In Memoriam: Our trip to Chicago

Early Saturday morning, we headed to the airport.  We were flying to Chicago, with plans with friends and family.

We landed on time Saturday morning and headed directly to our hotel.  Our first plans were at 1:00.  SpecialK’s aunt, who lived in Chicago, had recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  She had to have transfusions, to keep her alive.

SpecialK’s youngest brother (a nurse)  had been visiting his aunt, and had decided to stay with her, once the diagnosis had been made.

Roz was doing this on her own terms.  She took transfusions long enough to get all of her affairs in order.  She had her last transfusion last Tuesday.

We had lunch with her and SpecialK’s brother.  She was in good spirits, ate lunch, and we had a nice visit with her.  She had welcomed me into the family with open arms before we got married.

After leaving her, we went back to the hotel, and got ready for our dinner plans with Owen (age 3) and his parents.  Speaking for myself, a good time was had by all.

On Sunday, we walked around the loop, and wandered through the parks.  We found the bean, and played an 18 round game of mini golf.

Monday morning, I messaged SpecialK’s brother, and inquired as to the aunts comfort and his own comfort.  He shared with me that the aunt was resting comfortably in bed on Monday, pain free.

Our next plan was brunch, with my cousins.  Lisa and I grew up together, and Jeff (and Tracy) grew up in the Midwest.  A good time was had by all.

After brunch, we debated what we would do until it was time to go to the airport.  We had talked about taking an earlier flight home, but due to the storms, we were satisfied when we found out that earlier flight had been cancelled.

We ended up hitting up an outlet mall, mere miles from the airport.  A few new pieces for each of us, and we headed to the airport.

With all the road flooding, it took quite a while for us to get to the airport, but we finally landed there 2 hours before our 7:01 pm departure.

7:01 departure became 9:30, became 10:15, became 11:20.  We landed approx 2:15 am, and got home at approx 2:45 am.  SpecialK went right to sleep; it took me about an hour.

I awoke at 7:30 his morning, and saw a message that had come in during the night.  SpecialK’s aunt passed away in her sleep, while we were driving home.

She did it her way, and was ready to go.  I respect that about her, and hope I have the same opportunity for myself.

Goodbye, Roz, you will be missed.

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Review: Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Pizza, pizza, pizza!  SpecialK decided he loved the cauliflower crust pizza we tasted the Costco.  It has peppers on it which I won’t eat.  I found this pizza at Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a try.

SpecialK won’t let me make a cauliflower crust pizza, because he knows I won’t put enough starch in to make him happy.  (Yet he denies that his taste buds are programmed for sweet and starchy.  Ah, but I digress!)

Sitting snugly on a freezer shelf, I decided it’s residency had ended and it was time to bake it up.

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I preheated the oven, and put this pizza on a sheet of parchment paper onto our pizza stone and baked it.

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Their photo looks more red,   I like this picture, showing their artfully created version versus my cooked version.

It tasted like the frozen pizzas I ate as a teenager.  I tried to think of how to doctor it up, maybe some ricotta cheese?

The interesting note here is that it did not taste like cauliflower.  It tasted like a frozen pizza.

Final verdict, I would buy again.

What have you tried lately?

 

 

 

Magic sweetener

I have shared before that I am going to inherit diabetes.  I am fighting that inheritance with every fiber of my being, but the writing is on the wall.

Growing up, my Mom had a cup of instant coffee every morning.  She put a saccharin tablet in, some milk, and that was how she became human in our craziness.

Saccharin was vilified in the nutrition world, then it t was declared ok, again.

SpecialK has been encouraging me to use substitute sugars sparingly.  We have lower sugar jams here and he has discouraged me from using any sugar free products.

I know I can’t have sugar, and walk daily to counter my inheritance.

Imagine my surprise when my general practitioner recently talked with me about sweetener choices. After a brief conversation, during which my head spun around, she asked me if I was willing to stay with one group of sweeteners.  I said yes, so here’s the lowdown.  No more purchases of Maple Grove Farms sugar free maple flavored syrup.  No more baking with Xylitol.  She wants me to use maple sugar and maple syrup as our sweetness.  She told me that maple syrup/sugar is absorbed by the body slower than white sugar, and has vitamins and minerals that white sugar does not possess.

I contacted my nutritionist and she echoed the same statement about vitamins and nutrients.

I will be going back for more bloodwork in the beginnning of November, and will assess the impact to my blood sugars.  We buy maple sugar from Amazon, and get maple syrup often at Costco.

SpecialK was happy to kick Xylitol to the curb.  Will you try these changes with me?894A6B7C-E71B-4F0E-9017-3E452B535DD4

Me and My Fitbit

It’s a very interesting note on our behavior.  Just when I felt I couldn’t push through one more day of steps, I called my nutritionist to discuss.

She told me that just because the American Heart Association recommended 10.000 steps a day, it didn’t have to be every day.  Then, my group of international walking pals started another challenge, I am on Team Purple.  So I started my steps again and pushed through the 28 day challenge.

The challenge ended yesterday, and Team Purple did not outwalk Team Yellow.

Today, my inner 3 year old wants to throw a tantrum. I don’t want to walk today, then I look at my steps for the day, and wonder if I could somehow pull this one out.  The weights are on my hands and I am pushing through the resistance.

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Are you committed to a workout plan?

Meal Planning

Do you meal plan, sketch out a list of meals per day for a week or a month at a time?

I have considered the idea, however SpecialK travels for work.  I don’t usually cook when he travels.

We often buy what we like, and create meals from these items.  We had salmon, Brussels Sprouts and peaches here last week, and SpecialK knew I wanted to try grilled peaches, so he grilled all three items.

 

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I did take a second peach half after trying it; this was a good meal.  Teriyaki sauce on the salmon, some white cheddar on the Brussel Sprouts and some olive oil on the peaches.

Since then, SpecialK has been actively avoiding dairy.  There is a cheese drawer full of cheese.

Guess who gets to eat the cheese?

What is one of your favorite grill meals?

He made some, too!

Imagine my surprise when I got up last weekend, to find SpecialK making pancakes with our new flour blend.  He likes it Mikey!

He didn’t want me to make anything with my latest gluten free flour find when he wasn’t home, as he wanted to try it too.

So one morning, a week or , I made the pancake recipe from the back of the flour bag.  He liked them!  (I did too!)

He made them himself last weekend.

This is our new flour blend, you can purchase here:

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The pancake recipe is on the back, and we have cut the sugar in half, replacing white sugar with maple sugar.

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This flour is 18 g net carb per 1/4 C, the lowest I have found yet.

Your favorite pancake recipe?

We upgraded!

I was so excited a year and a half ago to buy our first instant pot.

This year, I decided to upgrade to the Instapot Ultra.  Thank you Amazon for making this possible.  I was able to resell our original one to a person who was delighted that it came from a gluten free house.

I have been lazy with this one, instead of manually doing everything, I pushed porridge and my steel cut oats were cooked.  Instead of wrapping my original Instapot with a towel for 8 hours, I push a button and yogurt is made.  I still love my Instapot, and happy that I now use the buttons instead of researching everything.

When Amazon puts it on sale again, you should get one too.  Won’t you?

Toasted Cheese with jam

Where have you been all my life?  I might just be in love again.

i don’t recall where I read this idea, but here it is.  Toast a piece of bread, and spread a layer of your favorite jam on top.  Add some sliced cheese and return to toaster.  (Works best with toaster oven or regular oven).

It wasn’t until I was eating this that I realized the need to share this idea.

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Perhaps it is a statement of where I am at, or a need for delicious offerings, but this one works!

In other news, I got my stitches out yesterday, and can resume living, and getting my steps done.  Cancer free by my birthday was a nice gift.

What is your favorite way to eat toasted, or grilled, cheese?

A little c

5F9267A9-4C84-4E2F-A2BF-1F38800CE759.jpegA little “c”?  A small tumor, a basal cell with nodes and integrating roots.  The best news?  This type of tumor does not head to your lymph nodes.

The location of my basal cell was on the left hand side of my nose, as the nose flares out near the end.

I had Mohs surgery yesterday, followed by reconstruction surgery today.  As I said to SpecialK tonight, this is miserable surgery.

Sunscreen every day.  I like what my primary care doctor said, which is that  Vani-Cream is a zinc based lotion.  I was given some by a dermatologist in CA, and will not mind using it.  (I won’t feel the need to shower before bed, as I do when wearing sunscreen).

This is why I haven’t been cooking or baking of late.  However, I did supply myself with SmartFood and Halo Top for the duration.

Stitches come out Tuesday, and I can’t wait.

But first will be my birthday, this Saturday.  I have requested burgers on the grill, and a side of grilled pineapple.  SpecialK ordered me a cake, chocolate with chocolate buttercream.  (He turned down ganache, because of sugar.  WTH?)

Still here, hanging on.  Life will get better.  For tonight, I succumbed to a pain pill, and lay here wide awake with codeine in my system, again.

What will you do this Memorial Day Weekend?

New York weekend and Canadian find

Last weekend, May’s first weekend, we headed to New York City for the weekend.

I took 2 pictures in NYC, starting with this picture, outside Tiffany’s.

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This second picture was of the surrounds of our outdoors breakfast, looking up.

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We left New York a bit earlier than originally planned on Sunday, as SpecialK had a flight to Canada to catch on Sunday evening.

When he came home, he brought some Canadian snacks, gluten free and low carb, somewhat.

The one that caught my attention was this bag:

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Of course, I tasted them, before devouring the entire bag.  (It was a single serve bag.)

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I liked them!  (Hey, Mikey liked it!)

Here’s the back of the bag.

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Yes, it’s Canadian made.  Finding a foreign product that we like, just like when we went to Costa Rica.

Have you found any foreign made foods that you wish you could buy locally?