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January 2015

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Tandoori Spiced Naan Bread

I was happy to see that my Starbuck’s had protein boxes in stock.   I liked how all the grapes were tiny except for one!

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I felt so fashionable yesterday, wearing a scarf that Karli and her Mom and my “beef friends” gave me – this scarf is from Shelley, who I have met when I went to the Chicago Beef Wellness weekend back in October 2013, and again when I went to Lubbuck, TX in June of last year.  Thanks Shelley!  I also like to haunt you guys with the office horse wallpaper – you’re welcome!

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It was super busy yesterday at work, which I loved.  I am the type of person that I need to have a dozen or so things going on and I am sharp as a tack.  Give me one task and I’ll probably make a mistake.  I was on my feet for a good portion of the day, and I wasn’t wearing the best shoes to do that.  I thought I could sneak out to the gym, but pretty soon realized that wasn’t going to happen.  I had leftovers for lunch – chicken leftover from our egg rolls earlier in the week and some leftover veggie fried rice.  Eaten at my desk.

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I actually thought I was going to have to work late, but in the end I left a little after five.  My left knee was hurting me, so instead of pushing it, I came home instead of going to the gym.  I had already declared that Thursday night was going to be leftover night, and I realized I had bought a garlic pizza dough from Trader Joe’s that needed to be used up, so I ended up making pizza with leftover Italian sausage and baby spinach.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the dough – it smelled better than it tasted, and even though I put lots of corn meal on my pizza peel, it stuck to the board as I was putting it onto my baking steel, so some of the toppings fell off and I ended up with this big piece of dough on one end – not the prettiest pizza I’ve made before – that’s for sure!

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My boss and his wife have gotten into the habit of making my chicken tikka masala on Friday nights.  I decided I still needed to be Bizzy in my kitchen last night, so I decided to make them some tandoori spiced naan bread.  OMG, naan bread is so easy to make, you’ll never buy it in the store again.  Nothing fancy needed, just a bowl, rolling pin and non-stick skillet.  This made 16 naan, each one coming in at 127 caloires, 1.4 fat, 25 carbs, .9 fiber and 3.3 protein.

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot tap water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1.5 cups Silk unsweetened almond milk (plus 1-2 tablespoons more)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tandoori spice

Mix the water and sugar together and stir, just until the sugar is dissolved.  Sprinkle the yeast over the sugar water and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Pour in the almond milk and stir until combined.  In a large bowl add the flour, salt, baking powder together.  Mix in the almond milk mixture, and using your hands, combine until the dough pulls away from the side of your bowl – I needed to add about another 2 tablespoons of almond milk to get all the flour incorporated.  Let it sit for an hour.

Heat a non-stick skillet and using a pastry brush, brush the bottom of the pan.  I ended up cutting my dough into two circles, then cut each circle into 8 equal pieces.  Roll it out – mine were about 5-6 inches I guess, and cook in skillet, you’ll know when it’s ready to flip when you start to see bubbles forming on the top.  While the bottom cooks, brush the top with olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of tandoori spice and flip and cook an additional minute.  I ended up using a large glass jar to press the naan to the bottom of the pan.

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I started to add some toasted sesame seeds to a couple, but the sesame seeds kind of burned.  These would make great breakfast pizzas, sandwich wraps – who knows?!  Well, I know I need to make more chicken tikka masala!

I have a phone call to make today to one of Tony’s friends.  It’s a guy he worked with at GE a long time ago, and they have the kind of friendship that comes and goes over the years – they will have not talked for a year, but then one of them would pick up the phone and they would just pick up where they left off.  I thought over the weekend that I hadn’t called him to let him know about Tony.  I disabled Tony’s cell phone so I wouldn’t be paying for a phone not in use, but I needed to charge it to get this guys phone number off of Tony’s phone, and saw that he left a message for Tony last week to give him a call back.  That’s going to be a tough call to make.

I also have Jacob’s nieces Memorial tomorrow.  Jacob painted and put together the top of her Memorial box, I think it turned out great.

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And then Sunday my Mom and I are going thrifting.  I didn’t even realize that Sunday was the Superbowl!  I haven’t watched football since Tony passed away, I couldn’t even tell you who is playing.

Alright, off to work I go – another busy day – woop!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.  Hugs!

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I never really thought about it.

The night before last I came home and there was a message on the machine.  It was Tony’s primary doctor, and it surprised me to hear his voice – I hadn’t spoken to him since the day we brought Tony home for hospice.  My Mom is trying to get a refund for her Hong Kong trip that she had to cancel when it was clear that Tony didn’t have much time on earth.  Since she cancelled the trip so close to leaving, she needed a doctors note for the travel insurance company to reimburse her.  The last thing that our doctor needed was for me to fax a letter yesterday saying it was okay to provide Tony’s medical information to a third party.

He asked how I was doing, and in my “must be positive to outside people voice” said “everything is okay, taking each day as it comes.”  We chatted for a few minutes and that was it.  But about thirty minutes later, I realized I never really thanked him for his excellent care.  Um, how should I put this.  Tony could be a difficult person at times.  Not in a bad way, but in a stubborn way.  If he felt he wasn’t getting the answers he wanted, he would just keep pressing our doctor for answers to get him well.  And if that meant calling our doctor on his cell phone at 10:00 p.m., he did it!  (and yes, we have our doctors cell phone number!).

So I knew I couldn’t say it over the phone without breaking down, so I sent him a text message:

“I didn’t have the strength to say this on the phone with you earlier without crying, but I just wanted to thank you for always listening to Tony and always being there for him – I am grateful you were his doctor!  I will never forget how patient you were with him, and I know it wasn’t easy at times.”

A few minutes later my cell phone rang, it was our doctor, but I was already crying so I didn’t pick it up.  He left me a great voicemail message – I’ve already listened to it about 10 times.

“Hi Biz, I just received your message and I appreciate your feelings in the message and I really appreciate you reaching out to me and thank you, very, very much.  You and Tony were wonderful through all this and Tony is, believe me, he was one of my very favorite patients, so it’s not always easy for the doctor to go through these things too, let me tell you.”

And then it hit me how hard it would have to be to be a doctor and lose patients, and wonder if you had done everything in your power to keep them here as long as possible.  While I see my diabetes doctor on a quarterly basis, I only see this doctor as my primary once a year, but I will look forward to my next appointment in June and give him a hug and let him know that I already know he did everything in his power to keep Tony with me as long as he could.

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I forgot to post my weekly WI yesterday.  The week before I think I was down 3.6, well, I guess I got a bit comfortable, and I gained 2.2 – although granted its my TOM, so I am not all that concerned, but I just want to keep it real:

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I thing beginning February 1, I will only WI once a month. Open-mouthed smile

I did take my actual weight:

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I don’t have a particular number in mind on where I want to be (hell, I’ve been trying to lose weight on this blog since 2008, so who the fuck am I kidding!) but let’s just say, a number lower than that, and just leave it at that – mkay?

Blog reader Wendy is correct – I need to put the deep fryer back in my basement!  Who the hell fries up blue corn tortillas before work to make breakfast nachos?  Guess that would be me!

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Egg beaters with diced ham, baby spinach on a blue corn tortilla with Cabot pepper jack cheese, a bit of avocado and some homemade salsa verde.  I ended up making 8 tortillas, but ended up only eating 5 – look at me, leaving food on the plate?!

I did chest for strength yesterday, then finished it off with a 2.0 mile walk at 8% incline.

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I had more lasagna soup for lunch, this time not taking any insulin to make sure that my blood sugar would be high enough to do my after work walk.  No picture, but I am kind of sure you’ve seen the lasagna soup on the blog once or twice before.

In the afternoon I grabbed a cup of coffee, and texted this picture to my DIL Lizz and her friend (my friend!) Natalie – saying this cup makes me happy!

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Lizz said, “I need one of those!”  Then I sent her this picture of MORE snowmen mugs – I love the picture of my step-son Joe and Hannah in the background – Hannah was in 8th grade and Joe was a sophomore in high school – even though they are not blood related at all, they sure could pass for brother and sister!  They were so young back then!  I miss those days sometimes.

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After work I ended up walking a 5k at 5% incline – my blood sugar was 280 before working out, so I took 4 units of fast acting insulin, and after 50 minutes my blood sugar was at 127.

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So on the drive home I am thinking what to make for dinner.  I knew I had chicken, and the kids love chicken fingers, so I thought I would do that with rice a roni and green beans on the side.  I made my light beer batter, heated up the deep fryer while the rice was cooking, and made the first batch of chicken.  And it sucked.  It stuck to the bottom of the fryer basket, the coating never really stayed on – I had no idea what I was doing wrong.

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I wasted nearly a whole chicken breast on the first batch.  Hannah texted me that she and Jacob were on their way back from the gym, so I ended up adding corn starch to the batter, but now I don’t really have much chicken left at all.  I had Italian sausage in the fridge, so I just . . . threw those in the fryer too!  I’d apparently lost my mind at this point!

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And for the record, no, I’ve never thought of frying up Italian sausage, but it was getting to be nearly 7:45, and I was hangry!

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I kept apologizing about dinner to the kids, but all they said was “this is delicious!”

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It was a clean plate club all around!   It actually tasted pretty good in the end, but not exactly what I had in mind – oh well!

I got all my steps in and then some!

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Alright, time to get this show on the road – I think I am going to stop by Starbuck’s for a protein box for breakfast.  And maybe when I go downstairs to get dressed for work this morning, I’ll take the deep fryer back to the basement for a little vacation. Open-mouthed smile

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$255 for Funeral Expenses

I remember going through the motions with my parents in law and my Mom while planning Tony’s memorial at the funeral home.  I heard the funeral director say to me “we contact social security directly, it’s a Federal law, but they will be in touch with you to discuss the $255 contribution to your husband’s funeral expenses.  Huh.  Maybe a week after Tony’s memorial I got a call from social security telling me that they would be setting up a phone call to verify information, and that the first available date would be on January 27 at 11:10 a.m.  Again, huh?

So yesterday at my desk, my cell phone rang and it was social security.  I had to provide Tony’s date of birth, birth date, parents names, my name, date of birth, where I was born, MY parents names, where Tony died – and at the end they had to tape record me saying that everything I discussed was true and correct.  And that was it.  “A surviving spouse may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255.”  I’ve never really thought that $255 could be described as a “lump-sum” and $255 towards funeral expenses is just a drop in the bucket.  But it was hard to keep hearing the word “deceased” with every question:  “what is the deceased date of birth, etc.”  So, in about 30 days or so, I’ll be getting a direct deposit from social security.  Which will basically cover my hotel stay for my Spartan Race in Milwaukee!  You know I have to put a positive spin on all this shit going on in my life.

Hannah worked at the coffee shop so I stopped by on my way to work.  Instead of a parfait I decided to try one of their breakfast sammie’s, but not have it cooked and I would cook it at work on my panini maker.  It was called the “Eldorado.”  Egg, bacon, baby spinach on 9-grain bread with pepper jack cheese and this chipotle sauce that Hannah put on the side so the bread didn’t get soggy.  I ended up using just a schmear of the chipotle sauce, and I can’t believe it’s not butter to grill the panini.

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That’s a salad plate by the way, but AFTER I ate it, I put it into Calorie Count, and realized this sammie comes in at a whopping 522 calories.  I probably could have only cooked half yesterday and had the other half today with some fruit, but oh well!  It was delicious!

I had legs on tap for strength, then ended up walking 2.5 miles at lunch:

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Knowing I was going to do my hour of walking after work, I took half the amount of insulin that I needed for  . . . more lasagna soup!  I’ll probably have it again for lunch today, it’s just so damn good.

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So imagine my surprise when I go to test my blood sugar before leaving the office, I was so surprised that it was so low!

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My blood sugar normally drops 125 points – and if I worked out my blood sugar would have dropped to about 7, which obviously would be impossible because I’d start feeling like shit once it got below 65.  This is always a dilemma.   Do I eat more to work out, which will basically make my workout a wash?  In the end, I realized that I had already nearly reached 10,000 steps before leaving the office, and I cut my losses and came home.

The kids were home and Hannah and Jacob gave me this cute picture.  Do you know the song “A Bushel and A Peck?”  My Mom used to sing that to her grandkids when they were little.  So sweet!

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I had meal “ideas” for dinner, and it’s funny because Hannah doesn’t really like red meat all that much, and Jacob doesn’t like ground beef, but when I said I could make burger sliders and fries they both said yes!  Hannah said it was the best burger she’d ever had, and Jacob cleared his plate.  It’s been nice having people eat and like my food!   Looking back, Tony didn’t really eat much of my food the last year of his life.  Nothing tasted good to him, he’d have a yogurt and some fruit before I got home from work, and he’d have about 2 bites of whatever I made for dinner.  I cook my burgers on a cast iron skillet in the winter, at a super high heat so that they get a nice crust on both sides – beef, it’s what’s for dinner!

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But the show stopper of that burger?  THE MUSTARD!  Yep, the mustard on the bun is from my parents in law – they sent me a gift box from The Mustard Factory in Naples, Florida and this was the first mustard that I opened:

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Holy balls people, this is amazing!  Perfect amount of spice, without being too spicy, yet it still has that vinegary kick from the mustard.  Pretty sure that will be gone within a week!  Thank you Bonnie and Carl for sending it to me. Open-mouthed smile

So I have my plan for training for my Spartan race, and from what I have read, strength training is 70% of the course and 30% cardio.  So starting Monday I am going into a pretty intense 12 week workout strength training program used to train for Spartan races.  I am actually thrilled that I have a 16 week goal to achieve, if nothing more that it gives me something to focus on in the future, and will help me not want to eat deep dish pizzas all by myself every night.   It’s not too late to leave a comment on this post and try to win a free entry to a Spartan race near you!

Thank you for all your continued support, emails, texts, etc. to help me get through each day without Tony – I will be forever grateful for your love and hugs! 

Now go kick some ass today!