Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Confessions 5.31.13

It's Friday AGAIN! Time to confess and come clean before the weekend.

Here goes:

I confess that it has been 2 weeks since I have confessed. Last week I stuck to my plan all week long. I did not give into the temptation of Key Lime pie and Eclair cake on Monday, nor did I cave to chocolate cream cheese cake. I was making headway. Then, a holiday weekend. Things fell apart a bit.

I confess that I ate out several times, enjoyed every bite, spent an evening with friends for Memorial Day and enjoyed my food then too.

Then stepped back into full plan on Tuesday. I confess, I haven't been as steadfast this week, and I can tell a difference. I feel sluggish and yucky, so with the monthly lunch outing over with as of today, I can refocus and re-commit.

I confess that I tried my feet at running this week. A three mile run/walk with a running friend. I confess I was very thankful that she reached out to me. I needed a push to see what I could do.  Did my foot hurt, oh, you betcha. Was it worth it? Oh yes. I saw this on facebook this week:

And I am still very frustrated that I am not running like I want to be, like I was this time last year. So maybe, I am still a runner. I was beginning to wonder.

I confess that I have switched from my beloved Black tea to green and herbal blends. It wasn't a conscience choice or effort, it just kind of happened. I confess that my new evening tea has me quite enamoured. This Hibiscus tea is delightful! With a drop of raw honey, it it tastes like I'm really cheating.

Lastly, a good friend of our's has listed a unique vacation property in Northern California. We stayed there some years ago, and have very fond memories. If you find yourself headed in that direction, check this place out. I confess, and promise, that you will be glad you did. It's a bit rustic, so you've been warned, but also a place you will never forget. 

Redwood Tower on Wild Lost Coast

What are YOU confessing this week?

Head over to Aubrey @ High-Heeled Love to join the confessing!

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Confessions 5.17.13

It's Friday - time to confess the week's indiscretions and come clean before the weekend....

Here goes:

I confess that I am looking forward to lunch today - this week has been National Nursing Home week, and we always conclude with a big catered BBQ - which is today! Yum! I will be stepping out on the Plan today, and enjoying every bite!

Speaking of the Plan, I confess that I'm still doing it and you can see my latest update here.

I confess that I am soooo frustrated with my foot. I did a tiny bit of running 2 days this week, and my foot was throbbing the next day. Does anyone know where I can get a new one?

I confess, once again, that I LOVE my residents. Take this true story from this week:

My sweet 97 year old lady gives me a hug today, grabbing one of my many love handles as she does. 
She says: You are so sweet Caroline, and so pretty. And I guess you know, honey, you are sort of fat. 
I say: Yes ma'am I know I am. 
She says: I thought you did, does your husband like it? 
Me: He doesn't mind it too much.

I confess that at one time, this would have bothered me a little bit, but I've learned that my old people just don't have their filters working anymore (if they ever did), and I enjoy their honest banter - most of the time anyway.
Lastly, I confess that I have discovered Feedly. Since Google Reader is going away in just a couple of months, I needed to find another reader to keep track of my favorite blogs. I tried Blog Lovin' but I just didn't like the layout so much. For now, I'll stick to Feedly - it has a nice, clean looking page that I can customize with different views and categories.

Well, I think that's it for me, what are YOU confessing this week? 

Head over to Aubrey @ High-Heeled Love to join the confessing!
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The Plan Days 8 - 11

Day 7 - Remember I made that batch of Almond Butter cookies? Well something in them cause a reaction - maybe the coconut? I had stomach cramps and gained .8 pound. They weren't that great, so I won't mind not getting to eat the rest of them.

Day 8 -  Test Bread - I toasted my bread and smeared on my yummy raw almond butter. Then my stomach started to protest just slightly. But I'm also having my monthly cramping, so which was it? I lost 1.3 pound so think I will retest bread in a day or week or so.

Day 9 - Rest Day - Party Day - Blew it Day. Breakfast was fine, weird, but fine. I had Blueberry/Pear Compote w/ chia seeds. The texture was very strange - like crunch, slimy seeds. I have a 1/2 portion still in the fridge, so I will eat it, but will I make it again? Maybe not.

Lunch was really good - bed of mixed lettuce w/ heated sauteed veggies, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, avocado and cucumber/mango salsa with carrot soup. Very satisfying.

Then Nursing Home week social. I had my snack beforehand to help keep me strong. That was a waste of apple/almond butter. I was tempted by the chicken wings and cookies. And a bite of a cupcake. The cake was way too sweet and I threw the rest out. I usually love the icing, but it tasted really yucky, so only a bite of that. But the chicken wings, I'm not sorry about those. They may turn me into a slug later, but I'll skip the dinner animal protein tonight. I've probably gained 3 pounds. (only gained 1.5).

Day 10 - I had to give a presentation today in a city almost an hour away, so no way to pack my lunch. My program ended right at 12 noon. I hung around with my boss for a little while, then decided to head back down the mountain to do a little shopping. I was looking for a Wendy's because I knew I could get the Apple Pecan chicken salad w/ no blue cheese and no dressing. Could not find a Wendy's anywhere. I was really hungry, I saw the McDonald's  and was headed for Chicken nuggets & fries. Right across the street was an Ingles grocery.

Our Ingles have the absolute best salad bars - so I turned left instead of right, and got a delicious salad w/ a bit of fruit. Felt much better with myself for making a healthy choice. Lost 1.1 pounds.

Day 11 - With the conference yesterday I got off  schedule, so used today as another rest day, and re-tested bread. Did not have any cramping after eating it today for breakfast, had salad & leftover veggies for lunch.

For dinner I made a vegetable Timbale. I had no idea what that was until tonight. A layered vegetable salad, kind of like a lasagna (without the sauce, cheese and meat), but not really. This one called for zucchini, onions, carrots, swiss chard, mushrooms, goat cheese and manchego cheese. I was supposed to use 4-5 oz of goat cheese. I think I'm reacting a bit to the goat cheese, and I only had 1 oz anyway, so crumbled it up to give it just a touch of cheese in the middle.

The picture really doesn't do it justice. Since I haven't been using any salt or dressings, I could really taste the saltiness of the manchego cheese on top. It was delicious.

Bill’s Timbale

• 1/2 head of Swiss chard (use kale if you have thyroid dysfunction)
• 1 large zucchini
• 1 red onion
• 1 1/2 large carrots
• 4-6 oz. soft goat cheese
• 2 oz. manchego
• 8 shitake mushrooms
Preheat oven to 400 F. Use a mandolin or slice vegetables as thinly as you can. Create layers like a lasagna: zucchini, onions, Swiss chard, goat cheese, carrots, shitakes, Swiss chard, carrots, zucchini and top with manchego. Cook for 30 minutes or until top layer of cheese is slightly golden. Makes 6 servings.

Total weight loss - 4.5 pounds. Have gained twice - once on a rest day when I made those almond butter cookies, and after my cheat day earlier this week.

There are 10 days left for the formal part of the program, but I would like to continue eating this way, because I feel so much better mentally and physically. It does take a good bit of planning, but I love looking in my notebook each morning knowing exactly what I'm going to eat for the day.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Plan - Days 4 through 7

Well, I made it through the toughest part - the 3 day cleanse. And then the next four days as well.

I've not had any reactions so far to any of the "test" foods - almonds, goat cheese, dark chocolate or steak. Tomorrow I get to try bread - white bread. I'm so excited!

The ounce of chocolate at the end of the day is really worth waiting for. I'm still taking the L-Glutamine and have had zero sugar cravings. I'm going to take it for another few days, maybe this whole week coming up because it's National Nursing Home week at work, and there will be food everyday. And I'll be the one serving it everyday.

Day 4 - tested goat cheese, and I passed. I was also able to add dark chocolate in after dinner. And I could have added red wine, if I had any, but I haven't been drinking lately, so will save the wine for later.

Day 5 - tested Rye flour, and I passed. Now, I can have a rye cracker or two w/ almond butter as a snack.

Day 6 - tested steak. I was worried about this one because I love it so much. And I didn't drink enough water, so at 7:30pm I chugged about a quart and was still behind. But, lo and behold, lost 1.6 pounds, so I passed Steak! The book says that beef is tough on the digestion system and most people do well to have it only once every 7 days. So chicken is my friend, for now, until I test another protein.

Day 7 - Rest day - no testing, just all non-reactive foods.

Total weight loss so far - 4.4 pounds (in 6 days).

On the Lyn-Genet Plan facebook page she posted this wonderful looking almond cookie recipe, so I made a batch of those today. I can have them as a snack or as a dessert.

Here is the recipe:

Almond butter balls

1/3 cup almond butter
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup almond flour
1 tbsp confectioners sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350
Combine almond butter, chia seeds, coconut and almond flour in a mixing bowl.
The almond butter mix should make 9 small balls

Combine sugar and cinnamon- roll balls in sugar/cinnamon mix
bake at 350 for 10 min

Portion is 3 balls they taste like sugar cookies  and they are chock full of protein!!

The little black things are the chia seeds - they kind of look like something else, but I'm not saying...

I wouldn't go so far to say they taste like sugar cookies, like they said in the recipe, but very good. I will definitely eat the whole batch (over the week - not all at once).

This next week will be a combo of test/rest days.

Tomorrow I will test bread. And, get this, it's white bread (well I can choose wheat if I want to) but no multigrain, no flax, no oatmeal - no fancy, healthy bread. I've got gluten issues, so this will be interesting to see what happens.

After bread comes a new protein - maybe eggs or bacon? I haven't decided yet. Also this week I start to wean off the Flax granola and add in different breakfast offerings. Blueberry/Pear compote is up for Tuesday. I've already made it and it looks kind of gross, so I'm hoping it will taste completely different that what it looks like.

Thoughts so far:

  • The biggest difference I can tell, so far, is that when I wake up in the morning I am awake. I'm not groggy or sluggish. I don't have to have caffeine to "wake up." I get out of bed, and I am awake. I don't know if I have ever felt this before.

  • I am sleeping really hard at night. I used to be an incredibly hard sleeper, in the last few years have had increasing trouble with sleeping. So it's wonderful to be able to go to sleep and stay asleep all night.

  • I'm actually not dreading weighing everyday. I'm still not crazy about it, but it's not messing with me as it has in the past.

  • I think I function better with vegetable protein at lunch and animal protein at dinner. I'm not getting tired after lunch. At some point I think I actually test having 2 animal proteins in one day. For now, I think I'm doing very well with vegetable protein at lunch.

Incidentally, I've pretty much stopped all caffeine. Maybe a cup of green tea once in a while (not every day), but I've switched from my beloved black tea to rooibos and herbal teas w/ either a spot of honey or nothing at all. And I don't miss the black tea. I really thought I would. I will still drink it occasionally, but may not go back to an everyday habit.

What are you thinking about this plan? Sound interesting to you?

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Confessions 5.10.13

It's been too long since I've confessed....But here goes:

I confess: I am soooo glad the Trail Race I directed last week is OVER! I was disappointed in the turnout, but am so glad it is done. It's a lot of work and I don't mind saying that I would not be upset if the race gets dropped next year...or maybe someone else can take it over.

I confess: that I am still having my Most Annoying Foot Pain.It gets a little better, and I think it's going, and then it's not gone. I haven't run regularly in several months. My eating got out of hand and I gained back some weight.

I confess: that I needed a new strategy. So I started The Plan. I started just this week, and you can check out my progress so far here. I confess that the first 2 days were pretty tough physically, but today, day 5, I am feeling pretty good. Sleeping much, much better, and feel good physically as well as clear mentally.

I confess: that next week is National Nursing Home week, and we have special stuff going on everyday (Translation: special food every day). So I will have to watch myself from mindless eating and drinking. I will, I confess, cheat next Friday, when we have our annual BBQ lunch catered from Mutt's BBQ.

Well, I guess that's it for me, what are YOU confessing this week? 
Head over to High Heeled Love to join Aubry's Confession party!

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Plan - Days One through Three

Day One:

First thing I weighed myself. That was not fun, but as Lyn-Genet says repeatedly in her book - this is for data gathering only. I will be able to tell which foods I react to by a number of signs - one of them being weight gain.

So got that out of the way, drank my 16 oz of water and downed my liver detox pills.

Breakfast - Flax granola w/ coconut milk. One cup of this is A LOT! Lots of chewing, and I was grateful when I hit a cranberry every once in awhile. When I was almost finished I remembered that I also get blueberries, so grabbed those and dumped in the bowl as well.

Breakfast was very, very filling. There are 40 grams of protein in a cup of flax seed, and a whole lotta fiber in there too.

Lunch - Carrot Ginger soup w/ sunflower seeds (Would have been fantastic w/ salt, but wasn't terrible), Steamed broccoli - I can only eat so much broccoli, Mixed greens w/ apple and pumpkin seeds - the best part of lunch.

S - Apple

Dinner - Sauteed kale w/ coconut sauce. The sauce was really thick and rich, almost too rich. Not sure I like it. Roasted Veggies w/ lemon oil (very good), carrot/beet salad w/ pumpkin seeds. Could not eat all of the carrot/beets. It wasn't terrible, but not great, and lots of chewing.

I did get hungry on Day 1. Went to bed at 8:30pm w/ headache and woke up at 6:30am with headache and nausea.

Day Two:

Weighed myself first thing:  - 1 pound (Nice!)
Drank my water and took liver pills

My husband took one look at me and said, "I really think you should stay out today, and tomorrow, until you get past this." Well, I agreed, but had things that had to get done - Skype calls today and a lunch outing. So off to work I went. Miserably so.

Was incredibly nauseated. Could not eat my flax, could not even think about it. Packed it all up and brought to work. By 9:15a I was better and able to eat it w/ blueberries.

Lunch: Carrot soup w/ sunflower seeds, mixed greens w/ apple and avocado (Yum on the avocado!), could not stomach the broccoli.

S - apple w/ raw almonds. This is my first "test" to see if I react to almonds. We'll see when I weigh in the morning. Have had no physical reaction so far - my headache is worse, but think that is because the Anacin has worn off.

Dinner - Sauteed Kale w/ coconut sauce, beet & carrot salad, and RICE! I was so excited about the rice. It was delicious!! But could not eat the beet & carrot. I could not get warm, and the salad was cold, so I just skipped it.

The food "tests" are in the least reactive to the most reactive, so the foods I will test this week will be the least reactive, for most people.

Day Three:

Weighed first thing: -.8 pound - total 1.8
Drank Water, took liver pills and probiotics

I did not react to the raw almonds yesterday. Yay!!

I slept hard and woke up very well, clear headed without my normal grogginess.

Breakfast - Flax granola w/ 1/2 pear & coco milk - I was late to work due to 8am hair appointment. Had a 9am bfast meeting. It was tempting sitting in that room w/ eggs, biscuits & gravy aromas wafting around me. But I resisted, and ate my stuff afterward in my office.

Lunch - Headed out for lunch outing to Strawberry Hill. So flipped lunch & dinner today. I ordered a grilled chicken salad with no cheese, bacon or dressing. But what I really wanted was a hamburger and tater tots with strawberries for dessert. Ah, this is only 20 days, and I'll be back at Strawberry Hill at the end of the month. I did sneak a couple of french fries, hopefully that will have ill effects. They weren't even that great.

Dinner - Cream of Broccoli soup - very yummy. Made with coconut milk. Very good. Mixed greens w/ avocado and pumpkin seeds, dressed w/ lemon oil.

Day Four weigh in: -.7
Total cleanse weight loss : -2.5

Today I get to have some goat cheese. Looking forward to lunch!

So far very pleased with results. My head feels clearer and less sluggish. More blog reports to follow!

What do you think of this plan? of this idea that our body has chemical reactions to certain foods?Have you had reactions to "healthy" foods?

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Prep Day for The Plan

Today was my major prep day as I'm starting The Plan (read about it here) tomorrow. The Plan starts with a 3 day cleanse.

The Cleanse rules:

Stop all supplements and medications, that I can safely, for the 3-day cleanse - to help liver rest.
Drink 1/2 my weight in ounces of water. All before 7:30pm.
Take liver detox each day
No exercise
Weigh myself first thing each morning - this will mess with my mind a bit, but I have to do it to      see if I have reacted to any food. A gain of .5 - 2 pounds means reaction.

Everyday for breakfast I will have Flax granola w/ coconut milk. So I made enough granola to last me through the week, hopefully. I had a 1/2 cup of it today as a snack, and it's pretty good. Won't be hard to eat at all.

Also today I roasted vegetables, made 2 different types of soup, and 2 kinds of vegetable side dishes.

This is what my first 3 days will look like:

Day 1 (cleanse)

Drink 16 oz water
take liver detox

B - 1 cup flax granola, 1/2 cup blueberries, coconut milk

L - Carrot Ginger soup w/ raw sunflower seeds, Steamed broccoli w/ lemon oil, mixed greens w/ 1/2 pear & raw pumpkin seeds

S - apple

d - Sauteed kate & mushrooms w/ spicy coconut sauce, Beet & carrot salad w/ pumpkin seeds, Roasted veggies

Day 2 (cleanse)

Drink 16 oz water
take liver detox

B - 1 cup flax granola, 1/2 cup blueberries, coconut milk

L - Carrot ginger soup w/ raw sunflower seeds, Mixed greens w/ 1/4 avocado and 1/2 apple, Broccoli w/ lemon oil

S - 1/2 pear w/ raw almonds

D - Sauteed kate & mushrooms, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, carroty & beet salad w/ sunflower seeds

Day 3 (cleanse)

Drink 16 oz water
take liver detox

B - 1 cup flax granola w/ 1/2 apple or 1/2 cup blueberries, coconut milk

L - Work lunch outing - will order grilled chicken salad

S - 10-12 almonds, or if I reacted to almonds yesterday - then 1/2 apple or 1/2 pear

D -  mixed greens w 1/4 avocado, carrots & pumpkin seeds, Spicy Vegetable Soup

Roasted Vegetables

Flax Granola w/ cranberries

The only food that is processed is the Coconut milk, which I bought in the dairy section. It's very creamy and I do like it.

This Plan will take a lot of planning. After day 6 I have the option to continue the Plan as written for 20 days, or I can "Plan" 2-3 days a week, or I can stay on the "rest" days to lose more weight and inflammation.

Before I think that far ahead, I want to make it through this week!
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Prepping for "The Plan"

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Like many people I've had terrible troubles with allergies this season. I started noticing that my symptoms seemed worse on days I'd eaten salad w/ vinegar and blue cheese for lunch. Seemed weird to me, but I really did notice a difference on those days. Some days I will have a chai latte, and my fingers swell and I can't get my rings off - what is this about?

While thinking about this, I quite by accident came across a friend's post on Facebook about a program she saw on the Dr. Oz show. I'm not really a fan of his, but watched the video and something about the information struck me. So I investigated.

You can see the links to the videos from the Dr. Oz show: Here. When I was young I tested positive to many food sensitivities. Because I had no obvious symptoms - hives, breathing troubles, etc, I thought I had outgrown them. But maybe I was wrong.

This plan was developed by Lyn-Genet Recitas. You can check out her and her website here. 

"Our focus is on creating internal harmony using the precepts of The Lyn-Genet Plan, an anti-inflammatory diet. The Lyn-Genet Plan reduces chronic low grade inflammation which is the basis for premature aging, disease and weight gain."

She has an interesting diagram about how food makes us fat: here.

The premise of this plan is that many healthy foods we are eating, are not "friendly" to our particular body chemistry. This doesn't make them good or bad foods, we simply react to them in a non positive way. The Plan sets about trying to discover what foods are friendly and which are not. That is not to say that I will never be able to eat foods I am react to, but I will have knowledge of what is happening to me when I choose to indulge. The reactions can manifest as weight gain (from .5 - 2 pounds in a day), congestion, digestion troubles, sluggishness, hives, headaches, etc. 

 The first step of the 20-day Plan is to reset the liver. The first 3 days are a "cleanse" of sorts. I've done many, many cleanses, and this really doesn't look like a cleanse. Three meals and a snack? Two thousand calories a day? No liquid diet, no shakes, no fasting. Seems very, very doable. 

After the initial 20 days, if I make it that far, I should have an arsenal of about 30-40 foods that are friendly for me. And most of us eat the same 30-40 foods all the time anyway, so I just may have a few new foods, and a few less of my now-favorites. I will also know how to tell if I am reacting to a certain food/ingredient or not. And if I do have a food reaction, I will know what I need to do to reduce the inflammation in my body.

There are a few supplements she recommends, so I've ordered those. One is a Liver detox, MSM (for those with allergies), probiotics for my gut, and L-Glutamine just until sugar cravings go away. I've also purchased flax seed for my flax granola as well as chia and hempseed. Honestly I haven't read all the recipes to know what I will do with the chia and hempseed, but I'll have them.  I have my shopping list prepared and a cheat sheet to help me get through the first 3 days.

My plan is to start Monday. My goal is to lose some weight, and discover my friendly foods so I will have fewer reactive (allergic) symptoms in the future.

I plan (hope) to post regularly about my experiences - good and bad, mainly so I will have a record of how this is or is not working for me.

This coming weekend will be a flurry of activity. First I have the PACRun 5K Trail Race, of which I am the race director. I will be ever so grateful when that is done and over Saturday morning. Then I can get all my food bought and prepped for my first 3 days.

If you want more information check out Lyn-Genet's book - The Plan: Eliminate the Surprising "Healthy" Foods that are Making you Fat, and Lose weight Fast.

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