...where I share my life, craftiness and eating habits with the world...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I heart coffee...and Diet Pepsi

Good Morning, Happy weekend!  I'm going to start off this morning with the confession that with all my talk on portion sizes yesterday I went out to Mexican for lunch and had too many chips.  I didn't stuff myself, but I know I had about a handful too many.  It was my biggest meal of the day yesterday though.  I had coffee again for breakfast, and an apple with some cream cheese for dinner. So all in all not a bad day.  I have super big aspirations for this weekend...I'm going to refinish a dresser.  I've never really done it before, so it should be fun and challenging.  I'm hoping all the sanding will give me a bit of exercising too.  I gotta jump start my day with some coffee and my blog.  I just recently started drinking coffee again, because I have a serious caffeine addiction.  I usually drink Diet Pepsi, but I ran out and haven't been to the store yet, so coffee it is.  Does anyone know anything about caffeine and healthy eating?  Me either, but I've been learning.  A little bit of it isn't bad for you.  It can boost your metabolism and give you more energy for a little bit.  It can also jump start your weight loss.  It also has some downsides too.  If you drink too much caffeine you can get high blood pressure and have problems sleeping.  Without lots of water you can become dehydrated.  And if you are addicted to it like me  as your body becomes accustomed to caffeine, it begins to compensate. Used over the long term, caffeine actually reduces your metabolism. . . you come to need increasing amounts of caffeine just to stay alert.  Boo.  So I've been trying to limit myself.  The problem with that is that I get headaches if I don't have any....crazy right.  So I've cut my intake down to one in the morning.  It's very hard to not drink a Diet Pepsi, but I've been strong.  My hope is to eliminate my need for caffeine altogether.  I've done it successfully before and I can do it again!  Some caffeine research has taught me that caffeine actually stimulates hunger.  So if you don't have control of your eating habits, it can actually cause you to eat more!! Yuck, I don't want to eat more, I've just started eating LESS!!  It causes your blood sugar to rise and crash, which really explains a lot.  After a soda or a coffee it always seemed like I was hungrier.  For a diabetic the blood sugar swings are also bad f or keeping my A1C in check.  An A1C is the blood record of my blood sugar numbers for the last three months.   Good is under 5.  Before I started this lifestyle change it was probably 12.  So I was slowly killing myself.  But I'll save that discussion for another day!  My post is going to be short today! I have a lot of stuff I want to do, so wish me luck on my dresser project! I will post some pics if it turns out well! And keep fighting your Food Wars, we can do it...together!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Super Size Me

This is a regular portion size of meats.
Does anyone notice that when you go out to eat, you almost always come home so full you feel like you're going to explode?  On my birthday last month my friends and family took me out to a Mexican fiesta.  Complete with margaritas(a weakness of mine).  We were having so much fun, sipping peach margaritas and noshing on chips and salsa that I hadn't noticed how much I ate and drank.  My entree came, and I honestly couldn't remember what I had ordered at that point, and I tried to eat some of it, but I suddenly realized that I was so full that I couldn't breathe.  It was a horrible feeling, and I still wonder how I possibly could have done that to myself!!!  I had to go home and lie down.  I felt like I needed to hurl, which is so gross considering all the yummy things I had eaten and drank would taste horrible coming back up.  Needless to say I really should have exercised some portion control.  There has been a lot of info out there about portion control lately...what I've discovered in all my years of instruction by my dietitians is that this not a new issue.  When the first recession hit people stopped eating out because they were not(so they thought) getting their moneys worth.  Therefore restaurants started giving out bigger portions of their food.  For example, McDonald's and their Super Size Me agenda.  You could sit down to one meal at McDonald's and eat more fat and calories than you should have in a whole day!  Don't get me wrong...I really love McDonald's.  I know it's bad for me and very unhealthy, but I used to eat it all the time.  Before I got married and it was just me and my daughter we ate it all the time. It was just easier.  She liked it (I did to) and it was right by our house.  I just ran thru the drive-thru on the way home. I didn't have to cook or even get out of the car! I was admittedly very lazy.  Sometimes it just seems like so much work to cook a healthy dinner that everyone will actually eat right?  I know I've been there too.  The trick to this is portion control.  The serving size of most things you eat is the size of you're closed fist  For the veggies and fruits it is 1/2 cup. The easiest way to measure this is to scoop up the food with a measuring cup. The 1/2 cup to the top. You'd be surprised at how little food this is. And how little your body really needs for energy. I use salad plates when we eat dinner. This helps us to think we have a plate full of food.  Did you know that Michelle Obama changed the Food Guide Pyramid?  She changed it to a plate. It's called MyPlate.  I guess she thought it would be easier to understand if it were something we could recognize, like a plate.
You can find all the info here USDA's MyPlate .  But to to give you the overview it has been decided that we should get most of our daily calories from fruits and veggies.  See the plate...they make up half of everything.  The problem with that is most Americans are bread and carb-aholics, just like I am.  I look back on a normal day of eating before I started this Food War and it was cereal, bread, more bread some potatoes, and maybe a veggie with dinner.  It was way to much bread, I cut out the bread and replaced it with an apple or a cup of carrots.  I'm already feeling better.  Some tips for eating out and helping with portion control....share your entree.  Like I said, most things they serve are way over sized.  If you don't ant to share then ask for a box with your dinner and box up half of it before you even start eating.  That way you wont even be tempted to eat it at all.  Or just don't est out.  HA! I f you're anything like me I love to eat out, so this was definitely not an option. I haven't eaten out since I started this blog,  but I'm taking the kids to lunch today....soooo we shall see.  As for yesterday's menu I was bad at breakfast and had only a cup of coffee.  I know, breakfast is the best meal because it will jump start my metabolism, but I just wasn't hungry! I can't believe it either. Me, not hungry! Wow!  For lunch I had a Michelina's Lean Entree.  Too much salt, but my sodium is not high, and I was working with what I have in the house.  Dinner was the same as the day before.  I had a bagel(see, bread) and some cottage cheese and an apple.  So all in all not a terrible eating day.  So just remember portion control.  Even if you can't change the things you eat, change the amount! It will be a key to becoming a better eater and a healthier you! oxox


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Addiction and it's slow recovery

Speaking of pasta...yesterdays topic....I was at work last night and one of my co-workers had pasta alfredo for dinner.  She's a third shift worker, so her dinner was at 10 pm.  It smelled soooooo good it made my stomach growl and I almost ate something!   AAAGGGHHH!  I thought I had kicked that after work craving, but I guess it was just hiding, waiting to be stimulated!! So, in my quest to get my family to eat better with me the baby is the biggest challenge.  He's not really a baby anymore(he's almost 2) but as he's probably my last he is still MY baby.  He had gotten used to eating a cereal bar for breakfast and drinking juice with it.  If you're kids are anything like mine they live each day with a sippy cup attached to their hand.  If the juice is 100% it's no big deal (I still water it down), but the cereal bars contain...dun dun dun(ominous music) high fructose corn syrup aka HFCS.  I know. They re's been a lot in the news lately about this stuff, but I wouldn't believe everything you hear.  Yes, it is natural....and that's about it.  High fructose corn syrup is in no way sugar.  Here's a little science for you(don't worry I don't know much either, but this is simple).  Thanks to my great dietitian yet again.  Here goes...When you eat sugar your body uses insulin to open your cells and the cells use the sugar for energy.  That's it, easy peasey lemon squeezy, right?  If you are active enough your body should burn off the small amounts you eat naturally.  I'm not talking about candy and sweets here though. Except for the HFCS...it goes straight to your liver and turns right into....FAT.  Yep, fat.  So all those commercials out there are very misleading.  That could very well be part of what is making America fat.  I must confess, we still put the baby to bed with a sippy cup.  I know, I know you don't have to tell me.  It usually has milk in it, but a couple of times we had to put juice in it because we were all out of milk.  Tuesday night I put him to bed as usual, with a cup of milk, and he didn't want it. he got mad and threw it at me!!!  It was then that I decided no more milk or juice.  He gets water now, and you better believe he'll like it!  If not he can cry.  I started this at nap yesterday and he didn't so much as bat an eye at me. Little Stinker!  Hopefully this will remain easy until he is broke of this habit.  Yay!  As a result of this new information(I learned it at my epiphany appt last week) I now look at labels even more than I did before.  I will no longer be bringing any food into my house that has HFCS in it.  I was helping to make my baby fat without even knowing it.  Poor boy.  So onward to yesterday's menu...  I actually switched it up and didn't eat eggs for breakfast.  I had toast.  :)  For lunch I had 2 cheese roll-ups again.  Dinner was different too. I got to work last night and someone had brought in bagels! OMG I LOVE bagels!!  So it was only normal for me to want one very badly.  However I refrained, until dinner.  I decided that I would have one as my dinner, with an apple and some cottage cheese.  Not bad considering I used to eat 2 or 3 in a sitting.  I work second shift and when I'm at work my husband( who shall not be named) has the responsibility of feeding the family.  Sometimes I think I should call him Mr. Anti-Food War.  He just doesn't seem to care what they eat, as long as they're eating. *Sigh*  I need to make him see the light.  He's no spring chicken himself, and diabetes runs in his family also.  I want to make sure my kids are at a lower risk to get it, by learning to eat right and by having a healthy relationship with food.  Food is not really the enemy it is the energy and we all need it.  I came up with a revelation once.  I wished I was an alcoholic, or a drug addict...only because you can totally give up your addiction and kick your habit.  I have a food addiction and I can't totally give it up or I would starve to death.  Sad but true.  I'm really proud of myself and all the progress that I'm making on this eating thing. When I was walking around at work last night I noticed something weird.  I could actually feel the fabric of my scrub top rubbing on my skin!  I can't remember the last time I felt that.  I used to feel like a sausage in a casing, but not anymore! Yippee!!!  It's the little things like that, that tell me all my hard work wasn't for naught!  The truth is...Ive succeeded in changed my addiction.  I'm addicted to my kids.  I'm doing it for myself, but mostly for them because I want to be around for all the lovely things their lives will offer them. oxox

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Pasta or Not to Pasta...That is the question

I'm starting to think this Food War thing is getting redundant.  I know that I haven't been challenged for days, but once I go back to work today it's going to be very hard.  I work at a hospital.  One where drug and home health care reps bring in food.  Food by the truckload!!  Cookies, candy, pasta...I wonder if that is part of the reason that I gained so much weight so quickly.  I was just mindlessly eating it, all of it.  So far I've done great at work, but no one has brought
anything in since I started.  So I guess I'm just going to have the same willpower that I have at home when it comes to the cereal, pop tarts and snacks!Yesterdays menu was so easy it is ridiculous.  I had the same breakfast as usual, then for lunch was 2 cheese roll ups, and dinner was 2 brats with mixed veggies.  I still can't believe it myself; that was all I ate yesterday!  Because I'm a diabetic I have to eat a certain way.  Most people diet and look to eat foods with lower fat content, but fat isn't all bad. When those food companies take all the fat out of a food they take a lot of the flavor with it.  So      they're left with something fat-free and flavorless. Yummy sounding right?  I guess they figured people wouldn't buy something with no flavor...their solution.  Add sugar.  Yep, believe it or not, most low-fat and fat-free foods have more carbs than the regular version.  And the regular version still tastes better! Carbs=Sugar=Bad for diabetics.  I learned this while looking at labels, and again asking my friendly dietitian.  So these foods end up harming me and my blood sugar levels. Which is bad for my body and makes me unhealthy(remember the reason for the Food War).  I am fully supportive of a balanced diet, low in carbs and high in fiber.  For me carbs are the enemy....then why is pasta so good?  Thankfully they now make whole wheat pastas and high fiber pastas. This makes eating it easier for me.  When a food item has more then 5 grams of fiber in it I can subtract that amount of carbs from the carb amount.  Pretty neat huh?  So when I shop I look for things that are high in fiber.  You need to be careful tho, because a label can say high-fiber but not be high fiber.  Just high for that type of food.  See, the food companies will put even half truths on boxes to get you to buy it!  Did you also know that some vegetables and all fruit has carbs in it?  Yep, potatoes are the worst, followed by peas, and corn.  Sadly all my favorites.  So we cut down on those and eat lots of green beans.  At least I can still fix them with a bit of margarine and seasoned salt, then they taste phenomenal.  So that about wraps it up today, tune in tomorrow for the next bit of wit ans wisdom from a self proclaimed Food Warrior!  oxox

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Well, today I have to start out with a confession...I feel it is my obligation to tell you that I had a child size cup of frozen yogurt last nite after dinner.  It was at The Spotted Cow and it was yummy.  I don't feel like I've cheated though.  Like I said before, moderation is the key.  My day started out just like any other day...this eating thing is getting soooooo much easier.  I used to mindlessly snack all day long.  And a snack for me was a whole peanut butter sandwich, or the same as what Max is eating, plus the part he didn't finish.  As a mom that is probably the worst thing we do to ourselves.  We eat our food, and so not to waste food we eat our kids leftovers.  I've solved this problem by only getting him out one thing at a time. I put the rest in a Ziploc bag and I leave the kitchen.  For me that was problem solved.  You know, the first 2 days I was on "The Food War" I obsessed over food, what I could eat and that I couldn't.  My tummy growled almost all day.  I'm 6 days into it and I can't remember that last time my tummy growled.  It took my body way less time than my mind to adjust.  Neato!  I thought I would have to keep myself totally busy to forget about eating, but it was only habit...my body did not really need that much food.  I know most people think the best way to lose weight is to not eat.  Yes, you might lose weight at first, but then your body goes into starvation mode. It really thinks you're starving to death.  It slows down your metabolism to conserve what little fuel you're giving it.  So, the rundown on what I ate yesterday is, breakfast was...you guessed it.  Eggs and 1 piece of toast!  Lunch was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (yes, I know.  but I love PB&J), and for dinner was had chicken breasts, green beans and sweet potato fries.  It was a nice family dinner.  I even made mac and cheese for the big kids for lunch and only had a bite!  Just to make sure it wasn't hot...  I let the dog eat the leftovers and now I'm his new best friend.
Ain't he cute? If anyone in our house needs fattening up it's him. 
I bet you're wondering if I ever work out...well, the answer to that is no, not yet.  I wanted to get the eating thing down pat before I started a workout regimen.  Baby steps.  I know personally if I tried to do it all at once I would fail and go right back to my old, unhealthy ways.  On another note, I watched a movie last night on the couch, and I did not have popcorn!  I was doubly impressed with myself for that.  It is still an uphill climb, but I'm up for the journey and I will keep at it until I am a healthier, happier me! oxox

Monday, July 25, 2011

What about pizza?

Hello Again!  I've been thinking alot about why I started a blog.  I think I wanted to keep myself accountable.  If I tell about my daily adventures, with some fun and education thrown in I won't be able to lie to you, so I won't lie to myself.  I want you all to take a look at that picture of me, there on the right.  That was me 50 lbs ago.  I know. I look pretty good right?  Believe it or not, I actually still thought I was grossly fat in that picture.  I loved that dress, and I wonder if I even still have it?  Hhmmm.  Anyway, yesterday was a bit of a challenge for me.  After the egg incident it was harder for me to get in the groove.  I had 2 pieces of pizza for lunch (not my best choice, but at least it's not 4 like I really wanted) and an apple and some Kashi Cereal for dinner.  I just wasn't in the mood for a salad yesterday I guess.   (Side note, the Kashi cereal is totally gross, but it was the healthiest choice in our cafeteria besides salad.)  The dietitian I met with awhile back gave me all kinds of pointers(most I already knew) because, let's face it, I've been a diabetic for my entire adult life.  I've met with a dietitian more times than I care to admit.  When I found out I was diabetic, when I got pregnant with each of my babies, every time I switched doctors...the list goes on and on.  Back to my original thought,  She told me about eating foods in their most natural form.  What does that mean?  It means to eat food with the least amount of ingredients.  For example, eggs, green beans, chicken, steak, milk, apples, bananas.  These are all foods in their natural form, without all the processing that goes into things like pizza and applesauce and chicken nuggets and hot dogs and things you buy that are ready made.  Those ready made items have all sorts of additives and preservatives in them that make them unhealthy for your body.  So I aim to eliminate most of those things from our daily diet.  I will still occasionally allow my children to have pizza and chicken nuggets, but moderation is the key.  She actually told me that if I can make these things from scratch it would be healthier, because then I know EXACTLY what I am putting in them.  Sounds good right?  Wrong!  Who has time to make everything from scratch? Not me.  So now I spend a lot of time looking at labels.  It makes the shopping take a little bit longer, but it will be worth it in the long run.  And believe it or not, when I put on my scrubs yesterday they were a tad looser.  I was really surprised too.  I know it's probably not pounds, but it could be some inflammation and water weight from eating better! Yay! So, on with the war and good luck to anyone out there who is trying to eat better to live a longer, healthier life. oxox

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eggs...or lack thereof

So, I have survived three days of my own personal war, I do this by being very strict on myself.  Because of my children, and the fact that I went to the store before I started The Food War, I have a house full of sugary cereal, pop-tarts and cereal bars.  These items are so not good for me.  I have surprisingly refrained from eating them and have eaten the same thing for breakfast every day so far.  2 eggs overeasy and one piece of wheat toast with a small amount of margerine.  I love eggs so this is not a problem for me.  However, this morning we had no eggs.  My husband, who shall not be named, went to the grocery store yesterday after breakfast and did not buy any.  So I almost had a breakfast meltdown!  I checked my blood sugar, and decided not to eat.  This is a dumb idea I know...so I eat some toast.  2 pieces.  Scary I know.  I'm a creature of habit so it is rather difficult.  But I survived and will live to fight another day.

Welcome to my blog!

Hi, I'm Wendy and my friend  talked me into starting a blog.  She wanted me to post recipes and what I'm eating on this, my so-called "Food War".  So here goes...I'll give you a little background on me first.  I am married with 2.5 kids.  There we are at Christmas last year.  I work full time at a hospital as a respiratory therapist.  I love to shop, sew, craft and eat.  Hence the predicament I am in now.  You see, I have always been overweight, but the last 2 years I have gained 50 lbs.  Yes, sadly 50 lbs.  It's almost like a whole person.  (A little person, but still a person.)  I'm also a diabetic, which makes this obscene weight gain that much more difficult.  I had an appt the other day and when she made me get on the scale and I had realized the weight gain was so high I vowed then and there that I would do something about it.  I now have to rethink my whole attitude on food.  I cannot eat whenever and whatever I want anymore.  I have to become a healthier person.  For my children and my husband and my family.  So on this day, Day 4 of The Food War, I'm starting this blog to share my experiences with you.  The good and the bad, and I'm hoping to inspire many more of you to begin your own "Food Wars" to become happier and healthier yous.  :)