I have put considerable effort over the past two months or so into working on my physical health. This has included my surgery, a visit to the podiatrist to address foot pain (turns out to be Achilles tendonitis with possible plantar fascitis, and not much to be done about either beyond stretching and ice), and a battery of blood tests that came back telling me my cholesterol is in the clouds, my Vitamin D is in the gutter, and I have a slight case of Hashimoto’s disease. Great. At least my blood sugar was ok! (I’ve been warned about a future of insulin resistance and possible diabetes if I’m not careful, so that was a relief, albeit a small one given the other results).
Luckily for me, much like the blood sugar issues, my doctor believes most of my current health problems can be addressed by diet. I have to take a Vitamin D supplement since there’s no way I can get my levels up to standards just by being outside more– I do live in Oregon, after all– but other than that she just put me on a new diet and sent me off. Well mostly, anyway. She put me on a diet and prescribed several supplements. But it’s not pharmaceuticals, so we’ll call it good. In any case, I’m basically not allowed processed sugar at all, though I am able to use honey and maple syrup when I can’t resist having something sweet. Further, I’m to restrict simple carbs, severely. She said don’t worry about gluten, worry about flour. Gluten free bread is still bread. So, I’m focusing on whole grains while also including more seeds (quinoa, buckwheat, and millet for example), and avoiding white rice and other processed grains as much as possible. I’m limiting my white potatoes, and trying to focus on fresh fruits and veggies. Fortunately, she did encourage me to eat more fat (counter-intuitive for managing cholesterol, I know!) in order to keep myself feeling satiated. Recent research has emphasized cutting sugar but allowing high quality fats for healthy cardiovascular function though, so at least I can trust that she’s using the available evidence rather than popular belief for her medicine. So I’ve been eating eggs and cheese to my heart’s delight, but cutting down on surprising things like yogurt and skim milk due to their high sugar content (even unsweetened, dairy products are high sugar. The higher the fat, though, the lower the sugar concentration which is why cheese is allowed). I’ve been experimenting with new recipes, most of which have been excellent with a few notable exceptions. The zucchini brownies were a real disappointment, but the Mediterranean quinoa and edamame toss was excellent.
Originally I wasn’t tracking calories at all, but despite the amounts of cheese I took in, I wasn’t gaining weight. This seemed promising, so I started tracking calories and limiting them to about 1400 net (that is, subtracting calories burned through exercise from gross intake calories) per day. This, coupled with an attempt to walk more (though no real exercise regimen has been implemented, I’ve been tracking calories in with My Fitness Pal and calories out with Fitbit) has resulted in the loss of about 5 lbs over the past 3-4 weeks. Hooray! Only 45 lbs to go before I hit my target weight. 😛
However, in the past I’ve noticed that eating better is correlated with increased energy. This has not been the case during this iteration of healthy habits. Perhaps I’m not exercising enough, or perhaps it’s the cheese weighing me down. In any case, I’m still tired most of the time and not getting that extra boost I was hoping for.
This leads me to the public apology part of my post.
Last night, I fell asleep at 8:30. I, co-Mama of a 9 1/2 month old teething baby, fell asleep at 8:30 and slept until 6:30 this morning. I want to take a moment and apologize to MamaRae for leaving her with a baby (sleeping when I fell asleep, but who woke up at least a few times, probably more than I know of), a dirty kitchen, and who knows what other chores or frustrations, to deal with on her own.* And this right before I leave for a week to go to Pittsburgh to meet my new niece and provide postpartum support for my sister. Rachel, my love, I am sorry. I am sorry for leaving you in charge of everything, for not cleaning the kitchen, for not making more of an effort to stay awake when I knew there were things to be done. I hope I am able to provide you with a more relaxing evening tonight. I know that won’t make up for last night, but I hope it takes some of the edge off. If anyone deserved to sleep for 10 hours last night, it was you.
*She knows exactly what other chores. Because she did them.