March 2017

March 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

5 Pounds Down In 18 Days

As much as I hate it, for the last couple of weeks I've been using my scale to measure my progress. But I only weigh myself on Saturday mornings. As of last Saturday, my weight was down five pounds since I started a more intense low-carb high-protein high-fat diet 18 days ago. Knowing my body and weight struggle, my conclusion is my recent success is mainly due to the severe reduction of carbs in my diet.

I know 18 days is not a long time. But losing five pounds in less than three weeks is a huge accomplishment for me. Since turning 60 nearly six years ago, I've been unable to lose a pound a week no matter how little I ate or how much I exercised.

But I do love potatoes and bread. I also love pasta and fruit. And, on a low-carb diet, it's best to stay clear of potatoes, pasta, bread, crackers, chips, and too much fruit. So I can't say how long I'll accept this life-style change. But I do know losing weight at this pace is extremely motivating!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Score!

I watch a lot of YouTube. I mean a lot. I do all the research and planning for our trips and have found YouTube to be the best resource. It's seriously changed my life and my husband's who travels with me.

If you've ever watched YouTube then you understand how one video can lead to another and another. That's how I ended up watching a lot of thrifters. As a result, I sometimes now visit local thrift stores, but have never spent more than $5 for any one item. That is until today.

I recently redecorated our second bedroom. For years it had a Disney theme because it was where the grandsons took their naps when I watched them full-time as babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. But they've been in full-time school for years now, and I decided it was time to get rid of the primary colors and Disney decor.

After replacing the wall art, bringing up hubby's family's rocking chair from the basement, packing up the stuffed animals for our annual MS garage sale, and moving the red bookcase downstairs, this is what it looked like –



I was very happy with the result, especially since I hadn't spent any money at this point. But I did want to eventually replace the lamps and get a small dresser or chest. I was determined, however, not to spend too much money. And I succeeded.

First I replaced both lamps with two I already had. They both where in different rooms before, but look much better in the second bedroom now. Then today, thanks to a FaceBook post, I got a nice wooden chest at a resale shop for just $50!

I'm definitely starting to appreciate the thrill of thrifting. I just wish more shops would post items online, making it so much easier to score a deal without wasting a lot of time. That surely is the future of thrifting, right?

Here's our new addition. Perfect fit. Perfect color.





Friday, August 25, 2017

Good News!

After a month of waiting, yesterday we finally got the results of hubby's Oncotype DX prostate cancer test. His cancer is "very low risk" of growing or spreading for many years. Specifically for the next 10 years because that's as far out as the test can predict at this time. What a relief!

We now can consider all treatment options, including "active surveillance," which initially means another biopsy in six months. If there's no change at six months, then a third biopsy will be scheduled two years later. However, as soon as Medicare approves prostate cancer MRIs, that procedure will be prescribed as additional confirmation. A MRI will also show exactly where the cancer is, making radiation therapy extra efficient.

For sure hubby wants to avoid surgery, which is why he may decide on radiation therapy immediately. I'm leaning toward "active surveillance," because, as the doc said, new tests and treatments are being developed all the time.

Whatever's decided, we are both feeling a sense of relief even though we'll be living with this "thing" for the rest of hubby's life. I honestly didn't realize how much hubby's diagnosis was affecting me until last night when I finally slept soundly for 11 hours!

We can now look forward, dreaming of and planning more travel adventures. First up, the New England and Canada cruise next month – so excited!


Friday, August 18, 2017

Intermittent Fasting – Update #5 (Final)

This is my final Intermittent Fasting update. Things are good, but I don't think there will be any more changes.

Bottomline, as I've been told for decades, it's a good idea not to eat past 7:00 PM. My personal goal is to stop eating at 6:00 PM and to eat breakfast no earlier than 8:00 AM. So most days I fast 14 hours. It's not unusual, however, for me to fast longer, pushing breakfast later if I get sidetracked doing chores or research online.

As a result, I continue to sleep better. Plus it's easier to stick to my daily calorie goal. Prior to IF, I consumed 200-300 calories in the evening. That no longer happens, making meals more enjoyable. For the most part, I never exceeded my calorie goal, so before IF those 200-300 calories were taken from a more satisfying lunch or dinner.

I don't attribute any weight loss to IF. For me I think weight loss will only come by greatly reducing the amount of carbs and sugar I consume. I so wish that weren't the case.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fall Cruise

We've enjoyed our recent coach tours (2016 in Eastern Europe and 2017 in Italy), but I did have a problem with my legs and ankles swelling from sitting on the bus for hours after long days of walking and standing. So we decided to see if we still enjoy cruising before planning another overseas trip.

The last time we cruised was over 30 years ago with the kids, and we had a great time. Since then, however, my claustrophia has gotten worse. But I'm determined to overcome my fear. So, armed with Xanax, we're taking a seven-day cruise of New England and Canada on the Crown Princess in September.

Crown Princess
One of the nicest things about this particular cruise is there's only one sea day. The rest of the days are spent in different ports, allowing me to get off the ship. And the sea day is at the end when I imagine I'll be ready to rest and relax.

7-Day New England & Canada Cruise
Another big plus of this cruise is it embarks and disembarks in Brooklyn, New York. Our son's family recently moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, so I'm excited to see our granddaughter the day before sail-away.

I'm also excited about each port. Boston is the only city we've visited before. But even in Boston, there's plenty of new areas for us to see. And it'll be hubby's first time in Canada. He's excited to be able to check off yet another country.

Of course there's no guarantee the leaves will be changing by mid September. But, for me, that would definitely be a highlight!


Monday, August 14, 2017

Spiralized Zucchini

For dinner tonight, I spiralized zucchini for the first time. I used the OXO Hand Held Spiralizer, which was super easy to operate. Best of all it's small and goes in the dishwasher.

I cooked the spiralized zucchini in a skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil and garlic salt. After plating, I top it with grated parmesan cheese.

It's not pasta, but it's a great low-carb substitute. And, unlike cauliflower rice, there's no smell!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Eating Low Carb Is Not Easy

Since Tuesday I've lowered my carb intake by half. That means my diet has been higher protein with less fruit and even more vegatables. I know it's only been five days, but this seems to be working. In that short span I've dropped 3.5 pounds.

Granted I've also been taking in 225 fewer calories daily, dropping from a previous goal of 1675 to my current target of 1450. But I've been on this weight-loss journey long enough to know my recent success is primarily due to eating low carb.

Thank goodness for the motivation of having lost weight, because backing off carbs has not been easy. I miss fixing dinners with noodles and pizza shells, which was my go-to for using a lot of vegetables.

After some research, my top low-carb dinners for the past week included cauliflower rice and butter chicken. Here's a shot of my cauliflower rice served with half an avocado and skinless-boneless chicken breast slow-cooked in the crockpot with salsa:


The cauliflower rice was delicious but the smell was almost unbearable. Hubby said it was worth the smell, but I'm not sure.

By far my favorite protein of the week was the butter chicken. I forgot to take a picture, but click here for the recipe. It was super easy to make and turned out incredibly moist with a nice crunch. Keep in mind low-protein diets are also higher in fat.

This week I plan to do something with spiralized zucchini. I've heard it's a nice substitute for noodles. We'll see. At least it shouldn't smell as bad as the cauliflower rice!




Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lab Results

My doctor requests a Complete Metabolic Panel as well as a Lipid Panel every six months. My most recent blood draw was this past Tuesday and I got the results today.

All my numbers were great except for a low sodium level. Not to worry and we'll just keep an eye on it. It was suspected it might be due to the diurectic in my statin. But, since I've been on Crestor for decades, I'm not buying that theory. My immediate thought was I'm drinking too much water.

Earlier this year I began drinking two to three times more water. Previously, I never took in the "recommended" amount and decided that needed to change. I was thrilled with the results. Gone was the leg pain I suffered every time I got up from sitting. It was amazing!

But now I suspect I might be over doing it. After getting the results, I immediately did some online research and here's an example of what I found: Risk of Drinking Too Much Water. Interesting stuff, especially the part about – ". . .if you feel bloated or have actually put on weight based on how much water you consumed, that also indicates you drank too much."

Over the last several months I've been bloated more than I remember ever being in my entire life. I've also been putting on weight despite counting calories and working out. May not be related to my water consumption, but it's certainly something to consider. Could it be "too much of a good thing" also applies to water?

Another number that caused me pause was my total cholesterol. It's currently at an all time low of 162. So, for me anyway, bacon is not the enemy. As part of my high-protein low-carb diet, I've consumed more bacon in the last 10 weeks than I did during all of the previous 12 months.

It's been a good day health wise. I even dared to weigh myself this morning to find I had dropped two pounds. Could be short lived, but right now I'm enjoying the moment :)


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Intermittent Fasting – Update #4

I'm still fasting longer than I used to before beginning this program, but recently not as long as I prefer. Before our last vacation, I was fasting 15 hours. Since we returned, I've been fasting 13-14 hours. My intention is to get back to a 15-hour fast within the next few days, because that works best for me. I feel better and sleep sounder.

I'd like to report that I've lost weight or inches by Intermittent Fasting, but sadly that's not the case. In fact, I'm currently even more frustrated with my weight. I had my six-month check-up yesterday and found I gained two pounds. (I only weigh myself at the doctor's office.) I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but it means I'm now 8-10 pounds from my satisfactory weight.

What to do? I've dropped my daily calorie count from 1600 to 1400. I'm also eating even more low-carb and high-protein. And there will be no more infrequent sugary treats until I lose five pounds. Plus I'm mentally working on getting myself to take a 20-30 minute neighborhood walk before breakfast. But that's a tough one. I am not a morning person!

I don't know why losing weight as a senior has to be so hard. Whatever happened to simply burning more calories than you take in? I'll say it again. Aging is a lot of work!

Click here to learn more about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back Home

We got back from Florida mid-morning last Saturday. Here's an excerpt from a recap I posted on FaceBook:

Just back from another week on Sanibel Island with our daughter's family. It was the Jorgensens ninth year at Sanibel Moorings, and eighth year for Jim and me. (Last year we chose to stay home in case our newborn granddaughter needed us.) I spent my water time pool side, finishing two books. Most mornings it was just me and a couple of feathered friends. 😂
It was a good week that flew by and now we're all looking forward to next year's visit.

Just me and these two at the pool in the mornings.
Daughter and family.
Can you tell Jonah hates family photos?

No problem getting Jonah to  smile for this shot.
Me and 11-year-old Elliott.
Can't believe he starts Middle School in a couple of weeks :(
Iconic Sanibel Island light house.

We got home just in time to rescue Reya from the trauma of packing. Per usual, her parents were not at all organized and Reya was not handling any of it very well. Honestly, I had hoped all the packing and moving would be over before we got home. I just knew it would be a circus.

But I suppose I'm happy to have had a last afternoon with my only granddaughter before her crazy parents move her to New Jersey. Our relationship will never be the same and that makes me very sad. I'm doing my best not to dwell on it but it's very hard.





Hubby and I will be in Brooklyn one night before our New England/Canada cruise in September. (More on that in another post.) I'm hoping nothing keeps my son from meeting us for dinner so we can see Reya. But he's nothing if not unreliable, so we can only hope.

No updates on hubby's prostate cancer. Our next meeting with the urologist is late August when treatment will be discussed.

In the meantime, I've been taking it easy until my daughter's family returns from Florida on Thursday. (They extended their vacation with a trip to Disney World.) When they return, I want to spend time individually with each grandson before school begins on August 16. After that my days will be planned around meeting the school bus every afternoon.

That's my update as summer winds down and I get more and more excited for the return of my favorite season, fall, which I feel starts Labor Day Weekend. Let the countdown begin!