I Know a Heartache When I See One

Lately I’ve been listening to songs with new ears, and it occurs to me how many of them can be assigned to emotions about food. Seriously, I’ve heard at least a few whose subject could be my ugly, yet powerful nemesis: sugar. I am going to try to bring these songs to my feeble mind when I am bombarded by relentless temptations in weak moments.

Here is my first one. Maybe it will help you, too, if you’re familiar with Jennifer Warner’s crossover hit from the seventies.

“I Know a Heartache When I See One”

Look at who the wind’s blowin’ up the road,
Shining like a northern star,
Actin’ like the answer to all my prayers,
But, baby, I know what you really are.

So don’t you knock on my door:
I won’t be home anymore.
You can find me out walking in the sun.
Oh, you hide it so well
It isn’t easy to tell,
But I know a heartache (heart attack, diabetic foot amputation)
When I see one.

Life and Death Are in the Power of the Tongue

Who remembers the old proverb, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof”?

I always understood this proverb to be all about words and how we use our words either to build up or to destroy, but I have been thinking these past couple of weeks about the tongue’s power over my body as well.

The tongue is a selfish member. My tongue doesn’t care if I have diabetes. My tongue doesn’t care about my heart, my joints, my feet or anything else. My tongue cares about one thing: my tongue. My tongue always looks out for number one.

“Oh, that tastes good! Gimme some more of that!” My tongue doesn’t care how many grams of sugar are in something or how many grams of fat or how many chemicals or unpronounceable ingredients or how processed something is. My tongue wants whatever makes my tongue happy.

My tongue doesn’t care if my stomach is saying, “Enough already. I don’t think I can eat even one more bite.” My tongue thinks, “Well, there’s still at least three bites left in the bowl, and I’m having them all!”

My tongue doesn’t care if my joints are inflamed and ache. My tongue doesn’t care if my feet are numb or even if they end up being amputated. My tongue is indeed selfish and not a friend to me or to any part of my body, and sometimes it is necessary to put my tongue in timeout.

It is time for me to esteem other members of my body more highly than my tongue.

I am not doing myself any favors when I give in to the temper tantrums of my tongue. My tongue should not always get its way.

“Deny yourself and follow Me,” Jesus said. I am ashamed to say that I have spent a great deal of my life following my tongue. What a sad commentary. What a poor testimony.

“Live as though your life depends on it.”

“Eat your food like medicine or someday you will eat your medicine like food.”

Sometimes you need to tell your tongue, “Be quiet, you big baby. Stop thinking of yourself all the time and be kind to the other members of your body.”

The tongue is so small and yet it yields so much power–the power over life and death.

Live as if Your Life Depends on It

Chuck decided to get even more serious about his eating after his A1c was higher than last time. He asked me if I would be willing to make him a smoothie every morning for breakfast: that way he wouldn’t have to stop somewhere to get a sausage biscuit.

“Sure!” I said. “But are you sure that will keep you full until your first break? You only drink a fraction of the smoothie, so I’m not convinced you’re getting enough protein.”

He can only drink one of those old-fashioned Coke glasses that McDonald’s used to give away. That’s not even half of the Nutribullet container. I drink the rest of it, and, believe me, I could drink the whole thing, just slurp it right down.

“I can’t drink that much. I get full,” he insists. “I don’t know how you can drink that much.”

“You’re kidding me, right? Come on, you should know me by now. I can suck in ice cream like I suck in air.”

“It’s not ice cream,” he responds.

“Yes, it is. It has almond milk, sweetener, blueberries, whey protein, vanilla, all the stuff that you might find in ice cream . . . ” I don’t tell him it has cottage cheese in it because that’s TMI for him. My goal is to get him to drink it, not turn his nose up at it, and he has been drinking it–all except for about a fourth of an inch in the bottom.

It annoys me that he leaves a little bit in the bottom, but he says that’s only because he has manners and refuses to slurp.

“Take your straw out, then, and just tilt it back and drink it.” But he won’t do it. I guess we all have our quirks.

Since I began Trim Healthy Mama, 1% cottage cheese has become a staple in my house. When it’s on sale I usually buy three cartons. I mean, I go through it! Every single day I squeeze in a shake or smoothie at some point, sometimes two during the course of a day, and every shake has about a fourth of a cup of cottage cheese in it.

For those who do not like cottage cheese, I guarantee, you will not be able to tell the cottage cheese is in there. Just ask my husband. No, on second thought, do not ask my husband because I don’t want him to know.

If you have ever found little curds of cottage cheese in your shake or smoothie than I submit to you that you need a better blender. Early, early on in my THM journey, my Nutribullet was gifted to me. It had been taking me about fifteen minutes to make my strawberry cheesecake shake, and I mentioned my slower-than-a-turtle Oster blender in the THM Beginners group. A very kind friend insisted that she send me a Nutribullet. I was blown away by her generosity. She also sent me my very first tub of whey protein powder (back when Swanson’s was still on plan) and a container of glucomannan.

It was right around my birthday, and I was already down about twenty-five pounds. Let me say, it was one of the best birthdays ever. What a gift! And I use it all the time!! Every single day almost. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

My Nutribullet really put my Oster to shame. It takes me under a minute to blend up a smoothie now.

I didn’t intend for this post to turn into a Nutribullet commercial, but, if you’re serious about Trim Healthy Mama and love to incorporate whey protein isolate shakes and smoothies into your daily meal plan, it would behoove you to get some kind of high quality blender, whether a Ninja or a Nutribullet or even one of those really expensive ones. For my purposes, the Nutribullet works just perfectly.

Where can you find quality whey protein isolate?  Trim Healthy Mama sells it –>HERE<– or you can use Piping Rock –>HERE<–.  I generally buy the Piping Rock, only because I can buy a 1.2 pound tub for $13.99. Unless you can find it on sale, the Trim Healthy Mama is generally $16.99 for a pound bag. (*Post edit: I just checked my link, and, at this point in time, it appears that the Trim Healthy Mama whey protein is cheaper than the Piping Rock: that is not normally the case.)

Yesterday as I was leaving work I happened to look up at a billboard and saw this phrase: Live as if your life depended on it. So simple, yet so profound.

Every choice you make affects your life in some way, whether it’s a food choice or a moral choice–or if you choose safety or recklessness.

I don’t know if it’s just in Missouri or nationwide, but I noticed the department of transportation put up a sign on I-70 that said road deaths were up 6% from last year. I don’t know that this is the reason, but immediately I wondered if it was because of texting.

My son plays basketball and softball (and tennis, too, sometimes) in other towns. Often, to save on gas, he rides with a friend. He told us that one of his friends texts constantly behind the wheel, yet he rides with this friend just to save on gas.

Chuck and I told him we would give him money for gas if he would stop riding with this friend. I would rather pay out gas money than attend my son’s funeral because he doesn’t put as much value on his life as he does a tank of gas.

What you put in your body as food and drink matters. Poor choices lead to poor consequences. This is true across the board, whether you’re talking about nutrition, driving habits, choice of friends, etc.

If you don’t want to spend your life in jail, don’t choose criminals as friends.

It’s pretty basic stuff.

If you don’t want to die early of a heart attack or diabetes, don’t buy processed foods with a lot of trans fats or sugar.

Today is the day God has given you. Live as if your life depends on it.

The Food Expander

I don’t know if Hungry Girl comes on, anymore, because it has been at least a few months since I’ve seen it. One thing I remember about that show is how on one episode she called mushrooms a “food expander,” meaning you can use them liberally to put more food on your plate without putting more calories in your belly.

I sat down to write this entry with a generous sized pizza on a Santa Fe low-carb wrap. Five carbs. That’s all this pizza “crust” has in it.

I browned it and took the floppiness out by putting it in a 425-degree preheated oven for three minutes on each side. Then I spread a small amount of pizza sauce all over the surface with a spoon, added a genDSCF3307erous handful of browned and thoroughly rinsed and drained hamburger that I keep in a ziplock in the fridge, enough mozzarella to cover everything, some colorful, diced red and green peppers and onion, half a can of food expander (oops, I mean, mushrooms) and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese just to pretty up the end result.

This pizza works just as well with pesto sauce, but I had a tiny bit of pizza sauce in a jar in the fridge and wanted to use it up.

Can you have too much pizza sauce?  Absolutely. Can you have too much cheese?  Yes, if you want to lose weight, you have to watch how much cheese you consume.  Hamburger?  Um, I’m not really sure about this one, but I know you can’t have too much mushrooms (or peppers and onions, too, for that matter), so I pile them on.

“Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more.”

A nice article about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms can be found here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858.php

It’s a rainy day here, and that hot pizza was just what the doctor ordered for lunch!  That and a whole pot of coffee.  Yes, I drank a whole pot of coffee by myself since this morning. Suzanne Somers would cluck her tongue at me since she considers coffee to be a “funky food,” but it has zero calories (when you drink it black) and I’ve been dragging lately so I really needed that pick-me-up.

So now I’m wired. I feel like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound. I skipped up the steps to the post office this morning and up the front steps to our house a few times today, too.

Chelsea had a doctor’s appointment to get a refill on pain meds. She can’t take Tylenol or any kind of nsaids because they hinder wound healing, so she has to take something else.

Her appointment was for 10:20, but, when she got there, they told her they didn’t have her down until 12:20. Since the office is filled with nurse practioners, her doctor was the only one who could prescribe her medication, so getting in to see someone else would have been pointless.

She initially decided to wait in the lobby and maybe they could get her in sooner, but then she thought better of it.

“It may have been all in my mind,” she said, “but the longer I sat there the sorer my throat became. Then I thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this. There are sick people here! I shouldn’t be around them.'”  Plus, she said it wasn’t doing any good to sit there and glare at the receptionist, who may or may not have been the one who messed up her appointment time. Chelsea added, “I may at some point make that same mistake at the salon, and I wouldn’t like someone sitting and glaring at me while they wait for their appointment!” So she came back home in her power chair. To her advantage, it wasn’t raining at the time and had just started to sprinkle as she got to the house and as I pulled into the driveway in my bus.

“Wow,” I said, as I hopped out of my bus and starting walking toward the house. “They already got you in?”

“No, I decided not to wait,” she said. “I’ll just have to go back at 12:20.”

It meant a couple more trips for me, but I didn’t mind. As I said, I am wired! At least that coffee has kept me from needing a nap on this dreary, dreary day. In fact, I just may make another pot! I haven’t felt this good in what seems like weeks. It could have something to do with the fact that I refilled all my vitamins yesterday and started taking them again last night. Laziness and procrastination are not my friends, and yet they seem to be my constant companions. Why would I keep someone as a companion who is not my friend?

I’m thankful for how I feel today, and I’m thankful that I have half a day of being on-plan under my belt! My afternoon snack will be oatmeal!  Thank You, God, for good health and Trim Healthy Mama!

What Goes Up Must Come Down

What goes up must come down. Amen and hallelujah. Last Sunday, as you know, my son urged me to weigh and I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had gained twenty pounds since–whenever it was that I got down to my lowest Trim Healthy Mama weight.

That prompted me to eat clean for the whole past week. Even though I was dragging a couple of those days and didn’t hit the treadmill, I got my exercise in the rest of the days. Yesterday I even walked to Walmart and back with Chelsea. I wasn’t nearly as red in the face as I was the last time I walked to Walmart with Chuck. The more I make that trek, the easier it will become.

This morning I stepped on the scale and found that I had lost over five pounds since last Sunday! I told Chuck last night, “I better have lost at least two pounds or I’m not going to be happy. If I step on that scale and find out I have gained, I don’t even know what I will do. I have done so well this week: I had to have lost weight.”

Maybe it was the coffee shake I had for breakfast yesterday morning–or maybe it was the excitement of my new business–but I was buzzing all day long. Not once did I feel sleepy.Paparazzi kit

I’ve sold a lot of Paparazzi jewelry over the past couple of days! Never did I imagine I would become a consultant–for anything!–but here I am, having the time of my life. I have been impressed with the pieces I’ve seen so far, and the jewelry basically sells itself and–did I mention?–it’s only five dollars!

 

 

I still have lots to learn, but there are training videos to watch, when I’m not so tired from being in the city all day!

I saw something on Extreme Weight Loss a couple of weeks ago that made sense. In truth, I see quite a bit on there that makes sense, but sometimes I actually retain some of it! Ha! The client was a guy who had a weakness for pizza. The nutritionist taught him to make pizza with pesto, instead of tomato sauce; then she put on some fresh, sliced tomatoes and then slices of low-fat buffalo mozzarella cheese on top of the tomatoes. She said that stuff like sausage and pepperoni and other cured meats have been directly linked to heart disease. She told him he didn’t need to put meat on the pizza at all because there is enough protein in just the cheese. We all knew that, didn’t we?  But the pesto was an interesting idea. The client gave the pizza two-thumbs up: he said it was delicious.

Here’s just one example I found on YouTube that shows how to make pesto sauce.

There are others, too, but this is one example. You can learn to do anything by watching YouTube videos. My sister had a couple of friends who taught themselves how to crochet by watching YouTube videos. Chuck learned how to repair our garbage disposal by watching YouTube videos. He saved us the cost of a new garbage disposal and the cost of having a repairman come out to the house.

Thank you for your kind notes of support on my last post. Sometimes I think we all need a friendly reminder or a swift kick in the rear. This weight loss business isn’t for the weak and wimpy!

I had to share with you, though. Five pounds!!  Yay!  Here’s to kicking off another good week tomorrow!

Thanks for supporting me through my Trim Healthy Mama affiliate link!  https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

 

 

Cupcake Catastrophe

I’ve been watching Extreme Weight Loss the last few weeks. I learned something last week that I didn’t know and, actually, have a hard time believing; yet, it must be true or Chris Powell, the professional trainer who hosts the show, wouldn’t have said it. A professional trainer should know, after all, right?

The applicant who got chosen for the show was about ten years younger than I am, but she was about my height: at least she was the same height I used to be.

She was walking on the treadmill and Chris told her that a grade of 1% mimicked walking outside. He went on to say that a 0% grade didn’t do anything for you: that’s basically the belt walking itself. I found that hard to swallow since I’ve been spending most of my time on the treadmill at a 0% incline!

I don’t know what to make of that. Obviously, walking a mile at a 0% incline is better than not walking at all, right?

Think of all those months when I only walked on a 0% grade, though. I know I was not just wasting my time. If nothing else it helped me build up my stamina and got me to where I am now: I’m able to walk faster than I did when I first started out and I’m able to do hills, too.

“It ain’t a dead end if it takes you where you need to go.”

I heard this on a Netflix movie the other night and wrote it down just because I thought it sounded profound. Who knew it would actually apply to a concept I would write about in my blog?

All those months of walking at a 0% grade were not a dead end. It got my legs moving and my heart pumping. Hey, it’s a far cry better than sitting on the couch and eating coconut bonbons, can I get an amen?

After watching that episode I decided that a 1% grade was barely steeper than a 0% and surely I could start doing that for my first five and last five minutes–and then I discovered, to my dismay, that my Nordic Trac doesn’t have a 1% incline! It goes directly from zero to two. Well, crap.

I wasn’t sure I could handle a 2% grade, but I just proved a couple of days ago that I could. It isn’t fun and I don’t enjoy it, but I don’t get off until my twenty minutes are up. I do my other hills, too, just as I normally did when I started out at 0%. I can feel my thighs burning more than normal, but I suspect I’ll get used to it if I keep at it.

We went out to eat at Red Robin tonight to celebrate Cameron’s birthday, which was yesterday. I ordered the Whiskey River BBQ burger and bottomless salad. I did eat three of the chocolate truffles that Chuck ordered for dessert, though, so my dinner wasn’t as on-plan as I had planned for it to be!

Despite the truffles, Chuck is making some real strides in making more healthful choices. For his appetizer he ordered the wedge salad. I still can’t get him to stop ordering french fries, though. And he wonders why his blood sugar was 234 when he checked it later. I have told him and told him and told him, “You cannot eat potatoes! They’re horrible for you!” Do you think he listens to his wife? Ha!

To his credit, we don’t have potatoes at home, anymore, and he doesn’t bellyache about it. It may take him a while to get where I am, but he is trying. He is starting to contemplate which things are good for him to eat and which would probably not be good choices, and the word “carbs” is now in his vocabulary. He is even eating the few broccoli florets I put on his dinner plate sometimes.

For Cameron’s birthday, Chelsea ordered Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes. They don’t exactly sound like the dessert of choice for a Baptist Trim Healthy Mama, but, let me just say, these are in the running for the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.

The first time I had them, she had ordered them for my birthday. Then we had them again for Chuck’s birthday. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Guess what Chelsea wants for her birthday. Yep, you guessed it. Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes. Karmin, the owner of the salon where Chelsea works, has a mother-in-law who makes these delectable treats. I just can’t leave them alone.

Chelsea always orders two dozen of them. That means everyone in our family gets six cupcakes each. It took me two days to eat all of mine. In fact, everyone has eaten all theirs except Chuck, Mr. 234 Blood Sugar. He has decided to give Cameron his remaining three cupcakes, since A.) he doesn’t need them (and Chelsea and I don’t, either) and B.) it was Cameron’s birthday.

In the area of cupcakes, apparently Chuck has more willpower than I do. I can turn down bread and potatoes all day long, but Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes? Not so much.

Here’s the best way to handle cupcakes: just say, “No, thank you. I don’t want them. They’re not good for me. I can live without them.” Okay, easier said than done.

The other options are to eat one and quickly give away all the others or eat one per day until they are gone or two per day until they are gone or six all in one day so that you won’t have any left to call your name the next day. Don’t think I didn’t deliberate about that one for more than a minute or two. I mean, once I tasted that sugary goodness I did not want to stop.

I would love it if I could THM-ify these cupcakes and also make them Baptist-approved. I told Ann Marie, my afternoon aide, that I was looking for a vodka-free version of Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes, and she said, “But isn’t that why they’re called ‘Harvey Wallbanger’ cupcakes?” Good point. But still … Boy, I love these cupcakes.

Thankfully, we each only have one birthday per year. The rest of the year we don’t have to think about or look at Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes at all. Now that Cameron’s birthday is over, we’re home-free until July.

Cameron and me out for his birthdayHere’s me and the birthday boy tonight on our way to Red Robin in the city. Cameron said it’s his new favorite restaurant. That’s fine with me: I just get their burgers without a bun, and they are just as good. Tonight that’s even how Chelsea ordered hers, and she said she thought she liked it better without the bun.

Affiliate link alert:  If you’re running low on Trim Healthy Mama supplies, please consider using my link: https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df.  It won’t cost you a penny more and it helps me a little, too!  Thanks!

 

 

So It Has Come Down to This

When you get older sometimes you need to compensate for not being able to move as well or remember as clearly. This is what it has come down to for me.

What is completely maddening is not being able to remember if I took my vitamins, yet, or not. Even if I hapill holderve them all lined up and am in the process of taking them, I sometimes have to stop and think, “Did I take my Vitamin C already?” or “Did I take my folic acid?” The only vitamin I have no trouble remembering is the Vitamin B Complex. It is the mother of all nasty pills. Once I’ve taken that one, it’s hard to forget. I almost have to hold my nose while unscrewing the lid to the bottle.

What has helped tremendously is a labeled pill organizer. All I have to do is load it once a week, and it saves me the time of getting out all my bottles and doling out a vitamin from each one. It also saves me the headache of having to remember if I took my vitamins yet or not. Yep, that’s what happens when you get old.

The Vitamin B Complex and folic acid I take twice a day, per my podiatrist’s instructions, but the C, E, and cinnamon I only take in the mornings. My two magnesium and my Lipitor I take at night.

Don’t worry, I’ve not ever forgotten to eat. Things haven’t gotten that bad, yet! I had a cousin who used to do this. I could never understand it. Every hour or so my mind naturally wanders to food, and these days I can add exercise to that, too. Now I don’t eat every hour, and sometimes I don’t get on my treadmill (at least here of late) for a week or so at a time, but forget about it?  Never!

Do you remember when I used to say that not doing my treadmill will just make it that much harder when I get back on it? I wasn’t lying. Instead of napping before my preschool route today (I really, really wanted to), I got on the treadmill instead. I had to push myself pretty hard the last seventeen minutes because I wanted to quit! All kinds of thoughts were going through my head, like “Maybe I could just start out with five and then do five more later on.” I’m happy to say that I wouldn’t let myself off that easy.

Remember when I used to spring along at a pretty good clip? Remember when 3.3 m.p.h. was my norm? Well, I don’t think I could do that right now. The good news is that I still kept my speed up to three miles per hour and did my hills, too. That seven incline kicked my tail today, but, as I have said many times before, it’s only two minutes. I can do anything for two minutes, right?

I have to add here that nothing is heavier than a treadmill not being used. It’s dead weight that I carry around with me all day long–until I get it out of the way. As much as I hate sweating, what I hate more is not having sweated. Who needs that kind of guilt?

Oh, here’s a non-scale victory. Last night Chuck and I went to Rib Crib. It’s all-you-can-eat ribs every Tuesday night. One of my favorite parts of the meal had been the piece of toast served with it. In fact it was such a favorite that most times I asked for a second one. After I started Trim Healthy Mama, I “evolved” when it came to my Rib Crib toast.

I went from “One piece of bread every once in a while won’t hurt me” to “I can get by with just eating half a piece” to “I just want to take one bite” to “Please hold the toast and the crunchy things on the salad.” Now that is a non-scale victory!

Yes! I asked the waitress not to bring me any toast, and I didn’t sit there looking longingly at my husband’s as he ate his! I don’t care about toast, anymore. The same went with the rolls at Christmas and Thanksgiving. I ended up having to throw a zip-lock baggie full of them away! Seriously.

Trim Healthy Mama has changed my taste buds. I now look forward to my Ezekiel toast with Happy Farms (or Laughing Cow) cheese and Polaner all-fruit, but regular toasted white bread tastes like cardboard to me. It has lost all appeal.

When I started Trim Healthy Mama a friend had told me to hold off on trying the desserts because I would not like them. It is true that, to a person who is used to eating sugar–and lots of it–desserts made from stevia and Truvia seem lackluster, if not downright nasty.

Not anymore! I had a chocolate muffin in a mug for breakfast and I felt like I was eating a big ol’ piece of chocolate cake. Because I love coconut (and because coconut flour is cheaper than almond flour) I used coconut flour to make it. I had to add a little water since coconut flour is so absorbent, but it was delicious. Most times I also add about a tablespoon of unsweetened coconut to it and maybe ten sugar-free chocolate chips. I just sprinkle the chocolate chips on top after I get everything mixed together. In the microwave the batter rises up over the chocolate chips.

When it comes out of the microwave I finish it off with a dollop of light generic Redi Whip. I would buy fat-free Redi Whip if I could find it. The chocolate muffin in a mug has found its way into my regular rotation, along with shakes and smoothies and baked oatmeal.

I found out that my A1C has dropped to a 5.7. Yay! My cholesterol was up, but that was only because I ran out of Lipitor and procrastinated getting another prescription called in.

Procrastination has been my nemesis for as long as I can remember, but finally, finally, finally I got the sweater I was making for Cameron (that I started two years ago) near completion! (I got into a real crochet funk during Chelsea’s hospital stays and didn’t even pick up a hook for months and months and months. I didn’t care if I crocheted ever again. I just lost all interest.) All I have to do is weave in all my loose ends and sew the KC Chiefs patch on the chest. I intend to have it completely finished by Saturday’s game. Maybe it will bring our Chiefs some good luck, eh? Saturday is Chuck’s birthday, and Chuck said the last time they played on his birthday they won–so we’ve at least got that going for us. Wouldn’t it be great if the Royals won the World Series and the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in the same year?!

In other news, Chelsea got a Netflix subscription for Christmas, so she and I (and Chuck and Cameron) have been watching all kinds of fun and exciting things. I finished Making a Murderer, and Chuck is almost finished with that one, too. I would tell you about it, but I don’t want to get myself mad and ruin my day.  LOL  The guy is innocent. I’m sorry, but he was wrongfully imprisoned, not just once but twice. As we can see from the O.J. Simpson trial and the Casey Anthony trial, our court system doesn’t always work–but it’s far better to let a guilty person go free than to falsely convict an innocent man (or, in the case of Making a Murderer, a man and a mentally compromised child).

I’m also watching Once Upon a Time. It’s a little out of my norm, but I must say the writing is very good. It’s a lively story line interwoven with fairy tale characters, of all things, all somehow connected in very imaginative ways. Chelsea got me started on it. I’ve not had much time for blogging or Facebook, either, for that matter, but I did get a sweater almost finished!

Thanks for stopping by to visit! Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!

Remember, if you’re running low on Trim Healthy Mama supplies, I would be most appreciative if you would consider ordering through my affiliate link. I won’t cost you even a penny more.  Thanks!  My link: https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df 

 

 

 

 

Books, Books, Books!

I’ve never been the kind of person to read more than one book at a time, and, yet, here I am, trying to do six!

I still haven’t finished My Big, Fat Greek Diet (my second time through) or The Dark Side of Calvinism or The Other Side of Calvinism (the dry one, but I decided last week that it’s only the history portion of it that is dry. The theology part is fine. If you happen to enjoy history, with lots of names and dates, you wouldn’t have a problem with it. I picked it up again the other evening and read it as I donated plasma), and now I’ve added to the mix Margin, after hearing Dr. Richard Swenson on Focus on the Family way back in the 90s when the book first came out (that’s how long it had been on my wish list!), Suzanne Somers’ Eat Great, Lose Weight, and brand new to my reading group is Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet that I just got in the mail a couple of days ago.

As I wrote last, Eat Great, Lose Weight has many, many, many similarities to Trim Healthy Mama, so much so, in fact, that I’m considering following a little of her stuff to see if it will jump-start my weight-loss again. The thing I’m having trouble getting past is no protein with carbs, but the fact is she counts cottage cheese as a carb, for instance, and not a protein when, in fact, it is both.

Whereas THM allows five grams of fat with an E meal, Somers insists that the fat in a “Carbos” meal is only 1/2 gram per serving. Somers is more restrictive when it comes to mixing carbs and fats, but not as restrictive as Trim Healthy Mama when it comes to breads. Anything made with white or semolina flour, of course, it forbidden, but she has lots of breads/crackers/etc. on the approved list: amaranth, barley, bran, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgar, kamut, millet, oats, rye, spelt, wheat, wheat germ, wild rice.

Here is a little pearl from Suzanne’s book:  Question: “What happens if I skip a meal? Don’t do it! Whether you’re eating at home or dining in restaurants, make sure not to skip meals. Your mother always told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? In many ways, she was correct. Your body has been fasting while you sleep, so when you wake up in the morning, you have gone for some eight to ten hours without food. If you skip breakfast and don’t eat until lunch, your body has gone for twelve to fourteen hours without food. When you finally eat lunch, your body’s survival instinct kicks in. It doesn’t know when you’re going to feed it again, so it hangs on to every morsel instead of properly processing the food. Remember to eat at least three meals a day–or as many as six mini-meals throughout the day, if you prefer.”

So, see? Suzanne Somers said it before Trim Healthy Mama did, and probably someone else said it before Suzanne Somers, too.

When someone said that Trim Healthy Mama’s idea of separating fats and carbs was not a novel idea, they were right. That’s the whole gist behind the book Suzanne Somers wrote in 1996, and she got the idea from someone else, only researching it out for herself. The science of separating fuels and combining certain foods has been around for a long while.

I’m just thankful that I finally found out about it. It seems to work. To be completely honest, though, just by giving up sugar, white flour, potatoes, bread, white rice, pasta, milk and bananas, you’re going to lose weight! There’s not much science in that, just a lot of common sense. And if you couple exercise to that you have even more of a chance to get your life back to a healthy state.

Now. Dr. Phil. Where shall I begin? I love his book. I feel like he’s sitting right here beside me, talking to me. Reading him is like listening to him. It’s refreshing to find authors like that, authors who can write like they talk without throwing grammar and punctuation to the wind. I was so impressed with his use of quotation marks, in fact, that I checked the front of the book and the first few pages to see if he had a ghost writer. Nope, it was all him. He definitely has a commendable working knowledge of the English language. Either that or he had a bead on a great editor. Granted, I’m not very far into it, but I haven’t found a mistake, yet, and generally punctuation and grammar errors slap me in the face as I’m reading.

When I went to college I had some friends with whom I corresponded regularly by mail. One of my friends, a former coworker, told me, “I love your letters! You write like you talk.” In my lifetime, I consider that to be one of the best compliments anyone has ever given me. Well, look: almost forty years later I still remember it.

Sometimes Dr. Phil annoys me by announcing before a commercial, “When we come back we’re going to start putting some verbs in our sentences.”

Invariably I groan and yell at the TV, “Dr. Phil, all sentences have verbs in them!” Of course, I understand exactly what he means, but I disagree vehemently with the way he says it. “Procrastinate” is a verb. “Stagnate” is a verb.  “Stall” is a verb. There are all kinds of verbs that do nothing, but they’re still verbs. In doing nothing, they’re still doing something. That “something” is nothing.

Even though I just got the book a couple of days ago and am not even halfway through it, yet, already things have jumped off the page at me. He is saying some things that have been revelations to me this past year and so many months on my weight-loss journey. In fact, some of the things he has written are things I have written myself, either in my blog or in THM Beginners.

The first one I saw was “The next year of your life is going to go by whether you’re doing something about your weight or not.” I said this exact thing in slightly different words to a sweet lady on the Beginners page who was waiting for some magical future date to begin her journey.

Time is passing us by, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and year by year. We may as well be losing weight while this happens, instead of not losing weight and getting possibly even bigger. One thing I know for sure, the longer we put it off the harder it is once we get started.

Another golden nugget from his book is this: “. . . you’re going to have to stop using food for anything other than nutrition. You cannot continue to use food to celebrate, or as a companion, or for entertainment, or comfort. You cannot medicate yourself, your mood, or pain with food.”

How often have I said that? I know it’s true, Dr. Phil. I venture to guess that we all know that’s true, but it is certainly easier said (and understood) than done.

Old habits die hard, and I’m convinced that 75% of food addiction is psychological. I’m hoping that Dr. Phil is just the right person to help me unravel the tangled mess that is my inner psyche. I’ll keep you updated.

I’m happy to report that I was able to continue my treadmill today. My knee is almost completely back to normal. I experienced no pain while I was on the treadmill, but I did slow it down to 3.0, after starting out at my traditional 3.3 m.p.h. Still I got in the same time and the same hills.

I had asked Chuck to go walking with me, but he said, “I’ve got too much stuff to do. Besides, I’ve already been on the treadmill today.”

“Oh, really?” I responded. “Uh huh. Okay. You were on the treadmill.” I glanced over and saw the treadmill was on an incline, so I knew he wasn’t just messing with me. He had been on the treadmill, because when I’m on it I always set the grade back on 0% before I get off.

He said his blood sugar had been a little high so he got on the treadmill to bring it back down.

“Okay,” I responded. “I guess I can do that, too.” I hopped up on the treadmill and did my mile and my hills, and in just twenty minutes I felt so much better about myself.

In other news, Chelsea’s wound is still doing very well. Maybe there hasn’t been much improvement this week over last week, but in the course of the last month or so we have seen considerable progress. Her home health nurse is ecstatic with how it looks now, and Dr. James was also pleased today when Chelsea went in for her followup. It may be the new Endoform that makes the difference. Basically, it’s collagen that dissolves into the wound. The main thing is now that I don’t spray wound cleanser into the wound and wipe it out. I just take out the old dressing (I rarely have to do this because generally it falls out on its own) and put in a new Aquacel AG (I make a slit down the middle of the sheet with my scissors and tuck each end into the wounds “tunnels”) and put on a fresh ABD pad. In any event, it seems to be getting better and better.

In other news, I am so thankful for the opportunity to help save lives and make money at the same time!  I just looked up my BioLife account and so far I have made $470 for donating plasma!

With my plasma money and my Trim Healthy Mama affiliate link I have made almost a thousand dollars! I’m blown away by all the ways God has chosen to bless me. I am so grateful to you ladies who have ordered through my affiliate link. I appreciate it so, so much.

Oh, how I wish I were eligible for the Amazon affiliate program, but I’m not, just because I live in Missouri. I would have all kinds of books and products to recommend. Hey, I can still recommend them, right? I just don’t get paid commissions for my recommendations.

I will still recommend products I believe in, whether I get a kickback or not.

Piping Rock whey protein isolate powder is a product that I do get a kickback for. I use it regularly, as does my daughter. I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think it was a good product. Not only is it an acceptable whey protein isolate for Trim Healthy Mama, it is also reasonably priced! I’m all about staying on plan while not breaking the bank! And don’t forget to check out the other products they offer while you’re there!

Stats for 11/12/15:
Weight: N/A
Exercise: So far, 3.15 walked, including a mile on the treadmill
Blood sugar: N/A
Pre-breakfast snack (5:30) E: Fuji apple (I tried a Suzanne Somers trick and ate my fruit by itself, no protein. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat for another three hours when I returned home from my morning route, so it didn’t really matter if I got hungry or not; I wouldn’t have an opportunity to “cheat.” It turns out the apple snack without protein worked out just fine, and, according to Somers, it’s important to give that fruit a head start to break down before introducing proteins/fats or carbs. We’ll see if I can tell a difference in how my body reacts to this, either in metabolism, digestion, elimination or weight loss.)
Breakfast (9:00) S: Chocolate muffin in a mug from the old book.
Lunch (12:15) E: two pieces of Ezekiel toast with Happy Farms cheese and strawberry Smuckers Simply Fruit and a Shamrock Shake (so good and nutritious I had two today!)
Afternoon snack (4:00) E: Fuji apple and Shamrock Shake.
Dinner (7:45) S: Either left-over chicken alfredo with Dreamfields pasta or a sirloin burger.

Thank you for reading my blog!  <3

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What Coffee Won’t Cover, Maybe a Nap Will

Apparently what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander. The rules of the house, that Chuck established, are that we go to bed together, at the same time.

When he has to work the next day he always enforces that rule. If I linger on Facebook, he is relentless in his prodding and coaxing to get me moving in the direction of the bedroom. He must have been an Australian Shepherd in his previous life. (You know I’m joking: I don’t go in for all that stuff.)

Last night my plans were to retire early, especially after Chelsea was in bed at an earlier hour and her wound had been changed, but good intentions postponed are negated. Before I knew it, it was 10:30.

“Come on,” I said. “Remember your rules. We always go to bed at the same time.”

But Cameron had come over before work, and Chuck is still on a World Series high since our beloved Royals clinched the title on the fifth game of the series (he and Cameron attended the parade on Tuesday). I could not persuade him to switch off the TV and call it a night. By the time I had him rounded up, it was after 11:00, and, after we had recounted the events of the day in short form, as we often do once we’re in bed, it was nearly midnight.

I woke up at one something and was thrilled that I still had four more hours to sleep, but at 2:30 Chuck was up and “flick”–suddenly the ceiling light was on.  Groggily I turned over to see what was going on.

He walked back to the bed and handed me a square of toilet paper. “Here,” he said. “I’ve got something in my eye. See if you can get it to stick to this and get it out. It’s a pretty big flake, so you should be able to see it.”

I couldn’t, though. It hurt so bad he couldn’t open his eye, and I was having trouble seeing in there, even after he retrieved a flashlight.

My bright idea was to flood his eye with eye drops, but initially all I found were ear drops. “I know we have some eye drops in here somewhere,” I said. I found them, but they expired in 2010 and I was afraid to use them. I got my glass of water and tried to drop some water into his eye with the straw, but I missed and dripped cool water down his side.  Oops.

I was not successful in my feeble attempts at fishing the pebble out of his eye. Yes, it started out as a flake, but, by this time, he was saying he had a pebble in his eye. His eye was watering so much that eventually the foreign object came out and he was able to settle back down and go to sleep.

I got up before my alarm went off because sometimes it’s kinder (to myself) to get up a few minutes early than to chance falling back into a deep sleep and not wanting to get up fifteen minutes later.

As I sat reading my Bible and drinking my coffee an hour later, Chuck was up, too, talking about the rock that had been in his eye during the night–or, should I say, early morning. Thankfully it’s his weekend off and I have no preschoolers today, and we can probably both score a nap later today (and hopefully a walk, as well!).

Chuck told me last night that I appear to be slacking with my treadmill and that he doesn’t like it. He said, “You’re still eating pretty healthy. You just need to get started back with the treadmill.”

Oh, if he only knew.

“I’m not,” I replied. “I’m not really eating that healthy.” Well, I am, but I’m not–if that makes sense.

I’m still separating my carb meals from my fat meals, but I have tricked myself and treated myself to half-price Halloween candy. I won’t make you stumble by mentioning unmentionable items, but, not only did I fall off the wagon, the wagon took off and left me. In a puddle of pity and guilt.

My faulty line of reasoning is “I’ll just go ahead and eat all these packages of candy today. That way it will be all gone and I can start fresh tomorrow.”

I can’t trust myself to have a small cheat. It’s the same with any addiction. Cold turkey is always best. An alcoholic can’t just have one small drink with dinner or just one nightcap. A smoker doesn’t do himself any favors by “trying to cut back,” and a sugar addict can’t stop at just one package of soft, sugary, marshmallow-y Peeps.

Faulty thinking is my nemesis. The other day was National Sandwich Day and Subway ran a special. If you bought one sandwich and a medium drink you could have another sandwich free.

I decided that would be a good dinner for Chuck and Chelsea, so I ordered them both a footlong. I also ordered two Dr. Peppers because I thought the second one was free. I had misunderstood the special. Now, Chuck didn’t need the Dr. Pepper (in fact, we have both given up pop almost 100% except occasionally at the movies), but it’s hard for me to leave a free medium soft drink unclaimed.

I need to retrain my thinking. What I need to tell myself is: “It’s not okay to pay for poison, and it’s not okay to let someone give me poison for free, either.” The same goes for Halloween candy. Poison at full-price or poison for half-price is still poison. Leave it on the shelf.

My knee is better! While I have not gotten on the treadmill for any length of time, I have not given up my walking altogether. On Sunday afternoon I walked to Walmart with Chelsea. Three days ago I walked a mile and a half around Veterans Cemetery with a friend, and the day after that I stopped off and walked two laps around the walking track before my afternoon route. I didn’t do any extra walking yesterday, but I must have kept myself busier than usual because I still tracked over four miles for the day, just grocery shopping and doing stuff around the house, checking the mail, etc.

If you don’t feel like doing treadmill or walking around your neighborhood, just walk to your mailbox and back. Go early so you can walk back later when you discover the mailman hasn’t been by, yet!  All walking counts. All walking adds up.

I’ve not shared this before, but I’ll share it now. I saw a man’s story once about how he had lost over 383 pounds (that’s the name of his group now: Team 383. They are people he has inspired to reclaim their lives through exercise and more healthful eating) just by walking in place for five minutes at a time because he was too heavy to do any more than that. Watch this. You will enjoy it, I think.

In other news, I ordered Suzanne Somer’s book to compare it with Trim Healthy Mama, since one of the THM reviews I read said they were the same thing. I am also kicking around the idea of ordering Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet book, too. While I’m at it, maybe I’ll look around for books on food addiction, particularly sugar addiction, in case any of you have suggestions.

Thank you so much for continuing to order through my –>Trim Healthy Mama affiliate link<–! While I didn’t do as well as I did last month, I have done very well in just the last couple of days! Truly, I am grateful!

Don’t forget that you may also order Piping Rock Whey Protein Isolate or other Piping Rock products through me. Here’s my –>Piping Rock affiliate link<–. In my opinion, you won’t find a better whey protein isolate powder for the money. My daughter and I have been using Piping Rock for the last several months, and my husband ordered some kelp through them, too. They have good supplements that are reasonably priced.

Stats for 11/06/15:
Weight: N/A
Exercise: I think Chuck is going with me today!
Blood sugar:
Pre-breakfast snack: just coffee today. Next time I’ll think about having a Wasa cracker with Happy Farms cheese and Smuckers Simply Fruit along with it. I know how important it is to eat within half an hour of getting up, but have skipped my pre-breakfast snack a few times this week.
Breakfast (8:15) S: Chocolate muffin in a mug
Lunch (11:45) off-plan: Reuben and broccoli cheese soup at the restaurant on Hwy 13.
Afternoon snack (4:00) E: Fuji apple and Triple Zero Greek yogurt
Dinner: Don’t know, yet.

 

Double Whammy

I went to the dentist Friday morning, and he told me I had a “double whammy.” No wonder I couldn’t pinpoint which tooth was hurting! Here’s the damage (or shall I say the upcoming repair to the damage?): two root canals, some type of posts, and two crowns; only the crowns will come next year as my dental deductible starts over. Even with insurance it will be an expensive venture. We’re talking somewhere in the vicinity of $1,400. My double whammy will also be a double whammy to our bank account!

I’m thankful for my affiliate links (Trim Healthy Mama affiliate link and Piping Rock affiliate link) that help defer the costs of this horribly expensive dental treatment! Not only that, I’m continuing to donate plasma once or twice a week.

Thursday night I dreamed about going to the dentist all night long, only the dentist was Dr. Phil. That may have had something to do with watching his program up until bedtime.

There was a segment on there where his wife, Robin, was testing his “Phylisms” to see if they would be audience approved. She had her little test kitchen set up and tried out each of his sayings. We found out that you really can’t nail jello to a wall. We found out that you can put feathers on a dog, but it’ll still be a dog. We found out that you can’t bag up fog. We found out that you can make a pancake as flat as you want to make it, but it will still have two sides. We found out that you can put lipstick on a pig, but it will still be a pig. Now, Robin did this by kissing the pig over and over again on top of his head, etc. If I had been doing the segment I would have applied the tube of lipstick directly to the pig’s lips. (Chuck said that may have encountered protests from the PETA people.) Even so, it still would have been a pig. It would have been a prettier pig, but still a pig.

I took a couple of Ativans before Chuck drove me to see Dr. Hinton Friday morning, and was still feeling the after effects into the afternoon.  Dr. Hinton said I could take one when I came in to get my teeth cleaned, too, since just the mere mention of dental work sends me through the ceiling. I don’t like the sound of the equipment, and I don’t like the idea of people touching my teeth with metal instruments.

Let me just say, when it comes to dentists, I’m pretty much of a scaredy cat. A baby. A wimp.

Since Chuck has to work, I asked a friend to drive me. That way I can take Ativan and not have to worry about the effects of it while I’m driving. I don’t know how many to take or how long it will take for them to start working. Well, thank heaven for Google. I just googled it, and it takes effect within forty-five minutes, but two hours is when you feel the most benefit from it. I’m calculating that if I take it at 8:00, right before I leave, it should hit the peak of its performance at 10:00, which is half an hour into my appointment. That may be when I need it most. I won’t mind the shots or the waiting to get numb. It’s the digging into the roots that I’m not looking forward to. I only hope that I don’t have to hit him as I did Dr. Hamilton long, long ago. In my defense, it was a reflex action. That’s what happens to dentists when they start digging out the root before it’s fully numb.

I did five minutes on the treadmill this afternoon. Just five. I may do another five or ten minutes later. It has taken a full week to get my right knee almost back to normal.

Chuck and I went to see Woodlawn yesterday. Then we went to Stroud’s for lunch. With movie popcorn and cottage fries, gravy and cinnamon rolls at Stroud’s, it was an off-plan day for me, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

After lunch, we went to Costco and Sam’s Club (for blueberries) and Hy-Vee (for World Series Royals shirts, but we didn’t find any).  While I didn’t need to get out of the car at Costco and was tempted to stay behind, I wouldn’t allow myself to do that because that is what the old me would have done.

I need to walk, I want to walk, and I am going to walk, at least a little, even if it hurts. I miss walking. Never in a million years would I have imagined this ever being true for myself.

As much as I enjoyed my bowling outing with Chelsea and Cameron last Sunday, I can’t help but believe it was the bowling that hurt my knee. I must have jammed it somehow, re-learning my bowling approach. The weird thing is that I wasn’t even aware that I had injured it. I walked all the way home from the bowling alley and seemed just fine. It may not have been until the next day that I realized something was wrong.

My tender knee has made my heart tender toward those who are not able to exercise. I know now not to take the ability to exercise for granted. My prayers are with those who have arthritis or bone spurs or any other condition that would prevent them from moving easily.

Although I struggled early on in my Trim Healthy Mama journey with exercise, mostly it was my fat that made it hard for me. Yes, I have (or had) arthritis, too, but losing weight has helped with that more than I could have ever dreamed.

A generous friend sent me the new Trim Healthy Mama cookbook last month, and I was overjoyed. I got it out today and have reveled in flipping through the colorful pages. Even with this wonderful tool at my disposal, I still feel at a loss when it comes to what to fix for dinner. My poor husband! Oh, why can’t he just be content with oatmeal, like me?  LOL

The answer, I think, will come by just hanging out on the THM Beginners page and seeing the recipes with which other mamas are finding success. One that I have seen mentioned at least a few times already is the Cowboy Grub on page 59.

Old habits die hard. I feel like a meal isn’t a meal without some kind of potato! I can get by just fine without potatoes (I never would have guessed I would be able to!), but I feel like if I don’t provide my family with potatoes (in some form: hash browns, french fries, scalloped, baked, mashed, au gratin, etc.) to go with their meal I am somehow cheating them and not being a good wife or mother. How can I get this out of my head?

I’ve been a little stressed and depressed lately with my tooth troubles and knee problems, and I have neglected my blog. Hopefully as I glide past tomorrow, with the help of my Ativan and the prayers of God’s saints, I’ll be able to pick it up again.

In cheerier news, the Royals are headed to the World Series! I couldn’t resist buying this with some of my plasma money. Is it not a thing of beauty!? I wore it to church today and plan to wear it every day until the World Series is over.

Royals Origami Owl