Wednesday, August 29, 2012
When I started the journey of mostly grain-free and whole foods living, I weighed about 14 pounds more than I do now, and I had Triglycerides on the high side at 154-162. HDL was 54 in November, but went up to 83 after two months of grain free. Before December, I ran 5.5 miles a day, had frequent colds and bronchitis.
Since end of November 2011, I've taken these steps:
- Eliminated grains from the home and home cooking. Rarely order meals with grains.
- Upped Veggie consumption a great deal, as well as meats, eggs, fish... saturated fats. Focus is nutritionally-dense foods instead of filler foods. Homemade bone broths form the basis of all braises, soups, stews.
- Upped sleep to try to be in bed for at least 8 hours. Still working on this project.
- Switched focus of exercise to movement throughout the day, walks, strength. Can now do a number of unassisted pull-ups and can deadlift well over my own weight--did great on a Mud Ninja run (like a Warrior Dash) last month--overcoming fear of mud and crowds. It was actually fun! When I run, I throw sprints and walking in there. I go by feel, NOT by program. It turns out that sprinting exhilarates me, so my runs are sprint/walk/trot as spirit moves me. I still place among the highest in races, and no more colds or bronchitis at all! I had a short cold of 4 days in February that I coasted through. I have not had this kind of health EVER in my adult life. I am now 47.
So, blood work:
Triglycerides down from 164 to 74!
HDL at 77. So the HDL to Trig ratio is awesome! Essentially 1:1.
Total Cholesterol down from 228 to 197. The KEY is the Triglycerides!
One other thing I did was to not be on the birth control. With there not being a great change in cholesterol itself, I suspect that the birth control isn't necessarily a bad factor. I don't know. I did end up having alcohol, but I think I was more mindful as far as measuring it out, or not having it when I also happened to be loaded up with a friend's dessert or whatever. I basically tackled sugar loads this year.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I love running, the feel of it, even in the first mile. I do miss it, too. But I had grown to feel robbed if I didn't get out and RUN if the weather was beautiful.
Today, I realized that to run, Savannah would have to ride her too-small bike (reminder to self: must move her up to the next size) and we'd do without a proper dinner.
The ancestral approach to fitness has got me really understanding that I don't have to have 45 minutes of hard breathing to get a fantastic workout, and that I want my body to work great in all different ways.
Today was GORGEOUS. In the 70's and it's still winter, and this is central Ohio! Tomorrow it will rain. My schedule tonight was this:
Savannah and me home by 6PM.
Eat somewhere in there.
Piano lesson for Savannah at 8PM tonight--not the usual, but she had a makeup lesson to do, and a piano competition this weekend.
So, with just 1.6 hours to eat and play, I opted to reheat some brisket, have a salad, and she and I would walk down to the park in our shorts and just throw a frisbee. Seven minute walk both ways, with a full half hour of throwing the frisbee, chasing it, discovering that my 9 year old is not bad at frisbee! Discovering that my 46 year old body takes off running and catches the frisbee great. Still got the eye-hand coordination going.
I remember my first "walk" in December with Savannah for exercise after the worst of the respiratory trouble. She wanted to stop by the playground, but I wanted to get "my exercise" in. I sensed that I was missing the point. It's hard to exercise well with a toddler, but a 9 year old? Playing with a 9 year old is awesome exercise.
I intend to play as often with Savannah as I can before she leaves me behind.
I love running, and I'll do it again. I need to do some to survive the Ninja Mud Run in July.
But I won't do running instead of play with Savannah when the perfect thing to do is just play.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I spent the night using up 2 bunches of cilantro to make the glorious rancheros sauce featured in Everyday Paleo. It freezes very well, so well worth my time to make a giant batch: 24 tomatillos, 2 jalapenos, 8 cloves of garlic, juice from 2 limes, some sea salt. Dinner was Huevos Rancheros. Breakfast for dinner reminded me of an important fact about the "paleo lifestyle" and the homecooked meals:
Kids get involved when you need to cook, and they love beautiful meals.
Savannah hardly grumbled at all in December 2011 when her bowl of Lucky Charms was replaced by awesome fruits and eggs. When I added steamed broccoli, I expected a weird look, but she loves it. Whatever veg your kid loves, that's the one to go ahead and make a routine of at breakfast.
Most days, here's how it goes:
- put the electric kettle on for the green tea of the day
- get her up
- pour the hot water over the tea
- Her job: steam the broccoli (prewashed and cut for the week and put into a Debbie Green bag/Forever bag for her to grab) by just steaming it in our microwave for 1 minute.
- Her other job: wash the fruit of the day and set the table, set up the plates with fruit and veg
- My job: scramble and fry up the eggs
Simple routine. We knock out the breakfast in 5 minutes, sit, and relish it and talk. No TV. Nothing but us, and these lovely breakfasts... photos are a bit dark, but in person they are so colorful and bright...
Baby Girl's breakfast:
Mama's big old breakfast:
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
A couple of developments as far as shopping. I realized after my early bacon-fest that I really wanted and needed to have many more veggies, green leafy ones in particular, in my life. I took up with a grocery delivery service called greenbeandelivery.com to help me. I'm super pressed for time in my life, and trips to the store were usually frantic and not as well thought out as I'd like. I AM finding the weekly delivery helpful. Here's how:
- They suggest some interesting things each week that I hadn't tried or thought of! Savannah ate steamed brussels sprouts tonight and liked them!
- KNOWING that I can count on the greens and fruits and interesting things they bring each Friday means that I race to eat ALL the stuff we have! I used to try to hoard veggies and fruits because getting back to the store to replenish was not guaranteed. Now, I eat my full seven servings with no problem. We are eating so much produce.
- Helps me plan new and interesting meals, to find recipes based on what I have from the pile rather than buying stuff per recipe. I actually save money by not having odds and ends, but making stuff based on what I ended up with.
Other great food sources now:
greenbeandelivery also delivers 2 dozen eggs per week from an Amish farmer here in Ohio. The box does not specify "vegetarian" (that's a plus! chickens are NOT vegetarians!) and he says they're "free range". In Ohio in the winter, they need to spend some time indoors eating other stuff rather than pecking at bugs like what they want to do--that's just reality. The eggs are all different sizes and shades, some are HUGE. Some have been fertilized, so the chickens are socializing, clearly.
Trader Joe's pack of 8 or 10 chicken breasts individually wrapped freezes great. This is working for me right now until I visit a local farmer. My spark buddy KJNE8O and I are planning one such excursion.
Have started sourcing some of my meat from the butcher down the street. Local farmers, but might be some CAFO. I don't know yet, but I also hold as a value shopping at individuals' stores in my town. The meats are exceptionally good, though, and they are my source for the bones for broth, my crap-ton of chicken livers sitting in my freezer... their ground lamb was marvelous in the lamb burgers. I think they are a good quality place, and they are local. I'm not going to buy New Zealand grass-fed when I can support my Ohio farmers.
OK, Everyday Paleo continues to delight:
- Puerto Rican Beef: Savannah measured out the spices, and I felt this could have used MORE spice, but I cannot tell if Savannah put too few in, or the recipe called for what she put in. It was fantastic on the re-heat, and adding salt helped. I'd say you can make a double portion of the spice mixture, put half in, then bump it up to taste at the table. And it worked great for getting more kale into Savannah.
- Ginger Citrus Skillet Chicken: Freaking YUM!!! Skipped the mushrooms as they were not on hand, and Savannah's just not being won over to mushrooms yet. This was easy and utterly delicious. I had brussels sprouts on hand, so that's what we had instead of the suggested kale. Steaming LARGE brussels for just 6 minutes is exactly enough to make them al dente tender and sweet and not move into bitterness.
- Dry Rub Burgers: Excellent hit with both Savannah and her little overnight guest. Spicy, but in a way that kids dig. Using lettuce as the roll was fun, although the girls just used fork and knife. I didn't change a thing about this recipe.
Giant Stuffed Portobellos: I feel like I reviewed this already, but it was a HIT, too! Savannah ended up rejecting the portobello mushroom underneath after giving it a fair trial, but the meat continued to be a good leftover with other things for the next couple of days. I recommend it. Tarragon was a revelation to Savannah--a favorite new herb!
Speaking of which, in the book, Sarah Fragoso calls a particular sauce "bernaise" but it's really hollandaise. You want tarragon (and vinegar, shallots and chervil) at a minimum to make it "bernaise".
Grilled Lamb Burgers: We loved these. I didn't have fresh parsley, but dried worked.
There are other recipes I'm dying to make soon! Life has been crazy, so I haven't made the fancy salads from the book. Just these one dish meals that we can power down and then pack into lunch.
Monday, March 05, 2012
After a couple of months of feeling GREAT, vanquishing one cold like I never had, and just feeling very settled in this lifestyle, I had one week where I went off-course.
The home meals continued to be winners, because I'm doing just fine keeping junk out of the house. Our daily breakfasts and dinners and packed lunches continue to delight us.
The challenge came in one week where I had one function or get together after another. Late nights, stomach distress... oh, and one night where I awoke at 2:30 with the same old complaints (itching, an urge to pee where there is no pee) that I had pre-paleo. That early, early morning was also the morning that my annual bonus came in. It was a good one. I was so uncomfortable that I decided to take Advil. I also decided to peek at my credit union's web site for my transactions on my Android phone. There was the bonus! I am DEBT-FREE except for my mortgage!
I was so excited and so uncomfortable and physically miserable that I got up, went to my computer, and paid off my credit cards. So, I'm itching, happy, miserable, heart pounding with excitement. Back to bed. Three hours later and still not asleep, then the sinus trouble came...
Two days later, a baby shower where the hostess said, "I'll have chicken salad and egg salad!"
Only every bit of those salads was spread as thin schmears on croissants. A bunch of cake and sangria... and I was starving when I got there. So I ate.
Misery! Sugar! No sleep! Bad for Joy. Acne breakouts.
Got the bad cold I could not conquer and now, I am recovering. Lots of good salad and vegetables, wholesome meats, probiotics, and now I've got some bone broth I made that I'm enjoying right now as I write.
NOW I know how to recover, and I was able to totally get rid of the itching and "overactive bladder". The long, really good sleeps since fixing the itching issue have helped me get quickly past the worst of the cold. I see that it was all true...
My greatly-improved diet and great sleep are the team I need to call on and trust and enjoy. Lessons learned are:
- The sugar (and alcohol) doesn't give as much pleasure as it gives me misery.
- Sleep MUST be respected!
- Before social events, PACK something I can count on that is awesome. Sneak out to the car to eat the thing. The hostess won't notice I'm not eating the crap. And I really don't need the sangria.
I want to feel good! There is so much fun to be had and so much to try in this life. I imagine there will be times when I want a piece of cake or whatever, but I need to eat clean pretty consistently-not have a "bad week". I enjoy, though, that I knew exactly what to do to get back to feeling better. It's all good.
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