Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Battle is Bloody!

The last week has been a battle for my health. I've said I knew the real battle was about to begin, but I hoped it would be an easy enemy to defeat. But...

I followed the guidelines of 'Unprocessed Food' for two weeks, not 100% but close. There are a few areas I struggle with. I'm not convinced that dairy is bad for me, or beef. However I've had very little of either, except I have used some butter, as I also believe fat is good. 

But whilst my weight has been reasonably well behaved, my blood sugar levels have been rising alarmingly, peaking at first reading in the morning of 9.1 on Monday. They were rising last week and I was very disappointed. My great friend and head of my health cheering squad suggested I restrict my fruit and other carb intake. I didn't react well to that suggestion. I love fruit. 

And I was very frustrated. I had eaten only two meals with meat in two weeks. For a girl who was raised on a cattle property, it goes against all my life belief. The only carbohydrate I had eaten was on the good list of carbs, eg Spelt flour (one table spoon in two weeks!). On two occasions I ate sweets that were prepared with all clean ingredients. The results were disastrous, blood sugar wise. I had eaten out twice, both times at the Paleo restaurant with meals that were clean. 

I fought, kicking and screaming, for about three days as I watched my blood sugar leave the normal range behind. It has been very discouraging. 

Something changed on the weekend. Maybe the battle was won in my mind. But here is my determination!
I will have two days a weeks of minimum food, that is Chia seeds with lemon for breakfast, juice for lunch and light vege soup for dinner. I did that on Monday. Yesterday was a tough, stressful day for me, which is always a dangerous place for a diabetic and one who turns to food for comfort. I made the biggest salad ever seen and took that and three left over Pecan and Ricotta patties to the beach and ate my way through it. I was so full that I couldn't have eaten another thing if I tried! Last night Steve took me out for dinner, an activity we have indulged in for years. I ordered Grilled Salmon on Asian Salad, with horseradish sauce on the side. I didn't touch the sauce, but the rest was wonderful. And two hours later my blood sugar was great. Thanks Preece's restaurant at Redcliffe.

This morning my blood sugar was 6.9. It's nearly back. Yay. The major decision is no carbs. Not even the clean ones. None. I will reassess that decision when everything is stable again. Weight wise, the scales went to 79.9 on Monday. There is no way I'm going to let it show me an 80 again! Yesterday it was back to 78.9. That's only 0.6 higher than when my digestive system was empty, so I'm happy with that. 
And I have walked three days out of the last four. My sore hips have been doused in fish oil and are behaving much better! Today I had a larger breakfast as pictured. I'll see how my sugar reacts. I also had some Chia seeds in water and lemon juice so I'm feeling full, which helps.

I have added a couple of bad pics. One is with my new toy that arrived in the mail yesterday. It makes spaghetti out of zucchini or other vegetables. Pretty amazing I thought. (Excuse the tired face!)
A friend took the other in church on Sunday. Those who have known me will see a big body difference, even though the photo is blurry. 

Keep cheering for me. I will win this battle and regain full health. 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lifestyle Change is happening

One week into Life style Change.

It is wonderful to be eating - but not as wonderful as being 9 kilos lighter!
It is wonderful to be eating, but that enjoyment is enhanced by not eating for thirty days! My taste buds are sharper, food is different and somehow more enjoyable.

But before I talk too much about food, I want to focus on the benefits of the program I have been following. I feel better - much better in myself. I'm sleeping well, and that of itself makes a big difference.

My stomach is flatter than its been for years! Yay!

My energy levels are higher. When I sit the dust annoys me and I do something about it. Before I wasn't even noticing such things as doing anything was too hard. I have sat in a chair for an hour waiting for the energy to get up and do the next little job. Yesterday morning I did three loads of washing, made a cheese cake and cleaned up the kitchen. Then I swept and washed all the floors and was ready to go shopping by ten. This may be normal to you and used to be normal for me, but not since Diabetes took charge, and especially not since I've been on medication. It has been difficult to do the basics.

My interest level is better. Cooking is interesting, not a chore.

My sense of humor has returned, along with the energy to hold great conversations with interesting people.

Has all this happened just because I've changed what I put in my mouth? Can that be? This is a big learning. Why do we pop two little Panadol and expect a headache to go, and yet we eat slabs of sugary products and complain when we feel sluggish. We connect the medical results to what goes in our mouth, and yet don't connect our food consumption with bodily responses. So I've adopted a new guideline.

  1. Does this food taste good?
  2. Is this food good for my body?
  3. Does this food move me toward optimum health?
If there aren't three yeses, then I am determined to reject it. 
Last night the graduates from our arm of the Diabetic Lifestyle Change met for a meal together. It was a wonderful evening. Everyone is excited and pleased. We ate a four course meal prepared by Jo Pratt. The food was prepared from fresh unprocessed food and it was scrumptious. I'm sorry I didn't think of taking photos until they served the cake. (These recipes are available on the Diabetic Health Clinic website.) I can assure you they were moist very tasty and they didn't trigger high blood sugar readings. Many of us struggled to enjoy them as such foods have caused guilt feelings for so long that we have nearly forgotten to enjoy good food!

We were all presented with certificates of Achievement. It feels good to have pushed on past the struggles and to have earned the award. That's me on the left and Steve on the right being rewarded for supporting me all the way. Peter and Jo Pratt are in the middle. It seems appropriate. I could never have made it without Peter and Jo's coaching, support and passion and Steve's quiet encouragement and confidence in me.

After such a feast last night, I felt like juice this morning and really enjoyed the freshness and simplicity. There is one important difference though. This was a meal of choice and I celebrated with a couple of tasty extras!

Weight is stable. Blood sugars are good. I'll report again next week. Thanks for your support. You have kept me honest.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Taste Sensations and Inadequate Underwear.

The fast is over. I did it. Thirty days of only vegetable juice. I'm pleased I've done it but I'm not in a hurry to repeat the exercise.

So I must be careful what I eat as I don't want to see the enemy Diabetes or Carb Monster get a foot hold in my life again. So far I have followed the recommended guidelines for the two days I have eaten. This has saved me from any pain or discomfort.

Day one. Juice for Breakfast and dinner. Steamed vegetables for lunch. Check. I really enjoyed the vegetables but to be able to sit with Steve and eat together was the highlight for me. (You can see I added eggs to Steve's) As for taste, the clear winner in flavour was the four tiny cherry tomatoes we picked from a wild bush in our backyard. They were a flavour explosion!

Day two. Juice for Breakfast and dinner. Vegetable soup for lunch. I chopped eight different vegetables of varying colours and taste and simmered them in water. I added parsley and oregano from my garden and some salt and pepper for flavour and ate three bowls. It warmed my belly and comforted my soul.

Meanwhile I've lost another half a kilo since I last reported. My weight loss has now become obvious, both to others and myself. I blink when I walk past a mirror. Who is that stranger in my house? And what has happened to my clothes? This morning I went for an early morning walk, wearing my old track suit. It doesn't get many airings in Queensland winters and I'll admit its been in my cupboard for a long time. However, it is hanging off me as it is a size 20. This morning as I left the house something was wrong with my attire. My clothes weren't as comfortable as usual. I wiggled my butt, trying to get things to fall into place. It got worse.

I then realised it was my nickers blowing in the wind. Usually tucked under jeans, I'd missed the fact they are too large. It just may be time to shop! (I decided to spare you pictorial evidence!) One day soon, I may even post an 'after' photo, but I'm hoping to lose more weight first.


Friday, 11 July 2014

One goal met and other coming tomorrow!

Day 28 & 29

One day to go! So close. Yet the closer I get the more I become aware that the battle isn't yet won. At the moment I'm desperate to grab a banana from the bowl every time I walk past, so I know my old snacking habits need a severe talking to!

Apparently it takes ninety days to make a new habit. Thirty days down and sixty to go! I'm glad there is a fixed menu for the next ten days. As I prefer more flexibility, I have never followed diets with fixed menus. This is where I get into trouble I suspect. But on this occasion I will follow it and try all the new foods I've never tasted before, like Chia seeds. I've never cooked with many of the ingredients either, so it will be an adventure. I'm hoping that my great desire for beef stew can wait a little longer!

Yesterday was a red letter day. I dropped a kilo on the scales! Yay. For the previous ten days my weight has been fiddling round, up and down, always trending down but oh, so slow. Now I can tell you that I have lost 10% of my body weight, 8.5 kilos. I was very excited to see that goal reached. I am lighter now that I have been for thirty years. Nearly time to buy cheap jeans to get me through the next month as more weight disappears.

I'm looking forward my first meal on Sunday. Intending to have pumpkin, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli for starters. I'll report on Monday. After that I'll continue to blog twice a week to record my continuing journey.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Is the finishing line a mirage?

Day 26 & 27

How can six days be so long? Until now I followed the fast, only looking at one day at a time. This week I could see the finish line so my focus changed to there. Now it seems like a mirage. So close and yet so far.

And it's not the finish. It is a marker on the way. Day 31 I still have two juices and one meal. Day 32 is similar.  However I am determined to follow the recommendations. I have an opportunity  and support to attain improved health. I must grasp it for all it's worth!

It is difficult to remember what I felt like before I started. This week I've put in full busy days. Even two weeks ago I couldn't have done that. I kept returning to my chair and looking for a nap. I'm sleeping soundly every night.  My sugars are steady in the normal range. The combined effect is strength to last the day. This is exciting. Things get done. Life happens. I like it.

Keep cheering for me. My legs may be aching but I will finish the race. Here's to the future.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Self Discipline has never been my strong point!

Day 24 & 25

Self Discipline! Not my favourite occupation. Not my favourite subject!

Fortunately I've had back stocks of the product that I haven't utilized over the past sixty years! I'm drawing on that source heavily right now. Yesterday Steve and I had lunch at a little coffee shop just north of Glasshouse. He had quiche and Salad. I drank a green juice I had made in the morning. His lunch was amazing. Mine was difficult to drink as I had added too much shallot. It was offset by a cup of 'Sunshine' herbal tea, freshly made by a local lady. That was a treat.

Last night as Steve ate a reheated lamb curry, frozen BF (Before Fast), I struggled with my warmed tomato juice. I'd even added olive oil, lemon and pepper for extra flavour. It was gross. I tipped it down the sink and pondered going to bed on water. I also pondered eating!

After procrastinating for a while, I rang my second conscience. (She lives up the coast.) and chatted to her whilst boiling a bunch of vegetables. The broth was wonderful. The veges went in the bin. Was it a waste? No, it was a good investment as I survived another difficult moment. In the light of day I have decided that tomato juice doesn't keep well. I'd juiced them that morning. Tonight I will pull out the machine and have fresh juice .

But I was talking about self discipline. As I discussed in blog on Day 8, Pushing toward Change, one can't make a change without a big enough vision of the benefits. This morning I watched the day dawn. In a way I'm watching my new life dawn. The fast has given me great benefits, but mostly it has made way for a Life Style Change. That change begins on Sunday.

At the moment I can see, on the horizon, the promise  of a life without Diabetes. This vision keeps my self discipline kicking in. The important change is only just starting. My choices from here on will determine my future. This morning I chose to start the day worshiping the Creator of the beautiful world I live in. It sets the tone for my day. How I choose to re-begin eating, will train my body for the future.

I'm thankful for Peter Pratt and his program and the stream of support and encouragement that inspires us to keep on pushing forward. I'm thankful for all of you who have taken the time to read and cheer me on. I know where I'm heading. This is Steve's lunch today. It has thirteen different whole foods in it and a little bit of cheese. As I packed it, I realised I'm packing for him the food I want so badly! It is coming. I get a salad on Monday!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Is It Worth all the Effort? Time to Assess.

Day 22 & 23

Yes! Only a week to go following stage one of this crazy adventure. This morning I even found myself wondering if I'd go longer. I slapped myself around the head a little and sanity has returned. The thought was triggered by nasty scales! I've only dropped 0.2 kilos since Monday which seems unreasonable to me, considering my calorie count. Meanwhile my fellow class mates post stories of great losses. I'm excited for them and celebrate their victories, reminding myself that 8.6% of my body has disappeared. 5.5 cms have vanished from around my waist and 1.5 cms from my neck in 23 days. All that is exciting, but it pales in the light of Blood sugar readings that haven't risen above 5.5 since last Sunday. This is indeed miraculous and I'm very thankful.

Today, for the first time, I made an effort to control the colours of my juice for the day. I though you'd like to see the results. Another first today was to add an orange to the carrot and celery for breakfast instead of an apple or pear. The result tasted just like orange juice. It was yummy. The green one I had for lunch wasn't as good, so I added the juice of a lime which improved it vastly. We are given recipes to follow, but I'm a maverick! I have never followed instructions for cooking anything except cakes.So I have used the suggestions to give me ideas and then gone ahead with my own imagination. I do try and record really nice ones!

This time next week I'll be planning my first meal. The recommended menu is lightly steamed vegetables. What would you choose? I can tell you it won't be carrot!

For two days I've been trying to deal with a constantly running nose. Was it a cold, or was it my body cleansing my sinus, which I'm sure needs every effort it can throw their way! Today, it hasn't run at all. I've gone from forty tissues a day to one. How exciting to fear a cold and know you've avoided it. Yay! I do have a cold sore starting on my lip. Maybe they are being healed as well!

My hips were very sore again last night, but I think the problem is I forget to take my fish oil tablets. When I do they are much better. However, the pain didn't wake me until I'd had six hours solid sleep. That is a great improvement on my previous sleeping habits. Last night I took some pain killer and went back to sleep for another two hours. Today I've been fresh to write. 5,700 words done. It's a great beginning.