies this spring and summer.  Yay!

Frosty Banana-Apple Green Smoothie
Yield: 2 1/2 cups, 2 servings

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This smoothie is so sweet, you’ll hardly believe it’s loaded with dark leafy greens. Think of it as a green milkshake.

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas, thawed for 5 minutes
3/4 cup water
1 apple, unpeeled and chopped
8 leaves kale, chopped

Break the bananas into 2 or 3 pieces. Put all the ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Jenny Cornbleet of Raw Food Made Easy

Food History Helps

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One of the reasons that I use a food journal is that I like to be able to look back at what I did in the past, what worked for me, and use that to plan for the future.

Lately, I’ve been scanning my journal entries and finding that there is not much there to help me formulate a future food plan. I wonder why I haven’t done a better job of journaling about my results with food choices and amounts?

Only God knows the answer to that question, but in frustration at not being able to pin point what worked and what didn’t in the past, I have devised a new plan.

Each morning I weigh myself, and record that number in my journal.

When I eat my breakfast, I record the calorie count for what I have eaten.

I record the date.

After lunch, I record what I ate and the calorie count.

After dinner, I do the same thing.

I’m hoping this helps with tracking in the future. We’ll see.

Selfies and Travel

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This is me, working on vacation. Actually, I was working to book a room for that night, after staying up too late searching the internet for a good rate on a nice room in the Lake George, NY area.  I found one not too far from Great Escape and the outlet malls.  We were at a spa and resort in NH when this was taken, and afterward left to Concord to meet up with some friends I have not seen in a few years.  We weren’t able to make the meeting, even though we made it to Concord.  A terrible storm blew in from the west, and hubs and I had no desire to travel rt. 4 through VT on our way back to NY when it was both dark and rainy.  We cancelled our plans as we sat in the parking lot of a DDs and lamented with our friends over the deluge of rain that kept coming, coming, coming down in sheets.  By this time the road surface was awash and one could barely see while traveling 70 mph on the highways around Concord.  Yikes, we made our apologies and headed west as fast as we could go, only to find that the roads in VT were wet but the rain had passed through already.  We were sad to have our plans change, but hey, change is what life is all about and we’d done what we thought we had to do to stay safe and sane.  Our dinner plans will happen another time. Maybe this spring.

DSC_1264Here is me, in the same room at Margate Resort near Laconia, NH, taking a weirdly posed selfie.  I’m not very practiced at this art, so to me it looks weird, but for some reason or other I wanted to document my image on our trip. Maybe reference for future post comparisons of body image.  We’ll see.

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This one is a picture of hubs and me at the top of Prospect Mountain in Lake George.  This was taken as a reflection of ourselves in the Ford Flex back side window. That vehicle is LONG, but we enjoyed driving it on our travels.  The windows were tinted black, so the image came out pretty sharp.  Hubs is holding the blue bird I got as part of my grandma’s estate when she passed.  I carry it all over the place, taking pics with the lil guy.  It’s one way of keeping gramma close and remembering all those we wish were still here with us, but aren’t.  Someday I may start a blog called the Blue Bird Chronicles, but for now its just fun to take snap shots with the lil cutie.  Hubs loved getting in on the action.

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Traveling with someone who you love is the BEST!  My hubs and me, we don’t get a lot of quality time alone, so when we go on vacation its extra special.  This was on the trail heading down from the Prospect Mt. State Park summit.  It was a gorgeous day and we met up with family who just happened to be in the area at the same time we were, so we all walked the trail together.  What fun.  Oh, you want proof?  Okay, here goes…

DSC_1504This picture reminds me how far I’ve come.  Lately, I’ve been waffling with my weight and up a few pounds from where I was.  I don’t know what I’m doing to make that happen, because one fault I have is that I don’t record my food like I should.  On the days when I step on the scale and nothing has happened, or it shows I’ve gone up a few tenths of a pound from last week I cringe and want to quit, and berate myself for not doing better.  Yep, I do. Not over that habit yet.  But looking at these pictures reminds me of what life was like when I weighed 100 lbs more than I now do.

I would never have gone to the summit of the park at my starting weight. I would NEVER, NEVER has hiked back down.  It’s not a long hike at all and the terrain is easy, but not when you weigh what I weighed.  At that weight, everything is harder, including getting outta a chair, standing in line at the check out, and most certainly hiking on a hillside.  Today, I don’t shy away from those activities like I once did.  I know I can do them now.  I didn’t know that before.

I believe in me now. I didn’t believe in me before.

I look forward to doing new things now. I never did before.

Before, all I wanted to do was eat.  All I thought about doing was eating.  Food was my life.

Over the last week I have once again been obsessed with food.  What I have done to deal with the obsession is begin again with my reporting of my food…

Begin again with writing on my blog.

Begin again with reading the blogs of successful and normal sized eaters.

Begin again to believe I can make a difference in my own life, if not another’s.

These are some of the things that I did that helped me lose 100 pounds.  I need to lose more.

Recently I’ve discovered that a willing heart and an open mind is all God needs to get me where I need to go, I believe THAT.  So today I’m believing and writing and reporting and letting go once again.  Can’t wait to go on my next hike.  We will see you soon, Vermont.  Hopefully, in the spring!

Game Plan Needed!!!

I need a new game plan.

This past weekend, the kiddos come down for a few days. That means 4 more people in the house, and on Saturday, we add another 4: That’s 8 in total for lunch on Saturday, in addition to our regulars. That’s a lot for this country gal who doesn’t do crowds, or feel confident as a hostess.

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Having that many additional mouths to feed at lunch time, I resorted to take out and ordered pizza and wings. I know, I know, not good. But I did not pig out on the stuff. I ate two small squares of pizza and two wings, and then called it a day. Rather, a meal. Still, this afternoon I am feeling defeated in my attempts to stay on track when others are in my home.

You can’t believe how quickly 32 pcs of pizza and 2 dozen wings can be inhaled!

I need a game plan that I can slip into place when these things happen. Any suggestions?

How do you stay on track when company comes and it’s mealtime? What do you do to balance out your eating when unexpected multitudes get added to the lunch time roster?

Keep Searching for your Mentor

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Honesty is the best policy, I know that, but brutal honesty can be, well brutal.  I don’t mind telling myself the truth, but there are times when I feel like I’m not the best judge of the truth. At least not as it pertains to me.  In lieu of my version of the truth then, I will tell you my story.

When I got a diabetes diagnosis two years ago, I went from one dietician to another. Each one looked at me and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“What?” thought I.

How did I know, I’d never had diabetes before.

They gave me sheets to complete, pamphlets to read, blood meters to use and sent me on my way.  I guess I was expected to get back in touch with them, if and when I wanted more input.

“More input,” thought I, “where was the initial input?”

My first experience with a medical dietician was in a group setting with strangers.  Most of them had lived with diabetes for some time. They knew the ropes. I’m not sure why they were even there, in an educational setting for the disease.  I guess maybe they had experienced a hospitalization and this was follow-up?  Maybe?  I’m still not sure, but what I do know is that it didn’t set well with me. This group sharing of personal medical information, I mean.

Why should I have to sit in a room with strangers and talk about some of the most personal needs of my life?

I didn’t like it.  Not one little bit.  I left there angry, vowing to seek help somewhere else.  My, how I’ve grown.  Look at me sharing freely with you today.  Amazing.

Dietician no. 2 was no better than no. 1.  She also let me lead the discussion.

Again, I know nothing about diabetes, people. This is not helpful.

Dietician no. 3 was from outside the medical community, a holistic healer who actually helped some.  She met with me a few times, talked to me about getting away from processed foods, talked about changing habits–many of the things I am still utilizing to get healthy.  Thank you, dietician no. 3.  My problem with this one was that she wanted to perform experiments on me.

Or at least it felt that way to me.

“Put your hand on this thingy, sit still now.  Unbelievable as it seems, this device is actually reading your body make-up and will be able to tell us the essential vitamins and supplements you need to add to your diet to obtain optimal health.”

Yeah, I am not a believer.

I went to a few sessions with this dietician no. 3, but when it became apparent that I was not going to buy all the potions she sold, she lost interest, and I too.  That’s when I turned to health and fitness bloggers.

I learned, and I began to eat differently.

In a week or so, I will go back for another blood work-up.  I’m hoping the results this time around are as good as last time.

I have been a bit disappointed this summer.  I was recently diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, so my mobility is limited at a time when I want to run, jump, burn calories.  I’m wearing a boot and not liking it much.  It’s hot. I whine about it a lot.   I’m hoping this thing heals before summer is completely over.  This foot is another example of the many things that can get in the way and threaten to stymie me in my attempts to lose weight.  I will not let this deter me from learning and growing into a healthier me, though.  I cannot.

No going back.

Forward movement is all that is allowed.  Only forward.

Eat Your Greens

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” George Bush Sr.

Maybe President Bush would have eventually learned to like broccoli if he’d eaten a few cookies that had taken on the shape of the ubber green crunchy. Who knows?  What I find funny is how people respond to me when I tell them what I’ve learned about plant-based foods and how they’ve affected my health.  It appears that even solid proof, in the form of blood test results, is not enough to convince some people.  After I received a diabetes diagnosis in late 2011 and changed my eating, I lost 37 lbs and my sugar levels all dropped into the normal range without medication.  Still, I am not a believable witness of what healthy eating can do when it comes to some people. When I tell my diabetic friends, some who are on large amounts of insulin, that I got healthy by drastically reducing my intake of dairy products and meat they get defensive. They tell me what I heard from the medical nutritionists I talked to immediately after my diagnosis (and before I had done my own research), that if you want to control blood sugar you must eat more protein, not less. 

Hunh. That is not how it has worked for me.

Last night I was going through my copy of, Forks Over Knives, again. I was looking for recipes that are plant and fruit heavy. I have not tried many of the recipes in this book, mostly because the ingredients needed to prepare them are not currently in my cupboard. I’m not a big fan of tofu either, and they use it a lot in the recipes. I am willing to try a few of the recipes in this book and even buy weird ingredients in order to prepare them properly, but not having ate them before, I am a little hesitant to spend too much money collecting ingredients that I might use for a single recipe. I wish I knew of a place where you could buy sample packs of these ingredients, packs that held a couple tablespoons of commonly used vegetarian or vegan spices and/or additives.

Note: I am not vegetarian or vegan.  I call myself a flexitarian, because while I do concentrate my greatest efforts on purchasing, perparing and eating plant-base meals, I also eat animal protein in limited amounts.

I don’t know if my friends are hesitant to switch to plant-based foods because, like President Bush, they hate broccoli, or if they have just gotten so used to driving up to the window of a fast food restaurant and ordering the biggest, greasiest, bun-covered concoction they can afford that they can’t imagine eating any other way. I will admit that eating better requires more work and maybe a higher grocery bill, but I’m a firm believer that in this life you either pay now or pay later. I can shave a few dollars off my grocery bill by purchasing white bread, chips, canned soups and boxed meals, and it will fill hungry bodies, but it won’t take my numbers down when I get my blood tested again. Eating tons of fatty beef and pork won’t bring my cholesterol within normal ranges either. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Truthfully, it wasn’t until my eating changed, that my health improved.

My gramma always said, “Eat your greens.”  She was wise in more ways than one.  Finally, I’m following her advise,  and quickly, I’m getting better.

Have you ever tried to eat differently? What changes have you made, in order to get healthy? What proofs have become evident to you about food, after changing your eating habits?