A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Folks in our day and age don’t say the word TREAD much – we say walk more often than not; however, the word TREADMILL is not only familiar to most of us, but a regular part of healthy living.  I really hate using the treadmill at the gym – but it’s honestly not because I’m lazy!  The chronic sciatica I’ve suffered with for over 30 years has held me back – I have this thing about hurting…  I don’t dig it.  My leg burns from the moment I wake up in the morning until I blissfully go to sleep at night.  I’m very happy when I’m asleep.

Through the years I’ve done different things to make it better – right after the injury I was in physical therapy for several months – nearly a year.  I was on strong pain medications but as we all know, they have unwelcome side effects.  I decided they weren’t worth it – so I weaned myself off of them and tried to keep moving.  It hurts like crazy, but I have to keep moving.

Today I have no brain fog and other effects of strong pain meds have disappeared.  I have given the issue to God.  Don’t roll your eyes at me…  it’s true.  Now I take 2 Aleve in the morning and move as much as I can.  God’s helping me, but I had no doubt He would.

A pastor’s wife once told me, “Everybody has SOMETHING.”  At first, I thought that was her not so subtle way of telling me she didn’t want to hear about my issues (which I don’t recall sharing at the time anyway).  But I put a pin in the comment and stuck it in the back of my mind.  She’s right – we’re human and we get tired, weary, discouraged at times, and close to quitting.  Then – God steps in.  He never shows up early – but He steps in – just in time – His perfect time.  I’ve found that to be true and I’ve heard testimony after testimony that bears this out.

I can’t explain how my messed up back with a burning sciatic nerve has the ability to walk on the treadmill, ride the bike, and do other machines…  it’s all God – He has given me the strength and the GOD-bility to keep moving.  I praise Him for helping me every day!

God helps us do what we have to do – but even more exciting…  He helps us do what we like to do – and most writers would say…  what they absolutely must do!  God has put such a desire within us to write, and everybody knows…  a writer WRITES… about anything, anytime, anywhere.  Put me in an elevator by myself and shut the door.  If I have a pencil and some paper (or a napkin, preferably unused, but…) – I can come up with something – it could be about the color of the buttons…  lol.  Maybe there’s a fly in the elevator with me.  Hmm…  bonus!

If you’re feeling like you can’t tread…  or walk on the treadmill…  remember, with God and His strength – you can!  Climb those mountains like a deer!  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

a-commentary-from-the-heart-5

I’ve kept 20 pounds off for several months – and that’s a RECORD for me!  In the past I was the quintessential yo-yo dieter, making bargains with myself that I will get back on the horse, but when I start to climb the ladder to mount the horse, I slip and land on the proverbial ground instead.  Keto is different – it’s less of a traditional diet and more of a lifestyle change that uses common horse sense instead of rules, regulations and restrictions.  It’s a smart way of eating.  Yes, there’s portion control – there has to be – but I have not felt deprived like I have before.  I’m never hungry.  If I feel hungry, I can have all the fresh vegetables I want.  I get keto friendly veggie dip – and have a virtual feast at snack time!

But…  what about ice cream – for breakfast???  Hmm…  Lucinda thinks it’s perfect!  😉

ice-cream-for-breakfast

Thanks first to my Heavenly Father, of course, for without HIM – well – I’d not get anything done!  I’m thankful to my friend Dana for adding me to a great group on facebook called Keto 2nd Breakfast – and all the other meals!  I’ve gotten such help and support there – and then I turn around and share what I learn in my group (which is more or less health-related – well, we try)…  A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith. 

Then, I’d like to thank the academy, and all the little people, for without the little people, I would not have had the stick-to-it-tive-ness to achieve success!  Okay, now I’m being silly.  Too much coffee maybe?  Oh…  surely not!  There’s no such thing!!! 

Of all the foods that are on the high carb side – I miss ice cream the most.  I pass the Braum’s store and nearly have a fit – I want ice cream – well, a twist frozen yogurt, to be exact…  so bad!!!  But I think there’s a wonderful solution – and I found a post from Amanda Balster in the group – about Halo Top.  I’ve decided that’s a great name for it, because it feels as though Halo Top is Heaven sent!

A 1/2 cup serving is 80 calories, 2.5g fat, 7g net carbs, and 6g of protein.  I call that a WIN!

Thanks Amanda for these photos!  🙂

16195856_10102165268262236_4125207851832379837_n16298581_10102165261994796_4571245357092043781_nEveryone says that all the flavors are good – except lemon.  I don’t know because I’ve not tried it yet.  I’m blogging without trying the product first hand, which I rarely do, but I trust my friends to steer me in the right direction – they always have.  Shoot, I’m just happy to hear about a legal ice cream alternative!  😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PUMPKIN DAY

tl-10-26-national-pumpkin-day-2

The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon, which is Greek for “large melon”.  Within recent years, white pumpkins have become more popular in the United States.

mini-pumpkins-61281_1920

being-a-christianpumpkin-scripturethank-godHow about a recipe?

PUMPKIN SOUP (Makes 8 servings)

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage

1/2 c. chopped onion

3 c. chopped pumpkin (or butternut squash)

4 c. chopped kale

4 c. chicken broth

4 c. water

Parmesan cheese for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cook sausage in a medium saucepan.  Add onions & saute’ until translucent.  Pour the broth and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Add kale and pumpkin.  Simmer until pumpkin is soft – about 20 minutes.  Serve hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

my-favorite-basketthe-orange-armypumpkins-and-patchesautumn-pumpkinspumpkins-just-their-sizeIt’s a great day to go out to the pumpkin patch!  Enjoy the moments while you can!  🙂

 

NATIONAL NUT DAY

tl-10-22-national-nut-daya-circle-of-nutsfriendsI think we can agree that some friends are a bit on the nutty side…  and they do come in all shapes and sizes.  I think we also agree that it’s perfectly okay!  😉

The nuts we want to focus on are the edible kind…  of course.  Nuts are low or no carbohydrates, so are very healthy for diabetics.  They are chock full of nutrients and healthy fats.  My favorite nuts are cashews, and I eat a few handfuls every day.  Our little nuthouse here in Wichita, The Nifty Nuthouse, has such delicious cashews, but at $9.00 a pound, I have to pace myself for sure.

Once in a while I get a craving for Chinese food, and my favorite recipe is for, you guessed it…  Cashew Chicken.  Here’s my simple recipe:

CASHEW CHICKEN (Makes 5 servings – 10 carbs each)

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/4 cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sesame seeds
3/4 cup cashew pieces
salt and pepper
INSTRUCTIONS:
Heat a large pan on medium heat and add the coconut oil.
Season your cubed chicken with a little salt and pepper…don’t over do it on the salt because the soy has enough salt in it.
Add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain some of the grease off.
In the same pan, add the sesame oil and saute the garlic clove and ginger for 1 minute.
Stir in the Teriyaki, Oyster, Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar and red pepper flakes.
Once the sauce has come to a boil, add the chicken and stir to combine. Cook about another 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the chicken to a serving bowl and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.
 *********************************************************************************
So today, give that nutty friend in your circle a phone call or send a note…  and celebrate the edible kind with this wonderful recipe.  🙂

SPINACH LOVERS MONTH

tl-october-is-spinach-lovers-monthpopeye-37117_1280Who remembers this fella???  Yep, it’s Popeye!!!  Remember what his super-food was???  Absolutely…  it was SPINACH!

Spinach is part of a healthy diet.  I’m finding new and different ways to use spinach, but my favorite recipe is creamed spinach.  I was tickled to find a copycat recipe for Boston Market’s creamed spinach.  It’s low-carb and delicious!

Low-Carb Creamed Spinach

Makes 8 servings

4g. carbs per serving

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. butter

1/2 c. chopped shallots

1 Tbs. minced garlic

1 1/2 c. half & half

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. Havarti cheese

16 oz. fresh spinach

Instructions:

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Cook until tender.  Pour half & half in and reduce to low heat.  Stir in salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg.  Add in Havarti cheese and cook on low heat until it’s melted and combined throughout.  Once melted, add in the spinach and toss together until coated with cheese.

Serve warm.

This is a great side dish for steak or fish.  Some days I don’t want a great big meal and just fix this.  Spinach is packed with nutrients that keep us strong – just like Popeye!popeyeolive_bizarropanel-248x300spinach-dd-02enjoyspinach

Here are some other ways to enjoy spinach:

  • Spinach Smoothie.  It’s not as bad as it sounds.  There’s not much flavor to spinach so you can add in the nutrition boost without changing the taste.  Add a handful of spinach next time and see for yourself.  Making smoothies and juicing is not the best way to consume any fruit or vegetable for diabetics because when you make the food liquid, it increases the sugar content and decreases the amount of fiber you get.  Diabetics need less sugar and more fiber, so keep that in mind.
  • Spinach Wrap.  Place grilled chicken in a spinach leaf and dip it into ranch dressing.  It’s pretty good!
  • Omelets.  Add spinach, mushrooms, onion, and cheese to make a nutritious and delicious filling for omelets.  Sometimes I add some applewood smoked bacon…  it’s delish!
  • Spinach Salad.  Toss in some strawberries or mandarin oranges.  A few apple chunks would even work.
  • Stir-Fry Dishes.  Spinach, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and broccoli stir-fried in a little olive oil makes a good lunch or dinner.images-205Keep in mind that spinach is:
  • Low in calories
  • High in Vitamin A
  • High in magnesium
  • High in fiber
  • Good source of calcium
  • Good source of antioxidants
  • Helps with cancer prevention
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Is high in folate
  • Increases brain function
  • Is an anti-inflammatory
  • Promotes healthy vision
  • Increases circulation
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Helps fight infection
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Is high in flavonoids
  • Good source in vitamin E
  • Good source of beta carotene
  • Good source of zinc
  • Increases bone density

If you’re a diabetic with neuropathy like me, spinach can help your neuropathy because it increases circulation.  I eat a lot of spinach and have not gone beyond the needles and pins sensation in my feet.  Good nutrition really does matter.  🙂popeye-spinach-shirt

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)sweet-sleepI have a praise to share with you today.  From this day forward, I plan to get a good night’s sleep!  God knows not only what we are in need of (before we even ask), but He is also aware of the desires of our hearts!  In other words…  He definitely knows what we need, but how cool is it that He also knows what we want?

We make our plans and God laughs, so they say.  I had surfed the internet in an effort to educate myself about various furniture manufacturers and to learn about the quality of their products.  I knew I had a certain budget to consider, and found a few possibilities.

Yes, I prayed that God would give us wisdom and a sense of which way to go as we shopped.  I am also aware of the fact that God’s not going to drop things in front of us – we have to get some idea of what we’re going to look for.

This is what I knew yesterday.  I knew our old mattress was going to kill me.  By that, I mean that if I had to sleep on that rock much longer, my body would crumble and become useless.  A rock is soft compared to our mattress – not joking.  People make fun of me for being on facebook or writing a post for this blog at midnight or after (um…  it’s after midnight right now – lol) – but seriously, this recliner is a big soft cuddly teddy bear compared to the rock bed.

I also knew that we needed to buy a couple of new recliners – pretty soon.  We sold our 12-year-old Laz-y Boys at the garage sale – and got a whopping $15 for the pair of them.  So, we’re not exactly working with profit here.

Those are the facts that I knew yesterday.

God knows more than I do…  as usual.  I’m trusting HIM for guidance.

So…  we’re shopping here and there.  I wanted furniture made in the USA.  Call me crazy…  but I want to support American workers.  We found a chair we liked at Ashley’s here in Wichita.  They make their own stuff here in America – and I like that!  But – when we told them we’d like two of the chairs, they made us an offer we just couldn’t pass up.

They told us if we’d buy a mattress, they would throw those two chairs in (yep – both of them) for FREE.  We were skeptical at first, but when we did the math, it sounded like a good deal – and we decided to go for it.  Is God good, or WHAT?

We didn’t tell the sales person at Ashley’s that we needed a mattress and a good night’s sleep, but guess what?  GOD knew the truth!  He takes such good care of us.

God cares about our sleep quality and quantity.  He wants us to be healthy and for our immune systems to be strong.  How does that happen?  It happens when we take care of ourselves with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and enough good quality sleep.  I look forward to some sweet sleep!  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)There’s a particular number I want to see on the scale when I visit my doctor on the 14th – and when I weighed last, I was 4 pounds away!  I’ll be honest, I’ve been living on salads and doing workouts 3 days a week – with extra reps.  I want this so much!

Here’s the deal…  while I’ve been towing the line, I do still on occasion sit and daydream about what I may do when I leave the doctor’s office.  I’ve thought of going to the Dollar Tree to get a candy bar.  I’ve thought of getting a bag of marshmallows.  I’ve considered so many possibilities, but as I said…  these are thoughts.  The bad news is…  thoughts become actions.  That’s when I sabotage my own efforts and get angry with myself.  😦

I know what I need to do.  I need to add to my artillery. I need to reinforce the hem of my determination with prayer and faith.  I also wrote a new poem.  I hope if you’re fighting a sugar addiction, it will encourage you to stay on track.toadallyI’ve read so many articles that talk about sugar addiction.  It’s more difficult to break free from sugar than to break free from drugs!  It’s true, sugar is the most addictive substance.  This sweet stuff not only wrecks blood glucose, but it’s the stuff that cancer cells feed on.  Sugar’s the stuff that really ruins arteries.  When they told us it was the fat in our diets – that was incorrect.  It’s the sugar that does the damage.  For so many reasons it is best to lower or stop consumption of sugar.

As for the new ammunition…  I have compiled a list that will help me stay focused when I’m shopping.  I plan to buy just the things on this list:

  • eggs
  • peanut butter with no hydrogenated oil
  • celery
  • nuts
  • carrot sticks
  • ranch dressing
  • blue cheese dressing
  • low-sodium deli meats
  • cream cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • Swiss cheese
  • pork rinds
  • sunflower seeds
  • low-sodium jerky
  • turkey pepperoni slices
  • mushrooms
  • turkey bacon
  • dill pickles
  • tuna
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • 70% cocoa chocolate bar
  • beef
  • chicken
  • broccoli
  • onions
  • little smokies
  • Vienna sausages
  • bell peppers
  • Relish sweetened with Splenda
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower

My appointment is Friday, so I’ll have some idea whether I’m going to reach my goal or not because I weigh on Wednesdays.  I’ve sure been working on getting there.  If I make it, the nurses at the doctor’s office may see me do a victory dance!  If I don’t make it, I’ll know that I came so close to goal and determine that I’ll do better next time.13419107_1228329117211567_3612524694099834881_n-2

KETO ZONE www.fb.com/KetoZone

I’m determined to get this weight off!  It’s really as easy as having low-carb food to eat when I get hungry.  Being prepared by having a well-stocked pantry and fridge is so important if I want to succeed.  God’s gonna help me do this!  🙂

 

 

NATIONAL KALE DAY

tl-10-5-national-kale-dayKale is the perfect companion for bacon and cheese as part of a healthy low-carb salad.  Anytime a vegetable is cooked, it takes some of the nutrients out of it, but I prefer kale a little wilted so I fry it up with my bacon to make it taste better.images-46Kale chips are pretty good.  They do provide that crunch that chips used to.  Are there really health benefits to eating kale?  Does it really give you a boost of energy like people claim?  My research tells me the answer to both questions is YES.

Since a low-carb diet allows many foods that have low or no fiber content, kale helps with a need for fiber, much like other types of lettuce and spinach.  It also contains an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, which lowers glucose levels, increases insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes!  My ears perked up when I read that!  It also decreases peripheral neuropathy and/or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics!  This is good news for diabetics!!!

My theory is, if you can put enough stuff that actually tastes good (bacon, cheese, salad dressing) with the kale in your salad – it really sort of masks it enough that you can eat it without choking it down.  I’m being honest.  Have you tried to eat a piece of raw kale with nothing on it?  I rest my case.

I don’t juice because juicing is not the best choice for diabetics.  We need to keep the fiber intact rather than squeezing the juice from the fruit or vegetable.  The sugar content is found in the juice – and why would I want to ditch the fiber and keep the sugar?  That doesn’t make sense in my brain.kale

Kale is a super veggie, with more vitamins and minerals than spinach.  If you are lacking energy and seem to be dragging along, maybe you should try a salad with kale.  Use plenty of dressing – not a sweet dressing, but a blue cheese or ranch type dressing.  Read the labels before using – I prefer blue cheese but once in a while I use ranch.

Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach are the most nutrient-dense of all foods.  – Joel Fuhrman

My kale salad is not as “fancy” as most recipes you’ll find because I don’t eat dried cranberries or pour sweet vinaigrettes over it, but for what it is, I think it’s good.

Kale Salad

INGREDIENTS:

6-7 cups chopped fresh kale leaves

1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6-8 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

INSTRUCTIONS:

Basically, just mix this all together, tossing with your hands.

Add your blue cheese dressing and you’re good to go!

 

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

TL 9-12 BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

September 12-18 is BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK.  I want to invite you to make this little flamingo your profile photo on facebook and take a look at this pdf listing the top 10 facts about vestibular disorders.

Click to access Top%20Ten%20Facts%20about%20Vestibular%20Disorders.pdf

Also, please follow VEDA on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/vestibulardisorders/

The fact that struck me most about vestibular disorders is that there is no cure for most of them.  You know, we take our balance for granted until we lose it.  Most of us just bounce out of bed in the morning without giving it much thought.  Some are not able to maintain their balance well enough to bounce out of bed.

The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease, secondary endolymphatic hydrops, and perilymph fistula. Vestibular disorders also include superior canal dehiscence, acoustic neuroma, ototoxicity, enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome, and mal de débarquement. Other problems related to vestibular dysfunction include vestibular migraine and complications from autoimmune disorders and allergies.

If you’ve ever had a head cold and your ears get plugged up a bit, sometimes it can cause you to lose your balance.  Aren’t we thankful that this condition will eventually pass?  I could not imagine having a disease that I knew would not go away.

I’m reminded of the perfection that awaits us in Heaven one day.

BODIES NEW AND STRONG

Today I hope you’ll take a moment to say a prayer for folks with these conditions.  A friend of mine has problems with balance because of an autoimmune disorder.  She takes about 40 medications a day and I think one of them is to help with the balance issue.  It seems that while each medication helps what it’s supposed to help, it also causes a side effect which in turn needs a medication to make that side effect better…  such a vicious cycle really.  We’ve talked and laughed about it several times, and she ends up saying, “You know, one of these days I’ll have a brand new body and won’t have to take a single pill.”

I agree…  these bodies are so fragile – and at times fickle.  Our new bodies will be perfect!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)If I’m going to maintain this low-carb weight losing lifestyle…  I’ve GOT to get creative!  I thought about all the foods that used to call to me and cause me to go find them.  I say USED TO because I’m talking about FAST FOOD!!!  Cover the kids’ ears, because this could be shocking!

Got ’em covered?  Good.  Okay…  here’s what I want you to do.  Think about your favorite fast food.  Mine is the Market Fresh Turkey & Swiss Sandwich at Arby’s.  Now – what ingredients do I need to say NO to?  The bread…  I have to say NO to the bread.

As far as I can tell, the rest of that sandwich is amazing and legal.  Sliced turkey, sliced Swiss cheese, tomato, red onion and romaine lettuce.  Instead of a traditional salad dressing, I mix mayo and Dijon mustard together and put it in the salad bowl.

And here’s what it looks like:IMG_1502It’s a happy little low-carb lunch!  I didn’t use romaine lettuce because I already had iceberg.  I made this salad for a fraction of the price they charge for the sandwich at Arby’s – and I’ll have enough stuff to make this a few more times!  Yay me!  Success!

There are sub shops that will make any of their sandwiches into salads for you – but you have to ask because some of them don’t have that information posted.  Most restaurants will bend over backwards to make substitutions for you, but ask if the change will cost you extra.  Different places have different policies and it’s best to be on the safe side.  You don’t want to get a big surprise on your check at the end of the meal.emergency-309727_1280

In the KEEP MOVING department…  so far, so good.  I’m going to Planet Fitness 3 days a week and working on the treadmill for 15 minutes, the bike for 15 minutes, leg machines at 20-50 pounds, arm machines at 20-30 pounds and ab machines at 20 pounds – and those things kill me – just being honest.

I’ll never be a skinny person, but I’m doing the best I can.  There are some pretty awesome rewards for being consistent with diet and exercise.  I don’t know why I doubted that it applied to me, but…  surprise – it does!  I’m pretty happy and very pleased that my blood glucose levels and A1c are in normal range.  🙂