Last night Attila ate ice cream.
This is significant in my life.
Since August I have been eating a low sodium, low sugar diet. It is boring. I have lost a few (and I mean few) pounds because food is so boring that I only eat until my stomach stops hurting. Up until the point where the pain stops, the food tastes fine, once my stomach is satisfied the food does not taste fine, so I stop eating.
I love ice cream.
When, after dinner, Attila announced that he was going to indulge in a big bowl of ice cream, my heart sank.
I wanted some of that ice cream!
However, I know that it contains fats I should not be eating, and sugar I should not be eating. I have not ever taken note of the sodium content in ice cream, but it would not surprise me if that was also a problem.
Attila had his ice cream.
I wrestled with myself. A rush of emotions surfaced, anger and despair mostly. At last though, the part of me that loves life made the decision that the pleasure of ice cream would not only be guilty, but that it would compromise my chances to enjoy good health.
I ate a bowl of mixed vegetables instead. That filled my stomach to the point where I felt uncomfortably full, and helped me to resist the emotions stimulated by having to forego the ice cream.
My eating habits are evolving as they should.
As an early Christmas present, Attila bought me a kitchen scale. The serving size provided on most packaging, here in Ontario, is in grams. I hate trying to convert that into volume measurements, such as 1/4 cup. The conversion is only a rough guess, because there are so many factors that come into play. I love the new kitchen scale, made in the US by Ozeri. I can place a bowl or a plate on the scale, adjust the setting to zero, then gently add my food item until the exact serving size weight is reached. Right now I use this for cheese, which is very important because of the high sodium and fat content in most cheese. I do use it for my ricotta cheese as well, which is low in sodium, but high in fat, particularly cholesterol.
The information on the internet about serving sizes for cooked food is somewhat contradictory, and most of the sites represent businesses with the primary goal of making money, as opposed to relaying accurate information. I tire quickly of trying to decipher which sites take due care in presenting “facts”. I found little information at the Extension Services pages of many of the US universities, my first go to sites when I have questions about food. To resolve this issue I contacted Eat Right Ontario, which is a site managed by qualified Dieticians. I submitted a query, asking them for exact serving sizes in grams, for cooked pasta, rice, and beans. Here are the results:
pasta = 74 g
brown medium or long grain rice = 103 g
white medium or long grain rice = 84-98 g
white short grain rice = 108 g
green or yellow beans = 66 g
kidney, black or pinto beans = 127-137 g
My blood pressure has stabilized around 145 / 85. Last year my blood pressure was stable at around 125 / 75. The systolic reading is still too high. I am not taking my readings nearly so often, because they have not varied for a week or more. Clearly, lifestyle changes are not bringing my blood pressure down to desirable levels. I haven’t heard from the walk-in clinic about the appointment that is supposed to be set up for me with the blood pressure specialist. I will call them to inquire about that in the new year.
Attila and I enjoy the same programming at Christmas time, year after year. Last night we watched The Polar Express, which we find delightful. Tonight we will watch A Christmas Carol, the 1951 version with Alastair Sim; I have been watching that version all of my life. There are others: A Christmas Story, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer with Burl Ives, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas the 1960s cartoon version, Elf with Will Farrell, and It’s A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart.
We are enjoying our good fortune this Christmas Eve, in having a modest home that is warm; in enjoying healthy and adequate food to eat; living in a neighbourhood that is relatively safe; living relatively free of pain; living in a country that is not at war; and most of all living with someone who loves and respects us (each other that is).
Wishing everyone who visits here a peaceful and joyful holiday season!
Date: 12:00 PM EST Saturday 24 December 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Dew point: 0.7°C
Wind: W 17 gust 28 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
1890 – 1969