February 28, 2007
I don't know what got into me, but I've finally lost my funk. Maybe it was having an excellent, massive salad at Whole Foods? I wish it were closer by; it's a hike to get there. It's just under a mile there, and a mile back, which doesn't leave a lot of time to actually eat said salad. And I'm still a slow salad eater.
That, and my big beautiful salad yesterday was $9 something. Ouch!
Otherwise, I just keep on keeping on. It's been cold and rainy the last couple days so I've been trying to make up for it by wandering around my office. Or wandering to Whole Paycheck in the pouring rain.
February 26, 2007
We went out to Sweet Tomatoes the other night, this corporate chain salad bar place. It ended up being kinda miserable for me watching my sweetie eat the salad that I loved. Of course, after we talked about it, I realized that that salad was mediocre, it's always mediocre, much like the salad and fruit that I had.
But. I found a salad dressing which is ETL legal and actually makes lettuce more edible, and so I am sharing the wealth.
Cashew Butter Dressing
4 - 8 cloves garlic, dryroasted
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup cashew butter
Take everything, throw it in the blender. It makes 4 servings.
I've been hanging out in the ETL forums, hoping to get really amped up. It's not really happening. But I've been finding some interesting recipes which might be options to feed myself and my guy.
And I'm riding the bike. The bright spot! And eating lots of fruit.
February 23, 2007
I'm kinda weepy today. I think part of it is PMS, but there's some other stuff going on as well.
For the first time since I gave up coffee, I am feeling a bit sluggish. I think it's mostly mood inspired.
Otherwise, I've felt really good since I've been eating vegan. I don't mind salads as long as I have some salsa to put on them, and of the three vegan dinners this week, two were really good.
Last night, my sweetie made me a soup with carrot juice, beans and a can of bean soup. It ended up being way too rich for me. It's sorta startling to say that, as I am one of those people whose doesn't know when to say when. Nothing was too rich.
I ate some celery today to see if I still hate it. I think it's moved into the dislike category, rather than hate.
I'd be fine alternating the two dinner meals but I know that isn't going to fly with my sweetheart. He's totally been supportive, so I don't want to see how I can test him, you know?
By and large, I'm not having cravings. I am missing going out to eat so so much, but I'm not craving cheese, and I would have thought that I might. Though the thought of some Bearnaise sauce with frites and a nice steak does sound really good. (Maybe watching Nigella Bites this morning was a bad idea?)
I've tried something new the last couple of days: cycling in the clothes I plan to wear to work. Sometimes I get freaked out about getting too sweaty, and needing to shower, etc. The last couple days, I decided I would ride leisurely, and I've gotten to work in almost as little time, and I've felt okay about the whole thing. Last night I decided I would be leisurely on the way home as well, and it definitely did take longer, but I didn't feel quite as exhausted as usual post-ride-home. And a good thing too.
February 22, 2007
A haiku for Fritz
Fritz at Cyclicious likes the haikus, yep.
Free and untrammeled
Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel... the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.
~Susan B. Anthony, 1896
February 21, 2007
I could have made this easier on myself, I realize. Not only am I changing the way I eat, but I'm also changing where I eat.
We have had a bad habit. We eat out all the time. I know, everyone says that. For us, the exception is cooking, and that frequently involves a bake-at-home pizza. So, maybe 2 or 3 meals a week are eaten at home.
So I'm going from that extreme, to an extreme where it would be very very difficult for me to eat out, well, ever beyond going to a salad bar place. (Though I'm hoping that one of the two[!] vegan soups that No Fish! Go Fish! will be great). Sheesh!
I'm doing okay. Gritty lettuce, however, is getting me down.
So I got my bloodwork results back. It's scary.
Let me start by saying that I've always had stunning bloodwork. My cholesterol has always been really really good. Blood sugar too.
Blood Sugar - prediabetic
Metabolic Screen - normal
Thyroid - normal
Total Cholesterol - borderline
Triglycerides - normal
HDL (good cholesterol) - desireable
LDL (bad cholesterol) - borderline
So this brings right home why I need to be doing this.
February 20, 2007
So it begins.
My day was crazy, but I felt good and focused. I ended up working through my lunch, so I munched my fruit, and I was able to present at my second meeting of the day (sheesh). I was hungry, but it wasn't the end of the world. That's a new sensation for me.
After that meeting, I rode the bike home, and got caught in a sleet storm. Brr, brr, brr! It's amazing how long 3 miles can seem when you're freezing.
Dinner was this excellent black bean soup that Cheesepuppet had mentioned and a big salad of gritty lettuce and a bunch of veg. I used a little dressing from the American Vegetarian Cookbook, which is all about oil. I'm told that at some point, my taste buds will adjust and lettuce without dressing will taste sweet and good. We're not there yet.
So, one day down... 41 to go!
February 18, 2007
more on this veganism thing
Today is day 4 for caffeine-free. We went out for breakfast this morning, and I wanted to order coffee -- out of habit -- but I was fine without. The second day was the worst, especially combined with coming down with the flu. Bad idea.
So in my mind, I like to call this the geek detox, because I learned about it online.
Then, in January, I saw a mention in BoingBoing that Xeni Jardin was doing this vegan bodyhacking thing that Joi Ito was writing about. About the same time, several friends mentioned that Joi seemed to be really digging this new detox.
So finally, I went to Joi. His first entry starts thusly:
Almost like clockwork, hitting 40 years old seems to have triggered a series of alarms that I need to watch my health more. Blood tests show various things that I need to watch out for and I continue to be fatter than I should. I used to do low-carb diets when I got overweight, but it seems like a fat/meat diet right now wouldn't be good for my heart and other things.
That intrigued me, because I usually look at diets as a vanity thing -- I don't like how I look, so I'll lose weight. And it's been my repeated experience that I gain it back and more some, so while I'd love to lose weight, let's face facts -- what's the use?
But in reading about the Eat to Live diet, it seems like it's less about weight loss and more about improving your health.
I'm 44, and I've been falling apart, it seems, for the last 7 years. I've had awful heartburn and high blood pressure, and lately I've been freaking out. It's great that I'll be able to retire early, but what if I don't live that long? What if I retire just to have heart attacks or be diagnosed with cancer?
So I read two of Dr Joel Fuhrman's books, including Eat to Live. ETL is your typically badly written diet book, but unlike most, his claims have citations attached to them, indicating serious medical studies. He refers heavily to the China Study, a huge study which suggests that medical woes like autoimmune diseases, cardiac disease, and cancer are linked to the Western diet of frankenfoods, refined grains, dairy, and meat.
As I read it, I started actually getting hopeful that I could get healthier. And there you are.
So, for the next 6 weeks, starting Tuesday, this will be how I'm eating:
Eat to Live 6-Week Plan
UNLIMITED (eat as much as you want):
* all raw vegetables, including raw carrots (goal: 1 lb. daily)
* cooked green vegetables (goal 1 lb. daily)
* beans, legumes, bean sprouts, or *tofu (minimum 1 cup daily in total of these)
* fresh fruit (at least 4 daily).
* eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomato and other non-starchy vegetables, cooked and raw (unlimited)
*Beans should be eaten daily; tofu should be eaten less frequently.
LIMITED (not more than one serving):
* cooked starchy vegetables OR whole grains--Maximum 1 cup per day (butternut or acorn squash, corn, sweet potato, brown rice, cooked carrots, whole grain breads*, whole grain cereals*)
* raw nuts and seeds (1 oz. or 28.5 grams a day) or 2 ounces avocado
* ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon a day)
* soymilk, low-sugar preferred--Maximum 1 cup a day
*avoid breads and cereals as much as possible
* dairy products
* animal products
* between meal snacks
* fruit juice, dried fruits
* salt, sugar
I have to say, just having increased the amount of fruits and vegetables, and having kicked caffeine, makes me feel so good physically. As I go through these last few days of "gosh, I won't be able to have pasta, I have to have pasta", I can really tell the difference in how I feel between when I eat a plant-based meal, and when I eat something else.
So I'm excited.
February 15, 2007
Mark this, day one
Today, I have given up coffee. I've been awake now for 6 hours, and I don't yet have the headache, but I am insanely hungry. Insanely. And so hungry that I wonder if a salad will sate me.
You see, in the last couple weeks when I've been away, there have been huge work deadlines, long days, work brought home, coming in early, coming in on weekends. And also, maddenly, it's sucked all of the life out of me outside of work.
I've still been bike commuting, and its still almost always the best thing in my day.
Riding home is still a test, but I am trying to let go of my tremendous anger at anyone I have to share the road with who will endanger me by speeding past me and almost connecting with me. You can see why I have a hard time with this, no doubt. And the ride home is all about bike lanes and quiet streets. Could ya ring a bell, already?!
But on top of all of this, I've become obsessed with veganism. (Misty, stop laughing.) I've actually started eating fruit. I've eaten more fruit in the last week than I did in the entire last year. And I can't stop obsessively thinking about vegetables.
So as I've been trying to eat better, I've been surprised to realize that my favorite foods aren't actually all that good. I mean, they're not that good. And then there's the stomach distress.
My plan is pretty straightforward. I'm going to eat way low on the food chain for six weeks. And see what happens.
I saw my doc yesterday, and had fasting bloodwork done this morning. So I'll have baseline numbers to compare: blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar, thyroid, cholesterol.
The problem is, I want to begin already. I can't begin before Saturday. And our anniversary is Monday, which probably means going out to eat...
But even if I can't go vegan formally yet, I can abandon coffee.