I’ve been on a health kick recently. Before I got sick, I was super health-conscious. I pretty much stayed away from fat. I was happy with my weight and the way I looked. When I got sick, but before my diagnosis, I was barely eating because I was in so much pain, so the first time I went to see my rheumatologist, I weighed 85 pounds. Obviously, even at 4’11”, that wasn’t a healthy weight for me.
I gained about 10 pounds when I originally started steroids. Since then, I’ve gained about another 15 pounds. It’s really frustrating. And I’m still struggling to lose some of the weight that I gained as a result of methylprednisolone – which my rheumatologist told me had less side effects than prednisone, I had more side effects, including significant stretch marks. There are some other reasons why I’ve gained weight, but the reality is carrying around extra weight, even if it’s not that much, can put undue stress on your joints.
I hate the way I look. I can barely look in the mirror without feeling physically ill. That might sound dramatic, but I’ve experienced many changes to my body that I just don’t like. I used to be a size zero and am now pushing sizes in the upper single digits. That being said, I’ve been trying to change my ways. And I feel like it has been working somewhat.
For breakfast every morning (see recipe below), I’ve been making a shake/smoothie. I am trying to eat more whole and natural foods, increasing my protein intake, and eating less carbs – although I am kind of a carb-o-holic. I have pretty much stuck with drinking the shake/smoothie every morning for the last several months. I think the key for me, overall, is to eat more smaller meals.
Leslie’s Morning Shake/Smoothie
1 cup of Silk light chocolate soy milk, fat free chocolate milk, or milk of your choice
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons peanut butter powder (I use PB2, but there are other brands as well)
For me, I’ve noticed that chia seeds are easier on my digestive tract when they aren’t raw. So what I have been doing is soaking the chia seeds in the milk the night before, adding the peanut butter powder in the morning and mixing it.
Otherwise, all you have to do is combine the milk, chia seeds, and peanut butter powder. Then either blend it in a blender or with an immersion blender. Or do what I do. I have a shaker cup that has a ball in it that mixes it when you shake it. Of course, you can make any variation on this. I try to keep it low fat and low calorie with a lot of protein and nutrients.