Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (7/25 – 7/31)

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.

Passionfruit blossoms on the perimeter of the golf course.

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.

9 thoughts on “Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (7/25 – 7/31)

  1. I REALLY enjoy your Staying Healthy posts! I’ve found a panzanella recipe I will try later this week. Last week, I was motivated by your black bean casserole. We had a Family Dinner on Thursday, but Brian was not in town to cook, so I had to come up with a plan and execute. After reading your post, I looked for a black bean casserole recipe, found one I liked, and then went on to search for something similar, but vegan (our oldest son and his wife are vegan). I ended up finding a vegan recipe that I made for everyone and it was great! I had some napa cabbage from our CSA. I wasn’t sure how to use it, but found a southwestern slaw that went really well with the casserole. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Your recipes sound wonderful! The girls have already asked me to make “super nachos” when they’re here for Christmas, and I’m going to make a pan of the black beans, then do all the other additions (meat and other toppings) on the side and they can build their own and Brett and I can skip the meat. I wished I could handle vegan cheese, but that’s not going to happen.

      Would you send the me the name of the southwestern slaw so I can look it up? I absolutely LOVE coleslaw and am always interested in variations.

      Love to you and yours!

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  2. I have been a long time reader of your blog and truly enjoy it. I am a first time commenter and was wondering what do you do with all the golf balls that you find?

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    1. I laughed when I read your question! For now we clean the golf balls and put 25 to a bag. We’ll eventually sort them and then plan to sell them by the bag at our garage sale. New balls cost nearly $50 for 24; we plan to sell a bag for $5. If things keep going the way they have been, we’ll have well over 300 balls to sell by the time we leave!

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      1. As the wife of an avid golfer, this is kinda genius. Golf balls are crazy expensive, and even if someone is really particular about which ball they use (like someone I know…ha), these are perfect for the driving range or practice. Smart.

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      2. We have found all sorts of brands, and plan to sort them by brand, number, and condition for sale, so people can gett a bag of Calloway or Titleist balls if they want. We’re into our second bag of colored balls too – those are always fun. We should be able to put together a couple of bags of the day glow yellow balls, and then another of mixed colors. The condition of the balls are interesting too – many are absolutely pristine, but others are less so. We’ll charge less for the less so ones.

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  3. This is the first time I see a passionfruit flower. I thought passion fruit is a tree, but it looks like a plant or shrub from the picture. What do I say? I learn something new every day🤣
    I so admire your commitment to eliminate(or drastically reduce) meat. In the past, I attempted to become a vegetarian but I wasn’t successful at all. I’d eat too many carbs ( from pasta, rice, beans), which made me gain weight. Your cheese boards look fantastic!

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    1. Aren’t the flowers lovely? They’re so distinctive, and come in different colors as well. Passionfruit is actually a vine – we had one in our yard last year and it was producing, but the yard crew cut it down one day – grrrr (our landlord wasn’t happy about it either). Anyway, some bird (or maybe a wild pig) probably dropped seeds in the forest and now the vine is creeping out into the golf course.

      I will never be a full vegetarian or vegan. I’ve tried before and it doesn’t suit me, but I can do without meat. We still eat carbs, but everything is measured carefully so we don’t overdo it. I only eat 1/4 cup of rice at a meal, or 1/2 cup pasta, and no more, and I try to stick to whole grains if possible.

      The cheese boards are fun, easy to put together, and delicious. Calories are high, but we make up for it in other ways that day.

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