Slow in the Fast Lane

Health Park Gym

I haven’t blogged for 2 months. I wanted to get through the holidays and test myself to see if I could get back on track.  A couple of things inspired me to do that. Mark and I are now going to the health park together and he bought me a Fitbit watch for Christmas. This photo above is the gym at the health park where we shoot baskets together about once a week and above that is the walking track where we walk 3 times a week. I am trying to get in shape to walk/run a 5k and not be the absolute last one in the race, followed closely by the police car and race officials picking up the route cones! As of yesterday, I can walk/run a 19 minute mile. I use the term “run” very loosely. The outside lane is for runners, but when I am running in that lane, or rather when I am jogging, there are several people walking who walk right past me. There are few, if any, runners when I go. So, I stay in that lane, because there is a psychological boost for me to be in the runners lane. I am working my way through a “couch-to-5k” plan and it took me 8 weeks to make it to “day 30” out of 75, but I am on track now to finish in real time. When I started, I could barely run 2 minutes.

The fitbit Ionic has been fun to have and helpful for keeping track of my heart rate and steps per day and sleeping hours. It is not that I have to have one, but it has helped me at this time in my life to stick with a plan. For example, when I go to the gym, I set the watch to log an activity like running. It will tell me the distance I ran and my heart rate and it will encourage me to log at least one activity a day for 5 days each week. But even if I have no specific activities, it tracks my steps for the day and how many flights of stairs I walk, and times per day that my heart rate rises with regular activity, like lugging groceries from the van to the house. The watch cannot detect that I am specifically lugging groceries, though. (I don’t think!) One day, my back and neck were sore and I needed to use the hot tub. I had been reading that when pain prevents us from exercising, the hot tub is a good alternative, because it raises the heart rate and respiration as though the body was exercising. I’ve used it a couple of times and it was quite a nice alternative. It did raise my heart rate according to the Fitbit. However, I have a goal now to be ready for a 5k by springtime, so I will keep on running until I get there.

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Just Today

smell flowers

Somebody’s Doggo Taking the Time to Smell a Flower

So, I managed to make it through all of October as a vegetarian. I tried for vegan, but I just wasn’t militant enough. So, some cheese appeared in some of my foods and I just ate it and I had some milk. Overall, the changes were a benefit to my digestion. And my blood glucose numbers look better. Exercise has proven to be very helpful in bringing those numbers down immediately. My body responds well and responds quickly to the exercise now. For example, last night I ate a few Thanksgiving cookies and a cup of milk after supper, checked the numbers and then went for a walk at Smother’s Park with my son. It was late and we had a fun time. When I got home, I checked again and the numbers had dropped by 100mg/dl and I was back in the safe range for after a meal.

In November, I have incorporated some meat back into my diet, but grains are now on the chopping block and I have to be very careful with fruit. It is a bit of a learning/discipline curve for me to cook as normally as possible but avoid refined grains, sugar and even good natural fruits and sweeteners. Just today, the scale says this Thanksgiving week alone I gained back 4 of the 8 pounds I lost. I will check again Monday, but I’m going to have to keep reducing the amount of carbs in my diet. Even if I eliminated refined sugar and grains completely and never cheated,  fruit, potatoes, beans and milk are all items that make my blood sugar rise too high. If you are or have ever been on a low-carb diet, Paleo, Keto, Atkins, etc. You know that it works well for weight loss, but it can be difficult to maintain in our carb-laden world.

I remember when the Atkins diet made a big comeback about 15 years ago in my neighborhood and the local stores in our small town sold out of eggs, bacon and cream like bread and milk on the eve of a big storm! It seems to be back again, and rather than calling it Atkins or low-carb, people are using the term “Keto”, short for Ketogenic diet or drinks and supplements of therapeutic ketones. The Ketogenic diet first came to my attention in association with epilepsy and the diet’s success in seizure reduction. My husband and I had gone to see the movie Lorenzo’s Oil and as this was prior to internet access, I did some library research on the topic. Here is a good article that explains in more detail:

https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes-ketogenic-diet#Otherdiets8

Today though, in thinking back over the last 2 months and doing some research, I am going to keep going toward God and away from thinking about food and drink. I thought about what Jesus was teaching in Matthew 6, saying not to worry about tomorrow, or what we would eat or drink and to put our full trust in God. If I’m thinking and plotting and planning every day what I’m going to be eating and drinking, then I’m spending too much time on this. So, I’m going to spend *less* time on it. That is not the same as spending no time on it. I just don’t want my God to be my stomach. Gluttony and excess in the new testament scripture seems to be our problem over and above the actual food and drink. But don’t take my assertion here and apply it immediately to yourself and be self-conscious. This is just for me right now.

Today is what I have. Tomorrow can take care of itself.

 

 

 

Blogtober 12th: Shedding Pounds of Stuff

All this will be yoursAnytime I embark on personal changes, I take a look at our cluttered closets, garage and basement. We certainly don’t *need* all of this stuff. Why do we keep it? Cluttery habits spill over into everything. Recently we visited family members who moved from an old senior building to a brand new one. They had applied last year to make the move happen this year and their application was accepted. The new building is absolutely beautiful and in good repair. I asked how many of their friends applied and moved to the new building. They said ‘none’. I couldn’t believe it! ‘Why not?’ I asked. ‘Because they didn’t want to go to the trouble of moving all of their stuff.’ Oh. That made me feel sad. I don’t want that to be me.

Blogtober 11th: What Now?

So, exercise, means more control when addressing blood glucose levels. The weather has cooled off a lot, and walking in the cool air feels very refreshing. As for meals, at home I continue with the beans & salsa and the fruit/kale smoothies and then when eating out, Chic-fil-A has become our best friend. I order a Market Salad base with no chicken, a Superfood Side and Unsweet Tea. I use Chic-fil-a sauce for the dressing. We went out of town to visit family recently and went out to dinner to Jameson’s Char House. I skipped the steak, but while ordering my salad, I almost asked for Chic-fil-A sauce! I had oil and vinegar instead. I’ve had no problem at all avoiding meat, but while out of town, I had pasta one night and veggie pizza another. These were not good choices for me and I had to walk a lot. As this month progresses, I realize I will need to make some modifications for November. I will have to completely avoid grains for awhile.

“The end of ministry, the purpose of ministry is to transform people into ministers.” – J. Calico

‘And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:’

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:11-13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

http://bible.com/1/eph.4.11-13.kjv

Blogtober 8th – Adding Exercise

skechers

Love my Skechers

It is time to add more exercise to my routine. When I walk for only 15 minutes, my blood glucose level drops between 10-70 mg/dl. Changing my diet has given me the energy and desire to walk. It has dropped my blood glucose daily average by 20 mg/dl. That is a great start, but it isn’t enough. I have to make a special effort to exercise every single day. This morning I walked a block down from the house to a small park and walked for 15 minutes. I can certainly do that every morning. I listened to the bible reading plan I’m working on, in the YouVersion app today while walking.

The walk routine I plan to use is to do this before each meal, and my meal plan needs to be more uniform. Right now it is completely meatless and eggless, but I haven’t been as strict about avoiding dairy and keeping to a schedule. We are out of the house a lot and I eat out often. Cheese, milk, cream and butter are in a lot of things. Last night we ate out for our date night and I had a salad, pasta with zucchini and a mushroom sauce, but after starting it I realized the sauce probably has butter and cream in it. I was trying to avoid the cheese. My blood glucose was elevated this morning, I’m sure because of the pasta. I didn’t eat the bread or have dessert and I had unsweet tea with a lemon and a lime wedge in it. So, next week: No pasta or flour tortillas or bread. No cheese, no milk, in addition to the no meat or eggs.

I remember when my mother-in-law was alive and she started walking a lot in her retirement years, she used to say after a heavy meal, “Well, anyone want to go with me and walk it off?” I think there is a lot of wisdom in that. Maybe if I had walked *after* supper last night, I would have had a better report this morning!

So, today:

Weigh in lbs          – Down 5 pounds since October 1st

Avg daily mg/dl     – Down 20 points since October 1st

6:00am – Blood Glucose 233 mg/dl

– Walk 15 minutes

6:21am – Blood Glucose 163 mg/dl

10:00am – Breakfast …2:00pm – Lunch…6:00pm – Supper

– Walk first for 15 minutes

– 6oz (min) raw colorful vegetables (unlimited)

– 6oz (min) cooked colorful vegetables (unlimited)

– 3oz beans (9oz max/day)

– 3oz fruit (9oz max/day)

– 3oz starchy vegetable (potato, squash – 9oz max/day)

– 3oz nuts (9oz max/day)

– Tea or water

Bible Study

  • Reading 1 Chronicles 18 – 23
    • Notables:
      • David counting the people of Israel
      • God not happy and offers 3 consequences from which to choose
        • David chooses to be delivered over to God’s hand rather than man’s
        • Thousands die by plague
        • David implores God to punish him and his house alone and not the others
      • Solomon, David’s son
        • God wants Solomon to build His temple
        • God says David spilled too much blood in His sight
        • Solomon will live in peace
        • David did all he could do before he died to help prepare Solomon for this task

Blogtober 6th – Eating Out

tacoholics

I was working in Henderson and Mark came with me, so we made it into a lunch date. It was a beautiful day and I said I wanted to try one of the restaurants down by the river. The only one open that had patio seating was TacoHolics. So, I tried to order as veg of a lunch as I could while still giving their food proper try. We had chips and salsa and unsweet tea with lemon and lime.

chips and salsa

Mark ordered a steak burrito which was more than enough. It filled the whole basket. I ordered bean burritos and instead of beans and rice on the side, I ordered a salad, with guacamole. The burritos came covered in liquid cheese and there was sour cream on the salad. Hmm. No meat, but Not vegan. In the interest of science, I ate them. 😉 My blood glucose went to 213. I did not walk today. Next week I will try again and change this entree to make it fit my eating plan.

wet burritos

We really like this restaurant. The staff is friendly and helpful and the food is inexpensive.  I want to go here often. So, I’m going to try and figure out what I can eat. I could probably have eaten everything on this plate without the flour tortillas and had no jump in my blood glucose levels.

gate

Maybe next week after lunch we will go walk along the river…

Blogtober 5th – Grocery Day

image

Time to shop!

Its been a long time since I was confident enough to buy this much produce. If there are a lot of convenience foods in the house, we won’t eat much produce. If there are Hot Pockets in the freezer, the beans are ignored. We don’t make salad to go with the diGiorno pizza. Fruit smoothies don’t taste good with an Egg McMuffin.

In previous attempts to start eating plans created by someone else, and written in books, I’ve tried their techniques to be successful, like cleaning out the cabinets, complete abstinence from no-no foods or else start all over, fasting before I start, no dining out, make everything from scratch, etc. Maybe I just don’t have the temperament for these. For instance, Whole30 is the “start over” plan. So, if you get to day 29 and discover there’s glazed almonds in your salad that you ordered at a restaurant and didn’t notice until you ate some of it, you start over. There’s no Whole30 police watching you. Obviously, a sane person can ignore this directive and just move on, but it feels like cheating a game to me. I’m not playing a game. I’m trying to stay well.

So, this month, I’m striving for vegan. I’ve never done this before, but I’m finding it surprisingly easy to stay away from meat of any kind. I may be able to follow close to Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutrarian plan which treats meat like a condiment, after October is over. I want to try to make and drink more bone broth as well. The eating plans I have read about and studied and tried are all helpful in their own way and have taught me important things about nutrition, but what I am most concerned about is food that has traveled far, far away from God’s garden and was robbed of its value by the time it gets to our dinner plate. As a psychology student, I am intrigued by the evidence for psychological side effects from an overly processed diet. The physical effects are already well known.