MILLIFRED   18,194
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Health in a microwave?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The past few days have been interesting; how to live in a motel for an extended period of time and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are currently back in our Wi home town attempting to settle what to do about our home here which has been rented with option to buy but our tenant/buyer is not able to fulfill his contract. We will be stuck here for at least another month while we get him out and probably someone else in. In the meantime my only option for cooking is a small microwave in our room and a microwave and toaster in the common breakfast room. I asked for permission to use a slow cooker in the room but that was denied; they said it was a sanitation problem as people would be washing dishes in the sink or bathtub! Do they not think you might have dishes to wash from cooking in a microwave? Anyway, I have a large bowl to use as a dishpan and will make sure no food particles are sent down the sink drain to clog it but still have the problem of what is healthy food that can be cooked in a microwave.

A continental breakfast is offered on a daily breakfast and for those in the know that is mainly high carbohydrate - not a good idea for a recovering diabetic! So far my answer to that is a boiled egg with toast (they offer eggs twice a week) and a glass of milk; toast with peanut butter and a little fruit spread; I find that I can cook a type of hash in the microwave with frozen chunk style hash browns, onion and some form of protein; anybody with other ideas?

For lunches sandwiches are good and will probably be our mainstay. this is pretty much what I would do at home with the addition of fruit. We actually brought peaches, pears and several watermelon from our garden at home so that helps and of course you can always buy sandwich makings and fruit.

Dinners are the biggest challenge. Of course there are always frozen dinners but they get old in a hurry and the tiny freezer in a motel fridge won't hold much. Last night I used a batch of "simply potatoes", the mashed ones from the refrigerator section of the grocery store; I made gravy with a combination of mushroom soup and the gravy that comes in a can of Worthington fri chik (vegetarian chicken substitute) and heated up a can of french style green beans. This made a good meal. Tonight I think we'll do baked potatoes topped with broccoli and cheese, both made in the microwave. Soups and chili's will also work well and I may try cooking pasta and rice dishes in the microwave. So far it is working better than I expected. I know that you can cook chicken dishes in the microwave but does beef get tough? It certainly does if you try to thaw it and leave it too long. Corn on the cob cooked in the husks works beautifully and of course any veggies can easily be cooked in that appliance. Then salads are of course always good.

I was hoping that some of my Spark friends might have some other ideas they could share with me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LM.JACKSON 9/30/2013 12:40PM

    Sorry I didn't see your blog sooner ... having problems with notifications from sparks. a great suggestion for keeping the food particles out of the drain would be to get one of this drain strainers ... little rubber circle with strainer holes in the middle (sometimes indented to fit right in drain ... or reverse it if there is a drain plug to cover. My grandmother used to keep a strainer sitting in her sink and rinsed everything through there before washing ... that worked well too!

I find wrapping any potatoes in wax paper helps the cooking process ...
favorite breakfast for me is a container of yogurt with about 1/4 cup of grape-nuts mixed in ...

and that recipe for salmon sounds great ... good for those hot summer days when you don't want the kitchen to get too warm.

Good luck ... can't wait to hear how you make out.

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KALISWALKER 8/23/2013 2:54PM

    You can make scrambled eggs and serve with pre-cooked sausage. If there is a kettle you can boil water and make your own boiled eggs. Brown beans and toast. Cheese and toast? Toasted sardine sandwiches? Could you make a campfire at a park and cook a steak?

Would it be an option to stay in a motel with a kitchenette?

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SHARON10002 8/22/2013 10:25PM

    Stews and soups would be something I have cooked in the microwave. How about fish? Here's a simple recipe for you to try:

How to Microwave Salmon
Recipe From: Savory Sweet Life

Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 7 mins

Serves: 1

A quick recipe for spicy salmon using the microwave.

1 – single portion salmon filet
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
2-3 fresh cut lemon slices
1 tablespoon parsley


Rinse salmon filet with cold water and pat dry. Place the salmon skin side down in a microwave safe container. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha sauce. Generously spread the mayonnaise mixture on top of the fillet. Add lemon slices and parsley. Cover the dish tightly with microwave safe plastic wrap. Microwave the fish for 3.5 minutes. Check the center of the filet for doneness with a fork. If there is any uncooked fish, microwave for another 30-45 seconds. Garnish with additional parsley and lemon wedges.

Pair this with a salad and a baked potato, and you are all set!

Hope this helps!

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MNABOY 8/22/2013 9:26PM

    I like the steamers vegetables for microwave and there are entrées that you can nuke that are good for two. You have show your ingenuity on many occasions so I know you will ace the challenge.

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JLMILLS1369 8/22/2013 11:07AM

    Millie, I'll be watching you! My hubby and I leave on an extended (3 months) "bucket list" vacation where I, too, will be living out of motels. I bought a hot plate at a garage sale and am packing a picnic basket with utensils to cook and clean with. I'm thinking of bringing canned soups (low fat, low sodium, of course!). When I was a single mom years ago, my daughter and I ate Campbell's chunky soup on EVERYTHING: toast, rice, Chinese noodles, etc. Also, there's the stuffed baked potato option - that can be done in a microwave. I'm planning on eating the "big" meal out at lunchtime and a light dinner in the motel. Most of the motels we're going to have a full hot breakfast, so I'll have hot cereal as an option or the eggs, then I'll grab a couple of pieces of fruit "to go" for snacks. Good luck! Maybe we should write a cookbook when we're done!

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LOUIE-LILY 8/22/2013 8:49AM

    . . . of course, you already knew everything I mentioned - LOL!

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LOUIE-LILY 8/22/2013 8:46AM

    Hi Millie, Sounds like quite a challenge for you to eat right in the motel. You're having alot to deal with at the same time.

Off the top of my head . . . Do you have a blender or nutribullet? You can make protein smoothies for a change for breakfast.

Lender's w.w. bagels - although not the best nutrition wise have less than 200 cals and a hefty 9 grams of protein, also for a change for breakfast or lunch with a slice of lite swiss?

As for the micro-wave - You can do baked sweet potatoes and of course they'll keep well out of the fridge. You can steam your veggies very nicely in the micro. I'd be going heavy on the salads, with a side of protein. Is there a good grocery nearby that carries Boars Head cold cuts or rotisserie chicken? Take off the skin and cut up the chicken in the salad - makes a great chicken caesar salad!

I'll see what other ideas I come up with for you!
Take care and keep walking -
Hugs and blessings!
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For diabetics reversing diabetes

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I have had my blood sugars under good control for about 6 months now with a combination of weight loss, diet and exercise. Yesterday afternoon I kept noticing I was extremely thirsty and checked my blood sugar and was somewhat dismayed to find it was up to 220. Being the problem solving nurse that I am I tried to figure out why;

We had lunch with friends after church so a morning that had been totally without exercise. It was a vegetarian lunch, most of which came from their garden and the total calories were less than 400. We had green beans from the garden, a small baked potato from the garden, tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden and a vegetarian "loaf". This was followed by a simple dessert of peaches over ice cream. I noticed that she had sweetened the fresh peaches. My portion of ice cream per my request was about 1/4 cup. I had also asked what was in the loaf and she said croutons, celery, onions, seasonings and some cream cheese. Nelda and I are good friends so I gently suggested that their wasn't much for protein in her vegetarian entree. I make this type of loaf frequently but they usually have nuts or legumes of some sort in their make-up. For a beverige we had water. The meal was followed by a visit where we sat around and chatted. When we went home I checked my blood sugar.

My educated guess was that I had a day totally devoid of exercise when at home I would at least have been moving around straightening up, cooking and serving a meal, etc and probably would have taken an after breakfast and after lunch walk about the yard at the very least. Then we had a meal which was reasonably healthy but almost totally without protein or fat. For diabetics this is not a good way to eat.

I got up this morning and checked my BS and found it normal as it was 2 hours after breakfast at 150. Today after breakfast I walked around the yard and pulled a few weeds, then walked down to the garden and hunted out squash and watermelon that needed picked, loaded them up for my husband and then walked back up the hill. It would seem that if you want to keep diabetes "reversed" you have to stay with the program. Your exercise is literally your insulin and by combining fats and proteins with the carbs in your meals you slow down your digestion enough to keep those BS levels down in the safe range. It doesn't pay to get too complacent!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LM.JACKSON 9/30/2013 12:45PM

    Lots of good advice for control ... I usually do pretty good, but have been sick for a few days and it's jumping all over the place ... should be back on track in a day or two.

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 8/13/2013 10:29PM

    Great analysis! Great tips. Thanks for sharing. I don't have diabetes, but I think what you suggest are sensible for anyone trying to be healthy.

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LIFE-FAITH 8/12/2013 9:55AM

    Great info and thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge.
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MNABOY 8/11/2013 6:09PM

    You make me so glad that I have avoided diabetes so far. I was very heavy for several years and inactive for approximately 4 years of that time and blood sugar was okay. My two best friends are fit and active and due to genetics they are having to deal with the issues.

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CHERIJ16 8/11/2013 5:26PM

    Thanks for sharing. I try to have a low cal protein (string cheese or a boiled egg) as my last snack at night and my fasting blood sugar is almost always lower than if I have carbs only.

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LOUIE-LILY 8/11/2013 3:46PM

    Millie - This is a good reminder and indeed, what I have discovered as well! Without the protein our numbers will go up, as well as skipping the exercise or at least - as you allude to . . . some movement! I was fooling myself these past 3 months . . . it doesn't take much . . . although I was exercising and counting the cals I was ignoring the need for protein with my evening "cherry snack," as well as just having way too many of them - those fruit sugars/carbs will kill us if we get out of control. As soon as my dr mentioned it, I knew it was true. I'm hoping continued eating "right" and exercise, will bring my blood sugars as well as my triglycerides back in control. (My a1c wasn't terrible - 6.8, but my triglycerides had actually gone up!)

We need to be ever vigilant - Similar to living scripturally ;)

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Do We Make Time for Family?

Monday, August 05, 2013

This weekend was a family weekend with activities revolving around family. We are fortunate enough to have two of our daughters and 12 of our grandchildren living in a neighboring city. Saturday was spent with the whole crew going to a baby dedication, a potluck afterwards and an extended visit throughout the afternoon. On Sunday one of our daughters with her children and a friend visiting from Wi came over for the better part of the day. A great way to spend a weekend!

How does this sort of thing affect our fitness and nutrition in our new lifestyle? Well, the one thing that did suffer on Saturday was exercise but then I always use that as my one day of rest from exercise anyway doing only necessary chores. On Sunday I was very busy first with an hours worth of outside work and then at least an hours work of cleaning, preparation, cooking etc so I felt I got in my two hours.

How does this fit in with family? I had the friend and two of the grandaughters in the kitchen with me cooking. We made tow pans of lasagna, one for during the week and a potato casserole. Then I showed the friend who never gets a chance to cook how to make frosted rice krispie bars. I love those things and only make them when family are around so I won't eat too many! While we were doing this my husband was taking the younger kids for four wheeler rides and then later let the older girls do it on their own. We finished the day with a good meal and good company and I didn't hear the little boys fighting once; usually they are fighting continuously. My daughter is a widow and the boys are badly in need of male companionship.

Nothing is more important than our families, both for our pleasure and the duty we have to them. It was a very profitable weekend and one we repeat frequently. Family time really doesn't have to interfere with our lifestyle; it is an important part of it

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 8/6/2013 10:29AM

    You definitely have to fit the family in with the fitness. There has to be balance!

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AUNTB63 8/6/2013 8:06AM

    I so agree with you. Family gatherings are very important for that balance we need in our lives. They don't have to impact our journey in a negative way. I always take a side dish or two when visiting (one's I know I can have guilt free) and there is always someone to at least take a walk with. Have a great week and keep enjoying life. emoticon

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COMPUCATHY 8/5/2013 10:10PM

    It's all about making it all work together! The more we can marry our priorities with our health with our desires to spend time with family, etc., the more successful we can be with both! emoticon I'm passing the torch on to you! I've had a great week and seen what a difference being back on track can spark is sparked! So, it's time to share it! Hope you had a great Monday! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon emoticon

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MJREIMERS 8/5/2013 11:39AM

    Families should always come first. I believe that all the "normal" stuff that comes with family is a natural way to exercise. Even cooking you are walking around a kitchen, stretching to clean off a counter, bending over, etc. Twelve kids running around is sure to help get the exercise in! emoticon

When my kids were little, I'd play with them for exercise. It was a great workout and they will never forget the times we spent playing. We'd often go to a park and I'd go up the steps, down the slides, and swing right along with them. Now with my oldest leaving for college tomorrow, I wish we could do it all again! (I should mention all my kids, 13-18, still go to parks with their friends. Even my high schoolers!)

You can always get a little more exercise in other times, but family time should always be a priority!!! I think you made a good choice! Sounds like you had lots of fun and I know those little ones did.

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Non Scale Victories!

Friday, August 02, 2013

I am back off maintenance and attempting to lose just a few more pounds but am struggling a bit.

I kept thinking there seemed to be less fat around my middle and I definitely couldn "pinch an inch";. Then this morning I decided to put it to the test. I have this pair of pants that I bought a couple of years ago when I lost some much weight from being sick. When I got them home and tried them on they were quite a ways from meeting at the waistband. Because I had bought them at a used clothing store I didn't bother taking them back. I'm sure I tried them on a month ago when I reached my goal weight and they were still at least an inch from buttoning. This morning I could button them with no problem at all! That despite the fact that my weight is the same as it was a month ago. I've also noticed that the "fatty apron" we all end up with after weight loss and especially at my age is all but gone. It seems that my body has been readjusting itself while staying at the same weight! Isn't that cool? Now I will dare wear my modest swim suit in public when I go on vacation next month, something I was hesitant to do. It isn't all about health. It's also about appearance and how it affects our self esteem.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 8/5/2013 10:10PM

    How wonderful that must feel - to fit into those pants, and looking forward to wearing your bathing suit while on vacation! emoticon

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WAIANAEGAL 8/4/2013 9:45PM

    I love your story about the fitting of the pants... memories...

Good luck with your maintenance and I hope you enjoyed your company today.

Keep Sparkin'

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WILSONWR 8/3/2013 9:43PM

    That's great! It really shows the progress you've made!

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MNABOY 8/3/2013 2:17AM


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WINE4GIRL 8/2/2013 8:31PM

    emoticon enjoy your vaca!

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    Hey, that's great!

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TIGER_LILY_613 8/2/2013 12:03PM

    These are awesome NSVs ! Enjoy rocking that bathing suit next month !

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LAURIETAIT 8/2/2013 11:23AM

    That's awesome. The human body is amazingly resilient. It takes all kinds of abuse from us and manages to bounce back. Feeling good about how you look definitely makes life better all round.

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MDWSTRNR 8/2/2013 11:17AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LOUIE-LILY 8/2/2013 10:30AM

    Millie - This is great news for you and very encouraging for us all! We forget (I certainly do) that it's just not ALL about the scale. Happy for you!

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AUNTB63 8/2/2013 10:25AM

    emoticon You have given me hope that my "fatty apron" will some day be at least smaller if not gone all together. Great job on "just doing what you needed to do". I also shop at thrift stores for those "cheaper" in between sizing issues. Have a fantastic Friday.... emoticon

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CHRISANAE 8/2/2013 10:09AM

    emoticon emoticon

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How active are you really?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spark has a rather complicated formula they use to calculate your calorie range. Everybody is assumed to be sedentary. However you can find out exactly how many calories you need by first determining if you are sedentary, light activity, moderately active or very active. Then actual workouts are the "frosting on the cake for burning calories".

Sedentary activity can be defined as someone who sits most of the day as in an office job. For a 150 pound woman who is sedentary and wants to lose 1 pound a week you can only eat 1050 calories per day. We know that Spark does not recommend anything under 1200 cals per day although many physicians do. If you want to eat more you need to be more active.

For that same person who has a light level of activity which is defined as being on your feet throughout the day she can eat 1275 calories which is much more realistic.

If you are moderately active and walk all day such as a nurse, a waitress, or someone who cleans houses or offices you can eat 1497 calories a day a still lose a pound a week. I didn't look at the person who is very active because few of us fit into that category.

The point of all this is that even though we may not have a lot of time for formal exercise or even energy for it over and above our normal activities, we obviously burn a lot of calories just by being more active. When we count things like housekeeping or gardening as exercise we really are justified because, if nothing else it puts us into another category. This is he formula I have used to lose 60 pounds and I think it will work for most people! If you like I can direct you to where to find the information.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSONWR 8/2/2013 7:29PM

    Any increase in your level of activity is always beneficial! People can always find something to do to get them moving!

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LAURIETAIT 8/2/2013 4:43AM

    It's good to remember that intensity plays a role too. A shorter brisk walk is better than a longer meandering one. I've been slacking lately and need to address this in my own exercise program.

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MNABOY 8/1/2013 10:05PM

    Thanks for sharing this information. I willcheck out the other sites.

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DESERTJULZ 8/1/2013 3:37PM

    Although I'm relatively sedentary at work, I do take short walking breaks of 5 minutes. Since I am not a smoker, these are in lieu of "smoke breaks" that some of the employees take!

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MILLIFRED 7/31/2013 7:57PM

    It's also on

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KICK-SS 7/31/2013 7:49PM

    Koshie had this information on her blog yesterday or day before, it takes age into consideration also.

I thought it was pretty accurate as well because age is a factor for a lot of us.

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MADEIT3 7/31/2013 5:57PM

    This is one of those great Habits of Health from Dr. Anderson's book - I think the title is the same! Keep moving through the day to burn those calories. Thanks for posting!

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SHARON10002 7/30/2013 10:33PM

    Thanks for sharing; very informative blog. I'd love to know where to access this information. Thanks for offering to do that!

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AUNTB63 7/30/2013 12:32PM

    Thanks for the informative blog. Having just switched to maintenance this is very helpful. I know I read some of this some place when I first started SP, but have forgotten about it until now. Hope you have a terrific Tuesday. emoticon

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LOUIE-LILY 7/30/2013 11:36AM

    Thanks Millie, this is helpful. Great blog! I would appreciate it if you can help me get to the information. You are indeed someone who's advice and information I take to heart - you have such great success, I'd be a fool not to!
Have a great day!
Hugs -

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