Day 57, Nov 4

What not to do.  Plain and simple.

Cut all the crap out of your diet for a month, and then in the space of 3 days, eat a burger, and follow that up with a plate of spaghetti.  I was completely unaware how sensitive I am to wheat flour.  The burger was totally NOT worth it.  C and I were at a football game, it was slushing out, we were cold and soaked to the skin.  We succumbed.  The thing was dry, cold (Cold?  Are you hoping for food safety to arrive, Stampeders?), not good in any way.  By nightfall I was suffering with indigestion and feeling anxious and uncomfortable.  By morning it had passed.  Then on Monday night I thought maybe I could try pasta.  I’ve been able to eat it before when the pasta was from Italy.. should work this time, right?  Phew.

Last night I tossed and turned all night long.  Every single joint in my body was hurting, even the joints in my fingers and toes. I got up in the night and put on some magnesium, usually that helps with aching legs, but no such luck.  I took meds for anxiety.  I didn’t get up early enough to ride my bike.

For pasta?  It’s just not worth it.  I missed one of the last beautiful fall mornings for pasta?

Spirallized zucchini or spaghetti squash.  A simple solution.  Little steps.

Day 66, Oct 27

I successfully battled with both hamburger and pizza cravings this weekend and won.  Phew… After round three, I defrosted a bit of hamburger and made a big pot of mostly vegetable soup (hoping that a little bit of hamburger would go a long way).  It really helps with getting lunch handled during the week, so the soup will be helpful in many ways.  Instead of walking out of the house with NO PLAN (really.. no plan at all!  how could that ever work?), I now bring a manageable sized mason jar with oatmeal and berries, and another with soup; a banana.  Boom!  Two meals and a snack.  Take that, Dimitris Pizza, right next door to the shop with all of your fragrant sauce, delicious bread and lovely cheese.

I thought that maybe I’d step on the scale.  As a rule, I am very, very careful to avoid it like the plague; the numbers cause me to feel horrible about myself, and I don’t think it’s a great idea.  Hoping that there would be a little good news, I carefully stepped on my electronic enemy and it said that I weigh 250lbs.  Touche scale! Lesson learned.

I’ve been enjoying the fall so much, with all the bike rides, and walking/trying to run a bit… but I am still struggling with anxiety.  Every day I try a combination of yoga nidra, zen audio books, meditation.. and still find myself with my heart pounding in my ears, a tight chest and insomnia raising it’s ugly head.  I have been going to the mat trying to get off of Celexa, and I really think it is about 90% of the problem, overall.  I might be over the hump now; I’m praying that it’s true, haven’t had a major melt down in over a week!… Anyway, my friend Eva suggested InteraXon Muse.  She said that her brother was able to kick smoking by using it, and I am REALLY EXCITED…  mine arrived today.  Train the brain baby.

I will confirm tomorrow if I have a brain or not.  I’m voting yes.

What am I’m doing?  I have cut out wheat, most dairy, refined sugar and junk food.  I am probably eating twice the amount of food that I normally would.  No missing meals!  Exercising most every day.  Taking supplements. Trying everything I can think of to reduce anxiety (and therefore Cortisol) and inflammation in my body.  I’ve been using my Teeter inversion table twice a day.  I’m thinking about trying Tai Chi.

Get strong, get clear, get healthy.  Be pain free.  See if I can avoid Statins.  That’s the idea.

Day 84 – 72, Oct 20

I don’t know how all those days went flying by!… I am am still sticking with the program.  In fact, I was thinking that its been a long, long time since I did something epic, and maybe with better nutrition and more exercise, I could consider that. In that light, I spoke with Franki and decided that I’d try to run.  The plan is to do couch to 5k, get in a few small races, and then try to do a bigger one in June/15.  Since I’m walking to work now and again, it’s quite easy to integrate intervals of ‘running’…. Worked quite well for the first few tries, and then suddenly my lower back decided that the world has ended.  I’m feeling somewhat better today, but yesterday was a nightmare.  Did I wear the wrong shoes?  Too much, too fast?  Car accident damage haunting me?  Probably a combination of all of those things, but I will persevere.

I have this down to a rough plan….

Three weekdays I ride 13km, and walk maybe 1km.  One weekday I walk between 5-10km.  One weekday I drive, because I have doctor’s appointments and I also have business errands to do.  On the weekend, I try to walk, and usually don’t do a whole lot on Sunday besides laundry and housework (aka: knitting).  Saturdays can be quite active.

Every day I take a combination of supplements which I’ll talk about another day.

Every day I try to do something to combat stress; mostly listening to Thich Naht Hahn, and/or meditation.  There is a Buddist temple near my house, and I believe that this 90 day trial is leading me in that direction.  It, like me, is under renovation at the moment.   We’ll both be new in 2015.

I have purchased a Teeter Inversion Table in hopes that I can counteract the lower back, neck and shoulder damage that I have been left with after the car accident.  One can only hope.  It hasn’t arrived as yet; I’m hoping that today might be the day (unfortunately, it has been lost in transit)

I have given up processed sugar, flour, and junk food; also mostly all bad fats.  One day I was really craving a hot dog at Costco, so I bought one, had one bite, and threw it away.  I call that a win.  It was not hard to chuck it, to be honest, I am over the sensation of that kind of food; suddenly the texture was just wrong.  One day I ordered take-out from a local restaurant… something that I have regularly done over the years.  I buy a certain order that ends up providing meals for approximately 3 days.  Well!  My heart was pounding so hard that I was scared, and I hardly slept that night!  This after one meal; one that I have regularly consumed for decades (the downside of living close by!).  That I would have such a strong response so quickly was quite a shock.  How fast we can recover!

The biggest trouble I have is planning and executing meals when I’m tired.  By the time I get home I’m exhausted and would like to grab something quick.  Instead of that, I’ve been buying a big bag of deep greens from Costco and making salads.  That gets me through the worst of it, and sometimes buys me time to cook a little protein.  I find myself snacking more.. but on fruit.  I plan for breakfast.  Most often by making chia pudding, overnight oatmeal with berries, or a couple of boiled eggs.  I drink more tea, and less coffee.  Definitely more water, but still not enough.

I don’t think I have lost an ounce, but this is an experiment after all…  we’ll see how things go at the beginning of 2015.

The biggest gain to date is the time I’ve spent on the bike path, enjoying this glorious fall.  You miss that in a car.  You miss the sounds, the smells… so many magical things that are excluded by being in a vehicle (tho I may change my mind when the snow falls).  I am really making an effort to be mindful, to be conscious of my breath and my surroundings.  I don’t know how that affects cholesterol, but it certainly is great for the soul.

Day 84, Oct 8

Today is the first day that I’ve been fighting the desire to order pizza.  That’s saying a lot due to the fact that one of the best places in town is right next door, and I can smell sauce.  However… I’m not doing it.  Tonight is Survivor night, so I let my friend know that I’d be bringing myself a big salad, so no fuss, no muss.  No cheating.

What I ate:  Steel cut oats with blueberries, a banana, an apple, shrimp lettuce wraps and a bowl of tom yum soup, a square of raw chocolate

What I drank:  Tea, water and a bit of clamato juice

De-Stress: 1 hour of Thich Nhat Hahn, Mind Body meditation

Exercise:  Rode my bike 13km, and walked about .75 km.

Ideas:  My thought for the day is that I wish the Noodle box was closer, because I absolutely love those lettuce wraps.  I would recreate them, but the shrimp are so fresh and wonderful that I don’t think it’s possible.

Day 85, Oct 7

What a beautiful bike ride I had this morning.  It was the perfect, cool day, with leaves falling all around me, yet enough on the trees to keep things pretty for just a while longer.  Also, our friends, Hilary and John arrived for a short visit from Osoyoos. It couldn’t be any more exciting than that!  Judi had knitted a wonderful sweater for Hilary, and a unexpected scarf for John; they loved both pieces.  There’s nothing better than giving and sharing; being witness to that is pretty darned wonderful as well.

What I ate:  Steel cut oats with blueberries, and apple, a banana, a deep green salad with tomatoes and tuna.  A couple small pieces of cheese and some thin Hutterite pickle slices.  A square of raw chocolate

What I drank:  Maybe a glass of Clamato juice, two glasses of white tea.  I must have drank some water, but I can’t remember.

Exercise:  I rode 13km on my Bianchi, so that’s an emotional plus for me too.  I love that bike so much.  Unfortunately, I forgot my walk.  I’m really disappointed about that.  I’ll make it up somehow.

De-Stress:  An hour of Thich Naht Hahn.  20 minutes of mind/body meditation.  Cant remember it, so I think there’s a fair chance that I actually slept through the meditation part.  I’m calling that relaxing.

Ideas:  There’s nothing like a visit with friends.  Except, having that visit and at the end of the day realize that your Itsy left you hand knit birthday socks.  Wonderful!

Day 86

I love Sundays.  I do my laundry and hang it on the line, play with the dogs, eat a little, nap a little, knit.  Sundays are truly the most relaxing day of the week for me.  This Sunday truly fit the bill.  The only time I left the house was to take a drive to Noodle Box to try the Spicy Peanut Noodle box.  I thought the noodles were going to be gluten free, but actually, I would have had to ask for that.  Sad.  However, I discovered shrimp lettuce wraps, which are so delicious that I can’t stop thinking of them.

The dogs and I went for a brief, unsuccessful walk.  For some reason they were in full out PULL mode.  There was much choking and coughing and some background swearing.  However, I did get my daily walk commitment fulfilled, even though it was a very short walk after all.

What I ate:  Shrimp lettuce wrap (full of veggies!), spicy peanut noodle box with coconut, asian slaw and broccoli, trail mix, apple, some thin sliced Hutterite pickles from DJ’s veggie stand.

What I drank: tea and water

De-stress: Body Mind meditation, hand rolled the hems of two silk scarves and watched British television.

Exercise: Walked and did housework.

Ideas:  I made overnight steel cut oats, so I’ll have breakfast for the next few days. Thanks to Jocelyn!

Day 87

I had the best day today!  I had an unexpected text from Dida, and we ended up spending the day together.  It was just so splendid!  We tried to go for breakfast, but ended up grabbing an egg mcmuffin, shopped, picked up Nina, had lunch at the Noodle Box in Airdrie (I am totally addicted!), shopped some more, and then headed home.  Fantastic!  10 out of 10 to spend time with these two amazing girls.

What I ate:  An egg mcmuffin, few bites of some really horrible oatmeal, raw moon cookie, Tom Yum soup with chicken, a few squares of raw chocolate, some trail mix

What I drank: A coffee, coconut water and a litre of water

De-stress: A day with family.

Exercise:  I walked quite a bit throughout the day.

Ideas:  I was feeling really, really exhausted all day, and finally realized that there were other symptoms, and that I am still suffering Cymbala withdrawl.  I thought I was over the worst and have been cutting back for literally months.  Today I cut my dosage back another 50% (which makes it 10 little Cymbalta balls) and within hours I felt relief.  I honestly think this drug is a nightmare and I totally regret ever agreeing to take it.  Before you ever get on this train, make sure you read about Cymbalta withdrawl.

Also..  you will have Noodle Box withdrawls; even after one visit.

Day 88

Today I broke out the Nordic walking sticks, and tentatively decided to walk to work and back every Friday.  It was the most gorgeous morning, and I loved every step of the way.

What I ate:  2 boiled eggs, minestrone soup, 2 apples, a blt salad.

What I drank:  A litre of water and a few cups of tea.

De-stress:  Thich Naht Hahn audio book

Exercise:  I think I walked about 8km or so.

Ideas… Fall is so lovely.

Day 89

Every second Thursday I see a psychiatrist for what started out to be a way to deal with the loss of my son, and turned into a long standing effort to love myself (and deal with the ever constant anxiety that accompanies not doing that).  My doctor is trying a new method, and it is a butt kicking roller coaster that uses up every ounce of energy in my body.  This amount of stress cannot be conducive to health in the short term; I pray it is, in the long term.  Horrible day.  Really.

What I ate:  Raw trail mix, a deep green salad with tomatoes and a bit of mozza, a few cashews, one small bite of a delicious biscuit with homemade plum butter.

What I drank:  2 cups of tea and a litre of water.

Exercise:  Not much.  A tiny walk, because I promised to do that.  🙂

De-stress:  Too tired to even think about it.

Ideas:  Well, I so very nearly fell into a trap that I didn’t know existed.  Every two weeks I go to the same place, and on the way, I stop for a coffee and an egg mcmuffin.  I did get the coffee, but had a $5 in my pocket, so I didn’t order the food ‘because just coffee is too little to use a bank card for’.  After my appointment I stopped at Costco and Staples to pick up items for work.  Geez… I was hungry, and realized how many locations that, stressed out and exhausted, I stop at to eat something on the way home.  I really, really need to eat breakfast.  Or carry something for an emergency.  And find a new Costco and Staples that don’t have food triggers on the way home.

The best part of the day was that it was Knit Night, and it’s pretty darned amazing when lots of your peeps come to knit and laugh and just be wonderful.  But then, that’s what peeps are for, right?

I don’t think I’ll write about every second Thursdays again.  I’m pretty sure that I won’t eat or drink enough, I’ll be exhausted and I won’t get a bit of exercise.

Day 90

Today’s take-away is that eating at a friend’s house could be problematic without planning.  I was invited for a standing date, every Wednesday night, to watch Survivor together.  I was lucky enough to arrive to a dinner prepared for me; and… it was a big pot of delicious corn chowder.  Yikes.. Full of cream and bacon and all the yummy things, followed with a biscuit.  I said no to the pie.

Next Wednesday I’ll bring a salad.

What I ate:  Minestrone soup, 2 apples, a few cashews, and corn chowder/bisquit.  grrr at myself for not thinking ahead.

What I drank:  A coffee and a litre of water

De-stress:  1 hour listening to an Thich Naht Hahn audio book, 20 minutes guided meditation, 10 minutes of the ultra relaxing yoga pose.

Exercise:  I rode my bike for 12kms and walked 1.5kms.

Ideas:  I put magnesium oil on my legs when they are hurting or restless, but I think I will start to use it every day before I go to bed.  No harm in it, excess is not absorbed.  This is a great way to get magnesium into your system without getting the runs.

On that happy note!