Still Clean Eating

I have been doing the 21 Day Fix since August 24th, with modifications from my doctor.  I am clean eating (no chemicals), low carb, high(er) fat, high protein.  In a month, I have taken off 14 of the 30 pounds I gained after my thyroid was radiated.  I exercise 6 days a week (three days of cardio, three days of strength training).  I have a protein shake a day (Shakeology for now, but I’m not fond of the taste, so I will probably switch back to the brand I do like), 3 meals, no snacks.

And hey, I think 14 pounds in a month is pretty darned good, don’t you?

I have been forced to look for recipes that I can modify.  Before when I did low carb, I could do pumpkin, or a small bit of sweet potato, and beans.  I mean, refried beans are a bariatric patient’s best friend after surgery.  My endocrinologist will not allow me to have any of those things.  I miss pumpkin – it was a good starch replacement.

And can I just say that I’m really sick of eggs for breakfast?

I mean, not to complain, my numbers are all excellent.  I’m down 14 pounds and 11 inches.  I’m getting in 10,000 steps per day.  I’m healthy and fit and happy.  I’m sore as all get out from working out, and not from being lethargic.

I did finally find a recipe that I could follow that was eggs for breakfast, but not actually like eating eggs.  I love French Toast.  Always have, always will.  I found a recipe on Pinterest for toastless french toast.

Soften 2oz of cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Add to a blender with 2 eggs, a splash of vanilla, cinnamon (it calls for pumpkin pie spice, but I hate nutmeg) and blend until smooth.  Then I take some frozen blueberries or strawberries (or whatever fruit I have) and put it in a microwavable bowl.  I add the egg mixture to the bowl and stir in one package of Stevia.  Then, you microwave it for 1.5 minutes.  Flip it over, and microwave it again for another 30 seconds.  The recipe says to use honey on it, but I just eat it like it is.  Yummy.  I usually have that with turkey bacon.

Also, veggies are getting boring.  I eat a ton of salads with salsa and smashed avocado.  Last week, I re-discovered sugar snap peas – they give me the crunch I’m looking for from chips, but without all the carbs and junk.

I’ve also had to increase my red meat consumption to up my iron.  I have adapted the 21 Day Fix Turkey Meatball recipe to use ground sirloin.  I omit the panko.  Really yummy.  I serve it to Mr. G with pasta sauce.  I just eat them like they are, or make it into a meatloaf.

So, all this seems to be paying off.  And optimal health will help keep that cancer in remission.  Sad that it took me 43 years to figure that out.

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Anemia Update

I went back to the endocrinologist yesterday for a follow-up and to get the results of the additional blood work.  My B12 levels are fine (hello, supplements) but I have an iron deficiency.  He again insisted I must be bleeding from somewhere, but I have no symptoms of an ulcer, no bleeding from anywhere that I can see, am a gastric bypass patient with malabsorbtion issues, and a cancer patient.  My level of worry about my iron deficiency is kind of low.  He put me on an iron supplement (oh yay, hello constipation) and told me to take it with MEAT.  I told him I don’t really eat much red meat and he told me to up my red meat intake as it is the only way my body will probably absorb that iron.

Okie dokie then.  We’re having red meat for dinner tonight.

He also gave me a script for the Iron pill.  It’s the same dosage you get from the OTC kind but at least with a script, I can use my healthcare account to purchase it.

I also promised I’d see my gastrointerological oncologist (I had my regular visit scheduled for Monday anyway).  I told him I’d take all the blood work with me.  I have already spoken to BOTH my oncologists on the phone, so they aren’t worried.  If they aren’t worried, I’m not.

Big thing about people who have had gastric bypass – um, we can be anemic.  We don’t absorb vitamins and minerals as easily as someone with normally constructed guts.  Our guts have been rearranged specifically to NOT absorb things.  So, yeah.  I told him that.  We’ll see what the iron supplement does.

In other news, thanks to my daily exercise plan, and eating right, I had lost five pounds from last week to this week.  And also, my glucose readings were spot on.  I’m pushing protein, veggies, good oils and fruits and eliminating all types of sugar (any fruit juices even squeezes of lemon/lime, all artificial sweeteners because Stevia is just fructose, etc).  I feel much better doing my clean eating (well, the muscles are all up in arms about working out), but I feel amazing.

So, we’ll see what the oncologist says next week.

In other news, tomorrow is my birthday.  Yay!  I’m working all day, and probably late at that.  Boo!

Three Words That Strike Terror Into a Cancer Patient

You are anemic.

I went to the endocrinologist yesterday for my checkup on my thyroid.  I had all my blood work done last week.  They took about 5 vials, so I knew he was doing a full workup.  When I saw him yesterday, the first thing he did was bitch because my glucose numbers were higher than what he wanted (mine are usually around 110 to 115 – excellent for someone who used to be in the 300s daily) but he wants them between 70 and 99.  For me, that’s too low – I get dizzy and hypo.  I told him that, but yeah.  So, now I have to prick my finger 4 times a day and write down everything I put in my mouth.  Now, I’ve been following the 21-day Fix eating plan for the past two weeks.  It’s really low carb, clean eating.  Nothing processed.  I do a daily protein shake because I’ve stepped up my work outs.  The protein shake is very low in sugars (less than 6g) – Shakeology.  I stick to low glycemic fruits.  No bread, rice, potatos, grains, etc.  I do, occasionally, have to eat some steel cut oats to get things moving once in a while, but that’s it.  Oh, and I do eat quinoa.  No nuts or nut butters because they interfere with my thyroid meds.  So, overall, eating incredibly healthy.  But he has told me absolutely no starches, nothing to drink but water or black coffee (not an issue – I do this already).  No dairy.  Three meals a day, no snacks (I was doing 6 small because I felt better, but ok – I can do anything for 7 days) and go back and see him in a week to see if it makes a difference.  We’ll see.

Then he was looking at my other numbers.  Vit D is good.  LDL is 136.  HDL is 72. Tryglicerides are in the 50s.    Thyroid numbers indicate my meds are a bit high, so he cut that back.  But…

He looks at me and says, “You’re anemic.”

Yes, I knew it because I’ve felt a bit tired and was craving raw rice.  I do that when I’m anemic.

“Well, you are bleeding from somewhere – must be your periods.”

Nope, haven’t had one of those in 3 years.

“Then you must have a polyp in your colon.”

WHAT?

How do you even tell someone that when they are a cancer patient with a Lynch Syndrome diagnosis??

I told him I see my gastrointrological oncologist on the 21st, but my scan last year came back clean.  I’ve had no symptoms.  Exactly how anemic am I?  Could it be my B12?  My iron?  (A bariatric patient knows to ask these things – she was calm and level headed in my brain.  The cancer patient was freaking the eff out.)

So he drew more blood to test for my B12 levels (um, you didn’t do that in the 5 other vials you took last week??).  I go back in a week.  I was, of course, freaked out.

So I got in the car and called my oncologist.  Of course, he wasn’t available (I mean, he is a surgeon) so I left a message.

Dr. Rao called back last night around 6 and talked me off a wall.  He said that nearly everyone who undergoes what my body has gone through will experience some level of anemia.  It’s directly correlated to the chemo and the massive amounts of radiation I have gone through.  He asked me, “How anemic are you?”  I told him the doctor said only slightly.  Dr. Rao said, “Meh – I’m not worried about it.  You aren’t bleeding from anything.  Call me if your numbers come back showing severe anemia and we’ll talk, but otherwise, you are fine.  Enjoy your remission and I”ll see you next month.”

Big. Huge. Sigh. Of. Relief.

I do see my gastro oncologist on the 21st.  Am hoping this year for no colonoscopy – kind of over medical procedures.

Realized today that I started chemo 3 years ago on the 10th.  Time flies, and stands still all at the same time.

Oh, and September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness month.  Just a reminder to make sure you get your pap smears and GYN visits.  Annually. No excuses.  Fight for it.  And wear your peach and teal to honor the fighters.  We may not all be survivors, but we are ALL fighters.

I continue to Fight Like a Girl.

Wow Fit

We hot back drom vacation and I came back wirh some extra…pounds yhat is.  I ate what I wanted to because it was vacation.  And frlt like a complete and total slug.

So, my thyroid meds have caused a 10 pound weight gain.  And vacation added three more.  Now yhat I am cleared to exercise again, it is time to get back to healthy eating.

BJs was having a sale on Fitbit, so I went and got one.  🙂 

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So far I am loving it.  And we are eating much healthier.  Tonight we are having tilapia baked in lime juice with dill and pepper, quinoa pilaf, and sauted veggies in coconut oil.

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I am geeling so much better!

So, who else has a fitbit?

Winter Can Suck It

The older I get, and the more arthritis I get, the more I think that I was meant to live somewhere more tropical.  People think that the Mid-Atlantic area is better in regards to snow, ice and cold than New England, and in some ways, it is, but in others, it’s just as bad.  Last year, we got snow every time someone farted – so much snow that it was comical.  Inches and inches.  And while New England is getting pounded with that this year, we are getting our standard “cold as heck, snow, sleet and freezing rain” nonsense.  What we affectionately (I use that term loosely) call “slush.”  It is gross.  My joints, already inflamed because of my thyroid, are screaming.

Everyone told me that clean eating would help my arthritis.  So far, I have not felt any change whatsoever.  I can tell when I fall off the wagon and eat something I shouldn’t, but that is more in regards to gastric distress that comes from having had RNY and massive amount of radiation.  My joints, however, have felt no difference.  Still the same amount of ache and swelling that I had prior to cutting out crap.

I full well realize that my thyroid meds still probably need to be upped.  But I’m sure I’d be happier in a more tropical climate.

I’ve been doing really well with my clean eating lately.  I’ve fallen in love with chia seeds.  Love them in my greek yogurt, and fresh fruit smoothies.  I love them added to oatmeal, or my clean eating muffins.  LOVE.

I don’t have any exciting recipes to share, but I thought I’d share a typical day of eating with you:

Thyroid meds are the first thing in the am.  I can’t have any solid food for an hour, nor anything other than water or black coffee.  That, of course, is first on my agenda.  Coffee.  I’ve really gotten used to drinking my coffee black.  After my first hour, if I want a treat, I add some coconut milk creamer to it.  But generally, I drink it black.  This week, Starbucks started carrying coconut milk, and I got a latte yesterday with coconut milk.  It was yummy, and a nice treat that is within my wheelhouse.  I avoid dairy milk and creamers in its purest form as it has a lot of lactose in it, and cow’s milk tends to keep my thyroid meds from adhering in my body.  I can’t do nut milks (like almond or cashew) because they work against thyroid meds as well.  I love the taste of coconut milk.

Typical breakfast – I tend to do fresh fruit (whatever the farmer’s market has – this week it has been fresh Florida strawberries and bananas) and 6oz of plain greek yogurt (I can do yogurt – it is processed differently than milk and high in protein).  I add a tablespoon of chia seeds and some honey.  Delicious.

Lunch has been homemade soup lately – either the veggie beef soup I have listed here, or this week, I made homemade chicken soup.  Recipe will be at the end of the post.  I have this with a few carrot sticks and a piece of fruit.

Dinner is some protein and lots of veggies.  Last night was a piece of crustless quiche made with spinach, swiss, mushrooms, bacon and onions.  I did use heavy cream in my quiche – I cup for the whole recipe, which was then divided into 8 servings.  Also, since I ate it at dinner, it was less likely to interfere with the thyroid meds.  Quiche recipe is also at the end of the post.

And that’s it.  I drink water and coffee pretty much all day long.  Occasionally I will have a glass of coconut milk.  Once in a great while, I will treat myself to a diet cola, but it is all chemicals so it is only a very once in a while treat.  I don’t snack unless it is on fresh fruit or veggies.

Chicken Soup:

1 frying chicken – mine was whole – skin, bones and all

4 cups of organic chicken stock and then water to cover the chicken.  Both go into a big soup pot.

Add 1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot, 1 diced onion, a chopped leek, fresh parsley and fresh chopped fennel fronds.  Bring to a boil.  (for the record, I do not peel my carrots – more vitamins and nutrients in the skins).

Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and add one chopped turnip, one sliced parsnip, one more sliced carrot and a couple more stalks of celery.

In 20 minutes, remove the chicken, but let soup simmer.  Here is where I add salt or pepper to taste.  When the chicken as cooled enough, remove skin and clean chicken from bones.  Avoid begging dog.  Oh wait, we don’t all have one of those?

Add chicken back to pot and throw in a small bag of frozen mixed veggies ( or whatever other veggies you want).  Season more to taste.  I let simmer for about 20 more minutes.

This makes a ginormous pot of soup, but my hubs and I generally eat it that night for dinner, and then we take it to work all week.  He adds hot pepper seeds to his – me, I prefer mine more chicken soupy tasting.

Yes, that is a technical term.

Quiche

4 eggs, beaten

1 c of heavy cream (or light cream, or half and half – just not milk, you need the fat content)

8oz of baby spinach, chopped

8oz button mushrooms, sliced

1 c shredded cheddar cheese

6 slices of bacon, fried, and chopped

1 onion, diced or 1/4 c. of green onions chopped (or both, if you like onions – whatevs)

coconut oil

Grease a 9″ pie pan with the coconut oil.  This is an important step as your quiche is crustless.

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large skillet, cook your bacon.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels, and then chop.  While bacon is cooling, add onions to bacon grease and brown until translucent.  Remove from skillet.

In pie plate, add bacon and onions.  Then layer spinach, mushrooms and cheese.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and cream.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour egg mixture over veggies in the pie plate.

Bake in the oven 30 to 45 minutes or until eggs set.  Check at 30 minutes – knife inserted into center will come out clean.

Scarf down.

Product Review: Sticky Fingers Bakeries Gluten Free Scones

I am not being compensated for this review. I needed to try something a little different, that wouldn’t tear up my stomach or fall out of my clean eating quest, so I picked up a box of Sticky Fingers Bakeries Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Scones. image Here is the product’s nutritional info: image It was a quick and easy mix.  Just add water and veg oil, mix, drop and bake. image image image image image Final product is pictured with my breakfast – eggs, turkey bacon, and a scone. I was a little worried about the texture, but they were perfect!  And dense like a scone should be.  A hint of sweet, a hint of lemon.  Biggest test was the hubs.  He can hone in on something he isn’t used to (gluten free, sugar free, whatever).  I didn’t tell him they were gluten free.  I just said I made scones.  And he ate two, stating they were yummy.  They passed the Bob test!!! The consistency held up over a couple days as well. $4.99 a box at Kitchen & Company. Would give five out of five stars!