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

 

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SALAMI DAY

TL 9-7 SALAMI DAY

http://www.salamiday.com/

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There’s no better sight at a party or other get together than a snack tray with tons of low-carb goodies!  Since today is Salami Day, I’m going to focus on this delicious cold cut favorite.  Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with original ideas for salami.  Back when I ate more carbs, I used to make a nice roll-up snack with cream cheese and salami that was very popular.  I wondered what would happen if I made it but used the salami in place of the tortilla.  Well…  it wasn’t bad – not bad at all.

SALAMI AND CREAM CHEESE ROLL-UPS

Makes 15 servings

INGREDIENTS:

15 salami slices

1.25 oz. cream cheese

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 banana pepper, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:

Stuff each salami slice with equal amounts of the other ingredients.  Hold it closed with a toothpick.

This is a great way to have a snack ready to eat when you get a case of the munchies but don’t want to reach for chips or crackers.  It only takes about ten minutes to fix these up, so there are no excuses.

untitled (3)Photo:  Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Here are some different types of salami available:

  • Soppressata:  Usually made with pork, soppressata has a higher fat content and a more rustic appearance than most salami.  It’s pressed with a heavy weight while curing and cured until it loses 30% of its weight, intensifying its flavor.
  • Cotto:  Salami that has been partially cook or smoked before or after curing.
  • Genoa:  Made with pork and veal, it’s seasoned with garlic, red wine and pepper.
  • Nduja:  An addictive spreadable salami made of pork meat, pork fat and spicy red peppers.
  • Peppered:  It’s HOT because it’s been rolled in cracked peppercorns or dried herbs.
  • Pepperoni:  Finely ground, lightly smoked and spicy.  This is an Italian-American invention and most of us have enjoyed it on a pizza at one time or the other.

There are football games in some of our futures, and other family times…  this is just one of many ideas of how to stay on track while making it look like you are splurging.  Cold cuts, cheese, olives…  it’s all good.

When we lose twenty pounds… we may be losing the twenty best pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty.  – Woody Allen

I sure hope Woody Allen is not right about that!  I hope and pray that my genius, humanity, love and honesty are still intact.  To date I have lost 20 pounds – and I’m thrilled!

There are so many great recipes online – and my friends on facebook – especially the people in my group, A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS…  WITH A DASH OF HUMOR & A PINCH OF FAITH are so supportive and have helped me along so much!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/asecondhelpingofwellness/

You know, they say it takes a village to raise a child…  but let me tell ya…  it takes a village to keep a dieter from giving in to temptation and eating all the wrong things – it really does!  There are days I want to eat Texas toast or the rolls at Logan’s or one of those little 4-packs of Hawaiian rolls…  with some dill dip!  I’m just being honest.  One of my co-workers got me hooked on the Hawaiian rolls and dill dip – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it…  oh – but don’t even get started on it because it’s bad.  It’s very very bad!  Forget I mentioned it.  😉

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)

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It’s difficult to erase years of conditioning – but now at age 54, I’m learning an important truth:  SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.  It’s not a sin to take care of this one and only body that God gave me!  There is a difference between taking care of yourself and being completely wrapped up in your own needs while excluding others.

I think a lot of baby boomers struggle with this same issue.  We were raised in church and learned that everybody’s needs come before our own.  To a degree I guess that’s true, but I’ve finally learned that you cannot care for anyone until you care for yourself.

Winning at weight loss taught me that I have control over my looks and my life.  – Diane Gurden

I SUCCEED IN YOU

With 12 pounds gone comes less body fat and yes, more confidence, I am still not comfortable with the idea of control – I want to always be careful to give God the glory for any of my successes.  Left to my own devices, I might fail – but when I give Him the glory, I remember to lean fully on His love and power – and especially His wisdom, which hello – is better than mine!

An important lesson I’ve learned is that carbohydrates matter.  It’s not only about the grams of sugar in food – in fact, I’ve eaten more fruit lately than snack crackers.  Even though fruit has natural sugar, it is just that – natural.  It counts, of course – but carbohydrates do more damage than natural sugar.

These days I do not use the word CAN’T.  I never say I can’t eat (fill in the blank).  I either say I don’t want it (if I think the nutritional price is too high) or I may eat that later – (and then don’t.)  Sometimes I have to psych myself into thinking I’ll revisit a food – and make myself get involved in something else to take my mind off of it.  I celebrate small victories, like when I manage to pass on a high-carbohydrate snack.

I’ve learned the importance of hydration and the early to bed advantage!  Drinking enough water helps diabetes stay in check.  For years I did not recognize the signs of dehydration, but now I know if I feel dizzy or weak – I probably need some water.  The way to combat those late night cravings is to go to bed early – then it’s easier to get up earlier and get my workout finished first thing – what’s the second thing?  COFFEE…  of course!  🙂

 

DITCH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DAY

TL 1-17 DITCH NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS DAY

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year?  Well, now all the hoop-la that surrounded the fiery determination you felt when you made that promise to yourself has died down, and you have been sorely tempted to settle back into some old, familiar and let’s face it – comfortable habits and patterns that you know are not too good for you!

I’m not scolding you, I’m talking to myself too!  I told myself I would do a little exercise every day this year.  Frankly, with the colder temperatures and feeling a little under the weather, it’s been a lot easier to sit in my recliner watching DVD’s of “Touched By an Angel”.  I’m getting plenty of spiritual exercise, but that’s not taking my weight off.

To add further incentive, there is a new study that suggests it is not the weight we carry that necessarily harms us, but it is the fact that we do not do some form of physical activity every day!   They say 20 minutes of walking every day will do the trick.  It’s not the crazy one hour workout you do once in a blue moon that counts, but the consistent activity on a daily basis that will be the most beneficial.

January 17th is the most common date to give up on resolutions.  Today we acknowledge (notice I did not say celebrate) DITCH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DAY.

I don’t have a gym membership.  I exercise with a recumbent bike, treadmill, free weights and bands here in my house.  I have a lovely area where I can walk when the weather is good.  I just have to make it a priority.

The message I want to pass along to you today is that God did not make robots.  There is not a button we can push to make us be perfect (I know because I’ve looked everywhere for it).  Now, it may sound like I just offered you a perfect excuse to give up, but I’m not finished.  Since we are not perfect, as we try to keep our resolutions we will not be perfect.  I have not exercised every day this year.  I missed yesterday, the 16th.  Does that mean I will give up completely – throw my hands up and say, “Well that’s it then – I’m never going to exercise again because I didn’t keep my New Year’s Resolution”  – ???

To quote the Apostle Paul…  HEAVEN FORBID!!!

I’ll simply pick it up today and look ahead.  Looking behind is not only a waste of time, it is totally pointless in every way.  Look back for what?  To beat myself up?  To heap a pile of shame on myself?  Shoot NO!  I had a good day yesterday and maybe my body needed a rest – but yesterday is over and today I need an attitude that is positive and says, “YES I CAN!”

1-17 CANS

Join me and be a part of God’s “I CAN CLAN”.  There is NOTHING we cannot accomplish with the Lord by our side, right?  Good talk!  Now – I gotta go exercise!  😉

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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TAKE CARE

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I believe people mean well.  Most people have a kind of “sign-off” to their conversation that goes something like this:  TAKE CARE.  It’s a rhetorical comment, not something we are expected to respond to.  We’re just expected to smile, nod and say HEY, YOU TOO – GOOD TO SEE YOU, or something like that.

It seems like all I get done is taking care of myself.  Wouldn’t it be so nice if I didn’t have to think about every little thing as it concerns my health?  It’d be great if I was not restricted by diet, activity level and the style of shoes I wear.  When I was younger, I wore pretty shoes with a nice heel.  I wore pretty dresses or suits to work with open-toe sandals in the summer.  Today my feet are more delicate and particular.  I’m forced to wear a closed toe shoe with plenty of “wiggle room” for my tootsies.  When my feet are happy, I’m happy.

Type II diabetes is such a frustrating disease.  Everyone (including my chiropractor and doctor)  tells me  if I lose weight, it will magically disappear.  That is my only incentive for losing weight because I would love to be rid of it once and for all.  I stay active and I’d set my diet up alongside anyone else’s any day of the week – I eat a very healthy diet!  The weight will not leave – it will not GO!

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ll make an exception this year.  If it’s true that weight loss would rid me of type II – then I simply have to resolve to get the weight off once and for all.  I’m doing 30 minutes of cardio in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  I’m not a couch potato by any means.

Friends, please keep me in your prayers.  Pray that I stay strong and achieve some significant weight loss and a drop in my A1c.  How great would it be to be taken off insulin and not have to take as much metformin?  Now I’m taking 4 250 mg capsules a day and 20-35 units of Levemir every night.

The weight seems to be glued to me – that’s the only way I know how to describe it.  It really likes me and wants to stay.  I really don’t like it and don’t want it to stay – LOL! 

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.   – Doug Larson

Living with invisible chronic health conditions is challenging.  I try so hard but the effort I put in is not always visible to others.  I’ll keep trying…. and do my best.   I’m making a New Year’s Resolution to TAKE CARE.  And I hope you will take care too!  😉

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?

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Click on the link below to get your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

THE WHITE LETTUCE BLUES

I’ve made the most extraordinary discovery! The more restricted my diet becomes, the more picky I get about my food! There was a time I just ate what was put before me whether it was fixed perfectly or not. I just mindlessly ate it. Those days are gone. I only get 1200 calories a day and I will not waste them on food that does not taste good.

If I’m at a restaurant and order a salad, or go to a salad bar, there had better be some green leafy lettuce in that bowl or they will hear about it. I try not to be rude, but really, people, does anyone like the white part of iceberg lettuce??? I don’t. It’s even worse if it is rusty and white!

When I pick out more of the lettuce than I eat, this is a problem and I don’t like it. I’m paying money for a green salad, not a white rusty salad.

That’s one reason I enjoy our local deli – Jason’s Deli. They not only offer the iceberg lettuce, but they have a large bowl of spinach as well. When I make a salad at home it is always with spinach! I never buy lettuce. I’m in heaven with a spinach salad with a little raspberry vinaigrette on top.

It’s been difficult to become a picky eater because I was raised by parents who lived through the great depression era. They knew what it was like to be poor and eat what was put before you and “like” it. My dad used to tell me about the lines they stood in to get a block of cheese. I learned that you use it until it’s used up – haste makes waste. Those values were passed on to me.

I still appreciate everything I have, don’t get me wrong, but now I recognize my likes and dislikes. I’m not a garbage disposal – I’m a person. I don’t have to eat whatever is put before me. In my mind – eating food that is not good for me or does not taste good – well… that haste makes WAIST. So…

I only get 1200 calories a day. Why should I eat anything I don’t really like?

THANKS LIVING DAY 31

TL THANKSGIVING

 

PRAYER FOR HELP WITH DIET

It’s too late for vanity.  If I was 30, maybe, I’d say, “Hey, that’s not a good angle.”  But there is no good angle now.  – Clint Eastwood

I don’t have many enemies in life, but my one mortal enemy is my weight! In 1998 I was at my highest weight – 250 pounds!!! That is not good on a 5’2″ frame. The year we had a photo taken with our dog was my Waterloo. I hit the proverbial brick wall – and something had to give. I did not want that something to be my health and well-being.

Emotional eaters are very sneaky. We are unhappy and find our solace in food. Not just any food, mind you – but junk food. The more junkie, the better! Candy bars and regular soda and ice cream and chips and… well, you get the idea.

My self-esteem was non-existent. I wore my hair very short and very styled in an unattractive way.  Who does that on purpose?  I don’t know, but I did.  Back then I definitely had an eating disorder – I ate everything in sight.  If it stood still long enough, it was mine!

I don’t know why I lacked the ability to control my eating back then.  All I know is that I was working a job I absolutely hated, I was not in a good place particularly with my health (I had a very bad case of deniabetes at that time). I’d love to tell you that it was my diabetes that drove me to lose the weight, but it wasn’t. It was vanity. There’s no way I was going to look like that for one more day! OK, now I try to stay healthy for health’s sake, but the first driving force was looks.

It has been a long and difficult road to travel, but those are the trips that teach us the most.  If there is an easy fix, we don’t seem to appreciate the victory as much, do we?  I assure you, I relish this victory and do not take it for granted.  Today we celebrate BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!!!!!!!!! Today I celebrate beauty – in myself and in others. Here are the lessons I learned:

  1. God does not make junk.  Not you, not me, not anybody.  If God sees me as a special person, then who am I to take that person and try to destroy her – stuff her with food?
  2. I’ll never be a super model.  I will never be six-foot tall.  I will never have legs that extend into another zip code.  My thighs will always be very close friends – they will continue to meet often when I walk.
  3. I have to save my health above all else.  Let the rest of this stuff care for itself.  Be positive about the weight loss from a health standpoint.
  4. The words “comfort” and “food” are no longer used in the same sentence by me.  If I begin to think of food as something that brings comfort – then I have given food more power than it deserves to have in my life.  Food no longer has any power over me.  Comfort comes from someone I love, not a Twinkie.
  5. I am worth saving.  I’m special to my Creator.  I know this because He says so.  He made me on purpose – and I choose this day to live the life He wants me to live and be happy in this body and put a smile on my face and embrace each new day as it happens!
  6. I will not wallow in my past and I will not fret about my uncertain future.  I will live in this present moment.  This moment is a “present”.  Drink it in!
  7. There are better ways to cope with boredom than eating.  I finally know when I’m truly hungry – Eureka!  When I’m upset by something or bored with something, I find a more constructive way to manage it, such as exercise or music.  This one lesson has made my health very happy!

One last thing: It sure feels good to wear blue jeans again! Today is BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! I’m getting there… I’m getting there. ❤