Sunday, 29 June 2014

Boredom, Pain and a bright Future

Day 16 & 17

Seventeen days of only juice. Yesterday I was so sick of drinking the stuff. I felt as though I couldn't swallow another mouthful. Maybe the problem was I had an unexpected drive to the hospital to pick up a grandchild early Saturday morning. I got up and left at 5.30 am. The bottle of vegetable juice I had ready for such an occasion came in handy. So my first juice for the day was a commercial one. It had no added sugar or preservatives, but had a metallic taste. I had about 350 mls and couldn't go any further. The rest of the day I had several herbal teas, but any juice seemed unpalatable.

I didn't have anymore until 7.30 pm, and then only drank about 200 mls. I wanted real food, badly. Once again, I had about 50 mls of orange juice mixed  in water. It tastes like nectar now! I worried my  eating problem was larger than I thought. This wasn't the Carb Monster. He's been banished! I figured it was simply my long standing love of food.

This afternoon I returned to the Lifestyle Change Program, only to discover that everyone was feeling the same. Peter Pratt had a fancy name for the condition - Boredom! I feel better now and juice was tasty tonight, or has my attitude change? Besides, I can do this. There is only 14 days to go!

Cold! Yes, many of us are feeling the cold acutely. I guess it isn't surprising. We are taking off layers of fat and putting little fuel into our body.

And I'm struggling with pain. First it was the right knee, particularly in the muscles behind the knee. It is much better but the last few nights I've missed a lot of sleep because my hips are sore, too painful to lie on. I never could sleep on my back. Last night it was a little better, to my relief, but in the lecture this afternoon, both my knee caps were aching! This is trying, but I'm hoping it is the body bringing healing to my weakest parts and that is exciting. We'll see what happens in the next few days.

My fellow adventurer's results are inspiring. Many have lost 10% of their body weight and more. They look better, feel better and have dropped much of their medication. All this will be for nothing if we don't make a permanent lifestyle change. If we return to our old eating habits, guess what will also return?
Our weight and our diabetes.
So I'm determined to start looking at our new lifestyle. It is exciting really... but more about that next blog. Just like the picture on the right, a new day has begun. Yay!

Now it is bedtime. I'm hoping my hips let me sleep. They must be getting better as I haven't reached for pain killers tonight.

I'll be back on Tuesday to report on the next two days.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Half way. Can I make this marathon?

Day 14 & 15

I'm half way!  I've done it. Fifteen days of not eating solid food seems crazy but I'm feeling much better for it. I've been very encouraged by you all as you read and cheer for me from the sidelines. Every comment of support spurs me on. Fifteen days to go.

The accountability of reporting to a crowd of unseen witnesses is a strong motivator. It stops me cheating! Yesterday I needed that help as I sat beside the water at Redcliffe with a table of teenagers. They ate sandwiches and hot chips. I drank juice and peppermint tea. I think it was the most difficult time so far . It wasn't the chips I wanted as much as the cappuccino I usually buy from the waterfront store.  For the rest of the day I struggled to resist food. I went to the shops and bought good, truss tomatoes, throwing aside my 'most economical' approach. My dinner juice was nearly straight tomato, with a couple of carrots, followed by a small glass of orange juice. The flavours were wonderful, even if the texture was missing.

Today a wore the slacks I grabbed on sale last year for $5. They reinforced my achievement. Sorry I wasn't holding my beetroot juice in the picture. It would have added great colour! It is an easier day and I remember I only have to do one day at a time, so all is good. Meanwhile both blood sugar readings I've taken are below 5.5! It gives me hope for my future health.

The scales however have turned on me. They read 0.4 kilo more than two days ago. More! I tell my self weight fluctuates from day to day. Last week my weight did a similar thing, then, all of sudden, it dropped a kilo. Today I'm not as upset as I could be as I know it isn't my fault. It can't be anything I ate, as I'm not eating anything!

So I've chalked up another new learning. The scales aren't reporting on my behavior but a scientific fact. Say what you like scales, but you will have to show a lower reading soon and I refuse any accusation of blame from an inanimate machine.

This is Steve's lunch, made while  I prepared my juices for breakfast and lunch. It looked so yummy. This is the food I'm looking forward to! Only fifteen days to go and I can join him. Juicing for a couple more weeks can't be that bad. I've proved it is possible.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Not my Fault, but my Responsibility

Day 12 & 13

Today, I'm pleased to be on this juicing adventure. I'm feeling good, except for aching joints, especially hips. My knee seems to be recovering well so I'm hoping the hips will feel better soon. I'm missing my early morning walks and am really looking forward to returning to my hill.

My stomach has stopped its constant whinging for real food. It is only in last couple of days that I've been free of the demand. Last night I made Mexican dinner for nine and it was much easier than last week, I spent a fair while browning mince and chicken with out feeling as though I must have some. This morning as I thought about it, I realized Peter Pratt is right. I can't remember how Mexican food tastes. But I can remember what cheese tastes like. I asked someone else to grate it to stop the temptation to pop a sliver in my mouth!

According to my scales I have lost 5 kilos! 7.9% of my body weight has disappeared. Some of the group have lost 10% and more. My aim is to lose 20% eventually. I'm really looking forward to new clothes. I do have one pair of fabulous pants in the cupboard. I picked them up on sale six months ago and put them away until I lost a couple of kilos! They fit now, which is both fabulous and disastrous. I probably won't get a lot of wear out of them!

The biggest realisation in the last few days is how difficult it is to keep blood sugar stable when you are a diabetic. I've been blaming myself for years for sugar levels. As it is a lifestyle disease, I felt I caused it. Therefore it's my fault when my readings go up and my fault cause I haven't lost more weight. ( I have lost over twenty kilos since first diagnosed.)

My reading last night was 5.2 . Awesome! this is an all time low.This morning when I got up it was 8. I hadn't eaten between tests. It wasn't my fault. Two hours after breakfast it was 6.4. By the time I got to have my lunch juice, it was back to 7.1. There is no logic at all. I am looking forward to it stabilizing, but meanwhile I have released myself from guilt.

A few weeks back, at the Diabetic Health Clinic, we saw a movie of a doctor speaking. He said weight could be the consequence of the disease, rather what has always been assumed - the disease being caused by the weight. the problem is a consequence of our national diet. Some get diabetes...some don't. Many who have been diagnosed aren't overweight.

So I no longer own the blame, but I do own the fight! There is a way to stop the rot, literally, and regain health. I am on the path and I must choose to stay on it. At the end of this adventure, there will be a new way of eating in this household. Steve is already starting to embrace it. We are excited.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Solving the riddle of yuk juices!

Day 10 & 11

Today has been a good day.

Yesterday was a tough day. It should've been great as we attended our weekly meeting with the Diabetic Health Clinic and listened to all the amazing results achieved by the group. Many are looking healthier in the face, some have lost unbelievable amounts of weigh, many well over ten kilos. Most are off all medication, even those who have been injecting insulin. It was great to celebrate our achievements together.

So why was it a tough day? I guess I was a little jealous of some of the weight losses. I have lost 3.7 kilos, but it seems small in the face of many. But the real reason it was a tough day was the juice. It didn't matter what I put in the machine, it tasted awful. Last night I finally got it!


I have had carrot in every juice. I like them and when I first started I bought a 20kg bag of the biggest, juiciest carrots you have even seen. Last week, when they ran out, I went to buy another bag. As they were much cheaper than the first bag, I assumed they were juicing carrots. I dragged them home crowing over my savings. Last night I grabbed a carrot out of the big bag in my pantry and my finger sunk into it. Yuk! I threw it in the bid and went to investigate. In the middle of the bag was this fermenting, bubbling, foaming, revolting mess.

Being a little slow to catch on, I carefully selected sound carrots from the edge and made my favourite tomato juice, determined to drink a juice I enjoyed. I added a little olive oil, salt and pepper and warmed it in the microwave in a soup mug. With my feet up, I settled down to enjoy it. Wrong! It too was foul. Finally I understood! I've been juicing old, off carrots. I emptied the glass down the sink, drank 80 mls of orange juice and went to bed.

So the offending vegetables are in the bin. I've had two lots of juice today without carrot and they've been a great improvement. This episode forced me to make my first 'Green Delight' juice, following a recipe.  Not having enough silver beet, I added some cabbage, straight from our vegetable garden. This was the first juice I've enjoyed in days.

I guess I'm still learning to be selective about what I put in my mouth!

Good news! Blood sugar readings have been in the normal range for last two days. How wonderful! I know I'm on the road to better health.

PS. This is the ninth blog in a series. The others can be read by clicking on the links at the left.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Why am I doing this madness?

Day 9

Anyone who thinks drinking only juice is easy, I'm here to tell you it isn't! Yes, it that sort of day. My stomach, expanded previously by generous portions of amazing food, is feeling empty, very empty. The juices all taste either blah or bland.

Yesterday morning's juice ended up splattered all over our pavers, mixed with assorted-shaped slithers of glass. I was thankful I  had already drunk about 500 mls and I hadn't chosen my crystal glass . The drink I concocted last night tasted foul, so I stopped about 300 mls short of the 750 mls I usually drink. I went to bed after drinking one juiced orange. Maybe that is the cause of so much grief today.

I was called for Grandma duty this morning and picked up Miss 6 from the netball courts to take her to a party at Hungry Jack's. Twice they gave me cups of boiling water so I could make herbal tea. I loved the fact I could access ice to cool them down. I didn't want their food, but I really wanted the food at home - cheese, bananas, a pear, or coffee!

My juice at lunch time was....well juice. I'm over it!

I must return to the WHY. (See yesterday's blog) Why am I doing this? Some think I'm mad, others disagree but many are cheering and supporting me. That's great but it's not enough. Why would I do such madness? To control diatetes? Yes, but that isn't enough to make me continue. A raw tomato with salt and pepper wouldn't harm my blood sugar. Not would a mountain of coleslaw and grated cheese. So there has to be a bigger why.

In the last few weeks at the Lifestyle Change Program, we have been encouraged to write down our motivation ready for such times as this. I gave it a lot of thought but never actually wrote anything down. Today I need such a list so here goes...

  • I want my strength back. The combination of diabetes and medication has reduced my capacity, physically and mentally. S
  • I want to be able to travel anywhere at any time, to speak all over the world. T
  • I want to make sure no hidden enemy is attacking my eyesight, the nerves in my fingers and toes or my brain. E
  • I want to write eight more books and when they are published be able to run and not grow weary.E
  • I want fullness of life. L
  • I want to feel ten years younger. Y

STEELY. This is my vision. I feel better for having written it. It will strengthen me.

What is your focus? Do you have a compelling why big enough to make you change your lifestyle? Or will you succumb to the pressure, as I did, and take it is easier?

PS I just created this poster to go on my wall. What do you think?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Pushing toward change.

Day 8

To see full story, read blog on the left, 'The Adventure Begins.'

I'm losing weight. Yay! I'm 3.4 kilos lighter! The scales have been very slow to encourage me, but this morning they were kinder. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Today it has been easier to handle food. I have a house full of unexpected guests. They arrived on day 2. I informed them I wasn't cooking but they we're welcome to help themselves, which they have. This morning I made grilled cheese on toast for them. The little pieces of cheese I'd usually pop in my mouth were the greatest problem, but I resisted.  I don't feel as hungry, so that helps.

My food triggers are becoming obvious. Every time I come home I want to eat. When I go to bed at night I start looking for something. A banana or apple would be so nice. Or even a whole tomato or two! Social interaction begins coffee cravings, but it is more a normalcy than a driving force. Somehow the lemon grass tea which I had this afternoon just doesn't seem the same!

Yesterday, my friend was tasting some of my juices and pronounced them revolting.

"I thought I'd try it, but how can you drink it?"

"I have a big WHY."

I'll explain my answer by sharing with you the formula for change.

"D x V + FS > R"

Let me expand this truth. Dissatisfaction x Vision plus taking the First Step to change lifestyle must be greater than all resistance to change.  I have had a lot of resistance to diet change because of my friendship with the Carb Monster. However Diabetes has caused me much dissatisfaction. Peter Pratt from the Diabetes Health Clinic has built such a vision of a better alternative that it has been easy to push aside the resistance as I've taken the first steps this last week.

I'm excited about the possibility of my health continuing to improve and will give this adventure all I've got.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Can I turn a week into ten days?

Day 7

As I write there is only a few more hours before I can say I haven't eaten for a week! Am I missing food? Yes! It is especially evident when someone heats food at work, or makes hot chocolate in the kitchen. Yet it is much easier to eat nothing, knowing I'm loaded with good nutrition, than it is to eat less, or follow diets. I feel like a smoker who knows that haven't smoked for a week, but knows they still want to. The Carb Monster may be defeated, but it is still lurking in the shadows and will pounce again if I give it a chance. So may goal isn't yet reached. I want to get to the place where Carbs and I don't get on, where I don't want to hang out with it ever again.

And so I will continue. Peter Pratt tells me that by day ten my taste buds will be forget what food tastes like. I'm not sure I believe him so I'll push on and let you know.

Meanwhile I find I'm over carrots! I have used them as the base of most of my juices, so I guess it is time to explore further. I picked up three kilos of cheap Roma tomatoes this afternoon. They have refilled my glass bowl, but I'd love to stick my teeth into one!

The exciting news is this morning's blood sugar reading was in the normal range, 6.4! I have never tested myself and seen a reading that low in ten years of diabetes. And this is without the help of any medication. Yahoo!

Am I feeling better? I'm still waking with headaches, but the body is still detoxing so expect it will stop soon. My knee is okay if I don't put any pressure on it. My energy levels are improving slowly.

So what's the assessment after a week? The results are definitely
worth the effort, so raise your glass with me and drink to good health and a lifestyle change.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Little victories and the Hill that Pained me.

Day 6 Of Lifestyle Change Adventure

I woke feeling a little better, maybe a lot better than when I went to bed. The Carb Monster was savage yesterday afternoon and evening and I was relieved when the family left early and I could retreat to bed! However I managed to host a birthday party and join them at the table with my spiced-up tomato juice which I drank from a fine china cup and saucer.

Whilst assembling the lasagna, I talked to my friend who is supporting two of us through this adventure. This helped me notice when I licked my fingers, after getting Ricotta cheese on them. I ran to the sink and washed my mouth out. Extreme maybe, but I am very determined to see this lifestyle change succeed. The conversation also stopped me from eating the stray piece of grated cheese or scraping our the frying pan to get the last of the sauce on my finger. I also asked others to help to clean the kitchen. These are strategies for success as Peter, our coach, would call them.

This morning, I went for the first walk for a couple of weeks. I love to walk early enough to watch the sun send its first rays of light over the world. It reminds me God begins everyday fresh and new. Enthused, I left my normal concrete path and tramped across the open paddock. The ground is rough. It still has the ridges and troughs from when it was a farm and grew pineapples. I was about a kilometre from home when my right knee started to complain, loudly. It took an hour to get home, as I rested about every hundred metres on strategically place green boxes that belong to the electricity company.  

All this is good news. Last Sunday I learned that one of the advantages of drinking only juice is the release of micro-nutrients into the system to bring healing to old injuries. I hurt this knee about five years ago, so I'm claiming this pain as a healing work.

So far today I'm not hungry, so I'm hopeful the worst is over. I've stopped all my medication and this morning my blood sugar was 7.7. I can only get better from here.

Here's to good health!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Busy Hungry and a tad disappointed.

Day 4

The day was busy, so busy that I'm late in writing this blog.
It was a hard day. I felt hungry for most of it, in spite of large servings of good juices and four or five cups of herbal tea. Still the stomach complained. I'm blaming the Carb Monster, but I'm very sick of his company and can't wait to shut the door in his face.

I went shopping yesterday. A big mistake. There are coffee shops on every corner. Having been eating low carbs for a long time, it isn't the cakes that tempt me. My other addiction, Cappuccino Comfort, beckoned to me at every turn. I can't say I'll never have another, but I can decide not to have one at this moment. So I managed to resist and sip a full pot of peppermint tea while my granddaughter ate icecream!

My last port of call was Lawnton Country Markets and then home to wash and try to store a mountain of vegetables. Whilst doing that I comforted myself with a fruit juice drink. I used orange, lime and mint, mixed with ice and water. I so enjoyed it! It meant no fruit in the main dinner drink, but that was warm tomato so didn't need sweetening.

The big disappointment was my blood sugar figures. The before dinner reading was 11.3, up over three points from the last three days. I found that very discouraging! The next reading was down to 7.2. There doesn't seem to be any logic there!

* * * * *

Day 5

I woke with a thumping headache, but it was eased by panadol. I'm also feeling more joint pain and felt very old this morning! (Of course there may be some truth in that!)  However, the day has rushed on and I'm doing well. My stomach is still grumbling. This morning's daily email from The Life Style Change Program assures me this must be the tail end of cravings. I hope they are right!

Today's challenge is a family dinner. I'm serving Lasagne and salad. Fortunately my friend who is living here at the moment has made the meat sauce, tasted it, and adjusted the seasonings. The challenge as I assemble the layers is to avoid popping cheese into my mouth!

I have already prepared tomato juice with other vegetables to add flavour to drink as they eat. I will drink it warmed with added olive oil, salt and pepper. And I intend to use a fine china cup. Wish me luck.

Sugar reading was up this morning, and I've only lost 1.5 kilos. I may be disappointed but I'm very determined!

The picture shows the lastest in table decoration in my house. It will be empty in two more days!

(See Blog Achive on top left for more Blogs in 'The Adventure Begins Series')

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Day three closes

    Three days I've survived without carbs, without meat, without chewing.
It's not easy, especially when someone cooks toast and the smell wafts through the house, or when I can hear Steve chewing nuts, or when I walk past the fruit bowl and see a banana!
    However today was easier than yesterday, and this afternoon I've been encouraged as our group met for our weekly Lifestyle Change Program and listened to others who are on the same journey. Some have lost a lot of weight, others have seen dramatic drops in blood sugar levels. Some have been savagely attacked by the Carb Monster, but all are surviving and doing well. Peter Pratt, from Diabetic Health Clinic has told us many stories of people who have been successful in normalising blood sugar levels and regaining ten years of energy. We are inspired!

     Today's juices tasted better. Is that because I'm getting better at blending flavours, or is it that I'm adjusting. As I write I'm sipping a warm tomato juice (with added red onion, capsicum, parsley, celery, capsicum, lime, olive oil sat and pepper). Yum. Tonight I even made soup for the family.

    My blood sugar reading before my juice tonight was 6.5. That is the first reading in the 'normal' range that I have ever seen on my monitor in over ten years. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Adventure continues

Day 2 of my Adventure (See yesterdays blog for adventure details!)

The day has dull skies and its trying to rain. The brightest spot is the flowers Steve brought home from the office for me.

It's cool for Queensland and seems like soup weather to me. But I'm not being deceived. Whilst I may argue I want something warm to drink, I know it is really the Carb  Monster tricking me. I can drink as much herbal tea as I like so its not heat I'm after.

I had juice for breakfast, juice for lunch and there is juice prepared for dinner! It isn't as bad as it sounds as they are different flavours. Tonight I'm having juiced coleslaw with a touch of pineapple. I intend to add a little lemon and olive oil, salt and pepper.

Surprisingly I'm not often hungry, and if I am water usually satisfies. The worst part so far is the headaches and tiredness. I spent twelve hours in bed last night and then had to drag myself out of bed. Today the headache has been eased by a lovely friend who gave me a massage so all is well.

The best news is my blood sugar levels are dropping. I'm seeing figures I haven't seen for years and that is only after one day. I'll report more tomorrow.

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Adventure Begins

     "My name is Jo Wanmer and I'm addicted to....Carbohydrates."
     It started when, as a little girl, I sat at a farmhouse table and ate piles of white bread, smothered with Mum's homemade jams.
     Most of my life I've battled with this monster, without knowing its name. It hid under all sorts of names, such as overweight, chubby, hungry and so on. I fought it with various diets, eating patterns and will power, with some success as times, but it has never been defeated.
     About ten years ago the monster bought a friend to stay. Diabetes marched in without permission and sprawled through out my body. All my efforts to evict this demon, or to ignore it failed. It has been taking a toll on my body, but there was no way to boot out this unwelcome guest....until now.
    Seven weeks ago, after observing big changes in a friend's life, I joined the Diabetic Health Clinic. (  I've learned a lot about how the body works, how medication effects my body and the sickness  forced upon us by processed foods.
     Most importantly, I found a way to break my addiction to carbohydrates. I have listened to many, who have lost a lot of weight, no longer crave carbs and enjoy plenty of food. All great achievements, but the most exciting thing is they now have normal sugar levels and are off all medication. I have listened with growing hope and a new understanding.
     Enter my new best friend, my juicer. From today, for an extended period, I will be having a diet of juice, mostly vegetables with a little fruit . I'm expecting this to break the addiction to carbs, re-set my taste buds and lower my sugar levels to normal.
    I have done the preparation. All now required is 'Just Do It'!
    Day 1. I'm just finishing my second lot of juice for the day. My stomach is growling, telling me it is not enough. But I know it is lying as 750 mls is plenty. It fills the stomach but isn't satisfying the carbohydrate addiction. Well that is too bad. I'm going to starve the monster
to death. In a few days it will have no more hold on me.
I have been told sugar is as addictive as cocaine. It has been suggested we ask for support to help in the struggle. So I'm making myself accountable to you!  If you'd like to follow this adventure, you can do so at the left of the page. I will be reporting everyday.
I will not surrender. These squatters have been at my house too long. They must go.