Monday, July 11, 2011
I've been experimenting more with protein shakes. What I've come up with is a base shake that I can add things to, mix and match.
3 cups SO Delicious Coconut Milk, unsweetened
1 cup Almond Milk, unsweetened
4 scoops vanilla flavored protein powder
The SO Delicious coconut milk is much cheaper than the canned coconut. However, the nutritional content is different. The canned coconut is very concentrated, while the SO Delicious has more water content. It has less fat and protein. I also think the coconut flavor of the SO Delicious is very mild compared to canned coconut.
The Almond milk is just for flavoring, and I had some left that needed to be used up. Could just use all SO Delicious.
The protein powder boosts it to my desired level of protein content.
This is a 'base' for my protein shake. It just serves as the nutritional base, and I'll add other stuff based on what I want. Allows me to vary my shakes so I don't get bored of the same thing over and over. Or allows me to tailor my drinks for additional nutritional content, like bananas for additional potassium.
Makes 4 one cup servings.
Put in a pitcher and store in the fridge until ready for use.
I take ripe bananas, cut them in half then freeze them for use later. Preserves the bananas perfectly for smoothies, so they don't go over ripe or bad.
This morning I took 1 cup of the mixure, half a frozen banana (40g), and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream for my protein shake. I blended it together with my Vita-Mix.
This gives me a total calorie content of:
Obviously, low-fat people can skip the heavy cream to keep the fat content low.
With the base shake, it is very customizable! Can add other kinds of fruit like strawberries or blueberries. Nut butters would be awesome also.
My next experiment is seeing if I can make a low sugar/carb pina colada with the SO Delicious!
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Despite the new USDA Food Plate and aggressive campaigning, obesity rates have not fallen in a single US State. In fact, obesity rates are still climbing.
Yesterday I took my bodyfat measurements. While I didn't use the most accurate measurement, it is good enough. No matter what the standard, I am no longer overweight! My bodyfat is 26.6% and BMI is 24.6. Both are considered the high end of "normal".
In my case, my obesity and overweight status were due to eating the wrong kind of calories. When I was obese, I ate horrible fast food and chain restaurants. Overweight, I ate good quality food, just the wrong distribution of carb/fat/protein.
I used to think the problem, particularly in the South, was due to the fatty foods. The BBQ ribs; ham hocks; fried chicken; coleslaw; bacon. Now I know it's a different problem. Sweet tea; sugar in the BBQ sauce; cornbread muffins; breading on the fried chicken; sugar in the coleslaw; pie.
Sugar, sugar, sugar.
When I was obese, I eliminated all simple sugars. Goodbye Snickers candy bars, granulated sugar in the coffee and tea, Coca-Cola, and even fruit juice. I eliminated most junkie carbs like potato chips, too.
That was enough for me to lose enough weight to become overweight. To become 'normal', I reduced carbohydrates to vegetables and fruit only. Grain or starch based carbohydrates like rice, pasta and potatoes only on occasion.
Sugar is toxic. If you have been keeping up with my blogs, you know that I am paying a big penalty for a sugar indulge - lol.
We all know that we have to cut out the simple sugars if we want to lose weight. However, if you are seemingly stuck and can't seem to lose anymore (like I was for 4 years), then try looking at what other forms of sugar might be lurking in your diet. Even whole grain bread gets converted into glucose. So maybe you're not willing to cut it back as far as I have. Just try limiting starchy carbs to one meal a day for a week or two, and see anything positive happens.
Nutritional experts are starting to recommend watching carbs. articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/20/hea
I do not believe this is fate, chance or luck. Fate, chance and luck had no part in my being able to 'beat the odds' since most Americans are still getting fatter. The only factor genetics plays is some of us are more predisposed to store sugar as fat than others.
I do not believe I am an outlier, or special. I believe that all have within us the ability to not be a statistic.
Saturday, July 09, 2011
I'm still battling my sinus infection. I'm not sure if I'm getting better or not. I have been able to stave off an ear infection, which is my main worry. I have a malformed sinus duct that keeps my eustachian tube from opening and closing properly. So if it gets clogged up, I'm screwed. I have to take an antibiotic. This is what has screwed me up for the past 30 years, this cycle of getting a relatively minor illness like a cold, and having to take an antibiotic for the resulting bacterial ear infection. The only way I can get permanent relief is to have surgery done, but I can't do it on my current insurance plan. Because it's not life threatening, it's considered an 'elective' surgery. You know. Classified as an optional surgery like a boob job.
I have an allergy to most of the modern antibiotics, like septra, keflex and tetracycline. The only antibiotics that I can take without an allergic reaction are penicillins. As we know, penicillins have been over prescribed and many bacterias now have resistances to them.
I've disregarded naturopathic medicine as 'quack' science for a long time. Then I got to thinking about pharmaceutical sciences. Pharmaceuticals have some pretty serious side effects. They are synthetics. Both my grandmothers lived in an era without such high powered cocktails.
I still use my German grandmother's home remedy of salt water and vinegar gargles at the first onslaught of a sore throat. In cases of minor infections, it is usually enough to halt the progression right there. She used hydrogen peroxide as a first aid antiseptic. It is cheap and effective.
My latest episode is a build up, I believe. I took antibiotics earlier in the year for a deep wound infection. At that time, I didn't pay enough attention to the effects that antibiotics have. They are broad spectrum, and destroy the good with the bad. They are in effect napalm to the gut, and obliterate everything.
Except candida, which is not a bacteria. Candida lives in all of us. They do serve an important function. They eat and break down waste material in our gut. When we die, candida is one of the organisms that break down our bodies. Not pleasant to think about, but it is an important function in the cycle of life.
They have to live in symbiosis with us. We can't avoid it anyway. Even if you managed to get rid of all of them, at some point you will eat food that contains candida, and they will be reintroduced. The good gut bacterias keeps them in check. Some produce hydrogen peroxide as a waste product, which is deadly to candida. Some actually eat candida for food.
If the good bacteria don't keep them in check, they stop being a symbiote and become an opportunistic parasite.
My current sinus infection came may have come from too much sugar over the 4th weekend. However, I have a suspicion there might be another cause. I had a rum punch that didn't quite taste all natural. It probably used a mixer with artificial flavorings.
This is why I'm really picky about cocktails. I do not drink margaritas made from mixes. If they aren't made from real limes, I don't bother. I was not so careful with the rum punch.
So maybe it was sugar, maybe it was artificial flavorings. Or maybe both. My body seems to reject a lot of non natural substances.
I have done a lot of reading about home remedies. One that kept coming up is oil of oregano. It is touted by enthusiasts as a good broad spectrum antimicrobial, good against bacteria AND candida.
I read a blog from a guy who said he tested it on his strep throat. He took a swab of his strep and looked at it under a microscope, confirmed he saw bacteria. Then he added a drop of oil of oregano. He said he saw it literally tear the microbes apart. Sounds good to me. Makes me wish I had my microscope with me!
I bought a small little jar. It was not cheap, but probably about the same as I would spend on a pharmaceutical antibiotic.
I made a hot cup of herbal tea and put a couple of drops in it.
A lot of people say they don't like green tea because it is too bitter. Let me take the opportunity to tell you a few tricks for a perfect cup of green tea.
A lot of people make green tea with boiling water. Green tea is not like Lipton, or English black tea. Boiling water will burn the tea leaves and destroy all of the antioxidant benefits. Boiling water releases tannins from the leaves. This makes it bitter.
1. Get a flavor of green tea you like. I like this "Zen" blend from Tazo. It is green tea, lemongrass, and spearmint. This is perfect comfort tea for my sinus infection.
2. Heat a pot of water, and take it off the heat just before it starts boiling. When it starts steaming, that is hot enough.
3. Pour the water in your tea cup WITHOUT the tea. Put an instant read thermometer in it. Green tea brews best between 120-170F, depending on the tea. Amino acids in the green tea dissolves at 140F.
4. Put a tea infuser in the water at desired temperature. I usually put it in about 140F. Infuse for 1-2 minutes, no more. Green tea is meant to be complex and delicate, not strong.
I put two drops of the oil of oregano in my cup. The oil of oregano smells like my spaghetti sauce! After taking a sniff of the tea and sipping a few, my sinuses cleared up almost immediately. I could breathe through my nose in about 2 minutes.
Will it help cure me? I don't know. But the aromatherapy of the tea and the oil of oregano at the very least relieved some of my symptoms. The white patches on the back of my throat are disappearing. Whether it actually proves to be a good antimicrobial is yet to be seen. However, I can say that there are currently no signs of a build up in my ear. I've been drinking this 3 times per day.
Since it is supposedly an antimicrobial, I am making sure to eat yogurt and take probiotic supplements to restore good gut bacteria. My hope is to wipe out candida colonies, and to reintroduce good gut bacteria.
Friday, July 08, 2011
I've done it!
Four years ago, I joined Spark on July 3, 2007. I weighed 135.
12 weeks ago on April 20, 2011, I weighed 135.
Today, I weigh 125! 10lbs! That's like losing the equivalent of my bowling ball! I'm no longer carrying my bowling ball around on my hips while hiking!
So what happened 12 weeks ago? I discovered I was eating the wrong kinds of things for my body. I used to think a calorie is just a calorie, and as long as I stayed in my ranges, I would lose weight.
Here's an example of my diary when from before.
February 10, 2009:
Breakfast: Whole banana, fat free Yoplait yogurt, Kashi cereal: 325 calories
Lunch: Chicken salad sandwich, kettle chips: 490 calories
Dinner: Chicken Noodle soup: 152 calories
Snack: Trail mix bar, cashews: 470 calories
February 2, 2010:
Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt, Kashi cereal, blueberries: 175 calories
Lunch: White rice, black beans, and salsa: 348 calories
Dinner: Flank steak, mashed potatoes, and collards: 439 calories
Snack: Almond butter, apple, and banana: 453 calories
This was a good diet, I thought. I stayed within the Spark ranges. Why couldn't I lose weight?
Over the past 4 years, I have lost about 5 pounds and regained the same 5 pounds. My net weight loss over 4 years was 0. My average weight during that time? 135.
Well, calorie is a calorie it didn't work. It does matter what those calories are made of.
Here is what I ate on June 22, 2011:
Breakfast: 4% fat Cottage cheese and apple: 154 calories
Lunch: Pork tenderloin roast, romaine lettuce, tomato and dijon mustard dressing: 202 calories
Dinner: Grass fed beef top sirloin, steamed asparagus with a pat of butter, and a glass of red wine: 594 calories
Snack: Homemade yogurt, rainier cherries, cashews: 221 calories
I've fine tuned it to 5 smaller meals.
Breakfast: Almond coconut protein shake and homemade yogurt: 319 calories
Lunch: Romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, hard boiled egg, smoked salmon and homemade ranch dressing: 349 calories
Dinner: Baked crispy chicken, mixed vegetable salad, steamed kale with toasted sesame and garlic, and glass of red wine: 221 calories
Snack #1: Guacamole with celery and cucumber sticks: 78 calories
Snack #2: Hard boil egg and a slice of brie: 117 calories
The composition of my calories makes a whole lot more difference, than the total. Some might say I was eating 1400 back then and closer to 1200 now, and that is why I'm losing more weight. That could be true. However, the way I was eating before, I was always hungry. 1400 calories wasn't satisfying. Now I feel sated on 1200 calories. I am never hungry. I eat when I am hungry, and stop when I am sated. That does not mean stop when I am full or stuffed! I have been able to follow an intuitive eating pattern. If I'm not hungry, I don't eat. If I am running low on energy, I eat. That is different than the stark raving mad, lunatic hunger from before.
In either case, calories in - calories out didn't work. I should have lost weight either way, and I didn't. I only lost weight when I changed my calorie composition.
I assure you I have lost no muscle. In fact, I have *gained* 2 lbs of muscle! With zero weight lifting!
Here is my exercise routine:
Elliptical: 30 mins 4x per week, 65-75% max heart rate, high resistance, low cadence
Everyday: 10-15min Squats with arm raises, lunges, plank, bicycle crunches
Weekends: 2 hour stroll on the beach, leisurely bike ride or casual hike
Yesterday I put my keys in my shorts and my shorts nearly dropped off my hips! Time to retire those shorts!
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Since my fiance and I moved to Georgia, I've been a bit isolated. I work from home, which means I haven't had much opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. As an introvert, meeting new people and being a social isn't exactly my strong point. Some people, like my best friend, can just walk up to a stranger and make a new friend instantly. Me? Not so much. I'm just weird or something - lol.
I've been meaning to join a group exercise class for some time so I can hopefully meet new people, as well as have some fun. Just having something to do on a regular schedule would be good for my well being, if nothing else.
I was able to save a ton of money on membership by getting on fiance's work YMCA discount. My membership has finally been processed, so I can show up at any time.
Once I'm over this darn illness.
I've decided that I want to do a spin class and pilates class. Spin class is Tuesdays at 6:15pm, and pilates is at 10am Fridays. Currently I'm thinking of doing them on alternating weeks, especially starting out. Start with spinning on July 12, then pilates the following week on July 22.
The Y also has a pool that hopefully I can swim laps. We have a pool at my apartment, but kids playing and people socializing make it difficult to get actual laps in. I know, I know. I just complained about lack of socializing, now I'm complaining about socializing. Well, I want to swim laps!
I'd like to do Zumba, but unfortunately, there isn't a class available at a time I could do.
What group exercise classes do you do? Any tips for a newbie?
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