Tag Archives: Sugar-free

Dining Changes

Just 69 days until our trip to Walt Disney World. Woo hoo! By the time we go, it will have been three years for me, Mike, Jake and Eliza. It will have been six years for Emi and James. And this will be the first time for Ida and Elinor. We’ll have to get them their free “First Time Visitor” buttons  when we get there. 🙂

Today I made a few dining changes to our schedule. It turns out that Minnie’s Halloween Dine is happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios while we’re there. According to the Disney website: “Visit Minnie’s favorite happy haunt for a spooktacular Halloween feast that’s frightfully delightful.” Minnie Mouse just happens to be one of Ida’s favorites, so I booked us in and canceled our reservation at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. Then since we have more than enough character dining experiences, I canceled our Donald’s Safari Buffet at Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In its place I booked us in at Yak & Yeti Restaurant. (They have an amazing Mango Pie with shortbread cookie crust, whipped topping and raspberry sauce. And I hear delicious things about their Fried Wontons, which are skewers of fresh pineapple and cream cheese wontons, vanilla ice cream with honey-vanilla drizzle.) Yum!

I haven’t been eating sugar, so I am looking forward to a few sugary treats when we are on vacation. But we tend to order just two desserts and six forks/spoons. Just a taste is plenty and so satisfying when you’ve been sugar-free. My weight is back to just below my lowest point since my stroke. Now to just keep eating well and taking my daily walks.

Meet you at the Kingdom!

Donna

 

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Carrying On

Hello Dear Readers,

I hope this post finds you healthy and at peace.

In just 5 days I will call Disney and schedule our next trip to Walt Disney World. We hope to go on October 20 of next year. Because we are Disney Vacation Club members, we can call and book our home resort, Old Key West, 11 months in advance. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, we will have 8 nights and 9 days at Disney: Mike, Emi, James, Ida, Jake, Eliza, Baby Jarvi and me.

This time it won’t be so much about time in the parks, although we will have tickets for 5 days. This time it will be all about the babies. Ida will be 2 & 1/2 and Baby Jarvi will be 8 months old. Dumbo, Prince Charming Carousel, Meeting Mickey, It’s a Small World and splashing in the water fountains will be the focus of our days. Probably just a few hours in the parks and then time at Old Key West.

I take none of this for granted. I know that if we are all there it will truly be a gift from God. I am doing my part to be there. As of this morning, I am 54.4 pounds down since May. I am learning how to eat as a diabetic. Now I just need to start moving more. Please pray that I can and do move more.

May God bless and keep you, dear Readers. Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

Shocked Back to Reality (Get Real)

OK, here’s the deal. I stepped on the scale this morning, and received a huge shock. I have been living in denial…again. My weight has crept back up to an alarming number. I have been making some really lousy choices, and they have caught up with me. I love watching “The Real,” a talk show on the Fox network with a diverse group of young women. They hold each other accountable for “getting and being REAL” everyday.  I am going to GET REAL and hold myself accountable for every bite I take and for every step that I physically take.  I won’t do it to beat myself up; but to consciously make better decisions. I felt so good when I dropped some weight and was eating well and moving more; and I will strive for that again.

I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for today. Just a routine check-up to get my high blood pressure meds renewed. I called this morning to double check on the time, and they have no record of an appointment for me.  Now I remember very well calling and making an appointment, but my doctor’s office recently moved. I’m just gonna chalk up the mix-up to their move. So I rescheduled. You see, I am prediabetic, so I always have my blood sugar checked when I go in. I have to make these lifestyle changes before I am a full blown diabetic on meds. For now it is controlled with diet and exercise. (How long is that gonna last, if I keep making bad choices?)  So…here I go again.

  1. No more sugar (I am a full blown sugar addict currently out of control) Help me, Jesus! And he will!
  2. Keep my portion sizes down (Aim to quit before I’m stuffed…eat to live, not live to eat)
  3. Lots and lots of veggies (Aim to eat veggies throughout the day, not just at dinner)
  4. Water and more water (Less coffee and more water)
  5. Walking a bit everyday (Even if it’s just back and forth in my porch, or around my house in the AC on high ozone days when my asthma kicks in)

I must admit, Dear Readers, that I am feeling a bit discouraged, but not defeated. As long as I keep do-ing, (To quote Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”), I am not defeated. All prayers and words of encouragement are welcome.

Let me know what’s up in your life. Really, I want to know.  Blessings on you!

Donna

Adventures in Cuisine

Meatless Monday ended up being Meatless Saturday, which was a blazing 90+ degrees with high humidity and ozone warnings. We had Chef Salads, and although our meal was meatless, I did include half a hard-boiled egg in each salad and a few cubes of cheddar cheese for protein. I had made Chunky Vegetable Chowder on Friday to have with our Friday Hammy Sammys, so we had the leftover chowder with our salad. Here’s the recipe. It makes a lovely summery, veggie soup.

Chunky Vegetable Chowder from Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes

6 large servings 3 carbohydrate choices

Ingredients:

  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  3. 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  4. 8 medium green onions, sliced (½ cup)
  5. 3 cups water
  6. ¾ pound small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 ½ cups)
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
  10. 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  11. 2 cans (14.75 oz each) cream-style corn

Directions:

  • In 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bell peppers and onions; cook 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in water, potatoes, thyme and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes and tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients; cook about 1 minute or until hot (Do not boil, or it will curdle).

Seriously, get this cookbook, Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes.  It is fabulous!!

In an effort to educate our palates and try some new things to keep some spice in our marriage 😉 Mike and I made a curry together for the first time ever. Yes, we cooked it together. I found a relatively easy recipe at verucaspice.com. Here’s the recipe…and, oh yeah, it was delicious!

Indian Chicken Curry by Nirali Patel at verucaspice.com

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  1. 1 pound chicken breasts, cubed to bite size
  2. 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  3. 1-8 oz can tomato puree
  4. ½ a red onion, fine chopped (1 cup)
  5. 1 heaping teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  6. 1 heaping teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  7. 1 Serrano chili, finely chopped (optional)
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. 1 teaspoon ground garam masala
  11. ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. ½ teaspoon red chili powder to taste
  13. Juice of ½ a lime
  14. Salt and pepper to taste
  15. A little over 1 cup of water

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and fry until they are golden for 6-7 minutes.
  • Add ginger and garlic and fry for 30 seconds, reducing heat to medium.
  • Add tomato puree and continue to cook for 6-7 minutes until a lot of the water has evaporated and oil starts to seep through the mixture.
  • Add spices (except garam masala). Fry spices in mixture for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cubed chicken and stir, coating all pieces.
  • Add the water and stir well. (Stir in the Serrano pepper here, if you choose to use it.)
  • Cook, partially covered for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. You can uncover and let moisture cook out if you wish.
  • When at desired consistency, add garam masal, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!

I know it looks complicated, but it really wasn’t. And it was so tasty, and not at all spicy hot. I don’t think I’ve ever had the spices turmeric or garam masala in my kitchen before.  Turneric is so pretty…and tasty.  We didn’t use the optional Serrano pepper, but we will try it next time. Mike likes spicy hot foods, and I’m willing to try it once anyway.

As for progress on the rest of my quest: Joan and I have now been to the Rec Center to walk for 4 days.

  • Day one-I walked 4 times around the track…thought I was gonna die!
  • Day two-I walked 5 times around the track…pretty sure I did die for a minute there. 🙂
  • Day three-I walked 4 times around the track and quit because it was 90+ degrees and humid out, and I was going grocery shopping from the Rec center. I was fairly OK after the Rec Center, and circling around a stroke after grocery shopping.  I will not push that hard on such a hot and humid day again!
  • Day four-I walked 7 times around the track. After six laps I felt really good so I thought, “What the heck; I’ll do one more lap.” Then after my seventh lap, my feet, knees and back were VERY unhappy.

Tomorrow will be Day 5 at the Rec Center. I plan to be in the moment (not just thinking about getting it over with), and I will listen to my body, stopping at the first sign of actual distress.  And hey, 13 laps is a mile, so I made it over a half mile yesterday. Woop!!

Thanks for reading, dear friends! God bless your day

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Miracle

Hello Dear Readers,

Welcome back! I want to share something that happened to me several years ago. On a spring day, I attended a half-day women’s retreat at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. If you’ve not been to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, it is a lush, green, stunningly beautiful place to walk and wander amid the scent of the flowers and plants surrounding you. I highly recommend it as a place of quiet meditation, or as a place to contemplate nature at its manicured finest!

Anyway…about a dozen women met there at 9:00 am. We chatted together for a bit then were sent off to write down our thoughts in several areas of the Gardens.  We met back at 10:00 am and then again at 11:00 am to share our thoughts. Then we met at noon in the cafeteria for lunch and wrap-up.

At one point in the morning, we were sent off to find a quiet place to to sit and pray and then to pick a question out of our retreat booklet to answer.  I chose: “What type of a plant are you.” I thought, “What is this Barbara Walters?” It was one of her favorite questions when interviewing celebrities. (Actually it was, “What kind of a tree are you?”) Here is what I wrote after my prayer time:

“In the precious garden where God’s human’s handiwork is seen, where do you see you? Are you the prairie grass standing tall, stretching up and up to praise God and feel the warmth of the Son? Do you bend gently with the wind in joy at your freedom? Do you bend sharply in the bluster of winter?”

“Who are you?”

“Are you the willow, long and slender, reaching up for the heavens, then dropping down to caress the waters of the earth? Do you dance and sway to nature’s music?”

“What, in nature, are you?”

“Are you the rose, vermillion in your beauty and splendor? Do you bloom under God’s watchful eye, pleasing those around you and hiding your prickles in shadows?”

“Me? I am the English Oak. Solid…sturdy…stocky. Yes, I bend with the wind, I, too, dance and sway for my creator. But my roots go down deep. My roots grow down, down, down into the solid packed earth, gripping rocks and soil to stay rooted. Rooted in God’s Word.”

“In God’s garden, there is room for all. Each of us on our own path, yet each of us is designed as part of one plan. Too small and busy are we to see the whole garden, but we can believe the One who holds the whole garden in his hands.”

That’s it, and believe it now more than ever. If we are just content to bloom where we are planted and then trust God for the rest, we live our lives in perfect peace. I am where I am because of God’s plan and my own choices.  And right here and right now God can use me for his purposes.  And wants to use me AND you, too.

And here’s the miracle: when we gathered back to share which question we had chosen the ladies read, one by one, the question they had chosen and their thoughts and meditations. When it came to my turn, I kept flipping back and forth to find the question that I had answered. (“What type of a plant are you?”) Hmmm…even though I had read and reread that  question many times in my meditation, it was nowhere to be found in the retreat booklet. God let me see the question that I needed to answer. I am still humbled and in awe of this simple gift God gave to me on that morning. God is good!

Blessings, my peeps.

Donna

PS: I rejoined the Rec Center and plan to meet my friend Joan there three days a week to walk.  I know I could step out my door and walk, but with the heat of summer and the poor walking condition that I am in, the Rec Center is a better option.  I can do a lap and then sit to recover, then walk another lap, sit to recover, etc… Also I have started planning better meals and cooking with purpose again. And on Saturday I will make my first Indian dish, “Indian Chicken Curry-Quick and Easy” recipe by Veruca Spice. Check out the website at http://www.verucaspice.com. Really good stuff for expanding the palate!

The Final Countdown Begins

Day 420 in my meandering my way to Mickey

Today I received and email from Disney Destinations.  It is titled, “About your Disney Resort hotel arrival!” Woop woop!  It contains:

  1. Info about the 3-bedroom grand villa that we are staying in at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.
  2. A recreation calendar during our time there.
  3. Info on turning our vacation into a celebration at the resort.
  4. A couple warnings (the monorail is being worked on, Downtown Disney has construction going on)
  5. A reminder about Disney Vacation Club Member perks.
  6. And some transportation reminders.

Gosh, it’s so-o-o-o close now.  A mere 10 days away.  I started planning my packing today.  I’ve put some things aside, so I can find them when I pack in earnest next weekend.  I am so pumped that we will all be there soon!

Meet you at the Kingdom!

Shout out to Trudy, who had a birthday yesterday!  Love you, Sister!  AND Shout out to Emi, who became a British citizen this week.  Congratulations, dear daughter!  Poppa and I couldn’t be more happy for you!

 

Back on the Wagon

Day 418 in getting back on track on my way to meeting up with my main mouse Mickey!

I am back on track and moving forward.  I woke up early and walked this morning.  I felt invigorated as I walked to Baby by Justin Bieber (Come on now; don’t be a hater.) and Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.  I actually danced part way home to Bang Bang.  🙂

The baked pumpkin last night was delicious!  I highly recommend it, during this pumpkin-y time of year.  Here’s the recipe again: 1 small baking pumpkin; olive oil; sea salt; pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves); brown sugar (I omitted the sugar and it was still scrumptious!).  Cut your pumpkin in half. Scoop out all the seeds and guts.  Cut the pumpkin into 1-inch slices.  Oil both sides lightly. Put on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pumpkin pie spices (and brown sugar). Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  (Or a bit longer if you want them really mushy-soft.)  Peel off the skin as you eat it.  SO GOOD!

I’ve had a sugar-free, healthy choices kind of food day today, so I’m feeling pretty content.  And it’s only 12 days until we fly off to Walt Disney World.  I am feeling very blessed and extremely excited!

Meet you at the Kingdom!