Wednesday, November 12, 2014
This is a late night entry and very short compared to my usual essays - LOL!
I love to cook and I am always trying to think of ways to get my veggies in because, well, quite frankly, I am not that fond of vegetables. Tonight a made a Brussel Sprout dish that included olive oil, bacon drippings, crumpled bacon, Dijon Mustard, and Maple Syrup. It was yummy and I did even have a second serving with a little guilt floating around in the back of my mind.
So I have been wondering for some time and appreciate your opinion:
Do you think it is better to eat vegetables dressed as in the recipe above vs. not eating them at all because you don't like them? Is it a question of the lesser of two evils?
Some food for thought (ha, ha, ha - no pun intended)!
Monday, November 10, 2014
I have put off doing this blog until after the party that I spoke about in my last entry so I could give you a report about how it went. I want to thank all of you, my Spark friends, for your support. It means so much !
It has been 2 weeks since my surgery. Gosh, how time flies. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. I have come so far. On the physical front I am making progress every day. I no longer need to use a walker, but still use my cane especially toward the end of the day when my leg is tired. Sometimes I will go a short distance w/o any assistive device at all. I have been keeping up with the daily 10 minute Fit2Feast Challenge using my P.T. exercises, walks, and my treadmill. I am walking 1000 steps on most days. I am starting to practice going up and down stairs step over step instead of one step at a time like a toddler! My DH sold his SUV so I had to learn how to get into my car which is a much "lower" vehicle. I am almost off of my narcotic pain med using Extra Strength Tylenol instead. This recovery is going so much smoother than my first hip did that I am beside myself with happiness and can't wait to keep going!
Today I will be starting outpatient therapy and so my goal for this coming week will be continued consistency with my exercise routine and increasing my steps.
On the food front things are going well too. As I mentioned before I am following along with some of my Spark friends on the Beck Solution. I geared up for this before my surgery and I am progressing, although at a slower rate than most, through the chapters. I am started Week 2 of her plan and I am really going to have to keep myself psyched because I know that at the end of this period I will all be about pre-planning what I am going to eat and then tracking it which are my weakest areas. In the past 2 weeks I have carefully watched what I am eating being mindful about when I start to get full, I have kept my carb intake on the low side, and I have made sure I am drinking all of my water. I have managed to loose all of that water weight that is so commonly associated with surgery plus a couple other pounds.
At the group Thanksgiving meeting that I attended yesterday I was very pleased with myself. I brought a Veggie & Pickle Platter that went over well. I started with a large platter in beautiful fall colors that my DD had given me
and I filled it with some of my favorite thinks. It looked lovely when I got done putting it together
I kept my portions very reasonable and started with the protein as my Spark Friend, Sandicane, as suggested; a bit of Turkey Breast w/ a small amount of gravy. I had a good size helping of 7-Layer Salad, some Veggies from my platter, and 1 No Bake Cookie. I was very happy with myself for passing all of the other calorie laddened foods up. What a NSV !
My struggle this week is that I have a very, very busy schedule and most of it revolves around food! One of the things that the Beck Solution suggests is putting Sticky Notes around your house as reminders to yourself. Instead I have chosen a more creative approach. I have taken key ideas and made Reminder Cards for them
These cards sit on our kitchen island where we eat all of our meals. The sit right in front of my place and stare me in the face at every meal. There is no way I can ignore them and they have really helped me stay focused.
I hope you can tell how excited I am about all of this. So here we go heading into another week. I wish all of you the best of success in everything that comes you way this week.
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Just before my surgery I was seeing a lot of talk around SP about the Beck Diet Solution. I was very excited. I thought this sounded just like the thing I needed and so, in preparation, I went to the bookstore and got the book. I thought that my post-op recovery period would be the ideal time to take this on because my appetite was not up to par following previous hospitalizations this year so lowering my calorie intake this time would not be a problem and because it would be a time for me to lay low and really get my heels dug in for success.
When I quite smoking I went no where and did nothing that I could associate with smoking and it really gave me a sound base to stay on the right footing. I was thinking that this post-op time could give me that same base regarding food, riding myself of yo-yo dieting, and ultimately maintaining a healthy life style until the end of time. Although I am not progressing through the daily tasks at the daily rate given, I am still feeling pumped about it all.
I started with this bit of background because I have discovered that I have also started using my post-op recovery period as an inappropriate opportunity to avoid social situations that revolve around food. Just like with my smoking and avoiding all of those activities I worried would make me crave for a cigarette, I am finding myself avoiding any situation that would involve food tempting me. I know this is not the healthy approach I should be taking. Which brings me to The Magazine Rack.
There is a group gathering, a Thanksgiving celebration, this w/e and I think you can all imagine the foods this congers up in my mind. But I decided I need to start facing the music, I mean food! So I spent some time this morning going through magazines looking for a recipe for something healthy that I could bring. As the saying goes, if nothing else I would have at least one thing I could eat.
Yup, the area around my TV chair looks like a doctor's office with all tables in reach filled with magazines. For years I saved the food magazines I subscribed to - Weight Watchers and Cooking Light. I just could not bring myself to through those magazines out and had basement shelves filled with a 5 year supply. After all I paid good money for them and you never know when you are going to want a new recipe. Well, the day came when I said "enough is enough". There will always be magazines with recipes. Yes, I threw them all out and vowed never to accumulate such a collection again!
So as I gathered my magazines together this morning in search of a suitable dish to share, I ended up with 5 magazines in hand, all December issues from various years, 1 Weight Watcher, 1 Cooking Light, and 3 Eating Well! Do you see a pattern developing here again - YIKS! I looked through all 5 and found nothing that tickled my fancy as I thought of the people in this group who would be eating. I was actually successful in throwing 3 of the 5 magazines into the recycle bin. Then I moved onto my "other" collection. You probably all have one yourselves. The big binder book that has all of those recipes that you have clipped over the years and saved. Mine is a large 3-ring binder that I can hardly lift. Lets see - would they like a cucumber salsa with tortilla chips or an orange & pomegranate salad? Probably neither, but they sounded good to me.
When DH got home from work today I brought him up to date on what I had been up to today with my magazines. His answer was to make it as easy as possible and bring some Brown & Serve Rolls. Really?! That's a guys answer for you - LOL! So we decided to text that gal in charge and let her know we were planning on attending but had not signed up for a dish to pass. WHA-LA - her answer was a veggie platter or pickle & olives tray. How easy is that! I told her I would do a combination platter of both. And back into my binder went the other possibilities I had considered. Problem solved and it will even be something I can munch on.
Now about those magazines - apparently brussel sprouts are popular at this time of year because every one of the magazines had a recipe for them. I have never cooked them myself, but have developed a new and recent taste for them from restaurants we go to. I have my magazines all laid open on my kitchen counter with 5 different recipe to try!
Wish me luck with my "coming out of hiding from food" party!
Sunday, November 02, 2014
The end of this year that is!
Friday brought me to my 1 week post-op. It is amazing how much can change in 1 week. You go from not being able to even get your surgical leg in and out of bed without help to walking independently with only the assist of a cane. Yep. That is where I am at right now. Yesterday I sent my DH off to have some fun w/o me and so a good friend of mine came to visit. She walked with me (at a snail's pace) around the block and then she went and picked up our favorite Southwestern Salad w/ Grilled Chicken Breast from a restaurant only a couple of blocks from my house. This is the beginning for me.
The beginning to reach new goals. I feel a bit foolish as I read everyone else's blogs. People are talking about 5Ks, marathons, and all other kind of accomplishments, but I have to tell you all that I am beyond excited that I walked 1000 steps yesterday!
I love doing the Monthly Challenges from Spark Tracker and October was the first time that I didn't meet the goal because my walking had been so limited, but that won't happen again! My new goal is to walk 5000 steps by Feb. 1, 2015 which will be the end of my post-surgical therapy and the associated "hip" precautions/restrictions. I won't have any trouble meeting this goal and it will most likely happen even before the end of 2014.
I have also joined the November Fit2Feast Challenge which is a motivator for 10 minutes of exercise a day.
Last, but not least, I have started the Beck Diet Solution that you have probably seen so many people posting about. After maintaining (not at goal weight either!) for almost one year I came to face the fact that I was in serious need of an attitude adjustment. I know all of the rules and steps to losing weight that there is. It is time to "get off the pot" as the saying goes. I have talked the talk but I have not walked the walk. I will reach my goal weight, but if I do not change my attitude permanently I will end up gaining all of it back just like I have over my life time. I want this time to be different and to be better for me!
So that is an update on me and my status. I am at the beginning! I look forward to every day! I look forward to success! I WILL DO THIS! When your on a roll you have to go with the flow!
Keep Sparkling my friends
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I read an article on SP today about eating slower. Funny how these articles seem to sync with my life every once in a while. This is definitely something I would benefit from doing, but the "how to do it" parts seem to be just beyond my grasp for some reason.
This article has some recommendations; some may work for me, but some I wonder about:
1. Give yourself enough time to eatóat least 20-30 minutes just to eat the meal, plus additional time to prepare it.
Last May, when I went to NYC, it was noted that one of the two friends with me was a very slow eater. We had days filled to the hilt with places to be and things we wanted to see. Along the way we might stop to catch a drink and/or a "quick bite to eat". Quick was the key word here. We had time restraints. I and my other friend would slosh down our drink and/or gobble up our snack so that we could keep moving to the next place. We would be done and ready to go only to discover that our "slow eater" still had at least half of her drink left and we wondered if she had even touched her snack yet. So there we sat waiting (impatiently) for her. It amazed us that it could take her so long. We even came right out and asked her "What on earth is taking you so long? Lets go!". We all laughed, but she really had no answer to our question.
Our discussion turned to why the two of us ate so fast. The biggest reason we figured out was because of life long work habits. I, for one, was in the profession of nursing that only gave me a 30 minute lunch break. So it was quick gobble my food so that I would have a few minutes left to relax before getting back to it.
2. Donít eat amidst distractions, like the TV, computer, or while driving.
Growing up we normally ate at the dining table, but I definitely remember times of eating in front of the TV on TV trays; usually if my dad was traveling and it was just me and mom. Even today, dinner time seems to fall at news time between 6-7p.m. Although we have our backs to the TV, we can still hear the news. Sometimes I eat in front of my laptop at breakfast or lunch. What a better way to multi-task; eating and reading SP too! I have eaten in my car, but that is very rare since I don't want food crumbs left all over the place.
This leads me to wonder what I can do in place of these distractions. I do honestly believe I need some sort of distraction. I have this thing that I can hardly stand to listen to myself chew food let alone listen to anyone else. OK, so I'm weird! Our neighbors often eat out on their deck during the summer and they always play dinner music. I think this might be worth a try. It might even be fun; just like in a restaurant.
3. Be fully present while you eat. Notice the smell, temperature, texture, color, and subtle flavor differences of each food you consume, and, 4. Eat mindfully, chewing each bite as many times as necessary to pulverize any texture.
These two seem to go hand in hand to me and I have tried them (making Mindful Eating a goal even) as I thought it would be the best way for me to slow down. I found some things out while doing this. It is very hard to keep food warm for 20 minutes, let alone 30. Although I am usually very careful to make sure there is color on my plate and flavor in my food. a lot of food doesn't have enough texture and it feels mushy in my mouth which I find very unpleasant.
5. Take smaller portions, taking a break before refilling.
I think this is a great idea. Trying to stay within my SP calorie range has make this one easy. Also, the next time I buy dinner plates I will surely consider the size of them and go for something on the smaller side.
6. Put your fork down after each bite.
This one could also an easy one for me and it has made me realize something more about myself. Although I like the thought of eating a sandwich, I don't do very well with them. I have discovered that once I pick up a sandwich or burger, for example, that I don't like putting it down and then picking it up again and again and again. OK, another weird quirk I have! So I just end up gobbling it down to get it done with. I would be far better off eating something that required an eating utensil instead.
7. If youíre eating in a group, be aware of the speed at which others are eating. Challenge yourself to be the last to finish.
This was the last, but, for me, not the least of the suggestions on how to slow down your eating. Referring back to my friend that I mentioned earlier, I had a chance to observe her eating recently and so I tried to look for some clues to how she managed to eat so slowly. She seemed to gaze around the room a lot (looking at others? daydreaming? contemplating the food in her mouth? I'm not sure what she was thinking about.), she took very small bites, and she seemed to chew the food forever (that same food felt like it had no substance to me so I wondered what there was exactly to chew).
Also, for me, eating was all about business when I was young. When my family sat down to the dinner table there was no conversation because the business at hand was to eat, not talk. This remains true even today when I have my father over for dinner. He sits, he eats, he doesn't talk, and when he is done eating he gets up from the table and goes right home. To be fair to him, he has had to learn to eat slowly and chew his food well as a stroke has made swallowing tricky business for him. It does, however, leave my DH and I to stare at each other across the table until he is finished. I have tried making a game of being the last one finished. It was very difficult to do without putting more food than I should have on my plate or filling my glass up again with some more wine.
Reading back through my blog (and, BTW, thanks for letting me ramble on - again!) has helped my formulate some ideas to try: Music with our meals, more texture into my food, eating foods requiring utensils instead of finger foods, and making a game out of it all.
I'm wondering if eating too fast is a problem for any of you? What do you do to slow yourself down? I could sure use some help with this so all ideas are appreciated.
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