Friday, February 5, 2010

Live With Intention


I stopped eating grains this week.  It was a hard decision to make, but once made, felt oh, so right.  As you are probably well aware, I am allergic to gluten, so have to avoid foods with wheat, rye, barley, triticale and some oats.  And though I know full well how to avoid those foods and make amazing food without them, my addictive tendency somehow makes it 'ok' for me to slip and eat them.  Of course, I feel after-shocks from eating these allergens, sometimes for days after ingesting them.  You'd think that would stop me, but no, my addictive side is much too strong for that.  I have found that I have to face my addictions head on.  Either I allow the allergens and addictions to roam freely and control my world, making me feel crappy all the time, or I put my foot down and stop.  Completely.  No negotiations.  Well, obviously, I chose the latter approach.  In the past, I have found this helpful with any dieting or shift in lifestyle - for a bit of time.  It typically lasts a few weeks or months at best.  Well, to be true to my all-or-nothing nature, I did go completely and strictly gluten free for over 2 years.

I decided to stop eating grains this week as I really wanted to see 1) how hard could it be?, 2) how would I feel, and 3) would I actually see a shift in my weight?  I was really curious yesterday to see if my weight had shifted at all, so I slipped onto the scale 2 days early.  I gained a pound - WHAT????  But then, my monthly visitor came today, which makes complete sense that I would be retaining fluid.  I learned way back in my heavy dieting days that at ovulation and menstruation, our bodies have a tendency to retain and gain or at least not lose weight.  So I'm ok with the pound that decided to hang out with me a little longer.  I get the feeling that it will be packing and leaving soon.  A second thing I noticed is that my blood sugar, which I watch each morning for pre-diabetes, has been on the high side.  This has surprised me without grains in my diet.  Adding greens and more meat usually brings the sugars down, so I have to watch how I am balancing the meals themselves.  A funny thing happens with blood sugar - it has to do with lifestyle as well as food intake.  There are several guidelines to follow - eat small meals often, exercise, learn how to balance carbs with protein and fats, and get enough sleep.  I have definitely been falling short on the sleep category this week, and just came down with a cold, so I could be reacting to that.  Apparently, a tired liver makes it harder to get the pancreas to deliver enough insulin.    Not enough insulin means too much sugar in the blood.  Not a good feeling - makes me feel like I got hit by a mack truck.

On the other side, I do not miss grains.  I don't miss bread, cookies, cakes, pizza, nothing.  Shocking, I know.  That is a real surprise to me, as this was one reason why I held off cutting out grains to begin with.  I did, however, have a small pang of sadness when I found my favorite Pamela's bread mix again at the store, and realized that I couldn't enjoy it.  That's a bummer, but at least my family can have it, and I can enjoy the "yum's" coming from their mouths!
Another experience I have had this week is my mood has shifted.  We have had a challenging week with some school issues with our youngest, and I have been overwhelmed, but not completely blown away by them.  I find less brain fog now that my body is without grains.  I am teaching at night and took on another job on top of all my other work, and I'm still running mostly smoothly, able to keep my moods up and focused, even with the lack of sleep.  My memory is not yet strong, but hey - it's only been a week!

I started this last weekend thinking I would try a week.  I think I will go for another week and see how I feel.  I would like to add green smoothies this week, to really up my fiber and calcium.


I found this poem that resonated with me since I was trying something new and challenging this week, and really living with intention.  I hope you enjoy it as I did:

Live with intention
Walk to the edge
Listen hard
Practice wellness
Play with abandon
Laugh
Choose with no regret
Continue to learn
Appreciate your friends
Do what you love
Live as if
This is all there is.

by Mary Ann MLB Rademacher

May you be well and enjoy your weekend in peace.

~ Jill

11 comments:

Dogwood said...

Sounds like you are learning so much about what you eat and what is good for you to eat. I am sure all of a sudden you will drop the weight. Your body is probably adjusting to the change in diet. Stay with your intention.

Jill said...

Thanks, Dogwood. You are always so very supportive -I Love it!

Barbara Bechtel said...

Funny you wrote about this today! A highschool friend of mine was very sad as her mother is very ill with celiac and complications from it, i.e. diabetes, hypertension. I asked if her mom has seen a nutritionist, which I think would be a natural step for someone with so many dietary restrictions. However, the area where her mom lives is very small and it can be hard as many doctors haven't received a lot of training about celiac. so i did a little research for her and turns out a leading nutritionist specializing in celiac and those with complicated medical conditions is just 1 1/2 hours away. the nutritionist has celiac himself!

It's funny that no one had even suggested it to her! She's been living on rice and tacos!

I can't wait to hear if she starts feeling better. It's a shame more people with gluten intolerance aren't given more information about eating a well balanced gluten-free diet. Do you have any favorite recipe sites? I'm going to pass along your blog and any others you can suggest to her.

goldenbird said...

Love that poem. You are doing so great eating healthy! I feel much better when I don't eat grains, but I'm still eating them. You are such an inspiration.

Laura said...

I really am mulling over the idea of living with intention, although I believe I set out to do this on a dialy basis I am not sure I had a clear plan for how to do so. You have given me some food for thought that I will have to consider for a while.

As far as the cutting out grain, I lost 40 pounds when I went low carb which meant eliminating almost all grains from my diet as well as sugar. Over the past 6 months I have fallen off the wagon and have been eating those foods again, I have slowly gained back at least 20 pounds and I feel the difference. I need to re think my diet as well. Good luck, stick to it you won't know till you give it an honest try.

Jill said...

Laura-

I too have had the experience of going low carb for several months, and lost quite a bit of weight. It was interesting that I lost almost 30 pounds before anyone really noticed! Then, with the new attention, I got cocky and added some foods back into my diet, thinking, this little bit won't hurt. But then, as you can imagine, the pounds added up again and all my new skills at keeping challenging foods at bay went out the window. It is beyond time to redevelop those skills, and learn how to deal with attention from folks who wish me well and notice changes.

Thanks for your comments- and your support!

Jill said...

Barbara-

One thing I forgot to mention to you via email is that it is quite common to have a dairy allergy or sensitivity with gluten allergy/celiac. Very very common. If your friend's mother does not feel much better within a short period of time after going gluten free (say 2 weeks), she might want to try going dairy free or switching to no cow dairy (sheep and goat is ok, though may be tough to come by depending on how far out she is from a town). I found I felt much better - no headaches or impaired sleep patterns - once I went off dairy. It's not easy to do.

Barbara Bechtel said...

i'm hoping she will see the nutritionist, which is well beyond my scope of knowledge. my knowledge is just based on lots of reading. from what my friend is telling me, she is trying her best, but i don't think she has really eliminated gluten from her diet completely, i.e. in the form of the processed foods, which in my opinion are as big of, if not larger offender than the obvious breads and pastas. hopefully the information i've passed on will help her. in her declined health, she is not getting better, and perhaps if she were to see a nutritionist, he can put her on a plan and give her the resources she needs. sort of like going organic, i would imagine one would need to become a STRICT label reader.

it's amazing with the internet how many resources are available, with great recipes and sharing of ideas out there. i'm making a gluten free meal tonight myself!

so what's the beef with cow dairy? i use organic cow's milk but can you tell me more about issues surrounding it? did you send me an email? i don't think i received it if you did.

Barbara Bechtel said...

i'm hoping she will see the nutritionist, which is well beyond my scope of knowledge. my knowledge is just based on lots of reading. from what my friend is telling me, she is trying her best, but i don't think she has really eliminated gluten from her diet completely, i.e. in the form of the processed foods, which in my opinion are as big of, if not larger offender than the obvious breads and pastas. hopefully the information i've passed on will help her. in her declined health, she is not getting better, and perhaps if she were to see a nutritionist, he can put her on a plan and give her the resources she needs. sort of like going organic, i would imagine one would need to become a STRICT label reader.

it's amazing with the internet how many resources are available, with great recipes and sharing of ideas out there. i'm making a gluten free meal tonight myself!

so what's the beef with cow dairy? i use organic cow's milk but can you tell me more about issues surrounding it? did you send me an email? i don't think i received it if you did.

Barbara Bechtel said...

bu the way, i love all the posting you've been doing here! it's wonderful! wish i could kick myself in the rear to start again with something besides business stuff!

Jill said...

Thanks, Barbara! I truly love your work, so don't stop the blogging the business stuff!