Posted: 9:11 am Sunday, February 5th, 2017
By Ann Kelly
Despite the challenge of dealing with a chronic illness like lupus, the past few months have been some of the best in my life. No, it’s not the cooler weather although that helps. It’s the changes I’ve made thanks to Charlotte Mapes, RD, LDN, the Wellness Dietitian for BayCare Fitness Center- Carillon, and Jim Healy, a very inspirational personal trainer at BayCare that I’ll share more about later. It’s the fact that this one-time stress eater does not turn to food like I used to. That was such an easy excuse. Taking back control and turning toward a clean eating diet has helped me lose eleven pounds, quite a few inches and raised my self-esteem. Yes. Self-esteem. I love my job on The Dove. A big part of that is being out in the community quite a bit and to be honest I was feeling a little self-conscious. It’s not a matter of looking the same as I did when I was 30, but I at least wanted to feel as good as I did then. I had lost some of that when I let a pretty busy life fall prey to the easy way out when it came to diet and lifestyle. Too many very good meals out that were not balanced by equally good meals in my own kitchen along with not getting in the exercise I needed added up to pounds gained. Combine that with the daily physical issues and it all adds up to a losing situation. But no more and never again. I have found such joy in back in Ann Kelly’s Kitchen with fresh recipe ideas, reinventing favorites and sharing them with you.
This past weekend I took a recipe I’ve enjoyed in the past and made a few changes. It’s a Fall Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup recipe, but the difference is roasting those vegetables before blending them to add more depth of flavor along with using just a bit of coconut oil when roasting. The version I like best comes from Clean Cuisine. I did change the one seasoning from cumin to ginger, a matter of personal taste. The one preparation tip I’ve noted for myself is to let the soup cool and then use my blender instead of the immersion blender. It was way too much work for the one I have now and why spend more money when I have an alternative? But you need to be very careful when putting hot liquid in the blender. I always wait until it’s just warm and keep it half full.
I also like a quick grab and go breakfast on the way into work and you know that means at 2:30 am. This Banana Oatmeal Protein Muffin has the added benefit of protein powder right in the recipe. It’s a great way to use those nice ripe bananas besides in a smoothie. Add to that my favorite tea with a new discovery – Gallberry Honey – and I feel great!
And for those mornings when I’m in the office and would like a little comfort food the slow cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal has more than a few of my coworkers wondering where that wonderful aroma is coming from. This recipe is tailor made for sharing.
Finally it’s really not all about breakfast. My love affair with Spaghetti Squash continues! I love the versatility – I can toss it with a little pesto and roasted tomatoes, topped with a bit of feta for quick meal, top it with some of my homemade Turkey Chili and on Sunday it was a Lemon and Herb Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Shrimp. I have plenty for a few more meals tucked away, and that makes for an easy week when the prep is out of the way over the weekend. Takes away all those excuses.
This week I’ll sit down with Charlotte to go over my progress. I always have questions and this time around it’s about adding more foods that help with inflammation and eliminating those that might add to it. I’ll share with you that the lupus has been pretty active and I’m working with my doctors to find solutions. But now I look at all this as a team approach; a solid medical team, dietician and trainer give me back the kind of control I need. Of course for those things that are out of my control there is always the Serenity Prayer.
This is my individual experience. Always consult with your physician before starting any weight loss and exercise program. For more from BayCare and the Health and Wellness Program just click here. I’m always happy to hear from you with suggestions, comments and yes, great recipes we can share with everyone. Just pass those on to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM ANN KELLY’S KITCHEN
Clean eating is not doing the dishes while eating cake – author unknown but loved!