Freezer Meals

20-Freezer-Meals-in-4-Hours-finalA couple of months ago, my wife and I started making freezer meals that our son or my mother could just pop into the crock pot or oven before we came home from work. We did this because we get home from work around 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm every evening and do not feel like having to cook a big meal. By the time we get home, change into out of our work clothes and get started cooking dinner, we end up eating late at night–like 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm. My wife has gastroparesis, so she needs to eat dinner earlier than that so her food has plenty of time to digest  before she goes to bed, which is by 10:00 or 11:00 pm every night.  If she eats too late at night, then she has to go to sleep in the recliner so that she is not laying flat.  If she lays flat  in bed before her food is digested, then she gets sick and throws up all night.

The freezer meals are proving to be very convenient and are keeping us from eating late at night, which is helping my wife to be able to sleep in the bed like normal.  It also helps us with portion control and keeps us from over eating.  My wife got the idea to make freezer meals from Facebook (of course). There was a link to a site on how to make 20 freezer meals in 4 hours.  So we checked it out and decided to try it!

She then surfed the web for other freezer meal ideas, and we were hooked.  I really recommend that you try these recipes.  They are easy to make, and super easy to cook when you need something convenient and ready to go! We also got into stockpiling some groceries, and this comes in handy when making freezer meals as we didn’t have to spend a lot of money to get the first batch of meals made up and frozen.  So, if you are looking for an easy, inexpensive, time-saving way to make meals for your family, you should check out the link above.

Chili for a Healthy Liver

I have bee on the look out for recipes that help promote liver health.  During my search, I came across a site called www.loveyourliver.com that has a lot of great information for getting and keeping one’s liver healthy.  As I was perusing the site, I came across a great looking Chili recipe, which I want to share:

ChiliChunky Chile Con Carne

Serves: 6

Ingredients

 

  • 500g stewing steak trimmed of fat and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large tins of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 packet salt-reduced taco seasoning
  • Dried chilli flakes to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup salt-reduced real beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Cooked brown rice and salad to serve

Method

  1. Brown the cubes of steak in olive oil and set aside in an ovenproof casserole dish
  2. Sauté the onion, grated carrot, garlic and, if you like a stronger chilli flavour, add the extra chilli flakes
  3. Add the vegetable mixture to the casserole with the salt-reduced taco seasoning, chopped tomatoes, beef stock and tomato paste.
  4. Place the lid on the casserole and bake in the oven at 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 1 ½ hrs
  5. Add the drained kidney beans and bake for another 30 mins
  6. Serve with cooked brown rice and salad

Picture sourced from: http://www.taste.com.au

 

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead Part 2

health-benefits-of-juicingLast night my partner and I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead Part 2. We had watched Part 1 several months before, and were eager to see what FSND 2 had to offer. I really like the concept of juicing to reboot my body and to get rid of the toxins that I have been putting into my body all these years. I have let myself go quite a bit lately ( I currently weigh 278 lbs. and I am 5′ 2″), and I really need a change. I want to increase my energy levels, and sleep better at night, and just feel better all around.

I really identified with Phil, who was also in the first documentary with Joe Cross. Phil was a truck driver who had multiple health problems. Phil tried the juicing plan that Joe was promoting, and he lost a lot of weight doing so. He got off of his medications and truly looked healthier and happier. He also appeared in the 2nd documentary, and had had somewhat of a setback. He had gone through a divorce and had regained a lot of his weight. He said he felt alone with no type of support system, but he wanted to get his life and his health back on track.

I identified with Phil in the sense that I also want to get my life and my health back on the right track. I have no energy, my allergies have gotten worse, I have digestive problems, and I just feel “blah”  most of the time. I really think that at least doing the juicing reboot for a few days–maybe a week–would help me get the impurities out of my system and help me get back on the right track.  So I guess my next major purchase will be a juicer.  I have a Nutribullet and the Ninja mixer, but they do not work the same as a bonafide juicer.  Believe me, I have tried them both, and it is not the same as a real juicer.  So, I once I make that purchase I will do the juicing reboot and let you all know how it goes.  I am looking forward to it!

Happy 2015!

Cow JoggingHappy New Year once again from the healthy heifers team of Melanie and Renee.  My resolution for the coming year is to be more active in posting to this blog and also to become a healthier version of my current self.  Not necessarily lose weight–although I DO need to lose about 135-150 pounds.  I want to start eating healthier and becoming more active to begin with.  I figure the weight loss will naturally follow.  This coming year, I plan to record some of my exercise routines, although at first this will consist of just getting on our stationary bicycle for 20-30 minutes a day to get my blood pumping and get a little cardio work out in as well.  I am terribly, horrifically out of shape and am afraid I would drop dead of a heart attack if I go balls to the wall at first.  I also hope to be able to start a podcast within the first few months of the new year.

What are some of your resolutions or health goals for the new year?  What are some topics of interest or subjects you would like for us to cover in the new year?  I welcome any and all suggestions or topics of interest! Enjoy the New Year!

The Cost of Being Unhealthy

Hospital Stay

In October, I was unfortunate enough to have to go to the emergency room because I was projectile vomiting for 4 hours straight.  I had not been feeling well for about 3 days, being nauseous and with my lower back hurting.  I also had cramping that I attributed to going to start my menstrual cycle.  However, on Monday, the feelings of nausea became much worse, and I began vomiting repeatedly over the next 4 hours.  I have a seizure disorder, and I was worried that I would have a seizure while in the middle of a vomiting episode and choke to death. My partner was worried about this as well and convinced me to go to the emergency room. 

I went to the hospital and discovered that I had a severe kidney infection that was causing all my issues.  I had never had one before, and I was not displaying the typical symptoms of a kidney infection—burning when urinating, pain in the kidney area, etc., so I had no idea that I had a kidney infection until then.  I was admitted to the hospital and over the next 3 days was given lots of fluids and antibiotics, as well as being placed on a liquid diet (which sucked).  My blood work came back with my pancreatic enzymes slightly elevated, so I had to have an ultrasound of my pancreas and abdominal area to make sure I did not have pancreatitis.  Thankfully, I did not.  BUT—they did discover that my liver has fat deposits on it, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver if not treated.  Since I do not drink alcohol very often, this means I need to develop a change in my diet and eating habits, as well as adding exercise to my daily routine. The doctor did say that the fatty liver condition was reversible for me. 

This entire stay in the hospital cost over $16,000.  My insurance company is refusing to pay for any of it because they deemed the treatment not medically necessary.  WHAT??  How could I have treated this at home since I had never had this condition before and had no knowledge of what to do for it?  Besides, it had progressed so far that I had uncontrollable vomiting which did need to be treated.  Moreover, the doctor seemed to think it medically necessary to admit me to the hospital for treatment.  Needless to say I am appealing their decision. 

Now my life consist of drinking more water—which is hard for me to do since I do not drink a huge amount of any liquid most days.  My partner has given me a 1.5 liter bottle which I must drink at least one full bottle of water from, and preferably two bottles of water each day.  This is hard for me.  I forget to drink anything, much less water.  I have found that I can drink at least one bottle of water if I add a drink mix to it to give it flavor.  I usually drink the Hawaiian Punch Green Apple drink mix, or the Crystal Light Grape or Strawberry drink mixes.  I drink the Hawaiian Punch ones at home and the Crystal Light ones at work because they have caffeine in them.  I know it is not as healthy as it should be, but at least it is a start in the right direction.  Baby steps, people.