I went to the doctor yesterday and she suggested I increase my exercise to 90 minutes most days of the week and reduce my carbohydrate intake. Such conversations are tough for me to have.
“You’ve got the diet down, Nicole…but what about the exercise?” she asked.
“I workout 4-5 days a week, typically running or ice-hockey. High intensity for 45-60 minutes, on average.” I defended myself.
“That’s great,” she said, “…but you PCOS’ers need to do 50% more than an otherwise healthy woman to lose weight.”
I came home last night to find a half a dozen donuts on my kitchen counter and a husband sipping on a carb0licious IPA. It was after 6pm and the last thing I wanted to do was exercise, much less for NINETY minutes. I’ve taken the approach of focusing on the positive in most recent years. I eat well, exercise, and lead an overall healthy lifestyle. I pride myself in these things so it’s tough to hear a physician urge me to do more…that it’s just not enough.
She preached the powers of protein, and I get it. I do need a balance of protein and carbohydrate given my PCOS and insulin resistance, but carbohydrates are important, too! Life without pasta, potatoes, and sugar is a life simply not living. And just as I tell my patients…it’s about everything in moderation.
I have no intention of reducing my carbohydrates by much, especially if I aim to increase my exercise. I ran 6 miles yesterday and would’ve done more, but my feet are out of shape and a blister reared its ugly head around mile 4. Besides, when it comes to carbohydrates…you can have your cake and eat it, too. It’s all a balancing act and given that this pasta is full of both protein and lots of healthy fats, it is a carbohydrate-controlled pasta dinner.
Mr. Prevention commented that he didn’t think the sauce had a ton of flavor. As soon as I pointed out that the sauce was primarily white wine, he suddenly recognized that flavor and enjoyed it more. I’m not sure that makes sense to anyone other than himself, but I found this pleasantly light with a pop of flavor from both the wine and thyme. But, the lobster is the star!
Creamy Lobster Pappardelle slightly adapted from Cooking Light
8 oz uncooked pappardelle (wide ribbon pasta)
2 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 thyme sprig
3 (5 oz) lobster tails
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
Bring wine, stock, and thyme sprig to a boil in a large skillet. Add lobster. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until done. Remove the lobster from pan, and cool slightly. Remove meat from lobster tails; coarsely chop.
Add oil, salt, and pepper to wine mixture in pan; bring to a boil. Cook 20-30 minutes or until reduced to ~1 cup.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Discard thyme sprig from wine reduction. Whisk in cornstarch and allow to thicken for about 1 minute; stir in cream. Add lobster meat and pasta to sauce. Cook 1 minute or until sauce coats pasta, and toss. Sprinkle with parsley and thyme. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Information (per serving): 594 calories; 19.0 g. fat; 116 mg. cholesterol; 640 mg. sodium; 48.5 g. carbohydrate; 2.0 g. fiber; 30.5 g. protein
Result: A wine and thyme-hint make this creamy sauce light, yet satisfying. The sauce had to reduce for a lot longer than Cooking Light indicated and needed some thickening help from cornstarch, but other than that, the recipe worked out beautifully. The changes I made are reflected above. This meal is worthy of a special occasion and it may be enjoyable to add in shrimp, scallops, and/or calamari, too! Enjoy![/print_this]
This week is absolutely insane at work, so my menu reflects that unfortunately!
Weekly Menu: January 13th – January 17th
- Sunday: Italian Chicken
- Monday: Stir-Fried Lemongrass Chicken
- Tuesday: leftovers – diabetes presentation after work
- Wednesday: leftovers – parent-child cooking class after work
- Thursday: Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Baked Hush Puppies
I am going to enjoy today before the busy week!
Nicole, I wish I had been blogging and reading your blog around (wow, has it been that long) 18 years ago when I was first diagnosed with PCOS. I had surgery at that time, removed a wedge from my ovary. I was put on Metformin and it was “suggested” that losing weight would “help” and that’s all the guidance I was given. I was told that PCOS was a factor in why I was overweight, but losing weight was almost impossible for me at the time. No one told me there were certain foods I should avoid, that exercise would help. No one told me what foods to avoid, what foods to eat more of, how much exercise I needed. Some of the symptoms of PCOS did get better after that surgery,, but not the weight, and we were never successful in having children.
I found Weight Watchers again (for the third time in my life), but this time it worked. I lost 75 pounds and have kept it off for 3 1/2 years. I also found a new life, AND at 48 years old, I finally discovered exercise and LOVE IT, especially running. If only I had put this all together 15-20 years ago, maybe things would be different. Maybe we would have had children. Maybe, maybe, maybe….oh, it doesn’t matter now. I am HAPPY and am truly a different person now and LOVE MY LIFE!
Anyway, I love reading your blog. I share your recipes with friends. I love the information that you provide. Keep it up! GREAT BLOG!
Thanks, Reen! Your note means a lot…totally made my day! xoxo!
Great post, Nicole. I didn’t realize you had PCOS. Thanks for sharing your story (and doctors visit) so candidly!
Unfortunately, yes. I made your lentil soup tonight in the crock – yum!!!
That’s got to be tough, coming from your doctor. But you know she’s right, more exercise is key (and less carbs). Like your clients, it’s hard to take at first, right?! I would just start by making sure NO day goes by without a workout, even if it’s 15 minutes!
The recipe sounds amazing. We’ve had lobster on sale lately, so this might be on my b-day menu 😉
Good advice, Gina. It’s hard. I need to start work less, I do believe 😉 Birthday menu…ooo!
I tend to take things from Docs with a grain of salt. Sure they ultimately know what’s medically best but, as a Dietitian, you know that there are more important factors like quality of life, and balance is key for that. You ultimately know your body, so don’t feel too down about what the Doc says. Do what you think is best!
I totally agree. Thanks, Emily!
My diabetes doctor casually mentions at my doctor appointments that someone my height should weight about 125, which means I have to lose 45 pounds! I weighed 125 in college when I played field hockey. My “happy” adult weight was 135 – so maybe 135 should be my goal?
And you had me at lobster in this post!! Happy Sunday!
I’m sorry Nicole. That’s so frustrating, to know that you’re doing everything right, and it still isn’t enough. 90 minutes a day of exercise?! Who has time for that? And you’re right, there has to be a balance – and it has to include the occasional lobster and pasta! Yum!
Thanks, girl 🙂 Appreciate it. We can only do so much, right?!
I am lucky to get in 30 mins. a day a couple days a week. Your exercise schedule has always impressed me! Don’t let the doc get you down, you are awesome!
I’m with Katie! Yikes – I feel proud when I can go 4 times a week for an hour, let alone 90 minutes. Thanks for sharing your doctor’s appointment. Know that there are plenty of people out here that support you and admire all you do here on your blog!
Have you thought about changing the way you exercise? Maybe doing more high intensity interval training, like sprints, so you can get a tougher workout in a shorter period of time.
Or how about weight lifting (you know I have to throw that one in there) to increase your muscle mass and consequently boost your metabolism?
Will you move a bit south at be my personal trainer? 🙂 …’cause I know you’re right. Unfortunately! ;0)
I wish! I could use s training partner myself.