Tag Archives: weight loss

Going Vegan… For A Little While

So, I’ve decided to try being a vegan for a couple of weeks.

One thing that’s kind of awesome and remarkable is that I’m announcing this on World Vegan Day.

I had absolutely no idea that this was the case when I planned my start date. I actually started this way of eating yesterday (On Halloween, no less! This meant no candy! I think that’s a good thing.), but whatever, I’m announcing it today. I’m happy to say that it totally agrees with me so far. I mean, yea, it’s only been a day and a half now, but my body seems happy and therefore, so am I.

Why just two weeks? Well, I was originally considering doing a 30 Day Vegan Challenge, but then I decided not to lock myself in for Thanksgiving, especially since I’ll be hosting a potluck and it just seems to me that being vegan would be really difficult ina situation like that — especially for a newbie like myself. Also, I just want to see how my body reacts to this lifestyle and I think two weeks is about enough time to see how I’m feeling. So, I guess what I’m saying is… we’ll just see what happens.

Anyway, I wanted to write a little bit about what brought me to this decision.

1) I wanted a change.

2) I’ve been gaining weight from surgery, inactivity and poorer eating habits than usual, so I needed a change.

3) I practically already eat like a vegetarian anyway. A switch to being a vegetarian wouldn’t have been that much of a change for me. I already barely ever eat meat.

4) I respond really well to structure.

5) I read this post on Janetha’s blog and realized that, since I pretty much subsist (protein-wise) on eggs, cheese and yogurt, taking these elements out of my diet might be something to which my body would respond positively.

6) I don’t like fad diets. In the change I so sorely needed, I wanted to be on a diet that really focused on fruits and vegetables, not on foods I don’t particularly like to eat (like meat). At the same time, I wanted it to be something that would be different for me. This is a good compromise.

So far (one day in), I’m finding it fairly easy. The only thing I’ve really struggled with at all is breakfast, since that’s a time I nearly always depend on yogurt.

I’ve had fairly high energy and feel really… clean. As of day two, I’m a big fan. I don’t know if this is something I’ll be able to stick with because I love love love eggs, cheese and dairy, but maybe this will just be a good way to help me cut down on those staples.

We’ll see. But I’m happy doing this right now.

For all of my vegan friends out there: any tips?

 

Advertisements

14 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Food Diary, Day One

I think I’m kind of happy to be doing this, which surprises me. It keeps me on track!

Breakfast

Yogurt bowl! Yay!

  • Vanilla 0% Chobani
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Nut Granola
  • Ground Blueberry Flaxseed

Grande Americano with two inches of steamed soy milk, two Splendas and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Lunch

Salad. Yummy Salad.

  • Bed of Romaine
  • Baby Bell Peppers
  • Yellow Grape Tomatoes
  • Feta
  • Lentils
  • Cucumber
  • Three Cheese Balsamic Vinaigrette

And for lunch dessert, grapes!

Snack

Unpictured handful of trail mix. Eaten about 30 minutes before my workout.

Dinner

Really good. Really easy. It says it’s 2.5 70-calorie servings but I easily ate the entire thing as a meal. I’m kind of completely okay with it. I cooked it in coconut oil and added soy sauce.

Consumed immediately after working out.

Dessert

About a cup of frozen pineapple and mango.

I forgot to take a picture (I’m out of the habit!), so I just took a picture of the bags. That works too, right? Totally.

I also had another small handful of pecans when I got a bit hungry later.

Workout

60 minutes kickboxing. It was amazing.

Alright, that was day one! How’d I do?

5 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

One of Those Healthy Living Blogs

I’ve tried roughly a thousand “fresh starts” in the past year. I’ve half-attempted roughly a thousand diets. It’s been a weird year. I feel like I keep losing sight of who I am and what healthy ideals I believe in.

The truth is, ever since I stopped being able to run because I tore my meniscus, I’ve been battling my weight and I’ve been facing an internal battle over how I define what healthy means to me.

When I was running, it was a lot easier to maintain my weight and I knew what healthy meant to me because I never wanted to eat anything that didn’t fuel my runs or keep me in running shape. But when I stopped being able to run, I stopped remembering to eat for my body. For the past year or so, I’ve been eating a lot of things I shouldn’t be eating. I’ve reverted to habits I don’t believe in.

When I stopped being able to run, I also stopped being able to do all other high-impact activity. When you consider what that means in relation to my caveman-slow metabolism, you’ll understand that it’s been exceedingly difficult to keep my weight down.

Add to those factors my habit of volume-eating (a result of both my childhood and the fact that I really needed that much food when I was running) and it gets worse.

Add to all of this that most of my social events revolve around drinking. Alcohol is not friendly to waistlines.

And finally, add to everything else that I am something of an emotional eater at times and that I’ve been frustrated about my limitations for about a year now. All of that frustration has lead to an excess of emotional eating.

When you put all of this together, well, it’s no mystery why my weight has crept up.

To be clear, it’s not like I’m out of control. It’s just that, with my metabolism, every day I’m not absolutely perfect is a day in which the battle with my weight is something to contend with.

Anyway, there is a point to this ramble. And the point is this: today, I am attempting another fresh start. I’m hoping that this one will stick because I’ve designed it myself. I designed it around my strengths and weaknesses. And I designed in in ideals that really matter to me. I’m not following any fad diet, but instead focusing on what I think fuels my body in the best and healthiest way.

My self-appointed guidelines:

  • Every meal must involve a fruit and/or vegetable and a protein.
  • I don’t plan to eat a ton of poultry and meat, but I do want to keep my protein high. Due to both my budget and my taste preferences, I tend to gravitate toward vegetarianism. So, I might as well plan for my main protein sources to be beans, eggs, tofu, tempeh, nuts, yogurt and fish.
  • Snacks will involve only fruits, vegetables, hummus and nuts/ nut butters.
  • No grains for a while. I don’t think my body responds well to them. I’ll bring oats and quinoa (well, quinoa is technically a seed anyway, not a grain) in when I feel it’s time.
  • No added sugar except in some sauces/dressings, yogurts, and the occasional protein bar. The truth is, these items are staples in my diet and are too convenient, too often used, and healthy enough that I don’t think it’s realistic to decide to keep them out.
  • I will allow myself one night of drinking per week.
  • I will make sure I’m drinking enough water.
  • I will have a dessert after every lunch and dinner because I know I like to end on sweet notes. However, these desserts will consist of fruit after lunch and tea after dinner.
  • I will work out 5-6 days a week (no change from the usual, but I wanted to write it down) unless my knee interferes with this plan.
  • If I feel like emotionally eating, I will distract myself with something else.
  • I will remind myself that there is a difference between “listening to my body” and eating chocolate because I feel like it.
  • I will remember that this is what makes me happy.
  • I will keep myself accountable.

It’s this last point that will particularly affect the blog for a little while. I would really appreciate it if you guys would let me be a little self-indulgent here on KWH. For… let’s say two weeks (that seems like enough to make it a habit but not too long that it will be annoying)… I will make this something of a food diary. I’ll post a picture of every single meal and snack I eat.

I’ll also blog about other things, too. It’ll just feel like one of those daily healthy living blogs for a little while! The kind I started out as. 🙂

What do you guys think? Is that alright with you? And what do you think of my guidelines?

15 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Guest Post: Coming Out and Getting Healthy

I have another guest post for you guys!

This post is really close to my heart and it’s one that my friend Mac and I have been going back and forth about for a while. I normally only give guest posts a once-over and/ or a couple of editing suggestions, but this one mattered so much to me that I wanted Mac to perfect it.

The thing is, Mac has a wonderful writing style. He’s full of snark, very funny, and very honest. And I love that — but I also had to make the post not only grandma-friendly (hi, Grandma!) but also KWH-friendly. Mac has a way with words that shocks, so there were some things I had to ask him to edit. So, in all fairness, I want you to know that I did some editing of this post myself.

I tell you all of this because I really encourage you to go check his blog out, and specifically the first post he gave me over a month ago, which I asked him to try again. I just want to make sure you’re warned. I also ask that if you think that you might be easily triggered in any kind of eating disorder sort of way, you have a good sense of what you can handle and check it out with that in mind. That being said, he’s hilarious, I love his blog, and I want you to check it out. But, you know, do that after you read his post here. 🙂

When you’re in the closet for 21 years of your life, you have a lot of time to eat. Like, lots of time. And there are a lot of good cakes out there.

When I was younger, from about seven to fourteen, I was super athletic. During those years of my life I participated in all sorts of activities, from recreational baseball leagues to competitive gymnastics. I even won the Best in State All Around gold medal for my age group in Washington.

Yeah, I was pretty hard core. And I looked good in my leotard. Real good.

But then, as life went on, I quit gymnastics and stopped playing baseball. While all my friends, who were pudgy children, got healthier, leaner, and grew into their bodies, I reverted. I stopped exercising, stopped eating healthily, and all-around stopped caring about my physique.

Why? At the time I honestly wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer, but that’s the great thing about 20/20 hindsight.

It was also around this time (7th-8th grade) that my friends started having boyfriends and girlfriends. My first girlfriend was in 7th grade. I’ve always been small and younger-looking for my age, so lots of people mistook her for my babysitter, which was probably the most awkward thing ever. But as soon as my friends and I started dating, I started schlubbin’ it up. And from 7th grade until I graduated from college, I’d be an unhealthy, binge-drinking slob. (Okay, granted, I didn’t start drinking until high school, but you get the idea.)

But, once again, why? Short answer: GAY!!!! (dun dun dun!!)

Inside my Pillsbury Dough Boy of a body (in my stature, coloring, and actual doughy quality), I was quite the homosexual. But for some reason I decided I didn’t want anyone to know that, so I sat quietly in my closet and ate pizza, cakes, and French fries. Pretty much, if it was deep fried and/or covered in frosting, it was usually in my face.

Hey, here’s a tangent: a lot people ask me when I knew I was gay. Truth is, I have no idea when it was. No light bulb went off. No gay switch was flipped. I probably realized I was gay the same way you realized you were straight. Through puberty.

But what was I saying? Oh yeah. I was a hot, slobby mess. Here’s proof!

I wish I could say this was a Halloween party, and that I went as a Ninja Turtle.

Death by mozzarella sticks.

Oh, man. My now-out self is ashamed of my closeted past. What as I thinking?? I was never gonna get any action looking like that.

Aha! We’re onto something here. I don’t know if this goes for a lot of closet cases, but for me, looking like an Oompa Loompa’s ugly step-cousin was actually a defense mechanism, both psychologically and physically. It kept the ladies far, far away so I wouldn’t have to have those awkward physical encounters with them (some like to refer to it as “sexual intercourse” or “coitus” or “doing the nasty”). It also made me look and act more like a “dude.” Extrapolating the sloppy, gross college boy stereotype fed my denial about the whole situation, as did pretending to not like pop music or skinny jeans.

(Just to be perfectly clear: it was never my friends or family that were reinforcing the idea that heterosexuality was the correct sexual identity. It’s our culture in general: from homosexuality not being taught in sex ed. classes to not having many gay role models on television to using the word “gay” and “fag” as derogatory terms. In fact, there was no reason for me to hide it from anyone. For the most part, I was hiding it from myself.)

Then, sophomore year of college, I had my first man kiss. That was pretty much when the denial stage ended. Obviously this was something that I couldn’t avoid forever. I experimented some more, went off to Italy to study abroad, learned a lot about myself, then came back to live with college friend (whom I give a lot of credit for this next part) and her family for the summer in order to complete an internship. It was then that it hit me: I needed to come out, for frick sakes!

As I started coming out, I naturally started losing weight, as if I was taking off a disguise. I’d been playing dress up for twenty-one years, and I was finally taking the costume off piece by piece. It wasn’t simply saying the words out loud, but actually embracing the fact that I was gay rather than trying to hide it that helped me lose weight. I started making conscious decisions about what I ate, I started exercising, and I even started listening to pop music!

Happiness does play a huge factor in weight struggles and body issues. The happier I got, the healthier I became.

That makes it sound easy. I did do a lot of sweating. Lets speed this up with some bullets:

  • I graduated a semester early (the semester I came out) and moved away. This was an important time for me because I left my college friends behind for a few months and focused on getting my life on track.
  • I started exercising every day. Went on runs, danced in my room, push ups, sit ups, resistance training… you name it. Anything I could do that was free, I probably did it.
  • I stopped. Eating. Shit.
  • I stopped. Drinking. Shit.
  • I went to bed at reasonable times. I’m not sure how much sleep directly affects weight loss, but it definitely gave me a lot more energy during the day to get off the couch. Also, I didn’t have cable or internet. Physical activity was my only option.

All those things helped me lose weight. Another big motivation behind my transformation was dating! Before I used my body to scare people away, but now I wanted to attract people. I started an OKCupid online profile and used it as motivation to keep up my healthy regimen. I needed a hot profile pic! (Not one of those skanky half-naked ones, but at least one where I didn’t look like Chuckie Finster from Rugrats if he’d grown up to be a homeless drunk.)

And there you have it. Now, two years later, I’m happier and healthier than ever. I hit the gym almost every day (sometimes twice!), I keep a close eye on what I eat, I manage to imbibe only on the weekends (mostly… oh and holidays!), and I generally care about my appearance and emotional wellbeing.

I’ve got twenty-one years of me time that I have to catch up on.

5 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Guest Post: The Impulse Buy That Changed My Life

Hey guys! I have here a fourth installment of my guest post series. I am in love with this post about Claire’s Healthy Tipping Point. It reminds me a lot of mine — one day, Claire just started working out and never looked back. I also really love how Claire and I found each other — she and I have two friends in common (one from childhood and one from grad school, for me!), and through them, Claire found my blog. In fact, one of those friends was my last guest poster… the other Claire! The Claire posting today has been a regular reader and commenter on KWH and I now feel as though we’ve forged our own friendship through the internet. I love stuff like that. Blogs are awesome. Enjoy Claire’s beautiful post below!

This is the story of how I lost 65 lbs by watching DVDs.

I spent most of my life being overweight.  I never understood what it meant to feel full or satisfied by food. I ate whatever I wanted, often secretly buying junk food and hiding it in my room. I even remember getting up in the middle of the night, making a batch of cookie dough and eating it by myself. Not my proudest moment.  At 16 years old I had chest pain, couldn’t walk upstairs without getting winded and had zero self-esteem.

I was constantly embarrassed and angry at the world (aka myself) but didn’t know how to change. I ate to avoid feelings, and felt ashamed because I was overeating. Enter the addictive cycle of food and shame.  By the time I reached junior year of high school I was close to 200 lbs at only 5’3”.

Things started to change my senior year when someone recommended I try Weight Watchers. We enrolled as a family and for the first time in my life I felt I had some control over my weight. I started to understand portion control and the value of healthy foods. I lost some weight, but soon gained it back. I tried again in college and lost significantly more, but I yo-yoed and by a year after graduation I had gained it all back again.

I knew how to eat healthy but I didn’t exercise.  As a result I had nothing to fall back on when I fell off the diet wagon. It was definitely the all-or-nothing mentality Kaitlin has talked about on her blog. I was either dieting or pigging out for weeks *cough* months at a time.

About 2 years ago an impulse-buy changed my life. I saw an easy work-out DVD while waiting in line at TJ-Maxx, (they stack the queues with little items like that on purpose…), and bought it on a whim. I got up the next morning and did the video before work.  I loved the extra energy it gave me and it kept me motivated to eat right throughout the day. I’ve been working out every morning ever since and now have a collection of about 20+ DVDs. I don’t need to spend money on a gym membership; I just grab some hand weights and sometimes an exercise ball. I rotate my favorites depending on my mood and what I feel my body needs that day.  The variety of DVDs means I can focus on cardio, strength or combine the two.

The first DVD I bought at TJ Maxx: Shape Cardio: Bikini Body All Year Round

The DVDs also allowed me to exercise in the morning, something I’d NEVER thought possible for me. I’ve found that starting the day with an endorphin boost is addictive. I even started eating breakfast, which I hadn’t done in about 10 years, because working out made me hungry!

I love that I don’t have to drive anywhere and I don’t have to look pretty.  I can just roll out of bed, throw on whatever I want and jump around my living room. Doesn’t matter if I look like an idiot because no one’s watching!

My previous attempts at weight loss failed because I just wanted to be thin, but I didn’t care about being strong. Now my whole outlook on exercise and food has changed.  I want to be strong and healthy, food is fuel and exercise feels oh.so.good. Now if I overindulge, instead of falling back into the endless cycle of food and shame, I just get up the next day, pop in an exercise DVD and it puts me right back on the wagon.

A selection of my favorite DVDs:

If you are interested in trying out any DVDs I suggest just looking around Amazon, reading user reviews and getting what seems right for you.The next evolution of my exercise journey has been yoga. It has been so great for keeping my body strong, muscles flexible, joints open and mind calm. I go at least twice a week and even completed 30 days of yoga in preparation for my wedding last month. I never would have gone to a group class before, I would have felt too embarrassed, but working out at home allowed me to increase my fitness level before venturing out in public.

It only took me 15 years, but I finally found something that works for me.

Life is good.

11 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Guest Post: On “The Chubbening”

Hey guys! Here’s the second installment of my series of requested guest posts. This post comes from one of my favorite friends from college and I just know you are going to love it and him!

Hi, my name’s Ryan. Kaitlin and I went to college together. We had a lot of classes together and I love her to pieces. When Kaitlin put out the call for guest bloggers I offered to write her a little something about my own experiences with weight loss and healthy living.

(FYI if you ever meet Kaitlin in real life be sure to mention how much you love Beauty and the Beast, she’ll dig it.)

I like to eat and I gain weight very easily.

These two traits have made my life rather difficult. If it was just one or the other I think I could’ve really cruised. If I’m honest with myself I admit that the latter is really most likely caused by the former: if you list “eating an entire sleeve of Oreos” as a hobby on Facebook you can only avoid loosening the belt for so long.

I first gained weight when I was in middle school. At the time I was doing theater and was really into Star Wars, so getting glasses and gaining weight just seemed inevitable. Albertsons, the grocery store in South Florida, had a $4.99 8-piece fried chicken deal that was, without hyperbole, my favorite thing on Earth.

(source)

Nothing, not my family, not my friends, not the fact that Rachel Goldberg and Allison Alt had started to grow boobs could compare with the feeling I got when I’d ask my Mom if we could stop off before home and return to the TV room triumphant. What exactly I’d triumphed over was unclear (healthy eating? common sense? living to a ripe old age?).

(source)

Was I eating because I was unhappy? Maybe, but I was 13; everyone is unhappy, not everyone consumes half a birthday cake just because they’re bored. I had a pretty normal childhood, we moved around a lot but other than that my parents loved each other, I had friends, I just really liked eating. Perhaps I was trying to fill something up in myself, perhaps I just never understood the consequences but whatever the reason I got big.

That changed in high school when I went out for the track team. What began as a desire to kill some time between 3pm  – 5pm and bulk up the activities resume became one of my favorite things about high school. I wasn’t a spectacular runner (the term “passable” is probably a good way to think about it) but I made a lot of good friends and running helped me shave off most of the excess weight I’d been carrying around and sped up my metabolism so that I could eat a lot and wouldn’t really feel the consequences. I slimmed down which was great for me because I was really into punk rock and the tight t-shirt look was in.

Artist’s rendering of what I looked like while running

Unfortunately the transition from high school to college taught me one extremely important lesson: a bad habit always catches up with you. When I was running competitively I ate like a runner: lots of carbohydrates, large quantities of food before and after races but since I was usually running it off my fascination with junk food, intact since my fat kid days, never really affected me.

That changed in college. I stopped running, also stopped doing any exercise of any kind but still ate like a marathoner. It didn’t help that I gained a reputation as something of a party animal/eating machine. Numerous students at Connecticut College at the beginning of the 21st century will remember me as the guy who ate 50 Chicken Mcnuggets in one sitting or the guy who ate 12 lobsters at our school’s lobster night (I had a lot of vegetarian friends). Before long I’d started gaining weight again but, to my detriment I had no idea how much I’d gained.

Generally my fighting weight is around 185lbs – 195lbs (I’m 6’ 2”). I knew I’d gained weight but since I didn’t have a scale I had no idea how much I weighed. However I was on Spring Break in Louisville, Kentucky visiting a friend and we went to the Kentucky Derby museum. While there I saw a scale at an exhibit on jockeys. The exhibit explained that jockeys generally weigh between 120lbs – 140lbs and invited us to weigh ourselves to see if we could make it as a jockey (The exhibit seemed geared at children but whatever, I was in a new city). I stood on the scale. To my horror it informed me I was a cetacean 240 lbs. I had thought I was a jockey carrying his saddle, in reality I was a jockey who had eaten another jockey.

Pictured: Myself Junior year of college, standing hungrily with my friend Tim (I’m on the right..you know, in case you can’t tell)

This was too much. I’d be used to being described as “big” or “stocky” since I’m just built that way, but this was different. This was fat. I was a fat guy. The line had been drawn in the sand: on one side, cake and ice cream; on the other, feeling good about myself, not needing to nap after lunch and being attractive to women who meet my impossibly high standards. It was a hard choice (especially when I figured out you can put cookies ON cake) but I eventually decided I was too young and just too damn handsome to be out of shape (both were later confirmed by several female relatives and people who agreed to go to the dance with me “just as friends”).

Pictured: The Enemy

(source)

I began the long, slow journey towards being in shape. It’s hard, especially if you’re really out of shape. Where once I could breeze through a six mile run, now I wheezed and coughed and croaked my through three.  I endured the humiliation of asking the dude who ran the fitness center where the 10lbs. dumb bells were. I did yoga and when the woman asked me to put my legs behind my head I passed out. I ate salad.

In time the weight began to go away. It was gradual. I didn’t wake up one day and was suddenly thin. There were relapses (the occasional late night Wendy’s run, housing a box of Oreos whilst watching Gremlins etc.) but in time the weight faded. 240 lbs. because 200 lbs. I graduated college and started training for a 5k. 200 lbs. became 190 lbs. I started doing a lifting routing I’d read in a magazine, 190 lbs. became 180 lbs. I felt lean, lost the X in my XL shirts, could answer the front door without a water break, life was good.

Pictured: Me achieving my fitness goal of loosening the sword in the stone for some lucky child to remove right after me…whatever that thing’s rigged anyways

It’s not easy, there are days when my commitment to not consuming entire racks of ribs for old times’ sake is truly tested, but I must say that by and large, I wouldn’t change the way I feel for the way I felt for all of the Snyder’s Pretzels in the Shaw’s snack food aisle.

I still struggle with my weight. It’s hard, because I love to eat, and don’t particularly like to exercise. Still, from my journeys from big to, well, less big I’ve learned some important lessons:

  1. Just do it – I can’t stress this enough. It’s very easy to decide to get healthy and then set a date in the future. Making lifestyle changes is hard and must be made gradually. Just throw on the gym shorts and go outside. If you get really tired on a run, walk a bit and then work on making sure you don’t stop. Nobody begins anything as an expert, you need to build up to it. The sooner you start though, the sooner you’ll be great.
  2. Identify the things that make you want to eat – People have triggers about food. For me it’s TV. Watching TV, especially in marathon form makes me want to eat. Think about the times you snack and figure out a way to combat it. For me it’s just sheer boredom, or a desire to do something with my hands. As a result I try to have my computer nearby, or have my phone so I can keep myself busy without going to was on my emergency stash of Cape Cod chips.
  3. Be social – For me the best motivation is that I work out with friends. I also like to engage in a little friendly competition. My friend Jon and I are in a race to see who can bench 300lbs. first. Neither of us are sure how this got started but we’re both totally committed to it.
  4. Remember you are hot, you’re just getting hotter – Seriously, look at you!

Is he great, or what?

12 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

South Beach Diet Phase One Revelations

So, South Beach Diet, Phase One. How did it go?

Well, in short: really, really well. In fact, incredibly.

Why? Well — and be prepared to laugh a little bit — it brought me right back to the original reason I started this blog. Those two weeks made me realize that I really do have some legitimate sensitivities to refined sugar and/ or flour.

Maybe I’m not allergic, maybe I’m not intolerant, maybe I’m not Celiac, and maybe I don’t have anything that can be officially diagnosed. Maybe, in terms of what doctors can tell me, there’s nothing wrong with me. After all, if there’s one thing I learned as we experimented with potential diagnosis after potential diagnosis, it’s that my body acts fairly inconsistently. Cake would sometimes make me feel ill but a beer would often make me feel better (I’m actually telling the truth there, convenient as it may sound).

But, here’s the thing — in those two weeks without flour and sugar, the following things happened:

  • I had more energy
  • I slept better
  • I lost 10 – yes, ten! – pounds (and more since)
  • My skin cleared

But the two really important things:

1. I stopped getting sick all the time.

I know I haven’t written in months and months about being sick on a regular basis from food, but I definitely still was. There just wasn’t any point in writing about it anymore since nothing was changing (I mean, yawn, right?). But I’ll tell you this — in a lot of ways, it controlled my life.

To me, there can be no clearer message from the last two weeks than the absence of feeling sick every day in conjunction with my two weeks without sugar or flour. Diagnosable or not, refined sugar and/or flour simply don’t seem to agree with me.

2. My knee started hurting less.

I’m not even kidding.

Did you know that refined sugar and flour are inflammatory foods? Well, I didn’t. When I started noticing how much less pain I was in, I brought it up to my mom and she filled me in on this little tidbit. So, I did some research, and… she was right! (Aren’t moms always right? It’s so annoying.)

Here are a few links for you, if you’re interested in learning more:

Inflammation and Diet: Inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Top 10 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid Like the Plague

List of Anti-Inflammatory Food

Isn’t that interesting? Anyway, my knee is hardly healed, but it’s been remarkably better for the past few weeks and I have no interest in consuming anything that will undo that improvement.

So, for the rest of the summer, I’m conducting an experiment. I am (for the most part) cutting refined sugar and white/ wheat flour.

Fortunately, other things often related to Celiac disease — like soy sauce and bulgur, for instance — haven’t bothered me. So, for now, I’m just experimenting with flour. And I’m fortunate not to have to be crazy about it. Small amounts don’t seem to bug me much. So, while I’m carefully reading menus and labels, I’m also not forced to quiz waiters or read every single ingredient in everything I eat.

Meanwhile, I’m gradually adding other things that were cut on the South Beach Diet back in one at a time to see how my body reacts. Something of an elimination diet, if you will. I’ve already added all fruit and any vegetables that were excluded on the SBD back into my diet (in phase one, corn, carrots, potatoes and beets were off limits).

In the next few weeks, I’m thinking I’ll try the following (in no particular order):

  • honey (how appropriate)
  • pure maple syrup
  • agave (I’ll try it. The jury’s still out.)
  • brown rice syrup (I just bought some. I’ve never tried it! I’m interested.)
  • Sucanat (Ditto to brown rice syrup on both counts.)
  • almond flour
  • oats/ oat flour
  • garbanzo flour
  • coconut flour
  • other whole grains (quinoa, millet, brown rice, etc.)

Anyway, I just bought a few of books to help me through this process.

1) The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam

(source)

2) Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes From My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson

(source)

Ironically, both of the above are by fellow bloggers. The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook is by the blogger behind Elana’s Pantry and Super Natural Every Day is by the blogger behind 101 Cookbooks.

Well, maybe not so ironically. I wanted cookbooks full of simple recipes that called for the whole foods that I believe in (so, for instance, I didn’t bother with books that called for artificial sweeteners). I follow both of their blogs, so obviously I believe in the stuff they make, eat and write about!

In fact, Super Natural Every Day is not a gluten- or sugar-free cookbook — it just has lots of great recipes that fit the bill.

And finally…

3) Get The Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman

(source)

This book is helpful simply in terms of learning more about sugar. The tips are kind of common sense, but the first few chapters, which explain why sugar isn’t good for us, are interesting.

Anyway, I think this is going to be fun, healthy, and exciting. I’m mostly excited about eating whole foods and whole foods only. I am so not planning on doing the whole gluten-free thing, in which I try to bake using lots of flour combinations. I’d rather just live naturally flour and sugar-free by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, soy, lean meat (you know, when I randomly do that), and dairy.

I’m reading into a lot of food lifestyles to follow, too. The South Beach Diet was a good starting point and I’m now intrigued by the Primal Blueprint (except I’ll never cut dairy), which I know Monica really likes.

Kind of funny how this blog came full circle, no?

Lots of Rehab to catch up on…

Rehab Day 22, Part 2 (Thursday)

45 minutes strength training (core, arms, back and some legs)

Rehab Day 23 (Friday)

Swimming: 30 laps in 30 minutes

Rehab Day 24 (Saturday)

All that walking at Disneyland!

Rehab Day 25 (Sunday)

Rest Day — it was needed, for sure, after the previous day’s activities.

Rehab Day 26 (Monday)

Swimming: 35 laps in 35 minutes

Rehab Day 27 (Tuesday)

45 minutes elliptical

What do you guys think? Any other cookbooks/ eating lifestyles you think I should look into?

8 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts