Wednesday, June 16, 2010
who agreed with me that I can cut my BP meds in half and if, after a few months, I'm still smack on target, I can go off them. That has to be a plus. We caught up on a lot of other old business with the upshot that I will be working with a physical therapist in about 2 weeks, to help me with some exercise therapy. I suffer with loose long floppy ligaments. I don't get stiff muscles ever. But I do tear and injure because, as a friend of mine said - I can do it wrong 40 ways. The goal is sustainable exercise without issues - like last week's sciatica flare-up.
In other less cheerful medical news, Himself, who has struggled with detached retinas in both eyes the past few years, is bleeding from his good eye. We're back to the doctor today for him. All prayers for his stabilizing and continued vision are Most Welcome.
We're having unusually hot weather this month and it's sticky hot too but yesterday and this morning have at least brought some good showers. Corn around the edges of the fields is stunted but the bulk of it will flourish with this welcome and necessary rain. Early beans are sighing in relief too. Bracing ourselves for the return of Hot Hot Hot tomorrow.
I fell off the whole grain wagon yesterday - due to circumstances, not temptation - but only at lunch and don't you know - the sweet craving was back instantly. I was pawing the shelves for sweet last night. I found 12 ... what a joke! ... yup 12 chocolate chips in a little twist of a bag among the baking things. And I ate them too. but what WAS I thinking to not use up those last 12 chips in whatever it was I was cooking .... unless Himself has been snacking too.
Anyway - It's nice to see my "theory" confirmed - that if I eat refined grains I will probably snickersnack on sweets and not count them because ..."It was only 12 chocolate chips!!" And that's what i want to get a handle on.
In to work early today. Counting on being back here again, tomorrow.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Well - I certainly harvested the rewards of a diet rich in whole grains. There was a 2.5 lb weight loss this week and I am wondering if the two week climb had anything to do with hidden salt. Because 2.5 lbs in one week is a lot of lbs. to drop from such a small change.
Of course, I know switching from whole grains ... and limiting that to only 5 servings ... which turns out to be the new recommendation for women 51+ (hey, who knew?) - www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/grains_amo
would certainly make a change in the body chemistry. What I didn't realize was how differently the puzzle pieces would fit together. I've made the whole grain switch once before and found it really difficult because of the extra time it took to prepare the few whole grains I knew anything about. This time around I found bulgar - which does take time but hey - it's just soaking, not actually cooking or hanging around a kitchen making sure it doesn't burn. You don't have to flavor it like tabbouleh - it's delicious with pesto! And there is a commercially prepared whole wheat bread that I like alright. I've ordered in some WW pastry flour though, and I'm going to try baking my own bread with that - to see if I find something I really like.
The other thing is that I was able to satisfy myself with meals that contained zero grains. I don't have to have crackers or rolls with a salad lunch. I may - but I don't have to. I did double - and sometimes triple up on vegetables with my own home cooked dinners but that was part of the plan anyway. Add more vegetables, eat only whole grains, zero added sugars.
As for the added sugars - well, there were some products I indulged in this past week - one sweet spoonful of Nutella, and a white chocolate peanut butter spread that I am sure also has sugar in it. But otherwise I stayed away from the sweets. Yes. There were a few twinge moments - but I was aware of them and passed. Fortunately, blueberries this summer are absolutely delicious. I am eating 1-2 cups of them a day. I really love them served with a mix of low-fat ricotta cheese, almond flavoring and a dash of splenda. A dash of sugar would work also and I may switch to that later, but right now I'm okay with the artificial.
So. This week was an unqualified success. I will continue this program - well - honestly - I'll continue it till It's habit, since nobody could actually criticize eating more vegetables and whole grains. As for the added sugar treats - well - I think the big issue is my definition of a treat worthy situation, but for now - I'll pass on the sugar and revisit everything on the 4th of July.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I have always loved stories so it was the greatest disappointment in my young life when I started school and found I couldn't read. This was before anybody diagnosed learning disabilities in an exploding baby boomer world where good little girls who paid attention and answered questions in class were promoted anyway because there wasn't room in one class of 49 children to add another. With hope and a prayer I was promoted for 2 years while my wise kind mother coached my reading through endless horrible afternoons of School in Summer. Then suddenly, at about 8, all the neurons made the necessary new pathways in my brain and I could read. I went from not reading at all to chapter books, bypassing the easy picture books completely. And the first book I read was Laura Ingalls Wilder's LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS.
I am sure if the first real book I had read was MARVIN GOES TO THE MOON I would have become a rocket scientist but instead I spent most of my childhood fantasy life wishing I, too, had been a little pioneer girl. I read those books. I wrote fan mail to the author, (who, alas, had died the year before) and I made up games about riding my covered wagon across prairies, taking my dolls and animals along with me. And I wished wished wished I'd been born in 1852 instead of 1952.
I met Himself in college - he had had a country upbringing and the stories he told of his adventures and freedom, and the confidence he carries with him to this day that he gained from knowing his environment was a safe place, only cemented my belief that In The Country Is Better ... for me, at least. After a few years of city living one of us confessed to the other that we wanted to run away and live in our own little house in the big woods.
And so we did.
With no jobs waiting for us and no rural skills (though he always spoke so confidently about things that I believed he knew ALL about doing EVERYTHING. ) we picked a spot in rural Virginia, along the river, near where his mother had grown up. We camped in the woods for 2 months in the WWII buddy tent my father in law landed on Normandy Beach with. With hand tools and a campfire we built a cabin and cooked our meals. We had such adventures to rival Laura Ingalls Wilder herself - though there were no hostile Indians there were two escaped bank robbers "last seen walking north along Highway 17" which was scary enough to thrill the most fantasy filled mind. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. We lost about 50 lbs between us that summer, since sometimes the rain put out the cooking fire before the food was cooked and we lived in our car sometimes, smoking cigarettes and working crossword puzzles.
But slowly and surely Himself built us a wee little round cabin and I learned how to bake bread in a dutch oven over a campfire. And by September we had a floor, walls and a roof AND an old wood burning cookstove Himself found in Bertha Hayes' old cow shed and brought home to me in triumph.
Though I come from many many MANY generations of city dwellers, I've never once regretted the move to the country. One year later we had our darling son. Three years later I was hired by the library board to type catalog cards. 35 years later we are here in our cozy home on the banks of the river with dogs at our feet and lives that enrich us and, we hope, our community.
I would love to go back and live it again, but I hardly think there's a thing I would change. Here's a photo of Himself and me, half-way through finishing that little house - with cousin Peter in between us.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
A few weeks ago I posted about Day 3 of what I hoped would be a new regimen of exercise and nutrition - and of course promptly began a spiral of exercise interrupted by pain and diet interrupted by mindless eating. The result was weight gain and a little sadness, culminating in a rather doleful post on Sunday about my backsliding. The downward curl of that trough has passed, though, and I'm gliding back on upwards in the normal ebb and flow of an ordinary life. This quick turnaround was vastly aided by having my Spark People community, with it's fountain of inspiration and support, from which I could sup as needed. And so, courting the fates once again I am ready to post about a brand new Day 3.
First a little back story -
In 2005 I had a terrible fall that exacerbated a tender back I've had ever since I was 20. As Boomerdom has settled in so firmly throughout my 50's I've been prone to lower back issues and that fall - and a subsequent visit to a very bad chiropractor - really did a number on my spine, leaving me with permanent nerve damage in one arm and, evidently some sciatic issues as well. I'm still groping around to find the best exercises for me to do that will strengthen me without compromising my spine. Thank goodness I actually like exercise, which means I'll continue to seek - but I'm not there yet. Next week I go for my annual check-up and I am going to ask for a course in PT because I know there is a good team at our local hospital and I think I need some advice on what and, more importantly, how. But the bald fact is ... I have painful "health issues".
Weird. I never ever thought I would have "health issues" but eh. There it is. Not an end, merely a challenge.
I began listening to the audio book "South Beach Diet Supercharged" last week and felt both exhilarated by the promise of ABetterLifeWithMagicDiet and deep sadness at the thought of bidding things like bread and watermelon goodbye. The conflict - unreasonable hope and unrealistic loss- didn't do much to help me deal with an already out of control eating spiral. NOTE to Bess - watch what you listen to.
I seriously toyed with going on the SB diet but eventually rejected at least Phase I because it is just too severe for my emotional state. I do NOT want to stop eating grain products - even for 2 weeks - and there is no way I am passing on watermelon just as the melon season is beginning. No Way.
I do want to eat fewer processed grains - flour products are my go-to gobble when I am famished - and I do want to be a little more honest about eating whole grains. I don't usually choose them over the refined grain products because [A.] it takes longer to cook them and [B.] Himself really balks at things like whole wheat pasta and rice. (though I can get him to eat brown rice)
So. I spent Sunday pouring over the SB Diet recipes, knowing that they would be heavy on the whole grains and light on the saturated fats. And I decided that I would spend the next 4 weeks eating ONLY whole grains and cutting back to 4-5 servings a day. I'm also doubling my vegetable consumption. I really like vegetables but I've been eating only 2 or 3 servings a day - because the extra 3 or so servings of grains, especially processed grains, really rather filled me up. The other thing is that, for 4 weeks there is to be no BLTing of sweets. I'm not a major sweet eater - I don't lust for cakes or pies, I can always pass on a donut, a cookie now and then can tempt me in the afternoon, but candy is almost never within my radar. Still - I'll pluck the after dinner mint out of a bowl or nibble a piece of this or that - and the truth is - I don't always remember each little Bite, Lick or Taste. I may THINK I'm not nibbling my way through the sugar bowl - but I don't actually know. In fact, if I am actually wondering about Think vs. Know I Think I Know ... I am eating a lot more sugar than I realized.
Eliminating sweets from my diet, though, does not depress me the way even the idea of crossing off grains in some form or another does. And being depressed over something I'm doing is NO way to create a healthy life. If I can only eat whole grains, that's okay. I like them too.
So here is the new game plan - on which I am happily celebrating Day 3:
One less serving of (only) whole grains a day
Twice the vegetables (4-6 servings)
ZERO added sugars
Let's see what 4 weeks of that does for me. With a starting weight of 168 let's see where I am on July 4 - an independence day goal for sure!
Sorry about the length of this post but the truth is this is the first time I've actually written out what the game plan is. It's good to actually SEE what I'm committed to. Once again - having my friends to share my thoughts with has really been a bonus for me.
THANKS AGAIN Y'ALL
Monday, June 07, 2010
I knew you would be - that's why it was so important to confess my backsliding and move on. That's just what I did yesterday. Got in some good exercise. Plotted out some healthy meals for the week. Did the weekly grocery shopping. Tracked my meals.
All in all - it was a perfect turn-around day. And as if the weather gods decided to reward me, the air cleared, the temperatures dropped and the wind died down. This morning was crisp and fresh with dew. I took the dogs out for a sweet little morning walk and since the weather is supposed to stay this way all day, I'll take them again when I get home. I know there are more beastly days ahead - this is, after all, Summertime in Virginia, where you can have 98% humidity and a drought. We haven't had one yet and if it just rains when the corn tassels we'll make a good crop.
Even the stars are in my favor as Mars moves out of Leo and into Virgo - I am promised lots of energy. In fact, I'm even told that it was Mars pushing me to be honest and sincere. Just read this from Mr.Horoscope:
You may never know the full extent of your potential because the more you achieve, the more you will then be able to accomplish. Be inspired by this thought. Be inspired too, that the current conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus is taking place in the part of your chart that governs 'honesty and sincerity. It's through these noble qualities that you can now be freed from a sense of helplessness or hopelessness.
Well. I certainly don't feel helpless or hopeless. Thanks y'all. You're the best.
Get An Email Alert Each Time BESSHAILE Posts