Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday Stuff....

So, it's January 8th and the Christmas stuff is still decorating my house. Suppose I should take it down any day now. Hmmm.... maybe tomorrow. The house always looks so vanilla once it's all down.

Made myself some pretty good low carb pancakes for breakfast this morning using Carbquik Bake Mix which is a low carb baking mix substitute for "bisquik". They looked like regular pancakes, tasted pretty good but had an off aftertaste that is somewhat characteristic of the Carbquik mix. Maybe I'll use some almond flour in it next time to try to minimize that aftertaste and a little nutmeg and see how that comes out. But, overall, they did satisfy my need for a little normal pancake breakfast with butter and SF syrup on them this morning with only 2 carbs in all of it. Hopefully, my BS liked it too.

Rachel went to her friend Lea's birthday party last night. Hard to believe these girls are 17 years old. They've been friends since they were 3 years old and we moved into the Pearland neighborhood. Since our family moved to Friendswood in 2005, they haven't seen each other every day but did maintain their friendship! Lots to catch up on over there.

Now... she's taking a practice ACT test to get ready for the real test in February. Strange to have a child planning for college. It's exciting for her and me....but it's sad for me in some ways too. I'm not ready for her to be leaving us - not sure I'll be ready then either.

John's off to coach the football game - Houston Cardinals - this evening down in West Columbia. This is the semi-pro team he and his friend, Rene having been working with this year. He was just like a kid this morning, getting all his stuff ready and then asking "What time is it?" almost every 10 minutes until the time came for him to go. LOL... funny. Glad he's enjoying it.

I'm timing Rachel... typing this, surfing the internet, planning what I'm going to do for my last two weeks of freedom before going back to work. Hmmm.... what needs to be done around here??


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Low Carb Living.....

So... it's a low carb life for me from here on out... forever.. to help battle diabetes. I'm still a bit bitter about that right now, but am trying to learn this new way of cooking and living.

Being the over achiever that I am, I tend to very quickly learn about anything that I wish. Lately, it's been diabetes and low carb living.

I've been reading a lot about low carb eating and there is much evidence that says it's actually the way we should be eating as a general way of life. I'm not going to get preachy because gee... it's been there all the time and I sure didn't embrace it before now either. I just hadn't done too much of the research before now, so while I had an overall knowledge that yea, I shouldn't eat all that bad processed food, restaurant foods, fast foods, it's a little different when you actually do some of the research.

So.. the diet. I have accumulated some low carb cook books by Dana Carpender so far. I have Jennifer Eloff's cookbooks in my sites right now as well. I've been stalking several blogs and websites - LowCarbFriends being one of them. Tons of good information out there.

There are some really good low carb foods products available that is making life a little easier during this transition. Many of them are available only online, but some can be found at Whole Foods or Central Market, even HEB has a few.

Alternate Flours - flaxseed meal, almond flour, coconut flour, whole wheat pastry flour, etc.
Alternate Sugars - Splenda, Erythritol, Xylitol, Truvia
Low Carb Pastas - Angel Hair, Spaghetti, Elbow noodles, etc.

Sunday - I made some kick butt wings that everyone in the family LOVED! They were gone very quickly.

Monday - I made a quiche lorraine and a great spinach salad with a wonderful balsamic vinegar dressing. Net Carbs: 15 because I used a regular flour pie crust which had 11 carbs per slice. Next time, I will either do it crustless or try a LC pie crust recipe. Rachel and I loved it the most. Stephen wasn't a huge fan because I snuck some spinach in there. John liked it but probably not quite filling enough for him.

Tuesday - I experimented with a couple One Minute Muffins which were really so impressing and allowed me to have a "bread" for breakfast this morning that was only 2 carbs. One was a flax seed based bread that I toasted and put two fried eggs over to eat. Wow... was good. The other was almond flour based bread that I toasted and just put butter on it. Yummy and sweet. I tried both versions just to be able to compare the differences.

Tonight - I made beef stroganoff with low carb pasta and some really good parmesan spaghetti squash. Net carbs: 16

My goal is to try a good deal of low carb recipes to find ones that please my family and fit in my world for the most part. I'm also happy to add on some carby items for the rest of them when needed. I just want to make sure I can get comfortable with the cooking, have the ingredients I need on hand and have a few go to recipes so that I'm not tempted to eat something I shouldn't on days/evenings when no one feels like cooking! I also will, hopefully, get John in on the cooking part of it. He's sooooo good about cooking and I really love that!! But... we just have to make it low carb at this point.

Not sure yet what is on tap for tomorrow... I'm still on medical leave from the surgery in December, so I have all day (by myself!) to figure it out! I think I may try to make some low carb bread and crackers. We'll see!!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas.... yes, it's been 6 months

So, I haven't posted in 6 months. Crazy isn't it. Sorry about that.

Life has been whizzing along even without my blogging.

I just haven't been in the blogging mood for awhile now. Haven't felt so good. Come to find out, there is a good reason for all of it.

First, I was diagnosed with Diabetes (Type 2) a few weeks back. Now I know why I've been so extremely tired and lots of other symptoms. My blood sugar has been pretty high for quite awhile it seems >240+. For those with the big D, my A1C was 9.7. For those who don't know what that means, normal is 6 or below. A1C is kind of a running 3 month indicator.

Several of my symptoms I've had for at least 2 years, but thought they were other things even seeing doctors for their treatment, like my recurring eye issues. The supposed best corneal specialist in the city is my eye doctor and he's looked at my eyes for the past couple of years and never once mentioned my issue could be diabetes related. Well... now that my BS are in the normal ranges, my eye issues have all but gone away. So... who knew? We (he and I) thought it was related to an injury to my eye 10 years ago. Good news... since he's been looking at my eyes so frequently, I probably haven't developed retinopathy, which is a permanent diabetes eye complication. That's good.

I found out I have diabetes through trying to find a solution to other symptoms that acted and looked like hormonal problems - thyroid, etc. My hair was falling out, hot flashes and other temperature issues, etc. I decided to go see a doctor to help figure out my hormonal issues especially given I was also about to have the Big H (hysterectomy) which was last Friday, 12/10. While doing all the lab work for the hormonal discussion, found my BS to be 240. And.. that was a fasting BS. Not good. Normal is 120 or below.

The blood work did show my hormones are all out of whack as well, but the first thing to get under control is my BS. In fact, my Gyn would not do the Big H surgery without my BS being under control so she sent me to a internist immediately to be seen (2 weeks before surgery date). Was put on a daily injection med called Victoza. It's not insulin, but rather stimulates the pancreas beta cells to make more insulin as I need it. The shot doesn't hurt... just still have to get over the psychology of giving myself a shot every day.

The other thing I did immediately (even before seeing the internist) was remove all sugar and all the simple carbs (think white... starches, bread, potatoes, corn, rice... boo hoo) out of my diet and began eating a very low carb diet. Trying to learn a new way of eating at the moment and how to live this way forever.

Victoza is also supposed to help you lose weight as it slows down digestion of food through your system so you feel full all the time. It certainly does that for me. I lost 10 pounds in a week and half between it and the low carb diet.

The combo of the two was dropping my BS like a rock. I felt a little lightheaded here and there during this period as it was changing quite a bit so quickly. But.. Dr. was quite impressed that I had my fasting BS down to 100 within a week of starting the meds combined w/low carb. Yea.. I'm an overachiever and had a goal in mind. I needed to have the Big H on 12/10 and just didn't have time to mess around.

So... had the Big H on 12/10 and it went very well. Enlarged uterus, lots of fibroids and excessive bleeding = hysterectomy. Was at Woman's Hospital for a few days where the care was pretty good but the food is absolutely AWFUL. Did I saw AWFUL? I meant ATROCIOUS! Ridiculously BAD. I don't know how they get away with serving food so bad.

Came home after 3 days and am now just healing up at home for the next several weeks. My bed is so much more comfortable then the hospital!! Mom came and stayed for a few days this past week and that was great having someone around to help me. I can move around some, but get tired really easily and of course, am very, very sore. Lots of recorded TV to keep me company right now.

It's Christmas!! I did a lot of preplanning at least to have most all of our presents bought before surgery so just had the wrapping to do. Between my doing some of it in spurts and Rachel helping as well, most all of the presents are wrapped now. YAY!

The kids are going to spend the week with their Dad for Christmas and we'll see them on Christmas Day for dinner! This is the very first year since they were born I won't be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my children. It's going to be strange and I'm sure.. a little emotional. I'm just not going to think about it too much today.

Mom, Dad are coming in for Christmas and Laila, Justin, Ariane and Stephen are coming on Christmas Eve for dinner. I'll be excited to see everyone!! Love the holidays!

More to come! Need a nap!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Crested Butte & Taylor Park Pics

Well, we are nearing the end of our time in this beautiful part of the country. It's been so nice and cool and I've enjoyed every single stinkin minute of it! I really wish we didn't have to come back to hot and humid Texas right now... really. Wish I was one of the fortunate ones that could just come and stay here all summer long. Oh well... life is what it is! Luckily, while we will start making our way back to Texas tomorrow, I still have another week of vacation so all is well!!

Here are some pictures of the last couple of days. Thursday we went into Crested Butte and wandered around. Pretty little town.

Yesterday, we went back to the area Travis took us too and had a great time! I caught and released 5 brookies and Dad caught more than that and kept 5. John didn't have quite as much luck as we did yesterday but we think he is at a disadvantage as the fish can see him coming a lot easier! :-) We had a lovely picnic lunch along the river and it was nice and cool. Gotta love it!
Here are the composites of the pictures I took yesterday! Enjoy!

We are going to have a big ole fish fry tonight!! YAY!

Crested Butte & Taylor Park Web Size-1

Crested Butte & Taylor Park Web Size-2

Crested Butte & Taylor Park Web Size-3

Crested Butte & Taylor Park Web Size-4


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fishing... Fishing and more fishing....

We've been fishing! That's what we've been doing.

Our first day was at Spring Creek and while it was beautiful there, we were not successful in catching any fish. However, we did have a lovely trout dinner from some of the fish the boys caught earlier at Quarter Circle Circle Ranch. Yummy stuff!!

Pictures from Spring Creek:

Fishing at Spring Creek 072010

Yesterday, we had our fishing day with Travis. He's the owner of High Mountain Drifter Guide Service. My parents and Perry have been using his guide service for the last couple of years and he's a really nice, cute and good guide!

We wanted to do a walk/fish trip vs a float trip because we wanted to keep some of the fish for eating. Floating around here on either the Taylor or Gunnison Rivers is fun, but is catch & release only so no keeping and eating! So.. Travis took us WAY WAY far up in Taylor Park and probably more north out of Taylor Park really. We think we finally stopped at about 10,500 elevation where there were some absolutely beautiful creeks and beaver ponds and the fishing was excellent.

We all caught a ton of fish. Many were really small and we put them back, but we ended up keeping 19 of them, mostly brookies and one cutthroat. I caught the largest of all!

There was a lot of walking, climbing, maneuvering around holes and creeks, walking through dense areas of willow and who knows what else. I kept having to remind myself there are no poisonous snakes this high up in Colorado because you really couldn't see a lot of what you were walking on or through. Just kept praying there would be no bear just pop up his head while I'm out there. :-)

We are a bit on the tired side today from yesterday's adventure, so we are going to wander our way into Crested Butte to do a little shopping. Later!

Here are some pics from yesterday:

Fishing with Travis Page 2-1

Fishing with Travis Page 2-2

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 1 - Harmel's here we come!

This was our (well, my!) first full day in Colorado and let me say, it was quite nice. I can't recall if I mentioned what we did last night (Sunday), but we went to Garlic Mike's for dinner which was really good! Italian (if you couldn't guess) and sitting right on the Gunnison River. Was nice!

This morning, we lazily got up, had some breakfast at the great Holiday Inn Express breakfast bar and packed up. Even gave some lessons on Facebook to my dad AND helped him to set up an account. He's a cool facebooking 72 year now! LOL

Once packed, we hit Gene Taylor's Fly shop to get my fishing license, then the grocery store for provisions, and then made our way to Harmels. We got here about 1 pm and our cabin was ready! This is quite a nice place - not luxurious - but nice. Our cabin is facing the Taylor river, you can hear the river sitting on the porch. It was a bit on the hot side again today at about 87 degrees or so. That's pretty hot up here and remember, there is no AC, so we sat outside in the shade under the porch. By about 4:30, we got our fishing gear on and took the few steps to the Taylor River in front of us. Dad hung out with me to give me some lessons and I had one strike. Nothing else, but I did get some good practicing and I sure did look good! So did John.

Dinner tonight was care of the very popular Harmel's BBQ - steak/crab night cookout. Lots of other folks in a nice clearing with a accordion musician and polka music. Was a fun time! John ate TONS of crab. His portion, mine and Dad's since we only had steak. Picture below of the damage!

After dinner... Dad wanted to learn more about Facebook, so we had a few more lessons and even a funny conversation with my sister, Stacey!

Pictures - most are on my Flickr website HERE and a few below!

Ok - we're getting ready to hit the creeks again today.. fish beware!!

"Stinky Boys" Trip - a few pics

Colorado Trip -IMGP1492-2009.jpg

Colorado Trip -IMGP1494-2009.jpg

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This is apparently the "mountain" they climbed down to get to the creek where they fished one day!

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THIS, my friends, is why I don't go on the Stinky Boys Trip!

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These are the fish the Great Fishermen caught!

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Our cabin at Harmels

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This is right in front of our cabin practically!

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Great pic of my Dad!

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Yea.. that's my man!

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Look at me!!

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The fishing couple!

Colorado Boys Faces 8x8
Captured these faces last night! Crazy boys.

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John's Pile O Crab last night!!

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Dancing last night!

Check out the rest of the pics in Flickr! Click HERE!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Travel Day to Gunnison!

After a long day of washing clothes, packing, packing and packing, paying bills and doing Band stuff, I went to bed around midnight. Alarm went off at 4 am!! Yea... that's early and 4 hours is really not enough sleep. Up and ready.. off to the airport by 4:30 ish for my 6:15 am flight out of the Big Airport (IAH). Little Embraer plane (really not a fan of small planes) and 2 hours later, I'm in Denver where I'm writing this at the moment.

Waiting for my next flight on an even smaller airplane over to Gunnison. Oh - how I love little planes. Praying for a calm flight with little turbulence.

Just for the record, the temps here in Denver are pretty much the same as in Houston.... forecasted to be 98 - 100 degrees today. Yuck!! Gunnison - luckily, is not quite so hot at about 86 today and getting a bit cooler the rest of the week, with Almont (where we'll be) another 4/5 degrees cooler then that. Thank goodness... hate it when I'm trying to escape heat and just transfer myself from one hot place to another!! Our cabin in Almont doesn't have A/C (I didn't realize this btw) which is not a problem during most of the day and evening when the lows are in the 40's with highs around 80. We'll probably be outside most of the days, so probably not an issue.

Excited to see my husband and dad in just a bit and catch up with the survivalists and see if they managed to catch any fish.