Monday, 27 February 2017

Food, Vegan, Vegitarian, Plant based whole food diet

For the past few years I have become more and more obsessed with the food that we are eating.  I have this dream that one day we will be entirely vegetarian (ovo-lacto vegetarian) and will live on a small plot of land where I can have a cow and a few chickens, with lots of green houses where I grow everything we eat.  I would love to have enough solar powered or otherwise green energy to run our house and still live comfortably.

This food obsession of mine has got me growing things hydroponically.  I currently own 3 aerogrow systems and am seriously considering building something for my roof terrace.  I love the idea of picking what I need salad and herb wise right when I need it and not having to leave my house for it.  That is goal 1.

Goal 2 is going to be be staple vegetables:  I currently have cherry tomatoes and lettuce, but I want beefsteak tomatoes, zucchini, squash, leek, onions, cucumbers, corn, carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers, and others.

Goal 3:  nuts and fruit trees (I have lots but they are not growing fruits/nuts yet), olive trees

Goal 4:  wheat, rice, other legumes like chickpeas, lentils, etc.

Goal 5:  exotic fruts/nuts/ etc in special temperature controlled greenhouses

I have been watching all these documentaries:  movies like Forks over Knives and a documentary about a woman in NYC that challenges a bunch of meat eaters to go vegan for 6 weeks and then follows their progress.  I even spent some time on Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Life website.

I was almost convinced.... but a conversation with my (I grew up vegetarian) husband had me digging deeper and listening to the little voice in my head instead of my passions.  I found this wonderful (and long) article written by Denise Minger   that got me thinking.  Only, now I wasn't thinking about going vegan, I was thinking about unbiased journalism.  As wonderfully written as Ms. Minger's article is, even it isn't unbiased.  She writes from a completely anti-wheat stance.  However, her article shows how the data in Forks over Knives could have been skewed and how they only looked at the data they wanted to see.

Now, I'm the type of meat eater that wants to see the meat packaged in the supermarket.  If I had to kill it then I wouldn't eat it.  EVER.  I don't like to touch raw meat.  And, to be honest, I'm not into eating red meat - I do - but I don't really enjoy it.  I also eat very little chicken and I eat turkey once a year (guess which day), and I eat no fish or seafood of any kind.  I eat ground beef once or twice a week as a staple meat.  I do this because a lot of my recipes call for ground beef and the texture is what I am looking for in that dish.  I could probably find a replacement for the mince that wasn't meat and gave me the same texture.  I just haven't tried.

The PETA website and documentaries that promote veganism show you a very dark view of the food industry.  And while I  am sympathetic to that cause, and could never deliberately cause harm to an animal, I am not willing to believe that all farms do such things.  My grandparents had a wonderful little farm when I was growing up. Their animals were well taken care of, grass fed, free range and had superior vet care.  Female calves weren't taken from their mothers, (although most of the males were sold off),  and the cows were only in the barn during milking / feeding times, except during the worst winters when they were inside so they didn't freeze.  Pigs and chickens were also treated very well.  Their websites would have you believe that there are NO small farms left in America.  That every farm has succumbed to the 'mass market food production'.  That is simply not true.

I try to wear clothes that are plant based (cottons mostly) for my clothes/jeans.  However, I do own one or two silk items ( given to me as gifts), some cashmere, and some wool.  I do not belong to the group PETA, and will probably never.  I can't say that at this time, I agree with some of their ideas.  I don't believe that using animal hair / fur to make clothing is wrong, as long as the animals are healthy and well taken care of.  I don't believe in killing or harming the animal for the sake of wearing it.  I would never buy something that I knew had harmed the animal when making it.  Sheering or combing sheep to create a sweater doesn't bother me any more than cutting my hair.  My dog used to shed enough to make clothes from, if only I knew how.

Well, I digress.  For now, I will keep working toward my goal of growing what we eat, so that the only things I need from the store are milk, eggs and other dairy products.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

FMD- Day 5 & end

The scale was my friend today.  It said that I lost a little.  I am now down W - 3.7 lbs.
I don't feel like it was the 7 lbs that the FMD made it out to be, but it's something.
Lets see what today holds.

So far today I have had some water (with orange) and a cup of tea (I added sugar and milk to it this morning)
I am about to make myself some breakfast, make a few food things for this weekend, and settle into a computer frenzy of tax calendars.

I am an extremely productive procrastinator.  The things I have been able to do this morning while procrastination of those tax calendars is amazing!

Eating wise, I accidentally skipped breakfast.  For lunch I am having the following:

35 grams raw couscous
20 g corn kernels (from a can)
35 grams chickpeas (from a can)
40 grams red kidney beans (from a can)
1 small handful raisins

5pm - I 've had a large red apple and another 500ml of water as a snack.  I am having a late dinner with hubby, so I didn't want to eat anything filling.

5:30 - Ok, so I'm hungry.  I settled for 3 baby oranges and 3 crackers with a smidge of pb.

For dinner hubby and I split a Saganaki, and I ate 1 pita bread with hummus, then had 5 Dolamdes as my main.

On the next morning - the official end of the diet, I was Total W-2.8 lbs.  (had gained some after the Greek dinner )

I don't feel any different, my pants don't feel different, and the only thing the diet gave me was some hope.

I have a hypothesis that MY body doesn't actually need 2000 calories for maintenance.  I think I need much less.  So basing my diet on a 2000 calorie intake is wrong for me.  I think I only need about 1500 for maintenance.  Thats why when I eat what everyone considers 'normally' I actually gain weight.  But restricting down to 1200-1300 calories a day makes me lose a little weight, and dropping to 900-1000 makes me lose a lot, but I am still within my body's functioning parameters.

I am going to mull this over a while and see what my next steps are.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

FMD- Day 4

Beginning to feel disheartened.  The scale shows the initial -2.4 lbs and then steady.
If you look at my caloric intake yesterday, I was at 1180.

However, my  move stats are as follows:

473 active calories burned
1515 total calories burned

13 hours standing
11,103 steps taken
5.5 miles walked
7 flights stairs
61 minutes exercised.

A simple math problem tells you that if I only ate 1180 calories and I burned 1515, I should have lost weight!  What gives?

I'm over the hump now, so I will continue my diet for it's last two days and see what happens, but I am not optimistic.  I am going to go back and log all my food into my caloric intake assessor and see what the actual totals come out to be.  I must be doing this wrong. :(

Before breakfast, I had 1/2 cup of my tea and a small red apple.

For breakfast I am having 1/4 cup Lizzi's original granola, 10 raspberries and 100 grams of my homemade plain yogurt (215 calories)

I am trying a new tea today.  Twinings, again, but apple & pear green tea.  Lets see if I like it plain.  - It's ok... but I think I prefer the Turkish apple one better.

2:06 pm.  ate lunch - leftovers from last night's vegetable soup with a slice of my whole wheat Irish soda bread and a smear of butter.  I am just about done with my first 500ml bottle of water.  I never did finish the apple & pear tea.

7:27 - had a large salad for dinner - leaves, chickpeas, red kidney beans, corn, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and a drizzle of thousand island dressing.

I cheated today - I had a 1/4 snickers bar and a bunch of buttered popcorn with white cheddar seasoning.  I'm sure that will mess up my diet!

Because I was scared of messing up the diet to much, I did a 7 minute full body workout to finish off the night.

FMD- Day 3

Yesterday's move stats: as per apple health

564 active calories burned
10,634 steps taken
5.6 miles
resting calories burned 1,492
standing hours 14
2 flights stairs
35 min workout (walking)

resting heart rate: 50 bpm

This morning's weight was the same as yesterday.  W - 2.4 lbs.

My thought process is that perhaps I did overeat last night.  It's also possible that I should wait to eat breakfast until after my bottle of water and walk home from little man's school.  Perhaps it works better (for me) to exercise before breakfast, rather than after it.

Headache is small this morning.  Pressure behind my eyes.  Going to take medicine first thing to help ward it off.

Breakfast:  100 grams homemade yogurt, 80 grams fresh raspberries, 2 tsp pumpkin seeds.

2:48 pm.  Headache is still small.  The medicine didn't get rid of it all, but has kept it at bay.
For lunch I had 30 g raw couscous, a small handful of raisins and 2 tsp sunflower seeds.
I later ate a small apple and 2 oat bars.  I figure that's it for the day, but I made a vegetable soup with kielbasa for dinner so I might try to walk off a bunch of calories and eat a very small bowl of that later.

So far I have finished 1- 500ml bottle of lemon water and I'm currently drinking a cup of tea (no milk or sugar, same brand as before)

I had a vegetable soup for dinner with a piece of whole wheat bread.  I also added a single spread of butter to the bread.  The headache went away in the afternoon, after a nap and 2 cups of tea.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

FMD- Day 2

Watching some t.v. last night with my son, I had to chew some gum in order to not snack on things.

I have heard that you are not supposed to check your weight during a diet, as it will fluctuate, but I couldn't resist this morning.  The scale said I was W - 2.4 lbs!  Wow!  That's a decent loss for the first day.  If I can maintain that I could lose 12 lbs...  Not that I think that will happen.  I think the loss slows down after a bit, so the loss will get smaller each day.  We will see.

How did I sleep?  I slept rather well, actually.  I didn't wake in the night that I remember, until the alarms and cats started going off this morning.  I ignored both for an hour and then finally stretched and got out of bed.

I have made up 4 500ml of lemon water ready to start my day.

Yesterday's move stats (as per my apple watch)

476 active calories burned
exercise 59 minutes (walking)
stand 11 hours
4 flights stairs
steps 12,018 - distance 5.89 miles
resting heart rate 65 bpm

Now, that's a normal day for me - I walk home from little man's school as often as I can, as long as it's not freezing or raining (then I take the bus 1/2 of the way).  Yesterday, I did it twice.

How am I feeling?  No headache this morning.  I feel very good, actually.  Not hungry at all.

I ate breakfast with my son this morning, so earlier than I normally do.  125 g homemade yogurt, 80 g fresh raspberries, 2 tsp pumpkin seeds.  I felt very full after eating that; almost too full.  :(

It's 10:07 am and I have downed breakfast, 500ml lemon water, and have walked home from his school.  I'm a little munchy, so I am chewing gum until my mind fixates on cleaning or some other thing for my hands to do.

For a snack I am going to have 3 Jacob's chiabatta crackers with a tsp peanut butter spit amongst them (a thin spread on each one).  I have made it, (it's only 10:38) but I am going to let it sit on my desk while I work for a while.

1:48 pm.  Headache has returned.  With my lunch (appropriately sized leftovers from dinner last night - without rice, of course) I am going to make myself a cup of turkish apple tea like I did yesterday.  Again, I won't have any sweetener/sugar or milk in it.  I'm not doing as well on my water today, as I've only had my 1 500ml bottle so far.

I took all my body measurements today.  Filed them away for comparison later.

Pretty sure that my headaches aren't caffeine related at this stage. I think it's sinus / head congestion.
This headache is pretty bad.  I'm going to take some medicine for it and see what happens.

Headache is dull now, but I've taken some serious meds and had two cups of tea.  I cheated a little and had 4 small diced sized cubes of halloumi cheese while making the salad for dinner tonight.
Salad consists of lettuce (I grew myself), some diced halloumi pieces and cherry tomatoes.
I also made boondi ki kadhi - an Indian yogurt curry - that my family loves.  I ate a small amount without rice, and a small salad.  I did add some thousand island dressing to my salad (about a tsp and a half.)

I am sure it was more than I was supposed to eat, but lets hope that it wasn't to bad.

Monday, 20 February 2017

FMD - Day 1

I woke up this morning hopeful and happy, despite the cat's loud meowing and the alarm clock ringing in my ears.  I weighed myself (lets just call it W) .
It is 9:38 am and I have had a full glass of lemon water (500ml).  I just made myself a second glass of lemon water (same size).

I think that it's going to be easier to accomplish this if I'm busy.  Busy with my hands, so hopefully this will be a productive week for me.  I feel like most of my extra eating occurs when my hands are idle, when I'm watching t.v. or reading or doing idle things on my computer.  Lets see if my theory is correct.

I am feeling good right now.  No hunger.  I do have a very slight headache though.  In full disclosure though, I have been having headaches all last week and through the weekend too.  One even blew into a migraine.

10:02 - starting to feel hungry.  I usually need to be awake for a while before I feel hungry, so I though I would just go with it.  However, at this phase, I'm hungry enough to be trying to pick the first thing that I come across.  Now might be a good time to make the smoothie so that it's ready when I need it.  I think, however, that I will eat the yogurt bowl for breakfast this morning as it's quicker and I will have the smoothie tomorrow.

10:18 - eating breakfast... 125 g of homemade  fat free plain yogurt, 80 grams diced strawberries, 2 tsp pumpkin seeds.

Moving right along...  at this stage, I have cleaned the 1/2 bath, the kitchen & the living room.  I repaired the underside of the couch and loveseat in the living room from cat damage.  I have also watered all the inside plants.  I need to order more fabric to fix the other 3 chairs the cat damaged.  :)

It's 12:30 and I've noticed that I'm looking around for something to eat.
For lunch today, I'm having the couscous dish.

30 g raw couscous (becomes 75 grams when added hot water)
small handful raisins
tbsp sunflower seeds
2 cherry tomatoes
1/2 green onion
a dash of lemon juice

1:30 - I'm not feeling hungry.  :) yeah!  I do have a headache though.  A smidge worse than this morning's headache.  Right behind the eyes.  :(

2:30 - headache is getting worse.  Not hungry, but I can feel the urge to snack...  Have to get little man from school soon, so that will help as I will be running around.  I have to make dinner during the school day or I never get around to wanting to cook it.  Tonight we are having Everyday spinach and lentil dal.  This is normally served over rice, but I will be skipping the carbs with my portion tonight.

The recipe I use is from Flavvord.

I am guessing that this is an ok dish for tonight, as long as I weigh out my portion size appropriately.
It's not raw though, however, some of the other FMD recipes aren't either, so I am going to give it a try.  While making this, I contemplated adding diced potatoes (which I never do!) because of the carbs.  How interesting.  I did not add potatoes, by the way.

2:42 - my stomach has started making growling noises.  However, I still don't feel hungry.

3:30 - ate a small apple as a snack

4:30 - headache hasn't gone away.  I'm tired, yawning and fighting keeping awake...  Going to play a game with my son.

6pm - ate my dinner; as above; without rice or carbs.  I eyeballed what I thought was an appropriate amount based on lunch and breakfast allowances.

6:30 - headache is getting worse.  I will allow myself a drink of Twinings Turkish apple tea without sweetener or milk.  Just the tea bag and hot water.  Hoping the tea will have enough caffeine to ward off the worst of the headache.

7:30 - feeling a little better after the tea.  Headache still there.  Not hungry, which I like, but going to have another cup of tea to help with the headache.  Same as before - no sweetener, no milk.

Water total so far:  2 liters (4, 500ml bottles of homemade lemon water)

I will only allow myself this second cup of tea and water/lemon water from now till bed.

Lets see how I feel in the am!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Fasting Mimicking Diet

I have a confession. I have put on SO much weight since leaving Florida. Apparently, weight gain is how I deal with stress, boredom and COLD! I have every excuse to exercise, I have tons of time; but I just don't. It's too cold, I can't run in this weather, it's raining!.... I bought a gym membership that I never use (I love to swim) and I peruse websites for losing weight like a fiend, but the availability of Starbucks and junk food are too much of a constant. I think I'm doing well, and then I order a coke with our takeout. I pass by a Starbucks and 'treat the kids' and myself!

 I do try though. As long as it's not completely freezing, or raining, I walk home from dropping the kids. That's a mile done. I stretch daily. I plan healthy balanced meals with lots of vegetables and fresh fruits.
 So what's my problem?
 a) not moving enough
b) portion sizes are too large
c) sporadic coke binges
d) Starbucks!!!!
e) rare bouts of potato chip/junk food TV boredom eating
f) 2 tsp of sugar in my morning tea (that I drink 8 cups of a day!)

What am I going to do about it? I'm stuck in a rut.. having a gym membership isn't helping if I don't go to the gym. I don't like exercising in front of others. My plan to keep the kids healthy and moving isn't working - they aren't motivated and I'm not motivated to do it with them. Big stall there. I have to move to get them moving..... I think I need a kickstart.... the weather isn't helping either.... I hate the cold and wet.... ugh.... so non motivational to my weight concerns.

 I want to mention that it's not my weight (number on the scale) itself that's bothering me. It's that I feel fat. That I don't like the way my thighs feel when they rub together. I hate how my clothing fits. How my body is sluggish to respond to the things I want to do. I don't like that it doesn't feel well, or that it causes problems for me. I don't like how my heels hurt not that I've put on weight, or how I feel guilty when I eat things I am not supposed to eat, as I know they contribute to my problem. Ok -now that I've gotten that out of my system... back to the task at hand.

 What am I going to do about it? At this point, I am at a great time to try the FMP diet. I'm not big on diets, but I have been doing a lot of research and this one looks like a good starting point. It's all about fasting, but fasting in the correct way. I've always avoided fasting as I get weak and sick from lack of food, but this one allows you to eat. Take a look at this article:

Now, Prolon isn't available where I live yet, so I am going to create my own meal plan. My husband and daughter are away all of next week so I can do this without them even noticing! Then I can see if there have been any results before I tell them.

 I have a habit of drinking a green smoothie most mornings anyway, so I am going to continue with that. I may substitute some of the ingredients though, as I'm not sure how much dairy is on the menu. I might try these substitutes instead.

 1 bag of baby spinach 1 can pineapple - with juice 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp tumeric 2 tsp green superfood powder (new addition) 1 avocado (new addition ) - to replace the 1 cup yogurt, 1 ripe banana (new addition) - to replace the 1 cup milk, water (new addition) to thin if necessary, 2 tbsp chia seeds --I will divide this up into 3 containers and drink one for breakfast some mornings.

 I will use the various FMD meal suggestions out there that I have found..

Here is my meal plan as it stands before the "fast week".

Day 1:  breakfast: my green smoothie
             lunch:  tabouleh salad
              dinner: brown rice salad
              snack: 1 apple

Day 2:  breakfast: yogurt bowl
             lunch:  green salad with 1/2 avocado w/ evoo & lemon juice dressing
              dinner: apple-almond salad
              snack: 1/2 cup blueberries

Day 3:  breakfast: my green smoothie
             lunch:  1 tsp nut butter on 1 slice whole wheat bread
              dinner: Sesame noodles with bok choy
              snack: 5 almonds

Day 4:  breakfast:  yogurt bowl
             lunch:  tabouleh salad
              dinner:  aloo gobi
              snack: 1 apple

Day 5:  breakfast: my green smoothie
             lunch:  apple almond salad
              dinner:  summer vegetables with pesto and rice cakes
              snack: 1/2 cup blueberries

My plan.. I had blood work done a few months ago, I will have it done again at the one year mark (after a few 'fasts' ) to mark changes and see if I am better.
I will weigh myself at the beginning of the fast (monday morning 1st thing) and again at the end of the fast (saturday morning - 1st thing) to check for weight loss.

I will take my blood pressure daily and record the results.  (I have low bp, so this might be necessary)
I will blog each day about how I am feeling.

Wish me luck.  !!