Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fort Worth Pizza and Pasta

About a year ago, I was searching for a Gyro restaurant near me. We actually came across a small family owned restaurant named Greek Pizza and Pasta. Since the location earned a place ear the hospital, my friend and I thought it would be a decent place.

Instead of going with the classic Greek Gyro, we decided to try something different this time. My friends and I decided to share the restaurant selection of a Greek Calzone, a Spinach Calzone and an Eggplant Sub. Did Greek Pizza and Pasta surpass it's first restaurant review?

Unfortunately, this Gyro, Greek and Pizza place fell short. Their calzones and subs were sub par. My friends and I assume that the calzones were not freshly made. Sadly we figured that they came out of the freezer. My friend almost went back for a refund for the Eggplant Sub.

Greek Pizza and Pasta claims that their Greek Calzone is filled with the goodness of black olives, diced tomatoes, feta cheese, mushrooms, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. I have to admit that the Greek Calzone was the best tasting item out of the three menu items. There was just something missing. This calzone needed some kind of spice to balance out the flavor.

The Spinach Calzone is filled with Spinach, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Provolone and Parmesan Cheese. In truth this should be called a four cheese Calzone. Along with not having enough Spinach, the ricotta seemed dried out. Ricotta is suppose to be moist and creamy. This ricotta was like rubber erasers inside of a breaded shell. 

The Eggplant Sub was not a sub at all. This menu item was more like a large roll with a few pieces of eggplant on it. This was not a mixture of marinara sauce and eggplant. This was perhaps an eighth of  an eggplant that had been breaded and fried. 

Thankfully Greek Pizza and Pasta have several other menu items to try. The restaurant menu ranges through Pizza, Pasta, Calzones, Hummus, Grape Leaves, Subs and Chicken Wings. My friends and I still want to try their desserts. Who can turn away from Canolli, Tiramisu and Baklava. 

So lets just mark up this restaurant adventure as a loose spaghetti meatball. Hopefully two more will not fall off of the old smoky truck.

Cheezy Hashbrowns

I love hash browns. I love cheese. I love recipes that have both of these ingredients in them. The only problem is that they don't love me. Lactose problems and Diabetes make this Breakfast recipe a treat that I can only do once in a while. This recipe takes 15 minutes to prepare. Then you will need to bake it for 45 minutes.

1 package Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
1 small can of cream of chicken soup
2 cups of Crystal Farms Shredded Cheddar Cheese
3/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of chopped onions
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 quart glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. in large bowl, combine all hash brown ingredients: mix well. Spread into prepared baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until hash browns are tender. Serves 8 to 10 people.

Greek Fall Harvest Beef

Lately I have been fooling around with my crock pot. It's really easy to throw something together in the morning when I get off work. Then I wake up in the morning, the Crock Pot has been simmering for six hours. Dinner (Breakfast because I work graveyard) is ready and waiting when I wake up.

I was feeling a little Spanish and I was feeling a little Mediterranean when it comes to recipes. A little birdie told me that one of my friends love women who know how to cook. Since I'm a single woman, I want to keep up my cooking skills. Who knows I might be making dinner for this Latino in the future.

So in the Crock Pot I put
a dash of paprika
a dash of garlic
a dash of pepper
a dash of salt
Can of diced tomatoes
fresh chili that has been seeded and diced
5 flank steaks
large container of Mexican sour cream
4 cups of diced mushrooms
1 small white onion sliced into rings

Starbucks Coffee Healthiest Breakfast

I spend a lot of time at Starbucks Coffee. I would own a platinum card if the company ever came out with one. A lot of hours of studying are spent sipping coffee and going over medical notes. Sometimes, I get a little hungry for something more than coffee, tea, lattes, and chai.

How does a person snack on something but still keep their figure. I'm in the process of losing 300+ pounds but I still want to be able to eat something. There are 8 breakfast items that are under 400 calories. Items like Starbucks classic whole grain oatmeal and Evolution Fresh Greek Yogurt Parfaits have under 200 calories.

So there is a healthier option to chose from at Starbucks coffee. My favorite things to order is a brewed coffee, Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend salad, and a classic whole grain oatmeal. By the time I'm done eating, I've gotten a serving of fruit in and the whole grain oatmeal really fills me up.

Here's Starbucks list so that you can make your own choices:
Starbucks Classic While Grain Oatmeal
Whole grain bagel with low fat sour cream cheese
Pepperoni & Tomato Savory Fold Over
Wheat Spinach Savory Fold Over
Protean Bistro Box
Egg and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich
Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend
Starbucks Evolution Fresh Greek Yogurt Parfaits

Starbucks Coffee S'more Frapp! Is it the real thing?

Starbucks are pulling out some of it's favorite Frappuchcino flavors and adding some new coffee flavors to it's menu. One of the new flavors at Starbucks is a S'More Frappuccino.

What do you envision when the word S'Mores is whispered? Does the word bring up thoughts of campfires, graham crackers, marshmallows, and melted chocolate.

  • Chocolate (Check)
  • Campfires (Only if you build your own)
  • Graham Crackers (Maybe crumbs)
  • Marshmallows (Mmm Maybe)
In truth, Starbucks Coffee S'mores Frappuccino is nothing more than a coffee Frappuccino with extra chocolate added the the mix. Nothing really to rave about. There was just a lot of elements that were missing in this cold coffee drink. In no way did it bring up envisions of warm gooeyness. Which to me is exactly what a S'more is about.

Don't get me wrong. If your a Iced Coffee lover, then Starbucks's S'more Frappuccino is a great addition to the menu. It offers a nice mixture of of coffee and chocolate. It simply was not what I was expecting.

Flavorful Fairground Chicken Patties

Is your family looking for a quick Dinner recipe idea? If you know our family , then you know that we like to try new food products. Tonight our family dinner consist of Fairground Chicken Patties, mixed greens, gravy, and steamed vegetables.

What did our family think of this Fairground product? The chicken patty looked pleasing to the eye. They have a bread crumb texture instead of a beer batter crust. Our family wish for this product would be that there would be more chicken meat than breading. We thought that it could possibly be equal but there is 
just not enough chicken meat.

How did the Fairground chicken taste? We didn't know what kind of chicken we were tasting. We assume that the chicken patties are made up of ground up meat parts. With the thickness of the patty, the meat was not chicken breast. The only seasoning in the chicken patties seemed to be salt. I would have loved Fairground to use either a pinch of white or black pepper in their product.

The final outcome for Fairground Chicken Patties? 

Throw it in the pig pile and make your own Chicken Patties from scratch.

Thank God for Criminal Trespassing Warrents

I don't ever feel safe at work. Actually the only place that I feel safe are in my dreams. That stems from the place where I work. Most of the clients that I deal with area either just out of jail, just out of prison, sex offenders, mental health patients, addicts, and struggling addicts. I hate to say it that most of the time I don't think my job has my back when we are confronted with aggressive personalities.

Recently I had my life threatened by a client who is bi-polar. He was angry enough to call the local law enforcement, lie, and tell them that I physically assaulted him. In truth it was almost the other way around. Thankfully, I stepped out of the mans range of grasp. He didn't pursue me with physical violence. Though sometimes I do worry that someone is going to walk up to our front door with a gun. One of us is going to end up with a bullet scar or worse.

I came back to work today to find that the client has been given a criminal trespassing warrant. Until this client serves the time or takes care of the situation, I legally have permission to call the law enforcement when he is on the property. 

So I feel a little more supported by supervisors but not by much.

God I wish I had trained as an EMT earlier

A person knows that they are called to do what they do at work when there are two medical emergencies simultaneously and the person doesn't sweat it. This is not going through the motions but the person has enough knowledge and experience where they don't get frazzled as easily.

An example would be tonight. I'm supervisor on duty tonight. Actually I'm the lead till Friday morning. At 11 p.m. tonight our campus had back to back medical emergencies. It's not the first time that I have had several ambulances and a fire truck on campus. I let my co-worker deal with the client who didn't have a life threatening situation. I ran to deal with the possible life threatening situation.

What is the biggest surprise is the fact that I was not as frazzled as I use to be. Two years ago I would be freaked out with dealing with medics, fire fighters, and clients at the same time. I guess I have learned how to assess and priorities. When I'm on what I call "Medstar" calls, anything that isn't fighting or a medical emergency is just going to have to wait.

Finally, today I had a woman laid over the toe of my S.W.A.T boots having three epileptic seizures. I wasn't afraid or frazzled. Though I'm only in school to become an EMT. I knew what signs to look out for. I knew what to keep track of with the client. I was as protective as a mom with her baby birdie.

God I wish I had trained earlier....

Additional weight loss meal ideas

I recently read some horrible facts about people that work the EMS industry. A large percentage of us are overweight or obese. I'm trying to train myself again. I don't want to put myself on a diet. I just want to learn how to make healthier choices. Tonight's choices were not the greatest but I am trying.

Cup of white rice
1 cup diced carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms
Grilled chicken breast

1 serving of popcorn

Sandwich roll 
Grilled chicken breast
2 Tbsp Mayonaise
2 Tbsp Mustard
1 slice of Swiss cheese

1 serving of popcorn

2 packets of peaches and cream oatmeal

Calorie goals 1440 - 1770

More weight loss meal ideas

Today I wanted to focus on picking the right snacks for someone who is diabetic and someone who wants to lose a lot of weight. It's not easy when a person is on a students budget but I think I'll be able to make it work.

This is what I ate today:

Grilled chicken strips with BBQ sauce
Home made sweet potato fries
Shrimp cup of noodle
Chicken Burger with bun, cheese, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato
2 servings of butter free popcorn
2 cheese sticks
Dr. Pepper
Coke Zero
peaches and cream instant oatmeal packet

I'm trying my best to give up the soda. I do drink 9 glasses of water a day. I have personally cut down from six diet sodas a day down to two. I'd like to cut out the chemicals all together.

Searching for Low Glycemic ingredients and meals

I had a scare with my blood sugar tonight. When I first tested my BGL (blood glucose level) it was in the 200's. This is not the greatest number but it wasn't a number that was going to send me into Ketos. 

After having dinner of grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and a cup of coffee. I headed off to work. I wanted to check my blood sugar before I clocked in. I found it in the 400's. Not a good jump at all. For Diabetics the key is a level BGL. 

Tonight I may have had three different things against me. I think my room-mate put table sugar into my coffee tonight. I had a large amount of corn after not eating anything for 8 hours. I also had to walk a half mile in the heat to work. 

So my goal is to seek out low hypoglycemic foods and make a list of them for the grocery store. I'm a foodie by heart and a healer by nature. I'm sure I can whip up some meal creations that will not only taste good but will be good for my body.

Now I want to smack myself in the head. I remember that I did have a serving of Cheetos after dinner.  I still need to search out low hypoglycemic foods. As someone who is a first responder and a future Paramedic, I need to be in tip top shape. This especially means having my blood glucose levels under control.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What Diabetic eating should look like

1/2 half of the plate needs to be non-starch vegetables
1/4 of the plate will be a lean protean
1/4 of the plate will be a carbohydrate that equals 15 grams of carbs
1 piece of fruit that is 15 grams of carbohydrates
8 ounces of low fat milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese (15 grams of carbs)
2 Tbsp of healthy fat

Personally, I don't know how easy this is going to be. It's something that I want to work towards though. To create and post meals that not only taste good but will help keep blood sugar levels at the right numbers. I am here to fight Diabetes and win. My goal is to get off insulin. What is your Diabetic goal?

Weight loss meal for a day

A couple of post back, I discussed what the plate of a Diabetic should look like. I decided to start The Diabetic Diet. This really isn't a coined official diet. It's a project that I am doing and using myself as a test subject. I'm an insulin dependent Diabetic who needs to lose a lot of weight. 

  • Egg whites
  • Two cups of grilled onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers
  • 8 ounces of milk
  • Serving of yogurt
  • Red Apple
  • Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil to cook the vegetables
  • Large spinach salad with 2 tbsp. dressing
  • 3 ounces of grilled turkey
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread
  • 8 ounce of milk
  • Serving of cottage cheese
  • 5 Strawberries
  • 4 ounces of chicken
  • 1/2 cup of spaghetti noodles
  • 2 cups of steamed broccoli, bell peppers, onions, and carrots
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil and seasoning for vegetables
  • 8 ounces of milk
  • Red Apple
The Diabetic Diet is pretty easy to follow because most of the meal decisions are categorized. So someone could pick out each thing and then add it to their plate.

PTSD can be a scary thing

Most of the time I love my job. Though today I really wish I wasn't obese. I wish I had the opportunity to apply for any job that I wanted to. Or that I could afford to go back to school full-time. There was something that happened a week ago at work that really frightened me. I'm seriously thinking about looking for a different form of security work.

We have a lot of clients at work that have PTSD. Last week I had to sit with a client for several hours who was having a PTSD episode. I really felt bad for the man because I could see that the paranoia and fear was real. I felt bad because there really wasn't anything I could do for the man but be there to listen. There was nothing I could do to solve his problems. All I could do is answer his questions. 

I had fears of my own though. What if the man began to think that I was a threat. What if the man attacked me. What if the man attacked another client. Would I be able to defend myself. Would my boss see it as an attack on a client and fire me. 

Let's say that I did not sleep well the next day. I also had a full blown migraine that day. I tried to get up for work the next day and had another migraine. I've only had three migraines in my lifetime. Once when I was in my twenties and now in my forties. Was this my reaction to the stress at work? Perhaps... Were the migraines my own bodies reaction to the stresses at work? Perhaps...

Long story short...PTSD for the person who has it and for those who are around that person is a scary thing. It can leave someone afraid, anxious, and feeling helpless. These feelings can increase if the person has no form of support system or doesn't know where to turn to for help. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect everyone. With the events that are going on in our world today, I have a feeling that we are going to see more and more cases.

This is why I want to urge everyone who works with the public to see my experience with PTSD as an opportunity. I hope that it will be a spark to drive people to learn about PTSD. Not just for those who are dealing with trauma in the past but also for those who work around people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I for one am sharing my experiences with my supervisors and will be suggesting that at least an informational folder be sent out to all who work around our clients who have PTSD.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Chickpea Waldorf Salad Sandwich

This recipe was given to me by a friend that loves Oroweat Healthfull Nuts and Seeds Bread as much as I do. When I became Diabetic, bread was a major food item that I was afraid to eat. Now I have found a bread that has a decent about of carbohydrates. It also offers 27g of whole grain, 6g of protein, and 5g of fiber.

What do you need to make the Chickpea Waldorf Salad Sandwich:
4 slices of Oroweat healthfull nuts and seeds bread
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup smoked almonds, chopped
2 teaspoons of mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Slightly mash the chickpeas in a medium bowl, using a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Mix in the remaining salad ingredients, mixing well. Divide the mixture between two slices of bread. Cover with remaining two slices of bread and serve.

Dreaming of a friend

Life of a Fire Fighter and EMT
I didn't get a good night sleep last night. My BGL (blood glucose levels) were high. That usually means that it's going to be a night of getting up and using the restroom a lot. Along with an extra dose of insulin, I try to drink as much water as I can. Actually, I try to drink as much water as I can on any day.

So I had a dream of a friend. Someone that I care about deeply. This is the man that inspired me to follow my dream and study to become an EMT. This is the man that reminded me that I needed to be in my best possible shape to be an EMT. Then he had to exit my life. Of course I miss him but why is he invading my dreams.

Usually when a friend or family member has come to me in a dream I usually think that I need to contact them or they are giving me one final goodbye. There was no news of his death on Twitter, Facebook, or the Internet. So why did he come to me in a dream. Why especially in his turn outs and soot all over the place.

Maybe subconsciously I miss him. I needed to see him. I needed his encouragement. I don't have any family in Fort Worth, Texas. Everyone is stressed out due to the shootings that happened in Downtown Dallas Texas. Maybe I needed the comfort that he provided to me when we were able to spend time together.

Maybe subconsciously I'm seeking the support that he gave me. It was a mixture of fatherly and brotherly love. Anyone can miss that when they are trying to produce amazing changes in their life. 

. We both have life threatening jobs. We both could be there one minute and be in the hospital the next. We both Or maybe with all that is going on in Dallas Texas and the world, I was just worried about it him.

Diabetic screaming hot leg pain

Diabetic infection and swelling
Diabetic Pain can be severely uncomfortable when a person doesn't take care of their body. Everyone knows about Diabetic Nerothopy but what about all the other pains that come along with Diabetes and being obese. 

Did you know that Diabetics are more prone to bone fractures in their feet and shins? Why is it so important for people with diabetes to drink lots of water? It helps with circulation of our body fluids. Why should Diabetics be up and at it? Activity helps with circulation! 

As someone with Diabetes and problems with weight. I have screaming red hot leg pain. Most of the nights at work, I'm dealing with leg pain that hurts. It feels like my feet are being with a red hot poker. My skin is firm due to swelling. My skin is warm 
to the touch. 

Do you feel the same? I'm here to find a solution. Staying hydrated is the first step to fighting our bodies ailments and illnesses. I challenge you to drink 60 ounces of water. Join me in finding other natural solutions to pain that Diabetics suffer from.

We're not perfect on our diet all the time

Today I want to bang my head against the wall due to my weight loss journey results. I was hoping to keep the downward trend for weight loss. I should have realized that I was holding my breath with what was going on this week. Ultimately I gained 4 pounds. You can read my weekly results on myweight loss journey results page.

There could be a lot going on in my body this past week. All of this could result in weight gain.

I have some serious swelling in my right leg.
I've been put on a new medication
I did eat several meals that had a higher salt content in them
I had two bags of IV fluid put into my body this week
That time of the month could be coming up
I could have gained some muscle

The important thing is that I don't give up hope. The weight took 20 years to be put on. I know that it is not going to come off overnight. The important thing is that I am making changes in my diabetic menus to obtain more fiber, keep my blood sugar low, and obtain more vitamins. 

Positive News
Walked 5 miles this week
672 ounces of water in this week (can I float away now?)

This week I'm really going to budget and plan when it comes to my meals. I'm going to figure out ways to add more activity to my day without going home in real pain. Sore muscles are one thing but pain because something is wrong is different.

Why you should lose weight

Why you should lose weight
I read a post on Facebook from a friend hat just made me wan to scream. "If I'm healthy then why do I have to lose the weight." Yes, I believe that you should love yourself no matter what size you are. As a person you should want to be the healthiest that you can be. In the long run, you won't be healthy for long if you keep the weight on. 

Heart disease and stroke
These are major factors that come into play when a person is overweight. The heart has to work harder to push blood and nutrients through your body. What happens to an engine when you overwork it? It eventually gives out. 

When someone has less body fat and fluid in their body, the heart has to work less. Ultimately it is able to perform the duties that it does for a longer time.

Pitted Edema and bad circulation
Not only is fluid collecting in your lower extremities but it can be extremely painful. 
Pitted Edema is normally a sign of Congestive heart failure, Cirrhosis, Kidney disease, and damage to veins in lower legs. 

One pound of weight will cause four pounds of pressure on the knees, ankles, and feet. So someone who is twenty five pounds overweight  is putting 100 pounds of pressure on their knees, ankles, and feet.

As you can see there are many reasons why someone would want to lose the weight. Weight loss isn't just about being happy and healthy now. Weight loss is proactive medicine. Weight loss is about doing things now so that you can also have a purposeful life in the future. 

Strawberry Tropical Dream

I was craving something sweet. Since yogurt and fresh strawberries were on sale I decided to create a new Diabetic Recipe. I thought it would be a great go to recipe for when I wanted something that tasted like custard or ice cream. 

What you will need for Strawberry Tropical Dream:
Container of Strawberries that have been washed, patted dry, and sliced
1 serving of vanilla yogurt
1 serving of whipped coconut cream yogurt
A couple of walnuts.

Mix all ingredients together
Let set for 30 minutes

This new diabetic recipe wasn't bad the first night. You may want to use crushed walnuts instead of whole walnut pieces. I also think that some shaved coconut would also work well in the mix. 

The only problem with this recipe is that it did not set well after one day. The strawberries ended up releasing their water and the whipped yogurt became flat because of it. So you may want to throw the recipe in the freezer to use for a second day.

Shrimp on the BBQ

Do you know what has only 100 calories per Diabetic recipe? Shrimp! Shrimp! Shrimp! A person can fill their tummies with 25 grilled shrimp for such a small calories range. Add some grilled vegetables and a salad. You are good to go for Summer or dinner.

Some of the things that I like to do with shrimp is marinade them in olive oil, lemon juice, and a drop of tequila. I also like to brush a little bbq sauce on them. Just make sure that you count for the sugars in the bbq sauce. Or you can put the shrimp on skewers with watermelon, pineapple, and other fruits to make a tropical grill. 

What was the purpose of this post? Having diabetes doesn't mean death to your taste buds. Get out there and try new things. Try things that you think you might not like. Try new recipes that come free. Or grab some cooking magazines and try the recipes out. Just be sure to figure out the carbohydrate content so that you keep your Diabetes under control.