Friday evening we met two other couples out for dinner - at an Italian restaurant. Yes, I was in the land of pasta, bread and grain type carboliciousness. Our friends were very generous and even offered to change the restaurant but I told them no, I was up for the challenge, so off we went.
Of course, the very first thing that arrived at our table after the drinks (I stuck to ice water with lemon!) was oven hot homemade foccaccia bread with flavored olive oil. OY. I determinedly ignored it and Mr. Helen said thank you he'd eat my piece. I sat there perusing the menu trying to figure out what to do since most of the items had cheese and/or pasta or both. Even the baked fish was wrapped in potatoes. Then I came across this: Penne "Jack" Style: Grilled Jumbo Shrimp, Sauteed With Sweet Sausage, Roasted Peppers, Basil With Marinara Sauce.
I knew I could make this work if they would just serve me the meat and sauce with no penne! I didn't even look for a substitute for pasta as ya'll know I don't believe there is any and would rather just do without. (No fake spaghetti squash Rich!) I did however ask if they would serve it over sauteed spinach to up the veggies in the dish. Everyone else ordered pasta and fish and you know what? When my meal came to the table, several people were oohing and aaahing and saying they were going to get the Penne "Helen-style" next time they visited the restaurant!
My second eating out experience came on Sunday afternoon. My friend Em texted me on Friday and asked if we could get together for lunch. She's in the midst of dieting to get into her wedding dress so she requested I find a place with Big Ass Salads! I knew just the place: it's actually a pizza place but their salads are really yummy. I chose the Grilled Vegetable Salad: Mixed greens, grape tomatoes, black olives, topped with grilled summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, red onions and feta cheese.
I asked them to remove the feta cheese and add a grilled chicken breast. It was delicious. Since I forgot my camera, Em took a photo so I could share:
Overall I am just pleased that I was able to go to dinner, have fun and fellowship with good friends and also enjoy good food.
The other challenge that I haven't talked about yet, well, it's a bit hard for me. You know I went to the specialist last week. What I really wanted was to walk in and have them say this is what is wrong, this is what you should do and this is when you'll be all better. Unfortunately, no such luck. In fact, in addition to having to submit to even more testing, I got some upsetting news, though I had suspected as much: It looks like I am pre-diabetic. Because my numbers are just over the top of the range, I am not being given medication but I am being encouraged to eat a very clean diet and continue my exercise and see if in a few months the numbers - both my weight and my sugar - will come down. All fine with me since I didn't want to have meds anyway. But I have to admit, Wednesday was a hard day for me - I was very upset and disappointed, feeling once again as if my body has betrayed me. I mean really, isn't being hypothyroid enough to deal with?!!
Then on Monday I went back to my GP (who has managed my healthcare very well according to the specialist) wherein she informed me that in the report she received from the specialist and in looking at the bloodwork I had done in September, I am also insulin resistant (the specialist never mentioned this!) and she wanted to talk to me about Metformin. Additionally it seems that my thyroid levels are trending upward. (Both of these things would explain my unexplained weight gain of late.) I could feel my brain starting to shut down and I just wanted to lay down on the exam table and cry. We spent a few minutes talking about it, with me telling her about the challenge and the Paleo style eating I'm doing. I told her I lost 3.5 lbs. in the first week and I
As she was listening she also seemed to be skimming the specialist's report and suddenly said, "Dr. Gonzales tested your insulin and thyroid again?" I answered yes but that I'd only gone on Saturday. She told me to wait that she wanted to see if the results were available in the lab's online system. A few minutes later she came back and said, "I have good news and so-so news: it seems like maybe this Paleo thing is doing for you what Metformin would do because your insulin has dropped 1 1/2 points since September. So I will agree to hold off on the Metformin for now. (HURRAY!!!) However, since September your thyroid has climbed 2.5 points and right now you are in complete thyroid shut-down. Also, your irons levels are terribly low. Both the iron and thyroid would explain the fatigue you keep mentioning. So, we are going to up the meds for that and you'll have to start having bloodwork done every 2 months again." (SIGH. SIGH. SIGH.)
A mixed bag for sure. But I'm going to deal with it and face it down like I am facing down the Zero Excuses Challenge. I will not let these things get the best of me! What I'm proud of, is that even though I cried a little and whined to Shelley and to Mr. Helen, I did not turn to food of any kind, not even "good for me" food.
Eating out, not eating for comfort - little challenges met with victory. I'll take them!