Sunday, September 16

Day Three

This is JUST exactly what we need!

I think I'm gettin' the hang of it. The hardest part, so far, is giving him (mr. kenju) a shower and shampoo, especially since we don't yet have the hand-held shower unit. Once we get that, things will be easier. The other hard part is meal planning. I have never been a really good cook and I am not much interested in planning (unless someone does it for me). Adding in the fact that our meals now have to be low fat and sodium, it knocks out many of our favorites and my old standbys. Have you studied the labels on foods for sodium content? Some things are nearly all salt! Who knew? Well, I did know it - but I ignored it. I can't do that anymore!

Meal planning is not easy, it takes time and creativity. I'm getting better at it, but it has only been 3 days....LOL. This morning, we had cereal with banana and no-fat, lactose-free milk, with English muffins. For lunch, we had chicken salad I made this morning with left-over grilled chicken from last night. I didn't have celery, but I used slivered almonds in it for crunchiness, and sliced grapes and hard-boiled egg. I mixed it with only 1 tablespoon of Duke's mayo (not exactly low fat!) and a touch of honey-mustard salad dressing. It was better than I thought possible. Coupled with a cup of home-made vegetable soup, it hit the spot. Dinner was salad and spaghetti, made with ground round (which I washed of the fat after cooking, before I added it to the sauce. I admit to using bottled sauce, since good sauce is not in my repertoire. I limited the serving amount, to minimize the sodium consumption. The salad dressing was fat free and dessert was a special treat to reward him: a slice of the Friendship cake and a small dollop of Blue Bunny turtle sundae ice cream. Heavenly!

Now, pray tell, what am I going to do tomorrow???


vicki said...

I follow your posts carefully and faithfully and lately, I am mostly at a loss for words. I suppose I could go on and on and on- but let me just say this Judy: God, in his infinite low sodium wisdom, loves you! And for what it's worth- I do too!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I can't imagine having to read labels along with meal planning. Your menu today sounded really good, but I'm sure you'll want some variety, huh? ;-)

We have the Waterpik handheld shower thingy and we love it. There are 4 different settings and they are super easy to install.
You're doing great so far - keep up the good work!!

Shephard said...

Okay, I'm going to send you some recipes! Because cutting out fat and sugar is exactly how I lost 40lbs in the past 8 months. :) You may have to modify their salt content.

I highly recommend SMART BALANCE brand. Their butter and mayo are nearly flawless, and hardly anything fat (just the good kind mostly), AND you can cook with the butter!

I also recommend Agave Nectar... looks and tastes just like honey, but a MUCH healthier choice of sweetner for teas, oatmeal, coffee, you name it. We love it. WHOLE FOODS carries it, if you have one of those.

Also... Healthy Harvest is brand of WHEAT pasta by RONZONI, and it's absolutely yummy, and not grainy like most whole wheat pastas.

Sara Lee Brand breads have a line called Hearty & Delicious that are VERY low in sugar AND they use stone ground wheat instead of enriched (white bread as you know, turns to sugar in the body).

I also highly recommend Basmati rice, because it has nearly the identical glycemic rating that brown rice does, but it tastes more like white rice, more versatile.

I'll send you an email tomorrow with a couple recipes. :)

~S :)

Crazy Single Mom said...

I read back on yo ur posts to find out what had happened, and I must say you handle everything with such grace! Good luck to you both! I came via Michele and wish you and Mr. Kenju all the best!

BreadBox said...

Judy: let me recommend the following: first, find a used bookstore, and look around for Cooking Light annual editions: they focus on these sorts of foods:
second: remember that salt and fat are great for flavour, which is why we use them: they are simple and cheap to add. But there are other ways to add flavour to a dish: especially savoury dishes, via the use of herbs. If you don't have a herb garden, find a sunny-ish spot to place a few flowerpots and start growing some basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram. Fresh herbs can really perk up a dish where you've got to cut down on the salt. And I imagine that MrK will be able to do a little gentle tending of plants in pots: picking off old growth, talking to them, etc, pretty soon:-) It'll be just as good for him as for the plants and for the menu!
As far as having to read labels and find out what the ingredients are, that's a toughie: to the extent that you can prepare from scratch, that of course is great -- that way you know and control what goes into the food. But especially now that you are the primary breadwinner, that's really difficult to do. If you have a freezer, one thing you can do is to make and freeze ahead: stock, for example, you can make in a huge (and I mean huge!) batch: simmer it down all day sunday until it is really concentrated, and then freeze in ice cube trays. Bingo, stock cubes: full of flavour, salt and fat free if the stock was, and any time you need one, just pull it out of the freezer.

You've a long time ahead: good luck dealing with it! And any time you have culinary questions, feel free to ask: if I know I'll try to help.


Stephanie Davies said...

You must be the strongest woman on earth (besides my mom that is ;) ) I can't imagine how you do all of it. Mr. Kenju is so lucky to have you to help him recover. Your love, caring and strength shine through your posts.

And that is one GORGEOUS shower, even if it is for practical reasons!!

Michele sent me to say hello and send further thoughts and prayers your way!

mar said...

That shower looks great, everybody should have one :)
I am not a cook either so I feel for you!!! It is interesting to read the cooking comments here.
Wishing you a good Monday!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

You are a wonder, Judy. I know it is hard. Many Many years ago, I helped out a friend who had had a heart attack with cooking low fat low sodium stuff for him...It was daunting! But I noticed by reading the sides of cans and such, there are a lot of foods that are very low in both. And now, more than there were then. Shopping at the market does become a totally different experience, doesn't it?
And, by the way,I think you are doing fabulously, Judy! BRAVO to you!

ET said...

I know what you mean.
Studying labels for fat, and fiber content is a way of life for since my heart-attack and then we really got serious about it after my stroke.

Tabor said...

You have good advice from everyone already, but my advice is to take it in baby steps. Don't try to change to a totally healthy diet all at once. Healthy food is good and good for you, but don't beat up on yourself if you back slide for one day.
(Stir frying any of the seasonal vegetables with a hint of oil and low sodium soy is also quick and good)

TLP said...

Bravo to you! I've just read this posts and the ones below which I had missed.

Take care of YOURSELF too. Caregivers have needs too.

PI said...

I've been buying low fat, skimmed milk etc for yonks. MTL Isn't so fussy. Most puds (my weakness) do low fat now. BTW we were told medically that lettuce and some green veg are to be avoided. I can't remember the science but another relative in France was told the same.
I love your shower. MTL recently put an aid in ours to hang on to and it dropped off:)
You are doing a great job Judy. I was telling MTL about you and he said there's no rush to do things and I told him you had a job. I don't know how you do it and can't repeat too often to look after yourself.xoxoxoxo

Badabing said...

Judy...I've been away recently and didn't know about Mr. kenju, other than he went into the hospital. I've been catching up on your posts this morning...I wish you and Mr. kenju all the best. Keep hangin' in there.

BTW, I could always send you my own spaghetti salt and it beats the hoohay out of the bottled stuff.

Cris said...

Your post "Day one" brought tears to my eyes, and this one too with all the changes you have been facing. As I can see here there are so many good advices, and some we should follow ourselves... Ok, the only thing I can help you with is... Pray! So, my heart and prayers are with you... Blessings...

Granny Annie said...

The hardest part is realizing it's not as hard as you think. When you reflect on how blessed you have both been, you will know this too shall pass. (Yes, Smart Balance brands are great!)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Get yourself a good cookbook, Judy, and let your imagination run wild. One thing you might want to try is Yogurt. I have it every day and it is smooth, creamy, and very tasty. Not expensive, either.

moon said...

Lots of great advise here so far...if I can just suggest...getting one of those plastic flexable hoses with shower head , sold at most drug stores...that u can easily fit onto the kitchen faucet or maybe even the bathtub...untill u have something more permanent. It may make washing his hair alot easier in the mean time.

rennratt said...


Let me know when you have a Saturday afternoon open.

I will come over and cook FOR you.

I'm not kidding.

Cravey said...

You can also try I get healthy low fat type recipes from there, and I am almost sure they have a thing where you can select for low sodium recipes.

Love to you, hang in there, when Renn comes to cook, I'll bring the cocktails, you pick.


Jamie Dawn said...

It sounds like you are doing just fine with the menu.
Lowering salt intake takes some getting used to, but it will be great for both of you.
You can make some delicious crock pot soups, stews, and beans using low sodium ingredients.
You and your hubby are going to see great benefits from this change in diet.
I wish you well, Judy, as I know you are handling a great deal lately. God bless you and your husband.