Monthly Archives: March 2014

What can I eat on 1700 calories a day?

Fruit and yogury parfait

Fruit and yogurt parfait

Grown up grilled cheese sandwich

Grown up grilled cheese sandwich

Baked pork chop, braised cabbage, and sweet potato with apples

Baked pork chop, braised cabbage, and sweet potato with apples

These photos are a little out of order but they are up there.

BREAKFAST 270 Calorie Fruit and Yogurt Parfait:

Either fresh or frozen sliced strawberries in syrup is placed at the bottom of a 12 ounce tumbler.  That is what I used since I don’t have anything fancy here.

Two heaping Tablespoons of strawberries in the bottom of the glass.  Two tablespoons of Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt atop the strawberries.  Half of a banana cut in quarters then chopped into bite sized pieces.  Another two tablespoons of yogurt.  Top that with another two tablespoons of strawberries.  For crunch, add one tablespoon of Grape Nut cereal atop the strawberries.  Top it off with a one inch wedge of cantaloupe chopped into bite sized pieces.

LUNCH 379 Calorie Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Cantaloupe Wedges 1 sandwich per person:

Here is the “Grown Up Grilled Cheese” recipe I butchered to make my lunch.  We are not big fans of Dijon Mustard so that was left out.  This is how I made it.  If  you want to make this at work and heat it in a microwave I would suggest you toast the muffin at home first.  Get a good brown on it from the toaster before you add the butter or Dijon Mustard.  Assemble the sandwich and just pop it in the microwave oven and heat for about a minute.  Until the cheeses melt.

Two 1 inch wedges of cantaloupe are included in the calorie count for this meal.  Cut it into bite sized pieces and enjoy with your sandwich for lunch.

Grown Up Grilled Cheese ingredients

Grown Up Grilled Cheese ingredients

THESE INGREDIENTS ARE FOR 2 (TWO) SANDWICHES

  • Black Forest Ham slices from the grocer’s deli.  1 slice per sandwich.  Each slice cut in half.
  • 1 – Big Eye Swiss cheese slice from the grocer’s deli.  1 slice is cut in half then in half again.  4 quarters.
  • 4 – Thin slices of Low Fat Mozzarella block cheese – 2 for each sandwich
  • 1 – Golden Delicious Apple cored and thinly sliced.  Two slices per sandwich
  • 2 – Oroweat Double Fiber English Muffins
  • Butter or margarine to spread inside and outside the muffins

NEXT TIME I MAKE THIS SANDWICH I’M GOING TO USE RYE BREAD.  The Double Fiber English Muffins were tough and bitter.

Butter the insides of both bottom English Muffins.  Top each muffin with the quarter slices of Big Eye Swiss.  Place apple slices on top of the Swiss cheese.  If you like the taste of Dijon Mustard, use that instead of the butter in this and the last step.

Butter the inside of each muffin and top with Swiss Cheese

Butter the inside of each muffin and top with Swiss Cheese

Place apple slice on top of Swiss Cheese

Place apple slice on top of Swiss Cheese

 

The Black Forest deli ham slices cut in half, one each, will go on top of the apple slices.  Place another apple slice on top of the deli ham.

Put deli ham on top of the apple slices

Put deli ham on top of the apple slices

Place another apple slice on top of the ham

Place another apple slice on top of the ham

 

Cut the Mozzarella cheese slices in half.  Put two halves of the cheese on top of the apple slices.  Place the other half of the deli ham on the cheese and add more Mozzarella cheese on top of the ham.

Put Mozzarella cheese on top of the apple slices

Put Mozzarella cheese on top of the apple slices

Add the last slice of deli ham and Mozzarella cheese

Add the last slice of deli ham and Mozzarella cheese

 

Place the muffin on top of the sandwich and you are ready to heat this up until you have ooey gooey cheesey goodness.  And…if you have a George Foreman grilling machine then you have a fake pannini grill 😀

Put the top on and heat the sandwich

Put the top on and heat the sandwich

Dust off the George Foreman grilling machine

Dust off the George Foreman grilling machine

 

DINNER of 555 Calorie Baked Pork Chop, Braised Cabbage, and Sweet Potato with Apples.

Here is a recipe for Braised Cabbage.  I didn’t use carrots in my dish because I was using sweet potatoes in the next dish.

I’m not yet willing to give up my stand by comfort foods.  Joe and I like baked sweet potatoes with plenty of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  We also like candy fried apples with their sweet taste from brown sugar, molasses, and the wonderful note of bacon grease used as the oil.  Oh…YUM.  I thought to myself…..brown sugar and cinnamon sweet potatoes or brown sugar fried apples.  Why not mix them both together and see what I get.  So here it is….my concoction.

  • 1 – 5″ sweet potato peeled sliced into 1/2 inch slices.  Each slice is cut into 1/2 inch Julienne’s then diced into bite sized pieces
  • 3 – small apples cored sliced into 1/2 inch slices and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp of dark molasses
  • 1 Tbsp of white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Heat a skillet with olive oil on medium heat.  Dump in the chopped sweet potatoes and apples and cook about 5 to 7 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.  The apples will be tender and fully cooked at this time.  Add the molasses, sugar, and cinnamon and stir to combine well.  Put a lid on the pan and allow to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.

For the pork chops – 350 degree oven temp for 25 minutes.  Lightly coat both sides of the pork chops with olive oil.  Lightly sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and ground marjoram.  Rub the spices into the meat on both sides.  Spray a baking pan with PAM and place the chops in the pan then into the oven.

These three meals total 1204 calories.  This leaves lots of room for some ice cream and a brownie for dessert for 355 calories.  A couple snacks of fruit or nuts during the day to take up the last of the 140 calories.

I’m still trying to figure out how to keep my food in the optimum range and am making progress.  At least I’m not over in our fat content for the day.  And my weight is not skyrocketing with all the food I am eating.

A smidge over on carbohydrates

A smidge over on carbohydrates

At least it is heading downward

At least it is heading downward

 

What is your favorite lunch?  Do you have a recipe you have tweaked to keep it in your caloric range?  I’d like to know and would appreciate any suggestions.

Leslie

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My Fitness Pal and this binge eater.

This post is for anyone that is “clinically obese” and trying to work their way through the foreign territory of eating healthy.

Diets, to me, mean restriction.  I have to give up the foods I like in order to lose weight.  The food I have to be eating to lose weight is often tasteless or, in some cases, down right nasty tasting.  My family doctor tells both Joe and I we have to lose weight.  The internet is chock full of ads and articles proclaiming the obese need to lose weight.

Have you done a search on Google, or whatever search engine you favor, on eating healthy?  How many results have you encountered?  I have found, at one search, over 8 million results.  Most of the results are totally useless.

Joe has been in the hospital, once again, with another Pulmonary Embolism.  He was taken off Warfarin in November of last year.  Partly he is to blame in this but the doctors he sees have not been steadfast enough to prohibit him from doing so.  Let me tell you he has more doctors to see than I even knew existed.  His long list of “Ologists” is crazy.

The first issue at hand is he has “Possible” Deep Vein Thrombosis, or blood clots in his lower right leg.  I say “Possible” because there either are blood clots or there is scar tissue in the veins from previous DVT’s.  This current blood clot in his lung came from somewhere.

Joe is a truck driver.  This means sitting in one position for HOURS at a time.  The only walking done is when he stops to put fuel in the truck then visit the bathroom facilities.  Then the walking into a truck stop or restaurant for food.

For many of you, your job entails a lot of sitting.  Mostly office workers.  You do get up and move about in your job.  Go for a cup of coffee, walk to the bathroom, walk to another office area to deliver documents or retrieve them, file away papers.  Whatever your work entails you do get up and move around during your 8 to 10 hour work shifts.  Joe doesn’t move for eight to ten hours except for about half an hour in between times.  I can attest to this fact because I was a truck driver myself and know the business.

We both are “Binge Eaters“.  Have been for most of our lives.  A typical week for me, at any given time over the past 12 years as a truck driver, played out like this.

Skip breakfast.  If either of us ate breakfast at 6 a.m. by 10 a.m. we would feel like we were starving.  Our stomachs would cramp and roil to the point of it being painful.  Don’t eat breakfast and we would not have that issue.

First meal of the day would be around 3 p.m.  That meal, for me, would consist of a giant cheese burger and fries.  Sometimes a salad would be added to the meal.  Joe would eat a hamburger steak (which to my way of thinking is crazy because it is essentially a hamburger without the bun and other stuff) mashed potatoes with white gravy, a salad with both Ranch and Bleu Cheese dressing, an over cooked vegetable of peas or corn.  Most often Joe and I would order a dessert as well.  My favorite is Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese frosting.

Some days I would opt for the truck stop staple of Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes with white gravy poured over the meat and potatoes, a salad, and a dessert.  The Chicken Fried Steak at some of the truck stops is over 8 inches in circumference.  Some truck stops offer a double portion of the deep fried meat.

Joe and I would eat like this for a week or two.  Then BAM.  One day hits and we start with breakfast at the hotel.  Especially if the hotel provides a hot breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs, bagels, and pastries.  A few hours later at the truck stop getting fuel I would run in and purchase a couple candy bars (one for each of us) a bag of chips for me and a bag of crunchy Cheetos for Joe, a bottle of Ruby Red Grapefruit juice for me and a bottle of V-8 Juice for Joe.  Another two hours and one of us would have to stop to relieve our bladder.  That would result in a purchase of beef jerky for Joe, another candy bar for me, a large diet coke for Joe, and a coffee refill for me.  Another couple hours later we would be stopping at a favorite restaurant along our route and Joe would order a steak and a baked potato while I ordered my cheese burger and fries.  Reaching the hotel at around 9 p.m. we would be hungry yet again and order pizza to be delivered to the room.  To be frank…Joe and I were actually “malnourished” if you can believe that.

By the time we wake up the next morning both of us feel like crap and go back to eating once a day….until the binge happens again.  A vicious cycle we had.  Joe’s weight fluctuated between 310 to 314.  Mine fluctuated between 224 and 227.

I got to the point that I hated eating.  I wished that I didn’t need to have food.  I dreaded coming home because I would have to cook.  The time necessary to prepare meals was time I felt was a total waste of energy.  Three or more times a day spent cooking usually meant about four hours of preparing and cooking.  I had better things to do with  my time than COOK!

After Joe’s return home from two hospital stays in one month (an outpatient Carpal Tunnel surgery and the Pulmonary Embolism with a surgery to install an IVC Filter to catch blood clots) made him decide to lose 100 pounds.  Great.  Now I have to figure out how to cook and eat healthy.

Thus began my internet search for healthy meals and how to eat better.

My new companion would be My Fitness Pal.  This is a major pain in my a**.  Recording everything we eat and drink on a daily basis.  I not only  have to enter my information into my app I have to help Joe enter the information in his app.  Sometimes that man surprises me with his helplessness!

This month I have been diligently working out a way of cooking and eating that allows us to stay within our “Caloric” goals for each day.  If you need to find out what your daily caloric intake should be check out the site link I’ve included.

It is not my intention to make this blog another “cooking” site but I thought if there were someone out there struggling with what to eat I am hoping to help.

One final note.  You will find yourself in the produce section of your grocery store more than you ever thought you would be.  During your food prep for salads and meals KEEP THE BITS OF VEGETABLES you would normally toss out.  Put the peels, skins, cores, and any other stuff  you cut away from your vegetables in a gallon size zip lock bag.  Put this bag in the freezer and continue adding your food trash to the bags.  Check out this recipe for Vegetable Broth.  I will be making this broth at a later time.

Save your vegetable trash and freeze it

Save your vegetable trash and freeze it

I don’t have this healthy eating perfected.  We are generally over on carbohydrates, protein, and fats by a small percentage.  The portion sizes of the main entrees have been reduced while the salad, fruit, or vegetable portions have been increased.  I will be honest here.  There is a lot of work involved in eating healthy.  A lot of work.  Plus eating three times a day makes our scales go up and down.  This, I think, is normal because our bodies are not used to the frequent food intake.  I get headaches and have read this is normal because my body is adjusting to the difference in good carbs versus all the bad carbs I had loaded my system with.  The headaches are getting less extreme…especially on the days I increase my water intake.

This is what I’ve had to eat so far today.  A fruit smoothie, half a plain bagel, and cream cheese for breakfast.  Half a ham and cheese sandwich and salad for lunch.  You can see the caloric count of these two meals so far today.  Dinner will be grilled chicken (approximately 140 calories), Royal Blend Texmati rice (approximately 140 calories), a salad (approximately 155 calories), and some cantaloupe (approximately 102 calories).   That will take up 537 of my remaining 817 calories for the day.  I think there may be some Rainbow Sherbet in my dessert future for tonight.

Food consumption so far today

Food consumption so far today

Next time I will post about cooking in bulk and freezing the extra for later meals.  Might as well get a stash going since I have to be chopping and peeling so much.

Leslie


Carpul Tunnel Syndrome and Out Patient Surgery.

Joe has had a problem with the fingers of his left  hand going numb for quite a long time.  Several years, in fact.  The past two years the numbness has increased to the point that his left hand muscles have atrophied quite a bit between the thumb and index finger webbing.  Our family doctor thought Joe might have some spine or nerve damage in his upper back.  He was sent for lab tests and MRI screenings a few times during these past years.

A visit to a nerve specialist last October provided a different diagnosis.  During the testing, which included Joe being hit with an electric taser gun in his left hand and left elbow, proved there was no spine or spinal cord problems.  Joe was told he had Carpul Tunnel Syndrome and would need to have a follow up with a doctor which specializes in hands and wrists.

If you would like to know, exactly, what Carpul Tunnel Syndrome is you can read this article I found on the Internet during my research.

Joe has not only been diagnosed with Carpul Tunnel Syndrome but he also has Ulnar Nerve Damage as well to further complicate matters.  You can check out this article on Ulnar Nerve Entrapment I also found on the Internet.

Joe had Out Patient surgery today, March 6th, 2014.  We arrived at the hospital at 10:00 a.m. and his hands looked like this.

Joe's hands at 10:00 a.m.

Joe’s hands at 10:00 a.m.

He was checked in through Administration and this is his hands at 10:09 a.m.

Joe's hands at 10:09 a.m.

Joe’s hands at 10:09 a.m.

We were taken to a part of the hospital that looked like an emergency room.  Curtained off cubicles filled with patients awaiting their procedures for the day.  At 10:25 a.m. he was filling out the obligatory health history forms.  Nurses were in and out of the little space taking his blood pressure, temperature, and getting him stabbed for the IV drip.

Joe at 10:25 a.m.

Joe at 10:25 a.m.

At 11:05 a.m. Joe had been seen by the final nurse before his surgery.  The next person to appear through the curtained “doorway” was the Anesthesiologist.  This woman doctor asked what he was allergic to and if he had any concerns.  That bit took about 30 seconds to accomplish before the curtain was pulled closed once again.

Joe at 11:05 a.m.

Joe at 11:05 a.m.

Joe’s surgeon appeared at 11:06 a.m. to ask how he was doing, and if Joe had any questions about the procedure.  Joe asked how long he would be off work.  The doctor said 4 to 6 weeks.

Joe got his “Big Dog” look on  his face and asked the doctor how soon before he could use the hand after surgery.  When is the “earliest” I can use my hand?  The doctor, poor guy, sensing Joe’s bull head was now making a stand knew this patient was not going to cooperate.

You will NOT use the hand for 4 weeks.  You will NOT use a screwdriver, or any hand tool which requires you to hold tightly and twist.  Nor any tool which weighs over 5 pounds.  You will NOT strain the hand for any length of time during the 4 week period.  If you do as you wish, the consequences are the tendons that facilitate the use of your hand will snap and you will no longer have use of the hand.  Do you understand?

“So I guess it is about 2 weeks then Doc.”  Is what Joe said to the surgeon that would have him on “Night Night Juice” and a sharp implement cutting into his tender flesh.

What is going on between the ears of my husband?!  I ask you!  What kind of ego trip is happening in that space?!

The doctor looked at me and finished his pre-surgery consultation with the words “4 Weeks is what it will take before I release him to go back to work.”  With that, the doctor took hold of Joe’s left hand and wrote on the inner lower arm.  One word in blue felt marker.

Joe's arm at 11:06 a.m.

Joe’s arm at 11:06 a.m.

People came for Joe at 12:09 p.m.  Not the “People in White Coats” mind you.  He was whisked away and I was told to wait in the outer area until I was notified he was back from surgery.

Joe at 12:09 p.m.

Joe at 12:09 p.m.

The doctor came to the waiting room to see me around 2:00 p.m.  He told me of the cut he made in Joe’s palm which followed the natural creases.  He had to extend the cut into Joe’s wrist in a “Z” shape because the Ulnar muscle that goes into the wrist had twisted and laid itself atop the Carpul Tunnel and nerve bundles.  It had been enlarged drastically and was putting a lot of pressure on the other nerves in Joe’s wrist.  The muscle had to be snipped and placed where it belonged to take the pressure off the rest of the nerves.  The doctor further told me Joe’s problems stemmed from many years of hard physical labor.

I was given instructions to have Joe’s hand held upright over the next 72 hours to keep the swelling down.  He further told me to have an ice pack ready for Joe to use on and off every 30 minutes.  He also cautioned me that 4 weeks would be the minimum time necessary for Joe’s wrist and muscles to heel properly.  I think he was kind of hoping I would have more influence over Joe.

Uhmmm, I think I will need to go through the closets in the house to find the broom I used to ride all the time 😀

The surgery went well and Joe handled it well.

Joe at 2:07 p.m.

Joe at 2:07 p.m.

When I arrived, in his little curtained off space, the nurse was going over his discharge orders.  Telling him what he could and could not do, telling him of the pain medication prescribed, what to watch out for if a problem arose.  When I entered the room she went through the instructions and orders with me as well.  Who knows what planet Joe was visiting after his “Night Night Juice” episode.

Sorry for the bad shot.  I expected to see his arm in a sling.  Possibly a cast on his wrist with little sausage fingers sticking out the top.  I sure didn’t expect to see his hand tightly wrapped in some elastic bandaging.  While his hand was in the air I told him to wiggle his fingers and thumb from time to time over the next 72 hours.

Bandaged hand

Bandaged hand

Joe hadn’t had anything to eat since 8:00 p.m. the night before and he was hungry.  I had to stop at a drug store to get his prescription filled before we got home.  Once home I heated up some soup I made a few days ago.  Hopefully his stomach would handle that.

We had a bit of back and forth going on for a few minutes.

Me:  You need to keep the hand elevated.

Joe:  I can’t eat if my  hand is in the air.

Me:  You have another hand.

Joe:  I want to use this one.

Me:  Fine.  When you are not using it…..put it in the air.

Joe:  unrecognizable mumble.

Me:  Don’t forget to wiggle your fingers and your thumb.

Joe:  heavy sigh and a bit more mumbling.

Joe at 4:14 p.m.

Joe at 4:14 p.m.

Hunting through our home I located an ice bag from one of Joe’s other hospital stays.  I filled it with ice and had him rest his hand on it.  30 minutes of cold and 30 minutes off the cold.

 

Joe at 5:05 p.m.

Joe at 5:05 p.m.

And so, now I have to deal with Mr. Cranky Pants who is coming down from his “Night Night Juice”.

Mr. Cranky Pants

Mr. Cranky Pants

I overheard Joe tell our friend, Jim, that he nearly backed out of the surgery twice today.  He was afraid the whole thing would be 10 times worse than what it actually was.

As for pain….Joe is not experiencing any more pain in his hand than he normally has the past couple years.  An ache and some numbness.  We’ll see what transpires tomorrow.  That could be a whole new kettle of fish.

Dear God.  Help me in the next few days.  This man has many ideas in his head and none of them involve rest and keeping the hand held high.  He is planning on getting his new table saw out….well actually me getting it out and changing the blade.  He is also talking about using the saw.  I think I am going to be getting a crash course in how to operate a table saw…..just what I’ve been longing to do :/  Dear Lord….another round of snow and or rain would be welcome in the next few days.  Even if you only make it rain or snow around our house.  That would do nicely.  Amen.

Leslie