Beyond Whole30


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The stars were beautiful this morning!!  And boy, it was COLD!  I got some workout clothes over the weekend and am really grateful that I bought a couple of things for colder weather.  Even so, I didn't get all the way warm until I started the second of my three laps.  


I need to figure out how far I'm going in that 30 minutes.  It feels like farther than the FitBit says, but some is on paths so tough to map out.  A project for another time.  For now, off to a meeting!


ThyPeace, nice sore muscles from her climbing yesterday.  Must do that more!

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Hi JenX!  Although I try to be a modern girl, my phone is stuck in about 2005.  It's a hard-cased flip phone designed for construction workers.  I have an iPod that I use at home for all my small-device needs, but decided for various reasons to stick with a boring phone (okay, it does text and take pictures) for other uses.


That said, I found that the paths are actually on Google Maps, so did some estimating based on that.  Looks like I'm doing 1.8 miles in about 30 minutes.  Slower than I would like, but faster than I used to do it.


ThyPeace, jog, walk, jog walk, climb the hill, jog, walk, jog, walk, down the hill, jog walk...

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1.8 miles in 27 minutes this morning.  Accorcing to my handy spreadsheet and advanced knowledge of physics, that means I averaged 4 mph.  Good thing I got those advanced degrees!  :)  Anyway....


Yesterday, I got over 15,000 steps, which is more than I've ever gotten in a day before.  I think this is about how I did it: 


6am: 3,500 in a 30 minute step workout

10am: 1,000 walking to a meeting across campus

12pm: 1,000 walking back across campus

5pm:  3,500 chasing the kids around on their bikes

7:30pm:  3,500 filling boxes at the food pantry

9:30pm:  2,500 dancing while DD showered and walking around the house at bedtime


I would not mind having the free time to do this every day.  Unfortunately, my days are rarely that calm and relaxed.  Though if DD gets her homework finished, maybe we can go on a chase-the-kids trip again.


I am having a hard time eating compliantly with this much exercise, though.  I had creamer in my coffee yesterday (Not Worth It!!).  Today I had a bit of Builder Bar and half a bagel.  Perhaps I just need to eat more when I get this much exercise.


ThyPeace, perhaps I should have had a second burger last night.

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So the end of the week was not a food success.  It all started with the awards ceremony on Thursday.  I decided walking into it that I would have a brownie and a bunch of fruit, and leave it at that.  I did that.  But then there were Piles and Piles and Piles of brownies left.  I mean seriously.  Piles.  So I ended up going back for more brownies the rest of the day and into the long evening -- I was at work until 9:30pm.  Ugh.  I haven't had a sugar hangover that bad in ages.  I was literally shaking when I got home and went to bed.


What's worse is that I had MORE of the darned brownies on Friday.  Sheer insanity, because I knew how I was going to feel afterward and did it anyway.  Blagh. 


Today I am spending the day close to DH so that I have someone whose presence keeps me accountable.  So far I've had a huge Chop't salad, some almond butter, and some dried mango.  Perhaps not the most ideal choices, but far better than the last two days.


Obviously sheer availability was part of the problem.  And this is the second week in a row I've made poor food choices while at work late and by myself.  So I think I need to figure out how to shift my environment.  I also need to work my self-discipline muscles.  I think they're far too flabby right now.


It did not help that my period was about to start and I wasn't paying attention to the "need more carbs" signals I was getting.  I also think that the shift to more protein came at a price of a bit too much of a drop in calories.  My entire being was wandering around wanting more food, something that happens when I spend more than a week being actively hungry.  Even if I do lose weight, it's not a long-term way to do it, apparently.


Anyway.  Back to better eating for me, and maybe a few more carbs.  Potatoes and sweet potatoes are my friends. 


ThyPeace, and bread is probably a gateway food for me, even if it does taste good.

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Whew.  Back to compliant eating for the last five days.  I feel better, definitely.  And I've gotten more than 10,000 steps the last five days, too.  That feels good.  And I have noticed biceps in my arms.  Pretty sure those weren't there the last time I checked. 


Went running (me)/biking (DD) the other morning.  That was really fun.  We only got to be out for 20 minutes, but having DD along so early in the morning was awesome.  We both enjoyed it, and I hope she will be wiling to come along again. 


To do that, we need to get her to bed earlier.  And honestly, at this point that literally needs the intervention of a mental health professional.  It's a long, complicated story, but so far DD has been diagnosed with migraines (started when she was 4), ADHD and anxiety (both diagnosed when she was 7 but clearly there for a long time before that), eye tracking problems (kindergarten or so), slow processing speed (also when she was 7), and probably some other things.  The anxiety is really creating the most problems -- she can't shower alone, go upstairs by herself, fall asleep by herself, talk to strangers, and a host of other things.  In the last year, a hand-washing and germ thing has started to become a ritualized behavior, which is a worry to everyone who pays attention to her.


So... my ex and I met with our parenting coordinator, who was originally the person who kept us from killing each other, and is now our best ally in our work to try to get DD the services and treatment she needs.  Which is incredibly hard.  Because DD is also highly gifted.  In spite of all the challenges, she is a straight A student who is universally regarded by the adults around her as one of the kindest kids they know. 


It's a constant battle to make things work with DD.  Even food is hard -- I think I've mentioned some of those compromises here before.  It's been a huge breakthrough to get her to eat hamburgers again.  And a miracle!  She's decided hummus is edible!! 


In any case, we are getting another level of help because our parenting coordinator knows every health professional in our county -- including the nationally recognized pediatric anxiety expert who happens to be the head of the practice we already have DD at, and where things are really not progressing much.  So one phone call shifted all that stuff, and now my ex and I have a lot more to do, but maybe it will help us with this particular layer of dealing with the unique set of stuff that is DD. 


And hence, we may one day be able to say, "DD, time for bed.  Good night!"  Rather than spending two hours unwinding her and peeling her off the ceiling and calming her down to get her to sleep. 


Or at least, that's my hope.  (Note:  DD will have her bat mitzvah in January when she turns 13.  But if you met her, you would do well to think of her as a highly academically gifted 5th grader.)


ThyPeace, this has nothing to do with food, but hey.  It's where my brain went. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

As I look back on my last post, I realize that the stress associated with DD's disabilities has everything to do with food.  And the rest of my Whole9 life.  Watching DD have a tantrum every single night is just not healthy for any of us.  I've been hosting my parents and sister for the last several days, which is both helpful and stressful.  Mom commented on my "authoritarian" style with DD.  (She did it in a lovely roundabout way, suggesting a book that was the basis of the Montessori movement.)  And then watched as I tried a slightly different approach, only to have DD melt into an absolutely spectacular 2 hour screaming fest.  Perhaps she will observe a little longer before making suggestions next time. 


But she did get me thinking.  DD's stress has to do with my desire to be on time, and DD's complete inability to speed up a process just because we are running late.  For her, Every. Single. Step. Must. Be. Complete.  This is particularly apparent at bedtime, when the steps include things like washing her hair bands and using four (4!) tissues to dry them.


So I can either drive us both insane, or continue to do what I have known for years, which is that for a calm bedtime, I have to allow her the time to do what -she- thinks needs to be done, no matter what I think about what needs to be done.


That's really easy to say.  And really hard to accomplish when it's 9pm and she should already be asleep.  




Getting her to bed means getting me to bed means getting me enough sleep means getting me (and her!) less stress and more resiliency to deal with the stresses that do come.


It's a good goal.  It was far easier over the summer.  The school year is definitely interfering with our fun!  We'll keep working at it, though.  


For tonight, it means that we need to get gymnastics class, homework, and dinner with friends and grandparents done by about 7:30pm, giving us four hours from when I pick her up from the bus.  You'd think that would be possible.  


ThyPeace, had a birthday over the weekend.  Had tacos and apple crisp for her "special" meal.  Loved it, and don't feel a need to do it again until next year.

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Feels like forever since I posted here.  And it has been a while.  It's been a non-compliant few days.  Not screaming headlong into junk food, really.  Just having hummus and pita bread a few times, stuff like that.  I think it's okay.  The last few days have been very high stress for me, as I was blindsided (that's not really the right word; I was aware of some of them, but not how serious they were) by some workplace issues.  I am still not completely sure that I believe what was passed along to me.  It was highly critical of me and my leadership, but all of the commentary was anonymous so I have no specifics and no way to tell my side of the story -- because I don't know what events led to the criticism.  Difficult, to put it mildly.  I'm struggling mightily not to be angry or defensive about it.  Some of the time I succeed.


So, yeah.  Not the most perfect of times.  But I'm making it through.  Thank goodness I had started an exercise program.  The only time I can think straight is when I'm working out at the moment.  Totally normal when your adrenaline has hijacked your system, but lordy, it feels awful.  My husband really didn't enjoy helping me figure out how to see straight over the weekend.  He'd distract me for a while, and then I'd go right back to thinking about it.  Sigh. 


I am somewhat better now, and luckily it has not affected my sleep significantly.  Sleep and exercise make almost everything better.


In spite of it all, I am holding steady or slightly lower on weight.  That's a good thing.  My yearly checkup is this Friday.  I'm looking forward to having the blood chemistry numbers.  Going a whole year without data is a really long time when you're starting to get used to checking your steps and pulse every few hours.


Oh.  And my mom says I look great.  "Svelte" is the term she used.  I don't even know what that means exactly, but hey.  Thanks mom!


ThyPeace, craving toast at the moment.  Will settle for an apple.

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Continuing to hold on the weight, continuing to work through the very difficult work situation.  Had a couple of days of just complete depression; my body coming off the adrenaline kick, I think.  It was hard to function, but I am continuing to work out.  10,000 steps every day this week so far, and the two weeks before that, too.  Best of all, I do have a support network.  They may not work in this office, but I've worked in my organization in various capacities for fifteen years now.  I know I'm not perfect and so do they -- but we all know that I am also not a ravening beast.  So I have gotten some very good advice, some much-needed sympathy, and a couple of thoughts on exit strategies if things continue to go badly.  All very helpful.


And my workouts are getting more challenging as I become more fit.  I like that.


ThyPeace, and DD is surviving her homework.  Good stuff.

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Still here, still working, still dealing.  Food has shifted back from "fair" to "good" over the last few days.  Not compliant -- there is hummus and whole-grain Wasa bread in my world.  And far too much dried fruit.  Still, I feel pretty good.


Got my blood work numbers back, finally.  I'm not quite back to where I was in 2012, but getting there.  (2012 was the best year ever -- I was really doing things right, except that I was drinking smoothies instead of eating real food and eventually got too hungry to continue.)


ThyPeace, need to think about how to get back there while eating real food.

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I saw 178.5 yesterday morning for the first time since I got married in 2008.  That's a good thing.  I have a feeling it was partly because I was dehydrated yesterday.  Still, I do seem to be continuing to creep downward at this point.  Not really sure why or how -- I haven't been compliant, haven't been eating template meals, and have been a bit lax about tracking my food -- but I'll take it.  It may be that I'm finally done shifting my body composition and that has allowed my body to start shedding mass again.  Sure took a long time to shift that body composition, though.


I do notice the difference.  I'm still surprised that there are muscles in my legs and arms, and occasionally I wonder how they got there.  I really don't feel as though I'm working out all that hard.  I am, though, getting more and different protein than I've gotten in the past.  Perhaps that's enough of a difference.


I've also been thinking more about 2012 and what I was doing then that got me such good results.  I think it may boil down to two things.  First, I was being very careful about the kinds of fat that I was putting into my body.  More careful than I have been with Whole30.  Then, I was having fish oil, fish, and flax seed a lot, for example.  Today, I do get fish, but not as often, and have not been supplementing with the other two.  Worth trying again.  Definitely the flax seed and real fish first.  I'm lousy at remembering pills.


And I was eating some things -- tofu, for example -- that I have not been eating the last year or so.  Legumes have had absolutely no negative effects for me, so I may consider shifting some of my protein intake to tofu.  That'll be hard on DH, but having tofu for some of my snacks would make my life a bit easier.  My body really seems to think I'm getting enough meat and eggs, so something else needs to be added in if I'm going to increase the total amount any more.


I did a cheese experiment this evening.  DH ran across a very aged and very sharp cheddar, so got me a sample.  I had a tiny amount the other day with no ill effects, so had a bit more (maybe half an ounce?) tonight.  It was a nice treat, and a nice change of pace.


I was reading somewhere that the toxins in some foods are possibly what make them good for us, because they get the body to wake up and "clean up" after the mess, with some extra cleanup as the reason that it's good.  I find that fascinating, counter-intuitive, and worth more readng.  I always figured that toxic was toxic, but then again, every single thing we ingest is toxic if you consume enough of it.  Amazing how complicated out bodies are.


I'm supposed to be finishing some work, so I guess I better closet this window down.


ThyPeace, would really rather go to sleep.

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It's the day after Halloween.  Seems like it would be a good thing to declare a Whole21 for the three weeks between today and Thanksgiving.  Or a Whole24, or however many days it is from now until then.  Except that I really don't want to give up the legumes.  It's time to start making lentil soup and chili, you know?  Bah.  I'll figure it out as I go. 


Yesterday was wholly uncompliant.  Hot dogs, burgers, pizza, candy, and alcohol.  Oh, and french fries and onion rings.  DH suffered from it far more than I did -- he ended up literally sick to his stomach last night, was up in the night feeling poorly, and still felt wrong this morning.  Poor guy. I probably had a bit less total food than he did, and did not feel quite so bad.  Still, I don't feel any desire to repeat the experience.


I'm still trending a bit lower, which is good.  Still working out, though today was a day of utter rest for me.  The most vigorous thing I did was walk around the grocery store.  Which reminds me.  What happened to that old-fashioned concept, a day of rest once every seven days?


Then again, we have also lost much of the concept of a hard day's work.


ThyPeace, I guess it balances.  Or not.

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a long time since I posted, and a hard journey.  On November 2, the day after I last posted on this thread, my father in law was in a car accident. He blacked out while driving and plowed into a car that was stopped to turn left in front of him.  That car was pushed into the path of an oncoming vehicle which swerved and they missed each other -- but the oncoming vehicle hit my father in law's car.  He refused treatment, but the officer who arrived on the scene convinced him to go to the hospital anyway, where he collapsed in the ER waiting room.  They found that he had 6 broken ribs and some minor-seeming internal injuries.  There was also a pre-existing cyst on his kidney and "something" on his pancreas that would need to be looked at later.  They transported him to the local trauma center, which kept him overnight for observation and then sent him home.


He spent one night at home, and the next morning there was something terribly wrong.  He was rushed back to the hospital (a third one) and then transported by helicopter to the trauma center.  They eventually determined that he had a massive infection -- sepsis -- and put him on an enormous number of drugs to try to stabilize his blood pressure and fight the infection.  They also put him on a ventilator.  That night, the doctors thought he was going to stabilize. But I convinced DH to pack a bag anyway, which he took to work the next morning.


That next morning, the call came -- my father in law was not going to survive.  The infection was completely out of control, his organs were being damaged and starting to fail, and only the medication to keep his blood pressure up and the ventilator were keeping him alive.  My husband picked up the bag he'd taken to work and headed for the airport.  He asked -- begged -- that his father wait for him to arrive so that he could say goodbye. 


It was one of the hardest days of my husband's life. 


He got there at about 5pm, after 8 hours of traveling.  My father in law lived until 10:30pm.  They had quiet time, time with family, and general time to connect.  My father in law was never really conscious, but I choose to believe that he heard and understood what was said to him.


That was a Thursday.  On Saturday, I flew out to join my husband and his family, and we continued the long process of grieving, letting go, picking up strands of life that were fraying, and finding ways to go on.  The good solid people of my father in law's community fed us what they thought would be comforting, and I spent a lot of time holding hands and handing out tissues and keeping people's emotions from spilling over onto other people who were also hurting.


The healthiest thing we ate was a soup I made from an excess of vegetables from a vegetable tray.  Most of what we ate was lasagna and sandwiches and chips and desserts.  I think there was a burger in there somewhere.


From then until today has been a blur of the wrong foods, the wrong stress levels, the wrong amounts of sleep, and the rest of life crowding back into spaces that are far too small.  Other events -- DD's bat mitzvah, her diagnosis with OCD and her off-the-charts anxiety, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, DH's major work projects -- are keeping us from any more than sheer survival.


I've gained six pounds as of today, which is down from the gain of eight pounds a few days ago.  I feel generally crappy, which is helping me to return to healthier behaviors.  But I still had bread and olive oil this evening after supper, and am still really struggling to remember that food just isn't actually comforting no matter how many times I try to make it be comforting.


DH, well, he looks awful.  I think he's gained more like ten pounds, and his skin is kind of the wrong color.  Which is sad -- when I compared him to everyone around us at the gatherings right after his dad passed away, he looked markedly healthier than everyone else.


From now until January 9 (DD's bat mitzvah), there is no such thing as peace and quiet. 


But I am slowly getting back to being able to eat better.  Slowly slowly slowly.  Tomorrow is the work holiday party, at which I will attempt to eat well.  I'll fail, of course, but I'll try.  And then I have a week until Christmas, where most of my family will at least understand when I decline most sweets -- but still will make far too many sugar cookies just for the fun of it.




I like how 178.5 felt far better than I like how sugar cookies taste.  And I'll still eat the darned things.


ThyPeace, making it back here to post is a sign of things slowly returning to normal.  Slowly.

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Oh my goodness. What a time of it you've had..... Slowly, slowly, slowly as you said yourself.

One deep cleansing breath at a time, one meal at a time - be kind to yourself, and you'll get there in the end.


Thinking of you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Surfacing for a moment.  Lived through all the Christmas and New Year's stuff and didn't worry too much about food.  That gave me an interesting insight.  I gained weight and felt yucky, of course, eating the way that I used to eat.  Which was still far better than the standard American diet, but also involved far too much sugar, wheat, processed carbs, alcohol, and cheese.  I don't regret any of it -- it was delicious!  And I'm glad to be back to eating more healthfully.


The tipping point came on a day when I had had some very aged (like 7 years) cheddar cheese and about 6 ounces of red wine, plus lots of sugar.  Boy, I felt awful after that!  I also noticed that my heart was racing and I felt flushed everywhere.  I figured that I might be dehydrated, but also had an intense craving to eat Whole30 foods.  So I drank lots of water and, on a dime, shifted back to Whole30 stuff.  My resting heart rate, which has been going up steadily since my birthday in October, hit a peak rate of 78 for the second time in the last couple of months.


After thinking about it, looking back through my food journals and comparing it to my resting heart rate records, and reviewing everything my mom has ever said about the subject, I'm thinking that I'm probably sensitive to tyramine and/or phenethylamine.  They're chemicals that occur in aged foods (wine, cheese, various fermented foods) and cause racing hearts in those who are sensitive.  I suspect that something in sugar and processed foods also does this to me, albeit at a somewhat less intense level.


Which, I have to say, really really REALLY suck because that aged cheddar was one of the best things I've had in a really long time.  I'm lactose intolerant, so getting to eat a little fantastic dairy was a nice treat.  I may try that in isolation from everything else and see what happens -- perhaps it will be something I can tolerate in low amounts.


In any case, I was compliant all last week until New Year's Eve, when I ate a piece of pumpkin pie to celebrate DD's birthday.  I had been planning to do that, so hadn't started counting days or anything.  I am going to eat compliantly for the rest of this week too, and may have a planned variation next weekend during DD's bat mitzvah celebrations.  (Sorbet, probably, at the party.)  After that, my next Whole30 starts. 


Even with the just mostly compliant eating, I feel a thousand percent better.  I've lost weight, my clothes aren't tight anymore, my hands aren't puffy, and I'm starting to have more energy.  Yay me!


ThyPeace, expects to surface again after the bat mitzvah.  Y'all be good now!

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I should add that my resting heart rate has dropped from 78 to 70 in a week.  That's according to my Fitbit, which has some odd algorithm that it uses to calculate resting heart rate.  My actual resting heart rate dropped from 72 to 62.  (As measured when I'm, you know, resting.)  My low heart rate each night has dropped from 68 back down to 56.  All in the right direction, though with a ways to go.  I expect my fully compliant resting (as measured by Fitbit) heart rate to be about 64, with an actual resting heart rate in the high 50s.


ThyPeace, numbers girl.

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Hi Thypeace, I have moved this to the Post Whole30 Log section of the forum because you are sharing some intimate information and all the sections of the forum except the log sections are searchable by anyone whereas the Logs require a user to log in to view.  Just a little extra privacy for you.

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Hi Ladyshanny -- 


Thanks for the thought.  My own sense of privacy, shaped by 30 (good grief it really has been that long) years on the Internet (actually Arpanet at the very beginning) is that nothing is ever private once it's written down.  Still, having something in a slightly less searchable place may not be a terrible thing.


ThyPeace, you should have seen what I was willing to say when I was in college....

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Can't write much as I have a meeting in seven minutes.  But a quick update -- I am back to work after DD's bat mitzvah.  For those who have not attended one, it's about the same level of crazy as a wedding, but with a 13-year old girl who has to learn a bunch of Hebrew blessings and scripture (Torah and haftorah) and then write an 800 word speech about what it all means.  It was exhausting.


We had lots of family in town starting on Tuesday and through tomorrow.  I did not expect myself to remain compliant during this, so was pleasantly surprised at how little off-roading there was.  A total of four ounces of wine over the weekend, a shot of rum, and on Sunday, baklava, cookies, and bread.  Everything else was compliant or really good at hiding its non-compliant ingredients.  I felt generally lethargic and bloated after all the carbs on Sunday.  Wasn't surprised that it happened, though, as I had eaten far too little in the previous three days of prep.  Yesterday I went back to eating compliantly.


Something is bothering my stomach, though wine and bread don't usually.  I suspect it was the Very Large Amount of broccoli, kale, and cauliflower over the last few days.  Broccoli in particular is a known problem.  It's okay if it's fully cooked and ground up into soup, but I believe it was also in the super-foods salad mix that I bought at Costco and used for a couple of the group meals at my house.  It could also be that there was dairy in the deli tuna salad, thought that would be unusual.


Once my body calms down from the broccoli-related bloat and gas, I think I'll probably be the same weight as last week.  My resting heart rate has remained at 70 this entire time, so the little bit of wine doesn't seem to have had an impact.  Totally okay with me to stick we smaller quantities there; I've never been much of a drinker.


Didn't work out every day, but got lots of exercise from running around to different stores and just being active at the parties.  I went for a quick run this morning (all of 20 minutes) and it felt okay but not great.  Another sign of not eating perfectly well!


ThyPeace, time for my meeting!

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Sigh.  Well, for absolutely no apparent reason yesterday, I decided to eat chocolate, then chocolate, then cookies and cake, and then more candy.  All in the course of about three hours in the late afternoon.  Part of it was ending up at work far later (5 1/2 hours) than I expected, and not bringing enough food to cover a 12 hour day.  The rest, well, I think it was that magical thinking thing.  You know, "It doesn't matter if I have a little bit of..."




ThyPeace, picking up and moving on.  Made sure to get a good night's sleep last night, though sacrificed a workout to do it.

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