In Trust Your Gut this week, I am going to explain how I am changing the way I think, in the hopes of helping you to change the way you think. The story starts at an appointment I had, about a week ago. I have started seeing a Diabetic Case Manager, and I was attending my second appointment. I like her. She has a no-nonsense attitude, backed up with a lot of valuable information.
When I was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it was November 1999. I remember the time because it was the day I found out that I was heading towards a path filled with needles and insulin. I tried to fight it as hard as I could. I now take 2 types of insulin, totalling 5 needles a day.
We talked about changing one type of insulin to a newer type of the same kind. It is made up of smaller molecules. This means that large doses, like what I take, will use less volume. It also has a longer range of activity. It works in the body longer than 24 hours, as a long-acting insulin. There would be no significant gap between doses. I am interested in trying this option.
Both she and my doctor want me to try another option. There are other injectables that help diabetics, and some help you to lose weight by suppressing your appetite. One of the side effects, nausea, has me concerned. I am not quite convinced about this option.
This discussion led to one about eating habits. This is when I learned about changing the way I think. I have written before about eating or drinking things when they are needed to get out of my house because they are bad for me. I was talking with my Diabetic Case Worker, and while we were having this conversation, I had an epiphany. Most people throw bad things out to get rid of them. My brain tells me to consume them before they go bad, and so that I am not wasting the food or drink. This is terrible, I know. I realized in the appointment that by consuming the harmful food or drink to get rid of it, I am effectively treating my body as a trash can.
Well. Another gremlin has appeared. It must be banished!
I have been working hard to change this way of thinking since the appointment. It is hard to deprogram what is in your genes (sorry Dad, this is the Scottish side of me not wanting to waste anything) to make yourself let go of foods that are garbage to your body. I have been consciously trying to not have junk food in the house because as I have written before if it is here, I will eat it. If it is not, sometimes the gremlins do make me think I miss it, but really, I don’t.
I challenged myself to stop dumping crap into my mouth. I also joined a 5-day hydration challenge. I have averaged 3 Litres and 3 cups of water a day since Monday. I will be trying to keep it up, as it is a good habit, drinking water. The chart said I need 5 Litres a day to lose weight. I am working my way up to it.
Lesson learned this week, my body is not a garbage can.
It has been a while since I felt up to writing a regular Blog story. I am sorry if you were missing me and my writing, I needed a break. I was on a really good streak there, for over a year. Some people write their Blog stories ahead of time. I usually sit down and pound it out on the keyboard right before I publish. It could be an hour more or less, and I usually come up with a title, topic, and story. This week I am going to share something a little different in Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story. Part 57 Prep Cooking Tips is going to be a top 5 list of my own Prep Cooking Tips!
I have written about the importance of prep cooking in my own journey to become a healthier version of myself. I have found that I am less likely to eat unhealthy if I take the time to prepare healthy choices for my lunches, and sometimes even breakfasts and suppers. Everyone deserves a treat now and then, as long as it is within reason. I tend to give an inch and take a mile or ten. So, I know that prep cooking works, and I must get back into the habit of it.
I had plans last weekend but I got sideswiped by an unexpected injury. I was walking, which is supposed to be something that is good for me. I somehow managed to pull some muscles in my foot. I was in a lot of pain for 3 or 4 days. I am taking fewer painkillers now, and hoping that the weekend is nice. I am going to plan a short walk. I have to build up my tolerance a little more slowly, as it has been some time since I walked for longer than it takes to go get groceries. Now that I am on the mend, it is time to start walking a little more each day. It is a plan.
These tips may seem like common sense to more experienced home cooks. I think that if you plan ahead the prep cooking will go more smoothly than if you don’t.
1. Determine what type of meal you want to cook. Go through recipe books, Pinterest, and websites. Most of your family favourites can be made in bulk and frozen, to reheat or cook when you are ready to eat them. Write down the recipes in a planner for when you are going to eat them if you want to be really organized. People plan meals by the week and month. There are lots of guides for this online, depending on what suits your fancy. Since I am a fan of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, when I get serious, I will be planning according to their guidelines. You can make this as simple or as complicated as you like. The more effort you put into this, the better results you will get. It is up to you.
2. Now that you have recipes selected, write down your ingredients list. Include everything for each recipe. Then check your cupboards and pantry for the ingredients that you have on hand, and cross them off the list. The remaining items will become the start of your grocery list. If you are feeling like you have extra time, go through the fridge and cupboards and toss the expired items. It will be better to replace them before starting the cooking step, and finding that you need to get more of something that is mouldy or gone bad.
3. Next, you will need to think about utensils, pots, pans and storage. Do you have what you need to prepare and store what you will be cooking? This limits me a bit. We are a household of 2 adults. We live in a mini home. There is not a lot of storage in my kitchen. I have had to become creative with storage methods. I have 2 shelving units and a bookcase in my kitchen. They work for now. I also prefer glass containers for anything that needs reheating later on. So the plastic storage is available, but not used for prep cooking storage, unless it is something that will not be going into a microwave. I also use more Mason jars than I have room to keep organized. They are another way to store soups, salad in a jar, and pantry items.
4. Go to the grocery store to get what you need. This can be pricey the first few times if you are starting from scratch. If you are on a budget, use coupons and flyers. Get as many deals as you can. If you have like-minded friends, TEAM UP! If you have 3 friends to join in, and you all buy enough for 4 batches of a different recipe, then you have 4 meals prepped, and you will have CHOICES! Working together with friends to make homemade healthy meals is a great way to have a productive social gathering! Take turns hosting once or twice a month. Make it a THING, and make it FUN! Have snacks. Get more done faster, including clean up! (This can also be teenagers if they are a part of your family. They won’t be able to help with the budget, but they would be happy to help if it means they get some cookies or a movie night aw a thank you!
5. Don’t Give Up! Start with one recipe, doubled up. Then make something different the next time. Keep building recipes until you have a good variety, and you don’t have to cook for the whole month in one day. Spread out the work over time, and you will have a freezer full of healthy food in a few weeks. When you feel like cooking, make something. When you don’t you have a plan. As long as you keep rotating what you make, it will pay off!
Tonight I made Cheeseburger Pie for supper. It is in a 9 x 13 pan. It serves 6 to 8 people. There are 2 of us. When I have it for supper, I have 2 pieces. When I have it for lunch, I have 1 piece. I will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I plan to freeze one or two portions, for whenever I am craving a burger. Sometimes you just want that burger so bad…that it is good to plan ahead and have a cheeseburger pie portion in the freezer ready to heat and eat. When I want a BigMac or a Mozza Burger, I make Big Mac Salad. With cheddar, it is a BigMac SALAD, and with Mozza, it is an amazing Mozza Burger SALAD. No buns makes it a salad! I even put the sesame seeds on top!
BigMac Salad for Lunch
In case you aren’t on my Facebook, and you want to know what Cheeseburger Pie is, I am going to share a link to the recipe. It can be found with other recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama website, and if you check out the recipe, you can also take a look at the THM plan and other recipes. They even have products for sale there. I am not affiliated, so I leave things up to you. I love the recipes, and I also am happy that I know it is a plan that does work for me WHEN I WORK THE PLAN!
This week in Trust Your Gut I am going to write about defeating inner gremlins. What are inner gremlins, you might be wondering? Inner gremlins are those little voices that whisper negative things to you, kind of like the devil on your shoulder if you prefer that description. I have been doing a lot of work on myself, and this past winter I have been having a hard time. I have difficulty being active in the winter, and I also lack gumption. It could be Seasonal Depression, but it has never been officially diagnosed as such. It does seem to be related to the winter months, and I have noticed a change in this over the last few weeks. I am perking up with the sunshine. Or it could just be an elaborate excuse told by the inner gremlin.
In my journey to become a healthier version of myself, I can honestly say that it has been a lacklustre event since the fall. I have had spurts, but not a long-term plan of action. I think the plans up and talk myself out of them. Or rather my inner gremlin talks me out of them. I want to do things that make me feel better, but I just let lazy Tish win. She is a real pain in the ass. She doesn’t want to put an effort into anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, and she is a real downer. She listens to the inner gremlin and believes what it says. It makes her tired and cranky. Negativity will do that to the best of us. I know in my heart what I need to do, and I just don’t do it. I am perfectly capable of doing anything I want to. I just don’t believe it. Because the inner gremlin tells me otherwise.
Something I am preparing for in my journey as an author is an official author profile picture. I don’t let on that it bothers me. I am in pics all the time. I am morbidly obese. This is something I deal with internally. I don’t want my pictures to show the worst version of me, I want them to show the best version of me. I will take the time to do my hair and makeup, and wear the dress I picked out. I will make myself look nice. That is the plan. But the inner gremlins have been working against me for a while now.
When I moved away from home to go to university, I lived in a dorm for a few years. When I moved off campus, I started a ritual in my bathroom in the mornings. I turn on the water for the shower, and while it is heating I take off my glasses and take a close up look at my face in the mirror. I have been doing this for years. At first, I was just checking to see what I looked like that day and if there was sleep in my eyes or drool on my face from sleeping. Then I started looking and hearing the gremlin whispering, “How do I look today?” Not such a negative thought. It seemed harmless, so I never thought anything else about it.
Until the other morning.
I was taking my morning look, and I heard the gremlin whisper, “How bad do I look today?” I realized the whisper had changed, it was negative and hurtful. It was nasty. I thought to myself, wait a minute. How long has this been what I think when I am looking at myself in the morning? I honestly didn’t know.
This was the first time I had paid attention. I heard it, I recognized it, and I decided that I had to make a change in that thought process right away! I also decided that it was important enough to write about it here, to share this and try to help other people like me.
If your inner dialogue, aka your inner gremlins, are so smart that they fool you into thinking they are harmless, you are just like me. I didn’t even know that they were waging war on my self-esteem on a daily basis. But they were. And they WERE winning.
That is until they whispered loud enough that I actually heard the message. If you ignore them, or you don’t hear them, they can still do damage. They are there, whispering all the negative thoughts, sometimes too quietly to hear. Other times they do what mine did, and the change is subtle, so subtle that they can be missed. If you overlook them, that is where the danger lies, because you are not defending yourself, and you are not taking them seriously. They are nasty little buggers, and they need to be defeated. In this case, ignorance is bliss for the inner gremlins.
After I had that realization, I made a decision. It is going to take me a while to be able to say that I have conquered the inner gremlins, but I have a plan. I am going to say something positive to myself every morning as I look in the mirror. It will take me a long time of doing this to make it feel genuine, that it is real. I have to start somewhere. I hope that it will help me with my goals of becoming a healthier version of myself. I need to not just say that I am worth it, I have to believe it. This is the first step in a new direction on that path.
In Trust Your Gut this week, I’m writing because Something Has Changed! The Shrinker is working! The Shrinker must be working! I am not talking about the scale and the pounds here. I am talking about my metabolism. I feel real hunger again. It can mean different things. My activity level has not increased dramatically. I have started drinking the Shrinker to boost my metabolism. I am choosing to believe that it is what is happening. The only other option is that I am not eating enough. I can’t say I am totally convinced one way or the other on this. I do eat 3 meals a day. I have snacks. I don’t think that is the answer. Which leaves the possibility of the combination of foods I am eating as wrong. I am open to that also.
*Note* My apologies for being so late with this blog post this week. I was having a hard time collecting my thoughts, but I figured it out!
I’ve been eating fewer carbs and more protein. I cannot eliminate carbs completely. I start losing control of my hunger and my sugars when I do that. That is something that makes THM different from protein-based diets like Atkins. I need the balance. I learned today that Keto may be similar to THM. I might look further into that.
I plan some prep cooking on Sunday. It is the best way for me to stay on the plan. It is hard work to live a healthier lifestyle, and that is why it is hard to keep myself motivated. All I can do is my best when I feel up to it, and the rest will fall into place.
Now I am asking myself, what step should be next in my journey? THM experts say to start with one thing, and when you master that one thing, build upon it. I am having such success with the Shrinker, it is time I got serious about my beverages. I am not giving up wine. I am having WAY too much fun learning about different wines, and searching for “the one.” I drink my coffee black, and I also have a lot of fun reviewing the coffees that I try. I am going to go back to the THM basics for this one. I am talking about Good Girl Moonshine, aka GGMS.
With the Shrinker, the oolong tea, cinnamon and cayenne pepper are working together to increase my metabolism. Since I seem to be hungrier more frequently, I can assume that the fuel I am putting into my body is being burned up more quickly. That is what I am hoping is happening. The GGMS has a different recipe, and therefore a different method to how it works.
GGMS in its basic recipe, is water ginger, apple cider vinegar, and optional sweetener of choice. I use Swerve. It is Erythritol, and it does not leave an aftertaste in your mouth. It does leave a cooling sensation, which is different, but not unpleasant. I notice it more when I bake with it, rather than when I put it into my beverages.
People use a variety of different additions to the basic GGMS recipe, to make it their own. My own personal favourite is the Black Cherry Berry Celestial Seasonings tea. I add 4 tea bags to every batch, which is about 1 tea bag for every 500ML of GGMS. That was all I needed to make this beverage tasty.
Apple cider vinegar can have an effect on your teeth. It can weaken your enamel. I have talked to my dentist about it, and as long as I am using a straw, which THM recommends as well as a glass drinking container. It is also important to have water after, to make sure your mouth is rinsed out. You can brush your teeth after rinsing with water if you are really concerned about the enamel on your teeth. I don’t always brush, but I do rinse with water (which most of us do not drink enough of anyway) and because it is supposed to be helpful to losing weight, I don’t spit it out, I drink the water. I am just adding to the benefits this way.
You can find the Shrinker and the GGMS recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama Website, under the Recipes page. Check it out! I can honestly say that I know I feel better, and I start the scale going in the right direction when I am following the plan. If you are more curious, I recommend their books as well. They have several out now, and that includes recipe books. One thing I have yet to try in my healthier lifestyle is to make a recipe that includes okra. That is something I plan to figure out when I get a chance. Trying new foods is an adventure, and I love spaghetti squash, so I’m up for trying new foods on occasion. Sometimes I am surprised, and I like them. Do you eat okra? Do you have any tips for me? Leave a comment below, and it may help me get over the nerves of trying a new food.
In this week’s Trust Your Gut; Push It Real Good, I am pushing myself. I am my own worst critic, and sometimes I am really hard on myself. When I fall off the wagon, it’s not usually a small thing. I don’t do anything the easy way, and I don’t tend to minimize things. When I get back on track, I tend to go all out. Until the next slip up.
I have been working harder to stay on the plan. The scale reflects it. FINALLY! I am happy to say that I am down 3 pounds. That is worth celebrating! A few changes do make a difference. I made it to Zumba twice, and I just finished about 30 minutes of shovelling heavy snow. There is another storm, and I am home first, so I get to shovel as much as I can before my husband comes home. I cleared the steps and walkway and made a path to the street. That took me 30 minutes. At that time, my thumbs usually start getting cold. I learned the last time that if I ignore them and keep going, it will be a painful experience as they warm up. I don’t know if it is caused more by poor circulation, or if it is a side effect of diabetes called diabetic neuropathy. I used to think it was just the one thumb, and although that one does seem to be affected more by the cold.
Diabetic neuropathy can be very painful. I have had nerve pain, and my new doctor is wondering if I am experiencing it because of diabetes. I can’t say for sure. I hurt my thumb that is really sensitive to cold temperatures, years ago, and I always thought that it was a side effect of hitting my thumb. Now I am not so sure, as they were both bothering me tonight.
I also have pain in my right thigh. Not all the time, but it can bring me to tears when it is bad. I have discovered that it is coming from my hip flexor muscles. I have had physiotherapy and acupuncture to try and release whatever is causing it. It is a pinched nerve, so I try and stretch the muscles when I can. I would not wish nerve pain on my worst enemy. Just another reason to keep pushing myself. When I lose weight, the thigh problem may go away. That would be wonderful.
I am a little down this week, as my blog has not been getting as many views as it used to. I don’t know what to think. I do know I am going to keep writing, and hopefully, it will turn around. If you are reading this, thank you. I need all the support I can get on my journies, and I hope in some way I can help people with my writing. The only way to know is to keep on blogging.