Something Exciting

Afternoon readers!

I have been trying to follow a gluten free diet for about three weeks now. I discovered at the beginning of the week that some of the sauces and such that I use in cooking were not gluten free. It was hidden in the products through the use of aliases. Upon this discovery I cleaned out the cupboards. I was appalled to find that I had two bags worth of groceries that I somehow missed upon my first cleaning binge! The local food pantry was quite pleased with the purge though.

In addition to the extra cleaning, I have been trying to radically reduce the number of carbs I have been eating. I think this should make it easier and cheaper to be gluten free. If I fill up mostly on low carb items, I won’t be as tempted to be buying and consuming and entire $5 loaf of GF french bread. Plus, I just read that some of the starches and flours used in gluten free items can increase your blood sugar more than 5 tablespoons of table sugar!! WOWZA!

As someone with PCOS, I am supposed to be careful with sugars anyway. This syndrome puts me at a significantly increased risk of diabetes. A majority of my family over 30 has type II. I have seen the destruction it can leave in its wake, especially if it is not cared for. It doesn’t just hurt the patient.. it hurts the family. I have no intention of letting myself get to that point… it may be futile but I am going to fight it; even if it means given up on many carbs.

I am only about a week into this semi-restriction on carbs but I figured I would weigh myself and see if it made any difference. Last Friday, I weighed in at 194.4. This has essentially been my average since about June. I believe I described in my bio that I had put on 20 lbs in a matter of 8 weeks after starting to work as a teacher- mostly from stress because I had cut back on eating! I then couldn’t lose the weight no matter what I did. I always fluctuated between 191 (May-ish to early July)-197 (on occassion- like after weekends away with family). The lowest number I have seen since this summer was 193.

Then this morning happened:

Sorry about the blur line.. I realized after I uploaded it that you could see the reflection of my undies. Modest is hottest people!

Sorry about the blur line.. I realized after I uploaded it that you could see the reflection of my undies. Modest is hottest people!

There are little words right now to describe the sense of excitement that I feel right now. I have not seen numbers this low since I think July. After working my tail end off I may have finally found something that could be key to my search for getting healthy again!

Can you see the joy behind the sleep crusted eyes?

Can you see the joy behind the sleep crusted eyes?

I hope your day is going as well as mine is!

-Meg

Wrecked Knees and Taste Guru

Have you ever vowed to work out the next day and then woken up sick… or injured? That is just what happened to me today. I had injured my back slipping on the ice two weeks ago. I finally felt better and was planning on working out today. Then I woke up today… completely unable to bend my right knee. A few years ago I had wrecked it bad when I slipped on some water at school. My roommate was going to school for physical therapy. She was fairly certain that I had torn something slightly. I was laid up for a few days but was able to eventually walk it off. Weather occasionally has made it angry in the past.

With the arctic cold that seems to plague my state currently my knee had been a little angry. It popped two days ago and hurt but then went away. This morning, however, my knee was throbbing something fierce.  Bending it is atrocious… so needless to say… zumba isn’t happening today.

100_1244

YAY for wrap around ice packs!

In other news, I received my first Taste Guru Box.  This mail service is something that I suggest highly for anyone who is trying to go GF. I was appalled when I first started to look around for GF options. The price was outstanding and the nutritional value was not always better. In some cases it was worse! I found a Groupon for this service and ended up getting three months worth of boxes for $40. It was so worth it!

100_1245100_1246

This box came with six products. As you can see, I opened the chocolate almond milk immediately.. it was frozen and so it was like slushy. As one who is lactose sensitive, I get my kicks with chocolate milk products when I can. The kettle corn is divine! I only took a handful though because it was super sweet. The Punjabi curry is something that I am intrigued to try. I may not be too familiar with curries but I did try Cooksimple’s cowboy chili a few weeks ago. It was fantastic!

As a recovering carb addict, I am excited to try the baguettes. I have seen them in the store but was afraid to spend the 5 dollars a loaf on them… just in case they were awful. This may be the start of something beautiful… then again.. I haven’t taken a look at the nutritional information. I will let you know how that turns out.

The BBQ sauce is much appreciated because I didn’t realize how in depth wheat and all its associates have infiltrated the food system. To know that I have a safe sauce to turn to if I don’t have time to make up my own is comforting. I may be trying to get into shape… but I am still human and BBQ on occasion is good 🙂

Finally, the oats. Many people are either all for or all against oats when it comes to gluten free eating. My current opinion is that as long as you are careful to get the gluten free ones… you are alright. I used to love eating the instant flavored oatmeal packs on cold winter days. I have since seen that this is not the healthiest option. Making them from scratch is the best but when you are in a jam it could be helpful to have something for on the go. In comes these:

100_1249

Vigilant Eats, the producers of this product, have created these fun to-go cups. They come in crazy flavors that I would not have thought of. I may take these and borrow them for inspiration for my oatmeal later this winter. Flavors such as goji cacao, coconut maple vanilla, and espresso. Just be careful sending them in the mail. I was sad to find that mine had exploded all over the taste guru box. I was able to save about half of it… but the rest was lost… and later picked over by my cat that has an affinity for boxes.

Tinkyada Gluten Free Pasta

When I decided to go gluten free I knew I couldn’t successfully start until after the holidays so I spent them enjoying every last morsel of the breads and sweets I would no longer be allowed. I did start switching over some things such as pasta back in December because I did not wish to set myself up to fail. In that process, I discovered an amazing brand of pasta whose flavor and texture was similar to the whole grain version I had become so accustom to.

Image taken from Luckyvitamin.com

Tinkyada Pasta Joy seriously has kept me a float. ( I promise this is not a sponsored post) It is a bit thicker and richer than the white pasta products but those who are desiring a gluten free alternative- I promise this is a good one. It is made out of brown rice and has a hearty texture. We tried several others that were a quarter or two less in price but were always disappointed. I will be sticking with this brand I feel for much of my journey! Their pasta products come in all shapes and sizes. I was lucky enough to find that they carry this pasta many places in my rural surroundings. The local Piggly Wiggly has it in its gluten free aisles but it is a bit pricier there than its counter parts at Walmart. I am hopeful that as we relocate to a town closer to a city I shall be able to find it for cheaper than 3 buck a pop.

New Year, New Possibilities

So to say that I totally slacked on this blog is an understatement. Things this fall got a little crazy as I realized that nothing I did was making a difference. I completed most of the BBM challenge, I walked for an hour a day, I ate clean: none of it changed my condition. Talk about a huge let down. I was angry and frustrated.

I didn’t completely resign to my old eating patterns but I really wasn’t as cautious with my food choices. I worked out on a semi regular basis but switched it up to zumba or some other fitness dvd as the cold Wisconsin winter blew around me. What I find comforting about it though, is that I didn’t feel bad about it at all. I know this doesn’t really give me the credibility for this blog but this is more of an online journal anyway. What is a journal without honesty?

The culprit for my inability to lose weight wasn’t myself either. I know that sounds silly but in December I had the chance to meet with a doctor. It turns out that my Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome has essentially made it impossible for me to lose weight. Many people jump at this and talk about how metformin in the miracle drug. That may be true for some, but it is not for me. I was put on it after my initial diagnosis and nearly died from an allergic reaction! I couldn’t keep anything down, struggled to breathe, and my heart would race and then skip beats. It was a scary few days until I realized it was the medication.

The conclusion that the doctor came to was that my progesterone may be off which can mimic symptoms of hypothyroid. I do not wish to take the synthetic hormones due to the fact that they are processed and not natural (If you do take them, I don’t mean offense- it is just that I know this is not the route for me). I am taking a few supplements for now and praying about my next steps. I know that God will direct them in the right direction if I am asking for guidance.

In addition to supplements and prayer, I have gone gluten free. I am about two weeks into it- boy is it hard! I have only eaten it once since starting and could tell that I felt a bit foggy afterwards. This diet was something that has been in the back of my mind since last summer- an option that I would try only if I had to. After doing some reading before the holidays, I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to try.

While I am not someone who suffers from celiacs, I have noticed a difference in the way I feel. I have felt a few negative things but they can probably all fall under the ‘withdrawal’ symptoms. I have not felt as bloated though which is a plus. I will certainly be documenting my successes and struggles with it on this blog.

Fitness is only a portion of a healthy life: diet, personal outlook, and overall lifestyle make up other parts. One cannot be truly healthy without them all working in conjunction. It is my personal goal to grow in all these aspects over the next year. Perhaps I can encourage you as well.