Saturday, June 16, 2012

It Starts With Food

funny cat pictures - Da inhumanity!
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If my cats are still hungry, they let me know. I won't be able to get anything done at all if they need more food. Sometimes I know I've fed them the right amount (used a scale) but they just want more! Since I switched them to a canned/raw mix of food they've also lost weight. Last year, the vet thought Yoda was overweight and wanted me to watch what he ate. This year she thought his weight was perfect.

I wish I could say the same about my weight. It's far from perfect, but over the last three years all the accidents and health issues have really changed my eating habits and activity level. I need to change that.

If I go by numbers, I'm 15 pounds heavier than the day I had my skiing accident three years ago last month. I put on about five pounds after that. A couple more after my surgery in November of that year. And the rest after the car accident two plus years ago. But I feel much heavier than that. I look it too.

I decided against spinal surgery unless it gets to the point I can't function, but enough is enough. I might still hurt on some days, but I'm ready to get healthy and active again. I decided to look for a push to get me headed in that direction. The last thing I need is to hurt myself again. I decided food would be a good place to start.

Climbing Cutie pointed me to the book It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig of Whole 9/Whole 30. I pre-ordered it from Amazon and it arrived on Wednesday. I read through the pertinent parts that night so I could get started right away. I had eggs and greens from our CSA so was good to go the next morning. I had fun hitting New Seasons to grocery shop on Thursday!

Today is Day 3 of 30 for me. It's an easy book to read. Very clear and approachable as they explain the science behind their program. The recipes in the book are easy to follow, too. Many are just ingredients that you can use to make things. It doesn't have to be exact which I like. (And yes, I'm actually cooking this stuff, not just hubby.) Last night I used one of the recipes to make a Mocha Steak Rub (I can't remember if that's the exact name), but it was yummy. The kids love the food I've made so far. Green Curry Chicken from two nights ago got a big thumbs up, too! Hubby, the main cook around here, was even impressed.

Whole 30 has it's roots in Paleo, but seems more grounded in real life and today (i.e. the present rather than the past.) For me, it's all about about changing habits and eating better foods so you are healthier. In a nut shell, you cut out grains, sugar, dairy, alcohol and legumes. You eat protein and veggies with a little fruit and some fat (the good kind. I bought clarified butter and coconut oil for the first time!) There's a lot more to it than that, but you can get the general idea from those things. But oh, how I'm going to miss Peanut Buster Parfaits from Dairy Queen over the next month!

I enjoy bread, but gluten has never been a friend of mine so it's kind of a none issue. They don't even want you eating non-gluten grains, though I asked and communion hosts at Mass are okay. I haven't drank alcohol except for a couple sips in the past 1 1/2 years (as the weight starting coming on I decided that wasn't where I wanted to add more calories from.) But dairy is a big one for me. I love cheese and ice cream. We're talking full on stalker-crush of those two things. But the hardest part for me is definitely the no sugar (i.e. chocolate since I snack on M&M or Sixlets when I write.) I've had a headache since yesterday so guessing my body is very used to that!

One thing I really like about the program is no measuring or counting. I'll do that for my cats' meals, but I don't want to have to do that for me. The book gives handy ways of estimating amounts of food for meals. You also don't step on the scale for 30 days! Weight loss will be a by-product of this, not the end result. The goal is eating better to improve health.

This won't be easy for me. I have very bad food/eating habits and have been a slug for quit a while now (I look back on the Crossfit Challenges and workouts I was doing before this and feel very sad), but I'll give it my best shot. I ate similar when Rose had all her health issues with food and never looked or felt better, but fell off the wagon when I stopped nursing her. So I know it'll work if I stick with it.

There is a website and forum associated with this called Whole 9 (link is above), but I just don't have the time to go there with revisions due soon even though the support would be great. Maybe once life slows down I will, but that's one reason I waited for the book to arrive.

So how are you doing health-wise? I know one of you, Quilt Lady, has been having back issues and needs surgery. Is everyone else doing well?