Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 9 - 1/2 way through the deprivation stage!

I'm 1/2-way through the 2nd week of 3 weeks of deprivation. I am beginning to feel deprived, but thanks to Lefty (formerly known as "Butch"), dinner is still a wonderful culinary experience.

Things that have changed:
1. I no longer consume or crave alcohol or refined sugar. These are GOOD things! Once in a while, I'll think, "wow, a glass of wine would be nice right now." But I don't pour it and the feeling passes.

2. I eat probably 2x as many fruits and vegetables as I did before this started

3. I sleep really well

4.  I drink 3x as much water as I used to

5. My cycle went back to "normal" this month after being all over the place for the last couple of years

6. Better poops

7. I no longer drink coffee at all

8. I don't eat ANY processed foods

Things that have NOT changed:

1. Food baby/belly bloat!!!  Come ON, belly! Is it the berry smoothies? All the fruit? Or maybe I just need a good core workout that doesn't hurt my back?

2. Back pain, knee pain and ankle pain have not seemed to improve despite the fact I'm on an anti-inflammatory diet. To be fair, I found out last week that I have 2 bulging discs in my back after  throwing my 43-lb. daughter in the air 10 times in a row while in a pool over spring break.  (I was almost immobile for a week).

3. still have seasonal allergies

4. Low energy - but I think I'm still detoxing ?

So I'm thinking it's still too soon to tell, which is why this is a 3-week deprivation with a one-month re-introduction/testing of foods. Still have a week and a half to go on the "bland" diet. Maybe by week three I'll feel great, if not terribly bored of eating this food.

Which reminds me, things I like about this new diet:

1. morning smoothies
2. The Smoothie
3. Bananas and almond butter for dessert
4. no hangovers (or at least that 2-glasses-of-wine brain fuzz the next morning)

Things I miss:
1. Tomatos
2. potatoes
3. wine (sometimes)
4. dark chocolate after dinner
5. thai food
6. pizza night (GF, of course, but still)
7. Gluten - which I've been off for a while, but I still miss it!
8. Cheese

I'm not listing the last couple days of meals, because they're all pretty much the same. I did get the go-ahead to have fish 2x/week, so last night Lefty (formerly known as Butch) made a delicious dinner of halibut and green beans. Which would've paired nicely with a glass of Sauv Blanc...sigh.

Speaking of which, the next couple days in Seattle are supposed to be in the low 80s - in MAY! This is rosé-on-the-patio-drinking weather! i'm going to have to make some cucumber water and some sugar-free rosemary lemonade to try to fill that gap...and remind myself that the rosé will still be there in July, when summer REALLY starts here.
I hope I have enough energy and the green light from my PT to go for a bike ride tomorrow!

p.s. I almost took a picture of my belly last night because it was SO BLOATED, but it was too repulsive AND it turns out it was just the unpleasant monthly arrival of Aunt Flow who was responsible. So you're welcome for sparing you that.

p.p.s. I will share yesterday's lunch with you. I've been adding more quinoa to my diet to try to help with my lack of energy, so I made a salad of red lettuce, quinoa, celery, walnuts and roasted broccoli, leeks & carrots topped with olive oil and red wine vinegar. YUM!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Confessions of a skinny girl: i'm SORRY!!!

OK. I know I'm skinny. And I'm SORRY!!! I was blessed with good genetics, a high metabolism and love of athletics. I've been skinny my whole life. Even when I was pregnant I was skinny. I have never only dieted to lose weight, like, once. I'm SORRY!! And here's the catch: I'm terrified of getting fat. My  mom was REALLY skinny until she had 4 kids and then spent the rest of her sedentary life dieting to no avail until she got old and then gave in, sitting around playing bridge and drinking martinis. She never got obese, but she did get fat. And when she was diagnosed with cancer, she told me about her friends who'd lost weight when they  had cancer. She really said that. And I yelled, "This is not a weight loss plan!!!" A couple months before she died I saw her in just her underwear and she said with a smile, "I haven't been this thin since high school!"Really.
But I have to give her a bit of a break -  when she was my age, it was the pre-Jane Fonda work-out tapes era and decades before cross fit gyms. The only exercise women got in the '70s involved chasing children and doing housework sprinkled with a couple trips to the Y where they stood with those beige bands wrapped around them shaking their asses.

(this is not my mom)

The fear of the skinny girl is being the skinny girl who then became fat. You know, like when Bender describes it to Claire in The Breakfast Club.

 "She used to be so skinny!" They'll say. "She really let herself go." They whisper. Or even worse, the snickers!! (yum, snickers. Wait no, not that kind).

See, when you're skinny, other women say to you, "You're so skinny!" But not in a friendly way. The tone is usually accusing like you're skinny just to piss them off. And that there's no way I'm allowed to have body issues.

Well, clearly, I have body issues. And I'm allowed! Sure, a psychologist might disagree with me here, and I know I probably shouldn't have body issues, but I do things my own way, m'kay? I'm SORRY!

This is why I obsess about my damn belly. I'm sure there are women who would kill to have my belly. I'm SORRY! But do you want a belly that sticks out further than your boobs? I didn't think so. But that's what I have. Boobs are 2 things I was not blessed with.  And if my belly didn't bloat beyond my bra size, I probably wouldn't be so concerned about it at all as much. But it sticks out beyond the boobs! That's not ok. And I'm not getting a boob job. I wouldn't know what to do with boobs. I'd probably hurt myself. And I like people looking into my eyes when they talk to me.

All that being said, I am not doing this regimen to lose weight. I know I don't need to lose weight. I'm SORRY! But I have a host of issues beyond body image, one of them my belly, that I'm trying to figure out with the diet.

I hope that this clears the air about my belly and why I was posting pictures of it. I don't expect anyone to understand or to care, and am not looking for sympathy. But just so you don't think I'm crazy or on the verge of anorexia, that's my story. I blame the Title Nine catalog for part of it. The other part is just pure neuroses.

Title Nine girl with 6-pack abs being cute jumping over waves.
Me with flabby belly and a padded bikini top (so that my belly doesn't go beyond the boobs) being extra sexy, eating meat on a stick.
p.s. I'm sucking in my belly here a little.

photo credit: Nina Heck Cousins

p.p.s. I'm not really sorry for anything. Except the picture of me eating meat on a stick. I HATE this picture!!! I like it from the padded bikini top up because I think that's totally sexy. From the bikini top to the top of my bikini bottoms, vomit.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 5. No wine, no ponies.

 A few months ago, my girlfriends & I signed up for "Wine & Ponies" at a school auction. My girlfriends and I did it last year too and it was really fun and we all got really drunk on nice wine and ate great food while watching horses jump over stuff. I was going to go just to hang out with my friends, but because I was so tired from the detoxing, I just couldn't rally for what would be "Water and Ponies" and carrots (for me, not the horses). I know at least one of my friends was disappointed that I didn't go, and although I know I can be fun and funny without alcohol, i'm no fun when I'm tired and just want to go to sleep.
So what did I do instead?
I went to Treehouse with Butch and my daughter! Treehouse has the BEST pizza and really good wines by the glass. I walked in and was engulfed in the warm smells of pizza dough, cheese and italian spices. I turned to Butch and said, "It smells SO good in here." And cried a little inside. And then I looked around and saw everyone enjoying their pizzas, beers and wine and I ended up killing everyone in the restaurant. It was a bloodbath! And then I ate all their pizza and drank all their wine! A SWAT team descended upon me and killed me, but at least I died full of pizza and wine and was happy. Butch and my daughter were sad that this happened and my daughter will probably need a lifetime of therapy, but they understood. And Butch was just a tad relieved that  he could cook anything he wanted from now on.

(None of that really happened, but the way. Everyone is alive, including me.)

We were shown to our table and I ordered the cobb salad hold the tomatoes and blue cheese dressing and no- I'm fine with just water, thanks.
Butch ordered an Old Mill (my favorite), a beer and then a glass of wine, and then stopped at Walt's on the way home so Butch could get a bottle of red wine. (He's saving our good red wine for when I start drinking again, on June 1. THAT is love, people).

We got home and my daughter and Butch had ice cream And for some reason I was the one who had to dish it out to them! That is love on MY part, nut not on Butch's part. That was just mean.

I should've gone to hang out with my girlfriends. I'm sure they're all like, "Told you so!"  OK, you're right, bitches! Next time, ok??

Tomorrow is the last day of week one! So that's kinda cool.

Today's Meals
Breakfast: Mixed berry smoothie with chia seed, hemp & seed protein powder
organic pork sausage with greens
sencha tea

Snack: apples with homemade almond butter, water

lunch: ground beef with leftover's from Friday night's dinner (veggies and pesto), water

Snack: The Smoothie

Dinner: Salad with chicken, avocado, green apples and oil & vinegar, water

dessert: mashed bananas with almond butter, water

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 4 - Hunger-Pangless in Seattle

Worst pun of the movie title ever.

But day 4 was great! I went to Seattle for a couple of appointments and planned ahead, bringing along a cooler filled with The Smoothie, a salad with strawberries and chicken for lunch, 1/2 an apple and a bag of my mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts & pumpkin seeds) and bottle of water to keep me nourished all day. And it worked. I wanted for nothing. Not even coffee.

I made my own dinner because Butch went out after work - probably to escape his frustration of my dietary restrictions - leaving me in charge of the kids, their dinner (easy) and packing up my son for his first backpacking trip ever. So I didn't get around to STARTING dinner until 9:30. I made this:
and it was SO GOOD. I added sautéed chicken for more protein/substance but I honestly think it would've been better without it. And I omitted the sun-dried tomatoes from the pesto. It was still delicious and I'll make it again!
I suprisingly didn't have a craving for alcohol. It being a sunny Friday, normally I'd sip a martini or a couple glasses of white wine followed by red wine when the sun went down. Obviously, I am not alcoholic. WHEW. (This is not a joke. My dad is and 99.9% of his family are/were alcoholic, so this is a real concern for me. I do NOT want my kids to have to go through what my siblings & I are dealing with concerning my dad.)

I didn't have room for dessert since I ate so late and had consumed about 1/2 pound of nuts throughout the day.
I gotta keep that in check.
Sparing you of  belly pictures today! I think by now you get the idea. If anything changes, I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Day 3. I just want some coffee.

Today at about 3:00 I got a huge craving for coffee. Even as a decaf drinker, I love coffee. I love the taste of it, especially dry processed coffees from Africa, I love the smell of it and I love it as an after-meal digestif. It's not something that any tea can replace. And of course, living in the coffee mecca of the United States, I drive and walk past really good coffee shops several times a day. Ah well. Just the day's lament.

This morning:
I don't know why I wake up SO tired and needing at least another hour of sleep when I'm not even drinking alcohol! I guess maybe it's because I need more sleep. Or I have cancer.* (Wow, I should really be a doctor).

*Note: I'm absolutely terrified of getting cancer. So much so that whenever something is wrong with my body, my first thought is, "I finally got cancer." (not finally as in, "Wow! I finally got to have sex with Jake Gyllenhall!). It's like I'm expecting it so I go immediately to the worst diagnosis possible when I feel a lump in my arm or I haven't pooped for days. My husband (let's call him Butch to protect his identity) thinks I'm a hypochondriac, but I just think it's better to be prepared for the worst so that when you find out that the lump is just a skin tag you can say, "whew. At least I don't have cancer!"

When I got up I took this picture of my belly, because I hate myself. It's just like yesterday's morning picture, I think. This belly is ok. With just a bit of toning, this belly would rock. But I have the rest of the day ahead and trust me, it will bloat.

For breakfast I had green tea and then made a wonderful breakfast of a mixed berry smoothie, quinoa cereal with apples, & organic pork sausage with sautéed greens. Hopefully this will help stave off the ravenous hunger I had yesterday around 11:00. It's 10:18 now, so we're on track already.
Here's my breakfast. Turn your head to the right and remember that I am not a food photographer. It was actually quite good. Except the "cereal" which is a lot like cream of wheat only it's cream of quinoa and flavorless. That's why I add salt and a shit-ton of apple.

Lunch was out with my friend Morgan at the Pub. I had an all-organic salad with chicken and and oil & vinegar and water to drink. Good thing he was paying because that's a TOTAL waste of a a trip to the Pub. But not for him - he got fish and chips which I didn't even look at once because I think I might have cried. He didn't even get a beer (thanks, Morgan!), he got an Arnold Palmer, which I don't really like, but I was still totally jealous because it wasn't water.

I made my awesome banana/almond butter smoothie mid-afternoon and it was awesome, so from now on it's just called "The Awesome Smoothie," or siply. "THE Smoothie."

Butch made a yummy dinner of steak topped with a pesto of parsley, capers, rosemary & anchovies and a side of broccoli. It was super yum and I made a dessert of - wait for it - mashed bananas and almond butter that I ate with a spoon. I am a GENIUS when it comes to bananas and almond butter, so you're welome for that.

No belly photo before bed. I fell asleep on the couch around 10:30 then had to clean the kitchen and went to bed because, did I mention I get really tired now that I don't booze it up in the evenings?
But trust me, my food baby made her appearance, just like yesterday. So if you're really wondering what it looked like, look at yesterday's before-bed photo. But a advise against it. It's ugly.

It was a good day. No screaming hunger pangs. Only felt deprived of coffee for about a minute.
3 down, 18 to go. 18! That's all! That sounds do-able.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 2. Hungry and tired. And bloated. Don't forget bloated.

Day 2.
Breakfast: 1 cup sencha tea, mixed berry smoothie with hemp seed powder & chia seed
Lunch: giant salad of kale and lettuce, apples, carrots & walnuts with lemon juice & olive oil
I'm STILL hungry!
I just made some almond butter and am going to make a banana and almond butter smoothie. YUM.

Oh my god - this smoothie is SO GOOD.Rice milk+homemade almond butter+one banana. SO GOOD!!!! I'm going to have to plan all my meals around having 2 of these smoothies a day or I'm going to gain weight on this elimination diet!! I kinda love myself right now for making this deliciousness in a 12-oz glass.

Wow! Things are working already! I had the most epic poop this afternoon!

Snack: Almonds, wwalnuts & pumpkin seeds. Sencha tea.

Around 4:00 I got REALLY tired and hungry. Must remember to bring snacks with me when I'm out running errands. Because I'm kind of like a toddler now.

Dinner: roasted chicken breasts and veggies (carrots, fennel, brussels sprouts), water Thanks husband! You really ARE the best husband  and the best cook.

Not drinking wine makes me tired. Honestly, I'm ready for bed by about 9:00, but that's dinnertime, so I power through until past 11:00. Cuz I'm really smart.

Today wasn't so bad except for when I got so hungry while running errands. I didn't eat enough for breakfast and fell short on my water intake. My mood is pretty good and I don't miss wine at all. In fact, walking past the wine in the grocery today I thought to myself, "That stuff burns going down." I know. ME. I thought that. Weird. I did kinda want some after the kids pissed me off by misbehaving and then whining. (Whine begets wine, I've found.) But it passed and I got a pint of water and a book instead.

Tomorrow, Day 3, I'm looking forward to another amazing smoothie!!!!!!! (I made Mark buy a second bunch of bananas at the store tonight because I foresee a lot of these in my future).
I took pix today but will post tomorrow. I'm too tired now.

Here's what happens to my belly throughout the day:

                                  First thing in the morning. No problem! I would happily wear a bikini.

1:30 pm. Starting to pop out a bit.

Right before bed at 11:45 pm. I look 3 months pregnant!! And this is without gluten, any grains or sugar. Honestly, WTF?

Day 1 down, 20 to go.

Well, that was easy. And I'm not just saying that. I didn't feel deprived. Maybe I'm doing this wrong.

Day One's meals:
Breakfast: Blueberry, marionberry, mango, rice milk smoothie with Chia seed and hemp seed protein powder. Quinoa cereal with chopped apples. 1 cup sencha tea.

Lunch: I missed lunch, so ate the snack I took on the ferry which was about 2 cups of raw almonds, one cup of walnuts and 1 cup pumpkin seeds. This was VERY filling, so missing lunch wasn't a problem. (This is a calorie BOMB, but this isn't about calories so who cares....right?)

Snack before dinner: 1/2 cup almonds and pumpkin seeds

Lavender water (I infused dried lavender flowers in my water - yum!)

Dinner: one large steak seasoned with tarragon, asparagus, quinoa

Dessert: one pink lady apple

Water consumed throughout day: at least 40 oz. Possibly more. I didn't count.

Supplements: Elderberry syrup,  arabinogalactin, curcumin, multi-vit, D, B6, probiotic, fish oil, elderberry syrup.

 I am very surprised that I did not miss the wine at all. I felt a craving while driving home around 6:30. It was this kind of warm feeling that went through my body that whispered, "time for wine!" Honestly, it whispered and I felt it. But I acknowledged it and it passed.

I wasn't hungry all day and never craved anything. Except chocolate after dinner. Oh, how I love my after-dinner 80% dark chocolate. But had an apple instead and that seemed to satisfy my craving for sweets.
I was really tired by 11:00 and fell right to sleep and slept hard.

The downsides of  Day 1:

The bloat. The BLOAT! It happened throughout the day as if I were eating loaves of bread. (Horrible pictures to be posted soon.) The bloat AND finding out that paprika is a nightshade. That was upsetting to both me and Mark. Especially Mark because he had to re-think dinner, but he had a couple of hours to do that so don't feel too bad for him. He can make a gourmet meal out of road kill and our drawer of 200 spices.

OK, I downloaded yesterday's pictures and they all look the same so I think I need to work on the getting the right angle and keeping a consistent distance from the camera. Consider yourselves spared. You're welcome.

Now, let's get Day 2 started.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Let's get this lamest party ever started!

This morning begins the long 3-week journey into self-deprivation. While this may sound like a spiritual exercise that I am taking of my own volition, but that's only half 1/16 true. It's simply an elimination diet that Dr. Astrid Pujari (Google her) has recommended for me to figure out: the bloating, the digestive "issues" (lack of regular poops), my frequent upper respiratory infections (URIs), back pain, ankle pain, allergies, epilepsy and low energy.
I mostly started yesterday, but cheated by having some eggs at lunch.
Here is what I am allowed to eat and drink for the next three weeks:
1. organic fruits & vegetables (except oranges - I don't know why this is, but I never eat oranges anyway so I'm not complaining)
2. Organic chicken & turkey and grass-fed beef (NOT grilled)
3. Green tea
4. water - NOT carbonated. Yes, really.
5. seeds
6. raw almonds
7. raw walnuts
8. quinoa & amaranth

What is NOT allowed for the next 3 weeks:
1. caffeine
2. non-organic foods
3. ALCOHOL!!!!!
4. sugar
5. eggs
6. dairy
7. gluten
8. soy
9. nightshades (TOMATOES, POTATOES, PEPPERS & eggplant) -notice how I didn't capitalize eggplant
9. peanuts or other nuts not mentioned in previous list
10. carbonation (need to find out if whipits are ok)
11. All grains (except the ones mentioned in  the "ok" list)
12. coffee
At the end of 3 weeks, I start re-introducing foods - the LAST thing I reintroduce is alcohol.

I already don't eat gluten or a lot of dairy, so those aren't a big deal. But no wine? You'd think that would be my biggest challenge. Au contraire, mes frères. The biggest challenge is going to be dinnertime with my husband. He's an AMAZING cook and while he likes a good cooking challenge from time to time (like when he was going to make omelets for dinner last week but I used all the eggs that morning...he swore and banged around the kitchen for 15 minutes while I hid in the laundry room playing dumb), this is not something he signed up for.

I'm thinking I should attempt to make this less about what I can't have and more about what I can. Quinoa cereal for breakfast! Whee!! Possibly a non-bloated abdomen! HOO-fucking-RAY! Regular poops! (YES! (Except only time I get to finish New Yorker articles is on the toilet). No more colds that knock me on my ass for a week at a time? Sign me up!

To track my progress, I'll be posting 3 pictures per day along with my daily food intake and my musings of the day. Pictures will be of my abdomen in the morning when I wake up (forgot today, so you'll only get to enjoy 2 pictures), in the mid-day after I've had a couple meals and before bed.
WARNING: It won't be pretty.
I'm going into this with a scientific mind, eager to find out what changes will happen over the next 3 weeks and what will happen when I start re-introducing foods into my diet 3 weeks from now. And eager to find out what happens to my mindset - will I be angry, irritable? Or will I become kinder and more mellow?
This is food as medicine, people. Ready, set, go!