Saturday, February 27, 2010

Goodbye Snickers

I have been on the Step up plan for a year now. That is a year of having a fun sized snickers (at least) every day (at least). Last night I gave Art my last fun sized snickers and I am planning on not buying any more.

I just finished reading: In Defence of Food, by Michael Pollan. So many of the topics I have written about here and thought about in the past year as I have been on this very bumpy road to better health, are addressed in this book. The real problem on so many levels is the Western Diet. We are main lining sugar in many forms, (white flour, HFCS, etc) no wonder diabetes is sky rocketing. So I am going to try to get off the sugar. No more white stuff. Maybe if I get it out of my daily diet I can get healthy and get the last 20 pounds off.

So how do I go forward as a "flexitarian"? - (one who eats less than one serving of meat a day) Here's the new plan-
No buying processed food or meat. (That probably means no more shopping at Kroger)
Eat real food, more leaves than seeds, mostly plants
Pay more, eat less (organic, local, peak season, again probably not at Kroger)
Eat slower
Fish 2 times per week- wild and from the "good" list

This change is hard for me. Not really for Art- he is farther along than I am, but Allison is struggling with the changes that are so different from what she finds in the normal world. She doesn't see that the normal world is crazy- where food comes from a window, meals are eaten in the car and bread has 50 ingredients, half of which are unintelligible.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Night Sweats

One thing I know from back when I was on Atkins, when I sweat at night it is my body losing weight. The next morning the scale will show a drop. It has been happening again. In the past year when I wake up to go to the bathroom, I am sweaty when I have been counting my calories and exercising. I do not soak the sheets like I did in the hospital after delivering Allison. After she was born, I had night sweats and left the hospital in my pre-pregnancy jeans. For me there is a real link.

I looked it up on the Internet and I may be the only person that has this phenomena. But it works for me. I am pretty sure that it is not menopause, because it only happens when I am dieting, and only at night. I wonder if it is the body using the stored fat for energy and to get to the stored fat the water has to be let loose, because body fat has a high water percentage. Is this why I should drink more water or herbal tea, to flush the fat out of my body?

Very difficult questions I will ask the dietitian next month when she calls back.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Everything Is Holy Now

Everything is holy now. Here are the lyrics to a song that brings tears to my eyes when sung by my friend at church. It reminds me how very precious and fleeting life is. No soemthing to be taken for granted.

Holy Now

When I was a boy, each week
On Sunday, we would go to church
And pay attention to the priest
He would read the holy word
And consecrate the holy bread
And everyone would kneel and bow
Today the only difference is
Everything is holy now
Everything, everything
Everything is holy now

When I was in Sunday school
We would learn about the time
Moses split the sea in two
Jesus made the water wine
And I remember feeling sad
That miracles don’t happen still
But now I can’t keep track
‘Cause everything’s a miracle
Everything, Everything
Everything’s a miracle

Wine from water is not so small
But an even better magic trick
Is that anything is here at all
So the challenging thing becomes
Not to look for miracles
But finding where there isn’t one

When holy water was rare at best
It barely wet my fingertips
But now I have to hold my breath
Like I’m swimming in a sea of it
It used to be a world half there
Heaven’s second rate hand-me-down
But I walk it with a reverent air
‘Cause everything is holy now
Everything, everything
Everything is holy now

Read a questioning child’s face
And say it’s not a testament
That’d be very hard to say
See another new morning come
And say it’s not a sacrament
I tell you that it can’t be done

This morning, outside I stood
And saw a little red-winged bird
Shining like a burning bush
Singing like a scripture verse
It made me want to bow my head
I remember when church let out
How things have changed since then
Everything is holy now
It used to be a world half-there
Heaven’s second rate hand-me-down
But I walk it with a reverent air
‘Cause everything is holy now

Here's the link to hear and buy the original.

A woman from my bible study died this week in a traffic accident that may have been suicide. I pray for her, and am reminded as someone from bible study said on Friday, that we are candles in the wind. Everything is holy if we remember and we see it as so. May it be so.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Becoming a Vegetarian

I haven't really decided yet, but I am entertaining the idea of becoming a vegetarian, or at least at home.

Being a vegan in our society is very hard. I went to a seminar yesterday to hear one of my heroes. Nick Murray is amazing and his sage advice and wisdom has made me a better and more successful financial advisor. He has had a greater impact on my career than anyone, so I was thrilled to see him speak in person for a lunch meeting yesterday from 11-2. He was irreverent, wise and gave me concrete steps to be better.

Lunch was a disappointment. I had expected make your own sandwiches that they usually have at these functions, so I could make a veggie sandwich. But no, there were roast beef sandwiches and chicken wraps, the vegetarian option was grilled veg and fresh mozzarella on a skewer. The only vegan offering was the fruit salad. I did have the coleslaw and a piece of chocolate cake ignoring the animal products in each. I only have to do this for a week, can't even imagine a vegan life. A vegetarian life is more doable I think. I am moving in that direction. I think that I will stop buying red meat to bring home. We can eat whatever when out, just not in the house. Only chicken, turkey and fish from now on.

I have been reading vegetarian cookbooks and I have some ideas that I think will be great. So far I have come up with the following ovo lacto vegetarian main dishes:
Eggs-griddle cakes both sweet and savory with veggies, quiche, puddings, kugel
Corn-grits, polenta, tamale pie
Italian- pizza, gnocchi, pasta, pesto, marinara, stuffed shells, alfredo
Chinese- lettuce wraps, kung pao, yuxiang eggplant, dry fried green beans, sesame noodles egg foo yung, spicy tofu
Asian- Tom Yum, Pad thai, Vietnamese noodle soup, Miso soup, miso eggplant, tempura
Mexican- tortilla soup, veg fajitas, tacos, burritos, nachos, tostadas
Greek- spanikopita, gigantes (butter beans), moussaka
Indian- peas and tofu, cauliflower curry, vindaloo, spinach, curry chick peas
Mideast/ N Africa- falafel, taboleh, morracan stew, cous cous,
Bean soup- navy, black, pinto, lentil, split pea, white, chili
Veg- Cabbage and potatoes, stuffed pepper/cabbage/potatoes, veg soup, puree veg soup, veg stew, shepherd's pie, ratatouille

Let me know if you have some good vegetarian main dishes.

Normal Eating

I am comforted by the following definition of normal eating. It was created by Ellyn Satter, an expert on eating and feeding. Satter writes:

“Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful. Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.

In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.”

I have never eaten normally. I don't now, my diet and relationship to food is much too restrictive, and taskes up way too much of mty brain space, but I have been getting results. It works for now. Once I am in a size 10 I need to learn to eat normally. Weight today 190.4

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gall Bladder Flush

Today is day one of my week long vegan diet, culminating in a gall badder and liver flush. I do this about once per year along with my smears for colon cancer screening, which requires a no red meat diet. The bean soup is cooking in the crock pot and I had a mock (soy) chicken sandwich for lunch.

The cleanse is pretty simple ( From The Amzing Liver Cleanse by Andreas Moritz):
Eat a vegan diet Monday through Friday plus drink 2 large glasses of apple juice everyday

Saturday have oatmeal for breakfast and for lunch have white rice and steamed veggies.
Then the fun begins and it gets a bit more complicated. Eat nothing after 2 pm. Drink plenty of water.
6 pm - First serving of Epsom salt (1 Tablespoon of Epsom salt in 3/4 cup of water add lemon to stomach the taste and use a straw to get it down)
8 pm - Second serving of Epsom salt
10 pm Combine 1/2 cup olive oil and 3/4 c fresh squeezed citrus juice in a jar, shake hard. Drink standing next to bed. Lie down on back, keep still for 20 minutes. Go to sleep

6 am Third serving of Epsom salt
8 am Fourth serving of Epsom salt
10 am fresh juice
11 am eat fresh fruit
12 eat light
By evening eat normally

The results are that a number of gallstones are released and it detoxes your liver and gall bladder. I have been doing this for at least 5 years once or twice a year and to my amazement there are always gall stones that come out. They are waxy, bright green and pebbles sized.

It is also a way to loose weight short term- I am sure it is water weight but it looks good on the scale.

I borrowed Mark Bittman's Cook Everything Vegetarian and I am flirting with going to more of a plant based diet. With Food Inc (which I still haven't seen) and Pollan's books (which I have read) I am again moving towards a simpler, lower global economic cost and healthier diet.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


From Hafiz, a Great Sufi Master (Iran)"God wants to see more love and playfulness in your eyes, for that is your greatest witness to Him" (from the poem Your Mother and My Mother)

I am not playful, spontaneous, impulsive, romantic, nor a last minute kind of person. I am dependable, efficient, list making, serious, responsible; I am a planner. I am willing to consider the fact that I may be missing the point of living life by continuing to live in the future, not Now.

When I am playing with the dog (Queenie is a Boxer-Pit Bull mix)- tug of war complete with growls on both sides, I am in the moment playing and not worrying about what to cook for dinner or the list of personal and business items I have to accomplish, just for that one moment. Also, when I am playing with my daughter, letting her show me around her virtual world on build a bear ville or playing on her DS I am in the moment playing. I snap out of it, out of the joy and the to-do's nag.

For a long while, since getting married 15 years, ago I have known that I am not the romantic type. I am thoughtful, I get things for Art that I know he will enjoy for no specific reason, just because I want to. I can be sexy, but that is not romantic. The only 2 romantic things I have done, that I can think of are writing him a love letter a few years ago for no reason and surprising him on our 10th anniversary, taking him away to Fearrington Inn for lunch, tea, dinner, over night in a suite there and then brunch the next morning. It was romantic and spontaneous for him, but not for me. It was well planned and discounts were used, me being my old self I had everything mapped out down to bringing snaks, chocolate and wine. The only thing I didn't plan was the wedding happening outside our window, which we watched from the room.

Valentines is coming and once again I am at a loss. Just get him Godiva again? How does one become playful and romantic. Where is the list of things I can check off to become spontaneous? How do you plan play? The lesson once again is to live in the now because it is all we ever have.