Explain Umami

Lilli put her empty pods in a tidy arrangement on her plate. Like a Roman edamame laurel. #artstudent


Put some umami
In my edamame please.
Savory Soy-Joy.

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Exorcism

I’ve got many demons.

Food addiction. PTSD. Depression. Self-esteem issues. Trust issues. Pride. Over-blown sense of fairness. Fear of people. Fear of intimacy.

These are all residuals from abuse, triggers or coping mechanisms. Haunting ghosts. My demons were born of circumstance and pain. Called upon before the age of 5. Schooled in my weakness. Summoned as experts of how to tempt, specifically, me. These are the things that will cause me to stumble and hold me back from fulfilling my purpose and destiny.

I imagine each demon:
black, faceless, with their name written across their chest, written across my existence, swirling, whispering, flowing around my body.

Floating me down some river of negativity. Holding me under from God’s intention for my life. Drowning me in doubt.

Or will they drive me to my purpose? Will I kick and spit and fight until I fly?


To my demons: Yes. I will overcome you. And in doing so, fulfill prophecy and promise. You have no idea who you’re dealing with–God.

You don’t like mayo? Why?

Our good friend, Craig, used to tell us about a specific kind of person. The kind of person who would inquire about your preferences and then immediately call them into question. He would use this example:

“You don’t like mayonnaise?? Why?”

How about, “I just DON’T!” LOL

I used to love mayo. LOVE. Couldn’t eat a sandwich without mayo. I would gag at the thought of dry bread, meat and cheese. In fact, I used to eat Miracle Whip when I was a kid. Couldn’t eat balonie sandwiches without Miracle Whip. Salad dressing of the Gods!

A few years ago, I started to eat mayo, not MW. Miracle Whip started to have more of a gasoline flavor associated with it and mayo seemed so much creamier. Funny how tastes change. Especially when you’re in charge of buying the mayo.

NOW?! UGH! Please don’t put mayo or MW on my sandwich. I have completely converted to non-mayo sandwiches. I prefer mustard these days. Any type of mustard, but usually just plain-old yellow mustard.

I used to slather anything in butter or mayo. Or ranch–the new ketchup!! Now? The thought of mayo makes me sick. Which makes me so sad. I think it’s my gastric bypass or my gall bladder removal. I have no idea. But I hate mayo now. Can’t stomach the idea of it. In fact, I can’t really tolerate many fats these days.

I’m leaning towards the fact that I don’t have a GB is the problem. Mainly because the gall bladder processes all the fats in your body. Sort of. And I read that GB removal can cause problems with fat digestion. But so can gastric bypass! Who knows. Probably a combo. But here’s the deal.

The liver is producing the bile that digests fats. The gall bladder stores the bile and releases it when you eat. Well, I don’t have a gall bladder any more. So, my liver has to produce enough bile to digest the fats, on demand. Your liver doesn’t usually produce enough bile on demand to eat most fattening food like butter, mayo or oil-based products. Can’t store bile in my non-existent GB, right? You follow?

Therefore, I really have to limit fats. Especially fried foods! For whatever reason. That’s fine! Mayo just sends my tummy into flip-flops. Hold the egg, hold the oil. Hold the fries! I usually get squeamish around anything fried lately. Just knowing it’s going to cause problems.

Oh well. I must accept this change. No matter how concerning and disappointing. It’s healthier. It’s less calories. It’s totally not going to hurt me. It’s a blessing.

I am officially old. LOL How could someone become intolerant of the blandest food on the planet? But that’s okay. Mayo be gone! Bring on the dijon. And broccoli. And melba toast.

Oh, and my new favorite veggie? Edamame!! Plain. I am totally an old person. 😀 They are like giant lentils. Yum! Put it in a casserole. Eat it steamed. Simmer in stock. Slurp! Crunch! Yum. Just don’t get mayo near my pods.

322.8

I keep forgetting to post today about my weight loss. I am at 322.8 today. So down a few this week!

I feel good. No major problems right now. Seem to be doing okay on my meds. It’s pretty stable right now and I’m thankful for a breather.

I’m in the 320s!! That feels great. I can’t believe I’m staring down the barrel at the 200s. 😀 Can’t wait!

I hope some nice, rich stranger or crazy reality TV show is willing to pay for my skin surgery. I would hope that the excess skin goes to good use. Like puppet-making or leather coat manufacturing. Don’t waste it!

I could make a killer handbag out of my gut meat apron. Is that weird??

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Right?

I don’t think this is any weirder than mothers eating their own placenta. Gah! Why?

Would you use liposuction soap? Soap made from the excess fat of humans? Sucked from their bodies? Made by Tyler Durden. lol

Sorry.

Hot Cheetos and Takis (Orange Is the New Black)

**SMALL, INFINITESIMAL PLOT POINT SPOILER ALERT FOR OITNB**

So. I’m white. As if you didn’t know. I’m an old, white lady who don’t know what Takis is.


(Ya burnt! is my favorite saying now.)


Or I didn’t until this season of Orange Is the New Black. I’m sorry if my watching OITNB is offensive to anyone, but it’s such a good show. The stories. Ugh, the stories. It makes me cry multiple times during the season. I’m hooked. I often wonder if I could make it on the inside and what compromises I would have to make to my ideology or person to survive.

Sometimes, I wish I was one of the ladies. Until I see a bathroom scene and then I go worship my very clean toilet and shower and bathtub. What I really wish is to be an actress on this show. It would so totally rock. Dream job. So juicy.

But I think if I identify with a character, it would be Red. Most people would say I’m the nun that left the show. But inside? I’m a Red. She’s kicking it! Love her. So spicy. Just like Takis!

After watching this season (small spoiler alert), I had to try Takis. What the hell is a Taki? I found them at the store, here in Florida. Never seen them before, but as of late, haven’t been looking at fried corn snacks for nourishment. But I had to at least taste them to see what all the fuss is about.

I would riot for Takis. Jus’ sayin’. They are delicious. Guy and I split a small bag.

I think I’m going to make a Chex Mix-Taki trail mix. Does that sound super white? Sorry. But as I said, I am an old, white lady. So what else would be good with Cheddar Chex Mix and Takis all jumbled together? Any suggestions? Can’t wait to hear what your ideas are. In honor of OITNB, I could make a watch party mix with Hot Cheetos in there as well.

Hit me with your Taki takes!

Super Morbidly Obese

I am not obese. I am not morbidly obese. I am super morbidly obese. That title comes with a cape and tights. That no one wants you to wear.

#SuperMartha

I think superheros who are super morbidly obese have a hard time flying. My powers are eating. And being funny. Except now my Kryptonite is food. Can’t hardly eat anything any more. That’s okay. I still have that being funny thing.

I AM super morbidly obese, but just so. I am on the cusp of becoming just regular, old morbidly obese. Super morbid is 50 and above and I’m just at 50. That shouldn’t feel so good, but it does. I was at a 76 BMI. So, yeah. Lost 26 BMI points. Phew.

I’m about to lose my super. Then I’ll just be a plain-old hero. Right?

I’m okay with that.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! NO! It’s Super Martha! Duh-tuh-ta-da! :*

 

Twisted, Sister

I am eating healthy. I am exercising (stairs/cleaning/non-stop unpacking/moving boxes/cooking/laundry/beach walking/shell hunting–does that count?). I am doing all the right things. And I’m not losing weight.

We just moved from KC to Florida. It’s been hectic and my eating hasn’t always been what it should be, but! I am not eating too much. I can’t. I get very full at the drop of a sandwich and I just can’t physically put much food in my stomach. My stomach is still so tiny after surgery. So, why no weight loss?

I ran out of my furosemide. Generic Lasix. Water pill.

We lost our insurance at the end of May. My husband left his job and we just don’t have insurance yet. I was too busy to call the doctor or see someone before I left Missouri. So, I’m out. I know, I know! But. I had good reasoning for this decision. Let me explain.

I went on furosemide almost 5 years ago. It was a miracle drug. It helped me drop massive chunks of weight. The first week I lost over 30 lbs. I was full of juice. I was at 513 pounds and I dropped like a rock as soon as they gave it to me.

I was in the ER, diagnosed within hours, “Ms. Maggio, we think you have congestive heart failure.” They immediately gave me an IV. Pumped Lasix in and the juice came out! Immediately! I almost did not make it to the bathroom it was so fast. I lost over 10 lbs. of liquid (probably more) the first 3 days in the hospital. I felt like I could fly!

So I was released with a dose of generic Lasix that I have taken steadily since 2012. I was even put on two pills in 2014. After weight loss surgery last December, my surgeon took me off furosemide. No dose. Not sure of his reasoning, other than he knew I wouldn’t be getting the water intake I needed, at first. But I wasn’t losing like I should. So his partner put me back on one dose. That seemed to do the trick.

I can usually tell if I’m retaining water. My feet swell. I’ve learned to keep an eye on my feet. That’s typically the first sign. Obvs. It’s the lowest point in your body. That’s where liquid is going to go. Thanks, Gravity. Plus, with poor circulation (Thanks, Heart Failure!) that’s where most of the liquid is going to stay. I usually have cold hands and feet, too.

So, since I’ve run out of my furosemide, I’m retaining more water. It’s nothing like ER Martha at 513 lbs. My feet had ballooned to 3 times their normal size. Scary! That’s one reason why I headed to the ER. Nothing like that. I can just tell, I’m a little squishy.

So, I’m going to call one of my Missouri doctors today and see if they can help me out until I can find a primary care physician here. Without insurance yet, that could be tricky.

Thankfully! I am doing okay. Still have great energy. More than ever. I still have all my other meds. I was trying to get off the furosemide anyway and my doctors agreed. Plus, I have not gained any weight! That’s the great part. I’ve just stalled. I thought I was losing, but no. Every day I wake up and it’s the same.

True, I could be in a plateau. I hit one before. It happens. But I am doing everything I can to break it. Eating even less than what I’m hungry for (usually never hungry, but I am lately more hungry at night due to more activity during the day). I want to break this plateau, if that’s what it is. I want to only drink water. Working on it. I mostly do, but I like an occasional low- or no-calorie soft drink. Like half a mini Coke or Crystal Light.

I also feel my carb addiction creeping back in. I love carbs. Pasta, flour, cereal. I don’t really eat these, but I have a weakness for bread. I take little bites of a roll and I only have one, especially if we are eating out and they have free bread or something. But it’s so tempting to eat the whole friggin’ basket. I couldn’t even if I said, “Yes, more bread please!” as I wiped the crumbs from my very-full cheeks. I would totally throw it up or have to find the nearest bathroom and be miserable for hours. No, thank you. Plus, it would just stop up the whole works for days! So, I can limit, but I shouldn’t have it at all! AT! ALL! NEVER!

I am back on the straight and narrow. Mainly because I want to see that scale keep moving. I have a finite window here to lose most of it and I am very aware of that clock. It’s 12-18 months. It’s different for everyone. I went through hell to get that surgery and I’m not going to waste it.

Over the past few days, I’ve been back to salads, eating lean and limiting portions. It’s not hard, I just had to get my head back in the game and really focus. Moving just spun my head around like a Twister dial and my brain landed on all four colors.

This morning I am right back where I was when I left KC, 338.2 lbs. THAT is nothing to sneeze at! It used to be, my weight fluctuated drastically from day to day. 10 lbs. or more. So THIS is good. Not great, but okay! 🙂

Back on the very strict wagon! But glad to be here.

Superior Mother

The pic above was from my childhood home. I gave it as a present to my mom this morning for Mother’s Day.


Went on a day trip today with my mom. It was fun. As a surprise for Mother’s Day, my husband, daughter and I took my mom down to her hometown of Aullville. We took pictures and stopped at a local eatery for some unusual dining, The Belarussian Bakery.

Aullville, MO has a current population of 100. In its heyday, my mom said 200. 🙂 Small town.

It was adorable. Mom showed us her old house and the two churches in town.

It was a great day with lots of memories for her and history for us. We stopped back in Higginsville on the way home. Home of the Huskers! lol We took pictures of the old movie theatre where she saw pictures for a nickel! Then we spotted lunch.

We ate at The Belarussian Bakery, a unique find in Missouri. The food was delicious and extremely flavorful. Home-cooked and savory with a Russian influence. We would definitely go back. An old, large brick home with many rooms. It has that old gas smell of a home from the 19th century, but it’s so cute. And once the kitchen is going, you can’t tell. It has a well-kept interior with reasonable prices. If you’re out that way, stop in. If you like old-timey cooking and houses.

What a great day. It was a successful surprise. We didn’t tell her until she sat down in the car. She was a good sport to let us kidnap her. 🙂 It was an honor to hear Mom’s stories and see where she spent her formative years. Hope you like the pictures.


aullville.jpg
Aullville Exit! 45 minutes out of KC.
aullville grocery
Used to be the bank.
bw aullville baptist
My grandmother attended church here. Aullville Baptist Church
bush
I think she said this was honeysuckle? Is that right, Mom?
chrstn church
My mother had her first picture taken here at the age of 5. This my daughter on the side of the same church. Aullville Christian Church
church
Same church. West side. So beautiful. Caught a lens flare.
bw truck
Pickups & Peonies–Cool, old truck on the other side of the street. Made it black and white in Photoshop. Love it!
bw house
Mater’s homestead. They lived here in ’38-’44? Is that right, Mom? Still standing. But vacant.
country road
Beautiful country lane.
fence
Love a good fence line.
davis theatre
Old downtown Higginsville movie palace. Movies were a nickel? Shot this, did not crop, did not fix the color. Love this shot. Love the angles and the wonky set up.
belarussian flowers
Flowers at The Belarussian
belarussian table
Photo Credit: Lillian Maggio, Vibrant colors at The Belarussian
belarussian two lillies
My two Lillis. Lillian, my daughter was named after Mom.

Matthew 6:28-29 NASB
“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

These Lillis are beautiful!


I saw this silo today. It had SUPERIOR at the top.

silo.jpgI have a superior mother. One of the best. We haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but that’s pretty normal, right? God saw to it that I had what I needed. A mother who loved me all the way to here. Even when I was ungrateful.

I had a father who was rough, but a mother who was gentle and kind. Everything that I am? I owe to her. She made me, cradled me, cared for me more than any person on the planet. She wants to see me succeed and helps me to do that. Thanks, Mom. I know you love me. And I love you so much. Happy Mother’s Day.

Some days, you were all that I had. And that was enough.

Only Dogs Like to Eat Alone

My mom told me not to pet the cat or dog when they were eating.

“Why?”

“They don’t like it,” she summed up. “They’re territorial.”

Whatever that meant. I was only 5 or so. Just don’t do it. Got it.

I never really had a pet that I took care of. Our family had dogs and cats of the outside variety. No perfectly-quaffed poodles or sofa Shih Tzus. We had one indoor cat and one indoor dog before I turned 7. But Tiger ran away and Kelly the Collie up and died. The other animals?

We had a stray named Frisky. He was a tan, lean mutt from our country neighborhood. He stayed outside and my parents fed him scraps. He stuck around, occasionally let us pet him and hooked up with another pup. She was a mutt as well with doberman coloring. Black with brown brows and tips. She gave birth to over 27 puppies during her short life and we had an unintentional puppy mill under our porch.

The dogs got sick, some came down with Parvo (or that’s what I was told), some were shot because they teased our horses (One was caught nibbling at a run-down horse, meaning-some dog(s) or coyote had run the horse to death and then one of our dogs gnawed at its carcass. True!), some ran off. And at some point, we no longer had any dogs. I don’t know what happened to all of them. I really don’t.

We lived on a small farm. Dogs were expendable and unconsidered. Just a fact of life. I didn’t start caring for animals until I met my husband’s cats for the first time. I don’t mean to write so callously about these dogs, but I was a child and nobody asked my opinion as to the condition, well-being or healthcare of said animals. I can see now, it was a problem.

However, for their brief life, they ate well. Mom and Dad threw leftovers, scraps, meat, bones, gravy, dog food in their bowl on the hill. Also, there was an all-you-can-eat mouse buffet under the house for our cats; the occasional rabbit for the dogs. I didn’t understand or research the eating habits of domesticated beasts. That was above my paygrade. And in the 80s? No interwebs. Even if there had been, my parents wouldn’t have sprung for the luxury of computer connectivity.


Do you like to eat alone?


When it comes to eating, I get it, dogs and cats are in it to win it. The biggest mouth gets most of the food. And everybody knows it. You better be cool with that or risk a fight over vittles. Big dog on the porch always wins.

But thankfully, people are not territorial. We don’t push each other away from the bowl. We don’t have to eat shoulder-to-shoulder in a trough of slop. We all get our own individual portion of the beautifully-baked pie. But after weight loss surgery, my pie’s a little different.

Fixing dinner for your family after weight loss surgery kinda sucks. Knowing that you can’t enjoy what you’re preparing because you’re nervous about the outcome makes eating not as enjoyable as it once was. Whipping up a dinner or meal for others isn’t much fun if you can’t really taste it.

I try to make healthy meals, but it’s difficult. The flavor can suffer sometimes from a lack of salt or sugar or calories. That’s okay, but it is an unsatisfying task to cook for others and only provide a hot meal, not a delicious one.

I’m learning to accept it, but it’s so ingrained in my sex and culture. I am learning to eat on my own. Not share in indulgences. Eat my own menu. Savor my healthy cooking. Walk away in the middle of dinner. Allow others to prepare their own choices. Find recipes that satisfy taste and health. But it’s a lonely road to walk sometimes. I miss shared meals and food experiences. I miss connecting over food. It was a large part of my life. The biggest. Sad, but true.

Cooking and eating have been my favorite things. Food and taste and savory meals, those are my bedrock of love. My husband agreed to marry me mainly for my ability to bake an authentic Italian lasagna. Ricotta, not cottage cheese. LOL

My meatloaf was once described as crack. Highly addictive. But I can’t make meatloaf like I used to. Secret ingredient: Dale’s Seasoning. Which has twice the amount of sodium found in regular table salt. Two times more sodium than SALT, which is sodium!

Bad, Meatloaf! Bad!

Salt is toxic. Salt lead to my first round of heart failure. Salt is consumed at 2 to 3 times the amount we should have daily. With my surgery, I am eating significantly less of everything, including salt. So I’m able to put back in some of the sodium I reduced over the years. But I don’t want my family to have it either.

How do I love my family without food?

I have to release the burden/blessing of providing food and find my worth as a mother or wife by providing other things. What are those things though?? LOL I am trying to allow my daughter to have some control over food choice and prep. That’s hard, but she’s ready and able. I have to let go of her apron strings because she long ago dropped mine. I can provide her with self-sufficiency and independence. Those things are much more valuable than meatloaf.

My worth is found in another bowl. A water dish of my own. The one with my name on it. And I don’t have to share it with anyone.

I know there’s a balance to strike. I know that. I’m learning. I’m finding that balance. It’s just hard to change your whole lifestyle on a dime. But I am learning to eat like a dog. By myself. From my own special dish of value and worth.

340s

Today, I am 347.6 lbs. I am still steadily losing weight almost every day. There are some days that I don’t lose anything. Those days, however, are few and far between.

I went in for weight loss surgery last December 2016 and since then, I’ve managed to lose 109 lbs. That feels great. Since August 2012, I’ve dropped 166 total. Plus, I’m only 4 1/2 months in. Can you imagine 1 year from now??

It may seem like a pretty standard thing to most people, but at my heaviest, I lost my ability to take a relaxing bath. I always take a shower every day, but occasionally, it’s nice to have a soak. And at 500 lbs, it wasn’t a luxury I could indulge.

So, this last Tuesday, after freezing my toes off most of the day, I thought to try a nice hot bath to warm up. My body temperature is hard to regulate with no thyroid and rapid weight loss. My extremely remote appendages are typically frigid. So, I could either vigorously exercise, throw on a pair of socks or relax in a steamy pool of life-altering suds. Bath it is!

And you know what? I fit. I fit nicely in the tub. With water! More than just a drop! Ain’t that great? I thought so. It was an ordinary achievement in a routine day, but it meant the world to be in the tub again. These small things are what excite me the most.

I can’t wait to fly again! If and when I can afford it. 🙂 Until then, I’ll fly high on my little daily wins.