Monday, September 17, 2012

Wheat Belly Challenge Day Four

Pain/Energy ~
Woke up hard today - not good because I've got a meeting to attend at 10am, and another to attend tonight, which means I need to be functional, dressed for the public (not a small thing when you have difficulties working fasteners or lifting your arms overhead), and in decent spirits.

Had Michael help me get dressed before leaving for work.  Fortunately, by the time my ride got here the worst pain had receded, though moving was slow.

Meal Log ~

I didn't eat before leaving - there were various snacks available at the meeting, and almost all of them were some sort of wheat based goodie.  Out of all the cookies and other snacks, the ones that were the most tempting were the Fig Newtons - that made me laugh since the rest were homemade and looked great.  But I stuck to sliced apples and only felt light pangs of deprival.

After the meeting, a few of us decided to go out to lunch - this turned into a real temptation day!  We chose the same Greek restaurant Michael and I had eaten at the week before - I had a souvlaki platter without the pita.

Dinner wasn't til later in the evening, and we had brats and cabbage.  We get our brats from a local vendor at the Farmer's Market and they taste wonderful. We normally simmer in beer, but since that's wheat based (now this is where I feel deprived!), we used homemade chicken broth instead.  It worked fine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wheat Belly Challenge Day Three

Pain/Energy ~
Still a lot of tenderness especially first thing in the morning.  Standing up and sitting down continue to be very difficult, but less pain while 'at rest'.  Still thinking this may be more about low humidity than anything.

Meal Log ~

Cheese omelet with salsa.

I am enjoying eggs for breakfast done scrambled - I've always preferred over easy with toast and hash browns or grits (which I could still have, but a scrambled egg is fast and really satisfying).


Cheese cubes and olives and a handful of nuts - lunch was more about noshing than anything sit-down.


So, this time, no dinner because I just plain wasn't hungry. We're both noticing a big downturn in appetite, but not in the sense of not enjoying what we're eating - just not feeling so hungry.  I'm settling into 2 meals a day, and no huge portions or need for seconds.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wheat Belly Challenge: Day Two

Pain/Energy ~
Lots of swelling around ankles and knees, sharp pain in elbows and shoulder (I didn't manage to find a non-painful way to sleep last night).  So... about the same as yesterday, with some extra stiffness and tenderness.

Meal Log ~

Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Scrambled Egg Omelet

This was amazing - very satisfying and filling.  So much so that I wound up skipping lunch totally simply from not being hungry. (Not sure that's a good thing, but I never have been much for eating three meals a day)

Nothing - snacked on an ounce of Cheese Cheese and a few deli green olives instead

Tossed Salad
Chicken, Carrot, Celery and Onion Saute with Cashews
Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wheat Belly Challenge: Day One

Weight ~  181.8

I am not planning to weigh myself every day - once a week on Mondays.  As a rule, I never weigh myself, so that's a big step up and I don't think it's helpful or particularly motivating to step on that scale every day.  But for the record, this is more than I've ever weighed, and I'd be feeling pretty depressed about that number right now if it weren't the starting point for actually doing something about it.

Pain/Energy ~

My pain level is about a 6 on a 1-10 scale.  I've been riding the 8/9 range for the last couple weeks, so this is an improvement!  The weather has turned coolish and humidity is gone, and that helps.   I am having sharp pains around knees and ankles, and my shoulder is sore (I managed to dislocate it the other day and it's still recovering.  Energy feels slightly up from where it's been, though that's not saying a whole lot, honestly.   I put most of  this mild upswing on the good weather.

Meal log ~

Breakfast: 2 over easy eggs, 1/2 cup cottage cheese

We get our eggs from a local source and  they're pastured, so they are excellent... but we need to rethink the 'over easy' part.  Without toast to scoop up the yolk, our dog Sadie got the best part of that egg.  Cottage cheese and other soft cheeses are allowed in limited quantities - I prefer mine with fruit, but it was still good.   Nice high protein breakfast to start the day.  But yes... I missed the toast.

Lunch: My lunch will be leftovers from a Greek restaurant meal, minus the pita.  So it's a selection of meats (lamb gyros meat, chicken), along with a few salad fixings.   Michael has a bigger challenge - he has a business lunch to attend so needs to figure out how to navigate a wheat-heavy menu right off the bat.

(So, I had a few bits of gyros meat and chicken, along with some deli green olives.)

Dinner: Mondays have been our 'quiche night' - alas, no more pie crust, at least until we figure out a non-wheat version.  Which won't be tonight.  Instead, we have some leftover chicken from a roast chicken to finish off.  So chicken and veggie ....something.  Maybe a little brown rice - emphasis on little. And some cucumber and onion yogurt salad we made up last night on the side.  And then the carcass will be turned into broth.

(I wound up feeling really hungry late afternoon and ate a bowl of Corn Chex, and then I wasn't hungry for dinner so I skipped it.  Mid evening, I ate a sliced apple and hunk of cheese and a handful of peanuts.)

 Tonight we will figure out our full meal plan for the week - a bit of shopping may be in order.  We should get better at this as we go.

30 Day Wheat Belly Challenge: Intro

So, you know you've been away for far too long when you log in, and Blogger's whole interface has changed so much you have to figure out how to even update!

This past year has been both amazing (Michael and I happily are engaged and settling into an actual normal life routine) and pretty appalling - the last due totally to my health issues, which have gotten worse and worse to the point where my functionality has gotten seriously impaired.

I am not stitching right now (with so many projects hanging out there calling me) because my hands can't take it more than a couple of minutes.  Michael's handling the cooking while I 'manage' because chopping and stirring and lifting (and standing) are all beyond me right now.  Heck.. I can't get dressed or undressed without his help, either.

We bought a wheelchair a month ago so that opportunities to get out and about weren't entirely eliminated due to my inability to walk more  than a few yards without needing to sit.

So.... lots of discouragement there, and it's the sort of thing I didn't want to fill this journal with because 'chronic' means 'it isn't going away' and I was trying to distract myself from that.

I'm starting it back up for at least the next 30 days because we're going to see if we can break this cycle.   We've been reading "Wheat Belly", by William Davis, MD, who offers a very detailed explanation of why today's wheat has been altered to the point where it is creating a whole litany of health problems, including several that we are dealing with.

For me, THE issue I would like to see improved over this next month is inflammation - chronic and persistent swelling around all of my joints which is causing all the functional issues listed above. Second in energy - I am flatly exhausted all the time, and that also greatly impedes functionality, as well as trying to do anything to help myself crawl out of this hole.

Lastly - but one I DO expect to improve - is weight loss.  Because boy oh boy, I never weigh myself, but since today is Day One of our experiment, I did... and I've gained another 20 pounds this past year and I weighed too much when I got here last summer.  And that alone is very hard on my joints.  Michael also has some weight issues he's had a long history of combatting, so we're hopeful that if it does nothing else it will do this much.

So our intention is to spend this month eating according to Wheat Belly's guidelines, track what happens along the way, and  then we will decide if it's doing well enough for us to continue.  I expect some mourning over some foods we love - but also learning how to eat in a better way and (oh I hope), an improvement in health.

Wish us luck!