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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Changes: The Good News/the Different/the Undesired

The Good
The grains: Today marks my 30th day off of all grains. There were a few days when I didn't think I'd make it, but I have. My friend Cheryl asked me why I decided to get off of them. I told her it was because I felt better when I was not eating wheat, found that I was eating lots more oats, and decided to see what it was like to be off of all grains for 90 days. 
I've also wondered if certain grain components have affected my absorption of nutrients and contributed to inflammation in my body (you can read more about that here, on the Wellness Mama blog). 
The probiotics: I've been eating raw (and organic, mostly) sauerkraut for about a month to boost my body's ability to take in nutrition by boosting my gut health. A couple of weeks ago I added daily consumption of capsules containing a weird dirt (well, soil)-based blend of probiotics, as well. 
Results: I've had several positive results from these changes:

  • I seem to be eating smaller volumes of food, and less frequently. I've been tracking my food intake for a couple of weeks, and am noticing that I generally eat two meals a day with a couple of snacks--usually teaspoons of almond butter in between;
  • I am eating a lot more vegetables. This is most unexpected. 
  • I am also eating smaller portions of protein. For example, breakfast for me for the last year or so has often been 3 eggs and some meat (usually sausage), along with some carb (on good days, beans, not so good ones, granola--or an entire breakfast of granola).
    These days I eat a couple of boiled eggs with a plate of salad greens and sprouts, or spinach and garlic sauteed with one or two pork sausages or a couple of eggs;
  • I have less interest in fat. For example, I have been steaming veggies and adding a little salad dressing on them; yesterday I kind of cooked an omelet (with veggies, a small piece of chicken, and onions and 2 eggs) in a skillet with a little boiling water. For dinner tonight I steamed some veggies. Previously I would have used cooking oil for both meals, and looked forward to it, too; and 
  • My carb cravings have come down significantly.  When I do get carb cravings, I have no problem identifying that as either generic hunger or protein craving. I also don't feel as if I'm going to kill someone if I don't get something crunchy and carb-y in my mouth immediately.

The Different
  • My taste for protein keeps changing. For a while I ate a fair amount of hamburger, then switched to pork sausage (both are pretty cheap), and, of course, eggs. I wasn't interested in chicken. Now (in the last 10 days or so), I've been eating more chicken and having only eggs (not sausage) for protein in the morning. In fact, yesterday I was about to throw in half of a sausage (sliced) into my breakfast veggies and eggs, and it was as if my body was making faces and screaming "No!" very loudly, so I didn't add it.
    I'm now not interested in pork, especially sausage. My body seems to want cleaner meat. Chicken is becoming less interesting, too.
    So today I bought and am cooking a boneless chuck roast from a grass-fed cow (I figured if I was off of grains, the meat I ate should be, too). That stuff is spendy--$28 for about 3 pounds--but I figured I can eat off of it for a long time. 
  • I've stopped eating beans and lentils, and I don't even know how that came to be. I was having 3/4s of a cup, then 1/2 cup with breakfast, and I began to notice my stomach struggling, feeling overfull and bloated. This is new; I was able to eat beans when I got off of wheat and oats before. I do have small amounts of sweet potatoes as a carb instead, or fruit. Recently I've made frappes with 1 cup of blueberries, mangoes, or strawberries, 1 or 2 dates, and coconut milk (beverage). I'm now using only 1 date as my sugar palate has gotten a bit more sensitive (I am still eating dark chocolate--one serving a day, so the sugar isn't entirely gone).
The Undesired
This is a body shape issue: I've noticed I'm losing fullness (may be fat and/or puffiness from inflammation) in my face, breasts, and butt (I used to think I had a big butt, but came to realize that I had a small butt with a big overlay of fat above it).  I also seem to be getting a little bit of a waist. Yes, this is good, very good. The one downside: my stomach looks bigger because the surrounding areas are smaller. And even though I know why this is so, it still bugs me. I am trying to remember that I carry most of my weight in my belly (it is big and usually I suck it in), and that it will take some time to reduce it.

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