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 9

Finn made me breakfast in bed this morning.  She didn’t get to be very creative since my diet is so limited, but she didn’t seem to care.  It was the standard turkey and spinach with chives and a drizzle of garlic oil.  It was especially good since I didn’t have to make it myself.  I look a little naked in the picture below because I am.  Finn had told me not to get out of bed, but I snuck out and took a walk before she got up.  When she came in to “surprise” me I was quickly trying to change back into my jammies but didn’t have time and just jumped under the covers to feign my surprise;)  It’s not indecent right?  Just pretend I am wearing a strapless dress to bed.  So sweet that my daughter now to serve my food with digestive enzymes:)  Actually Finn is only wearing her undies and an apron so maybe it just runs in the family;)

IMG_2546 Lunch

More turkey and spinach, like you couldn’t have guessed!

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Dinner

Carrot puree and zucchini

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I only had carrot and zucchini at dinner because I still felt full from lunch.  I think it was because I am still constipated.  It’s not that I am not going at all, but it is not often enough and too difficult to go.  Other than that, I still have some pain in my left calf and my itchy bumps.  BUT…I lost 6 pounds in the first 8 days!!!  Yay!!! I truly was not doing this to lose weight, but I was hopeful that eliminating some problematic foods would reduce my inflammation and help me shed a little weight.  I am hopeful that is what is happening.  I don’t really feel like I am eating a ton fewer calories.  I am eating 900 calories of fat a day without even considering the veggies or protein so I figure it has to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1600 calories. Plus I am not working out as hard.  I am walking and doing some very low-key bodyweight stuff for like 10 minutes most days.  That’s it.  Hopefully the trend will continue and I can drop more of these unwanted pounds:)

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ED Day 4

I had a little variation in my food today, so I decided I would go ahead and list it.

Breakfast

5 oz. turkey cooked in lard (just got this from US Wellness Meats and thought I could vary my fats some more)

1/2 cup cooked organic spinach

1 organic green onion (green part only)

drizzle of garlic-infused oil

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Lunch

Totally the same.  I finished the last of the salmon cakes (which I use loosely since without the egg they were more like salmon crumbles).

More zucchini cooked in homemade ghee with fresh basil and oregano.

Made another batch of carrot puree.  It’s amazing how sweet this tastes when you aren’t eating anything else with any sugar.

Quick word about ghee-  I thought I hated ghee because I bought some about a year ago and it is still in my fridge.  However, the ghee that I made at home is delish so if any of you thought you didn’t like it, try making it yourself:)

Dinner

6 oz. grass-fed ground beef

1/2 cup of leftover zucchini from lunch

1/2 cup steamed organic green beans

2 Tbsp homemade pesto (4 cups basil, 1/2 cup garlic oil, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste)

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Symptoms

Mostly good news!  No headache.  Slept well.  Energy level was good.  So good in fact that I was kinda jonesing to go for a run, but I didn’t since I am really trying to stay low-key on the stress level for this first week.  I did go for a walk instead.  It was just too beautiful not to.  We are having the CRAZIEST weather here. It was 59 degrees this morning. In Memphis!  It is normally 90 upon waking!!  Totally a blessing from God, especially since our A/C is on the fritz!  Back to symptoms.  Let’s continue with the good part.  My face has totally cleared up.  And my gums are better. Yay!!!  My legs are still broken out with itchy bumps.  And I did have some moderate bloating and cramps after dinner.  They only lasted about an hour and then they were completely gone which is pretty good compared with how long they sometimes last.

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Bye-Bye CrossFit

My CrossFit membership expires today:(  And as much as I love it, I am not rejoining right away.  There are several reasons for that, all equally important in my view.  Number 1, we really need to put that $239 to another use.  We need a new air conditioner in the house, a new garage door, a new car, and the list goes on and on.  Number 2, two of my CrossFit gals are opening a new CrossFit gym across town.  Because of this a few of my girls will be going there and another is going to go to one closer to home.  While I am excited about their gym, it is a 30 minute drive for me and probably not feasible on a regular basis.  Lastly, as much as I loved CrossFit, I got better results when I worked out at home.  I’m not really sure what the reason is behind that.  I am completely certain that 5 days a week of CrossFit was too much for me.   I think it caused some cortisol and adrenal issues.  If I do ever go back it will probably only be a couple of days a week.

So, what am I going to be doing in the meantime?  I’m glad you asked!  I have decided to do the workout program in Paula Owens’ Fat Loss Revolution.  It is a 12 week program that you can do at home if you have the equipment.  I already had most of it and I’m just modifying for the equipment that I don’t have.  At least for now.  She basically recommends walking, rebounding, lifting heavy 3 days a week, yin yoga, and sprinting.  The program that I designed for myself for right now is a modification that looks like this:

Walking- 2 miles 5 mornings a week and 2 miles in the evening on as many days as schedule permits

Rebounding- 10  minutes daily- mainly for lymphatic flow because I have an issue with sluggish lymphatics

Yin Yoga- no schedule on this, just when I have the time or feel the desire

Heavy Lifting-  Right now I am doing 2 days a week- Tuesday and Friday.  I might bump that up at some point.

Sprinting- Not Yet.  She recommends once or twice a week.  Once I get comfortable with all the rest I might add it in if I am still sleeping well.

So that’s it!  I can say this- I was CRAZY sore after the first 2 lifting sessions!  I could absolutely tell that I was using different muscles than what I was using at CrossFit.  I have been super lax on taking pictures lately.  The few I have taken I can’t get off my phone for some reason.  Very frustrating.  However, I am going to try to take some pictures over the course of this 12 week exercise plan so we can determine if it is working.  I’ll get to posting as soon as I find some techy genius to help me out:)

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What Went Well Wednesday

I’m not going to lie to you guys, it was hard to come up with a list today.  This is not the post to list my grievances, so I will do that later.

1.  Played a fun game of Mario Yatzee with my boys

2.  Took a walk with my daughter

3.  Watched Rise of the Guardians snuggled up with all three of my babies

4.  We got all of our homeschool assignments done for the day

5.  A baked sweet potato with grass fed butter and cinnamon that hit the spot

6.  My second go at bone broth didn’t make me want to puke:)

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Health Update…Good News!!!

So it was all clear at my dr. appointment yesterday!  Well…almost.  They do think I have a hormonal imbalance, but of course we all knew that already, right?  My OB thinks that the testosterone that my general doc has me on is converting to estrogen and causing my symptoms of tender breasts, headaches, insane crying episodes and abnormal bleeding.  I know that is crazy TMI, but that’s just the way I roll. I am SO thankful to the Lord above that there was no evidence of cancer, polyps or anything else.  It is a huge weight off my shoulders.  However, it leaves me wondering what to do about these hormones!!  My system is so delicate that it responds on a hair trigger.  I always take the most natural and smallest dose of whatever I am on and I often still get results that are more dramatic than necessary.  I am searching for that sweet spot that puts me in a blissful state of homeostasis…aaaahhhh, I can just feel it.  When I get there, it will be wonderful.  In the meantime, I am eating paleo, talking with my doc about how to adjust my meds and supplements, and dialing down my exercise.  I am trying not to do anything that raises my cortisol.  I am still going to CrossFit because they are my family, but I am just doing the warm-up and lifting and a little very easy rowing.  No WOD for the time being.  I am doing a little yoga and pilates at home, along with some walking when the weather cooperates.

Yesterday's Breakfast

Yesterday’s Breakfast

I am experimenting with pastured eggs at the moment.  I had been off of eggs until my trip to Disney.  I am still not sure if they bothered me or not.  I am planning on doing the autoimmune protocol strictly during the month of April and posting more about my food.   The above breakfast was sausage, 2 pastured eggs with lots of sauteed veggies sprinkled with Lewis Labs Brewer’s Yeast, and some avocado.  It was yummy!

Mint Chip Shake

Mint Chip Shake

I made this twice last week for the kids at breakfast last week and they loved it!  Mint Chocolate Chip Shake I used coconut milk instead of almond milk and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

Cooper with his standard after drink mustache!

Cooper with his standard after drink mustache!

 

 

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A Peaceful Day

So despite all the challenges that have been going on lately, today has been such a peaceful day and I have been thankful.  I have had really bad headaches for the past 3 days that are gone today.  Yeah!! I’m pretty sure they are related to my hormones.  I am really hoping that my hormones are just in some sort of flux that is going to level out to this beautiful, calm place of homeostasis.  Autoimmune conditions are really challenging in that so many things can become triggers.  It really seems like as soon as I have some sort of “program” down pat something else pops up.  I won’t lie, it gets me down.  But not for as long as it used to.  Like in all areas of life, change keeps coming and you just have to keep adapting.  When I stop to try to “figure out” why I could eat coconut one day and be fine and then the next time I can’t seem to tolerate it, it just makes me crazy!  I think so much of it has to do with stress.  I can eat things on vacation with no problem at all but then try to eat them at home and they tear me up!  So often the rhyme or reason just seems too elusive to figure out.  Probably because I don’t need to figure it out.  It is that constant need to know and be in control that is at the heart of so many of my issues.  But back to today…I slept in because I went to bed with a migraine and didn’t fall asleep til after midnight and then the cat came to get me up for breakfast at 3:50am and then my daughter got in my bed around 4:30am!  My energy level has remained pretty constant today despite my disordered sleeping over the past few nights.  My boys are sick (again!) so homeschool was light today.  I did all of Finn’s work with her and then my mom took her until about 3:00.  Makes me realize how much work she is!  She loves school, so homeschooling with her is a complete joy, but once that is done for the day it is hard to shake her.  She demands my attention.  She just isn’t a child that plays well on her own.  While she was gone, I was able to go for a walk and listen to another of my paleo podcasts and squeeze in some yoga.  Things that I can technically do while she is around, but she wants to do them with me and talk to me the entire time so I don’t get the same benefit of clearing my head space.  The other lovely thing about today is all my food has been already prepared for me.  Well, I make meatloaf in the crockpot last night which was leftover for today and I have soup in the crockpot for dinner tonight.  The hubs bought me Paleo Slow Cooking by Chrissy Gower and I have really been enjoying it.  Finn is currently crying in her room due to the lack of my attention so I will leave you guys with a few more Disney pics and see you later.

Cooper and Doug enjoying gluten free dessert at Hollywood and Vine

Cooper and Doug enjoying gluten free dessert at Hollywood and Vine

Finn enjoying her bed

Finn enjoying her bed

We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside for the second time and this room was SO much better than our last room.  Last time Finn has to sleep on what looked like a dry rotted 1950’s camp cot and this time she had the precious fold out bed with a real mattress and a picture.  She was super happy!

My filet with spinach at potatoes at Le Cellier.

My filet with spinach at potatoes at Le Cellier.

This is my boys favorite restaurant at Disney.  They both had steaks that were 4 times the size of mine and ate every bite!

 A little Disney crazy:)

A little Disney crazy:)

 

 

 

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21 Day Sugar Detox Days 21-21

So it is over.  It is currently the morning of the 22nd day and I’m done!  I am going to try to recap a little of what I learned during this 21 days in list form.

1. I was addicted to sugar and treats!  For the first 2 weeks I had some of the “legal” treats everyday.  But, for the last week, I let them go and I survived!  It was nice to feel that sense of freedom from that need.  I found what worked for me was going for a quick walk or picking up a book and relaxing for a few minutes.  It was more doable than I thought possible.

2. The “detox” period lasted longer than I thought it would.  I was probably 2 weeks in before I quit having periods of what felt like low blood sugar.  I felt better on days when I at least had some rutabaga or something slightly more starchy.

3.  I think I have SIBO.  Or some other form of intestinal issue.  I took on the autoimmune protocol while doing this 21DSD because of it.  I am also flirting with low FODMAPs.  I experienced what I think was some die-off effects about 10 days in and continued for a week that made me come to this decision.  Because of this, I plan to continue with some version of this plan for the next few months.

4. I LOVE kombucha!  And I can tolerate liver, for my health.

5.  For those of you wanting to know, I felt like I lost a little bloat/water weight during the first week.  However, once the SIBO/die-off stuff came on, the bloating came back with a vengeance.  It is still working it’s way out.  I think for the more “typical” person though, there would be some weight loss.

6.  My CrossFit performance was better and more effortless.  Yesterday’s WOD was:

20 Hand Release Push Ups, 21 Thrusters (squat to a ball then push barbell overhead) , 400 meter run

20 Hand Release Push Ups, 15 Thrusters, 400 meter run

20 Hand Release Push Ups, 9 Thrusters, 400 meter run

I finished first in the gym with a time of 11:47.  And it wasn’t very hard.  I used a 35# barbell for my thrusters so next time I will have to raise that.

For dinner last night I made a delicious soup.  Well, I guess delicious is debatable because 2 of my kids wouldn’t eat it.  It was grass fed beef, organic green beans, parsnips, carrots, celery, red and yellow onion, garlic, parsley and lots of seasonings.  Basically anything I had left in the fridge or freezer.

Fridge/Freezer Soup

Fridge/Freezer Soup

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21 Day Sugar Detox – Days 15-18

Sorry I have been MIA for the past few days. Both my boys have some flu-like virus thing going on, so that has disrupted the normal schedule around here a bit.  I can’t believe I only have 3 days left on the challenge!  I also can’t believe that I’m not jonesing for some sugar.  I mean, sure, I would take it, but it’s not like the only single thought that I am having 24/7 which is what I expected.  I have learned so much through this process.  I started out thinking that is would just be about the sugar addiction.  As time went on I realized that the physical things going on had to have a deeper root.  After some research, I think it is likely that I have SIBO (small intestine bowel overgrowth) or some other type of gut dysbiosis.  It doesn’t come as a shock.  I have always been prone to yeast issues and this is a similar deal.  I think the reason that I have been having such a difficult time physically with this 21DSD is because I am having some die-off effects.  From my reading, it appears that you can have a worsening of symptoms when you go through this phase.  So…I think I am going to have to stick with the no/low sugar approach for some months to come.  I have also taken on the paleo autoimmune protocol (no eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds) because my systemic inflammation is up.  I thought it would improve since we all know that sugar is inflammatory, but per the usual, my body didn’t respond in the typical way.  Instead of giving up and going back to the sugar though, I am going to stick it out.  I think my gut is just not fully healed from the Celiac and leaky gut issues.  The past 2 years have been full of lessons learned.  Sometimes I wish they would have all come at once so I wouldn’t have to keep going through this cycle, but then I’m sure I would have just been overwhelmed and possibly given up.  In His perfect timing, God has given me just enough information to make progress without making me feel like it was impossible.

On the more day to day stuff, I have been walking, CrossFitting and doing a little yoga.  I would love to find a yoga studio I could go to a couple times a week, but I don’t think it is feasible at the moment so I am doing it at home.  We did G.I Jane at CrossFit on Monday and I was pretty pleased.  I did the level 1/2 which was 75 burpee pull ups.  My time was 9:39 which I thought was respectable, especially considering that I am not in top form.  Not much else going on.  I still haven’t finished the Downton Abbey season finale, but I know about the giant spoiler.  It was bad enough with Sybil, but now Matthew?!  I’m going to try to finish it tonight so I can actually see what happens.

This was my breakfast this morning.  I though it was delish!

chicken sausages, spinach, rutabaga hash

chicken sausages, spinach, rutabaga hash

My boys finished this Lego project.  I thought it was good for a couple of 10 year olds:)

LEGO Taj Mahal

LEGO Taj Mahal

 

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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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