Sunday, May 08, 2011
I got a good soaking today--in prayers. After church my support team gathered around me in the prayer room & listened while I told them what has been going on, & then prayed thoughtful, creative, inspired, nurturing blessings & petitions for me while I just wept & let God comfort me.
Friday after work I found a letter from a lawyer in my mailbox. Turned out to be a solicitation--but it was specifically to me, noting that my husband filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in a county court on April 26, & offering legal services in case I didn't already have a lawyer.
What a way to find out.
I went online & found a record of the petition--& the name & address of my husband's lawyer. I still haven't been served papers, nor has he let me know that he had switched course after agreeing that we would do this pro se to save $$.
I won't go into further details, as this is not the place, but these past few days have been hard. I am SO thankful to have a support team to call on, & loving siblings, & my relationship with God. People have been hugely affirming of me, warming my stricken soul with encouragement.
I'm being soaked in prayers AND love.
Saturday, May 07, 2011
The Spring 5% Challenge starts today--yay!
One of the pre-challenge assignments was to share tips for keeping calories low. Mine is very specific to Chicago & a grocery in my neighborhood, so it may not be of much use to those who live elsewhere. But the "moral" of the story is that it pays to shop in local markets & browse occasionally to see what the product options are.
Morse Market, a few blocks from my home, is on the small side & definitely not upscale, but it reflects this neighborhood really well. It has amazing prices on produce, including an array of organic produce. And there are a lot of international products, because our neighborhood is one of the most diverse in the whole United States.
The other day I was browsing the long shelf in front of the meat counter; it holds loaves of bread from small local bakeries, many of them ethnic. For example, there is Russian rye & Polish rye & Ukrainian rye. I stumbled on a "whole grain lo-carb/hi-fiber" round loaf & was amazed to see that it is just 45 calories per slice, just 6 g carbs & 0.5 g fat, but 4 g fiber, 5 g protein! The main ingredients are crushed wheat, soy flour, & whole wheat flour, & it has no preservatives or sugar.
I bought a loaf a couple of weeks ago & found it quite good! It's not dry or hard, as you might expect with so little oil. I can eat it happily without butter.
The brand name is "Today's Temptations," which I find hilarious! Here's an online conversation among Chicago folks talking about this great bread: chowhound.chow.com/topics/119220
And by googling I learned that these breads are certified Kashruth by the Chicago Rabbinical Council--pretty cool for Orthodox Jewish folks (there are also a lot of those folks living near this neighborhood).
Today I bought a loaf on my way home from spring cleaning at our church's meetinghouse. It's going to help me lose 2 lbs this first week of the challenge! That's my personal goal--my weight today was up because I indulged last night (fried chicken & later a brownie AND hot chocolate!) & I want to shed that extra pound quickly.
Happy challenge, Starfish! Happy exercise, everyone!
Thursday, May 05, 2011
The next 5% challenge is about to start! Here are some of the recipes I'm going to batch-cook in the coming weekends:
Sicilian-style pasta with sardines (recipe adapted from Epicurious, so you know it has to be good!). I'm wanting to eat sardines more often, as I need more omega-3s & they are an inexpensive source.
M'jedra--bulgur/lentil/onion pilaf! I just discovered a section of Middle Eastern foods in my favorite neighborhood grocery & brought home some bulgur wheat. So happy to have a traditional-style recipe to play with.
Black bean chicken--a really really easy slow cooker recipe that I'll make right away, because recently I cooked up a batch of beans & I need to use them!
AND . . . I'm going to adapt my own arroz con pollo (Colombian chicken with rice)! I've already tried using brown rice instead of white, & that works great--you just have to cook it longer. This time I'm going to make it with quinoa to increase the protein! Quinoa takes LESS time too cook than white rice, which is lovely. (By the way, I'd love it if more people tried this recipe & rated it! I'll post the quinoa variant as a separate recipe after I've figured out the best cooking time etc.)
As for side dishes, I usually keep my veggies really simple. I take baby carrots in my lunch & will doubtless be eating lots of simple green salads at supper, as greens are in season. (They'll start coming in my CSA box June 1!) I make big batches of muesli for breakfast & stock various fresh fruits--often I have fruit at all three meals.
As you can see, I eat a lot of legumes (beans/lentils). They keep my diet high in fiber, & I find the texture very mouth-satisfying, plus they're inexpensive & can be flavored in so many ways with herbs & spices. These days I buy only free-range chicken & eggs, out of my ethical commitment to avoid factory-farmed products as much as possible. Organic & free-range are more expensive, but since I use them only sparingly it doesn't break my budget.
I'm going to have a happy mouth & tummy while I'm losing weight in this challenge!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
As some of you know, since early January I've been on isoniazid, an anti-TB med, because I've been TB positive since childhood (exposure in southern Colombia, but never an active case) but had never been on the drug. I have to take it for 9 months & avoid alcohol during the whole course of medication.
There are numerous possible side effects; the drug can be hard on one's liver, which is why I have to be a teetotaler while taking it. A nicer possible side effect is weight loss. I'm thinking it may have helped me finish well in the first 5% challenge in January.
During the more recent challenge, as noted in my 4/15 blog post, I started to lose weight but then lost focus because of all the different big events in my life. This past weekend I was away visiting my granddaughter, & on Monday, my final weigh-in for the challenge showed me up something like 0.4 lb over my beginning weight--so as predicted, my challenge results were a wash.
What's interesting to me is that since Monday morning I have not been very careful with eating, yet I have LOST a little weight. Tuesday I had a big breakfast & a smallish lunch; in the evening I was at an event where there were trays of food--fruit, cheese, crackers--& I grazed before & after; then some of us went out for a late supper & I had a large slice of Giordano's pizza! I had told my Colombian guest that he needed to try Chicago-style pizza, which is just embarrassingly thick & cheese-laden, with a thick crust-rim. Jesus Emilio had fun tasting it, but he gave up once he was halfway through--he's a little sparrow of a guy (but strong--a hardworking farmer) & didn't have room for the rest. But I happily ate every bite of mine.
And Wednesday I ate pretty substantial meals & indulged in THREE sweet snacks. And I haven't had time for vigorous exercise for a whole week. Yet today my weight is down a bit.
It must be the meds, right?
So I need to take advantage of this. Not to continue eating lots of desserts & gooey pizza, but to get back into a modest rhythm of eating & regular exercise so that I can lose these 11-12 lbs & get to goal weight!
It would be silly to waste the opportunity.
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