Category Archives: Weight Loss

Paleo Day 9

Its been 9 days since I started the “strict” Paleo diet. Here’s what I learned so far:
1. Staying away from grains is not that hard. I just need to plan my meals/restaurant choices. If worst comes to worst there is always salad at most restaurants.
2. Staying away from cheese 100% is a completely different story. Most of the salads at work have some feta or other cheese on them. I had a little emotional issue on monday and felt like I “deserved” some expensive French cheese…I ate it with apples, improvement right? I am going to work harder on this part of it this week.
3. I am not seeing any “miraculous” results yet. My Raynaud’s is bad and my joints are a little achy. Maybe if I try harder on the cheese thing I might see a little improvement.
4. I have been doing great on the supplements. All it takes is a little planning to make sure I have the supplements I need. I don’t even notice the fish oil burps anymore!
5. My performance at Crossfit has really declined. This is the most frustrating part. Robb Wolf says that it should take 3 weeks to fully adapt. Right now I am about 1.5 weeks in…I guess I have another 1.5 weeks to really see improvement. It is frustrating now because I am exhausted during the workouts and am not used to it. Its really been a struggle.
6. I think I need to eat more protein. It is so easy for me to eat veggies and fruit. For the next week I am going to try to get rid of some of the fruit and increase the protein. I am going to get some recipes that include more protein so that I will get motivated to eat more.
7. I have lost about 2-3 lbs..weight kinda fluctuates. I think that is pretty good for me in 9 days.
8. My occasional digestive issues are gone. I do love that about eating more fiber.
9. I really don’t feel hungry. I don’t really want to munch at night. I feel satisfied after my meals.

I think I am going to continue what I have been doing with a few tweaks. There are always things one could do better and be stricter about. Hopefully in another week or so I will start seeing the results I am looking for…weight loss, less joint pain, improvement in Crossfit…for now I will just have to wait it out.

Autoimmune Disease Rant

I’m sorry, I try to be positive. I try to look for solutions instead of focusing on problems, but today I feel like just ranting a little…for one day. So, here goes…

As many readers know, I have an autoimmune condition that has not been given an official diagnosis. Currently they call it “mixed” or “undifferentiated” autoimmune disease. Basically, we are waiting for more symptoms, so that we can give it an “official” name. Lupus? Scleroderma? Who knows? “We” (doctors) are just waiting to see where else in your body this is going to pop up so we can put a label on it. After a bout with pleurisy about 2 years ago, I finally agreed to take the medication Plaquenil. Its an anti-malaria medication that is shown to decrease inflammation levels. The problem is that after the doctor tried to convince me the medication was “mild”, he then said, ”oh and you need a yearly eye exam to make sure you don’t go blind from it”. Really? So the side effect is blindness? Great. I was desperate at the time, so I took it. I have been on it for about 2 years now.

A little over a month ago, I stopped taking it.  I decided to do trial run to see if I could stay off the medication. I have been pretty good with my exercise, Paleo diet, stress management, etc so I felt like maybe I didn’t need it anymore. It takes about 6-8 weeks to get out of your system, so I have been feeling the same for the last few weeks. Until maybe the last 3-4 days. Today its my knee that is aching. Last night it was the bottom of my feet. Over the weekend it was my wrists. I am afraid that my illness is going to come back full-blown. I am afraid I am going to have to get back on my medications. Or medications that are worse than the Plaquenil.  I am afraid that this knee pain is going to go back to how it used to be where I didnt even want to stand-up to walk my patients to the door. I am afraid my lungs or kidneys will spontaneously fail. I want off the meds, but I am so afraid right now.

I went to see an alternative doctor yesterday that put me on an even sticter diet plan. No granis, no dairy, no alcohol. I already knew that that is what I needed to do. The problem is that I think 100% compliance is unrealistic. For example, I was not pefect with my diet over the weekend, I ate Mexican food on saturday and some crackers and cheese at an Oscar party on sunday. BUT, that is not even two full meals of cheating. All my other meals were Paleo meals.   I feel that is as compliant as I am going to get.  Sometimes I want some spaghetti or Mexican food. I can’t live on 100% paleo all the time, I have a real social life. I can’t constantly live in this place of deprivation, eating salads and meat only. Never enjoying a glass of wine, cheesecake, or a delicious Italian dinner. Feeling guilty over too much fruit. I desperately want to get better, but I desperately want a balance. I want to eat a good diet, be at a healthy weight, feel good about my health and my life, and enjoy foods that I like from time to time and not be so afraid. I don’t know where that balance is….

My boyfriend says, that if I really feel that way, I should get back on the medications. That way I don’t have to be 100% compliant all the time (although I probably still will eat mostly Paleo, just because its better for me) AND I won’t have any pain. I just don’t know if I want to take that risk of getting back on the meds. I also can’t live with this diet forever, always trying to be more and more compliant, and never feeling good enough.

So, thats my rant for today. I am tired of thinking about it all the time. I am tired of reading the blogs, feeling my diet doesn’t add up, feeling that my results are not good enough or dramatic enough. My body is struggling with inflammation. I don’t know definitively why. Some say diet, environmental toxins, genetics, stress. I think its all of those factors. Just a big combination of things making my body freak out and attack itself. The solution as I see it today are 2 things: take the meds that could have side effects; or follow a diet that makes me feel sad and deprived that I will never be able to be 100% compliant with.  What would you choose?

Healthy Lifestyle Day 5

I can safely say that the new eating plan is still going super well on day #5! I have lost about 1.5 pounds (even though the Livestrong widget says only 1 lb- its a little more than that I promise!). Some of the weight loss might be water, but I’ll take it! Generally, one can expect to lose 2-5 pounds of water on the first week of any weight loss diet. You might see slightly more weight loss if you are following a low carbohydrate program because since your body is using up its storage carbohydrates for energy, it is also getting rid of water at the same time.

So, last night Mr ZM and I had a delicious dinner I was super proud of! I picked up some pre-seasoned chicken at Fresh and Easy (only 360 calories for 1/2 the package), some small multicolored potatoes (160 calories for 1/2 package), and some green beans.

Mr. ZM was a little hesitant about green beans because he told me he hadn’t eaten them in over a decade (WHAT???). He also refuses to eat asparagus, but I will eventually prevail on that too! One step at a time, right? Anyway, we didn’t even finish all the chicken or the potatoes and were both pretty full. With a glass of wine each and an orange for desert, our whole meal was about 550 calories. At the end of the day, we both still had calories left over and were feeling pretty satisfied.

One extremely annoying thing, Mr ZM and I are about the same height and about the same weight….we have both been on the diet the same amount of time and eaten several meals together and he is about 1.5 pounds ahead of me in weight loss! I know men lose faster than women for several reasons, but it is so aggravating. This weekend we are going to go away to the mountains for a bit and I know we will have a few higher calorie dinners. I am going to try to set those off with some extra walking or exercise during the day. Lets see how it goes! Onward!

The 2 Day Diet Giveaway!

Great news! The great people at Random House, who send me books to review from time to time, sent me an EXTRA copy of the new book “The 2 Day Diet” by Dr. Michelle Harvey and Professor Tony Howell. An extra copy for me to give away to my readers! Woot!

The 2 day diet is based on the principle of intermittent fasting/dieting. You can read more about that in my blog I wrote for HUM Nutrition here. This principle basically says cut your calories low on a few days a week to balance out what you do the rest of the week. Now, this won’t balance out a terrible diet the rest of the week, but the authors of this book don’t recommend you going crazy on the 5 non-diet days. Instead, they recommend you follow a Mediterranean diet for the 5 days. Great advice!

Anyway, whoever wants the extra copy and wants to learn more about the 2 day diet, comment below. I will choose a winner at random on July 10 and announce it on the blog. Good luck!

Day 2- Healthy Lifestyle in 2013

So far, this new healthy eating and exercising thing is going great!! I went to spin class after work today (I can’t even remember the last time I worked out after work) and am even 300 calories short on what I am allowed to eat because I burned over 400 calories at the gym. WOOT!

I was proud of myself because I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday and picked up some snacks (turkey slices, string cheese, cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery). I have been munching on those after work and this evening. Since I moved in to this apartment, I have not had much in my fridge and have not really been to the grocery store very often. I am kind of unmotivated to cook for just myself, especially since I eat at work for free…I end up feeling like its not worth it because I already ate a pretty good meal at work. Anyway, lets keep this motivation going!!

One Response to Day 2- Healthy Lifestyle in 2013

Clean eating is not a new concept! Nor is it a fad diet to shed weight. Clean eating is about sticking to what is closest to natural products and avoid processed foods that come out of a box. It’s not about restricting what you eat, but rather about making conscious choices to eat better quality foods. This means more natural products and less chemicals and additives. Although some people may be able to jump right into clean eating and never look back, most need to ease into this lifestyle. A sure way to get started is to firstly drink more water; secondly eliminate processed foods; thirdly balance your meals; and finally control portion size.

Re-committing to Health and Blogging In 2013

I am going to be honest, this blog and my own health have been on the back burner the last half of 2012. I started 2012 off great, with some great stories about my times in Brazil and re-committing to yoga and my overall health. Once I got back to the US, I started a new writing career and then lost function of my foot due to a really bad herniated disc. The disc and the busyness has led me to neglect exercise, sit on the couch more often (to write), and overall baby myself when it comes to food and health.

So I am going to declare, starting today, that 2013 will be different. Although I am still limited on what I can do in terms of exercise (sadly Crossfit will never be a possibility again), I can do spin class and walk. I also have some new motivation in that my boyfriend, who I will call Mr. Zen Master (Mr. ZM) is also wanting to do better with his own health and is willing to support me.  One of the companies I work for HUM Nutrition, also motivates me with their health-oriented approach and awesome supplements (some of which I will incorporate into my plan). So, here goes:

1. Log my food daily on my Livestrong ap. Stick with under 1400 calories/day. This will mean a significant reduction in my consumption of happy hour cheese plates and wine.

2. Spin class 2x per week and walking daily at work. I can take a 20 minute walking break which will really add up. Also, maybe I can convince Mr. ZM to go on some weekend hikes with me.

3. Stop giving myself treats and babying myself because I “deserve” it or had a bad week. What I really “deserve” is to be healthy and not tired or lethargic all the time.

4. I am going to add some of the HUM supplements to my regimen: Vitamin D (linked to weight loss), Omega-3 (reduces inflammation, also helps with weight loss), and an AM/PM Cleanse Product. I am also going to use the Arbonne Protein powders to substitute meals when I am busy or don’t have time.

Overall, my goal is to lose 10 lbs and get exercise back into my life. I feel tired all the time and I know it has to do with poor diet and lack of physical activity. So, who wants to join me on my quest to get back my health in 2013?

Week 2- Yoga Retreat

Today starts week 2 of my Brazilian diet plan. Last week I walked every day on Ipanema beach with my dad for about 45-60 minutes in the morning. I injured my back somehow last year (according to my chiropractor because I sit too much at work and was trying to hit it too hard at Crossfit) and I have realized (after A LOT of fighting it and denial) that I really can’t do intense exercise anymore, at least for awhile. I tried to do to the Insanity DVD with my brother, but that aggravated my back. I had to go to get a massage and it took about 5 days for it to stop hurting. I think my days of running and Crossfit are over for a bit. Maybe some day I will go back. For now, walking and yoga are going to be my primary forms of physical activity.

I started the free yoga class on the  beach today.  It was AMAZING! The yoga was super chill and was exactly my speed. There were a few challenging moves, but it was mostly stretching which is what I really needed to try to rehab my back. The teacher handed out a flyer about an up-coming 3 day yoga retreat and I have signed up! I’m really stoked because I have always wanted to go on a yoga retreat. Its in a beautiful mountain location called Teresopolis, which is a few hours outside of Rio. It seems like its going to be an awesome experience! The best part is it will be about 1/3 of the cost of what something like this would be in the US. Awesome!!

So even with the walking and yoga, I didn’t lose any weight this week. I think that this week I am going to focus more on what food I am eating. Its difficult here because there are so many delicious things to eat that I haven’t eaten for awhile. The worst of which is probably this delicious mini French bread that most Brazilians eat for breakfast. My dad stops by the bakery and picks up warm bread every morning. Its hard to resist. I know I can’t eat refined carbs like that in the morning, especially not topped with requeijão (the Brazilian equivalent of cream cheese but MUCH tastier). I think I have been kind of lying to myself about what I am eating and indulging too much in delicious, deep fried, Brazilian street food. I have 10 weeks left until I go back to the states. I think its reasonable to think I can lose about 1 lb per week and come back about 10 lbs lighter. And tanner….got to hit the beach for that. Wish me luck!