Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Random Thoughts, Recovering from the Trip

Wow, well I feel like I am kind of crashing after the trip and having a hard time getting back to business here. I'm tired and not getting as much done as I need to, with little energy left for extra exercise. Also am having some cravings for carbs (sweets and ... surprise... potatoes!). I think adding back white potatoes at all was just a bad idea, because I have been more hungry and craving when I eat them. I had some roasted baby red potatoes yesterday (which, I think, is a fairly healthy way to eat potatoes) and my joints still hurt. I'm not sure if that is from the higher "sugar" (simple carb) load or something in the nightshade in general, but I am going back to white sweet potatoes in moderation which is what I was eating before. They don't seem to set off cravings like the regular potatoes do, and I am satisfied with smaller portions of them.

Whenever I have counted calories, carbs, protein, etc over the past 5 years, I notice I feel best and lose weight when my carbs are around 100 to 130 grams per day and my protein is high enough (like 50g+). Much more carbs than that and I crave and have slowed weight loss; much less (under 75) and I feel actually sick. I am pretty good at keeping my carbs in the balance when I skip grains, processed sweets, and potatoes. It's not that hard. So that's the aim for the rest of the week: get the carbs down and protein up, skip the potatoes and get more green veggies in. Soon it'll be Farmer's Market season and that's the best season of all for me to stay on plan! Can't wait for all the fresh produce to be on my plate.

I've started walking my daughter to school each day again. I used to do this way back when I was actively losing weight, but stopped when the foot/leg pain got bad. Now I am able again and the weather is fine, so that's an easy mile a day added into my exercise. I am home schooling my daughter this year, but she is also enrolled in a couple of classes at the elementary in the afternoon, mostly because she loves seeing her friends, writing creative stories to share and doing Powerpoint presentations for class, and doing their science experiments. She is super smart and this is meeting her needs much better this year. It's been a great balance for her and I love it too! I feel so blessed, like my life is finally balanced the way I want it to be, unlike when my boys were young and it was an endless round of working, taking college classes, housework, and having very little time left some days to enjoy my kids. This is way better and I am glad it's worked out this way.

I want to be thinner and I am slowly but surely getting there. Boy does it feel slow sometimes. A pound a week... and knowing how I could gain 5 pounds in a day or two if I started binge eating again, it is a little scary. But I let that it of fear work in me to NOT binge or go off plan for long, because I know a pound a week WILL get me to my goal. What's my goal? Well, my primary goal is to get back to 175 pounds, my lowest weight in more than two decades. I know I wanted to lose more weight when I got there, but frankly if I can get to 175 again and sustain it my quality of life will be great! That's 63 pounds away and I can do this. If I eventually want to try and lose ten more or so, that's great too, but for now I just want to get back there. Everything was easier at 175 pounds. I don't like the idea of it taking more than a year (63 weeks) to get there, but if that's what it takes so be it. The time will pass anyway. And if that makes the loss more sustainable, I'm happy.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I'm Home! And Weigh In

I'm back from our little getaway and boy did we have fun! It was so nice to just relax and enjoy my daughter's company and get out in the spring sunshine! We went to several parks, played fetch with our dog in the lake, and I did a lot of smiling while watching my daughter run and play with her furry best friend! We did some walking, went swimming in the hotel pool, and visited with friends. Fun was had by all! I feel so refreshed, glad to be home and ready to get back into the regular swing of things.

This week, as I posted about before I left, has not been my best eating week. It wasn't awful, but ham is salty and while I cut back on the dairy during the week, I did have quite a bit of it on the weekend. Too much sugar, too. This week will be much lower sugar, carbs, and dairy and it will all balance out okay.

Here's how my eating was on the trip. At the hotel breakfast buffet each morning, I had a hard boiled egg and half of a strawberry-banana yogurt. Once each day I had an iced green tea latte from Starbucks with no syrup added. I packed some apple chips, sweet potato chips, cheese, dark chocolate, fruit, microwave popcorn and bottles of water. I meant to bring baby carrots... oops! They're still in the fridge! We ate at restaurants a couple of times; once I had a bacon cheeseburger (no bun) with a side salad and Ranch dressing and another time I had some really amazing Prime rib with steamed veggies and half a baked potato. I wanted sweet potato (not a nightshade) but they didn't have them and after a lot of walking I was really craving the carbs! I added butter and sour cream and it was delicious. On the way home last night I actually had an order of fries and a cup of vanilla ice cream for dinner. Not on plan, fried potatoes again... but you know, I feel pretty good. I won't make that a regular indulgence!

Back to the basics this week! Tonight I am making my famous split pea soup for the family (made from our leftover/frozen Easter ham bone) with biscuits, and for myself I am making my hearty low carb split pea soup, which has no split peas in it but tastes amazing! I think I'll try making some Golden Squash Drop Biscuits, too... they're AIP!

And finally, I did weigh in this morning expecting a bit of a gain but am down a pound to 238! I'll take it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Early Update, Late Weigh In

This week has been pretty good so far. I tracked calories on two days (1271, 1567) and have been out working in the yard each day. Been busy working on taxes and other stuff. I've been eating lots of hard boiled Easter eggs (deviled) and too much ham (cured, Costco, not natural), straying a bit from the real purpose and spirit of AIP. It's more like a basic elimination diet than a healing diet at this point, but I am okay with that. I think I will get the information I need from doing this, and also will continue a lot of the AIP habits without the strictness. I'm still gluten free, grain free (except corn), bean/soy free, nut/seed free, and nightshade free. I eat lower carb and sugar and am feeling good. I did cut back on dairy this week too. I did eat pie for breakfast a few times! It was AIP pie though, and so good! I was going to make coconut cream pie for Easter but instead made Key lime, from the AIP cookbook I got recently:

AIP autoimmune key lime pie recipe

It's full of nutrients from coconut, avocado, freshly squeezed lime juice, and gelatin. Everyone liked it! Even my sons who usually think my AIP stuff is too bland and not sweet enough enjoyed this one.

I won't be here for a weigh-in this weekend, since I'm taking my daughter out of town on a little 3-day trip (leaving tomorrow). We didn't get away for spring break so this will be nice! I will weigh on Monday and hope there isn't a gain.

See you next week!

Monday, April 6, 2015


Today I was in a class, where I was instructed to "run" from point A to point B. I made a half-hearted effort, but I think you all know how I feel about running. (I wish I could, but the knees. The feet. All of that.) The instructor told me to try again, and I did, in the same slow, hesitant manner. I apologized... "I can't run. I don't want to injure myself again." She said, "You have to believe. You just have to believe you can."

Pondering this at home, the conversation in my head goes

me: hey, maybe she is right. Maybe if I just try harder.
myself: no, dummy, you will hurt yourself!
me: I could probably do it, if I didn't THINK I can't...
myself: do you remember running, two and a half years ago, and hurting your feet? THAT is what caused your plantar fasciitis!
me: yeah, it did, that sucked.
myself: YES it sucked! You were in pain for two years because you did that! Believing didn't help you then!
me: I know, but maybe this would be different. Shouldn't I at least try?
myself: Two years. Don't you forget it. Don't you forget six weeks in a knee brace and another six weeks on crutches. Don't forget the painful therapies, the shots in your feet, the wishing you could go for a walk and not being able. Don't you dare forget how miserable it was to have to sit at home, to use a shower chair, to gain weight from inactivity.
me: You're right. I am not even going to try. It is so not worth it.

A good part of the battle I have with weight and fitness is mental. I argue myself into corners all the time. I convince myself of many things I am not capable of. But how to know when I am right? Is the instructor right? Would believing make it happen?

I am not going to run. I don't want to risk it. This is a fear-based decision: I cannot deal with daily pain and difficulty with mobility and feeling trapped like I did before. I want freedom, but can I be free if I don't take risks? Or are the risks in this case foolish?

Just thinking out loud. Because I don't want to be foolish, but I also don't want to be the person who wouldn't even try.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Weigh In and Dairy Addiction

Since tomorrow's Easter and once again I'll be busy and not wanting to write up a post, I'm weighing in today. I thought about skipping it, but I did commit to weighing and posting my weight once a week this year and so far have kept that promise. So here it is.

This week I am down one pound to 239. It feels GREAT to be out of the 240's and into the 230's again, and at the same time feels horrible to be in the 230's and not the 2-teens where I was able to maintain for a long time in 2012 and 2013. Not to mention how I feel about not being under 200. But hey, I am getting there, slowly but surely, and my body seems to be cooperating with a pound a week whether I am trying hard or not so much. 

This week I tracked calories on two days and was around 1200 on those days. The other days I ate more and did not measure or track. I am finding it hard to give my focus over to *both* AIP and tracking. It is so much easier to do one or the other. So on several days I just ate AIP plus my reintroductions (spices, cocoa, dairy, eggs, corn) but didn't track calories. I am still 100% free of gluten, grains aside from corn, nuts, seeds, beans, nightshades, and soy. I don't have any plans to add those things back this week. The only thing I am missing much is tomatoes (a nightshade) so I may try to add those back sometime. 

Exercise this week consisted of some walks with kids and dogs and a lot of lifestyle activity. I did not do the strength training I had planned even though I set everything up and got my routine listed out. I will work on it this week. It's not hard... it's easy and not even time consuming but I am just resistant to starting that up again for some reason. I'll get over it and make myself do it. Aside from walking, we spent time working on the yard, cutting up fallen branches, raking up the last of the leaves that are still drifting into my yard from a neighbor's tree that drops leaves all winter, pulling the beginnings of weeds, etc. I really love doing yard work so this is the easiest way for me to keep moving! I also did some spring cleaning and had a wonderful "week off" (spring break) without so much running around, driving places, and being busy. It was great to relax this week! 

I think... okay I know... I have gone overboard with the dairy. I feel like I can't stop with the dairy. I mean, it's not like a binge thing where you ate a piece of cheese and it turns into eating a whole block (like I used to do years ago). It's like... I crave it. When I get hungry it is the first food I want to turn to. This week I have been making green tea lattes every day (matcha, honey, local milk, ice) and I just love them! I crave them. I also started eating more cheese, and that's what I turn to when I want a snack. Yep, when I get hungry mid day or at bedtime, or when I can't think of what to have for lunch, I grab a few slices of cheese and eat that. Sure, it has good protein, but it is replacing vegetables and healthier things I should be eating. And I think I feel more sluggish on it. 

I did a little research online and found a couple of articles explaining how dairy is actually addictive because the casein found in milk (and highly concentrated in cheese) acts on the brain like morphine. 

Here's an interesting piece of this article: "When you drink a glass of milk or eat a slice of cheese, stomach acid and intestinal bacteria snip the casein molecular chains into casomorphins of various lengths. One of them, a short string made up of just five amino acids, has about one-tenth the pain-killing potency of morphine....It appears that the opiates from mother’s milk produce a calming effect on the infant and, in fact, may be responsible for a good measure of the mother-infant bond. ...Like heroin or codeine, casomorphins slow intestinal movements and have a decided antidiarrheal effect. The opiate effect may be why adults often find that cheese can be constipating, just as opiate painkillers are."

You can read here and decide for yourself:

Goal for this week: be more moderate with the dairy. I think cutting cheese back to a food I enjoy outside the home or in rare home recipes would be best. I am also reading up on the dairy/thyroid connection and after my appointment with my endocrinologist I will decide whether I need to eliminate it again completely for health.

We're enjoying a family Easter and the kids (my daughter and her friend) have dyed eggs and are looking forward to our yearly hunt in the back yard. We'll attend a special service at church tomorrow and then come home and have a dinner of ham, mashed sweet potatoes, fresh asparagus, and salad. I'm making a coconut cream pie from one of my AIP cookbooks and hope everyone likes it!

Happy Easter and happy spring to all of you!

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