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Pea

Susie in her Sixties

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Day Zero

 

I'm coming out of a gluten, dairy, sugar, stress overload period, but no whining or crying aloud. Suffice it to say that I will be 61 years old in July. I have an autoimmune condition (ankylosing spondylitis) which affects my spine; I've had 5 major operations in the past 8 years, including one for thyroid cancer; and I LOVE life and I want to feel good and enjoy it. I *know* IT STARTS WITH FOOD. It doesn't end there, this yearning for the good life, but it starts there. 

 

So here are my intentions for the 30 days:

 

1. Follow the Whole30 rules.

2. Watch the attitude: this is not deprivation, this is a gift I am giving myself. Set a nice table. Make a nice presentation of food.

3. Passover is a challenge. There will be enough whole30 compliant foods to construct a compliant plate for the meals, but I am deciding ahead of time to do the following: 1 bite of gluten free matzoh for ritual purposes, and four sips (not cups) of wine at the two seders I will attend. I will not count this as a failure. 

4. No going from sedentary to 60 miles an hour with exercise (even if I could, which I can't). My goal: 45 minutes of movement at day----walking, swimming, easy cycling. That's it. Nothing more. When I drop some of my excess weight and begin to feel better, I can consider something else. That's it for now. And it doesn't have to be all at once---I have a 20  minute loop around my neighborhood, I can do that 2 or 3 times in a day and call it a constitutional----or as the Italians say, "passeggiata." 

 

TROUBLESHOOTING

My biggest problem is eating all evening. I need some stress reduction strategies other than peanut butter and whipped cream sandwiches. So here it is: in the evening, if I am home, I will make some chamomile and lavender tea; take a warm bath with epsom salts, grab a book and go to bed early and read. If I feel an urge, I will come here to my log and write about it without acting on it. I will also experiment with a slow evening walk right after dinner, to interrupt the habit-switch of beginning to fight with myself about whether or not to eat when not hungry. 

 

Today is farmer's market day so I am off to buy some lovely veggies, and also some high quality fish and meats. I will be ready for official day one tomorrow! 

 

 

 

Susie at Sixty

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Today turned out to be day one! I had a great day: breakfast was 3 eggs with salsa and some sugar snap peas; lunch was a hearty chicken soup with zucchini noodles; dinner was an artichoke with melted ghee, mashed cauliflower, and some roasted turkey thigh, a small portion of nuts for "dessert." Lots of water, herbal tea to drink. I managed to do 1 loop of my neighborhood walk today. Onward, it's a start! 

 

What's amazing to me is how quickly the raging "gotta eats" leave me when I eat like this! What a blessing! 

 

Nighty-night!

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My official Day One! 

 

Woke up this morning hungry. Rejoiced in that---this is the first morning I've woken up hungry in ages. I know it's because yesterday was a 100% "whole" day. Three meals, no snacks, followed the template. 

 

 

The Plan for Today:

Brekkie this morning: 2 eggs, sauteed peppers and onions with capers, 1/4 avocado. 

Lunch: Nicoise salad with greens, hard boiled egg, tuna, olives. 

Dinner: Chorizo spiced beef meatballs, zucchini and japanese sweet potato noodles in curry sauce. 

 

Movement: 2 loops of the 'hood (40 min. walk)

 

Have a great day, all! Be back to report on the plan.

 

Pea

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Day Two:

 

Slept well. Mood is good. 

 

I made the most amazing brekkie! Sauteed some onion in olive oil and ghee, then added arugula for a nice base to the main attraction: cauliflower "pancakes." (Not the SWYPO variety). I had some leftover mashed cauliflower to which I added a chopped up spicy beef meatball and 1 beaten egg. Then I fried them and topped the sauteed greens with the pancakes and a dab of no-sugar salsa. SO yum! 

 

For lunch I will make the same pancake concoction but with some canned salmon instead of the meatball, and I will curry it up with curry spices and add some raw vegetables to the plate. (I love raw carrots and snap peas). 

 

Dinner will be the spicy meatballs in tomato sauce over zucchini noodles. 

 

The most amazing thing to me is how eating in this template changes my grazing---especially my all-evening-long binge into three satisfying meals with predictable hunger signals. It changes hunger from a psychological/emotional drive to a physiologic drive, and that increases my sense of trust in my own body. 

 

Whole30, I think I love you.

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Day 3:

 

Meal 1 today: 1/4 avocado, raw red pepper, raw sugar snap peas, LF sauerkraut, olives, 3 oz. smoked salmon. I feel pretty good! Even just with 3 days I feel less bloated and less brain fog. NOTE TO SELF: you know from this and other whole30's that wheat, particularly, doesn't agree with you!!!! Don't eat it!!!!

 

Plans for today: thrift store shopping for costume for acting workshop! 

 

Meal 2: sardines, sauteed arugula, half a japanese sweet potato, 1/4 avocado. YUM!

 

Meal 3: spicy chorizo meatballs, sauteed spinach and mushrooms, zucchini noodles with tomato sauce. 

 

The one thing I am not doing well with is activity. I will ask for some help with this!

 

Pea

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Day Four.

 

Sleep was a little off last night, but not too bad. My meals are satisfying me, the constant clamor in my head for food, about food, is quieting down, my hunger feels increasingly physiologic. I write this and I shake my head, asking again, "If you can feel so steady and grounded on a good diet, why on earth would you ever go off?" Clearly, it is very possible---nay, likely---I will go far off the rails at a certain point of too many deviations from whole30 template. The question is, and this is a reintroduction question---how much is too much? What foods hasten the overindulgence? What about the whole30 quiets the system so effectively, like a lullabye for my appetite? 

 

There are a couple of things that seem critical to me, and the biggest one is eating enough, eating real meals, enough fat, enough fiber, enough protein. This alone allows me to spend my evenings doing things other than eating peanut butter and whipped cream sandwiches while watching Dance Moms, a show that is awful, exploitative, the nadir of everything that's wrong in our culture. I can't stop watching it, like the train wreck you can't help but stare at. 

 

But I digress. 

 

So what I need to be mindful of is the power of the Real Meal. The second thing is avoidance of sugar and simple starches. I am clearly carb-intolerant: i have a family history of diabetes and I have a 41 inch waist, clearly a Belly of Significance. 

 

When I was fit and in the groove, I allowed myself treats (like flourless chocolate cake, my favorite) on rare occasions. Only at restaurants. Never bring it home, it's a trigger food. Out of sight, out of mind. My default meal was a homemade whole30ish meal. I did not deny myself the pleasure of dining out, but when I did, I had a rule: EITHER one glass of wine OR a richer entree OR dessert. My usual choice was to seek grilled fish with steamed vegetables and baked potato and use my own olive oil packets, and have a glass of wine for my pleasure. 

 

I think I can live like that. I think most likely the first food I will introduce back into my diet will be beans. They are a whole food, part of many high-health world cultures, and while they bring more carb into the diet, they also bring fiber. (I prepare them at home from dried beans with long soaking times.) Greens and beans, Italian peasant food, is one of my favorite dishes. 

 

Anyway, the bottom line is for me to be mindful during this whole30 to see what is essential to carry forward. I may even elect to do another whole30 after allowing myself one restaurant meal with wine. We'll see. We are paying attention.

 

Today: meal one 1/2 japanese sweet potato, 2 eggs, ghee. 

            Meal two: arugula, 1/2 japanese sweet potato, sardines, olive oil, vinegar, a few olives

            Meal three: spicy beef meatballs with zucchini noodles, olive oil and garlic. 

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Day 5!

 

Feeling really good. I'm very proud of myself today. I started a group on Facebook to gather walking buddies around me. I posted a group calendar with all the days and time I'm planning to walk, and folks can sign up and come join me. They can invite other women and the walks can get pretty elaborate, with half day hikes and bring-your-own picnics. I had a walking buddy this morning, and my 20 minute walk turned into an easy and pleasurable 60 minute walk! I'm a social creature so creating this community of walking buddies is wonderful for me! It was the missing piece in my wellness journey. 

 

Ever since I totally burned out on the gym (from overtraining while sick with undiagnosed Lyme) I really HATE the gym. I just want to walk! Ok, and maybe cycle, too, but mostly walk. So this is fabulous for me.

 

Anyway, I have one particular challenge. I really want to finish this whole 30, and I started it with a friend, who is already making exceptions and isn't doing a whole30. I really want to do the whole, whole30. So I am noting to myself: no exceptions. "But Mom! My BFF is making exceptions to the whole30 rules!" "Susie, if your BFF was jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump, too?" 

 

I was in bad trouble before this whole30. Autoimmune disease, many operations, cancer. I already feel better and it's not psychological, it's clearly physiologic. My hunger goes from insatiable to such clear signals and so clearly related to my body's needs, it's like clearing static off the line. I want to go the distance and I know the way to do it is to just manage one meal, one day at a time. I am really loving not thinking about food all the time!

 

Meal 1: eggs, sauerkraut, 1/4 avocado

Meal 2: chicken, chopped chard topped with homemade cilantro pesto.

Meal 3: lamb liver, chopped chard, roasted cauliflower, cilantro pesto

 

Feeling good!

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Oh Susie, I was laughing as I read and wanting to just interrupt your words and say, "ME TOOOO!"

 

I'm also so amazed at how fast the "raging gotta-eats" and the grazing goes away.  I really feel like my body and brain is constantly questing for food when I eat the other foods and I don't really know if there is A trigger or if it's just a little of everything.  And, I too, wonder why the heck I don't eat this way normally and maintain it when I feel better, feel in control, feel healthier.....aye aye aye....it's just not easy being human. 

 

And you mentioned Dance Moms.  Oh, what an absolutely horrible show I too am drawn to it.  It's so fascinating.  That, and Toddlers in Tiaras.  Thankfully, we don't have a TV so I only get to watch when I'm in hotels on the exact right night and now I have kids that travel with me most times so even if it is on, I won't watch it with them.  But oh, I would love to sit with another human and watch some of these shows together and discuss what exactly is going on!

 

And then, Susie, I saw you ate arugula and sardines :) Really, how fantastic is it to run across another person that eats the same things.  I love arugula.  I love sardines. 

 

So anyway - I'm saying hello and wishing you well on this journey.  It's a good one for us to be on.

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Ah ladies!  This is truly a great journey to be on.  Like you Pea, I am in my 60's and now I wonder why I waited so long to do this.  Never a bad eater, but the past few years the downhill slide was taking over.  So in January I started the WH30 and when I finished decided this was the way to go.  

 

Yesterday, husband and I were out for the day and by the time we could eat lunch, the only place to eat was a deli.  He got a lovely smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich.  Hmmm, nothing liked good to me until I saw the beautiful beef in the deli case.  Cooked to perfection, those small rounds of protein called to me.  The beef and an apple was a perfect lunch.  

 

Good luck on this journey to better health.  And a 41" waist!  Since January mine has gone from 41 to 40.  Not great, but hey, my philosophy is where you gained last, you will lose first.  (Kind of like last in-first out rule).  My lower body has seen the benefits of this way of eating while my upper half is slowly catching up!

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Emma, I live in upstate NY. Come over and watch with me! We can eat sardines and arugula! Glad to make your acquaintance...: :)

 

 

 

 Linda, nice to 'meet' you! One inch off the belly probably represents some humungus improvement in health! I had to go shopping today for a formal gown for a future event, and if I had one inch less in the belly, I could have bought the ONE DRESS I liked! 

 

 

Today is Day 6. It was a strange day. For breakfast, I had 2 eggs, 1/4 avocado, salsa, sauerkraut. For the life of me, I couldn't eat lunch. I just was SO not hungry. I ate my second meal at 4pm: lamb liver, 1/2 japanese sweet potato, swiss chard with ghee. Than I came home from being out around 9:30pm hungry and ate 2 chicken sausages and 1/4 avocado. We'll what eating this late does to my morning hunger, but I am just trusting my body more. (Especially since it's not screaming "MUST. EAT. PEANUT BUTTER AND WHIPPED CREAM SANDWICHES!" 

 

Spent a lot of the day on my feet, trying on those $#@%^$ gowns.

 

Pea

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Such a shame - I'm in the opposite side of the country.  Alas.  It would have been great to have a TV partner, and a TV/Whole30 partner to boot!

 

Formal gowns!  Woo.  I did that this last summer and it was really difficult.  No fun when the one gown is the wrong size!

 

Hope you sleep well.

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Day 7.

 

Heading off to Farmer's Market. Tempted to get on the scale, but don't want to take a chance on triggering Weight Watcher thoughts. Be back later!

 

Brekkie: 2 eggs, sauerkraut. (Not hungry)

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So, day 7 eating done for the day.

 

Meal one was 2 eggs and sauerkraut. 

Meal two was lamb liver and swiss chard with 1/4 avocado.

I got hungry around 3pm and ate 1/2 apple with handful of walnuts

Meal three was Korean Short Ribs (from the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook) and spinach with pancetta and garlic. Some melon for dessert right after the meal. 

 

Feeling pretty good! Post whole 30, the biggest lesson is just how rare sugar indulgences need to be for me. If my rate of weight loss is slow, that's ok. If I am 10 pounds lighter at the end of a year, it's good. I think that could happen just by keeping sugar and bread out of my life.

 

Pea

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Day 8! 

 

Challenge of the day: I am going out for the day with my hubby. We are going to have lunch out---my first meal out in a restaurant since beginning the whole30.  For dinner, I plan on making beef burgers alongside a cole slaw with a cilantro pesto dressing, with some tomato avocado slices.

 

So it's only my lunch I need to concern myself with-----I told hubby I need to eat a diner-type place where I can control what I order. 

 

I also had a bout of the "I FEEL FAT"s yesterday. Most women know what this means. It means squeezing your belly with a vague feeling of disgust. It means hefting the girls to see how much they weigh. These thoughts and emotions passing through my mind led to an intense desire to get on the scale. But I knew, if I did, that if the number confirmed in any way my case of the "I Feel Fat"s I would abandon the whole30 and start counting calories or points. Which I know doesn't work for me, because my peanut butter and whipped cream sandwich binge was sparked by a 3 week flirtation with Weight Watchers! 

So I didn't get on the scale, and I am here on Day 8. 

 

Pea

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Good morning, whole30 world!

 

Didn't sleep well last night, second night in a row. I'm glad I'm retired, it doesn't matter so much. Getting better sleep is something I'm hoping for!

 

Also still struggling with the "I Feel Fat"s. Wrote a post about it in the troubleshooting forum. I'm okay enough---I mean, I am not about to sabotage this whole 30 and get on the scale, but I am mindful of these obsessive thoughts about gaining weight and getting anxious about whether I will lose any belly fat. 

 

The rational side of me tells me that it's going to take a lot more than 30 days to repair the damage of 10 years of nearly relentless stress. That I need to relax into my whole30 a bit. That eating on the low carb side of whole food is going to have to be my default nutritional position if I want to decrease my belly fat and reduce my inflammatory state. 

But something is running scared inside me. I have to learn to keep clearing the static off the line from my body to my mind, and create a condition of good self-regulation. Clearly, traditional desserts cause static, bread causes static, sweets of all sorts causes static. I like a nice, clean, uncluttered body signal about food needs. 

 

Well, today's plans:

 

1. Take a quick 20 minute walk this morning right after brekkie.

2. Eggs, avocado, sugar snap peas for meal one

3.  Short rib with pesto and arugula salad for lunch.

4. Shrimp with arugula salad and avocado for dinner. 

 

Long day today----

 

Pea

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Day 10!!!!!

 

A little relief from the "I Feel Fat"s today. Getting out at 10am for 2.3 mile walk helped. 

 

meal one: sugar snap peas, 1/4 avocado, can of sardines

meal two: shrimp, a few strawberries, 1/4 avocado, sugar snap peas, a little meat sauce

meal three: grilled lamb, steamed spinach with ghee, baked potato

 

A little more oomph today.  

 

Pea

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Congrats on ignoring the scale and all that it does.  I've got a touch of the IFF today as well.  I'd had big hopes that I'd start Whole30 and miraculously slim down.  Ha.  I know that's not the case, but the last few days I've been bloated and then I assess my body and bleh!  Of course, I'm not exercising at all and I know I need to add that in.  I can envision myself feeling healthier and active, but it's also a long way off.  Small steps.

 

I'm absolutely horrible around the sugars and when you write about your reaction to them, it really seems like you're talking about me.  I know I can eat paleo baked goods (not during Whole30) and they don't trigger the out of control eating that regular baked goods do.  Or at least, they allow me to still be in control.  Crazy powerful things foods are.  Last night I was reading about bitters and how they help curb sugar cravings.  I'm curious about them and wonder how they'd sit in my body.  Overall, I'm so much happier on Whole30 because I don't think about foods and grazing and picking up junk food from the store that I have to keep hidden from my kids.

 

Best wishes for a oomph filled day tomorrow!

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Thanks, Emma! Have a great day, yourself! 

 

Day 11!

 

I am waking up at 3 or 4am and being up for about an hour and a half. Then I can get back to sleep for another hour. It's ok, I'm retired, thank goodness. 

 

I am realizing how long the time line is for nurturing health. How little good it does to focus on the scale. Bodies are not machines. The response to a clean diet is not linear. I'm 60 years old. I've had weight changes in my life of almost 100 pounds! That leaves the machinery with its share of rust! If anything, it tells me calorie restriction to any significant degree, is sure to backfire. It tells me that the best road for me for the rest of my life is indulge my body with deeply good, loving, extremely kind and thoughtful choices. In other words, no Weight Watchers, a commitment to deep nutrition, and a careful understanding about the role of sweets in a good life. I am not going to say "never" but I belief the kind and loving understanding is that my word should be "rare and special" when applied to treat foods. 

 

Anyway, today is Day 11! Almost halfway there!

 

Meal 1: 2 eggs, sugar snap peas, sauerkraut on a bed of arugula with some olive oil and sauerkraut juice...:)

Meal 2: sardines, arugula, 1/4 avocado, EVOO and vinegar, 1/2 apple in the salad

Meal 3: chicken drumsticks, swiss chard, small japanese sweet potato, ghee

 

Plan: at least a 40 min. walk.

 

Pea

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