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Musings from the 100 Acre Woods

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  • Musings from the 100 Acre Woods

    Ash Wednesday is coming up in two days. Seems like the perfect time for a swift kick to officially get back on the wagon.
    I officially started PB on January 1, 2012, because you can only start new things at the New Year. I was 200lbs. (which isn't horrible on a 5'10", but still . . .) and miserable. Everything hurt. I had gas, heartburn, bloating, moodiness, fat, hunger pains, cravings, acne, swollen ankles, lousy sleep, and the list goes on and on. Like everyone else has discovered, CW was not only NOT working, it was making things worse! I would finish a big dinner and be hungry already while still cleaning up the kitchen. I described it to my hubby as, "My stomach is full (stuffed), but my mouth is still hungry." It's a shame that chewing on ice is so bad for you!
    I finally stumbled upon the Drs. Eades' website and took their carb addict quiz. Now I considered myself quite CW healthy, so it was very humbling to fail it miserably. In fact the only question I didn't answer with a resounding YES, was the one about waking up at night to eat. So off to any other website I could find for carb addict information, and I ended up at Primal Blueprint. Reading through Mark's posts, as well as those by others, made me feel like an awful lot of people had been looking over my shoulder for a very long time. My same symptoms were being reported left and right. And much to my delight, people were also posting successes!
    From January to November I lost 25lbs. and 99% of my icky symptoms disappeared. Then came the holidays. I didn't mind the backsliding on the scale (10lbs) as much as the amount of stupid CW excuses that were coming out of my mouth. "Cheesecake with a graham cracker crust is better for me than a slice of cake." Yes, I suppose that is true, but rat poison is still rat poison. I'd make PB meatloaf and then drizzle with SAD BBQ sauce because it was just a dribble. I'd eat Skittles instead of Twix because they didn't have any grains. I cut out the noodles, but still ate potatoes or rice. I'll grant you that I was still making the-lesser-of-the-two-evils choices with most of them, but how can I possibly justify that Skittles are better than Twix?
    So here I am, almost at Ash Wednesday. Time to get back where I was in October!
    I had two PB goals for 2012, cut out grains and IF one day a week. Both I have kept 80/20 or better. I am still fat burning therefore the IF has not become a problem.
    My overall Lent goal is 15 pounds and a better frame of mind. In order to achieve that goal, the first step is to start off right with a fast for Ash Wednesday -- supper Tuesday night to breakfast Thursday morning.


  • #2
    Well, Ash Wednesday was yesterday, and my fast went well. I was able to make it about 36 hours, from dinner Tuesday night to breakfast on Thursday morning. I'm a bit frustrated because I did find myself hungrier yesterday than I normally am during my fasts. But, I have a feeling it's because I indulged a bit too much in the days leading up to Lent. Why do we always load up on the bad things before we start? And the really dumb part is Primal is supposed to be a lifestyle change, not a six-week diet. So my mind set going in shouldn't be, "I can give this up for six weeks, and then I'll go back to my old eating patterns."
    I should also mention that I know there will be one planned non-primal outing. We will have to make it to my in-laws for one of their church's fish fries. The best in the land! I can easily skip the spaghetti, bread, and most of the dessert choices. The rest of the meal is breaded fish, cole slaw, and potato salad. And they usually have fruit pies (eat around the crust), puddings, tapioca, and sometimes even a fruit cocktail choice (out of a can, I'm sure, but "better" than the cake choices.)
    Breakfast -- 2 eggs fried in coconut oil with tumeric, bacon, and a glass of kefir.

    Exercise -- 45 minutes of yoga with the ladies at church.

    Supper tonight will be an exercise in self-discipline. We're going to Chili's for our anniversary.
    Good choices
    fajitas, without the tortillas, extra guacamole
    glass of wine instead of a mixed drink
    ice cream instead of chocolate decadence cake
    water instead of tea, lemonade, or soda
    salads -- check ingredients for croutons, dressings, cheeses, etc.
    double veggies instead of potato, noodle, or rice side
    Put the bread basket on Tom's side of the table!
    Skip the appetizer, probably nothing that could even remotely pass for Primal! Maybe the celery garnish on the sampler?

    Starting weight: 185 2-12-13
    Today's weight: 182.8 2-14-13
    Goal 170 Easter



    • #3
      We ended up having such a nice anniversary yesterday! Erin's basketball game was an early one, so we were able to get reservations at Chili's for 6:30. I give myself a C+ to B- for the meal: 2 margaritas, 1 southwest eggroll, and a few chips. On the plus side, fajitas with no tortillas, extra guacamole, and my appetizer choice for the sampler was the potato skins. Not too bad for an anniversary indulgence! Oh, and there were also 4 delicious chocolate-covered strawberries. Well worth it!

      This weekend is Alex' tournament in Concordia, so that means 4 meals in hotels and restaurants. Luckily I can start Satudray off right with breakfast at home. Lunch will be the food the families bring at the hotel -- sub sandwiches. If no one notices I can just eat the meat and cheese off the bread. I'm bringing fresh fruit, and I saw that someone else had signed up for the veggies and dip type stuff. I might just throw in my own pack of lunchmeat and cheese for an afternoon snack. We're eating out Saturday for supper, so a regular restaurant menu should have plenty of doable choices. They always have salads, if nothing else. Sunday we're eating the continental one provided by the hotel. I'm sure it will be doughnut/pastry heavy as we're not staying at the Ritz, but I will have the leftover fruit still in our room. Sunday late lunch/early supper will be at a pizza joint in Columbia. Looks like that will definitely be a salad meal. Fortunately, pizza doesn't even look good anymore, so that one will not even be an inner battle. It will probably be a good thing that I'm not eating pizza as i'm the one who will still have a 2 hour drive ahead of me. A meal of pizza and I'll be sound asleep in no time. Better hope Alex feels like talking all the way home!

      On the good side, Monday is no school for any of us. Either a good day for a fast, or a good day to cook something Primal from scratch -maybe even big enough to have another meal of planned leftovers. That would be a great way to start the week a little ahead of myself.


      • #4
        I'm back.

        I have not fallen off the wagon, completely, but I do feel that I'm only hanging on by my fingertips, and at any moment I'm going to fall under the wheels. Interestingly enough, I've only gained 1.1 pound since Ash Wednesday, making my starting weight 186.1, not horrible on a 5'10" frame, and still down from my pre-primal of 200 on January 1, 2011. Since the weight is a bit of a secondary issue, I'm changing my focus to all the areas of aches and pains. And this is a perfect time to do a 30 day challenge or an Experiment of 1, as I have 33 days until the first day of school, Monday, August 19. School starts for all of us in mid-August: Zion on the 14th, LHS on the 15th, Immanuel on the 19th, Truman on the 22nd, Lindenwood on the 26th, and Concordia on the 2nd of September. There will be enough changing schedules and learning new routines to de-rail even the most die-hard Grok. So anything I can do now to make that transition easier, I have to do! And it needs to be a routine, on automatic pilot, so it has a better chance of working.

        So what's made me realize I'm heading for the wagon wheels?
        My weight is going up, even if it is moving slowly.
        My left elbow's arthritis is back.
        My right elbow is tender.
        Both wrists are tender.
        My back is stiff.
        My belly is bloated.
        My left calf, ankle and foot become swollen when I'm standing or sitting for too long.
        I'm having way too many hot flashes, especially during the night and early morning hours.
        My brain is fuzzy.
        I have no motivation to do anything until right at the deadline.
        I have no energy.
        I am starting to feel overwhelmed by little things.
        I am feeling the need for a good cry.

        Alex made pigs in a blanket last night for supper, so I had one: 1/2 of a hot dog, strip of bacon, slice of cheese in a croissant. I spent the rest of the evening eating uncontrollably. My heart was racing, my mind was racing, I was agitated. I'm lucky that I was able to fall asleep, and actually continued to sleep pretty well last night.

        This morning I woke up and realized I couldn't keep up this 20/80 lifestyle and expect it to work.

        So let's get started on Day 1!


        • #5
          Day 1 is over, and it's been a good day.

          Food intake was good, still need to up my protein a bit to keep it even more high than my carbs. They are each around 25, with the fats coming in around 50%.

          I actually went to a nearby park and walked and sprinted during Alex' viola lesson, which also gave me my 20 minutes in the sun. The walking trail was .6 miles, and I made it around once. Now that I know where the park is and what I'm doing, I'll plan on making it around twice.

          I have time to give hubby a nice long foot rub it keeps his blood pressure in check!), and I'll still be in bed by 9:30 with lights out by 10:00!


          • #6
            Day 2

            I went to bed last night with the start of a headache and woke up this morning with a definite one. So now I'm making a list of possible causes:
            1. Dinner at Applebee's -- all my food choices were perfectly primal, but what kind of oil do they use? Any MSG in anything?
            2. Worry about Lisa?
            3. Low-carb flu effects from the first day? Does that kick in this quickly? I would bet this is not the reason, since I was still pretty low, even during these last few months.
            4. I had a pretty good night's sleep, but I also know I woke up a few times last night. In fact, I could still feel the headache during a trip to the bathroom.

            Other symptoms:
            I went to bed very hot, and woke up to a hot flash at 6:30 am, but it wasn't a terrible one.
            My left calf and ankle do not have the numb/swollen/tingly feeling.
            No change in my wrists and elbows.

            Weight was 183.9. Love those first few days when the weight comes off so easily! Nothing is on the calendar today that will interfere with meals, so I should be able to monitor everything with ease. My numbers for fitday came in a little low, both in calories and a few nutrient areas, so I'll keep it up for a few more days until I'm more confident in my portions.


            • #7
              Day 3

              Weight 183.6

              Well, my fitday numbers were interesting, and too low in too many areas, at the end of yesterday. Total calories were over 1300, but fat was 70, carbs 100, and protein 82. Too get my fat over 100, would be almost another 300 calories. Which, let's face it, would still only put me around 1600, a weight loss number, even by CW standards.

              Today is my fast day. From 6:00 last night to breakfast tomorrow morning (or whenever I feel hungry). During the school year I had such great success with fasting. Of course, it helped that I was teaching and so not around my cupboards, pantry, and frig. Now that I'm home over the summer months, fasting holds no appeal. I just don't feel like doing it. And with a whole bunch of consistent, though minor, slip ups, when I start out the morning fasting with such good intentions, I'm truly hungry by lunchtime, or even a little earlier. Which tells me that even though it is carb-induced, it is still very real. I'm even had the ravenous, eat-everything in sight, frantic shakes. So I might be jumping the gun a bit (can you go from sugar-burning to fat-burning in two days?), but I'm still going to try a fast today.

              On to the symptoms . . .
              I FEEL GREAT!!!!
              St. Louis has moved into our annual "hot spell" of the summer, with temps in the mid-high 90's and lots of humidity, making the heat index hover at 100+. Hubby and I went grocery shopping last night for birthday foods for Saturday's dinner. I was wearing my sandals, walking lots, and it was hot. Yet later at bedtime, my ankle, calf and foot WERE NOT SWOLLEN in the least -- no puffiness, no tenderness, no aches, no tight feeling. I could easily see the veins and all the little tendons? going across the top of my foot. And, I even had the little boney bumps on the sides of my ankle.

              I also slept well last night. I don't think I woke up the entire night. And, I woke up on my own at 6:15, without the cause being a hot flash.

              My mind feels clear and fog-free, so today is a good day to work on my school work, instead of leaving it to Sunday (as I have been doing) when I have to scramble like a madwoman.


              • #8
                That's awesome about your ankle!
                Do you always fast on fridays? Or just only eat fish? Nothing like the Catholic diet eh?
                (total stab in the dark about being Catholic - I see Lent, and fasting fridays, and I'm all like hey, another rosary rattler! Though feel free to tell me to stuff it if I'm wrong! )

                I'm just starting out trying Paleo with my family, do you find it difficult with your kids??

                ~ Jen
                The ridiculous, hilarious, sometimes infuriating and frustrating journal of one woman trying to feed a family caveman style.
                "It Takes A Village"

                "Canadian cavemen could have eaten poutine.."


                • #9
                  Thanks for the congrats. My mom has a mild case of lymphodema (think Popeye's arms and legs in extreme cases) so I'm very aware that I could be heading down that road. Anything I can do to stave that off is a plus!
                  I'm actually Lutheran, but my hubby is Catholic, so we do follow the Lent thing.
                  My fasting day moves around every week, usually due to what's on the calendar. While I have not specifically tried to hide it, I have on purposely kept it low key (I do have three daughters, so we're trying to stay away from all that body image stuff). I would usually choose a day where we had a game or practice over the supper hour, when we were all eating on our own time schedule anyway. That way no one would notice what I was or was not eating. M/T/W were also good days because I teach those days over the lunch period, so it physically kept me out of the cafeteria.
                  Concerning the hubby and kids. No, I don't find it difficult, but I also am not pushing it. The family is gradually making the transition, though I'm not sure how much they realize it. They eat what I put in front of them. I'm just doing a baked potato instead of a pasta side dish. And hubby's a good man; he'd never turn down more meat! One of our summer rules is that the kids regularly make a meal (start to finish). So when they make a pasta dish or something on my no-no list, and I just politely eat one bite or not at all. Though I must admit, they are to the point where they frequently ask if I'll eat XYZ.
                  Three out of four kids have had some minor digestive bouts, all of which cleared up with adhering to PB. I made sure to point out the connection, and they do believe me, but it's hard with friends and CW yelling in their ears. They are at the age (23, 20, 15, 13) where I can't control a good portion of what they eat so I'm limited to doing what I can at home. With their ages, they have to come around on their own. On the other hand, I actually served bread last week for a birthday request. I thought all of them would need CPR or a defibrillator!


                  • #10
                    (ARG! I wrote this whole lovely, witty post and it got erased..dangit..I'll try and start again, but if this post sucks, you can take my word for it that the previous one was gold.. )

                    Lol! You know you're paleo when bread is a birthday treat!
                    So wow! You're in the homestretch now with your kids; my little one is 2 years old, and will hopefully have another one baking in the near(ish) future, so I feel like I'm right at the starting gate in comparison! ( <-- this whole sentence was MUCH funnier in my last post..just an fyi)
                    I really applaud you making you kids make a meal - I know so many young people who don't even know how to turn on the stove! Which imho is probably why we have the '5 minute, microwaved, craptastic meal' phenomenon happening.
                    I've tried IF, but I found it wasn't the healthiest choice for me, but really admire those who can!

                    I look forward to reading more from you! (and only having to write out my responses once)

                    ~ Jenny
                    The ridiculous, hilarious, sometimes infuriating and frustrating journal of one woman trying to feed a family caveman style.
                    "It Takes A Village"

                    "Canadian cavemen could have eaten poutine.."


                    • #11
                      You'd love our household. I have four Cinderellas who live here. To hear them moan over the years, you'd think I was asking them to cut off an arm AND a leg! But, on the other hand, if I suddenly leave the country for two months, my kids could take over with the only arguments being who does what. And they would schedule in more "Do Nothing Days," but they'd survive.

                      I'm not envious enough to trade places with you (49 is NOT the age to start out again with a newborn!), but I do miss those early years too. And, to be perfectly honest, I miss my 25 year old body too. The weight has fluctuated over the years, 25ish pounds, but the body does creak and groan with each passing year. I'm hoping that PB will help with that, although there's that nasty little caveat of "Get off the couch and actually do something, Stupid!" At least with a little one, you're on the floor playing or cleaning up crumbs with great regularity.
                      I meet with a few friends once a week for yoga, and I walk at least once a week. Nothing stellar, but it's a pretty consistent babystep. I just got back from today's walk. It's 91, with a heat index hovering around 100, at 10:00 in the morning (Welcome to a typical St. Louis' summer!). I walked a mile and 1/2 in 30 minutes through our subdivision, so I actully had a few shady spots along the way. I should have taken the dog, but I felt sorry for him in a fur coat, even though he's an outside mutt.
                      Do you have a workout plan or routine?


                      • #12
                        Day 4 of 33

                        Weight: 181

                        I made it through my first fast since the end of May, 36 hours with just water. I really do feel much better, and my confidence levels are definitely UP. With an eight week break, the lack of routines (Isn't summer wonderful?), vacation, kids in and out of the house, and all the easy mindless way to snack, I thought yesterday would be much harder. I'm sure it helped that I've made every effort to be ready for this over the past few days. Still, I wasn't sure if two days would be enough. I had my usual stomach growls around 10 in the morning, and then again at 4:00 when my daughter was making cupcakes for her birthday today. It did smell heavenly! But other than those two times, I did well. Fortunately dinner was "On your Own" because everyone had some place to be during the evening, so I didn't have the temptation of making dinner with all its yummy smells.

                        Before breakfast this morning, I took a leisurely 50 minute walk. I need to ask my daughter how to download iTunes to my phone. I wanted to listen to a Paleohacks podcast, but I had to settle for Pandora. Disney classics from the cartoons of my era are never a bad choice! It was already hot and humid, so I made sure I went at a slow pace, probably around 2 miles.

                        Upon walking in the door, my hubby greeted me with two fried eggs (coconut oil, turmeric, and salsa), bacon, and fresh blackberries! I love that man! Now I just need a shower (when it's finally free), and I'll be set for the day.

                        I was reading one of the early success stories last night, and this paragraph from Sterling's jumped out at me: "I wanted to scream that pharmacologic intervention and the billions spent on their marketing would be completely and utterly unnecessary if companies (pharma, agra, government) and doctors would spend a fraction of their time, money, and energy preaching the truth about exercise and proper nutrition. Although, at times, I don’t think that they even know (educated ignorance I guess). Sure, they offer diet and exercise as first-line treatment for a lot of medical problems. But only to fill a ‘check-the-box’ requirement for insurance companies before they move on to drug therapy. If people truly knew the healing power of proper exercise and proper nutrition, there would be nothing to stop them."

                        I used to be one of the many who are the educated ignorant. I read everything I could get my hands on, and for the most part, followed it. Until it didn't work. I remember dieting perfectly for the first 2-3 weeks and losing a respectable 5 pounds. Then after 1 dinner at a pizza buffet, I woke up to a six pound gain! Now I know I didn't stop at just one piece of pizza, but there is no way I ate 21,000 (3500 x 6) calories in one meal! I'm sure some of it was the "expected water retention from all the salt," but still! Then the brain starts in with all the , "Maybe this is the weight I'm supposed to be," and "I'll just learn to be happy with the body I have." That's a dangerous place! I think I did learn to be happy with where I was, but when the rest of the aches and pains started in, and I realized that the eating was becoming uncontrollable, I knew I had to look somewhere else. I couldn't keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Thank goodness we have the internet and can do our own research now, instead of having to completely rely on the medical field!


                        • #13
                          Everyone knows the airline's rule for "When the cabin loses air pressure, put your own oxygen mask on first, then help your child with his." Well, I turn 50 in seven weeks, and I've decided that it's time to put on my own oxygen mask. For my first 25 years, I did all the appropriate growing up things: grade school, high school, college, first job, marriage. The second 25 were all about family: four kids, church, Scouts, sports, music, carpools, cleaning, cooking and organizing, with a little professional teaching thrown in here and there. Now I'm looking at the half century mark. I am not needed for my kids the way I used to be. The oldest one just graduated college and is heading to China for a year, #2 just finished her sophomore year in college, #3 just got his driver's license, and my baby is 13.
                          So here's the plan. Starting this weekend, Memorial Day 2014, I want to have 52 weeks of me.
                          General Guidelines --NOT set in Stone
                          1. Encompass SPIRITUAL, MENTAL, and PHYSICAL realms
                          2. Cannot cost more than $100 a week
                          3. Be done by myself
                          4. Do not repeat

                          I already know of two weeks that will bend the rules. My best friend and I will be heading to the Precious Moments museum in southern Missouri sometime this summer, and two friends and I will be going on our church's Women's retreat in late August.
                          I've been thinking about this whole idea already for a couple of months, and I'm looking forward to it. There are a few material things on my list (I've always wanted a red and white checkered cloth tablecloth), but I have realized that what I really want is time for myself, to do the things I've always wanted to do -- those things that I know are good for me that have been pushed to the wayside. A tyranny of the urgent dilemma. I also do not want these weeks to turn into a "Check items off of my TO DO list." Organizing and doing deep spring cleaning do have their places, but that is not the focus of this project. I really do want this next year to be 52 Weeks about Me.


                          • #14
                            Since Memorial Day is coming up this weekend, I've decided that it's a good time to start my 52 Weeks. Memorial Day is the official start of summer, and it's also right at the start of a new month. And because of my teaching schedule and my Masters classes, I am usually finishing up my week still on Sundays. So Monday really actually is the first day of my week.

                            Somewhere in one of the recent success stories the comment was made to do what you can, and then just a little more. So with that thought in mind, for the first week's project, I'm looking for some kind of stretching program. At the moment, I'm too out of shape to jump in with the whole program, so all I want is the warm-up part. A few years ago, I had a set of DVDs put out by a professional dancer. The 5-10 minute warm up was amazing! Good thing I'm starting this idea 5 days early, because I'll have to spend some time in the basement searching for those DVDs.


                            • #15
                              I am ready for tomorrow! I was able to find my DVDs (in the second place I looked even!) and I watched the warm-up section so I know how much time to allot for it: 13 minutes for the actual stretching, so I'm figuring 20. I know myself too well to just leave it at 13.

                              Since my teaching year is almost wrapped up, my workload has dropped considerably. So I had some free time last week for a bike ride on Katy Trail. I put in 6 1/2 miles in about 50 minutes. Pretty slow, I know, but I made it from the trail head to the bridge and back again. As soon as I started out, I knew it was going to be an ordeal. The wind was blowing against me, and it was cold. I think I spent the first three miles complaining to myself about everything. Once I turned around, things definitely got better, probably because I was heading back to the van.
                              On the positive side, I really tried to look for a silver lining.
                              The ear plugs kept the street noise out of my ears as well as the cold wind.
                              I saw snails, frogs, and a turtle crossing the trail.
                              I saw a group of bluebirds about five feet from me, and a male cardinal also crossed my path.
                              Everyone on the trail says "Hello," or at least gives you a nod.
                              I wasn't sore the next day.

                              All in all, not a bad ride!