Tuesday, February 28, 2012
We finally found the time to get rid of any wheat, wheat products and other gluten-containing grains. It's not that anyone was tempted to eat them. My family has had a very easy time finding non-gluten grains to eat since I am so far the only one who does not eat any grains any more (and also the only one who still wants to lose some belly fat).
It reminded me how recent my decision to give up wheat has been, it will be exactly a month tomorrow. If you had told me that I would completely stop eating wheat 6 weeks ago I would have laughed, considering this very unlikely. If I walk through a supermarket I'm still not fully aware of the fact that wheat is EVERYWHERE and I still forget that I should consider it to be at least as harmful as sugar, if not more so. As we were packing up quite a few packages (our winter supply, bought on sale) of whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread crumbs, whole wheat crackers and cracker bread, planning to drop it off at the local food bank, the thought crossed my mind that if these were cigarette packs and I just stopped smoking I would throw these packages in the trash, not give them to somebody else. So at some level I guess I don't quite believe that wheat is just as harmful as cigarettes. Not that most of the other foods that are at the typical food bank are much healthier. For some people any food is good food in this economy and it has been deeply ingrained in me not to throw food away. Even so, if it had been white flour or sugar it would have been easier to throw it out.
The other interesting thing I've noticed over the last two days is that since I've had this cold and not much of an appetite I still feel the need to eat. I'm not hungry, food does not taste good, I have no cravings and I know my body does not need any calories. The only thing that makes sense is that there are some tendencies towards emotional eating, comforting habits that are coming to mind from previous occasions when I felt sick and tried to make myself feel better by eating. Again, this is not about food cravings. I picked up a bar of dark chocolate and had one piece, feeling a little disappointed that it tasted just OK. I tried another piece (just in case I missed something, as if I had ever been too distracted to notice the flavor of chocolate before). After the third piece I realized there was no point to this. My throat still hurt and my eyes were still watering and I still didn't feel like exercising.
That was the other surprise: I realized that since I now know that exercise does not help me to lose weight that there is absolutely no reason to move more than what my body feels comfortable doing. I took a couple of the dogs for a slow walk in the sunshine for about 40 minutes and then decided to go back in the house where it's warm. There is no reason to worry that I will gain weight while not exercising, because my weight is regulated by my hormone levels and my appetite and desire to exercise will adjust to keep my weight stable (apart from some minor fluctuations due to changing hydration and sodium levels). Exercise is a stressor to our body in a good way but when there are other stressors, like illness, emotional stress or a diet change, there is just no reason to push things. Indeed, if I tried, I could easily get some other hormones out of balance via my adrenal glands.
My best way to prepare for my half-marathon this Saturday (assuming I feel better by then) is to rest, have fun, eat when I feel like it and then see how far and fast I feel like going on Saturday. If I'm a little tired I can always walk part-way and do some people watching.
Time for bed to get some well-earned rest. I know if I look back at this in a month I will have reached another different point in my journey. I can't wait to see where this is all going. Life is an adventure.
Monday, February 27, 2012
We have snow again, it's cold and windy instead of spring-like. At least I'm not sad about missing any fun things outside. So instead I listened to an online interview with Mark Sisson, which is part of the Paleo Summit put on by undergroundwellness.com
The nutrition part was interesting although there weren't really any surprises. But at the end something caught my attention:
They started talking about exercise and the first statement was identical to what Gary Taubes says in his book: EXERCISE IS NOT A WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT.
It's not an issue of working out harder, longer or more often, either. Regardless of how much we work out, unless we are physically prevented from eating more to replace the calories we burned, there will be no weight loss. The reason is that body weight is determined by hormones just like height is regulated by hormones. It is the nutritional composition that determines hormone production at least in part (the insulin part). But exercise is still extremely valuable. The word that was mentioned was "play". I can't remember the exact sequence of key words but the whole idea was about having exercise be outside (and outside of the gym), fun, relaxing, stress-reducing and playful. That was right up my alley.
I have a very selfish attitude about exercise. It's my free time, carefully guarded from many disturbances in my life. I want to have FUN, I want to ENJOY movement . Everything else, like an increase in HDL, is merely a nice side-effect. Once the idea of exercise is not married to weight loss or weight maintenance, we can exercise in a way that suits our personal preference and natural abilities. Mine are neither speed nor strength nor much team spirit but I do have some endurance and pretty good balance as well as a good sense for rhythm and music. Any sports that allow me to use these strengths make me feel good, in particular when I get to be outside (in most weather). I play with my dogs when I throw the ball for them or run with them, I play a game of exploring when I go for a trail run or hike or take my horse out for a trail ride. I like to ride, ice skate or otherwise move to music that I enjoy and that helps me to tune into the mood of the music. I enjoy developing my endurance to be able to continue my activities for longer periods of time.
I believe we all know what exercise we are passionate about. It may be hard to imagine getting involved in it right now as we see our physical limitations. But we should never let our athletic dreams die.
What are yours?
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Note that the US is by far the leader in producing GMO crops. Looks like our "Christian Country" has gotten a little off track as far as what God wanted us to do about food.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I wanted to share this comment I made on the "Wheat Belly" blog knowing that it might be interesting for those of my Spark friends who share my spiritual beliefs in a loving creator whose laws are there to protect and nurture and give us the best quality of life possible.
It is not making the assumption that God only reveals himself to Christians or that other people's experiences are not as valid or that God cares about Christians any more than about anyone else.
Here is my post:
I would like to add my perspective as a strong believer in a diet full of what God has designed for food (which is not modern wheat).
My favorite book on this is not Jordan Rubin”s book but Rex Russell”s book “What the Bible says about Healthy Living”, to which Jordan Rubin wrote the foreword. Rex Russell wrote this book in the 1996. He has taken the principles of Biblical eating and explained why the human machine runs best on the fuel and the replacement parts that it was designed to receive: natural foods. He has backed this up with the results of many scientific studies in his book. For people who are not religious you can replace the word God with Nature and still find this to be useful.
These principles are:
1.Eat only substances God created for food.
2. As much as possible, eat foods as they were created- before they are changed or converted into something humans think might be better.
3. Avoid food addictions. Don”t let any food or drink become your god.
Eating modern wheat violates all three of these rules.
Modern wheat should either be considered as man-made or at least as man-modified and it has been shown to be addictive.
While traditional wheat varieties like Einkorn and Emmer may be suitable for some people (who don”t have celiac or gluten-intolerance) they may only be safe in any significant quantities for people who did not grow up on the modern Western diet of white flour, corn, soy and sugar. In other words, lowering carbs by cutting out most or all grains and beans and sweeter fruits may be a therapeutic step necessary at least temporarily to improve insulin sensitivity, and, depending on how much damage was already done to the pancreas and other body parts, may be necessary for the rest of someone”s life to be healthy.
Both Einkorn and Emmer are available for purchase online for people who believe they have a high tolerance for carbohydrates in their diet or who want to consider growing wheat grass from these more natural wheat grains.
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