M.O.M.’s cooking

Posted by lettucelose on December 9th, 2011 |Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 31 Comments


I went through the Month of Meals cookbook (compiled by the American Diabetic Assoc) or MOM is how I abbreviate it for my BLC food log. Yesterday, I made one of the recipes, black bean chili, and had it for lunch. Last week, I had made the potato salad, something I really love also. I can really taste the absence of fat and salt in both recipes but they were still very tasty. I think today I will try to make a couple more of the recipes. It is fun to experiment when you have most or all of the ingredients readily available. The black bean chili is a great way to get my vegetables in and not feel like I have a mound here and a mound there sitting “alone” on my plate.

The only thing is when my appetite increases (like after cleaning the porch last night) I do want to have some food so I have been going over my daily calorie limit, unfortunately. Usually when I first start being more active this happens. If I remember, just like the early hunger pangs as I adjust my calories downward, this will go its course and then I will be able to be more active without “needing/wanting” additional calories. At some point, I am sure that I will probably have to even plan a light snack for after working out. However, if I really work out hard enough it does the opposite and acts like an appetite suppressant, sometimes for several hours afterwards. Right now, it is just getting back into the full swing of things so, once again, I am going to have to be patient with the process.

Maybe, I need more “prep” time than what Dr. Beck lays out in her book. She said 2 weeks but for me it has now been four weeks and I have been more “maintaining” a 5 lbs weight lose from the first initial week than actually losing. I am going to cut myself some slack here because when I began reading the book I was still experiencing the heavy menstrual flows and the acute arthritic pain not to mention I haven’t slept well for nearly six weeks. I feel I am making progress. Since May 1st I have been able to buy the food that would support me in eating healthy. I have really gone to the grocery store armed with a lot of nutritional information culled from a lot of sources which I then see what is available to support that. I also have cracked open a lot of my cookbooks, especially the ones geared towards diabetics. I feel more in the mood to cook now that I have more food available to me. It also has been really fun to try different foods that I didn’t before because we weren’t spending the money at the grocery store. This is one aspect of my present weight lose program that I really hopes continues. It gives me such hope that I can have a varied, tasteful and healthy food plan as long as I can “afford it” financially. Here’s hoping. (fingers crossed)

About two weeks ago, I decided that I would really make a stronger effort to go “no sugar”. What I discovered by doing that is a lot of the stronger physical cravings triggered by my blood glucose rising rapidly dramatically fell off.  That action alone brought a lot of sanity into my behavior towards food.  Now, that I have made an assessment of my weaknesses and strengths regarding dieting, I can be more on the alert for how my weaknesses derail an otherwise steady progress. I have more hope because I have a better understanding of what I am doing right and what I need to work on and improve.

Within the next two weeks, I will be receiving a heart rate monitor, some new (more difficult) BL dvds and the second edition of the Beck Diet Solution. I went through the “Treat Your Own Knees” book last night and although I haven’t read it in depth yet from what I have read it sounds like by me strengthening my thigh muscles, doing some key stretching and then doing some walking followed up by some physical therapy treatments, I should eradicate my knee pain. It sounds logical from what I have read so far. I think it would be wonderful if I could resume some of my former mobility and strength. It would also go a long way in helping me to lose weight since I really do need to be more active so I can burn more calories.

In some ways, it does make me feel a little foolish, especially if I find out that really all along all I really needed to do was lose some weight, get my muscles stronger and be more active. In my defense, I didn’t “discover” this book until just recently so how would I have known exactly what to do to treat my knees? I wouldn’t have.  On the other hand, won’t it also be wonderful if I can walk without a cane and even better yet go for a walk with P? That will not only rebuild my strength and stamina but it will also help me lose weight. Not to mention, I might be able to postpone surgery so, if we were able to afford health insurance, the rider that would be on that surgery I could actually “comfortably” wait until that was lifted and then I could have the surgery? I think any or all of these possibilities are exciting.

For an “unending” breakfast this morning, I decided to have the nutri-grain blueberry waffles along with the new sugar free maple flavored syrup I ordered through the mail. First of all, you can have 1/4 cup which was enough for 4 waffles. However, although there was no disclaimer on the label, I have had a lot of gas and some stomach upset since then. I could have had half of the serving size but I guess, first time, I thought I would see how much 1/4 cup was. It is plenty enough. I know that a lot of programs do not endorse using sugar alcohol for that reason but the diabetic recipes often call for that so I figure that if I were diagnosed as a “full blown” Type II diabetics I would be probably encouraged to use them as an alternative to “added” sugar products. So, I am going to use them while I am following a weight lose food plan since I have found that when I have sugar foods I do have a tendency to crave more food as a result. Not to mention, repeated use of sugar foods would also raise my blood glucose.

When I was out shopping, I got more highlighters and recipe cards to finish up the Beck Diet Solution book with. We always check out the “latest” candy selection. I had sworn off all the chocolate but it’s been quite a while and I actually felt like I was in a lot more “control”. I scooped up the last of the  sugar free selection.


Hard to believe that it is already Memorial Day Monday!  P’s birthday is next Sunday. I wonder if the rest of the summer will fly by as quickly as the first five months of this year have so far. I decided to “relax” my dieting efforts this past weekend and I can say that it makes all the difference in the world right now. We had PJ’s pizza on Friday night. I haven’t ordered that in a couple of months! Even P remarked that it had been quite a while. Suffice to say, I believe that I can wait yet another couple of months to do it again. That is real progress. Then, we got some of our favorite mini chocolate bars yesterday. I had a few but again I didn’t feel like a non-stop binge coming on. Progress again!  What has changed? Well, I think the way I viewing dieting in general and I really owe it to the “work” that I have been doing in this Beck Diet Solution.

A couple of key factors were “defining” a plateau. She defines plateaus into two categories: short and long term ones. I realized that I had more control over my weight lose than I had previously thought. In fact, if I am experiencing either there are things that I can do about those to get myself started back in losing weight. Before, I would see even a slight weight gain that some how I had failed and done something wrong which then the anxiety sometimes lead me to either overeat at the next meal since I tend to have an “all or nothing” mentality towards dieting and felt like “what’s the use?” or simply to reinforce the insecurity and mistrust I have had in my decision making and choices I make in this area. For me, this has been very freeing. It also helps me to “reduce the stress” (another lesson) since I do have unreasonable expectations of my own efforts in dieting, which, again, was very freeing. I can lower my expectations enough to reduce the stress without compromising my weight lose goals. That was a huge revelation for me. Again, it gets back to the “all or nothing” thinking I have previously had.

So, this weekend, I am relaxing my dieting efforts and eating “off plan”. I am still logging everything I am eating and I am also weighing myself every day. So, now I am viewing this “going off plans” meals/days/weekends/maybe even some day the “holidays” as “temporarily going on maintenance. Yes, the “danger” exists that it might be difficult to resume going back “on plan” and, therefore, I might not want to do that but, again, since Dr. Beck emphasizes that success or failure really depends on: first, our thought processes, then, secondly, our behaviors; why not, view this as it is a conscious decision to eat “off plan” knowing full well that will slow, stall or cause a temporary weight gain and that if I take ownership of that decision and I can live with the short term consequences; than why not?

So, the benefit of seeing these same actions in a different light is that I can avoid many of self-defeating thoughts that I had before and I probably can and will get back on track a lot more quickly as a result. I will say that one of my strengths is the ability to get back on track. In some ways, I do have the ability to flip dieting on and off like a light switch. I used to see this as a weakness but now I am beginning to see it more as a strength and a strength that I can use to my “advantage”. Later tonight we are going to have our “annual” brat supper that we typically have during one of the summer holidays. I don’t think I have had brats since this time last year. When it dawned on me that this is an “off plan” food that I rarely “indulge” in I decided that I am going to enjoy it for today and then tomorrow it is back to “business as usual”. I like that “strategy” and I think that will help me move through the remainder of my weight lose journey easier and feeling like I don’t have to have super-human willpower to lose all of this weight. That alone is a great relief and I also think a “recipe” for failure too had I continued to hold onto that unrealistic expectation.

So, my “plans” today also involve some “spontaneous movement” (I prefer the word movement over exercise since I feel that is what it is): I am going to have Paul help me take the two rockers from the porch out to our cement area between these two buildings and I am going to really clean them up good. I bought a small plastic bucket and a long handled brush(actually for car tires). If I had a garden hose I would have used that. It would have been quicker and easier but I don’t so this is the next best thing. Then, I will wait for them to dry. I hope to begin the spray painting the dark wood chair. I bought two cans of paint so let’s see if this will be enough. I have been wanting to do this for several years but just never got around to it.

Finally, I got some decent sleep. I felt like I was coming down with a mild head cold yesterday so I began taking some sinus/allergy medicine for it. If I take two of them, it really knocks me out. I figured it was the combination of all the fans and a/c running that irritated my sinuses. I was able to get about 8 hours total today. What a difference that makes!!  I think, I had had several days/ nights with less than 4 hours each day and it was rough. Let’s hope this is the start of my sleep turning back around to “normal”. I have decided that I am going to do everything I can to not oversleep as well; out of boredom or even feeling blue. I am going to do my best to stay alert and stimulated throughout the day. I realize that part of the reason why I seemed to spend a lot of time sitting here at the computer was I simply wasn’t filling my day with enough things to interest me and keep me stimulated. Plus, I now think that I was also having some S.A.D.D. during the winter months. It seemed my mood brightened as soon as April came around only to be “slayed” by my arthritis and that flare-up along with the two heavy menstruations I had. Boy, what a past 4 months it has been. I sure hope that I am pulling out of a lot of this so I can really move ahead on some of the things that have been on hold during that time.

This past weekend, I “allowed” myself to relax on my food plan. I didn’t go into the weekend thinking that I would but once I ordered Papa John’s pizza on Friday night (which I haven’t done in two months) it just seemed to evolve. I still feel like I ate in a fairly disciplined way. I did have regular Coca-Cola and some mini chocolate candy bars but as soon as the clock struck midnight last night all that “indulgences” ceased. Getting back on track is essential if I am going to “allow” myself some “off plan” eating. The success of doing that will also mean that I won’t lose much ground when I do. I have been very careful the past 6 1/2 weeks so this was a risk to do this. However, I was willing to take that risk since I know how stressed I was feeling going into the weekend (the lack of sleep was the primary cause) and how much more relaxed I became when I made the decision to do that. It is not easy dieting and especially under these circumstances. I think that “on occasion” if/when I can do this I will allow some of that built up tension to be released. I am well aware that is also saying that I am still “using” food as a stress-reliever. I guess, this is a more conscious effort. I acknowledge that I am an emotional eater. Not as bad as I used to be, for sure, but I still “use” food to relax and unwind. It is a work in progress which I feel I am winning.


Well, I slept better last night. TG. I did get up around 5 a.m. and I am returning to bed in a few minutes. All my eating over the weekend resulted in a nearly 6 lbs weight gain. Last night alone I ended up having a 1200 calories “nosh”. Since I was prompted to weigh myself on BLC I did put in the weight gain. Not a great way to start out a new month but “Oh well”. Now, to get back on track. I plan on working out when I reawaken. I also plan on working out 5-6x a week. This will be tough at first but once I get used to it the benefits will really be worth it. One benefit is that once my metabolism picks up I will be able to absorb these detours from my food plan a lot better. In fact, I might not even regain any weight. Since I ate over 3000 calories each day this past weekend and even closer to 4000 calories along with added sodium, I am not surprised by the weight gain. However, I do hope that I can get back to 2100 calories today and within a few days be around 1800 calories.

Since I didn’t fall back to sleep right away, I got up and thought I would exercise while P was doing some “errands”. I did about 10-15 minutes of STOIV. I could feel it in my knees, especially the sideways movements. I felt clumsy and really out of shape. It is always hard to start all over again. However, it is a start and I have to begin somewhere. I might actually try it again tonight when P is at choir practice. I will just keep returning to it until I can do a little more each day.

Well, as it turned out, the summer cold that I have been fighting returned and I ended up sleeping a lot. I’m not sure how much but I would say between 9-12 hours over three separate times. I seem to feel the best when I take the Emergen-C which is 1000 units of Vitamin C and some B vitamins. It felt like that is what I needed to do so I went to bed around 10 p.m. and I got up in the middle of the night, although this time, I had, at least, slept some before I did get up. My joints are holding their own. Crossing my fingers but other than the twinge of pain in the sides of my knees when I move suddenly, I am able to sleep when I do go to bed except when I am dwelling on the many different things in our lives. The good thing about being sick. You stop “caring” so you can care for yourself. There’s a lesson in there.

Well, my latest renewed efforts to get back eating OP (“on plan”) and exercising is starting out slow but I am getting back on track and that is the main thing. Although I really do enjoy taking time off from my dieting and eating some of my old favorites, I really hate the fact that I “had to” change the scales on the BLC site backwards—again. However, if/when I get back where I am working out diligently like I have in the past, I will be able to ride out those kinds of “bumps” a lot easier and with less “damage” to my weight lose progress. It is just getting back to that point again that takes time.

TG, I have been sleeping a lot better these past couple of days. What a difference that makes too! I have tried to get up from here periodically and do something around here. Just to stretch my unused muscles for one thing but also so I can “say” that I have done something besides play online games while I am waiting for my pain meds to kick in; which, sadly, I hate to admit I do a lot of. Now, that it seems that I am having some good nights which gives me some good days, I really need to do more of the things that I have been putting on hold for several weeks now.

[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]


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