Health, Journal

2015. So Far

This year has taught me a lot and it’s not even over yet. I have learned that, despite being alone for 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, I do not like being without my husband. I learned that, no matter how long I was physically away from my family, we still truly love each other and can have a wonderful experience through a very dark time. I have also learned that I can eat whatever I want as long as I accept that my body will hate me for it.

In May of this year, my mom was diagnosed with liver cancer. Stress, worry, and the fact that we are a 15 hour drive from my family felt like too much to bear. While my brain kept trying to figure out some magical way to manifest the money to make the trip, I went through bouts of hardly eating anything the entire day to eating everything in sight. Thankfully, my blood sugars did not react adversely to these binges.

A month later, after a colonoscopy, my husband was in an operating room, which was supposed to be a pretty routine surgery (removal of a polyp) but in the course of the surgery, they found carcenoid tumors. He was in the hospital for 4 days and I sat here, crying and binge eating anything I could get my hands on (while extremely thankful we had no sweets in the house). Between June 1st and August 1st, my mom was going through chemotherapy and surgeries while my husband was undergoing surgery, and tests that even the lab technicians had to look up, since they are done so rarely. Around August 1st, my husband got the “all-clear” (his tumors are non=aggressive and they saw no signs of more) but he will have to go in at regular intervals to make sure no more appear.

Unfortunately, my mom was not so lucky. They were finally able to shrink the tumor enough to do surgery and discovered it had not only damaged her liver too much but had spread. On August 18, 2015, one more beautiful star was added to the heavens. She was a beautiful woman who, despite the trials she dealt with throughout her life, always had a smile on her face and love in her heart. Due to our distance, it had been too many years since we had seen each other. With normal life events getting in the way it becomes so easy to say, “I’ll visit next year” (which was our original plan). My husband had not had the chance to meet her and now he will only in the stories we share with him. We drove down there for her memorial service (non-stop, which I really do not recommend if you are not accustomed to driving that distance without sleeping) and I saw not only my immediate family but some of my family from Mexico who I had not seen in 33 years. It is amazing how, despite that many years apart, it was like we had never been separated. We laughed, cried, hugged, and loved together. It truly was beautiful, despite the sadness of our reason for reuniting.

I am still reeling from the emotional roller coaster of this year. I have gone from 176 pounds up to 186 (possibly closer to 190 but I stopped stepping on the scale for a while) and now, am back down to 176 pounds. My body has been extremely angry with me this entire time. As I binged, my lower legs would bloat so bad it hurt to walk. I had extreme intestinal issues and my kidneys actually hurt (all this without blood sugar spikes). When I stopped eating, my blood sugars would eventually dip to dangerous levels, with me becoming so exhausted that it took all my energy to eat anything.

Thankfully, those days were rare. I’ve come back from Arizona a little sick. I keep telling everyone I’m just allergic to California but I’m pretty sure it’s the massive amount of smoke in the air. You could see it as a light brown layer all across the valley as you were heading out of the mountains. The first night home, I had to use my inhaler for the first time in about 6 months but thankfully, none of my extraordinary allergies have returned. I am on the mend but the emotional toll this year has taken has me still quite exhausted. I think it’s time for lunch (Del Real Chicken Asado, shredded cheese, sour cream and jalapenos). Thank you all for being here. 🙂

Health, Level 1

Adding Fats Into Your Diet


A MyFitnessPal friend just adopted a ketogenic way of eating.  A few tips that just popped out of my head and through the keyboard that I thought I should share with all of you: how to incorporate more fat into your diet without scooping out spoonsful and eating it like ice cream.


Yes, I did that in the beginning.  I was desperate to get all the fats into my diet that I needed to.  For those who don’t know, the basic way it works with the ketogenic approach is you replace all the carbohydrate calories you normally eat with fat calories.  In the beginning, when you are just starting out, that is a lot of fat!  That’s why you see so many people (and I did this for almost the entire year I was strict keto) drinking Bullet Proof Coffee (if you google that, you might not see what I drank.  I just added a tablespoon each of butter and coconut oil to my coffee and just stirred it in … much better together than either butter or coconut oil by themselves). Or they eat fat bombs. Really. I tried one recipe and it was just cold fat with something (I think it was peanut butter) meant to make you forget you are eating a chunk of fat but it failed.


The problem with doing drinking my bullet proof coffee every day was those nights when we would indulge in a fantastically fatty rib eye steak, I would go over on my fats (a lot).  So, I slowly began skipping my bullet proof coffee days and consuming more fats with my meals.  Eventually, it got to a point I did not need my bullet proof coffee.
So, what were these fantastic tips I gave my friend?  The first tip: Starting now, buy fattier meats.  Through so many years of being told to eat less fatty meats, we had switched from 80% ground beef to 90%, bought chicken breast instead of other cuts, and purchase pork loin instead of the fat-rich cuts that didn’t require sauces to make them edible.  Now, we buy the 80% ground beef.  We buy chicken thighs instead of breast.  Did you know that most of the wonderfully smelling chicken that is grilled outside of Mexican markets is de-boned, skinned chicken thighs?  That’s why it is always so juicy and WONDERFUL!  We buy pork chops, the fattier the better and when we want steak, it is either rib eye steaks (with that glorious marbling) or tri-tip roasts.  I’ve also (as I’ve written about before) begun branching out with pork butt roasts and even some beef roasts, leaving as much of the fat as I can.  Don’t forget fish: any form of salmon has more fats but have you checked out canned fish like smoked herring or sardines?


The second tip (which I don’t think I told her): Track your fat!  When I input my meals into MyFitnessPal, I would almost always forget to track the fats I used in cooking.  On the days when I remembered, I would almost end up over my allotted fat amounts.
So, there you have it.  Two tips to ensure your intake of fats is mostly from whole foods instead of a spoon.  OH!  I almost forgot.  If you want to order fats in bulk (instead of paying outrageous prices for tiny containers at the store and do not mind if they are not organic), go here (this is not an affiliate link, I just really like them): http://naturaloils.com/shop/Default.htm

Fitness, Health

Four Things Nobody Tells You About Successful Weight Loss

I know I just told someone that this way of eating was like a marathon but I was wrong (and Dick Talens was right). You need to read this article.
Four Things Nobody Tells You About Successful Weight Loss

Here’s a preview of the article:

  • #1: It’s More Like Learning a Language Than Training For a Marathon
  • #2: You Will Face Numerous Crushing Setbacks
  • #3: Other People Will Annoy the S#!t Out of You
  • #4: Your Journey Is Never Over
Fitness, Health

Secrets From Your Personal Trainer – Give It a Year to Lose Weight

This really is the secret to long-term success: give yourself time.  If you don’t see immediate progress, give it more time.  Some people (like I have mentioned before) see tons of weight come off immediately (or at least it seems that way) while others have bodies that are more stubborn than some.  See, my initial frustration at my lack of weight loss was why it was so easy for me to quit back in 2010.  Once I changed my focus from weight loss to better health, I developed the patience to persevere.  So, read this article for a bit of a true reality check.  🙂
http://exercise.about.com/od/gettingweightlossresults/fl/Secrets-From-Your-Personal-Trainer-What-We-Wish-We-Could-Say.htm

It takes more than a few tries to get through these stressful interruptions while still exercising, still eating right and still taking care of yourself. You’ve got years, decades, maybe even a lifetime of ingrained habits to contend with. Think about how long you’ve been:
Cleaning your plate
Stress or emotional eating
Sleeping until the last possible moment, rather than getting up and exercising
Stopping for fast food on the way home because you’re too tired and too hungry to make dinner
Eating out because you don’t have anything to make for a healthy dinner
Not even knowing how to make healthy dinners
Sitting for hours a day, leaving you with a stiff, achy body that feels too much pain or discomfort to exercise
Dealing with fatigue or lack of energy with caffeine or energy drinks rather than physical movement

Health, Journal

Fiber and You (Leptin Resistance)

So, this isn’t a talk about poo. This is something else. Out of curiosity, I clicked on one of those paid links Facebook is now including on our home pages about the one weight loss secret for women. I sat there, listening to one of those annoying 3 minute “videos” that you can’t pause or turn down just so I could find out what the guy was preaching about. He finally (I swear, it must have been 2 minutes and 40 seconds into this thing) mentions Leptin resistance. Well, me being who I am, I hit Google. It turns out, there is such a thing and it sounds like it goes hand in hand with insulin resistance.
So, after reading about all the whole grain, less meat suggestions, I stumbled onto a study about some fancy shmancy African mango seed extract (The effect of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on body weight and blood lipids of obese subjects in Cameroon) that, according to Natural News (Reversing leptin resistance naturally), is supposed to help. My initial reaction was, “Where can I buy this stuff NOW?” until I read the entire study. The study shows fantastic results regarding obesity (more inches lost and vastly improved blood panels over those on the placebo) but the first line in the Discussion section is what got me:

The soluble fibre of the seed of Irvingia gabonensis like other forms of water-soluble dietary fibres, are “bulk-forming” laxatives.

So, it’s not the extract itself but the water-soluble fiber? Well, if that’s the case, then why pay all that money (I saw some bottles for well over $20 for 150 pills)? Why not just get some psyllium husk or Metamucil (if you can’t spare the calories) or increase our intake of foods that naturally have more soluble fiber in them? Here is a list of low carb foods that contain more fiber for you caloric buck:
Avocado
Broccoli
Collard Greens
Nuts (especially Almonds) and Seeds
Flaxseed
Psyllium (or Metamucil)
Cucumbers
Celery
Brussels Sprouts
Asparagus
Chia Seeds (still need to buy a Chia pet)
Zucchini
I recently started a nut eating run (stumbled on some at Walgreens, ate some every night, then went to Costco and BAM! They have the best nut mix with no peanuts EVER!). This has pretty much been my evening snack for the past week and I have now dropped down to my low weight again. I’m thinking, since reading all the above, that it may be from the fiber (and other goodness) of the nuts that finally broke my stall. I hope so. I hope this isn’t some fluke of a thing but I feel better, my bowels are almost too happy, and I have lost inches despite being a lazy-ass and playing a video game for a week.