Saturday, December 13, 2014
In the writing diet we are discussing clean eating and how hard it is to get off of sugar.
It's all a learning curve, right? So we can make choices. I think... ignorance is a real excuse but once we know something we realize we have choices. I know that clean eating makes me feel good and the more clean eating I do the more I want to eat that way. It's not easy at first. One small choice at a time. It doesn't have to be overwhelming. Sometimes I can choose yes and sometimes I can choose no... but the yeses can add up.
Detox is something else. I KNOW how hard that can be. My sugar monster begins to have tantrums. It whispers in my ear all kinds of lies, like "you deserve this" or "one bite won't hurt" or "this will be the last one"... or worse it sets up smoke screens so I totally forget my goals and reasons for them and think out of the blue "this would be a good idea.. I have not had that for a long time". All TRICKS. The sugar just makes my food monster stronger so it's voice is louder. What I have learned is the frist few days if I can ignore the voice, it gets better.
I know there are things that help. Exercise and activity calm my monster.
Eating regular meals that are balanced with protein and fiber, eating clean bore it.
Eventually it goes to sleep and I get some peace. But ... then the HALT happens (too hungry, angry, lonely or tired) and the monster wakes up and can ambush me. I am going through THAT a lot right now with worry about my upcoming surgery. Fear, pain and lack of control are all just as powerful traps the food monster uses. Even knowing it, I walk right in.
Writing is my own weapon and using my body buddies for support. Instead of worry I need to talk things out or make a plan for dealing with my worries.
Planning is also really important. For me if it is in the house the food monster knows and will use it to call me. It's a terrible time of year to have a "clean" house but having things wrapped up if they are gifts or delivering them right away.... whatever it takes.
I need to plan treats that I enjoy and have foods availalbe that are OK. Make sure I have quick meals to grab. Defrost that meat and get out the crockpot so when I walk into the house near the witching hour things are ready. Have those veggies already washed and peeled and portioned out.
And my latest tool is the journal that stands guard on the kitchen counter. If the food monster wants to enter the kitchen it has to answer the 4 questions in the book.
Are you really hungry?
Is this what you really want to eat?
Is this what you really want to eat now?
Is there a better choice?
One of my emergency snacks are frozen meatballs. I have a great recipe with zucchini and ground chicken and almond meal but I am reposting the one I have made with spinach, ground turkey, onions, apples, then once they were baked I heated them in a glaze of apple cider vinigar and maple syrup, cooled them and popped them into little ziplocks. Talk about a good snack choice. A minute in the microwave and they smell as good as they taste. Sweet but filling and chock full of healthy foods in a bite size. They are a GREAT appetizer. Ah... that is exactly what I needed to think of as I have an afternoon pot luck tomorrow and was wondering what to bring!
We can do this. We can beat the food monster!
Turkey Apple Spiniach Meat Balls with glaze
Makes 6 meal servings (nutritional value) or divide into 18 "snacks"
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey
1 apple, shredded
1 egg, beaten
1 cup organic spinach, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground marjoram
1 teaspoon fennel seed - optional... I usually do NOT add it.
For the Glaze:
1 cup apple cider vinegar (yup, this much)
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole pan.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add the remaining meatball ingredients and mix well. Form golf ball sized meatballs and place in a single layer on the prepared casserole pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet, add the glaze ingredients and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
After removing the meatballs from the oven, place in a single layer in the skillet with the glaze. Coat all sides of each meatball, turhning frequently, cooking over low heat for 5 minutes.
Remove from the skillet and serve warm or cool and freeze or store in baggies. Enjoy!
NUTRITION (6 meal servings of 3 large meatballs) or divide by 3 and make 18 individual snack size portions to freeze)
Calories: 243 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 28 Sodium: 199 Fiber: 2 Protein: 16
Note that I made cocktail size meatballs and got 35 from one recipe of small meatballs. They work best if you let the glaze cook until it is reduced quite a bit - startting to thicken...so it sticks to the meatballs better... and I was able to double the recipe of meatballs and not double the glaze amounts. They got rave reviews at the potluck by the way.
Monday, December 08, 2014
Two steps forward...
Why is it when things get decluttered everywhere else gets messier? I have yet to decorate my house but my closet is half clean and that is making me feel great, but I seem to be having a tough time dealing with the clutter that has appeared everywhere else. Maybe I'm just noticing it more?
We have had a few salad nights. I made a chicken taco salad last night with black beans and DD made grilled chicken on salad the night before. Tonight though DD's boyfriend is cooking and I have no idea what he plans to make. Planning being the key word. Nothing taken out of the freezer. My guess is breakfast for dinner. He will probably make pancakes or bacon and eggs with fruit. It's one of his favourites to do. In the meantime I've taken out a chicken to thaw so I can make soup tomorrow and go through the fridge for leftover veggies. Maybe with zucchini noodles.
I am a bit of a bear. Two weeks till surgery. I have been distracting myself by working on a harp arrangement for my niece and I. She plays oboe. So far it sounds lovely on the computer program but I noticed it was getting quite emotional and thought... is that for the arrangement or is that my worry about the surgery? So I saved, closed and will go back to it later. I'm also making chocolate grain free raspberry granola so the house smells like brownies as it dehydrates. It takes over 2 hours to cook. . What I need to do is paperwork to get my desk cleared and finish that closet, do some exercises and decorate. I'm like a flea on a hot tin roof jumping from activity to activity.
I have hoola hooping class tomorrow and my neighbour will come over to swim. I really need it. My neighbour is great at letting me vent. Nothing is wrong... I just have monkey chatter too loudly in my head so I can't think clearly. I had been nibbling on chocolate every night so this morning have recommitted to no sugar. Probably another reason I feel grouchy. I KNOW it will make healing better and the more exercise I get this week the better too.
Yesterday DH went with me for a walk by the river. Ah... so lovely. It was icy so I would not have gone by myself. His new boots have ice grips that flip out so he was secure and I had pretty good boots, my walking pole with the point, and was willing to go slowly. We chatted about this and that. It was sunny. The geese on the river were walking on thin ice. Thin enough that one who was nervous of us fell through, so we watched it throw it's chest up onto the ice and use it's "knees" to scoot back up. It then faced the sun to get warmed up. A few minutes later I just had to stop and listen to the rapids, watch the water twist around small piles of ice that had melted into fingers. We walked a mile then came back. Part of the trail is through woods and I told DH about how I had walked there last spring covered head to toe entirely with bug screen and still the mosquitoes had bitten through my gloves and the "netting" in my running shoes. No mosquitoes now. Just the bite of wind on the cheeks and chin. On the way home the dog, off her leash, made a surprising romp off the path and around some trees. We continued on and she came out behind us, look back at the the path we had come from and then saw us, ahead. Normally she would get crazy happy and come bounding towards us but instead she barked and growled. "I don't think she can see us" I told DH. He approached her slowly, talking to her and she kept growling and looking back over her shoulder. She can't hear very well either. THen she must have caught his scent because suddenly her head went down and she skulked towards him, obviously ashamed at having growled at her masters. DH put her back on the leash. She was OK when we met DD's boyfriend walking down the road but later that night she snapped at DD and she is HER "baby". I explained that sometimes that is what happens as dogs age, but she was hurt that Christal would act that way towards her. Sigh. Change. And I imagine that is another reason I feel grouchy today. We really thought Christal would not last until DD got home from University and then she seemed to pep up and be so happy. We all have days. She has signs of kidney failure and loses control of her back legs. She was frustrated last night when she could not scratch her head with her back leg.
Good news is the neurologist has a cancellation so my eldest DD who just had the longest seizure we have ever noticed, followed by sleep paralysis, can get seen by him on Thursday. Another reason to be in a grouchy mood. There are just so many things out of my control. Life is good. Oh so good. I feel it percolating around me. I am trying to be in a good mood. Trying to be grateful and thankful. I guess it's OK to have a grouchy bear day.
Thursday, December 04, 2014
The experiment to do as many of the "good things for me" things is going well so far. A bit of de-cluttering daily, check. Daily meditation, check. Daily exercises, check. Ok, the sugar free did not happen today... I had a lunch with the church seniors who kindly filled my plate with goodies while I was playing harp over dessert for them... and I ate some... but I did not eat them all, no roll, only a few bites of potatoes, no cranberry sauce and LOTS of water. But many good choices like fresh fruit and salad and grilled chicken. I have yet to stretch today but DD is making dinner and I'm fresh out of the pool so it's on my list to do next. Hey... where is my tracker? Hmm. I got over 10,000 steps yesterday! Woo hoo! That has not happened in ages. Today was scary with a lot of ice so I did a lot of shuffling while carrying my harp, shoes etc.
The best word to describe me today? Happy! Yesterday was DH's and my 35th anniversary of being officially a couple. A romantic event that he remembered with a card, and some thoughtful personal items. He rarely remembers these things and it was so nice. And now my talk and harp playing for church is over and it went soooo well. Can you spell relief? Haha, an old commercial reference. When I got home my neighbour came over to exercise and chat and she had a potential solution to a problem I have been stewing about. My brother loaned us his van for the past 2 days as ours was not drivable and DD's boyfriend did a quick diagnosis, bought the right part and had it fixed before I got home. Did I mention DD is cooking dinner. Wow. I am spoiled. I feel free.
Now I have to watch. Just because things are going well is not a reason to let my guard down. I've been around this block before and I know that my food monster is cunning, baffling and looking for opportunities. Even being "happy" it can use as an excuse to say yes to "treats" or "overeat". I associate being happy with food so it makes sense. What I need to do is make some other "happy" associations. Like taking time to stretch and feel how good my body feels, to relax or enjoy a reading, a sunset or a cuddle. Sigh. Having an eating disorder never goes away. Wish it did. I do get glimpses. When food is the furthest thing from my mind. For some people, diet is a way of life. For me, controlling the food monster is part of my responsibility. Eat regularly. Avoid sugar. Don't get too hungry, angry, lonely, tired or in pain. It is not rocket science but I think some people have no idea how powerful and alluring the food monster is. It is not logical. It is part of an eating disorder.
So, stretching it is. Deep breaths. Enjoy this moment.
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