Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Crustless Pizza

One day I had a family gathering to cook for. I was new at LC and I wanted to make sure that there was something there I could eat. I made a "crustless pizza" and the Keto "Pretzel" Strawberry Salad. I just designed this recipe on the spot, but it has quickly become a favorite of my husband.

1-2 Pounds of ground beef. (I usually use 1.5)
8oz Mozzarella Cheese
1 Jar of Pizza Sauce (lowest carb and least added sugar you can find)
Pepperoni (I use Hormel)

Brown Ground Beef and drain. Put a little Cheese on the bottom of the dish you are using. I use a Pampered Chef Round Deep Dish Baker. Place Browned Ground Beef on top of Cheese layer. I usually do a light cheese layer. Add Pizza Sauce on top of beef. Spread evenly. Top with remaining Mozzarella. (I like lots of cheese). Top that with Pepperoni (as many slices as makes you happy). Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or so. Just until Cheese is melted and Pepperoni is desired doneness.

I know that there are a lot of "do what you like" kind of instructions, but this really is a do what you want kind of recipe. Add mushrooms. Ham. Veggies. For the love of Pete, not PINEAPPLE. First, it isn't low carb! Second, EWWW.

Let me know if you try it and like it.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Scheduling matters

I have been a bit quiet lately. I haven't done as well with my journey as I had hoped, and much of that was my fault. I have been quiet for the same reason that prevented me from doing well. It's not that I was embarrassed or anything of that nature. I was just lazy at doing things. I didn't have a good schedule and plan for the days; my sleep was out of whack, and I wasn't as focused as I should have been.

I learned a very valuable lesson. Scheduling matters.

Today, I do feel like Bon Jovi... Whoooaa I'm half-way there! You may remember that I started at 217.5 even before I started this blog. Today, I am 177.9. I am over half-way to my goal of 140. I have officially lost more than I have left to lose. I would say that it gets easier from here, but in some ways, it gets harder. It's summer, and I love summer fruit. I stopped doing full keto when I started exercising because of the issues I was having with extreme fatigue. I can explain more in another post. I do eat some fruit but too much will stall my weight loss. I have been enjoying very measured amounts of watermelon. I will be eating peaches, and I have had some strawberries. I just cannot eat them all on one day or in large quantities. Again, scheduling matters.

What do I mean by scheduling matters?

First, I have a beautiful 18-month-old baby girl. She is a night owl. For the last year and a half, I thought I had tried everything to make her go to sleep, to no avail. I was wrong. There was something I had not tried. I just turned off all the lights and held her. I had to rock a bit, but she went to sleep. I actually did this by accident! I was trying to get her to sleep in the bedroom one night. Mr. Got to Eat had to be at work at 5 am and since we have 3 kids and only 3 bedrooms Sassy Pants sleeps in our room (in her crib). Many nights she would wind up in our bed because I would be too tired once she got to sleep to actually get up and move her. I got up, and I took her into the living room so not to disturb him. *Note for all the people saying to themselves "It's his baby too, let him suffer." I didn't have to be up at 4 am, and he lets me sleep when I have to be up earlier than him. We are a team. It was my night to be captain. When I got to the living room I just left everything off. No lights, no television, nothing. In 10 minutes, she was asleep. The next night, I told him we should try the same thing. Again in 10 minutes she was asleep. I kept doing it earlier and earlier. It keeps working. I don't know if it will work forever, and some nights it is 30 minutes and others it's five. For now, it is our saving grace. I have also begun to get more than 6 hours of sleep in the last two weeks. Most days more than 8. Two weeks ago, I was at 4-6. The weight has started dropping more quickly.

Second, I learned that when left to my own devices without food planning, I make okay decisions, but not great ones. My weight loss slowed. It didn't stop, but it was significantly slower.

Third, I learned that I am afraid to ask for me time to go run or to work out in the house. I am the mom. I know that the dad/ stepdad lives here too, but we all know that in the grand scheme of things, it is always expected the mom be available. First, I needed to get over that, and I am trying. More importantly, though, I needed to schedule the time so that everyone would know when they needed to pitch in more.

That's where the scheduling came in. I designed a schedule that includes everything. Here's the morning portion!

I have discovered that by adding in some morning activity I get a little in, even if the day gets crazy. I also schedule time to work out in the evening to get my "real" workout done. I am getting more done, and getting the house cleaner. So, the food isn't on here. How have I helped that?

I have tried to be better about meal planning on Sunday. If you could see all of Sunday, you would even see a time scheduled for meal planning and prep. On Mondays, I plan to shop if I can't on Sunday night. I sometimes can't do the planning, in which case I have been at least planning today for tomorrow and so on. I never enter a day not knowing. Scheduling matters.

I have also lost faster this week than in the last month combined almost. I am working out regularly again and eating better foods. Scheduling matters. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Ugh! Damned Doctors Were Right!!!!!!!!!!

Let me walk you through a typical scenario for fat people at a doctor's appointment:
Doc: Hello, Mrs. Got to eat! What brings you in?
Mrs. Got to eat: Well, my ______ hurts. (you can insert darn near any body part here)
Doc: Well, I notice that you weight _____ amount. Now that is obese/ morbidly obese/ very overweight. You know, if you lose weight you will feel better. Just a 10 percent reduction in body weight can be very beneficial. You will feel so much better. Add in a little exercise. It's good for those joints/ muscles/ endorphins, etc.
Mrs. Got to eat:  Okay, I mean I will try, but how do I exercise when my _____ hurts?
Doc: Start slowly. Okay! Now, let's take a listen to your heart/ lungs/ check your blood pressure.
Mrs. Got to eat: Um, okay.
Doc: Blood pressure too high, heart rate too high. Hmmm. Yeah, we really need to get some of this weight off of you.
Mrs. Got to eat: Okay. I'll try ***leaves and cries***

This scenario has been played out multiple times with many different players. We fat people know the drill. The worst was when I was having kidney area pain and the urologist wouldn't run tests; he just said I was fat, and patted my belly. OMG REALLY DUDE????

I went to another urologist, and he said You didn't come in here walking on your kidney. It doesn't hurt because you're fat." And I appreciated him!

That said, many of those doctors were at least partially right. First, not that first urologist; he was a moron. But I do feel better when I eat better and exercise more. I especially learned this with the whole exercise more scenario. See, I have been exercising 5-6 days a week for a few weeks now. I have been a bit lax this week. Is that to say I have been completely lazy? No, but I haven't done as much as I should.

I noticed something today. I am more tired, have heartburn, and feel kind of blah. I am not sick, but I have not taken the care I need to with my body. I have not treated my body like I had been a week or two ago, and my body isn't happy. When I exercise more, I want to exercise more.

I also haven't planned this week's foods as well, so I have not done as well there either. There is a difference. I feel better when I move and when I eat well. Ugh! Damned doctors were right. I need to treat my body better and it will treat me better. Peace be with you.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Who are you and what did you do with my couch potato?

I feel like my husband has to be asking me this in his mind. I have been a bit of an athlete in different areas of my life, but I have never been a runner/ walker. I walked for purpose. I did not walk for pleasure. I have never been interested in racing or any other running activity. As a matter of fact, until quite recently, I would laugh and say "If I am running, you should run too. Something is chasing me."

Now, I am proud of my movement. I want to get out and move. I am excited to run more. If you look back a few weeks, the coolest thing I had done was completing the first "run" on my c25k app. I have repeated that week a lot. I did try the second week, and went back to the first. BUT guess what??? I am getting faster. I am also able to run more of the sequences. The first week there are 8 sequences of running. My first week, I ran maybe one sequence. I would walk faster for the others. I started to say walk fast, but I am not fast. ***Full disclosure, I almost run a mile in the same time I did in high school. Of course Coach Neale would yell at me and tell me I was an embarrassment. I was sassy and snarky in high school and every time he yelled I would go slower to prove I did not care. I was "doing" the mile that he asked me to, so he couldn't really give me a lower grade. I was just not going to hustle. ***

I enjoyed dancing/ acro. Had he let me do cartwheels, front hand springs, and split leaps down the track, I might have actually finished faster. HAHAHA. I enjoyish running now. It still kicks my butt, but I am looking forward to each improvement. I am getting better. Just this week I ran a total of 5 of the 8 intervals. I ran run 1, most of 2, 4, 6, 8 and a little tiny bit of 3 and 5. Oh my! I am improving. No I am not good, but I am better. I have also shaved about 3 minutes off my beginning snails pace. I still only move about 3mph, but I am 3mph faster than I was two months ago! I don't care about split times, I care that I can do it.

My first 5k is Saturday! Wish me luck. Peace and happiness.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Goal Setting and Winning

Having goals is always a good thing. You should make goals in all areas of your life. Goals give you direction. Before I tell you about my non-scale victory, I want to tell you some of my goals and we can critique them together.

One of the things I see often right now is the acronym SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time. Here are some of my current goals. Some are general and some are weight loss related.

Be a better listener.
Be a better housekeeper (always a goal, I am not good here)
Be more organized.
Lose 53 more pounds by July
Add 1000 steps to daily goal weekly, ONLY if I reach my goal 3 or more days that week. (More on that in a moment.
Be healthier.

My problem with my goals is they are kind of vague. Be a better listener, be a better housekeeper, be more organized, and be healthier are not very specific. Non-specific goals are not very SMART for many reasons, but I need to work on them. I think I may try to make a list of 12 goals and tackle them each month. I will come up with specific, measurable goals, and ways to reach them each month and try to do them. I will probably forget or not get that done, because I am flaky and disorganized. :)

I have 2 goals here that are specific. One may seem confusing but I will explain it momentarily. First, lose 53 pounds by July is Specific, sort of. Fifty-three is a specific number and July is a specific month. The problem here with the specificity is that I don't say when in July. The first? Fifteenth? Thirty First? Okay, so lets say the 23rd which is the hubby's birthday. Well, that's almost fourteen weeks. In fourteen weeks it would not be advisable by most to lose 53 pounds. Healthy weight loss is generally 1-2 pounds a week. At fourteen weeks, that's only 28 pounds recommended loss. So, it's specific, measurable, attainable (I can lose 53 pounds in 14 weeks) it's not realistic. Let's adjust that weight-time ratio to my anniversary. So now, if I say that my goal is to lose 53 pounds by

October 31, it is Specific (certain number of pounds in a certain amount of time), Measurable (I can see the pounds on the scale and the date on the calendar), Achievable (I can lose weight), Reasonable (I can do it in 27 weeks, and it has a defined Time. I can make it a SMART goal easily.

On to a SMART goal that I am slaying. I made a goal to add 1000 steps to my step goal each week, if I hit my step goal at least 3 days that week. Then when I hit 10,000 as a goal, I will add 1000 every other week until 15000. Let me give you an example that might make it more understandable: Let's say this is week one, and my goal is 6000 steps a day. I must hit that target at least 3 days in week one in order to increase to a goal of 7000 a day in week two. I don't beat myself up if I don't meet my goal, but I do try again next week. I began week 1 with a goal of 5000 steps per day. Low, I know. I was even struggling to hit that goal. I don't know exactly what week I am on (it feels like week 4000), but I have been consistently adding 1000 steps. I am now up to 9000 steps per day. I have almost doubled my weekly goal. That is great. I have also begun to hit that goal with less effort.  I will post a few pictures. Keep in mind that when you raise your step goal with FitBit it doesn't maintain your goal at the time of the steps. For example, when I adjusted my goal on Sunday (I always change on Sunday) any day that didn't hit the new goal doesn't have a star, even if it did before. Also, FitBit adjusts the scale on the y axis to meet the needs of the graph. The first chart starts at 2000 and stops at 6000  but the second one begins at 6000. There are significantly different numbers at play here. The biggest thing is that I have doubled my weekly steps in just a month, and I feel good about it. I am reaching that goal. I should make the goal again this week, which means next week 10,000. I will then start reaching for 15,000 essentially. That's triple my original goal! It matters. I feel better, I look better, and I am happier. Be proud when you reach a goal that doesn't involve the scales. Set SMART goals, and go for them. 
 3 More pictures to show the last 3 days:  In order they are 4/17, 4/16, 4/15. Whew!

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Recipe time!

Food, YUM.

I see people post questions all the time on Keto/ LC boards that ask "How do you make your egg salad?"

Here's how I make mine:
Warning! It is boring but I like it!!!

6-8 Eggs (I usually use 6 Large or Extra Large)
2T Mayo (I try to get mayo without sugar added)
1-2 t mustard

In my pressure cooker I place the eggs on the steamer basket with 1C of water in the pot. 5-6 minutes pressure and then quick release and remove to ice bath. Once eggs cool, peel and mash/ chop. Pressure cooking makes peeling a delight. Sometimes I use the food processor to mash/ chop the eggs. Once I get the eggs mashed into my desired chunk size, I add mayo and mustard and stir. I usually get 5-6 lunches out of a batch. I don't do more because no one else in my house will eat egg salad.

Lately I put a scoop on a lettuce leaf and roll it up. MMMMM tasty! Sometimes I eat it on a salad. Once in a while I will have actual bread. The horror!!!!

Happy eating.

What is right for me?

In many groups on Facebook and on SparkPeople I see the question, "What diet should I follow?" or something similar. Well, here's the answer everyone should be giving you "I don't know. _______ plan works for me, and I love it because ____________." This could conversely be answered with "I don't know, but ______ did not work for me (seems dangerous), because________."

Here's the thing, people are passionate about what works for them. Yesterday, I made the mistake of pointing out reasons that certain plans might not be right for everyone and drama ensued. I was subsequently removed from a group, but that's okay, every time I answer a question in that group, lately, someone takes my response wrong and gets pissy anyway.

Here's the thing. Keto eating can be great for any number of people. For some, like me, it is far to restrictive, and due to medical issues can actually be dangerous. Don't tell the die hard Keto people that, or you will be strung up and flogged. I do restrict my carbs, generally 40-50 these days, because since beginning my workout routine I am too tired to function at 20-30. Some days, shhhh don't tell, I do up to 100 net carbs. Yesterday I did 89. I did not die. I also work out almost every day. Even on my "rest" days, I try to be active and do some stretching. I have several apps I use, and I love them. Keto is not right for me. If you ask me what plan, and you are a low carb person, I am going to tell you what I think. I need to add the caveat "but that works for me" to every post.

Second, I do not like a diet that completely removes an entire food group. I am not fond of vegetarian or vegan diets. I am also not fond of a Ketoer who will NEVER eat a grain or potato again in his or her life. I think each food group has valuable nutrients and benefits. Heck, even dark chocolate and wine have antioxidants that are beneficial. Now, that chocolate cake should not be consumed on the regular, but a cupcake now and then can lift your spirits a bit. If you feel better, sometimes, you will do more to improve yourself.

We all know that I am doing a low carb diet. It is what is best for me. I am at a higher risk for diabetes and similar issues. Low carb high fat (LCHF) is the preferred diet for these conditions. Does that mean that everyone at a high risk or with these conditions "better" do LCHF?  Nope, you should do what works best for you. I talked about this a little a while back when I mentioned that your fat is not my fat. I do, however, think that it bears repeating. Every body is different in the way that it processes food.

Now, while I don't like certain diets, that does not mean that one cannot be healthy on them. I do know what certain foods contain higher amounts of things we need. Animal fat is more readily processed by our bodies and some of the oils and fats that are plant based are so refined and processed their benefits are greatly reduced, if not eliminated. That said, avocados (yuck) are a great source of plant fat. Proteins are also more easily obtained from animal products. Does that mean that the only proteins are in animal products? No! Many people skip dairy for many reasons. Just to name a few: cows milk is meant for baby cows, hormones in animal based dairy, and allergies. Does this mean someone dairy free cannot get the vitamin D and calcium they need from other places? Not at all. I am not a fan. I am also not the diet police. I have read, many times, that your body prefers nutrients from food sources and supplements lose some of their potency and need to be taken in higher amounts because of what the body eliminates. I am not fond of supplements unless you just can't seem to get the nutrients, even through a fairly balanced diet. I hear, also, that most Americans, at least, are magnesium deficient. I may get mine tested. I am going to start looking for foods higher in magnesium. I don't want to be deficient.

I don't have to like your diet, journey, or life. I do need to be respectful of your choices unless they are very obviously dangerous. If you tell me you are doing meth then driving your baby around, I might just have to step in. If you tell me you have cut all pink food out of your life, I will wonder how many foods you eat that are pink to start with, but if it works go for it.

After reading this, I want you to take one thing from it: Be respectful and kind of each other's life style. Peace and love.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Progress photo

Sometimes we get down on ourselves because we feel like we haven't done enough. I see people in keto groups on Facebook saying "I've lost 40 pounds since Feb. 1." If I wasn't strong I would certainly feel like a failure. I am down roughly 20 pounds from when I started low carb. I weighed 198.2 Tuesday morning. I weighed 217.5 in October.
The day after this photo was taken, I saw the cardiologist. I weighed 218 on his scale.

I could get down on myself. I have "only" lost 20 pounds. Or I could look at this photo. I have lost 20 pounds and it's obvious. I am standing straighter, smiling, and looking happier.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and start looking at the progress as forward movement. I am just as much talking to myself in that last statement as I am to you. Forward progress is forward progress.

I don't walk fast, nor do I eat perfectly every day. I had an egg biscuit for breakfast this morning. I weighed my choices and ate it. It was good. I haven't gotten one in 2 months. I was due. I have done well. I have made progress. I may be making slower progress than others because of the way I do things, but I am making progress.

The moral of the story is: Don't get down on yourself because you don't live up to other people's standards. You be you. Be happy with progress. Don't digress. Be a better version of yourself whenever possible.

Peace be with you.

Recipe Post 2

So, I don't know that there are a lot of recipes that I have tried lately, but there are things that I like eating.
First, I love steak, and I will share a steak recipe with you. It's called simply "Steak bites". It could just as well be called "Tasty Steak Goodness." It isn't some high end fancy steak but I like it. I have also tried the marinade with shrimp and zucchini. The recipe is NOT my own. I found it on Pinterest. I will say this about everything I have tried it with, the zucchini tasted a bit saltier than I prefer. It was still tasty though. So here's the link.  We have had this recipe several times with many sides. I think my favorite is with zucchini and broccoli!

Next, a breakfast recipe I have made twice. I make them a week ahead and eat on them all week. If you know me, then you know I am not a huge fan of sausage, or most pork for that matter. I love bacon, but other pork, not so much. I will eat sausage, and I like summer sausage and kielbasa but those are often made from beef. I have fallen in love with these silly Keto Sausage Balls. I love eggs but I can only eat egg cups and boiled eggs so many weeks before growing weary. So here's the link for that one.

Now, a little less recipe, and a little of "how I like it." Lately my lunches are something wrapped in romaine leaves. I love this. My go to lunch when I am short on time or ideas is a serving of lunch meat (turkey), a lettuce leaf for each slice, and a cheese slice for each one. I do not eat processed American cheese product. I eat REAL cheese. So when I say a cheese slice I mean take a cheese slicer and slice off a piece of cheddar from the wheel or block. I prefer off the wheel, but block is fine. Yes, I am a cheese snob. No, I am not sorry. I also usually have 1-2 pickles with that lunch. One day I cut my pickles so that I had the same number of slices as wraps and stuck a pickle in each one. YUMMO and like 2-3 carbs for lunch.

I also like to make an occasional protein shake using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and protein powder. I need to find one of those softserve machines because my newest powder tastes like a frosty.

I like food. I experiment with ways of cooking. Some things I totally dig. Some, not so much. Let me know what your favorites are!

Happy eating. Peace and love.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What the scale taught me, and you should learn too!

Okay, so in one of my first posts I told you I would weigh myself everyday for a week and then report back why that is not a good idea. Well, here goes my experimental information. This was in no way a scientific experiment, just real life application.

In life, the majority of us at some point embark on a fitness goal. For the majority of those that includes weight loss. We, as humans, expect that if we are doing all the right things, then all the right things will happen. If you're eating a paleo diet, then you should garner the results. If you are doing 21 day fix then you should see appropriate results. What no one tells you, though when they discuss their results is the actual process. Sure they may say eat this, not that. Exercise this way, for this amount of time, on this number of days, and you will get results. What they don't tell you is that it isn't linear. You don't lose weight at a steady rate. Well, I suppose you could if you went to the moon. It's a steady difference between here and there to my knowledge. Here's a chart demonstrating what I mean about expectations vs. reality.

If you are a Sparker who is reading my post there, just look to the bottom of the page, sometimes it does weirdo things with the pictures when I copy the post from here.

See we want the top image, but the bottom image is reality. There are many reasons for this reality. 1. Food amounts/ nutritional information are relative. If you look up eggs they have 0.6g carbs. Do all large eggs weigh the exact same amount? I don't think so. I am sure that commercial farms try very hard to place every carton within a range that is relatively small, but the reality is that no two natural things will ever be 100% equal. Look at twins. One generally has some distinguishing feature, even if they are identical twins. Nothing is truly identical. It may be imperceptible to most, but there is a difference in all things. That 0.6g of carbs is on average.

So you tracked your carbs, ate under your goal, and didn't lose, or worse: GAINED. Why? Maybe you retained more water today. Maybe you ate more than you thought (weighed food wrong, guestemated wrong or you just had a carbier egg). The moon was in the wrong phase so you gained. Hormones were slightly off? Or maybe you lost. Who knows?

Last week, I weighed 203.4.Boo, hiss. Since I am writing this today (9 days later) we will go with my weight from yesterday. I said a week, but was delayed in writing so we will split the delay. So Tuesday I was still 203.4. And Wednesday. But Thursday I was 201.5! Yay! A loss. But Friday I was 202.0. Ugh a 1/2 pound gain. Saturday 200.6 I was now 0.1 smaller than I was when I fell off my wagon around my birthday. Go me! I had reversed my issue. And Monday was the best feeling for me as I weighed 199.8! I had hit ONEderland. And finally Tuesday I woke up 198.2. Even further into ONEderland!!!! I realize that I lost more days than gained, and it was by small amounts. What I didn't realize though is the thoughts that it would create. The highs and lows and boos. What was I doing differently? Nothing really. Weight just isn't a stable thing. Environment matters. Yesterday I did a lot of walking. It was hot. I sweated more than usual. No big deal. Today it is cooler and my ankle hurts (more on that in a minute). I probably won't lose as much for a few days if that is a major factor. I also ate higher carbs yesterday. Away from planned eating will impact weight loss.

The moral of the story is weighing everyday is A. pointless B. stressful and C. not going to tell you if you gained muscle mass, water, or lost fat. It only tells you the relationship to gravity at that ONE moment. Is that to say you should never ever weigh. No, not at all. Weigh if you want. Especially if you have a target weight. How will you know how to get there if you don't know where you are going? But don't weigh all the time. Once a week or even a month is fine. I weigh more times when I know that I have a higher carb meal coming so that I can get myself back in line. I don't worry as much if the scale rises if I can determine why and how to fix it.

Now, the ankle. I did my first workout on the C25K app. I did this while waiting on Reid to finish baseball practice on Monday. My ankle hurt a little yesterday, but I didn't really worry about it. I went to Raleigh and participated in the Down Syndrome Advocacy Day there. I did a lot of walking. I got home last night and thought I would die. Today, said ankle is in a brace. Booo Hisssss. I hope it's better soon. If not I will have to restart the app. I need to get in 3 exercises this week.

Good luck to you! Peace be with you.