Bread Machine Questions

DeebyJune 23, 2014

I just ordered a simple Breadman machine from Amazon. Just for plain white bread and hopefully to get the good fragrance of baking bread in the house.
I know I'll be interested in only white bread and sourdough. Any tips for both? What's the best starter? I'm hoping for a powder if there is such a thing. I have no clue about keeping a starter alive and safe to use and all that.
My goal is to never buy store bread again. I'm alone and this simple machine is all I need.

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Slippery slope, Hon. Slippery slope. In no time you'll be wanting crusty "artisan" bread (which is easy), and to make your own hotdog and hamburger buns (a bit more skill), then it'll be double rise seeded loaves of wonder, and you'll be milling your own wheat, sprouting your grains, and keeping 4-5 different starters in your fridge.

Generally the best regarded starter is Carl's Oregon Trail starter, which is called "semi-dry". You have to revive it and feed it up to use it, just like any other starter, and let it live in your fridge. You just don't have to do the baby steps of catching your own. :)

If you prefer, King Arthur sells sourdough flavoring.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:14PM
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Here' a recipe for buns that is delicious!

Here is a link that might be useful: baps

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 2:38AM
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If you hadn't mentioned sourdough, this would be totally simple. The first thing is to read the manual and follow directions; that's it. However, there are a couple useful points to keep in mind. The simple, basic approach is to bake in the machine. It's convenient and energy saving. The recipes are very precise to provide a total mass that won't over fill/rise in the machine, and an appropriate amount of liquid to produce a flexible, kneadable dough. But kneadable depends on your humidity, flour conditions, actual size of eggs etc. and the simple solution to these variables is to Look after the dough has begun to mix for a minute and determine if kneading is actually happening. If over wet, add more flour (probably a small handfull); if dry, add more liquid.

The precise order of ingredient additions is only important if you want to use delayed baking and therefore need to separate yeast from liquids (and not use ingredients that facilitate bacterial growth).

OK; but most of us don't bake in the machine. Its great for kneading and initial rise but it gives goofy shaped loaves. A final rise in a bread pan or whatever, gives more appropriate loaf or whatever shapes you want therefore allowing you to make rolls or common sourdough shapes for example.

It has been many years since I used a starter. I believe I began with a powdered product. I'm sure they must have basic instructions on the package. This will be useful. There is a current thread here that is detailed and therefore both useful for those who want precise instruction, but eye crossingly painful because their 'simple' advice goes on and on and on some more. The main point is that a starter must be manipulated and used occasionally or it will die in your refrigerator.

And finally, since you are alone, you may need to find an effective way to freeze some of your baking because home made breads don't have all the stuff that keeps bread unnaturally fresh. Unfortunately, I have not succeeded well in this area and will be watching with you for some good advise here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Starter link

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:05AM
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1. Most of us who own bread machines use it for mixing, but not baking. Although during a hot summer it will help keep some of the heat out of the kitchen by baking in the bread machine; and it can certainly be more convenient.

When I tested my Zojirushi bread machine with a Watt-A-Meter, it took .35 KWH of electricity, or 2-cents at our electric rate, to bake a 2-pound loaf of bread. I could bake 2 loaves (1-1/2# each) in my Sharp Convection/Microwave Oven in 20-minutes for 3-cents, and it didn't require pre-heating.

2. Adaptations of "white bread", such as cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl bread, dinner rolls, burger/hotdog buns, round loaves, braides, torpedoes, flat bread, crescent rolls, etc., are all baked outside the bread machine. Since you are baking for one, you may like to make a large 2-pound recipe of dough in your bread machine and bake it in two small loaf pans - use one and freeze one.

I bake for two adults and I would make a large amount of dough in the bread machine and made it into a 1-pound loaf - 7-1/2" x 3-1/2" pan (which was enough sliced bread for a week), and with the remaining dough I could make one of these (as needed): 6 jumbo sticky cinnamon/pecan rolls, an 8-inch pan of dinner rolls, 6 hamburger buns, or 6 hot dog buns. I would wrap these in pop-up foil sheets and store them in the freezer.

3. Unless your bread machine has a sourdough cycle, you will find it more difficult to make AND bake a "true" sourdough bread in a bread machine because they take much longer to rise. It may take a whole day for a sourdough bread to rise twice. Meanwhile, you can make a loaf of bread made with Instant Yeast in an hour on the quick cycle in the bread machine. I used the bread machine for mixing and kneading sourdough bread, never baking it in the bread machine.

There are recipes that include both dry baker's yeast and sourdough starter, and the starter is primarily there to add flavor, and that may be another option. I'll look for a bread machine recipe for it, if you are interested.

4. The "best" sourdough starter is the one that works for you. Starters are as varied as the people who use them. If you aren't interested in maintaining a starter, you can purchase an envelope of Lalvain du Jour Starter from King Arthur Flour and make a starter each time you want to make sourdough bread (it yields 2 loaves of bread for each batch of starter, and each envelope makes several batches of starter). After you make the starter you use all of it for the recipe of bread and won't have any starter left. BUT, there are not any instructions for making it in a bread machine, although it could be adapted to a bread machine for making the dough. I'm sure I did just that years ago.....

FYI - If you like the taste of commercial sourdough bread, homemade sourdough bread won't taste anything like it because commercial sourdough bread is NOT normally made from a starter and has flavor enhancers in it to make it taste sour, sharp, or leave a vinegary aftertaste. Not all starters are sour. The correct term is naturally-leavened breads for those made with a starter, not sourdough (which is a term mainly used in the U.S.).

I can change the flavor of a plain white bread recipe just by using buttermilk, yogurt, or my homemade kefir to give it more flavor. If you want it to taste like rye bread, add caraway seeds. There are also recipes that include vinegar to give it more sourdough-like "twang". King Arthur sourdough flavoring falls short of the flavor, in my opinion. Naturally leavened breads I made never tasted anything like commercial sourdough bread. What we call "sourdough bread" isn't just one thing.... It can be a lean dough (flour, water, salt) with an open crumb, an enriched dough (milk, eggs, fat, etc.), or a sandwich bread, just like bread made with baker's yeast.

In my grandmother's day when they made all their breads with a starter, the bread was never called sourdough - it was just bread. When a starter and the bread got sour tasting, they would do what is called "sweetening the pot" to make a mild tasting bread again. "Sweetening the pot" is done by taking a tablespoon of starter and building it up over several days with fresh flour and water.

5. When I teach bread machine classes I always give my students a copy of "Bread Machines for Dummies" by Glenna Vance and Tom Lacalamita, and I would suggest getting a copy (or check your local public library for a copy) for anyone new to bread making in a bread machine. This book is full of basic instructions and information, which is first and foremost to successful bread making --- and I never had a recipe fail from this book :-).

Favorite recipes from the book:
-Buttermilk Farm Bread
-Light Wheat Bread
-Cheese and Jalapeno Bread
-Onion Dill (makes great grilled sandwiches)
-Pizza Dough

6. I always suggest using the recipes from the user's manual that came with your bread machine FIRST, then branch out after there. Those recipes are designed specifically for your machine and will increase your success.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:46AM
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I agree that it is a slippery slope.

I use my machines only for mixing and kneading. I try to bake druing the week only on sunny days so that I can use my Sun Oven. Weekends our power is cheaper so I use both the outdoor and conventional oven.

I have never made sour dough bread. Guess the instructions for and maintaining the starter makes me tired just reading them let alone trying it out!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:54AM
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Hm...bread from my sourdough starter, when allowed to stay sour, tastes just like the commercial sourdough. I'm thinking that's because California is famous for its sourdough bread, however, made the old fashioned way, and perhaps what's sold elsewhere as sourdough is different.

When bread machines were first out, I had a friend who used hers almost exclusively. It was a one pound loaf machine, and it made these interesting bread cubes. It was good bread, however. And she wasn't limited to white. She did all kinds of different breads. I would think that that would be good for one person. If I'm on my own, a two pound loaf of bread is more than I can deal with, and the end will go for bread crumbs, bread pudding, etc. I've gotten pretty good with ziploc bags at keeping it from going moldy, just stale.

I've been trying to remember how my friend (no longer with us) made sourdough in the machine. She used the machine because she wasn't able to knead and shape by hand. I don't know. Perhaps there's a way to interrupt the cycle?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 1:09PM
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Thanks, everyone, but I hafta be honest and repeat that I'm only going to do simple white bread. I HATE to cook, hate, hate, hate, hate to cook. To me it's just another dreary chore. After reading up on sourdough I know I won't go that route. If you ever read the Kitchen Table thread, "What's for Dinner" I'm the one who usually has a Coke and a candy bar or fast food. I will probably make a loaf or two and then just get gluten free mixes at the grocery store. I thought a slice of it as toast and for sandwiches loaded with vegetables would be a lot healthier for me. I am absolutely falling apart with weight gain, smoking, fatigue, hypothyroid, hypertension, diabetes and depression from it all. Sometimes at night I wonder if I'll croak in my sleep, that's how bad I feel.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 1:37PM
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chas said, "OK; but most of us don't bake in the machine. Its great for kneading and initial rise but it gives goofy shaped loaves. A final rise in a bread pan or whatever, gives more appropriate loaf or whatever shapes you want therefore allowing you to make rolls or common sourdough shapes for example."

The OP said he bought a "Breadman."

I've been using the Breadman TR2500BC Ultimate Plus for nearly 25 years. (I've worn out two so far. lol)

If that's the unit the OP has it has a horizontal pan that creates a 'normal' shaped loaf of bread. I bake all of my breads in the Breadman and don't have the hassle of transferring dough.

The most important accessory I own is an inexpensive "guide" for slicing. I believe many a person has given up on the bread machine they received for Christmas because their loaves end up with "slabs" or wedges of bread.

Here's my solution to the slicing issue... as seen on TV. ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Presto Slicing Guide Review

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 1:51PM
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I have several bread pans. Some are large, medium and then small and of course different shapes.
I sometimes will use the dough to make many little loaves so that I can share them with my friends.
It also keeps me from eating it all!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 3:04PM
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Deeby, you can do it. Every little step in the right direction is a good step. It's good that you're investing in yourself. Because there is so much cheap, plentiful food in North America, we get lulled into thinking good food is easy to get and doesn't cost anything, which is opposite of what all of our ancestors had.

The fatigue may be partly from the hypothyroid. Maybe ask your doctor if you can get your medication bumped up higher. The high end of normal feels a lot better, and makes the dreary chores easier.

I'm concerned about the coke and a candy bar, given the diabetes. Sugar is a very difficult thing to get away from. If you can substitute a slice of your new white bread for the candy bar, that's a step in the right direction. It's still sugar, but on the good road. The bread machine mixes are also a great idea.

If cooking is too much of a chore, why don't you buy a low sodium, pre-cooked turkey breast, have it sliced, and break it into 1-2 serving packets and freeze them. Then you'll always have some guilt-free meat to eat with your bread. Or if you're a vegetarian, you can get some tempeh or saitan or whatever. Just make sure you get some protein. It'll help with your energy. If you add a little fat, some mayonnaise or other sauce, or a little butter, to your sandwich, you'll slow down the absorption of the sugars and make it easier on yourself. Your plan to make sandwiches instead of candy for dinner is a good one!

Re fast food, I totally get the convenience, but perhaps you can find fast prepared foods that are better for you. Do you like Indian food? The spices can be really helpful. Maybe you can find an mom and pop Indian takeaway that's convenient. Also check grocery stores like Whole Foods, which often have buffets of prepared food. There's still plenty of salt, which isn't good for the hypertension, but if you just get a hot main and some salad, it's not so bad. Better than your standard drive thru, anyway. Plus, you can put leftover takeaway into a sandwich the next day.

For the vegetables for your sandwiches, try some of the pre-cleaned and prepared ones. Prepping vegetables is one of the more onerous parts of cooking. I try to always put a handful of greens in my sandwiches. When I'm being very good, I use something like Trader Joe's Power to the Greens, which is kale, chard and a little spinach for sweetness. My very favorite, however, is wild arugula. It's easy enough to slice a tomato and an avocado. Green beans are very good in sandwiches, too. If you hate cooking them, maybe you could also invest in a countertop steamer. Zucchini, steamed or raw, is great in a sandwich, sliced lengthwise. Even carrots are good that way. It might be worth buying a paddle mandolin to make slicing easier.

Are you okay to take walks? A post-prandial (after eating) stroll is good for the digestion. Just 15-20 minutes. And if you don't want to go out, you can walk back and forth in the house, or in front of the TV. Exercise is good for combating depression.

Smoking changes the brain chemistry, so giving it up is harder than almost anything. A friend of a friend succeeded by not quitting. She just chooses not to smoke most of the time. If she's really stressed out, or really wants it, she'll have a cigarette. That went down from many per day, to a few a week, to a few per month. It helps if you replace the cigarette you're choosing not to have with a little light exercise. That way you still pleasure your brain, and you work out the stress chemicals.

All the best with your new bread machine! Having good, fresh bread all the time is a worthy endeavor!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 3:28PM
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Deeby, I don't know where you are, but I am seeing that more and more physicians have their own network of nutritionists, physical therapists, social workers, etc. who can get you moving again. The despair is hard to overcome, but getting moving again, even in incremental steps, really does help. Forgive me, if I veer too far off topic, but I have found aquatic physical therapy is extremely helpful for getting moving again. And time spent in the pool is time during which one cannot eat, smoke, sit, or lie down.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 4:51PM
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Deeby, it's a shame you hate to cook, your health problems can only be worsened by fast food, a candy bar for supper, etc. If it's only you, it's easier to eat poorly, or not eat, because no one else is have anything. When I lived by myself, supper was often a bowl of Raisin Bran or a peanut butter sandwich, and I ate a lot of eggs, it was easy to grab a boiled egg, or just fry an egg for a sandwich or make an omelet. Not nearly enough fiber or vegetables or anything else. I did eventually learn that I really liked toast spread with mashed avocado and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

I agree that a sandwich is far healthier than a candy bar and a coke, so it's at least a step in the right direction.

I have a Zojirushi and it bakes a "normal" shaped loaf of bread, but I still seldom bake in it. I use any recipe that suits me and they've all turned out fine. I just use the "dough" cycle and then shape the dough into a couple of small loaves or some dinner rolls or burger buns, whatever suits me, then bake in the oven.

I don't really care for the sour flavor of commercial sourdough, but I often make a batch of bread dough and just leave it in the refrigerator, then bake some today, some in a couple of days, I've kept it up to 8 days. Elery (my husband) likes having the dough in the refrigerator as it's easy to grab a chunk of dough and make a small pizza for himself for lunch. Just roll out a piece of dough, add the toppings and stick it in the oven, it doesn't even need to rise, so it's a fairly quick lunch that he likes a lot. Leaving the dough in the refrigerator also adds to the flavor and becomes a bit "sour", but not as assertive as true sourdough.

good luck on all the health issues, I hope you can feel better soon.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 10:19PM
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My bread machine is a 'simple' Breadman,
And it makes the 'weird' loaves,
Tall, & hugely square.
Which I guess is fine if you are baking just for yourself
And aren't particular about bread slice shape.

And I agree with the others,
It is a very good thing
that you are taking some beginning steps
Towards a healthier life style.

Who knows, maybe, as you start to eat better,
and then start to feel better,
You may find cooking to not be quite such a chore!
At least I hope that will be the case.

And any time you feel like you need some moral support,
Or have cooking and/or baking questions,
feel free to check in here.
There are lots of good folks here
Who will be glad to do all they can
to help and encourage you!

Good luck, and keep us posted!


This post was edited by therustyone on Tue, Jun 24, 14 at 23:36

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 11:01PM
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Hey Deeby don't get discouraged. There's a great community here that will be happy to support a healthy lifestyle and encourage your baby steps. It really is good to focus on on thing at a time so as to not get overwhelmed. And I know some folks here will not believe it is possible, but I hate to cook and bake too! I do it all the time, every day, because I LOVE to eat good healthy home made food. I'm addicted to that. Try and replace some of the unhealthy treats you eat with some healthy things you know you will like. Home made bread is a great place to start. Also start subbing some white whole wheat flour for some of the regular flour and also there is oatmeal bread, which is very yummy. I am alone and I use my bread machine all the time. It is actually kind of fun! I am at work a lot of the time and I don't want to fuss with a sourdough starter in my limited free time. I make pseudo sourdough tasting breads using vinegar or yogurt for the taste. I have a great recipe I make with yogurt and another one for a rye bread with balsamic vinegar that I really like.

There are a lot of great over the counter spreads out now that you can eat on bread that are lower sugar, like hummus, pesto, vegetables or salmon mixed with cream cheese, eggplant dip, etc. I eat these kinds of things all the time for snacks. Also tunafish or some other kind of fish on rye crisp crackers (or bread). If you don't like fish, try chicken salad!

Is there some kind of support group you could join? Finding like-minded folks who are also struggling with diet and health issues for support is very helpful. Even something like maybe Weight Watchers? Lots of folks here on diabetic diets, gluten free, low carb, low salt, etc.

Don't let the party poopers and nay-sayers get to you. It can be a joy to eat healthy!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 11:43AM
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>>>I HATE to cook, hate, hate, hate, hate to cook. To me it's just another dreary chore.I googled >eating without cookingSome really mean it but some would have you cooking stuff in advance etc. That's not what you want. You want the no-cook options so sort thru carefully.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's one

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Here are two bread machine recipes that are my favorites. Both make good sandwiches and toast. All recipes are for 1.5 lb. loaves.

Yogurt bread (sourdough taste, no fuss)

3/4 cup water
1 cup plain yogurt
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (You can use half white whole wheat flour if you dare. If so, may need to add a drop or two more of water to kneed cycle for correct moisture balance, but check it and judge for yourself)
1 TBLSP gluten (this is a recipe from Beth Hensperger's Bread Machine Cookbook and she calls for gluten in all her breads, but if you don't have it, and you use real bread flour I think you can actually get by without the gluten if you can't find it. But they sell it in most stores in the flour or health food aisles. They add it to most commercial breads as a dough conditioner.)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. standard yeast or 2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast

Place all ingredients in the bread machine according to the order they are listed. As for the flour, you may want to start with 3 1/4 cups flour and add the last of it as needed since as I mentioned, flours and yogurts vary in their consistencies so play it by ear. BTW, you are actually looking for your bread dough to have the consistency of an earlobe, so I am totally serious about that! :)

You can add 1/2 cup of raisins to this too, for a great breakfast toast bread!

Oatmeal Bread

1/2 cup water
5/8 cup buttermilk (You can buy buttermilk powder in the baking aisle so you don't have to fuss with having a carton of the refrigerator stuff around when you want to make this bread)
1 large egg
1 1/2 TBLSP butter cut into pieces
2 TBLSP honey
1 TBLSP molasses
(Sub brown sugar if you don't have these on hand. But don't use artificial sweeteners!)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (Buy this and eat the rest of it for your healthy breakfasts!)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 TBLSP gluten
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. standard yeast or 2.5 tsp. bread machine yeast

Place all ing. in bread pan according to manufacturer's directions. You can add 1/2 cup sunflower seeds to this bread too, if you are allowed to have them on your diet and you like them.

Also, a friend of mine just posted this link on his facebook page, to 85 healthy snack ideas. Some of them are links to recipes for thing you have to bake or cook, but some are not. Also, you are kind of lucky because nowdays you can find somewhat healthy pre-made versions of a lot of these things at the regular old grocery store, if you don't mind paying for someone else to make the stuff. Beats paying for someone else to make you junk food, which is what you are doing when you steer towards the junk food aisle!

85 Snack Ideas.

Here is my own list that I carry in my purse so that if I'm ever hungry I can just look at that list for ideas of something healthy to eat without taxing my brain. Helps when I am stress eating because then my brain is already fried so I like having the brainwork already done.
Disclaimer: Obviously you should adapt and pick and choose from these suggestions for things that match the dietary guidelines your doctor has given you and what suits your tastes.

- Quick egg things like scrambled eggs. I buy frozen veggie mixes and mix them in with the eggs. I often use salsa or spaghetti sauce as a seasoning. Top with melted cheddar cheese, small amount.

-Turkey sausage or fake meat sausages, which can be nuked to make a quickie sandwich or wrap with above eggs or some bagged lettuce and deli veggie salad.

-Granola bar with yogurt.

-Muffin with cottage cheese or couple small slices of cheese. I like muenster for snacking.

-Rye krisp crackers with neufchatel cheese and canned salmon on top. Can use rye toast if you don't like the wasa type crackers, I love them.

-Small can of tuna mixed with tartar sauce, spread on rye crisp or whole wheat bagel. Top with sliced tomato or other veggies and some chopped olives if you like.

-Ham or Canadian bacon and fried egg on two whole wheat english muffins. Top with veggies of choice.

-Whole grain toaster waffles topped with fruit yogurt and banana, or chunky applesauce.

-Whole grain rice cakes topped with almond butter and blackberry jam

-Scrambled tofu (I mix tofu with an egg and stir fried veggies, seasoning to suit my mood)

-Leftover brown rice, stir fried with a packet of asian style frozen vegetables, bottled sauce or store bought seasoning packet. Watch out for the salt in these, but they do make lower sodium versions now. For protein you can add something pre-made or buy the boneless chicken breasts and just poach them for about 20 min. and you can use them all week to add protein to things. If you didn't think to do that, just add some scrambled eggs and/or chopped up cooked ham, this is the classic technique.

-Veggie burger from the frozen foods aisle.

-Pre-made grits with stir fried veggies and beans as a topping, seasoned with either spaghetti sauce or salsa, depending on if I'm in an Italian or Mexican mood!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:57AM
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You are all so nice. I'll read through your suggestions. I think what I'm trying to do is to stop feeling so tired. I drag around, eyes half closed I'm so tired. I thought lots of vegetables and drinking water are a good place to start. I have noticed that the fatigue is a lot worse after eating anything sweet. I simply DREAD doing even the things I actually like to do.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 5:51PM
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Hi Deeby!

You should definitely discuss the tiredness with your doctor. There are many different medical issues that could be causing it besides any diet issues. Examples are: Not enough thyroid/wrong thyroid medication (if you're not taking T3, try adding 2000 mg vitamin C, with your doctor's consent. I find it helps a lot! It's supposed to help your body convert it). It could be a form of sleep disturbance, such as sleep apnea, or other condition that rouses you repeatedly. It could be hormonal fluctuation (no matter your gender or age). It could be a bacterial infection. Low grade ones often don't make you feel sick, per se, but can make you feel like you have the flu all the time in your inability to just do ordinary, easy stuff. Allergies can do that too. There are also viruses whose main symptom is exhaustion.

It could also be not enough protein, iron, B12 and/or other nutrients. Perhaps you should get all your vitamin and mineral levels tested and add supplements to help.

Something that should help, at least a little, as well as helping your mood and sleep, is some vigorous fun exercise. Something that makes you happy. Again, 15-20 minutes at a time is plenty, and starting with just 5 is fine. You just want to work up a sweat. You can think about fitness later, when you feel better. This is just for fun and feeling good. :) Is there something you really love to do? Dancing? Swimming? Jumping? Hitting baseballs or golfballs? Hiking? Bicycling? If you think of doing your activity not as something remedial you have to do for your health, but a treat you're giving yourself because you deserve to have fun, it'll be a lot easier to get there. And exercise helps almost everything. Just don't go at it so hard you get an injury.

When you feel like you can, do test out different waters. I get a certain kind of local spring water delivered in refillable bottles because it tastes so good. It's improved a lot, but the tap water in my neighborhood, while perfectly safe, doesn't taste great.

Vegetables are great for you, but more than anything, protein will help you feel more energetic. Try to keep it on the lean side. Also think about snacks that have good protein content. A favorite of mine is a hard boiled egg. I have an egg steamer, which makes making them dead easy. Also, nuts, seeds, beans, and purees, which could be anything from peanut butter or almond butter, to hummus (seeds and beans). Spread on crunchy vegetables for a very satisfying and nutritious snack with some good protein content.

If your doctor discounts your tiredness, get a new doctor. There's a difference between the kind of tiredness that comes from some of the issues you mentioned, and the kind that has you dreading doing even fun stuff.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:58PM
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I know I don't get nearly enough protein because a few years ago the idea of eating meat made me sick.
OK, I have put the first batch of bread dough in the machine. HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLPPPP !!! I can't figure out the buttons. The manual says #2 for light crust, but I can't figure out how to do it. The pan just came loose and the machine was banging around so I unplugged it and set the pan in harder. If somebody will type out what buttons to poke for a 1 pound loaf and light color I sure would appreciate it. I mean literally like type 1, 2, 3.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 12:22AM
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I mean once the dough is in the pan, lid closed, now what?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 12:26AM
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Deeby, you can get protein from a lot of things besides meat. Quinoa, beans, cheese, peanut butter, eggs, dairy products, all kinds of foods.

So are you trying to bake in the machine, with a light crust? I don't have a Breadman, but the on line instructions say to press loaf for your choice of loaf, color for your choice of crust color, etc. My guess is that you either continue to press the appropriate button or that you press the up/down arrows, but I don't really know.

The only thing I could figure out at all from that manual is that you can reset it by pressing the start/stop button for 5 seconds.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:12AM
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Honestly it took me a few tries before I figured out the button thing with the bread machine. It goes in a sequence. You really can't go wrong during the kneading process unless you way over-kneed, so if the pan comes unlatched or you pick the wrong crust cycle or whatever, the bread will probably still be OK. The cycles go in a sequence so if you go beyond the one you want you have to go through the whole sequence until you make it back again. The bread machine is a fun toy, believe me. And I am NO technical wizard, not by a long shot. Just play with it, you'll catch on!

And I agree with what the others have said about working more with your doctor or finding a better one. I had low thyroid for months before I got diagnosed, and it was very debilitating. I thought it was just sleep issues, but once I got on the right thyroid dosage, I realized I had been walking around in a fog for months. I tried everything because I didn't know why I was so tired--diet, exercise, herbs, vitamins, sleep therapy so I wouldn't keep waking up, etc. Then when I started taking the thyroid medication, bingo, I became a new person practically overnight. I didn't realize how much it was affecting me until it was under control.

Low thyroid and hyper or hypo glycemia and diabetes often have similar symptoms, so it is very important to balance carbs with protein the way it is recommended in the dietary guidelines for diabetes. If you are overloading on carbs and not balancing that with protein, you are going to have bouts of blood sugar highs and lows and fatigue. Always balance protein with carbs, do not chow down on just carbs. Keep protein snacks in small portions around. Does not have to be meat, I am mostly vegetarian myself. I keep the little individual cheese packs and small cartons of cottage cheese around for just this reason. I also can nuke a veggie burger for a protein snack too.

But really, the thyroid will totally give you lethargy and affect your mood, no matter how well you eat.

This post was edited by lpinkmountain on Sat, Jun 28, 14 at 9:08

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 2:14AM
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Part of it is the "chicken & egg" situation. Is it bad eating habits causing you to feel dysthymic? Or is it the other way around?

Good advises from everyone above to start finding out and fix.

Cooking is a pain, a nasty chore for everyone. No one likes to cook. So you find aisles of canned food and frozen dinners in the stores.

For many others, however, there are many ways you can turn the act of cooking into a game, an art, an enjoyment, entertainment, contest, past time, hobby, challenge, social event, ------- That's why cooking is so incredibly popular.

Fresh bread is a fantastic start. Add yeast and some shoe polish to the dough, it will help you rise and shine in the morning. :-) (Just joking!)

Good luck


    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 7:03AM
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The first loaf came out looking pretty, a golden round loaf. The bread though is heavy and doughy but cooked, not raw. I had some with jam and boy that heavy bread hit my stomach like a rock. Ouch. About thyroid, I should have said early on, I've been on 125mcg of Levothyroxine for years. The one time I finally talked a doctor into Armour I regretted it and threw it out. It made me feel weird. Just weird, like when I eat soy products. One thing I know for sure is that I have interrupted sleep. Then when I nap I'm awake till 3am. It's rabbits that wake me up. Two of them live in my bedroom. I once moved them into the den but they moped and seemed confused and that upset me to tears so I put them and their things back in with me.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 2:39PM
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I had a great idea ! I really hafta get off carbs and Cokes and more into water, fruits, and eggs scrambled with veggies.
A friend of mine has a son who's a firefighter. She's coming to take the machine to the men. I don't feel like I wasted the money now. All I feel is happy ! I will say this: I'm so tired I'm not thinking straight. Why would someone who needs to go off carbs buy a bread machine? Yesterday I was thinking about pulling weeds and wondered if I could do it lying down. Now that's TIRED. I really thank all of you and I'm reading and re-reading your advice and kind words. : )

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 3:49PM
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I agree, Deeby, you'd feel a lot better if you ditch the carbs like white bread, but you need to stick with some good carbs, like those vegetables and grains provide.

I think scrambled eggs is a very good thing for you. Delicious, relatively inexpensive, they lend themselves well to a lot of different applications. Fruit is relatively easy, as are most vegetables.

I know I have a recipe somewhere from Jacques Pepin, eggs baked in a small dish with just a bit of cream and some mushrooms, it's very yummy. Should I try to find it? Well, of course I should, it's delicious and I'd forgotten about it, but would you like it?


    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 8:29PM
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I have to have my blood tested every six to nine months to check the thyroid levels. If you haven't had yours tested in a while, it may be time. Interrupted sleep is really bad for your health. I got a whole bunch of books for dirt cheap when Borders went out of business on how to get a good night's sleep, because BF has sleep issues with going to sleep and staying asleep. That can hit me too, but I follow a good sleep habit regime and that really helps. Go to bed at the same time each night. Use the bedroom only for sleeping. Don't eat a lot of heavy foods before bed. Don't drink alcohol, it will make you sleepy but then you will wake up in the middle of the night when the alcohol wears off. Chamomile or catnip tea are both great for sleep. I do well with sleep herbs like passion flower, valerian or melatonin (a hormone, but I take a very low dose). I also take calcium citrate and magnesium and vit. C before bed, which helps with my restless leg issues. Do not try these things without consulting your doctor though. It's not recommended to take melatonin for long periods of time, or any of these other herbs, they work best as occasional aids to get you back in the sleep grove. Also, don't take more than the recommended doses of any of these things, it is not a case of when a little is good a lot is better.

I also find stretches helpful. Also, take a walk!! Walks really help relieve stress, clear the mind and promote a good night's sleep if restlessness and worry are keeping you awake. There is a lot of good stuff on the Web about improving your sleep habits so you can google it and find a lot of great info. for free. Oh, and another thing that you may want to try are relaxation tapes. They work wonders for me. A friend gave me his "sleep machine" when I lived in an apt. where car noise from the busy street kept me awake. The wave sound worked good for me.

Don't try to take on all these diet things at once. Keep it simple and just start subbing out your unhealthy snacks with one that you like that are healthy! Keep the snacks ready to go at all times so you won't be tempted to run to the candy store. I read a book once about staying fit after 40, and it recommended keeping a cooler with healthy foods in your car for any type of emergencies that came up like if you had to work late or something you were doing took longer than you expected, etc. I have a very nice little cooler I keep stocked with a day's worth of healthy snacks and it really helps keep me on track!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 9:21PM
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I'm using sliced radishes instead of chips ! I'm proud to have a great idea ! It's the bright flavor, the crunch and the (lighter) touch of salt !
I'd like that egg recipe. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 1:28AM
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Deeby, I have to echo getting your thyroid checked. It can go on and on at the same level and then, poof, it changes for months straight. Low thyroid can also affect your sleep badly. It can lead to insomnia and/or broken sleep, which it sounds like you're suffering from. Also get your iron and B12 levels checked. Really.

Since you're taking Levothyroxine, you're getting T4 but not T3. Really and truly try the 2000+ mg vitamin C. It's harmless. You excrete the amount you can't use. It comes in crystals that you can stir into a beverage, or capsules, or whatever suits you. It really helps with that dragging feeling.

LPink's advice about the sleep habits is excellent. Another important thing is darkness! If you turn off/put aside all of your glowing screens at least half an hour before you go to bed, and dim the lights, it'll tell your body that it's sleep time, and if you can make your bedroom really dark, that can help too.

Congrats on working out the bread machine thing. I did wonder since you said before that carbs were hitting you hard, so I'm glad to hear you listened to yourself when this first loaf went thunk in your tum. :) There are carbs that come with protein and fiber--you do need some--that should suit you better. Beans are a great food! It's best to buy them dry and soak them to rehydrate and cook them yourself. Not only is it a lot cheaper, but the soaking leads to breaking down the stuff that gives people gas.

There is also pasta made from beans and pasta made from lentils, both of which have a high protein content along with the carbs.

The sliced raddishes are a great idea! You can do similar things with all kinds of firm vegetables. Carrots are sweet. Parsnips are sort of sweet like carrots and pungent like raddishes. Cucumbers are cool and refreshing--buy the English or Persian ones with the thin skins and you don't need to peel them. If you're making a lot of sliced things, you might want to invest in a paddle mandolin.

If you want to try the small appliance thing again, and have gathered some more money for it, you might seriously consider a Vitamix blender. You can make smoothies from fruits and vegetables, take them from whole to juice, and even just the friction of the machine to make hot soup.

You can make a high protein energy bar using seeds and nutbutters, and other good things. A lot of them are no bake. You can also add seeds and/or nuts to what you're eating. You mentioned making a veggie sandwich. You can use leaves instead of bread for the wrapper: iceberg and romaine lettuce are crunchy, with romaine also having flavor, albeit bitter. Grape leaves are more expensive, but divine. Dinosaur kale is great for this but more bitter than romaine. Kale is marvelously nutritious, so if you don't mind its flavor raw, go for it Cabbage can be sulphrous, but is another good leafy. A dollop of almond butter, a spoon of hemp hearts or chia seeds, some grated carrot (a way to make not be over-crunchy), some bell pepper strips, and a big slice of apple, all made into a burrito inside a lettuce leaf sounds yummy.

Maybe pick up some trail mix that has no candy in it for snacking as well.

Don't go overboard with the nuts. They can be binding. They're a good source of protein, however. And, of course, the eggs and cottage cheese that have been recommended. BTW, you can get an egg steamer for under $20 (the only small appliance that only makes one thing that I have). That makes boiling or poaching eggs dead easy and not really like cooking at all.

One more thing about sleep. Sometimes when one gets in a pattern of waking, it just happens over and over. Besides all the great advice about sleep you've gotten from LPink, do try the power of suggestion. Tell yourself while you're falling asleep that it's just the rabbits and there's no need to wake up. And when you do wake, tell your self it's just the rabbits and there was no need to wake and it's okay to go back to sleep. It takes awhile to work, but should start having a good effect within a week or two. You can add affirmations like, "I will sleep soundly and wake up refreshed and happy," as well. Again, they take time to work, but they do if you give them a chance. You're basically telling your brain what you want it to do while it's regulating your body. Think of it as an underling who gets distracted to easily and isn't working efficiently. Give it good guidance on what you want done, with clear instructions, and it might get to work.

Sleep well. :) (Oh, wait! That's me! It's late....)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 4:32AM
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I just sautéed some sliced radishes with a bit of pak choi from the garden today, very yummy, but I love them raw too.

OK, the egg recipe:

Eggs En Cocotte
Jacques Pepin

2 tablespoons chopped shallot
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 cup julienned white mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cognac
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
3 tablespoons grated Gruyere
4 large eggs

Heat the shallot and olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat. When the mixture begins to sizzle, cook for about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally , for about 2 minutes. Add the cognac, mix well, then add the cream
and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to reduce. Divide the mixture in the saucepan among four small ramekins and sprinkle the cheese on top.
Break one egg into each ramekin and arrange the ramekins in a saucepan that is deep enough so that the pan lid fits on top to completely cover the ramekins while cooking. Pour enough water around the ramekins in the pan to extend about 1/2 inch up the sides. Bring to a boil,
cover the pan, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the eggs are just set.

Now the disclaimer. I never have shallots so I just sautéed the mushrooms and added some fresh chives from my herb garden. Onion would work too, I'm sure. No cognac has ever been in my house, LOL, so I left it out. I had some half and half, so I used it but no gruyere cheese, so it was swiss or provolone. I used both, but either would be good.

I like my eggs soft, so I couldn't make some in advance and reheat, they would cook too hard. Elery likes his eggs hard, though, so he reheated one with some rice and liked it a lot. Of course, he also covered it with Sriracha. Ahem.

So, if you don't mind your eggs hard, you could even make them in advance and reheat.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 11:39PM
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Wow. You all are taking a lot of your time typing all of this kindness. I am really impressed and touched. I will try the eggs when I feel stronger. Thank you for printing it out. I guess I'll have blood work done. Ugh, so tired I don't even want to. Thank you all. I really do read thru these.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 3:20AM
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How are you doing today, Deeby? I'm glad to hear you're getting a blood test. Just make the call for the appointment. If you need to do it in stages, that's fine. Look up the number and put it by the phone. You can make the actual call later. Maybe you can get a friend to take you, or make an appointment for a cab, so you'll just have to get yourself out of the door...

I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but there's another good alternative for your meals. There are fresh delivery services that make appetizing and varied meals and deliver them before dawn in a cooler bag with instructions for how to heat the meals that need heating. You can get all meals, just dinners, or whatever, and most are customizable to your specific needs and likes. If your area just isn't big enough for daily delivery, you can look for a private chef who will come in once a week and prepare dishes for you. Also, some of the delivery services will ship your meals in a cooler twice a week. Not as fresh as made daily, but still well balanced meals that are appropriate for your physical condition that you don't have to shop for, prep or cook. Sort of like fast food for the healthy eating set. :)

NutriFit is one such company, and I believe they ship. I don't know anything about them besides what's on their website and am only offering it as an example, rather than an endorsement. There are lots of these kinds of services all over the place, though. It might be a great idea for you, at least until you're feeling more up to making your own food.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 7:44PM
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Yes, absolutely what pllog suggested. If you are having health problems that is making it difficult for you to eat properly look into getting help with meals if you can somehow, just for a few weeks until you get back on track. I know when I broke my foot I had a home health care aide for a couple of weeks, wasn't too terribly expensive, just short term, for about three weeks. She helped with shopping, meal prep and laundry, because I couldn't get around to go to the store or up and down the stairs to the laundry at my home at the time. She helped a lot of folks with diabetes who were going through a rough patch. This was not a nurse, this was a company that had folks who just helped out sick people with daily living chores.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:00PM
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lpink is right, there are relatively inexpensive home health care options available. My stepmother is elderly, so that's something else, but her insurance paid for a person to come to her house and help, and also to take her blood there instead of going to the lab.

She still gets Meals on Wheels and an aide comes to her house twice a week for two hours per time and helps with laundry, house keeping, cooking, whatever needs to be done. Hers is through the local Commission on Aging and depending on your age you may not be eligible for that, but I'll bet there are some programs available.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:06PM
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I can't help but grin. I AM a caregiver. I take care of a 93 year old lady. House, yard, 5 pets, personal care, cooking, appointments, meds, I do it all. I live with her. There's no way I can hire help. I AM the help. Couldn't afford meal delivery. I'm going for labs tomorrow IF my day off girl can come. Then I thought I'd get organic celery and peanut butter, a few bars of dark health chocolate, and stuff for salads. I like hard cooked eggs and kidney beans in my salads, and that's protein. I REALLY like coconut Greek yogurt too. I think this all sounds good and do-able. I bought a beautiful bike too, but right now I can't even imagine riding it. Today I've been dizzy ad sick-ish all the darn day.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 11:31PM
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Deeby, if you continue to be dizzy and sick-ish you must see a doctor, even if you have to go to emergency!

It's no wonder that you're tired with doing so much for someone else! That doesn't account for the extreme level, but does point to why it's so hard to get going to take care of yourself as well.

I'm not sure what "health chocolate" is, unless it's regular chocolate that makes you happy because it's chocolate. :) Which has some healthy components. Just watch the sugar because you said sugar was making you feel bad.

A friend of mine puts cocoa nibs, which don't have added sugar, on more boring things to make them into a chocolate-ish treat. Do you like trail mix? Nuts and dried fruit, sometimes with a little candy thrown in? That would give you some protein with your treat, so long as you don't pick the "goodies" out and leave the nuts. Try seeds too.

I'm working on some ideas for treats that are higher in protein, and when I'm sure of a do-able recipe I'll post it for you. One of them is chocolatey.

Everything else on your list sounds great! Do read the label on the peanut butter to make sure it doesn't have a bunch of added sugar and salt. The kidney beans are excellent. And, of course, the eggs and the vegetables. Also check the yoghurt for sugar. Since you REALLY like it, it might be worth the sugar, but you might also want to make sure you get the full fat version so it'll slow down the sugar getting into your system.

Congrats on your beautiful bike!! You shouldn't even go near riding it until you're reliably not dizzy. If you feel just that much better, you don't have to go for a ride. Just take it down to the corner and back to get a feel for it and make sure the seat and handlebars are adjusted well for you. Another day, take it around the block. Is there a pretty park nearby? Maybe you can ride there to eat your lunch. Make friends with your beautiful bike and let it know you're happy to see it and sit on it and push the pedals around. Once you're feeling better and have a good relationship with it is soon enough to go out on a proper fitness ride. Until then, just noodle around for short periods of time and have fun!

Your plans are great. Very sound. I hope your relief girl gets there promptly. If not is there anyone else you can call who can take over so you can get your blood test? It's not right that you don't even get a little time to take care of yourself.

Meantime, vegetables, beans, peanut butter, eggs and yoghurt are a great starting point for the not much cooking/prep health diet!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:23AM
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What are cocoa nibs? By health chocolate I meant that dark is supposed to be good for us. Less sugar, more antioxidants. I like organic strawberries in salad too.
I'm willing to sneak on a little bit of sugar with the yogurt and PB. The only PB I like is Skippy all natural creamy. I tried some from the health food store and YUCK. I could hardly swallow it. I just realized that tomorrow the girl who does the bath and shampoo is coming, so my labs have to wait. The reason I have so many organically grown fruits and vegetables at all times is that the 5 pets are mine. Three rabs and two cats. When I had exhausted my funds caring for my Mom and lost her. and then my rented house was suddenly put on the market I had to do something and fast. So here I am rebuilding my finances. In my opinion the whole thing is a gift from God. A live-in with FIVE pets warmly welcome??? A chance to earn and save for a place of my own? It's Him all right !

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 1:00AM
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Deeby, you have a great attitude toward dealing with your losses and your present circumstances. That's one more reason to think that there's a physical component behind your dragging around.

Since you've said a couple of times that sugar hits you hard, and you mentioned diabetes, the sooner you can get that under control the better. I don't generally care for peanut butter, so I totally get why you prefer the emulsified one. The sugar not only makes it into a confection, it helps keep it smooth. Since three quarters of the Skippy is fat (mostly from the peanuts, some from the oil), it's not as likely to give you the big sugar thud.

OTOH, if you're feeling at all adventuresome, you might try an almond butter or cashew butter (but almond is better). Get the raw (not roasted) kind that's just pure nuts, and make sure it's from a store where it's popular. As it sits the oils will separate out, and it takes muscles to stir. If you have a food processor, you can empty into that and stir it up pronto, but at that rate you could also just make your own. Cashew and almond are naturally sweet. Almonds are a specifically "good for you" nut.

Cocoa nibs are bits of the cocoa beans that have been processed just up to where they're ready to make chocolate. They're small and a little hard, have an intense flavor, and aren't candy. Yes, dark chocolate has the anti-oxidants, etc., but it still has a lot of sugar. You might find that cocoa nibs satisfy the chocolate cravings without the sugar thud.

The choices on your shopping list are good! They're definitely a move in the right direction. I'm only pointing out sugar because you said it was making you feel bad. Once you get a bit better you might want to consider buying plain yoghurt and fixing it up yourself. I use bananas to sweeten Green yoghurt when I make it into frozen yoghurt because they have a ton of fiber along with their high sugar content. It doesn't take much. One to two per quart. Though, actually, you could just add some soluble fiber to regular sweetened and flavored yoghurt to get a similar effect. That would be something like Benefiber. Just sprinkle on a spoonful and stir it in. Adding fiber can make foods a bit grainy, so start small and give it a chance to hydrate a little before eating.

I get it about the demands of your job and your pets, but you deserve to be cared for too! Isn't there anyone else who can supervise the beautician so you can duck out for your blood test?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 4:18AM
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Oh Deeby, I totally know where you're coming from. The classic caregiver dilemma, taking car of everyone else and then not having the time and energy to take care of yourself! One thing I have learned, is if you don't carve out time to take care of yourself regularly, your body will go on strike and force you to. Listen to it! Self-care/maintenance is a necessity, it's not slacking! Someday our society will learn this and maybe we won't all be so sick all the time! Keep searching for ways to find help, and then when you get the chance you can pay it forward. I totally get the part about health care costs too. So you can follow a diabetes diet for absolutely free, and it helps with a myriad of health problems anyway, so this is something you can do for you! Here's a link to a meal planning site I use regularly. I don't have diabetes but am always courting blood sugar issues if I'm not careful so I try and stick to something similar to this.
Eating Well 28 Day Diabetes Meal Plan. The great thing about that link is the Web site has all the recipes too.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 2:36PM
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I just saw this thread today. I'm not a bread machine person, so I wasn't expecting to have anything to add.

You know something is not right and that you need to get help. Please don't put it off. The kind of lethargy you are describing, particularly paired with the dizziness, could be the result of a number of conditions -- and possibly more than one.

Mention everything to your doctor, even if you think it is explained by things you already know about. Have you had any shortness of breath? Felt like you are working too hard doing simple things? Coughing? Tightness or pain in your chest? Nausea? Confusion or memory changes? These things could get lost in the feeling of just being so tired, depressed or overwhelmed, but they could be significant to a diagnosis, so if you have, be sure to mention them to your doctor. You have mentioned some things that concern me, but I'm not a doctor. I've just been in the caregiver role for someone. Please get a check up - not just blood work.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Thank you all. Made my appointment for Thursday. During the lady's bathtime I went and got the celery and PB. I saw that my fave one now has 1/3 less sugar and salt version so I got that one. Also got a bottle of sub-lingual B-12 tablets. I don't know if it's my imagination but I had the energy to wash my hair and I'd been stalling on that. How gross. Yes, classic caregiver syndrome. I'll look at the nut butters next time I'm at the health store. That's where I get my rabbits' organics and the cat foods too. Dinner was the celery and a huge glass of spring water. You're all so nice !

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 11:39PM
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You need more than celery to eat and keep up your strength. Kuddos for wanting to manage your weight, but do it smart or you will make matters worse.

Glad you are feeling better, but do get a full check up and see what is going on. Run your dietary concerns past the doc too -- maybe you can get a referral to a nutritionist or some other support there to make sure you stay healthy in the process.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 11:46PM
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Well, I'm glad you went and got the appointment to get labs done, that's a big step in the right direction.

I also agree that celery and water is not enough for supper, you're not going to have any energy at all if your body doesn't have fuel to run on. When I was too tired, too sad, too completely overwhelmed to do anything else, I had what my girls called a "peanut butter sucker". Just peanut butter and a spoon. The fat in peanut butter is mostly good fat and although I eat Peter Pan Honey Roast, it's still a whole lot better than nothing.

Good luck on those labs, I hope results come back fast.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:11AM
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I don't mean to speak for Deeby, but I'm pretty sure it was celery peanut butter boats, which isn't all that bad as snacking suppers go.

Deeby, we care about you. Hang in there!

Considering you don't care for meat, it wouldn't be at all surprising if you had a B12 deficiency. If so, yes, the energy to do a good wash on your hair could come that quickly. Make sure to tell the doctor about all supplements, and write down how much you're taking and when you started. That'll help him or her understand the results of your labs better.

I'm glad you found a less added things version of your peanut butter. I take it it tastes good enough? If so, that's marvelous. Food has to be appetizing for most people. There are some high performance athletes and other fanatics who can be satisfied with the intellectual challenge of getting certain nutrients, but the rest of us want something nice to eat, and a variety of different things to tickle our tastebuds.

I'm much relieved that you have your appointment.

It's also great to know that you shop at the health store for your pets, and will therefore buy good things for yourself too. I didn't get to the grocery store today, so I was scrounging around for good things to eat too. I ended up with smoked salmon and lots of wild arugula for dinner. :) Kind of a luxurious version of scraping the barrel, but I love wild arugula. :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:28AM
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Yes, it was a PB boat. Never heard it called that, lol. It was a huge long stalk too. I had a cheese stick later and I admit it, a spoonful of Nutella. One thing I won't/can't give up is diet Coke. How I love a cracklin', crisp, icy cold Coke !

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 1:58AM
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Glad you had some protein. Let us know how things go.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:49AM
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Deeby, I'd never dream of standing between you and an icy good Diet Coke. Do make sure you get your calcium levels checked tomorrow, though. Cola (any kind of cola) has been known to interfere with it, and you might need some vitamin D and/or calcium supplements to counteract that. You might need them anyway, if you're not getting enough sun, and enough calcium in your food. (Chalk up another thing or two that could be contributing to your lethargy.)

You might also try to be aware if drinking Diet Coke increases your desire for sweets, or food in general. It doesn't for me. It just doesn't. I mostly drink spring water, but do occasionally indulge. I don't even like sweetened drinks, and Diet Coke doesn't make me want sweets. I've been know to want a sweet and wash it down with Diet Coke, but not vice versa.

There have been studies, however, that show that people's bodies start preparing for sugar when they drink diet drinks and then go out of whack when they don't get it. Since you're working on your sugar balance, that's something you'll want to watch out for.

I'm not telling you to give up your soda pop. Just sharing some of the pitfalls that you can look out for.

How are you doing today?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 1:36PM
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So weak I feel like crying.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Oh, dear! I'm so sorry! Did you take your B12? Are you overheated? Would a cold compress help? The beacon to set your eyes on is your appointment tomorrow. Try to eat something high in protein. Take care. Rest if you can. Let us know how you're doing.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:14PM
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Thank you. I went to the store and bought not from concentrate orange juice which I love. I drank down two big glasses. I don't care WHAT the doctors say about the sugars in orange juice. All I know is that I perked up after awhile. Not dizzy, not weak, just super tired. I bet it's the potassium. Will ask the doctor about getting a different BP med. This one's not a diuretic though so the potassium thing is weird.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:17PM
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My friend often feels tired and ill from her blood pressure medication. Work with your doctor to get the right mix of meds! She is looking for alternative BP medication. I tell you, old age isn't for sissies, as my 85 year old mom likes to say. I celebrate when I have a few good days in a row. Darn menopause for me makes it seem like it's always something, with hormones fluxuating so I never know what annoying symptom will crop up. Please be careful with the diet soda. I ruined my bladder drinking it. Now I buy flavored unsweetened soda water mixed with a small bit of juice, or the small cans of soda with sugar. The smaller cans give me my ice cold soda fix but not too much. You know my BF has a technique to make mealtimes faster and easier for him, he eats the same things over and over again. He has his tried and true set of breakfasts, lunches and dinners and eats them over and over. I know what day of the week it is by what BF is having for breakfast. Mon. cereal, Tues. yogurt, Wed. omelette, Thurs. Toast, Fri. cereal, Sat. pancakes or french toast, and Sunday omelette. Rinse, repeat! But it does make shopping and meal fixing a whole lot easier.

This post was edited by lpinkmountain on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 13:00

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:09PM
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Thank goodness something helped in the short term! Deeby, I newly (just this year) have some of the same thing, only less dramatic. I'll be dragging around thinking it's a bad allergy day but if I have something sugary, like a cookie, I'll feel SO much better. I mostly get sugars from fruits and breads, and rather than cookies, if I'm desperate for a sweet, I'll indulge in a chocolate coated frozen yoghurt pop. But eating something really sweet, like pineapple or a cookie can be miraculous. I told my doctor and it made him frown. :( But since I don't consume a lot of concentrated sugar, I wonder if it's actually transient low blood sugar? It's certainly another thing to ask your doctor!

...but if you have low potassium, that could make you dizzy, as could your BP medication.

LPink, I've got to he an engineer?

Will you share about the bad that diet soda does? I haven't heard this.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:22PM
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I can't go. Her doctor is coming for her check up. They never know what time so I have to sit here all day. Sigh...

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:36PM
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Well Pllog, he is a construction carpenter, so close to engineer. He also has a regular lunch rotation for work although it is not as day-specific, and also the same for dinners. He eats the same two snacks every day too, yogurt and an apple and banana in the AM and sourdough pretzels when he comes home from work. The only exception would be if it was "peanut butter and banana sandwich day" in which case he would just eat an apple. It's always the same yogurt--either Dannon strawberry or Dannon peach, the Activia kind. My honey told me that when he finds something he likes, he sticks to it. He knows what he likes and he sticks to the tried and true for the sake of efficiency I guess. He's quite personally conservative but I can't complain about the "finding something he likes and sticking to it" part since I fall under that category. I could start a new thread and post some of his dinner rotations if you like. They are all very quick and yet tasty. He works very hard and very long hours so he really knows how to streamline his efforts and his time.

As for the diet soda, it's kind of a long story. I am mildly allergic to Aspartame so I never drank diet soda until my 40's. But then I was really trying to cut down on sugar. I never drank more than one 12 ounce can per day, but I did it almost every day. I had been drinking ginger ale, which is the kind of diet soda I switched to. That and diet coke and diet root beer was pretty much all I liked in the diet soda realm. Then I developed interstitial cystitis, which is chronic inflammation of the urinary tract. This occurred around the time of menopause and many rounds of urinary tract infections. There are probably multiple causes, I have other chronic inflammatory problems too so that is probably part of it. The infections inflame and damage your bladder and then it doesn't heal properly, causing it to become very susceptible to a whole host of problems. I followed a strict "low acid" diet for months, but I have discovered that I only have a few triggers that I absolutely must avoid. Number one on that list is diet soda. It irritates your bladder because it is very acid, including the carbonation, the sweetener and then the caffeine in the case of diet cola. Chronic irritation=damage=bladder problems. I am loathe to lecture anyone on diet and I know why people drink the diet soda, I was one of them. I just have to add my cautionary tale though, because if you're already having health problems they tend to cluster, as I mentioned. Oddly, it's not the caffeine, because coffee and real coke do not bother me. I really love soda so to avoid the intake of too much sugar I get those little cans, I think they are 8 oz. with real sweeteners. Still not good for me but a compromise I can make occasionally. The stuff I drink every day is the flavored, unsweetened soda water. I like a few flavors of that. But overall, I have a low sugar intake every day, I really have to watch it because sugar can feed bacteria in your system and I definitely don't want to do that! I know I need to watch my diet to feel healthy, and that is usually enough motivation for me to do it. Thankfully, I like healthy foods like vegetables and whole grains. Anyway Deeby, this may not apply to you because like I said, I have other chronic inflammatory conditions and so does my dad so I have a genetic predisposition.

Deeby, e-mail me through GW with your address. I have a book called "Fight Fat After 40" that is loaded with extremely practical and easy to implement solutions for eating right. It goes into the whole stress/cortisol connection which really does a number, health-wise, on folks like us who are caregivers and struggling financially. I'll send you the book because i pretty much have in memorized by now. In the book the author (a nutritionist) describes several eating types and one is the "stress under-eater" which sounds kind of like you! Lots of helpful tips. I don't eat much meat myself either, so I have developed a whole list of ways to get extra protein. If I am not prepared, it is too easy for me to hit the french fries or junk food counter when I don't feel like cooking or get held up with some kind of thing for work and end up eating on the run. That's why this book I'm going to send you is so good, it is full of strategies for those times. That tip about keeping a lunch box full of healthy protein snacks has been a godsend for me!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 8:30PM
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Deeby, that's a crying shame that you didn't get to go to your appointment. Did you make another one? Are you feeling any better today? Have you tried the eggs, yet? Egg whites are terrifically good protein and always make me feel good.

LPink, thanks for the explanation. I didn't mean to pry, but I did wonder since diet soda is a vice I've allowed myself without restriction. I mostly drink spring water, as I said, and most often don't have any soda at all, but if I want three cans of soda in a day, I will. I don't think I have any inflammatory issues (though there could be some which manifest in my dreadful sinuses), but I'm glad I know now to cut it out if there's an inkling of that kind of problem. You've done me a service.

Your box full of healthy options is a great idea!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:07PM
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I'll go after the holiday weekend, after the nurse comes to fill J's pillbox. Because of privacy laws I have to refer to my client by her initial.
I don't mind sharing my email address. It's That lunch box at the ready sounds like a lifesaver for me. I'm actually a stress OVER eater, big time. I'm still drinking orange juice, just one big glass today and I'm sitting here while my hair color soaks in. I had the energy to color my hair ! All the rabbits are tucked in with fresh hay and fresh water bowls, cats happy, J asleep, a cool breeze blowing, and YAY, done with the monthly doctor's visit. J''s, I mean. The doctor and nurse think I'm Super Woman. The kudos sure help. : )

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 11:44PM
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Wow! Energy enough to color your hair is great!! And how great to have all the chores done and get to have a sit down. And a forthcoming good hair day.

Since you're a stress eater, and a don't have time one, at that. Maybe you can make a little list and keep it in your pocket, of good for you snacks that won't screw up your body chemistry. Have many of them in your lunchbox, but also have a list.

I don't know a lot about it, but I've heard that fats help us process stress hormones. So if you're stressed and hungry, try a handful of nuts and/or seeds.

Have a great 4th!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 3:28AM
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Deeby? How are you doing?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 6:43PM
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Deeby, I'm also thinking about you. Let us know how you are doing.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:12PM
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Thank you. Just got my lab results today. Thyroid normal levels, diabetes A1C at 7, but uric acid way high. Putting me on something-can't recall the name, Pur something. Also Trazodone for sleep, 50 mgs. Still exhausted and weak. Maybe it's all the uric acid in my blood. Sheesh.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:21PM
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Thanks for checking in. Have you discussed the results with your doctor? If you don't get useful answers, do talk to someone else! Some doctors are better at this stuff than others.

Is the B12 helping at all?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:59PM
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Stuck the B-12 in a drawer and forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder-will put it on a counter now !

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:03PM
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Oh, good! That you got it out, that is. Happy to noodge. :)

I was dragging around a lot last week, for no identifiable reason considering my company for the 4th was pretty easy. I finally figured out that I just wasn't getting enough sleep! Rather than getting up, if I stay in bed and don't read, or look at my phone, or anything like that, I can, apparently, fall back to sleep nowadays. A new trick! Like when I was young.

I know you have charges, both human and quadruped, but perhaps one of the things you need is more, good sleep?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:59PM
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Funny you should say that-just picked up my prescription of Trazodone today. Kinda scared to use it but the doctor and the pharmacist say it'll be fine and not make me drowsy the next day.
Here's something new but good-for the past four days I have no appetite. One or two bites of something and I'm full. Haven't taken any new meds yet so why this is I don't know. But how coooooooool !

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:47PM
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That is good news! So long as you're getting your nutrition for the day. Is it just too hot to eat? Maybe you're destressing a bit?

Have you found other good (and good for you) things to eat?

I just made a big pot of barbecue style pinto beans that are very good. Very little fat, some sugar, but not tons. Pretty healthy stuff. :) Especially with good, rustic bread, or just corn chips, to make complete proteins. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:19PM
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Oh................. I LOVE beans. All kinds, all ways. But they had to go because of gout. I sneak though. Often. : )

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:27AM
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Oh, what a shame! I'm trying to limit cheese and so far beans are the only plant food that come close. :) This batch, which I sort of made up following a recipe--more recipe than made up but still really not following the recipe, is put down the yoghurt, eat more beans good. :)

I just read that high uric acid levels in the blood are a stress protection. Maybe stress is why your levels are so high? Are you sure you can't have beans? I don't have expertise and I'm not contradicting your doctor, but everything I've read says that most legumes are okay for gout (I've also seen something that says cherries are good for it. I don't know if it's true but any excuse to eat cherries is a good one!). Do you think a dietician or nutritionist would be helpful to you? It just seems such a shame that you can't have beans...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:37PM
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I've heard that about cherries and cherry juice too. I'm having chili tonight ! One of my faves-lima beans like my Grandma cooked them. I cook down a Dutch oven full all day and at night, I have a thick savory stew that I drench in butter and salt and green onions. I really love beans. I won't see a nutritionist-I just study online (and rarely obey !)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:14AM
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Well, if it wasn't a doctor or nutritionist who put you off beans, please do some more investigation. I saw a warning against black eyed peas, but most people I've read online seem to think that beans are okay for gout even though they have that chemical which I think starts with "p".

I've never had chili with lima beans. Are those the dried ones? I can't imagine that fresh would survive a long cook. I love that kind of thing, though not so much the salt and butter. I don't use much of either.

So I read something that said that potassium was good for gout, and that lima beans are good for potassium. Vitamin C is also supposed to help.

Is the B12 helping with the fatigue?

I recently got Bragg nutritional yeast to try because several here said it was great to use as a seasoning and it has added B vitamins. I'm going to try it in vegan snacks. Even though there's not enough sodium to earn a mention on the label, it has an almost salty taste, and also umami. Plus nutritional yeast is supposed to have complete proteins. Maybe something like that would be a good alternative to some of the salt?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 4:31AM
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Deeby, my husband also has high uric acid levels and has had a couple bouts of gout. The doc didn't tell him not to eat beans, although he did warn him about asparagus, organ meats, some fish. He also warned that high uric acid levels can lead to kidney stones, so a prescription was also in order. He did say that peas, beans and mushrooms were high in purines but studies did not link them to gout issues.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:07PM
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My BF has gout and I've had this discussion with him too. That info. about beans is outdated, there are lots of foods you probably are eating that have just as high levels of uric acid so no particular reason to single out beans, although eat with moderation. I'd be more worried about not getting enough protein if you are snacking on sugars and carbs, than eating too many beans. Lack of iron can make it hard to fall and stay asleep so really try to balance those carbs with protein or some foods that have iron in them. I take an iron tablet although a low dose and take in the AM on empty stomach with vit. C for absorption. Calcium interferes with iron absorption (and thyroid medication) so I take my thyroid and iron in the AM and calcium in the PM. It helps with sleep too! Ya gotta take care of yourself, you deserve it! Take time to maintain your body or you won't be any good to anybody! Take the time to keep your engines running well, you're worth it!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:08PM
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