Optimal Health Journey

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Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:54 pm

I've decided to keep track of the ups and downs and get a sense of how success comes along. I was on this journey when McDougall Plan was published, originally. I quickly became so full of energy and lost weight without even trying. Many years later and letting myself go back to SAD I found a lot of health challenges; and many more to come if I didn't figure out how to get back to eating healthy foods. So while the financial choice of going to Costa Rica was difficult I knew very little else would be during that trip. Well everything was great except the affects of my SAD diet- Barbara shared my grief. Well a few minutes of grief during mostly wonderful experiences is nothing.I still can't explain why a switch was flipped but it was flipped. I haven't looked back since July 2010. Well I guess the magic of Mary and John and then seeing the Esselstyns and then meeting such wonderful people eating the starch centered lifestyle helped me make the leap. And look what I leaped towards!! Eating beautiful food, home-made and fresh and getting healthier almost every day. How is that hard to choose?
I can say that the "learning how" is hard when temptation is everywhere and the American habits are to eat fast and fattening. I learned to give everything of myself and somehow forgot to give to me first. I see that can't last without serious repercussion. Up to the July trip I had decided I'd buy some cheese from Costco since I knew this would be the last farewell. I also ate that marketed "olive oil" for some strange reason. Seven days before the trip I had terrible stomach pains. I should have called the ambulance but waited till morning and had a friend go to the doctor with me. The doctor diagnosed me with acute diverticulitis. I worried about the trip because I was ready to go but I couldn't imagine going ANYWHERE. The doctor told me to go because I would have to heal some before they could do anything else (I suppose he was thinking colonoscopy). Well I went home and mostly laid in bed for three days before I felt half normal. My friend saw me three days later and told me I looked better since the last time she saw me I literally scared her because I looked very sick. I still had low energy but I managed to carry my junk onto the jet and get to Costa Rica; and when I finally met Dr. John McDougall he told me I "would need time to heal". Being 75 or more pounds overweight is difficult alone. I suppose my intestines and all my vessels were just dying. I had felt several bouts of tightness in my chest. I knew I had to become responsible for my choices. Well in Costa Rica I didn't have to worry much but I began to enjoy what I had deprived myself of for so many years. I felt I ate a lot and even some of the richer foods. I also did a lot (especially considering my weight and recent illness.) and found I had lost 4 or more pounds when I came home.
So its been 7 months, almost 8, since I re-started the starchitarian life-style and I would like to get re-weighed. I have a scale somewhere (I put it away because weight wasn't important as figuring out how to eat health producing food)but I need to get it or back to the doctor to compare the weight I had on his scale to what I weigh now.
I'm feeling like Im just getting to the point of being fat and not severely OBESE. I'm on this journey almost alone, except that I am affecting two of my children for the better. I haven't figured how to modulate cooking proportions so it is more appropriate to just two or three people. I have found reading this message board to be helpful. I need to get back in touch with some of the people who made the July adventure too. I hope I can write my way to a very successful month and maybe organize a "mini-mary" or something bold like that. I'll be planning more soon.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby LoriJenny » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:32 pm

Hi Starchbeet!! Nice to meet you, I'm so inspired that you have been able to "not look back"...I'm really hoping to get to that point...it makes sense, why would we look back in longing at a diet that was ruining our health? The reality is...this food is more interesting, prettier, tastier, and makes us healthier...it's a win/win. I bet that Costa Rica trip was amazing, would love to hear more about that :) Welcome and happy journaling!! :D
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:57 pm

hi Lori :) have you been trying to McDougall?
Costa Rica was very nice.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:04 pm

March is here but Im not feeling motivated to plan even for a week yet. I walked the treadmill for an hour today so that is good.

My daughter is sick and I'm getting burnt out. Last night I must have eaten 5 oranges. Eating like that doesn't help me deal with the stress. My stomach was hurting this morning.

I ate a pan of potatoes piled high with kale. A pad thai instant soup, some nappa cabbage and another plate of potatoes with kale. Its time to learn the keep it simple recipes. I have so many pictures of the last 7 months of the superb dishes I've been cooking. I'll think about the simple and basic quick recipes to add to the "old faithful" recipes.

I have stayed on track by planning my weeks meals, so I have to do that soon but i also have a couple containers of mcdougall foods- and I have cans of things to mix as well as some greens and frozen stuff.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:27 pm

Saturday: I fixed some steel cut oats for my daughter for breakfast. There was leftover lasagna I ate for breakfast. It was easy to warm up rather than brown some potatoes since I was hungry because I did an hour of yoga after waking up. My legs were tight after 2.25 miles of walking yesterday.

For brunch I made double rice and greens. I used kale (my new favorite) instead of spinach. It also had shitake mushrooms, spring onions, sugar beans, mung beans; along with wild rice and rice. Now I need to find a recipe for butternut squash and sweet potatoes as well as do a menu plan for the week. Then I'll do a shopping list and get what I'll need.

My clothes finally look like they aren't mine! Im happy it looks like I have hand-me-downs :lol:

Rain is on its way. Change in weather pressure sets off my migraines often. I had a small one yesterday. My migraines seem to be lessening. I did eat those 5 oranges though and sugar is another trigger. I will keep a log of how they are changing because there has been a shift. It will be 8 months of the new lifestyle on the 14th (9 days from today).
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby Loveskale » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:45 pm

I must say, kale is pretty awesome.

I have been starting to go on the treadmill, however, I am also working on strength training so I don't go for more than 30 minutes. Otherwise I am at the gym forever.
My recipes are posted at: http://www.Flickr.com/Loveskale
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:06 pm

Sunday: I made some awesome Kim Chi Soup, which I create according to what's at hand. I forgot the bean sprouts when I was at the store. I was trying to focus on no processed foods this week but maybe its more about how I'm becoming aware of how easy processed foods sneak into our daily habits? At the HMart I bought some really strange Korean food. Its non sweet rice "goop" and it had pumpkin, chestnut, mung beans and adzuki beans in it. It was mild and not sweet. I loved the stuff. It was processed however.

So I still didn't find a recipe I was looking for (so I can cook the butternut squash) until Monday morning. And it was after I threw together a layered vegetable casserole recipe (I pulled out of the McDougalls very first, small little recipe book I found at a used book store). Its in the oven now.

Tonight I'll cook the New McDougall -alas- Layered Vegetable casserole that has potatoes, squash (and that butternut I need to prepare).

On Wed I'll go to the Adventist Store to buy some brown rice. I need to make a list.

I need to get on the treadmill now.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:11 pm

Loveskale- I just loved your link to pictures of your meals!! Someday I'm going to put my pictures up. Thanks for your inspiration.

Glad you can get to strength training. Im not terribly disciplined even at home. I'm really trying to stick to 3 or more times a week walking and then alternating with yoga. I wish I could find people to come join me. Maybe someday I can do some strength training because as we replace fat cells that shrink (in my case I have fat cells becoming normal in size) I need to make my muscles support and hopefully tighten my body up. Maybe Im dreaming but it's still necessary to get strong.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:05 am

What a weekend of challenges. I'm not good with stress and I don't have emergency plans. I was just going to pick up my youngest son and I was locked out of the house. We had to drive an hour and a half to get a spare key. Then my door key was missing so I had to travel back again for the other key.

This trip was supposed to be one hour. We didn't get back until about 11 pm. So my mind was spinning from trying to figure out how to manage my time, plot my trip around rush hour traffic, get gas, feed us, etc. I stupidly pulled into a fast food place to get water and a "large soda" my son ordered. I was so thirsty and was getting hungry. I must have pre diabetic condition and I actually crave sugar. In my stressed-out mind I actually told myself that I was going to drink a "coke". The last time I had a soda was 8 months ago. But this soda was an extra LARGE soda..which has to be close to 3 or more cokes.

Then we came to a chinese restaurant about an hour later, that we used to love, and is very popular. I ordered a dish of Choy Sum no oil and (stupidly because I was hungry by that time)a spring roll. So by the evening i had stressed out, driven for hours, eaten oil and sugar and got home late.

I woke up in the night with what I best describe to be a panic attack that started in my gut with terrible pains. I actually had this reaction when I ate two pieces of the chocolate tofu pie for Thanksgiving. The pain was familiar and I began breathing deeply and slowly through great pain. I started to feel so panicky and could barely breathe. It felt like my stomach would explode. This lasted for close to an hour.

Last week I found out our insurance had been retroactively canceled. So the last three visits (myself and two kids visits-one was at Johns Hopkins) I'll have to pay out of pocket completely. With that monetary realization I found myself in the middle of the night, in pain, feeling like I was going to pass out and die and unable to call for help.

Saturday I felt week, dull, sick. I ate some potatoes with some beans I'd cooked in slow cooker on Friday. Sunday I made Chinese soup with nappa cabbage, bok choy, leeks, peppers and garlic. I had this for lunch and dinner, along with some rice I added.

I can't believe I was so out of it that I drank (size of three) sodas and then topped it with oily spring rolls (the Choy Sum may have had oil too, as well as the rice). I am not able to tolerate either without serious repercussions. I can't verify if I have low blood sugar, or diabetes or something more nefarious until I can get the insurance straight. I can't tell if that will happen.

So, I need to plan for serious weight loss of the last 30-40 pounds so I can get beyond experiencing any more panic attacks brought on by sugar or what ever that horrible experience is. I also need to swear off sugar and even fruit. I bought oranges, cherries and berries last week so I will not buy any more when those are gone.

I need some sleep and I will have rice and greens today. I still have potatoes made also. Time to heal, again.
Last edited by StarchBeet on Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:15 am

Last night I made http://www.theveggiequeen.com/recipes/recipe21.html Middle Eastern Chickpea Soup with Spinach (no oil) and added some cooked potatoes. I made this in the pressure cooker. Wow it's good. I also added more Indian spices and tamarind paste, etc.

Today I've had an orange (and I said I want to stop fruit!!)

This last week was just outrageously difficult which is heightened by the realities of the poor Japanese problems. I'm trying to cope but its almost viscerally unbearable.

Now I'll eat something good (leftovers) and appreciate that I have wonderful food and peacefulness.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:47 pm

Last night I started feeling tired and a gnawing pain in the back of my head that usually means rain is coming. I looked at the radar and a front had moved in the area in the last three hours. I should have just closed my eyes and slept and I think that would have possibly (but I always talk myself out of taking migraine meds when I first feel it and that is when I am supposed to take it)stopped the headache. So eventually I took a headache pill and though it rained all night the pain subsided.

Today I am very tired. Its too sad to think about the nuclear industry and the damage being done in Japan. Will anyone make CA safer now before they have an accident? I sure hope Californians get moving on it; take a few lessons from Wisconsonites.

So today I had:

1 orange for breakfast
hour later I ate the leftover brown rice and garbanzo soup (just had a bit of sauce and garbanzo's left)
no lunch
Dinner: Garlic soup taken up a notch with spinach and brussel sprouts.

I think I am getting the cold my ex has, though I thought i had that two weeks ago. So it's likely that another cold is on its way. That is why I did the garlic soup. This morning I started sneezing and felt some sinus congestion. I'm going to try to get some probiotics (dunno if they are expensive yet). I heard that lacto rhamnosis is good for colds, I think.

My friend with banana muffin recipe, I wanted to try and have bananas for, finally called Wed night. So I made the mighty muffin recipe but I forgot to put in the spices :x

I ate three muffins(Wed)!
Last edited by StarchBeet on Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby sksamboots » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:19 am

Love reading your journal. Keep on keepin on :nod:
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:39 pm

thanks sksamboots!

Thursday

B: 2 c black beans and rice with 2 c kale, 1 banana muffin, jasmine green tea
Lunch: (soon to be) leftover garlic soup - better the second day and large salad (first)
Dinner: ??maybe enchiladas or something with frozen veggies and noodles. I'll look on Noviks easy stuff (am I spelling his name correctly?)

I will make a salad of cucumbers, specialty lettuce, red peppers, baby bok choy BEFORE I eat the soup . I just heard Jeff Novik describe how doing that helps you eat more of the less caloric dense foods and I am trying to get this FAT off.

Its a toss up...will I get the salad made before another banana muffin jumps into my mouth?

It was a success! 5 types of lettuce, raddicio, bok choy, grated carrots, red onion and red pepper. Raw, no dressing. It was that good.

I took my daughter for a stroll (she's 110 pounds at least)as well as the dog. I pushed her up this big hill and it was a challenge. My back feels fine. The crocus' are out, the temperature was 60 something. I worked in the garden; planted a bunch of pansies. I need to clean the yard of the tons of branches that the winters horrendous storms put in the yard.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:53 am

Planning day! I need to get some meals in mind for today and the weekend.
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Re: Optimal Health Journey

Postby StarchBeet » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:44 pm

I made a great variety of dishes this weekend.

I loved the South of the Border salad with hearts of palm and water packed artichoke hearts, kidney beans and I threw in black beans I had to use up.

Saturday I had the South West Vegetable Stew.

Sunday needs to be the Kim Chi Noodle Soup Sunday. After I make one batch I keep adding other ingredients. I added some interesting greens I'd picked up at the asian store.

Monday I ate:
B: large plate of hash browns topped with kale and served over arugula and some ketchup.
S: banana
L: Kim Chi Soup, no noodles
D: Colorful coleslaw and jicama and strawberry salad with mango/lime/cilantro dressing

I want to make two salads but my energy is low. I keep thinking I'm going to become menopausal and not peri-menopausal. Combine that with the rain and I got migraines yesterday evening and last night. So I'm low energy today.

I want to make colorful coleslaw and jicama salad today. I'll do those for dinner.

I'm doing a lot more greens and lower caloric dense foods. This is going to mean I'll be slimming down more than in the past. That's a good thing.
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