Deconstructed Cordon Bleu. No carb – High protein yummies

Posted by leannekarella on October 24th, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | Leave a Comment

One chicken breast, butterflied and seasoned with garlic and onion powder.

Lay it on a piece of foil on a baking sheet.

Spread a nice layer (depending on taste) of stone-ground mustard over the chicken.

A slice or two of ham.

And then 1/2 ounce (thin slices) of your favorite cheese. I didn’t have Swiss, so I used Jack.

Bake @ 350 for about 15-20 min until chicken is fully cooked.

Post-surgery…Back on plan!

Posted by leannekarella on October 23rd, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | Leave a Comment

Today is 2 weeks and 5 days post open-heart surgery, and I’m doing amazingly well, and I’m going back“on plan” as of this morning. It’s time to buckle down and get working on the next 50 lbs I need to lose!

Over the last couple of months, I’ve put on about 15 lbs from the lowest I got down to. I have to look at it as “that’s okay” because I was simply trying to survive the stress of “Holy sh** they’re going to cut me open and stop my heart to fix it!!!” Yes, that went through my head many times a day for the last few months before I had the surgery.

In reality, the surgery went very smoothly, and my recovery has been amazing.
My wonderful sister, who is a cardiac rehab nurse, who has worked in cardiac ICU, came to be by our side and help shoulder some of the stress and answer my husband’s and daughter’s questions. We had a wonderful couple of days doing some touristy stuff before the surgery, and then she was there with my husband and daughter every second they needed her.

Now, a little less than 3 weeks post-op, the only thing I’m dealing with some residual muscle pain in the chest/arm/shoulder area, that the surgeon says is normal and should be gone by the time I hit the 6 week recovery date. I’m mostly off the harder pain meds, except sometimes in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep from the pain.

My surgeon says once I hit 6 weeks, I can go back to all normal activity. I’m already ahead of most rehab patients in what they call the “walking plan” which was supposed to be 5 min a day the day you go home from the hospital, adding 1 minute each day after that. I was doing 30 min the day I got home from the hosp, and 2 days ago, I went shopping with my teenager and was on my feet for wayyyy more than 30 min. That wore me out really badly, but I survived. I’m well on my way to a full recovery!

October 4th was a new beginning to my life. I can already tell the difference in my heartbeat, in the fact I can get a little winded while walking and it doesn’t feel like I’m strangling to death. (Because of the hole, I had 2x the amount of blood flowing through my lungs than I should have, so the second my heartbeat got faster, I couldn’t breathe. – I’d been living with that for years.)

Now, today, October 23rd, I get back to healthy eating – yep, I went a little overboard since my surgery eating things I had no business eating. Pain makes me hungry, and comfort food seemed appropriate. – Today that ends. I have my protein foods, my egg whites, and my mind and body in the right place to begin again.

The picture was taken 3 days ago… My scar is minimal, and I love my surgeon for that! My family says I can still wear my lower necklines and it won’t matter. I hope they’re right. All my newer clothes are low necklines!


Posted by leannekarella on September 14th, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | Leave a Comment

October 4th is the day of my heart surgery. I’ll post progress reports after. Until then, I’m concentrating on staying calm, making all my doctor appointments, and getting my house and job in order so things to fall apart during my recovery.

Prayers are very welcome!

On Vacation

Posted by leannekarella on August 5th, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | Leave a Comment

For anyone who follows this blog…

I’m on vacation, currently in Nebraska visiting family, then off to see Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Zion Nat’l Parks.

I am eating as healthy as I can, being very careful of my choices. With my surgery date looming in just a couple of months, I can’t afford to gain any weight! I’m eating as much salad as I can, and enjoying the fresh from the hoof (almost) beef on my Aunt’s farm. I must admit to also enjoying the fresh from the stalk bi-color corn on the cob too. I have passed up the pies, cookies and chocolate puddings that my lovely aunt loves making, so I think I’m doing well. The fresh fruit I am eating in moderation. Strawberries, cantaloupe and watermelon fresh from the patch…

I eat my protein snacks for mid-afternoon and nighttime when I need a little something, and trying to only eat protein of some kind for breakfast. Lunch and dinner I eat what I’m served, but that’s how it’s done in farming country. Aunt is very nice in trying to cater to my dietary needs, so it’s going fairly well.

Chunky, thick, sweet & spicy spaghetti sauce.

Posted by leannekarella on July 19th, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | Leave a Comment

Best sketti sauce I’ve ever made, I think. Sweet & spicy!

1 can no-sugar added low sodium tomato sauce (28oz)
1 whole sweet pepper, chopped
1 whole onion, chopped
a big bunch of mushrooms, chopped.
Put all the chopped veggies in a big, deep, non-stick fry pan with just a touch of oil and cover to let “wilt”. When they’re wilted, add the can of tomato sauce then throw in:
1/4 cup dried basil
1/4 cup dried oregano
heaping Tblsp minced garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tblsp (or so) Splenda.
Cover and let flavors blend for about 1/2 hr, stirring occasionally.

We love spices so the garlic, basil and oregano might be too strong for some. It was also pretty spicy with the whole tsp of pepper flakes, but it was really nice change to my normal sauce.

I served it over my shirataki noodles and used it to dip my pan seared chicken breasts.

Getting back on plan…

Posted by leannekarella on July 16th, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | Leave a Comment

Well, it’s true. When you’ve been off off the plan (low-cal/low-carb/low-fat ketosis diet) and you slam your body into gear to get back on the plan, dropping back under 1000 cal/day, you will go through the hell of the first 4/5 days again.

I am on day 5 and the headache is finally gone, but I’ve also dropped 3 lbs…my body ridding itself of the glycogen stores, I’m sure, along with the excess water I’ve been retaining from eating higher carbs.

I feel good today. Lighter and more with it. I need to remember this feeling and not lose it. Eating cake was certainly NOT worth the 3 days of mood swings and blinding headaches. I know that now for sure!

Lunch today was a nice green salad with lots of “stuff” and dill cucumber chips (Nally’s Surfboards – my favorite) topped with some tuna salad made with hard boiled eggs and low-fat mayo. Was very yummy!

Home and eating healthy!

Posted by leannekarella on July 14th, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | Leave a Comment

Home two nights, and eating only HEALTHY food!

Day 1: Big green salad and baked chicken breast

Day 2: Veggie kabobs and New York strip steak; bbq’d

Just as tasty, and way healthier than restaurant food. Not to mention way cheaper!

Vacation – bad eating….

Posted by leannekarella on July 14th, 2013 |Filed Under My Thoughts | Leave a Comment

Well, unlike the last couple of trips I’ve taken since beginning this weight loss journey, I was NOT a healthy eater when kiddo and I went to Phoenix to visit my sister-in-law.

I did well the first couple of days, eating salads when we went out, but I did cave, and caved hard.

2 weeks 2 days we were gone, and I came back 6lbs heavier.

As I have stated before, my body is not normal. I do believe it would take a “normal” person longer to gain that kind of weight on what I ate. And the bad thing is, the things that made me gain weight, I’m not sure I enjoye
d all that much.

It was my daughter’s 16th birthday, so there was a chocolate/cherry cake. There’s a bakery that makes pies as good as my mom’s (we bought 2 of them while I was there, and I ate my fair share). And then there was the Mexican food, and the Greek food, with bread of some kind on everything! Really tasty pita and homemade tortillas.

Oddly enough, it was Italian night when I actually ate healthy. We did have a few healthy meals that I cooked, and a night out at Sweet Tomatoes (a huge salad bar restaurant). But that couldn’t make up for completely falling off the healthy wagon.

Do I regret it? Yes, in a way. I enjoyed the food – though I will admit fully that the desert stuff I could have passed up. At least stopped at one piece one night, not one piece every night until it was gone. The chicken salad at the Mexican place was very, very yummy, and I should have stuck with that instead of caving and eating the cheesy, refried beanie foods. Though I can’t say I regret the Greek pizza, because that was very, very delicious, and we’d been walking in the heat for hours (shopping at an outlet mall) and that would have been a good lunch, had I not been eating everything else unhealthy.

I’ve told you before, I do not feel food guilt. I’m a little disappointing in myself for eating the deserts, but oh well, it’s done. Move on. I’m home now and hitting the health food hard. I will not make this same mistake twice. My daughter put on a few lbs too,

and she’s back on Atkins, so we’re in this together, which helps. She feels a little upset with herself, too.

I must say, I enjoyed the last two nights of healthy food at home! The rest of the summer, the goal is to stick with it. Get off a few more lbs, especially the 6 I gained in Phoenix.

So, if you’re going to Phoenix, and it’s too hot (heat busting record at 119 while we were there) to do anything outside, don’t spend all your time in restaurants! *grin* Just my little tip of the day.

Pictures of the good and bad. Greek Salad from My Big Fat Greek Restaurant (all healthy except the sliced pita). Caesar Pita from My Big Fat Greek Restaurant (healthy if I had only eaten the stuffing, not the pita). Peach Pie from Rock Springs Cafe (UNhealthy). Greek Pizza from My Big Fat Greek Restaurant (topping fine). Salad bar at Sweet Tomatoes (all good if careful).

Hot Ham & Swiss Portabella sandwich

Posted by leannekarella on June 23rd, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | Leave a Comment

Yep. You can put anything on portabella buns! I made a household favorite last night for the fam; toasted ham/Swiss sandwiches. I didn’t want to miss out, so I made mine on the mushrooms. Ohhhh it was GOOD! Even cold, because I got called away before I could eat.

Ham, Swiss cheese, sliced onions, stone ground mustard, a dash of horseradish, thinly sliced tomatoes, black pepper and garlic powder.

On the bun ones I make for the fam, I put a little mayo on the bread for moisture. The portabella doesn’t need extra, since when it wilts it has more moisture.

400 degree oven preheated. Lay the “bun” halves face up and layer on the stuff. On one side I put on the mayo, mustards, seasoning, meat and tomatoes. On the other side I put the onions and then the cheese. Toast it until the mushrooms are wilted and/or the buns are toasty on the bottom and the cheese is melted. Put together and ENJOY! I added a nice Greek salad to fill the plate.

Poached Egg Whites with…stuff

Posted by leannekarella on June 22nd, 2013 |Filed Under Recipes | Leave a Comment

So, I love hard boiled eggs, poached eggs, etc, etc…but I’m supposed to watch the amount of yolk I consume. Well, that sucks, because I love the yolk the best!

How to hard boil only egg whites? I’ll be danged if I throw out or even give away my hard boiled egg yolks!

I got out hubby’s egg poaching pan and poached just egg whites. It works, but pretty boring without the yolk. So, this morning I took a little piece of ham (about 2 oz), a little piece of cheese (1/2 oz extra sharp between the 3) and put those in the little egg poacher cup, and then poured the egg whites over it and put it in the poacher pan. Sprinkle on a little pepper. Don’t need salt because of the ham. Maybe a little onion powder next time…

Poach over rolling boil for about 4-5 min. Until the whites are solid but not rubbery. Test with a fork.

I like mine with a little tomato. I think next time I might try a little salsa dolloped on top for more zip. Delish!

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