I ♥ [Zucchini] Noodles!

So since I don’t have that much to say today, this will be an interesting cross between a recipe post and an update.

I have always loved noodles! Ramen noodles, pasta noodles, any type of noodles. Since surgery I have been severely craving a noodle binge. I’ve taken bites of pasta here and there and they always make me sick. Just as I was mourning my loss, a friend of mine recommended the Vegetti. I added it to my “Want for Chanukah” list and just kind of forgot about it. On the first night of Chanukah the boys gave it to me, and last night I tried it for the first time… AND LOVED IT!! I know you can use it for anything (carrots, cucumber, etc), but I used it for zucchini noodles. They are soooo good! I am no longer mourning noodles. Not to mention they’re healthy and they count as a serving of veggie’s! I used it in a stir fry last night and it was probably the best stir fry I’ve ever had!

-2 oz squid (frozen or fresh)

-2 oz bay or sea scallops (frozen or fresh)

-5 shrimp (frozen or fresh)

-1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic 

-1 teaspoon of paprika

-1/4 teaspoon of pepper

-a pinch or two of salt

-1 medium sized zucchini

-2 tablespoons of butter

-1/2 cup frozen broccoli

Thaw the seafood. Preheat the oven on high broil setting. Combine melted butter, paprika, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Clean the squid, scallops, and shrimp, and dry thoroughly. One by one dip the seafood in the paprika butter mix and place it on the baking pan. Broil for 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and flip each piece of seafood. Brush on more paprika butter mix. Broil for another 5 minutes, and done! Take out a wok or a large enough pan for all of the seafood (I always use my wok). Put in a little oil and let it heat up until it’s crackling a little bit. Throw in the broccoli and let sit for 1-2 minutes (if using frozen broccoli, heat up in the microwave first). Throw in zucchini noodles and let them sit for 1 minute. Throw in all the seafood and let sit another 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve. 

I know this dish is a little more complex than the other one’s I’ve posted, but it’s so worth it! The nutritional stats for this meal are out of this world, especially since this meal will fill you up 100%. 393 calories, 13 carbs, and 29 grams of protein! It’s so good I can’t wait to make it again!

Autumn loves Chanukah. Every night we light the candles and say prayers. After dinner we play dreidel for chocolate coins (don’t worry, I only have a couple). We play traditional Jewish music and dance. Then we let Autumn open a gift. I never imagined I would love the holidays this much because I usually don’t. But having Autumn has made me love them! Every night we have this tradition, and it will bond us forever.

Since everything else on my end is pretty uneventful, I’m going to end this post here!

Happy Eating and Happy Holidays!

Dimand Girl

“Eating is a necessity, but cooking is an art.”- Unknown

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.”- Terri Marshall

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^^My new favorite cooking utensil!^^

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Tale’s Of A Bald Beauty

Okay, so the title might be a bit dramatic. I’m certainly not bald (yet), but it kind of feels that way sometimes. I went from having super thick, voluptuous hair to having thin (and still somewhat voluptuous) hair. It was really concerning me how much it was falling out. As I told y’all in my last blog, I decided to see a hair stylist and get my hair cut and see if that helps. It did!! It still falls out a little, but it’s nowhere near how bad it was before! I also stopped taking biotin because it was making me break out. Anyway, I got a small trim (just the split ends) and long layers and I feel like it kind of saved my hair! So any of you reading this, if you are having horrible hair-loss and nothing is working for you, try getting your hair cut and styled. Side note, if you’re in the Chicagoland area, do yourself a favor and CHECK OUT KAHLO SALON!!! Veronica (the owner) literally worked magic on my hair. I honestly think that her expertise is what helped me so much. She also straightened my hair for free when she found out I was having a party for my dad’s birthday that night!

My dad’s birthday party was a lot of fun! There was good food, good conversations, and no shortage of interesting moments! It was the first time we’ve hosted my family over at my place and it really turned out well! I was scared it wouldn’t be enough space for everyone but it was.

This is what the rest of my month looks like: Hanukkah gift exchange for Autumn and our closest friends, Hanukkah gathering with my dad, Hanukkah party with a bunch of our friends, and a New Years gathering with our friends. I love this month though! Aside from the frigid cold and being trapped inside 24/7 because of it, I love the holidays. The funny thing is that I used to not really find any value in holidays. I wasn’t close to my extended family and I was never happy on holidays. Now that I have Autumn and my friends and family I love holidays! They’re an excuse to get everyone together to talk, play games, and there is never any shortage of laughter!

Happy Holidays!!

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 258

“If your hair is done properly and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything.”- Iris Apfel

“Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad.”- Unknown

“Hanukkah is the festival of lights. Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.”- Adam Sandler

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^^My hair cut!^^

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^^Dad’s Birthday Party!^^

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Sweet Hawaiian Ham

Today’s recipe is a winner y’all! One of my absolute favorites, not to mention it’s chock-full of protein! Today I’m giving you guys my recipe for sweet Hawaiian ham. Well, I should tell you in advance that my family uses turkey ham but I’m sure this works with regular ham as well. We use the Jennie-O kind and it’s just super yummy. It’s also one of the easiest dishes you’ll ever make!

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(^^not my picture, but it looks pretty similar except for I use crushed pineapple^^)

Sweet Hawaiian Ham:

-1 turkey ham (or regular ham- mine are 32 oz)

-1 can (20oz) of crushed pineapple (use juice also)

-half cup of brown sugar

-2 or 3 tablespoons of butter/margarine 

-A baking dish with tall enough sides so that the juice won’t spill out

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the ham into 4-6 slices (depending on how thick you want them to be). Butter the pan you are using. Lay the ham slices next to each other in the pan. It’s okay if the sides are touching, but they shouldn’t be overlapping (on top of each other). Put a small slab of butter on top of each piece of ham. Dump the whole pineapple can on top of the ham (juice and everything). Evenly distribute the pineapple pieces all around the pan. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of each slice, and pop in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour- depending how crispy you like yours (I do an hour). 

I serve the ham with mashed potatoes and a vegetable (usually pea’s). Pea’s are delicious with this, but they are also one of the veggie’s that are higher in carbs (on the flip side, they’re also higher in protein!). You can really serve it with anything though! I imagine you could even cut the ham into cubes and throw it in a salad! It’s a very versatile food! For a 5 oz portion- 150 calories, 5 carbs, and 20 grams of protein. You guys gotta try this one, it’s just so delicious!

Happy Eating!

Dimand Girl

“What could be more important than a little something to eat?”- Winnie the Pooh

3 Month Post-Op Appointment

Sorry, guys- my brain’s not functioning well enough to come up with a clever title today. My 3 month post-op appointment was on Wednesday and I met with my surgeon and my nutritionist. They both said the same thing basically. I got positive and negative feedback. I was asked to log some of my workouts and bring them to the appointment. They said my workouts look good and to keep it up. BUT…. they want me to lose weight faster. I owned up to the fact that I am still snacking/eating when I’m bored (not really hungry). I also explained that my carbs are between 100-150 a day, and my calories are around 1200 a day. They said it’s too much for now and put me on a more restrictive diet: 800-1000 calories a day and 40-70 carbs a day. So far I’m doing really well, though! The last two days I have eaten between 800-870 calories and only 40-50 carbs. I am vehemently meal planning now, too. I count every bite, sip, and crumb I ingest every day. It makes it a lot easier to keep track of everything. I’ve already lost 3 pounds in 3 days so clearly the doctors are right.

I always kind of knew I wasn’t trying as hard as I could have been. I still have weird emotional attachments to food. I eat when I’m bored, I eat when I’m emotional (even happy), I eat to socialize- food is a huge part of my life. I need to learn how to have a healthy relationship with it. I will always love food. I will always be a “foodie”. But I can’t let this continue to be an unhealthy relationship. I’m starting to think about finding a therapist (or group therapy) who specializes in this. I definitely need to get down to the core issues because if those don’t get resolved I’m risking going backwards and losing all my progress. Not 100% about therapy yet but I am definitely doing some deep soul searching to try to understand myself and this process on a deeper level (if that makes any sense). If y’all have any other questions about the appointment, what the doctors said, etc, feel free to email or contact me with them.

I think I told you guys this before but my hair is a hot mess. It’s been falling out in fist-fulls and it’s always tangled and knotted. My hair was super thick and wavy before surgery and now it’s thinned out so much (not in a good way) and it’s lost a lot of it’s perfect ocean waves 😦 I finally set an appointment to have it done tomorrow. I’m having them do long layers, a small trim (just enough to get rid of the split ends), and a Morrocanoil deep conditioning treatment done. I’m really excited and I’m praying to God that this helps because I feel like I’m one week away from needing a wig.

Peace, love, and a healthy head of hair to all,

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 260

“Every Champion was once a contender who refused to give up.”- Rocky Balboa

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”- Coco Chanel

Quitter’s Never Win

SORRY GUYS!!! I know it may feel like I fell off the face of the planet… I didn’t! I’ve been really busy with the holiday’s, hubby has been getting sick literally once a month (he just started working with kindergartners a couple months ago), and the list goes on and on. I have many updates though, so this may be a very long post- bare with me!

The blog title is meant to express my guilt. I quit with my personal trainer after only two sessions. After really evaluating the cost, I realized it’s more then I can pay right now. I’m trying to supplement the loss by going to the gym more and doing more intense workouts. An example of this (this was my exact workout yesterday): I did 1.16 miles on the arc (in 35 minutes) on the interval setting. Then I did half a mile (.5) on the elliptical in 4 minutes. Unfortunately there’s no interval setting on the elliptical so I just try my best to speed up- slow down- speed up- slow down. I’ve also been adding in some weight training and some of the different workout’s I was taught in my two sessions of personal training. It’s definitely helping because I’ve lost three pounds this week!

Since I loved personal training so much, I’m looking for some cheaper alternatives. Some suggestions I’ve gotten (and am really interested in) is Zumba, Crossfit, and boot camp classes. I’m interested in them because I like having a teacher/coach showing me direction and helping me with positioning my body and my stance. I also feel more motivated when there’s someone else there helping to hold me accountable. Not to mention a lot of people have had incredible results with these classes/programs.

Thanksgiving festivities turned out to be really nice! The week before actual Thanksgiving my family got together and met at my dad’s (a sort of pre-Thanksgiving). We all brought a dish or two and it was a total success! The food was all incredible! I tried to eat more turkey than anything but it would be a flat out lie to say that I ate well. I had some mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie- you get the picture! The night was pretty fun, but there’s no shortage of arguments when you get the family together!

On actual Thanksgiving day Alex was still a little sick (just a cough and a fever), so we didn’t really have any plans. Timur went to his family’s Thanksgiving this year. Alex and I used leftover’s from my family’s Thanksgiving dinner (plus we made some more turkey on the stove) and actually made a nice Thanksgiving feast for the three of us (Autumn loved it!!). We spent the day/night playing chess, checkers, card games, and coloring with Autumn, and I couldn’t have been happier! How was all of your Thanksgiving’s?! For all my post-op surgery friends, did you splurge also (if not, please lie and tell me you did anyway…. that way I don’t feel too guilty 😉 )

Yesterday Alex, Timur, Gregg and I took Autumn to the circus! We saw “Legends” at the United Center in Chicago (it’s a Ringling Bro’s production). Autumn had a blast!!! She was clapping, laughing, and dancing through the whole show!! Only towards the end did she start to get a little restless. And to be honest, I had a blast too! I haven’t been to the circus in probably 15 years, but it was so much fun! After the show we sat down in Panera and had dinner. It was a great night, and it was Autumn’s first show ever! If y’all haven’t been to the circus (or any kid friendly shows) in a while I highly recommend going (even if you don’t have any little one’s). I may have had more fun than Autumn! 😉

Last but definitely not least update- drum roll please- MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL IS FINALLY UP!!! So far I only have some video’s that other people took of my pre-op and post-op hospital stay, and two video updates that I filmed almost a month ago. I will try to update the weblog as often as possible. Right now I’m aiming for once a month, but I can do it more frequently if y’all love it. The link to the channel is https://www.youtube.com/RNYdimandgirl

Until next time,

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 263 (almost to the 250’s!!!)

“I’ll look back on this and smile because it was life and I decided to live it.”- Unknown

“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“Gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn’t.”- Annette Bridges

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^^Family Thanksgiving!!^^

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^^Our mini-feast on actual Turkey Day!^^

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^^Circus!!^^