Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Vegan Chef? Um, not.

When I originally started this blog, I had a tab for recipes. I intended to become some kind of vegan chef and I was going to share all of my fabulous recipes. There are several flaws to this idea that I had.

First and foremost I am constantly multitasking and easily lose track of things on a hot stove and in a hot oven.  I really burn a lot of things and I risk significant injury. I am the one that stabbed a fork through my thumb not paying attention when I was stabbing holes in a potato that I was going to bake. Second, I don't follow recipes that well.  Usually I can't imagine that was the way it was intended to taste when it was done and if it was intended to taste that way, then I picked out a recipe that really sucked!  Third forces me to let you in on a little secret--I can actually cook.  I cook just a few things and I cook them really well.  The problem is,  in no way shape or form are they something someone who has had a heart attack should be eating--they are comfort and artery clogging foods. Not to mention full of salt just from the ingredients without adding any extra.  I make a mean lasagna, kick ass spaghetti sauce, awesome beef stroganoff, Texas sheet cake to die for and some really good fudge and chocolate chip cookies.

Because our forecast called for snow and ice I decided that I should eat it up really well before the end of the year and I got some crazy domestic whim that I would cook them all while it snowed and iced.  So, Friday after work, off to my little grocery store in town I went. Honestly after a day at work I just want to get home and I don't want to stop on my hour drive anywhere in Kansas City so I support the grocery store in my little town that costs more:

I don't make a list, I get out each recipe and walk through the store with it until I have everything I need in my cart and then I take out the next and do the same thing. My few recipes I can make well are almost too old to be dragging around the store.  They are taped back together and some have my grandmas handwriting on them:

I started cooking at 8:30 yesterday morning and cooked all day.  We now have Beef Stroganoff, Lasagne, Spanish rice, breakfast casserole, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge and six batches of chocolate chip cookies. The dog could hardly believe her good fortune that there were actually crumbs on the kitchen floor:

 Actually, I gave up about 2 pm and decided it was time for my girlies to learn how to use the kitchen aid so they each made three batches of cookies:

So, I'm living it up until the end of the year and then I will go back and eliminate sugar, soda, dairy and meat!

When I first started this blog, it was going to be this great health blog.  However, it has morphed into an account of my day to day emotional journey that this heart attack thing has sent me on.  If you are looking for a health blog about heart attacks and women with heart disease it really isn't here.  I post a little of that stuff but not much.  If you found me and that is what you are really looking for, you certainly want to visit Jen Thorson at My Life In Red.  In fact I am in her new post--number 9 for my guest post last February, Heart Attack Stun.  She has a wealth of health information that you will find helpful.  You should also visit Carolyn Thomas at Heart Sisters.  She has a great blog with great info and one of my favorites is "We are all patients." No, you're not.  I would so love to give the ass first cardiologist I had a lesson in this! These are the two places you should visit for the health stuff.  Jen even has that recipe section that I so hilariously thought I would have here:).  I found these wonderful ladies as I searched the internet frantically to find out about what had just happened to me and what I could expect my life to be like.  Here they were, such relief jumping from my computer screen in the middle of the night when I was afraid that I would die if I went to sleep.  It would be my great joy to meet them one day!

Instead, this has turned into my only semi-successful chronicled journey to become more healthy.  If anything, I learn that what I used to see as so easy is most certainly not.  So, if you have found me because you have googled women and heart disease and are looking to find out that you are not alone in your emotional journey, you are in the right spot..  I put it out there in hopes you find yourself in this and know that you are not alone just as I was able to find out in a time that I certainly felt alone that I was not.  There were indeed other women my age and even younger that had experienced exactly what I had.

I start the journey anew on January 1.  I'm not going to put out there the number I'm currently at, but the number I strive for is about 70lbs less than the current one. Mostly I won't put it out because I used to have this just for me and my family and my lifetime friends and now I have the internet. I get somewhere around 500 hits a week on this blog.  People find my blog and read it and send me messages about their story.  So, I'll share the story whether successful or as has been the reality lately, not so successful.  The one thing I will promise never to do is post my hardly successful vegan recipes for you:)!

I have a new find and that is this great blog, MindBodyGreen.  I love reading it every day.  So happy reading and a very, very Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Yup, I Rock!

I had my Dr. Yang time today. You know I have been dreading it.  All that worrying about my appointment?  Wasted energy.  She spent a long time with me today and we talked nutrition and exercise and those fun things.  We agreed that vegan would be the best course of action going forward because yes she noticed both my weight and cholesterol. 

My BP was good 106/70, EKG, Echo and blood work were all good.  What does that mean for me?  Well it means that at least for the time being,  I didn't have to go to the OR for CABG.  Can I just tell you what a huge relief this is to me??? I mean really, you have no idea! The thought of having my chest cracked open has been a constant source of stress for me as my appointment has neared.  Not only will that not be happening but she said unless I become symptomatic, I don't have to come back for a year!   This is the best possible news ever and I am elated!  Yup, I rock!

This allows me to enjoy the holidays and get ready to promote Go Red for Women month.  I am going to be profiling some courageous women every day during February.  You will not want to miss this series.  I have a few days left to fill so if you know any courageous women that have battled heart disease or stroke and either survived or not, I want to share their stories. You can email me your story or the story of a woman who did not survive that you want to share at and include a pic:)

National Wear Red for Women Day is February 7.  I want to see all of you or your companies in red that day.  In order to see you that means you have to email me a pic at the above email or post a pic to The Skinny Bitch Chronicles Facebook page.  If you send me a pic of your company in red, send me a little blurb about your company so I can profile them!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holy Cholesterol!

Holy Cholesterol!  I certainly know the effect of your diet on cholesterol.  I went and had a yearly check up and had a bunch of  blood work done.  While I was there my doc reminded me that we are shooting for a total cholesterol of under 150.  In fact I have read that they consider you heart attack proof if your cholesterol is under 150.  Just so you know, you are not--mine was 134 the night of my heart attack when they ran it.  I reminded him of this and he asked the nurse what it was when we checked it in May.  It was 111.  All he said was, "Damn."

Well, about May was when I stopped eating plant based and put meat and dairy back in my diet.  Not only am I going the opposite weight direction from skinny bitch, my cholesterol has raised dramatically.  I have gone from 111 to 144 since May just putting meat and dairy back in my diet.  YIKES!  Not as if hating having gained back all of my weight that I lost wasn't significant enough to want to go plant based again, this is a real eye opener.  Now, I do understand that some of you would kill for a cholesterol of 144.  I am someone who would kill to be back at 111.  This just shows that plant based is the right thing for me to do.  Of course it is not the right thing for me to do until after the holidays--once again no reason to set myself up to fail (Really I already bought a spiral sliced ham for Christmas dinner and I just want to eat it--how's that for the truth??).

I find it at little funny that it is my cholesterol number and not the size number of my jeans that makes me come to this realization.  That must be a sign of getting older as well but no matter why, I just feel good that I have been able to come to this decision again.  Really, I never felt better than when I ate plant based.  Food is one of those funny things as it is the center of our social events and it is usually not vegan.  It makes it hard for me to stay vegan but I think after one run at it I can be more successful at it this time--especially since I really, really, really want that 111 cholesterol number back!  I also really never want to have to add any more medication to the cocktail I already take on a daily basis:)

Tomorrow is my cardiologist appointment and I highly doubt she will miss the facts that I have a higher cholesterol number and a higher jeans size--she's a pretty smart lady!

My ex-father in law is having quintuple by-pass (CABG) surgery tomorrow or Monday.  My ever inquisitive youngest child could not understand  what surgery her grandfather is having done (and what surgery I am trying to avoid).  Just so you know, I am obviously a fabulous artist and this, my friends is my back of an envelope, on the level of an 11 year old rendition of CABG.  Notice the blockage and the by-pass is so eloquently represented!  She did understand from this drawing though so yay me!