breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Posts tagged ‘health’

Maybe There Is a Foodie Inside of Me After All

MyBrattyTasteBuds would argue they have always been Foodies, because they would eat anything that tickled their little fancies. They would argue they have always loved food.

And they would have a point. But I’m going with a different definition of Foodie. I’m thinking of a person who likes to know where their food comes from before shoving it in the mouth. Who likes to know how it has been prepared before swallowing. Who enjoys the taste so much that smaller amounts satisfy the stomach. Who never feels guilty about eating.

And that would definitely NOT have been me during the reign of MyBrattyTasteBuds. Ninety-five percent of my meals and snacks were guilt-inducing. They were full of sugar and bad fats, or processed beyond recognition, or enormous.

In honor of this change of status, I finally bought this:

Mortar and Pestle Box

 … And used it to make a delicious spice blend from the awesome book by Diane Sanfilippo, Practical Paleo:

Mortar and Pestle with Spice Blend

… Which I used on a whole roasted chicken, again from Practical Paleo.

I feel very much in touch with ancestors of long, long ago who developed this tool to “process” food in new ways, adding enjoyment to what most likely was a pretty mundane existence. It has definitely spiced up MyBrattyTasteBuds’ lives.

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Summer Paleo Cobbler

Farmer’s Markets are the BEST! I scoped out the Boise (Idaho) Saturday Market this week with my daughter and two of her daughters. Three-generational outings make my heart smile!

Boise has a strong population of refugees. Many hard-working men, women and children lovingly nurture mini-farms as part of the Global Gardens program. We stopped at one of their stands and bought green beans and one bunch of a leafy African green (I can’t remember their name, but it started with an “m”. Let me know if YOU know what they are called and I’ll update this post.)

It was Berry Day at the Market. I picked up blackberries and boysenberries to share with my 92-year-old berry-lovin’ mother-in-law. (She loved them!)

In the evening I used them to make my No-Bake Paleo “Cobbler”.

Berry Cobbler

Coconut Milk, Agave Nectar, Go Raw Ginger Cookies

Making this Cobbler involves placing berries, coconut milk, cinnamon, and a squirt of agave nectar (depending on sweetness of berries) in a bowl, and crumbling the cookies on top. That’s it.

Summer Yummer, for sure!

What is Dripping Down My Neck?

Growing up in south Texas was a very sweaty experience. My friends and I ran around in the heat of muggy summer days without a thought about how red our faces were or how much our skin glistened. Who cared?

perspiration

When I hit junior high, I cared. Sweat really ruined my hair design (straight was “in” and sweat curled it crazily), and felt absolutely awful dripping down my back and chest. I learned to dislike sweating. A lot. I learned to avoid sweat-inducing situations … like exercising in hot weather.

But lately, I’ve been sweating more, even in the deliciously dry heat of southern Idaho. Even in the cooler morning hours. What’s up with that?

Could it be a good thing?

Turns out it may be that my body is working more efficiently. More blood is going to the surface of my skin, which in turn releases heat from my core. My sweat glands increase output to cool the body. It appears “fit people produce more sweat than sedentary folks.” http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa052001a.htm

So I am learning to tolerate that annoying dripdripdrip hitting my neck and shoulders. It is a sign of life.

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.

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.

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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