Saturday, October 29, 2016

Getting started

Just wanted to pop in and give a progress report on my new plan.  Yesterday was my bi-weekly shopping trip into the 'city' or 'boro we call it here.  Did my best to get what I needed to get started, feed the whole family (not make 3 or 4 meals-not running a restaurant here), and stay on budget.
My budget stayed the same and I was pleased to see that without buying as many carbs/junk food, I was able to shop the sales and come home with plenty of veggies, fruit and protein - for same shared family meals!
I have been following a few 21 fix blogs/groups and a common thread was they would make special meals/plans for just themselves, something healthy.  Not an option for me.  As a family we eat the same food at meal time, and we can all benefit from a more strict portion control.  I did purchase a couple things/snacks for just me since the twins can tolerate a few more carbs than me.  Items such as snack packs of almonds and a vegan protein powder for shakes.
I mix mine with unsweetened almond milk
 First, I chose vegan because just about all protein powder contains soy as their protein source. About 98% of all soy grown in the united stated contains GMO.  If you need to know why GMO's are bad, contact me and I will fill you in.  So I needed a pea protein based product. My local Wal-Mart had two vegan choices, both with pea protein. However one also had soy and GMO's  listed. So this is the only one that passed muster, and of course it was $5 more.  I was able to adsorb that cost because they did not carry the color coded containers.

I really hemmed and hawed over buying these/wanting these.  Then decided they would be the best way to quickly figure volume on salads and what not.   Most blogs said they were easily available at Wal-Mart for a low price.  Not mine.  I did find them on Amazon. Amazon carries the  BeechBody brand at a price of between $12-18 dollars. There are a few knock off brands to choose from as well.    I found a brand from a vendor that was actually nice and had a lifetime warranty for only $5!  Now I just have to get enough 'extra' money put aside for an Amazon order with free shipping (now up to $49 minimum).  But I do need to order an ant hill for school . . .  again.
Until these things come to pass I will make due with all the free material I printed from the internet and double check calories vs. serving size with my Fitnessbuddy app.  which is how I also keep track of my water intake and exercise .
So  I started this morning and seem to be right on track according to the cross referencing. Will keep posting updates . Feeling positive, doing something feels better than doing nothing!
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, October 24, 2016

Making plans . . .

Typically I would have placed my Meal Plan Monday here, but getting back to basics and am busy reworking old menu's.  In a nut shell: As of my last doctor appointment, 2 weeks ago, I now have my A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol under control.  Now I just need to redouble my efforts on the weight loss front.
In a series of events I followed a link from a diabetic blog and was almost tricked into buying the BeachBody 21 day fix diet.  I had never heard of it before so did extensive research.  Worth the time.  I will not spend money on this but found many things free online and it seems pretty sound. 
Basically with these colored containers they have made portion control and calorie counting goof-proof.  Based on your current weight and weight loss goals, you will have a chart as to how many times a day you can fill and eat each container of food.  Example:  Green is for veggies and equals 1 cup.  Based on the 1200 - 1400 calories I wish to consume, I can fill and eat 4 of these. Red is protein and equal's 5 oz. I can have 5 of these.  Yellow, carbs. Purple - fruit, blue - dairy/fats, and orange is salad dressings and nuts/seeds.  All this is to help make it idiot proof to get a balanced diet.

I found so little info when doing the diabetic diet, but had good results. However I made myself a wreck trying to count calories and even made my own food swap cards for food conversion. And recipes? Ha! Most cookbooks don't carry conversions for carbs, protein or sugars anymore. Sigh. I read a review of the 21 fix and it said don't spend money, print it free from online groups or Pintrest posts, she was so right!  I have so much more info already than I ever had on the diabetic exchange diet. I have also started a great recipe collection from recipes found on Pintrest, all with the container coding.   Example: Mexican lasagna is 1red, 1green, and 1 yellow container.
Again all material I collected seemed right in order with correct serving sizes and quanites. Just much easier to figure out.  Even hubby seemed pleased. He has less patients than I for food calculating and will default to eating whatever if it is a hassle.
You can by cheap version of diet on Amazon if your not into googling, and even the containers alone at Wal-Mart.  I will keep you posted on how this pans out for me.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, October 17, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - after the party

Happy Monday all.  It was a beautiful week-end, an Indian summer here really. Saturday was another one of my birthdays. The twins were gone on a fall retreat with the church youth group, but it was still a wonderful day. I got to spend it with hubby (like a date!) and middle daughter visited.  My oldest sent me a video of her and my grandsons singing happy birthday (all the way from northern MI, ain't technology amazing!) and I made the mistake of opening it on my phone while waiting in a checkout line in the store. I cried like a baby! It ended with army son calling and talking forever. I could hear my new granddaughter cooing and gurgling in her daddies arms while we spoke. It was like  a beautiful song.

All good things have to end and so did my birthday, as well as my poor eating habits. I have had many food issues, such as digestion.  I had my six month check-up and my AC1 number is now under control. Matter fact it is the lowest it has ever been in the fifteen years I have been struggling with my blood sugar.  I have also successfully reincorporated exercise since leaving my retail job.   So it is now time to get serious about diet.

I have a hard time with dairy, raw vegetables, fried and processed foods, not to mention carbonation. Lets face it folks, carbs are not my friends either!  I have done well in the past with either a low carb diet or a 1200 calorie diet. I am going to revisit that more militantly and do my best on my extreme low income budget.

This weeks menu plan might not reflect that as I am purging the pantry and fridge of  all birthday goodies.  Please pray as I am weak willed around food and do struggle with trying to keep my sugar from dropping. I end up eating more carbs/calories in an effort not to pass out.  I don't take any medication, so no back up reserves in my blood stream. I do it all myself with my diet.

MONDAY:  Crock pot chicken verde' over brown rice , with steamed mix veggies.

TUESDAY: Tuna casserole with pea's and carrots

WEDNSDAY:  Eating at church and have no idea what is being served, but I hear that all food served in the presents of God is good for you!

THURSDAY:  My middle daughter is having a gender reveal party for my soon to be here sixth grandchild.  No idea what is being served, but I lobbied for grilled chicken.  I am bringing the warm mustard potato salad as well as the colored pumpkin to reveal the babies sex!

FRIDAY:  Baked chicken leg 1/4's with mashed potatoes and broccoli

SATURDAY:  Homemade Hawaiian pizza and salad

SUNDAY:  Beef and broccoli stir=fry over rice

                             Hang in there with me as I continue my never ending journey of better health as I keep advancing my age! LOL   Hopefully it will get more exciting if not better tasting!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mid-week musings and gratitudes

 Greetings friends, we
 find ourselves in the middle of another week.  A fine place to be indeed.  As the old sayings goes, "any day you get out of bed is a good day!".    It is also a good time for some positive reflection.  Life seems to always pick up speed in the fall.  Not sure why and not sure why I anticipate autumn with such fervor all year.  For most Spring is  the wished for time of rebirth.  But I am truly a child of the  fall autumnal , my birthday month.  My yearly renaissance .

To say things have been tight since I through in the towel with trying to hold a retail job, is kind at best. My chronic pain is the culprit but I haven't thrown in the towel on trying to get the most out of these days of my life.  I still believe God is trying to show me how to take life one day at a time, in a different way then when I was working, by using Him as my rock . He is my strength.  God and my family are all I have, and all I need.  He is giving me opportunities to see I lack for nothing I NEED and no one ever said there would not be hard times and sacrifice.  Those very things make us who we are, and bring us closer to our creator.  We all learn obedience in different ways.

It lightens my heart to be able to see my growth and progression on my walk of faith with the one true God.  
That said, I didn't do it alone.  My husband has been instrumental in all this, and I have witnessed his spiritual struggles and achievements as well. I  praise God every day for brining him into my life, as well as brining us to middle TN.  Much like Abraham and Sarah leaving Ur.  He brought us to a land of no family but full of spiritual fruit.

Wow, sorry this is so long.  Had more on my mind than I supposed, and there is still so much to say!  LOL  Anyway.  Our budget is overdrawn to say the least. Groceries is our only  "flexible" money. We have been generously blessed this past month, which has helped us keep afloat, and I have been creative as well as  militant about using what we already have in the pantry.

We were gifted these beautiful bell peppers.  Yellow is a big plus, as  I can't digest the green  unripe ones. We also received some onions and tomatoes. Such a blessing as I had just invested in a ground beef chub.  Didn't know what we were going to eat this week, but knew I had plenty of choices with ground beef.  I returned home, found this gift and immediately thought: Stuffed Peppers! 
Twin son shouted Huzzah!  and begged for them everyday, he had to wait two whole days! LOL

When  making stuffed peppers I typically use rice with my beef, but I wanted to save my rice for a different meal this week.  I wouldn't buy more. However I did have some leftover bulgur from a previous recipe.  So I subtitled it for the rice, easy peasy, and it tasted great!

In summary. I am grateful.  I am grateful to God.  Everyday I get out of bed and experience the love of my family and any food I may serve them, I am grateful to God.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, October 3, 2016

Menu Plan Monday

  Happy Monday all!  The first week-end of October was a busy one.  Birthdays, shopping, church, pumpkin patch, Charlie Brown, and a bonfire!  Wow, still tired just thinking about it.
Then Monday reared it's ugly head and brought all the festivities to a screeching halt.  Had my six month doctor check-up.  I have said it before, but I am my own worse enemy.  I managed to work myself up into a panic attack before the appointment.  Which for the record went very well.  All my hard work paid off and was evident in my blood work and numbers.  Great motivation to keep it up and keep me off the meds!  Now might be the time to start also focusing on my mental status as well!  More positive self dialogue as Dr. Phil would say.

MONDAY: Split pea soup made with the ham bone from Bre's b-day party dinner
TUESDAY: Spaghetti w/turkey meat sauce, green beans and garlic bread
WENDSDAY: Church,  I am bringing dessert - Cookies: peanut butter  and pumpkin spice w/with white chocolate chips

THURSDAY: Oven roasted chicken leg quarters, brown rice and mix veggies steamed
FRIDAY: Mustard glazed chicken thighs, mashed potatoes and broccoli
SATURDAY: Shredded beef over rice with cooked carrots
SUNDAY: Ham and green bean b.b.q. skillet
Well I guess I will have another cup of coffee, have some split pea soup,  and get ready for book club!
Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Happy October Y'all

          Happy  October everyone.  My life has continued to ebb and flow, like life does, while I was on my long blogging hiatus. Not going to bore you with the details, but if things come up in the course of blogging I may digress and fill in a hole or two.

So for this o' so special evening , the first dinner of October, I made a big pot of chili.

Nothing flashy, or trend setting, but still a crowd pleaser here.  Only hope there is enough for hubby when he returns from the salt mines.  My twin tweens seem to eat their weight these days.   Growing I guess is hungry business!
One thing that has NOT changed is that we are on a tight, and I mean tight budget.  Especially with food, the only "disposable" income we have - ha!
During grocery shopping yesterday I stumbled upon this gem, fresh brussle sprouts, reduced!  Do you know how much these cost frozen even? Well maybe not if your like about half the population and don't enjoy them.  However 75% of the folks in my household do, but we usually can not afford them.  Sad times right, when you can't even afford a sprout.
I turned these into a stir- fry , and paired it with some reduced bratwurst  I also scored.  I was hoping for boneless pork, but the price was right on the brats and they were also a nice treat. 

Some folks don't know the best and safest way to prepare bratwurst is to par boil it for about 20 minutes first.  Then brown them up in your cast iron skillet for a nice crisp skin texture.

I also should mention that I steam my sprouts ahead as well, also about 20 minutes, before putting them too in a cast iron skillet with some butter.
I tossed it all together after returning from a much needed bible study, with the most supportive ladies that I have been blessed to know.  Who knew being me could be so stressful some days?
Blessings, Beth Ann