Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Meet Hannah & Catch Up with us!

Well meet our newest baby!  Last weekend my friend at the low cost animal clinic we go to, called and told me about an 11 year old Lab. The director knew we were looking for an older Lab.   The dog's  family is moving to Hawaii and just can't take her with them.  We were looking for a situation just like her so we met the family and Hannah.  We knew she was the right kind of dog for us.   We  liked Midnight the black dog but she had jumped up on Shad and scratched him.  Of course I know things like that can happen, but she was too puppy like still for us to feel comfortable with her around the kids unsupervised.  Thankfully one of our nurses just loved her & wanted to take her.  Our nurse lives in a rural area with a huge yard, so it was a perfect fit.  She actually is keeping her inside most of the time, but there is plenty of room for her to run and play.  It all worked out great and two dogs got a home. 
And YES she is inside.  Her former owners were ok with her staying outside but we were afraid it would stress her out so we tried it.  Basically she stays with me 99% of the time LOL  But today she was sleeping and Sam came upon her.  She's just like our old Brownie, very tolerate of him but I moved him right after this picture.  He was getting a little rough.  Hannah is very easy going as most Labs are and things are working out fine with her.  She has a few health problems but all in all she's in good shape and she is a sweet heart.  I've never wanted a dog in the house but she won me over!  I can't imagine her having an issue with the kids but we are still cautious and watchful.  Labs are our favorite breed we had such a good experience with Brownie and I'm sure we will with Hannah too.  
Jon is headed back to work next week:)  He's very happy to go back, he's missed the staff and the inmates.  We saw the surgeon and were told Jon had healed nicely and that the surgeon never wanted to see him again:)  Jon's started walking at the cardiac track daily for an hour.  He wants to go back to the woods but I'm scared for him to do that yet!  I think Sam will miss having daddy home all day long. 
Here's a cute picture of Sarah waiting Sunday morning for us to leave for church.  Isn't she cute?
I love how she holds her hands.
Well I've been busy working on recipes for Jon.  For now we are not eating complexly vegan-neither Jon's doctor or surgeon think a huge diet change will make a big difference in his particular case.  They feel if he continues how he was eating and takes the meds, he should be fine.  I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that so I've done everything to cut out oils & further cut fat.  Jon has an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic this summer, and I think that's where we will get more specific answers including genetic testing.  The surgeon told us he could save us some $$$ and tell us that Jon does have a genetic issue LOL  However depending on what kind of genetic issues he has, can determine meds and diet too.
Before the HA (heart attack) we mainly ate chicken or grass fed low fat beef, with an occasional pork or beef roast.  We  only used high oleic oils or good olive oil, almost all organic foods at home, lots of beans and veggies.  I made our own salad dressing using Apple Cider Vinegar, our own dips, used low fat healthy (really healthy not just things that said they were healthy)  milk products.  Jon usually declined the extra things like cheese, and went with more spices instead. 
So now I'm trying to refine our diet even more.  I've started using unsweetened Apple sauce instead of oil in many things and it's working great.  Today I made corn bread with apple sauce and it was great!  I couldn't tell the difference.  I haven't used oil or butter in anything I've cooked since Jon's been home.  I admit some things are dryer but that's ok- it pretty much all gets eaten up here anyhow!
Today I made ground chicken tacos with rice, black beans and fat free refried beans & the famous corn bread. 
If you use ground chicken make sure it's ground breast meat or you could still end up with a lot of fat.  The ground breast  chicken only has 2 grams of fat.  There is no fat when it is cooking so you have to stir it a lot and pay attention.  I use a "green" skillet, non stick. 
For the Black beans and the refried beans I buy either Publix brand or the organic Wal-Mart brand called " Wild Oats"  I am very careful to read the ingredients- many well known brands add OIL!  If you take the time to read labels, you will find many things with oil in the ingredients-that adds unnecessary fat.  The Wild Oats brand is great and is many areas of Wal-Mart. 
Wal-Mart also has the best taco shells!  Their store brand "Great Value" Taco Shells are the healthiest ones I could find.  I was shocked when I found them.  I always look for the ingredients and I like things that have a very short list like their Taco Shells.
I did use a rice mix, with no added butter or oil.  It was a healthy mix that had no bad ingredients in it.  And I made the corn bread from scratch.
Original recipe
I cup of plain flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of Dixie Lily Corn Meal
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of melted shortening or cooking oil
Yvonne's recipe
1 cup of Spelt flour (whole grain)
1/8 cup of sugar
1 cup of Dixie Lily corn meal
1 egg (egg white)
1 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup of Applesauce!
(I added jalapenos peppers)
My recipe saved lots of calories and fat!  And despite my concerns, it tasted good!  The whole meal was under 10 grams of fat and no saturated fat at all!
After all the changes we've made over the years, I'm finding this change the hardest as I try and cut more fat out of our diets. 
Well after all the excitement we've had, I took myself in for blood work!  My cholesterol has gone down even further- it's well in the healthy range:)  The only thing a little off is my triglycerides are a few points too high (less than 10) and my "good cholesterol" is 3 points too low. But everything else is perfect including the test for diabetes A1C which is perfect.  Jon said it wasn't fair since I grew up eating fried food and pizza is my favorite other food!  But I don't eat like that much anymore.  However I know that blood tests only show some of what is going on with a person.  I looked up Jon's last blood work just a few months before the HA.... his total cholesterol was under 200 BUT his triglycerides were in the 300's.  It should have been 150 or lower. But it still wasn't high enough to cause major alarm.   Since that was the only part of his blood work not great, and his overall cholesterol was under 200- no one made a big deal about it.  Maybe for some people it would not have meant they had heart blockage building but it did for him. 
Anyhow I'm committed to exercising at least one hour a day.  I'm so thankful for our exercise bike-it's so much easier for me to exercise at home than try to go to the gym or even out to the cardiac walking area at our local hospital (where I went faithfully for years)  Since the first of the year, I've exercised 30- 60 minutes daily but now I've upped it to 60-90 minutes  daily.  I'm also doing an exercise routine that I found on You Tube for my upper arms which have hit the 50 year old flab!  My goal is to work through this twice a day
My goal is to get all my blood work at the right levels...of course then I'll get hit by a bus or something LOL
Well we have a few plans for the next couple of days before Jon goes back to work.  Tomorrow we are going to a nature park now that I found Sam a wheelchair!  I found it today when I was dropping some things off at my favorite thrift store.  Got it for $15!
Sam is too big for a stroller- we are in the process of getting him a wheelchair that will fit him better but this really will help.  He doesn't walk long distances so it's out of the question to try and go for a walk anymore with him.  Now we can!  This is a small adult one and in great shape.  After he finally gets a wheelchair of his own, we will save this one to have in the house for Sarah.  She has a fitted wheelchair that is great, but honestly it is very hard to get her in it.  So I can use this in the house when I can't carry her.  Sarah weighs about 60 pounds now and has never learned how to "help us carry her"  Most kids learn to lean into the parent not Sarah, she goes stiff so it's 60 pounds of dead weight and there are times when I can barely lift her.  She does take some steps on her own if we are supporting her but not when she is tired. 
Well that was quite the disjointed catch up wasn't it???  Everything from our new dog to our new way of eating and the new/used wheelchair......
Hope you all are having a great week!!!

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