Saturday, June 24, 2017

Week One of the Whole 30 Completed

Well, the first week of this new diet is done and without any major setbacks...until today.  It wasn't a major setback, but more of a small blip.

I was checking out a new synagogue today and did not plan my meals well.  For breakfast I wasn't hungry so only had some honeydew melon.  I took a banana with me to eat in the car, but I was very stressed and anxious of this new synagogue and pulled into a McDonald's.

This isn't going to end well was my first thought.  I ordered the sausage and egg burritos with a hash brown and orange juice.  I didn't plan to eat the tortilla, but threw caution to the wind and chomped down.  The orange juice in retrospect probably had more sugar in it than I really needed, but it seemed the safer choice.  The hash brown is just potatoes, even though the frying probably wasn't completely kosher either.

Ooops, what an odd choice of word right before going into shul.

The service was lovely and I felt welcomed and embraced by the tiny group that made up the service.  Apparently summer time is hard on all shuls in their endeavor to make a minyan.

I really enjoyed the entire experience and think I found my new spiritual home.  For the kiddish they had what appeared to be white grape juice and some challah.  I drank the "wine" or juice, not sure since it was a tiny amount and took a teensy bit of bread since it seemed more important to "break bread" with this group than follow the diet to the letter.

After I finished up some shopping I stopped for a haircut and to pick up some groceries.  When I got home I fixed myself a nice big taco salad made with some bison meat I'd prepared yesterday.  I found a salsa that looked the most Whole 30 compliant and it added a kick to my taste buds that was needed badly.

Technically I should be starting on Day 1 again as the rules state, but I'm a rebel and will just continue on my merry way since my transgressions didn't seem all that severe.  I do have to admit that after my small indulgences every sweet treat I spotted the rest of the day was calling my name louder than the day prior.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day and I'll resume with new vigor and strength.

Long Live the Hungry Queen

Friday, June 23, 2017

They're So Shiny!

I went to my new dentist in Arizona and found out I need to have two crowns replaced...bummer.  But to sweeten the deal they threw in the office exam with the xrays and offered me a free whitening session.

I'd never tried this before and didn't think it would make much of a difference since I've been a cola drinker my entire life and they are pretty yellow.

But I was wrong.  Here is the before photo:

Here I am during the procedure...will the real Hannibel Lector please stand up?

And here is the final result. 

I was not able to drink any soda or eat anything colored like catsup for 48 hours, so this just jump started my new Whole 30 diet I was scheduled to begin soon.  More on that later.

Long Live the Queen

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A New Doctor Has Been Found...and a New Life Style

I went to one doctor for a prescription refill, but just didn't have a great feeling about the clinic or her, so did not return for the physical.

Thankfully one of my Thursday night ladies told me of a physician she liked and I made an appointment with the nurse practitioner there.

I had my initial exam with her and absolutely adore her.  She's personable and easy to talk with.

My plan was to ask her to recommend me for the lap band procedure, but I knew from earlier research that my BMI isn't high enough to qualify for this.  She was not able to recommend this procedure and instead told me about her own journey with the Whole 30.  Of course this necessitated a visit to Barnes & Noble!

The premise behind this plan is to eliminate foods demonstrated by science that promote unhealthy cravings and habits, disrupt the metabolism, damage the digestive tract and burden the immune system.

For 30 days you abstain from all alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes and dairy.  You are not allowed to weigh yourself or check measurements during the 30 days.

After 30 days you carefully and systematically reintroduce foods to see how they impact your cravings, mood, energy, sleep, digestion, pain level, body composition and athletic performance.

They state very clearly that this will change your life as it alters the emotional relationship you have with food.  I know I am a sugar addict and an emotional eater, so this is of great interest to me.  My mother always told me that she used to put coca cola in my bottle at about 8 months old, because I liked it.  No wonder I have a major coke habit!  The part I'm really hopeful about is the weight loss that most people experience.

Because we are so accustomed to heavy doses of sugar in our diet our bodies have become dependent on this for an energy source.  When the sugar is removed, the body will relearn how to burn body fat for the energy it needs.

To get started you need to set a start date.  I chose June 18th as the number 18 corresponds to the word "chai" in Hebrew and that means "life".  Since I am embarking on a new life of self discovery and trading in old habits for a new way of thinking and being, this date resonated with me.

Step two is to build a support team.  That one was easy.

Step three is to get the house ready.  This meant removing all the forbidden foods to remove temptation.  We have a lady in the park who takes food (even opened containers) to a food bank, so I boxed and bagged up everything and threw some others that were out of date and removed all temptation.

Step four is to plan for success.  This involves filling the pantry and fridge with items that are approved for this venture, making some meal plans and planning for what to do when eating out.  Since I'm living a solitary live that is much easier with only myself to plan for.  I think I'll be eating a lot of salads when I go out, and carrying my own dressing...but it's about the company and not the food anyway so that's fine.

Step five is to toss the scale.  You are allowed one weigh in but then are not to check your weight until the end of the 30 day period.  This is because your weight can fluctuate greatly day to day and cause discouragement.  So the scale is up on top of the washer/dryer...out of sight and out of mind.  Next I'll do my measurements and take some photos of myself for a before and after photo.  You will probably not see these since I plan to use the cell phone for some nude photos.  But I may decide to do some in a swim suit so I could share the results as well.

The book guides you through day by day as to what emotions you may expect and they are brutally honest.   My doctor warned me that about day 14 you'll want to kill someone, so it's a good thing Left Brain is safely tucked away in Minnesota.

They also provide pdf files to download that guide you to the correct foods and even supply a shopping list.  I've never read so many labels in my life.

I'll keep you posted as to how things go.

Long Live the Queen of Self Improvement

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Food Poisoning Adventure

Well, I had a new adventure recently and not one I want to repeat anytime soon.

I had an early lunch at In & Out Burger because I knew I'd be out with the Thursday Ladies Night out group and I love PF Changs, so didn't want to miss that.

Within two or three hours I had the worst headache, and I seldom every get these.  I was so tired and my stomach didn't feel great so I had to call text in my regrets that I couldn't make it.  Bummer.

By Friday the headache and fatigue was joined by stomach cramping and bloating.  It was like being a teenager again and afflicted with the most horrible menstrual cramps, but given my age I didn't think it was my "monthly visitor" making a guest appearance.  

By Saturday the bloating and cramping intensified and I dragged myself to the store for some gas-X, a product I've never had to use.  It didn't seem to help much.  I was attending a synagogue in Chandler that I wanted to test drive and after two hours I had to sneak out due to my discomfort.

Now I was getting worried and started checking online to self-diagnose.  Could it be appendicitis?   Nope, that's on the right side and so far this was pretty centralized.  Perhaps an ectopic pregnancy?  Hmm, this is very rare with fewer than 200,000 cases per year...that and being over 65 pretty much ruled that out.

I was also having a major acne outbreak and a rash on my cheeks (the ones on my face or I wouldn't have even noticed), but I thought maybe that was just stress or anxiety. 

Then I found the most likely poisoning.  The time line fit as well as all the symptoms,including the rash.  I guess the name of the fast food establishment I visited should be In & Out...Kinda.  As I look back I thought the burger looked a little undercooked and I learned this when I got my food handlers license, but I ate it anyway.

Sunday was a little better with the cramping starting to go away, just bloated and tired, sleeping all the time.  I knew things were improving when I found I could cough without wanting to cry.  I was to give a massage that afternoon, but thankfully she was understanding when I had to cancel.

Monday was still a little better, not as tired now but still feeling gassy.  Treated myself to some chicken noodle soup and a 7-up for lunch and decided to try pickleball (indoors).  I'm so glad I did that and I'm even more thankful for the noise of the basketball in the next gym to cover the sounds of my belching and farting while I played.  Apparently all that movement got the excess air out and soon was feeling really good.  

What can I say...chicken noodle soup and pickleball - the cure for what ails you.

Long Live the Queen

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monsoon Season

We're setting record highs here in Arizona and I have to admit that the heat is intense.  There's a reason they describe Arizona as the place Hell goes when it needs to warm up.

I find myself doing anything outside as early in the morning as possible.  It was 86 at 5:30 this morning when I took George for a ride in the stroller.  Gracie politely hissed her preference not to join in the fun.

This season is known for its extreme weather and it's kind of fun to be here to witness it.  It hasn't really stopped me from doing much and people are still hiking in the mountains...but you won't find me out there!

As I've been told the monsoon season is here and we can experience severe dust storms called haboobs.  Here are some photos of these walls of dust that can reach miles high.

 Then there are the flash floods that cause further damage. 

This is an older photo of one such case to demonstrate the power of water in a state where you don't usually see much of it.

The full-timers in the park tell me that the storms in Mesa are not generally this severe.  Apparently the rains can come so hard you can't see the house across the street.  This tends to last about a half an hour and then the flooding in the streets is gone in about an hour and you'd never knew it rained.

Long Live the Queen

White Ladder Shelf

I've wanted one of these ladder shelves for some time, so I picked up this one at Target.

Unfortunately when I went to assemble it one of the shelves was badly damaged.  I dreaded returning it to the store and it was the only one they had.

So I called the customer support line and they sent me a replacement part.

After this arrived I continued with my construction only to find another piece had gotten damaged.  This wood seems very fragile.  Not wanting to wait for another piece I decided it looked like it would hold and didn't show so just went ahead with it.

Now I have a place for my massage supplies and music.

Long Live the Queen

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Angels Among Us

It was one of those "down days" in a roller coaster of emotions and I was at a loss for what to do.  I definitely had to get out of the house for a bit, but didn't feel like really going anywhere.

So it was off to the library to work on the jigsaw puzzle spread out on the big table there.  I had the room to myself as I talked through my emotions, with lots of swearing and tears, which seems to be part of this process.

Then in walked a woman, so I quietly blew my nose and composed myself until she would leave.  That was the plan.

She sat at the table with me and we started a conversation which quickly progressed into personal issues.  Isn't this always the way with women?

After the appropriate amount of small talk, I shared my journey with her as to my self imposed exile for the summer to think things through and get my head on straight as to what I wanted my "Golden Years" to entail.

She shared her story of the loss of her husband last February after a long and difficult illness.  I thought she would be less sympathetic to my leaving a decent man because I felt I wanted more out of life and needed the distance to sort things through.  I was totally wrong.  

She commended my decision and said she wished her sister had had the gumption to do the same thing in her marriage.

We must have talked for at least an hour, time seemed to stand still and nobody entered the room during the entire conversation. It was just me and my new 92 year old role model.

She thanked me for talking to her and remarked on how much she enjoyed our conversation and new friendship.  I thanked her for lifting my spirits out of the doldrums and helping me clear my mind.

We both share the same belief that G-d orchestrates this kind of thing and our meeting was no accident and hugged each other goodbye.

It was such an honor to be in her presence and learn from her years of wisdom.  I can't wait to see her again.

Long Live the Queen