Up until about a week ago I was feeling really good. Happy, energetic, sleeping well. Now I feel sluggish and blah again. I get cranky very easily too. I have my doctor’s appointment at the end of the week so I can get some input from my doctor. I already had my lab work done and saw my results online. Everything looked good, no flags, even my thyroid level is in the right range.
I have been doing some thinking and some research about what could be making me feel bad (in addition to my hypothyroidism). The most likely culprit is diet. For awhile I was eating very healthy, not too much sugar and I was avoiding wheat. I wonder if I may have a wheat intolerance? Wheat can not only cause gastro issues but also mood swings. While I avoid bread or rolls while eating out that doesn’t mean I avoid wheat. Even here at home I haven’t been fanatical about not eating wheat. I am not actually allergic but now I want to avoid wheat more diligently and see how I feel. I am also going to ask my doctor if there is a test to see if I am wheat intolerant and to what level.
And then there is sugar. I was doing really well not snacking or eating candy and then PMS hit. I had no control and when my PMS ended I didn’t stop mindlessly eating the candy. So now I am back to square one and determined to regain control. Odds are I will do well until I get hit with PMS again in a few weeks. I need a plan. A good plan. It is not pretty when the sugar craving slams me and I have nothing in the house. Fruit and nuts might work, maybe with a small piece of dark chocolate kept in a very inconvenient place.
Anyway, other than the snacking I have been eating fairly healthy meals. The CSA box has been great for that. We have had salmon and corn on the cob, corned beef and green beans, ratatouille, squash and pork chops as recent meals. Last night I am made spaghetti but I ate spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I used ground turkey and cut up a summer squash and put it in the sauce. In this heat I like the lighter spaghetti squash even more than pasta.
I have also been swimming most days, I walk my son to and from school and am walking the dog around the block in the morning. So, I am getting some exercise in despite the horrid (terribly hot, muggy, broiling sun) weather.
It is not easy to eat healthy every single day. I am doing well with meals, it is the in between meals where I am failing epically at the moment. Especially with sugar, it seems one slip up ruins weeks worth of work. But I really liked feeling better. It was great not snapping at my son all the time, waking up looking forward to the day, getting lots of projects done and being able to stay awake past 9:00p. All I can do is keep trying, taking things one day, one hour at a time. I won’t beat myself up when I err but try my best to put it behind me and move on. And maybe the doctor will be able to give me some direction and tips.
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.