From Here to Health

My journey back from autoimmune disease

Fat Loss Protocol

Doug ( that is the hubby) and I are attempting a paleo fat loss protocol that was designed by Jason Seib.  If you don’t know who Jason is, he is the other half of the Everyday Paleo team with Sarah Fragoso.  I have been listening to their podcast for about a year and while Jason does come off as a little gruff sometimes, I think he knows his stuff.  And I believe he cares about the success of his clients.  So when I read this post he wrote about fat loss. I was intrigued.  I have known for a while there was something missing with me and the weight loss/fat loss thing.  I just have not been able to get the equation right!  I’ve tried CrossFit, calorie cutting, zero carb, 21-day sugar detox, and just simply going paleo.  None of those things have resulted in any sustainable fat loss.  I was hopeful when I started reading the post that there would be something “new” in it.  And there was!!  Two things to be exact.  He addresses the two issues that I think are my main obstacles.  Stress and carbs.  I feel certain that stress is part of why I hold onto fat.  I can go on vacation and lose 4 pounds in a week eating out, drinking alcohol and having ice cream every night!  I know this has something to do with stress.  It has to.  Jason addresses this through meditation.  Meditation is something I have long been intrigued by but have never truly given any sort of real commitment.  The other thing that sold me on giving this a try was carb cycling.  In the post he recommends Keifer’s CarbNite program (which we intend to buy).  On the surface I would say this looks gimmicky, EXCEPT….Doug and I have observed and discussed this exact phenomenon happening with my weight.  I will try to “diet” for a while, not lose weight, then decide “Screw it, I’m having some cookies!” and BAM…I’ve lost 3 pounds!  We have both shaken our heads at this outcome.  I think my body is really sensitive to the cycle of carbs and that there is a chance that this plan might work well for me.

September is Month 1 for us and that means 3 things according to Jason:

1. Perfect Paleo

2. Lots of walking

3. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

I have been paleo for over 2 years.  I don’t know about the “perfect” part, but I am pretty dialed in.  I will admit that I am eating some “paleo treats” right now.  Not much, just enough to taste for recipes that I am developing for the blog.  Yay!  So if this plan isn’t working I will know the first thing that needs to happen is cutting those bites out!

My walking is pretty good.  I walk for 45 minutes 6-7 mornings before the kids get up.  Then I walk again for an hour most nights.  I do this either during Finn’s dance, gymnastics or soccer.  Or I just slip out after dinner and troll the neighborhood.

And my sleep is better than it has been since I had my daughter 6 years ago.  I go to sleep between 10-11.  I try for closer to 10, but sometimes I get a little carried away with whatever I am currently reading and the time slips away from me:) I wake up sometime in the 6:00 hour.  I wish I could sleep later sometimes, but I seem to have a very strong natural clock.  We have black out shades in our bedroom because Doug sleeps during the day, but I still can’t sleep much past 6:00.

So there you have it.  I will give you guys monthly updates on Doug and myself and let you know what our results are and how we feel about the program.

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ED Day 21- Finale

I’m done!  No, I am not supposed to be done, but I am calling it quits.  I made it 3 weeks, but I did not make it to the goal of 5 symptom free days.  I am not even going to bore you with the last few days of food.  You all already know basically what it was!  I do, however, want to give you guys an overall assessment of my 3 weeks and what I learned.  The first 2 weeks were pretty darn good.  There were still some minor tummy troubles along the way, but I shed some weight and overall I felt pretty good.  This last week was the pits!  I needed a nap almost every afternoon.  I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open.  I really feel like it was some version of the carb-flu phenomenon.  I don’t know why it took so long to hit me, since most people seem to experience it within the first 5 days.  I also had a lot of digestive issues the last few days.  Bloating, cramps, gas, constipation.  Either something I was eating in my limited diet was giving me a lot of trouble, OR the high stress level of the past week was to blame.  I am leaning towards the stress.  My boys started a new homeschool program and we were behind and needed to homeschool up to 11 hours on a couple of days just to catch up.  Add that to homeschooling my daughter, soccer, dance, gymnastics, church, family obligations (it was my brother’s birthday and there was lots of cooking), cooking 6 meals a day (3 for my family and a different one for me), household chores, and the ongoing financial stress we are under.  I think I have really underestimated how this ongoing stress can garner acute reactions in me.  I had noticed in the past how my husband and I could have a fight and my stomach would “blow up” a few minutes later, but I always tried to downplay it.  I think this is probably because the stress factor seems like the hardest thing to change.  Stress is always going to be there.  My doctor has told me that I am hyperreactive.  My body overresponds to all sorts of stimuli.  The one that he has dealt with the most is my over reaction to any medications (I can only take really small doses).  But I think that I just naturally hyper react to all sorts of stimuli in my life even if you don’t see it on the outside.  It feels like this is just in my nature as a person and the power to change it may be out of my reach.  This is why I go from diet (Candida, vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, elimination diet, FODMAP free) to diet.  I am always hoping that something will click and give me this perfect health I am so desperately searching for.  Of course, it is not that simple.  So for now, I am taking it day-to-day.  Trying to keep my stress level low.  Only fixing one meal for the entire family and seeing how it goes.  Of course, I will keep you updated of any progress I make:)

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ED Day 14

Two weeks done!  Yay!! While I admittedly haven’t been perfect, I have been pretty close.  I still haven’t hit that 5 days no symptoms goal so I have at least another week and probably 2 ahead of me.

Breakfast

Applegate Farms turkey slices, garlic olive oil for dipping, steamed organic spinach with homemade pesto

I also had bone broth this morning.  For those of you who haven’t made it before, let me warn you that it stinks.  I had 1 batch going all day Thursday and 1 batch going all day Friday and my house was stinky until midday Saturday!  And to be honest, I don’t really like the way it tastes.  My daughter says it tastes like buttered toast.  I LOVE buttered toast but I guess I wouldn’t want to drink it.  Bone broth probably has been the single most helpful thing I have done to help heal my gut though, so I will continue to choke it down.

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Lunch

Wild caught canned salmon with green onion and chives fried in coconut oil, zucchini cooked in ghee

IMG_2578[1]Sorry about the dirty plate.  One of these days I am going to start taking pictures as more than an afterthought and you guys are going to think you are in the wrong place:)

Dinner

Carrot puree and sausage

The sausage was “off plan”, but I was very low on protein options here at the house.  It was from pastured pork, but it had some spices added to it.  The only spice listed was celery, salt, pepper and turbinado sugar, but there could have been others.  It didn’t give my any digestive issues that I am aware of though.

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Symptoms

I had mild heartburn at bedtime.  So maybe the sausage did bother me?  I thought once my diet got this limited it would be easy to tell what was causing what, but it’s not!  I still think there is something giving me an issue.  My husband says to trust the healing process and see it through for the full 4 weeks before I go trying to change it.  I am trying to listen to him.  Stay the course. Stay the course.  Stay the course.

My only other issue was that I fell asleep on the couch yesterday for more than an hour! I know, I know, you are saying “what’s the issue there?”  You have to know me.  I can count on both hands the number of naps I have taken as an adult and they all happened when I was either pregnant or REALLY sick.  I just can’t fall asleep during the day.  Maybe I am just getting so old that going to a concert until midnight the night before really wears me out?  Gosh, I hope not!

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ED Day 15

I was really hoping to drop a couple more pounds this second week, but it was a no go.  I weigh exactly what I did 1 week ago.  I know, I know, this is not about weight loss per se.  I just got my hopes up with the 6 pounds in week 1.  And even though it is not about weight loss, resistance to fat/weight loss is one of my issues that I was hoping to help resolve by figuring out what foods agree with me.

Breakfast

I was in a hurry before church and I am still really low on food so I had 3 oz. of wild caught tuna (canned), olive oil and carrot puree.

Lunch

Pulled pork, garlic olive oil, green beans with lemon olive oil

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Dinner

I had the rest of the leftover pork, olive oil green beans.  Thrilling!

Symptoms

I was still a little sleepy.  Not sure if this is delayed carb flu or something else.  I also just felt kinda blah and full even though I didn’t eat all that much.

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ED Days 5-8

I have been out of town to visit family and friends in Nashville so I have fallen behind on my blogging.  Oops!  Life happens.  I actually started not to do this Elimination Diet because I knew about this trip, but I decided there were ALWAYS going to be things that could potentially trip me up and be a challenge so I needed to just go ahead and push forward.  No time like the present, right?

Let’s start with Thursday.  I was actually still in town on Thursday.  And let me lay it all on the line…I cheated!!  I just want to be totally transparent.  I went to a Pure Romance party at one of my best friend’s homes and we had a little to drink.  Ok, it was more than a little.  One or two is my norm (and that is rare), but I had 3-4ish;)  We started with shots of 360 grape vodka (this was in the car).  No worries- we had a DD.  I think the general consensus was that if we were going to sit around and talk about all the “unmentionables” that get mentioned at these parties then we might need a few before we walked in the door:)  Once we arrived, I added my vodka to some seltzer water.  As if that wasn’t enough, my friend had bought me apple ginger hard cider (cuz she loves me and knows I love cider) and I hadn’t had that flavor so I had to have 1 of those too!  It was yummy!    I didn’t really have any major issues related to the alcohol.  I didn’t sleep as well as usual, which is typical when I drink, but other than that I fared pretty well for an old broad that rarely drinks.  FYI- the party was a hoot!!  We were so silly.  It was tons of fun until the youngest member of our little group ended up over the toilet.  We had to laugh a little that the 21-year-old newlywed just couldn’t hang with us soccer moms;)  I don’t even think I should bore you guys with the food because it has been so incredibly repetitive.  Let’s just hit the highlights of the next few days:)

Before we got in the car for the Pure Romance party.  Are we posers or what?

Before we got in the car for the Pure Romance party. Are we posers or what? I obviously didn’t get the memo about the white pant!

I took a lot of food to get me through the weekend at my brother’s house.  I made up a batch of salmon cakes (my husband did it actually). He can somehow get them to stick together even without the egg.  I do not have that talent.  Then I took my big batch of carrot puree and some cooked green beans and zucchini.  Top it off with my pesto and there you pretty much have most of my meals.  We did end up going out twice.  The first time was dinner Saturday night and the restaurant had grilled chicken breasts with cilantro and green beans on the side so while mind-numbingly boring, it was diet appropriate.  We went out again after church on Sunday and I had grilled rainbow trout and grilled zucchini.  I feel pretty certain that there was a low quality oil in play and some seasoning that was questionable, but I seemed to tolerate the meal just fine.  I even went to a birthday/graduation combo party for a friend who was graduating from a nurse practitioner program (her daughter was turning 3) and there was lots of food, cake, ice cream and booze and I just wasn’t even tempted.  I drank my sparkling water and ran my mouth and was totally satisfied.

Addy digging into her cake

Addy digging into her cake

As for symptoms- I am currently suffering from some constipation.  I know, TMI, but we have already talked about that.  I pretty much don’t know the meaning of TMI!  I started out on this diet with the opposite problem, but now the pendulum is swinging all the way to the other side.  I also had a little mild discomfort after the Saturday night restaurant meal, but it went away almost as quick as it came.  The only other issue I’m having is a weird charlie horse type cramp in my left calf.  I woke up Sunday morning with it.  I have had 3 of these types of cramps lately.  I am wondering about dehydration or magnesium deficiency?  Not sure.  I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, so maybe I will have some more info after that.

The kids outside the restaurant Saturday night.  We had to limit the stolen rocks from the rock garden!

The kids outside the restaurant Saturday night. We had to limit the stolen rocks from the rock garden!

Salmon and carrots yet again.

Salmon and carrots. Surprised?

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21 Day Sugar Detox- Day 19

Just 2 more days!! I’m not sure why I am really excited because I have no plans to go on a sugar bender.  Guess it just feels good to finish something.  Except a book.  Lately finishing books has felt a little sad.  I LOVE that feeling of suspense, of not being able to wait til I have a quiet moment to pick up my latest and bury myself in a world that is not my own.  Bittersweet for sure.  And Downton Abbey!  That did not feel good to finish last night!  Why in the world did they do that??  I think maybe they are going to try to hook up Tom and Mary.  Doug (my hubby) says no, but I think they have worked too hard to give Tom awesome hair to not make him center stage!  More on topic, I am feeling better today. My joint pain is not getting any worse and my energy level and sleeping are improving.  I went to CrossFit today.  I can’t really do snatch because of the inflammation in my elbow, so I did backsquat and clean.  I went up by 5 pounds on each of those lifts so I was happy.  Slow and steady!  The WOD was 5 hand stand push ups, 5 pull ups and shuttle runs across the gym for 8 rounds.  My time was 6:57 which seemed pretty good. I did my HSPU off a box, but I did my pull ups without a band:)

Here’s some pictures of a few of the things going on around here:

Liver Stew

Liver Stew

This was the second attempt at liver and it was much easier to eat than the first.  My husband made it once again because I still haven’t worked up to cooking it myself.  But I will!

Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil Blend

Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil Blend

Finally got my Fermented Cod Liver Oil!  It comes highly recommended by Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe.  I am only taking about 1/4 tsp right now to get acclimated.  We’ll see how it goes.

Sausage and spaghetti squash "pasta"

Sausage and spaghetti squash “pasta”

This was breakfast for me today and it was so good!  I found this pastured, local sausage and then added it to cooked spaghetti squash with a little full fat coconut milk, ghee and parsley.  Very yummy!

Pork Burgers over Arugula

Pork Burgers over Arugula

Lunch- Pork Burgers from Paleo Indulgences. I used some Tessmae’s Zesty Ranch over it and it was quite yummy!

Popsicle eating sickies

Popsicle eating sickies

My 3 babies all eating popsicles.  A rare treat around here- generally only allowed when they are sick, which they all are:(

 

 

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21 Day Sugar Detox- Day 14

Another great night’s sleep!  I can never express my gratitude when I wake up refreshed after 8-9 hours of sleep.  After years of intermittent sleep (on a good night), it is so great to be filled with joy when I open my eyes in the morning.  I actually think it is worth the years of no sleep to experience the true joy I feel now for simple things that I ABSOLUTELY took for granted.  I know you guys have to be tired of hearing me praise a good night’s sleep, but it just never gets old to me.  It reminds me that His mercy is new every morning and I get a new opportunity to be the person I so desperately want to be.  What a gift!

On another note, I went to CrossFit today.  I strung a few double unders together during the warm-up so that was totally awesome!  Lifts were snatch (my nemesis) and front squat.  Not much to report there, except I did go up 10 pounds on my snatch.  I’m still not getting all the way into my squat.  Practice, practice, practice.  The WOD was 3 rounds (1 minute each) of push press, air squats, box jumps and rest.  I did pretty good, but after those air squats there were a few times when I thought I might not make it onto my 20″ box.  FYI- I am 5’1″ so 20″ can feel pretty far for these little legs.  I kinda want to try a higher box (just to see) but the next level is 24″ and think that might be a bit much.

In the evening, I took the boys to the Monster Jam.  One of my dear friend’s daughter was singing the national anthem and she had extra tickets. She did such a beautiful job.  It was my favorite part of the evening.  The boys seemed to like the truck stuff (as boys are apt to do), but I thought it was a little boring and a lot loud.  My friend’s husband is a pilot so he brought super awesome headphones for the boys so the noise didn’t even phase them!  I did have a pair of earplugs that my hubby wears at FedEx but I wasn’t super good about keeping them both in because I really wanted to converse with my friend and that was too hard to do with them in:)

Monster Jam

Monster Jam

Boys First Trip to FedEx Forum

Boys First Trip to FedEx Forum

It was fun to be out with my boys doing something they wanted to do.  We were all starving when we got home and my husband had made the BEST meal ever.  It was so good that I asked him to make it again for breakfast today.  Sadly, it just wasn’t the same today.  Maybe it was because I wasn’t as hungry.  Maybe it was because he never uses a recipe or measures anything so recreating the same thing twice is really difficult for him.  I am going to try to get him to perfect it and write it down so I can share it with you guys.  It can become my first truly original recipe post!

 

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21 Day Sugar Detox Days 12-13

I just need to say that I slept 9 hours last night so I am so excited this morning!!! Yeah!! The last 2 nights I didn’t sleep at all.  I did however read 2 complete novels that were pretty awesome.  I came off my thyroid meds because I think they were giving me anxiety and heart palpitations.  I don’t know for sure if it was the cause or not, but I didn’t feel it last night so we’ll see. I thought at first that I felt wonky because of the 21 DSD, but then it went on too long for that to be the case.  Then I thought it was “lady business”, but that came and went too so I was left with the new thyroid med.  I guess we’ll see how I do without it and then make a decision with my doc.  I feel the need to confess that I fell off the 21DSD wagon on Valentine’s Day.  I split a small coconut vanilla tart with my kids.  It was literally only a few bites, but I wanted to offer full disclosure.  It was yummy and I don’t feel guilty, which I think is awesome.  I am already planning to do the 21DSD again towards the end of March.  I had such a sugar issue that I think it is going to take multiple times for me to get where I want to be.  As an example, I have been having the sugar-free allowed “treats” every day during this go around.  Even though I am not getting the sugar, I think I am still psychologically addicted tothe treat mentality.  I would like to do it again without the allowed treats.  Or at least cut them down.

On another topic, we ran 3 miles at CrossFit on Wednesday.  I am not a huge fan of running and I hadn’t done more than a 400 m sprint since coming off my hiatus in December.  I did the whole 3 miles (in the freezing cold) and it was mostly fine until my knee started hurting during the last 1/2 mile.  Hopefully it won’t give me any problems at the gym today.  Yesterday I was so tired from 2 sleepless nights that my only exercise was a walk with the kids.  It actually turned out to be the best part of my day.  My daughter held my hand the whole way and talked her face off.  My boys would periodically turn around from in front of us to say “love you mom.”  My sweet babies.  It was a blessed Valentine’s Day!

Thanksgiving Meatballs, avocado, spaghetti squash, cauliflower/parsnip mash

Thanksgiving Meatballs, avocado, spaghetti squash, cauliflower/parsnip mash

This was lunch on Wednesday.  There was a 5th meatball but I literally forgot it in the toaster oven and it caught on fire!  Like a serious flames shooting out fire.  I had to wake my husband to put it out and then the kids and I had to spend the rest of the afternoon at my mom’s house due to the smoke!  The 4 I ate were delicious.

I made “healthier” peanut butter cups for the kids for Valentine’s Day.  Here’s Finn after one of hers.

Enjoying a Peanut Butter cup with Breakfast

Enjoying a Peanut Butter cup with Breakfast

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21 Day Sugar Detox Days 9-11

My mornings have been so busy the past few days that I haven’t had time to post.  At the point, I’m not sure I can remember the specifics, but I’ll try to hit the high points.  Let’s start with the “not so good.”  I have kept thinking that this detox was giving my low blood sugar or energy crashes, but I am starting to wonder if it is the new thyroid meds.  Over the weekend I began feeling anxious with a racing heart and just “off.”  I had been feeling hormonally off for about the past 10 days.  At first I blamed in on my cycle and then I blamed in on the 21DSD, but I’m not totally convinced it was either of those things.  Last night it was the worst and I barely slept a wink.  I didn’t take my thyroid meds this morning and emailed my doc to see what he thinks.  On the to good stuff.  My mother and Finn and I went to see Mary Poppins on Sunday night.  It was so much fun!  Finn was absolutely mesmerized by the scene changes and tricks.

Finn and I at Mary Poppins

Finn and I at Mary Poppins

It was her first big live theatre show and I hadn’t been since she was born so it was such a treat!  As a side note because I am looking at my bangs in this picture, I think I am going to have to start washing my hair with real shampoo at least once a week.  I like the No Poo method in some ways, but my hair is just getting too heavy.  As I refine my method I will keep you posted.

Yesterday, the kids spend a big portion of the day making Valentines.  Finn has 20 kids in her homeschool class that she needs a Valentine for and I agreed to let her pick out any ones she wanted.  But no, she said, “Aren’t you supposed to make Valentines?”  So that is what we have done and they are turning out really cute.  And it didn’t end with the kids her in class.  Yesterday I mailed large envelopes of Valentines to relatives living out of town.  My floor is still covered with supplies.

Presley and Finn in the Valentine Factory

Presley and Finn in the Valentine Factory

I made the Paleo Parents Carbonara recipe for dinner and then had the leftovers for lunch.  It was super yummy.  I added wild caught shrimp to mine because I had it on hand and my kids love shrimp.  This is the leftover lunch portion.  It looked better the night before.

Shrimp Carbonara

Shrimp Carbonara

 

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21 Day Sugar Detox- Day 8

I’m hanging in there.  That sounds a little desperate.  It’s not really that bad, I just still don’t have as much energy as I would like.  So…I broke down and had some sweet potato today.  It’s not exactly against the rules.  She recommends it for athletes which I think I qualify for on some days.  Not today mind you as I only walked for about 30 minutes and did some rebounding for 10 minutes.  Maybe it is something else entirely, but at this point I am assuming the lack of energy is from the lack of carbs.  Other than that, I finished a novel, started a new one, did some housework, some homeschool testing with the kids (yes, they weren’t thrilled since it was Saturday), and running some errands.  The boys had a new friend spend the night and it was so much fun to watch them together.  They had the best time riding scooters and plasma cars, playing on the playset and climbing trees.  I love watching my kids be kids.  Not sitting in front of the TV numbing their sweet minds.  No judgement really.  I mean, I love some mind-numbing TV for myself, I just don’t love it for my kids.  Their new friend was so sweet and didn’t think our paleo eating was weird.  As a matter of fact, he cleaned his plate at both dinner and breakfast!  I love that.  My kids cleaned their plates too.  Pretty hard not to since I made 50/50 Bacon & Grass-Fed Beef Burgers from Eat Like a Dinosaur and pastured sausage and Easy Peasy Pancakes from the Paleo Parents for breakfast.

My Paleo Lovin' Boys

My Paleo Lovin’ Boys

Mine are the two on the ends:)  Cute, right?

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