3 Day Quick Fix- Day 1

If you’ve been around blogland or pinterest for any amount of time, no doubt you have come across Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix from Autumn Calabrese. Last summer I did several rounds and was very pleased with my results. Unfortunately, I let bad habits creep back in and I went off my medication for the tumor so my hard work was washed away. Unfortunate circumstance number 2 was that I was sidelined from workouts from December to March due to a torn ligament in my ankle!

I’ve done several halfhearted attempts in the last two months. Halfhearted does not see results. Due to my hormone levels being all messed up, I NEED to do the workouts. Thankfully, I am cleared to workout again, but it’s been hard to get back into the program.

I had a few wakeup calls the past few weeks though. One is that while my prolactin levels are within (almost) normal, the tumor is not shrinking. I don’t see the endocrinologist until June, so I won’t know my next step until then. The other was that my fasting glucose level has been going up slightly the past few years. Three weeks ago it was in the prediabetes range. It convinced me that I need to make changes in my lifestyle and it needed to happen for lifetime. In order to make that happen, I need to make nutrition and physical activity a priority. I’m almost done with a round of 21 Day Fix, but I had a bad weekend full of lots of fast food. I feel pretty rotten this morning so I am going to do a quick cleansing with the 3 Day Quick Fix. I’ve done this once before and while I don’t LOVE it, I liked it a whole lot better than the 2 Day Refresh I tried (I only made it through ½ a day on that…).

So the next three days I’ll be eating the following. I decided to have the same thing all three days to make preparation and shopping easier and not give me a chance to over think things. You will notice that there is no dairy, no fruit and very little carbs. I do get to flavor anything with spices, herbs, vinegar, lemon/lime juice. NO salt though.

Meal 1- oatmeal and eggs

Meal 2- extra lean ground turkey and steamed sweet potato

Meal 3- fish and asparagus

Meal 4- chicken and zucchini

Meal 5- fish and green beans

Meal 6- chicken and broccoli.

 

I’m excited about getting my health back on track! I’ve finished my oatmeal and eggs, so I am going to wrap this up and get on with my day. Workout this evening will be Total Body Cardio Fix.

 

It’s HARD.

Being overweight is hard. Losing weight is hard.

Losing weight is hard.

It’s hard taking the time to plan meals and snacks.
It’s hard knowing I’m doing the best I can with little to no results. Like eating darn near perfect, working out 4 times a week and losing 2 pounds. In two months.
It’s hard trying to motivate myself to go to the gym.
It’s hard looking in the mirror and not liking what I see.
It’s hard feeling guilty after allowing a treat.
It’s hard being afraid that allowing a certain treat (usually something high in fat) will send me into a downward spiral that could potentially undo months of hard work.
It’s hard knowing others are judging you because they think you lack self-control.
It’s hard hearing “I just cut out pop and lost 20 pounds in 2 months” when it takes me 2 years to lose that much.
It’s hard knowing that I have a tumor that messes with my hormones that causes an extremely low weight loss or even weight gain if I don’t eat enough protein.

It’s HARD.

I’m learning to look beyond the scale. My cravings are going away, although I still have them time to time. I’m learning to deal with emotions instead of feeding them. I’m learning exercise helps with depression. I’m learning more about my body, how it responds to certain things. I’m learning it’s not about what the number is, but how healthy I am.

If you are feeling discouraged, take the time to list some reasons how you know you are getting healthier, even if the scale isn’t moving.

Here is my list.

1. waist to hip ratio. Under 0.8 is my goal.
2. craving healthier foods, like veggies and fruit instead of candy and chips!
3. regular exercise
4. more energy
5. pants fit
6. decrease in joint pain, especially my knees!
7. decrease in illnesses

(Originally posted at myhealthytemple.blog.com.)

Personal Health History

I recently took a webinar that briefly covered health literacy- how well you process, understand and communicate your health needs. It got me thinking about knowing my medical history. Since we are getting ready to transfer care I thought I would update my current system to an in depth document to help me keep track of all the little details. I’ve made it available to you!

Be sure to make copies of all insurance cards (front and back) and put the copies with these documents!

 

What is a personal health history?

A medical history provides detailed information about your health. This can help identify risks for certain diseases. Many disease are inherited and having a written medical history can be crucial in determining risks, treatment and even what tests should be ordered.

It takes into consideration lifestyle, hereditary, and environmental factors as well.

Having the medical history wrote down can make things go smoother in case of an emergency. It can also help keep track of medications, diagnosis and treatments. A complete medical history can help care of elderly parents and can be a valuable record for children when they begin to make their own medical decisions.

 

What should be included?

Start current

Medical conditions

Medications, doses and schedule, include supplements and over the counter drugs

Current doctors, specialists and other health care providers

Allergies, including food, medications and environmental

Lifestyle factors including tobacco use, exercise, diet etc

Sexual preferences, include number and gender of partners and birth control choices

Insurance Information- include a copy of any insurances cards

Also consider having an Advanced Directive for Health Care and/or Living Will

Continue maintaining these records- Ask for a summary of each visit be sent to you, along with any test results (Buyer Beware! There may be a cost involved. Ask first!) Update medications when necessary and any other information that changes.

 

Past History

Past conditions and illnesses

Surgeries and hospitalizations

Immunizations

Lifestyle factors including tobacco use, exercise, diet etc

Past (Long term) medications, when, and doses if known

Consider noting previous care providers and their contact information

If you have extensive history, you may want to contact former providers for a summary of your treatment with them. (Buyer Beware! There may be a cost involved so ask first!)

 

Family History

Your parents and grandparents medical histories can offer some insight to your own health, including risk factors, hereditary conditions and some ancestry groups are at more risk for other diseases than others. In your history, include cause of death and age. Also include diagnoses (Like mother having a heart attack or paternal grandfather having Alzheimer’s).

 

A detailed history can take some time to complete. But is well worth the effort. I started keeping basic notes that I kept in my calendar when the A was diagnosed with peanut and tree nut allergies. Knowing what tests were ordered and what was discussed at previous appointments helped appointments go much smoother. I’ve updated my document and expanded it quite a lot. I’ll be working on filling it in over the next few weeks.

 

Download and print the Health History form. It is long- 9 pages.

updated 8-1-14 Added secondhand smoke and carbon monoxide detector questions Medical History Info

Herbs and Spices

It’s National Nutrition Month and the theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the taste of food while eating right is to replace salt with dried or fresh herbs and spices. There are so many choices and knowing how to use them can really make an impact on an otherwise same old dish.

So, what’s the difference between an herb and a spice?

In culinary uses, an herb is any of the aromatic plants whose leaves, stems or flower are used as flavoring, either dried of fresh. A spice is any of the aromatic plants whose bark, roots, seeds buds or berries are used for flavoring and is usually dried and can be whole or ground. (Both definitions are from the 5th edition of On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals.)

Did you know that many herbs and spices have antioxidant benefits too? And as long as the the bottle, either in the name or ingredient, does not contain the word ‘salt’ (garlic salt, celery salt) consider it good for you!

My Favorites!

There are many many many herbs and spices and it would take a while to go through them all- and I haven’t even tried some of them! So, here are some of my favorite herbs and spices and how I like to use them.

Dill– This might be my most favorite herb. Probably most familiarly used in pickles, dill can also be used to flavor vegetables, fish, breads, potatoes and chicken salad. The seeds are also used in pickling and in fish dishes. One of our favorite ways to use side dishes is in dilly carrots- as you are cooking the carrots, add a little dried dill and a smidge of unsalted butter.

Basil– maybe the easiest to grow, basil comes in a variety of flavors- garlicky, lemony etc, but in my opinion, the best is sweet basil, followed by purple basil. Very popular in Mediterranean cooking, fresh basil is a wonderful addition to any tomato based dish- spaghetti, pizza, lasagna. My husband’s favorite though, is pesto on hot pasta.

Cilantro– whose seeds can be used and are known as coriander, is either beloved or hated. Cilantro has a citrus-y flavor is popular in Mexican cuisine. Some people say it has a soapy flavor. Fresh cilantro is superior and my favorite thing to use it in is homemade guacamole.

Rosemary– The stiff, pine-like needles can be used in a variety of ways. I like to chop fresh rosemary and add to any sort of meat dish. When dried, the needles can be difficult to chew, I will ground them up, if using dried. Whole stems may be added to stew type dishes and removed before serving or when there is enough flavor. Our favorite way to use rosemary is in softened whipped butter to top a quality grilled steak. Mouth. Watering.

Sage– In my opinion, sage is best used dried, as the leaves are kind of… fuzzy. I prefer this herb with poultry- especially turkey. It has a very strong flavor, and doesn’t always play well with others, but I love cooking up some ground turkey and seasoning it with dried sage and a little dried ginger.

Thyme– I think of thyme as a grandfather- strong, steady and dignified. Hints of sage make this the perfect addition to any meat when you want a . I prefer to use this in an herb marinade for chicken or a little sprinkled on roast beef for an earthy feel.

Capers– these are the unopened buds that have been pickled- fresh buds are not used. Used in French cuisine, capers have a salty-sour flavor and remind me of green olives. But they are a great compliment in sauces on fish and game.

Paprika– known for its bright red appearance, its flavor runs from sweet to spicy. Used in Spanish dishes and sometimes as a garnish. I like to use it on chicken cordon bleu (recipe coming soon!)

Cumin– I used this when I want some spice but not necessarily heat. It’s popular in Mexican dishes and I like adding it to a variety of soups and chilies!

Ginger– Used fresh or dried, ginger has a sweet, peppery, lemony taste. Ginger is widely used in all types of dishes, but perhaps mostly in Asian cuisine. I like adding it to stir fries and homemade egg rolls.

What if a recipe calls for a fresh herb, but you only have dried?

No problem! Just use 1/3 of what is called for. If it calls for 1 tablespoon fresh, use 1 teaspoon dried. You may want to add them earlier in the cooking process, since dried herbs and spices can take a little while to release their flavor.

What herb goes with what type of dish?

Try one or a couple of these.

Asian– anise, ginger,
Beef– caraway, marjoram, rosemary, thyme
Poultry (Chicken and turkey)- basil, chives, cilantro, marjoram, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme
Fish– basil, chives, cilantro, dill and dill seed, tarragon, thyme
Fruit– allspice, cinnamon, cloves
Lamb– basil, fennel, rosemary
Mexican– cilantro
Pork– caraway, sage,
Vegetable– dill, fennel, marjoram

Herbs are easy to grow and I look forward to harvesting fresh leaves in the spring, summer and fall to flavor my family’s dishes. It’s one of the first things I tend to each spring- getting their little beds all ready for a wonderful, aromatic harvest!

What is YOUR favorite herbs and spices? How do you like to use them? Tell me in the comments below!


I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month

What is in Season When in Michigan

Ever notice how something’s just TASTE better certain times of year? It’s not your imagination, there are some fruit and veggies that are better in certain seasons than others. Not only do they taste better, but they are often cheaper because there is an abundance of it!

March is National Nutrition Month and the theme is Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right. What better way to enjoy the pure taste of something than to enjoy it in season? So, I’ve compiled a list of what is in season when, but this is for Michigan, because that’s where I live and will be most useful for me. However, a quick google search will have you finding websites in no time for your area!

Now, most lists I found is listed alphabetical. That’s great. If you are looking for what month something is harvested in. But I want to know what is in season in March! So this list is sorted by season, then by month. I hope you find this helpful!

Fruit

Rhubarb May- June Late Spring to Early Summer
Strawberries June Summer
Blackberries June-July Summer
Cherries, Tart July Summer
Blueberries July-Aug Summer
Apricots July-Aug Summer
Cantaloupe July-Aug Summer
Cherries, Sweet July-Aug Summer
Peaches July-Sept Summer to Early Autumn
Raspberries July-Sept Summer to Early Autumn
Apples Aug- Oct Late Summer to Mid Autumn
Asian Pears Aug- Oct Late Summer to Mid Autumn
Watermelon Aug-Oct Late Summer to Mid Autumn
Pears Aug-Oct Late Summer to Mid Autumn
Muskmelon Aug-Oct Late Summer to Mid Autumn
Nectarines Aug-Sept Late Summer to Early Autumn
Plums Aug-Sept Late Summer to Early Autumn
Grapes Sept-Oct Autumn

Vegetables

Asparagus April -June Spring – Early Summer
Arugula May-Sept Late Spring to Early Autumn
Chard May-Sept Late Spring to Early Autumn
Peas (sugar) June Late Spring to Early Summer
Kale June- Nov Summer to Autumn
Beets June- Oct Summer to Autumn
Turnips June-Nov Summer to Autumn
Radishes June-Oct Summer to Autumn
Spinach June-Oct Summer to Autumn
Lettuce June-Sept Summer to Autumn
Onions, Green June-Sept Summer to Autumn
Cucumbers, salad July-Sept Summer to Early Autumn
Summer Squash (yellow Squash) July-Sept Summer to Early Autumn
Zucchini July-Sept Summer to Early Autumn
Beans, green and snap July- Oct Summer to Mid Autumn
Cabbage July- Oct Summer to Mid Autumn
Carrots July- Oct Summer to Mid Autumn
Eggplant July-Oct Summer to Mid Autumn
Peppers July-Oct Summer to Mid Autumn
Celery July- Dec Summer to Winter
Corn, Sweet Aug-Sept Late Summer to Early Autumn
Cucumbers, pickling Aug-Sept Late Summer to Early Autumn
Broccoli Aug-Oct Late Summer to Mid Autumn
Cauliflower Aug-Oct Late Summer to Mid Autumn
Tomatoes Aug-Oct Late Summer to Mid Autumn
Onions Aug-Jan Summer to Winter
Potatoes, white Aug-Mar Summer to Winter
Parsnips Sept-Oct Autumn
Pumpkins Sept-Oct Autumn
Sweet Potatoes Sept-Oct Autumn
Butternut Squash Sept-Dec Autumn to Winter
Acorn Squash Sept-Dec Autumn to Winter
Rutabagas Sept-Nov Autumn to Winter
Brussels Sprouts Oct-Nov Autumn

 

I realize this isn’t the prettiest list. I’m still working on really learning WordPress. So.. if you want an easier to read, printable list you can download it!
In Season Produce for Michigan PDF

I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month

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