Friday, April 3, 2015

Still Alive

This blog at to resume in 3....2.....1.....

I've had a few life changes lately.  I can't think of one that's been easy but some have been harder than others.  Some have left me feeling like I'm drowning but others have given me a drive to live better.

Right now,  I don't have many words to say.  I'm trying to find my balance and grounding again.  I don't want to sound dramatic but some changes are very dramatic for me.

I'll give some further details later and some are just best kept locked inside for me to deal with.  Each is a struggle in its own way but each are difficult.

I'm well.  Or at least I will be well.  My family is well.  That's what matters.

I've had some health issues and some issues of the heart. But all will be fine. I'm sure of it.

I'll be back soon. Thank you for sticking around.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weight Loss Update and a Couple of EASY, fast Low Carb Dinners

I'm still on the low carb wagon! Yeeha! It's been so much easier this time and I don't know why.  Maybe I've just chilled out about the whole thing and accepted it.  Who knows?  Whatever the reason may be,  I'm happy about it.  Don't go waving a roll in my face though. Chomp!

I tested my blood with my handy dandy ketone measuring device and I got a reading of 4.1! Holy fat loss, Batman! I also noticed a surge of energy when the ketones were up.  Coincidence? I think not.  I mean I felt like I was on some kind of high! Happy happy happy!

WEIGHT LOSS. When ketones are up,  the weight is down.  Hot damn! I've lost a total of 21 POUNDS now! I set mini 5 pound goals so the next goal is 25 pounds down. I'm looking do forward to surprising my doctor next month! Woohoo!

I'll post a typical daily menu soon so you can see what's working for me.  Your mileage may vary and I'm not claiming this is the only way to lose weight.  Just what's working for me.

FOOD. You've been busy all day and you don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen. I feel ya.  I really do.  I have some dinners that I call my throw down meals. They take no thought, not much planning, they're cheap, fast, and delicious.

The first I present to you is my Throw Down Tuna Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Thing.
There's no reason to overthink this one. It's just too easy.

Mix drained and rinsed shirataki noodles (I used macaroni shaped) in a pan with some cream cheese,  cheddar or American cheese, a glob of butter, a little chicken bullion, little whipping cream,  salt,  pepper,  celery salt or celery seed,  garlic powder,  and tuna. Just whatever seasonings you like. The main idea is tuna,  noodles,  and cheesy goodness.

I topped it with crumbled parmesan crisps to mimic a potato chip topping that some tuna casseroles use. 

Parmesan Crisps: preheat oven to 400°, put parchment paper on baking sheet, spoon tablespoons of SHREDDED, not grated,  parmesan in piles,  spread them out slightly,  bake for 3-5 minutes or until browned.  Not burnt. It's a fine line.  They crisp as they cool. Can also be used as chips for dip but they're very rich! 

Throw Down Pizza:
You can't get much easier than this! I use either low carb pita bread or low carb tortillas.  Parchment paper on a sheet pan, oven around 350°, slather the lowest carb pizza sauce you can find, top with cheese and whatever you like on pizza. I sprinkle it with garlic powder and Italian herbs. Bake until melty.

An alternative method is to put some butter in a skillet and cook there. It gets the bottom nice and crispy. May need to cover it so cheese melts on top.

Throw Down Omelet Dinner: no picture because it's what I'm coming tonight! I just use whatever I have for fillings for omelets. Tonight can be ham and cheese or pizza omelets. Whatever the team wants. It's cheap, filling, and fast and uses up stuff I have in the fridge. Win win.

Not every meal needs to take a long time.  You can get creative with whatever you have and not spend a lot of time. Don't forget dinner salads too! Super Yum! 

Next post....Korean Beef! 
Have an awesome day. Keep your head high and the carbs low. :-)

Monday, November 3, 2014

24th Anniversary Trip

Friday we decided to basically just run away from heart issues and instead focus on the good things in life.  So I made reservations at the Emily Morgan Hotel next door to the Alamo and at San Luis Resort in Galveston.
I got a perfect corner room at the Emily Morgan. 
We relaxed in the hotel lobby and watched people. 
We sat at the bar and I was mesmerized by the changing lights. Oooooo. ....pretty! 
We got some tequila on ice and took a selfie in the lounge. 
I tried to get artsy fartsy with some photo editing apps while we relaxed after a long day. 
We enjoyed a very loud experience at Pat O'Brians at Alamo Plaza area. 
You can't go to San Antonio and forget the Alamo. Nay, nay. You remember the Alamo! There is no basement. Don't ask. 
Oh, how about a selfie? Only married 24 years. 
Saturday night we got dressed for a fancy shmancy place called Feast. Or feast without a capital "F" to be ironic.  Darn hipsters. I put my hair up and wore a black dress. 
Mr. Happy Texan wore one of my favorite dressy casual outfits: jeans, blazer, and shirt. Work it, Chuckie!
Feast was a feast for the senses. Music, odd lights and decor, trendy type people all flirting with each other.  Also an abnormally high count of douchy men. Chuck was ready to choke a few. Bad manners prevailed for a few. But what an amazing place! Loved it! How can you not love a place like this? 
Checking out the scenery and enjoying it all. My date had a good time. 
Selfie!  It was such a foodie paradise at this restaurant in the King William District. Highly recommend it.
We started out with a great tuna tartare.  I know raw tuna might not sound great but it's so light and refreshing.  Great! 
I had and amazing portion of lamb belly. It sounded odd but I thought I'd try it and it was amazing!
The trip was over way too soon. Sunday morning we checked out, had the valet bring the car around, then we went for brunch at one of our favorite places: Liberty Bar. It's also in the King William District but located inside of an old convent. They make most of the things there like the breads and whatnot.
I had an amazing Bloody Maria. Yum! They make their own mix. Mmmmmm
They also make their own lamb sausage and sourdough breads. We enjoyed French press coffee, house made sausage, bread, and preserves. Chuck had rosemary potatoes with his that would melt in your mouth. Amazing place! If you have a chance to try their goulash on homemade pasta do it! It's only available as a special sometimes but you won't be disappointed. They even have a hoja santa plant growing as part of the landscape and they use it in a couple of their dishes. Also known as as root beer plant. Not sassafras though.

From there we went straight to Galveston and checked in at the San Luis Resort and Spa. I had reserved an amazing room on the 12th floor with an ocean view from the balcony. Ahhhhhhhhhh. .....time to kick off the shoes and relax. 
While planning our anniversary trip, I made reservations at a restaurant called Number 13 in Galveston and had flowers delivered and waiting at the table. How romantic. :)
The restaurant is called Number 13 because during the Mexican War of Independence, brothers Jean and Pierre Lafitte both acted  as spies for Spain and revolutionaries for Mexico while taking a stance on Galveston. Number 13 was their collective allias. 

The staff offered us a complimentary bottle of champagne. How awesome is that? We had a table seated by the window overlooking the bay and yacht marina.

The interior is beautiful but not stuffy.  
Again, we ordered the tuna tartare but theirs was even better than feast with bits of fresh mango. 
Chuck got the dry aged steak with foie gras and roasted garlic. Holy moly it was good.
I got a thick cut pork chop with grilled peach and sautéed spinach. 
We split jalapeño cheese grits and loaded lobster potato skins. I don't think I even need to tell you how amazing it was.
As we finished, the staff came over and presented us with a special dessert platter with "24" written on housemade marshmallow. We were both so impressed with the service and food.  Yes,  it's expensive but worth it. 
We had to roll ourselves out of the restaurant. The valet took the car at the hotel and we went upstairs to enjoy the beach and watch the fire from the volcano at Rainforest Cafe from our balcony. We had plans to go out and see more but we both passed out and fell into a deep sleep.
We slept late and took our time checking out. Monday the 27th was our 24th anniversary. We were in no hurry to end the weekend so we visited the Strand and bought the kids some souvenirs then went to The Gumbo Bar for breakfast/lunch.
Champagne and beer because we're classy like that.
Their seafood stuffed jalapeños are so good!
The gumbo has a wonderfully dark roux. They have a few different types to choose from but we asked if we could get crab only and they obliged. Huge bowls of delicious gumbo and garlic bread=heaven.
After walking and driving around the island, it was time to get home. Someone was missing his chicken. Oh,  and the kids. 

It was a perfect trip and a perfect weekend but ended way too quickly. We're already planning a similar trip soon! As you can see, we made it into a foodie weekend. No regrets here! Now it's back to low carb.

Thanks for letting me share our anniversary trip with y'all. Now on with our regular programming of low carb goodies and a little craziness.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weigh In #6

I started back on low carb September 19. Today was my 6th weigh in.

Down 3.4 pounds this week for a total of 17.1 pounds. So happy and feeling soooo much better.

Now on to the weekend! :-D

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Low Carb Taco Soup

Mmmmmmm.....taco soup. This is ridiculously easy to make but the flavor is big and bold. Certainly doesn't taste low carb. As a matter of fact, my family devoured all of it! 

Sadly, this isn't my creation but I salute the person who created it. The only thing I changed was dumping a can of Rotel tomatoes into the pot. I pureed mine because. ....ewwwww. ....chunks. I know. I know. I'm weird.

Without further ado, here is the recipe for this yum pot.
I have no idea why the formatting is messed up. Just thought I'd throw that out there. 

And now an update on the heart saga. 

I was scheduled for my nuclear stress test tomorrow but Chuck decided we really need to go on a little trip for our 24th anniversary which is on October 27. Twenty-four years! Can you believe it? I don't know how that's possible since I'm still 21. ;) Mentally. 

Anyway, I rescheduled the stress test for a couple of weeks but then they call me and say I need to pay something around $750 up front. So I'm going to wait to take the test.  I'm sure everything is fine. Many people have little irregularities with the heartbeat. They've already done soooo many tests! So I'm not in a big hurry to drop that much money on yet more tests at the moment. 

Let's talk about something fun.  The weekend!  Tomorrow we're headed to San Antonio to stay 2 nights at the Emily Morgan next door to the Alamo. Then Sunday we're heading to Galveston to stay at the San Luis Resort! Way overdue for a road trip. And I'm so excited!

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures to share. And in case you're wondering,  I plan on staying low carb during the trip. I feel too good to go back to eating crap. Plus I'm dropping pounds and inches. Wouldn't it be cool to go on a mini vacation and actually lose weight? That's my goal. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This Old Heart of Mine

Howdy.  Remember me? Probably not since I fell off the face of the earth for a while. Let me catch up with you just a little bit.  There's no way I can cover everything but I'd like to tell you where I've been and what's been going on.

In March,  I got pretty sick. It lasted for almost two weeks,  I felt better for a few days, and then I was down again for two weeks. During that time I was in bed a lot and Chuck would pick up dinner pretty much every night. My energy was gone!  So during March I also started gaining weight at a rather rapid pace. Then it kept going.

In May I went to the doctor and was told I had high blood pressure. Not just a little high, VERY high. One blood pressure pill per day wasn't affecting it so he put me on 2 per day and sent me to an internist.

It took a couple of months to get in with the internist. They took blood, talked and scheduled a stress test on the treadmill. A couple of weeks ago I had my stress test, an EKG, and an ultrasound for my heart. There have been concerns about my insulin issues causing heart damage.

Last week I got a call about my stress test. The results show an abnormality in the electrical of the ST section of the readout. So this Friday I get to go in for a 4 hour procedure where they hook me up to an IV and inject a nuclear dye (radioactive??), do a CAT scan, run me to death on the treadmill, and do another CAT scan. There may be more but I kind of zoned out after that part of the conversation. I hate needles and I hate the stress test.

To be honest,  I'm pretty scared.  I'm scared about the test results and I'm scared about the test itself.  I think about it way too often.

I've also gotten a spot through the lottery in the Houston Half Marathon in January. The problem is that I registered right before I found out about the heart issues. I've been told by two doctors not to run until these tests clear me.  I can walk but not too hard. I can go outside but don't get too overheated. Haha! I love in Texas! In other words, put most exercise on hold.

That's the big news going on.

The heart issues were a wake up call,  plus my clothes being too tight, that it was time to get my fluffy butt back on low carb. On September 19 I began my own challenge to myself to be 100% lowcarb, no cheats, for 30 days. It was much easier than I thought! During that time I lost 15 pounds and some change.


I've tried so many amazing recipes during those 30 days and I'm going to share my favorites with you. Soon. Not all at once.

Also,  I got house chickens! I'll introduce them to you little by little.  But here's my very special hen named Peeps. They wear chicken diapers! How cute!

Happy to be back. I felt a little overwhelmed with everything for a while but I'm feeling better now and ready to get back to my old self. The old Happy Texan.

Hope y'all are doing well. Missed you

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Waking from Hibernation

It's still winter and I know a lot of my northern friends are still dealing with cold and snow, but this Texan is waking from a very long hibernation.

Let's face it: I did not participate in one single race last year. I didn't do as much as usual either. It was more of a sabbatical year for me, I guess. But I'm waking up from hibernation and ready to hit it hard again. I have so many great plans this year!

First, back to low carb. When I started taking metformin I lost all interest in most low carb foods. They seemed repulsive to me. Eggs and bacon? Gag! That's not good for a girl trying to watch her weight and health. Plus I was tired much of the time. When I wasn't tired, I was nauseated. Fun times, people.

Second, starting this Sunday I start training for my first (only?) half marathon of 2014. Rachel is on board and Charlie is considering. No word from Chuck yet. He prefers 5k and would be happy to never see another half marathon in his life. My goal race is April 4th for Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon. I completed it in 2012 and I like the course plus the medal and post race party. The first 5k of the year will be the Rhythm and Blues in Houston on February 10th. Another pretty medal, bands and great party.

Third, I want to play guitar.

Fourth, update my math and French skills.

Fifth, more adventures! I phoned it in last year. Seriously. That just won't do. Life is way too short and there are so many things I want to see and do. If only my checkbook could keep up with those plans.

So let's do this!! Time to kick off the adventures of 2014!

PS: you may notice I didn't mention weight goals and such. That's because I'm not stressed at all about it. I want to feel good, look good, and have fun. I'm assuming my weight will reflect my lifestyle.