Syn Free Pancakes

The author tells me these have little to no salt and the yogurt used is no fat, so they sound promising…

Healthy and Heavenly Recipes

So yesterday I was on YouTube and I decided to look up a man from my group who said he has a YouTube page for Slimming World recipes. His name is Simon Slimmer and for breakfast today I made his Syn Free Pancakes. I think the recipe is from one of the Slimming World books but here is my version 🙂

Ingredients.

1 Egg

30g Porridge Oats

1 tbsp Sweetener

2 small tubs of Fat free yogurt (I used plain but use different flavours for flavoured pancakes)

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These pancakes are surprisingly yummy 😀 Next time i’m gonna make some lovely crispy lean bacon to have too and all syn free 😀 Delicious!!

Caoimhe xxx

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Wheat is not satan… but look out for those sneaky little sugar devils

Some good thoughts here, I have been forced to give up most processed foods since my angioplasty and lost 25 pounds as a result. And I agree sugar is more demon than wheat; I would also add salt, which is in all baked goods and all processed foods as well, as a major food demon in the typical American diet. It’s more difficult today to live a low-salt life than a low-sugar or low-fat one.

Cook Up a Story

This sinister gilded crust was the model for Salvador Dali's famous painting Bread 1926.

This sinister gilded crust was the model for Salvador Dali’s famous painting, “Bread 1926.”

Is bread the only villain in today’s battle with obesity?

How did this food, which people have enjoyed since the dawn of agriculture, get such a bad rap?

Doctor William Davis leads the attack. In his book Wheat Belly, he blames wheat and wheat alone for everything from heart disease to diabetes to arthritis and everything in between. His inflammatory accusations have some validity, of course. But overall, I think the good doctor is stirring the pot with too big a spoon.

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Bread on a restricted diet, finding one you like and can eat

Bread was never a major part of my diet, not to the extent of some of my Italian relatives anyway, but since my angioplasty, almost all bread is off my new restricted diet.

The first nutritionist I saw said the only bread I can eat now is called Ezekiel bread, an unleavened variety that tastes like sandpaper to me. I eat it only with my extra lean burgers.

My bread find,  a sourdough multigrain special.
My bread find, a sourdough multigrain special.

Bread that appears on restaurant tables is usually off-limits to me these days, so I normally sit there watching everyone else scarf it down while we wait for our meals. But I was pleasantly surprised by the bread that I had at Sepia in Chicago recently. Continue reading “Bread on a restricted diet, finding one you like and can eat”

Sepia Chicago: a good choice if you’re on a restricted diet

I’ve written more than once about how difficult it is to eat out on a restricted diet. The task becomes even more difficult when you need to entertain for business purposes.

You can’t very well take business associates to a salad bar. I recently had my workplace team together for planning meetings in Chicago (two of them normally work in other cities) and so I searched for somewhere to take them for a nice lunch. Luckily, one of my favorite Chicago spots, Sepia in the West Loop, worked out very well for them and for me and my restricted diet.

Salmon at Sepia
Salmon at Sepia

Continue reading “Sepia Chicago: a good choice if you’re on a restricted diet”

Exercising after angioplasty — yes you can

Exercising after an angioplasty may seem counter-intuitive. My first thought was to conserve as much energy as possible so as not to strain my heart and my circulatory system. My doctor had other ideas and I completed a six-week physical rehab program to get over the fear that exercising would kill me, literally.

At my one-year post-surgery checkup, my doctor encouraged me to continue exercising regularly, even saying it would help me feel less tired.

Me preparing for the Irishfest 5K in Milwaukee. I'm Italian-American by birth and Irish-American by education, having attended Irish-run Catholic schools in New York where I learned all the Irish songs and had St. Patrick's Day off as a holiday.
Me preparing for the Irishfest 5K in Milwaukee. I’m Italian-American by birth and Irish-American by education, having attended Irish-run Catholic schools in New York where I learned all the Irish songs and had St. Patrick’s Day off as a holiday.

So recently, I went ahead with plans to walk a 5K with my wife and friends in Milwaukee, the city where I went to undergrad school and so where I still feel most like a teenager, as silly as that might sound. In 2009, I had run the same 5K as part of my then fitness regime. It was my second of two 5K runs that year. Continue reading “Exercising after angioplasty — yes you can”

Tomatoes and cucumbers — two fun summer salads

Farmers markets are a great place to find the freshest vegetables and fruits to eat on your restricted diet. I recently got some amazing bargains at the local Evanston Farmers Market, quite by accident, as I was there at the end of the day and found farmers discounting produce rather than packing it up to take home. I bought three immense cucumbers for $1. And I bought some amazing tomatoes for $1.50 a pound.

I had so many of each, I needed to do something so they wouldn’t go bad before I could eat them. The answer was to make a cucumber salad and a tomato salad.

My dinner one night, two great summer salads.
My dinner one night, two great summer salads.

The tomato salad is the simplest, just cut them up in wedges, add olive oil and oregano and basil. Mix it well to get oil and spices on all the tomatoes and enjoy. I used five tomatoes and had it for a week. Continue reading “Tomatoes and cucumbers — two fun summer salads”

Morton’s gave me an anniversary gift — mini fillet mignon treats

I wrote recently about the one year anniversary of my angioplasty and about how my life has changed in the past 12 months. Although it wasn’t intended as such, the Morton’s steak house chain gave me a gift for that anniversary. It promoted Aug. 13 as national fillet mignon day and offered mini-fillets for $1.

I didn’t expect much for $1, but I’m not supposed to eat more than six ounces of red meat a week anyway, so I was just happy to be able to walk into a restaurant at lunchtime and order something beside salad. The special was only available at the bar, so that’s where I sat. I also spent $4.75 for a diet Coke. I asked the bartender how much the minis weighed and she just shrugged and so I ordered four to start, thinking they might be an ounce each.

A plate of three mini-fillets at Morton's, I ate seven in all on Aug. 13.
A plate of three mini-fillets at Morton’s, I ate seven in all on Aug. 13.

You judge from the photo, each came on a sliced piece of Italian bread and was basically two pieces of steak, done rare as I requested. I left most of the bread since white bread is off my diet these days but indulged myself with two pieces of it. Continue reading “Morton’s gave me an anniversary gift — mini fillet mignon treats”

Costco Shopping — can you find no salt, no fat items at a warehouse?

Some people think the only places you can find no-fat, no-salt, no-sugar foods is at a Whole Foods, Trader Joes or other similar upscale store. I beg to differ. I regularly shop at Costco and, while it takes some work, you can find plenty of acceptable things to eat there, even on a restricted diet.

The photo here shows a recent cart full of items I bought at a local Costco. Salmon had been cheaper at Costco than at other retailers. Lately though, I’ve noticed Costco has raised its salmon price to $8.99 a pound, comparable to other retailers.

You can find items for your restricted diet even at a warehouse club like Costco.
You can find items for your restricted diet even at a warehouse club like Costco.

Costco produce is normally less expensive than more mainstream stores, if the produce isn’t on special at those stores. I regularly buy my bananas there. I also regularly buy the portobello mushroom caps you see in the photo. And I look for seasonal favorites such as the California figs you can see in my cart. Continue reading “Costco Shopping — can you find no salt, no fat items at a warehouse?”

Angioplasty — one year later

My angioplasty took place Aug. 13, 2012, so I have now lived for one year with a stent holding open one of my major arteries.

To keep that artery open, I have completely changed my eating routines as well as going on a regimen of medicines that had me taking five and a half pills a day. The result has been a 25-pound weight loss and a positive checkup last week that resulted in me being taken off one of my medications.

Me at the farmers' market with a fig tree I bought.
Me at the farmers’ market with a fig tree I bought.

To say all this had been easy, or a great opportunity to try new foods, would be absurd. Indeed, I stopped talking to one long-time friend who suggested that last year on a blog we once did together. Unfortunately, he had no clue why I could no longer meet him at some of our old eating haunts to watch him eat dishes I could no longer consume.

As a better, longer-term friend who also went through an angioplasty before I did predicted to me, there wasn’t a day in this last year when I didn’t have some ache or pain, real or imagined, that caused to worry I might be having the heart attack I dodged last year. Hardly fun times.

I have tried to live this past year to the very fullest, writing a one-act play I had been talking about writing for years; working with my wife to produce two performance of the play, and subsequently to write the second act as well.

I agreed to a long-wished-for trip to Italy to find my family roots with a group of cousins and my wife even though every day leading up to and during that trip, I was sure the trip itself would kill me.

I even agreed to go to a family reunion on my wife’s side at Disneyworld roughly four months after my surgery, when just walking was still a shaky experience for me. I lost four pounds in four days on that jaunt because of the lack of healthy food options at Disney or Universal Studios.

But I survived, I survived it all and I’m doing well. My doctors are thrilled and I’m thankful.

Last weekend, my wife and I went to our suburb’s farmers’ market and I remembered walking around the same market not long after my surgery in 2012. That day, I felt so shaky that I convinced my wife to let me wander alone a bit (she was frightened about leaving me). I convinced her to leave, not because I was feeling fine, but because I was sure I was about to pass out or worse, and I didn’t want her seeing that.

I didn’t pass out, as woozy as I was from the higher doses of medication I was on then.

I have used this year to build this website to help any and all of you dealing with your own massive changes in diets and health.

I know how tough it is, but you can change how you eat to survive, to survive for the people around you, and to enjoy the non-food portion of life yourself. With my help, hopefully, you also can enjoy some parts of your new food life.

Keep reading and keep trying.
John

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