Monday, March 18, 2013

Let's Talk Turkey!

Happy Monday My Little Ladybugs! 

Ok, I'm not watching American Idol that much, but I am entertained by Nicky Minaj and her cute little sayings. Little ladybugs is the name she calls a lot of the contestants. It's endearing right?

I am one week post my arthroscopy and not really that much better. I don't know if it's because there is still some healing to do after all the poking, cutting, cleaning, and scraping inside my knee, or if this is as good as it will get. If the latter is my outcome, then I will have to face and explore the possibility of a knee replacement. Ironically my mother just had her second one three weeks ago. She now has two totally new knees. The doctor explained to me that I might not see any real improvement, due to the arthritis and cartilage loss. It’s strange how three months ago I would have said that I don’t have any problems with my knees.  In some cases, you don’t know you have any problems until you have a problem and something brings it all to a head.

So this week, I’m going to continue to rest it as much as possible, keep it elevated and iced when I’m sitting down. I haven’t been able to be at my brothers and all  lately and the responsibility has fallen on my mother. Luckily she is a strong woman and keeps forging ahead even with her own knee issues. Oh well, enough of my whining. Thanks to those of you who wrote me and came to my pity party. How fun it would have been if we could all have really gotten together for a real party. Maybe someday!

I have been doing limited cooking because I don’t want to stand on my feet too much. I have been trying to use up things in my freezer. I like to really purge the cupboards and freezer every year after winter is done. It’s kind of a challenge to see how many meals I can throw together without buying too much at the store except fresh produce.

So there were these two packs of frozen turkey breast that I thawed out this morning, just begging to be used.  I decided to make turkey burgers. Kim gave me the idea from seeing that she has been having one for lunch every day.

 I have bought the Jenni-O frozen turkey burgers and they are pretty good. Last time I accidentally bought the dark meat ones. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t care for them, so I thawed them and made turkey meatballs out of them. They came out really well. A little soft in texture, but I baked them in the oven and  then put the in the sauce. Here’s the recipe I used for turkey meatballs from Giada on food network. I used the sugar free ketchup from Natures Hollow and whole wheat bread crumbs. I made mine a normal size and baked in the oven for about 40 minutes.

So back to the turkey burgers. The best homemade turkey burger I ever had was one that I made after it  was featured on the Oprah show. She had it at Donald Trumps place in Palm Beach and raved about it on her show. They are called the Mar-a-Lago-Turkey-Burger. At first he refused to share his chefs recipe, but then he finally agreed and came on the show with great fanfare and presented her with the recipe ( in a locked briefcase no less!) that she shared with her viewers. They really are delicious, but so labor intensive and I’m sure the sugar content is high as they have chutney, apples and pear. I wasn't watching sugar back then when I made them, but trust me they are really delicious. I'm sure you could make some modifications too and that would make them lower in sugar.
Turkey burger
 I wanted something faster and easier so I did a web search and tried a recipe that I found on  These burgers were easy to make, with ingredients that I had on hand. I tripled the recipe using two packs of the lean ground turkey breast, the natures hollow sugar free ketchup, and increased their size to one and half times the 110gms that the recipe called for. I used my food scale, and measure out 165 grams which made a nice size burger. I had mine on flaxseed toast and it was really good. Sorry I forgot a photo. Here's the one from the website.
Turkey Burgers. Photo by GaylaJ
 Hope everyone has a great week. Hugs and love all around from me to you! XO

Thought for the day: Learn to smile at every situation.  See it as an opportunity to prove your strength and ability.  ~Joe Brown

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Who wants to come to my pity party??

You are cordially invited
to a pity party
in honor of
on the occasion of her
knee arthroscopy
for a torn meniscus
Yes, I'm having a pity party for myself. I tore my meniscus some time ago, probably in December. Some say it was because of the boot camp classes I started, but I say it was not one incident, but a slow progression of my  meniscus wearing away  and one day it tore. Be that as it may, I have been hobbling around for three and a half months. I have had some times where it didn't hurt too bad. I was even able to have fun dancing at a wedding in December, but the next day it was swollen and sore and just sort of kept going downhill little by little since then.
So Monday I had an arthroscopy. The Dr. told me several times, even as they were wheeling me into the operating room, that I might not notice any big difference. There was nothing they could do for the severe arthritis the MRI showed, and the inside of my knee was "bone on bone" where the cartilage had worn away. He couldn't do anything about that. They would clean up the torn edges of the meniscus, clean out any debris and hopefully I would feel and walk better.
So home I went  after the procedure and was supposed to limit activity for two days. Do you know how many times I have dreamed of having the time to sit on the sofa with my books and magazines, catching up on TV shows and movies? Well I've had a little too much of that over the past few months and it's not as exciting as I thought it would be.  I am not the couch potato type. In fact I'm more like the energizer bunny, in that I keep going and going and sometimes need to know when to slow down.
Anyway,  it's been 48 hours and I am still not walking very well yet, and I'm a little down in the dumps. I just want to walk without the limp and I thought that would happen right away. I  know it's only 48 hours since I had the scope, but I guess I was expecting immediate results. So that's why I'm having my pity party. Please indulge me, and sorry for being a Debbie Downer!!
Beautiful flowers from my friend Nancy.
Thought for the day:  If you have to be laid up on the sofa for awhile, I highly recommend the Downton Abbey series to pass the time. I'm all caught up and all I can say is I'm hooked!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Step in the Right Direction!

Happy Friday everyone! Snowy, windy and cold here. Won't this winter come to an end soon please??The weekend forecast calls for some warming up and it should be close to 60 on Monday.  That's the day I'm having my knee arthroscopy.

I have been having trouble since I did those boot camp classes in November.  My knee has had fluid drained from it, but it remained swollen, tender and caused me to walk with a straight leg limp most of the time. The Dr. finally ordered an MRI and it shows that I have a completely torn medial ( near the inside of your knee) meniscus. We only get two meniscus when we come into this world. They are little rubbery, crescent shaped cushions of cartilage that protect your thigh bone and your shin bone from rubbng against each other. Mine is a complete tear and it's not repairable. So Monday they are going to go in and clean it up, take out what they need to and hopefully I'll be able to walk normal again. My cartilage is gone and he tells me it's bone on bone in the inner part of my knee, so I'm sure somewhere down the line, hopefully not for awhile, I'll be looking at a knee replacement.

I have been trying to be very diligent with my recording of what goes into my mouth these last two weeks. That's an area that I have  never been too good at. I am using and I'm kind of getting addicted to it. Once you get the hang out of, I think you will really like it, so try it if you haven't already. The app for the iphone is great, because there is a bar code scanner. You can scan the bar codes off whatever you eat, and it automatically adds it to your food diary. I am being really careful with my carb and sugar counts and staying with in the 15 sugar/6 carb serving guidelines. I am not sticking to an exact number of calories, but starting at 1200 and usually going over to about 1500. For me personally I can overdo the low s/c food items ( cheeses, nuts, fats) and I need to watch how quickly they add up. It's easy to see that on myfitnesspal and it's a good way to add or subtract food items before I eat them to see where I'll end up. It's working and those pounds I gained since our Italian vacation and Chrismas are starting to come off.

This week I rediscovered a refreshing beverage that I had forgotten about. It's called Steaz zero calorie sparkling green tea. It is sweetened with Erythritol and Stevia. It has zero calories and zero carbs and is very refreshing.

Also I rediscovered the Smart & Delicious Tortillas. I haven't bought them in awhile and I made a delicious fajita on a warm tortilla filled with grilled chicken, cheese, avocado, sour cream and salsa. the s/c value on these tortillas is 1/1.

I also used one to make a white "pizza." I spread some ricotta on the tortilla, and topped it with some spinach, grilled chicken and mozzarella cheese. A few minutes in the oven and it was hot and bubbly.
One last thing, my daughter-in-law just sent me a short wedding highlight video. The whole thing is finally done and I can't wait to see it. Here's the link if any of you want to see it.

 Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'll check in next week after my visit to the OR!! XO
Thought for the day....actually seven of them:

Seven Ways to Have a Good Day

 1.    Talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

2.    Look at the sunny side of everything.

3.    Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best.

4.    Be as enthusiastic about success of others as you are about your own.

5.    Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

6.    Give everyone a smile.

7.    Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hear Me Roar!!!

Happy March Everyone. I don't know about where you are, but it's still blustery and cold here. I was hoping for an early spring, but it's not looking promising so far.  March has come in like a lion.

So right now I am dealing with a complete tear of my meniscus in my knee. This is getting me down, because I  don't want to have an arthroscopy to get it cleaned out, but I'm not really walking well either. This has been going on since December and my activity level has plummeted. I haven't been able to walk my dogs, and I hobble around everywhere with a stiff, swollen joint. The MRI said I have alot of degeneration in my knee, total cartilage loss in some areas, and osteoarthritis.  Here's something that I just found out and I'm a nurse!! Osteoarthritis has many causes, but obesity/being over normal weight is one of them. 

I found this info from the John Hopkins web site:

Being only 10 pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by 30-60 pounds with each step.

Overweight women have nearly 4 times the risk of knee OA; for overweight men the risk is 5 times greater.
WOW!! I could have prevented this from happening over the years if I had been at an ideal body weight. As we get older, all this stuff that we may have known and stored somewhere in the back of our minds, all of the sudden comes crashing into reality.
Losing weight isn't about just looking good in our jeans. It's about giving our heart a break from pumping through miles of extra blood vessels, giving our pancreas a break from constantly releasing so much insulin, and giving our joints a break from carrying so much weight. 
There are enough things beyond our control that can hurt our bodies, but it's a hard pill to swallow when we cause our own problems or we could have prevented them. So with renewed focus and determination to get to my ideal body weight, I recommitted myself to doing the right things in this new month of March.
 I believe in the core principles of the BFC, but you have to do what works in your life. For me,  keeping the sugars low and the carbs complex and limited, significantly lowers my cravings and keeps my appetite in balance. Whenever I have a binge or uncontrolled eating of something, I can usually trace it back to something I ate that I shouldn't have the day before. I REALLY believe that sugar is the real enemy is our society and the cause of many health problems.
I am keeping my sugars at 15 gms a day.
 I am keeping my carbs to whole grain and limiting them to no more then 120 gms a day/and no more than 2 servings a meal.
 If you are following the BFC the guidelines are:
15 gms sugar/ 6 carb servings a day
No more that 5 gms a sugar a meal and 2 carb ( 40gms) servings a meal
A carb serving is calculated like this:
5 - 20 gms   = 1 carb serving
21- 40 gms = 2 carb servings 
If you are eating a meal, add up all your carb grams for the whole meal and that is your total.
Here's a great recipe that I found on a  blog. It was very good and if you cut it into 8 slices, it has a carb count of 7gms and a sugar count of 2 gms.  So the s/c value is 2/1

Vegetable Quiche with Gluten Free Almond Flour Crust:

1 onion
3 tbsp butter
5 cloves garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
5 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk ( I used unsweetened almond milk)
3/4 cup shredded cheese
salt & pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter  ( I think this can be cut down a bit if you want)
5 tbsp whole milk ( I used unsweetened almond milk)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°. Mix together the crust ingredients. The crust dough wont be pliable like a pie crust dough. This style of crust is more of a crumbly pressed crust. Take dough and press firmly into a pie dish. Stick a fork in the crust in various places so it doesn’t puff up.
2. Heat crust in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Then remove from oven and set aside.
3. In a skillet heat butter then add the chopped onions and garlic. Add rosemary and oregano. Cook until onions are almost but not completely clear then add spinach and cook until slightly wilted.
4. In a bowl whisk eggs, milk and shredded cheese. Add salt and pepper and sundried tomatoes and mix.
5. Add the onion and vegetables into the egg mixture then pour over pie crust and put it in the oven.
6. Let cook for 30-45 minutes at 375° until the egg mixture is set. You can sprinkle some extra cheese on top. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend, and be kind to yourself!! XO

Thought for the day:  Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.
- Louise L. Hay