--KREN   32,047
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I've seen a few members lately posting about ever-present hunger. I thought I'd post a few ways I can feel full while staying within a reasonable calorie limit.


This is my own version of an old Weight Watchers recipe where you use "free" veggies (very low calorie) to make soup you can eat anytime.

I use a half of a head of cabbage, a couple of ripe tomatoes and an onion, all cut up into small to medium pieces. Put in a large pot with a can of chicken broth (low fat like Swanson's) and all the water you need to cover the veggies. Add whatever seasonings you like - garlic, salt, pepper, etc.

Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are soft. Allow to cool some and then take about 1/2 to 3/4 of the veggies out and put them in your blender. Puree until the chunks are gone. You may have to do this twice if it won't all fit in one batch. Add it back to the remainder in the pot and stir together.

The pureed veggies mix in and give the soup a rich, creamy texture without adding any milk, cream, or butter! The chunks of veggies make it feel like real solid food. Eat this when you are hungry. There's very few calories in it. Also, drink a cup of it before lunch and dinner and it will slow down your eating, making you feel full more quickly.


Cut up your favorite veggies - broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, etc. Put them in a large zip lock bag and coat them with a little olive oil. OR you can just put them out in one layer on a large cookie sheet and spray them with a kitchen spritzer filled with olive oil.

The end result is you have low calorie veggies coated with some olive oil, spread out in one layer on a cookie sheet. Set the oven at about 375 - 400 deg. and roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want them.

You can put them in zip lock bags in portion sizes and use them to fill out your meals with more bulk and fiber that is tasty. It's great to add them to a frozen dinner to make it more like a real meal without adding many calories.

The trick is to plan your meal around a "core" food you like - meat and potatoes, maybe - and add calorie free or very low calorie foods to it to give you more bulk and a more satisfied feeling when you're eating.

Sometimes we really crave more "hand-to-mouth" action when we reduce our calories. Just like smokers miss that when they give up smoking. Eating unprocessed food always gives you more of that so you get the satisfaction without the calories.

We just have to remember what it feels like when we BINGE. Do you ever feel GOOD after you do that? Usually you feel pretty rotten. Eating well makes you feel better and your body will thank you for it!

Anyone want to add YOUR tips and tricks to get full without overeating?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAISES2 9/2/2009 12:01PM

    great blog.super ideas.thank you for sharing emoticon

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PJC1967 9/2/2009 11:54AM

  Thanks for the great suggestions I will have to try them, they sound delicious.

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FISHINGLADY66 9/2/2009 11:34AM

    I used to make this soup all the time. I still make a version of it but I don't blend any of the vegetables. I also add green beans, zucchini, or what ever I like. It really helps keep you feeling fuller longer. Great suggestion. emoticon for the reminder.

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GYPSYHEART1 9/2/2009 10:46AM

    Thanks for sharing! I find I seem to get hungrier in the afternoon. This is PERFECT for helping me keep hunger at bay.

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    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!!

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 9/2/2009 10:03AM

    Weight Watchers calls such things Filling Foods. Soups like Karen just said are certainly one of them, as the soup is made with filling foods.

WW members are encouraged to eat : and note, these are not contrary to Spark guidelines.

whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes and grains
vegetables and fruit
whole-grain cereals---without added sugar, nuts or dried fruit
lean meats, poulty, fish , eggs, beans and meat substitutes such as tofu
fat-free milk and milk products

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BELTONWALKER67 9/2/2009 8:40AM

    Great ideas and such a good way to get your veggies in. I've found that I can get my water in by sipping with a straw. It keeps the munchies away too.

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Progress Report

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I had a massage yesterday with a really proficient muscle specialist.

He used massage and trigger points to release the muscles in my right leg and in my back that connected to that area. He worked on me for an hour. A lot of it was painful, but I'm used to painful massage from all the deep tissue therapy I've had. I joke that I pay people to hurt me!

He gave me some advice on exercise - swimming is the only real way I should move my legs repetitively, because I get the movement of the muscle without any weight or strain.

He also suggested I use a rope looped around the bottom of my foot to pull my leg up and down, again to get movement without exerting and exhausting the muscles too much.

So I'm going to try to swim more and do some stretches. He told me the latest theory in stretching is not to hold the stretch for more than two seconds. I found verification for this in various places online, including "The Wharton Stretch Book" at amazon.com.

Still scheduled for an MRI but have no expectations there. Over the years I've had all sorts of tests, xrays, cat scans and an MRI 4 yrs ago, showing nothing.

The problem is in my muscles, which spasm and contort my body out of alignment. Strong enough to make one leg shorter at times, or to hold my back in an iron grip so I can't even reach the radio in my car. Something in my back/nerves causes this, as far as anyone can tell me. Sitting too much is a problem, standing too much is a problem, walking too much is a problem.

Orthopedics is the closest thing to a muscle specialist and I have a referral for that doctor after my MRI.

Meanwhile, I just do what has helped me in the past, not a cure, just a management of pain and restriction. In time, I ususally get some results. The pain is not excruciating any more, just annoying and frustrating. I don't limp every time I take a step, but about 50% of the time.
That is some improvement over a week ago. Counting my blessings. Maybe that is what has helped me lose 2 of the 5 lbs. I gained over the past month and a half.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHASTA11 9/2/2009 1:16PM

    Aw, some relief. I'm so happy for you. It's great that you have a pool to go to as the therapist thinks that's the best way for you to exercise.

Hope you continue to feel better.

Hugs, Joan

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SERENITYSEL 9/1/2009 8:23PM

    I am glad you got some relief from the pain (even though you had to endure a different pain to get relief). You are a very brave lady!

I can only imagine what you are going through. I watched my mother go through horrible pain with her rhuemotoid arthritis. She was so crippled, and very rarely would cry over the pain.

God bless you my friend!!!

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FISHINGLADY66 8/27/2009 12:52PM

    I'm glad the muscle specialist could help you. That is very interesting information on the stretching. I have been doing the stretching exercises here on spark and I think they really help. I can't swim right now until the hole in my chest heals. (The biopsy for skin cancer).
I do hope you can find relief soon. Congrats on losing the 2 pounds.

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The Good, The Bad and the Reality

Monday, August 24, 2009

For six weeks Iíve been unable to put weight on my right leg without really bad pain. So Iíve been unable to walk without a limp. Iíve gone from wearing a pedometer and getting my 10,000 steps a day, to trying to get from the bedroom to the kitchen with the fewest number of steps possible.

You can imagine I Ďve done a lot of sitting; a lot of time in my recliner with my feet up, listening to books on my ipod with my cat Rosie by my side.

I only go places I really have to go and where I can get what I need with the fewest number of steps. Getting in the car is difficult because it really hurts when I lift my right leg to get in. Iíve started backing up to the front seat, sitting, then swiveling around until Iím in position to drive. Still some pain there, but not nearly as much. I can only get in and out of the car about twice on any given trip, then I have to go home. Some days I wait for Joe to get my mail and put out my garbage so I don't have to walk to the end of the drive.

Iíve lived with chronic pain for about 7 or 8 yrs. This is the first time Iíve had pain anyone could ďseeĒ. Ususally, pain is invisible, except to me. Now I canít walk, so itís visible. I really donít like that.

Iíve tried chiropractic, massage, ice, rest, and now am scheduled for MRI and Orthopedic appointments.

All this has brought me to a lot of thinking about my life. Iím big on counting my blessings and start each day that way. Now Iíve divided my paper into two columns - Good and Bad. The Good column goes on endlessly, being thankful for family, loved ones, good health, excellent blood-work, seldom ill, nice home, nice neighborhood, reliable auto, steady income which does not depend on me working ever again, many toys like HDTV, ipod, endless art supplies and books, etc.

The Bad side has only one entry - Pain.

After my last massage late one afternoon, the following day showed some improvement for the first time. I began to have an hour or two during the day when I could put weight on my leg and walk around the house without limping! Still some pain, some residual soreness, and I had to be careful not to walk too fast or over uneven ground. Next day, even better. As long as I interspersed an hour of rest in between times on my feet, I could get around a little longer, still with some pain but not enough to make me limp.

Itís so amazing how the act of putting one foot in front of the other can be such a great and wonderful thing. Pain brings you to a halt and gives you lots of time to think. Iím so grateful now for the act of walking which we usually take for granted and have added it to my morning litany of ďThank You for...Ē

Iíve gained about five pounds over these past six weeks of immobility. I wasnít able to exercise much before the limping began. Once it took hold, despair set in; fear of never being able to walk again without a limp, etc. etc. The only thing I can do that feels good, when pain is bad and Iím so down, is eat. Now thatís a hard habit to break, especially after eight years of it.

But, hey, thatís why Iím here.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ESHTEMOA 8/25/2009 10:41AM

    Sorry to hear that you are experiencing so much pain.Don't give up ,continue to pray about it .
HE is the great physician for whom nothing is impossible.
Keep up your positive attitude and it will help with your healing.
Just said a little prayer for your healing.
Much Love,

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GRANDMAHOWLEY 8/25/2009 7:47AM

    Good morning Karen! I hope your strong positive attitude and realistic appraisal of your situation gives you the strength you need to deal with your pain. I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering.
Pat emoticon

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BETTERCATHY 8/24/2009 7:45PM

    Remember that you are so much more than your weight. Take care of the whole Karen. It sounds like you are understanding that you have to deal with each challenge as it arises! Stay strong and believe in yourself!

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SERENITYSEL 8/24/2009 3:38PM

    Hi, I know you are in severe pain, but you are still an inspiraton to me. Your positive attitude is contagious.

My personal belief is we are "allowed" to go through these trials so we may help others, and you surely are doing that here.

I'm praying for you my friend!!!! So you gained a few pounds, when you are well enough, you WILL lose that 5 and 5 more in no time. Your sheer will and stamina will NOT allow you to do nothing about it, when you are able.

It is nice that you have times of being able to walk a little without pain, but don't overdo it or you will only hurt yourself. God bless my dear friend. Huggs too!!!! emoticon emoticon

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JUDY1676 8/24/2009 11:46AM

    Sure hope you find out what's going on really soon! Pain is no fun!
Keep up the positive thinking and counting your blessings! My prayers are with you.

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FISHINGLADY66 8/24/2009 9:18AM

    I hope you can find out what is causing the pain soon. Keep counting your blessings and keep thinking positive. I will remember you in my prayers. Bless you.

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BELTONWALKER67 8/24/2009 8:22AM

    I sure hope the MRI can find out what's going on and a treatment can be found to fix the problem so the pain will go away. Just rest and continue to keep those positive thoughts until the pain free days arrive. Take care of yourself.



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Status Update

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Well, I spent a day reformatting my computer and re-installing and tweaking everything. The only major problem I had was I couldn't get back online. I called Time Warner RoadRunner, my cable, phone and internet provider, and a very nice lady there worked with me for over and hour! Everything showed I was connected but I still couldn't access any website or email server.

I called my son's tech employee and he very nicely spent almost another hour with me on the phone - still no luck.

Then the TW woman called me back and said she found the problem. TW had quarantined my account due to a virus problem they detected. All fine and good, the virus is why I reformatted to begin with, but I can't believe they didn't FLAG my account so their own employees wouldn't waste so much time trying to resolve and issue that only TW could fix!

Also, if you pay for cable tv, phone and internet, you'd think they could send you an automated phone message if you've been quarantined!! You can believe I'll be writing a letter to them about that. So glad that's over.

You may remember, I decided to undergo a month of electronic impulse acupuncture in the hopes that it would help me with the chronic pain I've been living with for years. The result is - It DID! My back doesn't hurt, my shoulders and neck don't hurt, and all the general body aches I used to wake up with are gone. I feel so much better!

However................. It's like finding a miracle cure for pain and in the middle of it - breaking your leg!

I didn't break my leg, but I have a badly injured ligament in my right leg, up around where my leg joins my body. Every time I put weight on my leg I have excruciating PAIN.

I started with chiropractic, massage, ice and rest. I then went to my M.D. who gave me Ibuprofen and x-rayed my lower back and hip. I go back tomorrow to see him again and will ask him to refer me to an Orthopedic specialist. I have all the symptoms of a loose ligament - the ligament doesn't hold the bones tightly enough, so they move out of alignment. It's like your leg is out of joint. VERY painful.

I've gone from wearing a pedometer, trying to get in all the steps I can, to counting and planning every step so I don't have to take more than absolutely necessary. I limp.

Joe has been so sweet, picking up things for me at the store, waiting on me when I need it. I've tried to keep on living life the same, just a lot more slowly. I've learned from living with pain that if I just stop everything when I hurt, I'll never do anything at all. So I keep going.

Ever optimistic that improvement is just a day away.

Happy to be back here with my SparkFriends.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETTERCATHY 8/23/2009 6:52PM

    Do you think acupuncture could help you with this new pain? I started having treatments for migraines, which have improved tremendously. Now, she is working on other issues that I have...don't know what she does with those needles, but it seems to work! Hoping that you can find an answer!


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LADYNLI 8/20/2009 1:12PM

    Glad you are back. Hope you will be feeling better soon. Hopefully you will find something that helps the leg pain.

emoticon Nancy

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SERENITYSEL 8/19/2009 10:33PM

    I'm glad you are back too. emoticon emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 8/19/2009 8:41AM

    Dear Karen,

So sorry you have gone from one pain to another. Glad you got your computer fixed and are back online with us. Knock on Wood, I haven't had any issues with TV other than the fact they keep raising their prices. Take care of yourself and I hope the doctor can take the pain away.



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Technical Difficulties

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'll be down a few days. As soon as I'm back online, you can be sure this is the first place I'll be!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENITYSEL 8/17/2009 9:07PM

    We will see you soon. I will miss you lots. Hope all is well with you and your family. (((Huggs))) emoticon emoticon

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BETTERCATHY 8/17/2009 8:02PM

    Isn't it amazing how dependent we can become on our technology? If I can't get online, I feel like a part of me is missing! We will be looking forward to having you "whole" again!


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JORETTA2 8/17/2009 2:38PM

    See you soon. We will miss you.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 8/17/2009 1:24PM

    Will miss you... still will walk

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LADYNLI 8/17/2009 12:42PM

    Thanks for letting us know. We will miss you!


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