Friday, July 13, 2012

The Draw of a Plan

It's a lovely day and I am set to enjoy it with a mind clear of junk and crap!

Yesterday I enjoyed lots of  good stuff: fresh tomatoes, lettuce, onions, green peppers, black olives, canned tuna, unsweetened applesauce, etc. But the last 2 days I have noticed some mild pains in my stomach. Last night was a little worse. It isn't *horrible* but it is uncomfortable enough to make me wonder what's going on. I am, as a result, eating less 'heavy' foods like harder-to-digest beef and pork, and added Greek yogurt back in because it feels soothing to my stomach. I like to make it into a smoothie with frozen berries and/or bananas.

I cleaned out my pantry last night and got rid of a lot of old stuff that isn't so healthy, like boxes of sugar-free Jello, super-sugary jam, and a can of soy protein shake powder (I am avoiding soy). I did find a giant tub of whey protein powder and I am mulling over whether or not I want to add that into my smoothies to boost the protein content. It wouldn't fit into the box of Paleo, Primal, or Clean Eating by any means because it is processed, but maybe I don't need to fit my life into a box. Maybe, as many of you stated in the comments yesterday, I can ditch the labels and cobble together what works best for MY body. That way I do not have to be constrained by someone else's idea of healthy.

I mean, I 'get' the appeal of a Plan. It is black and white. You are on plan or off. If you drink a glass of milk while you are doing the Whole 30, you're screwed! The rules state that it will ONLY work if you do not have a single slip in 30 days; "one lick of cake batter and you've broken the reset button". You must do it EXACTLY as written. So, there is this big giant line you cannot cross. And I get the premise, I understand the 'healing process' they are working for. The restrictions are very comforting for some (and distressing for others). You know exactly whether you succeeded or not, because if you have ONE thing that is not on that list, you failed! And it is fun (for some) to take it as a challenge to try and 'win' by doing something 100% as someone else tells you it must be done.

Same for Paleo in general, or Primal (although Primal is much less strict with its 80/20 rule). You have rules someone else set for you. You don't have to think about it. You are either 'on' or 'off.' And that ON or OFF mindset is what screws with a lot of people and keeps them in a diet mindset.

I am not saying these plans are not valuable, nor am I saying I won't follow them now or at some future point. I am saying, I need to figure out for MYSELF if I benefit from adding whey protein powder, or yogurt, or any other food item to my intake. If I am having headaches for 2 weeks straight, am sluggish and tired, and have stomach pains, something ain't right. Maybe two weeks doesn't seem like a long time but that is 336 hours. An hour in pain can seem pretty long. A day exhausted on the couch seems like forever. A summer passing by because of not feeling well is not a good thing. I have to figure out what healthy-for-me foods help me feel my best.

I might try some of that whey protein powder today. I don't plan to change anything else; that way I can see more clearly if there is any negative effect from the whey or other ingredients. I kind of have a feeling it will taste like chemicals... if so, I will have to try something else that is more "whole foods" to help me start feeling better. I won't drink shakes that will wipe out the wonderful benefit of having my taste buds reset to real food.

And now, my daughter and I have a picnic to attend! Enjoy your day!


Anonymous said...

Go on MarksDA and search whey protein powder..I found a couple of brands that are sqeaky clean and bought's delicious!! The package says use water or milk so I use either or mix both, add ice to shaker bottle. BTW Primal MDA is NOT an ironclad rule-bound plan as you suggest. If you read on the site all the senior members on the Forums advocate tweaking - eating in a way that suits YOU and your needs. Good luck Lyn!! xoxoxo

Amy said...

Whey protein is a very healthy way to get your protein intake, and they have come a long way as far as the taste! I think you are very wise to adapt and use what works for your body. You are so knowledgeable about eating healthy (more than most!) and you know everything in life is about balance. Omega 3 is a phenomenal anti-inflammatory, eating a sensible amount of grains and supplementing with omega 3's leads to a balance. As always, there is more than one way to skin a cat. I truly admire your persistence Lyn!

Taryl said...

Whey is good stuff and useful for gluten free baking or smoothies, on the rare occasions you have them. And no, they're not whole 30.

Keep at it and find a way. Don't give up!

Anonymous said...

If you use one cup of Greek yogurt in your smoothie, that's around 25 grams of protein. That's comparable to a lot of types of meat, per serving. So it may not be necessary to add protein powder. You could also use more yogurt to up the protein.

Either way, I think adding back the yogurt is smart. You obviously tolerate it well, and it is so healthy (the calcium, probiotics, etc.) Not to mention delicious.

Personally, I rely on it as a protein source because I can't handle meat all the time. I have a smoothie every day and I don't add protein powder--I use about 1 1/2 cups of yogurt for around 38 grams of protein. Sometimes after weight training I do have a protein shake, but that's more for convenience since I can take that with me to the gym.

I think this is a really smart choice! Blaze your own path!

Susan said...

where were the pains located?

Jules said...

If you are having headaches for 2 weeks straight, are sluggish and tired, and have stomach pains for 336 hours straight then I think you should see a DOCTOR!!

I went thru TERRIBLE withdrawals the first week when I cut out coffee & sugar. My body was highly addicted to corn syrup and still occassionally puts up a HUGE protest. I'll get really bad headaches and my go to thought is always, if I drink a cola and eat some chocolate I'll feel better. And I will, undoubtably. But I KNOW that I will feel so much better after my body is in a HEALTHY state. I really hope that regardless of which plan you decide to commit to, that you're under the supervision of a doctor. The goal is HEALTH.

Lyn said...


good idea to search for "clean" whey powder. I didn't think there were any! That would be a great help. Whole 30 is the thing that is ironclad and rule-bound; like I said in my post, Primal is a lot more flexible, especially with its 80/20 rule. I think that makes it more practical long term.


the stomach pains are dead center of the stomach.


As I said, I started having stomach pains yesterday. You bet I would see my doctor if they went on that long! Could be an ulcer or something in that case, right? I am hoping a slight change in diet is enough to ease the stomach pains. We'll see.

Lyn said...

You all give me some great suggestions and I appreciate the feedback! Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Stomach pains dead center could be gallstones. Going from a relatively low-fat diet to a high-fat diet (lots of meat) can cause gallbladder attacks. Doctors refer to the pain of a gallbladder attack as "banding." It's as if someone is putting both of their hands around you, encircling your waist and squeezing. The pain is felt in the middle of your stomach, but referred pain can be felt in your back behind your shoulder blades.

InWeighOverMyHead said...

I get 100% what you mean about plans. Can't do it. Never could, never will.

lisa~sunshine said...

I'm so happy seeing you find a plan that works for you.. and NOT feeling a need to categorize yourself.. You have done ALOT of research and I know you will find your way.. just like us all..

I know Tosca Reno uses protein powders and she has several books on Eating CLean.. her rules is 80/20 too I believe.. I remember she talked about sun warrior before..

I think finding a diet that works for you.. is what you need.. so if yours is part primal but lower fat.. with more greek yogurt.. GREAT.. All that matters is how you feel.. and I don't think it should take you weeks of feeling like junk.. to get better..

I follow Lisa's Volumetrics.. eat what my body likes.. beef it up with veggies so I feel full.. and go to weight watchers for support.. it's what works for me

Anonymous said...

Adding whey protein to your yogurt seems really unnecessary to me unless you were really seriously working out and burning many calories per day

As someone else mentioned, greek yogurt has a ton of protein to begin with (around 20 grams generally). Add that to whey protein, which tends to have roughly 20g of protein per serving.


Katie said...

Maybe try some digestive enzymes and/or betaine HCl as you go forward with a more meat-centric diet... I think you have mentioned the 'eat right for your type' book in the past? I'm the type that is supposed to be more of a vegetarian bc that type produces less HCl/stomach acid, which is needed in higher amounts to digest meat. My general aversion to meat made more sense when I read that.

Kristine said...

I had terrible headaches, fatigue, foggy headed, horrible stomach pains everything under the sun for 2.5 weeks then it went away. Your body is adjusting to this new way of eating, hang in there you are fine. You will feel better soon.

Kristi said...

Center and radiating pain = gallstone. Fat is really hard on your gall bladder. I had mine removed when I was 24 in emergency surgery. The pain is actually stone getting stuck in the bile duct, painful and dangerous. They can easily check it out with an ultrasound. It gets worse and worse. My final attack was worse thawing 36 hour natural child birth.

i should be full said...

You wrote: "Maybe, as many of you stated in the comments yesterday, I can ditch the labels and cobble together what works best for MY body. That way I do not have to be constrained by someone else's idea of healthy."

Fantastic! I love this! Thank you for writing this and reminding me that my body is unique and I don't have to fit into a box. My body works in it's own unique way and it's my process to figure out what works best for me.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, when I switched over to a Primal/Paleo (or clean eating, whatever you want to call it) diet, I too developed quite severe stomach pains. I went to the doctor, had all kinds of expensive tests done, and they found nothing. In about a month or so they eased off, and I did discover that I could not eat more than 1/4 of an avocado at a time. I think it was the amount of fat I was taking in with the new way of eating and my body was trying to adjust to it. I had just come off Medifast when I began eating this way. I'm a Type II diabetic, and this way of eating has been absolutely wonderful for my blood sugar. I feel fabulous. Just wanted to let you know that you weren't alone with the stomach pains - hope you find the balance that works for you and makes you feel great!

Susan said...

Next time you are at the doctor ask him to have your liver numbers checked..