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Sunday, February 26, 2017

I'm a "Nana" Now!

Well, as you can tell from my new picture, I’m a “Nana” now.  I am loving being Carter’s Nana.  He is the sweetest and most beautiful boy.  He is a little less than 2 months in the picture in front of the Christmas tree (which was Thanksgiving Day 2016).  Below are more recent ones – he’s 4 months old now!

I don’t really have a lot of people to talk to about these types of things, so perhaps it is time to start blogging again.  I don’t intentionally stop blogging; it just happens.

I haven’t read my last post at the time I am writing this, but I know I was blogging during my fast.  Do I think the fast was a good thing to do?  YES.  But the most important part of a fast is what you do after you break it, and I did not do very well at that.  I stopped when my blood sugar got pretty low.  I don’t know if that was really something I should have been concerned about, but that is why I stopped.  Then I gave myself permission to eat more carbs the first couple of weeks, since my blood sugar was low.  The trouble is, I didn’t stop.  That’s the problem with letting yourself do those kinds of things.  I allowed myself sugar, grains, except for wheat, and lots and lots of potato chips.  I didn’t feel like cooking much, so I ended up eating potato chips a lot, and eating lots of ice cream.  It was easy and it tasted good, and that’s what I was looking for.  Oh yeah, and I drank lots of sugar free Monsters.

The trouble is, although you expect to gain some weight back after a fast, I gained more than I should have and my joints began hurting more and more.  That’s what sugar and grains do to me.  So I am back to sugar free, Monster free, and grain free.  I have eaten potatoes a couple of times, but not often.  My joints are feeling some better.  But the back problems are still pretty bad, and I am pretty sure I am now bone-on-bone on my right knee.  I’m pretty sure I will have to have that knee replaced, but I just do not want to do that until my back gets better.

My back felt much, much better at the end of the fast.  I have to think that is from weight loss.  But the more weight I put back on, the more the pain started increasing.  I do not want to go through recovery of another knee replacement until my back is in better shape.  That is what I have in my sights, but I seem to be lost in the process instead of making sure I am moving toward the goal.

Even since I have been doing better on what I am eating, I have been struggling with having the energy and motivation to cook as much as is needed.  I am working around 50 hours a week, and by the time I get home from work, I’m pretty done.  The last thing I want to do is a lot of cooking.  I don’t have feel like doing a lot of housework; I do some on the weekend, but not as much as is needed.  I am also on a big quest to be out of debt (so the overtime helps with that).  I am focused on that because I really have to make some aggressive progress on my retirement fund.  Most of the debt I have was run up by my kids, and I am speaking to them about paying me for it, but what it comes down to is I am the only one I can depend on right now.  So even while talking to them about stepping up and doing their part, I have to act like it all depends on me.

Eating this way is expensive.  The things I have to focus on are cooking more on the weekend so I will have options to choose from for workday lunches and evenings – easy, but the best things to eat instead of just eating nuts or yogurt and berries because I don’t feel like cooking.  I am also trying to make sure I have something sweet to eat (with an approved sweetener), because I am still craving sugar.  I drink Topo Chico (sparkling mineral water) when my craving for carbonation (which is what the Monster habit was really about – I just like them) rares its head.  Slip-ups usually happen when I have not planned ahead.  I try to never make the slip-up something with sugar or a Monster.  Once I start on those, I have a hard time quitting.  A couple of times it has been potato chips, but that happens because I did not have something to bring for lunch and the choices I have downstairs at the restaurants (which are not many) were not appealing to me.

Next, I need to start getting up and getting a little exercise.  The trick there is to do enough (and the right type) to help without doing so much I cannot walk because of what it does to my back.

So, the things I am facing right now are: (1) sugar is not an option; (2) Monsters are not an option; (3) cooking has to be a part of life; (4) need to work exercise back into the mix.  The more I do the “right” thing, the better I will feel, and the easier it will be to keep doing the right thing.

Last week I had not taken a lunch, but knew I needed to eat something, so I chose a salad from Paradise Bakery – it was something like a Chicken Apple Pecan Salad, but it had salad greens, grilled chicken, dried apples, red onions, bleu cheese, pecans and an apple vinaigrette.  It was okay – mostly I did not care for the vinaigrette – it was pretty “vinegary” – the red onion was really strong, and I am wary of bleu cheese because some bleu cheeses have wheat in them.  So I decided to do my own spin on one this week.  It will have the salad greens, grilled chicken, and pecans.  Instead of the red onion, I am going to use green onions, instead of the bleu cheese I am going to use crumbled feta, and instead of dried apple I am going use some chopped Granny Smith apple.  Then I am going to make my balsamic vinaigrette and I think that will be really good.

Another thing I make fairly often is an open-faced burger, but I get tired of them being the same old way.  So I am going to try making some different aiolis and sauces to put on the burger to change it up.  I love caramelized onions because it adds a sweet flavor.  One thing I am going to make is bacon/onion/ green chile jam.  I think that will be good.  Last night I made one with a perfectly cooked patty with sharp cheese melted on top, fajita veggies, a sauce left over from a restaurant that is kind of sweet and spicy (they told me what was in it and it is house-made, so I knew it was okay), and an over-easy egg on top.  Soooo good.  I took a picture of it, but let’s just say my cooking skills are a little better than my photography skills.

I’ve been craving some soup, but don’t think that’s going to get done this weekend.  I made some “legal” chocolate chip cookies, so at least I have a little to eat on the next couple of days.

That’s what I’m doing; now I just need to see some progress.  I will know when my body is responding.  I’m not really doing the “scale thing” right now.

I am feeling the need for some time off, but now is not a good time.  My backup is going through a difficult situation and I wouldn’t feel right with leaving her with my workload right now.  I will be looking for a couple of days soon (probably when my boss is going to be out of town).  The trouble is, I am doing quite a bit of work for a couple of other attorneys, too, and when I think I am going to have a little “down time,” it doesn’t necessarily turn out that way.  I love the work; I just would like a break.