Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 31 - Wrap-Up

I figure since it's the end of the month I should do some sort of wrap up post as to how my New Years Resolutions are going so far even though the flu has knocked a lot of my nicely-laid plans all out of whack.


Let's take a look at what my plans were and see where I am:


GOAL 1) Starting January 1, I am doing Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet for 2 weeks.
Yep.  I wasn't perfect, but I was pretty darn good and I felt the benefits immensely.

GOAL 2) After that, I'll probably add in some fruits and sweet potatoes, and stick to a more Paleo/Primal food plan.

I didn't really add in many carbs, except for if I actively had, say, 4 bites of the Capital Grille's flourless chocolate cake.  I pretty much ate protein, fats and non-starchy vegetables otherwise (except during The Flu.)

GOAL 3) I'll see how I feel, but I plan to be strict for 30 days and then possibly give myself a splurge day. 
Well, I wasn't exactly strict for 30 days, so no splurge day this month.  I had a dessert here, a piece of candy there, and then ate carbs pretty exclusively while I was sick because that was all that sounded moderately appetizing.  No wheat, though, which is good.


GOAL 1) Two strength training classes per week, most likely Monday and Friday mornings.
GOAL 2) At least two 30-60 minute cardio workouts per week.
GOAL 3) Separate from #2, I'll walk home from work when I can.
Overall I did not excel with the exercising this month.  At all.  I focused on getting my food in line and getting through the carb withdrawal for the first couple of weeks.  I ellipticaled once, I went to one strength training class, and I went for a few long walks. 

Still, I lost a little more than 5 pounds this month and at least 10 inches (I haven't officially measured since January 21, but I quickly took my waist, hip and chest measurements the other day just to get an idea and they're all down).

February starts tomorrow and it's time to get serious about exercise.  I plan to continue focusing on low-carb, whole foods, because I'm through the carb withdrawal and I feel good, and I'll implement my exercise plan for real.

Less than 4 months until my swim!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 30 - Feeling Human Again

I probably shouldn't even be counting days anymore, since the idea of eating low-carb went out the window with the descent of the flu upon our home.  Actually, I didn't eat much while I was in the thick of it because, frankly, I didn't feel like eating.  No intestinal distress (thankfully) just a general disinterest and even aversion to most food.

I would think I wanted something, eat a few bites and then put the rest in the fridge.  I ate oatmeal for breakfast, snagged a few of Jason's mint M&M's, and then we got take out for dinner (which never got fully eaten).  So I lost a couple of pounds this week.  Not eating - that's one way to lose weight.

My swimming buddy and I planned to get back in the pool this coming Saturday.  Yay...?

I'm not sure how much I'll feel like swimming by then.  My cough is better, but not gone, and I am WEAK.  It's only Wednesday, though.  Maybe by Saturday I'll be raring to go.  If not, at least I can get IN the pool.  Do some kicking or something.  It's been months since I've swum laps and today it's warm enough outside that getting in the pool doesn't sound too painful. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 26 - Flu For Reals (+ More Cookies)

Yesterday was a lost day for me.  I didn't go to work and I couldn't even get on my computer I felt like such crud.  My temperature got up to 101 (which is kind of like 103 for me since my normal temperature is about 2 degrees below 98.6).

Paleo flew out the window since I was craving bland, brown foods, when I actually felt like eating, which wasn't that often.  I slept most of the day.  Jason stayed home again too since he still wasn't feeling so hot, and was at my beck and call, which was nice.  He made me oatmeal with maple and brown sugar for breakfast, and fetched whatever else I needed for the rest of the day.

I'm feeling much better today.  I had a light fever when I woke up, but I think it's gone now.  I still have a wracking cough and I'm very weak.  I made us breakfast this morning and had to keep sitting down to recover from walking across the room.  All I want to do today is hang out in bed, but Jason is getting antsy, so he's downstairs installing our new mail slot, even though he's still coughing too.

I did manage to make us some more Paleo chocolate chip cookies this morning.  

We ate the first batch already (the recipe only makes 10 or so).  And, yes, I said "we".  Jason likes them too!  No flour, eggs or butter and they taste pretty fab.  They're even good dunked in milk!

I'm mad at the flu for ruining our Restaurant Week plans.  We planned to go to two restaurants, including our favorite Italian place on Federal Hill with friends on Friday.  However, I commented to Jason that at least we were sick on the coldest days of the year and not on some bright sunny lovely summer days.  It's not like we could go kayaking or to the beach today, anyway.  Might as well camp out in bed playing Lego Star Wars.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 24 - Flu-ish & Cookies

Jason got sick starting Monday afternoon and then was REALLY sick yesterday (Wednesday).  Jason doesn't get sick, and when he does, it's usually over and done within 24 hours or so.  I stayed home from my Young Women's activity last night so that I could get him plenty of tea and Gatorade and bland foods.  I felt a little guilty for having left him alone all day while I went to work, but I had no idea he was so sick.

Today he is much better. His temperature is down and he's all around more perky.  Though he's still coughing and he gets tired easily.

However, this morning I woke up with a cough and a scratchy throat.  I texted my boss and told him it was his call whether I came in or not and he told me to stay home and not spread our plague.  Then he chided me about not getting a flu shot when we were on the phone an hour later.  I guess Jason and I were too cocky with all of our "we don't get flu shots and we never get the flu" big talk.

My fingers are crossed that my immune system is in peak form thanks to my healthy lifestyle over the past few weeks and instead of descending into full-fledged flu, this will be the worst I feel.  It's possible, right.

The other fun thing is today is the 3rd in a series of the COLDEST DAYS OF THE YEAR and we have no heat.  The furnace stopped out of the blue this morning and Jason realized that the gauge on our oil tank was stuck and instead of 3/8 of a tank of oil we actually have 0/8 of a tank of oil.  The oil delivery comes tomorrow and we're hoping our pipes don't freeze tonight.  We've opened up the faucets and everything.

We're holed up in our bedroom with blankets and the cat and a space heater and are a comfortable 63 degrees.  Meanwhile, the thermometer in the family room just hit 39.

In the meantime, I'm prepping for possibly feeling worse tomorrow and I just loaded up the dishwasher, since I think between us and all of our cups of tea we've used pretty much every mug in the house.  I put some Paleo chocolate chip cookies in the oven to cook while I was cleaning.  I just ate one and they're pretty darn tasty.  Not exactly the same as the real thing of course, but still yummy.  This recipe will be going in my regular treat rotation and I'll try butterscotch chips in the future.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 22 - Kitchens

This is a little off topic from the usual low-carb/pro-swimming posts that I usually write here, but I'm actually looking for input.

On Saturday, Jason went to Home Depot where they were advertising a free consultation for kitchen cabinet refacing.  When we bought this house, we immediately had 2 renovation projects in mind:  1) redo the half bath off the kitchen, and 2) reface the kitchen cabinets.

Our house was built in the 1930s and the cabinets themselves are sturdy, high-quality wood, custom-fit for the contours of our wee kitchen.  Some previous owner even put in nice granite countertops at one point, which are lovely.  However, the cabinet doors and drawers are terrible.  The faces are painted white, which I'm not a big fan of, though I know it can be done much better than what we have, and they look dingy and cheap.

I'll just put out there right now that my dream kitchen has dark cherry cabinets with stainless steel appliances.  However, we won't be in this house for more than a few more years and we're not completely gutting anything in a house that we will be in for less than 10 years.

So the guy shows up yesterday morning from the Home Depot and runs us through the process.  We pick out the cabinets - a nice maple - and he gives us the estimate.  Which is about 1.75 times more than I was expecting, of course.  We can spread the payments out over a couple of years, and really, it wouldn't be too painful.  But is it worth it?

After the guy left, Jason stood in the kitchen squinting at the cabinets, mulling over whether we could measure and order the cabinets and do it ourselves.  And, yes, we probably could.  But not in 2 or 3 days, which is the Home Depot's promise.  (And I'm guessing not without at least one of us wanting to file for divorce)

The other option, which might wind up being the way to do it without it costing a fortune or our sanity, is to measure and order the cabinets and drawers direct from the manufacturer, then find someone to install them for us.

I like to cook and I'm in the kitchen a lot.  When we were looking at homes last year, I looked askance at places that had a kitchen with an electric stovetop.  Living in New England, where gas hook-ups are plentiful, I can be a snob like that.  Honestly, a good kitchen would draw me into a prospective place like nothing else.

However, last night, I was prepping some vegetables for roasting, and looked around the kitchen. thinking, this is actually a pretty small room.  I really don't think I want to pay the Home Depot price for what is essentially a small room with not that many cabinets. 

Here's my question for everyone: how much is a nice kitchen worth?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe: Spiced Chickpeas

We got a package of coupons from our local grocery store that included recipes for the couponed items.  Surprisingly, I actually wanted to make a couple of them.  I made this one for spiced chickpeas tonight.  Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Yum!

Spiced Chickpeas

1 can (15.5 oz) / 1 2/3 C. chickpeas
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 t. cumin
3/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Drain, rinse and pat dry chickpeas.  Combine olive oil and spices in bowl.  Add chickpeas and stir until coated with spiced olive oil.  Bake on baking sheet for 25-30 minutes, stirring chickpeas every 10 minutes to cook evenly.  Remove from oven and enjoy!

Day 21 - Weigh-In

I didn't get around to weighing and measuring on Saturday and Sunday, and finally did it this morning when I got up.  I shouldn't call it a weigh-in, but a measure-in, since measurements tell me more truth about toning up and losing fat.  Yeah, I have a bunch of weight to lose, and I'm confident (hopeful) that the weight will come off steadily as I am diligent about my food and exercise.  In the past, when I've started an exercise program, I've either not lost any weight, or I've even gained a couple of pounds.  BUT, my measurements kept going down.

All of this is to say, I haven't really lost any weight.  .2 pounds, which could mean I inhaled when I stood on the scale.  However, in the past 9 days I've lost 5.25 inches!

That number is kind of staggering to me.  A little more than 5 inches in 9 days.

That includes a whole inch off my waist, a quarter of an inch off my hips and an inch off my chest/torso.  I usually lose on my upper body first, which these numbers show generally in quarter inches here and there off of my upper and lower arms.  The weirdest outlier is 1.25 inches off of my left thigh.  Random.

So after 21 days of trying to be more healthy, I've lost 3.4 pounds (meh) and 9.75 inches (yay!).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 18 - The Gym. FINALLY!

That's right, I dragged my bum out of bed this morning, in the cold and dark, and I went to the gym!  I am so proud of myself, you would think I ran a marathon or something.  It was just the one-hour strength training class, and it totally beat me up.

My goal is to someday be able to do all of the leg exercises without stopping.   Ab exercises are NO problem.  I credit years of swimming for having a strong core.  Arm exercises are pretty much no problem, except for I can't do that many real push-ups.  But I'm working on that.  The leg exercises are another story.  Squats are fine, but when we get into the leg lifts and leg circles and all of those keep-your-leg-in-the-air-and-move-it-around-for-5-minutes-straight exercises, my muscles fail pretty quickly. 

It's ok, I'll get there.

I'm starting to feel the soreness already and I'm not relishing the pain I'll be in for the next couple of days, but it's a good pain.  It means I'm doing something.  It means I'm getting rid of the squishiness.

I had fun seeing some of my friends from Masters swimming who take the class.  I told one of them about the St. John swim and she said SHE loves St. John too, and now I think she and another lady might be thinking about showing up for the swim themselves.  It's gonna be a party in St. John!

As a side note, I measured my waist this morning even though it's not weigh and measure day yet, and I'm pretty sure it's gone down 1 inch.  In 6 days.  That's insane.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 17 - So Sweet. So, So Sweet

This week is Restaurant Week in Providence and I have a friend who I always go out to lunch with during Restaurant Week.  Lunch is a starter, entree and dessert for $14.95.  Not too shabby considering that we went to The Capital Grille today, which I never go to during the rest of the year because it is way too expensive.  Like, $50 for a petite filet expensive.

I was looking forward to it because I love their flourless chocolate cake and I figured I would have a little as my dessert.  I had a nice salad to start, salmon and asparagus for my entree, and then the cake.

I think I had 4 little bites and I was DONE.  I had the rest boxed up and I'm bringing it home to Jason.  Not only was it so sweet and rich that I couldn't finish it, but as I walked back to the office afterward, I could feel my brain buzzing.*

*This is the medical term.

Only 16 full days without sweets and I am already super-sensitive to sugar. 

You know what else?  I didn't even WANT the bread in the bread basket.  My thought process went something like this:  Bread! -> wheat -> migraine and cloudy afternoon head -> NO THANK YOU.

I can't guarantee that will always be my thought process, but it seems like some of these lessons I've learned are finally sinking in.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 16 - Good Intentions

Despite my promises to myself and emphatic statements on this blog, I still haven't made it to the gym this week.  My food is going well.  I had some rice today because I had a lunch at a Korean restaurant, but not too much.  I won't have any more big carbs for the rest of the day.

The gym thing has been tricky.  I seem to have settled into this sleep pattern of falling asleep at around 11:30 or 12 (no matter what time I literally go to bed), and then waking up at around 7 or 7:30.  I need to figure out a way to back the cycle up an hour, so that I'm up and out of bed by 6.

I was determined to do it this morning until I woke up to a few inches of snow and slush covering my car and the street.  I'm fine with cleaning off my car if I need to get to work and it's a normal time of day, but cleaning the car off in the dark, while it was still snowing, to go to the gym by 6:30 wasn't happening.  Yeah, lame, I know.

I still have Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week.  Here's to getting to the gym!  Finally!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 14 - What Is It That I'm Doing?

A friend of mine emailed me on Facebook after I posted links to my blogs on there and asked me for some more specifics about what exactly I'm doing.  I wound up writing her a long email, and I thought I would put it on my blog in case anyone else is wondering where to start.

First, let me offer this caveat.  I think low-carb is a good way to eat, for reasons that I think are explained below.  However, what works for me may not work for you.  My tweaked version of low-carb may not work for other low-carbers.  I know that I can tolerate dairy.  Also, I can tolerate corn and rice much better than wheat, so I'm ok with indulging in sushi or corn tortilla chips very occasionally.  These are all things I've discovered over the past few years. It's interesting to figure out what works for your body.

That said, first I'll give some background about why I'm doing low-carb.   I came to low-carb several years ago when after steadily losing weight for a few years by working out (swimming and strength training) and eating the typical low-fat, whole grain diet, I hit a major plateau and could not lose any more weight. I had cut out sugar and white flour and I had lost 40 pounds, so I knew how to lose weight via the standard dietary advice.  I definitely still had weight to lose, but I was stalled. So I started doing some research into other ways of eating and decided to try low-carb.

Initially I tried the South Beach Diet, which is a more low-fat version of low-carb. I even bought the book, which was helpful for having meal ideas and recipes. For the first 2 weeks (Phase 1), you cut out all sugars and grains and fruit and basically eat meat, some low-fat dairy, and vegetables. Pretty quickly, I broke through my plateau and started losing weight again.

So I kept doing research because I figured there must be something to this. My first major resource after South Beach was the Livin' la Vida Low Carb podcast. Jimmy Moore gets great guests, like all of the doctors and researchers who are doing low-carb research (which aren't that many.  But if they're researching it, Jimmy Moore has them on his show.)

A real turning point for me was watching the documentary Fat Head after Tom Naughton, the creator, was on the LLLVLC podcast. It's kind of the idiot's guide to biochemistry and explains why fat doesn't make us fat, carbs make us fat. The production value is on the lower end because Tom Naughton basically funded it himself, but the information is good and it's entertaining.

The science made sense to me, but what do I know, I'm a lawyer.  So I sat Jason, the scientist, down and made him watch it with me.   He confirmed that the science is right on, and ever since has been hugely supportive of my low-carb efforts, and even tries to cut down himself sometimes, though he's not really dedicated. Doesn't matter, since I'm the one that cooks.  Most of our joint meals at home consist of protein and vegetables.

Eventually, the Paleo and Primal movements started getting more coverage on the low-carb blogs and podcasts. The theory is that our bodies did the bulk of their evolving when we were hunter/gatherers (during the Paleolithic era). Agriculture is a fairly recent invention, evolutionarily speaking, and our bodies are not evolved to cope with the glut of grains and high amounts of sugar that we throw at them.  Especially not over the last 30 years or so where grains have become ubiquitous and processed foods are so plentiful.

Paleo is really focused on whole foods, and the low-carb movement seems to be heading that way. On Atkins and South Beach you can have artificial sweeteners and processed foods, so long as they're low-carb. Paleo is all about unprocessed, whole foods, which I like.

So what am I doing now?  For the past 14 days, I've been doing my best to do Phase 1 of South Beach, which is no grains, no sugar, no fruit.   I'm not so worried about the fat because all of my research has really taught me not to be so scared of natural fats.   I suppose technically today is my last day of Phase 1, but I haven't been hurting from it, so it hasn't really occurred to me that OMG, tomorrow I can eat an apple!  Meh.  Maybe I'll eat an apple tomorrow, maybe not.

After these 2 weeks, I'm moving into more of a Paleo/Primal mode. All that really means for me is I can have a sweet potato now and again. Since I am trying to lose weight, I keep my carbs low, even carbs that are ok (like sweet potatoes).  I like data and I like to keep track of what I'm doing, so I track all of my food on SparkPeople.  I shoot for less than 100g of carbs per day.  It looks like over the past 14 days I've averaged 70g of carbs per day.  If I factor in my average fiber intake of 18g per day, that brings meto an average net carb intake of 52g per day.  Considering the average American takes in 300-400g of carbs per day, I think you can call my eating low-carb.

I can't tell you how much better I feel when the junk is out of my system.   As I've discussed on here before, I've discovered wheat is a migraine trigger for me. I build up a tolerance to it when I eat wheat regularly, but I do get migraines at least once a week. I haven't had a migraine since December 31st.

Now for some good resources:

Fat Head - Everyone should watch this movie.  Seriously. It is enlightening and entertaining. I'm pretty sure it's on Netflix streaming still, or possibly Hulu.

Mark's Daily Apple - Mark Sission teaches a "Primal" plan, which as far as I can tell is Paleo, but with more flexibility regarding dairy and legumes. I've never had a problem with dairy, so I'm happier when I can have a glass of milk now and again. This site has great information, great recipes, and a success story every Friday which I personally find really motivational.  I can spend hours on this site.

Robb Wolf -  He is a major Paleo guru and has a site, a podcast  and books.  Although I haven't delved into his info as much as other people, he's got some interesting stuff.

Kalyn's Kitchen -   Kalyn is on South Beach so it doesn't fit exactly with my own plan, but she has some awesome, creative recipes, especially vegetable recipes.

Livin La Vida Low Carb - Discussed above

Everyday Paleo - Another good Paleo resource for recipes and information.  Sarah Fragoso has a couple of podcasts and has put out some Paleo recipe books.
The point of all of this is to feel better and to be healthy.  Try not to beat yourself up if you're not perfect.  Mark Sisson and other Paleo people talk a lot about the 80/20 rule. If you're on plan 80% of the time, you can cut yourself some slack on the other 20%.  I'm a big believer in that because striving for perfection and beating yourself up if you slip at all is the fast road to obsession and disordered thinking about food.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 13 - Corn

Weird subject line, right?  Basically, I had some corn yesterday.  I also had maybe 8 or 9 ounces of Diet Dr. Pepper.

Jason and I went to the Boston Celtic Music Festival yesterday, which is always a fun time.  There are so many talented musicians in Boston!  They celebrated their 10th anniversary this year, and we figured we've been to 6 or 7 of them (not positive what year we started going...)  During the intermission for the closing concert last night, we had a fascinating conversation about Gaelic linguistics with an expert.  You don't get that every day.

In between the daytime sessions and the evening concert, we headed over to a Mexican restaurant with some friends for dinner.  I was starving and didn't even pause before diving into the chips and salsa.  Hours before, I had made Jason and I a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs with turkey and feta, and I ate a Lara Bar mid-afternoon, but that was all I had eaten. I ordered fish tacos, which came with a side salad, mango salsa and half a grilled avocado, instead of the usual rice and beans.  Yum!

I also made sure to get corn tortillas instead of the usual flour.  I've been tweaking my own low-carb plan for so long, that I've had the opportunity to observe what makes me feel the worst.  Sugar and wheat are no good.  Corn and rice are tolerable, if I'm going to have a splurge.

As for the Diet Dr. Pepper...  Yeah, that wasn't ideal.  But the evening concert ran really late and I drove the hour home.  Then I had to finish a talk I gave in church this morning.  Since I haven't had caffeine in almost 2 weeks, those few ounces of soda were enough to keep me conscious until 2 AM.  At which point, I crashed.

And honestly, I'm fine with yesterday.  I'm a big believer in the 80/20 rule.  The goal is to be 80% on plan, and to leave yourself 20% in wiggle room.  While I'm trying to lose weight, I'd rather be closer to 90/10, honestly, but the point is, a little digression isn't going to destroy my efforts.

Today I'm back on plan and doing well.  Even with the chips and tortillas last night, my carbs came in for the day right around 100g, with my net carbs at about 80g.  I didn't have a carb hangover this morning, and I think part of that is because I really didn't eat THAT many carbs, and I was careful to eat only carbs that I know I can tolerate.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Day 12 - Weigh-In

I decided to wait until today for my first weigh-in, since it's a Saturday and I wanted to get on a weekly schedule and Saturday mornings are more leisurely and conducive to weight-ins and other non-essential things.

The verdict?  I've lost 3.2 pounds and 4.5 inches.

I was kind of hoping for something a little more dramatic in the weight department, but that's why I also measure myself, because I know inches are much more important than pounds.  If I just went by the scale I would never be happy with my progress.

4.5 inches.  I'll take it!

I think that's pretty good considering I've worked out, well, once in the last 11 days.  I went on some long walks, but actual sweaty exertion that left me sore only happened once.  I was giving my body a chance to adjust to the new food plan before I threw a bunch of exercise at it.

Most of the inches lost were on the top half of my body, which is how it always goes.  I gain there last and lose there first, so when I'm first losing weight, my pants may still feel essentially the same, but my shirts start getting baggy.  It would be nice to lose evenly, but that's not how it works.

Overall, I'm pleased with my progress.  Come Monday, the exercise plan starts for real!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Day 9 - Binging (In A Good Way)

No, no, not THAT kind of binging.  I am still on top of my food. 

I'm talking about podcasts.  When I'm eating junk and not working out, I tend to avoid my low-carb/Paleo podcasts, because I believe what they're saying, but I don't really want to hear it when I'm eating a mini Butterfinger.  So I have a lot of old episodes stored up in itunes.

Here's what I listen to (in between Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, This American Life, The Moth, and Stuff Mom Never Told You):

Livin' La Vida Low Carb
PaleoTalk (though they seem to be on some type of hiatus now.  However, Sarah Fragoso is doing another podcast called...)
Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness
Fat-Burning Man
Latest in Paleo
Cut the Fat
Healthy Mind, Fit Body

I was supposed to go to strength training this morning, but we saw The Hobbit* last night and I didn't get to sleep until 11:30.  I decided to sleep another hour instead of getting up at 5:45 AM.  Then I remembered that I have a work meeting in Boston Friday morning so I can't go then either.  I think it's time to bust out my little hand weights and do some squat presses, push-ups and crunches.

* Verdict: I liked it a lot better than I thought I would, probably because I had heard/read so many mediocre and negative reviews. There were one or two parts toward the beginning where I thought, "Aaand this is the part I will be fast forwarding through in the future", but after that it was very engaging.  It's no Lord of the Rings, but I'm excited for the next movie.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Day 8 - Visibly Better

I made it to the gym this morning!  It had been so long that the woman who works at the front desk asked me where I have been.  I told her, "I've been in laziness."  She asked what brought me back and I told her New Years Resolutions, needing to take care of myself, and planning to do an open-water swim at the end of May that I need to get in shape for.

I did a half hour on the elliptical and felt great afterward, if sweatier than I've been in awhile.  I expected the gym to be packed, but it wasn't.  Could the resolutioners be dropping off already?

This morning one of my co-workers asked me how the carb reduction thing was going and I told him it's going great.  He said that even without knowing that I'm working on being healthier, he can really see in my face that I have more energy and I'm feeling better.  I kind of thought my complexion was looking brighter, and he basically confirmed that.

These are the posts I need to come back and read when I'm contemplating falling off the wagon again.  I need to remember that this isn't a diet, and it's not a temporary thing.  Being healthy is a way of life and I need to stick to it!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Day 7 - Banana Bread

(The good thing about starting this whole thing on January 1 is it's really easy to keep track of what day I'm on)

Friday afternoon I felt kind of blah and was really craving sugar.  I went to the store near my office mid-afternoon and got some beef jerky and nuts, which at least satisfied me enough to get through the afternoon without caving. I'm always reticent to eat beef jerky at work because the odor is so strong.  I got some anyway and then plead ignorance when my co-worker asked, "Do you smell smoke...?"

Saturday I thought about making paleo blueberry muffins that my friend Donna posted on Facebook, but decided to try Paleo banana bread instead since I recently rediscovered a recipe I've been sitting on for several months.  Yeah, I had some fruit this weekend, but it was Paleo so I'm not too bothered about it.  The recipe is here.

It didn't really turn out so much bread as bread pudding.  I discovered too late that I didn't have any coconut flour, so I used almond meal instead.  Despite the lack of structural integrity, it tasted SO good!  Especially when I mixed a tad bit more almond butter into the bread and warmed it all up.  I also rediscovered my abiding love for almond butter this weekend.

I had planned to go to strength training this morning, but I got to bed too late.  I need to be better about going to bed early enough that I can actually get out of bed at 5:50 AM.  I have a meeting tonight, which means I can't go to the gym after work.  So I brought my sneakers and I'm going on a lunch walk.  That won't count as one of my workouts for the week, but at least I'm getting up and moving.

Oh here's another observation: getting the cloudy feeling out of my head means I actually want to be more active.  Friday at work I was crawling out of my skin sitting at my desk all day and really wished I had some comfy shoes so I could go for a quick walk.  Saturday we were at home all day, but I got a lot of things organized in the kitchen and prepped some food for the week.  I also cleaned out a couple of email accounts and emailed a bunch of people about places to stay in St. John in May.  Yesterday afternoon after church Jason and I watched a movie and even though I had been drowsy during the movie, I bounced up and was raring to go to start taking down our Christmas decorations.  I've missed this feeling of wanting to DO things rather than just sit and watch TV and be completely unengaged.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Day 4 - Observed

Observed so far:

  • You know those really annoying people who are all, "I forgot to eat!  Tee hee!"  Yeah, well, yesterday, I was one of those people.  I was working along and before I knew it, it was 1 PM and I needed to eat lunch.  Usually I have some sort of mid-afternoon snack, but yesterday at around 4:30, my stomach started to growl and I realized I never had a snack.  I finished out my work day and wound up eating dinner around 7.  Physically I was hungry, so I enjoyed my food, but my brain wasn't like "We have to eat RIGHT NOW or we will die!" like it often is, so I was able to wait and get my work done and not focus on what I was going to eat next.

    What this tells me is that in only 3 days I've managed to fix my brain a little bit, and adjust my mental obsession with food.  All by cutting out sugar and grains.  Amazing!

  • My mood has improved about 5,000%.  Jason has asked me a couple of times why I'm in such a good mood.  I don't really think I'm in a good mood particularly, but that's how I'm coming across now.  I'd much rather have a reputation as the happy wife than the sourpuss wife.  Jason, sorry for being such a pill lately.  I can't guarantee I won't ever be in a bad mood, but it would probably be in your best interest to keep encouraging me to stay away from the crap food.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Day 3 - Carb Flu

Well, it's either carb flu or the real flu.  The point is, today I feel crummy.

I always forget how Day 3 hits me.  This time I was actually thinking I was getting off light with the carb withdrawal.  Day 1 and Day 2: piece of cake!

Then last night at around 9:30, my head started hurting and I started feeling a little cloudy-headed.  Also, I felt like I could just fall asleep right that moment.  I stayed up for another hour or so and then I was OUT until 7:30 this morning.  That's a very long sleep for me.

The left side of my head hurts, which is weird for me since my migraines are always on the right side.  I guess the left side of the head is the carb withdrawal side.  I'm doing my best to focus because I have a client coming in for a meeting in 26 minutes and I need to be on the ball.  Wish me luck!

It's not so bad, though.  I knew what to expect so I know I'll feel better if not by Day 4, then definitely by Day 5.  It's good to have a little pain to remind me how addicted to junk my body is, and how I don't want to be that way anymore.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Day 2

I thought about going to strength training this morning, but I'm going to let the carb detox finish beforehand.  My plan is to go to Friday morning's class.

This morning I got up and dutifully scrambled eggs to bring for breakfast, and packed some black-eyed peas and a small salad for lunch.  Then I left it all on the chair next to the front door.


So instead for breakfast I had the innards of a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich from Starbucks and I'm just about to run out and buy a salad for lunch.  This is after I was so pleased with myself for shopping yesterday so I wouldn't have to pay exorbitant amounts for what is basically just a pile of lettuce.

Oh well, at least I've managed to stay on plan.  And tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

For the Millionth Time, Day 1

Yesterday was a good reminder for me of why I need to change the way I'm doing things.  I had a migraine. A completely debilitating thing that started Sunday evening and didn't completely go away until late last night. The nausea-inducing pain subsided a little earlier in the evening so I at least got to have a nice dinner in and watch a movie with Jason, but overall it was a wasted day.  Then I felt ill all night because I had popped too many pain pills and my stomach did not appreciate it.

I was supposed to go to work for a half day yesterday and then trot over to the grocery store to stock up on veggies and chicken so that I could plan my healthy meals over the next few weeks.  Then I was supposed to be a scintillating companion last night as Jason and I rang in the new year together.


I woke up this morning and weighed and measured myself.  Holy cow, that was depressing!  My weight is extremely out of control and I've gained back almost all the weight I worked so hard to lose several years ago.

But at least I know where I'm starting from for real, so when I do make improvements, I'll know exactly how much progress I'm making.

I scrambled some eggs for breakfast and put the black-eyed peas on to cook.  I just checked the grocery store websites and they're all open so I'll be heading out soon.  While I feel bad for the employees who have to work today, I'm glad I get a grocery store trip do-over, since I was out of commission yesterday.

Happy New Year everyone!