Sunday, May 31, 2009

So that goal thing...

Thanks Stef for posting the NYT article on the yo-yo of celebrity dieting. I've been thinking about it a lot. First there's Oprah, and then Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinelli, you'd better not get off of Jenny Craig of you're so screwed! But seriously, I am hardly an expert on dieting but please folks, stay away from any weight loss plan that involves anyone else making your meals. Because at the end of the day, you haven't LEARNED anything. That's a huge piece for me of this whole health thing. It's been less about pounds on the scale and more about learning things. Learning to snack. Learning to portion. Learning to NOT exercise and pace myself. Without the learning, what happens when you achieve the magic number?

Aaaand since, stef is talking numbers I've got some of my own. I reached the weight loss number my doctor (NOT my nutritionist) said I needed to control my diabetes. What is hilarious is that my glucose numbers were actually better ten pounds ago.

Here's some goals I've met:

1. Get glucose in normal range - Hell yeah!
2. Run Bay to Breakers - In costume no less
3. Get more fruit and vegetables in - I can eat my five servings in a single meal when I get my big salad

But it doesn't stop. I still keep a food log. I still test three times a day. I still eat enough vegetables to keep my farmer's market in business. But knowing I need to maintain the weight and not lose it, I've made some changes.

1. Cut the 7 mile run to 6 miles.
2. If you aren't feeling it, cut the five mile run to a 8:30-paced 5k.
3. Eat a croissant sandwich when work has a breakfast meeting.
4. Eat 45 grams of carbs in sushi form.

But still enjoy the rewards. I'll tell you this, on reason why I love exercising is the rewards I give myself after - 15 minute chair massage or 15 minutes sitting in the gym hot tub. How can I not look forward to working out knowing that's at the end of the gym session?

Now, however, I've stopped working my ass off. Literally.

Poor Role Models

Good article from the NYT about how obsession over celebrities' weight just adds to the negative messages and psychological factors affecting weight loss:

Fashion & Style
Bingeing on Celebrity Weight Battles
Published: May 31, 2009
The dieting sagas of the stars might be more frustrating than inspiring to overweight women.

Tangible Outcomes

This blog isn't about dieting or about what's on the scale, it's about a holistic approach to becoming healthier, stronger individuals.

BUT -- the scale remains as one tangible way to measure progress on our overall goals. And, one of my main goals is to actually lose weight.

And I'm happy to report that now, a little over 2 months into my nutritionist adventure, I have passed a major milestone... more than ten pounds lost. Double digits, my friends! :-)

This comes at a good time, cuz I've been feeling a little deflated in the motivation department lately. So this, combined with a sunny day and my plans to take a long walk around my pretty neighborhood this morning, is helping give me a really feel-good boost. Hooray.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cool as a Cucumber

So I just attempted to make a cucumber soup. I started out by searching the series of tubes for a good recipe, and decided to use this one as a base.

I didn't have typical big English cucumbers though, I had mini-ones, and I think I miscalculate the cuke-to-chicken broth ratio cuz the soup came out much thinner and more broth-like than I wanted. It's more like a chicken soup with cucumber flavor than a good thick, pureed soup like I anticipated. So I either should've used more cucumber or significantly less broth. I did skip the butter, using about 1/4 tsp of olive oil instead, skipped both the tarragon and parsley in favor of fresh dill. (From the store, not from my balcony garden... yet.)

But, even with the thin consistency, it's still tasty. I do love dill, and cucumber is its perfect mate.
Here are the pretty scallions. I've never used scallions before this spring and they've quickly become one of my go-to ingredients.

Cucumbers, smelling all fresh. Since I'd never done it before, I found this handy set of tips on how to peel and seed a cuke.

Here's everything simmering in the pan. You can already see the broth-to-veggie ratio problem, no? Trust me, this was a crazy mess in my little 3-cup mini-chop. I might just have to invest in a full-size food processor soon. That's something I never would've guessed a year ago -- I've come a long way, baby!
And, the finished soup. This would go great with a salad, or a good turkey and havarti sandwich. Yum.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blog Brainstorming

I actually was able to make it to the farmers' market today, even during the onset of an early summer storm. I got some goodies while trying not to get soaked, and while I have some ideas in mind, I'd love your help with any good recipes.

I got a bunch of asparagus, and I'll likely use some for a tilapia recipe I just saw. But what else? Any good fresh asparagus ideas?

And how about cucumbers? I can slice some up for fun dipping, but what about the rest? I'm thinking of something gazpacho like, which I've never made... have a good recipe, anyone?

There was a lot more stuff at the market that I'd love to sample soon, but it's amazing how just 4 items can cost $23!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The dreaded work trip

Ok all you readers and my co-blogger, gather round as I tell you my tips for keeping up with the healthy living while traveling for work.

I don't know about you but traveling for work rarely allows much leisure time to see a new city much less keep up with your good habits. Moreover, it's damn hard to eat healthy when you don't control your menu and it's a bit awkward to start measuring your portions at the dinner table.

So here my tips for how to deal.

Give yourself a break. Work travel is damn hard and if you backslide a bit, it's totally normal. If you don't lose, it's a success because maintaining under those circumstances is a big hooray.


1) Trade time for intensity. Ok, there's utterly no way I can get my regular 5 mile run in (running for 45 minutes). Between warming up and stretching and the actual running, it won't happen. But I can run a nice two and a half mile run at 8:15 minute mile as opposed to my regular nine minute mile. Saves me time and I can eat least get some exercise.

2) It's easier to commit to exercising before bed than first thing in the morning. Especially when it's damn embarassing to see your fellow conference attendees coming from a workout,

3) Bone up on the stretching and strengthening. Even without an exercise room, you can do a nice ten minute stretch and a set of 30 crunches.

4) I know it's hard but look forward to the exercise time. It's how you can unwind and let go of the day.

5) Reward yourself with a good long soak in the tub. Housecleaning will clean the tub the next day. Tip them well.


1) When facing a buffet, make sure vegetables make up 2/3rds of yourp late. It can be stir fry or salad or whatever, but you do know there's most likely less fat and salt in the vegetables.

2) Make your sandwich an open face one. Load up on everything but the mayo. When choosing cheese, provolone is a good option.

3) When eating a plated dinner as opposed to a buffet, eat half the starch, all the vegetables and all the meat if it's a lean meat or half the meat if it's red meat. Once done, push the plate away so that servers can take it.

4) Order and iced tea or a diet drink. For some reason water doesn't help fill me up when I travel.

5) Eat these first for breakfast - fruit, yogurt and eggs. Wait five minutes and if you are still hungry then go for the sausage, danish or croissant. Most likely if you do go back, you won't feel ravenous and get a large serving.

6) At the gift shop get several bags of trail mix. Keep two in your bag and one in your room for your midnight snack.

BBQ Season

is upon us! Oh, temptation.... but it doesn't have to be all grill meat and mayonnaisey salads. If you're going to a pot-luck style summer party, *you* can be the one to bring something healthy. Then at least you know there can be one thing you can rely on to fill your plate (while still sneaking some grill meat on there... I mean, who can pass up brats and mustard?!?).

I made this HungryGirl broccoli slaw last weekend. While I made too much (aw, darn, more to take home and eat all week?!?) I got some great feedback on it and I think it's a keeper. Tasty, crunchy, spicy-and-sweet, and good stats. And it's super-easy to make, even a certain doctor I know in Richmond could handle this one. :-) Give it a try for your next party!

Plus, bonus pic... here's an example of a nice, well-balanced, nutritionist-approved dinner. A feel-good free-range/antibiotic-free chicken breast, baked with a little chipotle marinade, served with couscous and veggies. The couscous was made with low-sodium chicken broth, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a mix of frozen pepper strips and frozen corn and broccoli. Yum. Had another plate just like it for lunch the next day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I finally got the chance to make the Weight Watchers "Easy Moussaka" recipe this week. It was tasty, and a really nice variation on the usual "spaghetti and meat sauce" idea.

I can't find the recipe up on their web site, and I got out it of a cookbook...not sure on what the etiquette of reposting is, so I'll just relay the basics. Ground lamb, browned in onions and garlic that were sauteed in a little cooking spray. Add 3 tbsp low-salt tomato paste, 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, oregano, black pepper, and cinnamon. Serve it all over pasta with a bit of shredded parmesan cheese. Starting with 1 lb of ground lamb yields 6 servings (or 2, if you were super-hungry like me.)

YUM. Cinnamon and meat? Somehow, amazing.

On my Dad's advice, I have started using Dreamfields low-carb pasta as a way to change it up from my usual whole wheat pasta. I like wwp, don't get me wrong, but these Dreamfields stuff tastes good!

I really enjoyed this moussaka, and I think it would be equally as good served over roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin as it is over pasta. Afghan Grill, one of my fave restaurants, serves a dish like that made with ground beef, and it is DIVINE.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gold Star

I had another visit with my nutritionist today ($300 and counting). It was a good visit, and she was very pleased with my progress. By her scale, it's been another 4 pounds, and she was impressed. After reviewing my food journal and talking things over, she said she thinks things are going really well and that I can keep on doing the same thing.

Sometimes when this method doesn't work, she switches patients to more of a "diet-diet" with stricter rules, like food exchanges and stuff, but she said I don't seem to need that and that this looser method is working for me. That's a good thing, cuz the constraints of a "diet-diet" are not sustainable for me over the long term, I know that from experience. So, yay me! :-)

Today we spent most of the time talking about my lunches at work. I've found that I need to make sure I have a filling lunch, cuz otherwise the afternoon can be dangerous - if I get really hungry and don't have any good snacks left, that's a *red alert* time for bad decision-making.

Today was a good example, actually, cuz it turns out that leftover jambalaya did not sustain me - even though it was a big portion - and by 3 pm I was already having hunger pangs. So we talked that through... I thought maybe it was just cuz it was so much rice, but as we talked about the recipe she said that's only part of it, that it really was that I didn't have enough protein. She recommended I have at least 4 oz (and for me I'd guess closer to 6 oz) of protein at lunch-time, particularly during the week, so that it can get me through 'til evening.

Her assessment was that the jambalaya probably wasn't enough, so she gave me good advice on "fixing" it and I came home and did just that. I opened up the little dishes and started making some changes -- I spooned out some rice from 2 f the remaining dishes into the other 2, then I stuck those with more rice into the freezer. I'll hold onto those for the weekend, when I can eat them as a dinner and have a less-carb-centric soup or salad as my other meal. I have much better snacking options on the weekend, too, so the carb-heavy meal might be better then. After that, I took the 2 remaining dishes that I'll use for lunch this week, and I added about 4 more oz of turkey kielbasa to each one. Sure, the new pieces won't have been cooked in the same way, but once they're nuked at work they should all taste fine. And the added meat will help me get through the long afternoons I have during the week. (Note, she's not ant-carb. In fact, she said "This isn't Atkins!" She said the trick is just learning the right way to space it out during the day.)

These are good tips - and experience as shown I really do need to have a more protein-heavy breakfast and lunch and save some of the carbs for dinner. It's all about learning how your body reacts and what your own natural schedule is during the day. Helpful!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I decided to try my hand at making one of my favorite dishes tonight -- jambalaya. I don't eat it very often, but my memories of the few I sampled in Charleston almost make me weep with the food-memory. So, I was excited to try making it myself even though it seemed a bit intimidating.

I used this recipe as a base, but I actually think the recipe has a few mistakes in it - like it doesn't tell you what to do with several of the ingredients?!? - so I changed it up a bit throughout. I didn't use the shrimp shells, I bought frozen raw, deveined, peeled, with the tail off. I also made sure to add in all the remaining onions, celery, and peppers at the same time as the tomatoes, since it didn't say what to do with them!

The shrimp, looking all pinky and resting. Note, when a recipe says you should reserve some cooked meat to the side AND you have a pet in the house, it's probably best to cover the meat with a towel lest you find a furry little nose in the bowl. Not saying that happened, but not denying it either...

The chicken cooked in that makeshift stock above, which was a new trick for me. It wasn't very appetizing looking - I'd never really boiled chicken before - but it's super tender.

Another variation for me - I used lowfat turkey kielbasa instead of andouille. That takes the fat and calorie count down quite a bit.

Here it is pre-and post-rice. The smell was fantastic. It made a huge amount, enough for 6 big bowls to cover tonight and lunches all week. In the future, I think I may add a lot more veggies (would carrots work? what else?) and cut back a bit on the rice. This recipe was probably the most complicated I've made since the chicken cacciatore, requiring lots of steps and many, many pots, dishes and utensils. But, the good news is it tastes pretty darn good. Not weepy-good, but definitely a successful homemade meal.

In other news... I ended up with a really big bag of sweet potatoes and wasn't sure what to do with them. So thanks go to Onyah for sending me this recipe for Curried Sweet Potato Wedges. Very easy to make, super-tasty (and very spicy), great as either a side dish or a small meal on their own. Just be sure to have a good glass of water nearby, cuz they pack the heat!

Bay to Breakers By The Numbers

Final time 1 hour 10 minutes and 7 seconds

Pace 9 minutes and 24 seconds

Finished in 2710th place

Finish in 672th place for my gender and age group

Number of people who understood my costume - 17

Number people who understood my costume who where under the age of 12 and Asian - 17

Number of people who asked if I was the Dalai Lama - 50

Incline of the evil Hayes Street hill - 35%

Length of the evil Hayes street hill - 1 mile

Number of times I swore running up the Hayes Street hill - Countless

Number of naked people I saw - 8

Number of Superheroes - 20

Number of Star trek Costumes - 25

Number of people dressed in 70s athletic wear complete with striped socks and headbands - Too many to keep track of
Number of Sexy Pirates - Too many to keep track of

Number of Salmon (people who run the course from finish to start - 10

Number of people in metallic bodysuits - 5

Best outfits - Three Lesbians dressed as waterfowl with a sign that said "Dyke Dyke Goose!)

Temperature of the Pacific as I jumped in after running - 45 degrees

Distance from the end of the race to the FootStock post-race party where I would pick up my commemorative t-shirt - a zillion blocks

Number future costumes I was thinking of - 5

- The Dalai Lama
- Penelope Pitstop
- A sushi chef
- The cover of the Go-Go's first album
- Maria Von Trapp

Pictures to come!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Graduation Day

So yesterday I had my last appointment with my nutritionist. Looking at the numbers (even slightly elevated) she said I had the diabetes in control. In fact she said that the higher numbers were within margin of error and it was a strong possibility that my numbers hadn't changed at all. The only thing that was holding me back from graduating was my blood pressure. The water pill I'm taking is doing the trick and my blood pressure is 78/116 below the 80/130 that is the goal. It's so funny how I cling to the structures that are keeping me healthy. My nutritionist happily told me that I could probably stop taking my blood sugar medication and could stop checking my blood sugar since as long as I was eating what I allow myself to eat my blood sugar is fine. I told her I would cut my blood sugar medication in half by the end of the summer and try to go off of it by the end of the year.

It's scary to think that I wouldn't need to take this stuff. It's a scary thought to think of myself as healthy. I wish the media would allow for such complexity. My nutritionist deemed me healthy. I have a chronic disease AND I'm healthy. In the same way that I can have severe allergies that I need to compensate for and still be healthy. Health is such a complex thing you know. It's not just what your body can and can't do (process sugar, keep its blood pressure reasonable) but what environment and support you create to address your body's strengths and weaknesses. Like the blog title says, it's a lifestyle.

P.S. This weekend I'm running Bay to Breakers. I've decided to change my costume and go as Aang the Avatar. I figured that had to be a benefit for being Asian and bald. Check it out:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So that President's Challenge Thing

Dear President Obama:

Good on you and Michelle for literally walking the walk (and by the looks of it hitting the weights) and encouraging the nation to become more active. One thing though, are you effing serious about your goals? In order for me to get a Bronze medal, I have to accumulate 20,000 points. A 5 mile run at a nine-minute/mile pace will get me 508 points. Are you effing kidding me? So here's what my regular work out routine will get me:

Monday: 5 mile run - 508
Tuesday: Strength training - 65
Wednesday: 5 mile run - 508
Thursday - Strength training - 65
Friday - rest
Saturday - 7 mile run - 708
Sunday - rest

Total - 1854

It's going to take me 11 weeks to get a stupid medal. I'm doing it because it's what I do but any project manager knows to break down your project into bite sized chunks with interim deliverables. JAYSUS H. Christ, whoever designed this challenge doesn't know bumpkiss about motivation.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Noodle-Free Lasagna

I tried a new Weight Watchers recipe last night, called Beef and Vegetable Cheese Casserole. Basically, this worked out to be a noodle-less lasagna. Yummy overall, and a nice variation on the lasagna that I love but which I was getting a little bored with.

I did make the "Italian variation," so I used fat free ricotta instead of cottage cheese (which I just find repulsive anyway) and an Italian cheese blend instead of cheddar.

Here are the tomatoes and zucchini getting all roasty:

I think I used too big a pan, cuz there wasn't enough of the beef mixture to cover the bottom thoroughly. Here's the ricotta mixed with the egg beaters (instead of an egg yolk), as well.

Baked - that top layer wasn't quite a crust, cuz it was still pretty soft. It was just like a cheese layer in a lasagna.

Messy on the plate, but pretty hearty. Since I was using dried herbs and not fresh, I should have used a lot more. This was a bit bland, but I'm hoping the flavors marry over the next few days as I eat it for lunch all week.

Sick Day

Stay-at-home day = homemade soup day. Easy, and all made from staples that I now keep in the fridge and pantry. 1 bag of spinach sauteed in 1 T of olive oil with 3 cloves minced garlic. One can of cannellini beans, drained. One can of low sodium /low fat chicken broth. A handful of spices - black pepper, oregano, basil, rosemary. Bring to a boil, simmer about 20 minutes. Serve however you'd like - with a sprinkling of parmesan or mozzarella cheese, crusty bread, crackers, or add in some noodles. Enjoy and feel better!

Dear Biggest Loser and Biggest Loser Contestants

I'm really sick of hearing how hard your life sucked prior to your ginourmous weight loss. This is getting to the realm of self loathing and disgust and I really want the Biggest Loser to minimize that kind of talk. Now that we're down to the final episode, we are hearing again and again how sucky it was to be fat and how their lives were stuck and hadn't started yet etc, etc. Fine, being fat is a barrier and being fat opens you up to health issues, harassment, and low self-esteem. But the thing is, I think it's totally counterproductive to rag on your old fat self and act as if your life before the weight loss was just this big black hole.

Losing weight is as much about forgiveness as it is about hard work. You have to realize you've ALWAYS been worth it. Otherwise, why would you even start? I think about my own gains in health. I'm doing it because I want to keep the life I've create for myself. And the life I've created for myself was done when I was 40 pounds heavier. Yes, as a heavier weight, I found the love of my life, created a great circle of friends, blogged, and moved forward in my career. My motivation for being healthy is precisely because my life is pretty kicking and I want to keep it that way.

I look at the Biggest Loser contestants and Ron is a member of the City Council, married with two kids and gainfully employed. Was his life really nothing before he went on the Biggest Loser? I doubt it helps to have them go over all the ways their lives sucked before the weight loss.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The new numbers

So I just my blood tests yesterday. I saw them go from amazing to merely great. For example, my fructosamine level (a measure of blood sugar) was 208, well under the 265 level where it would be beyond normal but slightly higher than the 195 it was in February. Another example is my LDL cholesterol level (the bad cholesterol) which went from 59 in February to 65 for the past test. Once again, well below the standard 129 but still higher than before.

This merits a discussion with my doctor about whether this is a trend I should be worried about or coming to terms with taking my foot off the pedal. My exercise has been constant and I've eaten less carbs as I've gotten used to being conscious of eating carbs. On the flip side, really don't do much around watching the cholesterol and fat and sodium. I've always assumed the exercise takes care of that. The other thing about the higher fructosamine levels is that I have halved my blood sugar medication so that's another part of taking the foot off the pedal. So the question I have for the doctor is should I put my foot back on the pedal and regulate the fat and cholesterol I eat as much as the carbs? Is this indicative of my body getting too used to the meds and me having to take more?

It's hard to keep perspective on this because I am only nine months into the diagnosis. What does this mean for the long term? Speaking of long term, I'd like to thank my lovely husband J for giving me an extra year. My birthday is tomorrow and I totally thought I was turning 38. J, being two weeks younger, pointed out I am turning 37. It came as a complete shock. Here's to another year at 37 because I spent all of this one assuming I was 37. And here's to a lifetime of kicking diabetes ass.

Quick Little Quiches

I am in need of a change in my Egg Beater omelet breakfast routine, and a coworker of mine sent me this recipe that's both very easy and very versatile. You can change these up with a whole variety of mix-ins depending on what you like, and these go great from freezer to microwave.

South Beach Mini Quiches

3/4 cup liquid egg substitute or 3 large eggs or 3 /4 cup egg whites
1 package frozen chopped spinach (10 oz.)
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese
1/4 cup diced red or green peppers or mixture of both
1/4 cup diced onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Option: fajita spices
Option: garam masala

Makes 12 mini-quiches
Need: Foil baking cups, muffin tin, cooking spray, oven

1. Heat oven to 350F

2. Line 12 cup muffin pan with foil baking cups, spray the cups with the cooking spray. Be sure not to omit this step, or the quiches will stick badly to the baking cups.

3. Thaw and drain spinach

4. Mix the spinach, eggs or egg substitute, cheese, peppers, onions, hot pepper sauce, salt in a bowl.

5. Fill the foil cups with the mixture.

6. Bake at 350F or 20 minutes. You will know they are done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

7. Remove from cups to serve.

Fajita spice variation: Add fajita spice to taste at step 4 (a dash to 1/8 teaspoon). If you like it spicy, you may even want to add a bit of chopped jalapeno.

Indian variation: Add garam masala to taste at step 4 (a dash to 1/8 teaspoon).

Nutrition: Approximately 40 calories each.

I forgot about the green pepper while prepping, which I think ended up for the better for this variation. My version used spinach, a blend of reduced fat Italian cheese, the onions, black pepper, and about 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat. So easy to make, and very tasty!

Three of them made for a good small breakfast, maybe supplemented with a yogurt or some toast, and I've frozen the rest in bags of 3 for later this week. Hopefully this will save me some time in the morning, too, as it always takes about an extra 10-15 minutes for me to make my breakfast every day. Those minutes count!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Food Pics

These are just some fun ones from cooking over the last few weekends.

Stir fry is one of my absolute favorite dinners. Here, I sliced up a nice beef top round, and cooked it in a little olive oil with scallions (my new favorite ingredient), low sodium soy sauce, dried ginger, and frozen sugar snap peas. YUM.

And here was my 2nd veggie lasagna, just as good as the first. I really liked the way the sliced zucchini looked (and tasted).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yes, Mr. President. I Accept Your Challenge.

I work at a place that has a relationship to the Federal Government, thus I often get Federal Government-wide email alerts. And yesterday, a totally dorky email alert came through... but I decided to click anyway. And I'm glad I did.

I have now signed up for the President's Challenge program, which encourages all Americans to adopt more active lifestyles and become healthier through exercise. Take that, Arnold Schwarzzenegger! Obama got me to do what you never could in the 80's. :-)

I've actually been looking for some kind of challenge program to motivate me to start exercising, and so far I have to say I'm enjoying this one. The goal is to have 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, for at least 6 out of the next 8 weeks. If I do so, I'll get a certificate. Oh, yes! I'm motivated by rewards, I have no shame in admitting. The web site is pretty fun, as you log in your activity and then actually get stars (red ones, not gold, alas) for completing your days of exercise. This is a program that clearly knows how to motivate slugs like me. I will do it for points and recognition, more so than just because "it's good for me." So here's hoping it works!

If anyone else joins and wants to create a "group" with me, where we can motivate each other and compare progress, just let me know. Let's be dorky together!

I Am a Snacker

And that's been the downfall of so many of my failed dieting attempts in the past. But, so far, I seem to be doing pretty well with my nutritionist-approved snacking habits. What am I reaching for in the afternoon doldrums or to keep me company while watching tv at night?

- my homemade snack mix. This stuff is like CRACK. With protein and that little bit of sweet that I crave in the afternoons.

- string cheese. I used to turn my nose up at this stuff, but lately I've found that 2 reduced fat string cheese sticks are great snacks. They are really filling and are great at battling the 4 pm "I'm so hungry I could scream!" crises.

- veggies and dip. I've long been a baby carrot fan, but lately I've also been buying zucchini and yellow squash and slicing it up, then dipping into a reduced fat dill or onion dip. It's the same craving as potato chips and dip, but much healthier.

- Cheerios, in moderation. I've measured out 1/2 cup portions into little snack-size baggies, so I totally look like a toddler pulling these things out. When at the conference, I assured my co-workers I wouldn't smoosh them into the carpet. :-)

- Activia yogurt. My nutritionist told me to switch my yogurt from being breakfast (when it wasn't nearly filling enough) to being a sweet, light afternoon snack. Good stuff. And the Activia does wonders to help my IBS.

These little snacks are really helping me get through the days, and I've grown to really like all of them. Even, yes, the string cheese.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another milestone

Here’s an interesting milestone – I just cut my diabetes medication in half. I was kind of hesitant to because I was getting some higher (for me anyway) readings. I’m finding out that stress really impacts blood sugar. Now that I’ve come back from a marathon of work travel my blood sugar is perfectly fine. Saturday, I decided to take the advice of my nutritionist and cut my blood sugar medication in half. I check my blood sugar three times a day: first thing in the morning; right before dinner to see if the medication I took during breakfast is keeping the blood sugar down and two hours after dinner to see if the medication I took during dinner is working. Doing that Saturday, I was happy to find that my blood sugar levels are A-OK. It appears that the exercise and changes in eating habits really work. My nutritionist is saying if I keep it up I’ll be off the blood sugar medication in a year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sausage hash

I do have this deep seated love for corned beef hash. But sadly with the potatoes and the salt in the corned beef, that's less of a possibility. Lucky for me I can substitute the heck out of the dish and come up with something just as awesome. Behold the turkey-sausage/carrot/parsnip hash. Just a good, if not better.

1/2 an onion finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 parsnip, grated
2 links of turkey bratwurst (the raw kind you have to get out of a casing)

Spray a skillet with pam and slowly cook the sausage which has been taken out of its casing. Let the fat render out and set aside. With the fat left in the pan, sautee the onion carrot and parsnip until tender and slightly mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add back in the cooked sausage and cook the whole thing together for another 5 minutes.

This hash is great because it screams out for variation. For example:

Mexican style
Replace bratwurst with turkey chorizo and add a teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin.

Italian style
Replace bratwurst with Italian sausage and add some chopped sundried tomatoes and red pepper flakes.

The vegetables are starchy enough to mimic the potato but give it a nice texture. Add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and this could be a nice sloppy joe filling.