Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cyclic Weight Maintenance Patterns and Reversing a Small Trend- my Weight Maintenance GOLD May 2017

So, I noticed a bit of a weight gain trend from the end of April 2017 until the first week or two May 11, 2017. There are many reasons for this, nothing for me to get upset or spin my brain out about, or drop everything and eat all my old binge foods.

Kudos to FitBit for adding a blue trend line to their data. Brilliant!

Not losing my mind is key:  It took me about 5-10 minutes a week to take a peek at a few graphs, think about a plan. That's it no going back, no massive ruminating but planning with actions (we all have planned with no actions!), knowing I might level out or the scale might increase.

Now taking action, say cooking and doing dishes, moving 60 minutes a day, gym 2X week,  that is the time consuming part of weight maintenance, in my opinion.

Doesn't matter, it's data, I plan, record, move on, evaluate, re-plan. THIS is my gold. 
Weight Trend early May 2017

I'm still within my Best Weight 2017 of 113-116 lbs ( my BMI is hanging right around 21.6- 21.9 for reference).  No big deal now, however awareness on getting level averages will be key for me staying in my best range for June 2017.

Here's my personal GOLD of Weight Maintenance: The best practice of finding my root causes and making small adjustments to current food, lifestyle, and food sober living choices. In May 2011, I knew there were others who could stay in weight maintenance and I told myself I would be one of them, in a best me sort of way.

Now that I've repeated my best practices over 5 years, I'm finding it easier and easier to take 2-3 weeks, assess, experiment, and move onto other things. I can make a few educated decisions based on trend lines alone.

April 27, 2017 to May 27, 2017 All leveled out

I don't have to stay stuck trending upwards- beyond my best weight, I can level out and then either stay at level or reverse the trend to loss.  Holding onto level is pure GOLD. Once I get too high with my weight, well my 40 years of obesity fat cells start to take on a life of their own and a less than optimal .  Food sobriety is a daily gift I give myself, so there's that, too.

A. Why is there a trend?  I can guess for April and May 2017

Normal fluctuations, curious self experiments, and a bold re-test of a prior binge food

1. Natural, cyclic nature of Weight Maintenance= normal (cyclic natures = respect!)

2. Self experiments around NOT 17:7 fasting before a blood draw = curious (great data! learned a lot)

3. Self experiments with 4 grams of Macadamia nuts, 3 days in a row. (prior binge food) = re-testing theory  (ALL the nopes!!! I cannot eat even a smidge of prior binge foods)

B. Can I get leveled out and see a flat line? Yep! Okay, mission accomplished. I'm still within my Best Weight range, so that's what I'm looking for in maintenance patterns.  It's normal for me to have a wave pattern.

In general, cyclic patterns happen all the time in nature.

C. Can I sustain the level line?, or am I about to Pivot higher? Corkskrew? (see Dr. Berkeley's post)

Well next month will tell. I get what I get and I don't throw a fit. It's data, I just keep going and try something else.

Jan 1, 2017 to May 27, 2017- those normal cycles

For a very, very small time investment, AND taking a fair amount of daily action- Paleo/LCHF- probably Keto some days. Bringing my own lunch, getting out to walk, some strength training and HIIT here or there... I can have what I promised myself I wanted for life, a normal weight. I never thought I could get my best weight, but that's what practice and honesty and very frankly- Food Sober Living gave me.

Owning my own data in weight maintenance. Not letting me get me. Staying Food Sober without a relapse.  Lapses, yeah, they happen.

What is working in the late Spring 2017

1. Plotting my data each day with easy to use digital tools, Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, Apple Health, Heads Up Health

2. Looking at graphs 5 minutes each week, taking ACTION on the results.

3. Paleo/Low Carb, sometimes Keto, cyclic. Keeping my 17:7 fasting most days.

4. Not letting me get me- AKA- food sober living, while taking a reasonable risk here or there.

What did not work in the past:

1. Not using the right tools for weight maintenance, skipping weigh ins at WW to hide (wasn't effective, nor was counting points!)

2. Not having a graph meant I could not look at it and I wouldn't have to do the work of weight maintenance.

3. Low fat, calorie counting did not work for me past the age of 35.

4. I rather liked the food high that I had cycling in my life, that was kind of fun, until it started to hurt physically and mentally. Ouch.

Okay, here's to finding your own personal GOLD in weight maintenance. Your plans and tracking will vary. There's no one way, but probably 2-3 that will be more effective. Onward,  constructive comments are welcome.  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How I keep my lower GI system running smoothly, your milage and output may vary- Spring 2017 Poop Post

Hello All,

I got a question from a bloggy about friend elimination and the lower GI track.
**Please, if you have GI problems, get the correct diagnosis from a doc or other reasonable practitioner***

Sometimes, we are all left tinkering on our own. Specifically- lets talk about poop! In the lab world we use the words fecal or stool. Sometimes the topic gives folks unpleasant feelings So skip this post if talking about taking a dump is a deal breaker. I totally get it.

 I'll try to keep the topic moving a long and brief (LOL, not sorry, punny!!!) Your milage can and will differ based on age, disease status, medications, food template and gut microbiome (which is all highly theoretical but does matter, who knows why or how much...)

  These topics were mentioned for discussion.

1. Going daily
2. Going fully
3. Clean wiping
4. Minimal odor

Great topics. Let's get started

1. Going daily:

What does work: For me  going daily has a lot to do with the types of food that I eat. Mainly, am I eating foods ( Paleo/LCHF/ Keto-ish mild) that agree with my gut.

This means  for me meat from animal sources, leafy greens, brightly colored veggies, and enough fat- think natural fat in eggs, beef or lamb, sardines, avocados, or added olive oils.  Also seeds like pumpkin but not small seeds like chia or sesame. Some fermented veg- like sauerkraut can be good (but I do limit my intake, too much is too fast transit time for me). Coffee, several cups-truth!

I've noticed good results from eating meat off the bone: Chicken drumsticks, thighs, wings ( I take off most the skin, most days) or beef ribs, or eating the whole thing- like sardines or smoked oysters.

 I'm currently on a coconut oil abstaining period for some self- experiments.

Edited to add: Magnesium- I take 2 tsp of Natural Calm Magnesium (lemon/raspberry flavor). It has a teeny bit of Stevia in it, but I dilute it so food cravings are not triggered from "sweet".  Too much magnesium = too fast for me. Too little and I can get night leg cramps ( lots of LCHF's get this).

What didn't work in the past:  grains, dairy, low-fat WW and other diet foods, added fiber and high fiber cereals- cause me to have a "colon blow" effect. Painful digestion, upper and lower- Lots of GERD, lots of GI pain. Horrible gas- smells like sewage. Folks running out of the bathroom gagging.

Yeah, I really, really don't miss poor GI function. And, to think that I thought FiberOne with low-fat milk was going to save me from Colon Cancer and/or diabetes. Or oats for that matter.... gads!  All it did was make me sick and in doubled over pain, most days. I was too far in it to see it.

Oh, those high fiber muffins at Trader Joe's were like food addiction CRACK- ate them for breakfast, thinking that the low points would surely keep me lean and all I got was sick. Never wanted to connect those dots. All I got was morbidly obese on those muffins- and a bloated belly. BIG bloat. Like a pant size difference.

Even my pets wanted to stay away from me when I ate dairy products and high grain fibers. OMG!

2. Going fully:

Has a lot to do with my foods, but eating at similar times, similar foods, staying hydrated (don't over drink water- that has very big problems electrolyte wise) just adequate hydration- not over, not under, drink to thirst- if you are at elevation, then you may have to change it up in the mountains or high mesas.

Squatty Potty is helpful, but not mandatory. I have one upstairs, but not at work or downstairs. Get your food settled and that goes a long time in going fully.

Disease Management: Some diseases create pooping problems, along with medications. Ugh! This is a tough one. Work with your doc on this.

3. and 4. Wiping and Odor:

What's working now: Well if you get your food in order, wiping becomes standard, not too much of a problem. Odor- yes, poop smells bad, but getting your GI system humming a long will go a long way.
There are products to purchase to put on top of the bowl before you poop to make the smell minimal, but you can also throw money out the window of your car as you drive along your commute, too.  I wouldn't spend my money on toilet bowl fresheners other than cleaners.

What didn't work in the past: 

Everybody poops, but sometimes it's an easier thing than others. Even prepping for my colonoscopy in Nov 2016 was more pleasant than eating low-fat, high grains, and FiberOne. That's a sign. That I needed to change up my diet.  I believe this was  body's way of hating what I was doing to it. Sad, but some good experimentation can help.

Karen's personal NOTE A:  If there's a lot of problems, I might go to a regular doc for an Ova and Parasite test. If there is nothing concrete, then I'd head to a functional person who does not over test (Michael Ruscio) functional  doc.

I can surmise from Dr. Ruscio's podcasts that he does not over test, he does drill down quickly, without much diagnostic costs to his patients, and he is very experienced in the area. There's a whole bunch of woo and high out of pocket costs both in the functional and traditional space, but picking an ethical practitioner would be key- IMO. SIBO can affect folks, so I'd want someone to help me who's honest and ethical.

Of course in the traditional medicine, you can still pay  a lot and get nothing but a recommendation for Fiber One and Gut Busting high fiber crack muffins at Trader Joe's.  Those may work great for some, but who wants to have colon blow and fat pants from the weight gaining grain foods?

Karen's personal NOTE B: Some folks are so upset about dropping a duce in the same hotel bathroom as their spouse, kids, husband or wife that they will run down stairs to the common bathrooms while traveling.  For these matters, I recommend talking to a good cognitive behavior therapist who can help  manage thoughts and behavior around daily bodily NORMAL functions.

You may have to sit down with the fam bam and tell them to stop with any shaming or blaming.  Every body poops. Yep, it smells bad for a reason. Don't eat where you dump from an evolutionary prospective. Everybody has to wash after they go- because the bacteria thrive in the nether regions even if it's urine- wash your hands, male or female.

Hand washing is key for post bathroom activities, but all my readers will know that and I'll bet you all practice good hand washing practices already. I'll tell you, having a compliant kid made things good from disease prevention at my house.

Karen's personal note C: Travel to other countries and/or hike in the back country. It gives you a totally different perspective on taking a dump- for sure!

Karen's Personal note D: Some folks do great on high grain fibers. Yaaaaay you. Do what works!

Hope this helps the person who asked the question. See you in the comments.

Prickly Pear flowers to take your mind off the topic as you go about your day...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Weight Maintenance Update 5 Years, 3 months staying steady, inside "my best for me "ranges

May 2011 to May 2017

May 2011 to May 2017

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 113-125  lbs
Current Weight 116.0 lbs
Keeping off    71.4   lbs

Time in maintenance 5 years, 3 months

Age 51
Menopause 3+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 21.9
BMI ave this month 21.8
BMI ave last month 21.7
Glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month range 71- 93 mg/dL)

Food Template:  Paleo, LCHF, Keto (some days), 
Abstain from all grains, most sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7 or 18:6

17 hours fasting (water only)
7 hours eating, 3 meals
Eat 6am Stop eating at 1 pm

Or 18:6, I change it up a bit

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997, 100 ug Synthroid daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 6+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 12,000-13,000 steps per day

Weight lifting : 2X per week

Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week OR stair sprints 

Stair Ave/day for the month 18 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

What's working for me May 2017

1. More LCHF than Keto lately. Digging more vegetables on my midday meal. Works. Total carbs not much more than 50 grams/day, all from veggies and some 85% chocolate. 

2. N=1 experiment on some health parameters. May lead to more testing. Vague, I know.. not serious.

3. Celebrated 6 years of food sobriety. That's very special to me. I'm proud. I choose recovery over the disease. I'm very grateful for my choices. There's not much margin for error in the process. I've navigated well. I give myself a lot of credit. 

4. Really digging roasted chicken legs on salads. Yep! Check my Instagram feed for photos (Link)

5. I'm on the data watch for an upward trend the last 2 weeks, probably related to my n=1 self experiments, but I continue to use My Fitness Pal as a tool to help me navigate the weight maintenance space.  

I'm still in my "best for me" weight ranges, but I do take upward trends seriously and look at my overall total food intake, movement, sleep, and stress management. 

This month:
This month weight trend May 2017

Compared to April 2017 trend
Still feeling great. Not pulling an ostrich. Not freaking out either. 

What did not work in the past

1. Counting calories and points rather than carbs
2. Not experimenting with my health parameters to optimize and understand.
3. I ate to sooth myself, to celebrate, to get food high. Junk food was my life. 
4. I ate terrible tasting, dry chicken breasts, just nasty, with low fat chemical blitzed dressing. (YO, low points)
5. I did not hop on the scale so I missed the opportunity to make changes and improvements. 

May Gray 2017, good for flower photos

 Weight Graphs, because they are a great tool for me. And, I deserve the best tools possible.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

6 year celebration of food sobriety- pleased, but powering onward- May 2017

6 years of Food Sobriety 2011 to 2017
I'm 6 years food sober today.

May 3, 2017.

Six years.

I know it's earned, not a given.

What's working now

 1. I eat 3 meals a day ( a few days a 4th)

2. I fast 17:7 or 18:6 most days (not all)

3. I abstain from my trigger foods
(grains, most sugars, guar and xantham gums, nuts)

4. I eat a Paleo, Low Carb, sometimes Keto food template

5. I exercise and sleep on a schedule (most of the time)

6. I get abstaining based support when needed.

7. I'm honest with myself (sometimes I lapse)

8. I'm honest and have trained myself to catch slippery slope thinking, reversing that ASAP.

What didn't work in the past:
1. Ate all day, all the time and at night many times
2. I only went 1-2 hours wihtout eating
3. I moderated all my trigger foods because I was told I had to or I would binge eat (Ughhh!)
4. I ate the Standard American Diet, low fat diet products, and sugary foods.
5. I thought I moved a lot, but was sedentary
6. I didn't seek the right support system- moderation made my food addiction worse.
7. I wasn't honest about how much I was eating and that I was getting sick a lot.
8. I sunk further and further into slipperly slope thinking so I could get food high.

To anyone out there who has helped me, thank you.  Thank you very much.

I feel that food sober living is easier than food addiction, so I will stay living in food sobriety for another meal.

Next up, May 2017 check-in and that poop post for our blogger friend. LOL. Onward.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

National Lab Week 2017 - 6 ways I've used lab testing to work for me in weight maintenance

Top 6 ways lab testing helps me in weight maintenance

Happy Lab Week 2017

In real life, I'm a lab professional. I've been one for 29 years. 30 if you count my student rotation back in Indiana.

Shout out to ALL lab professionals. Tough hours, tough conditions, high stress at times. Great payback to the patients and to the docs diagnosing and the nurses in patient care.

An extra awesome shout out to phelbotomists because they are awesome when they draw my blood, both as a patient and as a paid blood donor.

I've worked a lot of weekends, holidays, and fill-ins and call ins during my 29 years. And I've provided a lot of good lab data, too. I know I've made a difference in the Hematology-Oncology, Coagulation, and Quality Professions.

As far as weight loss and weight maintenance go, here's how I use at home and commercial lab testing to monitor my health.

What's working for me now

1.  Home Glucose meter, fasting & 2 hrs post to determine type 2 diabetes risks with meals and foods.

I can eat carrots, Brussels sprouts, onions, green onions, summer squashes, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, and 85% chocolate with post 2 hour glucose readings 98 ug/mL and below. My fasting runs anywhere from 68-82 ug/mL or so.

Since I have the genetic predispostion for Type 2 diabetes (not diagnosed) I need to test. It's not my fault, but when I was obese for 40 years, my type 2 risk sky rocketed in 2000, post pregnancy.

2. Home Fecal Occult Blood testing, as provided by my employer near my birthday. Negative colonoscopy in 2016. Staying away from high fiber grains keeps my colon running BETTER!

3. Paleo, Low Carb, sometimes Keto food template for good outcomes with glucose & GI health

4. Occasional urine ketone testing just because it's fun. LOL.

5. Periodic lab testing for screening for insurance discounts and thyroid testing for medication dosing.

6. 23N Me testing with the Promethease HTML report. This is the single most important lab test of my life. I will live longer, in less pain, for much less cost. Owning my own data = super powerful.

What did not work in the past

1. Not monitoring glucose at home post potatoes, winter squash, and moderating Skinny Cow Icecream sandwiches. With M&M's spiked on the side. 5 WW points doesn't keep me from developing Type 2 diabetes. I now know my glucose spikes high and stays high when eat the SAD.

2. Shying away from wanting to know if I had fecal occult blood AND shying away from the idea of a colonoscopy. I've seen too many people not get standard polyps snipped out and who have died in their 50's. Very good treatments, individual for colon cancer now.

I must say that eating high fiber grains really did a number on my GI system. I was afraid I'd have long lasting effects. Thankfully, I stopped pumping my body full of oatmeal, Kashi, Fiber One and magically, my GI system got A LOT Better...

3. Calorie counting and Points counting did not work post mid-30's for me. In my late 20's yes. In my mid 30's and older- all the NOPES. All of that helped me get and stay obese for many years. Nothing fueled my Food Addiction more.

4. Not using low carb as a tool for weight loss and weight maintenance.

5. I avoided going to the doctor and avoided taking action on some really high HA1c's. Sigh. Better late than never.

6. Not owning and taking action on my own data. I just wanted to stick my head in the sand.

Okay, who else uses home and commercial lab testing to optimize weight loss and weight maintenance. I know a lot of our bloggy friends do. :) Kudos.

PS- one of our bloggy friends has requested a topic on GI health, specifically, stool health. Whooot!!  Post up in the next week to 10 days with how I keep my GI system pretty smooth, after years of too much and too little. Don't worry, there will be no actual photos. LOL

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Congrats to Prof Tim Noakes and an "oh no they didn't" Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino - April 2017

A bouquet of flowers to Professor Timothy Noakes from South Africa for being found NOT GUILTY of professional misconduct for instructing a new mother to feed her baby- gasp! real food! Meeting Prof Noakes at a LCHF event is on my bucket list. Just saying! 

 Also thanks to Marika Sboros for the incredible coverage of the trial. 

Dr. Zoe Harcombe describes the Prof Noakes case (before the verdict at Low Carb Breckenridge). 

Here's what really is working for me now for my Paleo, LCHF, sometimes low Keto food template for long term weight maintenance and how it relates to the Prof Noakes case

1. I got better (putting obesity and food addiction in remission) by following the tools that Prof  Timothy Noakes,  Dr. Gary Fettke, Jason Fung MD, Dr. Zoe Harcombe, Jeffery Gerber, MD, Eric Westman, MD, and Barbara Berkeley, MD have provided. World Wide Subject Matter Experts ROCK.

2. I'm able to use the information and apply my learning from the information presented by subject matter experts to my own genetics and outcomes to avoid diabetes, obesity, and diseases of inflammation. 

3. I'm not waiting for the US government to change to change the food guidelines to get well. When grains and high carb, high processed foods failed to work as evidenced  by painful joints, cystic acne, food addiction, morbid obesity, I took matters into my own hands. 

There's absolutely NO SENSE in waiting for any government to swoop down and pronounce something. There is a HUGE benefit in seeking subject matter experts in the areas where I know I need to improve my health and taking massive action. 

Kudos Prof Noakes for staying the course. Kudos for those providing valuable tools to those of us who need help now, not in 5, 10, or 20 years.  We all need the Prof Tim Noakes of the world to speak out and provide their valuable clinical experience. 

Little Toot needs to tow the sugar boat away!

Now an "Oh no they didn't" entry

Okay, click through to the blog entry. The Gomer Blog is like the Onion for Medical types, so please take it with a grain of salt. It's satire, okay.

As the mother of a teenager, the sugar consumption at all coffee houses is a concern to me. Frequency, amount, your body will need to do something with 59 grams of sugar. It has no choice but to protect your heart, liver, kidneys, and eyes. NO, sugary coffee drinks are NOT an occasional thing for many in Jr. High, High School, and College. It's the dose and frequency. Sugary drinks have already created havoc in young kids.

What's working for me now

1. Black coffee at home and at Starbucks
2. Coconut milk for a coffee whitener, on weekends
3. Stopping sugar substitutes to lose the "sweet" palate

What didn't work for me in the past

1. Getting Low Fat Lattes and thinking I was awesome. I wasn't, I needed to be dairy free
2. Using those flavored creamers thinking I could get into top health with a chemical add-in.
3. Using tons of equal in many cups of coffee thinking it would help me get lean.

Onward. Any thoughts on Prof Noakes and Unicorn Frappuccino's? It's okay to disagree.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

5 years , 2 months in long term weight maintenance 2017 update

May 2011 and April 2017

May 2011 to April 2017

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 113-125  lbs
Current Weight 114.4 lbs
Keeping off      73.0    lbs

Time in maintenance 5 years, 2 month

Age 51
Menopause 3+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 21.6
BMI ave this month 21.7
BMI ave last month 21.9
Glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month range 68-95 mg/dL)
Glucose (fasting & 2 hr post last month = 68-113 mg/dL) ! Shingles caused some higher readings

Food Template:  Ketosis- mild and  LCHF Paleo, AKA- NSNG
Abstain from all grains, sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7 or 18:6

18 hours fasting (water only)
6 hours eating, 3 meals
Eat 6am Stop eating at 12 pm

Or 17:7, I change it up a bit

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997, 100 ug Synthroid daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 5+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 13,000-14,000 steps per day

Weight lifting : I took about a month off due to the Shingles, starting back today for 2X per week

Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week OR stair sprints 

Stair Ave/day for the month 14 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

What's working now:
1. Abstaining for the WIN!!!!

So, so, so incredibly grateful for Food Sober Living the last month. I've recovered from the shingles almost 95%. I need to bring my upper body strength back online and a few skin areas to heal up. 

I'm being very mindful to get back to my normal self and not let food addiction back into my life. If there's anything I have learned it's that I can take one or two bites and have a lapse after a big illness or life stressor. So, I remain food sober. 

And for that, I am very grateful. Thanks for anyone in the past that has helped me abstain. Kudos. 

What didn't work in the past

1. Moderating all food within a point value. Calories in Calories out really did nothing to keep me food sober. In fact, it kept me in food addiction for far too long. 

Graphs, got them!  You  can see the Shingles 1-2 pound bump! LOL. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Shingles, Weight Maintenance, and Food Addiction Recovery 2017, hint, there's an anti-viral for that!

*** If you have shingles or think you do, go to your doctor, get diagnosed ASAP!!!!!***

The accounting below is based on my own experience. Your diagnosis and treatment can and will differ.

Here's my scoop on the latest in my weight maintenance challenge: Shingles. Yep!
Early in March 2017

QUICK DIAGNOSIS : The short story.Due to fast action on my part, I went to my doctor and got diagnosed and on anti-viral meds (Valacylovir for 7 days) within 8 hours of the rash appearing. Rash and most of the mild pain went away in 14 days.

Pain: The pain has been mostly mild to slightly moderate. I have not taken a single pain pill. Doc was going to put me on Gabapentin for pain, if needed. Early use of the anti-viral probably saved me a lot of pain. I suspect it will save me from PHN- postherpetic neuralgia. If I can avoid long term nerve pain, I'll be very pleased. 

Research Pre-Diagnosis: After I saw the nasty rash, I was 99% sure it was shingles, so I made the earliest appointment I could with my PA.

Mainstream: I googled ONE mainstream source of info: NIH Shingles  I will trend to a 85% use of mainstream medicine when sick with common, treatable diseases. My doctor or PA and I are the top decision making team together.

Take-away: Get the anti-viral meds since the rash was <72hrs old.

Paleo/ LCHF/ Keto: I googled ONE article that was written by someone on the internet who used mainstream medicine and functional medicine and had a prior Auto-Immune disease. Back Country Paleo shingles information.

I'm picky and choosy when selecting off mainstream medical advice. Too much woo and down right miss-information on the internet. With Back Country Paleo,  I liked how Sue navigated her shingles case. And I had already decided to use an anti-viral, so I was interested to learn from Sue. I grew up in a rural area, next to a small-ish medium sized city, so the rural fixes are of interest to me.

Take away from Sue: Get traditional treatment, improve your gut bacteria and inflammation later via your regular Paleo/ AIP food template.  Exactly how I like to roll. A very good example of combining mainstream with principles that keep your immune system well. I have to keep my GI system running  as part of a low inflammatory life anyway, so this approach fits well into my post shingles living.

Dealing with my existing diseases: the Food Addiction is still in remission
You'd better believe that my food addiction voice came out to play a few times. "You're sick, poor thing, don't worry about your food template right now....." "You'll be in pretty bad pain soon, eat whatever, go easy on yourself, it's okay to eat extra carbs". WHAT!?

Good news. I have trained myself to recognize destructive thought patterns. I did NOT give into food addiction. I told another living person I would not due to the acute illness or potential pain management. That I would get through this disease without "using" food.

So far, so good. As always, my food addiction voice can show up without warning, even after the event. Knowing I stay true to my abstaining food template  24/7/365. I can ask for and get support with the same speed keeps me well, safe, and in remission.

I weighed in daily, just data, no big deal. Really I just cycled between 2 weight plateaus within my weight maintenance range. It's very interesting to me how things like viruses effect my weight.

Had Shingles early March '17, small weight change

Post Hashimoto's Disease and Shingles:
So far so good, I'm taking great care in the post acute phase of Shingles. I'll be 20 years post Hashimoto's disease this summer. Generally,I try to stay as well as I can as I age to avoid another round of a different auto-immune disease.  Hypothyroid is a super easy treatment for me by using the synthetic thyroid hormone, Levothyroxine- AKA Synthroid.

How I dealt with Shingles:
I've now gone from the acute phase (rash, teeny tiny almost not there blisters, fatigue, some cold intolerance)  to the more chronic phase (mild pain) and am on the mend.

Working: If I were contagious, for only a few days in my case, I was completely covered by 3 layers of clothing at all times while out of the house. I had almost no visible blisters that healed up in 2-3 days. This kept small babies, pregnant ladies not previously infected with chicken pox, and the immunocompromised (treatment and or elderly) safe.

We are talking teeny, tiny, almost couldn't feel blisters.

Since I don't see patients in a hospital or clinic setting in my current job assignment, I arranged to work at home until I got onto the anti-viral meds. I stayed clear of all kids, elderly, and any child bearing females.

Eating: I kept my same food template, adding in chicken broth, probiotics, and I ate some tasty sauerkraut I had on hand. 3 meals a day, 1 Tablespoon of the Diablo Sauerkraut seemed to keep my GI system running well, despite the disease and the treatment.  The day I forgot to eat the kraut while on the anti-viral meds was pure misery. Of course, it could have been the meds, the disease or both.

Batch cooking: I had most of this in my freezer already cooked
Beef off the bone and chicken broth broth and sauerkraut all help my GI system, seemingly. I cooked up some beef short ribs in the Instant Pot and put them on romaine, with radishes and cilantro. Tasty!

You or family WILL get sick. Prep food before that happens so all you have to do is microwave.

GI stuff: I needed to eat sauerkraut at every single meal while on the anti-viral. After the 7 days, I tapered and now eat fermented at one meal every 2-3 days.

I also craved salt before I got the rash, so much so, that I finally ate salt out of hand a few times and salted my water with pink salt a few times.

Other symptoms: I had some cold intolerance and fatigue. Both mild compared to Hashimotos like 1/3 the strength. I could still function and never fell asleep at dinner. LOL.
Long beach walks helped me

Other Treatments: Exercise if you can
Walking: low to medium to medium high intensity walks helped much of my nerve and skin pain. The first 10 minutes was a little painful, but walking seemed to decrease my skin pain for 6-8 hour blocks.

Short Showers: My showers in the AM increased my pain so fast showering, moving to washing my hair every other day helped decrease skin/nerve pain.

Gym: I had some weakness, so I took a few weeks off the gym and kept doing home pushups and stretching.

Of course, I'm thinking about prevention now: 

Root cause: 5-6 medium stressors that appeared one by one in a 2 week time frame in Jan 2017.  Nothing that is unsolvable, nothing that I couldn't or didn't ask for help and got it, but perfect storm conditions.

ALL things that were outside of my control. ALL things that are dealt with now and are humming a long just fine. And I was meditating, taking long walks at the beach and thinking I was going back to normal. Nope!  I really thought I was doing well. What a kick in the butt. Sigh.

All the sea glass collecting in the world wasn't enough to keep me off the edge, this time. Infections happen, squeaky clean food and living or not, sometimes you get sick.

Contributing cause: Going against my gut feeling in Sept 2016 and NOT paying $200 out of pocket to get the shingles vaccine. My insurance doesn't cover the shingles vaccine until age 58 (I'm almost 51), so I made the decision, in conjunction with my doc and good health, to wait.

The vaccine won't prevent a Shingles outbreak, but the severity may be lessened. I tend to react well immune wise to vaccines. Guess what I STILL have to do this Fall, yep, get a shingles vaccine and pay out of pocket. DANG IT. Even if you have had shingles, the vaccine may help future outbreaks.

What is working now:
1. Early Diagnosis so I qualified for the anti-viral Valcylovir
2. Keep other diseases in check by eating in my food template
3. Batch cooking, with a special emphasis on beef, sauerkraut
4  Priority on exercise sleeping and meditation and, setting limits
5. Getting any other vaccines and prioritizing my extra cash for prevention, insurance or no!

What did not work in the past:

1. I didn't always go to the doctor when I needed to go.
2. I almost developed type 2 diabetes as a result of my Food Addiction being out of control.
3. I bought "sick and comfort food" like frozen dinners, icec ream, and candy. Ugh!!!! NOPE
4. I said yes to all people, no matter what. Couldn't set a boundary to save my life.
5. I ignored my gut feelings. Poor risk management skills.

Have you gotten shingles? I know many cases are much, much worse than what I had. I'm very fortunate.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Weight Maintenance 5 years 1 month check-in, not answering the food addiction knocking on the door...nobody's home

May 2011 to Feb 2017

May 2011 to Feb 2017

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 115-125  lbs
Current Weight 115.6 lbs
Keeping off  71.8 lbs

Time in maintenance 5 years, 1 month

Age 50
Menopause 3+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 21.9
BMI ave this month 
BMI ave last month 21.6
Ave glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month = 73mg/dL)
Ave glucose (fasting & 2 hr post last month = 71 mg/dL)

Food Template:  Ketosis- mild and  LCHF Paleo, AKA- NSNG
Abstain from all grains, sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7

17 hours fasting (water only)
7 hours eating, 3 meals
Eat 6am Stop eating at 1 pm

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997, 100 ug Synthroid daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 5+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 13,000-14,000 steps per day

Weight lifting 1-2 days per week, 

Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week OR stair sprints 

Stair Ave/day for the month 18 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

Oh boy! I've had an acute illness this whole week. Sigh. Separate blog post about that very soon. Happily, I have not let my food addiction back into my life. The FA is still knocking on the door, but I won't let it in at all.

A little voice that says, awwwww you're sick, it's a little painful, you should treat yourself to.....  That's when my recovery brain steps in and says you WILL treat yourself to FOOD SOBER living. And with that, I'm brought back to reality.

No matter what, I refuse to regain, to entertain food addiction and I stay on my food sober template. I need to  live free from FA or I  will die having let that disease back in is simply not an option. I won't let it be. All the nopes! There's almost no gray zone here. It's clarity vs disease in 60 seconds of slippery slope thinking.

Sometimes the food addition is more mentally painful than the disease and my acute disease is physically painful.......

I do think I'm transitioning to the chronic phase of the disease. March is my birth month and some of my birthday gifts to myself are books. I also got myself a membership on My Heritage (like Ancestry) for geneology. And, as luck has it, moderate to light walking really helps my condition.

I'm reading the Secret Life of Fat by Sylvia Tara, PhD.  I'm only a few pages in and I could have written the book. Seriously, that was me as a teen.

Follow me over on Instagram and watch my videos for chapter reviews. I'll blog about the book soon. I have a camping "papasan" chair (Costco <$40.00) that I call my chair of wisdom.


So all things given, I'm very fortunate. I choose THIS! I choose to eat well, move well, sleep well. The only thing is stress which probably got the better of me this time. But hey, I can and am working on that, too. I thought I had stress in the bag. Stress may take the most time for me to manage.

What's working 

1. Staying on my food template, even though I'm sick.
2. Taking time to sleep, read, rest, do hobbies that I love
3. Continuing Education into my obesity and Food Addiction diseases.
4. Fermented foods, helped me a lot this week.
5. Daily weighing and My Fitness Pall recording. It works. It's the lock on my food addiction door.

Here's what didn't work in the past

1. Using illness as an excuse to binge eat whatever I wanted- pooooooor baby, I deserved that Hostess Snowball and cinnamon toast. Doing that kept me sick for many years. I'm not a baby and to stay well, I need real food that is low inflammatory.

2. I didn't sleep enough or prioritize me.

3. I did work continuing education just fine, but I failed to prioritize my recovery in food addiction and weight maintenance.

4. I binge ate everything carby- toast with cinnamon and sugar, oatmeal, and it made me more sick.

5. I didn't weigh or track if I was sick. I thought a pass on the scale was treating myself well or kindly. No, it was sitting down and making my food addiction a cup of coffee and having a chat. It was slippery slope thinking.

Onward, to my graphs. I had a 1-2 pound weight gain with the illness and the drug for treatment. Still in my preferred weight maintenance range. Going low in my maintenance range has had a good outcome for me.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Transition complete! From weight loss to weight weight maintenance Feb 2017 one month, steady state

Remember my post, the one about transitioning from weight loss to weight maintenance being short and well defined? Well, I've reached full time weight maintenance at a weight that is better for me.

The time period: It took about 1 month or so to really lock things down. Now 35 more years of weight maintenance. to go. LOL. Really, I just can concern myself with today and things will be okay.

In real life: Likely, I'll have to cycle between weight loss and weight maintenance many times, although, I'm aiming for a long time in between unintentional gain. Like a few years. or months. I'll take what I get and I won't throw a fit.

one month of weight loss, one month of weight maintenance Jan-Feb 2017

Now the real work begins!

Seriously, I see so much bad advice out there for weight maintainers. Advice that will absolutely result in weight regain. Intentional or unintentional, I'm on 100% constant vigilance during the next 6  months,  entire time of my remaining life span. 

Here's some fool proof advice: Choose your monitoring tools wisely. Monitor your weight, food intake, movement glucose, ketones if it helps, strength, blood pressure, inflammation markers, sleep, and stress relief. Choose  enough tools to identify and reverse a gain trend so that weight maintenance is simply weight maintenance.

Choose tools carefully. Choose weight maintainer seniors carefully, too. This is important if additional roots of obesity have not been addressed.

HINT: Develop habits around measurements and frequencies for long term weight maintenance. The focus will have to shift, so that new habits become sustainable habits. Then, when the next habit set (main habit with subsets) can be learned, practiced, sustained. 

That habit cycle will need to happen for each root cause of obesity. Toss some self growth in there. It's like fertilizer.

Unless you want to yo-yo!? After 40 years, I needed to stop yo-yo dieting. 

Good News: It seems for me to get easier (metabolically, emotionally) since I stopped cycling back into the food addiction or the bio-chemical mess or the stinking thinking that was killing me (or making life miserable) in the first place. 

Habit changes, one by one, only in the direction that will give me weight maintenance

Here's what is working now: 
  • I keep my monitoring tools handy, 
  • I check often (but not too much), and 
  • I'm way, way, way honest with myself and what I tell myself
  • I check in with other weight maintainers in real life.
What didn't work during other attempts:
  • I did not monitor the correct metrics for my obesity root causes
  • I did not monitor enough
  • I was not honest with myself and my weight gain, getting food high was more fun!
  • I didn't go out to find other abstainers like myself, stayed with moderators too long.
How long does it take you to transition between steady states? Have you ever strung together 2 months or two years of steady state weight maintenance? For me it's been 5 years +/- 10 pounds, and only 2 years +/- 3 pounds.

Very interesting....  I have to say I love steady state weight maintenance.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Quick- Open Comments to the FDA on “Use of the Term `Healthy' in the Labeling of Human Food Products.” Feb 2017- Speak UP!!

A big thank you to Michael Moss for tweeting the link to the open comments at the FDA for the use of the term "healthy" in US food product labels.

Here's the tweet
READER Assignment:  Please leave your feedback for the FDA.

QUIZ:  2 question competency assessment quiz. Y'all are a smart bunch. I know you'll pass my 2 question "healthy" competency quiz.

A photo speaks 1,000 words. So here is my experience only.

Question A: 

 Which photo looks "healthy" from a metabolic disease stand point? In 2017 or 2011?

Eating while consuming Zero Food Products labeled "healthy- Feb 2017

Eating while following the "healthy" labels on cereal and grains Feb 2011

B. Question #2

Which food template photo allows me to maintain a 74 lb weight loss over 5+ years? These are actual food diaries for me. 

Eggs and Kale photo #1 and nutrition info:

4 eggs, kale, raspberries, olive oil, coconut oil, pink salt black coffee, 2/17/2017

2017 Nutrition info for photo #1

Nutrition Info for LCHF 2/17/2017 breakfast, Normal BMI and weight, BMI 21

2011 breakfast photo images-#2  Photos (with credit) and Nutrition info
Healthy labeling claims, highly processed

Photo credit

Whole grain breakfast example, SAD diet

photo credit

2011 Breakfast 

Nutrition Info for "healthy" US Food Product Claim Low Fat Breakfast , Feb 2011, morbidly obese, BMI 34

Please let me know in comments if you want the Quiz answers and/or if you left a comment for the FDA.  Onward. When we know better we do better. Hey, they had me at cinnamon roll... LOL ;)