Friday, February 22, 2013


I can't sleep. While I was lying in bed, I kept thinking about my feet.

I have two healthy, functioning feet. Admittedly, they need orthotics and old lady shoes, but they carry my considerable weight and don't cause me too much grief.

I have two perfectly good feet and I don't have heart disease and I don't have diabetes.

In early October, 2000, I was about to turn 15. I came home late one day after going to a friend's house after school. I turned onto my street and saw an ambulance in the distance. I just knew that it was at my house... and I was right. My dad had had a heart attack. Thankfully, my older sister was home and he got help in time. He had quadruple bypass surgery and was in the hospital for about a month. On Christmas Eve, 2002, when I was in grade 12, my dad had to have his left foot amputated due to complications related to his diabetes. A few years later, in 2007, they amputated his right foot.

My dad suffered immeasurably during the last 15 years or so of his life (besides what I've mentioned so far, he had to deal with further surgery on his stump after the first amputation, another heart attack, diabetic retinopathy and eye issues, kidney problems, congestive heart failure, and related complications... all of which meant chronic pain and many, many hospital stays). It felt like as soon as he recovered from one setback, he experienced another one. But my dad never gave up. He maintained his sense of humour. He was always the life of the party. He kept working, as a high school English teacher. And, perhaps most inspiring, he kept exercising.

My dad was an athlete his whole life. He excelled at any sport he tried - hockey, baseball, football, squash. He was a natural. When I was growing up, he would also go for long walks every single night. I went with him only once or twice (I'm sorry to say, walking really wasn't my thing). He also loved riding his bike: there were a few summers where we would go for a bike picnic in Mount Pleasant Cemetery almost every single day.

I can't imagine how it felt for him to lose his feet. And even without his feet, he still exercised. He would lift weights in his wheelchair and use his old rowing machine religiously. When we were at the cottage, he would go out for long trips in the rowboat. He would go for walks, with his prostheses and two canes. And he would swim. Almost every day, he would wheel himself down to the non-wheelchair-accessible pool in our condo building, alone, and use his upper body strength to lift himself from his chair, to a stool, to the steps, into the pool. With no feet.

And sometimes often I'm too lazy to take a 10-minute walk to the gym.

If I don't make a permanent change, I will get diabetes. I will have a heart attack. Of this, I am certain.

Sure, I wish my clothes fit better, but honestly... I've had my fill of hospitals. The thought of open-heart surgery makes me squeamish. So... let's avoid all of that, shall we?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two things.

1. I did something super fun last Sunday! Hint:

Yes, that is the amazing Meghan Telpner!! I was lucky enough to be in attendance at her Meal Prep Made Easy class. I have wanted to attend one of her in-person classes for AGES, but I've never been able to make it. When she announced that she was doing one last in-person class (for awhile, anyway), I signed myself up immediately.

The class was SO much fun. Meghan's loft/kitchen was delightful, and her teaching style was entertaining and inspiring. There were about 22 of us in the course, and we got to sample everything she made. The food was INCREDIBLE. Of course, I had to buy a few goodies while I was there, including a super awesome glass straw:

2. Last night, I tried my spiral slicer for the very first time! Funnily enough, I bought this online from Meghan Telpner's store months and months ago, but never got around to using it (oopsies).

 It worked really well and was super fun to use! Yay, zucchini noodles!

That's all for now. My lack of posts lately is completely due to laziness, I must admit.. I'm not very busy and I have no excuses... I wish I could say this will change, but I can't say for sure!

Bye for now!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Day!

Is there anything better than a snow day? I think not!

I slept in late, spent most of the day in my pyjamas (and the rest in sweatpants), and did a lot of knitting while watching The Walking Dead.

I finished this hat, which I desperately need!

I'm still plugging along foodwise, for the most part. There was an incident last night with some buttery microwave popcorn, BUT I didn't feel very good afterwards and I ate well today. Plus, I ate a lot of kale yesterday:

That has to cancel out the damage, right?!

I hope you all enjoyed your snow day (if you got one!). I'm going to knit a bit more and go to bed (if the pounding, vibrating music coming from my downstairs neighbours' ever quiets down...).

Tomorrow I'm off to Toronto, and probably eating out for the rest of the weekend. Let's hope I don't go TOO crazy! I'm also doing something fun on Sunday that I'll be sure to tell you all about afterwards...


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Back to cooking

Hi folks! So, it's been three days of healthy cooking and eating, and I feel great. I have energy, my stomach isn't having any issues, and I have that smug I'm so healthy feeling. I have willpower of steel and can't imagine ever going back to my old ways (of, you know, last week). Might as well enjoy it while it lasts, right? ;)

Ever since my awesome results from following the Eat to Live program for 6 weeks last summer, I have been "planning" to get back to a similar way of eating. I have had a few false starts, where I bought some groceries or cooked a few big meals to freeze and have on hand, but nothing has stuck. Instead, I've found myself buying practically every meal out for the past little while... and now I'm more or less back at my highest weight ever. And I refuse to buy any more new pairs of pants!

I decided to eliminate the planning/thinking step of eating healthy and try out a 7-day meal plan from Happy Herbivore. I have two Happy Herbivore cookbooks, and really like Lindsay's blog. The meal plans are plant-based and low-fat. I haven't been cooking lately and I wanted to learn some go-to, easy dishes that don't involve meat or cheese. Since I live alone, it's easy to get stuck eating the same thing over and over again (and getting sick of it and ordering a pizza instead). The meal plan is designed for one person and most of the recipes are just one or two servings (she also has a family option).

I am not following the plan exactly (which was my original intention), but I'd say I'm doing a pretty good job! I'm mostly just having oatmeal for breakfast, and I've switched around some of the lunches and dinners, but other than that I've been sticking to it pretty closely.  Here are some of my eats from the past few days:

Lentil and sweet potato stew. This was surprisingly good. However, I didn't use low-sodium vegetable broth like I was supposed to, and it did taste rather salty.

Salad, broccoli, and macaroni (brown rice pasta) and "cheese." I didn't use Lindsay's recipe for the "cheese" because I was missing one of the ingredients (yellow miso). I used a recipe I found online instead and I did NOT like it. I think it was because of all the nutritional yeast. I ended up rinsing the sauce off and eating the pasta by itself...

Moroccan stew, with chickpeas, carrots, and potatoes. This stew was amazing and so simple to make! 

Tonight for dinner, I had Veggie Pot Pie with biscuits on top. SO delicious and quick to make! I added some frozen spinach that wasn't called for in the recipe because hey, why not?

For the most part, I'm really enjoying the recipes. The best part is that everything is fast and easy to prepare.

I think I will get the new meal plan for next week, and just see how things go for now. I'm not going to be too strict with myself. I know I won't be home for the next two weekends, and I might eat a bad meal or two. But hopefully that won't derail me!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Another fresh start.

I've been here before. Kitchen full of fresh produce and healthy groceries, food for the week planned out, sink full of dirty dishes after cooking up a few healthy meals. Feeling excited about all the weight I'm going to lose and all the clothes I'm going to fit into again. Eager for a fresh start.

I often feel like a broken record. I keep going back and forth between eating really well for a few days, and then eating junk for a few weeks. I will make a plan to be healthy and then it falls by the wayside. I'm always hesitant to tell friends about my new way of eating, or post about it here, because I know I've said it all before. But all I can do is keep trying, and hope that one of these attempts will stick. After all, what's the alternative?

I can waste time moping around, eating potato chips, and wishing I was as thin as I used to be (and I do that quite a bit, don't get me wrong), or I can accept where I am and move forward. So today, I'm starting again.