One of the unexpected benefits that has come along with reducing (and eventually eliminating) the amount of meat we eat has been a noticeable decrease in the amount of gastric discomfort I experience. Apparently those with hiatal hernias often have “food triggers” that increase the amount of acid the stomach produces resulting in discomfort, and apparently meat protein has been one of my triggers. I had never considered that meat protein might be causing high(er) acid production in my stomach. I had figured out earlier that sweet and starchy foods (cakes, cookies, pies, potatoes, bread, etc.) caused problems and that cutting back on those and/or eating smaller portions also made a difference in the amount of discomfort I experienced. Coffee and chocolate, tomato sauces, and other high acid foods are noted hiatal hernia triggers but none of those ever seemed to bother me, although I’m not a big consumer of any of them. Anyway, going forward I will be monitoring everything I eat in an effort to keep GERD from raising it’s uncomfortable head. It was good to finally have a definitive diagnosis for what I’ve put up with for the past few years, and also to know the rest of my digestive system is in tip top shape, but this is something I will live with for the rest of my life.
Before my procedure last week, I was weighed (fully clothed) and was happy to see that my weight has been holding steady. It’s pretty much stayed consistent for the last six months, so I’m thinking that without a further big reduction in calories (which is not going to happen), this is what I’m meant to weigh going forward. I have greatly changed shape as a year ago I couldn’t pull on the pants I wore last week, but on Monday they were positively baggy. I’ll continue with monthly weighing at home, but want to continue to focus more on how my clothes fit and how my body feels rather than a number on the scale.
Last week’s cooking both used up leftovers and produced a lot of new ones. I happily ate spaghetti pasta salad leftovers for lunch all week, but we used up our leftover black beans in the quesadillas (delicious), and some leftover cheeses and leftover canned tomatoes with the white bean bake. It’s a real balancing act for us, but the biggest motivator is that our refrigerator is tiny and temperamental, and we have to keep things from building up.
Sunday: Spaghetti pasta salad
Monday: Grilled teriyaki chicken thighs; zaru soba; sliced cucumber
Tuesday: Guadalajara quesadillas with spinach and leftover black beans
Wednesday: Cheesy white bean-tomato bake
Thursday: Panzanella with beans and feta cheese
Friday: Cheese board
Saturday: Mini pizzas with pesto. marinated artichoke hearts, red onion, and feta
For dessert this past week we finished off the olive oil lemon cake, enjoyed microwave s’mores one evening, and are now having a pan of (delicious) cherry baked oatmeal.
Two new recipes are getting a tryout next week: spiced sweet potato sandwiches, and barbecue Hawaiian tofu bowls. I was pleasantly surprised to find we had everything on hand to make both recipes, ones I had bookmarked a while ago. The chili pork burritos will use up our next-to-last pork chop, and I’m going to experiment with substituting tofu for pork in our usual CookDo pork & pepper stir fry. The vegan burgers were a new find at Costco.
- Tofu & pepper stirfry
- Vegan burgers
- Chili pork burritos
- Cheese board
- Margherita pizza
- Spiced sweet potato sandwiches
- Hawaiian barbecue tofu bowl
Our walking has been less than consistent this past week. Not only did my day at the hospital upset our regular schedule, but Brett has been dealing with a painful flare-up of gout in his left foot. He thinks the culprit was the asparagus we ate this past week (very high in the uric acid that causes gout). Previous attacks all happened here in Hawaii after eating asparagus, but we had both forgotten that trigger and hadn’t eaten asparagus since we were here before. It’s now been permanently banned from our list of approved vegetables. Things should be back to normal again with his foot in a few days. Anyway, we got in perimeter walks on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, skipped the park on Thursday to shop at Costco, and then I walked alone on Friday but stayed home on Saturday because of high winds and overcast. We still managed to find 24 lost golf balls during the week.
One of the joys of walking up at the park is discovering all the different plants that come into bloom. It can be difficult to figure out when one season ends and another begins in Hawaii, but seasons do exist and plants’ behavior is one of the keys. We discovered lilikoi blossoms on the edge of the course this past week – they are always stunning – and are watching other plants come into bloom as well while others fade. There are producing fruit trees in the park as well, but one big mango tree produced all of two fruit this year. We see big mango seeds out on the grass from time to time though, after the chickens have finished the fruit, so know that other trees exist and produced fruit.