Sunday, February 28, 2010

Today's Meals

Breakfast - Dried papaya and pineapple

Lunch - Chicken breast (cooked in a bit of olive oil, seasoned with Essence and Mrs. Dash chicken grill seasoning), red bell peppers and mushrooms sauteed in my cast iron skillet

Supper will be leftover Chili "Burgers" and fries.

I'm craving my mom's recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Need to look for my copy of the recipe...

More about water

1. Whenever I drink water, I take TEN sips.

2. I am drinking more water lately than I was even a few weeks ago! :-) I've been averaging 64 oz a day consistently!

3. The only water I drink a lot of is Dasani. Anything else I taste the chemicals in and/or it doesn't taste fresh.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back on track :-)

For starters, I ate breakfast, which I haven't been doing! Lunch was sirloin steak cooked medium rare in my cast iron skillet (seasoned it with Essence and Mrs. Dash steak grill seasoning), cut up in a huge salad of Romaine, with a sliced green onion and honey mustard dressing. Supper - Chili "Burger" on whole wheat bun with mayo, and fries (bag of frozen, baked in the oven) dipped in ketchup and mayo.

My discovery of the day... Frozen fries aren't that high in fat! One serving was 130 cals, 30 fat cals. Not bad! I baked them on a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil Pam, and sprayed them lightly at the end before sticking them under the broiler for a bit to crisp them. Of course they weren't as good as if I would've fried them, but they were very satisfying, and lots healthier! Went great with my "burger" too :-)


1. I drink more water when I use my 32 oz water bottle vs my 24 oz one

2. A change that has resulted in feeling like my food digests better - very little water 1/2 hour before or 1 hour after lunch and supper. I may have a couple small sips during that time but that's it!


Breakfast is obviously easy! Can't get much simpler than fresh or dried fruit ;-) Lunch is usually easy too. Supper... That's tougher. Not hard, but lots more work! I thank God frequently that I have a Cuisinart 7-cup food processor! It really helps but supper is still labor-intensive... I need some quicker recipes! I'm hoping to find a good vegan cookbook with quick recipes. I love the recipes I've posted, but days like today when I'm sick and the boys are sick I need something I can throw together fast!

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Jesse's Fault...

LOL Nah, not really ;-)

Since I had to run an errand around lunchtime, Jesse suggested I pick up shrimp etouffee plate lunches from the health food place... And I gave in. At least it was healthy! Shrimp etouffee over brown rice, cauliflower, and collard greens. And I had ONE square of Ghirardelli 72% chocolate for dessert.

Bad me... I'll get back on track...

Past couple days

First off, no worries that I'm going to stop this blog because I don't think it's being read. It's as much a journal for myself as a blog to share!

Yesterday's brunch was a planned cheat. My wonderful in-laws gave us some eggs that their chickens laid so I wanted to make a big breakfast out of them! We had them scrambled, along with hash browns O'Brien and Grands flaky layers biscuits. I also had my first cup of coffee in 3 1/2 months! I ate normal for supper. The effects? Last night I had heartburn for the first time in a while :( And today my stomach hasn't been quite right. My body reminded me of why I need to being eating the way I have!

So today I was back on track. We had Aromatic Chicken Breasts for lunch and salad, and supper was Veggie Filo Rolls. I don't think I've shared that recipe yet but I will soon! My stomach's still a bit off but it's better tonight...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anyone Out There?!

I'm just wondering if anyone actually reads this blog! Leave me a comment and let me know you stopped by :-)


I'm finally seeing the promised increase in energy! I've had more and more energy over the past week but have really noticed a jump the past few days. I was told for some people it takes about 40 days to happen, especially if your body has a lot of detoxing to do. And mine definitely did and still does!

So despite feeling the effects of not taking my iron, and despite waking up multiple times a night to feed Gabriel, I feel a difference in my body :-)

My fingernails are growing fast now. Not necessarily a welcome symptom since I have to cut them more often, but it's a good indicator of my overall health. My gums still bleed a little sometimes when I brush my teeth but it's nothing like it was a few months ago!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I decided to wait a while. I've been out of my iron and haven't been able to get any more yet. Don't think it would be wise to go on a 3-day fruit and veggie fast while I'm a bit anemic and can't eat meat! Once I get my iron level back up I'll do my next flush...

Another Loss

The good kind :-) After staying between 185 and 190 for a couple weeks, I am now between 180 and 185! Woohoo!!! It's nice to see those numbers moving again! I think I lost so much so fast that my body needed a little break to adjust. And we haven't gone on our walks lately. Once we do, I expect those numbers to go down more!

Mexican Yummy

So this was another of those make-it-up-as-I-go meals...

2 bell peppers
2 cans black beans, drained
1 small can chopped green chilies
Cumin, onion powder, garlic powder
1 pack angel hair (12-16 oz)

Puree bell peppers in food processor. Add beans, chilies and seasonings. Puree until it forms a thick sauce. Cook angel hair until almost done. While angel hair is cooking, simmer sauce. Drain pasta and return to pot. Toss with sauce and salt to taste.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tonight's Yummy Supper

This is what we had along with the loaf of homemade bread:

Garlic Green Beans
(adapted from Fit for Life)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced or pressed
4 c frozen green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces (I used 1 lb frozen, then doubled)
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
2 c water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

In large heavy saucepan, heat oil. Add beans and saute over high heat to sear, stirring frequently. Add garlic and saute a few more minutes. Add thyme, salt, water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add lemon juice.

I doubled the recipe and I'm glad as it wouldn't have made much otherwise! And they were so good, we all ate a lot of them!

Saturday Thoughts

It's been a rough few days and I'm in need of some comfort food! I think I'll pull out my bread machine and make a loaf of homemade bread to go with supper tonight. Don't know what we're having yet, just that we'll have bread with it LOL

After eating out Wednesday I woke up with my gallbladder bothering me a little. It wasn't bad, just, there. I take ginger capsules after a fatty meal and I think forgetting to take them after lunch is probably what did it. Yesterday I ate a fair bit of fat at lunch but took ginger and was fine.

I'm considering doing a flush next week. It's been 13 months now since I've done one. I was going to wait a couple more months but my gut tells me to do it soon. So I will. Can't wait to get it over with :-P But I know I'll feel so much better afterward!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Temptation Avoided! (For the Most Part...)

I was gone today from 815am till 630pm - doctors appointments, grocery shopping, etc. My mom was with the boys and me all day. For lunch we went to my favorite non-pizza buffet. And I didn't cheat! I watched my mom and Ethan eat whatever, including dessert. In fact, I fixed Ethan's plates. And I still was a good girl! Then for supper I picked up Subway because I was exhausted and didn't feel like cooking. I got a veggie sub :-) I actually enjoyed it! I had a heavy lunch so my relatively light supper was nice! BUT... I did get cookies for all of us from Subway - 1 each of our 3 faves, plus 1 for Ethan. I split the 3 in half and divided them between Jesse and me. Which totalled 1 1/2 cookies each. I only ate half of mine, so I had a whole 3/4 of a cookie LOL Not bad for all the temptation I was faced with today!

My stomach is feeling the effects of eating out twice + being gone all day + over a week of not enough sleep. I'm sure it will feel lots better tomorrow when I'm eating at home again!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Cheat Meal, and a Yummy Lunch!

Last night we went to my in-laws' for supper. I knew we were having gumbo so I ate my carb meal at lunch, planning on just eating the chicken and juice from the gumbo for supper. Well... By the time we ate, I was so hungry! Not only did I eat my gumbo with rice, I had some potato salad too! And I had zero veggies all day :-( I will say, my cheat meal was definitely worth it! And I did pass up the ice cream and cookies for dessert :-)

Today I am determined to do better! I changed my mind twice about what I was fixing for lunch but ended up cooking some steaks in my cast iron skillet, with a lot of sauteed mushrooms and red bell peppers (done in the skillet separately) to go with them.

And what did I learn from yesterday's experience? My body responds much better to eating my protein meal at lunch rather than a carb meal! Carb meal for lunch = more hungry at supper = more likely to cheat!

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Why don't you just let them take out your gallbladder?! You'll be so much better off..."

If I could count the number of times I've heard that the past few years... So I will attempt to answer.

First off, God gave us a gallbladder for a reason! It is NOT an unnecessary organ (more on this later). I do not doubt that there are situations where a person needs to have it removed - infection, etc. But these don't happen very often.

I have prayed about whether or not it would be best to have my gallbladder removed every time it gives me problems. And every time I get a clear answer - LEAVE IT IN. It would certainly be easier in the short-term to have it taken out! To not have to worry about another attack and the extreme pain that goes with it. To be able to eat whatever. To not hear from people why I'm just being stubborn and/or afraid of surgery and/or how much better off I'll be. But God keeps leading me to more resources about how this is NOT in my best interest. So I have to trust Him...

Here is some of the information I've found about why gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) is NOT a good idea! The information below comes from these 2 websites:
These are only 2 of the many sites with valuable information about the consequences of gallbladder removal!

The gallbladder has an important function in digestion. And, if you just remove it, you are compromising your digestive health for the rest of your life. Surgeons who remove gallbladders are complacent in educating patients about nutritional changes they need to pursue after losing this important digestive organ. For example, you're not going to get the same quality of digestion you would have had if your gall bladder were in place. You're not going to get the excretion of the bile from the gallbladder into the small intestine, and as a result, you're not going to efficiently digest foods that are moving through your digestive tract. This is especially true for dietary fats, including essential fatty acids. Without a gallbladder, you're not going to be able to digest dietary fats with any degree of efficiency. This means that if you don't take bile salts as a nutritional supplement every time you eat healthy fats, you'll miss out on all-important omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy oils. That's why people who have had gallbladder removal surgery usually suffer the classic signs of EFA deficiencies: poor nervous system function, irritability, learning difficulties, heart disease, poor blood sugar control, and so on.

In order to break down and digest fats, your body must produce bile, which is done in the liver. Your gallbladder is merely a sac for holding some of the bile that the liver produces. Whether or not you have had your gallbladder removed, your liver is still producing bile in order to digest fats. Without the gallbladder, however, the bile is not as readily secreted in the body, and the liver can become overwhelmed when faced with large amounts of any fats, especially saturated fats and hydrogenated fats. And for some people even small amounts of fats can cause discomfort. (One of the side effects of gallbladder removal can be the dumping of bile which is now not as easily regulated and can send someone running to the bathroom immediately after eating.) A more common side effect is a decrease in the secretion of bile. If the bile produced by the liver becomes thick and sluggish, painful symptoms and bile stones can occur. Bile stones can form in the liver as well as the gallbladder.

Gallstones can also be found in the liver and the bile ducts leading to the gallbladder. The attack is often (but not always) caused by a stone blocking a duct. And yes, this can still happen after having your gallbladder removed. As seen by research, stones are formed partly due to what we eat. If we take the gallbladder out and continue to eat the same lithogenic forming diet that we did before, why should stones not form? They will. You may never know it. You may be asymptomatic for the rest of your life. Or, you may get a stone stuck in a bile duct.

The most common problems from having your gallbladder removed, apart from actual pain are impaired digestion: bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea. You are/were already having trouble digesting fats. So why would removing the organ that regulates the metabolizer of fats improve your digestion? It may help with the pain, but know that 34% of people who have their gallbladder removed still experience some abdominal pain.

Abdominal pain, nausea, gas, bloating, and diarrhea are common following surgery. Postcholecystectomy syndrome (after gallbladder removal syndrome) may include all of the above symptoms plus indigestion, nausea, vomiting and constant pain in the upper right abdomen. Sound familiar? You're right -- gallbladder attack symptoms. Up to 40% of people who undergo gallbladder surgery will experience these symptoms for months or years after surgery. How is this possible? You no longer have a gallbladder and that was the problem, right? Look to the whole biliary tract. Now that the gallbladder is no longer present to act as a reservoir for bile, the common bile duct may expand as the bile backs up in the bile duct between the sphincter or muscular opening at the small intestine and the liver from which it flows. If it drips constantly into the small intestine this can cause problems of a different kind. However, this syndrome with accompanying pain appears to have the flow of bile obstructed by either a narrowing of the sphincter or a malfunction of the sphincter.

Functional biliary pain in the absence of gallstone disease is a definite entity and a challenge for clinicians. Which is to say that at this point in time, they don't really know what to do with gallbladder problems that aren't related to gallstones. Often, following cholecystectomy, biliary pain does not resolve. Which means after gallbladder surgery you may just be stuck with the pain.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I was warned it would take a few months for my gallbladder to heal and this week proved it!

Tuesday I was at the grocery store and I was craving junk food. I ended up bringing home some brownie bites - the ones they make fresh in the bakery. They tasted sooo good to me! I snacked on them all night. Big mistake...

I don't know if it was the chocolate or the sugar or another ingredient but something sent my gallbladder into spasms :-( It hurt. Not the excruciating pain I normally get with my gallbladder, but bad enough that I couldn't sleep. I finally got to sleep about 345am. I don't know if the mint tea helped (mint is a natural antispasmodic) or if it was just time but the pain finally eased.

Of all days for it to happen, I had to be up early Wednesday and was gone almost the whole day! My gallbladder was still bothering me a bit so I just ate fruit all day. Yesterday I ate regular food but very lowfat. Today I plan on eating normally. Hoping it goes well...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Another thrown together supper tonight. Leftover guacamole from the Super Bowl and bean burritos. My burrito was - refried beans, whole wheat tortilla, ranch dressing, onions, green onions, and tomatoes. Good combination!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

That Explains It... I Hope

5 lb weight increase, face broken out, chocolate cravings, etc. Yup, it's what you think...

Current Physical Symptoms

1. Sinuses are acting like I'm starting with a cold. Or it could be a detox "cold."

2. Face is breaking out. Could be from detox, could be from hormones.

3. This past week my fingernails have been growing like crazy! Wonder if my hair is too...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My First Real Cheat/Super Bowl Food

I wasn't planning on a cheat meal yet but I kinda had no choice... I made it 3 weeks and a couple days. We had a get-together today with my in-laws and the only thing to eat was hot dogs. So I had 1 1/2 hot dogs on white buns with a little bit of chili. And since the meal was already shot, I had a medium-size piece of king cake as well. The hot dogs were good, but the king cake (chocolate-filled) tasted REALLY sweet! Too sweet. A few hours after I ate my stomach was feeling not so great :( Amazing how our bodies react to bad food after they're used to eating healthier!

Super Bowl is tomorrow! After growing up a Saints fan, I'm really excited to see them in the big game :D We invited 3 other adults but I don't know if any of them are coming... I planned food that I can eat for the game. It will be my supper/carb meal so... Lentil Soup for our meal (it's real hearty!), and for snacks we're having dilled cucumbers, guacamole and Tostitos, stuffed mushrooms, and carrots and celery sticks. Wish I knew how many of us there were going to be so I could start prepping! The soup will be the same amount regardless so I'm going to start on that...

Catching Up On Some Recipes

While I have a few minutes on the computer... (Everything in this blog thus far has been typed from my phone but it's a bit tedious for recipes!)

Stuffed Mushrooms (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites)

1 lb mushrooms (I used baby portabella)
1 c. finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tbsp. dried
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
3/4 c. bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the mushrooms well and pat dry. Remove the stems. Chop stems and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450.

In a large skillet, saute the onions and garlic in the oil on medium heat for about 8 minutes until golden. Stir in the stems and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add the basil, parsley, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Fill each mushroom cap with the bread crumb mixture. Arrange on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to release their juices and the filling is browned and crunchy.

Greek Spinach Rice Balls (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites)

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 c. chopped green onions
2 tsp. olive oil
2 c. cooked brown rice
2 tsp. dill
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. bread crumbs

Squeeze excess water from spinach. Lightly saute green onions in the oil about 5 minutes, until softened and lightly browned.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, green onions, rice, dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Spray a baking sheet with Pam. With dampened hands, roll balls out of the mixture about the size of a ping-pong ball. The balls should be firm. Roll each ball in bread crumbs and place on the baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through and crisp on the outside.

Chili "Burgers" (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites)

1 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. grated carrots
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 cans (15 oz) pinto beans, drained
2 tbsp. mustard
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup
1 1/2 c. oats
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in the oil about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften. Add the carrots, chili powder, and cumin and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.

Mash the beans (I pulsed them in my food processor). Add the mustard, soy sauce, ketchup, and sauteed vegetables. Mix in the oats, salt and pepper.

Moisten your hands and form the burger mixture into 6 patties. Cook on medium-low 5-8 minutes per side.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Two observations

1. The more hungry I am, the more I want what I'm not supposed to eat right then

2. There is a direct correlation between how refreshed I feel in the morning and how long my initial block of sleep was. If Gabriel wakes up to eat soon after I go to sleep, I will be exhausted the rest of the night and the next day. And vice versa.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thrown Together and Yummy!

I bought a big tray of chicken breasts since we've been eating them almost every day. Today I got them cut and bagged and in the freezer. Except for a few for lunch. I didn't know what to do with them...

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 green onion, sliced
2-3 chicken breasts, slightly flattened
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp tarragon
1/4 c water

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Saute the mushrooms. When they're almost done, add the green onions. Saute until mushrooms are browned. Remove from skillet and turn stove to medium. Heat the other tbsp of olive oil. Cook chicken breasts about 5 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove from skillet. Return veggies to skillet and add mustard and tarragon. Stir. Add water and stir, loosening browned bits from bottom of pan. Serve over chicken.