Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Course Corrections - "Move More, Eat Smarter"

Captain's Log 09.17.19

Did I say that I wasn't going to weigh for a week? I couldn't help it! I lost a pound and lost an inch around the fattest part of my stomach. Yahoooo!

Since I had no vegetables the day before, I loaded up on them yesterday. For breakfast I had a big smoothie with mixed lettuce, spinach, kale, sliced banana (equal to half of a small banana, or less), almond milk, Pyure, crushed ice and topped off with some dry TVP.

I still have some mixed greens from a salad mix that our son brought over. We weren't eating it fast enough, so I stuffed it all in a zipper bag and put it in the freezer. I automatically freeze spinach and kale when I get it home from the store. I'll leave some for salads, but the bulk is frozen. Bananas are frozen on a cookie sheet, then put into mason jars and back to the freezer. Usually I add a big spoon of cottage cheese, but there wasn't any in the frig.

For lunch I ate two sliced cucumbers with some sour cream and Pyure, a very small apple and two ounces of cream cheese.  That didn't hold me over for a late supper, so I had two hard boiled eggs and a small sliced yellow tomato.

For supper I cooked a chicken breast with 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-1/2 sliced onion, salt, pepper and a pinch of fajita seasoning. I added a big serving of broccoli. There's enough left over for lunch today.

After supper I had cucumber and sour cream......and the last cookie bar. Hey, it was going to get stale. Dammit.

Because I'm writing down everything that crosses my mouth, I'm very aware of the patterns I'm developing. Again. 

1. Entirely too much dairy, which is one reason why I quit the low carb other times. The dairy makes it hard for COPDers to breathe. Hard cheese doesn't seem to bother me (and others). I like some cottage cheese for the protein (there's a throwback from being vegetarian!) and to add to salads for part of the creamy dressing. That creamy feeling is something that I'm still craving for some reason. But there are options. I can rotate between two ounces of Gouda or another hard cheese on the days that I have cottage cheese.

2. Expecting a lot of sweet tasting things.

I have coffee in the morning with Pyure (the equivalent of one tsp sugar) and powdered coffee creamer. I can't be trusted around cream. I mean it. And again, it's dairy. The last time I had a milkshake, I couldn't breathe for three days. Soooo, I need to mix up my old vegetarian standby dressing which sounds just wretched: apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Before you start gagging, I make my own apple cider vinegar which is not nearly as strong as Bragg's. Big difference. I can use that on salads and the bowls of cucumber that I'm devouring lately. 

I also did some chair exercising  - two sessions of 10 minutes, pretty close together. I got distracted in the middle of it. Plus our youngest son, who's a respiratory therapist, was on the couch and apparently listening to me huff and puff behind him. I had headphones on so I wasn't aware of how much I was snorting. Ha! He laughed when he saw what I was doing. I think he was more surprised than anything.

I'm currently embracing the "Move more, eat smarter" way of life. Lots of little things, like doing small, backward leg lifts while I'm waiting for the microwave, occasional butt clenching while I'm sitting here at my desk (holding for a few seconds), holding my abdomen in when I walk, and purposely taking one or two items from the laundry room to our bedroom, then walking back to get a couple more things, arm lifts when I'm walking and no one is watching, etc.

I'm also embracing my vitamins and supplements. I ordered a book about mega dosing Vit D3 yesterday. I had started that protocol a few days ago and yesterday I was stunned when I walked up our three porch steps that my hips and knees did not hurt AT ALL. Maybe it was a fluke, or the power of positive thinking. It doesn't matter. I didn't hurt.



Monday, September 16, 2019

Captain's Log - Low Carbing It.

Captain's Log - 09.16.19

Low Carbing It. Lower carbs than usual, anyway.

I didn't weigh today, but I measured an inch less around the fattest part of my belly. That, in itself, helps me stay motivated.

I ate some cookie bar yesterday, dammit. We had a surprise visit from our grandson who lives in Florida. It was a brief trip for him, just three days, two of which were travel days. He surprised his mom by showing up at her workplace on his birthday. He left yesterday and hours later, our youngest son came in from Colorado. Yay! The two members of the family that we don't get to see too often putting in an appearance. His visit is also brief as he's picking up a vehicle that he bought locally and driving it back home. Since it was a 'special occasion', I made the cookie bar. Thought I could resist, didn't happen. Dammit.

Breakfast yesterday wasn't my standard oatmeal. I had a big salad with iceberg, Romaine, small amount of carrot, red cabbage, hard boiled egg, a bit of sunflower seeds, a big pinch of dried kale and dry TVP (textured vegetable protein). The TVP gives the salads another texture, similar to nuts. I like the bit of added plant based protein plus the soy keeps my night sweats away. YMMV Creamy dressing w/ homemade yogurt and I was good to go. Later I had two sliced cucumbers with some yogurt and Pyure sweetener (stevia/erythritol blend). It tasted similar to the old 'cukes and cream' recipe, the one with equal parts sour cream and sugar for a dressing over sliced cucumbers.

The rest of the day I ate a polish sausage, 2 hard boiled eggs, 4 oz of cream cheese and stared at the can of green beans and the salad in the frig. Today I'll actually open that can. The only veg I had was in the salad. Not good.

While my hand was healing, I read some about the difference between counting calories and counting carbs:

Pros of counting calories: You can easily read a nutritional label and get a number to count toward your daily intake. A low calorie diet can benefit health conditions associated with obesity like high blood pressure and heart disease.

Cons of counting calories: Calorie counting doesn't take into account your nutritional needs, only your intake of calories. Cutting calories to an unhealthy level (usually less than 1200 to 1500 calories per day) can be a harmful way to lose weight.

Pros of counting carbs: This approach can be beneficial for those who must watch their carbohydrate intake, like people with diabetes. You can easily read a nutritional label and get a number to count toward daily intake. (Wow, it's like they had to stretch to find some shit to write.)

Cons of counting carbs: Not all foods contain carbohydrates. For example, a porterhouse steak doesn't have carbohydrates, but is very high in fat and calories. Watching carbohydrates alone doesn't guarantee a healthy diet.

Here's that source. We can all find some things to argue about all that, pros and cons. The bottom line is that we all have to find that one way that helps our body.


Belly Fat

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Taking Care of Myself

And here it is. The reason why I haven't journaled for a few weeks. Carpal Tunnel and Trigger Finger release. AND of course, arthritis hit in the "long" finger knuckles two weeks before surgery. I couldn't even manage a proper bird for some time. My hand was wrapped up for two weeks. I got the stitches out four days ago. Swelling and ice bags, but it's getting better and I'm now able to use the mouse and have some computer time without doing the one handed business.

I had pain from the surgery, more than I expected. I was thankful they prescribed the pain pills. Having two nurses tell me that it was 'going to hurt like hell' the next day and encouraging me to stay on top of pain medication... well, I knew what to do. But I was also depressed, ate and sat, ate more and watched more TV. I still can't exercise much because of swelling in that hand. Sounds weird, huh. But it's putting pressure on some tendons. I have a couple of fingers that flat out hurt when I stretch my arm out, like reaching for something. I also can really feel it even with my arm hanging down by my side. I guess trying to do even some leg exercised got the blood moving around enough to where my hand was asking me what the hell was I doing.

I finally weighed, sadly 208. I also decided to measure the fattest part of my belly, sadly 48". More depression.

BUT yesterday, I had to admit that everything I was trying to do just wasn't working for my individual body. Doing the vegetarian/vegan thing wasn't the right thing for me even though I'm a believer in that lifestyle. I wasn't eating cookies and junk food, I was eating 'good for you' fruit. And  a peanut butter sandwich, or one slice of good bread. Didn't matter. I have been doing the same thing over and over, hoping for different results. For four years. I must be a slow learner.

So, a couple days ago I decided to do a lower carb thing, while still trying to maintain some ethical considerations in eating meat and dairy, plus trying to avoid the  inflammation and trigger foods listed on earlier pages. I ate low carb all day yesterday. This morning, 207 pounds, waist 47". Down a pound, one inch less fat.

I'm not going to weigh or measure for another week. Last time I went low carb, I felt like crap. This time, maybe a few more carbs will help, yet still less than I usually eat in a specified period.

I'm also upping my vitamin D3 to 10,000 to 15,000 units a day and adding 200 vitamin K2-MK7. I had heard of this book years ago and finally ordered it today, based on reading a lot of the reviews. I encourage you to do your own research and make your own decision.

Belly Fat

Small steps. But I'm more determined than ever before.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

We'll Keep You Plump as a Partridge

I had an appointment with the cardiologist yesterday. Everything's good, just a pre-surgery check up and EKG. On Thursday, I'm going to have carpal tunnel surgery plus trigger finger release. Oy vey!!

That trigger finger business is the worst right now. It hurts to flip the bird. I keep painter's tape over the knuckle so the finger can't bend enough to lock. And arthritis kicked into that same knuckle. Ouch. Yes, I take the tape off during most of the day so I can flex that knuckle. Anyway, I'll be glad when this is a memory. Meanwhile, doing any knife or scissor work in the kitchen is painful.

What wasn't good about the appointment is that I weighed three pounds more according to their scale. But this morning, I weighed the same as I did a couple days ago. Again, my goal is to lose 55 pounds over the next year. The realization is that after I hit that mark, I'm still going to be overweight. And as  I keep on shrinking, I'll have even MORE weight to lose.  Daaaaaamn. I wish I would have started measuring myself right from the get-go. That's also a little bit of encouragement when nothing is changing with the scales.

I didn't exercise yesterday since we went to 'the city' (about 30 miles from here) for my doctor appointment and did a couple errands after that. We ate big salads at one of the Dillon's store (Kroger) that has an awesome salad bar and little dining area. Of course, there's nothing that would be my first choice for salad dressing, so I used a spoon of cottage cheese with a little blue cheese dressing on it, then stirred everything up in the bowl. It worked.

Today, I exercised for 30 minutes. I had to sit more than stand, march or walk as both hips and both knees were complaining. I always have something that I can do in a chair. I have learned a few tips along the way. My first chair exercise experience was from Silver Sneakers, 10-Minute Chair Workout for a Stronger Core. Easy peasy, so these are my fall back exercises to do when I can't do all of the chair workout with Curtis on A New Way 2 Move.

"I'm amazed by people who lose weight with exercise. When I exercise, nothing happens because my DNA still thinks I'm a European peasant. So it's like "Oh! Are we running from the English again, lass? Dinnae ye worry, we'll keep ye plump as a partridge to outlast the murderous bastards!"
(Jamie Kenney on twitter)

And while the quote still makes me laugh, this time I'm determined to shed these pounds so I'll feel better.

Belly Fat

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Two Meals a Day? And Common Pain Triggers

Captain's Log 08.25.2019

Two meals a day just won't cut it yet. Yesterday, we ate a late lunch or early dinner, around 4 p.m. By 9:00, both of us were starving. I had already snacked on a small bowl of frozen grapes and the 100 calorie fruit and grain bars. Later another bowl of frozen grapes. I finally ate two pieces of toast with the thinnest smear of peanut butter and split a rounded teaspoon of low sugar blueberry jam that I had made. It wasn't much jam (preserves, actually), but there was some on each slice of toast. I would have been better off eating a couple sliced cucumbers or a big green salad. Lesson learned.

I was pleasantly surprised when I weighed in this morning and the scale showed that I'd lost 2 lbs. I need that to help me stay motivated. I got a nifty little weight loss ticker that I can put at the bottom of some pages. But damn...55 pounds to go to hit my goal of 150. I gave myself a year to get there, so that's roughly 5 pounds a month.

I'm now making a conscious effort to go at least 12 hours between eating at night and eating in the morning. It's much easier for me to NOT eat in the morning. When I was young, I would not eat at all until around 3 p.m., then I'd eat until I went to bed. If I ate breakfast, I'd eat all day. It's still like that today, but I'm trying to change my ways. Erg.

I just finished my 20 minutes of exercise with Curtis and have a cup of oatmeal in the microwave. I use 1/2 c. thick cut, old fashioned oats with some 30 calorie, unsweetened Almond milk. I like Aldi's brand the best. Plans are for a big chopped salad with red and green cabbage, romaine, sliced cucumber and a homemade oil freed dressing - homemade ACV, some Dijon mustard and maple syrup to taste. Sounds wretched, doesn't it!! But it's actually pretty good. I think I got that recipe from the McDougall page years ago. She used a lot of mustard, but I'm pretty iffy on mustards of any type, so I don't use nearly as much. No plans for supper yet.

I have this saved on my computer, but I didn't save the source, nor the exact quote:

Pain-safe foods virtually never contribute to arthritis, headaches or other painful conditions: these include rice, cooked green, orange and yellow vegetables, cooked or dried non-citrus fruits.

Common triggers that cause pain in susceptible people include alcoholic beverages (especially red wine), caffeinated drinks, monosodium glutamate, aspartame (Nutra Sweet) and nitrates. Here are other common food triggers, also known as the 'dirty dozen': dairy, chocolate, eggs, citrus fruits, meat, wheat, nuts and peanuts, tomatoes, onions, corn, apples and bananas.

Stuff I like.

Belly Fat

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Choosing the Healthier Path

Captain's Log 08.24.19

Yesterday I did pretty well compared to how I have been eating. I had a cup of oatmeal cooked with almond milk and added a few raisins (we have a ton of them that are getting a little...past their prime). Ate an apple after that just because I thought about it. I wasn't really hungry after the oatmeal, so that's another obstacle I need to get past.

We were away from the house for several hours, so I didn't have any lunch.  We live in the country and I tend to stay away from stores, especially places like Wal-Mart or wherever there are crowds of people. It's the germ thing. Every time I get sick, I lose some lung function that will never come back, so I'm a hermit. I'm okay with it. But we ended up in town to pick up a few groceries, then ate at Burger King.

I know, Burger King? Not healthy a'tall! But definitely a treat for me. I had an Impossible Whopper, a few fries and a few onion rings. I ate until I was full and recognized that I was full. And left everything else for the trash. Victory! Okay, hardly a victory, but I didn't feel compelled to eat every crumb.

Late night snacking, dammit. Small bunch of red grapes, and a couple of whole grain raspberry bars, 100 calories for the two. Far less than my usual grazing at night.

This morning, 25 minutes of chair aerobics with my dude Curtis, on YouTube. My usual cup of oatmeal with almond milk and a few raisins plus an apple. Coffee, Elderberry/ACV with medications and vitamins.

A neighbor came over, so no lunch. We had an early dinner of Teriyaki Soy Curls with Pineapple and Bell Pepper and rice. I used just half the package of Soy Curls, added some onion, used Pyure instead of sugar (and less than the recipe stated) and baked (instead of frying) the Soy Curls. Pretty good. Next time I'll make twice the sauce. BTW, Soy Curls are much better in recipes if you rehydrate them in beef, chicken or veggie broth instead of plain o' water.

If you're interested in Soy Curls, they are cheaper if you buy them from the manufacturer, Butler Foods,  BBQ Soy Curls are the bomb! Just like eating BBQ Chicken. Bring it on.

I did screw up and got a second helping because I had been so hungry. I was halfway through it before I remembered, so I put the big o' spoon down.

More baby steps, headed in the right direction.