Tag: health foods

Rachel’s Homemade Salsa

So I’ve become a fan of making my own sauces.  Since I can’t eat much processed food making my own sauces gives me the ability to customize the flavors that I like to my dietary needs.  So far I’ve tackled vanilla, barbeque sauce, marinara (didn’t turn out great so no post on that), and today SALSA!

Last week Kate and I got a mexican addition to our bountiful basket.  This included an array of peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and tomatillos.  With these ingredients I made 2 different kinds of salsa- traditional red and a pineapple salsa verde.  I’m super happy with the way they turned out.   I have put the salsa in jars and then my grandma is going to let me borrow her canning pot so I can seal them.  There will be salsa for months to come!

The finished collection of salsa!
pineapple salsa verde

pineapple salsa verde

3 peppers (I’m actually not sure what kind they were), seeds, stem removed (depending how hot you like)

12 tomatillos husks removed. (canned works too.  I doubled the batch with 3 cans of tomatillos and it tasted the same to me.)

lime juice

2 small onions

1 ripe pineapple diced

1 bunch cilantro

salt

put everything in food processor or blender and blend.   That’s it!

original salsa

Original salsa

6 cans S and W stewed tomatoes mexican style drained (this saves a ton of time)

2 small onions

2 poblano peppers stem removed but I left the seeds

lime juice

Put all in the food processor (in 2 rounds) and blend.

I was going to put diced tomatoes in but it really didn’t need it but if you like it more chunky go for it.

tomorrow I’m going to put cilantro diced and green onion so its fresh and not soggy.

It tastes really good and couldn’t be easier.  Tomorrow I’m having my grandma and family over for a Mother’s Day dinner and hopefully they like a Mexican fiesta! I’m doing crockpot chicken tacos with salsa, guac, toppings and it should be pretty delicious. Happy Mother’s Day friends and family, especially my own Mom.

Feliz Dia de las Madres!

 

 

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The D Word

I don’t normally post twice in one day but in my last post I mentioned an appointment to the endocrinologist this afternoon.  I thought it would be a standard check up but it turned in a memorable direction quickly.  As part of the check up the doctor asked me some questions in regards to my general health, and I explained my continuing symptoms of fatigue, light-headness and inability to lose weight.

For the last month I have been keeping track of my blood sugar and most of the time I have been in normal ranges; however, I did not feel normal.  He said I was having hypoglycemic responses to normal levels.  This was a red flag of more serious problems.  Then I told him that only twice had it been over 200.  One time as a test I ate candy to see what a high would be and it was 309.  The minute my doctor heard this he said “you have diabetes.  That’s it.”

This is the diagnosis I’ve been dreading and as the words exited his mouth I felt shock, despair and surprise.  Why had this not come up in all the blood work we did?  Well, its hard to say for sure but I had already been on the metformin for over a month when I did the work so that could be part of it (as well as already working out regularly and dieting).

I got a bit emotional as he talked and as he noticed my reaction he said “no, no, this really is a good thing.  It really is.”  He also said the PCOS was probably still a correct diagnosis but this was a new level added to it.   (He explained a lot that was over my head especially because I was so overwhelmed with the diagnosis.  I mean to ask many more questions next time).

The good news is with the diagnosis we can get more aggressive with medicine and treatments.  I’m a little scared but there are two injections I will need to give myself after I am trained next time.  They are shots in my abdomen and  the doctor said they are a tiny needle and you don’t have to find a vein.  I’m still a little freaked out but we’ll take it a day at a time.

He went on to say this diagnosis could be the key to helping me finally lose weight and once that happens my body will be able to self-regulate. I won’t have to take the injections forever and may get to a point where I am down to just metformin.  At the very least I should finally see results from all the work I’ve been doing.

The other good thing is aside from injections the diagnosis does not require lifestyle changes.  I’ve already made those changes- no white carbs, no sugar etc.  Hopefully this will help me to feel good and experience the benefits of this healthy lifestyle, instead of feeling haggard and tired all the time.

To tie into my earlier post I think there is a side of me that was a bit embarrassed when I first heard the news.  There seems to be this stigma associated with diabetes that it is caused by neglect of the body and binge eating.  While I have had my moments over the years, in general I have tried very hard to improve my body to no avail.  This is where the insulin resistance made life more difficult for me.   I couldn’t lose the weight; therefore, I couldn’t radically change my insulin levels.

There may be people who cause their own diabetes but for me I know it is mostly genetics.  I just have to work through these feelings and I feel confident in the end this diagnosis will be for the best.  As my bishop said ‘it could wind up being the best thing that has ever happened to me.’  I hope and pray he is right!

Anyway,  I have tons to learn and absorb but I’m trying to remain positive and take each day as it comes.  I will keep you all posted as I go on this journey.  Thank you for all the support and for everyone’s calls/emails/facebook posts expressing love and concern.  It means everything.

PCOS Venting

I'm working on making this a reality. Come a long way. Its a transition!

This post is a bit of a vent so please bear with me. I am writing exhausted from a long week full of interesting, new experiences.   It has been intense with work, activities, a date (yes a date on Tuesday- just a first date but was fun), and trying to manage my health. Every day I learn more about insulin resistance and PCOS, but I still have a long way to go.  The hardest part is knowing how to manage my new insulin requirements.  My body is having a tough time adjusting to the low GI diet/metformin because my insulin levels can be low causing sudden fatigue, body aches and light headiness.

I have been very strict with my diet and the affects seem to be so different day to day.  It would be one thing if I could figure out ‘oh this food makes me fatigued’ or ‘this food helps me feel better’ but there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason?  It’s a serious problem because when I say sudden fatigue, I mean sudden fatigue.

Yesterday I ate 2 pieces of whole grain, whole wheat toast with a little bit of butter.  Then I rushed out the door.  (I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before which I’m sure didn’t help but still it was weird).  So, as I was driving to Syracuse I got about 20 minutes and I became very tired- my eyes burning, my head feeling fuzzy.  It was all I could to pull off the exit and into a parking lot.  I knew I needed to eat something and unfortunately had nothing in the car.  Across the street was a McDonalds and I figured it would have to do.  I debated about what to order and finally went with a Diet Coke for the caffeine and an order of chicken nuggets (not the best but I figured mostly protein and fat, no big carb loaded bun).  The strangest thing was almost immediately I felt better.  My mind felt alert, my eyes stopped hurting and I was able to feel good all day.  Isn’t that peculiar? The other question is why did the toast cause the reaction?  I had a good low carb, whole wheat bread and no sugar  or jam on the toast?

Maybe some of you, online world, have ideas or have experienced similar experiences.   These episodes are  not regular and don’t seem to fit any pattern either in the source or solution?  Honestly nothing seems to make me feel better aside from sleeping and who has time to sleep for 2-3 hours in the afternoon?  I have gotten a myriad of suggestions including  peanut butter, protein bars, shakes, candy, juice,  agave syrup, and other foods to reverse the low insulin (I’m pretty sure the attacks are hypoglycemic- meaning caused from insulin rates that are too low).  I also can’t figure out what particularly triggers it and why sometimes it does/does not happen? It’s so strange.

I’ve called my endocrinologist (who is the best) and left a message (they are closed Friday’s).  I am meeting with him next Thursday, and you can bet I will have a lot of questions.

It has been a struggle and I must say I have not done great this week exercise-wise (only 3 times this week).  I have been so exhausted it is hard to move.  Its an adjustment but don’t worry I’m not off my game for long.  I am meeting with my trainer Wednesday (trainer Wednesday, doctor Thursday- busy week!).

One of the hardest things is my new feelings that food is an enemy.  When you don’t know if a food will send you into an episode or cause other problems it is hard to enjoy it.  I have not learned to anticipate, like or crave my new food requirements. I’m really trying but nothing tastes as good as it used to. Excuse my language but it kind of sucks.  I used to love cooking but it seems like everything I know how to make is not allowed for various reasons. In addition, the whole wheat/low carb varieties of food just aren’t as good or satisfying, and I’ve never been a huge ‘hunk of meat’ person.  I am starting to uncover new recipes, cookbooks and websites that look promising but right now nothing I can eat looks good.

I try to remind myself that ‘its just food’, which helps but it’s still hard.  Its tough to go to FHE and see people eating cake, hard to go to dinner and not eat the free bread, its hard when a food I think is OK seems to cause an episode.  I also don’t want to be one of those annoying dieters that everyone has to tip-toe around.  I want them to feel comfortable eating whatever they want to eat.   I’m keeping a journal of everything I eat, and the symptoms I experience, but I just miss things.  It feels like I miss everything.

Anyway, please excuse a little complaining on my part.  Changes are difficult, but I know I have to be successful.  This is it.  This is the moment where I grit down and change my life.  This is where all the challenges I’ve had since I was a little fat 8 year old girl make sense and fall into place.  I’m getting answers but along the way adding more questions…It’s a journey!

Lately I’ve been reading the experiences of other PCOS patients and it is comforting to see how their experiences mirror mine.  It is also nice to see them persevering through the tough times, making amazing progress, and eventually achieving full health.  It gives a girl hope!  Its also nice to know the diagnosis and treatment are not easy for anyone. Every PCOS patient struggles with regulating insulin levels, changing their diets and controlling symptoms.  Reading the blogs does make me happy I’m not trying to have a baby because the women that are experience even more struggles with their PCOS.  I feel bad for these women and their struggles. With both PCOS and endometriosis I may not be able to ever have a baby, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!

There are also PCOS patients who suffer much more then me- some practically losing their hair and others experiencing large painful skin conditions. I guess that’s part of the reason I wanted to write this post- I’ve been benefiting so much from reading the blogs of other patients and feeding off of their stories.  Hopefully someone will feed off of mine.  I thought I had experienced all the hardships of this fitness quest but the last few weeks have been tough- on one hand thrilling and mind-opening, but on the other difficult, confusing and both mentally and physically trying.

Thank you for letting me vent a little bit and for the support.  I’ll get through this and be a better person at the end. I can already see it happening. Take care and have a great President’s Day weekend.