I’m Thankful for Many Things…Including Grown Up Mac n’ Cheese

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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving dear readers! I’ve been absent from the blog for a long time, and I figure that Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to foray back into the blogging world – mostly because it’s Sunday evening, … Continue reading

Quickie Update

Hello my lovely blog readers!

This will be a super quick update post, since I still have hours of homework to do, and I plan to go play softball with some friends after dinner.  Lots has happened this week, and like usual, I’ve been too busy to write about it…plus my husband has been home since Monday night, so forgive me if I felt like spending my free time with him.  He goes back to work tomorrow morning for 3 more weeks.  Sigh.

I got in quite a few good workouts this week, and Rob even came to take my class on Thursday morning!  That made him realize that he is getting out of shape, so he promises to start working out again at the gym in his work camp.  He stopped going to the gym when he started working out-of-town, and that hurt my heart a little bit, so it’s good to see him getting back into healthiness.

On Wednesday, I finally got to see my liver specialist about my second biopsy results.  We have confirmation about my tumor, and it’s not what my doctors originally thought – it’s the worse of the two possibilities*.  It’s called an Hepatic Adenoma, and it has to come out.  Apparently there is a fairly high risk of it becoming malignant later on, and I certainly don’t want to mess around with that!  Because it’s growing so rapidly already, there is also a pretty significant risk of it rupturing if it gets too big…especially if we get pregnant, which we were working on before the liver tumor reared it’s ugly little head.  Anyway…surgery is planned for September, and I will be out of commission for 8 weeks, and then will have to take it easy for about a month after that. 8 whole weeks!!!  Poop.

I am not looking forward to that 8 weeks.  Even when I am so super busy that I don’t have time to breathe, I still fit in workouts.  Exercise is pretty much a necessity for me lately.  Life was pretty sucky when I hurt my back and had to take it easy on the exercise front – and this won’t be “take it easy,” it will be “donothing.”  Double Poop.

My doctordidtell me that I would be able to do some light walking after a while, and that I could probably swim and maybe do some light yoga after about a month, but I have to be very careful not to do anything that will put strain on my abdominal wall.  I guess I will be improving the front crawl and all of the leg work in my standing poses.  I will also get to read, and maybe spend some more time writing, without the stress of work involved…so there are definitely some positives involved here!

*worse of the two possibilities is still pretty good by comparison.  A cancerous tumor would be much, much worse, so I am VERY thankful to be dealing with this little setback!

Eat and Tell: Some of the Meals I’ve Been Eating Lately

Two posts in two days…apparently it’s the weekend and I actually have a teensy bit of time for writing to you!  On that note, I feel like I have taken pictures of food lately, but then not had any time to write about my meals…so I thought I’d roll a few posts into one.

Sesame Fish:
Tilapia
2 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp rice vinegar
2 tblsp lite/low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp chopped garlic (I use 3 or 4 cloves)
2 tblsp sesame seeds
Spray broiler pan w/ olive oil cooking spray and place Tilapia.  Whisk together liquid ingredients and garlic, then pour over fish.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and broil at medium heat for about 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
I made this for dinner when Rob was still here, and he left for work up North on Monday morning…so I’m guessing this was dinner on Sunday.  The Sesame Fish recipe is straight out of the 17 Day Diet book, and it’s one of our favourites.  Healthy, quick, easy and delicious – what’s not to love?  As you can see in the picture, we ate this with steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower that had been sprinkled with a bit of Mrs. Dash and some KRAFT light 4 Cheese Italiano, accompanied by a tossed salad and a mug of green tea.  Delightful meal – super filling and perfect for next day leftovers!
Fajita Soup:
In a large soup pot sprayed with olive oil, saute:
Coarsely chopped onion
Chopped red, yellow & orange peppers
Finely chopped jalapeno pepper (seeds too!)

Sprinkle in a packet of low sodium fajita seasoning and stir, then add:

Baked chicken breast (I use whatever I have on hand – this time it was about 4 large breasts that I had sprinkled with Mrs. Dash, cooked, chopped and frozen last week)
Broth (I go for low sodium or no salt added whenever possible; this time I used 3 tetra packs of chicken and 2 of veggie)
796 ml can of no salt added diced tomatoes
540 ml can of Aylmer Spicy Red Pepper tomatoes
127 ml can of chopped green chilies
540 ml can of black beans (rinse these first to get rid of the goopy sauce and a LOT of unnecessary sodium!)

I let the soup simmer for a while (usually 1/2 hour or longer) and give it a little stir occasionally.

I usually make a giant pot of this soup so that I can freeze a few containers for quick meals when I’m rushed; it is one of my all time favourites!

Turkey Taco Salad:
Spray a large frying pan with olive oil and add ground turkey breast (I use 2 packages of Lilydale that come as a combo pack at Costco – I’m not exactly sure how much that is).  Fry, stirring occasionally, until browned fully.
Add a packet of low sodium taco seasoning mix and about 1/2 cup of water and stir.

While turkey is browning, wash, dry, and chop your salad veggies.  I use green leaf lettuce, spinach, carrots, celery, cucumber, red onion and Roma tomatoes, but you can feel free to add whatever salad ingredients your little heart desires!

Add salad to a large bowl and top liberally with turkey, then sprinkle a bit of Light 4 Cheese Italiano (occasionally I leave out the cheese), and finally add a few spoonfuls of your favourite salsa.  Mix it all together and enjoy!

This was last night’s dinner (I actually ate TWO bowls of salad), and as you can see, I enjoyed it with a large green tea from Timmie’s.  Although I’ve won 7 free coffees (which I always sub with green tea), I was not so lucky last night.  I’ve been picking up the tab of the vehicle in line behind me pretty regularly, so I’m hoping good karma comes my way and I win a vehicle before Roll Up the Rim is over…positive thinking, right?!

Emerging from the Hibernation

Hello lovely blog readers!

I have not gone into hibernation, I promise – although I’ve certainly been away from you for far too long, and the gorgeous weather of late reminds me of hibernating creatures waking from their slumber and stumbling out into the glorious sunshine.  Sincerest apologies, but sometimes a mini hiatus just cannot be helped.  The life of a High School English teacher (who has zero prep time) simply does not lend itself to blogging daily.  Especially during progress report time.  In addition, I’ve been dealing with some other “time suckers;” I believe that I mentioned some medical issues a few posts back, and they are exactly what I’m referring to.  I’ve got two entirely separate, but fairly serious medical problems right now.  One of them I am not quite ready to speak about publicly (but it is not life-threatening, so please don’t worry!), and the other is a tumor on my liver.  Now, I know that the word “tumor” can be awfully frightening, so let me start by telling you that my specialist DOES NOT believe that my tumor is cancerous.  He does, however, think that it needs to be surgically removed.  I had a biopsy this past Friday so that we can learn more about the mass, but I don’t have the results back yet, so I am still not sure when I will need to go for surgery.  I don’t imagine that the surgery will be scheduled immediately, as Cancer patients with more pressing needs will obviously take priority, but other than that, I have no idea about timelines.

What I do know is that the recovery period from such a surgery can be a rather lengthy process, where intense physical activity must be avoided.  That likely means no running, no yoga and no weight training.  Yuck.  Now is not the time to stress about these things, though – I will cross that bridge when I get to it.  For now, I will focus on being as active and healthy as I can, and I’m sure that everything else will fall exactly into place in due time.

With all of that being said, I hope that you can forgive me for not posting in over a week.  While life in the next while will still be nutty for me, it looks as though it will slow down at least a tiny bit.  I will try to post at least every 3 or 4 days from now on…and if I don’t, well, I think you can handle it.  🙂

I hope the rest of your week is fabulous!

Glimmers in the Grey

Today sucked – I mean really, REALLY sucked.  My husband goes back to work out-of-town tomorrow, and he had a course there today, so he left last night; I didn’t sleep well, so I was quite exhausted all day.  I also had a doctor’s appointment in the city this morning, and received some pretty gloomy news, which was even more depressing given that I received it all alone.  I don’t want to worry anyone – I am fine, or at least I will be fine – and compared to what many people have to deal with, my medical issues are really insignificant.  It still sucked to get bad news which put a damper on everything we were hoping and planning for, though…and then my negativity started to seep in to other, much more mundane facets of my life.  My salad, for example, irritated me intensely this evening.  Yup, my salad.  You see, Rob made a big bowl of fresh, green salad this weekend, which I was planning to eat tonight, tomorrow, and possibly even Wednesday if there was any left.  When I went to dish some up with my salmon tonight, though, it was soggy, slimy, and turning brown.  I think it’s because there were chopped up bits of tomato in the salad bowl, and their acidity did a number on everything else.  Blech.  Tossed the whole slimy bowl in the garbage – such a waste!  Not something that would normally irritate me so much, though.

Oh well – I still had delicious salmon with carrots and Brussel sprouts, which was enough to fill me up.  Then I had a great telephone conversation with Rob, who is quite sad that he couldn’t come to my appointment with me today.  It’s really not a big deal that he didn’t get to come with me, and I fully support him going for the course he had to take for work.  I really do appreciate his sensitivity about the whole thing, though, and I love him so much more for sincerely regretting that he wasn’t there.  I am blessed with a wonderful husband who loves me and helps me to appreciate the positive.

I also went for a much-needed run to clear my head.  The air was pretty crisp tonight, but I dressed warmly, and the cold helped to keep me focused.  The dogs ran really well, too, and I’m looking forward to snuggling up with them very soon.  They love me even when I’m sad and grumpy, and that reminds me that everything will turn out to be lovely in the end…even if there are a whole bunch of road blocks along the way.

Motivation Meltdown

I’ve read a lot of posts tonight about having a lack of motivation, and as much as I hate to hear about others who are struggling, it is nice to know that I’m not alone.  This past week has been VERY tough on me:  I am into my no-prep semester, which means that I am teaching full days, without any breaks at all.  There are four class sessions within my day, and because of split classes, I am now teaching six classes in a four period day.  I spent the majority of the weekend at school just trying to stay on top of things.  On top of that, I am also teaching the morning fitness classes (and contemplating adding in one more per week), plus managing our household and taking care of the dogs on my own.  My darling husband is still working out-of-town, so for the time being it is all on me.  Add to that my own homework to stay on top of my yoga teacher training, and I’m beginning to feel like I may have “bitten off more than I can chew.”  It’s been tough, to say the least, but I have managed to fit in a few good workouts this week!

I got in two good runs on the weekend and had a great yoga class tonight.  Monday was my rest day, so I had every intention of running Tuesday morning, but my body decided that it needed an extra hour of sleep instead.  Sometimes you just have to listen when your body tells you to slow down, I guess!

I teach my circuit class at 6:15 tomorrow morning (I will be off to bed very soon!), and I have a few more good workouts planned for the rest of the week, so I am still mostly on track…sometimes it’s just a lot more difficult finding the energy to fit in a good sweat session than I want it to be.

But let’s conjure up the positive, shall we?  I have managed to fit in some good workouts amid the chaos, I’m rather enjoying the students in my new classes, and I’ve been able to eat well and (mostly) stick to Cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet.  Really, I amazingly successful!