Archive for the Wholesome Wednesday Category

And then came the final blow

I really, really hate having to eat my words. I seem to be doing that on a regular basis lately. Just when I think I have my diet under control, I find out that I don’t. 3 or 4 years ago, my doctor “prescribed” a book for me to read: Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD. Well, I’ve been reading it for the past 2 or 3 weeks, and am going to have to eat the words, “I can’t go vegetarian, and sure can’t go vegan. Why? Because I am seriously considering going vegan…and raw…like Opal.

I have already been heading that direction anyway, but I read enough about eating meat and its effect on hormone levels (even grass-fed, organic) to first cut way back, with the ultimate intention of cutting all animal completely. And yes, I am still wearing my “I &#9829 BACON” lanyard. The changes I have made so far have created the same response my body did last year when I went starch (and gluten) free, only without the withdrawls. haha! But yeah, cheese is BAD to be so yummy…

Whenever I finish the book, I will (maybe) write up a full review with quotes that were the mind changers for me.

Dieting sucks

Really, there is no other way to put it. It doesn’t matter how you dress it up, at the end of the day, when you are trying to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. That means you can’t eat as much as you want, and you get hungry because you have spent the better part of your life not denying yourself any food or amount of food because food made you feel good. That sounded a bit confessional didn’t it?

I finally got a handle (mostly) on what I am consuming, and on regular (mostly) exercise, so it is down to it. And yes, I am keeping track of what I am eating. Not so much with a diary, but I am eating the same thing every day, at the same time (mostly), in the same amount. Boring, yes, but that in itself shows a problem. I don’t need my food to entertain me. That’s what Facebook is for right? 😉

Breakfast consists of 1 cup (cooked) quinoa & amaranth with 1 banana, equalish amounts of dried cranberries & blueberries (around 2 Tbsp each), and about a 1/4 cup of milk.

Lunch is about a half cup of wild rice, and sometimes a baked sweet potato and/or a probiotic yogurt.

Supper is a cheese omelette sandwhich which I look forward to 😉

And a multivitamin + vitamin D.

And starting next week, I plan to hit the farmer’s markets and get me some good veggies to go with the wild rice. 🙂

Meeting goals

No matter how small. This wasn’t really one of my “official” weight loss goals, but this morning I hit the 25 pound mark after some regression from 24, and subsequent bouncing. I got back on track with the portion control of my diet, and when I was craving and wanting to binge, I got a big ole bowl of fruit and went to town. I need to get back on track with meal planning, and cooking ahead, at least for lunches. I finally remembered that I still had some stuff in the freezer, like the tortilla mexican chicken that I had to leave alone for a while because pre-surgery it was the lunch I lost that one day. Even though I know full well that isn’t what made me sick, it’s a mental thing.

My budget is about to get really tight again so meal planning is going to be a really big deal especially with the kids home all summer. For that matter planning something healthy they will both eat is a major challenge. Eat it or starve is my motto, but there is another variable to that equation. Still, I make sure we have peanut butter & jelly & bread. Oh, and last night I got home and Jamie met me at the van with “We need to go get food. I’m hungry.” I countered with “Isn’t there hamburger meat in the fridge?” She paused for a few second and then popped off with “Fix me food. I’m hungry.” As if she is incapable of making burgers herself…

I still need a cook…and a maid…or both… 😉

Because I told myself I would blog today

So today is supposed to be Wholesome Wednesday, but despite the fact I’ve been thinking on it all week, I am a blank today. But I will see if I can’t pull something out of my rear and spread across the blog. Haha.

I hit a plateau in my weight loss. I’ve been bouncing between 18 and 24 pounds for 2 or 3 months, and so I think I need to step something up. I am more consistently exercising, but again, I still have the bounce, so I turned back to my diet.

Portion control has always been at the root of my weight fight. So, I took a look at what I have been eating and as I fell back off the meal planning, I fell back into eating for pleasure. I guess it wasn’t just a pasta problem after all. *sigh*

After my surgery in March, I completely fell off the wagon, and not only was I indulging in some “foods” containing artificial colors/flavors/preservatives, but I flirted around with gluten. Oh, I stayed away from pasta, but I was all over breads. Until the double bacon cheeseburger incident, that is. 😉 So, I have been getting back on the wagon, but I had a bottle of A1 in the fridge that I felt compelled to get rid of, but not enough to just throw it away. Needless to say, I had a few steaks. When I wasn’t eating steak, I was eating chicken, and with chicken came potatoes.

So, I am cutting back on the meat. I can’t go vegetarian, and sure can’t go vegan. Seriously, I am wearing a lanyard that says “I &#9829 BACON.” But I can’t afford to eat the local grass-fed meats (often), which leads me to find other protein sources that I can better portion control myself with. Granted, eggs are still considered meat, I guess (yeah, I don’t care enough to look it up-if I’m wrong, I’m wrong), but I’ll only eat 2 with a meal. That’s my supper this week. Egg sandwiches. Note that is not egg salad because I don’t like egg salad. I planned on lunching on salad, but I can’t do that with spring mix. Bleck.

And snacking on fruit…which does not include Powerberries. 😉

I don’t think that means what you think it means

Today is one of those days that I have a topic, I know what I want to say, I have the motivation, but I am not so sure I am really going to be coherent. Focus is not my friend today. I absolutely cannot block out the conversation around me. It’s not bad, it’s just blocking my concentration. So I’ve put on some classical symphony via Pandora, and it is not covering up any talking. *sigh*

Anyway, first confession time. Yesterday, as an office, we celebrated the birthdays of a current & former co-worker. We went to Andy’s, and I was thinking all morning how I could kind of halfway stick to my diet there. I looked at the menu for a salad which I knew wouldn’t by any means be healthy, but maybe not so bad. But looking at the ingredients, I knew that even grilled chicken would be gluteny, and the bacon would be full of msg, so I made a choice. If I’m going to be glutened anyway, I’m going to have a bacon cheeseburger…with onion rings. No doubt that is why I still have brain fog. I won’t lie, it tasted wonderful.

Since I have determined to eat healthy and natural, I have become increasingly aware of the deceptiveness of the use of “natural” or “all natural” in labeling.

“All natural” claim on food labels is often deceptive; foods harbor hidden MSG and other unnatural ingredients
MSG is sometimes hidden in food with labels that say “No Added MSG,”
“No MSG Added,” and “No MSG”

I think the problem boils down to the use of the word “natural.” Everything we eat is natural. (Hang with me, Petra. lol) There is no food product we consume that is created from nothing. It may mixed/enhanced in a lab, but at the basic level (and by basic, I mean atomic), it is natural. The difference is whether or not it is naturally occurring. If it isn’t naturally occurring, then “natural” does not mean what you think it means. Our bodies were designed to process naturally occurring foods efficiently and effectively. We have learned to manipulate substances to enhance flavor, but our bodies just aren’t going to process high fructose corn syrup or any of the artificial sweeteners the way it processes sugar. Plus, it isn’t going to process refined sugar the same way it will process raw sugar.

This is incomplete, and lacking in references, but my brain fog doesn’t care, just like honey badger. My only real point is, beware that the word “natural” probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. And I may or may not repeat myself redundantly. 😉

“He put sugar in everything.”

I grew up in a non-traditional household. By that I mean my mom worked full-time and my dad was a stay at home dad. They weren’t parents when their work role-reversal took place, and the main reason behind it was because after Daddy got laid off from Boeing the last time, Mom said she didn’t want to move ever again. I came along about six years later. I won’t do a total breakdown of what each of them did, but Mom didn’t have to do much more than work, and Dad took care of nearly everything else: finances, yard work, gardening, auto maintenance, most house work (he wouldn’t dust), plumbing, electrical, and he did a lot of handyman stuff around the community & family. Anyway, before that all happened, he had taken over the cooking because he complained about Mom’s cooking one too many times, and she said, “Fine, you do it.” And he did. She’s not a bad cook either, but neither was he. In fact, I haven’t ever had a pie as good as one of his, particularly apple pie.

We ate very little “processed” food. He would buy pasta rather than make it, and ironically, Mom taught me how to make homemade pasta. Our meat came from the grocery store, as did our milk, eggs, & cheese. But rarely did we ever have store-bought vegetables. Daddy raised a fairly large garden for a family of 3, and we ate veggies from it year round. Except for cabbage (cooked, I would eat it raw) & bell peppers, I ate everything that came out of his garden. It was all so good. In fact, everything he cooked was good (except for chocolate gravy & neither was Mom’s). In mentioning that to my mom one day, she said, “He put sugar in everything.” Store-bought, white, processed sugar. That would explain why once when I was eating spaghetti, I had the urge to add sugar. I didn’t add it, I just wanted to. And, no, I don’t put sugar in everything, but I do occasionally sneak in just a teaspoon of raw cane sugar in stuff – enough to enhance, but not be noticeable.

Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to write today, but I had an email conversation about healthy eating and how to avoid MSG & artificial additives, and was reminded of the putting sugar in everything conversation. Actually, that is the second conversation I’ve had over healthy/clean eating this week, and it just blows my mind because this time last year I was not paying any attention at all to what I ate aside from attempting portion control…and failing at it miserably. But really, it is not only expensive, but difficult to eat clean and healthy in today’s American society. To avoid additives, pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified stuff, you have to do a lot of research and read the labels on EVERYTHING. It is such a challenge in our house because the hubby & I ate almost exclusively processed food for years because it was cheap. (I still gag at the thought of eating Hamburger Helper.) So of course, that’s all the kids had, and now that’s pretty much all they want. So after I go through the “trouble” of researching, and reading labels, and cooking from scratch (made even more difficult for me having to avoid gluten), the hubby is the only one who will eat what I cook unless I good steak or bake a Cornish hen. Both kids will eat steak, and the daughter will eat most chicken.

It frustrates me that I grew up on predominately home grown fruits & vegetables, but got so caught up in convenience at the expense of health. Yes, that is the ultimate cost. That’s another thing my doctor told me. Eating grass fed, hormone free meats and fresh fruits and vegetables may cost more now, but won’t cost as much as medication 20 years from now. But it is still hard in the here and now to eat right because it is time-consuming planning meals and then actually cooking them, and it is fairly expensive.

I really need to set aside the time to prepare a garden plot…

Not a diet

It’s a lifestyle change.

You are welcome for that. bahahahahahahaha!

Admittedly, I miss being able to eat whatever I want. I mean I really miss it. You know what I don’t miss? Being bloated daily. Brain fog after every meal. My hair falling out. Weighing over 200 pounds. General lethargy. Ok, I still have bouts of lethargy that is unrelated to what I eat. Sometimes honey badger gets stung by the cobra and just doesn’t care and has to take a nap. LOL If you are new, or just missed it, here is the background for the change in what I eat, and when the ante got upped.

I have to repeatedly and grudgingly remind myself that a lot of my issues stem from a gluten intolerance. But I cannot ignore certain facts when I eat gluten free: my hair doesn’t fall out, my scalp isn’t so itchy, I’m regular (who knew I wasn’t before?), the extreme mood swings are all but gone and only surface every 3 weeks…which is now a consistent cycle, I don’t have heartburn much anymore, I’m losing weight even when I am not exercising, I’m not tired all the time, and I just really feel better in general. I have done so much reading up on healthy/clean/whole food eating that I refuse to eat fast food, and am leery about chain restaurant food. After the withdrawls when I gave up the artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives, I want a farm where I raise all my food. But that isn’t happening on 1.6 acres, and I don’t plan on moving back to the 40 acres in AR while the kids are still in school.

Admittedly, I was a total skeptic of the whole change in diet. I repeated scoffed at Petra, until I started listening to her and saw & felt the results. Oh, and I got scoffed at by my entire family too, so those chickens came home to roost. The hubby has relented since seeing the changes not only in attitude & physical appearance, but also how I have been more diligent than not at sticking with it. Though, it has been hard getting back on the wagon after falling off during surgery recovery. Not that I can use that excuse for glutening myself 3 times last week. But I did say as I was eating both the jalapeno burger from Army City & dipping the bread in the shrimp scampi at Carrabba’s that any ill effects would be well worth the taste. And, oh, did they ever taste WONDERFUL, especially the Carrabba’s.

All in all, it truly is a change in lifestyle every bit as much as forcing myself to run everyday. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I have a love of eating. But, as my doctor said, I can change my lifestyle now and get healthy, or I can change it in 20 years while I am being medicated for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. I can be fat, or I can be fit(ish). I choose the latter.