31 January 2011

my perfect breakfast

i think i've found it!

barley porridge with a splash of milk, sunflower seeds and dried apricots (cooked in so i can eat them despite the braces), a half cup of rosehip juice, and a boiled egg. gives me all the iron and vitamin c i need, plus 55% of the rda of vitamin e (which i tend to be low on), 15 grams of protein, and almost 500 calories. healthy and yummy and easy!

porridge recipe - serves 2

1 1/2 cup water
2/3 cup barley flakes
1 tbs sunflower seeds
4 dried apricots

bring water to boil over med heat. add barley, allow to boil again, then reduce heat to simmer.

cut apricots into small pieces (i find scissors easier to use for this than a knife).

when it is simmering gently, sprinkle the sunflower seeds and apricots over top. leave to cook until tender - about 25 minutes start to finish.

27 January 2011

boo and yay

hm. my hamstrings are so bloody tight that when i checked the weather last night and saw the magic words ("wind chill") i decided to bus it this morning. but it is actually quite lovely for january! boo. i think i do need a wee break though; i had a terrible headache/burning sensation in my neck yesterday which i took to mean i was pushing it a little far. i am determined to bicycle tomorrow though. cross fingers for good weather.

in better news though, i am doing much better this week in getting nutrients from food - the only thing i am a little low on is vitamin e. i am definitely putting sunflower seeds on my shopping list for this week!

26 January 2011


walked to work this morning again! it's about 4 miles/6 km, and takes about an hour if i stride and don't stop.

and based on my thoughts this morning and yesterday, i present:

winter city-walking tips

1. pick a middle-sized street - too small and the sidewalks won't as likely be shoveled

2. big streets should be avoided - you are more likely to to get stuck at a red light or splashed by a passing car

3. avoid schools and retail areas - they are more likely to be surrounded by sidewalks bothers like groups of slow-moving kids, people suddenly appearing out of doorways, and sidewalk cyclists

4. plan your route to include crosswalks or streets with 4-way stop signs instead of traffic lights you have to wait for

5. if your route crosses a big street where lights are unavoidable, try to hit those corners at a point where you can cross in either direction, to minimise waiting

6. break into a run now and then - catching the walk light is a great excuse to move faster - make better time, and get your heart pumping

7. if you don't have a lot of time, work one-way walks into your day - for example, walking to the grocery store and returning by public transit

25 January 2011


i did it! i walked to the parent meeting this morning, and then to work - 12 km total, or 15,918 steps according to the pedometer on my mobile! i can definitely feel it in my glutes, too - there were some pretty good hills on the way.

24 January 2011


i'm having sweet potato-swiss chard-white bean soup for lunch and it is really yummy!

also, i just had a look at the "nutrient report" on fitday and i've done a lot better this past week - got enough of everything (including iron) from food sources, with the exception of vitamin e, which is still low. the best source seems to be nuts/seeds, which i find tricky due to my braces. maybe i'll bring an avocado for lunch tomorrow; it's lower on the e-list but nice and soft. or, maybe add sunflower seeds to porridge while it's cooking, to soften them up?

i picked up my newly-repaired practical winter boots this morning, and comfy boots + less bad weather means i should get some walks to work in this week. tomorrow will be tricky though as i have to attend a parent workshop for people with deaf/hard-of-hearing kids entering jk in the fall. so, either i will walk a lot or i just won't be able to fit in any walking, time-wise.

23 January 2011

the plan

in order to help with all of my resolutions, and post-holiday credit-card bill (those monthly orthodontist bills are not cheap!) i have made myself a budget to stick to - in addition to saving money, it's an inspiration to try new recipes instead of letting the strange-looking squash that came in the organic box go bad, and also an inspiration to walk to work in the mornings! tomorrow i am driving as i have to take the bambino to preschool (which means leaving home at 7, ugh) but i am also picking up my more-walk-worthy winter boots which needed a zipper replaced. and, i think that after this weekend is over, the constant extreme cold alerts are meant to ease off. the last few days, it has been 10 degrees colder than usual! yuck. the cold plus the ice (i had a wee tumble last week, actually) make it difficult to get outside. but this will change!

i've been cooking like a maniac this weekend, including what i hope will be a new favourite, sweet potato-white bean-chard soup (i was going to use spinach but then i diverted it to a different recipe). it seems like it should be the perfect food: a leafy green veg and a yellow veg (you're meant to have at least one of each of those every day), and loads of protein and fibre in the beans. plus potassium, vitamin e, iron, and i think magnesium - all of those nutrients i tend to by shy on day to day. i hope i like eating it as much as i want to!

21 January 2011


stumbled across this handy page listing food sources of various nutrients - including those i tend to be low on (iron, calcium, vitamin e, potassium). it appears white beans and sardines are my ideal foods to get those - thankfully they are both things i like! i wonder if i could make a tasty soup of white beans, sweet potatoes (good source of potassium among others), and maybe some kale or spinach? sounds tasty to me! maybe i'll add that to my weekend cooking list!

resolution check

so let's see...

1. waking up same time every day - yes! today i could have slept in a bit, but i resisted the urge and got up at 6:30 just the same.

2. tai chi every day - yes! last night i was looking up "grasp the swallow's tail" though and i still can't quite figure out how to get there from "repulse the monkey"

3. get more nutrients from food sources - yes! i've been eating bigger breakfasts (added a bowl of porridge - made from organic wholegrain barley - to my usual boiled egg) since i'm getting up early every day, and i think it makes a big difference in my whole day. this morning i had rosehip juice instead of my usual "monster juice" (apple juice with spirulina and stuff added) because i noticed it contains lots of iron (which i am usually low on, even with supplements). also making a point to bring two pieces of fruit to work every day along with lunch - yay organic box. and today will be big cooking weekend!

4. get off the ttc - fail. i have big ideas but it has been so cold lately! and icy! -7 feels like -15 due to windchill is too cold for me. i can handle a low as -10, but less than that is too cold i find. i am debating though - today is h's slp appointment in the morning - maybe i can walk or ride my bicycle to the appointment, and then ttc from there? just to get a bit of movement in?

19 January 2011

falling off, climbing back on

i keep falling off the good-health wagon on the weekends. first it was
the holiday season, then my son's fourth birthday. i tend to undereat on
those days and then eat junk at night when i am dropping from
exhaustion. must stop! but all of the holidays (aka excuses) are done
now, so i've no reason to slip for a while.

i got a copy of the canada food guide at a workshop in helping children
manage stress, so i read it over with my son this morning. now i'm
trying to come up with a list of fruit that is still eatable with
braces, and planning ahead so i can cook up a storm on the weekend, with
more variety for dinners (fish twice a week for example). it's so hard
in the winter when there isn't a lot of lovely fresh produce around, and
so many things are difficult to chew.

exercise is not too easy either - i broke the zipper on my "sensible"
boots, and it is so icy i don't know if i could manage walking/biking
anyway - today i could barely shuffle to the bus stop without falling

tomorrow morning it will be -13 and feel like -20 - i don't think i can
walk in that. maybe i'll walk part way and see if i can manage with the
cold and the slipperiness.

14 January 2011

things are happening

ok i still have a looong way to go, but there has actually been progress! here we have a "before" pic of my teeth from my first trip to the ortho, and a not-quite-after-but-getting-there pic from this week. see the difference? i see it! i need to remember the good times here...

meanwhile, i notice that when my teeth are in agony my toe hurts. actually my everything hurts. i think what happens is that the arthrotec/tylenol combination can't handle chronic pain and orthodontic agony and residual broken foot pain, so i start feeling it again. all of it. but the real lesson is that i need to remember to be gentle with my foot. maybe i think it's all good now, but maybe that is just because i have been taking NSAIDs for over a year, and don't feel the pain that others would.

in other words, i need to be careful.

11 January 2011


i had a bracket come off this morning! i wasn't even doing anything,
just lying in bed wondering how much longer i could pretend to sleep
before having to get up, and then blammo. it's the bracket i just got
put on my bicuspid - the ortho wanted to give me a mouthguard because of
my crossbite, but couldn't because of the turbos. i had hoped to get it
fixed before coming to work, but they couldn't fit me in before 3
o'clock. os now i'm suffering the agony of adjustment. it amazes me how
much it affects my entire body - i can feel it in my back, my neck, my
chest, and of course my head. all that *after* two tylenol and the usual

say it with me now: waaah!

10 January 2011


just ate a yummy pear, and i have to say - why haven't i been eating
pears every day since i got braces? it never occurred to me, but they
are right up there with bananas in terms of eatability and taste.

06 January 2011

another day, another appointment

yesterday i saw an endocrinologist about my weight loss. i've been doing a better job since i started this blog about eating well etc., but after i got my braces and broke my foot there was a solid month of cake/ice cream/poutine diet, with zero exercise, during which i lost weight. almost every day someone will comment on how much weight i've lost. it's making me uncomfortable. but because i gained weight last year, it doesn't seem to count to the endocrinologist because it's not sufficiently far off my "baseline" weight. nevermind that all kinds of family who've known me for years see a huge difference, it's the standard doctor response, "doesn't match anything in my book, therefore you're fine."


on top of that, i seem to be coming down with something. i've got the tickle in the back of the throat, the hacking cough, the trouble swallowing that usually means swollen glands. waah. poor, poor me.

05 January 2011

happy new year?

lessons learned from yesterday...

my big BIG breakfast (800 calories!) yesterday morning was definitely a good idea. considering i couldn't bring myself to eat after getting my braces adjusted, eating a day's worth of food before 9 o'clock was very smart! i was in a fair amount of agony after, but didn't totally crash the way i did at my last adjustment. for dinner we had take-out rotisserie chicken and potatoes, nice and soft and no real chewing required. i managed 1646 calories for the day, including 96.3 grams protein - not bad! although i did burn 2356, so still way behind there.

also interesting to note: even though i had almost no fruit and veg yesterday (just one glass of orange juice and some potatoes, which almost don't count) i still managed to hit my rdas on almost all nutrients (only low on vitamin e, manganese, and iron), just from a variety of tasty, tasty animals. thank you meat! maybe i should have a big meaty breakfast more often! if i took yesterday's intake and just added a salad for lunch (teeth permitting) i would have been perfect.

04 January 2011


at this morning's appointment i had some ipr done (where they shave the sides of your teeth to make a bit of space) and also got the final bottom bracket! my right ... bicuspid? whatever it is that was so far in is finally braced because there is enough room for it to move into position. however, because i have a slight crossbite, it can't just move straight out to where it is supposed to be, it has to go a bit down and then out and then up to get by the upper tooth (does that make sense?), so there there are some crazy loops in the wire, a much fancier version of the loop i have on the left to close my gap at the back (these loops - are they called turbos? i have turbos, whatever that means). (eta: i figured out what turbos really are a year later)

all of which is highly inarticulate, but that is because i am in pain. my sinuses are killing me. others on the metal mouth forum have had issues with sinus pressure too, and apparently a heating pad can help. here's hoping i can find something to use here at work... meantime i just called the office to change my next appointment from 9 o'clock in the morning to 4 o'clock in the afternoon. i'm hoping that will give me enough time to pick up my son and husband after school and work and get home before the pain hits hard - it seems to be 2 or 2 1/2 hours before the agony strikes.

adjustment day

today is the day for my second adjustment! i'm nervous. the last time i went to the orthodontist's office, i ended the day with my blood pressure in the basement (97/57 i think?) and i almost passed out. i have not taken codeine since!

anyway today i am trying to make sure that doesn't happen - starting with a big breakfast with a lot of protein so that i will be well-nourished at least before the agomy starts.

is there a trick to this? is there a secret to making your adjustment day at least somewhat manageable?

02 January 2011


so i finally got a moment to sit down with my sewing machine to put together a dress that i'd basted together and guess what? it looks like a potato sack! i've taken it in 2 inches, and i'll have to take it in 2 more, and probably have to do some more intensive alterations. phooey. also, at lunch today someone who saw me 3 weeks ago commented on my weight loss. i didn't think i had lost much since then. anyway i'm eating leftover chocolate cake, maybe that will help me fill out a bit. i feel very self-conscious about my weight loss.

01 January 2011

happy new year!

well i did not fufill all my resolutions today (waking up on time? ha) but i did do really well on the eating front: 2068 calories, 90.7 grams protein, met almost all my rdas nutrition-wise. having family over for lunch helped! i still burned 2292 calories (base metabolic rate) despite doing nothing, but that's still better than i had been doing (yesterday: 2340 burned, 1470 consumed - whoops). i did get the concerned "you've lost weight" comment which was somewhat bothersome only because this was from someone i saw at thanksgiving when i'd already lost weight, and i didn't think i had lost that much since then. but maybe she had been concerned at the time but didn't say anything because there were so many people around? i wonder...

now i am off to do a spot of tai chi so i can cross one more resolution off the list!