Pumpkin Everything

The title fits…. pumpkin everything! We carved a pumpkin, baked pumpkin seeds, been to two pumpkin patches (going to a third tomorrow!), I’ve even been drinking sugar free pumpkin spice coffee mate! PUMPKIN EVERYTHING, people, and it is GLORIOUS!

So on Thursday night my dad and Helen watched Autumn so we could go to haunted house #1 of the season. It was Gregg’s first time at a haunted house so naturally I did what any good friend would do— stuck him up front! He was super terrified! We originally planned on going to The Massacre Haunt (as mentioned in my previous blog post), but we had a slight change of plan. The Massacre Haunt was an hour drive from my dads, and we didn’t want them to have to watch Autumn too late (plus we didn’t want her being up too far past her bedtime), so we decided to find a closer haunted house. Well, it worked out great! We found what is now my favorite haunted house of all time! Yup, The Massacre Haunt has been dethroned. It’s still amazing, but honestly the new place is just a little bit better. (For any Illinois peeps (or visitors)) It’s called Evil Intentions. It’s in Elgin, Illinois which was perfect because it’s only 20 minutes from my dads place! AND IT WAS SUPER SCARY! I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll just say this- wear running shoes!!

Saturday night/yesterday we had our Halloween Party. It was seriously the biggest blast! We all dressed up, played games, ate food, and talked. We decked out our apartment with Halloween decorations and it really turned out awesome. We hit a giant pumpkin pinata, went bobbing for apples, played the mummy wrap, etc. We ordered pizza and I ate a whole slice! (minus the top part of the crust).

Tomorrow my brother is picking up Autumn and I and we are going to our third pumpkin patch! I’m really excited because my dad and Helen are coming this time! Having family time can be very refreshing, especially on a Monday which usually sucks (because the weekend is over). Plus, by now y’all know about my obsession with fall time and pumpkin patches!

Time for the surgery related stuff. In terms of losing weight I definitely feel like a “slow loser”, but my nutritionist continuously assures me that I’m doing great. However as of two weeks ago I am totally stalled. I HATE STALLS! Yes, I know they’re normal. And yes, I know it won’t last (quick- knock on wood!). But it’s still super frustrating! It’s partially my fault, but partially to be expected. My nutritionist and surgeon told me that stalls are inevitable even if you go to the gym 6-7 times a week. I should be going to the gym more. The good news is though that even though I haven’t been going to the gym as much, I have been much more active in general. For example, we’ve been going on walks almost daily. On the haunted house day, I walked over 7,000 steps! I’ve just been more active in life. That’s no excuse to not go to the gym, but it’s something. I am upset with myself about some things though. I stopped meal planning and it’s not good. I’ve been eating out more (salad from Panera, sushi here and there, etc). This has to stop. I need to hold myself accountable and do the best I can. I can’t half-ass this process and expect it to do the work for me. It’s a tool, not a fix. I will keep updating you all on that.

On November 5th (so about 10 days) I have a doctor appointment where I will learn all of the results from my blood tests. I will definitely keep you all updated on that since the biggest reason I got this surgery was to get rid of diabetes and hypertension.

If I don’t post before then, HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!!! Have fun and be safe!

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 269

“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.”- Unknown

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.”- Confucius

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”- Humbert Wolfe

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^^Leaf playing sessions #5 and #6^^

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^^First haunted house of the season!^^

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^^Halloween Party Pics! (for more go to my facebook)^^

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In Love With This Town

Hey guys! How is everyone? It’s been a beautiful fall week over here! A little chilly, but still beautiful! We are going to a haunted house this week! We go to a haunted house every year as a family tradition. We’ve been to many haunted houses but our favorite one is the one we’re probably going to this weekend. It never let’s us down! Just in case you’re reading this and you live in Illinois (or may want to visit), I’m including the link to it: The Massacre Haunted House.

We have been spending a lot of time in this gorgeous town called Long Grove. It’s about 30 minutes away and it’s just an absolutely breathtaking little town- especially in fall! This weekend we went into a bunch of shops there, we got some homemade apple cider donuts and chocolate peanuts, and laid out on a blanket in a field next to a gazebo. It was magical. We also finished our holiday shopping (at least for the most part). We’re getting ready and excited for our Halloween party (on the 25th).

I’ve been better this week about getting enough fluids in each day. I haven’t really been monitoring calories or protein intake, but since I feel fine and continue to lose weight steadily I’m assuming it’s all going well. My nutritionist told me to back off from calorie and carb counting and just go with the flow. She said the chances of me over-eating are so low that there’s really no need to stress myself out with numbers. And to be honest, I’m loving this. It’s soooo nice to just throw my hands in the air and stop being so strict. And like I said, I’m still steadily losing weight. My total weight-loss (including highest weight pre-op) is 60 pounds. My weight-loss since the day of surgery is 40 pounds. All-in-all, everything is going great! I am feeling very energetic, very happy, and very productive.

Love, health, and a happy fall to everyone!

Dimand Girl

“The mind and body are not separate. What affects one, affects the other.”- Unknown

“When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.”- Joyce Brothers

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^^Long Grove… one of our favorite spots^^

The World’s BEST Crab Legs!

WARNING: highly addictive!

Seriously… when you try this recipe, you will never order crab legs from a restaurant again!! You won’t have to- these are better! I made this recipe up by trying to mimic Red Lobster’s crab legs but they honestly turned out even better then theirs. I noticed that Red Lobster’s crabs are somewhat sweet while still maintaining the saltiness of seafood. These do just that! Aside from how delicious they are, they are also very healthy!! A whole pound (2 clusters) of snow crab legs are 150 calories, 6 grams of fat, and get this- ZERO carbs! I bet you’re also wondering about protein (since protein is one of the most important things post-op). Just like my heavenly scallops recipe, these are SUPER HIGH in protein!! 21 grams of protein per pound! That in itself is cause for celebration!

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(^^not my picture because these suckers never last long enough for me to snap a photo 😉 ^^)

World’s Best Crab Legs:

-1 pound of snow (or king) crab legs

-2 teaspoons pure sugar

-2 teaspoons of salt

-2 teaspoons of lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

-Big ol’ water pot and lid

Take large pot and fill half way (or just over half way) with water. Add sugar, salt, and lemon juice and stir well. Bring the water to a rolling boil on high heat. Do a quick rinse of the crab legs. Throw the whole pound of crab into the boiling water and put on the lid to the pot. Keep it on high heat the whole time. In 11 minutes take the crab legs out and serve. 

You can use either frozen (straight from the freezer) or thawed crab legs. I eat these plain (no butter) because they are so good you don’t even need a dipping sauce. However, most people prefer some kind of dipping sauce for their crab legs. My husband usually makes some melted butter and a small sprinkle of lemon juice and garlic powder.

Happy eating!

Dimand Girl

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”- Virginia Woolf

Sickness Sucks

Hey guys! I got a lot of emails (on gmail and facebook) this week! I replied to mostly everyone… I think there is 1-2 more emails I have to respond to. I just wanted to thank you guys again for all the support! It seriously makes my day opening my email and finding questions and support from you guys! As I have said in the past- all I want to do is help. I’m so glad that this blog has made me feel like I’m accomplishing that mission. So keep emailing me everyone!!

On a lower note, everyone was sick in my household this week. First Timur, then Alex, then Autumn…….. then me 😦 I thought for a second that I could actually somehow avoid being sick, but NOPE. On an even lower note, I have not worked out AT ALL in a week. I’ve been taking care of everyone and have had virtually no time to myself. I’ve been eating even better then usual this week though since I knew there would be a lack of exercise. Timur has been feeling better since Tuesday (his cold kind of came and went), but Alex was sick until Thursday (he had a virus). Luckily Autumn and I had the same experience as Timur. It just kind of came- stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing- and then vanished in a couple days. Poor Alex had a much worse experience.

This weekend was pretty fun though! Everyone was feeling better so on Saturday we went to lunch at Walker Bro’s and then we went to Wolff’s Flea Market. It was a lot of fun and we got some really good finds! Alex and Timur bought some currency from other countries, Sophia bought Autumn a tickle-me-elmo, and I bought some Halloween decorations for the apartment. The place was huge! Even though I didn’t work out last week, my fitbit reported that I walked over 10,000 steps this weekend so at least I got in some activity. Yesterday (Sunday) we visited my brother and laid in a field listening to music and playing with the dogs. Autumn loves being outside! She kept saying “I want to go hike!” It was a blast! When we got home we still wanted to be outside so we went in a field outside our apartment complex and laid under a red-leaved tree. We snuggled up in blankets and played with the leaves. It was honestly kind of magical. I could not put my love for fall into words! I told Autumn that this is her season since it’s named after her 😉 We finished the day off by visiting Alex’s grandfather at his retirement community, decorating the apartment for Halloween, and watching horror movies (after Autumn went to bed obviously lol). FYI- the reason I am ranting about my weekend is because my week was incredibly uneventful!

In honor of Halloween, we have been watching Halloween movies all month so far. So far we’ve seen (not including the horror movies)– Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas (my favorite movie), The Addams Family 1 & 2, and Halloweentown 1 & 2. We have many more to go! I’m also really looking forward to our Halloween gathering. I sent the evites yesterday and I think most of the friends I invited are coming. I’m also excited to go to a haunted house this weekend. Not sure how many times I can say this (because I happen to say it a lot), but I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!!

Side note I forgot to mention earlier: On Friday I went to UIC for my 3 month nutritionist check-up. I also got blood work done and I will let y’all know the results as soon as I get them. It’s gonna tell me about my A1C, b12 levels, calcium levels, etc etc etc. In terms of weight loss I’m doing fantastic! Once again she said “you’re ahead of the curb!” which made me feel incredible! Even though I can eat a lot sometimes (a lot meaning 1500 calories a day), I am still losing steadily. I have lost 58 pounds since my highest weight before surgery (before the pre-op liquid diet). Since the day of surgery I have lost 38 pounds. ZERO of my pants fit without a belt, most of my shirts have become baggy, even my shoes feel loose! Not to mention, my energy is at an all time high! I feel like a 12 year old with how much energy I have now.

Love and health to all,

Dimand Girl

“Create healthy habits, not restrictions.”- Unknown

“Every day is Halloween, isn’t it? For some of us.”- Tim Burton

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.”- Michael J. Fox

Hanging out with Uncle Joshy:

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The family in our own backyard:

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❤ They are literally everything to me ❤

October- I LOVE YOU

Things have been fantastic over here y’all! My favorite month of the whole year has arrived! Here’s a piece of what October means to me: Pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving/painting, Halloween shops, haunted houses, (sugar free) hot cocoa, playing in the leaves with Autumn, scary movies, Yom Kippur, and at the end of the month, our Halloween gathering.

Sorry it’s been a while since my last update! My life lately has been all about family, love, and October. I have still been cooking and eating a lot of seafood. I’ve also been making some bad decisions lately. For example, I noshed on chips recently. I’ve also had sushi more then I should. I talked to my nutritionist and she said not to worry about it as long as I’m meeting my protein goals and fluid goals… which I am…. usually. I have started a strict meal plan that is really helping me stay on track though. I literally plan everything out on Sunday nights for the whole week. I would recommend meal planning to anyone struggling to stay on the “straight and narrow” of eating well like myself. I’m hitting between 1100-1500 calories a day, and I workout 3-4 times a week. Eventually I’d like that to be 5-7 times a week.

Other updates, last week I went to two pumpkin patches. First I went with Sophia, Alex, Timur, and Autumn to Bengston’s. It was SO fun!!! We did so much there, and I didn’t mind the walking at all! In fact, I liked it! Then a few days later my brother, Autumn, and I went to Didier. That was also a lot of fun! Autumn and Josh have a growing bond, and it’s incredible to watch. It grows every time they’re together. She went on a small coaster ride and into a huge moon bounce with him and they laughed and played and bounced. It was so cute! This week (when the boys are healthy again) we have a haunted house on the agenda. We want to go to at least two this year. Other then the pumpkin patches, I have been to two Halloween stores, and they were both so cool! I have also taken Autumn outside to play with the leaves 3 or 4 times already. She LOVES it! The rest of my October list is to be continued…

Yom Kippur was a good time for me, too! Timur, Alex, Sophia, Autumn and I went to my dad and Helen’s house. We got bagels, lox, cream cheese, and salami from a Jewish deli and ate dinner and said prayers together. It’s important to me for Autumn to have faith in God, and this was a great day to help instill that in her. She loved praying with us! She was even the first one to say “amen” at the end. 🙂

Small warning- there are a lot of pictures in this post!

Happy October everyone!

Dimand Girl

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are October’s.”- L.M. Montgomery

“Family is the most important thing in the world.”- Princess Diana

“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what.”- Unknown

“Our Family- A circle of strength, founded on faith… joined in love… kept by God.”- Unknown

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^^Leaf playing session’s #1 and #2^^

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^^Halloween-time shopping^^

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^^First Pumpkin patch of the season with my framily (friends/family)^^

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^^Second Pumpkin patch of the season with my big brother and Auty. They are bouncing on a giant pumpkin moon bounce!^^

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^^FaceTime session with my silly dad! We were having a goofy face contest LOL^^

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^^Yom Kippur Celebration!^^

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^^Family get together a couple weeks ago ♥^^