Thursday, June 23, 2011

Updates, Revelations, and Changes

It has been a few weeks since I last posted on my yeast-free/dieting or other weight loss endeavours. I'm a little exhausted with the whole thing. No, I haven't completely given up or made many seriously unhealthy choices. I'm just craving more variety to my meals. I think the doubt began to stir a little this weekend.

I went on a mini-vacay to OC, MD. During which I gave myself full permission to enjoy any food (sugared, dairy, or not) I desired. It started off well enough with typical beach and boardwalk foods (hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, cheese fries, pizza, crab cakes, some drank, lemonade, coca-cola :), taffy, and a tub of caramel corn). I thoroughly enjoyed it all and left with no regrets. But then I came home late Sunday and felt horrible. It was on a strange level too. I had pardoned all my food choices mentally, but I had not expected so much backlash from my body physically. I wasn't sick to my stomach but my body did not feel happy.

I resumed healthy eating Monday but it was a slow recovery. And I had a small relapse Tuesday night when a friend suggested we check out a new Caribbean Vegan restaurant. I had BBQ 'ribs' cabbage and mac n' 'cheese'. I don't know if it was the sugar laden homemade BBQ sauce or the mac pasta but I felt my body in revolt again. It also didn't help that later that night when in an uncomfortable conversation I reached for a few pieces chocolate and too many kettle chips. I wasn't even sure why I did that. It was like I thought 'well I feel like crap already so a little more junk can't hurt at this point.' Oh but it did. The best way to describe this type of "sickness" is exhausted, dizzy, feverish, unfocused, and not good. I couldn't wait to hit the sack so that I could feel like the reset button was pressed the next morning.

So, this week's episode has proven that my current 'healthy' regiment is good for me and thus bad choices are poison and to be avoided at all costs, right? Not really. Remember, up above I was trying to explain how my doubt has begun to stir?... So, really this week has taught me that maybe I should slowly start incorporating "normal" foods into my diet within reason. For instance, a serving of brown rice, wheat bread, or whole grain pasta a few times a week. Now, I know for fact that dairy negatively affects my digestion; so maybe I will continue to strictly avoid (but not completely rule out) milk products like yogurt, cheese, and cream. And to be honest, I have found perfectly satisfying non-dairy replacements for all of these things anyways. This way, I will not be completely thrown off my sanity every time I indulge.

I think it is most important that I keep in mind that every body is unique in their needs and what makes them feel best. And just because a certain lifestyle appears helpful at first doesn't mean that I have to prescribe rigidly to that set of rules forever. I should be open to some healthy tweaks and variations where my body deems necessary (note to self: 'necessary' does not include late night milk chocolate and chips binges every night, no fun at all).

I guess this post is steering my usual ramblings into the land of dietary advice. But really it's about food discovery for myself. It's very hard to prescribe what will work for others when you can only attempt to understand what works for you and your own well being. (Ooo, deep) Maybe I will work on reflecting on foods that make me feel well, balanced, and sound of mind. It's starting to sound all holistic and hippie-dippie, but what is so wrong with taking the time to shut-up your thoughts and emotions to better hear what your body is saying. Meh, it's worth a try.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Welcome Back Oatmeal!

So after a solid month of more or less abstaining from the white stuff (sugar, pasta, rice, bread, and oatmeal) today is the day I finally can consciously incorporate oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice back into my diet. I decided to start with my most favorite and sorrowly missed breakfast option: Oatmeal. And not just any oatmeal, oh no!

Over the last month I have visited several health blogs that suggest different approaches to preparing oatmeal. Before this day I only knew of plain instant with my own toppings (usually copius amounts of cinnamon and splenda) added. Today, my first day reacquainted with my lost love, I dabbled with the method known as overnight oats.

I always knew "old fashioned oats" were better for me than instant packets; and steel cut oats were superior to both of those. Although, I never tried either healthier option for fear that they would make for messy preparation. Well, the bloggersphere answered my aversion to cleaning pots extra work with the overnight oats procedure. Simply soak old fashioned oats in milk (I guess, roughly 1:1 proportions) and allow to soak overnight in the fridge. Easy peasy, right? Yes. And in the morning I was greeted with a creamy bowl of oats. Although, I admit, I did have to chew a bit more than instant; but who cares? I guess I could have added more milk and microwaved them a bit to make them resemble instant. But I thought it was kind of neat that I was eating a bowl of oatmeal sans actual cooking. And it was delicious.

My toppings this morning: Half scoop of Jay Robb vanilla, a splash more of almond milk, packet of truvia, and tons of cinnamon (mmmm).

Maybe for my next attempt I will add cocoa powder or peanut butter and heat it up to make a warm fudgy oatmeal...Possibilities.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phase One -> Two

Anybody who has ever embarked on a quest for healthier eating habits can attest that the world is not a friendly place. At least not if you don't plan to get along with it.

From day one of embarking to eat dairy free, grain free, sugar free, fruit free, and starchy veggies free I was met with resistance from every angle. Day one, a coworker brought a bag of bagels and cream cheese (all contraband in my new life style) and it was torture to see the uneaten remnants trashed a few days later. Perhaps those were the bagels I would have eaten in a regular ole week.

Secondly, there is an extremely decadent and hip food truck (as gourmet as a truck can get) that I recently found prior to starting these lifestyle changes. I've tried their Sliders with Bacon Bling, a "new york" style falafel in pita, and a Chai Brownie (not all at once, of course) from them. There were so many more things that I wanted to try. Like say for instance the mac n' cheese cone, a red velvet waffle, or a fish taco. But now those aspirations shall have to wait, until labor day, ie final oppurtunity for swimwear. Until then, I find myself trekking with coworkers to this forbidden truck every Thursday this Spring that they inadvertently "forget" their lunches, RIGHT! But I'm just a spectator, I swear!

Lastly, and more recently (This past Memorial weekend Sunday evening), I attended a wedding with a catered buffet. I was really hoping it would be a buffet so that I could exercise freedom of choice. And although, there weren't many choices for my lifestyle, I did find three things extremely satisfying and therefore gorgeworthy in the merriment. Fresh strawberries, mushroom caps with italian sausage, and Grilled Beef Fillet with Chimichurri Sauce (Oil, vinegar, and other spices). Okay, so I probably overdid the Fillet because a) I was hungry b) Two vodka sodas reduced my inhibitions or c)It was ridiculously good. Answer: All of the above. I will consider this a minor oversight thusly corrected with complete abstention from the dessert, cupcakes. Yea, I did it! [Takes bow] -_-

I'm trying my best with this lifestyle swap, but it gets increasingly more difficult on the weekend blowouts with family and friends. Because I want to relieve my conscience I will leave you with a short list of my indiscretions so far in phase two.

1.I had a beer pre-Hangover II opening night. Self Explanatory.
2.I had a little pineapple at the wedding. I forgot they were amoung the no-no high sugar fruits.
3. I had one fruity concoction signature drink at the wedding. It was brought to me and I couldn't say "no I'll be having none of your delicious drink" and it was :)
4. There were empanadas on the fruit table, yea still talking wedding, I took one, broke it open, ate the meat inside, and just took a tiny sample of the shell, just to see what it was like ;-)
5. At a special lunch this weekend my salad had bleu cheese and fried onion straws. I did my best to avoid them, but, you is what it is
6. Soy milk is just so often more convenient than other non-dairy options...

All in all, I am very proud with my ability to avoid the obvious villains: Bread, Pasta, Rice, and Sugary treats. It hasn't been easy but it's getting easier. And although I haven't officially tried any recipes yet, I have been receiving special inspiration from this blog. This young lady is not sugar free but she just has a way of making decadent (yes, DECADENT) desserts seem possible for the health conscious. Check it out!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Phase One

It's been two weeks since I wrote a blog post. Mainly because I had started writing all kinds of interesting (to me) stuff last-last week and blogger rudely hit some reset button which deleted all my saved drafts... What can I say? I discourage easily.

So here we are two weeks later and I have been doing some things differently. I took the suggestions of this blog pretty seriously, at least for the last two weeks. I have completed the two week no white stuff-no fruit phase. I can sum up my experience with this graph:

Now, the graph looks horrible in blogger. So I can sum it up by saying there is a light the end of the sugar craving roller coaster. Mainly, I have successfully resisted sheet cake and free sandwiches and I am all the more excited to add back some fruit this week. Fruit has now become my most indulgent friend.

Although, I have come out of phase 1 fairly successful, I did have a couple flubs. Here are my confessions:

1. I have been drinking coffee mainly with almond milk, and occasionally (when almond was not an option) with soy milk. I think soy products are no-no's, so oops.

2. There was one instance when I had depleted my truvia stash and settled for a little splenda, only once, it was necessary.

3. Peppers are fruits. But I ate them frequently anyways. Dipping them raw in hummus and salsa or chopped in omelets.

4. I wasn't supposed to eat fruit until today. But I was feeling deprived Friday night and ate my first ever Larabar (peanut butter cookie). And it was surprisingly better than I could have imagined. I expected a dry mash of nuts but I received a moist nutty brownie. Nom.

5. I was having a particularly low Sunday evening in yesterday. So, in order to not hurl myself on a box of cookies I opted to make a super light pumpkin pudding with Libby's pumpkin, almond milk, cinnamon and **gasp** a packet of Jello's sugar free vanilla pudding mix. Yea, I know aspartame is another no-no, but it did it's job lowering me off the sugar ledge.

6. Once or twice thrice I ate processed deli meat, pepperoni, or jerky. For the record their sugar counts were resoundingly nil and I reasoned that having passed up sheet cakes and bagels (from eagerly distributing members) I perhaps earned the right to some kind of flavorful indulgence (within a semblance of the rules).

I think those are all my missteps for phase one.

Now on to phase two, where I will continue to avoid the white stuff and add back some choice fruits to keep me sane.

Friday, May 6, 2011


This made me laugh!

I don't know what else to say about this. It's just funny to me, that is all.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Live-It Diet

Upon blog surfing (compulsive jumping from blog to blog depending on who has an interesting blog title or shoutout) I came across the Live-it Diet. I was drawn, by the brave blogger's before and after shots, to investigate further. Now, this blogger's before was not too bad. Maybe she had 10-15 more lbs to lose to feel completely jiggleless. And that's really not alot of jiggle to begin with. So anyways, I started feeling hopeful and reading on because, you know, I have like 15-20 I'd love to say good-bye to (but not enough to stop eating awesome food). So upon dissecting the "plan" I began to think this sounds so simple, why haven't I tried this before? Maybe because the "plan" requires you abstain from dairy, sugar, bread, baked goods, pasta, and potatoes. Well that rules out nearly everything I eat.

Wow, that's like rewiring my entire go-to grocery list (milk, bread, cheese, yogurt check check check check). This list has allowed me to eat week to week while maintaining a minimalist approach to actual meal planning. In other words it supports my laziness. So then I started wondering how hard this transition might actually be... I forsee two road blocks: 1) What do I do with the existing bread, sugar, and dairy that I already own? I hate to throw that stuff out because its wasteful but I can't keep it because it would be too easy to fall off the "plan" and 2) How can I function with friends and family without 1) offending any pushy chef-like types and 2) appearing to have a vain eating disorder. It all just sounds so daunting. Ideally, May 9th-29th would be the easiest in terms of JW being gone and needing a project to occupy my freetime. But what happens when I go visit SN (at her parentals' home with her broken leg and a dad who should open his own restaurant). I can already see the astonished and dismayed faces as I reject homemade fried rice and spring rolls. Ackkkkk. Those are the tough times I am never really prepared for.

In conclusion, the live-it diet blog post I found has given me alot to think about (in terms of how bread and dairy will likely be the death of me) but I'm just not sure if such a drastic approach is worth trying.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday Funk Schlump

This is a dreary, rainy Wednesday for which I wish my mood didn't match. But it does. So I will listen to The Beatles Pandora station all day and try to quash any particularly low Wednesday thoughts. Not even the offer of Indian food could pick me out of this schlump :(

Funky Schlump oddly reminds me of Shake you wanny fanny funky song! Nobody else watched that episode of Sabrina?

You are welcome