Poked & Prodded

Some people don’t like getting up early for doctor’s appointment. Me? I prefer it. I just want to get it over with. So when I was able to score a 7:30 sonogram, I was psyched. Yes, it’s that time of year: time for my annual ‘roid scan.

annual 'roid scan

Let me assure you that while it’s not exactly horrible, a thyroid ultrasound is nowhere near as fun as a pre-natal scan. Lucky for me, I had an amazing tech and she didn’t bear down on my throat (for once). I’ll be curious what the results are this year. Last year I found out that I had a brand new baby nodule. Yay! </sarcasm>. My fingers are crossed that there are no surprises.

After I left the hospital I figured… hey, why not make it a day and head to the lab? OK, I didn’t really think that. But I did have to have bloodwork done (TSH, free T3, free T4) because I have an endo appointment in a couple weeks and we need to make sure that my meds are still at the right dosage. (With Hashimoto’s, the amount of hormone in your body can fluctuate — it likes to keep you on your toes.) I got lucky at the lab and didn’t have to wait at all, so that was great! Then I ran a few errands. My last errand was to gas up the car and as I stood there pumping, I stared at a sign for Green Mountain Coffee.

Mmm. Coffee. I realized that it was now around 10 and I hadn’t had breakfast and darn tootin’ did a hot cup of joe sound good. I almost ran into the gas station for a cup when I thought…

Yes! After getting my neck all gelled up, and my veins stuck, I totally deserved to treat myself (especially since I had a Panera coupon). So I did.

treat yo self

A dark roast and a cranberry orange muffin to go.

Hopefully I won’t have to do all that for another year. Well, except for the coffee and muffin. I could go for that any time ūüėČ

Healthy Eyes, Smart Kids


 

When I was a sophomore in high school, I noticed that my vision started to get a little fuzzy. My mom brought me to the¬†optometrist¬†and sure enough… I needed glasses. The prescription wasn’t particularly strong, but wearing them made a huge difference.

Flash forward several years… now I’m married to a wonderful guy who unfortunately has very poor eye sight and can’t see much without his glasses. Because of this, we are very¬†sensitive to our children’s eye health. We make sure they have an annual eye exam with an eye doctor because even though, yes, schools do vision screenings, they¬†do not provide the same level of detection as comprehensive eye exams.¬†Annual eye exams ‚Äď such as the¬†VSP¬†Vision Care WellVision Exam¬ģ allow¬†VSP¬†eye doctors to detect early signs of health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, among others.

This year we thought Noah might need glasses because he’d been complaining of headaches and rubbing his eyes (two signs that there might be a problem). We were surprised (pleasantly so) to learn that his vision is totally fine. But I can’t imagine not following up on what could be tell-tale signs that your child needs glasses.

What else should parents look for? Here are a few things:

  • squinting
  • head tilting
  • avoiding ‚Äúclose work”
  • trouble focusing

One  in four children have an undetected vision condition that can negatively impact learning.

Jake’s vision is almost super-hero good. In fact, the doctor remarked that she was impressed how quickly his focus adjusts and this is probably one of the reasons he’s such a good reader — his eyes can glide along the page from word to word with very little effort.

My exam went well too and my prescription did change slightly so I got a pair of new glasses (which I probably would have gotten even if my prescription remained the same). My new specs have a funky tiger strip on the inside, which I love!

mosaic

Chances are, all of our kids will need glasses at some point though, so we will continue to “watch” how well they see. And now that most children have been in school for a while, it’s important to make sure they can see the board without trouble and they’re not having trouble with their schoolwork.

Good eyesight is integral to successful learning —¬†80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes! Goodness, I just can’t imagine going through life without the gift of sight. Do you take your kids for annual eye exams?


Visit SeeMuchMore for more information about VSP and vision care benefits.  I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

{CSA 2012} Share #3

CSA 2012 | Share #3

Hoo boy, this post is going up late! Yes, this is Tuesday’s farm share. I just haven’t had the chance to get much blogging done this week. But better late than never, right?

Lots of good things this week, especially the PYO flowers! 20 stems! Laura had a great time picking them out with me. We also got:

  • 3 heads of lettuce
  • kale ¬†& chard
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 1 sweet onion (My favorite! I just love these so much!)
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 decent-sized bunch of basil
  • 1/2 lb. of broccoli
  • zucchini & summer squash

The chard wilted before I had a chance to use it, but… that’s how it goes with chard. I feel like you have to use it as soon as it’s picked or else it just gets icky. We grilled the zucchini and summer squash on the 4th of July and they were fantastic! I didn’t do anything special: just salt, pepper, and olive oil in a foil packet. Delicious, though.

The beets…. ah, beets. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that beets are my culinary¬†nemesis. I know they’re super healthy, and I think they’re a very pretty vegetable, but I have a hard time getting past the fact that (to my palate) they taste like dirt. Last year I pickled them and that was OK. Back in 2008 I made this beet cake¬†and that was actually really delicious. I’ve tried boiling, roasting and I choke them down, but beets are just not my favorite thing.

Still, I press on. So for last night’s dinner I decided to try them raw. I peeled a large beet and then shredded it in the food processor along with a carrot, a granny smith apple, and some fresh ginger. I tossed the slaw with some champagne¬†vinaigrette and you know what? It was delicious! It’s a magic combination of ingredients that accentuates the beet’s natural sweetness without the earthiness that I don’t like. So that was a win. What to do with the rest of them now? I’ll make the slaw again, but I might resort to roasting. ¬†A friend suggested sprinkling with dill, so I may give that a shot.

Anyway, that’s it for my week in vegetables ūüôā

{Friday Favorite Finds} Whole30 Recipe Ideas

It’s Friday! So that means it’s time to link up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen‘s Friday Favorite Finds. Can’t believe the last time I participated was back in March! Good grief! Anyway, I am gearing up to start Whole30 on Monday (after a gluttonous weekend of anniversary and birthday celebrations). I was describing it to Drew (who, unbeknownst to me had his in ear buds in and didn’t hear me the first time) and he was pretty intrigued. Basically, it’s 30 days of strict Paleo eating. I’ll be blogging my way through it, so you’ll read plenty about it, but in the meantime, head over to Whole9 if you’re interested in learning more.

I certainly have plenty of paleo recipes in my arsenal, but because I’m pretty liberal with the dairy, I thought this was the perfect time to share some Whole30-approved dishes! Please note, that the images in this post belong to the¬†original blog owners. In addition, I am directly linking the name of the recipe to the original source so you can head right over there to get the details. Please pin from the original sources and not my blog. Here are my¬†Pinterest food finds for the week.

Meaty Chili from Paleo on a Budget

 

Paleo Breakfast Burritos from A Real Housewife of NYC

 

Spicy Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley from Cooking Melangerie (have to sub out the wine for Whole30)

Source: melangery.com via Carol on Pinterest

 

Crispy Chicken Thighs With Cauliflower and Cilantro from Real Simple

Source: realsimple.com via Carol on Pinterest

 

Spicy Tortilla Soup with Shrimp and Avocado from Cooking Light (I’ll need to leave out the hominy and the tortilla chips, obviously)

Source: myrecipes.com via Carol on Pinterest

 

And that’s just a few! So many healthy, delicious options. While I’m a little bit nervous about 30 days without sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol, and (most of all) dairy, I can tell that my body needs a reboot because I’m having all kinds of carb cravings and I’m just not feeling on top of my game. Here’s hoping I can make it through!

Be sure to head over to Finding Joy in My Kitchen and see what inspired everyone else this week!

menu plan monday, busy week edition

I don’t know about you, but around here the days are just packed with activities lately. We have doctor’s appointments, dentist’s appointments, school activities up the wazoo, and I also can’t forget to make my ultrasound appointment to check on my thyroid nodule (hard to believe it’s been a year already). So as school winds down and summer begins, my plan is to just go with easy meals that don’t take much time or brain power.

Speaking of my thyroid, my results came back from the Celiac panel, and they were within the normal range. Nevertheless, I am still going to try cutting back on carbs and gluten. The more I read, the less I want to consume them. Plus, I just feel generally better when I am not bloated after eating bread or pasta. And, of course, there’s my family history of diabetes. The less sugar in my system, the better. With all of the wonderful produce available during the summer, I think it’s good time to work on this. I’m not cutting them out entirely, but I’m going to be a lot more mindful of the carbs I eat. I currently have “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes sitting on the end table, and as soon as I finish “Catching Fire,” I am diving into it!

Anyway… on to my meal plan.

  • Sunday: Take-out
  • Monday: Beef & vegetable stiry-fry
  • Tuesday: Turkey & bean chili (slow cooker), green salad
  • Wednesday: Chicken curry, basamati rice, cucumber & onion salad
  • Thursday:¬†Spinach & swiss quiche, green salad
  • Friday:¬†Cub Scout picnic – no cooking
  • Saturday:¬†Winging it — leftovers or something on the grill

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.

so far, so good

Well, it’s been four days and I’ve been good about sticking to my workout¬†regimen. I’ve been doing yoga each night as intended, and D. is interested in trying it out, too (!) I wasn’t sure if it would appeal to his masculine sensabilities, but Unfortunately, I will miss tonight because we ate dinner late and I don’t think it would be a great idea to do all that stretching while I’m stuffed. (Eeek.) I already feel better (perhaps it’s mind over matter), and I actually am kind of sad I’m missing it tonight. I’ve also been keeping up as best as I can with cardio in the morning. The first day was rough and I was pretty sore after (OK, really sore), but I pushed through and after my workout this morning, I could feel my muscles, but in a good way. It’s definitely a motivator!

getting it together

Friday night I had a revelation when the dress I bought about a month ago for my husband’s high school reunion didn’t fit the same way as when I purchased it. It hugged in all the wrong places. I was horrified — how did that happen?

Well, clearly it’s because I need to get off my butt. Oh, and my nightly dish of ice cream doesn’t help. I’d seen this quote (“A year from now you’ll wish you started today”) posted several times over on Pinterest, and I took it to heart. Sure, I could research products like colonix or go on a crash diet, but really I need to do something that I can continue on a long-term basis. Starting Monday, I was going to make myself get moving.

I planned on digging out my 30 Day Shred DVD, but of course… I can’t seem to find it. Normally, I’d allow myself to wait while I get another copy, but this time I didn’t. Yesterday I put several workout videos in my Netflix instant queue, determined to start doing them until that DVD actually comes in the mail. And I completed one of them this morning, so yay for me!¬†I found Crunch – Boot Camp Training a perfect start for me. Some of the reviews claim that the workout is not intense enough, and if you are fit and work out regularly, I can definitely see that. But for someone like me, I thought it was enough to get my heart rate up, break a sweat, and not get bored. I also didn’t mind the instructor. Seriously, this probably seems ridiculous to some of you, but it’s a big deal to me. I’ve never been much for working out, so I have to force myself to do it. But I did it. And despite the difficulty, I actually enjoyed it.

It also, however, made me realize how out of shape I am. So, as difficult as it is, I am making myself get it together. My plan is to work out 6 days a week, preferably in the morning. I also plan to ease back into yoga and do that after the kids are in bed (instead of having my hot fudge sundae). I’ll be keeping a log of my progress and I plan to share my results at the end of the month. My weight isn’t horrid (though I do have a few to lose again), but my focus is fitness and toning, not necessarily weight loss.

Wish me luck! I’m going to need the support!

2011 goals: health & fitness

sour cherry picking

I’ll bet that losing weight and “getting healthy” are the most popular new year’s resolutions out there. Last year I actually met my goal weight (thanks to the discovery of my thyroid disease). Over the holidays a few pounds have found their way back onto my body (I blame the cookies), so I need to focus of getting back down to where I was just before Thanksgiving.

Here are some of the things I want to focus on, not just for me but for my whole family:

  • Eat more veggies. My two boys willingly try almost any vegetable and eat quite a variety (although Noah still runs in terror whenever I even suggest green beans). They both eat salad, which is great, but I want to expand their horizons when it comes to vegetables. The first thing I’m doing is going back to the farm share program we participated in a few years ago. I will be filling out the CSA application and sending in my check this week. Last summer we ate nowhere near as many fresh vegetables as the two years prior. I also am setting a goal of one meatless meal per week to start, with the hope of ramping it up to two or three as the spring and summer approach and the veggies become a lot more tempting.
  • Drink more water. During the summer months, this isn’t a problem for me. But when it’s 20 degrees outside, chugging cold water isn’t that appealing. Nevertheless, it’s something I need to do.
  • Exercise. I’m not sure if chasing my 19 month-old around counts as cardio (though I wish it did). Quite simply: I need to tone up after having lost weight. I have a copy of Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred. I just need to pop it in and start doing it. I also want to get back to a regular yoga program. I started doing yoga last February and loved it, but at some point my routine fell by the wayside. Even if I don’t do anything else, I want to start doing yoga again.

Pretty simple goals that I should be able to meet, right?¬† Let’s hope so!