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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Catching Up and Working on My Focus

I'm going to try to get back to blogging regularly again.  Hopefully it will keep me more focused.  I actually journaled all last month, but I was doing a strict cleanse and didn't feel like sharing all that with everyone.  I now want to get back to my day-to-day efforts to get my weight down and get my pain -- well -- hopefully, gone.  That was part of the purpose of the cleanse, but I'm going to have to be lighter than I am now to feel a lot better.  I think if I can get past where I was at the end of my fast last summer, I will feel a lot better.

So, my eating is low-carb.  I guess that is the best way to describe it.  I do eat some fruit and occasionally I eat sweet potatoes.  I do not eat wheat, at all, and very little grains.  If I have any grains, it is about once a month when I allow myself some Mexican food with corn products or rice.  I occasionally eat a few beans.  But I cannot do that often or I do not lose weight and it causes me more pain.  I try not to eat white potatoes except once in a blue moon.  I am completely off sugar right now and plan to stay that way.  I make myself "sweets" with approved sweeteners (like erythritol) and they are pretty good.  I have not made myself anything since my cleanse -- fruit has been pretty satisfying.

Some of my goals since my cleanse are to eat a lot more veggies and to work on portion control.  I still eat nuts, but I am breaking them into servings when I open a bag of almonds, for instance, instead of having a whole bag at hand to snack on at work.  (I don't mean I ate the whole bag, but I ate too many that way.)  I found myself eating them because they were there and I am sure that was interfering with weight loss.

Actually, though, for the last few months I had  let some bad habits creep back in and let it go on far too long.  I was eating a lot of potato chips, drinking sugar-free Monsters every day (more than one), and eating a lot of ice cream (with real sugar).  I was doing a lot of emotional eating about some issues that were bothering me.  I decided to go on the cleanse for a month to put a stop to that, cleanse my body of some toxins, and try to reset things.  I went a little overboard the weekend I stopped the cleanse, but have done very well since then.  I ate a lot of salads with my own homemade dressing last week.  The only nuts I had (other than a few slivered almonds in my salad) were these pistachios I like.  They are a 7-oz. bag (in the shells) and I used to eat the whole bag at one time.  Now I eat 1/3 - 1/2 a bag for a snack.  I think that is reasonable since that is not that much once out of the shell.

My goal is to eat food that I cook from fresh ingredients as much as is possible.  That way I know what is in it and wheat doesn't creep in somewhere without my knowing it (I still get a month-long headache if I eat any wheat).  I am also moving toward eating as organically as possible as I can afford it.  I hope to buy a quarter beef soon and some pasture raised chickens and pork and have found a couple of farms not too far away where I can get eggs from pasture raised chickens and organic dairy.  I am told that may help with my pain issues a lot, since it will help with inflammation.

I did some cooking this weekend.  My daughter has been trying to eat better too, so we are sharing some cooking duties.  I make us breakfast every morning and she has been doing some of the cooking for dinner.  We usually have some form of bacon or sausage and eggs for breakfast.  Sometimes I have full fat Greek yogurt with a few berries instead.  Some things I made this weekend are some nachos made with small sweet peppers for the base.  Like this:


I wasn't looking at a recipe when I did them and I pre-cooked the peppers a little first, but it does not look like that was done here and I will do it that way next time.  I made my own taco seasoning to make sure I know each ingredient that is in it.  They were good!  I have leftovers for another meal this week, and some leftover taco meat.  We are going to make taco shells out of cheddar cheese, like this:



Today I made a creamy roasted tomato basil soup.  The recipe called for some potatoes in it (that was what was supposed to make it creamy), but I did not use the potatoes and used cream instead.  (The author obviously worries about fat intake, whereas I am more concerned with carb intake.)  I used about 1/3 cup cream for the whole recipe.  First you half your tomatoes and roast them.


Meanwhile, you saute some onion and one red pepper (and the potatoes, if using potatoes) until tender.  Then you add 3 T. tomato paste, then 1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable stock) and salt and pepper to taste.  You let that simmer a few minutes (until the potatoes are fork tender, if using potatoes, but I did not).  Then you put in the roasted tomatoes and the basil (it called for 2 cups of fresh basil leaves; I did not want that much so I used one package of the fresh basil you buy in the produce section).  You let the basil cook a couple of minutes, then you use an immersion blender to liquefy everything.  This is where I added the cream -- just eyeballed it.  It was already a pretty good texture, so I didn't add a lot.  I tasted and adjusted my seasonings (salt and pepper) and that was it.  I served it with a little fresh grated parmesan and here is how it came out:


You can save back a little basil and garnish with that too, but I did not (probably would have if I had more).  It was really good.  I had a bowl and then later went back and tasted it again and it had gotten even better so had another bowl later in the day.  I am taking some for lunch tomorrow and serving it with a Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese:


Yum!  I made up the grilled cheese today and will do the last step (which is to toast it in a toaster oven to melt the cheese) tomorrow at lunchtime.  The "bread" is made basically the same way you make a cauliflower pizza crust.  It holds together nicely and will taste really good with the tomato soup.  I will probably have a little salad along with it for lunch tomorrow.

So, just for the record, here is my eating for today:

Breakfast was a cup of full fat Greek yogurt sweetened with some Swerve sweetener and some chopped fresh strawberries.  Lunch was leftovers from yesterday, which was some chicken wings (5 flat/wingette parts) my son-in-law made (had a jerk seasoning/sauce on them), a few sweet potato "fries" (baked) that were left and a very small salad that was left from yesterday.  When the soup got done, I had a bowl of soup with a couple of tablespoons of parmesan cheese.  Later, I had another half-bowl of soup and some pistachios.  That is all I have had.  May have a little snack before bed, but right now I am satisfied.

Just to add a little cuteness to my post, yesterday we took my grandson down to the pool in my apartment building for his first swimming experience.  He was not a fan of the cold water (the water was cold even though it was at least 85 degrees yesterday here in Texas), but he was definitely the cutest little swimmer there:

Carter with his Mommy (my daughter, Bethany) and Daddy (my sil, Tom) 

Carter with his Aunt Stephanie (my daughter)
That's it for today.  Better get ready for work tomorrow and get off to bed at a decent hour.

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