Saturday, October 20, 2012
Today I decided to start the day off with a little fruit. Breakfast was 1/2 cup of blackberries, 2 oz. yogurt and some heavy cream. I also had one cup of regular coffee with cream.
Throughout the next 6 hours I had a few small snacks of cheese and a few nuts and then a small lunch of 2 chicken drumsticks. In the early afternoon I had a second cup of coffee that was half decaf.
We had an early dinner around 6 pm. I was hungry and had a big salad with mixed lettuce and spinach, a few cherry tomatoes, lots of chicken breast and cheese, and olive oil vinaigrette.
After that I decided to have a cup of decaf with cream before we went to a concert.
When I got home tonight I had a small bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream. I'm really too tired to bother with counting carbs tonight but it must have been around 30 grams again.
Tomorrow we are going out to brunch, not sure where yet. I'm probably going to have an omelett, my easy go-to breakfast these days.
Friday, October 19, 2012
This topic comes up on Spark from time to time and I wanted to discuss it in response to some of the comments on my last blog:
I understand the sentiment of everything in moderation, it sounds so normal and - well, moderate. I'd like it very much to be true. But EVERYTHING? Really? How about HFCS, trans fats, chewing tobacco? The question to me seems to be whether something is addictive and or damaging in small quantities for everybody. Some things are only toxic to the body in large amounts, some in very small amounts. The level of sensitivity may be different for each individual based on genetics and early formative habits that affect gene expression. For me sugar is most definitely addictive, for my husband it definitely is not, although he may be negatively affected by eating lots of it, too. I am convinced at this point that modern wheat is damaging to everyone, just like nicotine, even for people who don't have visible symptoms and for whom it is not addictive.
Alcohol seems to be addictive to a significant percentage of the population but not to everyone, judging by the fact that many people can drink in moderation without the slightest difficulty.
I assume that almost everyone consumes something that would turn out to be less than ideal for their health if we had the perfect screening tools. We need to find out which foods are the most dangerous/destructive to our body and be committed to eliminating them.
The argument that everything is ok in moderation could be based on someone's experience that they are not negatively affected by any food, at least not knowingly, a lack of information about nutrition or the justification of an addiction that has not been dealt with.
I guess we all need to decide for ourselves what the answer is.
Or is there another, better reason to say everything in moderation is ok that I have missed? Please feel free to comment or to blog about it and link your blog here so we can all learn more.
Friday, October 19, 2012
I would like to encourage you to go to Kalioppe's blog and take a look because it raises a very important question. It inspired me to think some more about goals and success and how to make them happen.
This is asking a very important question. As my response was getting long I decided I need to write a blog about this myself.
For me goals, success, motivation and rewards are all linked together.
Once I have decided on goals I put them in different categories. One type of goal I can't really control, at least not in the short term: what the scales will say tomorrow or in a month from now, what my waist measurement will be, who will be the next president, whether California will require GMO labeling... I may have strong opinions about all these topics but that does not give me the power to make decisions on these issues. Now, admittedly, I have more control over where my weight is going than who is going to be our next president, but this control is not linked to a certain time frame that I may desire.
The other type of goal is about behavior. I have much more control over my behavior than about my weight, although even my behavior I can't control perfectly. The decisions I make every day and the way I act are influenced by other people, by hormones (and I'm not just talking to the ladies here) and by brain chemistry, in other words physiological changes that are the result of how I sleep, my stress level, my diet, my exposure to toxins etc.
Still, overall I have a better chance in the short-term to change my behavior than the results of my behavior and sometimes it is critical to change behavior in spite of the results that come from it.
Here is today's example from my life: My weight was up from 128 to 129.6 this morning. Looking at my behavior last night that caused this weight gain (or maybe didn't):
- I home-cooked dinner , that was one of my goals, to eat at home more
- I used healthy, mostly organic ingredients that were low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat
- I used a few more tomatoes from our garden than usual so they would not go bad, raising carb level a little (tomatoes are a fruit and slightly higher in carbs)
- I made a meat sauce with quite a bit of salt, which is what my body needs on low-carb
- I took time to eat rather than rushing through the meal and I had seconds and enjoyed every bite
- I involved the whole family in meal prep, reminding everyone of where food comes from (this is my favorite )
- I made a new ice cream recipe from scratch that has a high fat content (cocoa butter added)
- I ate some of this dessert, increasing my calories for the day with hardly increasing carbs
All these were good decisions and the weight gain was probably healthy as well, as I had been losing a little too quickly, maybe a result of too little salt in my diet or just too little food because I did not feel hungry.
Had my goal been weight loss I would have been disappointed this morning, beating myself up because of having seconds, eating dessert, adding too many tomatoes to the dish, spending too much time eating...
Instead I know that my energy level will likely be higher today, allowing me to start building muscle again. I'm now looking forward to a harder workout knowing that I fueled my body well last night, while yesterday I stayed with low-impact cardio, feeling still a little more tired.
To sum up, the number on the scale will likely go down in the long run, but any goals I set in areas I can't control very well I hold lightly, ready to change them any day or even any hour. I do invest myself in changing habits and I pull out all the stops to motivate myself. Yesterday afternoon my big reward was taking my horse for a walk. She has this incredibly calming and relaxing effect on me as she walks or jogs calmly but very alert next to me, occasionally lowering her head to have a bite of grass. She is a horse without issues and together with my dogs, keeps me emotionally healthy.
Everybody has their own rewards and it helps to find them in all sizes, from very little ones for minor achievements to jackpot rewards for really big things, just make sure that the big things were things that took a huge effort rather than the things that yielded big results. Results are rewards in themselves.
I personally don't care much about spark points, but for many people they seem to be a reward. Hearing positive comments from other sparkers can be really helpful for most people. Writing a blog about my experiences can be a reward for me in itself. Reading blogs and getting ideas is fun, too.
One of the most powerful rewards for me is to see people's lives changed and knowing that I was a part of it. I know that in the long run this will stay with me much longer than the fact that I reached my ideal weight, ideal body composition, ran a race well or even stayed healthy without medication.
Maybe I'm old enough, almost 50 now, to realize that I only have one chance to make a difference, one life to live, and I want to look back and say I made a difference, my goals were not just about me, but I helped to make this world a better place. At the same time I want to focus on what I can change, myself, not other people and if I focus on that others have the freedom to do the same.
I'm learning from my dogs, several of which are getting older far too quickly. As their physical ability declines, even with healthy food and exercise, their eye sight fades and their coat gets grey I notice a gentleness of spirit, a kind eye, a conviction that they have earned their right to speak to my heart, by being themselves.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
I ended up having breakfast at about 10:30 am. I had a nice fritata with zucchini, peppers and mushrooms.
I was able to get in a little jogging with the dogs but did not have quite my normal energy level for running yet. I had a few macadamia nuts as a snack 2 hours later.
Lunch was around 3:30 pm, a mix of various lettuces and spinach, walnuts, cheese, a little bacon, radishes with vinaigrette and lots of olive oil.
After having another cup of coffee with cream I'm going to use the next hour to go for another little run with my horse.
Back from the run. It was beautiful outside, with everything being in fall colors. Blue Eagle loved to stop occasionally to munch on some green grass that is sprouting up again after the first big rain.
Now it's getting dark and time to make dinner.
I'm cooking up some ground beef with a lot of tomatoes from our garden and some garlic. It still feels funny to not have any beans, pasta, or bread with this. I realize that when I first started low-carb eating it was already spring and I've never done all my winter dishes the low-carb way. I will probably serve this with kelp noodles which only needed to be heated and some kale stir-fried in coconut oil on the side.
I'm very excited about a little dessert experiment I made earlier today: low-carb chocolate ice cream. Since I was a little short on cream and had raw milk to use up I used raw milk and melted some cocoa butter into it which I had originally bought to make chocolate. Then I mixed cocoa powder and Xylitol together and stirred it in the milk cocoa butter mix. Cocoa butter has a wonderful smell that comes through in the ice cream. I'm curious how my family is going to like it.
Dinner ended up being a little simpler. We put parsley on top of the kelp noodles and meat sauce instead of cooking up kale. All the fresh garlic made it really yummy. My daughter added a bunch of herbs like thyme and basil and some seasalt.
Total carbs may have been closer to 30 grams today.
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