Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The End of Overeating

Seriously, if you're interested in why you feel like you're hardwired to overeat, you need to check out this book! It's not a vegan thing, so don't worry if you're not into that.

Oh, and I'm also skating in a Lupus benefit race this weekend at Heinz field with some of my former derby teammates! So excited! You can go here to check out my team or make a donation in support of me busting my fat ass for charity:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"New Shit has Come to Light..."

Sorry, I can't stop thinking about that quote from The Big Lebowski and laughing every time I learn something new about this stuff!

I read a little more about the banned foods list, and it turns out that MAYBE the veggies on the list aren't quite so bad when they are cooked! The thing that interferes with the thyroid is called a GOITERGEN, and those are probably destroyed when the veggies are cooked. So I guess I can still eat corn (who eats raw corn anyway?) and spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes and cauliflower in moderation (I don't "need" those as much as corn... haha.)

I also re-read the intro to Appetite for Reduction and realized I had forgotten that Isa (the author) has hypothyroidism too! I definitely wonder if she knows about goitergens, though, since so many of her recipes contain those foods. :-\ I also wonder if I'm being INSANE about this, or if modern medicine has really just convinced us that it's okay to be on pills and eat whatever we want.

After work yesterday, I stopped at The Good Life Market in Dormont, which is on my way home, but I honestly haven't been in there much. I just knew that they had Daiya and wanted to pick some up. I ended up buying WAY more than I had planned to (but I got a free gift bag full of samples!) Here's some new stuff I got:

A huge container of coconut oil, which I think is a good step in the right direction. It was painfully expensive ($24!) but I like the idea of medium chain triglycerides. You can go here to read more about it, because it would take me forever to explain, and you probably don't care that much! Most importantly, I used it to sautee the veggies for some curried corn chowder last night, and the subtle coconut flavor worked SO well (especially since I didn't have coconut milk and had to use almond!)

I also FINALLY broke down and bought some stevia (it was $14... ugggh!) Stevia is basically what Splenda pretends to be. It's an all natural sweetener made from leaves that has a "negligible effect on blood glucose." Awesome! I had it in some tea I got in the sample pack as well as my morning coffee, and I am definitely impressed.

I also got some arrowroot and Daiya, and I decided that I can make my life a lot easier by doing most of our shopping at The Good Life Market and the Shop n Save that's a block away from our house instead of trying to trek over to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's every week or two. Now that I'm not eating tons of fake meats, I can get pretty much everything I need at a regular grocery store, which is a huge plus!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Operation Soy-Free Vegan!

Well I finally fell off the wagon. Over the past week, I have eaten a ton of cheese and other assorted garbage foods. I honestly felt my sanity starting to slip away when I discovered the huge list of foods that interfere with thyroid hormone production:

Soy (this includes tofu as well as processed soy like Tofurky and Earth Balance)
Corn (UGH!!)
Sweet Potatoes

Since SO many things I had started eating since going vegan were on that list, I panicked. I no longer knew what was good for me. I didn't know WHAT TO EAT. So I gave up and regressed to my former unhealthy lifestyle for a week, and let me tell you- it feels HORRIBLE. I have had energy, but that's probably because I cut out the soy, which I think was having a huuuge effect on me, and have now been on thyroid medication for 7 weeks. However, I have pretty much had a constant stomach ache, which I know is from eating crap. I have also had a near-migraine level headache for 48 hours straight.

So today is the day that I pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on with what I originally intended to do for myself. So my list of things I can eat is a little shorter now... so what? I will survive, and I love food enough that I should be able to survive happily! I keep telling myself, "It could be so much worse- at least it's not a true ALLERGY! Just imagine if you couldn't even go NEAR peanuts!"

Operation soy-free vegan starts (officially!) today! I think my healthiest choices are yet to come, since I can't use the fake soy meats crutch anymore. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Inspiration and Explanation

I just realized that I forgot to mention where I got the inspiration to go ahead and do the juice fast, nor did I explain some things that probably need explaining!

First, we watched a documentary on Netflix called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. If you have Netflix, WATCH IT!

Then, while looking for recipes, I discovered Green Smoothie Girl @ youtube and was convinced that this was something that I could do, but only if I had a high powered blender instead of a juicer (see my first entry about juicing for my reasoning.)

Also, I've decided that "juice fast" makes it sound like a dumb fad diet. "Juice cleanse" isn't much better. The idea of a cleanse sounds nice (especially after my recent bad experience with soy!) but my main objective IS to lose weight.

For those of you who don't know, hypothyroidism makes it really tough for me to lose weight. It actually lowers my metabolism! I had been fighting with people for years over the fact that I just CAN'T lose weight unless I eat under 1200 calories per day. People told me that it was impossible for someone my size to need to eat that little. Well, there you go...

When I went vegan, everyone expected me to drop a bunch of weight immediately. Honestly, I at least expected SOMETHING! So, after 6 months of healthy eating and still no weight loss, I decided to make a list of all of my ailments and take it to a doctor. She immediately suggested that it was probably my thyroid.

So now I have been on medication for almost 5 weeks, knowing that it takes a very long time to get thyroid medication straightened out, and I am tired of being fat and tired. I don't want to wait for my metabolism to catch up with me. If I'm only burning x amount of calories, then I just need to eat less! And if I'm going to do that, then I need to eat only very healthy, nutritionally dense foods... hence the juicing!

After 10 days, I will go back to eating beans, legumes, etc, but if I can stand to, I'm going to continue juicing for breakfast and lunch!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Green Smoothie!

The VitaMix arrived yesterday, so we immediately went to the farmers market and bought a bunch of fruit and veggies! In this one, I used kale, spinach, carrots, peaches, apples, bananas, blueberries, and blackberries. And nothing went to waste- not even the apple core! (Although I did remove the peach pit because I thought it might make it taste bitter.) The thing is a beast that will tear through anything!

Our 10 day juice fast starts today! I have a big bottle of it at my desk right now, but it's SO THICK. I think the bananas weren't ripe enough and I needed to use more water and/or ice! Next time I will use an actual recipe instead of just cramming whatever I want into it.

I'm doing okay without coffee this morning, though, so that's good! I just hope I don't end up running to the bathroom all day for the next 10 days.

I need to figure out which camera to use to make youtube videos. Filming in the kitchen is awkward!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

10 Day Juice Fast

So Dustin and I have wanted to start making green smoothies for a while now, but our $20 blender is just AWFUL. Seriously, it blends like an inch of stuff unless it's all liquid, and I have to SHAKE it to get it to mix things well. We considered a juicer, but I think they're wasteful- both nutritionally and monetarily. All of the "scraps" that are left over after juicing are the most fibrous parts of the plants! Why would you throw that out? (And yes, I know that some people use them in cooking/baking, but most do not. It just seems so wasteful to me!)

So we decided we needed a blender to make smoothies instead of juice. After reading reviews and watching tons of youtube videos (Ninja vs. VitaMix was a real eye-opener, because the Ninja is supposed to be a pretty good blender, but the VitaMix made it look like junk when they went head to head!) We ended up agreeing that it was probably worth it to plunk down the money for THIS:

I am dying of anticipation waiting for it to arrive! I can't wait to make hummus, hot soup (yes, it HEATS the soup,) peanut butter, and sooo many other things! But first I want to do a 10 day juice fast and see how it makes me feel. I love the idea of being able to eat raw fruits and veggies, and the VitaMix even breaks down the cell walls so the nutrients are more readily available!

So expect some posts as soon as it arrives chronicling my 10 day juice fast. THAT should be interesting! I'm also considering making a youtube channel, but I don't know if talking into a camera is really my thing. If anyone is interested, maybe I will!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Health Update

Well, I finally got blood tests done, and it turns out there IS something wrong with me! I have an underactive thyroid! And high cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, high white blood cell count, high lymphocytes... presumably all related to the thyroid issue, but I'm not really sure.

At first, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both. I am SO happy to know that I'm not crazy or the laziest person in the world, but I'm sad that it's not something that can be fixed. I will be on medication for it for the rest of my life. If you know me, you know how much I hate the idea of medication. But the idea of feeling "normal" again is an incredible thought- I can't remember the last time I felt GREAT. I am picking up my prescription for Synthroid today, and from what I've read, it should take about 6 weeks for my thyroid to become normal. I may or may not start feeling better before then.

Fortunately, I have an overwhelming amount of support from friends and family who have the same condition. I'm going to follow my Doctor's orders to start, but it'll be good to have all of the drug and testing information people have given me in case things don't improve on Synthroid. Thanks, everyone! :)

Oh, also... I am now officially an Ohio Valley Roller Girl! I passed my skills testing last night and it felt great. Everyone in the league has been so welcoming and awesome. They're really just a stellar bunch of ladies (and dudes!) and I am proud to be a part of their league.

I'm also proud of myself for busting my ass so hard last night, even though thoughts of calling it quits before I even started definitely occurred. I was so tired when I got to the practice space hours earlier than I needed to be there. It's an hour drive for me, so I usually shop a little after work and go straight there instead of home, which is in the other direction, but I was too tired to shop. So I ended up sleeping for over an hour in the backseat of the Soul (which is super big and comfy, btw!) I woke up feeling groggy and crappy, and I honestly just wanted to give up. It's frustrating to require such huge amounts of sleep yet never awake feeling well-rested. But I sucked it up and wound myself up with an energy drink, which I can't WAIT to stop doing/needing, and tryouts went well!

I'm so excited to stop feeling weak and tired. To stop aching anytime I do anything. To be able to think clearly. To be able to lose weight without eating less than 1200 calories a day.

I hope my expectations aren't too high, but I want to be optimistic about this! :)