Friday, September 21, 2012

End of Day Five


Just, WOW.

Only five days in (and 16 to go) and I can't believe what I've already learned about my eating habits!* So many times I've wandered into the kitchen thinking, "I'm hungry. I need a snack." I go to grab a banana or an apple, and suddenly my hand freezes when I remember the detox. I look around the kitchen some more, stare at the leftovers or the three big bags of nuts in my fridge, then close the door and walk away bummed.

All I really wanted was an apple! When I want an apple, a handful of pecans just won't cut it.

But here's the thing: the "hunger" goes away. It doesn't get stronger, or even hang around. It's just... gone. Which makes me realize it wasn't really hunger in the first place. Chances are it was either thirst or just plain old habit.

The result of that scenario playing out repeatedly is that I've hardly been snacking. Actually, I've had three snacks in five days (all nuts). That's remarkable for me. I eat a substantial breakfast (usually 2 or 3 eggs with kale, some ground pork and decaf with coconut milk) and then I'm not hungry until lunch time, usually between 12:30 and 1pm. I've been typically eating leftovers for lunch (and averaging half an avocado at lunch each day) then I'm just starting to feel hunger when it's time for supper between 5:30 and 6pm.

And so far, I'm down 2.5lbs, and I suspect that's primarily from my mid-section as my jeans feel different already.

I am feeling so stretched right now. The cravings for sugar are still frequent and intense - hard to fight off, for sure. I am sure the next 16 days will continue to challenge me in different ways, but I'm hopeful that these new insights will stick with me on Day 22 and beyond, and maybe I won't be such a slave to my sugar demons anymore.

(I definitely learned a lot during both my Whole30 experiences, but never once felt as "deprived" as I do now. I'm surprised by how much I was really relying on fresh fruit, dates and sweet potatoes to fill the junk food void!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Crazy Cravings!

I'm on day 2 of the 21-Day Sugar Detox, and already I'm struggling more than I did at any point in either of the two Whole30s I've done. Sheesh. I didn't realize just how much I relied on fruit to satisfy sugar cravings! Now that they're "off-limits", I'm realizing just how frequently (and intensely!) the desire for something sweet hits.

Take this evening, for example. I had a wonderfully satisfying dinner (taco drumsticks with guacamole dip!), and wasn't in the least bit hungry. But then I had a trigger- a moment of feeling like I "deserved a treat" because I had to (brace yourselves...) pick up a #2 accident off the bathroom floor.

Aren't you glad I shared that?

I figured if I had to do that, then surely I should reward myself with... with... huh. Nothing, I guess. But man, did I ever want to crack open the bottle of wine in the pantry and send my husband out for ice cream! Not that eating/drinking that stuff would solve anything (or make me any less grossed-out), but that was what I wanted.

So here I sit, an hour later, waiting for my licorice root tea to steep. I'll drink that and go to bed early, rather than stare at my kitchen and daydream about the dates I know are stashed away in the snack cupboard...

Monday, September 17, 2012


I've been doing some more reading about adrenal fatigue, particularly in terms of what I should and shouldn't be doing for exercise, and what I should and shouldn't be eating. Oy.

Some of the foods on the "to eat" list are among my favourites and make regular appearances in my meals. The list includes: ground flax seed, extra virgin organic coconut oil, fish oil, wild caught salmon, minimal-mercury albacore tuna, sprouted walnuts, sprouts, green and black olives, peppers, spinach, celery and zucchini. I don't eat olives (I've tried!), I'm not a huge fan of salmon, and I haven't been sprouting my walnuts. Other than that, those are all things that are in my standard repertoire. The sad thing is the "don't eat" list. It includes raisins, dates, melons and bananas. But those are some of my favourites!

As I continued my reading, it became obvious that the ideal diet for healing my adrenals is free of processed foods, low-carb, high in quality fats, and low in sugar. That's pretty much the way I eat most of the time - except the sugar thing. I do eat a lot of fruit. And too many "Paleo treats" with honey or maple syrup.

Now I realize that eating an apple is not the same thing as eating a candy bar. There is far more nutritional value in an apple, but it's still sugar. It still raises blood sugar, which further taxes the adrenal glands.

I've been working on prioritizing my health and healing, but I realize now that I need to really get a grip on my sugar cravings. Even satisfying them with fruit isn't doing me any long-term favours as I try to recover. So, with slightly less enthusiasm than I had when beginning my Whole30s, I've now begun a 21-Day Sugar Detox. Sounds way more intense than it really is! There's no crazy detox-drink, no restriction in quantities, just the removal of sugar - in all its forms.

I'm continuing to take my vitamins and drink lots of licorice tea. I'm sticking to non-strenuous exercise right now, even though I miss my two favourite trainers a lot. I know my favourite work-out videos will still be there when I'm feeling up to it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Breaking the Silence

So, what have I been up to? Many much stuffs. Mucho stuffs. Heaps and piles of stuffs.

Food-wise, I admit to having made some not-so-stellar food choices. Some of them were definitely worth it - homemade gluten-free BBQ chicken pizza - and some were not - M&Ms are way better in my imagination than in my mouth.

I'm doing my best to get back on track by taking part in Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge. (I seem to thrive when I have rules, and wander when I'm on my own...) I'm aiming to stick to strictly Primal foods (which, of course, gives me more flexibility than Whole30-approved foods), exercise more, and - above all - find more opportunities for play in my life. A big part of that is learning to find joy and a sense of play in the tasks I have to do. Which leads me to...

I'm working on a massive purge/declutter/cleaning/organization of my entire house. And I'm learning to love doing it!! I recently read a book in which the author likens homemaking to God's creative work in the book of Genesis. Just as God created a paradise for Adam and Eve, so am I called to make a sort of paradise for my family. I think that creating a paradise at home encompasses many things, but one of them is certainly our physical surroundings. So I'm working on a 14-week challenge that will likely take me more like 28 weeks with my three small interrupters by my side. :)

In other news, Princess has had a rocky start to her life as a student. I won't bore you with the details, but here's a Reader's Digest version: First day, took me two hours to get out of her school - she was hysterical. She went to school for three days, then missed four. Finally convinced her to go for just half a day today, then as soon as she got home she said she wanted to go back for the afternoon. Go figure.

Music Man was the most stubborn kid in the world when it came to potty training. Seriously - he's over three, and we've been at this for months. Then on Monday, he just woke up and decided to do it. He takes himself to the washroom, does his business, and only calls if he needs assistance with a button on his pants or maybe a #2 wipe. Go figure. At least this means I'm finally down to only one kid in diapers!

In totally unrelated news, I've been sewing again. In the last week I've made two baby blankets, two baby sun bonnets, one baby toque, a coffee cup sleeve, and some doll clothes. Gotta make sure I'm not too rusty to whip up some Halloween and All Saints costumes, then hit some Christmas gifts!

I hope the craziness that is September is going easy on all of you. I promise to make more time to write!

Breakfast: Kale, eggs and cherry tomatoes, with 2 slices of bacon. Two cups of decaf with coconut milk.
Lunch: Indulgence! Homemade vanilla coconut milk ice cream with a generous scoop of grain-free cinnamon granola.
Supper: Paleo fried chicken, roasted broccoli, and sliced tomatoes - the reddest I've ever seen!
Snacks: Half a Honeycrisp apple, some more granola.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It Ended Early

Well, I didn't quite make it to 40 days, even though I had decided I would tough it out. I made it until supper time on the 39th day, when the wedding reception got the better of me.

I had done my best to stay compliant while visiting family - I ate some ham, but only a little, so I can't even fathom how small an amount of sugar would have made it into my body, and at one point I used butter to sautee my kale, because I hadn't made it out to the store to pick up ghee/coconut oil. When the reception rolled around, my plan was to skip the grains and just enjoy some meat and veggies, without stressing about small amounts of sugar in the salad dressing or "bad" oils in the cooking of the meat.

When I walked up to the table to get my food, my options were: roasted pork loin, tossed salad with Kraft dressings, potato salad, quinoa salad and white dinner rolls with margarine. I figured it mightn't fill me up too well, but I'd just go for the salad and pork.

Just then the woman who was in charge of the food came out and said, "Which one of you is gluten-free?", so I identified myself. She then informed me there was a separate bowl of potato salad made just for me - how could I not take some? Shoot. Oh well, white potatoes and a little Hellman's - not the end of the world. I took a little and headed back to my seat.

The next thing I noticed was the lack of beverage options. I hadn't brought money, since I wasn't intending to make use of the cash bar, but it turned out that was my only option for getting water. The only things provided were red or white wine, tea and coffee. I guess I had a "WTF" moment, and had half a glass of white wine.

After dinner ended, I went out to the deck to try to make a call. I hadn't even looked at the dessert buffet, and had no intention of eating any. But when the mother of the bride came out to find me while carrying a plate of gluten-free desserts for me, I had a slice of chocolate cake. I didn't feel that it would be charitable to say no at that point.

So that was the rather unceremonious end to my Whole40 Whole38.67. I can tell you this much, though: about 15 minutes after I ate that dessert I started to feel gross. A headache began to creep up from the base of my neck, and I felt rather nauseated. I'm certain it was far to much sugar after going that long without it!

I think now it's going to be a challenge to continue to maintain the kind of eating that makes my body feel good. There are so many temptations, and my tendency to eat emotionally will be in full-effect tomorrow: my firstborn will be starting school!