Thursday, February 27, 2014

Free ebook Before I Eat- from Alen Standish- free download through 2/28/2014

Alen Standish has an ebook for dealing with binge urges.
Alen's book is free through the end of Feb 2014. Here's a link to Amazon

 It's a companion book to the "Before I Eat app" at the iTunes store.

Food urges, cravings, stopping emotion eating are something to be dealt with no matter what  food plan you use - for weight gain, weight maintenance or weight loss (Paleo/Primal/Plant Based/Weight Watchers/Medifast/ Calorie Counting)

 I found myself needing to deal with binge urges during the last 3 years during weight loss and maintenance.

 I like Alen's book. Hope you'll give it a download this week.

Disclosure: PS- Alen did give me an advance look at his book, but I would have downloaded it for free anyway! My review is my own.

Monday, February 24, 2014

How did I know that a Paleo-ish template would work- long term weight maintenance?

Colorful ruffled feathers!
WOW! Lots of social media buzz around Paleo this week both in prime time TV, podcasts, etc.

 I found myself thinking:
How did I know what tools I would use to maintain 70 pounds lost using a Paleo-ish template? How did I navigate the diet/weight/health advice? After 40 freaking years of trying weight maintenance and only re-gains to show for my efforts, how did I know it would work?  I was only 46 at the time. I did not know the new normal yet.

Answer: I did not know, for 100% sure.
2012. Paleo was just becoming popular. Very few books and websites and 0 people in real life, until I met a few people at an Everyday Paleo workshop. Michelle Tan was blogging her meals at Nom-Nom Paleo. I followed the tweets at PaleoFx 2012.  Cool stuff! Still is, in my opinion.

Here's my 2 cents on my experience 

What worked:
1. Basically, I read the book Refuse to Regain (Barbara Berkeley, MD) and experimented with the book's structure." If an MD who specializes in obesity medicine writes a book based on 20+ years of experience, that could be my starting block." I thought. She recommended a Primal style diet. Plus, a whole lot of other things that worked well.

2. I experimented the heck out of the concepts. I didn't ask what others thought. I decided, I did, I tested, and I told people later my conclusions. This may have something more to do with me being in my 40's, prioritizing myself, asking for what I need,  and not caring what other people think of me!

3. I failed, in some ways. I tried grass fed butter,  I got a face full of cystic acne so bad I cried. A lot recipes included sweet potatoes, I got a huge belly (temporary) that made me look pregnant. My kid was almost a teen. Not a good look or feel after losing 70 pounds. I ate a lot of raisins, I started to regain weight again. Sugar is sugar.  I ate nuts, I over ate nuts. I thought I could eat nuts. I was nuts. I learned a lot! Beans, Beans the juicy fruit..  oh, heck, I didn't even bring back legumes. ;) 

4.  I worked the solutions. The fails turned into wins when I brought along what worked for me.

What didn't work in the past:
1. Not reading about weight maintenance. Weight maintenance is less talked about and a less supported concept. So much of what is presented as truth made and kept me re-gaining.
2. Doing what others were doing without looking at MY result outcomes.
3. Continuing to do what wasn't working, and not stopping fast.
4. Not looking enough at root causes.

There is no right way, just the way that works for you. But, you can learn from others who have had success. You can listen and learn from people who are like you. We're out there!

Less debate on the details, more problem solving.  I know that there will be more collaboration, more focus on grain free living. Finding the food template for yourself is worth it.  Experimenting and the courage to find your own template is worth the risk, in my opinion. 
Peacock deciding to run or attack the camera. One outcome will work better for me!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

PaleoCare Podcast review- two RN's discucss health topics

I really have enjoyed a newer podcast, PaleoCare.

The podcast hostesses are both RN/ Nutritional Therapy Practitioners. Chelsea and Katy talk about different health care questions, diseases and concerns.  All from a Paleo perspective.

If you follow them on Facebook, you can post questions in advance on a topic and they may choose to answer the question on the air! The link to their blog is here.

I had a question about sea salt vs conventional salt and the nurses answered my questions (episode #7 high blood pressure). I gave them a little background on my weight maintenance. They even read the "Whoot Whoot" part of my question! How awesome!

Anyway, if you are looking for continuing learning on the medical side of Paleo, try this podcast.

Continuing education is key in my continued weight maintenance. I learn something new each podcast. Very valuable!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Unsunk- My own story as told to Miss Skinny Genes and Ito- Finding our Hunger Podcast 44



I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kaila Prins and Ito from the Finding our Hunger podcast.

Short on time this morning, so just the links below. I'm extra full of it of metaphors on this podcast. Fun!

 From Kaila's blog:
http://findingourhunger.com/2014/02/19/unsunk/

Kaila's blog post about my episode
http://inmyskinnygenes.com/unsunk

Itunes link, choose episode 44

Below, the scene of the mint jelly and non-sinking ship. Processed sugar messes with my head. I kicked sugar to the curb for long term food sobriety! Lapses happen.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Letting the old food memories wash over me, then sending them on their way

Trigger warning: I talk about snack food in the post.. but there are only beach photos, no food photos. If you get triggered by salty snack memories... skip this post... :)

I took a relaxing walk on the beach last weekend. Busy with the usual home project, mom, and weekend activities. It was a nice clear day, I was walking and keeping my eye out for cool things to photograph. I was pretty relaxed.

I spotted this shell at the edge of the surf. I leaned closer to get the right angle for the photo. A wave came up, so I waited for the water to recede.

I got close up this time, and a huge memory washed over me... a food memory. Bugles, the snack food from the 1970's. BAM! I was transported back to about 9 or 10 years old, camping with my family. Making funny duck faces, the red bag, the really good salty crumbs at the bottom of the bag..... insert sound of a screeching breaks here....

I stood up and kept walking. Now I was thinking and slightly amused and very respectful. Okay! Obviously I probably used to emotionally eat Bugles and it might have been was a prior binge food at a young age.

Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. I went back to the shell. Now my minds eye could see me the overweight me at age 9, sitting around the camp fire with my family, I can now smell camp fire and I'm grabbing the bag of Bugles, I can see the color of the sweat shirt I was wearing... thick Coke bottle glasses, a can of Coke...  Whoa!!  So it's not a fluke... this shell is triggering past  memories..   DANG!!

I got the heck back on my walk down the beach after that. Food memories faded and I went on with my walking and photography. I let it in, wash over me, and sent those memories on their way.

Some thoughts:

Slightly Amused:
  • The shape/texture/pattern of a shell could trigger that memory
  • I could "see" colors, details, and smells
  • I'll bet people pay a lot of money to have childhood flash backs! I'm getting free beach walk therapy. Awesome!
  • I can "give the virtual finger"- see photo below, to the old ways of coping
Very Respectful:
  • Emotional eating is laying just underneath the surface
  • Thoughts can pop up at any moment, I can't control it, I can respect it
  • I own that, I own my past, I respect the power of my brain
 Extremely STRONG: Owning what I can do- coming from a place of strength with thoughts:
  • I can let waves of thoughts wash over me
  • I can examine them, if I choose
  • I can let them go
  • I can see it for what it is
  • I can make choices in the present day
  • I can have clarity
  • I can choose not to eat if I'm not hungry
So I'm smart enough to know that "it's not my body telling me to eat a salty snack". That would be  my binge brain hooking my mind into unhealthy patterns. What it probably is : Just pattern recognition. When I use my photography gift, it's a combination of patterns, textures, colors, movement, positioning.  Walking can be a form of meditation for me. I think it's called "flow".  I spend time in flow. It's a good thing.

Okay, anyhoo... enough "Woo-Woo"   I got to the highest point of my walk and and looked around. Yep! That smoke stack looks like a "virtual finger" Awesome!   More beach walks, more photography, more flow.  Let in, wash over, let it go, let it flow...

What's working:
1. Taking time to be Primal and get out in nature
2. Eating a lot of Paleo-Primal foods so I feel pain free so I can walk and abstaining from foods that cause me pain.
3. Taking lots of photos when I do steps 1-2
4. Getting great take away lessons from the flow AND practicing them. Walking the talk!!!

What didn't work in the past:
1. Not getting outside enough
2. Eating prior binge/emotional foods and thinking I could moderate those foods
3. Not practicing a hobby that I enjoyed often enough
4. Not really practicing what I knew worked. No blame, no shame.Hard to get the clarity sometimes.

Anybody else remember Bugles? I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole today. :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day 2014 - loving the non-food celebrations, my heart loves them too!

Happy Valentines Day 2014

 My cells, my mitochondria, my body... it's one more day on planet earth. Hey cells! I'm going to celebrate Valentines a third year with non-food items.

Awesomeness!  Food Sobriety, I love that MORE than any food item. My brain, body and soul love that, too. Weight maintenance, it all falls in line...

What's working for Hallmark Holiday Celebrations.

1. Celebrating with good coffee in my Love mug. (remember when postage was 20 cents?) I might sprinkle some cinnamon in my coffee. I love that.

2. Eating from my food template- Grass fed beef = great omega 3's, protein, low inflammation. My high sensitive CRP = 0.4  That's love, right there.

3. Cards: yep, I'll be sending out some e-cards tonight. I have no idea what US postage is right now, but I can send e-cards to those I love.

What did not work in the past: (binge trigger warning... words only..no food photos.. stop reading now if you need to ...)



1. Celebrating with food. Binge food. Specifically boxes of chocolates, conversation hearts with words on them, cinnamon hearts. This marks the first Winter Olympics in my 47 years that I've not binged so bad while watching the Olympics that I've not binged on those little nasty hearts with words printed on them. Gold medal for me!!!

2. Eating "special" frosted sugar cookies and frosted cupcakes, even though I had committed to weight loss. My promises and talking head did not match my walking, working body. 0% correlation there. Frosting = binge = weight gain.  No other way in this equation for me.

3. Giving people candy. People who were also trying to lose weight. Open apology here and now. Sorry I enabled you. Forgive me my trespasses. I forgive you for enabling me to do the same.  Love forgiveness. Moving on now..


Happy Valentine's Day 2014!!!   Here's to another day of love with non-food items.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Paleo Non Paleo - success stories from Alison Golden- yep! I am featured


I have the huge, huge honor of being featured as a success story at Paleo/Non-Paleo by Alison Golden.  My story is here, please read it and share it with anyone who you think could benefit http://paleononpaleo.com/paleo-success-story-karen-2/

I think this is one of the best write-ups ever. I read it, and I was wow-ed! Is that me? Yes, yes... it is. Something about this story, the way it's written, my photos. My daughter read my story and gave me a huge hug and a teary thank you.  What a gift!

What can I say?   This: I'm so honored to be featured. Alison's blog has been a place of learning as I transitioned off mainstream, commercial dieting and the Standard American Diet. I will happily direct people to this link as much as possible.

It was so, so important that I could see others who were successful and who made life changing (saving) diet and life changes so that they could live a better life. I was like Alison. I knew no one else who was doing what I was doing in real life. Meat and Veg! Yes! Read more about Alison's story here.

Be sure to check out the other success stories on Alison's blog. If one of those stories hits home, try out, test out , experiment, problem solve, and bring what works with you.  We are stronger together! Customizing your food and life template is key, in my opinion. Keep going and keep working on what works for you.  Thank you, Alison!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Slender Safari podcast- my story and interview with Shey Harms episode 35

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Shey Harms at Slender Safari in mid- Jan 2014

I forget how I originally met Shey, probably twitter! Anyhoo, I can relate a lot- thyroid problems, yo-yoing with weight. Yep! I know this cycle more than I know any other way... up until recently.

Shey has been considering a Paleo/Primial style of diet or just finding what works best for her. It was easy to talk to her and I probably talked more about thyroid disease than any other interview.

Thyroid disease (auto-immune Hashimoto's, diagnosed in 1997) probably is the thing I've blogged least about, but drives 90% of my individual choices in my Paleo-ish template.

Shey is very easy to talk to about weight loss and I love chatting with people who are looking to build their own template for success. No one weight loss plan or weight maintenance will work for one person. Shey is considering a Paleo-ish template, so I of course add my 2 cents on that. :)  In my own experience, a low inflammatory template is a super great match for post Thyroid disease for overall health, including weight maintenance.

Head on over to iTunes and download episode #35 and check out the other episodes that may be of interest.

Wishing Shey all the success in the world on her own quest to loose the rest of the weight and do all the things she loves to do. :) Thank you Shey, for sharing my story so others may find what works for them.

We are stronger together! And I'm motivated to blog more about my Thyroid and post thyroid experiences.  Auto-Immune disease is no small thing to recover from and manage in the long term.


Friday, February 7, 2014

A day in the life of Garden Girl KP ,No Grains, No Gains blog topic Feb 2014

O GRAINS, NO GAINS: A GROUP A OF PRIMAL/PALEO/GRAIN FREE WOMEN WHO BLOG ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES/LIFE/BENEFITS WITHOUT GRAINS. A GREAT WAY FOR OTHERS (WHO MAY BE WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, REVERSE AN ACUTE/CHRONIC HEALTH TREND, AND/OR TRANSITION FROM COMMERCIAL WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS) TO READ ABOUT REAL LIFE WOMEN WHO ARE LIVING THE LIFE AND SUCCEEDING!   - See more at: http://www.skynsurf.com/#sthash.v3ruO8cH.dpuf
A group a of Primal/Paleo/Grain free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. It’s a great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding!
O GRAINS, NO GAINS: A GROUP A OF PRIMAL/PALEO/GRAIN FREE WOMEN WHO BLOG ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES/LIFE/BENEFITS WITHOUT GRAINS. A GREAT WAY FOR OTHERS (WHO MAY BE WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, REVERSE AN ACUTE/CHRONIC HEALTH TREND, AND/OR TRANSITION FROM COMMERCIAL WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS) TO READ ABOUT REAL LIFE WOMEN WHO ARE LIVING THE LIFE AND SUCCEEDING!   - See more at: http://www.skynsurf.com/#sthash.v3ruO8cH.dpuf

O GRAINS, NO GAINS: A GROUP A OF PRIMAL/PALEO/GRAIN FREE WOMEN WHO BLOG ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES/LIFE/BENEFITS WITHOUT GRAINS. A GREAT WAY FOR OTHERS (WHO MAY BE WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, REVERSE AN ACUTE/CHRONIC HEALTH TREND, AND/OR TRANSITION FROM COMMERCIAL WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS) TO READ ABOUT REAL LIFE WOMEN WHO ARE LIVING THE LIFE AND SUCCEEDING!   - See more at: http://www.skynsurf.com/#sthash.v3ruO8cH.dpuf
A day in the life of Karen P.... AKA- Garden Girl KP. This month's blog topic is "A Day in the Life". A few photos and some every day details of long term weight maintenance, habits, and routines. Scroll to the end of this blog post for the stories of Gwen, Lynda, Jeanette, and Leigh! We are blogging once a month on the same topic. Read their stories, we are stronger together!


4:30 am- iPhone rings. Snooze button is pressed once.  OR I wake up on my own, just before my alarm. I'm an incurable morning person, so I take advantage of that.

4:45 am- I select an Instagram  photo of the day to post. Usually from my walks at the beach over the weekend, the low tides and tide pools, or some cool birds I've spotted during my lunch walks. Photography is my hobby, and on some days posting my photos is the BEST part of the whole day, besides the great food I eat and time with my family.

4:50 am The cats slowly rip the flesh on my legs  wait patiently for me to feed them.
 "Your bladder is full, my cat stomach is empty, you know the drill..."
I am sooooo cute... feed me now! I can do anything I want I'm soooo cute!
4:55 I weigh in quickly and record my weight on My Fitness Pal. Data, record it, move on...
A year of daily weighing Feb 2012 to Feb 2013
 5:00 Cats are fed, I brew my first cup of coffee in my Keurig and take my thryroid meds.
 5:00- 6:00 Get ready and breakfast prep

1 egg, 3 egg whites ( I do better post auto-immune thyroid with fewer egg yolks and more egg whites, I'm not fat phobic, trust me!) Asparagus sauteed in avocado oil with garlic sea salt, baby kale, avocado slices.
This is a weekend breakfast, week day breakfasts are about the same content, just not as pretty looking on a plate.   I grab a frozen, pre-cooked at home meal for lunch, side of veggies, and maybe some more avocado for work.
Next up... Commute, Work, another cup of Keurig coffee and several bottles of water.

Mid- Day: Lunch- often left overs or something re-heated from weekend batch cooking. I eat standing up in the break room. I know it's not supposed to be good for me.... but I find it most AWESOME!   Really, I sit all day some days... that's not so great, so I stand up, chat, answer questions about my lunch.  "Yes, I made this myself, NO I won't gain my weight back eating avocado slices, Yes, I use my own spice blends, NO, I don't miss noodles/rice/garlic bread... look this sauteed cabbage is a noodle substitute, YES! I can bring in my Paleo Cookbooks. NO, I don't eat RAW MEAT.... I don't know anyone who does.... Yes, the ground bison is pretty good at Costco, No, my cholesterol is not too high, Yes! there is a lot of omega 3 in grass fed beef. NO: grass-fed beef is not too much more money when you consider I don't buy junk food or eat out much any more. Great trade off.... "  Love it. Really. I've influenced more people by just answering questions and the great smell of home made food. Big steaming bowls of protein, veggies, and fat that is low inflammatory. I'm always full after lunch.

Boom: out the door to walk for 30+ minutes. De-stress, vitamin D most days, camera in hand and I'm transformed into... Bird, plant, and Southern California photographer (weekends are usually at the beach and tide pools) This is the Primal part of my life...
Green teal duck, 2/6/2014 Lunch time find!




 More work... I typically do hit the wall around 3 pm. During this time I have to watch myself for signs of stress build-up, tiredness, etc. There can be a huge accumulation of food brought into the break room in the afternoon. The day I stopped eating at my work place was the day I started to stop eating emotionally.

Commute....
Nuclear reactor or giant boob? San Onofre

Super glad the tank is in the slow lane, Camp Pendleton, 2/6/2014


 and HOME: for my second job- Mom!  I'll reheat a batch cooked meal or cook some thinly sliced meat or ground meat quickly.  I take any supplements- multivitamin, vitamin D, calcium, occasionally some magnesium. I chat up Jr. Family member.
Ground bison, marinara, broccoli slaw, avocado slices, blueberries with cinnamon, 85% chocolate

All the rest:

Back out for 10-15 minutes of walking if I'm not close to 9-10,00 steps. 
 There is no magic fairy in my house, although Jr. Family member does help. I bring home the Paleo bacon and fry it up in a pan.... ;)
The magic fairy that cooks, cleans, and shops!


There's always dishes, pick up, clean up, laundry, gym 2 nights a week (20 minutes), shopping 1 night, batch cooking 1 night during the week. I'll spend 2-3 hours batch cooking on weekends. I manage time with Jr. Family member, too. That's always nice!

I'm a total podcast addict and I listen while I do chores and errands. I watch a little TV, but not much. Blogging, reading blogs, if I'm not too tired.

9:00- 10:00 pm... time to sleep. The earlier the better. If I don't blog much, it means I've prioritized sleep, and that's a good thing. My life, stress levels, and weight are all lower because of the sleep situation.

Sneaking in a few extra steps at the beach!
What works:
1. Cooking at home
2. Batch cooking a lot
2.5 Eating 3 meals a day
3. Walking at lunch
4. Prioritizing time with the family
5. Prioritizing sleep over computer/TV time 

What didn't work in the past:
1. Eating out a lot... pasta, bread sticks, tortilla chips, etc
2. Buying lots of Lean Cuisine and WW frozen meals
2.5 Snacking 6 times or more a day!
3. Sitting MORE at lunch
4. Numbing out and not doing much OR making eating the family event
5. Staying up late hooked to the TV


Okay, over to the other No Grain, No Gains- Keeping Weight Off in a Grain Obsessed World blogs. I know that we are all at different points in our lives. It's so fun to see what works for others:




Monday, February 3, 2014

My 2 year weight maintenance anniversary- 70 pounds gone & feeling awesome!

  2 YEARS!!!!  I'VE BEEN MAINTAINING A 70 POUND WEIGHT LOSS FOR 2 YEARS!!!!!



Let me just list some of the good things that eating grain free and mainly processed sugar free has brought during the last two years. Low inflammatory, real foods. Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates from non starchy veggies. Yes, a Paleo-ish template with coffee and some 85% chocolate thrown in there.
Best weight maintenance tool ever for me.  40 years of trying to find the right thing. That's a long time.

Being tough, not moderate has been the theme of the last two years. It's a lot of work in some ways.. planning my food, cooking, prioritizing my work outs and walking. It's sustainable, do able. The right problem solving. That's it. Problem solving and priories. 

 It's so, so worth the work. The work pays back in a MAJOR sort of way. Here's what's working:
  •  Maintaining a weight loss of 70 pounds, two years
  •  37% of my body weight, gone. 
  •  Lower blood pressure (92/62)
  •  0.4 hs-CRP
  •  Migraines are GONE. 30 years of migraines
  •  Physically stronger than ever in upper body strength
  •  Thinner than I was in high school, just saying....
  •  Size 4 little black dress is waiting for my 30 year high school reunion, just saying...
  •  Feeling 27 and not 47- think... fountain of youth,
  •  Eating LOTS of plants, animals raised humanely , and coconut oil, avocado, olive oil,  spices,  sea salt
  •  3 meals a day
  •  No crazy sugar/carb cravings or getting the shakey due to good food fuel!
  •  No Sugars, No Grains (BOOM, y'all!!!)
  •  Walking over 10,000 steps, through out the day
  •  Much better skin (AKA- much less acne)
  •  Almost 0 menopause symptoms
  •  Sleeping great
  •  Almost 0 emotional/binge urges.
  • Support when I need it
  • Daily weighing in and data tracking

What didn't work in the past:
  •  Trying to use my weight loss plan in weight maintenance
  •  Trying to eat moderate grains and sugars 
  • Trying to sooth myself with food
  •  Trying to get support from people who did not support abstaining
  •  Stopping trying.. this kept me stuck for years.
  •  ANY, and I do mean ANY 100 calorie pack... seriously...what was I thinking??!!
  •  Listening to weight loss advice that was based on poor science (Dang that Ansel Keys!)
  •  Listening to weight loss advice that was based on big food ( that heart healthy whole grain thing, might as well have been red skull and cross bones for me.. follow the MONEY!)
  •  Counting points or calories without regard to food quality and binge triggers.
  •  Eating nuts, so sorry nuts.. you're out of here!!
  •  Not listening to my gut instincts (no pun intended!)
Celebrating the 2 years, food sobriety, my support bloggers, my support group,  the frequent comments on the blog, real life people who have cheered me on, JR. family member,   those people who have interviewed me over the last 2 years so that I can share my story with more people = pure awesomeness!!! 

THANK YOU!!!!  I would do some cart wheels in the side yard, but it wouldn't end well. ;)

I have no doubt that I will be maintaining in a year from now. Here's to our safe travels over this year.

Weight Graphs, for the geeky: I always weigh more in the winter and less in the summer. More when I don't strength train, less when I do. I'd say this is pretty normal maintenance mode for me. I'm 5'1 and weigh 116.6 currently. I'm 47 years old and in my first year of menopause.  I'm pretty happy with my weight and health. I feel better in this weight range. Super glad I still hop on the scale. The data is very, very valuable to me and the process of long term weight maintenance.