Going (Almost) Vegetarian

I’m not ready to commit 100% but I think I need a break from the whole high protein way of life for awhile. It doesn’t seem to be working for me. I don’t feel as good on a low carb diet as I do when I limit meat. I don’t care what is popular in weight loss any more. I feel best when I concentrate on eating whole foods-mostly fruits, veggies, and dairy. So for the next 3 months I’ll be eating mostly vegetarian and vegan dishes. I’ll see how it goes. I now believe even more that plant based is best.

Slow and Steady

After doing more research about nutritional deficits in those of us with inflammatory conditions I am more convinced than ever that even though I am trying to improve my diet by eating lest processed food and increasing my veggies and fruits I’m not hitting my nutritional mark. According to some internet research I’ve been doing it is quite possible that I may need more than the average “healthy” person for my body to function at its optimum.  I have gone from counting calories, trying the primal diet, clean eating, ect all in an effort to get back to a healthy weight.  Right now I am about 25 lbs down from my heaviest and I still have at least 20 to go.  I’m sure I can go on some quick fix diet and lose the excess weight by summer only to find myself in a constant yo-yo state trying to maintain my target weight.  So I am about to Frankenstein a diet that I think will work for me.  I plan to go back to a vegetable based diet.  I will keep my carb count at 150 or less every day, and I will allow myself 1 fun size piece of candy a day to keep me from feeling too deprived.  I will continue to eat poultry and fish but stay away from red meat.  I have vegetarian leanings and I am hoping to one day completely phase meat out of my diet. Right now I’m afraid to do so because I hardly ever hit my recommended daily allowance of iron without giving up meat.  Until I find and incorporate enough iron rich veggies in my diet to meat at least half my recommended daily allowance I will be keeping some meat in my diet.  In addition to really concentrating on keeping my diet clean and vegetable based I will work out at least 3-4 times a week.

Health is a journey and unfortunately there is no quick fix.  I am going to have to understand there will be no 4 lbs lost in a week.  It will be slow and steady for me but I believe eating healthy and exercising will get me where I need to be.  I believe that the long term commitment needed to lose weight in this manner will become a habit and a way of life.  I want a healthy lifestyle more than to look good in a bathing suit this summer.  And who knows, I may even make it to my bikini body by late summer anyway.

This and That

This and That

So last Thursday I got a phone call at work. The message was incomplete but what was relayed to me was there had been a fire in my apartment complex and my apartment had been involved. So I broke a few laws speeding home imagining the worse only to find out that my apartment didn’t actually catch fire. It was the one beside me. Although my house was filled with smoke nothing was burned which was a huge relief. Even though my apartment was still standing it was filled with smoke to the point I had to sleep with the windows open in December! I had some cleaning to do to try and lessen the smokey smell but I was determined to make it to the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run.

It was everything I hopes it would be. It was a great boost to my spirits to see so many survivors of this horrible disease gather on a cold Saturday and defy the the beast by walking/jogging to raise awareness and monies to find a cure. I felt energized by the enthusiasm of the crowd and finished my 5k in 50 minutes. Next year I hope to come in at about 45 minutes.

And then I wrecked my car on Monday. So needless to say that the last week has been filled drama-some good and some bad. My RA has been behaving better than I expected. Sure I’ve been achy and had more pain than normal but I feel fortunate that I’ve not been pushed into a full blown flare.

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Playing Catch Up

So much has happened in the last month! I’ve wanted to blog but I’ve got so much swimming around in my head that I don’t know where to begin.

First off, my RA has been weird lately and it seems as if my toes are now it’s primary target rather than my hands and knees like before. I guess after 8 years of having a relationship with Mr. RA he decided to switch things up to keep me on my toes. Still, all things considered, I am doing well in my disease management. So I still get to walk in the Jingle Bell Walk tomorrow for the Arthritis Foundation. This is my first year doing this and I couldn’t be more excited.

I’m still working in post about health, my return to the gym, and how my job and mental health really impact my quality of life with chronic illness. Hopefully I’ll get those published soon!

Counting

So I’m back to counting calories.  After all, it is the tried and true method in weight loss.  I read somewhere that all diets, no matter how they are packaged, at their core are different methods to reduce calorie consumption.  Whether it is eliminating calorie dense foods such as carbs or highly processed foods the net effect is calorie reduction. Eating more than your caloric output, no matter how healthy or low carb the foods are, will end with weight gain. So I have decided keep a food diary and record the approximate calorie count of everything I eat and drink.  My handy dandy Lose It! app has been a great tool in doing this.  It has set my calorie count at 1406 daily and if I add exercise I get to “eat back” those calories-which is a great motivator to get off my butt and do something even when I don’t feel like it.

Does this mean that I am done eating clean?  NO!  Clean eating, for me, is about making sure that I get the nourishment my body needs.  I want to reduce the non-food elements in my diet.  I don’t believe eating a diet high in man-made foods is the best for MY body.  I believe that I will be healthier overall if I get my nutrients from whole foods rather than enriched foods.  But while eating clean will be a clean element in my return to health, it will no longer be what I rely on for weight loss.  For the weight loss portion of my journey to health I think tracking my calories is my best option.

Still Here

Runners Take Your Mark

Runners Take Your Mark (Photo credit: Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale)

Wow!  It’s been a while.  I’ve thought about blogging often but life (mainly work) has been getting in the way.  But on the plus side, I have not abandoned my journey to health.  Last month I signed up to walk the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. I’m really excited because this will be my first 5K ever!  No, I won’t be running.  I am not in good enough shape to even think about running.  Besides, as many arthritis sufferers know winter is not when we are at our peak.  Even though I am in “training” and I’m practicing walking 3 times a week I know my December 7 5K will be a challenge physically.  But I am still very enthusiastic about raising money to help find a cure for arthritis while improving my physical fitness at the same time.

I have discovered some interesting health related discoveries while I have been away.  I have been researching normal weight obesity, intermittent fasting, and resumed counting calories.  This doesn’t mean I have abandoned my goal of eating mostly clean, but the excess weight needs to go now.  I have set the small goal to lose 15 lbs by Christmas this year as a gift to myself. It’s doable.  I just have to apply myself and use every trick in my arsenal to get there.  I don’t want to do any fancy cleanse or fad diet that will have me regaining the 15 plus 5 more in a matter of months.  I am looking for habits that I can use throughout my weight loss and health journey.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Wishes

I wish that the power of knowledge also lead to a change of heart and habit. I wish that knowing what I need to do to be healthy was enough to change my unhealthy habits for good and stop me from falling back into old eating habits and coping skills when life gets shaky. I wish that researching and understanding rheumatoid arthritis somehow lessened the pain and discomfort. I wish that knowing how the meds work somehow increased their ability to control the disease and the pain associated with it. I wish that I would remember that low days don’t have to overshadow the good days. I wish that I was stronger than I actually am.

But I know that tomorrow is another day. And I believe that some wishes do come true! This too will pass!