I used to have wonderfully romantic feelings about winter, but this year I hated it. I’ve always been a whiner about extreme temperatures both hot and cold, but this season I found myself unusually sensitive to cold and experienced a new level of misery when the thermometer dropped below 40. (OK, I’m lying to save face with my northerner readers. The whining started at 59.)
Anyway, normally the return of warm temperatures depresses me, but this week I am thrilled to see that we’ll have highs in the 70’s and lows in the 60’s. Also, over the past few months I repeatedly made dramatic, fist-shaking proclamations that I will “never” complain about the heat again. We’ll see how long that lasts.
As requested from my last post about the “Saint Diet”, here are some example meals that I’ve been eating lately:
- BREAKFASTS: Steel-cut oats; Bulgarian yogurt (no added sugar) with fruit; scrambled eggs with pre-prepared frozen “skillet” veggies; (if I’m in a hurry or too tired to deal I have something quick from the snacks list and eat more later)
- LUNCHES: Salad with hardboiled eggs; buttered whole-grain brown rice with edamame, topped with cheese (very yummy!); sandwich with Ezekiel (flourless) bread; leftovers from dinners; microwaved frozen veggies with rice
- DINNERS: Beef stew with lots of veggies; chicken rice broccoli casserole; cheeseburgers and coleslaw (no bun for me); shrimp/chicken stir fry; 13 bean chili with rice; sandwiches on Ezekiel bread; various casseroles that don’t use pasta; anything from the wonderful, must-have cookbooks 12 Months of Monastery Soups or Saving Dinner the Low-Carb Way
- SNACKS: Ezekiel bread with Laura Scudder peanut butter; apples with peanut butter or cheese; almonds; walnuts; hardboiled egg (I keep some prepared at all times); fruit with cheese
- Having a cheap rice cooker has made it easy to incorporate whole-grain brown rice into lunches.
- Posting the list of snacks on my refrigerator (and taking care to always have those ingredients on-hand) has helped me make good choices when I’m hungry and overwhelmed.
- That flourless Ezekiel bread is found in most grocery stores’ freezer sections. I keep it in the fridge and always eat it lightly toasted (it’s not very good plain but is delicious toasted).
- Taking time on the weekends to plan meals for the week — including breakfast and lunch — was absolutely critical in the first few weeks.
Speaking of food, I’m having to re-adjust to watching the amounts of vitamin-K-rich veggies that I eat since I’m on Coumadin (warfarin). Since Coumadin thins the blood by impairing the body’s use of vitamin K, dietary intake of foods like broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, etc. can make Coumadin work too much or too little. I already have to have my blood tested weekly to make sure it’s at the right level of “thinness, ” and when I forget and change the amounts of food with vitamin K that I’ve been eating, it usually means that I buy myself an extra blood test since it throws everything off.
That reminds me…one post I’ve been meaning to write for a while is on the topic of dealing with medical professionals when you have religious or other ethical objections to the course of treatment they recommend.
When I was first diagnosed with the clotting disorder after getting a deep vein thrombosis while pregnant with #2, everything seemed so difficult. My cardiologist, hematologist and obstetrician were all flabbergasted that not only would I not agree to not have any more kids but that I wasn’t open to using contraception — a huge issue since my treatment required Coumadin and it is critical not to conceive while you’re on Coumadin. It was all such a stressful mess, especially since I had only very recently come to embrace these beliefs (I wasn’t even Catholic yet) and felt weird to suddenly have to defend them. (I wrote about my struggles with it at the time here).
Interestingly, things are fine now, and I didn’t even have to switch doctors. I’ve learned a lot about navigating these types of situations that I’ll hopefully be able to put down on paper one day. Anyone else have any tips?
I’ve found that having a newborn is great practice for trying to live in the moment and not worry about the future. As a control freak, it’s very tempting for me to freak out about all sorts of new baby stuff. “What if she doesn’t sleep tonight since she’s been asleep all day?!” “What if she catches that stomach bug and loses too much weight?” “What if nothing helps with my low milk supply issues?!” These sorts of thoughts run through my mind all day.
I’ve been pretty good about letting go of these thoughts and just dealing with the situations that are in front of me right now. And I’ve discovered that half the things I tended to worry about never come to pass anyway, and the other half wouldn’t have been helped by stressing about it ahead of time. It’s almost as if it were a pointless waste of time to sit around and fixate on what might happen in the future. Whaddayaknow.
I had a great learning experience about the above lesson when, earlier this week, a stomach bug ran through the house and not only were my three toddlers constantly throwing up and having explosive diarrhea, but the people who were there to help us (my aunt and mom) got sick as well, leaving us with little help.
If you had told me a few months ago that two weeks after the baby was born I’d be cleaning up after everyone throwing up everywhere, I would have spent an obscene amount of time stressing out about how terrible it would be. But it actually wasn’t as bad as it sounds. My husband, the baby and I didn’t get very sick (yet!), another friend stepped up to lend a hand, and it was a good opportunity to be thankful for having a husband who’s so hard-working, helpful and laid back. We frequently found ourselves laughing at the absurdity of it all. If I had worried about this in advance it would have been a complete waste of time.
Yesterday I saw the kids playing outside with something that came from a box Yaya brought from her attic, some junk that had been sitting there from my husband’s college years. I did a double-take when I saw my four-year-old pouring sand into some contraption with a long hose and thought, “Is that a beer bong?!”
It was a perfect “old life meets new life” tableau. And, as it turns out, beer bongs make great sand table toys.
I look forward to reading your posts!
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