Proverbs 22:7

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday shopping

Black Friday was not nice to my wallet. However. I spent only money I had, and I bought only things that I really "needed." I did not buy Christmas presents. I did buy Jonny a few new polo shirts, but other than that, it's was "birthday" gifts for myself.

I've been wanting a programmable crock pot for a long time now, and just could not justify buying one for $50. Yesterday, I got one for $20 with a $10 mail in rebate. Thank you, JCPenney! I also bought 2 sets of Store N Lock food storage containers for all the new healthy food that I'm keeping in my house. Whole Wheat Flour, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Flax Seeds, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Rice Pasta, etc. Half opened boxes and bags with chip clips stuffed half-hazzardly in my pantry just wasn't cutting it.

I'm also learning to can. I bought a pressure COOKER,  because I was told that a pressure cooker and a pressure canner are the same thing - and they are, but a pressure canner comes with a jar rack that sits in the bottom of the pot. Honestly, I don't understand why companies just don't make combined pressure cooker/canner for everything. For safety reasons, I took the pressure cooker back and bought a Presto pressure canner/cooker from Walmart. It was NOT on sale, and cost more than I really wanted to spend, However, I had a ton of turkey stock that I had to store SOMEHOW. I would have spent more money buying freezer containers, than I did buy sucking up the cost of the pressure canner and some jars so that I could put it up in my food pantry, rather than freezing it all. Plus, I can reuse the canner over and over again. I'm planning to can as much as possible. On the new diet, I am staying away from sugar, and salt when possible, which means its VERY difficult to find spaghetti or pizza sauce that I can buy at the grocery store. So I'm going to start making my own with fresh tomatoes, or start out with canned no salt added tomatoes and go from there. I made my own cream of mushroom soup a few weeks ago and had to freeze it all. I'm looking forward to being able to can the next batch I make. Whoop!

I also bought some black out energy efficient curtains for the living room, dining room and our bed room. Eventually we'll get some for the other rooms of the house. I got a great deal on these curtains at big lots. I found the sizes I needed in colors that matched the paint and decorations in the house, and had no trouble putting them up. I HATE having to use these curtains though, as I prefer natural sunlight. However, I'm hoping these live up to their name and will help keep the heat in during the winter and the heat out during the summer... We will see!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clean Eating - This isn't going to be as bad as I thought.

Alot has happened since my last post. I copied my post, with a few changes on some of the message boards that I read, and I got some really positive and encouraging feedback from some other readers. Long story short, I'm now on a path to clean eating.

What is clean eating? In short, it's not eating processed garbage that manufacturers and chemicals have gotten us dependent on. I have been downright furious this week as I've read more and more about the pre-packaged products that we as consumers buy for convenience, without fully understanding the un-natural chemicals that come along with it. I knew that going through the drive through for lunch wasn't healthy. What I didn't know is that simple kitchen stables like butter, cream of mushroom soup, and all purpose flour are processed in such a way that it's quite literally a poison to your body. No WONDER I'm FAT. No, I'm not going on a rampage to sue McDonald's, or anything like that, but I'm pretty hacked off at the thought that "typical" products in my kitchen are the problem with my weight and my health.... all because of the way those foods are processed. They have garbage added to them to make them addictive, to where you come back to it over and over, without even realizing it.

Okay, I'm trying to not turn this post into a rant, so back to the topic at hand. Basically, if it's not as nature intended it, I'm not going to eat it. That means no more macaroni and cheese out of a box. That means no more pizza unless it's home-made with home-made pizza crust - no, not crust from a mix where you add water, or crush from a can. If i want pizza, I'll make the dough and add clean toppings (natural tomato sauce, seasonings, and healthy cheese, etc). No more packaged cereal bars. My list of processed no-no's could go on and on.

In addition, clean eating requires only lean meats. That means no more ground beef. My alternatives are ground turkey, tofu, bison, deer meet, etc. Tofu, surprisingly, isn't NEAR as bad as I thought it was going to be. It has no flavor whatsoever, so it's not gross. I add the flavorings I want, and it's GREAT. I made ranch salad dressing with it this week. mashed it up, added a little milk to make it liquid-y, added some ranch powder flavoring, and it was just like the real stuff, without all the calories and additional crap added in. I bought some ground turkey at Sam's club over the weekend. I found that The Fresh Market carries ground $9.99 per pound! Yeah, I don't guess I'll be having a bison substitute for beef anytime soon.

Anyway, there's way to much to talk about with this. I'm working on making the change as quickly as I can, but not so quickly that I get burned out on the "rules" that I give up. Most of you know that I've always struggled with my weight. Nothing ever seemed to work. it was too hard, too much work, too much effort. If only I had KNOWN about the GARBAGE in processed foods, I don't think I would have whined so much before. Knowledge truly is power. Now that I fully comprehend just how bad all that garbage was for me, I truly think that this is going to be a process that I can be successful at. Yes, it makes me mad to think I can't just drive through the drive through and get a burger and fries anymore. Actually I can, I can eat that kind of stuff, in extreme moderation, but right now I'm so mad at the turmoil it has caused on my body that I honestly don't know if I'm going to WANT to eat a burger and fries.

I've learned alot over the last several days about healthy grains, cereals, seeds,  fruits, veggies, etc, that I can have. There are grains I've never even tried that I'm excited to try now. I've also become an oatmeal protein smoothie junkie. Oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, soy protein powder, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, milk, ice.... YUM YUM.

Weight watchers worked, but it was too much effort. This process is just a matter of learning, and it's really not that hard, at least not what I can tell so far. I bought Tosca Reno's Just the Rules book, which explains in a nutshell, the easy why to learn whats appropriate for this eating lifestyle. If it's got more than 5 or 6 ingredients in it, it's not clean. If you can't pronounce the ingredient (or it looks like something out of a chemistry experiment), it's not clean. Sugar has to go. Honey, agave, maple syrup are substitutions for sugar. I made zucchini bread today with no sugar, and no white flour. I made it using whole wheat flour and honey, and it was absolutely delicious. Not as fluffy or sweet as the last time I made zucchini bread, but it was a whole lot healthier, and knowing what I know now, it's worth it.

Not to mention that the EIGHT pounds I lost this week is pretty motivating. I know that alot of it is water weight, and my body flushing out the fast food and soda garbage I've been eating, but it sure does feel good to know I'm doing something right. I go back to the doc the Monday after thanksgiving. I can't wait to see what my weight reads that day. I'll have been 3 weeks and I'm hoping that he'll be pleased with my progress.

Like I said, way to much to talk about in what I've learned this week. 2 sites I would recommend if you want to learn more is and I'll write some more later this week about the financial hit for making this change and how it is affecting our budget.

Watch out, world, Manda's gonna do this, and she's NOT going to be FAT anymore. She is going to get healthy, and hopefully soon, there will be a baby in the picture. Prayers for me on this journey, please.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Insulin Resistant with PCOS

I met with a new doc yesterday - my OB nurse practitioner referred me to an endocrinologist because my lab work showed I had high insulin. After meeting with him, he says it sounds like Insulin Resistance. He says once diabetes develops there's no turning back and he wants me to really work on getting healthy so I can fight it off, since it runs in my family. He is going to put me on metformin, but I go in on monday morning for another fasting lab. Insulin resistence and PCOS is likely the reason we're not pregnant yet - because the old uterus isn't doing what it's designed to do: ovulate.

In order to fix this, he wants me to do 30-40 minutes of exercise every day. I think I can do this, just go for a walk at the park during my lunch break, since it's too dark when I get home at night now. That's what I hate about winter. He also wants me to go on a 1500 calorie a day diet. This scares me and worries me. I feel like I'm being set up for failure. I've never been able to stick to a counting calories diet. But I don't really have a choice, and I don't know how in the world I'm going to succeed. I have to do this or I'm NOT going to get pregnant.

I'm concerned because eating healthy is expensive. The convenience of the packaging of "heathly items" or buying in bulk and it not going bad before it gets used...or something like that. I'm too much of a nerd and I don't want to make excuses, but I feel so overwhelmed right now. This has never ever worked for me before. I did weight watchers for 6 months and while it was great, and it worked, it wasnt something I could KEEP AT. It's expensive to be on a plan that keeps you accountable. Hell, if I could afford a nutritionist and a personal trainier to keep me in check, I'd already be skinny.

One of the girls at work told me to look at it like the getting out of debt thing, which, of course, I CAN relate to, so it makes me look at it in a different light. but getting out of debt has not been easy, and it's not something I feel like I'm a success at yet. I still have over $100 grand (more than my house costs!) in student loan debt between me and hubby, and it's going to take years of more work before its gone and I finally feel successful.... I guess I just gotta look at eating healthy the same way. But it's not the same. As soon as I start to lose weight and feel good, I will hopefully get pregnant, and I'm just going to be fat again. :(

Yes, I'm whining. But I'm trying to get over the initial shock...though I'm not sure why. I'm NOT surprised. I knew it was coming. I just didnt realze that a 1500 calorie diet was going to be the solution. Deep down, I'm excited, though I'm mad. I'm excited because I know that if I can just quit being a baby and just do it, I AM going to lose the weight and feel better. I just gotta quit with the excuses and do it. This is going to suck. It damn well better work, though. The sample 2 week menu he gave me had alot of crap on it (yogurt, peaches, raspberries, BLEGH) that I simply do not like, and I'm going to have to find ways to substitute for things I DO like. Ugh.