Category Archives: Food

Medications and Weight Loss

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How is my new eating plan going, you ask? Please don’t ask right now.

My doc changed then increased my antidepressant med a few weeks ago. I’ve been dealing with sleepiness during the day. I’ve tried taking this drug (generic Effexor) at night instead but to no avail – I still get daytime sleepiness.

I figure it will pass. It almost did – until the doc increased the dosage a few days ago.

Having Bipolar means I’m on an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer, both. They work together to make me feel much better and more “normal.”

It hasn’t been good for my weight loss, though. I gained back what I’d lost and gained about 6 more pounds. Ugh!!

I’ll chalk it up to meds change and not beat myself up about it.

I’ve been eating well, however. I love veggies, fruits, and lean meats. I made brown rice last night with roasted carrots and a small, lean cut of beef. I still find myself hungry much more often than usual. It’s infuriating. I’ve learned to grab grapes for a quick snack or other fruit.

Do you take meds that mess with your weight or that may cause other health issues for you? It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

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I need to go and exercise but am so freaking sleepy I wonder if I can raise my head from this couch pillow. I will push myself . . . see where it gets me. It will either give me energy or I’ll be ready for burial. LOL!

Love y’all!

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Weight Loss and Yo-Yo Dieting! Help?!

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January is cold, windy, and it gets dark early. January means putting away holiday ornaments and decorations. This month also promises that February will sprout forth crocus and daffodils to remind us that spring is coming in March and April.

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Nature’s cycles remind me that I, too, have cycles – but they have not been so “natural” for me. I yo-yo diet. I hate it but it’s true. Last year at this time, I was 25 lbs lighter than this year. The meds I take for ADHD and Bipolar probably have a bit to do with the weight gain but the rest is my hand-to-mouth mistakes and lack of moving my body.

I’m thinking about spring approaching soon, and I can’t take another summer of being fat. It’s so uncomfortable, and the clothes I have are ugly and too snug.

I’ve been trying to diet and lose about 120 lbs since just after Christmas but to no avail. I lost 10 and gained it right back. Grrrr!

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I can’t let meds’ side effects and low willpower keep me from my goals!

I have ideas.

  1. Exercise even when I feel fatigued (it’s the meds and extra weight making me tired)
  2. Journal EVERYthing I eat. Even one Hershey’s Kiss makes a difference.
  3. Plan ahead for meals so I’m not stuck only poor choices at meal times.
  4. Stay busy (busy mind and hands don’t snack)

Do you guys have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them.

Now, to DO these four things on a constant basis until they are habitual . . .

 

Recipe for Easy Weight Watchers Zucchini Chips –

Oven Baked Zucchini Chips
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Yields: 4 servings | Calories: 99 | Total Fat: 3 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 13 | Carbohydrates: 12 g | Sodium: 241 mg | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 2 g | Protein: 6 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2 |

Ingredients-

  • 1 (large) zucchini, cut into 1/8″ – 1/4″ slices
  • 1/3 cup whole grain breadcrumbs, optional Panko
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, reduced fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine in a small mixing bowl, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Dip zucchini slices into milk and dredge into bread crumbs to coat both sides. Note: It may be necessary to press crumbs onto zucchini slices to ensure the crumbs stick.
  3. Arrange zucchini on a non-stick cookie sheet and lightly mist with a non-stick cooking spray.
  4. If using a rack, place rack on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, turn over and continue baking until golden, approximately 10-15 minutes (being careful not to burn). Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.
  5. TIP: Zucchini Chips will continue to get crispier while cooling.
  6. NOTE: For gluten free chips, use gluten-free bread crumbs.

 

Why must getting healthy and trim be so dang difficult?!

Happy January, friends, and have an even better February!

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Reasons I Can’t Lose Weight, and I Need to Lose 120 lbs!

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I’ve heard it several times but never applied it to my own situation. Antidepressants can cause cause weight gain. I wondered why I’ve lost weight in the past but always gained it back.

It hit me yesterday; my doctor changed my antidepressant, and I read the enclosed paper about possible side effects. Issues with increased appetite (sometimes I just graze all day) and subsequent weight gain, there it was in black and white.

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My age also contributes to natural weight gain. I’ll be 55 in two months. As we age, our metabolism slows. Yet another strike against my attempts at getting thinner and healthier.

Will I let it stop me from shedding this massive amount of weight? You bet your first child it won’t’!

My mantra for today is this: “Stay on track and see results.”

I’m off to exercise. Ugh. Yes, it is only the first part of my new exercise plan, and I still hate doing it. I can hardly wait until the day I look forward to the activity – and I know I will. I’ve been there before.

Love you guys! Here’s to a healthy 2019! Stick with your goals!

 

Motion Creates More Motion. My Weight Loss Strategy.

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Here I am on New Year’s Eve. I visited with friends and learned a line dance called Rockin Cha. It would have been much more fun had my hips not been hurting from the activity. I’m in bad shape . . . like, having had zero exercise in a long time. So, any form of exertion really gets me winded and hurting. I hate this about myself. I’m glad I’m changing it!

I’ve realized something else; as long as I am inactive, I don’t have any motivation to “do” anything, much less move for an extended length of time. I’ve started using one spurt of energy to just stand up and stretch. Then, once I’m up, I focus on the reason I am making this life change. I want to be less limited in my every day life. I want to fit into restaurant booths again. I’d like to go to the movies and not have to hold my arms on my chest so I don’t take up mine AND my neighbor’s spaces on the arm rests. I don’t want my pre-diabetes to become diabetes. I have many, many reasons I want to get healthy). ANYway, while I stretch, I take deep breaths and keep my mind on what my plan is. The plan that will get me where I need and want to be, health wise. I don’t whine about it, I just walk to the elliptical machine – sometimes I’m even barefoot – and slip my earbuds into my phone an let the iTunes begin. I step on the machine and push Start. I go for at least ten minutes but aim for even one more minute than I did the day before (IF I exercised then). Once I’m in motion, I feel full of oxygen and enjoy the music. I feel productive and proud of myself.

So, my dear friends, it’s about making that first move UP and off the couch!

When I get on my elliptical machine, which is my favorite form of exercise, I have no stamina. I only last ten minutes! There was a time I spent an hour on that machine. I get frustrated easily but I know it”s normal and to be expected for the level of fitness at which I’m starting out. I try to give myself a break as I would for anyone else. I have a cute exercise shirt I’m dying to wear but it’s just too small  (it’s a small-fitting 2x) 😦  Fitting into that shirt is one of my beginning goals. See it below:

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I wonder if you have noticed that I haven’t told you my actual weight. I’m being honest with you guys but I can’t bring myself to quote how large I’ve gotten. One day soon, I will have the strength to share that number with you. I’m 5’2, so even a little weight feels like a lot but as I’ve said, I have 120 lbs to lose! I chose the Weight Watchers Online eating plan to help me control the quantity and quality of foods I eat.

I hope to be a contact of sorts with other women or men in cyber land – to show you it CAN be done. You have heard it many times before but I mean to show you – If I can do this, so can you!

Join me if you need to lose some significant weight. Let’s do this together. Feel free to comment and let me know what’s on your mind or what subject you might like me to cover here.

I’m off to grab some lunch. Tuna with crunchy veggies sounds good. Y’all have a great day! Lea

My Big Fat Cajun Life. My Journey With Obesity and How I’m Losing Weight

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That’s me. I look like I have “attitude,” don’t I? Well, sometimes I do. I need to lose 120 lbs, and that affects my whole life. I’ve started a major life-change diet today. I am using the Weight Watchers plan to “get er done.” I intend to exercise daily and lose approximately 2-5 lbs a week.

I thought I’d take my readers/subscribers on my journey. Hopefully, if you need to make a big change in your life, you might find motivation, encouragement, and acceptance here.

I had scrambled eggs and half a banana for breakfast. Here I go . . . Come with!

Lea

 

I Diet. I Exercise. Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

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Okay. I’m being honest here. I tried Atkins/Ketogenic Diet for two months and lost 12 pounds but sticking with that strict of an eating plan was torturous. I had to remain on the “Induction” (introductory) phase so I could lose at a decent pace (I have a LOT of weight to lose, as well). Plus, I stopped losing and stayed the same weight for another month after losing the 12 pounds. So, I joined Weight Watchers for the 1,245,391st time! It’s been five days and the scale has not budged even 1/10 of a pound. That is despite exercising AND watching what I’m eating!

I’m sick of trying SO hard only to see minimal (or no) results. Yes, I take one or two meds that might be hindering my weight-loss efforts but THIS much? So, I’ve decided to stay with the Weight Watchers plan because it offers so much variety and group support BUT I’m doing a “no-no” according to their rules; I’m going to cut my daily calories (or points).

A fat woman using an elliptical machine

I’m almost 54 years old and so age isn’t my friend anymore when it comes to losing fat. I’ve become pre-diabetic but refuse to let myself get any more out of shape. I do notice that carbs make me very sluggish. That is an awful feeling. Sometimes, I have to actually take a nap to get over the sleepiness. It’s ridiculous.

So, instead of 24 points tomorrow, I’m only having 20. I’m sure there are W W leaders and members out there who will chastise me for trying this but SOMEthing has to give. I’m already exercising every day. I’m also still refraining from desserts, sweets, regular sodas, and things made with white flour, rice, or pasta. Whew!

A fat woman using the treadmill to lose weight

 

I’ll keep y’all up to date on how it’s going. I WILL find a way out of this fat-trap I’m in. I’ll share it here with you, too! Honesty all the way.

Anyone have advice for a fed-up fat woman? I’m going to Cozumel in November! This is my time to lose unwanted pounds. I have 8 months.

 

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Love you guys, Lea

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Low Carb Flu? Get Back into Ketosis.

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Have you recently begun a low-carb diet and are feeling MORE fatigued than usual? Having a few muscle cramps, brain fog, dizziness, or headache? Ready to throw in the towel and chock up this eating plan as another failure? Don’t give up right now! It’s likely what we call “low-carb flu.” It is a state of transition. Your body is adjusting to burning fat instead of carbohydrates, and it will definitely pass. If you lowered your carb intake markedly, you are inducing ketosis. Soon, the opposite will be true, and you’ll be brimming with energy. Really!

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Once you have cleaned your body of sugar and junk foods that had nothing but empty calories, your life will be much more focused, and your body will join your brain in a state of clarity.

But for now, you need help getting through the low-carb flu (no, it’s not a true flu with fever, etc). Try eating more fat since it’s key in this way of eating. Fat is not the enemy as was once preached. Read a few up-to-date nutrition articles from reliable sources. You’ll see that low-carb, higher fat, and low carb eating is what our bodies thrive on. It can be difficult to make the switch after decades of believing the other way. If you fuel your body with fat instead of carbohydrates, it will adjust to burning fat instead of sugars and empty carbs. The energy you’ll experience will be SO worth your living this diet. Think mayo, cheeses, butter, steak, chicken with the skin on (not battered), half and half in your coffee, avocados, nuts, and sauces without sugars but with fat as a base (ex: Hollandaise sauce).

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In addition, be careful how much protein you consume. About 4-6 oz a meal is plenty. Your body might decide to convert protein you are eating into sugars and burn those instead of the fats. Balance is key.

You’ve heard that drinking water is vitally important to feeling your best. It’s even more important when you are on this type of eating plan. However, you flush away electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, sodium) when you drink good amounts of water. So, take a multi-vitamin every day. Also increase your sodium intake. I know, we’re flying in the face of recently-modern medicine but it’s now been researched and is becoming the norm given by health professionals.

 

Another idea if you are in a low-carb flu is to avoid sweeteners. They can cause cravings by their sweet taste.

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One last idea – move! It may be the one thing you do NOT want to do right now but just move a little. Just walk at a slower pace, and encourage yourself to do something besides lay around.

When you’ve eaten, had a drink of water, taken your multivitamin, and followed other actions to combat the low-carb flu, sit back and look forward to energetic days ahead!

Love you guys! Hang in there. It’s only temporary. Remember . . . good-bye sugary junk and hello new, healthy life!

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Carb-Sensitive? Want a Low Carb Diet?

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The above photo shows what many, many health professionals still believe should be a staple of our diets for breakfast, lunch, dinner, even snacks. Have you taken a look at the Food Guide Pyramid lately?

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Please don’t take this guide seriously. I’m living proof that this way of eating is NOT healthful for every adult. Too many carbs. They are telling us that they majority of our eating should contain carbohydrates. After decades of fighting my overweight body (yet using doctor-recommended and professionally recognized “well rounded” diets), I figured out why I didn’t feel well most of the time and why I couldn’t maintain weight loss.

I tried a very low carbohydrate way of eating. I felt 75% better after just the first day!

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I have several low carb eating plans but stayed with Atkins because it was more familiar and because I needed the structure of their Induction phase. I used to think that the more variety I was given, the better I could work the diet. Not so this go round. I went a different route, and it’s working well. After reading much research on carbohydrates, I realized I was likely carb-sensitive. Another phrase that stuck with me was Insulin Resistance.

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What is carb sensitivity? It’s How your body processes sugars and starchesSome of us can down a pint of ice cream and not be affected. Others, like me, can eat a half a cup and stall their weight maintenance. I know, it’s not fair but that’s life. All bodies are not created equally. “Carbohydrate-sensitive people have exaggerated responses to sugars and starches that set the stage for increased appetite, carbohydrate cravings, and very efficient fat storage (Georgia Ede, MD).”

Try a low carb diet and see if it helps you lose unwanted pounds. Fat pounds, not lean muscle. Look up Atkins Diet or the Keto Diet and see if they’re for you. I’m glad I did!

The difference between Atkins and Keto Diets

Good luck on your journey, and enjoy the natural foods you eat.

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Low Carb vs Junk Food Diet

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I’ve made a discovery. I had to choose a path to travel when I approached a fork in the road. Ironic that it’s called a FORK when my diet is what drastically changed. Over the last couple of decades, I made junk food my go-to when I felt stressed, bored, afraid, or whatever other emotion I was dealing with. I was alone a lot in my first marriage and fell to food as a coping mechanism.

You’ve heard this tale before by many others BUT mine hit me square in the face tonight. With hubby number two off at a meeting, I was bored and hungry. Instead of choosing the low carbohydrate foods in my pantry, I turned backward and drove to a taco stand. It sounded so tasty, and it HAD been a month since I’d changed my diet. I deserved one meal I craved, right?

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I crushed the tacos in a bowl and added salsa. I sat down to watch a sit-com  – anticipating the first bite of an old delicious friend, a taco with an actual crunchy shell on it.

Boom! There was the taste. Only it wasn’t what I remembered. It had a stale, kind of burned taste, and the texture of the meat was odd. It was packed together tightly but get this . . . there was almost no taste at all. It WASN’T delicious. It was greasy and bland and not even close to what my mind remembered.

I finished the tacos anyway, secretly hoping each bite would find me enchanted again with my old habit. Nope. So, I ate until I was too full (like I once did) and felt like crap! Within fifteen minutes, I had a headache. I kid you not. MSG? I knew there was no “going back.”

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I had taken a path of clean eating over the last month, and it prevailed. I was both encouraged and disappointed. I didn’t have the old habit I once counted on as my Band-Aid.

Yet, I faced a new path . . . one with a healthier destination.

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I now walk in the light of health and won’t have the old unhealthful habits. I guess that’s one way to quit a habit you hate. It becomes something you detest after a while.

My bare feet take me to a happier and tastier place, and I do enjoy the journey much more than I used to. Soon, there will be no fat, headaches, mood-changing sugars, or any other detriment that I once held so closely.

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I wonder what else 2018 has in store.

Happy February, dear ones ~

Soup-Bowl Cabbage Rolls – Tasty Recipe!

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Prep: 15 minutes   Cook 30 minutes  Makes 4 large servings

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef

1 garlic clove, chopped or minced

1 small head of cabbage, chopped

2 1/2 Cups water

2/3 Cup uncooked long grain white rice

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

In a nonstick Dutch oven, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the next 8 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until rice is tender (25 minutes). Stir in tomatoes and salt. Heat through.

397 Calories, 9g fat (4 sat fat), 56 mg cholesterol, 707 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrates, 6 g sugar, 9 g fiber, 30 g protein.