Follow me on my journey to lose weight and get healthy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A long-awaited update...

Hello, friends.

Yes, it has been quite some time since I've posted here. And, unfortunately, I have some bad news.

I don't know exactly how I did it, but I have a herniated disc...again. This is the third time since January of 2012 (actually, that first time, it probably happened in November of 2011, but the symptoms didn't keep me away from work or become horrendously painful until January of 2012).

One frustration is that this third experience has come at a shorter interval. I've suffered from back problems since I was in high school (and looking back, I would tend to believe that my past problems have also been due to my disc herniating), and both the frequency and intensity have increased with the passing of the years. This puts me into a position of feeling less than optimistic about the future.

My hope is to see my family doctor today or Thursday (I have to call in at 8 AM to see if there is space for me). I haven't seen him since last year, probably in March, when my last herniation resolved. However, it was at the suggestion of my chiropractor that I ask for a steroid prescription. Two times now that has been the only thing to get me over the hump of pain and on the road to recovery, so it is my hope that the doctor will be willing to prescribe the medication again, even though I know it's terrible for the liver, especially long-term.

Flexibility and weight have been two of my major issues for years, so my goals after getting back on my feet are to increase my flexibility through regular stretching and exercise (and possibly physical therapy) and to start seriously dropping the pounds. If you look back to my series about eating on the Whole 30 meal plan, I lost a considerable amount of weight in short order simply by altering my diet. Now, unfortunately, I'm in the position of needing to drop 55-65 pounds. I'm going to be back on the Whole 30 plan starting Monday (need time to organize and get food), but rather than doing it for 30 days, I'm going to have to stick with it at least through the end of August.

I have heard good things about the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating, and it is a style of eating that I would consider transitioning into if I can get my head fully wrapped around the types of meals, what goes with each type, when to eat them, and how to space the different meals when switching.

Otherwise, I am thinking more of a paleo style of eating (even though I do not ascribe to the overall premise)...really, eliminating processed foods and added sugars is the order of the day. I have done well with short-term elimination of these things in the past, but for the good of my body, it's going to have to be an almost permanent elimination, with just a little wiggle room for special occasions (this will make date nights interesting, because I know I'm programmed for the "dinner and a movie" type dates).

For accountability purposes, I am going to start blogging about my food again. I might not post every day, but I will give a complete reckoning of what I've consumed, and may even include pictures.

Here's to living a healthier life! We all can do better, and I hope to do my part in leading the way.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Return of the Whole30 Challenge - Day Sixteen

Happy Wednesday, food-loving friends. Today was my day off, and I think overall I'm feeling pretty good, though I had a bit of a tickle in my throat this afternoon that I hope doesn't mean I'm coming down with something. It was nice to sleep in a couple of hours and have an easy start to the day. I was able to do some sermon preparation while Abi and Lukas went to the park, too. It'd be nice to have the next day or two off to finish that up, but I'll just have to do what I can.

Things are moving along with the house, too. We received notification today that the seller has agreed to fix the issues we raised from the inspection, which is a huge relief. God's hand has been evident in this entire process. Sure, there are still things we will need/would like to do to the house, but we will deal with those as necessary.

One bit of a downer is that we got the bill today for my MRI (from back in February). Insurance covered about 1/3 of it, which is definitely something, but we're still left owing about $750. :P I had held off on getting the MRI for several weeks because I knew what the issue was, but I finally needed to do it in order to get the necessary excuses for work.

Getting my back into shape is one reason for doing the Whole30. Reducing systemic inflammation while also losing weight will go a long way to preventing future disc herniations. Beyond that, I need to be consistent with a solid exercise program, something that I'm struggling to accomplish. Do you ever feel like you've just got too much going on? It's feeling more like that every day.

Okay, so how about I let you in on the menu for today? Because of the late breakfast, I didn't have an actual lunch, just a couple of compliant snacks.

Four-egg omelette
Green onion sausage
Bell pepper

Lunch (Snack):
1 gala apple with almond butter
1 Larabar

Leftover Meatloaf
Steamed zucchini with Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute
Summer Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Well, even though I have other things I could/should be doing, I think I will go upstairs and use the exercise bike for a few minutes. Hope to see you back here tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Return of the Whole30 Challenge - Day Fifteen

Okay, so it's been a rough couple of days, what with ice cream Monday night and rice last night. Add to that a couple of cookies around lunchtime today, and you've got the makings of a reboot being necessary. Well, that is, of course, life, and we might as well get it all out on the table.

I have tomorrow off because of working this last weekend, and I'm going to be busy studying. I am scheduled to preach this Sunday morning, and I really haven't started writing the sermon yet. It works out, though, as Abi and Lukas will go to the park with a friend for a couple of hours tomorrow, so I should be able to get quite a bit done.

The house is progressing, too. We got the results of the radon test and the home inspection today. The radon levels are high enough that they will need to be mitigated, and our real estate agent knows someone who does it for about $1,200. With the leak in the roof and the rotted window sill that needs replacing, we are absolutely hoping the seller will cover these issues. We could still back out if it came down to it, but we like the house enough that such a decision would be hard to make.

Okay then, here is the compliant portion of my food from today:
Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and onion, all prepared in some coconut oil

Monkey salad with blueberries

Almost Five Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie
Cabbage salad with homemade mayo and black grapes
1 gala apple

Homestyle Meatloaf (we didn't have plain ground pork, so we used a pound of breakfast sausage instead; Abi thought it was a little spicy, but I enjoyed it)
Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"
Green salad with homemade mayo

I hope you've been finding some inspiration from these posts. I'm not perfect at this, so don't beat yourself up if you aren't, either. Have fun with it. I like food and trying new recipes, so a lot of this has been fun for me; if it wasn't, I wouldn't be doing it at all.

See you again soon!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Return of the Whole30 Challenge - Day Fourteen

Okay, so we were a little bad here the last couple of days. Last night after I got my post up we decided to have a little ice cream to "clean out our freezer" in preparation for our move next month. And tonight's dinner we used honey in the recipe and served the dish over brown and black rice.

Knowing that processed sugars and portion sizes tend to be my major problems, I'm considering eating more or less paleo with some non-paleo side dishes, still focusing on loading up on vegetables while exercising portion control on the other food groups in particular.

This afternoon I was finally able to get upstairs on the exercise bike for a few minutes, not enough to make a huge difference, but hopefully enough to help things stay on the right track.

And, without further ado, here is my menu for today:
Scrambled eggs with some diced onion
Monkey Salad with Strawberries

Leftover hamburgers
Green beans
Cabbage salad with tomatoes and homemade mayo
1 gala apple
Handful of roasted squash seeds

Beef and Broccoli Cashew Stir Fry (we didn't have fish sauce, and I just now realized I forgot to add in the pepper flakes, but it was delicious nonetheless) - A little tip: We used a sirloin steak from my in-laws, and I found it was quite easy to slice it thinly while it was still frozen
Brown and Black Rice
Green salad with homemade mayo

I will continue to post about our mealtime adventures, especially since there are still several recipes yet to try in this month-long schedule I found. If I find that this way of doing things causes me to put a lot of weight back on, I will reconsider, but in the past I have done well with exercise and watching my caloric intake, so I think that as long as I keep my portions more manageable and take plenty of time to eat and feel full before I've eaten a great deal, I should still be okay.

See you again soon!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Return of the Whole30 Challenge - Day Thirteen

Whew! I'm actually getting this post written before 8 PM. Considering we went to church this evening, that's a pretty big accomplishment.

Work was good, though a bit tiring because I was so bored. Not that I'm going to complain a whole lot because I was still getting paid. Thankfully I only have two more days in this stretch; Wednesday should be a good day for catching up on rest and other things.

I think I am finding that overall I have more energy, which is what I want to see. I'm still working on having a consistently higher intake of water, which is probably my biggest failing nutritionally at this point.

So, would you like to see what I had to eat today? It wasn't a lot, which isn't ideal, so I'll have to figure out how to appropriately increase my intake.

4-egg omelette with sauteed bell pepper, onion, and mushroom

Cabbage salad with homemade mayo and grape tomatoes
Chile Lime Chicken Breast
1 gala apple (eaten mid-morning because my breakfast was small)

Almost Five Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie
Cabbage Salad with *gasp* non-compliant Ranch dressing (we were in a rush and basically out of homemade mayo)
Black grapes
1 apple with almond butter

I'm excited about getting into our house, hopefully still on track for October 16th, and the ability to give more artful presentations of the table settings. Something to look forward to, I'm sure.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Return of the Whole30 Challenge - Day Twelve

Once again it's a late blog post, and for that I apologize. And, as such, it will be short, too.

It was a good day at work, fairly quiet, most likely because of the Iowa-Iowa State football game. Funny how something like that will keep people from going to the hospital...

So, here's my food breakdown for today:

Mini Frittatas

Buffalo Chicken and Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (mixed together)
Cabbage Salad with Homemade Mayo and Black Grapes
1 large apple
A handful of grape tomatoes

Burgers on Napa Cabbage leaves with a little Trader Joe's Dijon Mustard
Green Salad with Homemade Mayo
Green Beans with Trader Joe's 21 Spice Salute

Okay, gotta run off to bed and get ready for another day at work. Have a good day/night/whatever when you read this, and I'll see you again.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Return of the Whole30 Challenge - Day Eleven

Woo-hoo! It's Friday! Or, if you're in my position, it's really Monday (first day of a five-day stretch at work). But it's all good.

Work was very slow today, which made keeping myself occupied a little difficult. Actually, there is most likely plenty that I could have done, but it didn't cross my mind to do some of the tasks that I probably should be doing. I'm hoping for a quiet weekend so I can maybe clean out and organize my filing cabinet (I inherited quite the mess when I took the position).

One thing that doesn't change, even though my hours are different, is the food. I almost felt a little bad because several of my coworkers ordered from Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch, but then I saw that the food hadn't stayed super warm and none of the dipping sauces had been included, all the more frustrating, I'm sure, because there was no time to go back to the restaurant and rectify the situation.

I enjoyed my food all day, though. Wanna see?

Mini-Frittata Muffins
Monkey Salad with Strawberries

Meatballs and Zoodles with Pesto
Green Salad with homemade mayo
1 large apple

Almost Five Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie (we added black olives and some sauteed mushrooms)
Green salad with homemade mayo.

Somehow, Abi and I have to get our grocery shopping figured out for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to another week of new recipes. Be sure to come back and check it out!