breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Archive for June, 2012

A Bite Will Do It

My wonderful dietician has given me lots of hints …. all of which have truly pleased MyBrattyTasteBuds. One that I’ve been experimenting with is something MBTBs and I are calling BiteSmall.

We just concocted and consumed this BiteSmall:

banana bread with cashew butter

It’s half a slice of Paleo Banana Bread with about a teaspoon of cashew butter, rolled in a bit of cinnamon/palm sugar.

I discovered if I ate a whole slice of the banana bread, I experienced heartburn. I stayed away from the bread for a few days, and the heartburn disappeared.

So far, no heartburn with this BiteSmall! TasteBuds smiling as I write!

Current Weight/Fitness Stats

Went to my dietician today. I’ve been going to her since Jan. 31, 2012.

First number is from that date. Second is from today.

Weight: 152 / 137 (lost 15 lbs.)

BMI: 26.7 / 24 (was overweight, now in normal range)

Body Fat Pct: 38.6 / 33.8 (was high, now normal for my age)

Skeletal/Muscle Pct: 26.4 / 28 (was mid-normal, now high normal)

Body Age: 60 / 53 (I’m getting younger! Calendar age is 60)

Visceral Fat Level: 8 / 7 (less than 9 is normal)

I’d like to elaborate a little on the Skeletal/Muscle Percentage. From the end of January until the first part of April, I went to the gym to do weight machines every other day or so. I was really focused on cardio, and was walk/jogging or using the elliptical machine for 45 minutes seven days a week. I would aim to burn about 350 or more calories through cardio. My skeletal/muscle percentage showed an average monthly gain of 0.2%.

I started Crossfit in early April, 2012 and my average monthly skeletal/muscle percentage growth doubled to 0.4%. Not surprising, but validating. I will emphasize here that I go to a well-run Crossfit gym that knows how to work with all ages and body types/needs. I am a Careful Crossfitter as well and am pushing myself *slowly* to get stronger.

I adopted *mostly* Paleo eating ideas right when I started going to my dietician. She is very open-minded and did not discourage me from Paleo. She asked me to watch calories, however and I’m glad I did. There are a LOT of calorie-dense Paleo foods that are exactly like non-Paleo treats in terms of Taste Bud trickers and can lead to overindulgence. My dietician sees these pitfalls in almost all eating plans. She worked with me to develop healthy attitudes about them and strategies for enjoying them without going over the top.

One of the best outcomes: I have more and more days of a tremendously content stomach/body connection. Truly, truly eating when hungry …. stopping when about 80% full … truly, truly feeling emotionally full as well as physically rejuvenated.

Addiction and Why Paleo People Don’t Eat Wheat

Last year, I mentioned a fact about my appetite to several people I’ve known all my life. These people have never had a weight problem. One belongs to an older generation, so she grew up on real homemade foods, and is an excellent cook. She does not eliminate any foods from her diet, but eats responsibly. The other is my age and has been vegan for many years.

I mentioned that no matter how much I ate, I never felt full. And along with that, I never really felt hungry. My appetite-o-stat was non-functional. I thought they would nod and say, “Yeah, me too.” I thought it was normal.

Nope. They looked very puzzled. Neither had any idea what I was talking about.

Those two moments started me on my quest to understand what was going on with me. I knew my weight fluctuations weren’t good for me, but I had been around lots of people who were on the same roller coaster as I was … hence, the feeling that there was something normal about it.

After reading about Wheat Belly I am wondering if MyBrattyTasteBuds were victims of a wheat addiction.

I did love bread. Breads. All kinds. One piece easily led to another. Sandwiched between episodes of bread eating was dessert eating. Sweet breads were my special delight. I won’t list them here because that would be kind of like remembering them in a worshipful way, which takes me to a dark place.

So perhaps MyBrattyTasteBuds didn’t really have a chance. Or really a choice. Once the wheat hit the system, it was BingeTime.

Dr. William Davis, in “Wheat Belly”: “For some people, wheat is addictive. And, in some people, it is addictive to the point of obsession… Understanding that wheat, specifically exorphins from gluten, have the potential to generate euphoria, addictive behavior, and appetite stimulation means that we have a potential means of weight control: Lose the wheat, lose the weight.” (page. 44).

[There is a lot more information about properties of wheat that apparently wreak havoc on our bodies in Dr. Davis’ book. On his blog, he makes this disclaimer: “Nothing here should be construed as medical advice, but only topics for further discussion with your doctor.”]

I am not totally wheat free, but I have cut dramatically down on wheat products. Like last night when cooking spaghetti for the grandkids, I taste tested a strand for done-ness. And I used a corner of a piece of bread to soak up some of the Paleo spaghetti sauce. But neither of those activities triggered a binge or even the desire for one. I admit to one piece of Ezekiel bread a day, but no binge trigger there either.

One payoff of eating Paleo for me? For the first time in my life, my appetite-o-stat is working. It feels AMAZING to feel hunger, eat the right amount of the right foods, and feel satiated afterwards. Understand, this is a new feeling for me.

And I’m *almost* a Paleo person who doesn’t eat wheat. Now I have a better idea why Paleo people don’t eat wheat.

Not Food

Thanks to https://twitter.com/#!/balancedbites for the idea! Grocery shopping is so much easier on Paleo! All of the items listed in this ad are NOT FOOD in my world, and there is no need to think twice about any of them. All have been manufactured to one degree or another. Manufacturing might lower prices, but it also dramatically reduces health.

Grocery Ad

Weird Week

The Brain: Weird part: prepping for a colonoscopy, which meant seven days of no supplements, three days of low fiber eating (white bread! white potatoes! no raw veggies! no raw fruits!), and almost two days of liquid diet (slurpee! lemonade! popsicle! milkshake!).

Weirder part: MyBrattyTasteBuds were grossed out. At first, they did an embarrassing happy dance about the white bread. They had such fond memories of their time with that stuff. The only white bread around was hot dog buns (from the grandkid stash), so I slathered some smooth almond butter on those bad boys while MBTBs squealed in anticipation. We took a big bite … of … AIR. That’s what it tasted like. Air. With a slight aftertaste of cardboard. Couldn’t even register the almond butter. Here’s the KickInThePants part: the hot dog bun was 110 calories of cardboard air.

Taste Buds: How in God’s Green Earth can anyone down a slurpee? I’m not sure when slurpees were invented, but we did NOT grow up on those things. We’ve had a sip or two over the years, but never an entire SMALL slurpee. We were driving up the mountain to a friend’s house and needed a clear liquid to keep our strength up while prepping for the abovementioned procedure. I’ll walk you through this. First sip … somewhat refreshing, but very sweet and awfully blue. Tenth sip … very, very sweet and even bluer. Last sip … disGUSTing. We were forced to abort mission with about two inches of neon goo left in the cup.

The Brain: The last time I had a colonoscopy, a benign polyp was removed. The polyp part was scary, but the benign part erased that fear. So over the years, I relinquished eating control to the MBTBs, giving in to their tantrums and letting them thumb their little noses at my stern nutrition lectures. I would give half-hearted efforts to reform, but if anything in the job/social arena broke my concentration, MBTBs were there to dictate. When I scheduled this colonoscopy, scary thoughts returned. What had I let MBTBs do to me? Even though I had spent the last ten months gradually changing my diet for the better, would there be more polyps?

Taste Buds: They gave The Brain some nice medicine for the procedure, and we were very relaxed. But we have to admit, we were a little nervous, too. We have finally (almost) accepted what The Brain insists upon: we HAVE to do our part in this health thing or there won’t be any more US. So as much as The Eyes wanted to close, we forced them opened and watched the entire show on the monitor. We got to see the place that has to deal with the results of our tyranny. We got up close and personal with The Colon.

The Brain: As I came out of the fog of sedation, I waited for the doctor to discuss the results and the plan. Those were the nurse’s words. The Results. The Plan. Thank goodness anxiety and sedation can’t coexist or I would have been pacing.

Taste Buds: The Brain let me tell this part: The Results … no cancer, no polyps, a little diverticulosis. The Plan: a high fiber diet. HA! We’ve GOT THIS! Amazingly and astonishingly, four days of a low fiber diet about did us in. Bring on the veggies! Make us a Green Smoothie! Some seeds, please! Fruit for breakfast and dessert. Oh, and a bite or two of chocolate …

CAUGHT in the Act!

Sooooo, Bratty Taste Buds, I understand you hijacked this blog and posted all about how misunderstood you are, how you have been laying low and waiting me out, how you are all about “love” and “malleability” and “kindness” and peace, joy and happiness.

Right? Riiiiiight!

So, why then, after saying how much you loved the Smoothie (and I truly believe that you did), did you go all RabidForChocolate on me? And what about the coconut cookie? And the ice cream? And I know there was more over-the-top noshing going on, but The Brain became enveloped in some kind of weird fog and lost touch with any form of dietary reality.

THAT’S why I’m still not able to trust you, Bratty Taste Buds. Just when I think you are truly happy, that little gleam sneaks into your eye (figuratively speaking of course) and before I know it, you have hijacked more than my technology … you are running rampant in the kitchen!

I realize I ran out of your favorite Paleo treat and that may have set you off. I also realize that I stocked up on some grandkid treats, making the pantry more like Disneyland than a health-food store. And I know from experience that the busier The Brain gets, the more demanding you get. And it was a very busy day.

But I don’t forgive you, yet. I am trying to create a wonderful world for you … a place you can inhabit and enjoy, a place that will meet all your needs, satisfy your cravings … essentially rock your socks off (again, in a figurative sense). Your world has to be able to co-exist with my world, the world of The Brain as you like to call it. Because The Brain is in charge of health.

And without health, Little Buds, there is no me. And if there is no me, there is no you.

Shhh! We’ve Got A Secret!

Don’t tell The Brains, but we, HerBrattyTasteBuds, hacked into her blog account and it’s OUR turn to post.

We’ve been biding our time to see how long this “diet” thing was going to last. While we relaxed, we did a little bit of poking around on the web. And we found this guy who seems to understand (and maybe even like?) us little sensory organs.

Listen to THIS! “Taste buds are malleable little fellas. When they can’t be with the foods they love, they learn to love the foods they’re with.”

What do you think of THAT? That enlightened piece of wisdom is straight from the mind of Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. (You can read the whole article containing that quote in the article Salt, Siblings and Shelf Life, April 23, 2010 here: http://www.davidkatzmd.com/articles.aspx)

Doesn’t Malleable Little Fellas sound so very much kinder than BrattyTasteBuds? And did you notice that Dr. Katz used the word “love” not once, but twice in the SAME sentence. He was talking about US, and what we are capable of!

So, The Brains made us something today that totally validates the wisdom of Dr. Katz. We are going to call it Taste Buddies Delight. What The Brains did was put all this stuff (and most of a banana) into her blender, whirred for about 40 seconds, and poured it all over us.

MAN! I want to keep it clean here, but we’re not called sensory organs for nothing! It was like bathing in the most beautiful sunrise you could imagine. It really woke us up and got us dancing!

So, maybe we will just re-direct any remaining brattiness we have left into hacking and blogging. Maybe we can convince The Brain that we want to be less bratty where food is concerned. Maybe we can even become her Taste Buddies!

Taste Buddies Delight

Ingredients for Smoothie

Blend all:
¾ banana
6 pineapple chunks
1 T pineapple juice
¾ c. coconut almond milk blend (unsweetened)
1 T almond butter
½ t. cinnamon honey
1 t. hemp protein
2 ice cubes

A Good Day for MyBrattyTasteBuds and I

Yesterday at my Crossfit gym, the workout started with a discussion on what powers our workouts: nutrition. Crossfit recommends Zone or Paleo eating. I didn’t know much about Zone, but found out that an important concept is to eat every 3-4 hours, including an hour before bed and within an hour of waking in the morning. That keeps the metabolism even. Every meal and snack needs to have protein, good fat and good carbs. This keeps the insulin even.

I might try to blend the two if possible.

But today, everything I ate made me feel awesome! MBTBs were so content and non-demanding! I gave them a tasty sweet potato hash from The Everyday Paleo cookbook, some “Paleo poop” (http://fastpaleo.com/no-bake-cookies/), some yummy almond butter …(and other things, of course) … And to top it off …

Fresh strawberries with coconut/ almond milk poured over them, with a bit of cinnamon and hemp seed topping. Happy, happy Taste Buddies!

Resource for Stubborn Taste Buds

www.amazon.com

My daughter, who has been my role model for my journey this last year, recommended this book. So I just got the Kindle version, and now I can have everything at my fingertips.

This book has a great section on eating Paleo (which I’ve been *mostly* doing since January and dramatically reduced my LDL cholesterol) and a great section on the kinds of exercise I’ve been doing for 2 months (dramatically reducing the number of migraines I’ve had while increasing muscle tone, strength, flexibility). I don’t think the exercises are called Crossfit in the book, but the moves are the ones I do at my Crossfit gym.

It shows how to feed kids the Paleo way, and tells of how the author’s children benefitted (including some behavior improvements).

I am excited to try some new recipes!

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