Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Food and Fun

Still working on undoing bad habits. One of the things my son and I used to do whenever we went for a ride was stop by McDonald's to get large fries and iced teas. This was a staple for us. Towards the end of our ride we'd stop by another fast food place to get takeout for home. It seems our outings were more about the food than the fun.

It's okay to enjoy food out sometimes. So I'm locking away old habits and throwing away the key. When we venture out there's no more stopping at ole Mickey D's to get the usual fries and iced tea. Instead I take time to make an actual plan instead of randomly riding around. I find food to be less of a thought when a plan is in place. Purpose over passive.

Here lately, if I do decide to get a little something to eat it becomes part of the adventure as opposed to being part of the ride. A few days ago we went to a wonderful little market in a nearby town where they sometimes have live music. There was no music that day so we walked around a bit. Later I decided to purchase a small container of their vegan chicken salad. Neither of us have ever tried vegan chicken salad before. I thought it would be fun sharing a culinary first together. We sat at a table on the lawn and watched the children play. Great weather, great company and a delicious snack. That's more like it.

My son has been very receptive to simply hanging out with mom and loving life.

Living seen from a whole new perspective. Learning to put food in it's place has opened up many wonderful opportunities to simply enjoy life and living. There's so many more things I want to do and experiences I want to share with my son. As a new rule, on our adventures, food is only an option...not a must have.

I am a work in progress and so is my son. We will be for the rest of our lives. I think that's pretty cool. I'm thankful. Not only am I seeing the outcome of positive change, but my son is starting to see also. Feels good.

Onward and Upward!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Workout! Moving into Wellness Together :-)

Hey everyone! I just had a great idea. How would you like it if I start posting different workout videos on Fridays. I thought that would be a cool thing for all of us. The videos are something that will keep me encouraged and I hope they encourage you too. Let's all "move" into wellness together.

For my first workout post I've selected a workout that is great for people of all ages, sizes and abilities. The entire workout is done from a sitting position which makes it an excellent workout to do while at your work desk or at home. I like to do most of my workouts from a sitting position so I don't strain my joints. I will post different kinds of workouts each Friday. Please feel free to suggest your favorite kinds of workouts in the comments section below. It would be totally awesome if you want to share some of your favorite healthy recipes too.

If at all possible, before the workout begins get yourself a bottle of water, a towel and weights (whatever weights your are comfortable with. I use my 2lb. weights) If you don't have weights, you can use can goods from your pantry or nothing at all. In this video you will be shown exercises in beginner and advanced levels. This video is 12 minutes long.

Sorry for the late post. I promise to post next week's exercise video much earlier.

Okay ya'll let's get started!!

Full Body Chair Workout with @KeairaLaShae

I hope you enjoy this workout. I'll be posting a different workout every Friday during the Spring season. If you like the workouts I post let me know and I'll post more during the Summer months.

Before I go I want to share an awesome food idea that I've just recently discovered. Just the other day a friend share a couple bags of turnips with me. I enjoy all veggies, but turnips I usually give away because I only know of one way to prepare them. During my latest light bulb moment I thought about using turnips as a substitute for potatoes in a few of my favorite dishes.

Turnips: Health Benefits, Facts, Research

Last night's Dinner:

Sautéed turnips and smoked turkey sausage

1 large smoked turkey sausage, cut on the diagonal
3 large turnips, cubed
1 large onion, coarsely diced
1 pk. sodium free chicken bouillon crystals
3 tbls. canola oil (use 1 tbls oil for cooking sausage. Reserve remaining oil for cooking turnips)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 water

Sautéed the turkey sausage in oil, remove from pan and sit to the side.  Add cubed turnips to pan saute until turnips start to brown a little add onion, turkey sausage and seasonings, saute for a few more minutes add water and cover. Turn the heat to medium low and let the turnips get tender. After a few minutes check turnips for tenderness add more water if needed and let steam for a few more minutes. Serve with a salad and enjoy!


Mock hash browns

1 med turnip, shredded
1/2 small onion, chopped
Sea salt  and cracked black pepper to taste
2 tbls. canola oil

Shred med. turnip put into a saute pan with a little canola oil, approx. 1 to 11/2 tbls. canola oil. Sautee and cover for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add chopped onion, sea salt and black pepper continue to saute. Add a little more oil if needed. Cover for a couple minutes until turnips at desired tenderness.

I served the mock hash browns with scrambled eggs. Delicious!!

Onward and Upward! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bearing the Burden of Being a Bad Example

Spring has sprung again. It seems a bit too soon for me. I was just wondering what happened to winter when I noticed the trees in my front yard are starting to bud. What did happen to winter? Is it just me, or does is seem winter lasted for approximately 2 weeks?

I wanted to start writing again in February, but I didn't have the energy. I was dealing with my son's impaction issues. I also had to deal with the discovery that my son adopted my old way of eating. No matter how much of an effort I made to make sure he had a normal eating schedule he still found my unhealthy regimen more favorable. How do you cope with discovering that you've given your child a foundation for developing an eating disorder? What can I say...I am guilty as charged. Now I've got to figure out how to right this wrong.

It's not all my fault and I'm not just saying that out of a guilty conscious. My son was a preemie and diagnosed failure to thrive due to gut malabsorption issues. He had to consume massive quantities of calories just to register on the infant/toddler growth chart. I never worried about his food consumption as long as he had a healthy diet. He still has a healthy diet, but his love of snacking has gotten out of control.

Starting around December, I noticed that my son eating little during the day, a small meal at dinner and a snack before bed. I thought his wanting smaller meals was due to intestinal issues. Made since to me. What I didn't know was that he's gorging out on snacks in between meals and late night. I discovered this pattern while investigating possible causes for frequent gut impactions. This behavior had to stop. He was making himself sick because his gut can't take that kind of consumption. I had to figure out a way to get him to understand what he's doing is hurting him. If you don't already know, my son is autistic. He's considered to be on the sever side. His professional team tells me what I've accomplished with him is remarkable and there are even moments when it's hard to tell that he's disabled. Nonetheless, I've really got my work cut out for me. I had to do a lot of praying and searching for answers.

I could have easily set up an appointment with  my son's GI specialist. They would have examined him, upped his medications and little else. I don't want that for him. I want to know the cause, which for some reason doctors don't like to look for, at least not until symptoms become severe. I wasn't willing to wait for that.

Erasing Years of Being a Bad Example

Where do I begin? Part of me wants to kick myself for not taking my disorder more seriously and trying harder to recover earlier. Part of me wants to purchase a cabinet and a padlock so I can lock away all snacks. That's hard and harsh. Isn't it enough that we have to overcome some many trials or obstacles?! Often times there's so little enjoyment outside of each other's company, the company of a few friends and food. I can't bare to take away one of the few joys he has. I also can't bare watching him kill himself with the very thing that brings him the most joy or making him feel deprived. Whew... Talk about your emotional roller coaster.

Okay, so I came up with an inventory of things to work on:

1. Maintain safe comfortable environment - Don't freak out. Stay calm and level headed. Introduce dialog about health issues along with visual aids. Begin removal of snack that trigger binging. Replace trigger snacks with healthier alternatives. Keep snack cabinet and make desired amount of pre-measured snacks available.

2. Continue to encourage choices even when choices are limited.

3. Be a good example - Part of being a good example is being aware that your child is always watching you even if it's not obvious. Make it point to give them something healthy to see.

I don't generally like eating at the dinner table largely due to my past. I've put my past in it's place and began eating meals with my son instead of in front of my computer. Every evening we will sit down at the table and eat our meal. I wasn't sure if my son would be receptive to the idea. We usually eat all of our meals in front of our computers. Bad...bad...bad example. Turned out that he rather enjoys eating dinner together and often comes in to help me set up for dinner when the meal is almost done. Wow! I admit, I enjoy it also. It's nice to share a meal with someone who is not berating me about how much or how little I am eating. Hmmm.

Note to self: Past pain not only effects you, it effects your children too. Be wise and work on self so that you can be your best self for you and your family.

4. Continue to encourage small bites and proper chewing - Taking smaller bites and chewing food properly aides healthy digestion. While monitoring my son I found he pushed his food to the roof of his mouth, chewed once or twice and then swallowed. Which means, most of his food went down almost whole. Not good.

5. Be patient -  It will all come together soon. This problem didn't start overnight and it's not going to end overnight. Take your time. All is not lost.

There you have it. These are the basics for my groundwork towards undoing a very bad habit so I can make room for a healthier lifestyle for all.

Don't get mad at yourself. Be encouraged. Admitting that I've made mistakes is part of my healing process. Working towards correcting those mistakes is what makes me stronger and what inspires me to try harder.

I can't help but think of something my mom used to say to me all the time. Be careful what you do because someone is always watching. I don't think I've taken those words more seriously than I have in the past two moths.

I'm just starting to get over some of the guilt of my actions causing my child to engage in behavior that was hurting him. That's a very hard pill to swallow, but it is also the wake up call I needed during a time when I'd usually give up on myself.

It's March and all is well. My son's gut has not been impacted since the changes we've made. Always mutating into perfection I say... There have only been a couple days that I've had to give him a little more medicine for his gut, but that's usually after eating a heavy meal out. My son is adjusting well to having pre-measured snacks. He's also starting to make better decision about what snack he want and when. There are times, when I find him trying to double up on snacks, but I continue to encourage him not to eat out of habit, but only eat when hungry. I thinks some of what I'm saying is really starting to sink in. I'm pretty sure my son is becoming more aware of how food makes him feel, especially when he overeats.

This balancing act has given me a whole new appreciation for my efforts to recover. I'm so thankful that I am making the effort. I'm even more thankful that I have not given up.

I have been exercising regularly since September 2014. In the past I've given up right around the 3rd month or so. I am working towards my 6th month of exercising consistently. This is huge. I am also happy to report that I continue to lose weight. Slow and steady wins the race. I am not living a life of depravity. I eat healthy portions of foods that I enjoy eating. Living gluten free has freed us from eating many starchy foods like breads and pastas. We also have cut back on rice, but when we want a rice like dish I make quinoa, which is a delicious alternative and packed with protein. In recent months we've cut back on dairy which seems to be working to our benefit.

My glucose, cholesterol and vitamin levels are all in normal range. My blood pressure has dropped from a consistent 218-225/100-110 range to being 125/80. Onward and Upward!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Springing Back Into Action

Greetings everyone! Happy Spring!

This is just a quick note to let you know that I will be back in full blogging mode very soon. I look forward to sharing with you again. I hope you've had a cozy Winter and are having a joyful beginning to Spring.

New blog posts will begin on Thursday, March 24th.

Hugs to you all.