Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eating Better with Soy

Design by Anne Taintor

Not really. I'm not really one frozen entree away from a nervous breakdown but this was funny. We decided that we needed to make changes again. We had really strayed away from eating better. Back in September my husband started a vegetarian diet that he held on to until Thanksgiving when he received a free ham at work. After that we fell right back into our bad habits half the time. The other half of the time we tried to work on our diet by eating more soy products, like Morning Star Farms. Now we are trying to get back on that track. This morning I made soy bacon and sausage with eggs. This evening when we went to Target I bought some more soy "chicken" strips and I'm going to experiment with them tomorrow in an enchilada recipe. I'm going to substitute the soy chicken for the turkey.

The taste of these products is really impressive. My kids eat the chicken nuggets and enjoy them just as much as they enjoy those processed chicken Tyson kind. They have never blinked an eye since I changed us over to several Morning Star Farms products. They fully enjoyed the bacon and sausage this morning with their eggs and even asked for more. I even tested the chicken nuggets on my friends' kids the other night and they too ate them without a question or complaint about the taste.

I'm not getting paid by Morning Star Farms to talk about their products. I've tried them and I like them. I'd like to graduate to the point where I learn how to cook tofu myself but until then Morning Star Farms is my helping hand.

The best thing that has happened lately, besides my daughter getting straight As and my son finally getting it that good behavior = rewards, is that my son finally found a vegetable that he likes. Edamame! Hilarious, everything he likes is soy or tofu related. I'm so happy to finally see him eating something green!!

It's time for a fill. I still haven't had one. I don't know why. I know that I canceled that one a couple of months ago because I had too many activities scheduled that week, but I never went back. I asked my lap band buddy (my friend who was banded the same day) why she thinks I'm avoiding a fill. She said that it was probably for the same reason that she hasn't gone. It's that we want to learn, we need to learn, how to do it on our own. We don't want to always live a life of tightness in order to eat less. We also need to learn control and to eat the right foods on our own.

The truth is that we will never eat like we did before. I will never eat a hamburger again. I will never eat anything heavy or too much for lunch. I will never eat bread and rice again. Even at this level of tightness that's a fact. However I know that I can eat more, later in the day, and I do that. There. I said it. I know I need to stop doing that. I know I need to eat less chips and less liquid calories. If I can do that I can keep my weight down. But I still need to go in for a check-up and to have them tighten me up a notch for an extra kick in the butt.

Also, I need to stay committed to the gym. I need to keep going, even now that the kids are out of school. It used to be so convenient because it was down the street from my kids' after school care. Now that they aren't going there I don't drive right by that gym. So we just joined a newer 24 Hr Fitness gym closer to our house, so that should help make it more convenient. I'm committed to keep up the working out.
I continue on my journey of and goal to do what I should and not what I shouldn't. And I thank you for following me on this quest.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Wonderful Food Allergy

Design by Anne Taintor

I haven't written here about my allergy. Yes, I have a food allergy. Imagine that! I am severely allergic to shellfish.

I first found out that I was allergic when I was eighteen. I won't bore you with all the details, but be assured that when I found out there was no doubt at all what it was. First there was the tiny reaction after eating shrimp in lobster sauce then the second medium reaction to crab on my prom night. Of all nights! Then finally the mother of all reactions! (all three in the same year) I transformed into a monster from head to toe. The whites of my eyes became swollen and red. My face was transformed into a monster's and the hives covered my entire body. I itched from my head down to my toes. I have never known such a horrible desperate feeling.

Fast forward twenty-two years. I had never been to an allergist and I just simply stayed away from shellfish. It was never really a problem, until recently...

In the past month I have had more shellfish incidents than I had in twenty-two years. In twenty-two years!!

First, my husband ordered calamari, which I can eat, and when I went to take some from his plate I discovered that they had mixed some mini-shrimp in with his order. Thank goodness some of the batter chipped off of one piece and I spied the pink tint of the shrimp or we may have had a disaster.

Second, a couple of weeks later I was at dinner with my family and a good friend. My friend offered me a vegetable that had been cooked with shrimp without even thinking about it. I spit it out but not before swallowing a bit of it. Within half an hour my legs were itching and my lip started to swell. We rushed home and I took some Benadryl immediately and the itching and swelling stopped.

The second incident was enough to prompt me to finally visit an allergist and I’m so glad I did. The doctor was so patient and knowledgeable. She reminds me of a college professor when she is explaining something. She explained that instead of Benadryl capsules I should carry Benadryl and Zyrtec in liquid form because if I really had a serious incident my throat would start to close and it would be difficult to swallow pills. She also prescribed an epipen, which I now carry in my purse at all times. An epipen is for a severe reaction and it’s actually an injection of medication.

A few days after my doctor’s appointment with the allergist I was eating at a popular Vietnamese restaurant and I ordered seaweed soup. The menu only says seaweed and I asked the waiter to be on the safe side. He said it didn’t have any fish. Well it turns out the waiter didn’t really speak English. I figured this out after eating around 4 tablespoons of soup with crab meat!

Thankfully I found out later that week, when I found myself back at the allergist and I had an allergy test, that I have the least reaction to crab, but a reaction none-the-less. I have a greater reaction to shellfish in general (which includes crawfish), shrimp and lobster. I am especially allergic to the crustacean family. The best part of the whole allergy test was that I showed the least reaction to the mollusca family, which includes clams, oysters and scallops. You do not know how excited I am to eat those three types of fish. Now all I have to do is go back for a final blood test.

There have been many times in the past when I have thought about my food allergy and I’ve wondered what it would be like if I had the same type of reaction to carbs and fat that I have to shellfish. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Maybe then I would stop eating from these two categories. But then I know that I need to eat right on my own. All these restrictions will not suffice. I have to set some boundaries and restrictions to myself and I need to realize that these other foods, the fat and the carbohydrates, can also kill me, just a lot slower.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cut Hair & Working Out Goals

Kind of small, but you get the idea. I cut my hair! I've always been self-conscious of not going too short because of my round face, but this is a cut that always works for me. This time the woman went a little too short. Hair stylists never realize how much my hair will curl up when it’s dry. But I figure it will grow. My hair grows pretty fast.

If I work out today it will be very ambitious of me. I always try to work out on Friday, but I’m always lured away by other things, like margaritas. But today I am going to make it a point to go for at least one hour after I pick up the kids. So I’m putting it out here to make myself accountable.

I’m looking forward to this weekend. I have a lot of writing to do and I’m writing a piece on Girl in a Coma and their new cover album, Adventures in Coverland. If all goes as planned I’ll be hearing them sing those songs Saturday night too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Working Out and Not Blogging

Here is an updated photo of me, up close & personal.

I haven't been blogging but I have been working out. One week, week before last to be exact, I worked out four times in one week. That's a record!

I took this picture and used it as an updated profile photo on FB, instead of that six year old picture I was still using, and I got a lot of positive feedback. Friends said my face looked smaller. Last weekend I saw some girlfriends who said I looked like I'd lost more weight. I didn't think so but it was nice to hear that.

Maybe the working out is making a difference! I hope so. The bad thing about working out so much is that I blog even less. I know this is the longest I've gone without blogging on here. Almost 3 weeks! That never happens and I apologize!

Onward march!

What else is new? I was gong to blog about how challenging it is sometimes to decide whether or not to have a fill. I never did.

The story is this. I was planning on getting a fill on a Monday but I kept debating if I should because I was going to a big luncheon on Thursday for an organization and both my VPs were going to be there. Whenever I have a fill I have to follow it up with 2 days of liquids and 2 days of soft food. The luncheon was going to fall on one of my soft food days, which means that the only thing I could have on the plate would be the mashed potatoes IF they even served mashed potatoes. That makes a luncheon kind of an awkward situation.

So I was debating back and forth when I received an invitation to another luncheon with all the consulates of the Spanish speaking countries for Tuesday. That did it. I went ahead and rescheduled the fill for another day. Not something I wanted to do, but there was no possible way I was going to pull off two luncheons on the same week that I had a fill.

I thought that this would make an interesting topic for this blog, especially for other lap band patients who could relate. I wonder how they cope with this challenge and I’d love to hear some feedback. But only positive feedback please. I don’t want anyone saying that I didn’t get a fill so I could just eat more. Because technically yes, I guess that’s the reason. I didn’t want to choke on my food in front of hundreds of people. LOL!

My goal this week? Eat better, drink more water, and keep working out and blog more often.