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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Really, one more thing?

What is up with my stomach, aren't the various aches and stabbing pains I already have enough to do penance for whatever evils I am paying for, do I really need one more thing to malfunction right now? Is it stress, the constant worry I carry around from day to day eating me up inside? Or is it the ibuprofen; my body finally saying enough already?

I go to a 'Neck Class' today at kp, I can only wonder what good this will do. It is the individual evaluation afterwards I  have pinned my hopes on, that maybe a technician has seen this before and knows exactly what I can do to start working towards fixing it.

In the meantime I have logged a lifetime of hours in front of the Olympics in the past few days - Oh to be an athlete again. That is certainly a dream. I want to be able to shoot, I want that piece of me back.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Morning Greens

As opposed to Morning Blues. I have a carrot juice, peach, strawberry, baby greens and flax meal smoothie ready to drink in the car on the way to work. iPod shuffle loaded up with 2 hours of audio book (no I do not wish to discuss the redundancy of that last comment) and my tennys on as encouragement to walk during lunch. It may be a slow painful walk, but a walk it will be. Fridays I downgrade from jeans to yoga pants for the office; I've seen worse.

I finally have the Dr's referral to PT (Physical Therapy, otherwise known as Pain & Torture to those in the know) and have left them a message to set up an appointment. As I type my right shoulder hurts and my right arm zips with various  pains and pins up and down along the nerves - this seems like something that could be diagnosed, no? I'm sorry, I like her and all, but I think I need a new Dr. And I wrote to her as such, which finally got the previously requested PT referral granted.

TGIF!  I am not working this weekend! Will I really get the fridge cleaned out and a juicer on the counter? Only the day will tell.

As I did not wear Fitbit yesterday I wonder where the little bit went!!
 132 steps taken

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Desiring Motion

Do we need goals? For motivation to arise within us does there need to be a catalyst? Science tells us that a body in motion stays in motion - how does it get there? What begins the first swing of the pendulum? Is there a gradual movement that eventually becomes a sway which in turn becomes a cage swinging around and around like the ride I use to love as a child? That ride was all about me; hands on the bars of opposing sides of the cage, shifting my weight back and forth until swinging high enough to breach the top and fall down the other side. Then it was easy, keeping my weight first to one side and then the other until my time was up and I had to let it fall into it's natural back and forth rhythm, it's weight slowing the momentum until gradually coming to rest at the bottom where I had to step out and give up my turn to another. I loved it, I loved accomplishing something, and I had a love\hate relationship with the feeling of cresting the top knowing I was about to fall, then in love again with the speed of the descent.  How this reconciles with the girl who grew up being car sick and not being able to sit on a swing without getting vertigo is beyond me. Maybe because I was in control; I learned in my early 50's that I could tell my brain which way the car was going to turn ahead of the motion and it would keep me from getting so motion sick. That the disconnect was in the communication between my eyes and ears - my brain not translating info from my eyes to my balance center in my ears. Made sense, I tried it, and surprise surprise it worked. That was the same year I discovered I could read in the car by holding the book up in front of me instead of down on my lap.

But back to motivation - I have always been lacking, and yes, whined about it here somewhere more than once I am sure. I want some magical feeling of impetus to propel me forward, to guide me towards fulfillment of my wishes and dreams. I am a hard worker if it's for someone else; helping them seems to give me great motivation. So why not for myself? Why isn't helping myself motivation enough to spin me into action. Is there another disconnect in my brain that I can discover and fix?  And how would I go about finding this, this thing, that is missing so I can compensate for it. I don't think I will find it in a pill.

My brain is trying to connect the messages coming out of my fingertips this morning - from motivation, to being in control of the cage, to finding a solution to my carsickness. I know it is all connected, I know there is an answer in there somewhere.

What did Holmes say? The hunt is afoot?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Last day (30/30)

Day before yesterday: it's all a blur, I forgot to post yesterday - sliding back into the old habit of doing a little gaming before work instead instead of writing. Didn't even think about it until I was leaving for work. Oh well, I almost made it thirty days.

News from the Dr. this morning is, and I quote, 'the heart stress test was ok'. She said we could try physical therapy if I wanted for the shoulder & back pain. Great. Maybe it's time for a 2nd opinion, because I can't keep going through each day in pain. Guess it's time to follow through on at least one intention and get the juicer and see if I can't make a difference to my own health.

Sincerely disappointed this morning, I wanted a clear path forward; it's so much easier to work at something when you know for certain you are making a difference towards a positive result. I guess that's what faith is all about, and maybe it's time for me to have faith in my ability to heal myself.

Maybe I need to find an acupuncturist here in town, it seems to have helped H with his shoulder problem.

 4256 steps taken

O dark thirty .. again (28/30)

Another 4:30am rising. I have this rule about laying in bed; it's fine as long as it's relaxing, as soon as I start thinking about work I am up and out of there.

Yesterday: Water, check.

Breakfast: Green smoothie with carrot juice
Lunch: Sourdough veggie sandwich
Dinner: Caribbean salad at Chilie's
Dessert: Handfuls of cashews

I started lentils and beans in the crock pot yesterday, but the power went out and even with the previous day & night of soaking they were not cooked through when I took them out after 7 hours on high. I'll finish them on the stove this evening for dinner. They smelled wonderful anyway, and I have high hopes that this is a wonderful new recipe. I think I will pop over to whole foods this week to see if they have the black lentils that the recipe called for to have on hand for the next go round.

Three more days of drinking and posting. Has it made a difference? Any difference at all? I am not sure, but only the next thirty will tell.

I'm going back to bed.

Fitbit spent the day fastened to my pajamas. Umph.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crankiness loses it's bloom (27/30)

Yesterday: Water, check.

Breakfast: Sourdough toast with almond butter, flax meal, honey & sliced banana
Snack: Medium popcorn at theater
Lunch: Taco salad, no cheese, sour cream or shell
Dinner: Chopped salad

Saw  Dark Knight Rises yesterday, and knowing it was almost a three hour movie I chose a medium popcorn instead of my usual small. Then to a local favorite for a taco salad. I skipped most of the bad stuff leaving only rice as the loophole in an otherwise healthy list of ingredients. Why, after all that popcorn, I even needed to eat lunch after the movie is beyond me. Or why  I needed dinner last night either; this morning I feel full, swollen and cranky. Of course the cranky part is nothing new, in fact thinking about it I realize that is the landscape through which I experience everything else. For years. What ever happened to 'change your thoughts, change your feelings' or my resolve at the beginning of this blog to get back to being myself and doing the things I love? When did it become a chronicle of unhappiness and woes, or was it always and I am once again on the edge of being sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Certainly the heart stress of the last few months must affect how I feel about the way I live, mustn't it? Or will I take it under my wing with all the other 'oh well' moments I have safely tucked in there.

The desire, MY desire, is to be a naturally happy person, that is the kernel of me, but apparently my candy coated shell is still a rather bitter chocolate. So what is it I really want? Calm and happy comes to mind. I envision the energy and health needed to garden, to hold a book, to go to archery shoots. The oomph to go on camera safaris and participate in holidays, and even just walk the dog.

I did walk her yesterday; just around the block, the pain blossoming in my shoulder and arm and driving me back home before I had barely begun. I use to walk five miles a day, five days a week; I want that me back. Not that I would drag short stuff on such an endeavor, but I would like to at least get her to the pond and back a few times a week. Speaking of stretching her short little legs, I had better do it now before the heat of the day drives away my motivation. (Note to self on future book title, "To the Pond and Back.")
 4352 steps taken

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Linkage (26/30)

Yesterday: Water, probably

Everyone at kp was great, making me comfortable, guiding me through the cardiac stress test in 3 instead of 4 hours. The big surprise was after the actual stress test and before the 2nd imaging session they sent me to eat. This I expected, but not that they would tell me to eat something high in fat and protein, explaining that this would enhance the detail in the image.  Also recommended was more caffeine to flush the stress meds; all that being recounted I can now do my food list with justification in place.

Breakfast: cheese omelette, buttered English muffin and hot chocolate
Lunch: homemade veggie sandwich (yes, more bread!)
Dinner: BEER,  a couple of crackers with guacamole that my granddaughter was sharing with me and another handful of same whole grain wheat thins (very disappointing by themselves but a great crunch) with a pre-made package of  Dal Makhani. Yummy, quick, full of good stuff and best of all comforting.  I do need to add here that the package was only a buck fifty from big lots - great price for a tasty fast food dinner and I will be going back for more. This would be great over dirty rice which I could have ready in the freezer.

Thinking that I need to make my own batch of the luscious stew I had for dinner I found a crock pot recipe online and it's going in the crock pot tomorrow. Today I need to find black lentils so that I can soak them and the kidney beans overnight. Also, to the recipe I will add a bag of baby super greens from Safeway; this should be a  perfect dish in which to hide some extra greens.

 4844 steps taken

Friday, July 20, 2012

kp (25/30)

So busy getting ready for Kaiser (kp) this morning I almost forgot my entry and I have to leave in three minutes.

Yesterday: Water, check.  Food, okay - I'll update later about the yummy sandwich I made for lunch and then again for dinner it was so good.

Barely slept last night so I must be  more anxious about this test than I thought.

Off I go.
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Update: The scans of my heart were beautiful, and the technician didn't see anything extraordinary. Maybe one place where there might be a partial blockage. He says the Dr. will be contacting me, probably within 24 hours, and that it will most likely just be a conversation about food, exercise and aspirin.  I am more determined than ever to do the juice fast I have been preparing for, and even stopped at Big Lots to rule out that they might have one. I have five days to get my hands on one, and if necessary I can drop by Costco one day at lunch.

Sandwiches: Sliced sourdough bread, one side smeared with almond butter and laced with thinly sliced red onion. The other side was layers, in order, of veganaise0 smashed avocado, sliced cucumbers, spicy sprouts and fresh red pepper slices. Throw the two halves together and viola - a wonderful sandwich; I had another one today for lunch. If you have not had a nut butter and red onions together in a sandwich you a missing a luscious treat.
 3998 steps taken

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Still Cranky (24/30)

Yesterday: Water, maybe.

Breakfast: peaches, flax and oatmeal, brown sugar
Lunch: Muffin from Starbucks (vendor gift)
Snack: lemon cake from Starbucks
Dinner: bag of southwest veggies with black beans, green enchilada sauce
Dessert: broiled corn tortillas with jam

My lack of shopping & cooking last weekend has really screwed me up. I am so used to having my veggie soup for lunch and my apple on the way home. I'm up way too early this morning, but since I need to be on the road earlier than usual tomorrow I figure it's okay. Instead of going to work at this ungodly hour I think I need to make myself run down to the store for greens and apples.

I'm sneezing, I don't want to go anywhere or do anything. I wish I could hold a book and cuddle up with Kaylee and a soft blanket and read myself into oblivion. Instead I will sneak clothes out of the bedroom and listen to my audio book while going shopping.

Note to self: you are blessed - literally millions would love to have your life.
 3604 steps taken

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cranky (23/30)

Yesterday: Water, check.
Breakfast: peach and oatmeal with flax
Lunch: veggie sandwich on whole wheat with avocado
Dinner: Potato and veggie patty

I'm not sure which pill I am taking that keeps me awake in the evening, or why my body is not cooperating. The last two days I have been up early, yet when I go to bed I lay there my body hurting and my mind restless. I am not sure what I do during the day that sometimes the pain is worse than others, and I think it might be time to grab another bottle of tylenol pm. I hate to do it, but I also hate the discomfort I am in when going to bed.

It is suppose to be 81 today so I hope to walk at  noon; just a slow stroll around the business park to get some steps in and take a break between two meetings.

I realize this morning that I have unrealistic expectations, that I have fallen into the old mindset that my Dr. will see something from my MRI that will trigger a treatment that will 'fix' my back, shoulder, chest pain. This morning everything seems futile and I shudder to think of the money spent on my 'benefits'. But I know it had to be done, and I know something will come of it.

Well this is a pathetic number, maybe that is linked to the pain. I'll try to hit 5,000 today and see if it makes a difference in sleep too. As it surely should.
 1807 steps taken

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

21 days to form a habit (22/30)

Yesterday: Water, check.
Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over soup
Snack: apple
Dinner: last of lentil soup, chopped salad

While entering the subject line I remembered that this isn't just the 22nd day of my 30 days of water, it's also the 22nd day in a row that I have written here. Not wonderful little snipits, mostly just status updates, but hopefully also the beginning of a habit. Writers should write as a discipline, I've always heard, not just as their whimsy leads them. Of course this might be like the rest of my life - unguided, without plan or path, I might just stumble across a successful publishing. But for therapy, I need it to be more of a discipline so it pleases me I have been consistent in this small effort. My hope is that I am now officially back in the habit of hydrating as well as typing.

I am officially out of greens, I do not yet have a juicer (lost out to an auto-bidder on Ebay this Sunday past) and have yet to clean out the refrigerator - which I really want to do before going grocery shopping. Maybe this  morning instead of going in early to work I can get that much done. Lord knows I am too wretched after  work to do much, if anything, besides prepare dinner. So plan of action today - clean fridge this morning, stop for groceries on the way home including something already prepared for dinner.

The cats are glaring, they certainly know how to get a point across.

No steps recorded yesterday, little Fitbit spent the day resting on his? her? charger. I did walk at lunch, it was painful, but at least I was out moving.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Cometh (21/30)

Yesterday: Water, I think so.  The day passed in a fog, the Lorazepam I took in the morning to keep calm during the MRI seeming to last the whole day long. I was more than a lump on a log, I was the log; old timber fallen ages ago lying heavy, immovable, so much a part of the forest floor as to be indistinguishable from the bedrock upon which it lay so far below. And while I did take a catnap shortly after getting home, upon waking I remained in the big comfy chair and watched the second season of Game of Thrones straight through, only shifting positions occasionally. Strange Day.

The one positive thing I did yesterday was to walk laps around the courtyard while I waited for my turn in the mobile MRI unit. It took about 15 minutes of strolling before the pain forced me to my seat. The technicians running the scan were nice chatty girls, complimenting me on how my grey was streaking through my hair, how they wouldn't resort to covering theirs up if it were pretty like mine. I think the course of 'keeping the patient calm and distracted' must have had a chapter on flattery. Then they scooted me on to the narrow bed, covered me up, braced my head in place, and scooted me in. At first I thought I would count so I could anticipate about when the noise should stop, then I switched to a mantra - four minutes being too long to count - and ended up dreaming of the floor plan my house would have someday.  Someday.

Breakfast: peaches, flax meal, a scoop of left over oats heated up together
Snack: apple
Lunch: Big Mac less beef plus tomatoes
Dessert: a pint of peanut butter & chocolate ice cream
Dinner: deviled egg from7-11

Well, that went well. I am blaming the Lorazepam again, my inhibitions out the window along with my fight or flight response that it is intended to subdue. I wanted something sweet, the sandwich just happened to be in the path between refrigerator and cash register. So  much for my Sunday cooking and office work, for smogging the car or bathing the dog. I grieve for all similar days, wasted to various devils; grief, depression, sheer laziness. What a world, what a world. And here it is Monday again.

 4377 steps taken

Sunday, July 15, 2012

MRI date with Kaiser (20/30)

Yesterday: Water, check.
Breakfast: Steel cut oats, pecans, strawberries, date, brown sugar
Lunch: chopped salad with peach, sunflower seed, vinegar dressing
Dinner: left over veggie soup with bisquick lite dumplings
Dessert: fresh peaches (yum)

Watched the first season of Game of Thrones in between laundry, dishes & vacuuming. Took a ten minute sun bath in the back yard and cuddled a lot with Kaylee. A perfect rest day.

Today I head up to Kaiser for the MRI of my neck, chest and shoulder. I am hoping they find something definitive to treat for this pain. But I imagine that I won't get my follow up appt. with the Dr. until after they do the Myocardial test this coming Friday. In the meantime the pain is a little better than it has been and I'm really taking it easy.  Blood pressure remains low and the only side effect of the meds is a little more muddled thinking than is usual when trying to work.

Time to get clean and prepare for the trip to WC.
 2452 steps taken

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another Saturday (19/30)

Tomorrow I might be buying a juicer on Ebay.  The bid right now is at $49.50 including the $20 for shipping. If that doesn't work out I'll keep looking, there are lots of them up for bid. I suspected as much - juicing is something that sounds like a good idea but I can see where you would get tired of the bother. For me it's about a fast lane to health and then part of an ongoing battle to keep it. I need to clean up inside and this seems the quickest way. In the meantime I need to eat like I speak, I'm such a hypocrite.

Item pictureYesterday: Water, check

Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over veggie soup
Snack: apple, sweet potato fries, vanilla malt
Dinner: quinoa pasta with veggie ragu
Dessert: flour tortilla with pepper jelly rolled up inside

Total stress eating starting with the drive through on the way home after work. I haven't felt that 'possessed' in a while, but given how this week has gone it does not surprise me. I am very stressed about the upcoming MRI and Myocardial whatever test. The fact that I turn to the drug that is highly responsible for my bad health right now speaks volumes about me I think. But when there is stress on all fronts (work, health, family) at the same time it's a little hard to handle. Which is probably part of the reason we humans are getting bigger and bigger - so much stress and so little mainstream relief that does not involve food, drugs or alcohol. We need mandatory Zumba classes or something.

But like most other mornings, today I wake up with the intention to eat healthy. I have a refrigerator to clean out today, and I'm thinking to make some sort of curry flavoured stoup for next week's lunches. I also need to prep lettuce and chopped veggies for quick salads next week to have on hand for dinners. Just the same old weekend chores I guess.

Brrrr....after a couple days at 100° we are back to beach weather - the cold grey  mornings are about the only reason I don't want to live at the beach. I think I could deal with the sand, but not the grey. But a cold weekend morning has me thinking about a hot breakfast. I think a hot breakfast of steel cut oats is in order this morning with pecans and strawberries and flax meal and a touch of brown sugar. I can finish up my water and listen to my audio book while the oats cook - the combo of cooking and listening keeps away the blues, at least for a while. And I do sort of have the blues this morning, because H and I had another disagreement on the phone last night. We are the definition of the catch phrase 'irreconcilable differences' and it's becoming unbearable; watching our slow demise is part of the stress that is literally killing me.

I need Yoga! Or at least the restorative exercise tapes...time to dig them out and put them to use.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dinner Dilemma (18/30)

126/79 - The blood pressure meds have my numbers down; amazing that it's something that works so instantaneously.

Yesterday:  Water, check.
Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over veggie soup
Dinner: sourdough bread with veganaise and sliced tomatoes, strawberry coconut milk
Dessert: small glass of red wine

Frozen strawberries blended up with coconut milk is a wonderful summer treat, almost a strawberry shake it's so thick and yummy. Alanna was here to share the batch and that always makes a meal more fun. I'm feeling a tiny bit guilty about the salt I sprinkled over my tomato slices - my hands swollen this morning and my arm tingly - but I love tomato sandwiches and don't indulge in them very often anymore. I remember when I could go through a half loaf of bread in a day making and eating one sandwich after another for each meal of the day I love them so much. Ahhh, youth.

And look at where my eating habits have landed me. It's more than that, it's the lack of balance in my  life. On one side of the teeter totter is too much food, work and tv - on the other a distinct lack of exercise in the last 8 years since I injured my back. "Do nothing" in order to heal that repetitive back injury should not have kept me from walking, I have no excuse other than laziness and depression. For those couple of years that I walked regularly and took the time to eat well I shaved off enough weight to feel comfortable in my jeans for the first time in years. It felt so good. And then going back to work and the depression at my situation hitting home really threw me for a loop; fast food started creeping back into my life as well as bad choices, and here I am. I would get home exhausted and eat in front of the tv before falling asleep - what a well lived life!

And I'm doing the same thing now - working too many hours, coming home exhausted and in pain, and eating badly in front of the tv before passing out. Breakfast and lunch I can handle, it's the evenings that get me. So I'm thinking I should start making a green smoothie for dinner too.

Just took a break to make sure I still have an active PayPal account (I do) and to find some juicers to bid on (I did). So hopefully Sunday at noon I will get the one I want and can proceed with the plan to start doing juice fasts soon.

Steps yesterday: Fitbit battery ran out, so no steps logged - but it was a typical work day, nothing extra. In fact, until I get the all clear from the Dr. I don't know why I even bother to put it on!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Myocardial Perfusion (17/30)

Imagining something is wrong, and then having your Dr. suspect something is wrong are two completely different feelings. When you do it, there is a back voice saying, 'you silly goose, you're fine'. But when the Dr. starts ordering tests and telling you what to do and not do that little voice replaces it's reassurances with something akin to panic. Or maybe this is just what 'caring' feels like; no wonder I tried giving it up - I do not like how I feel, nor did I like being up at 4am. Oh well, it is what it is. At least H is on the road and I don't have to creep around being quiet.

Back to the business at hand. Yesterday:  Water, check

Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over veggie soup with dark red kidney beans
Snack: apple
Dinner: nuked potatoes with captains sauce & peaches

I worked through lunch and left work after 8 hours. Going home to rest before picking up A I had a call from the Nuclear Medicine lab at Kaiser - my Dr. had requested an appointment be made for me to have my heart scanned after reviewing my ekg from yesterday. Then she sent me an email saying to start taking aspirin  everyday. After calling in and finding out the scope of the test I began to worry a little.  On a positive note, I used H's wrist cuff to measure blood pressure and mine was in the normal range for a change - so the Doc picked the rights meds, that's good.

After picking up A we went by Open Heart to pick up bread to feed the ducks, and they sent me home with two big containers of strawberries - perfect for summer smoothies. We came home to pick up Kaylee, then headed down to feed the ducks - what fun, even with the 100° weather urging us on to hurry up and finish. We tore through a bag of bread surrounded by mostly brown feathered friends then high tailed it back to the car and air conditioning. Home to peaches, apples and Bubble Guppies I collapsed on the chair in front of the fan and didn't move for half an hour - just beat. This, I remind myself, is why I waited for insurance, is why I wanted to be checked out, is why I want to be fixed. This should not have been so exhausting.

This is why I will eat better today, all day, than I have in a very long time. Because if they say I need a stent, then I will balk, because I know this is reversible with nutrition and exercise. And I know that studies show that stents do not reduce the chance of heart attacks. So why not skip the surgery and go straight for the life long cure. I know all about Eat to Live, and while I do try to eat for nutrition, the stress in my left has me reaching for the bad stuff way too often. Time to take control of my life for maybe the first time ever.

Guess where I found the Fitbit yesterday? On the fricken charger of course. Sigh.

 1765 steps taken

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beta Blockers (16/30)

Yesterday:  Water, check
Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: apple
Dinner: left over corn chips, goat cheese & pepper jam with a glass of wine

Doctor Appt.: Blood pressure high, and finally agreed to meds. Oh well, it is what it is. She had me go down to have a chest xray and an ekg, and Sunday I go for an MRI. Then the follow up visit to see if there is anything they can fix to relieve me of this pain I've been living with for the last three months. She wants my triglycerides down, and I agreed to go in  and do blood work in a month. So once again I have 30 days to make a difference. Surprisingly she thought that I could, and I do too. My days are fine, I just need to clean up the evenings. My goal is to put the word out to see if anyone has a juicer I can borrow. Then start doing  'juice fasts' from join the reboot dot com for dinners. I've just printed out a few pages of recipes and for some reason this morning the idea of drinking my meals is very exciting. I am tired to death of eating and the compulsive way that I do it at night.

Still can't find the Fitbit - I imagine walking around Kaiser yesterday replaced any steps that I didn't take at lunch so probably the average 2-3 thousand for the day.

Off to post for a juice loaner!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another disappointment (15/30)

The intent behind my 30 days of water was for it to be a stepping stone to get back on track. To eat better and to move more are the next two steps, and then I knew I would be at a place where I felt I was taking care of myself. That being done I could then do a juice fast knowing I wouldn't rebound afterwards, that I would have good habits to sustain me once I had accomplished the fast and not ruin all my efforts on that front with a dive into a bowl of Mac N Cheese. But I am not staying true to the intent of my 30 days.  Instead it has become a leash that I pull against daily, and I am the dog chained to my good intentions; snarling and fighting to fight free like the beast that I am. Yes, I am drinking all the water I planned each day, but there ends the quality. At least it feels that way after this past week.

When will I learn that when it comes to food what I imagine is rarely what I get. I was so looking forward to the fried fish last night, and I kept imagining the way it had been from Louise's years ago. Instead of square flaky lengths of cod there were flat fillets, and the batter was flatter too, not the wonderful mix of crisp and fluffy that I remembered. And while every indulgence lately has ended with me feeling like crap, I seem to forget that as soon as the next temptation starts wreaking havoc with my neurons upstairs - or whatever drives my obsessive thoughts of food. And all the grease, ugh. Last night about an hour after dinner I started feeling like I had been run over by a truck, and this morning I am heavy and feeling just as flat emotionally as my fish were last night.

I need to get a grip. I need to embrace my plan as the wholesome guide I intended it to be. I need a lot of things apparently, so why can't I want them with my whole heart and follow through?

Yesterday: Water, check

Breakfast:  left over potato dipped in Captain's Sauce
Lunch: left over veggie soup with dark red kidney beans thrown in
Snack: big luscious apple
Dinner: fried fish, onion rings, shrimp & potatoes - and of course Captain's Sauce

My brain is begging for something green this morning, hmmmm - I wonder why! Maybe my Dr. visit this afternoon will help motivate me, which sounds like a cop out, I am the master of my universe, no?

Steps: once again my Fitbit is MIA. I thought I was leaving it in the same place each night but didn't see it yesterday morning and couldn't find it last night. But I didn't walk at lunch, I worked through and came home early. OMG - lol, every little 'bit' helps! I need to find that sucker.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another Monday (14/30)

Yesterday: Day of Rest

Breakfast: orange/mango/carrot juice from the store
Lunch: chopped salad
Snack: crackers with goat cheese and pepper jam
Dinner: green hash ( potato, corn, beans, peppers sauteed with huge amounts of baby power greens)
Dessert: flour tortilla with honey drizzled on it

I made Captain's Sauce yesterday, it's a tartar sauce with sweet red peppers and jalapenos added to it. I used Veganaise to make it; so expensive to use, but then I thought of all those factory chickens stacked up pumping out eggs and just don't want to buy into the industry. Anyway, I could have made the veganaise, but really wanted this recipe to come out right - the flavour was such a strong memory and I wanted to recreate it without mishap. I put some of it on my hash for dinner and it was ever so good. Today we will pick up fish to have with it, so I am already planning a splurge for dinner tonight. Food has become our table of truce -not that we ever sit at an actual table- and my chair is becoming VERY uncomfortable.

The problem right now is that I am using food to stifle my voice; there are things that I need to say and I just can't propel the words out through my clenched lips. Maybe I should write a letter, at this point that would be more kind than my continued silence. I may 'not care' about much in the big picture, but about this I apparently do or I wouldn't be making myself sick with stress. And as is usual my stress is painted all over my face, I look like a teenager this morning with a huge zit on my chin, and scabbed over cancer sores on my lip. I am literally making myself sick. I have known for a while that the combination of sun and peanuts are a serious invitation to cancer sores, yet last week I kept grabbing handfuls of peanuts for a late night snack and laid out in the sun for short periods 'to get in some D' a couple of times last week. Added to the existing foundation of stress and mixed up with a little caffeine and the recipe was complete - not just one but four of the little bastards erupted on my lower lip. I think the water is helping to clear them out quickly, along with my Immune and Serum, but it's still hard to wear this face to work today. Unfortunately I do not have a spare 'me' mask in the closet, and go I must with my wreckage on display for all to see.

Tomorrow I go to a Dr.'s appointment, and I am thinking I might be in a better place mentally to stay on track after that.  I really need a good standing up and brushing off; what a lovely mental image, standing in the middle of a deserted old west town, whacking myself with a large brimmed hat and plumes of dust retreating in great billowing clouds from my sorrow ridden clothes.

I'd better go stretch and cook and leave this maudlin place I am drawing myself into. No steps counted yesterday; I'll go clip on the Fitbit on my way to the kitchen.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

teeter totter (13/30)

Yesterday: water probably, food and exercise not so much. If I had a graph of these 30 days I think it would be slow agonizing spiral downwards in terms of consistency. Which would be great if it were a weight loss graph instead of one charting a goal of upward rising accomplishments. Grabbing my steps off of the Fitbit site i see that I got in more than I thought. While I didn't reach my goal of 5000 steps I did have more than a usual working day. I did work about 7 1/2 hours and accomplished quite a bit; I will lay that at the door of my cup of decaff that was most assuredly NOT. Being the only one there on a Saturday it was quiet, no interruptions to break my concentration, and the time flew like it only can when under the influence of something.

Breakfast: sausage muffin and decaff coffee that wasn't decaff (I'm thinking)
Lunch: left over veggie wrap
Dinner: Kung Pao tofu, veggie chow mein, spring rolls, szechuan broccoli
Dessert: crackers and chili pepper jam

I'm so glad that it's Sunday, that I'm not going in to the office, and that I have some time to regroup and get ready for the next six days. That being said I am already planning a divergence, just a little side trip off my path. I am in possession of a recipe I have been wanting to make for a long time, a spicy tartar sauce, and at some point today I will make it, and go grab some fish from Louisa's  to have with it. Maybe. Depends on if the sauce needs to set up and have time for the flavours (red bell pepper and jalapeno) to meld.

I think officially today's goal is to not over extend my planning and be overwhelmed into immobility.
     Convert a recipe from 3 gallons to a pint, shop for same and prepare
     Clean out fridge, fill with plants purchased at shopping trip, cook a pot of something for lunches
     And Rest

Time to get busy :)

 3053 steps taken

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"It's starting to feel a little better" (12/30)

The birds are up and about and singing in the new day. I don't always hear them in the morning, and I just love it.

Yesterday:  Water check, veggies check, walking check. Lunch was amazing. We walked down to Max's Diner and I had the roasted veggie wrap. It was good, full of spinach, mushrooms, red peppers and a little bit of feta thrown in. But it was the arugula salad that came with it that was amazing. It was full of corn and potatoes, onions and...I don't remember, but tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette and so delicious. I brought half the wrap back to the office and it will be my lunch today.

Yes, working another six day week, but we are almost to the end of the 'big push' and I just need to do it right now. No one is making me, except my own sweet self. Lou Holtz plays in there somewhere, "Do right, do your best, treat others like you want to be treated."  Something like that, but a golden rule that explains how I have tried to live my life. I think I have written about this before, and how I should refine it to read, "and treat myself how I treat others." Or maybe, "treat myself how I expect others to treat themselves."

Bottom line: I feel much better about myself this morning than I did yesterday, I woke up with more energy, and my attitude has been shifted up a notch.  Besides eating better, I am back on my O'Tropin spray morning and night and that may play a part too. I would just really appreciate my mood stepping out of the elevator up here on the 8th floor and resting for a bit before riding the rails up and down again. Mixed metaphor? Oh well, it says it.

Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: veggie wrap & salad
Snack: Oatmeal cookie from Starbucks with nuts and fruit (vendor gift)
Dinner: Veggie patty on bakery roll (last one thank god) with lots of onion & lettuce
Dessert: Nada

Gulped my water down this morning and my hands are swollen, so now we know why lunch was so awesome yesterday. I'll get in some extra water today to flush that out. Off to the races!

 5150 steps taken

Friday, July 6, 2012

I got nothing here (11/30)

Yesterday:  Water, check. Food and walking not so much. Why is it so hard for me to stick to this 30 day plan? I know that in times of stress it is better to eat well and move more - it's just easier to handle all things mental when your body is healthier. I know this from experience, and yet presented with the choice on a daily basis I still take the easy route for dinner instead of the healthy one. This is why having something prepped ahead of time is so important, and it can't be the same something I am eating everyday for lunch. I am desperately low on raw veggies this week and I am feeling the lethargy kick in.

Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over lentil soup & a small order of sweet potato fries
Snack: part of a granny smith apple - i just wasn't enjoying it
Dinner: veggie patty on a bakery roll, side of slaw in commercial dressing
Snack: blue tortilla chips dipped in store bought guacamole
Dessert: handful of peanuts

Of note: the only items I purchased in the last three listed meals were the red onion and 'natural' ketchup that I put on the burger.

I need to run (no, not literally) this morning if I am going to get everything done - and by everything I mean a healthy breakfast,  a healthy lunch, and a clean body. Just the basics can be time consuming - is this really worth having a life when it takes so much of said life just on maintenance? Either divinity really is in the details or I am definitely way out of balance here.

Off to the shower.
 2840 steps taken

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ugh. (10/30)

The only thing I did 'right' yesterday was drink all my water. The 4th of July was a favorite holiday all through my 'growing up' years. But the colour and tone of this particular day changed later in life when it became about...drinking. Not mine necessarily, but everyone else at that particular time of my life with few exceptions hailed this as the party day of the year. It was like the unofficial no holds barred this is our excuse to let go and explode along with the fireworks day. Maybe subconsciously the thinking was that hey, if everyone is looking up, no one will notice all the tomfoolery going on down here. In any case, in the 80's the flavour of this holiday changed from hot dogs to something more bitter and sinister for me. And with H yesterday the only celebrating we did was through food.

I did drink all my water, but skipped breakfast since the house was quiet and I didn't want the angry buzzing of the blender disrupting it. Then at work when I went to refill my bottle, there on the counter of the kitchen was a box of Mrs. Fields cookies. Not big ones, but small half dollar sized morsels, and over the course of the next five hours I had about six. When I reached home there was a bowl of green olive\cream cheese spread to dig into with a box of Ritz crackers. H had created a luscious, salty concoction that I didn't even try to resist, I just jumped in and helped demolish the bowl over the next couple of hours.

Then burgers for dinner - the first one I have had in years - and I was not impressed. I think for me it's all about the condiments when it comes to a burger. Now if I had cooked it out on the grill with the proper seasonings to the proper doneness I might have been singing a different tune, but H cooked mine for me at the kitchen stove and he so rarely contributes to anything cooked fresh in the kitchen I couldn't refuse and hurt his feelings. But it was not the flavourful, juicy patty that I had imagined earlier in the day. And while I was regretting my decision only a couple of bites in, I finished the whole thing. That's me in a nutshell lately, but I'm not going to spend any more time beating myself up about it.

For my contribution yesterday I had picked up a quart of Macaroon ice cream and we split that for dessert. Between the food and the beer I napped and when H woke me up to ask about fireworks I opted for the Macy's show on TV. I had wanted to ride our bikes down to where we might be able to see the display being put on just over the foothills, but that was not going to happen. So I lay like the lump on a log I have been all week and watched a mostly  monochromatic extravaganza that had been taped in New York earlier in the day. So I take full responsibility for this failed holiday, it's all my bad, and just like last year I promise myself that it won't happen again next year.
 2813 steps taken

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day (9/30)

Yesterday: All my water, french fries for lunch, dumplings for dinner. I went with my office mate C for a walk at lunch and we ended up in a diner. I skipped my favorite grilled veggie sandwich with feta on sourdough and asked for a half portion of fries and some sliced tomatoes. The three other times we have been there for lunch I ate all the fries as well as a sandwich so I feel okay about what I ate. Not good, but not beating myself up too much - it's still very stressful at work.  Then lentil soup for dinner while H finished his pizza - I added some dumplings made using Bisquick Light and it was every so nice. But I am slipping fast back into bad habits and I need to shake off this stress I am letting pile up on my shoulders using exercise instead of flour and fat. At least it's only two out of the devilish trifecta of comfort food and sugar hasn't wormed it's way back in yet.

Awake early, and uncertain of what will be needed on this holiday, I think I will get out of here early so I can get back early. It will be quiet at the office and I should be able to get some serious work done. I think I will skip my green smoothie and stop at the grocery for a bottle of green super food for breakfast. I shouldn't, I should save my money, but it's too early and too quiet in this house to wake it up to my blender tunes.

 3424 steps taken

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One down three to go (8/30)

Evenings can be difficult for many reasons, but I think mostly it's about being tired, being in pain, and frustrated by being tired and in pain. which is just another way of saying sick and tired of being sick and tired. But if I really were, wouldn't I do something about it? I couldn't even find the time yesterday to make a Dr. appt. So I am going to save this for later and take care of that now.  DONE. July 10th I have an appointment.

Yesterday: All good with the exception of one very small slice of H's pizza. Four small bites and really, it was enough.  Oh, and I didn't walk at lunch - there is just so much to do and I hate falling behind; two weekends of not working at the office has wreaked havoc on my inbox. I feel sort of guilty even sitting here doing this instead of getting ready to go to work. I have A after work again today so if I'm going to put in overtime it needs to be this morning.

Well, since I am not inspired to write at the moment because I am thinking about work I may as well get going. Sometimes the words pour out of me like sap from a tree - and others it's more like a volcano erupting. Today, much more sap than ash so I am out of here.

 2709 steps taken

Monday, July 2, 2012

So begins July (7/30)

Yesterday: Food okay, water I'm not sure, barely any steps.  While this sounds like a disaster, I'm going to fall back on the '7th day of rest' excuse and move forward.  It was another cool cloudy morning, untypical of Summer for us, and I started my morning with hot tea instead of cold water. I did remember and began drinking water after the first cup of tea but have no clear recollection of quantities consumed. Then no usual two  cups of water in my smoothie, instead breakfast was a treat; steel cup oats loaded up with fresh cherries, chopped pecans and diced dates. A tablespoon or so of brown sugar thrown in and YUM. This was a treasure chest in a bowl, each bite a new combination of textures and flavours each as delicious as the last; what a lovely Sunday treat.  But instead of having five cups of water off the bat, maybe it was two or three? By 11 I was starving and the bag of brown sugar was still on the counter. So when I went to grab an apple to much on, instead of the usual au naturel I chopped it up and threw it in the microwave with some ground ginger and some of the brown sugar. In my defense it was still a very cool morning and my warm snack was comforting as well as filling; the warmth left in my mouth afterwards from the ginger was delightful..

Lunch was a hummus sandwich that H picked up from Subway - another treat. Then black bean soup (not homemade, store bought last week and in the fridge) with a couple of crisped corn tortillas for dipping and an avocado for dinner. The avocado wasn't really part of dinner, but rather dessert a bit later. And then the last of the apricots and slivered almonds for a snack.

High in processed grain, fat, salt...not a good eating day for my 30 day plan. Not horrific either, but my hands are swollen this morning and I feel like I wasn't true to my intentions, which is disheartening. The only fresh veggies were in my sandwich, and I imagine there were some cooked ones in the soup. Barely a dent in what we should consume each day. That's the real problem with the grains, they suck up calories and space that should be used for greens. And to top matters off, I weighed in this morning - not down even a tenth of a pound. Which I will blame on the salt!

I will mention here that I did fill up my water bottle a few more times yesterday, so I know for sure I had at least nine cups of water and a cup of tea so I think I got in all the water. But I was frozen to the couch most of the day - what a waste of a beautiful afternoon! I had stressed my arm in the morning, and just wanted to rest it and make sure I was good to go to work this morning. I did make it out to the back yard to lay in the sun for about 15 minutes to get my vitamin D in for the day; there is nothing so comforting as the warmth of the sun soothing my body. Some of my early memories are of laying in the sun at Arrowhead, leaning back against the boat tarp that was heaped up on the corner of the dock. Feeling the cool breeze play across my skin and waiting for the moment when the sun would win over and saturate me in a blanket of warmth. Then for a few moments I would relax and all would be right with the world as I listened to the sighing of the wind gone way up high to the tops of the pines and to the clinking of the dock chains  as the waves of the lake rocked us to and fro. Now the sighing is coming from me, bu it is at times like this that I think of the Dumbledore quote:

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” 
                                                                                                   ― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

So if only for a moment, I live in the memory, and remember a strong young girl who had the world at her fingertips.

As soon as I put tea on to heat this morning I remembered about the water and filled up my bottle and came to sit down and write. I have already downed the first two cups and will definitely have a smoothie for breakfast. I'm going to replace half a cup of my usual two cups of water in the smoothie with half a cup of chocolate soy milk and mix in some cherries that are ripening way too fast; sounds decadent, no?  I had to seed them and throw them in the fridge last night when I found how quickly they were getting soft. There is left over lentil soup to take for lunch, and on the way home this afternoon I will stop and grab a bag of chopped lettuce and veggies from TJ's since I have run out of salad greens here. They sell a tub of eight chopped veggies that works great for salads and I have chick peas already drained and in the fridge ready to throw on top.

Fitbit charged, plan for the day determined, morning water almost gone and heading for the shower. And Yikes! I almost forgot, yesterday was July 1st, and I can make a Doctor's appointment!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tailbone up, Shoulders down (6/30)

Yesterday: Water yes, food yes, exercise not so much and I forgot to clip on my Fitbit. I did learn some new stretching exercise from D yesterday but couldn't seem to drag myself out for a short walk. She has been doing Restorative exercises the past couple of years and loves how she is pain free. During this time she has given me CD's and spoken about what she is doing, explaining how she is correcting her posture through exercise. (The link above is to her teacher.) From the CD I did watch I learned a thoracic push up, or maybe it's the rhomboid push up, that helps relieve my back pain. I do it in the evenings when I really need the pain to just go away for a few moments. I can't remember how much complaining here I have done about this, but I have been in different levels of pain or discomfort daily since the Summer of 2004.  Anyway, it felt really good yesterday to do the stretches she showed me and I need to incorporate them into my plan so that I am doing them daily for the remainder of my 30 days. Theoretically it takes 21 days to create a habit - I'm not sure about the who or the when of that discovery but I hope it's true. I need to be more proactive about preventative exercise.

We shared a green smoothie for breakfast, had little guacamole sandwiches at the GD's tea party for an early lunch (avocado was the healthy fat in my chick pea sandwich spread.) There was also a bowl of apricots, a bruschetta rice noodle pasta and a tiny luscious strawberry cupcake. The hibiscus tea was delicious as was the pink french wine, a Rose for which I can't remember the name. Then later we each had a small popcorn at the movies, no added butter or salt, and finally back home we made made veggie soup with lentils for dinner.  (While this was cooking we toasted up a couple of corn tortillas in the broiler and smeared on the remaining avocado for appetizers.) As with all of the soups and casserole type dishes that I modify, the legumes took a back seat to the veggies; bokchoy, celery, onion, orange & yellow peppers & mushrooms seasoned with some mild white Miso, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and some extra oregano and lemon pepper were the main ingredients. Just as we are advised to change the proportions on our plates to include more veggies, I change the proportions of ingredients in my dishes so that the veggies are always center stage. So if I say lentil soup, or bean soup, it's always mostly veggie soup. We had picked up a bag of cherries while shopping in the morning and those were snacked on in moderation through out the day and evening. So while my raw veggie consumption was not what it should have been, everyday should be a little different, no? Change things up and do the best you can with the day as it unfolds.

Today I will do the prep necessary to make throwing together salads for dinner this week easy and quick. I think a pecan, date and vinegar salad dressing sounds good so I will blend up a batch. I have two containers of lentil soup left from last night. We chopped so many vegetables yesterday it made two soup pots - one I used for the lentils and the other I think I will cook down today and add a layer of mashed potatoes on top for a Shepard's pie. That will be dinner tonight plus more lunches to have ready for next week.

So on to day six. I should probably weigh myself tomorrow, but since this is mostly about the water and getting back to eating plants I'm not sure I want to put that pressure on myself. But I also don't want to be living in a fog, pretending I am eating well while ignoring the fact that my weight contributes to my pain. One can eat too many calories even of good things. Hence the mantra that I was using to try and hypnotize myself, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

Morning water is gone, time to think about breakfast.