Two Weeks In

Two weeks into the low carb way of eating and how I do love thee? I am not sure. I was shocked at how good I felt emotionally, even with my impending period at the end of the first week. I was starting to sleep better and slightly more energetic. And then week two smacked me right down with something; part head cold, part just plain tired and achy. The addition of a heavy period was not helpful. (Something is going around this area big time, it’s not just me feeling sick.)

I was tempted to put low carb aside for a few days. I really wanted orange juice and saltines, two foods I don’t normally crave. Instead I made soup and tried to nap once in awhile. It was a very long week though.

Now I am just going to share a few things I have learned:

  1. I do not like anything with Sucralose in it. I was all excited to find so many flavors of Quest bars and then when I got home I realized many of them had Sucralose. I am still on the fence about Stevia, I mostly avoid that too. I bought some erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and having been using that the few times I need a sweetener.
  2. You would think almond flour would be almond flour and net carbs would be the same regardless of brand. Apparently not. I found a great low carb pancake recipe (and they do taste yummy) but there was a lot of debate about the amount of carbs in them. So I started looking at the carb count of different almond flours and Trader Joe’s wins. Bob’s Red Mill almond flour (not meal) has 4g of net carbs per two tablespoons while Trader Joe’s brand has only 1g. I checked the ingredient lists and both just have blanched almonds. It is a puzzler.
  3. Mashed cauliflower tastes/feels (in your mouth) nothing like mashed potatoes. But cauliflower rice passes the pretend test for me.
  4. Eating out is not as hard as I thought it would be. But I do feel sad about french fries.
  5. Fat bombs are disgusting. I now avoid any recipe that calls for more than a tablespoon or two of coconut oil.
  6. Frank’s Hot Sauce (not the Wing sauce) is the bomb! I put it on eggs, in soups and of course on chicken. Perks everything up. For my cold I made chicken soup with homemade chicken broth from the freezer, cooked chicken from Trader Joe’s, grated zucchini and riced cauliflower. I threw in a handful of spices and a few good splashes of Frank’s, just what my sinuses needed and maybe 3g net carbs for a big bowl of soup.
  7. Keto bread isn’t bad, tastes okay just have to get used to a slightly different texture. (Photo is above.)

And now we are in week three. Part of me is ready to give in but I know it is just fatigue from my cold and an overly long period. Dinner is planned: grilled chicken, cauliflower rice and salad. And maybe I will treat myself to an apple. It seems silly to give up apples. Maybe I can do 30g of net carbs plus one apple a day? My life, my rules and I need to do what works for me, not live by a somewhat arbitrary number. We’ll see what happens.

Almond, hazelnut shortbread cookie.  2g net carbs apiece. (I over baked these a little, oops. Thinking I may sub a little cocoa powder next time, doesn’t that sound yummy!)

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2018 Aspirations: September

I tried to write this post last week but it just wasn’t happening.  I had an unusually busy week and felt rather depressed.  Truth?  September was a sucky month, especially after how great I felt the second half of August.  I got a normal period in September and found myself back on the hormonal roller coaster.  It was devastating because I really thought I was entering the 12 month countdown to menopause.  Why did I think this?  Apparently I just really, really wanted it to be so.

With the advent of cooler temperatures I am regaining some perspective.  Getting into menopause is quite the marathon.

Be Healthier

Allergies started back up which  totally did not help anything.  My insomnia returned for a spell making life just that much harder.  For most of September I felt tired and foggy.

I have given up the low carb strategy for now.  I really think low carb is the long term answer for me and plan on getting back on the wagon either in January or once the hormones subside.  It has been the one eating strategy that really killed the mindless cravings and had me eating less.

Swimming ended for the season, my last swim was the 30th, much later than in the past. I have to say swimming really felt good this year and I am looking forward to an early start next year.  But I was more than ready to adopt an “autumn lifestyle” and return to walking, mostly on the treadmill as I waited for cooler temps.  I have found a mix that works well for my treadmill walks: 20 minutes reading, 20 minutes playing a game of Scrabble against the computer and 20 minutes of doing a virtual walk through autumn scenery.

I am ignoring the scale for now.  Not sure how this is going to work but I am eating pretty much whatever I want.  I got tired of all the stress and guilt.  I know why I want pumpkin everything: to give myself the delusion of autumn.  This is the hardest time of year for me, I am seriously craving cool weather and sweaters and long pants and pretty leaves.  Well I can’t have those for a few more months but I can have pumpkin chili and pumpkin muffins and color pictures with autumn leaves.  So far all my clothes still fit so I will stick with making autumn happen the only ways I can.

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Be Happier

I switched from bowling on Thursday nights to Tuesday mornings and it is working out really well.  Two person teams so the bowling goes quickly and then I run to the commissary and shop for just one week at a time.  When I get home I usually feel rather wiped out and I take a break and watch “The Halloween Baking Championship”.

I finished my writing class and am now working on my story outline.  I really learned a lot and will sign up for a second class in January  which I am already looking forward to.

Meditation.  I must admit I think it is making a difference.  I am more aware of what I am thinking and feeling and getting better at stopping and asking why I am thinking/feeling something.  And that helps.  My new mantra is “if that is the worst thing that happens to me today my life is pretty good”.  Really helps to keep things in perspective (yes I am talking about you after school car line chaos).

Sometimes I feel like I have made so little progress this year but then I think about the many aha moments I have experienced and see all the data I am collecting.  I am looking forward to sitting down and writing my findings out for myself.

The biggest thing I have found is hope.  I know once I actually get into menopause I will feel so much better physically and that will spill over into feeling better mentally.  The scariest thing is learning that I could have to continue living with this misery for several more years.  Yes, years more of sleeplessness, uncontrollable eating, weeping at everything, ballooning breasts, brain fog and apathy.  And now I wonder if I should look into hormonal therapy.  I keep telling myself just see what happens next month and I have a few good weeks like in August and think, phew I made it but then the next month comes and I feel like crap again.

It is a tough decision and one that I know only I can make.  I am at the point where I feel like I need to see the doctor and get more information and mull that over for awhile, secretly hoping all the time that I will just go into menopause and be relieved from making the decision.  My biggest worry with hormone therapy is that any relief I find from current symptoms will be offset by different side effects.  But I won’t know until I try.  What is a grown woman to do?  That is the question.

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Autumn leaves from a past camping trip, this picture makes me happy!

2018 Aspirations: August

Be Healthier

  1. I went low carb and lost five pounds the first week.  This is an eating habit I believe I can do long term.  I am going with 30g of net carbs while still trying to lose a few more pounds but after that I am thinking 50g net carb with the occasional meal off. Oddly enough the thing I miss most is fruit but I am not missing all the junk food.  For me I think I need to avoid carbs in general and not just sugar to beat the cravings.
  2. I am doing a great job of trying to meditate everyday, even if just for 10 minutes.  As for actually meditating successfully….hopefully in time.  I have been exploring Insight Timer and find it helps.  I have one timer set up that I do in the afternoons and have been trying different guided meditations in the morning or at bedtime.
  3. Feet to the fire.  Weight 141.8 lbs.  I swam 23 days in August and did yoga 23 days.  Not bad.
  4. On the menopausal front another crazy month.  No period but ferocious hot flashes continued the first half of the month before tapering in both intensity and frequency.  Then I started sleeping through the night and actually felt pretty good the rest of the month.  I certainly  had more energy and felt way less foggy.  Gives me hope for the future.

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Interesting clouds.

Be Happier

  1. I am so glad I signed up for an on-line writing class.  I am thrilled to be learning again!
  2. I changed from bowling Thursday nights to Tuesday mornings.  I think this schedule will suit me much better.
  3. I have finally found the rhythm to my days I have been searching for.  I no longer feel compelled to stick to a strict routine but plan one day at a time.  I am finding everything still gets done and many chores seem easier.  I am listening to my physical and mental needs and life is good.

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Autumn is nearing, I can feel it!