Saturday, March 3, 2012

Statins & Alzheimer's?

I have my own opinions as to why my mother has early onset dementia and now Alzheimer's at the age of 76.  This week, the FDA has some new recommendations for the prescription of statins for high cholesterol.  My mother has been on statins since the mid 1980s.  Probably a little too long to be on such a drug.  The FDA states that discontinued use can eliminate the memory loss issues, but if you've been taking them for 30+ years, will she get better?

Also the use of statins is supposed to affect blood sugar, which is problematic for diabetics and could create pre-diabetic conditions.  With Alzheimer's being considered a Type III diabetes, I can't help but connect all the dots and point to statins as being a major factor in her medical problems.  

One thing is for sure, I will do everything possible to not to be on a statin regimen because cholesterol is the body's bandaid.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chocolate is my love . . .

I haven't been diligent with writing because I've been bingeing on sugar.  Sugar is my enemy. Chocolate, specifically, is my drug.  Due to the insane holiday seasons that introduce candy every month, I've been consuming copious amounts of dark chocolate; but am not immune to milk chocolate (albeit allergic to milk).

I'm still grain free, but I managed to bake some gluten free chocolate cookies that are essentially a big pile of sugar.  They were yummy.  And now I have a sugar coma.  I feel this pressure release when I consume chocolate.  It is like the anxiety and pent up energy and emotions are slowly released in a deep, meditative exhale.  It is weird to even feel calm as I write about chocolate and sugar.

I've not exercised, which caused me to have an anxiety attack last week.  I ended up in urgent care thinking I was having a heart attack.  I've not had one land me in the hospital in a long time, so I was due.  The pressures of parenting, care taking, career, financial issues, all boiled in my pressure cooker, and I thought I would flip my lid.  

I am not 100% better.  I am still working through my issues.  I'm human.  I feel physically better about the changes I've made with going grain free, but now want to focus on giving up sugar again.  Oh, yeah!  I failed to mention that I had an Almond Milk Latte kick.  However, I've been making them at home and saving money.  I haven't had one since Monday.  It was only 3 days of Latte bliss, but I am back on the wagon of going sugary latte free.

I want to finally make the combination of eating and exercise work toward weight loss.  My goal is to do Jillian Michael's DVDs again.  She is due to have another DVD released, which is kickboxing.  You do not know the love I have for kickboxing.  I want to rotate her DVD series to get the best out of her workouts.  Did you see she has now gone the informercial route?  I was a bit peeved, but the gal does have an incredible sense fitness and structure.  

I've been wanting to go the crossfit route, but the gyms locally are very cost prohibitive.  Hubby and I watched a Crossfit competition on ESPN.  We were so awed and impressed.  However, for weights, medicine balls, and cardio, I am not interested in spending $150/mo for fitness.  And hubby did that when he was in college--he says he was tortured while playing football, so he has no interest in co-crossfitting with me.  I am not feeling motivated to workout in my dungeon, despite having all the equipment at my disposal.  But time, money and support are limited and I have to do what is easiest and available.  5 a.m. workouts, here I come!

We all need motivators to work out, what's yours?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Scale Steppin' Saturday--194.3

Lunch today at 3 p.m. because I was not prepare to feed myself.

Well, that weight is a surprise.  Because I am all about full disclosure, I weighed in last Saturday at 195.4, which was .1 lbs less than the previous week's weigh-in.  It wasn't that I wasn't proud of any loss or embarrassed by the minuscule loss, I was just not in the spirit of blogging about anything.  I was lazy and irritable.

I am still going through a lot of stressors.  They are the same stressors that I will have for a long time: 3 kids, Nana, and a full time job out of the home, while hubby is away for most of it.  I am still in therapy, but sometimes a biweekly visit to chat for an hour isn't enough.  But I don't have the time or the energy to do more visits.

These last few days were horrible.  I ate so much chocolate that I could have had my own candy shop.  And to have a loss is remarkable.   While I am proud to keep losing weight, I wish I could contain my sugar addiction.  I did so well the first month, but then I figured dark chocolate can't hurt.  Darn you, Trader Joes and Aldi chocolates with your inexpensive price point.

I've had issues with constipation, it is not due to being Paleo/Primal.  I am eating enough fiber with the salads, veggies and fruit.  My issue is water.  I have to keep drinking a lot of water throughout the day.  I have a multitude of water bottles, but must force myself to refill and sip throughout the day.

Exercise was much better.  Four days of exercise this week.  I got up at 5 a.m. to workout.  I didn't work out on Friday because my daughter has been waking up at 3 a.m. and calling me.  I am a light sleeper and usually can't fall back to sleep within a quick time, so I am exhausted and irritable for the rest of the day.

My goal for the coming week:

  1. Drink water throughout the day. 
  2. Exercise 5 times this week.
  3. Reduce chocolate consumption. 
  4. Prepare my food in advance so I don't scramble to get something fixed.  .  
If you can eliminate one bad behavior when you are stressed, what is it?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Will You Ever Eat Grains Again?

My friend and colleague asked me that question today when I showed her my meals for today.  I prepped my breakfast of 1 egg + 1 egg white, which I made into a fritata with kale and leftover meatloaf that I made with parsnips, carrots, onions, garlic, and kale, and a banana.  Lunch was a salad with left over pork chop and french dressing (it was authentic--from a bottle), and grapes.  She marveled at the amount of salad dressing and asked how much I had in a small glass container; probably not more than 2 tablespoons--because that is fattening, she exclaimed.  I also had fruit for snack.  

My friend has enrolled herself in a weight loss program at one of the local hospitals.  She has been struggling with her weight for many years.  She credits me with inspiring her to workout and eat better.  However, she is doing "conventional dieting" through this nutrition program.  She asked the physician at her meeting last night what he thought about going grain free.  As a cardiologist, he didn't recommend it.  He said it wasn't sustainable if there weren't any medical reason to be off of grains, then one shouldn't.  Maybe gluten can be eliminated, but other grains were impossible to remove totally because we need them in our diet.  He stated that we needed grains in our diet.  My friend noted that he didn't promote a high carbohydrate diet either.  

I've been reading about Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist and author of Wheat Belly.  I've read several articles in which he was interviewed about his theory on gluten.  Everything I've read in his interviews, without reading his book, resonated with me.  Essentially, grains (most specifically gluten) are genetically modified and do not add any real nutritive value and can actually harm us.  Dr. Davis' patients, upon removing gluten from their diet, recovered from many of their illnesses, such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis.  Those recoveries also supported their heart health.  Patients who did not stick to the diet had reoccurring heart attacks.  Patients who followed the "no gluten diet", did significantly better.

When I first got into Paleo, I wanted to lose weight.  It was my way of losing this fat and getting out of a rut that I physically and psychological couldn't get out of.  But when I realized the added benefit of not adding a steroid into my lungs twice a day everyday, which I'd done for the last 9 years, I was pleased that I could save my lungs and save so much money.

I gave up dairy 2 years ago because it did more harm to my body than good.  Once I got medical confirmation that I am actually allergic to dairy, I also confirmed within myself that I made the right call.  I listened to myself and went with my "gut" instinct.  I am doing the same with grains because it has caused more harm to my body than good.  I am planning on doing some food allergy testing and get confirmation that I am gluten intolerant.  Once I do, I will share on the blog.  However, I do feel so good mentally and physically, that I may keep this up indefinitely even if the results prove negative.

How do you deal with people who doubt your weight loss method?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Scale Steppin Saturday--195.5

I am down a smidge more in weight.  I weighed in this morning at 195.5 lbs.  I am happy and giddy.

This week was a bit rough.  I had PMS and my TOM and tons of cravings for chocolate, which I satisfied every night with a couple of pieces of dark chocolate.  However, last night I did a bit of a chocolate binge having half a bar.  And Trader Joe's definitely betrayed me by having dark chocolate bars for $1.59, so I bought two. No, I didn't rip into those, but they were bought in a "just-in-case-haze" while getting more coconut oil.  

I am feeling well and definitely proud of having a loss.  I worked out 5 times this week.  I may workout today when I can steal away a bit of a break from the kids.  But I have a ton of things to get to this weekend.    Laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and all that lovely stuff.  

Goals for the week:
  • Eat grain free
  • No sugar--yeah, Trader Joe's, let's see about those dark chocolate bars.
  • Workout 5 times a week.
  • Manage my home life so I can reduce the feelings of overwhelming-ness.
  • Drink tons of water.
This week has been hard because I get to a point where I feel overwhelmed.  Having a full time job out of the house keeps me extremely busy and then when I am home, I have limited time to do everything I need to do before wanting to crash.  I know that the stress of my home life and work is contributing to my stress, which keeps a body inflamed and retaining fat.  But I am doing pretty good.   I am looking forward to getting to 190 lbs, which is my next goal.  

How do you deal with stress?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Running, again?

I've been exercising this week.  Three days of 30 minutes of cardio with some strength training afterwards.  This is a pic of me at my first 5K in October of 2009.  I've been saying that I was at 207 lbs, but I think it was more like 212 lbs.  Now that I am below 200, I'd like to give running a try again.  

I started running on a treadmill in Summer of 2009 because I thought it would help get rid of the baby weight from having #3.  I remember that while running this race, I was feeling so out of shape despite 5 months of training.  I was shocked because I could run a 5K on the treadmill; no problems.  I failed to realize that the impact on the body of the concrete and the wind against your body makes for a different running experience than on the treadmill.  I was in so much physical pain.  While in the middle of the race, I wanted to stop running.  I thought I would die.  

Obviously, I didn't die.  I did a second 5K in January of 2010 when I made the halfhearted commitment to run a race a month for 2010.  Yeah, one race in January with the slush and the freezing rain, and I got over that immediately.  However, right now, I am feeling that I never gave running my all.  I always wanted to go back to the October race to compare my time.  Heck, what was that time?  But I need time to train.  I also want to lose weight during training because I know the less pounds, the faster I'll be.  

I know my limitations in running.  I want to do 5Ks and 10Ks, but the thought of a half marathon or a full marathon is daunting and just plain old crazy.  I am not that competitive.  I'll consider my life being full despite not running a marathon.  But I didn't complete my 5Ks, and that nags me.

I want to take a 2012 race picture and compare it with this one and see how far I've gotten: time wise and body wise.  I think that I will check into the race information for October, and think about it for the next few weeks.  If I register, I will let you know.

What goals have you yet to accomplish that you are hoping to conquer?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Back to Cardio . . .

From Weight Loss

I got up early this morning to do cardio.  I am getting back into working out, and today was the day.  I realized a long time ago that I seem to have a disconnect between my eating plan and workout plan.  I'll start working out and can't make myself eat better or less, or I'll eat better, but not work out enough or hard enough to make a loss on the scale.

I am hoping that because I eliminated grains and have been losing pounds, I'll be able to put this whole lifestyle change together.  My plan for this morning was just to walk on the treadmill.  However, I was to walk faster and vary the grade so that I work harder in a shorter period of time.  The walk was only 30 minutes.  I got off the machine and did 2 sets of 15 repetitions of the Kettlebell Swing, 12kgs = 26 lbs.  I would have done 5 total, but I want to actually walk tomorrow.  I am building up slowly.

The plan is to do 30 minutes of hard exercise during the weekday.  I will get up at 5 a.m. and workout for 30 minutes and then supplement with 4 days of strength training or a Tabata.

I am PMSing and bought some dark chocolate from Aldi.  Let me just say that I am now an Aldi convert.  I was a snob and refused to buy there. When I learned that Trader Joes and Aldi are owned by the same parent company, I changed my tune; I am still somewhat of a food snob. But with 6 people to feed, I have to save money somehow.  I bought quite a bit of their fresh veggies and some spices that I use often.  I will go back on Sunday (food shopping day) to stock up on food stuff we need at home.  If you've never been to Aldi and want to try it, please take 25 cents for the shopping cart, and take some reusable shopping bags to use for your purchases--rookie mistake by not have either.

I have not just gone grain free, but I've gone white stuff free, so no potatoes.  This weekend, I made mashed cauliflower.  Mashed cauliflower is a revelation.  I bought a couple of small heads of cauliflower from Aldi that I hope to make garlic mashed cauliflower--yum!  Hubby has gone grain free for our dinners.  That is a step in the right direction.

How well do you put exercise and eating well together?  What are some of your tips and tricks?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

1/21/12--Scale Steppin' Saturday--196.3

I lost weight again. Slightly. But a loss nonetheless. I am happy because this week was a rough week.
I've been running around all week with crazy obligations at work. After work I have to race to get 3 kids at two different places during snowstorms. I've been battling a cold. And since last Sunday, I've had a very painful toothache. I bit into a sliver of bone from ribs that I made last Sunday. I went to the dentist and he said I had a bruised tooth; a crown that had been replaced over a year ago. Advil has been my friend.
I believe I would have had more of a loss but for the running around messed up my eating schedule. On Wednesday, I didn't drink water and feeling hungry despite eating quite well. I also wanted something sweet. I believe that the stress and the missed routine messed with my usually full and uncraving belly. I decided to satisfy the craving by buying two pieces of dark chocolate from Walgreens and water.  That was on Wednesday.  While I thought about getting more chocolate and more desserts, snickers preferably, I made sure to just fill my belly with water until I could eat a great meal that was cooking in the slow cooker. Thank goodness for that thing.  As far as sweet tooth cravings since Wednesday, I have eaten some mini semi sweet chocolate chips that I combine with coconut flakes and slivered almonds.  It is a nice treat and I don't go overboard. It is not completely Paleo.  Dark chocolate would be better.  But better yet, no sugar at all.  I will work on it.
No workout because of the illness.  This is supposed to be the year of no excuses, but that is my excuse.  I was sick.  However, I read an article that talked about daily physical activity such as walking or cycling will hold off the early symptoms of Alzheimer's.  My new mission is to keep Alzheimer's at bay because I can't conceive of working so hard in my life working, raising children, taking care of my Mom, being a wife to my husband, and suffering from Alzheimer's during the time in my life where I am to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor.  We all need a purpose for changing our lifestyle for the better.  What is yours?

Goal For This Week:
  • Keep on Paleo because it truly works.  Even the smallest of losses means it is working.  I am full at each meal and I feel a lot brighter mentally.  Even hubby who has gone grain free at night has commented that he feels more mentally alert.
  • Drink my water.  Lots of water.  Important for my "fullness" throughout the day.  I also get really cranky when I am dehydrated.  Really, cranky.
  • Workout 4 times this week.  My students get back to work Monday, and so do I.  Back to 5 a.m. workouts.  Uuugghh.  It is all about burning this fat.  I have to work at making that happen.
  • Change my mindset about exercise.  No more "uuugghh" feelings.  It is important for my health and mind.
How do you feel about slow and small losses?  Do they keep you motivated?  Do you feel discouraged?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

For the Hip Hop lovers, the case for Paleo

For those of you who aren't into rap and hip hop, Fat Joe is a rapper from NY.  He and I are around the same age.  I grew up listening to his music in high school.  As his name indicates, he was recognized for being fat.  One of the artists that he produced was Big Pun who died of a heart attack at age 28, and speculation places his weight at death at around 700 lbs. Whether or not that is true, Joe decided that would not be his fate.  Congrats to him for losing over 100 lbs.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Full . . .

When I was eating foods like that pictured above, I was constantly feeling the need to eat and eat and eat.  I craved vast amounts of sugar.  Binge eating was the norm.  I got sick and tired of eating so much and not feeling full.

Now, with Paleo, I do overeat.  But it may be an extra piece of beef, or some more veggies.  I don't usually snack after dinner, but I grabbed a bowl of grapes one night.  And once that is consumed, I am done.  I am full.  

Protein makes me full.  I would get these mixed messages that I should eat a high fiber diet because it would keep me full.  Well, I would eat a nice bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and jelly for breakfast at 7 a.m., and by 9 a.m., I was STARVING.  My belly would ache for more food.  I had protein in there; what's the deal?  

At 7 a.m. this morning, I had two eggs cooked in coconut oil, 1/2 an avocado and a banana.  I am full.  And I am not ravenously thinking about what to get for lunch.  Right now, I am thinking that I am too lazy to go out in this snow to get lunch.  

It may seem a bit bizarre to think that one should eat protein with good fats to lose weight.  Well, it is working for me.  I ate ribs on Sunday.  Thanks to my slow cooker, I had a couple of ribs for breakfast, ribs for lunch, and ribs for dinner.  I was uncomfortably full on Sunday evening.  That was my binge.  The next day, I proceeded to eat lighter.  I had one egg and fruit.  I had a salad with bacon and poached egg for lunch, and for dinner I had roasted root veggies, green beans with bacon, and chicken thighs with the skin.

I know what you are thinking, I am going to have a heart attack.  Maybe, but I am eating the same fats that we would consume with a grain diet, but my body is reacting much differently because I am grain free. And, I woke up this morning and weighed myself and was still at 197.  Does fat truly make you fat?  

I have not exercised because I have a cold. I am not even thinking about activity.  I am just thinking of how to vary the foods that I eat so I can have a variety of veggies with my meats.  I am thinking of what kinds of meats to cook, recipes, and whether I should slow cook or roast. 

I am feeling energetic even though I am very sick and miserable, but still happy.  Good fats can change your mood.  My body doesn't feel bad like it did when I had a pasta-palooza-fest happening daily.

How do you deal with binge days?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scale Steppin Saturday--197

I weighed in this morning and am down 1.1 lbs to 197 lbs. I am happy the scale is going down. With any weightloss there tends to be some desperation to drop the weight as fast as possible. I keep reminding myself that it took me over 13 years to gain this weight. It is not healthy to drop the weight so fast. I am not built that way. I also won't maintain the weight loss if I rush this process.

I am so happy to have found a program that works for me. This morning, I had one egg with banana and 1/4 of an avocado. For lunch, I had a salad with ahi tuna. We are going out to dinner and I will have the pork cutlet and ask for as much vegetables as I can. I am making better options all the time. I am very proud of that because I am not great at self control. I feel that I have much more control. Well, reasonably more control because I did have a root beer. But instead of 3 root beers at lunch, I had one, and then drank water for the rest of the meal. That is progress.

Okay, so more on this picture. You know when you have one image of yourself in your head and reality? Well, this is a shocking reality pic. This was taken during our trip to California. I was at the beginning of my Paleo lifestyle. I may have weighed in around 202-204. I don't look much different than this, but I want to use this as my "before" picture as a guide for future losses. I plan to take a picture when I reach 190. I don't have a goal date for reaching 190. I am just working toward accomplishing weekly goals to acheive loss. So far so good.

One difference between the "before photo" and present day, that belly is a little less bloated. I think this was the day after New Years when we ate out. It wasn't the best meal and I don't drink, but I was still reeling from eating out so much during our vacation. My belly is a bit flatter now, however, I do have muffin top on the sides now because I retain a lot of fat there. Oh, well.

Goals for Week of 16th:
  • Eat Paleo: no grains, no sugar, yada yada yada . . .
  • Drink Water all day long.
  • Exercise 5 times a week.
  • Take time to do something for myself that is reflective of my hard work.
When you've seen your before picture, does it match your self image or is it a shocking reality?  What part of you is most glaring in the before picture?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Coconut Oil's Benefits

Remember yesterday's post about my mother's preparing coconut oil and how that stopped 25 years ago because of her cholesterol?

I will be running to the store to stock up on coconut oil and put it in her coffee, lunch, dinner, and water bottle.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Elimination, Part II: Grains. . .

About 2 years ago, I wrote about my giving up dairy.  I gave up dairy because I've had a life long battle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  After one particularly horrible episode, I went to the doctor and she tested me for various things, one being gluten.  She didn't test me for dairy allergy or intolerance.  However, I later decided that dairy was the culprit after another incident where I had cereal with fresh milk and sat on the toilet most of the day with severe gastric pain.

I tested my body by eliminating milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream from daily consumption.  Immediately, I felt better.  Long gone were the gastric pains and gas that plagued me daily.  It was utterly embarrassing to have to run to the bathroom when out in public.  It caused undue anxiety and stress to leave my home and go to places unknown where I wouldn't know where a bathroom would be within a 50 yard radius.  However, I never gave up gluten because I wasn't intolerant.

It was hard, but easy.  Easy because you know your body is happier and is functioning better.  Hard because dairy is in many things we Americans eat; from baked goods to processed food that was prepared with dairy or in facilities that use dairy in other preparation--contamination is present.  I had to be more diligent in reading labels.  I learned to substitute dairy products like almond, coconut or soy products.  I am okay with this.

Summer of 2011, I had an allergy test with a new physician (allergist).  He tested me for a milk allergy.  I tested positive.  I went from being intolerant to allergic.  That was news that relieved me.  That testing helped me give it up for good, for the rest of my life.

I had gluten testing after my horrible episode in 2010, but the result was negative for gluten intolerance.  I was okay with that.  I had tried to put my autistic son on a gluten free diet and found that completely impossible because the 3 things he cares to eat are comprised of gluten: pasta, mac and cheese, and tortillas.  Going gluten free, and going gluten alternative, is expensive.  Those chain supermarkets are thriving because of gluten, dairy alternatives and organic options.  I wasn't financially prepared to make such changes.  And let's face it, I don't have the mental or physical fortitude to eliminate something from my child's diet.

I decided to go Paleo for me because I just felt that the more gluten and sugary things I eat, the more I crave, the more I have to have, actually have in excess, and the more I gain.  Eliminating an ingredient that is in everything processed was hard at first.  However, reading blogs such as Mark's Daily Apple, Everyday Paleo, watching the documentaries Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Fat Head made me realize that there is a disconnect with our consumption of dairy and wheat and our true genetic makeup.  Most specifically, a video from Fat Head gave me a complete picture as to why I was fat.

The Paleo/Primal movement states that all of us should not eat grains because our bodies are not genetically capable of metabolizing grains, I say that in my case that is true.  [I am not pushing this as a lifestyle change for you, the reader, but these are my reasons for ME] My parents are from the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.  Both my grandparents were farmers.  I was raised by my mother.  When I was a kid, my mother had a diet high in saturated fats and lots of veggies and fruit.  My earliest memory was of both of us processing coconuts in the kitchen so we could use the oil for cooking and for skin care.  She saved the bacon grease for other meals.  Avocados were our favorite.  Still is to this day.  We had meat daily and we ate white rice (not so Paleo/Primal), root vegetables, stews, liver, coconut oil, etc because that was her diet growing up.  I didn't consume wheat from breads, cookies, cakes until I started elementary school and usually, I didn't eat it.

I would often skip lunch at school because my mother had leftovers for me at the babysitter's apartment. My family's diet did not consist of whole grains and sugar until my mom was introduced to the "American Diet" by her doctors and I consumed them at school.  My IBS became a really big problem in college where my diet went all grains, all the time.  I ate pizza, sandwiches, pasta.  Those were the things most readily available in college.  I was overloading on them.  Hindsight is 20/20, so I now can connect my IBS with an increased consumption of gluten.  I lived in fear of soiling myself when I went out with friends, so my first year of college, I didn't really go out and away from the dorms.

In the 80s, when my mother was diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol, her diet was forced to change to be high fiber from whole grains and to take medication.  My mother gained weight and has been on cholesterol and high blood pressure medication for over 25 years.  We did everything that conventional medicine, medication, and diets required of us, yet, I am obese and my mother now has Alzheimer's.  And I can wholeheartedly say that I believe there is a connection to her medication and diet to the Alzheimer's she is suffering from now.  I am sure there is genetic issues too, but exacerbated by diet and medication.

Just recently when my mother's doctor diagnosed her with Alzheimer's, he told me that it is passed down from the mother.  He also said that Alzheimers is derived from diabetes that is affecting the Latino population in increased numbers, and is in essence considered Type III diabetes.  My mother does not have diabetes and has never been treated for it, but I can't get it out of my mind that her diabetes may have manifested into Alzheimer's.  Diet is a big factor to Type II diabetes.  Insulin is the connection with diabetes.  Insulin levels go up with sugar.  Grains, as carbohydrates, convert to sugar in our bodies (watch that video), so our bodies are working hard to metabolize that carb and essentially converts it to fat or spikes our insulin levels where our bodies are just not capable of catching up and healing.  Americans consume copious amounts of sugar from processed foods and drinks.  It is a cycle of nutritional abuse.

My goal is to give myself a fighting chance at staving off Alzheimer's for as long as possible.  I am eating significantly better.  I am exercising.  I am keeping my mind fit and active.  And if I can possibly and eternally stay off of grains and reap benefits, then I will do so.  However, I can't say that this is forever because grains and sugar are everywhere and highly tempting.  But the benefits I've had from foregoing grains and sugar, like clearer skin from adult acne, redness/inflammation on my face and reduction in asthma symptoms without use of medication, lead me to believe that I can maintain this elimination permanently.

Have you ever given up a food group, and if so, why and how did it change your life?

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I weighed in this morning. Saturdays, since being on Weight Watchers while in law school, is my official weigh in day. After 1 month on the Paleo Diet with some exercise, I've lost over 8 lbs. I was teetering up and down the scale before officially committing to Paleo after the holidays and before the new year, so a true measure of my weight is not possible. My initial goal when starting this blog was to get below 200 lbs. I wanted to get to pre-third-baby-weight, which was 198 and then to pre-husband weight which is 150.  I finally feel like I am on my way to pre-husband weight.

Well, after 3 years since having Lootie, I've finally reached my first goal. I am relieved. I am giddy. I am ready to conquer the world. Truthfully, I am just happy to be able to be out of the 200s. I feel like the Biggest Loser.

But now that I've accomplished my first goal of getting out of the 200s, I have been thinking about the next goal. I am now taking the weight loss in 10 lb increments, or is that reductions(?). Well, in this case, I have 8.1 lbs to lose until my next goal. I want to get down to 190 lbs. How will I accomplish that loss?


  • continue eating Paleo: no grains, no white stuff, no sugar (not even honey, maple syrup, or stevia, no caffeine, no alcohol (I've never been a drinker)
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Eat leaner meats and go organic, grass fed, so I can reduce the amount of hormones and unnatural feeding of cows, pigs, and chickens.
  • cook more often at home.  I am considering buying a Sous Vide.  I will be buying a slow cooker next week, so I can ensure to cook while I am at work.  I hate the rushing around like a mad woman when I get home with 3 little ones and Nana; asking me a million questions and wanting a lot more of me than I can give.  The protein will be done, and I just then have to worry about the sides.
  • Kettlebell/Plyometric Tabatas (KPT):  at least 3 times a week.  I wrote up 4 routines that include 4 sets of kettlebells and plyometrics.  I want to master the kettlebell, so I can increase the weight.  Building strong muscles is important in Paleo or in any lifestyle because of the fat burn while at rest.
  • Cardio: use my machines at least 4 times a week as a supplement to the KPT workouts or instead of the KPT program.
  • Do a cardio video 2 times a week, so I don't feel guilty about the fact that I've abandoned them for KPT.
  • Use my pedometer to ensure that I get 10000 steps a day when at "rest".  The sedentary lifestyle of an attorney is not good for my bottom.
Self Care:
  • Taking time to be still and present with myself.  I want to be able to go to bed when I am tired and not up and awake for others.  I want to read a book, if my mind would cooperate, and not multitasking a million things.
  • Doing spa treatments or massage as rewards for losses and continued commitment, so that I don't turn to food as a reward.
  • Keep going to therapy to work through my "issues" that have caused me to gain weight over the years so that I may finally adopt this eating Paleo and exercise as a way of life for the rest of my life.  
  • Not turn to food as a crutch for my emotions.  Think through every forkful and every meal.  Food is not comfort; it is for fuel.
I plan to post a few times a week because I have a lot to say about this process.  I am sure many of you are thinking that depriving oneself of a complete food category is unsustainable (I'll have a post about that), but I stopped consuming milk over 2 years ago because it hurt me, and I am going to do it with grains and sugar because they hurt me too.

How do you reward yourself when you've reached a goal?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cravings . . . are gone.

I've gone Paleo for the last 4 weeks (off and on).  However, I just returned from vacation and have lost weight.  Even with eating out daily doses of decadent food, I've lost weight.  I won't reveal the number just yet, so as to ensure that it is all really happening.  

Before Paleo, by the end of everyday, all I ever wanted was a nice sugary latte with soy and a large cookie.  It was my comfort.  It truly enveloped me in a warm hug and made me feel calm and collected.  For about 2 weeks in November 2011, I ate it every day.  It was an addiction.  It was all consuming.  I was stuffing myself with gluten and sugar.  And it was calling me often; like crack or dope.  I knew that I needed to stop the binge.

In the last week, I made the choice to not eat any grains and occasionally partake in desserts that were grain free.  And there were times when I didn't eat the dessert, even when it was a flourless cake that was so decadent and divine that I could've died and gone to heaven.  

Do I miss it?  No.  Not really.  I never really liked pasta.  I am not a big bread fan, but I did like baking it.  I don't crave the saucer sized, toll house cookie.  I am fine living without the sugary latte with soy.  I feel better.  I have more energy.  I don't need it anymore.  It isn't calling my name.  And I am saving money in the end too.

I woke up this morning at 5:40 a.m. and did a short Tabata workout.  Tabata is interval training for 30 seconds each: Low Impact (30 sec) and High Impact (30 sec) for 2 repetitions and a 30 second rest in between sets; there were 4 sets of exercises.  I wrote up an interval training program: Low impact is my Kettlebells (around the body or bent over row) exercise for 30 seconds and High Impact (plyometrics, like jumping jacks or skaters) was 30 seconds, for example.  I did 4 exercises at 2 repetitions each.  It was about a 10 minute workout routine in total.  I then supplemented cardio with 10 minutes on spin bike.  That is all the time I had.  I felt great afterwards.  

I had a nice breakfast of two eggs cooked in bacon fat (yes, bacon fat) with pineapples as a side.  It sure beats having cereal with milk, or oatmeal with milk, or a bagel.  I then sauteed spinach in bacon fat with shallots and garlic, which was for lunch.  I had saved pieces of pork loin that I roasted last night.  I added green beans too.  For dessert, grapes; that is how I get the sweet.  After a long morning meeting, when I entered my office, I had an unexpected meeting.  I didn't get to snack on my yogurt.  I ate lunch much later than usual, but I wasn't hungry like I would've been on a conventional eating plan.  

For my afternoon snack, I had a yogurt with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, which will keep me full while I cook dinner for the 6 of us.  So while the cravings are gone, I am still working hard to make the choice to eat Paleo.  It is a struggle, but one that I'm willing to make.

On a side, benefit note, I realized last night, while reading a fitness magazine where the fitness model stopped eating gluten and no longer was on a steroid inhaler, that I've not used my steroid inhaler that I've used twice daily for the last 9 years in the last week since leaving for vacation.  I don't even know where I packed it.  I have not felt wheezy or short of breath in a couple of weeks.  I am thinking there is definitely a connection to gluten and my acute asthma.  Food for thought.

What do you do to combat cravings?