Health & Fitness

Day 25: A Vicious Circle.

Over the past week I have eaten way too much food and spent way too much time analyzing why – each of these activities inevitably leading to more of the other.

Observations:
1) I like paleo/Whole30 foods, and really get a kick out of sourcing ingredients, recipes and related nutritional information.
2) When I prepare yummy food on my day off, I get quite excited about lunchtime at work – and morning tea.
3) Taking the adrenal fatigue herbs and other minerals prescribed for thyroid stupidness and energy levels seems to help.
4) If I eat something I don’t feel like eating (eg: meat & veg for brekky), I just keep eating until my taste buds are happy – this can take a while.
5) Too much macadamia nut butter, cashew milk, dried fruit and maybe coconut oil – combined with a significant reduction in exercise – leads to work pants being uncomfortably tight. This in turn results in miserable, and slightly irritable, me.

Conclusions:
1) I have personally witnessed (in others) great success resulting from participation in Whole30, and would definitely recommend it to friends.
2) Although I remain committed to the list of recommended foods, I can’t say I ever nailed the behavioral requirements (see Day 18), so I can’t really claim the program didn’t work for me.
3) As someone who has gained then lost 30-40 kgs 3 times over the past 20yrs, I wouldn’t suggest that I have a ‘normal, healthy’ relationship with food. So, having found my happy place with Mostly Paleo, maybe I shouldn’t push it.

Actions:
1) For the final five days I plan to enjoy eating well. I will stress less about the detail and finish ‘MY’ Whole30 happily with the desire to keep the good habits going.
I am interested in the results regarding inflammation, muscle mass vs fat, and energy levels, so I won’t be straying from the Whole30 list at least until I visit the naturopath on Oct 10.
2) I am undecided as to whether I return to full workouts after Tuesday (Day 30) or wait until after the follow up on 10/10. It probably depends on whether my work pants fit better or worse than they do today.

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I love a good condiment – here are some for you to try…

Macadamia nut butter: 3 cups raw macadamias in the (high powered) blender, blend until creamy. Delish. Remember ants on logs? Nut butter in celery stick, sprinkled with raisins. Happy days.

I discovered – well, I read that someone else discovered – that 1 part balsamic vinegar to 2 parts (organic of course) tomato paste = Paleo BBQ sauce! And it works! Hooray! Something for the burgers 🙂 Cut the stalks out of those really big mushrooms and grill – they can be the buns.

Sweet Chili Sauce by The Healthy Chef – really really easy, and good on everything.

There are some incredible sauces, marinades etc in Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan if you feel like treating yourself to a new recipe book this week. I am currently loving Salmon A L’Afrique Du Nord on page 103 – ooh la la!

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Health & Fitness

Day 18: All things. Especially food…

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The thing is, for the first two weeks, the Whole30 wasn’t all that difficult (except going out to dinner – which is near impossible), but then it was pointed out to me that this may be because I wasn’t doing it right.

I really enjoy eating from the “allowed foods” list, I prepare well and rarely crave “not-allowed foods”, but I have yet to come to grips with the habit-breaking, life-changing rules around when and how to eat. For example:
*No snacking between meals. The three meals of the day (plus an extra if you workout) are supposed to be big enough to get you to the next one.
*There are no breakfast foods – the three meals should be similar to each other in construction (ie: no yummy grain-free granola).
*Recreating junk food or desserts with approved ingredients is not permitted (ie: no Pinterest)
*Stop eating three hours before bed. I am a fan of this one, but sometimes I don’t get home from work til 10pm.

So I think it’s true that all things are difficult before they are easy.
I decided last friday, after a slap-on-the-wrist naturopath visit, that I would follow these guidelines from Monday, but I haven’t. Because it’s hard! I love brekky foods and I love researching, making and eating snacks, and none of the strategies I have tried have succeeded in eliminating either of them.

Tonight I am torn between a) accepting that eating the right foods might have to be enough, and b) knowing that the best outcome can only come from doing the program properly. My response so far to this emotional turmoil has been to skip training, drive straight home and pig out on Amanda Allen’s Raw Cake. Again, great (compliant) ingredients, but not really meant for this purpose.

Hmm.

Fuck it.

I need to get this right, or I will never know what could have been.

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Health & Fitness

Glossary

Whole30: A short-term (30 day) nutritional reset, designed to help you restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.
Do eat: meat, seafood, eggs, lots of vegetables, some fruit and plenty of healthy fats.
Do not eat: any added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes or dairy.

Crossfit: A strength and conditioning program utilising a wide variety of functional exercises taken from disciplines such as gymnastics, weightlifting, athletics and kettlebells.
AMRAP and WOD Also Crossfit terms.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Best show ever on tv.  Don’t worry, I don’t plan on referring to it more than once throughout the “journey” – and truly hope not to use the word “journey” too often either.

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Health & Fitness

Day 1: Kind of Scary

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I did begin the day a little scared… What if I don’t have the willpower to do this? How do I make a yummy brekky without even goat yogurt? Will my coach think I’m lazy, or just sucked in by the hippy naturopath, when I tell him I’m not going to do conditioning work for a month?
Even at this stage I didn’t doubt that my plan would work if I could commit to it, but seriously, no quinoa? Isn’t that a bit extreme? And do I have good enough diplomacy skills to keep my family & friend relationships intact without succumbing to their pho, champagne, lentils and cake (…separate September events)?

So off I went to crossfit at 9.30, and arrived just in time to hear the coach telling the 8.30 guys that getting through a tough AMRAP is a mental challenge that must be conquered – every one of them was flat on their back making sweaty impressions on the floor – and that crossfit is as much about these moments as it is about how much you can lift. Hmmm… deep breath… “Um, so I’m thinking I would like to not participate in WODs for 4 weeks and focus only on strength”. Waiting… and then, with the coach’s response, my day started to improve: “Ok, I’m only doing strength at the moment too – if I had my way, a couple of days each week would be strength-only for everyone”
Phew!! Breath out.

Things continued to get better after the workout. I read the recipes in the Whole30 book, ordered my own copy from BookDepository, tried a coffee with coconut oil instead of milk and surprisingly found it quite yum, realized that if I’m not running & jumping at the gym, I can eat beforehand (yay) and probably wear just the one sports bra (yay) 🙂

Feeling significantly better about “the plan”, I put on season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – because it has the musical episode – and started to cook.

One lamb roast with vegies, one large frittata, 6 cutlets and a litre of cashew milk later, I am ready for the week.

PS: cashew milk is tastier than almond milk and much easier to make – no pulp.

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Health & Fitness

Why Whole30?

Since the diagnosis in April, I have been pretty flippant about the whole adrenal fatigue thing – googled a little, tried to get less stressed at work, took some herbs to keep the naturopath happy – but really, Crossfit 5/wk and kind-of eating paleo can fix anything right?

Apparently, no?!
The more I read, the more I realized that this was something I couldn’t out-train, cure by applying mind over matter, or ignore – all of which I tried. Also, the (somewhat belated) research indicated that many of my health frustrations may well be tied to these messed-up adrenal glands and the cortisol they are throwing around willy nilly.
Then, last weekend while listening to a Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness podcast, I got the final slap across the head that I was (apparently) waiting for. Responding to a question, Sarah Fragoso discussed her experience with adrenal fatigue and how she recovered. I mean if Sarah Fragoso – hard core crossfitter from NorCal (no less) and friend of Robb Wolf – says I need to get serious, then I’m going to Get Serious!

So I determined that September is Get Serious month.
1) Sleep at least 8hrs/night,
2) Eat to minimize inflammation,
3) Reduce physical stress by eliminating WODs from my training*
4) Take the herbs, because apparently the naturopath knows what she’s talking about.
*you (and Sarah Fragoso) may think I should reduce workplace stress too – but really, my job isn’t that stressful 🙂

Today, one of my CF coaches suggested others may be interested in reading about my Whole30 journey – if you are, welcome! If not, ok.

Oops, have to go to bed.

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