Eat Better, Feel Better

Eat better, feel better

I was all excited to buy “Georgia peaches” now that I live down here, but look. These aren’t actually from Georgia. 🙁 Apparently, peach season is over already. I missed it!

This week I have two cardiology appointments. The one yesterday was fairly easy, and all went smoothly. John David, my faithful sidekick, tagged along for that one. I think he fully entertained the cardiac floor of the hospital. My favorite part was the bit he did with the crayons. See, I brought a brand new box of 24 crayons along. New crayons interest people more than old ones.

eat better, feel better

My sidekick…..He’s not distracting at all…But he can entertain a cardiology office like no other.

JD enjoyed the crayons very much, but I’m not sure that he actually did any coloring. The door to my appointment room had a large gap between it and the floor. John David found it delightfully fun to roll each of his crayons, one-by-one, under the door and out into the hallway. I stopped him at first, but then I was trying to give the doctor my full attention, so when he eventually resumed his game, I didn’t even notice really.

When I finally opened the door and fetched all the crayons, there were nurses giggling in the hallway. When I got onto the elevator, the elderly gentleman behind us said, “Well, we all know you had a good time at the doctor’s office,” to little John David. John David was wearing his Lightning McQueen back-pack, and he looked ridiculously adorable. He just looked up at all the people who kept talking to him with his little straight, serious face. This is definitely not the toddler you have to worry about running off with strangers.

I asked the man, “Oh, did you see the crayons rolling out into the hallway?”
“Oh, yeah,” the gentleman replied with a smile. “Is this your first?”
“Oh, no, my fourth.”
“What! Gracious! You don’t look old enough to have four! But then you don’t act like he’s your first. First time parents are, you know, different, more anxious and restrictive.”
Haaaa!!! Yep, true, and we’ve all been there.

 

So the heart problem lives on. I see my electrophysiologist today. It’s all sort of embarrassing when all of my health problems start coming out. Maybe I’ll just keep my mouth shut today about all the other non-heart symptoms that I have. I’m glad I didn’t yesterday though because that doc actually understood my hip problem and referred me to a local orthopedic surgeon, but don’t worry, I’m not hoping to have surgery.

What I actually want to tell you all is what a difference eating better has made for me. You know that whole, “You are what you eat?” slogan?? Well, it’s true. I hate it, but it’s true. The last few days, I’ve just re-embraced the fact that I need LOTS of sleep, and I can’t handle wheat, and I feel like a living human again, instead of a dying one, like I felt the last week.

eat better, feel better

Out for a walk with my work-out partner, JD

See, moving to the South from California was exciting and also bad, or really just I was the one that was bad. I wanted to eat buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, and pie, pie pie!!!! I decided to pretend like I don’t have a problem with gluten for a while.

Until it caught up with me, and I was back in the hurt locker. So now I’m back to behaving, and I feel better. Eat better. Feel better.

I’ve been getting in more exercise too. I felt too poorly to do much of it last week. Who knew? Food, sleep, and exercise: three things I never realized would be so important for the rest of my life.

That’s why I’m such a fan of Justin Cox’s Kettle Bell Burn program. (You can check it out here.) He teaches the importance of a balanced diet, 8 hours of sleep per night, staying hydrated, 20 mins. of exercise per day, and taking vitamins.

I recently noticed that his current promotion is a free 5-day course on nutrition, so I just wanted to call your attention to that and urge you to sign up.

His regular exercise program is only $30/month, and it’s awesome, but if you’re still on the fence, the free 5-day course is a good starting place.

eat better, feel better

What, your gym doesn’t have a china cabinet?

When it comes to exercise, arm day is my favorite. I always actually do the whole work-out on arm day. You have to understand. I was never an athlete. I don’t even feel ashamed when I quit. I’m like, “Eh, this is heavy, or I’m out of breath. Time for a nice little rest.” No shame.

Case in point: Yesterday Caleb came into the kitchen asking Joshua to play ball with him. Joshua refused. Joshua was in the kitchen snacking. (Peas. Joshua eats whole cans of peas for a snack. We are baffled and pleased).

So I volunteered. Caleb kind of looked unsure, “Sigh. Okay, but I mean Mom can’t really catch or throw, but….Just so you know, Mom, there ARE bugs out here, and it is hot. I’ll get you a glove.”

(I complain about sweat, gnats, and bugs on the regular.)

9. Wow. It took my children only 9 years to surpass me in athletic skills. Nice. 

Now don’t be mad at Caleb. He was very sweet to me out there. He has played with me before, so he knows that half of my pitches will go over his head or five feet away from him, and I can’t throw very far. And I don’t really care. Sports are not my thing.

eat better, feel better

My sons say that P.E. is their favorite class. Can you imagine??? Well, I certainly can’t. I even found a way in high school to not have to take any P.E. at all. 🙂

Nutrition and exercise suddenly became so important to me after it actually turned my illness around. I was the queen of having two granola bars and a Coke for lunch, so this epiphany that if you want to feel good, you have to eat good was a truly rude awakening. (Yes, I know that’s bad grammar, but it’s catchy, you see. Eat good, feel good……Eat well, feel well doesn’t have the same ring to me, but we could also use that.)

I want you all to feel better too.

eat better, feel better kbburn.com

info graph/ affiliate link property of kbburn.com.

Let me know if you decide to give kbburn.com a try, so we can cheer each other on.

Eat better. Feel better.

 

 

 

The First Steps That I Learned from My Nutritionist to Lower Blood Sugar

lower sugar

Today I met with a nutritionist, also known as my friend Lacy. I bombarded her with all the food questions I could think of, and I’m going to share the first, most doable steps that I learned. I’m writing them down NOW before I forget any more than I already have!

Lacy is a fellow home schooling mom. She also has four kids, so there’s no one who better understands what I’m up against. She fully knows the drill of the busy, action-packed life!

This sounds so silly, but the hardest part of ALL of it is just not drinking soda. Coca-Cola has me the same way Marlboro has the smoker crowd! Man, I love my sugary sodas.

Home should be like Heaven on Earth.

Good-bye, soda. We must break up. This hurts me more than it hurts you. Can I still have one on my birthdays?

This is hard.

But I can do it! God will give me what I need.

Let me sum up why I’m cutting sugar.

  1. I have high sugar and high sodium in my blood stream. 
  2. My head keeps getting fuzzy, like when you have a fever. Sometimes I have a fever, and sometimes I don’t. I also get headaches.
  3. We think that some of this is caused by my high sugar and dehydration.
  4. I also get mucous-overload from milk products. Talking with Alan and Lacy helped me to reach that conclusion, so I have got to cut back on the milk. Yogurt should not make a person choke on mucous and dry heave, apparently….
  5. Inflammation in my shoulder and right hip

Here’s what I’m trying to do about it:

  1. seeing a doctor
  2. I’m already getting chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy for my pain issues.
  3. Now I’m all about lowering the blood sugar and eliminating the milk products.

So here are the tips (Thank you, Lacy!) that I’m implementing this week:

  1. Instead of snacking all day, which is my current habit, I need to sit down and eat three square meals a day. Greatly reduce the snacking in between.

Why? I have a sugar problem, so in order for my sugar to be handled properly in my body, my body needs the carbs to be combined with fat and protein. This should help my sugar stay at a better level throughout the day, rather than having constant spikes from my carb snacks. And let me tell you, I have been the QUEEN of carbohydrates, which is what got me into this mess.

2. My biggest issue is that people love to tell you what NOT to eat, but they don’t tell you what TO eat. I mean, if you take away my bread, my yogurt, and my granola bars, what do I have left??

They always say, “Avoid processed foods, but what does that look like exactly??”

Lacy gave me some “what to eat” ideas. These are specific to my sugar and milk issues, but I think they would be good for anyone!:

lowering blood sugar

lima beans cooked in ham…I think these are okay. I didn’t ask.. FYI, if you boil butter beans in ham, there’s no way you won’t like them.

Vegetables…..like cut up fresh bell peppers of any colors, broccoli, carrots, salad, fennel, onions, garlic, celery, romaine lettuce, and on and on. Cook ’em, roast ’em, eat ’em raw, whatever.

lowering blood sugar

Mini peppers, so sweet and crispy yumminess, even raw.

lowering blood sugar

Alan’s amazing, fresh homemade salsa: tomatoes, lime juice, onion, garlic, parsley. I love this stuff.

Fresh or frozen is better than canned because of the added sodium.

lower blood sugar

The label on the can of green beans reveals the higher sodium level. Not horrible, just not as good as frozen or fresh veggies.

lower blood sugar

This steam-in-the bag frozen pack of veggies contains far less sodium.

Avocados! That’s one of my favorite foods anyway, so that’s good news. Eating some fats is important for me, as it turns out.

Meat…..steak, chicken, bacon, fish, ground turkey meatballs…

lower blood sugar

tiny bundles of yummy beef..They were supposed to be triangles…..Oh well, it was my first attempt!

I loved her ground turkey meatball idea because our family loves meatballs, but I never make them because they are a lot of work. We also like “hamburger steak,” so this is a cross between the two.

Lacy said to just put your ground turkey in the big skillet, sprinkle your favorite spices and salt and pepper on them, and as they cook, cut them into little triangles.

That simple. So yummy.

Confession: I used ground beef, but I think that’s okay.

Carb Suggestions: 

Trader Joe’s whole grain bread…I can’t remember what it was called exactly, and I should have mine in the context of a meal.

Sweet Potatoes (like half of one)

Fruit, but with other things

Beans or peas, which are also proteins

Milk Substitutes

Almond milk or coconut milk. Since our family has nut issues, we may go with the coconut. Some of our kids can still do regular milk.

I put the coconut milk in my coffee today, and that filled me with joy. I just can’t tell you. Coconut milk is naturally a little sweet.

Meal Plates

The plate should be half vegetables, 1/4 meat, and 1/4 carb.

Now obviously, she told me a ton more stuff. It’s still floating around in my head, but these are my FIRST STEP things.

Thank you so much, Lacy! My family thanks you as well!

This week my goal is to sit down and eat lunch with the kids, instead of standing in the kitchen picking on sugars. Once lunch is done, those boys are going to learn the new habit of helping Mom clean up lunch, and I don’t just mean their plates. I mean clean up the whole meal. Laura and Mary Ingalls did it, so I figure what was good for them is good for us too. hehe

Hope you are all having a fun weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Super Easy Crock Pot Roast for the Life-is-Kicking-My-Tail Days!

Super Easy Crock Pot Roast!!! I promise it will fall apart. No knives required.

In the great tradition of helping out new mothers, our friends Chris and Corinne brought over this roast, just after we had Joshua. I remember this day like the back of my hand. Corinne was 39 weeks pregnant herself, and she looked exhausted. We asked them to stay with us and enjoy the roast too, and I so enjoyed their visit. I have loved every single one of their visits. They are such an outstanding couple! We always laughed so much with them.

salt of the earth….photo lifted right off of Facebook….which did not even exist when Corinne gave me this recipe. HA! That’s right. It’s been 9 years, and they still look exactly as I remember them.

The roast was delicious, and Alan and I just went on and on about it. Corinne said, “It’s really so easy. It’s just a pork roast, and I added like a bottle of ketchup and a can of cream of mushroom soup.”

“That’s it!” we said in surprised glee. Oh yeah! High five.

“Yep.”

Yes, I know, my roast photo has added veggies. That’s because Alan cooked that day. Yes, sometimes I let him cook. I DO have a kitchen control freak problem, but I also have more work than I can handle, thanks to home schooling, so Alan cooks sometimes. When we have yummy veggies on hand, we throw them in too. Yay, Alan!!!

So for those of you that didn’t actually read the story, here is the recipe in instruction form:

Ingredients:

Roast (Pork or beef–whatever)

Salt/Pepper

Cream of Mushroom Soup  (2 cans for a BIG roast)

About a bottle of ketchup, or until you just get tired of squeezin’ ketchup. I really use more like 8 ounces, if I actually measured it.

Optional: Onions, Carrots, Potatoes, peppers, or whatever veggies you like with a roast or happen to have in your kitchen.

Directions: I have this compulsion to salt and pepper all meat before I do anything else, so if you’re like me, go for it.

1. Dump roast in crock pot. Frozen? NO biggie. Dump it in. Cook it longer.

2. Turn cooker to low if the meat is thawed, high if it’s frozen.

3. salt pepper, and add all ingredients—If You are leaving it for too long, you may want to hold carrots until the last 3 hours.

4. Pop the lid on. Don’t peek. Don’t stir. That sets you back an hour in cook time.

5. Let it cook. Times depend on how big your roast is.

How long should I cook a roast?

This is not an exact thing. DON’T take your roast and chop it all up before cooking it. That will just get you an over cooked, dry roast. Bleh.

Small roast (as in a pound or two): 5 hours is good.

Big roast :7 or so.

For frozen roasts, try the high setting, at least for a few hours of that time. By the way, I have cooked a thawed roast in as few as 3 hours, but then it didn’t fall apart as nicely as one cooked 5 or 6.

 

Great News: No matter how bad you feel like life is kicking your tail, when you managed to get something in the crock pot in the morning, come supper time, YOU ARE the champion.  

 

Click and done. Thanks!

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