Starting a 7 day (what was I thinking?! )challenge!

Over the last year I have really enjoyed learning about nutrition and its effect on health. I truly believe that what we eat contributes to our physical and mental health. Unfortunately I do not always practice what I preach. I will eat really well for a day or two and then have cheese, crackers and wine for dinner. Lately I have been feeling sluggish and cranky. Plus I am pretty sure I may be developing arthritis. After some reading and researching I discovered some anti-inflammatory articles. After digging deeper I wondered if this could help my overall mood and health. So starting tomorrow I will give it a whirl.

My 7 day challenge will be a combination of eliminating food groups that could be causing inflammation and adding anti-inflammatory foods. Now I realize just changing my habits for 7 days is not going to cure-all that ails me. However, it will be a good start. Baby steps people! Also during this week I will only be eating meals that I have prepared. No eating out or processed snacks no matter how healthy they claim to be.

So I will be eliminating red meat, bread, processed foods and dairy. Super sad about the last one mentioned. My challenge this week will be to create recipes and meals using the following foods that claim to be the 11 best for fighting inflammation. Celery, beets, broccoli, berries, salmon, walnuts, hot peppers, turmeric, ginger, pineapples and leafy green vegetables. Beets are the only food on the list I will be skipping. There was an unfortunate event with being forced to eat beets as a kid. Nothing will stop a mom saying clean your plate faster than throwing up at the table.

Let me know if you are interested in giving it a try with me. I will share any great recipes or meals that I create. I am really hoping that this will give me a boost in the right direction. I am also hoping that it alleviates the inflammation in my shoulder. I will report back tomorrow on my 1st day.

Good luck and be healthy!

M

 

Vegan, Paleo or Pegan? Oh my!

That is the million dollar question these days.  Every group has their opinion and facts to back up their plan. I think the question is what is best for you? In my 48 years I have tried every plan under the sun.  The kitchen is my happy place.  I like everything about it from the planning to preparation to presentation.  So the only requirement I ever had for a diet was no diet shake and no premade dinners.  My love for everything food was mostly to blame for the extra 70 pounds I was carrying.  Well, that and a cold beer.

So back to my dilemma. What is going to be the best plan for me? After gastric sleeve surgery you are required to eat your protein first.  They stress the importance of meat protein at every meal.  This was a challenge for me on many levels. Can all that meat be good for your heart? I made it through the first 4 months before I said for the love of Pete can I just have a salad?  Of course I can but only if I make smart choices with the salad.

So is Vegan an option? Yes and no. I discovered that a vegan diet is not popular with bariatric surgeons.  You can only eat about a cup at each meal. A cup of chicken has a lot more protein than a cup of green beans. I know that there are meat substitutes available but have you tried them all? Some do have a lack of flavor. So I was stuck. Do I continue to eat meat all the damn time?

Then this week I read an article about a Pegan diet.  It is the brainchild of Dr. Mark Hyman.  It takes the best of Paleo and Vegan and combines it. Sounds good…but how to go about finding the fit for me. Can I give up cheese for the rest of my life? It also eliminates legumes. I thought beans were A+ foods. In the end can anyone stick to a plan that restricts or eliminates a food group?  I think the only group that can are Vegan’s. If you are a vegan for ethical reasons than I know that is a strict commitment.

For now I have decided to try a little of everything. I am putting a lot more emphasis on plant based foods but not cut out all dairy. I will continue to add lean meats in my plan but on a smaller scale. Pinterest is my favorite place to learn about foods I am unfamiliar with such as tempeh. I made some delicious tempeh tacos with a cabbage, green onion and radish slaw. I didn’t miss ground beef or cheese.  Really I swear I didn’t! I guess my non professional advice today is not to be afraid to try new things. If you had told me a year ago I would put nutritional yeast instead of butter on my popcorn I would have called you crazy.  Try it by the way, you won’t regret it. I welcome comments or thoughts on the plan you love. I am always willing to try a new recipe and report back.

All my best,

M

Flirting with 50

I procrastinate. Case in point, I thought about beginning a blog before my 40th birthday.  As you can tell by my title 40 has come and gone. Now as I approach 49 I wonder can people really change? Can I put my thoughts into words and interact with thousands of new people…hundreds…okay a dozen? I had a lot of changes happen this year and it inspired me to give it a shot.  I moved back to the city of my youth and purchased a home older than me. It is a work in progress like the owner.  I had some health issues and underwent a gastric sleeve so far losing 54 pounds.

However, the biggest change was what I wanted for my life.  I am tired of sleepwalking through life.  You blink and a moment is a memory. When I was 40 I made a list of 50 things that I wanted to do before I turned 50.  I have accomplished one task on that list. That is not the worst part.  The list is dumb and filled with things I thought I should do or places that I needed to visit. So instead of a list I am just going to try and experience life.

I mentioned the gastric sleeve because weight loss is usually on everyone’s mind.  I didn’t think it was important to me.  I felt comfortable, had high self esteem and found boyfriends.  It didn’t seem important until my doctor said you have to lose weight or your health is in jeopardy.  I lost my father when he was 73 of COPD and obesity. It was like a bucket of cold water.  When he mentioned surgery I was immediately pissed off. Standing at 5’4 and wearing a size 16 I certainly had excess weight but weight loss surgery.  Well screw you Doc! Thankfully I did my research and made the decision to go forward.  It’s not for everyone but it was the correct choice for me. I reversed fatty liver disease, insulin resistance and cardiovascular issues. It certainly hasn’t been a walk in the park but I am glad I did it!

In my blog I want to share healthy recipes, my experiences on the dating scene at 48 and encourage everyone to live life. Don’t let it pass you by!  I also hope people will share their tips and stories with me.  For instance I am always looking for a great skin cream.  I swear by BioSil by the way.  If you don’t take it you should check it out.  It helps fine lines, nails and hair.  Of course, if I am going to share a tip I should say water is the best thing for dry skin.  I hope to talk with you and hopefully you will enjoy my stories.

All my best,

M