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a journey from thick to thin

Archive for the ‘Paleo’ Category

December Update

Posted by iwanttodothat on December 30, 2010

Hey, friends! Long time, no see, right? Lots of things have been going on this Fall, and I’m really ready for Winter and Spring.

I want to give a big ol’ shout out to GearJunkie! I won a pair of Vibram Treksport Five Fingers! Remember that I lost one of my VFFs in the Gulf of Mexico over the summer? Well, Santa must’ve heard my plea for a new pair! They are gorgeous!

Now, for the juicy tidbits…

Confessional time… I did great on the Paleo Diet for a couple of months recently, and I fell off the wagon completely starting with a piece of birthday cake. Why is this significant? In Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint, he talks about his own birthday party and not eating a piece of his own cake. A guest asks him how he keeps so fit and looking good; he responds with, “I don’t eat cake.” Or something to that effect. Pardon my paraphrasing, Mark! That dialogue has plagued me since I read it. It’s one of those moments that makes perfect sense. When my head is in the game, paleo-wise, it’s very easy for me to stick to it, but when I’m not present in the moment, it’s easy to fall back into the culture surrounding me and have a piece of cake like everyone else at the party. Peer pressure? I don’t think so, totally. I think it’s so ingrained culturally, that it is difficult work to retrain those reactions and the decision-making process for food.

How did I spend my summer? Well, Mostly I spent time with my mom. She had back surgery and now has some titanium hardware in her lower back. She was doing well, then about 2 weeks post-op, she had a serious reaction to the sutures and she went for another surgery. They opened her back up, cleaned it all out and put in a wound-vac – no sutures. What a mess. She’s doing great now, and getting around very well with a cane. Hooray!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and is making plans for a great 2011! I know I am. Big news coming!

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The Paleo Diet and Christianity

Posted by iwanttodothat on December 22, 2010

Can Christians Be Paleo? Christianity, Faith, Evidence, Dobzhansky, Evolution, and More

This is a great article on The Daily Lipid blog. I’ve been struggling with some of these issues over the course of trying the Paleo Diet.

No matter your perspective, this is an interesting read. Enjoy!

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How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days)

Posted by iwanttodothat on September 19, 2010

How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days).

Awful headline, but awesome blogpost from Tim Ferriss! Check it out!

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Day 26 of the Paleo Diet

Posted by iwanttodothat on September 16, 2010

Well, I’m still working this program! I’m down about 15 pounds and I feel really good. I’m not physically craving anything, either. If I were to make a poor decision and eat a cupcake or something, I’d probably go ahead and eat 3 cupcakes and take a long carb crash nap and feel hungover. Choosing food is incredibly simple on this diet. There is no measuring and I like that. If I didn’t plan well for lunch or whatever, skipping a meal hasn’t meant disaster because I’m just not hungry. My sugar levels feel like they are stable, although I don’t measure them because I’m not diabetic. I haven’t had any kind of crash-napping at all.

My life is really all about good clean animal proteins, fruits, and vegetables. I can see this being a very sustainable way of life.

I am getting over a cold that I got from my kids. It was inevitable. The whole house has been sick with back-to-school colds. Add ragweed/chenopods blooming right now, and it’s a mess for some of us.

I loaded up my new Kindle with The Paleo Diet and The Primal Blueprint so I can study a little bit wherever I happen to be. I’m sure there are other resources out there, but that’s what I’m starting with.

I’m planning to start working out again next week. I should be completely well by then and ready to bust it at the gym. I need to start working out again so I can get back to fencing and have some real fun!

Keep plugging away at your goals! I am!

Posted in Diary, Paleo | 2 Comments »

Day 14 Done!

Posted by iwanttodothat on September 4, 2010

I’m feeling back on track now. With 2 weeks of the Paleo Diet done, I’m starting to feel like I did a year ago when I started changing my diet. My sodium intake has gone way down and I can tell by my hands and feet, in particular. Any kind of puffiness is gone. My rings are off again, and my extremities are cold all the time.

I can feel a change in my upper abdomen. Maybe less puffiness? I’m not sure if it’s because of no grains, no dairy, or a combination of the two. Possibly weight loss, too. You just accept things for so long and think they are normal. I’m not sure if this is a real change or wishful thinking.

The most awesome thing so far was that during my monthly cycle, I experienced NO symptoms (other than the obvious one!) Seriously, none. Not one cramp, twinge, headache, nap… nothing. That in itself was a really huge benefit.

I’m having to remind myself that eating a big ol’ hunk of bread is just not worth it. I’m 14 days into a very strict 30 days, and I really want to make it without breaking down. I’m hoping to see enough changes that I don’t have to convince myself to keep eating like this. I shouldn’t need any convincing at all.

Today, I read a couple of good articles that really spoke to me:

  • The Whole30 – Great site to pump you up to try a squeaky clean eating plan for 30 days. You can do it!
  • Smoking Candy Cigarettes – Extremely well-written article/rant. Just plain awesome.

And finally, I came across the sad story of Garrett, a 28-year old weight-loss blogger, who lost his life way too early. His blog Stages of Change chronicles his recent years of struggle, despair, recovery, hope, and an unwillingness to give up on believing he would figure his mess out.

I’m trying to get my act together. I need to have serious boundaries like a strict Paleo eating style. I will take a mile if given an inch. I require supervision. I succeed when I have deadlines and rules. When I think in my head, “I can’t eat dairy,” that’s the end of the story. I can’t eat dairy. When I start thinking, “Well, I never had a problem with dairy before I went on this diet, so I could probably eat the ice cream and nothing will happen,” I will most certainly find myself at the bottom of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s trying to lick the bottom, and wondering what flavor I can eat next. I have no idea what my real physiological symptoms of dairy consumption have been, because I just turned off anything that resembled discomfort from eating. When eating is a major source of pleasure, you will endure whatever the consequences are. I am living proof of that, since I’ve ignored weight gain as a consequence of pleasure eating.

Finding healthy alternatives is difficult. I’m still working on that and probably will be for some time to come. Learning to fence was a highlight of this past year, and I took the summer off. Now, I’m out of shape and really want to lose another 30 pounds before I show up to start fencing again.

While I’ve made great strides in my diet these past weeks, I’m still on the starting block with my fitness program. I’m dealing with some personal stress and failure that I need to let go. I’ll be blogging about that this coming week.

Posted in Diary, Fencing, Paleo | 3 Comments »

Day 1, Year 2

Posted by iwanttodothat on August 31, 2010

Well, today is the first day of a new year in my journey to good health. I’m also on Day 10 of the Paleo Diet and I’m still in compliance there!

I’ve learned a lot over the last year and I’m going to share some of those things with you this week as I look back over the year.

I am not stuck in a rut or abandoning you, but it’s back to school time in our house and we have crazy schedules this week and next, so bear with me!

More to come this week!

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Day 5 – I can do this!

Posted by iwanttodothat on August 26, 2010

It’s Day 5 on the Paleo diet. I’m not perfect and hardcore, but here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast: handful of raw almonds, 5 prunes
Lunch: Wendy’s California Cobb Salad (it had bleu cheese on it), pomegranate vinaigrette dressing (processed), and a Diet Coke.
Snack: handful of raw almonds
Dinner: 2cups of homemade shrimp gumbo (no rice), tabasco sauce, 8 fresh Black Turkey Figs (yes, 8).

I admit that I pigged out on figs. Who can blame me? They are BOGO at Publix this week, and they are perfectly ripe. Nobody else in the house eats them, and they don’t have much of a shelf life at this stage. I will be eating the other package tomorrow. Yep. That’s what I’m doing.

Breakfast was rushed and I didn’t get up earlier and cook something better. One kid’s doctor appointment ran late and we had a very short window of opportunity for lunch before we had to be at a robotics field trip across town. The kids decided on Wendy’s, so that’s where I had to make some decisions. I did okay on carbs, including the dressing, but I had some dairy (bleu cheese) and a Diet Coke. Is that a crime?

Almonds, again. Love those little babies! They are life savers for me. Truly.

The Gumbo veggie mix I use has some corn in it. Not a ton, but it’s still there. Other than that, it had a ton of shrimp, tomatoes, peppers, okra, onions, and parsley in it. I added about 10 good drops of Tabasco to mine, and that made it sing!

Enough of the food journal postmortem for today. Even though I felt a little out of control today, I still kept my food journal. Knowing that I’m documenting each bite I put in my mouth wields a lot of power with me. I am reminded of my commitment to this program and, moreso, to getting my hormones and weight under control.

Today, I continued to notice a sense of mental clarity. I was able to be present and focused. I feel good.

Girl Talk: As far as my cycle goes, I didn’t sleep all morning, take a nap in the afternoon, or inhale carbs all day long! I felt normal. I’m interested to see how my cycle day 4 is going to turn out this weekend. That will tell me a lot.

It seems like I had some other things to say today, but mostly I’m just looking forward to the weekend and spending time with the family.

Today’s Takeaway: Focus on the general before the specific.

I can’t beat myself up for drinking a Diet Coke or eating bleu cheese on a salad one day. I did choose a very low carb Cobb salad, and Diet Cokes are calorie-free. I could’ve had a triple Baconator with fries and a Coke. I didn’t do that. My family had ice cream tonight. I served it, but I didn’t even taste it. I’m making meals for my whole family, not just me. This is progress. I’m looking forward to seeing some results!

Thanks to all the new Twitter followers! Glad to have you along for the ride!

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Day 4 – Paleo Rocks!

Posted by iwanttodothat on August 25, 2010

I’m totally digging the Paleo Diet. Already, weight is coming off. (Yes, I know this is the water-weight-loss stage, mostly due to lowered salt intake, but I’m taking it!) I’m drinking more fluids. I’m going to the bathroom every 1-2 hours it seems, just like I did when I was in major weight loss mode last Fall. The reduction in my salt intake is already making a difference, too. I swam 14 laps today (better than nothing) and my wedding ring was not staying on. During this past year’s weight loss, I had to take it off because it kept falling off every time I washed my hands, and it also flew off while I was playing the piano. I put it back on a month or so ago, and it’s been staying on. It’s back on my jewelry tree. I just don’t want to lose it.

Basically, I’m already feeling better. Is it this specific diet? It’s early to tell. My caloric intake has been between 1300-1400 calories each day, and that’s about where it should be for my weight loss plan. My protein intake is also high enough to sustain substantial physical activity (which I really need to get busy with!) I’ve also been able to stop eating for at least 4 hours before bed.

Today, on my diet tracking, which I do on SparkPeople.com, my total calories were divided almost equally over the 5 meals/snacks today. If you’ve never tracked your food, the Nutrition Tracker there is really something. When you’re done with entering all of your meals for the day, you can get a final report that breaks down the numbers in several ways. This is very useful to me. I was beyond thrilled to see my five meals coming in equally like that. I’m retraining my body’s eating schedule properly. I’m also trying to get most of my carbs before noon, with a piece of fruit in the afternoon.

One other noticeable thing tonight… I felt very clear-headed while I was at work. What work? I am church musician, and we had choir rehearsal tonight. I could notice a difference in my ability to focus and let my fingers do what they are trained to do. I wasn’t second-guessing myself so much, and I didn’t have any moments where I thought, “Where am I on the page, and what am I doing? What key are we in?” Not that I think like that all the time, mind you, but I do have moments like that. I’ll admit that I don’t think as clearly when I’m all sugared up and full of carbs.

Anything that helps my ability to focus is worth a second look.

My sleeping is better this week. When my eating is out of control, I stay up way too late, sleep like the dead, and stay there way too late, too. I also want to take a nap after sitting still for 15 minutes. I haven’t had any of that this week.

Female business ahead. You’ve been warned.

Today is only Day 4 of doing the Paleo thing, and I completely managed to stick to the plan even though I started my monthly cycle today. (Mom, if you’re reading this, yes, I’m talking about my period on my blog. Deal.) Normally, I would’ve been carb-loading like a Sumo wrestler at the state fair, and I didn’t do it this week. This may not seem like a big deal to a lot of folks, but it is to me and the people I live with. I’m sure they are appreciating this change right now.

I hope I’m not speaking too soon, but I’m really digging Paleo. One more thing, compliance has been easy.

Click here for a great definition of Paleo Nutrition. I like to think of it as pre-technology food. If a food needs to be processed to be digested (ground, boiled, etc.), then it’s not on the list. Right now, I’m not hard core (aka NeanderThin folks). I’m just trying to get a handle on life without dairy and grains. We’ve been legume-free for years due to an allergy in the household. For that member of our family, I’m wondering if this might help with other health ailments.

I’m going to keep reading and researching and hopefully will have some interesting things to share regarding our “allergic” family member.

Posted in Diary, Paleo | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Day 3

Posted by iwanttodothat on August 24, 2010

Today was weird. I had breakfast, then I grazed a little bit, and had dinner. Here it goes.

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs, 1T salsa, 4 slices Canadian bacon (not the greatest in the salt dept.)
Grazing: honeydew, 3oz roast beef, handful of raw almonds (2x)
Dinner: pork roast, broccoli, 2T Amish apple butter (on my pork)

Truth be told, I was hungry at breakfast, but I haven’t really been hungry enough to eat a big ol’ meal. In fact, I only ate about 2/3 of what I served myself for supper because I was stuffed. I didn’t exactly have a full plate, either. I know that I need to drink a lot more water because (1)I’m feeling a little dehydrated, (2)need to help my liver out with all the protein processing, and (3)I had a charlie horse in my right calf this morning that left it feeling bruised and sore.

One area that I really need to work on is the amount of Splenda I’m consuming. I want to wean myself off of it, but it’s difficult. I love to put Crystal Light in my water bottle. I’m trained to expect it there. I also chew a lot of Extra gum. I agree that chewing gum is a bad habit, but right now it’s helping me. One thing at a time, right?

I didn’t get my cardio in today like I thought I would. We had a torrential downpour most of the day. (Plenty of excuses. I have a Wii Fit Plus, jump ropes, weights, Jillian Michaels DVDs, etc. I could’ve done it if I’d put forth more effort.) I’m planning to swim tomorrow, and Thursday, I’m planning to go to a beginner spin class at the YMCA. Today, I did stop by the Y to pick up my Tampa Tri Team dri-fit t-shirt. Maybe I’ll put it on with some workout clothes tomorrow. I’m hoping for a little external motivation there. There’s a sprint triathlon coming up at the end of October that I could aim for. It’s not too far away to lose sight of, and it’s not too soon that I couldn’t be ready for it. I’m thinking about it…

Posted in Diary, Food Journal, Paleo, Triathlon | Leave a Comment »

Paleo Day 2

Posted by iwanttodothat on August 23, 2010

Breakfast: 4 eggs and some salsa
Snack: handful of raw almonds, a few prunes
Lunch: Roast pork and honeydew
Snack: handful of raw almonds
Dinner: (this is not great) We went to a little tasting party at The Melting Pot where I had 1 “Love” martini, raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, raw apples, maybe 1/4 cup of spinach artichoke cheese dip (dairy – booo…) and a strawberry dipped in dark chocolate. We went to Longhorn for a real dinner, since we were having a date night, and I had the 7-Pepper Steak Salad, no dressing, and about 3 glasses of water.

Overall, it wasn’t too bad. I had The Melting Pot party on the calendar for a few weeks, got a babysitter, and took my husband out alone! I know my weakness was the martini, cheese, and chocolate. The good news is that I cheated in moderation. You should have seen the huge mound of marshmallows, pound cake, and chocolate fondues! I also avoided the croutons, and bread chunks. I had an absolutely lovely time with my husband, and I don’t feel bad about any of my food choices.

Today, I started using a diet compliance chart from the Health Habits blog. I went back to yesterday’s food journal and checked off my meals. I wasn’t compliant tonight for dinner, so I’m giving myself an “x” for that meal. Otherwise, I’m staying on track!

Keeping a food journal is critical for success. Even when you are not following a diet, writing down what you eat will keep you honest.

Tomorrow, I plan to get up and get in an hour-long walk/run. How hard is it going to be to drag my butt out of bed at 6am? It’s going to be pretty awful if I stay up much later. Good night.

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