paleo

Well.
It is and it isn’t.
It is because the weight affects my hormones, causing them to be all jacked and out of whack.
It’s not because the weight isn’t the issue. It’s a symptom.

(Actually, it’s more of a grey area. The hormones affect my weight, and the weight affects my hormones, so it’s a vicious and jacked up circle of blargh.)

Because of this, I cannot lose weight like regular people with regular hormones (OH TO HAVE KNOWN THAT ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO!). Take, for instance, calorie counting. Many, many people have had much success with counting their calories. Just count the number of calories consumed, make sure it doesn’t go over a certain number, and BLAM-O! Weight loss!

Except in my case (and the cases of other people with jacked up hormones), the kind of calories we eat is more important than the number of calories we eat. Let’s discuss insulin, one of my messed up hormones. The pancreas secrets insulin when blood sugar (or glucose) levels get too high, and insulin is responsible for pulling the blood sugar out of the blood stream and storing it in the liver and/or muscles. It’s a glucose regulator. My issue is that my body is resistant to the insulin’s message of “TOO HIGH! STAHP!” and cannot accommodate the blood glucose fluctuation efficiently. This leads to an accumulation of body fat and the overconsumption of carb-dense foods. Because my brain wasn’t getting the “STAHP!” message, it thought that I needed more quick-burning, glucose-raising foods. I did not. But my brain cannot see a mirror. It only knows what it’s told by the hormones, and the hormones were shit.

When I was counting calories, I would eat a bowl of Cheerios with skim milk for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and whole wheat pasta for dinner. It seems like a perfectly typical day for someone trying to lose weight, but in my case the Cheerios and pasta would make my blood sugar spike, sending my hormones into overdrive and leading them to store the excess carbohydrates as body fat.

The takeaway: if insulin isn’t present in the high ass quantities it used to be, the body will use its stored fat as fuel since it has no carbohydrates to use as a quick fuel source. By not eating wheat or processed foods my blood sugar doesn’t spike, which means insulin isn’t mashing my fat cells full of glucose. When blood glucose is at a steady, consistent level, there are no sugar crashes or feelings of ravenous hunger late at night. My body can function as it should, lose weight, and quit producing excess testosterone, which will make my period normalize and a whole host of other problems go away.

This is what I’ve learned, anyway. I’m sure there’s more to it. It’s all very complex.

Before getting diagnosed with a hormone disorder I had a pretty casual relationship with the paleo way of eating. I knew it made me feel better and my heartburn disappeared and I slept better, but for some reason that wasn’t enough to get me to stick to it for more than thirty days. I don’t know why. Probably because the call of the doughnut was too strong and, because I thought that nothing was wrong with my insides, I felt like eating poorly wouldn’t have too detrimental an effect on me.

I was so wrong.

It took a long time for it to click, which is a shame. If I had known what I know now… but I guess I did. I read It Starts With Food and could identify with some things, but it just wasn’t as applicable as it is now. That makes a difference.

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This morning I had planned to go to the grocery store, armed with a list and my last latte (because my beloved drive-thru coffee stand totally counts as eating out so GOODBYE FOR JULY, MY SWEET, SWEET COFFEE STAND!). Before I went I opened the fridge and freezer just to see what we already had. I usually do not do this but because the whole point of no eating out in July is saving money, it seemed like I good idea.

The wares:
1 dozen eggs
a half of a yellow onion
2 head of garlic
1 package of chicken drummettes
many apples
half a container of grapes
two frozen chicken thighs
5 packages of mystery meat (wrapped in tin foil, not labeled or dated but close to chicken piece size)
frozen: peas, corn, spinach, onions, broccoli, 1/4 of a three pepper blend, strawberries, mangoes
frozen bone broth
veggie stock
one chuck roast
1 random tilapia filet
turkey sausage
2 servings of frozen chocolate chili
3 cans of coconut milk
2 cans of tuna
2 cans of smoked salmon

What I’m Going To Do With It All:
- One batch of egg muffins, made with the turkey sausage and the rest of the 3 pepper blend
- Use the frozen fruit for smoothies
- Turkey burgers
- Chili lime chicken drummettes
- Pot roast, and then maybe a stew with the leftovers

The dinner menu break down:
Monday: turkey burgers with corn salsa (leaving out the sugar, of course); grilled peaches
Tuesday: Pot roast with sweet potato; quick sauteed zucchini and mushroom
Wednesday: Chili lime chicken drummettes
Thursday: beef stew
Friday: hopefully chicken stir fry (using the mystery meat)
Saturday: chocolate chili
Sunday: curry

The shopping list I’d made before inspecting the contents of my kitchen was basically useless after I saw how much food we already had. I’m skeptical about the edibility of the mystery meat and could kick myself for not at least dating it after it was wrapped in tin foil, but I’m hoping for the best and have a back up plan (frozen shrimp) if the chicken ends up being grey or smelling weird.

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change of plans

June 22, 2013

in foodstuffs,paleo

I was going to blog about being a food rut and then Holly posted a link to 51 Paleo Snacks and now I want to make (and eat) everything.

I know that there’s no real reason that to not cook, especially when I love it so much. I have the fear of cooking new dishes: fear of messing up, of wasting food, of the finished product tasting horrible. I need to stop worrying so much–it’s hard to mess up vegetables–and try to enjoy myself during the cooking process. I really want to add new dishes to our meal rotation. Grilled chicken and vegetables are delicious and all, but a varied diet is a healthy diet.

This week’s goal: cook two new recipes. (The paleo hummus looks really good, and the egg muffins will totally work as a breakfast on the go. Decisions, decisions.)

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A picture of some of the things I ate this week:

image

1. Paleo pancakes. One banana, two eggs, a tad of vanilla, and some cinnamon. On top is applesauce, made with just apples and nothing else.

2. Stuffed peppers! Inside is ground turkey, mushrooms, spinach, onion, and garlic.

3. The closest thing to oatmeal I’ve eaten in a really long time: one butternut squash, some coconut milk, blueberries, and cinnamon.

4. A salad from the salad bar at the grocery store.

5. Most of the time I throw protein in a pan, some vegetables, and hope for the best. This meal surpassed every expectation I had. I cut the meat off of chicken thighs and marinated it in rice vinegar, lime juice, and liquid aminos. The result was flavorful, Asian-y chicken that paired nicely with the veggies I sautéed. I put green onions on top to round out the dish and then I spied some Thai lime cashews on the counter so I smashed those up and sprinkled them on top. It was pretty amazing. Jason said it was one of the best meals he’s had in a long time which I took as a compliment even though WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE PAST TEN DINNERS, PAL? I keed, I keed. I’m thrilled it went over so well and it will definitely be made again.

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Whole30, day 2

February 13, 2013

in exercise,paleo,whole30

I went running today! And I ate healthy things!
It was a pretty good day.

Except…
Hmm. I don’t know how to put this tactfully.
I’m pretty gassy.
Not the dainty kind of odorless gassy.
Like, trucker gassy.
Nothing against truckers.

Did this happen last time? I vaguely remember both Jason and I ducking and covering.

ANYWAY.
Curry for dinner might’ve been a mistake but we’re doing it anyway. I have a meal plan. I will not deviate simply because my intestines are healing themselves in a foul-smelling manner.

In closing, here is a picture of my dog watching “The Mindy Project.”

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whole30, day one

February 12, 2013

in paleo,pictures,whole30

Jason said if I didn’t blog anymore that I would miss it and and I was like “I won’t! I’ll be fine!” And then I got weirdly depressed, which I won’t dwell on too much because it’s kind of weird to be all sad over simply not writing on the Internet anymore.

“I’ll be fine!” I insisted.
“You won’t,” he said, with a shrug of his shoulders.

He was right.

Hello again. Let’s do this correctly.

Measurements have been recorded. “Before” pictures have been snapped. “It Starts With Food” has been re-read and (hopefully) internalized.

And now, terrible and unappetizing pictures of the food I ate today!

Day one

Breakfast was sautéed rainbow chard and three scrambled eggs. Chocolate chili was consumed for lunch, and for dinner we had my favorite meal: chicken, peppers, and guacamole. I could eat it every single day and never get tired of it.

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