Wednesday, July 30, 2014

settling in

I haven't posted in awhile due to moving into a new house, so figured I would write a few lines.

We moved into the house this past weekend.  The whirlwind started on Thursday night when we picked up the uhaul truck and then continued on through Sunday might. It was so hectic and exhausting.  We filled a moving container, a 14 foot uhaul truck, our car and the Blazer, and still had more to go.  Lucky for us the house is vacant this week so we were able to grab the last few odds and ends.  Thankfully we had help with the moving.  I don't know what we would have done without it.  Thank you to everyone who helped us!  We're so thankful,

I'm off of work this week so I've been spending the time doing a little unpacking, rearranging furniture, and dealing with all the people coming out for different work.  We had to have some work done on the well, we had no hot water so had to have the furnace guy come out, and we've got the propane guys coming out to install propane.  We're getting there.  But just like it felt like I'd never get packed and moved, I now feel like I'll never get unpacked and get it all cleaned up.

As for my diet, it's terrible this week.  I've been living off of cold pizza since we can't use the well water for drinking or cooking, and we can't cook anyway because the propane hasn't been installed yet. We just got the grill up amd running yesterday so Bob got hamburgers.  I again had cold pizza. Oh well, just a couple more days and I'll be able to cook.

So how do I like the new house?  I absolutely love it!  Actually, I should say I love living in a more suburban, country-like area.  And I love my property.  So peaceful and full of nature.  The house is great, too, but obviously there are things I'll want to change at some point.

Guess I'll go unpack a little more.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

time to move!

Well, the time has come to move to the new house.  We just picked up the UHaul, the moving container is half full, and many boxes have been brought up to the house already.  Tomorrow we're going to empty the basement and garage, then it's on to the furniture.  And the kitties are being transported tomorrow, too. Then the moving container will get picked up Saturday.

I wasn't able to concentrate at work at all today.  Mostly because I'm busy thinking of all the things I haven't thought about yet.  As a result, I was like a bottomless pit today.  I just wanted to do nothing but eat.  I brought some food to work so I wouldn't have to throw it out or truck it up to the house.  Big mistake.  I ate almost all of it:  a whole sleeve of Ritz crackers, about 8 small biscotti (diet), and some corn nuts.  Might not be a lot for most people, but it is for me considering my stomach is so small. I spaced it out, of course, but I still ate it all.  I ate my regular meals, too:  two hard-boiled eggs for breakfast; Atkins frozen dinner for lunch; and two breakfast sausages, a half a Quest bar, and three pieces of cheese for dinner (one American ans two Swiss).  I feel BLECH!

It will be over soon enough and then I'll be busy setting up the new house.  Just need to make it through the weekend.  And remember that I have a nice, shaded patio waiting for me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

today's lunch

This is moving week so I decided to buy some pre-made stuff for lunches. I don't want to do any dishes or cook. Can't cook anyway - I packed all the pans away.

Today's lunch is pre-made seafood salad on top of Ritz crackers. I won't be able to finish all of this, but figured I would have some if I get hungry later. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

a word of caution about prescription pain relievers

Ever since I had the weight loss surgery I've seldom had to take anything for pain relief.  Since everything at the moment has to be chewable or in liquid form, I rarely make the effort to go to the store and find something I can take.  I have a bottle of Roxicet left over from my surgery six months ago, which I decided to hold onto for the rare occasion when I need to take something.  Until last night, I hadn't touched it.

I went to bed early last night, because I've been going to bed way too late, then my mind starts running and I end up getting up late for work.  I read in bed for about an hour and a half.  My hips started bothering me, but I figured I had just laid in one position for too long.  Then my feet started burning and itching.  For an hour and a half!  Drove me nuts!  It happens randomly and I can't see to find a reason why.  Some nights I'm fine, others I'm not.  So, I decided to go downstairs and surf the net for awhile to tire myself out and let the itching calm down.

Before I went back up to bed I decided to take some of the Roxicet for my hips.  (By then my legs had started to ache.)  I had already packed all my measuring spoons, so I did what my mom used to do:  use a regular spoon as a teaspoon.  I guesstimated 2 teaspoons, then went up to bed.  About 10 minutes later I started feeling pretty good.  Like drug-induced-stupor good.  I progressively felt more and more relaxed, but then started feeling dizzy.  Really dizzy.  Then my stomach started bothering me.  The I started having pain in my back.  I got really nervous that I had overdosed or something.  I asked Bob to go downstairs and get me some water to maybe try and dilute it or wash it through faster.  For about 25 minutes it felt like a cross between a bad gall bladder attack (I don't have a gall bladder anymore) and being completely trashed. Bob asked me if he should take me to the hospital or call 911.  That's how bad I felt.  I couldn't even walk a straight line.  Eventually I started feeling better, but I was actually afraid to go to sleep for fear that I wouldn't wake up.

So, why did I feel like that?  Probably because medicines tend to be absorbed much more quickly in gastric bypass patients.  Or, it could have been dumping syndrome caused by sugar in the syrup.  Liquid medicines are sometimes suspended in a sugary syrup -- that's why they don't taste horrible.  Although, I don't think there's enough in it to cause that.  I'm not super sensitive to sugar like some patients are.

Moral of the story?  As a gastric bypass patient, you have to be really careful when taking medicines.  Test yourself with half a dose first.  If you're OK, then add the second half of the dose.

Friday, July 18, 2014

dinner: barbecue chicken pizza

With all the packing going on this week, I'm trying to make quick, easy meals.  This pizza fits the bill.  It's a low carb, low fat, low calorie tortilla (the big ones) topped with barbecue sauce, pre-cooked packaged chicken breast strips, and shredded cheddar cheese.  I tossed it in the toaster oven on 350 for about 15 minutes and voila:  dinner.

I was only able to eat about 2 slices, because I loaded it with chicken.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

today's breakfast and lunch

Today for breakfast I have two herbed goat cheese and sausage egg cups.  These are coming in handy now that I'm busy with packing and moving.  No need to cook.  Just toss a couple in my lunch box and I'm done.

For lunch I've got two lunch meat rolls made with Applegate Farms turkey breast and American cheese with a side of baby Kosher dill pickles (I love them sour!).

Snack is peanuts.  For some reason I get the munchies around 11 am on weekdays. (Probably has something to do with my feelings about my job.) I like to call it Elevenses.  I heard this reference in the first Lord of the Rings movie and thought it was just something they made up for the movie script; however, I found out through the power of Google that it's real.  Apparently it's British and it means "light refreshment (as a snack) taken in the middle of the morning," according to  Huh.  I now feel the need to drink tea.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

today's breakfast and lunch

On Sunday I made Cinnamon Ricotta Pancakes for a nice change of pace.  I took a tip from a blog I read and decided to have them cold with some almond butter for today's breakfast.  Yummy!

Lunch is a hot dog cut up with some baked beans.  I use Grillin' Beans.  They taste so much better than plain baked beans.  There's about 2.5 oz. of beans in there, along with one hot dog.

Snack is 1 oz. of dry-roasted peanuts.  I've decided I need to go back to portioning out nuts.  They're turning into a red light food (remember Weight Watchers and the concept of red light foods?).  They're very caloric so I need to cut back.

Hmmm, I just noticed:  I have a very bland-colored food theme going on here today.  Tastes good, though.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

quest bar: chocolate brownie

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I bought some Quest protein bars.  I've found they taste better than other brands I've tried.

The other day I tried this one.  It's Chocolate Brownie.  I really liked it.  Nothing can really substitute for a real brownie, but I find the flavor of this to be better than other protein bars and diet snacks that are supposed to be brownie-flavored.  

The Quest Facebook page recommended putting the bar in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to warm it up and make it more chewy like a real brownie.  They even have a recipe for making salted caramel-filled "brownies" using this bar.  I haven't tried that yet, but it's an idea.

Monday, July 14, 2014

the week in review

Last week was pretty busy for me.  I'll be glad when the move is over and I find a job I'm happy with.
  • We finally got a closing date for the new house:  tomorrow!
  • I decided to buy a Groupon for karate classes.  I've always wanted to learn karate, but I never signed up because I was too self-conscious about my weight.  But now that I'm down about 108 lbs., I think it's time to start trying new things.  It will be great exercise, too.  The Groupon is good for 120 days, so I'm thinking I'll start using it in September.
  • I found out that the job I've so desperately wanted for the last five months is not available.  I won't say much on this other than the job and the circumstances turned out to be not what I thought they were. I've decided I probably don't want to work at this company based on how things happened.  So, I'll concentrate on the move for now and start looking in September.
  • The moving container was delivered.  We're using 1-800 Pack Rat.  The night before it arrived we had to run around trimming the trees that overhang the driveway in order for the truck to have enough clearance.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough room in the driveway and, after several failed attempts, had to put the container in the street.  We've started packing it, mostly with the big stuff.  It's clear, though, that not everything is going to fit.  We're going to have to make several trips back and forth to get everything.  Lucky for us, we'll have about a week and a half after closing to finish packing up and moving.
  • I attended a birthday party/cookout for my brother-in-laws birthday.  Great food, great company.  But the sun was brutal.  Bob and I spent a lot of time in the house with the air conditioner.  Parties are tough when it comes to eating.  Not because of all the goodies, but because I just don't have enough room to try everything I want to try.  My sister made pasta with crab and shrimp sauce.  I didn't eat the pasta, but had a little sauce with four shrimp.  I also had some cheese, pepperoni, and crackers. Then I was full.  When the meal was ready I had most of a chicken leg, a couple forkfuls of baked beans, and half a hard boiled egg from the top of the potato salad.  Dessert was half a cookie and half a brownie.  I normally stay away from that stuff since it bothers my stomach.  I felt kind of lethargic for awhile afterwards, but I was OK.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

cinnamon ricotta pancakes

I haven't been cooking much lately now that I'm having to pack up my house and prepare to move, so today I decided I would take the time to make a new recipe.  It's not my recipe, but a new one nonetheless.

Today I made Cinnamon Churro Ricotta Pancakes for breakfast.  I got the recipe from The World According to Eggface blog.  I actually didn't make any changes to the recipe this time.

The pancakes came out great and tasted like cinnamon churros.  I put some butter on top (real butter; I don't bother with the fake stuff anymore) and poured on a little sugar free pancake syrup.  I was able to eat three of them; they're only about 3 inches in diameter.

If you decide to make these pancakes, keep in mind that they're not the usual light and fluffy pancakes we all know and love.  They're more dense because of the added ricotta cheese.

Here's the recipe:  Cinnamon Churro Ricotta Pancakes

Thursday, July 10, 2014

today's breakfast and lunch

I'm really loving this Bento lunch box I bought.  I can fit breakfast, lunch, and a snack (or dinner).  And I don't have to carry around a million little containers in my purse.

  • Snack:  One low-fat string cheese stick with 28g turkey pepperoni
  • Breakfast:  One Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt, Key Lime; 1 oz. dry roasted peanuts to mix into my yogurt
  • Lunch:  Three slices of Applegate Farms Smoked Turkey (2.5 oz.) rolled up with 3 slices of American cheese (1.5 oz.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

chocolate milk, post-op version

When I was in the store a few weeks ago I decided I wanted chocolate milk.  Since surgery, I haven't been a milk drinker at all.  That's probably because I spend a lot of time trying to get in all my required servings of water; there just isn't time left to drink milk once all is said and done.  Plus, milk has a lot of carbs and can have a lot of sugar, so I just stay away.

I was grocery shopping and noticed that Hershey has a sugar-free chocolate syrup.  So I grabbed a bottle and then grabbed a carton of Smart Balance fat-free (skim) milk.  Normally I hate fat-free milk (think:  white water), but Smart Balance fat-free milk is made to taste like  2% milk.  I have no idea what kind of magic tricks they use (and I probably don't want to know), but it really does taste like 2%.  Although, the consistency is that of fat-free milk.  I guess one can't have everything.

The other day I decided I would try some chocolate milk, so I mixed up a glass using the Hershey's sugar-free syrup and the Smart Balance milk (yes, this milk stays good for WEEKS).  It mixed up just like regular chocolate milk.

The verdict?  Ick.  I dumped it out.  I'm not sure if I've lost my taste for sweets, or if the Hershey's sugar-free syrup was just gross.  I think it's a little of both, but more the taste of the syrup.  When I took the little seal off the syrup bottle, I licked off the bit of syrup on it (best part of opening a new bottle!) and it tasted very sweet and very fake.

In the future I think I'll just stay away from chocolate milk.  There's really no need for it and it's not like I really crave it anyway.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

the week in review

Now that things are getting busy with the big move, I figured I'd do a little recap of what's been going on the last week or so.

  • We're going to be closing on the new house later this week.  It's amazing how much paperwork and gathering of paperwork goes on for this type of thing.  It seems like every time I send in the requested items, the lender emails me another list of items to gather.  I'm a banker, though, so I know this is par for the course.  
  • The moving container is coming tomorrow!  I'll be so happy to see that thing delivered.  I have boxes starting to stack up in the back room, and I just picked up a bunch of furniture I bought from a friend, which is stacked in the dining room, living room, and front porch.
  • I've lost another 2 pounds!
  • I talked to the CEO of the other bank I want to get into, so my job misery might be coming to an end very soon.  So happy for that.  I feel very underutilized and like my work doesn't matter.  I'm just checking off boxes, so to speak.  After the prior bank failed, I really thought I wanted a low-key, single-focus type of job.  No managerial duties, just go about my business.  Biggest mistake I've ever made, I think.  Didn't listen to my gut.  But hopefully that will be fixed soon.
  • I was almost out of dry cat food the other day.  I was too lazy to go to the store, so I rationed what was left (only two of my cats eat dry food exclusively, the others just snack on it).  I ran out completely yesterday and since we were picking up furniture (multiple trips), I didn't get to the store until later.  I caught Bailey fishing for old friskies under the radiator.  It was sad, really.  But we brought home two big bags later on.  We filled all the bowls, they ate it happily, and then all promptly went to sleep on the new furniture.
  • I tried a Dunkin' Donuts munchkin the other day.  Someone brought them to work.  I spit it out.  It was just too doughy and sugary for me.  It didn't taste good like it used to.
So, that was my week.

Friday, July 4, 2014

quest protein bars: apple pie and peanut butter supreme

While I was browsing the health food store last week I came across Quest protein bars.  I've been wanting to try them, so I decided to buy five of them:  Strawberry Cheesecake, Apple Pie, Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Peanut Butter Supreme.  They're soft, there's no added sugar in most of them, and they have 20g of protein.  

Over the weekend I tried the Apple Pie flavor.  It was great.  It tastes like apple pie and there were bits of apple throughout.  I thought this one was a little sweeter than the Strawberry Cheesecake, but it wasn't overwhelming.  Nice and soft, too.  I would definitely buy it again.  This bar has 180 calories, 5g fat, 25g carbs, 18g fiber (!), 4g sugar and 20g protein.

Today I tried the Peanut Butter Supreme bar.  I have to admit that I scarfed this down pretty quickly before I left work so I didn't pay much attention, but it definitely tasted good and there were peanuts in it.  Soft like the other bars and not sweet.  I would buy it again.  Next time I'll be sure to savor it a little more. 

I really need to be careful about eating too fast.  When I scarfed down the bar today I was surprised I was able to finish it..and then it hit me:  I was full.  Very full.  I can't stand that uncomfortable fullness anymore.  I seriously don't know how I did that to myself several times a day for years on end.  As I was walking out to the parking lot I felt like I wanted to throw up.  I didn't, but I wanted to.  I was OK after about 10 minutes.  

Going forward, I have to make sure I eat slowly.  I don't want these bad habits to come back, nor do I want to stretch out my new stomach pouch.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

my first hot dog!

Although I don't normally crave hot dogs, I've found myself wanting one this last week or so.   I eat a lot of Greek yogurt and egg bites.  Time to move on; I want something different.

I've found through trial and error that meats containing nitrates bother my stomach.  I couldn't figure out why some lunch meats bother me and others don't.  Then I read a blog post on The World According to Eggface about different uses for lunch meat.  It said that post-ops should look for nitrate-free and/or uncured lunch meats.  The light bulb went on and realized that could be the issue:  nitrates.  So, I bought some Applegate Farms lunch meat a couple weeks back and voila:  no more stomach ickiness.

When I was wanting a hot dog, it occurred to me that if nitrate-free lunch meats solved the problem of the stomach ickiness, it stood to reason I should look for the nitrate-free hot dogs.  So, I went shopping last week and got some Applegate Farms beef hot dogs.  They were a little pricey, but since I can no longer eat more than one hot dog at a time, the package will last for awhile.

I hate the feeling of being on a diet so I decided to put the hot dog on the grill, along with Bob's hot dogs and hamburgers.  And since I hadn't had these hot dogs before, I wasn't sure how it would taste if I boiled it.  I figured grilling would give it more flavor, or mask any weird flavors.  Instead of a hot dog roll, I used half of one of those sandwich thins.  I put it in the toaster oven and tucked the sides down through the little cooking rack.  I wanted it to look like a hot dog bun and also not tear when I folded it over.  It came out perfect!  I put about 2 tablespoons of baked beans on the side.

These hot dogs are great!  I didn't miss regular hot dogs at all.  Not one bit.  It had a lot of flavor and tasted just like a regular hot dog, only without that greasy, fatty taste.  It was a clean taste.  I will definitely buy these again.

I was able to finish all but the last bite of the "bun."

today's breakfast and lunch

Here's what I'm having today:

Breakfast:  Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt, Chocolate Cherry with peanuts mixed in
Lunch:  Applegate Farms Beef Hot Dog with Bush's Grillin' Beans
Snack:  pepper jack cheese stick and some pepperoni slices

The other day I had my first hot dog since surgery!  I'll be posting that later.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

homemade trail mix

Last week I stopped at the local health food store and stocked up on a few of my favorites.  Since I was going to New York for my niece's high school graduation, I decided to use my goodies to make some homemade trail mix for the ride.

I used about a cup each of the following:

  • honey roasted sesame sticks
  • oat bran sesame sticks  
  • corn nuts
  • roasted peanuts
  • peanut butter chips
  • raisins (1/2 cup) 
  • raw, shelled sunflower seeds (1/2 cup; these didn't work so well because they tend to migrate to the bottom of the bag)

I just tossed it all in a one gallon zipper bag and tossed it around to mix.  I have no idea what the nutritional stats are.

It was delicious!  I ended up bringing some into work, because the bag was huge and I couldn't keep my hands out of it.

Considering all the higher-calorie goodies in the mix, I know it's not pretty.  Very satisfying, though.