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Additional Results

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (2)

I’ve noticed a few other results I’d like to share. Well, really, I don’t know that I WANT to share, but I think I should. ;)

 

Wheat:

I have been remarkably good about avoiding wheat and starting to rid myself of other grains. My respiratory issues are all but gone! I'm not having to use either inhaler, and am doing very well. I did have a few wheat items here and there, and thought nothing of it. Then my uncle asked if I’d been more flatulent (to use a nice word) since eating the wheat products. I HAD! So, eating the little amount of wheat I had, did have an effect on me right away. Hmmm…

 

HFCS:

I had a craving for Coke. While I try to avoid giving in to cravings, I recognize that sometimes you just need to. Before I was even halfway through the Coke, I started having stomach cramps! (Shades of McDonald’s?)

 

Now the question is: Have I learned my lesson? Only time will tell. I’ve definitely learned my lesson when it comes to McDonald’s, but it didn’t happen the first time I had trouble after eating there, so I may have to suffer more in the other areas before I accept things. I’m ok with that. I just have to know that if I choose to drink a Coke or eat something with wheat, I will suffer. Sometimes the food is worth the suffering, sometimes not. So far, I’m good at deciding what’s worth it and what’s not. The other thing to consider is the fact that I don’t want to put others out of joint trying to adjust to my new ways. If I go somewhere and they’re serving a wheat product with nothing else, I’m gonna eat it. If there are other things to eat or ways to adapt, I will do that. For instance, a few weeks ago I went to a camp meeting and we had pizza. I had brought my sourdough bread, so I just took the topping of a few slices and put it on the sourdough. Voila! I could also have just eaten the topping alone. And there were other things to eat, so I ate more of those things than I would have in the past, which means I didn’t eat as much pizza anyway.

No Wheat, No Cravings

Posted on February 25, 2011 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (5)

So, if you don’t know, I’ve been sick with a respiratory thing since the 1st week in January. No, I’m not kidding. Needless to say, I’m sick of being sick. I’ve been reading a LOT about the over-use of wheat in the Standard American Diet (SAD, if you can believe it), and had already decided to try to cut that out. I read further and found out that too much wheat can contribute to Candida issues (which I have in abundance), IBS, and respiratory issues. Whadya know? Also, the starch in wheat turns to sugar in the body, which turns to fat, if not properly used & processed (which my body doesn't do, thanks you PCOS). Like I need more of that. Lastly, because of my insulin resistance, I’m supposed to be eating very few carbohydrates anyway. By cutting out wheat (eventually all grains), I’m limiting my carb intake drastically. I know, most of you are saying what I said: How can I live without bread, pasta, etc.?! Turns out, that eating all that wheat MAKES you want more! I have been focused on ridding my diet of wheat for the last week. I have not noticed one single craving for cookies, bread, cereal (which I could’ve eaten 3 times a day), or pasta. NOT ONE. This can’t be an accident.

 

Of course, I’m also trying to be more diligent about avoiding hfcs; I can’t remember the last Coke I had. I drink lots of water, so it’s lucky I like water. However, I know some people feel like they have to choke it down, and even I want something different sometimes. To address that, I’ve been using the drink mix packets, but there is a caveat: they contain aspartame. I’d like to avoid that, too, but for now, I’m choosing the lesser of two evils. I’m sure there’s some way to have the flavor addition to water without the sweetener, or at least with something different to sweeten; I just haven’t found it yet. I WILL! A tip: the single serve packets are a waste of money. You get about 20 “servings” (I never use their recommendation, too strong) in a box that costs about $2.50. You can buy the tubs for $2.40, which has 40 servings! I use an old pill bottle to carry the contents of one or two little tubs from the canister. Voila! Much cheaper, cleaner, and I get the amount of flavor I want.

 

With both of these changes, it’s noteworthy that I feel sated with less food, have fewer cravings, eat smaller snacks, and don’t even WANT junk food. I guess treating my body as a temple is a good idea. Huh.

Not Quite Paleo

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 3:19 PM Comments comments (2)

I’m still not sure how to proceed, but I’m learning more. I remain skeptical about some aspects of the paleo, but apparently, I’m not alone. For instance, they say no potatoes, legumes, or grains, but there is quite a bit of evidence that both paleo and modern hunter/gatherer (HG) groups all these things. In fact, a mortar and pestle was discovered at a site that claims to be 30K years old, so they obviously used grains. Many HG groups ate (and eat) various tubers, including potatoes. There is little evidence that they consumed dairy products, so I may be ridding myself of that at some point, but I see no reason to completely avoid grains and legumes. In fact, there are several proponents who are totally fine with all of the above. It really depends on the type of food and what’s been done to it. I do believe we have WAY too much wheat (and other grains) in Standard American Diet (SAD), so I want to start limiting that. The other thing to know is that the wheat we eat now is very different from the wheat of even 100 years ago (wheat then had 7 chromosomes, now it has more than 100!); not to mention that we process it differently. Also, the kind of wheat that was used in Biblical times is called einkorn (emmer wheat is what is used in SAD), which is what is used to make sourdough bread. How interesting that those with celiac disease can eat sourdough with no problem.

 

I do think the paleo proponents have the right idea, but their focus should be more far-reaching. Modern HG groups also do not suffer from “diseases of affluence,” but they do harvest some grains, eat some dairy, etc. It makes more sense to me (based on what I’m reading) to say that a healthy, Temple Way diet should be mostly plant-based, supplemented by grain, dairy (maybe), and meat. The challenge will be actually carrying through with it!

Ever Diligent

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 1:12 PM Comments comments (1)

I have now finally learned the error of not being diligent about reading food labels. I knew this , but I had a rude awakening. I bought Sara Lee whole wheat bread, thinking it would be super healthy, etc. Everyone knows that whole wheat is the best kind of bread. Imagine my chagrin when I read the label and the THIRD ingredient was hfcs?! How depressing.

Not Sold on Paleo

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 2:27 PM Comments comments (2)

I think they have the right idea, but it seems to be a little imbalanced still. The hard core paleos say that grain, dairy, legumes, beans, sugar, salt, and flour are off the table (hee hee), but I’m not convinced. If you look at current hunter-gatherer groups, they are a lot healthier than we are, and they DO eat some of those foods.

 

According to “Hunter-gatherer diets—a different perspective” (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, No. 3, 665-667, March 2000), hunter-gatherer groups got the majority of their food from the gathering, not the hunting (except in higher latitudes-due to lower vegetation growth). So the idea of too much meat doesn’t work either, and I don’t think that’s what paleos are saying. They just suggest more meat than mainstream diets do. It’s also important to remember that our meat, vegetables, and grains have changed dramatically since the Paleolithic age. The article shows that there are hunter-gatherer groups that use limited agriculture and are still VERY healthy.

Data on modern-day hunter-gatherers as well as hunter-gatherer-agriculturalists who consumed traditional diets indicate that such societies are largely free of diseases of civilization regardless of whether a high percentage of dietary energy is supplied by wild animal foods (eg, in Canadian Eskimos), wild plant foods (eg, in the !Kung), or domesticated plant foods taken primarily from a single cultivar (eg, in the Yanomamo)…In conclusion, it is likely that no hunter-gatherer society, regardless of the proportion of macronutrients consumed, suffered from diseases of civilization. Most wild foods lack high amounts of energy and this feature, in combination with the slow transit of food particles through the human digestive tract, would have served as a natural check to obesity and certain other diseases of civilization. Yet today, all non-Western populations appear to develop diseases of civilization if they consume Western foods and have sedentary lifestyles (24). Given these facts, in combination with the strongly plant-based diet of human ancestors, it seems prudent for modern-day humans to remember their long evolutionary heritage as anthropoid primates and heed current recommendations to increase the number and variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diets rather than to increase their intakes of domesticated animal fat and protein.

One paleo site suggests the following:

1. Eat real food (meat, fowl, fish, natural fats from animals, coconuts & olives; veggies, fruits, & nuts) that you shop for and prepare yourself most of the time. Add a little dairy if you like it and can tolerate it. Find the range of balance that works best for you in terms of fat, protein & carbohydrate ratios. I say 'range' because I think you ought to mix things up; seasonally, or whatever method works for you. Especially: cut out grains, sugar and vegetable oils. Consider supplementing with omega-3 fats.

2. Allow yourself to go hungry every day, at least a little (first meal of the day is a good time -- don't eat until you're truly hungry). Every once in a while, go hungry for a whole day.

3. Get plenty of sunlight; and, probably supplement vitamin D.

4. Run very fast sometimes, play hard when you can, and push and lift heavy things around when you have the urge. Do it briefly and intensely; not too often and not too long. Once to twice per week for 20-30 minutes each is plenty. But always push yourself for that brief time. Always try to workout hungry, just like animals.

5. Get lots of sleep.

This doesn’t seem unreasonable, and he allows that not everyone is the same. I may try something like this, but include information from current hunter-gatherer-agriculturist groups.

Clarification

Posted on January 14, 2011 at 8:56 AM Comments comments (1)

After a realy good conversation with my friend Megan yesterday, I think I need to clarify some things from my last post (even for myself). I am ABSOLUTELY NOT saying that we should avoid all chemicals. In fact, we need many of them in the forms of medicine, etc, not to mention the ones that make up our body anyway. It is important to remember that not all chemicals are bad (i.e. medicine) and not all things natural things are good (snake venom might be all natural, but I don’t want to drink any). The point is that you have to be smart about what you’re allowing into/on/around your body. So what’s my justification for what's ok and what's not? I’m still fleshing that out, and it will most likely be a case by case set up, maybe even trial and error. What I’m currently thinking is that we cannot reverse the effects/consequences of the Fall, so God helps us to deal with those consequences. For example, illness, among other things, is one of those consequences. God blessed us with minds that have been able to develop medicine/surgery to help with illness (both physical and mental). In my current thinking, that’s a good thing and makes sense.

 

However, you still have to do your research. Just because someone tells you to take/use/do something, doesn’t mean you should. If you do so blindly, that’s no different than the poor souls lost at Jonestown. Don’t just drink the cool aid. Even if it’s a doctor prescribing medicine, know that doctor well enough that you trust their judgment, find out about the risks/side effects of that medicine, and see if there might be effective alternatives if you’re not comfortable taking that medicine. In addition, just because some Big Business says I need to buy their product doesn’t mean it’s true. Use the brain God gave you.

 

Also, more than once, Matthias has reminded me that with every technological advance, there is a loss. For instance, we gained electricity, but now we work 24/7; we gained the benefits of the industrial revolution, but we have pollution, etc; we gained longer life with better medicine, but now we deal with illnesses from old age. I’m not saying in any way that we shouldn’t have had those advances. I’m saying that we have to be aware of what’s lost, and minimize (if we can) the effects of that loss.

 

Most importantly, as with all things, everything about us should be for God. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40) Also, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," (1 Cor. 6:19-20). All of this, among many other verses, says to me that I need to follow what I’m now calling the Temple Way (names because my body is a temple and Jesus is the Way). If my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, I need to be very conscious and careful about how I treat it, not jus physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As I mentioned in the blog Temple Thought, this is about more than just the physical aspect of the “temple”. It encompasses what I experience with all my senses, what I say/do, what I read/watch; everything. If it doesn't bless the Holy Spirit or bring glory to God, I shouldn’t be taking part in it. Now that’s a tall order, and I know that I will mess up (you know, sinful nature, needing Jesus to die for our sins, etc.). The important thing is that I continue to try to be aware of my responsibility at all times. When I’m watching a movie, I have to ask myself if it’s something that would please Him. If I’m about to eat something, I have to ask if it will be a blessing to the “temple” or not. Don’t get me wrong, I think that food is great and I definitely have a sweet tooth, but do I need to eat half a pie at Thanksgiving? Do I need fast food every day? I don’t think so. I just have to be vigilant about all of this and take it one step at a time.

Paleo Pathway?

Posted on January 11, 2011 at 6:33 PM Comments comments (2)

Recently. I’ve become aware o fsomething called the “paleo lifestyle”. It goes by several other names as well:

  • Paleolithic
  • Neanderthin
  • Caveman
  • Stone Age
  • Hunter-gatherer
  • Primal
  • Low-carb

This all started with an blog I read from someone who had decided to try going without soap and shampoo due to an article he read from someone who lives a paleo lifestyle. In a nutshell, it says that we didn’t “evolve” to be dependent on chemical products to maintain our health and well-being. I then did a TON of reading on this lifestyle and those who follow it. Obviously, I’m not coming from the evolutionary angle, and if you research this, you will have to sift through some of the rhetoric, but the information is the same no matter what you believe. I am coming to believe that this is very much in line with my belief that the closer we live to how God intended, the better off we are. I simply cannot believe that He intended for us to be covered in chemicals and swilling chemicals and gulping down chemicals.There is no way that this could be His best for us.


Using soap as an example, the information suggests (and dermatologists & science seem to agree) that our bodies create all we need to have the healthiest hair, skin and nails on our own, and that soap and shampoo strip away the natural oils and cleansers that we already have. Without those natural oils, we then have stripped skin, which leads to patchy skin, an over-production of oil to try to replenish what’s been stripped, acne, dandruff, etc. If the soap/shampoo is eliminated, the body reverts to its balanced state and those products aren’t needed anyway. The products create a dependence on them and ensure our buying them. (I found the same thing years ago with Chapstick (the brand, not just any lip balm). When I used it, I needed it more; when I stopped, I no longer had such dry lips.) Let me be VERY clear. I’m not talking about no bathing. I’m talking about bathing without soap/shampoo. By the way, doctors always tell new parents not to use soap on babies. There are other ways to be clean. You can read the blog here if you want more info.


How very clever of my friend Big Business: 1) Create the belief that a product is necessary. 2) Manufacture said product. 3) Have product increase the perceived need for it. 5) Sit back and rake in the dollars without concern for health/long term effects. Simply devilish.


As I’m reading more, it occurs to me that while I have concerns about what I put IN my body, I have been giving little to no thought of what I put ON my body. Don’t forget that the skin is the largest organ of the body. Not only that, but what ever is put on the skin is absorbed into the system. I’m very girlie, but now I’m thinking that if I want to treat my body as a temple, I need to find things other than chemicals to adorn myself (you know, cosmetics, perfume, etc). Not only that, but why am I even using these things? It’s to attain/maintain a standard of beauty that is not only impossible but may be bad for my health (best case). Worse, this standard has been set by at least two thirds of the Trifecta of Evil I’m always railing against (the Media and Big Business, can’t say about Government).


Having said all that, I’m also rethinking the fact that I relax my hair. Those are pretty harsh chemicals. However, I spoke to the woman who’s been doing my hair since I was 4ish. She confirmed what I was thinking in that those chemicals are only on my hair and only for about 15 minutes once ever 2-3 months. So if I decide to continue, I think I will be ok with that. I still want to look into what it would take to have my hair natural. As a biracial woman, it’s no small decision. I would have to radically change the way I manage/style my hair. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that, at least not yet.


However, I can definitely handle the cosmetic issues. I still have many of the ingredients from when I was thinking of starting a business. If I decide it’s too much trouble making my own, there are many reputable cosmetic lines available (though it's cheaper to make my own). I’ve also discovered that while the FDA regulates the term “organic” for food, it is NOT regulated for cosmetics. That means that just because you see the words “organic” or “natural” on cosmetics, does not mean they are. You still have to read labels and may have to dig into the company to find out about their practices and sources for ingredients. You can also check the Coming Clean site, which rates various products on how truly natural they are.


This is a LOT to think about, and I have very little idea how to implement all I’m learning. I do know that when I feel the need to change something in my life, I can go overboard, which leads to failure, which means I quit altogether. I don’t want to do that this time. I’m going to try to change little by little. For instance, I’m going to try the no soap/shampoo thing (called “no poo” ) for a while to see how it goes.I actually stopped using shampoo a while ago and only clean with conditioner, but the recommendation is to clean the hair with baking soda and “condition” with vinegar (usually apple cider vinegar – the smell is gone once it’s dry). From what I’ve read, it take 2-4 weeks for the body to re-balance itself, and it’s hard to make it through that transition. It seems like detox; for instance, if you have dandruff, it’ll be worse during that transition, but infinitely better afterward.


I'm not thrilled with theterms/connotations associated with this lifestyle, so I'm open to anysuggestions. I'm thinking something about the Temple (you know, the body as atemple). Maybe:

  • Temple Lifestyle
  • Temple Existence
  • Temple Way
  • Temple Standard

I’m excited about what I’m learning and how it affects my relationship with God.

Progress Update

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (2)

Well, I’m taking more steps toward being more temple-minded. I went grocery shopping the other day, which doesn’t seem like much. My boyfriend can tell you how much I dislike grocery shopping. However, I’m very aware of how much it affects my food choices. If I have food at home, I don’t eat fast food. I prefer to get organic as much as possible, but since that can be expensive, I’m trying to figure out when it’s beneficial to get organic versus when it’s fine to get conventional. At this point, I’m erring on the side of caution and buying almost everything at Trader Joe’s. I will note, however (to my boyfriend’s chagrin), that even if I pay a little more for organic, the benefits outweigh any extra cost in that 1) I feel better and 2) I’m not eating fast food (healthier and cheaper).

 

In addition, I actually did Pilates today! I had talked to my accountabilibuddy (Angie) that I wanted to do some exercise. My doctor also talked about it being the next step in getting my insulin/PCOS under more control. Not to mention the fact that I only have 9 MONTHS till camp, and I said I’d be ready for those hills! I had talked to Angie about wanting to exercise a minimum of 3 times a week. My doctor reminded me that people often feel like they’ve failed and give up if they’re not doing an hour on the first day; she recommended just 10 minutes to start, so that’s what I did. I’m hoping to alternate between Pilates and walking (especially after I get the shoes my cousin Josh recommended).

 

Things are looking good right now.

TV Junkie Reform?

Posted on October 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM Comments comments (1)

First, I need to apologize for the hiatus. I was pretty severely depressed sometime last month, and it’s taken me this long to start to get back on track, not only with my blog but also with my Bible reading. Thanks to Angie and Matthias, that is coming back under control. Moving on...

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I watch TV as much as possible. I have it on even when I’m not watching. I assume this stems from when I was younger and my mom had to work late. I had the TV on just for the noise of other voices. Now, I watch just about anything at anytime. We don’t even have cable, and I manage to waste time in front of the TV. With that said, I feel like God is calling me to watch less, so that I have more time for Him and things He’s calling me to do. I’m not sure how to decide what to watch or how many hours a day/week, but that’s my current issue.

 

I’ve also finally nailed down my primary spiritual gift: EXHORTATION. Now that I know, I can delve into it and develop it. I feel that as I should do that for my natural abilities to best use them for God, so I should for a spiritual gift He’s given me.

 

I also feel like God is calling me to some pretty big changes in my life:

  • More focus treating my temple better
    • Setting a regular sleep pattern
    • Better nutrition (esp. organic food, cooking – which I hate)
    • Exercise
    • Getting regular neurofeedback treatments
    • Taking care of physical ailments
    • Making time for things that relax me when I’m stressed
  • Better time management (i.e. less TV) to have more time for Him.
  • Being more compassionate – super hard for me, since I’m so closed off from my deepest emotions
  • More time in Bible study
  • Actually having a Sabbath (spending the day on things of God)

Obviously, those are some pretty big changes, and I can’t do them all at once, so I’m trying to figure out where/how to start. It’ll be a challenge but “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

Camp Bulldozer!

Posted on June 23, 2010 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT CAMP!

So, it seems the initial nerves have worn off. Why “bulldozer”, you say? Well, Matthias shared with me today that he’s decided that’s what I am when I’ve gotten something into my head to do. For example, when we went to DC a few months ago, I got the idea to make travel binders for the kids with fun things to do during the trip. I may have gone a little overboard. I got binders, markers. Crayons, etc., and had an inch and a half worth of things to print out that I found online. He said that I forge ahead with ideas and don’t let anything stop me. Now the bulldozer is working on camp stuff. I’ve decided I want to have little gift boxes for the girls in my cabin. I already have cute little boxes, so now I’m thinking of things to include. Here’s what I’m thinking so far:

 

• Little notebook

• Pen

• Fruit snacks

• Raisins

• Nuts

• Granola bars

• A couple feminine products

• A couple single serve drink mix packets

• A couple band aids, and antibacterial wipes

• Bug repellent wipe (was going to make some, but not sure I can get enough bottles, may still)

• A little message card (those 10¢ religious cards)

• And the Bible Study Reference card that I put together for myself

 

Of course, I’ll be counseling with another woman, so I’ll check with her to see if she wants to add anything. I just thought it would be nice for the girls to have a little something. I also like that the boxes are plastic, so they can reuse them. I’ll just have to watch my bulldozer tendency that I don’t get so much that I don’t have gas money to get there!

 

On a different note, I’m still trying to avoid HFCS (see initial post), and I know it’s the cheapest, so I’m a little concerned about how I’ll do at camp. Yes, I do better some days than others avoiding HFCS (sometimes you just need a Coke), but institutional type foods tend to be full of it (think school) and other things I’m trying to avoid to keep from getting sick. How will decide what to eat, what not to eat, and what to bring substitutes for (yes, we can bring food)? Sheesh. Maybe I should make an appointment with that dietician before I go.

Victoza Hope?

Posted on June 19, 2010 at 12:02 PM Comments comments (0)

My awesome endocrinologist is trying a different injection medicine on me called Victoza. I'm wary of having too much hope, but I think my clothes are a tiny bit looser than they were. :) I’ll be very upset if this doesn’t work either. She said the next step would be an off-label use of another diabetic med, which means insurance may not cover it or not all of it. That means I couldn’t take it. I can barely afford all the crap I’m taking now! So, I’m just going to pray that this works! In addition, I’m trying to get information from my cousin Josh (Head Trainer) about how I can start exercising. I want to start walking, but I’m still having issues with my feet. I CAN start working on yoga and Pilates. I’d say the main reason I haven’t is that I dislike doing things alone (even grocery shopping), and no one seems to be interested in doing the exercises with me. Oh well.

Leptin A No Go

Posted on March 13, 2010 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I spoke with my endocrinologist about leptin therapy, but it is still in the research stage. She said she didn’t even know where, which lead me to believe that if she did she would have tried to get me contact info. Anyway, I’ve been looking online for other ways that I might increase my leptin; of course there are supplements, but they’re not cheap. I’m going to try to find some more natural ways of making my body create more leptin. Apparently, fish and vegetables are biggies(http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_foods_have_leptin & http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020702070741.htm),so I guess it’s a good idea that I like both! Beans are on the list too, but they’re also high in carbohydrates, which my body doesn’t process well, so that would defeat the purpose.

 


PCOS Update - Leptin

Posted on January 27, 2010 at 6:19 PM Comments comments (0)

As I’ve mentioned, my endocrinologist started me on Byetta about three months ago. I have since GAINED about 20lbs. ICK. I’m going to see her again on Monday, but she said I could stop taking it. I’m still taking the Metfomin; while I stopped losing after 35lbs, at least I wasn’t gaining anything more.

 

I was doing some research online about insulin resistance and found some information about leptin therapy. “It appears that, if one cannot make leptin, the brain thinks there is no fat and spurs the person on to eat more and more in a futile effort to get the leptin signal that fat is present” (www.medterms.com) If that happens in addition to insulin resistance, sheesh! Not only does insulin resistance turn ALL food into fat, the brain may think that the body never has enough stored energy (fat) so you would keep eating all the time to build up that store to where the brain would be happy. No chance in H-E-double hockey sticks that you’d be able to lose anything. IF that’s going on with me, leptin therapy might be a possible solution. I plan on bringing it up with Dr. Rittenberry on Monday.

Depression and the Clown

Posted on October 9, 2009 at 8:23 AM Comments comments (0)

I’ve mentioned that due to neurofeedback and avoiding HFCS, I’ve been feeling really good. I haven’t felt down in a long time (weeks). Then yesterday came. I got in the car to go to my mother’s for another treatment, and WHAM! I felt worse than I have in months. I didn’t care if I drove off the road, I wanted to go home and go to sleep, and it hurt to move or think. Where on earth did it come from? I called Matthias and my mom, and was better while I was on phone, but the minute I hung up, it was back in full force. Nothing was “wrong”, so why did I feel so incredibly awful? After leaving mom’s, I had to high-tail it to church for Praise Team practice. Usually, that lifts me up, but not last night. I’m not very good at letting other’s know when I’m down, so I just didn’t look anyone in the eye all night. I didn’t want to be there at all. I started trying to remember when this happened the last time, and that’s when it struck me. Both times, I’d had several McDonald’s sweet teas in just a few days! Could that be it? The other time, my therapist had informed me that sugar can wreak havoc with depression. I looked up the ingredients just to be sure it wasn’t HFCS, and lo and behold, they use real sugar. The moral of this story is that I absolutely cannot have more than one sweet tea in a week. That’s a bummer, but not nearly as bad as dealing with how I felt yesterday. Sugar may be better than HFCS, but it’s still sugar. Moderation, folks.

Walking the Temple

Posted on September 8, 2009 at 12:32 PM Comments comments (0)

I still haven't had a coke, or even a craving for almost a week now, so that's awesome! I?m doing pretty well about staying away from sugar in general, HFCS and artificial in particular. I?m not sure how much of this is the new med or God, but either way I?m glad. I?m looking into getting better tennis shoes so I can walk more, too. I have VERY flat feet, so I can't just get any old shoe. I?m starting with inserts for arch supports, and that may be enough. I?ve also started wearing my pedometer again, though I?m not walking much yet. My friend said she'd go to a park with me to walk, so that'll be cool, too. It feels good to be starting these things; like we're really trying to do the best for the Temple, you know?

 

I have also noticed that all the changes I'm making used to be so overwhelming, I got no farther than wanting to make them. Now, I'm just doing it; not agonizing, not paralyzed by over-analysis, just action. I have to assume that the difference is mostly due to the neurofeedback. YAY!!

Devil in White

Posted on September 5, 2009 at 12:49 PM Comments comments (1)

This may not be news to many of you, but it was to me. Due to a recent health condition, I was looking for information online that might aid me along with the medicine from my doctor. All the information I found said I should avoid all artificial sweeteners, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), bread, refined flour/sugar, etc. Those are things I should already have been avoiding due to my insulin issues from PCOS. Now I have more incentive. I have gone about one week into avoiding HFCS and artificial sweeteners. I couldn't believe the difference in that short amount of time. I have had absolutely NO cravings for any junk food, fast food, or Coke, all of which I used to live on. As if that's not amazing enough on its own, I have had an easier time getting to sleep, I have been satisfied on less food, and I haven't been as anxious. This led me to start asking more questions about HFCS.

 

I was sharing my revelation with my friend Marlene, and she had her own story about HFCS. She was in Scotland for school one year. They don't use HFCS there, so everything is made with real sugar. She and her friends partook of the normal sweets: cake, candy, etc., not noticing anything different. Then her mom sent a care package from home. They decided to eat the iced animals and study. However, they couldn't concentrate on anything, were bouncing off the walls for hours, and felt out of control. The next day, they were talking about what could have been going on that they should act so strange. The only difference they came up with was that the cookies contained HFCS!

 

I think we all know that the American diet leaves much to be desired, but this is far worse than unhealthy. I believe that HFCS is actively contributing to many of our nation's physical and mental health woes. There is a clear parallel between the increase in the use of HFCS and obesity in the US since the 70's. Unfortunately for us, it's much cheaper for Big Business to make products with HFCS than to use real sugar; and as we all know, this county cares far more about money than about our health. Beyond that, if we're sicker, Big Business (including "health" insurance) makes more money. Not to mention the fact that other countries won't put up with HFCS. "Outside of Canada, the United States is the only country with a significant consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, largely because other countries have erected successful trade barriers to protect sugar." (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/business/yourmoney/02syrup.html?_r=1) Cynicism aside, there are many reasons why HFCS should not be part of the diet of any human.

 

Prior to the 70's, everything in the US was sweetened or preserved with fructose from sugar cane, sugar beets, or molasses. At that time, manufacturers wanted a cheaper way to produce fructose, so they came up with a process to create corn syrup that is higher in fructose than regular corn syrup. "High fructose corn syrup is extremely soluble and mixes well in many foods. It is cheap to produce, sweet and easy to store. It's used in everything from bread to pasta sauces to bacon to beer as well as in "health products" like protein bars and "natural" sodas." (http://www.westonaprice.org/modernfood/highfructose.html#author#author) The problem with HFCS is not that it has fructose, but that it's an unnaturally derived version of it; our bodies were never meant to process this and cannot do so very well.

 

Michael F. Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition advocacy group that often criticizes the food industry, says that unlike sugar molecules, which reside in the stalks of sugar cane or the beets that are used to make sugar, high-fructose corn syrup is artificial because it is not found anywhere in corn. ... Produced in large manufacturing facilities scattered mostly across the flat, golden expanse of the American corn belt, high-fructose corn syrup is not a product that anyone could cook up at home using a few ears of corn. The process starts with corn kernels and takes place in a series of stainless steel vats and tubes in which a dozen different mechanical processes and chemical reactions occur - including several rounds of high-velocity spinning and the introduction of three different enzymes to incite molecular rearrangements.

 

The enzymes turn most of the glucose molecules in corn into fructose, which makes the substance sweeter. This 90 percent fructose syrup mixture is then combined with regular corn syrup, which is 100 percent glucose molecules, to get the right percentage of fructose and glucose. The final product is a clear, goopy liquid that is roughly as sweet as sugar.(http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/business/yourmoney/02syrup.html?_r=1)

 

Of course, the manufacturers say that their product is "natural" because it's made from corn. Not good enough: 1) it's genetically altered & molecularly modified, 2) even snake venom is "natural", that doesn't mean it's good for us. (By the way, the FDA does not regulate the use of the word "natural", so anyone can claim that on any product. By contrast, they do regulate how "organic" is defined.) Of course, the manufacturers maintain that there is no scientific evidence to support that our bodies process HFCS any differently than regular sugar. Yes, the amount of fructose and glucose is similar in both HFCS and sugar, but HFCS is not how God created sugar. Our bodies need the nutrients in unprocessed foods; the rest is empty filler at best and potentially very harmful for us.

 

I'm certainly not saying that we can eat as much natural sugar as we want; too much of anything is not ok. However, the farther we deviate from what God has created for us, the less beneficial and potentially the more harmful. Almost anything we eat in this country has been processed, and sugar of some kind (usually HFCS) is part of that process (even bread, crackers, etc).

 

Professor Bray of the Pennington research center - a lean, bespectacled man who had spent much of his career studying obesity and diabetes - said he had been pondering the obesity problem for several years when, in early 2002, he had a sudden insight. Charting federal data on the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup against data on obesity rates, he found amazing parallels between his two graphs.

Starting in 1980, around the time that manufacturers started replacing sugar in sodas with a more cheaply produced sweetener - high-fructose corn syrup - there was a sharp increase in male and female obesity in the United States. From 1980 to 2000, the incidence of obesity doubled, after having remained relatively flat for the preceding 20 years, the data showed. Could high-fructose corn syrup be making us fat, Professor Bray wondered? After all, according to his analysis of government consumption data, per capita intake of the syrup had increased by more than 1,000 percent from 1970 to 1990, exceeding the changes in the intake of any other food group tracked by the Department of Agriculture. (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/business/yourmoney/02syrup.html?_r=1)

 

Not only is its benefit in doubt, the FDA knows it's tainted with mercury of all things! (http://www.ehjournal.net/content/8/1/2) "Several chemicals are required to make HFCS, including caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, alpha-amylase, gluco-amylase, isomerase, ilter aid, powdered carbon, calcium chloride, and magnesium sulfate." (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823094819.htm) Caustic soda and hydrochloric acid can contain mercury. There is also evidence that HFCS inhibits the production of leptin, which is what triggers hunger. So, HFCS can make us think we're hungrier than we are, and not know when we're satisfied. It's also been suggested that once you have it you want more. No wonder obesity has become a problem.

 

There are serious implications for HFCS in both the existence of diabetes and some of its complications. It was first thought that fructose was more beneficial for diabetics than glucose, but now research is showing the opposite. Fructose reduces the affinity of insulin for its receptor, which is the hallmark of type-2 diabetes. This is the first step for glucose to enter a cell and be metabolized. As a result, the body needs to pump out more insulin to handle the same amount of glucose. (H. Hallfrisch, et al.,The Effects of Fructose on Blood Lipid Levels, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 37: 5, 1983, 740-748). "Because it is metabolized by the liver, fructose does not cause the pancreas to release insulin the way it normally does. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar." (http://www.westonaprice.org/modernfood/highfructose.html#author#author) Chi-Tang Ho, Ph.D., did chemical tests among 11 different soft drinks containing HFCS. He found 'astonishingly high' levels of reactive carbonyls (believed to cause tissue damage) in those beverages. These reactive carbonyls are not present in table sugar. "Reactive carbonyls also are elevated in the blood of individuals with diabetes and linked to the complications of that disease. Based on the study data, Ho estimates that a single can of soda contains about five times the concentration of reactive carbonyls than the concentration found in the blood of an adult person with diabetes." (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823094819.htm)

Setting all the research aside, I know how I felt when I wasn?t eating anything with HFCS or artificial sweeteners. I know that God intends the best for us, which He created first - natural sugar, not manufactured (in moderation, of course). While I'm weak and give in to my cravings for Coke, I have to admit that ridding myself of all artificial sweeteners, especially HFCS, is the best thing I can do for myself.

For more information:

http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/carbs/1170/1/

http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Regulation/HFCS-is-not-natural-says-FDA

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4157

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup

http://www.thenutritionreporter.com/fructose_dangers.html

http://www.pacifichealthlabs.com/web/Article-19,The_Truth_About_High_Fructose_Corn_Syrup.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831.html

http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2008/08/20/4274/the-dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1055092/the_truth_about_high_fructose_corn.html?cat=5

Pass Me a Shot!

Posted on September 4, 2009 at 9:26 AM Comments comments (0)

You heard me. Now I’m giving myself shots twice a day. The metformin is working, but not enough, so my endocrinologist (aka, Gift from God) decided to start me on Byetta. It helps your body to produce the right amount of insulin at the right time. Some people have issues with nausea temporarily and bruising at the injection site, but I started it yesterday, and have had no problems so far (knock on wood).

 

This fits right along with a really nice time I had with a friend from church yesterday (thanks, Mary Anne!). We talked about nutrition and the American “diet” (again, stay tuned for information on the evils of High Fructose Corn Syrup), exercise, etc. We agreed to hold each other accountable to a few things, and I’m very excited about it. First and foremost, I have to make sure I go grocery shopping. I know it sounds silly, but I hate to shop for groceries; however, when I have food at home, I hardly ever eat fast food (which we all know is the slow death of this country, not to mention expensive). We also talked about being fully present when eating. America is always “go, go, go!;” as a result, we inhale food on the way from one thing to another. We don’t give out brains time to catch up with our bodies to tell us we’re satisfied. We just mindlessly shove food in our mouths. Not good. Remember that your body is a temple, and treat it as such.

Go Metformin!

Posted on December 12, 2008 at 2:41 PM Comments comments (0)

As of yesterday, I've lost 26 pounds, which is a first for me in 20 years!!!! I can't thank my endocrinologist enough. I feel like I finally have some control over what my body's doing. YAY!

Sleep Study

Posted on November 15, 2008 at 12:44 PM Comments comments (0)

I?m not sure if I mentioned before that I went in for a sleep study. I did it because one of the times I was getting blood drawn at my endocrinologist; I read a poster that listed the symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Frequent silences during sleep due to breaks in breathing (apnea)
  • Choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs

     

  • Loud snoring

     

  • Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat

     

  • Daytime sleepiness and feeling unrefreshed by a night?s sleep, including falling asleep at inappropriate times

     

All of which, I have. There are more symptoms, but those are the ones that say, ?Get this checked.? So, I did. Well, I finally sat down with the neurologist yesterday to go over the results. He said that most doctors say that you actually have to stop breathing 50-100/hour to be diagnosed, but he studied the data himself; and while I never totally stopped breathing, there were many times that he could tell that my lungs and diaphragm were fighting each other. He said that he?d call that hypopnea. He also said that my legs and arms twitch sometimes and called some name that I can?t remember (not RLS). He said that during the second study (where I used the CPAP ? a breathing machine that forces the air through), I showed a dramatic improvement in my low level sleep waves, which are the ones that restore your body and mind. Now, we have to convince the insurance company to pay for a machine with his diagnosis. He said he?s willing to fight them, but that I can get the machine fairly inexpensively on eBay if they won?t pay for it. I like the way he thinks! Then he said that I would benefit from their Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) program. It?s six sessions where they teach you tools to deal with tons of things, but focusing on your sleep patterns. I start that the first week in December. My trainer?s name is Tim, and he was even there, so I got to meet him. He looked familiar. Hmmm? Anyway, I?ll chronicle how things go once they start.

Sleep, Blessed Sleep

Posted on September 20, 2008 at 12:33 PM Comments comments (0)

I've been having trouble sleeping for almost a month now. I've always had trouble getting to sleep, but usually once I'm there, nothin will wake me. I may have mentioned that I did the first of two sleep studies to see if I have apnea. Well, the doc gave me AmbianCR to try to get some sleep till we figure out what's going on. I finally took one last night and actually slept the WHOLE night. I can't tell you how I needed that. With stress, hormones, and lack of sleep haunting me, I was one the verge of tears (or crying) yesterday and the day before. What a difference some sleep can make. :)