December 31, 2013

Family Tragedy

We have had a very sad end to 2013 in our family.  If you live in Southern Ontario, you may have heard in the news, about a terrible snowmobile accident in Thorold on Boxing Day.  Two young men were killed and a woman seriously injured.  Those two young men were Jim's cousin's only two children, aged 25 and 28.  The older one had a baby girl, 8 months old.  You hear about these horrific things in the news, but it is always other people.  It is still so surreal.  I just can't get my head around it.

The funeral was this morning.  I cannot even begin to imagine what they must be going through.  We just have to try to move on.

December 18, 2013

Pre-Christmas Craziness

It's been busy, with getting ready for Christmas and having my birthday and one of my sisters' birthday 5 days apart, getting together with friends, and packing for our trip to Halifax to spend Christmas with Sarah, Matt, Lily and Emma.  I can't wait!  Talked to them on the phone this morning and they are very excited!  I've been watching the weather closely and am hoping things will go smoothly.  There are systems moving through, but it looks like it should be ok for when we are flying.  We leave Toronto Island around 2:30, with a one-hour flight to Ottawa, half hour stopover there (we don't have to change planes) and then about 1 1/2 hrs to Halifax, so we should get there around 7pm Halifax time.  (They are an hour ahead).

I weighed in this morning at 230.4.  That's not too bad, since I had gotten up to a little over 232.  I will have to stay focused and make good choices.  I will have a few treats, but try to make thoughtful decisions and not let myself be mindlessly munching.  Matt was given a 25 lb turkey from work, so we will have it coming out of our ears after Christmas!  Of course, Christmas Eve will be tourtiere (I still haven't figured out how to use the bilingual keyboard for the e with accent grave). 

I didn't run last night.  I usually visit my mom on Wednesday evenings and we watch a movie together.  Since we are leaving tomorrow, we did our movie last night (running night).  I'm kind of glad anyway.  Jim said it was pretty sloppy out and they had to be really careful.  That would be the last thing I would need...to slip and twist something right before our trip. 

I'm not sure how much I will get here over the holidays, so if it's not 'til after Christmas, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014. 

December 16, 2013

Birthday Brunch

Saturday was my birthday and I got up and made some coffee.  Jim hadn't said anything, so finally I just said, "Happy Birthday Honey!".  I was going to just wait until he remembered, but figured I would just end up getting mad at him. 

Jim hadn't set the alarm, so I just left it.  We woke up around 7:30...too late to get to the group run at 8:00.  That was OK.  I don't think I would have gone anyway.  It was snowing lightly and blowing a bit.  Later, when we were out doing some errands, I was glad.  The snow was slushy and very slippery.  That really scares me.  And, I wouldn't want to fall and hurt myself just before going to Halifax. 

Sunday, we had the family over for a birthday brunch.  One of my sisters was sick, so there were 16 people here.  It was kind of crowded, but we managed to sit everyone down.  I always leave things to the last minute.  And every time I say next time will be different!  Maybe one day I will learn.  So, I was finishing up with setting the table and putting out a few candles when everyone was arriving. 

I made 2 different crustless quiches.  Ham and asparagus with Havarti cheese, and red and green peppers and onions with cheddar cheese.  We also had meatballs in the slow cooker.  I had planned to make homemade, so as to not have wheat fillers, but convenience won because of the time crunch.  Fruit, veggies, gluten-free crackers and cheese.  I also made the Maple Bacon butternut squash casserole that I made recently when we had a turkey dinner.  I tried a new recipe as well:  Pineapple Coconut Slaw, which was really good.

For dessert, I made my own birthday cake!  It was my choice.  I was looking for a paleo-friendly carrot cake recipe and found this amazing looking one.  When I saw the picture, I knew that was the one I had to try!  It certainly wasn't inexpensive to make, with almond flour and cashew butter and a whole slew of other items, but it wasn't very difficult.  I made a few changes by checking on the internet.  It called for 8" pans and I had 9" ones, but saw in the blog comments that another reader had just used 2 of the 9" pans, instead of 3 - 8" ones.  I also used honey instead of agave nectar and butter instead of palm shortening.

One ingredient is coconut butter.  We did find it, but it was around $12 for a small jar, so I didn't get it and thought I would search the internet for a suitable substitute.  It turns out that coconut butter is super simple to make.  I just put 5 cups of coconut in the food processor and let it go, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl.


 

When it came out of the oven, it looked and smelled pretty good!  I used chopped cashews instead of walnuts for the garnish.  Mine didn't look as pretty as the blog picture, but it tasted good and everyone really liked it!  
  

 
This is getting rather long, but I just have to share what our kids gave us.  This was a gift for my birthday and for both Jim & I for Christmas.  There were 3 envelopes, marked #1, #2 and #3. 
 
 
The first was money for the GO train to Toronto.

 
Next was a gift card for dinner.

 
The third was tickets to see Les Miserables! 

 
I am so excited.  I saw it twice back about 20 years ago, and loved the recent movie.  I really wanted to go to Toronto again, but we really don't have extra money at the moment for theatre tickets.  I was fine with that, but very pleasantly surprised when I opened this gift1 
 
 

December 9, 2013

Frustrated and Weigh In

This leg is driving me crazy!  It's not extremely painful, but when I try to run, it hurts enough to make me limp and before long, the pain goes right down to my ankle.  I went out Saturday morning to the group run.  The washroom lineup made me miss the warm up, so Jim & I  just walked a little further than the others at the beginning and did a few stretches while we were walking.  We ended up only running for one minute, but continued walking up to the corner before turning around, so we did get in just over 2 km.  I'm not too concerned yet, but if I am going to do the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon on June 1, training will need to start shortly into the new year.

I saw this on Facebook today.  It was posted by From Fat to Finish Line - the documentary .  It is about 12 strangers who lost at least 100 lbs each and got together a team to run a Ragnar Relay from Miami to Key West in 2 days.  They are making a movie about it.  There are very inspiring stories...check it out.

 
I think this is very important and something I need to remind myself of.  I think I should will print this up and post it on my fridge! 

Eating was not great on the weekend.  We put up the Christmas tree yesterday, so I sent our oldest daughter Hillary a text to see if she and William would like to come and help.  They did, and brought some of their homemade gingerbread cookies. 

 
 
William had fun helping with the Nativity set as well!
 
Jim had also brought me home a coconut butter tart from the market.  I like it that they sell them individually wrapped, so I can buy just one occasionally.  I shared it with Hillary.  It would be very bad if I brought home a package of 6!  Dinner ended up being takeout pizza and wings, although it was only 20 wings for 5 people, and I had 2 pieces of pizza, so again, it could have been worse.  We finished it off with Candy Cane Fudge Crackle ice cream. 

I have just been kind of "winging it" with my eating lately, and I am back to maintaining up and down with about 5 lbs.

That reminds me...I guess I need to report on my Monday Weigh In.  (I just tacked that on to my post title!)  I was 233.2 this morning.  UGH!  I need to get back to tracking my food and keeping track of my calories and carbs to get my sugars back down.  They haven't been great either.

I was mentioned in a blog!  A while back, Shelley at My Journey to Fit wrote a post about being visible when running at night.  I passed on a link to a Canadian company that sells iron on reflective designs.  Shelley tried them and wrote a review on them today!  You should check out her blog.  I love it.  It is one of the blogs I make sure to read if I miss a few days and get behind.        

December 6, 2013

Happy to be Obese?

I was reading Shannon's blog over at Tatlock's Truth.  She posted a picture of her BMI results, which now classify her weight as "normal".  Woohoo!!  Congratulations Shannon. 

That got me to thinking about my own BMI.  I haven't calculated it in a while, so I went to an online calculator and punched in my numbers.  The result showed a BMI of 39.5!  I know that's really high, but it just brings me into the category of "obese" and that makes me happy!

You see, at my highest weight of 323 (and at 5' 4"), my BMI was 55.4...SUPER morbidly obese!  I lost a bunch and gained some back.  Back at the end of June, when we started our Whole 30, I was 257, which is a BMI of 44.1, or morbidly obese.  So, now, to be just obese is my next step towards better health.  I just need to keep moving forward towards being simply overweight, and then eventually normal...one slow step at a time!

I am planning to run in the morning with the group.  I saw the chiropractor today and will do a bit more stretching and foam rolling tonight.  I am hoping for 30 - 40 minutes, but after last night, even 20 minutes would be good and better than nothing. 

December 5, 2013

My Angry IT Band

My IT Band does not like me today.  I had a very deep massage on it yesterday, and it has been quite tender all day.  I decided I would go running and play it by ear.  I did the warm ups and started walking up to the corner, where we would start to run.  It was already a little sore walking, but I started to run and right away it hurt.  It is right in the lower glute  I kept going, because often it will kind of work itself out, but soon I started limping and aching all the way down my leg.  Maybe I could have gone further, but I remember reading once that, if a pain is altering your gait, then it is a good idea to stop.  I hate to be a wimp, because I know that I can sometimes be overly cautious, but I thought it better to get this fixed now, before I start training for something.  I have another appointment with the chiropractor tomorrow.  Our massage coverage is just about finished, but we still had $500 to use at chiropractor (by the end of the year), so I figured I might as well take advantage of that. 

Speaking of training, my dear husband has been telling ladies at the running store that I am thinking of running the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon on June 1.  Well, I AM thinking about it, but now it is out there!  My friend Sandra put this on my Facebook timeline the other day.

 
I like it, and it is so true.  I remember the very first time I started running.  I think had done my first 5k and I was looking back at my training schedule, reflecting how, back at the beginning, even running for 2 minutes had seemed like it would be impossible.  It was a really good feeling to see how far I had come.
 
It was the same this time around.  My first run in September was 6 repeats of run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute.  It was really hard, but gradually the walking breaks disappeared and the time increased, ending with a 5k last Saturday that took me 49:24.  I will never be fast, but I  know that it will get easier in time.  And, I am hoping that getting some more weight off will also help. 
 
One of the greatest memories I have is when I was training for my first 10k (Ottawa 2009).  On the long run, you get to a point where your legs start to complain and you have to push through.  One particular Sunday, I think my run was 7 or 8 km.  So, we are running along and I got the familiar, "enough is enough" complaint from my legs.  Then it struck me...we were at around the 5k point!!  I had gone what had once been an impossible distance for me before I really had any struggle to keep going! 
 
I made another loaf today that turned out pretty good.  It used coconut flour and had crushed pineapple in it.  I also added some shredded coconut and raisins. 
 
Lily's quilt is finished!  I am very happy with it.  I can't wait to give it to her.
 
 
 
We leave in two weeks, so we are going to have to start thinking about packing.  We are having the family over next Sunday for brunch, for my birthday, so that menu has to be planned and the house cleaned and hopefully decorated a little bit.  (It has been rather neglected while I have been doing this sewing, and I am not the most diligent housekeeper in the first place).  Add in a few dinners and get togethers, and it is going to be a very busy couple of weeks.   
 
 

December 2, 2013

Monday Weigh-in and My Pretty, New Phone

I guess first things first.  I was a little surprised and disappointed this morning.  First thing after I got up at around 5:30 AM, I stepped on the scale and it said 229!  So that was up 1.4 lbs.   What the heck?  I thought I had a good week and wasn't expecting a huge loss after last week, but was hoping for at least a pound.  In the past, I have had the experience of getting on the scale again, after I have "woken up" a bit, and getting a better result.  So, I did that...

 
 
Better...only up .4 lbs.  Oh well...I know that my body fluctuates...sometime a LOT.  When I was younger, if I had been eating poorly and then got back on track, I have lost as much as 13 lbs in one week.  BUT on the other hand, I have also gained that much in a bad week.  So I keep on plugging away at it.  It will all come out good in the end.  And it's not the numbers that are important, but that I am making healthy choices.  This year, I have seen my nightly insulin dose go from 65 units down to 10 units, as well as improvements in my blood pressure since I started running again.

I have been busily working on Lily's quilt so that it will be done in time to take to Halifax, in just a little over 2 weeks.  I have finished the machine sewing and just need to flip the binding over and do the hand stitching on the back.  I turned the TV off while I worked, so as not to get distracted.  So, I have been enjoying my Christmas CDs.  Right now, I am listening to the heavenly voices of Il Divo.  They are incredible...and not too hard to look at either!  :)

 
I forgot to mention in the Mock 5k report, that everyone got prizes!  This year, all the men got socks and the ladies got headbands!  I chose a pretty turquoise/green one.  When I opened the package, I found out that there were TWO headbands!  There is a silicone strip inside them, so they don't slip.  I tried one on and it felt great.  I can't wait to try one out on a run!
 
 
My phone has been giving me grief for a long time.  Even though I had only a couple apps on it, it kept giving me a message that I was short on storage space.  There was plenty of room on the SD card, but it wouldn't let me move some things over.  When I searched the problem on the internet, I found that a lot of people had the same problem.  Then, when I went to the company website, I found out that this model has been discontinued!  No surprise there!  Yesterday, Josh wanted to go to the Koodo kiosk and change his phone, so I went along and got a new one.  I got an iPhone.  I have been wanting one so I could do Face Time with Sarah and the girls.  Koodo had some protective cases, but just solid colours.  There was a kiosk right next door with tons of pretty cases, so I went there and found a really pretty one that was also $10 cheaper than the one at Koodo!
 
 
I still have lots of stuff to learn that comes with getting a new piece of technology, but I got to talk to and see the girls yesterday for about 15 minutes!  I saw their Christmas tree and the stocking that Lily was decorating for her Snow White bear, and watched Emma make her silly faces.  It was wonderful! 
 

November 30, 2013

Runners' Edge Mock 5k

Today was the end of the fall clinics at Runners' Edge , our local running store.  I got to sleep in a little, since our usual Saturday runs are at 8:00am.  Registration was at 9:00am.  I thought my bib number was pretty cool.
 


We started a warm-up at 9:30, and the race was at 10:00.  Part of the warm-up was to run around the plaza where the store is located.  It wasn't very far, but I walked about half of it, not because I was tired, but because I wanted to save my legs for the run!

After the warm-up, we walked to the plaza across the road to start.  We ran behind the stores, then a loop back to the store.  The first part of the run was pretty cold, with a bit of a wind in our faces, but it was much better when we made a turn.  Then, it was beautiful.  I even had to take off my gloves and push up my sleeves.  The last stretch had a bit of wind again, but it was bearable.  My IT band was giving me a little grief, and I had to stop to stretch with about 1.5k to go.  At first, the stretch seemed to make it feel worse.  I had to really focus to keep pushing through, but I did it! My time was 49:24, which was about what I expected. 

So, what's next?  I need to keep going to the weekly runs through the winter, as much as possible.  We need to get the treadmill set up again for the days when the weather is too bad.  I'm afraid I am not a hardy as Jim, but then again, I just might surprise myself!  I really should set some goals for the new year. 

We have not used any of our chiropractor coverage this year, so I think I should make an appointment to get this leg taken care of.  I have a couple more massages this year, but with $500 available for chiropractor, I could afford to even go a couple times a week if I need to.

Lily's quilt is just about finished.  All I need to do is put the binding around the edge.  If I have time, I may go back and do a bit more detail on the quilting, but it would also be fine with the amount I have done.

 
Pub Run tonight!  And turkey dinner at our friends Dawn & Joe's tomorrow!  MMMmmm!!  :)
 
 

November 29, 2013

Last Run for Learn to Run and Small Victories

Last night's run wasn't bad.  It wasn't as cold as I was expecting it to be, although my legs didn't seem to want to cooperate.  I just felt kind of clumsy for a good part of it.  But, I hung in there and completed the 40 minutes, and finally made it through a run without pushing a wrong button on my watch!  There have been a few times when I hit the stop button instead of the lap button.  Jim always has his, though, so I can download his info to my Garmin Connect page.  Total covered for the 40 minute run portion was 4.05 km.  Tomorrow is the final run of the Learn to Run clinic.  We are going to Queenston Heights for the Mock 5k.  It is supposed to be sunny and above freezing, so it should be good. 

I'm still trying to figure out my sugar readings.  Wednesday, after the Tuesday night run, I woke up to a 3.3 and had a few other lows through the day.  Last night, I took only 5 units of insulin, instead of 10.  It was 5.0 this morning, although that was at 5:20 am, and Wednesday it was at 7:45 am.  Would it have been low if I had slept longer?  Who knows!   

I can clearly see the benefit of exercise on blood pressure.  It was great after the run and again this morning. 

I have a ton of clothes that were just a little too small.  Close enough to being wearable that I didn't want to donate them or buy new clothes.  Yesterday, when I was getting dressed, I decided to try on a pair of jeans that had been too tight.  I wasn't near doing them up in the summer.  A couple weeks ago, I could do them up, but would have been way too uncomfortable wearing them all day.  Now, I could definitely wear them!  They are still just a little snug, but that could just be my age.  Twenty years ago, I probably would have  worn them the way they fit two weeks ago! 

Lily's quilt is coming along.  I had to do a bit of clever piecing for the backing, but it is now ready to put together and then do the machine quilting.  I am very pleased with how it is coming along. 

November 27, 2013

Running in the Rain

I was a little concerned about last night's run.  The weather forecast indicated that it might be pretty sloppy in the evening.  Thankfully, it was warm enough that it was just a light rain.  It wasn't really cold, in fact, I over-dressed a little, but when you are wet, it just feels colder. 

The run was ok.  My legs were dragging a little, but I pushed through, and after we turned around at 20 minutes, I felt better.  Maybe it was just the fact that I knew we were headed back to the store!  We did the route that involves a hill for about the last .5 - .7 km or so.  I hate it, but it does feel good to be able to dig deep and conquer it!  We didn't hang around to stretch, but did it at home instead.

I met up for lunch yesterday with a former co-worker at Boston Pizza.  It was really nice to catch up with her.  We used to have lunch together every day.  I was laid off at the end of March and have been meaning to get together with her, but it just never happened.  I got a great salad with chicken breast on top that was very good.  When we were done, the waitress asked if we had left room for dessert, in particular, the "Chocolate Explosion".

Description from the menu: Ultimate decadence. Creamy chocolate mousse with chunks of cheesecake, caramel, toffee, pecans and almonds on a chocolate crust.

 
I said to her, "That thing has about 900 calories!"  She laughed and said that she doesn't look at that information!  LOL  On a side note...I have had that dessert in the past, and it IS absolutely decadent...I did share it, so it was only 450 calories.  :S  Honestly, I don't know how anyone could eat the full slice, it is SO sweet and rich.  Needless to say, I passed on the dessert!  :)  It always feels great when you eat out and make good choices!!
 
 
 
 
 

November 25, 2013

Monday Weigh-in and Some New Recipes

MMMMmm...it smells good in here!  We had turkey last night, and I put the carcass in the slow cooker overnight to make stock.  I think I will use some of it to make some turkey soup! 

But first, I was thrilled with my weigh-in this morning! 



That is down 4.8 lbs!!!  I've been chasing that elusive 230 for months, and finally broke through!  I was really trying hard this week to stay paleo, and it worked!!

Last night, we had turkey dinner.  I had two turkeys in the freezer, and one had been there for a long time, so I wanted to use it up. 



I tried two new recipes:  Maple Bacon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash  and a breadless stuffing .  Both were delicious! 

  
 
Maple Bacon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash
 
 
Stuffing
 
I'm off to make my turkey stock and then get to the sewing machine.  I am hoping to get Lily's quilt top finished today.
 
I guess first, I should check the job bank!

November 23, 2013

Beating Down Those Voices!

It was a tough run this morning.  The temperature itself wasn't bad, except when the wind picked up.  Part of the run was protected, and I actually had to remove my gloves, but it was pretty cold on the last leg home. 

My left leg was a little tight, but I knew that before I headed out.  I'm glad I have a massage booked for Wednesday.  The hardest part was wrestling with the negative voices in my head.  It's true that running is mostly a mental game, and the voices were trying to pull me down for almost the whole run.  They were telling me, "It's too cold.  You don't want to be out here.  You can't run through the winter, just do it on the treadmill."  Then, on the way back, "This leg is getting tighter...maybe you should stop and walk the rest of the way.  You'll never make it all the way back.  Forget about the idea of a half marathon".

And so it went.  The whole way, I was telling them to shut up!  I AM a runner.  Even if *I* decide to take walk breaks, it will be because I want to include them in my training, NOT because I am giving up!  A lot of people use the run/walk method.  I have a book written by a woman from Oakville, who lost over 100 pounds and qualified for Boston doing a run/walk program. 

The last kilometre was a case of picking something and running to it, like the next driveway, the next lamp post or tree.  When the 35 minutes were up, we were about halfway across the bridge that goes over the highway.  I said to Jim that I was going to run to the end of the bridge.  It wasn't very much further, but it was like a final kick in the butt to those voices!

I WON!!!! 

November 22, 2013

Feeling Off

I haven't been feeling great today, well, the last couple days.  I get lightheaded when I stand up.  Sometimes I feel like my sugar is low, but it is fine, other times I feel ok, but when I check before a meal, it is low.  Before lunch today, it was 3.3.  I am going to make a doctor's appointment on Monday.  I have also asked a friend for the name of her naturopath.  I kind of have a feeling that maybe, since I have lost some weight, been exercising and eating better, my drugs may need to be adjusted.  Also, at almost 52 years old, my periods have finally stopped!  It has been 4 months, and before that, it was 8 weeks.  I take an iron supplement and the blood doctor told me several years ago that I may need to stop the supplements when my periods stop.  I adjust my insulin doses myself.  The endocrinologist said, if I am getting lows, to reduce my insulin and see if it helps.  Tonight, I took only 5 units.  I did get up at 5:00am this morning, so I am really tired.  Time for bed!

The weather forecast doesn't look too bad for tomorrow's run.  It is supposed to be 0, with a wind chill of -6 and only 20% chance of precipitation. 

I made some progress on Lily's quilt.  I got one row finished and all of the pink squares pieced. I am hoping to get the top finished this weekend.

 
 
I tried a recipe for "Cauli-fredo Sauce".  It was not bad, but not great.  We decided that, next time, we should add some garlic.  We had it over spaghetti squash with chunks of chicken breast and asparagus. 
 
Good night! 

November 21, 2013

Wet Run

Our run tonight was damp.  It's a good thing the temperature was good.  It was a 35 minute run and I actually did 35:46 (hey, every second counts!), and I covered 3.8 km.  It's hard to believe we are at the end of the clinic.  I love to look back and remember how hard it was to do 6 repeats of walk 1 minute, run 2 minutes.  Then, I look further back to when I did the 10k's and know that I will get there again...maybe even a half marathon next year!

More Paleo baking today.  I wanted to use up the pumpkin and mashed bananas that I had in the fridge, before they had to go in the compost bin.  I only had a little coconut flour, so I found a banana bread recipe that used almond flour.  I added a handful of blueberries, and just had a slice after my run.  It is very good...nice and moist.  I printed the recipe but think I saved it on the other computer.  I will have to post the link later.  Maybe a recipe tab would be a good idea.  I 'm still figuring out this blog thing!  :)


Then, I also made the pumpkin loaf that I made last weekend.  It ended up being 3/4 almond flour and 1/4 coconut flour, instead of half and half, but it also turned out good.  I added some coconut and raisins to that one. 

 
I really want to try making French toast with one of them.  I would like something different for breakfast, instead of eggs almost every day.
 
Yesterday, I made lazy cabbage rolls in the slow cooker.  They turned out well, but I think next time I will brown the ground beef first.  It cooked into a big hunk that I had to break up with a spoon.
 
I got started on Lily's quilt today.  I should be able to get it done in time to take it to Halifax with us for Christmas.  I think it is going to be very pretty.
 
 
Time for bed.  I'm getting up early to take Jim to work.  Then, when I pick him up in the afternoon, we will stop at Commisso's in Niagara Falls for some groceries.  We've been a couple times now.  It is nowhere near as big as Whole Foods, but they do carry a good selection of healthy foods. 

November 19, 2013

Monday Weigh-in and GO HARD

I need to get away from the daily (and sometimes multiple times daily) stepping on the scale.  I have been to Weight Watchers countless times over the years and I have always liked Monday to weigh in.  It helps me to stay on track over the weekend, with that in the back of my mind.  Whatever helps to keep up the motivation!  So, I was up a bit since Friday, but I guess it's a new starting point. 



When we started the Whole 30 on June 24, I was 256.8.  On July 25, I was 235.6.  Since then, it has been up and down between there and 230, but we had become a little lax on the paleo eating.  The highest I ever weighed was 323, probably around 15 years ago, but that is another story that will be in the "About Me" tab, when I can get to it.

Tomorrow, November 20, is Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day!  So don't forget to hug your favourite runner!  :)  My run tonight went really well!  It was 35 minutes, and I covered 3.7 km.  A turtle's pace, but I was happy!

I'm getting to be a real Betty Crocker!  Yesterday, I did make another recipe of the Paleo Pumpkin Banana Bread, only I baked it as muffins, rather than a loaf.  This time, I added some unsweetened coconut and 85% dark chocolate, chopped.  They turned out good, but maybe just a few minutes overcooked.

Then, for dinner, I had found a recipe for Spaghetti Squash Crusted Quiche to use the spaghetti squash I had.  I had some cooked chicken breasts that needed to get eaten up, so I modified the recipe to use that, instead of the pork breakfast sausage called for. 


This was wonderful!  I will definitely make it again.  PaleOMG is an awesome site.  I have several recipes on my list that I can't wait to try and I have barely scratched the surface.  I would highly recommend that you check it out, even if you are not following a paleo diet.

Have a great day tomorrow and don't forget to GO HARD!! 

November 17, 2013

Lowering My Insulin

 
I had 3 incidents today of low blood sugar (<4.0).  I also had one yesterday and one Friday, so I am going to take a lower dose of insulin tonight and see what happens.  This happened back in June/July, when we were doing the strict Whole 30 Paleo diet.   I got off the insulin completely for a few days (on the advice from the Diabetes Centre).  But then Sarah was here for 3 weeks.  I was still eating pretty well for the most part, but was eating more carbs, in the form of breads and treats.  So, currently, I have been taking 30 units of Lantus long-acting insulin each night.  That is still an improvement from the beginning of the year, when I was taking 60 units each night. 

Tonight Josh's girlfriend had dinner here for the first time.  Sharon is a really sweet girl, and I hope he hangs on to her.  They are both 27 and, I think, looking for someone to settle down with.  They seem to be a really good fit for each other.  Dinner was meatloaf, asparagus and mashed carrots/turnip.

I also finally got to try a recipe to use up some of the pumpkin I had leftover from the smoothies yesterday.  I got a recipe from Paleo Diet Lifestyle for Pumpkin Banana Bread .  It was the first time I have baked with almond flour and coconut flour, and it turned out REALLY good.  I added chopped pecans and raisins to the batter.  It baked while we ate dinner, so we got to enjoy it warm out of the oven with a little bit of butter.  MMMmmm!  :) 

 
I forgot to take a picture before I cut it!
 
I still have some pumpkin and banana left, so am going to make another one tomorrow.  I might make it into muffins, so they will be easy to grab on the run.  I thought I could add some unsweetened coconut and/or a little chopped 85% dark chocolate this time.
 
We had a few things to get at Costco this morning and found out that they now carry coconut flour!  Quite a large bag for $7.99.  I will definitely buy it there if I find I like baking with it.  For now, we just buy small quantities at Bulk Barn.
 
We also stopped at Fabricland to get some fabric for a quilt for Lily.  A couple weeks ago, I finished the afghan I was working on for Emma.
 
 
When they were here in the summer, I asked Lily what kind she would like.  I said I could also sew her a quilt if she would like that better, and she chose that.  The night; before they left to go out east, Sarah slept with the quilt I had made several years ago.  I told her to take it with her.  She likes to wrap up in it when she is not feeling well.  She says it feels like a hug from home.  :)  Lily also likes to cuddle up in it. 
 
I got some gorgeous, bright fabric for Lily's quilt.  I chose a simple pattern and it won't be too large, so I hope I can get it finished to take with us at Christmas.
 
 
The fabric has been washed, so tomorrow will be a cutting day.  I just hope my rotary cutter and mat aren't buried too badly down in the basement!  :S
 



 

November 16, 2013

Memories of Halifax

I decided I have too many pictures on my memory card, so decided to move them to the external hard drive.  SURPRISE!!!  I had a bunch of pictures from Sarah's visit here in July and my trip to Halifax in September that I hadn't downloaded yet!  I had some good memories as I looked through them.



We will see them again in 5 weeks, when we go for Christmas.. I can't wait!

Today was a 30 minute run with the group.  What a gorgeous day...it was perfect!  Sunny and cool, so it felt great to be outside.  But, when we headed out, I felt sluggish.  I realized that this was probably due to the fact that I hadn't eaten before running.  A car can't go on no fuel, and neither can our bodies.  So, next Saturday, I will have something small (a banana, perhaps) when I get up.  Tuesday is 35 minutes.  Just two more weeks until the Mock 5k. 

I have had a can of pumpkin in the pantry for quite some time, and have been wanting to try a recipe that I got from one of the Paleo sites, for Pumpkin Pie Smoothies.  It was a very easy recipe...just throw it all in the blender.

 
 
They tasted OK, but not great.  Maybe it's just because I like pumpkin, but I'm not a huge fan of it.  I'm not sure if I would make them again.  So, now I have a bunch of pumpkin left, but found recipes for grain-free pumpkin bread and  pancakes. 
 

After supper, we had a bit of ice cream.  It's definitely not Paleo, but I didn't consider it a "cheat".  I've been eating really well lately, and it was a small amount.  I even took more than half of the amount Jim had scooped out and put it back.  I just wanted a small taste, so about 1/4 cup, with fresh berries on top. 

It's funny, though.  Just that little bit of sugar got my cravings going and now I am feeling kind of "snacky", made worse, I think, since I am the only one up.  Jim went to bed about a half hour ago.  I think I will put in the movie "Elf" and work on knitting William's slippers.  If I get really hungry, I will have my go-to snack...carrot sticks and almond butter. 

 
That's it for now.  Goodnight!

November 15, 2013

Coming out of Hibernation

I'm peeking my head out of my shell again. 

We got my mom settled in to her apartment.  It is a wonderful retirement home.  She didn't want to be there at first, but that is to be expected, after almost 50 years in one house.  She is very happy there now, getting involved with activities and socializing. 

The running is going well.  I joined the Learn to Run group at Runners' Edge.  We are on week 11, running 30 minutes.  Tuesday, I covered 3.07 km, and Thursday, 3.24 km.  Another 30 minute run tomorrow morning.  Next week is 35 minutes, then 40 minutes, ending on November 30 with the Mock 5k run.

I'm really getting excited about running again, even looking for a run to do on my birthday, since it falls on a Saturday!  We might go to Seneca Falls, NY, for "It's a Wonderful Run".  It is part of a whole weekend of festivities about the "It's a Wonderful Life" movie.  You run over the bridge where George Bailey is thinking of jumping off; and it is at dusk, so it is a pretty run through town, with all the lights.  Here is a uTube clip from last year. 

I've been eating well again this week.  We weren't doing bad.  We still don't keep any grains in the house, but have indulged sometimes when eating out, and had some bread here when William (grandson) spent the weekend.  I had lost around 25 lbs in June, when we did a very strict 30 day Paleo diet.  Since then, we've been mostly maintaining, going up and down with about 4 or 5 lbs.  This morning, I weighed in at 231.1.  I REALLY want to get below that elusive 230 mark, and would love to be down to 225 by the time we go to Halifax for Christmas.  I'm feeling very positive about it.

That's it for now.  I'm going to try to keep up with this.  I follow several blogs and feel like I know a few of the bloggers.  I would like to be a part of this community and not just a spectator.  Kind of like my running, I guess! 

Turtle in Hibernation

I haven't given up on my blog.  I am just kind of going crazy at the moment.  Mom will be moving into the retirement home in two weeks, and there will be still lots of work to do until her house sells, but it will be easier, once she has the stuff she wants in her apartment and does not have to be around while the rest of the stuff from the house gets taken care of.

A bit of job searching.  I have two questionnaires to complete before I go to a Career Assessment workshop on Friday.  I hope that will help me decide what direction to go, as far as returning to the work force.

Started back with the Learn to Run group at Runners' Edge .  It is going well so far. 

August 2, 2013

Safari Niagara

Sarah and the girls have gone camping for the long weekend with Hillary and William, and Jim and Josh went running, so it has been Q-U-I-E-T here this evening.  When Jim got home, we watched the first episode of Downton Abbey, Season 3. 

Yesterday, Jim's sister, Joan, Sarah, Lily, Emma, William and I went to Safari Niagara for the day. 
It was hot in the sun.  I was glad for the areas that went through the woods. 


Lily's favourite animal is the giraffe, so she was thrilled to be able to feed one.  She had the pellets in her hand and the giraffe wrapped it's tongue right around her hand to get the food. 

 

We stopped for some lunch.  I did as well as I could.  I had pulled pork, didn't eat the bun, and had a side salad and water.  There wasn't too much BBQ sauce on it.
                                                                                   


William really wanted to go on the rope course, and Sarah eagerly took him.  I think she was just as excited about it as he was!  It was REALLY high!



 
 
There was even a ropes course for the little ones!  They loved it!


On the way home, we stopped at Nigh's Chocolates.  OMG...it smelled SO GOOD in there!  I probably should have waited in the car, because I caved.  I got a chocolate bar with peanuts and pretzels, AND a single peanut butter-filled chocolate.  It was delicious, but I felt like crap the rest of the way home.  The rest of the day was not good.  I got munching on pretzels, then, Sarah and I went shopping after dinner, and ended up at Perkins, where we shared a piece of Peanut Butter Silk pie.  This is something that we used to do occasionally when she lived here.  Then, just before bed, to finish it up really good, I ate a piece of chocolate covered red licorice and a bowl of cereal for good measure.  No wonder my sugar was 13.7 this morning! 

But, I am back on track today, for the most part.  It wasn't perfect.  I did have the other piece of licorice that Jim didn't want.  It could have been worse.

Jim got a book from the library about paleo eating by Robb Wolf:  The Paleo Solution.  I have also found a good website that looks like it will be very helpful in continuing on the Paleo way of life.  Paleo Diet Lifestyle has lots of info and recipes.

Have a great long weekend!



 

July 31, 2013

Next Steps, Grandkids and Hip Hop Abs!

I have finished the Whole 30, with great results, but the question remains..."What next?".  I like structure.  When I knew what I could and could not eat, it was relatively easy, except when things were busy and I couldn't just grab something on the run.  Hard boiled eggs are a must to have on hand.  My planning has to improve.  Now that we are officially done the 30 days, I am feeling a little lax.  I've been ok, but it would be SO easy to slip back into old habits.  Emma was having some Corn Bran cereal for a snack, and I shoved a small handful into my mouth.  I had sweet potato fries the other day, which technically are ok, but the deep fried is not so good.  I also think I ate too many of them.  So, I think it will be best just to continue on with the Whole 30 guidelines until I can do a bit more reading up on the next steps.

That will probably take a couple weeks, as it is kind of crazy, but good crazy, around here, with a houseful.  It has been so wonderful having Sarah and the girls here.  It is going to be very hard when they have to go home on August 11.  We also have William here this week and things are a little bit louder and more active with him. 

Last night, I thought William was having a nightmare.  When I went in the room, he was crying that he couldn't sleep because Emma was snoring so loud!  She does snore quite loudly.  I told Sarah that she should have her checked.  Maybe it is large tonsils or adenoids, or whatever it is back in that area.

The kids have been having a ball in the pool.  That was 40 bucks well spent; and the patio is an ever changing artist's palette.

 
 



Sarah and I did a Hip Hop Abs workout today.  I had seen the tail end of an infomercial that said it was on sale for only $19.95, so I checked out the website and decided to order it.  Sarah ordered one, too, because you could get a second one for free shipping.  It seems like it will be fun, once I get the routine coordinated.  Even the old Richard Simmons tapes took a few times to get down.  I do need to start moving again.  I want to get back to running.  My left leg keeps going tingly.  I have had some massage therapy and am going back again next week.  I know I can run through it.  It is not a constant tingling, but comes and goes.  My leg, calf, hip, glute, hamstrings are all really tight and knotted. 

So much for my ramblings.  Time for bed!

July 25, 2013

Whole 30 Results

Well, we have finished the Whole 30  program.  It really wasn't that hard.  I knew from doing the Atkins diet years ago, that when you cut out the carbs, you don't get the carb cravings.

We have been busy all week, so did our weigh-in and measurements today, which was actually Day 31.  *DRUM ROLL*

I am down 21.2 lbs and a total of 11 3/4"!!!

Neck:  - 1/4"
Chest: - 2"
Waist: - 1"
Hips: - 4"
Arm:  Left: - 1/4"    Right: no change
Thigh:  Left: - 2 1/4"    Right: - 2"
Calf:  Left: - 1/4"    Right: - 3/4"

I am almost totally off my insulin!  At the beginning of the year, I was taking 60 units every evening.  When we started the Whole 30, I was at 30 units and am now down to 5 units.  I will do that for one more day, and if my readings are still good, I will be able to stop!!

Jim is down 18.3 lbs and 10"!

It is still going well, although I have felt a little "off" occasionally...like my blood sugar is low, but then it turns out it isn't.  Also, there have been times that I have had hardly any carbs, but my sugar keeps going up.  I am thinking that maybe I am not eating enough, so I am going to try to track calories and total carbs to see if that helps.

Last night, Sarah and I took Lily and Emma to the drive-in to see Despicable Me 2.  It is a great movie.  I was so glad that I decided to wear jeans and bring along a sweatshirt, because we FROZE!  The temperature went down to 15 degrees.  They were cozy in the back of the car with their blankets and pillows.




Today, we enjoyed breakfast on the patio, and they helped water the garden. 




I am SO tired.  I have been staying up too late in the evenings.  Time to get to bed. 

Good night!


July 23, 2013

Nana Heaven!

So this was the weekend I have been waiting for!  Sarah, Matt and the girls were to arrive on Saturday.  I was expecting them early evening, but not long after lunch, we were downstairs, about to set up the portable bed, when we heard the doorbell ring.  "It can't be them already!"  So we went upstairs, expecting someone pushing hot water heaters or a kid selling chocolate bars, but it was Lily and Emma!!!  OMG!!!  I scooped them up and the tears came!  Oh, how I have missed them. 



Enjoying a cool treat, while Mommy vacuums the car.


Yesterday was Sarah's birthday.  Matt cooked chicken on the BBQ.  He made some with bottled BBQ sauce and some with our homemade paleo BBQ sauce.  They also had baked potatoes and corn on the cob.  Jim & I had roasted sweet potatoes, carrots and onions.  Also, a nice salad.  Delicious!



After dinner, we went down to Port Dalhousie, on Lake Ontario, just around the corner from us, for Sarah's birthday ride on the antique carousel.  It has always been, and always will be, 5 cents a ride.



We caved and had a treat.  It was Day 28 of our Whole 30 program.  We figured a full 4 weeks was great, so we weighed in and had a small piece of  DQ ice cream cake.  We are going to do our measurements tonight, so I will post our results then. 

Well, time to go enjoy my granddaughters!

Have a great day!

Janice