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Archive for April, 2012

I love grilling, and my grill usually loves me. Two days ago, the grill was heated and ready. With a plate of eye of round steaks in one hand, I lifted the lid and the hinge bolt on the left side fell out. The weight of the lid falling at the hinge almost took me over the grill. I pulled hard on the handle to bring it back so that my feet would stay on the ground. Had I released the handle and let the heavy lid fall, it may have toppled the flaming grill; in my mind, there was a split second where that scenario ended badly. I’m just glad I didn’t get seared!

Yesterday, I felt this odd pain in my rib. I thought maybe it was from lifting weights or throwing balls too hard in PE. Today, the pain was a little stronger but still just an annoyance. Tonight, I heated up the grill for some hamburgers. As I lifted the lid and carefully kept the left side from falling, the pain in my rib intensified. I had my answer to the mystery pain. I didn’t get seared, but I did get tenderized.

Now, I am on the hunt for a really long bolt. The grill may have won the battle, but I will win the war!

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I have racked my brain for a way to substitute my favorite comfort foods. Replacing grilled cheese and tomato soup, other soups, bread, toast, ice cream, chocolates, hamburgers with buns, yogurt with fruit and granola, pizza, etc. with basically beef, chicken, fish, eggs, almond milk, garlic, almonds, stevia, and green beans is no easy task. I did make a soup with chicken, organic broth, 1 clove of garlic, black beans, and a pinch if thyme and basil. It was actually pretty good, and no itches! I also made my version of Nutella with almond butter, cocoa powder, and stevia.

As I reflected on why comfort food is so important, a thought came over me. God should be my comfort, not food. Maybe that is the biggest lesson I can take from this weird food sensitivity. So, instead of calling my favorite eats comfort foods, I will try to just add some variety to my diet. When I feel stressed, sad, or down, I will have a conversation with the Lord for my comfort.

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I have had suicidal squirrels wait on the curb and run in front of my car as I drive by at 30-40 miles per hour. I thought that was dumb. Today, I was running on the Monon Trail and saw a squirrel ahead of me on the edge of the asphalt. Just as I came close to him or her, the squirrel darted across the trail, right in front of my feet. It’s not like it couldn’t see me coming at 6 mph; it had plenty of time to make its move. If I hadn’t stutter stepped, I may have kicked it. If I had, would I have fallen, or would the squirrel have flown through the air? I guess that would depend on the angle of my foot and the point of impact. As funny a sight as that might have been for other users of the trail, I’m glad I did not touch that furry rodent.

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I have done pretty well saying no to foods with sugar. The foods I have been able to say no to were all store-bought items (cakes, donuts, cookies, etc.). Yesterday, someone left homemade blondies in the break room. I did it; I ate half of one. It tasted wonderful going down, although, not as comforting as I thought it would be, and twenty minutes later I felt nauseous. 

I regretted eating it, and felt terrible in the tummy, so I thought I was done with sugar, again. But something came over me at home, and I ate a Lindor milk and white chocolate truffle, a handful of chocolate Cheerios, and some potato chips. I figured I would go all out and ate three pieces of Papa Murphy’s thin crust veggie pizza (the pieces with the least sauce). At that point, I surrendered amid the wreckage of my diet. I felt pretty good after the pizza, but knew I did not want to keep heading down that slippery slope. I went to bed and woke up feeling fine, so I thought I had conquered the itches.

Today, I went to our church’s ladies day out. Surrounding me were homemade cakes, brownies, fruit, salad, fruit salad, punch, etc. I was a little drawn in by the homemade red velvet cake, but it didn’t take much will power to pass it up. I had fruit (for the first time in a month) and some lettuce with black olives and sesame seeds. I enjoyed being with the ladies, and I didn’t mind not eating the baked goodies.

As I started to leave, I felt an itch on my arm. Not a dry skin itch, but that itch that fires from some internal place. I haven’t had those itches since taking the prednisone and sticking with elimination diet. An hour later, itches were firing all over (face, eyelids, neck, arms, legs). Well, now I’ve done it; I’ve eaten so many different foods, I don’t know which food(s) got the itches going. Maybe too many of all of it? The fruit? The veggie pizza?

At least I know what I can eat and not itch, so it’s back to the drawing board. Next time I will try one food and wait to see if anything happens. If I feel an uncontrollable urge again, I will try to replace the urge with something constructive. Any ideas?

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What a Wicked Week

Well, the last week has been rough. I was feeling pretty ill early last week, depressed, weak. The doc put me on no carbs while I battle this yeast overgrowth; that is what antibiotics followed by prednisone will do to you. Oh, and possibly perimenopause. Yikes; I can’t be that old! Anyway, no carbs lasted about three days, then I couldn’t take it anymore. In order for the body to function, it needs some carbs, especially if you are active. So I began eating whole shredded wheat, no sugar added. By Thursday, I started to feel like myself, and every day since I have felt a little closer to normal.

I was giving my body what it needed when I started eliminating added sugar on my own a little while back. I still haven’t had any sugars for weeks, not that I haven’t been tempted. Last night at small group, they had white cake (my favorite) with strawberries and whipped cream. Yum! I resisted by imagining how it would taste if I could eat it. It wasn’t as exciting as actually eating it, but I made it through. I walked by a free, whole grain, breakfast bun this morning and wanted to inhale it. I kept asking myself, “Why would you want to ruin what you have started?” I avoided diet destruction, barely.

When my mom stopped smoking decades ago, she said that for a few years she wanted a cigarette every time she smelled someone else’s smoke. Eventually, the smell made her sick, and she never wanted another cigarette. I hope I can feel that way about sugary food, except I want it to take less time than a few years. Is that asking too much?

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Sugar Busted

It has been over a week since I have had sugar of any kind, except those naturally occurring in Greek yogurt, the only starch I have had is some plain potato chips here and there, and rolled oats are the only complex carb I have eaten. Well, I did cheat last Sunday and had plain shredded wheat (no sugar, no salt, no anything) and some whole milk. The rest of my diet has been eggs, meats, and green beans. 

It has been tough watching people around me eat pancakes dripping with syrup, crispy bacon, sausage, sandwiches, fresh fruit, fries, creamy ice cream, flavorful salads, potatoes, bread, cookies, etc. I am realizing how addicting food (sugar, in particular) really is. If the withdrawal is this hard with food, how must it be with smoking, alcohol, and drugs? The only thing keeping me from eating the bag of Lindor truffles in the pantry is the fact that I cannot eat them if I want to figure out what this food sensitivity is. “I can’t” is more persuasive than “I don’t want to.” My elimination diet is controlling my consumption, but what happens when I start adding foods back? Then will power will have to kick in, and I hope I have been clean long enough that I don’t start old habits.

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April 1…I Was Fooled

We went to Wisconsin to visit my husband’s family for the weekend. The weather was forecast for the 60s and 70s, but only reached the 40s. I did not have the proper running gear for cooler weather, so I decided to wait and run when I got back to Indiana. My thinking was that I would enjoy the run more in warmer weather than fight the cold wind improperly attired.

April Fool! Who would have thought that it would be in the 70s at 7:15 p.m. on April 1 in Indiana? After mile two, I thought I was going to have a stroke; I am not a warm weather runner. I ran in a tank and compression shorts, with a two-toned, padded sports bra underneath. After a drink stop, I took off my tank. I figured my sports bra was stylish enough to wear by itself; besides, it covered more than a bikini, and let’s just say there isn’t much to cover, anyway. My husband and I passed each other in opposite directions, and all he said was, “Hot enough out?” with a smile. He knows I hate running in the heat. A family on bikes came toward me, and at this point I wondered if I was under dressed. As I ran by, a little boy of 6 or 7 said matter-of-factly, “Yep, it’s a bra.”

Would I do it again? Probably. I don’t want a little boy riding by and saying, “Look at that old lady on the ground.” I would not make a habit of wearing that ensemble, though; I would reserve it for emergencies only.

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