I set aside 15 pair of shoes for my yard sale yesterday.  Those shoes join the 15 pair I had already set aside. 

Since summer began, I’ve been systematically going through the house cleaning out closets and drawers and getting stuff together for a yard sale.  I’m not a good candidate for hosting a yard sale.  I’ve only had one in my life and I wasn’t happy with it.  I spent days advertising, organizing stuff, washing, ironing and getting clothes ready to sell.  It was pitiful.  I’d have a $100 jacket that I’d worn only a couple of times marked for $15.00 and have someone haggling to buy it for $5.00. 

 I’m a glutton for kitchen appliances and tried to sell ice cream makers, bread machines, blenders, electric woks and all kinds of stuff for next to nothing and still have people offering less than nothing.  After two days of sitting out in the front yard in the hot sun, I think I made about $100 and then I loaded it all into DS’s van and took it to Goodwill.  Swore I’d never do it again but here I am… 

 I started out at the beginning of the summer donating items as I went from one room to another but, after a while, I thought, “This is crazy.  I ought to try to sell some of this stuff.”  By the way, I’d already donated twenty pair of shoes before I decided to have a yard sale.

On yesterday’s topic, I think Mom was transferred to a nursing home close to her home last night.  Maybe Little Sis knows what she’s doing after all.  She made arrangements for them to have Mom for three weeks to try to get her up and moving and then she’ll be going to rehab if all goes well.  I haven’t called her yet this morning but I’m going to get off here, call little sis, work on the treadmill for a few minutes and get my shower.

11:45 Update: I did 30 minutes on the treadmill and threw in 10 abdominal crunches.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but, considering my behavior of the last couple of years, it’s a significant event!  As I listened to the old familiar tracks on my MP3 workout list, it brought back memories of pushing myself to the limit.  I remember using the treadmill as a warm-up for step aerobics.  I’m nowhere near that point again but I felt good about being up in my workout room again and putting forth some effort.

Weighed in and I’m the same as yesterday which is fine with me.

Called Little Sis and found out that Mom is safe and secure in the nursing home where she’ll be for three weeks.  Whether or not she starts doing what she’s supposed to is up to her.  Hopefully, she’ll put forth the effort and begin to regain her strength.

4:30 Update - Damn noodles…I ate a bowl of leftover Beef Barley soup for lunch and dumped a cup of noodles in it.  I always cook the noodles in a separate pan in beef broth so they won’t get soggy.  I’ve been eating this soup for two days and, not really thinking, I dumped a cup of noodles in my soup at lunch.  When I entered my lunch, I discovered that the noodles had more calories than the entire 2 cups of soup.  210 calories for some damn noodles!

So I made myself go out to the pool and do 60 laps to neutralize the noodles. I did not want to do laps.  Still, I hung in there and burned off around 150 calories. 

No more noodles…

Is that what I am?  A housewife?  I’m not really sure these days.  Having just retired and gotten the word that it was approved a couple of weeks ago, I’m kind of struggling with my identity.  I’ve been focused on being a teacher for so long I’m not sure what my role is anymore.

I got up and sat here drinking coffee and playing computer games for two hours this morning feeling like I had the granddaddy of all hangovers.  Stiff, sore, sluggish, headachy…  My days used to be so full that I couldn’t possibly fit everything in.  Now, I have all this time and I do nothing. Usually, at this point in the summer, I’m in a mad rush to finish everything I wanted to do because I know I’ll be heading back to work in a couple of weeks.  Now, there’s really nothing looming on the horizon.

So I’ve decided to keep a running account of my day.  Maybe looking at it in print will help me get some insight.  And that’s what I’ll be doing today as I go about my business.

For starters, after sitting here for two hours and not feeling any more motivated than when I got up, I decided to get my butt off the computer and do my pool laps.  I finished my laps and took my shower.  Weighed myself and found that I’m at 212.5 again (Yay!).  Now I’m going to blow dry my hair, do my makeup and head down to see Mom.

12:00 Update: Okay, things are not going so well.  I took my shower and did my hair and makeup.  Looked for something nice to wear that wouldn’t have Mom thinking, “Couldn’t she find something better than that?”  Got dressed and started to go out and then, with my new I-can-do-this attitude, decided that I would throw on some accessories and find some decent shoes instead of wearing flip-flops (although they do have sequins…)  I took the extra steps and then heated up my homemade beef barley soup and poured some into a thermos, packed a spoon and bowl and a pretty napkin and placemat and headed out to the car. 

It won’t start.

I don’t know what’s wrong.  It starts and stalls, starts and stalls, starts and stalls.  I finally gave up because, even if I got it running, I wouldn’t want to head all the way downtown in it.  DS pulls in the drive and he’s frustrated because they finished work at 11:00 and didn’t have anything else to do so he came on home.  He’s been working part-time for a friend with a construction business to make extra money.  He hardly made enough today to pay for the gas.  I tried to convince him to take me downtown and visit Mom but he was really grungy and said he just wanted to take a nap and I could see his point.  Although he only worked a couple of hours, it was out in the summer heat and he was pretty gross.  He has to go to his regular job at 4:00 so I let it go.

I’ve changed clothes, called Mom, put away all the lunch stuff I was taking to her and I’m going to tackle cleaning.

1:30 Update - Mom called and said a rep from the rehab center by her home came in to see her and said she didn’t see any reason why Mom couldn’t be transferred by ambulance this evening to rehab in her home town.  That was the original plan before she had complications and was sent to Louisville.  Mom sounded good.  Better than she has since she got here almost two weeks ago.  I think it represented progression for her.  She said she ate a pretty good dinner last night and has eaten all her meals today.  She asked me to call Little Sister and tell her what’s going on.

THAT wasn’t what I expected.  Little Sis used to work at the rehab center and she sounded pretty upset that they were taking Mom there.  She said the rehab center won’t take her if she’s not willing to do physical therapy and work with them.  Said she just talked to the center this morning and they had told her they absolutely would NOT take Mom if she hasn’t been cooperating with the therapists at the hospital.  It was weird…almost as if Little Sis took it as a personal affront that she’d told Mom they wouldn’t take her and now they were making arrangements to do so.  She said, “I’m going to call over there right now and talk to Ann and see what’s going on because I TOLD her that Mom isn’t doing anything to help herself and I told Mom they wouldn’t take her so I don’t know what’s going on.”  I told Little Sis Mom sounded really good about the plan and I’d hate to see her be disappointed.  Maybe we should let her go and, if she won’t work with the therapists, at least she’d be in her hometown with her family and friends close by. 

I don’t know.  Little Sis is much more involved with Mom’s care than I am.  She lives just a couple of miles from her and sees her almost everyday.  I just hate to see Mom disappointed.  And then, to relieve the stress, I found myself playing mindless computer games again.  Enough of that.  Back to work.

4:15 Update - Ate lunch, a bowl of soup and a teeny piece of bread with an even teenier pat of butter.  Cleaned out my closet and sorted stuff for yard sale.  Took the memory foam topper off my king sized bed and moved it upstairs to Andrew’s bed.  Since we bought a new mattress a couple of weeks ago, I don’t think we need the memory foam and it’s hot.  Washed and packed away the white down comforter from our bed and replaced it with a summer bedspread (yeah, I’m REALLY late on that).  DH is home from work and trying to figure out what’s wrong with my car.

Little Sis called and said she talked to the rehab center and they don’t want to take Mom, now.  Said she’s been in contact with a nursing home that should be able to take her for a couple of weeks until she’s able to get around some.  Not sure about my feelings on that one….

29thJuly

Jump Start!

Not happy this morning.  The scales are showing 214.5  No!  You didn’t!

Tried it again and it showed the same thing.  I know it’s going to flucuate but it’s frustrating.  I lost 2 pounds earlier this week, next day it showed one of them back.  That pound hung on through the next day and I was sure it would show a loss this morning but, instead, it shows another half pound gain.  Guess I should look at it as a net loss of .5 lb. but I’m not thrilled with it.

So I’m determined to work my butt off today and make sure I show a loss tomorrow.  I’d planned on eating a hard-boiled egg for breakfast and a cup of tomato juice but someone ate my eggs.  I know it’s not good to skip breakfast so I’m going to slug down a cup of tomato juice anyway and get some more breakfast food around here that I can eat.  DH is eating sausage and biscuits and the twins are eating frozen pancakes with butter and syrup.  I’m feeling neglected with my tomato juice.

I’m leaving in a little bit to go see Mom.  Hope it’s a gratifying experience.

More later…

3:00 p.m. - It’s later…so here’s some more… Mom was better today.  Feeling cranky about the “service” at the hospital and says she’s not ever coming back to that hospital even if it means she has to change doctors.  She ate some fried fish and mashed potatoes and was looking forward to lasagna for lunch.  Hopefully, she’s get moving and get out of there.

I really didn’t trust the calories burned by water jogging as quoted on this site so I wore my personalized HRM during my pool workout.  It’s set for my age, gender, height and weight so I trust it  more than a generalized table.  It shows I burned 150 calories during my 30 minutes of pool jogging.  NOT 294 as shown by the table on MFP.  I adjusted things accordingly.

Hopefully, I can find some time to get upstairs and work out on the treadmill for a few minutes.  It’s cooler today so maybe the upstairs won’t be too bad.  Even though we have air conditioning, it gets pretty hot up there in my workout room during the summer.

7:30 p.m. - I made beef barley soup for dinner and some Kroger Bake-it-yourself multigrain french bread.  Ate a bowl of soup and had two small slices of bread with about a tablespoon of butter.  Then…because I said today was a jump start, I went upstairs with a bottle of windex and some papertowels and cleaned half an inch of dust off my treadmill.  Cranked up the old MP3 and walked for 20 minutes.  I know…20 minutes is pitiful but it’s the first time I’ve been on the treadmill in a LONG time so I feel good about it.  Now, if I can just resist temptation this evening, I’ll have done the best I can do to show a pleasant picture on the scales tomorrow.

By the way…I decided to smuggle some homemade beef barley soup to Mom tomorrow.  Maybe she’ll eat it.  She loves my homemade soups.

28thJuly

Frustration!

I’m so frustrated with Mom.  I don’t know how to feel about it.  I’m not sure if I should feel sorry for her, angry with her or just plain aggravated.  She’s acting like a two year old and it’s stressing out the entire family.

She should have had her surgery, been on liquids the first day, solids the next day and discharged.  Instead, she’s refusing to do anything to get better.  Little sister talked them into putting her on a semi-liquid diet to see if she’d eat but it hasn’t helped.  They moved her from ICU yesterday and put her in a regular room because they say there’s no reason for her to be in ICU.  As soon as she starts eating again, she can go home.

I called this morning and got her room number and tried to call her but she didn’t answer.  I called Little Sister and she said she had to call the nurses station, have them go in the room, call back so they could answer the phone and hand it to Mom.  And it’s right there beside her!  As for her semi-liquid diet…it doesn’t seem to be helping.  The nurse said she ate a couple spoonfuls of ice cream and then left the rest.  She didn’t touch her jello, chicken noodle soup, pudding or anything else.  Said she didn’t want it.  Hell!  I didn’t want my hard-boiled egg or tomato juice for breakfast but I ate it.  Ate it because I know I have to eat three meals a day and eat healthy foods so I can feel better.  I don’t want to go out to the pool and do 60 laps but I will.  Because I know I need to do it.

As long as she’s in the hospital here in Louisville, it’s putting pressure on me to drive all the way downtown, pay for parking and then walk to the hospital, visit her, and then drive all the way home.  I feel like I have to go everyday to make sure she’s okay.  Unless one of my siblings does it.  And that means they have to drive an hour each way. I’m the only family member living in town. Today, she’s being visited by big brother, whose wife had a stroke a couple of years ago and can’t be left alone.  He has to hire someone to watch her while he makes the trip.  She’s also being visited by her nephew and little sister and they both have to make the same trip.  I feel so conflicted with emotions but I feel like I’m enabling her if I do things for her when she won’t do anything for herself.

Enough about Mom.  My rant is finished.  I’m also frustrated because I gained a half pound today.  No reason for it and I know my weight is going to flucuate but it’s still a bit discouraging. 

Sorry for the pity party.  Time to clean the house,do my laps and plan a healthy dinner.  Speaking of healthy dinners, that low-fat Weight Watchers tomato dill soup sucked.  That’s one recipe that I can throw out.  But, Hey!, I ate it, Mom.

I also gave myself a pretty decent manicure and pedicure and scrounged around to find a couple of nice rings to wear everyday.

27thJuly

Crab Legs!

$5.99 a pound???  Are you kidding me?  I grabbed a couple pounds and I’m fixing them for dinner along with multigrain french bread and Weight Watchers Tomato Dill Soup.  I love crab legs!

I had a difficult time with my pool laps today.  My left calf was cramping and burning from the get-go and I couldn’t get it to ease off.  I hung in there and did 60 laps but I didn’t push as hard as I usually do.  Instead of giving 100%, I was giving it about 80%.  Still did the laps but didn’t do them as fast and didn’t push off as hard.

Mom is still in the hospital and is being difficult.  I went up to see her yesterday and her nurse was upset because she’s refusing to eat or drink anything because she says she “Just doesn’t want it”.  Instead of being home and on a regular diet, she’s regressed and is now back on a liquid diet of clear fluids only.  Of course, she has an IV going but she’s not doing what she’s supposed to so she can get out of the hospital and go home.  I fussed at her and cajoled and pleaded and managed to get her to eat a popsicle, drink some water, and eat a container of cherry Italian Ice.  The nurse was thrilled and I left with the freezer in the ICU holding popsicles and Italian Ice.  Little sister went up to see her later and made her eat some jello. This morning, little brother drove in from out of town and they said she hasn’t eaten today and says she doesn’t want it.  sigh….  He didn’t fuss at her or make her eat.  Just called me to say that Mom doesn’t like the Kleenex they have in the hospital and wants me to bring her a box of unscented kleenex with no lotion or additives.  It’s such a pain to go all the way downtown and find a parking place to deliver a box of Kleenex.  I wanted to take today off since both my brothers and one of their wives are going to see her.  Now I’m feeling guilty.  Still, I think I’ll go tomorrow instead of today.  I ran errands this morning, went to the chiropractor and did my pool laps.  Now it’s almost time to fix dinner.

I’m still sticking with my calorie count and staying on the Mexican train so I can feel better and fit into some decent clothes when we go on our family cruise in February. 

25thJuly

Letting Go

Sometimes we have to let go of stuff.  Just shake it off and move past it.  Then again, sometimes we let go of things we should hang on to.

My mom has always been a strange bird.  She’s always admired women who are sophisticated and elegant.  She’s actually a bit of a snob.  As a result, I’ve always made it a point to do my hair and makeup and wear something nice and stylish when I visit her.

Since she’s been in the hospital for the past week and I’ve gone to see her on a daily basis, it’s brought to my attention that I’ve let go of a lot of stuff when I should be hanging on.  As I prepare to see her, I realize that I don’t do my nails anymore.  I have pretty decent nails and I’ve never had to wear acrylics or anything like that but, at some point, I just started clipping them short and I don’t even wear clear polish anymore.  Jewelry?  I kind of stopped doing that, too.  I always wore rings and a necklace.  My favorite necklace chain broke a long time ago and, with the price of gold being what it is, I never replaced it.  And then the next one broke or got lost or something.  Same with the earrings.  I lost a favorite big gold hoop and didn’t replace it.  Just let it go and wear cheap ones because I have some nice ones for formal affairs but not for everyday. Rings got too tight to be comfortable so they just sit in my jewelry box and I don’t wear them.  I even lost a diamond in my wedding ring and put it away instead of getting it repaired.

Most days, I don’t even put on my makeup.  Clothes?  I’ve gained so much weight I refuse to invest money in nice clothes so I’m a walking advertisement for Walmart.  And then, there’s my ankles.  A real dilemna.  I used to wear heels and nice sandals and suffer through it but the last year or so, it’s been flip flops or athletic shoes.

I’ve been thinking about this all week.  As I prepared for my daily visit to Mom.  When did I just give up and let it all go?  When did I start hiding out and avoiding friends, family and acquaintances?  I’m looking in the mirror and wondering where I went and who’s this frumpy old toad staring back at me?  I’ve been doing my hair (but I need a haircut) and trying to find something decent to wear that doesn’t scream “CHEAP” and debating if it’s worth wearing nice shoes when I have to walk two blocks downtown from the parking garage to the hospital in the 100 degree temperatures.

Yesterday, I got really angry with Mom.  I went to see her and all she talked about was my “beautiful, elegant, sophisticated” cousin who had called her.  Then she moved on to another cousin, and another.  She went on and on and I kept trying to change the subject and get her to recognize how my sister and I had been taking care of her and visiting everyday and sending flowers.  I tried to talk about my brother who drove all the way to Louisville from New Orleans and missed work just to be here for one day.  To be with her during her surgery.  And still she bragged on my bitchy, snobby cousins and critcized her own children and complained about my dad who died twelve years ago.  About how she’d always been embarrassed by his “lack of sophistication and manners”.  I found myself getting more and more angry and I felt like I had to get out of there before I said something I’d regret.  I made a few disparaging remarks about my cousins and then stopped myself.  She wasn’t getting it.  She even made a remark about my son.  “Tell David, although he probably doesn’t care, that I’m recovering and I love him.”  Because David didn’t make it to the hospital to see her.

I was so angry and I really couldn’t figure out why.  I should have just recognized it for what it was.  Mom has always been this way.  I think it was just because we’ve all been so supportive during her surgery and she just blew it off and talked about how my cousins cared about her so much.  How they would have gotten her a companion to take care of her on a daily basis.  Hello!  My brother lives with you and takes care of you on a daily basis.  My sister lives three miles away and takes care of you on a daily basis.  Your oldest son lives ten miles away and is always there for you.  Everytime I brought that up, she negated it.  I didn’t say, “Where are all the cards and flowers from your elegant and sophisticated nieces, Mom?  They talk a big talk about hiring companions for you and how much they love you but where are they?”  A couple of gushy phone calls a year don’t compare to what your own family does for you.  Do they take you on cruises?  Do they spend $1,000 dollars in gas for the RV so you can be comfortable when we take you to our place in Florida?  Do they cook for you or clean for you or do your laundry?  Why can’t she see that?

My blood pressure was sky high by the time I got home.  Although I’d already done my pool laps in the morning, I went out and did another 60 laps and worked with my water weights until I had burned off the adrenalin.  I kept trying to figure out why I got so angry and I finally decided it was because I was made to feel inadequate and substandard.  And that’s my fault.  No one, even my mother, should make me feel that way because it’s up to me to make sure I’m NOT inadequate or substandard.

And so, along with losing weight and exercising again, I also have to find myself and regain my confidence and self-esteem.  I think I’m going to get off here and go do my pool laps.  And then I think I’m going to do my nails and look for some rings.

24thJuly

Rally round Mom

That’s what we did.  We rallied around Mom yesterday.  I got to the hospital to see little sister sitting in the waiting room and some guy next to her waved at me as I was walking into the room and I had a moment of confusion before I realized it was little brother from New Orleans.  I haven’t seen him for about three years.  Nephews were there and the phone was ringing all day long as the family called to keep tabs on Mom’s progress.

Surgery was successful (we hope) and Mom should be going home today if all goes as planned.  I was at the hospital from 7:30 yesterday morning to 4:30 yesterday afternoon.  It was stressful and tiring so I’m so thankful that it went well.  Mom is 87 years old and nothing is easy for her these days.  I expect they’ll have to argue with her to get her to leave today.  Mom is from the old school where having a baby means a week in the hospital and any kind of surgery should require a ten day stay.  In her mind, the worst thing you can do when you’re recovering is to exert yourself.  She exhibits a mild state of shock when doctor’s say, “Let’s get you up and sitting in a chair.  And later on, after lunch, we’ll get you to walk down the hall.”  I remember when she had her knee replacement about seven years ago…she thought the best thing would be to stay off her feet and rest that knee.  We had to literally force her to start using it.

I was so tired yesterday, mostly from the anxiety and stress, that I didn’t do my exercise yesterday evening.  I was whipped.  Just came home, ate a healthy dinner, called everyone on the list to let them know how Mom was doing, and crashed in front of the TV.  Went to bed early.  I argued with myself mentally about getting in some pool laps yesterday but succumbed to the couch and TV instead.  I’m not going to worry about it.  I needed to relax.

Today is another day.  I’m down a half pound so that’s good.  I’m hoping to stay on track today and get some exercise but it will be challenging.  DIL wants to take me out to lunch at a new place she found.  She says it has lots of healthy choices.  I’m not sure I’ll be available, though.  Mom lives an hour’s drive from here and I’m hoping little sister will drive down and pick her up but she may not be able to. She has a court appearance today with her foster child and, if the timing doesn’t go right, I’ll have to pick up Mom and get her home.  Between getting ready, driving downtown and parking, getting all Mom’s stuff together, getting her into the car and driving her home, I can easily see at least three hours.  Then, I’d have to get her settled and wait for little sister to get there before I could head home again.  At least five or six hours. Hope little sis can take care of it.  She lives in the same town as Mom.  In fact, all my close family lives in the same town as Mom except me.  I’m an hour away.

Okay, that’s enough rambling.  I need to wash Mom’s nightgowns and dusters and get moving.

10:30 update: Feeling rather smug.  Decided to go ahead and do my pool laps and not wait until the afternoon or evening.  I did 40 laps today.  Not anywhere near the 100 I used to do but about all I can handle right now.  I finished up with 30 reps using the pool dumbells and a few laps of breaststroke and backstroke.

Came in to find that little sister had called.  I called her back and she said Mom is telling the nurses and doctors that she’s too weak to sit up or stand so they’ve decided to keep her a couple more days.  Her doctor calls her a “delicate little peach”.  (sigh…)

As usual, I got off track for a while.  So much has been going on and it’s hard to stay focused.  I found out last Monday that I was approved for Teacher Disability Retirement so I guess I’m formally retired.  I’m glad I was approved.  It gives me an extra $1,000 a month and I can receive it for 5 years.  At that time, I’ll revert to regular retirement but the five years will be added on to my retirement as if I’d worked another five.  Pretty good plan but I feel really strange about it.  It’s really difficult for me to see myself as disabled.  I have a really hard time working a full day of being confined to my room, standing on my feet and not having an opportunity to even go to the restroom for the first six hours of the workday.  Yeah, that’s a bit much for me.  But I still feel like I could work part-time or do something else.  Scary to think that I won’t be allowed to work.

I have a lot of sick days saved up and I’ll receive a buyout for them so I planned a family cruise in February as a retirement celebration.  Cruises and vacations are pretty cheap in February and I can afford to pay for DH and I and pay half for the rest of the family.  I paid deposits for son, Darryl and his ex, Tina, along with granddaughter, Holly.  Booked another room for son, David, and his two kids, Jake and Scout.  None of them have ever been on a cruise and they’re all excited about it.  Not the nicest cruise, five nights with Carnival, leaving from New Orleans and heading down to Progreso, Mexico and Cozumel but, since they’ve never been on a cruise, they’ll really enjoy it.  I debated booking a really nice cruise for DH and I and weighed that against a less expensive on for the entire family and chose to take the family.  The only ones who won’t be going are grandsons Steven and Andrew but they’ll be in college and won’t have that week off.  Even though I’ll miss them, we’ve already taken them on two cruises and the others have never been.

I adjusted my Honolulu Choo Choo diet plan and changed it to the Mexican Train plan.  Set some goals and set up a point value for doing things every day.  If I stick with it, I should be able to lose 50 pounds by February.  I did well yesterday.  Kept track of my food intake, did laps in the pool, weighed myself, etc.  Along about 8:00 p.m., I was finishing up the day and there was one single piece of peach pie left.  I stared at it, sucked it up, and decided I could easily resist.  I logged on and entered my total food intake for the day and discovered I was more than 600 calories short.  Looked up Kroger Private Selection Peach Pie and discovered I could eat the pie and still have extra calories left for the day.

Bye, bye, pie!

Feeling tired today.  Mom is in the hospital and will have surgery tomorrow.  Little sister called me around 11:00 p.m. and said Mom had a choking episode and it really scared her.  They said she was doing much better but they moved her to ICU just to be on the safe side.  Little sis said Mom was scared and upset and I’m the only one who lives here in town.  So I went to the hospital to check up on her.  Didn’t get home until 1:45 and I was tired but restless so I took a Tylenol PM.  Slept pretty good but now I’m having trouble shaking it off.  Can’t seem to wake up.

We booked a family cruise for February and it gives me some incentive to get back on track.  Make a diet plan called the Mexican Train (since the cruise is going to Mexico) to help me stay on track.  Did a good job staying on the train yesterday, hope I can get on board today and stay with it

Vietnamese Pork Tenderloin

I tried this recipe recently out of the June issue of Cooking Light magazine and loved it!  Thought I’d get it in here before I lose it.

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • 1 (4-inch) piece fresh lemongrass, halved
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled ginger, halved
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Thai or serrano chile, thinly sliced and divided

Filling finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

  • 16 basil leaves
  • 16 mint leaves
  • 2 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
    • 16 Bibb lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)
    • 1 cup cilantro leaves
    • 1 cup sliced English cucumber
    • 2 ounces
    • 1/3 cup
    • rice vermicelli

    Preparation

    1. 1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a mini food processor; pulse until coarsely ground. With processor on, add soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and oil; process until blended. Combine mixture and pork in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.
    2. 2. Combine carrot and sugar in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Add juice, vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, minced garlic, and 1 sliced chile; stir until sugar dissolves.
    3. 3. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.
    4. 4. Preheat grill to high heat.
    5. 5. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Thread pork evenly onto 6 (12-inch) skewers. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until lightly charred.
    6. 6. Top each lettuce leaf evenly with pork, noodles, and remaining ingredients. Serve with dipping sauce.

    Serves 4 (serving size: 4 wraps and 3 Tbsp. sauce)

    Calories: 343, Fat; 9.9 grams