Friday, May 31, 2013

Ending of the Low-Carb Challenge- May 30, 2013 what I learned

Okay, I'm done today with the Healthy Comedian's Low Carb Challenge. I learned a lot from this challenge, here are my take aways- I love how Dan French is always trying to keep every one on track during the podcast.

1. I traveled for a long weekend and stayed on the challenge. Not being able to eat nuts or a little bit of beef jerky for snacks was a little challenging, but I made it through by bringing foods that were ON Plan. Good practice- bringing my own salad, buying food to make on the trip, planning ahead, cooking for the family were all key.

2. Better Sleep quality: I finally figured out what it was about the Whole30 that allowed me to sleep better- lower carbs. For the challenge 40-60 grams, before the challenge 60-80 grams. Basically, I can limit myself to 1 fruit a day- berries, many vegetable servings and hit the 40-60 grams a day easily. On hiking days, I'll add in half an orange or some cherries.  Totally do-able.  Love that I get tired naturally and fall into a nice deep sleep. Awesomeness. It's valuable that I solved this mystery.

3. Stopped the night time snacking:  I stopped snacking on nuts and chocolate in the evenings. It's a habit, and I think it was getting out of control. Good to rein it in, re-introduce slowly.

Fish eye effect on the Keurig

4. I brewed more coffee at home, and took it to go. This saves money. It has nothing to do with the low carb challenge- although I appreciated having coffee on the yes list. Thank you, Corbin

4.5 Twitter: I enjoyed seeing Amy Kubal's tweets. Good to read. Glad she's an RD who gets it.

5. My weight stopped bouncing around and stabilized.  After 40 years of trying to loose weight and maintain- and then finally finding what works, I do weigh in. It works for me so I do it.  My slippery slope thinking has lead me to overeating very quickly in the past. The scale is a tool. I use it.  Don't hate....... And remember- I'm short so the weight I maintain is a low number.
I have a natural plateau and I'm on it solidly right now.   2 month stats and 1 month stats.

In the past, here's what didn't work:

1. Using travel as an excuse to eat junk! My body does not care that I'm traveling- junk food was not a treat!

2. Sleep was less restful when I ate higher carbs- not just the gain, but dairy kept me snoring. No dairy = sounder sleep.

3. Night time snacking- this really kept me in a bad habit & kept me from losing weight or maintaining. Hands down- the hardest time of the day for me.

4. Starbucks add-ins- Sugar free flavoring, Skinny Latte's,  biscotti's, egg sandwiches, oat meal with toppings, occasionally splitting a pastry. No- just no. It kept me stuck.  I still enjoy an Amerciano- black, with no room and leave the rest.

5. Not facing and reversing a weight gain.  I would avoid the scale, make deals with the Skinny Cow Ice Cream devil (but it's looooow in points.... I'll have half...I'll have the other.. and I've walked a lot, so another half...moooooo!) and various other ineffective methods. I could not clear the brain fog fast enough or have enough courage and strength to tackle issues that I was eating around.

That's the scoop. Over all a success. I will celebrate by looking into buying a food dehydrator so I can make my  own jerky and maybe some kale chips. Usually I don't celebrate with food- but I figure a kitchen gadget might do my low carb cooking proud. :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

June 2013 challenge and the official start of Summer

I'm starting a walking challenge with Mel- from The Daily Mel. Memorial Day to July 4th, walk at least 1 mile a day. I choose to walk a minimum of 3 miles, preferably 4-5 miles most days for weight maintenance (8-10,000 steps). I've committed to 3 miles minimum. I'll update my twitter feed most days with my steps converted to miles. 

Here's how the summer starts for me.  Safe travels and remembering those in the military who gave their lives so I can travel freely.

What works: Walking 8-10,000 steps, most days, taking my camera.
What did not work: not tracking my activity, slippery slope thinking told me "I was doing a lot!". That was around 5000 steps or less a day.

Jim Neighbors singing Back Home Again in Indiana- Indy 500

A new Indy Car fan! Concerned about the yellow flag early in the race.
Even the 2012 re-cap is interesting

Summer starts with some coffee on the beach

Summer traffic at Torrey Pines, check!
I love that there are good bathrooms at this beach.

Hiking along the coast is relaxing
Loved the feather pattern on this raven's wings

Post hike salad from the cooler

Some orange slices,  carbs to keep me going

Coaster train headed through the lagoon

Red Bull not required

Only a fraction of my paycheck, more avocado oil this time

An Americano is required
playing around with panos

Friday, May 24, 2013

Structure, planning, and good root cause analysis during weight maintenance transition

The cloud arrows indicate two paths-maintain or gain
Transitioning from weight loss to weight maintenance was both exciting, stressful, joyful, mindful reflection, relief from pain- mental and physical- and more.  This was my third attempt at weight maintenance and I had promised myself I would take any and all steps to succeed. Others had transitioned and were long time maintainers. I made up my mind on the day I committed to my weight loss program that: I could maintain and I would maintain and I would not quit or stop trying, ever.  Problem solving became key!

Willpower can eventually run out or get run over by stinking thinking. Effective problem solving and creating structure, and root cause analysis is a skill and may be used as a tool at any point. I problem solved the HECK out of my weight maintenance the first year.

I changed what I told myself and then took action. My talking head matched my action body.

The prior attempts at weight maintenance were key in looking back at the root causes of re-gain after loss. Problem solving. When I see other bloggers approaching weight maintenance mindfully, I am cheering them on that mindful path.  Two recent bloggers (there are more)- Leigh at Poonpalooza and Kelly at Curvy Fit Girl have had major weight transformations. Life transforms after major weight loss- more than weight issues. 

Structure, planning, good root cause analysis during the first year - in the form of walking the talking, AKA- getting my ducks in a row = success.

Here are the top root causes I had to address to make the first year of weight maintenance. Everyone will have different roots- so look for your own.  I'll blog about each one over the next few months.

1. Root: boundary setting and self talk
2. Root: structure/planning
3. Root: choosing optimal foods for my body
4. Root: Time management
5. Root: stress management
6. Root: prioritizing my mind, body, and health

 What were your main root causes?

Hiding behind the plant was NOT effective- 2007
Tackling root causes, planning, structure works! 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thinking of those in Oklahoma today

My heart goes out to those effected in the Oklahoma tornadoes. The families, the responders, the community.
I've lived through very small scale tornadoes in the past. Nothing like the most recent storm. Here's to strength , courage , healing and rebuilding for all those people.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, May 20, 2013

Eating more fish? Yes, no, maybe so?

I need to try to eat a few more fish, or not. I've not had my favorite salmon burgers ( not really Paleo) due to the challenge. Salmon doesn't always appeal to me, but, it does make my hair really smooth.

I can manage tilapia and hake, if I use avocado oil or some dairy free pesto and lemon or lime.

I take an omega 3 supplement every day. Jury is still out on eating more fish. I'd like to see some food allergy testing before I eat too much more fish.
First blog on the iPad. So far, so good.
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Avoiding long lists of ingredients- the 7 pound chocolate cake

Cliff Swallow giving me the stink eye
This was my expression, I'm sure of it, when I read the ingredients on this 7 pound chocolate cake.

Wow! When I was eating this stuff, it did not phase me. Now that I don't eat this stuff, well, it's amazing what I used to eat.

Thankfully the cover was on this cake and I did not have to smell it. The bakery name has been removed in the event this cakes' origin would like to remain nameless. If you shop there a lot, you will recognize it.

No wonder my joints hurt so much when I ate sugar. :0  

Truth be told, when I'm not in a challenge, I will once every 3-4 weeks have one Medifast Mint Maintenance bar (they are discontinued, double the allure! ;) ). One, once and a while. The ingredient list is long, but it does not trigger.
 What works: HUGE and important difference on the two items :My off Paleo food must never trigger me into over eating. If I think it is, I'll stop eating and throw it out with coffee grounds on top. Important physically for my body, important mentally for my mind to own, remember, respect, and live with a mind that is clear and not under the influence. 

What doesn't work: everything else! Moderation strategies, bites, tastes, even one jelly bean or M&M. The first ingredient in this cake is SUGAR! It's a 7 pound cake.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eating within a Paleo Template while traveling, while doing an eating challenge

I traveled recently and I'm doing the Health and Comedy Low Carb Challenge.  A little advanced planning and I stayed on plan, most of the time. We had another good flight with Southwest.

What worked:
1. Big A$$et salads: I  brought salads for my meals at the airport. Pictured-  chicken, avocado, grilled onions, broccoli slaw, a little pink salt, balsamic vinegar, and some olive oil. The broccoli slaw made delicious crunchy, marinated noodles. Jr. Family Member approved.

2. Ate 3 meals a day: less messing around with snacks and being "fat adapted" meant I could walk and travel on an easier schedule. The smells at the airport were not as tempting.

3. Brought coconut oil: Yeah! Small, plastic, leak proof container. Checked luggage. It worked.

4. Stopping at a Farmer's Market on the trip: I picked up fresh vegetables and a few fruits.  Nom-nom.  Pinnacle Farms AZ

5. Taking over the kitchen: I took charge of the cooking. That way, I could both cook up food to re-heat later and for the meals during the day. The relatives are used to it. Everybody packed back the grass fed beef from the farmer's market.  Delicious. I'll be buying more on the next trip. Double Check Ranch. I'm going to get a cool grass-fed t-shirt on my next trip.

6. Buying breakfast from the food truck. Jr Family member says "best breakfast burrito ever". My eggs were very good. Karen (pictured in the photo- see below) is also gluten free. Super Farm Super Truck I knew I would not get an accidental gluten exposure eating here.
Buying breakfast was a lot cheaper than eating in the hotel. Better for us, too. I did forget to ask for my eggs to be cooked without dairy, and I picked out MOST of the cheese. Since I did not eat a cinnamon roll, chocolate covered raisins, or fig newtons, I'm counting this trip as a win!  ;)
7. Lots of coffee: Yeah, there was coffee and it was good!
Preparation before and during the trip made staying on the challenge a lot easier. I would have just packed some almonds and macadamias, but the challenge helped me travel with out snacking. Good stuff. This trial run gave me confidence for longer, less convenient trips.

What didn't work before I changed my diet: The old travel days
1. We would not eat many vegetables while traveling
2. We snacked constantly, and were "hungry" constantly due to our sweet/salty snacks.
3. The quality of the stuff we brought, store bought. Not so hot.
4. We ate at Starbucks for breakfast. I thought it was healthy.... :0
5. We brought in take out- a lot, hey, it was Diet Coke so I can have this cookie........ :0
6. We liked to make those waffles at the hotel... because the breakfast was free.. noooooo! Nothing is free.
7. Dumping loads of diary in my coffee, and little blue packets. I'm really glad to be off that stuff.

That's my scoop. This was one of the easier trips, because I had access to a kitchen. Eating well while traveling is awesome. Come home and come back feeling good. It's worth it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Prepping for Mother's Day 2013 with the New Normal

Mom's magic fairy

What works now, with the new normal:
I'm prepping for Mother's day by getting gifts for the mothers, batch cooking main dishes- Balsamic Crock Pot Roast from George the Civilized Caveman on Saturday instead of Sunday. I'm also making a Paleo version of my Inside Out Egg roll (recipe will follow this week).

 No magic fairy will appear and batch cook my food if I take Sunday off, so time in the kitchen is a must. Although,I am putting Jr. Family member to work as my sous chef as often as I can. Good for both of us.  We'll plan to do outdoor activities, take photos, and as many trips to the coffee shop as I want to make.

MOM's:  we ARE the magic fairies!

What doesn't work:
I've got to say I don't miss eating "special desserts" or "treats" or any of the other food items that are rolled out in honor of Mother's Day. I would eat that stuff, feel like crap, and then get triggered to eat more crap.  Food Zombie for a week or more.  Cookies, cakes, and other traditional Mother's Day sweet food was a trap. Probably a log type of curve if I had graphed it. Eat a little bit, want to eat more over the next few weeks, not for just one meal.

On my travels I read and hear statements like- "indulgences" "treats" "life isn't fun if you can't have a cake, cupcake, cookie, candy..." Photos of people shoving sugary foods near to the camera, this is what it's all about.... Yeah, right. I'm not buying what that subset of  people are selling me. For me, that kept me hooked into a negative cycle. Food can and should be tasty, nourishing, but food being  entertaining or fun has left the building, just like Elvis....

In closing:
Habit, tradition, ingrained automatic processes, operating spell bound under 1000+ irrational beliefs all messed with my head. And, it was important for food sobriety for me to get clean of this stuff. Obesity, food cravings, binging, diabetes ( I don't have it, but I would have by now) don't take a day off. My body does not care if it's Mother's Day or any other day. 24/7. I respect, honor, and accept that. I'm better off physically and mentally because of it.  No brain fog means I can enjoy the day clear headed and feeling good.

Hope you are all planning to stay food sober in Mother's Day 2013.  You can bet I will be joining you.  Happy Mother's day, if you celebrate. If you don't celebrate, treat yourself well. You deserve it!
another photo from my  walk last weekend

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Eating Challenge- the Healthy Comedian May 2013

No nuts for my squirrel brain
For May 2013, I decided to take the  Health and Comedy- Low Carb challenge. Dan French, along with Amy Kubal and Corben Thomas , have a  the podcast of the same name. I've been listening and have picked up on the inside jokes over the last few months. I love that Dan, Amy, and Corben are talking about what they do, eat, and are sharing it with others. Humor is a great way to get people talking.

The rules for the challenge are on Corben's website -Paleo Life 365.

Why I did the challenge: I eat pretty clean Paleo to start with, but eating cleaner/low carb for 30 days is a good way to get a few pounds that I gained above my maintain weight range over the last few months. Plus, I was snacking on nuts, too much. Once I saw coffee was involved, I was sold!

What foods I cut out for the challenge:
Nuts! Almonds and macadamias are back in the shoebox with the note card on it.
Fruit Bars. I gave up most of my bar "habit" during the Whole30 in Jan 2013. You can still see a Lara bar lurking in the shoebox.
Salmon burgers from Costco: these processed salmon burgers have a bit of canola oil and other stuff in them. They are out for May.
85% Chocolate. Wahhhhhh, booooo hoooo.  There, 5 second whine. I'm OVER it.
Jerky with added sugar: an occasional snack, not hard to drop this for a month.
Two fruit servings: I can get by with one or none most days.
Foods not in the challenge
What foods I've added or eat more:
Vegetables: Yeah! I'm eating between 35-50 carbs a day or so all from vegetables and one berry serving a day. I still eat onions and a few carrots, and Brussels sprouts. Bell peppers, shredded cabbage, celery, broccoli slaw, big a$$ salads, cherry tomatoes, guacamole, fresh salsa. Bring it on.

More protein: I've probably upped my protein a bit for this challenge. I've been keen for the ground Bison from Trader Joe's and I picked up some grass fed beef at a Farmer's Market while on vacation. Yummy stuff and the relatives packed it back.  I'll do a separate post on this soon.

How's it going:
 Great. I've dropped down from 3 meals with 2 snacks a day to just 3 meals, no snacking.  That's been working well, so far. I'm fat adapted , so eating low carb helps with hunger between meals. I've been sleeping better, too. I stayed on challenge except for the one item below while I was on a weekend vacation. 

Not so great: I ordered breakfast from a farm food truck over the weekend. The eggs had some cheese in them! I figured it all out after I was back at the hotel. Dairy is not on the plan, so I picked out the cheese and ate the egg and spinach omelet anyway. It didn't effect me GI wise, and compared to a cinnamon roll, fig newtons, or any other off plan item, I'm doing okay. ;) Progress!


weekend walk photo

Friday, May 3, 2013

15 month check-in for weight maintenance and 2 years food sobriety!

Hey! If you are new to the blog, welcome. I check in once a month with weight graphs (if you are Paleo and/or scale adverse, hang in there for one day or skip down to my progress photos). Today is a very special day, (two years mostly) food sober. Yeah!

Okay, first the weight graphs. My weight has been up a little bit. Yesterday, I hit "scream weight". I remained calm and looked back at my food, weight trending, mind set, and exercise. I did have a migraine yesterday, so I'm sure that inflammation was involved.

Here's what worked in April 2013
1. Weight lifting 2x per week, for 3 weeks, I've doubled my arm strength.
2. Pretty consistent food logging.
3. Discovering ground bison at Costco, awesome, filling grass-fed protein.

Here's what did not work in April 2013
1. Not making time to strength train the last week of April.
2. Eating too many nuts.
3. Not grocery shopping mid-week to replenish staples like tomatoes.

One month

two months
three months

 Here's the plan: I'm in a challenge (more in an upcoming post)- not a Whole30, but I'm cutting out nuts for this month, and probably longer. I can really relate to those bloggers (thinking of Leigh at Poonapalooza ) who abstain from nuts. I think I have enough evidence that whole nuts mess with the slippery slope thinking in my brain. I do have high hopes to occasionally use ground nuts for some meat coating, once and a while. Just like I do honey. Once every 2-3 months, I use it for cooking only.  Time will tell.  I will report back later this summer on the scoop on the nuts. :0

Enough!   Two years ago today, I started in on my weight loss and commitment to cross the line in the sand and never go back to the old habits and behaviors that got me overweight. I've been food sober about 98% of the time. Freed my body, freed my mind. I feel so much better. It's been worth it.

To those of you who are new to the blog, I did not loose weight Paleo style, but my efforts to maintain my weight lead me to Primal/Paleo for weight maintenance.  It's been pretty awesome so far. Primal/Paleo Style eating is underused for overall health and as a primary tool in weight maintenance, in my opinion. More than just weight maintenance, total health. (see my blood work here).

Sustainable, tasty, sober food living. yeah! I still have the same struggles, work, commute, broken furnaces and garage doors, getting enough sleep. Some urges to binge eat. But all of that is much easier to deal with when I'm not numbing myself up with food.

May 2011

May 2012

April 2013