Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weigh in week 4

Busy weekend, so just a quick note- down 4.2 for the week

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Victory !

Yesterday, for the first time since November , I was able to put on my  athletic shoes, walk in them and wear them for the whole day with absolutely no pain. This is a major victory ! Next step- being able to walk on grass again !

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The value of sweat and cheap eats

I think right now the biggest lesson I am learning is how very much exercise works to combat anxiety ! I go along, de junking, mentally prepping for the actual packing, let my mind spin all the possibilities and potentials, find myself getting very nervous about several what if's, and then having them all disappear with a good session of sweating with The Wii. It's a brilliant thing that I have never been able to experience. It's not that I have never exercised or engaged in heavy physical activity, but rather that perhaps for the first time in my life my adrenal glands are working and I can actually sweat and remove the stress hormones from my body through sweat.I remember one of my PE teachers telling us that we had to run a mile in so many minutes, and after working up a sweat from this and showering I would feel like a new woman. I did not- even with running a three minute mile I never could sweat, and thought the whole process was rather stupid.

As I worked yesterday I began formulating a list of cheap eats that utilized things we have in the freezer and cabinet OR that can be bought for "cheap", but yet are still healthy. We are in the summer months and fresh produce tends to be inexpensive ( our Farmers Markets have not gotten the idea that they are supposed to carry actual fruits and veggies- did you know that  Avon and Mary Kay are crops ???)They may sell a handful of fresh herbs and fresh baked bread, but that is where it ends. Considering this, grocery stores are our options and thankfully we have some great ethnic produce stores and Aldi's carries a pretty good selection of common fresh produce.Aldi's do vary as to their selections- in our area they are getting to be more numerous than Starbucks, and I think it makes us have a better distribution center then perhaps others. You can always purchase fresh apples, oranges, grapes, onions, bananas, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, carrots,cucumbers, mushrooms and avocados there. They always carry frozen broccoli, broccoli mix, green beans , blueberries and strawberries . These are not the end all beat all of produce selections, but they will keep you healthy. The fresh selections includes other options according to season at very low prices, so it can be a pleasant surprise shopping there. Here is the master list I will be working from for meals

whole roast chicken ( one roast chicken can stretch to 3 meals)
Quiche ( refrigerator Velcro that uses lots of odd little bits in a cheap protein)
chicken and noodles- leftover roast chicken
cabbage fry( a brilliant Burmeese dish- sauteed cabbage and egg)
cornbread with creamed chicken ( non dairy creamed using thickened homemade stock)
tuna salad
chicken salad sandwiches- leftover roast chicken
fried egg sandwiches
spaghetti with oil , garlic and tuna
meatball and onion subs ( ground turkey)- sauted onions make up for the flavor lost when it's minus cheese
polenta with chicken or ground turkey and veggies- again, refrigerator Velcro
polenta with sausage and peppers
sesame peanut noodles - peanut butter never had it so good
chicken loaf- leftover roast chicken transformed
ground turkey meat loaf- meatloaf with ground turkey chubs
coconut rice- brown rice cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with cloves,cinnamon and turmeric
veggie and chicken lo mien - a little meat, a little pasta, lots of veggies
home made pizza- redefined without cheese or tomato sauce ( grilled onions, meat, white sauce)
sweet and sour turkey meatballs
carrot raisin salad- always appreciated
Cole slaw- cheap cabbage in a sweet sour dressing
tossed salad with fruit- varies according to what is on sale this week
polenta with eggs- healthier than pancakes
quinoa muffins- cooked quinoa is included in a muffin recipe for the protein
hard boiled eggs
overnight oats-oats, some form of milk, fruit and nuts set in a container overnight and eaten
oatmeal- the old standard
peanut butter and apple sandwiches
It always feel better when you have a plan to pull from ! Any of these will be served with veggies or a salad, and accompanied by either water or home made ice tea. If lemons go on sale, lemonade is another option. I will round things out snack wise by buying boxes of cereal at Aldi's ( very affordable , less calories and more satisfaction than cookies) , cheese sticks for the boy and baking either brownies or a pound cake for a weekend treat. Both are easy, use cabinet ingredients, get several servings and can be frozen. Why consider a treat ? We include a treat on either Saturday or Sunday ( lately it has been non- dairy ice cream , which gets very expensive), and to cut out any and all "fun" foods quickly makes one feel like you have stepped away from "real" life. It is not the once a week treat that gets us into trouble, but rather when they become an every day occurrence.

I think we are going to make it !

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The little surprizes along the way

Sorting, sifting through, rounding up donations, sending other things to the trash. Bend, stretch, lift, bag, separate and suddenly realize this few minutes that I was going to devote to the task has stretched into a whole day , and in stopping it changes your  view, and you are reminded of another something that needs to be sorted through before packing happens. I am giving myself till August 15 to de-junk and then it's full on packing . In the meantime we learned that we have to pay a very substantial fee for breaking our existing lease. Add that to the deposit on the new place, the cost of moving equipment, the need to replace at least two beds, curtains, other fancy stuff and you discover that for the next 3-4 months your grocery budget absolutely, positively must be slashed to a fourth of what you currently spend. Oh yeah...add to that the fact that it is now the summer months where you have less income, gas prices are outrageous and the electric rates almost double here in the summer months. The only expense that can be cut is groceries, and this becomes really interesting when you are working on a health goal ! You then have to start making compromises and sometimes choosing between the lesser of two evils. ( Beans and soy are out - beans contain substances that make for arthritis flairs ( purines) and soy negatively impacts your thyroid (hello weight loss stall and unexplained gain !) I am seeing a lot of stir fries, fried rices and such in our future- even  couple of pancake dinners. Thankful thing is I recently stocked our freezer with boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale and chubs of ground turkey. Gotta use up the freezer before we move.

Time to fire up the Wii , and then off for another round of "What was I thinking and why do I have 6 of these ???"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lists are only good if you read them

I think I might need to get a better system of locating my to do list. I write it down on my computer, but lately I forget to look at the list to be reminded. I completely forgot to weigh in on Saturday . Since this is not about weight loss anymore, no biggie. Just keep doing what we are doing and focus on other matters.

It was a busy weekend with a family reunion and a trip to sign the last bit of paperwork on the new place. It is something like 10 miles away from here, and I am cracking up about our new street address. The number is 669- you know, three numbers away from the number of The Beast ??? I keep laughing at the irony. Packing and moving is going to be a beast, and it looks very much like it will just be the 3 of us doing the whole thing. And one of us still walking with a cane and only able to carry things with one hand. Stimulating.

I was not able to attend the family reunion. The location it was being held at suggested the tents and tables were going to be set up on a large piece of grass, and I have great difficulty walking on grass still.Rather than risk a fall ( an diminish our future moving/packing crew any more), I sent the guys and stayed home to play with a crochet star pattern, watch bad 70's horror movies on Hulu. They had fun and so did I. I am not sure what these purple stars will become  ( and they are purple because it is the only color of yarn I have), but it feels very settling to do something with my hands while I watch mindless TV  in an attempt not to freak out at the whole reality of packing. Living in a new place is great- having to make decisions such as whether or not to keep  the Seal a Meal that you have not used in 5 years against the potential of  the event that someone may shoot a yak , an give you half the meat in the future, and you want to package it in a secure fashion to store in the freezer. Or discussions such as we have not been camping in almost 15 years, are not likely to go camping because of allergies and sleeping on the ground  but we have all this camping gear that is taking up space in the storage locker , so do we keep it in the event that we become homeless, give it away to a friend, donate it or attempt to sell it in it's twelve generation retro state ?

Off to exercise with The Wii- come on endorphins ! Keep me sane !!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

And now for a change in workout

Seems I am going to have to add a new dimension to my workout- we re moving in 90 days ( unless something major changes this). Packing, sorting and moving 10 years of accumulated stuff on top of the collection of 20 yrs treasures you brought with you from the previous place is no small deal. A happy and exciting one, but not a minor effort by any means.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Frozen bananas

Things are sort of reaching a "lather, rinse, repeat" kind of pattern with exercise. There is the Wii routines of different variety, the mini cycle, the walking, the flip flop work out , and all that jazz. A quick word on the flip flops- the reason these are in my life is that I still have to depend on my husband to do the shopping, and the goal is to get me back into shoes with any kind of a sole. I have never had an issue with needing to grip flip flops with my toes while walking because of a very strange shape I have to my foot ( I struggle to get them on or off because of it). The tripping factor comes from the fact that I have to raise my foot with each step an inch higher than you do with ballet slippers. That inch is the thing that has kept me from wearing shoes , accompanied with a rigid sole. With a rigid sole extreme pressure gets applied to my knee with each step, so right now these are the device that was chosen. I am beginning to think a pair of aqua socks may be helpful as well for other reasons.

Meanwhile, I have rediscovered my love of chocolate covered frozen bananas ! Since the non dairy frozen treat experiment I have been craving these, and for some reason the stores we visit regularly do not have these in stock. Why ? Who can say. Two stores in our area carry them, they are out of the way, so I broke down and made a batch . Simple as can be- get bananas, peel and cut in half, get sticks, melt chocolate , dip and freeze. I had no Popsicle sticks or drinking straws, so I cut some bamboo skewers down to size to use. For a little bit of effort I was rewarded with a dozen frozen bananas for a fraction of the cost. I am going to toss some just plain bananas in the freezer next time to use in other frozen creations. Toss frozen bananas in a food processor with a little almond milk and you have almost instant ice cream that is very healthy and refreshing.

It is cool and rainy here this morning so bread baking is happening today , along with the lather, rinse , repeat of exercise. Have a good one !

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flip Flop Work Out

Yesterday , after getting in a good 40 minute workout with my Wii , I felt capable, competent and like I could tackle the world . Feeling this way will inspire an individual to not only do challenging things, but have the confidence that such challenges will be a matter of mental attitude more than anything else. Go muscles !!! You can do it !! With such an attitude  I embarked on my personal goal for the week of being able to walk for the whole day in flip flops.

It may sound strange to some, but going from not being able to wear shoes to something like flip flops requires the body to use different muscles, hold itself at a different angle and so forth. Fans of The Big Bang Theory may recall in the first episode how Sheldon explains that if a stair height is changed by mere centimeters a person will trip. Comedic fact, but a fact none the less. The reason for this is the same reason going from no shoes to shoes is a challenge.

The first 15 minutes went fine , simply because I was seated at a kitchen counter , packaging up chicken broth for the freezer. The problem began when I walked over to place the packs in the freezer. Did you know that linoleum senses a challenge , and will aggressively throw it's design into a 3D form as protection ? It has to be so, which would explain why I kept tripping over the print in the tiles. The morning wore on , and I kept stumbling over the nap in the carpeting, the threshold to the bathroom , imaginary trolls and puffed up dust bunnies. Luckily I was able to grab onto something with each incident so I did not fall. However, within 2 hours my knee was hurting enough to decide to  take the shoes off and congratulate myself for going 2 hours with them. Tomorrow is another day and  a chance to build up more.

Bob and I took a very short walk outside when he got home- by short I mean almost half the front of our building. It was so short because the muscles that support my knee were feeling very iffy from the whacking  of my knees with the stumbles. Such a grand walk could be very depressing, but I am reminding myself that this is still early in the game  and I have no where to go from here but up !

Monday, June 13, 2011

Excitement !

Sunday had two features in it that made for an exciting day . It started off being not so thrilling, but it is important to find ways to turn a dull sort of day around  so they can make you smile. Seize the dayplanner, and all that good stuff !

For a while I have been in the need of some new items of clothing. The happy friendly Tee Shirts are looking faded and have several stains for one thing. For the past few months it has not been a real issue, but we have a couple of events coming up that require some casual ( but without stains) apparel. I have only recently even made it into a store because of the recovery, and in the meantime our local Wal Mart has been remodeled into one of those super-centers that is large enough to begin considering having public transportation within just to get people from the Produce isle to Sporting Goods on the other end of the store. You know the ones  ( though I do admit to pondering the hilarious potential if stores like this would begin to stock fishing tackle next to the fish counter and have the live goldfish along side that. This way, all the average middle aged mom would have to remember is something dealing with fish, head to the area and let all the visual clues jog her memory as to what about fish she needed.). While it is wonderful to have everything under the sun under one roof, they can be exhausting to walk. If you have a nobility issue, ever worse. Yes, they have motorized carts, but I am not going to go there. I fear if I get in one of those I may never get out! So shopping has been the responsibility of my husband. This detail has been complicated by the fact that since the injury I have not been able to walk in shoes of any kind. It sounds crazy, but the soles hold my knee at such an angle when I take a step that  it sends waves of blinding, non productive pain through my body. After a lot of research we finally found thee Danskin ballet slipper things that I can put on and wear. Technically you have something on your feet but it offers no protection from anything you step on. So, all this being said , I sent him out in the quest for a shirt, and he came back with shirts, shorts, bras and....a pair of old school flip flops. You know those ones that are like all of 2 bucks and eventually the toe strap pops out of the sole so you cannot wear them any more ? Really flimsy, but they have a flexible enough sole that your foot moves almost like in bare feet. He bought a pair and I can actually walk in these, but it is like learning to walk all over again. That inch of flexible sole changes your gait, accessing different muscles from barefoot walking. Yay- close to shoes ! I wore them around the house for a very short time and had to take them off because my thigh muscles were aching like I ran a mile for the first time. Such a silly thing, but there you have it. One of my goals for the week is now walking more in these shoes.

Second excitement. While they were gone, I got to use the Wii completely on my own, doing whatever I choose, and wound up working out for 90 minutes without even being aware of the time. I spent it in cycling, canoeing  and fencing(sword battle with 100 opponents). No son at my side with a non stop stream of reasons why this game is good, the history of it, our history, discussions of what Presidents were best in history, ideas for lunches in 2015 and so on. Only sounds were the Wii background music and the birds chirping outside my window. And my thoughts- it was a really nice change of pace !

Life is good .

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Silly Sunday

I was thinking about my blog's title this morning and realized that many people through history have had a funny thing happen while on the way to the scale. Let's examine a few of these things from our collective past:

Smoking as weight loss ! That's right gents- eliminate those craving for between meal snacks with cigarettes. Endorsed by so many things endorsed by experts as the only way to go. Yes you will lose weight by smoking, but you might also lose a lung, your esophagus or even your life. So much better than a between meal snack though...right ???
Ah, yes...the grandmother of those cellulite removing creams and loofahs ! This one seems to be meant to target that double chin and "ungainly ankles". I cannot begin to tell you how many nights I have lost sleep worrying about my ungainly ankles....

Of course, this machine will work to scare the extra pounds into moving to some other more comfy home. It evolved into this :
The one on the right, a primitive version of The Hula Chair, was the final revision of this original idea :
Can we say grandfather of the mechanical bull ?? It is obviously the ladies version of this gym dandy thing that will reduce your waist and give you a fresh pressed look all in one move

Why does that remind me of an old fashioned coffee grinder and sausage maker ? And we giggle as the Shake Weight today ! Then there were the home sauna suits, wrapping your body in celophane rap, the Hot Dog /Banana /Egg Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, but all must stop and bow down to the weight loss product that everyone forgot about due to a brand new serious disease emerging with the same name:

Yes indeed- a funny thing has happened on the way to the scale for as long as people have been believing that it's numbers are anything more than that- numbers. Every one of them endorsed by experts. Keep these images in mind as you go through the paces with your own journey. When you feel like quitting, think about strapping yourself into one of those 1920's weight loss devices. It you are feeling snacky, think of the old Ayds reducing plan( a candy and a warm beverage 20 minutes before any sensible meal  3 times a day). And keep smiling - we're in this together !

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Week 3 Weigh in

I think we found the right balance for Nick ! Finding the right balance is such a key to long term success.

Weigh In
Me- down 3.8 lbs ( this now makes a total loss of 10.8 lbs with just giving up dairy and using the Wii for exercise)
Nick - down 2.8 ( still snacking, eating normal food, exercising with the Wii)
Bob- Up 0.6 ( a very bad week at work , 3 sleepless nights and an allergic reaction)

I am still so completely amazed at how well my body is responding to being dairy free ! I am eating nothing fat free( actually easting things like coconut oil and butter- which baffles me why I can eat it and not milk), eating a few normal cookies with lunch, a handful of chips and even carbs like white pasta. I am even eating normal full fat salad dressings and full fat and sugar non dairy creamer in my coffee. All of these things, in past attempts, would have gone out the door in the effort. This time weight loss is not my main focus, but instead gaining mobility and joint health with the understanding that less weight will be less stressful on my joints. In all past weight loss attempts I would work to insure that I got a minimum of 3 servings of dairy each day. It blows my mind that following that simple good health advice might have been sabotaging my efforts all along.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Note to self

Dear Self:

Yes, you are feeling great. Yes you are able to move a whole lot more. However, you still must exercise caution about some things, as no matter how much you believe you can do them, they are still a bit out of your league. Take yesterday afternoon's furniture moving for example. Yes, it is a good idea to really vacuum your mattress, box spring and pillows very well about once a month. Yes it cuts down the amount of dust mites, dander, potential bedbugs, alien space craft and unicorn fluff that will find your bed as comfy as you do ( and consider you to be like a free Thanksgiving banquet). However, queen sized mattresses are heavy, ungainly things to move , even with a partner who is doing most of the moving.The action of lifting the behemoth and standing it up against a wall will put strange types of stress on several muscles and joints. Just because you can do a Warrior lunge does not mean you can compete with "Burly Guys Moving Company". Yet. And if you do decide to engage in furniture moving, when a movement makes you audibly wince and then say ouch, it means stop doing this- not just try to adjust your stance so you can do more. If you pay attention to these things, you will not wake up swollen, stiff and in pain.
                                           The Managment

So today finds me very stiff, very achy, with a knee that feels very iffy. Not a good day to focus on any kind of Yoga or walking, but an excellent day to get in Wii rowing , cycling and boxing in a chair . For some very odd reason I am noticing the more I devote to upper body workouts, the more mobility and stamina I have with my lower body. It does not make sense along the conventional lines, but perhaps it is an indication that I hold my upper body in such a way that it puts unnatural pressure on my lower spine that begins the pain train. I also notice that I work up much more of a sweat with upper body work than lower body. Perhaps it is because with upper body work I am in less pain and able to go harder or something. Don't know why, but I will take it ! They say that we have to involve the lower body, bigger muscles in order to get a good calorie burn in. If so, why is rowing about the best calorie burning exercise ? Things like that make me question conventional exercise wisdom. I think that it ultimately comes down to finding an exercise that you can do comfortably and enjoy enough so that you can do it for a minimum of 30 minutes to get your blood pumping, lymphatic system flowing , build muscles and increase your flexibility. I could be totally wrong , but this is the conclusion I am drawing from considering the entire health and wellness state of the body.

Tomorrow is weigh in and I am hoping that we found the right balance of snacking with Nick in order to get him back on track.It has been a struggle helping him make better choices this week, but at least this time he is a lot more "present" and understands fully the results. It will be really hard to cheerleader him into continued good habits if the scale shows no progress or a gain !

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We love Wii

Well, did not make it to the store last night. Part of the reason was that my stomach was feeling very "flippy". Eating a lot of salads and fruit can do this for a while sometimes to a person. Not exactly sick , but not exactly well. Then I began thinking of the inherent dangers of "sports shopping"- you know, the kind where you have an idea that you want to just kind of look at possibilities for clothes/books/sheets and wind up dropping 100 dollars an things you found that you will need/use in the near future and were on sale/clearance/special ? Such trips can be really dangerous to your financial health. So we stayed home and worked out with the Wii. Nick and I did a half hour together in the morning  and so we calculated that if we each did a half hour with daddy, then everyone would get in an hour of exercise for the day. So we did, we all wound up sweaty after the session and it was a good time.

I am coming to really love The Wii as a fitness option. It is there in your home, it has a wide variety of possibilities and does things in a very entertaining way for all ages. No matter what the weather is outside or how crunched your schedule is , you can plug it in, pop in a fitness game and work up a sweat. From gentle movement like tai chi and yoga to vigorous cardio like Zumba or boxing, there is something for every fitness level and ability level. When not using one of the fitness games, the just plain gaming involves movement of a lot more than just your thumbs. It takes up minimal space , is cheaper than a treadmill or elliptical and is constantly being improved ( at the moment).  At first I was skeptical- how could a video game actually improve your level of fitness after all ? But the truth is movement is what brings fitness, weight loss and  strength. Anything that gets your body moving in a sustained fashion for a length of time will get the job done.

And with the Wii , you can exercise in bunny slippers !

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hot, hot, hot !

We've moved into our first actual heat wave here. It's been a very weird weather season with temps acting like early spring, then summer then early spring again and accompanied by more rain than I have ever seen. Yesterday the heat index was 115 and the heat advisories were posted. I think our air conditioner let me know that it was a hot one by groaning LOUDLY much of the day. Summer is becoming the season of Deafness it seems.

So we opted to do indoor exercise with the Wii ( which I am now convinced can actually work for weight loss and physical fitness) and changed the menu to those foods that would not tax the AC. We did an hour of Wii cycling and Walk it Out, getting all excited about new songs we unlocked. Sad thing is that non of them are anything that I ever heard before , so I had to keep asking my son if this was an actual song or something Nintendo invented.( He is greatly amused when mom shows how old she is getting). The planned chicken breasts for dinner turned into salad topped with grilled chicken - thank you to the George Forman grill ! Then I remembered overnight oats for breakfast and started on a batch of these. Per serving you take a half cup of rolled oats and once cup of milk of your choice ( I chose almond milk). Then you can get creative. I added a tablespoon of flax, 2 t of blackstrap molasses( mainly for the calcium) , 1 T coconut  and 1 T golden raisins. Stir to mix, cover, place in the fridge and in the morning, eat. It is not necessary to cook oats before eating. The Swiss have combined oats with some form of dairy for breakfast for years. They combine raw oats, yogurt and fruit for what the call museli- it's very different from what we find on our supermarket shelves.The mix is very tasty, refreshing and lasts with you for a long time.

Going to be another hot one today , but then storms will roll in and we will be back to late spring temps again. I am hoping to get out and go to the store for some more intense walking with a cart to hang on. Sunday was my first time in a store since November, and it was only a short little trip. I want to look at some clothing options. As odd as it may sound that simple activity may be more than I can physically handle  from a standing/walking position, but I think I can at least try it and see how far I get. During the day there will be more Wii- thank goodness for the Wii for times and situations where the normal forms of exercise are too much !

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Better and better

Monday was back to the exercise grind again, and I discovered two very noticeable improvements. First was that I was able to vacuum the house without my knee feeling like it was going to snap in half. Second improvement was that I was able to walk up and down two stairs. Pain did not stop me from going further, but rather that I could not figure out how to best step with the cane so that I had something secure to grab on in the event that my knee gave out. It is a very weird thing having to retrain your brain in order to do something you learned as a little child ! That is the tricky thing about recovering from injury- or even dealing with an injury. You have to think about how to step so that you do no harm to the body. In the thinking process you can over-think it and bring yourself to the point of fear of movement, and then you have gone too far. Walking that fine line is the trick.

Besides those great strides I did an hour of Wii cycling and Walk it Out as well as taking a gentle 10 minute stroll. For dinner we had some teriyaki marinated salmon fillets that may become my go to salmon recipe- it was that good ! Forgot to snap a picture, but basically you make a teriyaki marinate with brown sugar, soy sauce, olive oil,rice wine vinegar, ginger, sesame seeds and pepper, pour it over the salmon in a baking pan and let marinate in the fridge for 2 hrs , and then grill or pan fry. I pan fried it because I was afraid of the salmon falling apart on the George Foreman grill.

I am wondering how I am going to challenge myself today !

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ice cream taste test

Had a really nice time over the weekend. Got to walk in the woods twice, went shopping once and went out to eat two times. Paid a visit to the area that will hopefully become our future home and spent a lot of time just laughing and catching up. Going out to eat is something that we were doing once a week because of the time crunch with shopping. This time it was just to find very easy ways to get me walking more. Has to be a slow build- too much too soon will cause the muscles to spasm and potentially bring on a fall and re-injury. As much as I would love to do a couple of "push it till you puke" kind of build up sessions, it's just too risky. I ne3ver want to be this house bound for so long ever again !

There are two big hurdles with going dairy free and living the life of the average person- that being cheese and ice cream. When you go out to eat at most places, dishes include cheese more often than not. Cheese shreds on salads, topped with cheese sandwiches or omlettes or some kind of cream sauce. If you are avoiding nightshades, good luck finding a fast food sandwich that does not include tomatoes, tomato sauce or that is accompanied with fries, hash browns or other potato thing. They can be found, but you really have to read the menu carefully. Thankfully I can eat baked things that contain milk( bread or buns) and butter, but that is where it ends. One chain in the Midwest( Culver's) happily has side selections that are dairy free and on the menu. You can get a burger and sweet potato fries or seasoned green beans ( salads contain cheese and cole slaw contains milk so those are out). I decided to risk it Saturday and try a small dish of ice cream, just to see if it really is a problem, and sure enough it is. Sad thought, spending the rest of my life without frozen custard !

Which led to a sort of decadent but purposeful Sunday activity - the non dairy ice cream taste test. There are different times when you just want to have ice cream, and if you cannot eat regular ice cream, you kind of scratch your head. Not so very long ago there were no non dairy ice cream options in the regular stores. If you could not do dairy bu wanted a frozen treat, Popsicles were as good as it gets, or frozen bananas . They came Tofutti and soy milk ice creams , but now there are several new options.Problem is which one do you like the best? We had gone out for breakfast , which was large, and figured lunch would be just a nibble, and some how the subject of ice cream came up. I did not want to repeat the ill affects of Saturday, so a discussion led to the idea of buying one of each non dairy ice cream option, doing a taste test side by side and determining which one we liked the best. Here are the contenders , and the results- keep in mind we are people who tended to prefer gelatto over Ben and Jerry's before this.

Soy Dreams- YUCK !!! Soy ice cream and milk has a weird lemony, vanilla-ish overriding after taste that just makes my stomach flip. I have a problem with soy, so not surprising that I did not like it.

Coconut Dreams- nice taste, but a bit of a grainy mouth feel . The fat coats your mouth, but it seems to clear quicker than full fat dairy, leaving your mouth to say "wow ! ice cream !...wait a minute...". I would ea this one again , but I think it would be best in a chocolate flavor.

Rice Dreams - very pleasant , and very close to regular dairy ice cream in taste and mouth feel. This one was Nick's favorite.

Almond Dreams - my choice for the winner ! There was no difference in texture, taste, smell or flavor to dairy ice cream. I prefer almond milk over soy because the fat in the almonds mimics the fat in dairy nicely. Now if they could start making almond milk cheese ....

Diana's Bananas- the frozen chocolate covered banana on a stick- these I have loved since I was a kid , and if I feel an urge for something sweet, a banana will usually do it for me. Frozen , they work like ice cream because of the mouth feel. The guys were not crazy about these- sensitive teeth and frozen bananas do not mix.

So now we know what our go to frozen fun food will be. Wouldn't it be nice to solve all of the problems in the world in such a simple fashion ??

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weigh in Week 2

I was a little concerned that this week was going to be one of those that made me crazy because I have gotten almost no sleep for 3 nights in a row. Insomnia has become my enemy of late due to some factors with our bedroom furniture. We are going to try to tough this one out until we move, so I am trying to make the best of it for now. Anyway, on to the scale:
Me-   - 3.2 lbs
Bob   -1.2 lbs
Nick     +1.4 lbs
This time we are doing this without counting calories, points, colors, food groups or anything else- just eating real food and making sure there are enough dark greens and almonds to supply the calcium that dairy used to. With Nick , it is going to be a matter of adjusting his snacks. Part of the reason for this is when we began on Weight Watchers, with his level of required daily points he had to snack a couple of times every day  in order to make the program work ( he was at 44 points per day PLUS had the daily activity points as a possibility and the weekly bonus points). He lost over 80 pounds on the program, so it did work for weight loss, but brought in other problems. Like turning him into a snack monster and making some of his Autistic behaviors worse. And being an Autistic, changes in his eating are major, major hurdles. If this was a normal 19 yr old , you could simply explain that the scale will go up if you eat more food than your body needs or other such things. This is not a normal 19 yr old so I have to figure out a strategy to steer him into, while figuring out my own strategy of living without dairy and nightshades and thinking about how to make good, portable, grab and go nutritious options for my husband , who's company is in the end stages of a major change in buisness operations. And bottom line for all is it must be real food. It's not an impossibility, but it sure can get tricky figuring this for 3 !

Plans for today include a short walk , and the first time I have walked into a restaurant since last November. Seems sort of like as exciting as going on a cruise :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Change in season: Why salt doesn’t deserve its bad rap | Grist

Think you need to get rid of salt in your diet ? Think again. Salt, like fat, is a necessary component in the human diet for heath. The problem comes in when the food industry starts using chemical mixtures that imitate salt and give consistent( and cheap) results

Change in season: Why salt doesn’t deserve its bad rap | Grist

More moving

It was a more productive day yesterday  exercise wise. Getting excited because I was able to increase the time of actual walking , and do other things

Walking 10 min- YAY- up from 5!
stationary bike 10 min ( and remebered that while pedaling I can read notes or books)
Wii canoeing 25 min - always fun to do this with my son because he thinks it is hysterical to oversteer

And progress was made on another front- we believe we have found the right apartment complex for us and we put in a deposit. First available first floor or disability unit available will be ours ( we have a tentative moving date of Sept 1). First floor access is hard to come by , but something that is becoming more necessary. While I am optimistically working to remove my mobility issues, realistically I must consider that they may be permanent. If we are dependent on an elevator to get in or out of the building, when that elevator goes out I will be trapped in our home.If we are on the first floor and I do fully recover, then it is just a lot easier getting groceries and such in the house. Kind of a hope for the best, plan for the worst thing. The complex has a pool, modest health club( indoor basketball court and a few machines) walking trails and even a little patio do do some container gardening. It's also bigger , and depending on the unit available will have either a second bathroom or a very large closet space ( my hope is for the closet one !) I am crossing my fingers that something may become available a little sooner than September.

Plan for today is to get some exercise in with doing grocery shopping , assigning grades and doing the year end transcript for homeschool. Last day of school today, so it's a lot of loose ends paperwork wise. Hope you have a good one !

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Look ! Books !!!!

Kind of a sidetracked sort of day yesterday. Spent much of it planning  and getting sidetracked by the rediscovery of my own study materials for Energy Medicine. Our homeschool year ends on Friday, and that means mommy can devote lots of time to her own studies for 9 glorious weeks. Moving the materials back to the front shelves in our dining room/school room meant stopping and glancing at the old bookmarks , remembering some of the more difficult points and ways that I was finally able to understand them and more. Good times, but not so good for movement !
Walking 4  min
Wii boxing 5 min ( stopped because Nick hurt his shoulder throwing punches)
Wii cycling 30  min

It was my birthday, and a treat was involved. The good thing about avoiding dairy ( except for in baked goods) is that it kind of shrinks your options. We had some angel food cake topped with sliced strawberries and coconut milk ice cream. It's nice to have some non dairy choices available, but it can be hard finding the best one for you. Coconut milk ice cream has a bit of a grainy texture that makes your mouth say "Ooh ! Ice cream !...WAIT A MINUTE, NO IT'S NOT !". I am going to have to investigate some of the other possibilities.

Very cool day today- should make for a good one !

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Beginings, start of a program and other numbers

Starting a program can be an intimidating thing ! You know where you want to be in the end, but discovering exactly where you are at the start reveals not only how far away from your goal you are, but how much work needs to be done. This is the case with my walking program. I want to get back to the point where I can walk for a solid hour, plus be able to walk in my daily activities without pain. It's a modest goal, but from where I am standing right now it feels like I have Mt Everest to climb !

The approach is to listen to my body , as to avoid re -injury or further damage and slowly build. Yesterday was the start, and I was able to get in a whopping 4 minutes of walking. Definitely have a lot of work to do here ! It was not the only exercise that I got in for the day, for these other things help to build up the muscles necessary to accomplishing the walking goal.  It looked like this:
Walking 4 minutes
Wii cycling 30 min ( upper body work- I don't understand why but strengthening my upper body makes the lower hurt less)
Wii Table Tennis 5 min
Yoga 10 min - no new poses added, but greater stability with the poses mastered
Wii Sports basketball 13 min

Today is my birthday. Somehow , when I was not looking I have managed to make 53 trips around the sun. It seems like it was yesterday when I was thinking that 23 was the right age for me to marry, and then kind of getting weird about turning 40 . When did 53 sneak up on me ? I saw Cher on TV not long ago with the announcement that she is 60 now, and I wondered when did that happen as well. Age is a funny thing. As a child you count the days in anticipation of finally being such and such age. Those pass and suddenly you find yourself facing numbers that sound scary an you do a little pause. And then suddenly you start coming up on numbers that sound "substantial". They are like your annual salary or mortgage figures. They are indeed just numbers, but they always seem more influential than numbers involved in simply counting to 10. They are in there, but duplicated and arranged in a way that makes you look twice at them.