Saturday, December 3, 2011

Has it really been three months since I posted last?

I guess so... I can only say that I've been extremely busy and stressed out... My personal health goals have been put by the wayside... I need to get back in the game, but it is now the holiday season... Pumpkin pie is my weakness (along with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Rolls and Turkey and.. and.. and...) My only consolation is to my egg allergy. I have adapted one of my favorite pie recipes to be egg-free and I posted the recipe on my main blog - Musings of the Wife of a Pilot.

I hope to be able to focus on myself soon and get back to posting my progress here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Toaster Waffles

Toaster waffles have a tendency to taste like cardboard with sugar added. I usually don't buy them, unless I'm really craving that toaster waffle taste (which is pretty rare, maybe every other year or so). However, I have been severely bummed that I can't have my normal waffle excursion to the waffle place in town every weekend. I used to go down there, usually on Sunday, and get either and egg sandwich or a waffle.

So, I've been craving waffles lately (gee, I don't know why) and I came across one that said "Gluten-Free" on the package in big, bold letters. In smaller letters, but still on the front, it said "Egg-Free and Dairy-Free" so I decided to give it a try.

If regular toaster waffles taste like cardboard, this stuff tastes like granulated cardboard pressed back into a waffle shape. It was very granular and didn't hold together. It didn't taste and feel like a waffle should, even compared to other toaster waffles. I chose to do my first taste test with just butter and syrup, as it is a classic. It did have a nice crispy crust that I liked, but that is it.

I'm going to try them with some fruit and yogurt on top instead of butter and syrup to see if that makes a difference.

I think I'm going to add a waffle iron to my wish list so I can try to make my own toaster waffles at home, omitting the egg from the ingredients. They might taste better that way...

Trial and Error

So, I've been testing my new-found allergy to eggs, just to see what I react to... So far, baked goods don't usually make me react - things like cookies and cakes, as long as they don't have too many eggs. However, straight scrambled eggs tend to make my skin hyper-sensitive. It feels very itchy, but the act of scratching causes more pain, rather than alleviating the itch... Based on previous tests, I figured that anything that had the egg protein basically pulverized wouldn't make me react very much and anything that was primarily egg-based, like custard products, would make me react like the scrambled eggs.

Today, I was bored and hungry and I went in search of food. I tried a restaurant that does a fairly decent soup/sandwich lunch special, but the parking lot was full. I didn't feel like paying for parking in the garage across from the restaurant, so I headed back towards my house while figuring out what I wanted to eat. I settled on a local diner that Aaron and I like to go to. Once there, I didn't really feel like eating the lunch items, so I ordered off the breakfast menu. In defiance of my allergy (and because I was curious), I ordered French Toast. I used to enjoy the French Toast at this restaurant before my allergy was known.

Uh, yeah, that was not such a great idea. I didn't have the same skin sensitivity reaction as when I eat straight eggs, but my stomach wasn't too keen on the idea of eating such an egg-y product. I couldn't finish the plate (something I wouldn't have been able to conceive of before) and I felt rather nauseous afterward. So much so that I didn't have an appetite for dinner until around 10:00 PM this evening (even after a 3-mile hike in the mountains). I guess my aversion to eating eggs has made it more difficult to eat egg-y foods... Hopefully, this means that I will STOP craving eggs...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Projects!

It's time to tighten the belt and get serious about saving money and getting out of debt (past time, actually). I mentioned on my other blog that an absent husband can cost more money that one that is home, simply because it is easier for me to go out to eat rather than cook a bunch of food that I won't finish (another waste of money). He hasn't been flying much recently, so our savings is dwindling (we had hoped that it would be a short-term issue, but it is turning into a long-term one).... So, we need to buckle down and I need to come up with new ways to prepare food that don't cost me more money...

I received my inspiration from the September issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. In it, she outlines a month of dishes that use food that was prepared on one day, portioned into 1 c. portions, and frozen. Some of the stuff she made with the ingredients doesn't really fit well into my particular eating requirements (eggs were added, or it had some ingredients that I don't like, etc), but I was inspired. I took her idea and ran with it.

I have only just started my new project, but I plan to stock up over the next few weeks. My plan includes preparing/roasting pork, beef, and chicken, then shredding and freezing each into Ziploc bags. Then, I plan on freezing brown rice. Since I get organic fruits and veggies every other week, I should be OK in the produce department. If I run low, I can add some frozen veggies from the store, portioned out the same way as the meat and rice. One departure that I am making from the magazine (and from all the other research done online) is that I am using MY recipes for the roasts. Why make something that I don't like to eat? Then I run into the same problem as before...

So, last night, I started with the pork roast, mostly because Aaron wanted tacos. This recipe is more of a method than an actual recipe. Feel free to adjust quantities and seasonings to your liking. Also, I cooked it in the oven, but you could easily use a crock pot.

2 Boneless Pork Shoulder roasts - about 4-5 lbs each
2 Tbsp whole black peppercorn (approx)
1 Tbsp whole Coriander (approx)
2 Tbsp Sea Salt (approx)
2-4 Cloves of Garlic (approx)
1 white onion.
2 bottles of Dos Equis Amber beer

I bought 2 bone-less pork shoulder roasts (although, bone in is probably better for flavor. My grocery store didn't have any at the time). I cracked the black peppercorn and coriander and then added all of the seasonings to the dutch oven. I roughly chopped the onion and added that to the pot. Then, I added the two roasts and then the beer. I let it slow cook in the oven at 350 for about an hour and a half, then reduced the heat to about 300 for another 2-3 hours. The beer lends a great flavor to the meat as well as helping to tenderize it. If you don't care for beer, then you can substitute water or chicken/veggie broth. It's up to you. You can do this recipe in a crock pot (I usually do, but my insert broke and I haven't replaced it yet). If so, then it is best to cook everything on low for 8-10 hours. You can do it on high in 4-6, but the meat won't be as tender as the low and slow method.
The meat was so tender, that it fell apart while taking it out of the pot :)
Once the meat has cooled enough, shred and put into Ziploc freezer bags in 1 cup portions. Add a little of the cooking liquid and then get as much air out at possible. Freeze flat and don't forget to date the baggies. When you want to use the meat, just take it out of the freezer and put in the fridge to thaw in the morning. When you get home, it should all be thawed! (I say should, because I haven't actually completed this step yet). The pork can be used in tacos (my favorite), enchiladas, soups, pasta, casseroles, sandwiches, or as a side by itself. The possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Late Updates and New Cleaning Tips!

So, I haven't been as consistent as I wanted to be when I started this blog... I guess that I got a little carried away, but I'm still glad I started it...It still gives me a place to chronicle my journey and reminds me how far I've come...

When I started this journey, I weighed 187 lbs... As of the date of my last physical (a few weeks ago), I have lost 7 lbs! Yay me! Still a lot to go (target weight is 130) but progress is progress! I am still plugging away with my food goals, especially focusing on the types of ingredients and the portion sizes that I am eating. I'm glad I don't own a scale so I can't get obsessed about daily weigh-ins...

My physical brought a new diagnosis to light - fibromyalgia... I haven't really started to do anything to address this issue yet, but I will be talking to an acupuncturist in the near future, hopefully to avoid the typical medical treatment plan of anti-depressants. Other than that, I'm relatively healthy :)

In my constant fight against my allergies, I've been trying out different home cleaning options. I especially wanted to replace my dusting spray with something that doesn't give me a headache. Oddly enough, my new dusting spray is strong tea with a little lemon juice added... Seriously! It is supposed to be really good for pollen. It seems to work well with the dog hair/dander too. I usually have an allergy/asthma attack anytime I try to dust anything in the house, but I don't have the same reaction when I use the tea spray. In fact, I haven't had an allergy attack at all! It works really well on my leather furniture too! My old furniture spray would leave an oily residue on the couch that would make it more difficult to sit on the couch. The tea spray doesn't leave a residue and doesn't make everything smell like tea. It is amazing! I can't say enough things about it.

To make the tea dusting spray - boil 3 cups of water. Add 2 bags of regular tea to the water and let it sit until it cools completely (leave the tea bags in the water the whole time). Add 1 tbsp. of lemon juice and pour into a spray bottle. Spray directly on to a paper towel or rag and dust away!

I've used this on my couches, my lamps, my end tables, and my washer/dryer! Recently, I caught up on all the laundry piled around the house, most of which was covered in dog hair... My washer/dryer combo was coated in dog hair and dust as I would move things in and out of the washer. The spray worked really well at attracting the dog hair and lint dust that was all over my laundry area... AWESOME! Can't say enough good things about it :) I'm still testing other areas of the house, but so far, I haven't encountered a hard surface it CAN'T tackle!

Friday, June 17, 2011

What to make for dinner?

When I got the list of organic produce in my box this past week, I wondered what in the heck I would do with baby bok-choy. Luckily, I have the internet :)

I found a recipe for Salmon with Hoisin, Orange, & Bok Choy that sounded tasty. I did make a departure from the recipe. First, I used Halibut instead (I don't care for Salmon). Second, I used Coriander, but omitted the Cilantro (Aaron doesn't care for Cilantro).

Here are my notes:

This method produces a light, moist, tender fish! However, the hoisin sauce overpowered the fish. The bok choy turned into this mushy crap in the bottom of the foil packet, but it tasted like mild steamed spinich. Neither one of us ate more than two bites of the bok choy (the texture turned us off more than the flavor). Aaron enjoyed the fish more than I did. I think I'll try this sauce (and method) over chicken sometime, but add some soy sauce and brown sugar or honey to make it more of a teriyaki sauce. That might hold up better to the combination of flavors. I'll just stick to broiling my halibut simply with salt and pepper and maybe a little garlic.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Over the river and through the woods...

One of the best reasons to live where I live is the beautiful hiking trails that are nearby to my house. Several trails in town are paved and my favorite one is on the other side of the Mendenhall River from where I live. There is a section of it that is unpaved and is called the "Horse Trail". Many residents walk their dogs on these trails, and I am no exception. While on the paved portion of the trail, you are required to keep your dog on-leash (but hardly anybody does... being a strict rule follower, I do). If you divert on to the horse trail about a quarter of a mile down the paved part, the dogs can go off-leash. Noni and Lijha love it. It is quite a good walk as it goes up and down hill a good portion of the hike. Once the trail merges back with the paved part, we cross the path and take the fishing access trails to go down to the river. Lijha loves playing in the water. Then we continue the loop back to the start of the horse trail (but on the river side) and head back to the car. It takes about an hour to do this hike and I've done it for 4 days in a row so far (yay me!).

I haven't really had time to fit this one-hour walk into my day, but I have made the time. Mostly as a weapon in my fight against fatigue. Getting myself moving helps my joints and keeps me active. I am very careful to not overdo it and completely exhaust myself. It is slow-going, but I have felt my over-all energy levels increasing day by day.

It doesn't hurt that the woods are amazing to walk in and the setting is so peaceful. There are hazards, such as bears, that I have to take into account. Bears have been spotted recently in the area of the hiking trail. However, I keep up a steady stream of conversation with my dogs (or if I happen to go with a friend, I talk to her, so I don't sound crazy). I've heard that constant noise alerts the bears to your presence and they generally stay out of your way. You have problems when the bear doesn't know that you are there and you take it by surprise. The dogs are also key because they can tell when wildlife are in the area. They haven't alerted to anything yet, so I think I'm safe.

Silver lining? Not only am I getting my exercise, but the walk tuckers out the puppies so I can focus on my homework after the walk without interruption. A tired puppy is a good puppy :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fighting Fatigue...

One of my many challenges in life is my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was diagnosed when I was 17, after 4 years of constant knee pain and inflammation. As I have aged, my RA has started affecting other areas of my body. One thing that I have noticed about my RA, is that it focuses on areas that have been damaged in the past. The knee that started it all was severely bruised when I hit it on a rock while floating down the Yellowstone River the summer I was 13. When I was 20, I was in a car accident that damaged my C2 vertebrae (well, damaged isn't quite the "right" word for it, but it is constantly out of alignment, and only frequent chiropractic adjustments keep it in place). Other aches and pains of crept up throughout the years. I have problems with my left hip and my right ankle (I keep spraining it in my sleep, go figure)... You get the point. Whenever I have a flare-up, the pain is focused in these "damaged" joints throughout my body.

My flare-ups seem to be weather related. Anytime we have a long stretch of nice weather, my body gets used to it. As soon as the weather changes, the sudden increases and decreases in barometric pressure cause me great pain. I was "blessed" with this experience this past Saturday. I had to get out of bed to take care of my dogs, but as soon as they were out and fed, I went back to bed. Fatigue swept over me and I slept for most of the day. I had no energy and any movement would cause excruciating pain. Yeah, it was a lot of fun... The good thing about these types of flare-ups, is that they usually only last a day. The excruciating pain dissipates as I get used to the new barometric pressure. 

Not that this experience is new, but it is getting rather irritating. I have been researching options for increasing my energy levels to fight the fatigue that is an almost daily companion now, but it is difficult. It seems that the only answer is rest (and medication, which is another post altogether). As much as I know that rest is the best thing for me, it isn't a reality. I am the wife of a pilot. That means that I am basically "single" for half of my life while he is off flying somewhere. Not that I begrudge my husband his career, it's just a fact. I am forced to be completely self-reliant a good portion of my life. I have to take care of our dogs, I have to go to work... I am also enrolled in school and working on my Bachelor's Degree. My life is busy and I have little to no time to rest. I notice a difference in my health when I have a 3-day weekend. It seems to take about that long to recharge my batteries.

So, I am at a cross-roads... Do I keep going at the pace that I am going, knowing that when I get home I will be too tired to do anything (chores, homework, walk the dogs, exercise, cook)? Do I reduce my hours at work to allow my self to get enough rest at night and still feel like I have the energy to do everything else in my life? Do I quit my job to work for myself so I can dictate my hours as my energy levels fluctuate?

The only thing I know for sure is that I need more time to rest, either time to take a nap during the day or more time to sleep at night. Until then, I'll just raise my sword and shield (lightweight, of course) and battle my every-day fatigue.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The weather didn't cooperate with me and my goal to ride my bike. I could have ridden on Friday, but it was questionable in the morning so I didn't chance it.

Part of getting healthy is dealing with my environmental allergies and asthma. I haven't been able to clean for a long time because of my sensitivity to dust and the chemicals used to clean the house. Since I haven't been able to deep clean without making myself ill, the dust and dog hair has piled up to embarrassing proportions.

So, knowing that I would make myself ill, I just had to clean this weekend. I can't stand the level of filth in my house any longer and it must be dealt with post-haste! That being said, it is slow going... I do a little at a time and then take a rest. I am using as few chemicals as I can in order to keep my reactions down, and I'm dusting and vacuuming as I go along to minimize the dust released into the air... Just a few rooms down and more to go. But, I know that I will start feeling better in a clean environment. I will also need to have a conversation with my husband to see if he will be able to do the deep cleaning on the house in the future when he is home and I am at work. If I can get him to cooperate, then I should be able to maintain a better environment so I won't be so sick as much...

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another little step toward my goal...

Took the bike out of storage in the garage and dusted it off. Took it for a spin around the complex just to see if anything else was needed... Nope! It's good to go! I'll be able to ride my bike to work tomorrow :)

(As much as I'd like to admit that this is the result of my goal to get healthy, it is actually brought about by the high price of gasoline at the moment. After paying bills this month, I simply do not have enough left in my budget to get gas at $4.20/gallon... Since I am so close to my office - 15 minutes walking, 10 minutes biking - I'll be self-mobile for a while. I have enough gas in my tank to run a few more errands, but I don't want to use it if I don't have to).

Monday, May 9, 2011

Priorities and Oatmeal Packets

Ok... I admit that I have been letting other things in my life take over my healthy priorities. So, for this week's goals, I will go to the gym everyday after work. Since I can't seem to drag my butt out of bed in the morning, I figure this is the best commitment I can make at this point.

To make sure that I will meet this commitment, I will take care of my "excuse" for not going over the past two weeks... I will repack my gym bag with everything that I need. I keep forgetting one thing or another, and I bought a nice gym bag for that purpose, so I'm going to keep everything together in it. As soon as I get done with this post, my bag will be packed and placed near the front door so I can grab it on my way out in the morning.

Additionally, I will be preparing my breakfast and snacks for work tomorrow tonight. This way, I can make sure I am eating my healthy oatmeal, instead of the sugary Quaker stuff I usually eat at work. Although, there is nothing wrong with Quaker, I make an oatmeal packet that is higher in fiber and Omega-3's, and is more filling and lasts the morning.

So, here's my recipe for Oatmeal packets. I took the initial measurements from another website, and I can't remember which one at the moment, but I put my own twist on it.

Start with snack-size zip bags. I guess you can mix up a big batch and keep it in a container, measuring out the desired amount, but the proportions of the ingredients might be a bit off as some of the finer ingredients tend to settle towards the bottom. I usually make up about 6 days worth of baggies at a time, just to make sure that they don't go bad in my cupboard. I keep the ingredients in air-tight containers when not in use. Some are in quart-sized Mason jars, and some are in Tupperware.

  • Quaker Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats AND Quaker Quick Oats (I like the texture of the combination, but feel free to make adjustments as your tastes require)
  • Bob's Red Mill Organic Hot Cereal Mix with Flax
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Dried Fruit (what ever kind you like: Blueberries, Raisins, Cranberries, etc)
  • Chopped nuts (again, what ever you like: Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, etc) - I like the roasted, salted varieties and I decrease the amount of additional salt when I use these.
Measure out 1/4 c. of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats and 1/8 c. of Quick Oats into each baggie. Add 1-2 Tbsp of the Organic Hot Cereal Mix (you can omit this, but I like the extra fiber and flax that this item adds to my oatmeal. It gives it a unique flavor). Add 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar (to taste) and 1/8-1/4 tsp salt. Add about 1 Tbsp of fruit and 1/2-1 Tbsp of nuts. If you like spice, feel free to add cinnamon or nutmeg or whatever else you prefer. I don't care for spice in my oatmeal and I've discovered that when I eat cinnamon, my palate gets irritated and I tend to sneeze more. Sometimes, I'm in the mood for spice, and I use the mild combination of pumpkin pie spice.

Oddly enough, I haven't measured the amount of water necessary to cook this oatmeal. I just add it until it looks right, and it probably works out to about a 3/4-1 c. I have discovered that when I add the hot cereal mix, I MUST cook this in the microwave for a couple of minutes (microwaves vary - the microwave at work takes 2 minutes, the microwave at home takes about 1 1/2 minutes). If I don't add the cereal, I can just add hot water and let it steep.

This particular mix is quite filling, with the fruit and nuts providing quite a lot of energy to get through the morning. Add any kind of cream (milk, coffee creamer, etc) that you like, if you like. I prefer to add a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt. It gets nice and creamy and provides another layer of flavor with the tangy yogurt. It is also really good when topped with fresh fruit - Strawberries, bananas, etc. Yummy!

I keep these packets in a basket in my pantry and grab one on my way out the door in the morning. I like that these are so healthy. When I go out hiking for a good portion of the day, I'll make a double batch of oats and add extra fruit and nuts (usually a combination of multiple nut combos). I used to make my packets to this quantity, but I found they were WAY TOO hearty and a little high in calories - somewhere in the 800 range. But, when you are going to be active throughout the day, it is a great way to start a hike!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Whole-Wheat, Egg-Free Zucchini Muffins

I had a zucchini from my organic veggie order a couple of weeks ago and I had to use it before it went bad. The only time in my life that I have ever enjoyed zucchini was when my mom made zucchini bread when I was growing up. She always planted zucchini in the garden, so we almost always had some zucchini bread lying around.

I started my search online for a good egg-free zucchini bread recipe. I found one on on Jazzy Allergy Recipes that sounded easy and tasty. When I found her alternate recipe for Zucchini Muffins, I quickly changed my vote from bread to muffins. I did make a couple of modifications to her recipe, but you can click on recipe to go to the original. The muffin modification recipe is found here.

So, here's my take on this fantastic recipe:

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded zucchini*
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with muffin cups. Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, shredded zucchini, oil, vanilla and applesauce. Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir until just moistened*. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool (or eat them hot if you just can't wait any longer, he he he).

*You can peel the zucchini before shredding if you prefer, or you can leave it unpeeled. The peel has extra fiber and looks good in the muffin (in my opinion). Just make sure to wash the zucchini really well if you choose not to peel it.

**Important step! Do not over mix the muffin batter as it will over-develop the gluten and you will end up with hard/chewy muffins. Mix just until you no longer see flour bits, no more. As Alton Brown says - "Just Walk Away" - You'll be glad you did! You'll have nice fluffy, moist muffins, despite the use of whole-wheat flour. Also, it is easy to mix this recipe by hand, so don't use a mixer if you don't have to. A mixer may overmix the batter, which as stated above, will produce bad muffins.

This recipe makes one dozen muffins if you fill each one to just above 2/3 full. I slightly underbaked my muffins (mainly because my husband called me while I was checking on them, so I didn't check them completely) and some of the fuller ones were still a little doughy in the middle. The next time I make them, I will bake them for 20 minutes rather than 15. My zucchini was quite large and I got 2 cups of shredded zucchini from it. I froze 1 cup and will make another batch soon. I will also try the different varieties that Lori lists on her recipe, such as apples or bananas. Ooohh, maybe I'll even try carrot! What a great way to get some extra veggies into my diet (even if they are coated in sugar, flour, and cinnimon)!

I brought them with me to work today and they are a big hit! I have 4 left so far, and it's not even lunch time!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The last two weeks have sucked...

I fell off the wagon during the last two weeks, mostly due to stress and doggie medical issues that have distracted me. I haven't kept up with recording my daily diary and I haven't been eating very healthy either. I've been doing a lot of high-calorie snacking in between high stress loads.

But, it is a new day and a new week coming up. I'm going to have to get creative with my food budget because it is the end of the month and I've had several "surprise" visits to the vet to contend with. I'm spending my weekend spring cleaning my house which will allow me to start cooking again. I have been meaning to bake my own bread for several weeks now, and try out an egg-less whole wheat cinnamon roll recipe I found on the internet. So, stay tuned for more updates, and I will start my week fresh on Monday with a new set of goals.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 2 Goals

Week 2 Goals:
  • I will walk the dogs for at least 30 minutes every day this week. If I cannot walk the dogs because of the weather, I will go to the gym and use the treadmill or eliptical for 30 minutes.

  • I will keep my daily caloric intake to 1,200-1,400 calories per day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 1 Updates

I didn't meet my goal to walk Lijha every day for 30 minutes.  When I made that goal, I forgot that she was going in for surgery this week. I did walk her 3 days this past week, so that is something. Total calories burned: 417

I did meet my goal to start tracking my calorie intake again. I forgot that I signed up for an account with It is a free online calorie and fitness tracker. I have the app on my cell phone, so I can update my diary on the go. Here is my weekly summary:

  • Breakfast - Yogurt - 180 calories
  • AM Snack - Mandarin Oranges - 80 calories
  • Lunch - Potato Soup, Sweet Potato Chips, Crackers - 450 calories
  • PM Snack - Diet Coke - 0 calories
  • Dinner - Homemade Oatmeal w/ Nuts & Blueberries - 674 calories
  • Dessert - 2 Chocolate Pieces - 73 calories
  • TOTAL CALORIES - 1,457 calories
  • Breakfast - Yogurt & Coffee - 222 calories
  • Lunch - Pasta with Tomatoes - 554 calories
  • PM Snack - Mandarin Oranges - 80 calories
  • Dinner - Lentil Soup - 200 calories
  • Dessert - Fruit & Yogurt Parfait - 328 calories
  • TOTAL CALORIES - 1,384 calories
  • Breakfast - Yogurt & Coffee - 222 calories
  • AM Snack - Cara Cara Orange - 80 calories
  • Lunch - Turkey Burger - 558 calories
  • Dinner - Lentil Soup - 200 calories
  • Dessert - Toast - 342 calories
  • TOTAL CALORIES - 1,402 calories
  • AM Snack - Homemade Oatmeal w/ Nuts & Blueberries -  674 calories
  • Lunch - Tuna Salad - 214 calories
  • PM Snack - Diet Coke & Wheat Thins - 140 calories
  • Dinner - Toast - 342 calories
  • Dessert - Tropical Fruit Smoothie - 181 calories
  • TOTAL CALORIES - 1,551 calories
  • Breakfast - Non-Fat Hazelnut Latte & Oatmeal - 270 calories
  • AM Snack - Mandarin Oranges - 140 calories
  • Lunch - Toast - 480 calories
  • Dinner - Pizza - 1,450 calories
  • TOTAL CALORIES - 2,544 calories
  • Breakfast - Tropical Fruit Smoothie - 181 calories
  • AM Snack - Banana - 121 calories
  • Lunch - Pizza - 870 calories
  • PM Snack - Pizza - 580 calories
  • Dinner - Pizza - 290 calories
  • TOTAL CALORIES - 2,042 calories
  • Breakfast - Banana & Venti Hazelnut Latte - 481 calories
  • AM Snack - Cara Cara Orange & Large Diet Coke - 80 calories
  • Lunch - Cereal with Milk - 230 calories
  • PM Snack - Sweet Potato Chips & Coconut Ice-Cream - 387 calories
  • Dinner - Lentil Soup - 200 calories
  • TOTAL CALORIES - 1,378 calories

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pizza Binge

In the interest of honesty and full disclosure, I must admit to a pizza binge this weekend. In my defense, I felt it was necessary. My dog, Lijha, was spayed on Friday, and had a few other procedures done at the same time. She reacted poorly to the anesthesia and needed quite a lot of attention. In order to stay in the same room and keep an eye on her, I opted to order pizza for dinner. This way, I could eat picnic style in my bedroom while I watched her, without having to take the time to go get food, or cook something in my kitchen.

In order to qualify for the delivery, I had to order a large pizza. It's not a big deal when my husband is home (as he eats most of it), but it is a big deal when I have to put one away myself. I think I ate about half of it last night and I've been working on the other half today. I'm still trying to keep Lijha resting as much as possible today so she doesn't hurt herself, so we've had a nice, quiet day in the bedroom.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Organic Produce

I recently signed up for Full Circle Farm organic produce. It is delivered to Juneau and I go pick it up. I need to eat more fruits and veggies in my diet, and I think that this is the easiest way for me to get it. I find that I go overboard at the store and spend a good portion of my budget on produce that I don't use. This way, I don't have to think about it. I check the website every other week to see what is in my box of produce and download recipes that I can make that use up the produce.

I picked up my first two boxes today. It would normally be one box, but I added some extra stuff that thought I would eat. Here is what I got today:
The box contains kale, romaine lettuce, arugula, and carrots. I have never eaten kale before and I have a soup recipe that I am going to try it in. But, I need to go to the store to get the rest of the ingredients.
On the counter, I have strawberries, kiwis, potatoes, apples, oranges, a mango, snow peas, spinach, onions, tomatoes, a cucumber, and fresh herbs. What a bounty!
I only had a few casualties... I lost 5 strawberries to mold and one of my kiwis was crushed. But, other than that, all was well!

So, what does someone do when presented with fresh produce? Make soup, of course :) You can find the recipe for Lentil Soup here (my soup choice for the evening because I had all the ingredients in my pantry... well, almost all the ingredients). I didn't have any celery on hand, so I omitted it, and used celery salt to finish the soup. I also omitted the vinegar because I don't care for it with vinegar.
For dessert, I had yogurt with strawberries, kiwi, and a little granola on top for crunch! I didn't take a picture of dessert, I just wanted to eat it.

Another "bummer" moment...

I was thinking about really good breads to use for hamburgers or turkey burgers and my mind drifted to my all time favorite - croissants... I immediately looked up the recipe for croissants, and discovered that unless I make them myself, I cannot guarantee that they will be egg-free. They usually have an egg wash on them. I was so bummed!

So, I started looking online for a good replacement for an egg wash, so I can still get the texture of the croissant (should I choose to make them in the future). I found a great resource that I will probably consult from time to time. It lists all kinds of egg substitutes and ways to use them. Just what I need!

Now I can start altering my favorite dishes to accomodate the egg allergy. I wonder what Tiramisu will taste like when using silken tofu?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 1 Goals

To accomodate the time constraints in my life right now, I will post my goals for the week on Mondays. On Sunday, I will add my diary for the week so that I can track my progress.

Week 1 Goals:
  • I will walk Lijha (my 5 mo. old German Shepherd puppy) for at least 30 minutes every day this week. I know that this level of activity seems a little low, but I have finals for one of my classes this week, and I may not be able to accomodate more than 30 minutes
  • I will return to figuring and cataloging my daily caloric intake. I started doing this several months back for a nutrition class that I took for school, but I haven't kept up with it, especially since the holidays (who wants to look at THOSE numbers?).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Coconut Bliss Ice-Cream

One of the biggest upsets that I have experienced with my new-found allergy is that I am unable to eat ice-cream anymore, because of the eggs. While walking around the health food section of my grocery store, I found Luna & Larry's Organic Coconut Bliss Frozen Dessert. It is made with coconut milk and does not contain eggs. In fact, it is labeled as Vegan. I have my trepidations when it comes to buying anything labeled as Vegan because it usually tastes like crap or grass. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this product!

I first tried the Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge flavor. Texture wise, it was like premium chocolate ice-cream. It has a nice coconut flavor in the background and super luxurious. This one is my favorite!

The next time I wanted ice-cream, I tried the Pineapple-Coconut flavor. Yummy! A decadent pina colada treat! The texture was not as good as the Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge. It was more crystalized and closer in texture to a lemon ice. It needs to sit out for a little bit and soften, and even then, it is not as creamy on the tongue as the chocolate. Flavor-wise, it is quite tasty. I still have some in my freezer and I have some macadamia nuts in my pantry. I'm going to try it with the macadamia nuts next time. It would also be really good as a blended drink, mixed with maybe pineapple juice or some yogurt.

It is a bit more expensive than regular ice-cream, even the premium varieties. My grocery store only carries a few flavors in the pint size, and it is between $5 and $6. For an occasional treat when I crave ice-cream, it is well worth it! I may talk to the store about bringing in more flavor options. By looking at the Coconut Bliss website, they have a lot of different flavors available.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The reasons behind getting healthy...

I have always considered myself to be rather health-conscious. I stay away from McDonald's as much as possible, I gave up drinking Diet Coke, and I have a V-8 instead of a candy bar in the afternoon... But with all of my denial about "it's OK if I have "this" because I haven't had "this" for a while (not remembering that I just had "this" in my denial-induced binge of 2 days ago), I still wasn't fully prepared for the diagnosis that I received recently...

  • As a child, I was (as my mom put it) "Disgustingly Healthy." I didn't have any allergies. I didn't have any major illnesses. Outside of a few trips to the emergency room for my broken arm and stitches needed from time to time, I didn't start having problems until my mid teens. When I was 17, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. After trying several medications with no positive results, I chose to treat with ibuprofen as needed and modify my diet.

  • Later in life, I found that I was hypoglycemic. I tend to get shaky when I don't eat. When I tried diets that restrict carbs, it was worse. I decided that oatmeal for breakfast was a good thing.

  • After I got married, I gradually gained 50 pounds over 10 years. I convinced myself that the weight gain was genetic and that I couldn't really do anything about it.

  • I have been told by my doctor that my gall bladder doesn't work the way it should and that I'm not producing enough bile to break down the fats in my diet. I naturally stay away from anything too fatty to compensate for this, but that isn't good for my RA, which is helped by adding Omega-3 fatty acids (and all the other Omega- fats) to my diet. My cholesterol is higher than normal because I'm not digesting the fats properly. There is a suppliment that I get from my doctor to help my gall bladder along, but I am not very consistent with taking it.

  • Throughout the years, I have developed several allergies. We had to get rid of our cats and I have a sensitivity to my dogs. I sneeze explosively when exposed to dust, mold, or fragrances.

  • This past winter, I was exposed to mold in my kitchen cabinets. That exposure caused bronchitis and asthma. Through my treatment for the bronchitis and asthma, my doctor decided to do blood work to determine what I am allergic to.

  • The test results came in... I am allergic to eggs... Research done thus far leads me to believe that I have a mild egg allergy that affects my resperatory system. My doctor believes that my sensitivity to my dogs, dust, and fragrance are a result of the egg allergy leaving my system compromised (basically, my body reacts to everything because it was left susceptible from the egg allergy).

So, now that I've gone through the background, it is time for me to get off my butt and change my lifestyle. I need to come up with a diet plan that takes all of my issues into consideration. I believe that diet can control illnesses when done properly.

So, join me as I try to figure this out. As I try new things, I'll post product reviews and recipes. I'll also catalog a daily diet/activity diary, but this is primarily for my records, to help me keep track of everything. If it is helpful to you, my reader, than great!