So...it's back on the wagon on this second morning of a brand-spankin'-new-year.
I fell off HARD these past few weeks--too much sugar...fat...carbs...potatoes...butter...heavy whipping cream.
And...that's not a smart lifestyle when diabetes and heart disease swim rampant through my gene pool. When I was pregnant with Jackson, I got the first wake-up call. I still remember sitting on that naugahyde-covered exam table...7 months pregnant...feeling like poo-poo ...and my doctor announcing, "You have gestational diabetes. I'm sending you to our high-risk pregnancy clinic where they'll monitor you and the baby, and teach you how to check your blood sugar levels, and what and when to eat."
The good news...Jackson was (and still IS) just fine. The "bad news" the doctor gave me...in the delivery room, no less...is gestational diabetes means that, if you don't eat healthy, exercise, etc., etc., etc., then you will usually have full-blown diabetes about 5 years down the road. And...just the memory of sticking my finger all those times for the remaining 2 months of that pregnancy was enough to make me straighten up and fly...eat...wog (walk/jog) right. Not to mention the memory of watching my sweet daddy shoot himself up with insulin three times a day...everyday...for the last few years of his life. (By the way, I NEVER heard him complain.)
So...in lots of ways, that "bad news" the doctor gave me turned out to be good news. (Isn't that true about so many "bad" things that happen to us?)
All this to say that I'm back on the wagon this morning. Wanna join me? Here's what breakfast on the wagon looks like:
Now, most people wouldn't use the word "connoisseur" to describe me. BUT...I consider myself one of those about two things--yogurt and coffee. And, for the money, I'm of the opinion that Voskos Greek Yogurt is the best on the market. It is non-fat, gluten-free, and the Greek Honey flavor has the LEAST carbs (17g) and MOST protein (14g) of any I've found. Here in Knoxville, I buy it at Kroger, where I often find it on sale for $1 each. (When that happens, I stock up.) I also throw in a few walnuts, for a bit more protein (which keeps me "full" longer) and for the good kind of fat. I've also found that it works best if I go ahead and take my multivitamin and fish oil first thing in the morning. (Thanks to my body-smart-brother-in-law, Shawn, I discovered CorOmega3 fish oil, which--I PROMISE--you will NOT feel like you're about to birth a salmon through your mouth. Two teaspoons of this oil gives you 3000mg of fish oil...plus 2000IUs of that up-and-coming-rock-star-vitamin, "D." I buy it at Walgreen's.) I've also recently started taking "Alive! Once Daily Women's 50+ Ultra Potency," which...trust me...has so much good stuff you wouldn't want me to list it here. (For all you purists, I realize there are probably even better supplements out there, but...I'm a bit lazy, AND these are easy...AND don't hurt my tummy.)
Finally, I wash all this down with the elixir of the gods...COFFEE...(Confession--often, the last thought that runs through my brain before I go to sleep is, "I get to have coffee when I wake up.") Before you judge, you should know that my body-smartiac-brother-in-law and his honey have confessed that they do too! And... most current research indicates that coffee--in moderation--is GOOD for you...so there...Anyway, after trying just about every single brand on the shelves--yes, even Starbucks (YUK!)--my coffee-loving clan agrees that Dunkin Donuts and Eight O'Clock are...by far...the winners...with Dunkin Donuts slightly ahead. While Dunkin Donuts is a bit pricier, you can find BIG bags of it at Sam's or Costco, and Kroger often puts it on sale. (But, I do have to tell you that my friend, Dawn, gave us a can of "Trader Joe's Smooth & Mellow Blend" for Christmas, and it's pretty yummy.)
So that's breakfast on my on-the-wagon-low-carb-lifestyle. And, to be honest, it's the easiest meal to plan. It tastes good, and I don't get bored with it. (The years of keeping diabetes backed into its nasty little corner have given me the motivation to think of food as "fuel" instead of seeing it as some sort of reward, comfort, etc. And, when I "listen" to my body, it tells me that 30 minutes AFTER I eat that chocolate-chip muffin, I'm gonna feel like going back to bed.)
For the rest of the day, I try to make sure that I have high-protein, low-carb groceries on hand. My favorite lunch--which I typically eat 5 days a week--is 3 to 4 pieces of deli-sliced turkey wrapped around a slice of cheese, which is wrapped around 2-3 pieces of hot pickled okra. (YUM!) My favorite dinner--well, really it's my guys' favorite--is spaghetti; all I have to do is leave off the noodles and add a lettuce-tomato-cucumber salad with REGULAR ranch dressing (no croutons, of course) to make it low-carb. (FYI...most low-fat dressings are packed with sugars.)
If I HAVE to have a snack, I've acquired a taste for Almond Butter (which is WAY BETTER for you than peanut butter), and I try to make sure apples and oranges are always on the counter. (NO bananas....)
Oh...and I could not make it through the day without sparkling water--ALL the bubbles with NO aftertaste! I LOVE "White Rock Sparkling Seltzer Water," which I find at Ingles. But... truth be told...now that I'm used to them...I've never met a seltzer water I didn't like.
I'll admit...it would be next to impossible to keep this up for the rest of my life IF I didn't let myself have one Carb Day every week. Saturday is my usual carb day, since my guys and I LOVE Saturdays. (Most Saturdays, I still start out with my yogurt-and-coffee regimen, just 'cause it makes me "feel" so good.) I've come to truly believe some words I first heard in early 2012, "It isn't fat that makes us fat; it's carbs that make us fat."
So...feel free to jump on this low-carb-lifestyle wagon with me.
But...for now...I have to quit typing and go dust off that treadmill.
Before I go, here are a few more words from one of my favorites to help me remember my "first job" each morning (even before coffee). One of my 2013 goals is to be more intentional about this "job":
"The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning, when all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals.
And, the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice,...letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day.
Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.
We can only do it for moments at first. But, from those moments, the new sort of life will be spreading through our system: because...now...we are letting Him work at the right part of us.
It is the difference between paint, which is merely laid on the surface, and a dye or stain that soaks through.
He never talked vague, idealistic gas. When He said, 'Be perfect', He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the full treatment. It is hard; but the sort of compromise we are all hankering after is even harder--in fact, it is impossible.
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."
(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book IV, Chapter 8)