Category: diabetes

Back in the Pool

Today I am tired and sore but glad to be so.  As I was working on my diagnosis I didn’t want to muddle my chronic pain symptoms with exercise related pain so I held off of any hard training.  This means its been a few weeks since I did a serious swim- really since the QUAC swim.  QUAC was awesome but it was very tough to recover from.   I think because I was going through other stress and the gnawing pain in my ribcage (which in itself is a stressor) it made the recovery more difficult.

Anyway, I wanted to be able to tell my doctor for sure that the pain I was feeling was the chronic pain, not something from exercise.  Also with labs and doctors visits I had to be careful to get my work hours in and that left less time for exercising; however, after a promising week of results with  my thyroid medicine I felt like I was ready to get back to training. As much as I moan and groan about workouts I really do miss them when I can’t do them anymore.  Especially swimming.

Today I met with my swim coach for the first time in over a month (crazy how fast the time goes!).  He gave me a good workout- 1500 meters with intervals (250m fast, 250m slow, 200m fast, 200m slow…all the way down to 50m).  It was intense and my arms felt heavy but it was awesome!

Back in the pool! My face was so red after the workout. Something about these post-workout photos I love

There is something about diving into the water that I find so therapeutic.  There is a peace in the white noise of water that I love.  You can scream under water and nobody knows. I find the minute I dive in my mind becomes clear and the repetition of the strokes allows me to mull over the problems in my life.   Most importantly my body floats away, the pain with it.  I don’t feel like a heavy girl in the water.  I feel like I am flying!

It was great to get back in the water!  Tomorrow I meet with my trainer, thursday swim with my friends and Saturday I am taking boxing lessons!  I’m so excited about that!  Yes, I’ve always wanted to take boxing lessons!  There is a gym in Salt Lake that teaches boxing classes just for women.   http://www.boxingisforgirls.com. I think it will be awesome.  I took self defense at BYU and loved it. So, take notice and don’t tick me off in the future.  I will be trained! 🙂

I got my first bountiful basket this Saturday!  It was delicious! I’ve been enjoying the oranges this week and all the yummy vegetables.  I made corned beef and cabbage on Sunday and that was yummy (my fridge is now stuffed with crockpot meals I’ve made the last few weeks!).   Today I had a steak.  My mother can not make steak.  Cooks it to death.  Once I learned how to make it right I love it! Its expensive and high in calories but for an occasional indulgence Ok. Especially after my intense swim.  Don’t get too worried because with all my delicious veggies I made a massive salad to go with the steak!

There is something better about carefully selected produce.  You don’t really realize it until you try the good stuff and there is such a difference.  Yesterday I had dinner at Anna’s and she made ginger ice cream.  With the fresh grapefruit and orange sections the citrus and ginger combined well, creating a delicious dessert.

My friend Kate and I decided we will do the baskets every other week.  For $20 how can you go wrong?  (We split the box equaling $21.50 per person). This week they had special pineapples to order.  Hope they will have something like that next week.  Yum!

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Morgan Spurlock Listen Up

I have a great idea.  A few years ago the gimmick documentary maker Morgan Spurlock made his movie Super Size Me where he eats McDonalds every day for a month and every time they ask him ‘Do you want to super size it’, he says ‘yes’.

During the month they monitor his health and vitals which all go down the tube.  I don’t know how this is really considered an expose of any sorts, really more of an extreme stunt.

Here’s something that would be more interesting. All of the fast food companies claim you can eat healthy at their restaurants. Some example from their websites:

McDonalds

“Eating right isn’t always easy – we have lots of menu choices to help you.”

Wendy’s

“At Wendy’s, we believe in choice. Choice in toppings. Choice in dressings. And the choice to select from a wide variety of nutritious options.”

KFC

“We believe eating sensibly, combined with appropriate exercise, is the best solution for a healthy lifestyle. KFC offers a variety of menu items for those that want lower fat, lower calorie choices, including Kentucky Grilled Chicken and Honey BBQ Sandwiches, corn on the cob, BBQ baked beans and green beans. ”

Taco Bell, KFC and I assume other Pepsi owned companies all have links to the ‘Keep it Balanced‘ website. To me this is just amazing.  They show a family eating fried chicken, biscuits, cole slaw, drinking soda- probably the worst meal in the world, and then say ‘Its a simple formula, ‘Energy In=Energy Out’.  Do you know how much energy you’d have to put out to make up for that meal? Its so ridiculous.The whole website kind of ticks me off to be honest!

Subway is of course the king of healthy eating marketing, even promoting their food as a diet choice with celebrity athletes such as Apollo Anton Ohno and Michael Phelps.  Here’s the thing- how many people really make the healthy choices at Subway? No mayo or sauces, wheat bread with one of the 8 possible ‘fresh fit’ selections?  Last time you went to subway did you stick by the rules and get the healthy choice?

To their credit, Burger King, Carl’s Jr, and In N Out are all more honest, merely stating their nutritional information and not making claims of health in any way.

Anyway, here is my idea.  Someone should put the fast food companies to their word and do a month of eating fast food.  Order the ‘healthiest’ options and see if it could really be done and be healthy.  Follow vitals and participate in moderate exercise as all the sites suggest.  I don’t think it could be done.

I say this because I am tempted by fast food.  It is sometimes difficult to get the motivation to cook just for myself and fast food is so easy.  The idea of it being ‘healthy’ does sometimes convince me to go and I always regret it. In 2010 I went an entire year without fast food and it was awesome.  Usually I stay away but every once in a while I fall into the habit.

I’m not one of those people that think fast food should be criminalized and monitored like the cigarette companies but it does seem like false advertising to claim health when in truth it is almost always an indulgence.

So there’s my idea! Morgan Spurlock call me!

Random Thoughts VI

So I’ve tried to write this post tons of times but for some reason wordpress keeps erasing it.

Here goes again.

Pain- Day 2 of hypthoroid pills has come and gone and so far I am cautiously optimistic.  No major side effects and today I actually felt pretty energized.  Still have the pain but there are things to feel good about (I have learned to be grateful for a good day no matter what the cause of it is).

Something about this photo I really like

I was thinking today of the scripture in D and C 122:7 when God tells Joseph Smith “that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”  That I idea of giving us experience is so interesting.  Every trial I have gone through has helped me relate to a new person in a new way.  It has literally given me experience. (In my new ward I’ve met like 6 people who have chronic pain in some form or another and I can relate to them. My experience gives a connection). Something to think about…

Breakfast- One of the things I have really struggled with is eating a good breakfast.  Lately all food looks gross to me, all the time, but especially in the morning.  Things I normally like such as eggs produce the gag-reflex. Plus, it means I have to get a pan dirty and chop stuff and I’m tired (you get the idea).

I would say more than any other category, aside from maybe dessert, it is hard to make breakfast healthy.  All of my favorite things I can never have- french toast, toast, fluffy pancakes, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, most cereals (the hardest of the list), donuts, bear claws, etc.  Any ideas you have for a healthy, quick way to do breakfast that would be great.

I recently made this breakfast quinoa that was pretty good.  In the rice cooker 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup water.  Then I put nuts and dried fruit on top.

breakfast quinoa. It would be really good with half and half or cream...

Books- I’m on the lookout for cheerful books. I’m talking fun, even silly, happy books. Not the type of inspirational overcome challenges type of books but just overtly happy books. For example, the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency is bright and funny (Alexander McCall Smith is kind of the king of the happy series), or Sophie Kinsella’s books I really love in this regard. Especially The Undomestic Goddess. Is it great literature? No, but it makes me laugh without fail and actually has a few things to think about on the side.

Food- Recently I came up with this list. What are your top 5?
Top 5 Foods I miss:
1. Mashed Potatoes (Potatoes in general are a rarity)
2. Non whole grain cereals.
3. white bread with honey and butter
4. most yummy breakfast foods- french toast, fluffy pancakes, cinnamon rolls, donuts, honeybuns…sigh
5. Pies and fresh hot cookies (and the cookie smell)

On the plus side of food I am finally getting a bountiful basket!  http://bountifulbaskets.org/.  It is this organization that combines farmers produce to get fresh produce at a discount price.  My friend Kate and I are splitting it and it should be delicious! This is what the baskets look like.  Yum and since we are splitting the cost it will only be $20 each including the organic and citrus package!

I am told this is what a typical bountiful basket looks like.

So I might take boxing lessons! I just found out about this club in Salt Lake just for women and boxing. Looks awesome. I’ve always wanted to learn. I took a self defense class in college and it was really fun! It will be fun to spice things up a bit. Lately in my training we’ve been using the punching bag and I love it! (Get out all that angst!). Did I finally think of something that suprises a few of you’all?

Living alone- So in my new ward I am the only never married single person. Isn’t that kind of amazing? Still, things have gone very well. One funny thing is that everyone is so surprised I live alone. I’m kind of used to it. Its really not that big of a deal to me. Yes, friends I live alone and love it! The only time I wish I didn’t live alone is when I’m sick and someone could go to the pharmacy for me (and listen to my moaning and groaning!).

New Calling- So it finally came. I got called into primary.  I was actually quite disappointed because I have loved teaching Sunday School.  I will miss the gospel interaction with adults….However, it will be a new challenge and I am sure I will learn a lot.  It is teaching the 9 year olds so if any of you have suggestions for engaging that age group please pass on.  I’ve heard bring treats from a lot which is hard because I don’t really eat treats but I will see what I can do.

Diabetes- One comment on the Paula Deen controversy.  I do think it is strange that she didn’t come out with her diagnosis for 3 years until she is a victoza spokesperson.  Seems shady to me.  However, I don’t really care about her.  The thing I noticed in the coverage is who the ‘experts’ kept talking about diabetes as this horrible awful thing, and it can be that.  Never do I seem to hear that it is a treatable condition.  I was a borderline diabetic at best but I got my A1C’s down in a year and am no longer a diabetic threat.  When I was first diagnosed I thought I’d have diabetes my whole life and that I was going to die.  That’s what I thought.  I had no idea it was treatable.  Maybe that’s just my ignorance showing but I wish more ‘experts’ would point that out when they discuss the issue.

Here’s a great flyer on the subject. http://physical-therapy.advanceweb.com/sharedresources/Downloads/2009/113009/pa_dec2000.pdf

So, there you go.  That’s my thoughts on a bunch of issues.  The most important thing is I am feeling hopeful in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.  Thanks so much to everyone for all your love and support.  I’m sure there is still a long road ahead but to feel hope is grand thing. 🙂

No to Weight Loss Surgery

I have a little time so I wanted to post about a topic I’ve had to consider over the last two years.   Recently I had another doctor suggest gastric bypass surgery as a solution to my weight loss (I’ve had 4 doctors suggest it in the last 3 years).  This is a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves but let me explain why I chose to do things the old fashioned way:

1. My goal in starting this journey was not to be skinny.  I did this because I felt GOOD about myself, not the other way around.  It was to become active, and I have done that.  I wanted to be able to do more- to go surfing, to try rock climbing, to swim  a mile, and I’ve done all 3!

If you have not worked out the mental and emotional sides of weight loss/weight gain a dramatic weight loss via surgery will not permanently solve those problems.

2. You have all of these strange restrictions after getting the surgery like not mixing fluids with food. Plus you can only eat 3/4-1 cup of food at each meal.  (In truth the surgery just forces you to drastically restrict your calorie intake). Many who have the surgery develop nutrient deficiencies and have to take shots and supplements.

3. Because your fluids are limited exercise can be difficult and painful. (They recommend taking an hour to drink 8 ounces of water!).

4. Surgery always has risks (My former roommate had gastric bypass and as a result got addicted to lortab and is now deceased, so that should be reason enough for me to be cautious.).

5. You cannot take any anti-inflamatories because of risk of bleeding and ulcers. With  my fibromyalgia this would be a terrible problem. (even though I try to avoid any drugs sometimes the pain is too great)

6. Many people have to get multiple surgeries.

7. The stomach organs are very sensitive to infection, irritation and problem.  (Gastric bypass is the only surgery I am aware of that purposefully hampers a human organ from fully functioning. This can’ t help but cause some trauma to the human body).

8. My situation is not serious enough to require it.  For example, my A1C is a doing well at 5.3.  Most people who qualify for gastric bypass have much higher A1Cs and have as a goal getting below 6.  I seem to be able to control my diabetes symptoms on my own. I have also lost 53 lbs in the last 3 years and expect more progress to come.

9.  I want my victory to be my own, not at the hands of a surgeon’s scalpel.  If it takes me 10 years to reach my ideal weight it will be worth it. I will be able to tell my nieces that they can overcome any challenge on their own (with support from family and friends of course)

10. Hashimoto’s disease (thyroid disease), and other violent gastrointestinal diseases can result from gastric bypass. With autoimmune and irritable bowel problems running in my family I feel it is best to tread lightly in this area of the body.

11. I basically think it is forced anorexia.  Sorry but that’s how I feel.  In fact, there are cases of women developing eating disorders after the surgery.   They even have a name for it Acute Psychotic Disorder After Gastric Bypass Surgery. Eating right is a constant battle but its a battle worth engaging in. The way I am doing it I am learning how to eat for my specific body all the time, not to recover from a surgery.

12.  I hate surgeries and don’t respond well to anesthesia.

13.  Its very expensive.  From what I’ve read costing between $10,000 to $30,000, which I don’t have and if I did I would use it to get more training time, travel time, and go to that open water swim camp in Coasta Rica, or I’d love to do all the open waters swims in Hawaii. (I’ve got lots of dreams!).

14. I’ve gotten everything I want out of the program I’m currently doing.  Even if the weight loss is slow and can be frustrating, would I not have most of those frustrations in a different way post-surgery?  I like my life.  I’m active and happy and think I look cute in clothes so I don’t feel a need.

15. The surgical starvation only works for about 6-9 months and then you are back to maintaining on your own.  Not worth it for me. Sorry!

16.  You can die from the surgery, and not always right away.  I was just reading about a lady who died 3 years later from complications.

17.  Gastric bypass does not change your brain.  You still crave all the same things, you just can’t eat them.  Sure once you can eat more you might hold fast for a while but how long will your brain and body cave?  I prefer to work with the brain first and focus on changing the cravings.  That’s why I did the sugar fast and will probably do it again.

18.  I’m happy with who I am and the health trajectory that I am on.  (Ok.  I might have repeated that one twice but it is true. I’m healthy, all my vitals are normal.  I’m not a diabetic risk anymore.  There is no reason for great alarm or drastic measures.

Like I said, everyone has to make their own decision and this is mine.  I chose to not have gastric bypass and try my best to keep up an active lifestyle instead.  I believe this is the choice God wants me to make for me.  Every person must address their health in his or her own way.  This is just my conclusion.  No gastric bypass surgery for me.I’d take sore muscles and a low GI diet any day of the week.

Good luck as you make your choices.

There's a smile on my face!

PB and J Pancakes

Lately food has been a pain in the neck.  Everything just looks gross and I’ve had no appetite to eat much of anything.  I am sure that sounds peachy but it is kind of a pain.  I have food, healthy food, and I’m not eating junk but just looking at my fridge makes me feel nauseated.  I can’t explain it. The odd thing is eating these super small amounts I feel great!  I feel alert, happy, light.   This whole month I have felt really well.  I’ve had painful days but not as many as in other months (I think part of it is this amazing weather we’ve had.  I feel weighted down when the weather is cold and gray).

Anyway, as I bird-eat I find that I have to freeze a lot of what I make because I’m just not very hungry.  Its hard to make meals for 1 anyway but even if I do there is still at least one portion left these days.  Some things freeze better than others.  Like the other day I made these thai peanut noodles.  They didn’t reheat well and kind of turned black.  Still tasted good but looked gross.

The pork I made Sunday has saved well and will be nice to have frozen for quesadillas, pizzas, omelets ect. I am working to come up with recipes that I can freeze so that hopefully we can have a healthy, low GI, freezer meal party.  A couple of my friends are already interested.   The problem is a lot of freezer meals contain creamed soups and preservatives which I do not want, especially hanging around in my freezer for months.  If any of you know of good freezer meal recipes that are low in sugar and white carbs send them my way.  Does anyone know how quinoa freezes?

So, today I decided to make my whole wheat pancakes as previously posted https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/whole-wheat-pancakes/.  This was a recipe given me to my internet friend White Lilly .   These are not the heavy whole wheat pancakes you are used to but are light and fluffy.  (This time I used Stevia instead of sugar.  It didn’t really work.  I would use agave instead.)

Anyway, to shake things up a bit I decided to make PB and J pancakes.  So, I took a bag of frozen strawberries on the stovepot, melted them down (didn’t need any liquid because of the ice but if you made from fresh might need 1/4 water), and a tbsp of stevia.  I let it cook until the strawberries were wilted.  At this point you could blend it to make it smooth but I kind of like the hunks of strawberries.

Strawberries, raspberries, peaches and cherries are all considered LOW GI fruit. Having an index of 32 or below.  Kiwi’s, figs, mangos and bananas are nearly double; however, they can still be valuable for other reasons if used sparingly.

With the finished strawberry topping I spread a layer of creamy peanut butter on each pancake and then poured the strawberries on top (the strawberries will be good on yogurt or ice cream.  Nice way to use frozen fruit, which is cheaper and lasts longer)!

PB and J pancakes. I've been trying to have better food photography on my blog. What do you think? I honestly couldn't eat all of this only 1/2. It was really good though.

And look at all I was able to save, enough for 5 more breakfasts.

5 Breakfasts in the freezer! Ziplocs work the best to stuff things in my little freezer

I’d like to get another smaller freezer because mine is always crammed full.  If anyone has a deal let me know.   This is the kind I would like:  I am hoping to find one used, on sale.  We will see.

Anyway, enjoy the pancakes and start experiencing with freezer meals and please send me your successes. Love ya!