August 30, 2014

Experimenting in the Kitchen

I love one-pot meals.  You can make the mess and get it cleaned up ahead of time.  Then, all you have to do is throw it in the oven and only a few dishes after dinner.  The problem is, most of these great recipes contain pasta...or rice...or potatoes.  All the wonderful high-carb foods.  So, I have been playing around a bit this week. 

My first attempt was a quiche that had a rice crust.  That was pretty easy.  I just made some cauliflower rice, sauteed it with some garlic and onion and proceeded with the recipe as normal.  It turned out really good.  I think it helped that the recipe called for cooked rice.  One other time, I substituted the cauliflower rice where it called for dry rice.  That time, I doubled the amount and used less liquid because I figured rice usually doubles in volume as it absorbs the moisture.  That one wasn't too bad, but I really liked the quiche.


Then, yesterday, I wanted to try something to replace lasagna noodles.  There are a few options.  I have heard of using zucchini, which I did many years ago, and it was good, but watery.  I also made an eggplant lasagna, also many years ago (Weight Watchers recipes).  That was my first time to try eggplant, and it was pretty good.  So yesterday, I decided to try using cabbage.  I googled it and found several examples of people using it, so gave it a try.  I cooked it first, because I thought it might be watery like the zucchini.  It still did get a little watery, but once it sat for 15 minutes before cutting it, the pieces came out of the pan well.


 


This tasted really good, too.  So, two successes this week!

This morning, we were up and had to be out the door in about 20 minutes, so it ended up being a drive through and grabbing a coffee and bagel.  Not a good choice.  So my challenge for myself this week will be to get a few ideas and be prepared for those days when it is breakfast on the run...or set the alarm 1/2 hour earlier...now THERE'S a novel idea!  LOL

We are off to an end-of-summer party this evening at friends' house and hopefully a day at the pool at a local campground tomorrow, with the same friends (hoping that it doesn't rain).  We already have a taco salad made for that.  I just have to eat it without the corn chips, but with a dollop of sour cream, I don't really mind.  Monday is our grandson William's 9th birthday.  I can't believe how quickly he has grown; and, our daughter recently found out she is preganant!  Baby is due March 3.  It is still too early to know if I can start knitting pink or blue, but we are very excited!





Have a great long weekend!  :) 


August 28, 2014

Proud Mama

I am REALLY proud of our oldest daughter Hillary.  She was a single mom, working as a lifeguard.  A few years back, she decided to go back to college to be a law clerk and moved back home with William.  She did really well with that and worked for a while at the law firm where she had done her placement.  Then, she decided she would like more responsibilities.  She liked the idea of going to court, so enrolled in the Paralegal program at Conestoga College in Kitchener, which is a good hour drive for her.  It was a three semester program with a 3 week placement after second semester.  She started last September and finished two weeks ago.  Yesterday, she got this in the mail:


 Notice it says "with High Distinction"!  That means an overall average of 90% or more!!  Who knows, maybe one day a lawyer!! 

My blood sugars were a little wonky yesterday.  I was eating well, but the numbers were higher than I thought they should be.  Perhaps my body is getting used to the less medication.  And I know I need to get moving again.  It is beautiful this morning with a temperature of 15.  I will go for a walk this morning. 

August 25, 2014

Doing the Turtle Happy Dance!


 

I am happy this morning!  I vowed to stop getting on the scale every day.  After all, it's not (or shouldn't be) about the number, but my health.  My blood sugar numbers are what's important.  Weight loss is a bonus side effect.  So I weighed last Monday, and after a week of really good eating, I am down 6.8 lbs!  Woohoo.  After getting down to the mid 220's last summer, the grains and other not-so-desireable foods (and even just too much of the good foods) slowly crept back into my diet and the weight slowly crept back into the 230's, and then the 240's.  One day, I finally hit 250.5 and started doing a bit better.  My sugars weren't horrible, but not really good, either.  I bounced around with a few pounds for quite a while (even getting down to 240.x one time, and decided I really need to get back to serious low carb eating.  So, last Monday, I weighed in at 242.7 and this morning...235.9!!  My sugars have also been really good.  When I saw the doctor last, she told me, if I am not eating very many carbs for a meal, to cut back my Gluconorm from 2 pills to one, rather than reducing my nightime insulin.  I have been doing this, taking only one at every meal since Wednesday, and the sugar readings have been spot on!!  I go to see her again on Sept. 4.  I am sure she will be pleased.  

Life has been pretty busy.  We have been lucky to be able to have William over quite a lot this summer.  He is here this weekend.  Hillary is working this evening, so they will both sleep here again and go home in the morning.

Speaking of Hillary, we are expecting our fourth grandchild in March!!!  She had a miscarriage 2 years ago, so was waiting until after the first trimester to tell anyone, other that Jim, I, Josh and Sarah.  Boys are nice, but I am hoping for a girl, just because I see her with Sarah's girls, and she loves so much to do their hair and all the girly things like dolls and fancy dresses.  Of course, we will welcome with much love, a boy or girl.


Saturday evening, William wanted to play a game and chose Whoville-opoly.  It was put out back when the Jim Carey version of The Grinch was made.  It is your regular Monopoly, but with fun property names and characters.  Jim won, of course.  It was a lot of fun.



We had a very tasty dinner last night.  I wanted to use up some pork tenderloin that has been in the freezer for a long time, so I did a rub with mustard, garlic, rosemary and about a teaspoon of maple syrup, then wrapped it in bacon and did it on the grill.  We only lit one burner and put the meat over the unlit burner, 15 minutes one side, then flipped it for another 20 minutes.  Then, Jim turned on the flame under the meat just for a few minutes to to crisp up the bacon a bit.  Also, some grilled asparagus and steamed some broccoli.  The meat was perfect!  Nice and moist.




My next BBQ experiment is to try a turkey.  I have a small one in the freezer and I hope to do that in the next few weeks sometime.

I found a recipe online for mini key lime cheesecakes.  I am going to make a macadamia nut crust, instead of graham cracker crumbs, and add some sweetener instead of sugar.  William and I are going to make them.  Hopefully, they will turn out!

   

August 20, 2014

Two Triumphs for the Turtle!

My sister got a job today.  She works as a Teacher's Assistant in a kingergarten class and was classified as a 'casual' employee.  Today, she got a call that she has been hired full time, permanent.  Great news as she will get benefits.  My niece has Type 1 diabetes and the supplies are very expensive, even though they are partially covered by the provincial health care plan. 

So, my other sister decided we needed to celebrate.  My 3 sisters, 2 nieces and mom and I went for lunch to a great Mexican place called Chile and Agave.  I looked at the menu and wondered what the heck I was going to eat.  SO MANY CARBS!!!  One sister shared a plate with one niece and suggested that maybe mom and I could share something.  She wanted shrimp tacos, which is breaded shrimp and white flour tortillas, along with rice and refried beans.  I almost agreed, just because that is me...I am a people pleaser, but I stood my ground and said that I wanted to have a salad.  YAYYY ME!!!    I ordered it without the tortilla chips and it was AWESOME!  Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, guacamole, pico de gallo, grilled chicken and a sprinkling of feta cheese, garnished with a few orange slices. 



I did succumb to a need for caffeine this afternoon.  If I need the car during the day, I have to drive Jim to work. Since he is on days this week, that means leaving the house around 6:00am.  I got decaf on the way in. It is about a 35 minute drive.  When I went to pick him up, even though I had my mom with me for company, I was getting VERY sleepy at the wheel; so we stopped at McDonald's and got a coffee as we were about a half hour early.  That's ok.  I still want to cut back on the caffeine, but I'm not going to beat myself up over the odd cup now and then.  As long as I don't get back to my 3 or 4 (large) mugs/day.

I had dinner planned ahead.  I knew what I was going to make and had all the ingredients.  This recipe was in one of my favourite cookbooks, but included white rice, so the carb count per serving was 64g!!  I substituted cauliflower 'rice' for the white rice.  I reduced the liquid a little since the cauliflower wouldn't absorb it like rice would.  It had onion, celery, green pepper, tomatoes, 'rice' and scallops.  Kind of a 'Scallop Stew'.  It was delicious!  I will definitely make it again...when we decide to splurge again.  The bag of scallops was about $25 at Costco.  We had bacon-wrapped scallops for 3 people a couple weeks ago and we had dinner today and I got 3 more portions from what was left over.



All-in-all it was a good GREAT day!  I think I am feeling a little better after the osteopath appointment this morning, a nice meal with my family and my niece won her soccer game this evening!

August 19, 2014

Good Eye Report

I had my appointment with the ophthalmologist this morning.  Due to them rescheduling once and then me rescheduling, it has been nine months since my last visit instead of six.  She said that my eyes look great.  There is no swelling in the back of the eye. Several years ago I did have some leaking in the macula and had laser surgery to repair it.  The doctor described it as "spot welding" the areas where there was leakage. There is a bit of scar tissue in my right eye from that surgery that may present some problems in the future, but all is good for now.

No coffee again today!  After my appointment, Jim asked if I wanted to pick up a coffee from Tim Horton's and I was tempted.  We even pulled into the parking lot, but then I changed my mind.  The fact that my stomach was feeling a little unsettled helped.  The thought of coffee really didn't sound very appealing.  I did still have a mild headache most of the day, but a little less than yesterday, so maybe tomorrow will be good!

Good eating again today and really good sugar readings! 

Tomorrow morning I go back to the osteopath.  I really hope he can help me.  There have been a few new issues.  I am not sure if an x-ray would show anything.  I will ask him if he thinks I should see my doctor and request one.  

August 18, 2014

Withdrawal

I woke up with a bit of a headache and it hung around all day.  I shouldn't complain really.  I have a few friends who suffer with terrible migraines, sometimes for days at a time.  I didn't have any coffee this morning, so I am wondering if I was experiencing WITHDRAWAL!!

I am going to get back on the low carb Paleo wagon (I am wondering how many times I have said that), as my leg/hip/glute/lower back problems aren't getting any better; in fact, they have actually been a little worse after seeing the osteopath.  Today, I was standing at the counter for quite a while as I was cutting up veggies for a broccoli salad and veggie tray to take to a BBQ this evening.  After a while, my left leg went tingly and weak and I had to go sit down for a bit.  Later, this happened again.

I ate well at breakfast and lunch, and did pretty well at the BBQ.  I didn't touch any of the "munchies"...chips, cheesies and other goodies, or any of the bite size chocolate chip cookies or ice cream bars that were passed around.  I did have some potato salad and one hot dog on a bun and a few rice crackers.  Oh, and I did give in to a cup of coffee after dinner.  So I guess today was kind of an "easing into"

I was saddened to hear about the suicide of Robin Williams.  I have been watching my Mork & Mindy DVD's this week.  I think I will jot down some quotes as I watch them.  Some things Mork says seem rather ironic when you know how his life will end nearly 40 years into the future.  It always affects me deeply when I hear of needless deaths due to mental illness.  I think, "There but for the grace of God, go I".

I am so tired and need to go to bed.  I've been wanting to post, but have really been at a loss as to what to write.  There seems to be a lot of chaos in my life at the moment and I tend to get overwhelmed; but even if I sometimes take a few steps back, I will continue to move forward, one step at a time.