One day at a time

lotta love.jpg

Today a very dear friend of mine taught me a very valuable lesson. She probably won’t take credit for it. That’s just how she is. We have taught together for 30+ years.  We can finish each other’s sentences. Kind of like an old married couple. We sponsor a club for 7th and 8th grade girls at our school. Our pet project this year is helping decorate rooms in homeless shelters with A Lotta Love, an organization started by Lotta Sjoelin. We decorated a room in February and have been raising money to decorate another one. We have taken up money at basketball games, sold concessions, had neighborhood lemonade, popsicle, and bake sales and today we sold coffee, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, granola bars, popsicles, and Gatorade at a lacrosse tournament. Fund-raising isn’t easy, especially on a 90˚ day. Our girls are very busy with their own activities and families, but they passionately believe in this cause. One 8th grade girlie said “I love lacrosse and I love fundraisers- what a great day!” That made me realize that I needed to stop internally complaining about giving up my morning and my frustrations with trying to raise money. (It wasn’t totally internal– I complained to Dear Friend…) That was one lesson that I needed to learn. Stop complaining. Period.

Dear Friend and I were discussing health issues today while at the lacrosse tournament. We are almost the same age. She never lets me forget that I am 3 months older. She has recently been diagnosed with thyroid issues and I have been dealing with the same for about 12 years or so. If you have a normal thyroid you are lucky. This butterfly-shaped gland in your neck affects an awful lot of the body’s functions, including:

  • Breathing
  • Heart rate
  • Central and peripheral nervous systems
  • Body weight
  • Muscle strength
  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels

Mine was hyperactive when I was first diagnosed. I was exhausted all the time, my hair was falling out, I had heart palpitations, and my nails were very brittle. My hands were very shaky and I was either freezing cold or sweating. (The BFF actually forced me to make a doctor’s appointment even though just the thought of picking up the phone and calling made me tired.) It came on quite suddenly since I always ask my doctor to test for it when I have a physical exam. My mom and both sisters have thyroid issues. I thought that I had escaped it and even felt quite smug about it. Big mistake. I started seeing an endocrinologist and we tried to regulate it with medication, but that only worked for a little while. I decided to swallow a dose of radioactive iodine to gradually kill my gland. I now take a daily dose of Synthroid to keep me from suffering from hypothyroidism. Finding the proper dose is tricky. The levels of T3 and T4 are measured by a blood test and what are considered “normal” levels vary from doctor to doctor. I have learned to trust how I feel and push for the dosage of Synthroid that makes me feel the most “normal.” (I also check my comb every morning for hair loss.)

Dear Friend commented today that perhaps having an overactive thyroid isn’t a bad thing. Yes, she did. And the reason is that an overactive gland can help you control your weight because it revs up your metabolism. But it has other, much more serious side effects, including heart problems. I gave her my honest opinion and told her that she needs to get the thyroid under control. Period. Mine only caused me to lose weight when I suffered from a thyroid “storm.” She then told me that she is trying to go carb-free for the day in order to eat more healthily. We later had this text conversation–

Me: Every time I want a cookie today I am going to think of you. To keep me honest.

DF: You’ve got to have something better to think about that that! We’ll work on it together… but remember, it’s no carbs just for today! I can’t last more than that.

Me: One day at a time.

DF: Amen, sister.

Me: My new motto!

DF: Works for me!

Today’s recipe is one I tried about a month ago. If you are giving up carbs for one day, leave out the pasta. This is really good and easy. Pesto and Parmesan cheese are two of my weaknesses. I also added roasted chicken, torn into bite-sized pieces to make it a non-vegetarian dish for the Ex-Ex. Grilled andouille sausage cut into bite-sized pieces would also be really good.

roasted vegs with ravioli

Ravioli with Roasted Vegetables

from Jaclyn Bell of cookingclassy.com

serves 6

2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced into half moons

2 medium yellow squash, ends trimmed, sliced into half moons

1 red bell pepper, diced into 3/4-inch squares

1/2 large red onion, diced into 3/4-inch squares

8 oz button mushrooms, sliced thick

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 (10.5 oz) package of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups fresh baby spinach

1 (20 oz) package refrigerated cheese ravioli

2/3-cup pesto

Finely shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  2. Place zucchini, squash, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms on a rimmed 18×13-inch baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast 10 minutes, then remove from oven. Add tomatoes and garlic to pan, and toss. Roast 10-15 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Add spinach to pan and toss. Roast 1 minute longer or until spinach has wilted.
  3. Cook ravioli according to package directions; drain. Pour ravioli into a large bowl. Stir in roasted vegetables and pesto (I let everyone add their own pesto after serving). Season with salt and pepper to taste then toss to evenly coat. Serve warm topped with cheese.

Bon appétit. Remember– one day at a time. Every day is a new day. A chance to start again. 

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