Happy Days are Here Again!

I am feeling much better these days. It is a huge relief to not feel crabby for no apparent reason all the time. There are various reasons I could be feeling better:

1. My husband is doing the Whole 30 with some co-workers and I decided to do it too since I was going to have to do all the food prep for him anyway. (My husband can grill but completely inept in the kitchen which I think he does on purpose.) I am on day 10 and I believe purging the grains and sugar from my diet are making a difference.

2.  I am getting outdoors a bit more despite the heat and humidity.  It is still unpleasant out but cloud cover makes it more bearable.  On Saturday afternoon we went for a short hike at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.  It had been raining all day but we just had a few sprinkles on our hike and on the way home the sun came out making it yucky hot.  On Labor Day we went to Apple Annie’s  and picked a ton of fruit  and veggies.  Despite being “only” 85 degrees,  with the humidity and sun it was sweltering.  But I love picking fruit and we enjoyed ourselves despite the weather.  It plain feels good to be outdoors more.

Good to see water flowing over the dam at Sabino Canyon.


Sabino Creek


A few sprinkles of rain during our hike felt good.


Really wish those clouds had been over the sun at Apple Annie’s.


A little taste of pre-autumn color in Willcox, AZ.

3.  It is September which means there must be an end in sight to the heat.  Okay, it will be anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks before we feel it but there is still a feeling of having survived another desert summer. (Well almost survived, only two more weeks of summer to go.)

4.  Lots to look forward to.  We are now in my “most wonderful time of the year”.  My husband and I sat down with the calendar and planned out our camping trips for the next few months.  The anticipation of true autumn weather (at higher elevations), wearing long sleeves, and gathering leaves makes me smile.

5.  It is football season!  This year we bought season tickets to University of Arizona Wildcat football games.  Nothing beats the atmosphere of college football.  Football and a marching band, what could be better in (almost) autumn?  Our first game was last Thursday and it started raining a  few hours before kickoff.  But the rain ended just as we were going to our seats.  We had remembered a towel to dry our seats off and it was a lovely, cool evening.  It was so perfect I thought I was going to cry.  Arizona won and as usual it was an entertaining game.

The Pride of Arizona marching band. (Wildcats, Pride, get it?)


Wonderful football weather.

Sunday I have my Denver Bronco’s to look forward to.  If only Peyton Manning can stay healthy and the O-line keep him protected!

6.  I was on-call for jury duty this week and did not have to report to the courthouse.  This means I have the whole week free to do whatever I want.  (I wish.)

I hope everyone is having a happy day.  🙂

A healthy eating update

My 30 days of healthier eating are up today but the challenge isn’t over. The reality is I am looking at ways to improve my eating habits that I can keep to for the long haul.
On the positive side I have conquered breakfast and now eat leftovers or a ground meat and veggie mixture. This morning I had a turkey burger with avocado and salsa, roasted sweet potato slices and asparagus.   Even camping I was able to stick with my new breakfast choices.
In the last 30 days I also confirmed that grains are contributing to my joint pain (hands and shoulders). Last Friday I took my son out to lunch and opted for the reuben. (Which was really, really good!) Friday night was family movie night and I baked a pizza and made homemade soup. I ate two small pieces of pizza. The next morning my hands and shoulders felt stiff and sore. The next step it to see if it is all grains or just wheat (gluten) that make me feel bad.
I am getting a little better when we eat out.  Eating out for me is hard because it always feel like such a treat so I want to order things I don’t usually make at home.  After the Friday reuben I admitted I was going to have to be more diligent about my dining out choices. Saturday we had a picnic to go to and I ate my burger without a bun and added some carrot sticks I brought from home. Sunday we went up to Phoenix to watch a Cubs spring training game.  I ate a smoked salmon chopped salad from a food truck.  On the way home we stopped at Cracker Barrel.  I got the breakfast parfait with 2 scrambled eggs.  (I was also supposed to get 3 slices of turkey bacon which the waitress forgot to bring and then lied about it not being part of the item I ordered.  I checked the menu on the way out and bacon was included, hence no tip for her.  She should have just admitted she made a mistake.)
On the still needs a lot of work side is sugar. PMS hit and that was all she wrote. I scavenged every bit of chocolate I had squirreled away. I don’t crave candy so much as baked goods which hits me with the double sugar and grain whammy. Not having any baked goods on hand I ate candy until it was gone. I am considering different options on dealing with the PMS sugar fix. I could try to stick with raisins, lara bars and greek yogurt and see if that works. I could stash a batch of cookies in the freezer and thaw one for each day. I wish I could eat the junk for a day or two and then go back to healthy eating but once the sugar door is opened it is really hard to close.
Dealing with the sugar issue is my focus for the next 30 days. I think this is  important for better sleep and to control mood swings. I will do some more research and see what others do to conquer the PMS cravings.  Starting today I am back on a strict sugar ban. I think increasing my exercise will help me sleep better, it is certainly worth a try.  I did lose 2 pounds but would like to lose 4 to 5 more and the exercise will help there too.

I would say the last 30 days have been a success.  Progress has been made on establishing better long term eating habits.  I have identified grains as an issue and admit controlling my sugar intake needs more work.  Last night it struck me that my hypothyroidism is a long term chronic condition that apparently popping a pill every morning isn’t going to fix.   It is good to take the time and energy to see what I can do on my own to feel better.  Patience is required to establish new habits, slip ups will happen and I don’t need to be dietarily perfect to feel better.  But I do so want to feel better and if a few changes in diet can make that happen then I am willing to make the effort.