Just another couple of days until Christmas and truly my body is feeling the effects of lots of eating, chatting and being off schedule. I am ready to have the holidays come and go so I can get back to my regular routine. As I have written in many past blogs I do not partake in the alcoholic beverages since it really can put me into flare quickly and without much effort. I am 178 days without a flare and not about to get one now when my body is already tired and teetering on the edge of exhaustion. However, I have been walking more do try and combat the terrible eating I’m doing. Yes I’m keeping it gluten free but not sugar free and it has really worn me down. My yoga practice is great and I have also been able to find myself in the Bikram studio for some warmth so I’m happy with the way my body is performing just wish I wasn’t so tired.
Weekly stats – 97,725
Daily – 13,104
Miles – 36.46
Floors – 141
Hope you all enjoy a safe holiday season and that your bodies are holding up
I made it through the first of several eating holidays. At this point I pretty much have the gluten free plate figured out at Thanksgiving and splurge on the gluten rich pie. Since I don’t over indulge in the dinner festivities and I don’t participate in any of the wine or alcohol festivities I can splurge where I really want to which is the delicious plate featuring small slivers of several different pie flavors. Smothered in whipped cream which is gluten free so the more the merrier.
My Thanksgiving day included a 60 min spin, 90 min Vinyassa yoga and 90 Bikram class all before noon when it was time to re-fuel my body with moisture white turkey meat, mashed cauliflower, a beautiful assortment of roasted root vegetables and small taste of the ever so sweet potato mash. My husband stays home doing the cooking while I’m out burning those calories making room to replenish them. It works out well and has been a tradition now for 12 years since we have been married.
The next Holiday is our Christmas season which isn’t just 1 or 2 days like the calendar states but instead 5 weeks of fun filled eating, drinking, fire side chats, family gatherings and company holiday parties. Again I have this pretty well figured out and I do not commit to every single occasion that is offered between now and Jan 3rd. I have my limits of what my body is capable of. I try and do all the right things most of the time so I can enjoy some later than normal evenings with holiday cheer and chats.
I have been doing a lot of yoga teaching which is truly so fulfilling. I knew I loved yoga and knew I wanted to teach but I didn’t know exactly how much my soul would be filled by teaching. I’m taking care of myself while taking care of others during our yoga classes and taking time when I need to rest and recoup. Which means that my activity level is still pretty low outside yoga but that is ok for now and I don’t want to over do it.
Daily Average – 11,378
Miles – 31.12
Floors – 156
On Sunday my husband and I decided to go to brunch because we hadn’t eaten out since our vacation several weeks ago and do enjoy going out every once in a while for either brunch or dinner but really brunch is our favorite. He picked the place which was this adorable little place in the Old Port Portland area. We walked in and the place was small and the food smelled so good. We were seated right away and didn’t arrive terribly hungry so we were able to contain ourselves for a minute while we sipped hot coffee planning our brunch in a strategic manner. They had an entire page of different meats and cheeses so my husband ordered some of his favorite meats and we nibbled happily away on them. This is a place that makes home-made donuts to order so they come out piping hot but both of us were able to resist such treats and went to order our meals. We were looking at the different egg combinations, hash combinations and feeling pretty good about having a gluten-free brunch. Until I saw it, right there on the menu, front and center; orange hazelnut butter brioche French toast with Maine maple syrup. Sold to the highest bidder which happened to me at that time and our table. My husband took my cue that gluten-free did not have to pertain to this meal on this day with this beautiful lady sitting across from him so he proceeded to order Eggs benedict on brioche bread.
A little more coffee, some delicious food, and amazing company and this couple was in state of true satisfaction and contentment. Everything was fine and dandy as we left this little bistro every happy and extremely full. We went about our day and into the evening things changed and changed quickly. My joints were starting to stiffen, my body felt so tired, and my mind was in a fog. My husband just looked at me and said that is what gluten will do. I couldn’t believe it happened in the same day. I didn’t even have a chance to journal about our fabulous brunch before I was feeling the effects. My husband started feeling the effects later with some uneasy full feelings that lasted way into the evening and neither of us slept well. Yesterday morning we woke up and I did get up to do my exercise routine and yoga routine because I really have to not feel well to skip my routine so I continued about my morning but when he asked me how I was feeling the truth was I was still feeling pretty lethargic and my joints were still really stiff this morning. If the effects can happen that fast they should go away just as fast but it doesn’t work that way. Neither of us have been diagnosed with any intolerance to gluten but the longer we go without eating it the harder the effects are when we do so we are normally really conscience about it and just let our guards down the other day. Have we learned our lesson? Honestly no, probably not but the next time when it is several weeks or even months from now we will probably be reminded just as quickly how much better off we are when we stick with proteins and fats and have our starches in the form of vegetables, white rice and potatoes. The lessons of life can hit you like a brick in the stomach literally or gentle reminders to be mindful about what you eat and drink and know the consequences of each and every action. We are still learning.
I have been at my clean eating challenge now for just about 2 weeks. Not enough time to really establish concrete information but enough time to analyze a couple of things. The first is if I do not get enough food my mind starts to play me. For instance, I got caught up in meetings and food was not a priority, I didn’t feel hungry and thought I was ok until I hit a wall and just knew that I needed something sweet. What I needed was food but what my mind was saying is that it was deprived and wanted something rewarding. I did not engage in my sweet tooth and instead had a bigger than normal meal when I had time and the sweet need subsided.
I work in an office environment and as you can probably guess there is some sort food around here at all times and if I don’t stay on top of my food my brain can get out of control thinking it needs to partake in the goodness around here for no other reason than it is here. I have been able to put all cravings aside at home but I’m also having big beautiful filling dinners so the need for anything after dinner is not existent. My goal is to get to the point when I am nourishing my body enough that all cravings go away but I don’t know that if that is realistic. I hear of other people saying they don’t have cravings and read posts and articles of people who can change their taste buds so that berries seem too sweet sometimes. I long to be in that boat but don’t have a clear understanding how long it takes or if that is truly possible for me.
I have found that I don’t need snacks the way I once did at 10am and 3pm so I know things are changing for the better but I also haven’t gotten to the point where if I cannot eat food that my body is ok with the intermittent fasting approach either. I also move a lot during the day and in order to keep up with my activities I need the food so fasting isn’t really that important but life does get in the way and I would like to be able to go about my day as normally as possible and if food is not an option for several hours perhaps that will be ok and my mind won’t start gravitating to sweet things.
I do realize like I said at the beginning that it is too soon to tell exactly what kind of changes my body is making. I have been cutting back on gluten and grain now for 2 years but the sugar I didn’t tackle because I really do enjoy sweets and I enjoy indulging in them with my family and husband when I want. After our escapade to camp this year and really over indulging I decided I don’t have to cut them out forever but I would like to make a change enough to have them when I want and not think about them nearly as often as I do.
I’m sure many are familiar with the phrase “I need a vacation from my vacation” and that is exactly how I feel this morning. The whole plan was to be with the entire family for a week at the lake just like we have done that last 9 years. Lake life requires nothing but resting, relaxing, playing in the water, and making some meals. This year we added the additional value of golfing, and it was truly a relaxing trip as well as extremely enjoyable. We didn’t have the whole family but we had a lot of it and planned our days really well. We would start with walks or some would head out in kayaks and get the blood flowing a bit and get a little exercise. However, the first question of the day is what will be eating. We had it pretty well planned and I felt really good about all my choices except when it came to the sweets. I love them so much and I do indulge often but I way over indulged this trip and to no fault of my own my body let me that under no circumstances was this behavior acceptable. I will also say we had quite a bit of damp weather since we were right on the water therefore some of my stiffness and soreness could be due to the extra damp air. I did drink alcohol almost every day at the beginning until I felt really terrible and cut it out for the rest of the trip. I did not flare nor did I worry I would because that was not what I was feeling. I was however feeling like my body was inflamed and that I was feeding it way too much sugar, gluten and alcohol and not nearly enough vegetables. Again, I only have myself to blame and will not insinuate I was persuaded in any way. My decisions are my own and I make my own decisions.
We arrived back at home on Saturday and my detox regiment began. This is not detox in the sense of “Master Cleanse” or fasting techniques but real food detox. The first day back I went right to the store and stocked up on all things fresh and clean. We made a list of the meals we were going to be preparing and the foods I would need for work. We made dinners that could be eaten for a few days and stocked up on a lot of greens to make sure any protein we had would complement the greens nicely. By this morning my body was feeling better and the stiffness has now starting to subside. I also booked a training session for this day so that when I got back from camp I could also get work out beating. I was not disappointed. I was a little on the light side since it had been a week since I did any heavy lifting but we wrapped my hands and loaded the bar and started the lifting. By the end of my hour I was certain I had finally found that calm that I needed and my body is not as angry anymore. I still need to stay on my real food detox plan for the next several days if not weeks and make sure my body has reduced some inflammation. I also need to find my sleep again, we don’t sleep well at camp and now that we are home we aren’t sleeping great yet but I think the next couple of days things will calm with my body and mind and I will find my restful sleep once more.
Finally, I’m not saying I’m giving up all sugars and sweets because I love sharing them with my husband and my family but I do need to let the afternoon cravings subside that keep creeping in and that I indulged during my week away. A little yoga, a lot of walking, some heavy lifting, very clean eating and back to drinking only water and tea and I’m certain this body will thank me again.
I would never not enjoy my vacations or indulge if I want but I do realize that my body is very delicate and it doesn’t take much to get it out of order and much harder to get it back in order but I a couple more training sessions to help this body find its strength once a again and start to build off that strength. I’m looking forward to some yoga and although I did take my yoga mat on vacation I did not unroll it once. My intention was good, but my execution lacked commitment.
This past week I had to travel for work and when I travel I don’t feel my best. There are a few things I do that help the situation but I have to be so diligent about my routine. For most people when they travel there is very little routine or not a routine that they are used to. If they travel a lot they may find a routine on the road that will work for them. For me I travel so infrequently that when I travel it is in my best interest to keep my routine as close to my home routine as possible. A few things I do to try to keep my normal routine is I get up the same time every day even while traveling. On Monday that was my travel day and since I try not to eat in airports I did intermittent fasting and ate at a nice restaurant that night when I got to my destination. It does make for a long day without any food but I don’t have low blood sugar issues such as light headiness and dizziness just hunger pangs. There is nothing wrong with feeling the hunger and taking care of the hunger when I have a place to sit down and eat some good food.
I found a nice place to eat and talked to them about me eating gluten free and that I liked to keep my meals and ingredients simple. I opted for a salad with steak and mushrooms on top and some dressing on the side that I didn’t use. I felt great and went for a nice long walk before heading to bed at my normal time. The next morning when I got up it was the same time as when I’m home and went right down to the fitness center for a workout. I looked at my options for breakfast and didn’t see anything I was really interested in so I opted to wait until lunch and had a nice grilled chicken salad. For dinner I had some chili and went for a walk again to end a very long stressful day.
The next day looked very similar to the day before and Thursday mirrored my other two days. Friday was my travel day back home and again I did some intermittent fasting until I got home and ate food at my own home. I went to Bikram yoga when I arrived home and got back to my normal routine at home. Some MCTD symptoms that popped up for me are fatigue and still today I am dealing with fatigue but it will take a few days to get over that. My hands are very swollen and my body is a little sore. I’m not in flare but I feel it in my body that this past week is different then other days. I try to spend as much time in the Bikram studio as possible when I get home so that the swelling in my hands and feet can decrease as well as my mind can start to rest. I tend not to sleep well when I’m on the road but when I get home I can sleep very well again. The fatigue I feel should be gone in another day or two.
I’m fortunate that I don’t travel a lot and every time I do travel I try to keep as close to my normal routine as possible. When we travel for vacation I still have similar symptoms but the difference is there is no stress when we get to our destination so I can relax. When I travel for work I have some stress and some long days to deal with. Now I’m home for about a month and will travel again. The good thing is I’m traveling to the same place again so I have found myself a yoga studio and the restaurant is familiar with my diet as well as the place I stay has a nice fitness center so the next trip may go better.
This time of year brings more eating, parties, cheer and even more eating than I know what to do with. About 1 party of non-sensible eating and my body feels like it has been run over by a truck. My sleep can get thrown off quickly and the swelling and soreness in my hands can really stop me in my tracks. I hear all the time that you cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet and this time of year I’m constantly struggling between eating sensibly and enjoying the holidays. I listen to a lot of podcast and one thing is clear for me and many others out there, that eating gluten free even if not always choosing the best options seems to help. I was talking with my husband today and he was mentioning that he isn’t feeling that great and I know it is because he has been getting some gluten foods and some high sugar foods. There is a podcast that is related to no sugar, no grains or “NSNG” they constantly talk about just cutting out sugar and grains and how much better people feel. While sweet seems to be a staple for us right now we can certainly do better at cutting out grains if not at least making sure to cut out gluten.
I have been taking food to our many holiday parties so I know there is something that we can eat and although we continually bring home sweet treats from other people that love us very much, I have also been making us some yummy gluten free, and sugar free treats so we can eat those instead. It is a constant struggle that we are faced with and still have about 3-4 more weeks of the parties, gatherings, fireside chats and many more reasons to eat and drink. Keeping my journal for my trainer works as well but still there are times when I feel unable to resist so I eat and write it down.
As I listen to the “Angriest Trainer” podcast I keep hearing that once you cut it out completely you will no longer want to eat it and it won’t taste good. I wish there was a way to have this happen quickly and I wish I wouldn’t want to eat these types of food anymore. My brain has not adjusted and although I’m not having cravings I do find myself wanting to indulge when sweets and breads are around. After the holidays I can hopefully detox sugars and grains completely and get rid of the urge to eat them and lose my taste buds for them.
Until then I will enjoy the most joyous Holiday Season, pick and choose my eats as carefully as I can and think of my body and hands every time I decide I can’t live without a gluten food.