Friday, August 31, 2012

Day 31

The 30-Day challenge ended yesterday and it was a success.

I weigh 108 pounds, down from 115.

As reported earlier (I think), my blood work came back with excellent results.  Cholesterol very good, triglycerides excellent, thyroid pretty good except for the T3.

The bone scan was not good and I'm pretty certain I know why.  A year ago my bone scan showed that I had reversed my osteoporosis and had the progress continued, this year's scores would have showed I no longer even had osteopenia.

However, last September I went from a sub-lingual dose of Synthroid to an oral dose of an expensive designer levothyroxine called Tirosint.  Three weeks ago I discovered that a side effect of Tirosint is decreased bone density.  I am not surprised about the reverse of the progress but I'm plenty pissed.

My former endocrinologist told me the sub-lingual dose was better for my bones but did not explain that levothyroxine in the intestine can prevent absorption of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, both very important to maintaining bone density.  Had he explained this, I would not have agreed to go to the expensive designer drug my family physician prescribed. 

This is really annoying, given that I gave up grains and legumes of every kind because elements in them also prevent the absorption of minerals in the intestines.

So I remind myself that doctors are educated by drug dealers hired by Big Pharma to show up in every doctor's office at least once a week.  During the five years that I was taking my mother to doctor's appointment every month, we were never in one of their offices that a drug dealer didn't show up with a big (enormous) bag of samples and pretty literature to ensure the continuing huge profits of Big Pharma.

So now I get to argue with my doctor's Physician Assistant to change back to sub-lingual Synthroid and a compound prescription of T3 that I can also take sub-lingually.  Not certain that is spelled correctly but you get the idea.

I am pleased with the 30 days.  No sugar for 30 days has decreased my cravings for sugar in all its forms and the love handles I've been carrying around have been cut in half.  They are still there but greatly reduced.  I need to keep this in mind whenever I'm tempted to eat simple carbohydrates.  The fat just above the waistline is what kills us.  Heart attack anyone? 

I'm pleased that I was able to be disciplined enough to stay with this for 30 days.

What did not work so well was the planning and cooking.  I plan to spend the month of September working on that.  I bought too much food for a week each week.  I threw very little away but some greens had to be carefully picked over the second and fourth weeks.  Even with that I spent less money on food than in any week in the last three years.  I also did not eat out except for one breakfast.  That helped.

Tomorrow I begin the second 30-day challenge, doing everything I did this month but adding two new food groups to the forbidden list--nightshades and brassicas.  Nightshades for my joints and brassicas for my thyroid.  I also intend to add 15 minutes a day of walking which could help with the removal of what is left of the love handles.

Life is good.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 27

I'm not doing so well with the daily posts.

However, I am doing well with the nutrition although not so much with the cooking.

I got all my scores on blood work but not the dexascan.  My cholesterol is great.  Triglycerides are way low.  My hemoglobin A1c is 5.5, down from the high a year ago of 6.1 so absolutely no sugar in the diet is working.

Thyroid is still a little off.  T3 is low.  I'm on a designer T4 drug--same as the generics but it's Akrimax Pharmaceuticals new version, called Tirosint and it's expensive.  I'm going to request that I go to Armour for three months and see if the T3 comes up.  The Reverse T3 wasn't measured and I'm going to ask for all the tests again in three months and this time include a measurement of the Reverse T3 which could give a clearer picture T3 is still low.  Armour comes from pigs and includes both T4 and T3.  Most doctors aren't thrilled about Armour and I have to keep reminding myself that they are constantly educated by drug company reps.

I need to work on the menus and cooking.  More cooking on Sunday, add more vegetables to the daily meals, more salads.  This is a work in progress.  This first 30-day challenge ends Thursday and the new one starts on Saturday, Sept. 1.

The new challenge calls for everything I'm doing now and adding in the elimination of nightshades and all the fruits and vegetables known to affect thyroid function.  And there are a lot of them.  Thank gawd raspberries, blackberries and blueberries aren't on that list.

I consider the August challenge a success.  It's shown me that I can do what I need to and let go of some of the Want, Want, Want.  Have to admit, I still miss my coffee with cream.  And I missed my cigarettes for a damn long time after I quit smoking the last time.  Addictions stay with us--all those damned neurons and pleasure centers.

Enough!  Time to fix breakfast and get on with the day.  And a lovely one it looks to be. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 20

Twenty down and ten to go.

The best result so far?  I have a calm energy that lasts about 12 to 14 hours a day.  No more crashing at 3 p.m. with my book and a thrown together dinner.

Biggest disappointment so far?  Although I have lost weight, I have not lost the belly fat and the bulge at waist level above my hips.  Which indicates, if I'm understanding all the science thrown at me in the last two weeks, the blood sugar is still playing games with my hormones.  That's so oversimplified but it's the best I can do.

Still working toward being fat-adapted rather than sugar-adapted.  Sigh.  I am assured that will come and it would probably help if I would exercise.  That's the September challenge.

I managed to get all my recipes into one volume, separated by type--chicken, beef, fish, lamb, vegetables, eggs, soup, salad and miscellaneous.  There are more categories but you get the picture.  Next step is to go though each section and get rid of everything I won't actually cook.  Probably at least half.  Maybe a lot more.

I made a week's worth of menus yesterday and a shopping list from which I did not deviate while picking up what I needed.  Nice not to have to think about what I'm going to cook and pack for lunch.

Nice tip from Kathy S.  Costco has some lovely baby romaine heads, grown hydroponically, supposedly eight to a package but so far my packages have contained nine.  They are the perfect size for one serving, wash easily and taste great. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 14

Feeling very content.  Salad and two organic beef (no mystery meats) hot dogs for dinner.  A beef stew is almost done for four meals tomorrow and Thursday.  Without the customary dredging of meat in flour the stew is more like an extremely thick soup.  Just as good.

Finished reading the text of Diane Sanfilippo's new book, Practical Paleo and am now reading every single recipe. 

This is the most informative of all the Paleo books I've read to date and I think that's close to 20.  Sanfilippo has a bachelor of science degree and is a certified nutrition counselor. 

She writes clearly, making hormones, digestive systems and parts, leaky guts, blood sugar regulation and poop understandable.

The book also has 30-day meal plans for folks dealing with autoimmune disease, high or low thyroid, weight loss, chemotherapy, blood sugar regulation and more.

Just realized I'm too tired to write more.  Am going to bed with my book.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 12

Darn!  Just lost the whole post for today.  Hmmm.  So, start over.

I feel very, very energetic, enthusiastic and happy to be alive.

No slips at all.  When she is good, she is very, very good!


The bundles of fat at my waistline are slowly getting smaller.

Optimistic and playful mood.

I'm loving this Whole30 Challenge.  However, I don't have a lot to say.  Perhaps tonight.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day Eight

I've missed a couple of days blogging but not because I'm behind on the Whole30 Challenge.  Stuff came up, I did not remember I should post until I'd already shut down the computer.

I haven't cheated.  Not even by accident.  Not the tiniest speck of sweetener of any kind has passed my lips since July 31.  And not a single bit of dairy.  I did weigh myself this morning and have lost five pounds.  That infraction does not require that I start over with the Whole30 30 days.

I'm feeling great.  More energy, more upbeat, my sense of humor is coming back.  Pains in legs and hips have disappeared.  Concentration is good.  I think my thyroid medication is working better.  I have blood tests Aug. 20 and see Dr. Kriss Aug. 30 to discuss the results.

The cooking is going well.  It helps to have menus and a plan although the plans didn't go quite as I hoped.  Next week will be better.

Life is good at the casa in the Johnson Lane area.  I've lost a couple more trees (smaller ones) but am not certain if it's the dryness or that the irrigation lines aren't working as they should.  I'm going to replace them with sumac bushes which grow to be enormous globular  and beautiful shrubs and currants which provide berries for the birds.

We don't have as many birds on the property this year.  I do have a few robins who resent my walking on my porch.    It's how I get to and from the car so they have to put up with me.  They walk around on the ground, ignoring the three cats (who don't seem to give a damn that there are fat birds damn near walking up to them to rub beak to nose) and nibble at the chokecherries and currants.  The crab apples are just about ready to eat, the buffalo berries are close to peak sugar.  It's a moveable feast here.  I'm just sorry there aren't more feathered guys to enjoy it.  The apple tree is loaded and I need to check to see if they are ripening.  The quail go nuts for the ones on the ground and I think I remember some of the bigger birds showing up for the apples--mountain jays and magpies but I could be making that up so don't quote me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day Five

A very good day today.  Very early this morning I could tell that things were better.  I was energetic and awake.  First time since July 31.

Had a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs--Mary's fresh eggs from her coddled chickens, yolks a bright orange--and sliced tomato.  Missed lunch--a Whole30 no no but not bad enough to have me start the 30 days from the beginning.  Sugar or dairy would, however.

For dinner I sliced three chicken breasts for stir fry with onions and mushrooms.  Quite good, if I do say so and plenty of leftovers for a couple of lunches this week.  Tomorrow morning I start the beef stew in the crockpot.  A couple of dinners and lunches there. 

It's 9:07 p.m., I'm nodding off over the computer keyboard, so I'm going to bed. 

Slept better last night but not enough hours (5).  Perhaps I can change that tonight.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Day Three

Didn't sleep well because of the full moon and in spite of that I had a good day.  Breakfast and lunch were ordinary but dinner was tasty.  I cooked up Esther's chard with some bacon, then threw in leftover pork roast chopped up.  Sliced a tomato.

Fasting blood sugar levels have been fantastic, in the 70s and 80s.

Tomorrow I'm going to start exercising.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Finally, I can go to bed.  I'm feeling stiff, sore, I have a headache and I made it!  Had a big salad for dinner.  Look forward to tomorrow.

Day Two morning

The brain fog is worse.  This may be one of the days I need a keeper.  Past experience tells me that after day three things will get better.

The Whole30 folks are pretty tough.    This is what they tell you if you whine about the 30 days being hard.

“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your ‘struggles’.”

I agree with the sentiment and it's easier to give up coffee than drink it without cream so I've gone cold turkey and am not drinking coffee.  However, I am allowing myself one cup (about 12 ounces) of white tea around 11:30 a.m.

The hard part for me is the amount of planning and cooking involved.  More on that after I get my brain back from wherever it wandered to without coffee.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day One of Whole30

The only thing different about today is that I had no coffee because we are not allowed dairy and I would rather go without than drink black coffee.  I did have a weak cup of white tea at noon.  Because of the lack of caffeine my brain feels fogged and I'm very tired.

Spent no money today.  I have a freezer full of meat, at least enough for half the month.  Friday I will inventory pantry and freezer, then create a week's worth of menus.  On Sunday I shall cook for the week.

It's 7:25 p.m. and I want to go to bed.  Too early AND Bubba the Cat threw up in my bed while I was out today.  I've torn the bed down but now I need to get the sheets washing and make the bed.  

It was a good day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I have fresh eggs from Mary's beautiful chickens for breakfast tomorrow.  Love those orange yolks.