Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Update time! So I finally bit the bullet and got off caffeine! YAY!! It was sorta of a strange experience however with detox symptoms I had never heard of before. I had expected to have headaches and maybe some fatigue and/or crabiness but none of that happened. Instead I had this bone deep type of pain in my hips, lower back, and thighs. It lasted for 3 days and was so bad I was only able to sleep for a few minutes at a time during the night. I googled it and sure enough it is something a minority of people experience when they go off caffeine cold turkey. It might have gone on longer but as soon as I realized the cause I began making myself a cup of black tea right before bed and it relieved the pain entirely. I did this for a couple of days and then forgot to do it when we went camping but the pain has not returned. As a result I was also able to give up the high fat soy creamer I used in my coffee so my diet has definitely seen an improvement over the last few weeks :). I am drinking french press decaf espresso with almond milk and I am happy with it for now.

Friday, June 29, 2012

My current diet plan

I want to start posting about what I have been doing lately to lose a few pounds (of fat!), improve my fitness level,  and still enjoy the foods I eat. For anyone familiar with the McDougall diet, this is basically my own subset of that plan. The major components of high complex carbohydrate, low to moderate protein, and low fat still apply. For all the macronutrient ratio oriented folk out there it breaks down to an average of something like 75% CHO/15%Pro/10% Fat. 

I would say the main differences are that I include some vegan convenience foods such as plant-based meats and cheeses, morning coffee with soy creamer, and restaurant foods such as fresh spring rolls, veggie pho, vegan pizza, and the occasional breakfast at Wayward Vegan Cafe :).

Another big difference is that I have found that the only way I have ever been able to lose ANY weight has been to track my food in a diligent manner. By track I mean to physically put pen to paper and write down every single thing I eat and drink each day. Dr. McDougall does not advocate counting calories, and in a perfect world that might work for me someday, but for now I have to go with what I know will bear results for me.

I also am trying to get into the habit of weighing myself daily. There is plenty of controversy over this subject as well but there are reasons for the sayings "What gets measured, gets managed" and "ignorance is bliss" and I have found that when I find the thought of weighing myself distasteful there is usually a reason for it :o/.

Just to give an idea of what a days worth of food looks like:

Pre-workout snack: 1/2 ww english muffin with apricot jam, coffee with 3 Tbs silk creamer (140 cal, 4 grams fat)
Breakfast: Scrambled lite tofu, steamed kale, hash browns (250 cal, 1 gram fat)
Lunch: Faux Pho (mushroom rice noodle bowl w/o oil packet, steamed broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and more kale) (250 cal, 0 fat)
Snack: Large pear, chai tea w/stevia and 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (150 cal, 1 gram fat)
Dinner: Papa Murphy's vegetarian pizza without cheese (2 slices, 500 cal, 5 grams fat)

Daily totals: 1290 cal, 11 grams of fat (7.6% calories from fat)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wow, It's been almost exactly a year since my last post! A lot has happened in that time, some good some not so good, but ultimately I feel like I am finally headed in the right direction (at least in thought). One thing I have really struggled with is the concept of right livelihood. It is a buddhist concept that states that right livelihood requires making your living without dealings in any of the five businesses the Buddha describes as harmful which are humans, weapons, meat, intoxicants, or poisons. Although I am not a buddhist in any formal sense of the word, it is the religion I feel most closely reflects my view on the world which is that we are all just small pieces to a larger puzzle and in effect
It is important to me to live the most compassionate and nonviolent life possible. The Jain word for this is Ahimsa which translates to "dynamic harmlessness" which means to not only avoid doing wrong but to always aspire to do the most good in every situation.

I am currently making a living at two jobs. One is just a tad bit shy of being amazing (more about that later) and one involves violating three of the five businesses the Buddha warned against. Namely the selling of meat, intoxicants, and poisons. Ever since I made the choice to become vegan I have struggled with working at a place that sells literally tons of animal flesh, secretions, and other by-products of the animal industry (soaps, cosmetics, cleaners, leather, wool, etc.) The job pays well and the hours are flexible which allowed me to attend college to study nutrition and still earn enough money to pay the bills. Basically I feel like a sellout because I have compromised my ethics for a paycheck. And it's not like I am not suffering from it, every package of enslaved, tortured, slaughtered animal that passes through the check stand is a constant, wrenching reminder :(.

I know that what I need to do is to spend my time looking for other work that does not require violating either the buddhas or my own beliefs on right and wrong. I have thought about trying to get a transfer to a different department that is not so hands on with the animal products but in reality I would still be working for a company that profits from the commodification of sentient beings. Stay posted.....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

So 4 days in on the McDougall MWL and things are going great. The eating plan has been mainly potatoes of all types prepared in any of the various fat free ways. Also tons of steamed veggies with teriyaki sauce or vegan queso. Exercise has been mainly brisk walking and light jogging, usually 3 miles or so/day. I have applied for a couple of diet tech jobs and in the mean time I am working more hours at the grocery store.

On a different subject, I want to share with anyone interested the list of podcasts I am currently really into. Natural living with Gary Null, Citizen Radio, Midwest Vegan podcast, and Our Hen House. Some older favorites that don't release new episodes as frequently are NZ Vegan, Abolitionist Approach, On Human Non-human Relations, Vegetarian Food for Thought, and Vegan/Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment. These podcasts are what keep me going when I start feeling like the lone progressive in the land of right-wing good old boys. They are also where I get news on social issues and world government and politics from people I can trust.

Looking forward to sharing some interesting and useful information to this Blog :).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wow, it's been like three years since I last posted! Lots has happened in the meantime. I have just completed my Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition (BSN) degree complete with dietetic practicum. Unfortunately I did not get matched for an internship this past Spring so I will be applying again in 2012. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the process for becoming an RD (registered dietitian) you have to have a minimum of a BSN and have completed a CADE (Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education) accredited program in dietetics and also have completed a dietetic internship. The internship lasts anywhere form 9 months to more than two years depending on whether it is stand alone or in conjunction with a masters program. The cost for an internship varies widely and is generally in the thousands to tens of thousands. Most will require relocating for the length of the internship. All of this and the salary for an RD is generally around $30/hour. People who choose to follow this path are genuinely inspired to help others achieve/maintain health and wellness and avoid chronic disease. Needless to say the program has been intense. Did I forget to mention there is also a requirement for 300 hours of volunteer work? Anyhow I finally have some time to devote to my own health and school has left me with 10 pounds of stress chub to lose. My reduction program of choice is the McDougall diet because it is a whole food, plant based diet that does not require calorie restriction. I invite you all along for the ride :).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

long time,no blog! lots going on around here what with the new tiny person and all :))!
fall is my favorite time of year and this year it has been especially vibrant and beautiful here in the pacfic northwest. thanksgiving is just a few days off and our plans are to eat at bamboo garden which is a vegan chinese restaurant that just happens to serve  an amazing traditional thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

today we found out that my daughter is having a baby girl!!! yippeeee!!! we weren't surprised because we had divined the baby's sex the old fashioned way, with a ring on a string, but still it was awesome to have it confirmed by science :))! in other news, i am graduating from college next week and heading onward and upward to bastyr university in the fall.