Category Archives: PCOS

Weight Watchers PointsPlus™

I’ll start by saying that I had expected some catch some flack for being an RD and “supporting” Weight Watchers by learning about the new PointsPlus™ program and attending meetings myself. But I’ve thought long and hard about 1) learning about the new PointsPlus™ program at all, 2) attending, and 3) blogging about it for the world to judge. My recent weight struggles are related to a fairly recent diagnosis of PCOS and insulin resistance. But below you’ll find my thoughts on this all — good, bad, and ugly. Grab some popcorn and a beverage…this could be a long one, folks.

Firstly, I lost 75+ pounds on Weight Watchers. After Atkins and South Beach and several others had failed, Weight Watchers helped me at 190lbs and 14 years old when I was unhappy and leading a very unhealthy life. Weight Watchers is what lead me to wanting to become a dietitian and help others attain a healthier and happier them. In college, at 19, I lead Weight Watchers meetings. Helping inspire others to lose weight helped me keep my weight off and gave me the skills I needed in speaking with individuals both one-on-one and as a group. I truly feel that facilitating Weight Watchers meetings is what has me teaching college and loving it. So it’s no wonder as to why I will always be grateful to a program that lead me to where I am and who I am today.

It would be vain and insensitive for me to say that anyone wanting to lose weight should see a dietitian, and only a dietitian. While RD’s are the nutrition expert, seeing a dietitian is not realistic for most people, especially on a regular or semi-regular basis. While there are certainly weight loss programs lead by RD’s out there, they are far and few between, especially when comparing them to the accessibility and feasibility of Weight Watchers meetings across the US. As a professional in PREVENTION, I would never discredit a company such as Weight Watchers, who employs MANY Registered Dietitians and who has the common goal of helping overweight and obese individuals meet their weight loss and health goals. With epidemic proportions of overweight and obesity, how could I not support such efforts?

I would argue that Weight Watchers works for 3 very simple reasons:

1. Accountability. You go weekly, weigh-in, and learn tools necessary for calorie restriction, balanced dieting, exercise, and so on. And more than all of that, is seeing others on a regular basis who have the same goal as you.

2. Journaling. Weight Watchers has always emphasized food journaling. I blogged about food journaling on Friday and several of you commented that food journaling made you obsessive or fed (no pun intended) your ED behaviors. While I am not discrediting those points (they are very valid), I believe food journaling to be a reliable tool for self-assessment and accountability. Diet records are kept for a plethora of reasons and as a practicing dietitian, I heavily rely on patient’s food journals to help tailor nutrition education and stimulate behavior change.

3. Calorie restriction and healthy eating. If followed as designed, Weight Watchers provides a diet that is varied, flexible, balanced, and adequate. For those that don’t believe Weight Watchers gives you parameters with which to work, while providing the framework for a healthy diet, you are wrong. Weight Watchers builds their healthy eating guidelines off well-researched and well-published information regarding macro and micronutrient balance found in a healthy, balanced diet.

In reference to the new PointsPlus™ program, I believe there are positives and negatives. The major change from the Points™ to the PointsPlus™ programs is macronutrient composition. The new program is designed to be low-fat, high fiber, lower carb, and high protein. Generally speaking, if a food has more protein and/or fiber, the food will be lower in PointsPlus™. Similarily, if a food is high in fat and/or carbohydrate, it will be higher in PointsPlus™.

While I believe a higher protein diet to be helpful with satiety, most Americans consume plenty of protein each day. And while higher fiber foods are lower in PointsPlus™, carbohydrates overall cause a major jump up. Fat also causes PointsPlus™ values to be high. Just when we were starting to get the jest of “good” and “bad” fats, Weight Watchers is sort of going back in time to say that all fats should be strictly limited. With my 29 daily PointsPlus™, for instance, 1/2 avocado would run 6 PointsPlus™, 1 oz. almonds would run 4 PointsPlus™, 1 Tbsp peanut butter would run 3 PointsPlus™, and 2 tsp olive oil would run me 2 PointsPlus™. I could and would eat all of those foods throughout the day, however, they would account for nearly 52% of my allotted PointsPlus™ for the day, without providing much volume of food.

However, the new PointsPlus™ program continues to issue Activity PointsPlus™ which are earned for performing physical activity, as well as a Weekly PointsPlus™ Allowance of 49 PointsPlus™. While I would argue that many people use both sets of additional PointsPlus™ for “discretionary” calorie foods (alcohol, sweets, etc.), they should, for the most part, be used on wholesome, nutritious foods such as avocados, peanut butter, nuts, and heart-healthy oils, for example.

This would be a good time to mention that MOST fruits and vegetables are “free” foods on the new program, meaning they have a 0 PointsPlus™ value. On the old Points™ program, a banana had a Points™ value of 2 and most fruits had a Points™ value of 1. While these Points™ numbers are low, many people received only 18 Points™ per day and felt they were “wasting” Points™ spent on fruits. In an effort to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, most fruits and vegetables no longer “cost” any PointsPlus™. I believe this to be a very positive change, so long Weight Watchers continues to educate on hunger and satiety signaling and portion control. Just because fruits are a “free” and wholesome food, doesn’t mean we need 22 cups of watermelon in a day! At the end of the day, calories are calories regardless of their source and in order to produce weight loss, a calorie deficit must be made.

The higher protein, lower-carb change has its pros and cons. What I would encourage Weight Watchers members to take into consideration is the quality of carbohydrate they are consuming. Low-carb tortillas, for example, are often packed with preservatives and unnecessary ingredients. I would urge people to not always go for the lowest PointsPlus™ item, and to consider the wholesomeness of the food (check out ingredient lists!). Just like with healthy fats, consumers are beginning to find value in whole foods that have not been overly processed. Consumers and Weight Watchers members alike should continue selecting foods that are closest to their natural state without a laundry list of 9-syllable ingredients.

As for exercise, don’t do what I did years ago: exercise to eat more. As tempting as that is, food should not reward workout efforts. While properly fueling and replenishing is important, Weight Watchers members should avoid exercising in order to over-eat, or to compensate for over-eating. Activity PointsPlus™ should, for the most part, be used appropriately for wholesome, nutritious foods. And please don’t get me wrong, if you exercise, you do require more calories, even for weight loss. However, when you rationalize that exercise = splurge, it’s not reinforcing healthy changes for a lifetime.

Similarly, Weekly PointsPlus™ Allowances are meant to be used.  It has been a long-standing belief that if you don’t eat your Weekly PointsPlus™ Allowance, you will lose weight more quickly…but that is not always the case. The body can be finicky when it comes to weight loss and under-fueling the body can lead to plateaus and under-nutrition. Listen to your body, eat mindfully, and consume a healthy, balanced diet — the numbers work themselves out.

And when you meet your goal, stay there. That’s the hard part…the part I find most difficult. For those like myself who have been overweight since childhood, we are designed at the molecular level to re-gain weight. As humans, we stop making fat cells by early adulthood but we never lose these fat cells throughout life. The more fat cells the body contains, the easier weight gain will be.  The cells are always there, waiting to store any access calories as adipose (fat). This is why childhood obesity provides such a scary glimpse into the future.

I hope this has been helpful and enlightening for many of you. If you’ve made it this far, thank you. While my blog is a recording of my life and my thoughts, I would appreciate any negative comments be left unsaid. It is no secret that I have in the past, and will probably always struggle with my weight. Thankfully I now know why, in part, I struggle more than others. But as a 25-year-old woman, I see a family in my future. Not tomorrow, and probably not next year, but sometime…and I want to be as healthy as I can be when bringing a baby into this world — a baby that will hopefully not have to fight obesity from such a young age as I did.

Some of you may find the above makes me more “real”…others may fault me for being dietitian who struggles to maintain a healthy body weight. But this is me, and I am proud of every bit of me — chubby, fluffy, or perfectly lean 😉 It’s taken me years to get here, and I plan to continue loving and appreciating myself just as I am.

Lots of love,

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42 Comments

Filed under PCOS, Uncategorized, weight loss, Weight Watchers

treat yourself…to breakfast! + new year’s resolution results

Registered Dietitians and moms most certainly agree on one thing: breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Lately, I’ve been climbing into my car in the morning, with half of my belongings in tow, and I am realizing something very important…I have been forgetting breakfast. Whether it be eating breakfast at home in the morning, or grabbing something on the go, breakfast has simply vanished from my routine. (And because I am notoriously running late, I don’t go back inside to grab something and rough it through the morning hours.)

As a breakfast lover and someone who wakes up with a grumbling tummy, I had to ponder how and why this was happening. Day after day after day. My co-workers and patients appreciate my soul-searching, too. Hungry me = mean me!

I came to the conclusion that my breakfast options were boring and so breakfast no longer interested me. I took a few moments to peruse my plethora of “to try” recipes and found this one. Glad I did!

Pancake Truffles slightly adapted from Healthy Tipping Point

1/2 cup raw oatmeal
1/3 cup whole wheat pancake mix (I used an omega-3 mix)
1 egg white
1/4 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup almond milk (I used skim)
4 1/2 inches of banana (cut into three 1.5 inch pieces)
1/4 cup whole pecans, crushed
3 Tbsp sugar-free maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or tin foil. Place crushed pecans in a small bowl.

Combine first five ingredients in small bowl. Separate mix into three piles. Take one segment of banana and coat in the pancake mix. Form ball around the banana segment, and then roll in the crushed pecans. Place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with other banana segments. Bake for 15 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup and sever immediately. Serves 1.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 599 calories; 24 g. fat; 1 mg. cholesterol; 492 mg. sodium; 86 g. carbohydrate; 15 g. fiber; 17 g. sugar; 19 g. protein

Result: These were excellent! And they sound more difficult than they are — I was able to whip these together in 5-6 minutes after a morning workout and I baked them while I showered. I gobbled them down while my hair dried and it was perfect! You could also make these the evening before or even whip up a few batches for the busy work week and simply store them in the fridge until ready to bake. They are higher in carbohydrate than I usually go for, especially for the morning, but following a workout, I think they are perfectly appropriate. The high fiber (15 grams!) content also makes the glycemic load less on the body, which is all the better. If you want to reduce the calories some, reduce the amount of pecans as they account for nearly 1/3rd of the calories. While I think they add a lot of taste, texture, and nutrition to the truffles, you could get by with less. Enjoy!

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And in honor of it being the last day of 2010 (crazy!), I should take a moment to review how my 2010 resolutions turned out.

2010 New Year’s Resolution Results

  • fit in exercise AT LEAST 4 days a week, every week — Almost a check. There were TWO weeks in 2010 I only worked out 3 days. So close! I still consider this a great accomplishment and I want to continue to work towards this always and forever! I really do love exercise and for that I am VERY grateful!
  • continue trying new, healthy recipes (one recipe a week!) — Check, check, check!
  • run a half marathon — Barely, but check. I finished. It wasn’t pretty, but it got done. Very humbling.
  • obtain a weight that I feel energized at — Errr no. I am the exact same weight as the start of 2010. I guess that’s not a BAD thing, but this is my focus in 2011.
  • continue blogging about nutrition — Hi! I’m here! Check!
  • earn 500 hours towards the CDE credential — Check. This is no longer surging ahead at the speed I was going in my last job, but I am still completing diabetic education and I still love it just as much as I did in 2009! 😀

    In 2011 my new year’s resolution is simply to obtain a weight I feel energized at. I would love to lose my “PCOS weight” and get back down to my “happy weight”. Here goes nothing! 😉

    Question: What’s been your favorite breakfast lately? Is it heaviest in carbohydrate, protein, or fat? And, what are YOUR new year’s resolutions?

    Happy 2011 to all of my lovely readers! Thank you for your loyal readership, it means so much to me! It’s hard to believe I started this blog in June of 2009!!! Time flies when you’re having fun! Keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway coming up here shortly!! 😉

    Have a safe and WONDERFUL New Year’s celebration!! I hope I am the only one stuck at work today! 😦

    21 Comments

    Filed under blog, breakfast, carbohydrates, diabetes, dietitians, exercise, fiber, fish oil/omega-3's, holiday, PCOS, physical activity, recipe, reduced-calorie, vegetarian, weight loss, work

    Digging deep for the jolly

    It seems like the closer we get to Christmas the less jolly I feel. Quite frankly, I am beat. I haven’t been sleeping well with the anxiety I’m feeling towards my new teaching job. Obviously I am well-versed in nutrition, but I have never lectured 5 hours a week…while balancing a nearly full-time job and a growing private practice. I feel like my to-do list leaves me feeling like nothing ever gets accomplished and there’s always so much on my plate yet to get done. Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited about my new teaching gig…I just hope I do well and give my students the best dose of nutrition ever!

    My schedule come January is going to be…insane. I work 34 hours a week in dialysis, teach 5 hours + prep and grading, spend time in private practice and meetings with my partners as much as possible, and love to spend time cooking, exercising, playing ice-hockey, and blogging. I feel like there’s about 8 million balls in the air and I’m trying to keep them all from colliding or crashing to the ground. I thrive in busy environments, but this impending schedule is simply stressing me out.

    In order to keep blogging a hobby that brings me enjoyment, I will have to see what my schedule allows as far as posting. While I hope to continue blogging most every day, that may no longer be realistic. As much as that saddens me, I hope you understand…a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do!

    Today I am working a short day before picking up Lily at doggy daycare and we make the trip together to Chicago. Mr. Prevention is off on a “Poker Run” today in Illinois with his high school friends. Imagine 30-year-old men in 80’s workout clothes, running around the University of Illinois campus collecting poker cards from various bars for drinking certain beers, shots, and cocktails. As imature as this sounds, it’s a blast….and I will be stuck working. Bitter much? You betcha! The excessive alcohol doesn’t interest me, but not being able to witness this event this year is a shame! But really, I just miss having an actual “Christmas Vacation”…or any substantial amount of time off for the holidays. Oh well. I am very thankful for being employed, there is no doubt.

    On a completely unrelated note, several of you have asked me about the new PointsPlus plan from Weight Watchers. As familiar as I am with Weight Watchers, I am not familiar with the new plan. I did, however, find out that my company reimburses 100% for Weight Watchers and so I have plans to attend a meeting very soon to get the skinny (pun intended). With my company, however, you sign-up for either a 13 or 18-week package and are then reimbursed if you attend all the meetings (you can miss up to 3). Several coworkers are taking the plunge to join and I figured it would be a great opportunity to learn about the new program (and give my honest feeback to you all, of course!) and to possibly take off some weight that I have commonly referred to as my “PCOS weight”. Being the go-getter that I am, in addition to feeling as heavy as a boulder with all the Christmas eats, I went all out for the 18-weeks of Weight Watchers. Sure, it will be a challenge to take that time out for meetings, but it is a part of my “me” time that I require for sanity.

    It will certainly be interesting, as a dietitian, to sit in on a Weight Watchers meeting. It’s been a long time since I attended Weight Watchers AND lead Weight Watchers meetings. I have heard bits and pieces of the new program — good and bad…from media and members alike. The information regarding PointsPlus found online is very vague and I hope to bring you all information on the new program from my perspective.

    Well, that’s a wrap for the most whiny and random post…ever (?) on Prevention RD. I will be glad to pull into Chicago this evening and spend some time with the family, and hopefully a good night’s rest!

    I’ll leave you with a recipe for some tasty Pumpkin French Toast with Light Pumpkin Butter, inspired by our hosts in Albuquerque. Their pumpkin french toast was delicious!!


    Pumpkin French Toast with Light Pumpkin Butter

    1-16 ounce loaf challah, cut into 8 slices, about 3/4 to 1-inch thick
    1 cup of Egg Beaters or egg substitute
    1 cup + 3 Tbsp pumpkin puree, divided
    1 cup of skim milk
    1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
    3 Tbsp Smart Balance Light or Earth Balance
    1 Tbsp brown sugar
    non-stick spray

    Directions:

    For the butter, combine 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree with the Smart Balance Light and brown sugar. Combine well.

    Cut bread into 3/4 to 1-inch thick slices. In a large bowl, whick together Egg Beaters, 1 cup pumpkin puree, milk, and pumpkin pie spice. Soak bread in milk-egg mixture for 1-2 minutes.

    Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place the soaked bread in the skillet or on the griddle, flipping after the bottom has browned. Cook the opposite side until browned. Serve immediately. Serves 8 with ~1 tablespoons of pumpkin butter.

    Nutrition Information (per slice with 1 Tbsp pumpkin butter): 221 calories; 6.6 g. fat; 17 mg. cholesterol; 340 mg. sodium; 35 g. carbohydrate; 3.4 g. fiber; 8.2 g. sugar; 8.2 g. protein

    Result: Carb-o-licious! It’s hard to limit to just 1 piece, but they are rather large. I splurged and had 2 one morning and I ate the leftover pieces one at a time with an over-medium egg. Delicious! Pumpkin is never out of season in my kitchen or belly!!!

    I may not be 100% jolly (just yet!), but our neighborhood is sure all decked out! Our block all decorates our trees the same and it really does look festive and beautiful!

    Question: Does the hustle and bustle of the holiday season make you giddy with glee, or do you get a bit overwhelmed and stressed?

    I think working adults need sanctioned holiday vacations like kids in school. I remember the days of a full MONTH with nothing but sleeping in was of concern! College, I miss you!

    Tis the season,

    15 Comments

    Filed under breakfast, butter, carbohydrates, coffee, condiments, diet, dietitians, holiday, PCOS, recipe, stress, weight loss, Weight Watchers, work

    Protein Pancakes & Waffles

    I’m not one to fall into the whole high protein shenanigans of protein shakes and bars. Generally speaking, American diets are not lacking in protein. I do, however, watch my carbohydrate intake because of PCOS and my blood glucose issues. But putting aside my beliefs and health issues, including protein to your morning meal is simply smart.

    Protein adds balance and satiety that lacks in most breakfast options. A bowl of oatmeal or cereal, for example, lack fat and protein unless added in. Those carbohydrate-rich meals, complex (those containing fiber) or not, tend to have people hungry by the late morning hours. If you’re growling by 10 am, you either need a snack, and/or more protein in your breakfast meal.

    Enter protein waffle:

    Perfect Protein Pancakes from Foodologie

    2 Tbsp whole wheat (pastry) flour
    2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    pinch of salt
    1 small banana, mashed
    1/4 cup fat-free milk
    1 egg white
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or almond extract)

    Directions:

    Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the mashed banana, milk and vanilla and stir together until just combined.  In a small bowl whip up the egg white until it’s frothy.  Add it to the rest of the batter.  Bake in a heated waffle iron or cook on a griddle/pan for tasty protein filled breakfast goodies. Yield: 1 serving (1 large waffle or 3 small pancakes).

    Nutrition Information: 303 calories; 3 g. fat; 61 mg. cholesterol; 376 mg. sodium; 44 g. carbohydrate;  5. g. fiber; 27 g. protein

    Result: REALLY GOOD! I am so happy to say that! I’ve always purchased chocolate protein powder, but I really enjoyed using vanilla…the waffles were sweet and not heavy like most high-protein foods. I will definitely be making these again…27 grams of protein! Wowza!! Recommend these to your jock friends 😉

    Last night was my first hockey game with my new team! I had a blast. Playing hockey will always make me feel strong and youthful! Can’t ask for more out of a workout! 😀

    Have a fabulous week! To brighten up your Monday morning: Lily (in a most awkward position)…

    Question: Do you having a filling breakfast that holds you until lunch, or do you snack mid-morning? Do you find protein in the morning helps to keep you full for longer?

    Look for lots of apple recipes this week…it was a busy weekend in my kitchen 😉

    Monday blues,

    32 Comments

    Filed under blood glucose, breakfast, carb-controlled, carbohydrates, healthy cooking, hockey, low-carb, PCOS, pets, protein, recipe, Uncategorized

    Size “Healthy”

    I’ve crossed a lot of to-do’s off my list this week, but I was left with shopping for a suit for an upcoming interview. (Yes, I have a new job, but I may want another!). On my last interview, my suit was tight and uncomfortable. I did not feel my best. My “PCOS weight” as I refer to it, was not comfortable or flattering stuffed into my now too-small suit. Ugh.

    Yesterday while shopping, a very kind woman was helping me piece together a suit. When she asked what size, I told her my best guess for formal attire. I got into the dressing room and the clothes were nearly falling off of me. Hm. Was I playing a mental game with myself without knowing it? Maybe it was the subconscious fear I had of grabbing my usual size and feeling completely down on myself if it didn’t fit well.

    The woman helped me get the correct size and everything fit beautifully. I left feeling really good, knowing that I’ll look good for my interview next week.

    I am not one to dwell on sizes, promise. If you don’t believe me, check out my guest post on Bikini Birthday about body image. I am shaped like a line-backer, and petite is about the last word most people would use to describe me. Unless, of course, they were referring to my height. In which case, they would be correct.

    I still don’t know what transpired yesterday in that little noggin’ of mine. I don’t know whether I should be ashamed for misjudging my size so badly, or happy that I felt great after trying on clothes at my not-so-ideal weight. But what I do know is that I’ve come a long way when it comes to sizes.

    In the past when I’ve bounded up a few pounds, I’ve continued to grab the size I used to be. Slinking to the changing room knowing that my love handles would be lurching from the waist band and the rear could fatefully rip if I dared to sit down. Duh. And yet, I refused to buy a bigger size. Pride. I would go home, commit to losing 10 pounds, and not one month later, the same changing room ordeal would transpire.

    Angela had a great “movement” among her readers to encourage “size healthy”. I LOVE THIS. Size healthy is not a number…it’s a feeling, a knowing, an acceptance of YOU!

    I left with my suit yesterday. In a size “healthy”. 😀

    Question: Have you ever played the numbers game with clothing sizes? Have you ever disliked shopping because you felt like nothing would look good?

    Be good to you,

    39 Comments

    Filed under health at every size, PCOS, weight gain, work

    Giving ginseng a go!

    Late post today…I was busy sleeping in 🙂 Glooorious!

    Last night we went over to our friend’s, Tiffany and Matt, home for dinner. Tiffany is a wonderful cook and Matt is a grill MASTER! We had a wonderful Cedar-Smoked Maple-Glazed Salmon served with farro. YUM!

    I contributed a fruit salad:

    Thanks Tiffany and Matt! 😀

    Adding ginseng to the mix…

    The 2 grams of Metformin I am taking daily to help lower my blood glucose (thanks to PCOS) doesn’t seem to be cutting it. My fasting numbers are yet to get out of the mid-to-upper 90’s and I want them in the 80’s! After doing some research and supplement hunting, I have decided to try Asian Ginseng to help lower my blood glucose.

    There is a lot of research in support of ginseng use for glucose-lowering effects. And I’ve consulted text books from my undergraduate years, as well as a little gift from Celestial Seasonings

    I almost wish I didn’t know as much as I do about blood glucose! When we got back from frozen custard last night, my blood glucose was 88. This morning fasting, it was 94. So frustrating! Meformin is designed to slow down hepatic glucose production meaning that it suppresses the amount of sugar the liver outputs, as well as make insulin in the body more sensitive to glucose. With my fasting glucose unchanged on a high dose of Metformin, I am utterly confused! I am very pleased with the way my body processes carbohydrates when I eat, however. A silver lining, if you will! My liver is just extra sweet, I guess! 😦

    In order to help my fasting blood glucose, I’ve decided to give ginseng a try. I purchased these 2 supplements:

    Note the GMP logo:

    As well as ginseng drops:

    There is a lot of varying opinion on ginseng dosing, so I am going to start with 1-2 grams a day. I plan to take the ginseng in the morning to help avoid any insomnia — a side effect of ginseng as it is known as an “energy” supplement. It’s also good for immunity!

    Here goes nothing!

    Lily wanted to say hi. I think the heat has increase her appetite…she layed like this all morning wanting more breakfast!

    Question: What are you up to today? How’s the weather near you? 97º F and sunny in Tulsa! HOT HOT HOT!

    Staying cool,

    23 Comments

    Filed under blood glucose, carb-controlled, carbohydrates, complimentary and alternative nutrition, diabetes, diet, dinner, dog, entertaining, fish oil/omega-3's, food safety, friends, fruits and vegetables, grilling, herbs, low-carb, PCOS, pets, research study, supplements

    Not so private push-ups

    So I had my medication check-up yesterday. For the past month, I have been taking 500 milligrams of Metformin twice daily to help control my insulin resistance from PCOS. Sadly, I have noted little to no change in my blood glucose or my weight (1 pound down – woot! *eye roll*)…

    Quick embarrassing story: While I was waiting for the doc to come into the exam room yesterday, I decided to get my push ups out of the way for Heather’s 100 Push-Up Challenge. Yes, doctor’s offices are germ-laden, but I work in a health clinic…nothing there I’m not already exposed to day-in and day-out. As I was on the floor doing my push-ups, my doc walked in. With a medical student. No knock to warn they were entering.They both had a puzzled look on their face and as I climbed up to my feet, blushing, I explained that I was doing push-ups. They thought I was quite committed to be utilizing my wait time so effectively! 😉

    Anyway, my doc doubled my dose and I am now prescribed 1,000 milligrams twice daily. While I’m bummed, I understand that I have to do what it takes…and that also means not giving up on weight loss and giving more attention to my eating habits and exercise regimen. What was a tad VERY depressing was the fact that I will likely be on Metformin for the rest of my life. Did I mention I hate taking pills? 😦

    On that note, I have FINALLY started my page on PCOS and Insulin Resistance. Check it out! After reading A Patient’s Guide to PCOS, I feel assured that I’m doing so much right…and that I am NOT alone. There are so many PCOS sufferers out there, and I feel so much better about the situation when I tackle it head-on versus throwing pity parties for myself. So yep, check out the info on PCOS. I put a lot of thought into it and hope that it can help other women and PCOS sufferers find answers and comfort.

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    And in honor of my hosting BSI this week…another recipe featuring PAPRIKA! This one, I swear, was a surprise! Cooking Light and I were on the same page with paprika this week, apparently!

    Smoky Spanish-Style Pan Roast from Cooking Light June 2010

    1  pound small red new potatoes, halved
    2  tablespoons  olive oil
    3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
    1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
    3/4  pound  unpeeled large shrimp
    1/4  pound  Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
    1  pound  green beans, trimmed
    4  garlic cloves, chopped
    1/2  cup  pilsner beer
    1/2  teaspoon  Spanish smoked paprika
    2  red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
    1/4  cup  fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

    Directions:Preheat oven to 400° F.

    Combine potatoes, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large roasting pan, tossing well to coat potatoes. Arrange potatoes in a single layer, cut side down, in pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.

    While potatoes cook, peel shrimp, leaving tails intact. Devein shrimp, if desired. Set shrimp aside.

    Stir chorizo, green beans, garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper into pan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Add beer, paprika, and bell pepper, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Nestle shrimp into vegetable mixture. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until potatoes and green beans are tender and shrimp are done. Sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves. Serves 4 (approx. 1 1/2 cups per serving).

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 392 calories; 15.5 g. fat (3.8 g. saturated, 8.5 g. monounsaturated, 2.4 g. polyunsaturated);
    28 g. protein; 36.6 g. carbohydrate; 7.7 g. fiber; 129 mg. cholesterol; 590 mg. sodium

    Result: Again, easy and delicious! I planned this recipe to use the leftover chorizo from last night’s Grilled Salmon with Chorizo and Fingerlings. I will definitely be making it again. The dish was light with a huge punch of beer and paprika flavor…right up my alley!

    Don’t Forget!!

    I’ve already received several paprika recipes for the Blogger Secret Ingredient Contest! You have until Sunday at 5PM Central Time to submit yours!

    Random questoin: What’s something you know a lot about, or would consider yourself an “expert” in? What topic do you wish you knew more about? Doesn’t have to be nutrition, fitness, or health-related at all…just curious!

    Have a wonderful day!


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