Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lessons Learned

A bad recipe is just a bad recipe. But it is frustrating as hell to make a bad recipe and then know you can't pop in a freezer pizza for a quick dinner. Or get take out. Or order in. In fact, last night I had a dream that we had ordered pizza in and I was elated because the pizza chain made each pizza to order and ours was one I could eat. And then I woke up. 

My temper tantrum (we've all had this moment right?) tonight stemmed from the 2nd horrible recipe that we made this week. We're not going back to the recipe website ever. Pinterest and Food Gawker are still my favorite places to find new recipes to try. 

And to find things like this

And right now is the best moment because it's mine and I'm reclaiming it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lessons Learned

Receiving my diagnosis was not the worst thing that ever happened to me. In a lot of ways, it was empowering to put a name to the many emotional, physical and psychological things I had been experiencing for so many years. There was something wrong with me that affected every part of my life. I felt like all my effort didn't make a difference, and in some ways that was true because my effort was being put into a lot of the wrong things.

Here are my lessons learned so far...

My body isn't my enemy. 
i just need to learn how to take care of it the right way.

I don't fit into a mold.
what worked for my friends or family didn't work for me, and I didn't know where or how to try something on my own.

I am beautiful.
i don't need to be a certain size or certain weight or certain shape.

I am perfectly imperfect. 
i am me and that is a wonderful, beautiful thing. i am valuable and irreplaceable. it's never okay to expect myself to be perfect.

This isn't about "not cheating" or "being good." 
i don't cheat on my diet. i can't. it's not a diet, it's my life and my lifestyle. sometimes i have dairy or soy or wine or even sugar and it's okay. it's a choice i make and i know i might feel a little crappy if i eat those things. sometimes the chocolate is worth it. i choose to be healthy and feel good and eat the things that make my body feel good.

Life is about living. Enjoying every moment. Finding passion and love, betrayal and trust, Feeling every emotion and knowing the value in the wonderful things in your life. Living with PCOS isn't about holding back or missing out.

My life is about waking up in the morning and feeling better than I did a week ago. It's about finding a recipe that my hubby and I both love eating and partnering together to have a healthy food lifestyle.  Each day my body is healthier and stronger which is something I'll continue for the rest of my life.

I'm learning something new about myself every day...
Self-reflection is a huge part of my life right now. Today I realized that I let go of my work stress on the drive home which rarely happened before. I also looked to my coworkers for help because I needed it which was liberating. Today, I felt good. I felt re-energized when I got home. That's an awesome victory. Tomorrow will bring another one.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Meal Planning 6.25

For Dinner This Week
MondayChicken Tacos. Due to poor planning on our part, this was not a crockpot creation.  Instead, we boiled the chicken, shredded it in the mixer and then put the salsa and homemade taco seasoning in a pot combined with the shredded chicken for 5-10 minutes before serving. The only complaint was from the hubby that was unhappy with the "the vegetables from the salsa that tasted mushy" (yep, he's a picky eater). Just for me - taco salad with lettuce, tomato, organic cheddar and a little sour cream

TuesdayTeryaki Chicken with vegenaise mayo.
UPDATE: We won't be making this again. Maybe "real" mayo would have made the difference here but the whole thing was unsalvageable. If you have better luck, let me know!

Wednesday: Oven baked shrimp. Melt vegan butter in the pan (1 stick worth). Slice one lemon and layer it on top of the butter. Put down fresh shrimp, then sprinkle one pack of dried Italian seasoning (homemade). Put in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 min.
UPDATE: Egads! Strike and a miss two nights in a row. I was so overwhelmed and defeated that I did resort to a childish fit and threatened hell-fire damnation to our dog because he wouldn't sit still. (the dog and I have since made up and I found a happy moment that night when I realized that I had leftovers in the freezer I could actually heat up! But I was still upset that 2 recipes had gone wrong 2 nights in a row).

Thursday: Easy Crockpot Chicken.
UPDATE: You've got to be kidding me. Seriously. Three strikes tonight! I don't remember what we ate this night because I was really feeling pissy. On this night I did vow that next week we'll make 6 recipes we know are good and only one night will we be daring and try a new recipe.

Friday: Crockpot Chicken Fajitas.
UPDATE: We didn't make this. I gave up on the crockpot for the rest of the week. We went to Outback again because we had a gift card and I can eat there. We went to a different location and this one offered GF bread, which I still declined because I'm afraid once I start eating bread I won't stop. My glass of wine was enough indulgence for the night!

SaturdayPulled Pork! This one I'm really excited about because the leftovers will become this. I'm also excited because I don't have to modify the recipe at all for the spice rub or other ingredients. Just add a lettuce wrap or a fork!
UPDATE: FINALLY!!!!! Finally a recipe that was delicious. Okay, well the first night we ate it, the pork was "okay." The second night when I made homemade fake barbecue sauce it was so freaking good we both had seconds. And I about died happy. Click above for homemade fake barbecue sauce that makes even picky eaters happy.

Sunday: Homemade Tacos with homemade seasoning. And just for me - lettuce wraps and avocado with tomato.
UPDATE: Always good. Except I ate mine with tortilla chips. And felt hungover the next day. This happened 2 days in a row that I ate white corn tortilla chips. Which I'm not really loving.

For Lunch This Week
BLT chicken salad. A really nice change from the hot lunches I've been eating lately. No worchestershire sauce for me, but delicious without it. Combined this with a little fresh lettuce and lunch was so, so good.

Crockpot Fajitas. We bought a crockpot and I had to use it the first day, so I modified the recipe a little. Haven't tried it yet, but it turned out really well and we'll freeze some for later too.

Snacks This Week
Cinnamon Apple Chips are good, but be sure to bake them long enough. Mine are a little chewy because I was tired last night and didn't want to wait longer since I still had to make the breakfast cookies before going to sleep. Yeah, so planning my weekend time is not always my strong suit!


Gave this tea a fresh go and also tried this flavored water and thisone  too.  Raspberry lime is  my favorite so far and the apple cinnamon is a good second. More combinations to come!

Coconut Bliss ahh to eat real ice cream and not feel like crap! My favorite so far is the mint chip flavor. Whole Foods nearby has the best selection so far (chocolate hazelnut, vanilla and mint chip) so I bought all three and have been savoring them on the most stressful work days.

Breakfast This Week
Breakfast "Cookies" So good! And definitely not regular cookie consistency, but I'm good with admitting that it feels nice to eat something in the shape of a cookie. I'm going to try a baked (okay, microwaved) apple version in place of the bananas and add chia seeds next time. I also want to try this and make my own dried fruit since most of the store-bought ones have sugar in them.

Meal Planning 6.18

This is the meal plan from last week. Here you go... and this time with updates!

For Dinner This Week
MondayTequila Lime Grilled Shrimp. We don't have a grill and as it turns out theTequila was too bitter for us. This one flopped but we'll try again with the lime, some raw honey and the broiler.
UPDATE: We really didn't like this one and won't make it again. We've found some other shrimp recipes (see the next meal planning entry) that look so much yummier!

TuesdayCilantro Thai Chicken
UPDATE: We loved it! Hubby wasn't sure about the combination of ingredients for the marinade when making it, but when it came to eating it, it's even picky eater approved! We used GF soy sauce. 

WednesdayChicken Parmigiana with almond meal for the breading. No cheese. GF noodles. And just for me - side salad and steamed asparagus.
UPDATE: I added chia seeds to the spaghetti sauce for some extra good food for my hubby. We both really liked this one.

Thursday: Homemade Tacos with homemade seasoning. And just for me - lettuce wraps and avocado with tomato (I like this simplified version of guacamole much better than adding onion, lime, salt, etc)
UPDATE: Always a hit! I use corn tortilla chips in my taco salad.

Friday: Gluten Free Pizza if I can find the replacements for the cornflour (millet) and cornstarch (arrowroot). Need to go to the (dreaded) health food store. We might be going out for a birthday dinner to Outback (ready to try out their GF/allergy menu!) this night so I may be saved from this extra grocery trip.
UPDATE: I couldn't find the millet and arrowroot in time for this recipe. As it turns out we went to Outback for dinner with family. The server was awesome and checked with the cook to see if their spice rub had sugar in it. They weren't sure, so my steak wasn't "original" but "wood fire" and had seasonings they mixed by hand. Salad was tossed in its own bowl and they served it with oil and vinegar. Super impressed with how easy they made dining out!

SaturdayHoney Lime Chicken Skewers
UPDATE: So, so good. We always use raw honey. Cooked in our NuWave. 

Sunday: Hamburgers with homemade seasoning. And just for me - lettuce wraps with avocado slices and hopefully ketchup I can eat (haven't found this yet).
UPDATE: Lettuce wraps are so messy, but worth it. After a massive grocery trip, I found ketchup with agave syrup in it. I had been missing ketchup on my burger! 

For Lunch This Week
Layered enchilada chicken with homemade enchilada sauce. Prepared black beans, cooked chicken, cilantro, enchilada sauce, Brown Rice Tortilla, repeat. Bake 375 for 30-40 minutes. Dish into small mason jars and stick in the fridge.
UPDATE: Continues to be delicious. Leftovers went into the freezer and were a great quick lunch after grocery shopping.

Avocado Chicken Salad. Even without the lime juice and absolutely no mayo, this is awesome! Made this for dinner after the planned meal fell flat. Rolled leftovers in cling wrap to help prevent browning. We'll see how this turns out by morning.
UPDATE: Sadly, this didn't survive. Brown chicken salad is gross. Definitely needs to be made fresh and when it is, it's great!

Snacks This Week
No Bake Energy Bites still a favorite. Adding chia seeds in addition to flaxseed now. Want to try this recipe too.
UDPATE: Yummy!

Dark chocolate with organic peanut butter.


Romaine salad with green onion, homegrown carrots and dressing that's safe (will look up link in future).

Made this tea but the jury is still out. Didn't have fresh ginger on hand so am going to try again with fresh ginger. Drinkable but not sure this is the right blend for my taste.

Also LOVE LOVE this dessert! Fake Ice Cream! It's all bananas and whatever you add. Tablespoon of cocoa is my favorite so far. Leave the chopped up bananas in the freezer overnight and you get the best consistency when blending/processing. Quick and easy and not nearly as expensive as Larry & Luna's ice cream. Also has NO coconut unless you add it and having a coconut free option is nice too.

Breakfast This Week
Oatmeal with fruit (blueberries, raspberries or strawberries), chia seeds and almond slices.

Smoothie (had the Alkaline Green Smoothie this morning. Going to try a few of these this week too.)
UPDATE: I didn't try any other smoothies this week. Smoothies make a lot of dishes for me to clean with the food processor getting dirty each time and I did make the banana ice cream several times which I also use the food processor for. Dishes, dishes, dishes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grocery Shopping

So, I may be starting to love food again. And starting to love myself a little more. Losing weight consistently now and I'm feeling so much better in my own skin. Sleeping well at night, waking up with more energy - I'm able get so much more done during the day which is amazing.

This week marks a new triumph. We have officially started planning our dinner menus.

I pulled up possible recipes on the laptop. We sat down together and picked some new ones and some favorites that I can still eat with modifications. I compiled the grocery list and hit the road to spend the next t-w-o hours at the store exhausting myself with this stupid list.

I got home, unloaded the car. Cleaned the sink and filled it with vinegar and water to soak all the veggies and fruit I just bought. I cleaned and packaged all of them as they prefer to be stored. I unpackaged, trimmed and repackaged the chicken. Same with the hamburger. Into the freezer they went.

Another hour+ later and the kitchen was put to rights, the fridge full of good food. The freezer actually had contents that did not include frozen DiGiorno Pizza. And then I sat on the couch for a well-deserved TV show or two. No, I'm kidding, I actually had to get dinner started so we'd be able to go to sleep before midnight, but the steaks were pretty well worth it. So was the sleep.

Our freezer has frozen, prepared jasmine and brown rice (check her out: Some frozen fruits and veggies. Frozen meats. Larry & Luna's ice cream. And some DiGiorno Pizzas because my spouse isn't ready to make the complete health-food plunge. But the picky eater of the year (she said lovingly) is trying all the foods I'm making for dinner so I am not complaining.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 13

Thirteen days ago my doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (learn more here). Which was not a good day.

I had been on a journey to find better health- better boundaries between my professional and personal life, exercise I enjoy, energy, waking up and looking forward to the day - things that I hadn't been finding for a while. My diagnosis put a face to the things I'd been feeling and struggling with. Knowing that there was a reason my eating and exercise only helped me get the body I wanted a little. Knowing that feeling lethargic and emotional was linked to my medical condition were a little hopeful. If I can get the symptoms under control, how much better will I feel? How much happier will I be? How much healthier will I be and will my family be?

I've been fighting against myself for 15+ years and it's exciting to feel like I'm actually figuring this out.

Recipes For Today

Energy Bites with PCOS friendly peanut butter, shredded unsweetened coconut, agave syrup, vegan mini chocolate chips, flax seeds, gluten free rolled oats

Organic Yogurt with blueberries

Gluten free rolled oats with stevia and blueberries

Sliced Almonds

Smoothie with gluten/dairy free protein powder, almond milk, banana

Layered Enchiladas with gluten free tortillas, black beans, enchilada sauce, cilantro, organic cheddar cheese - trying to salvage this batch as we speak since I tried soaking and cooking the black beans myself and they were underdone... the defeating moment of the day. 

Parmesan Chicken Bites with breaded with almond flour/meal, organic tomato sauce, quinoa/corn pasta, organic italian cheese blend - packed as lunch for next 2 days

So Delicious Mini Fudge Bar