Adventures In My Day

An adventurous day in a way.  I woke up and did my grocery shopping as early as possible this morning as I normally do on Fridays.  I usually make it to Whole foods around the time it opens and it’s like a ghost town.  I like shopping when it’s not crowded.  Today was different.  It was crowded when I got there.  Was there a prediction for a blizzard I don’t know about? I had to remember to get tortilla chips for my husband because I made nachos for dinner tonight (they were yummy) and I was going to make my own from sprouted grain tortillas.  I look at the ingredients of the bag I pick up.  Stone ground corn.  HOT DAMN!  I can have these!  After that, I went to check on the gluten-free breads.  I am going to do a test to see if I’m intolerant and I wanted to check to see if the breads were friendly to my whole foods diet.  Every package I picked up had refined white rice flour and/or evaporated cane sugar.  I decided to pick up some stone ground brown rice flour and ask Silly Sissy for her recipe later.  I was still in a pretty good mood and talked to my cashier about dried beans and raw foods.  That’s one of the things I love about Whole Foods.  The cashiers are really into the healthy foods.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with cashiers at other big chain grocery stores like I do with the ones at Whole Foods.

I stopped by Target on my way home.  I wanted to get The Breakfast Club and for some reason we don’t have it.  I nearly got run over twice in the parking lot.  TWICE!  On my way into the store when a woman was stopped at the stop sign (like she should be) and the woman behind her in her schmancy car decided she was too good for stop signs and went around her.  You bet your butt I gave her a nasty look.  On my way out, it happened again!  Another woman in her schmancy SUV decided the stop sign was too good for her and wasn’t going to wait.  I made her wait.  Again, I give a nasty look.  Stop signs are there for a reason! So, I’m a bit irked at this point since it happened twice in 10 minutes.  I’m trying to calm down on my way to the car and I think, It’s such a beautiful day and I can’t let two inconsiderate women ruin it for me…even if they nearly ruined it by running me over.

I get home and I’m calmed down.  Then, I discover that my husband was still home.  He woke up as I walked in the door.  I had to laugh because he’s normally gone when I get back from grocery shopping.  I pulled out the bag of chips with a smile on my face and my husband looks at me and says, “What are you doing?”  I answer, “I can have these!”  Now, I’m not going to go out and by them every week or gorge out on them.  I really only made nachos tonight to get rid of the last of the cheese so I can officially be dairy free after tonight.  I’ll try it again in three weeks to see if I notice a difference.  I’m not much of a dairy person anyway.  Unless you count cheesecake.  Cheeeeesecaaaaaake.

I felt even better after I fixed breakfast.  I did have some fruit before I went out, but that wasn’t enough of course.  I had planned on doing yoga today, but because it was so nice, I changed the plan to going for a walk to get some Vitamin D.  I took the same route I did for the interval training on Sunday because 1) it was colder than I realized because of the wind and I went out ill prepared for it and 2) I wanted to stick with the short exercise times to see if the good feeling I get from it helps more than doing the long exercise times.  Yes, I’m saying “screw it” to all the books and doctors that say it needs to be at least 30 minutes to be effective.  I think if I feel good when I’m done rather than worn out, I’m more likely to keep it up.  Besides, walking around Whole Foods and Target was movement, too.

Still feeling good and I hope it keeps up!

Addendum: I was in a bit of a rush and forgot something else I meant to have in today’s blog.  My husband came home from work and walked by me as I was deejaying with a 12 pack of Diet Coke with Splenda.  He says, “It’s not aspartame.”  I respond, “But it’s still artificial sweetener.”  Him: “At least it won’t turn to formaldehyde at room temperature.”  I rolled my eyes, but was thankful that he’s getting the message.  Then, he brings me his Kroger bag and shows me what he got for his snacks.  Mixed nuts – roasted and salted, organic raisins with no added sweetener, and assorted dried fruit with no added sweetener.  This is totally different from the pretzels, potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream he normally brings home.  “Healthy snacks, huh?” I ask.  “Maybe.” he answers.

Baby steps. 🙂

Battling Emotions

I am sitting here trying to rehydrate after a 13 minute interval training session on the elliptical machine in our complex’s exercise room.  I’m liking this feeling I get after interval training.  I don’t “exercise” for long periods of time that leave me feeling drained.  Instead I’m done while I’m still on that endorphin high.  I warmed up for 5 minutes at 6.4 mph.  I ramped it up to 8.8 mph for 1 minute and then took it back to 6.4 mph for a minute.  I repeated that until I had done the 8.8 mph 3 times, then cooled down at 5.4 mph.  I probably should have cooled down for 5 minutes, but I felt like if I did more, I’d pay for it later.  Besides, 13 is my favorite number.

If you remember me talking about triggers for eating and snacking, you’ll remember I said one of my triggers was emotions.  Emotional eater.  Yup.  That’s me.  Or was me.  Well that me decided to rear its ugly head last night.  I was quite stressed and worried about a friend of mine last night.  When I talked to my husband about it he told me it sounded like I was really frustrated and that I needed to take a step back.  Hell yes I was frustrated!  I’m not going to discuss the details of my stress, frustration, and worry.  I’ll just say I’m in fear for his safety and leave it at that.  I knew it would be difficult still being so emotional right before bed.  So I took longer to get ready for bed.  Put more thought into what I was doing.  Almost like meditation on my actions as I was going through them.  I climbed into bed with The Book Thief and I prayed fervently for my friend before I started reading.  This praying led me to some pretty heavy crying.  I figured that would help me wind down some at least.  Once I was calm again, I read a few chapters and turned out the light.  Then a funny thing happened.  Sometimes my mind will start racing with thoughts of what is bothering me when I try to go to bed.  This time my mind was racing with thoughts of my grocery list for the week, my to do list for the day at work, and other trivial things.  Nothing that was bothering me.

Then it hit.  The grumbling stomach.  I fought with my stomach until all of a sudden, I wanted a big juicy burger and greasy french fries to comfort me.  I kept fighting with that emotional craving while my head was still full of those trivial things.  After an hour and a half of battling my stomach and my brain, I got out of bed.  I worked on my shopping list and logged into Second Life.  Wound up talking with a friend for a while and got my mind off all of it.  Until she showed me this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IGtDPG4UfI Oddly, I want to go to McDonald’s to 1) do the same experiment and 2) indulge in some comfort food all at the same time.  Pretty sad, huh?  I was pretty disgusted with myself that after seeing the visuals, I still wanted it.  I was in an emotional state!  Once I accepted that, I felt better.  Then she showed me this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hehJJmL8xE0 which is more about sugar.  Now, this woman in the videos, I don’t agree with everything she says, but I think her visuals pretty much hit the nail on the head with what I’ve tried to convey through this blog.

I eventually felt worn down after 4am and went back to bed without a problem. I woke up at 8:30am, realizing I forgot to set my alarm.  My brain was still in emotional eating mode, though.  I gave myself two choices.  Fix breakfast as usual or pick something up on the way to work.  I pushed through and fixed breakfast.  Good for me!  Had my juiced fruits and veggies, eggs with mushrooms and veggies and half of a sprouted grain bagel.  By the time I got to work I wasn’t feeling tired at all.

Noon hits and I’m dragging.  Eat your lunch, I tell myself…and I always listen to what I tell myself to do.  I was still craving that pesky burger though.  Don’t do it.  Your lunch is in the fridge.  Go heat it up. Okay.

I’m fine after eating.  2pm hits and I’m not just craving chocolate, I need it.  I don’t have a stash in my desk, so I went to our snack room to look.  The only thing was 100 calorie pack Keebler cookies…chocolate chip I think.  The thought of the refined flour was enough to make me walk back to my office empty-handed.  I sat down, but that need was still there.  That’s when I knew this was a big emotional eating fight I was having with myself.  Since giving up all the crap, the only chocolate I really have is at least 70% dark chocolate (full of polyphenols and phytonutrients that our body needs).  Just a little now and then, not on a daily basis.

Once I got home, I went to the kitchen to put my lunch and water stuff on the counter and grabbed the Tupperware of the healthy brownies I made a few weeks ago.  I broke off a  piece and ate it.  Fight over.

For now.  I’d still like a burger, but not as bad as last night.

Calories Are Not Created Equal

I learned one thing at the very beginning of my quest to change my diet.  Not all calories are created equal.  Doctors and weight loss gurus tell us if we restrict our calories, we’ll lose weight.  Sound advice, right?  You decide when I’m done.

The concept that ‘a calorie is a calorie’ underlies most conventional weight loss strategies.  According to this principle, obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure.  The proposed cure is to eat less and exercise more.  However, calorie-restricted, low-fat diets have poor long-term effectiveness in the outpatient setting.  In a sense, these diets may constitute symptomatic treatment that does not address the physiological drives to overeat.  From a hormonal standpoint, all calories are not alike”   ~David Ludwig, M.D.

When I first blogged about my diet change, I told you that women need 1,800 calories a day and men need 2,400 a day to stay out of starvation mode.  Anything less, we put ourselves into starvation and our bodies work harder to keep the weight on that we have rather than let go of it.  Calories are the fuel in our food.  There are different types of calories just like we have different types of gas for our vehicles.

Here we go back to sugar.  If you eat something made with sugar, an altered form of sugar (high fructose corn syrup), or other refined foods, it rapidly enters the bloodstream.  Any calories we don’t burn at that moment gets stored as fat.  This is because it enters the bloodstream so fast that it has to be dealt with right then and there.  However, take the sugar that gets converted from eating beans.  It enters the bloodstream slowly over time and gives our body a better chance of burning the calories and not storing them as fat.  Plus, beans are high in fiber meaning all the calories won’t be stored.

I mentioned before the term nutrigenomics, the communication between the foods we eat and our body.  The types of food we eat each send messages to our body and whole foods speak our body’s language.  Different types of food metabolize in different ways and different types of calories affect our metabolism in different ways.  Calories are energy and information that is communicated by our food.  If you go by the minimum number of calories we need to have a full tank each day and not put ourselves in starvation mode, then good.  But what kind of calories are you consuming?  I’ve been down that road.  Counting calories and watching what I eat.  I was miserable! It was a chore and in the end, it did nothing for me.

Now, I don’t count calories at all and I only watch what I eat when we go out, which is rare.  I carefully, plan my grocery shopping and stay on the outskirts of the store with an occasional foray into the middle for something here and there.  Anyone who knows me well, knows I tend to be a tad OCD.  Okay, a lot OCD.  My shopping lists are separated into the following categories: fruits/veggies, meats, dairy, pre-packaged, bulk and non-food.  There was a time when the list was mostly composed of pre-packaged, refined foods and therefore low quality calories.  Now my list is heavy in the fruit/veggies meaning high quality calories.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I may not be 100%, but I feel better and eating whole foods has become second nature and I don’t even have to think about it.  No counting calories, no counting carbs, no checking fats, no counting points.  No muss.  No fuss.  Just the way I like it.