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    Cool All that groks is God ("vegetarian wellness" journal)

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    Was anyone else bothered by Mark's use of the word "grok" in reference to an individual of the paleolithic age, in his book and website? Along with the merchandise, it made me want to politely facepalm. Maybe we should make a course in classic science fiction a requirement for high school graduation to help in educating the masses.

    Anyway, hello there. I'm Nellodee (Nell for short), and this is an attempt at bettering myself. Over the past week or so I've been reading a lot of what goes on in the nutrition section, and posting in my own thread there:

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread100072.html

    Thus far, I have decoded the meanings of many acronyms and discovered that paleo/primal eating is very difficult (impossible according to some) as a strict vegetarian. As I continue browsing the boards, I hope to soak in useful information over time... and I am prepared to endure the gentle eyerolling of this omnivorous community.

    This thread is all about me. Much of what I intend to post here is logs of my diet, but I'll also be talking about other important aspects of my well-being, and some musings. I'll probably give a somewhat detailed account of my reasons for choosing not to eat meat, at some point. As this thread is all about me and my wellness, here is a brief introduction:

    I'm a 25 year old mtf (male to female) transsexual majoring in English lit, and I am woefully unemployed. My health is poor at best, as I am a former heroin/benzo/alcohol addict, and I have lived my entire life in a sedentary state while eating the worst of foods. Likely (though not surely- the neurosciences are so complicated!) as a result of my benzo addiction and subsequent seizure-inducing withdrawals, I developed epilepsy as an adult.

    Current medications:
    Lamictal (anticonvulsant) 200mg 2x daily
    Spironolactone (antiandrogen) 100mg 2x daily
    Estradiol (hormone) 2mg 2x daily

    They surely do wreak havoc upon my endocrine system (and who knows what harm the lamictal is causing), but this is much preferred to the alternative.

    For various reasons, I am generally of poor mental health. I've been diagnosed with major depression, bipolar 2/rapid cycling bipolar, and various anxiety disorders. They like to diagnose, though, and I've had some disagreements with psychologists and psychiatrists in the past. I hope you don't judge me too harshly for being insane. From age 10 on I went through several periods of being medicated with SSRIs, benzos, mood stablizers, MAOIs, SNRIs, antipsychotics, etc. None of that ever helped, with the possible exception of lithium. When I was given zyprexa around age 19 I gained a bunch of weight that I'm still trying to lose.

    My mental health issues often feel crippling, and when coupled with a complete and utter lack of motivation I often feel trapped. It's often difficult to make it out of bed, and while I have exercise goals I never seem to make them. Most days it's a struggle just to keep myself from falling too far behind in my classes. There doesn't ever seem to be enough time in the day, and while I realize it's because I'm terrible at managing my time, I don't really know what to do about it. I have a penchant for hurting myself, intentionally and unintentionally, and I have a track record of slipping back into drug addiction after being clean for a while.

    All that said, I refuse to be a lost cause. Improving my diet is one of the many steps I sincerely wish to make on my journey toward becoming a well-rounded person. The first step I took was to explore my spirituality, and systems of belief. Many of my family members are devoutly religious, and I often wondered if I was missing out on something. I have a deep respect for the Christian practice, but it wasn't for me. Where I ended up was in Buddhist philosophy, which speaks to me and makes sense in profound ways. I don't really consider myself a Buddhist practitioner because I've found it difficult to apply the teachings, in spite of them seeming so sensible and true. But I've spent my entire life sitting, and this is one aspect that I've been able to get into.

    Zen meditation, or zazen, is a time to experience the truth of reality as it unfolds. It's good to live moments that aren't tainted by thoughts steeped in delusion. Those thoughts still occur, but I've made a lot of progress in letting them go when they come up and not allowing them to interfere with reality. There are benefits outside of the meditation time, though the true benefit is the experience of meditation itself. A couple days ago I also started doing metta (loving kindness) meditation. May you be happy, may you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be peaceful.

    This probably doesn't count too much toward my well-being, but I've stopped washing my hair again. I did this for a while a couple years back, but stopped after a period of depression led to not brushing enough and getting blah knots. About a week ago I ran out of conditioner, and I didn't really have the money to buy more. I considered using some apple cider vinegar I've got laying around, but just decided to let it do its oily thing. So far I'm really happy with it! It's fun playing with different combinations of the essential oils I've had for years, and while I do look pretty greasy I think it goes well with the heroin chic librarian look I strive for. The oil results in a lot of volume without a need for any product; I just hope I don't smell like too much of a dirty hippy! :P

    So anyway. My diet. I'm trying to stick to Whole30 vegetarian foods (listed here: http://whole9life.com/book/ISWF-Vege...pping-List.pdf) as much as possible, while also striving for a healthy amount of protein. On the advice of a member here I'm cooking my veggies most of the time now, and eventually I'd like to get into fermented foods and experiment with various sources of vegetarian protein (goat dairy, quinoa, etc.). I'm running low on food again, so my meals today have been kinda bland. I do have a food scale and I want to try to use it, but this past week it's felt like too much of a hassle.

    Food log:

    Breakfast:
    Scrambled egg stir-fry sorta thing, made with:
    Olive oil (fried in)
    3 organic pastured eggs
    Non-organic red oinion
    Non-organic green bell pepper
    Non-organic yellow bell pepper
    Non-organic orange bell pepper
    Non-organic red bell pepper
    Non-organic jalapeņo pepper
    Seasoned with: cumin, black pepper, regular table salt, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, spicy curry powder, oregano, cayenne powder

    Lunch: Exact same as breakfast

    Snack: 10 almonds

    Dinner:
    Small bowl of chili made with:
    Garbanzo beans (soaked)
    Black beans (soaked)
    Pinto beans (soaked)
    Eggs
    Green/red/yellow/orange bell peppers
    Habanero peppers
    Jalapeņos peppers
    Serrano peppers
    Anaheim peppers
    Zucchini
    Coconut oil
    Red onion
    Garlic
    Mushrooms
    Tomato
    1 12oz bottle New Belgium 1554 beer
    Seasoned with: cumin, black pepper, regular table salt, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, spicy curry powder, oregano, cayenne powder, chili powder

    Broth made with Better Than Bouillon vegetables base (includes some suspect ingredients: Vegetables and concentrated vegetables (carrots, celery, onion, tomato, onion*, potato*, garlic*), hydrolyzed soy protein, salt, yeast, extract, sugar, maltodextrin (from corn), soybean oil, spice extractive. *Dehydrated

    The broth was made with a small amount of:
    Broccoli
    Mushrooms
    Carrots
    Organic tofu

    Really hope this doesn't make me terribly ill; a paleo friend of mine told me it would be pretty benign when compared with Top Ramen broth.

    To drink:
    A few glasses of water
    2 cups of unsweetened hot tea (Stash brand Double Bergamot Earl Grey)
    6oz ish of http://www.goodbelly.com/probiotic-drink/quarts/ (Tropical Green flavor)

    I've been eating so much spice that I'm beginning to smell like it lol. Wonder how healthy that is :P
    Last edited by Nellodee; 01-31-2014 at 01:17 AM.

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    Looking over my foods from yesterday, I feel as though I'm eating too much. I've been eating until I feel full and not counting my calories. This may be bad because I weighed myself today (it had been a few days) to find that I'm 132- a gain of 4 lbs. This gain has come after adding tofu and soaked beans back into my diet, so I suspect that may have something to do with it. Prior to this my loss was pretty consistent.

    I feel ill, as I have for the past while. My paleo friend tells me to keep at it, and it's just the carb withdrawal, but it's been going on for a month now. My head hurts a bunch, and my tinnitus is very noticeable. I think I'm going to finish up my tofu today, and try to really increase my egg consumption to get my protein from there. It could be the soy causing me to feel so badly.

    Today is the last day in a week of "unit exams" for my humanities course. It's been really stressful, and I'm behind in all of my other classes because of it. Once I finish this final examination it will be nice to get caught up in everything else, and to get back to regular assignments for a while in humanities. I got an 82% on the essay exam, and an 80% on the first portion of the written exam, which I'm a little upset about. Really I should have worked harder on the essay and done more to prepare for the written portions, but life is hard :P

    Day 2 of keeping track of my food begins with a bland breakfast, as I've pretty much run out of veggies and need to make it to the store sometime today.

    Breakfast: fried tofu and eggs
    Olive oil (fried in)
    1/2 block of organic tofu
    3 eggs
    1 avocado
    1/8 (or so) red onion
    1 serrano pepper
    Few slices of poblano pepper
    Seasoned with: cumin, black pepper, regular table salt, red pepper flakes, spicy curry powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, Mrs. Dash onion and herb seasoning

    To drink:
    roughly 10oz of (Tropical Green) GoodBelly Family Sized Probiotic Juice Drinks - Quarts | GoodBelly

    Lunch: Scrambled Eggs
    Coconut oil (fried in)
    3 eggs
    1/16 of a red onion
    1 Anaheim pepper
    Few slices poblano pepper
    Seasoned with: cumin, black pepper, regular table salt, red pepper flakes, spicy curry powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, Mrs. Dash onion and herb seasoning

    To drink: Water, mixed with magnesium supplement stuff

    Snack/misc
    2 cups unsweetened tea, Stash brand Fusion Green and White
    Small amount of coconut oil added to tea

    Dinner: Egg and Vegetable Soup/Stew Thing
    1 can Kuner's of Colorado brand Tomatoes 'n Jalapeņos
    5 eggs
    1/2 of a zucchini
    3 celery stalks
    1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
    1/8 of an onion
    1/2 of a habanero pepper
    1 heaping spoonful coconut oil
    Few slices of pablano pepper
    Seasoned with: cumin, black pepper, regular table salt, red pepper flakes, spicy curry powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning

    I ate the entire thing :O

    Protein count: 84g!!!
    Last edited by Nellodee; 02-01-2014 at 01:24 AM.

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    After I ate breakfast (was 11am by then lol) I felt ridiculously tired, and napped until 3pm when I had to go get my brother from work. Eating this way is really wiping me out.

    Oh, and I was brushing my hair today when I noticed that there is a very apparent DANDRUFF PROBLEM! :O

    This has really never happened to me before, and I was quite shocked. Going to look for ways to remedy this without ruining the awesomeness of my oily hair!

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    Sick. Grumpy. So, so tired. I guess I'm all protein'd up now, but that phytic acid is keeping me down. Or something. It's really confusing, and I'm trying to adjust my diet until I start to feel better. Maybe it's the sugar and wheat in the GoodBelly stuff that has me so blah, but I was feeling this way even when eating very low carb. Tomorrow I'm gonna finish the last tiny bit of that drink and try a sort of elimination diet, again. Eggs for protein, veggies (cooked whenever possible to reduce fiber content), healthy fats and very low carb. With spices, and peppers. Spice and pepper makes this dream a possibility.

    Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs
    I was too tired to chop up veggies, and once I ate I went immediately back to bed.
    5 organic pastured eggs
    Olive oil (fried in)
    Seasoned with regular table salt, pepper and red pepper flakes

    No lunch yet, but I think I'll make a salad. I know fiber probably isn't doing me any favors at this point but I really like salads.

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    Glad you stuck around. :P Certain carbs at certain times of day will send me straight to sleep, so it may not be the carbohydrate, but the type and timing that's making you tired. Could also be vitamins, calories, or a myriad of other things. Sometimes going toooo low carb isn't good for everyone.

    I dug out a vegetable stock/broth recipe you can try if you like (you bolded ingredients in the bouillon, so I'm assuming you weren't satisfied with it). 5 ribs celery, 3 onions, 6-8 carrots, 1 cup parsley stems (saved from the leaves in other recipes--parsley is awesome), 3 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves, thyme sprigs, 4 cloves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover with water (about 3 quarts), boil, reduce heat, and simmer for a couple hours. She says you can add basically any vegetable (she like fennel, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes...) except brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, they will be bitter).

    And wow, your backstory is certainly uncommon. I hope you find good health and good life here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RittenRemedy View Post
    Glad you stuck around. :P Certain carbs at certain times of day will send me straight to sleep, so it may not be the carbohydrate, but the type and timing that's making you tired. Could also be vitamins, calories, or a myriad of other things. Sometimes going toooo low carb isn't good for everyone.

    I dug out a vegetable stock/broth recipe you can try if you like (you bolded ingredients in the bouillon, so I'm assuming you weren't satisfied with it). 5 ribs celery, 3 onions, 6-8 carrots, 1 cup parsley stems (saved from the leaves in other recipes--parsley is awesome), 3 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves, thyme sprigs, 4 cloves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover with water (about 3 quarts), boil, reduce heat, and simmer for a couple hours. She says you can add basically any vegetable (she like fennel, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes...) except brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, they will be bitter).

    And wow, your backstory is certainly uncommon. I hope you find good health and good life here.
    Thanks! A broth recipe will surely come in handy

    And I guess my story is uncommon, yes. But I'm here like anyone else, striving to improve!

    Kinda let let the food log lapse. It was all the same, healthy veggie foods, except today I ate a giant homemade pretzel during the superbowl... bet I'm gonna regret that, come tomorrow.

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    Great day today! Got a lot done

    Ran out of eggs after breakfast though, so protein is pretty low.

    Breakfast: Soup Stuff
    3 eggs
    Coconut oil
    Can of diced tomatoes/jalapeņos
    Celery
    Broccoli
    Red onion
    Various herbs and spices, including regular table salt

    To drink: Water

    Lunch: Soup stuff
    Same as breakfast, but without eggs

    To drink: Magnesium supplement in water

    Snack: Almonds
    32 almonds

    Dinner: Salad and Beer
    Kale/spinach salad with
    Red wine vinegar
    Olive oil

    To drink:
    1 12oz bottle of New Belgium 1554

    Protein count: 24g
    Last edited by Nellodee; 02-04-2014 at 02:46 AM.

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    I tried some weird goat cheese!

    It smelled awful, but mixed in with eggs and (oh yeah I found cheap organic) tempeh I couldn't really taste it. I feel sick as usual, maybe a little bloated and weird stomach-feely, but nothing that hurts too badly. Maybe the people here were onto something with the goat dairy.

    Today I rate my tiredness a 10, and I feel I didn't do so well on my diet because I've eaten a TON and I plan to eat more. Maybe it's okay if the foods are mostly healthy (not counting the cheese, and tempeh...), but I seem to be gaining weight ever since I decided to increase my protein intake.

    Btw, protein intake for today is probably fine because I ate 5 eggs along with half a thing of tempeh and the goat cheese. Too tired to go back and recount my food.

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    Your body was starved of protein before and suffered a lot of muscle wasting. I put on an inch to my arms and calves within months of going primal, a year and a half AFTER basic training, and lost two inches of fat from my waist. Don't worry, it's good weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RittenRemedy View Post
    Your body was starved of protein before and suffered a lot of muscle wasting. I put on an inch to my arms and calves within months of going primal, a year and a half AFTER basic training, and lost two inches of fat from my waist. Don't worry, it's good weight.
    Well, I'm not sure; because I'm kind of a special case. For the one thing I have been completely inactive since starting the diet and I doubt much muscle mass really could have been created. But the main reason is that this is my second round of hormone replacement therapy, after stopping before for over a year (an attempt to alleviate depression, and one of my biggest regrets to date) and allowing my body to produce androgens as it does naturally. This time I'm only into month 4 of my treatment, and the effects of the treatment include bodyfat redistribution and loss of muscle mass.

    To put things into perspective, I was around like 150lbs 4 months ago, and over the course of 3 medicated months I lost 10lbs while still eating tons of extremely unhealthy foods and living a sedentary life. Then I drastically changed my diet, and while on the low protein/low carb diet I made it down to 128lbs, at which point I added a lot more protein and shot up to 132 right away, where it's been hanging pretty steadily around. I don't know if my muscle loss from the meds has stopped yet or not, but being only 4 months in I doubt it.

    Things get a little complicated with serious physically-altering hormones thrown in the mix lol. Whatever the case may be, I feel a lot better about how I look than I did a month ago.

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