Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's in the Lyrics

I put out an APB for good, inspirational, intense songs to put on a running play list.  Friends came through for me and you should see me go.

In December I bought myself a really nice treadmill.  I am that person, or small percent of the population, who does actually enjoy using a treadmill as a tool of exercise rather than a clothes drying rack.  I think my bent towards "responsibility" on personality tests prevents me from allowing something that expensive to sit and gather dust.

And, if you know me, I hate running, but I really don't mind it on a treadmill.  It's kind of thrilling to keep hitting the speed button to see just how fast I can run.  I've always said, "Why run?  I'm not being chased."  But, I guess in case one day I am being chased, I should be in shape enough to get away!

I don't run far, and I'm not consistent.  But I do about 6mph for a mile or two and then walk for a bit.   Or if I have tons of energy and the music is just right, I'll do one minute sprints at 7 to 8mph with one minute in between at 3 mph where I try to re-enact this...

Don't even tell me you've never tried it!

These days I do whatever it takes to keep up my motivation.  I wear a t-shirt from my friend's company that says, "One Tough Mother."  And, even though it's not bright in my basement, I'll wear my "One Tough Mother" visor just for attitude.  And Nia Shanks keeps my eyes on the prize, too.  You do what you gotta do.

The music, though...oh, the music!  Seriously!  If you are in a rut of any sort, whether it's in the realm of exercise, motivation for school or a job or relationship, a dry spiritual rut where God seems distant, or you've just had it up to here with laundry and dishes or the day to day, music can be so pivotal, in either direction.  Choose it wisely!

It blows my mind to hear lyrics written by someone who doesn't know me from Adam, yet every word seems to be stolen from my very own heart.

This morning instead of sitting and "doing" my Bible study time, I sat and listened to several songs where the artists were singing about God.  Many songs are about our relationship with God and what He does for us or how we love Him, but most days I need to hear and dwell on songs that just focus on Him, His awesomeness, and how big He is.  #intentional #perspective

There are two points to this post.  Anything else you take away is a bonus, I guess...

ONE:  Get active.  Do something.  No matter how small, don't compare it to what someone else is doing, just begin by moving your body, whichever parts you are able to move, get them going.  Just move it, move it.  Have fun and don't take yourself too seriously!  The point of exercising is overall health and loving yourself, it's not about looking like a magazine model.

TWO:  Choose music wisely.  Associate good music with positive growth, in health, your walk with the Lord, and in other healthy relationships.  Throw your arms wide and sing at the top of your lungs that you are a "Firework" or do funky hand movements to Foster the People (*'s not like I'VE done this, of course) wink wink.  If you are in a funk with God or need a personal revival, here's a song I put on replay about 76 times, for reals, until the words sunk into my heart and pointed my eyes in the right direction.  Music is a powerful motivator.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fast Break

"Fast Break" is a term I remember from High School basketball.  I haven't played in a while but it seemed to imply speed and a total change of scenery.  If memory serves me right, when one of us would get a rebound at the opponent's basket, our job was to immediately turn around with the ball in hand and look up court for a team member to throw it to, then run like heck down to post position and set up under our own basket to either box out another girl or get in position to receive the ball once again for a lay up or other quick shot.

Hey, that was kind of fun to remember basketball...I should go play.  Any locals up for some hoops? 

Anyway, this post isn't about basketball.  Or anything athletic, either.

It's about a victory of sorts, in a weird and skewed way.

In the past when I have been "eating clean" or "fasting" or even on a diet (I don't do this anymore, but that word is common enough for comprehension), if I stumble or cheat or get de-railed, it usually lingers for days, if not weeks.  It's not just a moment of, "Oh, I'll just eat these chips and salsa and get back on the train," rather it's, "You suck!  You ate chips and salsa and can't do anything right...might as well eat 6 cookies while you are at it and whateverelseyoufeellikeeating..."  And then I feel so crummy the next morning that I just eat crap for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day...and the next...and the next...until something gets me back on track.  The days adding up continue to discourage my outlook and in-look, and it's more of a downward spiral instead of just an isolated event of eating the chips and salsa or whatever the culprit and then being done with it.

Messed up, huh?

So, anyway, on January 3rd I started fasting and detoxing and not only did my face show it, but I felt good and had a lot of energy.  In December I had started a weight lifting program, like for actual muscle-building, so I knew I would need some lean protein sources and, personally, could not do just veggies.  However, my mind works like a machine when things are CLEARLY mapped out and even written down.

This wasn't my case as I slowly added in fish here and there, but not in any consistent way, then chicken and when I didn't have that I would grab a handful of nuts (more about that here) and elk and bison and then soy yogurt and protein powder until things just weren't clearly mapped out anymore and it was a looser operation than when I had begun.

So, anyway, whatever.

Last Friday night Jason and I went out to start planning our 20th wedding anniversary trip and I ate salmon, grilled veggies, and 1/2 cup of black beans.  I did not eat one single corn chip.  I ate slowly and felt really proud of myself, to be honest.  The next morning we finally took down Christmas.  You are jealous because you took yours down the day after and have been freezing this month with nothing pretty to look at.  It was 60 degrees outside and I didn't leave the house at all. Ryan's found his nostrils in the last two weeks and discovered how perfectly his fingers fit in each hole.  Why couldn't nostril holes be more akin to ear canals where fingers DON'T fit?  Anyway, he's been speaking whine as a form of communication recently, as well.  His stint of poopying and peepeeing in the potty like a big boy was apparently just a 2 week phase that is now over, as well.  And, I hadn't been out of the house for almost 5 days at that point...

...which leads me to packing in a lot of "good" things over the weekend, but maybe too much?  I felt like I could just enjoy a glass of wine on Saturday with dinner, but my internal stress was building from being a hermit and only having toddler interaction, apparently, and I had a second...and then, I wasn't even craving it, but had 4 bites of some sort of chocolately, creamy, eggy, pie dessert...and then I went for a shot of Bailey's and a shot of Kahlua in full fat coconut milk.

It tasted good though my face wasn't a fan...

Not sure which the swollen eye?  Too much salt on those nuts???   Clearly.

I'm getting bored looking at my mug.

And welcome to Sunday morning...the crazy hair is a result of night sweats.  I get them when I'm not a clean eater.  Just another fancy symptom you thought was just "normal"?  Not so...I only have night sweats when I eat poorly.

This is where the "Fast Break" comes into play.  I broke my fast, if you could have even called it that by then.  Basically at that point I was only avoiding grains, dairy, eggs, and sugar.  And, unlike the term used in basketball, the break wasn't super fast, if you will.

But, this is the victory part, kinda, sorta...

So I broke my "fast."  On Saturday I ate culprits and foods that were not so great for me.  But I was groggy the next morning and it did trigger some inflammatory responses in my body...notsogood.  On Sunday, I didn't eat those anymore.  And I didn't tell myself how much I sucked.

Getting back on the train, or in basketball lingo, grabbing the rebound, turning to find a teammate, and heading in the other direction to reach my own goal, that is a "Fast Break."  I feel like even though I drank and ate out of stress on Saturday, breaking my fast, the fact that I utilized tools from Celebrate Recovery and "Made to Crave" and "Stop Eating Your Heart Out" has given me training and practice to know what to do when I'm at the opponent's basket, but now the ball is in my hands or "court."

Back in High School, on the court, if I had grabbed the rebound at the opponent's basket and just stood there, pissed at myself and my team that we were EVEN spending time under their basket AT ALL, moping, griping, chewing out my teammates and being mad at myself they had even had the opportunity to take a shot, let's just say my butt would have been on the bench the rest of the game AND the next day in practice our coach would have had us doing lunges cross court, 5 minute wall sits, and running suicides until we were barfing up our lunches.

Same with life.  I actually like lunges now and do an occasional wall sit, but I'm not a fan of barfing and running suicides are for high school basketball players, not me.  However, I'm grateful for this personal victory of sorts of running a "Fast Break" from my fast break, not allowing myself to get hung up on the temporary turn-over.

*How about you?  What are some tools you use to break free from temporary set-backs?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An Interview with Grace

I decided I'd like to hear the journeys of other people as it pertains to food, health, and wellness.

The truth is, we not only have different tastes, but each of us has our own reasons and inspirations for why we choose to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Weight loss aside, I put out a call on Facebook for anyone interested in sharing their current food story via a few interview questions.  I wanted to know if there were people "out there" who had recently made a dietary, lifestyle, or nutritional change, what their findings were, and if they would care to share with others.

You see, I may be passionate about eating clean because of the research I've done both on paper and through self-experimentation, but the truth is, I'm just passionate about ANY healthy change a person may make and the benefits they'll reap as a result.

Slicing for sushi rolls...eating clean can be fun and cheap at home...

Ryan and Em love sauteed broccoli with garlic and salt, plain or on top of a salad.

Yumminess from my garden last year.

A lady in my neighborhood cut out pop, for a month now, and has lost two pant sizes.  She now sips coconut water from a straw and enjoys it as her splurge during the day.  One.  Little.  Change.  But the benefits:  RICH!  Believe me, her blood is thanking her, not just her waistline!

So, here's an interview with my friend, Grace.  I met Grace Spirk Wilcox under shitty circumstances.  We met in a bereaved parents grief group through Children's Hospital.  NOT superfuntimes, but I'm so grateful to have met her and her husband, and to have learned the story of their sweet Sophia, January 6, 2006 - April 27, 2007.  She and her husband are loving, inspiring parents, and here as she shares part of her journey, I believe you will find she is also an inspiration to anyone interested in how food has changed her life in just a short amount of time.

  • ·       What is your earliest memory of eating?  Do you associate any kind of feelings with food?

Interesting question on the earliest memories of food. I can't think of any...I always remember being fact in my baby book one of my aunts says I was the fattest baby she had ever seen.  We always had meals together as a family and I don't ever remember there being chips, cookies, soda in our house on a regular basis. Because my mom worked and it was the 1970s, we ate a lot of boxed, processed, packaged stuff (chunk a la king chop suey in a can, anyone?)

  • ·       Do you sit down when you eat?  Are you a fast or slow eater?

I do usually sit when I eat...we all eat together as a family at least dinner and most meals on the weekend, breakfast is usually grab and go for me.  I am a very fast eater and don't chew very well unless I stop and think about it.

  • ·       Why have you chosen to change your way of eating, if even temporarily?

I was diagnosed with RA when pregnant with my daughter blood has never tested positive for RA and I don't have any joint damage, I've always been convinced it is something else.  But the RA meds work and the docs are never willing to explore any further.  For the past year I have been giving myself a shot of Enbrel once per week and felt great, then in November it just quit working and I got a flare that got worse every day. I didn't go to the rheumatologist because I knew there was nothing he could do but give me some Prednisone, which I never want to take again, one night when I was so miserable I couldn't sleep it occurred to one was going to help me so if I didn't want to be miserable I had better try to take control.  I had been to homeopathic practitioners before, and some how I didn't find them better than the regular docs, they could help but I'd have to buy hundreds of dollars of supplements they I scoured the Internet. And finally found a page of a guy describing how his doc was helping all sorts of people with chronic disease just through diet.  He wasn't selling anything...he had a book, and published online.....FOR FREE!  His recommendation was to go back to these 7 basic foods for a week, eat nothing else and then add back foods one at a time...I did it and within a week I felt better than I have in years.

  • ·       What things do you have in place for encouragement, motivation, or accountability?  (ie, friends, journaling, support group, etc…)

My husband and kids are incredibly supportive and I talk to my Mom (who is a holistic nurse practitioner with a wellness business in Kentucky). I am also journaling as well.

  • ·       What is one significant dietary change you have made and what is one specific, measurable benefit you could share with those reading?

The significant dietary change I have made is I am eating very few foods and only whole foods.  I have yet to add back dairy, wheat or sugar.  My RA symptoms are gone and I did not take Enbrel this week for the first time. I've also lost about 12 lbs so far and have an amazing amount of energy.

  • ·       What have you learned about yourself, your relationships, or God, during this time of eating differently, and/or fasting? What have you learned about food?

I have learned that my cravings weren't just a lack of will power but rather signs of an addiction that our body creates that counter intuitively keeps us eating the things that harms us the most.  I have also learned to trust myself.

  • ·       Are there any permanent changes you would like to make to your health routine as a result of your findings?

This change will be permanent for me and I am interested to explore which foods cause me problems.  I am sure there will be bad days or days when I make less than stellar choices but I believe I can live a healthy life despite occasional failures.

From Grace:  Thanks for the opportunity to write that down.  I can't believe how good it made me feel!  

Grace, thank YOU for sharing some of your story!  We'd love to hear back from you over time, if you'd be willing to share, to hear how you are doing and how your symptoms are improving.  It's so great to see that you are learning to trust yourself!  That is HUGE!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fat On Purpose

I think as far as my first-thing-in-the-morning face goes, it's safe to say that my face prefers less or no-carbs.  But, just to keep up with the photo journey, here are pics from last Saturday through today...

Day 10 - scientifically it would be good if I knew what led up to this particular day b/c my face is the brightest it's been yet.  And I love that crazy gray hair shooting straight up at my part...awesome.

Day 11 - Super slacker, broke my own rule of not sleeping with make-up on.  Too tired the night before to even care.  Note to self:  this is how my grandma's eyelashes got short and sparse in latter years...don't wear make-up to bed...

Day 12 - not too fancy.  The night before I ate a huge portion of salmon.  I've been doing a lifting program and am trying to figure out protein sources to stay on this "veggie-fast."  However,  I have to experiment what my best sources of protein will be. 

Day 13 - blah, blah, blah.  Had to head downstairs so I didn't wake up Jason with my mug-shot.  The black shirt vs. the white one in these pics, I think, is making a difference in what shows up on my face.  I am feeling clean, though, so that's what matters...

Day 14 - This is the aftermath of trying to gain weight.   Salt-free nuts are likely a better option for my face.  No nuts are better for my waist-line and mental well-being.
So, as far as my title states, I've been doing something the last week that is against everything I've ever practiced.  I've been trying to gain a couple of pounds of insulation.  I've never done this on purpose and I think it messed with my mind yesterday.  You see, I have the markers, though my doctor and I both won't "accept" the diagnosis, of Sjogren's Syndrome, an auto-immune disorder.  From the research I've done over the past several years since having Noah, I know that auto-immune diseases aren't mutually exclusive and symptoms may vary and overlap.  I haven't been tested for many of them, but I do know that how we eat and take care of our bodies can radically determine how extensive they may become.  Anyway, one major symptom I have is dryness...mouth, sinuses, skin, eyes.  That coupled with how cold I am, like constantly, and it makes for a long winter.

So, yesterday I decided to eat some nuts, good fats, to not only add warmth for winter, but for a little lubrication.

And that's where it went downhill fast.  You see, I can't just eat a handful of nuts.  Who the hell can eat just 6 almonds?  Which is usually why I avoid them.  Nope.  I eat a cup of nuts.  And yesterday, against any judgment whatsoever, I ate salted pistachios until my eyes started to feel puffy and my tongue was raw from all the salt.

So, I start new.  Fresh.  I don't beat the crap out of myself.  I learn from my choices and experience the consequences, and I question why I chose that many nuts over walking away, meditating on God's word, changing my surroundings, or whatever.

Anyway, there's not a whole lot to report other than I'm off the nuts again.  One day I may be able to eat just 6, but until that day, I'd better stick to roasting my veggies in a little olive or coconut oil.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Construction Zone

The verse I read and wrote down this morning, the first verse of the 14th Proverb.
My father was a professional builder.  He built both commercial and residential properties.  I remember his drafting table in his office, blue prints and sketches, job sites and sub-contractors.

I remember his company El Camino parked in the front drive many years growing up, as well as the much more palatable Suburban in later years.

A few times in high school I earned money by cleaning up some of his job sites on the weekends...he wouldn't let his three daughters there during the work week.

When other girls were solely looking at Teen Magazine, I was sketching floor plans and perusing the pages of Architectural Digest and Professional Builder Magazine.

Photo courtesy Pace EDU

And now we live in a new neighborhood where five years ago we lived in only the second house on the block.  I've been able to see the street fill in with homes and families, and see the different subs come and go with each phase of building.

It's really a fascinating process to see a home built from ideas and paper into a physical structure where memories are made and lives are lived, however empty or full.

There is so much beauty in how the Lord uses the imagery in scripture of our bodies being physical temples or buildings or structures meant to house His Spirit and presence.

God has me in the midst of a perfect storm, if you will, of books I am reading and scripture I am studying.  My word this year is INTENTION and I've been being intentional about time spent sitting at God's feet, studying His word, thanking Him for His many blessings, praying for whatever He puts on my heart, etc.

And I'm being INTENTIONAL about loving myself by filling my eyes and heart with food that really satisfies..."give us this day our daily bread..." not stuffing my gut with food that fills only temporarily.

Anyway, if the blue prints are wrong, they are sent back to the architect for tweaking.  If the electrician's portion of the job doesn't pass inspection, building is delayed until it's made right.

And even so,  even after a family has moved into a new home, things go wrong and need repairs.

Our lives, our temples, our day to day walks with God are similar, except much of the responsibility is on our shoulders.  We aren't puppets or robots, we are living creatures with the power of choice.

We are the builders.  Will we do what it takes to build a dwelling in which healthy life can take place, beautiful memories are made, and when others visit, they feel refreshed and encouraged?  OR, are our homes/temples/bodies dilapidated old shacks that are beyond renovation?

We have good friends who would say a hearty NO to that last question.  They bought a 100+ year old home soaked through with cat urine, stripped it to the bare minimum structure, and started again, building a fantastic property with character and charm.

Aren't you glad God is a Master Builder, and though our lives often times require remodeling and renovations due to time and wear and tear, when we bring to the job site the proper supplies and appropriate time frames for work and building, great shape and structure take form.

*How might you be INTENTIONAL today to take care of your house/temple/physical body?  Do you have a behavior you've become accustomed to that if it were translated into building lingo would look more like graffiti, bad peeling linoleum, smoke or water damage, or sledge hammer holes in the walls?  What changes can you make today, with INTENTION, that will boost the value and worth of your "home"?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Days 8 and 9

So, instead of having to look at my mug every day, I thought I'd couple up on days.  Plus yesterday I didn't have a second to sit down at the computer.  And I think that was part of why I woke up looking like I did this morning...

Not the computer part, but the turbo-speed.  I was in go, go, go mode from the crack of dawn, and even after a great time sitting with my Favorite Guy, aka The Creator of the Universe, I just put it into overdrive all day and pressed on, without INTENTIONAL living.  Sure, I got a ton accomplished, but yesterday was a blur.  And my eating, it wasn't INTENTIONAL at all.  It was thrown in here and there during the day, and I didn't sit down until dinner when I was already at the end of my rope.

...and to a dinner that was a FLOP.  I made a coconut curry butternut squash soup that would have been better called a bisque or broth.  And it needed salt.  So I added it.  And I was mad the soup sucked, that is until I added salt, so I ate 2.5 bowls.  Because that makes sense, obviously.

To be completely candid and honest, for me it's easier to fast on just water than it is to think about which vegetables and whole foods are legit and which ones are on my "avoid" list for a time.  Food journaling is easy:  water, detox tea, cran-water, fish oil, probiotics, soluble fiber, more water.

Clearly I can't just drink water only for the rest of my life, though.

I thought about it yesterday, and am not trying to make His experience seem as though it wasn't life-altering and, quite frankly, world-changing, but Jesus wasn't a spouse or full-time mom when He fasted.  He was a single guy out in the desert and didn't have the distractions of day to day life because He was able to be INTENTIONAL about heading out of Dodge and just focusing on His time with His Father, be filled.

I'm trying to figure out how to do that while still living life at the same time.  I can't chuck my husband and kids for 40-days or 20-days or even a week to go sit at a cabin by myself with an endless supply of water.

INTENTIONAL living, my word for the year, means even when it gets hectic and both kids whine and I have to run an unexpected errand and my baby boy is sick and it's the week leading up to year six of saying goodbye to a tender sweet boy who I wish was in kindergarten, my eyes are INTENT on looking to God for strength, not coasting on my own,  INTENT on shutting out the noise while listening to His quiet leading, INTENT on stopping to breathe in and be filled by the One Who provides for me.

Maybe it was the animal protein I had post-workout b/c I felt shaky, or the handful of raisins I ate while giving Ry a snack?  Maybe it was the 2.5 bowls of salty soup, or the fact that I am out of my Natural Magic soluble fiber that cleans out the toxins I'm ridding each day (thankful more is on its way...)?  Or maybe it was the whining kids?  Or the 6 pieces of chemical-laden gum I chewed to keep my mouth from being dry (*another post on my auto-immune situation), and frankly, just occupied.

But this year, you would think I would have seen it in past years, I am seeing that perhaps my body has intuition about January 12th, 2007, and if I'm not INTENTIONAL about slowing down and allowing my heart to process the anniversary and reality of losing Noah on these particular days, I'll give into the stress.

I don't want to live like that...

So, there's no real point to this post, other than it's clear to see that my face took the brunt of whatever yesterday was all about.  And, I got a junior high sized zit on my chin and a teeny-tiny cold sore on my lip...more signs of both stress and detox.  Other than my face, I feel strong, and will try to figure out a good-for-me protein source as I continue to do my lifting program and this Daniel fast of veggies.

Here's something interesting, though, that I discovered.  On Wednesday morning I had a serving of kiwi and strawberries with a half cup of orange juice.  I don't drink juice just because the sugars go quickly into the bloodstream and spike my blood-sugar levels, but I had some anyway.

Yesterday when I woke up I had a "pooch" on my belly and my face was slightly more swollen.  Years ago a doctor told my dad the reason he had extra abdominal padding was because of his inability to process sugars as quickly as he consumed them.  I know fruit is good for us, but, eating clean and then just adding a bit of fruit, FOR ME, showed me I am sensitive and need, even fruit, in light moderation.

Day 8 - I didn't want to wake up Jason so I moved downstairs for this pic.  After fruit from the morning before I was a bit more sluggish this day and had a belly "pooch" which had not been there the prior day. 

Day 9 - And this, dear friends, was me this morning.  From the lighting behind me, you can see I slept in.  From the wrinkles on my forehead, you can see I slept hard (weird dreams, ALL NIGHT LONG), and from my puffiness, you can see my salt intake yesterday and stress of go, go, going was out of balance.
Here's to a new day.

Questions:  Have you discovered what triggers affect you or cause you to eat without INTENTION?  Have you discovered which foods cause puffiness or bloating or other responses in your body?  Do you have any tips to share about how to incorporate time with God and fasting into a continued busy lifestyle? 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


One of my BFF's is never on the Internet and the other knows of my crazy escapades.  I had to show the one the picture from day one...she said, "Wow."  The other just said, "Why on earth would you post a picture of yourself looking like that on-line?"

I know, right?!?!  Who the heck does that?

But to answer her question, I'm passionate about, well, a lot of things, but particularly, how nutrition affects our bodies and how I had allowed food to become my god.

I don't think we just eat food and it's simply plumbing disconnected from the rest of our systems, coming out the other end.  Food affects me physically, emotionally, and when out of balance, spiritually.  Enough people have asked me about healthful eating, so from experimenting on myself and eliminating certain foods, I've paid attention to how I feel, good and bad, and am passionate about sharing.

It's not about fads or diets or even losing weight.  Though for years it was...

For me it's about stewardship of this body God designed and in continuation of the journey He put me on last year, learning to love myself.

Loving myself isn't "rewarding" myself with food.  When I walked up the aisle at our wedding Jason didn't hand me a slice of pepperoni and pineapple pizza and then slip a ring on my finger, my "reward" for being his wife.  Loving myself is deeper than rewarding myself with stuff, things, food, what have you...

Anyway, unfortunately six years ago I was blogging from a hospital room, bedside of my sweet son, Noah, and it was during that journey when my bent toward research and nutrition and the body and its functions and disease and healthful living went into full swing.

I can't help what I've discovered and I can't help but put it out there for anyone else who is intentional about taking their health back, or discovering it for the first time.  I don't claim to be an expert, just a passionate person, that's all.

So, if a day of cleansing, or even a month, or a week, or a few days, shows up in a real, visual way like a horrendous picture of myself, and it encourages someone else, I'll do it.  It's not like I'm posting pictures of my abs like Miley Cyrus or something.

Either way, I don't care what people think.  And, sometimes radical and against the norm or grain is the only motivation for change.  Painting only pretty pictures of myself was only keeping my deep down gunk in the dark.  And that wasn't working for me...

I not only feel physically great from the last week of fasting and clean eating, but my heart and spirit feel even better by the spiritual food I've been feasting on in God's word.  I'd rather binge on that kind of life-giving food any day.

And, gratefully, after my BFF's saw my pictures, I still hold the title "BFF" in their books.  Maybe not first-thing-in-the-morning BFF, but BFF nonetheless.

Day 6

Day 7 - My joints are literally pain free.  The twitch I had in my leg went away.   My sinuses are totally cleared drainage.  My fingers aren't stuck in the mornings anymore.  But best of all,  my time studying the Bible is so incredibly rich.  Fasting is symbolic and a powerful way to say "no" to our flesh and stop in the hustle and bustle of the day to day to have real intimacy with a real and loving God.  
Tomorrow I'll post some of the protocol I am doing, not as a prescription for you, as I'm not a physician or nutritionist, but just because some have asked.  For a preview, however, read the first chapter of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament of the Bible.  Freedom from addiction and that particular chapter are my main motivations...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

History of an Eater

The book I'm reading, "Stop Eating Your Heart Out," one, is totally awesome, and two, has assignments or exercises for 21 days, or you can spread it out over a longer period of time.  Anyway, the first exercise is to write out your food history.

Boy, that was fun.  Actually, I've done quite a bit of it here on "Confessions of a 2nd Grade Closet Eater" but I tried to go back chronologically from my very first memory of food and move forward from there.  It was a compelling exercise and brought to light some of the reasons I have chosen eating or food in general, over true nourishment.

Here are a few thoughts I wrote down in no particular order, some good, others notsomuch, and without a grammatical care in the world:

  • "Clean your plate.  There are starving kids in Africa."
  • We ate meals together as a family, and I liked that...
  • Latchkey kid who ate crap while no one was looking because I think I was afraid or alone...Hershey syrup on saltines.
  • My mom made balanced meals with veggies and protein.
  • I loved going to my best friend's house for dinner b/c they ate at Taco Bell and McDonald's a lot.
  • I ordered cheeseburgers and Shirley Temples whenever we went to a restaurant...that is, until I tasted fresh crab legs.
  • We made homemade cookies together.  My mom didn't buy them.  I liked that.
  • My mom packed healthy lunches.  In junior high I would sometimes throw my food in the trash and buy french fries and chocolate shakes.
  • I remember in elementary school sitting on the toilet counting fat rolls on my belly, even though my arms and legs were long and lean.  Always had a round face.  (*this was enlightening in regard to my gluten/dairy/egg allergy and all I know about it NOW!)
  • In High School I NEVER, EVER, EVER drank pop.  It was my "thing" I guess.  I cleaned up my eating somewhat and was involved in sports, so ate more for strength.  What a concept?
  • I started dieting in 9th grade with bouts of Slim Fast shakes and weeks of Weight Watcher menus.
  • "Don't eat that.  It will make you fat."
  • Though I ate junk openly all growing up, the effects and conversation about it was more focused on weight/fat/appearance rather than avoiding certain foods for health and nutrition reasons.
  • Gross:  in elementary school my big sister and I would fight over who got to gnaw on the juicy steak bone at my grandparents house...ewwww.
  • In college at SAGA I lined up 2 waters and 2 Dr. Peppers across my tray at lunch and dinner.  I would also eat a Twix bar almost every day and Little Debbie shit at 11:00 at night on Mondays at Hall Meeting...the "Snack Chairwoman" would be BEAT if she forgot our carbs...
  • When I crave it's always sugar and carbs, treats, "rewards", the forbidden foods - like forbidden fruit?
  • In High School my grandparents told me they were worried about my weight (remember round face).  Who knew all along I was eating all my allergens?!  I have been 5'9ish since high school and weighed 140 when I graduated...and my grandparents were worried about my weight?!  Nice!  $%^&*  If that doesn't mess with a teenage girls' heart, I don't know what does.  Looking back, I wasn't actually FAT until I worked at NWC and ate dorm food like one of the kids!
Anyway, there are more and more nuggets I wrote down, but it's a good exercise to simply write your heart out on paper.  There's also an exercise to write a food journal in the book, which has been easy this last week while fasting :)  Ummm, liquids or veggies.

Without further ado, here's day 6.  (*I'll post day 5 prior to 6 so you can see, if any, changes.  Also, note, now that we are back in full swing of a school schedule, my first-thing-in-the-morning pictures are literally, uber early, so who knows if this experiment will show healthy benefits or just that I'm getting old ;)  )

Day 5

Day 6...and I promise that is a different white t-shirt!  I have 4!  Which is a #firstworldproblem but that's another post...when I said early, I mean, there may be bags :)  My sinuses are totally CLEAR!  No stuck joints this morning.  And, I did my lower body "Lift Like a Girl" program with craploads of energy!  Even extra reps...
I'll leave you with this, from a scripture card my friend printed and laminated for me years ago which I keep on my jewelry box sitting in my closet:

"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, in your name I will lift up my hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you."  Psalm 63:3-5 NIV

Here it is in the Message:
"God - you're my God!  I can't get enough of you!  I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts.  So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory.  In your generous love I am really living at last!  My lips brim praises like fountains.  I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you."

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Face of Detox

*Warning!!!  There very well may be expletives.  I don't know.  I'll just see how it all flows out of me...I warned you!

No way.  No how.


I wasn't going to share this portion of my journey.  I mean, who in their RIGHT mind actually posts crappy pictures of themselves on-line?  Right?!  Except I was curious.

I'll get to that in a minute...

I swung by for a visit with my 96 year-old grandpa the other day.  I was curious.  I mean, 96 is up there, you know?  Now, think about it.  My gramps was born in 1917.  He isn't the face of youth, currently, but he's likely older than you.  I asked him what he ate as a kid, growing often his mom made baked goods.  This was his answer:

"I ate a lot of vegetables and fruit.  We ate potatoes, too.  We had meat a few times a week, not at every meal.  We ate a lot of fish and chicken, mostly.  Eggs.  We had cake or cookies maybe once a month or maybe twice...for a birthday or something.  We ate fruit for dessert.  You know what the problem is with everyone today?  They're eating too many damned processed foods, it's making everyone sick and obese.  No one needs to eat as much food as we seem to think we need in America."

I didn't even ask my grandpa "What the problem was..."  I just was curious what it was that he ate as a kid.  My grandpa doesn't even know what the Internet is.  He has a cell phone he rarely uses and watches a TV at his retirement home in between naps, but it's not like he's done 10-15 years of research like I've done, either in books or on-line, to know we've both come to the same conclusion..., yes, that means I could have just asked my grandpa this forever ago and saved myself a lot of work.  But, I'm grateful to do the research and also to have it confirmed through wisdom which comes from history and time.

So, as I said, I was curious.  With the holidays I ate my fair share of treats, albeit gluten free and mostly egg free, but I ate bites here and there of my major food allergens, along with a little wine over the season which I had been off of for 3 months.

And I was feeling more and more crummy.  In the mornings I felt as if I'd been hit by a truck.  My knuckles were getting stuck in an arthritic position upon wakening.  My sleep sucked.  My joints were achy.  My eyes were puffy and my skin saggy and grayish.  I had major sinus drainage, gas, bloating, and had gained, easily, 10 lbs, which I could tell by only being able to wear one pair of jeans by the end of break...the not-so-skinny jeans.

Knowing me, I had to do something radical.  So, last Wednesday after conscious indulgence of chocolate and wine and even a regular gluten-y, egg, and buttery cookie, I declared to myself I was going to start a fast Thursday morning...and I wanted to take a picture of myself each morning specifically to see if my face would brighten just from eating healthier food.

My protocol is a combo of things I've done over the years and read here and there, but the premise was to start out on water and cran-water with arabinogalactan from Biosanes while taking my supplements (fish oil, pro-biotics, women's multi) for the first 6 days (I set that because from last Thursday to tomorrow, my birthday, is 6 days) and then I'd add vegetables for a time.

Well, how it's gone so far is day 1 was all liquids, day 2 I had a lettuce salad with roasted veggies at dinner (Jason's belated work Christmas party).  Day 3 I had liquids, including a "Virgin Mary" consisting of V8 and Garden of Life Greens with a shot of Tabasco.  Day 4, a lettuce salad with roasted veggies and salsa for lunch and kale and broccoli for dinner.  Day 5 (today), clear liquids.  Tomorrow will be day 6 and I'll have a meal with my family of lettuce and more roasted veggies at dinner, but I'll document that when it happens.

Then, for the rest of January I am going to eat veggies, one piece of fruit a day, and will eventually add in fish one week, chicken the next, and beef/bison/buffalo the final week.  Maybe.  I might just stick with veggies all month.  Because I feel so clean already.

My doctor is on board with all of this (saw him today) and recommended a non-genetically modified soy protein if I am not going to eat meat the rest of the month, ONLY because I am also currently on week 4 of a 15-week lifting program called, "Lift Like a Girl."  I've got some pipes.  Don't mess ;)

So, starting tomorrow, I'll get you up to date, but, oh my gosh, let's just say, who the hell needs a picture of some other girls ripped abs or tight thighs to motivate when all I had to do was scare the hell out of myself by taking a first-thing-in-the-morning self-portrait?!  Actually, that was the cherry on top...the way I was FEELING was more of my motivation!  I took the pictures to see if how I felt matched how I actually looked in the mirror.

Yep.  It did.

But, seriously!  I'm not interested in looking at a picture of some other girl's great arms as inspiration...I'm more interested in taking charge of my own health, being a good steward of this temple God has called "me", and seeing my own healthy arms in the mirror one day.  Looking at a magazine with retouched pictures of women with rad bodies doesn't inspire me, instead it makes me want to eat more chocolate.

Looking at myself in these pictures has had the OPPOSITE effect!

So, without further ado, holy crap, holy crap, holy crap...*the following are untouched first-thing-in-the-morning pictures.  Brace your friggin' self!

Day 1- holy shit...Thursday, 1/3, Happy Friggin' New Year, Adrienne!  Point taken.
After one day of liquids and one seriously tough mother Zumba workout with the Amazing Ashleigh at HotFitness in Castle Rock, CO

Day 2 - I don't look like I was hit by a truck, right?!  Well, maybe a small one.  One day.  ONE, people.

Day 3 - feeling good, less sinus drainage, but joints still stuck in morning, and yes, I wore the same pajama shirt...

Day 4 - Em in background with her new short haircut,  looking a little puffy, likely from salt in salsa and roasted veggies, but feeling good, minus achy muscles from lifting like a girl.  Okay, yeah, I need to throw that shirt in the wash...

Day 5 - I wore an orange t-shirt to bed and it made the first picture coloration weird, so I slung a white towel over my chest.  Also was trying to avoid a porn shot of Jason in the shower behind me...anyway, woke up feeling great.  Sinus drainage almost entirely gone, no stiff joints this morning, just sore pipes.  No stinky gas or bloating.  And, and, AND I fit in my favorite jeans.  AND, and, And, I don't miss sugar or starches AT ALL.
 And here's a last pic I took just a couple of hours ago.  I do have on eye make up and some bronzer, which works friggin' miracles, but I wouldn't want to leave you with a horror shot from the previous pictures in your head.  You don't need nightmares.  I'm nice like that.

If ANYONE is interested in doing a Daniel Fast (which, by the way, ROCKS, when doing along with reading and studying the actual book of Daniel!!!) or just cleaning up and breaking free from food addiction (*reading THIS right now...) and want to join me here or share your experience, let me know :)  I always like team sports!

I don't know how to add a "Linky" but maybe someone who does could tell me...???

See you tomorrow, bright and early!  Ugh.