Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book: The Diet Cure by Julia Ross

Okay, so I'm not even halfway through the book, but I HAD to post an early review on my thoughts.

You know when you come across something that seems like a no-brainer, "duh!", "that makes total and complete sense!"...yea, that's how I feel with this book.  It's the same feelings I had when I read Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution(DANDR) in 2002.  I read that book, and LC'ing made complete and total sense physiologically, the same is true for The Diet Cure. 

This book is written by a lady, Julia Ross, who has worked in recovery centers for alcoholics, drug addicts, and eating disorder treatment centers her whole life.  After studying the key components that work to help those people recover from their diseases, she choose to try it out on food addicts, and it proved to be a key component there as well. The book focuses on Amino Acids, and how they relate to our cravings, bodily illnesses, mood swings, and weight problems. 

As I'm reading it, I kept saying to myself, "Why did I not think of this?  It makes total sense!".  After all, Amino Acids are the building blocks to proteins, which make up all our body structures, are mandatory for metabolism, and bodily function, which we need in our body to keep it functioning at tip top shape.  If we are lacking in them, a chain reaction of sorts can be set off causing an imbalance throughout the body.  Of course!  It makes sense! 

She does encourage taking some supplements to replenish the Aminos, which I will be starting this week.  Nothing crazy, just Amino Acid supplements, that can be purchased at the grocery store in their lowest doses. Those, mixed with eating LC (which is high protein, ya know!), and doing some yoga and pilates is my focus right now. 

I'm really excited to see how it all turns out.  I already know that The Diet Cure will be one of those life changing books, along with DANDR, and excited to read the other book this author puts out, which is The Mood Cure. 

I'll keep an update :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stress and Weight Gain...a dirty, filthy, cycle...

Feeling a little...okay, a lot, stressed today, so I figured that would be good for some reading, research, and blogging!

Most of us probably have heard mention that stress can cause weight gain, then in turn causing more stress because of the weight gain, and on and on and on.  While it's hard to do a break check while you are in full attack stress mode, sometimes you just gotta for the good of yourself, mentally and physically!

Understanding the physiological processes your body goes through during stress may be helpful to identify and control the damage. 

Courtesy of WebMD...

"While the immediate . . . response to acute stress can be a temporary loss of appetite, more and more we are coming to recognize that for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite -- and stress-induced weight gain," says Elissa Epel, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.

The problem, she says, lies within our neuroendocrine system -- a brain-to-body connection that harkens back to evolutionary times and which helped our distant ancestors to survive. Though today the source of the stress is more likely to be an unpaid bill than a saber-toothed tiger, this system still activates a series of hormones whenever we feel threatened."These hormones give us the biochemical strength we need to fight or flee our stressors," Epel tells WebMD.

The hormones released when we're stressed include adrenalin -- which gives us instant energy -- along with corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol. While high levels of adrenalin and CRH decrease appetite at first, the effects usually don't last long. And cortisol works on a different timetable. Its job is to help us replenish our body after the stress has passed, and it hangs around a lot longer. "It can remain elevated, increasing your appetite and ultimately driving you to eat more," says Epel.

Following those stress signals can lead not only to weight gain, but also the tendency to store what is called "visceral fat" around the midsection. These fat cells that lie deep within the abdomen have been linked to an increase in both diabetes and heart disease.

To further complicate matters, the "fuel" our muscles need during "fight or flight " is sugar -- one reason we crave carbohydrates when we are stressed, says endocrinologist Riccardo Perfetti, MD, PhD.
"To move the sugar from our blood to our muscles requires insulin, the hormone that opens the gates to the cells and lets the sugar in," says Perfetti, who directs the outpatient diabetes program at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. And high levels of sugar and insulin set the stage for the body to store fat.

"So people who are under stress, metabolically speaking, will gain weight for that very reason," Perfetti tells WebMD

I'm thinking it's time to think of a few more stress outlets...kickboxing might be fun! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Taco Bell "meat", Food Inc., and Ammonia...hooray!

In lieu of the current lawsuit against Taco Bell, for their “meat” only being 35% actual meat, I figured a post about other frankenfoods is in order…

First off, if you have not seen the documentary Food Inc., you need to.  Period.  It will open your eyes to what you have been feeding your face, and the faces of friends and family, for years.  Without the video being horrifyingly graphic, it does enough to strongly send the message home, and the message being STOP EATING CRAP!  And by crap, I mean fast food “fake” products, like burger “theres more non-food filler than meat” patties, and chicken “random pieces of chicken parts mixed with fillers you can’t pronounce” nuggets.  You can watch a conveyor belt tote a box full of random pieces of animal parts that are ground up into a sludge that is used to make all those products for the top selling fast food joints.  Gross doesn’t even describe it!  They also use ammonia to process and “clean” the meat…AMMONIA!  Read the link below…


In regards to Tyson products, I will never eat chicken that I know is raised in the conditions they deem acceptable. All I will add is to just watch the video, it shows all you need to see.

I’ve made a choice for my household that we will eat better, even if that means splurging a little more in the money department.  I buy local whenever I can, milk for my daughter from the local dairy, and all my meats from a small corner store by my house that slaughters locally.  During the spring and summer I LOVE to head down the farmers markets on the weekends to pick up the goods for the week.  Easy, simple, and homegrown!

So ditch the preservatives, food colorings, bleached enriched flours, high fructose corn syrup, random animal parts, ingredients you can't other words, STOP EATING EL CRAPOLA! :)
"Beef Products, Inc., or BPI, has created a process of using ammonia to treat fatty slaughterhouse trimmings that previously could be used only for pet food or for making cooking oil so the trimmings can be sold as ground beef.

Through the BPI system of producing ground beef, bacteria-killing ammonia is used as a "processing agent" to make a mash that is allowed to be used in hamburger without public warnings.  Ammonia is rationed as part of beef processing and therefore doesn't have to be listed as an ingredient on labeling.  But the amount of ammonia it takes to kill E. coli reportedly makes the beef taste and smell dreadful.
Ground beef provided through the National School Lunch Program is currently made up of ten to 15 percent ammonia-treated beef from BPI.  While BPI lowered the amount of ammonia used in processing, there is a disconnect between regulatory agency recommendations regarding the safety of consuming the ammonia-treated beef."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mmmmm...cheesecake muffins!

Getting back to my roots of successful LC'ing, I have decided to revisit an old recipe that was a great help to keep me on track, satisfy my sweet tooth, and taste freakin' awesome!!

They don't look exciting, but they taste pretty exciting!

Cheesecake muffins - 2 carbs each!

1 package cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup Splenda(or other sweetener)
Couple drops of Vanilla
Can also add...cinnamon, strawberries, different LC syrup good!

Drop into muffin cups, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love/Hate relationship with grocery ad...

I LOVE perusing the grocery ads when they come out weekly to see what's on sale and to give me new menu ideas, but, I also harbor a deep seated hate for looking at them and seeing all the carby foods being so cheap and brightly packaged.

It's no wonder people eat carbs...they are cheap!  look fun! and are always fast and easy to make!  I mean steak can pretty much sell itself, but what does broccoli have?  You can't put it in a snappy lookin' package and sell it for 50cents.  It's expensive to eat healthy and it usually takes more time to prepare. How can you sell that, ya know?  Carby goods would certainly be more affordable in my budget, and make dinner time a bit quicker.  I was just remarking tonight how Low Carbing isn't quite as much fun when you're low on cash for groceries, and gotta make do until payday. 

BUT, the fact of the matter is that I have tried all the other diets out there, and reducing my carbs is the ONLY way I can lose and maintain a healthy weight and feel good.  So despite spending more money and spending more time cooking dinner I will do it, happily, everyday for the rest of my life because I have a desire to be thin, healthy, and set a good example to my daughter.  GO MEAT AND VEGGIES! :

Happy Tuesday! 

First, lemme post my foods for the day...
B: 1 egg fried in butter w/ spinach and mushrooms.
L: Bowl of fried cabbage.
S: 3 slices of Colby Cheese.
D: Big mixed greens salad w/ ranch, grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, cayenne
May do some SF Jello here in a bit if I feel snacky.
Liquids: Water, Green Tea, 2 diet sodas

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marvelous Monday!

Day off work today...which is always nice and welcome :)

Thought I'd list some of my favorite LC foods today since I was having a discussion with other LC friends about foods they can't live without and it got me thinking...

Natural PB or almond butter
All beef nitrate and nitrite free hot dogs
Romaine lettuce
Cayenne Pepper, Garlic, Cinnamon!
Cheddar Polish Sausage
Beef or Pork Roast, iced, with or without lemon
Hot cocoa made with water, a dash of Half and Half and sugar free Dark Chocolate Cocoa!

...I think that's a good start.  Now, how could you go wrong being able to eat all this awesomeness? :)

Meal plans for today...
B: 2 sausage, 2 tsp almond butter mixed with 1 tsp butter (creamy!)
L: Lettuce w/ tuna salad (mayo, tuna, cayenne) on top. 
S: 3 slices of colby jack block cheese
D: Beef roast in the crockpot, sauteed broccoli
S: Sugar Free Strawberry Jello

Liquids...Sugar free crystal light packet, green tea, water, maybe a diet mt dew.

Will post more later....hope everyone has a good day!

                                                               Lunch:   Tuna Salad...yum!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday January 16, 2011

First official daily Stats!

Going to try and post daily in the same fashion so I can track changes better...any goings on to note, menu for the day, struggles, successes, photos, exercise for the day...will do weigh in's once a week on Fridays. Don't like to weigh in too often, or I get discouraged, and that's not good!

I don't generally count up carbs.  After doing this awhile, I just kinda know what I can and cannot eat.  For the newbies to low carb, it's a good idea to count.  You'll be amazed at how much carbs can add up! 

Starting weight: (I actually went back to strict LC starting on Friday, so will use Friday's weight) 178.4 lbs.

Menu for today...
B: 2 egg omelette w/ sausage, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese.
L: Small mixed greens salad, ranch dressing, 2 slices of colby jack cheese, half a left over hamburger.
S: 2 tsp almond butter on celery.
D: "Spaghetti toppings"...which consists of hamburger, sugar free pasta sauce, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and green beans.
Liquids...will try to do menus more so at night so that they will be more accurate, but am hoping for 2 mugs of green tea, 2X's 36 oz of water w/ lemon, and 1 can of diet mt dew. 

For exercise, going to try out to of my Tai Chi videos I got from the library!

For those who like to see more concrete evidence of the inside workings(because I know there are an abundance of LC naysayers out there), it's time for me to have a lipid panel done again, so will post those results to compare. 

Well, here we go!

I'm excited!  My first blog, my first post about low carb life!

Want this to be a fun place for everyone to come read, share thoughts, and hang out!  I will post daily menus, recipes, weigh-in up dates, links to other blogs I follow, pictures of me, pictures of foods I'm excited to share...and more I'm sure! :)

Well, to get started, I want to list the reasons why I decided to start this blog in the first place.  I decided that to understand how I got to low carb, I needed to start from the the chunky kid growing up here we go!

I’ve been a dieter since I was around 11, I believe. I recall having a calorie counter book out, and I would keep track of what I ate in a notebook, add up the calories, and then decide how many laps around the block I needed to walk in order to burn some of it off. I wasn’t obese, but I was a chunky kid. Perhaps, THE chunky kid in my class.

I recall being made fun of, dreading stepping on the scale in gym class, and feared running “the mile” each year for fitness tests. Although I had a good amount of friends, I just always felt different, and different in a bad, flabby, sorta way.

I grew up in a home where “junk food” consisted of popcorn, pretzels, and occasionally diet soda. Not so “junk foodie” if you ask me, however, I also spent a good portion of my time at my loveingly awesome grandparents house where as you can guess, was fully stocked with Schwanns ice cream, doughnuts, chips, non diet soda, etc…you get the picture. Having two households I frequented being near polar opposites with food offerings, ignited the “bingeing” side of me. Once at my grandparents, I would eat all the sugary stuff I didn’t get at home, and once at home I would feel that constant craving for the foods I didn’t have available there. I had low self esteem because I was bigger, which caused me to eat more, which caused me to have low self esteem. The internal battles were never ending it seemed, and continued on. I knew I needed to eat better to feel better and do better in gym, but on the other hand, I was just a kid and all kids eat ice cream and pizza so why couldn’t I?

When I was 12, my father passed away from lung cancer after a long battle, ending with a month in a coma in a hospital, where I got to watch him slowly decline, and then let go. I can’t blame that experience on my weight problems directly, but I also can't dismiss that it didn't have an impact on my processing stress and emotions from that point on. 

I returned back to 6th grade after being gone a month, to find a shift in friendships. The friends I had up to this point decided, I guess, that since my dad died, I was different now, too different to be cool anymore.  I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the events that occured after returning to school, but kids are nasty and cruel, and I guess that's what I'll chaulk all that up to.  I don't think those girls will ever truely know how awful this made my already unstable life at that time, but it affected me deeply, and obviously still does. So, alone with no friends and upset about losing my dad I ran... I ran right to food. I eventually did start hanging out with different friends, and they turned out to be the ones that stuck with me through high school, and a few of them I still keep in touch with, they were and are great people!  I don't speak about those goings on with many, except for now obviously, but I realize it was a key moment in my life to shape me. It has also made a difference in how I feel about kids making fun of or bullying others.  I was made fun of for being chunky, and because my dad died and I hated every minute of it.  Any time I see that occuring with other children, or with my own daughter, the anger and hurt comes back and I will stand up for anyone that is put in that same position.  Don't mess with the baby bear if you don't want to deal with the momma! :)

From that point through junior high and into high school, my weight fluctuated. I remember being 145, then up to 204, then down to 135, then back up again. I tried excessive working out, bulimia, back to laziness and over eating, back to bulimia. The year after I graduated high school, I topped out at 209, and decided that was it! I moved away to college, broke up with my boyfriend I had dated all through high school, and just started over. I lost a bunch of weight in the stress of school and working, but didn’t actually feel “good”. In fact, I felt crappy. Lack of sleep, living off coffee, vending machine chex mix bags, and plain white rice was not the way to go. I lost the weight, but didn’t feel as good about it as I thought I would.

Several years would go by, with the same roller coaster gaining and losing, but I never let myself get back to that 209.

Around 2002, I ended a relationship that had been going downhill for quite some time. Towards the end of it, I felt depressed and began the uphill battle with the scale. The more we fought, the more depressed I got, the more I turned to food, the more I gained, the more I felt bad about myself, the more we fought, you get it…
Once that relationship was declared over, I moved out, started a different job, and decided that it was then I needed to do something different. This was during the huge upswing in low carb popularity, where you heard about it everywhere. I decided that I’d give it a shot, and went to the library to check out the 1992 version of Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution. I remember reading each page, and just thinking how much SENSE this all makes, burning fat while eating fat, skipping the refined carbs that we all know are bad for us anyway…duh! It sounded simple, long term, exciting, and proof surfaced when I stuck to the Atkins way of eating and lost 40 lbs in 3 months, plus, I felt great! My co-worker at the time, and now long time friend started low carbing with me, and she dropped weight just as I did.  We were so stoked, and felt great!  Such a difference from the other times I had lost weight, and my cholesterol had dropped in points signifcantly! I was also able to keep it off, and I loved every minute of it.

I was a faithful and sometimes radical low carb follower(ask friends and family!) until I became pregnant with my daughter in 2005. I had decided that low carb wasn’t a great way of eating for a pregnant lady, so I opted to ease up a bit, but still forego pastas, breads, and rice. Wasn’t too hard in the beginning because I suffered from extreme morning sickness, but then once my second trimester began, I rekindled my love for food. And what I mean is, stuff I craved, like hot dog jalepeno quesadillias(weird, I know, but sooo tasty!), tator tot caserrole, nachos, and ice cream. I mentally gave myself the go ahead because I was pregnant, and I had endured 3 months of vomiting hell, but all that got me in the end was gaining a large amount of weight, and maxing out at 234. I ate plenty of fruit and veggies too, but there was no dispute that the cravings of food were not controlled, and they ruled my weight gain. I was shocked that final time I stepped on the scale at my OB/GYN office. I knew in days I would be delivering this baby, and then after I was given the go ahead at my 6 week post partum check up, I would have to get my ass in gear and lose this weight!

However, what I didn’t know was what lay ahead…colic, allergies, asthma, acid reflux, constantly changing formula, in the doctors office, teething with constant 104 degree temps, off work due to a sick child and my employer becoming increasingly irritated, and a now ex husband who wasn't as willing to help out as much as I needed him to, which lead to growing apart, anger, resentment, and him drinking more. It was a rough, rough, time, but I did end up losing all my baby weight, plus some, but not in a good way. Even though I was still foregoing pasta, breads, and rice, I lost weight mainly due to stress induced anorexia and just not having the time to sit down and actually eat. I had once again lost the weight, but wasn’t feeling good about it. 

Shortly after my daughter's 1st birthday, she was doing remarkedly better with all her newborn issues, and my then husband had reached his peak of pushing me to my boundry of tolerance, when I decided it was time for us to leave. So we did. We moved out into an apartment, and life began again.

To sum up that wonderful time between moving out and now, I’d have to say it was full of stress going through a divorce, stress of trying to co-parent with someone who couldn't always be counted on, and stress of making ends meet, but it was still wonderful. I really felt like it was FINALLY time to get serious with low carbing again now that I could focus on me a little more. What I found out was that it was SOOOO much harder with a little one, why? Because when it was only me in the house, I could handle just buying meat, cheese, and veggies, but now I was also buying carby things for my daughter to eat, so it was just there, in the house, available, and I had no will power. None. If she didn’t finish her mashed potatoes or graham crackers, I did, because I hate to waste. Ugh! Stuck again! Stuck because my willpower couldn’t say no, once again.

Well, here I am, 2.5 years down the road, with the same ups and downs, and this time, I WANT to seriously do this.

I have the tools, the knowledge, the knowing it WILL WORK if I put my mind to it, and the want to finally be thin AND feel good.

I want others to join me in doing this too, which is why I created this blog. A public place to laugh, cry, post pictures, be honest, be accountable, share milestones, and regroup…whatever just to get back to the low carb way of life to be healthy and feel good!

So let's get started!!