Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Surprise

My dining table is out getting refinished and my desk is covered in boxes right now, so I'm typing this in my big yellow chair and I gotta admit: not the most comfortable position in the world. I much preferring my typing at a desk. 

Progress on the allergy-free diet: Well, I went to Tyler and Carissa's wedding reception last night and I ate some nuts (which just made me realize--there were likely peanuts in that nut mix, so I should not have eaten them!) and I ate the tuna salad filling of a sandwich and I ate the grapes and watermelon. I did eat some grilled chicken and apples before I left, but really if I'm going to go to a reception I need to have a full, big meal beforehand. We stayed there for nearly three hours and I abstained from all the treats but I'm not a hero or anything. And I will eat those things again. Remember this is not about lifetime deprivation. It is simply about a two-month challenge. 

Then I made myself a bowl of peaches when I stopped by Mom and Dad's house later. I just felt thinner when I woke up this morning, so I weighed myself. I have one of those digital scales that I like but that is so hard to get a number to stay on the screen because it flits from number to number with the slightest shift of my weight. But I saw the numbers 336 and 337 today. Which is certainly progress. I believe I have seen the 350 numbers on that screen. And I've definitely been in the 340s for a long time. But the 330s? Uh, well, I'm clearly not sure the last time I've seen those. 

I may have hit 339 before we went to Denmark, but before that? I doubt I've been in the 330s since early 2006 or late 2005. I wanted to get down to 330 by the end of this month, so I guess I'm getting there. By October 1, I would like to be looking on the other side of 310. Then November 290, then December 270, then January 250. Wouldn't that be fun? Then let's keep this thing going strong. February 230, March 210, April 195, May 180, June 165, July 150, August 140, September 135. 

You see how I like to dream? 

(This is the THIRD post in as many days that has been severely truncated because of my terrible Internet connection recently. Let's just say, I had several more paragraphs and they are all gone now.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Eating Through Money

I spent $72 last night on my little jaunt to the grocery store. That blew most of my grocery budget for this week. Now, I just have to come up with menus for the items I bought.

I was so hungry when I woke up this morning. I had to leave the house by 7:45AM to get gas and get to my cousin's wedding on time. But I had to make food. I made an almond milk, fresh strawberry, frozen blueberry smoothie. Yummo. A repeat of last night's smoothie and it really hit the spot. Then I also repeated the rest of last night's menu--2 fried eggs, salsa and avocado.

Then when I came home from the wedding about 11AM I had to make more food. I grilled 2 chicken breasts and ate 1 1/2 of those with salsa and smothered in guacamole. And yet another smoothie. Any thoughts about the state of my hunger?

I'm not sure all this writing about food and what I'm eating and how I'm feeling is really the best of plans. I feel self-conscious doing it. Then I wonder, if I just continue doing it will I get over the self-consciousness????? And will that in any way help me?

Signing out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Good Food, Good Times

For whatever reason (and let's thank the gods that be), my check for the month has hit my account so I had access to my funds tonight. That made me extremely happy. I had cleaned out the last remnants of decent food today and I so wanted anything that has not been on the menu this week.

I was hungry most of the day. I ate the last of my turkey sloppy joes today. The last of the fruit. The last really of everything.

My cousin had a wedding dinner tonight in preparation for his wedding tomorrow. It was nice but I was a bit concerned about the food. It turned out fine. There was roast beef, green beans, mashed potatoes and some kind of cobbler for dessert. I ate the roast beef and green beans which was enough--for about an hour. The cobbler and mashed potatoes were not an option. I wasn't even sure about the gravy that was on the roast beef so I scraped as much of it off as I could. I'm trying to do this allergy-free thing right.

The dinner lasted three hours with the program. Then Megan, Cassie and I ran to Scera Shell to catch as much of the Boyz II Men concert as we could. They felt a lot of love from the crowd tonight and I think it shocked them how many fans they have here. They put on a GREAT show. If only I could dance like that. My body really wanted to move in different ways after watching them tonight.

So, I dropped the girls off around 10:45 pm and then I went to the grocery store. I had promised myself that I would buy something tonight. Something to feed myself better. When I figured out that I was going to be able to access my check tonight, I went a bit wild. I bought turkey, chicken, eggs, avocados, salsa, fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries as well as frozen raspberries and blueberries. I bought apples, peaches, nectarines, pineapple and broccoli, shallots, and garlic. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. So nice to have food to come home to.

Well, of course I had to eat something in the car on the way home, so I opened the cut pineapple. That helped. That seemed to relax me. Then when I got home I fried two eggs and topped them with salsa and avocado and made a blueberry, strawberry and almond milk smoothie.

I'm feeling very thrilled to be alive right at the moment.

Food Without Money

I've been on the no-money-no-food diet for over a week now. I'm not sure if it is going well or not. I lost another inch off my waist this morning but I'm really not sure that is something to cheer about considering that the minute I ingest food or water my waist will puff back out that inch. It may just be that I am dehydrated. 

Yes, I know there are starving people in Africa--even starving people in my own city--and they might not see my plight as all that terrible. But it has been a journey for me. 

I'm not the world's best money manager. I don't have much savings to speak of either. I want to change both of those things. I'm just grateful this month is coming to an end and my checking account will be full tomorrow. I'm going to do my best to prevent another month like this in the future. 

The only thing I can be really happy about is that I didn't borrow money to make it through the rest of this month. I realized two weeks ago that with $25 left to my name, it was going to be a long, hard road for a few weeks. 

I have plenty of family around. I would not have starved. But there is something to be said for supporting yourself and not having to go begging for food at relative's houses. There is also something to be said for my allergy diet. Which I've been on now for nearly two weeks or since I realized that I had no money left in my account to buy the food I can eat. It has been a touch and go experience since then. 

I've eaten though. In fact, I've eaten pretty well considering the lack of funds. I've also not wasted as much food as I usually do (although their is a romaine lettuce head that is still in my fridge that I feel is destined for the garbage).  I also have not had my other go-to foods to rely on. And by these foods, I mean the quick and fast foods that do the dirty job of getting me fed, but add very little to my overall nutrition--things like yogurt and cheese with crackers and my recent favorite, Barbara's cheese puffs. Do you notice the heavy assault on dairy that I've been making lately. Yeah, it was about time to get off that train. Not that dairy can't be good. I'm just not sure it is good for me. 

My skin has been reacting positively to all of this allergy-free eating. My cheeks are definitely not as red. I did cave last night though and ate some chocolate and my cheeks are much ruddier today than they have been in a week. So, no more of that. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's Your List of Diseases?

I never used to worry about my health when I was younger. Sure, I didn't like to be fat, but for the most part, I didn't feel bad or think something might be wrong with me. (I also have been notoriously poor at paying attention to my body's signals so it took me a while to figure out when I was feeling bad.) But the last few years I have been worried about my health. I've felt a loss of muscle tone (yes, there is muscle under all this fat) and I started to notice when I just wasn't feeling well. And in that process of not feeling well, I've become aware of some health issues that I've had for a long time, that I want to do something about. 

2. Metabolic syndrome
3. Obesity

Those two diseases are enough because they come with a whole host of symptoms and side effects that I would really rather do without, thank you very much. 

They also lead to other health problems that I don't want including:
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Cancer
So, I'm sending my list of health problems packing now. I'm living a new life and that life does not include them. 

Bon voyage, health problems. May you never visit these shores again. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Small Changes at the Beginning

So, I've been on this allergy-free diet for about a week now. And as previously acknowledged I have not been perfect. Never let me give off the impression that I'm striving for perfection. It is a nasty, nasty habit and I'm want to be rid of it.

So, even though I've made nearly daily mistakes, I have noticed some hints of progress.

My cheeks are less flushed
I've always had rosy cheeks. Or really embarrassingly RED cheeks. I also have a red spot on my double chin for as long as I can remember. Some people think that rosy cheeks are healthy-looking. I have my doubts. When I lived in Pennsylvania, I knew a woman who suffered from rosacea. She was also overweight. I wondered even back then if red cheeks could actually be connected to a reaction in diet. I've also noticed a few little kids who get unnaturally flushed when they are outside too long. I've wondered if that had a connection to what they were eating as well. Let's just say that I see it as a positive sign when my cheeks are less flushed. Could flushed cheeks be an allergic reaction? Could they be a reaction either a high-glycemic diet?

Reduction in double chin
Okay, no one else will be able to tell by just looking at me, but I can tell. When you carry significant chub around your neck that restricts your windpipe and impacts how you turn your head, you too will notice when that restriction clears a bit and you are able to turn your head a few degrees more. I love it.

No more tissue brigade in the morning
I stage kleenex boxes near every major spot in my house: kitchen table, kitchen counter, reading chair, couch, desk, bedroom, bathroom. I go through kleenex like it is going out of style. I always am clearing my throat or my nose. Well, not this week. At least not as much. I've had clear nasal passages and a clear throat. It has been simply lovely.

Tummy touched my backbone
When I was trying to fall asleep last night and I was sooooooo hungry, I actually felt that my stomach was touching my backbone. That is how empty it felt down there. Now, I know this wasn't the case, but I'm not sure I've been that empty down there since 1995. At least it was a feeling I had forgotten.

My lower tummy chub is reduced
I really don't want to gross out those of you who never deal with the daily factors of serious chub, but I have what I call an upper and lower tummy. There is an indention around my tummy where my waist is--at belly button level. I pook out above my belly button and below it. The lower section is my lower tummy chub. It is always the largest, roundest part on my body. It is also the first part of my body to show any changes. Well, the lower tummy chub has decreased in size. Not so much of it. It doesn't pull on my back as much. I look a fraction of a hair smaller too. It feels better.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Late Night Eating and My Allergy-Free Diet

This allergy diet thing is going to be quite the experience. I've been doing it for a week now. Granted I'm NOWHERE near perfect at this. I've eaten tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, cheese, popcorn, corn on the cob, watermelon, cheese. I've got a lot to learn.

Today I had great plans of being prepared before I went to family dinner. Yeah, so that didn't happen so much. Not so much. I came home with the four kiddie winks (Noah, Gaby, Jamie Beth, Dallin) and made them popcorn and let them try the candy bars I made the other day. The popcorn was fine--the candy bars . . . not so much.

In the meantime, I srambled a couple of eggs for myself and adorned them with the raw tomato sauce I made the other day. I needed the protein desperately. I had eaten only my candy bars early that day. (They are from Elana's Pantry and are made out of pecans, almond butter, agave nectar and Dagoba chocolate--yummy!)

So, I was hungry when I went to dinner. I had some of the salad even though I'm sure the dressing had some sugar in it. I had the roast beef even though I knew it had been prepped with a little flour. I had watermelon even though it is high on the glycemic index, and I had corn on the cob even though I'm not sure I can have it or not.

Not a stellar day as far as the allergy-free diet goes.

Now a rocking day when it comes to eating whole, good foods. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't like I was pigging out on Dr. Pepper and deep fried dough balls.

It was progress.

So, I stayed at Mom's house and watched Dan in Real Life. I had seen it before but it depressed me the first time. This time I laughed. I sat there thinking how hungry I was through most of it. I just wanted food. Finally, I went in the storage room and dug deeply into the cashew container.

And then I came home and put myself to bed. And couldn't sleep and couldn't sleep and couldn't sleep. So, I got up, got online and realized that the gnawing pit in my stomach wasn't going to magically disappear.

The food options are a bit limited at the moment--let's say NO CASH in my account. So, I began with an apple. That merely made the yawing yawp of my hunger intensify. So, I cracked open a can of wild salmon and mixed it with my canola mayo. YUMMMY!!!! That in and of itself tells you I was in desperate need of some good food.

Then I heated up a can of black beans, smashed them really good, and mixed them with my raw tomato sauce. Not a particularly tasty dish, but oh-so-filling. I had to do a deep down hum when I consumed a bowl of this. My whole body relaxed as well. Finally, some food that my body could comprehend and utilize.

And here I sit full and tired.

I'm going to bed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Work-Day Eating Patterns

I think today is a pretty good example of the typical work day eating patterns I have fallen into and now want to expunge from my life.

I left for work late. I was hungry. I had eaten a peach before I left. I knew that my best bet to get food before I got to work was to purchase something. So, I stopped at a bakery and ordered a sausage, egg, cheese breakfast sandwich without the croissant. Ate that. Even though I'm not supposed to be eating cheese.

Late morning: I'm hungry. I want something. Like more eggs and sausage. Something filling and hot. Nothing comes to mind so I reach for some candy on a co-worker's desk. Then I eat some more.

Noon: I'm officially hungry. I want hot food. I want good food. I want food I don't have to cook because I'm so hungry. I also am out of money entirely for another week so I can't afford to buy food. There is very little at home for me to eat too. So, I put off making a decision.

1:30PM: I really should eat by now. I'm getting very, very hungry. My body needs food. I eat an apple.

2:55PM: I'm getting a bit insane with hunger. 3:00PM is my bewitching hour. Most of the time I won't eat breakfast or much lunch and then it all comes to a ahead at 3:00 PM when I must eat or I will die. I decide to spend money for lunch.

3:00PM I don't want to drive off campus or go home and contemplate the emptiness of my fridge. Nothing sounds good. When you are supposed to stay away from wheat, grains, potatoes, rice, sugar, dairy, citrus, peanuts, MSG and preservative mix, then your choices in the common every-day world begin to look a bit slimmer. I decide on salad.

3:20PM Good salad. Spinach and spring lettuce mix. Bacon bits, eggs, grilled chicken, mushrooms, red onion, tomatoes. Thousand Island Dressing (I know I've crossed several lines with this choice but it seemed better than the sugar-laden other choices). I consume the salad in seconds. Wish I had another.

3:45PM Eat another apple. Dream about what I'm going to make for dinner that night. (Grilled chicken or ground turkey, black beans, yummy salsa, lots of guacamole). Steam some zucchini, yellow squash and onions. Slather with olive oil and salt.

3:46PM Try to figure out what I can subsist on for the next week: chicken, eggs, turkey, garden veggies, apples, etc.

6:00PM The last of the candy in my office. Yuck.

7:30PM Finally leave work and head home. I stop at my parents' home and find no one there. I'm starving. I don't know what I will make at home, so I decide to make something there. I fry a couple of eggs and add what turns out to be some past-its-prime homemade salsa. That and 2 slices of Havarti cheese at least stave off the hunger pains for now.

Can't remember what I ate the rest of the day. (That would be because I'm updating this three days later). What you see above though is very typical of my pattern of randomness when it comes to the food I eat. A little too random.

If this allergy-free diet is going to work, I've got to stay on top of my game. The only question is, how do I do that?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Typical Eating Issues

I'm manning a table at a big conference today for work. So, in my down time I'm thinking and thinking. Here's what I'm thinking about today.

I'm hungry.

Very typical for me. It is nearly 4:00 pm in the afternoon and the only time I have nourished myself today has been in the last two hours. I drank 2 bottles of water, I ate an Odawalla bar (not the best choice glycemically), and now I just ate the ham, turkey and cheese from a Lunchables snack pack.

I'm doing 100% when it comes to food.

Typical, typical me.

Barely made it to work today. Full of self-loathing. Full of wretchedness, full of sadness. Out of money and two more weeks to go in the month. No idea what I'm eating for dinner tonight. I wanted to start my elimination/allergy diet on Monday but with no money, I haven't planned my food extraordinarily well. Then yesterday was an off day for me. I ate ground turkey and red sauce, nut crackers and Laughing Cow cheese, lots of pistachio nuts and made my favorite almond-flour chocolate chip cookies.

Certainly better choices than I may have made in the past. But still very, very typical for me. I'm used to not feeding myself, not nourishing myself, not doing my part.

That has got to change.


I have to be able to depend on myself. I have to trust myself to fulfill my commitments. I need to support myself.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Am I Doing about My Food Sensitivity Test?

So, I took that IgG food sensitivity test back in May and I knew I wanted to start following the elimination diet for the test, but I convinced myself to wait until I came back from Denmark in June. Then I got a bit depressed. Then it was Katy's wedding and Amy came for a five-week visit. I didn't want to start a whole new program with Amy around. Even though she eats amazingly well. I just didn't want that stress. 

So, here I am. Amy is leaving town tomorrow and our discussions for the last few weeks have centered around food. And I'm ready to get with the program. I've actually been doing it for a few days already but I wanted to clear up a few lingering questions with my doctor. 

1. Can I take the sacrament (like communion) each week? It is just a bite of bread and I wanted to know if it would negatively affect me. She said I could give them a rice cracker and take that. Or if I don't think it is bothering me then I can just take it. I don't think it bothers me so I'm going to continue with just a bite of bread each week. 

2. Also, I didn't test negatively for brown rice or red potatoes but my doctor had said something to me about staying off both of those items. I wanted to know exactly how serious she was about those items. Well, let's just say I received my answer. She was serious. 

I had been going with the idea that I would be able to eat brown rice as well as brown rice pasta and brown rice tortillas. Nope, nada, nothing. But she did say yes to agave nectar (thank you!) and almond flour (yes!). That at least gives me a few more options like blueberry muffins, pancakes and a simple bread. I will try those out and see what I think about them as a regular part of the diet around here. 

I also need to watch food items like high-glycemic fruits, dried fruits, and beans and lentils. Those are all question marks in my mind. Do they stay or do they go? 

I really think the hardest items to give up with for these few weeks will be lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges. Not that I eat a ton of them, but they all do add great flavorings to food. They will be the first items I will test to come back into my diet. 

So, for now, what am I eating? 
1. Chicken, turkey, fish
2. all veggies 
3. most fruits
4. beans and lentils
5. most nuts
5. olives, olive oil, avocados
6. almond flour, coconut flour, agave nectar, and Dagoba chocodrops

There will be no such thing as deprivation in my household. This is a celebration, a joy in eating. A good and great joy to eat and be happy. 

What I don't eat: 
1. Potatoes
2. Corn
3. All grains (including brown rice)
4. Soy
5. Dairy
6. Sugar
7. Peanuts
8. Limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit

I was absolutely floored when around the time of my allergy test, I discovered Elana at and all of her excellent recipes. Yummy. 

I also could not believe when I read this entry and found that she also did not eat any grains, potatoes, corn, soy, dairy or sugar. A woman after my own heart. I've been obsessed with her website and trying out all of her recipes for most of the summer and they have proved as delicious as they look. 

I needed her site as a bit of divine intervention and to give me the belief that I could eat really, really well without ever feeling deprived. 

I'm so happy I'm doing this. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thoughts on Salad

I've been eating salads from Kneaders all summer. It finally occurred to me today that if I'm trying to stay away from gluten and wheat that it might be a good idea to stop buying salads from a shop that primarily sells BREAD.

Today I had the Chicken Ala Mondo salad. It had grilled chicken breast (very tender), sliced almonds, bacon, spring mix greens, red onions and instead of mozzarella cheese I asked for tomatoes. Also, instead of the bread slices they give I asked for cucumbers. It was a yummy salad. I'm trying to form a standard for building a great salad and I'm beginning to think that you need at least 3 kinds of protein and 3 veggies in addition to the greens.

I've never been a great lover of salads. Mostly because the salads I've been the most exposed to look something like this: iceberg lettuce, fake cheddar cheese, heavy croutons, pale tomatoes, shredded carrots, and Ranch dressing. This type of salad is not inspired. It is disgusting. Unfortunately, these types of salads are still often what come to my mind when I think of salad.

What I need to think about are my Kneaders salads: fresh greens, tender, succulent chicken, crunchy nuts, sizzling proteins and luscious veggies. Hmmmmm. Good. That makes me want to eat salad. Every day. 

And that's saying a lot coming from this girl. 

Can I Eat This For Dinner EVERY Night?

My friend Katy hosted her first dinner party at her home since she was married last month. Katy has celiac disease which means she has to stay away from gluten. I'm supposed to be staying away from gluten as well.

  • Tamales with/ turkey, green chiles and some with black bean/refried bean mixture

  • toppings: sour cream, guacamole, great salsa

  • cucumber, tomato (garden fresh) salad--with vinegar, canola oil/olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, dab of mayo

  • garden yellow squash stir-fried with sweet onions and then steamed and garnished with olive oil and salt

  • fresh pineapple

  • fresh blueberries

  • fresh strawberries

Can I eat this way EVERY day????

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Feeling in My Stomach

So, yesterday I faced some fears, stared down some issues at my job, and tried to confront my life and what is up with me. I'm also in some weird hormonal week with my cycle. Usually the way I've been feeling the past few days signals the way I usually feel a couple of days into my period. It is after the black, dark, inside days that precede the beginning of my period and it is when my whole system feels open and magnanimous. I tend to drop weight on these days.

And that's what happened this morning. I dropped weight. Yesterday was the type of day that usually precedes my open and magnanimous days--I wasn't very hungry. Sure I felt hungry yesterday and yes, I ate yesterday. And yes, it was good. But I wasn't deeply ravenous and needing to be NOURISHED. I ate twice yesterday and I was fine with it. Those days are the kind of days in the past where I would pat myself on the back and giggle and think, "Wow, I'm finally getting this eating thing under control." I thought because I went 24 hours or so without thinking about food constantly or stuffing my face nonstop that I had somehow reached nirvana. I had no idea that it was a biochemical reaction.

So, then this morning I feel lighter. I attribute this more to an accumulation of days over the past month where I've eaten well rather than just the previous day of not eating constantly. So, I feel lighter and I weigh myself and I've dropped about six pounds (every woman knows that in the craziness of her cycle that you can drop and gain pounds in a matter of hours like this.)

And then, I fall into a trap and start thinking about how I'm not going to eat as much any more like I did yesterday and before that thought can fully formulate: POW! I'm hit with hunger.

This is good hunger. This hunger is signaling a need to my body to be nourished. And I realize that a day like today is an important day of nourishment that can set me up well for an entire month. This day it is very important to eat breakfast, eat a great lunch, and eat an afternoon snack. This day I need nourishment.

And NOURISHMENT takes time.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Craving: Hot Donuts

Ate two donuts from Krispy Kreme tonight. Contemplating doing my allergy thing for two months and worrying about feeling deprived. One of my new mottos has been to indulge all cravings, albeit with decorum. And tonight, I craved donuts. 

What makes hot donuts good? They taste like spun hot sugar. That is their sole attraction, indeed, a rather enticing one. The cold, chocolate iced donut I had tasted more like sugar overload. 

I guess I felt a bit detached last night. A bit more observational and these donuts did not seem to overwhelmingly affect me. But that could just be arrogance. They affect me. But last night they were not the ANSWER to deep, emotional longing. 

I've used food so much to self-medicate my emotions that sometimes I wonder if I have any idea of how to operate emotionally outside the boundaries of food indulgence. It feels a bit like a revelation when I can. 

I will also note that when I am hormonally better balanced, deeply emotionally satisfied by a visit from my very dear friend, and well-nourished for several days, that this kind of food does not need to answer any deep needs inside of me. (Let's be honest, this food never answers deep things inside of me, but it surely distracts me easily from those matters.)

The donuts did not live up to any expectations. 


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