Knit Wit Living

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Whole30 Six Month Report

Here’s my Whole30 six month report.  I did not step on a scale before I started and have not stepped on one since.  I didn’t want to make this a numbers game.  That really messes with my head and I just wanted to focus on how I felt.

  1. My Golf Game is Better
  2. My Clothing Fits Better
  3. I am More Focused
  4. No More (Real) Cravings
  5. I am Sleeping Better

Whole30 Six Month Report

My Golf Game is Better

Well, first, let’s not get carried away.  When I say my golf game is better, I am not saying that I am good yet.  Just to be clear.  I still need more lessons and even more practice.  But my swing is better, I can focus more, and my putting is better.  Since my body is changing its shape it is easier to swing and position the putter.  Yes, there’s still a lot to think about and not think about it (part of playing golf is not overthinking it, and not having your thoughts get in the way of your game) but my body seems to be more flexible and less in the way.

My Clothing Fits Better

I do not really pay that much attention to clothing. I have a fairly scant wardrobe and am not a clothes horse.  However, one of my body size gauges is my work badge that I wear in the office.  I wear it on a lanyard around my neck.  My varying body weights have had it closer up, where I could just position my breasts near the badge swipe box and then open the doors. Nowadays, the badge hangs lower on my body so I know that my body has been changing.

I’ve also noticed that many of my necklaces hang lower than when I first made them.

Whole30 Six Month Report

I mostly wear dresses and recently tried on one in the size the next step down the other day at a store…and it fit!  I also tried one on in my Whole30 starting size, and it was way too big.  I can still get away with wearing my existing wardrobe, so it’s not a drastic change – which I also like.  Slow and steady.

I am More Focused

I have reported on this before.   Again, don’t get me wrong, I still like to waste time and just process thoughts while playing Candy Crush or some other “mindless” activity.  However, now when I’m thinking about procrastinating a simple task I just decide to do it instead of thinking about it a zillion times before I “cave in” and get it done.  Like, putting away my shoes, or emptying the dishwasher. Non-consequential tasks that would have otherwise clogged my thinking. I get things done faster now, and then have time to do the more enjoyable activities, like reading, beading, knitting, and golf.

No More (Real) Cravings

(Real) refers to yes, sometimes I think about having that cupcake with copious amounts of frosting (or really, just the cup of frosting).  But it’s not a craving – more of a remember how much (I thought) I enjoyed that?  I step off the Whole30 for a variety of items here and there (primarily cocktails), but then come running back to the structure and stability of the Whole30.  Every now and then I allow myself some gluten, then suffer through joint inflammation mentally kicking myself for it.  Sugar makes me bite my nails.  Cheese makes me all mucus-y. I don’t even enjoy legumes. I am thankful that potatoes are allowed. I relish food texture, and potatoes allow for the chewing consistency that I would otherwise miss with grains.

Whole30 Six Month Report

The prosecco is #NOTWhole30.

Every now and again, I will put aside the wonderful raw oysters and sashimi and treat myself to sushi.  It’s good, but not necessary all that often.

I Am Sleeping Better

While my mind is more active at bedtime, I am sleeping through the night.  I have started wearing a sleeping mask to block out the light and make myself focus on quiet and darkness at night.  Since I am not consuming dairy, my throat is not bogged with phlegm and I am sleeping straight through the night.  Wow, maybe that should have been the first item because that contributes to everything else.

 

 

 

My 4 Day Whole 30

My 4 day Whole 30 is ongoing! The premise of the Whole 30 is to reset your nutritional balance by cutting out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days.  When the 30 days are complete, slowly add the omitted foods to observe how each one affects you.

I am a huge proponent of the Whole 30!  During my first trial, I discovered that I have a slight allergy to strawberries in that they make my skin itch.  So now every time I am confronted with the choice to have strawberries, or a food with strawberries in it (my local sushi restaurant has a roll with miso-strawberry sauce) I can make an intelligent decision if it’s worth the discomfort.

4 day whole 30

My first attempt at the Whole30 regiment was super successful! The second attempt, not so much.  I lasted about 4 days, and not fully committed.

However…

That is only half the story.

When you finish the Whole30, you are reminded to try to live by eating cleanly, but allow yourself to enjoy life and foods with no regrets.  Just hop back on the Whole30 bandwagon as much as you can.

I learned during this go-round that I need to stop trying to do the Whole 30 completely.  I need to focus on doing it as much as I can, constantly noticing how different foods affect my body and my state of being.

I noticed that Sugar is Not My Friend.  Eating sugar makes me very unbalanced. I chew my fingernails, play with my hair, am very unfocused, and lethargic. So I cut out sugar as a general rule.  I still do not eat a lot of gluten either.  It makes me bloated, and tired.  And I eat very little cheese.  These are my guidelines now.  Not just for 30 days.  For life.  The picture below is a little extreme, but I think I do need to avoid sugar very assiduously.

4 day whole 30

Of course, I should be drinking more water.  Yeah, I may get there one day.  Not a priority!

I did not weigh or measure myself before starting the Whole30.  People keep asking me what I’ve done differently – what’s changed?  I have been losing weight!  My skin is healthier, brighter.  The Ex even noticed that my hair looks healthier.  ??? (Meaning isn’t that odd that 1- I was with the Ex and 2- that he commented on my hair???!) Bear in mind that I did not look extremely malnourished or unhealthy before.  But there are noticeable differences now.

Most importantly, I feel better.  I have more energy, better focus, a longer attention span.  I get super excited about mundane things, like getting a lot of small tasks completed in a short period of time, or leading a very efficient meeting.

Yay.

Doin’ the Whole30

I started the whole30 food regiment a week ago.

Established by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009, the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.

During the holiday season I introduced myself to a guy at work because he runs this very active MeetUp group for singles aged 45 and beyond.  In order to avoid the “don’t I know you from somewhere” conversation, I decided to talk to him first.

Well, he found a friend in me.  He set up time for us to walk together and he shared with me his varying diet plans, potions and pills.  I shared the links to The Weston A. Price Foundation and Mark’s Daily Apple and lent him my Primal Blueprint book.  I casually! mentioned that he might want to try the whole30 food plan AND that I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t want to give up the cream for my coffee.  (I know, Flimsy Excuse, right?!)

He talked me into doing it with him.  He feels like he has a partner in this mission. I don’t.  We are on two separate planets.  He told me that someone told him to drink tea with lemon. He reached to show me the lemon at his desk and it was the plastic ReaLemon.  I do hope I didn’t roll my eyes.  Forgive me, but I was expecting a lemon.

I didn’t even attempt the processed food conversation.

But..enough about him.

The Whole30 Rules

For 30 days, DO Eat Real Food – Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.

DO NOT Eat

  • Added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
  • Alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
  • Tobacco products
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • All forms of soy
  • Dairy with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.
  • Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods,  junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients.
One last and final rule: You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program.
Your only job? Eat. Good. Food.

How’s It Going?

Very well! I have received compliments that I look good.  I don’t press for details. I just say Thank you!
Meals are actually pretty easy.  I’m drinking tea (Double Bergamot Earl Grey) instead of coffee. Whole30
Even though I do like cream and sugar in my tea, it’s just as easy and tasty to drink it on its own.
I did have some black coffee the other day…interesting!  It definitely needed at least some sugar, but I didn’t partake.
Here are some photos from my first bulk preparation. I find that it works better for me if I cook a large variety or batch of food at once, so I have it for subsequent meals and different combinations thereof.  My whole30 meals are not much different from others  that I’ve posted…except no honey or maple syrup, no butter, no cream, no quinoa, no gluten-free treats. LOL, well, maybe a little different!

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I came up with a wonderful dessert – sliced peeled apples and chopped dates sauteed in a little ghee with a sprinkle of sea salt and a pinch of baking spice.  A very filling  and delicious way to end the meal!

Whole30

It truly has been 8 days since I started.
  • My clothes are looser.
  • My skin is clearer.
  • I am sleeping really well.
  • My nails are stronger.
  • I have more energy.
  • I am more focused, less distracted.
  • I am getting up earlier.
  • I am having some crazy dreams, or maybe it’s just that I’m remembering more of them.
  • I am better physically balanced.
  • My hair is not coming out as much.
  • I am satiated throughout the day without a need to nosh (most of the time.)
  • I am thirsty!  (A good thing as I never felt the need to drink water before.)

More to come…

Kool-Aid Flavors

Kool-Aid  Life is all about choices.

Today, I got annoyed because I felt that some people I work with are choosing the wrong Kool-Aid flavor. The Kool-Aid reference is from the Jonestown Massacre, where the people believed in the cult so much that they drank the Kool-Aid laced with cyanide for their mass suicide.

The bottom line is that we all drink Kool-Aid in one flavor or another. We all believe in something – whether at work, in our food choices, our religious preferences or even the choice to not be religious.  We can all find some proof or arguments to strengthen our choices.

Last night I went to dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Throughout the menu, with fairly astronomical prices, they boasted about their corn-fed beef. Really? What corn? The kind they grew in the movie King Corn?  The kind that wasn’t edible to humans? And that they feed to cows? I cringed at the menu. Yes, I ordered some beef. It was the social experience that was more important, and one meal…is just one meal.

But still.  Are we supposed to be impressed that it’s corn-fed beef?

Man, if the menu said Pasture-raised beef, I’d be standing in line to pay more for the meal, ready to support a business that is interested in moving our food supply away from CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).

So the Kool-Aid flavor I ate last night was corn-fed, which is not the usual one that I choose.

The Kool-Aid flavor that someone at work annoyed me with today was “strawberry,” while I usually choose “grape.”

Everyone makes her own choice. I just hate when someone throws their flavor at me as though it’s the only choice.

What does it look like?

After I finished my last post explaining my self-imposed dietary restrictions, I thought I should show what my days look like in food terms.  As I was taking photos of every bit of food, I remembered a so-called diet from years ago. I don’t remember its name, but the gist was to have a visual food diary, on a site that would be shared with … the world.  Its premise was that if you had to show the world (or worse, your friends and family!) what you ate each and every day you would be more frugal or sensible in your choices.

That was not the point of this particular exercise.

But I digress.

So I did one day.  Then I thought, let’s do another one, when I’m not being so conscientious.  Turns out I ate more the first day.  Read on…

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Day One

  • Breakfast: 3 little slices of pork belly with brussel sprouts and scrambled eggs, and some water
  • Snack: Ruby Red grapefruit (a smaller sized one)
  • Lunch: Asparagus and leftover lamb
  • Snack: A couple pieces of candied ginger
  • Dinner: Pork chops with avocado, brussel sprouts and some fermented pickle slices, with a glass of seltzer and a glass of fermented ginger ale

You may also notice the same water bottle shown consistently throughout many of the pictures.  I did finally finish it, at work, but it takes me awhile.

The dinner portion looks huge! These pork chops are so delicious (and thinly sliced) that I can usually eat two.  This time, however, I just ate the moister meat near the bone and saved the rest for lunch the next day.

I also have a sweet tooth at night so I had some licorice.  Because I am a knitter, I used a tiny box of stitch markers to show the size of the licorice.

Apparently, I was very hungry that day. The next day, when I thought I would be less on point, I had:

  • Breakfast from the work cafeteria – 2 hard boiled eggs with mustard, water from home, potato chips, and tea from home
  • No mid morning snack
  • Lunch – the leftover pork chops, asparagus, fermented pickle slices and what do you know! the water from breakfast
  • A little tiny licorice to hold me over until a late dinner
  • Dinner – Trader Joe’s Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice, in which I also threw a can of clams. It was supposed to feed two, but I ate it all. (I find Trader Joe’s meal size serving estimates to be very unrealistic overall), a glass of wine, and a bigger glass of mineral water

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Once again, I did not finish all of my…wine!  And I had licorice for dessert.

And then my eye caught sight of ….

2014-01-31 21.08.56 I didn’t have any….that night.  I did have three the next day. They were very tasty!

And then I went out for a dinner with a friend….and for dessert we shared…

Cinnabon sundae

Cinnabon sundae

and it was okay! Actually, the dessert was a little disappointing because they should have heated up the cinnabon.  So I cut my way into the center, which in my opinion is the best part of any cinnamon roll, and had it with some of the vanilla ice cream. I wasn’t even that interested in the whipped cream.  We didn’t finish it, and I lived…and actually slept fine.

But don’t want to do it again for awhile.

It’s All About Choices

My Food Journey

My Food Journey

I am an advocate of the Real / Traditional Food movement. This means that I endeavor not to eat processed foods or GMO’s, rather sticking to food as it was originally created and prepared before industrialization.

I try not to shudder as my friends eat their low fat low sugar concoctions thinking that they are being healthy.  However, if asked, I will share my point of view.

NourishingTraditions

Nourishing Traditions is the basis of much of my food philosophy, but when I’m looking for a recipe I more often go to cookbooks that were published before fake foods were invented. One of the cookbooks I like is The Blue Book of Cookery by Isabel Cotton Smith, published in 1926.  Inscribed in the front cover: “To Gertrude from Mamma…with the hope that she will bring much pleasure therefrom… April 1927”  Gertrude was my father’s mother. This is a treasure!

Real food includes organic, pasture raised and non-processed foods. I try to avoid gluten and carbs because I feel better when I don’t eat them. I do have organic sugar and dairy and follow the Primal Blueprint lifestyle.  The Primal Blueprint is a spinoff of rules based on how our early ancestors lived. It is a modernized paleo diet and includes lifestyle suggestions. The thing that I don’t like is that it really irks me to have someone remind me of basic things that I should be doing – that I know I should be doing – – – get a daily dose of natural light, move around more, etc.  It annoys me that this has to be part of a plan! But so it goes and so it is. I find that I feel healthier when I follow this program.

My overall message on all this is that you can only do what you can do.  I am convinced that in today’s society it is impossible to be completely organic. I also know that sometimes I eat wheat and other gluten and that it will all work out.  My general motto is that I try to be in charge of what chemicals go in and are around me, and to take it easy if I bend the rules every now and then.

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