Greetings

Hello from hotel hospital. I had my hysterectomy and it didn’t go as planned, so I’m taking up residency here in the hospital. Hoping & praying I go home tomorrow. I sure do miss my little man. He’s been such a trooper and doesn’t want to leave me here. He gave me one of his frogs to sleep with so I didn’t forget him. Almost made me cry.
I wanted to check in & see how all of you are. I’ll write more later.
Til then, be well

BRRRRR….IT’S CHILLY IN HERE

Make-ahead meals are wonderful. Spend one day or one weekend cooking up a storm and you fill your freezer and ultimately your belly with good delicious food.

Some of my family’s favorite make-ahead/freezer meals are lasagna, chili and chicken soup. It’s so nice to already (sorta) have dinner ready for you.

Eating low carb, or trying to at least, really limits my make-ahead choices. My family will NOT eat faux pasta (like spaghetti squash, etc) and its too hot here in AZ for them to eat chili or soup.

I sometimes don’t mind cooking two different meals but when I’m running low on time it’s not the most convenient.

So, I’m reaching out to you, my low carb pals; what are some of your favorite make-ahead/freezer meals? What have you tried that didn’t survive the freezer?

In a few weeks I’m having surgery that will sideline me for 6-8 weeks. I’m looking for some great ideas to fill my freezer yet still eat somewhat healthy. Any ideas you have would be appreciated!

Lettuce talk about salads

I love a good salad. Munchy, crunchy lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion. Mmm delicious.

I got into a discussion with someone about what constitutes a “salad”. Does a salad have to include lettuce? What about potato salad or macaroni salad?

In my humble opinion, a salad is anything you want it to be. Ever hear of a jell-o salad?

I’ve been playing in the kitchen and I’m hooked on a few salads, bringing them for lunch and sometimes breakfast. But these don’t include lettuce.

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My green bean, tomato, onion & feta salad. I drizzle a little EVOO and add salt & pepper. Soo tasty!

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Here’s the basil, tomato & mozzarella salad. I love the sweet taste of the basil and the creaminess of the cheese. I added a little EVOO & salt/pepper to this one as well.

I eat so many tomatoes that a colleague has said I’m single handedly supporting the tomato farmers! I love love tomatoes.

I’d love to read/see & make some of your favorite salads!

Happy munching

BUYING IN BULK

I’m good at buying certain items in bulk: toilet paper, paper towel, laundry soap, coffee, but never really gave any thought to buying my proteins in bulk.

I recently started shopping at WinCo Foods. I hate grocery shopping so a place that can get me in and out quickly, save moola and provide decent items wins a big gold star in my book. Some friends of mine were talking about how awesome WinCo was so I thought, eh, what the heck. I’ll give it a try.

They have lots of bulk items. Dried goods. Pastas. Candy. Pink salt. Pig ears. It’s all there. Ready to be taken home by the consumer. They also sell gigantic packs of chicken, pork and ground beef.

I took the plunge the other day and purchased the bulk package of ground beef. 10 pounds of 85/15 beef for a hair over $30. For those beef eaters (not the Gin) we know beef prices (along with all meat) have gone through the damn roof lately. So my cheapskate brain said a pound of decent beef for less and $3 is a steal!

I knew I needed to split this monstrosity into smaller packs. I decided on 5-2 pound packs. One pound just isn’t enough for the Fat Family. I actually had fun doing this! And it packed my freezer!

I feel kinda dumb I didn’t do this sooner.

 Beef 1

Beef2

 

How many of you buy actual food items in bulk? Any great pointers you wish to share?

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July. Whether you’re American or across the waters (you too have a 4th of July on the calendar, but it’s just not as cool as the day here in the good U. S of A). Stay Safe and light some fireworks!

WEEKEND BREAKFAST

Happy weekend, friends.

Weekends around the fat household usually are busy with cleaning, errands, staying cool but this morning I, even though I very much dislike it, cooked a huge-enough-to-feed-an-army sized breakfast.

I even took “orders”

Fat Daddy wanted breakfast burritos, hashbrowns & cherries. Little Man wanted scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, toast & cherries. While that sounded good, I went a different route.

I diced up some zucchini and onion and cooked it in some EVOO with a little sea salt. While that was getting happy in the pan I boiled some water for poached eggs. Yummmy!

When it all came together, I added in a bit of the chorizo from the boy’s breakfast and some diced tomatoes. I placed the eggs in top and viola-an instant gourmet-like low carb delicious breakfast!

This could easily be a dinner too! It was soo good I just might make it tomorrow too!

Happy, healthy, eating!

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QUICK, CONVENIENT, PORTABLE AND DELICIOUS

I work in an office and I’m an early bird but I don’t eat breakfast at home. Breakfast has always been my least favorite meal to eat (and I loathe making it). But Instead of eating carb riddled foods like muffins and bagels, I needed something that is tasty, healthy, easy and quick to prepare and portable (bringing eggs on my 30 minute commute and trying to fight for a microwave isn’t too much fun).

I’ve eaten salads and leftover protein from the previous night’s dinner but I was still missing something…but I didn’t know what.

So I started experimenting. Hard boiled eggs were a nice change. So were tomatoes with a little salt and cilantro. One morning I mixed my tomatoes and avocado together then the light bulb went off: all three of these foods (eggs, tomato and avocado) would be delicious TOGETHER.

So I combined them

eggs, tomatoes avacado

And LOVE IT. The creaminess of the hardboiled egg and the velvety texture of the avocado are amazing alongside the snap of the grape/cherry tomato. OH MY GOSH I’m in love.
LOVE LOVE LOVE

I’ve been eating this combo about 2-3 times a week. I haven’t gotten sick of it yet and it FILLS ME UP until lunch time. I add a bit of salt and a drizzle of EVOO for an added “something”. I like this new-to-me breakfast idea that

I’ve even eaten it on the weekends when I could have easily made an omelet or prepared something warm.

The summer months (lots of months actually) are HOT here in the desert so this cool, tasty, delicious and satisfying breakfast dish is just what I crave and WANT

DIAGNOSIS

I’ve mentioned before that I have always been heavy, chubby, fat, overweight, obsese-however you want to classify it. I was always that kiddo in elementary school who was mortified to step on the scale in phy-ed, especially with the other kids standing behind me. I was that kid who hid food so others wouldn’t see me eating it. I was that kid that when we had to start showering in phy ed, made up excuse after excuse to not be naked in front of the other girls. I’ve always been ashamed of my weight and my body.

I’ve grown to accept a few things about myself but even though I can accept things, I still judge myself. Far too often. I’m smart enough to know there isn’t a magic pill and diet and exercise is the way to do it. But what if there was an extenuating circumstance, prohibiting the weight from coming off. What if all my hard work was being fought against to keep me fat?

Enter hypothyroidism.

I’ve gone though some medical issues lately (besides my car accident injuries) and have seen a slew of doctors. Specialist after specialist because it wasn’t what the doctor thought it was. Finally, after what seemed like gallons of blood being removed, I got my answer: My thyroid is not playing nice.

My initial test showed high numbers. So I had another one. Even higher – the doctor stated there was something “definitely” going on. Really?! So off to another doctor I went.

This doctor, my primary, looked at the lab results I brought with me and immediately prescribed a medication. He then went over my symptoms and it was like he was describing JUST ME.

I told him my eating habits (the good and bad) and he stated I should really be the weight. I see him again in a month and will move forward from there.
I know I’m not the only person affected by hypothyroidism – lots of people have it. I just wonder how long this has been going on undetected. I thought my symptoms, etc were the cause of other things but now know that isn’t true.

I know that I still have to work hard on losing the weight but hopefully when my numbers regulate I’ll have a better go at it. I’m continuing to eat healthy (minus the dill pickle ice cream I had Saturday night) and doing more for exercising. The one thing I’ve noticed in just being on the medical for a week is I’m really thirsty. I’ve been guzzling water like it’s going out of style. And thus, peeing more.

You win some, you lose some, right!

Would love to hear your stories with your thyroid and how you live each day and get through the tough times. While I realize the medical will help I know it’s a lifetime commitment.

Community support is key in overcoming and learning anything. Let’s be “here” for each other.

JUST THE FLAX MA’AM- Part 2

I wanted to continue experimenting with my newest food BFF: the flaxseed meal so another recipe I found was for “crackers”.

Ingredients were simple:
Flaxseed meal, parmesan cheese & water. The recipe came together real easy. Spread the mixture on the pan & bake at 400º for about 20 mins.

I obviously didn’t spread it out thin enough because my crackers were thick & chewy, not at all crisp and crunchy like the recipe said they’d be.

The taste was good & I will make them again; I know what to do different now.

Would love to hear about your experience using flaxseeds & flaxseed meal.

I’m taking a break from “low carb” this weekend. Fat Daddy, Little Man & I are heading to northern Arizona to go camping. Since I have to sleep in a tent, I’m indulging in some alcohol. My back will need it :)

Wish me luck that I don’t encounter any coyotes or rattlesnacks.

Have a fantastic weekend!

JUST THE FLAX MA’AM – Part 1

I’m a bread girl. Toast. Sandwiches. Just eating it plain. But bread and low-carb lifestyle don’t go together. Kinda like the Democrats and the Republicans (ha ha ha). So when I came across some recipes using Flaxseed Meal, I did some investigating.

Flaxseed meal (which I’ve heard about for a long time but never met) contains all sorts of healthy components and owes it primary healthy reputation to three of them: omega-3 essential gatty acids, lignans and fiber. Ahh fiber – the low-carb eater’s arch nemesis. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. Lignans have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 80 times more lignans than other plant foods. Flaxseed Meal is high in dietary fiber containing both the soluble and insoluble types. It’s also a powerful natural cholesterol controller (Thank you to the packaging of my flaxseed meal for this wonderful information).

So I bought some and began scouring the interwebs for recipes. This time around in my low carb quest I’m craving bread so the light bulb went off and I found bread recipes. There were a few to pick from and I just randomly selected one that stated it produced a “focaccia-like bread”.

Let’s bake!

The ingredients were quite simple:
Flaxseed meal, eggs, water, oil, baking powder and salt
Prep was easy. Baking was easy.

But how does it taste? YUMMY! It’s sponge-like, not as hard as I would prefer but it’s good. Deep, rich flavor and the texture is good. I made a sandwich out of it today for lunch and it was so delicious. And filling! I can’t forget to mention filling!

I think I’m in love with Flaxseed Meal – I’ve found some other recipes that I’m gonna cook up and I’ll report back to you!
Enjoy!

Flaxseed “Focaccia” Style Bread

Cooked
Ingredients:
2 cups Flaxseed Meal
5 eggs-beaten
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp Salt
1-2 TBSP artificial sweetener (I used 1 TBSP and next time going to use only half)
½ Cup water
1/3 Cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Add beaten eggs, water and oil. Mix well. Let mixture sit in bowl for 2 minutes to thicken a little. Spread bread mixture onto a parchment lined large cookie sheet (spray the parchment paper w/cooking spray). Spread the mixture to a thickness you prefer (doesn’t puff up much). Bake 20 minutes until it springs back when you touch the top and or is visibly browning even more than flax already is. Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want.

SAMMY

My Sammy!! YUM YUM

IT’S ALL IN OUR HEADS

per•cep•tion
noun \pər-ˈsep-shən\
: the way you think about or understand someone or something
: the ability to understand or notice something easily
: the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses

It’s quite amazing how we perceive things, isn’t it? Take for example looking in the mirror especially when we’re down on ourselves or going through a “rough” patch. The shirt is too tight. The pants show my massive muffin top. I look like a stuffed sausage. These things aren’t true yet our heads tell us it is.

So we buy bigger tops and bigger pants only to see that same stuffed sausage when we put these on and look into the mirror. It’s a never ending battle.

I, for one, am having this issue lately. EVERYTHING I own looks horrible on me. EVERYTHING. So I bought some new tops and a new pair of pants. I purposely bought them loose. I put one of the tops on today and BINGO – I felt like I was wrapping myself in saran wrap. I looked horrible. Fat rolls galore. I took the top off and threw it across the room. It’s the shirts fault, right?!

I know that I cannot let my self image and self esteem define me as a person but good Lord it sure F’s with my head.

Know what else F’s with my head? People pretty much telling me that pain I’m in is imaginary.

Since my car accident in January, I’ve had a multitude of doctor’s appointments and physical thereapy appointments. My arm/shoulder hasn’t gotten any better so I was sent for an MRI. I get the results today. I’m nervous that surgery is in my future but I want the pain to stop. For good.

I asked Fat Daddy if he was going to go with me – his response was, “Only if you want me to”. Umm, I wouldn’t have asked. Then he goes on to tell me he doesn’t think anything is wrong with my shoulder because I have good range-of-motion and he’s been doing research on the interweb. If there was something wrong with my shoulder I’d be in pain.

I AM IN PAIN

I’m not sure if he was trying to make me feel better or insult me. It truly could be either. But now that he’s a doctor (self appointed via University of WebMD) I guess I’m making up the shoulder pain. Damn, I need an agent because I’m a great actor. And the academy award goes to…

Perhaps everything IS in my head. Perhaps I am the weight the WHO says someone my height should be and perhaps the pain in my shoulder is imaginary.

Damn you perception. Damn you