Thursday, May 27, 2010
Happy Thursday - One Day Until a Long Weekend!
The good thing about today is that it is almost the weekend. I need a long weekend something fierce. This week has not been one of the best. But it is almost over and that is a very good thing. I am ready for some fun and relaxation. For those of you that listened to me whine today a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart! You have no idea how much you helped me not have a mini breakdown. Thankfully I bounce back quickly. ;-)
The weather the last few days was uncomfortable to say the least. I am not fond of heat and today it has 90 plus degrees and not very pleasant. The air conditioning is still cranking at our house. Early today I would have loved to hit the pavement to get out my frustration but the weather was not right for it. Heather suggested kickboxing and that was a brilliant idea! Sometimes kick and punching is just what you need to get your frustrations and stress out. I felt so much better once I was finished. If you haven’t tried kickboxing I highly recommend it. What a wonderful stress reliever it is.
Memorial Day isn’t a holiday where we tend to do anything special. At our place it does mean the official start of summer. For us that translates into more cold and raw food. Shorts and sandals become the uniform of choice. My hair will normally be a in a high pony tail, like it was 30 years ago when I was a cheerleader, though there are some grey hairs now that I didn’t have then. Both Dan and I move a little slower in the summer though we are also outside much more often soaking up the UVB and vitamin D (post to come on that).
Speaking of outside I may see if Dan feels like going for a nice long bike ride this weekend. We haven’t done that yet this year. A bike ride and a picnic sound like a great idea. What do you have planned for this long weekend? Something good I hope.
Eat to Live:
I know that some of you are doing or have tried to do “Eat to Live” (hereafter E2L) because I get a lot of great email and comments about it. Any of you that have been reading for a while know I love Dr. Fuhrman and “Eat to Live.” I love the nutritional aspect of the plan but it also is good if you want to drop a few pounds. I decided I should write a little about our experience so that you would know what to expect. We went from omni to E2L so it was probably a bigger change for us than most of you will probably experience. I read the book in a few hours and we went vegan with the next meal. What I like about the plan is that is science based. The doctor does a great job of footnoting his sources and you can go on line to read the studies if you wish. I did this for many of the studies he cited. Yes I am that much of a nutrition geek, LOL. If any of you like science I recommend the book for that aspect alone.
The question I get most often is how hard was it? Well if you think a root canal is a party this plan is for you. ;-) The first couple of weeks I was miserable, not unhappy but downright miserable. I stomped around complaining that I would rather die than eat like this. A little dramatic, you think? Sadly this is exactly what happened. I cheated and ate more starch and added a little oil and convinced myself that I was following the plan. Yeah, okay if you say so Alicia. But I just couldn’t commit 100% immediately. Twenty three days after we started Dan was scheduled for a blood draw for a visit to his internist. He and the doc had been watching his cholesterol and there was talk of prescribing a statin drug.
Neither Dan nor I like to take meds. We don’t like to take a Tylenol when we get a headache unless absolutely necessary. This is where the magic in the story happens. Dan’s cholesterol went from 280 to 165 in a matter of 23 days and we weren’t as diligent as we should have been. My reaction was to be overjoyed. This is when I knew we were on to something. Additionally my blood pressure went from 120/80 to 95/55 in just a few months. The physical results were amazing. Even today the seasonal allergies I struggled with each spring for more than 20 years are gone, vanished. I used to “have to” take pseudoephedrine every four hours all spring (don’t cringe Louis). If I didn’t take them, and I tried that approach, I lived with constant sinus headaches. I think we all know how debilitating those can be. I can’t tell you the last time I had a sinus pill. For me that was a miracle.
Now it was time to get serious and really commit to the 6 week plan (page 179 in my edition). Was it hard? Yep. I had no idea how to cook without oil, heck I am Italian. We think olive oil is good for anything that ails you. But I persisted and discovered that you can sauté in water and it works just fine. The biggest problem for me was what to cook. Initially I felt so limited in my choices. But the worst part was only one cup of grains and/or starchy veggies a day. What? Thankfully this was the initial program and it gets more relaxed after 6 weeks. Before I went through this I didn’t realize the point was to break the hold those less than optimally healthy foods had on my body. I had no idea that I was actually addicted to them. Sure they tasted good but addicted, that didn’t seem possible. Since then Dr. Kessler has written a great book called “The End of Overeating”which explains the addictions to sugar, fat and salt. However before that book addiction didn’t really seem like a physical possibility, at least I didn’t believe it. But I now believe the entire point of the strict 6 weeks is to break your addiction to those less than optimally healthy foods.
Once the 6 weeks is over the doctor has the 90 percent rule (page 185) that allows you to relax a little and live in the “real world”. This works if you have broken your addiction but can lead to trouble, even for me. I find it easier to keep our diet free of oil, dairy and meat than add them back at any level. Very rarely we will have something made with flour (whole wheat pasta, pita, pizza) but that is a treat and doesn’t happen often and is normally when we are out. Additionally it is nearly impossible to get food at a restaurant that doesn’t include oil. I have learned to relax and just go with the flow. I would prefer not to have it but most commercial kitchens (even when you know the chef …. you know who you are) can’t cope with a request for no oil. They look at you as though you just asked for their first born. I had to relax and realize that a little oil and flour every once in a while wasn’t going to kill us. My hubby would love me to relax a little more, but that isn’t going to happen. ;-) Those of you that know me know that I am not kidding.
It took us about a month to get comfortable with cooking and eating this way. Dan thinks it was harder on me since I make the food. I will honestly say that I no longer feel limited in my choices as I once did. I have no difficulty coming up with ideas for meals. If anything adhering to E2L has resulted in more creativity and choices, not less.
I hope that answers some of your questions.
I need to run and get into the kitchen and make dinner. I will be back later and let you know what we had. As usual I have not entirely decided yet. Nothing like planning, LOL.