Healthy eating . . . and not

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A couple friends and I have been meeting and trying to support each other in eating healthy and losing weight.

I made a paleo pizza and a friend made a salad for our last get together.

My friends are following this eating plan. Me, a somewhat modified version.

I've made a couple batches of bone broth, both beef and chicken. Full of healthy collagen and gelatin.

This is the paleo pizza crust I made. Just look up Fat Head pizza online. It's delicious, even if you're not paleo or gluten-free (which I'm not). The crust is mozzarella cheese, almond flour, an egg, and some herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme).

When I made it for my husband I put bacon and pineapple on it.

I made chai the other night for a group of friends. I made four gallons. It was a lot of friends, but not that many. I had lots to send home with them in canning jars.

The recipe calls for star anise, which I just think is the coolest-looking thing.

Chai calls for lots of sugar, but I made a separate sugar-free batch for those who wanted less or no sugar.

Caramel never has to think about carbs or sugars. The same thing goes in her bowl day after day. It is what it is . . . sigh. 

Sometimes I just forget about carbs and sugars. And go for it.

This chocolate-filled croissant was wonderful.

Don't tell my friends.

I made it through my sleep study

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I had about two months to wait before I could get in to have my sleep study done, and every time I thought about it I felt anxious.

I was so worried that I wouldn't sleep at all, and that the whole thing would be a waste. It's an expensive study, and we haven't met any of our health insurance deductible this year so it would be all out of pocket. What if I didn't sleep at all and they couldn't collect any data?

So I almost cancelled a couple times.

Especially since I feel pretty sure my sleep problems are related to depression and anxiety, and not to sleep apnea or something else. But my doctor wanted to double check.

I'm very thankful to report that I did sleep. Very fitfully.  

I had 16 electrodes stuck to my head and the side of my face, two more on my legs, and a blood oxygen monitor on my left index finger. I had a strap around my chest and another around my waist. There was a sensor under my nose that would indicate whether I was breathing through my mouth or nose. They were measuring eye movement, leg movement, whether or not I stopped breathing, and not sure what all else.

I was hooked up to these.
I tend to toss and turn from side to side so it was a trick with all those wires.

There was a camera aimed at my bed, and someone was watching me all night. That had to be boring for them but it was a little unsettling to me.

It makes me anxious just remembering this. Who could sleep?

I fell asleep about a half hour after lights out, and then jerked awake seconds later. And of course, I'm wondering, sleep apnea? Restless leg syndrome? Or just anxiety over the whole thing?

I would normally never fall asleep that soon, especially under such conditions. But I went and had a Chinese foot massage that evening just before going to the sleep clinic. I've had them a few times, and every time I've slept well. Hmm . . . .wouldn't it be great if I could get insurance coverage for that?!

I spent most of the night drifting in and out of sleep. Even though I didn't drink anything after 8 p.m. I had to call the nurse in to unhook me so I could go to the bathroom. All I had to do was speak in a normal voice from my bed, and she could hear me. All the lights went on when she came in, so after all that I was awake for quite a while.

I was told not to put my hands over the belts on my chest or waist and not to sleep on them. As I generally tuck my arms in front of me or sleep half on my stomach, I was worried I would cover them up, so I kept waking and adjusting myself into a sleep position so this wouldn't happen.

And in the morning.

Talk about a rough wakeup. The nurse opened the door, flipped on the overhead lights and began to unplug me from everything. Before I had a chance to even blink she had me over on a chair where she swabbed ice cold alcohol on the sticky glue holding all the electrodes on. Then she ripped the gauze off the sides of my face, literally peeling off the top layer of skin.

Good morning to you, too.

I took a picture of myself before I left, but I can't post it. My hair was a gelatinous mess from all the sticky goo they used. I couldn't even get a brush through it. I had lines and little circles all over the side of my face! Proof I guess that I'd been asleep.

Fortunately I was able to sneak out of the building under cover of some early morning fog.

 A hot cup of coffee and a shower at home and I was feeling a little better.

 Grateful it's over. I'll know the results in a couple days.

Some happy fall-ish things

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pumpkin from
I say this every year, but it's true. Fall is my absolute favorite. The days are sunny and mild with low humidity. The nights are cool, perfect for sleeping with the windows open, a luxury only enjoyed here for a few months out of the year.

It's a time of new beginnings. Back to school. I always buy myself a notebook or two and sharpen some fresh new pencils in honor of those exciting first days of the school year. A fresh clean notebook just sparkles with possibilities.

I'm back to doing some writing, and cleaning up my diet and fluffing up the home nest in preparation for the cooler weather and cozy, fire-lit evenings.

Needed to use up some leftover coconut milk. What nicer than chocolate pudding?
The "harvest" is in. No garden here, only a few herbs in pots on the deck. Fresh thyme and rosemary and basil.

This was what things looked like from our deck a month or so ago. A veritable jungle.

We hired a company to clear out some of the brush, and then my husband and I have been clearing out even more. I've got the poison ivy to prove it. The more we do, the more we see there is to do. Isn't that always the case? We have another crew coming out later this week to mow down even more. 

Look at the difference already. We are moving things back another 15 feet or so. After this week, we will feel like we have a brand new backyard. Then we'll have to decide how much to seed, and what to leave au naturel. I have visions of clumps of daffodils and daisies scattered about.

We're keeping the nice trees, but there has been so much dead stuff and vines and buckthorn bushes that the poor trees have barely been able to breathe. What a metaphor for our lives really. So many choking vines and invasive growth that needs to be cut away and removed so that we can have room and space to grow.

The vines especially appear almost evil to me and I saw more clearly how they twist and cling and hang onto the beautiful maples and tulip trees and pines, trying to literally choke the life out of them.

We really regret not doing this sooner. Some of these lovely trees are going to lose a number of their lower limbs because they haven't had the space or light to grow. Even the poison ivy is conspiring against us, and I've had to deal with some "battle wounds" from fighting the enemy back there.

It makes me wonder what in my life is choking off growth. What do I need to prune back? Or get rid of? 

So much easier if we had dealt with it in the beginning. Nipped it in the bud, as it were.

The new deck is almost finished.

Fall is also the time for going to the cider mills, the corn mazes, and fall festivals. Our little downtown celebrated its annual fall festival last weekend. The Rotary Club does barbecue chicken, the Kiwanis do a pancake breakfast. The roads are closed and the carnival rides are set up and booths are open for browsing crafts and clothing, food and home decor. I found this adorable little purse.

Trying to lower the amount of carbs I'm consuming. This is mashed cauliflower.

I heard about this Mad Hippie cream on some YouTube video, so when I saw it 30% off at our local health food store, I picked some up. Will let you know. The packaging is pretty, and that's always a selling point.

A friend gave me a bird bath for my birthday, and while the deck is being built, I have it on the hearth displaying some chrysanthemums.

While we here in the Midwest have been enjoying a lovely fall, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have been pounding the South, and our western neighbors have been dealing with devastating fires. It's hard to believe the destruction so many people are experiencing. Our hearts go out to those who are suffering.
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