Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (11/14 – 11/20)

With the approach of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, we are entering what I call “the time of dangerous eating.” Brett and I did okay last year with just the two of us and YaYu at home, but this year, with all three of our daughters here, is going to be difficult. The girls love to eat, and pretty much can and will eat anything, including candy, cookies, cakes, as well as savory things like chips and such. It’s easy to avoid eating those things when they’re not in the house, but they will be expected when the girls are here.

I’m frankly not sure what to have on hand for them. I’ve thought about making pecan pie bars (one of Meiling’s favorite things) but realized Brett and I would have no trouble whittling away at them as well. I’ve also thought about making a batch of peanut brittle, one of WenYu’s holiday favorites, but peanut brittle is one of those things that if I take one bite I’m probably going to finish all of it. We plan to binge-watch the new Dexter series, so I’m thinking of putting out chips and salsa while we do that, but otherwise I’m stumped about what else to have on hand, for now anyway. Candy is out of the question as are cookies – Brett and I can’t leave them along – but maybe we could avoid eating cake these days. There will be lilikoi chiffon pie following our Christmas dinner, but otherwise I’m trying hard not to think of all those other oh-so-troublesome-but-so-delicious things that are part of the holidays.

Last week’s menu got several things out of the freezer, which was the plan going in. I’m going to go shopping for meat in a couple of weeks and there needs to be room for it.

Sunday: Curry with tofu & vegetables; steamed rice

Monday: Vegetable yakisoba

Tuesday: Vegan mini corn dogs; 3-bean salad; onion rings; pickle slices

Wednesday: Vegetarian lasagna; roasted peppers

Thursday: Chick’n tikka masala mini pizzas

Friday: Split pea soup; toasted cheese sandwiches

Saturday: Vegan mabo tofu; steamed rice

One-sixteenth of a key lime pie – a wonderful ending to our meals

We enjoyed a small slice of key lime pie most of last week for dessert (we had mini cream puffs again on Tuesday), and when the pie was finished on Saturday we started in on a Pepperidge Farm coconut cake which we’ll finish just before Thanksgiving. We bought a big Costco pumpkin pie to enjoy for that day and beyond. Pies seem to be our thing these days.

I haven’t made ziti casserole in several years but I found two packages of ziti at the back of the pantry this past week, and other than ricotta cheese we had everything else on hand to make it (and we picked up the ricotta at Safeway). The casserole will provide our main dish on two evenings. On Thanksgiving Day we’re having the Chicken & Butternut Squash casserole which contains a couple of things we’d be enjoying with a traditional turkey dinner. We’ve got pumpkin pie for dessert. Between the two casseroles we’re set for lunches for the week as well.

  • Baked ziti (2 meals)
  • Mandarin chick’n
  • Vegetarian chick’n & butternut squash casserole (Thanksgiving)
  • Chick’n nuggets
  • Mini pizzas
  • Plant-based meatball subs

We got in some good walks again this week, including a hike on the Waioukapua Trail and through Costco and Safeway during our Big Shop (slow, but we cover over two miles). Otherwise we walked up at the park. Brett walked alone on Friday because I was under the weather from the shingles vaccine. Packaging up Etsy orders on Saturday kept us home although rain threatened outside as well, but we made up for the two missed days by walking yesterday, our usual day off. We miss walking out the golf course and reverse walked it on Wednesday but only found two golf balls (although we weren’t really looking for any this time). There have been a lot of golfer the past couple of weeks, so it was sort of obvious that other hunters had been going through our usual spots.

It was very hot out on the Waioukapua Trail last Tuesday, but even though I drank more water than I usually do, ate a small snack at the halfway point, wore my hat, and remembered my wet neckerchief to help keep cool, I still ended up feeling shaky, dizzy, and slightly nauseous by the time we got set up on the beach. After some more water and with the shade from the umbrella and a cool breeze I felt better quickly though. I also got overheated out on the golf course when we did our reverse walk of the perimeter on Wednesday. We took that on after we had walked two Pavilion loops and then up to the club house and it really was too much, especially since it was hot and quite humid. I drank a lot of water along the way and just kept going, but I won’t push myself to do it again. When did I become so heat sensitive? Hopefully this will not be an issue next summer when we’re in Strasbourg and Oxford.


14 thoughts on “Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (11/14 – 11/20)

    1. So, so true! Brett and I have built some good new habits and we want to stick with them although it may be hard with three more adults here, all with healthy appetites!


  1. Hi Laura, I’d go ahead and make the girls their favorite treats. They’ll eat most of them anyway. When my four daughters come home, one of the best things is having their favorite treats for each of them. During that special time, I wouldn’t worry about an extra cookie or two! Just enjoy!


    1. I have been thinking about this and have come up with a couple of things that I can buy/make for them that I can more easily stay away from. Hardest for both Brett and I will be the Hawaiian treats they love (butter mochi, lilikoi bars, local ice cream, Hawaiian-style snacks, etc.). My problem is that it’s never just an extra cookie or two – I’m like an addict. With some things it’s one taste and I can’t stop.


    1. LOL – I LOVE fig newtons. However, I can pass on Oreos (unless it’s the lemon ones or the ones with a mint filling) but unfortunately the girls don’t like them either. Sigh. I think we may pick up one of Costco’s chocolate cakes – they are w-a-y too rich for me. One bite and I’m done, but the girls love them (and unfortunately so does Brett).


  2. I think you should give yourself more credit for having willpower and staying away from temptations. Follow your heart and treat your girls with what you know they love, without worrying too much about overindulging. Eating a cookie or two cannot be so disastrous.


    1. I tell myself the same thing, but honestly I am like an addict. Certain foods, including sweets (like those pecan pie bars) are triggers for me, and I can’t stop eating them! And then I seem to go downhill from there. I’ve got a few ideas for things we can keep around the house that I can and will avoid but the girls will like, but I am going to be very, very careful this year. I know my limitations!


  3. Could your overheating problem be related to too much salt in your diet? Looking at your menus it appears you eat lots of prepared food which is loaded with sodium.

    Give yourself some credit, you only eat 1/16th of the pie each day, that shows self discipline!


    1. I’ve never done well with heat, but the problem here seems to be related to humidity. The higher the humidity the harder it is for my body to regulate its temperature. And it’s been very humid lately!!

      I track macros with my daily food diary, and so far sodium levels are always under recommended levels for me. The only thing I ever add salt to is to vegetables before roasting, and that’s only a tiny bit, maybe 1/2 tsp for a tray of vegetables. I remember reading that salt is an acquired taste for humans, but I seem to have never acquired much of a taste for it!

      We enjoy our evening treat, but anything more would be too much for us these days. We originally thought we would cut the pie into 12 slices, but those seemed too big so we went with sixteen slices.


      1. Could it, possibly, be too little salt? My blood pressure drops severely when my salt levels are too low (clamy. faint). With your intake of water, you may be depleting your salts (and potassium) faster then normal. West Point lost a cadet three summers ago for over hydrating and under electrolytes!
        There are tablets to add to your water you might want to look into.


      2. I get enough salt, just not too much. It’s more the humidity than anything – when it’s is low I have no problem walking long distances. But when it’s high I perspire heavily (actually I SWEAT heavily, especially from the head), and yes it probably knocks my electrolytes out of whack. However, once I get in a cool place and drink a bit more water I return to normal quite quickly. I had a fairly severe heat incident a few years ago, and apparently that also may have left me more susceptible to them now as well.


    1. Not sure what kind of help you need, and I’m probably not the one to give it! We’ve just cut meat, dairy and eggs from our diet (we did it gradually, over several months), and kicked up the amount of exercise (walking) we do. We’ve made it a priority, and it’s made a difference.


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