Friday, May 29, 2015

Ask and You Shall Receive

For the last couple of weeks, as I have been walking more frequently, I have been thinking that it would be nice if I had a pedometer and could gauge how many steps I take. I used to have one, but it slipped off my waistband, and I lost it. I got that one free from a past insurance provider. Since I got one free, I didn't want to buy another one. I wanted another one for free. I am cheap like that. :-) Anyway, I guess I put it out there in the universe that I wanted one. And today I did. I asked, and I received. It's lovely when it works out like that. :-)

Every year, my workplace does this lunchtime walking event for the staff. I work at a large place with over a thousand employees. We walk around the premises and stop at booths of different local services, and get freebies. It takes about an hour - is a leisurely walk, and we get goodies. At the last stop, we were greeted by our insurance provider's booth. We had to answer a few questions, and then based on the answers, we got either a pedometer or a resistance band. I got the pedometer. And other goodies:

I got a bag from the local university, a pen, CDs of music from the Oregon Bach Festival, a bottle of water, a Thai Sweet Chilli Kind Bar (so excited to try this), an orange, fruit strip, travel sized deodorant (men's, so gave to D.), a workbook/guide for setting better health goals, and of course the pedometer. It isn't fancy, but it was free!

In other good news, I got a call yesterday from the endocrinologist's office. They had a cancellation, and would I like to come in for an afternoon appointment? I did some shuffling with my schedule, and was able to make it. I had been grumbling at the universe about how long the wait was to see an endocrinologist in this town if you had a new diagnosis of diabetes. (More of the "ask and you shall receive" thing at work.)

The meeting with the endocrinologist went well. I'm supposed to go in and do a fasting blood test, lipid panel, and a few other things. He recommended insulin, but I asked to wait for a couple of months and try to do this through diet and exercise. He said that was fine. I have till August to use willpower and metformin to stay on track. Then, we'll see. He also set me up with a blood glucose monitor and some test strips to start out with. Looking at my numbers on them was scary - especially since I was not taking my metformin or making good food choices yesterday. I'm still struggling to make good food choices. But the glucose monitor shows sobering evidence, and after last night's binge, I resolved this morning to get myself back on track.

Last night, we went over to help one of my best friends move some stuff. She is a sweetheart. She was diagnosed with Type I diabetes a couple of years ago as an adult. She struggled so much at the beginning to accept the diagnosis, and then to work with it. She decided that she did not want to give up anything, and has just learned how much of whatever it is she wants to eat works for her body, and lives a healthful, happy and un-deprived life. She is an inspiration! She also got a lab and trained it to be her diabetes alert dog. He alerts her to her highs and lows. And is super cute to boot! Anyway, we helped move boxes and furniture for about 2 hours. Was quite a workout!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I'm struggling today. Ate a bunch of cookies this morning. Why can't I just do what's good for my body? At this point, it's more than just about losing weight - I know my body can't process this amount of carbs and sugar correctly and I am causing serious damage to myself. Why do I have to have cookies that I would not have had if no one had brought them to work in the first place! Also having my period, back to 221.4 (I know - bloat and what not), and feeling irrationally pessimistic.

Yesterday was better.

Greek Yogurt w. Caramelized Almonds

Cucumber chips w. Roasted Garlic Hummus

Two small slices of Veg. Pizza
Salad w. Spinach, Tomatoes, Yellow Pepper, Cashews, Goat Cheese

On my way home, Carls Junior called to me. Jalapeno Poppers w. Ranch Sauce. They were blah. The ranch sauce was so awful I didn't have any.

Lebanese Fattoush Salad - I had two servings of this.

And one of these - I ate it before I remembered that I didn't take a pic.

Home-popped Popcorn w. Nutritional Yeast
4 Minuet tea biscuits
1 mini Quesadilla - 2 small corn tortillas w. a slice of mozarella.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day weigh-In

Weigh-in this morning was 219.4lbs. That's a loss of 3.0lbs this week! 17 lbs since the beginning of the year!! I am pretty happy about this. However, it is no surprise! Since I received the diagnosis of diabetes 12 days ago, I have eaten healthfully 9 of those days and exercised 7 of those days. Hence, the results. Happy dance!

I was standing in the bathroom after my shower this morning looking at my body and so many things passed through my mind. This is the first time since I was about 23 that I have lost 17lbs in one attempt to lose weight. The most I have ever lost at one attempt before is about 10 lbs. 17 lbs seems monumental. I am very proud of myself for taking this step towards a healthier me. Also, I achieved my goal of May to see my weight under 220lbs. I must find a way to keep this up next week lest I bounce back. But even if I did, I'll be okay.

As I looked at myself in the mirror, I found myself criticizing my body still. I still weigh far more than I want to. I have saggy body parts, and flabby body parts, and cellulite and stretch marks. I almost despise my midsection which is where I carry most of my weight. My clothes feel more loose on my body and moving around and exercising is easier, but I still criticize. And then I thought - do I really think I am going to look like someone in a magazine? I'm not! First of all, no one looks like that - they're mostly photo-shopped images. Secondly, most people in magazines are not my race, and my body type is very very different from those people. Thirdly, I have been overweight for so many years, that my skin is stretched out. Even if I was to lose a 100 lbs, I'd have so much saggy and stretchy skin that I would probably still not like how I look in the mirror. I suppose I could have the skin surgically removed, but that's a lot of money that I don't know I would choose to fork over for a cosmetic procedure. Maybe. Maybe not. In any case that's counting my chickens before they have hatched...

That's when I resolved that I would try to be kinder and gentler with myself when looking at my body in the mirror. I will try to focus on all the aspects of this journey that do not have to do with what I look like. I will focus on being able to do exercise, lighter weight on my joints, being able to touch my toes (eventually), being comfortable on airline seats, not being the largest person in the room most of the time, longer life (potentially), enjoying food for its taste and not because it makes me feel better, learning my body's cues of fullness and hunger again, more outdoor activities, more energy, more general happiness, and most of all - a greater potential to conceive naturally.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! I hope you all have a lovely day full of family, friends and fun!

Two eggs scrambled with onion, zucchini and cilantro; Watermelon; Tea w. Milk, no sugar

No - I didn't really eat Charlize Theron or Tom Hardy for lunch! I ate a single-serve bag of Doritos 3D Jacked, and an Almond-Coconut Kind Bar while I watched Mad Max: Fury Road. I recommend the movie - it's certainly gripping and quite exciting for the most part. There were some parts that were so ridiculous that I felt like laughing out loud, though. But overall, something I would recommend. Go to a theater to watch it! That's probably going to be more exciting than watching a DVD later.

Cheddar Cheese 1oz.

Roasted Curry-Favored Cauliflower; Salad w. Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil, Oilve Oil, Garlic, Black Pepper. As you can see - not enough protein today. Must do better about that!

Watermelon for dessert

1.3 hr walk at mod-brisk pace.

Friday, May 22, 2015


It's the Friday before the long weekend. I am delighted! I love weekends, and long weekends are even better! I don't have any major plans other than relaxing a bunch and getting some stuff done at home. I also may have to come in and do some work because I am very behind on some paperwork. But I won't if I don't feel like it. I also plan on going to watch Mad Max: Fury Road some time this weekend. I got a book by the American Diabetes Association about Diabetes from the Public Library. I want to go through it and educate myself more about my illness. Not fun, but I am looking forward to it anyway. I also plan on doing some cooking/prepping for food for next week. What are your plans for the long weekend?

1 slice of cold pizza from last night (1/12th of large)

Broccoli, Cauliflower & Hummus

Salad w. Spinach, Tofu, Noodles, Edamame, Carrots, Green Onions, Peanuts & Peanut Vinaigrette

2 Hard Boiled Eggs. Isn't my little turkey snack dish lovely? I just got it last week, and I love it!!!

3/4 c. Oats in Tamarind-Peanut Sauce; Stir-Fried Green Beans
I split 1/2 a banana with D. for dessert.

15 min Stationary Bike
10 min Rowing Machine (I hate this - it hurts my ankles)
15 min Elliptical
15 min Weights (arms, back, chest)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Diabetes and Pizza

I mentioned in a previous post that I had started using MFP again. I don't have a meeting scheduled with my diabetes educator at this time. I don't know how many carbs I should be eating. I got a diabetes book, and according to the chart on it, for my height, weight and age, I should aim for about 220 carbs. Since I have been reading things that are wildly different from that on websites, I decided to lower the carb-bar a bit and set a daily goal of 180g of carbs at least until I meet with the Diabetes Educator. And I know that all carbs are not quite the same, and it depends on whether you eat carbs alone or with protein or with fat. I am learning. It was such a privilege not to have to think about this, and now I have to. It's tough, but I do want to learn and educate myself. My husband keeps reminding me that carbs/day is bulls**t, and that I should probably pay more attention to carbs/hour since the goal is to keep my blood sugar stable throughout the day. He is right. Spikes at mealtimes, and lows at all other times is probably not the best idea. I will try to eat smaller meals more frequently, but the nature of my work makes that hard to do. However, I am trying to eat something small at least every 2-3 hours. I forget sometime, but I am trying.

Anyway, I was at a workplace meeting yesterday, and they had pizza. I knew I was going to be too exhausted to cook when I got home. I also knew that I had not eaten anything but a handful of veggies and a teaspoon of dip about 4 hours prior to that. So, I quickly calculated what was going to eat. I decided on 3 slices. That would put me over my carb total by several grams. So, I got 3 slices, ate a slice and a half, and then for the rest, I picked off the cheese and the toppings and just ate that and discarded the crust. Honestly, it's the toppings that make pizza delicious - the crust is just tasteless, really. (Also, baked crust with the cheese and toppings removed looks gross, BTW). Since I did that, I found what looked like a lower cal/carb pizza item on MFP and used that. I know it's just an estimation, and not actual - they didn't have the local pizza chain on there. This is what my day looked like:

On days I exercise, I eat more to compensate. From the log, it's not clearly understandable, but some of these are part-servings. For instance, I only ate 12 crackers (1/3rd serving) of the TJ Rice crackers. That's why the carb/cal on it are lower. As you can see, I am not meeting my protein goal. Hubby has insisted I eat more eggs. He went and got 8 cartons of dozen-eggs yesterday!!!!! They were on sale, and he said he thought maybe stocking up will make me eat them. He knows I hate an overpacked fridge. :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

All Elliptical Workouts Are Not Created Equal

I got in a good amount of exercise yesterday - I walked for a half hour over lunch - 1.6 miles. Then after work, I went and worked out at the gym - 1/2 an hour elliptical, 1/2 hr weights (arm/chest).

The gym I go to has Precor machines. On the elliptical, I almost always pick the preset "Weight-loss" mode, and set the incline and resistance to 10 each (both go up to a 20). I enter my weight and age, and after about a half hour, it gives me an estimated amount of calories burned. For a half hour, it is almost always around 350 cal. Yesterday, I selected the "Interval Mode". selected my usual 10/10 incline/resistance, and entered my height and weight. Over a third of this workout was at a resistance of 18!!!! That was tough!!!! I was huffing and puffing, and pretty certain I was going to end up burning thousands of calories. Imagine my surprise then, when after a half hour, I had only burned 345 calories!!! I kept going until I hit 350 (another half a minute, maybe), but it was really disappointing. If I can burn 350 cal without doing all the intense resistance work, then why not just do the easier option? Maybe there is a glitch in their program!

My legs are SORE today! I might go for a stroll over lunch or in the evening today, but no more.

3/4 c. Cottage Cheese. I also had a banana and a cup of tea w. 2% milk and no sugar.

Unphotographed Colby Jack Cheese; 1 Saltine

Asian Jar Salad; 8oz Coconut Water

A few weeks ago, my supervisee and I had lunch together. She brought a very delicious smelling noodle dish. I remarked to her later that it smelled yummy, and asked for a recipe. She said it was from the a Korean Store in Portland. Yesterday, she said she had gone to the store again, and brought me a sample to see if I liked it. I did. I loved it! It's Korean Chap Chae noodles or what is called "glass noodles" in the US. They are made from sweet-potato starch and are gluten-free.
1/2 c. Chap Chae w. Vegetables

1 c. Quinoa Tabbouleh; 1 c. low-sodium Garbanzos
I also had a cup of milk (12 carbs) with 4 tea biscuits (10 carbs total) for dessert.

30 min moderate pace walk at lunchtime, 1.6 miles
30 min on the elliptical
30 min strength-training arms & chest

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I posted yesterday that I had a crappy week. This was mostly due to one piece of news. On Wednesday afternoon, I got a call from my doctor. I was told that my A1C level was elevated greatly at an 11.2. She said it was "diagnostic". Why don't people just come out and say, "You have Diabetes."?!???!

Well, I do have diabetes! When I went in last year, my A1C level was 6.1. The year before that it was 5.5. I knew that my A1C was inching upwards, but I had no idea that it would skyrocket to 11.2 over a year. I spent Wednesday afternoon and evening in denial. I didn't tell my husband until Friday night. On Wednesday evening when I got home, I saw that D. had brought me a GIANT muffin, and I ate it all. It felt like a binge - I knew I was eating something that I should not have been eating. Then I felt awful and skipped dinner.

On Thursday morning, I woke up and decide to get started on doing something about taking care of my body. My doctor prescribed me some Metformin, and I started taking that Thursday night. I don't know yet if I need to go on insulin. You see, I don't have a primary care physician. I am almost never ill, so I just go every year to my gynecologist. She has advised me to get a PCP and see if they recommend insulin. I also got referred to a Diabetes Management Clinic, and I have called them, but not yet scheduled anything. I really don't want to go on insulin. I think that I will try for a few months to get my A1C down with diet, exercise and Metformin. And if I don't, then I will consider going on insulin. I hate hate HATE that this is happening to my body. And it is so stupid - I don't feel any symptoms, and if I had not gone in for my regular yearly blood work, then I would not even have known! I wonder how long I have been diabetic for? For a year maybe - and I have been abusing it all this time!

I re-activated my MyFitnessPal account on Friday after a long talk with my friend L. who was a darling and let me vent at her for an hour on Thursday evening. I started logging my meals and discovered that I eat abysmally low quantities of protein and wayyyyyyyyy too many carbs. It is hard to eat enough protein as a vegetarian. I will try to eat eggs more often, eat more dairy, and try to eat less cabrs. But eating less carbs is DIFFICULT!!! Everything I eat apparently had humungous quantities of carbs in them. I did some online research and it looks like I am supposed to eat an even number of carbs in my meals throughout the day. What it looks like instead is that I have a very low-carb breakfast usually, followed by massive quantities of carbs for lunch and dinner. I am working on it. You'll probably hear more venting on the subject soon.

On Friday evening, I finally told D. what was going on. He was a sweetheart and very supportive. I prefaced the talk by asking him for his support and a request not to ask me to not eat certain things. He never does that though, so I don't know why I asked him that anyway. D. was very supportive and agreed to gently remind me of my carb-intake if he sees me going off the rails. My husband is a wonderful man. I met him when I was around 220lbs heavy. He always told me that I was beautiful, always reminded me to be gentle with my body, chided me when I was disparaging about my body, and continued to tell me that I am beautiful when I added 20 more lbs over the course of our relationship. He reminds me that exercise is good for me without it sounding like a reproach or criticism. He warns me against "dieting" and reminds me that "all carbs are not alike". He tells me that I should accept my body as it is before I can make any changes I want to it. He is super-fit, works out six times a week (and enjoys it!), eats clean, and is generally in great condition. And when I feel like a slob besides him, and think that people will wonder why he is with me, he reminds me that he loves me and loves my body. In short, if I had to have diabetes on top of my already heavy body, and screwed-up body image, then he is the perfect husband for me to have!

Enough ranting! I made Asian Jar Salads this week:

They have (from bottom to top):
2 tbsp TJ's Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
4 oz. Panda Express Chow Mein (I was too sad/busy/distracted to make my own)
1/3 cup Shelled Edamame
1/4 cup Grated Carrots
2 tbsp. Green Onions
1/8 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts
I also brought spinach and sauteed tofu to add to this.(60 grams carbs total)

Talking of sauteed Tofu, I wanted to post how I make it. I struggled for years not being able to make proper sauteed tofu. I saw pictures of it on blogs and ate it at restaurants and it looked and tasted wonderful. However, when I tried to make it, it frequently would just crumble or not brown enough. Anyway, after a few years of repeatedly trying and giving up, I finally figured it out. This is how I do it:

1 block Firm or Extra-Firm Tofu
1 tsp. Peanut or other high-heat Oil
1 tbsp. Worchestershire Sauce
1.5 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1. Press and Drain Tofu by placing it between plates and placing a heavy object on the top plate. I usually let it drain for at least 30 minutes if not more.
2. Cut Tofu into small 1/4-inch square cubes.
3. Heat some peanut oil in a skillet until it shimmers,
4. Add the tofu and lightly stir till the tofu cubes are slightly coated in oil. Don't over-stir or they will crumble
5. Add in the Worchestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce and again, lightly stir.
6. Don't continuously stir. Give the tofu cubes a light mix every minute or so for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
** Occasionally if the tofu has not drained enough, I will also add in a tablespoon of corn starch or arrowroot starch to keep it from crumbling.

Here is what it will look like in the end:

Now the food for yesterday:

Started the day with some eggs scrambled with spinach; Roasted Verde Salsa

My breakfast was not very carb-y. I am supposed to balance my carbs out over all my meals. So an hour later, I had this small savory spinach-cheddar scone.

Asian Jar Salad w. Spinach. This is the BEST SALAD EVER!!!! Also, some cherries.

Colby-Jack Cheese; Saltines

1/2 c. Oats; 1 c. Plantain Thoran; Yogurt-Curry.

80 min walk, moderate pace.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Hello All, I have had a crappy week for the most part. My grandfather died last night. I'll write more about the rest of the crappiness later. However, I have been doing okay-ish food/fitness-wise. My weigh-in this morning was 222.4lbs. That's a 0.2lb gain since last week. I'm surprised it isn't more given all the stress I am under.

Saturday was the only day since I last posted when I consistently took pictures of my food. Here you go:

Scrambled Eggs (2) w. Half a Tofurky Italian Sausage; Salsa; Tea w. Milk & 2 tsp sugar

I was on my own and not feeling like cooking lunch. Santa-Fe Rice & Beans

Unphotographed String Cheese

Went to a girls-night potluck at my friend L.'s place. Movie and Food. Yumm!
Salad Roll, Peanut Sauce, Guacamole, Chips, Edamame, Lemon Rice. I had a second plate of this with no salad roll.

Caramel Pop Corn. This was sooo yummy - I had a second serving!

Ice-cream Sandwich.

None on Saturday, but I walked 4 miles on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Another Good Day - Mostly

Yesterday was quite good food and fitness-wise. I ate well, and it was easy to do so because I had prepped for what I would eat. I also went to the gym and did some elliptical and some weights. I made a batch of yummy spinach-cheese savory scones. All was well in Chrysalis World until someone stole my hubby's rear tire off his bicycle. Now, D. rides his bike everywhere. That is his primary mode of transportation around town, and he was very disappointed and grumpy. Poor thing...

Veggie mini-quiches; spiced Cottage Cheese

Southwest Jar Salad, Egg

I am boring in the way I snack - same old hummus and carrots. I added some saltines for variety.
I split an almond-coconut bar with D. after working out.

I made small spinach -cheddar savory scones.

Split-Pea soup w. Carrots, Scones. I had two bowls of soup and 3 small scones.

30 min elliptical; 15 min upper body weights

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NSV and Crustless Mini Quiches

I had an NSV this morning. I tried on a pair of capris that I had bought around Feb-ish when I was still around 235-ish +/- 3 lbs. They fit, but were really tight around my tummy (my problem area), and hips. When I tried them on this morning, lo and behold they fit much looser on my waist. That's definitely an NSV. I need more of those since I am trying to get away from relying only on the scale to measure progress. When I look in the mirror, I don't see much difference. So, it was quite delightful to try on the capris and feel so comfortable in them. I am wearing them to work today!

On Sunday, I decided to make some crustless mini quiche-bites to eat for breakfast in the mornings. I'm posting the recipe below. I am pleased with how they came out for what they are. However, the next time, I am going to add some flour and make mini popovers instead of quiches. That would be a bit more carb-y, but I like the texture of popovers a whole lot better. While these were tasty, and heated up really well for breakfast, they are a bit more "squeaky" than I like them to be. I wonder if the recipe would be improved by adding some heavy cream or cottage cheese like you might in a real quiche. So, in reality, these are "baked muffin shaped omelettes" really!

INGREDIENTS: Eggs, finely chopped Kale and Spinach, shredded Carrots; diced Onions; shredded Cheddar Cheese; Oregano; (and unphotographed Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder)

Beat the eggs together. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Spoon into a greased mini-muffin tin. Mine makes 12 servings.

Bake at 350F on the center rack until they get brown and look like they are done. Cool on a rack.
Serve with some salsa or hot sauce.

And here is the food for yesterday:
Mini Crustless Veggie Quiches; Orange

Hummus & Carrots

"Southwest" Jar Lunch w. Egg, 1/2 Avocado, Lettuce

Pre-Workout snack of Chipotle Cheese, Balsamic-Basil Triscuits

Barley-Kale Pesto Salad; Roasted Curried Cauliflower & Chipckpeas
Unphotographed 1/4 cup Icecream, Air-popped Popcorn with a dab of butter

1 Hour Body Sculpt Class

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weigh In and More Jar Lunches

This week's weigh-in was: 222.2 lbs. Down 1.8lbs since last weigh-in. I am delighted. Honestly, I don't know what caused the weight-loss. I only exercised one day last week, and have not been on top of healthy eating either. But, I am grateful. Hopefully, I will be back on track this week. The 210's are so close!!! I have not been in the 210's for about 2 years now, so I hope that by the end of this month, I am firmly in the 210's. Now, that's a goal to look forward to...

Two weeks ago, I made some "not quite Mason Jar lunches", and had a good week of eating healthful meals for lunch. Last week, I didn't do this and was back to eating out or eating microwave lunches. I decided that I liked the jar lunches, and made a new batch for this week. The theme for the last batch was "Mediterranean". This week's theme is "Southwest". Here are the jars all prepped:

From bottom to top are:
Tomatillo-Lime salsa
Yogurt (you could use sour cream if you wished)
Chopped Tomatoes
Black Beans
Diced red Bell Pepper
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

I also have lettuce, hard boiled eggs and avocado to add to the salad to bulk them up further. I like the idea of all these ingredients together, and am looking forward to eating them this week. Next week's theme is going to be "Asian Peanut Salad". Check it out HERE.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there! It has been a beautiful weekend here in my corner of the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, I have not spent much of it outside.

Yesterday, I went to a pizza buffet. Usually, when I go to a buffet, I go with the mindset of "eat plenty" so the relatively expensive buffet fee is worth it. However, this time around, I went there thinking "I won't skimp, but I won't stuff myself to the gills either". I ended up getting two plates, and didn't finish either completely, and I also got some soft-serve icecream. It held me over well until late evening.

Two scrambled eggs w. Cheddar & Tomatillo Salsa

Cheese pizza, Veggie Pizza, Salad w. greens, beans, eggs, mushrooms

Cheese Pizza sliver; Eggs; Beans; Potato Salad (I did not eat); Croutons; Strawberry Pastries

Soft-Serve Icecream w. Caramel Sauce

Unphotographed Chow Mein from Panda Express; 1/2 cup choc-chip icecream.