I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Becoming Vegan...."The Joy of Meal Prepping"

At my last medical check up it became apparent that my lifestyle was catching up with me. My life is not as bad as a lot of people, yet my cholesterol was up- way up, as were my weight and my blood pressure. The icing on the cake was that my blood sugar was elevated as well.  Everything was bad enough that the PA gave me 6 months to try to straighten it out without medication.With the divorce, almost everything healthy fell by the wayside. There was moving, mediation and the a concentration on settling everything to be able to move on.

Thirty days ago I realized  my allotted six months of time was running out. I was home sick, bored, and grumpy and while scrolling through movies I saw "Forks Over Knives." Having always wanted to watch it I paid for the rental and sat back. It was eye opening to say the least! Full disclosure, I have read, "The China Study" and was a vegetarian for six years. My time being a vegetarian stopped when I moved in with Rob and I was trying to make two meals every night- sometimes three if the boys were over. It got old fast. if that were to happen now there wouldn't be different meals, I would just say, "Too Bad!" and let everyone else fend for themselves.

Forks over Knives reinforced my reasons for originally becoming vegetarian and provided a road map on how to improve my health going forward. Shortly, and I do mean shortly, after the end of the movie, the pantry and fridge were cleaned out of all dairy and high fat items. All of the butter and meat remain frozen and will be given away this week. My pantry and fridge are now full of grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. 

Over the course of the last three and a half weeks my blood pressure has been better every morning and I have lost six lbs.  Unfortunately, there are still about 15 to 20 lbs. left that can still come off and I have no idea where my cholesterol is at yet. A little at a time I guess.

To help me stick to eating healthy and tasty vegan meals, meal prepping has become part of my weekly routine. On either Saturday or Sunday I pull out my Cosari electric pressure cooker and cook off a couple types of beans and a grain or two I can use throughout the week. Normally, I make one kind of soup, freeze half and put the rest into containers for lunches or dinners a couple days a week. By the time I am done there are 4 lunches, 5 dinners and 2 or 3 frozen meals prepped and in the fridge or freezer. For me it works.

This week dry black beans went into the pressure cooker, were cooked and then turned them into black bean burgers. Quinoa became 2 side dishes of quinoa and 3 servings of quinoa "tabbouleh" that will be eaten with mixed greens as part of a salad meal. Since there was enough soup frozen none needed to be made and instead no bake sunflower and oat  bars for breakfast or for snacks were put together.

It has taken a bit of practice to figure out what to eat, how to make it vegan and how to make it easy. All in all, as part of my lifestyle changes lately, this was an easy one. There wasn't really a New Years Resolution other than trying to continue learning to live in line with my values and beliefs. There are both good days and bad days yet either way it is still a healthier way of life than the one before the separation. I guess I am a vegan, social justice junkie who loves the outdoors and spending time with people I love and who love me.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Another Time Around

Restarting the blog has been on my mind for a while. Yet it is taking me time to find my voice and try to figure out how to say what I want to say. After all, I am a wimp and tend not to want to offend anyone. However, there are times when that need not to offend is secondary. Today is one of those days.

Several hours ago I picked up my divorce papers from the mediator to be filed later this week. Yes, I know it is the week before Christmas. We haven't lived together since last February, and well, he has a girlfriend and has had one since long before the day I left. Between my illness and his affair we were toast, I tried, he sorta tried but that's not enough in the end.

So at almost 50, I find myself starting over. The thought came to me, "What the hell." I can blog about the experience and re-figuring out who I am and what I want and need out of life.

This is the reboot. This whole starting over can be both exhilarating and exhausting and honestly between work and going to see the mediator for the final signatures I am fried mentally and physically. I will be back to follow up and be chatty about all the crazy I have stirred up in a year and a half.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Been gone....so long....

I haven't blogged for a very long time. To be honest it hasn't even been on my radar. There was a time when I would compose blog posts in my head while driving home or during really tedious inspections with trainees. That hasn't been the case lately.

After years of being sick a lot more than anyone I know an Immunologist diagnosed me with a type of Primary Immune Deficiency. Easy version: My body does not make antibodies like a normal healthy person makes antibodies. No real way of knowing why but it could be inherited or a mutation somewhere along the line.

My time has been spent dealing with a life changing illness and the issues that come along with a serious diagnosis. Between doctors appointments, a treatment every two weeks that takes almost 3 hours and is followed by several hours of me being useless before bed, my free time has been impacted. Additionally, learning how to listen to my body is taking a toll on my time as well. Why? When I feel good after treatment I am a whirl wind then later there is no energy to tap to do much else.  

I am not going to die from this any time soon. With treatment I will live to be a ripe old age. I must , however, take the time necessary to face this head on and make the necessary changes to keep me healthy without giving up on life. Somehow, I will find balance, I am not denying this any more and I am over the anger. I guess I am almost accepting that this is the new normal. Don't get me wrong I still hate like hell putting 4 needles in my legs every two weeks. I may never get used to infusing myself. Unfortunately, there is no choice.  

I am not pulling down the blog. It is being left up. If I ever get to that place again I may pick it back up.
Just not right now!
Peace, health and hugs!