Monday, January 31, 2011

Don't have a cow man

I have to say it, there's no way I'd be going vegitarian any time soon... I love meat.  However you can only eat so much chicken.  Fish, while good for you also has some pitfalls.  And we all know that red meat isn't something we should go crazy on either.
So what about bison?  Its lower in fat than beef, turkey, chicken and fish.  It's also higher in protein than beef.  And it tastes awesome!
Check out these stats, per 3.5 oz (100 grams):
BISON                           Fat 2.42   Calories 143  Cholesterol 82
BEEF *choice*               Fat 10.15 Calories 210 Cholesterol 86
CHICKEN *skinless*      Fat 7.41  Caloires 190  Cholesterol 89
PORK                            Fat 9.66  Calories 212  Cholesterol 86
VENISON                     Fat 3.20  Calories 158  Cholesterol 112
SOCKEYE SALMON     Fat10.97 Calories 216  Cholesterol 87
OSTRICH                     Fat 3.00  Calories 140   Cholesterol 83
VEAL                             Fat 6.94  Calories 176   Cholesterol 106
LAMB                           Fat 9.64  Calories 200  Cholesterol 87
Bison can be used in place of beef in most recipes, although because there is less fat it tends to cook quicker.  In fact you can eat less bison than beef and still feel as satiated.  Also because it has 40% more protein you get more edible meat per serving.  And don't worry it doesn't taste "gamey"!

From the info I've been able to gather bison are also a much more 'natural' food; raised on grass, not in a feedlot. And you can forget the antibiotics, growth inducing hormones, steroids and genetically modified feed!
Some other interesting bison info... bison meat is non-allergenic.  And I kept running into this one, bison are the only mammals that don't contract cancer.   

I haven't cooked bison at home myself, yet.  But I am planning on trying.  There are plenty of on-line tips for cooking, the most repeated being do not overcook!  Also recommended is to cook over a low heat for a longer time. 
I have had bison before.  Marrer of fact I indulge in a bison burger whenever hubby & I go to my favourite local burger place for a 'treat day' (with sweet potato fries... mmm)         

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reality - a dish best served cold

(oh wait, it's supposed to be "Revenge, a dish best served cold..." lol)


I haven't posted here in awhile, as I haven't really had much to report since my last post waaaay back on December 3rd! I've kind of been in a holding pattern just to get through Christmas and my latest vacation.

As I was looking through some pictures from my trip - there was one of me that really highlighted my weight - and it really shocked me. Now, it is no big surprise that I need to lose some weight, but seeing myself as others might kinda had me at a loss for words. That photo will be my motivation to start making some changes to my diet, as well as my attitude!

I feel that this coming week is my "new year". I was so busy over the holidays and most of January that I didn't have time to get things organized. Now that I am home and all of the big stuff is done and taken care of, I can get down to business. And that business is taking care of me. Me, myself and I -nothing else to draw my attention away from this all-important task. It might be a bit scary and get a bit messy, but it has to be done.

I like OS's idea of implementing one or two changes a week to help things "stick" a bit more. My first change is bringing my lunch and snacks to work every day, except Fridays. I often go out wtih some friends on Fridays, so that is a free day for lunch. I brought my lunch for 9 days in a row after Xmas and I have lunch for today as well. This one is a big deal for me - it impacts my finances, as well as my diet.

It isn't hard to spend $5 for a coffee/tea/muffin for a snack and $10-15 for lunch everday. That could be almost $100 (or more!) per week!!! Ouch! Not to mention the fact that eating out is rarely healthy - the closest places to me are Subway and McDonalds. Not the greatest options for me on a regular basis.

So, next week is my first full work-week and I will be planning out food, shopping and cooking this weekend to get things in order.

The other change that I've been working on since Christmas is a small one, but important for my health. I have been flossing my teeth every day - I always flossed before, but never consistently, so it's just something that I've worked on adding to my evening routine. I'm sure my gums will thank me for it!

I think next week's change will be something to do with exercise - I need to get rolling on that, as I want to be in good shape to start riding in a couple of months (if it ever warms up around here!) I have a few more changes I want to start implementing, but I'll write about them later on.

I hope everyone is doing well with their own changes!

Monday, January 24, 2011


So, I've noticed a change. Actually, it's kinda a big change. My chocolate cravings, which bordered on demonic, have decreased*. I attribute this to my vitamins! According to Dr. Joe M. Elrod, the dude that wrote my fibro book, most chocolate cravings are your body's reaction to not getting enough magnesium. Don't know the logic behind it, but ok! Anyways, he says that approximately 75% of the US doesn't get enough magnesium. Now, that doesn't mean all those people are chocoholics, but probably a goodly percentage of them are. I've been hesitant to say that I am no longer a member of that club as it's not been very long at all. BUT, I can say, my little, and I mean little chocolate craving that hit because, well, it was that time of the month, was very minor compared to usual. A little bit of chocolate (ok, 2 candy bars worth) was all it took to tame that savage beast. In the not so distant past, it would have been more like an entire bag of Hershey's Kisses instead. So, an improvement made! One that should help initiate weight loss too!

I have not reacted to our hay beyond the normal got-scratched-and-felt-a-bit-itchy reaction. So, I have re-started the Valerian. We'll see what happens this week! I took it last night. I woke this morning earlier and feeling more rested than I have been recently.

I have increased my water intake. I fill a 32 oz cup every morning and try very hard to have drank two of them through out the day. This is in ADDITION to whatever else I drink that day. Coffee, smoothie, juice, etc. I don't see any difference really yet. But, maybe I'm not really supposed to? I'll have to go look up WHY I'm supposed to drink that much since the government monkeys say that we need only 64 fl oz of liquids, not specifically water, per day.

I didn't do yoga last week. Instead, I started some PT for my elbow and shoulder. I will start yoga this week and see how my elbow, knee, and ankle do.

I think I've made most of the simplest changes now and I need to go back and re-read the book for the ones that don't stick in my brain.

How about you? Did you make any changes this week?

*For the record, until my pregnancy with Kitty, I did not care much for chocolate. Hmm... I can almost draw a correlation there!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On pins & needles

I'm back at square one, again.  The weight is creeping back on.  Partly because I'm making poor food choices and partly because I'm not very good at portion control.  You see if I'm eating with someone that eats small portions I tend to eat a smaller portion.  If I'm with someone that eats a lot so do I.  Unfortunately my hubby is a big guy and eats enough for two people.  I have a hard time reminding myself that I do NOT need to eat as much as I do when we eat together.
So I'm planning on making 'freezer meals'.  Stuff I can cook in big batches and put in portions to freeze.  That way when I'm in a hurry (ummm, pretty much all the time lol) I can take out A portion for me and however many Pie wants for him.

Then there's the fact that I haven't been working out.  My treadmill is buried behind a stack of "get to it whenever" boxes.  Its been too damn cold out to do much outside.  And let's see we're 19 days into the new year and I've ridden ONCE.  The yoga I've been planning on doing (on my spiffy, new, purple yoga mat) has been put on hold.
Now why the no yoga and no riding?  Because my dang shoulder is FUBAR.  About a month ago I fell when I landed on the deck after coming off the roof (I did NOT fall OFF the ROOF, I fell when I landed after CHOOSING to let myself off the roof... there is a difference)
I've been getting chiro done on it regularly, and its helped a lot.  The pain is more or less gone, well as 'pain free' as I ever tend to get.  However the range of motion is limited and my chiropractor is concerned that we may have to worry about 'frozen shoulder'.  Hence the post title... we're moving on to trying acupuncture.

Sooo, let's hope the acupuncture and stretching works.  Then I can start the yoga, and saddling my pony!  And yes now that I've been able to admit to myself (and y'all!) that I need to eat more consciously I hope to get back on track with that too.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Learning Curve

So, I did not start yoga this last week. With the ice storm here in Atlanta, I was getting enough of a workout hauling water, shoveling ice off the driveway and practicing my ice walking skills where I couldn't shovel it off. (To illustrate, our house sits on a corner. The driveway comes up one side and wraps around the corner to go out to the other road. Additionally, it leads 100 yards down an incline to the barn (which I don't have use of- *grumble, grumble, gripe*- and down to the pasture gate).

Instead, I continued doing what I was doing with a couple exceptions. I quit the chamomile and valerian combo as I broke out into hives. Now, this could have been from a switch in hay from rounds to squares (TG! I couldn't have gotten a round into the pasture with the ice we had!). The squares are a finer, greener hay. They're different than the Bermuda rounds we had been feeding.

I will be testing myself over this next week to see if it's the hay causing hives or not. I've never taken valerian regularly so that could be it. Or it could be the chamomile. If I don't react to the hay this week (short sleeved, that is), I'll add in chamomile or valerian the next, watching reaction then adding the other. Pumping myself full of allergy meds is counterproductive here.

I did order this yoga dvd and will start using it this week. My understanding is that with daily usage, I should see improvement in my back pain within a month. If you don't follow my blog and already know, I was in a horrific car accident at 19, in which my head shattered the rear windshield of a hatchback (I was a backseat passenger, wearing my seatbelt) and f*ed up my lower back. I was so swollen that when the ER released me, they didn't know if my back was broken. And we never found out. Now, I have issues with my sacrum, which causes the ligaments that wrap from your sacrum, around your hips and go down your legs to become tight and painful. I am hoping, really, really HOPING this dvd will help A LOT.

Anyways, I digress.

For the most part, we eat very little processed food. Part of it is an effort to cut back on the grocery bill, and part is for health. We rarely eat fast food. But the other day, I had the weirdest hankering for Taco Bell. Now, we've been to Taco Bell exactly 3 times since we moved here nearly 7 months ago. It's far away, about 18 miles. We tend to forget it's there, even though we drive by at least once a month on our way to Tractor Supply. In Oregon, TB was our go-to place since there was something for everybody, including my vegetarian stepdaughter.

So, Bad Pants and I ordered our usual. Dude did too. However, Bad Pants and I quickly realized our food tasted like sheet rock. Yeah, yum. Dude didn't, but the pallet of a 9 yr old is circumspect anyways. Spiced sheet rock isn't very appetizing. YUCK! I am now cured from wanting to eat TB any more.

Soda was also an interesting adventure. I don't drink much soda as I found the carbonation leaves my insides hurting. But, I hadn't had soda in about 3 weeks. First I tried this lovely peach soda we like. It tasted salty to me. It had an aftertaste of salt. I attributed it to just having the tail end of a cold and tried a different soda a few days later. Nope. Same issue. Even though it was low in sodium, it tasted like salt and left me an aftertaste like I'd swished with salt water several minutes ago. Mind you, I quit drinking diet a year ago because aspartame isn't good for you. I spent about 3 days trying different sodas. Cans, bottles, fountain, all to the same effect. Salt. Yeah, not what I want.

I had planned on giving up soda this week since it causes me intestinal distress anyways. But now, I'm giving it up because it.just.doesn't.taste.good. If I want to taste salt in my drink, I'll drink salt water, tyvm! It's not just me either. Bad Pants noticed the same thing. So, why don't you try it? Go soda-less for about 3 weeks and then pay attention to the aftertaste of your soda. Generic, brand, the competitor's brand... It was all the same. Salt.

Sleep-wise, I am doing ok. Just ok. Without the valerian, I am apparently back to my wiggle, combine-like self. (It's BAD when you resemble a combine!) Bad Pants reports that a couple nights I whacked the wall behind the bed pretty hard a couple times. I have no memory of this, but it explains why my wrists hurt so badly the next morning. I am also waking up more stiff and sore than the couple weeks I took the valerian regularly. And I feel less rested.

My elbow has skin again. I'm starting to slowly get some strength back. However, there is tendon damage and I am using a tennis elbow brace as needed. Not constant, or I'll over-use my arm, making things worse rather than better.

I've remembered my vitamins most every day, only missing a couple days total so far. No giant burst of energy as the bottle promises, but perhaps my stores aren't built back up yet. Maybe in a few months. And I'm still juicing, when I remember/have time/feel like it. I'm also drinking bottled juice that doesn't have tons of chemicals in it. I've lowered my protein levels, so I'm not struggling to eat more protein. And this seems to be easier on me. I'm not counting the percentage, but I'm not forcing myself to try to get XX number of grams a day either. And lastly, we have decided to only make our own bread now, thereby avoiding most of the preservatives and chemicals we consumed before. And yes, it's white bread. I have a theory on that, but I'll share it another time.

So, yoga this week. Hay test this week. No soda.

That's all for now. Is there something I'm missing or something you guys want me to talk about more specifically?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So, I lied...

I started more than one thing this past week.

1. My vitamins got here by Wednesday and I couldn't resist starting them immediately. No sudden boost of energy. But I doubt that to be expected if my own vitamin stores are low.

2. I also started the chamomile tea and Valerian capsule bedtime combo. I forgot the tea 3 days and skipped the Valerian 2. I'm not sure my Valerian is helping. I think it's properties became damaged and lost potency when we moved this past summer. So, I will replace this bottle on Friday.

3. I gave up alcohol for a month. Not that I'm a big drinker, but we do have a drink occasionally. Being how my youngest daughter, Doodle, decided to share her cold with the rest of us and I'm currently sick, this seemed as good a time as any. Then, once the month hiatus is up, I can enjoy that bottle of sparkling Pinot in my fridge for Valentine's Day.

4. I played with my juicer. I made juice 5 days out of 7.

I made:
papaya and pineapple
pineapple and mango
straight Gala apple
Gala and Granny Smith mixed

I like one or two blend apple juices. They taste REAL. And so much better than the bottled stuff at the store! That stuff is made with all the bruised and blemished apples from a region mixed together. So it's not even a consistent mix!

You cannot store fresh juice overnight. It tends to taste bitter the next day, especially when it comes to pineapple juice.

All citrus fruits need to be peeled first or a bitter compound is released from their skin. This is really, really time consuming. It's probably easier to slice the citrus and use a reamer than to peel and run it through the juicer.

Pear juice needs to be drank right away or it starts to become bitter too. So, don't clean your machine first and drink it afterwards. Drink first and clean later!

Apple and pear pulp won't go to waste if you toss it in your soaking beet pulp for your horses. The horses enjoy it!

Things still on the agenda:

1. Give up sugar. Not yet, please! I've cut back though.
2. Exercise.
3. Give up caffeine.
4. Change carb/fat/protein ratios.
5. I'm sure there are more, but I'm not going to go get the book out and look them up right now.

Ok, this next week, I pick #2! My elbow is doing better. I do have tendon damage that will take forever to heal. But, there is no reason I can't start working on regaining some strength back in my hand and arm. So, I plan to start with yoga daily and work more at drinking my chamomile tea. Yoga, tea. Yoga, tea.

I'll check back in with you next week about how I'm faring.

How about you? Did you make any changes this last week? How did you do at sticking to them?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The First Day


I'm supposed to be only making one change a week, right? My planned first changes have fallen apart and been pushed back. The liquid vitamins won't be here until next week most likely. We've been wait-listed for Kendo. That means I need to pick something else.

So, let's see... Things I'll be doing over this next year...

Drink more water- at least 64 and preferrably 72 oz a day. Juice and other liquids are to not count.

Give up sugar- this one is going to be so hard for me! I need to do it as fully as possible for at least a month. Not quite ready for this one yet.

Eat more whole foods and less food with additives- already mostly doing this, going to fine tune it more.

Get better sleep- this is multi-part and I'll discuss it in depth later. For now, a simple start might be drinking a cup of chamomile tea daily half an hour before bed.

Exercise 6 days a week- I want to start with yoga, but need more healing time from the alien and robot attack that happened before the holidays. I'm sorry. I don't feel like walking until I replace my worn out shoes from last Christmas.

Stretch 7 days a week- um, yeah, see above.

So, I think I'll start with drinking a cup of chamomile tea daily before bed. Chamomile has been used for centuries to help alleviate anxiety and promote sleep. Some studies seem to show a correlation between the flavonoids chrysin and apigenin contributing to these effects. The aroma is often thought to be soothing. Plus, we all know a warm cuppa something is relaxing.

It's a place to start and I'll blog more about sleep when I find some, hopefully soon!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Self Sabotage

This is something I've been meaning to bring up for awhile.  Kept forgetting until tonight at work I overheard some ladies talking and heard an excuse for not losing weight that I thought was sooo lame...
"I know I should lose some weight, but all my rings fit" says the largest of the 3 plump ladies.

It has been my experience that I will sometimes sabotage myself, often subconsciously.  Things like I would notice that my very absolute favourite summer time pants were almost too big.  A few weeks later, after I'd indulged in a few too many treats and they were fitting fine.

That is why as this new year starts I plan to try to be more conscious of myself.  Of my body, my feelings and my mind.