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About AB_MN

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  1. It is a lot of cooking. Check out Melissa Joulwan's cookbooks Well Fed. She has compliant recipes but also outlines an approach I've adopted where you cook up proteins and veggies in advance and then can mix and match later/through out the week. Very tasty food too as she is big on spices.
  2. Start Date February 1st

    Thanks, cr89. I'm so glad to know that helped w/cystic acne. you are right - they do hurt! and they last for so long (weeks at best, usually a few months). I was raised to drink milk and love 1/2 & 1/2 in my coffee in the morning (several cups, ok plus sugar!!) so it's a major change. I cut back on yogurt and cheese but am curious to see if no butter, milk or cream does the trick. then I know and can decide if it's worth it to ever have, or if maybe there is some amount I can have w/out major break outs. Appreciate the feedback/insight. We are on day 10. 1/3 thru! I am now starving in the mornings (which is new). Still struggling with portions - super full after meals but then can't quite make it to next meal so have compliant snack most days. I'm up by 5 though so getting to 12 lunch probably not reasonable anyway. I've made peace with that. How is everyone else doing?
  3. Start Date February 1st

    Hi, I started 2/1 as well. Just hoping to figure out some skin related issues (rashes & acne) that I think are tied to either dairy or grains. I've done W30 before and know I'm in the early "this is great!" phase. In about 2 days, I'll be struggling (based on past experience). But, so far so good. The biggest shift is eating hearty breakfast but I am full then until lunch which is such a nice change. Also, not eating before bed is a big challenge. Eating dinner and then that's it for the night is a shift for sure. It's more the patterns that are challenging for me, not so much the food choices if that makes sense.
  4. 5/7 Start - Reintroduction!

    Hi, I am still here reading along. I've re-introduced all items. It seems dairy is not be my friend. A little cream in coffee is how I started with no issues. That was it for a while (no cheese or yogurt). Maybe my acne flared a little but no other symptoms. Later, when I introduced milk (1-2 glasses), I had a killer headache the next day. This happened 4 out of the 5 times. I'm not sure why the 1 of 5 times I didn't get a headache the next day. The dairy is such a surprise as I've been a big milk drinker and yogurt/cheese fan all of my life. I have acne constantly and it has really flared up again now that I have dairy back in my life. I had alot of headaches but the worst were 'monthly' so I thought it was due to changes in hormones and the others seemed to be due to stress So, I am going to remove all dairy (cream, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc) and see what happens for the month of July (starting now). Hold me accountable :-) Here is my other realization. I can't have cookies/bars in the house. I justify by buying for my kids (growing and very active teenage boys that can and do eat anything/everything). On the W30 I could avoid them (things were so black and white if you know what i mean) but now it's too hard. If they are in the house, I will eat them. I need to figure this one out - do I just not have in house at all or do I work in some plan of moderation. hope all of you are doing well. what a journey!
  5. 5/7 Start - Reintroduction!

    @NoneOtherThanAmy - your trip sounds difficult. I find travel very stressful. Hang in there. @emilyelowe - I totally get the 'scale' incident. I appreciated your comments, too, about subconsciously thinking after 30 days we'll look like Melissa and then realize NOPE. Maybe we won't look better but we'll feel better. I have to remember that I didn't look like that 20 years ago so I'm realizing that I'm not going to look like that now. Plus I have short blond hair. LOL. Her hair is gorgeous!! I really want to read up on the podcast you linked above. Thank you for sharing. I don't want the 30 days to be a throwaway yet I can't live like that forever. It's a different kind of challenge to do this re-intro right. I swing back and forth between "well I can have X now since W30 is over" to "I need to not have X until I understand how it will impact me" and since I've sprinkled X back in (say X is dairy) sporadically, then i can't seem to figure out how X is impacting me. I'm sabotaging my re-intro. So, is it possible to go back to plan and do re-intro without doing another W30? How long do we remove something before we can re-introduce? I had a killer 24 hour headache this week Wed-Thurs. Usually they are hormone+stress related. But I don't think that was the cause this time. I had removed all dairy and then had a huge glass of milk Tues night. I also didn't bring lunch Wed so I ended up eating the only food I had in fridge at work which was HB eggs and almond butter. Together. Gross. I was so hungry and didn't have time to go buy lunch. So, I figured that was somewhat compliant. Either way, I'm back to template.
  6. 5/7 Start - Reintroduction!

    This really made my day to read your post, Amy. I especially liked "food is nourishment... consumed at meal times". I think this program is about finding what works for each person. I bet 99% of the population uses food as anxiety/boredom/stress reliever. I know I do. I think to overcome, one must be aware it is happening (start working on the mental aspect) and start providing the body the nutrients it needs (to overcome/reduce the physical cravings). I do know that adding in the protein and fat at meals really helps reduce my physical cravings later in the day. The mental aspect is a lot more challenging. I also have been thinking about the comments above that one shouldn't have to do more than one W30. Maybe for some people, but for me after each W30, I've implemented one small thing in my life. We've had company, been out of town, hosted and attended multiple grad parties. A whirlwind. I'm glad to settle back into a slower pace for a while.
  7. 5/7 Start - Reintroduction!

    @NoneOtherThanAmy - thank you for sharing link to article. It's funny but also hits close to home. I need to process all of this. It's so hard to know for sure what the culprit is since I've haphazardly added things back in. At this point, I may just eat template with other non-compliant items added in EXCEPT dairy and play with that for a few weeks. Take out for a week then try for a day or two, and repeat. It could take weeks to really confirm dairy is an issue. @NoneOtherThanAmy - Great NSV on the belt notch change. Now, that's some great news. And, it sounds like you are really conscious of the sugary treats and how they don't hold as much appeal for you anymore. Isn't it funny how you think you like something but then after a few bites it's not that great. In the past, you may not have been aware of that transition from great to no-longer-loving-this. Now you are aware and that's a NSV. @Susabella627 - with your daily estrogen inhibitor throwing you into menopause, eating this way can only help, right? I just turned 50 and have no 'symptoms' yet but it has to be around the corner??? So, I am trying to eat better in part as preparation for getting thru menopause with reduced symptoms whenever it does start/happen. So many books talk about how processed foods (esp sugar/alcohol) throw off hormones even more and make menopause ever more challenging. I have to say the w30 did a number on my TOM/cycle. It's really interesting how it's all so related. I wish I understood it better. @emilyelowe - you have the best social life :-) --- for the new zit, hang in there. My skin cleared up during W30. Then with re-introduction, I had a few new ones which was so frustrating but they cleared up REALLY quick (1-2 days instead of 2-4 weeks). So, hopefully that will case for you too?
  8. 5/7 Start - Reintroduction!

    @Susabella627- thank you so much for finding that post for moderator Lady Shandy. It makes sense. It makes me a bit sad though. Even a small bit of whatever-it-is-that-is-bothering-me will cause a flair up the rest of my life? I'm not sure if benefits are worth the cost. I can see giving up alcohol since the impact is so clear to me. But dairy for the rest of my life? I mean with so many good cheeses out there, and a glass of milk here and there? And my beloved cream in coffee? Hmmmmm... I need to think through this more. Congrats on day 30. Your Relay for Life event will be a great way to celebrate. I've not done 'Relay' but have done several 'Race for the Cure' events (lots of br cancer in our family) and it's always so moving and rewarding. Based on the explanation from above, I need to isolate if this is dairy or not. I've remove cream in morning coffee and am skipping milk/yogurts/etc. But, yesterday at party I couldn't resist a cheese curd (that was at the grad party and what the food vendor is famous for). Of course it was so good but then I had such stomach issues rest of the day and I felt like I was about 6 months preg with such a bloated stomach. Small problem. Overall it was a glorious day. We had a great turn out it. It was so fun to see friends and family. Then, after we had all the family back to our house. It was a blast to see all the cousins play together. I am feeling very blessed. Happy weekend to all of you.
  9. 5/7 Start - Reintroduction!

    @emilyelowe - hope your birthday was amazing! My re-intro hasn't been as organized as I'd like but I think I may be onto something. I added dairy as my first food post-W30 by having cream in coffee each morning and had some bad stomach aches a few hours later each time. Last night I ventured further and had a piece of cheese and I really had a bad gut ache starting about 1 hour later. It lasted through the night. Also, have a few new skin issues (fresh crop of acne). So, I am going to back off the dairy for a few days and see what that does. I used to consume a lot of yogurt and milk, some cheese, and daily cream in my coffee. I would think if a few tablespoons of cream hurt me now, that all that milk and yogurt would have had my doubled over in gut pain. I don't understand how just a little bit could hurt me now. Did I build up some sort of tolerance before? Or, was my body freaking out and I didn't know the cause so the I didn't notice the connection? I also missed a template-size breakfast one morning and felt like I was hungry and eating the rest of the day. I think the initial load of protein/fat/veggies serves the body well through the rest of the day. I think realizing that fact is my biggest NSV. Here's another thing I am wondering if anyone has noticed. I've known this for awhile so it's not a new realization for me now. But, it's an important connection that proves true about 95% of time for me. Drinking affects me physically at the time (just like it does for everyone else, not a big deal there) but has an emotional bull dozer effect on me the next morning. And, I am talking like 1 drink (2 is my absolute max at anytime anyway). It's not a hang over. It's more like a shroud of sadness. It happens even with one drink and and is present w/even with no physical symptoms the next day. Anyone else have that w/alcohol? @NoneOtherThanAmy - way to go on checking out the restaurant in advance. That's great prep-work. And, bet it was so fun to go out for dinner (something we all probably haven't been doing too much of). @Susabella627 - countdown is on for you. I think Sun is your day 30. I've done a few W30 before and each time I just loaded up on all the foods I'd been missing starting on D31 and was back in that cozy love/hate relationship with the sugar dragon. This time I'm trying to be more intentional about what/when I add things back in and I am trying to leverage the fact that my hormones are settled down and my body has done some healing. Based on your previous posts, I believe you intend to keep at this approach to eating, too. So, I look forward to you joining us. I've not done a re-intro group like this before but am finding it as helpful as the time we all had together during the W30. I have a really busy weekend. Out of town company coming to stay, my son's grad party and a trip up north to a cabin with all the company. And, I don't know how long they are staying --- LOL. Just going to have to wing it.
  10. 5/7 Start - Reintroduction!

    Hi, glad to find you over in this section. I've been reading just no time to post this week. My reintroductions have been skewed with symptoms from TOM. TMI but had to know if issues are from which. So, I'm sticking close to the template and paying attention but am not sure what results are. I didn't lose any weight but that's probably because I didn't exercise as much as usual, and I may have gone overboard on the starchy carbs (Sw Pot) once I figured out how not having those was impacting my moods. My skin did clear up though which is wonderful. And, I can go a full 5-6 hours between meals which is freeing. I've had some dairy (cream in coffee), and bad stomach ache but again maybe TOM. I also had some wine which left me feeling bad next day (tired, depressed) even though just 1 glass. @NoneOtherThanAmy - you'll have to do another intro but I can only imagine the stress of upcoming speaking was to blame. That would keep me up at night. Good luck with that. let us know how it goes... @emilyelowe - having a cider on back patio sounds so nice. To me, adding that in, is part of experiencing life. Sounds like a prefect evening outside. It's hard to stop at one. You sound petite and having not drank for a month, guessing one hit you harder than you'd expect. We have tons of company rolling into town and more grad parties and then are heading out of town. So, I will try to stay on my reintro path and be aware of what I'm eating and what it's doing to me. But, I will have fewer options. I think if I can stick to template and avoid alcohol, I should be OK. More later. So grateful that you guys are still in this thread and i hope @Susabella627 comes over one of these days as she must be approaching day 30.
  11. 5/7 Start Date - looking for a buddy

    Hi, can't believe it's day 29. Lots of chaos here, company and out for dinner (I was only one to not drink) and then grad parties left and right. Yesterday I stopped into Whole Foods between parties to get some compliant food and ate it in the car before going to the next party. It will be interesting to see which foods, if any, cause an issue when I reintroduce. My skin (acne) has cleared up (yeah!). Since it tends to be tied to monthly hormones, I may have to do a slower introduction schedule. I'm not sure. For some things that cause bloating, it's pretty quick to know culprit since it usually happens within 24 hours. but for acne it can take days to surface (and weeks to heal/go away), plus the entire monthly cycle needs to be factored in. I'm not sure how to go about that. My main goal is to KEEP eating the template especially for breakfast. I think the protein and fat in the morning is such a good way to start. It's 180 degree change in direction from the toast and coffee (w/cream & sugar) I used to eat every day without fail. I think if I can keep the breakfast template, maybe I will have less cravings through out the day. And, another goal is to add fat to my lunches. I used to strive to eat no or low fat lunches. Now I get that it's just setting me up to not feel satisfied/satiated for the rest of the afternoon. 100 -200 calories from good fat at a meal has to be better than a 100 -200 calories of highly processed junk an hour or two later when you are hungry again. Great job to all of you so far... hang in there!
  12. 5/7 Start Date - looking for a buddy

    @emilyelowe - love the image. what sugar are you starting with? I think it's great you've laid it out so thoughtfully. @NoneOtherThanAmy - i hear your about decreased cravings. I walked by a big box of donuts at work the other day and they looked gross actually. I had a near mishap yesterday due to a VERY unpleasant conversation with a close family member. It didn't go well at all. I was beyond tempted to just go home and crack open a nice bottle of red wine and eat cheese and crackers. I tried to think if it was worth it. I realized I'd only be making things worse but wasn't sure what to do with all that anger and sadness still brewing inside me like a crazy storm. So, I stopped at the gardening store on the way home, bought some plants, came home and worked outside until I settled down. I didn't even go inside until I felt better. And, then I went upstairs and binged watch NetFlix until bedtime. So, I know by removing all these foods from our diets, we are supposed to notice the physical changes (no more skin issues or digestion problems or energy levels tanking) but I'm noticing how I use food to deal with emotions. TMI. Sorry if so. I want to figure out my plan like Emily has done above to add back in starting D31. That's neat idea to write onto your actual calendar! @Susabella627 - how are you holding up? @Steph the Desert Rat - how was camping? Was it you that was going? Did it go OK? It's usually so fun (if the weather cooperates).
  13. 5/7 Start Date - looking for a buddy

    Way to go @Steph the Desert Rat on the BBQ and @NoneOtherThanAmy on your run. I feel like we are all turning a corner... and just in time as we are now counting down :-)
  14. 5/7 Start Date - looking for a buddy

    I have to say I'm feeling really good. Maybe it's the starchy carbs I added back in. Went to a family BBQ today. Had no problem working around the non-compliant food and eating compliant food. One more week and we'll be done. I'm not really looking forward to leaving the 'bubble' or 'safety net' of the W30. I don't want to wake the sugar dragon just when I'm starting to get the hang of this. Hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend.
  15. 5/7 Start Date - looking for a buddy

    @NoneOtherThanAmy - looks like we are on at same time. So, did you add starchy carbs back in and feel better? I agree, there are some pretty amazing recipes out there. Better, healthier (and probably less expensive) than store bought.