My journey to better health

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My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:06 pm

It's only been a month so far but I'm seeing positive changes already despite my family's opposition. Guess their old habits die hard. Sometimes it's not so much dropping a habit as altering it, swapping out a bad for you meal ingredient for one that's better and adjusting your serving size. In case anyone wants to try them, here's the recipes for the cranberry sauce and pie I'm making. Good way to cut calories and have your goodies too! Very Happy

Splenda Cranberry Sauce

serves 6

1 (12 ounce) bad fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar substitute like Splenda
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt--optional

Directions:




  1. Put cranberries in a pot on the stove, and pick through to remove soft and/or brown ones.

  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.

  3. Stir frequently - the cranberries will pop, and then release their "gel" and the sauce will come together like magic. This takes about 10 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and let cool completely before refrigerating.

This comes out to 36 carbs in the entire batch!



Splenda Pumpkin Pie

serves 8/1 pie

1 deep dish pie shell (you can omit this if you grease the pan well)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk (unsweetened)
1 cup Splenda
2 tsps pumpkin pie spice (adjust to taste)

Heat oven to 375°. Allow pie crust to thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes. Omit this step if skipping using a crust.

Combine eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, Splenda, and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for approximately 1 minute with electric mixer.

Pour pumpkin mixture into the pie shell or well-greased pie pan. Bake on center oven rack for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool pie comletely before cutting into 8 servings.

Without the crust this comes out to 75 carbs for the entire pie! And very low calorie too.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Sue Short on Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:18 pm



Seeing this reminds I've got a cookbook to send to you.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Suzzzz on Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:33 pm

Fiffur, you did it, you started a new topic about your road to health. Well done! If you will allow me, I'd like to post an (edited) backstory on the saga. I know this post is really long, but I thought the topic deserved a proper lead-in. So. From Fiffur's recent posts:

10/24/12 ANYBODY OUT THERE WHO'S DIABETIC???? I now have a mini-crisis: I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic last Saturday.

10/25/12 I wrote to the ADA and am waiting for a reply from them. Been doing a lot of online research. Joined an online diabetic forum for more info and they've been so nice and helpful. ... It's amazing how much less you can eat if you're never really hungry to start with. ... It's killing me that I can't have any chocolate ... My mom thinks I'm going overboard about this but I am taking it very seriously ... I'd rather switch to a diabetic diet and not get the disease than chance not making enough changes and getting it fullblown...

10/26/12 If I can nip this in the bud now I won't have any complications and I won't have diabetes at all. Been needing to improve my diet anyway.....

10/30/12 I processed that rice well enough. I still think I'll cut back on the amount, add some fibery stuff like wild rice, veggies, maybe some chicken. Then the numbers won't spike so fast or so high since the fiber makes the digestion go slower. And don't go too long between meals or snacks, since the liver will dump glucose in the blood as a result of starvation mode. Didn't know that before my research started. ... I'm craving a peanut butter cup like nobody's business but my cravings for other sugary stuff is starting to fade.

11/1/12 I bought a nice lil meter and strips so now I'm experimenting a bit with food to see what I can and can't have without spiking my blood glucose levels.

11/8/12 I'm thankful my BGL have been lower lately, most in the normal range. Maybe the new healthier diet is working?

11/14/12 The seminar last night was interesting, and informative. You'd think my mom would've gotten more out of it but apparently not. Her attitude is the same "you're going overboard"...

11/15/12 ... When I 'eat to my meter' I can't handle that many carbs in a meal and I have the meter readings and the logbook to prove it. ... Now [Mom is] finally starting to get it, and that I will not back down here on this issue. ... At least the majority of my readings this past week are now in the normal range, some of them barely but still in the normal range. Better than when all this started. ... Today: work, bike an extra mile, library, home to rest and warm up, work again, hot shower, over to mom's for leftovers and Bij snuggling before bed. ... Trying to keep a regular schedule for sleep and eating.

11/16/12 So far I've lost 14# already on this healthy diet. Today, up early for breakfast, ride the bike a few miles for the heck of it...

11/19/12 Won't know if I lost anymore until after Christmas when mom goes to the doc so I can use their scale. Today: breakfast, work, get a shock when the cold meter gave me a 158 reading in error, warmed it up and got a 106 10 minutes later **whew!** ... a little extra [bike] riding since it's nice out...

11/20/12 ... feel a bit deprived. No chocolate, no potato chips (so no tuna-chip casserole), no Oreos (that one is killing me!), no toasted cheese sandwiches, no potatoes, no noodles.......**sob** ... My first thing in the morning numbers today are a tad above the cutoff for the normal range again. Today, work, ride the bike a few extra miles, library (typing is exercise too), home for light lunch, rest a bit, work again in the sunshine, take mom to the store, shower, dinner, then walk her hallways before heading home.

11/21/12 Not only want to but have to if I want to live to see my nephew and niece have kids, or my own retirement. Mom is being unsupportive again and was harping about how "You won't eat anything" and even had her diabetic 70-something neighbor join in the harping party. I'm sticking to my guns. It helps that I'm seeing some positive changes: the belly going down, the double chin disappearing, the extra energy, the sugar and carb cravings disappearing. It's not that I'm not eating, I am eating healthy. No more mindless snacking on chips or candy, no more huge servings of anything so I'm sleepy after meals. Today I was up as usual for breakfast, then back to bed for a couple more hours since there's no school. Then off to ride the bike a few miles, and down to the library, then off another 2 miles on the bike...

And this from last Tuesday, which leads into your inaugural post for this topic: "I am going to try a recipe for splenda cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie (only 75 carbs in the whole pie sans crust), will let you know how that turns out."

Many hugs Fiffur. I admire you so much for taking charge of your life this way. This is not an easy road (on so many fronts!), but your willingness to share the challenges, and post candidly about the drawbacks and setbacks, take all of us along the journey with you. So, keep letting us know!
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Sue Short on Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:52 pm



It is great. If more people did what you did FIf, we wouldn't have the
health crisis in this country. I need to get back on track, holidays are the
toughest for me.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by bpaquet on Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:58 pm

Hugs to everyone trying to stay healthy! It's a battle, but a fun one if you like to experiment and are willing to cut yourself some slack.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:10 pm

The cranberry sauce and the pie were a hit! My mom's diabetic neighbor said it was good, and mom even said it was good, just needed a bit more cinnamon and cloves in the pie. I thought it was fine. The pie did take 50 minutes to bake in my oven (probably because it's HUD's piece of cr@p) but it was easy to make. I made the cranberry sauce while the pie baked. The whole dinner was good (turkey with onions, sweet potato with butter, cranberry sauce, and pie). Started out at 92, had the dinner, and 2 hours later was only at 99, which is the cutoff point between normal and prediabetic if you're having a fasting test done. Shocked Talk about having a very low carb dinner, it IS possible. So I had 2 pieces of my crustless pie (16 carbs) and my levels barely budged. Woke up to 87 so I'm doing great. Having the same thing tonight for dinner. Made sure to tell my mom that "I had a very good, filling, thanksgiving dinner without having to 'break the rules' and send my sugars skyrocketing." She had no comment on that.

Had some exercise this morning, shopping at Petsmart. Mom bought enough litter, canned and crunchy food, and stuff to last Bijoux until spring! And I get to do more heavy lifting later today when we put it all away. It's too cold and windy to even think about riding the bike today or tomorrow. Soo, will have to convince mom to take a walk down her hallways with me (so I don't get in trouble walking them alone).

Found some more recipes to try: sugarless fudge, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin cheesecake. Just gotta buy some unsweetened chocolate in bar form and some cream cheese. I WILL have some sweet stuff in my life....I have pumpkin pie back now so more goodies will follow. Mom however, is mourning the loss of my microwave nut brittle. There's no way I can make that and eat it myself....and it would be too tempting to have it around.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Suzzzz on Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:15 pm

I'm so glad all the food turned out so well, and even the naysayers liked the pie! cheers
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:03 pm

I was glad that not only did it turn out so tasty, but didn't send my sugars skyrocketing. I definitely want to try those recipes, and I found one for pizza crust using not wheat flour, but almond flour. A lot less carbs, so maybe I can have pizza again too without scrapping it off the crust. Looking to see if I can adapt a nutbread recipe for splenda to reduce the carbs so I can have a slice or two. Otherwise Bij won't be having nutbread ever again since mom doesn't bake anymore.

So far today I'm well in the normal range and I had an ham 'n cheese omelet for breakfast. Bought some Dreamfields pasta which is supposed to only have "5 digestable carbs per serving" (1/2 cup uncooked)....we'll see next time I make alaking noodles if that is true or not. If it works, I can have that and tuna and noodles again. Very Happy Still trying to find a brand and type of bread that's low enough in carbs so I can have french toast again......the lowest I've found so far is 23 carbs a slice so I could only have one slice. I have got to find something that's lower than that to keep within my 36 carbs per meal limit.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Sue Short on Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:58 pm



Great job Fif.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by BobCat on Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:35 pm

My walking buddy is diabetic, so he's always telling me about different low carb products. I'll have to pay closer attention and maybe I can share some of his wisdom here too.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:56 pm

Thanks much Bobbie.....the Dreamfields pasta was a bust for me. I shot up 66 points....last time I had regular pasta I shot up 75 points so not much difference. Took about 6 hours to finally come back down from that spike. And I was doing so well the previous 4 days with all my numbers in the normal range..........that pasta definitely did not have the "only 5 digestible carbs per serving" that they claimed on the box and their website. They said they had a process that "protects 36 carbs to prevent them from being digested and absorbed". HA! I emailed them about my experience with it but haven't gotten a response yet. And that stuff was quite pricey compared to regular pasta, I expected it to work better than this.

STILL eating leftover turkey. At least it's low carb. And I got a little cauliflower on sale so can have that steamed with a touch of butter. I can also eat it raw since I like it that way too (I've never used dip in my life so no missing that in my new diet).

Got some bread that's sliced really thin, supposedly 19 carbs for 2 slices, so maybe I can have ONE toasted cheese sandwich now without spiking? We'll see......
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Suzzzz on Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:21 pm

You're still in school at this stage, but clearly learning a lot. Too bad about the pasta. Sad But I love steamed caulifower, too, so pleanty of that's a big plus. But no dip?? Shocked
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:43 pm

I've never used dip, and haven't used salad dressing on salads since I was 10 (I shared with the dog and he couldn't have any so I quit using it--haven't missed it either). Thankfully my numbers are back down into the normal range. Took the meter and strips kit to bed with me so they'd stay warm under the blankets. Then up against my body for at least an hour before using it. NO more shocks that early in the morning from erroneous readings from a cold meter. A nice warm meter gave me a 78 this morning, then an 89 after my breakfast....not bad huh? Very normal range....so at least oatmeal is a-ok. Some folks can't handle it at all.

I'm wondering how a can of chicken alaking would taste with extra chicken and veggies added to it instead of noodles. I don't want those cans to go to waste and apparently I can't have noodles anymore. Mom mentioned making some spaghetti with spaghetti squash, maybe this weekend. And see what it does to my numbers.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Sue Short on Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:06 pm



I think you will enjoy the squash.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Suzzzz on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:18 pm

I'm wary of anything in cans. So many canned foods have tons of salt and so many unpronounceable ingredients! What's IN that can, anyway? Seems to me if you're going to add chicken and veg, what's left? Why not just bake a chicken and steam some fresh veg?

Can you eat rice? Sorry, I can't keep up.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:15 pm

I just don't want what's already in my pantry go to waste. Yes, I can have rice, but only 1/4 cup (uncooked) and that amount of white rice cooked is the entire meal....nothing else. Otherwise my numbers go too high. I'm debating about trying wild rice, that's supposed to be a bit lower on the glycemic scale. Problem with the glycemic scale: it was created and tested on normal people. Prediabetics like me and diabetics bodies don't process them the same way so the glycemic scale is only a ballpark guideline for us. Still, it has been somewhat helpful.

I like the chicken alaking, it's nice and creamy and tastes so different from anything I could ever make. I did learn that a lot of people use xanthum gum as a thickener in place of flour or cornstarch. It doesn't make your BGL spike, doesn't taste like anything, but it is pricey. However, you don't need to use as much as you would with flour or cornstarch. So maybe I can find some unsweetened orange juice or extract and make my own orange/ginger sauce for oriental food night. Just add more stirfried veggies to take the place of the rice. I'll have to see if I can even find xanthum gum at Woodmans, they have a lot of specialty stuff in that store. They don't have shiritaki noodles though, they're supposed to be no carb, no calorie, made from some sort of Japanese yam flour. Looked them up online, and they sure are expensive! I think I've had them before in a prepackaged dinner, but the company discontinued those dinners. They were good, not salty, and I bet low carb too (I didn't look at the labels before).

I had a big salad for dinner last night, and my numbers were so good I had half a bag of microwave popcorn for a snack later in the evening. This morning I was at 79 so I'm good. I also had a granola bar (22 carbs) as a midmorning snack yesterday with no ill effects on my BGL. HOORAY! I am slowly finding a tiny bit of wiggle room here.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Sue Short on Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:05 pm



Try brown rice, Fif, cooks the same way. I'd stay away from the instant/minute
rice.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Suzzzz on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:06 pm

What would you rather do, donate your pantry goods to the Christmas Food Bank drive, or play Russian roulette with your numbers? Suspect Good for you for exploring alternatives, though, and congrats on last night's dinner and various snacks. You are surely finding your way. Very Happy
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:08 pm

I only have a few cans of that alaking left, and am thinking it might be a good way to improvise a crustless turkey pot pie. Won't need any cornstarch or anything, just add some cubed turkey and lots of veggies. That should bring it to 2 servings, and then one serving will only have 10 carbs for the alaking, which won't be too high to spike my numbers. No one even asks for alaking at the pantry and they do take requests there (my mom helps with kids' backpacks there--gives poor kids an entire backpack of veggies, fruit, etc. they wouldn't get otherwise and it gets passed out at the school. No stigma coming to the pantry that way. Kids can be cruel sometimes).

Now the 40# of white rice in my pantry: if the pantry here would accept it in ziploc bags I could portion it out and donate it. Otherwise my mom has several poor neighbors (one in particular and her adult kids) who could put it to good use and won't care it's not in the original 20# bag. Shame Ralph isn't still alive: he made the best rice pudding anyone ever had at the potluck. I couldn't have it anymore, but everybody else could.

I had my dinner, then some popcorn....and woke up to a 76. Oatmeal WITH milk and cinnamon this morning, only came to 84. So far so good. I'm going to see if my fried chicken raises my numbers too high.....it's a very thin coating so not much flour and the spices make it taste better than KFC. I'm having it with steamed broccoli so we'll see what it does to my numbers. I've actually been a little lightheaded the past hour so I know my BGL is low. A small glass of milk will take care of that until dinnertime.

I am trying very hard to keep my numbers low and well in the normal range. That means 110 at 2 hours after eating, preferably below 100. And below 80 in the morning before breakfast. Most of the time I succeed. Don't know if that's too low or not but I'm erring on the side of caution since I can't consult with a doc to get a definite range to shoot for, and online sites have conflicting info.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:23 pm

I CAN HAVE MY FRIED CHICKEN! I only went up to 101 after I ate that with the broccoli. So I am happy....I haven't had my fried chicken for almost 2 months and wondered if I could ever have it again. Moderation in portion size did the trick. Very Happy

Now onto Christmas.....we'll see if the other recipes I have for assorted goodies turn out as good as the cranberries and pumpkin pie did.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Suzzzz on Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:25 pm

Go for it, Fif! santa Rock On

Honestly, you should start a blog for folks in your situation. The Pre-Sugar Blues or something. tongue Finding kindred spirits can be hard "on the ground" but the internet probably harbors thousands who'd love to have a place to share feedback about this.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Sue Short on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:21 pm



That's wonderful Fif, Suzz is right you should start blogging elsewhere about it.
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:17 pm

The library computer filters won't let me start a blog, or read one for that matter.
Mom's back on the "you're doing it all wrong" bandwagon. Now says I should be in the 140-160 range 2 hours after I eat. Yet at that seminar they specifically said normal people are at 110 or lower, which is what I'm aiming for. 140-160 is considered good for the diabetic 70-something across the hall. I don't think it would be considered good for somebody like me who's trying my damndest to prevent getting type 2 in the first place.

Brad is ordering pizza tonight, and mom's reaction to my now wanting to eat the crust for all the tons of carbs in it.......sheesh. I threatened not to come over at all since by the time they're done eating the pizza the movie we would be watching would be at least half over so why bother?
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by Sue Short on Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:33 pm



Ignore your Mom, keep on cheers
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Re: My journey to better health

Post by fiffur on Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:01 pm

I made 'pizza in a bowl' and didn't touch their pizza. It was good and I made sure to say so too. I didn't even miss the crust. In fact, my pizza in a bowl was much better since I had sausage, onions, and ham in there....they only had cheese and mushroom. Smile
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