Can We Enjoy Holiday Goodies?

•December 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Every year I think about all the goodies I will make or buy for the Christmas season. I have been known to make: cookies (short’n bread, shortbread and sometimes gingerbread), tarts (butter tarts, mincemeat tarts, and sometimes tourtiere), peanut butter brownies, Nanaimo bars, cheese balls (great for gifts, too), smoked salmon cream cheese, and I’ve even been known to steam a couple of puddings, too.  Santa DiabetesThere is a big problem with all this holiday goodness – it comes with weight badness.

Norm loves chocolates at Christmas and will go through boxes of them. They lure me closer and closer, how much damage can one little piece of chocolate? It’s a gateway treat!!! This year I have some mincemeat tarts, store-bought shortbread (thanks, Leanne) and little gingerbread boys on a plate in the living room. It’s on the coffee table and that’s quite a ways away from where I sit. So, my laziness works well for me. There’s also a bowl of mixed nuts along with a cracker and shell bowl. I did have a big, opened tin of Belgian, chocolate-covered cookies, too, but they were too consumable. They are now back in the dining room with the lid on. Sigh. I’ve bought pounds of cheese for cheese balls but I haven’t been able to shred the cheddar (say it out loud, it sounds like a euphemism for something else). My shoulder can’t take it and I haven’t tried to find the shredder blade for the food processor – yet. More sighs….

I’m getting into a wee bit of a Bah Humbug Funk. I’ve finished shopping for gifts, picked up the Cook’s (cheap) champagne for the Christmas mimosas, bought the Irish cream for the coffee. I’m told it’s good stuff and I don’t like it, so I’ll be fairly sober to make stuffing!!! But I keep feeling I’m forgetting something.

I can handle a little bit of guilt!

I can handle a little bit of guilt!

I can handle this. I’ll try to enjoy the Christmas goodies in measured, recorded and guilt-loaded amounts. Yes, we can enjoy holiday goodies but we have to look past the goodies to what is really giving us enjoyment. It’s usually the company we’re keeping that truly makes it good. It’s also guilt-free!

Thanks for listening. ;D  Diane

Have You Taken Your “Before” Picture?

•December 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

A guy that I work with asked me a while ago if I had a “before” picture. Since I’ve been heavy all my life, all the pictures of me before today are “before” pictures. I think he really wanted to see if I had any pictures of the 300 pound me, my heaviest. I honestly could not remember any pictures that show the weight. I avoid having my picture taken. I consider myself non-photogenic, I look just like myself.

Before and after pic

Now, I’m beginning to consider “after” pictures. But then I have to define “after”…after dinner; after 10 pounds; after a milestone like 90 pounds; after surgery (and I need one to put my guts back behind a wall of muscle) etc. I don’t like posing for pictures and I always feel the need to hide something about myself. It used to be the walker, now it’s my sticky-out tummy. Sigh. I also need to make sure I have make-up on. I haven’t been wearing much in the last month. More sighs.

Oh well, I will contemplate a nice fuzzy “before” picture and I don’t mean fuzzy-good feeling, but fuzzy-who is that. So remember this holiday season, one of the family’s pictures of you could be a “before” picture. ut have fun with it.

Thanks for listening.;D  Diane

Smiles Go Miles To Losing Pounds

•December 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I finally saw my regular doctor on Thursday. Dr Michele Fretz is the wonderful woman who has been helping me for a very long time. We laugh a lot together. For example, Christmas is the bacon season and we do agree on this! She’s even the doctor for my whole family and we are an odd assortment. It seems I’m recovering from the shoulder surgery much faster than expected so she read me the riot act about getting cocky. I learned quite a while ago to listen to what the doctors say. They know what is happening inside me and how I should steer myself to get/keep myself healthy. So this week, I have started to do some weight work. 1 pound in my right hand was a real struggle but it’s helping and I can now climb the wall, to a certain height of course. And the pain killers are on the shelf except in dire need and there hasn’t been much dire need. But the icing on my cake (gratuitous food reference) this week was the news at Dr Fretz’s office that I’d lost 2kg. Holy cow that’s close to 5 pounds and I’m not really sure how that happened. She smiled and joked that it fell off somewhere at physio. I’ll go with that.

Times-Colonist 15/11/14

Times-Colonist 15/11/14

My friends have been sending me cartoons and well wishes and they go far in keeping me from slipping into the dark/useless place where I find food is my only company. But that isn’t happening. I’m smiling. Actually, I’m smiling a lot. I’ll share a few with you. DonateThere are a lot of cartoons about weight loss, lack of it, diets, body image etc. They usually make me smile and sometimes I laugh right out loud! And we know laughing is aerobic exercise. I swear my husband used to breathe out fat at night and I would breathe is in! But its all good. Remember, in this season of giving: donate blood; register for the unrelated bone marrow bank; get tested to be a stem cell donor; or give your time! And thanks for listening! ;D Diane Friends

Christmas Goodies – Bah Humbug!

•November 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Nanaimo Bars Of course I cut mine in half again to eat less, or so I think...

Nanaimo Bars
Of course I cut mine in half again to eat less, or so I think…

I thought heavily (figuratively and literally) this weekend about whether or not I will be able to do any Christmas baking. My right arm is not able to do much so; mixing, chopping, lifting in and out of the oven etc. so baking may not be on my agenda. Keeping this in mind, I bought a half a slab of Nanaimo bars and had Norm put them in the freezer. Nanaimo bars are Christmas (and all the time) treats here on the West Coast and since they were on sale I could buy them, right? But what about the peanut butter brownies, tourtiere, cheese balls and mincemeat tarts? Will I have to buy them all? Do I call the girls over to help me make the Christmas Crack (Golden Graham cereal, white chocolate and..OMG!) and non-sexual gingerbread people? I don’t know and I’m already planning Christmas dinner. I’m getting worse every year.

We can only wish!

We can only wish!

I know I can do mixed nuts, with and without shells. But I’m also getting cheaper as I age. Do you know they charge a pound for any kind of mixed nuts? A lot! But I do have to say there is a sense of satisfaction when you crack a walnut perfectly in half. Sigh, I’ll watch the flyers. Then there’s the eggnog, with and without rum. I’ll have to get wee bit more of that, too.

I need to find some aerobic cooking exercises like dancing around the kitchen with really loud music. Exercise would help, wouldn’t it?If I go for walks away from the house that might help with the low endorphins but I really don’t want to leave my nest. I’m really beginning to treasure my “me” time. But…

People won’t look down on me if I buy already made tart shells, will they? More sighs. Silly things to worry about, right? I love good shortbread and I think there’s a pound of butter in the freezer so maybe I will ask Shauna or Leanne to help or even Norm. The truth is that I’m finding Christmas different from when I was young and when the girls were very young. I still can’t sleep in on Christmas morning, that’s the real reason I make cinnamon buns for Christmas morning. It keeps me busy and not waking up Norm and anyone staying over.

I’m glad I’ve written this and I don’t feel as Grinchy as I did. But I will say, “Bah Humbug” just to keep everyone tippy toeing around me. Tee hee hee. I will have slaves and I can live with that even if I don’t make a steamed pumpkin pudding.

Thanks for listening and just to kick you off your diet, I’m including my all purpose recipe for the dough that makes my cinnamon buns.  ;D  Diane

½ cup hard margarine
½ cup boiling water
½ cup cold water
1 pkg (1tbs yeast) dissolved in ¼ cup warm water
1 beaten egg
¼ cup of sugar
3 ½ cups all purpose white or whole wheat flour or 50/50
(½ tsp salt)

First do the yeast in a separate cup or bowl. In a big bowl pour the boiling water over the margarine. When melted, mix all ingredients together, no kneading necessary.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (I put mine out on the deck, it’s usually colder than the fridge anyways and the racoons have never bothered it, yet)
Shape into balls, let rise and bake or use as yeast dough in recipes as follow:
375F, 20-25 minutes
Cinnamon buns:  shape dough into a rough rectangle and lay out on a floured board or counter.  Using a rolling pin, roll it out to ½ inch thick rectangle.  Let it rest while making the filling.  ¼ cup melted butter, ¾ c packed brown sugar and 1-2 tsp of cinnamon.  Mix all together and spread onto dough.  Roll dough into a cylinder and, using a long sharp knife, cut into 1 inch pieces.  Lay pieces into a greased baking pan and let rise.  Bake at 375 F until brown on top.  Remove from oven and cool.  You can add icing if you wish.
Cream Cheese Icing:  small package cream cheese at room temp and beat with ½ cup icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.  Spread over cool buns
Glaze: 1 cup icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and mix in milk until the consistency of heavy cream. Spread over top, it will drip.

Pizza shells:  Form into balls and roll out into circles on floured surface then place on baking sheet that is either greased or covered with cornmeal.  Top with favourite toppings and bake at 400 F until edge and cheese are brown.


Guess What Happens When You Sit On Your Butt…

•November 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Well, I’m one month post op from a full shoulder replacement (do not click on the link unless you have a strong stomach). It will take me at least three times longer to type this post because I’m not using my right hand much and it’s hard to type, especially caps. For caps I have to put the caps lock on, hit the letter I want, then take the caps lock off; unless I can hit the shift key and letter both with my left hand and there aren’t too many of those combos for my paws. Phew, very small workout.

ICUAs you can tell, I haven’t posted for a while because it’s too much work. I’m very lucky to have an amazing partner (Norm, the husband) who is doing all the work around the house, chaffeuring me, and even cooking. But that means I’ve been doing a lot of resting and sitting around. And guess what happens if you sit around on you bottom. Nothing – you just get a bigger bottom.

I’m not in much pain, except after my exercises. I can’t cook because I’m not supposed to open the fridge with my right arm and the pots are all down low and heavy. It’s even hard to stir the yogurt with the fruit on the bottom with my left hand. I can’t use a can opener, the freezer is on the bottom of the fridge so out of bounds… but, I’ve eaten all the crackers, Granny Smith apples, chocolate chips, and so on. I know I gained weight. Sigh! Really big sigh!

Last week I had to send off some cheques and left them for Norm to mail but he forgot them and instead of waiting for the next day I figured I would take them myself to the mailbox a couple of blocks away. I got dressed (no socks, I can’t get them on by myself), found my gloves (it was so sunny but cold out for Victoria in November and I wanted to be prepared), put the envelope in my pocket, put on my coat over my sling and snapped it closed (I couldn’t do the zipper), found my cane (I need it for my right knee and so I don’t penguin walk), put on my ugly but well-soled slip-on shoes and set off. It was beautiful out and I got to the corner store and put the letter in the box. Thank goodness for a slot and I didn’t have to open the big swinging drawer. I looked around and thought it was too nice to just turn around and go back the way I came so off I set on the long way home (one extra block). It was glorious out and I felt pretty darn good.

But I’ll tell you, I was pretty darned tired by the time I got home. I got uncoated and went up stairs where I sat myself back down in my nest in the living room. I could exercise! I had a nap in the afternoon after my exercises for my shoulder (stirring the pot, stirring the pot). I get tired very easily. I guess it’s my body trying to heal me. But I can help, too. I’ll do more walking and Norm can buy good munchies for me, Christmas oranges are in now.

Well, I just typed over 600 words and I think that’s not too bad. I’ll be able to do more from here on; get back in the groove and keep myself on track. I have fabulous friends and family and they have made sure I’m not lonely or without and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for listening.  ;D  Diane

Wondering Woman

•October 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I survived! Both the surgery to replace my right shoulder and hospital food. wonderwomanI actually got out 48 hours after the surgery and it surprised me that they said I could go home, I had only had one physio session, I still had 2 IV needles in unfortunate places and hadn’t seen Dr. Zarzour. But I did have an x-ray and it must have been all right. My pain was also being managed by pills now instead of shots. I could get to the washroom on my own and the hummus, pita and fresh veggies lunch was actually very good.

Home I went. I am home. I’ll be here for a while. It is really hard for me to type this left-handed and having to put the caps lock on for a capital ‘i’. I do feel very blessed and now I’m wondering how I will get real exercise. I don’t see Zarzour until Thursday to get the staples out. Maybe then?

Well, I’m off for a nap. Thanks for listening.   ;D  Diane

The Hospital Food Diet

•October 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Well, I managed the Thanksgiving/Birthday weekend only gaining one pound even though I was given five cakes between my family and work. Turkey, gravy and potatoes were limited since I got full very quickly but that may have been the glass of wine while cooking. But that is all behind me now (or maybe on my behind – ha ha ha). This will be my last day of work for a while. Tomorrow I have surgery to replace my right shoulder.

food tray

It’s a good thing, bad thing, right? Good, as in no more pain and lots of movement and bad because I have to have surgery and hospital food. I don’t know how many people who read this have ever had to stay overnight at a hospital but the food is one of the reasons anyone would want to be at home rather than in the hospital. The picture at the right is an inaccurate meal. I’ve never had fresh tiny tomatoes and the green pepper should have had the pit removed. Sigh, for marketing purposes only. Oh yeah, plastic cutlery, too.

I’ve been able to sample hospital food since I was 17 and going through a series of kidney investigations. Then, at 20, my knee and two hospitals and even though you get a menu there isn’t much to choose from, chicken or fish; hot cereal for breakfast or a hardboiled egg? ICK! Then many more. What have I learned about hospital cuisine? It’s nutritious if you eat it all, but it’s usually cold and tasteless. The coffee sucks so I ask friends and family to bring me a nice cup of dark roast, black coffee and I only order tea. I can leave the bag in long enough to get a decent cuppa. But I am looking forward to rebooting my 3 meals 2 snacks a day plan.

The hospital nutritionist likes apples. I like apples. I can ask my family to bring me Greek yogurt. I like Greek yogurt. I will sample what they feed me but if I don’t like it, I will do without and not replace it with A&W Chubby Chicken strips or Cheese Pringles. So wish me well in my rebuild, both my shoulder and my diet. I’m not very dextrous with my left hand so I have no idea how long it will be before I post again.

Many thanks to my family, friends, co-workers and especially my students at the Saanich Adult Education Centre. I go into the hospital 6 am tomorrow carrying with me: love, wishes, prayers, hugs, smiles and a ton and half of strength! I couldn’t be luckier. Hopefully a couple of pounds will fall off, too. I won’t be able to cook for weeks.

Thanks for listening.  ;D  Diane


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